Special Operations Forces: Opportunities to Preclude Overuse and Misuse

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1997-05-15.

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

                  United States General Accounting Office

GAO               Report to the Chairman, Subcommittee
                  on Military Readiness, Committee on
                  National Security, House of

May 1997
                  SPECIAL OPERATIONS
                  Opportunities to Preclude
                  Overuse and Misuse

             United States
GAO          General Accounting Office
             Washington, D.C. 20548

             National Security and
             International Affairs Division


             May 15, 1997

             The Honorable Herbert H. Bateman
             Chairman, Subcommittee on Military Readiness
             Committee on National Security
             House of Representatives

             Dear Mr. Chairman:

             U.S. special operations forces (SOF) are considered highly capable, elite
             forces that are trained and maintained to address critical U.S. national
             security objectives. SOF’s versatility, speed of deployment, and capabilities
             make SOF ideally suited for today’s security environment, where significant
             dangers are created by regional conflicts, the proliferation of weapons of
             mass destruction, and transnational threats. Thus, it is important for the
             Department of Defense (DOD) to ensure that SOF are ready to perform their
             intended missions and are used in ways that capitalize on their unique

             During our review, which was done at your request, our overall objective
             was to determine whether SOF are being used in a manner that best
             supports national security objectives. Specifically, we determined
             (1) whether there is general agreement on the priorities for the use of SOF
             by the regional commanders in chief (CINC) and SOF unit commanders;
             (2) the pace of SOF operations and how SOF units’ senior officers and
             enlisted personnel view the impact of that pace of operations on
             readiness, morale, and retention; and (3) in those cases where the pace of
             operations is perceived to be degrading SOF readiness, whether
             opportunities exist to reduce that pace.

             The primary bases for the information in this report are our discussions
             with and documents obtained from officials at the five major commands,
             visits to numerous special operations units, and responses to a
             questionnaire from over 200 senior officers and enlisted personnel at CINC
             headquarters and SOF units.

             The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 19871 called for the
Background   establishment of a joint service special operations capability under a
             single command. In April 1987, the Secretary of Defense established the
             U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), whose mission is to provide

              Public Law 99-661 (Nov. 14, 1986), codified at 10 U.S.C. section 167.

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trained and combat-ready special operations forces to the five geographic
CINCs. The law listed 10 activities over which the Command would exercise
authority as they relate to special operations: (1) direct action, (2) special
reconnaissance, (3) unconventional warfare, (4) foreign internal defense,
(5) civil affairs operations, (6) psychological operations,
(7) counterterrorism activities, (8) humanitarian assistance, (9) theater
search and rescue, and (10) other activities as may be specified by the
President or the Secretary of Defense (see app. I). Consequently, SOF are
used for a wide range of military activities and other activities that include
augmenting embassy staffs, conducting counternarcotics activities, and
training local law enforcement and U.S. government agency personnel.

SOF differ from conventional forces in that they are specially organized,
trained, and equipped to achieve military, political, economic, or
psychological objectives by unconventional means. Special operations are
conducted independently or in coordination with conventional forces
during peacetime—operations short of declared war or intense
warfare—and war. Political and military considerations sometimes shape
special operations and often require clandestine, covert, or low-visibility
techniques. Special operations also significantly differ from conventional
operations because of their enhanced physical and political risks,
operational techniques, mode of employment, independence from friendly
support, and dependence on detailed operational intelligence and
indigenous assets.

USSOCOM comprises a wide variety of units: Army Special Forces (Green
Berets), Rangers, special operations aviation units, civil affairs units, and
psychological operations units; Navy Sea-Air-Land (SEAL) units and Special
Boat units; and an Air Force Special Operations wing and a Special Tactics
Group (see app. II). To create a force capable of proficiency across this
wide range of special activities, USSOCOM provides extensive and expensive
training. Although most personnel entering SOF have already undergone
basic military training, they must be further trained to accomplish special
operations missions. The qualification training for SOF personnel is
provided through USSOCOM’s service component commands. The cost for
such training varies greatly by military specialty. For example, the cost of
SOF qualification for an MC-130H aircrew varies from about $536,0002 for
the pilot to about $181,000 for the loadmaster; the approximate cost of the
entire five-man crew is $1.4 million. Similarly, the cost of SOF qualification
for a six-man MH-53J helicopter crew is about $1.7 million. The estimated

 This cost includes about $215,000 for aircraft simulator time. Although the other crew members all
receive training along with the pilot, the costs are allocated for pilots only, since they drive the use of

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                   cost of qualifying an Army Special Forces officer was $79,000 in fiscal year
                   1995, and according to Navy personnel, the cost of the basic training for a
                   Navy SEAL is about $33,000, exclusive of jump school and SEAL tactical
                   training. These costs do not include the cost of the continual in-unit
                   training that takes place once the SOF servicemember is assigned.

                   With its own budget, which has averaged about $3 billion per year since
                   fiscal year 1990, USSOCOM manages a force of almost 47,000
                   personnel—30,000 active duty servicemembers, 14,000 reserve and
                   National Guard personnel, and 3,000 civilians. Of the 30,000 active duty
                   servicemembers, 14,000 are special operations qualified personnel
                   assigned to deployable units. (See app. III.) The rest serve in functional
                   areas such as maintenance or logistics.

                   During an average week, between 2,000 and 3,000 SOF personnel are
                   deployed on 150 missions in 60 to 70 countries and are under the
                   command of the respective theater CINC. SOF units based within the
                   continental United States are under the command of USSOCOM and have a
                   worldwide orientation or are oriented toward a specific theater of
                   operation. All these forces continuously train to deploy and meet CINC

                   To perform missions in support of the regional strategy, the theater CINC
                   employs SOF that are forward based in the theater or that are in the theater
                   on routine deployments (the Navy SEALs’ 6-month deployments, for
                   example). If insufficient forces are available in theater, the CINC will make
                   a request for USSOCOM forces to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Once a
                   deployment has been approved by the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the
                   Secretary of Defense, specific SOF units or individuals are deployed to the
                   theater of the requesting CINC and, with a few exceptions, are under the
                   CINC’s operational control. Upon completing the deployment, the specific
                   SOF units or individuals return to USSOCOM’s operational control.

                   SOF are considered an essential element for achieving U.S. national
Results in Brief   security objectives. In general, there is a common understanding of and
                   agreement on primary SOF mission priorities between the CINCs and SOF
                   unit commanders assigned to each of the CINCs, and the CINCs often
                   consider SOF their force of choice for many diverse combat and peacetime
                   missions. However, there is some disparity on the priorities for collateral
                   activities for SOF, such as embassy support and antiterrorism activities.

