Cliff Notes for the AFRICA OSC: Africa Security Assistance and Cooperation Programs

Three years ago, a soon to be AFRICA OSC wrote me and said, “I enjoy your blog as a junior 48J, and I’m getting ready for a possible AFRICA OSC assignment at the end of the year. Have you thought about doing a deep dive into the lesser-known security cooperation funding authorities for Africa?  Keep coming out with great posts! Thanks!”  

This blog hopefully answers his question – it is not as in-depth as I hoped, but it does highlight the sheer number of programs one must attempt to understand as an AFRICA OSC.  It’s funny that I say it is not as in-depth, and yet this post is 13 pages long – that shows you the depth of programmatic an AFRICA OSC must understand to be effective.  Thirteen pages do not cover it all.  At some point when writing, you have to stop because you have violated the Washington Metro ride rule for a blog post. 

He does bring up a great question and highlights something that most other SCOs won’t deal with within their countries and regions.  In Africa, an AFRICA OSC will navigate more systems, albeit less overall money, than other SCOs will.  More programs mean more work and the more required knowledge of those systems.  Compare the size of staffs for EUCOM ODCs with those of AFRICOM OSCs then compare the number of programs each executes and the number of program dollars.  Finally, add to that the amount or lack of knowledge of those programs by the host nations.  An AFRICA OSC has more of a workload.  An Army of One verse a thoroughly trained and qualified staff.  

Everything I have talked about as an AFRICA OSC can be summarized in this Doctrine Man’s cartoon. 

This cartoon not only summarizes the partner nations we work with, it also summarizes the new AFRICA OSC.  Be careful not to become the person in this cartoon, but also be careful not to not think big/long-term.  A Cessna ok, C-130s and Huey helicopters…well let’s not go there.  Programmatics are long-term relationships, you must think past yourself as an AFRICA OSC, and think about the capability and problem that can be evaluated through the SMART system.  

This blog will outline Africa specific programs (with some global ones).  I have broken each of the programs into: Overview (nearly the same as in the DISCS Security Cooperation Programs Book), funding cycle (purposefully vague and limited as this one area could be 500 pages), AFRICA OSC requirements (this one can be personality dependent), potential pitfalls (this one can also be personality dependent), and execution timelines and personnel.  When available, I’ve added websites for further information. 

Disclaimer: These opinions are those of the author and only the author.  The author admits that some details of these programs may have been left off or blazed over on purpose, or possibly I may not have all the exact accurate information as programmatics are an every changing world.  The author also highlights that this blog is written from the perspective of an AFRICA OSC, and these perspectives may be in direct contrast to those across the two ponds.  Which only highlights the further requirements on an AFRICA OSC to understand the programmatics that are involved.  Let the longest blog in AFRICA OSC history begin….. 

Security Assistance Programs – Title 22

Foreign Military Financing (FMF), International Military Education and Training (IMET), and Peacekeeping Operations (PKO) are the three primary security assistance programs an AFRICA OSC will execute.  FMF and IMET are funded and approved by the Department of State but are implemented by the Department of Defense.  Not every AFRICA OSC will have all three of these programs, but more than likely, most will have the IMET program.  

International Military Education and Training (IMET)

Overview: The IMET program is the staple of an AFRICA OSC’s relationship with the partner nation.  Every AFRICA OSC will ask for more funding for this program, but it won’t always come, the budget is only so big.  IMET sends partner nation personnel to core Professional Military Education courses in the United States. 

Funding cycle: IMET is funded yearly for the next funding cycle. “5th QTR” funds regularly become available and are programmed based on the ability to execute as well as strategic importance.  

AFRICA OSC requirements: Your local staff will execute a majority of the requirements for this program.  Anglophone countries will have an easier IMET experience as the language training requirements are lesser. 

Potential pitfalls: E-IMET, five-day MTTs, SCTWG, and English Language Labs.  

