DOCUMENT RESUME 03059 -  Improvements Needed in Defense Programs for Training 9; B-189179. Jujy Transportation Officers and Agents. LCD-77-22 20, 1977. 8 pp. J. Shafer, Report to Secretary, Department of Defense; by Fred Director, Logistics and Communications Div. Federal Issue Area: Facilities and Material Management: Transportation of Things (7C4). Contact: Logistics and Communications Div. of Defense - Budgqt Function: National Defense: Department iilitary (except procures.nt & contracts) (051). The Department of Defense's (DOD's) traffic management exist in the training programs lack uniformity, and differences selection of personnel for traffic management training. a year for Pindin•s/Conclusion£: DOD spends over $3 billion is involved in commercial transportation services. Each year it subject to hundreds of thousands of4 transportation procurements and numerous statutes, polic es, regulations, directives, most important comlercial and industrial fund tariffs. The the caliber of the element in the traffic aanagement programs is for people who do the work. Although the skills and requirements are traffic management positions throughout the Department training essentially the same, there is a diversity of Wide differences exist among Philosophies among the services. management the three £ervices in the selection of traffic of personnel for training. Recommendations: The Department School Defense should: consider making the 3avy's Transportation include the primary interservice traffic management facility; sales in instruction in intermodalism and forei(n military for all school curricula; require in-residence instruction the staffing installation transportation officers; and reexamine determine of installation transportation officer positions and replace the extent to which senior enlisted personnel could officers and civilians. (Author/SC) 0S . / UNITED STATES GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE Improvements Needed In Defense Programs For Training Transportation Officers And Agents Department of Defense The Department of Defense's traffic manage- ment training programs lack uniformity, and differences exist in the selection of personnel for traffic man;agement trabning. Also, we found officers ane civilians occupying traffic management positions which could be staffed by enlisted personnel. The Department should: -- Consider makitig the Navy's Transpor- tation School the primary interservice traffic management facility. -- Include instruction in intermodalism and foreign military sales ir, school cur- riculums. -- Require in-residence instruction for all installation transportation officers. --Reexamine the staffing of installation transportation officer positions and determine the extent to which senior enlisted personnel could replace offi- cers and civilians. LCD-77-229 JULY 20, 1977 UNITED STATES GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WASHINGTON, D.C. 20548 LOGISTICS AND COMMUNICTIONS DIVISION B-129179 The Honorable The Secretary of Defense Dear Mr. Secretary: We surveyed the Department of Defense's training pro- grams for transportation officers and agents but do not plan to study these matters in further detail. We are providing the following observations which may be useful in strength- ening the services' training programs. The Department spends over $3 billion a year for commer- cial transportation services. Each year it is involved in hundreds of thousands nf transportation procurements subject to numerous statutes, policies, regulations, directives, and commercial and industrial fund tariffs. The most important element in the tracfic management programs is the caliber of the people who do the work. The Department's traffic management personnel must have a great deal of special knowledge, skill, and dedication if the Na- tion's defense and public interest are to be well served. In March 1976 the Army's Deputy Chief of Staff for Lo- gistics was concerned about the qualifications of officers assigned to installation transportation officer (ITO) posi- tions. He said in part: "I am concerned about the professional qualifi- cations and quality of officers assigned to In- stallation Transportation Office (ITO) positions in the field. I have received several recent indications from such sources as the DAIG [De- partment of the Army Inspector General], GAO, and the Commander, MTMC [Military Traffic Man- agement Command], that there are serious defi- ciencies in the educational program and career development of personnel occupying ITO positions. I B-189179 "The magnitude of the portion of the Army's budget which ITO's obligate and the significant impact which the services they prcvide have on the morale and welfare of soldiers and their families war- rants intensive management. We must insure that qualified personnel serve in such positions of responsibility." * * * * * "I am convinced that formal education in trans- portation management is essential to develop technical skills of ITO's in order to improve management capability in the field to a level of competence commensurate with the signifi- cance of this function. * * *" We agree with these observations. The primary method of obtaining and maintaining the skills necessary to effi- ciently manage these transportation activities is through the Department's training programs. The following are our suggestions for improving these programs. NEED FOR UNIFORMITY IN THE DEPARTMENT'S TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT TRAINING Although the skills and requirements for traffic man- agement positions throughout the Department are essentially the same, we found a diversity in training philosophies among the services. For example, the Army's Training and Doctrine Command has directed all Department of the Army schools to deinsti- tutionalize as many training courses as possible. This program aims at avoiding formalized training as much as possible to keep soldiers with their units for most of their service time. The Training Command set two primary objec- tives for the Army's Training School: (1) to provide formal training for "hard skills" (for example, helLcopter ma_,.