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entitled 'Defense Logistics: Actions Needed to Improve the Marine 
Corps' Equipment Reset Strategies and the Reporting of Total Reset 
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United States Government Accountability Office: 
GAO: 

Report to Congressional Addressees: 

August 2011: 

Defense Logistics: 

Actions Needed to Improve the Marine Corps' Equipment Reset Strategies 
and the Reporting of Total Reset Costs: 

GAO-11-523: 

GAO Highlights: 

Highlights of GAO-11-523, a report to congressional committees. 

Why GAO Did This Study: 

The U.S. Marine Corps received approximately $16 billion in 
appropriated funds between fiscal years 2006 and 2010 for reset of 
aviation and ground equipment that has been degraded, damaged, and 
destroyed during oversees contingency operations. Reset encompasses 
activities for repairing, upgrading, or replacing equipment used in 
contingency operations. The Marine Corps continues to request funding 
to reset equipment used in Afghanistan. GAO initiated this review 
under its authority to address significant issues of broad interest to 
the Congress. GAOís objectives were to evaluate the extent to which 
the Marine Corps has made progress toward (1) developing effective 
reset strategies for both aviation and ground equipment used in 
Afghanistan and (2) providing accurate estimates of total reset costs. 

What GAO Found: 

The Marine Corps has developed a strategic plan that addresses the 
reset of aviation equipment used in operations in Afghanistan and 
includes the elements of a comprehensive, results-oriented strategic 
planning framework. However, a reset strategy for ground equipment has 
not yet been developed. The Marine Corps is taking steps to develop 
such a strategy; however, the timeline for completing and issuing this 
strategy is uncertain. Although Marine Corps officials agreed that a 
reset strategy for ground equipment will be needed, they stated that 
they do not plan to issue a strategy until there is a better 
understanding of the dates for drawdown of forces from Afghanistan. 
While more specific drawdown information is desirable and will be 
needed to firm up reset plans, the President stated that troops would 
begin to withdraw in July 2011, working towards a transfer of all 
security operations to Afghan National Security Forces by 2014. Until 
the ground equipment reset strategy is issued, establishing firm plans 
for reset may be difficult for the Marine Corps Logistics Command to 
effectively manage the rotation of equipment to units to sustain 
combat operations. It is also uncertain to what extent the Marine 
Corps plans to align its ground equipment reset strategy with its 
ground equipment modernization plan. GAO found that the Iraq reset 
strategy for ground equipment contained no direct reference to the 
serviceís equipment modernization plans, leaving unclear the 
relationship between reset and modernization. A clear alignment of the 
ground equipment reset strategy for Afghanistan and modernization 
plans would help to ensure that the identification, development, and 
integration of warfighting capabilities also factor in equipment reset 
strategies so that equipment planned for modernization is not 
unnecessarily repaired. 

The total costs of reset estimated by the Marine Corps may not be 
accurate or consistent because of differing definitions of reset that 
have been used for aviation and ground equipment. These differing 
definitions exist because DOD has not established a single standard 
definition for use in DODís budget process. Specifically, the Marine 
Corps does not include aviation equipment procurement costs when 
estimating total reset costs. According to Marine Corps officials, 
procurement costs are excluded because such costs are not consistent 
with its definition of aviation equipment reset. In contrast, the 
Marine Corpsí definition of reset for ground equipment includes 
procurement costs to replace theater losses. However, GAO found that 
the Office of the Secretary of Defense Director of Cost Assessment and 
Program Evaluation had obtained a procurement cost estimate for Marine 
Corps aviation equipment as part of its efforts to track reset costs 
for the department. DODís Resource Management Decision 700 tasks the 
Office of the Secretary of Defense Director of Cost Assessment and 
Program Evaluation to provide annual departmentwide reset updates. 
Based on this tasking, the Marine Corps provided total reset costs 
that included procurement costs for equipment replacement, as well as 
maintenance costs, for both ground and aviation equipment. GAO was not 
able to determine the reasons for this apparent inconsistency between 
what the Marine Corps considers to be valid aviation equipment reset 
costs and what was reported in the 2010 DOD Reset Planning Projections 
annual update. Without a single standard definition for reset for the 
services to use, the Marine Corps may continue to report its total 
reset costs for aviation equipment inconsistently. 

What GAO Recommends: 

GAO recommends that the Secretary of Defense (1) establish a timeline 
for issuing formal reset planning guidance and a ground equipment 
reset strategy for equipment used in operations in Afghanistan, (2) 
provide linkages between the ground equipment reset strategy and the 
modernization plan, and (3) develop and publish a DOD definition of 
reset for use in the DOD overseas contingency operations budgeting 
process. DOD concurred with one and partially concurred with two of 
the recommendations. 

View [hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-11-523] or key 
components. For more information, contact William M. Solis at (202) 
512-8365 or solisw@gao.gov. 

[End of section] 

Contents: 

Letter: 

Background: 

The Marine Corps Has a Reset Strategy for Aviation Equipment Used in 
Afghanistan and Plans to Develop a Reset Strategy for Ground Equipment: 

Differing Definitions for Reset May Result in Inaccurate or 
Inconsistent Estimates of Total Reset Costs: 

Conclusions: 

Recommendations for Executive Action: 

Agency Comments and Our Evaluation: 

Appendix I: Scope and Methodology: 

Appendix II: Funding for Marine Corps Equipment Reset: 

Appendix III: Comments from the Department of Defense: 

Appendix IV: GAO Contact and Staff Acknowledgments: 

Tables: 

Table 1: Incorporation of Strategic Management Planning Elements into 
the Marine Corps' Aviation Equipment Reset Strategy: 

Table 2: Marine Corps Ground Equipment Reset Funding, Fiscal Years 
2009-2012: 

Table 3: Marine Corps Aviation Equipment Reset Funding, Fiscal Years 
2009-2012: 

Table 4: Top 10 Marine Corps Ground Equipment Reset Procurement Items 
That Received Fiscal Year 2010 Funding: 

[End of section] 

United States Government Accountability Office: 
Washington, DC 20548: 

August 4, 2011: 

Congressional Addressees: 

The U.S. Marine Corps received approximately $16 billion in 
appropriated funds from fiscal year 2006 through fiscal year 2010 for 
the reset of aviation and ground equipment that has been degraded, 
damaged, and destroyed during overseas contingency operations. The 
service has requested a total of $4.6 billion in reset funds for 
fiscal years 2011 and 2012. Reset encompasses activities for 
repairing, upgrading, or replacing equipment used in contingency 
operations. Developing and implementing effective reset strategies for 
its equipment is critical to the Marine Corps' ability to maintain, 
restore, and enhance its combat capability. In addition, providing 
accurate estimates of total reset costs enables decision makers to 
evaluate trade-offs and make the most effective use of defense dollars 
in light of the nation's long-term fiscal challenges. As the Marine 
Corps continues to support overseas contingency operations and reset 
equipment, it also has efforts under way to rebalance its forces, 
posture it for the future, and experiment with and implement new 
capabilities and organizations. 

