oversight

Army War Reserves: DOD Could Save Millions by Aligning Resources With the Reduced European Mission

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1997-07-11.

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

                   United States General Accounting Office

GAO                Report to Congressional Requesters




July 1997
                   ARMY WAR
                   RESERVES
                   DOD Could Save
                   Millions by Aligning
                   Resources With the
                   Reduced European
                   Mission




GAO/NSIAD-97-158
             United States
GAO          General Accounting Office
             Washington, D.C. 20548

             National Security and
             International Affairs Division

             B-276992

             July 11, 1997

             The Honorable James M. Inhofe
             Chairman, Subcommittee on Readiness
             Committee on Armed Services
             United States Senate

             The Honorable C. W. (Bill) Young
             Chairman, Subcommittee on National Security
             Committee on Appropriations
             House of Representatives

             As requested, we evaluated the Army’s progress in redistributing war
             reserve equipment that is no longer needed in central Europe. Specifically,
             this report addresses whether (1) the Army’s plan for redistributing central
             European war reserve equipment provides for the specific and timely
             disposition of this equipment and (2) cost savings would be realized by
             aligning the storage and maintenance capacities in central Europe so that
             they accurately reflect the reduced mission there.


             After the end of the Cold War, the Army changed its focus from Europe to
Background   other parts of the world, specifically South Korea and the Persian Gulf
             region. Due to this change and lessons learned from the Persian Gulf War,
             the Army developed a strategy to store, or preposition, equipment in
             land-based storage facilities and on ships near these potential world
             trouble spots. Thus, the Army would be able to respond faster to threats,
             since equipment such as tanks, trucks, and consumable supplies would
             already be in place. The Army would then have to transport only the
             troops and a modest amount of accompanying materiel. The Army
             prepositions equipment in different kinds of packages. In central Europe,
             these packages include (1) items to support combat brigades of 3,000 to
             5,000 soldiers, known as brigade sets, and (2) items to support specific
             missions, known as operational projects (e.g., equipment for setting up
             bridges or running fuel pipelines).

             During the Cold War, the Army stored about nine brigade sets of
             equipment in central Europe. The Army now plans to keep two brigade
             sets of equipment and an undetermined amount of operational project
             equipment in central Europe. Infrastructure once associated with the Cold
             War program has already decreased markedly: the number of storage sites
             has been reduced from 17 to 6. Equipment no longer needed in central




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B-276992




Europe is being redistributed to other locations, including South Korea
and the Persian Gulf, and prepositioned aboard ships. Once this
redistribution occurs, the Army can further decrease the amount of
infrastructure and the number of personnel in central Europe.

In 1995, the Army began redistributing the war reserve equipment not
needed in central Europe to fill needs in other expanding war reserve
programs throughout the world. Between 1995 and 1997, the Army
redistributed some equipment to South Korea, Qatar, and the
prepositioned ships. The rest of the equipment slated for redistribution is
currently being stored in Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands at six
sites that were built since 1979 with North Atlantic Treaty Organization
funding. In March 1997, the Army updated its redistribution plan and
identified items still in central Europe that would be available for
redistribution to other Army war reserve programs worldwide. These
items include many types of equipment, from heavy combat vehicles to
smaller pieces of communications and electronics gear. The Army
estimates that it will take through the end of 1999 to repair those items
scheduled for redistribution.

Several Department of Defense (DOD) organizations are stakeholders in the
Army’s prepositioning program. Army headquarters developed the
prepositioning strategy and spearheaded efforts to identify equipment for
redistribution worldwide. The Army Materiel Command (AMC) has
management responsibility for the worldwide prepositioning program,
including storing and maintaining this equipment. AMC, which inherited this
mission from the regional Army commanders, manages the program
through its Army War Reserve Support Command. The U.S. European
Command oversees European infrastructure decisions with input from
mission managers, including AMC, and the State Department to gauge the
operational and political implications of decisions.

The Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (P.L. 103-62, Aug. 3,
1993) was designed to create a new results-oriented federal management
and decision-making approach that requires agencies to clearly define
their missions, set goals, and link activities and resources to those goals.
The act requires federal agencies, including DOD, to develop strategic plans
no later than September 30, 1997, for at least a 5-year period. It is
important that, in implementing the act, an organization’s activities and
resources be aligned to support its mission and help achieve its goals.1

1
 Executive Guide: Effectively Implementing the Government Performance and Results Act
(GAO/GGD-96-118, June 1996).



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                      Because the war reserve mission in central Europe has been greatly
                      reduced, DOD should align its war reserve resources accordingly, in light of
                      the act.


                      DOD could save about $54 million per year in personnel costs once the
Results in Brief      Army removes unneeded war reserve equipment from central Europe and
                      aligns its resources with the reduced mission. In its plans, the Army has
                      focused on redistributing major items, such as tanks, trucks, and radios, to
                      other war reserve programs and has firm plans for a portion of those
                      items. However, it does not have firm disposition plans for the remaining
                      items. The Army’s plans to redistribute these items are closely linked with
                      DOD’s plan to reduce the facilities now available. However, because
                      personnel costs comprise about three-quarters of the central European
                      war reserve budget, most of the Army’s savings will likely come from
                      aligning personnel with the shrinking workload. The projected reduction
                      in maintenance workload is about 86 percent, which will require only a
                      small fraction of the personnel currently available. Thus, the sooner the
                      Army disposes of its unneeded items and aligns its resources with its
                      reduced mission, the sooner dollar savings may be realized.


                      Army officials told us that, in developing their redistribution plan, they
Redistribution Plan   focused on the major items necessary to fill high-priority needs in
Does Not Adequately   potential world trouble spots. Army data showed that 128,000 items in
Consider Unneeded     central Europe were identified as available for redistribution to war
                      reserve programs outside of Europe. The Army has firm plans for about
Equipment             54,000 items, or 43 percent (see fig. 1). These items will be used to support
                      programs on ships, in South Korea, and in the Persian Gulf, and the Army
                      expects to redistribute most of the equipment by the end of 1999.




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                                      B-276992




Figure 1: Status of Army
Redistribution Plan for War Reserve
Equipment in Central Europe (as of
March 1997)
                                                                                           Firm plans   43%




                                       Proposed plans       21%




                                                                                                No plans   36%




                                      Source: Our analysis of Army data.




                                      The Army has proposed plans for about 27,000, or 21 percent, of the items
                                      it identified for redistribution. These items are being held for a proposed
                                      new brigade set and an increase in support equipment recommended by
                                      the 1995 Mobility Requirements Study Bottom-Up Review Update.
                                      However, at the time of our review, DOD had not made final decisions
                                      about implementing and funding these programs. As a result, the Army’s
                                      current redistribution plan lacks clear time frames for delivering those
                                      items, and the destinations may not be definite. The Joint Staff plans to
                                      study both programs and hopes to reach decisions by early 1998 on the
                                      fate and timing of both initiatives, according to a Joint Staff official. Army
                                      officials told us that they will likely hold these items in storage until the
                                      Joint Staff completes its studies and DOD makes final decisions about each
                                      program. Until such decisions are made, the Army will not redistribute or
                                      otherwise dispose of this equipment.




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                       The Army has no plans for about 46,000, or 36 percent, of the items it
                       identified for redistribution because it found no known requirement for
                       them in the war reserve program. Instead, Army headquarters instructed
                       AMC to redistribute or dispose of this equipment. AMC has not carried out
                       either action. In September 1996, citing problems with inventory data,
                       among other things, AMC placed a moratorium on efforts to move assets
                       from the war reserve storage sites. Army officials acknowledged that this
                       moratorium had the unintended consequence of freezing these items in the
                       war reserve inventory. AMC lifted the moratorium in April 1997 but has still
                       not developed a plan for the disposition of the items. Officials said that the
                       items will likely remain in storage in central Europe until AMC finds a
                       destination for or disposes of them.