- tenance and stevedoring abilities) which must be taught in school and (2) to develop "export training packages" to be sent to Army units for in-house administration. The Training Command considers traffic management a "soft skill" which can be learned through correspondence. We disagree. Correspondence courses supplemented by indepth on-the- job training would foster a limited technical competence. Traffic management, which we define as the direction of 2 B-189179 efforts concerned dith shipment of military cargo, has long been recognized as a discipline requiring college-level, in- residence training. Typical college courses in transporta- tion, traffic management, and the broader topics of dis- tribution management are taught to senior undergraduate and graduate students. In the Navy most basic traffic management skills, good or bad, are acquired through on-the-job training. The Navy has an excellent traffic management school at Oakland, Cali- fornia, which provides the type of in-residence, college- level courses we believe necessary to develop well-trained, competent traffic managers. However, attendance at this facility is voluntary. The Air Force, on the other hand. requires most of its traffic managers to attend in-residence transportation courses appropriate to the complexity c¢ the positions to which they are to be assigned. We believe the Air Force's training philosophy is more likely to produce adequately trained traffic managerJ. SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCES-EXIST IN THE SELECTION OF PERSONNEL FOR TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT TRAINING Wide differences exist among the three services in .electing traffic management personnel, for training. For example, almost all Army career transportation officers attend the transportation officers advanced course. Only about half of the noncommissioned officers in the traffic management career field are school trained. We were unable to determine how many Department of the Army civilians have been school trained. The only training available to these civilians consists of specialized short courses and corres- pondence courses which are not required for career develop- ment. In the Air Force virtually all officers an-' -oncommis- sioned officers in the traffic management field are school trained. As in the Army no data was available to determine the extent to which Air Force civilians have been school trained. They also normally attend specialized short courses subject to school quotas and funding. Navy officers assigned to traffic management positions are not required .oube trained by the Navy's Transportation School. However, most Navy transportation officers choose 3 B-189179 to attend the school. Few Navy enlisted personnel occupy traffic management posititns. Thus, they do not have to be school trained. Navy civilian traffic managers are not required to be school trained. However, they may volunteer for the Navy's Transportation School and many do so. THE NAVY'S SCHOOL IS MOST ACCESSIBLE TO TRANSPORTATION ACTIVITIES The Navy's Transportation School, located in Oakland, California, is close to a variety of military and civilian transportation system activities. Consequently, its class- room instruction can be readily supplemented by visits to such activities. The training schools of the Army and the Air Force, for the most part, do not have this advantage. Therefore, the Navy school would seem to be the logical location for establishing the primary interservice traffic management training facility, with a program appropriately designed for the needs of all the services. The Navy school has other favorable aspects. Its traffic management curriculum is the most intensive (88 hours) and advanced of the three service schools. Alse the Commandant of the Navy school told us that the class- room facilities could accommodate the additional workload. A slight increase in the teaching staff might be necessary; however, this should be offset by commensurate reductions in the staffs of the Army and Air Force schools. The Air Force school is located at Sheppard Air Force Base, Wichita Falls, Texas. From a transportation opera- tions viewpoint, this school is poorly located. The Air Force deals with this handicap by scheduling 1-week trips to Oakland to review the transportation operations that the Navy school has available on a continuing basis at no expense. The Army's Transportation School at Fort Eustis, Vir- ginia, is better located than the Air Force school since it is near Norfolk. Visits to rail and truck carriers as well as sea container operators are possible. However, this school lacks the wide range of transportation activities which are accessible to the Navy's school, and it does not now offer the college-type transpcrtation and traffic man- agement training so well developed at th- Navy school. It should be noted that the Department's Inter-service Training Review Organization has been established to review 4 B-189179 the services' training courses and, when a consensus has been reached, recommend training courses for consolidatfo.. At this time, the Organization has taken no position on the consolidation of traffic management training. IMPROVEMENTS NEEDED IN CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT At the Army's Transportation School, the transportation officers' advanced course, which covers 26 weeks of intensive training, devoted less than 6 hours to defense traffic man- agement (that is, the procedures and problems involved in moving Army cargo by commercial common carriers). A lot of time is spent on tactics; other logistic and administrative matters; and service-peculiar transportation subjects, such as the operation of Army boat, truck, and rail units. de found a need for training in the special problems involved in transporting foreign military ales materiel shipments, which now constitute about 40 percent of the Army's trans- portation work. We also found a lack of training in the complex area of hintermodalism"--the shipment of uargo from point to point by more than one means of transport. Obvious difficulties exist in coordinating and dealing with many carriers. The mechanics of internodalism are known. The subject, one of the most important in today's transportation