oversight

Military Transformation: The Army and OSD Met Legislative Requirements for First Stryker Brigade Design Evaluation, but Issues Remain for Future Brigades

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

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

                United States General Accounting Office

GAO             Report to Congressional Committees




December 2003
                MILITARY
                TRANSFORMATION

                The Army and OSD
                Met Legislative
                Requirements for First
                Stryker Brigade
                Design Evaluation, but
                Issues Remain for
                Future Brigades




GAO-04-188
                                                 December 2003


                                                 MILITARY TRANSFORMATION

                                                 The Army and OSD Met Legislative
Highlights of GAO-04-188, a report to            Requirements for First Stryker Brigade
congressional committees
                                                 Design Evaluation, but Issues Remain for
                                                 Future Brigades


The Army continues to transform                  The Army and the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) met the
units, known as Stryker brigades,                legislative requirements of the fiscal year 2002 National Defense
into lighter, rapidly deployable,                Authorization Act. The Army developed a plan for conducting an
and more capable forces.                         operational evaluation of the first Stryker brigade; obtained the plan’s
Because Stryker brigades are an                  approval from the Department of Defense Director of Operational Test and
entirely new design, the fiscal
                                                 Evaluation; and from April through May 2003, the brigade deployed to the
year 2002 National Defense
Authorization Act required the                   evaluation sites and conducted combat missions across the full spectrum of
Army to conduct an evaluation of                 potential threats—from major theater of war to security and stability
the design, to include deployment                operations. In September 2003, OSD certified to Congress that the brigade
of the brigade and execution of                  design is both operationally effective and suitable. The Army has deployed
combat missions across the full                  the first Stryker brigade to Iraq.
spectrum of potential threats. The
act also required the Secretary of               The Army developed an evaluation plan and established a control cell that
Defense to certify that the                      used independent evaluators to monitor and collect data on the brigade’s
evaluation results indicate the                  performance. The cell compiled and analyzed the data and submitted a
design is both operationally                     report to the I Corps commander, who declared the design as operationally
effective and suitable.
                                                 effective and operationally suitable. The commander noted that performance
As one in a series of reviews of                 difficulties were due to an accelerated fielding schedule and inadequate
Army transformation, GAO                         training time. The U.S. Forces Command endorsed the report.
monitored the evaluation to
assess (1) whether the Army and                  GAO determined, based on its observations and analyses, that the brigade’s
the Secretary of Defense met                     performance showed strengths and weaknesses. The brigade could perform
legislative requirements, (2) how                as designed but did not consistently demonstrate its capabilities. The
the Army evaluated both the                      brigade’s strengths were its ability to conduct combat missions, including
operational effectiveness and                    deployment using different transportation modes and the ability to use the
suitability of the brigade’s design,             Stryker vehicle’s speed and agility. The weaknesses related to staff planning,
(3) what the brigade’s                           digital system usage, sustainment, and executing company-level combat
performance was during the
                                                 missions. Contractors were also used ineffectively. GAO concluded that the
evaluation, and (4) how the Army
plans to mitigate issues identified              primary cause of the weaknesses was insufficient training proficiency.
during the evaluation.
                                                 The Army is implementing a plan to mitigate most operational evaluation
                                                 issues. The Army concluded that the issues were largely training related,
                                                 although some were related to design or equipment. The brigade, in
GAO recommends that OSD                          preparation for deployment to Iraq, conducted additional training to address
direct the Army to complete all                  the issues the Army and GAO identified. The brigade’s training performance
mitigation efforts and apply, as                 indicates that these issues are being mitigated. The Army is addressing the
applicable, adjustments made to
the brigade design to future                     training and equipment issues for the first Stryker brigade; however, it has
Stryker brigades. In commenting                  deferred some critical issues that have implications for future brigades.
on a draft of this report, OSD
concurred with the
recommendations.
www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-04-188.

To view the full product, including the scope
and methodology, click on the link above.
For more information, contact William M. Solis
at (202) 512-8365 or solisw@gao.gov.
Contents


Letter                                                                                      1
               Results in Brief                                                             2
               Background                                                                   5
               The Army and OSD Met the Requirements of the Act to Assess the
                  Stryker Brigade                                                           6
               Army Evaluated Key Operational Aspects and Used Subject Matter
                  Experts to Assess Effectiveness and Suitability of the Brigade’s
                  Design                                                                    8
               Stryker Brigade Demonstrated Both Strengths and Weaknesses
                  during the Operational Evaluation                                       11
               Army Risk Management Plan Will Mitigate Most Operational
                  Evaluation Issues, but Deferred Issues Have Implications for
                  Future Brigades                                                         32
               Conclusions                                                                34
               Recommendations for Executive Action                                       35
               Agency Comments                                                            35

Appendix I     Provisions from Public Law 107-107 Concerning
               Limitations on Army Transformation Actions                                 38



Appendix II    Scope and Methodology                                                      40



Appendix III   Stryker Brigade Organizational Parameters and
               Operational Capabilities by Critical Tasks                                 42



Appendix IV    Mission Training Plan Tasks Compared to Critical
               Tasks                                                                      43



Appendix V     Stryker Brigade Parameters and Capabilities
               Compared to Essential Mission Training Plan Tasks                          44




               Page i                                      GAO-04-188 Military Transformation
Appendix VI            Definitions of Key Organizational Parameters and
                       Key Operational Capabilities                                                              46



Appendix VII           Comments from the Department of Defense                                                   49



Related GAO Products                                                                                             51



Figures
                       Figure 1: Stryker Vehicle Being Loaded onto a C-130 at the
                                Southern California Logistics Airfield                                           13
                       Figure 2: Stryker Exiting a C-130 Aircraft at the National Training
                                Center                                                                           14
                       Figure 3: Stryker Exiting a Fast Sealift Ship at Lake Charles,
                                Louisiana                                                                        15
                       Figure 4: Road March                                                                      16
                       Figure 5: C-17 at Geronimo Forward Landing Strip                                          17
                       Figure 6: Stryker Company and Troops Loading a C-130 at
                                Geronimo Forward Landing Strip                                                   18
                       Figure 7: Stryker Maneuvering in Wooded Terrain at the Joint
                                Readiness Training Center                                                        20
                       Figure 8: Town of Shugart-Gordon                                                          21
                       Figure 9: Brigade Support Battalion at the National Training Center                       26
                       Figure 10: Alternate Supply Point at the National Training Center                         28


                       Abbreviations

                       FBCB2             Force XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below
                       OSD               Office of the Secretary of Defense


                       This is a work of the U.S. government and is not subject to copyright protection in the
                       United States. It may be reproduced and distributed in its entirety without further
                       permission from GAO. However, because this work may contain copyrighted images or
                       other material, permission from the copyright holder may be necessary if you wish to
                       reproduce this material separately.




                       Page ii                                             GAO-04-188 Military Transformation
United States General Accounting Office
Washington, DC 20548




                                   December 12, 2003

                                   Congressional Committees

                                   During fiscal year 2003, the Army continued to transform its force to one
                                   that is lighter, more rapidly deployable, and able to effectively operate in
                                   various environments and across the full spectrum of threats from small-
                                   scale contingencies to a major theater of war. Two of six planned Stryker
                                   Brigade Combat Teams are currently undergoing the Army’s initial
                                   transformation efforts—one brigade, which has been deployed to Iraq, and
                                   another brigade, which is co-located at Fort Lewis, Washington. The
                                   brigades are an entirely new organizational design, and questions have
                                   arisen regarding their combat effectiveness. In the fiscal year 2002
                                   National Defense Authorization Act,1 Congress required

                                   •   the Secretary of the Army to conduct an operational evaluation of the
                                       brigade that includes deployment of the brigade to the evaluation site
                                       and brigade execution of combat missions across the full spectrum of
                                       potential threats and operational scenarios;
                                   •   the Director of Operational Test and Evaluation of the Department of
                                       Defense to approve the operational evaluation plan; and
                                   •   the Secretary of Defense to submit to Congress a report on the
                                       operational evaluation.

                                   The statute further limited deployment of the brigade and procurement of
                                   vehicles beyond the third brigade until 30 days after the Secretary of
                                   Defense submits the report and certifies that the results of the operational
                                   evaluation indicate that the design for the Stryker Brigade Combat Team is
                                   operationally effective2 and operationally suitable.3 (See appendix I for the



                                   1
                                    Section 113, National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2002, P. L. 107-107 (Dec.
                                   28, 2001).
                                   2
                                    Operational effectiveness is determined by the brigade’s ability to successfully
                                   accomplish full spectrum missions as well as, or better than, current forces. This requires
                                   the capability to achieve decisive action through close combat, centered primarily on
                                   dismounted infantry assault.
                                   3
                                    Operational suitability is determined if the brigade’s design supports the tasking of the
                                   brigade to the type of missions and environments that the brigade’s concept document
                                   indicates is appropriate for it. This requires organizing and equipping the force to provide
                                   high strategic, operational, and tactical mobility.



                                   Page 1                                                 GAO-04-188 Military Transformation
                   statutory provisions concerning these limitations on Army transformation
                   actions.)

                   On the basis of the authority of the Comptroller General, we monitored
                   and assessed the Army’s efforts to conduct an operational evaluation of
                   the first Stryker Brigade Combat Team — the Third Brigade of the Second
                   Infantry Division — as required by the fiscal year 2002 National Defense
                   Authorization Act. Our objectives were to assess (1) whether the Army and
                   the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) met legislative requirements,
                   (2) how the Army evaluated both the operational effectiveness and the
                   operational suitability of the brigade’s design, (3) what the brigade’s
                   performance was during the operational evaluation, and (4) how the Army
                   plans to mitigate issues identified during the operational evaluation.

                   In our assessment of the Army’s Stryker brigade operational evaluation,
                   we reviewed the Army’s operational evaluation plan and its associated
                   execution plan, and we observed the exercises held at the National
                   Training Center at Fort Irwin, California, and the Joint Readiness Training
                   Center at Fort Polk, Louisiana. We observed the deployment of the Stryker
                   brigade, as well as execution of certain combat missions. Upon
                   completion of the operational evaluation and the Army’s compilation of its
                   data sources, we reviewed and analyzed the Army’s database that
                   consisted primarily of evaluator comments to assess the brigade’s
                   performance. (See appendix II for the full text of the scope and
                   methodology.) We are providing this report, another in a planned series
                   related to Army transformation, to you because of your committees’
                   oversight responsibility. Related GAO products concerning transformation
                   are listed at the end of this report.


