oversight

Force Structure: Improved Cost Information and Analysis Needed to Guide Overseas Military Posture Decisions

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 2012-06-06.

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

             United States Government Accountability Office

GAO          Report to the Committee on Armed
             Services, U.S. Senate



June 2012
             FORCE STRUCTURE

             Improved Cost
             Information and
             Analysis Needed to
             Guide Overseas
             Military Posture
             Decisions




GAO-12-711
                                              June 2012

                                              FORCE STRUCTURE
                                              Improved Cost Information and Analysis Needed to
                                              Guide Overseas Military Posture Decisions
Highlights of GAO-12-711, a report to the
Committee on Armed Services, U.S. Senate




Why GAO Did This Study                        What GAO Found
In January 2012, DOD issued new               Although the Department of Defense (DOD) has conducted some analysis to
strategic guidance on defense budget          support two recent global posture decisions, the full cost implications of these
priorities, indicating that it must           decisions are unknown.
rebalance its overseas force posture—
including the forward stationing of           •   Forward deployment and permanent stationing of U.S. Navy ships in Rota.
Navy ships in Spain for ballistic missile         The Navy considered three options: (1) deploying ships to the region from
defense and the reduction of U.S.                 U.S. bases, (2) forward stationing ships and crews overseas, and
Army forces in Europe—in the face of              (3) deploying ships to the region and rotating crews from U.S. bases. The
deficit reduction. Similarly, DOD                 Navy concluded that forward stationing ships was the most efficient option,
reported in its 2011 Global Defense               but GAO found that it did not fully consider the option to rotate crews from
Posture Report to Congress that                   U.S. bases and, in a classified analysis, it used different assumptions for
savings associated with permanently               forward stationing versus deploying from the United States. These
stationing forces in the United States            assumptions could affect the results of the analysis and have long-term cost
rather than overseas are often offset             implications. GAO’s Cost Estimating and Assessment Guide states that a
by such factors as increased rotational           business case or cost-benefit analysis finds the best value solution by
costs. Based on direction from the                presenting facts and supporting details among competing alternatives,
Senate Armed Services Committee,
                                                  including the life cycle costs and benefits, and sensitivity to changes in
GAO evaluated the extent to which
                                                  assumptions. Without an analysis that controls for differing assumptions or
DOD has (1) conducted analysis to
                                                  considers factors such as complete life cycle costs, the long-term costs
support recent overseas posture
decisions and (2) developed a process             associated with its decision to forward station ships will remain unknown.
for making posture decisions that align
with strategy and consider costs. GAO         •   Reduction of U.S. Army force structure in Europe. The planned reductions of
assessed two recent posture initiatives,          U.S. Army forces in Europe will likely save money; however, decisions that
DOD plans and guidance related to                 could affect the extent of the savings are pending. For example, a 2010 Army
posture, and theater posture plans                analysis found $2 billion in savings over 10 years by returning forces from
from each combatant command.                      Germany, but assumed that new facilities estimated at $800 million would
                                                  need to be built in the United States to house them. However, present
What GAO Recommends                               planned reductions in overall Army end strength could eliminate the need for
                                                  new construction. Further, DOD announced that it will rotate forces from the
GAO recommends that DOD conduct a                 United States to Europe, but the nature of the rotations—which could include
comprehensive cost analysis                       significant costs depending on their size and frequency—has not yet been
associated with the Navy’s decision to            defined. According to DOD officials, until such determinations are made, the
station ships in Rota, assess options             savings to DOD will remain uncertain.
and costs related to rotating forces in
Europe, and clarify roles and
                                              DOD has taken steps to align posture initiatives with strategy and cost, but
responsibilities of key entities to collect
cost data on initiatives. DOD generally       continues to lack comprehensive and consistent cost estimates of initiatives.
agreed with GAO’s recommendations             DOD’s evolving posture process links initiatives with defense goals. Stakeholders
and identified corrective actions, but        from key DOD entities prioritize the initiatives in a voting process based on
additional steps are needed to fully          strategic criteria; cost is discussed, but not voted on. Furthermore, combatant
address GAO’s recommendation that             commands did not completely and consistently report cost data in their theater
the Navy further assess options and           posture plans because of the lack of readily available cost information. GAO
costs for ballistic missile defense.          found two primary reasons for this: unclear roles and responsibilities of key DOD
                                              organizations that have access to the cost data needed to compile and report
                                              comprehensive cost estimates and lack of a standardized format to compile and
                                              report cost data from component commands. Until these cost data are
View GAO-12-711. For more information,        comprehensively compiled and reported, DOD and congressional decision
contact John Pendleton at (404) 679-1816 or   makers will be unable to assess the true cost of posture initiatives.
pendletonj@gao.gov.

                                                                                       United States Government Accountability Office
Contents


Letter                                                                                           1
                       Background                                                                4
                       The Cost Implications of Evolving Plans for Overseas Presence Are
                         Uncertain                                                               8
                       DOD Has Taken Steps to Align Posture Initiatives with Strategy
                         and Cost but Continues to Lack Comprehensive and Consistent
                         Cost Estimates of Initiatives                                         17
                       Conclusions                                                             20
                       Recommendations for Executive Action                                    21
                       Agency Comments and Our Evaluation                                      22

Appendix I             Scope and Methodology                                                   25



Appendix II            Comments from the Department of Defense                                 27



Appendix III           GAO Contact and Staff Acknowledgments                                   30



Related GAO Products                                                                           31



Figures
                       Figure 1: Geographic Combatant Command Areas of Responsibility            5
                       Figure 2: National and DOD Guidance, Strategies, and Plans
                                Related to Global Defense Posture                               7
                       Figure 3: Current Port Pier Space at Naval Station Rota                 12




                       Page i                                            GAO-12-711 Force Structure
Abbreviations

DOD               Department of Defense
OSD               Office of the Secretary of Defense


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Page ii                                                        GAO-12-711 Force Structure
United States Government Accountability Office
Washington, DC 20548




                                   June 6, 2012

                                   The Honorable Carl Levin
                                   Chairman
                                   The Honorable John McCain
                                   Ranking Member
                                   Committee on Armed Services
                                   United States Senate

                                   In January 2012, the Department of Defense (DOD) issued new strategic
                                   guidance on defense budget priorities, indicating that it must rebalance its
                                   forces overseas in the face of the approaching end of a decade of war, a
                                   changing technological and geopolitical landscape, and the national
                                   security imperative of deficit reduction. 1 The same month, the
                                   administration announced a renewed strategic focus on the Asia-Pacific
                                   region and an adjustment of U.S. forces in Europe that included a
                                   decrease in permanently stationed forces while increasing the forces
                                   rotated temporarily to maintain presence and demonstrate commitment.
                                   Previously, the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review highlighted the
                                   importance of periodically assessing and tailoring global defense posture
                                   in light of continued globalization and enduring transnational threats. 2
                                   These recent changes are the latest in DOD’s continuing efforts to do so.