world, is not taught by any of the transportation schools even though most shipments in the Department's distribution system involve intermodalism. We believe that the subjects of foreign mili- tary sales transportation and intermodalism should be in- cluded in defense traffic management instruction. We reviewed a number of Army correspondence courses and found some to be outdated. Such courses are supposed to be updated every 3 years, yet some have not been revised for more than 5 years. For example, the "Traffic Management in Procurement" course, which had not been reviewed or revised since 1969, contained some erroneous and misleading passages. Several other courses had similar problems. An unresolved paradox exists under the Training Command's policy which requires the Army schools to eliminate formal classroom training as much as possible. Instead, the schools are to develop correspondence courses to be administered by the individual commands. However, the Army's Transportation School develops its correspondence courses from classroom instructors' lesson plans. Most classroom instructors and classroom training in traffic manageme..t have been or are 5 B-189179 scheduled to be eliminated. Thus, this basis for preparing and updating traffic management correspondence courses will no longer be available. At the time of our review, were no plans to retain this capability and expertisethere the school. at The Air Force's Transportation school provides a 400- hour, 10-week technical transportation training course emphasizing the air mode. Included in the course aforementioned 1-week visit to various defense is the transporta- tion activities in the Oak.and area. The curriculum is designsd to produce expertise within officer and noncommissionedtransportation officer corps. As with the Army, the Air Force school does not instruction on the problems involved with the provide shipment of foreign military sales materiel and intermodalism. The Navy's Transportation hensive curriculum of the three School has the most compre- schools we reviewed. Sub- jects cover the full range of physical distribution. attempt to cover intermodalism problems is made in heading of "Quantitative Aspects of Distribution under the Management." This subject embraces the systems aspects of physical dis- tribution, including transportation, intermodal as part of the totally integrated system. or other, The Navy school has recently instituted a special course addressing the problems involved with transportation under the foreign military sales program. NEED TO REEXAMINE STAFFING FOR ITO POSITIONS There is a need for the services to reexamine installation transportation officer the positions to determine whether enlisted personnel could replace most, if not all, of the officers and many of the civilians currently There are more than 1,500 ITO positions in the assigned. Department which are normally staffed with officers in grades 0-4 or civilians in grades GS-9, GS-11, and GS-12. 0-3 and lieve that enlisted personnel in grades E-7, E-8, We be- and E-9, if properly trained, could more than adequately duties perform the of these ITOs at less cost. Our premise is the fact that enlisted personnel assigned to trafficbased on ment normally progress through assignments which manage- close to the details of day-to-day operations. keep them Through nor- mal career rotation, they are assigned to various traffic 6 3-189179 management jobs throughout the world. This experience allows them to obtain perspective and dev:Liop vlose rapport with receivers of the shipments. For example, in the area of household goods movements, enlisted Personnel are likely to have had first-hand experience with foor service, loss, and damage, thus creating empathy with the sezvice member. An officer with a traffic management job classification will normally serve only one or two working tours. After that his assignments will probably be to a headquarters level or to an entirely different field, such as procurement or comptroller. Generally, the enlisted person's career will be devoted to the "nuts and bolts" of traffic management. Civilian traffic managers, unlike officers, generally have continuous assignments at the working traffic manage- ment level. However, they, rarely a-e reassigned from one location to another, and thus they cannot acquire the breadth of e:-perience acquired by enlisted personnel. The Air Force leads in the use of enlisted personnel assigned to key transportation management positions. The Army makes good use of its enlisted personnel in this area, but additionel emphasis is needed. Both the Army and the Air Force train enlisted personnel extensively in the trans- portation area. The Navy has few enlisted personnel in transportation management positions. We consiOdr this a deficiency in the Navy's personnel management program. We also believe that increased use of enlisted personnel wouild clearly result in substantial economic benefits. SUMMIARY OF OBSERVATIONS In summary, we believe: -- Consideration should be given to making the Navy's school the primary interservice traffic management training facility, with a program designed for the needs of all the services. The Army and the Air Force should continue to teach those transportation subjects peculiar to each service. -- Comprehensive instruction covering the problems associated with intermodalism and the shipment of foreign military sales materiel should be included in the services' transportation school curriculums. -- In-residence training of installation transportation officers should be required. 7 B-189179 -- The Department should reexamine the staffing of the installation transportation officer positions and determine the extent to which senior enlisted per- sonnel can replace the officers and c!vilians occu- pying these positions. We would appreciate hearing your views on our observa- tions. If you have questions or comme.its, please contact Mr. Allen W. Sumner at 275-3637, Sincerely yours, Fred J. Shafer Director 8
Improvements Needed in Defense Programs for Training Transportation Officers and Agents
Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1977-07-20.
Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)