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News | Jan. 25, 2021

Building Partner Capacity Across the Globe

By Ben Light Joint Munitions Command

The Building Partner Capacity Section 333 Program (10 USC § 333) has long served to build partnerships with foreign nations by providing military and equipment training to enhance partner nations’ capabilities within each of the Combatant Commands. This Department of Defense appropriated program not only bolsters our partners but also provides multiple benefits to the U.S. As we look to minimize the exposure of U.S. forces to combat risks, the enhancement of our partners allows U.S. troops to shift from direct action to an advise and assist role. Additionally, this program fosters diplomatic relations between partners and the U.S. Since 2007, there has been a dramatic increase in the volume of these types of cases for the Joint Munitions Command. As of July 2020, the JMC Security Assistance Management Directorate currently has 45 cases in execution supporting 31 different nations.

Training through the BPC program is often conducted by trainers from Special Forces groups and conventional forces comprised of every one of the military branches. On the strategic level, this allows operators from these groups to train and teach in various adverse environments and creates a partner force that has experience operating with U.S. military units should a crisis arise. Along with this experience, the program provides equipment and technical knowledge to help the partner force interoperate with U.S. forces. Often these partner forces are comprised of security forces that are unique to the developing partner nation. These nations all face different mission sets, and it is not uncommon for the partner force to be comprised of military and law enforcement or a mixture of both. This sharing of common, aligned standard operating procedures and tactics has proven vital to U.S. and partner nation successes in dealing with recent issues across the globe. One example of this partnership is evident in AFRICOM. Many nations are facing threats from extremist groups that operate across multiple borders such as Somalia, Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso to name a few. As the partnership has grown, it enhances the security forces of these nations through training and allows them to operate in conjunction with U.S. forces as they mitigate these threats.

The Section 333 Program works with traditional Foreign Military Sales countries, along with an increasing number of countries new to the FMS process. For ammunition deliveries, the program uses the Defense Transportation System for surface and air movements. The dramatic growth in new foreign partners comes with unique challenges in delivery of sensitive arms, ammunition and explosives. As a result of these logistical issues, developing a transportation plan early has become an essential business practice for the JMC SAMD. Prior to the JMC SAMD receiving the funding to execute the ammunition requirements, we are in close coordination with the stakeholders within the Geographical Combatant Commands and Army Security Assistance Enterprise discussing whether a country has the ability to receive the ammunition from a logistical perspective.

Additionally, if the volume of ammunition is low enough, we provide recommendations to the U.S. military units who are conducting the training with an encompassing plan for delivery and training that often allows for them to take the required ammunition with them. We anticipate the Section 333 Program will continue to grow and build strong relationships with partner nations to face missions across the globe.