                                   This report is one in a series of GAO reports on DOD’s global defense
                                   posture. Since 2006, we have reported on issues related to DOD’s overall
                                   global posture strategy and management practices, the military buildup
                                   on Guam, the transformation of Army posture in Europe, and the
                                   establishment of U.S. Africa Command. 3 Those reports contain a number
                                   of recommendations to improve DOD’s management of these efforts and
                                   to enhance the information that DOD makes available about them to


                                   1
                                    DOD, Sustaining U.S. Global Leadership: Priorities for 21st Century Defense
                                   (Washington, D.C.: Jan. 3, 2012).
                                   2
                                     In DOD’s 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review, DOD identified global defense posture as
                                   (1) forward stationed and rotationally deployed forces, capabilities, and equipment; (2) a
                                   supporting overseas network of infrastructure and facilities; and (3) a series of treaty,
                                   access, transit and status-protection agreements and arrangements with allies and key
                                   partners.
                                   3
                                     GAO, Defense Management: Additional Cost Information and Stakeholder Input Needed
                                   to Assess Military Posture in Europe, GAO-11-131 (Washington, D.C.: Feb. 3, 2011).




                                   Page 1                                                         GAO-12-711 Force Structure
decision makers in the executive branch and Congress. In many cases,
DOD has agreed with our recommendations and has taken actions to
implement them. A list of these related products is included at the end of
this report.

Congressional committees have also taken several actions in recent
years that emphasize the need for DOD to consider fiscal constraints in
defense planning. For example, the Senate Armed Services Committee
report accompanying a proposed bill for the National Defense
Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 directed DOD to update the
committee on its plans to implement GAO’s previous recommendations to
more accurately and comprehensively account for costs related to theater
posture plans. 4 The committee report also directed GAO to assess the
methodology and assumptions behind the assertion DOD made in its
2011 Global Defense Posture Report to Congress that savings
associated with permanently stationing forces in the United States rather
than overseas are often offset by such factors as increased rotational
costs. Consequently, this report examines the extent to which DOD has
(1) conducted an analysis of costs and savings associated with recent
overseas posture decisions and (2) developed a process for making
decisions about global posture initiatives that align with strategy and
consider costs, as well as efforts made by combatant commands to
compile and report comprehensive cost data on both existing global
posture and new initiatives in their theater posture plans.

To determine the extent to which DOD conducted analysis of costs and
savings associated with recent overseas posture decisions, we reviewed
DOD documented cost data and collected additional information by
interviewing officials associated with two major global force posture
initiatives that DOD officials identified to support its conclusion that cost
savings associated with permanently stationing forces in the United
States rather than overseas are often offset by such factors as increased
rotational costs: the stationing of four Navy destroyers in Rota, Spain, to
provide ballistic missile defense for the region and the reduction of
permanently stationed Army forces in Europe. To determine the extent to
which DOD conducted analysis to support the decision to station four
Navy destroyers in Rota, Spain, we analyzed key documents and
briefings provided by the U.S. Navy, U.S. European Command, and



4
    See S. Rep. No. 112-26, at 191-92 (2011).




Page 2                                                GAO-12-711 Force Structure
Naval Station Rota; conducted a site visit to Naval Station Rota; and
interviewed officials from the U.S. Navy, Office of the Chief of Naval
Operations; U.S. European Command; U.S. Navy Europe; and Naval
Station Rota. To determine the extent to which DOD conducted analysis
to support Army force structure reductions in Europe, we conducted a site
visit to Germany; reviewed key documents from U.S. European
Command and U.S. Army Europe that describe the status of planned
force structure changes in Europe, including U.S. European Command’s
2010 and 2011 theater posture plans; and interviewed officials from the
Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD); OSD Cost Assessment and
Program Evaluation; Office of the Under Secretary of Defense
(Comptroller); Department of the Army, Program Assessment and
Evaluation Division; U.S. European Command; and U.S. Army Europe.
We also analyzed and assessed cost estimates for several courses of
action associated with the number of Army brigade combat teams in
Europe developed by the U.S. Army, Program Assessment and
Evaluation Division, against our cost estimating criteria to determine the
extent to which Army analysts employed best practices when developing
the estimates.

To determine the extent to which DOD has a process in place for making
decisions about global posture initiatives that aligns with strategy and
considers costs, including progress made by combatant commands to
compile and report comprehensive cost data on existing posture and new
initiatives in their theater posture plans, we evaluated core global posture
strategy documents, current and draft DOD guidance, and other
documentation we collected through interviews with officials from OSD;
the Joint Staff; U.S. European Command and its three service component
commands; U.S. Pacific Command; U.S. Africa Command; the four
service headquarters; OSD Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation;
the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller); and the Office
of Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics.
We also observed the Joint Staff’s November 2011 Posture Review
Seminar and analyzed and evaluated theater posture plans from 2010
and 2011 for each combatant command.

We conducted this performance audit between June 2011 and May 2012
in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards.
Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain
sufficient, appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable basis for our
findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. We believe that
the evidence obtained provides a reasonable basis for our findings and



Page 3                                              GAO-12-711 Force Structure
             conclusions based on our audit objectives. Appendix I provides a more
             detailed description of our scope and methodology.


             DOD operates six geographic combatant commands, each with an
Background   assigned area of responsibility (see fig. 1). Each geographic combatant
             command carries out a variety of missions and activities, including
             humanitarian assistance and combat operations, and assigns functions to
             subordinate commanders. Each command is supported by a service
             component command from each of the services and by a theater special
             operations command. The Departments of the Army, Navy, and Air Force
             have key roles in making decisions on where to locate their forces when
             they are not otherwise employed or deployed by order of the Secretary of
             Defense or assigned to a combatant command. In addition, the military
             departments allocate budgetary resources to construct, maintain, and
             repair buildings, structures, and utilities and to acquire the real property or
             interests in real property necessary to carry out their responsibilities.
             Together, the combatant commands and service component commands
             develop theater posture plans that seek to prioritize force structure
             changes and posture initiatives that will best meet national security and
             strategic priorities for a given area of responsibility.