                   The Army and OSD met the legislative requirements of the fiscal year 2002
Results in Brief   National Defense Authorization Act. The Army developed a plan and
                   conducted an operational evaluation of the first Stryker brigade; it
                   obtained the plan’s approval from the Department of Defense Director of
                   Operational Test and Evaluation;4 and OSD submitted a report to Congress
                   and certified the results of the operational evaluation. The Army
                   conducted a deployment to the operational evaluation site from Fort



                   4
                     The Director of Operational Test and Evaluation is the principal advisor to the Secretary
                   of Defense concerning operational testing, including assessments of operational
                   effectiveness, suitability, and survivability of the items tested.




                   Page 2                                                GAO-04-188 Military Transformation
Lewis, Washington, to the National Training Center and onto the Joint
Readiness Training Center; these deployments incorporated various
methods, including rail, sea, air, and ground movements. The Army’s
operational evaluation, held from April 1, 2003, through May 28, 2003,
included the conduct of combat missions across the full spectrum of
potential threats, to include scenarios in a major theater war environment
as well as security and stability operations. Finally, on September 17, 2003,
the Deputy Secretary of Defense certified that the operational evaluation’s
results indicated that the initial Stryker brigade’s design is operationally
effective and operationally suitable.

The Army developed an evaluation plan that assessed key organizational
parameters, mission training plans, and key operational capabilities. The
organizational parameters and operational characteristics were the
essential elements in assessing both the operational effectiveness and the
operational suitability of the first Stryker brigade’s design. In doing so, the
Army established a control cell that developed a data collection plan,
analyzed the results, and wrote an operational evaluation report. The
Army used independent evaluators trained in Stryker brigade doctrine to
monitor and observe the brigade’s performance. The evaluators provided
subjective commentary as to how the brigade performed in accordance
with key organizational parameters and key operational characteristics.
The data were compiled and analyzed, and a report was submitted to the I
Corps commander. The I Corps commander assessed the report’s findings
and determined that the brigade’s design is operationally both effective
and suitable, but noted that the brigade had experienced difficulties in
demonstrating some of the key operational capabilities. The difficulties
were primarily attributed to an accelerated fielding schedule and a lack of
adequate training time. The Commanding General, U.S. Forces Command,
endorsed the report’s findings.

Based on our observation of events and analysis of the data collected in
accordance with the Army’s plan, the brigade demonstrated that it could
perform as designed, but it did not consistently demonstrate its
capabilities, indicating both strengths and weaknesses. The strengths were
illustrated by the brigade’s ability to deploy using different transportation
systems and the individual unit’s ability to take advantage of the speed,
agility, and maneuverability of the Stryker vehicle. With regard to
weaknesses, the brigade had difficulties in (1) mastering staff operations,
which reduced the ability of the brigade to use all of its assets as intended;
(2) using its digital systems, which resulted in inconsistent and incomplete
maintenance of a common operating picture; (3) conducting supply
operations, which challenged the brigade to sustain itself; and (4)


Page 3                                        GAO-04-188 Military Transformation
executing company-level combat missions, which reduced its overall
combat power. Additionally, contractors were used ineffectively because
units used them improperly or did not provide the support necessary to
ensure their effective use in providing maintenance support to the brigade.
Our analysis of the data concluded that insufficient training proficiency
was the primary cause of these weaknesses, thus inhibiting the brigade
from achieving a full demonstration of its capabilities.

The Army has developed a plan that when fully implemented will mitigate
most issues identified in the operational evaluation, and the plan
addresses the weaknesses we identified from our analysis of the
evaluation results. However, the plan does not fully address design and
equipment issues that have implications for future brigades. The Army’s
immediate focus in implementing the plan was to resolve issues relating to
training and equipment that affected the brigade’s ability to deploy to Iraq
and defer the remaining issues for future consideration, some of which
have implications for the future brigades. To mitigate the training issues
and to prepare for deployment to Iraq, I Corps developed and
implemented training events, including a command post exercise to train
the staff and a brigade field training exercise that emphasized platoon and
company unit operations. Observer-controllers from the Joint Readiness
Training Center observed the brigade’s performance during these events,
provided feedback, and conducted informal after-action reviews focusing
on lessons learned from Operation Iraqi Freedom. After the training, the
brigade commander and senior Army officials responsible for Stryker
brigade transformation told us that they had no reservations regarding the
brigade’s proficiency or ability to deploy and conduct combat operations
in Iraq. However, one design issue that has not been completely addressed
that has implications for the current and future brigades involves the
current vehicle of the reconnaissance squadron operations officer— it is
not as mobile or as survivable as the Stryker vehicle used by the
reconnaissance squadron commander. The mitigation plan includes a
short-term solution for the initial brigade of shifting a Stryker from
elsewhere for the operations officer but no long-term solution. Regarding
equipment, one equipment issue involved the fact that not all Stryker
vehicles have the digital system called Force XXI Battle Command Brigade
and Below (FBCB2). This system increases a commander’s ability to
position troops and conduct combat operations. The issue is that only one-
half of the Stryker vehicles in each infantry platoon currently have the
FBCB2 system. The mitigation plan calls for procuring a sufficient number
of FBCB2 systems for the initial Stryker brigade, but the plan does not
address if FBCB2s will be procured to equip all Stryker vehicles in the
future brigades. All identified issues — training, design, and equipment —


Page 4                                      GAO-04-188 Military Transformation
             and the related mitigation efforts provide valuable lessons learned for
             future brigades.

             We are recommending that, to assist the Stryker brigade’s transformation
             efforts, the Secretary of Defense direct the Secretary of the Army to
             develop a plan that completes the mitigation efforts on those issues not
             addressed prior to deploying the brigade and apply, as applicable,
             adjustments made to the training, equipment, and design of the brigade to
             future Stryker brigades.

             In commenting on a draft of this report, the department concurred with
             our recommendations.


             The Army continues to transform its forces toward its goal to be more
Background   strategically responsive and to dominate across the full spectrum of
             military operations — from small-scale contingencies to a major theater
             war. The transformation efforts, which began in 1999, attempted to
             balance lethality, mobility, and survivability with the capabilities required
             for responsiveness, deployability, sustainability, and a reduced in-theater
             footprint. The Army chose an armored wheeled vehicle, designated as the
             Stryker, as its primary combat platform and began to transform six
             existing brigades to Stryker Brigade Combat Teams. The Third Brigade of
             the Second Infantry Division was selected as the initial Stryker Brigade
             Combat Team.

             According to the Army, the core qualities of the new brigade design are
             high mobility at the strategic, operational, and tactical levels; an ability to
             achieve decisive action through the use of dismounted infantry that is
             supported by organic direct and indirect fire platforms; and an enhanced
             situational understanding of the battlefield. As an early-entry force, the
             brigade is expected to have sufficient built-in combat power to conduct
             immediate combat operations upon arrival in theater if required. Also, the
             brigade was designed to accept additional forces that can expand the core
             tasks and functions that already reside within the brigade or that execute
             tasks that do not reside within the brigade (e.g., adding armor, field
             artillery, air defense, additional engineers, or aviation). The brigade was
             also designed to adopt a new training regimen that allows a faster
             deployment to any type of contingency; in contrast, current Army units
             receive an alert for a mission, train for the mission-specific requirements,
             and then deploy.




             Page 5                                        GAO-04-188 Military Transformation
                       Congress has supported the Army’s transformation efforts, but since the
                       Stryker brigade is an entirely new design, members of the Senate and
                       House Committees on Armed Services agreed that the Army must conduct
                       an evaluation that indicated that the brigade’s design is operationally
                       effective and operationally suitable. The requirement for an operational
                       evaluation was formalized in the fiscal year 2002 National Defense
                       Authorization Act. For the evaluation, the Army modified an existing
                       training exercise at the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk,
                       Louisiana, and added a data collection apparatus, a deployment schedule,
                       and an additional training event at the National Training Center at Fort
                       Irwin, California. The Army uses training exercises at the Joint Readiness
                       Training Center and the National Training Center to increase the combat
                       proficiency of its units and to identify training deficiencies that need to be
                       addressed. The training exercises are conducted under stressful
                       conditions against an opposing force emulating combat scenarios
                       anticipated in war. By Army regulation, training deficiencies identified
                       during the rotations and subsequent retraining are not indicators of unit
                       failure. The Army conducted the evaluation from April through May 2003.


                       The Army and OSD met the requirements of the fiscal year 2002 National
The Army and OSD       Defense Authorization Act to, respectively, plan and conduct an
Met the Requirements   operational evaluation of the Stryker brigade and certify the evaluation
                       results. The Army met the requirements by (1) obtaining approval of the
of the Act to Assess   evaluation plan by the Department of Defense Director of Operational Test
the Stryker Brigade    and Evaluation, (2) deploying the brigade to the evaluation site, and (3)
                       conducting combat missions across the full spectrum of potential threats.
                       The act also made additional vehicle procurement and brigade deployment
                       contingent upon a certification that the brigade’s design is operationally
                       effective and operationally suitable. OSD has provided the certification to
                       Congress.

                       The Department of Defense Director of Operational Test and Evaluation
                       approved the Army’s operational evaluation plan on March 28, 2003. The
                       Army’s primary objective was to comply with the legislation by assessing
                       the initial Stryker brigade’s design for operational effectiveness and
                       operational suitability according to the unit’s organizational and
                       operational concept and its current modified table of organization and




                       Page 6                                       GAO-04-188 Military Transformation
equipment. A secondary objective was to conduct a readiness assessment5
of the unit’s ability to conduct combat operations according to Army
doctrine.

The Army deployed to the operational evaluation site when it conducted a
multimodal movement from Fort Lewis to the National Training Center,
Fort Irwin, and onto the Joint Readiness Center at Fort Polk, Louisiana.
The operational evaluation was held from April 1, 2003, through May 28,
2003. To accomplish these strategic and operational moves, the Army used
various methods, including rail, sea, air, and ground movements. Due to
current world military operations and the limited number of available
aircraft, the Army was restricted from moving the entire brigade combat
team by air.

During the operational evaluation, the brigade conducted combat missions
across the full spectrum of potential threats. The evaluation’s scope
included the brigade field training exercise at the National Training Center
and a certification exercise during a Joint Readiness Training Center
rotation. The evaluation was constructed so that the brigade conducted a
series of combat missions against an opposing force in both major theater
of war and small-scale contingency environments. For example, the
scenario at the National Training Center was optimized for the higher end
of combat where the brigade conducted operations against mechanized
forces. At the Joint Readiness Training Center, the brigade’s mission was
optimized for small-scale contingencies where the brigade conducted
operations in noncontiguous areas and in complex urban terrain.
Throughout the operational evaluation’s events, the brigade was
augmented with aviation, military police, and armor.

