Foreign military sales big business for Robins

  • Published
  • By Jenny Gordon
  • Robins Public Affairs
The business of foreign military sales at Robins Air Force Base is a big one - to the tune of more than $10 billion.

"Our goal in FMS is to build good relations with our partner nations and ensure interoperability between our forces," said Desi Maldonado, an operations chief with the Air Force Security Assistance and Cooperation Satellite Office here.

The satellite office includes a team of 11 people who focus on FMS, the Foreign Disclosure Office and Foreign Liaison Office responsibilities. FMS involves transferring technology, services and military articles and equipment to foreign partners. The FDO determines the permissible technical disclosure and facilitates foreign distinguished visitor requests. The FLO sponsor-assists Foreign Liaison Officers and their families during visits to Robins.

Robins deals with some 83 partner countries, including the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. For example, in 2011 the F-15 System Program Office here benefitted from one of the largest foreign military sales contracts in U.S. history. Saudi Arabia signed a $29.4 billion FMS agreement in December 2011 for the purchase of 84 F-15SA advanced fighter aircraft. Of the $29.4 billion, $10 billion is anticipated to be executed out of Robins.

Brig. Gen. James Haywood, Air Force Security Assistance and Cooperation Directorate director, visited Robins Wednesday to learn about the Robins FMS Satellite Office operations, and toured the C-130 depot maintenance and C-130 Center Wing Box areas. He also met with Col. Robert Stambaugh, F-15SA Security Assistance Program manager, and Doug Keene, Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex vice director.

Haywood's visit is an important one to Robins; he previously visited Tinker and Hill Air Force bases, where he received similar briefings.

"We would like for him to understand the role we play in interfacing with various program offices, and how we enable the FMS business on behalf of AFSAC," said Maldonado.

With the reorganization of Air Force Materiel Command, the general said it will improve FMS information flow and "streamline how we do our business."

"We had to go up the chain, over into any one of the former product or logistics centers, and back down in order to conduct business," said Haywood. "We've now got the FMS business largely consolidated within the Life Cycle Management Center. That makes it easy for me to communicate with the program offices that execute much of our work."