An Example to Emulate: Teamwork Contributes to the Successful Relationship between DISAM and Australia
Krolikowski, Christopher, DISAM Journal
"The United States places great value on its unique relationship ... with Australia, whose forces stand with the U.S. military in Iraq, Afghanistan and many other operations. These close military relations are models for the breadth and depth of cooperation that the United States seeks to foster with other allies and partners around the world." This statement from the U.S. DoD 2006 Quadrennia/Defense Review Report gives a strong indication why the DISAM was once again invited back to Australia. The relationship between U.S. and Australia is as strong as ever, but the partnership formed between DISAM and Australia Support Office Foreign Military Sales (SOFMS) is equally as strong. "Ibis working relationship, to be described in detail, is one that other international partners can strive to achieve and even copy in order to provide valuable training to the intended audience. DISAM courses in Australia have been an annual event since at least 2001 and have evolved to ensure that the following three major objectives are met:
1. Define and describe the U.S. Foreign Military Sales (FMS) process as an acquisition tool for the Australian Department of Defence
2. Define unique Australian Government acquisition policies and procedures
3. Describe how Australian Government acquisition policies and procedures fit in the U.S. FMS process
This year's mission was to teach two Security Assistance Management International Purchasers' Courses for military officers and civilian government employees. Each class was a modified security assistance introductory course with logistics and financial management emphasis.
Mobile Education Team Preparation
The members of the DISAM Mobile Education Team (MET) were Ms. Joanne Hawkins, Logistics Instructor Team Lead, Mr. John Smilek, Technology Transfer/Export Controls Functional Coordinator, and Mr. Christopher Krolikowski, Foreign Military Sales Process/Finance Instructor. Ideally, the DISAM instructor team is selected six months prior to the scheduled course dates. Proper preparation is an essential component for any successful MET, and six months ensures appropriate time for coordination with the host nation and extensive research by the team. Coordination with the host nation and research of customer programs are not exclusive of each other and, in fact, are interdependent.
In preparation, the team developed a draft course schedule based on Australia's requested requirement to emphasize financial and logistics management aspects. The draft schedule was then proposed to the host nation for review and concurrence. Host nation acceptance/concurrence is important because the proposed schedule included sessions led by both DISAM instructors and Australian Government personnel. Including subject matter experts from the host nation is not always done but should always be considered by the DISAM team and host nation. While the DISAM team will provide detailed instruction on the U.S. FMS process and infrastructure, incorporating host nation expertise helps build a bridge between USG and host nation policies and procedures. Showing the students how both countries' processes compliment each other provides a great advantage to ensure students take away important knowledge and achieve learning objectives. Examples of how Australia's subject matter experts participated will be discussed later.
Additionally, with concurrence, the host nation has confirmed that the schedule includes any unique country requirements in the lessons. The confirmed schedule by the host nation is invaluable for instructors as it serves as the basis for research. Research to support METs should encompass both macro and micro levels of information. Prior to developing the lessons for the MET, the team researched many aspects of Australia's programs. They looked at everything from background information and overall U.S. relations to political history to economic status. …