This report examines Marine Corp equipment reset issues for operations 
in Afghanistan. We performed this review under the authority of the 
Comptroller General to conduct evaluations on his own initiative to 
address significant issues of broad interest to the Congress. Our 
specific objectives were to evaluate the extent to which the Marine 
Corps has made progress toward (1) developing effective reset 
strategies for both aviation and ground equipment used in Afghanistan, 
and (2) providing accurate estimates of total reset costs. We plan to 
report separately on Army equipment reset issues. 

To assess progress toward developing effective reset strategies, we 
identified existing reset strategies for equipment used in 
Afghanistan, and assessed these strategies against the elements of a 
comprehensive, results-oriented strategic planning framework that we 
have identified in our prior work.[Footnote 1] Where strategies had 
not yet been developed, we collected information regarding ongoing 
reset planning efforts from Marine Corps officials and discussed with 
them the process used and the factors considered when developing a 
reset strategy. As a basis for assessing current reset planning 
efforts for Afghanistan, we also reviewed the reset strategy that the 
Marine Corps prepared for equipment used in Iraq. To assess the Marine 
Corps' estimates of total reset costs, we obtained recent cost 
estimates and compared these with Department of Defense (DOD) budget 
formulation guidance, as well as with DOD guidance provided to the 
services on preparing annual updates of total reset costs. We obtained 
documents detailing the processes the Marine Corps uses to estimate 
reset costs for ground and aviation equipment, and we obtained 
additional insight and information through interviews with Marine 
Corps officials who are involved in developing these estimates. For 
details on our scope and methodology, see appendix I. 

We conducted this performance audit from November 2010 through August 
2011 in accordance with generally accepted government auditing 
standards. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit 
to obtain sufficient, appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable 
basis for our findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. 
We believe that the evidence obtained provides a reasonable basis for 
our findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. 

Background: 

Marine Corps' Definitions of Reset for Aviation and Ground Equipment: 

Reset encompasses activities related to the repair, upgrade, or 
replacement of equipment used in contingency operations. Aviation and 
ground equipment are managed separately within the Marine Corps, 
[Footnote 2] and different definitions of reset are used for each. 
Marine Corps officials defined aviation equipment reset as an aircraft 
material condition and readiness sustainment effort that is required 
due to prolonged combat operations. Included are actions to maintain, 
preserve, and enhance the capability of aircraft. Ground equipment 
reset is defined by the Marine Corps as actions taken to restore units 
to a desired level of combat capability commensurate with the unit's 
future mission.[Footnote 3] It encompasses maintenance and supply 
activities that restore and enhance equipment that was destroyed, 
damaged, stressed, rendered obsolete, or worn out beyond economic 
repair[Footnote 4] due to combat operations by repairing, rebuilding, 
or procuring replacement equipment. Also included as part of ground 
equipment reset is recapitalization (rebuild or upgrade) that enhances 
existing equipment through the insertion of new technology or restores 
selected equipment to near-original condition. 

Reset Budget for Fiscal Years 2009 through 2012: 

The Marine Corps's equipment reset budget totals more than $8 billion 
for fiscal years 2009 through 2012.[Footnote 5] Maintenance-related 
activities included as part of reset are funded from operations and 
maintenance appropriations, while most recapitalization[Footnote 6] 
and all acquisitions of new equipment as part of reset are funded from 
procurement appropriations. Reset funds are requested and budgeted 
separately for aviation and ground equipment. 

* Aviation equipment: The Marine Corps' aviation equipment reset 
budget was approximately $66.7 million in fiscal year 2009 and 
approximately $57.8 million in fiscal year 2010. The Marine Corps 
requested approximately $56.1 million for fiscal 2011 and has 
requested $45.3 million for fiscal year 2012 to reset aviation 
equipment. As discussed later in this report, reset funding for 
aviation equipment covers only operations and maintenance 
appropriations and excludes procurement appropriations. 

* Ground equipment: The Marine Corps' ground equipment reset budget 
was approximately $2.2 billion in fiscal year 2009 and approximately 
$1.3 billion in fiscal year 2010. The Marine Corps requested 
approximately $2.6 billion for fiscal year 2011 and has requested $1.8 
billion for fiscal year 2012 to reset ground equipment. This funding 
includes funds requested as part of operations and maintenance 
appropriations and procurement appropriations. The fiscal year 2011 
request included a $1.1 billion increase in procurement funding over 
fiscal year 2010, which the Marine Corps attributed to increased 
equipment combat losses and to the replacement of equipment that is 
beyond economic repair. 

Appendix II provides further detail on reset funding for aviation and 
ground equipment. 

Elements of Sound Strategic Management Planning: 

Our prior work has shown that sound strategic management planning can 
enable organizations to identify and achieve long-range goals and 
objectives.[Footnote 7] We have identified six elements that should be 
incorporated into strategic plans to establish a comprehensive, 
results-oriented framework--an approach whereby program effectiveness 
is measured in terms of outcomes or impact. These elements follow: 

(1) Mission statement: A statement that concisely summarizes what the 
organization does, presenting the main purposes for all its major 
functions and operations. 

(2) Long-term goals: A specific set of policy, programmatic, and 
management goals for the programs and operations covered in the 
strategic plan. The long-term goals should correspond to the purposes 
set forth in the mission statement and develop with greater 
specificity how an organization will carry out its mission. 

(3) Strategies to achieve the goals: A description of how the goals 
contained in the strategic plan and performance plan are to be 
achieved, including the operational processes, skills and technology, 
and other resources required to meet these goals. 

(4) External factors that could affect goals: Key factors external to 
the organization and beyond its control that could significantly 
affect the achievement of the long-term goals contained in the 
strategic plan. These external factors can include economic, 
demographic, social, technological, or environmental factors, as well 
as conditions or events that would affect the organization's ability 
to achieve its strategic goals. 

