United States General Accounting Office GAO Report to Congressional Committees June 2003 MILITARY TRANSFORMATION Realistic Deployment Timelines Needed for Army Stryker Brigades GAO-03-801 June 2003 MILITARY TRANSFORMATION Realistic Deployment Timelines Needed Highlights of GAO-03-801, a report to for Army Stryker Brigades Congressional Committees The Army is organizing and The Army has made significant progress in creating forces that can be equipping rapidly deployable more rapidly deployed than heavy forces with its medium weight Stryker Stryker brigades as the first step in brigades, but it cannot deploy a Stryker brigade anywhere in the world its planned 30-year transformation. Stryker brigades are to help fill a within 4 days. Meeting the 4-day worldwide deployment goal of a gap in capabilities between current brigade-size force would require more airlift than may be possible to heavy and light forces--heavy allocate to these brigades; at present, it would take from 5 to 14 days, forces require too much time to depending on brigade location and destination, and require over one- deploy, and light infantry forces third of the Air Force’s C-17 and C-5 transport aircraft fleet to deploy one lack the combat power and Stryker brigade by air. Because airlift alone may not be sufficient, the mobility of the heavy forces. The Army is planning to use a combination of airlift and sealift to deploy the Army has a goal to be able to brigades. However, if sealift were used to deploy the Stryker brigades, deploy a Stryker brigade anywhere in the world with 4 days. deployment times to many global regions would be significantly longer than the 4-day goal the Army has set for itself. As part of a series of ongoing reviews of Army transformation, The Army’s plan for supporting and sustaining Stryker brigades in GAO assessed the Army’s progress combat operations is still evolving. The Army will not be able to finish its in (1) meeting its deployment goal support plan until November 2003, when the results from an operational for Stryker brigades and (2) evaluation of the first Stryker brigade will be issued. Before it can fully supporting and sustaining a deployed Stryker brigade in combat implement the support plan, the Army will also need to make funding and operations. other decisions relating to implementing some of the plan’s logistical support concepts. Deployment goals may need modification should the brigades’ design GAO recommends that the significantly change in response to direction from the Office of the Secretary Secretary of the Army work with the U.S. Transportation Command of Defense to enhance the brigades’ capabilities. and its components to set realistic deployment timelines for the brigades that (1) reflect the use of both airlift and sealift, size of the deployed force, brigade location, and destination and (2) take into account any organizational or operational changes resulting from modifications and enhancements directed by the Office of the Secretary of Defense. In commenting on a draft of this report, the Department of Defense generally concurred with the report. www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-03-801. To view the full product, including the scope and methodology, click on the link above. For more information, contact William M. Solis at (202) 512-8365 or email@example.com. Contents Letter 1 Results in Brief 2 Background 4 Progress Has Been Made, but the Army Cannot Currently Achieve Its Deployment Goal of 4 Days 6 Army’s Plan for Supporting and Sustaining Stryker Brigades in Combat Operations Is Still Evolving 12 Army’s Plans for Deploying and Sustaining Stryker Brigades Could Change 14 Conclusions 15 Recommendations for Executive Action 16 Agency Comments and Our Evaluation 16 Scope and Methodology 17 Appendix I Comments from the Department of Defense 21 Appendix II Stryker Brigade Locations and Planned Initial Operational Capability Dates 23 Appendix III Stryker Brigade Air Deployment Times By Origin and Destination 24 Appendix IV Stryker Brigade Sea Deployment Times by Origin and Destination 25 Related GAO Products 26 Tables Table 1: Percentages of U.S. Air Force’s Total Airlift Inventory in 2005 Needed to Strategically Airlift One Stryker Brigade 10 Page i GAO-03-801 Military Transformation Figures Figure 1: Stryker Brigade Locations 5 Figure 2: Comparison of Army’s Stryker Brigades’ Airlift Requirements to That of Armored and Light Infantry Brigades 7 Figure 3: Estimated Ranges of Stryker Brigade Air Deployment Times to Selected Global Regions 8 Figure 4: Estimated Ranges of Stryker Brigade Sea Deployment Times 11 Abbreviation OSD Office of the Secretary of Defense This is a work of the U.S. Government and is not subject to copyright protection in the United States. It may be reproduced and distributed in its entirety without further permission from GAO. It may contain copyrighted graphics, images or other materials. Permission from the copyright holder may be necessary should you wish to reproduce copyrighted materials separately from GAO’s product. Page ii GAO-03-801 Military Transformation United States General Accounting Office Washington, DC 20548 June 30, 2003 Congressional Committees The capability to rapidly deploy and effectively sustain combat forces over distant locations anywhere in the world is a major objective of the Army’s planned 30-year transformation. According to the Army, current heavy forces lack strategic responsiveness and deployability, and they have significant logistical support requirements. On the other hand, the Army’s current light infantry forces can be deployed rapidly and are easier to support once deployed, but they lack the combat power, survivability, and tactical mobility of the heavy forces. To address this gap in capabilities between heavy and light forces, the Army is organizing and equipping a rapidly deployable force, called Stryker brigades, intended to provide the combatant commanders with increased land power options, including the ability to execute and sustain early-entry operations, potentially into remote areas of the world.1 Stryker brigades will also validate new doctrine and organizational structures and develop insights for subsequent transformation to the Army’s future force—the Objective Force.2 To this end, the Army has established a goal to deploy a combat capable Stryker brigade (including its 1,000 plus vehicles and pieces of equipment as well as 3,900 personnel) anywhere in the world within 4 days. Having realistic deployment goals is important to the Army for measuring its progress in creating forces to meet them, as well as to theater combatant commanders so that these forces can be integrated into contingency planning. This is the sixth in a series of reports identifying key challenges the Army faces in implementing its transformation plans. (A list of related GAO products appears at the end of this report.) As with the other five, we initiated this review under the authority of the Comptroller General. Our objectives were to assess the Army’s progress in (1) meeting its deployment goal for Stryker brigades and (2) supporting and sustaining a 1 The Army plans to establish six Stryker brigades. Appendix II lists the brigades’ locations and their planned initial operational capability dates. 