E-IMET:  Unfortunately, you will receive little to no guidance on how to spend these funds, and it is expected that you, as the AFRICA OSC, will determine how these funds are spent.  In my opinion, this defuncts the program’s real intent because it becomes personality-based and is subjective to whatever the AFRICA OSC decides what they want to do.  Most of the courses that are E-IMET approved are tremendous, and I’m sure numerous people can benefit from that training.  I highly recommend that an AFRICA OSC try to link in this program to something that is consistently done i.e., medical, DHAPP, civilians in the Ministry of Defense, DDR, SSR, etc.  In my opinion, the program checks a block, but never accomplishes a long-term capability build.  An AFRICA OSC has to do it, so do it, but take on the challenge to actually integrate the requirement into a long-term capability build, even in restricted policy countries.  Perhaps the same course over five years will produce a capability for the host nation.  Perhaps nominating a particular individual who can become a decision-maker will further develop the capability you are trying to build.  Be careful, however, of the interlocutor who is looking to use you to upgrade their resume. 

Five-day MTTs: Through IMET, there is the possibility of conducting a Mobile Training Team (MTT).  These are great events that take some effort and have a good bang to buck ratio, especially to the countries that struggle with strategic funding.  However, be careful of the managing expectations concept here.  You are likely to get one a year, and if it is not synchronized with some other cooperation or assistance program, it becomes a one-off.  One-offs are not necessarily bad, and I wholeheartedly actually believe in them.  However, the five-day MTT that you decide to do should have a strategic impact on the overall plan for your country, and you should think about the follow-on sustainment of that event or not. Perhaps you combine an E-IMET course with a follow on MTT?

SCETWG:  In my opinion, it is a trap for AFRICA OSCs.  This event is full of one-minute interviews, planned sessions for a review on how much you know about what is going on in your country, and also an exhibition hall of vendors who are there to bring you in and take your money.  You are walking around and enter into this great hall of things and programs that are available to do, yet you leave trying to decide if you can and should do any of them at all.  Security Cooperation and Assistance should not be an exhibition hall.  It should be strategy-driven.  

English Language Labs:  I share a passion with another former AFRICA OSC for English language laboratories.  This program is something that either succeeds or fails.  The success or failure is 95% based upon partner nation buy-in, and the other 5% is based upon the AFRICA OSC’s ability to analyze future requirements two to three years out.  This program is minimally managed by the combatant commands and all other agencies and takes on average three years for new language laboratory equipment to arrive.  In non-Anglophone countries, they average around 50% of IMET funding spent on English language training in the United States.  In some non-Anglophone countries, the English language laboratories are so successful that they have reduced the United States English language training to 0%, which triples or quadruples the number of IMET courses they can provide to the host nation.  It is my opinion that an AFRICA OSC should put significant effort into improving the effectiveness of their English language laboratories; however, no one else cares about them.  It is a perfect example of a small change that can have massive effects.  On the other hand, the laboratories can be plagued by electrical surges, internet and technology issues, and viruses.

Foreign Military Financing (FMF)

Overview: Interestingly enough, this program has been so drastically reduced for AFRICA OSCs that it is not something that most will deal with now.  It is a program; however, that might have some residual legacy programmatics that one must deal with.  I highly suggest any new AFRICA OSC conduct a thorough FMS case review and look at leftover funding from previous cases.  Closing out these cases takes time and effort, but consolidating the financing could result in a larger new FMS case.  

Funding cycle: This is a program that is designed in one fiscal year then executed over the following two to ten plus years, depending on the capability that is being built.  

Potential pitfalls: FMF is a long-term program that uses the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) process.  Because it uses this process, there is the potential for some delays, which are currently being lessened.  

Peacekeeping Operations (PKO)

Overview: PKO funds are funded and approved by the Department of State and implemented through a combination of DoS contracts, grants, and DoD mechanisms, such as the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program. The PKO account is further divided into different funding lines, which may vary based on the fiscal year.  This is because certain programs may be Presidential Initiatives funded through PKO, and are not continued when the next administration takes over the White House.  

