oversight

Military Readiness: DOD Needs a Clear and Defined Process for Setting Aircraft Availability Goals in the New Security Environment

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 2003-04-07.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

             United States General Accounting Office

GAO          Report to the Chairman, Subcommittee
             on Readiness, Committee on Armed
             Services, House of Representatives


April 2003
             MILITARY
             READINESS
             DOD Needs a Clear
             and Defined Process
             for Setting Aircraft
             Availability Goals in
             the New Security
             Environment




GAO-03-300
                                               April 2003


                                               MILITARY READINESS

                                               DOD Needs a Clear and Defined Process
Highlights of GAO-03-300, a report to the
Chairman, Subcommittee on Readiness,           for Setting Aircraft Availability Goals in
Committee on Armed Services, House of
Representatives                                the New Security Environment


The attacks on 9/11/2001 show that             Less than one-half of the 49 key active-duty aircraft models that GAO
threats to U.S. security can now               reviewed met their MC or FMC goals during fiscal years 1998-2002. The
come from any number of terrorist              levels of mission capability varied by military service and type of aircraft,
groups, at any number of locations,            and the levels at which the goals were set also varied widely, even among the
and in wholly unexpected ways. As              same type of aircraft. However, the MC and FMC goals for each model
a result, the Department of Defense
(DOD) is shifting to a new defense
                                               changed little over time. Since 1998, only 11 of 49 aircraft models (22
strategy focused on dealing with               percent) experienced a change to their goals. Seven of the changes were to
uncertainty by acting quickly                  raise the goals to higher levels. Difficulties in meeting the goals are caused
across a wide range of combat                  by a complex combination of logistical and operational factors.
conditions. One key ingredient of
the new strategy is the availability           Percentage of Aircraft Models Meeting MC and FMC Goals, Fiscal Years 1998-2002
of aircraft to carry out their
missions. Key measures of
availability include the percentage
of time an aircraft can perform at
least one or all of its assigned
missions, termed the “mission
capable” (MC) and “full mission
capable” (FMC) rates, respectively.

At the Subcommittee’s request,
GAO examined whether key DOD
aircraft have been able to meet MC
and FMC goals in recent years, and
DOD’s process for setting aircraft
availability goals.



GAO recommends that DOD review
the current goals to ensure that
they have a valid basis and are
appropriate to the new defense                 Despite their importance, DOD does not have a clear and defined process for
strategy, and revise its instructions          setting aircraft availability goals. The goal-setting process is largely
to ensure that such measures are               undefined and undocumented, and there is widespread uncertainty among
based on a clearly defined and                 the military services over how the goals were established, who is responsible
documented process and objective               for setting them, and the continuing adequacy of MC and FMC goals as
methodology. DOD concurred or                  measures of aircraft availability. Uncertainty and the lack of documentation
partially concurred with all of                in setting the goals ultimately obscures basic perceptions of readiness and
GAO’s recommendations and
                                               operational effectiveness, undermines congressional confidence in the basis
outlined planned actions to address
them.                                          for DOD’s funding requests, and brings into question the appropriateness of
                                               those goals to the new defense strategy. DOD guidance does not define the
                                               availability goals that the services must establish or require any objective
                                               methodology for setting them. Nor does it require the services to identify one
www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-03-300.         office as the coordinating agent for goal setting or to document the basis for
To view the full report, including the scope
                                               the goals chosen. DOD officials told GAO that the guidance has not been
and methodology, click on the link above.      updated since 1990 to reflect the new security environment of increased
For more information, contact Neal Curtin at   deployments and other changes since the end of the Cold War.
(757) 552-8100 or Curtinn@gao.gov.
Contents


Letter                                                                                   1
               Results in Brief                                                          2
               Background                                                                5
               DOD Aircraft Experienced Widespread Problems in Meeting MC
                 and FMC Goals                                                          8
               Mission Capable Problems Caused by a Combination of Factors             16
               DOD’S Goal-Setting Process Is Largely Undefined and
                 Undocumented                                                          24
               Conclusions                                                             31
               Recommendations for Executive Action                                    32
               Agency Comments and Our Evaluation                                      33

Appendix I     Mission Capable Goals and Rates, Fiscal Years
               1991-2002                                                               36



Appendix II    Scope and Methodology                                                   51



Appendix III   Comments from the Department of Defense                                 53



Appendix IV    GAO Contacts and Staff Acknowledgments                                  57



Tables
               Table 1: Key DOD Aircraft Models                                          6
               Table 2: Air Combat Command Interim MC Goals, Fiscal Years
                        2000-2002                                                      16
               Table 3: Aircraft Ages and 2002 MC Rates/Goals                          19


Figures
               Figure 1: Percentage of Aircraft Models Meeting MC and FMC
                        Goals, Fiscal Years 1998-2002                                    9
               Figure 2: Percentage of Aircraft Models Meeting MC Goals by
                        Service, Fiscal Years 1998-2002                                10




               Page i                                        GAO-03-300 Military Readiness
Figure 3: Average Annual MC Rates by Service, Fiscal Years 1998-
         2002                                                                             11
Figure 4: Average Annual FMC Rates by Service, Fiscal Years 1998-
         2002                                                                             12
Figure 5: Average Annual MC Rates by Aircraft Type, Fiscal Years
         1998-2002                                                                        13
Figure 6: Average Annual FMC Rates by Aircraft Type, Fiscal Years
         1998-2002                                                                        14




Abbreviations

DOD       Department of Defense
FMC       full mission capable
GAO       General Accounting Office
MC        mission capable




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Page ii                                                   GAO-03-300 Military Readiness
United States General Accounting Office
Washington, DC 20548




                                   April 7, 2003

                                   The Honorable Joel Hefley
                                   Chairman
                                   Subcommittee on Readiness
                                   Committee on Armed Services
                                   House of Representatives

                                   Dear Mr. Chairman:

                                   The terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, clearly demonstrated that the
                                   U.S. security landscape has changed. The familiar Cold War threats of
                                   large-scale wars between nation states in predictable areas such as the
                                   Koreas and the Middle East have been joined by a broad array of new
                                   threats characterized by surprise and uncertainty. Attacks on U.S. security
                                   can now come from any number of terrorist groups such as al Qaeda, in
                                   any number of locations, and in wholly unexpected ways. As a result of the
                                   changed security environment, the Department of Defense (DOD) has
                                   rethought defense strategy and is shifting to a “capabilities-based”
                                   approach focused on contending with uncertainty by enhancing its ability
                                   to act quickly and decisively across a wide range of combat conditions and
                                   locations.

                                   One key ingredient of the new strategy is the availability of aircraft to
                                   carry out their assigned missions. DOD requires each military service to
                                   establish availability goals for aircraft and other major weapon systems,
                                   and measures of the degree to which those goals are met.1 Key measures
                                   include the percentage of time that an aircraft can perform at least one or
                                   all of its assigned missions, termed the “mission capable” (MC) and “full
                                   mission capable” (FMC) rates, respectively. MC and FMC goals and rates
                                   are fundamental indicators of readiness expectations. They are also used
                                   by DOD as indicators of maintenance and supply effectiveness and are
                                   made available to the Congress for its general oversight of DOD.
                                   Moreover, the level at which the goals are set also influences large
                                   amounts of military spending for aircraft procurements, spare parts
                                   inventories, and other resources needed to meet the goals. However, our
                                   recent reports have identified problems in meeting MC goals among



                                   1
                                   See Department of Defense Instruction 3110.5, Materiel Condition Reporting for Mission-
                                   Essential Systems and Equipment, Sept. 14, 1990.



                                   Page 1                                                   GAO-03-300 Military Readiness
                   certain aircraft. For example, we reported in June 2000 that many of the
                   cargo aircraft needed to meet wartime airlift requirements were not
                   meeting MC goals.2

                   Concerned that the new capabilities-based strategy may be difficult to
                   carry out if aircraft are experiencing problems in meeting existing
                   availability goals, you requested that we examine DOD’s structure for
                   establishing MC and FMC goals for aircraft in the Air Force, Army, Navy,
                   and Marine Corps. This report addresses (1) whether key active-duty
                   aircraft have been able to meet existing MC and FMC goals, (2) the causes
                   of any difficulties in meeting those goals, and (3) whether DOD has a clear
                   and defined process for setting aircraft availability goals. We performed
                   our review from February through November 2002 in accordance with
                   generally accepted government auditing standards. Appendix II describes
                   the scope and methodology of our work.


                   Less than one-half of DOD’s key active-duty aircraft models have met their
Results in Brief   MC and FMC goals since 1998.3 For example, during fiscal years 1998-2002,
                   only 23-35 percent of the 49 aircraft models we reviewed were able to
                   meet their MC goals. Similarly, some 31-49 percent of the models met their
                   FMC goals during the same period. In most cases, the actual rates were at
                   least 5 percentage points below the goals. The level of mission capability
                   varied by military service and by type of aircraft. The Army and Air Force
                   had the highest average MC rates, at 77-83 percent over the past 5 years;
                   followed by the Marines, at about 71-75 percent; and the Navy, at 61-67
                   percent. Rates have increased slightly since fiscal year 2001 in all services
                   except the Navy. Average MC rates were the highest for helicopters, at 76-
                   80 percent; followed by cargo aircraft and tankers, at 75-79 percent;
                   fighter/attack aircraft, at 75-77 percent; bombers, at 64-69 percent; and
                   electronic command/control aircraft, at 60-67 percent. Average FMC rates
                   followed similar rank order patterns. The level at which the goals were set
                   showed little consistency, varying widely even among the same type of


                   2
                    See U.S. General Accounting Office, Military Readiness: Air Transport Capability Falls
                   Short of Requirements, GAO/NSIAD-00-135 (Washington, D.C.: June 22, 2000).
                   3
                    We focused our report on fiscal years 1998-2002 because the Navy and Marine Corps
                   changed their reporting system in 1998 and were unable to provide data separated by
                   service for previous years. (The Marine Corps is a separate service under the Department
                   of the Navy and follows Navy regulations governing MC and FMC goals and performance
                   measures.). Appendix I provides MC and FMC data for all services, including Army and Air
                   Force data back to fiscal year 1991.




                   Page 2                                                   GAO-03-300 Military Readiness
aircraft. For example, MC goals for the bombers and fighters in our review
ranged from 50 to 80 percent and 65 to 83 percent, respectively. While the
level at which the goals were set showed little consistency, MC and FMC
goals have changed little over time. Since 1998, only 11 of 49 aircraft
models (22 percent) experienced a change to their goals. Seven of these
changes were to raise the goals.

Difficulties in meeting the goals are caused by a combination of
interrelated logistical and operational factors, with no dominating single
problem. For example, depending upon the missions and capabilities it
was designed to provide, each aircraft can be inherently complex and
prone to failure or be simple and easy to maintain and available more
often. Complex aircraft require well-trained and experienced maintenance
personnel. However, service officials frequently cited shortages of such
personnel as a key cause of difficulties in meeting MC goals, and we have
cited this as a major problem area for years. Age and overuse of the
aircraft were cited as key factors as well. While age may affect MC rates,
we found no statistical evidence that age alone explains the difficulties in
meeting the MC goals. MC rates are also undermined by spare parts
shortages. Such shortages may be particularly troublesome for older
aircraft as they near the end of their projected life and spare parts
inventories are reduced. We have previously reported on problems with
spare parts shortages, and DOD is taking steps to increase the inventories
of some parts.4 Finally, perceived low funding levels and the way that
maintenance systems are structured were also viewed as keys to low MC
rates. For example, increases in the use of centralized depot-level
maintenance were cited as a cause of maintenance delay and lowered MC
rates. We have raised concerns for years that DOD’s downsizing of its
depot infrastructure and workforce was done without sound strategic
planning and that investments in facilities, equipment, and personnel have
not been sufficient to ensure the long-term viability of the depots.

DOD does not have a clear and defined process for setting aircraft
availability goals. DOD’s goal-setting process is largely undefined and
undocumented, and there is widespread uncertainty among the services
over how the goals were established and who is responsible for setting
them. Furthermore, the services have basic questions about the adequacy



4
 See U.S. General Accounting Office, Air Force Depot Maintenance: Management
Improvements Needed for Backlog of Funded Contract Maintenance Work, GAO-02-623
(Washington, D.C.; June 20, 2002).