2 Beginning in 2010 and continuing beyond 2030, the Army plans to transition to its Objective Force. The Objective Force is the force that achieves the objectives of the Army’s transformation. This future force will capitalize on advances in science and technology enabling the Army to equip its forces with significantly advanced systems such as the Future Combat System. Page 1 GAO-03-801 Military Transformation deployed Stryker brigade in combat operations. We also address potential changes in deployment and support plans the Army may need to make in response to direction from the Office of the Secretary of Defense to enhance the brigades’ capabilities. We briefed your offices on the results of our work in November and December 2002. This report summarizes and updates those briefings and is being provided because of your committees’ oversight responsibilities for these issues. To conduct our review, we analyzed planning data on military air and sea mobility that the U.S. Transportation Command and the Military Traffic Management Command developed.3 We also reviewed the Army’s concepts and plan for supporting Stryker brigades in an operational environment. We limited our review of mobility requirements to the strategic deployment of the brigades—we plan to address Stryker brigades’ tactical mobility requirements and capabilities in another report we will be issuing later this year.4 The Army has made significant progress in creating brigades that can be Results in Brief more rapidly deployed than heavy armored brigades, but it cannot deploy a Stryker brigade anywhere in the world within 4 days. By equipping Stryker brigades with 19-ton armored vehicles and reducing support structure and sustainment requirements, the Army will have achieved close to a 50 percent reduction in the brigade’s deployment requirements compared to that of a heavier brigade equipped with Bradley fighting vehicles and Abrams tanks weighing 33 to 68 tons—along with their large logistical support structure. However, meeting the 4-day worldwide deployment goal of a brigade-size force would require more airlift than may be possible to allocate to these brigades; at present, it would take from 5 to 14 days, depending on destination, and require over one-third of the Air Force’s C-17 and C-5 transport aircraft fleet to deploy one Stryker brigade by air. Because airlift alone may not be sufficient, the Army is now planning to use a combination of airlift and sealift to deploy the brigades. In the Stryker brigades, the Army has achieved forces that are more 3 The U.S. Transportation Command and its component commands (Air Mobility Command, Military Traffic Management Command, and Military Sealift Command) manage the Department of Defense’s transportation system. 4 Strategic mobility is the movement of forces over long distances, such as from the continental United States to overseas locations. Tactical mobility is the movement of forces in an operational environment over shorter distances within an operational theater. Page 2 GAO-03-801 Military Transformation rapidly deployable than heavy forces and more lethal and mobile than light forces; however, without more realistic deployment goals, the brigades cannot be effectively integrated into theater combatant commanders’ contingency planning efforts. The Army’s plan for supporting and sustaining Stryker brigades in combat operations is still evolving and cannot be considered finalized until a number of issues are resolved. The Army evaluated the Stryker brigades’ support and sustainment capabilities for the first time during the congressionally mandated operational evaluation that was completed at the end of May 2003.5 The results from the operational evaluation will not be issued until November 2003, and they may lead to adjustments in the Army’s plan. Funding decisions relating to implementing some of the plan’s logistical support concepts, including Stryker armored vehicles and digital equipment replacement reserves, also will need to be made before the Army can fully implement its plan. In addition, the Secretary of Defense wants modifications to the brigades to give them a higher level of combat capability and sustainability so that they are capable of being employed independently of higher-level command formations and support. Adding capabilities to the brigades — such as aviation and air defense—could significantly increase deployment and logistical support requirements, potentially requiring more time to deploy a Stryker brigade as well as different plans for supporting it. We are making recommendations to the Secretary of the Army for examining alternative strategic deployment goals for Stryker brigades and setting goals that are based on a brigade’s expected deployment timelines and possible modifications to the brigades. In commenting on a draft of this report, the Department of Defense generally concurred with the report and stated that the Army continues to maintain 96-hour worldwide deployment as an overall program goal for Stryker brigade deployment and is working with the U.S. Transportation Command to reduce constraints that limit the Army’s ability to meet that goal. We agree the 96-hour goal is a useful longer-term target and the Army should continue to work with the U.S. Transportation Command to reduce enroute constraints. However, without deployment timelines 5 The operational evaluation was mandated by the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2002, P.L. 107-107 (Dec. 28, 2001). Page 3 GAO-03-801 Military Transformation reflecting near-term deployment variables and alternatives, the Army does not have a reasonable baseline from which to measure its progress toward achieving its 96-hour goal; nor do the combatant commanders have information on expected Stryker brigade deployment capabilities. In 1999 the Army announced its intentions to transform its forces over a Background 