• Security Cooperation – A Case Study

    Members of the CSTC-A NET team receive U.S. M224 60 mm mortar systems at Kabul, Afghanistan. The last 92 weapon systems were delivered to Afghanistan in Sept. 2013, two months ahead of schedule. (Photos courtesy of Program Executive Office Ammunition)

     


    By Lt. Col. Will McDonough, Robert Ucci, Bill Webber and Ted Greiner

     

    As defense budgets and military force structure are reduced, the United States must once again examine ways to maintain our defense industrial base. While budgets may not allow for the procurement of new weapons for our own military at the rate many would like, there can be no question that we need to maintain the ability to ramp up for a future conflict at a time and a place that may be totally unpredictable.

    One very valuable tool for maintaining our domestic industrial base is to promote the sale of our defense materiel to friendly nations who may very well be allies in the next conflict. On Jan. 3, 2012, the NATO Training Mission – Afghanistan requested the establishment of a foreign military sales case for 890 M224 60 mm mortar systems for the Afghan National Army (ANA). As is often the case, this initial requirement was later increased to include more weapons (up to a total of 918) and more accessories, support equipment and spare parts than originally requested. To put this in perspective, this represents a quantity that is more than half the total number of 60 mm mortar systems in the entire U.S. Army [inventory]. The team led by the product manager (PdM) for Precision Guided Munitions and Mortar Systems (GPM2S) not only delivered all required weapon systems ahead of schedule, but also $11 million under budget. The last 92 weapon systems were delivered to Afghanistan in Sept. 2013, two months ahead of schedule.

    CONTRIBUTORS TO SUCCESS
    Upon program initiation, PdM GPM2S formed an integrated product team (IPT) consisting of representatives from the Watervliet Arsenal, N.Y. (WVA), Anniston Army Depot, Ala. (ANAD), the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), the Tank and Automotive Command (TACOM)’s Product Support Integration Directorate (PSID) and Security Assistance Management Directorate (SAMD), the Maneuver Center of Excellence (MCoE) at Fort Benning, Ga., the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC), the deputy secretary of the army for defense exports and cooperation (DASA-DEC), and the Office of the U.S. Army Deputy Chief of Staff, G-8.

    CSTC-A, composed of a mix of active-duty and former Soldiers, and all graduates of the Army’s Infantry Mortar Leader Course, conducts U.S. 60mm mortar training with ANA soldiers, allowing them to train their own soldiers in the proficient use of the weapons.

    The majority of the team members were already familiar with each others’ roles and capabilities because of the normal interaction required to support Army and USMC units that were deployed, or preparing to deploy to combat operations. The long-standing relationships formed through personal interactions at program management reviews (PMRs) enabled the rapid formation of a high-performing team without the traditional forming, storming, and norming phases of team development. While every organization performed a unique and invaluable role, the leadership role of the PdM as individually responsible for program execution, granted by his charter as a life-cycle manager, ensured the unity and focus of the entire effort.

    In his Feb. 12, 2013 State of the Union Address, President Barack Obama emphasized the strategic importance of transitioning the United States’ role in Afghanistan from leading the fight to equipping and training Afghan security forces to take the lead. He stated, “Beyond 2014, America’s commitment to a unified and sovereign Afghanistan will endure, but the nature of our commitment will change. We are negotiating an agreement with the Afghan government that focuses on two missions: training and equipping Afghan forces so that the country does not again slip into chaos, and counter-terrorism efforts that allow us to pursue the remnants of al Qaeda and their affiliates.” This address served to strengthen the team’s commitment to success.

    This national-level emphasis on program success also allowed for creative, non-traditional solutions to providing weapon systems at an unusually high rate. For example, the Department of the Army allowed the diversion of Army-owned assets to this FMS case to fill immediate needs, with Army stocks to be replenished from new production using FMS case funding. Not only did this unusual step improve our responsiveness, it also provided the added benefit of updating the Army inventory with all new items.

    The ANA learns how to operate the U.S. 60mm mortars during a training exercise.

    Another contributor to the success of this program was the USMC. Over the past several years, the Army and Marines have cooperatively developed, qualified, and fielded a newer and lighter 60 mm mortar system, the M224A1. The Marines have been aggressively replacing their M224 systems with M224A1s, thus freeing up M224s for demilitarization. In large part as a result of the good will built up during years of interservice cooperation, the Marines allowed this excess inventory to be overhauled and sold, rather that demilitarized and scrapped, resulting in a very substantial cost savings.

    The dedication of the workforce at WVA, New York, and at ANAD was also key to program success. WVA provided for new production of many components, as well as expertise in assembling kits, and staging and shipping systems into theater. ANAD was responsible for overhauling many of the weapons. Their tireless commitment to quality ensured the safety of the weapons and provided an added benefit of minimizing schedule risk due to unnecessary scrap and rework.

    “The team led by the product manager (PdM) for Precision Guided Munitions and Mortar Systems (GPM2S) not only delivered all required weapon systems ahead of schedule, but also $11 million under budget.”

    TACOM PSID played a key role in providing both new and used Army assets for the effort, purchasing new components using existing sustainment contracts, coordinating with the DLA for acquisition of DLA-managed items, and providing direct oversight and management of ANAD depot efforts.