             Page 4                                                 GAO-12-711 Force Structure
Figure 1: Geographic Combatant Command Areas of Responsibility




                                      The process for assessing global posture initiatives is managed under the
                                      framework of the Global Posture Executive Council, which consists of
                                      representatives from the military services, the combatant commands, the
                                      Joint Staff, and OSD. The purpose of the Global Posture Executive
                                      Council includes facilitating senior leader posture decision making and
                                      overseeing the assessment and implementation of posture plans. The
                                      Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy and the Director,
                                      Joint Staff, serve as co-chairmen of the council, and its membership


                                      Page 5                                            GAO-12-711 Force Structure
includes senior representatives from both offices, as well as
representatives from the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for
Acquisition, Technology and Logistics; the Office of the Under Secretary
of Defense (Comptroller); OSD Cost Assessment and Program
Evaluation; the Joint Staff; the combatant commands; the services; and
others as needed. Subordinate to the Global Posture Executive Council is
the Global Posture Integration Team, which consists of representatives
from each military department who review posture initiatives from all
combatant commands’ theater posture plans included in the annual global
posture prioritization process. The prioritization process itself takes place
in a 3-day seminar held in or around November of each year during which
22 representatives from organizations that comprise the Global Posture
Executive Council come together to review the posture initiatives
proposed in each combatant command’s theater posture plan and
prioritize these initiatives based primarily on how they align with strategic
defense guidance. The prioritized initiatives are then provided to the
services to inform the development of their budgets. 5

A hierarchy of national and defense guidance informs the development of
DOD’s global posture. The National Security Strategy, to be issued by the
President at the beginning of each new administration, and annually
thereafter, describes and discusses topics including worldwide interests,
goals, and objectives of the United States that are vital to its national
security. The Secretary of Defense then provides corresponding strategic
direction through the National Defense Strategy and Quadrennial
Defense Reviews. Furthermore, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
provides guidance to the military through the National Military Strategy.
On specific matters, such as global defense posture, DOD has also
developed new guidance in numerous documents, principally the 2010
Guidance for the Employment of the Force—which consolidates and
integrates planning guidance related to operations and other military
activities—and the 2010 Joint Strategic Capabilities Plan—which
implements the strategic policy direction provided in the Guidance for the
Employment of the Force. The Joint Strategic Capabilities Plan also tasks
combatant commanders to develop theater campaign, contingency, and
posture plans that are consistent with the Guidance for the Employment




5
  The posture prioritization process focuses on new overseas military construction-related
initiatives identified in the combatant commands’ theater posture plans.




Page 6                                                         GAO-12-711 Force Structure
of the Force. 6 The theater campaign plan translates strategic objectives to
facilitate the development of operational and contingency plans, while the
theater posture plan provides an overview of posture requirements to
support those plans and identifies major ongoing and new posture
initiatives to address capability gaps, including current and planned
military construction requirements. Figure 2 illustrates the relationships
among these national and DOD strategic guidance documents.

Figure 2: National and DOD Guidance, Strategies, and Plans Related to Global
Defense Posture




6
  Currently, functional combatant commands and U.S. Northern Command are not
required to submit theater posture plans but provide similar information in a different
format.




Page 7                                                           GAO-12-711 Force Structure
                        We have issued a number of related reports about force structure and
                        global force posture planning. In February 2011, we reported that U.S.
                        European Command lacks comprehensive cost data in its theater posture
                        plans and therefore decision makers lack critical information that could be
                        used to make fully informed posture decisions. 7 We recommended,
                        therefore, that DOD revise its posture planning guidance to require
                        comprehensive cost estimates of posture costs and provide for consistent
                        analysis of posture alternatives. In May 2011, we reported that DOD was
                        transforming the facilities and infrastructure that support its posture in
                        Asia without the benefit of comprehensive cost information or an analysis
                        of alternatives and recommended that DOD develop a business case
                        analysis for its Korea tour normalization initiative and that it develop
                        comprehensive costs estimates for posture initiatives in the Pacific as a
                        whole. 8 Finally, in April 2010, we reported that U.S. Africa Command had
                        not yet finalized decisions related to force presence and structure in
                        Africa, including the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa at Camp
                        Lemonnier, Djibouti. 9 We recommended that the command complete an
                        evaluation of the task force and determine its future, to include a long-
                        term activity assessment, a funding plan, and training guidance. DOD
                        generally agreed with these recommendations and has taken some steps
                        to implement them.


                        Although DOD has conducted some analysis to support recent global
The Cost Implications   defense posture decisions, the cost implications of these decisions are
of Evolving Plans for   unknown. In its 2011 Global Defense Posture Report to Congress, DOD
                        asserted that cost savings associated with permanently stationing forces
Overseas Presence       in the United States rather than overseas are offset by other factors, such
Are Uncertain           as increased costs to periodically rotate forces back to overseas
                        locations. To support this assertion, OSD identified two posture initiatives:
                        (1) the forward deployment and permanent stationing of U.S. Navy ships
                        in Rota, Spain, in support of ballistic missile defense and (2) the reduction
                        of U.S. Army force structure in Europe. Based on our review of the


                        7
                            GAO-11-131.
                        8
                         GAO, Defense Management: Comprehensive Cost Information and Analysis of
                        Alternatives Needed to Assess Military Posture in Asia, GAO-11-316 (Washington, D.C.:
                        May 25, 2011).
                        9
                         GAO, Defense Management: DOD Needs to Determine the Future of Its Horn of Africa
                        Task Force, GAO-10-504 (Washington, D.C.: Apr. 15, 2010).




                        Page 8                                                      GAO-12-711 Force Structure
                            analysis behind these two posture initiatives, we found that the analysis
                            supporting the first was incomplete and that any analysis of the second
                            cannot be completed until several basic decisions are made and
                            assumptions defined.


Decision to Forward         The Secretary of the Navy recently announced the permanent stationing
Station Ships in Europe     of four Aegis-equipped ships in Rota, Spain—two ships in fiscal year
Could Allow the Navy to     2014 and the other two ships in fiscal year 2015—in order to more
                            efficiently address the operational requirements associated with the
Provide Missile Defense     President’s Phased Adaptive Approach for European ballistic missile
with Fewer Ships, but the   defense. 10
Long-Term Costs Are Not
Well Defined                The Navy considered and compared three options in order to determine
                            the most appropriate way to address the operational requirements for
                            ballistic missile defense in Europe: (1) deploying ships to the region from
                            U.S. bases, (2) forward stationing ships and crews within the U.S.
                            European Command area of responsibility, and (3) deploying ships to the
                            region and rotating crews from U.S. bases. The Navy concluded that
                            forward stationing ships represented the most efficient and strategically
                            beneficial of the three options. We reviewed the Navy’s documentation
                            associated with the decision and found two key issues. First, the Navy did
                            not fully consider the rotational crewing option. Second, the Navy used
                            different operational assumptions for the remaining two options and did
                            not control for those differences prior to comparing the analytical results.

                            •   Limited analysis of the rotational crewing option. The Navy provided
                                little documentation for its analysis of the option to forward station
                                ships and rotate crews from U.S. bases—also known as rotational
                                crewing. This option avoids permanently relocating ship crews and
                                their families. Navy officials stated that rotational crewing was
                                undesirable because of its deleterious effect on crew efficiency and
                                morale. Our previous reports found that the Navy had not developed
                                comprehensive guidance for implementing rotational crewing
                                initiatives or a systemic approach for analyzing rotational crewing



                            10
                               According to DOD’s 2010 Ballistic Missile Defense Review Report, the European
                            Phased Adaptive Approach represents DOD’s plan to adopt a new regionally based
                            approach to delivering ballistic missile defense. The report states that the administration is
                            committed to implementing the new European Phased Adaptive Approach and sees it as
                            the U.S. national contribution to a NATO missile defense capability.