The key to PKO is to know if your partner nation is approved for it, or not.  It is incredibly bureaucratic to add a country to a program, but as the threats in Africa shift, much like the word Barkhane, new countries could be added in the upcoming years.  

The PKO program contacts many subsets within the overall program.  These subsets are the Global Peace Operations Initiative (GPOI); security and defense sector reform programs; 

the military aspects of the broader Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership (TSCTP) and the Partnership for Regional East Africa Counter-terrorism (PREACT) programs; the Africa Military Education Program (AMEP); the Africa Maritime Security Initiative (AMSI); the Africa Conflict Stabilization and Border Security (ACSBS);  the Security Governance Initiative (SGI); and the African Peacekeeping Rapid Response Partnership (APRRP).


Overview: The Global Peace Operations Initiative (GPOI) program provides extensive field training for African peacekeepers plus staff training and exercises for battalion, brigade, and multinational force headquarters personnel.  GPOI also includes equipment for African Peacekeeping Support Operations (PSO), trainers, and peacekeepers.  GPOI introduces the host military to a range of PSO tasks, such as small unit leadership, convoy escort, checkpoint operations, disarmament operations, safe weapons handling, management of refugees and internally displaced persons, negotiations, rules of engagement and command and control.  Respect for international standards of human rights is a fundamental concept incorporated throughout the training.

Funding cycle: This is a program designed in one fiscal year then executed in the other.  GPOI is funded and managed through DoS, and is one of the most flexible programs you can use in Africa. 

OSC requirements: Of all the programs in Africa, this one is the easiest, and has had the most success over time (a mon avis).  The biggest part you will have with this is synchronizing between your partner nation and the GPOI contractors.  The actual execution will require minimal effort from your office, once you scope out the requirements.  

Potential pitfalls: This program is designed to end one day.  If this aspect has not been adequately explained to the host nation, or if the program of instruction does not lead to a train-the-trainer part that sticks – there could eventually be a friction point when the United States decides to curtail or end this program.  The key is to have a partner nation buy-in and develop a long-term plan from the first day.  Establish milestones and sign Memorandum of Understandings – and then hold the partner nation to the agreement.  Some African countries are not financially prepared for the investments required in United Nations Peacekeeping Missions, and the time it takes from the initial investment till a return on costs and then even longer the re-investment of those funds back into the Ministry of Defense.  Spend some time understanding Contingency Owned Equipment (COE), and find a way to teach your partner nation about this.  They must maintain certain operational readiness rates, or they won’t be paid back. 

Execution timelines and personnel: Most GPOI events are no more than two to three months long in duration and usually have around six to twelve trainers on the ground at any one time.  Once the program is approved, their staff will likely conduct one or two pre-deployment staff visits to arrange for logistical requirements and verify the Memorandum of Understanding with the partner nation.  If a GPOI event is causing issues in your Embassy, there is a problem – they are designed to be user friendly.  

Africa Military Education Program (AMEP)

Overview:  The goal of AMEP is to support partner nation’s military training institutions, national defense colleges, staff colleges, and war colleges focusing on the officer and non-commissioned officer to promote long-term professionalization of African militaries.  AMEP funds are intended to support curriculum development and train-the-trainer activities, and potentially provide for minor equipment or related needs. In principle, AMEP projects (managed by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies (ACSS)) should be autonomous and not rely on reoccurring AMEP funds.  AMEP is not currently intended to focus on specific training institutions such as peacekeeping or counterterrorism, as other funding sources more appropriately support these areas. 

Funding cycle: The funds for this program are requested annually by the AFRICA OSC through a proposal process to DoS.  How the funds are obligated will depend upon what was requested in the proposal.  For equipment, the DoS may contract directly or use the DSCA FMS system.  For training events, the funds are more than likely managed by the military department or ACSS. 