(5) Use of metrics to gauge progress: A set of metrics that will be 
applied to gauge progress toward attainment of the plan's long-term 
goals. 

(6) Evaluations of the plan to monitor goals and objectives: 
Assessments, through objective measurement and systematic analysis, of 
the manner and extent to which programs associated with the strategic 
plan achieve their intended goals. 

Prior GAO Reviews of Equipment Reset: 

Over the past several years we have reported on equipment reset 
issues. In 2007, for example, we reported that the Marine Corps could 
not be certain that its reset strategies would sustain equipment 
availability for deployed units as well as units preparing for 
deployment, while meeting ongoing operational requirements.[Footnote 
8] We have also made recommendations aimed at improving DOD's monthly 
cost reports for reset and defining the types of costs that should be 
included in the base defense budget rather than funded from 
supplemental appropriations for contingency operations. Specifically, 
we recommended DOD amend its Financial Management Regulation to 
require that monthly Supplemental and Cost of War Execution Reports 
identify expenditures within the procurement accounts for equipment 
reset at more detailed subcost category levels, similar to reporting 
of obligations and expenditures in the operation and maintenance 
accounts.[Footnote 9] DOD initially disagreed with this recommendation 
but later revised its Financial Management Regulation, expanding the 
definition of acceptable maintenance and procurement costs and 
directing the military services to begin including "longer war on 
terror" costs in their overseas contingency operations funding 
requests. We subsequently recommended that DOD issue guidance defining 
what constitutes the "longer war on terror," to identify what costs 
are related to that longer war and to build these costs into the base 
defense budget.[Footnote 10] While the department concurred with this 
recommendation and stated that it has plans to revise its Financial 
Management Regulation accordingly, it has not yet done so. 

Budget Formulation Guidance and Estimating Reset Costs: 

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has issued budget 
formulation guidance for DOD that addresses overseas contingency 
operations, including reset funding. Guidance issued in February 2009 
provided new criteria for DOD to use when preparing its budget request 
to assess whether funding, including funding for reset, should be 
requested as part of the base budget or as part of the budget for 
overseas contingency operations.[Footnote 11] The criteria identified 
geographic areas where overseas contingency operations funding could 
be used; provided a list of specific categories of spending that 
should be included in the overseas contingency budget, such as major 
equipment repairs, ground equipment replacement, equipment 
modifications, and aircraft replacement; and identified certain 
spending that should be excluded from the overseas contingency 
operations budget (i.e., should be included in the base budget) such 
as funding to support family services at home stations. For example, 
funding is excluded for the replacement of equipment losses already 
programmed for replacement in the Future Years Defense Plan. In 
September 2010, OMB issued updated criteria to, among other things, 
clarify language and eliminate areas of confusion. 

DOD has also issued its own budget formulation guidance for overseas 
contingency operations. In December 2009, DOD issued Resource 
Management Decision 700 to regulate the funding of the military 
services' readiness accounts and to require that significant resources 
from the overseas contingency operations funding be moved into the 
base defense budget. Specifically, the services' 2012 Program 
Objective Memorandum submissions for overseas contingency operations 
funding are restricted to resource levels appropriate for planned and 
projected troop levels. To facilitate the implementation of this 
guidance within the department, Resource Management Decision 700 
outlines several actions for organizations to take. For example, it 
directed the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, 
Technology and Logistics, in coordination with the Director of Cost 
Assessment and Program Evaluation, the military services, the DOD 
Comptroller, and the Joint Staff, to conduct periodic reviews of the 
services' in-theater maintenance activities and reset maintenance 
actions that include an assessment of the relationship between 
maintenance-funded base programs and contingency operations. This 
assessment was provided to the Deputy Secretary of Defense in July 
2010. 

The Director of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation tracks 
estimated total reset costs across the department based on data 
provided by the services. The total reset costs are the amount of 
funding needed to reset all equipment used in contingency operations 
if the operations were to cease. Specifically, the total reset costs 
equal the sum of the annual unbudgeted reset liability and the annual 
budgeted reset. The annual unbudgeted reset liability is the amount of 
equipment eligible for reset that stays in theater and is not reset 
during the budget year, based on operational decisions. The annual 
budgeted reset is the amount of equipment planned to return from 
operations that requires funds budgeted for reset. 

Marine Corps Processes for Estimating Total Reset Costs: 

As part of its ground equipment reset strategy for Iraq, the Marine 
Corps developed the Reset Cost Model to generate cost estimates for 
the service's supplemental budget requests. Additionally, the Reset 
Cost Model allows the Marine Corps to estimate reset costs for ground 
equipment, including budgeted and unbudgeted reset costs. Since the 
Reset Cost Model is focused on ground equipment employed in the U.S. 
Central Command area of responsibility, the Marine Corps continues to 
use the Reset Cost Model to develop overseas contingency operations 
budget requests for ground equipment used in Afghanistan. 

The cost estimates generated by the Reset Cost Model are based on the 
four possible reset actions: 

* First, equipment returning from theater is inspected to determine if 
depot-level repairs are required. Depot maintenance actions are 
conducted if the estimated cost of repair for the equipment is 65 
percent or less than the latest acquisition cost. 

* Second, ground equipment used in operations is evaluated at various 
locations throughout the logistics chain to determine if the equipment 
requires field-level maintenance. These maintenance actions are 
conducted by operating forces. 

* Third, upon return to the continental United States, equipment 
identified as obsolete or uneconomical to repair is replaced through 
procurement as its reset action. 

* Fourth, if equipment acquired for combat operations does not have a 
long-term requirement within the Marine Corps, no reset maintenance 
actions are taken unless there is an immediate requirement in another 
campaign or theater of operations. 

Estimating aviation equipment reset costs follows a separate process. 
For aviation equipment reset, the Marine Corps has a process for 
requirements determination, budgeting, and execution, all of which are 
included in the annual budget process. According to Navy and Marine 
Corps officials, a clearly defined process is used to determine reset 
costs for aviation equipment that includes requirements generated from 
the fleet while working closely with the Chief of Naval Operation 
Fleet Readiness Division and each of the program offices to determine 
current and future reset requirements. Overseas contingency costs--
including reset costs--are generated using issue sheets that record 
information on each item such as the categorization of funding, the 
amount of funding requested for a specific item, the number of items 
requested, and the cost per unit. Once the issue sheets are generated, 
Headquarters, Marine Corps, and the Commander of Naval Air Forces 
prioritize the issue sheets and provide a finalized list of the 
funding priorities according to current needs for which future funding 
is allocated. 

