AFSAC Director Reflects on Success and Vision for FMS Enterprise
By Jonathan Tharp, Air Force Security Assistance & Cooperation Directorate
/ Published January 13, 2021
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – Remembering 2020, Brig. Gen. Brian Bruckbauer, Director of the AF Security Assistance & Cooperation (AFSAC) Directorate, reflects on past success and his vision for the future. Even with the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 brought solid results for the Air Force Foreign Military Sales (FMS) Enterprise. Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) ended with $24.8 billion in AFSAC sales, surpassing both FY19 and FY18. Plus, AFSAC’s FMS portfolio expanded to 117 U.S. Air Force International Partners spanning more than 3,260 active cases valued at $219.7 billion.
In everything, Bruckbauer emphasizes what he calls the incredible can-do, resilient attitude of the AFSAC workforce. In a year plagued by social distancing and travel restrictions, building and nurturing relationships with U.S. Air Force International Partners became a lot more challenging. Face-to-face interaction is culturally important in many country-to-country relationships. Navigating a “new normal” with COVID-19, the entire team did an amazing job rethinking how to communicate with countries in a socially-distant, virtual medium. Heading into 2021 and beyond, we developed a solid foundation for tailoring our interactions with all of our Partners for both in-person and virtual settings.
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New AF FMS Capability: Automated FMS Case DVA Software
Supporting the larger AF digital campaign, AFSAC led a major initiative to modernize FMS case data systems. AFSAC worked with the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) and harnessed data in the Defense Security Assistance Management System (DSAMS) to establish a new automated data interface for AFSAC Online and receive AF data for use by new DVA software. The interface went into production ahead of schedule and, through the DVA software, provides intuitive dashboards for AFSAC decision-makers.
This new system will enable replacement of 56 ad hoc reports currently being pulled manually from DSAMS and ensure timelier refresh of 16 data flows for existing report dashboards managed by AFSAC. The new capability reduced the time AFSAC members spend on monthly data pulls by over 92%--from 50 hours per month today to less than 4 hours.
Bruckbauer acknowledges this new capability puts AFSAC and the AF FMS Enterprise on the path to unprecedented FMS case DVA capabilities. In the future, all countries’ case data could be visualized in real-time showing what’s in development, delivered, and in sustainment at any given point.
Imagining the Future of AF FMS Enterprise
With the new DVA capability integrated, Bruckbauer is excited about what AFSAC and the AF FMS Enterprise can potentially do in years to come. For example, on-demand budgeting could replace annual budgeting. Also, the team can use predictive analytics to determine specific case implementation forecasting.
The incredible growth of FMS and the direct connection between FMS and the U.S. National Defense Strategy (NDS) are important to consider when imagining the future of the AF FMS Enterprise. Brig Gen Bruckbauer emphasized [the USAF] cannot do large- or small-scale warfare without partnerships. The mission of AFSAC is all about bringing on new Partners and strengthening current partnerships to ensure military interoperability with our allies.
Vision for 2021 and Beyond
Looking ahead, Bruckbauer hopes to see a more connected AF FMS Enterprise. As the new automated DVA effort matures, the Air Force FMS Enterprise will see unprecedented decision-informing capabilities for all kinds of initiatives spanning case development and execution, agile resourcing, program management office (PMO) workload tracking, facilities alignment, and more. Follow the AFSAC Stories web channel on the AFLCMC site for more AFSAC and Air Force FMS Enterprise updates.