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1st Theater Sustainment Command

News Stories

18th Finance Support Center provides funding flexibility while leveraging strategic

By 1LT Timothy F. Barile and SFC Sitanimoa P. Filimoeulie | 18th Finance Support Center | February 27, 2023


For over three decades, the U.S. Army has partnered with foreign banks in the Central Command area of responsibility. Foreign banks provide a means to acquire local (foreign) currency for financial operations in theater. As you may guess, U.S. currency is also relied upon to conduct financial operations in this ever-changing and expanding theater. Over time, U.S. Army Finance and Comptroller personnel have obtained U.S. currency through a process in which finance Soldiers in Kuwait travel to Germany, pick up cash from the Department of Defense Community Bank, and travel back to Kuwait.


The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted a vulnerability regarding the ability to obtain and move U.S. currency in an environment that hampered the transportation of personnel and equipment. Fast forward from the early days of COVID-19, circa March 2020, to January 2023. For the first time, on January 19, 2023, the 18th Finance Support Center funded their National Bank of Kuwait limited depository account and conducted a withdrawal of U.S. currency to validate the proof of concept and provide an alternative method of funding the Central Command area of responsibility.


As good stewards of the taxpayer’s dollars, the U.S. Army Finance and Comptroller community is always looking for alternative methods to acquire, store, and move funds to enable the mission. This new capability provides operational flexibility in funding the theater as well as leveraging a strategic foreign partnership with Kuwait dating back to 1991. Key stakeholders and enablers throughout this process were the U.S. Treasury, U.S. Army Financial Management Command, 1st Theater Sustainment Command-Operational Command Post G8, National Bank of Kuwait, and Department of Emergency Services.


Moving forward, the 18th FISC will continue to use the Department of Defense Community Bank as the primary source of acquiring U.S. dollars as our primary funding source, but they are ready to execute through the NBK at a moment’s notice. In the meantime, the 18th FISC will continue to explore additional methods to acquire, move, and store physical currency to provide operational flexibility.


The 18th FISC, assigned to the 1st TSC, has enduring equities in the current and future posture of finance operations within the Central Command area of responsibility. The unit, based out of Ft. Knox, Kentucky, is currently deployed to Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, and is responsible for central funding of U.S. dollars, policy, and oversight of finance operations within the theater.


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Note from 18th FISC: This article is helpful and intended for the finance community. It will be sent to USAFMCOM, FCnet and U.S. Army Finance Corps Association to be included in the spring 2023 edition of Diamond Points.