                            Page 9                                                           GAO-12-711 Force Structure
     alternatives and lessons learned. Moreover, as we reported in 2008,
     initial Navy rotational crewing efforts had provided greater forward
     presence for Navy ships by eliminating ship transits and maintaining
     more on-station time in distant operating areas. 11 Therefore, a
     rotational crewing approach for this posture decision could potentially
     provide a strategically effective and cost-effective option. However,
     the Navy provided less analysis of this option than the other two
     options, which may have prevented the Navy from determining the
     potential operational value of this approach.

•    Different operational assumptions not controlled for in analysis of
     alternatives. The Navy provided more documentation and analysis for
     its comparison of the forward stationing option to the current approach
     of U.S.-based deployments to the region. As a result of its analysis,
     the Navy concluded that the forward stationing option requires
     significantly fewer ships to meet European ballistic missile defense
     mission requirements and therefore represents the more efficient and
     cost-effective option. However, we found that the Navy applied
     different assumptions to the two options and did not demonstrate that
     it had controlled for those differences, both of which could affect the
     outcome of the analysis. 12 Further, Navy officials did not demonstrate
     that they had considered the long-term life cycle effect and associated
     costs for each forward deployed ship. Such factors may represent
     significant costs, without which DOD may lack the comprehensive
     analysis needed to determine the most efficient approach for meeting
     ballistic missile defense mission requirements.

GAO’s Cost Estimating and Assessment Guide states that a business
case analysis or a cost-benefit analysis seeks to find the best value
solution by linking each alternative to how it satisfies a strategic objective.
This linkage is achieved by developing business cases that present facts
and supporting details among competing alternatives, including the life
cycle costs and quantifiable and nonquantifiable benefits. Specifically,
each alternative should identify (1) relative life cycle costs and benefits;


11
   GAO, Force Structure: Navy Needs to Fully Evaluate Options and Provide Standard
Guidance for Implementing Surface Ship Rotational Crewing, GAO-05-10 (Washington,
D.C.: Nov. 10, 2004), and Force Structure: Ship Rotational Crewing Initiatives Would
Benefit from Top-Level Leadership, Navy-wide Guidance, Comprehensive Analysis, and
Improved Lessons-Learned Sharing, GAO-08-418 (Washington, D.C.: May 29, 2008).
12
  The specifics of the assumptions are classified and are therefore not included in this
report.




Page 10                                                        GAO-12-711 Force Structure
(2) methods and rationale for quantifying the life cycle costs and benefits;
(3) effect and value of cost, schedule, and performance trade-offs;
(4) sensitivity to changes in assumptions; and (5) risk factors. Finally, the
analysis should be unbiased, consider all possible alternatives, and be
rigorous enough that independent auditors can review it and clearly
understand why a particular alternative was chosen. DOD guidance
regarding economic analysis similarly encourages the use of sensitivity
analysis, a tool that can be used to determine the extent to which costs
and benefits change or are sensitive to changes in key factors; this
analysis can produce a range of costs and benefits that may provide a
better guide or indicator than a single estimate. 13

In contrast, the Navy’s choice to forward station ships in Europe was
informed by cost and strategic factors. The Navy considered a number of
basing options in or near the Mediterranean and developed a decision
matrix that included both strategic and cost factors, such as the proximity
of each site to the planned deployment regions and the amount of military
construction that would be required at each site to support the ships and
their crews. Based on these factors, Navy officials determined that Naval
Station Rota provided the best option. From a strategic and operational
perspective, Naval Station Rota provides the U.S. Navy with a large
maritime port and an associated airfield close to current and potential
future operating areas. Additionally, since it is a home port for the
Spanish Navy and currently houses Spanish military ships of similar size,
there is no need to expand the port pier space to accommodate the
incoming ships. Figure 3 shows the current port pier space.




13
  See Department of Defense Instruction 7041.3, Economic Analysis for Decisionmaking,
enc. A, attachment 1 (Nov. 7, 1995).




Page 11                                                    GAO-12-711 Force Structure
Figure 3: Current Port Pier Space at Naval Station Rota




                                          While Naval Station Rota can accommodate the expanded mission, some
                                          costs will be incurred. The infrastructure at Rota was initially designed to
                                          accommodate a much larger contingent of military personnel and family
                                          members than it does currently. Its capacity, according to Navy officials,
                                          is sufficient to accommodate the personnel numbers expected once the
                                          ships, their crews, and the crews’ families are stationed there. As such,
                                          although some military construction will be required, less would be
                                          required at Rota than at any of the other sites in the U.S. European
                                          Command area of responsibility that were considered. Specifically, the
                                          Navy estimated it would cost approximately $33 million for construction of
                                          new facilities and upgrades to existing infrastructure. Further, Naval
                                          Station Rota officials explained, and we observed, that the base currently



                                          Page 12                                              GAO-12-711 Force Structure
                           has sufficient galley, medical, and housing facilities and that there are no
                           plans to expand the physical footprint of on-base support infrastructure.
                           The Navy also considered estimated up-front and recurring increases in
                           operational and personnel expenses, including those for additional
                           support personnel and increased utilities costs. In total, the Navy
                           estimated that it would incur approximately $166 million in up-front
                           military construction, personnel, and maintenance costs; an annual
                           increase in operations and maintenance; and personnel costs of
                           approximately $179 million. 14


DOD Will Likely Save       To save money, and consistent with a shift in strategic emphasis toward
Money by Reducing Army     the Asia-Pacific region, the Secretary of Defense announced plans in
Forces and Headquarters    January 2012 to reduce U.S. Army forces in Europe. The announced
                           reductions include the removal of two heavy brigade combat teams, a
in Europe, but Amount of   corps headquarters, and various combat support and service support
Savings Depends on         units, and would affect about 10,000 soldiers and their families. U.S.
Future Decisions           Army Europe officials told us that the reductions should be completed by
                           2015. The department’s actions are consistent with a GAO
                           recommendation in 2010 that DOD consider alternatives for its European
                           posture plans in part because the Army’s analysis indicated that such a
                           reduction could potentially save $2 billion over 10 years. 15 However,
                           several decisions are pending or have recently been made that could
                           affect the ultimate savings to DOD. These are as follows:

                           •     Overall Army force structure. The Army’s 2010 analysis that found up
                                 to $2 billion in savings over 10 years from returning forces from
                                 Germany also assumed that more than $800 million in military
                                 construction funds would be needed to construct new facilities in the
                                 United States should two brigade combat teams be returned to the
                                 United States. 16 However, the Army announced in February 2012 that
                                 the 170th brigade combat team stationed in Baumholder, Germany,
                                 and the 172nd brigade combat team stationed in Grafenwoehr,



                           14
                             These cost estimates include increases in infrastructure, personnel, training, and
                           maintenance.
                           15
                              GAO, Defense Planning: DOD Needs to Review the Costs and Benefits of Basing
                           Alternatives for Army Forces in Europe, GAO-10-745R (Washington, D.C.: Sept. 13,
                           2010).
                           16
                                The 10-year time period identified in the analysis is fiscal years 2012 through 2021.