Page 3                                              GAO-03-300 Military Readiness
of those goals as measures of aircraft availability. Uncertainty and the lack
of documentation in setting MC and FMC goals ultimately obscures basic
perceptions of readiness and operational effectiveness, undermines
congressional confidence in the basis for funding requests, and brings into
question the appropriateness of those goals to the new defense strategy.
For example, the services could not explain and document how the
original MC and FMC goals were set for any of the aircraft in our review.
Navy and Air Force officials believed that the goals were generally based
on analyses of historical performance rates of similar aircraft and/or
subjective judgment. Moreover, in many cases, the services identified
multiple offices as being responsible for setting the goals. But when
contacted, each believed that the other was responsible. Some officials
questioned which goals—the MC goals, the FMC goals, or some other
goal—were the right ones to use in the new security environment. For
example, a new measure of aircraft availability is being developed for the
new Joint Strike Fighter, and MC and FMC goals are not being used.
DOD’s instruction provides little or no guidance on these and other key
issues. 5 For example, it requires the services to establish availability goals
but does not define which goals should be established, even though it
specifically requires the services to collect condition status information on
MC, FMC, and other availability measures. The instruction also provides
no standardized methodology for setting goals, requiring only that they
include estimates of maximum aircraft performance, assuming peacetime
usage levels and full funding of logistical support systems. Nor does it
require the services to identify the pros and cons of setting the goals at
different levels and the guiding principles used to make those decisions.
Finally, it does not require the services to identify one office as the
coordinating agent for goal setting or to document the basis for the goals
chosen. DOD officials told us that the instruction has not been updated
since 1990 to reflect the new security environment of increased
deployments and other changes since the end of the Cold War.

To ensure that aircraft availability goals are appropriate to the new
defense strategy and consistent with a clear and defined process, we are
recommending that DOD and the services (1) determine whether different
types of goals are needed; (2) validate the basis for the existing goals; and
(3) revise Instruction 3110.5 to clearly define the goals required to be
established and their performance measures, establish a standard
methodology with objective principles of analysis to be used by all


5
See DOD Instruction 3110.5.




Page 4                                             GAO-03-300 Military Readiness
             services in setting goals, and require each service to identify a focal point
             for the development and documentation of the goal setting process.

             In comments on a draft of this report, DOD generally agreed with our
             recommendations. However, it believed that including the performance
             measures associated with the goals in Instruction 3110.5 would result in
             their being used as the primary measure of the overall state of materiel
             readiness. We agree that determinations of overall materiel readiness
             require consideration of a variety of factors beyond those identified in
             Instruction 3110.5. However, to avoid confusion and misunderstanding
             about basic aircraft performance, it is necessary to clearly identify the
             performance measures associated with the availability goals selected. This
             does not preclude the use of other metrics in broader assessments of
             materiel readiness. DOD also believed that the individual services, not the
             department, should be responsible for establishing their own detailed
             methodologies for goal setting because of the potential for variations in
             service environments and the types of goals used. We also agree that the
             services should have some leeway to accommodate differences between
             them. However, we continue to believe that all services should adhere to a
             standard set of overarching principles of analysis to safeguard objectivity
             and transparency in the goal-setting process. Such principles could be
             established in coordination with the services. The services could then
             develop detailed methodologies consistent with these principles but
             tailored to their own environments. For these reasons we made no change
             to our recommendations.


             DOD aircraft are used to perform a variety of different missions. However,
Background   for the purpose of this report, we have grouped them into five basic
             categories: (1) various models of fighter/attack aircraft, such as the F/A-18
             Hornet, provide air superiority or close air support of ground forces; (2)
             bombers, such as the B-1 Lancer, provide long- and short-range delivery of
             heavy munitions; (3) electronic command and control aircraft, such as the
             E-3 Sentry, provide airspace and battlefield reconnaissance, command,
             and control services; (4) tankers and cargo aircraft, such as the KC-135
             Stratotanker and the C-5 Galaxy, respectively, provide air refueling
             services and the ability to carry troops and equipment anywhere in the
             world; and (5) helicopters, with their ability to hover as well as conduct
             long- and short-range operations, are used for a variety of missions,
             including transportation of troops and equipment, air assault and




             Page 5                                            GAO-03-300 Military Readiness
                                           reconnaissance, and search and rescue operations. Our review included a
                                           total of 49 different aircraft models (over 5,600 individual aircraft in 2002)
                                           in these five categories.6 These aircraft were considered by the services to
                                           be their key active-duty operational aircraft.7 Table 1 lists these aircraft
                                           models, along with the military service using them, and their MC and FMC
                                           goals for fiscal year 2002.




Table 1: Key DOD Aircraft Models

2002 mission capable/full mission capable goals in percents
              Fighter/Attack                                  Electronic              Tankers/Cargo
Category      aircraft                 Bombers                command/control         aircraft                Helicopters
Aircraft      A-10 Thunderbolt         B-1 Lancer             E-3 Sentry              C-5 Galaxy              AH-64A Apache
Service       Air Force                Air Force              Air Force               Air Force               Army
                 a    b
Goal          82 /NA                   67a/NAb                85a/NAb                 75a/45b                 75a/70b
Aircraft      F-15 Eagle               B-2 Spirit             E-8 Joint Stars         C-17 Globemaster        AH-64D Apache
Service       Air Force                Air Force              Air Force               Air Force               Army
                 a    b                   a   b                  a    b                  a  b                   a   b
Goal          83 /NA                   50 /NA                 75 /NA                  88 /78                  75 /70
Aircraft      F-15E Eagle              B-52 Stratofortress    RC-135 Rivet Joint      C-130 Hercules          UH-60A Black Hawk
Service       Air Force                Air Force              Air Force               Air Force               Army
                 a    b
Goal          81 /NA                   80a/NAb                75a/NAb                 75a/48b                 80a/75b
Aircraft      F-16 Fighting Falcon                            U-2                     C-141 Starlifter        UH-60L Black Hawk
Service       Air Force                                       Air Force               Air Force               Army
                 a    b
Goal          83 /NA                                          85a/NAb                 80a/59b                 80a/75b
Aircraft      F-117 Nighthawk                                 S-3B Viking             KC-135 Stratotanker     CH-47D Chinook
Service       Air Force                                       Navy                    Air Force               Army
                 a    b                                          a  b                    a  b                   a   b
Goal          80 /NA                                          70 /54                  85 /77                  75 /70
Aircraft      F-14A Tomcat                                    E-2C Hawkeye            KC-10 Extender          OH-58D Kiowa
Service       Navy                                            Navy                    Air Force               Army
                 a  b
Goal          65 /50                                          70a/54b                 85a/77b                 75a/70b
Aircraft      F-14B Tomcat                                    P-3C Orion              KC-130F Hercules        SH-60B Seahawk
Service       Navy                                            Navy                    Marines                 Navy
                 a  b                                            a  b                    a  b                   a   b
Goal          65 /50                                          85 /61                  72 /53                  77 /58
Aircraft      F-14 D Tomcat                                   EA-6B Prowler           KC-130R Hercules        SH-60F Seahawk
Service       Navy                                            Navy / Marines          Marines                 Navy
                 a  b
Goal          71 /61                                          73a/54b                 75a/58b                 75a/60b



                                           6
                                            Three models (F/A-18A, F/A-18C, and EA-6B) were used by both the Navy and Marines.
                                           For our analyses, the Navy and Marine versions of each were considered to be separate
                                           models.
                                           7
                                            To determine which aircraft should be included in the scope of our review, we used
                                           listings of key active duty aircraft provided by each service. We excluded aircraft operated
                                           by reserve units from the scope of our review, as well as active duty aircraft used for
                                           training and for transporting service officials on official business.




                                           Page 6                                                      GAO-03-300 Military Readiness
 2002 mission capable/full mission capable goals in percents
               Fighter/Attack                                Electronic        Tankers/Cargo
 Category      aircraft                 Bombers              command/control   aircraft              Helicopters
 Aircraft      F/A-18A Hornet                                                                        MH-53E Sea Dragon
 Service       Navy /Marines                                                                         Navy
                  a  b
 Goal          75 /58                                                                                70a/60b
 Aircraft      F/A-18C Hornet                                                                        CH-46E Sea Knight
 Service       Navy / Marines                                                                        Marines
                  a  b
 Goal          75 /58                                                                                80a/77b
 Aircraft      F/A-18D Hornet                                                                        CH-53D Sea Stallion
 Service       Marines                                                                               Marines
                  a  b                                                                                 a   b
 Goal          75 /58                                                                                73 /65
 Aircraft      F/A-18E Super Hornet                                                                  CH-53E Super Stallion
 Service       Navy                                                                                  Marines
                  a  b                                                                                 a   b
 Goal          75 /58                                                                                70 /60
 Aircraft      AV-8B Harrier                                                                         AH-1W Super Cobra
 Service       Marines                                                                               Marines
                  a  b
 Goal          76 /70                                                                                85a/75b
 Aircraft                                                                                            UH-1N Huey
 Service                                                                                             Marines
                                                                                                       a   b
 Goal                                                                                                85 /75
Source: Military services’ records.

                                         Legend: NA = not applicable.
                                         a
                                          2002 mission capable goal.
                                         b
                                          2002 full mission capable goal.


                                         DOD Instruction 3110.5, dated September 1990, requires all military
                                         services to establish quantitative availability goals and corresponding
                                         condition status measurements for these aircraft and other mission-
                                         essential systems and equipment. The goals established must estimate the
                                         maximum aircraft performance that is achievable on the basis of the
                                         aircraft’s design characteristics and planned peacetime usage, and
                                         assuming full funding and optimal operation of the peacetime manpower
                                         and logistic support systems. Military personnel, civilian contractors, or
                                         both may perform the required maintenance under these systems. The
                                         instruction prescribes a basic set of condition status measures, including
                                         FMC, partial MC, and MC, that each service must use to describe the
                                         capability of systems or equipment. FMC indicates that an aircraft has all
                                         of the mission-essential systems and equipment it needs to perform all of
                                         its missions installed and operating safely. Mission-essential systems are
                                         those required to perform primary functions such as fire control, bombing,
                                         communications, electronic countermeasures, or radar. Partial MC
                                         indicates that an aircraft has the operable mission-essential equipment it
                                         needs to perform at least one of its missions, but not all. For example, an
                                         aircraft expected to be able to carry troops into combat during wartime in



                                         Page 7                                                GAO-03-300 Military Readiness
                            all weather conditions, as well as to be able to fly humanitarian missions
                            during peacetime, would be considered partial MC if some of its
                            equipment were broken and it could fly only humanitarian missions in
                            clear weather. MC consists of the sum of the partial MC and FMC
                            measures; that is, the number of MC aircraft is equivalent to the sum of the
                            aircraft rated partial MC and the aircraft rated FMC. This report focuses
                            on MC and FMC goals because the Army, Navy/Marines, and parts of the
                            Air Force do not establish separate partial MC goals.


                            Many of DOD’s key aircraft have been unable to meet their MC and FMC
DOD Aircraft                goals since at least 1998. For example, during fiscal years 1998-2002, only
Experienced                 23-35 percent of the 49 aircraft models we reviewed were able to meet
                            their MC goals, and 31-49 percent met their FMC goals.8 In most cases, the
Widespread Problems         actual rates were at least 5 percentage points below the goals. Average MC
in Meeting MC and           and FMC rates varied by service and type of aircraft. For example, the
                            Army and Air Force had the highest average MC rates, followed by the
FMC Goals                   Marines and the Navy. These rates have increased slightly since fiscal year
                            2001 in all services except the Navy. Among aircraft types, the average MC
                            rates varied from 60 to 80 percent. Average MC rates were the highest for
                            helicopters, followed by cargo aircraft and tankers, fighter/attack aircraft,
                            bombers, and electronic command/control aircraft. While the rates have
                            fluctuated, MC and FMC goals have generally remained constant over
                            time. Since 1998, only 11 of 49 aircraft models (22 percent) experienced a
                            change to their goals—and 7 of these changes were to raise the goals.


Less Than One-Half of the   DOD’s key, high-demand aircraft have experienced widespread difficulties
Aircraft Models Met Goals   in meeting MC and FMC goals since at least 1998. (Appendix I provides a
                            full listing of MC and FMC goals, rates, and other information by year for
                            each aircraft model we reviewed.) For example, during fiscal years 1998-
                            2002, the percentage of aircraft models meeting their MC goals never




                            8
                             FMC goals appear to be more difficult to meet because aircraft must be capable of
                            performing more missions to meet them than MC goals. However, since the FMC goals
                            were always lower, this resulted in higher percentages of aircraft models meeting the FMC
                            goals in fiscal years 1998-2001. For example, current MC goals range from 3 to 30
                            percentage points higher than FMC goals, with an average difference of 13 percentage
                            points.




                            Page 8                                                    GAO-03-300 Military Readiness
exceeded 35 percent. (See fig. 1.)9 During this period, the rates for the
individual aircraft models were more than 5 percentage points below their
MC goals in 62 percent of the cases. The percentage of aircraft models
meeting FMC goals during the same period ranged from 31 to 49
percentage points, and 71 percent of the cases were more than 5
percentage points below the goals.

