..,~ 11--I -I...... -----._l_l.--f Ma .v I !)!I0 MILITARY - CAPABILITY An Assessment of Changes of Measures Between Fiscal Years 1980andl989 _., . dB 141400 * united states 1GAO General Accounting Office Washington, D.C. 20648 National Security and International Affairs Division B-217229 May lo,1990 The Honorable Sam Nunn Chairman, Committee on Armed Services United States Senate Dear Mr. Chairman: As you requested, we reviewed the changesin the status of military force capabilities for fiscal years 1980 through 1989. The Department of Defense(DOD) was provided about $2.4 trillion during that time, marking it as the largest increase ever in peacetime defense funding. Specifically, this report describesthe changesin key measuresand indicators that DODhas traditionally associatedwith the four pillars of military capabil- ity: force structure, modernization, readiness, and sustainability. It focuseson areas where progress has been made and where deficiencies remain. Our work is summarized below. A classified version of this report (GAO/C-NSIAIHO-22)is being provided to you separately and con- tains details of the issuesdiscussedhere. DODdefines military capability as the ability of the force to achieve a Background wartime objective, such as winning a battle or war or destroying a tar- get. The four pillars are defined as follows: l Force Structure: the numbers, size, and composition of units constituting the military forces. Force structure is usually described in numbers of divisions, ships, or wings. . Modernization: the technical sophistication of forces, units, weapon sys- tems, and equipment. Modernization can include new procurement and/ or modifications, depending on the service. . Readiness:the ability of the military forces, units, weapon systems, or equipment to fulfill their designated purpose. Readinessis measured in terms of manning, equipping, and training the force. . Sustainability: the staying power of military forces, or how long the forces can continue to fight. Sustainability involves the ability to resup- ply engagedforces during combat operations. DODusesmany measuresto monitor or describe capability changesin its forces. For example, adequate numbers of qualified personnel are an important indicator of military capability. Modern equipment and the need to train personnel to operate and maintain it are also important. Page1 GAO/NSIAMO-143 Military Capability B-217229 These measuresare subject to limitations since none of them directly measure military capability. However, they do represent a common set of data DODhas used to report on the capability of its forces. Our assess- ment of these measurescovered fiscal years 1980 through 1989. All fis- cal year 1989 data are based on DODestimates. In somecases,the services did not have data for the entire period cov- ered by our review. Also, alternative or additional measureswere devel- oped during the period. In these cases,we report data showing the first and most recent available year. We did not independently verify the accuracy of data provided. Our review was basedon military require- ments at the end of fiscal year 1989, and doesnot reflect changesthat have occurred as a result of recent world events. We found that DODselectively expanded force structure, purchased large Results in Brief numbers of modern weapon systems and equipment, improved force readiness,and to a lesser extent improved sustainability. DOD’Skey gains have been in improving force readiness and fielding new and more capa- ble weapon systems. Our assessmentalso shows that most types of weapon systems and equipment inventories did not increase significantly. Further, certain readiness indicators raise concerns,such as the percentageof Army Reserveunits that are inadequately resourced and trained to carry out their wartime mission. In addition, the increased depot maintenance financial backlog, although not considered a readiness indicator by DOD, is a factor that can affect mission capable and cannibalization rates. Also, significant shortagesexist in all the services for certain key sus- tainability items, and adequate airlift doesnot exist to meet major contingencies. Significant changesthat have occurred in measuresand indicators of Analysis of Changes in military capability are discussedbelow. Overall, it appears that Measures of Military improvements have been made in each of the four pillars of capability, Capability although someareas of concern remain. Force Structurb and In general, the size of the military force structure, with the exception of Modernization the growth in the Navy and reserve components,increased little between fiscal years 1980 and 1989. However, a number of key changes Page2 