This is the accessible text file for GAO report number GAO-08-1010R 
entitled 'Military Base Realignments and Closures: Army Is Developing 
Plans to Transfer Functions from Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, to Aberdeen 
Proving Ground, Maryland, but Challenges Remain' which was released on 
August 13, 2008. 

This text file was formatted by the U.S. Government Accountability 
Office (GAO) to be accessible to users with visual impairments, as part 
of a longer term project to improve GAO products' accessibility. Every 
attempt has been made to maintain the structural and data integrity of 
the original printed product. Accessibility features, such as text 
descriptions of tables, consecutively numbered footnotes placed at the 
end of the file, and the text of agency comment letters, are provided 
but may not exactly duplicate the presentation or format of the printed 
version. The portable document format (PDF) file is an exact electronic 
replica of the printed version. We welcome your feedback. Please E-mail 
your comments regarding the contents or accessibility features of this 
document to Webmaster@gao.gov. 

This is a work of the U.S. government and is not subject to copyright 
protection in the United States. It may be reproduced and distributed 
in its entirety without further permission from GAO. Because this work 
may contain copyrighted images or other material, permission from the 
copyright holder may be necessary if you wish to reproduce this 
material separately. 

August 13, 2008: 

The Honorable Ike Skelton:
Chairman:
The Honorable Duncan L. Hunter:
Ranking Member:
Committee on Armed Services:
House of Representatives: 

Subject: Military Base Realignments and Closures: Army Is Developing 
Plans to Transfer Functions from Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, to Aberdeen 
Proving Ground, Maryland, but Challenges Remain: 

In September 2005, the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission 
recommended that the Department of Defense (DOD) close Fort Monmouth, 
New Jersey, and realign most of its technical functions to Aberdeen 
Proving Ground, Maryland, as one of 182 recommendations in the 2005 
base realignment and closure (BRAC) round. DOD must complete the 
closure and realignment actions specified in the recommendation within 
the statutory 6-year implementation period ending September 15, 
2011.[Footnote 1] Representatives from communities surrounding Fort 
Monmouth, as well as elected officials, raised concerns during hearings 
before the BRAC Commission that a number of current employees would not 
move to Aberdeen Proving Ground, leading to a loss of expertise that 
could negatively affect ongoing support for military operations, 
including the Global War on Terrorism. The Secretary of the Army 
pledged that the Army would not allow the transfer of functions to 
Aberdeen Proving Ground to affect this ongoing support. Although some 
of the BRAC commissioners shared the concern about the potential loss 
of expertise, the commission concluded in its report that DOD could 
mitigate the adverse effects of moving existing programs over the 
implementation period. However, to ensure that future leaders 
understood this concern, the commission report included language 
recommending that the Secretary of Defense submit a report to Congress 
that the movement of functions from Fort Monmouth to Aberdeen Proving 
Ground would be accomplished without disruption to their support to the 
Global War on Terrorism or other critical contingency operations. DOD 
issued its report in December 2007, which concluded that the department 
could accomplish the move without disruption to ongoing support 
efforts.[Footnote 2] 

Fort Monmouth currently hosts organizations that perform research, 
development, and acquisition of the Army's command, control, 
communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and 
reconnaissance (C4ISR) systems. These organizations include the 
Logistics and Readiness Center; the Communications-Electronics 
Acquisition Center; the Software Engineering Center; the Program 
Executive Office for Command, Control, and Communications Tactical; the 
Program Executive Office for Intelligence, Electronic Warfare, and 
Sensors; the Communications-Electronics Research, Development, and 
Engineering Center; and the headquarters element of the Communications 
and Electronics Command. The C4ISR functions performed by these 
organizations are the primary mission activity at Fort 
Monmouth[Footnote 3] and currently involve about 4,400 federal 
government civilian positions and about 200 military positions. Almost 
all of the authorized C4ISR positions are transferring to Aberdeen 
Proving Ground as part of the BRAC recommendation.[Footnote 4] About 
one-third of the current C4ISR workforce consists of scientists and 
engineers, the largest single group, with logistics, contracting, and 
business occupations constituting most of the remaining federal 
government civilian workforce. Clerks and administrative assistant 
positions constitute about 5 percent of the workforce. This workforce 
is further supplemented by about 1,600 embedded contractor employees 
and more than 1,000 contractor employees located off the installation. 

This review is one in a series of reviews that we have undertaken on 
the implementation of the 2005 BRAC round recommendations. As with most 
of our BRAC-related work, we prepared this report under the Comptroller 
General's authority to conduct evaluations on his own 
initiative[Footnote 5] because of broad-based congressional interest 
and are reporting the results to facilitate congressional oversight of 
DOD's infrastructure and the BRAC program. This report discusses the 
status of the Army's planning efforts to transfer C4ISR functions to 
Aberdeen Proving Ground, implementation challenges associated with the 
transfer, and strategies in place to mitigate mission-disruption risks. 

Scope and Methodology: 

To determine the status of the Army's planning efforts and the 
challenges and associated mitigation strategies, we reviewed and 
analyzed documentation and interviewed officials representing the 
following offices and organizations: 

DOD Office of General Counsel, Arlington, Virginia; 

* Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Installations and 
Environment), BRAC office, Arlington, Virginia; 

* Army Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation 
Management, Arlington, Virginia; 

* Army BRAC Division, Arlington, Virginia; 

* Army Materiel Command BRAC office, Fort Belvoir, Virginia; 

* Army Corps of Engineers Headquarters, Washington, D.C; 

* BRAC office, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland; 

* BRAC Relocation Task Force, Fort Monmouth, New Jersey; and: 

* the C4ISR organizations, Fort Monmouth, New Jersey; 

- Communications-Electronics Acquisition Center, 

- Logistics and Readiness Center, 

- Software Engineering Center, 

- Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering 
Center, 

- Program Executive Office for Command, Control, and Communications 
Tactical, and: 

- Program Executive Office for Intelligence, Electronic Warfare, and 
Sensors. 

We reviewed the BRAC Commission's September 2005 report to determine 
the commission's intent for DOD's report to Congress. We reviewed DOD's 
December 2007 report, which represented a point-in-time assessment of 
the funding and authorities that Fort Monmouth command officials 
determined were needed to successfully transfer the C4ISR functions to 
Aberdeen Proving Ground. We assessed the information included in the 
report to determine whether the content included was consistent with 
our understanding of what was recommended by the BRAC Commission. We 
met with officials from Fort Monmouth's BRAC relocation task force to 
determine how they developed DOD's December 2007 report. Additionally, 
we met with officials from various Army headquarters-level offices, as 
well as DOD's BRAC office, and reviewed draft versions of DOD's report 
to determine these organizations' roles in developing the report. 

Because plans continue to evolve as more information becomes available, 
we subsequently reviewed Fort Monmouth's overarching plan and documents 
related to organization-specific approaches to completing the transfer. 
We spoke with Fort Monmouth and Aberdeen Proving Ground officials to 
determine the processes used to develop and revise the plans and the 
status of these efforts. We met with officials representing DOD's BRAC 
office, the Army's Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for 
Installation Management and BRAC office, the Army Corps of Engineers, 
the Army Materiel Command, Fort Monmouth, and Aberdeen Proving Ground 
to obtain and analyze additional information on the Army's planning 
efforts. Additionally, we reviewed the minutes from the Army's senior 
oversight group meetings from February 2008 through April 2008; minutes 
for the May 2008 meeting were not available as of July 2008. 

Through our review of the Army's plans and related documents and 
interviews, we identified some challenges that the Army faces in 
implementing this BRAC recommendation, along with associated mitigation 
strategies. We discussed these challenges and mitigation strategies 
with officials representing DOD's BRAC office, the Army's Office of the 
Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management and BRAC office, 
the Army Corps of Engineers, the Army Materiel Command, Fort Monmouth, 
and Aberdeen Proving Ground. We analyzed data provided by Fort Monmouth 
officials related to their hiring projections. We assessed the 
reliability of these projections by reviewing the assumptions used in 
developing the projections and discussing the projections with the 
officials who developed them. We found these projections to be 
reasonable for planning purposes. We reviewed the Army's business plan 
for implementing this recommendation and the Army's BRAC budget request 
for fiscal years 2008 and 2009 to determine the Army's facility 
construction and relocation schedules and current cost estimates. We 
also reviewed our prior work to determine the extent to which the 
challenges that the Army is facing are challenges for the 
implementation of other BRAC recommendations.[Footnote 6] 

Additionally, because detailed planning efforts and the transfer of 
C4ISR functions were ongoing at the time of our review, we focused on 
the best data available at the time, which represent a point in time 
and are based on a series of assumptions that are subject to change as 
plans are updated and implementation proceeds. Also, our review 
included only those aspects of the BRAC Commission's Fort Monmouth 
closure recommendation that pertained to transferring C4ISR functions 
to Aberdeen Proving Ground because these functions were the primary 
focus of the recommendation and were addressed in DOD's December 2007 
report. 