Figure 1: Percentage of Aircraft Models Meeting MC and FMC Goals, Fiscal Years
1998-2002




At the service level, Army aircraft generally met their MC goals the most
frequently, followed by the Marine Corps, Air Force, and Navy. (See fig. 2.)
The same rank order held for FMC goals.




9
 The services provided overall yearly MC and FMC rates for each aircraft model we
reviewed. We computed the percentage of aircraft models meeting their MC and FMC goals
by taking the ratio of the total number of aircraft models meeting the goal in that year to
the total number of aircraft models that could have met the goals in that year.




Page 9                                                    GAO-03-300 Military Readiness
                            Figure 2: Percentage of Aircraft Models Meeting MC Goals by Service, Fiscal Years
                            1998-2002




                            As previously shown in table 1, the level at which the goals were set
                            showed little consistency, varying widely even among the same type of
                            aircraft. For example, MC goals for the bombers in our review ranged from
                            50 to 80 percent, and MC goals for the fighters, from 65 to 83 percent.


Actual MC Rates Varied by   Actual MC rates also varied between services and the various aircraft
Service and Type of         types. MC and FMC rates are based on the ratio of the number of hours an
Aircraft                    aircraft was actually available to the total number of hours it could have
                            been available. The Navy/Marines and Air Force reduce the latter figure by
                            the amount of time an aircraft was away for scheduled depot maintenance,
                            while the Army does not make this adjustment. We computed the average
                            rates by service and aircraft type from service data on the total number of
                            hours each aircraft model was MC and FMC, and the total hours each
                            aircraft model was available each year.




                            Page 10                                              GAO-03-300 Military Readiness
The average annual MC and FMC rates for the services as a whole are
shown in figures 3 and 4. The Army and the Air Force had the highest
average MC rates, at 77-83 percent during fiscal years 1998-2002; followed
by the Marines, at about 71-75 percent; and the Navy, at 61-67 percent. A
similar pattern follows for the average FMC rates for the services.

Figure 3: Average Annual MC Rates by Service, Fiscal Years 1998-2002




Page 11                                             GAO-03-300 Military Readiness
Figure 4: Average Annual FMC Rates by Service, Fiscal Years 1998-2002




When grouped by type of aircraft, average annual MC rates were highest
for helicopters (76-80 percent), cargo/tankers (75-79 percent), and
fighter/attack aircraft (75-77 percent). Average annual MC rates for
bombers (64-69 percent) and electronic command/control aircraft (60-67
percent) were somewhat lower. Average FMC rates showed similar rank
orders. (See figs. 5 and 6.)




Page 12                                            GAO-03-300 Military Readiness
Figure 5: Average Annual MC Rates by Aircraft Type, Fiscal Years 1998-2002




Note: EC/C refers to electronic command and control aircraft




Page 13                                                        GAO-03-300 Military Readiness
                           Figure 6: Average Annual FMC Rates by Aircraft Type, Fiscal Years 1998-2002




                           Note: EC/C refers to electronic command and control aircraft.




Goals Generally Remained   MC and FMC goals have generally remained constant over time. Since
Constant over Time         1998, only 11 of 49 aircraft models (22 percent) experienced a change to
                           their MC goals, FMC goals, or both. Seven models had their goals raised,
                           and three had their goals lowered. One model’s MC goal was changed but
                           then returned to its initial level. Ten of the 11 changes were for aircraft
                           operated by the Air Force. The remaining change was for a Marine Corps
                           aircraft. (See app. I for additional details.)

                           In fiscal year 2002, for example, the Air Force raised the MC goal for its E-
                           8 Joint Stars electronic command and control aircraft from 73 to 75
                           percent. According to officials, the E-8 is a relatively new (3-year-old)
                           aircraft that is slowly increasing its performance level as it matures and
                           Air Force maintenance personnel understand the aircraft better. The
                           increase in the MC rate was based on an analysis of actual E-8 MC rates



                           Page 14                                                         GAO-03-300 Military Readiness
that were showing an upward trend in performance. The Air Force is the
only service that routinely conducts formal reviews of its goals. Air Force
officials told us that they generally try to keep the goals high because it is
difficult to stop the goals from dropping further once they begin to be
lowered. Moreover, officials believed that contractors need to be held to
high standards to keep spare parts inventories and other aspects of
maintenance at high levels. In another case, the MC goal for the Marine
Corps’ F/A-18D Hornet fighter was raised from 60 to 75 percent, and its
FMC goal, from 46 to 58 percent at the beginning of fiscal year 2000.
According to Navy documents, this increase was due to a change in the
aircraft’s assigned mission.

While most of the goals were either unchanged or increased, the Air
Force’s Air Combat Command developed a set of interim goals in fiscal
year 2000 for some of the fighters, bombers, and electronic
command/control aircraft under its command. These interim goals were
lower than its official MC goals.10 In 1999, the Command determined that
problems with suppliers and manpower shortages were undercutting its
ability to meet MC goals and lowering unit morale. To combat this
problem, the Command developed the interim goals listed in table 2. In
2002, the Command returned to using the pre-2000 goals for all but six
aircraft (A-10, E-3, F-15 C/D, F-15 E, RC-135, and U-2). According to
Command officials, the lower goals applied only to their units. Goals for
suppliers remained at official levels to keep spare parts inventories high.
Neither the other services nor the Air Force’s other major commands
responsible for aircraft operations have developed interim goals.




10
 The Air Force refers to the MC and FMC goals as “standards.” For simplicity and
consistency with the other services, we use the term “goals” throughout this report.




Page 15                                                    GAO-03-300 Military Readiness
                             Table 2: Air Combat Command Interim MC Goals, Fiscal Years 2000-2002

                              Percent
                                                        2000                       2001                   2002
                              Aircraft          MC goal Interim goal       MC goal Interim goal   MC goal Interim goal
                              A-10                   84           74            84           78        82           78
                              B-1                    67           57            67           63        67          NA
                              B-52                   80           79            80          NA         80          NA
                              E-3                    85           73            85           81        85           83
                              F-15 C/D               83           75            83           77        83           81
                              F-15 E                 80           75            80           77        81           77
                              F-16                   84           79            84           81        83          NA
                              RC-135                 75           65            75           72        75           72
                              U-2                    85           83            85           84        85           80
                             Source: U.S. Air Force, Air Combat Command.

                             Legend: NA = not applicable




                             According to DOD officials, difficulties in meeting MC and FMC goals are
Mission Capable              caused by a complex combination of interrelated logistical and operational
Problems Caused by a         factors, with no dominating single problem. The complexity of aircraft
                             design, the lack of availability and experience of maintenance personnel,
Combination of               aircraft age and usage patterns, shortages of spare parts, depot
Factors                      maintenance systems and other operational factors, and perceived funding
                             shortages were all identified as causes of difficulties in meeting the goals.
                             As indicated below, our work found that some indicated factors were valid
                             causes, while the impact of others was less certain.


Aircraft Design Considered   Officials believe that the complexity of military aircraft affects its
Key                          availability, and thus its ability to meet MC goals. Military aircraft are
                             designed to handle a specific set of missions and provide a specific set of
                             capabilities over a projected useful lifespan. According to officials, each
                             aircraft can be inherently complex and maintenance intensive, or,
                             depending upon the missions and capabilities it was designed to provide,
                             simple and easy to maintain. For example, the B-2 bomber had the lowest
                             MC rates (32-44 percent) of any aircraft we reviewed. However, according
                             to Air Combat Command officials, one reason for these low rates is the
                             complex design of the aircraft. The B-2 is a very advanced aircraft with
                             low observable (stealthy) characteristics using new composite materials,
                             and Air Force personnel are still learning how to maintain the aircraft. In
                             contrast, the B-52 bomber had some of the highest MC rates (76-84
                             percent) of all the aircraft we reviewed. According to Air Force officials,



                             Page 16                                                      GAO-03-300 Military Readiness
                        the B-52 is a relatively simple and flexible design intended for ease of
                        maintenance and durability.


Availability and        Service officials also frequently linked shortages of the total number of
Experience of           maintenance personnel, as well as their experience level, to the failure to
Maintenance Personnel   meet MC goals. Navy officials told us that the growing sophistication of
                        their aircraft in general requires maintenance personnel to take longer to
Have an Impact          learn the complex computer and electronic skills needed to handle the
                        aircraft. However, high demand for these skills in the private sector makes
                        it difficult to retain personnel with these maintenance skills, leading to
                        turnover and increasing the difficulty in meeting the MC goals. Similarly, a
                        recent study published in the Air Force Journal of Logistics found that
                        the number and experience level of maintenance personnel correlated
                        highly with the MC rates of F-16 aircraft.11 As the number of experienced
                        personnel assigned to an aircraft increased, the MC rates increased as
                        well. Army officials also cited shortages of experienced maintenance
                        personnel as a cause of lower MC and FMC rates. However, they also
                        stated that it may be possible to raise the rates by maximizing the time that
                        maintenance personnel actually spend maintaining the aircraft. For
                        example, one Army Audit Agency study in 1998 found that maintenance
                        personnel at one unit were spending about 70 percent of their time on
                        nonmaintenance activities such as administrative duties, training, and time
                        attending to personal duties.12

                        Personnel management is an area that we have cited as a major
                        management challenge and program risk for DOD.13 For years, DOD has
                        been wrestling with shortages of key personnel because of retention
                        problems. In 1999 we reported that the majority of factors cited as sources
                        of dissatisfaction and reasons to leave the military were related to work




                        11
                          Steven A. Oliver, et al, “Forecasting Readiness: Regression Analysis Techniques,” Air
                        Force Journal of Logistics (fall 2001): 1, 3, 31-43.
                        12
                         Army Audit Agency, Aviation Maintenance: 25th Infantry Division (Light) and U.S. Army
                        Hawaii, AA 98-185 (May 4, 1998).
                        13
                         See U.S. General Accounting Office, Major Management Challenges and Program Risks:
                        Departments of Defense, State, and Veterans Affairs, GAO-01-492T (Washington, D.C.: Mar.
                        7, 2001).




                        Page 17                                                    GAO-03-300 Military Readiness
                            circumstances, such as the lack of spare parts and materials needed to
                            perform daily job requirements.14


Aircraft Age and Usage      The advancing age and usage patterns of aircraft were other factors often
Patterns Also Believed to   cited by service officials as reasons why aircraft did not meet MC goals.
Influence Availability      DOD’s inventory of aircraft is getting older. The Congressional Budget
                            Office recently reported that from 1980 to 2000, the average age of active-
                            duty Navy aircraft rose from 11 years to more than 16 years; Air Force
                            aircraft, from 13 to more than 20 years; and Army helicopters, from 10 to
                            over 17 years.15 Logistics officials told us that aging influences on MC rates
                            typically follow a cyclical pattern over the life of an aircraft. When aircraft
                            are initially introduced, they go through a “shake down” period and have
                            low MC rates as new equipment and supply systems stabilize and
                            maintenance personnel learn to understand the aircraft. Eventually, MC
                            rates begin to rise and then stabilize at a higher working level. However, as
                            more and more flying time is accrued over the passing years, problems due
                            to materials and parts fatigue, corrosion, and obsolescence increase, and
                            MC rates begin to fall again. Modernization programs are then instituted to
                            replace worn and obsolete equipment, and the pattern begins again.

                            Although age may affect MC rates, we found no statistical evidence that
                            age alone explains difficulties in meeting MC goals. For example, our
                            analysis of average aircraft ages and 2002 MC rates found no indication
                            that older aircraft have the lowest MC rates. (See table 3.)16 With an
                            average age of 40 years, the B-52 is the second oldest aircraft in DOD’s
                            inventory. However, its MC rate of 81 for 2002 and historical MC rates
                            consistently in the upper 70s and low 80s rank it among the highest
                            performers we reviewed. According to Air Force officials at the Air
                            Combat Command, in addition to their simplicity, B-52s have a relatively
                            low number of actual flight hours, averaging about 16,000 hours each
                            despite their age. These officials believed that accrued flight hours are a
                            more appropriate measure of wear and tear than chronological age.



                            14
                             See U.S. General Accounting Office, Military Personnel: Perspectives of Surveyed
                            Service Members in Retention Critical Specialties, GAO/NSIAD-99-197BR (Washington,
                            D.C.: August. 16, 1999).
                            15
                             Congressional Budget Office, CBO Paper: The Effects of Aging on the Costs of Operating
                            and Maintaining Military Equipment (Washington, D.C.: August 2001).
                            16
                             We performed a statistical test of the relationship between average age in years and the
                            MC level and found no relationship between those two factors.