On August 19, 2003, the Acting Secretary of the Army forwarded a
memorandum requesting that the Secretary of Defense submit to Congress
the operational evaluation report prepared by the Army following the
evaluation and certify that the results of the evaluation indicate that the
Third Brigade, Second Infantry Division’s design is operationally effective
and operationally suitable. The Deputy Secretary of Defense, on
September 17, 2003, certified to Congress that the results of the
operational evaluation indicated the design for the initial Stryker brigade



5
  The readiness assessment was based on the evaluation of the mission training plan and
the associated critical tasks. These tasks were evaluated as Go/No Go based on defined
standards.




Page 7                                              GAO-04-188 Military Transformation
                         is operationally effective and operationally suitable. The Army has
                         deployed the first Stryker brigade to Iraq.


                         The Army developed an evaluation plan that assessed key organizational
Army Evaluated Key       parameters, mission training plans, and key operational capabilities. The
Operational Aspects      Army also established an Operational Evaluation Control Cell (Control
                         Cell) to coordinate the assessment activities and used subject matter
and Used Subject         experts and observers as independent evaluators to assess the operational
Matter Experts to        effectiveness and suitability of the brigade.
Assess Effectiveness     According to the Army, the key organizational parameters and operational
and Suitability of the   capabilities were the essential elements in assessing the brigade’s design
Brigade’s Design         for operational effectiveness and operational suitability. The mission
                         training plans provided the tasks, conditions, and standards to assess
                         operational readiness as defined by the key operational capabilities. The
                         eight key organizational parameters are

                         •     achieve balance between capabilities for strategic responsiveness and
                               requirements for battle-space dominance,
                         •     balanced full spectrum utility,6
                         •     reduced sustainment requirements,
                         •     minimize the brigade’s personnel and logistical footprint,
                         •     commonality of vehicular platforms,
                         •     reach-back,
                         •     embedded unit-based capabilities, and
                         •     internetted combined arms to company-team level.

                         The nine key operational capabilities are

                         •     mobility,
                         •     dismounted assault and the close fight,
                         •     enhanced situational understanding and information superiority,
                         •     holistic force protection and survivability,
                         •     lethality,
                         •     force effectiveness,
                         •     reach/reach-back,
                         •     joint/multinational/interagency interoperability, and
                         •     full spectrum flexibility and augmentation.



                         6
                             This refers to the brigade’s capability in the full spectrum of combat. See appendix III.




                         Page 8                                                    GAO-04-188 Military Transformation
The key organizational parameters and operational capabilities are defined
by the brigade’s organizational and operational concept document of June
2000.7

The evaluation linked these key characteristics to the brigade’s six critical
training requirements and then to the brigade’s mission training plans.
Army planners had determined that for an effective operational evaluation,
the events must focus on 10 specific brigade level tasks extracted from the
brigade mission training plans. Appendixes III, IV, and V illustrate the
evaluation’s integration of key organizational parameters and operational
capabilities, mission training plans, and critical training requirements. (See
appendix VI for the definition of key organizational parameters and
operational capabilities.)

The Army established a Control Cell to manage the activities needed to
conduct the evaluation. Participants included individuals from the I Corps
staff, the U.S. Training and Doctrine Command’s Brigade Coordination
Cell, the Army Test and Evaluation Command,8 and a team of contractors.
The Control Cell developed an execution plan and provided it to the
Department of Defense Director of Operational Test and Evaluation for
review.

During development of the operational evaluation execution plan, the
Department of the Army provided additional guidance to Forces
Command and directed that the evaluation also assess the ability of the
Stryker brigade to receive logistical support from echelon above brigade
support elements. Initially, the Army had planned to informally assess this
capability. However, after we recommended to the Secretary of Defense9
that external logistics support be an element of the evaluation, the Army
included this in its execution plan. To address these concerns, the Control
Cell’s execution plan included an evaluation of the echelon above brigade


7
 The organizational and operational concept document provides a detailed framework for
the definition of fundamental operational precepts, capabilities, and organizational
constructs. The concept document is the basis for the development of mission training
plans, training strategies and support packages, evaluation plans, and field manuals.
8
 The Army Test and Evaluation Command is the Army’s independent operational test
activity and is responsible for overall management of the Army test and evaluation
programs.
9
 U.S. General Accounting Office, Army Stryker Brigades: Assessment of External
Logistics Support Should Be Documented for the Congressionally Mandated Review of
the Army’s Operational Evaluation Plan, GAO-03-484R (Washington, D.C.: Mar. 28, 2003).




Page 9                                             GAO-04-188 Military Transformation
support elements, including the logistics concepts such as contractor
support, reach-back, and configured loads. Real-world events limited the
number of assets available to allow for continuous aerial resupply, so the
Control Cell compensated by using limited aerial resupply and, when
aircraft were not available, used notional aerial resupply that included the
use of time delays to replicate transport time. For both types of resupply,
the echelon above brigade elements would distribute supplies in
configured loads to the Stryker brigade for disbursement.

Prior to the conduct of the operational evaluation, the Control Cell
instructed and certified subject matter experts10 from proponent schools
and observer-controllers from the training centers as primary data
collectors. The instruction familiarized the data collectors on the Stryker
brigade organization, capabilities and doctrine, and the combat training
centers’ rules of engagement and safety guidelines. Officials from the
Army’s Test and Evaluation Command provided instruction on data
collection procedures and use of data collection tools such as personal
digital assistants. Additionally, the Control Cell formed a team composed
of members of the Training and Doctrine Command’s Brigade
Coordination Cell that also collected data throughout the operational
evaluation.

Data collected for the operational evaluation included observations and
comments from subject matter experts, observer-controllers, and team
members from the Brigade Coordination Cell. These observations and
comments occurred while the data collectors observed the brigade’s
performance during the various combat missions. Additional data sources
included after-action reviews, surveys, and key personnel interviews. The
Army’s Operational Test Command also retrieved digital instrumentation
data. All of these data sources were retrieved every 24 hours and validated
by officials of the Army’s Operational Test Command and the Control Cell.
The Control Cell established a review group to authenticate the data and
develop initial insights based on observations that emerged as the events
progressed.

Upon completion of the operational evaluation, the Control Cell analyzed
all the data sources and submitted a report of its findings to the I Corps



10
  Subject matter experts are usually commissioned officers and noncommissioned officers
who have extensive experience with the studied equipment, recent unit experience, and a
background as a trainer or in training development.




Page 10                                            GAO-04-188 Military Transformation
                          commander. The I Corps commander concluded that the brigade had met
                          or adequately met each of the requirements associated with the key
                          organizational parameters and key operational capabilities. The Army
                          defined “adequately met” as the brigade’s design was operationally
                          effective and operationally suitable but had some deficiencies, or issues.
                          The report was submitted to the Commanding General, U.S. Forces
                          Command, who endorsed the report’s findings. Although the I Corps
                          commander assessed the brigade’s design as operationally both effective
                          and suitable, the operational evaluation report noted that the Stryker
                          brigade experienced difficulties in demonstrating some of the key
                          operational capabilities, which were primarily attributed to an accelerated
                          fielding schedule and a lack of adequate training time.


                          Based on our observations of the brigade’s performance at the two combat
Stryker Brigade           training centers and our analysis of data collected during the evaluation,
Demonstrated Both         the brigade performed as designed but did not consistently demonstrate its
                          capabilities, indicating both strengths and weaknesses. In certain areas,
Strengths and             the Stryker brigade demonstrated its strengths, including both the ability
Weaknesses during         to conduct strategic and operational deployments and to maneuver about
                          the battlefield using the Stryker vehicle. The operational evaluation also
the Operational           demonstrated weaknesses in the areas of staff planning, usage of digital
Evaluation                systems, sustainment of the brigade, and established company-level
                          combat procedures. Civilian contractors were also used ineffectively to
                          support the units. Our analysis indicated that the Stryker brigade’s training
                          proficiency was the primary cause of these weaknesses.


Stryker Brigade           Our observations and analysis of the data indicated that the Stryker
Demonstrated That It Is   brigade demonstrated the ability to conduct strategic and tactical
Deployable                deployments using different transportation systems such as rail, ground,
                          and various sea vessels and aircraft. Upon arrival at each destination, the
                          brigade showed the ability to reassemble into a combat configuration in a
                          timely manner. Once reconfigured, units of the Stryker brigade also
                          demonstrated the ability to conduct immediate combat operations. It
                          should be noted, however, that while the tactical deployment of the
                          Stryker vehicle by C-130 aircraft was demonstrated, the Army has yet to
                          demonstrate under various environmental conditions, such as air
                          temperature and airfield altitude, just how far Stryker vehicles can be
                          tactically deployed by C-130 aircraft.




                          Page 11                                     GAO-04-188 Military Transformation
The brigade used commercial air, rail, and ground transportation to move
personnel and equipment from Fort Lewis to Fort Irwin. While at the
National Training Center, we observed the brigade conduct a tactical
movement by moving a Stryker infantry company with its personnel,
supplies, and 21 Stryker vehicles via C-130 aircraft from Southern
California Logistics Airfield to an austere desert airfield on Fort Irwin
about 70 miles away. (Figure 1 shows a Stryker vehicle being loaded at the
Southern California Logistics Airfield, and figure 2 shows the Stryker
exiting from a C-130 aircraft at the National Training Center.) Upon
landing, the infantry company unloaded the vehicles from the aircraft,
reconfigured them for combat missions, and moved onward to a staging
area. All Stryker variants could reconfigure into combat capable modes
within their designated time standard, except the medical variant. Based
on our observation of the event, we agree with the Army that the
insufficient crew size was the reason why the medical variant, with its
extra external boxes, could not be reconfigured within the time standard.
However, if the brigade had trained to reconfigure the Stryker variants,
this situation would have been apparent and should not have occurred.




Page 12                                    GAO-04-188 Military Transformation
Figure 1: Stryker Vehicle Being Loaded onto a C-130 at the Southern California Logistics Airfield




                                          Page 13                                          GAO-04-188 Military Transformation
Figure 2: Stryker Exiting a C-130 Aircraft at the National Training Center




                                           The Stryker brigade demonstrated strategic movement when it deployed
                                           brigade elements by rail, sealift, and C-17 aircraft from the National
                                           Training Center to a staging area located at Chennault Industrial Airpark,
                                           located in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Two battalion equipment sets moved
                                           by Fast Sealift Ship from San Diego, California, to Lake Charles Seaport,
                                           while a third battalion’s equipment, including all current Stryker variants,
                                           moved by C-17 aircraft from Fort Sill, Oklahoma, to a staging area at the
                                           England Air Park in Alexandria, Louisiana. (Figure 3 shows a Stryker being
                                           unloaded from a Fast Sealift Ship.) Elements of the Stryker brigade that
                                           unloaded at the Lake Charles Seaport moved to the Chennault Industrial
                                           Airpark and then conducted a road march to the Joint Readiness Training
                                           Center to begin combat operations. We observed the staging area as the


                                           Page 14                                     GAO-04-188 Military Transformation
                                           brigade assembled and prepared for its road movement to the training
                                           center. Figure 4 shows the road march to the training center.

