Defense Logistics:

Department of Defense's Annual Report on the Status of Prepositioned Materiel and Equipment Can Be Further Enhanced to Better Inform Congress

GAO-10-172R: Published: Nov 4, 2009. Publicly Released: Nov 4, 2009.

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The Department of Defense (DOD) prepositions equipment at strategic locations around the world to enable it to field combat-ready forces in days, rather than the weeks it would take if equipment had to be moved from the United States to the locations of conflicts. These prepositioned materiel and equipment sets have played an important role in supporting ongoing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, sustained operations in Iraq and Afghanistan have taken a toll on the condition and readiness of military equipment. Over the last few years, we have identified a number of ongoing and long-term challenges regarding DOD's prepositioned stocks. The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 added an annual reporting requirement to Title 10 of the United States Code that directs DOD to submit a report to the congressional defense committees on the status of prepositioned materiel and equipment as of the end of each fiscal year, no later than the date of the submission of the President's annual budget request. For this report, our objective was to determine what additional information in future DOD reports on the status of its prepositioned materiel and equipment could further inform congressional defense committees on these issues. We examined GAO and DOD reports on the services' prepositioned stock programs, reviewed relevant DOD and service policies, and met with DOD and service officials to determine whether additional information could further inform Congress on the status of prepositioned materiel and equipment.

Although DOD addressed the six required reporting elements in its annual report, DOD's future reports to Congress on the status of its prepositioned materiel and equipment would benefit from additional information in three areas. Specifically, future reports would be enhanced by additional information on the amount of spare parts the Army maintains in its prepositioned stocks; the materiel condition of the Air Force's material and equipment needed to establish bases; and information on the services' progress to replenish their individual prepositioned sets, such as level of fill and readiness rates, and changes in those sets from the previous year. First, while DOD's report addressed the level of fill for spare parts as required by the mandate, we found that the Army had additional data on spare parts that were not included in DOD's report. First, while DOD's report addressed the level of fill for spare parts as required by the mandate, we found that the Army had additional data on spare parts that were not included in DOD's report. Third, DOD's future reports to Congress on the status of its prepositioned materiel and equipment would benefit from information on the services' progress to replenish their individual prepositioned sets, such as level of fill and readiness rates, and changes in those sets from the previous year.

Status Legend:

More Info
  • Review Pending-GAO has not yet assessed implementation status.
  • Open-Actions to satisfy the intent of the recommendation have not been taken or are being planned, or actions that partially satisfy the intent of the recommendation have been taken.
  • Closed-implemented-Actions that satisfy the intent of the recommendation have been taken.
  • Closed-not implemented-While the intent of the recommendation has not been satisfied, time or circumstances have rendered the recommendation invalid.
    • Review Pending
    • Open
    • Closed - implemented
    • Closed - not implemented

    Recommendations for Executive Action

    Recommendation: To provide Congress with the visibility to better assess the condition of Department of Defense's (DOD) prepositioned materiel and equipment, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Army to include in DOD's future reports to Congress more detailed information on the level of fill of its prepositioned sets that include spare parts.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

    Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD concurred with this recommendation and in the DOD's fiscal year 2009 annual report, the Army included the fill rates of its prepositioned packages that include spare parts.

    Recommendation: To provide Congress with the visibility to better assess the condition of DOD prepositioned materiel and equipment, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Air Force to include in DOD's future reports to Congress information on the materiel condition of its BEAR sets.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

    Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD concurred with this recommendation and in the DOD's fiscal year 2009 annual report, the Air Force included serviceability rates of its Basic Expeditionary Airfield Resources (BEAR) prepositioned packages.

    Recommendation: To provide Congress with a more comprehensive picture of the services' prepositioned sets, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Joint Staff and the secretaries of the military services to include in DOD future reports to Congress, information on the services' progress to replenish their individual prepositioned sets, such as level of fill and readiness rates, and changes in those sets from the previous year.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

    Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: All of the services have included level of fill, readiness rates, and change in fill rate from the previous year in DODs report to Congress on the status of its Prepositioned Stock, as we recommended.

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