The Department of Defense (DoD) has entered into numerous agreements with allies, coalition partners and friendly foreign countries that allow for the exchange or assignment of foreign personnel in U.S. defense establishments and for the corresponding exchange or assignment of U.S. personnel in foreign defense establishments. Collectively referred to as the Defense Personnel Exchange Programs (DPEP), most of these programs permit military and civilian participants to spend one or more years working in the host nation’s defense research and development organizations, joint program offices or operational defense establishments on projects directly related to their areas of expertise. Visits, assignments, and exchanges of foreign nationals are governed by DoD Directive 5230.20.
Navy IPO facilitates assignments under the Engineer and Scientist Exchange Program (ESEP), which is a DPEP aimed at promoting international cooperation in military research, development, testing and evaluation (RDT&E) communities through the exchange of practical experience of defense engineers and scientists. This program places selected personnel into challenging and productive assignments in technical areas where their professional qualifications and capabilities are used to the fullest. The program is not a training program and is not to be used for exchanging technical data or software related to the design, development, manufacture or operation of military systems.