oversight

Military Readiness: DOD Needs to Reassess Program Strategy, Funding Priorities, and Risks for Selected Equipment

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 2003-12-19.

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

                United States General Accounting Office

GAO             Report to Congressional Requesters




December 2003
                MILITARY
                READINESS
                DOD Needs to
                Reassess Program
                Strategy, Funding
                Priorities, and Risks
                for Selected
                Equipment




GAO-04-112
                a
                                                 December 2003


                                                 MILITARY READINESS

                                                 DOD Needs to Reassess Program
Highlights of GAO-04-112, a report to            Strategy, Funding Priorities, and Risks
congressional requesters
                                                 for Selected Equipment



GAO was asked to assess the                      Many of our assessments of 25 judgmentally selected critical equipment
condition of key equipment items                 items indicated that the problems or issues we identified were not severe
and to determine if the services                 enough to warrant action by the Department of Defense, military services,
have adequate plans for sustaining,              and/or the Congress within the next 5 years. The condition of the items we
modernizing, or replacing them. To               reviewed varies widely from very poor for some of the older equipment
address these questions, we
selected 25 major equipment items,
                                                 items like the Marine Corps CH-46E Sea Knight Helicopter to very good for
and determined (1) their current                 some of the newer equipment items like the Army Stryker vehicle. The
condition, (2) whether the services              problems we identified were largely due to (1) maintenance problems
have mapped out a program                        caused by equipment age and a lack of trained and experienced technicians,
strategy for these items, (3)                    and (2) spare parts shortages.
whether current and projected
funding is consistent with these                 Although the services have mapped out program strategies for sustaining,
strategies, and (4) whether these                modernizing, or replacing most of the equipment items we reviewed,
equipment items are capable of                   some gaps exist. In some cases, such as the KC-135 Stratotanker and the
fulfilling their wartime missions.               Tomahawk missile, the services have not fully developed or validated their
                                                 plans for the sustainment, modernization, or replacement of the items. In
                                                 other cases, the services’ program strategies for sustaining the equipment
GAO recommends that the                          are hampered by problems or delays in the fielding of replacement
Secretary of Defense reassess                    equipment or in the vulnerability of the programs to budget cuts.
program strategies and funding
priorities for key equipment items               For 15 of the 25 equipment items we reviewed, there appears to be a
to ensure that the equipment items               disconnect between the funding requested by the Department of Defense
are sustained until replacement                  or projected in the Future Years Defense Program and the services’
items are fielded. The department                program strategies to sustain or replace the equipment items. For example,
should also highlight for the
                                                 we identified fiscal year 2003 unfunded requirements, as reported by
Congress risks involved in
sustaining these equipment items                 the services, totaling $372.9 million for four major aircraft—the CH-47D
and steps the department is taking               helicopter, F-16 fighter aircraft, C-5 transport aircraft, and CH-46E
to address those risks. In its                   transport helicopter.
written comments on a draft of this
report, the department partially                 The 25 equipment items we reviewed appear to be capable of fulfilling their
concurred that it needed to                      wartime missions. While we were unable to obtain sufficient data to
reassess program strategies and                  definitively assess wartime capability because of ongoing operations in Iraq,
funding priorities, but did not agree            the services, in general, will always ensure equipment is ready to go to war,
that it needed to provide the                    often through surging their maintenance operations and overcoming other
Congress with additional                         obstacles. Some of the equipment items we reviewed, however, have
information on the potential risks.
                                                 capability deficiencies that could degrade their wartime performance in the
Because the department did not
agree, the report includes a Matter              near term.
for Congressional Consideration
suggesting that the Congress may
wish to require the department to
provide this information.
www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-04-112.

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                                                            5
                             Background                                                                 12
                             Overall Condition of Selected Equipment Items Varies Widely                13
                             Services Have Mapped Out Long-Range Program Strategies for
                               Sustaining and Modernizing Most Equipment Items but Some
                               Gaps Exist                                                               16
                             Requested Funding Does Not Reflect the Services’ Long-Range
                               Program Strategies                                                       18
                             Equipment Is Generally Capable of Fulfilling Wartime Missions
                               despite Some Limitations                                                 20
                             Conclusions                                                                21
                             Recommendations for Executive Action                                       22
                             Matter for Congressional Consideration                                     23
                             Agency Comments and Our Evaluation                                         23


Appendixes
              Appendix I:    Scope and Methodology                                                      27
             Appendix II:    Assessments of Selected Equipment Items                                    32
             Appendix III:   Comments from the Department of Defense                                    94
             Appendix IV:    GAO Contact and Staff Acknowledgments                                     103
                                                                                                       103


Tables                       Table 1: Assessment Summary                                                 7
                             Table 2: Unfunded Requirements for Selected Aircraft Equipment
                                      Items, Fiscal Year 2003                                           19


Figures                      Figure 1:    Abrams Tank                                                   33
                             Figure 2:    AH-64A/D Apache Helicopter                                    36
                             Figure 3:    Stryker                                                       39
                             Figure 4:    CH-47D/F Chinook Helicopter                                   41
                             Figure 5:    Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck                        43
                             Figure 6:    Patriot Missile                                               46
                             Figure 7:    Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System                          48
                             Figure 8:    F-16 Fighting Falcon Aircraft                                 50
                             Figure 9:    B-2 Spirit Bomber                                             53
                             Figure 10:   C-5 Galaxy Transport Aircraft                                 55
                             Figure 11:   KC-135 Stratotanker Aircraft                                  57



                             Page i                                           GAO-04-112 Military Readiness
Contents




Figure 12:   Conventional Air Launched Cruise Missile                      60
Figure 13:   Joint Direct Attack Munition                                  62
Figure 14:   DDG-51 Arleigh Burke Class Destroyer                          64
Figure 15:   FFG-7 Oliver Hazard Perry Class Frigate                       67
Figure 16:   F/A-18 Hornet/Super Hornet Aircraft                           70
Figure 17:   EA-6B Prowler Aircraft                                        72
Figure 18:   LPD-4 Amphibious Transport Dock Ship                          75
Figure 19:   Standard Missile-2 Surface-to-Air Missile                     78
Figure 20:   Tomahawk Cruise Missile                                       81
Figure 21:   AH-1W Super Cobra Helicopter                                  83
Figure 22:   CH-46E Sea Knight Helicopter                                  85
Figure 23:   Assault Amphibian Vehicle-Personnel                           87
Figure 24:   Light Armored Vehicle-Command & Control                       90
Figure 25:   AGM-65E Maverick Missile                                      92


Abbreviations

AAV          Assault Amphibian Vehicle
AAW          anti-air warfare
ACC          Air Combat Command
ASW          anti-submarine warfare
ATGM         Anti-Tank Guided Missile Vehicle
CALCM        Conventional Air Launched Cruise Missile
CBR          Center Barrel Replacement
CV           Commander Vehicle
DOD          Department of Defense
DPICM        Dual Purpose Improved Convention Munition
EFV          Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (formerly the
             AAAV—Advanced Amphibious Assault Vehicle)
ERAM         Extended Range Active Missile
ESV          Engineer Squad Vehicle
FLE          Fatigue life expenditure
FSV          Fire Support Vehicle
FYDP         Future Years Defense Plan
GMLRS-       Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System
HEMTT        Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck
HME          hull, mechanics, and electrical
ICAPIII      Improved Capability 3rd Generation
ICV          Infantry Carrier Vehicle
JDAM         Joint Direct Attack Munition
LAR          Light Armored Reconnaissance



Page ii                                          GAO-04-112 Military Readiness
Contents




LAV-C2 Light Armored Vehicle-Command & Control
MC     Mortar Carrier
MEV    Medical Evacuation
MGS    Mobile Gun System
NBCRV  Nuclear Biological and Chemical Reconnaissance Vehicle
OMB    operation and maintenance
O&S    Operation and Support
PAC-3  Patriot Missile
QDR    Quadrennial Defense Review
RAM    Rolling Airframe Missile
RAM/RS Reliability, Availability and Maintenance/Rebuild to
       Standard
RHIB   Ridged Hull Inflatable Boat
RV     Reconnaissance Vehicle
SEP    Systems Enhancement Program
SLEP   Service Life Extension Program
TACTOM Tactical Tomahawk




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Page iii                                                   GAO-04-112 Military Readiness
A
United States General Accounting Office
Washington, D.C. 20548



                                    December 19, 2003                                                                 Leter




                                    The Honorable Ike Skelton
                                    Ranking Minority Member
                                    Committee on Armed Services
                                    House of Representatives

                                    The Honorable John Murtha
                                    Ranking Minority Member
                                    Subcommittee on Defense
                                    Committee on Appropriations
                                    House of Representatives

                                    The Honorable Norm Dicks
                                    House of Representatives

                                    Many of the weapons and support equipment items in the Department of
                                    Defense’s inventory were purchased in the 1970s and 1980s, and are likely
                                    to reach the end of their expected useful lives in this decade unless major
                                    modernizations are made. Equipment age as well as delays in fielding
                                    replacement systems can adversely affect maintenance costs, and
                                    ultimately, equipment readiness and wartime capabilities. The added
                                    effects of simultaneous military deployments and recent increases in
                                    operating tempo place additional stress on equipment that is, in some
                                    cases, more than 30 years old.

                                    The department is faced with the challenges of both sustaining and
                                    transforming the current military force structure, including replacing aging
                                    equipment. The costs associated with meeting these challenges are likely to
                                    be significant. For example, a 2001 Joint Chiefs of Staff analysis of the
                                    funding needed to sustain the current force structure concluded that a
                                    procurement budget of $100 billion to $110 billion would be required
                                    annually. The President’s fiscal year 2004 budget request included a total of
                                    about $72.7 billion for Defense procurement, an amount significantly less
                                    than that identified by the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In addition, the
                                    Congressional Budget Office estimated that the investment needed to
                                    develop and purchase new Defense equipment would likely increase from
                                    $137 billion in fiscal year 2004 to a peak of about $223 billion in fiscal year
                                    2013 if cost risk is considered.1 The impending reconstitution of equipment
                                    resulting from Operation Iraqi Freedom will also require billions of dollars.
                                    Competing for these funds for sustainment and modernization are the
                                    Department of Defense’s efforts to transform its current force structure



                                    Page 1                                              GAO-04-112 Military Readiness
into a force that maintains or improves its lethality but deploys faster, is
lighter, and relies on information rather than brute force to defeat its
adversary.

You asked us to assess the condition of key equipment items and to
determine if the services had adequate plans to address identified
deficiencies. Specifically, you asked that we determine which items
warranted immediate attention by the department and/or the Congress. You
also asked us to identify whether the department’s procurement plans and
projected budgets are sufficient to sustain or improve these equipment
items. To address these objectives, we determined:

• the current condition of key military equipment items;

• whether the services have mapped out a long-range program strategy for
  sustaining, modernizing, or replacing2 these equipment items consistent
  with the current condition and expected service life;

• whether current and projected funding for these equipment items
  through fiscal year 2009 is consistent with the services’ program
  strategies for sustaining, modernizing, or replacing the equipment; and

• whether these equipment items are generally capable of fulfilling their
  wartime missions.

As agreed with your offices, we worked with the military services to
judgmentally select 25 equipment items that are key in terms of meeting the
strategy outlined in the September 2001 Quadrennial Defense Review. We
selected approximately two weapons equipment items, two support
equipment items, and two munitions from the Army, Air Force, Navy, and
Marine Corps.3 We relied extensively on input from the military services
and prior GAO work to select equipment items that have been in use for a
number of years and are critical to supporting the services’ missions. The

1
  Congressional Budget Office, The Long-Term Implications of Current Defense Plans:
Summary Update for Fiscal Year 2004 (Washington, D.C.: July 2003).
2
  Modernizing refers to upgrading equipment items or replacing specific parts; replacing
refers to complete replacement of one equipment item with a new equipment item, e.g., the
Marine Corps plans to replace the CH-46E helicopter with the MV-22 Osprey.
3
  The 25 equipment items we selected for review include 7 Army equipment items, 6 Air
Force equipment items, 7 Navy equipment items, and 5 Marine Corps equipment items.




Page 2                                                     GAO-04-112 Military Readiness
25 equipment items we selected were those that the military services
agreed were critical to meeting current capability requirements and defined
as essential to meet the strategy laid out under the Quadrennial Defense
Review. Our assessments apply only to the 25 equipment items we
reviewed. Consequently, the results of our assessments cannot be
projected to the entire inventory of Department of Defense equipment.

Our analysis of the condition of these 25 equipment items focused on a
number of key metrics, including equipment age, performance, and use
from fiscal year 1998 to fiscal year 2002. To assess condition, we obtained
data on equipment age and expected service life and other specific service
performance indicators such as mission capable rates,4 utilization rates,5
and various other metrics. While we limited our observations and
assessments to equipment in the active duty inventory, the readiness data
and other metrics we collected from the military services also includes
equipment in the guard and reserve forces. Our review of the program
strategy for these equipment items focused on the extent to which the
services have developed or updated their plans for the sustainment,
modernization, or recapitalization of the equipment items to the end of the
items’ useful service lives in order to meet mission requirements. Our
review of the funding for these equipment items focused on the extent to
which the services’ requests for sustainment, modernization, and
recapitalization funds in the current and historical defense budgets and the
projected funding envisioned in the Future Years Defense Program reflect
their long-range program strategies. The Future Years Defense Program
reflects the department’s official projection of the forces and resources
needed to support the programs approved by the Secretary of Defense for
the prior year, current year, biennial budget years, and the following
four years. According to Department of Defense officials, the Future Years
Defense Program takes the services’ priorities into consideration,
balancing future investment and risk. Our review of the wartime capability
of the selected equipment items focused on the extent to which each of the
equipment items is capable of fulfilling its wartime mission. Because of
ongoing operations in Iraq and our limited access to the deployed units and
equipment performance indicators during these operations, we were
unable to obtain sufficient data to definitively assess wartime capability for


4
  Mission capable rates are measures of aircraft material condition that indicate the aircraft
can perform at least one and potentially all of its designated missions.
5
    Utilization rates refer to flying hours, tank miles, and steaming days.




Page 3                                                            GAO-04-112 Military Readiness
all of the 25 equipment items we reviewed. Therefore, our assessments of
wartime capability are limited to anecdotal evidence obtained primarily
through discussions with military service officials, program managers, and
equipment operators and maintainers. In some cases we were able to
obtain specific data regarding wartime capability for specific equipment
items; however, data availability was not consistent across all of the
military services.

We met with officials from all four of the military services, one selected
combatant command,6 and several major commands. We also visited
selected units and maintenance facilities to observe the equipment items
during operation or under maintenance, and discussed condition and
wartime capability issues with program managers and equipment operators
and maintainers.

To determine which equipment items require immediate attention by the
department, the military services, and/or the Congress, we developed an
assessment framework based on three criteria: (1) the extent of the
existence of a problem or issue, (2) the severity of the problem or issue,
and (3) the estimated time frame within which the problem or issue needs
to be addressed. To assess the relative ranking of the 25 equipment items,
we used a traffic light approach—red, yellow, or green—to indicate the
existence, severity, and urgency of the problem as follows:

• Red        indicates a problem or issue that is severe enough to warrant
  action by the Department of Defense, the military services, and/or the
  Congress within the next 1-3 years;

• Yellow       indicates a problem or issue that is severe enough to
  warrant action by the Department of Defense, the military services
  and/or the Congress within the next 3-5 years; and

• Green          indicates that we did not identify any specific problems or
  issues at the time of our review, or that any existing problems or issues
  we identified are not of a severe enough nature that we believe warrant
  action by the Department of Defense, the military services and/or the
  Congress within the next 5 years.



6
  Our scope was limited to one combatant command, Pacific Command, due to the
remaining combatant commands’ participation in Operation Iraqi Freedom.




Page 4                                                  GAO-04-112 Military Readiness
                   While we attempted to obtain consistent metrics for each of the other three
                   categories across all four of the military services, data availability varied
                   significantly by service and type of equipment. Our assessments, therefore,
                   are based on the data available to us from multiple sources.
                   Our assessments represent the problems and issues we identified at the
                   specific point in time that we conducted our work, and can change quickly
                   given current events. Although our assessments for each of the
                   four categories—condition, program strategy, funding, and wartime
                   capability—are largely qualitative in nature, our analyses are based on data
                   and information provided by the military services and discussions with
                   military service officials and program managers for the individual
                   equipment items. We do not provide color-coded assessments for the
                   wartime capability of each equipment item in this report because, as
                   previously mentioned, we were unable to obtain adequate data to perform
                   a definitive assessment of wartime capabilities.

                   For a complete description of our methodology, see appendix I.
                   Appendix II contains our detailed assessments for each of the
                   25 equipment items. We performed our review from September 2002
                   through October 2003 in accordance with generally accepted government
                   auditing standards.



Results in Brief   As table 1 indicates, many of our assessments of the condition, program
                   strategy, and funding for each of the 25 equipment items we reviewed
                   indicate that the problems or issues we identified were not severe enough
                   to warrant action by the Department of Defense, military services, and/or
                   the Congress within the next 5 years. However, the table also indicates that
                   some equipment items have severe enough problems related to condition,
                   program strategy, and funding to warrant more immediate action by the
                   Department of Defense, the military services, and/or the Congress.
                   Specifically, as shown in the table, we identified problems and issues
                   related to the Army’s CH-47D, the Marine Corps’ CH-46E, the Air Force’s
                   KC-135, and the Navy’s EA-6B Prowler, Standard Missile-2, and Tomahawk
                   missile that we believe warrant action within the next 1 to 3 years. The
                   remaining items, while not yet severe enough to warrant immediate action
                   by the Department of Defense, the military services, and/or the Congress,
                   showed signs of problems related to condition, program strategy, or
                   funding that, if not addressed within the next 3 to 5 years, could become
                   severe. While we did not definitively assign a color-coded assessment of
                   the wartime capability for each of the 25 equipment items, military service




                   Page 5                                             GAO-04-112 Military Readiness
officials, program managers, operators, and maintainers we met with
identified a number of concerns that are discussed later.




Page 6                                          GAO-04-112 Military Readiness
Table 1: Assessment Summary

                                                                                            Assessment area
Equipment                                                 Condition                     Program strategy               Funding
Army
Abrams Tank
AH-64 A/D Apache Helicopter
Stryker
CH-47D/F Chinook Helicopter
Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck
Patriot Missile
Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System
Air Force
F-16 Fighting Falcon Aircraft
B-2 Spirit Bomber
C-5 Galaxy Transport Aircraft
KC-135 Stratotanker Aircraft
Conventional Air Launched Cruise Missile
Joint Direct Attack Munition
Navy
DDG-51Arleigh Burke Class Destroyer
FFG-7 Oliver Hazard Perry Class Frigate
F/A-18 Hornet/Super Hornet Aircraft
EA-6B Prowler Aircraft
LPD-4 Amphibious Transport Dock Ship
Standard Missile-2 Surface-to-Air Missile
Tomahawk Cruise Missile
Marine Corps
AH-1W Super Cobra Helicopter
CH-46E Sea Knight Helicopter
Assault Amphibian Vehicle-Personnel
Light Armored Vehicle-Command and Control Variant
                                                          a
AGM-65E Maverick Missile
Source: GAO analysis of military service data.
                                                 a
                                                  The Marine Corps does not track trend data such as mission capable rates or operational readiness
                                                 rates for munitions as it does for aircraft or other equipment.