    The final enabler to program success was the PM’s ability to leverage a new equipment training (NET) team that was already in theater. This NET team, from Combined Security Transition Command – Afghanistan (CSTC-A), was composed of a mix of active-duty and former Soldiers, all graduates of the Army’s Infantry Mortar Leader Course (IMLC). They were indispensible in writing the doctrine and tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) that the ANA would use in both training and in combat. After that, these military and civilian professionals actually trained their ANA counterparts to the highest standards to allow them to train their own soldiers in the proficient use of the weapons. If the team had not already been stood up and in theater, additional time and expense would have been incurred to form and deploy the necessary capability.

    CSTC-A, composed of a mix of active-duty and former Soldiers, and all graduates of the Army’s Infantry Mortar Leader Course, conducts U.S. 60mm mortar training with ANA soldiers, allowing them to train their own soldiers in the proficient use of the weapons.

    LESSONS LEARNED
    As is always the case with any successful program, the ANA 60 mm mortars case was the result of a very strong team effort. The lesson to be learned is that the strongest teams are the ones who are already used to working together. PdM GPM2S has had a history of cooperation with the USMC, MCoE, TACOM, WVA and ANAD to provide world-class equipment, training, and support to Soldiers and Marines. As the Army’s Product Manager for Mortar Systems, PM GPM2S was uniquely qualified and positioned to respond to the urgency and need for providing mortar systems to the ANA. The product manager immediately stood up an IPT of mortar system professionals with defined roles and responsibilities. Daily meetings were established and a management tool referred to as “the dashboard” chart was created to capture and present the key events and weekly accomplishments. The dashboard chart was also used as a communication medium to keep Army leaders closely informed of critical program milestones and weekly achievements.

    Despite times of constrained resources and reduced travel budgets, true team building requires at least some face-to-face contact to foster trust and communication. For example, members of the IPT from PM GPM2S and TACOM-Warren travelled to ANAD, a key location in the process, to ensure the urgency of the mission was well understood, along with establishing the process map for refurbishment and shipping. In addition, periodic face-to-face meetings are also required after the team is formed and working to ensure that project status is tracked accurately and that priorities are properly communicated.

    A specific lesson for time-sensitive cases is the existence of the Special Defense Acquisition Fund (SDAF). This is a revolving fund administered by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) that may not be familiar to many program managers. Authorized in 1981, it was specifically created to allow for the acquisition of defense articles and services in anticipation of a future FMS sale. Tapping into this fund allowed PdM GPM2S to order some long-lead items early, thereby shaving approximately one month from the program schedule.

    Finally, PdM GPM2S learned the value of indefinite delivery / indefinite quantity (ID/IQ) contracts in responding rapidly to a surge in requirements. PdM GPM2S’ parent organization, Project Manager Combat Ammunition Systems (PM CAS) maintains numerous ID/IQ contracts for artillery and mortar munitions, both at the subcomponent level and for the load, assemble, and pack (LAP) of all-up rounds. Once established, these contracts allow for the rapid procurement of parts, projectiles or cartridges from any one of several qualified suppliers to meet surge demands. Traditionally, the procurement of major weapon systems have been focused on meeting U.S. requirements only and therefore have not required this flexibility and responsiveness.

    The Joint Capabilities Integration and Development System (JCIDS) and Planning, Programming, Budgeting, and Execution System (PPBES) processes normally provide PMs with years to decide on a contracting strategy, build the required procurement packages, and perform competitive selections. If a PM wants to be able to respond quickly to future foreign demands, they must have more foresight and be willing to put in the extra work up front to ensure that more flexible and responsive contract vehicles are available to them when needed.

    CONCLUSION
    As the nation winds down from the latter of two large conflicts, our need to procure large numbers of weapons will taper off. This may lead to a risk of losing valuable parts of our military industrial base. At the same time, however, many of our potential allies now recognize more than ever that the United States has the best-equipped Army in the world. As a result, they would now like to equip their own forces with weapon systems that are as safe, effective and reliable as ours. This situation offers up the opportunity to supplement domestic weapons procurement with foreign sales to maintain our own ability to respond to future conflicts. Wherever possible, PMs should prepare in advance to respond to security cooperation and security assistance cases with high-quality, timely, and cost-effective support so that we are the supplier of choice.


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  • Materiel Enterprise International Engagement Strategy: Strengthening Partnerships and Supporting the Defense Industrial Base

    The development and implementation of the MEIES is divided into four main phases.

    Chuck Meixner and Chris Mewett

    Last of three installments from the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Defense Exports and Cooperation (DASA (DE&C))

    Recognizing the dual imperatives of building strong and capable partners to meet global security challenges and a need to adapt to the increasingly difficult fiscal environment facing DoD, the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Defense Exports and Cooperation (DASA (DE&C)) is working to shape our security cooperation efforts in line with a more proactive approach called the Materiel Enterprise International Engagement Strategy (MEIES).

