oversight

Military Operations: Impact of Operations Other Than War on the Services Varies

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1999-05-24.

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 and Management
                  Support, Committee on Armed Services
                  U.S. Senate

May 1999
                  MILITARY
                  OPERATIONS

                  Impact of Operations
                  Other Than War on the
                  Services Varies




GAO/NSIAD-99-69
United States General Accounting Office                                                               National Security and
Washington, D.C. 20548                      Leter
                                                                                               International Affairs Division



                                    B-279505                                                                                     Letter

                                    May 24, 1999

                                    The Honorable James Inhofe
                                    Chairman, Subcommittee on Military
                                      Readiness and Management Support
                                    Committee on Armed Services
                                    United States Senate

                                    Dear Mr. Chairman:

                                    Since the end of the Cold War, the frequency of U.S. military involvement in
                                    operations other than war1 (OOTW) has increased, while the force
                                    structure and number of military personnel have been reduced. You asked
                                    us to examine the impact of OOTW on the military services. As agreed with
                                    your office, we examined the (1) impact of OOTW on the warfighting
                                    capability of each of the services, including the time to recover warfighting
                                    skills; (2) extent to which reporting systems fully capture the impacts;
                                    (3) available information on the effect of OOTW on morale and retention;
                                    (4) ability of U.S. forces to respond to a major theater war while engaged in
                                    OOTW; (5) Department of Defense (DOD) efforts to alleviate any adverse
                                    impacts; and (6) funding provided by Congress for OOTW. We focused our
                                    efforts primarily on Army and Air Force units that have been engaged in
                                    operations in Bosnia and Southwest Asia (SWA) over the past several years
                                    and also included Navy units engaged in counterdrug operations in the
                                    Caribbean.



Results in Brief                    U.S. military forces have become increasingly involved in OOTW over the
                                    past decade. Based on our review of unit readiness and capability
                                    assessments and observations confirmed at military headquarters such as
                                    the U.S. European Command, U.S. Army Europe, U.S. Air Forces in Europe,
                                    and the Air Force’s Air Combat Command in the United States, OOTW has
                                    adversely affected the combat capability of deployed units in Bosnia and
                                    Southwest Asia and some units that remain at the home station as they
                                    have to pick up the work of the deployed units. At the same time,


                                    1 For
                                        the purpose of this report, “operations other than war” includes low-intensity peacekeeping
                                    operations, such as military observer duty, and counterdrug and high-intensity peace enforcement
                                    operations.




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        deployments for these operations can have some positive affects, such as
        fostering unit cohesion. OOTW has affected Army and Air Force units
        more than it has Navy and Marine Corps units. Returning units to their
        wartime mission capability levels during peacetime can take from several
        weeks for some support units to more than a year for some combat units,
        although in wartime the recovery period can be compressed if necessary.
        On the other hand, many units and/or personnel in the Army and the Air
        Force have been relatively unaffected by OOTW. While the services are
        reporting some adverse impacts of OOTW and impacts are regularly
        reported to senior-level DOD readiness forums, we found that there is
        considerable additional information on OOTW impacts that are not readily
        apparent in readiness reports.

        The effects of OOTW on morale and retention is a mixed picture. Army
        morale studies indicate that morale was generally high among soldiers in
        Bosnia, but Air Force personnel indicate that morale is declining partly due
        to recurring OOTW deployments. Navy and Marine Corps personnel said
        that retention is an indicator of morale. The Army has been meeting its
        overall retention goals and U.S. Army Europe (USAREUR), which until late
        1998 provided most of the soldiers deployed to Bosnia, has met or
        exceeded the overall Army’s retention rates since 1994. However, retention
        is a problem in some of the services, particularly the Air Force, but
        according to the services, OOTW is only one of several factors affecting
        retention.

        In the 1993 Bottom-Up Review and the 1997 Quadrennial Defense Review
        of national military strategy and associated force structure, DOD
        concluded that the same forces needed for war would be used for OOTW
        until they were needed to meet wartime requirements. Addressing the
        impacts of OOTW while maintaining the ability to engage in major theater
        wars will present a complex management challenge for DOD. DOD
        recently provided Congress a report on the effects of its involvement in
        Bosnia on the ability to conduct two major wars. Its European Command
        is studying how it would disengage and redeploy forces from Bosnia if
        there were a war, but results may not be available until later this year. The
        Joint Staff and the military services are taking steps to reduce the impact of
        OOTW, but either there is insufficient data available to know if the steps are
        achieving their intended objectives or the steps are too new to assess. One
        of these steps includes an Air Force plan to shift 5,000 personnel slots from
        occupations not heavily used in OOTW to occupations that are heavily
        used, beginning next year. If Congress and the executive branch conclude
        that the effects of OOTW are unacceptable, other than reducing U.S.



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                          participation, it may be necessary to include OOTW needs in determining
                          future force structure.

                          Congress has provided funding for OOTW, but to prevent growth in overall
                          government spending, it reduced other planned defense spending in fiscal
                          years 1995, 1996, and 1997. In fiscal year 1998, Congress did not reduce
                          other planned defense spending to offset OOTW funding.



Background                American military forces have been engaged in OOTW throughout the
                          nation’s history. The U.S. military’s current OOTW involvement includes
                          providing forces in and around SWA, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and, until
                          recently, Macedonia, and for other operations such as counterdrug. The
                          Army has deployed no more than 75,000 soldiers to Bosnia since the
                          operation began in December 1995, with the size of the force at any one
                          time ranging from less than 34,000 in the first year to slightly more than
                          6,000 soldiers in March 1999 in a total Army of 1 million personnel. On any
                          given day in 1997, the Air Force deployed about 14,600 personnel for OOTW
                          in a total Air Force of 370,000 personnel. Few Navy and Marine Corps
                          personnel are deployed exclusively for OOTW.

                          Since the end of the Gulf War in 1991, the Air Force and the Navy have
                          enforced U.N. restrictions over Iraqi air space and supported U.S. forces in
                          Bosnia; the Navy has inspected ships in the Persian Gulf to enforce the
                          U. N. embargo on Iraq; and the Army has provided ground forces in Bosnia
                          and Macedonia and air defense protection for Israel, and participated in
                          combined training with Kuwaiti forces. Appendix I contains additional
                          details on the level of U.S. military involvement in OOTW since the Gulf
                          War.



Participation in OOTW     OOTW has affected the combat capability of each of the military services to
                          varying degrees. We found that the Army and the Air Force were more
Adversely Affects Parts   affected than the Navy and the Marine Corps, although many parts of the
of the Military While     Army and the Air Force have been relatively unaffected. Army units
                          engaged in OOTW generally require more recovery time than Air Force
Leaving Other Parts       units, and combat units in the Air Force and the Army require more
Relatively Unaffected     recovery time than support units. The Navy and the Marine Corps are less
                          affected because they generally perform OOTW missions with forces that
                          have been deployed as part of their continuing U.S. overseas presence. On




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                            any given day, naval and Marine Corps forces are deployed around the
                            world, primarily in Carrier Battle Groups and Amphibious Ready Groups.

                            Many skills decline to some extent if not used regularly. In the military the
                            skills of individual personnel can decline under a variety of circumstances,
                            including while attending schoolhouse training or serving in staff positions,
                            although these experiences provide valuable training and experience of a
                            different kind. The skills of individual personnel as well as entire units can
                            decline as well if not used regularly, as is the case while participating in
                            OOTW.


OOTW Erodes the Skills of   Within the Army, units from the European-based 1st Infantry Division, 1st
Army Combat Units More      Armored Division, and V Corps have repeatedly deployed to Bosnia since
                            December 1995 and to a lesser extent to Macedonia. For example, as
Than Support Units          described by the 1st Armored Division’s Commanding General, in the
                            3 ½-year period ending in March 1999, the division deployed to Bosnia
                            twice and was involved in peacekeeping training prior to its deployment.
                            The division initiated training for peacekeeping in August 1995, making it
                            unavailable for high intensity conflict missions, deployed to Bosnia in its
                            entirety from December 1995 to November 1996, retrained to its high
                            intensity conflict standards upon its return from Bosnia, was told it would
                            return to Bosnia as it was completing its retraining for high intensity
                            conflict, and partially deployed to Bosnia again between October 1997 and
                            October 1998.

                            The primary mission of combat units is the destruction of enemy forces
                            and/or installations. Among combat units, an armored division’s mission is
                            to close with and destroy the enemy, and the tank is its primary offensive
                            weapon. Moreover, mobile ground operations require the use of armored
                            and mechanized infantry forces to train and fight as a team to defeat enemy
                            armed forces. Mechanized infantry equipped with infantry fighting
                            vehicles, such as the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, can accompany tanks in
                            mounted attacks. To train for its mission in peacetime, the Army training
                            standard is for armored units to drive their tanks 800 miles per year and for
                            mechanized units to drive their Bradley Fighting Vehicles 940 miles per
                            year. In addition, armored and mechanized units conduct gunnery training
                            and participate in training exercises both at home stations and at combat
                            training centers such as the Combat Maneuver Training Center in Germany.

                            In Bosnia, the primary mission of the armored and mechanized units
                            deployed there is to implement the General Framework Agreement (also



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                                known as the Dayton Agreement). Operations in Bosnia required that
                                combat units maintain the zone of separation called for in the Dayton
                                Agreement by (1) conducting mounted and dismounted patrols,
                                (2) manning checkpoints, and (3) performing weapons storage site
                                inspections. These units also performed cordon and search and
                                reconnaissance operations and provided basecamp and convoy security.
                                However, the mechanized infantry and armored units primarily conduct
                                these operations mounted on Up-Armored High Mobility Multipurpose
                                Wheeled Vehicles and not on the Bradley Fighting Vehicles and M-1 tanks,
                                which they organized and trained to use for their wartime combat missions.
                                While in Bosnia, armored and mechanized infantry units generally do not
                                conduct any armored maneuver operations and are relieved from tank and
                                Bradley gunnery requirements. The Army’s peace operations field manual
                                states that units selected for peace operations missions may be required to
                                perform tasks that may be different from their wartime tasks.

Recent Testimony Detailed How   In a March 1999 testimony before the House Committee on Armed
OOTW Participation Affected     Services, Subcommittee on Military Readiness, the Commanding General
Peacetime Training              of the 1st Armored Division said that at the battalion level in Europe the
                                division’s training doctrine establishes a 6-month repetitive, iterative
                                training cycle.2 This cycle is evident in battalions’ 6-month cycle of major
                                training events such as participation in live gunnery certifications and
                                annual Combat Maneuver Training Center rotations. At the brigade and
                                division level, the division’s training doctrine establishes a 2-year training
                                cycle based on the Battle Command Training Program.

                                The General, who had commanded U.S. military forces in Bosnia at the
                                time of our August 1998 visit, said that peacekeeping operations are a
                                double-edged sword. At the company level and down to the individual
                                soldier, the effects of peacekeeping operations are overwhelmingly
                                positive. At battalion, brigade, and division levels, peacekeeping detracts
                                from the Army’s established training cycle to sustain highly trained and
                                combat-ready teams. This includes rotations through training centers, such
                                as the Combat Maneuver Training Center in Germany, and participation in
                                the Battle Command Training Program. Furthermore, the General said that
                                in the case of the 1 st Armored Division, the historical development of
                                peacekeeping operations in Bosnia has had a long-term impact on its ability
                                to participate in high intensity conflict training. Effectively, the division
                                has had to participate in two 1-year peacekeeping tours in Bosnia during


                                2A   division is divided into brigades, its brigades into battalions, and its battalions into companies.




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        the last 3 years with a significant, cumulative effect on its ability to train for
        high intensity conflict missions.

        The 1st Cavalry Division’s headquarters and one of its three brigades are
        now deployed in Bosnia. In the same March 1999 hearing, one of the
        division’s company commanders testified that the Bosnia operation offers
        substantial benefits at the small team level—squads, sections, and
        platoons—and that noncommissioned officers mature immeasurably.
        However, he also said that the operation comes at a high price on typical
        warfighting readiness. He said that 4 months prior to his company’s
        deployment, it ceased training on several habitual wartime mission-
        essential tasks as it focused on new peacekeeping requirements.
        Specifically, the company altered its focus from tasks like conducting a
        movement to contact, a deliberate attack, or defending, to peacekeeping
        tasks like conducting presence patrols, performing weapons storage site
        inspections, and establishing checkpoints.

        The company commander also described how personnel turbulence,
        primarily caused by the length of deployment, can take its toll on trained
        and ready teams. He said that prior to deploying to Bosnia he had
        stabilized the company’s tank commander and gunner positions, the
        bedrock of combat readiness for an armored or mechanized unit. However,
        he said that stabilizing personnel for an extended deployment causes
        significant turbulence at the conclusion of the mission, whereas at home
        station and during shorter rotations, this personnel turbulence would occur
        over a longer period of time. As a result of the Bosnia deployment, the unit
        must accommodate this challenge in a shorter time period.

        One of the 1st Cavalry Division’s master gunners also testified at the March
        1999 hearing. He said that when the division was notified in April 1998 that
        it would be deployed to Bosnia, it had several major events in progress.
        These included deployment of a task force to Kuwait; rotation of a brigade
        to the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California; a Corps warfighter
        exercise; and completion of the fielding of M1A2 Abrams Main Battle Tanks
        to one of its brigades. He described tank fielding as a significant point,
        considering that one of the battalions deploying to Bosnia had just
        completed its new equipment training and gunnery. He then said that
        sustainment of M1A2 specific skills is an ongoing challenge at home station
        for units that have had the equipment for a longer period of time and that
        the challenge is multiplied exponentially when the units are deployed to an
        area with no M1A2s on hand for training. He said that only two of the eight
        tank companies in Bosnia were equipped with M1A1 tanks and the other



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                                   six were equipped with Up-Armored High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled
                                   Vehicles. Regarding the use of tanks, during our visit to Bosnia we were
                                   told that for the most part tanks are kept in the motor pool and are used
                                   when a show of force demonstration is needed; they were not being used in
                                   day-to-day operations.

                                   The master gunner said that tank crewmen were not the only soldiers to
                                   face a skill degradation. The division also deployed 58 mechanized infantry
                                   crews to Bosnia. Enough Bradley Fighting Vehicles were issued to
                                   accommodate some sustainment training, but gunnery skills, which are
                                   extremely perishable, could not be adequately practiced due to the lack of
                                   live fire ranges. The closest range to practice live fire with both tanks and
                                   the Bradleys is well to the southwest of where U.S. forces are stationed in
                                   Bosnia. He said that sending U.S. units to this range was largely untenable
                                   because of extreme logistical difficulties in traveling to this range and
                                   operational requirements that would preclude releasing even a platoon,
                                   much less a company, for any length of time.