                            Page 18                                                    GAO-03-300 Military Readiness
Moreover, according to these officials, the B-52 was originally scheduled
to retire in the mid-1990s. However, because of its durability and
flexibility, the Air Force decided to retain the aircraft until the average age
reaches 32,000 hours, projected at about 2040.

Table 3: Aircraft Ages and 2002 MC Rates/Goals

                                           2002 MC                     Average      2002 MC
 Aircraft                  Average        rate/goal         Aircraft       age     rate/goal
 model                   age (years)      (percent)           model     (years)    (percent)
 KC-130F                        40.1          64/72           F-14D        15.3        67/71
 B-52                           40.0          81/80             B-1        14.6        61/67
 KC-135                         39.6          82/85         CH-47D         14.4        75/75
 RC-135                         38.3          76/75         AH-64A         14.2        83/75
 C-141                          35.0          74/80         SH-60B         13.7        63/77
 CH-46E                         33.6          76/80         CH-53E         13.7        70/70
 CH-53D                         31.9          78/73          AH-1W         12.3        73/85
 C-130                          29.2          81/75         MH-53E         11.5        48/70
 UH-1N                          27.6          69/85            F-16        11.1        80/83
 S-3B                           26.2          43/70           F-117        10.7        83/80
 KC-130R                        25.4          65/75         SH-60F         10.6        54/75
 P-3C                           24.5          61/85           F-15E        10.2        76/81
 E-3                            22.0          74/85   F/A-18C-Navy         10.2        66/75
 F-14A                          21.0          69/65        F/A-18C-        10.2        82/75
                                                             Marine
 A-10                              20.1      76/82             E-2C        10.2        51/70
 C-5                               20.0      66/75          F/A-18D         9.6        78/75
 EA-6B-Navy                        19.8      58/73          OH-58D          8.5        88/75
 EA-6B-                            19.8      68/73          UH-60L          7.6        84/80
 Marine
 F-15C/D                           18.7      79/83             B-2          7.4        44/50
 UH-60A                            18.4      76/80           AV-8B          7.0        71/76
 U-2                               18.3      76/85            C-17          4.1        83/88
 KC-10                             16.9      83/85         AH-64D           3.3        83/75
 F-14B                             16.0      73/65             E-8          3.0        84/75
 F/A-18A-                          16.0      62/75         F/A-18E          1.8        71/75
 Navy
 F/A-18A-                          16.0      80/75
 Marine
Source: Military services’ data.



Logistics officials also believe that MC rates are affected by usage patterns
and whether the aircraft is operated under the conditions for which it was
designed. Officials told us that the large increase in deployments in recent
years has caused many DOD aircraft to be operated at rates higher than
expected during their design, thus accelerating aging problems. For


Page 19                                                         GAO-03-300 Military Readiness
                          example, according to the Air Force Journal of Logistics study, F-15
                          fighters sent to Saudi Arabia in 1997 were flown at over three times their
                          normal rate.17


Spare Parts Inventories   Shortages of spare parts have been recognized by us and others for years
Critical                  as a major contributor to lower-than-expected MC rates. As a result, we
                          have also cited DOD inventory management as a major management
                          challenge and program risk since 1990.18 Service officials continued to cite
                          spare parts shortages as a frequent cause of difficulties in meeting MC
                          goals. Spare parts shortages are caused by a number of problems,
                          including underestimates of demand, and contracting and other problems
                          associated with aging aircraft or small aircraft fleets.

                          We have reported on DOD’s problems in estimating aircraft spare parts
                          requirements for years. For example, in 1999 and again in 2001, we
                          reported that shortages of spare parts caused by inaccurate forecasting of
                          inventory requirements was degrading MC rates for key Air Force aircraft
                          such as the B-1B bomber, C-5 cargo planes, and F-16 fighters.19 In 2001 we
                          reported that key Navy aircraft were also having readiness problems
                          because of spare parts shortages resulting from underestimates of
                          demand.20 Officials continued to raise this issue as an underlying factor in
                          spare parts shortages. In addition, some officials also believed that the
                          higher operating tempos associated with increased deployments have
                          caused parts to fail quicker than expected, exacerbating weaknesses in
                          forecasting inventory requirements.

                          Air Force officials told us that aging aircraft, in particular, may experience
                          parts shortages and delays in repairs because original manufacturers may
                          no longer make required parts. To obtain a new part, officials must wait
                          for it to be manufactured. However, this may not be a high priority for the


                          17
                           Steven A. Oliver, et al (fall 2001).
                          18
                           See GAO-01-492T.
                          19
                           See U.S. General Accounting Office, Defense Inventory: Continuing Challenges in
                          Managing Inventories and Avoiding Adverse Operational Effects, GAO/T-NSIAD-99-83
                          (Washington, D.C.: Feb. 25, 1999), and U.S. General Accounting Office, Air Force
                          Inventory: Parts Shortages Are Impacting Operations and Maintenance Effectiveness,
                          GAO-01-587 (Washington, D.C.: June 27, 2001).
                          20
                           See U.S. General Accounting Office, Navy Inventory: Parts Shortages Are Impacting
                          Operations and Maintenance Effectiveness, GAO-01-771 (Washington, D.C.: July 31, 2001).




                          Page 20                                                 GAO-03-300 Military Readiness
                        commercial supplier because of the relatively low profit potential.
                        Alternatively, another company could make the part if the original
                        manufacturer were willing to give up its proprietary rights. However, this
                        can take longer and be more expensive than simply waiting for the original
                        manufacturer. Moreover, officials also told us that spare parts inventories
                        are sometimes reduced when aircraft are nearing the end of their
                        projected life. For example, Air Force officials said that in the mid-1990s
                        they began to shut down the spare parts supply for the B-52 because of its
                        anticipated retirement. This resulted in a depletion of inventories, the
                        canceling of contracts, and ultimately a drop in MC rates from 1997 to
                        2000. As a result of the decision to retain the B-52, the supply system is
                        recovering and MC rates are moving up.

                        Similarly, the size of the aircraft fleet can also influence spare parts
                        inventories and MC rates. According to officials, manufacturers may see
                        little profit in stocking large inventories of spare parts for a small fleet of
                        specialized military aircraft. Small fleets of aircraft can also suffer from
                        having their MC rates strongly influenced by the MC failures of just a few
                        aircraft. Large fleets of aircraft also have an advantage in having more
                        opportunities to remove serviceable parts from one aircraft and install
                        them in another—termed “cannibalizing”—thus helping to insulate their
                        MC rates from the impact of parts shortages. However, we recently
                        reported that while cannibalization is a widespread practice among the
                        services, it increases maintenance personnel workloads and lowers morale
                        and retention.21


Maintenance Approach    Air Force and Navy officials cited changes to their maintenance
and Other Operational   approaches as a significant cause of slower repair times and lowered MC
Factors May Affect MC   rates. In the mid-1990s the Air Force changed from a three-level
                        maintenance approach to a two-level approach.22 This change moved much
Rates                   of the intermediate maintenance functions, such as the replacement or



                        21
                         See U.S. General Accounting Office, Military Aircraft: Services Need Strategies to
                        Reduce Cannibalizations, GAO-02-86 (Washington, D.C.: Nov. 21, 2001).
                        22
                          Under the three-level approach, maintenance is divided into organizational, intermediate,
                        and depot categories. Organizational maintenance is performed at the air base level and
                        includes functions such as inspections, minor repairs, and servicing. Intermediate
                        maintenance generally takes place at shops on the air bases and consists of activities such
                        as calibration, repair, or the emergency manufacture of parts, and technical assistance. The
                        more sophisticated depot maintenance requires more extensive facilities and is conducted
                        at government or contractor industrial facilities.




                        Page 21                                                    GAO-03-300 Military Readiness
emergency manufacture of parts, away from the air base level to
centralized maintenance depots. According to officials at both the Air
Combat Command and Air Mobility Command, these changes slowed the
pace of repairs significantly. Repair expertise was taken away from the
base level, and aircraft were shipped away from home base more often for
repairs. Moreover, officials believed that many experienced maintenance
people were lost as they refused to move to other locations associated
with the reorganizations. In this regard, our 1996 review of depot closures
noted that DOD’s outplacement program helped limit the number of
involuntary separations and that jobs were often available for employees
willing to relocate.23

The Army continues to use a three-level maintenance system, as does the
Navy. However, Navy officials said they also changed their system in the
mid-1990s by introducing the integrated maintenance concept. This
approach, in contrast to the Air Force approach, increased the amount of
aircraft modernization and other work performed at the base level during
a time when funding for depot-level work was being reduced. However,
officials believed this change overloaded the base-level maintenance
systems and ultimately lowered reported MC rates.

From fiscal year 1988 to fiscal 2001, DOD reduced the number of major
depots from 38 to 19. During this same period, the maintenance workforce
was reduced by about 60 percent (from 156,000 to 64,500). These
reductions were the result of overall force structure reductions since the
end of the Cold War, as well as DOD’s desire to reduce costs by relying
more on the private sector for the performance of depot maintenance. We
have raised concerns that DOD’s downsizing of its depot infrastructure
and workforce was done without sound strategic planning and that
investments in facilities, equipment, and personnel in recent years have
not been sufficient to ensure the long-term viability of the depots.24

Other operational factors can also affect MC rates. For example, from 1997
to 2000, the Air Force’s B-1 bomber had a major power system problem
that lowered MC rates by 12 points. To address the problem, the Air



23
 See U.S. General Accounting Office, Closing Maintenance Depots: Savings, Workload,
and Redistribution Issues, GAO/NSIAD-96-29 (Washington, D.C.: Mar. 4, 1996).
24
 See U.S. General Accounting Office, Defense Logistics: Actions Needed to Overcome
Capability Gaps in the Public Depot System, GAO-02-105 (Washington, D.C.: Oct. 12,
2001).




Page 22                                                 GAO-03-300 Military Readiness
                       Combat Command instituted a system of frequent video teleconferences
                       between the offices involved in the maintenance response to provide more
                       intensive management of the response. This approach worked, as the MC
                       rate climbed by 9 points by 2002. Management integration between the
                       operations and logistics sides of the organization was also viewed as key.
                       Good coordination between these two groups is essential because of the
                       complex and multifaceted causes of MC problems. Finally, Air Force
                       officials noted that some of the problems with Air Force MC rates could be
                       explained by a change in reporting procedures. During the mid-1990s, the
                       Air Force returned an aircraft to MC status after it was repaired but prior
                       to the actual check flight to ensure that it was operating correctly. Now,
                       the aircraft must pass the check flight before being classified as MC.
                       Officials believe that this change would tend to lower MC rates slightly.


Funding Levels Raise   Officials from all services cited underfunding of spare parts inventories,
Concerns               maintenance depots, and other aspects of the maintenance and supply
                       systems as a key problem. For example, Army and Navy officials told us
                       that they often use remanufactured parts instead of new parts to save
                       money.

                       DOD reports in its Fiscal Year 2000 Performance Report that it has
                       increased funding for spare parts and depot maintenance requirements.25
                       For example, the report indicates that funding for depot maintenance
                       increased from $5.58 billion to $7.01 billion from fiscal year 1997 to fiscal
                       1999 (most recent year that data are available). However, the report also
                       acknowledges an unfunded requirement of about $1.18 billion in fiscal
                       year 1999. Notwithstanding claims regarding the lack of funding for spare
                       parts, we recently reported that when provided additional funds for spare
                       parts, DOD was unable to confirm that those additional funds were used
                       for that purpose.26

                       The pressures for more funding to maintain DOD’s aircraft may well go up
                       even more in coming years as the aircraft inventory continues to age. The
                       Congressional Budget Office estimates that spending for operations and




                       25
                        See U.S. Department of Defense, Government Performance and Results Act: Department
                       of Defense FY 2000 Performance Report (Washington, D.C.: Mar. 2001).
                       26
                        See U.S. General Accounting Office, Defense Inventory: Information on the Use of Spare
                       Parts Funding Is Lacking, GAO-01-472 (Washington, D.C.: June 11, 2001).




                       Page 23                                                 GAO-03-300 Military Readiness
                             maintenance for aircraft increases by 1 to 3 percent for every additional
                             year of age.27


                             Despite the importance of MC and FMC goals as measures of readiness
DOD’S Goal-Setting           and logistical funding needs, we found widespread uncertainty over how
Process Is Largely           the services’ MC and FMC goals were established and who is responsible
                             for establishing them, as well as basic questions about the adequacy of
Undefined and                those goals as measures of aircraft availability. The services could not
Undocumented                 explain and document how the original MC and FMC goals were set for
                             any of the aircraft in our review. Furthermore, some officials questioned
                             which goals are the best to use in reviewing aircraft availability: MC goals,
                             FMC goals, or perhaps a new type of goal. DOD’s instruction provides little
                             or no guidance on these and other key issues. DOD officials told us that
                             the instruction has not been updated to reflect the current environment of
                             increased deployments and other changes since the end of the Cold War.


