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Comprehensive Management Approach and Rigorous Experimentation before 
Services Spend Billions on New Capabilities' which was released on 
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Report to the Ranking Minority Member, Subcommittee on Defense, 
Committee on Appropriations, House of Representatives: 

United States Government Accountability Office: 

GAO: 

January 2007: 

Force Structure: 

Joint Seabasing Would Benefit from a Comprehensive Management Approach 
and Rigorous Experimentation before Services Spend Billions on New 
Capabilities: 

GAO-07-211: 

GAO Highlights: 

Highlights of GAO-07-211, a report to the Ranking Minority Member, 
Subcommittee on Defense, Committee on Appropriations, House of 
Representatives 

Why GAO Did This Study: 

Joint seabasing is one of several evolving concepts for projecting and 
sustaining forces without relying on immediate access to nearby land 
bases and could be the source of billions of dollars of investment. In 
future security environments, the Department of Defense (DOD) expects 
to encounter situations of reduced or denied access to areas of 
operation. Even where forward operating bases are otherwise available, 
their use may be politically undesirable or operationally restricted. 
GAO was asked to address the extent to which (1) DOD has employed a 
comprehensive management approach to joint seabasing, (2) DOD has 
developed a joint experimentation campaign plan for joint seabasing, 
and (3) DOD and the services have identified the costs of joint 
seabasing options. For this review, GAO analyzed joint requirements 
documents, experimentation efforts, and service acquisition plans. 

What GAO Found: 

While DOD has taken action to establish a joint seabasing capability, 
it has not developed a comprehensive management approach to guide and 
assess joint seabasing. GAO’s prior work showed that sound management 
practices for developing capabilities include involving top leadership, 
dedicating an implementation team, and establishing a communications 
strategy. DOD is developing a joint seabasing concept and various DOD 
organizations are sponsoring seabasing initiatives. However, DOD has 
not provided sufficient leadership to guide joint seabasing development 
and service initiatives are outpacing DOD’s analysis of joint 
requirements. DOD also has not established an implementation team to 
provide day-to-day management to ensure joint seabasing receives the 
focused attention needed so that efforts are effective and coordinated. 
Also, DOD has not fully developed a communications strategy that shares 
information among the organizations involved in seabasing. Without a 
comprehensive management approach containing these elements, DOD may be 
unable to coordinate activities and minimize redundancy among service 
initiatives. 

DOD has not developed a joint experimentation campaign plan, although 
many seabasing experimentation activities—including war games, modeling 
and simulation, and live demonstrations—have taken place across the 
services, combatant commands, and other defense entities. No 
overarching joint seabasing experimentation plan exists to guide these 
efforts because the U.S. Joint Forces Command has not taken the lead in 
coordinating joint seabasing experimentation, although it has been 
tasked with developing a biennial joint experimentation campaign plan 
for future joint concepts. While the U.S. Joint Forces Command is in 
the process of developing the plan, it is unclear the extent to which 
this plan will address joint seabasing or will be able to guide joint 
seabasing experimentation efforts. Without a plan to direct 
experimentation, DOD and the services’ ability to evaluate solutions, 
coordinate efforts, and disseminate results could be compromised. 

While service development efforts tied to seabasing are approaching 
milestones for investment decisions, it is unclear when DOD will 
complete development of total ownership cost estimates for a range of 
joint seabasing options. Joint seabasing is going through a 
capabilities-based assessment process that is intended to produce 
preliminary cost estimates for seabasing options. However, DOD has not 
yet begun the specific study that will identify potential approaches, 
including changes to doctrine and training as well as material 
solutions, and produce preliminary cost estimates. DOD officials expect 
the study will not be complete for a year or more. Meanwhile, the 
services are actively pursuing a variety of seabasing initiatives, some 
of which are approaching milestones which will guide future program 
investments. Until total ownership cost estimates for joint seabasing 
options are developed and made transparent to DOD and Congress, 
decision makers will not be able to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of 
individual service initiatives. 

What GAO Recommends: 

GAO recommends that DOD develop a management approach that includes 
senior leadership involvement, a dedicated implementation team, and a 
communications strategy; and develop an experimentation campaign plan 
and total ownership cost estimates for seabasing options. DOD agreed 
with the recommendations, except for the need for a dedicated 
implementation team. 

[Hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-07-211]. 

To view the full product, including the scope and methodology, click on 
the link above. For more information, contact Janet St. Laurent at 
(202) 512-4402 or stlaurentj@gao.gov. 

[End of Section] 

Contents: 

Letter: 

Results in Brief: 

Background: 

DOD Has Not Fully Established a Comprehensive Management Approach to 
Guide Joint Seabasing and Integrate Service Initiatives: 

DOD Has Not Developed a Joint Experimentation Campaign Plan to Inform 
Decisions About Joint Seabasing: 

Timeframe for Completing Joint Seabasing Total Ownership Cost Estimates 
is Uncertain: 

Conclusions: 

Recommendations for Executive Action: 

Agency Comments and Our Evaluation: 

Appendix I: Scope and Methodology: 

Appendix II: Comments from the Department of Defense: 

Appendix III: GAO Contact and Staff Acknowledgments: 

Figures: 

Figure 1: The JCIDS Analysis Process: 

Figure 2: Illustrative Connectors for Use in Joint Seabasing: 

Figure 3: Navy Forces Use a Barge to Move Construction Vehicles During 
a Joint Logistics-Over-the-Shore Exercise at Naval Magazine, in Indian 
Island, Washington: 

Figure 4: Ships in the Maritime Prepositioning Force (Future) Squadron: 

Abbreviations: 

DOD: Department of Defense: 

JCIDS: Joint Capabilities Integration and Development System: 

OSD: Office of the Secretary of Defense: 

United States Government Accountability Office: 
Washington, DC 20548: 

January 26, 2007: 

The Honorable C. W. Bill Young: 
Ranking Minority Member: 
Subcommittee on Defense: 
Committee on Appropriations: 
House of Representatives: 

Dear Mr. Young: 

Future security environments are expected to become increasingly 
complicated through unstable international political relationships, 
increased acts of terrorism, the expanded influence of nonstate actors, 
and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. In a complicated 
operational environment, the Department of Defense (DOD) may encounter 
situations of reduced or denied access to desired areas of operation. 
Even where overseas bases are otherwise available, their use may be 
politically undesirable or operationally restricted for military use, 
or a commander may desire to reduce the footprint and visibility of the 
joint force in a host nation. As a result, the capability to project 
and sustain forces in such antiaccess environments could become 
increasingly important in enabling DOD to confront unexpected threats 
and deter aggression or seize the initiative. 

Joint seabasing is one of several evolving concepts describing how 
commanders in the future will project and sustain forces for conducting 
joint military operations without relying on immediate access to nearby 
land bases. Seabasing is defined as the rapid deployment, assembly, 
command, projection, reconstitution, and reemployment of joint combat 
power from the sea, while providing continuous support, sustainment, 
and force projection to select expeditionary joint forces without 
reliance on land bases within the joint operations area. Joint 
seabasing is a scalable concept with many potential options for 
achieving its desired capability. These options range from a single 
ship to a larger family of amphibious and logistics ships, with 
supporting surface and air connectors, as well a concept of operations 
and employment options. Enhancing a seabasing capability is expected to 
be costly, in light of the many options that could be developed to 
support joint seabasing, and could be the source of billions of dollars 
of investment if DOD chooses an option involving the development of new 
ships. While joint seabasing is one option for how the joint force 
commander could conduct joint military operations in the future, other 
means of projecting and sustaining forces in an antiaccess environment 
exist and continue to evolve. These include rapid strategic airlift and 
fast sealift of forces from the United States to the area of operation, 
airfield and port seizure, rapid base construction, and several others. 
At a time when DOD is under pressure to control costs, it is 
increasingly important for decision makers to evaluate competing 
priorities and alternatives to determine the most cost-effective 
solutions for conducting future military operations. 

Joint seabasing represents a major change in the way DOD would manage 
its forces. Inherent in implementing an organizational transformation 
such as joint seabasing are possible changes in force structure, 
acquisition, logistics concepts, command and control, training, and 
other factors important to successful military operations. The concept 
could also have a significant effect on near-and long-term funding 
priorities. 

You asked us to conduct a review of DOD's assessments and plans to 
implement joint seabasing, with particular attention to the following 
three questions: (1) To what extent has DOD employed a comprehensive 
management approach for developing a joint seabasing capability? (2) To 
what extent has a joint experimentation campaign plan been developed, 
implemented, and used to inform decisions on joint seabasing options? 
(3) To what extent have DOD and the services identified the cost of 
joint seabasing options so that decision makers can make informed, cost-
effective decisions? 

To assess DOD's management oversight and leadership approach for joint 
seabasing, we obtained and analyzed briefings and studies on joint 
seabasing, reviewed joint requirements policies and procedures, 
interviewed DOD and service officials, and compared DOD's approach with 
our prior work on best practices for transformations of large 
organizations. To assess the extent to which a joint experimentation 
campaign plan has been developed, implemented, and used to inform 
decisions on joint seabasing options, we obtained briefings from and 
interviewed DOD and service officials on their experimentation efforts, 
and examined DOD and service guidance on conducting and leading 
experimentation campaigns. To assess the development of cost estimates 
for joint seabasing, we obtained and analyzed key briefings, reports, 
data, and plans from DOD and the services that included information and 
analysis regarding estimated costs related to joint seabasing and 
conducted interviews with relevant DOD and service officials. We 
compared the cost estimates for joint seabasing to DOD instructions for 
developing cost estimates, along with best practices on developing 
total ownership costs. We conducted our review from February 2006 
through October 2006 in accordance with generally accepted government 
auditing standards and determined that any data used were sufficiently 
reliable for our objective. The scope and methodology used in our 
review are described in further detail in appendix I. 

Results in Brief: 

While DOD has taken several actions to establish a joint seabasing 
capability, it has not provided sufficient leadership to integrate 
service initiatives and guide the development of joint seabasing. 
Specifically, DOD's management approach has not fully incorporated key 
sound management practices or integrated service initiatives. In our 
prior work, we identified several key sound management practices at the 
center of successful mergers, acquisitions, and transformations. These 
key sound management practices include (1) ensuring top leadership 
drives the transformation, (2) dedicating an implementation team to 
manage the transformation process, and (3) establishing a communication 
strategy to create shared expectations and report related progress. DOD 
has developed a Seabasing Joint Integrating Concept and is currently 
assessing the concept within DOD's joint requirements process. However, 
the services have their own seabasing concepts and approaches and there 
are a number of ongoing service initiatives. While some service 
initiatives are in the early stages of concept development, others are 
outpacing joint seabasing in development and are expected to cost 
billions of dollars. However, DOD has not provided sufficient 
leadership to ensure these initiatives are fully leveraged, properly 
focused, and complement each other. In addition, despite 
recommendations for a joint office to manage and lead joint seabasing 
by DOD officials, the Defense Science Board, and the Naval Studies 
Board, an overarching, dedicated implementation team has not been 
established. Without such an implementation team, DOD has no single 
entity that can provide day-to-day management of joint seabasing and 
help to reach agreement on work priorities. Furthermore, in the absence 
of a formal mechanism for communicating joint seabasing information, 
officials from the Navy and Marine Corps told us they face challenges 
in determining what other DOD and research organizations are involved 
in joint seabasing and what they are doing. Without a comprehensive 
management approach, DOD may not be able to evaluate seabasing options 
or develop the joint seabasing capability in an efficient and cost- 
effective manner. 