                       Although the Army focused appropriately on major items, such as tanks,
                       trucks, and radios, when developing its redistribution plan, many
                       equipment items were excluded from consideration. As of March 1997,
                       data from AMC’s European war reserve managers showed another 200,000
                       items that were not considered for redistribution. These items include
                       such things as tools, construction materials, and uniforms. AMC does not
                       intend to repair these items but is not disposing of them by offering them
                       outside the war reserve system or to the other services or by selling or
                       scrapping them. Further, this inventory is continuing to grow as more
                       equipment is moved to the war reserve sites from elsewhere in Europe.
                       According to Army officials, some of this equipment may ultimately be
                       used for operational projects in central Europe, although the Army does
                       not have any current authorizations for those projects. The equipment
                       items will remain in storage in central Europe, along with the other items
                       without firm disposition plans, until an effort is made to redistribute or
                       dispose of them.


                       DOD could save millions annually by aligning its facilities and personnel in
DOD Could Save         central Europe with the reduced mission there. Storage and maintenance
Millions by Matching   facility requirements for that mission are much less than the capacities
Resources With         currently available. More importantly, maintenance workload
                       requirements, which drive personnel requirements, drop by 86 percent
Requirements           after 1999. Despite this dramatic workload reduction, Army planners have
                       not yet determined how many personnel will ultimately be required to
                       meet the new mission. In addition, DOD’s programmed funding does not
                       match this reduced mission. DOD has thus far focused on which of the six
                       sites should be retained. However, the number and location of sites are
                       less important in reducing costs than the number of personnel, since



                       Page 5                                       GAO/NSIAD-97-158 Army War Reserves
                          B-276992




                          personnel costs comprise most of the budget for the central European war
                          reserve mission. By aligning personnel to reflect the reduced maintenance
                          workload, we estimate that DOD could save about $54 million annually.

                          In crafting the Government Performance and Results Act, Congress
                          recognized that agencies must consider the environment in which they
                          operate and must identify in their strategic plans the external factors that
                          could affect the agencies’ ability to accomplish their mission. This
                          recognition has particular relevance for the Army, which has not
                          developed a strategic plan to align its budget to reflect the new, reduced
                          mission in central Europe. AMC’s Army War Reserve Support Command is
                          beginning to develop a budget plan. According to the Commander,
                          previous efforts to develop budget requirements have been inadequate,
                          and the Command is seeking to develop more credible budget projections.
                          Army officials pointed out that long-term planning has been complicated
                          by the need to use war reserve equipment from central Europe to support
                          recent operations, such as those in Bosnia.


Storage and Maintenance   The storage and maintenance capacities currently available at the six sites
Capacities Far Exceed     in central Europe far exceed the projected mission requirements.
Requirements              According to war reserve managers, storage warehouses and maintenance
                          facilities are the key elements of their infrastructure. Each of the six sites
                          in central Europe has both controlled-humidity warehouses for indoor
                          storage and maintenance facilities for periodic maintenance of equipment.
                          A standard warehouse contains roughly 40,000 square feet of storage; a
                          standard maintenance facility measures about 650 square feet. The number
                          of standard storage warehouses and maintenance facilities required to
                          support the reduced mission in central Europe drops by 67 and 75 percent,
                          respectively, from the number currently available (see fig. 2).




                          Page 6                                       GAO/NSIAD-97-158 Army War Reserves
                                           B-276992




Figure 2: Total Number of Available Warehouses and Maintenance Facilities and Projected Requirements




                                                                                 114

          Warehouses

                                     38




                                                                                                           162
 Maintenance facilities
   Maintenance faciliti

                                      40




                          0                50                         100                         150                         200

                                             Total available    Projected requirement




                                           Note: AMC’s analysis of requirements for the reduced mission includes a cushion to allow for an
                                           undetermined amount of equipment for operational projects and a potential escalation of
                                           maintenance to support unanticipated operations.

                                           Source: Our analysis of AMC data.




                                           DOD recognizes that it can reduce its infrastructure in central Europe. The
                                           U.S. European Command, which has responsibility for base realignments
                                           in Europe, developed a proposed infrastructure reshaping plan in
                                           November 1995 that identifies the sites that should be retained. DOD
                                           approved the European Command’s infrastructure plan in April 1996. The
                                           plan contained a provision, however, that the decisions be reviewed and
                                           updated in late 1997. According to a European Command official, the



                                           Page 7                                                   GAO/NSIAD-97-158 Army War Reserves
                        B-276992




                        reexamination will consider changes in the operational, budgetary, or
                        political situation, and the site retention recommendations from the 1995
                        plan are not binding in the reexamination.