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                      Little reliable data is available on the frequency and types of SOF missions
                      that would allow an analysis of SOF missions relative to CINC priorities and
                      regional strategy requirements, and historical data on deployment days for
                      all SOF elements are not available. Nevertheless, responses to our
                      questionnaire from almost 200 senior-level officers and enlisted personnel
                      in SOF units indicated that they believe the deployments of SOF units have
                      increased to the point that SOF readiness has been, or threatens to be,
                      degraded. Specifically, 60, 56, and 86 percent of the Army, Navy, and Air
                      Force respondents to our questionnaire, respectively, said they believe
                      readiness has been, or threatens to be, adversely affected by the current
                      level of unit deployments. In addition, SOF unit leaders believe that SOF are
                      performing some missions that could be handled by conventional forces.

                      Opportunities exist to reduce the perceived high pace of operations,
                      according to responses to our questionnaire. There may be opportunities
                      to use conventional forces instead of SOF for some collateral missions,
                      such as embassy support, and for missions that are already the
                      responsibility of conventional forces, such as combat search and rescue.
                      However, without basic, reliable, quantifiable information on the nature
                      and extent of actual SOF missions, the way in which SOF personnel are
                      deployed, and the impact of unit deployments on SOF readiness, USSOCOM
                      cannot identify such opportunities to achieve the appropriate levels of
                      deployment and ensure that SOF are properly used. Therefore, we believe
                      that action is needed to complete a system that will allow (1) the pace of
                      SOF operations to be measured and assessed relative to national security
                      objectives and SOF training needs and (2) the identification of the factors
                      that cause SOF personnel to be deployed in excess of established
                      deployment goals.

                      SOF are considered to be an essential element for the CINCs’ successful
Operations Provide    implementation of U.S. national security objectives. SOF have come to be
Valuable Support to   the CINCs’ force of choice in many instances. In two of the five theater
Regional Strategies   commands we visited, CINC officials and SOF unit leaders oriented to those
                      theaters agreed on the top three mission categories SOF should conduct to
                      support the CINCs’ regional strategies. There was, however, some disparity
                      between the views of CINC officials and SOF unit leaders on mission
                      priorities in the remaining three theaters, and there was less agreement
                      overall on the priorities of collateral missions performed by SOF, such as
                      embassy support and antiterrorism activities.

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Officials at the major commands we visited expressed a high degree of
satisfaction with SOF support of their regional requirements. They said the
CINCs consider SOF the force of choice for many diverse combat and
peacetime missions. For example, officials at the European Command said
that SOF are critical to the CINC’s ability to conduct engagement activities
with an increasingly smaller force. For crisis response in the current
low-intensity security environment, the staff considered SOF as the most
important. Officials in both the European and Pacific Commands said they
plan to employ SOF first when a potential crisis develops, forming a joint
SOF task force to assess the situation, advise the CINC, and prepare the area
for follow-on action, if necessary.

More significantly, officials at the Southern Command said that nothing
could be done militarily in the theater without SOF. They stated that the
Command’s area of responsibility, which comprises many countries that
do not commit much funding to their militaries, was “made for SOF.” The
primary activities in this theater are the training of foreign military
officials, counternarcotics operations, and miscellaneous other-than-war
operations—activities in which SOF excel. Officials said that SOF are also
good ambassadors for the United States.

The CINCs use SOF as one of the elements available to them to support their
regional strategies. Because of their extensive training, relative maturity,
and in most cases language skills and cultural orientation, SOF are
well-suited to perform a wide variety of missions, ranging from direct
action, rapid response missions, to foreign internal defense missions3 that
support the CINCs’ peacetime strategies. Table 1 shows each CINC’s top
three SOF mission priorities, as reported to us, and highlights how
priorities vary among the theaters.

 These missions include training, advising, and helping host nation military and paramilitary forces to
combat subversion, lawlessness, and insurgency.

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Table 1: Top Three SOF Mission
Priorities at the Major Commands                                                      SOF mission priority
                                   Major command             First                    Second                   Third
                                   U.S. European             Counterproliferation     Foreign internal         Special
                                   Command                                            defense                  reconnaissance
                                   U.S. Pacific              Special                  Counterterrorism         Counterproliferation
                                   Command                   reconnaissance
                                   U.S. Atlantic             Foreign internal         Special                  Counterterrorism
                                   Command                   defense                  reconnaissance
                                   U.S. Central              Counterterrorism         Counterproliferation     Special
                                   Command                                                                     reconnaissance
                                   U.S. Southern             Foreign internal         Special                  Counterterrorism
                                   Command                   defense                  reconnaissance

Extent of a Common                 To ensure that regional priorities are understood and addressed by SOF,
Understanding of Regional          each of the CINCs has a subunified command to serve as an executive agent
Priorities for SOF Missions        for SOF use. The theater Special Operations Commander advises the
                                   geographic CINC regarding SOF use and capabilities and plans and
                                   coordinates joint SOF activities within the command. He also exercises
                                   command and control over the SOF forces assigned, which generally do not
                                   include Army civil affairs and psychological operations personnel. These
                                   assets are generally controlled directly by the geographic CINC.

                                   The theater special operations commanders appear to have had some,
                                   albeit not complete, success in establishing a common understanding of
                                   primary SOF mission4 priorities in the theaters. Responses to the “primary
                                   SOF missions” segment of our questionnaire show that in the European and
                                   Southern Commands, CINC officials and the leaders of Army SOF units
                                   oriented to those theaters agree on the top three mission categories for
                                   supporting the CINCs’ regional strategies. Our questionnaire results showed
                                   disparities in primary mission priorities in the Pacific, Central, and the
                                   Atlantic Commands, as shown in table 2.

                                    Primary missions are those for which SOP were organized, trained, and equipped.

