Defense Reorganization: DOD's Efforts to Streamline the Space Command

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1990-11-21.

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

                                I3rief‘ing Report to the Chairman,
        GAO                 -   Subcommittee on Investigations,
                                @ommitt,eeon Armed Services, House of

          Now1111wr 1!)!N
1                               DEFENSE
 I                              REORGANIZATION
                                DOD’s Efforts to
                                Streamline the Space

                      United States
GAO                   General Accounting Office
                      Washington, D.C. 20648

                      National Security and
                      International Affairs Division


                      The Honorable Nicholas Mavroules
                      Chairman, Subcommitteeon Investigations
                      Committee on Armed Services
                      Houseof Representatives

                      Dear Mr. Chairman:

                      As you requested,we reviewed the implementation of recommendations
                      concerningthe US. SpaceCommandcontained in a February 1988
                      Department of Defense(DOD) task force report entitled Review of Uni-
                      fied and Specified Command Headquarters, commonly referred to as the
                      Vander Schaaf Report. The report recommended,among other things,
                      eliminating all three command service component headquarters for
                      spaceoperations. Specifically, you asked that we assessthe progress
                      that had been made in eliminating the separate Army, Navy, and Air
                      Force component command headquarters and in creating a single inte-
                      grated US. SpaceCommandheadquarters. You also expressedinterest
                      in any other actions taken by the U.S. SpaceCommandthat would affect
                      the organizational relationships between itself and its components.We
                      briefed membersof your staff on the results of our efforts. This letter
                      provides additional details on the matters we discussed.

                      Our review showed that:
Resultsin Brief
                  . The Secretary of Defensedid not accept the task force’s recommenda-
                    tion to eliminate the service component headquarters. Instead, he
                    directed the US. SpaceCommand and its component headquarters to
                    eliminate 110 positions rather than the 341 positions recommendedin
                    the task force report.
                  l Despite the elimination of positions directed by the Secretary of
                    Defense,the Command and the Army component headquarters have
                    increasedtheir staffing levels since the task force issued its report.
                    These increaseswere due primarily to planned growth, the establish-
                    ment of new organizations within the Army component command, and
                    additional responsibilities assumedby the Command.

                      Page 1                                    GAO/NSLAD-91-49BR   Space Command

             The U.S. SpaceCommand,headquartered at PetersonAir Force Base,
Background   Colorado, was established on September23, 1986, as a unified com-
             mand’ to consolidate assetshaving to do with U.S. activities in space.
             The Commandis responsible for providing an integrated warning and
             assessmentof missile and space-relatedattacks on the continental
             United States.The Commandhas responsibilities in both spaceopera-
             tions and aerospacedefense.The Commanderof the U.S. SpaceCom-
             mand also servesas the Commanderof the North American Air Defense
             Command(Nom)-a binational commandresponsible for the aerospace
             defenseof Canada and the United States.

             The U.S. SpaceCommandhas three service components:the Air Force
             SpaceCommand,at PetersonAir Force Base,Colorado; the Naval Space
             Command,at Dahlgren, Virginia; and the Army SpaceCommand at Colo-
             rado Springs, Colorado. The Air Force and Navy SpaceCommandswere
             established as major component commands,before the task force
             review, in 1982 and 1983, respectively. However, the Army Space
             Agency was not converted to a major component commanduntil April
             1988, and at that time its name was changedto the Army Space
             In a memorandum dated December14, 1987,the Secretary of Defense
             directed that DOD Deputy Inspector General Vander Schaaf review the
             unified and specified command headquarters. The primary objective of
             the review was to identify ways to reduce staffing levels and overhead
             costs,giving particular attention to overlapping responsibilities, duplica-
             tion of functions, and excessiveorganizational layering. The task force
             issued its report in February 1988.
             The task force identified 2,391 positions associatedwith the U.S. Space
             Commandand its major component headquarters. It recommended
             transferring 1,446 positions from the component command headquar-
             ters to the Command headquarters and eliminating 1,768 positions at
             the major component headquarters. Additional reductions were to result
             from reducing the staffing standards for watch stander positions,2
             which would entail eliminating 28 positions from the Command’s
             combat operations staff.