AFRICA OSC requirements: The proposal process will require the AFRICA OSC to conduct a full assessment and develop the proposal and requirements.  The execution of the events will also require a lot of work from the AFRICA OSC as the program depends a lot on the AFRICA OSC’s support and access.  However, these requirements are not overly long when events are executed, but the effects are tremendous.  AFRICA OSCs should be fighting over themselves to use this program in Africa.  

Potential pitfalls: Since the proposal is solely on the AFRICA OSC to develop, submit, and then coordinate the execution, two potential pitfalls are regularly seen.  First, program design and second continuity.  Since the costs of the programs rarely exceed $500k, any miscalculation in the program’s needs can cause ripples two to three years afterward.  A changeover of the AFRICA OSC could expose continuity issues, the institution’s commander of the program, and/both the point of contact from the institution ACSS is working through.  

Execution timelines and personnel: This program typically takes one year to propose and fund, one year to further design, scope and start executing, and a third-year to finish.  It can go a fourth year, and a few of them have.  Some programs have had a second proposal that further expanded or built on previous proposals, but it is not preferred to do this.  

African Peacekeeping Rapid Response Partnership (APRRP)

Overview:  Announced at the 2014 U.S.-Africa Leaders’ Summit, APRRP was a new investment of $110 million per year for 3-5 years to build the capacity of African militaries to deploy peacekeepers in response to emerging conflict rapidly. This concept holds powerful life-saving potential. The United States partnered with six countries—Senegal, Ghana, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda—to develop a rapid response capability program, by building improved capacity in areas such as military training, equipment maintenance and repair, institutional support, and interoperability with other Africa-based peacekeeping forces.  Under this program, African partner nations will commit to maintaining troops and equipment ready to rapidly deploy and state their intent to deploy as part of U.N. or A.U. missions to respond to emerging crises. 

Funding cycle: This program was a Presidential initiative by President Obama, and is unlikely to continue in the future.  Previous proposals were executed through the FMS system and paid through the Peacekeeping program.  This allowed the proposals to be adjusted multiple times throughout the process.  

OSC requirements: By now, most of this program has already been planned and is in the execution phase, or already finished.  The requirements of an OSC should be the same as most pseudo-FMS programs: receive and transfer equipment; and coordinate, receive, and execute training. 

Potential pitfalls: This program has no followed-on initiative, which means it potentially created an expectation without any follow-through. Luckily because of the duration of the program design, the overall intent of each program should be achievable; however, the President behind this initiative has left the Oval Office; therefore, the drive behind it now exists solely with the implementing agencies who are tasked with executing it.

Potential execution timelines and personnel: The Service Component will execute this program tasked to it and by the required number of personnel identified in the tasking.  This program should be completed within the next year or two, if not already.  

African Maritime Security Initiative

Overview: This is a DoS funded program and supports building the capacity of African partners to enhance maritime safety and security.  This program was established in 2010 and is primarily executed through naval forces.  This program includes maritime law enforcement training, regional advisors, equipment, and maritime governance workshops.  

Funding: This is a T-22 funded program, which means flexibility. You will receive a yearly call out a message like other T-22 funded programs, and you should plan your proposals along with your naval forces desk officer.  This program is multiyear funding like all other T-22 programs. 

OSC Requirements: sometimes, your naval forces planners will take the opportunity and assist you with planning, implementing, and executing this program; however, you should always approach it as if you are the sole implementer.  How this is implemented – through the FMS will determine the requirements you have for this program. 

Potential pitfalls: There aren’t many with this, other than not obligating funds and moving things along.  If you have money sitting there waiting for something to be done with, it means several things. First, maybe the AFRICA OSC isn’t doing their job, or perhaps second, the host nation can’t absorb the programming. More than likely, I’ve found that excess money means there has been a transition of an OSC combined with the completion of one program, which has left funds in the account.  The problem with this scenario is similar to all T-22 programs; after a year or two, you may be left with $49k or 525K, which has been Congressionally notified for a specific reason.  You can either find something for it to be used for, give it back, or re-notify for another requirement. I’ve always found something for it to be used for, because I found most proposals were lacking in some areas: training, spare parts, etc.


Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership (TSCTP)

Overview: Established in 2005, the Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership (TSCTP) is a multifaceted, multiyear strategy implemented jointly by the Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and the Department of Defense to assist partners in West and North Africa increase their immediate and long-term capabilities to address terrorist threats and prevent the spread of violent extremism.

Partnership For Regional East Africa Counterterrorism (PREACT)

Overview: First established in 2009, the Partnership for Regional East Africa Counterterrorism (PREACT) is a U.S.-funded and implemented as a multiyear, multifaceted program designed to build the capacity and cooperation of the military, law enforcement, and civilian actors across East Africa to counter terrorism comprehensively. It uses law enforcement, military, and development resources to achieve its strategic objectives, including:

1. Reducing the operational capacity of terrorist networks;

2. Developing a rule of law framework for countering terrorism in partner nations;

3. Enhancing border security;

4. Countering the financing of terrorism; and

5. Reducing the appeal of radicalization and recruitment to violent extremism.

Funding cycle: Both of these programs revolve on a yearly request, and obligated cycle, and the funds are capable of spanning multiple years.  

OSC requirements: Your requirements for these two funding streams will be dependent on what you are doing.  In the beginning, you will develop the requirements for this, just like any other proposal.  If it is a training and equipment case, it will probably fall into the FMS cycle with the normal requirements for that system.  If you are doing small scale construction, then you may have surges of requirements when the implementing agency (USACE or NAVFAC) engineers are TDY to implement or to inspect the project.  Some MILDEPs have used these to provide regional training courses, so you will be required to request the appropriate students for the courses.  

Potential pitfalls: Sometimes, these programs run over several years and thus several OSCs.  If the original proposal is not kept or turned over during the OSC turn over, then much like other programs, the loss in continuity creates a loss in the understanding of the original intent.  Other times OSCs overestimate how much funding they need and then are left with somewhat small amounts (250k or less) to obligate.  It is hard to come back afterwards and say, “well, we can’t get more boats, but what about spare parts, etc.” It is also hard to request something new when you haven’t expended all the funds from previous programs.  

Potential execution timelines and personnel: These can run from a year to five years, depending on what is being requested.  These are coordinated directly with the Title 22 program manager, with little to no combatant command guidance or restrictions.  


Vertically Integrated Logistics Approach (VILA)

VILA is a Department of Defense (DoD)-facilitated assessment of the logistics capabilities in a partner nation’s (P.N.) defense establishment. VILA looks for appropriate enterprise-wide logistics policies, plans, programs, and guidance; efficient organization, prioritization, and resource to implement the logistics policies in support of operational concepts; and effective application of tactics, techniques, and procedures to sustain the readiness of military capabilities. The US-PN VILA team will also consider horizontal integration, i.e., the adequacy of human resources, financial resources, and overarching strategy and force development issues as they relate to logistics. VILA is a pilot program that is nested with Senatorial directive to integrate the Defense Institute Building in SFA programs in order of priority: Nigeria/Kenya, Cameroon, Ghana/Senegal. 

I’ll admit this program is rare and at a very high level. VILA is not for maturing militaries; it is for mature militaries looking to become near-peer militaries.  Few AFRICA OSCs will ever experience this one.  


Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA): There are many really good things this small agency does.  They deal with very defined niche requirements, and the AFRICA OSC should look for those requirements.  This program is best designed initially with USAID and Global Health Management personnel to see what gaps the DoD can assist in. 