30-year period into a more strategically responsive force that could more rapidly deploy and effectively operate in all types of military operations, whether small-scale contingencies or major theater wars. Army transformation plans call for the ability to deploy a brigade anywhere in the world in 4 days, a division in 5 days, and five divisions within 30 days. The first step in this transformation is to form and equip six Interim Brigade Combat Teams, now called Stryker Brigade Combat Teams, as an early-entry force that can be rapidly deployed, supported anywhere in the world, and capable of conducting combat operations immediately upon arrival into a theater of operations, if required. Initially, the Army established a requirement for Stryker brigades of being capable of deploying anywhere in the world within 4 days after first aircraft liftoff. The Army has since made it a goal or target for the Stryker brigades, rather than a requirement, to help set a vision and design metric for developing the brigades. According to the Army’s organizational and operational concept for Stryker brigades, the brigades are designed to have higher levels of strategic and tactical mobility than existing Army forces. Strategically, the brigades are being organized, equipped, and configured to meet a 96-hour deployment standard. To help achieve the envisioned rapid deployability, the Army is developing logistical support plans and concepts that will permit Stryker brigades to deploy with fewer quantities of supplies and smaller numbers of support personnel and equipment than currently exists in heavier brigade-size units. At the tactical level, the brigades are to be capable of intratheater deployment by C-130 air transport. Key to their increased mobility is their primary combat platform, the Stryker armored vehicle. According to the Army, the Stryker armored vehicle will fulfill an immediate requirement for a vehicle that is air transportable any place in the world, arriving ready for combat. The Stryker is an eight-wheeled armored vehicle that will provide transport for troops, weapons, and command and control. The Stryker vehicle weighs about 19 tons, substantially less than the M1A1 Abrams tank (68 tons) and the Bradley fighting vehicle (33 tons), the primary combat platforms of the Army’s heavier armored units. Page 4 GAO-03-801 Military Transformation The Army selected one light infantry brigade and one mechanized infantry brigade at Fort Lewis, Washington, to become the first two of six planned Stryker brigades. The Army completed a congressionally mandated operational evaluation of the first of these brigades at the end of May 2003, and it plans to report the results of the evaluation by November 2003. At that time, the Secretary of Defense is to certify to Congress whether or not the results of the operational evaluation indicate that the Stryker brigade’s design is operationally effective and operationally suitable, at which time this brigade can be deployed overseas for the first time. The Army plans to complete the formation of the second of the two Fort Lewis brigades in 2004 and to form four more Stryker brigades from 2005 through 2010. The planned locations of the next four brigades (see fig. 1) are Fort Wainwright/Fort Richardson, Alaska; Fort Polk, Louisiana; Schofield Barracks, Hawaii; and a brigade of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard. Based on defense planning guidance, the Army is planning for the relocation of one Stryker brigade to Europe in fiscal year 2007. Figure 1: Stryker Brigade Locations Page 5 GAO-03-801 Military Transformation Although Stryker brigades will be more rapidly deployable than Army Progress Has Been heavy armored brigades, the Army cannot currently achieve its goal of Made, but the Army deploying a Stryker brigade anywhere in the world within 4 days. The Army has achieved close to a 50 percent reduction in the Stryker brigades’ Cannot Currently deployment requirements compared to that of a heavier armored brigade, Achieve Its but the Stryker brigade’s airlift requirements—which include moving about 1,500 vehicles and pieces of equipment and 3,900 personnel—are Deployment Goal of still sizable. Deployment times for Stryker brigades from their planned 4 Days continental United States, Alaska, and Hawaii home stations to any one of several potential overseas locations would range from 5 to 14 days, depending on destinations. While the Army set out to design Stryker brigades to be a rapidly air deployable force, Army officials now recognize that airlift alone will not be sufficient and that some combination of airlift and sealift will likely be used to deploy the brigades. However, if sealift were used to deploy the Stryker brigades, deployment times to many global regions would be significantly longer than the 4-day goal the Army has set for itself. Stryker Brigades’ By equipping Stryker brigades with armored vehicles weighing about 19 Deployment Requirements tons, the Army has achieved close to a 50 percent reduction in the Stryker One-Half of Heavy brigades’ deployment requirement compared to that of a heavy armored brigade equipped with 68-ton Abram tanks and 33-ton Bradley fighting Armored Brigades’ but Still vehicles, along with their larger numbers of support vehicles, equipment, Sizable and personnel. Deploying a heavy armored brigade would require airlifting almost 29,000 tons of armored vehicles, equipment, and supplies and about 4,500 personnel. Deploying a Stryker brigade would require airlifting about 15,000 tons of vehicles, equipment, and supplies and about 3,900 personnel. Consequently, the amount of airlift that would be needed to deploy a Stryker brigade would be about one-half of the airlift aircraft needed to deploy a heavy armored brigade. Based on deployment planning assumptions the Army uses, about 243 C-17 strategic airlift sorties6 would be needed to airlift a Stryker brigade, compared to about 478 C-17 sorties needed to airlift a heavy armored brigade. While the airlift requirement of a Stryker brigade is significantly less— about one-half that of a heavy armored brigade, moving a brigade’s over 300 Stryker armored vehicles, over 1,200 trucks, utility vehicles, and support equipment, and 3,900 personnel is about twice the deployment requirement of an Army light infantry brigade. Deploying an Army light 6 In air operations, a sortie is defined as an operational flight by one aircraft. Page 6 GAO-03-801 Military Transformation infantry brigade would require airlifting about 7,300 tons of materiel and about 3,800 personnel, requiring