                        In developing the initial infrastructure plan, the key stakeholders—the
                        European Command and AMC—reached different conclusions about which
                        sites should be retained. According to a European Command official, the
                        central European sites offer similar capabilities. Thus, in 1995 the
                        European Command chose sites based heavily on its assessment of the
                        potential political impact of closures on the host nations. DOD approved
                        the European Command’s proposal because the Command was attuned to
                        the central European political situation, according to DOD officials. Specific
                        information about DOD’s plan will be kept classified until the U.S.
                        government makes a decision about which sites will be retained and then
                        formally notifies affected host nations of its intentions.


Available Maintenance   Once the equipment not needed in central Europe is removed, the
Hours Greatly Exceed    maintenance workload requirement will be based on performing periodic
Projected Workload      maintenance of the two remaining brigade sets and some operational
                        projects. The Army estimates that it will take through the end of 1999 to
                        repair those items scheduled for redistribution to other war reserve
                        programs. The projected 90,000 hours required to maintain equipment
                        remaining after 1999 is 86 percent less than the 630,000 hours currently
                        available (see fig. 3).




                        Page 8                                       GAO/NSIAD-97-158 Army War Reserves
                                        B-276992




Figure 3: Number of Maintenance Hours Currently Available and the Projected Maintenance Workload Requirement




Currently available                                                                                           630,000




     Requirement            90,000




                      0   100,000     200,000        300,000      400,000           500,000         600,000         700,000
                                                       Number of hours




                                        Note: The estimate of projected workload does not include any maintenance associated with
                                        additional missions or other unforeseen activities.

                                        Source: Our analysis of AMC data.




                                        Despite this dramatic reduction in the projected maintenance workload
                                        requirement, neither the European Command nor AMC has determined the
                                        associated number of personnel that will be required to perform the new,
                                        reduced mission. The European Command did not determine this number
                                        in its 1995 infrastructure plan, and a Command official maintained that
                                        AMC is responsible for determining that number. However, AMC has delayed
                                        making this determination because, according to AMC officials, the sites to
                                        be retained will not be finalized until the European Command reexamines
                                        its infrastructure plan in late 1997.




                                        Page 9                                                  GAO/NSIAD-97-158 Army War Reserves
                             B-276992




                             The future workload depends more on the maintenance required for the
                             remaining equipment than on the number of sites that are retained. In its
                             1995 infrastructure plan, the European Command noted that a fixed
                             personnel strength would be required to perform this maintenance,
                             regardless of the number of sites. As a result, AMC could determine its
                             workload and personnel requirements without the final decision about
                             which sites will be retained.


Cost Savings Are Possible    Army managers are aware that cost savings are possible after 1999, but
by Reducing Facilities and   they have not taken the necessary steps to align resources with the
Personnel                    reduced mission in central Europe. DOD has a proposed plan for reducing
                             facilities but no plan for reducing personnel to reflect the reduced
                             maintenance workload. The core mission of the central European war
                             reserve program—maintenance of the remaining equipment—will require
                             only a small fraction of the facilities and personnel currently available.
                             Facility costs are a relatively small portion of the central European war
                             reserve budget; personnel costs comprise about three-quarters of the
                             budget. Therefore, our savings estimate is based on reducing personnel to
                             match the projected maintenance workload.

                             AMC’s Army War Reserve Support Command is beginning to develop a
                             budget plan. In March 1997, AMC estimated that it would incur $43 million
                             in facility and personnel costs associated with sites that will have no
                             mission beginning in fiscal year 2000. However, the potential to reduce
                             costs has not been reflected in the Army’s funding program, which
                             assumes a constant personnel level through 2003.

                             We believe, however, that the amount of savings could be greater than
                             AMC’s estimate if the Army were to focus on aligning personnel with the
                             reduced mission. Thus far, the Army has not addressed the full impact of
                             the projected changes in workload. Even though AMC knows
                             approximately how many hours will be required to maintain the equipment
                             necessary for the remaining mission in central Europe, it was unable to tell
                             us how many personnel would be needed to perform the mission.
                             Focusing on personnel costs is important because they are projected to be
                             over $62 million in fiscal year 2000, comprising about three-quarters of the
                             projected central European budget requirement at that time.

