DSCA Director's Blog

Here you will find thoughts and messages from the Director of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency and his staff.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Thoughts from the new Director

Following Jeff Wieringa in any job is always a pleasure and DSCA is no exception. He left this organization and the security cooperation community in general, in very good shape. Across the board we are staffed with outstanding people, resourced appropriately, and organized for success. As Jeff goes off to drive fast cars, planes and watercraft, he leaves behind a vibrant and professional community. Jeff, we wish you and Twink all the best in your future plans.

It has been a fast paced first month in the job, with much of the time spent on the road visiting with our US and international customers, working with our partners at the Implementing Agencies and materiel commands and meeting with industry. At every stop I hear positive comments on DSCA’s performance and the quality of the people who work here. Those comments are invariably followed by requests to continue to increase the speed, flexibility, and agility of our efforts to provide security cooperation products. There are many initiatives currently underway covering the entire length of the security cooperation process from requirements setting through case development, case execution, acquisition and delivery. All of them promise to support the needs and desires of our customers. In subsequent posts, I will discuss in greater depth those specific efforts as well as those new initiatives that I know will spring up from the creative folks in the security cooperation community.

As I sign off, I would like to thank all of you who completed your training as part of the drive to enhance the security cooperation community’s knowledge and skills. We have a goal of getting at least 95% of the entire security cooperation community of more than 10,000 people trained to their appropriate level by 1 October 2011 and had set an interim goal of 80% of those funded by FMS administrative funds trained by 1 October 2010. I am happy to announce that we were at 82.1% for FMS admin funded folks and 73.5% for the entire community as of 1 Oct. Well done!! If you have not completed your training yet, please get it on the TO DO list and complete it early in the year. If you have any question or issues, contact the folks at DISAM or send me a note and we will help you work through the issue. For us to be able to meet the challenges ahead we must start from a strong foundation of a trained community.

I am excited and honored to be the Director of DSCA and a member of this great security cooperation community. I look forward to meeting many of you during my travels or in Washington DC.

Monday, August 9, 2010

DSCA's Next Director Named

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency’s next Director was confirmed by the Senate August 5.


VADM William Landay, a 1978 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, will be DSCA’s 15th director, succeeding VADM Jeffrey A. Wieringa who retired July 30.


Since August 2008, Landay has been the program executive officer for ships, where he is responsible for all non-nuclear shipbuilding programs. In 2006 he became the 21st chief of Naval Research. He also assumed the duties of the deputy commandant of the Marine Corps for Science and Technology and director, Test and Evaluation and Technology Requirements. In his first assignment as a flag officer, he served as the program executive officer for Littoral and Mine Warfare.


Landay holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Systems Engineering from the Naval Academy, a Master of Science degree in Systems Technology (C4I) from the Naval Postgraduate School, and is a graduate of the Program for Management Development at the Harvard Business School. He was the 1998-99 Navy Fellow in the Defense Systems Management College, Military Research Fellowship Program. He is a level 3 certified acquisition professional and a proven subspecialist in C4I Systems.
Landay’s personal awards include multiple awards of the Distinguished Service Medal and Legion of Merit, as well as various unit awards.


No report date for Landay has been set.

Thursday, July 29, 2010


This is my last BLOG as the Director of DSCA. For me, it has been a very fast moving three years. As I leave the Agency and retire after a 34 years of service, I do so feeling good about serving and excited about the future.


Leading DSCA provided wonderful opportunities. As I wrote in an earlier BLOG, it’s all about affecting outcomes…and we did. Over the past three years, the Agency has executed over $100 Billion in sales, and nearly one Billion in Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief. Our school houses have trained thousands of folks on the Foreign Military Sales process, hundreds on the rule of law, and our Regional Centers conducted an immense array of courses and seminars.


All of this was supported by a very thin staff, working on dozens of continuous process improvement projects, being fiscally responsible and transparent. Blend this with an environment where the business has grown by nearly 500% over the past decade. We have totally revamped our business model, moving from a total FMS administration budget of $373M in FY07 to a projected $850M in FY12. Our Strategic Plan is operational, and the 109 metrics are in place and improving across the board.


Last Friday I signed the acquisition documentation that kicked off the next phase of our acquisition category III program for our new business system that will leverage the business systems in development for the Army, Navy and Air Force. Our program is fully funded at the 95% probability of success and the schedule is projected to be “low risk” with 13 months of margin injected into the program.


Just last Tuesday, we have documented our first ever, Human Capital Strategy and it will now move it to the execution phase. Yesterday, I was handed a final report, of work done over the last year that details what the shortfalls are for the workforce involved in security cooperation around the world in our Geographical Combatant Commanders. By our analysis, nearly 300 people need to be added to meet the mission requirements. I have approved the funding for the civilian staff increases and the Joint Staff is processing the military increases.


Finally we are three quarters of a year into the tracking and improvement of the workforce of nearly 11,000 folks that work in the field of security cooperation. The latest metrics show us at a trained level just over 70% and that is up significantly from our status just weeks ago of 45%. Our goal is to get over 80% by the end of this year, and over 95% next year.


