Major USG Stakeholders in SC

Major U.S. Government Stakeholders in Security Cooperation (SC):

There are a great many U.S Government (USG) organizations involved with various aspects of SC. The below list, while not all-inclusive, highlights some of the key stakeholders. See SAMM Section C1.3. for a more extensive description of USG responsibilities and relationships related to Security Assistance.

Congress Seal

The United States Congress

By law, potential sales that meet certain criteria must be submitted for Congressional review within a specific timeframe before a Letter of Offer and Acceptance (LOA) may be offered to foreign purchasers. The Security Assistance Management Manual (SAMM) describes the Congressional Notification process in SAMM Section C5.5.

DoS Seal

The Department of State (DOS)

The Secretary of State is responsible for management and supervision of all aspects of U.S. security cooperation programs - including SC. DOS determines whether (and when) there will be a U.S. program with, or sale to, a particular country and, if so, its size and scope.

The DOS Bureau of Political Military Affairs Office of Regional Security and Arms Transfers (PM/RSAT) is the lead DOS Bureau for SC matters, including transfer approvals and the notifications that must go to the U.S. Congress before a transfer can occur.

DOS also reviews and approves export license requests for Direct Commercial Sales (DCS) of items on the United States Munitions List (USML), which is Part 121 of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). The DOS Directorate Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) processes requests for commercial licenses for DCS. Defense articles and services sold through the SC process do not require commercial export licenses, although a similar process of review is used.

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The Department of Defense (DoD)

The Secretary of Defense establishes military requirements and implements programs to transfer defense articles and services to eligible foreign countries and international organizations. This is done in close coordination with the DOS.

The Under Secretary of Defense for Policy (USD(P)) serves as the principal staff assistant and advisor to the Secretary of Defense on security cooperation matters.

The Director of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) reports to the USD(P) and administers and supervises the execution of all security cooperation programs for DoD. DSCA assigns Country Program Directors (CPDs) responsibility for all security cooperation activities for a country (or several countries). The CPD is always a good place to start with any questions you have - whether specifically about your country’s program or about Security Cooperation in general. If you do not know who your CPD is, you can contact DSCA to find out. The CPD can also locate the appropriate policy and process experts within DSCA to help you through any of these security cooperation programs.

The Defense Technology Security Administration (DTSA) is the DoD Agency responsible for formulating DoD positions on proposed exports. DTSA provides those positions as part of the DOS decision-making process when considering the approval or disapproval of a proposed sale of military equipment - whether SC or DCS. When developing a position on the potential sale of a particular item to a foreign country, DTSA works in close coordination with experts in the Army, Navy, Air Force, and DSCA.

Military Departments (MILDEPs). In coordination with DSCA and the USD(P), the MILDEPs serve as advisors to the Secretary of Defense on all Security Cooperation matters related to their respective Departments (Army, Navy, and Air Force). They conduct military education and training and sales of defense articles and defense services to eligible foreign countries and international organizations in accordance with policies and criteria established by the DSCA Director. MILDEPS also provide technical information and data on weapons systems, tactics, doctrine, training, capabilities, logistic support, price, source, availability, and lead-time for a proposed SC sale. Each MILDEP is primarily responsible for building and maintaining capability for U.S. military forces. As an added responsibility, the MILDEPs execute foreign sales and training as SC “Implementing Agencies”. For this, they each have organizations dedicated to SC and to international training.

Army Seal

Department of the Army

The Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Defense Exports and Cooperation (DASA [DE&C]), located in the Washington DC area, has Department of the Army policy oversight responsibility for international affairs functions, to include SC.

The U.S. Army Security Assistance Command (USASAC), in Huntsville, Alabama, provides management oversight of all Army Security Cooperation programs.

The Army Security Assistance Training Field Activity (SATFA), at Fort Eustis, Virginia, is the U.S. Army’s agent for Army international education and training. It supplies training support to foreign governments and serves as the focal point for all Army security cooperation training programs.

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Department of the Navy

The Navy International Programs Office (IPO), in Washington, DC, is responsible for providing policy oversight of all Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard Security Cooperation programs. Navy IPO assists countries with determining requirements, helps in the drafting of Letters Of Request (LORs), and has responsibility for drafting LOAs in coordination with the various systems commands (Sea Systems, Air Systems, etc.).

