If you look at the counterterrorism fight, it’s just
getting the adequate resources in place and, if stocks
aren’t available, then we have to contract. And if you
have to contract, unfortunately, that takes time because
you have to build in long lead. There are long leads to
some of these items.
Right now, what we have to address is, where are these
resources coming from? There has been a heavy demand
— worldwide demand — on them. You can see what’s
happening in the Levant, in the ISIL [Islamic State of Iraq
and the Levant] fight. To me, the challenge is, can we get
this stuff to them in a timely manner? And if we’re not able
to draw from stock, how quickly can we get these things
on contract? Because right now, in this particular fight, the
whole security cooperation enterprise is lined up.
If we want to do this, it moves. For this fight, everybody is aligned, and when that happens, things move relatively quickly. It’s just a matter of do we have the stuff.
What are some of the advantages to the United
States and to the customer when you’re talking
FMS versus direct commercial sales (DCS)?
RIXEY: I think FMS and DCS have their time and place,
and we support both. In fact, I would recommend DCS to
a lot of our international partners under the following
conditions: If the technology is mature and their procurement processes are mature, then they should go to DCS.
You want to come to FMS if the technology is not mature. Some countries look for the integrity of the process. Some people look at “take care of it for us.” Some
people look at us as “these are difficult technologies and
we’d like you to manage this program.” Or they’re not
mature about buying things as well. They come to FMS.
Some people just like the fact that FMS is one-stop
shopping for the total system solution. If they come to
FMS, we’ll be able to provide them not only the end
product, but we’ll also provide them the interim support
and the initial spares.
But, more importantly, because the U.S. government is
doing the contracting and doing the development, we can
really focus on interoperability and commonality. A lot of
countries want that. They want to be as common and as
interoperable with us. So when we take over the contract
negotiations and the design and the build, we can do that.
When they go DCS, we’re out of the picture. So whatever technical solutions they’re buying from the vendor
directly, if it’s not a mature end item, it may not even be
supportable or interoperable with us subsequent to the
buy. Some things lend themselves — the technology’s
mature, it’s off the shelf — buy that. It has its time and
its place, but I’m supportive of the FMS case, because we
have a lot of control on the total package, the whole
interoperability piece and the importance of building