By: Aaron Mehta
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.”
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.”