The Naval Education and Training Security Assistance Field Activity (NETSAFA) is the Navy’s agent for Navy international education and training. It coordinates and supplies training support to foreign governments and serves as the focal point for all Navy security cooperation training programs.

The U.S. Coast Guard Director of International Affairs and Foreign Policy (CG-DCO-I) coordinates Coast Guard security cooperation policy and directs the performance of Coast Guard security cooperation programs on behalf of the Commandant of the Coast Guard. Under agreement between the Coast Guard and the Navy, Navy IPO provides support to Coast Guard CG-DCO-I in the planning and execution of security cooperation, to include SC.

Air Force Seal

Department of the Air Force

The Deputy Under Secretary of the Air Force for International Affairs (SAF/IA), in Washington, DC, is responsible for providing policy oversight of all Air Force Security Cooperation programs.

The Air Force Security Assistance Command (AFSAC), in Dayton, Ohio, has management oversight responsibility for all Air Force Security Cooperation programs.

The Air Force Security Assistance Training Squadron (AFSAT), under the Air Education and Training Command (AETC), is the U.S. Air Force agent for Air Force international education and training. It coordinates and supplies training support to foreign governments and serves as the focal point for all Air Force security cooperation training programs.

Geographic Combatant Commanders (GCCs)

The Geographic Combatant Commanders (GCCs) develop military campaign plans to conduct SC programs and provide the appropriate assistance as requested by USD(P) or DSCA. The GCCs supervise SC Officers at embassies within their regional area of responsibility in matters related to execution of the Guidance for Employment of the Force, including the provision of necessary technical assistance and administrative support.

MILDEP Case Manager

Each MILDEP assigns a Case Manager to serve as the focal point for a given SC case. More than one Case Manager at a MILDEP may be assigned for separate SC cases involving different programs (e.g., one Navy Case Manager for a riverine boat purchase and another who manages a Navy aircraft case for a partner nation).

MILDEP Country Program Director

The MILDEP will also have a Country Program Director responsible for overseeing that MILDEP’s security cooperation relationship with partner nations. To continue the previous example, the Navy Country Program Director would be responsible for monitoring and facilitating the progress of both Navy SC cases - riverine boats and aircraft.

There are also other, more specialized, Implementing Agencies such as the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), the Missile Defense Agency (MDA), and the National Security Agency (NSA). A complete list of Implementing Agencies, and their contact information, can be found in SAMM Table C5.T2.

Security Cooperation Organizations (SCOs)

SCOs are comprised of U.S. military and DoD civilian personnel stationed overseas to manage security cooperation programs. SCO personnel work in most U.S. embassies around the world. SCOs possess a wealth of knowledge and can contact subject matter experts in specialty areas to respond to detailed or technical questions partner nations may have. SCOs may be contacted through the Defense Attaché Office at U.S. embassies. A list of all U.S. embassies and links to their websites can be found at

Security Assistance Training Management Organization (SATMO)

The Security Assistance Training Management Organization (SATMO), located at Fort Bragg, NC, leads the Army Materiel Command's Security Assistance Enterprise training programs. SATMO plans, forms, prepares, deploys, sustains, and redeploys tailored CONUS-based Security Assistance teams to execute missions worldwide. SATMO advises and recommends Security Assistance related training solutions to U.S. Diplomatic Missions in order to build appropriate partner nation security sector capacity, support Theater Security Cooperation programs and strengthen U.S. global partnerships.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), headquartered in Washington, DC, is responsible for Letter of Request receipt, Letter of Offer and Acceptance development/implementation, and the execution of facility infrastructure design and construction for Security Assistance, Building Partner Capacity, and Foreign Assistance Act Section 607 programs using SC. USACE provides services that include, but are not limited to, planning, design, construction, and technical assistance in the areas of infrastructure, water resource management, environment and sustainability, program/project management, geospatial/engineering, and sustainment.

Other DoD organizations that play an important role in SC include:


The Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA), which performs contract administration and management, quality assurance and inspection for the DoD, including contracts that support SC cases;


The Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA), which performs all necessary contract auditing for the both DoD purchases and SC cases; and


The Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) which is responsible for accounting, billing, disbursing and collecting functions for the SC program.