Goals Are Important          MC and FMC goals are used as fundamental measures of readiness
Indicators of Readiness,     throughout DOD, used as indicators of operational effectiveness, and used
Operational Effectiveness,   to help determine the size of spare parts inventories and other logistical
                             resources needed to maintain aircraft availability. As a result, the level at
and Logistical Funding       which the goals are set can influence not only perceptions about
Needs                        operations and readiness, but also millions of dollars in spending for
                             logistical operations.

                             In addition to the requirement to maintain MC and FMC data set forth by
                             DOD Instruction 3110.5, the services use MC and FMC measures as a
                             component of overall unit readiness determinations under DOD’s Global
                             Status of Resources and Training System.28 The System requires
                             commanders to rate their unit’s readiness at levels 1 (highest) through 5 on
                             the basis of a combination of their professional judgment and the
                             readiness ratings in four specific areas: personnel, training, equipment on
                             hand, and equipment condition. MC and FMC measures are used to
                             determine the ratings for equipment condition. For example, the Army
                             measures equipment condition (termed “serviceability” by the Army) for


                             27
                              See Congressional Budget Office (August 2001).
                             28
                              The Global Status of Resources and Training System is the automated reporting system
                             within DOD used as the central registry of readiness information for all U.S. operational
                             units.




                             Page 24                                                    GAO-03-300 Military Readiness
aircraft by using the FMC rate. An FMC rate of 75 percent or more is
required for a level-1 readiness rating, the highest available. Congress also
requires DOD to include Status of Resources and Training System
information on the condition of equipment as well as specific information
on equipment that is not mission capable in its quarterly readiness reports
to Congress. These reports assist Congress in its general responsibilities
for overseeing DOD readiness and operations.

Similarly, according to DOD and service officials, MC and FMC goals are
used as management tools within DOD units to diagnose problems and
motivate personnel. For example, officials in the Air Combat Command
told us that their use of lower interim goals beginning in fiscal year 2000
was an attempt to raise unit morale that had suffered as a result of their
inability to meet the actual goals owing to shortages of personnel and
spare parts. In this regard, DOD’s instruction specifically calls for the
services to use the goals and condition status measurements, such as MC
and FMC, to review maintenance and supply effectiveness and to have
programs to identify and correct problems with systems and equipment.

Service officials told us that the goals also affect DOD’s funding levels
because the goals are used to help determine the size of spare parts
inventories and other logistical resources needed. Higher goals require
more money to maintain parts inventories and other resources needed to
achieve the goals. For example, officials told us that in the early 1990s, a
$100 million contract for logistics support for one Air Force aircraft
contained an MC goal of 90 percent. During this period, the contractor
kept supply bins full of parts and MC goals were met. However, in the mid-
1990s a new contractor was brought in, and the MC goal was dropped to
85 percent. According to Air Force officials, their decision to lower the MC
goal by 5 percentage points allowed the contractor to lower spare parts
inventories and reduced the price of the maintenance contract by $10
million. However, MC rates also dropped and eventually fell below the
new goal. The services have developed mathematical models to determine
the size and cost of the spare parts inventories needed to support various
levels of MC and FMC goals and other measures of aircraft availability. For
example, the Navy uses a model called “Readiness Based Sparing” that
takes a given FMC goal and determines the level of funding and spare
parts inventories needed to reach that goal. Such models are useful in the
case of spare parts inventories. However, we were not able to identify any
models in widespread operational use that integrated the other influences
on MC rates, such as maintenance personnel assigned, into an overall
model able to predict the impact of changes in those resources on MC and
FMC rates. Army and Air Force officials told us that they had recently


Page 25                                           GAO-03-300 Military Readiness
                            developed such integrated models, and they are currently in limited use to
                            test their validity. Navy officials told us that they did not yet have an
                            integrated model.

                            The potential amount of funds affected by the level at which MC and FMC
                            goals are set is large. Military service estimates of the spending of
                            operations and maintenance funds for aircraft spares and repair parts
                            were over $7 billion in fiscal year 2001.29 This figure does not include
                            spending from other sources such as procurement and working capital
                            funds.


Methods Used to Set Goals   Precisely how MC and FMC goals are established is unknown. DOD
Unknown                     officials said that a combined DOD and military service team establishes
                            operational requirements and MC goals during the acquisition process.
                            After approval, these requirements are recorded in the Operational
                            Requirements Document or other documents associated with the process.
                            According to officials, part of this process involves an engineering analysis
                            of the expected operational availability of the aircraft and the underlying
                            level of maintenance support elements needed. “Operational availability”
                            is an engineering term referring to the probability that equipment is not
                            down owing to failure.30 In comparison, MC and FMC goals represent the
                            expected percentage of time that an aircraft will be able to perform at
                            least one or all of its missions, respectively.

                            Service officials reviewed the acquisition documents for many of the
                            aircraft in our review, but were unable to explain and document how the
                            actual MC and FMC goals were chosen. According to officials, many of
                            these aircraft were acquired 20 to 30 years ago, under processes that have
                            changed over the years, and with no clear documentation of the basis for
                            the specific goal chosen. Moreover, there was often confusion over which
                            organizations were responsible for setting the goals.




                            29
                             See U.S. General Accounting Office, Defense Inventory: Better Reporting on Spare Parts
                            Spending Will Enhance Congressional Oversight, GAO-03-18 (Washington, D.C.: Oct. 24,
                            2002).
                            30
                              Operational availability is calculated by dividing the mean time between maintenance
                            events by the sum of the mean time between maintenance events and mean downtime
                            (time needed for corrective and preventive maintenance and waiting time).




                            Page 26                                                   GAO-03-300 Military Readiness
For example, Navy officials pointed to a 1996 Center for Naval Analyses
study that attempted to determine how the MC and FMC goals for Navy
aircraft were originally computed.31 According to the study, however, “no
one knows the origin of the numbers or the method used to compute
them. Now, the numbers are routed to knowledgeable people for revision,
which are made without documenting the rationale for the changes.” In a
July 17, 2002, letter to us, the Navy further explained that it believed that
the MC goals were established in the early 1980s “to be in line with the
reported status quo for the day” with “no analytical rigor applied at the
time of their birth.” We requested a written explanation of how the goals
were set because, despite repeated referrals to various offices over several
months, no Navy official could explain how the goals were established or
identify the responsible office. According to Navy officials, there was
uncertainty between the program and policy offices as to who is
responsible for establishing the goals and who should answer our
questions.

Similarly, Army officials could not explain how their goals were set, and
two separate Army organizations believed the other was responsible for
setting the goals. The Army’s written response to our request for an
explanation of how the goals were set (dated July 31, 2002) was prepared
by officials from the Army’s Training and Doctrine Command and
forwarded to us by a letter from the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for
Logistics. The Deputy Chief of Staff’s letter states that MC goals for Army
aircraft are extracted from the System Readiness Objective contained in
the Operational Requirements Document established during an aircraft’s
acquisition, and that the Training and Doctrine Command is responsible
for establishing the System Readiness Objectives.32 However, the Training
and Doctrine Command’s letter states that it does not set System
Readiness Objectives and that the Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics is
responsible for establishing readiness goals. Nonetheless, the Training and
Doctrine Command researched the operational requirements documents
for the Army aircraft in our review in an attempt to answer our question
about how the MC and FMC goals were set. The Command’s letter
identified the operational availability requirements for most of the aircraft
but did not explain how these requirements were set or make any
reference to the MC or FMC goals. Officials from the Office of the Deputy


31
 See Center for Naval Analyses, Naval Aviation Goals Study (Alexandria, Va.: June 1996).
32
 The System Readiness Objective is defined as the measurable criterion used to assess the
ability of a weapons system to undertake a set of missions at planned utilization rates.




Page 27                                                  GAO-03-300 Military Readiness
Chief of Staff for Logistics told us that the Army is considering changing
the FMC goals for all its aircraft to 75 percent to match the requirement for
the highest-level readiness rating for equipment serviceability under the
Global Status of Resources and Training System’s criterion. They did not
know how the 75-percent-readiness-rating criterion was chosen.

Air Force officials also could not explain how the initial MC and FMC
goals for their aircraft were established. Officials from the Air Combat
Command—responsible for Air Force fighters, bombers, and electronic
command/control aircraft in our review—told us that they could find no
historical record of the process used to establish most of the goals.
Similarly, officials from the Air Mobility Command—responsible for the
cargo and tanker aircraft—stated that the Command was formed in 1992
out of elements from the Military Airlift and Strategic Air Commands and
did not know how the previous Commands had established the goals.
According to these officials, each of the major Commands that operate
aircraft and other major weapon systems in the Air Force is responsible
for establishing its own MC goals, and no one has published a standardized
methodology to use. Moreover, some of the documentation related to the
goals was lost when the Military Airlift and Strategic Air Commands were
deactivated. Similar to the Navy, however, officials from both Commands
believed that the goals were set on the basis of the historical performance
of similar aircraft and/or subjective Command judgments.

While Air Force officials could not explain how the initial goals were
established, they told us that their annual reviews of the goals are based
on a mix of historical trend analysis and requirements reviews. The Air
Force is the only service that conducts formal reviews of its goals each
year. According to officials from the Air Mobility and Air Combat
Commands, until 1997-98, reviews of the goals in both Commands were
based on an analysis of actual historical MC and FMC rates. For example,
analysts at the Air Mobility Command compared the goals with the actual
rates for the previous 2 years. Depending upon actual performance, the
goal could then be changed, sometimes on the basis of subjective
judgments. According to Air Combat Command officials, the MC goal for
the B-2 bomber was set in fiscal year 2000 using an analysis of historical
rates and command judgment. The first B-2 was delivered in 1993.

In 1997-98, the two Air Force Commands began to develop so-called
“requirements-based analyses” to review the standards. According to
officials at the Air Combat Command, for example, it was recognized that
the historical approach to reviewing the standards can perpetuate
relatively low standards because it simply accepts the low funding levels


Page 28                                          GAO-03-300 Military Readiness
                         and other problems that may lower MC rates without focusing on actual
                         mission needs. The new approach attempts to factor in wartime
                         operational requirements, peacetime flying hour requirements for pilot
                         training, and other such requirements. A mix of both approaches is
                         currently used by the commands to review the goals.

                         The services also differed in their treatment of other important aspects of
                         managing the goals, such as whether to vary the goals on the basis of an
                         aircraft’s deployment posture. The Navy was the only service to tier its
                         goals on the basis of its traditional practice of cyclical deployment
                         schedules on board its ships and aircraft carriers. Operational aircraft in
                         the Navy follow a cyclical pattern of deploying to sea on aircraft carriers
                         and other vessels for a set period of time, such as 6 months. Once the
                         deployed units are replaced, they experience a stand-down period during
                         which they recover from the rigors of deployment until it is time to begin
                         preparing for the next movement. The Navy varies the intensity of its
                         maintenance and its MC and FMC goals according to this pattern. Navy
                         aircraft more than 90 days away from a deployment have goals that are 5
                         percentage points lower than aircraft within 90 days of a deployment, and
                         aircraft actually deployed have goals that are 5 percentage points higher
                         than those within 90 days of deploying.33 In comparison, aircraft in the
                         Marine Corps34 and other services have a level approach to maintenance
                         where the goals do not vary, and maintenance is kept at a relatively
                         constant level. Navy officials believed that the cyclical approach to
                         maintenance could lower overall MC rates over time compared with the
                         level approach. This is because of the reduced maintenance attention
                         when the aircraft are not deployed.


Adequacy of MC and FMC   Some officials questioned whether the MC and FMC goals are adequate
Goals Questioned         measures of an aircraft’s availability. For example, officials from the Air
                         Force’s Air Mobility Command stated that they focused on the MC goal
                         and not the FMC goal because their primary readiness objective is the
                         specific mission currently assigned, not every possible mission the aircraft



                         33
                          As agreed with Navy officials, we used “overall” MC and FMC goals in our analyses of
                         Navy and Marine Corps aircraft. The overall goals are a combined goal for the various
                         categories of deployment status.
                         34
                          Marine Corps aircraft share the same goals as the Navy aircraft. However, according to
                         officials, Marine Corps aircraft do not follow the cyclical pattern of deployments and thus
                         maintain the same goal throughout the year.




                         Page 29                                                    GAO-03-300 Military Readiness
                           was designed for. Moreover, the Air Combat Command did not even
                           establish FMC goals. This Command was the only one we reviewed that
                           did not set FMC goals for its aircraft. Air Combat Command officials told
                           us that they could find no documentation to explain why the Command
                           did not establish FMC goals.