The Marine Corps Has a Reset Strategy for Aviation Equipment Used in 
Afghanistan and Plans to Develop a Reset Strategy for Ground Equipment: 

Aviation Equipment Reset Strategy Incorporates Elements Needed for a 
Comprehensive, Results-Oriented Framework: 

The Marine Corps has developed an annual aviation plan[Footnote 12] 
and an aviation reset program policy[Footnote 13] that together 
constitute its reset strategy for aviation equipment used in 
Afghanistan. Although separate documents, the annual aviation plan and 
aviation reset program policy are linked through the aviation plans' 
reference to the aviation reset policy. Our evaluation of this reset 
strategy shows that it incorporates the six elements of a 
comprehensive, results-oriented strategic planning framework. For 
example, the reset strategy establishes goals and associated time 
frames for completing detailed reviews of aircraft and aircraft 
components and transitioning to future aircraft. It also provides 
strategies for accomplishing key tasks such as scheduling inspections, 
as well as performance measures and targets. (See table 1.) 

Table 1: Incorporation of Strategic Management Planning Elements into 
the Marine Corps' Aviation Equipment Reset Strategy: 

Strategic planning element: Mission statement; 
Examples of planning element in aviation equipment reset strategy: The 
strategy provides the Marine Corps vision for reset to sustain and 
enhance the material condition of the Marine Corps' overseas 
contingency operations aircraft. The strategy also includes details 
regarding activities such as inspection, cleaning, repair, and select 
mandatory parts replacement to enhance/sustain aircraft. This improves 
aircraft availability and reduces the maintenance burden on Marines 
who are tasked with maintaining aircraft equipment at a fully mission-
capable status. 

Strategic planning element: Long-term goals; 
Examples of planning element in aviation equipment reset strategy: The 
strategy includes the goal of having scheduled maintenance activities 
that sustain an aircraft to an established standard, which are 
performed on all aircraft in direct support of overseas contingency 
operations. The strategy also includes a detailed review of aircraft 
and aircraft components including the timelines for transition for 
future and legacy aircraft. The Marine Corps aviation plan--which is 
directly linked to the aviation reset strategy--serves as another way 
for the Marine Corps to achieve its long-term goals. The Marine Corps 
aviation plan provides a detailed description of the plans for 
modernization for aircraft and equipment transitions over the next 10 
years. 

Strategic planning element: Strategies to achieve goals; 
Examples of planning element in aviation equipment reset strategy: The 
strategy includes specific maintenance events that occur throughout 
the deployment of the aircraft. The reset maintenance events for 
aviation equipment are divided into reset categories, such as in-
theater sustainment and reconstitution. In-theater sustainment 
inspections are scheduled for all aircraft used in operations in 
Afghanistan that are on an extended rotation exceeding 1 year. 
Reconstitution inspections are scheduled following a deployment that 
had at least 60 consecutive days of land-based operations. These 
milestones are set for the deployment and postdeployment phases of 
aviation equipment and serve as a method to evaluate plans and monitor 
progress toward meeting goals and objectives. 

Strategic planning element: External factors that could affect goals; 
Examples of planning element in aviation equipment reset strategy: The 
strategy includes consideration of, and plans for, dealing with 
external factors that could affect goals, such as time constraints for 
conducting required maintenance. The use of contractor field teams is 
aimed at reducing the burden of nonreset maintenance actions on 
Marines. The strategy notes that contractor field teams may perform 
nonreset maintenance actions when not actively involved in equipment 
reset. This may positively or negatively affect the time frames for 
nonreset maintenance actions depending on the workload. 

Strategic planning element: Use of metrics to gauge progress; 
Examples of planning element in aviation equipment reset strategy: The 
strategy provides time frames to gauge the process for the completion 
of maintenance performed on aircraft returning from overseas 
contingency operations. The strategy states that an inspection must be 
performed on all aircraft returning from operations that have had at 
least 60 consecutive days of land-based operations in those 
operational areas. In addition, it states that the maintenance will 
commence no earlier than the first day upon return from deployment and 
will be completed no later than 180 days from the date the aircraft 
returns. Maintenance should not exceed 21 calendar days, including all 
inspection and repair phase tasks. 

Strategic planning element: Evaluations of the plan to monitor goals 
and objectives; 
Examples of planning element in aviation equipment reset strategy: The 
strategy provides details on the type of information that should be 
recorded about each of the maintenance inspections for standardization 
purposes. An information system is used by personnel performing the 
maintenance tasks to record information on the reset activities 
performed on the aircraft. Additionally, the strategy requires that 
these records be monitored to ensure compliance. If records are found 
to be incomplete, the receiving authority is to assume noncompliance 
and conduct a reinspection following existing directives or refuse 
acceptance of the aircraft or equipment until corrective action has 
been taken. 

Source: GAO analysis of FY 2011 Marine Aviation Plan dated September 
2010 and Aviation Reset Program Policy dated April 2010. 

[End of table] 

Marine Corps Is Taking Steps toward a Ground Equipment Reset Strategy, 
but a Timeline for Issuing the Strategy and the Extent It Will Align 
with Modernization Plans Are Uncertain: 

The Marine Corps is taking steps to develop a strategy addressing the 
reset of ground equipment used in Afghanistan; however, the timeline 
for completing and issuing this strategy is uncertain. Although Marine 
Corps officials agreed that a reset strategy for ground equipment will 
be needed, they stated that they do not plan to issue a strategy until 
there is a better understanding of the dates for initial and final 
drawdown of forces from Afghanistan. While more specific and certain 
drawdown information is desirable and will be needed to firm-up reset 
plans, the President stated that troops would begin to withdraw in 
July 2011, working towards a complete transfer of all security 
operations to Afghan National Security Forces by 2014. The current 
dates announced by the President are the best available for the 
purposes of contingency planning and provide a reasonable basis for 
developing a timeline to complete its reset strategy. In the meantime, 
Marine Corps officials are taking the following steps toward 
developing a reset strategy: 

* First, the Marine Corps completed a force structure review in early 
2011 that is aimed at ensuring the service is properly configured. The 
force structure review included a determination of equipment reset 
requirements to support the post-Afghanistan Marine Corps force 
structure. 

