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.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


My wife Twink and I are in Chile for several security cooperation events that were planned long before the earthquake. Our hearts go out to the Chileans for the people killed or hurt. Once again the United States, with DoD and DSCA support, has been quickly moving an array of assistance.

The list is quite extensive ranging from meals ready to eat, tents, carpentry tools and seismic equipment all the way to field hospitals. As well we provided two USAF/National Guard C-130s. And crews to support the air-bridge to the most affected regions, Concepcion and much more!

The US and Chilean military forces have a close working relationship. It was evidenced by the quick and effective interaction by the senior leaders, followed immediately by the flow of goods and services.

The first half of our trip will be in Valparaiso with Admiral Gonzalez, Commander-in-Chief of the Navy. We will discuss the planned arrival of the ex-USS Higgins...now in final repair in Mobile Alabama, and its impending transit to Chile. The Chilean Oiler is quite old, so there is great excitement about getting this ship operational.

The second half of the trip will be at the FIDAE airshow, called this year, FIDAE of Solidarity, with General Ortega, Commander in Chief, Chilean Air Force. The leaders of Chile are acutely aware of the significant damage done to their country. However, they made an informed decision to leverage transport flight from America to be fully loaded with equipment to aid in the recovery. They are proudly looking forward...my wife and I are honored to do what we can to help.

Once again, solid security cooperation works best with strong relationships, a common vision and timely support...it's all here.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Singapore Air Show and UAVs

I recently returned to a snowy Washington D.C. after attending the Singapore Air Show. This was only the second time the government of Singapore had sponsored and managed the event. In classic Singapore style, all events came off like clockwork. The Singapore government should be very proud of how well the show played out.

For DSCA, these events are very efficient and effective. We packed 43 events into about four days. Besides the meetings with country and company representatives, I had the opportunity to attend several thought provoking briefings.

One in particular included the topic of operations of Unmanned Air Vehicles in controlled airspace, meaning concurrently flying manned and unmanned airplanes in proximity of each other. I thought the brief was exceptional. For decades we have struggled with the paradox that UAV’s present.

The presentation included a proposal on how to set the threshold of how big or small a UAV has to be, to fly in controlled airspace. Small and even medium UAV’s are becoming ubiquitous in both combat and non-combat environments…we need to move forward on how we deal with this operational risk.

For DSCA and our international partners, UAV’s are an ever increasing area of interest. We have exported systems ranging from hand held to full scale sized airplanes. So the problem is getting bigger, not smaller. I’m in search of other good ideas on ways to tackle the challenges these ubiquitous systems present…let me know if you have any.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Continuous Process Improvement on Equipment Shipping Documentation

This year, my number one priority project for continuous process improvement is to fix our problems with incorrect shipping documentation. Since we ship millions of defense articles around the world, this is a target-rich project.

The transportation and logistics professionals have a unique term for equipment that did not get to the intended destination…they call it “frustrated”. A perfect characterization! And a perfect project for a team equipped with the tool set of Lean Six Sigma.

We have a diverse team, an aggressive schedule and motivated group that can directly and significantly improve our output. Recently, we had several folks from the DSCA staff at a logistics site on the East coast. They briefly viewed a number of crates with boxes of equipment queued up for delivery. What they saw were too many boxes with labels that were incomplete, or inaccurate.

Now, we begin the project of value stream mapping, identification and analysis of root cause of the problems, and improving the process. Getting this project right will truly be a win-win.

Friday, February 19, 2010

International Day at NAS Patuxent

Recently I was invited by Rear Admiral Steve Voetsch of the Navy's International Programs Office(Navy IPO), to join him, Rear Admiral Jeff Lemmons, Director for International Engagement (OPNAV N52), and Rino Pivirotto Navy IPO Deputy, and Mike Dougherty the Naval Air Systems Command, International Programs Leader at NAS Patuxent River for an International Day. Besides packing the station theater to standing room only with nearly 350 people, they linked, via video, sites at Point Mugu CA, China Lake CA, Washington DC, Lakehust NJ, Cherry Point NC, Orlando FL and Pensacola FL.

Our two hour event was split with the first half dedicated to briefings by DSCA, the Navy Staff and Navy IPO. For the DSCA presentation I emphasized the strategic importance Security Cooperation has become for our country, the improvements we have made in cycle time reduction and the increase in funds to the field activities. Rear Admiral Lemmons described in some detail, the importance of SC to Building Partner Capacity and Security Force Assistance for the Navy and the personal focus and attention Admiral Roughead, the Chief of Naval Operations, has placed upon Global Maritime Partnerships.

In turn, Rear Admiral Voetsch and Mr. Pivirotto discussed how Navy IPO has put Admiral Roughead's intent in operation for the Navy through the Systems Commands and Program Offices. The second half of the session allowed questions and answers. There were some great questions that provided a chance to clarify topics like the budget, standard level of service and more.