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Table 2: Priorities for Primary SOF Missions
                                                      Primary SOF mission
                      internal            Special      Unconventional                               Counter-        Direct
                      defense     reconnaissance             warfare        Counterterrorism     proliferation      action
European Command
  CINC                       2                  3                   6                     4                  1           5
  10th Special
  Forces Group               1                  2                   4                     5                  3           6
Pacific Command
  CINC                       4                  1                   5                     2                  3           6
  1st Special
  Forces Group               1                  2                   3                     4                  5           6
Atlantic Command
  CINC                       1                  2                   5                     3                  6           4
  3rd Special
  Forces Group               1                  3                   2                     6                  5           4
Central Command
  CINC                       4                  3                   5                     1                  2           6
  5th Special
  Forces Group               2                  1                   3                     6                  4           5
Southern Command
  CINC                       1                  2                   6                     3                  4           5
  7th Special
  Forces Group               1                  3                   5                     2                  6           4

                                           It should be noted that table 2 displays only Army Special Forces units that
                                           are forward deployed in a theater or oriented to it. The CINCs also have
                                           available to meet their priorities Navy SOF deployed in theater on a rotating
                                           basis, Air Force SOF to support special operations activities in the theater,
                                           and other Army SOF. Additionally, some disparity between CINC and SOF
                                           unit priorities may be attributed to differences in the service’s vision of
                                           mission employment and the larger joint service view of regional

                                           Navy SOF unit leaders’ responses also indicated priorities similar to the
                                           priorities indicated by the three CINCs in whose area they are forward
                                           deployed. They did, however, differ on the priorities of foreign internal
                                           defense and direct action missions. For example, the leaders of SEAL units
                                           oriented to the European and Southern Commands reported that foreign
                                           internal defense missions should be low in priority for their units, while

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                     CINC officials reported that foreign internal defense was a high priority.
                     Unlike the Army Special Forces, SEALs generally do not receive language or
                     cultural awareness training. According to SEAL officers and
                     noncommissioned officers we talked to, potential problems with language
                     are typically resolved by augmenting SEAL personnel with interpreters.
                     However, officials from both SEAL Groups expressed concern that
                     increased involvement in foreign internal defense missions may be having
                     a detrimental effect on the SEAL community. They said that such
                     involvement may be altering the expectations of younger SEALs and
                     causing them to consider leaving the community because SEALs have
                     traditionally been a direct-action force. They also said they believed that
                     SEAL units engaged in foreign internal defense activities had lost some
                     proficiency in war-fighting skills due to a lack of training opportunities
                     and, because foreign internal defense activities are often done by smaller
                     contingents, the unit integrity of the SEAL platoon had been disrupted.

Collateral Duties    According to responses to our questionnaire, CINCs and SOF unit leaders do
                     not always agree on the priority of collateral missions5 that SOF personnel
                     and units are routinely assigned. For example, CINC officials at the
                     European Command ranked embassy support as their number two priority
                     for SOF collateral activities. However, the leaders at the two Army Special
                     Forces Groups and the Naval Special Warfare Group oriented to the
                     theater ranked embassy support their number six priority out of nine
                     collateral activities. Similarly, in the Pacific Command, CINC officials
                     ranked antiterrorism their number one priority for collateral activities,
                     while Army and Navy unit officials consider it their number seven and four
                     priority, respectively. Moreover, leaders at the Special Forces Group and
                     the Naval Special Warfare Group assigned to the Pacific Command
                     prioritized personnel recovery activities as numbers one and two collateral
                     activities, respectively, while CINC officials ranked personnel recovery as
                     number seven.

                     In 1995 SOF commanders began to express concern about high levels of
Pace of Operations   unit deployments (referred to as operating tempo, or OPTEMPO) and their
and the Impact on    effect on personnel who were repeatedly away from home for prolonged
SOF Readiness        periods. As one commander stated in a memorandum to his subordinate
                     commands, these deployments “have an adverse impact on retention,
                     create problems for families, and erode our ability to maintain the training

                      Collateral missions include activities other than those for which SOF are organized, trained, and

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                              edge required to fight and win on the battlefield.” Accordingly, USSOCOM
                              initiated efforts to manage OPTEMPO, including efforts to improve usage
                              data and the development of a system to monitor the extent to which SOF
                              individuals are deployed away from home (known as personnel tempo, or

                              During our review, we obtained data on current PERSTEMPO rates but found
                              that prior years’ information was not collected or was not maintained. The
                              data available revealed that PERSTEMPO varied widely among SOF units and
                              that some military specialties had high deployment rates. Perhaps more
                              important, however, according to USSOCOM officials, there was no valid
                              data on OPTEMPO to allow for identification of the factors driving the
                              deployment rates, that is, what types of activities (for example, training,
                              exercises, and contingency operations) were increasing and to what

                              Although the lack of data did not allow for verification or quantification of
                              OPTEMPO increases, we did determine that SOF commanders and staff at the
                              unit level perceive that the increased rate is adversely affecting their units.
                              In response to our questionnaire, the majority of the SOF commanders,
                              staff officers, and senior enlisted personnel who responded said they
                              believe that OPTEMPO increases have caused or threatened to cause adverse
                              effects on readiness.

Empirical Data on SOF         Although all commands could provide general information on the types of
Activities Is Inaccurate or   missions for which SOF were used, little data were available on the actual
Incomplete                    missions and the extent to which they were performed. Officials at
                              USSOCOM and the service component commands told us they have not
                              collected and maintained accurate and complete information on the
                              numbers of actual missions categorized by mission type. Therefore, we
                              could not analyze actual SOF use relative to CINC priorities.

                              USSOCOM develops weekly information on the number of personnel
                              deployed in total and by country. This information is used primarily to
                              develop status briefings for the Commander, USSOCOM. Officials told us,
                              however, that data collected prior to fiscal year 1996 were highly
                              inaccurate due to a lack of consistent definitions for the different types of
                              missions and incomplete reporting by the SOF component commands.
                              USSOCOM officials told us they are still working to develop standardized
                              mission categories for mission reporting.

                              Page 9                                   GAO/NSIAD-97-85 Special Operations Forces

                               Of the three SOF service component commands, only the Army Special
                               Operations Command maintains force utilization information by mission
                               type. Officials said they maintain information from 1993 to the present on
                               the number of deployments by type of mission (for example,
                               counternarcotics and Joint Chiefs of Staff exercises), personnel deployed
                               by mission type, and the number of personnel deployed to each CINC.
                               However, officials told us that inconsistent mission-type reporting has
                               distorted the categories in which missions are recorded and that trying to
                               develop a trend on SOF use over time by mission type could produce
                               misleading results.

                               Officials at the Navy Special Warfare Command and the Air Force Special
                               Operations Command said they do not maintain complete information on
                               the types of missions fulfilled by their personnel. Navy officials told us
                               they are not required to keep such information, and since their personnel
                               are under a CINC’s command and control, they had not recognized a need
                               for this type of information. Air Force Special Operations Command
                               officials told us their job is to provide the needed support, such as
                               clandestine infiltration, and they had no need to maintain records on the
                               overall purpose of the mission.

