/O3 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.) ii --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. vii
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)