                             By reducing personnel to reflect the 86-percent drop in projected
                             workload, we estimate that DOD can save about $54 million annually in




                             Page 10                                    GAO/NSIAD-97-158 Army War Reserves
                  B-276992




                  personnel costs in central Europe.2 This estimate does not consider all
                  overhead and facilities costs associated with the mission, nor does it
                  consider any termination payments for separated personnel. Without more
                  detailed information about how many personnel will be required to meet
                  the mission, we could not make a more precise estimate.

                  As of October 1996, the Army war reserve program employed nearly 1,600
                  civilians in central Europe. Most of those employees are local nationals
                  who work for or are under contract to the Army. The employees perform
                  the bulk of the maintenance workload and other administrative functions.
                  Separated personnel would be owed termination payments in accordance
                  with agreements between the United States and the host nations. Such
                  payments vary by country. Our savings estimate did not include these
                  termination costs because they cannot be predicted without a specific
                  personnel reduction plan.


                  Since DOD has closely linked its plan for reducing facilities with the Army’s
Recommendations   plan to redistribute equipment no longer needed in central Europe, the
                  lack of specific and timely disposition actions for some equipment could
                  jeopardize potential savings. Therefore, we recommend that the Secretary
                  of Defense direct the Secretary of the Army and the Commander, Army
                  Materiel Command to develop a specific and timely disposition plan for all
                  equipment not needed in central Europe. Accordingly, we also recommend
                  that the Secretary of Defense make timely decisions about the fate of the
                  proposed programs slated to receive additional equipment—the proposed
                  brigade set and the increase in support equipment recommended by the
                  1995 Mobility Requirements Study Bottom-Up Review Update. Finally, we
                  recommend that the Secretary of Defense direct the Commander in Chief,
                  U.S. European Command and the Commander, Army Materiel Command
                  to reduce the costs of facilities and personnel to reflect the new, reduced
                  mission in central Europe.


                  In its comments on a draft of this report, DOD concurred with our
Agency Comments   recommendations. DOD agreed that the central European infrastructure
                  should be streamlined and stated that the U.S. European Command is
                  working closely with the Army War Reserve Support Command to
                  formulate future prepositioning requirements. DOD also stated that it is
                  currently conducting a study, due out by the end of 1998, to validate the

                  2
                   Our estimate of savings is based on projected reductions in maintenance workload in central Europe.
                  We derived this $54 million savings estimate by multiplying the projected fiscal year 2000 personnel
                  costs of $62.21 million by the 86-percent reduction in workload.



                  Page 11                                                   GAO/NSIAD-97-158 Army War Reserves
              B-276992




              need for both a proposed prepositioned brigade set and increased afloat
              support equipment. DOD indicated that it would issue guidance for
              disposing of items not needed in central Europe once the study has been
              completed.

              DOD’s comments appear in appendix I. The Department of State also
              reviewed a draft of this report and advised us that it had no comments or
              suggested changes to the language of the report.


              To determine whether the Army has provided for the specific and timely
Scope and     disposition of equipment not needed in central Europe, we reviewed the
Methodology   Army’s redistribution plans and guidance for 1995-97. We also developed a
              figure for the amount of equipment in central Europe identified for
              redistribution by analyzing data used by the Army in developing its plans.
              In our analyses, we excluded those items that would be retained in Europe
              and those that the Army considered obsolete or did not authorize any
              expenditure for repair. We then reviewed on-hand inventory information
              to identify whether any equipment not needed in central Europe was not
              considered available for redistribution. We did not validate
              computer-generated data; however, we discussed data quality and the
              process the Army used for obtaining and analyzing this data with
              responsible Army staff.

              To assess savings that could be realized by aligning storage and
              maintenance capacities with the new, reduced central European mission,
              we compared the projected workload to the capacities currently available.
              We analyzed data on currently available and required storage and
              maintenance facilities, as well as personnel maintenance work hours.
              Also, we reviewed the U.S. European Command’s 1995 Reshaping
              Implementation Plan to determine efforts made thus far to realign
              facilities. We determined the projected drop in workload based on the
              reduced mission and applied this reduction to the personnel budget in
              central Europe. Since the Army has already decided to establish programs
              in other parts of the world with the equipment redistributed from Europe,
              we considered the costs of maintaining that equipment in the new
              locations to be sunk costs. We discussed our analysis with Army officials.

              To obtain background and program history information and projections
              for future program requirements, we obtained and reviewed information
              on the Army’s prepositioning strategy and studies of prepositioning by us,
              the Congressional Budget Office, the Congressional Research Service, and



              Page 12                                    GAO/NSIAD-97-158 Army War Reserves
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the RAND Corporation. We met with DOD officials at the Joint Staff,
Washington, D.C., and the U.S. European Command, Stuttgart, Germany.
We also interviewed officials and reviewed documents at the Army Deputy
Chief of Staff for Logistics; AMC Headquarters, Alexandria, Virginia; AMC’s
Army War Reserve Support Command, Rock Island, Illinois; AMC’s Combat
Equipment Group—Europe, Kerkrade, the Netherlands; and the Army
Logistics Integration Agency, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. In addition,
we interviewed officials and reviewed documents at the U.S. embassies in
Brussels, Belgium; The Hague, the Netherlands; and Luxembourg City,
Luxembourg. We also visited five of the six central European storage sites:
Bettembourg, Luxembourg; Zutendaal, Belgium; and Coevorden,
Vriezenveen, and Brunssum, the Netherlands.

We conducted our review from August 1996 to May 1997 in accordance
with generally accepted government auditing standards.


We are sending copies of this report to the Secretaries of Defense and the
Army and other appropriate congressional committees. Copies will also be
made available to others on request.

Please contact me at (202) 512-5140 if you or your staff have any questions
concerning this report. Major contributors to this report are listed in
appendix II.




Mark E. Gebicke
Director, Military Operations
  and Capabilities Issues




Page 13                                    GAO/NSIAD-97-158 Army War Reserves
Contents



Letter                                                                                          1


Appendix I                                                                                     16

Comments From the
Department of
Defense
Appendix II                                                                                    21

Major Contributors to
This Report
Figures                 Figure 1: Status of Army Redistribution Plan for War Reserve            4
                          Equipment in Central Europe
                        Figure 2: Total Number of Available Warehouses and                      7
                          Maintenance Facilities and Projected Requirements
                        Figure 3: Number of Maintenance Hours Currently Available and           9
                          the Projected Maintenance Workload Requirement




                        Abbreviations

                        AMC       Army Materiel Command
                        DOD       Department of Defense


                        Page 14                                 GAO/NSIAD-97-158 Army War Reserves
Page 15   GAO/NSIAD-97-158 Army War Reserves
Appendix I

Comments From the Department of Defense




             Page 16         GAO/NSIAD-97-158 Army War Reserves
                   Appendix I
                   Comments From the Department of Defense




Now on pp. 3-5.




Now on pp. 6-8.




Now on pp. 8-10.




                   Page 17                                   GAO/NSIAD-97-158 Army War Reserves
                    Appendix I
                    Comments From the Department of Defense




Now on pp. 10-11.




                    Page 18                                   GAO/NSIAD-97-158 Army War Reserves
                Appendix I
                Comments From the Department of Defense




Now on p. 11.




Now on p. 11.




                Page 19                                   GAO/NSIAD-97-158 Army War Reserves
                Appendix I
                Comments From the Department of Defense




Now on p. 11.




                Page 20                                   GAO/NSIAD-97-158 Army War Reserves
Appendix II

Major Contributors to This Report


                        Sharon A. Cekala
National Security and   Elliott C. Smith
International Affairs   Penny A. Berrier
Division, Washington,   Karen S. Blum
                        Charles W. Perdue
D.C.
                        Stacey E. Keisling
Atlanta Field Office    John H. Pendleton
                        Maria Storts




(703160)                Page 21              GAO/NSIAD-97-158 Army War Reserves
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