                               USSOCOM   officials told us they recognize the need for information on SOF
                               use by mission category, and the Command is developing standard mission
                               definitions as an essential first step toward quantifying missions and
                               identifying the mission areas that are increasing. These definitions were
                               finalized during the second quarter of fiscal year 1997, and USSOCOM
                               officials said that the first information using these definitions could be
                               available at the end of the fiscal year.

USSOCOM Has Monitored          In October 1995, USSOCOM implemented a system for collecting information
Some Deployment                on personnel deployment rates. The system requires commanders to
Statistics, but Actual Rates   submit quarterly information on officer and enlisted personnel and job
                               position categories. USSOCOM officials use this data to identify the
for Some Personnel Are         personnel categories with higher than desired deployment rates.
                               The reporting system requires unit officials to determine the total number
                               of days that personnel in each category were deployed during the quarter
                               and divide the total by the number of personnel assigned in each category
                               to derive an average deployment rate for each category. These rates are
                               compared with USSOCOM and service component deployment goals to
                               identify personnel groups that have exceeded established deployment

                               Page 10                                GAO/NSIAD-97-85 Special Operations Forces

                              goals. USSOCOM officials said that the Army’s goal for the maximum number
                              of days deployed per year is 179, and the Air Force’s goal is 120 days. The
                              Navy’s goal is 180 days over an 18-month period. USSOCOM has not officially
                              established a goal, but officials told us that the informal goal was not to
                              exceed 180 days per year.

                              The methodology that USSOCOM has directed its units to use in calculating
                              personnel deployment rates results in an understatement of the actual rate
                              for some categories of personnel. The figures reported are understated
                              because they are an average of all SOF personnel, including staff personnel
                              who do not routinely deploy. For example, through June 30 in fiscal year
                              1996, the reported average of the number of days officers on one SEAL team
                              were deployed was 115. However, if only the officers in the operational
                              platoons are included, the average is 158 days. Similarly, for all enlisted
                              members, the reported average number of days deployed was 122, while
                              the average for those assigned to the operational platoons was 163 days.

                              Ignoring this deficiency, however, the system does provide USSOCOM with
                              an awareness of deployment activity by specific unit, personnel categories,
                              and military specialties. However, USSOCOM lacks, as noted above, specific
                              data on the actual use, which would allow it to determine the causes of
                              excessive deployments. And unless the causes are identified, it is difficult
                              for USSOCOM to identify alternatives for alleviating the situation.

Unit-Level Commanders         Because reliable data on historical OPTEMPO rates were not available, we
and Staff Believe Increases   interviewed SOF unit leaders and used our questionnaire to determine
in OPTEMPO Affect             whether unit-level commanders and staff believed increasing OPTEMPO
                              rates had affected, or threatened to affect, readiness, retention, and
Readiness                     morale. The interview results were contradicted by the questionnaire
                              results. During meetings with unit-level leaders, we were told that OPTEMPO
                              has historically been high but has not increased significantly in recent
                              years. According to Army officials, the number of days deployed had
                              stayed about the same, and the Navy SEALs said that, because their
                              deployments are for the most part based on long-standing commitments to
                              the CINCs, the rate had remained fairly stable. Air Force officials said that
                              OPTEMPO had remained at high levels, especially in units performing
                              combat search and rescue and in special tactics units.

                              The results of our questionnaire indicated that some SOF unit leaders held
                              opinions quite different from those expressed during the interviews. The
                              results show that the majority of respondents believed that OPTEMPO

                              Page 11                                 GAO/NSIAD-97-85 Special Operations Forces

                                     increases had caused, or threatened to cause, adverse effects on readiness.
                                     Table 3 shows the percentage of those responding who believe that
                                     OPTEMPO increases have adversely affected readiness, morale, and

Table 3: SOF Unit Responses to Our
Questionnaire on the Effect of       Percent of responses
OPTEMPO                              Views of SOF commanders and staff                               Army           Navy         Air Force
                                     OPTEMPO increases have adversely affected
                                     unit                                                               60              56             86
                                     OPTEMPO has adversely affected readiness                           45              44             67
                                     OPTEMPO has adversely affected morale                              45              34             86
                                     OPTEMPO has adversely affected retention                           40              32             81

                                     Table 4 provides the percentages of responses from particular Special
                                     Operations Forces leaders who believe that OPTEMPO has affected unit

Table 4: SOF Unit Responses to Our
Questionnaire on the Effect of                                                                                Percent of respondents
Increased OPTEMPO on Readiness                                                                               who said that OPTEMPO
                                                                                                               had adversely affected
                                     Unit                                                                                   readiness
                                     Army Unit A                                                                                       50
                                     Army Unit B                                                                                       30
                                     Army Unit C                                                                                       88
                                     Army Unit D                                                                                       53
                                     Air Force Unit E                                                                                  50
                                     Air Force Unit F                                                                                  67
                                     Navy Unit G                                                                                       58
                                     Navy Unit H                                                                                       32
                                     Note: The SOF units included are coded to protect the confidentiality of the respondents.

                                     Nothing in our review indicates the extent to which readiness has been
                                     affected, and the impact of the perceived increased OPTEMPO on SOF
                                     readiness is not readily apparent in DOD’s current readiness reporting
                                     system. For example, over the past 3 years, the Status of Resources and
                                     Training System (SORTS)6 reports submitted by Army SOF unit commanders
                                     have continually reported high levels of readiness. However, SORTS, as we

                                      SORTS measures the extent to which units possess the required resources and are trained to
                                     undertake their wartime missions. These measurements, called C-ratings, are probably the readiness
                                     indicator most often cited.

                                     Page 12                                             GAO/NSIAD-97-85 Special Operations Forces

                                     have reported previously and the Joint Chiefs of Staff agrees, does not
                                     capture all the factors that DOD considers critical to a comprehensive
                                     readiness analysis.7 For example, SORTS does not provide information on
                                     factors such as mobility, OPTEMPO, morale, and leadership. As a result of
                                     the lack of supporting data, we were unable to substantiate the concerns
                                     of unit officials regarding readiness.

                                     SOF unit leaders also believe that increased OPTEMPO has affected personnel
                                     retention and morale. Table 5 shows the percentage of responding SOF unit
                                     leaders who told us that retention and morale had been adversely affected.

Table 5: SOF Unit Responses to Our
Questionnaire on the Effect of       Percent of responses
Increased OPTEMPO on Retention and                                                          OPTEMPO has                OPTEMPO has
Morale                                                                                   adversely affected         adversely affected
                                     Unit                                                         retention                    morale
                                     Army Unit A                                                            65                        55
                                     Army Unit B                                                            50                        60
                                     Army Unit C                                                            63                        63
                                     Army Unit D                                                            33                        47
                                     Air Force Unit E                                                       75                        75
                                     Air Force Unit F                                                     100                        100
                                     Navy Unit G                                                            32                        42
                                     Navy Unit H                                                            32                        27
                                     Note: The SOF units included are coded to protect the confidentiality of the respondents.