Figure 3: Stryker Exiting a Fast Sealift Ship at Lake Charles, Louisiana




                                           Page 15                                   GAO-04-188 Military Transformation
Figure 4: Road March




                       Tactical deployment was demonstrated when C-17 aircraft transported an
                       infantry company from Lake Charles to Geronimo forward landing strip,
                       an austere dirt airfield at the Joint Readiness Training Center. The C-17
                       aircraft landed at the forward landing strip, and the infantry company
                       demonstrated the ability to quickly unload its vehicles and personnel by
                       moving to the tactical assembly area in about 10 minutes. (Figure 5 shows
                       a C-17 aircraft at Geronimo forward landing strip.) A Stryker infantry
                       company also demonstrated the ability to travel into combat operations in


                       Page 16                                    GAO-04-188 Military Transformation
                                        a C-130 aircraft. (Figure 6 shows the loading of an infantry company and
                                        its vehicles onto C-130 aircraft at Geronimo forward landing strip.) The
                                        Stryker infantry company—consisting of 21 Strykers and 5 other trucks
                                        and trailers; 188 soldiers; and 3 days of food, water, ammunition, and fuel
                                        to support the company—traveled from Geronimo to Essler airfield using
                                        7 C-130s flying 25 sorties over a distance of about 100 miles. Upon landing
                                        at the Essler airfield, the company moved to a tactical assembly area and
                                        onward to conduct a combat operation.

Figure 5: C-17 at Geronimo Forward Landing Strip




                                        Page 17                                     GAO-04-188 Military Transformation
Figure 6: Stryker Company and Troops Loading a C-130 at Geronimo Forward Landing Strip




Stryker Brigade                        The Stryker vehicle demonstrated speed, agility, and extensive
Demonstrated Its Ability to            maneuverability during the execution of the brigade’s combat missions
Quickly Maneuver about                 during the operational evaluation. Because of its maneuverability, the
                                       Stryker vehicle allowed individual units to react and move around the
the Battlefield                        battlefield much more quickly than light and mechanized infantry units,
                                       allowing individual units to accomplish tasks in minutes compared to


                                       Page 18                                       GAO-04-188 Military Transformation
hours. When used properly, the Stryker vehicle enabled the brigade to
outmaneuver and overpower opposing forces. The performance of the
Stryker brigade at both training centers indicated that with its vehicles, it
could move faster as compared to both conventional and/or nonmotorized
infantry as well as infantry units equipped with the Bradley fighting
vehicle.

At the Joint Readiness Training Center, the Stryker vehicle performed well
in urban areas and in wooded terrain. (Figure 7 shows the Stryker
maneuvering in wooded terrain.) The speed of the vehicle enabled the
infantry companies to quickly arrive in urban areas, giving them the ability
to surprise the enemy and overcome urban objectives. The attack on the
“town” of Shugart-Gordon illustrated that the Stryker was able to move
quickly using a route that included very restrictive terrain. (Figure 8 shows
the town of Shugart-Gordon.) The Stryker easily moved through the rough
terrain and made it to the objective, giving the company commander the
ability to rapidly transport soldiers during the assault. The speed of the
Stryker allowed one particular company to arrive at the objective early
and surprise the enemy. In another instance, the capabilities of the vehicle
allowed Stryker units to rapidly pursue and decisively engage
unconventional forces that were more mobile than U.S. Army light infantry
units. The Stryker vehicles’ speed allowed the infantry units to fix and
destroy the enemy, despite the enemy’s efforts to leave the battlefield.




Page 19                                      GAO-04-188 Military Transformation
Figure 7: Stryker Maneuvering in Wooded Terrain at the Joint Readiness Training Center




                                        Page 20                                          GAO-04-188 Military Transformation
Figure 8: Town of Shugart-Gordon




                                   At the National Training Center, the Stryker vehicle demonstrated its
                                   ability to accelerate quickly and maneuver over the desert terrain to
                                   deliver infantry personnel to their objective. Our analysis shows that the
                                   Stryker vehicle moved more quickly and much quieter than the opposing
                                   forces’ vehicles, giving the brigade a substantial tactical advantage over
                                   the enemy. When operating in extremely rugged and steep terrain, the
                                   Stryker did lose some of its mobility advantage and had difficulty in
                                   maneuvering as quickly as the opposing forces’ vehicles. Despite the loss


                                   Page 21                                     GAO-04-188 Military Transformation
                  of this advantage, the Stryker vehicle was nonetheless mobile enough to
                  allow a company to quickly reposition and destroy a platoon of guerrilla
                  forces running through rough terrain. The Stryker’s speed enabled the
                  infantry unit to quickly move into its attack position after changes in the
                  battlefield. Because of this speed, the vehicle potentially provides a
                  commander more time to react since less time is spent moving from one
                  location to another.


Brigade’s Staff   On the basis of our analysis of the data, as a collective organization, the
Performance Was   brigade staff11 was unable to consistently perform in accordance with
Inconsistent      Army doctrine, hindering the ability of the Stryker brigade to first fully see
                  and then understand the battle space. Staff processes, both the integration
                  of the entire staff and those internal to specific sections, affected the
                  ability of the brigade to produce and execute synchronized plans. The
                  Stryker brigade did display the ability to integrate and collect information,
                  but not consistently. The observer-controllers generally identified training
                  time as the primary cause for the weaknesses.

                  Army doctrine prescribes a manner in which staffs should develop battle
                  plans. This military decision-making process requires incorporation of all
                  staff elements in a collective effort to synchronize all of the brigade’s
                  assets. Although the brigade staff gained experience and improved by
                  going through the process over the course of the evaluation, they did not
                  consistently integrate all of the staff sections and key subsections,
                  including information operations, fire support, and intelligence. Because
                  all of these assets were not incorporated into the planning process, the
                  brigade had difficulty in using its capabilities according to doctrine.

                  The Stryker brigade displayed the ability to integrate information from
                  multiple sources. However, managing the flow of the information and
                  disseminating it throughout the brigade was difficult. For example, the
                  brigade Reconnaissance, Surveillance and Target Acquisition squadron
                  provided more information than the brigade staff could process. Because
                  the staff’s proficiency level to manage the information was low, the ability
                  to analyze and present a common operational picture was reduced.




                  11
                     Brigade and battalion staffs are generally organized into sections. These sections are
                  numbered S-1 through S-6 and represent functions such as personnel, intelligence,
                  operations, logistics, civil affairs, and signal operations.




                  Page 22                                                GAO-04-188 Military Transformation
                            The staff’s performance affected all units within the brigade. Commanders
                            were not given well-developed planning products, including an accurate
                            initial picture of the enemy and the enemy’s anticipated actions, as well as
                            tools that enabled the application of all of the brigade’s organic combat
                            capability. Although they were still able to conduct combat missions, the
                            brigade did not perform to the best of its capabilities.

                            Synchronization of the brigade’s intelligence collection effort was
                            inconsistent. Unlike traditional Army units, the Stryker brigade has a very
                            robust intelligence collection capability that includes unique tools such as
                            unmanned aerial vehicles; nonlethal effects capabilities such as civil
                            affairs, psychological operations, and legal personnel; and a
                            Reconnaissance, Surveillance and Target Acquisition squadron. Because
                            the efforts were not synchronized, intelligence collection assets were not
                            consistently used in an efficient manner, resulting in areas not being
                            observed or other areas receiving redundant coverage. Also, the
                            reconnaissance squadron sometimes operated independently of the
                            brigade’s guidance, resulting in a failure to obtain needed information.


Using the Digital Systems   The operational evaluation demonstrated that the brigade had not
Proved Difficult for the    mastered the use of its digital systems. The proper use and employment of
Brigade                     the various digital systems increase the commanders’ ability to position
                            troops and conduct combat operations. However, our analysis shows that
                            a combination of either not using established procedures or not having
                            established procedures, as well as a lack of familiarity with the systems,
                            prevented full exploitation of the systems’ capabilities.

                            During the evaluation, a lack of familiarity with the systems and a lack of
                            standardized procedures contributed to the brigade’s inability to fully
                            maximize the capabilities of its digital systems. Brigade leaders and staff
                            struggled with acquiring data and interpreting it in a timely manner. If the
                            staff had properly used the various digital systems, the commanders’
                            ability to position troops and conduct combat operations would have been
                            increased.

                            Digital systems were not available for all elements of the brigade,
                            including augmenting units. Not all staff sections and subsections




                            Page 23                                     GAO-04-188 Military Transformation
possessed the FBCB2 system,12 hindering staff planning operations. At the
platoon level, only the platoon leader and platoon sergeant Stryker
vehicles are equipped with the FBCB2 system. Further, when infantry
personnel dismount, they have no direct digital connectivity to the FBCB2
system. As a result, the non-FBCB2-equipped Stryker vehicles and
dismounted infantry did not possess the same level of situational
awareness that Stryker vehicles equipped with the FBCB2 system did.
Additionally, augmenting units such as armor and aviation did not arrive
with the FBCB2 system, so the brigade attached a liaison element
equipped with the system. Because the augmenting units did not have the
system, the Stryker brigade had to provide analog control measures so that
the augmenting unit would know the brigade’s plan.

The FBCB2 system was not consistently updated to provide a current view
of the battle space. Although the FBCB2 system automatically tracks the
location of vehicles equipped with the system, enemy positions and the
location of friendly dismounted infantry must be entered manually. While
this capability exists, updating this information was not consistently done.

The brigade did not consistently use predesignated formats in the FBCB2
system, affecting the information flow into other systems. To
communicate with the Army Battle Command System, the FBCB2 system
has a predesignated message format. Units found these formats
cumbersome and opted instead to use either analog means or the free-text
feature in the system. Not using the predesignated format made updating
the other systems inefficient, because operators had to transfer
information from the free text into the Army Battle Command System.
Additionally, because free text did not automatically update the
information in the other systems, the view of the battle space was
inaccurate.

