Vermont National Guard Logo News
News | March 1, 2019

Expedited weapon delivery to Senegal proves process

By Debra Valine U.S. Army Security Assistance Command

A foreign military sales case that provided M4 carbines to partner country Senegal shows the FMS process is flexible and can be tailored to fit the need.

The flexibility of the FMS process allows Army priorities and urgent requirements that involve building partner capacity to be met expeditiously. Slow is a misperception.

When a U.S. ally or partner identifies a need to purchase military items through the FMS process, it usually starts with a letter of request. In the case of providing M4A1 carbine weapon systems to the Senegalese army, the Security Assistance Command used an existing contract to meet a need to expedite delivery of the weapons.

Senegal is a partner of the U.S. in promoting peace and security in Africa. Its army requested the weapons and associated training prior to deploying to Mali to support the Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali, an ongoing United Nations peacekeeping mission in Mali.

Africa Command, the geographic combatant command, and the Defense Security Cooperation Agency identified the case as a priority and critical to support Senegalese units being deployed to Mali for the peacekeeping mission.

The weapons will be used to ensure security, stabilization and protection of civilians and protection of human rights, as well as other tasks.

In June, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency approved the diversion of 2,200 M4A1 carbines. Senegal received the weapons in August. Standard lead times for procurement of weapons could be anywhere from 24 to 30 months.

USASAC coordinated delivery with U.S. government representatives in Senegal to ensure the in-country delivery address was accurate and to provide vital updates as to when weapons would arrive in country.

The Tank-automative and Armaments Command worked the immediate release of 2,200 weapons from Colt’s West Hartford, Connecticut, facility and began planning delivery in conjunction with the Transportation Command.

Under USASAC’s Total Package Approach, 50 Senegalese soldiers received familiarization training on the M4 in September at the Mount Rolland Training Site, Theis, Senegal.

Members of the Vermont National Guard conducted the four days of training. Vermont is paired with Senegal under the State Partnership Program, which is a joint Department of Defense program managed by the National Guard Bureau.

The joint Air/Army team provided familiarization training on the new weapons system, which replaces the M16A1. The focus was to train the trainer so the 50 Senegalese soldiers would be able to conduct similar training in their units.

Training consisted of classroom support training that enhanced safe range procedures, weapon functionality and different firing positions and techniques and live fire ranges, where the Senegalese soldiers zeroed and qualified the weapons.

“The Vermont National Guard received this mission on short notice,” Philip Sauger Jr., the central case manager for Senegal, said. “The concept of the operation was to drive toward SAF conducting safe and focused range operations that high-lighted familiarization of the M4 and enhanced pre-mobilization tasks.”

“The training was executed very well, and the joint team received a dedicated and focused group from the Senegalese army,” Sgt. Maj. Nathan Chipman, Vermont National Guard, said. “Thirty of the Senegalese soldiers who received this training are also in the process of mobilizing for Mali operations and will be using this training to conduct further familiarization classes for their parent units.”

“Various types of weapons have been provided to Senegal in the past, but this was Senegal’s first FMS buy utilizing national funds since 2007,” Sauger said.

Senegal paid roughly $1.6 million in national funds for the 2,200 M4s received.

“For this particular FMS buy, we were able to leverage a firm-fixed-price contract awarded to Colt by the Department of Defense,” Sauger said. “Having the contract in place with Colt allowed for us to meet the urgent need of the customer for these weapons and drastically cut down the normal contracting timelines usually associated with FMS buys.”

Getting the weapons to Senegal proved to be a challenge.

“Primary challenges faced was coordinating the expedited delivery of weapons into Senegal,” Sauger said. “It is very rare that there are scheduled channel flights into Senegal as there is not a reoccurring channel established by the U.S. Air Force supporting missions into Senegal. With the great work and coordination between USASAC, TACOM, TRANSCOM and AFRICOM, we were able to devise a delivery plan to ensure U.S. Air Force assets were made available to support the expedited delivery of weapons into Senegal.”

National Guard News
An F-15 Eagle assigned to the 125th Fighter Wing, Florida Air National Guard, flies over the Air Dominance Center in Savannah, Georgia, during exercise Sentry Savannah 22-1 May 12, 2022. Sentry Savannah is the Air National Guard’s premier counter air exercise, encompassing 10 units of fourth- and fifth- generation fighter aircraft.
Sentry Savannah builds warfighter readiness, lethality
By Tech. Sgt. Morgan Whitehouse, | May 25, 2022
SAVANNAH, Ga. – About 1,300 Total Force Airmen, joint personnel and civilian partners and more than 50 airframes participated in exercise Sentry Savannah May 2-15.Hosted by the Air Dominance Center at Savannah’s Combat...

Army Gen. Daniel Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau, visits with Hawaii Army National Guard members, Maui, Hawaii, March 5, 2022. Hokanson testified May 24, 2022, before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense about operations of the Air and Army National Guard.
Recent events, past decades have transformed Guard, chief says
By Air Force Master Sgt. Erich B. Smith, | May 24, 2022
ARLINGTON, Va. – The past 20 years have proven the National Guard has transformed from a strategic reserve to an operational force, the chief of the National Guard Bureau told lawmakers Tuesday.Addressing the House Committee...

Two F-15C Eagles from the 144th Fighter Wing and two F-22 Raptors from the 3rd Fighter Wing prepare to take off from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, April 18, 2022, during an Aerospace Control Alert training scramble. It has been almost a decade since F-15 Eagles have sat alert in the region, protecting the airspace of the United States and Canada.
144th Fighter Wing trains for fighter jet integration in Alaska
By Capt. Jason Sanchez, | May 24, 2022
ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Ten U.S. Air Force F-15s and more than 200 Airmen assigned to the California Air National Guard’s 144th Fighter Wing deployed to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, to support Dissimilar Aircraft...

A ceremonial groundbreaking is held May 19, 2022, for an energy resilience project at Joint Forces Training Base in Los Alamitos, California. From left: Stephanie Kline, project director, and Robert Hughes, executive director, both with the U.S. Army Office of Energy Initiatives; Robert Smith, president of Bright Canyon Energy; Paul Farnan, principal deputy, assistant Secretary of the Army for installations, energy and environment; U.S. Army Command Sgt. Maj. Refugio Rosas, from the 40th Infantry Division, California Army National Guard; Anthony Marasa, project manager with Bright Canyon Energy; and Lt. Col. Manju Vig, garrison commander of Joint Forces Training Base, Los Alamitos.
Solar project begins on Los Alamitos joint base
By Staff Sgt. Crystal Housman, | May 24, 2022
LOS ALAMITOS, Calif. – A 100-acre solar project that will bolster the power grid in Southern California and provide two weeks of emergency power for Joint Forces Training Base, Los Alamitos, broke ground May 19.The...

Alabama Air National Guard Master Sgt. Nathan Friday refuels a KC-135 Stratotanker the day before a joint midair refueling exercise with the 117th Air Refueling Wing and Romanian Air
Force in Bucharest, Romania, May 16, 2022. The Alabama Guard and Romania are partners under the Department of Defense National Guard Bureau State Partnership Program.
Alabama Air National Guard, Romania complete exercise
By Sgt. Samuel Hartley, | May 24, 2022
BUCHAREST, ROMANIA - Alabama Air National Guard members from the 117th Air Refueling Wing conducted a week-long joint exercise with the Romanian Ministry of Defense and Romanian Air Force.U.S. Airmen and Romanian F-16 pilots...