                                     Given USSOCOM’s concern about OPTEMPO and the widespread belief that it
Opportunities Exist to               is affecting SOF readiness, retention, and morale, we examined the
Reduce SOF                           potential for reducing OPTEMPO. According to CINC and SOF unit officials,
OPTEMPO                              conventional forces could handle many activities routinely assigned to SOF
                                     personnel. These officials generally agreed that the missions that offer the
                                     greatest potential for the use of conventional forces are humanitarian
                                     assistance, embassy support, and support to other government agencies.
                                     Additionally, some SOF leaders told us that the use of SEALs in Navy
                                     Amphibious Ready Groups does not constitute good use of these forces,
                                     and Air Force SOF are used for combat search and rescue missions that are
                                     the responsibility of conventional forces.

                                      Army Training: Evaluations of Units’ Proficiency Are Not Always Reliable (GAO/NSIAD-91-72, Feb. 15,
                                     1991); Military Readiness: DOD Needs to Develop a More Comprehensive Measurement System
                                     (GAO/NSIAD-95-29, Oct. 27, 1994); Military Readiness: Improvements Still Needed in Assessing
                                     Military Readiness (GAO/T-NSIAD-97-107, Mar. 11, 1997).

                                     Page 13                                             GAO/NSIAD-97-85 Special Operations Forces

                          Because reliable data by type of mission were not available, we could not
                          determine the magnitude of opportunity offered by these missions.
                          However, USSOCOM publications and data provided by Joint Chiefs of Staff
                          officials confirm that SOF personnel are deployed for these types of
                          missions. For example, in fiscal year 1996, SOF personnel were assigned to
                          embassy support duties in all theaters of operation and were used on
                          humanitarian assistance missions in the Pacific and European Commands.

Air Force SOF Are Used    Although conventional combat search and rescue missions are the
for Conventional Combat   responsibility of conventional forces, Air Force SOF have been continually
Search and Rescue         used for these missions. Currently, Air Force SOF are performing
                          70 percent of conventional combat search and rescue missions worldwide,
Missions                  which contributes to the OPTEMPO and PERSTEMPO problems experienced by
                          Air Force SOF units. And as we reported in 1994, these missions also
                          reduce the readiness of the SOF units involved because crews lose
                          proficiency due to restrictions imposed by host nations and the lack of
                          training opportunities.8

                          The legislation that created USSOCOM identified theater search and rescue
                          as a SOF activity insofar as it related to special operations.9 Under joint
                          doctrine, each service must provide for combat search and rescue in
                          support of its own operations; however, Air Force SOF are routinely tasked
                          to perform conventional combat search and rescue operations. SOF assets
                          have been continually used for these operations since about 1990, and Air
                          Force Special Operations Command officials told us that they expect that
                          SOF will continue to be tasked to perform the brunt of the combat search
                          and rescue mission for conventional forces in the foreseeable future.

                          Although Air Force SOF are considered extremely capable of performing
                          these missions, they do so at the expense of unit and joint training in
                          special operations skills, the availability and sustainability of their limited
                          forces, and an acceptable OPTEMPO and PERSTEMPO. Unit leaders told us that
                          crews assigned are frequently unable to train in the full range of required
                          capabilities because they are restricted by host nations. For example, the
                          flying hours, flight duration, and flight profiles (night and low-level flights,
                          for example) of the crews deployed to Turkey in support of Operation
                          Provide Comfort were restricted. One commander told us that his
                          personnel were limited to a 50-mile training radius. Officials said the host
                          nations expect SOF to arrive there trained, not to train while there.

                           Special Operations Forces: Force Structure and Readiness Issues (GAO/NSIAD-94-105, Mar. 24, 1994).
                           Public Law 99-661 (Nov. 14, 1986), codified at 10 U.S.C. section 167(j).

                          Page 14                                                GAO/NSIAD-97-85 Special Operations Forces

                            Similarly, the availability of assets is limited by a requirement to maintain
                            an alert posture for combat search and rescue missions. Officials at the Air
                            Force Special Operations Command in the European Command said that
                            about 20 percent of their force must be on alert status at all times for
                            combat search and rescue missions. Further, officials said the SOF crews
                            assigned to support this conventional mission suffer high levels of
                            PERSTEMPO, which keeps them deployed near or above the 120-day goal the
                            Air Force has established.

                            Who should perform Air Force combat search and rescue missions has
                            been an issue since 1990 when the Air Force Special Operations Command
                            was created from the 23rd Air Force, which had been tasked with the
                            missions. The transfer left the Air Force without the specialized aircraft or
                            aircrews trained to conduct the missions. The capability to do combat
                            search and rescue was to be developed within the Air Force’s Air Combat
                            Command, and the Command was expected to assume the combat search
                            and rescue role by the end of fiscal year 1994. However, this never
                            occurred. USSOCOM is presenting a proposal to the Air Force that would
                            continue to have the Air Force Special Operations Command perform
                            combat search and rescue missions, but the Air Force would fund them.
                            Nevertheless, performing these missions will continue to generate high
                            levels of PERSTEMPO for SOF crews performing these conventional missions.

SEAL Officials Believe      At all times, the Navy SEALs have a platoon deployed with each of the three
Shipboard Deployments       Amphibious Ready Groups. The Group includes a Marine Expeditionary
Adversely Affect            Unit and provides the CINC with a mobile, rapid-response force under his
                            operational control. Both the Marine units and the SEAL platoons rotate to
Proficiency and Readiness   the continental United States after a 6-month deployment. The SEAL
                            platoon is intended to provide the Group with a special operations
                            capability, including the capability to survey and reconnoiter potential
                            landing sites in a clandestine manner.

                            SEAL unit commanders told us that they consider the 6-month deployment
                            to be a “less than efficient” use of the highly trained SEAL platoon. Because
                            of the limited space and assets on ships, training opportunities are
                            extremely limited and the platoon loses proficiency. Moreover, the SEAL
                            unit has to compete for the limited operational opportunities with the
                            Marines, particularly the Marine Reconnaissance Unit, which possesses
                            many of the same skills as a SEAL platoon.