Not using the information available in the FBCB2 system was also an
issue. For example, there were several instances where individual Stryker
vehicles and an entire Stryker unit conducted movement through a
minefield that had been entered into the system. These movements either
delayed combat operations or resulted in casualties. Another example was
movement of unit vehicles down a route that was congested. The system



12
  FBCB2 is a digitized system that uses sophisticated information technology that allows
Stryker brigade personnel to achieve superior battlefield information enabling them to
engage the enemy long before coming into contact.




Page 24                                             GAO-04-188 Military Transformation
                             provided the unit information that the route was congested; yet the driver
                             ignored the information and moved down the route.


Sustaining the Brigade Was   During the evaluation, the brigade experienced difficulties in conducting
Challenging                  supply operations because components within the brigade did not or were
                             unable to follow the established procedures. Support to the Stryker
                             brigade is distribution based, meaning that instead of keeping supplies on
                             hand, the brigade is designed to receive a near-continuous flow of
                             anticipated supplies through the supply chain. The areas of the supply
                             chain assessed were the organic sustainment provided by the brigade
                             support battalion and the external logistics support provided by the
                             echelon above brigade. Because these two support areas are linked,
                             supply requests from the brigade impact the ability of the echelon above
                             brigade elements to provide the necessary anticipatory logistics.
                             Conversely, incorrect supplies sent from the echelon above brigade
                             elements to the brigade affected the ability of the brigade to distribute
                             supplies to its units. When units made proper requests, the process
                             worked correctly. However, the inability to make proper requests affected
                             the ability of the entire supply chain to provide support to the brigade.

                             Difficulties in maintaining a flow of supplies began at the individual unit
                             level and affected the entire logistics flow. We determined through our
                             analysis of the observer-controller comments that units had difficulty
                             adapting to the just-in-time system. Commanders were uncomfortable
                             maintaining supplies below 50 percent of their full operational
                             requirement and, during those situations, often placed emergency resupply
                             requests to the brigade support battalion. Units also had difficulty using
                             the digital systems to request resupply because they lacked familiarity
                             with the systems, connectivity issues impeded performance, or reporting
                             formats did not adequately address their logistics needs. While the units
                             were able, at times, to adopt work-around solutions, the effect was a
                             disruption of the intended flow of supplies.

                             The brigade support battalion struggled to perform its dual function of
                             acting as a conduit for its requests and the distribution point for supplies
                             between the echelon above brigade support structure and the brigade. One
                             difficulty faced by the support battalion was the need to reconfigure
                             supplies received from the echelon above brigade support structure. Unit
                             supply requests did not adequately reflect its needs; therefore, the
                             anticipatory loads sent from the echelon above brigade support structure
                             did not contain the correct supplies in the correct amounts and
                             configurations. As a result, the brigade support battalion had to


                             Page 25                                     GAO-04-188 Military Transformation
                                          reconfigure the supplies it had available as well as those that it had
                                          received. Supply distribution occurred as available, as opposed to a set
                                          schedule, resulting in the support battalion having insufficient
                                          transportation assets to deliver all needed supplies in a timely manner.
                                          Figure 9 shows the brigade support battalion at the National Training
                                          Center.

Figure 9: Brigade Support Battalion at the National Training Center




                                          Page 26                                     GAO-04-188 Military Transformation
The brigade also had difficulty providing supplies to units when the
support battalion was moving to a new location. The evaluation showed
that when stationary, the support battalion successfully established
alternate supply points for brigade units. (Figure 10 shows an example of
an alternate supply point at the National Training Center.) However, when
the support battalion moved, the brigade did not adequately provide for
alternate distribution points. Had this issue been addressed, the brigade
would have had the ability to adequately supply its units during the
support battalion’s relocation.




Page 27                                    GAO-04-188 Military Transformation
Figure 10: Alternate Supply Point at the National Training Center




Stryker Companies Had                     Although Stryker companies were able to exercise and achieve some
Problems Executing                        degree of success conducting combat operations at both training centers,
Combat Missions                           many of their capabilities were not consistently used. Areas of concern
                                          included tracking dismounted infantry, performance of antitank systems,
                                          and challenges linking fire support elements to the artillery battalion. Our
                                          analysis of the data showed that limited training time and a lack of
                                          standard operating procedures contributed to the companies’ inability to


                                          Page 28                                      GAO-04-188 Military Transformation
consistently use their combat capabilities. Placing more emphasis on the
planning and rehearsal of operations, as well as developing and practicing
internal tactics, techniques, and procedures, could mitigate these
deficiencies.

Tracking dismounted infantry was an area of concern. Dismounted
infantry squads do not carry digital systems, so units can only maintain
awareness of dismounted infantry locations by entering reports from
analog systems into digital systems. Uncertainty about the location of
dismounts hindered the ability of companies to use their mortars, reducing
the overall application of their combat power. Despite the inability to
track dismounts noted in observer-controller comments, one unit at the
National Training Center was able to rapidly update the location of
dismounts into the digital systems by using a process it had developed,
indicating that this issue can be corrected.

Performance of antitank systems had mixed results. At the National
Training Center, observer-controller comments were overwhelmingly
supportive of the Javelin system, noting how it provided the dismounted
infantry the capability to destroy armored forces. However, at the same
time, observer-controllers at both training centers expressed concerns that
the brigade antitank company and the organic mobile gun system platoon,
consisting of a substitute Stryker antitank system, were not positioned
properly to optimize their capability. The cause for this was attributed to a
lack of situational understanding.

Fire support elements, the link between infantry units and the field
artillery battalion, also faced challenges in requesting and delivering
brigade-level indirect fires. At both training centers, brigade units were not
using their digital capabilities. Instead of using the digitized artillery
command, control, and communication system, fire supporters were using
radios and plain text messages on the FBCB2 system to call for fires,
which required soldiers at the receiving end of the request to enter the
information manually and increased the time to deliver fires. Observer-
controllers at both training centers identified contributing factors such as
a lack of a detailed digital standard operating procedure for fire supporters
and the lack of familiarity and experience with the digitized artillery
command and control system.




Page 29                                      GAO-04-188 Military Transformation
Contractors Were Not      Although in most instances contractor contributions were positive, our
Always Used Effectively   analysis identified instances where the contractors were used ineffectively
                          because units used them improperly or did not provide the support
                          necessary to ensure their effective use.

                          Unit personnel perform regularly scheduled routine maintenance on their
                          vehicles and equipment systems according to Army standardized
                          maintenance manuals and unit operating procedures. However, the
                          Stryker brigade requires a significant use of contractors to maintain and
                          repair the unit’s newest systems, such as the Stryker vehicles and their
                          remote weapon systems, and the digitized FBCB2 system. Use of
                          contractors to maintain and repair the Army’s newest systems is not
                          unique to the Stryker brigade. For example, we previously reported that
                          the 4th Infantry Division deployed to Iraq with around 60 contractors to
                          support the division’s digitized equipment.13 Within the Stryker brigade,
                          contractors are placed in combat repair teams and generally co-located
                          with the individual battalions and in sections within the brigade support
                          battalion with the primary mission of maintaining specific systems
                          according to the support contract awarded. The brigade is to provide the
                          contractors with necessary support, including rations, water, and
                          equipment items such as night vision goggles and protective clothing.

                          During the evaluation, contractors assigned to the battalion combat repair
                          teams responded quickly to maintenance issues. These personnel were
                          commended for their ability to quickly fix damaged Stryker vehicles and
                          for reducing the amount of time a vehicle was unavailable to the unit for
                          combat operations. As a result of the contractors’ responsiveness, some
                          units relaxed their emphasis on unit-level maintenance and became overly
                          dependent on the contractors. In analyzing the data, we found instances
                          where contractors were used ineffectively. For example, we found that
                          some units bypassed standard Army maintenance procedures and
                          requested contractor support to conduct maintenance that should have
                          been conducted by the unit’s organic maintenance personnel.

                          We also noted that transporting the contractors to support the
                          reconnaissance squadron proved difficult because the squadron was
                          spread across the battlefield and was responsible for the largest



                          13
                            U.S. General Accounting Office, Military Operations: Contractors Provide Vital Services
                          to Deployed Forces but Are Not Adequately Addressed in DOD Plans, GAO-03-695
                          (Washington, D.C.: June 24, 2003).




                          Page 30                                            GAO-04-188 Military Transformation
                         operational area. The brigade placed contractors in combat repair teams
                         that were, in turn, attached to the individual battalions. The battalions are
                         responsible for the contractors’ security, logistics, and transportation. The
                         location of the combat repair teams on the battlefield determines the
                         ability of the contractors to get quickly to where they are needed.

                         Also, contractors could not be used in some instances because the brigade
                         did not provide the contractors with night vision goggles, impeding their
                         ability to move to units during periods of limited visibility. Additionally,
                         protective clothing and equipment for the contractors were not provided,
                         which precluded the contractors from performing their responsibilities
                         after chemical attacks. The mitigation plan addresses those issues relating
                         to not using contractors effectively.


Insufficient Training    Our analysis of the data collected during the operational evaluation
Proficiency Primary      indicated that the brigade’s training proficiency was insufficient to fully
Reason for Operational   demonstrate the brigade’s entire capabilities across the full spectrum of
                         combat missions. The comments from the observer-controllers and
Evaluation Weaknesses    subject matter experts confirmed this conclusion because their comments
                         generally identified training as a major contributor to the identified
                         weaknesses. Moreover, the Army’s final operational evaluation report
                         identified training as a limitation of the operational evaluation. The
                         brigade had never trained as a brigade-sized unit until it reached the
                         National Training Center and only three of six battalions had undergone an
                         external evaluation prior to the rotation. According to the Army, the
                         Stryker brigade needed 15 weeks of unit training after receiving its last
                         vehicles and this did not occur. In fact, the brigade was still receiving
                         Stryker variants at the end of the National Training Center exercise.

                         In May 2002,14 we reported that Fort Lewis training officials would have
                         preferred a full 6 months to train after receiving most of the new Stryker
                         vehicles. This also did not occur. Most brigades in the Army begin training
                         for their deployment to a combat training center, such as the National
                         Training Center, 4 to 6 months ahead of time. We also reported that the
                         need to train Stryker brigade soldiers in digital systems was posing a
                         challenge because the brigade’s design requires digitization to maintain the



                         14
                            U. S. General Accounting Office, Military Transformation: Army Actions Needed to
                         Enhance Formation of Future Interim Brigade Combat Teams, GAO-02-442 (Washington,
                         D.C.: May 17, 2002).