None of this would have been possible without a dedicated staff, the support of OSD Policy, the Joint Staff, the Army, Navy and Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, the State Department, the Congress, our deployed Security Cooperation forces, and importantly, our Partner Nations. And so, the challenges are immense, yet opportunities abound. As I turn over DSCA, like my Australian friends say…”No worries!”


With the greatest respect,


Jeff Wieringa

Vice Admiral U.S. Navy


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Hello from the Farnborough Airshow!

These events are massive, and a great opportunity to engage with many companies and countries. This year, as Director DSCA, I have 60 meetings in four days with country and industry counterparts. We review literally hundreds of business topics and usually leave with many actions. As well, we often bring challenges to closure. I find the shows very efficient.

This show seems to bring an even finer point on the importance of Security Cooperation and Building Partner Capacity.

At the show I've highlighted some accomplishments over the past three years. First, we more than doubled the FMS budget. We have solid strategies for Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan. We need to increase the number of folks with training about Security Cooperation from 50 to 95 percent. And we need to add 267 more people to the Geographical Combatant Commanders to accomplish the Security Cooperation mission.

All of this is moving forward. In parallel is export control reform. If you want to add to the list, send me a note.

My time as Director is rapidly closing...I intend to write one last BLOG.

Friday, May 7, 2010


Recently I had the opportunity to brief the Deputy Secretary of Defense and senior Department of Defense leaders on the DOD high priority performance goal that is the responsibility of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy.

This goal is to ensure that at least 95 percent of the security cooperation workforce has been trained. Currently, of the more than 9,000 personnel, we have just under 70 percent trained. Our short term goal is to be above 80 percent by the end of this fiscal year, with the ultimate goal being more than 95 percent by the end of fiscal year 2011.

Ron Reynolds, the director of our Defense Institute of Security Assistance Management, has the lead for collecting the data and providing the training.

The deeper we got into this project, the harder it got. As we looked at the world of security cooperation, we’ve found there are many more people working in this area than we realized.

Training, whether it’s for our workforce or for our partners, is always at the forefront of security cooperation. This is discussed in the latest edition of “Partners,” DSCA’s quarterly online magazine.

And any discussion about training and security cooperation has to include our legal instructors at the Defense Institute of International Legal Studies. From Congo to Afghanistan, these folks are making a difference around the world.

And finally, our partnership with the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, continues to benefit the security cooperation community. Graduates of the Global Master of Arts degree program help to expand the pool of highly trained security cooperation professionals.

To read the latest issue of "Partners" follow this link:

Friday, April 9, 2010

National Start Walking Day

Per Direction of the Deputy Secretary of Defense
William J. Lynn, III, commencement of a Defense-wide wellness campaign, DSCA has kicked off a robust program. As a visible and tangible sign, I had the opportunity to lead our headquarters staff and take part in “National Start! Walking Day” sponsored by the American Heart Association. The National event was organized to promote exercise and bring awareness to heart disease, stroke and other blood vessel diseases.

There is an old line about the saying, when they rolled someone out of the building who died at work, they probably never said, I wish I would have spent more time at work. So, at DSCA, thanks to a very energetic Navy Lieutenant we’ve kicked off a multi-pronged approach to the issue of wellness. At the kick off, I said, “No one dies in our office on my watch at DSCA.” Our program has both a foundation in wellness and additionally has changing focus each month through the year. Next month is mental health.

To my delight, the response has been phenomenal! I’m known for being data driven…so here are some facts; before the walk, I took the opportunity to announce the winner of the Principal Director DSCA Pe­dometer challenge, which took place between 29 March and 2 April. With 104,631 steps, Ann Cataldo (DBO) won handily. For the grand prize, her directorate gets to have a casual Friday and has been granted 59 minutes early release on Friday.

The second and third place winners were Jeanne Farmer (PGM) with 52,590 steps and Steve Manthei (IT) with 45,955. When converted to miles, Ann walked the equivalent of 41 miles, Jeanne 21 miles and Steve 18 miles. I’d say that is a remarkable start on our way to embrace Secretary Lynn’s direction and the outcome we intended.

Friday, March 26, 2010

FIDAE of Solidarity Santiago, Chile 2010

Chilean President Sebastian Pinera and Commander in Chief of the Air Force, General Ricardo Ortega opened the show here in Santiago.

Without hesitation, following the earthquake and Tsunami, they moved forward. The U.S. provided a robust showing of personnel and equipment at the show. The highlight for many folks was the demonstration by the USAF F-22 Raptor.

All of our services have worked with their counterparts. Chileans highlighted the C-130 airbridge and the recently transferred KC-135 as key air assets.

The Chilean government intends to quickly assess their situation and address their priorities and budget changes.

The mood here was respectful, proud and determined. Both the Chilean leadership and our embassy team led by U.S. Ambassador to Chile Paul E. Simons should be proud of their efforts.

In related security cooperation efforts, I had the opportunity to meet with the Chilean Commander in Chief of the Navy Admiral Edmundo Gonzalez to both review the impact of the earthquake and tsunami to their navy, and celebrate the transfer of the ex-USS Higgins oiler to Chile. They look forward to getting that ship and crew operational soon.

I look forward to future operations to help our partner Chile build and attend to its security needs. They are looking for recommendations and lessons learned. If you send them to me, I will forward them on to the right folks.