June 27, 2016

Quality assurance strengthens foreign military efforts

Carlotta Maneice
Redstone Arsenal, Ala.

A U.S. Army AH-64 Apache attack helicopter prepares for departure.

When an international customer purchases something from the U.S. government, quality assurance plays an important role in ensuring the equipment or service provided meets the same standards required for the American war fighter.

The Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center’s Quality Assurance Team recently inspected AH-64 Apache helicopters provided to the Republic of South Korea through the Foreign Military Sales Program.

“Over the last 30 years, the Quality Management Division has provided a consistent, important and necessary QA function in support of FMS for aviation and missile platforms,” said Valerie Harris, chief, QMD. “The sale of these helicopters shows the confidence that the South Korean government has in the quality of these aircraft systems and the trust that the U.S. government bestows upon AMRDEC QA.”

“The Aviation Systems Quality Branch provides Army manned and unmanned QA support to FMS customers on five continents,” said Paul Anderson, chief, ASQB. “QA teams inspect the aircraft for serviceability and ensure the weapons system is operational prior to sending it to the FMS customer.”

U.S. Government Flight Representatives serve as the approving authority for contractor operation locations. According to Anderson, GFRs are delegated the responsibility for approval of contractor flights, procedures, and crew members.

“They ensure contractor compliance and act as the government insurance agent by assuming some of the risk of loss for aircraft,” Anderson said.
AMRDEC QA teams partner with the U.S. Army Security Assistance Command, Aviation and Missile Command Security Assistance Management Directorate, Apache Attack Helicopter Project Office, Program Executive Office Aviation, Joint Munitions Command and industry partners.

“It is a privilege and honor to work with such high caliber professionals who provide and support delivery of the Army’s most technologically advanced helicopter platform to our foreign military partners,” Anderson said.

According to South Korea Ariarng News, the Apache helicopters will strengthen South Korea’s combat capabilities.

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