While DOD has conducted some seabasing experiments, it has not 
developed or implemented an overarching joint experimentation campaign 
plan to inform decisions about joint seabasing. According to defense 
best practices, key aspects of an experimentation campaign plan include 
(1) designated leaders, (2) clear focus and objectives, (3) a spectrum 
of experiments, (4) data collection and analysis, (5) broad 
dissemination of results, and (6) a feedback mechanism to discuss and 
interpret results. Many seabasing experimentation activities have taken 
place across the services, combatant commands, and defense entities, 
including war games, modeling and simulation, and live demonstrations. 
However, no overarching joint seabasing experimentation plan exists 
within DOD to guide these efforts because the U.S. Joint Forces 
Command, which has primary responsibility for joint warfighting 
experimentation, has not taken the lead in coordinating joint seabasing 
experimentation. While the U.S. Joint Forces Command is in the process 
of developing an experimentation plan for joint concepts, it is unclear 
the extent to which this plan will address joint seabasing. Moreover, 
it is also unclear the extent to which this plan will be able to guide 
joint seabasing experimentation efforts because the U.S. Joint Forces 
Command does not have the authority to direct the experimentation 
activities of the services. Furthermore, while some data collection and 
analyses has been done on seabasing experimentation activities, an 
overall data collection and analysis plan does not exist to ensure data 
were captured and interpreted into findings. Additionally, DOD lacks a 
systematic means to communicate and disseminate findings and 
observations on joint seabasing experimentation, and obtain feedback. 
Without an overarching experimentation plan, DOD may not have a strong 
analytical basis to evaluate joint seabasing options. 

While service acquisitions tied to seabasing are approaching milestones 
for investment decisions, it is unclear when DOD will complete 
development of total ownership cost estimates for a range of joint 
seabasing options. Total ownership cost estimates include the cost to 
develop, acquire, own, operate, and dispose of weapon and support 
systems and help organizations analyze and compare options. DOD policy 
stresses the importance of identifying the total costs of ownership, 
including major cost drivers, while considering the affordability of 
establishing new capability requirements. Joint seabasing is currently 
going through an assessment within DOD's requirements process that will 
examine potential approaches and develop preliminary cost assessments 
for seabasing options. However, according to DOD officials, DOD has not 
yet begun or established a firm reporting milestone for completing this 
assessment and it is not clear whether it will be completed before the 
services reach upcoming milestones on programs tied to joint seabasing. 
For example, the Navy plans to procure a Maritime Prepositioning Force 
(Future)--a squadron of ships designed to project and sustain Marine 
forces--at an estimated cost of $14.5 billion, along with several 
supporting surface and air connectors, as a means to develop a 
seabasing capability. Furthermore, the Army is exploring its own 
initiatives to establish a seabasing capability, such as modified 
commercial cargo ships with flight decks. Some of these service 
initiatives, such as the Maritime Prepositioning Force (Future), are 
scheduled for milestones in fiscal year 2008 that will guide future 
investment decisions. Until total ownership cost estimates for joint 
seabasing options are developed and made transparent to DOD and 
Congress, decision makers may not be able to evaluate the cost- 
effectiveness of individual service initiatives. 

To facilitate cost-effective evaluation of the joint seabasing concept 
as an option for force projection and sustainment in an antiaccess 
environment, we recommend that the Secretary of Defense (1) establish 
an implementation team to provide oversight and develop a management 
plan for joint seabasing, (2) direct the U.S. Joint Forces Command to 
lead and coordinate joint seabasing experimentation efforts, with 
oversight by the joint seabasing implementation team, and (3) direct 
the implementation team or other appropriate entity to synchronize the 
development of total ownership cost estimates for a range of joint 
seabasing options so decision makers have sufficient information to 
make informed, cost-effective investment decisions regarding seabasing 
initiatives. 

DOD, in its comments on a draft of this report, partially agreed with 
our recommendations, except for the need for a dedicated implementation 
team to provide oversight of seabasing initiatives. In its comments, 
DOD stated that it is premature to establish additional oversight at 
this time but that it will determine if additional oversight is needed 
after DOD defines the joint seabasing capabilities needed. DOD also 
stated that in the interim the Force Management Joint Capabilities 
Board, which includes the services, combatant commands, and other 
organizations, is providing an appropriate level of management 
oversight. We disagree that DOD's current approach is sufficient to 
provide effective oversight because (1) DOD has already begun a number 
of acquisition programs that support seabasing even though it has not 
yet established joint seabasing requirements and (2) the Force 
Management Joint Capabilities Board's oversight does not go far enough 
in providing comprehensive management oversight of numerous, disparate 
service and defense organization initiatives related to joint 
seabasing. While the Board is responsible for leading the joint 
seabasing capabilities-based assessment, the Board's responsibilities 
do not constitute the type of oversight needed to ensure ongoing or 
planned service initiatives that may support joint seabasing are 
coordinated and complement each other. Because of this, we continue to 
believe that DOD should establish an implementation team to provide day-
to-day management oversight of joint seabasing as soon as possible 
rather than considering this as an option once joint seabasing 
capabilities are defined. DOD's comments and our evaluation of them are 
on page 33. 

Background: 

In 2002, the Navy's Sea Power 21[Footnote 1] vision stated that shore- 
based capabilities would be transformed to seabased capabilities 
whenever practical to improve the reach, persistence, and 
sustainability of systems that are already afloat. The objective for 
the United States to maintain global freedom of action is a consistent 
theme throughout the National Defense Strategy and National Military 
Strategy.[Footnote 2] DOD's 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review 
Report[Footnote 3] further stated that the future joint force will 
exploit the operational flexibility of seabasing to counter political 
antiaccess and irregular warfare challenges. 

The joint seabasing concept is currently going through the Joint 
Capabilities Integration and Development System (JCIDS), a DOD decision 
support process for transforming military forces. Figure 1 shows the 
JCIDS process, including the major elements of a capabilities-based 
assessment. The purpose of JCIDS is to identify, assess, and prioritize 
joint military capability needs. Capabilities represent warfighting 
needs that are studied as part of the system's capabilities-based 
assessment process. The process identifies warfighter skills and 
attributes for a desired capability (Functional Area Analysis), the 
gaps to achieving this capability (Functional Needs Analysis), and 
possible solutions for filling these gaps (Functional Solution 
Analysis). The results of this assessment are used as the basis for 
identifying approaches for delivering the desired capability. When 
identifying these approaches, cost is one factor that is considered. 
One way costs are used to evaluate potential approaches is by 
developing total ownership cost estimates. The Joint Requirements 
Oversight Council[Footnote 4] has overall responsibility for JCIDS and 
is supported by eight Functional Capabilities Boards (Command and 
Control, Battlespace Awareness, Focused Logistics, Force Management, 
Force Protection, Force application, Net-Centric, and Joint Training), 
which lead the capabilities-based assessment process. DOD's anticipated 
timeframe for an operational joint seabasing capability as currently 
envisioned in the Joint Integrating Concept is 2015-2025. 

Figure 1: The JCIDS Analysis Process: 

[See PDF for image] 

Source: The Joint Staff. 

[A] DOTMLPF = Doctrine, organization, training, materiel, leadership 
and education, personnel, and facilities. 

[End of figure] 

The services are either considering or actively pursuing material 
solutions to support seabasing. According to service officials and 
documentation, these solutions will play a critical role in enhancing 
current seabasing capabilities. For example, the Navy and Marines plan 
to acquire the Maritime Prepositioning Force (Future) along with 
several supporting connectors needed for it to be able to achieve its 
mission. As part of the seabase, the Maritime Prepositioning Force 
(Future) will be a squadron of ships to transport and deliver the 
personnel, combat power, and logistic support of the Marine 
Expeditionary Brigade. The connectors, which are envisioned to provide 
both intertheater lift to the seabase and intratheater lift within the 
seabase, include sealift, such as the Joint High Speed Vessel, Joint 
High Speed Sealift, and Joint Maritime Assault Connector (this vessel 
is intended to replace the Landing Craft Assault Connector), and 
airlift, such as the V-22 Osprey and CH-53K heavy lift helicopter. 
Figure 2 illustrates and describes several sealift and airlift 
connectors. The Army is also exploring new capability initiatives for 
establishing a seabasing capability. In conjunction with the Navy and 
Marine Corps, the Army is developing the Joint High Speed Vessel and 
Joint High Speed Sealift ships. Furthermore, the Army is also in the 
early stages of development of its Afloat Forward Staging Base, which 
is a ship concept whose mission would be providing aerial maneuver with 
Army forces from the sea. One option the Army is exploring for the 
Afloat Forward Staging Base is to add flight decks to a commercial 
container ship, along with other alterations, as a means to provide 
aerial maneuver to Army forces. 

Figure 2: Illustrative Connectors for Use in Joint Seabasing: 

[See PDF for images] 

Source: U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. 

[End of figure] 

DOD Has Not Fully Established a Comprehensive Management Approach to 
Guide Joint Seabasing and Integrate Service Initiatives: 

Although DOD has taken action to begin the development of joint 
seabasing, DOD has not fully established a comprehensive management 
approach to effectively guide and assess joint seabasing as an option 
for projecting and sustaining forces in an antiaccess environment and 
integrate service initiatives. Specifically, DOD has not fully 
incorporated sound management practices--such as providing leadership, 
dedicating an implementation team, and establishing a communications 
strategy--that our prior work has shown are found at the center of 
successful transformations.[Footnote 5] 

DOD Has Taken Action to Develop Joint Seabasing: 

DOD has taken action to develop joint seabasing by pursuing it within 
DOD's Joint Capabilities Integration and Development System (JCIDS). 
JCIDS is a key DOD decision support process that uses a capabilities- 
based approach to assess existing capabilities, identify capability 
gaps, and develop new warfighting capabilities. Within JCIDS, future 
capability needs are intended to be developed from top-level strategic 
guidance such as the National Military Strategy, a "top-down" approach. 
Under the former process, requirements grew out of the individual 
services' unique strategic visions, a "bottom-up" approach. In January 
2006 we reported that JCIDS is not yet functioning as envisioned to 
define gaps and redundancies in existing and future military 
capabilities across the department and to identify solutions to improve 
joint capabilities.[Footnote 6] We reported that requirements continue 
to be defined largely from the "bottom up"--by the services--although 
DOD uses the JCIDS framework to assess the services' proposals and push 
a joint perspective. 

According to Office of the Under Secretary of Defense, Acquisition, 
Technology, and Logistics officials, seabasing is going through the 
JCIDS process to become more of a joint concept that is developed 
through input from the services, combatant commands, and other DOD 
organizations. DOD has produced a Seabasing Joint Integrating Concept 
that outlines the concept for joint seabasing and identifies essential 
capabilities. Under JCIDS, the capabilities-based assessment follows a 
structured, four-step process. The first step in this process, the 
Functional Area Analysis, dated October 2005, identified the seabasing 
tasks, conditions, and standards needed to meet military objectives. 
The Functional Area Analysis identified such critical joint seabasing 
tasks as providing for maintenance of equipment in the joint operations 
area, attacking operational targets, and building and maintaining 
sustainment bases in the joint operations area. The second step of the 
capabilities-based assessment, the Functional Needs Analysis, dated 
November 2006, provided a prioritized list of joint seabasing 
capabilities and capability gaps, and identifies potential mitigation 
areas from which the identified capability gaps may be addressed. The 
17 seabasing capability gaps include at-sea assembly, forcible entry, 
and conducting operational movement and maneuver. The analyses that are 
currently being developed are intended to further define and organize 
the capability gaps identified in the Functional Needs Analysis and 
recommend potential solutions for consideration in future analyses. 