             ‘Unified commands are composed of forces from two or more services.
             2Watch standers are crew positions for staffing command and control center functions such as missile
             warning, space surveillance, space control, and space defense.

             Page 2                                                     GAO/NSlAIb91-49BR      Space Command

                       The Secretary of Defensedid not agreeto transfer the 1,446 positions or
Recommendationto       to eliminate the positions that the task force recommended.Instead, the
Eliminate Component    Secretary directed, in September 1988, that the U.S. SpaceCommand
CommandsWasNot         and its component headquarters reduce their staffs by a total of 110
                       positions. The Secretary indicated that he was persuaded by a compel-
Acceptedby the         ling casemade by senior military leadership that the service components
Secretary of Defense   of the unified commandsneededto be retained. Therefore, he rejected
                       most of the proposed reductions associatedwith that recommendation.

                       U.S. SpaceCommandofficials agreedwith the Secretary’s decision to
                       retain the service component headquarters, citing the lack of any benefit
                       in altering the current organizational structure. From a legal, opera-
                       tional, and resourcemanagementperspective, Commandofficials saw no
                       advantagesin disestablishing the component headquarters. They said
                       that the componentswere essential for effectively distributing the Com-
                       mander’s span of control, which allows the Commandto focus on its
                       primary mission.

                       In addition, the Commanddid not accept the task force’s recommenda-
                       tion to reduce the staffing standards for watch standers. Commandoffi-
                       cials said that the standards for watch stander shifts are basedon a
                       traditional conceptthat works well, and they saw no benefit in changing
                       the standards.
                       Table 1 shows the U.S SpaceCommandand its major componentshead-
                       quarters’ authorized staffing baseline used by the task force, the
                       changesrecommendedby the task force, and the changesthat were
                       directed by the Secretary of Defense.

                       Page 8                                     GAO/NSIAIb914OBR   Space Cmmnand

Tablo 1: U.S. Space Command and Its
Major Componentr Headquarterr’                                                   Ba#ellne staff      Proposed task      DOWdIrected
Basallna Staff Levels, Propoaad Task                                                     level8      force change8      8tafl changes
Force Changer, and DOD-Directed        U.S. Space Command
Changer                                  Headquarters                                        291             +1,445                  -8
                                         Combat operations                                  342                 -28                   -3
                                       Subtotal                                             633              +1,417                 -1V
                                       Major components headquarters
                                         Army Space Command                                   42                  -42                -2
                                         Naval Space Command                                 103                 -103                -3
                                        Air Force Soace Command
                                           Command headquarters                              709                 -709               -94
                                           Combat operations                                 904                 -904                  0
                                       Subtotal                                           1,758              -1,758                 -99
                                       Total                                              2,391                -341                -110
                                       aDirected reduction to US. Space Command/NORAD was 11. Reductions of 3 positions taken in
                                       NORAD, with remaining 8 taken at U.S. Space Command.

                                       The Command has experiencedsomegrowth since the task force issued
The Commandand the                     its report. Commandofficials said increasesresulted primarily from
Army Component                         three factors: planned growth of the General DefenseIntelligence Pro-
HeadquartersHave                       gram, growth resulting from the normal budgeting processand validated
                                       by a Joint Chiefs of Staff staffing survey, and growth as a result of
ExperiencedGrowth                      transferring Special Security Office responsibilities from the Air Force
DespiteDOD-Directed                    component to the U.S. SpaceCommand.
cuts                                   Staff levels at the Army component headquarters have also grown
                                       during this period. Commandofficials cited the transfer of DefenseSat-
                                       ellite Communication System elements from the Information Systems
                                       Commandto the Army component as the primary reason for the
                                       increase.In addition, staff levels increasedas new functions were trans-
                                       ferred from other commands,and as the Army SpaceAgency was con-
                                       verted to a component command.