We conducted this performance audit from January 2008 to August 2008 in 
accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. Those 
standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain 
sufficient, appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable basis for our 
findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. We believe that 
the evidence obtained provides a reasonable basis for our findings and 
conclusions based on our audit objectives. 

Summary: 

The Army is in the process of developing and implementing plans to 
transfer C4ISR functions from Fort Monmouth to Aberdeen Proving Ground. 
The Army faces some significant challenges and has started to identify 
mitigation strategies that, if implemented as intended, may lessen the 
mission-disruption risks associated with the transfer. With about 3 
years remaining before the planned closure of Fort Monmouth, the Army 
has developed high-level plans that are outlined in DOD's December 2007 
report to Congress, which identified approaches to completing the 
transfer and general risk-mitigation strategies. However, DOD's 
December 2007 report did not include detailed plans for how the Army 
intends to complete the transfer. As planning efforts have evolved, the 
C4ISR organizations have started to develop detailed plans to manage 
the transfer and continue support for ongoing DOD missions. By its very 
nature, the BRAC process is complex. As such, the Army faces several 
significant challenges in completing the transfer, which officials have 
recognized, and the Army is developing strategies designed to lessen 
the associated risks. First, the Army is facing human capital 
challenges in hiring a projected 3,700 federal government civilian 
employees to fully reconstitute its expected workforce authorization of 
about 5,100 civilians at Aberdeen Proving Ground in 2011, which 
includes a large number of scientists and engineers with technical 
expertise. The Army expects that about 2,200 of these new employees 
will not be hired until after the slated closure of Fort Monmouth and 
transfer of functions to Aberdeen Proving Ground in 2011. Officials 
project that the workforce will be fully reconstituted in 2016. Fort 
Monmouth officials project that direct hire authority would expedite 
the hiring process and would allow them to reconstitute the C4ISR 
workforce at Aberdeen Proving Ground in 2014, 2 years sooner than 
current projections. At the time of our review, the Army's request for 
direct hire authority was under review within DOD, but had not yet been 
submitted to the Office of Personnel Management, which grants the 
authority. To help mitigate the effects of the potentially smaller and 
less experienced workforce at Aberdeen Proving Ground, the Army has 
identified strategies, including focusing on the highest-priority 
workload and deferring some portions of the C4ISR workload, temporarily 
transferring some of the workload to other DOD organizations, or hiring 
additional contractors. While many of the expected vacancies can be 
attributed to the BRAC recommendation, the Army expected to hire a 
number of employees in the next few years regardless of whether Fort 
Monmouth closed because of increases in the authorized personnel levels 
and an anticipated surge in retirements as about one-half of the 
current C4ISR workforce becomes eligible to retire by 2011. Second, the 
Army faces challenges in obtaining personnel security clearances for 
nearly all of its newly hired employees in a timely manner. Third, the 
Army faces infrastructure challenges in completing the construction of 
facilities to accommodate C4ISR personnel and relocation of personnel 
and equipment to Aberdeen Proving Ground by the end of the BRAC 
implementation period. Finally, the Army faces challenges in funding 
the increasing costs of the transfer. These challenges are significant 
but are not unique to the closure of Fort Monmouth, as we have 
previously reported on similar challenges as they relate to the 
implementation of other BRAC recommendations.[Footnote 7] While the 
Army has begun to identify and implement mitigation strategies designed 
to lessen the risks associated with each of the challenges, it is too 
early to determine the effectiveness of these strategies in ensuring 
continued support to military missions. Plans in and of themselves 
cannot ensure a successful transition due to inherent uncertainties 
that may arise over time, the need to revise plans as circumstances 
change, and the need to effectively execute the plans. Therefore, it is 
critical that the Army continue to monitor the execution of its 
transfer plans and take corrective actions to lessen the risk of 
operational disruptions. DOD plans to continue ongoing oversight of the 
implementation of this BRAC recommendation at the installation level, 
Army headquarters, and DOD, and to revise plans, as appropriate, which 
may also lessen potential mission-disruption risks. Because DOD has 
oversight mechanisms in place to continue its implementation monitoring 
efforts, we are not making recommendations at this time. 

In commenting on a draft of this report, the Deputy Under Secretary of 
Defense for Installations and Environment stated that DOD agrees that 
the challenges of implementing the BRAC recommendation to close Fort 
Monmouth are not unique and that the department has strategies in place 
to mitigate these challenges. DOD's written comments are reprinted in 
enclosure I. Additionally, DOD provided technical comments on a draft 
of this report, which we incorporated as appropriate. 

Background: 

DOD has undergone four BRAC rounds since 1988 and is currently 
implementing its fifth round--the 2005 round.[Footnote 8] In May 2005, 
the Secretary of Defense made public his recommendations for the 2005 
BRAC round. These recommendations were forwarded to the BRAC 
Commission, which was established by law as an independent entity to 
evaluate DOD's recommendations.[Footnote 9] The commission subsequently 
presented its findings and recommendations to the President on 
September 8, 2005. The President approved the commission's 
recommendations in their entirety and forwarded them to Congress on 
September 15, 2005. The recommendations became effective on November 9, 
2005, and DOD has until September 15, 2011, to complete the 
implementation of all of the BRAC recommendations. 

The 2005 BRAC round is different from previous BRAC rounds in several 
respects. We have previously reported that the 2005 BRAC round is the 
biggest, most complex, and costliest BRAC round ever, in part because, 
unlike prior rounds, the Secretary of Defense viewed the 2005 round as 
an opportunity to not only achieve savings, but also assist in 
transforming the department.[Footnote 10] DOD plans to execute more 
than 800 closure and realignment actions as part of the 182 
recommendations from the 2005 BRAC round, which is more than twice the 
number of actions completed in the four prior rounds combined. 
Additionally, unlike prior BRAC rounds, which were implemented in times 
of declining defense budgets, DOD is implementing the 2005 BRAC round 
during a time of conflict when many military capabilities are surging 
and DOD is implementing other worldwide transformation initiatives. 

Transferring the C4ISR organizations to Aberdeen Proving Ground is the 
largest portion of the recommendation to close Fort Monmouth. In 
recommending the closure of Fort Monmouth and transfer of C4ISR 
functions to Aberdeen Proving Ground, DOD intended to consolidate 
research, development and acquisition, and test and evaluation 
functions onto fewer installations and hoped to achieve efficiencies 
and synergy at a lower cost than would be required at multiple sites. 
In addition to the C4ISR functions transferring from Fort Monmouth to 
Aberdeen Proving Ground, this recommendation also provides for the 
relocation of some C4ISR functions from Fort Belvoir, Virginia, and 
Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, to Aberdeen Proving Ground; a portion of the 
Army Research Institute from Fort Knox, Kentucky, to Aberdeen Proving 
Ground; some C4ISR functions from Fort Monmouth to Fort Belvoir and 
Defense Supply Center, Columbus, Ohio; and the U.S. Military Academy 
Preparatory School from Fort Monmouth to West Point, New York. 

Army Is Developing and Implementing Plans to Transfer Functions, but 
Several Significant Challenges Remain: 

The Army is in the process of developing and implementing plans to 
transfer C4ISR functions from Fort Monmouth to Aberdeen Proving Ground, 
and while several significant challenges remain, the Army has started 
to identify mitigation strategies that, if implemented as intended, may 
lessen the mission-disruption risks associated with the transfer. With 
about 3 years remaining before the planned closure of Fort Monmouth, 
the Army has developed high-level plans, and the C4ISR organizations 
are developing detailed organization-level plans. The Army faces 
challenges related to (1) recruiting and hiring a significant number of 
employees to reconstitute the workforce at Aberdeen Proving Ground, (2) 
obtaining security clearances for new employees in a timely manner, (3) 
completing the construction of C4ISR facilities at Aberdeen Proving 
Ground and relocation of personnel and equipment before the end of the 
BRAC implementation period, and (4) fully funding the increasing costs 
of the transfer. While the Army has begun developing and implementing 
strategies intended to lessen the risks associated with these 
challenges, it is too early to determine the effectiveness of these 
strategies. Additionally, DOD intends to continue its ongoing oversight 
efforts related to the implementation of this BRAC recommendation, 
which may also lessen potential mission-disruption risks. 

