REDSTONE FEDERAL, Ala. - When you walk into the building that houses the Army Materiel Command at Redstone Arsenal you could turn right, and head into another slightly smaller building that houses the United States Army Security Assistance Command. It's referred to as USASAC, which sounds like "yoose-a-sack." Whatever you call it, the mission is straightforward. "Our mission is to strengthen partners and build alliances," said Col. Jason Crowe who deals with the 18 U.S. partners and allies in the middle east.
That middle eastern effort is just part of USASAC's efforts with more than 150-countries and partners around the world. "We engage with a partner nation that has requirements. They have a training requirement or a materiel requirement and we build a case that we can provide that through the same Army system that we do for us," said Col. Crowe.
Lebanon is a great example of how it works. The country is in the middle of a one billion dollar commitment from the U.S. The program management team for Lebanon determines the what the country needs and then figures out the best way to provide it.
In Lebanon's case, it's all about having the equipment and training to conduct a campaign of counterinsurgency. On the list of is everything from Huey helicopters to rifles and even smaller missile systems. Training goes with all of it. For Lebanon, and any other U.S. partner the list of requirements is surprisingly large. "They would absolutely be surprised because it covers everything from common equipment to radios, body armor, all the way up to rotary wing...helicopters, armored vehicles, technical capability," said Col. Crowe.
Some of our more affluent partners like Saudi Arabia even buy expensive advanced missile systems. But Col. Crowe is quick to say, making money with the sales is not the goal. "Absolutely not. for us it's about supporting our partners and allies," said the Colonel.
There's one more thing to consider. When we support our allies and partners by selling them the materiel, training, and support they need, they can support each other. That leads to regional stability and makes it possible for our allies to support us. The question becomes, would America be as safe without USASAC on the job? "We would not. We need the allies, and that was Secretary Mattis...one of his second priorities was strength our partners and build alliances," said Col. Crowe.
It should be noted that the 18-countries in the middle east purchase some 130-billion dollars worth of equipment, support and training monthly. Among other things, a small percentage of the revenue goes to pay for USASAC. And it's important to note, every single deal is vetted and approved by Congress.