GAO/NSIAD-90-142 Military Capability B.217223 did occur in the configuration of each of the military services.The pro- curement and fielding of modern weapon systems also resulted in signif- icant changes,although in most casesinventory levels remained at about 1980 levels. For example: . The Army’s overall force structure increased from 24 to 28 divisions, including 6 new light divisions. Although the number of personnel assignedto Army divisions increased in total, the averagenumber of personnel per division decreased.Reliance on reserve forces increased as the number of reserve personnel increased by about 196,000, and active force personnel decreasedby about 6,000. In addition, the Army’s tank inventory was modernized with the fielding of 4,762 Ml tanks and 6,163 M60A3 tanks and the phasing out of 4,864 M48 and M60 tanks. . The Navy moved towards achieving its goal of 600 ships, increasing from 479 deployable battle force ships in 1980 to a projected total of 668 ships in 1989. However, the Navy had a shortfall of anti-air warfare cruisers and destroyers neededto protect its carrier battle groups. l The inventory of tactical aircraft was modernized with the addition of 144 F-14 and 278 F/A-18 primary authorized tactical aircraft and the phasing out of 211 A-7 and 203 F-4 aircraft. The number of aircraft car- rier air wings increased from 14 to 16. . The Air Force currently has 36 active and reserve tactical fighter wing equivalents, compared to 31 wings in 1981. The inventory of active tac- tical aircraft was modernized with the addition of 108 F-16 and 676 F-16 aircraft and the phasing out of 636 F-4 aircraft. . Major changesaffecting strategic air forces were the deployment of the Peacekeepermissile, Bl-B bomber, and increasesin the number of nuclear warheads. Even though airlift capability increased from about 27 to 48 million ton miles per day, it is below DOD’Sgoal of 66 million ton miles per day. 9 There are about 13,000 more active duty Air Force personnel today than in 1980. However, this is about 37,000 less than in 1986 when the number of active duty Air Force personnel reached its highest level in the period. . The Marine Corps force structure is about the sametoday as it was in 1980. It has three active divisions, three active air wings, one reserve division, and one reserve air wing. The Marine Corps active end strength increased by about 8,600 personnel, while the reserve forces increased by about 7,900. Equipment inventory levels remained about the same, although older systems were replaced with more modern ones, such as the F/A-18 and AVSB aircraft. Page3 GAO/NSIAM@143 MiJitaryCapability c B217229 Readiness Overall, key military readinessindicators, such as mission capable rates, unit resourcesand training status, and personnel quality, showed marked improvement. However, the resource and training status of reserve componentscontinues to provide reason for concern. Depot maintenance financial backlogs, a factor that provides insight into the general state of materiel readiness,have increased. For example: . The status of units adequately resourced and trained to carry out their wartime mission has improved or remained at high levels since 1986. The greatest gains were in combat support and combat service support units, although they still generally lag behind combat units. However, Army Reserveunits, while showing improvement, lag significantly behind active units. The resource and training status of Army Reserve units raises concern becauseof the increased reliance placed on them to augment the active forces in the event of a major conflict. . DODhas frequently cited increasedpersonnel quality as one of its signifi- cant accomplishments.Personnelquality indicators, such as test scores on the Armed ForcesQualification Test and the number of high school graduate enlistees,show significant improvement. For example, high school graduates represented 68 percent of DOD’Senlistments in fiscal year 1980 and 93 percent in fiscal year 1988. . Training indicators showed little change,except for Air Force tactical flying hours and Army battalions rotated through training centers. Army and Navy flying hours remained relatively constant, while Navy steaming days decreasedfor deployed ships and remained virtually unchanged for nondeployed ships. . Materiel readinessindicators, such as shipboard inventory supply responsiveness,mission capable rates, and cannibalization rates of air- craft spare parts, have improved. However, depot maintenance financial backlogs in the Army and Air Force are increasing. In the Army, for example, depot maintenance financial backlog as a percentageof fund- ing is above 1980 levels. According to DOD,the