AT News Report
KABUL: Washington has approved a possible $60 million Foreign Military Sale of military equipment including crew served weapons, equipment, training, and support to Kabul.
According to a press release of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), the State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Afghanistan for individual and crew served weapons, equipment, training, and support. The estimated cost is $60 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on August 17, 2016.
The statement added that the Government of Afghanistan has requested a possible sale of Major Defense Equipment (MDE), including four thousand eight hundred and ninety-one (4,891) M16A4 5.56mm rifles, four hundred and eighty-five (485) M240B 7.62mm machineguns, eight hundred (800) M2 .50 caliber machineguns.
The statement said that the request also included of M249 light automatic machineguns; M110 7.62mm sniper rifles; MK-19 40mm grenade launchers; MK-93 40mm machinegun mounts; M3 tripod machinegun mounts; spare barrels; spare and repair parts; lot validation; publications and technical documentation; personnel training and training equipment; Quality Assurance Team; US government and contractor technical and logistics support services; and other related elements of logistics and program support.
The proposed sale will enhance the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by helping to improve the security of a strategic partner by providing weapons needed to maintain security and stability, as well as to conduct offensive operations against an ongoing insurgency, the statement added.
A stable and secure Afghanistan is vital to regional stability. This proposed sale will also demonstrate the US commitment to Afghanistan’s security, the press release furthered.
It further went on say: “Afghanistan has an urgent requirement to increase its stocks of crew-served weapons for ongoing counter-insurgency operations and enduring threats to its national sovereignty.”
These articles were determined to be necessary and are based on Afghanistan’s force structure and operational requirements. The Afghan National Army (ANA) will use these weapons and equipment in both offensive and defensive operations against insurgents and terrorists within their borders, it added.
Without these defense articles, the ANA will not have the military capabilities that are necessary to maintain security and stability. The ANA is thoroughly trained and prepared to use the proposed defense articles, the statement said, asserting that Afghanistan will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment into its armed forces.
While equipment for the ANA is typically purchased with Title 10 Afghanistan Security Forces Fund (ASFF) appropriations and implemented by DSCA through pseudo-FMS cases, Afghanistan will use U.S. government grants to fund and support this proposed purchase, it added.
The press release furthered that implementation of this sale will require the assignment of approximately eight (8) additional US Government and approximately six (6) contractor representatives to Afghanistan for approximately 5-6 weeks in support of the fielding, maintenance and personnel training.
There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale. This notice of a potential sale is required by law and does not mean the sale has been concluded, the statement said.