LETTER OF REQUEST (LOR)
The action that formally begins the FMS process is your LOR.
||If you are originating
the request from your home country and have questions about how to
prepare a LOR, your first contact should be with the Security
Assistance Office (SAO) for your country. SAO personnel are trained to
understand the FMS process and work closely with the U.S. Embassy to
ensure all requirements follow current United States laws and policy.
If you do not know whether you have a SAO, or equivalent
representative, in your country, you should contact the U.S.
If you are located in the U.S., you may refer
questions to the appropriate Implementing Agency (IA) Desk Officer or
to your Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) Country Program
|WHAT IS A
LETTER OF REQUEST?
||The LOR can be a formal
letter, E-mail or a similar type of correspondence from a recognized
official representative of your government. The purpose of an LOR is
to request defense articles, military construction, and/or services
from the USG. An LOR may also request rough pricing data if you are
not quite ready to review a more formal offer.
||The LOR needs to provide
sufficient detail to allow a prompt and accurate response from the
USG. In Appendix 2, LOR
GUIDE provides a number of detail items to consider in writing
your LOR. Information from references has been condensed to make this
guide easier to read. You are encouraged to consult the original
reference if there is any question about content.
You will want to send your LOR to the proper
U.S. office. This office may be different, depending on the type of
goods and services requested.
Most routine LORs are sent directly to the
MILDEP that manages the weapon system, item or service being
requested. An information copy of the LOR should also be sent to DSCA
and U.S. Department of State (DoS). LORs can also be submitted to
other authorized Implementing Agencies (IAs) such as the Defense
Logistics Agency (DLA). A list of IAs that process LORs is contained
later in the Guide in the section that discusses “WHERE
SHOULD YOU SEND YOUR LOR?”.
If you believe that your LOR is of such a
sensitive nature that higher-level review is required, you may submit
it directly to DoS or DSCA for action. These situations are rare.
U.S. regulations require that a LOR that
includes an item designated as Significant Military Equipment (SME)
must also be reviewed and commented on by the U.S. Ambassador who is
posted to your country. SME is an item designated in the International
Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) that warrants special export
controls because of the capacity for substantial military utility. You
may identify SME as shown on the U.S.
Munitions List at the Department of State, Office of Defense Trade
||Each LOR is reviewed and
validated by the U.S. Military Department (MILDEP) or other
Implementing Agency (IA), DSCA and DoS, to ensure that the:
- Prospective FMS purchaser is eligible
- Defense articles/services may be sold
- Request went through proper channels
- Request is clear and complete
The IA is responsible for verifying that
information copies of your LOR have been forwarded to the DoS and
DSCA. If it cannot be determined or if they have not been given a
copy, the IA will forward one.
While formal action must wait for receipt of a LOR,
the Team International concept mentioned earlier provides you with a
forum to discuss complex LORs with the intended IA prior to actually
sending the LOR. The establishment of a Team International is a USG
decision based on the unique circumstances surrounding a particular
sale. You may request an IA to assist you in developing or clarifying
requirements. This helps ensure that the LOR will request equipment
and services that will meet your requirements and that the LOR will
cover all of the points that must be addressed as outlined in Table
C5.T3 of the SAMM.
- An IA is responsible for taking action on
your LOR. Their response will depend on what is requested.
Normally, one of the following is the response Action:
- Writing a Price and Availability (P&A)
- Preparing a Lease
- Preparing a government-to-government
agreement referred to as a Letter of Offer and Acceptance (LOA)
(Note: A LOA is frequently referred to as a FMS case.)
- Preparing an Amendment to a LOA.
You should avoid concurrent FMS and commercial
requests. If you determine that commercial acquisition, rather than an
FMS purchase, is desired, you should cancel the LOR. See
C4.5.11 of the SAMM
for the policy regarding concurrent FMS and commercial requests.
Sample LORs are include in this guide in Appendix
4. They are (1) a sample
LOR for equipment (a defined order FMS case), (2)
a follow-on support FMS case (blanket order FMS case) and (3)
a change to an original LOR requesting an amendment. You do not need
to change your format to the one shown. These examples cannot cover
all situations. They are intended to demonstrate the type of
information that is required in specific situations.
We have also attached samples of the various
checklists that the MILDEPs use to help them process your LOR. These
are furnished for your information to help you anticipate the types of
information required in specific situations. You are not required to
submit them with your LOR. To access them, select Appendix 5, LETTER
OF REQUEST (LOR) CHECKLISTS to display that section.
LOR Guide in Appendix 2 will Explain In Greater Detail:
What information you should
include in the LOR.
The importance of Significant
Military Equipment (SME) to your request.
Where to send the LOR.
What you can expect in
response to your LOR.
PROCESS FLOW DIAGRAM
below illustrates the typical flow of actions that will be taken on
your request. There will be some variations in the steps. For example,
an IA such as Defense Information Service Agency (DISA) will receive
and prepare the request without tasking to another office.