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Building Partner Capacity: DOD Is Meeting Most Targets for Colombias Regional Helicopter Training Center but Should Track Graduates
GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE WASHINGTON DC
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Why GAO Did This Study. U.S. national security is inextricably tied to the effectiveness of U.S. efforts to help foreign partners build their own security capacity. The United States has had a long-standing partnership with Colombia, a key part of which has been U.S. assistance to Colombia s aviation unit in counternarcotics efforts. RHTC is one of DOD s priority security cooperation programs. The Senate Committee on Armed Services has recognized that many security cooperation programs are key to U.S. military-to-military relations with foreign partners. Because of concerns regarding DOD s ability to assess the impact of these programs, the committee mandated GAO to assess their effectiveness, efficiency, and medium- and long-term results. In this review, GAO assesses 1 U.S. government allocations, obligations, and disbursements for RHTC in fiscal year 2009 through May 2013 2 the extent to which DOD has achieved its goal and targets for RHTC and 3 DOD s progress, if any, in implementing its plans to nationalize RHTC i.e., fully transfer the program s financial responsibility to Colombia. GAO interviewed DOD, State, and Colombian officials in Washington, D.C. Alabama Virginia and Colombia. GAO also reviewed DOD documents and funding data. What GAO Recommends. GAO is recommending that DOD work with the government of Colombia to take steps to obtain information on Colombian graduates use of skills obtained at RHTC in subsequent military assignments for at least 2 years after graduation. DOD concurred.
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