One particularly good question was, why does DSCA allow the services to conduct site surveys for common weapons to different standards? So I've turned that question into action. We are pulling the services together and working to get to a common ground, and hopefully eliminate the confusion this has caused our customers.

After the event, I received numerous compliments about the utility of the briefs and Q&A. The Navy intends to repeat the process with the Naval Sea Systems Command and Space and Naval Warfare Command. Hopefully we can conduct a similar event with the other services.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Iraq's Armed Forces

Recently I had the opportunity to attend the Reception to celebrate the 89th anniversary of the establishment of Iraqi Armed Forces. The event was here in Washington D.C. Although brief and informal, it was quite moving to witness a ceremony with pictures and flags prominently displayed of both Iraq and United States of America leaders.

The Iraqi leaders spoke with pride…pride of the long history of the Iraqi Armed Forces (before Saddam Hussein), pride of service now, and pride of a military in support of legal civilian leaders. As well, they talked about sincere appreciation of all America and our soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, coast guardsmen and civilians have done to help them get Iraq on track to democracy and the rule of law. In all, it was a moving event and quite remarkable.

In related Iraq events…we recently held a Security Cooperation [DISAM] mobile training team course for 39 Iraqi students in Baghdad. As I’ve written on other occasions, experience and training are keys to success in our processes. Over the past two years, our Iraqi partners have dramatically improved their skill in FMS. A recent Iraqi Program Management Review proved this point.

Now, with Iraqi elections approaching and our transition accelerating, it is more important than ever to work to make this go smooth and effectively. I look forward to another ceremony and the hand off to the Iraqi’s in December 2011 to be as memorable as the 89th in D.C.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Update: Humanitarian Assistance for Haiti

As promised, I wanted to give you an update on our efforts to support Haiti. The U.S. Department of Defense has committed millions of dollars and thousands of personnel to support the relief effort.

Our DSCA Humanitarian Assistance, Disaster Relief and Mine Action Division manages the program for DoD’s humanitarian program funded by the Overseas Humanitarian Disaster and Civic Assistance (OHDACA) appropriation. They have worked closely with our budget experts to match requirements with appropriated funding authorities.

We have also coordinated closely with OSD Policy, US Southern Command, the Agency for International Development, the Haitian government, the U.N., U.S. government organizations and a host of Non-Governmental Organizations.

DoD has opened the airport, flown over 90,000 pounds of cargo into Haiti, funded steaming hours for the hospital ship the USNS Comfort, delivered more than 98,000 humanitarian daily rations (HDRs) and other relief items, and is working hard to restore the seaport to operational status in order to assist Haiti earthquake victims.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Humanitarian Assistance for Haiti

I know the Security Cooperation Community's thoughts and prayers are with the people of Haiti during this tragic disaster.

We are the provider of Defense Solutions for America’s Global partners. We are also a provider of Humanitarian Assistance to America’s global neighbors and as such we have taken the following actions:

I directed the DSCA staff to move out at the speed of light. We immediately dedicated funds for transportation and goods for Haiti. Folks at our warehouse in Albany, GA have already shipped more than 84,000 humanitarian daily rations (HDRs), tents and body bags to Port au Prince, Haiti to be distributed by the World Food Program with more to follow.

We have notified the Congress of our intent to make $20M in OHDACA funds available to support the relief efforts in Haiti. Our efforts are being coordinated with the US Agency for International Development and the US Southern Command.

I look forward to sharing details on this great effort as we work hard to positively affect outcomes.

Monday, January 4, 2010

What's Hot?

Recently I was asked the question, “What’s hot”? Well, for 2010, in security cooperation, Afghanistan is really HOT!

I often say, sooner or later most challenges get down to the issues of people and money. So, starting with people, we are ramping up the number of experienced people in Afghanistan working on security cooperation. In parallel, from field commander, Lieutenant General Bill Caldwell to the most junior, 100% of the folks working on security cooperation projects in Afghanistan have had security cooperation training. This is unprecedented.

This was an imperative because these folks will be determining the total package of requirements, and establishing realistic schedules for the training and equipment for Afghanistan. A particular focus area will be the coordination of equipment deliveries in synchronization with the movement of our domestic forces.

Second, regarding money, we have over $6 Billion of Afghanistan Security Forces Funding for execution in Fiscal Years 2010-2011. This means there is a staggering amount of acquisition work to do…as big as the largest domestic acquisition programs.

In parallel to this, our security cooperation folks will help to build the foundation of a traditional security cooperation partnership with the Afghanistan government. These relationships require stability in key leadership positions and take time to build the knowledge and trust for success. These relationships provide powerful tools too for predictable and unpredictable security cooperation needs.