Cultural Understanding and Language Program (CULP) – U.S. Army Cadet Command (USACC)

Overview: The Department of the Army requires United States Army Cadet Command to conduct overseas cultural deployments in support of worldwide Army Security Cooperation plans as part of the Army Culture and Foreign Language Strategy. USACC performs this task by providing Cadets to perform missions all over the world during the summer training period (15 May – 30 August). These missions include NGO/Humanitarian service-learning projects, Military Exercises, Translator Support, Military to Military contacts, and, most recently, Cadet English Language Teams. 

Funding cycle: This program is funded through the United States Army and is requested through the normal POM cycle.  Once the country is identified one year out, then funds are dedicated to that specific country.  OSCs should have limited interaction with funding requirements for this event. 

OSC requirements: Your desk officer at the United States Army Africa Component should be the conduit through which you work on this.  As this is a U.S. Army program, few parts of it will go through the GCC.  It will be a lot of work, though, but it should provide an opportunity for an excellent opportunity to expose your partner nation’s cadet with those of the United States Army’s.  There should be a PDSS which will be led by an LTC from an ROTC program.  Keep in mind they have more than likely never been to Africa.  A little bit of pre-work on this can help everyone manage expectations and help the contracting crew expedite things. Think about the main things: hotel/academy, food/water, and transportation.  

Potential pitfalls: This program is designed for the benefit of United States Cadets. If your partner nation begins to push back on support for it, don’t allow the event to get canceled, first, you should just cancel it months in advance. Most academies let their Cadets go home for the summer, and others have other training going one.  Make sure you fully understand your partner nation’s military academy schedule before you commit to this.  Lastly, make sure everything is contracted through the U.S. Army, and nothing is required from your Embassy.  This program falls under Title 10, and your Embassy GSO cannot procure anything for it.  

Potential execution timelines and personnel: You can expect this to be during the summer, for about three to four weeks, and up to 60 personnel (or less). The planning for the next year begins in the spring, so if you want to do this in a year, contact your desk officer now. 

Humanitarian Assistance (H.A.) – USAFRICOM

Overview: Funding cycle: H.A. programs are planned up to three years in advance, but are only obligated with funds on a yearly cycle.  These are Title 10 funds from the GCC and are minimal – around $10 million each year. If you want to do something with this program, have your J5 desk officer talk to the GCC program manager first. This fund is also used to provide quick funding in support of a natural disaster, no more than $100k, or under a larger fund such as the Ebola support recently in Liberia.  

OSC requirements: This program will require a lot of your work as it will not have a Component Command involved.  You may work with the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) or the United States Navy Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) for any construction you may be doing.  You may also work with the United States Army Medical Command.  Since you are the main contact with this, you will be the primary “designer” of what the Embassy wants to do.  The key here is the Embassy.  You should not find yourself on a sole mission here. Instead, this should be designed and cleared through your USAID representative to ensure it does not duplicate their efforts, or counter their efforts.  It could also possibly cover a gap in their programming and be a win-win for everyone.  

Potential pitfalls: This program can take up to three years to complete, especially if you are renovating a school or a health clinic.  The key to reducing this is to ensure the scope of work is developed first, and the partner nation agrees with it.  There is nothing worse than a change in a range of work during the approval process, or even worse, leaving a significant requirement out (well water, solar panels, etc.) identified by the partner nation’s President at the ribbon-cutting ceremony.  Once it is approved, it is near impossible to change things. Don’t pull the trigger unless you’ve used the U.S. Army’s MDMP process to think through this. I am not a fan of this program, but previously it was used to do a lot of good concerning Pandemic Response. 

Potential execution timelines and personnel: Think of this one as a three-year process.  One year to design the program, one year to approve it, and one year to execute it.  You will work primarily through the AFRICOM J5 H.A. desk officer and your J5 desk officer to approve it; then, it will be sent to USACE or NAVFAC to execute.  

Humanitarian Civic-Assistance (HCA)

Overview: Allows U.S. forces deployed for other purposes, including operations, exercises, training, etc. to provide HCA to the local populations while carrying out their other primary missions.  This includes medical, dental, optometry, and veterinarian type support to the local populace.  MEDCAP, DENTCAP, and VETCAPs.  