DOD's Management Approach Has Not Fully Incorporated Sound Management 
Principles or Integrated Service Initiatives: 

Despite pursuing joint seabasing within JCIDS, DOD has not fully 
incorporated key sound management practices into its approach for 
managing the development of joint seabasing requirements and 
integrating service initiatives. In our prior work, we identified 
several key sound management practices at the center of successful 
mergers, acquisitions, and transformations. These key sound management 
practices include (1) ensuring top leadership drives the 
transformation, (2) dedicating an implementation team to manage the 
transformation process, and (3) establishing a communication strategy 
to create shared expectations and report related progress. Without a 
management approach that contains these elements, DOD may be unable to 
guide and assess joint seabasing in an efficient and cost-effective 
manner. Moreover, without central coordination, it is unclear whether 
DOD will be able to effectively manage billions of dollars of potential 
service investments in interdependent complex platforms, connectors, 
and logistics technologies that will need to be coordinated using a 
common set of standards, requirements, timeframes, and priorities. 

First, although joint seabasing capability development is underway, DOD 
has not provided sufficient leadership to integrate service initiatives 
and guide the development of joint seabasing. While the joint seabasing 
JCIDS process is still in the early stages of assessing needed 
capabilities, the services have developed their own concepts and 
approaches for seabasing, and in some cases systems that will support 
joint seabasing are further along than the concept in JCIDS 
development. For example, the Maritime Prepositioning Force (Future) 
and the Joint High Speed Vessel are approaching their second major 
milestone, or decision point, within DOD's acquisition system, which 
will initiate systems-level development, whereas the joint seabasing 
concept is still being refined. Preliminary cost estimates for both 
these systems range from nearly $12 billion to over $15 billion. The 
2005 National Research Council Committee's report, Sea Basing, 
concluded that developing a system of systems such as seabasing that is 
comprised of complex platforms, connectors, and logistics technologies 
will require a common set of standards, requirements, timeframes, and 
priorities.[Footnote 7] Various ship, airlift, and sealift connector 
components of the seabase will need to interface, and the capabilities 
of some of these components will be interdependent. In addition, joint 
operations from a seabase will require robust logistics technologies 
and command and control. Prematurely developing such systems to meet 
individual service requirements rather than joint requirements may 
result in initiatives that duplicate each other and systems that are 
not interoperable and compatible. Moreover, in addition to the billions 
of dollars being spent to procure these systems, it may be costly to 
realign or adjust the efforts of the services in the future if they do 
not meet the joint requirements of seabasing. 

In addition, DOD leadership has not provided an official, unified 
vision for joint seabasing to guide the transformation, ensure that 
focus is maintained on providing a capability that is the best option 
for projecting and sustaining forces in an antiaccess environment, and 
ensure that joint seabasing is evaluated against competing options. 
Joint Staff officials told us that the joint seabasing JCIDS process 
has been addressing how seabasing can be used to counter the problem of 
projecting and sustaining forces in an antiaccess environment, rather 
than examining specific solutions. We reported in 2003 that key 
practices and implementation steps for successful transformations 
include ensuring top leadership drives the transformation.[Footnote 8] 
We found that leadership must set the direction, pace, and tone for the 
transformation. Concerns have been raised by other organizations about 
the lack of leadership to guide the development of joint seabasing. For 
example, the National Research Council Committee's report, Sea Basing, 
stated that "given the complexity of [the process for developing a 
joint seabasing capability] and the long-term nature of the major 
capital investments by Services in new platforms, development of 
advanced technologies, and the introduction of appropriate joint 
doctrine, such a unifying vision will be essential in order to best 
leverage existing currently programmed and future Service 
capabilities."[Footnote 9] Also, in 2003 the Defense Science Board Task 
Force on Sea Basing found that developing the seabase requires 
persistent, top-down leadership to coordinate the numerous initiatives-
-including concepts of operations, ships, aircraft, weapons, and 
transportations systems--that support the seabase.[Footnote 10] Absent 
leadership, DOD can not be certain joint seabasing has been evaluated 
against competing options for projecting and sustaining forces in an 
antiaccess environment. Moreover, without leadership that has the 
authority, responsibility, and accountability to guide joint seabasing 
and integrate service initiatives, DOD cannot be sure that ongoing or 
planned initiatives are cost-effective, fully leveraged, properly 
focused, and complement each other. 

Second, DOD has not established a dedicated implementation team to 
provide day-to-day management oversight. We reported in 2003 that a 
dedicated implementation team should be responsible for the day-to-day 
management of transformation to ensure various initiatives are 
integrated.[Footnote 11] Such a team would ensure that joint seabasing 
receives the focused, full-time attention necessary to be sustained and 
effective, by establishing clearly defined roles and responsibilities, 
helping to reach agreement on work priorities, and keeping efforts 
coordinated. There are several groups and DOD organizations tasked with 
specific responsibilities for developing joint seabasing within JCIDS; 
however, none of these organizations have the overall authority, 
responsibility, and accountability to coordinate initiatives and the 
acquisition of systems that may support joint seabasing. For example, 
the Navy was designated the sponsor of the Seabasing Joint Integrating 
Concept and is responsible for all common documentation, periodic 
reporting, and funding actions required to support the seabasing 
capabilities development and acquisition process. The Force Management 
Functional Capabilities Board is responsible for leading the seabasing 
capabilities-based assessment and oversees the sponsor (the Navy) in 
developing documents. The Seabasing Working Group was organized and 
tasked by the Joint Staff to assist the Force Management Functional 
Capabilities Board in completing the joint seabasing analyses. The 
Seabasing Working Group is comprised of members from the Joint Staff, 
combatant commands, the services, and other organizations, and serves 
as a source of expertise and as a joint sounding board for 
collaboration and focusing the direction of the analyses. According to 
Joint Staff officials, the working group can ask the services and 
combatant commands to participate and provide input to the analyses, 
but they have no authority to force their participation in the 
development of the analyses nor do they have authority over service 
initiatives that may support joint seabasing. 

Recommendations have been made for a joint office to manage and lead 
joint seabasing by DOD officials, the Defense Science Board Task Force 
on Sea Basing, and the Naval Studies Board,[Footnote 12] but a 
leadership body has not been established. In November 2003, the Under 
Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics 
directed that a terms of reference be developed for a Joint 
Expeditionary Force Projection/Seabasing Capabilities Office. According 
to the Terms of Reference, the office would organize all joint 
seabasing-related DOD activities--ranging from experimentation efforts 
to solutions development to training--into a coherent direction. In 
addition, the office would be comprised of members from each of the 
four services and the U.S. Joint Forces Command and would have limited 
contract authority. However, DOD officials decided to forgo the joint 
office and pursue joint seabasing within the JCIDS process. According 
to officials from the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense 
Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics, one reason a joint office was 
not set up for joint seabasing was because there was no staff available 
at the time. According to Joint Staff officials, one downfall to joint 
seabasing being developed under the JCIDS process is that consensus is 
required on all decisions before moving forward, which may result in 
compromising solutions. Although use of the JCIDS process has 
encouraged the Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps to participate with 
the Navy in the development of the Joint Integrating Concept and JCIDS 
analyses, the services continue to pursue their own initiatives. As 
previously mentioned, some of these initiatives are still in the early 
stages of concept development, whereas other initiatives are further 
along in the acquisition process ahead of joint seabasing. A key 
official from the Defense Science Board Task Force on Sea Basing told 
us that the need for a joint office to coordinate efforts between the 
services still exists. According to the official, the lack of action in 
setting up a joint seabasing office makes achieving compatible systems 
to support joint seabasing more difficult considering some supporting 
systems are ahead of joint seabasing in the development process. The 
Naval Studies Board also recommended a joint planning office be set up 
to "correlate Service requirements and advise Service procurements" so 
common capabilities among the services can be taken advantage of and 
incompatible acquisitions will not be made.[Footnote 13] We and the DOD 
Office of the Inspector General have found similar management 
challenges[Footnote 14] in DOD's efforts to field other joint 
capabilities such as the Global Information Grid and network-centric 
warfare.[Footnote 15] Without formally designating a dedicated 
leadership body to provide day-to-day management oversight by providing 
a coherent direction for related activities, establishing clearly 
defined roles and responsibilities, helping to reach agreement on work 
priorities, and keeping efforts coordinated, DOD's ability to develop a 
joint seabasing capability in an efficient manner may be hindered. 
Furthermore, without a dedicated implementation team, it may be 
difficult for DOD to sustain joint seabasing development over a long 
period of time. 

Third, DOD has not fully developed a communications strategy that 
encourages communication, shares knowledge, and provides information to 
DOD organizations involved in joint seabasing initiatives. We 
previously reported that creating an effective, ongoing communication 
strategy is central to forming the partnerships that are needed to 
develop and implement the organization's strategies.[Footnote 16] As 
previously mentioned, there are numerous groups and DOD organizations 
involved in joint seabasing and various initiatives that may affect 
joint seabasing. The seabasing working group hosts meetings that 
provide a forum for discussion on joint seabasing among members. In 
addition, it has established a Web site that posts meeting minutes and 
various joint seabasing JCIDS analysis documents. While this Web site 
provides some transparency into the analysis process, it does not serve 
as a central repository for communicating information on joint 
seabasing because it does not provide information on joint seabasing 
efforts conducted by the services and combatant commands outside of the 
JCIDS process. In addition, we found no evidence of a formal mechanism 
that communicated joint seabasing information. Officials from the Navy 
and Marine Corps told us they face challenges in determining what 
organizations are involved in joint seabasing and what they are doing. 
According to Marine Corps officials, this impedes their ability to 
leverage activities and minimize redundancy. Furthermore, Joint Staff 
officials have acknowledged that the lack of a central, authoritative 
source of information significantly hindered timely completion of 
analyses. For example, the data management tool used to associate 
essential seabasing capabilities with the appropriate functional area 
did not provide a systematic method for identifying relevant 
information and some data was missing. Moreover, they also recognized 
that a means for identifying DOD-wide initiatives that affect joint 
seabasing needs to be established. In the absence of clear 
communication of joint seabasing information throughout DOD via an 
overall communications strategy, joint seabasing participants may not 
be able to effectively leverage activities and minimize redundancy, and 
the overall development of joint seabasing may be impeded. 

DOD Has Not Developed a Joint Experimentation Campaign Plan to Inform 
Decisions About Joint Seabasing: 

DOD has not developed, implemented, or used an overarching joint 
experimentation campaign plan to inform decisions about joint 
seabasing. Experimentation campaign plans play an important role in 
developing transformational concepts by coordinating and guiding 
experimentation efforts using a series of related experiments that 
develop knowledge about a concept or capability. Many seabasing 
experimentation activities have taken place across DOD and the 
services; however, an overarching experimentation campaign plan to 
coordinate and guide joint seabasing experimentation does not exist 
because the U.S. Joint Forces Command--DOD's leader of joint 
warfighting experimentation--has not taken the lead in coordinating 
joint seabasing experimentation efforts. Additionally, DOD lacks a 
systematic means to analyze, communicate, and disseminate information 
on joint seabasing experimentation. Moreover, DOD lacks a feedback 
mechanism to interpret and clarify results from joint seabasing 
experimental activities. 