                           In contrast, Army officials stated that their units focus primarily on the
                           FMC goal because it is directly connected to readiness ratings under the
                           Status of Resources and Training System. Furthermore, Navy officials
                           stated that the military is moving away from the MC and FMC goals in
                           newer aircraft, such as the Joint Strike Fighter. This is because the MC and
                           FMC goals provide only a limited historical perspective and do not address
                           issues that are important to war-fighting commanders such as how often
                           an aircraft can fly missions over the course of a day and the probability
                           that the aircraft will complete its mission. The Joint Strike Fighter, for
                           example, is using a concept called “mission reliability” instead of MC and
                           FMC goals. Mission reliability is the probability that the Joint Strike
                           Fighter will complete its required operational mission without a failure.
                           According to Navy officials, the predictive value and information on flight
                           frequency and reliability provided by this new measure is very valuable to
                           war-fighting commanders and is better for mission-planning purposes than
                           the MC and FMC measures. Officials said that the mission-reliability
                           concept could be used throughout DOD’s inventory of aircraft.


DOD Instruction Provides   DOD Instruction 3110.5 provides only vague or no guidance on many of
Little or No Guidance on   the key issues raised in this report. For example, the instruction requires
Key Issues                 each military service to establish availability goals for its mission-essential
                           systems and equipment, and a corresponding set of condition status
                           measures relative to those goals. The instruction specifically identifies MC,
                           FMC, and other specific capabilities as measures that the services must
                           maintain. However, it does not identify the specific goals that must be
                           established—MC, FMC, or any other—or the primary readiness objective
                           to be served. In this regard, the instruction states that the services should
                           assume planned peacetime usage in setting the goals. According to Air
                           Force officials, peacetime usage can be more taxing than wartime usage
                           because of the extra training and other requirements. Air Combat
                           Command officials told us that they believed that the instruction regarding
                           what goals—including the FMC goal—were required to be established was
                           unclear.

                           The instruction also provides little guidance on the methodology to be
                           used in setting the goals. It states that the services should provide


                           Page 30                                           GAO-03-300 Military Readiness
              estimates of the maximum performance that is achievable, given the
              design characteristics of the aircraft, and that full funding and optimal
              operation of the logistics support system should be assumed. Service
              officials said they believe that actual levels of funding, personnel, spare
              parts inventories, and other key resources should be factored into the
              process of setting the goals, since full funding has not been provided for
              years. The instruction is silent on the issue of whether it is appropriate to
              use historical trends of similar aircraft in determining the goals, as
              opposed to a more analytical approach using actual requirements, for
              example. The instruction is also silent on whether the aircraft availability
              goals should vary on the basis of the aircraft’s deployment posture.
              Moreover, it includes no requirement for the services to identify the
              readiness and cost implications of setting the goals at different levels, to
              help clarify the pros and cons of available choices and the guiding
              principles used to decide on those choices.

              Similarly, the instruction provides little organizational structure for the
              goal-setting process in DOD. For example, it does not require the services
              to identify one office as the coordinating organization for goal-setting and
              other related activities. Furthermore, it does not require the services to
              document the basis for the goals chosen or outline any of the basic
              historical documentation that should be maintained for goal-setting and
              other key activities during the process.

              According to DOD officials from the office responsible for the instruction,
              DOD Instruction 3110.5 dates back to the 1970s when readiness concerns
              had reached a high point. The focus was on getting the services to set
              benchmark readiness goals, and the instruction gave them latitude to
              choose those goals, the methods for setting them, and the processes for
              managing them. The instruction was revised in 1990. However, officials
              told us that it has not been updated to reflect the current environment of
              frequent deployments and other changes since the end of the Cold War,
              and some now consider it a relic.

              We performed our work from February through November 2002 in
              accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. The
              final publication of this report was delayed by the impact on DOD’s report
              review and classification process of the terrorist attacks on September 11,
              2001 and DOD’s preparations for potential conflict in Iraq.


              While many of DOD’s key aircraft are not meeting MC and FMC goals, it is
Conclusions   difficult to determine how significant this problem is because of the


              Page 31                                           GAO-03-300 Military Readiness
                      uncertainty and lack of documentation of the basis for the existing goals.
                      Moreover, without knowing the basis for the existing goals, it is also
                      difficult to know whether that basis is appropriate for the demands of the
                      new defense strategy.

                      DOD’s Instruction 3110.5 fails to clearly define the specific availability
                      goals that all services must establish. Without the perspective provided by
                      clear, consistent, and up-to-date goals, the perceptions of actual
                      performance are subject to continuing uncertainty and disagreement, and
                      confidence in the funding requests based on those perceptions is
                      undermined. Moreover, the lack of a standard methodology for the
                      services to use in setting the goals removes a safeguard for objectivity
                      from the process, risking the possibility that the methods used do not
                      realistically reflect actual requirements. This risk is increased when there
                      is uncertainty or disagreement over basic questions such as whether it is
                      appropriate to base the goals on a historical analysis or an analysis of
                      actual requirements, and whether full funding of logistical support systems
                      should be assumed in an era of reduced funding. Furthermore, the absence
                      of information on the readiness and cost implications of setting the goals
                      at different levels results in a lack of understanding of the pros and cons of
                      available choices and the guiding principles used to make those decisions.
                      Ultimately, inappropriately set goals can unnecessarily raise or lower the
                      cost of spare parts inventories and other logistical resources by millions of
                      dollars.

                      Also, DOD’s instruction requires the services neither to designate one
                      office to coordinate the establishment and maintenance of aircraft
                      availability goals, nor to document the basis for the goals chosen or other
                      key issues in the process. Clear responsibilities and requirements in these
                      areas are fundamental to the effective management of any performance
                      system. Without the transparency provided by adequate documentation of
                      the process, neither DOD nor the Congress can be reasonably assured that
                      the services have selected the optimal goals on the basis of preferred
                      principles.


                      To ensure that aircraft availability goals and their performance measures
Recommendations for   are appropriate to the new defense strategy and based on a clear and
Executive Action      defined process, we recommend that (1) DOD and the services determine
                      whether different types of aircraft availability goals are needed, (2) as
                      appropriate, DOD and the services validate the basis for the existing MC
                      and FMC goals, and (3) the Secretary of Defense revise DOD Instruction
                      3110.5 to


                      Page 32                                           GAO-03-300 Military Readiness
                     •   clearly define the specific aircraft availability goals required to be
                         established by the military services and their accompanying
                         performance measures;
                     •   establish a standard methodology identifying objective principles of
                         analysis to be used by all services in setting the goals, including an
                         identification of the readiness and cost implications of setting the goals
                         at different levels; and
                     •   require each service to identify one office to act as a focal point for
                         coordinating the development of the goals and for maintaining a
                         documentary record of the basis for the goals chosen and other key
                         decisions in the goal-setting process.


                     In written comments on a draft of this report, DOD concurred or partially
Agency Comments      concurred with all our recommendations. The department agreed to
and Our Evaluation   determine whether different types of aircraft availability goals are needed,
                     including the option of tailoring such goals to unique military service and
                     mission requirements. DOD also agreed to validate the basis for the
                     existing goals, including the DOD Instruction 3110.5 requirement that full
                     funding of support systems be assumed in establishing availability goals.
                     In addition, DOD indicated that it would explore alternative
                     methodologies for setting goals, such as one based on unit deployment
                     cycles currently in use by the Navy.

                     DOD partially concurred with our recommendation for a series of
                     revisions to DOD Instruction 3110.5. It agreed with our recommendation
                     that the instruction be revised to require each service to designate a focal
                     point for the development and historical documentation of the goal-setting
                     process. However, DOD did not agree with the part of our
                     recommendation calling for it to include the performance measures
                     associated with the aircraft availability goals in the instruction. DOD
                     believed that that requirement implied that those performance measures
                     should be the sole or primary measure of the overall state of materiel
                     readiness. That was not our intent. Our recommendation is meant to
                     ensure that the goals and accompanying performance/status measures
                     selected are clearly defined in the instruction. As pointed out in the report,
                     this is not currently the case. We agree that determinations of overall
                     materiel readiness require the consideration of a variety of factors, such as
                     maintenance manning and supply fill rates, as well as metrics such as an
                     aircraft’s availability. However, we believe that the instruction should
                     continue its current requirement to include performance/condition status
                     measures relative to those goals. Clearly identifying the goals that are
                     sought and their performance measures in the instruction will help avoid



                     Page 33                                           GAO-03-300 Military Readiness
further uncertainty and disagreement over the level of basic aircraft
performance, and does not preclude the consideration of other metrics in
broader assessments of overall readiness. For these reasons, we believe
no change to our recommendation is needed.

DOD also disagreed with the part of our recommendation calling for the
Secretary of Defense to revise the instruction to establish a standard
methodology identifying objective principles of analysis to be used in
setting the goals. It believed that the services should establish the detailed
analytical methodology because the types of goals and their basis may
vary by service, and the services have a better understanding of the
differences and complexities of their individual environments. We agree
with the need for some leeway at the service level to handle individual
differences between them. However, we continue to believe that all
services should adhere to a standardized set of overarching principles of
analysis in order to safeguard objectivity and transparency in the goal
setting process. Such principles could be identified in coordination with
the services during the department’s planned evaluation of the basis for
the current goals and alternative methodologies. The services could then
develop detailed methodologies consistent with these principles but
tailored to their individual environments. Consequently, no change to our
recommendation is required.

The department’s comments are reprinted in appendix III. DOD also
provided technical comments, which we incorporated as appropriate.


As arranged with your office, unless you publicly announce its contents
earlier, we plan no further distribution of this report until 30 days after the
date of this letter. At that time, we will send copies to the appropriate
congressional committees; the Secretaries of Defense, the Army, the Navy,
and the Air Force; the Commandant of the Marine Corps; and the Director,
Office of Management and Budget. We will also make copies available to
others upon request. In addition, the report will be available at no charge
on the GAO Web site at http://www.gao.gov.




Page 34                                            GAO-03-300 Military Readiness
Please contact me at (757) 552-8100 if you or your staff have any questions
concerning this report. The major contributors to this report are listed in
appendix IV.

Sincerely yours,




Neal P. Curtin
Director
Defense Capabilities and Management Team




Page 35                                         GAO-03-300 Military Readiness
                           Appendix I: Mission Capable Goals and Rates,
Appendix I: Mission Capable Goals and
                           Fiscal Years 1991-2002



Rates, Fiscal Years 1991-2002


Aircraft type   Service   Model                    Age (yrs.)    Cost/Flying hours         Indicators
Helicopter      Army      CH-47D                        14.4                $2,258         MC goal
                                                                                           MC rate
                                                                                           FMC goal
                                                                                           FMC rate

Helicopter      Army      OH-58D                          8.5              $1,014          MC goal
                                                                                           MC rate
                                                                                           FMC goal
                                                                                           FMC rate

Helicopter      Army      AH-64A                         14.2              $2,442          MC goal
                                                                                           MC rate
                                                                                           FMC goal
                                                                                           FMC rate

Helicopter      Army      UH-64D                          3.3              $3,115          MC goal
                                                                                           MC rate
                                                                                           FMC goal
                                                                                           FMC rate

Helicopter      Army      UH-60A                         18.4              $1,354          MC goal
                                                                                           MC rate
                                                                                           FMC goal
                                                                                           FMC rate

Helicopter      Army      UH-60L                          7.6              $1,189          MC goal
                                                                                           MC rate
                                                                                           FMC goal
                                                                                           FMC rate

Helicopter      Navy      SH-60B                         13.7              $2,265          MC goal
                                                                                           MC rate
                                                                                           FMC goal
                                                                                           FMC rate

Helicopter      Navy      SH-60F                         10.6              $2,683          MC goal
                                                                                           MC rate
                                                                                           FMC goal
                                                                                           FMC rate




                           Page 36                                                   GAO-03-300 Military Readiness
                                Appendix I: Mission Capable Goals and Rates,
                                Fiscal Years 1991-2002




                                                 Percent
FY 91   FY 92   FY 93   FY 94       FY 95      FY 96     FY 97       FY 98     FY 99     FY 00     FY 01      FY 02
   75      75      75      75          75         75        75          75        75        75        75         75
   74      71      64      73          77         75        76          74        70        75        74         75
   70      70      70      70          70         70        70          70        70        70        70         70
   72      69      63      71          75         73        74          72        66        72        71         72

  75      75      75      75              75      75          75         75      75         75         75        75
  72      59      78      85              79      83          86         88      88         85         86        88
  70      70      70      70              70      70          70         70      70         70         70        70
  62      53      70      80              77      79          81         84      83         81         82        84

