oversight

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)

             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 solisw@gao.gov.
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


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          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
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