                           Page 13                                                           GAO-12-711 Force Structure
     Germany, will be eliminated from Army force structure in fiscal years
     2013 and 2014, respectively, as part of the larger end strength
     reductions. Given this force structure reduction, the savings to the
     Army and DOD could be billions more because the costs of manning
     and equipping two brigade combat teams (with approximately 4,000
     personnel each), among other units, would no longer be incurred. For
     example, past GAO work has found that annual compensation costs
     exceed $125,000 per active duty soldier; removing two brigade
     combat teams from the Army would reduce personnel costs by about
     $1 billion annually. 17 Furthermore, the $800 million assumed in
     military construction funds needed to construct new facilities from the
     2010 analysis is no longer likely to be needed.

•    Consolidation of U.S. Army Europe headquarters functions remaining
     in Germany. The consolidation of headquarters for U.S. Army Europe,
     5th Signal Command, and a military intelligence brigade in Wiesbaden
     permits the closure of communities in Mannheim, Heidelberg, and
     Darmstadt. According to U.S. Army Europe, this consolidation effort—
     which eliminates 47 sites, 9 schools, and 3 sets of community support
     infrastructure 18—will provide an estimated annual recurring savings of
     $112 million. The savings from these consolidations would be in
     addition to the approximately $2 billion associated with removing the
     brigade combat teams from Europe forecasted by the Army’s 2010
     analysis. 19

•    Potential increase in special operations forces in Europe. In January
     2012, the Secretary of Defense also announced plans to increase
     special operations forces stationed in Europe. However, the type and
     size of those forces have not yet been determined. Officials from U.S.
     Army Europe told us that they are considering locations to station
     special operations forces and thereby realize efficiencies through




17
  The average total compensation per active duty servicemember includes items such as
cash compensation and allowances (basic pay/housing), noncash benefits (health
care/education), and deferred benefits (retirement pay/veterans affairs health care).
18
   According to DOD officials, examples of community support infrastructure include post
exchanges, health care centers, and spousal career centers.
19
   U.S. European Command officials told us they are currently implementing the decision
to consolidate bases at Wiesbaden and that any estimated savings will not be fully
realized until the consolidation effort is complete.




Page 14                                                       GAO-12-711 Force Structure
    consolidation, but that they cannot move forward on this until they
    know the requirements for the increase in special operations forces.

•   Decision about U.S. Africa Command headquarters location..20 In
    2008, DOD formed a new combatant command to focus on Africa.
    That command was located in temporary facilities in Stuttgart,
    Germany—also home to U.S. European Command—pending
    decisions about where to locate it permanently. Initially, DOD had
    planned to place the command somewhere in Africa but could not find
    a suitable location after encountering resistance from potential African
    partners. In 2009, GAO recommended that DOD conduct an
    assessment to determine where U.S. Africa Command would be
    permanently located and, until that time, limit expenditures on
    temporary headquarters infrastructure. 21 However, these decisions
    had not been made; officials from U.S. Africa Command told us in
    February 2012 that OSD Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation is
    conducting a study to assess the risks and cost implications
    associated with relocating the headquarters in the United States that
    should be completed by mid-2012.

•   Rotational force plans. DOD has also announced its intent to
    periodically rotate Army forces from the United States to supplement
    the two Army brigade combat teams that will remain in Europe and
    thus show commitment to European allies. However, according to
    U.S. European Command officials, the size and frequency of the
    rotations—which could include significant costs—have not yet been
    defined, and until there is a determination of the size of the forces that
    will be rotated to Europe and the frequency at which they will be
    rotated, any estimation of the cost or cost savings will remain
    uncertain. According to the Army’s 2010 analysis, it would potentially
    cost the Army approximately $1 billion over 10 years to rotate two
    brigade combat teams to Europe twice per year, which would allow
    the United States to maintain its current presence but would offset the
    savings garnered by reductions in the overall force structure.
    However, Army officials told us that they did not think that rotating



20
   Although this decision pertains to a combatant command, funding for the installation
containing the command’s headquarters is included in the Army’s budget.
21
   GAO, Defense Management: Actions Needed to Address Stakeholder Concerns,
Improve Interagency Collaboration, and Determine Full Costs Associated with the U.S.
Africa Command, GAO-09-181 (Washington, D.C.: Feb. 20, 2009).




Page 15                                                        GAO-12-711 Force Structure
    entire brigades was likely and that they were currently examining
    options, including rotating smaller formations, such as companies or
    battalion-sized elements. The potential rotations will likely have
    implications on the final basing plan in Europe as well, as the Army
    would likely want to maintain facilities in Europe for rotating forces.

Until the decisions outlined above are made—especially regarding the
plans to rotate forces back to Europe—the full extent of the savings that
will be realized in light of the Secretary of Defense’s January 2012
decision to reduce the size of permanently stationed U.S. Army forces in
Europe will remain uncertain. Based on previous GAO and Army analysis,
there is the potential for DOD to save considerably more than the
$2 billion originally estimated in light of DOD’s decision to remove the
brigades from the force structure. Looking forward, the decisions about
the size and frequency of Army rotations will be a key cost driver. Costs
will be incurred not only to pay for the rotations, but assumptions about
these rotations will also be used to decide which Army installations in
Europe to retain.




Page 16                                              GAO-12-711 Force Structure
DOD Has Taken Steps
to Align Posture
Initiatives with
Strategy and Cost but
Continues to Lack
Comprehensive and
Consistent Cost
Estimates of
Initiatives

DOD’s Process to Prioritize   In part to respond to previous GAO recommendations, 22 DOD recognized
Posture Initiatives Is        the need to prioritize initiatives to reflect strategic goals, has taken steps
Improving                     to align posture initiatives with defense strategy, and has begun to gather
                              cost information. DOD’s evolving global defense posture process links
                              posture initiatives with defense goals and prioritizes those initiatives
                              based on strategic and implementation criteria. Strategic criteria are
                              defined by four focus areas: enabling crisis response, ensuring access for
                              global posture enablers, shaping and improving security cooperation, and
                              supporting contingencies and ongoing operations. Implementation criteria
                              include such factors as operational flexibility, operational management
                              and institutional provisions of the force, ease of implementation, and
                              international relations. Based on our observation of the process, all
                              posture initiatives submitted by combatant commands in their theater
                              posture plans are discussed and voted on within the framework of the
                              strategic and implementation criteria by 22 stakeholders from the Global
                              Posture Executive Council using electronic voting software displayed on a
                              projection screen. The result is a list of posture initiatives ranked in order
                              of strategic priority. During the process, the stakeholders also discuss the
                              approximate costs associated with each initiative, but cost is not
                              considered a key factor and is not voted on. According to DOD officials,
                              this is because costs are considered both before and after the
                              prioritization process (before by the combatant command and after by the



                              22
                                GAO, Force Structure: Actions Needed to Improve DOD's Ability to Manage, Assess,
                              and Report on Global Defense Posture Initiatives, GAO-09-706R (Washington, D.C.:
                              July 2, 2009).