  75      75      75      75              75      75          75         75      75         75         75        75
  77      77      73      77              75      83          84         84      83         67         79        83
  70      70      70      70              70      70          70         70      70         70         70        70
  65      69      65      70              71      80          82         81      79         62         75        79

  75      75      75      75              75      75          75         75      75         75         75        75
                                                                         69      75         64         73        83
  70      70      70      70              70      70          70         70      70         70         70        70
                                                                         61      67         57         64        80

  80      80      80      80              80      80          80         80      80         80         80        80
  69      70      70      75              75      76          78         80      79         76         76        76
  75      75      75      75              75      75          75         75      75         75         75        75
  65      67      68      71              72      73          75         77      75         72         72        73

  80      80      80      80              80      80          80         80      80         80         80        80
  70      70      66      77              81      85          86         88      86         85         82        84
  75      75      75      75              75      75          75         75      75         75         75        75
  66      68      63      73              76      82          84         86      84         82         79        82

  77      77      77      77              77      77          77         77      77         77         77        77
                                                                         61      59         61         62        63
  58      58      58      58              58      58          58         58      58         58         58        58
                                                                         41      38         40         41        44

  75      75      75      75              75      75          75         75      75         75         75        75
                                                                         69      74         74         61        54
  60      60      60      60              60      60          60         60      60         60         60        60
                                                                         56      55         54         47        41




                                Page 37                                                GAO-03-300 Military Readiness
                            Appendix I: Mission Capable Goals and Rates,
                            Fiscal Years 1991-2002




Aircraft type   Service     Model                         Age (yrs.)   Cost/Flying hours      Indicators
Helicopter      Navy        MH-53E                             11.5               $7,108      MC goal
                                                                                              MC rate
                                                                                              FMC goal
                                                                                              FMC rate

Helicopter      Marines     CH-46E                              33.6             $3.138       MC goal
                                                                                              MC rate
                                                                                              FMC goal
                                                                                              FMC rate

Helicopter      Marines     CH-53D                              31.9             $4,502       MC goal
                                                                                              MC rate
                                                                                              FMC goal
                                                                                              FMC rate

Helicopter      Marines     CH-53E                              13.7             $6,640       MC goal
                                                                                              MC rate
                                                                                              FMC goal
                                                                                              FMC rate

Helicopter      Marines     AH-1W                               12.3             $2,518       MC goal
                                                                                              MC rate
                                                                                              FMC goal
                                                                                              FMC rate

Helicopter      Marines     UH-1N                               27.6             $1,873       MC goal
                                                                                              MC rate
                                                                                              FMC goal
                                                                                              FMC rate

Fighter         Air Force   A-10                                20.1             $2,247       MC goal
                                                                                              MC rate
                                                                                              MC interim
                                                                                              goal
                                                                                              FMC goal
                                                                                              FMC rate




                            Page 38                                                GAO-03-300 Military Readiness
                                Appendix I: Mission Capable Goals and Rates,
                                Fiscal Years 1991-2002




                                                 Percent
FY 91   FY 92   FY 93   FY 94       FY 95      FY 96     FY 97       FY 98     FY 99     FY 00     FY 01      FY 02
   70      70      70      70          70         70        70          70        70        70        70         70
                                                                        56        62        61        56         48
  60      60      60      60              60      60          60        60        60        60        60         60
                                                                        41        47        54        48         38

  80      80      80      80              80      80          80         80      80         80         80        80
                                                                         78      78         79         78        76
  77      77      77      77              77      77          77         77      77         77         77        77
                                                                         72      72         72         72        68

  73      73      73      73              73      73          73         73      73         73         73        73
                                                                         72      77         80         85        78
  65      65      65      65              65      65          65         65      65         65         65        65
                                                                         63      69         76         72        64

  70      70      70      70              70      70          70         70      70         70         70        70
                                                                         70      71         65         61        70
  60      60      60      60              60      60          60         60      60         60         60        60
                                                                         61      64         58         52        58

  85      85      85      85              85      85          85         85      85         85         85        85
                                                                         77      76         76         74        73
  75      75      75      75              75      75          75         75      75         75         75        75
                                                                         66      66         67         64        61

  85      85      85      85              85      85          85         85      85         85         85        85
                                                                         79      79         77         76        69
  75      75      75      75              75      75          75         75      75         75         75        75
                                                                         69      65         68         64        55

  84      84      84      84              84      84          84         84      84         84         84        84
  91      92      87      89              88      87          84         78      75         71         72        76
                                                                                            74         78        78


  91      91      85      88              87      85          79         73      72         70         68        75




                                Page 39                                                GAO-03-300 Military Readiness
                             Appendix I: Mission Capable Goals and Rates,
                             Fiscal Years 1991-2002




Aircraft type   Service     Model                        Age (yrs.) Cost/Flying hours       Indicators
Fighter         Air Force   F-15C/D                           18.7             $6,694       MC goal
                                                                                            MC rate
                                                                                            MC interim
                                                                                            goal
                                                                                            FMC goal
                                                                                            FMC rate

Fighter         Air Force   F-15E                              10.2           $7,970        MC goal
                                                                                            MC rate
                                                                                            MC interim
                                                                                            goal
                                                                                            FMC goal
                                                                                            FMC rate

Fighter         Air Force   F-16                               11.1           $3, 446       MC goal
                                                                                            MC rate
                                                                                            MC interim
                                                                                            goal
                                                                                            FMC goal
                                                                                            FMC rate

                                                                                    a
Fighter         Air Force   F-117                              10.7                         MC goal
                                                                                            MC rate
                                                                                            MC interim
                                                                                            goal
                                                                                            FMC goal
                                                                                            FMC rate

Fighter         Navy        F-14A                              21.0           $9,097        MC goal
                                                                                            MC rate
                                                                                            FMC goal
                                                                                            FMC rate

Fighter         Navy        F-14B                              16.0           $7,341        MC goal
                                                                                            MC rate
                                                                                            FMC goal
                                                                                            FMC rate

Fighter         Navy        F-14D                              15.3           $8,042        MC goal
                                                                                            MC rate
                                                                                            FMC goal
                                                                                            FMC rate




                             Page 40                                               GAO-03-300 Military Readiness
                                Appendix I: Mission Capable Goals and Rates,
                                Fiscal Years 1991-2002




                                                 Percent
FY 91   FY 92   FY 93   FY 94       FY 95      FY 96     FY 97       FY 98     FY 99     FY 00     FY 01      FY 02
   83      83      83      83          83         83        83          83        81        83        83         83
   86      86      84      82          82         82        81          78        76        77        79         79
                                                                                            75        77         81


  83      84      83      80              79      79          80         76      74         76         77        77

  80      80      80      80              80      80          80         80      81         80         80        81
  88      87      83      83              82      81          79         77      76         77         74        76
                                                                                            75         77        77


  88      85      79      82              79      80          77         75      75         74         72        75

  84      84      84      84              84      84          84         84      83         84         84        83
  90      91      91      89              88      86          82         79      79         80         80        80
                                                                                            79         81        83


  90      91      89      88              86      82          79         75      78         78         77        78

  80      80      80      80              80      80          80         80      80         80         80        80
 100      84      62      67              78      85          84         79      83         77         81        83
                                                                                            80         80        80


 100      81      55      67              78      85          84         79      83         77         81        83

  65      65      65      65              65      65          65         65      65         65         65        65
                                                                         64      71         72         73        69
  50      50      50      50              50      50          50         50      50         50         50        50
                                                                         56      62         64         59        57

  65      65      65      65              65      65          65         65      65         65         65        65
                                                                         74      79         76         77        73
  50      50      50      50              50      50          50         50      50         50         50        50
                                                                         65      71         69         69        59

  71      71      71      71              71      71          71         71      71         71         71        71
                                                                         61      64         72         72        67
  61      61      61      61              61      61          61         61      61         61         61        61
                                                                         49      52         54         46        38




                                Page 41                                                GAO-03-300 Military Readiness
                           Appendix I: Mission Capable Goals and Rates,
                           Fiscal Years 1991-2002




Aircraft type   Service   Model                        Age (yrs.) Cost/Flying hours       Indicators
Fighter         Navy      F/A-18A                             16             $4,463       MC goal
                                                                                          MC rate
                                                                                          FMC goal
                                                                                          FMC rate

Fighter         Navy      F/A-18C                            10.2           $4,604        MC goal
                                                                                          MC rate
                                                                                          FMC goal
                                                                                          FMC rate

                                                                                  a
Fighter         Navy      F/A-18E                             1.8                         MC goal
                                                                                          MC rate
                                                                                          FMC goal
                                                                                          FMC rate

Fighter         Marines   F/A-18A                            16.0           $4,463        MC goal
                                                                                          MC rate
                                                                                          FMC goal
                                                                                          FMC rate

Fighter         Marines   F/A-18C                            10.2           $4,604        MC goal
                                                                                          MC rate
                                                                                          FMC goal
                                                                                          FMC rate

Fighter         Marines   F/A-18D                             9.6           $3,751        MC goal
                                                                                          MC rate
                                                                                          FMC goal
                                                                                          FMC rate

Fighter         Marines   AV-8B                               7.0           $5,351        MC goal
                                                                                          MC rate
                                                                                          FMC goal
                                                                                          FMC rate




                           Page 42                                               GAO-03-300 Military Readiness
                                Appendix I: Mission Capable Goals and Rates,
                                Fiscal Years 1991-2002




                                                 Percent
FY 91   FY 92   FY 93   FY 94       FY 95      FY 96     FY 97       FY 98     FY 99     FY 00     FY 01      FY 02
   75      75      75      75          75         75        75          75        75        75        75         75
                                                                        50        58        44        55         62
  58      58      58      58              58      58          58        58        58        58        58         58
                                                                        30        42        35        36         53

  75      75      75      75              75      75          75         75      75         75         75        75
                                                                         72      70         71         68        66
  58      58      58      58              58      58          58         58      58         58         58        58
                                                                         59      60         62         57        52

                                                                                 75         75         75        75
                                                                                                       68        71
                                                                                 58         58         58        58
                                                                                                       43        33

  75      75      75      75              75      75          75         75      75         75         75        75
                                                                         85      85         81         77        80
  58      58      58      58              58      58          58         58      58         58         58        58
                                                                         80      78         74         72        75

  75      75      75      75              75      75          75         75      75         75         75        75
                                                                         82      82         82         82        82
  58      58      58      58              58      58          58         58      58         58         58        58
                                                                         77      75         77         74        74

  60      60      60      60              60      60          60         60      60         75         75        75
                                                                         77      82         82         76        78
  46      46      46      46              46      46          46         46      46         58         58        58
                                                                         72      76         76         67        65

  76      76      76      76              76      76          76         76      76         76         76        76
                                                                         62      61         61         57        71
  70      70      70      70              70      70          70         70      70         70         70        70
                                                                         54      51         55         48        60




                                Page 43                                                GAO-03-300 Military Readiness
                            Appendix I: Mission Capable Goals and Rates,
                            Fiscal Years 1991-2002




Aircraft type   Service     Model                        Age (yrs.) Cost/Flying hours      Indicators
Bomber          Air Force   B-1                               14.6            $14,343      MC goal
                                                                                           MC rate
                                                                                           FMC goal
                                                                                           MC interim
                                                                                           goal
                                                                                           FMC rate

Bomber          Air Force   B-2                                 7.4           $6,736       MC goal
                                                                                           MC rate
                                                                                           FMC goal
                                                                                           FMC rate

Bomber          Air Force   B-52                              40.0            $6,575       MC goal
                                                                                           MC rate
                                                                                           MC interim
                                                                                           goal
                                                                                           FMC goal
                                                                                           FMC rate

EC/C            Air Force   E-3                               22.0            $3,788       MC goal
                                                                                           MC rate
                                                                                           MC interim
                                                                                           goal
                                                                                           FMC goal
                                                                                           FMC rate

EC/C            Air Force   E-8                                 3.0           $3,057       MC goal
                                                                                           MC rate
                                                                                           FMC goal
                                                                                           FMC rate

EC/C            Air Force   RC-135                            38.3            $2,825       MC goal
                                                                                           MC rate
                                                                                           MC interim
                                                                                           goal
                                                                                           FMC goal
                                                                                           FMC rate




                            Page 44                                               GAO-03-300 Military Readiness
                                Appendix I: Mission Capable Goals and Rates,
                                Fiscal Years 1991-2002




                                                 Percent
FY 91   FY 92   FY 93   FY 94       FY 95      FY 96     FY 97       FY 98     FY 99     FY 00     FY 01      FY 02
   65      65      65      65          65         65        67          67        67        67        67         67
   57      58      59      67          68         70        64          51        52        52        60         61
                                                                                            57        63         67