                                                 Page 7                                                            GAO-04-112 Military Readiness
Condition          The condition of the selected equipment items we reviewed varies widely
                   from very poor for some of the older equipment items like the Marine
                   Corps CH-46E helicopter to very good for some of the newer equipment
                   items like the Army Stryker vehicle. The three equipment items for which
                   we assessed the current condition as red and in our opinion warrants
                   attention within 1 to 3 years are the CH-47D helicopter, the Standard
                   Missile-2 munitions, and the CH-46E helicopter. These items generally did
                   not meet mission capable or operational readiness goals for sustained
                   periods and were either older equipment items and/or had high utilization
                   rates. The 11 items for which we assessed the condition as yellow also may
                   have failed to meet mission capable or operational readiness goals, but to a
                   lesser extent. Left unattended, the condition of some of these yellow items
                   may worsen. There were various reasons for the degraded condition of
                   these equipment items including maintenance problems due to parts or
                   personnel inadequacies. Parts inadequacies include parts shortages,
                   unreliable parts, or obsolete parts due to the advanced age of the
                   equipment. Equipment operators believed a lack of trained and
                   experienced technicians also affected equipment items’ condition.



Program Strategy   Although the services have mapped out program strategies for sustaining,
                   modernizing, or replacing most of the equipment items we reviewed, some
                   gaps exist. In some cases, such as the KC-135 Stratotanker and the
                   Tomahawk missile, the services have not fully developed or validated their
                   plans for the sustainment, modernization, or replacement of the equipment
                   items. For example, in the case of the KC-135, the Air Force developed a
                   long-term program strategy to modernize the aging KC-135 tanker fleet but
                   as we have previously reported7 has not demonstrated the urgency of
                   acquiring replacement aircraft and has not defined the requirements for the
                   number of aircraft needed. In other cases, the services’ program strategies
                   for sustaining the equipment are hampered by problems or delays in the
                   fielding of replacement equipment or in the vulnerability of the programs to
                   budget cuts. As a result, the services may incur increased costs due to
                   maintenance to sustain aging equipment items in the event that the
                   replacement equipment is not fielded as scheduled. For example, the
                   planned replacement equipment for the Marine Corps CH-46E helicopter
                   (i.e., the MV-22 Osprey) has been delayed by about 3 years and is not


                   7
                     U.S. General Accounting Office, Military Aircraft: Observations on the Air Force’s Plan to
                   Lease Aerial Refueling Aircraft, GAO-03-1143T (Washington, D.C.: Sept. 3, 2003).




                   Page 8                                                       GAO-04-112 Military Readiness
          scheduled to be fielded until 2007; as a result, the Marine Corps will have to
          retain more CH-46E helicopters in its inventory longer than it had planned.
          Similarly, procurement of the replacement equipment for the Marine Corps’
          Assault Amphibian Vehicle has been delayed. The program strategy for the
          Assault Amphibian Vehicle includes overhauls, but for only 680 of the
          1,057 vehicles in the inventory.8 Other program strategies which we
          assessed as yellow may need to be validated or updated because the
          programs are highly susceptible to budget cuts as the equipment item’s
          mission changes. For example, planned modernization programs for Navy
          frigates are susceptible to budget cuts, according to Navy officials, because
          their future role is uncertain given the development of the Littoral Combat
          ship. In the meantime, the frigates are being used increasingly for
          homeland defense missions, yet their program strategy does not reflect that
          they are being used more often and in different ways.



Funding   There appears to be a disconnect between the funding requested by the
          Department of Defense or projected in the Future Years Defense Program
          and the services’ program strategies to sustain or replace many of the
          equipment items we reviewed. According to Department of Defense
          officials, the Future Years Defense Program strikes a balance between
          future investment and program risk and takes into consideration the
          services’ stated requirements as approved by the department. Specifically,
          we assessed the funding for 15 of the 25 equipment items we reviewed as
          either red or yellow because current and projected Department of Defense
          funding is not consistent with the services’ stated requirements to support
          their program strategies for these equipment items. For example, we
          identified fiscal year 2003 unfunded requirements, as reported by
          the services, totaling $372.9 million for four major aircraft equipment
          items—the CH-47D helicopter, F-16 fighter aircraft, C-5 transport aircraft,
          and CH-46E transport helicopter.9 We did not, however, independently
          verify these unfunded requirements. The most significant funding shortfalls
          occurred when parts, equipment upgrades, and maintenance were not fully


          8
            In its written comments on a draft of this report, the department stated that they plan to
          upgrade an additional 327 vehicles for a total of 1,007 vehicles, assuming funding is
          provided.
          9
            In its written comments on a draft of this report, department officials stated that the Navy
          lists CH-46E safety improvements as an unfunded requirement of $10 million to $14 million
          based upon the retirement schedule of the CH-46E and the fielding schedule of the MV-22
          replacement.




          Page 9                                                        GAO-04-112 Military Readiness
                     funded. In addition, according to service officials, requests for funds for
                     some older equipment items are sometimes reduced on the basis of
                     anticipated fielding of replacement equipment items in the near future.
                     Gaps in funding also result when fielding of the replacement equipment
                     items is delayed and the older equipment must be sustained longer than
                     anticipated. Funding for the older equipment items may also be a target for
                     funding reductions to support higher service transformation priorities,
                     such as new equipment or new technology. Other funding shortfalls occur
                     when the services subsequently identify additional maintenance
                     requirements that were not planned in the budget request. Army officials
                     expressed concerns that operation and maintenance funding to sustain
                     these aging equipment items in the future may not be sufficient to cover the
                     costs of retaining these items in the inventory longer than expected.



Wartime Capability   Although there were some limited capabilities, according to service
                     officials, the equipment items we reviewed are generally capable of
                     fulfilling their wartime missions. In general the services will always ensure
                     equipment is ready to go to war, often through surges in maintenance and
                     overcoming obstacles such as obsolete parts, parts availability, and
                     cannibalization of other pieces of equipment. These officials pointed out,
                     however, that some of these equipment items have capability deficiencies
                     that could degrade their wartime performance in the near term. For
                     example, only 26 out of 213 Marine Corps Assault Amphibian Vehicles at
                     Camp Lejeune had been provided enhanced protective armor kits prior to
                     Operation Iraqi Freedom. According to Marine Corps officials at Camp
                     Lejeune, lack of the enhanced protective armor left the vehicles vulnerable
                     to the large caliber ammunition used by the Iraqi forces. Similarly,
                     according to Navy officials, there is an impending negative impact on the
                     Navy’s wartime capabilities without an increase in the number of available
                     Navy EA-6B Prowler aircraft with upgraded capabilities. Only one of the
                     equipment items we reviewed, the Marine Corps CH-46E helicopter, could
                     not accomplish its intended mission because of significant degradation in
                     its lift capacity. Marine Corps officials stated, however, that they were
                     generally satisfied with the CH-46E performance in Operation Iraqi
                     Freedom despite its lift limitations.

                     We are recommending that the Secretary of Defense, in conjunction with
                     the Secretaries of the military services, reassess the program strategies
                     for the sustainment, modernization, and recapitalization of key legacy
                     equipment items, and reconcile funding requests for these equipment items
                     to ensure that the equipment will be adequately sustained until



                     Page 10                                            GAO-04-112 Military Readiness
replacement equipment items can be fielded. In reconciling these program
strategies to funding requests, the Secretary of Defense should highlight for
the Congress the risks involved in sustaining key legacy equipment items if
adequate funding support is not requested and the steps the department is
taking to address those risks. As part of this process, the Secretary of
Defense should identify the key equipment items that, because of impaired
conditions and their importance to meeting the department’s military
strategy, should be given the highest priority for sustainment,
recapitalization, or replacement. To strengthen congressional oversight of
the department’s major equipment programs, we are also suggesting that
the Congress may wish to consider having the Secretary of Defense provide
an annual report, in conjunction with the department’s annual budget
submissions, on the condition, program strategy, and funding for major
equipment items.

In written comments on a draft of this report, the Department of Defense
partially concurred with our recommendation that it should reassess the
program strategies for equipment modernization and recapitalization, and
reconcile those strategies to the services’ funding requests. However, the
department did not concur with our other two recommendations that it
should (1) highlight for the Congress the risks involved in sustaining key
equipment items if adequate funding support is not requested and the steps
the department is taking to address those risks, and (2) identify the
equipment items that should be given the highest priority for sustainment,
recapitalization, modernization, or replacement. Specifically, the
department stated that its current budget processes and its annual budget
submission to the Congress are already designed to identify, at the
corporate Department of Defense level, the department’s highest funding
priorities. While we recognize that the budget process is designed to
identify the department’s highest funding priorities, the budget information
presented to the Congress does not identify the trade-offs and risks
associated with the department’s budgeting decisions. Therefore, we
continue to believe that the Congress needs to be better informed of
specific equipment condition deficiencies, the long-range strategies and
required funding to address those deficiencies, and the risks associated
with not adequately funding specific equipment modernization and
recapitalization requirements. This report, for example, specifically
identifies significant equipment condition deficiencies that were not
adequately reflected in the department’s budget documents, and a lack of
specific program strategies and funding plans to address those
deficiencies.




Page 11                                            GAO-04-112 Military Readiness
             The department also noted in its written comments that our report
             identifies the CH-47D, CH-46E, KC-135, E/A-6B, Standard Missile-2, and the
             Tomahawk Missile as equipment items with problems and issues that
             warrant action within the next 1 to 3 years. The department stated that it
             will continue to reassess these equipment items as it goes through its
             resource allocation process. Lastly, the department provided technical
             comments related to our assessments of specific equipment items in
             appendix II. We reviewed and incorporated these technical comments, as
             appropriate.

             The department’s comments and our evaluation are on pages 23-25 of
             this report.



Background   The September 2001 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) outlined a
             strategy to sustain and transform the military force structure that has been
             in place since the mid-1990s.10 In this review, the Department of Defense
             (DOD) committed to selectively recapitalize older equipment items to meet
             near-term challenges and to provide near-term readiness. DOD recognized
             that the older equipment items critical to DOD’s ability to defeat current
             threats must be sustained as transformation occurs. DOD also recognizes
             that recapitalization of all elements of U.S. forces since the end of the Cold
             War has been delayed for too long.11 DOD procured few replacement
             equipment items as the force aged throughout the 1990s, but it recognizes
             that the force structure will eventually become operationally and
             technologically obsolete without a significant increase in resources that are
             devoted to the recapitalization of weapons systems.

             The annual Future Years Defense Plan (FYDP) contains DOD’s plans for
             future programs and priorities. It presents DOD estimates of future funding
             needs based on specific programs. Through the FYDP, DOD projects costs
             for each element of those programs through a period of either 5 or 6 years
             on the basis of proposals made by each of the military services and the
             policy choices made by the current administration. The 2003 FYDP extends


             10
               Force structure includes 10 active and 8 reserve Army divisions, 12 Navy Carrier
             Battle Groups and 10 active and 1 reserve Carrier Air Wing, 3 active and 1 reserve
             Marine Expeditionary Force, 12 active and 7 reserve Air Force Fighter Wings, and
             112 combat-coded heavy bombers.
             11
                  Quadrennial Defense Review Report (Washington, D.C.: Sept. 30, 2001).




             Page 12                                                      GAO-04-112 Military Readiness
                       from fiscal year 2003 to fiscal year 2007, and the 2004 FYDP extends from
                       fiscal year 2004 to fiscal year 2009. Congress has expressed concerns that
                       the military modernization budget and funding levels envisioned in the
                       FYDP appear to be inadequate to replace aging equipment and incorporate
                       cutting-edge technologies into the force at the pace required by the QDR
                       and its underlying military strategy.



Overall Condition of   As shown in table 1, of the 25 equipment items we reviewed, we assessed
                       the current condition of 3 of these equipment items as red, 11 as yellow,
Selected Equipment     and 10 as green. We were not able to obtain adequate data to assess the
Items Varies Widely    condition for the Marine Corps Maverick Missile because the Marine Corps
                       does not track readiness trend data, such as mission capable or operational
                       readiness rates, for munitions as they do for aircraft or other equipment.

                       Rotary wing lift helicopters, specifically the CH-46E and the CH-47D
                       helicopters, had the lowest condition rating among the equipment items we
                       reviewed, followed by fixed wing aircraft. Although we assessed the
                       condition as green for several equipment items such as the Army’s Abrams
                       tank and the Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck, and the Marine
                       Corps Light Armored Vehicle-Command and Control Variant, we identified
                       various problems and issues that could potentially worsen the condition of
                       some equipment items in the near future if not attended to. Specifically, for
                       the Abrams tank, and similarly for the Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical
                       Truck, Army officials cited supply and maintenance challenges at the unit
                       level such as repair parts shortages, inadequate test equipment, and lack of
                       trained technicians that could impact the tank’s condition in the near
                       future. While the Marine Corps has a Light Armored Vehicle-Command and
                       Control Variant upgrade program under way, Marine Corps officials caution
                       that any delays in the upgrade program could affect future readiness.
                       According to service officials and prior GAO reports, the services are
                       currently able to alleviate the effects of these problems, in many cases,
                       through increased maintenance hours and cannibalization of parts from
                       other equipment.12




                       12
                         U.S. General Accounting Office, Military Aircraft: Services Need Strategies to Reduce
                       Cannibalizations, GAO-02-86 (Washington, D.C.: Nov. 21, 2001); Military Aircraft:
                       Cannibalizations Adversely Affect Personnel and Maintenance, GAO-01-93T
                       (Washington, D.C.: May 22, 2001).




                       Page 13                                                    GAO-04-112 Military Readiness
The military services use a number of metrics to measure equipment
condition. Examples include mission capable rates for aircraft, operational
readiness rates for equipment other than aircraft,13 average age, and
utilization rates (e.g., flying hours). The equipment items we assessed as
red did not meet mission capable or operational readiness goals for
sustained periods, were older equipment items, and/or had high utilization
rates. For example, 10 of 16 equipment items for which readiness data were
available did not meet mission capable or operational readiness goals for
extended periods from fiscal year 1998 through fiscal year 2002. The
average age of 21 of the equipment items ranged from about 1 year to
43 years.14

Some equipment items for which we assessed the condition as yellow
also failed to meet mission capable or operational readiness goals and were
more than 10 years old. However, offsetting factors, such as how frequently
the equipment items did not meet readiness goals or by what percentage
they missed the goals, indicated less severe and urgent problems than
items we assessed as red. Other equipment items may have had high
mission capable rates, but because of overall age and related corrosion
problems, we assessed these equipment items as yellow to highlight the
fact that these items could potentially present problems if not attended to
within the next 3-5 years.

The equipment items for which we assessed the condition as green
generally met mission capable and operational readiness goals. While three
of these equipment items—the Army Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical
Truck, the Air Force F-16, and the Marine Corps Light Armored Vehicle-
Command and Control Variant—did not meet mission capable or
operational readiness goals, we assessed the condition as green because
the condition problems identified were less severe than the items we
assessed as red or yellow. For example, an equipment item may have been
slightly below the goal but only for non-deployed units, or the fleet-wide
goals may have been met for the equipment item overall, although the
specific model we reviewed did not meet the goals. In addition, although
the rates for an equipment item may be slightly below its goal, it may be
able to meet operational requirements. We also considered any upgrades

13
  Operational readiness refers to the capability of equipment items other than aircraft to
perform the missions or functions for which it is organized or designed and may be used in
general terms to express a level or degree of readiness.
14
     However, the services do not use a uniform methodology to calculate average age.




Page 14                                                       GAO-04-112 Military Readiness
that were underway at the time of our review that would extend the service
life of the equipment.

Maintenance problems were most often cited by the Army and Marine
Corps officials we met with as the cause for equipment condition
deficiencies for the equipment items we reviewed. Equipment operators
and maintainers that we met with believed equipment degradation was the
result of maintenance problems in one of two categories—parts or
personnel. The parts problems include availability of parts or logistics and
supply system problems. Availability problems occur when there are parts
shortages, unreliable parts, or obsolete parts due to the advanced age of the
equipment items. Logistics and supply system problems occur when it
takes a long time to order parts or the unit requesting the parts has a low
priority. In June, July, and August of 2003, we issued six reports
highlighting deficiencies in DOD’s and the services’ management of critical
spare parts.15 We also issued a report on problems DOD and the services
are having dealing with corrosion for military equipment and that they had
not taken advantage of opportunities to mitigate the impact of corrosion on
equipment.16 Maintenance problems due to personnel include (1) lack of
trained and experienced technicians and (2) increases in maintenance
man-hours required to repair some of these aging equipment items. We
reported in April 2003, for example, that DOD has not adequately
positioned or trained its civilian workforce at its industrial activities to
meet future requirements.17 Consequently, the Department may continue to
have difficulty maintaining adequate skills at its depots to meet
maintenance requirements.

15
 U.S. General Accounting Office, Defense Inventory: The Army Needs a Plan to Overcome
Critical Spare Parts Shortages, GAO-03-705 (Washington, D.C.: June 27, 2003); Defense
Inventory: Air Force Plans and Initiatives to Mitigate Spare Parts Shortages Need Better
Implementation, GAO-03-706 (Washington, D.C.: June 27, 2003); Defense Inventory:
The Department Needs a Focused Effort to Overcome Critical Spare Parts Shortages, GAO-
03-707 (Washington, D.C.: June 27, 2003); Defense Inventory: Navy Logistics Strategy and
Initiatives Need to Address Spare Parts Shortages, GAO-03-708 (Washington, D.C.: June 27,
2003); and Defense Inventory: Several Actions Are Needed to Further DLA’s Efforts to
Mitigate Shortages of Critical Parts, GAO-03-709 (Washington, D.C.: August 31, 2003); and
Defense Inventory: Opportunities Exist to Improve Spare Parts Support Aboard Deployed
Navy Ships, GAO-03-887 (Washington, D.C.: Aug. 29, 2003).
16
 U.S. General Accounting Office, Defense Inventory: Opportunities to Reduce Corrosion
Costs and Increase Readiness, GAO-03-753 (Washington, D.C.; July 7, 2003).
17
  U.S. General Accounting Office, DOD Civilian Personnel: Improved Strategic Planning
Needed to Help Ensure Viability of DOD’s Civilian Industrial Workforce, GAO-03-472
(Washington, D.C.; Apr. 30, 2003).




