By Nancy Benecki

Agility and auditability were among the themes discussed at the annual Defense Logistics Agency/Defense Security Cooperation Agency Foreign Military Sales Summit held Jan. 18-19 at DLA’s headquarters on Fort Belvoir, Virginia.

The ever-changing global political environment means the entities that serve the warfighter need to learn how to adapt, said Patrick Kelleher, DLA’s executive director of operations and sustainment.

“We cannot continue to do business the way that we have always done business,” Kelleher said. “Our processes and procedures were very successful for the environment that we existed in for 20 or 25 years … But just because they did work doesn’t mean they will continue to work in an environment that is completely different.”

Changes can be difficult for large government organizations, but still should be considered, he said.

“We have to figure out how we can be both agile and more responsive, while at the same time complying with all the regulations and policies that we have to comply with, which is not an easy challenge,” Kelleher added.

Making that change while increasing auditability will require people to think differently, he said.

“It’s not easy because policies, procedures and auditability are the opposite of agility, flexibility and responsiveness.”

Pam Shepherd, the deputy assistant director for policy and analysis at DSCA, echoed the call for agility and auditability. She thanked DLA for its work in helping her agency fulfill its needs, as well as those of allies and partners.

“It can’t be overstated that without the critical work that you do every day, so much of defense security cooperation would simply grind to a halt,” Shepherd said.

This is the third FMS summit but the first including discussions about operations and audits, said Andre Hinson, account manager for FMS security cooperation and co-lead for DSCA audit remediation support. Previous meetings revealed a need to learn more about the operational aspects of DSCA and the financial community supporting the audit, Hinson added.

The summit brings the operations and audit communities together so they can meet each other and create a community of stakeholders, said Laura Durback, DLA account manager for agreements and audits and co-lead for DSCA audit remediation support.

DSCA, headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, has the primary responsibility to administer foreign military sales for the Department of State and other security cooperation activities on behalf of the Department of Defense.

While the Department of Defense Office of Inspector General audits DSCA and not DLA, it’s important that DLA be included in the discussions because DLA Disposition Services and DLA Logistics Information Services are implementing agencies to DSCA for foreign military sales, she added.

Representatives from Air Force Security Assistance and Cooperation, Army Security Assistance Command, Naval Supply Systems Command, DLA Troop Support, DLA Land and Maritime, DLA Distribution, DLA Disposition Services, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Defense Finance Accounting Service and Office of the Secretary of Defense attended the summit.