From the Director, Defense Security Cooperation Agency

Article excerpt

[The following is provided courtesy of DSCA Partners, April 2010. The entire publication can be viewed at: http://www.dsca.mil/newsletter/E-Partners 0410.pdf.

There are a lot of hot issues working in the security cooperation community. One of the highest priorities centers around improving the competence of the security cooperation workforce. We are working on meeting one of the DEPSECDEF's High Priority Performance Goals (HPPG). This goal is to ensure that the security cooperation community has the proper levels of training. Our goal is to ensure that at least 95 percent of the security cooperation workforce is fully trained by the end of fiscal year 2011. The interim goal for the end of fiscal year 2010 is an appropriate training level for 80 percent of our workforce.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Due to the critical nature of ongoing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the idea of a fully-trained security cooperation workforce needs to be a reality at all levels and in all venues. Security assistance and security cooperation help build security for our international partners, enhance our relationships on a professional military level with their military establishments as well as other government entities, and provide for interoperability in coalition operations.

The Defense Institute of Security Assistance Management (DISAM) is conducting a full assessment of the status of the training of the security cooperation community to determine a baseline from which to measure. This assessment covers the entire community of security assistance practitioners including DSCA headquarters, the Military Departments, and security assistance officers. We are also assessing the training level of other practitioners, especially those working on DOD-funded security cooperation programs. Many of them have skills in DOD acquisition, logistics, and contracting for example, but do not have the specialized skills to apply their knowledge to the unique characteristics of the foreign military sales system. If you've not heard about this training metric through your chain command, you will soon.

First, we will talk about DISAM. DISAM trains the security assistance, and now the security cooperation workforce and will be a major driver in achieving the HPPG. DISAM expanded and retooled its core courses to reflect current realities and created new courses, onsite classes, both in the United States and abroad and on-line classes to meet these new demands. Other training programs for security assistance and security cooperation professionals include the Global Master of Arts Program, a program offered through a partnership with Tufts University and an internship by the Navy International Programs Office to develop young workers in the field of acquisition.

Aside from the training of the security assistance and security cooperation workforces, we continue to train our international partners. …