Page 15                                                    GAO-04-112 Military Readiness
Services Have Mapped     In most cases, the services have developed long-range program strategies
                         for sustaining and modernizing the 25 equipment items that we reviewed.
Out Long-Range           However, some gaps exist because the services either have not validated
Program Strategies for   their plans for the sustainment, modernization, or replacement of the
                         equipment items, or the services’ program strategies for sustaining the
Sustaining and           equipment are hampered by problems or delays in the fielding of
Modernizing Most         replacement equipment or in the vulnerability of the programs to
Equipment Items          budget cuts.
but Some Gaps Exist      The two equipment items for which we assessed the program strategy as
                         red are the KC-135 Stratotanker and the Tomahawk Cruise Missile because,
                         although the services may have developed long-range program strategies
                         for these equipment items, they have not validated or updated their plans
                         for sustaining, modernizing, or replacing these items. In the case of the
                         KC-135 Stratotanker, the Air Force has embarked on a controversial,
                         expensive program to replace the tanker fleet, but as we have reported,18 it
                         has not demonstrated the urgency of acquiring replacement aircraft and it
                         has not defined the requirements for the number of aircraft that will be
                         needed. Similarly, for the Tomahawk missile, the Navy has not identified
                         how many of these missiles it will need in the future, thereby significantly
                         delaying the acquisition process.




                         18
                           U.S. General Accounting Office, Military Aircraft: Observations on the Air Force’s Plan
                         to Lease Aerial Refueling Aircraft, GAO-03-1143T (Washington, D.C.: Sept. 3, 2003).




                         Page 16                                                    GAO-04-112 Military Readiness
We assessed the program strategy for eight of the services’ program
strategies as yellow, some of them because they will be affected by delays
in the fielding of equipment to replace the items in our review. According to
service officials, as the delivery of new replacement equipment items is
delayed, the services must continue using the older equipment items to
meet mission requirements. Consequently, the services may incur
increased costs due to maintenance that was not programmed for
equipment retained in inventory beyond the estimated service life. For
example, the planned replacement equipment for the Marine Corps CH-46E
helicopter (i.e., the MV-22 Osprey) has been delayed by about 3 years and is
not scheduled to be fielded until 2007. DOD has also reportedly cut the
number of replacement aircraft it plans to purchase by about 8 to 10 over
the next few years, thus the Marine Corps will have to retain more CH-46E
helicopters in its inventory. Program management officials have requested
additional funds to repair airframe cracks, replace seats, and move to light-
weight armor to reduce aircraft weight, engine overhauls, and avionics
upgrades to keep the aircraft safe and reliable until fielding of the
replacement equipment. According to Marine Corps officials, the CH-46E
program strategy has also been hampered by the 5-year rule,19 which limits
installation of new modifications other than safety modifications into the
aircraft unless 5 years of service are left on the aircraft. Procurement of the
replacement equipment for the Marine Corps’ Assault Amphibian Vehicle
has also been delayed (by 2 years), and it is not scheduled for full fielding
until 2012. The program strategy for the Assault Amphibian Vehicle
includes upgrades, but for only 680 of the 1,057 vehicles in the inventory.20

We also assessed the program strategy for some equipment items as yellow
if they were vulnerable to budget cuts. For example, according to Navy
officials, the Navy frigates’ modernization program is susceptible to budget
cuts because the frigates’ future role is uncertain as the Littoral Combat
ship is developed. In addition, the program strategy for the frigates is
questionable because of the uncertainty about the role frigates will play.
Specifically, Navy frigates are increasingly used for homeland defense


19
     Public Law 105-56, title VIII, section 8053; Oct. 8, 1997; 111 Stat. 1232.
20
  In its written comments on a draft of this report, department officials stated that they plan
to upgrade an additional 327 vehicles for a total of 1,007 vehicles, assuming funding is
provided. They have received funding through fiscal year 2003 supplemental funding, a
fiscal year 2004 congressional plus-up, and fiscal year 2005 funding to upgrade 148 vehicles
and plan to address the remaining 179 vehicles in a fiscal year 2006 Program Objective
Memorandum.




Page 17                                                             GAO-04-112 Military Readiness
                       missions, and their program strategy has not been updated to reflect that
                       they will be used more often and in different ways. The Army’s CH-47D
                       helicopter is also vulnerable to budget cuts. The Army plans to upgrade 279
                       CH-47D helicopters to F models under its recapitalization program; the
                       upgrade includes a purchase of CH-47F model helicopters planned in fiscal
                       year 2004. The fiscal year 2004 budget for this purchase has already been
                       reduced. Program managers had also planned to purchase 16 engines, but
                       funding was transferred to requests for higher priority programs.

                       We assessed the program strategy for the remaining 15 equipment items as
                       green because the services have developed long-range program strategies
                       for sustaining, modernizing, or replacing these items consistent with their
                       estimated remaining service life. For example, the Army has developed
                       program strategies for all tracked and wheeled vehicles in our sample.
                       Likewise, the Air Force has developed program strategies for most fixed
                       wing aircraft in our sample throughout the FYDP. In the case of munitions,
                       with the exception of the Navy Tomahawk Cruise Missile and Standard
                       Missile-2, the services have developed program strategies for sustaining
                       and modernizing the current missile inventory in our sample.



Requested Funding      In many cases, the funding DOD has requested or is projecting for
                       future years in the FYDP for the equipment items we reviewed does not
Does Not Reflect the   reflect the military services’ long-range program strategies for equipment
Services’ Long-Range   sustainment, modernization, or recapitalization. According to service
                       officials, the services submit their budgets to DOD and the Department
Program Strategies     has the authority to increase or decrease the service budgets based upon
                       the perceived highest priority needs. According to DOD officials, for
                       future years’ funding, the FYDP strikes a balance between future
                       investment and program risk, taking into consideration the services’ stated
                       requirements as approved by DOD. As shown in table 1, we assessed the
                       funding for 15 of the 25 equipment items as red or yellow because the
                       department’s requested funding did not adequately reflect its long-range
                       program strategies for modernization, maintenance, and spare parts.21 For
                       example, as shown in table 2, we identified fiscal year 2003 unfunded
                       requirements totaling $372.9 million for four major aircraft equipment
                       items we reviewed.



                       21
                            We did not independently verify the services’ stated requirements.




                       Page 18                                                         GAO-04-112 Military Readiness
Table 2: Unfunded Requirements for Selected Aircraft Equipment Items,
Fiscal Year 2003


Dollars in millions
Aircraft equipment item                                         Unfunded requirements
CH-47D Transport Helicopter                                                       $316.0
F-16 Fighter Aircraft                                                                13.5
C-5 Transport Aircraft                                                               39.4
CH-46E Transport Helicopter                                                          4.0
Total                                                                             $372.9
Source: GAO analysis.


The most significant funding shortfalls occurred when parts, equipment
upgrades, and maintenance were not fully funded or when replacement
equipment items were not fielded as scheduled. The equipment items for
which we assessed the funding as yellow had funding shortfalls of a lesser
extent than the red items. Although we assessed the funding as green for
the remaining nine equipment items, program managers raised concerns
about the availability of operation and maintenance funds in future years,
and stated that insufficient operation and maintenance funds could
potentially result in more severe condition problems and increased future
maintenance costs.

According to service officials, funding shortfalls occurred when parts,
equipment upgrades, or maintenance were not fully funded or funds were
reduced to support higher priority service needs. As we have previously
reported, DOD increases or decreases funds appropriated by Congress as
funding priorities change.22 Other shortfalls occur when units subsequently
identify maintenance requirements that were not programmed into the
original budget requests. In addition, when replacement equipment items
are not fielded as scheduled, the services must continue to maintain these
aging equipment items for longer than anticipated. Equipment items
considered legacy systems23 such as the Marine Corps CH-46E helicopter

22
   U.S. General Accounting Office, Defense Budget: DOD Should Further Improve Visibility
and Accountability of O&M Fund Movements, GAO/NSIAD-00-18 (Washington, D.C. Feb. 9,
2002).
23
  Legacy systems are equipment items whose critical functionality will be subsumed by a
new system and is scheduled for termination. The Stryker, Patriot, and Guided Multiple
Launch Rocket System are not legacy equipment items.




Page 19                                                    GAO-04-112 Military Readiness
                         may not receive funding on the basis of anticipated fielding of replacement
                         equipment in the near future. The gaps between funding for legacy systems
                         (which are heavily used and critical to the services’ mission) and funding
                         for future replacement equipment result when fielding of the new
                         equipment has been delayed and budgets have been reduced for
                         maintenance of legacy systems. Funding for these legacy systems may also
                         be a target for funding reductions to support higher service priority items.

                         According to the program managers for some of the equipment items we
                         reviewed (including the Army Abrams tank, Heavy Expanded Mobility
                         Tactical Truck, and Navy EA-6B Prowler), as the services retain aging
                         equipment in their inventories longer than expected, maintenance
                         requirements increase, thus increasing operation and maintenance costs.
                         Program managers raised concerns about the availability of sufficient
                         operation and maintenance funding to sustain these aging equipment items
                         in the future. Also, program managers stated that present sustainment
                         funds (i.e., operation and maintenance funds) may only cover a
                         small percentage of the equipment’s requirements, and they frequently rely
                         on procurement funds to subsidize equipment improvements common to
                         multiple equipment items.24 However, once production of the equipment
                         item has been completed and procurement funds are no longer available
                         for use, program managers must compete with the rest of the service for
                         limited operation and maintenance funds. Program managers expressed
                         concerns that operation and maintenance funds are not currently available
                         to fund equipment improvements and noted operation and maintenance
                         funds may not be available in the future.



Equipment Is Generally   Based on our analysis of equipment condition, the performance of the
                         equipment items in recent military conflicts, and discussions with service
Capable of Fulfilling    officials, program managers, and equipment operators and maintainers, we
Wartime Missions         found that most of the equipment items we reviewed are capable of
                         fulfilling their wartime missions despite some limitations. In general, the
despite Some             services will always ensure equipment is ready to go to war, often through
Limitations              surges in maintenance and overcoming obstacles such as obsolete parts,
                         parts availability, and cannibalization of other pieces of equipment. Some


                         24
                           Operating and support costs or total life-cycle costs are the total costs of acquiring and
                         owning a weapon or materiel system over its full life, including development, procurement,
                         operation, support, and disposal. About 60 percent of O&S funding is appropriated to the
                         operation and maintenance accounts that pay for spare and repair parts.




                         Page 20                                                      GAO-04-112 Military Readiness
              of these equipment items (such as the Marine Corps CH-46E helicopter and
              all Air Force aircraft except the B-2) were used in Operation Desert Storm
              and have been used in other diverse operations such as those in Kosovo
              and Afghanistan. With the exception of the Army Stryker and GMLRS, all of
              the equipment items we reviewed were used recently in Operation Iraqi
              Freedom.

              The services, in general, ensure that equipment is ready for deployment by
              surging maintenance operations when necessary. Only one equipment item,
              the Marine Corps CH-46E helicopter, could not accomplish its intended
              wartime mission due to lift limitations. However, Marine Corps officials
              stated that they were generally satisfied that the CH-46E met its mission in
              Operation Iraqi Freedom despite these limitations. Of the remaining
              equipment items we reviewed, including all Air Force fixed-wing aircraft,
              all tracked and wheeled vehicles, and most munitions, service officials
              believe that most of these items are capable of fulfilling their wartime
              missions.

              According to service officials and program managers, while final Operation
              Iraqi Freedom after action reports were not available at the time of our
              review, initial reports and preliminary observations have generally been
              favorable for the equipment items we reviewed. However, these officials
              identified a number of specific concerns for some of these equipment items
              that limit their wartime capabilities to varying degrees. For example, only
              26 out of 213 Marine Corps Assault Amphibian Vehicles at Camp Lejeune
              had been provided enhanced protective armor kits prior to Operation Iraqi
              Freedom. According to Marine Corps officials at Camp Lejeune, lack of the
              enhanced protective armor left the vehicles vulnerable to the large caliber
              ammunition used by the Iraqi forces. According to Navy officials,
              warfighting capabilities of the Navy EA-6B Prowler aircraft will be
              degraded if their capabilities are not upgraded and the outer wing panels
              are not replaced. Fleet commanders expressed concerns about potentially
              deploying some ships we reviewed with only one of three weapons systems
              capable of being used. However, program managers stated that plans were
              in place to reduce the vulnerability of these ships by fielding two
              compensating weapons systems.



Conclusions   Although the military services are generally able to maintain military
              equipment to meet wartime requirements, the ability to do so over the next
              several years is questionable especially for legacy equipment items.
              Because program strategies have not been validated or updated and



              Page 21                                           GAO-04-112 Military Readiness
                      funding requests do not reflect the services’ long-range program strategies,
                      maintaining this current equipment while transforming to a new force
                      structure as well as funding current military operations in Iraq and
                      elsewhere will be a major challenge for the department and the services.
                      We do not believe, however, that the funding gaps we identified are
                      necessarily an indication that the department needs additional funding.
                      Rather, we believe that the funding gaps are an indication that funding
                      priorities need to be more clearly linked to capability needs and to long-
                      range program strategies.

                      The military services will always need to meet mission requirements and to
                      keep their equipment ready to fulfill their wartime missions. However, this
                      state of constant readiness comes at a cost. The equipment items we
                      reviewed appear to have generally fulfilled wartime missions, but often
                      through increased maintenance for deployed equipment and other
                      extraordinary efforts to overcome obstacles such as obsolete parts,
                      parts availability, and cannibalization of other pieces of equipment. The
                      reported metrics may not accurately reflect the time needed to sustain and
                      maintain equipment to fulfill wartime missions. Substantial equipment
                      upgrades or overhauls may be required to sustain older equipment items
                      until replacement equipment items arrive.



Recommendations for   While our review was limited to 25 equipment items and represents a
                      snapshot at a particular point in time, the department should reassess its
Executive Action      current processes for reviewing the condition, program strategy, and
                      funding for key legacy equipment items. Specifically we recommend that
                      the Secretary of Defense, in conjunction with the Secretaries of the Army,
                      Air Force, and the Navy, reassess the program strategies for equipment
                      modernization and recapitalization, and reconcile those strategies with the
                      services’ funding requests to ensure that key legacy equipment, especially
                      those items needed to meet the strategy outlined in the September 2001
                      Quadrennial Defense Review, are sustained until replacement equipment
                      items can be fielded. In reconciling these program strategies to funding
                      requests, the Secretary of Defense should highlight for the Congress, in
                      conjunction with the department’s fiscal year 2005 budget submissions, the
                      risks involved in sustaining key equipment items if adequate funding
                      support is not requested and the steps the department is taking to address
                      those risks. As part of this process the department should identify the key
                      equipment items that, because of impaired conditions and their importance
                      to meeting the department’s military strategy, should be given the highest
                      priority for sustainment, recapitalization, modernization, or replacement.



                      Page 22                                           GAO-04-112 Military Readiness
Matter for            If the Congress wants a better understanding of the condition of major
                      equipment items, the department’s strategy to maintain or recapitalize
Congressional         these equipment items, and the associated funding requirements for certain
Consideration         key military equipment needed to meet the strategy outlined in the QDR,
                      the Congress may wish to consider having the Secretary of Defense provide
                      an annual report, in conjunction with its annual budget submissions, on
                      (1) the extent to which key legacy equipment items, particularly those that
                      are in a degraded condition, are being funded and sustained until
                      replacement equipment items can be fielded; (2) the risks involved in
                      sustaining key equipment items if adequate funding support is not
                      requested; and (3) the steps the department is taking to address those risks.



Agency Comments and   In written comments on a draft of this report, the Department of Defense
                      partially concurred with our recommendation that it should reassess the
Our Evaluation        program strategies for equipment modernization and recapitalization, and
                      reconcile those strategies to the services’ funding requests. However, the
                      department did not concur with our other two recommendations that it
                      should (1) highlight for the Congress the risks involved in sustaining key
                      equipment items if adequate funding support is not requested and the steps
                      the department is taking to address those risks, and (2) identify the
                      equipment items that should be given the highest priority for sustainment,
                      recapitalization, modernization, or replacement. The department’s written
                      comments are reprinted in their entirety in appendix III.

                      In partially concurring with our first recommendation that it should
                      reassess the program strategies for equipment modernization and
                      recapitalization, and reconcile those strategies to the services’ funding
                      requests, the department agreed that, while the overall strategy outlined in
                      the September 2001 Quadrennial Defense Review may be unchanged,
                      events over time may dictate changes in individual program strategies, that
                      requires an order to meet the most current threat. The department stated,
                      however, that through its past Planning, Programming, and Budgeting
                      System and the more current Planning, Programming, Budgeting, and
                      Execution processes, the department had and continues to have an annual
                      procedure to reassess program strategies to ensure equipment
                      maintenance, modernization, and recapitalization funding supports the
                      most recent Defense strategy. While we acknowledge that these budget
                      processes may provide a corporate, department-level review of what is
                      needed to accomplish the national defense mission, the department’s
                      budget and the information it provides to the Congress do not clearly



                      Page 23                                            GAO-04-112 Military Readiness
identify the funding priorities for individual equipment items. For example,
although the funding to sustain the department’s major equipment items is
included in its Operation and Maintenance budget accounts, these budget
accounts do not specifically identify funding for individual equipment
items. We continue to believe that the department, in conjunction with the
military services, needs to develop a more comprehensive and transparent
approach for assessing the condition of key legacy equipment items,
developing program strategies to address critical equipment condition
deficiencies, and prioritizing the required funding.

The department did not concur with our second recommendation that, in
reconciling the program strategies to funding requests, it should highlight
for the Congress, in conjunction with its fiscal year 2005 budget
submissions, the risks involved in sustaining key equipment items if
adequate funding support is not requested and the steps the department is
taking to address those risks. Specifically, the department stated that its
budget processes and the annual Defense budget provide the Congress a
balanced program with all requirements “adequately” funded and that the
unfunded requirements identified by the program managers or the services
may not be validated at the department level. While we agree that the
department’s budget may identify its highest funding priorities at the
department wide level, it does not provide the Congress with an
assessment of equipment condition deficiencies, unfunded requirements
identified by the services, and the potential risks associated with not fully
funding the services’ program strategies. In this report, we identify a
number of examples of equipment condition deficiencies and
inconsistencies between the program strategies and the funding requests to
address those deficiencies that were not fully addressed in the
department’s budget documents. We believe that the Congress, in its
oversight of the department’s major equipment programs, needs to be
better informed of specific equipment condition deficiencies, the long-
range strategies and required funding to address those deficiencies, and the
risks associated with not adequately funding specific equipment
modernization and recapitalization requirements.