                                   Our assessment of the 1st Cavalry Division’s training plan indicates that the
                                   division is missing training opportunities as a result of its deployment to
                                   Bosnia. Although two of the division’s three brigades trained at the Joint
                                   Readiness Training Center specifically to prepare for its deployment to
                                   Bosnia, one in June 1998 and the other in January 1999, this training was
                                   not considered a normal combat training center rotation. This division
                                   usually conducts training at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin,
                                   California. From February 1999 through March 2000, these two brigades
                                   were not scheduled for any other combat training center rotations. The
                                   division’s third brigade, which is not deploying to Bosnia, is scheduled for
                                   two combat training center rotations at the National Training Center in the
                                   same period—one in August 1999 and one in January 2000.

Combat Units’ Warfighting Skills   Generally, the skills of combat units were degraded the most. According to
Declined While in Bosnia           the USAREUR Chief of Staff, high-intensity combat skills such as
                                   battlefield synchronization, maneuver, and gunnery are being degraded in
                                   Bosnia because (1) units do not train in these skills or (2) the missions or
                                   tasks undertaken in Bosnia differ from missions in a high-intensity conflict.

                                   Our analysis of the readiness reports of combat units that deployed to
                                   Bosnia, the written assessments of these units’ commanders, and
                                   discussions with those commanders indicated that their wartime combat
                                   skills were degraded during their Bosnia deployment. For example,
                                   according to the assessment of the commanding officer of a mechanized



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        infantry/armor unit we visited in Bosnia, his unit’s combat skills were
        degraded because the soldiers were performing infantry tasks, such as
        guard duty, rather than their primary wartime tasks, such as operating in
        their M-1 tanks and Bradley Fighting Vehicles. According to the
        commander, his battalion conducted extensive individual and unit training
        prior to deploying to Bosnia, including tank gunnery and a rotation through
        the Combat Training Center in Germany. After rotating through the Center,
        the battalion was at the peak of its training readiness. After months in
        Bosnia, the commander assessed his battalion as only partially trained to
        meet some of its major warfighting requirements. Another battalion
        commander we visited in Germany had recently returned from Bosnia. He
        also assessed his unit as only partially trained against its wartime
        requirements. According to the commander, his brigade headquarters
        conducted a command inspection of his battalion shortly after its return
        and it failed the inspection. One failed area was operator maintenance of
        the battalion’s equipment because the unit did not use its Bradleys and
        other equipment and the troops had forgotten specific maintenance
        procedures. Table 1 shows the assessments of these two units’
        commanders of their units’ key capabilities.



        Table 1: Commanders Assessment of Their Units’ Capabilities as of Summer 1998
                                                                      Mechanized unit
                                         Mechanized/armored           recently returned from
        Capability                       unit in Bosnia               Bosnia
        Deploy/redeploy                  Trained                      Trained
        Movement to contact with enemy   Partially trained            Partially trained
        Attack                           Partially trained            Untrained
        Defend                           Partially trained            Untrained
        Perform support operations       Trained                      Partially trained
        Perform peace operations         Trained                      Trained
        Source: U.S. Army unit data.


        To reduce the degradation of wartime skills, early in the Bosnia mission
        USAREUR established gunnery ranges in Hungary for the use of personnel
        deployed to Bosnia and units deployed with training simulators. However,
        the Army last used the ranges in Hungary in September 1997 and they were
        closed in January 1998. As noted earlier, the use of a range in Bosnia for
        tank and Bradley live fire gunnery was not considered tenable.




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                                   In the previously discussed March 1999 testimony before the House
                                   Committee on Armed Services, Subcommittee on Military Readiness, the
                                   Commanding General of the 1st Armored Division also said that the Bosnia
                                   deployment had a significant impact on combat readiness and at the same
                                   time positive impacts, primarily at the smaller unit level. The General, in
                                   part, testified that:

                                   “Understandably, the Balkans peacekeeping mission has had a significant impact on combat
                                   readiness: however, contrary to popular belief, the impact on combat readiness at squad,
                                   platoon, and company levels, and even to a degree at the battalion level, is overwhelmingly
                                   positive. Unit cohesion, concentration on soldier common skill tasks, emphasis on small
                                   unit operations, a clear mission focus and enforcement of training standards result in
                                   confident, competent, and mission capable units. This positive effect at the small-unit level
                                   results from a combination of the intense environment presented by peacekeeping
                                   operations and ample opportunity to ‘train to task’ with teams of soldiers who are generally
                                   stabilized for the duration of the deployment.”


Support Units Skills Were Not As   Support units that deployed to Bosnia were not as adversely affected as
Adversely Affected by Bosnia       combat units. Support units provide a wide variety of services to combat
Deployment                         units, including intelligence, medical, signal, logistics, transportation, and
                                   engineer support. In visiting military intelligence, signal, and medical units
                                   in Bosnia, we found that they used most, but not all, of their wartime skills
                                   while deployed there. For example, the commanding officers of both the
                                   signal and medical units in Bosnia at the time of our August 1998 visit told
                                   us that they operate in one place, whereas in wartime they would be
                                   moving with the combat units, constantly setting up their equipment,
                                   breaking it down, and setting it up again as the battle progressed.



OOTW Also Erodes the               Air Force fighter squadrons are also adversely affected by OOTW. In
Skills of Air Force Combat         meetings before combat operations began against Iraq in December 1998,
                                   F-15 and F-16 fighter squadron personnel frequently described most routine
Units More Than Support            OOTW missions as having little combat training value, particularly in
Units                              Operation Southern Watch in SWA. The missions usually provided
                                   opportunities to refuel in the air and perform air combat control, which are
                                   considered basic flying events. However, many critical wartime events are
                                   not required by OOTW. For example, an F-16 squadron commander
                                   estimated that the amount of quality training received is only about 5 to
                                   10 minutes on a 3- to 4-hour mission. A 1997 Air Combat Command
                                   operation tempo briefing provided an assessment of the quality of training
                                   at squadrons’ home stations versus what had been typically available
                                   during Operation Southern Watch for some critical F-16 combat events, as
                                   shown in table 2.



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                            Table 2: Comparison of the Quality of Training Opportunities at Squadrons’ Home
                            Station Versus in Operation Southern Watch for F-16 Pilots
                                                                                           Quality of Training Opportunities
                            Critical combat event                                       Home station          Southern Watch
                            Night precision weapon employment                           Good                  Poor
                            Medium-altitude employment                                  Good                  Poor
                            Air strike control                                          Good                  Poor
                            Four aircraft a air-to-ground employment                    Good                  Limited
                                            a
                            Four aircraft air-to-air employment                         Good                  Limited
                            Tactical navigation                                         Good                  Limited
                            Maverick missile employment                                 Good                  Poor
                            aTraining   to this event in groups of four aircraft is a critical combat task.
                            Source: Air Combat Command.


                            While we describe adverse operational impacts on fighter squadrons
                            participating in OOTW, in commenting on a draft of this report, DOD stated
                            that its SWA operations contribute significantly to its strategy in the event
                            of war. Specifically, DOD said that its forces decrease the likelihood that a
                            full-scale war will occur and those participating units would be part of the
                            U.S. initial response if war were to occur, increasing the probability of
                            successfully achieving national objectives.

                            The proficiency of Air Force support forces that are engaged in OOTW,
                            such as air refueling and security police, is less negatively affected because
                            these type units typically perform more tasks that are wartime related. For
                            example, security forces usually provide force protection much like they
                            would in wartime.


Time Required to Recover    The services have varying means of ensuring that their personnel regain
Warfighting Skills Varies   wartime mission-essential skills lost as a result of participating in OOTW.
                            The Army and the Air Force have initiated deliberate processes to recover
                            these skills, whereas the Navy and the Marine Corps view skill recovery as
                            part of their routine forward presence deployment preparation. The
                            recovery period during peacetime varies from several weeks to more than 1
                            year, depending on the service and type of unit. For example, in the Army
                            an infantry battalion reported that it would take up to 14 months to recover
                            its warfighting skills, an aviation unit estimated it would take 9 months, and
                            a signal battalion estimated it would take 4 months. In wartime, recovery
                            time could be compressed if necessary. In the Air Force, squadrons



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                            estimated that it would take from 1 to at least 3 months to regain full flying
                            proficiency. In summary, Army units generally require more recovery time
                            than Air Force units, and combat units in both the Air Force and the Army
                            require more recovery time than support units.


Army and Air Force Units    Entire units are not always deployed to OOTW because of force size
Remaining at Home Station   constraints and the types of skills that are needed for the mission. In these
                            instances, part of the unit deploys and the elements that stay behind must
Generally Work Longer       continue to perform their missions at the home station, a phenomena
Hours and Combat Training   known as split-based operations. Both the deploying and nondeploying
Suffers                     portions of the unit have been adversely affected by deployments. At 17 of
                            44 Army units we examined, the nondeploying portions of the units had to
                            give up people or equipment to bring the deploying portion up to strength.
                            For example, before the 1st Cavalry Division’s3 headquarters and one of its
                            three brigades deployed to Bosnia, nondeploying portions of the division
                            provided 581 of the 747 additional soldiers needed for the Bosnia mission.
                            The balance of the soldiers came from III Corps and other units throughout
                            the Army. The two remaining brigades were insulated during the division’s
                            preparation for Bosnia because a second brigade replaced the initially
                            deployed brigade in April 1999. According to a division personnel officer,
                            the division diverted new arrivals from the remaining brigade but needed
                            an additional 122 soldiers to round out the second rotation. III Corps and
                            USAREUR agreed to provide 101 of the 122 soldiers; other U.S.-based units
                            provided the remaining 21 soldiers. During the rotations, junior grade and
                            nondeployable personnel have been used to form rear detachments for the
                            deployed brigades.

                            As a result of deploying partial units, the nondeployed portions (1) lacked
                            the officers and senior noncommissioned officers needed to train more
                            junior soldiers, (2) could not conduct training above the small unit and
                            individual soldier level, and (3) had to do their work and that of the
                            deployed portion of the unit.

                            Both the Army and the Air Force had instances where training at home
                            stations suffered because of OOTW. We have previously reported that
                            officials at the 1 st Infantry Division and 1st Armored Division told us that
                            the shortage of noncommissioned officers in these divisions, in part due to


                            3 Thehome station of the 1st Cavalry Division is Fort Hood, Texas. It deployed to Bosnia in August 1998
                            and formally took command in October 1998.




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                         deployments to Bosnia, is a detriment to readiness because crews, squads,
                         and sections are led by lower level personnel rather than by trained and
                         experienced sergeants. 4 According to the Chief of Staff of the 1st Armored
                         Division, which had been operating as a split-based unit for much of 1998,
                         the portion of the division at the home station could only conduct platoon-
                         and company-level exercises when the rest of the division was in Bosnia.
                         In commenting on a draft of this report, DOD stated that the underlying
                         cause of this personnel shortage is a serious shortage of noncommissioned
                         and junior officers throughout the Army. DOD further commented that the
                         deployment burden only exacerbates these problems within the
                         nondeployed units and that home station training suffers because of a
                         shortage of noncommissioned officers across the Army.

                         In the Air Force, numerous squadrons we visited reported that junior
                         airmen’s training had been interrupted because senior noncommissioned
                         officers and officers who provided on-the-job training were often deployed.
                         The result is that training has taken longer and is less comprehensive.
                         Nondeploying airmen also told us that they normally work long days and
                         weekends to accomplish their work and that of deployed personnel. We
                         were told that support squadrons typically have been understaffed since
                         the force drawdown and that deployments have made the situation much
                         worse. At the wings we visited, the lack of personnel at the home station
                         caused other impacts such as canceled vacation leave and training.


Some Aircraft Are Also   Aircraft participating in OOTW are being flown more hours than during
Adversely Affected by    regular training missions. For example, in December 1997, the 1st Fighter
                         Wing’s F-15C aircraft deployed to SWA accounted for 35 percent of the
OOTW
                         wing’s sorties but 60 percent of its flying hours. An F-15C wing operations
                         official estimated that the wing was putting about 2 years worth of hours on
                         aircraft in about 6 months on its SWA deployment. This accumulation of
                         flying hours, combined with the age of some types of aircraft, has revealed
                         maintenance problems that are not typical, particularly on the F-15C and
                         the A-10. F-16 units we visited did not report similar problems because,
                         according to unit officials, the aircraft are not as old. In addition, officials
                         in the Air Force units we visited said that the pace of deployments was, at
                         least in part, causing aircraft mission-capable rates to decline and



                         4 Military
                                 Readiness: Observations on Personnel Readiness in Later Deploying Army Divisions
                         (GAO/T-NSIAD-98-126, Mar. 20, 1998).




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                             cannibalization5 rates to increase. Since 1991, the percentage of Air Force
                             fighter aircraft that were mission capable at any one time has decreased
                             from 85 to 75 percent.


Many Military Personnel      Only portions of the services are involved in OOTW. Large parts of the
and Units Are Not Involved   Army, for example, have been relatively unaffected by the Bosnia
                             operation. Of the 1 million personnel in the Army during fiscal year 1998,
in OOTW                      about 570,000 were in the reserves and 495,0006 were in the active Army, of
                             which about 170,000 were in active combat divisions, special operations
                             forces, and other combat units. While the Army could not provide us with
                             the actual number of soldiers that have served in Bosnia, it appears that no
                             more than 75,000 soldiers have deployed there since the operation began in
                             December 1995. In addition, a smaller number of soldiers that remained at
                             home stations were affected by the Bosnia deployment.

                             At the peak of the operation, between December 1995 and December 1996,
                             less than 34,000 soldiers were deployed to Bosnia and surrounding
                             countries. In fiscal year 1998, less than 10,000 were deployed there at any
                             one time and as of March 1999, the force level was down to slightly more
                             than 6,000. Until recently, most of these personnel were from active forces
                             assigned to USAREUR. The Army’s two divisions in Europe, the 1 st
                             Infantry and 1st Armored Divisions, alternated providing a division
                             headquarters and at least one combat brigade. The other eight divisions in
                             the active Army had not deployed before August 1998. Before that time, the
                             largest U.S.-based force in Bosnia was the 2 nd Armored Cavalry Regiment,
                             which deployed nearly 3,000 soldiers in August 1997. U.S.- and European-
                             based units also provided about 2,700 individual augmentees to the
                             deployed units. The portion of the total active Army in 1998 that was
                             assigned to the European-based combat units, the remaining active Army
                             combat units, and the rest of the active Army’s support and headquarters
                             forces are shown in figure 1.




                             5 Cannibalizationis the removal of parts from one aircraft to use on another aircraft, usually because
                             parts are unavailable in the supply system.

