Non-Standard Aviation Systems Division of Aviation and Missile Command Security Assistance Management Directorate

By Weston, Angela; Ellis, Summer et al. | DISAM Journal, July 2010 | Go to article overview

Non-Standard Aviation Systems Division of Aviation and Missile Command Security Assistance Management Directorate


Weston, Angela, Ellis, Summer, Carrington, Durand, DISAM Journal


The U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command (AMCOM) Security Assistance Management Directorate (SAMD) is responsible for the transfer and maintenance of all U.S. Army aviation and missile systems, as well as services and technical expertise, to over seventy foreign nations and organizations. This is achieved through a multicultural and diversified staff of over 250 specialists who are positioned across the globe in both friendly and hostile locations. The business base has risen exponentially, growing from an annual average of one billion dollars less than five years ago to today's sales of fourteen billion dollars.

AMCOM SAMD is currently headed by Dr. Thomas Pieplow, who was the previous Associate Director for Aviation of the Integrated Materiel Management Center (IMMC). He states that his experience at IMMC prepared him for his new role in SAMD, which is providing excellent customer service to an international clientele. SAMD's role in the foreign military sales (FMS) process provides a quality product, promotes system consistency for every country, utilizes Army acquisition practices, and ensures the highest level of integrity.

The Non-Standard Aviation System is a division of SAMD which performs System and Security Assistance Management roles in support of assigned aviation systems in over forty countries. The USG relationship with our international customers spans over four decades. However, our systems continue to attract several newly established international customers. The Non-Standard Aviation System Division is made up of four branches:

* Aviation Program Branch

* Aviation Systems Management Branch

* Commercial Branch

* Mi-17 Programs Branch

Each branch has a specific mission, but all share the SAMD mission to provide world-class support to our security assistance customers and allies. The division is headed by Jan Robinson, who is on voluntary assignment in Iraq. Mrs. Benita Martin-Dwight is acting Division Chief; and she states:

  The Non-Standard Aviation Division faces every demanding
  challenge head-on with courage of conviction and a high sense
  of professional pride. Our team is pushed to the limit and continues
  to labor relentlessly until the job is completed. The programs we
  work are intense, but we are able to see the impact of our efforts
  on a daily basis.

The Aviation Programs Branch, headed by Mr. Ray Ramirez, manages all AMCOM FMS nonstandard aircraft cases, except those pertaining to Overseas Contingency Operations, formerly known as the Global War on Terror (GWOT) These non-standard aircraft are legacy systems that are no longer in the Army inventory or commercial aircraft inventory. Legacy systems allow countries that lack the resources to purchase newer systems the opportunity to accomplish the mutual goal of national defense. The Aviation Program Branch deals with numerous contractors/manufacturers of the various systems. In some instances, this is the first time that non-standard aircraft have been sold to an FMS customer. The non-standard aircraft world is constantly evolving, creating new challenges and opportunities almost on a daily basis. Intensive management is required to stay ahead of this ever-changing environment and offer our customers the highest level of service possible.

The Aviation Systems Management Branch is responsible for life cycle planning, directing, and controlling all phases of research, development, procurement, production, logistic, technical, and engineering support for the fielding and sustainment of non-standard commercial and legacy fixed and rotary wing aircraft systems no longer in the Army inventory. On October 13, 2009, Mr. Kevin Fyfe was appointed as the Branch Chief for the SAMD Aviation Systems Management Branch. Before he was appointed as Branch Chief, Mr. Fyfe served in the Apache Project Managers International Programs Office as a Program Integrator for AH-64 A and D aircraft programs and the U. …

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