The department also did not concur with our recommendation that it
should identify for the Congress the key equipment items that, because of
impaired condition and their importance to meeting the department’s
military strategies, should be given the highest priority for sustainment,
recapitalization, modernization, or replacement. In its comments, the
department stated that, in developing the annual Defense budget, it has
already allocated resources according to its highest priorities. The



Page 24                                            GAO-04-112 Military Readiness
department further stated that key items that are vital to accomplishing the
department’s mission are allocated funding in order to meet the
requirements of the most current Defense strategy, and that there is no
need to restate these priorities with a list. Similar to our rebuttal to the
department’s response to our second recommendation as discussed above,
we do not believe that the department’s annual budget provides the
Congress with sufficient information on the most severe equipment
condition deficiencies and the funding priorities for addressing those
deficiencies. We believe that a separate analysis, in conjunction with the
department’s budget submissions, that highlights the most critical
equipment condition deficiencies, the planned program strategies for
addressing those deficiencies, and the related funding priorities is needed
to provide the Congress with the information it needs to make informed
budget decisions.

The department also noted in its written comments that our report
identifies the CH-47D, CH-46E, KC-135, EA-6B, Standard Missile-2, and the
Tomahawk missile as equipment items with problems and issues that
warrant action within the next 1 to 3 years. The department stated that it
would continue to reassess these equipment items as it goes through its
resource allocation process.

Lastly, the department provided technical comments concerning our
assessments of specific equipment items in appendix II, including the
KC-135 Stratotanker, Assault Amphibian Vehicle, MV-22, Tomahawk Cruise
Missile, and the CH-46E Sea Knight Helicopter. We reviewed and
incorporated these technical comments, as appropriate. The revisions that
we made based on these technical comments did not change our
assessments for the individual equipment items. In some cases, the data
and information the department provided in its technical comments
resulted from program and funding decisions that were made subsequent
to our review.


We are sending copies of this report to the Secretary of Defense; the
Secretaries of the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force; the Commandant of
the Marine Corps; and other interested parties. We will also make copies
available to others upon request. In addition, the report will be available at
no charge on the GAO Web site at http://www.gao.gov.




Page 25                                             GAO-04-112 Military Readiness
Please contact me on (202) 512-8365 if you or your staffs have any
questions concerning this report. Major contributors to this report are
included in appendix IV.




William M. Solis, Director
Defense Capabilities and Management




Page 26                                           GAO-04-112 Military Readiness
Appendix I

Scope and Methodology                                                                      AA
                                                                                            ppp
                                                                                              ep
                                                                                               ned
                                                                                                 n
                                                                                                 x
                                                                                                 id
                                                                                                  e
                                                                                                  x
                                                                                                  Iis




             To determine the level of attention required by the Department of Defense,
             the military services, and/or the Congress for each of the 25 equipment
             items we reviewed, we performed an independent evaluation of the
             (1) equipments’ current condition; (2) services’ program strategies for the
             sustainment, modernization, or replacement of the equipment items;
             (3) current and projected funding levels for the equipment items in relation
             to the services’ program strategies; and (4) equipments’ wartime
             capabilities. Based on our evaluation of the condition, program strategy,
             and funding for each of the 25 equipment items, we used a traffic light
             approach—red, yellow, or green—to indicate the severity and urgency of
             problems or issues. We established the following criteria to assess the
             severity and urgency of the problems.

             • Red        indicates a problem or issue that is severe enough to warrant
               action by DOD, the military services, and/or the Congress within the
               next 1-3 years. We selected this time frame of 1-3 years because it
               represents the time frame for which DOD is currently preparing annual
               budgets.

             • Yellow        indicates a problem or issue that is severe enough to
               warrant action by DOD, the military services, and/or the Congress
               within the next 3-5 years. We selected this time frame of 3-5 years
               because it represents the near-term segment of DOD’s Future Years
               Defense Plan.

             • Green          indicates that we did not identify any specific problems or
               issues at the time of our review, or that any existing problems or issues
               we identified are not of a severe enough nature that we believe warrant
               action by DOD, the military services, and/or the Congress within the
               next 5 years. We selected this time frame of 5 years because it
               represents the longer-term segment of DOD’s Future Years Defense
               Plan.

             We also reviewed the wartime capability of the selected equipment items,
             focusing on the extent to which each equipment item is capable of fulfilling
             its wartime mission. Because of ongoing operations in Iraq and our limited
             access to the deployed units and related equipment performance data, we
             were unable to obtain sufficient data to definitively assess the wartime
             capability for each of the 25 equipment items we reviewed, as we did for
             each of the other three assessment areas.




             Page 27                                           GAO-04-112 Military Readiness
Appendix I
Scope and Methodology




To select the 25 equipment items we reviewed, we worked with the military
services and your offices to judgmentally select approximately two
weapons equipment items, two support equipment items, and
two munitions items from the equipment inventories of each of the
four military services—Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps. We relied
extensively on input from the military services and prior GAO work to
select equipment items that have been in use for a number of years and are
critical to supporting the services’ mission. We based our final selections
on the equipment items that the military services believed were most
critical to their missions. The 25 equipment items we selected for review
include 7 Army equipment items, 6 Air Force equipment items, 7 Navy
equipment items, and 5 Marine Corps equipment items. Our assessments
apply only to the 25 equipment items we reviewed, and the results of our
assessments cannot be projected to the entire inventory of DOD
equipment.

To assess equipment condition, we obtained and analyzed data on
equipment age, expected service life, and the services’ equipment condition
and performance indicators such as mission capable rates, operational
readiness rates, utilization rates, failure rates, cannibalization rates, and
depot maintenance data for each of the equipment items we reviewed. The
specific data that we obtained and analyzed for each equipment item varied
depending on the type of equipment and the extent to which the data were
available. The scope of our data collection for each of the equipment items
included both the active and reserve forces. We also met with the services’
program managers and other cognizant officials from each of the four
military services for each of the 25 equipment items. In addition, we visited
selected units and maintenance facilities to observe the equipment during
operation or during maintenance and to discuss equipment condition and
wartime capability issues with equipment operators and maintainers. Our
observations and assessments were limited to equipment in the active duty
inventory.

To assess the program strategy for these equipment items, we reviewed the
services’ plans for future sustainment, modernization, recapitalization, or
replacement of the equipment items in order to meet the services’ mission
and force structure requirements. We met with the services’ program
managers and other military service officials to discuss and assess the
extent to which the services have a strategy or roadmap for each of the
25 equipment items, and whether the program strategy is adequately
reflected in DOD’s current budget or the Future Years Defense Plan.




Page 28                                            GAO-04-112 Military Readiness
Appendix I
Scope and Methodology




To assess equipment funding, we obtained and analyzed data on historical,
current, and future years’ budget requests for each of the 25 equipment
items we reviewed. We also reviewed the services’ budget requests,
appropriations, and obligations for fiscal year 1998 through fiscal year 2003
to determine how the funds that had been requested and appropriated for
each of the equipment items were used. In addition, we reviewed the
Future Years Defense Program for fiscal year 2003 to fiscal year 2007 and
for fiscal year 2004 to fiscal year 2008 to determine if the projected funding
levels were consistent with the services’ program strategies for
sustainment, modernization, recapitalization, or replacement of the
selected equipment items. We also met with the services’ program
managers for each of the 25 equipment items to identify budget shortfalls
and unfunded requirements. We did not independently validate the
services’ requirements. We were unable, however, to obtain specific
information from the Office of the Secretary of Defense or the Joint Staff
on the long-term program strategies and funding priorities for these
equipment items because officials in these offices considered this
information to be internal DOD data and would not make it available to us.

To review the wartime capability of each equipment item, we discussed
with military service officials, program managers, and equipment operators
and maintainers the capabilities of the equipment items to fulfill their
wartime missions and the equipments’ performance in recent military
operations. Because of ongoing operations in Iraq and our limited access to
the deployed units and related equipment performance data, we were
unable to collect sufficient data to definitively assess wartime capability
or to assign a color-coded assessment as we did with the other three
assessment areas. We also reviewed related Defense reports, such as after
action reports and lessons learned reports, from recent military operations
to identify issues or concerns regarding the equipments’ wartime
capabilities.

We performed our work at relevant military major commands, selected
units and maintenance facilities, and one selected defense combatant
command. Our access to specific combatant commands and military units
was somewhat limited due to their involvement in Operation Iraqi
Freedom. The specific military activities that we visited or obtained
information from include the following:

• U.S. Army, Headquarters, Washington, D.C.;
• U.S. Army, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for
  Acquisitions, Logistics, and Technology, Washington, D.C.;



Page 29                                            GAO-04-112 Military Readiness
Appendix I
Scope and Methodology




• U.S. Army Forces Command Headquarters, Atlanta, Ga.;
• U.S. Army, 1st Calvary Division, 118th Corps, Ft. Hood, Tx.;
• U.S. Army, Aviation and Missile Command, Redstone Arsenal, Precision
  Fire and Missile Project Office, Huntsville, Al.;
• U.S. Army, Tank and Armament Automotive Command, Warren, Mi.;
• U.S. Army, Cost and Economic Analysis Center, Pentagon,
  Washington, D.C.;
• U.S. Army, Pacific, Ft. Shafter, Hawaii; and
• U.S. Army, 25th Infantry Division (Light), Schofield Barracks, Hawaii;
• U.S. Air Force, Headquarters, Plans and Programs Division,
  Washington, D.C.;
• U.S. Air Force, Combat Forces Division, and Global Mobility Division,
  Washington, D.C.;
• U.S. Air Force, Munitions Missile and Space Plans and Policy Division,
  Washington, D.C.;
• U.S. Air Force, Air Logistics Center, Robins Air Force Base, Ga.;
• U.S. Air Force, Air Combat Command, Directorate of Requirements and
  Plans, Aircraft Division, and the Installation and Logistics Division,
  Langley Air Force Base, Va.;
• U.S. Air Force, Pacific, Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii;
• U.S. Navy, Naval Surface Forces, Atlantic Fleet, Norfolk Naval Base, Va.;
• U.S. Navy, Naval Air Force, Atlantic Fleet, Norfolk Naval Base, Va.;
• U.S. Navy, Naval Weapons Station Yorktown, Va.;
• U.S. Navy, Naval Surface Forces, Pacific Fleet, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii;
• U.S. Navy, Naval Surface Forces, Pacific Fleet, Naval Amphibious Base,
  Coronado, Calif.;
• U.S. Navy, Naval Air Forces, Naval Air Station North Island, Coronado,
  Calif.;
• U.S. Navy, Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach, Calif.;
• U.S. Navy, Electronic Attack Wing, U.S. Pacific Fleet, Naval Air Station
  Whidbey Island, Wash.;
• U.S. Navy, Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington Navy Yard,
  Washington, D.C.;
• U.S. Navy, Naval Air Systems Command, Naval Air Station
  Patuxent River, Md.;
• U.S. Navy, Naval Air Depot, Naval Air Station North Island, Calif.; and
• U.S. Navy, Avondale Shipyard, Avondale, La.;
• U.S. Marine Corps, Systems Command, Quantico, Va.;
• U.S. Marine Corps, Aviation Weapons Branch, Pentagon, Washington,
  D.C.;
• U.S. Marine Corps, Tank Automotive and Armaments Command,
  Warren, Mich.;



Page 30                                          GAO-04-112 Military Readiness
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Scope and Methodology




• U.S. Marine Corps, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton,
  Calif.;
• U.S. Marine Corps, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.;
• U.S. Marine Corps, Naval Research Lab, Washington, D.C.;
• U.S. Marine Corps, AAAV Technology Center, Woodbridge, Va.; and
• U.S. Marine Corps, Marine Forces Pacific, Camp Smith, Hawaii.

We also obtained and reviewed relevant documents and reports from DOD
and the Congressional Budget Office, and relied on related prior GAO
reports. We performed our review from September 2002 through October
2003 in accordance with generally accepted government auditing
standards.




Page 31                                        GAO-04-112 Military Readiness
Appendix II

Assessments of Selected Equipment Items                                                    Appendx
                                                                                                 Ii




              For the 25 equipment items, each assessment provides a snapshot in time
              of the status of the equipment item at the time of our review. The profile
              presents a general description of the equipment item. Each assessment
              area contains a highlighted area indicating the level of DOD, military
              service, and/or congressional attention each equipment item needs, in our
              opinion, based on our observations of each equipment item, discussions
              with service officials, and reviews of service-provided metrics.




              Page 32                                          GAO-04-112 Military Readiness
              Appendix II
              Assessments of Selected Equipment Items




Army

Abrams Tank   First delivered in the early 1980s, the Abrams is the Army’s main battle tank
              and destroys enemy forces using enhanced mobility and firepower.
              Variants of the Abrams include the M1, M1A1, and M1A2. The M1 has a
              105mm main gun; the M1A1 and M1A2 have a 120 mm gun, combined with a
              powerful turbine engine and special armor. There are 5,848 tanks in the
              inventory, and the estimated average age is 14 years. The M1 variant will be
              phased out by 2015. The M1 and M1A2 variant are being upgraded to the
              M1A2 Systems Enhancement Program (SEP) by July 2004.



              Figure 1: Abrams Tank




              Source: Defense Visual Information Center.




Condition


              We assessed the condition of the Abrams Tank as green because it
              consistently met its mission capable goal of 90 percent from fiscal year
              1998 through fiscal year 2002. Although the Abrams met its mission capable
              goal, supply and maintenance operations at the unit-level are a challenge
              because of repair parts shortages, unreliable components, inadequate test
              equipment, and lack of trained technicians. There are concerns that the



              Page 33                                            GAO-04-112 Military Readiness
                     Appendix II
                     Assessments of Selected Equipment Items




                     future condition of the Abrams could deteriorate in the next 5 years due to
                     insufficient sustainment funds. The lack of funds could result in an
                     increase of aging tanks and maintenance requirements.

Program Strategy


                     We assessed the program strategy for the Abrams as green because the
                     Army has developed a long-term strategy for upgrading and phasing
                     out certain variants of aging tanks in its inventory. The Army’s
                     Recapitalization Program selectively implements new technology upgrades
                     to reduce operations and support cost. Additionally, the Army is phasing
                     out the M1A2 from its inventory by 2009, and procuring 588 M1A2 SEPS.
                     The SEP enhances the digital command and control capabilities of the
                     tank. The Army also developed a program for improving the Abrams M1A2
                     electronics called the Continuous Electronic Evolution Program, which is
                     part of the SEP. The first phase of this program has been approved and
                     funded. According to an Army official, the next phase is expected to start in
                     approximately 5 years.

Funding


                     We assessed the funding for the Abrams as yellow because current and
                     projected funding is not consistent with the Army’s stated requirements to
                     sustain and modernize the Abrams tank inventory. The Army reduced the
                     recapitalization budget by more than 50 percent for the M1A2 SEP, thereby
                     decreasing the number of upgrades from 1,174 to 588. Unfunded
                     requirements for the Abrams tank include the vehicle integrated defense
                     systems, safety and environmental fixes, and an improved driver’s viewer
                     system. Without adequate funding, obsolescence may become a major
                     issue once tank production ends and procurement funds are no longer
                     available to subsidize tank requirements. Procurement funding for the
                     M1A2 SEP will be completed by 2003 and deliveries completed by 2004.
                     According to an Army official, the Abrams procurement funding provides
                     approximately 75 percent to 80 percent of the tank requirements due to
                     commonality among the systems.

Wartime Capability   While we did not have sufficient data to definitively assess the wartime
                     capability for the Abrams, a detailed pre-war assessment prepared by the
                     program manager’s office indicated that the tank is not ready or able to



                     Page 34                                            GAO-04-112 Military Readiness
Appendix II
Assessments of Selected Equipment Items




sustain a long-term war. During Operation Iraqi Freedom, the Abrams
tank was able to successfully maneuver, provide firepower, and protect the
crew. Losses were attributed to mechanical breakdown and
cannibalization. The detailed assessment by the program manager’s office,
however, indicated that limited funding, war reserve spare part shortages,
and supply availability could impact the tank’s ability to sustain a long-term
war.




Page 35                                             GAO-04-112 Military Readiness
                  Appendix II
                  Assessments of Selected Equipment Items




AH-64A/D Apache   The Apache is a multi-mission aircraft designed to perform rear, close, deep
Helicopter        operations and precision strikes, armed reconnaissance and
                  security during day, night, and adverse weather conditions. There
                  are approximately 728 Apache helicopters in the Army’s inventory—418
                  AH-64A models and 310 AH-64D models. The fleet average age is about
                  12 years.



                  Figure 2: AH-64A/D Apache Helicopter




                  Source: Defense Visual Information Center.




Condition


                  We assessed the condition of the Apache as yellow because the Apache AH-
                  64D model failed to meet the mission capable goal of 75 percent
                  approximately 50 percent of the time, from fiscal year 1999 through fiscal
                  year 2002; however, according to officials, the Apache mission capable
                  rates have consistently exceeded the 75 percent goal in calendar year 2003.
                  Aviation safety restrictions were cited as the reason why the Apache failed
                  to meet mission capable goals. A safety restriction pertains to any defect or
                  hazardous condition that can cause personal injury, death, or damage to the
                  aircraft, components, or repair parts for which a medium to high safety risk
                  has been determined. These restrictions included problems with the
                  (1) aircraft Teflon bushings, (2) transmission, (3) main rotor blade
                  attaching pins, (4) generator power cables, and (5) the removal,
                  maintenance and inspection of the Auxiliary Power Unit Takeoff Clutch.




                  Page 36                                            GAO-04-112 Military Readiness
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                     Assessments of Selected Equipment Items




                     The Army’s Recapitalization Program includes modifications that are
                     intended to address these safety restrictions.

Program Strategy


                     We assessed the program strategy for the Apache as green because the
                     Army has developed a long-term program strategy to sustain and upgrade
                     the aging Apache fleet. The Army’s Recapitalization Program addresses
                     costs, reliability, and safety problems, fleet groundings, aging aircraft, and
                     obsolescence. The Army plans to remanufacture 501 AH-64A helicopters to
                     the AH-64D configuration. The goal is to reduce the fleet average age to
                     10 years by 2010, increase the unscheduled mean time between removal by
                     20 percent for selected components, and generate a 20 percent return on
                     investment for the top 10 cost drivers. The Army is on-schedule for fielding
                     the Apache AH-64D.