                                       The Naval component headquarters has not seenany changein staffing
                                       during this period, and Commandofficials do not expect any change in
                                       the future. They said growth has been limited by a congressionalman-
                                       date that capped staffing levels at the Naval component before the task
                                       force issued its report.
                                       Staffing levels at the Air Force component headquarters declined signifi-
                                       cantly from 1988 to 1991. Commandofficials attributed the decreaseto

                                       Page 4                                                      GAO/NSIAD914oBR      Space Command
                                      the transfer of certain functions and missions from the Air Force compo-
                                      nent headquarters to its subordinate spacewings. Although the compo-
                                      nent headquarters reduced its staffing levels substantially, increases in
                                      staffing levels at the subordinate spacewings have resulted in a net
                                      increasein the total staff of the Air Force component.
                                      Table 2 shows authorized staffing levels for the U.S. SpaceCommand
                                      and its major componentsheadquarters since the task force issued its
Table 2: U.S. Space Command and It8
Major Compononta Herdquarton’ Staff                                                               Fiscal year                 Change
Authorlratlons                                                                          1998      1989      1990      1991     1988-91
                                      U.S. Soace Command
                                        Headquarters                                      288       306       307       315         +27
                                        Combat operations                                 340       351       365       378         +38
                                      Subtotal                                           828       857       872       893          +85
                                      Major components headquarters
                                        Army Sdace Command                                 42        46         61      105         +63
                                        Naval Soace Command                                97        97         97       97          -tO
                                        Air Force Space Command
                                           Headquarters                                  709       719       720       694          -15
                                           Combat operations                             904       497       423       366         -538
                                      Subtotal                                         1,752     1,359     1,301     1,282         -490
                                      TOM                                              2,380     2,018     1,973     1,955         -425

                                      Commandofficials, anticipating further staffing changesin future
                                      years, said that they expect the servicesto make staffing cuts at the
                                      component levels. However, they said that it was too early to determine
                                      the extent of the cuts. In addition, the Joint Chiefs of Staff may reduce
                                      staffing by as much as 16 percent at the unified commandheadquarters
                                      levels. Initiatives stemming from the DefenseManagementReport,3
                                      could also reduce staff levels at the Command and its components.

                                      We conducted our review primarily at the U.S. SpaceCommand’shead-
Scopeand                              quarters at PetersonAir Force Base,Colorado. We discussedimplemen-
Methodology                           tation of the task force’s report with Commandofficials and obtained
                                      documents related to changesin authorized staff levels and other
                    Y                 aspectsof the task force’s recommendations.We conducted our review
                                      3The Defense Management Report wss issued in July 1989 and identified a number of initiatives to
                                      substantially improve defense management.

                                      Page 6                                                     GAO/NM&D-91-40BR       Space Cmunand
from July through September 1990 in accordancewith generally
acceptedgovernment auditing standards.
We did not obtain written agency comments,but we discussedthis
report with U.S. SpaceCommandofficials as well as representatives of
the Office of the Secretary of Defense,and have included their com-
ments where appropriate.

Unless you announceits contents earlier, we plan no further distribution
of this report until 30 days from the date of this letter. At that time, we
will send copiesto the Chairmen, HouseCommitteeson Armed Services,
Appropriations, and Government Operations and the SenateCommittees
on Armed Services,Appropriations, and Governmental Affairs; the Sec-
retary of Defense;the Director, Office of Managementand Budget; and
other interested parties. We will make copies available to others upon
Pleasecontact me at (202) 276-3990if you or your staff have any ques-
tions concerningthis briefing report. Other major contributors to this
briefing report are listed in appendix I.

Sincerely yours,

Paul L, Jones
DefenseForce ManagementIssues

Page 0                                      GAO/NSIAD-91-4oBR   Space Command

    Page 7   GAO/NXAD-914OBlt   Spnce Command
Appendix I

Major Contributors to This l&port

                        GeorgeE. Breen, Jr., Assistant Director
National Security and
International Affairs
Division, Washington,
                        Gary L. Billen, Assistant Regional Manager
St. Louis Sublocation   Gregory J. Symons,Evaluator-in-Charge
                        Diane S. Gadberry, Evaluator

(39112a)                Page 9                                    GAO/NSLAD-914BR   Space Command
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