readinessimpact of main- tenance backlogs is reflected in other measures,such as mission capable and cannibalization rates. Sustainability D0D’Sability to sustain its forces during a conflict has improved since 1980. However, this pillar has not progressedas far as the others. Sig- nificant shortagesexist in key sustainability areas. For example: J . Shortagesexist in munitions, such as air-to-air and air-to-ground mis- siles in the Air Force and Navy. The unified commandershave identified such shortages as a key concern. Page4 GAO/NSIAD-90-143 Military Capability . . . B-217228 l Army inventories of war reserve stocks increased slightly for most sup- ply categories.However, in somecases,requirements for those stocks have increased significantly. Consequently, the percentage of required stocks in inventory is less than it was in 1986. l The Air Force showed marked improvement in the number of tactical sorties and airlift flying hours that can be sustained by the inventory of spare and repair parts. However, airlift capabilities are still approxi- mately 18 million ton miles per day short of DOD'S66 million ton miles per day goal. DODgenerally concurred with our report, and its comments are pre- Agency Comments and sented in appendix I. Most of DOD'Scomments concernedtechnical Our Evaluation changesand clarifications. However, DODdid raise three substantive concerns.First, it said that depot maintenance backlog is a financial number and should not be characterized as a readiness indicator. Sec- ond, DODprovided revised data for prepositioning of materiel configured to unit sets. Third, DODpointed out that the airlift requirement is a DOD requirement, not an Air Force requirement. We have revised the report to incorporate DOD'Scomments and revised data. We have also incorporated DOD'Ssuggestedtechnical changesand clarifications in the text. We conducted this review from November 1988 to August 1989 in accordancewith generally acceptedgovernment auditing standards. Page5 GAO/NSIAD-90.143 MtlitaryCapability B-217229 Unless you announceits contents earlier, we plan no further distribution of this report until 10 days from its issue date At that time, we will send copies to the Secretariesof Defenseand the Army, Navy, and Air Force. We will make copies available to other parties upon request. This report was prepared under the direction of Donna M. Heivilin, Director, Logistics Issues(202) 2758412. Other major contributors are listed in appendix II. Sincerely yours, Frank C. Conahan Assistant Comptroller General Page6 GAO/NSIAD-90-143 Military Capabiltty Y Page7 GAO/NSIAD&@149 Miliw Capability Appendix I CommentsFrom the Department of Defense OFFlCEOFTHEA88lSTANTSECRETARYOFDEFENSE WASHINOTON. D. C. 20301.1800 PROORAM ANALVSIS AN0 EVALUATION February 20, 1990 Mr. Frank C. Conahan Assistant Comptroller General National Security and International Affairs Division U.S General Accounting Offlce Washington, D.C. 20548 Dear Mr. Conahan: This Is the Department of Defense (DOD) response to General Accounting Office (GAO) Draft Report, Vlilitary Capability: An Assessment of Changes in Measures of Capability Between Fiscal Years 1980 and 1989," dated November 27, 1989, (GAO Code 391624). OSD Case 8190. The Department generally concurs with the report. Most of the Department's comments are technlcal changes and clarifications and have been provided seperately in an annotated copy of the report. There are three substantive corenents the DOD would like to emphasize. The first is that "depot maintenance backlog" is not a readiness measure, but rather is a financial number (requirement vs. funding). Secondly, the Department has provided the GAO with updated information on the Prepositioning of Materiel Conflgured to Unit Sets (POMCUS) program. Finally, the requirement for airlift is a DOD requirement, not Air Force, and Is 66 million ton miles per day. Detailed DOD comments on the report findings are enclosed. As indicated, additional technical comments were separately provided to the GAO. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (General Purpose Programs) Enclosure Page8 GAO/NSIAD-90-143 MilitaryCapability . * Appendix II Major Contributors to This Report David R. Warren, Assistant Director James A Elgas Project Manager International Affairs Robert B.*Eurilh, Assistant Director Division, Anthony L. Hill, Evaluator Jeffrey D. Phillips, Evaluator Washington, D.C. John P. Swain, Evaluator Y (a9eoas) Page9 GAO/NZAD@O-143 Milhu-yCapability ,, --- .-..-
Military Capability: An Assessment of Changes of Measures Between Fiscal Years 1980 and 1989
Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1990-05-10.
Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)