                            Page 15                                 GAO/NSIAD-97-85 Special Operations Forces

                      SEAL officials at the Naval Special Warfare Group and team levels told us
                      that to reduce OPTEMPO and provide better training opportunities, they have
                      proposed alternative methods of providing the Group with the SEAL
                      support, but no action has been taken. They maintain that the Amphibious
                      Ready Groups’ most pressing need for SEALs is the hydrographic survey of
                      landing sites and that with today’s air transportation capabilities, SEALs
                      based in the United States or ashore in a specific theater could be at a
                      proposed site well ahead of the Group and provide the surveys in a more
                      timely manner.

                      SOF are considered an essential element for the CINCs’ successful
Conclusions and       implementation of national security objectives, and in less than a decade
Recommendations       these forces have proven themselves the CINCs’ force of choice for many
                      types of missions. SOF’s reputation has been earned by their acceptance
                      and accomplishment of a wide variety of missions.

                      We cannot determine precise increases in SOF activity due to the lack of
                      reliable quantitative and qualitative data collected over the years. For the
                      same reason, we cannot determine the specific ways in which SOF have
                      been used. Many SOF unit leaders that responded to our questionnaire are
                      convinced, however, that OPTEMPO has adversely affected readiness,
                      retention, and morale.

                      SOF unit leaders also believe that SOF are being used for missions that do
                      not require their skills and that in some instances degrade their skills. In
                      addition, unit leaders and CINC officials believe that conventional forces
                      could fulfill missions routinely performed by SOF. Consequently, USSOCOM
                      and the services may have opportunities to manage SOF OPTEMPO, with the
                      CINCs’ concurrence, if conventional units can be tasked to perform those

                      To maintain the readiness of SOF to support national security objectives
                      and help ensure that readiness is not degraded through overuse or
                      improper use of SOF, we recommend that the Secretary of Defense direct
                      the Commander, USSOCOM, to

                  •   complete the Command’s efforts to develop an information system for
                      monitoring how the Command’s forces are used and establish a
                      methodology for periodically comparing SOF usage with the CINCs’
                      priorities and SOF training needs and

                      Page 16                                 GAO/NSIAD-97-85 Special Operations Forces

                  •   exploit potential opportunities to reduce some SOF deployments that do
                      not prepare SOF to perform SOF-unique missions in support of national
                      security objectives and that can be performed by conventional forces.

                      In commenting on a draft of this report, DOD agreed with its accuracy. DOD
Agency Comments       stated that the report discusses the various components of SOF in a way
                      that provides a comprehensive view of the potential for overuse and

                      DOD  concurred with both of our recommendations and stated that it has
                      already initiated actions that focus on deployments for SOF and other
                      low-density/high-demand forces. For example, DOD indicated that the
                      Global Military Force Policy, instituted in July 1996, is expected to help
                      senior leaders establish peacetime priorities for low-density/high-demand
                      assets. The first data available for interpretation from the policy is to be
                      available during fiscal year 1998, according to DOD. Also, DOD stated that
                      while the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff already reviews the use of
                      all U.S. forces to ensure proper employment, USSOCOM must retain the
                      latitude to ensure that SOF users are carefully consulted to preclude
                      elimination of deployments where SOF involvement could have significant
                      impact on mission objectives.

                      We developed a data collection instrument using the Analytical Hierarchy
Scope and             Process (see app. IV) to rank the most valuable missions for SOF. The
Methodology           instrument was distributed to all the theater CINCs’ staffs, the special
                      operations commanders in each theater, and SOF units worldwide. It was
                      used to obtain information concerning CINC priorities for SOF activities by
                      theater of operations, SOF unit-level leaders’ understanding of regional
                      priorities, perspectives on the best missions for SOF in each theater, and a
                      prioritization of activities that could be accomplished by conventional
                      forces. The instrument also included questions to obtain unit-level staffs’
                      opinions on OPTEMPO increases and the resulting effect on readiness,
                      retention, and morale in their units.

                      To obtain additional supporting data, we visited four of the five theater
                      CINCs, the USSOCOM CINC, the three service component headquarters, four of
                      five Special Forces Groups, both Navy SEAL Groups, and two Air Force
                      Special Operations Groups. (See app. V for a complete list of sites we
                      visited.) We also interviewed officials from the Office of the Assistant
                      Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict

                      Page 17                                 GAO/NSIAD-97-85 Special Operations Forces

and the Special Operations Division of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Because
we were interested in the extent to which SOF are deployed and how they
are used, our review primarily focused on active duty units, which are
normally deployed first to meet mission requirements. We did, however,
meet with psychological operations and civil affairs personnel from SOF
reserve units during our visits to the European and Pacific Commands.
The purpose of these meetings was to gain an understanding of OPTEMPO
and PERSTEMPO challenges faced by these low-density/high-deploying

In addition, we examined the legislation that established USSOCOM, Joint
Chiefs of Staff publications, and historical publications provided by the

Our review was conducted from October 1995 through March 1997 in
accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards.

We are sending copies of this report to the Chairmen and Ranking
Minority Members of the Senate and House Committees on Appropriations
and the Senate Committee on Armed Services; the Secretaries of Defense,
the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force; the Commander of the U.S. Special
Operations Command; and the Director, Office of Management and
Budget. We will also make copies available to others upon 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 VII.

Sincerely yours,

Mark E. Gebicke
Director, Military Operations and
  Capabilities Issues

Page 18                                GAO/NSIAD-97-85 Special Operations Forces
Page 19   GAO/NSIAD-97-85 Special Operations Forces

Letter                                                                                             1

Appendix I                                                                                        22

Activities Assigned to
Special Operations
Appendix II                                                                                       24
                         Army Special Operations Command                                          24
U.S. Special             Air Force Special Operations Command and Forces                          25
Operations               Naval Special Warfare Command and Forces                                 25
                         Joint Special Operations Command                                         30
Command’s Major
Commands and Units
Appendix III                                                                                      27

Active and Reserve
Special Operations
Component Forces
Assigned to the U.S.
Special Operations
Appendix IV                                                                                       28

Description of
Analytical Hierarchy
Process Model
Appendix V                                                                                        29

List of Locations

                         Page 20                            GAO/NSIAD-97-85 Special Operations Forces

Appendix VI                                                                                        31

Comments From the
Department of
Appendix VII                                                                                       33

Major Contributors to
This Report
Tables                  Table 1: Top Three SOF Mission Priorities at the Major                      6
                        Table 2: Priorities for Primary SOF Missions                                7
                        Table 3: SOF Unit Responses to Our Questionnaire on the Effect             12
                          of OPTEMPO
                        Table 4: SOF Unit Responses to Our Questionnaire on the Effect             12
                          of Increased OPTEMPO on Readiness
                        Table 5: SOF Unit Responses to Our Questionnaire on the Effect             13
                          of Increased OPTEMPO on Retention and Morale


                        CINC            Commander in Chief
                        DOD             Department of Defense
                        OPTEMPO         operating tempo
                        PERSTEMPO       personnel tempo
                        SEAL            Sea-Air-Land
                        SOF             Special Operations Forces
                        SORTS           Status of Resources and Training System
                        USSOCOM         U.S. Special Operations Command

                        Page 21                              GAO/NSIAD-97-85 Special Operations Forces
Appendix I

Activities Assigned to Special Operations

               Title 10 U.S.C. section 167(j) lists 10 activities over which the U.S. Special
               Operations Command exercises authority as they relate to special
               operations. These activities and a brief description of each activity follow:

               Direct actions are short duration strikes and other small-scale offensive
               actions to (1) seize, destroy, or inflict damage on a specified target or
               (2) destroy, capture, or recover designated personnel or material.

