Using 1,026 M113A2 armored personnel carriers from the U.S. Army's Excess Defense Articles obtained through the U.S. Army Security Assistance Command's Foreign Military Sales program, and the refurbishment expertise provided by an Army Materiel Command public-private partnership, provided the means for the Iraqi Army to begin standing-up its planned six-division armored capability.
"This was a win-win situation for both the Iraqis and the U.S. because in the Iraqi's case, they went from a non-existent armored capability in 2010, to plans for six divisions," explained Col. Sammy Hargrove, U.S. Army Security Assistance Command's, or USASAC's, CENTCOM regional operations director.
"For the U.S., we divested ourselves of 1,026 M113s, most of which were incurring storage costs at Sierra Army Depot (Calif.) for close to 20 years. Demilitarizing that many vehicles can be cost-prohibitive. Using the [Foreign Military Sales] process ultimately saves the U.S. money."
The estimated U.S. cost avoidance for the storage and demilitarization of the 1,026 M113s is $31 million.
"The M113 is also just a great vehicle and offers a lot of versatility. Obtaining these through [Excess Defense Articles] also made this an affordable option for the Iraqis," said Hargrove, who also served as the Army team chief and USASAC liaison officer for the Iraq-Security Assistance Mission prior to his current position.
The M113 is part of the largest family of tracked vehicles in the world, and has more than 40 variants. It can transport more than 12 troops and a driver, and can perform long distance travel over rough terrain, while also capable of high-speed operation on roads and highways.
Another advantage of using Foreign Military Sales, or FMS, as an Excess Defense Articles, known as EDA, divestiture tool is the opportunity for the organic industrial base to provide its services for refurbishment, modernization and/or repair and return to the customer country.