Experimentation Campaign Plans Coordinate and Guide Experimentation 
Efforts: 

According to military experimentation guides, experimentation campaign 
plans play an important role in developing transformational concepts by 
coordinating and guiding experimentation efforts using a series of 
related experiments that develop knowledge about a concept or 
capability. Taken together, the results of these experiments can inform 
decisions about future research and technology programs, acquisition 
efforts, risk, organizational changes, and changes in operational 
concepts. A well-planned experimentation campaign provides a framework 
for much of what needs to be known about a new concept or capability. 
According to defense best practices, key aspects of an experimentation 
campaign include: (1) designated campaign leaders; (2) clear campaign 
focus and objectives; (3) a spectrum of well-designed and sequenced 
experimental activities, including studies and analyses, seminars and 
conferences, war games, modeling and simulation, and live 
demonstrations; (4) data collection and analyses; (5) broad 
dissemination of results; and (6) a feedback mechanism to discuss and 
interpret results. Experimentation campaigns that include these aspects 
can reduce the risk in developing and fielding a new concept or 
capability by addressing a spectrum of possibilities and building upon 
experimentation activities systematically, with continual analyses and 
feedback to interpret the results into useful information. 

Single experiments alone are insufficient to develop transformational 
concepts because they can only explore a limited number of variables, 
and their contributions are limited unless their findings can be 
replicated in other experiments. Campaigns can provide conclusive and 
robust results through their ability to replicate findings and conduct 
experiments in a variety of scenarios and operating environments. A 
well-planned experimentation campaign can mitigate the limitations of a 
single experiment by synthesizing outputs from a series of activities 
into coherent advice to decision makers. 

Many Seabasing Experimentation Activities Have Taken Place but an 
Overarching Experimentation Campaign Plan to Guide These Activities 
Does Not Exist: 

Many experimentation activities involving seabasing have taken place; 
however, an overarching DOD experimentation campaign plan to guide and 
coordinate these activities does not exist. All of the services, 
combatant commands, and some defense entities have been involved with 
seabasing experimentation through war games, studies, workshops, 
modeling and simulation, and live demonstrations. For example, in 2004 
the Joint Chiefs of Staff led a war game called Nimble Viking that 
brought the services together and addressed gaps in their understanding 
of the joint seabasing concept. The services conducted studies 
addressing gaps in the joint seabasing concept, such as the Navy's 40 
Knot Marine Expeditionary Brigade study, which identified gaps in 
conducting forcible entry operations with Marine Corps forces using 
seaborne lift capable of speeds of 40 knots. Moreover, the Marine Corps 
modeled plans for landing seabased forces from amphibious ships, the 
results of which, according to the Marine Corps, shaved hours off the 
landing of forces from amphibious ships. In addition, the U.S. Joint 
Forces Command and services worked together in cosponsoring several war 
games involving joint seabasing, including Unified Course 2004, Joint 
Urban Warrior 2004, Pinnacle Impact 2003, and Sea Viking 2004. While 
many of the reports from these war games recognized joint seabasing as 
a potential concept for addressing antiaccess and force projection 
issues, they stated that further experimentation was needed before 
joint seabasing moved forward. 

Additionally, material solutions being developed to support joint 
seabasing have undergone planned experimentation and testing 
activities. For example, U.S. Transportation Command officials believe 
that DOD's Joint-Logistics-Over-the-Shore program[Footnote 17] could 
support joint seabasing logistical operations, such as heavy cargo 
transfer at sea. To that end, in June 2006 they sponsored a Joint- 
Logistics-Over-the-Shore exercise to transfer equipment and bulk 
materials from large ships to the beach using smaller landing craft. 
Figure 3 shows forces using a barge to move construction vehicles from 
ships to shore during a Joint-Logistics-Over-the-Shore exercise at 
Naval Magazine, in Indian Island, Washington. 

Figure 3: Navy Forces Use a Barge to Move Construction Vehicles During 
a Joint Logistics-Over-the-Shore Exercise at Naval Magazine, in Indian 
Island, Washington: 

[See PDF for image] 

Source: U.S. Navy. 

[End of figure] 

The Navy's Program Executive Office for Ships, which manages the 
Maritime Pre-positioning Force (Future) and the Joint High Speed Vessel 
programs, reports that the Maritime Pre-positioning Force (Future) 
program has planned and is executing a series of jointly coordinated 
tests involving modeling and simulation and live demonstrations. 
According to the Program Manager, demonstrations included at-sea 
evaluation of the Mobile Landing Platform concept[Footnote 18] and its 
ability to interface with other vessels supporting the joint seabase. 
Additionally, the Navy's Office of Naval Research is developing a 
number of technologies, such as internal ship cargo handling and ship- 
to-ship cargo transfers, to address capability gaps in joint seabasing 
operations. 

Although joint seabasing experimental activities have taken place, an 
overarching experimentation campaign plan to coordinate and guide these 
activities does not exist because the U.S. Joint Forces Command has not 
taken the lead in coordinating joint seabasing experimentation efforts. 
Moreover, involvement in these activities by the services, combatant 
commands, and defense entities has been inconsistent due to budget 
restraints, other competing priorities, and the lack of timely 
coordination and advance notice of events. In May 1998, the Secretary 
of Defense designated the U.S. Joint Forces Command as the DOD 
executive agent for joint warfighting experimentation. In this role the 
command is responsible for conducting joint experimentation on new 
warfighting concepts and disseminating the results of these activities 
to the joint concept community, which includes the Office of the 
Secretary of Defense, Joint Staff, combatant commands, services, and 
defense agencies. The U.S. Joint Forces Command is also responsible for 
coordinating joint experimentation efforts by developing a biennial 
joint concept development and experimentation campaign plan. In January 
2006, a memo from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff further 
underscored this responsibility by providing explicit direction to the 
U.S. Joint Forces Command on developing a campaign plan that provided 
guidance to the joint concept community on coordinating joint 
experimentation efforts, and capturing and disseminating the results of 
these efforts.[Footnote 19] While the U.S. Joint Forces Command said it 
is in the process of developing the plan, it is unclear the extent to 
which this plan will address joint seabasing. According to the U.S. 
Joint Forces Command, other more near-term priorities, such as 
improvised explosive devices and urban warfare, have prevented them 
from focusing on joint seabasing during the past few years. 

Once the U.S. Joint Forces Command develops and implements the plan, 
which it intends to do by fiscal year 2008, it is also unclear the 
extent to which this plan will be able to guide and coordinate joint 
seabasing experimentation efforts because the U.S. Joint Forces Command 
does not have the authority to direct service and other DOD 
organizations' experimentation plans. The services and combatant 
commands are responsible for working with the U.S. Joint Forces Command 
in executing the joint concept development and experimentation campaign 
plan, and for providing them with observations, insights, results, and 
recommendations related to all joint experimentation efforts. However, 
the services and combatant commands are not required to go through the 
U.S. Joint Forces Command before executing their own experimentation 
activities. Moreover, the U.S. Joint Forces Command says it does not 
have authority to make the services and combatant commands take 
specific joint actions. Additionally, there are many entities within 
the services involved in joint seabasing experimentation and there are 
no formalized leaders coordinating service efforts. As a result, these 
entities operate independently and do not coordinate their efforts with 
the U.S. Joint Forces Command. This lack of coordination poses risks of 
duplicating experimentation efforts and conducting experimentation that 
does not build upon previous activities. 

Furthermore, no overarching campaign plan to guide joint seabasing 
experimentation exists within any other DOD entity. While the Navy and 
Marine Corps have seabasing experimentation campaign plans, officials 
told us these plans are not overarching within each of the services and 
it is unclear the extent to which they are being implemented. For 
example, a seabasing experimentation plan exists as part of the Navy's 
Sea Trial Concept Development and Experimentation Campaign 
Plan[Footnote 20]; however, Navy officials said there is not a lot of 
joint seabasing experimentation being conducted within this plan and 
the plan does not encompass all of the Navy's efforts. In addition, the 
Marine Corps has a plan that broadly focuses on issues that need to be 
addressed for seabasing capabilities such as the Maritime Pre- 
positioning Force (Future) and the Joint High Speed Vessel. However, 
its plan does not identify designated leaders and specific 
experimentation activities that should take place, nor does the plan 
identify timelines, resources, or staff to conduct experimentation. It 
also does not contain plans for data collection and analysis or any 
provisions for disseminating results. In addition, according to Marine 
Corps officials, the plan is not being fully executed due to lack of 
funding and staff. 

Many service officials expressed concern over the lack of coordination 
and guidance on joint seabasing experimentation. They stated that the 
U.S. Joint Forces Command has not shown much interest in 
experimentation for future concepts such as joint seabasing, instead 
focusing experimentation efforts on short-term concepts and immediate 
priorities such as improvised explosive devices. One service official 
commented that there is no single point of contact for joint seabasing 
at the U.S. Joint Forces Command. Additionally, the Joint Chiefs of 
Staff states in the Functional Needs Analysis that more joint 
experimentation is needed to inform and further refine capability gaps 
in the joint seabasing concept. 

DOD Lacks a Systematic Means to Analyze, Communicate, and Disseminate 
Information on Joint Seabasing Experimentation: 

DOD also lacks a systematic means to analyze, communicate, and 
disseminate information about joint seabasing experimentation across 
the department. According to military experimentation guides, a 
significant part of an experiment consists of gathering data, 
interpreting it into findings, and combining it with already known 
information. Additionally, data collection and analysis plans are 
important to experimentation because they ensure valid and reliable 
data are captured and understood, and that the analysis undertaken 
addresses the key issues in the experiment. However, we found no 
overarching data collection and analysis plan to guide the analysis of 
joint seabasing experimentation results. Furthermore, officials in the 
Office of the Secretary of Defense's Program Analysis and Evaluation 
division described a lack of analysis in joint seabasing to inform the 
capabilities-based assessment, which could lead to inaccurately 
identifying gaps in implementing the concept. They said that no 
comprehensive analytical framework was ever established to guide 
development of the joint seabasing concept; consequently, the value 
joint seabasing will bring to the warfighter is unknown. Without an 
overarching campaign plan, experimental results for joint seabasing are 
being obtained and interpreted using different data collection and 
analysis methods, which may lead to inconsistent reporting methods. As 
a result, experimentation data may be analyzed, interpreted, and shared 
inconsistently and with little transparency across the community. 

Additionally, DOD and service officials commented on the lack of 
sufficient modeling and simulation tools available to provide valid 
data on joint seabasing. Modeling and simulation tools play an 
important role in experiments. Unlike live demonstrations, modeling and 
simulation techniques can inexpensively vary the values of variables to 
represent a wide variety of conditions. They also provide a great deal 
of control over the variables in the experiment, which allows for 
replication. The Joint Chiefs of Staff noted the absence of high-level 
modeling tools capable of end-to-end modeling of seabasing[Footnote 21] 
in the Functional Needs Analysis, saying that the absence of this type 
of modeling precluded effective and meaningful data to validate 
warfighter needs and thus limited the depth of their analysis. 
Furthermore, officials in the Office of the Secretary of Defense's 
Program Analysis and Evaluation division also commented that the lack 
of modeling could result in missing critical gaps in the joint 
seabasing concept that have not yet been identified. The Joint Chiefs 
of Staff identified the U.S. Joint Forces Command as a possible lead 
for end-to-end modeling and simulation of joint seabasing because of 
its role in joint concept development and experimentation, and its 
expertise in developing comprehensive modeling and simulation tools. 

While some communication takes place among the entities involved with 
developing the seabasing concept, there is no established method for 
communicating observations, insights, and upcoming events across the 
entire community. DOD and service officials described the joint 
seabasing community as an informal community of practice, where the 
services, combatant commands, and defense entities invite each other to 
participate in their experimentation activities. The U.S. Joint Forces 
Command and the services track to some degree the experimental efforts 
of the joint seabasing community. For example, the U.S. Joint Forces 
Command says it tries to leverage off the services' efforts by 
partnering with them in experimental activities. However, despite this 
informal community, DOD and service officials describe a lack of 
coordination and awareness of experimental activities. A Marine Corps 
official stated that some officials are more aware than others are; but 
no one is completely aware of what is going on across the entire 
community. In fact, many officials we spoke with were either unaware or 
had very little advance notice of an upcoming war game involving 
seabasing. Without an established communication method, joint seabasing 
experimentation efforts are not transparent to the entire community, 
which can contribute to a lack of consensus on the types of activities 
that take place, conflicts in scheduling events, and duplication of 
efforts. 

