What is the US Army Security Assistance Command?


The United States Army Security Assistance Command (USASAC) – “The Army’s Face to the World”, implements security assistance programmes, including Foreign Military Sales (FMS) of defence articles and services to eligible foreign governments. For example, the USASAC helped provide Iraq with weapons and ammunition, including Hellfire missiles after Iraq had requested them the US for a response to new levels of increased violence in the country. The USASAC is also responsible for life cycle management of FMS cases. Each sale to overseas customers comprises the same “total package” of quality material, spare parts, training, publications, technical documentation, maintenance support, and other services that AMC provides to Army units. The command manages about 4,600 FMS cases valued at more than $134 billion.

In addition, USASAC is responsible for Army security assistance information management and financial policy and provides logistics guidance to the Army security assistance community.

Refer to International Military Education and Training Programme, Bureau Political-Military Affairs, and Security Assistance Organisations.


Today, the Command is increasingly responding to support of US government emergency assistance, humanitarian relief, and Operations Other Than War, including peacekeeping operations by the United Nations. USASAC’s motto is “Strength in Cooperation.”

Security assistance is a national programme administered by the State Department. In conjunction with the White House, Congress, and the Treasury Department, military security assistance programmes are executed by the Department of Defence (DOD). Security assistance promotes regional stability, deters aggression, maintains alliances, and disseminates democratic values between the United States and its allies.

In carrying out the Army security assistance mission, USASAC calls on all AMC Life Cycle Management Commands, as well as other Department of Defence agencies and US industry for support. USASAC is responsible for life cycle management of FMS cases, from development to execution, financial management, accounting, and settlement. Each sale of equipment to overseas customers comprises the same “total package” of quality material, spare parts, training, publications, technical documentation, maintenance support, and other services that AMC provides to US Army units.

The USASAC was engaged in the “train and equip” mission in both Iraq and Afghanistan as well as provided support to 21 coalition partners. It was anticipated that sales in 2008 would exceed $15 billion.

In 2022, Poland’s purchase of 250 M1A2 SEPv3 Abrams tanks was facilitated by Security Assistance Command. Delivery is expected to begin in early 2025.

USASAC, which traces its origins to the Army’s technical service era, was designated a major subordinate command (MSC) of the US Army Materiel Command in 1975.

Brief History

Security assistance, a national programme administered by the State Department, is a major component of US foreign policy. Prior to the reorganisation of the Army in 1962, which included the formation of the US Army Materiel Command (AMC), the predominant Army technical service involved in the US Foreign Aid Programme was the Ordnance Corps’ Mutual Security Division, which had programme responsibility for foreign aid programmes for the Corps. In 1962, the foreign aid functions of the Army technical services were placed into a central organisation, creating the Mutual Security Agency (MSA). AMC’s role in security assistance crystallised in February 1965 when the Logistic Control Office of the Supply and Maintenance Command (SMC) was assigned from the US Army Terminal Command, Atlantic, to New Cumberland Army Depot, Pa. That same year, the Mutual Security Directorate of the SMC Logistic Control Office, N.Y., was transferred to New Cumberland, and on 01 August 1965, the US Army SMC International Logistics Centre (ILC) was established as a separate activity at New Cumberland.

In 1966, the growing ILC was re-designated the US Army International Logistics Centre, and the SMC was discontinued and its functions were assumed by AMC. Supporting allies in Vietnam, the ILC continued to expand, as elements of the MSA were transferred to New Cumberland, and Mutual Security Field Offices for Europe, Far East, and the Southern Command were transferred to administrative control of the ILC.

Army security assistance was elevated to Major Subordinate Command status on 01 November 1975 when the U.S. Army International Logistics Command (USAILCOM) was formed at Headquarters, US Army Materiel Development and Readiness Command (DARCOM, formerly AMC, re-designated AMC in 1984), Alexandria, Va. An expanded USAILCOM was reorganised in 1977 and re-designated the US Army Security Assistance Centre (USASAC), reflecting its mission (delegated by the CG DARCOM) as the Department of the Army Executive Agent for Security Assistance materiel programmes.

USASAC gained 200 employees in 1979 when the Office of the Project Manager, Saudi Arabia National Guard Modernisation was assigned to USASAC. The Army security assistance mission was further consolidated in August 1985 when USASAC and Headquarters AMC developed and implemented the Army Centralised Case Management System, under which USASAC was designated the Army single point of contact for managing Foreign Military Sales (FMS). On 01 April 1990, USASAC was re-designated as the U.S. Army Security Assistance Command to reflect its expanded responsibilities.

Within a year, USASAC’s performance in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm became the stuff of legend. In addition to supporting foreign customers and coalition forces, USASAC employees supported US forces’ management of Saudi Arabia’s helicopter assets and parts, plus the equipping of Kuwaiti civilians with combat uniforms as they accompanied US in-theatre combat forces. Operations personnel were on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and requirements turnaround times for secondary items was reduced from previous years and months to mere days. Overall, new FMS in fiscal year 1991 hit an all-time high of $10.1 billion.

Since its formation, USASAC has supported major military operations and helped spearhead international peacekeeping and humanitarian efforts. Its legacy is not without tragedy; the 1995 terrorist bombing in Saudi Arabia took seven lives and injured dozens of USASAC employees.

On 01 October 2001, USASAC relocated its headquarters to Fort Belvoir, Va., completing a planned move onto government-owned property. Due to the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Commission report, both Army Materiel Command and USASAC headquarters were relocated to Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville Alabama.

Today, USASAC remains “The Army’s Face to the World,” – the one-stop focal point for Army FMS and the “international partner of choice” in US security assistance. Serving 140 allies and friendly countries and multinational organisations, with support by AMC, other DOD agencies, and in partnership with US industry, USASAC provides materiel, training, education and, other services to help our allies strengthen their defensive capabilities, deter aggression, achieve regional stability, and promote democratic values.

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