Army Has Developed High-Level Plans and Is Developing Detailed 
Organization-Level Plans: 

With about 3 years remaining before the planned closure of Fort 
Monmouth, the Army has developed high-level plans for the transfer of 
C4ISR functions to Aberdeen Proving Ground and is in the process of 
developing detailed organization-level plans. Fort Monmouth officials 
began their planning efforts shortly after the closure of Fort Monmouth 
was announced in 2005 when a group of Fort Monmouth officials 
representing each of the C4ISR organizations and key staff offices met 
to develop a general approach to transferring the C4ISR functions to 
Aberdeen Proving Ground. The general approach evolved into two high- 
level plans--DOD's December 2007 report to Congress and an overarching 
plan to guide the transfer--which describe the Army's overall approach 
to transferring C4ISR functions from Fort Monmouth to Aberdeen Proving 
Ground and general strategies to mitigate the risks associated with the 
transfer. 

The high-level plans focus on four critical risk areas--human capital, 
information technology, facilities, and relocation phasing--that Fort 
Monmouth officials determined they would need to address when 
developing plans to transfer the C4ISR functions. The high-level plans 
were based on other ongoing planning efforts and data. 

* In the human capital risk area, the officials relied, in part, on 
ongoing efforts to address an expected surge in future retirements to 
develop BRAC plans and mitigation strategies. More than one-half of 
current employees at Fort Monmouth will be eligible to retire, 
including those eligible for early retirement, by 2011. Officials have 
been aware of and planning to address this potential loss of expertise 
since 2000 and used some of the strategies previously designed to 
address this issue in developing their BRAC plans. For example, in 
2000, officials developed a commandwide workforce plan that identified 
potential skill or experience gaps in the workforce due to retirements 
and strategies to fill these gaps. Since the BRAC decision was 
announced in 2005, Fort Monmouth officials have included information on 
projected skill or experience gaps that may occur due to employees 
choosing not to relocate to Aberdeen Proving Ground and strategies to 
address these gaps in the annual updates to the workforce plan. The 
human capital risk-mitigation strategies identified in DOD's December 
2007 report focus on obtaining the funding and authorities needed to 
address hiring needs by allowing C4ISR organizations to hire more 
employees, as well as hiring employees more quickly. 

* In the information technology critical risk area, Fort Monmouth 
officials determined overall information technology requirements for 
the C4ISR functions through a room-by-room inventory of the current 
equipment and capabilities. Officials compared those requirements to 
the current capacity at Aberdeen Proving Ground to determine the 
necessary infrastructure upgrades. Fort Monmouth officials identified 
obtaining sufficient funding as the key strategy to mitigate risks 
related to the information technology critical risk area in DOD's 
December 2007 report to Congress. 

* In the facilities critical risk area, Fort Monmouth officials 
determined requirements for the size and configuration of needed 
facilities at Aberdeen Proving Ground to accommodate the C4ISR 
personnel. Officials intentionally placed many of the functions that 
have complex laboratory or equipment requirements in the facilities 
that are scheduled to be completed first to allow more time to 
relocate, test, and calibrate the necessary equipment before Fort 
Monmouth closes. Strategies to mitigate risks related to the facilities 
critical risk area in DOD's December 2007 report to Congress focused on 
obtaining sufficient funding. 

* In the relocation phasing critical risk area, Fort Monmouth officials 
identified three general approaches for how organizations would 
transfer specific functions: creating redundant (or duplicate) 
capabilities at Aberdeen Proving Ground and fully transferring the 
function before closing facilities at Fort Monmouth, splitting the 
workload between the two sites until the entire function is completely 
transferred, and temporarily outsourcing work to other organizations 
until the full workload can be performed at Aberdeen Proving Ground. 
Fort Monmouth officials identified obtaining sufficient funding as the 
key strategy to mitigate risks related to the relocation phasing 
critical risk area in DOD's December 2007 report to Congress. 

While DOD's December 2007 report to Congress identified critical risk 
areas and general risk-mitigation strategies, our analysis showed that 
the report did not fully provide details for how the Army would 
complete the transfer without disrupting ongoing support to military 
missions. For example, the report identifies general relocation phasing 
strategies that could be used to transfer C4ISR functions, but does not 
provide details regarding equipment and personnel transfer plans. 
Additionally, the December 2007 report does not explain how key 
conclusions were drawn, particularly that the transfer could be 
completed without affecting their support to the Global War on 
Terrorism or other critical contingency operations. Fort Monmouth 
officials said that identifying specific support to the Global War on 
Terrorism for DOD's December 2007 report was a challenge. For example, 
the officials said that each C4ISR organization contributes to 
operations in support of the Global War on Terrorism, but not all of 
the organizations can separate out which personnel are critical to 
these operations because employees who perform work related to the 
Global War on Terrorism also perform work related to other operations 
that are nonetheless critical to other DOD missions. Additionally, 
officials told us that while they have general plans that estimate 
future programs and projects, it is difficult to precisely determine 
their future workload, particularly what portion may support the Global 
War on Terrorism, due to the evolving nature of the work. Thus, 
officials told us that their planning efforts are focused on the entire 
C4ISR mission and not just those functions related to the Global War on 
Terrorism. 

In addition to DOD's report to Congress, in December 2007, Fort 
Monmouth officials developed an overarching plan to guide the transfer 
that included strategic goals, subordinate objectives, and specific 
initiatives that detail actions needed to complete the transfer. The 
goals identified in the plan align with the four critical risk areas 
discussed in DOD's December 2007 report. As in that report, much of the 
plan focuses on human capital issues, particularly as they relate to 
ensuring mission continuity. The plan provides some detail lacking in 
DOD's report in that it provides information about how the Army intends 
to implement the mitigation strategies. According to Fort Monmouth 
officials, the plan is a "living document" that will continue to be 
revised and updated as implementation of the transfer continues. 

While high-level plans have been completed, the C4ISR organizations are 
in the process of developing detailed, organization-specific transfer 
plans. According to Fort Monmouth officials, much of the detail related 
to how specific functions, including personnel and equipment, will be 
transferred are going to be included in organization-specific plans 
and, at the time of our review, each of the C4ISR organizations was 
developing such plans. These plans focus largely on the human capital 
and relocation phasing critical risk areas. Each of the C4ISR 
organizations has collected data on its workforce to inform its plans. 
Since DOD issued its December 2007 report to Congress, each C4ISR 
organization has completed a human capital assessment to obtain 
individual-level data on which personnel plan to relocate to Aberdeen 
Proving Ground. To complete the assessment, leaders from each C4ISR 
organization spoke with each employee to identify person-by-person who 
is planning to relocate to Aberdeen Proving Ground. Officials plan to 
update these assessments periodically. These assessments are in 
addition to commandwide workforce surveys, in which officials have 
collected data across the C4ISR organizations every 6 months since the 
closure was announced to help refine their estimates across the command 
as to the number of current employees planning to relocate to Aberdeen 
Proving Ground. 

Since DOD's December 2007 report, each C4ISR organization has also 
reviewed its specific functions and determined the appropriate 
relocation strategies required to transfer the functions for each 
facility or laboratory without affecting ongoing support to military 
missions as part of the organization-level plans. Most organizations 
are using a combination of the identified approaches (redundant 
capabilities, split-based operations, and outsourcing work to other 
locations) to transfer personnel and equipment. Fort Monmouth officials 
said that the next step is for the C4ISR organizations to add 
additional detail to plans and determine how individual pieces of 
equipment will be relocated. These efforts were under way at the time 
of our review. 

Army Faces Several Significant Challenges, but Mitigation Strategies 
and Continued Oversight May Lessen Risk: 

The Army is facing several significant challenges in transferring C4ISR 
functions to Aberdeen Proving Ground, and officials have begun to 
identify mitigation strategies that, if implemented as intended, may 
lessen the risks associated with the transfer. Key challenges remain in 
(1) recruiting and hiring a significant number of employees to 
reconstitute the workforce at Aberdeen Proving Ground, (2) obtaining 
security clearances for new employees in a timely manner, (3) 
completing the construction of C4ISR facilities at Aberdeen Proving 
Ground and relocation of personnel and equipment before the end of the 
BRAC implementation period, and (4) fully funding the increasing costs 
of the transfer. These challenges are significant but are not unique to 
the closure of Fort Monmouth, as we have previously reported on similar 
challenges as they relate to the implementation of other BRAC 
recommendations.[Footnote 11] The Army has begun to develop and 
implement mitigation strategies to address these challenges; however, 
it is too early to determine the effectiveness of these strategies. 
Additionally, officials at several levels, including the installation 
level, the Army, and DOD, intend to continue their ongoing oversight of 
the transfer, which may lessen potential mission-disruption risks. 

