Office of Defense Cooperation (ODC)

The Office of Defense Cooperation (ODC) in Germany has its roots in the former Military Assistance Advisory Group (MAAG), dating back to the early days of the Federal Republic of Germany and the arming of the Bundeswehr in 1955. As the executive agent for military assistance, the MAAG provided equipment and training to the Bundeswehr on a grant aid basis from 1955 until 1962. In 1962, Germany repurchased all the equipment previously provided and became a cash customer and cooperative partner for defense goods and services. The MAAG became the administrator of military sales programs and acted as liaison and advisor between the Federal Ministry of Defense and the Pentagon, continuing its foreign affairs coordination functions under the Chief of Mission.

In 1976, in alignment with a worldwide change in U.S. Security Assistance policy and organization, the MAAG evolved into the much smaller ODC of today. As Germany redeveloped its defense and aerospace industrial capacity, the ODC became a focus for bilateral and international cooperation in armaments research, development and production. In addition to its traditional government-to-government liaison function, the ODC plays a key role in coordination with defense industries — both German and American.

ODC Germany is located in the U.S. Embassy Berlin with a satellite office in Bonn. ODC is under the authority of the Ambassador and organizationally falls under the Headquarters, U.S. European Command in Stuttgart. The Chief of ODC is an Air Force Colonel. The ODC is organized along service lines, with a military officer in the grade of Lieutenant Colonel or Commander heading each of the three service sections. The Armaments Cooperation Section is responsible for cooperative programs and defense industrial cooperation.

Berlin Office Contact Information
Office of Defense Cooperation
U.S. Embassy
Clayallee 170
14191 Berlin

DPO Address
Department of State
Office of Defense Cooperation Germany
5090 Berlin Place
Washington, D.C. 20521-5090

Tel.: 030-8305 + extension
Fax: 030-8305-1445

Position — Location — Phone Number

A member of the U.S. Country Team, the ODC is responsible for the full range of defense cooperation activities in Germany. Chief among these activities is the support of U.S. Foreign Military Sales (FMS) of defense articles, services and training. Germany has procured and continues to support many of its most important armaments systems through FMS cases and sends hundreds of its soldiers, sailors and officers to the United States for training every year.

Other areas of defense cooperation include armaments research, development and production, testing and evaluation programs, defense industrial cooperation, cooperative logistics, direct commercial sales and the international transfer of defense articles from various sources.

With its long history working with the Bundeswehr, the Federal Ministry of Defense and industry, ODC Germany is an authoritative, in-country source of information and contracts.

The complete text is available for download as pdf document (2.7MB)


International Armaments Cooperation Handbook 2012

International armaments cooperation is a complicated business. Acquisition personnel considering international armaments cooperation for their programs must take into account a series of complex national and international interrelationships. While the business is complex, the rewards are great. International armaments cooperation has the potential to significantly improve
interoperability for coalition warfare, to leverage scarce program resources, and to obtain the most advanced, state-of-the-art technology from the global technology and industrial base. The International Armaments Cooperation Handbook satisfies the need for a straightforward, explanatory “road map” through this complex business.

This handbook is not in itself a policy document, but is based almost entirely upon laws and policy documents. It is an informed view of the current practices and procedures in this complex area. It was developed from inputs from many informed sources, primarily the Office of the Secretary of Defense: OUSD(Acquisition, Technology & Logistics)/International Cooperation and OUSD(Policy)/Technology Security Policy and Counterproliferation. Support
contractors from LMI, AT&T Government Solutions and JIL Information Systems provided valuable inputs, as well as assistance with handbook integration, including a new feature of including links to the laws and policy documents referenced throughout. The Military Departments international program offices provided support for selected sections. Perhaps most importantly, it directs the reader to additional sources for assistance and information.

Since this handbook was last issued in 2012, this version represents a partial rewrite and general update from the previous version. As users of this handbook will likely be interested in only one or several of the chapters, each is written to stand alone.

International armaments cooperation is constantly changing. This handbook will be updated annually; visit for the current version. Your comments, suggestions, and updates are welcome. Please forward them to

Personnel Country Clearance/Request for Visit Information

The Office of Defense Cooperation, Germany handles personnel country clearance pertaining to Foreign Military Sales (FMS). All other clearances (non-FMS personnel clearances, military aircraft and/or equipment) are handled through the Defense Attaché Office. US industry and military personnel must submit a country clearance/request for visit 30 days prior to visiting military and/or industrial sites within Germany. This is achieved by submitting a country clearance/request for visit through the appropriate office (FMS cases to ODC, non-FMS cases to DAO). Our offices will coordinate all visit requests with the German Ministry of Defense (MoD). Please refer to the Foreign Clearance Guide for further requirements.

Personnel Clearance Process (for Foreign Military Sale (FMS) cases only):

Review the Germany portion of the Foreign Clearance Guide (DoD 4500.54-G) and complete your Country Clearance Request accordingly.

Foreign Military Sale request for visits may be submitted by e-mail or through the Aircraft and Personnel Automated Clearance System (APACS). All requests should be submitted at least 30 days prior to the visit.

Replies to visit requests will be sent from the ODC using the same method as received.

Top Six Mistakes in Requesting a Country Clearance

  1. Failure to provide precise location information. Organization, name, city and correct address are needed.
  2. Failure to meet time requirements for submitting clearance requests. Thirty (30) days is the minimum lead time.
  3. Omitting visitors date of birth, place of birth, clearance level and passport number.
  4. Failure to provide a Point of Contact (POC) in Germany. This is the person who will pass your visit information to the organization’s security office. Visit requests cannot be forwarded to organizations without a POC name, phone and fax number for each organization to be visited.
  5. Failure to provide a correct phone and fax number of the requesting agency.
  6. Failure to confirm visit details/itinerary in advance. ODC cannot coordinate your schedule requests with your host in Germany. Your request may be denied if your host is not previously informed of your visit.

Points of Contact

Office of Defense Cooperation (ODC)
Telephone:  01149-30-8305-1116

Office of Defense Cooperation is the point of contact for military relations during two biennial events.