The MOU Attaché Group’s existence started when a former colleague of ours, Hans deBruine from the Dutch Embassy, invited the embassies Defense Procurement and Defense Cooperation representatives from other MOU countries to lunch at the L’Escargot restaurant (now Ardeo/Bardeo) in Cleveland Park in 1979. 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.
The Reagan years brought more restrictions and the British defense acquisition staff headed by Roger Harding fashioned the MOU Attaché Group from an informal information exchange group to an active instrument of promoting and defending 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 24 nations from NATO Countries, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Austria, Finland, Sweden and Switzerland. The Group meets with the purposes to share information on issues of common concern and to discuss procurement strategies and actions. The Group is initiating joint responses and follow-up regarding these issues. It acts as common interface for the Departments of Defense, State and Commerce Departments, Congress, and industry.
The topics range from transatlantic defense cooperation (acquisition, technology and logistics), industrial cooperation, and reciprocal access to defense procurement projects and procurement restrictions. Offsets, Industrial Participation, International Trade Development, etc. as well as technology transfer, Interoperability, Globalization and Export Controls
For most of the participating members, the Group was and still is an essential forum to exchange valuable information and experiences in matters of defense acquisition, offsets and industrial participation as well as export controls. The MOU Attaché Group became and still 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 acted in support of the Department of Defense in fighting against such restrictions.
Compiled from a number of earlier documents.
August 23, 2011
Washington, DC 20008