Funding


                     We assessed the funding for the Apache as green because current and
                     projected funding is consistent with the Army’s stated requirements for
                     sustaining and upgrading the Apache fleet. The Apache program is fully
                     funded through fiscal year 2005 at a total cost of $6.7 billion. The funding
                     supports remanufacturing and upgrading 501 Apache AH-64A to the newer
                     Longbow Apache AH-64D aircraft, as well as funding other reliability and
                     safety issues. The Army has expended $3.6 billion to convert 284 A models
                     to D models from fiscal year 1996 through fiscal year 2001. The other
                     $3.1 billion supports upgrading the remaining 217 A models to address
                     reliability and safety issues, procuring Detection Systems, and procuring
                     Internal Auxiliary Fuel System/Ammo Flat Pack for the Apache fleet. The
                     Army has not made a decision to fund modifications needed in fiscal year
                     2005 through fiscal year 2012, which is estimated to cost approximately
                     $3.4 billion

Wartime Capability   While we did not have sufficient data to definitively assess the wartime
                     capability of the Apache, Army officials did not identify any specific
                     concerns. These officials indicated that the Apache successfully fulfilled its
                     wartime missions in Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom. In
                     Operation Iraqi Freedom, the AH-64D conducted combat operations for
                     both close combat and standoff engagements. Every mission assigned was



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Assessments of Selected Equipment Items




flown and accomplished with the Apache AH-64D. The Longbow
performance has been enhanced by targeting and weapon systems
upgrades that have improved the Longbow performance over the AH-64A.




Page 38                                      GAO-04-112 Military Readiness
            Appendix II
            Assessments of Selected Equipment Items




Stryker     The Stryker is a highly deployable-wheeled armored vehicle that employs
            10 variations—the Infantry Carrier Vehicle (ICV), Mortar Carrier (MC),
            Reconnaissance Vehicle (RV), Commander Vehicle (CV), Medical
            Evacuation Vehicle (MEV), Engineer Squad Vehicle (ESV), Anti-Tank
            Guided Missile Vehicle (ATGM), and Fire Support Vehicle (FSV), the Mobile
            Gun System (MGS), and the Nuclear Biological and Chemical
            Reconnaissance Vehicle (NBCRV). There are 600 Stryker vehicles in the
            Army’s inventory, and the average age is less than 2 years. The Army plans
            to procure a total of 2,121 Stryker vehicles through fiscal year 2008.



            Figure 3: Stryker




            Source: Defense Visual Information Center.



Condition


            We assessed the condition of the Stryker as green because it has
            successfully achieved the fully mission capable goal of 95 percent, based
            on a 3-month average from April 2003 through July 2003. The Congress
            mandated that the Army compare the operational effectiveness and cost of
            an infantry carrier variant of the Stryker and a medium Army armored
            vehicle. The Army compared the cost and operational effectiveness of the
            Stryker infantry carrier against a medium armored vehicle. The Army
            selected the M113A3, and the comparison shows the Stryker infantry
            carrier vehicle is more survivable and provides better overall performance
            and mobility when employed in combat operations than the M113A3.




            Page 39                                          GAO-04-112 Military Readiness
                     Appendix II
                     Assessments of Selected Equipment Items




Program Strategy


                     We assessed the program strategy for the Stryker as green because the
                     Army developed a long-term program strategy for procuring a total of 2,121
                     vehicles through fiscal year 2008, which will satisfy the total requirement.
                     Of the 600 currently in the inventory, 449 are at 2 brigades—a 3rd brigade of
                     the 2nd Infantry Division and the 1st brigade of the 25th Infantry Division,
                     both of which are located at Fort Lewis, Washington. The other 151 are at
                     fielding sites, training centers, and the Army Test and Evaluation Center.
                     The remaining 1,521 will be procured through fiscal year 2007 with
                     expected deliveries through fiscal year 2008. The next brigade scheduled to
                     receive the Stryker is the 172nd Infantry Brigade at Forts Richardson and
                     Wainwright, Alaska. The remaining Stryker Brigades Combat Teams to be
                     equipped with the Stryker are the 2nd Cavalry Regiment, Fort Polk,
                     Louisiana; 2nd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii;
                     and 56th Brigade of the 28th Infantry Division, Pennsylvania Army National
                     Guard.

Funding


                     We assessed the funding for the Stryker as green because current and
                     projected funding is consistent with the Army’s stated requirements to
                     sustain the Stryker program. The program is fully funded to field the
                     six Stryker brigade combat teams. Approximately $4.1 billion has been
                     allocated for all six combat teams through fiscal year 2009. The Secretary
                     of Defense has authorized the procurement of the first three brigades, but
                     the fourth brigade cannot be procured until the Secretary of Defense
                     solidify to Congress that the results of the Operational Evaluation
                     mandated by Congress indicated that the design for the interim brigade
                     combat team is operationally effective and operationally suitable. The
                     evaluation was completed in May 2003 and results are being finalized.

Wartime Capability   While we did not have sufficient data to definitively assess the wartime
                     capability of the Stryker, the Army did not identify any specific concerns
                     regarding the system being able to meet its wartime mission. The Stryker
                     has not yet been used in any conflict situation. In May 2003, GAO reported
                     that the Army Test and Evaluation Command concluded that the Stryker
                     provided more advantages than the M113A3 in force protection, support for
                     dismounted assault, and close fight and mobility, and was more survivable
                     against ballistic and non-ballistic threats.


                     Page 40                                            GAO-04-112 Military Readiness
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                   Assessments of Selected Equipment Items




CH-47D/F Chinook   The CH-47 helicopter is a twin-engine, tandem rotor helicopter designed for
Helicopter         transportation of cargo, troops, and weapons. The Army inventory consists
                   of 426 CH-47D models and 2 CH-47F models. The CH-47F Improved Cargo
                   Helicopter is a remanufactured version of the CH-47D and includes a new
                   digital cockpit and a modified airframe to reduce vibration. The overall
                   average age of the CH-47 is 14 years old. The Army plans to convert 76 D
                   model aircraft to the F model between fiscal years 2005 and fiscal year
                   2009.



                   Figure 4: CH-47D/F Chinook Helicopter




                   Source: Defense Visual Information Center.




Condition


                   We assessed the condition of the Chinook as red because it consistently
                   failed to meet the Army’s mission capable goal of 75 percent from fiscal
                   year 1998 to fiscal year 2002. Actual mission capable rates ranged from
                   61 percent to 69 percent. Army officials attributed the failure to meet the
                   75 percent mission capable goal to aging equipment, supply shortages, and
                   inexperienced technicians. Maintaining aircraft has become increasingly
                   difficult with the CH-47D failing to meet the non-mission capable
                   maintenance goal of 15 percent, increasing from 27 percent in fiscal year
                   1998 to 31 percent in fiscal year 2002.



                   Page 41                                           GAO-04-112 Military Readiness
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                     Assessments of Selected Equipment Items




Program Strategy


                     We assessed the program strategy for the Chinook as yellow because the
                     Army has developed a long-term strategy for upgrading and replacing the
                     Chinook, but the strategy is not consistent with the Army’s funding
                     priorities. There has been a delay in the plan to upgrade 279 D models to
                     F models between fiscal year 2003 and fiscal year 2017 under the Army’s
                     Recapitalization Program, reducing the number of CH-47F helicopters
                     planned in the fiscal year 2004 budget by five due to unexpected funding
                     constraints. These budgetary constraints also delayed the Army’s plans to
                     purchase 16 engines because funding was transferred to support other non-
                     recurring requirements. Readiness may be adversely affected if these
                     engines are not procured because unit requisitions for these engines will
                     not be filled and aircraft will not be fully mission capable.

Funding


                     We assessed the funding for the Chinook as yellow because current and
                     projected funding is not consistent with the Army’s requirements for
                     sustaining and upgrading the Chinook helicopter. At present, the Army has
                     identified unfunded requirements totaling $316 million, with $77 million
                     needed to procure the five CH-47Fs and the 16 engines for which the funds
                     had been previously diverted. The remaining $239 million would support
                     other improvements including common avionics system, rotor heads,
                     crashworthy crew seats, and engine modifications. The Army will resolve
                     some or all of these requirements with projected funding of $3 billion to
                     support the CH-47 program through fiscal year 2017.

Wartime Capability   While we did not have sufficient data to definitively assess the wartime
                     capability for the Chinook, Army officials indicated that it successfully
                     fulfilled its wartime mission for Operation Iraqi Freedom despite current
                     condition problems. These officials stated that the deployed units were
                     able to overcome these condition problems because the deployed aircraft
                     were provided a higher priority than non-deployed aircraft for spare parts.
                     As a result, the estimated mission capable rates for deployed aircraft
                     increased to about 86 percent during the operation.




                     Page 42                                           GAO-04-112 Military Readiness
                          Appendix II
                          Assessments of Selected Equipment Items




Heavy Expanded Mobility   The HEMTT provides transport capabilities for re-supply of combat
Tactical Truck (HEMTT)    vehicles and weapon systems. The HEMTT’s five basic configurations
                          include the cargo truck, the load handling system, wrecker, tanker, and
                          tractor. The HEMTT entered into the Army’s inventory in 1982. The current
                          inventory totals about 12,500 and the average age is 13 years.



                          Figure 5: Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck




                          Source: Defense Visual Information Center.




Condition


                          We assessed the condition of the HEMTT as green because mission capable
                          rates have been close to the Army’s 90 percent goal, averaging 89 percent
                          between fiscal year 1998 and fiscal year 2002. Moreover, the overall supply
                          availability rates have exceeded the 85 percent goal from May 2002 to
                          October 2002, averaging between 96 percent and 99 percent, respectively.
                          In some instances, however, meeting the operational goals has been
                          continually challenging because of aging equipment, heavy equipment
                          usage, and the lack of trained mechanics. The lack of trained mechanics
                          may also impact the Army’s future ability to meet the specified mission


                          Page 43                                            GAO-04-112 Military Readiness
                     Appendix II
                     Assessments of Selected Equipment Items




                     capable goals. In addition, a detailed pre-war assessment by the program
                     manager’s office indicated that concerns regarding shortages of spare parts
                     would significantly degrade the HEMTT readiness rates.

Program Strategy


                     We assessed the program strategy for the HEMTT as green because the
                     Army has developed a long-term program strategy for sustaining and
                     modernizing the HEMTT inventory. The Army’s plans include procuring
                     1,485 new tankers and wreckers through fiscal year 2007, which will satisfy
                     the Army’s stated requirement. The Army also plans to rebuild some of the
                     existing vehicles through the HEMTT Extended Service Program. This
                     program, scheduled to be complete in fiscal year 2012, will insert
                     technology advancements and will provide continuous improvements to
                     the vehicle. Although there has been a reduction in the Army’s budget for
                     the Extended Service Program, the plan is to continue rebuilding trucks in
                     smaller quantities and at a slower pace. The Army’s Forces Command has
                     implemented a Vehicle Readiness Enhancement Program that serves as an
                     interim maintenance program for the HEMTT awaiting induction into the
                     Extended Service Program.

Funding


                     We assessed the funding for the HEMTT as yellow because current and
                     projected funding is not consistent with the Army’s stated requirements to
                     sustain and modernize the HEMTT inventory. Specifically, the Army has
                     unfunded requirements of $10.5 million as of fiscal year 2003, of which
                     $3.9 million is for spare parts and $6.6 million is for war reserves. In
                     addition, the Army reduced the Recapitalization Program by $329 million.
                     The Army had planned to upgrade 2,783 vehicles currently in the inventory;
                     however, 1,365 will not be upgraded as a result of the reductions in the
                     Recapitalization Program. Consequently, according to Army officials,
                     maintenance and operating and support costs will likely increase.

Wartime Capability   While we did not have sufficient data to definitively assess the wartime
                     capability for the HEMTT, Army officials indicated that it has successfully
                     fulfilled its wartime requirements during recent combat operations.
                     Based on the program manager’s preliminary observations, the HEMTT
                     performed successfully during Operation Iraqi Freedom. A detailed pre-war



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assessment by the program manager’s office indicated that the HEMTT was
ready for war, but could experience sustainment problems due to a
shortage of war reserve spare parts. The program manager’s office is
currently assessing the condition of the active and war reserve equipment
used in Operation Iraqi Freedom.




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Patriot Missile (PAC-3)   The PAC-3 missile is considered a major upgrade to the Patriot system.
                          Sixteen PAC-3 missiles can be loaded on a launcher versus four PAC-2
                          missiles. The Army plans to buy 2,200 PAC-3 missiles. The Army had a
                          current inventory of 88 PAC-3 missiles as of July 2003. The average age of
                          the PAC-3 missile is less than 1 year.



                          Figure 6: Patriot Missile




                          Source: U.S. Army.



Condition


                          We assessed the condition of the PAC-3 missile as green because
                          approximately 89 percent of the missiles in the inventory were ready for
                          use as of July 2003. Specifically, of the 88 PAC-3 missiles currently in the
                          inventory, 78 were ready for use and 10 were not. In addition, the Army has
                          not experienced any chronic or persistent problems during production. The
                          PAC-3 missile completed operational testing and was approved for full
                          production of 208 missiles in 2003 and 2004.




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Program Strategy


                     We assessed the program strategy for the PAC-3 missile as green because
                     the Army has developed a long-term strategy for sustaining the PAC-3
                     inventory, including procurement of 2,200 missiles that will satisfy the total
                     requirement. The Army plans to purchase 1,159 PAC-3 missiles through
                     fiscal year 2009. The remaining 1,041 missiles will be procured after fiscal
                     year 2009. During the low-rate initial production, the Army procured 164
                     PAC-3 missiles from 1998 to 2002 at $1.7 billion. The Army has completed
                     the low-rate initial production and has been granted approval for full
                     production of 208 PAC-3 missiles beginning in fiscal year 2003, at a total
                     estimated cost of $714 million.

Funding


                     We assessed the funding for the PAC-3 missile as green primarily because
                     current and projected funding is consistent with the Army’s stated
                     requirements to sustain the PAC-3 inventory. The program manager’s office
                     has not identified any funding shortfalls for the missile. Funding has been
                     approved for the production of 1,159 PAC-3 missiles through fiscal year
                     2009 at an average production rate of nearly 100 missiles per year. The total
                     production cost of the 1,159 PAC-3 missiles equates to $4.3 billion. The
                     remaining 1,041 missiles will be procured after fiscal year 2009.

Wartime Capability   While we did not have sufficient data to definitively assess the wartime
                     capability of the PAC-3 missile, Army officials indicated that it successfully
                     fulfilled its wartime mission during Operation Iraqi Freedom, successfully
                     hitting enemy targets within two missile shots. The PAC-3 has also
                     completed the operational testing phase and has been approved for
                     full production.




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Guided Multiple Launch   The Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System Dual Purpose Improved
Rocket System (GMLRS)    Convention Munition (GMLRS-DPICM) is an essential component of the
                         Army’s transformation. It upgrades the M26 series MLRS rocket and is
                         expected to serve as the baseline for all future Objective Force rocket
                         munitions. The Army plans to procure a total of 140,004 GMLRS rockets.
                         There are currently no GMLRS rockets in inventory, but it was approved in
                         March 2003 to enter low rate initial production to produce 108 missiles.



                         Figure 7: Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System




                         Source: U.S. Army.




Condition


                         We assessed the condition of the GMLRS as green because the system has
                         demonstrated acceptable performance during the System Development
                         and Demonstration Phase, and was approved to enter low rate initial
                         production in March 2003.




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Program Strategy


                     We assessed the program strategy for the GMLRS as green because the
                     Army has developed a long-term program strategy for sustaining the
                     GMLRS inventory, including procurement of a total of 140,004 missiles that
                     will satisfy the total requirement. Of this total, the Army plans to procure
                     18,582 missiles by fiscal year 2009. The remaining 121,422 will be procured
                     after fiscal year 2009. The Army approved low rate initial production for a
                     total of 1,920 missiles through fiscal year 2005. The initial operational
                     capability date is scheduled for 2nd quarter fiscal year 2006. The Army has
                     also preplanned a product improvement to the GMLRS-DPICM called the
                     GMLRS—Unitary. This improvement is in the concept development phase
                     and is scheduled to begin a spiral System Development and Demonstration.
                     The Army has not decided how many of the 1,920 initial production rockets
                     will include the guided unitary upgrade.

Funding


                     We assessed the funding for the GMLRS as green because current and
                     projected funding is consistent with the Army’s stated requirements to
                     sustain the GMLRS Munitions program. The GMLRS program is fully
                     funded and properly phased for rapid acquisition. The Army plans to
                     purchase a total of 140,004 GMLRS rockets for $11.7 billion. Of the
                     140,004 GMLRS rockets, the Army plans to procure 18,582 through fiscal
                     year 2009 for $1.7 billion. The remaining 121,422 rockets will cost the Army
                     approximately $10 billion. In March 2003, the system met all modified low
                     rate initial production criteria to enter the first phase to produce 108
                     rockets for $36.6 million. Phases II and III will procure the remaining 1,812
                     rockets during fiscal year 2004 (786 rockets) and fiscal year 2005 (1,026
                     rockets) for $220.4 million.

Wartime Capability   While we did not have sufficient data to definitively assess the wartime
                     capability of the GMLRS, Army officials did not identify any specific
                     capability concerns. The GMLRS-DPICM is expected to achieve greater
                     range and precision accuracy. The upgraded improvement will reduce the
                     number of rockets required to defeat targets out to 60 kilometers or
                     greater, and reduce collateral damage. It is also expected to reduce
                     hazardous duds to less than 1 percent.




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Air Force

F-16 Fighting Falcon   The F-16 is a compact, multi-role fighter with air-to-air combat and
Aircraft               air-to-surface attack capabilities. The first operational F-16A was delivered
                       in January 1979. The Air Force currently has 1,381 F-16 aircraft in its
                       inventory, and the average age is about 15 years. The F-16B is a two-seat,
                       tandem cockpit aircraft. The F-16C and D models are the counterparts to
                       the F-16A/B, and incorporate the latest technology. Active units and many
                       reserve units have converted to the F-16C/D. The Air Force plans to replace
                       the F-16 with the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter beginning in 2012.



                       Figure 8: F-16 Fighting Falcon Aircraft




                       Source: Defense Visual Information Center.




Condition


                       We assessed the condition of the F-16 as green because mission capable
                       rates have been near the current goal of 83 percent with mission capable
                       rates for all of the Air Force’s Air Combat Command (ACC) F-16s ranging
                       from 75 percent to 79 percent during the past 5 years. Although these rates
                       are below the goal, officials said they were sufficient to provide flying
                       hours for pilot training, and to meet operational requirements. In fiscal year
                       2002, the planned utilization rate, (i.e., the average number of sorties per



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                     aircraft per month) for ACC aircraft was 17.5 sorties per month, and the
                     actual utilization was 17.7 sorties. Although the average age of the F-16 is
                     about 15 years, there are no material deficiencies that would limit its
                     effectiveness and reliability. Known and potential structural problems
                     associated with aging and accumulated flying hours are being addressed
                     through ongoing depot maintenance programs.