Funding cycle: These projects are obligated every year using Combatant Command funding.  The call-out message is generally around March of the year, with programs having to be approved by the end of the fiscal year.  

OSC requirements: It depends on what the OSC is doing with HCA.  If a MEDCAP, etc. then typically the unit executing the program will design it, and provide the OSC with the proposal for funding.  Most often than not, these are canned programs that have been done numerous other times in other countries.  

Potential pitfalls: Sometimes, it can take up to two years for these to be improved. Sometimes, the original intent of the project may have changed, already been accomplished by another country or NGO, or the partner nation forgot that they even requested the assignment.  

Potential execution timelines and personnel: These can be done within one year, but typically take up to two years to execute.  They should be coordinated with your USAID representative beforehand to de-conflict within the 3D concept.  

Humanitarian Mine Action (HMA)

Provides authority to assist foreign governments in the development of long-term demining programs by training trainers.  Supports the Mine Victims Assistance (MVA), Mine Risk Education (MRE), Technical Demining, Munitions Reduction, and Program Management.  The appropriation is two-year money, and execution can cross fiscal years. 

Funding cycle: This program is requested through OHASIS just like HCA/HA; however, it usually is a top-down projected program.  It is similar to UNMAS but on a lesser scale.

OSC requirements: This program is pretty easy overall, but it does use the FMS system, which means two to three years.  Sometimes it can be “canned,” which I challenge an AFRICA OSC to challenge and design the program which is best for your partner nation.  

Potential pitfalls: This program is limited in funding each year, so it is a surge and then nothing for a few years program.  Managing expectations is key here.  Take the time to get the original proposal correct, because there is no going back for more.  

Section 312: Payment of Personnel Expenses (Previously Section 1050a/1051)

This is the authority that permits the payment of personnel expenses for developing countries, and foreign military members travel outside of their country. It also pays for African LNOs to USAFRICOM Headquarters.  SecState concurrence requirement for payment of expenses for personnel of friendly foreign governments and non-governmental personnel.

Funding cycle:  Yearly. 

OSC requirements:  Your OSC staff will deal with this as a part of their other weekly conditions.  

Potential pitfalls: Now and then, someone won’t file a voucher, which will be an issue. 

Section 341: State Partnership Program (SPP)

The National Guard Bureau State Partnership Program (NGB-SPP) is a Joint Program that directly supports the Geographic Combatant Commands (GCCs); NGB-SPP resides within the Joint Staff J5.  The Army serves as the Executive Agent, as directed by OSD to fund SPP, but has no authority over the program. ASCCs have Title 10 service responsibility for their respective GCCs. SPP activities are certified to meet the stated objectives of the relevant Theater Campaign Plans and concurrently approved by the GCCs to meet the stated goals of the appropriate Mission Strategic Resource Plans. There are currently fourteen+ African countries with established SPPs, in which a Bilateral Affairs Officer (BAO), from the U.S. State, works for the Combatant Commander within the country team’s Office of Security Cooperation (OSC) office to coordinate SPP activities with the host nation.  The unique nature of the National Guard enables the SPP to develop habitual and formal relationships between a U.S. State and a foreign partner country by ensuring continuity and commonality of personnel in building partnership through the development and evolution of critical personal relations; provides a common reach-back component to the U.S. Chief of Mission and the Combatant Commander. 

Funding cycle: The central funding of this program will come from the Joint Staff to the National Guard Bureau and onto the state.  The state, however, is likely to request funds from the Combatant Command to supplement its budget.  

OSC requirements: There should be merely a few as there is a Bi-lateral Affairs Officer (BAO) assigned from the state to your office to manage this relationship. 