                             6 For   fiscal year 1999, the size of the active Army was reduced to 480,000.




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        Figure 1: Portions of the Fiscal Year 1998 Total Active Army in European-based
        Combat Units, Non-European Active Combat Units, and the Rest of the Active Army
                                                            Non-European Combat 29.1%




                                                                                 European Combat        5.3%




        Other Army Forces      65.6%

        Source: Department of the Army.


        Besides deploying forces for Bosnia, the Army has two other ongoing
        OOTW and one OOTW that ended in March 1999. One operation is the
        quarterly deployment of a battalion-size task force of about 1,100 soldiers
        to Kuwait to train with Kuwaiti military forces in desert armored warfare.
        A second operation is the continuous deployment of a similarly sized task
        force to the Sinai in support of the Multinational Force and Observers.7 A
        third operation had been the continuous deployment of a battalion of about
        350 soldiers to Macedonia as part of the U.N. Preventative Deployment
        Force. In March 1999, the United Nations decided not to renew the mission
        in Macedonia.8




        7 Since1982, the United States has deployed an infantry battalion to the Sinai continuously as part of a
        multinational effort to observe and report violations to the Egyptian-Israeli treaty of peace resulting
        from the Camp David Accords.

        8 From  1993 through March 1999, USAREUR had maintained a continual presence in the former
        Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia as part of a multinational peacekeeping force. USAREUR provided a
        combat battalion of around 350 personnel whose mission was to observe, monitor, and report on
        activities within their assigned sector.




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                          In the Air Force, OOTW deployments are concentrated in a small
                          percentage of career fields, and a large majority of personnel have little or
                          no OOTW deployments. Our analysis of the Air Force’s database that
                          tracks all temporary duty (TDY), including OOTW deployments, showed
                          that approximately 31 percent of active duty Air Force personnel had no
                          TDY in fiscal year 1998. Another 53 percent were on TDY at least 1 day, but
                          less than 60 days. It is unlikely that many in this group participated in
                          OOTW because most deployments exceed 60 days. On the other hand,
                          about 5 percent of Air Force active duty personnel accounted for
                          27 percent of total TDY in fiscal year 1998. Pilots, for example, comprised
                          4 percent of total active duty personnel but accounted for 9 percent of total
                          TDY. The 5 percent of personnel who accounted for 27 percent of TDY
                          consisted of about 16,700 assigned personnel, each of whom had TDY of
                          120 days or more in fiscal year 1998. The Air Force’s goal is to keep TDY
                          for any individual to no more than 120 days per year.

                          Air Force officials stated that a number of occupations, such as those in the
                          medical, space, and missile fields, are seldom used during current OOTW
                          but could be used during more intense hostilities. This factor contributes
                          to their low TDY rates. In addition, U.S. Air Forces in Europe officials told
                          us that even within squadrons, not all skills are tasked to support
                          contingencies. For example, of all occupations in U.S. Air Forces in
                          Europe, about three-fourths of all officers and half of all enlisted personnel
                          do not deploy to OOTW.

                          Appendix II contains additional details on OOTW impacts on the services
                          and the time required to recover warfighting skills.



A DOD Reporting           The readiness reporting system used by DOD, the Global Status of
                          Resources and Training System (GSORTS),9 has information that indicates
System Shows Some,        that the readiness of units engaged in OOTW in all of the services has been
but Not All, Impacts of   adversely affected. These effects are particularly evident in Army lower
                          unit-level readiness ratings. The Joint Staff, the Office of the Secretary of
OOTW

                          9 GSORTS, which evolved from the Status of Resources and Training System developed by DOD during
                          the Cold War, requires each unit to indicate the current level of personnel, equipment on hand,
                          equipment serviceability, and training and the commander’s overall assessment of the unit’s readiness
                          to undertake its wartime mission. A C-1 unit can undertake the full wartime mission for which it is
                          organized and designed; a C-2 unit can undertake most of its wartime mission; a C-3 unit can undertake
                          many but not all elements of its wartime mission; a C-4 unit requires additional resources or training to
                          undertake its wartime mission; and a C-5 unit is not prepared to undertake its wartime mission.




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                            Defense, and the military services regularly review the impact of OOTW in
                            senior-level readiness forums such as the Joint Monthly Readiness Review
                            and the Senior Readiness Oversight Council. These forums meet monthly
                            to review readiness concerns and direct corrective actions. However,
                            important information about a unit’s condition is not readily apparent in
                            GSORTS or reported at all. For example, some impacts are only noted in
                            the detailed commanders’ comments. Furthermore, GSORTS does not
                            clearly show some conditions that may adversely affect the ability of units
                            to perform their wartime missions. These masked conditions include the
                            counting of temporarily assigned personnel against wartime manning
                            requirements, optimistically estimating training status, and reporting
                            against different standards. In commenting on a draft of this report, DOD
                            stated that based on congressional direction, it is examining revisions to
                            readiness reporting in relation to the deployment of personnel.


Reported Readiness of       Until late 1998, the Army’s Directorate for Readiness had been summarizing
European-based Army Units   Army division-level readiness in reports to the Army Chief of Staff. It has
                            since begun analyzing data for units within the divisions. We found that the
Has Declined                readiness reported for the Army’s 10 active divisions had not declined
                            much. For example, from fiscal year 1995 to 1998 only two of those
                            divisions reported a readiness rating below C-2 and those occurred in fiscal
                            year 1995. Division-level reports are composites of their battalion and
                            other units’ reports prepared under the guidance of division commanders.
                            GSORTS data at the battalion level, however, show an adverse impact on
                            the readiness of Army units that had been deployed to Bosnia.

                            We analyzed GSORTS data to see how often Army battalions were
                            reporting at high levels (C-1 or C-2) and lower levels (C-3 or C-4). While the
                            specific ratings are classified, as can be seen in figure 2, since fiscal year
                            1995 the frequency at which the units in European-based divisions have
                            reported their readiness at C-1 or C-2 has decreased 17 percent, from 87
                            percent in fiscal year 1995 to 72 percent by fiscal year 1998. Over this same
                            period, the frequency at which the other eight active Army divisions
                            reported C-1 or C-2 increased 14 percent, from 80 to 91 percent.10 Even
                            more significantly, by fiscal year 1998, divisional units in the eight active
                            Army divisions outside Europe were reporting at the lower readiness levels


                            10The U.S.-based brigades of the divisions stationedoutside the continental United States are not included
                            in these percentages. Including these brigades with the other eight active Army divisions had little impact
                            on our reported calculations.




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                                                  (C-3 or C-4) only 8 percent of the time, whereas European-based divisional
                                                  units were reporting readiness at those lower levels 27 percent of the
                                                  time.11



Figure 2: Frequency at Which Divisional Units Reported C-1 or C-2 Versus C-3 or C-4 From Fiscal Year 1995 to 1998

                           C-1 or 2                                                             C-3 or 4

 In Percent                                                         In Percent
 95                                                                 30



 90                                                                 25



 85                                                                 20



 80                                                                 15



 75                                                                 10



 70                                                                  5
      1995         1996           1997                  1998             1995             1996           1997                  1998
                       Fiscal Year                                                            Fiscal Year

              Non-European       European                                           Non-European       European
              Divisional Units Divisional Units                                    Divisional Units Divisional Units



                                                  Source: Department of the Army data.




                                                  11The European-based divisional units’ GSORTS data for fiscal year 1998 include readiness ratings on
                                                  two specialized engineer units that, according to USAREUR, are typically not found in Army divisions.
                                                  Removing the two units’ ratings from European-based divisional units’ GSORTS data decreases the
                                                  percentage of time they reported C-1 or C-2 in fiscal year 1998 by 1 percentage point and increases the
                                                  percentage of time units reported at C-3 or C-4 by 1 percentage point.




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European-based Army Units     The reported decline in European-based Army combat units’ readiness
Subjectively Upgraded Their   would have been greater had commanders not subjectively upgraded their
                              units’ ratings. GSORTS allows and notes whether a unit’s readiness rating
Readiness Ratings More        is the result of the commander’s decision to report that the unit is at a
Often Than Other Active       different level of readiness than the data would normally support. Our
Army Units                    analysis of GSORTS data shows that the commanders of the European-
                              based Army divisional units exercised their prerogative and subjectively
                              upgraded their units’ readiness ratings more frequently than the rest of the
                              active Army divisional units. From fiscal year 1995 to 1997, the European-
                              based divisional units more than quadrupled the frequency at which they
                              upgraded their readiness to C-1, from 13 percent to 61 percent. The
                              frequency then declined to 39 percent in 1998, triple the level of 1995. 12
                              European-based divisional units also more than tripled the frequency at
                              which they upgraded their readiness to C-2 between fiscal year 1995 and
                              1997, from 8 percent to 27 percent, before it declined to 16 percent in 1998.
                              Over that same period, the divisional units in the other active divisions
                              reduced the frequency at which they subjectively upgraded their status to
                              C-1 by almost half, from 27 to 14 percent of the time and to C-2 by half,
                              from 16 to 8 percent. Figure 3 depicts this information graphically. We are
                              reporting the results of our analysis, not making any judgments about the
                              appropriateness of these upgrades or the practice of allowing such
                              upgrades.




                              12Removing the two specialized engineer units’ ratings from the European-based divisional unit
                              GSORTS data decreases the upgrade percentage for fiscal year 1997 by 3 percentage points and for
                              fiscal year 1998 by 9 percentage points.




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Figure 3: Frequency at Which Commanders in Divisional Units Upgraded Readiness Ratings to C-1 and C-2 in Fiscal Years
1995-98


                                C-1                                                          C-2

In Percent                                                      In Percent
70                                                              30


60
                                                                25

50
                                                                20

40
                                                                15
30

                                                                10
20


10                                                               5
     1995         1996          1997                 1998            1995           1996           1997            1998
                      Fiscal Year                                                       Fiscal Year

             Non-European        European                                      Non-European        European
             Divisional Units Divisional Units                                 Divisional Units Divisional Units



                                                 Source: Department of the Army data.




Other Services’ Readiness                        The other services’ data indicated that units engaged in OOTW were
Also Affected by OOTW                            reporting lower readiness levels more frequently than they were several
                                                 years ago. Air Force fighter squadrons in the Pacific, which have been less
                                                 involved in OOTW, reported higher readiness levels than similar squadrons
                                                 based in the United States and Europe. However, our analysis of the extent
                                                 of subjective upgrading in the other services did not find that units heavily
                                                 engaged in OOTW were subjectively upgrading their readiness ratings in
                                                 GSORTS more frequently than in the past.




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Commanders’ Comments       Unit commanders may add comments to their GSORTS ratings to provide
Reveal Conditions Not      information or clarify circumstances surrounding their numerical ratings.
                           Our review of these comments revealed details and concerns about the
Reflected in Reported      impact of OOTW that were not apparent in the ratings. For example, one
Ratings                    USAREUR unit commander commented that his GSORTS personnel rating
                           was high because he had 116 percent of the senior graded personnel, but
                           the unit still had personnel who lacked the required skill level or rank to
                           meet requirements. He said that junior officers had to serve in more senior
                           positions and that the situation was sufficiently serious to subjectively
                           downgrade his unit’s readiness to C-2. Nine commanders noted that
                           despite reporting both high personnel and overall unit readiness levels,
                           they lacked sufficient senior enlisted personnel in key skill areas.

                           Furthermore, when units were split-based, knowing the units’ condition at
                           each location was difficult unless it was noted in the commanders’
                           comments. For example, a commander in Bosnia reported his unit’s
                           personnel status as high and upgraded the unit’s overall readiness, although
                           two of the battalion’s tank companies that were not deployed were
                           critically short of deployable combat and support soldiers. The
                           commander explained that the upgrade was warranted because infantry
                           companies were attached to his unit in Bosnia and with the attached
                           companies, his unit could execute combat or peace operations. Without
                           commanders’ comments, such circumstances affecting GSORTS ratings
                           would not be clear.

                           Other factors also affect unit readiness reporting and thereby mask the
                           impact of participating in OOTW. They include the way personnel are
                           counted, training assumptions used, and the mission the unit is reporting
                           against. Appendix III discusses these other factors and also contains
                           details on other OOTW impacts that are not readily evident in DOD
                           reporting systems.


The Army is Beginning to   Until recently, the Army’s Readiness Directorate was only examining the
Analyze GSORTS Data        reported readiness of its divisions. In reports and testimony since October
                           1994, we have reported that the Army needs to broaden its analysis and
Differently                reporting of Army readiness data. In November 1997, as part of the Fiscal
                           Year 1998 Defense Authorization Act, Congress directed that DOD’s
                           Quarterly Readiness Reports be expanded to include information on active
                           battalion, squadron, or equivalent units that receive a C-3 rating or below
                           for any month of the year covered by the report. Additionally, the
                           Readiness Directorate staff and the Chief of Staff of the Army have been


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                           hearing concerns about readiness that were not reflected in the division-
                           level reports. These concerns often were relayed directly to the Chief of
                           Staff in his visits to units as well as to Members of Congress who visited
                           units in Bosnia and other locations. The most recent expanded Quarterly
                           Readiness Report was delivered to Congress in early 1999.



Impact of OOTW on          Morale data have been obtained through personnel surveys in the Army and
                           the Air Force and indirect means in the Navy and the Marine Corps. Army
Morale Varies by           data do not indicate that OOTW create significant morale problems, but Air
Service and OOTW           Force data indicate that OOTW is one of several factors affecting morale. A
                           recurring theme in both Army and Air Force morale surveys is that
Contributes to Some        deployments negatively impact families and marriages. Navy and Marine
Services’ Retention        Corps personnel said that retention is an indicator of morale. Retention is
Problems                   a problem in some of the services, but OOTW is only one of several
                           contributing factors. We have several efforts underway examining
                           retention and quality-of-life issues in the services and will report our results
                           later this year.


Army Surveys Show Morale   On the basis of USAREUR surveys involving thousands of military
High Albeit With Some      personnel deployed to Bosnia, the Army has described morale there as
                           high. These surveys covered a number of topics, including morale, family
Concerns                   issues, leadership, unit effectiveness, equipment, and attitudes toward
                           peacekeeping. While the soldiers’ morale declined during their first year in
                           Bosnia and increased afterward, the surveys showed that more than
                           60 percent of the participants reported that their morale was high. A July
                           1997 survey of forces deployed throughout Bosnia also showed morale as
                           relatively high. Morale increased by rank, with officers reporting higher
                           morale than noncommissioned officers and noncommissioned officers
                           reporting higher morale than lower enlisted soldiers. There was no
                           comparable survey for 1998.