Program Strategy


                     We assessed the program strategy for the F-16 as green because the
                     Air Force has developed a long-term program strategy for sustaining and
                     replacing the F-16 inventory. The program should ensure that the aircraft
                     remains a viable and capable weapons system throughout the FYDP.
                     Subsequently, the Air Force intends to begin replacing the F-16 with the
                     Joint Strike Fighter (F-35), which is already in development.

Funding


                     We assessed the funding for the F-16 as yellow because current and
                     projected funding is not consistent with the Air Force’s stated requirements
                     to sustain and replace the F-16 inventory. There are potential shortfalls in
                     the funding for depot maintenance programs and modifications during the
                     next 3-5 years. Although funding has been programmed for this work,
                     unexpected increases in depot labor rates have been significant, and
                     additional funding may be required to complete the work. For fiscal year
                     2004, the Air Force included $13.5 million for the F-16 in its Unfunded
                     Priority List.

Wartime Capability   While we did not have sufficient data to definitively assess the wartime
                     capability for the F-16, the aircraft has successfully fulfilled its recent
                     wartime missions. F-16 fighters were deployed to the Persian Gulf in 1991
                     in support of Operation Desert Storm, and flew more sorties than any other
                     aircraft. The F-16 has also been a major player in peacekeeping operations
                     including the Balkans since 1993. Since the terrorist attack in September
                     2001, F-16s comprised the bulk of the fighter force protecting the skies over
                     the United States in Operation Noble Eagle. More recently, F-16s played a
                     major role in Afghanistan in Operation Enduring Freedom, and have
                     performed well in combat in Operation Iraqi Freedom, in which the F-16
                     once again provided precision-guided strike capabilities and suppression of



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enemy air defenses. During Operation Iraqi Freedom, the Air Force
deployed over 130 F-16s that contributed significantly to the approximately
8,800 sorties flown by Air Force fighter aircraft.




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B-2 Spirit Bomber   The B-2 is a multi-role heavy bomber with stealth characteristics, capable
                    of employing nuclear and conventional weapons. The aircraft was
                    produced in limited numbers to provide a low observable (i.e., stealth)
                    capability to complement the B-1 and B-52 bombers. Its unique stealth
                    capability enables the aircraft to penetrate air defenses. The Air Force
                    currently has 21 B-2 aircraft in its inventory, and the average age is about 9
                    years. The first B-2 was deployed in December 1993, and currently all B-2s
                    in the inventory are configured with an enhanced terrain-following
                    capability and the ability to deliver the Joint Direct Attack Munition and the
                    Joint Stand Off Weapon.



                    Figure 9: B-2 Spirit Bomber




                    Source: Defense Visual Information Center.




Condition


                    We assessed the condition of the B-2 as yellow because the B-2 did not
                    meet its mission capable goal of 50 percent. Officials said that the aircraft
                    itself is in good condition, but it is the maintainability of its stealth
                    characteristics that is driving the low mission capable rates. Officials
                    pointed out that despite low mission capable rates the B-2 has been able to
                    meet requirements for combat readiness training and wartime missions.
                    For example, four B-2 aircraft were deployed and used during Operation
                    Iraqi Freedom, and maintained a mission capable rate of 85 percent.
                    Mission capable rates have improved slightly, and officials said that recent
                    innovations in low observable maintenance technology and planned
                    modifications are expected to foster additional improvement.



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Program Strategy


                     We assessed the program strategy for the B-2 as green because the Air
                     Force has developed a long-term program strategy for sustaining the
                     B-2 inventory. Program plans appear to ensure the viability of this system
                     through the Future Years Defense Plan. Procurement of this aircraft is
                     complete. The Air Force plans to maintain and improve its capabilities,
                     ensuring that the B-2 remains the primary platform in long-range
                     combat aviation.

Funding


                     We assessed the funding for the B-2 as green because current and projected
                     funding is consistent with the Air Force’s stated requirements to sustain the
                     B-2 inventory. The programmed funding should allow execution of the
                     program strategy to sustain, maintain, and modify the system through the
                     Future Years Defense Plan. The B-2 is of special interest to the Congress,
                     which requires an annual report on this system, including a schedule of
                     funding requirements through the Future Years Defense Plan. No items
                     specific to the B-2 were included in the Air Force’s fiscal year 2004
                     Unfunded Priority List.

Wartime Capability   While we did not have sufficient data to definitively assess the wartime
                     capability for the B-2, the aircraft has successfully fulfilled its wartime
                     missions despite current condition weaknesses. The Air Force
                     demonstrated the aircraft’s long-range strike capability by launching
                     missions from the United States, striking targets in Afghanistan, and
                     returning to the States. More recently, the Air Force deployed four B-2
                     aircraft to support Operation Iraqi Freedom, where they contributed to the
                     505 sorties flown by bombers during the conflict. The B-2 Annual Report to
                     the Congress states that the B-2 program plan will ensure that the B-2
                     remains the primary platform in long-range combat aviation.




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C-5 Galaxy Transport   The C-5 Galaxy is the largest of the Air Force’s air transport aircraft, and
Aircraft               one of the world’s largest aircraft. It can carry large cargo items over
                       intercontinental ranges at jet speeds and can take off and land in relatively
                       short distances. It provides a unique capability in that it is the only aircraft
                       that can carry certain Army weapon systems, main battle tanks, infantry
                       vehicles, or helicopters. The C-5 can carry any piece of army combat
                       equipment, including a 74-ton mobile bridge. With aerial refueling, the
                       aircraft’s range is limited only by crew endurance. The first C-5A was
                       delivered in 1969. The Air Force currently has 126 C-5 aircraft in its
                       inventory, and the average age is about 26 years.



                       Figure 10: C-5 Galaxy Transport Aircraft




                       Source: Defense Visual Information Center.




Condition


                       We assessed the condition of the C-5 as yellow because it consistently
                       failed to meet its mission capable goal of 75 percent; however, mission
                       capable rates have been steadily improving and, in April 2003, active duty
                       C-5s exceeded the goal for the first time. Program officials pointed out that,
                       although the total fleet has never achieved the 75 percent goal, there has
                       been considerable improvement over time, with the rate rising from about
                       42 percent in 1971 to about 71 percent in 2003. The Air Force Scientific
                       Advisory Board has estimated that 80 percent of the airframe structural



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                     service life remains. Furthermore, Air Force officials said that the two
                     major modification programs planned, the avionics modernization program
                     and reliability enhancement and re-engining program, should significantly
                     improve mission capable rates.

Program Strategy


                     We assessed the program strategy for the C-5 as green because the Air
                     Force has developed a long-term program strategy for sustaining and
                     modernizing the aging C-5 inventory. The Air Force has planned a
                     two-phase modernization program through the future years defense
                     program that is expected to increase the aircraft’s mission capability and
                     reliability. The Air Force plans to modernize the C-5 to improve aircraft
                     reliability and maintainability, maintain structural and system integrity,
                     reduce costs, and increase operational capability. Air Force officials stated
                     that the C-5 is expected to continue in service until about 2040 and that,
                     with the planned modifications, the aircraft could last until then. As an
                     effort to meet strategic airlift requirements, the Air Force has contracted to
                     buy 180 C-17s, will retire 14 C-5s by fiscal year 2005, and may retire
                     additional aircraft as more C-17s are acquired.

Funding


                     We assessed the funding for the C-5 as yellow because current and
                     projected funding is not consistent with the Air Force’s stated requirements
                     to sustain and modernize the aging C-5 inventory. According to officials, the
                     program lost production funding because of problems during the early
                     stage of the program. Currently 49 aircraft are funded for the avionics
                     program through the Future Years Defense Plan. For fiscal year 2004, the
                     Air Force included $39.4 million in its Unfunded Priority List to restore the
                     program to its prior timeline.

Wartime Capability   While we did not have sufficient data to definitively assess the wartime
                     capability of the C-5, Air Force officials indicated that the aircraft has
                     successfully fulfilled its recent wartime missions. The Air Force has not
                     noted any factors or capability concerns that would prevent the C-5 from
                     effectively performing its wartime mission.




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KC-135 Stratotanker   The KC-135 is one of the oldest airframes in the Air Force’s inventory, and
Aircraft              represents 90 percent of the tanker fleet. Its primary mission is air
                      refueling, and it supports Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and allied aircraft.
                      The first KC-135 was delivered in June 1957. The original A models have
                      been re-engined, modified, and designated as E, R, or T models. The E
                      models are located in the Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard. The
                      total inventory of the KC-135 aircraft is 543, and the average age is about
                      43 years.



                      Figure 11: KC-135 Stratotanker Aircraft




                      Source: Defense Visual Information Center.




Condition


                      We assessed the condition of the KC-135 as yellow because it maintained
                      mission capable rates at or near the 85 percent goal despite the aircraft’s
                      age and potential corrosion of its structural components. Although the
                      aircraft is about 43 years old, average flying hours are slightly over a third
                      of its expected life of 39,000 hours, and an Air Force study projected the
                      KC-135 would last until about 2040. All KC-135s were subjected to an
                      aggressive corrosion preventive program and underwent significant
                      modifications, including replacement of the cockpit. Nevertheless, citing
                      increases in the work needed during periodic depot maintenance, costs,
                      and risk of the entire fleet being grounded, the Air Force decided to
                      accelerate recapitalization from 2013 to about 2006.




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Program Strategy


                     We assessed the program strategy for the KC-135 as red because the Air
                     Force has developed a long-term program strategy to modernize the aging
                     KC-135 tanker fleet, but it has not demonstrated the urgency of acquiring
                     replacement aircraft and has not defined the requirements for the number
                     of aircraft that will be needed. As we stated in testimony before the House
                     Committee on Armed Services, Subcommittee on Projection Forces, the
                     department does not have a current, validated study on which to base the
                     size and composition of either the current fleet or a future aerial refueling
                     force.1 The Air Force has a large fleet of KC-135s (about 543), which were
                     flown about 300 hours annually between 1995 and September 2001. Since
                     then utilization is about 435 hours per year. Furthermore, the Air Force has
                     a shortage of aircrews to fly the aircraft it has. In Operation Iraqi Freedom,
                     a relatively small part of the fleet was used to support the conflict
                     (149 aircraft). Without a definitive analysis, it is difficult to determine if
                     recapitalization is needed and what alternatives might best satisfy the
                     requirement.

Funding


                     We assessed the funding of the KC-135 as red because current and future
                     funding is not consistent with the Air Force stated requirements to sustain
                     and modernize the KC-135 tanker fleet. The Air Force has not addressed
                     recapitalization funding in the current defense budget or in the Future
                     Years Defense Plan. The Air Force plans to begin acquiring new aircraft
                     almost immediately, but does not want to divert funding from other
                     programs to pay for them. The Air Force proposed a unique leasing
                     arrangement with Boeing that will provide new tankers as early as 2006.
                     There remains controversy over the lease terms, aircraft pricing, and how
                     the Air Force will pay for the lease.

Wartime Capability   While we did not have sufficient data to definitively assess the wartime
                     capability of the KC-135, Air Force officials indicated that the aircraft has
                     successfully fulfilled its recent wartime missions despite current condition


                     1
                       U.S. General Accounting Office, Military Aircraft: Information on Air Force Aerial
                     Refueling Tankers, GAO-03-938T (Washington, D.C.: June 4, 2003).




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problems. The KC-135 comprised 149 of the 182 tanker aircraft the Air
Force used during Operation Iraqi Freedom, and those aircraft flew almost
6,200 sorties and offloaded over 376 million pounds of fuel. The KC-135
maintained a mission capable rate above the current goal of 85 percent
during Operation Iraqi Freedom.




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Conventional Air Launched   The CALCM is an accurate long-range standoff weapon with an adverse
Cruise Missile (CALCM)      weather, day/night, and air-to-surface capability. It employs a global
                            positioning system coupled with an inertial navigation system. It was
                            developed to improve the effectiveness of the B-52 bombers and became
                            operational in January 1991. Since initial deployment, an upgraded avionics
                            package, including a larger conventional payload and a multi-channel
                            global positioning system receiver, has been added on all of the missiles.
                            The CALCM total inventory is about 478, and the average age is about
                            15 years.



                            Figure 12: Conventional Air Launched Cruise Missile




                            Source: Defense Visual Information Center.




Condition


                            We assessed the condition of the CALCM as green because the CALCM has
                            demonstrated high reliability. The Air Force has not noted any chronic
                            factors or problems that limit the effectiveness or reliability of the missile.
                            However, according to officials, the diagnostics test equipment needs to be
                            upgraded because it is old and was designed to support less sophisticated
                            missiles. Currently, the Air Force uses the same test equipment for both the
                            conventional and nuclear weapons.




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Program Strategy


                     We assessed the program strategy for the CALCM as green because the Air
                     Force has a long-term program strategy for sustaining and modernizing its
                     current inventory of cruise missiles. The Air Force does not have any future
                     plans to convert or purchase any additional nuclear missiles. The Joint
                     Chief of Staff must authorize the use of the conventional weapons and
                     approve the program in order to procure additional missiles. As the
                     inventory is depleted, the conventional weapon will be replaced with other
                     systems with similar capabilities, such as the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff
                     Missile, which is currently under development. The Joint Air-to-Surface
                     Standoff Missile will not be a one-for-one replacement for the conventional
                     missile.

Funding


                     We assessed the funding for the CALCM as green because current and
                     projected funding is consistent with the Air Force stated requirements to
                     sustain and modernize its cruise missile inventory. Procurement of the
                     cruise missile is complete, and no funding has been provided for research
                     and development or procurement in the fiscal year 2003 budget.

Wartime Capability   While we did not have sufficient data to definitively assess the wartime
                     capability for the CALCM, Air Force officials indicated that it successfully
                     fulfilled its recent wartime missions. These officials indicated that the
                     cruise missile played a significant role in the initial strikes during Operation
                     Iraqi Freedom. During Operation Iraqi Freedom, 153 missiles were
                     expended, and the version that is designed to penetrate hard targets was
                     first employed.




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Joint Direct Attack Munition   The Joint Direct Attack Munition is a guidance tail kit that converts existing
(JDAM)                         unguided bombs into accurate, all-weather “smart” munitions. This is a
                               joint Air Force and Navy program to upgrade the existing inventory of 2,000
                               and 1,000-pound general-purpose bombs by integrating them with a
                               guidance kit consisting of a global positioning system-aided inertial
                               navigation system. In its most accurate mode, the system will provide a
                               weapon circular error probable of 13 meters or less. The JDAM first
                               entered the inventory in 1998. The total projected inventory of the JDAM is
                               about 92,679, and the current average age is less than 5 years. Future
                               upgrades will provide a 3-meter precision and improved anti-jamming
                               capability.



                               Figure 13: Joint Direct Attack Munition




                               Source: Defense Visual Information Center.




Condition


                               We assessed the condition of the JDAM as green because it consistently
                               met its reliability goal of 95 percent. The munitions are used as they



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                     become available; therefore, no maintenance is involved. Although the Air
                     Force does not monitor the condition of munitions, they keep track of each
                     component of the guidance kit, which is tracked for serviceability. The kit
                     is under a 20-year warranty. The munitions are purchased serviceable and
                     are tested before used by the operational units. In addition to high
                     reliability, the JDAM can be purchased at a low cost and are being delivered
                     more than three times as fast as planned.

Program Strategy


                     We assessed the program strategy for the JDAM as green because the Air
                     Force has a long-term program strategy for sustaining and maintaining its
                     production of the munitions. The Joint Direct Attack Munition
                     requirements are driven by assessments of war readiness and training
                     requirements. Currently, Boeing is in full production and is increasing its
                     production to about 2,800 per month for the Air Force and Navy, an
                     increase from approximately 700–900 a month. The second production line
                     is up and running.

Funding


                     We assessed the funding for the JDAM as green because current and
                     projected funding is consistent with the Air Force’s stated requirements to
                     sustain and maintain production of the munitions. The President’s fiscal
                     year 2003 budget provided funding for the procurement of the system
                     through the future years defense plan. Air Force officials stated that the
                     munitions have all the funding it needs; however, it is limited by the
                     production capability of its contractor, Boeing.

Wartime Capability   While we did not have sufficient data to definitively assess the wartime
                     capability of the JDAM, Air Force officials indicated that it has successfully
                     fulfilled its recent wartime missions. The weapon system played a role in
                     operations in Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq. According to the Air Force,
                     the weapon has operationally proven to be more accurate, reliable, and
                     effective than predicted. The Air Force has not noted any factors or
                     capability concerns that would prevent the Joint Direct Attack Munitions
                     from effectively fulfilling its wartime mission.




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Navy

DDG-51 Arleigh Burke Class   Navy Destroyers are multi-mission combatants that operate offensively and
Destroyer                    defensively, independently, or as part of carrier battle groups, surface
                             action groups, and in support of Marine amphibious task forces. This is a
                             62-ship construction program, with 39 in the fleet as of 2003. The average
                             age of the ships is 5.8 years, with the Arleigh Burke (DDG-51) coming into
                             service in 1991. The follow-on program is the DD(X), with initial
                             construction funding in 2005 and delivery beginning 2011.



                             Figure 14: DDG-51 Arleigh Burke Class Destroyer




                             Source: Defense Visual Information Center.




Condition


                             We assessed the condition of the DDG-51 as yellow because work
                             programmed for scheduled maintenance periods is often not
                             accomplished. Because of budget limitations for each ship’s dry-dock
                             period and a Navy effort to level port workloads and provide stability in the
                             industrial base, maintenance items are often cut from the planned work



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                   package during dry-dock periods. Those items are then deferred to the next
                   scheduled docking or accomplished as possible in the ship’s continuous
                   maintenance phase. Deferring maintenance affects corrosion issues,
                   particularly the ship’s hull. Engineering and combat systems have priority
                   for resources with desirable, though not necessarily essential, crew quality
                   of life improvements deferred to a later time. The Navy balances risk
                   between available resources and deferring maintenance to make the most
                   cost-effective decision and ensure ships deploy without or with minimal
                   safety or combat system deficiencies.

Program Strategy


                   We assessed the program strategy for the DDG-51 as yellow because the
                   Navy has developed a long-term program strategy for sustaining and
                   upgrading the DDG-51 fleet; however, budget cuts in the Navy’s
                   shipbuilding program affect upgrades to the warfighting systems and may
                   lead to potential problems in the industrial base when transitioning from
                   DDG to DD(X) ships. Navy officials noted that these budget cuts prevent
                   them from buying the latest available technologies. These technologies are
                   usually in warfighting systems, such as command and control and system
                   integration areas. Management of the transition period from DDG to DD(X)
                   shipbuilding between 2005 and 2008 will be key to avoid problems from
                   major fluctuations in the workload and workforce requirements.