    The intent of the MEIES is to move the Army’s relationship with partner nations from its traditional reactive footing to one in which partners’ capability gaps can be identified and materiel requirements anticipated well before equipment is needed on the ground. This approach can offer the ancillary benefit of providing greater stability and predictability to the acquisition community’s projections of international requirements—and by extension, to the domestic defense industrial base. The result is to allow for consolidated contracts, production-line sustainment, and economies of scale.

    The development and implementation of the MEIES is divided into four main phases: assessing partner nation capabilities, determining appropriate materiel solutions, identifying potential policy roadblocks and working to address them, and communicating the Army’s recommended solutions.

    The key to achieving this evolution in our security relationships is the creation and maintenance of comprehensive strategic assessments of partner nations. By developing a basic understanding of each country’s current capabilities, equipment, and level of engagement with the United States, analysts can better determine the most appropriate means to support the partner nation. Each report also includes an analysis of current capabilities and a projection of what materiel and/or training the country may need given specific contingencies, while taking into account the partner nation’s ultimate responsibility for determining its own requirements. DASA (DE&C) is currently compiling these assessments.

    The intent of the MEIES is to move the Army’s relationship with partner nations from its traditional reactive footing to one in which partners’ capability gaps can be identified and materiel requirements anticipated well before equipment is needed on the ground.

    The next phase of the MEIES involves identifying appropriate materiel solutions to meet a partner nation’s projected capability gap. The strategy seeks to ensure that partner nations are prepared for the types of missions they may face, and highlights the Army’s assessment of which capability areas may be usefully supported with U.S. materiel solutions. Partner nations face a wide variety of security challenges—combating insurgencies, improving border security, responding to natural disasters, defending against external aggression, contributing to regional security organizations, and supporting coalition operations. U.S. equipment and training can help them address threats and accomplish missions across this operational spectrum, but it is important to match the right solution to each capability gap.

    Identifying a possible materiel solution then allows DASA (DE&C) personnel to review policy for potential roadblocks to a materiel sale, such as technology transfer or foreign disclosure issues. DASA (DE&C) will work with project managers to identify exportable configurations of appropriate systems and gain an understanding of the authorizations and permissions that may be necessary for a sale. A proactive approach is key to ensuring that these concerns are addressed as far in advance of a sale as possible, either by expediting transfer or by leading the Army and the partner nation to find a more appropriate solution when submitting a Letter of Request.

    With a solution identified and policy issues addressed, the final phase of the MEIES involves communicating the recommended solution to the partner nation through all available channels. Developing this engagement strategy provides a common baseline assessment for Combatant Commands, Theater Armies, and Country Teams to draw upon so as to present a unified voice when advocating solutions to these complex security challenges.

    Moving toward the anticipatory footing outlined in the MEIES will allow the Army to face an uncertain future with confidence. As Dwight D. Eisenhower once said, “plans are nothing, [but] planning is everything.” By planning for the future of security cooperation, the Army can help to support partner nations with the most appropriate materiel and training solutions while achieving greater predictability in its own acquisition programs.

     


    • CHUCK MEIXNER is a government employee with the DASA (DE&C) Strategy and Plans Directorate. He holds a B.S. in industrial studies from Moorhead State University and an M.S. in information systems from Strayer University. Meixner is Level III certified in international affairs.

      CHRIS MEWETT is a support contractor with General Dynamics Information Technology Inc. in the DASA (DE&C) Strategy and Plans Directorate. He studied history at Texas A&M University and central and eastern European studies at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland.


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  • Implementing Security Cooperation Reform

    After looking at a variety of areas (top row), the Security Cooperation Reform Task Force developed a final report with more than 50 recommendations, including four proposed initiatives (bottom row) that could dramatically improve the way we conduct our security cooperation business and improve support to our friends, partners, and allies.

    Floyd Baker

    Second of three installments from the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Defense Exports and Cooperation (DASA (DE&C))

    In response to complaints from commanders in Iraq and Afghanistan that the security cooperation program was too slow and cumbersome to respond to the urgent requirements of our friends and allies, the Secretary of Defense (SecDef) directed the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy (USD(P)) to conduct a comprehensive review of security cooperation.

    Together, these reforms will help make the security cooperation program more responsive to the ever-increasing demands of the 21st century, and a continued important tool in U.S. security and foreign policy.

    The Security Cooperation Reform Task Force conducted a series of workshops over a span of three months in late 2010 to look at a variety of areas including planning, workforce development, authorities, transportation, contracting, and technology security. The result was a set of more than 50 recommendations to improve the security cooperation process. The final report was approved by the SecDef in July 2011.

    Among the recommendations, which ranged from improvements to the Defense Institute of Security Assistance Management curriculum to updating weight and cube information in the catalog system, four proposals stand out as major initiatives with the potential to dramatically improve the way we conduct our security cooperation business and improve support to our friends, partners, and allies in the future.

    Special Defense Acquisition Fund
    The authority to establish a Special Defense Acquisition Fund (SDAF) has existed since the 1980s; in fact, the fund allowed for procurement of more than $2 billion in assets before it was decapitalized in the mid-1990s due to budget pressures. The purpose of the SDAF is to procure high-demand, long-lead items in advance of customer requests so that the items will be available when needed instead of being lead-time away. Congress agreed in fall 2012 to recapitalize the fund with $100 million from the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) administrative trust fund. After reviewing recommended items from all three services, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) agreed with Army recommendations to fund the purchase of small arms, night vision devices, and body armor in the first tranche of SDAF.