about 141 C-17 airlift sorties. Figure 2 shows a comparison of Stryker brigades’ airlift requirements to that of Army heavy armored and light infantry brigades. Figure 2: Comparison of Army’s Stryker Brigades’ Airlift Requirements to That of Armored and Light Infantry Brigades Airlift Not Sufficient to The Army will likely not have the amount of airlift it would need to meet Meet Army’s Four-Day its goal of deploying a Stryker brigade anywhere in the world within Worldwide Deployment 4 days. Deployment times from any one of the four planned Stryker brigade locations in the continental United States, Alaska, and Hawaii to Goal for Stryker Brigades selected representative locations in South America, the Balkans, South Asia, South Pacific, and Africa would range from about 5 days to Page 7 GAO-03-801 Military Transformation destinations in South America to about 14 days to destinations in Africa.7 The minimum time it would take to airlift a Stryker brigade would be about 5 to 6 days to South America and the Balkans, 7 days to South Asia and South Pacific regions, and 13 days to Africa. While these timelines are short of the Army’s 4-day deployment goal, meeting them would offer joint task force commanders or theater combatant commanders more rapidly deployable forces than currently exists in heavy armored brigades and more lethal and mobile forces than currently exist in light infantry brigades. Figure 3 shows estimated ranges of Stryker brigade air deployment times from the four current and planned Stryker brigade locations to selected global regions. (See app. III for a summary of Stryker brigade deployment times by origins and destinations.) Figure 3: Estimated Ranges of Stryker Brigade Air Deployment Times to Selected Global Regions Note: Air deployment time is from the first aircraft’s wheels-up at an aerial port of embarkation to the last aircraft’s wheels-down at an aerial port of debarkation. 7 For the purpose of our analysis of deployment times we used four of the five current and planned brigade locations—Fort Lewis, Alaska, Fort Polk, and Hawaii. We treated the Alaska brigade as one brigade location, although this brigade will be split-based between Fort Richardson and Fort Wainwright. The bulk of the brigade is to be located at Fort Wainwright. We did not include the planned Pennsylvania National Guard brigade because it is not expected to become operational until 2010. Page 8 GAO-03-801 Military Transformation According to the U.S. Transportation Command’s Stryker brigade air mobility deployment analysis, the Army’s deployment goal for Stryker brigades has significant implications for the U.S. Transportation Command and the defense transportation system. According to this analysis, the Army must reduce its transportation requirements and simultaneously work with the U.S. Transportation Command and the services to improve deployment timelines. A 2002 Rand report of Stryker brigade deployment options, sponsored by the U.S. Air Force, also concluded that Stryker brigades cannot be deployed by air from the continental United States to distant overseas locations in 4 days. The study found that it is possible to achieve global air deployment timelines on the order of 1 to 2 weeks by using a combination of continental United States based brigades, a Stryker brigade forward- based in Germany, and regional preposition sites. According to the study, prepositioning of equipment or overseas basing of forces is the single most effective way to increase the responsiveness of Army forces for operations in key regions. Under the 2002 Defense Planning Guidance, the Army is planning for the relocation of one Stryker brigade to Europe in fiscal year 2007. By air, a brigade based in Germany, for example, could reach some global regions in less time than it could from the four currently planned brigade locations. From Ramstein Air Base in Germany, minimum air deployment times to sub-Saharan Africa would be 7 to 9 days, compared to a minimum of 13 days to 14 days from the other brigade locations. From Germany to the Balkans, it would take 5 days to airlift a Stryker brigade, compared to about 6 days to 7 days from the other locations. Although the Army recognizes that some prepositioning of Stryker brigade equipment overseas would add to a brigade’s strategic responsiveness and is considering it as a future option, Army officials told us that it would be too costly to do so at this time. Based on our analysis of the U.S. Transportation Command’s air deployment planning factors and airlift allocation assumptions,8 achieving 8 Some of the significant strategic air mobility and aircraft allocation assumptions the U.S. Transportation Command used in its analysis include the Stryker brigade is the primary airlift claimant in a surge operation; the airlift fleet does not include aircraft withheld for maintenance, high priority missions, or training; air mobility infrastructure will support 20-minute departure intervals; and sufficient reserve augmentation is available to provide support for increased airlift requirements. Page 9 GAO-03-801 Military Transformation the 5 to 14 day air deployment timelines would be difficult because it would require the Air Force to dedicate about one-third of its projected 2005 primary strategic airlift aircraft fleet of C-17s and C-5s for transporting only one Stryker brigade. Obtaining this amount of airlift for deploying one Stryker brigade would require allocating 31 percent of the Air Force’s total 2005 inventory of C-17 aircraft and 38 percent of its C-5 aircraft inventory.9 Obtaining an airlift allocation larger than this would be possible—if airlifting a Stryker brigade is a National Command Authority top priority and absent competing demand elsewhere for airlift aircraft. Table 1 shows the U.S. Transportation Command’s estimated airlift allocation10 and the percentages of the projected 2005 total airlift inventory of C-17 and C-5 aircraft needed to strategically airlift one Stryker brigade. Table 1: Percentages of U.S. Air Force’s Total Airlift Inventory in 2005 Needed to Strategically Airlift One Stryker Brigade Projected total 2005 aircraft Estimated airlift Percent of total Airlift aircraft inventory allocation inventorya C-17 Globemaster 136 42 31 C-5 Galaxy 113 48 38 Total 249 90 36 Sources: U.S. Transportation Command and U.S. Air Force. a Percentages are rounded. Army Plans to Use a Because it may not always be possible to obtain sufficient airlift to deploy Combination of Airlift and an entire Stryker brigade, Army officials anticipate using a combination of Sealift to Deploy Stryker airlift and sealift to deploy the brigades, although sea deployment time would be slower than the Army’s 4-day worldwide deployment goal to Brigades most locations. Army officials told us that current plans are to deploy about one-third of a Stryker brigade by air and the remainder of the brigade would be deployed by sea. While some areas in South America could be reached by a Stryker brigade located at Fort Polk, Louisiana, via gulf coast ports in about 4 days, sea deployment times to South America and other global regions from the three other planned Stryker brigade 9 According to Air Force budget documents, these are the total numbers of C-17 and C-5 aircraft expected to be in the Air Force’s aircraft inventory through 2005. 