                              Page 17                                                    GAO-12-711 Force Structure
                          services in their budget processes) and because the costs associated
                          with an initiative are always discussed before voting takes place.


Combatant Commands        Although the geographic combatant commands are responsible for
Reported Some Cost Data   reporting cost data on existing global posture, we found that the
in Their 2011 Theater     combatant commands did not completely and consistently report cost
                          data in their 2011 theater posture plans. Our prior work has
Posture Plans, but Gaps   demonstrated, however, that comprehensive cost information is a key
Remain                    component in enabling decision makers to set funding priorities, develop
                          annual budget requests, and evaluate resource requirements at key
                          decision points. 23 Specifically, GAO previously recommended that DOD
                          should compile and report comprehensive cost data in the combatant
                          commands’ theater posture plans. 24 DOD officials told us that in response
                          to this recommendation, DOD revised an enclosure in the 2010 Joint
                          Strategic Capabilities Plan to direct the combatant commands to include
                          the following cost data on current posture in their theater posture plans:

                          •     ongoing, current year, and 5-year planned posture initiatives listed by
                                title and cost;
                          •     full project costs, that is, construction costs plus furniture, fixtures,
                                equipment, and any operation and maintenance costs;
                          •     implementation progress (when appropriate); and
                          •     host nation participation (when appropriate).

                          Despite this guidance, our review of the 2011 theater posture plans
                          submitted by the five geographic combatant commands found that though
                          all of them partially complied with the revised guidance, none met all the
                          requirements. 25 For example, some theater posture plans included
                          current year cost data but no cost data for the out years. Additionally,
                          some theater posture plans did not report key cost data, such as military
                          construction costs or operation and maintenance costs. Three of the five
                          posture plans did not include implementation progress for each initiative
                          and did not indicate why this information was not included.



                          23
                               GAO-11-316.
                          24
                               GAO-11-131.
                          25
                            We reviewed classified theater posture plans from the five combatant commands
                          required to submit them—U.S. Africa Command, U.S. Central Command, U.S. European
                          Command, U.S. Pacific Command, and U.S. Southern Command.




                          Page 18                                                 GAO-12-711 Force Structure
Additionally, DOD published supplemental guidance in early 2011 that
directs the combatant commands to provide initiative summary sheets for
each new posture initiative in their 2011 theater posture plans. These
summary sheets are used to inform the prioritization process and include
several elements, such as approximate costs broken out by fiscal year
and host nation funding (if known), for each posture initiative. However,
we found that cost data were not consistently reported in the initiative
summary sheets for new posture initiatives as accurately as possible.
Therefore, cost data for new posture initiatives may not be able to be
accurately compared during the prioritization process. DOD officials told
us that in the months between issuance of the theater posture plans and
the prioritization process, combatant commands have the opportunity to
provide updated cost information for new initiatives.

Based on our analysis as well as remarks from DOD officials involved in
the process, there are two reasons that combatant commands have not
been able to accurately and consistently report cost information for their
posture initiatives. The first is the lack of clarity about roles and
responsibilities. Joint doctrine discussing the components of a joint force
notes the responsibility of service component commanders to develop
program and budget requests that comply with combatant commander
guidance on warfighting requirements and priorities. 26 In addition, the
doctrine states that component commanders will provide a copy of the
program submission to the combatant commander prior to forwarding it to
the service headquarters, and will keep the combatant commander
informed of the status of combatant command requirements while service
programs are under development. However, according to OSD officials,
the combatant commands did not have access to comprehensive cost
data that they were required to compile and report because some of the
data are compiled by service component commands and the military
departments. Officials we interviewed from three combatant commands
echoed this sentiment, explaining that while the combatant command is
responsible for developing mission requirements for its respective region,
it is the military departments that are responsible for developing the
budgets that fund initiatives meant to address mission requirements. OSD
officials told us that in order to address this lack of clarity over roles and
responsibilities, OSD has drafted a DOD instruction outlining the U.S.



26
  Joint Chiefs of Staff, Joint Pub. 1, Doctrine for the Armed Forces of the United States
(May 2, 2007) (incorporating change Mar. 20, 2009).




Page 19                                                         GAO-12-711 Force Structure
              global defense posture process, which includes specific guidance to the
              combatant commands and military departments on providing cost data
              associated with new posture initiatives. Additionally, OSD officials told us
              that they are in the process of promulgating a data call to issue to the
              military departments and combatant commands to facilitate determination
              of the cost of current overseas posture. Key OSD organizations involved
              in these efforts include OSD Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation;
              the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy; the Office of the
              Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller); and the Office of the Under
              Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics. We were
              unable to evaluate the instruction, however, because it was under
              continuous revision and had not been finalized during the time of our
              review.

              The second reason that combatant commands have not been able to
              accurately and consistently report cost information for their posture
              initiatives is the lack of a standardized format with which to report the
              information. Current DOD guidance does not provide a standardized
              format for the combatant commands to use when requesting information
              from service component commands, in order to consistently report the
              required cost data for each posture initiative. Accordingly, officials from
              U.S. Army Europe and U.S. Air Force Europe stated, for example, that
              requests for cost data are either too broad or too vague and that fulfilling
              these data requests is labor intensive. Without a standardized format for
              reporting cost information associated with each global posture initiative,
              decision makers on the Global Posture Executive Council cannot
              accurately consider and compare costs associated with different
              initiatives.


              By asserting that cost savings associated with decreasing overseas
Conclusions   presence are often offset through costs incurred and operational impacts
              elsewhere, DOD has tempered expectations for savings associated with
              such reductions. However, in an increasingly constrained budget era,
              DOD and congressional decision makers need precise estimates so that
              they can more readily balance resources against strategic requirements.
              To this end, estimates associated with global posture decisions should be
              backed by rigorous analysis based on information that is as complete and
              comprehensive as possible. The potential costs or cost savings that may
              arise from recent posture decisions in the U.S. European Command area
              of responsibility will remain uncertain without additional analysis.
              Specifically, the decision to forward station Aegis-equipped ships at Naval
              Station Rota may allow the Navy to meet the ballistic mission with fewer


              Page 20                                               GAO-12-711 Force Structure
                      ships overall but could cost DOD approximately $1 billion over a 5-year
                      period. And, until a more rigorous analysis of the decision is conducted,
                      the costs of the other options considered will remain unknown. Further,
                      costs and cost savings associated with the decision to reduce Army
                      forces in Europe and adjust the Army’s basing footprint in the region will
                      remain unknown until options related to rotational forces and their
                      associated costs are identified and assessed.

                      At a department wide level, DOD has taken positive steps to develop a
                      process for prioritizing posture initiatives. Currently, the process
                      considers, but is not driven by, cost. However, it remains essential that
                      comprehensive cost information for each initiative be compiled and
                      reported so that once initiatives are proposed, they can be adequately
                      prioritized, resourced, and approved. The current process is hampered by
                      the inconsistency with which cost data are reported; the lack of clarity on
                      the roles and responsibilities of key OSD organizations, military
                      departments, combatant commands, and service component commands
                      in helping to develop these cost estimates; and the lack of any
                      standardized template with which to report them. Lacking this information,
                      department and congressional decision makers will be unable to
                      adequately assess the true cost of global posture initiatives in the future.


                      To identify future funding requirements and improve the posture planning
Recommendations for   process, we recommend that the Secretary of Defense take the following
Executive Action      three actions:

                      •   Direct the Secretary of the Navy to conduct a comprehensive analysis
                          for each course of action the Navy has considered to address mission
                          requirements for ballistic missile defense in the Mediterranean that
                          compares all options the Navy considered and either applies
                          consistent operational assumptions or controls for different
                          operational assumptions and includes the long-term life cycle costs
                          and annual operating costs associated with forward stationing.
                      •   Direct the Secretary of the Army to identify and assess options to
                          rotate forces in Europe and their associated costs, including the
                          impacts on future basing in Europe.
                      •   Clarify the roles and responsibilities of key OSD organizations, the
                          military departments, and the service component commands, and
                          establish a standardized reporting format to include in applicable
                          guidance for key DOD organizations to use to ensure that cost
                          information is consistently summarized and reported to inform the
                          posture planning process.



                      Page 21                                              GAO-12-711 Force Structure
                     In written comments on a draft of this report, DOD generally agreed with
Agency Comments      our recommendations and has already initiated certain actions to address
and Our Evaluation   them. DOD’s response acknowledged that conducting analysis prior to
                     making posture decisions is important, and that the actions it has taken or
                     plans to take should provide a greater understanding of the global
                     defense posture process and its consideration of costs. However, we
                     believe some additional steps are warranted in order to fully address our
                     recommendations.

                     In response to our recommendation that the Secretary of Defense direct
                     the Secretary of the Navy to conduct a comprehensive analysis for each
                     course of action the Navy has considered to address mission
                     requirements for ballistic missile defense in the Mediterranean, that
                     compares all options the Navy considered and either applies consistent
                     operational assumptions or controls for different operational assumptions
                     and includes the long-term life cycle costs and annual operating costs
                     associated with forward stationing, DOD partially concurred, but did not
                     identify additional actions to address the recommendation. Specifically,
                     DOD agreed that analysis should be conducted prior to making posture
                     decisions, but does not agree that additional analysis is needed to
                     support the decision to forward station four ships in Rota, Spain. As
                     discussed in this report, we acknowledge that the Navy conducted some
                     analysis to support this decision, including the development and
                     consideration of some estimated costs, but we found the analysis
                     inconsistent and incomplete. For example, while the Navy initially stated
                     that it considered rotational crewing as an option, we found its analysis
                     was limited when compared to the other options. In its written comments,
                     DOD identified concerns with this approach, including increased stress on
                     the crews; however, the analysis supporting the decision did not include a
                     discussion of these issues. Additionally, we found that the Navy did not
                     control for the different assumptions used to develop the ship number
                     requirements associated with the forward stationing and U.S.-based
                     deployment approaches, which could have altered the results of the
                     analysis and could represent significant long-term costs. If the Navy
                     maintains that forward stationing is the most effective and efficient means
                     to meet the ballistic missile defense requirement in Europe, DOD would
                     still benefit from determining the life cycle costs associated with the
                     decision in order to determine its true long-term costs, which could be
                     significant. While DOD provided onetime capital costs and average yearly
                     operations and maintenance costs for this option, it remains unclear
                     whether these are long-term life cycle cost estimates. Based on our
                     findings and our cost estimating guide that states that a credible business
                     case analysis should include life cycle costs as well as quantifiable and


                     Page 22                                             GAO-12-711 Force Structure
nonquantifiable benefits, we maintain that the Navy, DOD, and Congress
would benefit from additional analysis in order to develop a more
comprehensive cost estimate associated with the decision to forward
station ships in Rota.

DOD agreed with our recommendation that the Secretary of Defense
direct the Secretary of the Army to identify and assess options to rotate
forces in Europe and their associated costs, including the impacts on
future basing in Europe, and stated that certain actions are ongoing.
Specifically, the Army is currently working with U.S. European Command
and various Army components to identify and assess options for rotating
personnel and equipment through Europe for training and exercises with
allies and partners. If fully implemented, we believe DOD’s actions should
meet the intent of our recommendation.

DOD also agreed with our recommendation to clarify the roles and
responsibilities of key OSD organizations, the military departments, and
the service component commands, and establish a standardized
reporting format that will be included in applicable guidance for key DOD
organizations to use to ensure that cost information is consistently
summarized and reported to inform the posture planning process, and
stated that certain actions are under way to address these matters. For
example, DOD stated that the department is in the final stages of
approving an instruction on the U.S. Global Defense Posture Process that
will document roles, responsibilities, and requirements for global posture
planning for key OSD organizations, the Joint Staff, the military
departments, and the combatant commands. The instruction will
institutionalize the Global Posture Integration Team and Global Posture
Executive Council to provide formal oversight of global posture
management. Additionally, DOD is in the process of issuing a data call to
the military departments and combatant commands to help determine the
existing infrastructure costs at enduring overseas installations. Lastly,
DOD stated that the Joint Staff issued supplemental Theater Posture Plan
guidance to the combatant commands in February 2012, including
standardized reporting criteria (e.g., estimated costs) for future posture
initiatives. If they are fully implemented, we believe DOD’s actions should
meet the intent of our recommendation.

The department also provided a number of general and technical
comments that we considered and incorporated, as appropriate. A
complete copy of DODs written comments is reprinted in appendix II.




Page 23                                             GAO-12-711 Force Structure
We are sending a copy of this report to the Secretary of Defense; the
Secretary of the Navy; and the Secretary of the Army. In addition, the
report is available at no charge on the GAO website at
http://www.gao.gov.

If you or your staff have any questions about this report, please contact
me at (404) 679-1816 or pendletonj@gao.gov. Contact points for our
Offices of Congressional Relations and Public Affairs may be found on
the last page of this report. GAO staff who made key contributions to this
report are listed in appendix III.




John H. Pendleton
Director
Defense Capabilities and Management




Page 24                                             GAO-12-711 Force Structure
Appendix I: Scope and Methodology
             Appendix I: Scope and Methodology




             To determine the extent to which the Department of Defense (DOD)
             conducted analysis of costs and savings associated with recent overseas
             posture decisions, we reviewed DOD documented cost data and collected
             additional information by interviewing officials associated with two major
             global force posture initiatives: the stationing of four Navy destroyers in
             Rota, Spain, to provide ballistic missile defense for the region and the
             reduction of permanently stationed Army forces in Europe. To determine
             the extent to which DOD conducted analysis to support the decision to
             station four Navy destroyers in Rota, Spain, we analyzed key documents
             and briefings provided by the U.S. Navy, U.S. European Command, and
             Naval Station Rota in order to assess assumptions, courses of action
             considered, and cost estimates. We conducted a site visit to Naval
             Station Rota to observe existing capabilities and needs for military
             construction projects identified by the Navy. We also collected information
             by interviewing officials from the U.S. Navy, Office of the Chief of Naval
             Operations; U.S. European Command; U.S. Navy Europe; and Naval
             Station Rota. To determine the extent to which DOD conducted analysis
             to support force structure reduction of Army brigade combat teams in
             Europe, we reviewed key documents from U.S European Command and
             U.S. Army Europe describing the status of planned force structure
             changes in Europe, including the 2010 and 2011 theater posture plans for
             U.S. European Command’s area of responsibility. We also collected
             information by interviewing officials from Office of the Secretary of
             Defense (OSD), OSD Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation; the
             Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy; the Office of the
             Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller); Department of the Army,
             Program Assessment and Evaluation Division; U.S. European Command;
             and U.S. Army Europe. We analyzed and assessed cost estimates for
             multiple courses of action associated with the number of brigade combat
             teams in Europe developed by the U.S. Army, Program Assessment and
             Evaluation Division, against GAO’s cost estimating criteria to determine
             the extent to which Army analysts employed best practices when
             developing the estimates.

             To determine the extent to which DOD developed a process for making
             decisions about global posture initiatives that aligns with strategy and
             considers costs, as well as efforts made by combatant commands to
             compile and report comprehensive cost data on existing global posture
             and new posture initiatives in their theater posture plans, we evaluated
             core global posture strategy documents; current and draft DOD guidance;
             and other documentation we collected through interviewing with officials
             from OSD, the Joint Staff, U.S. European Command and its three service
             component commands, U.S. Pacific Command, U.S. Africa Command,


             Page 25                                             GAO-12-711 Force Structure
Appendix I: Scope and Methodology




the four military service headquarters, OSD, OSD Cost Assessment and
Program Evaluation, the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for
Policy, the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller), and
the Office of Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and
Logistics. To determine the extent to which DOD’s global posture process
includes a consideration of cost, we observed the Joint Staff’s November
2011 Posture Review Seminar at which officials employed the Global
Posture Initiative and Project Prioritization Process to rank posture
initiatives identified in the combatant commands’ respective theater
posture plans. We also analyzed and evaluated theater posture plans
from 2010 and 2011 for each combatant command to determine the
extent to which the plans included comprehensive cost data for each
posture initiative. To identify potential challenges associated with the
combatant commands’ directive to compile and report comprehensive
cost data, we collected information through interviews with officials from
U.S. European Command and its service component commands, U.S.
Pacific Command, and U.S. Africa Command.

We conducted this performance audit between June 2011 and May 2012
in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards.
Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain
sufficient, appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable basis for our
findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. We believe that
the evidence obtained provides a reasonable basis for our findings and
conclusions based on our audit objectives.




Page 26                                            GAO-12-711 Force Structure
Appendix II: Comments from the Department
             Appendix II: Comments from the Department
             of Defense



of Defense




             Page 27                                     GAO-12-711 Force Structure
Appendix II: Comments from the Department
of Defense




Page 28                                     GAO-12-711 Force Structure
Appendix II: Comments from the Department
of Defense




Page 29                                     GAO-12-711 Force Structure
Appendix III: GAO Contact and Staff
                  Appendix III: GAO Contact and Staff
                  Acknowledgments



Acknowledgments

                  John H. Pendleton, (404) 679-1816 or pendletonj@gao.gov
GAO Contact
                  In addition to the contact named above, Guy LoFaro, Assistant Director;
Staff             Robert L. Repasky, Assistant Director; Jennifer Echard; Joanne
Acknowledgments   Landesman; Stephanie Moriarty; Charles Perdue; Carol Petersen;
                  Courtney Reid, Analyst in Charge; Michael Shaughnessy; and Grant
                  Sutton made key contributions to this report.




                  Page 30                                           GAO-12-711 Force Structure
Related GAO Products
             Related GAO Products




             Defense Management: Additional Cost Information and Stakeholder Input
             Needed to Assess Military Posture in Europe. GAO-11-131. Washington,
             D.C.: February 3, 2011.

             Defense Planning: DOD Needs to Review the Costs and Benefits of
             Basing Alternatives for Army Forces in Europe. GAO-10-745R.
             Washington, D.C.: September 13, 2010.

             Defense Infrastructure: Guam Needs Timely Information from DOD to
             Meet Challenges in Planning and Financing Off-Base Projects and
             Programs to Support a Larger Military Presence. GAO-10-90R.
             Washington, D.C.: November 13, 2009.

             Ballistic Missile Defense: Actions Needed to Improve Planning and
             Information on Construction and Support Costs for Proposed European
             Sites. GAO-09-771. Washington, D.C.: August 6, 2009.

             Force Structure: Actions Needed to Improve DOD’s Ability to Manage,
             Assess, and Report on Global Defense Posture Initiatives. GAO-09-706R.
             Washington, D.C.: July 2, 2009.

             Defense Logistics: Navy Needs to Develop and Implement a Plan to
             Ensure That Voyage Repairs Are Available to Ships Operating near
             Guam when Needed. GAO-08-427. Washington, D.C.: May 12, 2008.

             Defense Infrastructure: Challenges Increase Risks for Providing Timely
             Infrastructure Support for Army Installations Expecting Substantial
             Personnel Growth. GAO-07-1007. Washington, D.C.: September 13,
             2007.

             Defense Infrastructure: Overseas Master Plans Are Improving, but DOD
             Needs to Provide Congress Additional Information about the Military
             Buildup on Guam. GAO-07-1015. Washington, D.C.: September 12, 2007.

             Defense Management: Comprehensive Strategy and Annual Reporting
             Are Needed to Measure Progress and Costs of DOD’s Global Posture
             Restructuring. GAO-06-852. Washington, D.C.: September 13, 2006.

             Opportunities Exist to Improve Future Comprehensive Master Plans for
             Changing U.S. Defense Infrastructure Overseas. GAO-05-680R.
             Washington, D.C.: June 27, 2005.




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             Page 31                                           GAO-12-711 Force Structure
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