* Second, the Marine Corps is currently developing an implementation 
plan based on the results of the force structure review. A goal of the 
force structure implementation plan is to ensure that the Marine Corps 
achieves a restructured force by the time the reset of equipment used 
in Afghanistan is complete. The focus of this implementation plan is 
the establishment of the mission-essential tasks and the development 
of refined tables of equipment in support of those tasks. These 
refined tables of equipment will determine what equipment the Marine 
Corps will reset and how the equipment will be reintegrated into 
nondeployed Marine Corps forces. The Marine Corps plans to issue this 
force structure implementation plan in summer 2011. 

* Third, following issuance of the force structure implementation 
plan, the Marine Corps plans to develop and issue formal reset 
planning guidance that informs operating force units and the Marine 
Corps Logistics Command what equipment they will receive and be 
responsible for resetting. Specifically, Marine Corps officials stated 
that the planning guidance is intended to allow Marine Forces 
Commands, Marine Expeditionary Forces, and Marine Corps Logistics 
Command to assess their reset maintenance capacity requirements and 
identify additional support requirements beyond the maintenance 
centers' capacity. The officials indicated that the planning guidance 
would serve as a precursor to a comprehensive reset strategy. 

Although the Marine Corps has laid out several steps toward developing 
its ground equipment reset strategy, it has not specified timelines 
for completing and issuing either the formal reset planning guidance 
or its reset strategy or indicated how it plans to take into 
consideration the current dates announced by the President for 
withdrawal in its reset strategy for Afghanistan. The reset strategy 
is necessary to help ensure that life-cycle management governance is 
provided to key organizations responsible for executing reset, such as 
the Marine Corps Logistics Command. Until the reset strategy is 
issued, establishing firm plans for reset may be difficult for the 
Marine Corps Logistics Command to effectively manage the rotation of 
equipment to units to sustain combat operations or meet the equipment 
needs of a newly defined post-Afghanistan Marine Corps force 
structure. In the absence of a reset strategy, Marine Corps Logistics 
Command officials told us they cannot issue its supporting order which 
enables its maintenance centers to effectively begin planning for and 
phasing in a new maintenance workload. 

It is also uncertain to what extent the Marine Corps plans to align 
its ground equipment reset strategy with its ground equipment 
modernization plan. The ground equipment modernization plan is used 
annually to develop future warfighting capabilities to meet national 
security objectives. Following the plan guides the Marine Corps in the 
identification, development, and integration of warfighting and 
associated support and infrastructure capabilities.[Footnote 14] 
Marine Corps officials have stated that they plan to establish a link 
between the reset strategy for Afghanistan and the ground 
modernization plan. As a basis for evaluating current reset planning 
for ground equipment used in Afghanistan, we also reviewed both the 
aviation reset strategy for Afghanistan[Footnote 15] and the ground 
equipment reset strategy that the Marine Corps developed for Iraq. 
[Footnote 16] We found that the aviation reset strategy was directly 
linked to the aviation equipment modernization plan. For example, the 
aviation equipment modernization plan outlines the transition for the 
UH-1N Marine Light Attack Helicopter to the UH-1Y, which should be 
fully phased in by fiscal year 2015. As part of the reset strategy for 
the UH-1Y, reset requirements for the maintenance centers associated 
with this transition have been identified. 

In contrast, we found that the Iraq reset strategy for ground 
equipment contained no direct reference to the service's equipment 
modernization plans. Marine Corps officials stated that it was 
unnecessary to include a direct reference to the equipment 
modernization plan in its Iraq reset strategy because they are 
indirectly linked through the roles and responsibilities for the 
Deputy Commandant, Combat Development and Integration. Specifically, 
the officials noted that the Iraq reset strategy contains a section 
outlining these roles and responsibilities and that these same roles 
and responsibilities are included in the Expeditionary Force 
Development System instruction. However, this indirect linkage does 
not provide a clear relationship between reset and modernization. A 
clear alignment of the ground equipment reset strategy for Afghanistan 
and modernization plan would help to ensure that the identification, 
development, and integration of warfighting capabilities also factor 
in equipment reset strategies so that equipment planned for 
modernization is not unnecessarily repaired. Without a Marine Corps 
reset strategy for ground equipment used in operations in Afghanistan 
that includes clear linkages to the modernization plan, the Marine 
Corps may not be able to effectively plan and execute ground equipment 
reset in the most efficient manner. 

Differing Definitions for Reset May Result in Inaccurate or 
Inconsistent Estimates of Total Reset Costs: 

The total costs of reset estimated by the Marine Corps may not be 
accurate or consistent because of differing definitions of reset that 
have been used for aviation and ground equipment. These differing 
definitions exist because DOD has not established a single standard 
definition for use in DOD's budget process.[Footnote 17] Specifically, 
the Marine Corps does not include aviation equipment procurement costs 
when estimating total reset costs. According to Marine Corps 
officials, procurement costs are excluded because such costs are not 
consistent with its definition of aviation equipment reset. 
Additionally, Marine Corps officials stated that the definition of 
reset for aviation equipment is to maintain, preserve, and enhance the 
capability of aircraft through maintenance activities. This 
definition, according to Marine Corps officials, does not include 
procurement funding for the replacement of aviation equipment losses 
in theater. In contrast, the Marine Corps' definition of reset for 
ground equipment includes procurement costs to replace theater losses. 
Reset for all types of equipment as defined by other services (e.g., 
the Army) also includes procurement costs. 