10 According to the U.S. Transportation Command, this allocation is a reasonable approximation of the airlift a Stryker brigade could claim if it was the principal ground force to move early in a small-scale contingency operation. Page 10 GAO-03-801 Military Transformation locations would take longer. For example, sailing time for a Fort Lewis-based Stryker brigade from Seattle/Tacoma, Washington, would be about 10 days to ports in northern regions of South America and more than 2 weeks to ports in West Africa. From Alaska, sailing time to any of the eight overseas destinations we included in this analysis would take from 12 days to 24 days. Similarly, sailing times to the Balkans from any one of the four planned Stryker brigade locations would take a minimum of 2 weeks to over 3 weeks. With a Stryker brigade forward based in Europe, sea deployment times to the Balkans from seaports in Germany, for example, could be reduced to about 7 days. Figure 3 shows estimated ranges of Stryker brigade sailing times from the four current and planned Stryker brigade locations to selected global regions. (See app. IV for a summary of sea deployment times by origins and destinations.) Figure 4: Estimated Ranges of Stryker Brigade Sea Deployment Times Note: Sea deployment times are sailing days from a port of embarkation to arrival at an overseas port of debarkation. In addition to the sailing times needed to reach overseas destinations, it would take days to transport a Stryker brigade and all of its vehicles and equipment from its home installation to a seaport. For example, the Stryker brigade to be located in Alaska would need to travel about 350 miles by rail or highway from Fort Wainwright, near Fairbanks, to seaports in or near Anchorage. In addition, loading and unloading cargo transport Page 11 GAO-03-801 Military Transformation ships take much longer than loading and off-loading aircraft. According to Army deployment planning data, it would take about 2 days for loading ships and another 2 days to unload them after arrival, compared to hours for loading and unloading aircraft. Furthermore, many areas of the world in which Stryker brigades are anticipated to operate have no access to a seaport, and not all seaports would have the capacity to handle large deep-draft vessels. Additional time would also be needed for Army forces deployed by sea to move from a seaport to an in-land area of operations, although a Stryker brigade would be able to move to in-land locations faster than a heavy armored brigade because Stryker armored vehicles can be driven while heavier armored vehicles and tanks might require rail or truck transport. Also, a deployed Stryker brigade would need less time than a heavy armored brigade would need to unload at a seaport, assemble, and begin operations: Stryker brigades are organized and equipped to begin operations soon after arrival in an operational theater, carrying up to 3 days’ supplies of the fuel and ammunition and sustainment items, allowing the brigades to immediately conduct a combat mission. This contrasts with an Army armored or mechanized brigade, which would need days to draw the fuel, ammunition, and other supplies it would need before it can begin operations. The Army’s plan for supporting and sustaining Stryker brigades in combat Army’s Plan for operations is still evolving and cannot be considered finalized until a Supporting and number of issues are resolved. These issues include the results from the operational evaluation of the first brigade, funding questions, and Sustaining Stryker decisions relating to implementing some of the plan’s logistical support Brigades in Combat concepts. Operations Is Still The Army will not be able to finish its support plan until November 2003, Evolving when results from the operational evaluation of the first Stryker brigade will be issued. The Army conducted the operational evaluation in April and May 2003 to assess the first Stryker brigade’s overall operational effectiveness and suitability. The operational evaluation included the logistical support plan and processes that augment the brigade’s limited capabilities to perform basic maintenance, supply, and transportation services. To make Stryker brigades easier to deploy and support, the Army designed the brigades with a support structure that is only about one-third the size of that found in a heavy armored brigade. Thus, Stryker brigades do not have the capability to sustain operations without the assistance of external support organizations and resources. Contractors will provide a key part of this external support to service and maintain newly fielded Stryker armored vehicles and complex digital command, control, Page 12 GAO-03-801 Military Transformation communications, and computer equipment. Contractor logistics support will be needed to support the Stryker vehicles and digital systems at least until these systems are fully fielded. Also, instead of transporting large inventories of ammunition spare parts, and other supplies into an area of operation—as a heavy armored brigade would do—Stryker brigades are to sustain themselves in extended operations by having these items delivered from numerous locations outside the area of operation, such as Army depots and theater support bases, where they will be stored and configured for rapid shipment and distribution to the brigades as they are needed. Because these support and sustainment processes are new concepts and key elements of the Army’s support plan for Stryker brigades, the Army will complete the plan after it has reviewed the results and lessons learned from the operational evaluation. Based on the results, the Army plans to make any adjustments or modifications it determines are necessary before the plan becomes final. Before it can fully implement the support plan, the Army will need to determine