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.