               Special reconnaissance is conducted to obtain or verify, by visual
               observation or other collection means, information concerning the
               capabilities, intentions, and activities of an actual or potential enemy or to
               secure data concerning the meteorological, hydrological, geographic, or
               demographic characteristics of a particular area. It includes target
               acquisition, area assessment, and post-strike reconnaissance.

               Unconventional warfare is a broad spectrum of military and paramilitary
               operations, normally of long duration, predominantly conducted by
               indigenous or surrogate forces that are organized, trained, equipped,
               supported, and directed in varying degrees by an external source. It
               includes guerrilla warfare and other direct-offensive, low-visibility, covert,
               or clandestine operations as well as the indirect activities of subversion,
               sabotage, intelligence collection, and evasion and escape.

               Foreign internal defense is conducted to assist another government to free
               and protect its society from subversion, lawlessness, and insurgency.
               Special operations forces train, advise, and otherwise assist host nation
               military and paramilitary forces.

               Counterterrorism is the application of highly specialized capabilities to
               preempt or resolve terrorist incidents abroad, including (1) hostage
               rescue, (2) recovery of sensitive material from terrorist organizations, and
               (3) direct action against the terrorist infrastructure.

               Civil affairs operations are to establish, maintain, influence, or strengthen
               relations between U.S. and allied military forces, civil authorities, and
               people in a friendly or occupied country or area.

               Psychological operations are to support other military operations through
               the use of mass media techniques and other actions to favorably influence
               the emotions, attitudes, and behavior of a foreign audience on behalf of
               U.S. interests.

               Page 22                                 GAO/NSIAD-97-85 Special Operations Forces
Appendix I
Activities Assigned to Special Operations

Humanitarian assistance is provided to relieve or reduce the results of
natural or man-made disasters or other endemic conditions such as human
pain, disease, hunger, or deprivation that might present a serious threat to
life or loss of property. This assistance supplements or complements the
efforts of host nation civil authorities or agencies that may have the
primary responsibility for providing this assistance.

Theater search and rescue is performed to recover distressed personnel
during wartime or contingency operations.

Other activities are specified by the President or the Secretary of Defense,
such as counterproliferation, which was specified in May 1995.

Page 23                                     GAO/NSIAD-97-85 Special Operations Forces
Appendix II

U.S. Special Operations Command’s Major
Subordinate Commands and Units

                     The Command is responsible for all U.S.-based active and reserve Special
Army Special         Forces; Rangers; Special Operations Aviation, Psychological Operations,
Operations Command   Civil Affairs, and support units; and selected special mission and support
                     units assigned by the Secretary of Defense.

                     Special Forces (Green Berets) are organized into five active and two
                     National Guard groups. The groups are organized, trained, and equipped to
                     conduct the five primary special operations missions of direct action,
                     special reconnaissance, unconventional warfare, foreign internal defense,
                     and counterterrorism. Special Forces soldiers train, advise, and assist host
                     nation military or paramilitary forces.

                     Rangers are organized into a regiment that contains a headquarters
                     company and three battalions. There are no reserve Ranger units. The
                     Rangers are rapidly deployable, airborne, light infantry units that are
                     organized, trained, and equipped to conduct complex joint strike
                     operations. These units can also operate as light infantry in support of
                     conventional missions.

                     Special Operations Aviation is organized into an active regiment with three
                     battalions, a detachment in Panama, and a National Guard battalion. These
                     units provide dedicated specialized aviation support to other special
                     operations forces. Their missions include armed attack; inserting,
                     extracting, and resupplying personnel; aerial security; medical evacuation;
                     electronic warfare; mine dispersal; and command and control support.

                     Psychological operations forces are organized into one active and two
                     reserve psychological groups that vary in number and types of subordinate
                     units depending on their mission and geographic alignment. Their mission
                     is to study and be prepared to influence the emotions, attitudes, and
                     behaviors of foreign audiences on behalf of U.S. and allied interests. They
                     operate with conventional and other special operations forces to advise
                     and assist host nations in support of special operations missions such as
                     counterinsurgency, foreign internal defense, and civil affairs programs.

                     Civil Affairs units comprise 3 Army reserve commands, 9 reserve brigades,
                     24 reserve battalions, and one active battalion. The units’ primary function
                     is to establish favorable relationships between the U.S. military and
                     foreign governments and populations. Moreover, civil affairs forces assist
                     military operations through population or refugee control and support to
                     other U.S. agencies.

                     Page 24                                GAO/NSIAD-97-85 Special Operations Forces
                        Appendix II
                        U.S. Special Operations Command’s Major
                        Subordinate Commands and Units

                        The reserve civil affairs units provide professional civilian skills such as
                        police, judicial, logistical, engineering, and other civil functions that are
                        unavailable in the one active unit.

                        The Command has one Special Operations Wing, two Special Operations
Air Force Special       Groups, and one Special Tactics Group in its active force and one Special
Operations Command      Operations Wing in its reserve force.
and Forces
                        The Command’s primary missions are to organize, train, and equip its
                        units, but it may also train, assist, and advise the air forces of other nations
                        in support of foreign internal defense missions. The Command operates
                        uniquely equipped fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft for missions that include
                        inserting, extracting, and resupplying personnel; aerial fire support;
                        refueling; and psychological operations. Its aircraft are capable of
                        operating in hostile airspace, at low altitudes, under darkness or adverse
                        weather conditions in collaboration with Army and Navy Special
                        Operations Forces (SOF).