Although the Marine Corps excludes procurement costs when estimating 
aviation equipment reset costs, we found that the Director of Cost 
Assessment and Program Evaluation had obtained a procurement cost 
estimate for Marine Corps aviation equipment as part of its efforts to 
track reset costs for the department. DOD's Resource Management 
Decision 700 tasks the Director of Cost Assessment and Program 
Evaluation with providing annual departmentwide reset updates that (1) 
outline current-year reset funding needs, (2) assess the multiyear 
reset liability based on plans for equipment redeployment, and (3) 
detail deferred reset funding actions. Based on this tasking, the 
Marine Corps provided total reset costs that included procurement 
costs for equipment replacement, as well as maintenance costs, for 
both ground and aviation equipment. The update showed that total reset 
costs for Marine Corps aviation equipment was approximately $1.8 
billion for fiscal years 2010 through 2012, which includes $1.4 
billion for procurement costs. These reported costs were included in 
the 2010 DOD Reset Planning Projections annual update prepared by the 
Director of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation. We were not able 
to determine the reasons for this apparent inconsistency between what 
the Marine Corps considers to be valid aviation equipment reset costs 
(i.e., excludes procurement costs) and what was reported in the 2010 
DOD Reset Planning Projections annual update (i.e., includes 
procurement costs). Navy and Marine Corps officials stated that they 
were unable to identify any official from the Navy or Marine Corps as 
the source for providing or producing this total reset cost data for 
Marine Corp aviation equipment. Therefore, we could not assess the 
basis for the reported aviation equipment reset costs to determine 
their accuracy. 

DOD's Resource Management Decision 700 also directed the DOD 
Comptroller to publish a DOD definition of reset for use in the DOD 
overseas contingency operations budgeting process. DOD's definition of 
reset was to be submitted by the Comptroller to the Deputy Secretary 
of Defense for approval by January 15, 2010, well ahead of the Marine 
Corps' initial submission of its total reset liability, which was due 
by June 1, 2010. However, a single standard definition of reset for 
budget purposes has not yet been issued to the services. 

We also found that the Marine Corps' definition of aviation reset 
differs from the definition of reset provided for use in congressional 
testimony in a January 2007 memorandum from the Deputy Under Secretary 
of Defense for Logistics and Materiel Readiness to the under 
secretaries of the military departments. That memorandum states that 
reset encompasses maintenance and supply activities that restore and 
enhance combat capability to units and prepositioned equipment that 
was destroyed, damaged, stressed, or worn-out beyond economic repair 
due to combat operations by repairing, rebuilding, or procuring 
replacement equipment. According to the memorandum, the Office of the 
Secretary of Defense and the services agreed to this definition of 
reset; the memorandum emphasizes that it is important that all DOD 
military departments are consistent in the definition of the terms 
during congressional testimony. 

Without a single standard definition for reset for the services to 
use, the Marine Corps may continue to report its total reset costs for 
aviation equipment inconsistently. Furthermore, data integrity issues 
will make it challenging to identify program funding trends within the 
Marine Corps and among the services for equipment reset. Without 
accurate reporting of total reset costs for aviation equipment, the 
level of reset funding the Marine Corps needs to sustain future 
operations may not be properly communicated to Congress beyond what 
has been requested for overseas contingency operations. Furthermore, 
the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense Comptroller, Director of 
Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation, and OMB may not have the most 
reliable aviation equipment reset data for their review and oversight 
of the Marine Corps' overseas contingency operations budget requests. 

Conclusions: 

With the increased demands current operations have placed on Marine 
Corps equipment, and at a time when the federal government is facing 
long-term fiscal challenges, it is important for the Marine Corps to 
have a reset strategy in place for both ground and aviation equipment 
used in operations in Afghanistan as well as a standard DOD definition 
for reset. Reset strategies provide a framework that allows Marine 
Corps officials to adequately plan, budget, and execute the reset of 
equipment used in operations in Afghanistan. The reset strategy, and 
the timing thereof, could be modified if U.S. drawdown plans 
subsequently change or should the Marine Corps receive more specific 
and certain drawdown information. However, without specified timelines 
for completing and issuing either formal reset planning guidance or 
its reset strategy that also take into consideration the current dates 
announced by the President for withdrawal--which are the best 
available for the purposes of contingency planning--the Marine Corps 
may be unable to effectively manage the rotation of equipment to units 
to sustain combat operations, or meet the equipment needs of a newly 
defined post-Afghanistan Marine Corps force structure. Additionally, 
without a Marine Corps reset strategy for ground equipment used in 
operations in Afghanistan that includes clear linkages to the 
modernization plan, the Marine Corps may not be able to effectively 
plan and execute ground equipment reset in the most efficient manner. 
Furthermore, the total reset costs provide information that allows the 
Marine Corps to more efficiently plan and make informed budget 
decisions and allows Office of the Under Secretary of Defense 
(Comptroller) and OMB to have oversight. Until DOD establishes a 
single standard definition for reset for the services to use, DOD and 
Congress may have limited visibility over the total reset costs for 
the services. Accurate reporting of total reset costs for aviation 
equipment would provide Congress with the level of funding the Marine 
Corps needs to reset all equipment used in operations in Afghanistan 
at the conclusion of operations. Furthermore, the Office of the Under 
Secretary of Defense for the Comptroller and for Cost Assessment and 
Program Evaluation and OMB may lack the visibility needed over the 
aviation reset funds in their review and oversight of the Marine Corps 
overseas contingency operations budget requests. 

Recommendations for Executive Action: 

To improve the Marine Corps' ability to plan, budget for, and execute 
the reset of ground equipment used in Afghanistan, we recommend that 
the Secretary of Defense direct the Commandant of the Marine Corps to 
take the following two actions: 

* Establish a timeline for completing and issuing formal reset 
planning guidance and a ground equipment reset strategy for equipment 
used in Afghanistan that allows operating force units and the Marine 
Corps Logistics Command to effectively manage equipment reset. 

* Provide linkages between the ground equipment reset strategy for 
equipment used in Afghanistan and equipment modernization plans, 
including the Expeditionary Force Development System and the annual 
Program Objective Memorandum Marine Air-Ground Task Force Requirements 
List. 

To improve oversight and ensure consistency in the reporting of total 
reset costs, we recommend that the Secretary of Defense direct the 
Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller), in 
coordination with the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for 
Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation, the Office of the Under 
Secretary of Defense for Acquisitions, Technology and Logistics, the 
services, and the Joint Staff to act on the tasking in the Resource 
Management Decision 700 to develop and publish a DOD definition of 
reset for use in the DOD overseas contingency operations budgeting 
process. 