                         Page 31                                         GAO-04-188 Military Transformation
                         critical situational awareness capability. These systems use sophisticated
                         technology that allows the soldiers to achieve superior battlefield
                         information enabling them to engage the enemy long before coming into
                         contact. Our analysis of the operational evaluation concludes that 1 year
                         later, the brigade still had not mastered the use of its digital systems.


                         The Army is implementing a risk management plan to mitigate most issues
Army Risk                identified in the operational evaluation, which generally correspond with
Management Plan Will     the weaknesses we identified. The Army concluded that the issues were
                         largely training related, but it also identified a few as design or equipment
Mitigate Most            related. Although the Army developed, and is implementing, a plan that
Operational              will mitigate most of the identified issues, the Army’s immediate focus was
                         to resolve those training and equipment issues that affected the brigade’s
Evaluation Issues, but   ability to deploy to Iraq. It deferred for future consideration the remaining
Deferred Issues Have     issues and decisions that have implications for the future brigades.
Implications for         Based on its analysis of the operational evaluation report, the Army first
Future Brigades          developed a matrix that assigned a risk level to issues and determined
                         whether issues would preclude the Stryker brigade from a scheduled
                         deployment or could be addressed in the future. It then developed a
                         mitigation plan to address all issues identified.

                         To mitigate the identified training issues and to prepare for the brigade’s
                         deployment to Iraq, I Corps developed and implemented an 8-week
                         modular predeployment training event that included a command post
                         exercise to train the staff and a brigade field training exercise that
                         emphasized platoon and company operations. The training addressed four
                         general issues identified from the operational evaluation:

                         •   Army Battle Command System interoperability and connectivity,
                         •   staff operations and synchronization,
                         •   application of doctrine in unit operations, and
                         •   subordinate unit specific training.

                         Furthermore, the command post and field training post exercises were to
                         ensure that the brigade

                         •   was proficient in stability and support operation tasks as specified by
                             the combatant commander,
                         •   validated the interoperability of newly fielded systems and equipment,
                         •   validated the integration of newly assigned soldiers and leaders and
                             attached units such as the assigned aviation task force,



                         Page 32                                      GAO-04-188 Military Transformation
•   exercised the staff planning and battle command process using the
    digital and communications systems to refine the staff planning
    process,
•   exercised distributed logistics in a complex environment, and
•   exercised force protection and accountability of contractors on the
    battlefield.

To help the brigade achieve the training objectives, U.S. Forces Command
provided observer-controllers from the Joint Readiness Training Center to
provide feedback and conduct informal after-action reviews focused on
lessons learned from Operation Iraqi Freedom. A senior training center
official stated that 40 to 50 percent of the observer-controllers had
participated in the operational evaluation segment held at the Joint
Readiness Training Center. During the command post exercise, the
observer-controllers viewed the planning and execution of the brigade and
battalion staffs, and during the field training exercise, they viewed the
conduct of assigned company-level combat missions.

After completing the training, the brigade commander assessed the
brigade as fully trained to perform its combat tasks. The brigade
commander concluded the brigade was

•   completely retrained on those issues identified from the operational
    evaluation with a focus on applicability to planned missions in Iraq and
•   fully prepared to deploy.

After the training events were completed, we discussed the brigade’s level
of training and readiness with the brigade commander and senior Army
officials responsible for Stryker brigade transformation. All reported no
reservations regarding the proficiency of the brigade and its ability to
deploy and conduct combat operations in Iraq. One senior training official
opined that the Stryker brigade is as well trained as any unit he has
observed and that the unit can operate in any threat environment.
Moreover, the issues the Army identified in its risk management matrix
and exercised during its predeployment training addressed the
weaknesses we identified in our observations and analysis of the
operational evaluation. The brigade’s performance indicates that the
issues and weaknesses are being mitigated.

However, the Army is not fully addressing the potential brigade design and
the brigade equipment issues identified from the operational evaluation,
which were not included in the predeployment training, although the
issues have implications for future brigades. According to the Army staff,



Page 33                                     GAO-04-188 Military Transformation
              the issues that were nondeployment related are still under consideration.
              One identified design issue that has both deployment and long-term
              implications was associated with the mobility and survivability of the
              reconnaissance squadron operations officer. Currently, this staff officer’s
              mobile command post is a High Mobility Multi-Wheeled Vehicle. The
              operational evaluation concluded that the operations officer could not
              sustain the mobility pace of the reconnaissance commander and the
              commander’s Stryker vehicle. The evaluation also concluded that the
              threat requires armored protection for this key individual. The short-term
              solution is to consider providing a Stryker vehicle to the operations officer
              from brigade maintenance spares or other sources, such as another unit in
              the brigade. The mitigation plan includes no long-term solution, including
              purchasing additional Strykers. This issue is being considered through
              normal Army processes to determine a long-term solution that may affect
              requirements for future brigades.

              An equipment issue that is not addressed in the mitigation plan, but has
              implications for future brigades, is that not all Stryker vehicles are
              equipped with the FBCB2 system and other digitized equipment. Only two
              of the four Stryker vehicles in each platoon are currently equipped with
              the FBCB2 system and other digitized equipment. The operational
              evaluation concluded that all infantry platoon Stryker vehicles need to be
              equipped with the FBCB2 system and other digitized equipment. The Army
              had previously recognized the need because the brigade’s modified table
              of organization and equipment currently authorizes the equipment.
              However, the Army’s mitigation plan calls for procuring sufficient sets for
              only the initial Stryker brigade; it does not address plans for the follow-on
              brigades.


              The operational evaluation provided the Army its first opportunity to
Conclusions   exercise and evaluate the capabilities of the Stryker brigade as a whole. By
              completing the evaluation and certifying the design, the Army and OSD
              met the requirements of the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal
              year 2002. However, as the results of the operational evaluation illustrated,
              issues with the brigade’s training, design, and equipment exist. The
              training issues arose because operating with a new unit design requires
              time to develop skills, which the accelerated fielding schedule did not
              allow. In preparation for deployment to Iraq, the Army mitigated most of
              these training issues, but it deferred resolution of some design and
              equipment issues and their respective decisions for future consideration. It
              is important that all issues be resolved, including those that affect future
              brigades, such as provision of Stryker vehicles for reconnaissance


              Page 34                                      GAO-04-188 Military Transformation
                      squadron operations officers and procurement of FBCB2 systems and
                      other digitized equipment for the infantry platoons’ Stryker vehicles.
                      Passing on lessons learned from the operational evaluation provides the
                      Army the opportunity to ease the transformation process for future
                      Stryker brigades by ensuring that the units have the proper training and all
                      necessary equipment. As we have stated previously, taking action now to
                      address such issues and passing on the remedies learned could enhance
                      the chances that future brigade formations will be accomplished smoothly.


                      To assist the Stryker Brigade Combat Teams’ transformation efforts, we
Recommendations for   recommend that the Secretary of Defense direct the Secretary of the Army
Executive Action      to

                      •   develop a plan that completes the mitigation efforts on those issues not
                          addressed prior to deploying the brigade and
                      •   apply, as applicable, adjustments made to the training, design, and
                          equipment of the brigade to future Stryker brigades.


                      In commenting on a draft of this report, the Department of Defense
Agency Comments       concurred with our recommendations and outlined actions the Army is
                      taking in implementing them.

                      In responding to our recommendation that the Army develop a plan to
                      complete mitigation efforts on those issues not addressed prior to
                      deploying the brigade, the department stated that the Army has developed
                      and is executing plans for the various issues identified in the operational
                      evaluation and that once the armor installation is completed in November-
                      December 2003 in Kuwait, the Army will have completed all of the
                      mitigation efforts identified in our report.

                      With regard to our recommendation that adjustments made to the training,
                      design, and equipment of the first brigade are applied, as applicable, to
                      future brigades, the department concurred that adjustments were
                      necessary and would be applied to future Stryker brigades. The
                      department stated the Army had created a Third Brigade, Second Infantry
                      Division deployment team, comprised of representatives from across the
                      Army, and that its scope included material requirements for the First
                      Brigade, Twenty-Fifth Infantry Division (the Army’s next Stryker brigade)
                      and future Stryker brigades. Regarding proposed changes to the Stryker
                      brigade’s structure, the Army is reviewing possible design changes through
                      its Documentation Assistance and Review Team to determine the


                      Page 35                                     GAO-04-188 Military Transformation
appropriate solution. The department states that the Army will use this
same process regarding issues identified from Operation Iraqi Freedom.
The department also commented that the Army designated Fort Lewis,
Washington, as the Army’s Center of Excellence responsible for concept
development, lessons learned, and the source for technical and tactical
expertise for future Stryker brigades and to assist the Army in distributing
lessons learned from the Stryker brigades.

Appendix VII contains the full text of the department’s comments.


We are sending copies of this report to the Secretary of Defense, the
Acting Secretary of the Army, and the Director, Office of Management and
Budget. We will also make copies available to others upon request. In
addition, this report will be available at no charge on the GAO Web site at
http://www.gao.gov.

If you have any questions about this report, please call me at (202) 512-
8365. Major contributors to this report were Reginald L. Furr, Leo B.
Sullivan, Robert Ackley, Timothy A. Burke, M. Jane Hunt, and Jim Melton.




William M. Solis
Director
Defense Capabilities
 and Management




Page 36                                     GAO-04-188 Military Transformation
List of Congressional Committees

The Honorable John W. Warner
Chairman
The Honorable Carl Levin
Ranking Minority Member
Committee on Armed Services
United States Senate

The Honorable Ted Stevens
Chairman
The Honorable Daniel K. Inouye
Ranking Minority Member
Subcommittee on Defense
Committee on Appropriations
United States Senate

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

The Honorable Jerry Lewis
Chairman
The Honorable John P. Murtha
Ranking Minority Member
Subcommittee on Defense
Committee on Appropriations
House of Representatives




Page 37                            GAO-04-188 Military Transformation
              Appendix I: Provisions from Public Law 107-
Appendix I: Provisions from Public Law 107-
              107 Concerning Limitations on Army
              Transformation Actions


107 Concerning Limitations on Army
Transformation Actions
              Public Law 107-107-Dec. 28, 2001

              SEC. 113. LIMITATIONS ON ACQUISITION OF INTERIM
              ARMORED VEHICLES AND DEPLOYMENT OF INTERIM
              BRIGADE COMBAT TEAMS.

              (h) OPERATIONAL EVALUATION – (1) The Secretary of the Army shall
              conduct an operational evaluation of the initial interim brigade combat
              team. The evaluation shall include deployment of the team to the
              evaluation site and team execution of combat missions across the full
              spectrum of potential threats and operational scenarios.

