Latin American Allies Press for Quicker Military Sales

Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James, during a visit throughout Central and South America, heard repeated complaints from allied nations about how slow it is to acquire US-made military equipment, reinforcing the need to streamline the process. In December, James prompted deputy undersecretary of the Air Force for international affairs Heidi Grant to lead a review of the service’s foreign military sales process. She told reporters on Friday that countries throughout Latin America pressed her to speed up the process of acquiring equipment, such as aircraft, or in some cases they would look at countries other than the US to buy. The review is expected to be finished this summer, and will largely look at ways the Air Force could streamline its processes without requiring congressional action. The Air Force review is being conducted alongside one prompted by Vice. Adm. Joseph Rixey, director of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, to review the processes in that agency.