the cost and decide whether it will fund the acquisition of vehicles and equipment replacement reserves. The brigades are designed to do only limited maintenance for vehicles and equipment on the battlefield; therefore, the Army’s support plan calls for rapidly evacuating and replacing items needing major maintenance or repair with what the Army calls ready-to-fight replacements. The plan depends on having in reserve and readily available sufficient numbers of vehicles and essential equipment, such as digital components, for rapid shipment into an area of operation. Before the Army can make a final funding decision, it will first need to determine the types, amounts, and total cost of the ready- to-fight replacements that would be needed. As of May 2003, the Army had not made a final decision as to the number, types, and configuration of the ready-to-fight vehicles, nor the method of their delivery to an area of operations. Additionally, to reduce the amount of materiel that is deployed and stockpiled within an operational theater, the Army’s Stryker brigade support plan includes measures for rapidly distributing directly to the brigades pre-configured loads of essential sustainment supplies such as food, repair parts, and ammunition, as they are needed. Before the Army can implement the plan, it will need to finish the instructions and guidelines that will identify the types and amounts of supplies to be distributed in configured loads and the locations and facilities (including defense supply depots, Stryker brigade installations, and theater support bases) where configured loads are to be built and stored. The Army also still will need to identify the personnel and obtain the equipment, supplies, and funding that will be needed to manage and carry out its planned configured load distribution system. Page 13 GAO-03-801 Military Transformation The Army’s current plans for deploying and sustaining Stryker brigades Army’s Plans for could change after the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) reviews Deploying and options it directed the Army to provide for enhancing the brigades’ capabilities. OSD wants the Army to modify the brigades to be more like Sustaining Stryker the Objective Force units the Army is developing. OSD has directed the Brigades Could Army to present a plan by July 8, 2003, that provides options for adding to the brigade’s enhanced combined arms capabilities. Currently, the Change brigades do not have capabilities such as aviation and air defense. Such changes would enhance the overall organizational effectiveness of the brigades, but they also could increase deployment and support requirements, potentially making the brigades more difficult to deploy by air and to support. OSD directed the Army to provide options for enhancing the Stryker brigades to ensure that they would provide a higher level of combat capability and sustainability across a broader spectrum of combat operations than those for which they were originally conceived, along with the capability of being employed independently of higher-level command formations and support. According to OSD, this additional capability will result in Stryker brigades that are more prototypical of the combined arms Objective Force units the Army is developing and would enhance the transformation of the Army by fielding added capabilities sooner. OSD has directed the Army not to expend funds in fiscal year 2004 for the fifth and sixth Stryker brigades until the Army presents a plan to provide options for enhancing all but one of the brigades.11 OSD wants the Army to remodel the brigades to be distinctively different than their original design, with enhanced combined arms capabilities that might include aviation, air defense, sensors, and armor. Many factors—including the numbers, size, and types of equipment— affect the Stryker brigades’ deployment and logistical support requirements. Based on the U.S. Transportation Command’s deployment- planning factors, every additional 1,000 tons of weight to be airlifted reduces aircraft range by 250 nautical miles and adds another 15 aircraft loads. If Stryker brigades were redesigned to include an aviation unit, for example, transporting the unit’s helicopters from the continental United States to overseas destinations would most likely need to be done by sea, 11 The fourth Stryker brigade will be the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment (Light) located at Fort Polk, Louisiana. According to Army plans, this brigade is already being designed to have some of the combined arms capabilities that OSD wants the Army to add to the five other brigades. Page 14 GAO-03-801 Military Transformation and it would take days to unload them after arrival into a theater of operations. In addition, adding aviation maintenance personnel and the equipment that is needed to support an aviation unit would also substantially increase deployment requirements. Once deployed, the requirements for logistical support, such as fuel and spare parts, would increase well beyond that for which the Army’s current Stryker brigade support plan anticipates. Furthermore, the Stryker brigades’ support structure as currently designed does not have the levels of supply and support personnel or the necessary equipment to move and distribute the fuel, spare parts, and ammunition a brigade would need to support an aviation unit in combat operations. With the Stryker brigades, the Army has achieved its intent to create Conclusions rapidly deployable yet lethal forces, but currently the brigades’ requirements for airlift are too large for airlift alone to be a practical option for strategically deploying an entire brigade within its goal of 4 days. The Army plans to use some combination of strategic airlift and sealift, but it has not established strategic deployability timelines for a Stryker brigade that reflect the modes of transportation to be used, the wide range of deployment times that vary in terms of the size of the deployed force, and the brigades’ location and destination. In addition, deployment goals may need further modification should the brigade’s organizational and operational design significantly change in response to direction from OSD to enhance the brigade’s capabilities. While the 4-day deployment goal has created a strategic purpose and vision, and is serving as a constructive design metric for developing the brigades, such a goal is not a realistic standard by which to measure the considerable progress the Army is making toward creating more rapidly deployable forces. Without deployment