Additionally, there is no overarching system to disseminate 
observations and results on joint seabasing experimentation. The U.S. 
Joint Forces Command has a database containing documents and reports 
from experimentation activities; however, the database contains 
different levels of information based on what the services choose to 
publish. As a result, the database is not a comprehensive resource of 
joint experimentation information. The Navy's Warfare Development 
Command[Footnote 22] also maintains a Web site of information 
pertaining to its Sea Trial campaign, which other entities within the 
Navy contribute to, but it is not overarching within the Navy. In 
response to a January 2006 memo from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs 
of Staff, the U.S. Joint Forces Command is developing an online 
knowledge management portal to disseminate information on 
experimentation activities across the joint concept community.[Footnote 
23] The portal contains a repository of information on experimentation 
concepts, projects, and documents; a bulletin board to post insights 
and observations; hotlinks to other sites; and a calendar function for 
upcoming experimentation activities. The portal also contains a section 
on activities relating to joint logistics, and joint deployment and 
sustainment; however, it does not yet contain information on joint 
seabasing. Furthermore, while the portal has the ability to disseminate 
information, it may not be successful in increasing communication 
across the joint seabasing community because the services have not been 
directed to use the portal in planning their activities. 

DOD Lacks a Feedback Mechanism to Interpret Results From Joint 
Seabasing Experimentation: 

DOD lacks a feedback mechanism to interpret and clarify results from 
joint seabasing experimental activities. Feedback on analyses and 
findings produced from experimental activities provides the joint 
seabasing experimentation community an opportunity to comment on the 
results and ask questions. It also gives the experiment sponsor an 
opportunity to see how the work was received, assist in interpreting 
results, and provide further advice on how the results should be used. 
In the context of an experimentation campaign, it may also give the 
sponsor an opportunity to clarify how the results affect the 
overarching campaign concept. While individual seabasing experiments 
may have had some form of feedback, the lack of an overarching joint 
seabasing experimentation campaign plan that includes procedures for 
providing and obtaining feedback may prevent the joint seabasing 
experimentation community from fully realizing how the results of 
individual experiments affect the development of joint seabasing. 

Timeframe for Completing Joint Seabasing Total Ownership Cost Estimates 
is Uncertain: 

While some service acquisitions tied to seabasing are approaching 
milestones for investment decisions, it is unclear when DOD will 
complete development of total ownership cost estimates for a range of 
joint seabasing options. Understanding estimated total ownership costs 
helps decision makers measure the whole cost of owning and operating 
assets and make comparisons between competing options. The joint 
seabasing capability is being assessed in the JCIDS analysis process. 
However, DOD has not yet begun a key study of approaches and their 
associated costs and may not complete this study for at least a year. 
In the meantime, the services are considering or pursuing systems to 
enhance seabasing capabilities. For example, a major Navy-Marine Corps 
initiative is scheduled to undergo a major milestone review in fiscal 
year 2008. Until total ownership cost estimates for joint seabasing 
options are developed and made transparent to DOD and Congress, 
decision makers will not be able to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of 
individual service initiatives. 

Total Ownership Cost Estimates Help Decision Makers Evaluate Options: 

In order to evaluate options and make informed, cost-effective 
decisions, decision makers must have an understanding of the total 
ownership costs for establishing a desired capability. A total 
ownership cost estimate includes the costs to develop, acquire, 
operate, maintain, and dispose of all systems required to establish a 
seabasing capability. Understanding total ownership cost estimates 
helps organizations measure the whole cost of owning and operating 
assets by providing a consistent framework for analyzing and comparing 
options. Total ownership cost estimates can be used to assess the 
possible return on investment of new initiatives. According to DOD 
guidance,[Footnote 24] all parties involved in the defense acquisition 
system must be cognizant of the reality of fiscal constraints and treat 
cost as an independent variable when developing systems. Furthermore, 
the policy stresses the importance of identifying the total costs of 
ownership, including major cost drivers, while considering the 
affordability of establishing needed capabilities. Even with future 
concepts, such as joint seabasing, where uncertainty exists, total 
ownership cost estimates can be developed. According to DOD cost 
analysis guidance, in such cases, areas of uncertainty can be 
quantified using ranges of cost, thereby giving decision makers, at a 
minimum, a rough estimate of the total costs to achieving a desired 
capability. For systems of systems, such as seabasing, a total 
ownership cost estimate should include research, acquisition, 
operation, maintenance, and disposition costs of all systems, primary 
and support, needed to achieve the desired end state. Understanding the 
estimated total ownership costs of seabasing options can help decision 
makers make informed decisions to determine the most cost-effective 
method of achieving a seabasing capability. Furthermore, they can be 
used to more effectively evaluate joint seabasing against alternative 
methods of projecting and sustaining forces in an antiaccess 
environment. 

JCIDS Has Not Yet Produced Cost Estimates for Joint Seabasing 
Capability Options and Timeframes Are Uncertain: 

Joint seabasing is currently going through the capabilities-based 
assessment phase of the JCIDS analysis process. One part of the JCIDS 
analysis process is the Functional Solutions Analysis--an operationally 
based assessment of all potential approaches, including changes to 
doctrine, organization, training, as well as material solutions, to 
solve identified capability gaps. According to Joint Chiefs of Staff 
guidance, this process will assess the costs of potential approaches to 
joint seabasing. For any material approaches that are developed, the 
cost to develop, procure, and sustain each approach will be estimated. 
These estimates should provide decision makers with some understanding 
of the costs of these approaches. However, the timeframe for when these 
cost assessments will take place is unclear. According to DOD 
officials, cost assessments for joint seabasing approaches have not yet 
begun and may not be completed for a year or more. Furthermore, the 
Joint Chiefs of Staff guidance does not provide a specific methodology 
for what level of cost assessment should take place. Rather, the 
guidance only states that the process should "roughly assess" the costs 
of each identified approach.[Footnote 25] 

Service Acquisitions May Outpace Joint Seabasing Cost Analysis: 

Although DOD has not yet begun its analysis of joint seabasing 
approaches and costs, the services are either considering or actively 
pursuing systems to develop enhanced seabasing capabilities. For 
example, the Department of the Navy Fiscal Year 2007 Budget includes 
funding for the development of seabasing ships, including ships for the 
Maritime Prepositioning Force (Future) and Joint High Speed Vessels. 
Furthermore, the Navy has included eleven ships for its Maritime 
Prepositioning Force (Future), three Joint High Speed Vessels, and one 
Joint High Speed Sealift ship in its Annual Long-Range Plan for 
Construction of Naval Vessels for Fiscal Year 2007 report to 
Congress.[Footnote 26] Although the plan could change as the Navy 
continues to assess its requirements and address affordability issues, 
the Navy estimates that these investments will cost nearly $12 
billion.[Footnote 27] The ships the Navy has programmed for the 
Maritime Prepositioning Force (Future) do not include the cost of a 
Landing Helicopter Deck (LHD) amphibious assault ship, which is planned 
to be part of the squadron.[Footnote 28] The Congressional Research 
Service has reported that this ship has an estimated cost of $2.2 
billion, and that the estimated cost of the entire Maritime 
Prepositioning Squadron is about $14.5 billion.[Footnote 29] However, 
unknown factors remain that could affect these estimates. Furthermore, 
the number of connectors required to support the Maritime 
Prepositioning Force (Future) is yet to be determined. Within the 
Maritime Prepositioning Force (Future) squadron, several factors that 
could influence cost--such as manning and ship survivability levels-- 
remain in flux. Figure 4 shows the ships of the Maritime Prepositioning 
Force (Future). 

Figure 4: Ships in the Maritime Prepositioning Force (Future) Squadron: 

[See PDF for image] 

Source: U.S. Navy. 

[End of figure] 

The Navy and Marine Corps have not yet estimated the total ownership 
costs of their preferred options for establishing a seabasing 
capability. However, both the Maritime Prepositioning Force (Future) 
and the Joint High Speed Vessel, which will play a critical role in 
establishing a joint seabasing capability, are in development and 
progressing through DOD's acquisition system. The Maritime 
Prepositioning Force (Future) is approaching its second major 
milestone, which initiates system development and demonstration, in mid-
2008. Prior to this milestone, a total ownership cost estimate will be 
required in order for the Maritime Prepositioning Force (Future) to be 
validated and approved before program initiation. Although a total 
ownership cost estimate may be available for the Maritime 
Prepositioning Force (Future) squadron for this milestone, according to 
service documentation, the costs of the supporting vehicles and vessels 
needed for the squadron to operate as planned for use in joint 
seabasing will not be included. Furthermore, one of the ships in the 
squadron--the Mobile Landing Platform--is going through its own 
acquisition process with its second milestone scheduled in fiscal year 
2008. Furthermore, because the JCIDS analysis process for Joint 
Seabasing will not produce any cost assessments for at least 1 year, 
decision makers risk making substantial investment concerning the 
Maritime Prepositioning Force (Future) without knowledge of the 
potential costs of other joint seabasing options. The Navy plans to 
acquire the first ship for the squadron in 2009. 

The Army is also exploring new initiatives for establishing a seabasing 
capability. In conjunction with the Navy and Marine Corps, the Army is 
developing the Joint High Speed Vessel and Joint High Speed Sealift 
ships. Although not being developed specifically for seabasing, 
according to service documentation, these systems will have a 
significant role in establishing a seabasing capability. The Army plans 
to acquire five Joint High Speed Vessels beginning in fiscal year 2008, 
with a total acquisition cost of $210 million for the first ship and 
$170 million for the remaining ships. The Navy's long-range 
shipbuilding plan estimates the Joint High Speed Sealift ship to cost 
around $920 million. Furthermore, the Army is also in the early stages 
of exploring ideas for its Afloat Forward Staging Base to provide 
aerial maneuver to Army forces. One option the Army is exploring for 
the Afloat Forward Staging Base is to add flight decks to a commercial 
container ship, along with other alterations, as a means to provide 
aerial maneuver to Army forces. Several research organizations also 
recommended this option, because it is seen as a potentially low-cost 
means of establishing a seabasing capability. A rough order of 
magnitude estimate of the cost to convert a commercial cargo ship is 
approximately $300 million to $600 million.[Footnote 30] 

Options Cannot Be Compared without Cost Estimates: 

In addition to the options in development, additional means for 
projecting and sustaining forces in an antiaccess environment exist. 
However, they cannot effectively be compared when total ownership costs 
are not known. For example, the U.S. Transportation Command is working 
to enhance the military's joint logistics over-the-shore capabilities, 
which utilize existing assets, such as the Army's Logistics Support 
Vessel and the Navy's Improved Navy Lighterage System,[Footnote 31] to 
deploy and sustain forces by allowing strategic sealift ships to 
discharge through austere or damaged ports, or over a bare beach. 
Furthermore, the Air Force has developed its Expeditionary Airbase 
Operating Enabling Concept. This concept is a methodology and plan for 
rapid airbase seizure, establishment, and operation to support the 
joint force commander in sustaining forces. Other possibilities include 
Army air-dropped or air-landed operations to roll-back enemy shore- 
based defense or joint special operations forces to attack high-value 
coastal defense assets prior to or in concert with naval strikes from 
the sea. Some of these options represent existing capabilities, which 
could prove to be a more cost-effective means of projecting and 
sustaining forces in an antiaccess environment. Until total ownership 
costs are developed, the cost-effectiveness of these options cannot be 
effectively evaluated. 

