Following recommendations last fall to the Department of Defense to modernize how the U.S. conducts its foreign military sales (FMS) program, a trio of defense trade associations on Thursday released the second volume of their report, this one focused on improving the State Department’s role in the FMS system amid increasing demand for U.S. security assistance.

“Our current FMS system does not provide the flexibility, transparency, and speed the U.S. and our allies and partners need to prevail in this environment,” David Norquist, president and CEO of the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA), said in a statement. “These industry recommendations to the State Department, along with the previous set sent to the Department of Defense, support an FMS system that is more strategic, flexible, and able to quickly delivery critical capabilities to our allies and partners.”

Volume II: Defense Trade Modernization, was produced by NDIA, the Aerospace Industries Association, and the Professional Services Council.

The report says that immediate demands for arms for Ukraine in its war against Russia and longer-term initiatives such as the Australia, United Kingdom, U.S. security agreement related to nuclear submarines and other weapon systems will “overwhelm” the ability of the FMS process to transfer arms at the pace needed to meet national security needs.

Some of the recommendations for the State Department include setting deadlines for processing export authorization requests, which would also help with transparency for industry, and establish criteria for when deadlines would be exceeded. Another recommendation to speed processing of defense requests is to presume that regional arms transfers can be conducted via direct commercial sales and maintain the FMS system “for sensitive and critical capabilities.”

The trade groups also recommend putting a career civil servant in charge of the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC), put more emphasis on defense trade within the department, in particular with the deputy assistant secretary for defense trade and the assistant secretary for political-military affairs, and incentivize career growth for defense trade specialists.

The report says the DDTC office “is continually hampered by staffing challenges with the current workforce down from optimal levels” and suggests potentially outsourcing or bringing on more “contractor support to handle routine license business.” It also suggests making changes to the human resources job code for licensing officers to align with the talent expectations of the job.

The report was delivered to the government last week.