goals that reflect the wide range of deployment variables and alternatives, the Army does not have a reasonable baseline from which to measure its progress toward achieving desired deployment timelines for Stryker brigades as well as for the future Objective Force; nor do the theater combatant commanders have information on expected deployment capabilities they would need in order to plan for the use of a Stryker brigade in their theater. Before the first Stryker brigade is certified for overseas deployment, the Army will need to complete its support plan and make any necessary adjustments or modifications to the plan based on the results of the operational evaluation. Page 15 GAO-03-801 Military Transformation We recommend that the Secretary of the Army examine alternatives to the Recommendations for 96-hour worldwide deployment goal for Stryker brigades and work with Executive Action the U.S. Transportation Command and its components to set realistic deployment timelines for the brigades that • reflect the use of both airlift and sealift, the size of the deployed force, a brigade’s location, and its destination and • take into account any organizational or operational changes to the brigades resulting from modifications and enhancements directed by OSD. In commenting on a draft of this report, the Department of Defense Agency Comments generally concurred with the report and stated that the Army continues to and Our Evaluation maintain 96-hour worldwide deployment as an overall program goal for Stryker brigade deployment, and is working with the U.S. Transportation Command to reduce constraints that limit the Army’s ability to meet the goal. In responding to our recommendation that the Secretary of the Army examine alternatives to the 96-hour worldwide deployment goal for Stryker brigades and work with the U.S. Transportation Command to set realistic deployment timelines, the department stated that the Army is committed to its 96-hour goal as a target that it needs to continue to work toward in order to provide the necessary capabilities to combat commanders within required response times. The department noted that achieving this goal requires a concerted effort on the part of all services and the U.S. Transportation Command to ensure that enroute constraints are reduced. We agree that the 96-hour goal is a useful longer-term target and that the Army should continue to work in concert with the Transportation Command and the other services to achieve it. However, we continue to believe other alternatives to the 96-hour goal should be considered for measuring progress in the near-term. As we noted in the report, the Army cannot currently air deploy a Stryker brigade anywhere in the world within 96 hours and if sealift were used to deploy the Stryker brigades, deployment times would be significantly longer than the 96-hour deployment goal. We believe that without deployment timelines reflecting near-term deployment variables and alternatives, such as brigade locations and the use of sealift, the Army does not have a reasonable baseline from which to measure its progress toward achieving its 96-hour deployment goal; nor do the combatant commanders have information on expected Stryker brigade deployment capabilities. Thus, we continue to believe our recommendation has merit. Page 16 GAO-03-801 Military Transformation In responding to our recommendation for setting realistic deployment timelines for Stryker brigades that take into account organizational or operational changes to the brigades resulting from any modifications and enhancements directed by OSD, the department said the Army should maintain its 96-hour deployment goal, as it is a goal and not a deployment standard. The department also noted that when the results of the OSD- mandated study are approved and published, the Army would work with the combatant commanders and the U.S. Transportation Command to update the standing contingency plans. We agree the Army should work with the combatant commanders and the U.S. Transportation Command to update contingency plans based on the final outcome of the OSD- mandated study. However, if the results of the study significantly increase the Stryker brigades’ deployment and logistical support requirements, the Army would need to reexamine brigade deployment goals as we have recommended. Appendix I contains the full text of the department’s comments. To assess the Army’s progress in meeting its 96-hour deployment goal for Scope and Stryker brigades, we obtained documents and interviewed officials from Methodology the U.S. Transportation Command, the Air Mobility Command, and the Military Traffic Management Command. To determine Stryker brigade air deployment times and airlift allocation estimates, we used data from a U.S. Transportation Command’s air mobility deployment analysis conducted for the Army in April 2002. To determine sea deployment times, we analyzed data from the Military Traffic Management Command’s Transportation Engineering Agency. In addition, we interviewed officials and obtained documents from the Army’s Deployment Process Management Office and from Army headquarters staff elements responsible for operations and plans and logistics. We performed site visits to Stryker brigade home installations at Fort Lewis, Washington, and Fort Richardson and Fort Wainwright, Alaska; we also interviewed U.S. Army I Corps and U.S. Army Alaska and Garrison Command officials at these locations. We also toured deployment processing and airfield facilities and obtained information about infrastructure improvements planned at these locations to validate key assumptions of the U.S. Transportation Command’s air mobility analysis regarding air deployment infrastructure capabilities. We did not visit Fort Polk, Louisiana; Schofield Barracks, Hawaii; or the Pennsylvania National Guard. These locations are the last three of the six-planned Stryker brigades that are to be formed from 2006 through 2010. Because it is not planned to become operational until 2010, we excluded from our review the planned Pennsylvania Page 17 GAO-03-801 Military Transformation National Guard Stryker brigade. We also did not consider possible future developments in lift assets such as High Speed Vessels or Ultra Heavy Lift Aircraft in our assessment of Stryker brigade deployability. To obtain information on the Army’s plan for supporting Stryker brigades in combat operations, we analyzed Army information on the organizational design and operational concepts for Stryker brigades to gain an understanding of the logistical challenges of supporting and