The top uniformed officer over the U.S. government’s foreign military sales program will keynote an Aug. 3 breakfast forum hosted by Executive Mosaic’s Potomac Officers Club in Falls Church, Virginia to discuss the global arms trade’s current environment and the role of domestic industry in efforts to help defense agencies support security interests of allies.
Navy Vice Adm. Joe Rixey was assigned to the director post at the Defense Security Cooperation Agency in September 2013 and leads the Pentagon agency responsible for the transfers of military-related goods and services to allies and contacts between the U.S. and foreign governments under the FMS program.
DSCA also acts as the procurement agent for U.S. companies whose products or services are requested by international governments via FMS transactions, which Rixey estimated to Reuters as “tracking toward” nearly $40 billion for the 2016 fiscal year that ends Oct. 1.
Rixey told Reuters at the Farnborough International Airshow July 13 that DSCA has started 40 new initiatives to help speed up the process for FMS transaction approvals in light of increases in demand for U.S.-built defense equipment and concerns from contractors over the time required to handle large volumes of requests for weapons.
High-profile defense analyst Loren Thompson noted in a June 22 column for Forbes that DSCA receives an average of 140 requests to start arms sales per week and could have up to 10, 000 transactions in the process at a time as the agency works to coordinate sales with Congress, the State Department and other agencies.
The F-35 fighter jet, Patriot missile defense system and several types of missiles and bombs are among the most high-profile targets of weapons requests from overseas but those represent only a fraction of the foreign military sales environment faced by DSCA and industry partners.
Rixey’s address to the Potomac Officer Club’s “International Military Programs” forum will be followed by other speakers to discuss today’s FMS picture and how U.S. defense contractors can support international defense forces under current weapons trade regulations.
Tom Vecchiolla, president of missile maker Raytheon‘s (NYSE: RTN) international sales organization, will offer his perspective from an industry point-of-view and give the GovCon executive audience a glimpse into what goods and services are in demand from industry.
Other government leaders invited to speak include Brian Nilsson, deputy assistant secretary of state for defense trade and regional security; and Keith Webster, director of international cooperation for the Defense Department‘s acquisition office.
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