              (2) The operational evaluation under paragraph (1) may not be conducted
              until the plan for such evaluation is approved by the Director of
              Operational Test and Evaluation of the Department of Defense.

              (i) LIMITATION ON PROCUREMENT OF INTERIM ARMORED
              VEHICLES AND DEPLOYMENT OF IBCTs. – (1) The actions described in
              paragraph (2) may not be taken until the date that is 30 days after the date
              on which the Secretary of Defense –

              (A) submits to Congress a report on the operational evaluation carried out
              under subsection (h); and

              (B) certifies to Congress that the results of that operational evaluation
              indicate that the design for the interim brigade combat team is
              operationally effective and operationally suitable.

              (2) The limitation in paragraph (1) applies to the following actions:

              (A) Procurement of interim armored vehicles in addition to those
              necessary for equipping the first three interim brigade combat teams.

              (B) Deployment of any interim brigade combat team outside the United
              States.

              (3) The Secretary of Defense may waive the applicability of paragraph (1)
              to a deployment described in paragraph (2)(B) if the Secretary –

              (A) determines that the deployment is in the national security interests of
              the United States; and




              Page 38                                       GAO-04-188 Military Transformation
Appendix I: Provisions from Public Law 107-
107 Concerning Limitations on Army
Transformation Actions




(B) submits to Congress, in writing, a notification of the waiver together
with a discussion of the reasons for the waiver.




Page 39                                       GAO-04-188 Military Transformation
              Appendix II: Scope and Methodology
Appendix II: Scope and Methodology


              To determine whether the Army’s conduct of the Stryker brigade’s
              operational evaluation met the legislative requirements, we focused our
              efforts on understanding the operational evaluation plan and its
              implementation. We obtained and analyzed the Army’s operational
              evaluation plan and its associated execution plan. We interviewed officials
              and analysts involved in both the design and evaluation of the plan from
              the Office of the Secretary of Defense; Office of the Secretary of the Army;
              Headquarters, Department of the Army; Army Forces Command; Army
              Training and Doctrine Command; Army Test and Evaluation Command;
              and I Corps, Fort Lewis. We held discussions with the Commanders of the
              Operations Groups at the National Training Center and the Joint
              Readiness Training Center to discuss their perspective regarding the
              operational evaluation.

              To determine how the Army conducted the operational evaluation, we
              used information from the Army’s operational evaluation plan and
              execution plan and monitored the conduct of the operational evaluation.
              We reviewed the training procedures and attended the training sessions
              for the data collectors and subject matter experts administering the
              training events at the National Training Center and the Joint Readiness
              Training Center. We also reviewed the data collection, transfer, and
              validation processes. We attended nightly briefings that were provided to
              the I Corps leadership from officials of each of the two training centers.
              We observed various training activities such as an attack at the National
              Training Center and the tactical movements by ground and air
              deployments at the Joint Readiness Training Center, as well as other
              events such as the commander’s combined arms rehearsal prior to the
              brigade moving to the training site at the Joint Readiness Training Center.

              To assess the brigade’s performance during the operational evaluation, we
              evaluated information from the Army’s data collectors and from our visits
              to the two training centers to observe training events. For the deployment
              portion of the evaluation, we observed various deployment events
              including the loading and unloading of Stryker vehicles from C-130 aircraft
              at the National Training Center; the brigade staging area at Lake Charles,
              Louisiana; and the unloading of Stryker vehicles from C-17 aircraft at the
              Joint Readiness Training Center. We also observed the loading of a Stryker
              company’s personnel, vehicles, and supplies into C-130 aircraft as the
              personnel conducted intratheater movement to a different training area at
              the Joint Readiness Training Center. Because of their doctrinal expertise
              and the fact that they provide feedback to all Army units that go through
              the training centers, we monitored transmissions and attended meetings
              held by observer-controllers and operations officials at both training


              Page 40                                     GAO-04-188 Military Transformation
Appendix II: Scope and Methodology




centers. During these meetings, discussions were held regarding the
performance of the brigade and any difficulties the brigade was
experiencing. To gain perspective on the Army’s analytical process, we
attended and participated in scheduled insight meetings that discussed the
training events and observations that occurred over the previous 24 hours.
We also discussed the evaluation events with officials from the Army’s
Test and Evaluation Command, as well as representatives from the
Department of Defense Director of Operational Test and Evaluation and
the Institute for Defense Analysis.

We obtained and analyzed the database that the Army used to draw its
conclusions. Using the database, we determined that the most direct
commentary on the Stryker brigade’s performance of its individual key
operating capabilities came from observer-controller comments. We
reviewed the comments as grouped by the individual operational
capabilities and, after identifying the most salient issues, developed seven
themes that incorporated all nine of the key operating capabilities. These
themes are ability of the Stryker brigade to deploy, mobility of the Stryker
vehicle, brigade and battalion staff performance, use of digital systems,
employment of the new sustainment concept, execution of combat
missions, and contractor support.

Regarding the Army’s actions to mitigate the identified operational
evaluation training deficiencies, we reviewed the training methodology
developed to overcome the deficiencies and held a discussion with senior
Army officials regarding the brigade’s operational readiness. We did not
observe the activities conducted during the command post exercise or the
field training exercise. However, we discussed the results of the exercises
with senior Army officials.

Our review was performed from October 2002 to October 2003 in
accordance with generally accepted government audit standards.




Page 41                                     GAO-04-188 Military Transformation
                                          Appendix III: Stryker Brigade Organizational
Appendix III: Stryker Brigade Organizational
                                          Parameters and Operational Capabilities by
                                          Critical Tasks


Parameters and Operational Capabilities by
Critical Tasks

                                           Deploy/      Conduct       Conduct Simultaneous
                                          Redeploy       Battle       Distributed Offense &            Area       Sustain the  Protect
                                            by Air     Command        Defensive Operations           Presence      Brigade    the Force
 Key Organizational Parameters
 Balance between Strategic                   X              X                      X                     X              X             X
 Responsiveness and Battle Space
 Dominance
 Balanced Full Spectrum Utility              X              X                      X                     X              X             X
 Reduced Sustainment Requirements            X                                     X                     X              X             X
 Minimize Personnel and Logistical           X                                     X                     X              X             X
 Footprint
 Commonality of Vehicular Capabilities       X                                     X                     X              X             X
 Reach-back                                  X              X                      X                     X              X             X
 Embedded Unit-based Capabilities            X              X                      X                     X              X             X
 Internetted Combined Arms to Company                       X                      X                     X              X             X
 Team Level


 Key Operational Capabilities
 Mobility                                    X              X                      X                     X              X             X
 Dismounted Assault and the Close Fight                     X                      X                     X              X             X
 Enhanced Situational Understanding          X              X                      X                     X              X             X
 and Information Superiority
 Holistic Force Protection and               X              X                      X                     X                            X
 Survivability
 Lethality                                                  X                      X                     X              X             X
 Force Effectiveness                                        X                      X                     X              X             X
 Reach-back                                  X              X                      X                     X              X             X
 Joint/Multinational/Interagency/Inter-      X              X                      X                     X              X             X
 operability
 Full Spectrum Flexibility and               X              X                      X                     X                            X
 Augmentation
Source: U.S. Army.

                                          X = annotates Parameter and Capability represented by Critical Training Task List (CTTL).




                                          Page 42                                                   GAO-04-188 Military Transformation
                                        Appendix IV: Mission Training Plan Tasks
Appendix IV: Mission Training Plan TasksCompared to Critical Tasks



Compared to Critical Tasks


                                         Deploy/      Conduct        Conduct Simultaneous
                                        Redeploy       Battle        Distributed Offense &            Area        Sustain the  Protect
 Mission Training Plan Tasks              by Air     Command         Defensive Operations           Presence       Brigade    the Force
 Establish a Digital Command Post          X               X                      X                      X              X          X
 Conduct Urban Operations                                  X                      X                      X              X          X
 Conduct a Tactical Road March                             X                      X                      X              X          X
 Conduct an Attack                                         X                      X                      X              X          X
 Conduct a Defense                                         X                      X                      X              X          X
 Conduct Area Security Operations                          X                      X                      X              X          X
 Plan Intelligence, Surveillance, and                      X                      X                      X              X          X
 Reconnaissance Operations
 Conduct Command and Control of            X               X                      X                      X              X          X
 Operations
 Sustain the Force                         X               X                      X                      X              X          X
 Conduct Strategic Deployment              X               X                                                            X          X
Source: U.S. Army.

                                        X = annotates central tasks represented by the 10 essential mission training plan tasks.




                                        Page 43                                                    GAO-04-188 Military Transformation
                                               Appendix V: Stryker Brigade Parameters and
Appendix V: Stryker Brigade Parameters and     Capabilities Compared to Essential Mission
                                               Training Plan Tasks


Capabilities Compared to Essential Mission
Training Plan Tasks

                                                                            1                     2                    3                    4

                                                                                                                Conduct a
                                                                  Establish a Digital     Conduct Urban        Tactical Road      Conduct an
 Key Organizational Parameters                                     Command Post            Operations             March             Attack
 Balance Between Strategic Responsiveness and                               X
 Battlespace Dominance
 Balanced Full Spectrum Utility                                             X                     X                                     X
 Reduced Sustainment Requirements                                                                                      X                X
 Minimize Personnel and Logistical Footprint
 Commonality of Vehicular Platforms
 Reach-back                                                                 X                     X
 Embedded Unit-Based Capabilities                                           X                     X                    X                X
 Internetted Combined Arms to Company-Team Level                            X                     X                                     X


 Key Operational Capabilities
 Mobility                                                                                         X                    X                X
 Dismounted Assault and the Close Fight                                                           X                                     X
 Enhanced Situational Understanding and Information                         X                     X                    X                X
 Superiority
 Holistic Force Protection and Survivability                                                      X                    X                X
 Lethality                                                                                        X                                     X
 Force Effectiveness                                                        X                     X                                     X
 Reach-back                                                                 X                     X                                     X
 Joint/Multinational/Interagency Interoperability                           X                     X
 Full Spectrum Flexibility and Augmentation                                 X                     X                                     X
Source: U.S. Army.

                                               X= annotates Parameter and Capability represented by Mission Training Plan Essential task.