                           Soldiers reported positive and negative aspects of their deployments.
                           Positive aspects included financial benefits (the income tax exemption
                           while deployed and receipt of imminent danger pay) and educational
                           benefits (the ability to take college courses through distance education
                           while deployed). Negative aspects cited by soldiers who deployed the first
                           year of the operation included the length of deployments and uncertainty
                           about when they would return home. Soldiers deployed in 1996, the first
                           year of the operation, and those deployed in 1997 often cited the adverse
                           impact on families and marriages. For example, 47 percent of soldiers


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        surveyed in June 1996 reported moderate to extreme stress due to marital
        or relationship problems and 45 percent reported that the deployment had
        hurt their relationships with family members. In the July 1997 survey,
        54 percent of the soldiers reported that the number of deployments 13 had
        hurt the stability of their marriages. Among survey respondents with
        families, 54 percent of active duty soldiers, 47 percent of U.S. Army Reserve
        soldiers, and 71 percent of National Guard soldiers reported that the
        number of deployments had put a big strain on their families. Soldiers we
        talked to in nine units noted that predictability, knowing when you would
        be deployed and for how long, is a key to improving family morale.

        According to USAREUR officials, the command was especially concerned
        about the effects of OOTW on the morale of both deployed soldiers and
        their families. They believed that the Army had significantly improved
        living conditions and pointed to the establishment of the Family Support
        System in Germany consisting of Family Assistance Centers, Family
        Support Groups, and Rear Detachment Commanders as steps that they had
        taken. USAREUR officials acknowledged that providing a soldier with
        some sense of deployment predictability is a key.

        Eight of the 12 USAREUR morale indicators for the command as a whole
        were positive. For example, retention rates increased from fiscal year 1994
        to partway through fiscal year 1998, from 113 percent to 144 percent of
        goals for mid-term enlisted personnel and 117 percent to 127 percent of
        goals for first-term personnel. Substance abuse enrollments declined from
        47.4 per thousand in fiscal year 1993 to 31.9 per thousand in fiscal year
        1997. Drug detection and suicide rates also declined.

        In commenting on a draft of this report, DOD stated that it considered
        USAREUR’s concerns in subsequent unit deployments to Bosnia. For
        example, DOD said that the 1st Cavalry Division had set up a family support
        center with video conferencing, e-mail, and support personnel to improve
        the quality of life for the entire family. Units scheduled for rotations to
        Bosnia are establishing similar facilities and capabilities. DOD further
        stated that it is continuously seeking ways to mitigate the effects of OOTW
        through global unit sourcing, reducing deployment time frames, and earlier
        deployment notification to individuals.




        13Seventy-six   percent of the soldiers surveyed reported that they had previously deployed to Bosnia.




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OOTW Is One of Several        The Air Force 1997 Chief of Staff Organizational Climate and Quality of Life
Factors Affecting Morale of   Survey, the most recent available, showed that about half of all personnel
                              reported high morale. This was the first time the issue of unit morale was
Air Force Personnel           addressed in the survey. Survey officials said that their analysis showed
                              unit morale was most closely associated with attitudes toward unit
                              leadership. The survey did not specifically address OOTW and its effect on
                              morale. However, the 1st Fighter Wing, a unit that deploys predominately
                              to SWA, had the lowest surveyed morale of the units we visited. In units we
                              visited, Air Force personnel described morale as declining due to the
                              nature of operations and the conditions and length of deployments.

                              As was the case in the Army, Air Force deployments often had a negative
                              impact on relationships with families. An Air Force official stated that the
                              percentage of married personnel in the Air Force even among junior
                              personnel is higher than in the past. The result is that deployments affect
                              not only the servicemember, but also the spouse and other family members.
                              The deployment schedule causes personnel to miss family events, such as
                              birthdays and holidays. Morale also suffers in units where people are not
                              deployed because they have to work long hours to cover for those that are
                              deployed. In meetings with personnel of Air Force units engaged in OOTW,
                              we were told that people not deployed may not have much more
                              opportunity to spend time with family because they may also work holidays
                              and weekends and may not be able to take scheduled vacations. The 1997
                              Quality of Life Survey found that high operating tempo caused personal
                              problems for about a third of officers and enlisted personnel generally and
                              more than half of pilots.


OOTW Contributes to           The Army has been meeting its overall retention goals. Within the Army,
Retention Problems, but       despite deployments to Bosnia, USAREUR’s retention rates for initial and
                              mid-term enlisted soldiers have generally met or exceeded the overall
With Some Exceptions, the     Army’s rates since 1994. For those who leave the Army, OOTW
Services Have Been Meeting    deployments are sometimes cited as one of the reasons. For example,
Retention Goals               19 percent of the soldiers that deployed to Bosnia during the first year of
                              the operation reported that they decided to leave the Army as a result of the
                              deployment. However, a study of Army reservists that deployed to Bosnia
                              concluded that deployments were just one of a number of reasons for
                              leaving the service. Other reasons cited included pay, leadership, and
                              career advancement.

                              The Air Force is experiencing retention problems in a number of
                              occupations, particularly pilots, and in critical enlisted specialties that may


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                      be worsening. For example, Air Combat Command data indicate that 6 of
                      the 10 occupations with the highest deployment rates are not meeting
                      retention goals for personnel completing their first enlistment term. Air
                      Force officials in the squadrons and wings we visited said that they were
                      having difficulty retaining personnel and believed that many of the
                      retention problems were partly or primarily the result of repeated
                      deployments to undesirable OOTW and increased workloads when not
                      deployed. However, Air Force data on the reasons people separate are
                      mixed, with operations tempo and quality of life cited as factors for pilots,
                      while pay, promotion, and leadership issues are more commonly cited as
                      factors for enlisted personnel. Discussions with unit representatives and
                      statements by high-level Air Force officials indicate that the decision to
                      separate from the Air Force is a complex one and other factors besides
                      TDY or OOTW play a big part in such a decision.

                      Overall, the Navy has been meeting its fiscal year 1998 first-term retention
                      goals. Exit surveys routinely show family separation as one of the top
                      three reasons for officer and enlisted personnel leaving the Navy. However,
                      Navy officials could not measure the actual degree of impact caused by
                      OOTW operations. The Naval Personnel Office has begun a study to better
                      understand why personnel are staying in or leaving the service.

                      The Marine Corps also has been meeting its retention goals, although there
                      are some critical shortages in career fields such as counterintelligence,
                      imagery interpretation, career recruiters, and pilots. While the Marine
                      Corps is aware of the above retention problems, it has no data that link
                      them to OOTW. A Marine Corps official in the Office of Manpower and
                      Reserve Affairs told us that the Corps is developing a retention survey to
                      determine why Marines remain in or leave the service, which is scheduled
                      to be administered for the first time in January 2000.

                      Appendix IV contains additional details on morale.



Responding to Major   The services develop their force structure based on the requirements of
                      engaging in major theater wars and providing forward presence. Two of
Theater War While     DOD’s major force structure analyses, the 1993 DOD Bottom-Up Review
Engaged in OOTW       and the 1997 Quadrennial Defense Review, stated that all 10 active Army
                      divisions are needed to fight and win two nearly simultaneous major
Presents Challenges   theater wars. However, these analyses show that some of the forces
                      necessary for a major theater war are also expected to be used for OOTW
                      and until needed, would likely be involved in OOTW.



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        One of the Quadrennial Defense Review’s major analyses identified some
        issues critical to ensuring that U.S. forces can transition from OOTW to
        major theater wars. For example, redeploying forces committed to various
        regions around the world would be difficult and could seriously strain the
        services’ mobility and support forces. Also, some types of units, such as
        military police and signal, would be stressed. Although DOD did not use
        the results to recommend force structure changes, such as reducing some
        combat capabilities or adding others more suitable to OOTW to reduce the
        operating demands on some units, the analysis makes it clear that DOD still
        has much work to do in assessing the impact and managing the demands of
        OOTW.

        In April 1996, DOD, in its Quarterly Readiness Report to Congress, began
        noting some concerns about its ability to engage in a major theater war
        while involved in an OOTW the size of the one in Bosnia. The April 1996
        report and subsequent reports have noted concerns about the ability to
        quickly disengage and redeploy from OOTW. DOD said that,

        “Diversion of strategic lift assets needed for withdrawal from an ongoing operation can
        impact arrival of forces and sustainment stocks to support a Major Regional Contingency
        (MRC). In addition, indigenous rail, highway, and seaport conditions can limit the ability to
        withdraw rapidly. National and international politics could complicate a rapid withdrawal,
        and of course, a non-permissive disengagement environment would increase the risk to our
        forces.”

        In commenting on a draft of this report, DOD stated that the latest
        Quarterly Readiness Report to Congress downgraded this concern based
        on steps taken to mitigate the risk such as modifying deployment schedules
        for units engaged in OOTW and substituting other equally capable units.
        The unclassified version of this report described the assessment of the
        cumulative impact of ongoing operations, including the Bosnia operation,
        on the outbreak of a major war in SWA followed by a major war in Korea.
        The report stated that most major combat and key support forces are ready
        to meet assigned missions, but the pace of contingency operations
        continues to stress the readiness of certain segments of the force. It also
        stated that U.S. forces remain capable of executing the two major war
        strategy, but cited several factors, including mobility and logistics, that add
        to risk.




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DOD Is Studying How to       According to current DOD guidance, the services should plan for the
Disengage From Bosnia if     possibility of withdrawing from OOTW in the event of major theater wars.
                             DOD recently provided Congress a classified report on the effects of its
There Were a Major Theater   involvement in Bosnia on its ability to conduct two major wars occurring at
War                          about the same time. In 1998, the U.S. European Command began to study
                             how it would withdraw U.S. forces from Bosnia if the United States had to
                             disengage before the end of the mission to respond to a major theater war.
                             The command estimates its study will take over a year to complete. In the
                             summer of 1998, officials we talked to at the Sarajevo headquarters of
                             North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)-led forces in Bosnia, the 1st
                             Armored Division in Tuzla, the European Command in Germany, and the
                             Army’s III Corps and 1st Cavalry Division in the United States did not know
                             how forces would be withdrawn from Bosnia if needed for a major theater
                             war.

                             According to the European Command’s Deputy Chief of Staff for
                             Operations, one primary issue is that some of the military units that are
                             needed to facilitate withdrawal from Bosnia are the same ones needed to
                             facilitate a deployment to any new theater of operations. He suggested it
                             may take 18 months to eliminate any conflicting requirements in the plans.
                             The command estimated it will take 90 days to disengage forces from
                             Bosnia and redeploy them to a major theater war—45 days to redeploy
                             from Bosnia and 45 days to reconstitute, train, and redeploy to another
                             theater. Other issues that would have to be addressed include coordinating
                             with NATO, identifying any continuing support U.S. forces might provide to
                             remaining NATO forces, and, if other NATO forces also withdrew,
                             determining how facilities, such as roads, ports, and airfields, would be
                             shared.

                             Appendix V contains additional information on responding to a major
                             theater war while engaged in OOTW. We are also preparing a separate
                             classified report on the withdrawal of forces from Bosnia for a major
                             theater war.



Effect of Actions Taken      The Joint Staff and the services recognize the need to reduce the impact of
                             OOTW on U.S. military forces and have established some programs to
to Reduce OOTW               achieve this goal. These programs include the Global Military Force Policy
Impact on Forces Not         (GMFP), the Army’s new stabilization policy, and the Air Force’s initiative
                             to establish the Expeditionary Air Force. However, the Joint Staff and the
Yet Known                    services do not know the extent to which these programs are achieving



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                       B-279505




                       their goals either because there is insufficient data available to assess them
                       or they are too new to assess.


GMFP Seeks to Manage   There is a greater demand during peacetime for some military assets than
High Demand Assets     the services can meet without degrading the readiness of these assets and
                       causing lost training opportunities and reduced quality of life for personnel
                       in these units. These assets in the active force include some major
                       platforms, weapon systems, units, and personnel that exist in limited
                       numbers but are in high demand. For example, the Air Force has six
                       Airborne Battlefield Command and Control Center aircraft and at least
                       three have been deployed continuously to OOTW since 1994. To balance
                       these needs, the Joint Staff established GMFP in July 1996 as a peacetime
                       prioritization process for allocating those assets among the theater
                       warfighting commanders for use in crises, contingencies, and long-term
                       joint task force operations. The policy’s goal is to ensure that, while
                       meeting the theater commanders’ requirements, these service-specified
                       assets are maintained at the highest possible level of readiness and are
                       available to respond to crises when they arise.

                       The Joint Staff is responsible for administering GMFP. It coordinates with
                       the warfighting commanders and services to (1) determine mission
                       priorities, (2) establish or validate the assets’ requirements, (3) assess their
                       availability, and (4) develop allocation options for the Joint Chiefs and the
                       Secretary of Defense. The services nominate the assets to be tracked
                       under GMFP, provide criteria for how often they can be used, and monitor
                       their status. The list of GMFP assets and the criteria for their use are
                       updated annually. As of November 1998, the services had designated 32
                       assets to be managed under GMFP.

                       The Joint Staff’s focus is managing the level of activity for assets covered
                       under GMFP. In commenting on a draft of this report, DOD stated that it
                       believes GMFP has been a significant factor in recent decisions about
                       deploying these assets, although Joint Staff officials are uncertain about
                       the policy’s overall impact and have not formally analyzed its use.
                       Historical data that could help determine the overall success of the effort
                       are not maintained by the Joint Staff. Therefore, we were unable to
                       ascertain the Joint Staff’s or services’ effectiveness in keeping the
                       operating tempo of the GMFP-managed assets within established criteria.

                       GMFP does not address whether the services have adequate numbers of
                       those assets covered by the program because, according to the Joint Staff,



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                           GMFP was not designed to do so. It further said that other processes
                           within the services and Joint Staff, such as the Joint Requirements
                           Oversight Council and the Joint Warfighting Capability Analysis, are
                           supposed to determine whether the military has the right numbers and mix
                           of assets. The Joint Staff noted that a key question DOD faces is what
                           requirement should determine the number of assets: a wartime
                           requirement or a peacetime requirement. DOD and the services have been
                           sizing military forces to fight two major theater wars, but GMFP is designed
                           to better manage the peacetime demands on these assets.

                           In its January 1999 draft report to Congress on GMFP, DOD reports that it
                           and the Joint Chiefs are aggressively managing the demand and use of the
                           GMFP assets. Furthermore, DOD reports that the services (1) are taking
                           steps to manage the force structure of the assets under GMFP within
                           available funding and (2) in a few instances, are planning to increase the
                           number of some assets that are managed under GMFP.


