WASHINGTON — At last year’s Association of the United States Army conference in Washington, D.C., Lt. Gen. Charles Hooper announced he was seeking to create a new university structure specifically focused on growing and educating the security cooperation sector.
A year later, those plans are still being formulated, but some details are starting to emerge.
“When I announced this last year, there were a lot of people who misperceived my comments to say we were going to build a brick-and-mortar university,” Hooper said Oct. 9 at this year’s AUSA conference. “That’s not what we were talking about at all. What we’re talking about is knitting together a new curriculum that will serve as a strong foundation for our security cooperation career field, and our personnel, moving forward.”
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Hooper described the plan as a “virtual university” that will connect the Defense Acquisition University, the service professional military education institutions and other existing institutions, bound together with a “robust” digital presence to address core needs for the security cooperation workforce.
That office will also work hand in hand with another initiative Hooper announced: the expansion of the Defense Institute of Security Cooperation Studies, an existing educational arm of DSCA based out of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio.
DISCS will stand up a satellite campus in D.C., focused on “the training needs of the security cooperation personnel based here,” Hooper said.
The benefits of that are two-fold, he said; first, they allow training for local personnel, as well as “executive-level” presentations for key stakeholders in the region; and second, not having to send personnel out to Wright-Patterson for education can help reduce costs for DSCA across the board.
In addition to the educational announcements, Hooper confirmed that DSCA had put in place a change to lower transportation costs for partners who buy American defense goods, something he first brought up to Defense News in a July interview.
“That has been changed. It’s done. The structure has been changed,” Hooper said this week. “We’re looking for ways to work with our partners in a creative fashion to make the best equipment in the world affordable for any of our partners that may have resource challenges.”
Aaron Mehta was deputy editor and senior Pentagon correspondent for Defense News, covering policy, strategy and acquisition at the highest levels of the Defense Department and its international partners.