Potential pitfalls: The key to the SPP is to realize it is a relationship that will rise and fall with the political situation of the two nations, and also rise and fall based on the personalities working on the ground to continue the relationship.  It must be maintained, much like a marriage.  The honeymoon of the relationship will be great as the agreements are signed, and the generals parade around, but the expectations might fall shortly after that.  As an AFRICA OSC, it is your role to ensure that each sign of the partnership is getting what it desires.  This will take some leadership and management skills as the BAO does not report, per se, to you or the SDO/DATT.  Other likely pitfalls are states that over-commit, then later come back and retract their contributions.  This should be taken highly into account when committing SPP forces to execute security assistance or security force assistance Congressionally notified programs, which do not have the window of regret when an executing force withdraws its training forces at the last minute.  The SPP is often promoted with extra benefits outside of the DoD – such as Legislature visits, University to University exchanges, etc.  These can happen, but they almost always take someone to commit to putting a lot of effort into starting them. They more than likely are highly dependent upon a few motivated personnel within those agencies or units to continue the relationship.  Once again, the SPP is like a marriage, it must be maintained, and each side must have an equal buy-in and desire.  

Potential execution timelines and personnel:  The SPP is yearly, the BAO will arrange all the events based upon the engagement criteria. 

Section 345: Counter-Terrorism Fellowship Program (CTFP)

The Combating Terrorism Fellowship Program (CTFP) was established to meet an emergent and urgent defense requirement to build partnerships through targeted, non-lethal, Combating Terrorism (CBT) education and training. CTFP directly supports the Department of Defense (DoD) and national goals by providing CBT education and training for mid/senior-level international military officers, ministry of defense civilians, and security officials whose current or future responsibilities involve combating terrorism.  

Funding cycle: Yearly, rarely have the funds changed amounts. 

OSC requirements: This program is very much like IMET, you’ll get your yearly allocation, and then you’ll figure out what courses to “buy.” Figuring out those courses is not easy, and it is left up totally to the AFRICA OSC to determine this. 

Potential pitfalls: English language training.  This program is not designed for Francophone and Lusophone countries.  On top of this, rarely are these courses targeted to a capability build or as a part of a larger program.  Every course should be targeted to a unit or individual to achieve a part of the Integrated Country Strategy.  If not, it is a one-off.  

Potential execution timelines and personnel:  Yearly. 

Africa Maritime Law Enforcement Partnership (AMLEP) Program

The African Maritime Law Enforcement Partnership (AMLEP) program enables African partner nations to build maritime security capacity and improve the management of their maritime environment through real-world combined maritime law enforcement operations.

OSC requirements: Talk to your Navy Component about this program.  

Department of Defense HIV/AIDS Prevention Program (DHAPP)

Overview: DHAPP plans activities and sets targets based on the specific context of the partner military and the clients seen at military health facilities.

Funding cycle: This program is annually funded and has been one of Africa’s most consistent programs for HIV/AIDS.  It is slightly diminishing over the past three years, but it should continue to be a constant program with consistent programming.  You should have a locally employed staff member who runs this program for you; their salary is included in the annual budget requirement.  The success of this program has a lot to contribute to the fact that it is executed mainly by someone from the partner nation. 

OSC requirements: An LES runs this program, thus a majority of your time will not be spent on it.  You should make more time to go out and explore what they are doing, and what the 

Potential pitfalls: There has been a lot of recent criticism on this program to make it better.  Funding should not be something that is always accepted without results.  


AFRICA OSCs are challenged more than any other OSC in the world.  The successful AFRICA OSC will try to master these twenty-plus programs, which most cannot.  The grandmaster AFRICA OSC will synchronize all these programs to accomplish a capability build.  Sadly, it is up to the AFRICA OSC to do this alone.     

This will be my last blog as the AFRICA OSC.  I did not finish my task completely, but I am confident I contributed along the way.  To the next Jedi OSC, the torch is ready for you to take.  


Doctrine Man cartoon used with the permission of the Doctrine Man author.  

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