Army Faces Human Capital Challenges, but Has Begun to Identify and 
Implement Mitigation Strategies: 

Recruiting and hiring a significant number of employees to reconstitute 
the C4ISR workforce at Aberdeen Proving Ground will likely be the most 
challenging aspect of transferring the C4ISR functions to Aberdeen 
Proving Ground, and the Army has begun to identify and implement 
strategies intended to lessen the risks associated with this challenge. 
While there are about 4,400 government civilian employees currently 
performing the C4ISR workload at Fort Monmouth, the number of 
authorized positions is expected to increase to about 5,100 by 2011 due 
to an increase in the C4ISR workload. Fort Monmouth officials project 
that about 30 to 40 percent of the current federal government civilian 
workforce will relocate to Aberdeen Proving Ground and the Army will 
need to hire about 3,700 employees to fully reconstitute the workforce 
at Aberdeen Proving Ground, which officials project will occur in 2016. 
Officials plan to hire about 1,500 employees prior to the closure of 
Fort Monmouth in 2011, leaving about 2,200 positions vacant at that 
time. These vacancies are expected across all occupations and 
experience levels in each of the C4ISR organizations. 

While many of the expected vacancies can be attributed to the BRAC 
recommendation, the Army expected to hire a number of employees in the 
next few years regardless of whether Fort Monmouth closed. First, the 
C4ISR workload currently performed at Fort Monmouth is expected to 
increase over the next few years, leading to an increase of about 700 
positions from the current level of 4,400 to about 5,100 positions. 
Additionally, as previously discussed, more than one-half of the 
current federal government civilian employees in the C4ISR workforce 
would be eligible to retire by 2011, leading to a potential loss of 
expertise even in the absence of a decision to close Fort Monmouth. 
Fort Monmouth officials expected that there would be a surge in 
retirements between 2015 and 2018 in the absence of BRAC, but these 
officials anticipate that the closure will accelerate the time frame 
during which eligible employees choose to retire, leading to vacancies 
that will need to be filled earlier than originally anticipated. 
Although these positions would need to be filled regardless of whether 
Fort Monmouth closed, Fort Monmouth officials count the hiring required 
to meet increases in authorized levels and expected retirements in 
their BRAC vacancy projections because the positions need to be filled 
at the same time the C4ISR functions are transferring to Aberdeen 
Proving Ground. 

Fort Monmouth officials project that as the closure of the installation 
nears, the size of the C4ISR workforce will gradually decrease from the 
fiscal year 2008 authorized level of about 4,400 positions as employees 
who choose not to relocate to Aberdeen Proving Ground find other jobs 
or choose to retire, leaving some positions unfilled. The officials 
expect the size of the workforce will reach its lowest level in 2011 
when Fort Monmouth closes and the C4ISR functions are fully transferred 
to Aberdeen Proving Ground, leaving approximately 2,200 positions 
unfilled. As new employees are hired, the officials expect that the 
size of the workforce will gradually increase after 2011 until it 
reaches authorized levels of about 5,100--to include the 700 additional 
authorized positions--which officials project will occur in 2016. Fort 
Monmouth officials project that they could reconstitute the C4ISR 
workforce at Aberdeen Proving Ground in 2014--2 years sooner--if the 
C4ISR organizations were given direct hire authority.[Footnote 12] At 
the time of our review, the Army's request for direct hire authority 
was under review within DOD, but it had not yet been submitted to the 
Office of Personnel Management. When fully reconstituted, the workforce 
may be less experienced than the current workforce at Fort Monmouth due 
to experienced employees at Fort Monmouth choosing not to relocate to 
Aberdeen Proving Ground and the likelihood that a portion of newly 
hired employees will be less experienced than the current workforce. 
Army officials estimate that it could take 3 to 8 years, depending on 
the occupation and an individual's experience, for a newly hired entry- 
level employee to reach full proficiency in a position. These officials 
told us that they expect to hire more-experienced employees, to the 
extent they are available, and fill the remaining positions with entry- 
level employees. Figure 1 illustrates notionally, based on Fort 
Monmouth officials' projections, the gradual decrease and 
reconstitution of the C4ISR workforce in terms of filling positions and 
the potential time required for entry-level employees to reach full 
proficiency in those positions. It is important to note that, to the 
extent that the Army is successful in hiring a greater number of 
experienced employees, the number of employees that are fully 
proficient could be higher than depicted in figure 1 because the 
graphic illustrates the time required for entry-level employees to 
reach full proficiency in a position and assumes that all of the 
employees hired are entry-level employees. According to Fort Monmouth 
officials, it would take less time for a more-experienced employee to 
reach full proficiency in a position than an entry-level employee. 

Figure 1: Notional Illustration of the Potential Staffing Level and 
Estimated Time Required for Entry-Level Federal Government Civilian 
Employees in the C4ISR Workforce to Reach Full Proficiency Based on DOD 
Projections: 

This figure is a notional illustration of the potential staffing level 
and estimated time required for entry-level federal government civilian 
employee in the C4ISR workforce to reach full proficiency based on DOD 
projections. 

[See PDF for image] 

Source: GAO analysis of DOD data. 

Notes: This figure is intended to illustrate generally the staffing 
level of the C4ISR workforce and the time required for newly hired 
entry-level employees to reach full proficiency based on projections by 
Fort Monmouth officials. The estimated number of employees in the 
workforce is based on the number of employees currently in the 
workforce, the year that officials project the workforce will reach its 
lowest level and the size of that workforce, and the year that 
officials project that the number of employees in the workforce will 
reach authorized levels. Similarly, the shaded area represents the 
variation in time that may be required for a newly hired entry-level 
employee to reach full proficiency in the positions based on Fort 
Monmouth officials' estimate that it takes about 3 to 8 years, 
depending on the occupation and an individual's experience, for a newly 
hired entry-level employee to reach full proficiency in a position. 
However, officials said that they expect to hire more-experienced 
employees, to the extent that they are available, and fill the 
remaining positions with entry-level employees, which may lessen the 
overall time required for employees to reach full proficiency to the 
extent the Army is successful in hiring relatively more-experienced 
employees. Finally, while the number of authorized C4ISR positions 
varies from year to year, this figure represents authorized C4ISR 
positions as a steady number using fiscal year 2011 data because that 
is the year that Fort Monmouth is scheduled to close and the C4ISR 
mission is scheduled to be fully transferred to Aberdeen Proving 
Ground. 

[End of figure] 

Current hiring plans and projections are based on a number of planning 
assumptions that, according to Fort Monmouth officials, were based on 
the best information available at the time. However, if the assumptions 
do not prove to be accurate, then the number of vacancies may be 
different than projected. Two key assumptions that could affect the 
projected vacancies are the number of current employees who will 
relocate and the number of employees who can be hired before Fort 
Monmouth closes. Fort Monmouth officials assume that about 30 to 40 
percent of the current workforce will relocate to Aberdeen Proving 
Ground based on employee responses to workforce surveys and human 
capital assessments, as well as anecdotal estimates of the percentage 
of employees that relocated in previous BRAC rounds. If the number of 
employees who choose to relocate is lower than is assumed in the plans, 
then there will be more vacancies than projected; conversely, if more 
people move than is assumed in the plans, then the number of vacancies 
will be lower than projected. Additionally, the projection of 2,200 
vacancies at Aberdeen Proving Ground after Fort Monmouth closes is 
based on the assumption that the Army will be able to hire almost 1,500 
employees before the closure. Fort Monmouth officials recognize that 
hiring this many employees before the installation closes is ambitious 
and may not be feasible, in part because the number of employees that 
can be hired at Aberdeen Proving Ground is limited by the availability 
of facilities leading up to 2011. If the Army is unable to meet its 
hiring goals before Fort Monmouth closes, then the number of vacancies 
at Aberdeen Proving Ground after the closure would be greater than the 
2,200 projected vacancies. Conversely, if the Army exceeds its hiring 
goals, then there would be fewer than the 2,200 projected vacancies. 

As in the case of the government workforce, the Army may also face a 
loss of experience in its contractor workforce, which constitutes a 
substantial portion of the workforce for some C4ISR organizations. Fort 
Monmouth officials said that contractor companies currently are not 
required to develop relocation plans, but plans that detail how the 
company will continue to support the C4ISR functions before, during, 
and after the transfer will be required when contracts are renewed or 
new contracts are awarded. According to Fort Monmouth officials, almost 
all of the current support contracts will expire before Fort Monmouth 
closes. Contractors are required to continue to provide the services 
included in the contract; however, that support is not required to be 
provided by the personnel currently providing the service, according to 
Fort Monmouth officials. Therefore the Army could experience a loss of 
experienced contractor personnel if a large number of current 
contractor personnel choose not to relocate to Aberdeen Proving Ground. 
Fort Monmouth officials are aware of and are starting to develop and 
implement strategies to address this challenge. Specifically, Fort 
Monmouth officials are initiating discussions with contractor companies 
at periodic performance meetings to determine the companies' plans to 
continue support after the C4ISR functions relocate, which provide 
officials in the C4ISR organizations near-term insight into the 
contractors' approaches to providing continued support after the 
transfer. 