Conclusions: 

While DOD's ability to project and sustain forces in an antiaccess 
environment is expected to become increasingly important, DOD has not 
taken all of the steps needed to effectively manage joint seabasing 
initiatives across the department and evaluate competing options for 
force projection and sustainment. Without a comprehensive management 
approach to guide and assess joint seabasing, DOD may be unable to 
ensure that ongoing or planned joint seabasing initiatives are properly 
focused and complement each other and the capability is being developed 
in an efficient and cost-effective manner. One consequence of this lack 
of effective management is the absence of a joint experimentation 
campaign plan. Without a campaign plan to direct experimentation for 
joint seabasing, DOD and the services' ability to evaluate and validate 
their solutions, coordinate efforts, perform analysis, and disseminate 
results could be compromised. As a result, the services risk 
duplicating experimentation efforts and developing and fielding 
seabasing capabilities that are not compatible or interoperable, and 
they will be unable to leverage the results of individual experiments 
across the joint seabasing experimentation community to maximize 
synergies. Furthermore, establishing a joint seabasing capability could 
be the source of significant investment by DOD. Given the challenging 
fiscal environment facing DOD and the rest of the federal government, 
decision makers must make investment decisions that maximize return on 
investment at the best value for the taxpayer. By understanding the 
estimated total ownership costs of options for establishing a seabasing 
capability, decision makers would be in a better position to make 
informed decisions about what options are most cost-effective, and 
evaluate the costs and benefits of establishing a seabasing capability 
against other competing priorities. However, while it is unclear when 
DOD will complete its analysis of joint seabasing approaches and costs, 
the services are pursuing initiatives and systems to develop a 
seabasing capability, some of which are approaching milestones for 
investment decisions. If individual systems that support seabasing are 
allowed to move forward through the acquisition process before total 
ownership cost of seabasing options are developed and made transparent 
to DOD and Congress, there is a risk that DOD could make significant 
investments to develop a capability that may not be the most cost- 
effective means of projecting and sustaining forces in an antiaccess 
environment. 

Recommendations for Executive Action: 

To assist decision makers in developing a comprehensive management 
approach to guide and assess joint seabasing as an option for force 
projection and sustainment in an antiaccess environment and integrate 
service initiatives, we recommend that the Secretary of Defense take 
the following actions to incorporate sound management principles into 
DOD's management of joint seabasing: 

* assign clear leadership and accountability for developing a joint 
seabasing capability and coordinating supporting initiatives; 

* establish an overarching, dedicated implementation team to provide 
day-to-day management oversight over the services, combatant commands, 
the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and others involved in joint seabasing; and: 

* develop and implement a communications strategy to ensure 
communication between and among the services, combatant commands, 
Office of the Secretary of Defense, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and 
to provide information on all joint seabasing activities across DOD. 

To better guide joint seabasing experimentation and inform decisions on 
joint seabasing as an option for force projection and sustainment in an 
antiaccess environment, we recommend that the Secretary of Defense do 
the following: 

* Direct the U.S. Joint Forces Command to lead and coordinate joint 
seabasing experimentation efforts, under the purview of the joint 
seabasing implementation team. U.S. Joint Forces Command should be 
responsible for developing and implementing a joint seabasing 
experimentation campaign plan to guide the evaluation of joint 
seabasing as a capability for force projection and sustainment. Such an 
experimentation plan should include the following elements: 

- a clear focus and objectives for joint seabasing that encompass near- 
, mid-, and long-term experimentation plans; 

- a near-term plan for joint seabasing experimentation that includes 
events for the next fiscal year, participants, timelines, and resources 
that will be used to support the events; 

- a spectrum of joint experimentation activities that include 
wargaming, comprehensive modeling and simulation, live demonstrations, 
workshops, symposiums, and analysis; 

- a data collection and analysis plan to capture and evaluate results; 
and: 

- a method for communicating observations, results, upcoming 
activities, and feedback across the joint seabasing experimentation 
community. 

* Direct that the services collaborate with the U.S. Joint Forces 
Command in developing, implementing, and using the joint seabasing 
experimentation campaign plan. 

* Direct that the services utilize and contribute to the U.S. Joint 
Forces Command's knowledge management portal by providing their 
observations, insights, results, and planned activities to the portal 
for use by the joint seabasing experimentation community. 

To assist decision makers in evaluating the costs of joint seabasing 
options against the capabilities that joint seabasing could provide the 
joint warfighter as a means for force projection and sustainment in an 
antiaccess environment, we recommend that the Secretary of Defense 
direct the implementation team or other appropriate entity to 
synchronize development of total ownership cost estimates for the range 
of joint seabasing options so decision makers have sufficient 
information to use in making investment decisions on service seabasing 
initiatives. 

Agency Comments and Our Evaluation: 

In comments on a draft of this report, DOD partially agreed with our 
recommendations, except for the need for a dedicated implementation 
team. In its comments, DOD stated that it is premature to establish 
additional oversight at this time and that in the interim the Force 
Management Joint Capabilities Board is providing an appropriate level 
of management oversight. As discussed below, in view of the magnitude 
of potential DOD investments in seabasing and DOD's need to efficiently 
manage future resources and distinguish between needs and wants, we 
continue to believe that an implementation team is needed to coordinate 
disparate service and defense organization initiatives related to 
seabasing and urge the department to further consider the need for 
action now rather than waiting until after it establishes joint 
requirements. In addition, although DOD partially agreed with our other 
recommendations, its comments did not indicate that it would take 
specific actions beyond those it has already begun and which we 
evaluated as part of our review. In light of DOD's stated agreement 
with the intent of our recommendations, we urge the department to 
develop specific actions and plans to implement our recommendations. 

DOD partially agreed with our recommendation regarding leadership and 
accountability for developing a joint seabasing capability and 
coordinating supporting initiatives. DOD stated that the Joint Staff is 
assigned responsibility to develop the Joint Seabasing Concept and the 
resulting capability and that there is clear and accountable leadership 
established within the Joint Requirements Oversight Council and the 
Joint Capabilities Board to accomplish this development. While the 
Joint Staff, Joint Requirements Oversight Council, and the Joint 
Capabilities Board have oversight and responsibilities within JCIDS, we 
found that none of these organizations have the overall authority, 
responsibility, and accountability to coordinate joint seabasing 
initiatives and the service acquisitions that may support joint 
seabasing. As discussed in the report, the services have their own 
seabasing concepts and some service initiatives are outpacing joint 
seabasing in development. DOD has not provided sufficient leadership to 
ensure these initiatives are fully leveraged, properly focused, and 
complement each other. Because of the potential for billions of dollars 
to be spent to procure these systems, we continue to believe our 
recommendation has merit and that assignment of clear leadership and 
accountability for developing a joint seabasing capability and 
coordinating supporting initiatives is needed. 

DOD did not agree with our recommendation that an overarching, 
dedicated implementation team be established to provide day-to-day 
management oversight over the services, combatant commands, the Joint 
Chiefs of Staff, and others involved in joint seabasing. DOD commented 
that the joint seabasing concept is still being developed within the 
JCIDS and the Force Management Functional Capabilities Board is 
providing the appropriate level of management oversight. DOD stated 
that it is premature to establish additional oversight at this time and 
that after the needed joint seabasing capabilities have been defined, 
the department will determine if additional oversight is necessary. We 
believe that the Force Management Functional Capabilities Board's 
oversight does not go far enough in providing comprehensive management 
oversight for joint seabasing. While the Board is responsible for 
leading the joint seabasing capabilities-based assessment and oversees 
the sponsor (the Navy) in developing documents, the Board's 
responsibilities do not constitute the type of oversight needed to 
ensure ongoing or planned service initiatives that may support joint 
seabasing are coordinated and complement each other. We continue to 
believe that our recommendation has merit and that creation of an 
implementation team to provide day-to-day management oversight of joint 
seabasing is needed. Therefore, we urge the department to create such a 
team now rather than waiting until needed joint seabasing capabilities 
are defined. 

DOD also partially agreed with our recommendation regarding 
implementing a communications strategy for all joint seabasing 
activities in DOD. DOD stated that the JCIDS process, Joint 
Capabilities Boards, and the Joint Requirements Oversight Council 
provide for communication between the Joint Staff, all four services, 
the combatant commands, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense 
(OSD). However, as discussed in our report, we found that while the 
Joint Staff, all four services, the combatant commands, OSD, and others 
participate in the JCIDS process, the information shared is not all 
inclusive and it is not always clear who is involved in joint seabasing 
and what they are doing. A DOD-wide communication strategy that 
provides a framework to effectively manage activities can support the 
overall development of joint seabasing by (1) providing better 
information for the participants in organizing and planning initiatives 
and (2) enabling the participants to minimize redundancy by leveraging 
activities being conducted by others. We continue to believe, as we 
have recommended, that a communications strategy should be developed 
and implemented. 

DOD partially agreed with our recommendations regarding coordination of 
joint seabasing experimentation efforts and development of a joint 
experimentation campaign plan. DOD stated that the Joint Staff, with 
service, combatant command, and OSD support, is developing a draft 
Joint Capabilities Document that recommends a joint seabasing 
experimentation plan. However, DOD's comments did not address which 
organization would be responsible for developing the experimentation 
campaign plan. As we recommended, we continue to believe that the U.S. 
Joint Forces Command should be charged with developing and implementing 
the joint seabasing experimentation campaign plan. As noted in our 
report, the U.S. Joint Forces Command is the DOD executive agent for 
joint warfighting experimentation. In this role the command is 
responsible for conducting joint experimentation on new warfighting 
concepts, disseminating the results of these activities, and 
coordinating joint experimentation efforts. 

DOD also partially agreed with our recommendation regarding the U.S. 
Joint Forces Command's knowledge management portal. DOD concurs that a 
common portal should be established and used by the services. DOD 
stated that the U.S. Joint Forces Command's knowledge management portal 
is one option that will be considered in order to share joint seabasing 
experimentation observations, insights, results, and planned 
activities. While we support DOD's plans to establish a knowledge 
management portal for joint force projection and sustainment 
experimentation, we continue to believe our recommendations merit 
action and that DOD should direct the services to use the U.S. Joint 
Forces Command's knowledge management portal to share information on 
joint seabasing rather than consider it an option. 

Finally, DOD partially agreed with our recommendation regarding 
development of total ownership costs for joint seabasing options. DOD 
stated that once the Joint Requirements Oversight Council defines the 
required joint seabasing capabilities, total ownership costs for the 
options to satisfy the needed capability gaps will be developed as part 
of the DOD's Planning, Programming, Budgeting and Execution and 
acquisition processes. We support DOD's plans to develop total 
ownership costs; however, as our report points out, we do not believe 
that these actions alone will sufficiently ensure that total ownership 
costs for all joint seabasing options are synchronized. While total 
ownership costs will be estimated and synchronized for those options 
being developed in DOD's JCIDS process for joint seabasing, the 
services are either considering or actively pursuing systems to develop 
their own seabasing capabilities. Some of these systems are approaching 
major milestone reviews for investment consideration. Requiring that 
total ownership cost estimates be developed for only those options 
developed in DOD's joint seabasing JCIDS will provide decision makers 
with an incomplete picture of all joint seabasing options. Without 
ensuring that total ownership cost estimates are developed as we 
recommended for both joint seabasing options being developed in JCIDS 
and those options being developed by the services, DOD will risk making 
investment decisions that may not be the most cost-effective means of 
establishing a joint seabasing capability. 

