The Defense MOU Attachés Group’s existence started in 1979 when a former colleague from the Dutch Embassy invited the embassies’ Defense Procurement and Defense Cooperation representatives from other MOU countries to lunch. For a number of years it was a monthly luncheon club hosted by one of the members with guest speakers from the U.S. Government or industry.
As the Reagan years brought more restrictions, the British defense acquisition staff fashioned the MOU Attachés Group from an informal information exchange group to an active instrument to promote and defend the reciprocal defense and offset MOUs with formal agendas, meetings and minutes, similar to today’s format. The Group kept each member also abreast with the continuing issues in the State Department’s export controls rules and regulations (ITAR).
The Defense Cooperation Attachés are representing 25 nations that have Reciprocal Defense Procurement (RDP) Memoranda of Understanding or equivalent agreements with the US. The Group meets with the purposes to share information on issues of common concern and to discuss procurement strategies and actions. The Group initiates joint responses and follow-ups on these issues, and acts as common interface for the Departments of Defense (DoD), Department of State (DoS), Department of Commerce (DoC), Congress, and Industry.
For the purpose of keeping track of the issues and concerns, DMAG currently focuses on 3 Working Groups (WG):
- WG on Cyber,
- WG on Export Control,
- WG on Industrial Base Cooperation.
The WGs meet on a regular basis and update the members during the monthly meetings.
DMAG is very active in fighting overreaching Buy American, Mobilization issues, and Industrial protection restrictions introduced by Congress in its annual authorization and appropriation bills. The Group also acts in support of the Department of Defense in fighting against such restrictions.
For the participating members, the Group is an essential forum to exchange valuable information and experiences.