Based on Fort Monmouth officials' plans and projections, the workforce 
at Aberdeen Proving Ground is likely to be smaller and less experienced 
than the current C4ISR workforce for several years after the closure of 
Fort Monmouth. Fort Monmouth officials recognize this potential risk 
and have started developing and implementing mitigation strategies that 
focus on two general areas: (1) retaining or hiring the necessary 
personnel to fully reconstitute the workforce at Aberdeen Proving 
Ground and (2) managing the functions by identifying and focusing on 
the highest-priority workload and deferring some portions of the C4ISR 
workload, temporarily transferring some of the workload to other DOD 
organizations, or hiring additional contractors. 

Officials have started developing and implementing risk-mitigation 
strategies related to retaining existing employees and hiring new 
employees to reconstitute the federal government civilian workforce. 
First, the C4ISR organizations are developing or plan to develop 
targeted training programs and hiring strategies so that the 
organization will have the right mix of skills when the workforce is 
reconstituted at Aberdeen Proving Ground. For example, officials from 
some of the C4ISR organizations have identified the critical skills or 
positions in their organizations and used the results of their human 
capital assessment to determine whether employees who possess the 
critical skills or currently occupy the critical positions plan to 
relocate to Aberdeen Proving Ground. For those skills or positions in 
which incumbents do not intend to relocate, officials identified a 
number of employees currently in the organization that could, through 
training and additional experience, assume these critical roles and are 
working to provide the needed training and experience to such 
employees. As a result, organizations may be able to fill some critical 
positions with current employees, allowing organizations to hire and 
fill less-critical positions with entry-level applicants, who may be 
easier to recruit and hire and thus may lessen the risk to critical 
missions. Additionally, some C4ISR organizations have begun outreach 
efforts with colleges and universities near Aberdeen Proving Ground, 
advertising available positions with professional organizations, and 
participating in job fairs to attract candidates. For example, in June 
2008, a C4ISR job fair at Aberdeen Proving Ground attracted over 1,500 
potential applicants, many of whom were experienced candidates, 
according to Fort Monmouth officials. Officials are just beginning to 
implement targeted training and hiring plans and the results of these 
efforts remain to be seen. 

Army officials also have started to identify strategies to manage the 
C4ISR workload with a potentially smaller and less-experienced 
workforce, including prioritizing the workload, temporarily outsourcing 
some work to other DOD locations, or hiring additional contractors. 
First, officials from each of the C4ISR organizations said that 
prioritizing the workload will be a key strategy in completing the most-
critical work after the C4ISR functions transfer to Aberdeen Proving 
Ground and, in some cases, the officials expect that some less- 
critical work will have to be deferred in order to complete the most- 
critical work in a timely manner. These officials noted that they 
currently have to prioritize their workload and that this 
prioritization would become even more essential with a smaller 
workforce. Second, some organizations may be able to temporarily 
outsource some of their workload to other DOD locations until the 
workforce is reconstituted at Aberdeen Proving Ground. For example, 
officials from the Communications-Electronics Acquisition Center expect 
that some work could temporarily be performed by another acquisition 
center until the workforce is reconstituted if the workforce at 
Aberdeen Proving Ground cannot initially complete all of the work. 
Finally, officials from some organizations said that they may hire 
additional contractors to help continue the work until the workforce is 
reconstituted. Fort Monmouth officials said that they generally know 
about future programs and projects, but the planned C4ISR workload for 
2011 and beyond may change over time, making it difficult to develop 
specific strategies now to complete the workload with a smaller 
workforce. Officials plan to continue to develop, monitor, revise, and 
refine plans and strategies to mitigate the risk of a smaller and less-
experienced workforce on the ability to complete the C4ISR workload as 
more information is known about the workload and the workforce 
capability after the transfer. It is too early to determine the extent 
to which these strategies will be effective; however, these mitigation 
strategies, if implemented as intended, should lessen the risks 
associated with human capital challenges. 

Additionally, Army officials are monitoring progress in implementing 
human capital plans and strategies and revising plans as needed. For 
example, based on some early difficulties in hiring new employees, Fort 
Monmouth officials recently revised their hiring projections to 
decrease the number of employees hired before the transfer and increase 
the number hired after the transfer, thus increasing the projected 
number of unfilled positions immediately after the transfer. Along with 
the revised projections, Fort Monmouth officials are in the process of 
determining how, if at all, hiring plans and strategies need to be 
revised. 

Although these human capital challenges may be difficult to address, 
they are not unique to the C4ISR functions transferring to Aberdeen 
Proving Ground. We first raised potential human capital challenges 
related to the 2005 BRAC round in our July 2005 testimony before the 
BRAC Commission, in which we broadly stated that DOD could face 
challenges in planning to address the loss of human capital skills to 
provide for uninterrupted operations as BRAC recommendations are 
implemented, particularly for those skills requiring extensive 
education, training, and experience.[Footnote 13] More specifically, we 
reported in March 2008 that DOD was facing a challenge in managing 
human capital issues for two supply-related recommendations.[Footnote 
14] As in the case of the transfer of C4ISR functions to Aberdeen 
Proving Ground, military service officials involved in implementing two 
supply-related recommendations expressed doubts at that time about the 
willingness of current experienced personnel to transfer to the Defense 
Logistics Agency. We also identified workforce challenges in our June 
2007 report on the BRAC recommendation to establish fleet readiness 
centers in the Navy.[Footnote 15] 

Army Faces Challenges in Obtaining Security Clearances in a Timely 
Manner, but Has Begun to Identify and Implement Mitigation Strategies: 

The Army also faces challenges in obtaining the necessary security 
clearances for the large number of newly hired employees in a timely 
manner, and officials have begun to identify and implement strategies 
intended to mitigate the risk associated with this challenge. Fort 
Monmouth officials report that almost all of its C4ISR positions 
require at least a secret clearance and about 20 percent of the current 
federal civilian government C4ISR employees and military personnel who 
have a clearance have a top secret clearance. DOD's December 2007 
report identified the need to obtain security clearances quickly as a 
factor in its ability to successfully transfer the C4ISR functions to 
Aberdeen Proving Ground without affecting ongoing support to Army 
missions. 

Because the number of clearances to be processed for new C4ISR 
employees is relatively small compared to the large number of 
clearances that the Office of Personnel Management and DOD currently 
process and the fact that the employees will be added over a number of 
years, processing clearances for the new C4ISR employees will not 
likely place a significant strain on the overall clearance 
program.[Footnote 16] Long-standing delays and backlogs in determining 
clearance eligibility and other clearance challenges led us to 
designate DOD's personnel security clearance program as a high-risk 
area since January 2005.[Footnote 17] We identified this as a high-risk 
area because problems in the clearance program can negatively affect 
national security. The Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act 
of 2004 established specific timeliness standards to be phased in over 
5 years for completing the end-to-end adjudication of security 
clearances. The act states that, in the initial period that ends in 
2009, authorized adjudicative agencies are to make a determination on 
at least 80 percent of all applications for a security clearance within 
an average of 120 days after the receipt of the application by an 
authorized investigative agency, with no longer than 90 days allotted 
for the investigation and 30 days allotted for the 
adjudication.[Footnote 18] We are currently reviewing DOD's progress in 
meeting these requirements across its personnel security clearance 
program. 

While the number of clearances that may be required for new C4ISR 
employees is relatively small compared to the total number of 
clearances that DOD and the Office of Personnel Management process, the 
proportion of employees who need clearances within an organization at a 
given time could be significant. Irrespective of whether DOD can meet 
its timeliness goals for processing clearances, the time required to 
grant clearances could affect C4ISR employees' ability to fully perform 
their jobs, particularly considering the large number of employees who 
may require clearances. If the Army cannot obtain the necessary 
clearances in a timely manner, then employees may be unable to fully 
perform their jobs until they obtain clearances. 

To help mitigate this risk, Army officials plan to seek interim secret 
security clearances for qualified personnel, as needed. Interim secret 
security clearances can be obtained much more quickly than secret 
security clearances because a full investigation is not required. By 
obtaining interim secret security clearances, employees could begin to 
perform work that requires such a clearance, limiting downtime for the 
employee and increasing the number of employees available to perform 
the required work. However, by granting an interim secret clearance, 
the Army assumes additional risk because the employee has not undergone 
a full background investigation. If the background investigation 
subsequently turns up disqualifying evidence, then the individual would 
be denied a permanent clearance after having had access to classified 
information. According to Army officials, nearly 25 percent of Fort 
Monmouth's C4ISR employees with a secret clearance currently have an 
interim secret clearance. Army officials also plan to expedite 
processing security clearances for the new C4ISR personnel by 
participating in an ongoing pilot program at Aberdeen Proving Ground. 
According to Army officials, the early results of the pilot program are 
promising in terms of expediting the time required to obtain a security 
clearance. It is too early to determine the effectiveness of these 
strategies; however, these mitigation strategies, if implemented as 
intended, should lessen the risks associated with security clearance 
challenges. 