                        The Command has two naval special warfare groups, one naval special
Naval Special Warfare   warfare development group, and two special boat squadrons split between
Command and Forces      the east and west coasts of the United States. Each special warfare group
                        includes three Sea-Air-Land (SEAL) teams and one SEAL delivery vehicle
                        team. Each squadron includes subordinate special boat units (three on the
                        east coast and two on the west coast). Naval special warfare forces
                        deployed outside the United States receive support from permanently
                        deployed naval special warfare units located in Panama, Germany, Puerto
                        Rico, Guam, Spain, and Bahrain.

                        The six active SEAL teams are organized into headquarters elements and
                        ten 16-man operational platoons. Navy SEALs, like Army Green Berets, are
                        organized, trained, and equipped primarily to conduct direct action,
                        special reconnaissance, unconventional warfare, foreign internal defense,
                        and counterterrorism missions. They conduct these missions primarily in
                        maritime and riverine environments. SEALs can also directly support
                        conventional naval and maritime operations.

                        This Command is a joint headquarters designed to study special
Joint Special           operations requirements and techniques; ensure interoperability and
Operations Command

                        Page 25                                   GAO/NSIAD-97-85 Special Operations Forces
Appendix II
U.S. Special Operations Command’s Major
Subordinate Commands and Units

equipment standardization; plan and conduct special operations exercises
and training; and develop joint special operations tactics.

Page 26                                   GAO/NSIAD-97-85 Special Operations Forces
Appendix III

Active and Reserve Special Operations
Component Forces Assigned to the U.S.
Special Operations Command

               Sea-Air-Land units.

               Source: Special Operations Command.

               Page 27                               GAO/NSIAD-97-85 Special Operations Forces
Appendix IV

Description of Analytical Hierarchy Process

               The Analytical Hierarchy Process model is an organized way to evaluate
               research questions. It allows a researcher to divide an issue by its major
               elements. These elements are then organized into levels, which move from
               the general to the specific. To implement the model in this review, we used
               the commercial software package Expert Choice by Expert Choice,
               Incorporated, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This software allows the
               researcher to evaluate the respondents’ judgments as to which elements in
               the model are more important than others and derives prioritized listings
               for elements within each level.

               In typical practice, a panel of persons knowledgeable about the subject
               under review is asked to evaluate one element against another in paired
               comparison fashion. For example, in a three-element evaluation, the
               panelists are asked to evaluate A versus B, A versus C, and B versus C. In
               other words, regarding the goal, is element A more important, preferred,
               or more likely than element B, or is element B more important, preferred,
               or more likely than element A? Once the panelists reach consensus on
               which element of a pair is preferred over the other, they are asked how
               much more important, preferred, or more likely is the dominant element of
               the pair over the other. Therefore, both the preference and its intensity are

               Alternatively, the model can be used in a questionnaire mode, which is
               how we employed the model during this review. We developed a series of
               one-level comparisons to reduce the workload on the respondents.
               Convening typical panels would not have been practical because we
               wanted to cover as many units and individuals as possible.

               For each pair-wise comparison of our questionnaire, we collected our
               respondents’ judgments on a coded numerical form that measured not
               only the intensity but the direction of the relationship. In other words, if
               element A was moderately preferred to B, then the value of that judgment
               for that pair for that individual was entered into our database.

               To summarize the data, we calculated the geometric mean for each paired
               comparison, stratified by SOF units. The geometric mean dampens the
               effect of extremely low or extremely high judgments. The resulting
               averages were entered into the Expert Choice software, which calculated
               the priorities for each set of elements for each Commander in Chief (CINC)
               and SOF unit. We printed the results for each set of paired comparisons and
               analyzed the differences between units within a service and also between

               Page 28                                 GAO/NSIAD-97-85 Special Operations Forces
Appendix V

List of Locations Visited

                            We visited the following locations during our review of SOF’s activities:

                        •   Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations/Low
Washington, D.C.,           Intensity Conflict
Area                    •   Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Special Operations Division
                        •   Washington Office, U.S. Special Operations Command
                        •   Naval Sea Systems Command

                        •   Headquarters, Army Special Operations Command
Fort Bragg, North       •   U.S. Army Special Forces Command
Carolina                •   U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School
                        •   Third Special Forces Group
                        •   Seventh Special Forces Group
                        •   528th Special Operations Support Battalion

                        •   Headquarters, U.S. Special Operations Command, MacDill Air Force Base
Florida                 •   Air Force Special Operations Command, 16th Special Operations Wing, 8th
                            Special Operations Squadron, 16th Special Operations Squadron, 20th
                            Special Operations Squadron, and 720th Special Tactics Group, Hurlburt
                        •   Air Force Special Operations Command, 9th Special Operations Squadron,
                            Eglin Air Force Base

                        •   Headquarters, Naval Special Warfare Command
Coronado, California    •   Naval Special Warfare Center
                        •   Naval Special Warfare Group One
                        •   SEAL Teams One, Three, and Five

                        •   Headquarters, U.S. Atlantic Command, Special Operations
Virginia                    Command-Atlantic, Norfolk
                        •   Naval Special Warfare Group Two, SEAL Teams Two and Four, Little Creek

                        •   Headquarters, 10th Special Forces Group
Fort Carson, Colorado

                            Page 29                                 GAO/NSIAD-97-85 Special Operations Forces
                  Appendix V
                  List of Locations Visited

              •   Headquarters, 1st Special Forces Group
Fort Lewis,   •   Headquarters, 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment
              •   Headquarters, U.S. Pacific Command
Hawaii        •   Special Operations Command Pacific
              •   Headquarters, U.S. Pacific Fleet

              •   Headquarters, U.S. Southern Command
Panama        •   Special Operations Command South

              •   Headquarters, U.S. European Command
Germany       •   Special Operations Command Europe
              •   1st Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group
              •   Naval Special Warfare Unit Two
              •   352nd Special Operations Group

                  Page 30                               GAO/NSIAD-97-85 Special Operations Forces
Appendix VI

Comments From the Department of Defense

              Page 31      GAO/NSIAD-97-85 Special Operations Forces
                Appendix VI
                Comments From the Department of Defense

Now on p. 16.

Now on p. 17.

                Page 32                                   GAO/NSIAD-97-85 Special Operations Forces
Appendix VII

Major Contributors to This Report

                        Sharon A. Cekala
National Security and   Donald L. Patton
International Affairs   Colin L. Chambers
Division, Washington,   H. Lee Purdy
                        Joseph F. Murray
                        Ray S. Carroll Jr.
Norfolk Field Office    James K. Mahaffey
                        Lester L. Ward
                        Paul A. Gvoth Jr.

(703112)                Page 33              GAO/NSIAD-97-85 Special Operations Forces
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