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Over the past five years, the Coast Guard's average annual international sales have exceeded $90 million, with an average annual delivery of 40 assets and a total of more than 500 asset deliveries.


The U.S. Coast Guard transferred a decommissioned 378-foot high endurance cutter, the former Sherman, to the Sri Lanka navy at a ceremony in Honolulu Aug. 27, 2018.


The Coast Guard conducted the transfer ceremony for two 110-foot patrol boats – the former cutters Long Island and Roanoke Island – to the Costa Rican coast guard in Caldera, Costa Rica, Oct. 13, 2017.

 

International Acquisition

international acquisition


The Coast Guard’s Office of International Acquisition manages the service’s Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program, which acquires and delivers Coast Guard assets to foreign customers approved by the Department of Defense (DoD). The program establishes long-term partnerships and provides allies with access to the same assets the Coast Guard uses every day. The office is also responsible for the transfer of excess decommissioned assets under the Excess Defense Articles (EDA) program.

Why does the Coast Guard provide our assets to foreign governments?

Through these programs, the Coast Guard builds international partners’ capacity and develops relationships that enhance the pursuit of cooperatively shared maritime safety and security goals. These projects have contributed more than $900 million to the U.S. economy and avoided more than $100 million in disposal costs for the Coast Guard from 1997 to today.

Assets delivered include vessels that range in size from 25-foot response boats to 378-foot cutters, as well as maritime patrol aircraft. These assets, which have gone to more than 50 allied nations in the Americas, Africa, Asia and the Middle East, are critical to the development of navies and coast guards around the world.

How is the FMS program funded?

More than 95 percent of FMS management and execution is funded via the U.S. Navy’s International Programs Office, from the DoD FMS administration trust fund, a pooled fund supplied via a surcharge on FMS purchases.

 

As the Coast Guard acquires new ships, boats, and aircraft, the assets are made available, through the FMS program, to other countries under already established contracts.

Why purchase through the FMS program?

  • The FMS program represents a direct and mutually beneficial relationship between the government of an allied/friendly sovereign country and the U.S. government. FMS transactions are government-to-government and therefore more transparent than direct commercial sales.
  • In contrast with direct commercial sales, the U.S. government will negotiate with manufacturers on behalf of the customer country to obtain the most advantageous terms, prices, economies of scale and accompanying efficiencies. The U.S. government assumes all contracting risk.
  • Customer country purchases, whenever possible, are grouped with U.S. government purchases to lower total acquisition costs to all purchasers, both U.S. and international.
  • Congress must be notified if a sale includes equipment and/or services totaling $50 million or if significant defense equipment is valued at $14 million. With FMS, any required notifications to Congress are jointly sponsored by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) and the Department of State.
  • The U.S. government will ensure that all facets of operational requirement are addressed from initial acquisition, training and spare parts through to long-term supportability and logistics.
  • FMS fosters a closer relationship between the U.S. government and customer country.

How does a foreign government initiate a purchase?

To start the process, a Letter of Request (LOR) from an authorized foreign government representative is required and permits the Office of International Acquisition to answer requests for information. The LOR carries no obligation to purchase the article or service. The DSCA provides a step-by-step guide on how to prepare a LOR. Once an LOR is received, FMS case is established. Part of the FMS review process involves reviewing requirements and determining if the technology involved is releasable for export. Check out FMS assets available for purchase in the FMS Assets tab.

What is the process for transferring assets through the EDA program?

The Coast Guard sends out a message soliciting interest in excess defense articles after proposing to decommission or retire assets. Countries respond with a letter of interest. The condition of each asset is fully disclosed since EDA transfers take place “as is.” This means that the foreign government will be required to pay for any repair, transportation, and training costs as well as any required support equipment.

The Coast Guard develops a strategic allocation recommendation explaining which countries should receive the assets and forwards the recommendation to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency. Once approved, it is sent to the Department of State and the Congress for final approval. After receiving authority to offer the assets, countries are invited to conduct thorough inspections. While each asset may have different support requirements, the Coast Guard ensures that proper training is provided with each transfer.

 

International Acquisition: In the News

2018

Sept. 27, 2018 - Coast Guard Begins Process To Transfer Patrol Boats To Ukraine

Sept. 4, 2018 - Coast Guard Transfers Former High Endurance Cutter To Sri Lanka

March 6, 2018 - Coast Guard Hosts Costa Rica Delegation To Celebrate Cutter Transfer Progress

2017

Oct. 16, 2017 - Coast Guard Transfers Two Former Cutters To Costa Rica

May 26, 2017 - Coast Guard Transfers Former High Endurance Cutter To Vietnam

2016

Dec. 13, 2016 - Acquisition Update: Coast Guard Transfers Two Former Cutters To Pakistan

Nov. 30, 2016 - Third Cutter From U.S. To Arrive In PH

Oct. 3, 2016 - Acquisition Update: Coast Guard Transfers Two Former Cutters To Republic Of Georgia

July 22, 2016 - Acquisition Update: Coast Guard Transfers Former Cutter Boutwell To Philippines

2015

Nov. 20, 2015 - Acquisition Update: President Obama Announces New Ship Transfers to Philippines On Visit To Former Coast Guard Cutter

May 7, 2015 - Acquisition Update: Former Coast Guard Cutter Rush Transferred To Bangladesh

2013

Dec. 19, 2013 - Acquisition Update: Ex-Coast Guard Cutter Delivers Disaster Aid to Philippines

June 4, 2013 - Coast Guard Office of International Programs Supports International Partnerships in Caribbean Exercise