   1       4       7      11              11      39          54         39      39         28         23        36

                                                                                            50         50        50
                          25              17      24          32         34      42         39         32        44

                          14              4         5         21         19      19         21          9        22

  80      80      80      80              80      80          80         80      80         80         80        80
  76      81      83      82              83      84          77         78      76         79         84        81
                                                                                            79         80        80


  55      65      69      70              75      76          65         39      28         16         13        31

  85      85      85      85              85      85          85         85      85         85         85        85
  92      91      85      86              86      83          79         72      74         73         76        74
                                                                                            73         81        83


  89      86      79      82              69      48          42         23      30         26         25        41

                                                                                            73         73        75
                                                  33          50         66      72         66         74        84

                                                    6          9         20      41         37         45        57

  75      75      75      75              75      75          75         75      75         75         75        75
  70      69      74      77              79      78          73         74      65         59         64        76
                                                                                            65         72        72


  59      55      48      42              50      62          53         53      43         30         40        45




                                Page 45                                                GAO-03-300 Military Readiness
                             Appendix I: Mission Capable Goals and Rates,
                             Fiscal Years 1991-2002




Aircraft type   Service     Model                        Age (yrs.) Cost/Flying hours        Indicators
                                                                                    a
EC/C            Air Force   U-2                               18.3                           MC goal
                                                                                             MC rate
                                                                                             FMC goal
                                                                                             MC interim
                                                                                             goal
                                                                                             FMC rate

EC/C            Navy        S-3B                               26.2           $4,754         MC goal
                                                                                             MC rate
                                                                                             FMC goal
                                                                                             FMC rate

EC/C            Navy        E-2C                               10.2           $4,664         MC goal
                                                                                             MC rate
                                                                                             FMC goal
                                                                                             FMC rate

EC/C            Navy        P-3C                               24.5           $3,082         MC goal
                                                                                             MC rate
                                                                                             FMC goal
                                                                                             FMC rate

EC/C            Navy        EA-6B                              19.8           $5,080         MC goal
                                                                                             MC rate
                                                                                             FMC goal
                                                                                             FMC rate

EC/C            Marines     EA-6B                              19.8           $5,080         MC goal
                                                                                             MC rate
                                                                                             FMC goal
                                                                                             FMC rate

Cargo/Tanker    Air Force   C-5                                20.0           $9,106         MC goal
                                                                                             MC rate
                                                                                             FMC goal
                                                                                             FMC rate




                             Page 46                                               GAO-03-300 Military Readiness
                                Appendix I: Mission Capable Goals and Rates,
                                Fiscal Years 1991-2002




                                                 Percent
FY 91   FY 92   FY 93   FY 94       FY 95      FY 96     FY 97       FY 98     FY 99     FY 00     FY 01      FY 02
                                       85         85        85          85        85        85        85         85
                                       77         78        86          81        80        76        77         76
                                                                                            83        84         80


                                          73      73          84         79      77         72         74        73

  70      70      70      70              70      70          70         70      70         70         70        70
                                                                         59      61         63         51        43
  54      54      54      54              54      54          54         54      54         54         54        54
                                                                         31      33         37         30        25

  70      70      70      70              70      70          70         70      70         70         70        70
                                                                         72      73         69         63        51
  54      54      54      54              54      54          54         54      54         54         54        54
                                                                         50      40         40         41        35

  85      85      85      85              85      85          85         85      85         85         85        85
                                                                         64      66         63         62        61
  61      61      61      61              61      61          61         61      61         61         61        61
                                                                         28      23         17         17        12

  73      73      73      73              73      73          73         73      73         73         73        73
                                                                         68      62         58         60        58
  54      54      54      54              54      54          54         54      54         54         54        54
                                                                         50      41         37         39        35

  73      73      73      73              73      73          73         73      73         73         73        73
                                                                         71      74         63         62        68
  54      54      54      54              54      54          54         54      54         54         54        54
                                                                         60      64         53         49        51

  70      70      75      75              75      75          75         75      75         75         75        75
  71      75      72      65              64      66          64         63      61         62         65        66
                          60              60      36          37         37      45         45         45        45
  34      42      43      37              37      43          37         39      31         28         19        18




                                Page 47                                                GAO-03-300 Military Readiness
                                              Appendix I: Mission Capable Goals and Rates,
                                              Fiscal Years 1991-2002




 Aircraft type                   Service     Model                        Age (yrs.) Cost/Flying hours      Indicators
                                                                                                     a
 Cargo/Tanker                    Air Force   C-17                               4.1                         MC goal
                                                                                                            MC rate
                                                                                                            FMC goal
                                                                                                            FMC rate

 Cargo/Tanker                    Air Force   C-130                              29.2           $2,225       MC goal
                                                                                                            MC rate
                                                                                                            FMC goal
                                                                                                            FMC rate

 Cargo/Tanker                    Marines     KC-130F                            40.1           $3,212       MC goal
                                                                                                            MC rate
                                                                                                            FMC goal
                                                                                                            FMC rate

 Cargo/Tanker                    Marines     KC-130R                            25.4           $2,807       MC goal
                                                                                                            MC rate
                                                                                                            FMC goal
                                                                                                            FMC rate

                                                                                                     a
 Cargo/Tanker                    Air Force   C-141                              35.0                        MC goal
                                                                                                            MC rate
                                                                                                            FMC goal
                                                                                                            FMC rate

 Cargo/Tanker                    Air Force   KC-135                             39.6           $2,384       MC goal
                                                                                                            MC rate
                                                                                                            FMC goal
                                                                                                            FMC rate

 Cargo/Tanker                    Air Force   KC-10                              16.9           $4,083       MC goal
                                                                                                            MC rate
                                                                                                            FMC goal
                                                                                                            FMC rate
Source: Military service data.




                                              Page 48                                               GAO-03-300 Military Readiness
                                Appendix I: Mission Capable Goals and Rates,
                                Fiscal Years 1991-2002




                                                   Percent
FY 91   FY 92   FY 93   FY 94       FY 95        FY 96     FY 97          FY 98       FY 99       FY 00        FY 01       FY 02
                                                    81        81             88          88          88           88          88
                  52      45              75        87        88             86          85          82           83          83
                                                    73        73             78          78          78           78          78
                   5       3              41        41        44             49          41          43           31           3

  85      85      85                                             78          78           75          75           75           75
  83      85      83      84              81         80          79          77           74          76           77           81
                                                                                          48          48           48           48
  60      62      62      68              64         64          63          55           55          59           58           63

  72      72      72      72              72         72          72          72           72          72           72           72
                                                                             73           70          59           58           64
  53      53      53      53              53         53          53          53           53          53           53           53
                                                                             54           52          36           28           32

  75      75      75      75              75         75          75          75           75          75           75           75
                                                                             71           75          65           64           65
  58      58      58      58              58         58          58          58           58          58           58           58
                                                                             57           54          38           35           35

  80      80      80      80              80         80          80          80           80          80           80           80
  82      83      80      78              74         74          76          74           73          72           74           74
                          60              60         64          58          58           59          59           59           59
  15      23      24      60              62         60          59          54           56          56           58           64

          85      85      85              85         85          85          85           85          85           85           85
  89      89      88      86              85         86          86          85           83          79           81           82
                          80              80         71          71          71           77          77           77           77
  64      72      75      73              75         74          76          71           63          41           59           66

          90      90      85              85         85          85          85           85          85           85           85
  93      93      93      90              90         89          86          87           85          83           83           83
                          80              80         77          65          65           77          77           77           77
  88      89      89      84              85         74          66          68           75          76           77           73
                                Legend: MC = mission capable, FMC = fully mission capable, FY= fiscal year, EC/C = electronic
                                command and control.

                                Notes: We used the “overall” MC and FMC goal for Navy and Marine Corps aircraft, which is a
                                combined goal for the various categories of deployment status used by the Navy and Marines in
                                rating aircraft availability.

                                Fiscal year 2002 rates are as of February for the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps, and March 31 for
                                the Air Force.




                                Page 49                                                         GAO-03-300 Military Readiness
Appendix I: Mission Capable Goals and Rates,
Fiscal Years 1991-2002




Aircraft ages are as of September 30, 2001 for the Navy/Marines; December 31, 2001, for the Air
Force; and April 2002 for the Army.

Aircraft costs/flying hour are as of January 2001 for the Army, and September 30, 2001, for the Air
Force, Navy, and Marines.
a
No data or only partial cost/flying hour data available.




Page 50                                                           GAO-03-300 Military Readiness
              Appendix II: Scope and Methodology
Appendix II: Scope and Methodology


              To identify Department of Defense (DOD) and service policies and
              practices regarding mission capable (MC) goals and rates, we obtained
              briefings, reviewed DOD and service regulations and prior reports by us
              and others; and interviewed officials at the Office of the Secretary of
              Defense: the Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; headquarters offices of the
              Army, Navy/Marine Corps, and Air Force; and aviation commands and
              other locations as appropriate.

              To determine whether key DOD aircraft were meeting established MC and
              FMC goals, we requested that each service identify its key active-duty
              operational aircraft. We excluded reserve units from the scope of our
              review, as well as active-duty training units and executive aircraft used to
              transport officials on official business. The resultant list included a total of
              46 different models of aircraft from the four military services, which we
              categorized into five basic types: bombers, cargo/tanker aircraft,
              electronic command/control aircraft, fighter/attack aircraft, and
              helicopters. Three aircraft models (F/A-18A, F/A-18C, and EA-6B) were
              used by both the Navy and Marine Corps. For our review, we counted the
              Navy and Marine Corps versions of these aircraft as separate models,
              resulting in a total of 49 aircraft models for review. We requested MC and
              full mission capable (FMC) goal and rate data, aircraft age and cost, and
              other data for these aircraft back to 1991 to provide a historical
              perspective on goal and rate history. The Army and Air Force provided
              comprehensive data from fiscal year 1991 to mid-fiscal year 2002.
              However, the Navy and Marine Corps could provide data separated by
              service only from fiscal year 1998 forward. These services changed their
              reporting system in 1998 and were unable to provide comparable data for
              prior years. As a result, we focused our report on the 5-year period
              beginning in fiscal year 1998. However, we included the full array of Army
              and Air Force data in appendix I. We used these data to conduct analyses
              of whether the aircraft were meeting their goals. We also provided each
              service with these databases for review, and they confirmed the results for
              accuracy.

              To identify the causes of difficulties in meeting MC and FMC goals, we
              reviewed prior reports by us and others and conducted a variety of
              comparative analyses of our data by service, aircraft type, model, age,
              cost, and fiscal year. We then held discussions with each service to gain
              their perspectives on the causes of observed difficulties in meeting the
              goals.

              To determine whether DOD has a clear and defined process for setting MC
              and FMC goals, we reviewed DOD Instruction 3110.5 and other regulations


              Page 51                                            GAO-03-300 Military Readiness
Appendix II: Scope and Methodology




and conducted discussions with officials from the Office of the Secretary
of Defense and service headquarters in Washington, D.C., and with
officials from the headquarters of the Air Force’s Air Mobility and Air
Combat Commands; the Naval Air Systems Command; and Army Training
and Doctrine Command officials at Fort Rucker, Alabama. Because of the
difficulty in obtaining clear information on this issue, we also wrote formal
letters of inquiry to the Secretaries of the Army and Navy requesting
clarification of how the goals were established. Their responses to those
letters of inquiry were used in preparing our report.

We performed our work from February through November 2002 in
accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. The
final publication of this report was delayed by the impact on DOD’s report
review and classification process of the terrorist attacks on September 11,
2001, and DOD’s preparations for potential conflict in Iraq.




Page 52                                          GAO-03-300 Military Readiness
              Appendix III: Comments from the Department
Appendix III: Comments from the
              of Defense



Department of Defense




              Page 53                                      GAO-03-300 Military Readiness
Appendix III: Comments from the Department
of Defense




Page 54                                      GAO-03-300 Military Readiness
Appendix III: Comments from the Department
of Defense




Page 55                                      GAO-03-300 Military Readiness
Appendix III: Comments from the Department
of Defense




Page 56                                      GAO-03-300 Military Readiness
                  Appendix IV: GAO Contacts and Staff
Appendix IV: GAO Contacts and Staff
                  Acknowledgments



Acknowledgments

                  William C. Meredith (retired)
GAO Contacts      John W. Nelson (404) 679-1949


                  In addition to those named above, Bernice Benta, Katherine Chenault, and
Staff             R.K. Wild made key contributions to this report.
Acknowledgments




(350147)
                  Page 57                                       GAO-03-300 Military Readiness
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