    Efforts are now underway to distribute the funds for these procurements, and the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Defense Exports and Cooperation (DASA (DE&C)) is beginning to look at potential items for a second tranche that could be authorized later this year.

    Defense Coalition Repair Fund
    The SDAF is designed to obtain items from new procurement in anticipation of future sales. The Defense Coalition Repair Fund would allow for the repair and refurbishment of items already in the inventory, again in anticipation of future sales. The Army first submitted a legislative proposal to establish this fund in 2010. Concerns raised in the interagency staffing process over the proposed size of the fund and the length of authority led to the proposal being killed before it reached Congress.

    A proposal modified to address those concerns was resubmitted last year and is now being reviewed by committee staffers on Capitol Hill. If it is included in this year’s legislative changes, the fund could be established as early as October 2012.

    Expeditionary Requirements Generation Teams
    The task force also determined that there was no process for performing capability package planning. This lack of planning support led to disjointed letters of request that focused on end-item procurement rather than development of a capability.

    The resulting recommendation was to establish Expeditionary Requirements Generation Teams (ERGTs) that could travel on relatively short notice to assist countries and the U.S. Security Cooperation Office in identifying capability needs and requirements packages, in the form of letters of request, to meet those needs. The team would consist of members with varying expertise who could not only identify capability shortfalls, but also identify systems to meet those shortfalls quickly and affordably.

    The Security Cooperation Reform Task Force conducted a series of workshops over a span of three months in late 2010 to look at a variety of areas including planning, workforce development, authorities, transportation, contracting, and technology security. The result was a set of more than 50 recommendations to improve the security cooperation process. The final report was approved by the SecDef in July 2011.

    To date, ERGTs have been deployed to Bulgaria, Uzbekistan, and Iraq, with an Armenian-bound team and a second team to Iraq in the works. As a result of these teams’ work, 34 letters of request have been submitted by the host governments.

    Compressed Rapid Acquisition, Fielding, and Training
    The security assistance process was designed for a peacetime environment. Systems ordered through FMS typically take several years before final delivery of not only the end item, but also of related support and training, Operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as efforts to challenge drug cartels south of our border, made clear the occasional need to respond in a much shorter timeframe. While there are provisions for expediting delivery under urgent circumstances, for example by diverting assets from a production line, there may be extreme circumstances when even these processes are insufficient.

    To address these extreme contingencies, the task force recommended—and DSCA has developed—procedures for Compressed Rapid Acquisition, Fielding, and Training (CRAFT). If a requirement is identified as a potential CRAFT candidate, a Senior Steering Group consisting of members from DSCA, the Office of the USD(P), the Joint Staff, the Office of the USD for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics, and the military departments will make a recommendation to the SecDef. The SecDef, in consultation with the Secretary of State, will then provide direction and authorization to use whatever means are necessary to expedite procurement, support, and training for the required system.

    Together, these reforms will help make the security cooperation program more responsive to the ever-increasing demands of the 21st century, and a continued important tool in U.S. security and foreign policy.

    NEXT: Strengthening Partnerships and Supporting the Defense Industrial Base


    • FLOYD BAKER works in the FMS Policy and Resources Directorate at DASA (DE&C). He has a B.A. in history and political science from Kent State University and an M.P.A. from the University of Dayton. Baker has worked in various international acquisition and security cooperation roles for the Army and Air Force for more than 20 years.

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  • Export Control Reform: an Overview of President Obama’s Initiative

    In 2010, the Obama administration announced a comprehensive, three-phased approach to export control reform. As of August 2012, Phase I tasks are complete, and the administration is about halfway through implementation of Phase II.

    Charles Wray


    First of three installments from the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Defense Exports and Cooperation (DASA (DE&C))

    In August 2009, President Obama initiated a comprehensive review of the United States’ export control system to identify possible reforms. Although the United States has one of the most robust export control systems in the world, it is rooted in the Cold War era and must be updated to address the threats we face today and the changing economic and technological landscape.

    This new element of the Commerce Department CCL harmonizes the overall effort as the administration moves to the objective of fewer controls. It also ensures that all items moving from the jurisdiction of the Department of State are initially controlled but that control is under the flexibility of the Export Administration Regulations.

    The assessment, conducted by an interagency task force created at the direction of the President, included all departments and agencies with roles in export control. The task force report—known as Presidential Study Directive 8, published January 29, 2010—indicated that the U.S. export control system does not sufficiently reduce national security risk, based on the fact that its structure is overly complicated, contains too many redundancies, and tries to protect too much.

    The task force reported that the system is based on two different control lists—the U.S. Munitions List (USML) and Commerce Control List (CCL)—administered by two different departments (the U.S. Departments of State and Commerce, respectively), three different primary licensing agencies, and a multitude of enforcement agencies with overlapping and duplicative authorities, using a number of separate information technology (IT) systems, none of which is accessible to or easily compatible with the others. Some of the agencies had no IT system at all that issues licenses.

