Aviation and Missile Command and Security Assistance Management Directorate Setting the Standard for the Security Assistance Century

Article excerpt

The foreign military sales (FMS) mission has never been more important for our country. By the numbers, more than 50 percent of the entire Army FMS portfolio in fiscal year (FY) 2010 is coming from Aviation and Missile Command (AMCOM). This is due to the increasing need for our allied nations to protect themselves from asymmetric threats requiring Air Defense equipment, and pushing Aviation to stay in front of the support curve for General Petraeus and all the Combatant Commanders is crucial. Whether it is a Patriot missiles for Germany, Apaches for Israel, Bell 412s for Mexico and Pakistan, Chinooks for Taiwan, or Huey IIs for Kazakhstan, it is about increasing our allies' capabilities so that they can defend themselves, allowing stability in the region as well as bringing our Soldiers home to their families much sooner. PEO Aviation's Non-standard Rotary Wing Project Office represents the very edge of innovation to achieve this goal. That office was initially stood up to take care of the Russian MI-17 helicopter. It is just the first step in getting our arms around all of the different non-standard aircraft that we are selling to other countries. This effort, again, has been nothing short of tremendous, as measured in terms of supporting General Odiemo in Iraq and General McCrystal in Afghanistan. FMS at AMCOM is sharpening the tip of the spear.

Major General James R. Myles

Commander U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command Redstone Arsenal, Alabama.

With our world constantly in a state of economic, political, and social flux, security assistance is an increasingly important element of our country's strategic initiatives. It bolsters U.S. foreign policy by ensuring a shared interoperability that permits our allies to fill key roles in achieving our nation's goals for peace and security both at home and abroad. Within the U.S. Army, strategic organizations exist to meet this need. They provide administrative and technical leadership and support to our foreign military partners who are proud recipients of some of the latest and greatest weapons systems with which the U.S. Army accomplishes its mission.

As the Army deals with the challenges of the 21st century, two organizations are leading the way in the field of security assistance: the U.S. Army's AMCOM and its Security Assistance Management Directorate (SAMD). The brand recognition worldwide for U.S. Army-fielded materiel is due in large part to the efforts of these two crucial entities. An in-depth understanding of each is fundamental to the appreciation of all the U.S. Army does to promote a stable international environment.

The Aviation and Missile Command History: A Boon for Growth in Alabama

Many changes have taken place because of the new face of our military in this new century. Base Relocation and Closure (BRAC) is ever-present in this adaptive effort. Hence, BRAC is the driving force behind the history of these organizations. As organizations change, the talent that went into their formation and sustainment adapts accordingly; the key players of the previous establishment often become the linchpins of the new institutions.

July 17, 1997, saw the provisional creation of the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command following the merger of the U.S. Army Aviation and Troop Command (ATCOM) and the U.S. Army Missile Command (MICOM). Its parent command, the U.S. Army Materiel Command (AMC), issued Permanent Orders 344-1, specifying that AMCOM be established at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama, on a permanent basis effective 1 October 1997. Major General Emmitt E. Gibson became the first Commanding General (CG) of AMCOM.

A year later, AMCOM assumed operational control of two integral Army depots:

* Corpus Christi Army Depot (CCAD) in Texas, sustaining aviation systems

* Letterkenny Army Depot (LEAD) in Pennsylvania, sustaining missile systems

These depots, formerly part of U. …