Agency Comments and Our Evaluation: 

In written comments on a draft of this report, DOD concurred with one 
of our recommendations and partially concurred with the other two 
recommendations and provided information on the steps it is taking or 
plans to take to address them. DOD partially concurred with our 
recommendation that the Secretary of Defense direct the Commandant of 
the Marine Corps to establish a timeline for completing and issuing 
formal reset planning guidance and a ground equipment reset strategy 
for equipment used in Afghanistan that allows operating force units 
and the Marine Corps Logistics Command to effectively manage equipment 
reset. DOD commented that guidance for resetting the force is being 
developed in its Operation Enduring Freedom Reset Plan, the Operation 
Enduring Freedom Reset Playbook, and the Marine Air Ground Task Force 
Integration Plan. However, during the course of our review, the 
development of a strategy for ground equipment in Afghanistan was in 
the beginning stages and the Marine Corps did not discuss or provide 
details regarding the three documents now cited as its guidance for 
resetting the force. DOD added that the Marine Corps has established a 
timeline/estimated date of April 30, 2012, for completing and issuing 
format reset planning guidance and a ground equipment reset strategy 
for equipment used in Afghanistan. While the Marine Corps has provided 
DOD with a date for completing and issuing this guidance, the Marine 
Corps does not appear to have established a sequenced timeline, as we 
recommended. Specifically, DOD's response has both the formal reset 
planning guidance and the ground equipment reset strategy being issued 
at the same time. Marine Corps officials stated that the formal reset 
planning guidance is intended to serve as a precursor to a 
comprehensive reset strategy that will allow Marine Forces Commands, 
Marine Expeditionary Forces, and Marine Corps Logistics Command to 
assess their reset maintenance capacity requirements and identify 
additional support requirements beyond the maintenance centers' 
capacity. We believe this guidance will not be useful if it is not 
issued sufficiently ahead of time to guide the development of the 
ground equipment reset strategy. Consequently, we disagree with DOD's 
statement that the Marine Corps does not need further direction to 
establish a timeline for completing and issuing formal reset planning 
guidance and a ground equipment reset strategy for equipment used in 
Afghanistan. 

DOD partially concurred with our recommendation that the Secretary of 
Defense direct the Commandant of the Marine Corps to provide linkages 
between the ground equipment reset strategy for equipment used in 
Afghanistan and equipment modernization plans, including the 
Expeditionary Force Development System and the annual Program 
Objective Memorandum Marine Air-Ground Task Force Requirements List. 
DOD commented that it recognizes the importance of providing a linkage 
between ground equipment reset strategies and equipment modernization 
plans. Specifically, DOD commented that the Marine Corps plans to 
outline these linkages in their Operation Enduring Freedom Reset Plan, 
the Operation Enduring Freedom Reset Playbook, and the Marine Air 
Ground Task Force Integration Plan, which are currently being 
developed. While, as previously mentioned, the Marine Corps did not 
provide specific details regarding the three documents cited above 
during the course of our review, we believe that including this 
linkage in these documents would be responsive to our recommendation 
and will allow the Marine Corps to more effectively and efficiently 
plan and execute ground equipment reset. 

DOD concurred with our recommendation that the Secretary of Defense 
direct the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller), in 
coordination with the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for 
Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation, the Office of the Under 
Secretary of Defense for Acquisitions, Technology and Logistics, the 
services, and the Joint Staff to act on the tasking in the Resource 
Management Decision 700 to develop and publish a DOD definition of 
reset for use in the DOD overseas contingency operations budgeting 
process. DOD commented that it is developing a definition of reset for 
use in the overseas contingencies operations budgeting process that 
will be incorporated into the DOD Financial Management Regulation. 
However, during the course of our review DOD had not yet taken action 
to develop a reset definition, which was to have been submitted by the 
Comptroller to the Deputy Secretary of Defense for approval by January 
15, 2010. In addition, DOD commented that in the interim the 
department is using specific criteria provided by OMB guidance for 
determining the reset requirements that are overseas contingency 
operations or base. While OMB has provided guidance for overseas 
contingency operations budget requests, this guidance does not provide 
specific direction concerning what constitutes reset. Consequently, 
DOD recognizes the need for a common definition of equipment reset for 
budget purposes, but has not met its goal of establishing one. 
Resource Management Decision 700 established a January 2010 date for 
approving a common reset definition, and that definition could have 
been used in developing the department's fiscal year 2012 budget 
submission. DOD is now developing its fiscal year 2013 budget 
submission without the benefit of a common definition. Therefore, we 
disagree with DOD's statement that additional and separate guidance 
from the Secretary of Defense is not necessary, and believe that 
additional direction is needed to emphasize that the Under Secretary 
of Defense (Comptroller), in coordination with the Office of the Under 
Secretary of Defense for Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation, the 
Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisitions, Technology 
and Logistics, the services, and the Joint Staff should expedite the 
development and publication of a DOD definition of reset for use in 
the DOD overseas contingency operations budgeting process. The 
department's comments are reprinted in appendix III. 

We are sending copies of this report to appropriate congressional 
committees, the Secretary of Defense, and appropriate DOD 
organizations. In addition, this report will be available at no charge 
on our website at [hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov]. 

If you or your staff have any questions about this report, please 
contact me at (202) 512-8365 or solisw@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 IV. 

Signed by: 

William M. Solis, Director: 
Defense Capabilities and Management: 

List of Addressees: 

The Honorable Carl Levin:
Chairman:
The Honorable John McCain:
Ranking Member:
Committee on Armed Services:
United States Senate: 

The Honorable Joseph Lieberman:
Chairman:
Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs:
United States Senate: 

The Honorable Buck McKeon:
Chairman:
The Honorable Adam Smith:
Ranking Member:
Committee on Armed Services:
House of Representatives: 

[End of section] 

Appendix I: Scope and Methodology: 

To determine the extent to which the Marine Corps has a strategy in 
place to manage the reset of ground and aviation equipment used in 
operations in Afghanistan, we obtained and reviewed the Marine Corps 
reset strategies for ground and aviation equipment used in operations 
in Afghanistan. Where strategies had not yet been developed, we 
collected information regarding ongoing reset planning efforts from 
Marine Corps officials and discussed with them the process used and 
the factors considered when developing a reset strategy. As a basis 
for assessing current reset planning efforts for Afghanistan, we also 
reviewed the reset strategy that the Marine Corps prepared for 
equipment used in Iraq. We collected written responses and supporting 
documentation to our inquiries and data requests from Marine Corps 
officials related to ground and aviation equipment reset strategies. 
We also discussed with Marine Corps officials the process used and the 
factors considered when developing these reset strategies. 
Additionally, we discussed the reset strategies with Marine Corps 
officials to determine the roles and responsibilities of the 
maintenance and fleet readiness centers in preparing for equipment 
requiring reset and determining the appropriate reset strategy. 