    Given the extensive list of controlled items, this fragmented system deals with almost 130,000 licenses per year. The volume of licenses dilutes our ability to adequately control those key items and technologies that must be protected for our national security.

    Key Recommendation
    The administration determined that fundamental reform of the U.S. export control system was needed in each of its four component areas, with transformation over time to consolidate the various elements into a single control list, a single enforcement coordination agency, a single IT system, and a single licensing agency.

    In 2010, the administration announced a comprehensive, three-phased approach. As of August 2012, the export control reform (ECR) initiative has completed the Phase I tasks and is about halfway through implementation of Phase II.

    In Phase I, the interagency stakeholders (DoD, State, Commerce, and the U.S. Departments of Energy, Treasury, Justice, and Homeland Security) made significant improvements to the export control system and established the control list framework necessary to create the new system, including preparing for a legislative proposal necessary to create a single licensing agency. This phase included implementing specific reform actions already in process and initiating reviews of new opportunities. Specific actions included the following.

    • Control List: Refined and harmonized definitions to end jurisdictional confusion between the two lists, and established new criteria to screen items for control.
    • Licensing: Implemented improvements to streamline licensing processes, and standardized policy and processes to increase efficiencies.
    • Enforcement: Synchronized enforcement by creating an Export Enforcement Coordination Center (EECC).
    • IT: Determined enterprise-wide needs and began the process to reduce confusion by establishing DoD’s USEXPORTS IT system as the single U.S. government license review tool.

    In Phase II, deployment of specific Phase I reforms was completed, and new actions were initiated, contingent on completion of Phase I items. As of this writing, State and Commerce, in coordination with the other stakeholders, published Federal Register notices advising the public of results of the Phase I review (proposed definitional, scope, policy, and procedural changes) and solicited public comment on revisions being made to all the categories in the USML and corresponding controls in the CCL.

    The task force report—known as Presidential Study Directive 8, published January 29, 2010—indicated that the U.S. export control system does not sufficiently reduce national security risk, based on the fact that its structure is overly complicated, contains too many redundancies, and tries to protect too much.

    Not all groupings of technologies or items have completed the review process through to requests for public comment. (See related article, “Proposed Changes to Export Control of Certain Categories of the United States Munitions List,” on the discussions and progress of the proposed changes and anticipated impacts for the Army industrial base and others.)

    When the proposed changes are implemented later this calendar year, a fundamentally new U.S. export control system will emerge. Congressional notification will be required to remove International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) controls and transfer items from the USML to the CCL.

    • Control List: Create a new list of items that cascade from the USML and still merit a specific degree of export control due to international arrangement or the sensitivity of technology. The interagency process has resulted in drafting new parameters within the USML categories to clearly identify the technology being controlled by the ITAR, as well as creating new controls in the CCL for defense articles no longer subject to the ITAR.

    This new element of the Commerce Department CCL harmonizes the overall effort as the administration moves to the objective of fewer controls. It also ensures that all items moving from the jurisdiction of the Department of State are initially controlled but that control is under the flexibility of the Export Administration Regulations. This will help ensure that the other objective of the ECR effort is met: to help provide support to close allies quickly.

    Finalize the restructuring and synchronization of controls and definitions, apply redefined control criteria (especially the adoption of a new definition for “specially designed” by both regulatory departments), remove unilateral controls as appropriate, and submit proposals multilaterally to add or remove controls.

    • Licensing: Complete transition to a revised export control list system and fully implement licensing harmonization.

    • Enforcement: Export Enforcement Coordination Center (EECC) established and stood up, expanding outreach and compliance.

    • IT: Final transition toward State and Commerce adopting USEXPORTS as the single electronic licensing system. Initial operational capability in both organizations is scheduled by the end of this month, based upon rule sets and license review functionality.

    In Phase III, the transition to the new U.S. export control system will be completed. Legislation will be required for this phase to create a single licensing agency.

    • Control List: Begin restructuring the two lists so that in the future, they can be merged into a single list. Implement a systematic process to keep current.

    • Licensing: Establish a single licensing agency.

    • IT: Implement a single, enterprise-wide IT system (both licensing and enforcement) with the rest of the interagency group (Departments of Energy and Transportation).

    Conclusion
    ECR has presented a complex, multifaceted challenge to all stakeholder agencies. It is slightly behind schedule but has yielded outstanding progress in reconciling decades-old issues of control definitions, jurisdiction, and harmonization or synchronization between export control lists. In addition, the process of review has substantially improved communication between stakeholder agencies. The public response so far to ECR Federal Register notices has been helpful and positive. It is anticipated that all initial draft Federal Register notices will be published for comment by the end of this year.

    NEXT: Implementing Security Cooperation Reform

     


    • Charles Wray serves as a Special Assistant to the DASA (DE&C). He is Level III Security Assistance certified, and has worked in security cooperation staff and management roles with the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, U.S. European
      Command, the U.S. Embassy in Portugal, and the Department of the Army.

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  • Proposed Changes to Export Control of Certain Categories of the U.S. Munitions List

    The various categories of the U.S. Munitions List are being reviewed for possible revision, including transfer from Department of State to more relaxed Department of Commerce export rules.

