Saturday, December 10, 2022

Stephen Farmen: partner nations need to invest in training and sustainment

Partner nations around the globe are investing billions in military equipment, a lot of that in the form of U.S. foreign military sales, or FMS, said Maj. Gen. Stephen Farmen.

The problem is that a lot of that investment is in big-ticket items like helicopters and tanks, he continued, not the follow-on pieces of training and sustainment, he said, adding that’s a problem that keeps him up at night.

Farmen, commander, U.S. Army Security Assistance Command, or USASAC, spoke at the Association of the United States Army’s Hot Topics seminar on “Army Sustainment,” June 29.

Maj. Gen. Stephen Farmen

In his travels around the world, Farmen said he’s seen first-hand the big buys these countries make, but they’re now “in a hangover phase where they’ve underinvested in sustainment and training.

“My message to these countries is to double-down on sustainment and training,” he continued, explaining that without the training and sustainment, those big-ticket air and ground platforms will be worthless when the time comes to install new technology on them that will enable multi-domain battle and interoperability with the U.S. and its partner nations.

U.S. industry, as well as the Army’s own organic industry, could also benefit from an increase in sustainment investment, he added.

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Dylan Malyasov
Defense journalist and commentator. Aviation photographer. Dylan leads Defence Blog's coverage of global military news, focusing on engineering and technology across the U.S. defense industry.