Issues related to obtaining security clearances in a timely manner are 
not unique to the transfer of C4ISR functions to Aberdeen Proving 
Ground. In May 2007, we reported that some Air National Guard officials 
expressed concerns that the lengthy process to obtain security 
clearances for about 3,000 individuals converting to new missions could 
delay when personnel were able to perform their missions.[Footnote 19] 

Army Faces Challenges in Completing Needed Facilities and Relocations 
and Has Begun to Identify and Implement Mitigation Strategies: 

The Army also faces challenges in completing the construction of some 
of the facilities at Aberdeen Proving Ground and completing the 
relocations before the end of the 6-year statutory implementation 
period, and officials have begun to identify and implement strategies 
to mitigate the risks associated with these challenges. DOD's December 
2007 report identified the need to have facilities available in 
sufficient time to allow for an orderly, phased move as a factor in its 
ability to successfully transfer the C4ISR functions to Aberdeen 
Proving Ground. Currently, the Army expects that facility construction 
for the first C4ISR buildings, which will accommodate the majority of 
C4ISR positions, will be completed in the fall of 2010 and construction 
for the rest of the C4ISR buildings will be completed in March 2011. 
This would allow about a year for organizations that are moving into 
the first set of buildings to relocate and about 5 months for 
organizations that are moving into the later facilities. During 
relocation, organizations will have to disassemble, relocate, 
reassemble, and calibrate equipment in the new facilities as well as 
transfer personnel to Aberdeen Proving Ground. However, delays in 
construction could place at risk the Army's ability to complete this 
relocation by September 15, 2011. 

While the Army Corps of Engineers is responsible for managing facility 
construction, Fort Monmouth officials said that they are monitoring 
progress in this area because timely completion of facilities is 
critical to the successful transfer of the C4ISR mission. Fort Monmouth 
officials plan to mitigate risk in the facilities area by continuing to 
monitor construction progress and raise issues as necessary. Similarly, 
Army Corps of Engineers officials said that they are aware of the tight 
time frames to complete BRAC construction projects and plan to 
continuing monitoring and working with officials from the Office of the 
Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management, the Army Materiel 
Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, and Fort Monmouth to determine 
courses of action as issues arise. For example, Army officials 
originally planned to renovate some facilities occupied by the Ordnance 
Center and School at Aberdeen Proving Ground for some C4ISR employees. 
The Ordnance Center and School is scheduled to move to Fort Lee, 
Virginia, through another BRAC action; however, Army Corps of Engineers 
officials said that they would be unable to complete the new facilities 
at Fort Lee on time, which in turn would delay the renovation of the 
facilities for the incoming C4ISR employees. Army Corps of Engineers 
officials worked with officials from the Office of the Assistant Chief 
of Staff for Installation Management, Aberdeen Proving Ground, and Fort 
Monmouth to identify a solution. According to officials, the Army has 
decided to incur additional BRAC construction costs of about $17 
million and build a new facility for the C4ISR employees at Aberdeen 
Proving Ground, rather than take the risk that the facility renovations 
could not be completed in time for the C4ISR functions to relocate into 
the renovated facility. Army officials said that the buildings vacated 
by the Ordnance Center and School may be renovated and used by other 
Aberdeen Proving Ground tenants outside of the BRAC process. 

Additionally, officials expect that the early transfer of about 1,400 
positions--about 900 employees relocating from Fort Monmouth and about 
500 hired at Aberdeen Proving Ground--and the necessary equipment to 
Aberdeen Proving Ground through the advance teams may ease the 
transition and mitigate potential mission-disruption risks. Moreover, 
officials expect that the relocation phasing approaches that each 
organization has developed--redundant capabilities, split-based 
operations, and outsourcing work to other locations--will be critical 
in mitigating mission-disruption risks, particularly for functions that 
will be located in the last facilities to be completed. 

Infrastructure challenges are not unique to this BRAC recommendation. 
We have previously raised similar infrastructure challenges in 
implementing the 2005 BRAC recommendations. Specifically, in December 
2007 we reported on challenges related to completing facilities in time 
to move people and equipment into the facilities and on recommendations 
being dependent on the completion of other recommendations.[Footnote 
20] 

Army Faces Challenges in Funding Increasing Costs of the Transfer, but 
Has Begun to Identify and Implement Mitigation Strategies: 

The Army also faces challenges in funding the increasing costs to 
transfer C4ISR functions from Fort Monmouth to Aberdeen Proving Ground, 
and officials have begun to identify and implement mitigation 
strategies. In December 2007, we reported that the recommendation to 
close Fort Monmouth was one of the costliest recommendations from the 
2005 BRAC round.[Footnote 21] Based on the Army's fiscal year 2009 
budget estimates, the estimated onetime cost to implement the 
recommendation has increased to about $1.6 billion, which is more than 
double the BRAC Commission's estimate in 2005.[Footnote 22] 

Since the Army submitted its fiscal year 2009 BRAC budget request to 
Congress, officials identified additional costs for the transfer, 
largely for implementing the mitigation strategies identified in DOD's 
December 2007 report, including renovating facilities at Aberdeen 
Proving Ground for the advance team and obtaining redundant 
capabilities for some critical functions. According to Army officials, 
funding for these additional costs has been obtained or programmed 
outside of the BRAC account. For example, an Aberdeen Proving Ground 
official estimated that the Army spent about $3.8 million, which 
includes about $3.2 million in sustainment funding for the renovations 
and about $600,000 in base operating support funding for information 
technology needs, to renovate facilities at Aberdeen Proving Ground to 
temporarily accommodate the advance team arriving there in fiscal year 
2008. At the time of our review, Army officials had not yet determined 
which facilities at Aberdeen Proving Ground would be used to 
temporarily accommodate the advance team scheduled to arrive in 2009, 
which would likely require additional funding to renovate existing 
facilities or to lease temporary facilities off of the installation. 
Furthermore, the Army has programmed funding outside of the BRAC 
account to obtain redundant capabilities for some laboratories or 
functions that officials determined must remain operational throughout 
the transfer to Aberdeen Proving Ground, such as some of the equipment 
used by the Joint Satellite Communications Engineering Center. Army 
officials estimate that the cost of redundant capabilities will total 
about $75 million, based on current plans. 

Additionally, Army Corps of Engineers officials expect that 
construction costs for some of the C4ISR facilities, for which a 
construction contract has not yet been awarded, are likely to increase. 
The Army Corps of Engineers plans to award the contract for the second 
phase of construction projects for the C4ISR functions in early 2009. 
Army officials currently estimate that the second phase of projects 
will cost about $325 million. According to Army Corps of Engineers 
officials, construction costs are likely to increase due to the 
increased cost of fuel, as well as the increased demand for 
construction workers, subcontractors, and supplies from the large 
number of military construction projects currently planned or under way 
in the region. However, these potential cost increases are not included 
in current construction estimates and Army Corps of Engineers officials 
said that they cannot fully estimate the cost of the second phase of 
facilities until the construction contract is awarded. 

DOD's December 2007 report indicates that the Army's ability to 
successfully transfer the C4ISR functions from Fort Monmouth to 
Aberdeen Proving Ground is contingent upon receiving the funding 
necessary to implement the mitigation strategies identified in the 
report. As we have previously reported, the Army has many priorities-- 
including other infrastructure requirements; force structure changes, 
such as increasing the end strength of the Army's active and reserve 
forces; and ongoing military missions--competing for limited funding. 
If the Army cannot fully fund the increasing costs associated with the 
transfer, to include costs funded outside of the BRAC budget request, 
then there is an increased risk that the Army may be unable to complete 
the transfer without affecting ongoing support to its military 
missions. 

To address this challenge, the Army has monitored and plans to continue 
monitoring the implementation of this BRAC recommendation. The Army 
established a senior oversight group at the headquarters level, made up 
of representatives from the key staff offices, including personnel and 
logistics; the Army Materiel Command; the Office of the Assistant Chief 
of Staff for Installation Management; and the Office of the Assistant 
Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology. The 
group met from February 2008 through May 2008 to determine whether and 
how to provide the authority and funding identified in DOD's December 
2007 report. According to an Army official involved with the oversight 
group, the group determined which office would be responsible for 
handling policy and funding decisions related to the mitigation 
strategies identified in DOD's report. While the group does not 
currently plan to continue meeting, an official involved with the group 
said that the oversight group could meet if there were future issues 
that the group needed to address. In the meantime, officials said that 
the BRAC offices at Army Headquarters and Army Materiel Command, as 
well as DOD's BRAC office, plan to continue monitoring the cost 
increases and potential funding shortfalls for this recommendation, as 
the offices do for all BRAC recommendations with relevance to these 
organizations. For example, officials from DOD's BRAC office said that 
they review whether the implementation of the recommendation is fully 
funded as part of their program review, which occurs twice each year. 