    As part of Phase II of the export control reform (ECR) initiative, the various categories of the U.S. Munitions List (USML) are being reviewed for possible revision, including transfer from Department of State to more relaxed Department of Commerce export rules. This process involves several steps: consideration by subject-matter experts of those items currently being controlled; identification of proposed changes; notification in the Federal Register; and a period for public comment. Each category review is proceeding at a slightly different pace, and not all categories have undergone the same segments of review. The following summaries present details from a representative sample of USML categories.

    Category I: Firearms
    Firearms with a caliber of .50 inch or smaller, with the exception of handguns and noncombat shotguns, are currently controlled by the Department of State under the USML. Under rules being considered, only fully automatic firearms would remain under State’s control. Most firearms would move to Commerce Department jurisdiction under the Commerce Control List (CCL). These firearms are similar to those used for hunting, target practice, and self-defense. They have wide distribution and are rarely used for military purposes. Most military firearms, with the exception of some sniper weapons, have a fully automatic mode.

    Also under discussion is the export control of new and future firearms that may contain software, computers, and the capability of being integrated into a fire control network. These include new weapons that fire more than one bullet through the same barrel while the trigger is depressed, and firearms with multiple barrels. These firearms are considered automatic, and new language is being considered to ensure their inclusion on the State Department list.

    Category II: Guns and Armaments
    Guns with a caliber larger than .50” (12.7mm) are currently controlled by the State Department. These guns include howitzers, mortars, cannons, and recoilless rifles, whether towed or self-propelled. These weapons are considered inherently military with no civil use, and the proposed rules would leave them subject to State’s control.

    Consistent with the overarching rules of the ECR process, specially designed components that are not specifically identified would be allowed to transfer to the CCL. Flamethrowers are no longer used in most militaries; as such, they are also being considered for Commerce Department control. Certain other sections of the State Department rules for concealing and controlling the signatures of these weapons are also under review to harmonize them with the other parts of the department’s rules concerning signature management.

    Category III: Ammunition/Ordnance
    Ammunition for all firearms, with the exception of shotguns shells, is currently controlled under State Department rules. Under rule changes being discussed, most ammunition for firearms with a caliber smaller than .50 inch (12.7mm) would move to the CCL. This ammunition is used by hunters and shooting enthusiasts and has wide civil use and distribution.
    Armor-piercing ammunition and other specialized military ammunition smaller than .50 caliber would remain under State’s rules, as well as ammunition for all guns with a caliber of .50 inch and larger. This ammunition is considered inherently military with no civil applications.

    Again, some specially designed components that are not specifically identified would be allowed to transfer to Commerce control, in line with the overarching rules of the ECR process.

    Category IV: Launch Vehicles, Guided Missiles, Rockets, Torpedoes, Bombs, and Mines
    Under rules being discussed, the Commerce Department would assume control over various systems, subsystems, components, parts, accessories, attachments, or associated equipment found in launch vehicles and rockets that the State Department previously controlled.

    Under current rules, State controls the export of rockets, including meteorological and other sounding rockets. Many of the components found in military weapons have commercial application as well (for example, flight control systems for airplanes and surveillance unmanned aircraft, guidance systems used in civil aviation, and nose fairings). For that reason, the State Department export rules are being rewritten to exclude components that have commercial use. The new rules will clarify that only components that are “specially designed” for military systems will be controlled by State.

    Meteorological and other sounding rockets would fall under Commerce control. State would maintain control of rockets, bombs, torpedoes, depth charges, guided missiles, ballistic missiles, and mines.

    This process involves several steps: consideration by subject-matter experts of those items currently being controlled; identification of proposed changes; notification in the Federal Register; and a period for public comment. Each category review is proceeding at a slightly different pace, and not all categories have undergone the same segments of review.

    Category V: Explosive Materials
    Under newly proposed rules, the Commerce Department would assume control over some of the aluminum powder, hydrazine, and derivatives that are used to manufacture explosives and rocket motor propellants. These items are currently controlled by State Department under the USML, but they were determined to no longer warrant such stringent control. Once implemented, this change would allow companies to export these compounds to foreign countries and foreign companies that are authorized under Commerce rules but which are not allowed to receive exports under State’s rules.

    Commerce also proposes to move production equipment and software for manufacturing explosives and solid propellants, currently under existing control standards, to new U.S. interagency standards. This change to its regulations would not affect DoD.

    The USML will be rewritten to remove the catchall phrase that broadly controls explosives designed and manufactured for military use. The review process determined that this phrase is too broad and that most of the items this provision controls no longer warrant control on the USML. One explosive, 2,4-dinitroanisole (DNAN), which is currently controlled by this catchall phrase, would get its own category because it has significant military and little commercial application. This change would allow the export of certain explosives under Commerce rules while ensuring that DNAN stays on the USML.

    Another section of the USML would be modified to ensure that certain insensitive energetic compounds used in military explosives are properly identified on the USML. This change would lower the control for detonation velocity of certain explosives from 8,700 meters per second to 8,000 meters per second. This change would harmonize the USML with multilateral regimes and give better guidance to U.S. exporters.

    Category VII: Ground Vehicles
    Under newly proposed rules, export control of military ground vehicles would change. The new rules would remove from the USML unarmored vehicles, unless they include firing mounts for .50 caliber or larger weapons. Unarmored vehicles would move to the CCL under the jurisdiction of the Commerce Department.

    Major items such as tanks and fighting vehicles—as well as components that are inherently military and specifically called out, such as gun mounts, armoring, turrets, protection against electromagnetic pulse, and so on—would remain under State Department jurisdiction.

    The components of many trucks and military vehicles are similar (for example, brakes, tie rods, skid plates, engines, etc.). These parts would be controlled under new Commerce rules that would specifically control military equipment components. This significant change would reduce the licensing burden, in time and personnel, on exporters. Many components are specially designed for use in military vehicles but are simply commercial items modified by testing to military standards or by adding specialty paints or making dimensional modifications to integrate them with military vehicles.

    One of the goals of the review process is to establish a “bright line” between what is and is not controlled under the Departments of State and Commerce. These newly proposed rules would allow for greater understanding of the jurisdictional lines. This grouping of ground vehicles, equipment, and technologies is expected to be the lead category for finalization as it best establishes the methodology undergirding the ECR initiative and objectives by making the rules more transparent and less burdensome.

    Category VIII: Aircraft and Related Articles
    Under revised rules being discussed, the Commerce Department would assume control over various aircraft systems, subsystems, components, parts, accessories, attachments, or associated equipment found in aircraft and related systems currently controlled by State.

    State currently controls a wide variety of aircraft and related items identified as defense articles. Many aircraft under its control have commercial applicability and designs that are no inherently military (for example, cargo aircraft or utility and cargo helicopters not capable of in-flight refueling). Certain of these aircraft are under consideration for control by Commerce.

    Other proposed rules that would optimize and streamline State Department export control include movement of similar aircraft-borne systems, subsystems, and equipment into common control categories (for example, inertial navigation systems, formerly grouped for control under aviation items, equipment, and technologies, are likely to be moved to a grouping for auxiliary equipment on the CCL, and gas turbine engines would be grouped under a new category altogether).

    Additionally, proposed rules would transfer control of generic aircraft parts, components, accessories, and attachments—even some specifically designed or modified for a defense article—to the CCL, with the exception of a few items specially designed for specific aircraft with unique features. All other aircraft parts, components, accessories, and attachments now subject to control under the USML will be proposed for transfer to the CCL.

    Category IX: Military Training and Associated Equipment

    Certain training technologies have been identified by Departments of Defense, State, and Commerce as inherently military or sensitive for national security reasons and are proposed for continued control under the USML. They include training equipment that mimics characteristics of specific military articles, items, or people, such as air combat, antisubmarine, missile launchers, and physiological flight trainers for fighter aircraft and attack helicopters. Likewise, certain simulators that replicate these characteristics will continue to be controlled under the USML, such as radar target generators or infrared scene generators. All classified items and classified information used in production of this category are also controlled under State’s jurisdiction.

    Other trainers or simulators not specified on the USML but having a dual use would move to the jurisdiction of Commerce under more relaxed export control regulations. These include parts and components not identified as integral to items specified on the USML as well as test, inspection, and production equipment for related items.

    It is also important to note that the title for this particular USML category would change to clarify that it covers only the military training equipment, not the training itself. Training for a particular defense article would fall under the category in which that article is export-controlled and would be called a defense service. Defense services are defined separately and carry their own rules and regulations for export under the State Department’s International Traffic in Arms Regulations, of which the USML is one part.

    Category X: Protective Personnel Equipment and Shelters
    Under the new export rules, body armor with a National Institute of Justice (NIJ) standard of Type IV or greater will remain under State Department control. Body armors categorized as Type III or less would be moved to the jurisdiction of Commerce. Additionally, certain atmospheric suits previously controlled by State would now move to Commerce (for example, G suits, pressure suits, and deep diving suits). Goggles and other protective eyewear meeting a specified optical density threshold will remain under State Department rules. Shelters, production equipment for shelters and protective gear, and other parts and components not considered sensitive for national security reasons would also move to Commerce jurisdiction. Other parts or components meeting specified qualities will remain under State’s rules.

    Category XI: Electronics
    Most types of ground and air surveillance radars are currently under State Department jurisdiction; this includes radar systems with the capabilities of search, acquisition, tracking, moving target indication, and imaging. This broad definition includes most types of surveillance radars. The USML will be rewritten to identify radars “specially designed” for military use or with performance criteria that must be controlled by State. Providing thresholds in terms of performance will mean that many surveillance radars that also have commercial applications would move to the CCL. The USML rewrite will also address other radars with commercial applications. These include sea surveillance, instrumentation, ground penetration, sense-through-wall, and synthetic aperture radars.

    Most types of electronic combat equipment, active and passive countermeasures, counter-countermeasures, and all radios designed or modified to interfere with communication devices will remain under State Department jurisdiction.

    One of the objectives of ECR is to provide more precise definitions of what is to be controlled and by which authority. As such, the USML will be rewritten to include specific definitions of equipment types that will remain under State’s control. Some examples follow.