                                               Page 44                                                  GAO-04-188 Military Transformation
                                  Appendix V: Stryker Brigade Parameters and
                                  Capabilities Compared to Essential Mission
                                  Training Plan Tasks




   5                6                       7                  8                  9                     10
                                  Plan Intelligence,
                                     Survey, and            Conduct
Conduct a     Conduct Area        Reconnaissance         Command and            Sustain         Conduct Strategic
 Defense    Security Operations      Operations        Control Operations      the Force          Deployment
                                                               X

   X                X                     X                    X
                                          X                                       X
                                                               X
                                                                                  X
                                          X                    X
   X                X                                          X
   X                                                           X



   X                X                                          X                                         X
                                                               X
   X                X                     X                    X

   X                X                     X                    X
   X                X                                          X
   X                X                     X                    X                  X
   X                X                                          X                  X
                                                               X
   X                X                     X                    X                                         X




                                  Page 45                                          GAO-04-188 Military Transformation
              Appendix VI: Definitions of Key
Appendix VI: Definitions of Key
              Organizational Parameters and Key
              Operational Capabilities


Organizational Parameters and Key
Operational Capabilities
              The Stryker brigade’s organizational and operational concept document
              defines the unit’s essential organizational characteristics, or parameters,
              that the brigade was evaluated against. The document also defines the
              unit’s essential operational characteristics, or capabilities, that the brigade
              was evaluated against.

              The eight key organizational parameters are defined below.

              •   Achieve Balance Between Capabilities for Strategic Responsiveness
                  and Requirements for Battle-Space Dominance: The organization must
                  balance deployability, sustainability, and its in-theater personnel
                  footprint against its combat requirement for lethality, mobility, and
                  survivability. The Stryker Brigade Combat Team must approach the
                  deployability standards of a light brigade while arriving with the punch
                  and staying power approaching that of a mechanized formation.

              •   Balanced Full Spectrum Utility: The Stryker brigade is deliberately
                  optimized for early entry small-scale contingencies, but it also is
                  required to be prepared to participate as a “guarantor combat force” in
                  stability and support operations to permit peacekeeping and stability
                  forces to carry out their missions in a secure environment. Similarly,
                  the Stryker brigade must be prepared to fight as a component within a
                  division or corps structure in a major theater of war.

              •   Reduced Sustainment Requirements: The Stryker brigade must have
                  sustainment requirements well below that of a heavy force.

              •   Minimize Brigade’s Personnel and Logistical Footprint: There is an
                  imperative for expanding the combat elements and reducing the
                  support capabilities. Strategic deployability and demand reduction
                  must be enhanced, while maintaining a robust combat capability.

              •   Commonality of Vehicular Platforms: A common platform for combat,
                  combat support, and combat service support echelons enables
                  deployability, demand reduction, and sustainment efficiency. Common
                  platforms must also be highly mobile and capable of intratheater
                  deployment by C-130 aircraft.

              •   Reach-back: To enable the Stryker brigade to maintain a deployable
                  structure with a minimized logistics footprint, it must be able to reach-
                  back and access those functions that can be accomplished by higher-
                  echelon or out-of-theater organizations. It is both an organizational and
                  operational principle.




              Page 46                                       GAO-04-188 Military Transformation
Appendix VI: Definitions of Key
Organizational Parameters and Key
Operational Capabilities




•   Embedded Unit-Based Capabilities: Military intelligence, signal,
    engineer, antitank, artillery, and combat service support elements have
    been tailored specifically to the unique requirements of the unit’s
    mission set. For the Stryker brigade, analysis demonstrates that
    mission capabilities are best enhanced if they are embedded within the
    unit’s organic organization. Attaching divisional elements to a Stryker
    brigade unnecessarily enlarges the brigade’s deployment requirements
    and theater footprint and introduces different vehicle types and
    equipment sets into the structure, violating the principle of
    commonality and increasing sustainment and infrastructure
    requirements.

•   Internetted Combined Arms to Company-Team Level: An operational
    analysis for the Stryker brigade indicates that, within the environment
    of complex/urban terrain, force effectiveness is best enhanced and the
    requirement for responsive mutual support is best satisfied through
    internetted combined arms to company-team level, i.e., to a degree
    beyond traditional practice.

The nine key operational capabilities are defined below.

•   Mobility:
    • Strategic – Organized, equipped, and configured to support a goal of
      deploying the brigade in 96 hours from first wheels up. (Ninety-six
      hours was originally a requirement.)
    • Operational – Capable of intratheater lift by ground/sea or by U.S.
      Air Force family of tactical aircraft. (Concept document specifies
      C-130 aircraft.)

•   Dismounted Assault and the Close Fight: Achieves tactical decision by
    means of combined arms at the company/team level focused on
    dismounted assault, supported by direct fires, and on the integration of
    mortars, artillery, mobility support, and joint fires/effects.

•   Enhanced Situational Understanding and Information Superiority:
    This is the fundamental force enabler across all Stryker brigade
    battlefield operating systems and the foundation of risk mitigation with
    respect to brigade vulnerabilities, particularly the lack of armor
    protection.

•   Holistic Force Protection and Survivability: Overall, the Stryker
    brigade must meet force protection challenges through the holistic
    application of a variety of capabilities, including early warning;
    situational understanding; avoidance of surprise; deception; rapid



Page 47                                     GAO-04-188 Military Transformation
Appendix VI: Definitions of Key
Organizational Parameters and Key
Operational Capabilities




    mobility; signature control; nontemplateable operations; avoidances of
    enemy fires; mutual support; use of cover and concealment; and
    implementation of innovative tactic, techniques, and procedures.

•   Lethality: The Stryker brigade possesses a robust array of direct and
    indirect fire systems to shape the battle space and achieve decision in
    the close fight inherent within complex and urban terrain, greater than
    current light brigades.

•   Force Effectiveness: Although the Stryker brigade must have the
    capability to achieve/maintain information superiority, it will not
    always enjoy combat platform superiority. The Stryker brigade will
    offset the platform limitations of its medium-weight platforms through
    the holistic integration of all other capabilities, particularly the
    internetted actions of the combined arms company teams.

•   Reach/Reach-back: The capability of the Stryker brigade to exploit a
    multitude of nonorganic resources to accomplish its assigned missions.
    The Stryker brigade executes reach-back on a routine, deliberate basis
    as a combat power and sustainment multiplier in five primary areas:
    fires and effects, intelligence and information, planning and analysis,
    force protection, and sustainment.

•   Joint/Multinational/Interagency Interoperability: The Stryker brigade
    will benefit from exploiting the knowledge and capabilities residing
    within multinational forces; U.S. interagency organizations operating in
    the theater; and other international, local, nongovernmental, and
    private organizations involved in the crisis, conflict, or instability.

•   Full Spectrum Flexibility and Augmentation: The Stryker brigade will
    have the requisite capabilities to achieve decision in conjunction with
    the joint fight in low-end contingencies such as current operations in
    the Balkans. If conditions escalate, requiring additional capabilities that
    do not reside within the Stryker brigade, it will receive augmentation.
    The Stryker brigade may participate in major theater of war operations
    as a subordinate element within a division. Again, adjustments to the
    task organization, including augmentation, will be required in a major
    theater of war environment.




Page 48                                       GAO-04-188 Military Transformation
                   Appendix VII: Comments from the
Appendix VII: Comments from the
                   Department of Defense



Department of Defense




         Page 49                                     GAO-04-188 Military Transformation
          Appendix VII: Comments from the
          Department of Defense




Page 50                                     GAO-04-188 Military Transformation
             Related GAO Products
Related GAO Products


             Military Transformation: Realistic Deployment Timelines Needed for
             Army Stryker Brigades. GAO-03-801. Washington, D.C.: June 30, 2003.

             Military Transformation: Army’s Evaluation of Stryker and M-113A3
             Infantry Carrier Vehicles Provided Sufficient Data for Statutorily
             Mandated Comparison. GAO-03-671. Washington, D.C.: May 30, 2003.

             Army Stryker Brigades: Assessment of External Logistic Support Should
             Be Documented for the Congressionally Mandated Review of the Army’s
             Operational Evaluation Plan. GAO-03-484R. Washington, D.C.: March 28,
             2003.

             Military Transformation: Army Actions Needed to Enhance Formation
             of Future Interim Brigade Combat Teams. GAO-02-442. Washington, D.C.:
             May 17, 2002.

             Military Transformation: Army Has a Comprehensive Plan for
             Managing Its Transformation but Faces Major Challenges. GAO-02-96.
             Washington, D.C.: November 16, 2001.

             Defense Acquisition: Army Transformation Faces Weapons Systems
             Challenges. GAO-01-311. Washington, D.C.: May 21, 2001.




(350347)
             Page 51                                  GAO-04-188 Military Transformation
                         The General Accounting Office, the audit, evaluation and investigative arm of
GAO’s Mission            Congress, exists to support Congress in meeting its constitutional responsibilities
                         and to help improve the performance and accountability of the federal
                         government for the American people. GAO examines the use of public funds;
                         evaluates federal programs and policies; and provides analyses,
                         recommendations, and other assistance to help Congress make informed
                         oversight, policy, and funding decisions. GAO’s commitment to good government
                         is reflected in its core values of accountability, integrity, and reliability.


                         The fastest and easiest way to obtain copies of GAO documents at no cost is
Obtaining Copies of      through the Internet. GAO’s Web site (www.gao.gov) contains abstracts and full-
GAO Reports and          text files of current reports and testimony and an expanding archive of older
                         products. The Web site features a search engine to help you locate documents
Testimony                using key words and phrases. You can print these documents in their entirety,
                         including charts and other graphics.
                         Each day, GAO issues a list of newly released reports, testimony, and
                         correspondence. GAO posts this list, known as “Today’s Reports,” on its Web site
                         daily. The list contains links to the full-text document files. To have GAO e-mail
                         this list to you every afternoon, go to www.gao.gov and select “Subscribe to e-mail
                         alerts” under the “Order GAO Products” heading.


Order by Mail or Phone   The first copy of each printed report is free. Additional copies are $2 each. A
                         check or money order should be made out to the Superintendent of Documents.
                         GAO also accepts VISA and Mastercard. Orders for 100 or more copies mailed to a
                         single address are discounted 25 percent. Orders should be sent to:
                         U.S. General Accounting Office
                         441 G Street NW, Room LM
                         Washington, D.C. 20548
                         To order by Phone:     Voice:    (202) 512-6000
                                                TDD:      (202) 512-2537
                                                Fax:      (202) 512-6061


                         Contact:
To Report Fraud,
                         Web site: www.gao.gov/fraudnet/fraudnet.htm
Waste, and Abuse in      E-mail: fraudnet@gao.gov
Federal Programs         Automated answering system: (800) 424-5454 or (202) 512-7470


                         Jeff Nelligan, Managing Director, NelliganJ@gao.gov (202) 512-4800
Public Affairs           U.S. General Accounting Office, 441 G Street NW, Room 7149
                         Washington, D.C. 20548