Chief of Pentagon’s arms sales agency retires

The director of the Department of Defense agency that oversees sales to foreign militaries has decided to step down.

Defense Security Cooperation Agency Director Heidi Grant, the first permanent DoD civilian to lead DSCA in its 60-year history, will step down effective Nov. 7, the department announced on Wednesday.

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DSCA Deputy Director Jed Royal will assume the acting director position once Grant, who has spent more than three decades serving in the Navy, Air Force, Office of the Secretary of Defense, Joint Chiefs of Staff, and two combatant commands, is officially out of her position.

Grant had spent roughly 15 months in the position, though the agency said she had "been considering this transition for some time."

She said America's competition with adversaries should weigh on the country's decisions on arms sales during a panel earlier this week at the Association of the U.S. Army's annual meeting, according to Defense News.

Grant expressed frustration over a previous decision to not sell drones to the United Arab Emirates and other Middle Eastern countries, which has allowed China to sell them that technology.

"That's why a strategic competitor transferred that technology [and] has a significant footprint of training bases for unmanned ISR," Grant explained. "It could have been us, we could be there, we could be training, advising and have that access."

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"We have to look at this and say, if we're not there, our strategic competition is going to fill the void. Is that riskier than transferring high end technologies?" she added.

Pentagon spokesman Mike Howard denied that her comments during the panel discussion were related to her retirement, according to the outlet.

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