Army Initiatives Include   The Army has instituted a deployment stabilization policy that recognizes
Stabilization Policy       the personnel impacts that frequent and constant deployments have on
                           Army forces. In February 1998, the Army Deputy Chief of Staff for
Intended to Reduce         Personnel announced a policy to provide a period of stabilization for
Personnel Tempo            soldiers that are temporarily away from their home stations on operational
                           deployments. Under the policy, soldiers deployed to OOTW as individuals
                           or part of a unit for a period of at least 30 consecutive days will be
                           provided, to the greatest extent feasible, 1 month of stabilization for each
                           month deployed. For purposes of this policy, these deployments include
                           operations such as the one in Bosnia, international humanitarian
                           assistance, counterdrug operations, and domestic civil disturbances.
                           Deployments for training exercises and schools, which can be months in
                           duration, and deployments of less than 30 days do not count toward
                           eligibility for stabilization. During the stabilization period, soldiers are
                           ineligible to be deployed from their home stations for OOTW-like
                           deployments. However, stabilization may be waived by the first general
                           officer in a soldier’s chain of command to meet immediate and critical
                           operational needs. We were told at USAREUR that waivers had been
                           issued. Because the Army had begun implementing the policy in mid-1998,
                           we believe it is too early to determine its success.

                           To relieve USAREUR of the high operating and personnel tempo it has
                           experienced since the Bosnia mission began and to allow it to focus on
                           training for its wartime mission, at the end of fiscal year 1998, the Army



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                           shifted responsibility for providing personnel to Bosnia from USAREUR to
                           U.S.-based forces. Plans are to continue to deploy U.S.-based forces
                           through the end of fiscal year 2000.

                           While the Army is seeking to mitigate the impact of long deployments on
                           individual soldiers and USAREUR as a whole, it did not consider force
                           structure adjustments to meet OOTW needs in its 2000-2005 biennial
                           determination of support needs completed in March 1998. The Army plans
                           to identify OOTW requirements in its current Total Army Analysis,14 which
                           identifies planned force structure needs for 2002-2007. As the Bosnia
                           operation continues or other OOTW arise, the Army is likely to have a
                           continuing need for specific units that are (1) limited in supply, (2) located
                           in the reserve component with limited access ability, or (3) assigned to
                           early deploying force packages needed for major theater war.


Air Force Initiatives to   The Air Force has implemented or plans to implement a number of
Reduce OOTW Impact Are     initiatives to reduce the impact of OOTW, but most either have insufficient
                           data available or are too new to assess whether they are meeting their
Too New to Assess          intended objectives. These initiatives include developing systems to
                           increase visibility over stressed systems and skills; reducing aviation unit
                           (crews and maintenance) deployments to SWA from 90 to 45 days; and
                           increasing the number of authorized aircraft for two assets under this
                           program (the RC-135 and HH-60) and the number of aircrews for the
                           Airborne Warning and Control System, HC-130s, and U-2 aircraft. These
                           initiatives also include providing time off for members returning from
                           contingencies; making greater use of the reserves; and, most recently and
                           broadly, unveiling a major initiative to establish the Expeditionary Air
                           Force.

                           The move to the Expeditionary Air Force would involve reorganizing the
                           Air Force into 10 Air Expeditionary Forces, 2 of which would be on call at
                           any time for use in contingency operations for a period of 90 days every
                           15 months. As part of this initiative, the Air Force is beginning to include
                           OOTW requirements in its force planning. Key bases would receive
                           personnel increases to smooth home station operations, with 5,000
                           personnel slots shifted to occupations needed for OOTW, such as security
                           police, from occupations not heavily used in OOTW. The Air Force projects


                           14This is the Army’s biennial process to determine the support force needed to meet its warfighting
                           requirements.




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                           that the Expeditionary Air Force will add predictability to deployments,
                           which will allow greater use of the total force. When operational in the
                           year 2000, the Air Force believes that the new structure will reduce
                           operating tempo for personnel deployed as well as those who stay at home
                           stations, thereby improving morale and retention.


The Navy Has Used          To help keep active component personnel tempo at acceptable levels, the
Reserves to Reduce Tempo   Navy has increased its reserve support by over 50 percent since the Gulf
                           War. In fiscal year 1997, the Navy Reserves provided over 3,000 personnel
                           to support operational activities and major command exercises overseas
                           and in the continental United States. This level of support is expected to
                           remain constant in the future. Some reserve forces used for OOTW
                           operations such as counterdrug operations in the Caribbean, include Navy
                           Reserve frigates and P-3 Orion and E-2C aircraft units. To a lesser degree,
                           Navy Reserve medium airlift and other assets have supported Bosnia
                           operations.



Congress Has Provided      Since 1995, Congress has provided funds to cover most OOTW costs
                           through a combination of annual appropriations, supplemental
Funding For OOTW           appropriations, and reprogramming of appropriated funds. To prevent
While Often Shifting       overall government spending from increasing, Congress reduced other
                           planned defense spending in fiscal years 1995, 1996, and 1997. It also
Funds From Other           sometimes used savings due to lower than expected inflation and favorable
Planned Defense            changes in currency exchange rates to help offset OOTW costs; were it not
Spending                   for the need to fund OOTW, these funds could presumably have been used
                           for other unfunded defense needs. In fiscal year 1998, Congress did not
                           reduce other planned defense spending to offset OOTW funding. Appendix
                           VI contains additional detail on OOTW funding.



Conclusions                Our analysis of OOTW impacts reveals a complex picture, with all of the
                           military services experiencing adverse effects to varying extent. The Army
                           and the Air Force appear to be the most affected. Both deployed units, and
                           some units that remained at home stations and had to pick up the work of
                           the deployed units, have had their wartime skills adversely affected. While
                           deployed units and some home station units are clearly adversely affected,
                           many military personnel are relatively unaffected.




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                      The Bottom-Up Review and the Quadrennial Defense Review did not
                      include force requirements for OOTW as a determinant of force structure.
                      Extended OOTW, as evidenced by the Bosnia and SWA missions, have
                      required extensive use of certain types of combat and support forces, such
                      as Army divisions and Air Force logistics personnel, as well as aircraft.
                      Some of these forces and aircraft are sometimes limited in numbers
                      relative to their use in OOTW, but are judged by DOD to be sufficient for
                      wartime requirements. The Air Force is beginning to include OOTW
                      requirements in its force planning, but the Army’s Total Army Analysis of its
                      warfighting requirements is not expected to identify OOTW requirements
                      before completion of the 2002-2007 needs determination. If Congress and
                      the executive branch conclude that the effects of OOTW are unacceptable,
                      other than reducing U.S. participation, it may be necessary to include
                      OOTW needs in determining future force structure.



Agency Comments and   In written comments on a draft of this report, DOD stated that the report
                      provided a good overview of the many issues DOD is facing in managing its
Our Evaluation        participation in OOTW and made several overall comments on the report
                      and its key findings. DOD stated that the report presented an incomplete
                      picture of the purpose or role of OOTW in the overall defense strategy and
                      the significant contribution OOTW makes to DOD’s strategy. We agree that
                      OOTW plays an important role in the overall U.S. military strategy and
                      while we have added mention of that in the report, we were not asked to,
                      nor did we, examine the role of OOTW in the overall defense strategy.

                      DOD further stated that it has taken many steps to improve the monitoring
                      of OOTW and its impact on readiness. DOD’s comments noted some of the
                      extensive discussion in our report concerning steps DOD has taken to
                      address OOTW impacts, but it is concerned about the lack of discussion of
                      senior-level readiness forums, specifically the Joint Monthly Readiness
                      Review and the Senior Readiness Oversight Council. We have revised the
                      report to state that these two forums regularly review the impact of OOTW.

                      DOD believes that our report suggests that it has not planned for the
                      withdrawal of U.S. forces if a major war occurs. DOD stated that it
                      continuously reviews and reapportions forces to meet the requirements of
                      the national defense strategy and the evolving global environment. DOD
                      stated that it recently sent a report to Congress that addresses in detail the
                      planning that is involved in disengaging and redeploying forces from
                      Bosnia in the event they are required for a major theater war. While DOD
                      has reported to Congress on the issues related to withdrawal and



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        reapportioned forces to meet national defense strategy requirements, we
        found that DOD did not have specific plans to execute a withdrawal.

        DOD expressed the view that our report oversimplifies the effects of
        OOTW on morale and retention. DOD stated that senior DOD officials have
        testified frequently before Congress on the complexity of the morale and
        retention issue, noting that while tempo issues certainly play a role, so do
        other factors, including the strong competition for skilled personnel from a
        robust civilian economy. We agree that the morale and retention issue is
        complex. Our report specifically discusses the effects of OOTW on morale
        and retention, providing evidence that these effects represent a mixed
        picture, including positive and negative effects of OOTW deployments, and
        states that OOTW is one of a number of factors affecting retention and that
        it is not possible to isolate the extent of OOTW impacts on the decision to
        separate from the military. As we stated in the report, we have several
        other efforts underway examining retention and quality-of-life issues in the
        services.

        Finally, DOD commented that our conclusion that OOTW adversely affects
        the services is overstated and does not reflect the steps the services and
        DOD have taken to mitigate their effect. DOD has not fully characterized
        our conclusion, which is that our analysis of OOTW impacts reveals a
        complex picture, with all of the military services experiencing adverse
        effects to varying extent. While our conclusion does not address the steps
        the services and DOD have taken to mitigate the effect of OOTW, our report
        contains extensive discussion of these steps.

        Appendix VII describes the Scope and Methodolgy of our work and
        appendix VIII contains the full text of DOD’s comments. DOD also
        provided technical comments on a draft of this report and we modified our
        report as appropriate to reflect these comments.


        As agreed with your office, unless you publicly announce the contents of
        this report earlier, we plan no further distribution of this report until
        30 days after its issue date. At that time we will send copies to other
        congressional committees. We will also send copies to the Honorable
        William Cohen, Secretary of Defense; the Honorable Louis Caldera,
        Secretary of the Army; the Honorable Richard Danzig, Secretary of the
        Navy; the Honorable F.W. Peters, Acting Secretary of the Air Force; and the
        Honorable Jacob Lew, Director, Office of Management and Budget. We will
        make copies available to other interested parties on request.



Leter   Page 32                                     GAO/NSIAD-99-69 Military Operations
        B-279505




        Major contributors to this report are listed in appendix IX. If you or your
        staff have any questions about this report, please contact me at
        (202) 512-5140.

        Sincerely yours,




        Mark E. Gebicke
        Director, National Security Preparedness




Leter   Page 33                                     GAO/NSIAD-99-69 Military Operations
Contents


Letter                                                               1


Appendix I                                                          38
History of U.S. Forces’
Participation in
Operations Other Than
War

Appendix II                                                         40
Additional Impacts of
OOTW

Appendix III                                                        48
Department of Defense
Reporting Systems’
Information on the
Impacts of OOTW

Appendix IV                                                         52
Effects of OOTW on
Morale

Appendix V                                                          54
Responding to Major
Theater War While
Engaged in OOTW

Appendix VI                                                         56
Funding for OOTW



                          Page 34   GAO/NSIAD-99-69 Military Operations
                        Contents




Appendix VII                                                                                      59
Scope and
Methodology

Appendix VIII                                                                                     61
Comments From the
Department of Defense

Appendix IX                                                                                       64
Major Contributors to
This Report

Tables                  Table 1: Commanders Assessment of Their Units’ Capabilities as
                          of Summer 1998                                                           8
                        Table 2: Comparison of the Quality of Training Opportunities at
                          Squadrons’ Home Station Versus in Operation Southern Watch
                          for F-16 Pilots                                                         10


Figures                 Figure 1: Portions of the Fiscal Year 1998 Total Active Army in
                          European-based Combat Units, Non-European Active Combat
                          Units, and the Rest of the Active Army                                  14
                        Figure 2: Frequency at Which Divisional Units Reported C-1 or
                          C-2 Versus C-3 or C-4 From Fiscal Year 1995 to 1998                     17
                        Figure 3: Frequency at Which Commanders in Divisional Units
                          Upgraded Readiness Ratings to C-1 and C-2 in Fiscal Years
                          1995-98                                                                 19




                        Page 35                                   GAO/NSIAD-99-69 Military Operations
Contents




Abbreviations

DOD     Department of Defense
GMFP    Global Military Force Policy
GSORTS Global Status of Resources and Training System
NATO    North Atlantic Treaty Organization
OOTW    operations other than war
RDT&E   research, development, test, and evaluation
SWA     Southwest Asia
TDY     temporary duty
USAREUR U.S. Army Europe



Page 36                               GAO/NSIAD-99-69 Military Operations
Page 37   GAO/NSIAD-99-69 Military Operations
Appendix I

History of U.S. Forces’ Participation in
Operations Other Than War                                                                                 ApIenxdi




                          Since the end of the Cold War, the frequency of operations other than war
                          (OOTW) has increased. The Army conducted 10 operational events outside
                          of normal training and alliance commitments between 1960 and 1991 and
                          26 during 1992-98. The Marine Corps conducted 15 contingency operations
                          from 1982 to 1989 and 62 since the fall of the Berlin Wall, and for the first
                          time the Air Force is experiencing long-term deployments. Both the report
                          of the Quadrennial Defense Review and the Defense Planning Guidance
                          predict that OOTW will be the predominate form of U.S. military
                          involvement for the next 15 to 20 years. The size of the military services
                          has fallen from post-Cold War levels of 2 million to less than 1.4 million
                          active duty personnel and from 1.9 million reserve personnel to less than
                          900,000. The force structure has also been reduced, from 18 to 10 active
                          Army divisions, 36 to 19 Air Force fighter wings, and 547 to 346 Navy ships.



Bosnia Is Currently the   Since December 1995, the United States has deployed military forces in and
                          around Bosnia to implement the General Framework Agreement (also
Largest Army Mission      known as the Dayton Agreement). These forces are part of a multilateral
                          coalition under the command of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization
                          (NATO). From December 1995 to December 1996, the coalition was called
                          the Implementation Force. In December 1996, NATO authorized a new
                          mission and renamed the coalition the Stabilization Force. In February
                          1998 NATO approved extending the mission with no deadline for
                          withdrawal. The decision to withdraw will now be based on achieving
                          certain conditions within Bosnia.

                          From December 1995 through October 1998, the U.S. Army Europe
                          (USAREUR) provided the bulk of the U.S. military forces for the mission in
                          Bosnia. Parts of both of USAREUR’s two combat divisions, the 1 st
                          Armored Division and the 1 st Infantry Division, have deployed to Bosnia;
                          the 1st Armored Division has deployed there twice. During that time, two
                          combat units were also deployed from the United States to Bosnia: the 2 nd
                          Armored Cavalry Regiment and elements of the 1st Armored Division’s U.S.-
                          based brigade. After almost 3 years of continued participation in Bosnia,
                          USAREUR was provided relief when the Army assigned the mission to a
                          U.S.-based division. On October 7, 1998, the 1st Armored Division
                          transferred command and control responsibility of the mission to the 1 st
                          Cavalry Division, which will retain mission responsibility for a year.




