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También Disponible en Español: IDARM Crosses Language Barriers of Defense Acquisition and Contract Management

Posted: Dec 19, 2017
Amber Morgan & Scott Harvey

The International Defense Acquisition Resource Management (IDARM) Program recently held a two-week course entitled “Principles of Defense Acquisition and Contract Management” at the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) in Monterey, California. While IDARM’s core curriculum in the field of defense acquisition and contract management was front and center, the course was tailored for a Latin American audience and delivered entirely in Spanish with simultaneous interpretation.

“[The Spanish interpretation] allows CCMR and the IDARM program to reach participants who would otherwise not be able to attend in-resident courses that require a minimum English Comprehension Level (ECL) score of 80,” said Brooke Adame, IDARM Faculty Research Assistant and lead coordinator for engagement in Latin America. Other programs CCMR have taken note, and many course coordinators have reexamined and retooled their offerings to involve interpretation. For instance, other courses held at CCMR within the last year have been translated for French, Dari, and Thai-speaking audiences.

IDARM’s two-week offering is designed specifically for Spanish-speaking military officers and civilian equivalents who are engaged in a broad range of defense acquisition and/or contract management. Many participants arrived at CCMR with rich backgrounds in contracting, finance, and auditing, and they were eager to share best practices and lessons learned with their colleagues and the IDARM team.

Captain Jaime Francisco Bravo Busquet, a logistics and acquisition expert and Head of Finance for the Logistics Department of the Chilean Navy, stated “We [the participants] have many things in common in the area of acquisition, but we have also learned from each other because of the information that has been exchanged.” He continued, commenting on the insight the course provided that he will use to improve and support the operations Chile is already undertaking: "I think that this will reinforce what we are doing in Chile with regards to capabilities-based planning, with risk sharing in defense, and also with performance-based logistics."

The eighteen students in attendance represented a diverse group of civilian and military personnel from nine countries: Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Peru, and Uruguay. Joining CCMR faculty were instructors from other NPS departments, including the School of International Graduate Studies (SIGS), Graduate School of Business and Public Policy (GSBPP), and Defense Resource Management Institute (DRMI). Mr. Victor Cruz, Senior Advisor on Policy and Security to the President of Panama, expressed that “the instructors are experts in the topics that they have presented and that has facilitated our comprehension.”

Course participants will apply the knowledge and skills they have gained throughout the course in a variety of ways when they return to their respective countries. Colonel Edgar Enrique Anaya Lara of the National Treasury of El Salvador, remarked on the utility of the content, affirming that “we are going to take advantage of what we are learning in this course to find better ways invest our resources.”

Colonel Anaya also commented that the environment of the course helped to foster productive new relationships between the participants and agreed with Mr. Cruz that many of them had become friends in the short time they spent together. IDARM conducted Field Study Program (FSP) activities throughout the course which complement the academic rigor of the course by providing students opportunities to better understand the American way of life and U.S. democratic ideals and institutions. Students were taken on a walking tour of Monterey, a day trip to San Francisco, and a morning hike at Point Lobos State Reserve. The course and the extracurricular activities increase relationship building amongst participants and is a key feature of CCMR and IDARM offerings to foster more constructive and collaborative international partnerships.

The next course will be offered during 16-27 July, 2018. All course programming is managed through the Security Cooperation Offices (SCOs) and the Naval Education Training and Education Assistance Activity (NETSAFA) using MASL P179623. Should countries be interested in programming for this course please email