DOD also provided technical and editorial comments, which we have 
incorporated as appropriate. DOD's comments are reprinted in appendix 
II of this report. 

We are sending copies of this report to other interested congressional 
committees; the Secretary of Defense; the Secretary of the Navy; the 
Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff; the Commander, U.S. Joint Forces 
Command; and the Director, Office of Management and Budget. We will 
make copies available to others upon request. In addition, the report 
will be available at no charge on the GAO Web site at [Hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov]. 

If you or your staff have any questions about this report, please 
contact me at (202) 512-4402 or stlaurentj@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 major contributions 
to this report are listed in appendix III. 

Sincerely yours, 

Signed by: 

Janet St. Laurent: 
Director, Defense Capabilities and Management: 

[End of section] 

Appendix I: Scope and Methodology: 

To assess the extent to which the Department of Defense (DOD) has 
employed a sound management approach for developing a joint seabasing 
capability, we interviewed officials from the Office of the Secretary 
of Defense, the joint staff, two combatant commands, the four military 
services, and the private sector; received briefings from relevant 
officials; and reviewed key documents. We compared DOD's approach with 
best practices for managing and implementing major efforts. To identify 
these best practices, we reviewed our prior work including GAO, Results-
Oriented Cultures: Implementation Steps to Assist Mergers and 
Organizational Transformations. In the absence of a comprehensive 
planning document, we used relevant questions derived from the 
identified best practices in interviews with officials and in analyzing 
pertinent documents such as the August 2005 Seabasing Joint Integrating 
Concept, and instructions and manuals on DOD's Joint Capability 
Integration and Development System (JCIDS), including (1) the Chairman 
of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Instruction 3170.01E, Joint Capabilities 
Integration and Development System (May 11, 2005); (2) the Chairman of 
the Joint Chiefs of Staff Manual 3170.01B, Operation of the Joint 
Capabilities Integration and Development System (May 11, 2005); and (3) 
the Joint Chiefs of Staff White Paper on Conducting a Capabilities- 
Based Assessment (CBA) Under the Joint Capabilities Integration and 
Development System (JCIDS) (January 2006). We also interviewed 
officials involved in the development of the joint seabasing to obtain 
information on how involved the services, combatant commands, Office of 
the Secretary of Defense, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff were in 
developing joint seabasing, what their respective roles and 
responsibilities were, the level of authority available to direct the 
services and combatant commands to participate in the JCIDS analyses, 
how information on joint seabasing development efforts and initiatives 
was shared, how initiatives that may support joint seabasing were 
coordinated, and other issues. In addition, we examined the Seabasing 
Working Group Web site to identify what information was being 
communicated through the Web site. 

To assess the extent to which a joint experimentation campaign plan has 
been developed, implemented, and used to inform decisions on joint 
seabasing options, we obtained briefings and interviewed officials from 
the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the 
U.S. Joint Forces Command, the U.S. Transportation Command, and the 
Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps. We also discussed the status 
of joint seabasing experimentation efforts and the extent to which they 
coordinated with each other in conducting joint seabasing 
experimentation. We examined DOD guidance to identify and clarify roles 
and responsibilities for leading joint warfighting experimentation. To 
identify key aspects for conducting experimentation campaigns, we 
reviewed books and publications on experimentation campaigns, including 
Code of Best Practice: Campaigns of Experimentation; Code of Best 
Practice: Experimentation; Guide for Understanding and Implementing 
Defense Experimentation; and The Role of Experimentation in Building 
Future Naval Forces. We obtained and reviewed DOD and service reports 
and briefings containing the analyses and findings of experimentation 
activities. We also attended an Army Joint-Logistics-Over-the-Shore 
exercise demonstrating the unloading and loading of equipment to the 
shore when port facilities are inadequate, unavailable, or nonexistent. 

To assess the extent to which DOD and the services identified the cost 
of joint seabasing options so that decision makers can make informed, 
cost-effective decisions, we reviewed official statements, obtained 
briefings from, and interviewed officials from, the Office of the 
Secretary of Defense, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army, Navy, Air Force, 
Marine Corps, Defense Science Board, and Center for Strategic and 
Budgetary Assessments. We examined DOD documents and data including, 
but not limited to, the President's Fiscal Year 2007 Defense Budget, 
the Department of the Navy Ships and Aircraft Supplemental Data Tables, 
and the Report to Congress on Annual Long-Range Plan for Construction 
of Naval Vessels for FY 2007. We assessed the reliability of the data 
used through discussions with knowledgeable officials. We determined 
that the data used were sufficiently reliable for our objectives. We 
reviewed statements by the Congressional Budget Office and Center for 
Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. We also reviewed reports on 
seabasing including, but not limited to, Thinking About Seabasing: All 
Ahead, Slow by the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, Sea 
Basing by the Defense Science Board, Sea Basing by the Naval Research 
Advisory Committee, and Seabasing: Ensuring Joint Force Access From the 
Sea by the National Research Council. To identify guidance on cost 
estimating and total ownership costs, we reviewed DOD documentation, 
including DOD Directive 5000.1, The Defense Acquisition System (May 12, 
2003), DOD Instruction 5000.2, Operation of the Defense Acquisition 
System (April 5, 2002), Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff 
Instruction 3170.01E, Joint Capabilities Integration and Development 
System (May 11, 2005), and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Manual 
3170.01B, Operation of the Joint Capabilities Integration and 
Development System (May 11, 2005). We also reviewed our prior work on 
cost estimating and total ownership cost. 

We conducted our review from February 2006 to October 2006 in 
accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards at the 
following locations: 

* Offices of the Secretary of Defense, Washington, D.C. 

- Office of Force Transformation: 

- Office of Program Analysis and Evaluation: 

- Office of the Under Secretary of Defense, Acquisition, Technology, 
and Logistics: 

* The Joint Staff, Washington, D.C. 

- Office of Force Structure Resources and Assessment--Studies, 
Analysis, and Gaming Division: 

* U.S. Joint Forces Command, Suffolk, Virginia: 

- Joint Experimentation Directorate: 

- Joint Futures Lab: 

* U.S. Transportation Command, Scott Air Force Base, Illinois: 

* Offices of the Chief of Naval Operations, Washington, D.C. 

- Office of Expeditionary Warfare: 

- Office of Assessments, Seabasing Pillar: 

* Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C. 

* U.S. Fleet Forces Command, Norfolk, Virginia: 

* Navy Warfare Development Command, Newport, Rhode Island: 

* Office of Naval Research, Arlington, Virginia: 

* Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island: 

* Marine Corps Combatant Development Command, Quantico, Virginia: 

- Capabilities Development Directorate, Seabasing Integration Division: 

- Operations Analysis Division, Mission Area Analysis Branch: 

- Marine Corps Warfighting Lab: 

* Offices of the U.S. Army Chief of Staff, Washington, D.C. 

- Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans: 

- Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics: 

* Army Training and Doctrine Command, Fort Monroe, Virginia: 

- Army Capabilities Integration Center: 

* Army Transportation Center, Fort Eustis, Virginia: 

- Deployment Process Modernization Office: 

* Headquarters United States Air Force, Office of the Deputy Chief of 
Staff for Air, Space, and Information Operations Plans, and 
Requirements, Washington, D.C. 

- Concepts, Strategy, and Wargaming Division: 

* Center for Naval Analyses, Alexandria, Virginia: 

* Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, Washington, D.C. 

* LMI Government Consulting, McLean, Virginia: 

[End of section] 

Appendix II: Comments from the Department of Defense: 

Office Of The Under Secretary Of Defense: 
3000 Defense Pentagon: 
Washington, DC 20301-3000: 

Acquisition, Technology And Logistics: 

Dec 21 2006:  

Ms. Janet St. Laurent: 
Director, Defense Capabilities and Management: 
U.S. Government Accountability Office: 
441 G Street, N.W. 
Washington, DC 20548: 

Dear Ms. St. Laurent: 

This is the Department of Defense (DoD) response to the GAO Draft 
Report, "Force Structure: Joint Seabasing Would Benefit From a 
Comprehensive Management Approach and Rigorous Experimentation Before 
Services Spend Billions on New Capabilities," dated November 21, 2006 
(GAO Code 350793/GAO-07-211). The Department's comments on the 
recommendations are attached. 

The Department partially concurs with recommendations 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 
and 7. Recommendation 1 relates to the assignment of leadership and 
accountability for joint seabasing development. Recommendation 3 
relates to the development and implementation of a communications 
strategy to support information sharing for all joint seabasing 
activities. Recommendations 4, 5, and 6 relate to U.S. Joint Forces 
Command developing, leading and managing a joint seabasing 
experimentation plan and associated informAtion sharing plan to further 
the development of the joint seabasing concept. Recommendation 7 
relates to the development of joint seabasing total ownership cost 
estimates for investment decision making activities. 

The Department does not concur with recommendation 2, which relates to 
the establishment of an overarching implementation team to provide day- 
to-day joint seabasing management oversight over the Services, 
Combatant Commands, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and others involved in 
joint seabasing. 

The Department appreciates the opportunity to comment on the draft 
report. Technical comments were provided separately. For further 
questions concerning this report, please contact Darlene Costello, 
Deputy Director, Naval Warfare, at (703) 697-2205. 

Sincerely, 

Signed by: 

David G. Ahern: 
Director: 
Portfolio Systems Acquisition: 

GAO Draft Report - Dated November 21, 2006 GAO Code 350793/GAO-07-211: 

"Force Structure: Joint Seabasing Would Benefit From a Comprehensive 
Management Approach and Rigorous Experimentation Before Services Spend 
Billions on New Capabilities" 

Department Of Defense Comments To The Recommendations: 

Recommendation 1: The GAO recommends that the Secretary of Defense 
assign clear leadership and accountability for developing a joint 
seabasing capability and coordinating supporting initiatives. 

DOD Response: The DoD partially concurs with this recommendation. The 
Joint Staff is assigned responsibility to develop the Joint Seabasing 
Concept and the resulting capability. There is clear and accountable 
leadership established within the Joint Requirements Oversight Council 
(JROC) and Joint Capabilities Board (FCB) to accomplish this 
development. The Force Management Functional Capabilities Board under 
authority of the JROC is providing the leadership for the Joint 
Seabasing Capabilities Based Assessment (CBA) and formulation of the 
Seabasing Joint Capabilities Document (JCD). The Joint Staff works with 
all the Services as part of the on-going CBA and development of the 
JCD. The Services are exploring seabasing initiatives to enhance their 
current seabasing capability. As these are refined, the Service will 
work with the Joint Staff to implement them in updated joint tactics, 
training, and procedures. The Joint Staff is using the information and 
lessons learned from ongoing efforts to further the Joint Seabasing 
Concept. 

Recommendation 2: The GAO recommends that the Secretary of Defense 
establish an overarching, dedicated implementation team to provide day- 
to-day management oversight over the Services, Combatant Commands, the 
Joint Chiefs of Staff, and others involved in joint seabasing. 

DOD Response: The DoD does not concur with this recommendation. As the 
GAO noted, the Joint Seabasing Concept is still being developed within 
the Joint Capabilities Integration and Development System (JCIDS). The 
Department considers it premature to establish additional oversight at 
this time. After the Joint Requirements Oversight Council defines the 
joint seabasing capabilities needed, then the Department will determine 
if additional oversight is necessary to satisfy the requirement. Until 
then, the Force Management Joint Capabilities Board (which includes the 
Joint Staff, all four Services, the Combatant Commands, and OSD) is 
providing the appropriate level of management oversight for development 
of the Joint Seabasing Concept. 

Recommendation 3: The GAO recommends that the Secretary of Defense 
develop and implement a communications strategy to ensure communication 
between and among the Services, Combatant Commands, Office of the 
Secretary of Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and to provide 
information on all joint seabasing activities across DoD. 

DOD Response: The DoD partially concurs with this recommendation. The 
Joint Capabilities Integration and Development System process, Joint 
Capabilities Boards, and the Joint Requirements Oversight Council 
provide for communication between the Joint Staff, all four Services, 
the Combatant Commands, and OSD. All of these organizations are 
participating in the current Joint Seabasing Capabilities Based 
Assessment. Information is exchanged through the Joint Staff Knowledge 
Management and Decision Support Tool and the Joint Staff Decision 
Support Environment. These systems will enhance strategic 
communications for joint seabasing and other capabilities based 
analyses. 

Recommendation 4: The GAO recommends that the Secretary of Defense 
direct the U.S. Joint Forces Command to lead and coordinate joint 
seabasing experimentation efforts, under the purview of the joint 
seabasing implementation team. U.S. Joint Forces Command should be 
responsible for developing and implementing a joint seabasing 
experimentation campaign plan to guide the evaluation of joint 
seabasing as a capability for force protection and sustainment. Such an 
experimentation plan should include the following elements: 

* Clear focus and objectives for joint seabasing that encompass near-, 
mid-, and long-term experimentation plans; 

* A near-term plan for joint seabasing experimentation that includes 
events for the next fiscal year, participants, timelines, and resources 
that will be used to support the events; 

A spectrum of joint experimentation activities that include wargaming, 
comprehensive modeling and simulation, live demonstrations, workshops, 
symposiums, and analysis; 

* A data collection and analysis plan to capture and evaluate results; 
and: 

* A method for communicating observations, results, upcoming 
activities, and feedback across the joint seabasing experimentation 
community. 

DOD Response: The DoD partially concurs with the recommendation. The 
Joint Staff, with Service, Combatant Command, and OSD support, is 
developing a draft Joint Capabilities Document (JCD) that recommends a 
joint seabasing experimentation plan to complement and inform the 
Capabilities Based Assessment. While the JCD is in draft, the Combatant 
Commanders have been working with the Joint Staff to identify clear, 
appropriate objectives and timelines for experimentation in this area. 
The experimentation will encompass a wide range of joint activities 
including wargaming, modeling and simulation, live demonstrations, and 
other forums. The Joint Staff is working with the Services, OSD, and 
the Combatant Commanders to identify appropriate sponsorship, 
participation, data collection, analysis efforts, and feedback 
mechanisms as part of the joint experimentation plan. 

Recommendation 5: The GAO recommends that the Secretary of Defense 
direct that the Services collaborate with the U.S. Joint Forces Command 
in developing, implementing, and using the joint seabasing 
experimentation campaign plan. 

DOD Response: The DoD partially concurs with this recommendation. The 
draft Seabasing Joint Capabilities Document (JCD) recommends the Joint 
Staff, in conjunction with the Services, the Combatant Commanders, and 
OSD, develop and implement a joint experimentation plan. This JCD, when 
approved by the Joint Requirements Oversight Council, will provide the 
Department with the appropriate guidance for continuing Joint Seabasing 
Concept development, experimentation, and implementation. 

Recommendation 6: The GAO recommends that the Secretary of Defense 
direct that the Services utilize and contribute to the U.S. Joint 
Forces Command's knowledge management portal by providing their 
observations, insights, results, and planned activities to the portal 
for use by the joint seabasing experimentation community. 

DOD Response: The DoD partially concurs with this recommendation. The 
Department concurs that a common portal should be established and used 
by the Services. The Joint Requirements Oversight Council will identify 
a lead for the seabasing experimentation plan when it approves the 
Joint Capabilities Document. The organization that leads the 
experimentation effort should identify the common knowledge management 
system to be used. The U.S. Joint Forces Command's knowledge management 
portal is one option that will be considered in order to share joint 
seabasing experimentation observations, insights, results, and planned 
activities for use by the joint seabasing community. 

Recommendation 7: The GAO recommends that the Secretary of Defense 
direct the implementation team or other appropriate entity to 
synchronize development of total ownership cost estimates for the range 
of joint seabasing options so decision makers have sufficient 
information to use in making investment decisions on Service seabasing 
initiatives. 

DOD Response: The DoD partially concurs with this recommendation. Once 
the Joint Requirements Oversight Council defines the required joint 
seabasing capabilities, total ownership costs for the options to 
satisfy the needed capability gaps will be developed as part of the 
Department's Planning, Programming, Budgeting and Execution (PPBE) and 
DoD 5000 Acquisition processes. Total ownership cost estimates for 
proposed solutions will be developed to support all Department 
investment decisions. These estimates would be generated for costs that 
are new or unique to seabasing capability gaps. The joint seabasing 
capability leverages many existing Department assets and programs which 
are needed to meet warfighting requirements separate from seabasing. 

[End of section] 

Appendix III: GAO Contact and Staff Acknowledgments: 

GAO Contact: 

Janet St. Laurent, (202) 512-4402 or stlaurentj@gao.gov: 

Acknowledgments: 

In addition to the contact named above, Patricia Lentini, Assistant 
Director; Sarah Baker; Renee Brown; Nicole Harms; Margaret G. Holihan; 
Ian Jefferies; Kevin L. O'Neill; Roderick Rodgers, Analyst-in-Charge; 
and Rebecca Shea made key contributions to this report. 

FOOTNOTES 

[1] Admiral Vern Clark, USN, "Sea Power 21: Projecting Decisive Joint 
Capabilities," Naval Institute Proceedings (October 2002). 

[2] Secretary of Defense, National Defense Strategy of the United 
States of America (Washington, D.C.: March 2005) and Joint Chiefs of 
Staff, National Military Strategy of the United States of America 
(Washington, D.C.: 2004). 

[3] Secretary of Defense, Quadrennial Defense Review Report 
(Washington, D.C.: Feb. 6, 2006). 

[4] The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is the Chairman of the 
Joint Requirements Oversight Council, though the functions of the Joint 
Requirements Oversight Council chairman are delegated to the Vice 
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The Secretary of the Joint 
Requirements Oversight Council is the Joint Staff Director for Force 
Structure, Resources, & Assessment. 

[5] GAO, Results-Oriented Cultures: Implementation Steps to Assist 
Mergers and Organizational Transformations, GAO-03-669 (Washington, 
D.C.: July 2, 2003). 

[6] GAO, Defense Acquisitions: DOD Management Approach and Processes 
Not Well-Suited to Support Development of Global Information Grid, GAO-
06-211 (Washington, D.C.: Jan. 30, 2006). 

[7] Committee on Sea Basing, Naval Studies Board, National Research 
Council of the National Academy of Sciences, Sea Basing: Ensuring Joint 
Force Access From the Sea (Washington, D.C.: The National Academies 
Press, 2005). 

[8] GAO-03-669. 

[9] Committee on Sea Basing, Sea Basing. 

[10] Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, 
Technology, and Logistics, Defense Science Board Task Force on Sea 
Basing (Washington, D.C.: August 2003). 

[11] GAO-03-669. 

[12] Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, 
Technology, and Logistics, Defense Science Board Task Force on Sea 
Basing; Committee on Sea Basing, Sea Basing. 

[13] Committee on Sea Basing, Sea Basing. 

[14] In GAO-06-211, we state that because the Global Information Grid 
will comprise a system of interdependent systems, it needs clearly 
identified leadership that has the authority to enforce decisions that 
cut across organizational lines. The report found that without a 
management approach optimized to enforce decisions across the 
department, DOD is at risk of continuing to develop and acquire systems 
in a stovepiped and uncoordinated manner. The Inspector General's 
report, Department of Defense Office of the Inspector General, Joint 
Warfighting and Readiness: Management of Network Centric Warfare Within 
the Department of Defense, D-2004-091 (Washington, D.C.: June 22, 
2004), recommended that DOD formalize roles, responsibilities, and 
processes for the overall development, coordination, and oversight of 
DOD network-centric warfare efforts to ensure that ongoing or planned 
initiatives are properly focused and complement each other. According 
to the report, DOD management agreed with the need for leadership 
improvements. 

[15] Network-centric warfare is collaborative information sharing 
linking sensors, decision makers, and shooters, which is intended to 
result in increased mission effectiveness. 

[16] GAO-03-669. 

[17] Joint-Logistics-Over-the-Shore is a joint logistical operation to 
load or unload ships through inadequate or damaged ports or over a bare 
beach when facilities are not available or nonexistent. It is a system 
of systems involving sealift, shipboard cranes, ramps, and interfaces, 
and lighters. The U.S. Transportation Command oversees developmental 
and acquisition efforts for this program. 

[18] The Mobile Landing Platform is a vessel in the planned Maritime 
Prepositioning Force (Future) squadron that would facilitate at-sea 
cargo transfer by partially submerging in water to allow cargo to float 
on and off of it. The Mobile Landing Platform will link large roll-on/ 
roll-off cargo ships to smaller ships. 

[19] Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Memorandum, Joint 
Experimentation (JE) Guidance for FY 2006 and FY 2007 (Washington, 
D.C.: Jan. 9, 2006). 

[20] Sea Trial is the Navy's process for formulating and testing 
innovative operational concepts. At its core is the Sea Trial Concept 
Development and Experimentation Campaign Plan, which outlines plans to 
rapidly mature concept, technology, and doctrine. Sea Trial supports 
Sea Power 21, the Navy's vision for how it will organize, integrate, 
and transform itself in the 21st century. 

[21] End-to-end modeling involves modeling seabasing throughout the 
employment, sustainment, and reconstitution phases. 

[22] The Navy Warfare Development Command mission is to focus and 
champion Navy warfare innovation, operating concepts, and concept of 
operations development in a naval, joint, and coalition environment. 

[23] Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Memorandum, Joint 
Experimentation (JE) Guidance for FY 2006 and FY 2007 (Washington, 
D.C.: Jan. 9, 2006). 

[24] Department of Defense Directive 5000.1, The Defense Acquisition 
System, Section E1.1.4 (May 12, 2003). 

[25] CJCSI 3170.01E, Joint Capabilities Integration and Development 
System (Washington, D.C.: May 11, 2005). 

[26] According to 10 U.S.C. § 231, the Secretary of Defense is required 
to submit with the Defense Budget, an annual long range plan for the 
construction of naval vessels. One requirement of this plan is to 
include a detailed program for the construction of combatant and 
support vessels for Navy over the next 30 fiscal years. 

[27] Based on fiscal year 2007 dollars. 

[28] The Annual Long-Range Plan for Construction of Naval Vessels for 
Fiscal Year 2007 assumes the transfer of one steam-powered LHD from the 
expeditionary warfare ship force to the Maritime Prepositioning Force 
(Future) squadron, which could affect the Marine Corps's lift 
requirement of 10 operationally available large-deck aviation-capable 
ships. 

[29] Congressional Research Service, Navy-Marine Corps Amphibious and 
Maritime Prepositioning Ship Programs: Background and Oversight Issues 
for Congress (Washington, D.C.: July 26, 2006). 

[30] According to the Naval Research Advisory Committee report Sea 
Basing, Maersk Line, Ltd., in a proposal to the Military Sealift 
Command, estimated the cost of converting an S-class container ship at 
$300 million. 

[31] The Logistics Support Vessel carries cargo and equipment 
throughout a theater of operations. This vessel can carry up to 2,000 
tons of cargo. The Improved Navy Lighterage System enables the transfer 
of cargo from strategic sealift ships to barges and ferries so cargo 
can be moved to shore in cases where ships are unable to offload at 
ports. The system is portable and can be stored on the decks of many 
strategic prepositioning ships. 

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