                          Page 38                                      GAO/NSIAD-99-69 Military Operations
                     Appendix I
                     History of U.S. Forces’ Participation in
                     Operations Other Than War




Air Force OOTW       According to the Air Force, since about 1989 the average number of
                     personnel deployed for OOTW has more than quadrupled, from about 3,400
Involvement Has      personnel to about 14,600 personnel in 1997. The number of rotational
Increased Over the   personnel required to support open-ended OOTW increased from about 750
                     before the Gulf War to about 12,000 in 1997. During the same period, the
Past 10 Years        number of Air Force personnel was reduced about 33 percent, from about
                     555,000 in 1989 to 370,000 in 1997. In addition, the number of forces
                     permanently based overseas decreased. For example, the number of
                     aircraft assigned to the U.S. Air Forces in Europe declined from about 702
                     aircraft in 1991 to about 215 in 1997. At the same time, the number of
                     contingencies that the U.S. Air Forces in Europe supported increased,
                     from 3 in 1991 to 11 in 1997, and the number of personnel and aircraft
                     involved increased.

                     The Air Force currently supports three major contingencies with its forces:
                     the mission in Bosnia and two in Southwest Asia (SWA) over Iraq
                     (Operations Northern and Southern Watch) that have been underway since
                     shortly after the 1991 Gulf War. Initially, U.S. Air Forces in Europe
                     provided the forces for the Bosnia mission and Air Forces in Europe and
                     the United States provided the forces for the SWA missions. Because these
                     missions have no end date, the Air Force has begun to use worldwide
                     forces, including those assigned to the Pacific region and the reserve
                     components, to relieve the strain of using the same forces. To meet SWA
                     mission requirements and to maintain a 45-day deployment practice, the
                     Air Force has scheduled multiple deployments of some fighter squadrons in
                     a 1-year period because, according to our analysis, the Air Combat
                     Command and the U.S. Air Forces in Europe do not have enough active
                     fighter squadrons to allow just one deployment a year. For example, about
                     16 F-15C squadrons are needed yearly to provide counter air coverage on a
                     rotational basis for the two Iraqi missions. However, in fiscal year 1998,
                     only eight active Air Force squadrons were based in Europe and the United
                     States to cover these areas.




                     Page 39                                    GAO/NSIAD-99-69 Military Operations
Appendix II

Additional Impacts of OOTW                                                                                                           ApIpx
                                                                                                                                         Ien
                                                                                                                                           di




                        In this appendix we discuss additional impacts of OOTW on the Air Force,
                        impacts on the Navy and the Marine Corps, and the time required to
                        recover warfighting skills after OOTW participation. Key factors
                        determining the extent to which participating in an OOTW degraded a
                        units’ wartime skills appeared to be the unit type, frequency of
                        participation, and mission skill requirements. Each service has units that
                        appear to be heavily affected.



Effect of OOTW on Air   Within the Air Force, fighter squadrons generally are the most negatively
                        affected by participating in OOTW. In addition to the previously described
Force Units             limited training value of OOTW participation for F-16 fighter squadrons,
                        other fighter squadrons are also adversely affected. For example, an
                        official of the 1 st Fighter Wing, which flies the F-15C, estimated that only
                        about 20 to 25 percent of the tasks needed to maintain pilot proficiency
                        were accomplished when deployed to SWA.

                        Regarding the SWA mission, A-10 squadron officials told us that theater
                        restrictions, which keep them at high altitudes, limit their ability to train for
                        two of their primary missions, air-to-ground combat and close air support.
                        These squadron officials believed that their overall combat skills were
                        better sharpened by local training events or participation in combat
                        training centers than by the opportunities received in past contingency
                        deployments.

                        Several unit officials stated that when deployed to SWA, units not
                        performing missions have limited training opportunities at best. In some
                        locations, training ranges are not available and getting clearance to use air
                        space has been difficult. Even in areas where access has been granted in
                        the past, these opportunities are not guaranteed because of the sensitive
                        political climate in that region. The Air Force has been working with host
                        governments to improve access to training areas.

                        The Air Force’s participation in OOTW may also be reducing opportunities
                        to take full advantage of combat training centers and events, such as the
                        Red Flag1 exercise at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. The Air Force has
                        increased the interval between unit participation in Red Flag from


                        1 Red  Flag is one of the Air Force’s premier training events. It provides realistic combat training in an
                        air, ground, and electronic threat environment. It also allows participating units to operate with
                        multiple weapon systems and other services and U.S. allies.




                        Page 40                                                        GAO/NSIAD-99-69 Military Operations
                        Appendix II
                        Additional Impacts of OOTW




                        12 months to 18 months for active units to reduce overall temporary duty
                        (TDY) assignments. However, unit officials told us that Red Flag is the
                        event that their unit looks forward to because it challenges their skills.
                        Moreover, units based in Germany have limited access to airspace and
                        ranges and see Red Flag as their best opportunity to receive wartime
                        training. However, some units had to cancel participating in Red Flag
                        because they were deployed or just returning from a deployment. In
                        addition, some units that attend Red Flag are less skilled than in the past.
                        According to Red Flag officials, units participating in recent years have
                        asked for a decrease in the intensity of the exercise because they tend to be
                        less experienced. While we were told that units were still receiving some
                        of the best training in the world, they spent less time in the high-end threat
                        environment than was typical in the past. As a result, some officials
                        believed that opportunities were being lost to fully exercise the increased
                        capability of today’s weapon systems.

                        Training proficiency of Air Force support forces that are engaged in OOTW,
                        such as airlift, air refueling, security police, civil engineering, and logistics
                        units has been less negatively affected because these types of units
                        typically perform more tasks that are wartime related. For example,
                        security forces usually perform force protection and logistics personnel
                        maintain aircraft and equipment much like they would in wartime, so there
                        is little loss in combat proficiency. However, because support deployments
                        involve a handful of individuals, unit cohesion is seldom achieved. Some
                        commanders expressed concern that while their unit’s wartime mission is
                        to deploy and perform as a unit, contingency missions do not usually
                        provide that opportunity.



Effect of OOTW on       Navy and Marine Corps wartime skills are less affected than those of the
                        other services because they routinely use deployed forces for OOTW.
Navy and Marine Corps   However, a small number of units have been affected by OOTW. Generally,
Units                   these were the types of units that are limited in number but in high demand.
                        They include the Navy’s E-2C Hawkeye aircraft squadrons and the Marine
                        Corps’ EA-6B aircraft squadrons.

                        The Navy’s E-2C Hawkeye is a carrier-based, all-weather, multimission
                        aircraft and its squadrons normally deploy as part of a carrier battle group.
                        The E-2C’s wartime missions include antiair warfare, amphibious warfare,
                        strike warfare, antisurface ship warfare, and command and control
                        warfare. However, counterdrug deployments to the Caribbean, which are
                        separate from normal deployments, do not require the E-2C Hawkeye crew



                        Page 41                                        GAO/NSIAD-99-69 Military Operations
                          Appendix II
                          Additional Impacts of OOTW




                          to exercise the full range of warfighting skills. Therefore, the squadrons
                          report degraded training readiness because warfighting skills, such as
                          those used for antiair warfare, amphibious warfare, and command and
                          control warfare, are not used.

                          The four Marine Corps EA-6B electronic countermeasure squadrons are
                          deployed repeatedly to ground bases in support of OOTW. Their missions
                          are to detect, disrupt, and target enemy electronic and communication
                          transmissions. The crews use their wartime skills in OOTW and thus are
                          not degraded, but the continued deployments have degraded the aircrafts’
                          condition. This degradation has decreased the units’ readiness status and
                          aircraft availability.



Effect of OOTW on the     In December 1997, USAREUR directed that units returning from Bosnia
                          implement deliberate training plans during peacetime to reestablish their
Services’ Recovery of     unit integrity and full range of warfighting skills. The training plans, which
Warfighting Skills        have five phases, are to be completed within 9 months of the units’ return
                          to Germany. These plans include time for the units’ redeployment,
                          recovery and leave, home station training, weapons qualification, and
                          participation in a battalion-level exercise at the Combat Maneuver Training
                          Center in Germany. This process is intended to train the units to the
                          highest training readiness level for their wartime mission. Air Force
                          combat units report that recovering wartime skills takes up to several
                          months.


Army Peacetime Recovery   Units we visited in Germany and the United States had recovery plans that
Time                      varied from 4 to 14 months. One brigade commander thought that his unit
                          required more time to recover its wartime skills than the training plan
                          provided. While based on the USAREUR five-phased plan, the commander
                          based his unit’s recovery time on the brigade’s previous redeployment from
                          Bosnia and its subsequent experiences at the Combat Maneuver Training
                          Center.

                          The Chief of Staff of the 1st Infantry Division in Germany said that its
                          training plan allows 9 months for the division to recover its warfighting
                          skills. He noted that the units that deployed to Bosnia had lost much of
                          their proficiency in wartime mission skills because they were not organized
                          or performing the types of missions expected in wartime.




                          Page 42                                      GAO/NSIAD-99-69 Military Operations
Appendix II
Additional Impacts of OOTW




The Chief of Staff of the 1st Armored Division in Germany said that the
division would need 6 to 7 months to recover after returning from Bosnia.
A July 1998 command assessment of the division’s readiness showed that
its forces were fully trained in only three of eight mission-essential tasks
and partially trained in key tasks such as its ability to attack, defend, and
conduct force protection because of its split-based operations. He said it
would take 60 to 90 days to reintegrate the deployed forces with those at
the home station, check the systems, and reestablish the command
relationships. In March 1999 testimony before the House Committee on
Armed Services, Subcommittee on Readiness, the division’s Commanding
General said that the division will attain the goal of training to high-
intensity conflict standards in less than 6 months following completion of
its warfighter exercise.

The recovery times for units below the division level that we visited in
Germany varied, with combat units generally taking the longest time and
combat support units the least. For example, one infantry battalion we
visited assessed that the unit was not trained in half of its mission-essential
tasks after returning from Bosnia and that a year would be needed to
rebuild and become a trained battalion once again. The battalion’s
commander did not think the division’s plan provided sufficient time to
recover all of its skills. Similarly, one aviation unit’s officials reported that
they would need up to 9 months to recover their skills. By contrast, a
signal battalion expected to recover in only 4 months. As noted previously,
a signal battalion performs a large part of its wartime skills in Bosnia. Its
commander noted that the battalion’s plan would allow for equipment
repair and soldiers to be retrained on the mobility aspects of their wartime
mission tasks.

The two U.S.-based units we visited that were involved in Bosnia also
expect to take at least 9 months to regain their wartime skills. The 2 nd
Armored Cavalry Regiment, which returned to the United States from
Bosnia in 1998, has a 10-month recovery plan that began in July 1998 and is
expected to end in May 1999. The 1 st Cavalry Division, which began
deploying to Bosnia in August 1998 for 1 year, had already developed a
9-month recovery plan for its forces when they return from Bosnia. This
recovery time, when added to the preparation for and actual deployment
time to Bosnia, means that this high priority division’s wartime readiness
status will be adversely affected for nearly 2 years.




Page 43                                        GAO/NSIAD-99-69 Military Operations
                          Appendix II
                          Additional Impacts of OOTW




Air Force Peacetime       Air Force aviation units we visited reported a degradation in combat skills
Recovery Time             and stated that they took from several weeks to several months to fully
                          regain their warfighting skills. Upon returning from deployments, crews
                          must regain flight currencies, provide training for inexperienced personnel,
                          and hone combat skills that could not be practiced while deployed.
                          Personnel are given administrative leave to catch up on personal affairs
                          after deployments, which delays recovery for a week or two. One wing
                          predicted that none of its three aviation squadrons would be fully capable
                          for at least 3 months after deployment, and two other wings reported that
                          at least one squadron would require a month to regain pilot proficiency.
                          This recovery period may be reduced in the future because deployment
                          lengths have been shortened from 90 to 45 days. Air Force officials believe
                          that pilot skills will erode less with the shorter periods.


Navy Peacetime Recovery   The Navy expects sailors to prepare for their forward presence
Time                      deployments, including recovering their wartime skills, during the routine
                          18- to 24-month interdeployment training cycle. Prior to the cycle, there is
                          a period when personnel rotate and/or take leave and participate in
                          specialized training, such as the Air Force’s Red Flag exercise for pilots.
                          Units that engage in OOTW during this period do not have the opportunity
                          to engage as extensively in specialized training and do not enter the cycle
                          as proficient as they might otherwise be. For example, the Navy E-2C
                          squadrons participating in counterdrug operations have 2 months less than
                          other units to prepare for their next deployment.



Effect of OOTW on         According to USAREUR’s November 1998 after-action report on Bosnia
                          operations, between mid-1996 and June 1998, divisions took personnel
Forces Remaining at       from portions of nondeploying units to fill the deploying headquarters and
Home Stations             other units with key personnel of the necessary ranks and numbers.
                          Consequently, the divisions were operating in widely separated locations
                          with the number of equipment and personnel designed for a single location.
                          The split in leadership focus led to ad hoc operating and training methods
                          and eroded unit cohesion, which, according to the report, has long-term
                          negative effects. For example, subordinate leaders and soldiers at home
                          stations are denied the attention, guidance, and mentoring they need.
                          Furthermore, the report predicted that this problem would be exacerbated
                          by distance for U.S.-based units deployed to Bosnia.




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Appendix II
Additional Impacts of OOTW




In March 1998, we testified that the readiness of the divisions responsible
for peacekeeping in Bosnia had been especially affected because the
challenges imposed by personnel shortages were compounded by frequent
deployments. According to division officials, the shortage of
noncommissioned officers in these divisions, in part due to deployments to
Bosnia, is the biggest detriment to overall readiness because crews, squads,
and sections are led by lower-level personnel rather than by trained and
experienced sergeants. Such a situation impedes effective training because
the replacement personnel become responsible for training soldiers in
critical skills they themselves may not have been trained to accomplish.

According to the Chief of Staff of the 1st Armored Division, operating
within a split-based environment precludes units remaining at home station
from conducting battalion-level exercises and results in conducting only
platoon- and company-level exercises. After redeploying and reuniting all
of the division’s units from its most recent deployment and recovering in
Germany, the 1st Armored Division will schedule its first brigade-level
exercise in 6 years.

U.S.-based Army forces supporting deployed personnel in Bosnia were also
affected by split-based operations. The 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment’s
partial unit remaining in Louisiana did not train above the individual and
platoon level because the bulk of the regiment was deployed and it also had
to support the deployed forces’ families and meet installation needs.