sustaining the brigades. We interviewed officials at Fort Lewis and U.S. Army Alaska for information relating to support and sustainment plans for the first three Stryker brigades. In addition, we reviewed documents and interviewed officials from Army headquarters staff elements responsible for operations and plans, logistics, and force development. We also interviewed and obtained documents from the Army’s Forces Command, the Combined Arms Support Command, and the Tank-automotive and Armaments Command to learn about support and sustainment options for the Stryker brigades. Our review was conducted from April 2002 through March 2003 in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. We are sending copies of this report to the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of the Army, and the Director of Management and Budget. We will also make copies available to others upon request. In addition, this report will be available at no charge on the GAO Web site at http://www.gao.gov. Page 18 GAO-03-801 Military Transformation If you or your staffs have any questions about this report, please call me at (202) 512-8365. Major contributors to this report were Reginald L. Furr, Jr.; Kevin C. Handley; Karyn I. Angulo; Pat L. Seaton; Frank C. Smith; and Susan K. Woodward. William M. Solis Director, Defense Capabilities and Management Page 19 GAO-03-801 Military Transformation List of Congressional Committees The Honorable John W. Warner Chairman The Honorable Carl Levin Ranking Minority Member Committee on Armed Services United States Senate The Honorable Ted Stevens Chairman The Honorable Daniel K. Inouye Ranking Minority Member Subcommittee on Defense Committee on Appropriations United States Senate The Honorable Duncan Hunter Chairman The Honorable Ike Skelton Ranking Minority Member Committee on Armed Services House of Representatives The Honorable Jerry Lewis Chairman The Honorable John P. Murtha Ranking Minority Member Subcommittee on Defense Committee on Appropriations House of Representatives Page 20 GAO-03-801 Military Transformation Appendix I: Comments from the Department Appendix I: Comments from the Department of Defense of Defense Page 21 GAO-03-801 Military Transformation Appendix I: Comments from the Department of Defense Page 22 GAO-03-801 Military Transformation Appendix II: Stryker Brigade Locations and Appendix II: Stryker Brigade Locations and Planned Initial Operational Capability Dates Planned Initial Operational Capability Dates Planned initial operational Brigade Location capability dates 1 Fort Lewis, Washington 2003 2 Fort Lewis, Washington 2004 3 Fort Wainwright/Fort Richardson, Alaska 2005 4 Fort Polk, Louisiana 2006 5 Schofield Barracks, Hawaii 2007 6 Pennsylvania National Guard 2010 Source: U.S. Army. Page 23 GAO-03-801 Military Transformation Appendix III: Stryker Brigade Air Deployment Appendix III: Stryker Brigade Air Times By Origin and Destination Deployment Times By Origin and Destination Destinations and air deployment times in days West Sub-Saharan South South South America Africa Africa Asia Pacific Europe Brigade Origin installation Sierra Sri New no. and airport Columbia Venezuela Leone Angola Congo Lanka Guinea Balkans Ft. Lewis/ McChord Air Force 1&2 Base 5.3 6.7 13.4 13.6 13.9 8.1 7.3 6.3 Ft. Wainwright/ 3 Eielson Air Force Base 5.6 5.6 13.6 13.7 14.0 7.3 7.0 5.9 Ft. Richardson/ Elmendorf Air Force 3 Base 5.6 5.6 13.6 13.7 14.0 7.3 7.0 5.6 Ft. Polk/ 4 Alexandria Airport 5.1 5.2 13.2 13.3 13.6 9.7 8.2 5.6 Schofield Barracks/ 5 Hickam Air Force Base 5.6 5.6 13.7 14.0 14.1 7.5 6.9 6.9 Source: GAO’s analysis of U.S. Transportation Command data. Note: Air deployment time is from the first aircrafts’ wheels-up at an aerial port of embarkation to the last aircrafts’ wheels-down at an aerial port of debarkation. Page 24 GAO-03-801 Military Transformation Appendix IV: Stryker Brigade Sea Deployment Appendix IV: Stryker Brigade Sea Times by Origin and Destination Deployment Times by Origin and Destination Destinations and sailing time in days West Sub-Saharan South South South America Africa Africa Asia Pacific Europe Brigade Origin installation Sierra Sri New no. and airport Columbia Venezuela Leone Angola Congo Lanka Guinea Balkans Ft. Lewis/ 9.5 10.5 17.3 21.3 20.4 18.3 13.2 21.5 1&2 Seattle-Tacoma, Wash. Ft. Wainwright & 12.0 12.9 19.8 23.8 22.9 16.5 11.9 24.0 Ft. Richardson/ 3 Anchorage, Alaska Ft. Polk/ 4.0 4.3 10.3 14.4 13.4 21.4 20.5 13.5 4 Beaumont, Tex. Schofield Barracks/ 10.7 11.6 18.5 22.5 21.5 15.8 8.2 22.7 5 Honolulu, Hawaii Source: GAO’s analysis of Military Traffic Management Command, Transportation Engineering Agency data. Note: Sea deployment times are sailing days from a port of embarkation to arrival at an overseas port of debarkation. Page 25 GAO-03-801 Military Transformation Related GAO Products Related GAO Products Military Transformation: Army’s Evaluation of Stryker and M-113A3 Infantry Carrier Vehicles Provided Sufficient Data for Statutorily Mandated Comparison. GAO-03-671. Washington, D.C.: May 30, 2003. Army Stryker Brigades: Assessment of External Logistic Support Should Be Documented for the Congressionally Mandated Review of the Army’s Operational Evaluation Plan. GAO-03-484R. Washington, D.C.: Mar. 28, 2003. Military Transformation: Army Actions Needed to Enhance Formation of Future Interim Brigade Combat Teams. GAO-02-442. Washington, D.C.: May 17, 2002. Military Transformation: Army Has a Comprehensive Plan for Managing Its Transformation but Faces Major Challenges. GAO-02-96. Washington, D.C.: Nov. 16, 2001. Defense Acquisition: Army Transformation Faces Weapons Systems Challenges. GAO-01-311. Washington, D.C.: May 21, 2001. (350163) Page 26 GAO-03-801 Military Transformation The General Accounting Office, the audit, evaluation and investigative arm of GAO’s Mission Congress, exists to support Congress in meeting its constitutional responsibilities and to help improve the performance and accountability of the federal government for the American people. GAO examines the use of public funds; evaluates federal programs and policies; and provides analyses, recommendations, and other assistance to help Congress make informed oversight, policy, and funding decisions. GAO’s commitment to good government is reflected in its core values of accountability, integrity, and reliability. 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Military Transformation: Realistic Deployment Timelines Needed for Army Stryker Brigades
Published by the Government Accountability Office on 2003-06-30.
Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)