Cost increases are not unique to the transfer of C4ISR functions to 
Aberdeen Proving Ground. For example, in December 2007, we reported 
that the estimated onetime costs for about 20 percent of the 2005 BRAC 
recommendations had each increased by at least $50 million, based on 
DOD's fiscal year 2008 budget documents.[Footnote 23] We have also 
reported that the cost estimates for two supply-related 
recommendations, a recommendation to establish fleet readiness centers, 
and several reserve and National Guard component recommendations had 
increased over the BRAC Commission's estimates in 2005.[Footnote 24] We 
are currently reviewing DOD's fiscal year 2009 BRAC budget request and 
plan to issue a report in early 2009, in accordance with the direction 
from the House Armed Services Committee to report annually on DOD's 
implementation of the 2005 BRAC recommendations,[Footnote 25] that will 
discuss estimated implementation costs, among other issues. 

DOD's Continued Oversight May Lessen Risks: 

In addition to the mitigation strategies discussed above, DOD plans to 
continue its ongoing oversight of the implementation of BRAC plans, 
which may lessen potential mission-disruption risks. This oversight is 
occurring at many levels within DOD, from the individual C4ISR 
organizations to DOD's BRAC office. Such oversight may allow officials 
to identify potential problems early and develop and implement 
solutions, which may lessen mission-disruption risks during the 
transfer. Plans in and of themselves cannot ensure a successful 
transition due to inherent uncertainties that may arise over time, the 
need to revise plans as circumstances change, and the need to 
effectively execute the plans. Therefore, it is critical that the Army 
continue to monitor the execution of its transfer plans and take 
corrective actions to lessen the risk of operational disruptions. 
Because DOD has oversight mechanisms in place and intends to continue 
its monitoring efforts and revision of plans throughout implementation, 
we are not making recommendations at this time. 

First, each C4ISR organization has established a BRAC unit within the 
organization to manage the development of detailed, organization-level 
plans; monitor the implementation of these plans; and revise plans as 
needed. For example, officials from some of the C4ISR organizations 
plan to monitor and review the results of the 2008 advance team's 
transition from Fort Monmouth to Aberdeen Proving Ground and revise 
plans for the 2009 advance team, as well as the transfer of remaining 
employees in 2010 and 2011, based on lessons learned. 

Additionally, Fort Monmouth's BRAC relocation task force, made up of 
representatives from each of the C4ISR organizations and key staff 
offices, including personnel, logistics, and operations and plans, has 
been managing planning efforts across the C4ISR organizations and 
monitoring the implementation of these plans. The group has met 
regularly over the past year to discuss implementation issues and 
identify problems and potential solutions. The group has raised 
unresolved issues to higher levels, as needed, according to task force 
officials. Additionally, the group has developed numerous planning 
documents, including a schedule of the near-term tasks needed to 
complete the transfer with estimated starting and completion dates. 
Officials expect that the task force will be dissolved by the end of 
fiscal year 2008 and replaced with an implementation group, made up of 
representatives from key staff offices. The implementation group's role 
is to coordinate, integrate, and synchronize all efforts associated 
with the transfer. Representatives from the C4ISR organizations will 
provide assistance to the implementation group, as needed, according to 
Fort Monmouth officials. 

Moreover, the BRAC offices at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Army Materiel 
Command, and Army headquarters are also monitoring the implementation 
of the BRAC recommendation, as they routinely monitor the 
implementation of all recommendations with relevance to their 
organizations. For example, an official in Aberdeen Proving Ground's 
BRAC office noted that the office is monitoring progress on 
construction projects for the C4ISR facilities, as well as all of the 
other construction on the installation, to ensure that the projects are 
completed on schedule. Additionally, as previously discussed, the Army 
established a headquarters-level senior oversight group. 

Finally, as with the other BRAC offices, DOD's BRAC office is 
monitoring the implementation of this BRAC recommendation, as it 
routinely monitors the implementation of all of the BRAC 
recommendations. For example, to facilitate its oversight role, DOD's 
BRAC office required the military departments and defense agencies 
responsible for implementing BRAC recommendations to submit a detailed 
business plan for each recommendation and to update these plans twice 
each year. These business plans include detailed information, including 
a listing of all actions needed to implement the recommendation, 
schedules for personnel movements between installations, updated cost 
and savings estimates, and implementation completion time frames. DOD's 
BRAC office considers the business plans to be living documents that 
are updated throughout the implementation period. Officials from DOD's 
BRAC office said that they plan to continue reviewing the business 
plans as part of their comprehensive, centrally managed oversight of 
the BRAC program. 

Agency Comments: 

In commenting on a draft of this report, the Deputy Under Secretary of 
Defense for Installations and Environment stated that DOD agrees that 
the challenges of implementing the BRAC recommendation to close Fort 
Monmouth are not unique and that the department has strategies in place 
to mitigate these challenges. Nonetheless, as we stated in this report, 
plans and mitigation strategies in and of themselves cannot ensure a 
successful transition due to inherent uncertainties that may arise over 
time, the need to revise plans as circumstances change, and the need to 
effectively execute the plans. DOD's written comments are reprinted in 
enclosure I. Additionally, DOD provided technical comments on a draft 
of this report, which we incorporated as appropriate. 

We are sending copies of this report to other congressional committees 
and members, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of the Army, and 
the Director of the Office of Management and Budget. We will make 
copies available to others upon request. In addition, this report will 
be available at no charge on GAO's Web site at [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov]. 

If you or your staff have any questions concerning this report, please 
contact me at (202) 512-4523 or leporeb@gao.gov. Contact points for our 
Offices of Congressional Relations and Public Affairs may be found on 
the last page of this report. GAO staff who made contributions to this 
report are listed in enclosure II. 

Signed by: 

Brian J. Lepore: 
Director: 
Defense Capabilities and Management: 

Enclosures - 2: 

[End of section] 

Enclosure I: Comments from the Department of Defense: 

Office of the Under Secretary of Defense: 
3000 Defense Pentagon: 
Washington, DC 20301-3000: 

August 8, 2008: 

Mr. Brian J. Lepore: 
Director, Defense Capabilities and Management: 
U.S. Government Accountability OFfice: 
441 G. Street, N.W.: 
Washington, D.C. 20548-0001: 

Dear Mr. Lepore, 

This is the Department of Defense (DoD) response to the Government 
Accountability Office (GAO) draft report, GAO-08-1010R, "Military 
Realignments and Closures: Army is Developing Plans to Transfer 
Functions from Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, to Aberdeen Proving Ground, 
Maryland, but Challenges Remain," dated August 4, 2008 (GAO Code 
351127). 

The Department fully agrees with the report's recognition that the 
challenges of implementing this recommendation are not unique and the 
Department has the necessary strategies in place to mitigate these 
challenges. The Department's success in implementing equally complex 
recommendations in the previous rounds and its actions to date in this 
round demonstrates its commitment to ensuring this recommendation will 
be implemented efficiently and effectively in order to expeditiously 
realize its benefits. 

The Department appreciates the thorough review conducted by the GAO and 
the opportunity to comment on the draft report. 

Sincerely, 

Signed by: 

Wayne Arny: 
Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Installations and Environment): 

[End of section] 

Enclosure II: GAO Contact and Staff Acknowledgments: 

GAO Contact: 

Brian J. Lepore, (202) 512-4523 or leporeb@gao.gov: 

Acknowledgments: 

In addition to the individual named above, James R. Reifsnyder, 
Assistant Director; Michael Kennedy, Assistant Director (retired); 
Hilary Benedict; Rich Hung; Ron La Due Lake; Julie Matta; Stephanie 
Moriarty; Jay Smale; and Karen Werner made significant contributions to 
this report. 

[End of section] 

Related GAO Products: 

Military Base Realignments and Closures: Higher Costs and Lower Savings 
Projected for Implementing Two Key Supply-Related BRAC Recommendations. 
GAO-08-315. Washington, D.C.: March 5, 2008. 

Defense Infrastructure: Realignment of Air Force Special Operations 
Command Units to Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico. GAO-08-244R. 
Washington, D.C.: January 18, 2008. 

Military Base Realignments and Closures: Estimated Costs Have Increased 
and Estimated Savings Have Decreased. GAO-08-341T. Washington, D.C.: 
December 12, 2007. 

Military Base Realignments and Closures: Cost Estimates Have Increased 
and Are Likely to Continue to Evolve. GAO-08-159. Washington, D.C.: 
December 11, 2007. 