In the Air Force, the flying program for nondeploying personnel was often
reduced because fewer aircraft were available for training after others
deployed. Some units we visited reported that the deploying squadron
often took the best maintained aircraft from the wing or squadron. The
number of mission-capable aircraft remaining at home stations may only
allow a reduced training program for those that are left behind.
Respondents to the 1997 Air Force Chief of Staff Organizational Climate
and Quality of Life Survey indicated that OOTW was affecting home station
activities. Over 50 percent of pilots and more than a third of other officers
and enlisted personnel reported that the level of operational activity over
the previous year had an adverse impact on their ability to accomplish
required training. The survey also showed that personnel who were on
TDY for more than 30 consecutive days in the previous year were more
likely to report that operations tempo made it difficult to receive required
training and professional military education than those who were TDY 30
or fewer consecutive days over the same period.




Page 45                                      GAO/NSIAD-99-69 Military Operations
                             Appendix II
                             Additional Impacts of OOTW




                             Security squadron personnel have been one of the areas heavily affected by
                             deployments of high numbers of personnel. Some security forces in
                             Europe have worked 12-hour days, and other commands reported that their
                             security forces have gone to 12-hour days to keep the bases operating. In
                             some cases, even stretching the workday has not been adequate. Many
                             bases we visited reported using personnel from other wing squadrons,
                             including those that may be trained in areas such as personnel or as civil
                             engineers, to augment the bases’ security forces. These augmentees
                             received a brief training course and helped to staff gates and perform other
                             basic duties. Even with augmentation, some law enforcement duties such
                             as community patrols may be curtailed.


Effect of OOTW on Aircraft   Flying more hours and longer sorties during deployments than are flown
                             during home station training has accelerated the aging of aircraft. As
                             discussed earlier, the accumulation of flying hours during OOTW has
                             revealed maintenance problems that are not typical. Maintainers must fix
                             these problems as well as routine problems that develop. For example,
                             after the 1st Fighter Wing completed a 6-month deployment to SWA in
                             December 1997, aircraft availability was a big problem, according to wing
                             staff. The wing has 63 total aircraft, including backup aircraft, but was
                             averaging less that 45 aircraft available daily, which was enough to do
                             about two squadrons’ worth of training. The biggest reason for aircraft
                             unavailability was corrosion problems in the F-15 fuel cells, which required
                             an inspection of the entire fleet. In March 1998, the wing estimated that its
                             entire fleet would be inspected and repaired by December 1998, based on
                             the assumption that parts would be available when needed. However, we
                             were told that recent history may make this assumption highly optimistic.
                             In addition, six of the wing’s aircraft were grounded for structural problems
                             that either developed in SWA or were discovered on return from SWA.
                             Other aircraft with landing gear, engine, and other structural problems
                             awaited repair because maintenance specialists were engaged in fixing the
                             problems of the aircraft returning from SWA.

                             Officials in the Air Force units we visited said that the pace of deployments
                             had, at least in part, caused aircraft mission-capable rates to decline and
                             cannibalization rates to increase. Since 1991, the percentage of Air Force
                             fighter aircraft that were mission capable at any one time has dropped from
                             85 to 75 percent. Officials told us that when aircraft return from
                             deployments, a maintenance backlog is often created because not all
                             maintenance can be performed while the aircraft are deployed. Reducing
                             this backlog may tie up personnel that cannot perform routine maintenance



                             Page 46                                      GAO/NSIAD-99-69 Military Operations
Appendix II
Additional Impacts of OOTW




on other aircraft. Even when personnel are available, parts are often
unavailable, since nondeploying units have lower priority for parts. Thus,
either aircraft are not in a condition to fly or needed parts are taken from
other aircraft to increase the number of aircraft available. Air Force data
show that fighter aircraft are at times being cannabilized at a rate that
exceeds its targets; Air Force officials said that this problem is getting
worse. Air Combat Command officials have attributed the falling mission
capable rates not only to OOTW participation but to inadequate funding for
supply parts and to reductions in the number of experienced maintenance
technicians.




Page 47                                     GAO/NSIAD-99-69 Military Operations
Appendix III

Department of Defense Reporting Systems’
Information on the Impacts of OOTW                                                                AIpIenxdi




                    The Global Status of Resources and Training System (GSORTS) does not
                    clearly capture some conditions in addition to those described earlier that
                    may adversely affect the ability of units to perform their wartime mission.
                    These conditions include the counting of personnel temporarily assigned
                    against wartime manning requirements, optimistically estimated training
                    status, and inconsistent reporting standards.



How Personnel Are   If an Army unit scheduled to deploy to Bosnia for more than 60 days has a
                    personnel shortage, the Army will temporarily assign some personnel for
Counted Can Be      that mission, usually from nondeploying units. The number of temporarily
Misleading          assigned personnel in Bosnia at any one time varied from 1,400 in
                    December 1995 to 365 in April 1999. The Army has instructed that
                    temporarily assigned personnel be included as part of the deployed units’
                    personnel total reported in GSORTS. While counting these personnel as
                    part of the units’ resources may be appropriate for reporting against the
                    Bosnia mission requirements, GSORTS is expected to measure the units’
                    readiness to conduct its wartime missions. Therefore, counting temporary
                    personnel that are expected to return to their home units when their
                    temporary deployment ends appears to overstate the units’ manning level
                    for wartime. For example, the military intelligence, signal, and forward
                    support battalions we visited in Bosnia reported that they were 92 to
                    100 percent manned. However, when temporary personnel were not
                    counted, they actually had 80 percent or less of their required personnel,
                    including those at their home stations.

                    According to USAREUR’s November 1998 after-action report on Bosnia
                    operations, counting temporary personnel against a unit’s strength had
                    impeded getting replacements. This was of particular concern to unit
                    commanders that needed soldiers to fill personnel requirements in the
                    portions of their units at home stations that were recovering from previous
                    deployments. One unit commander told us that he was concerned that the
                    9 months it might take to fill the personnel requirements in his unit would
                    exacerbate the unit’s plan for regaining its high-intensity conflict
                    capabilities.




                    Page 48                                     GAO/NSIAD-99-69 Military Operations
                        Appendix III
                        Department of Defense Reporting Systems’
                        Information on the Impacts of OOTW




Optimistic              The Army and the Air Force allow latitude in how they require units to
                        report their training status. Army units can report training status in
Assumptions or          GSORTS predicated on having unconstrained resources and unrestricted
Waivers Can Overstate   training range access if mobilized. In the Air Force, flying requirements can
                        be prorated based on the time spent deployed. Both practices may allow
Training Readiness      units to optimistically rate their readiness.

                        Army units we visited had planned recovery periods that varied from 4 to
                        14 months and most routinely reported high training readiness. However,
                        one infantry brigade official noted that his battalions had not trained above
                        the company level in over 2 years and an aviation brigade had not trained at
                        the brigade level for 3 years. Although USAREUR announced in December
                        1997 that to conduct systematic training upon returning from Bosnia, units
                        may take as long as 9 months to recover, U.S. European Command officials
                        stated that this could be compressed to 45 days if units were tasked to
                        deploy. They said this would be accomplished by moving the units to a
                        higher priority status for personnel, equipment, spare parts, and access to
                        facilities. According to USAREUR officials, this compression was
                        acceptable because their Command is responsible for prioritizing and
                        eliminating any conflicts in its use of resources and facilities. However, if a
                        large number of unit training plans assume the units would have
                        unconstrained access to resources and training ranges, all of the units that
                        would need to attain proficiency in their high-intensity skills within 45 days
                        could not realistically expect to obtain the necessary resources and access
                        quickly.

                        In the Air Force, pilot combat proficiency may be reduced in some ways
                        not measured by GSORTS. For example, flying units normally have to
                        complete a specified number of events yearly to qualify as mission ready.
                        However, because the mission may not allow deployed pilots opportunities
                        to perform all events, requirements can be prorated based on the time
                        deployed, effectively reducing the number of combat events performed.
                        Actual proficiency in required skills may therefore be overstated. Pilots
                        that have not deployed are not allowed to prorate training requirements.




                        Page 49                                       GAO/NSIAD-99-69 Military Operations
                        Appendix III
                        Department of Defense Reporting Systems’
                        Information on the Impacts of OOTW




Some Army Units         According to the Army, units deployed to Bosnia are still expected to report
                        their readiness status in GSORTS against their wartime mission
Reported Readiness to   requirements. However, some brigade and combat support battalion
Perform the OOTW        commanders said that they had reported the training status of their forces
                        in Bosnia against Bosnia mission skills. While this may allow for a more
Instead of Wartime      accurate picture of their capability to perform the less demanding Bosnia
Mission                 operation, it does not clearly reveal the impact of the operation on their
                        wartime readiness or provide senior defense leaders with the information
                        they expect about the preparedness of the units to perform their high-
                        intensity conflict missions associated with major theater wars. Joint Staff
                        officials said that they recognize this problem and that the latest change to
                        GSORTS directives will require units to report against both the wartime
                        and OOTW mission requirements. They said the services were developing
                        policies to implement the directive.



Not Counting All Time   In addition to GSORTS not presenting a complete picture of reported
                        readiness, the Department of Defense (DOD) systems for tracking the
Away From Home          frequency with which military personnel deploy also have some
Station Presents an     shortcomings. The services track the frequency with which their personnel
                        deploy, but they account for time differently. The Navy, and to a lesser
Incomplete Picture of   extent the Marine Corps, does not count all time away from home, which
Operating Tempo         serves to understate their operating tempo. As we reported in 1996,1 a
                        DOD-wide definition of a deployment does not exist, and each service
                        defines it differently.

                        The Navy’s procedure for computing personnel tempo rates does not
                        include all time away from home station. Navy guidance requires that a
                        person must be gone from a home station for more than 56 consecutive
                        days to be considered deployed. Furthermore, regardless of the duration,
                        the time away is not counted if less than 50 percent of the unit is away from
                        the home station. Additionally, Navy guidance stipulates that (1) a unit
                        must spend a minimum of 50 percent of its time at a home port over a
                        3-year period; (2) a unit cannot deploy for more than 6 months or
                        180 consecutive days; and (3) the minimum turnaround time between
                        deployments is set at a ratio of 2 to 1, for example, 12 months home after a
                        6-month deployment. The Navy stated that it has not granted any


                        1 Military
                               Readiness: A Clear Policy Is Needed to Guide Management of Frequently Deployed Units
                        (GAO/NSIAD-96-105, Apr. 8, 1996).




                        Page 50                                                GAO/NSIAD-99-69 Military Operations
Appendix III
Department of Defense Reporting Systems’
Information on the Impacts of OOTW




exceptions to this guidance since the 1994 Operation Uphold Democracy in
Haiti. However, the Navy is sending E-2C Hawkeye units for counterdrug
operations in the Caribbean for 56 days. Other shorter deployments for
E-2C units have included those for training and other exercises. According
to Chief of Naval Operations guidelines, time away from a home station
should not exceed approximately 166 days during the 18-month period at
home. Navy Atlantic Fleet E-2C squadrons’ data show that if the Navy
counted all time away from home stations, regardless of duration, their
E-2C units would be home 6 months and deployed 12 months.

The Navy reports personnel tempo by ships or aircraft squadrons, not by
individuals. While the Navy’s Bureau of Personnel has the data to identify
personnel tempo by individual, a sailor’s unit commander is not routinely
aware of how much time individuals have been away from the home
station. We were told that individuals are responsible for notifying their
unit heads if the order to deploy exceeds Chief of Naval Operations
guidelines. The Navy was researching better ways to track individual
personnel tempo, and various organizational units, including the Navy
Audit Office, were reviewing this process.




Page 51                                     GAO/NSIAD-99-69 Military Operations
Appendix IV

Effects of OOTW on Morale                                                                              ApIV
                                                                                                          exn
                                                                                                          p di




                        OOTW is one of several factors affecting Air Force morale. At units we
                        visited, we were told that the first deployment to an area can be a positive
                        experience, but repeated deployments have declining benefits. The Navy
                        and the Marine Corps could not measure the actual degree to which OOTW
                        affects morale and subsequent service retention and both services are
                        studying why personnel remain in or leave the service.



Impact of OOTW on Air   Many personnel in Air Force units we visited described morale as
                        declining, due both to the nature of operations and to the conditions and
Force Morale            length of deployment. Universally, Air Force units, particularly those U.S.-
                        based units and personnel that have participated in Operation Southern
                        Watch in SWA since the early 1990s, said that the novelty of deployments
                        has worn off. Officials at squadrons and wings we visited stated that the
                        first deployment to an area can be a positive experience and looked upon
                        as an adventure, but repeated deployments have declining benefits. SWA is
                        usually cited as the least desirable deployment because living conditions
                        are less than ideal, free movement is restricted, and monetary benefits are
                        not as generous as those for other deployments, such as deployments to
                        Italy to support Bosnia operations.

                        Other officials stated that the length of deployments was a source of
                        discontent. We were told that although Air Force personnel, particularly
                        pilots, are accustomed to some TDY, TDYs of 90 days or more are
                        considered a hardship, particularly when they occur repeatedly. A recent
                        Air Force decision to reduce deployments to 45 days for aviation units was
                        positively received, even if the units are likely to deploy twice as often.
                        Personnel not part of aviation units still rotate every 120 days, however,
                        and believe that it is unfair that their deployment length has not changed.



Impact of OOTW on       The Navy administers a Navy-wide personnel survey conducted annually at
                        the request of the Chief of Naval Personnel. While morale is not mentioned
Navy Morale             in these surveys, satisfaction levels closely related to morale have been
                        measured. The report on the results of the 1997 survey, dated December
                        1998, covered a variety of topics, including overseas duty, job satisfaction,
                        leadership, and medical facilities. Navy personnel in the Office of the
                        Assistant Chief of Naval Personnel/Personnel Policy, who said that their
                        office was responsible for morale and retention issues, told us that
                        retention is the best indicator of morale in the absence of a specific system
                        to measure morale.



                        Page 52                                      GAO/NSIAD-99-69 Military Operations
                       Appendix IV
                       Effects of OOTW on Morale




                       Overall, the Navy met its fiscal year 1998 first-term retention goals. Exit
                       surveys routinely show family separation as one of the top three reasons
                       that officer and enlisted personnel cite for leaving the Navy. However,
                       Navy officials could not measure the actual degree of impact caused by
                       OOTW. Other reasons frequently cited for leaving the Navy include a lack
                       of promotion and advancement opportunities, basic pay, quality of Navy
                       life, and the quality of leadership/management.

                       The Naval Personnel Office has begun a study to better understand why
                       personnel are staying in or leaving the service. The study is intended to
                       provide more timely, accurate, and reliable retention data. The Navy plans
                       to redesign its reenlistment and exit surveys and investigate different
                       methods for administering the questionnaires to help ensure more reliable
                       results.