Funding


                   We assessed the funding for the DDG-51 as yellow because current
                   and projected funding is not consistent with the Navy’s statement
                   requirements to sustain and upgrade the DDG-51 fleet. Lack of multiyear
                   budget authority creates budget inefficiencies because the Navy is required
                   to spend supplemental and 1-year funds within the year in which it is
                   appropriated. The Navy attempts to reduce ship maintenance costs by
                   leveling the maintenance workload for ship contractors, which provides
                   the Navy and contractors greater flexibility and predictability. The lack of
                   multiyear budgeting and the need to spend supplemental and 1-year funds
                   in the current year limits that effort. Ports are not equipped or manned to
                   accomplish the volume of work required in the time-span necessary to
                   execute 1-year appropriations. In some cases, differences between the
                   Navy estimate of scheduled maintenance costs and the contractor bid to do




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                     the work requires cuts to the ship’s planned work package, further
                     contributing to the deferred maintenance backlog.

Wartime Capability   While we did not have sufficient data to definitively assess the wartime
                     capability for the DDG-51, Navy officials raised a number of capability
                     concerns. Specifically, these officials indicated that the DDG-51 has
                     successfully fulfilled its recent wartime mission, but with some limitations
                     such as communications shortfalls and force protection issues. Although
                     the DDG-51 class is the newest ship in the fleet with the most up to date
                     technologies, fleet officers said there is insufficient bandwidth for
                     communications during operations. Navy officials cited effective
                     management of available communications assets rather than the amount of
                     available bandwidth as the more immediate challenge. In the current threat
                     environment, force protection issues remain unresolved. The use of the
                     Ridged Hull Inflatable Boat (RHIB) during operations at sea without on-
                     board crew-served weapons and hardening protection concerns
                     commanders. The small caliber of sailors’ personal and crew-served
                     weapons limits their effectiveness against the immediate and close-in
                     threat from small boat attack.




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FFG-7 Oliver Hazard Perry   Navy FFG-7 Frigates are surface combatants with anti-submarine warfare
Class Frigate               (ASW) and anti-air warfare (AAW) capabilities. Frigates conduct escort for
                            amphibious expeditionary forces, protection of shipping, maritime
                            interdiction, and homeland defense missions. There are 32 FFGs in the
                            fleet, with 30 programmed for modernization. The average age of the fleet
                            is 19 years. The FFGs are expected to remain in the fleet until 2020.



                            Figure 15: FFG-7 Oliver Hazard Perry Class Frigate




                            Source: Defense Visual Information Center.




Condition


                            We assessed the condition of the FFG-7 as yellow because work
                            programmed for scheduled maintenance periods is often not
                            accomplished. Because of budget limitations for each ship’s dry-dock
                            period and a Navy effort to level port workloads and provide stability in the
                            industrial base, maintenance items are often cut from the planned work
                            package during dry-dock periods. These items are then deferred to the next
                            scheduled docking or accomplished as possible in the ship’s continuous
                            maintenance phase. Deferring maintenance affects corrosion issues,
                            particularly the ship’s hull. Engineering and combat systems have priority
                            for resources with desirable, though not necessarily essential, crew quality
                            of life improvements deferred to a later time. The Navy balances risk
                            between available resources and deferring maintenance to make the most



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                     cost-effective decision and ensure ships deploy without or with minimal
                     safety or combat system deficiencies. There is the additional burden of
                     maintaining older systems on the frigates.

Program Strategy


                     We assessed the program strategy for the FFG-7 as yellow because the
                     Navy has developed a long-term program strategy for sustaining and
                     modernizing the FFG-7 fleet; however, the program is susceptible to budget
                     cuts. The modernization program is essential to ensure the frigates’
                     continued viability. There is also uncertainty about the role frigates will
                     play as the Littoral Combat Ship is developed.

Funding


                     We assessed the funding for the FFG-7 as yellow because current and
                     projected funding is not consistent with the Navy’s stated requirements to
                     sustain and modernize the FFG-7 fleet. Uncertainty about modernization
                     program funding and budget inefficiencies created by the lack of multiyear
                     budget authority and the requirement to spend supplemental and 1-year
                     funds when they are appropriated. The Navy attempts to reduce ship
                     maintenance costs by leveling the maintenance workload for ship
                     contractors, which provides the Navy and contractors greater flexibility
                     and predictability. The lack of multiyear budget authority and the need to
                     spend supplemental and 1-year funds in the current year in which they are
                     appropriated limits that effort. Ports are not equipped or manned to
                     accomplish the volume of work required in the time span necessary to
                     execute 1-year appropriations. In some cases, differences between the
                     Navy estimate of scheduled maintenance costs and the contractor bid to do
                     the work requires cuts to the ship’s planned work package, further
                     contributing to the deferred maintenance backlog.

Wartime Capability   While we did not have sufficient data to definitively assess the wartime
                     capability of the FFG-7, Navy officials identified a number of capability
                     concerns including communications shortfalls and potential vulnerabilities
                     to air warfare. The frigate’s ability to operate in a battle group environment
                     is limited by insufficient bandwidth and lack of command circuits for
                     communications requirements. The Navy shut down the frigate’s missile
                     launcher because of excessive maintenance costs. Ship commanders in the



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fleet expressed concern about potentially deploying with only one of three
compensating systems for anti-air warfare missions, the on-board 76-mm
rapid-fire gun (CWIS-1B, Close-In Weapons System). Officials in the
program manager’s office stated fielding plans were in place for the other
two systems, the MK53 Decoy Launch System, called NULKA, and the
Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM). These systems will help mitigate the
frigate’s vulnerability after shutting down the missile launcher. The frigate’s
value to surface groups operating independently of carriers is as a
helicopter platform.




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F/A-18 Hornet/Super Hornet   The F/A-18 is an all-weather fighter and attack aircraft expected to fly in the
Aircraft                     fleet to 2030. There are six models in the current inventory of 875: A, 178; B,
                             30; C, 405; D, 143; E, 55; and F, 64. Average age in years is: A, 16.4; B, 18.0; C,
                             10.6; D, 10.1; E, 1.7; and F, 1.5. The Navy plans to eventually replace the
                             F/A-18 with the Joint Strike Fighter.



                             Figure 16: F/A-18 Hornet/Super Hornet Aircraft




                             Source: Defense Visual Information Center.




Condition


                             We assessed the condition of the F/A-18 as yellow because it consistently
                             failed to meet mission capable and fully mission capable goals of
                             75 percent and 58 percent, respectively. Squadrons that are deployed or are
                             training for deployment generally exceed these goals. Maintaining the
                             aircraft is increasingly difficult because of personnel shortfalls, increased
                             flying requirements, and lack of ground support equipment. Navy depot
                             personnel indicated that the availability of spare parts remains the largest
                             issue in repairing and returning aircraft to the fleet.

Program Strategy


                             We assessed the program strategy for the F/A-18 as yellow because the
                             Navy has developed a long-term program strategy for sustaining and
                             maintaining the F/A-18 fleet; however, it lacks a common baseline
                             capability for all aircraft. Navy officials stated managing the configuration


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                     of the various versions of the aircraft is challenging. Each version of the
                     aircraft has different repair parts, unique on-board equipment, and
                     specially trained maintainers and pilots. To increase the service life of the
                     aircraft, the Navy initiated the Center Barrel Replacement (CBR) program.
                     CBR replaces those parts of the F/A-18 fuselage that have the greatest
                     stress placed on them from landing on aircraft carriers. The Navy is also
                     initiating a Navy/Marine Tactical Air Integration program that combines
                     low flying-hour / low carrier-landing aircraft for carrier use and high flying-
                     hour / high carrier-landing aircraft for shore basing. If CBR is adequately
                     funded and the Tactical Air Integration initiative proceeds, the F/A-18 will
                     remain a viable system into the future.

Funding


                     We assessed the funding for the F/A-18 as yellow because current and
                     projected funding is not consistent with the Navy’s stated requirements to
                     sustain and maintain the F/A-18 fleet. The Navy intends to fly the F/A-18A-D
                     models until 2020 and the E/F models to at least 2030. Funding for ground
                     support equipment for the A–D models was eliminated, leaving operators
                     and program managers to find resources elsewhere. Program dollars are
                     often drawn back, pushing modernization to the out years. This is a
                     problem for the CBR program that is $72 million short in the current Future
                     Years Defense Plan. Navy personnel state that the CBR program must be
                     fully funded to meet the number of aircraft required to support the Tactical
                     Air Integration initiative and standards in the new Fleet Response Plan.

Wartime Capability   While we did not have sufficient data to definitively assess the wartime
                     capability for the F/A-18, Navy officials indicated that the aircraft has
                     successfully fulfilled its wartime missions despite current condition
                     problems. The A-D models, along with the E/F models coming into the
                     inventory, provide a multi-capable aircraft for the many roles the war
                     fighting commanders require. These multi-role capabilities were
                     demonstrated during Operation Iraqi Freedom with the F/A-18 performing
                     air, ground attack, and refueling missions. Navy officials stated that they
                     will do whatever is necessary to accomplish the mission, but raised
                     concerns that maintenance costs are increasing due to current conditions
                     problems. Specifically these officials stated that increased maintenance
                     man hours per aircraft sortie, increased cannibalization rates, and
                     decreased readiness rates are creating more stress on the aircraft and the
                     personnel who fly and maintain them.




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EA-6B Prowler Aircraft   The EA-6B is an integrated electronic warfare aircraft system combining
                         long-range, all-weather capabilities with advanced electronic
                         countermeasures. Its primary mission is to support strike aircraft and
                         ground troops by jamming enemy radar, data links, and communications.
                         The current inventory is 121 with an average age of 20.7 years. The
                         follow-on aircraft is the E/A-18G Growler Airborne Electronic Attack
                         aircraft, a variant of the F/A-18 E/F.



                         Figure 17: EA-6B Prowler Aircraft




                         Source: Defense Visual Information Center.




Condition


                         We assessed the condition of the EA-6B as yellow because it consistently
                         failed to meet the mission capable goal of 73 percent. However, squadrons
                         training for deployment or those that are deployed generally exceed this
                         goal. Fatigue life expenditure (FLE), the predictable rate of wear and
                         deterioration of wing center sections and outside wing panels, is a critical
                         problem and has caused aircraft to be temporarily grounded or placed
                         under flying restrictions to mitigate risk to the aircraft. Wing center
                         sections are that part of the plane where the wings and fuselage attach.
                         Outer wing panels are that part of the wing that fold up when the plane is
                         onboard carriers. The Navy is aggressively managing the problem and has
                         programs in place to replace these items in the near term.




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Program Strategy


                     We assessed the program strategy for the EA-6B as yellow because the
                     Navy has developed a long-term program strategy for upgrading the EA-6B
                     fleet; however, aircraft capability requirements may not be met in the
                     future. The Improved Capability 3rd Generation (ICAPIII) upgrade is a
                     significant technology leap in jamming capabilities over the current
                     second-generation capability. ICAPIII will counter threats through 2015 and
                     provides an advanced jamming capability, accurate target location, and full
                     circle coverage. By 2007, 30 percent of the fleet will be ICAPIII equipped.
                     The Navy plans for the follow-on EA-18G Growler to join the fleet between
                     2008 and 2012. The Navy purchase plan calls for 90 aircraft with over two-
                     thirds (65 aircraft) procured by 2009.

Funding


                     We assessed the funding for the EA-6B as red because current and
                     projected funding is not consistent with the Navy’s stated requirements to
                     sustain and upgrade the EA-6B fleet. The Navy relies upon additional
                     congressional appropriations rather than requesting funds to meet program
                     requirements. In fiscal year 2003, the Congress appropriated an additional
                     17 percent ($40 million) over DOD’s request for the EA-6B. The Navy is not
                     funding modernization programs to the stated requirements. The Navy’s
                     requirement for the ICAPIII electronic attack upgrade is 42 systems,
                     although the Navy is only funding 35 systems. According to the program
                     manager, funding for replacing the EA-6B’s outside wing panels is still
                     uncertain.

Wartime Capability   While we did not have sufficient data to definitively assess the wartime
                     capability for the EA-6B, Navy officials indicated that the aircraft has
                     successfully fulfilled its wartime missions with some limitations. Potential
                     funding shortfalls and capability limitations may affect the aircraft’s ability
                     to perform its mission. Only 98 out of 108 aircraft in the Navy’s EA-6B
                     inventory are available to the fleet. Current EA-6B capabilities can meet the
                     threat, although without an increase in the number of ICAPIII capable
                     aircraft, the Navy may not be able to meet future threats. According to
                     Navy officials, there is an impending severe impact on warfighting
                     capabilities if the Navy does not receive fiscal year 2003 procurement
                     funding for outside wing panels as requested. Specifically, the combination




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of the expected wear and tear on the panels and the normal aircraft
attrition rate could reduce the total EA-6B inventory by 16 in 2005.




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LPD-4 Amphibious      The LPD-4 ships are warships that embark, transport, and land elements of
Transport Dock Ship   a Marine landing force and its equipment. There are currently 11 in the
                      inventory with an average age of 35 years. These ships are expected to
                      remain in the fleet until 2014. The San Antonio-class LPD-17 (12-ship
                      construction program, LPD-17 through LPD-28) will eventually replace the
                      LPD-4.



                      Figure 18: LPD-4 Amphibious Transport Dock Ship




                      Source: Defense Visual Information Center.




Condition


                      We assessed the condition of the LPD-4 as yellow because work
                      programmed for scheduled maintenance periods is often not
                      accomplished. Because of budget limitations for each ship’s dry-dock
                      period and a Navy effort to level port workloads and provide stability in the
                      industrial base, maintenance items are often cut from the planned work
                      package during dry-dock periods. These items are then deferred to the next
                      scheduled docking or accomplished as possible in the ship’s continuous
                      maintenance phase. Deferring maintenance increases corrosion problems,



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                     particularly for the ship’s hull. There are consistent problems with the
                     engagement system for on-board weapons and the hull, mechanics, and
                     electrical (HME) systems associated with the ship’s combat support
                     system. The age of the LPD-4 fleet directly contributes to the deteriorating
                     condition of the ships, particularly the hydraulic systems. The Navy
                     balances risk between available resources and deferring maintenance to
                     make the most cost-effective decision and ensure ships deploy without or
                     with minimal safety or combat system deficiencies.

Program Strategy


                     We assessed the program strategy for the LPD-4 as green because the Navy
                     has developed a long-term program strategy to sustain and replace
                     amphibious dock ships and improve support to Marine amphibious forces.
                     The Extended Sustainment Program was initiated because of delay in
                     delivery of the new LPD-17 class ships. The program will extend the service
                     life of 6 of 11 ships for an average of 7.3 years to the 2009–2014 time frame.
                     The program consists of 37 prioritized work items endorsed by the Navy.
                     The follow-on LPD-17 ship construction program incorporates innovative
                     design and total ownership cost initiatives; however, no modernization or
                     upgrades are planned in the construction timeline from 1999 to 2013.

Funding


                     We assessed the funding for the LPD-4 as yellow because current and
                     projected funding is not consistent with the Navy’s stated requirements to
                     sustain and replace amphibious dock ships. The age and decommissioning
                     schedule for the ships means funding priorities are placed elsewhere. The
                     Navy is seeking cost savings through efforts to level the industrial base in
                     ports and provide predictability and management flexibility for
                     programmed maintenance work. A significant limitation in that effort is the
                     inability to use multiyear budgeting and the need to spend supplemental
                     and 1-year funds in the year of appropriation. Ports are often not equipped
                     and manned to accomplish the volume of work required in the time-span
                     necessary to execute 1-year budgets.

Wartime Capability   While we did not have sufficient data to definitively assess the wartime
                     capability for the LPD-4, Navy officials did not identify any specific
                     capability concerns. These officials indicated that the LPD-4 fulfilled its



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recent wartime missions of transporting and moving Marines and their
equipment ashore.




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Standard Missile-2       The Standard Missile-2 (SM-2) is a medium to long-range, shipboard
Surface-to-Air Missile   surface- to-air missile with the primary mission of fleet area air defense and
                         ship self-defense, and a secondary mission of anti-surface ship warfare. The
                         Navy is currently procuring only the Block IIIB version of this missile.
                         While the actual number in the inventory is classified, the Navy plans to
                         procure 825 Block IIIB missiles between fiscal years 1997 and 2007.
                         Currently, 88 percent of the inventory is older than 9 years. A qualitative
                         evaluation program adjusted the initial 10-year service life out to 15 years.



                         Figure 19: Standard Missile-2 Surface-to-Air Missile




                         Source: Defense Visual Information Center.




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Condition


                     We assessed the condition of the Standard Missile–2 as red because it failed
                     to meet the asset readiness goal of 87 percent and only 2 of 5 variants
                     achieved the goal in fiscal year 2002. The asset readiness goal is the missile
                     equivalent of mission capable goals. The percent of non-ready for issue
                     missiles (currently at 23 percent of the inventory) will increase because of
                     funding shortfalls.

Program Strategy


                     We assessed the program strategy for the Standard Missile-2 as yellow
                     because the Navy has developed a long-term program strategy for
                     upgrading the Standard Missile-2 inventory; however, the Navy’s strategy
                     mitigates risk with complementary systems as the SM-2 inventory draws
                     down and upgrades to counter known threats are cut from the budget. In
                     2002, the Navy cancelled production of the most capable variant at the
                     time, the SM-2 Block IVA. Currently, the most capable missile is the SM-2
                     Block IIIB, which is the only variant in production. This missile will be the
                     main anti-air warfare weapon on board Navy ships into the next decade.
                     Improved Block IIIB missiles will be available in 2004. The SM-6 Extended
                     Range Active Missile (ERAM) is programmed for initial production in 2008
                     and will be available to the fleet in 2010.

Funding


                     We assessed the funding for the Standard Missile-2 as red because
                     current and projected funding is not consistent with the Navy’s stated
                     requirements to upgrade the Standard Missile-2 inventory. There is a
                     $72.6 million shortfall for maintenance and a shortfall of approximately
                     $60 million for procurement in the current Future Years Defense Plan.

Wartime Capability   While we did not have sufficient data to definitively assess the wartime
                     capability of the Standard Missile-2, Navy officials indicated that it
                     successfully fulfilled its recent wartime missions but with some limitations.
                     Block IIIB and improved Block IIIB missiles successfully counter the
                     threats they were designed to counter. However, the most capable variant
                     in the current inventory cannot handle the more sophisticated known air



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threats. The Navy lost a capability to intercept extended range and ballistic
missiles when development of the Block IVA variant was cancelled. The
improved Block IIIB missiles will mitigate some risk until the SM-6 ERAM
is deployed in 2010. Further, Navy officials stated that the Navy accepts an
element of risk until the SM-6 is deployed because the threat is limited in
both the number of missiles and the scenarios where those missiles would
be employed. Officials also described the Navy’s anti-air warfare capability
as one of complementary systems and not singularly dependent on the
SM-2 missile. The Navy successfully increased the deployment of these
missiles to the fleet for the recent operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, but
the growing shortage of ready-for-issue missiles in future years could
severely limit the Navy’s ability to meet future requirements.




