Force Structure:

Assessment of Army Report on Fiscal Year 2011 Progress in Modular Restructuring

GAO-12-527R: Published: Mar 26, 2012. Publicly Released: Mar 26, 2012.

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John H. Pendleton
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pendletonj@gao.gov

 

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What GAO Found

According to the Army’s Fiscal Year 2011 Report on the Prioritization of Funds for Equipment Readiness and Strategic Capability, issued in September 2011, the report addressed the requirements of the John Warner NDAA for Fiscal Year 2007 rather than the amended requirements stipulated in the Ike Skelton NDAA for Fiscal Year 2011. The report does include some information that addresses aspects of the updated reporting requirements. For example, the 2011 NDAA requires the Army to include a description of the status of the development of doctrine on how modular combat, functional, and support forces will train, be sustained, and fight. In addressing the old reporting requirements in the 2007 NDAA, the Army’s 2011 report discusses modifications to the modularity plan due to finalization of organizational designs and the need to reprioritize due to the emergence of higher-priority force-protection programs. However, the report does not mention the status of the development of doctrine on how modular combat, functional, and support forces will train, be sustained, and fight, as required by the current law.

Army officials responsible for developing the mandated report said that they did not address the amended requirements because they were not aware of the changes in the legislation. Army officials attributed this oversight to internal miscommunication.

According to these officials, the Army plans to revise and reissue its September 2011 report to respond to the amended reporting requirements and, at the same time, develop its 2012 report. Officials told us that they planned to issue both the revised 2011 and the 2012 report on April 30, 2012. Army officials noted, however, that responding to the legislative requirements that require the Army to discuss plans for the future will be challenging because decisions about the size and structure of the Army force are under review and may not be finalized prior to the reporting date.

Why GAO Did This Study

The Army considers its modular force transformation the most extensive restructuring it has undertaken since World War II. Restructuring the Army from its division-based force to a brigade-based force requires investments in equipment and in the retraining of personnel. The John Warner National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2007 directed the Army to report to Congress annually, on the date that the President submits a budget to Congress, on, among other things, progress made during the previous fiscal year to ensure that financial resources are provided for the repair, recapitalization, and replacement of equipment used in the global war on terrorism, the overall equipment requirements of Army units transforming to modularity, the reconstitution of prepositioned stocks, and the schedule for meeting those requirements. The same law directed the Comptroller General to provide an annual report assessing the Army’s progress in staffing and equipping the modular force, among other things. In our 2008 report addressing this legislative requirement, we reported that the Army did not have a comprehensive and transparent approach to measure progress against its modularity objectives and that Congress should consider specifying more clearly the reporting elements that would be most useful in overseeing the transformation. The Ike Skelton NDAA for Fiscal Year 2011, enacted on January 7, 2011, retained the requirement for the Army to report annually on its progress toward implementing modularity but specified new elements to be included in the Army’s report, such as reporting on key enabler equipment and personnel available to modular units. It also directed the Comptroller General to review the Army’s annual report. To respond to this mandate, we are reporting information on the extent to which the Army’s annual fiscal year 2011 report addressed the statutory reporting requirements.

For more information, contact John H. Pendleton at (404) 679-1816 or pendletonj@gao.gov.

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