Impact of OOTW on      Headquarters Marine Corps believed that retention is an indicator of
                       morale. Retention goals were being met, although career fields such as
Marines Corps Morale   counterintelligence, imagery interpretation, recruitment, and pilots had
                       critical shortages. For example, the Marine Corps is not meeting its
                       retention goal for fixed-wing pilots. They are resigning at a rate two times
                       greater than the 1995 historical average. While the Corps was aware of the
                       retention problems, it had no data that link them to OOTW. A Marine Corps
                       official in the Office of Manpower and Reserve Affairs told us that the
                       Corps is developing a retention survey to determine why Marines decide to
                       remain in or leave the service, which is scheduled to be administered for
                       the first time in January 2000.

                       We did find one instance in which OOTW deployments and retention were
                       clearly linked. In 1997, and part of 1998, Marines in the 2nd
                       Counterintelligence Unit, which had about 65 personnel, were deployed
                       260 days, or 72 percent of the time. Unit personnel stated that high
                       operating tempo may be acceptable for short time periods, but they saw no
                       end in sight. This high tempo combined with other factors, such as a strong
                       economy, resulted in 70 percent of the unit's officers and 65 percent of its
                       enlisted personnel leaving the Marine Corps. According to a Marine Corps
                       official involved in tracking retention, this unit had a 20-percent turnover
                       rate in 1995.




                       Page 53                                     GAO/NSIAD-99-69 Military Operations
Appendix V

Responding to Major Theater War While
Engaged in OOTW                                                                                                               Appx
                                                                                                                                 V
                                                                                                                                 end
                                                                                                                                   i




                         We examined disengagement from an ongoing OOTW to respond to a major
                         theater war in a March 1995 report on the impact of OOTW.1 That report
                         focused on the then current mission in Somalia and the ongoing mission in
                         SWA. We concluded that certain key Army units and specialized Air Force
                         aircraft used in recent OOTW had been identified as being needed in the
                         early stages of a major theater war, but that it may be difficult to disengage
                         these forces from OOTW and redeploy them quickly to a war.



The Army Is Using        In recent years, USAREUR combat divisions were not expected to be
                         among those rapidly deploying to the first major theater war. Their use in
High Priority Units in   Bosnia therefore had less strategic risk than some other units. However,
Bosnia                   the 1st Cavalry Division, which deployed to Bosnia in August 1998 and
                         formally took command in October 1998 for 1 year, was cited in war plans
                         as one of the earliest deploying heavy divisions2 for the two major theater
                         war plans. Moreover, this division was one of two U.S.-based heavy
                         divisions immediately available for a major theater war with a high
                         readiness level and capable of short notice deployments to any part of the
                         world. As such, it had a high priority for resources and a high level of
                         readiness.

                         Following the decision to send the 1 st Cavalry Division to Bosnia, the U.S.
                         Atlantic Command, the joint command responsible for providing forces to
                         meet worldwide warfighting requirements, requested that DOD assess the
                         impact of deploying the division to Bosnia and substituting different forces
                         in the war plans. The Command was concerned that this high-priority
                         division, once deployed to Bosnia, would not be available to meet
                         previously approved time-phased force deployments. According to the
                         division’s recovery plan, it does not expect to reestablish and test the
                         required high-intensity conflict warfighting skills until a warfighting
                         exercise is conducted in March 2000—5 months after returning from
                         Bosnia. Thus, in a peacetime environment, the division expects to be
                         affected nearly 2 years by its participation in the Bosnia mission and would
                         not immediately be deployable for wartime tasking.




                         1
                          Peace Operations: Heavy Use of Key Capabilities May Affect Response to Regional Conflicts
                         (NSIAD-95-51, Mar. 8, 1995).
                         2 TheArmy defines a heavy division as one organized as armor or mechanized infantry and configured
                         with tanks and armored fighting vehicles.




                         Page 54                                                   GAO/NSIAD-99-69 Military Operations
Appendix V
Responding to Major Theater War While
Engaged in OOTW




The Joint Staff approved U.S. Atlantic Command’s request and directed that
several of the unified commands and the Transportation Command assess
the impact. Their assessments resulted in changes to the established plans
for time-phased force deployments for potential major theater wars.
Although, according to the U.S. Central Command and the U.S. Pacific
Command, the changes had minimal or negligible impact on the plans, the
U.S. Atlantic Command thought it was important to recognize such changes
to ensure that the unified commands and supporting commands have
accurate visibility of unit readiness and that the U.S. Atlantic Command has
visibility of the readiness of all U.S.-based forces because that could affect
its ability to provide forces.

The Army has also had to use some of its early deploying active and reserve
support forces to meet Bosnia mission requirements. According to an
Army official, the Army had not planned to use its early support forces, 3
but as the mission continued, the Army deployed support forces it had
identified as being needed to support early deploying combat forces in a
major theater war.




3 Early
      support forces are known as force support package 1 and 2 units that are needed in the first
30 days of a major theater war and then the next follow-on forces to support the deployed divisions.




Page 55                                                     GAO/NSIAD-99-69 Military Operations
Appendix VI

Funding for OOTW                                                                                      ApV
                                                                                                        exn
                                                                                                        p diI




                       Until fiscal year 1996, DOD did not budget for the cost of military
                       operations, including OOTW. It budgeted to be ready to conduct such
                       operations. When the services conducted such operations, they generally
                       borrowed funds that they planned to spend later in the fiscal year. If these
                       funds were not replenished through supplemental appropriations or
                       reprogramming of previously appropriated funds, then the services would
                       cancel planned activities.

                       Beginning in fiscal year 1996, at the urging of Congress, DOD began to
                       budget for the cost of ongoing OOTW. Congress has then included funds
                       for ongoing operations in the annual defense appropriations acts. In the
                       case of new or expanded operations, such as the extension of the Bosnia
                       mission and the late 1998 deployment of additional military forces to SWA,
                       costs have not been budgeted in advance and so DOD continues to use its
                       earlier practice of borrowing from spending planned for later in the fiscal
                       year and awaiting replenishment.

                       While the operating commands have had to borrow funds planned to be
                       spent later in the fiscal year, command personnel told us that they have
                       been able to execute all or almost all of their planned budget program.
                       Budget officials at major operating commands we visited said that a trust
                       has developed between service headquarters and the major commands
                       regarding receipt of OOTW funding. This trust involves assurances from
                       service headquarters that funding for the additional costs of OOTW will be
                       provided. Thus, commands have continued with planned activities and
                       have not held back funds out of concern about running out of funding in
                       the fourth quarter and then stopping activities such as training.

                       In commenting on a draft of this report, DOD stated that the assurance
                       mentioned above is based on an indication from Congress that it will
                       provide funding. Our analysis of supplemental appropriations for OOTW in
                       fiscal years 1996 through 1998 indicated that the appropriations were
                       enacted in the third quarter of each fiscal year.



Congress Has Shifted   Since 1995, Congress has provided funds to cover most OOTW costs
                       through a combination of annual appropriations, supplemental
Funds to Offset OOTW   appropriations, and reprogramming of appropriated funds. To prevent an
Costs                  increase in overall government spending, Congress reduced planned
                       defense funds for other programs in fiscal years 1995, 1996, and 1997. It
                       also sometimes used savings from lower-than-expected inflation and
                       favorable changes in currency exchange rates to help offset OOTW costs;



                       Page 56                                     GAO/NSIAD-99-69 Military Operations
Appendix VI
Funding for OOTW




presumably were it not for the need to fund OOTW these funds could have
been used for other unfunded defense needs.

In fiscal year 1995, the executive branch requested $2.6 billion to fund
OOTW. Congress provided supplemental funding of $2.5 billion for OOTW
and an additional $552 million in supplemental funding for enhanced
readiness and military pay. At the same time, Congress rescinded
$2.4 billion in previously appropriated DOD funds and $1.1 billion in non-
DOD funds. This, in effect, more than offset the supplemental funding
provided for both OOTW and enhanced readiness and military pay. Of the
$2.4 billion in rescinded DOD funds, more than half came from
procurement and research, development, test, and evaluation (RDT&E)
accounts. Within procurement, rescissions were made primarily in Army
and Air Force accounts. Within RDT&E, the largest rescissions were in the
DOD-wide technology reinvestment program, almost half of the total
RDT&E rescission.

In fiscal year 1996, Congress appropriated $647 million for ongoing
operations in SWA. U.S. participation in the Bosnia operation did not begin
until December 1995, and so no funds were requested or appropriated. To
fund the estimated $2.2 billion dollars in fiscal year 1996 Bosnia operations
costs, DOD primarily reprogrammed existing funds. During the fiscal year,
Congress approved almost $1.4 billion in reprogramming and provided
$858 million in supplemental appropriations. The bulk of the
reprogrammed funds—89 percent—was available because of revised,
lower inflation rates, which reduced planned program costs and freed
funds for other uses, in this case, Bosnia operations. Had these funds not
been used to fund Bosnia operations, they could presumably have been
used for other unfunded defense needs. The $858 million in supplemental
appropriations was fully offset by rescissions of previously appropriated
DOD funds, of which most were in procurement and RDT&E accounts.

In fiscal year 1997, Congress included $1.1 billion for planned Bosnia and
SWA operations in the fiscal year 1997 DOD appropriations act through the
Overseas Contingency Operations Transfer Fund. It later provided DOD
with supplemental funding of $1.9 billion for additional costs associated
with the two operations. At the same time, Congress rescinded $1.9 billion
in defense funding to offset the supplemental appropriation. A large part of
the rescission resulted from a combination of revised inflation rates
(24 percent) and foreign currency savings (22 percent). As was the case in
fiscal year 1996, had these funds not been used for OOTW, they presumably
could have been available for other unfunded defense needs. The balance



Page 57                                      GAO/NSIAD-99-69 Military Operations
Appendix VI
Funding for OOTW




of the rescissions came mostly from procurement, RDT&E, and military
construction programs.

In the fiscal year 1998 DOD appropriations act, Congress provided
$2.2 billion in funds for the ongoing operation in SWA and for the Bosnia
operation through June 1998. The extension of the Bosnia operation and
the crisis in SWA increased estimated costs, and Congress appropriated
$1.8 billion in supplemental funding. Unlike the preceding fiscal years,
Congress did not offset this funding with rescissions or reprogramming.




Page 58                                     GAO/NSIAD-99-69 Military Operations
Appendix VII

Scope and Methodology                                                                         AppV
                                                                                                 enxdIi




               To examine the impact of OOTW on the warfighting capability of each of
               the services, we obtained briefings, reviewed documents, and interviewed
               personnel at Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps locations, at the
               office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and at component and unified command
               headquarters within the United States and Europe. Our efforts were
               primarily focused on the current operations in Bosnia and SWA for the
               Army and the Air Force. Our focus for the Navy and the Marine Corps
               primarily involved their routine deployments but included counterdrug
               operations in the Caribbean. We reviewed after-action reports and
               analyzed before and after deployment personnel, equipment, and training
               readiness reports of units participating in OOTW and interviewed officials
               responsible for the readiness of these units and some of the forces that
               participated in these operations.

               To determine the impact on the Army of participating in OOTW, we
               reviewed the experiences of combat and support forces that operated in
               Bosnia, Macedonia, and SWA. We talked with and obtained information
               from personnel in units stationed in Bosnia, Hungary, Germany, and the
               United States regarding their capability to meet their primary warfighting
               missions, the effect of OOTW on combat skills, and the efforts to return to
               full combat capability.

               As a means of determining the impacts of OOTW on the Air Force, we
               visited Air Force units in the United States and Europe. At these units, we
               talked with and reviewed documentation from unit officials of combat
               forces such as F-15C, F-16C, and A-10 squadrons and support forces, such
               as maintenance, security police, and civil engineer squadrons that
               participated in OOTW.

               We discussed the effect of the Navy’s and the Marine Corps’ participation in
               OOTW with representatives of various elements of the U.S. Atlantic and
               Pacific fleets. We also examined documents describing the impact of
               OOTW and counterdrug operations in the Caribbean.

               To examine the extent to which service reporting systems fully reflect
               OOTW impacts, we assessed readiness at the unit level by obtaining and
               analyzing GSORTS readiness reporting data for fiscal years 1995-98. We
               reviewed the GSORTS ratings to determine whether (1) the services had
               reported adverse impacts of OOTW participation and (2) unit commanders
               had attributed degraded readiness to participation in OOTW.




               Page 59                                     GAO/NSIAD-99-69 Military Operations
Appendix VII
Scope and Methodology




To examine available information on the effect of OOTW on morale, we
obtained and reported on the results of Army surveys of personnel
deployed to Bosnia and Air Force quality of life surveys of Air Force
personnel. We did not assess the methodology of these surveys or compare
responses among questions for consistency. In addition, we interviewed
key officials and service personnel to obtain their perceptions about
whether participation in OOTW had affected morale and had caused
personnel to leave the services. To examine retention, we reviewed service
data and morale surveys as they related to the reasons personnel gave for
leaving the military.

To examine the ability of U.S. forces to respond to a major theater war
while engaged in OOTW, we reviewed DOD force structure analyses and
defense guidance. We also discussed the impacts of disengaging from
Bosnia and redeploying to a major theater war with unified and component
command officials and the Army division headquarters deployed to Bosnia.

To examine DOD’s efforts to alleviate any adverse impacts of OOTW
participation, we interviewed personnel at the Joint Staff and Army, Navy,
and Air Force headquarters and reviewed documents establishing
personnel deployment policies and processes to manage the operating
tempo of specific units and platforms.

To examine funding for OOTW, we obtained and analyzed DOD budget
documents and the annual defense and supplemental appropriation acts
and their legislative histories. We also interviewed budget officials at major
commands we visited to determine the extent that funding was available to
meet their OOTW operational needs.

Our review was conducted from February 1998 through March 1999 in
accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards.




Page 60                                      GAO/NSIAD-99-69 Military Operations
Appendix IX

Major Contributors to This Report                                                                   ApIX
                                                                                                       exn
                                                                                                       p di




National Security and   Steven H. Sternlieb, Assistant Director
                        Rodell B. Anderson, Senior Evaluator
International Affairs   Anthony J. DeFrank, Senior Evaluator
Division, Washington,
D.C.


Atlanta Field Office    Leo B. Sullivan, Evaluator in Charge
                        Frank C. Smith, Senior Evaluator



Norfolk Field Office    Bonita P. Anderson, Senior Evaluator
                        Frank R. Marsh, Senior Evaluator
                        C.D. Mills, Jr., Senior Evaluator
                        Richard G. Payne, Senior Evaluator




(701133)      Leetr     Page 64                                   GAO/NSIAD-99-69 Military Operations
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