    Electronic support (ES): Systems and equipment that search for, intercept and identify, or locate sources of intentional or unintentional electromagnetic energy for the purpose of immediate threat detection, recognition, targeting, planning, or conduct of future operations, to include tactical situational awareness, automatic cueing, targeting, electronic order of battle planning, electronic intelligence, communication intelligence, and signals intelligence.

    Acoustic sensors: Systems and equipment that detect and automatically discriminate acoustic energy emanating from weapons fire (for example, gunfire, artillery, rocket-propelled grenades, or other projectiles), determining location or direction of weapons fire in less than two seconds from receipt of event signal, and are able to operate on the move (for example, on personnel, land vehicles, sea vessels, or aircraft in motion).

    Electronic Attack: Systems and equipment “specially designed” to introduce extraneous or erroneous signals into radar, infrared-based seekers, electro-optical-based seekers, radio communication receivers, or navigation receivers, or that otherwise hinder the reception, operation, or effectiveness of adversary electronics (for example, active or passive electronic attack, electronic countermeasure, electronic counter-countermeasure equipment, jamming and counter-jamming equipment).

    It is anticipated that the proposed new rules will be put into effect by the end of calendar 2012.

    Category XIII: Materials and Miscellaneous Articles
    Under newly proposed rules, there would be many changes in the export of miscellaneous military equipment. It is noteworthy that the name has been changed to add “Materials” to the old title. Certain materials having specific military use are identified.

    Certain camera equipment used for military surveillance would be removed and would now be exported under Commerce Department jurisdiction with reduced controls. Additionally, self-contained diving apparatuses would also move under the Commerce rules for export.

    Body armor, currently controlled under a different grouping, would be moved to this expanded category of equipment and materials. Significantly, the rules that determine whether armor is controlled under State Department rules have changed to incorporate testing standards established by the NIJ. Certain materials that are components in the manufacture of armor plates are also specifically called out if they meet the material strength requirements of the NIJ standard Level III or greater. Exporters would be able to apply objective test standards to know whether their armor is controlled by the State or Commerce rules.

    The section on classified materials was expanded to call out export controls when classified materials, classified production processes, or classified information is used. These changes were made to clarify what is controlled under State’s rules.

    Some materials used in the construction of military vehicles and aircraft are currently controlled under Category XIII but would be moved to the category controlling their parent system.

    Signature control software used for controlling the infrared/radar/visual signature, methods used to identify military equipment, would get its own paragraph that expands the depth of coverage.

    Finally, to aid exporters, the “MT” designation was added to materials that also fall under the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), so as to more clearly denote those items that can only be exported to regime partners as determined by the MTCR guidelines.

    Category XV: Spacecraft Systems and Associated Equipment
    Section 1248 of Public Law 111-84, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010, required the Secretaries of Defense and State to assess the national security risks of removing satellites and related components from the USML. The assessment included a review of space and space-related technologies currently on the USML, and the national security risks of removing certain space and space-related technologies from the list.

    The report provided recommendations for removal from the USML based on risk assessment; proposed safeguards and verification necessary to prevent proliferation and diversion of space and space-related technologies; confirmed appropriateness of end uses and end users; minimized the risk that such space and space-related technologies could be used in foreign missile, space, or other applications that may pose a threat to the security of the United States; and proposed improvements to space export control policy and processes.

    Under discussion are rule changes that would move most communication satellites and certain sensing satellites to the CCL, under Commerce jurisdiction. These changes, however, remain subject to congressional authorization, which is required to move the items from the USML to the CCL.

    A great deal of the review work has focused on methods to determine which rules should control the parts, components, and accessories of satellites. Satellites are very complex, containing as many as 100,000 parts and components. Under discussion for remaining on the USML under State’s jurisdiction are critical items such as atomic clocks, space-qualified sensors with imaging and sensing capabilities that are of strategic importance, and other key components (for example, stabilization components) of satellites that are important to military applications.

    If this is implemented, most communication satellites, less sensitive components, certain radiation-hardened components, and accessories would be allowed to move to Commerce export controls.

    Category XVIII: Directed Energy Weapons
    Equipment developed for generating and propelling high-power laser beams, plasmas, and subatomic particles—used to destroy, degrade, or cause a mission abort of military equipment—is under State Department export jurisdiction.

    Under discussion are rule changes to create a better understanding by exporters of these weapons’ measurable attributes that would allow them to be easily distinguished from commercial applications that use similar components for civil applications such as welding, cutting, medical treatments, and high-energy physics research.

    The core of the review work and proposed revisions is to identify power levels and related destructive capacity of the energy beams. An associated problem is the need to keep the rules unclassified so that they can be published broadly. Discussions continue on how best to identify these items so that exporters can easily distinguish the export regime to be used.

    If the rule changes are implemented, specially designed components not specifically identified could be exported under Commerce jurisdiction.

     


    • Sections of this piece were contributed by a number of individuals from DASA(DE&C)’s Security Cooperation Integration and Exports Directorate. They include Leroy Chamness (Categories I, II, III, V, VII, XIII, XV, and XVIII), Rich Catano (Cats. IV and XI), Mike Yarnoff (VIII), Chris Landon (Cats. IX and X), and A.J. Vaughn (XI).

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