Military Base Realignments and Closures: Impact of Terminating, 
Relocating, or Outsourcing the Services of the Armed Forces Institute 
of Pathology. GAO-08-20. Washington, D.C.: November 9, 2007. 

Military Base Realignments and Closures: Transfer of Supply, Storage, 
and Distribution Functions from Military Services to Defense Logistics 
Agency. GAO-08-121R. Washington, D.C.: October 26, 2007. 

Defense Infrastructure: Challenges Increase Risks for Providing Timely 
Infrastructure Support for Army Installations Expecting Substantial 
Personnel Growth. GAO-07-1007. Washington, D.C.: September 13, 2007. 

Military Base Realignments and Closures: Plan Needed to Monitor 
Challenges for Completing More Than 100 Armed Forces Reserve Centers. 
GAO-07-1040. Washington, D.C.: September 13, 2007. 

Military Base Realignments and Closures: Observations Related to the 
2005 Round. GAO-07-1203R. Washington, D.C.: September 6, 2007. 

Military Base Closures: Projected Savings from Fleet Readiness Centers 
Are Likely Overstated and Actions Needed to Track Actual Savings and 
Overcome Certain Challenges. GAO-07-304. Washington, D.C.: June 29, 
2007. 

Military Base Closures: Management Strategy Needed to Mitigate 
Challenges and Improve Communication to Help Ensure Timely 
Implementation of Air National Guard Recommendations. GAO-07-641. 
Washington, D.C.: May 16, 2007. 

Military Base Closures: Opportunities Exist to Improve Environmental 
Cleanup Cost Reporting and to Expedite Transfer of Unneeded Property. 
GAO-07-166. Washington, D.C.: January 30, 2007. 

Military Bases: Observations on DOD's 2005 Base Realignment and Closure 
Selection Process and Recommendations. GAO-05-905. Washington, D.C.: 
July 18, 2005. 

Military Bases: Analysis of DOD's 2005 Selection Process and 
Recommendations for Base Closures and Realignments. GAO-05-785. 
Washington, D.C.: July 1, 2005. 

[End of section] 

Footnotes: 

[1] Pub. L. No. 101-510, Title XXIX, as amended by Pub. L. No. 107-107, 
Title XXX (2001). 

[2] Department of Defense, Report to Congress, 2005 Defense Base 
Closure and Realignment Commission Report, Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, 
Recommendation #5 (Washington, D.C.: December 2007). 

[3] Other Army tenants on the installation include the United States 
Military Academy Preparatory School and Patterson Army Health Clinic. 

[4] A small number of the C4ISR positions--a total of about 300 
civilian positions and 50 military positions--are transferring to Fort 
Belvoir, Virginia, and the Defense Supply Center, Columbus, Ohio. The 
Army does not plan to eliminate any of the C4ISR positions by 
implementing this BRAC recommendation. 

[5] 31 U.S.C.  717. 

[6] A list of our prior reports on the implementation of the 2005 BRAC 
round is included at the end of this report. 

[7] A list of our prior reports on the implementation of the 2005 BRAC 
round is included at the end of this report. 

[8] The four prior rounds took place in 1988, 1991, 1993, and 1995. 

[9] Pub. L. No. 101-510, Title XXIX (1990); 10 U.S.C.  2687 note. 

[10] GAO, Military Base Realignments and Closures: Cost Estimates Have 
Increased and Are Likely to Continue to Evolve, GAO-08-159 (Washington, 
D.C.: Dec. 11, 2007). 

[11] A list of our prior reports on the implementation of the 2005 BRAC 
round is included at the end of this report. 

[12] The Office of Personnel Management can give federal agencies 
direct hire authority to fill vacancies when a critical hiring need or 
severe shortage of candidates exists. The use of direct hire authority 
allows an agency to hire any qualified applicant after public notice is 
given. According to the Office of Personnel Management, direct hire 
authority expedites hiring by eliminating some hiring requirements, 
including competitive rating and ranking and veteran's preference. 

[13] GAO, Military Bases: Observations on DOD's 2005 Base Realignment 
and Closure Selection Process and Recommendations, GAO-05-905 
(Washington, D.C.: July 18, 2005). 

[14] GAO, Military Base Realignments and Closures: Higher Costs and 
Lower Savings Projected for Implementing Two Key Supply-Related BRAC 
Recommendations, GAO-08-315 (Washington, D.C.: Mar. 5, 2008). 

[15] GAO, Military Base Closures: Projected Savings from Fleet 
Readiness Centers Likely Overstated and Actions Needed to Track Actual 
Savings and Overcome Certain Challenges, GAO-07-304 (Washington, D.C.: 
June 29, 2007). 

[16] The Office of Management and Budget reported that in the first 
quarter of fiscal year 2008, the Office of Personnel Management 
completed more than 100,000 initial investigations and DOD adjudicated 
more than 85,000 clearances for DOD military and civilian personnel. 
See Office of Management and Budget, Report of the Security Clearance 
Oversight Group Consistent With Title III of the Intelligence Reform 
and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (Washington, D.C.: February 2008). 
The Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence has 
responsibility for determining eligibility for clearances for 
servicemembers, DOD civilian employees, industry personnel performing 
work at DOD and 23 other federal agencies, and employees in the federal 
legislative branch. That responsibility includes obtaining background 
investigations, primarily through the Office of Personnel Management. 
DOD is responsible for adjudicating clearances for servicemembers, DOD 
civilian employees, and industry personnel. 

[17] GAO, High-Risk Series: An Update, GAO-07-310 (Washington, D.C.: 
January 2007), and High-Risk Series: An Update, GAO-05-207 (Washington, 
D.C.: January 2005). The areas on our high-risk list receive their 
designation because they are major problems and operations that need 
urgent attention and transformation in order to ensure that our 
national government functions in the most economical, efficient, and 
effective manner possible. 

[18] Pub. L. No. 108-458. 

[19] GAO, Military Base Closures: Management Strategy Needed to 
Mitigate Challenges and Improve Communication to Help Ensure Timely 
Implementation of Air National Guard Recommendations, GAO-07-641 
(Washington, D.C.: May 16, 2007). 

[20] GAO-08-159. 

[21] GAO-08-159. 

[22] Cost projections include all actions in the recommendation and not 
only those actions to transfer the C4ISR functions from Fort Monmouth 
to Aberdeen Proving Ground. 

[23] GAO-08-159. 

[24] GAO, Military Base Realignments and Closures: Plan Needed to 
Monitor Challenges for Completing More Than 100 Armed Forces Reserve 
Centers, GAO-07-1040 (Washington, D.C.: Sept. 13, 2007); GAO-08-315; 
GAO-07-641; and GAO-07-304. 

[25] H.R. Rep. No. 110-146, at 514 (2007).

GAO's Mission: 

The Government Accountability Office, the audit, evaluation and 
investigative arm of Congress, exists to support Congress in meeting 
its constitutional responsibilities and to help improve the performance 
and accountability of the federal government for the American people. 
GAO examines the use of public funds; evaluates federal programs and 
policies; and provides analyses, recommendations, and other assistance 
to help Congress make informed oversight, policy, and funding 
decisions. GAO's commitment to good government is reflected in its core 
values of accountability, integrity, and reliability.  

Obtaining Copies of GAO Reports and Testimony: 

The fastest and easiest way to obtain copies of GAO documents at no 
cost is through GAO's Web site [hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov]. Each 
weekday, GAO posts newly released reports, testimony, and 
correspondence on its Web site. To have GAO e-mail you a list of newly 
posted products every afternoon, go to [hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov] 
and select "E-mail Updates."  

Order by Mail or Phone: 

The first copy of each printed report is free. Additional copies are $2 
each. A check or money order should be made out to the Superintendent 
of Documents. GAO also accepts VISA and Mastercard. Orders for 100 or 
more copies mailed to a single address are discounted 25 percent. 
Orders should be sent to:  

U.S. Government Accountability Office: 
441 G Street NW, Room LM: 
Washington, D.C. 20548:  

To order by Phone: 
Voice: (202) 512-6000: 
TDD: (202) 512-2537: 
Fax: (202) 512-6061:  

To Report Fraud, Waste, and Abuse in Federal Programs:  

Contact:  

Web site: [hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/fraudnet/fraudnet.htm]: 
E-mail: fraudnet@gao.gov: 
Automated answering system: (800) 424-5454 or (202) 512-7470:  

Congressional Relations:  

Ralph Dawn, Managing Director, dawnr@gao.gov: 
(202) 512-4400: 
U.S. Government Accountability Office: 
441 G Street NW, Room 7125: 
Washington, D.C. 20548:  

Public Affairs: 

Chuck Young, Managing Director, youngc1@gao.gov: 
(202) 512-4800: 
U.S. Government Accountability Office: 
441 G Street NW, Room 7149: 
Washington, D.C. 20548: