oversight

How the Army Planned for Three New Divisions and How This Can Be Improved (Unclassified Digest of Classified Report)

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1977-08-04.

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

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                            DOCUMENT RESUME

03083 - r A22333711 (Restricted/Ori.    d     )

How the Army Planned for Three New Divisions and How This Can Be
ImTroved (UnclassifiedDigest of Classified Report). LCD-76-454.
August 4, 1977.

Report to the Congress; by Elmer B. Staats, Comptroller General.

Issue Area. Facilities and Material Management (700).
Contact: Logistics and Communications Div.
Budget Function: General Government: Central Personnel
    Management (805).
Organization Concerned: Department of the Army.
Congressional Pelevance: House Committee on Armed Services;
    Senate Committee on Armed Services; Congress.

          The Arm; did not prepare a comprehensive plan detailing
how it was going to put into operation, coordinate, and
supervise the reorganization of its forces following the
reduction in combat forces after the Vietnam War. As a result,
the Army has had numerous problems, and further changes may be
needed to set up the combat capability the Army seeks.
Findings/Conclusions: Planning was not adequate for
accomplishing the reorganization and subsequent changes. The
Armv may have activated too many units too soon, and units
activated over a year ago still do not have the proper mix of
personnel and equipment to conduct effective training.
Recommendations: The Secretary of Defense should require the
Se:retary of the Army to: improve the Army's plarzming process to
correct existing problems; provide the Congress with an updated,
inclusive estimated cost of the reorganization to bring about
full comba t readiness; upgrade the level of organization of
round out brigades so an entire division can proceed toward a
comparable readiness goal; make provisions to provide the
missing air defense batteries needed; apprise the Congress of
whether or not the new reduced support forces can provide
adequate support; give the 7th Infantry Division priority over
the other new divisions for noncommissioned officers with combat
skills and equipment; establish a priority system so that each
unit of each division receives necessary personnel and
equipment, according to its priority, to conduct training and
become combat ready as soon as possible; and establish a system
assuring coordination between the Military Personnel Center, the
Army Forces Command, and the Recruiting Command in planning the
assignment of personnel to new units. (SC)
     This is an unclassified digest furnished in lieu of
     a report containing classified security information
%,

 C.M..TROLLR GENA. L''S                  HOW T-E  ARMY PLANNED
 REPORT TO TEE CONGRESS                  FOR THREE NEW DIVISIONS
                                         ANDl HOW THIS CAN BE IMPROVED
                                         Department of Defense


          DIGEST

          After reducing its combat forces after the
          Vietnam war, the Army had more personnel in
          support functions--sup3lv and maintenance--
          than needed.  Partly on its own initiative
          and partly because of congressional pressure
          and a congressional mandate the Arm;y began
          to consider ways to reduce the numbers in
          its ranks known as "military support spaces."

          Fowever, with the Warsaw Pact forces increas-
          ing in strength, the Army converted its mili-
          tary swppo.- spaces to combat spaces rather
           ~ha~drco them from its total, or "force,"
          strucktvt.       The Army reasoned that it could
          incree:e its combat power with the same
          7C5.0C manpower.
          PAsordingly, the bulk of the additional combat
          sa*es was assignee to three new divisions--
          tha .5th Infantry Division, 7th Infantry Divi-
          sion, and the 24th Infantry Division. The re-
          maining spaces were assigned to other combat
          Cnits, including two brigades dispatched to
          Europe. Establishing and operating the divi-
          sions and other units from fiscal year 1976
          through 1980 was estimated by the Army to
          cost $2.5 billion, with 51.9 billion being
          attributed to the three new divisions.
          PLANNING FOR THE CHANGE

          The Army gave much thought and study to this
          reorganization.  However, the planning was
          not adequate for accomplishing the reorgani-
          zation and the subsequent changes. The Ar;ny
          did not prepare a comprehensive plan setting
          forth how it was going to put into operation,
          coordinate, and watch the reorganization so
          that additional fire power could be developed
          in the most economical and effective manner.
          (See p.   10.)

     AUG. 4.1 977                    i                     LCD-76-454
As a result, the Army has had   =numerous
problems, and further changes may be needed
:o s-ee uz the combat caabilit' t-he Armv
seeks. For example:
--Recently, the Army has become concerned
  about whethzr too manv supoort Derscnnel
  and functions have been traded for combat
  forces and whether this might seriously
  degrade its capability for sustained
  combat. (See p. 16.)
--The new divisions have been orcanized at
  less than full combat strength because
  of lack of personnel and equipment.       (See
  p. 18.)
-- Two of the new divisions were activated
  as recular infantry divisions, rather than
  the desired mechanized infantry divisions,
  because of a shortage of tanks and other
  ecuipment. (See p. 20.)
--The cost of 'the increased combat power
  was understated. (See p. 23.)
TE= EFFECT ON PERSSONNL AND EQUIP"M!I
The Army may have activated too many units
too soon. This has hampered efforts to
develop additional combat power efficiently
and effectively. Units activated about
1-1/2 years ago still do not have the proper
mix of personnel and equipment to conduct
effective training, yet more units are sched-
uled for activation in fiscal year 1977.
(See p. 33.)

This happened because:
--The Army did hot estab,.sh a program to
  retrain noncommissioned officers with
  necessary combat skills until January
  1976-about 1-1/2 years after the first
  units were activated. (See pp. 36 and 39.)
  Consequently, effective meaningful train-
  ing could not be conducted. (See p. 41.)


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--The Army did not establish a priority
  svstem so that each division received
  necessaryv ersonnel and equipment at the
  right time to conduct training.  (See
  pp. 43 and 50.)

-Procedures were not established to mesh
  personnel and equipment in a coordinated
  manner.  (See pp. 42 and 50.)

Also, the Army assigned the new divisions
additional responsibilities before allowing
them to conduct their own training.   This is
expected to delay achieving combat readiness.
(See p. 43.)

The Army expects to divert noncommissioned
officers from other active divisions to the
new divisions to enable them to be combat
ready by the dates promised the Congress.
(See p. 45.)
EXTENSIVE DEVELOPMENT OF POSTS

Extensive construction programs are underway
and more are anticipated at each division's
base to provide the types of facilities
needed with the all-volunteer Army.  Exclud-
ing family housing, construction costs are
estimated to be about $573 million from fis-
cal years 1976 through 1980.  This is about
$164 million more than the $409 million
reported to the Congress for the same period.
(See p. 55.)
The Army has done an economic analysis of
alternative methods for delivering health
care at the 24th Division's Hunter Army
Airfield/Fort Stewart, Georgia, complex
since the proposed new $43.5 million hos-
pital came under scrutiny.  Full considera-
tion should be given to existing facilities
or modifications of them, including a nearby
hospital at Bunter Army Airfield, in deciding
whether to construct a new building;  (See
pp. 62 and 63.)




                     iii
The policv cuidan:e for military hosmital
planning the Congress provided the Da2art-
ment of Defense in its House Conference
Report No. 94-1314 of June 29,   1976, on
military construction appropriations for
fiscal year 1977, should be followed in
determining the size of hospital facilities
at obrt Stewart.  (See p. 63.)
There is an acute shortage of adecuate family
housing in the area where each division is
based. The Army may be forced to build a
Considerahle amount of family housing unless
existing legislation can be amended to en-
courage private construction. Section 318
of the Sousing and Community Development Act
of 1974 is intended to stimulate construc-
tion by the private sector to meet these
needs. This legislation has not been imple-
mented, because the Department of Housina
and Urban Development had problems with its
language. The Department introduced proposed
amendments to the law, but the amendments
were not passed. Failure to provide adequate
housing could affect the morale of soldiers.
(See p. 57.)

iMPACT OF REORGANIZATION

This reorganization has raised additional
concerns as to its impact on Reserve forces,
readiness of the new divisions, U.S. wartime
capability in Europe, other military services,
and the defense budget.

Following are aspects of the reorganization
needing further analysis:

-The reorganization requires earlier delivery
  of Reserve units to areas of possible fric-
  tion and places special reliance on them at
  a time when they are experiencing recruiting
  difficulty. (See p. 67.)
-The new divisions may not be as combat ready
  as others because of the questionable capa-
  bilitv of their Reserve Component Brigades
  t6 mobilize, deploy, and fight wi-h active
  brigades.    (See p. 68.)
--Because the Warsaw Pact f;rces have a
 geographical advantage, enabling them to
 move reinforcements and support units to
 the central European area rapidly, there
 are questions as to the readiness and
 timely deployability of both active and
 Reserve component units to Europe. (See
 p. 69.).

--This situation adds further demands on air-
  lift capability to move extensive amounts
  of combat material to Europe in the event
  of hostilities. (See p. 71.)

--The Air Force intends to purchase additional
  tactical aircraft, justified in part, to
  support the new divisions. (See p. 70.)

--More combat power means higher budgets.
  (See p. 71.)
RECOMMENDATIONS

The Secretary of Defense should require the
Secretary of the Army to:

-Impsove the Army's planning process to
  correct the problems previously enumerated.
 '(See p. 29.)

--Provide the Congress with an updated, in-
  clusive estimated cost of -he reorganization
  to bring about full combat readiness.     (See
  p. 29.)

--Upgrade -:he level of organi:ation of round
  out bri:ades so an entire division can
  proceed toward a comparable readiness goal.
  (See p. 29.)
--Make provisions to provide the missing air
  defense batteries needed. (See p. 29.)

--Apprise the Congress of whether or not the
  new reduced support forces can provide ade-
  quate support. (See p. 29.)
--Give the 7th I:nantrv Division prioritv
  over other new civisixon for noncommissioned
  o'.fiers wi.h combat  skills and ecuipmentr.
  (See p. 52-)
-- Establish a prioritv system so that each
  unit of each division receives necessary
  personnel and equipment, according to its
  priority, to conduct training and become
  combat ready as soon as possible.          (See
  p. 52.)
--Defer assigninc support and training mis-
  sions to new divisional units in the forma-
  tive stage to avo'.d delay in achievinc com-
  bat readiness.   (S.;e p. 52.)

-- Establish a system assuring coordination
   between the MW;itarv Personnel Center, the
   Armv Forces Command, and the Recruitinc
   Com=and in planning the assignment of per
  sonnel to new units.        iSee p. 52.)

--Give full consideration to existirn hospi-
  tal facilities in determining what facili-
  ties can be used in providing health care.
  (See p. 65.)
-- Comply with the Department of Defense's
   instructions that are being developed to
   implement the congressional policy guidance
   for dete:=ining acute care bed needs for
  military hospitals.     (See p. 65.)

As to the housing problem at the new divi-
sions, the Secretary of the Department of
Sousing and Urban Development should seek
legislation to amend Section 318 of the
Housing and Community Development Act of
1974 so it is workable.  (See p. 64.)

AGENCY COM.MENTS AND GAO'S EVALUATION

The agencies agreed with most of our findings
and recommendations. Detailed comments pro-
vided by the Army, the Air Force, and the
Department of Housing and Urban Development



                         vi
are discussedon pages 29, 52, and 53, and
are included as appendixes becinning on
_age S9.  Comments on the more impcrtr.nt
recommendations are shown below.

Adecuacv of the Army's plans

The Army said that GAO's evaluation ;id not
give the Army credit for being aware of the
risks involved ;.n its program %o establish
three new divisions or with developing
courses of action to minimize the disrup-
tion. Although the Army may have been aware
of the risks, GAO found that the Army had
not developed an overall plan for the re-
organization, and had not considered, early
in its planning, many serious problems which
later developed. More thorough planning
would have enabled the Army to anticipate
many of these problems and develop measures
to avoid them.
Cost of the reorcanization
The Army stated thatupzdated cost estimates
are being prepared and will be made available
to the Congress. The Air Force said that new
aircraft are not being acquired solely to sup-
port the three new divisions, ana, nherefore,
these costs should not be included. Bowever,
GAO believes the Congress should be told about
all direct and indirect costs associated with
creating the three new divisions. Since the
Air Force acknowledged that the new aircraft
were justified in pazt to support the new
divisions, some of their cost should be rec-
ognized.
Adecuacv of reduced suPPort forces
The Army said it may have reached the proper
balance between combat and support units ano
it is continuing to evaluate the situation.
GAO believes it is important for the Army to
fully evaluate its ability to support its
combat elements properly, and that the Con-
gress should be promptlyv nformed.


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