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Tomahawk Cruise Missile   The Tomahawk Cruise Missile is a long-range, subsonic cruise missile used
                          for land attack warfare, and is launched from surface ships and
                          submarines. The current inventory is 1,474 missiles, with an average age of
                          11.88 years and a 30-year service life. During Operation Iraqi Freedom,
                          788 Tomahawk’s were expended. The follow-on Tactical Tomahawk
                          (TACTOM) is scheduled to enter the inventory in 2005.



                          Figure 20: Tomahawk Cruise Missile




                          Source: Defense Visual Information Center.




Condition


                          We assessed the condition of the Tomahawk Cruise Missile as green
                          because it consistently met asset readiness goals in recent years. The asset
                          readiness goal is classified.




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Program Strategy


                     We assessed the program strategy for the Tomahawk Cruise Missile as red
                     because the Navy has developed a long-term program strategy for
                     upgrading the Tomahawk Cruise Missile inventory; however, the future
                     inventory level will not be determined until funding questions are resolved.
                     During Operation Iraqi Freedom, 789 Tomahawks were expended with a
                     remaining inventory of 1,474. The replenishment missiles are all
                     programmed to be the new Tactical Tomahawk missile. Even when funding
                     is appropriated and executed this fiscal year, the first available date for
                     new missiles entering the inventory will be late 2005–2006.2 A
                     remanufacturing program planned for 2002–2004 is upgrading the
                     capabilities of older missiles. There are 249 missiles remaining to be
                     upgraded.

Funding


                     We assessed the funding for the Tomahawk Cruise Missile as red because
                     current and projected funding is not consistent with the Navy’s stated
                     requirements to replenish the inventory and new production is unresolved.
                     Inventory replenishment funding was authorized by the Congress and, at
                     the time of our review, was in conference to resolve differences between
                     the two bills.

Wartime Capability   While we did not have sufficient data to definitively assess the wartime
                     capability for the Tomahawk Cruise Missile, Navy officials indicated that it
                     has successfully fulfilled its wartime missions during recent operations in
                     Afghanistan and Iraq. Improved Tomahawks came into the inventory in
                     1993 and provided enhanced accuracy on targets. The newest variant, the
                     Tactical Tomahawk (TACTOM), is scheduled to come into the inventory in
                     2005 and improves the missile with an upgraded guidance system and in-
                     flight re-programming capability. This upgrade program is also expected to
                     lower the missile’s production unit and life-cycle support costs.




                     2
                       In its written comments on a draft of this report, DOD stated that the Tactical Tomahawk is
                     scheduled to enter the inventory in 2004 with initial operational capability in May 2004.




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Marine Corps

AH-1W Super Cobra   The AH-1W Super Cobra provides en route escort and protection of troop
Helicopter          assault helicopters, landing zone preparation immediately prior to the
                    arrival of assault helicopters, landing zone fire suppression during the
                    assault phase, and fire support during ground escort operations. There are
                    193 aircraft in the inventory with an average age of 12.6 years.



                    Figure 21: AH-1W Super Cobra Helicopter




                    Source: Defense Visual Information Center.




Condition


                    We assessed the condition of the AH-1W as yellow because it consistently
                    failed to meet its mission capable goals from fiscal year 1998 to fiscal year
                    2002. Although Camp Pendleton and Camp Lejeune AH-1W maintainers
                    cited insufficient spare parts and cannibalization as problems, overall,
                    operators were always positive in their comments about the condition of
                    the AH-1W. Condition concerns will be remedied in the near term by the
                    AH-1W upgrade program that is proceeding as scheduled with an October
                    1, 2003, anticipated start date.




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Program Strategy


                     We assessed the program strategy for the AH-1W as green because the
                     Marine Corps has developed a long-term program strategy for upgrading
                     the AH-1W helicopter to the AH-1Z, achieving 85 percent commonality with
                     the UH-1Y helicopter fleet. Estimated savings of $3 billion in operation and
                     maintenance costs over the next 30 years have been reported. Additionally,
                     the upgrade program will enhance the helicopter’s speed, maneuverability,
                     fuel capacity, ammunition capacity, and targeting systems.

Funding


                     We assessed the funding for the AH-1W as green because current and
                     projected funding is consistent with the Marine Corps’ stated requirements
                     to sustain and upgrade the AH-1W fleet. Although we assessed funding as
                     green, Marine Corps officials at Camp Pendleton cited the need for
                     additional funding for spare parts and noted that cost overruns have
                     occurred in recent years for the AH-1W upgrade program.

Wartime Capability   While we did not have sufficient data to definitively assess the wartime
                     capability of the AH-1W, Marine Corps officials indicated that it
                     successfully fulfilled its recent wartime missions but with some limitations.
                     Specifically, prior to Operation Iraqi Freedom, Marine Corps operators at
                     Camp Pendleton stated that the AH-1W’s ammunition and fuel capacity was
                     insufficient for some operations, such as Afghanistan. The AH-1Z upgrade
                     program, however, will address these concerns.




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CH-46E Sea Knight   The Sea Knight helicopter provides all weather, day/night, night-vision
Helicopter          capable assault transport of combat troops, supplies and equipment during
                    amphibious and subsequent operations ashore. There are 226 aircraft in the
                    inventory. The CH-46E is more than 30 years old. The MV-22 Osprey is the
                    planned replacement aircraft for the CH-46E.



                    Figure 22: CH-46E Sea Knight Helicopter




                    Source: Defense Visual Information Center.




Condition


                    We assessed the condition of the CH-46E as red because it consistently
                    failed to meet mission capable goals between fiscal year 1998 and fiscal
                    year 2002. The operational mean time between failures decreased from
                    1.295 hours to 0.62 hours during the course of our review. Marine Corps
                    officials cited concern over the aircrafts age and the uncertainty about the
                    fielding of the MV-22 to replace the Sea Knight. Marine Corps officials
                    called the current maintenance programs critical to meeting condition
                    requirements.




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Program Strategy


                     We assessed the program strategy for the CH-46E as yellow because the
                     Marine Corps has developed a long-term program strategy to sustain and
                     replace the CH-46E fleet. The sustainment strategy, dated August 19, 2003,
                     outlines the service’s plans to sustain the CH-46E until retirement in 2015 or
                     longer. However, according to press reports, DOD has decided to reduce
                     the purchase of replacement systems by about 8 to 10 aircraft over the next
                     few years. If DOD buys fewer replacement systems, the service will have to
                     adjust the sustainment strategy to retain additional CH-46E aircraft in its
                     inventory longer.

Funding


                     We assessed the funding for the CH-46E as red because current and
                     projected funding is not consistent with the Marine Corps’ stated
                     requirements to sustain and replace the CH-46E fleet. Marine Corps
                     officials asserted continued funding for maintaining the CH-46E is
                     essential. The fiscal year 2004 budget request included a request for
                     funding of safety improvement kits, long-range communications upgrade,
                     aft transmission overhaul, and lightweight armor. The Navy lists CH-46E
                     safety improvement kits as a $4 million unfunded requirement.3

Wartime Capability   While we did not have sufficient data to definitively assess the wartime
                     capability of the CH-46E, Marine Corps raised a number of specific
                     capability concerns. Specifically, these officials stated that the intended
                     mission cannot be adequately accomplished due to lack of payload. The
                     CH-46E has lost 1,622 pounds of lift since its fielding over 35 years ago due
                     to increased weight and can only carry a 12-troop payload on a standard
                     day. More recently, Marine Corps officials rated the performance of the
                     CH-46E during Operation Iraqi Freedom as satisfactory despite these lift
                     limitations.




                     3
                       In its written comments on a draft of this report, DOD stated that the Navy lists CH-46E
                     safety improvements as an unfunded requirement of $10 million to $14 million based upon
                     the retirement schedule of the CH-46E and the fielding schedule of the MV-22 replacement.




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Assault Amphibian Vehicle-   The AAV is an armored, fully-tracked landing vehicle that carries troops in
Personnel (AAV)              water operations from ship to shore through rough water and surf zone, or
                             to inland objectives ashore. There are 1,057 vehicles in the inventory. The
                             Marine Corps plans to replace the AAV with the Expeditionary Fighting
                             Vehicle (formerly the AAAV—Advanced Amphibious Assault Vehicle).



                             Figure 23: Assault Amphibian Vehicle-Personnel




                             Source: Defense Visual Information Center.




Condition


                             We assessed the condition of the AAV as yellow because of its age and the
                             fact that the Marine Corps plans to upgrade only 680 of the 1,057 AAVs
                             currently in the inventory.4 Furthermore, the planned upgrade program will
                             only restore the vehicle to its original operating condition rather than


                             4
                               In its written comments on a draft of this report, DOD stated that the Marine Corps plans to
                             upgrade 1,007 vehicles, an additional 327 vehicles, assuming funding is provided. The AAV
                             program received funding for 148 vehicles through the fiscal year 2003 Operation Iraqi
                             Freedom supplemental, a fiscal year 2004 congressional plus-up, and fiscal year 2005
                             funding. DOD also stated that the Marine Corps plans to address the remaining 179 vehicles
                             in a fiscal year 2006 Program Objective Memorandum initiative to upgrade 90 vehicles in
                             fiscal year 2006 and 89 vehicles in fiscal year 2007.




                             Page 87                                                       GAO-04-112 Military Readiness
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                   Assessments of Selected Equipment Items




                   upgrading it to perform beyond its original operating condition. We could
                   not base our assessment of the condition on readiness rates in relation to
                   the readiness rate goals because the Marine Corps did not provide
                   sufficient trend data. Marine Corps officials at Pacific Command stated that
                   the heavy usage of the AAV during Operation Iraqi Freedom and the long
                   fielding schedule of the replacement vehicle present significant
                   maintenance challenges. However, we assessed the condition yellow
                   instead of red based on favorable comments about the current condition of
                   the AAV from operators and maintainers.

Program Strategy


                   We assessed the program strategy for the AAV as yellow because the
                   Marine Corps has developed a long-term program strategy for overhauling
                   the AAV; however, the program only restores the vehicle to its original
                   operating condition and does not upgrade the vehicles beyond original
                   condition. The Marine Corps initiated a Reliability, Availability and
                   Maintenance/Rebuild to Standard (RAM/RS) upgrade program in 1998 to
                   restore capabilities and lengthen the expected service life of the AAV to
                   sustain the vehicles until the replacement system, the Expeditionary
                   Fighting Vehicle (formerly the Advanced Amphibious Assault Vehicle), can
                   be fielded. The RAM/RS is expected to extend the AAV service life an
                   additional 10 years.5 These vehicles will be needed until the replacement
                   vehicles can be fielded in 2012. However, the procurement of the
                   replacement vehicles has reportedly already been delayed by 2 years.

Funding


                   We assessed the funding for the AAV as yellow because current and
                   projected funding is not consistent with the Marine Corps’ requirements to
                   upgrade the AAV inventory. Requested funding rose from $13.5 million in
                   fiscal year 1998 to $84.5 million in fiscal year 1999 as the Marines initiated
                   the RAM/RS program. The requested funding level declined to $66.2 million
                   by fiscal year 2002. The Marine Corps identified a $48.9 million unfunded
                   program in the fiscal year 2004 budget request to extend RAM/RS to more


                   5
                     In its written comments on a draft of this report, DOD officials stated that the RAM/RS
                   program is expected to extend the service life an additional 20 years to the exit date of 2018.




                   Page 88                                                       GAO-04-112 Military Readiness
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                     vehicles. Marine Corps officials are concerned reconstitution of the
                     vehicles from Operation Iraqi Freedom will not include funding for vehicles
                     returning from Operation Iraqi Freedom for the RAM/RS program.

Wartime Capability   While we did not have sufficient data to definitively assess the wartime
                     capability of the AAV, Marine Corps officials indicated that it has
                     successfully fulfilled its wartime missions but with some limitations. While
                     these officials cited the AAV as integral to ground operations during
                     Operation Iraqi Freedom, they noted specific stresses placed on the
                     vehicles. For example, AAVs deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom traveled,
                     on average, over 1,000 miles each, a majority of those miles under combat
                     conditions. Those conditions added about 5 years worth of miles and wear
                     and tear to the vehicles over a 6- to 8-week period. In addition, prior to
                     Operation Iraqi Freedom, Marine Corps officials at Camp Lejeune
                     highlighted problems they encountered with obtaining enhanced armor kits
                     to protect the vehicles from the .50 caliber ammunition that was used by
                     Iraqi forces. At the time of our review, only 26 of 213 AAVs at Camp Lejeune
                     had been provided the enhanced armor kits. Marine Corps officials at
                     Camp Lejeune believed the lack of kits was due to insufficient funding.




                     Page 89                                           GAO-04-112 Military Readiness
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Light Armored Vehicle-   The LAV-C2 variant is a mobile command station providing field
Command & Control        commanders with the communication resources to command and control
                         Light Armored Reconnaissance (LAR) units. It is an all-terrain, all-weather
(LAV-C2)                 vehicle with night capabilities and can be made fully amphibious within
                         three minutes. There are 50 vehicles in the inventory with an average age of
                         14 years.



                         Figure 24: Light Armored Vehicle-Command & Control




                         Source: Defense Visual Information Center.




Condition


                         We assessed the condition of the LAV-C2 as green because the Marine
                         Corps has initiated a fleet-wide Service Life Extension Program (SLEP) to
                         extend the service life of the vehicle from 20 years to 27 years. The LAV-C2
                         SLEP includes enhancements to communications capabilities. Marine
                         Corps officials cautioned that any delays in SLEP could affect future
                         readiness. While we assessed the condition as green, we noted the
                         operational readiness rate for the command and control variant was



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                     90.5 percent, below the 100 percent goal but higher than the operational
                     readiness rate of 85 percent for the entire fleet.

Program Strategy


                     We assessed the program strategy for the LAV-C2 as green because the
                     Marine Corps has developed a long-term program strategy for upgrading
                     the LAV-C2 inventory. The program funded in the current FYDP will
                     enhance communications capabilities and power systems and may afford
                     commonality with Unit Operation Center and helicopter systems. The
                     Marines Corps intend for the upgraded LAV-C2 to provide a prototype to
                     establish baseline requirements for future capabilities and a successor
                     acquisition strategy. Marine Corps officials stated the C2 upgrade program
                     needs to be supported at all levels.

Funding


                     We assessed the funding for the LAV-C2 as green because current and
                     projected funding is consistent with Marine Corps stated requirements to
                     upgrade the LAV-C2 inventory. Marine Corps officials have requested
                     $72.2 million in the current FYDP to support major LAV-C2 technology
                     upgrades. Marine Corps officials at Pacific Command recommended
                     increased funding for procurement of additional vehicles, citing the current
                     inventory deficiency as critical.

Wartime Capability   While we did not have sufficient data to definitively assess the wartime
                     capability of the LAV-C2, Marine Corps officials indicated that it has
                     successfully fulfilled its recent wartime missions. Marine Corps reports
                     regarding the operations in Afghanistan cited LAVs in general as the most
                     capable and dependable mobility platform despite the fact that the number
                     of available C-17 transport aircraft limited the deployment of the vehicles.
                     Initial reports from Operation Iraqi Freedom also indicate that the LAV-C2
                     performed successfully.




                     Page 91                                           GAO-04-112 Military Readiness
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                           Assessments of Selected Equipment Items




AGM-65E Maverick Missile   The Maverick missile is a precision-guided, air-to-ground missile
                           configured primarily for the anti-tank and anti-ship roles. It is launched
                           from a variety of fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters and there are laser and
                           infrared-guided variants. The Maverick missile was first fielded in 1985.



                           Figure 25: AGM-65E Maverick Missile




                           Source: Defense Visual Information Center.




Condition                  N/A

                           We assessed the condition of the Maverick missile as not applicable
                           because the Marine Corps does not track readiness data such as mission
                           capable or operational readiness rates for munitions as they do for aircraft
                           or other equipment.

Program Strategy


                           We assessed the program strategy for the Maverick missile as green
                           because the Marine Corps has developed a long-term program strategy for
                           replacing the Maverick missile with more capable missiles. Maverick
                           missile procurement ended in 1992 and the infrared variant will no longer



                           Page 92                                            GAO-04-112 Military Readiness
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                     be used in 2003. According to Marine Forces Pacific Command officials, a
                     joint common missile is being developed and scheduled for initial
                     operational capability in 2008. The new missile will be a successor to the
                     Maverick, Hellfire, and TOW missiles. Marine Corps officials stated a joint
                     reactive precision-guided munition for both fixed- and rotary-winged
                     aircraft as a potential successor to Maverick and Hellfire missiles will be
                     submitted to the Joint Requirements Oversight Committee for evaluation in
                     fiscal year 2003.

Funding


                     We assessed the funding for the Maverick missile as green because current
                     and projected funding is consistent with the Marine Corps’ stated
                     requirements to replace the Maverick missile inventory. Since fiscal year
                     1998, the Marine Corps limited funding for the Maverick to the operation
                     and maintenance accounts.

Wartime Capability   While we did not have sufficient data to definitively assess the wartime
                     capability of the Maverick missile, Marine Corps officials indicated that it
                     has successfully fulfilled its recent wartime missions but with some
                     limitations. Specifically, these officials stated that the Maverick missile
                     lacks an all-weather capability. Marine Corps officials cited increased risks
                     due to sensor limitations of the laser variant that restricts the missile’s use
                     to low threat environments. Although the Maverick fulfilled its wartime
                     mission during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Marine Corps officials stressed
                     that its success was due to the fact that this was the optimal environment
                     for the Maverick—desert environment and a lack of low cloud cover. In any
                     other type of environment, however, the Maverick’s use is limited.




                     Page 93                                             GAO-04-112 Military Readiness
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Comments from the Department of Defense                     Appendx
                                                                  iI




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Page 102                                  GAO-04-112 Military Readiness
Appendix IV

GAO Contact and Staff Acknowledgments                                                         Appendx
                                                                                                    iIV




GAO Contact       David A. Schmitt (757) 552-8124



Acknowledgments   In addition to the individual named above, Richard Payne, Donna Rogers,
                  Jim Mahaffey, Patricia Albritton, Tracy Whitaker, Leslie Harmonson, John
                  Beauchamp, Warren Lowman, Ricardo Marquez, Jason Venner, Stanley
                  Kostyla, Susan Woodward, and Jane Lusby made key contributions to this
                  report.




(350273)          Page 103                                        GAO-04-112 Military Readiness
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