To determine the extent to which the Marine Corps has developed 
effective reset strategies for the reset of equipment used in 
operations in Afghanistan that address the key elements of a 
comprehensive, results-oriented strategic planning framework, we 
reviewed and analyzed the ground and aviation equipment reset 
strategies and supporting guidance documents. Specifically, we 
analyzed the reset strategies and supporting guidance documents to 
determine if they included the six key elements of a strategic 
planning framework. In performing our analysis, we reviewed the 
strategies to determine if they included, partially included, or did 
not include each of the six key elements. Through our assessment we 
determined the guidance documents in addition to the aviation 
equipment reset strategy that comprises the Marine Corps strategic 
plan for reset. In addition, to understand the extent to which the 
Marine Corps aligns its modernization plans with its reset strategies, 
we interviewed Marine Corps officials to discuss the plans used for 
modernization and discussed the process for how these plans are 
incorporated with the strategies for equipment reset. 

To assess the Marine Corps' estimates of total reset costs, we 
obtained and reviewed the Department of Defense's (DOD) Resource 
Management Decision 700--separate from the budget formulation 
guidance--tasking the services to provide annual reset cost updates, 
and the Marine Corps processes for determining total reset costs for 
ground and aviation equipment. We collected written responses to our 
inquiries and data requests from Marine Corps officials about the 
system they use to determine total reset costs for ground and aviation 
equipment used in operations in Afghanistan. In addition, we 
interviewed Marine Corps officials to obtain any information relevant 
to the system they use to determine total reset costs for equipment 
used in operations in Afghanistan. 

To better understand the Marine Corps reset funding needs for ground 
and aviation equipment, we requested reset budget data for fiscal year 
2009 through fiscal year 2012. We reviewed the budget data obtained 
and met with Marine Corps officials to discuss the data to ensure that 
we had a correct understanding of the different budget categories, 
such as procurement and operations and maintenance. We then analyzed 
the Marine Corps' reset budgets from fiscal year 2009 through fiscal 
year 2010 for the reset of ground and aviation equipment to identify 
any trends in the operations and maintenance and procurement funding 
categories. We discussed the results of our analysis with Marine Corps 
officials to determine the rationale for any trends in the funding. We 
interviewed Office of the Secretary of Defense, Department of the 
Navy, and Marine Corps officials to obtain information and any 
guidance documents pertaining to the process used for budget 
development and budget review and approval. To gain a better 
understanding of how the Marine Corps is using procurement funding, we 
reviewed the Marine Corps procurement reset funding appropriated for 
ground equipment in fiscal year 2010 for the 10 items that had the 
highest amount of funding. 

To determine the reliability of the reset budget data provided for 
ground equipment from the Global War on Terror Resources Information 
Database by Marine Corps officials, we assessed the data reliability 
of the budget data by obtaining and reviewing agency officials' 
responses on the data reliability questionnaires provided. Based on 
our review of the Office of the Secretary of Defense and Marine Corps 
officials' responses to our data reliability questionnaire, we 
identified any possible limitations and determined the effect, if any, 
those limitations would have on our findings. We also spoke with 
agency officials to clarify how the budget data were used and to 
ensure that we had a good understanding of how to interpret the data 
for our purposes. We also reviewed the fiscal year 2009 through fiscal 
year 2012 reset budget data provided to make sure that the formulas in 
the database were accurate for the data we planned to use. Based on 
all of these actions, we did not find any areas of concern with the 
data and we determined that the data used from the Global War on 
Terror Resources Information Database were sufficiently reliable for 
our purposes. 

To determine the reliability of the reset budget data provided for 
aviation equipment from the Program Budget Information System, Navy 
Enterprise Resource Planning system, and the Justification Management 
System by Navy and Marine Corps officials, we assessed the data 
reliability of the budget data by obtaining and reviewing agency 
officials' responses on the data reliability questionnaires provided. 
Based on our review of Navy and Marine Corps officials' responses to 
our data reliability questionnaire, we identified any possible 
limitations and determined the effect, if any, those limitations would 
have on our findings. We also spoke with agency officials to clarify 
how the budget data were used and to ensure that we had a good 
understanding of how to interpret the data for our purposes. Based on 
all of these actions, we did not find any areas of concern with the 
data and we determined that the data used from the Program Budget 
Information System, Navy Enterprise Resource Planning system, and the 
Justification Management System were sufficiently reliable for our 
purposes. 

To address each of our objectives, we also spoke with officials, and 
obtained documentation when applicable, at the following locations: 

* Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisitions, 
Technology and Logistics, Assistant Director of Defense for Material 
Readiness: 

* Office of the Secretary of Defense for Cost Assessment and Program 
Evaluation: 

* Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller): 

* Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Financial Management and 
Comptroller; Navy Financial Management Branch: 

* Naval Air Systems Command Reset Project Office: 

* Naval Air Systems Command Comptroller Office: 

* Naval Air Systems Command Naval Aviation Enterprise War Council: 

* Headquarters Marine Corps Deputy Commandant for Installations and 
Logistics: 

* Headquarters Marine Corps Deputy Commandant for Plans, Policies, and 
Operations: 

* Headquarters Marine Corps Deputy Commandant for Marine Corps Combat 
Development Command: 

* Headquarters Marine Corps Deputy Commandant for Programs and 
Resources: 

* Headquarters Marine Corps Deputy Commandant, Aviation: 

* Marine Corps Systems Command: 

* Marine Corps Logistics Command: 

We conducted this performance audit from November 2010 through August 
2011 in accordance with generally accepted government auditing 
standards. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit 
to obtain sufficient, appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable 
basis for our findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. 
We believe that the evidence obtained provides a reasonable basis for 
our findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. 

[End of section] 

Appendix II: Funding for Marine Corps Equipment Reset: 

This appendix provides further details on funding for Marine Corps 
equipment reset for fiscal years (FY) 2009 to 2012. Tables 2 and 3 
provide a summary of funds that were budgeted or requested to reset 
ground and aviation equipment. 

Table 2: Marine Corps Ground Equipment Reset Funding, Fiscal Years 
2009-2012: 

Procurement; 
FY 2009 (budgeted): $1.4 billion; 
FY 2010 (budgeted): $0.4 billion; 
FY 2011 (requested): $1.5 billion; 
FY 2012 (requested): $1.1 billion. 

Ammunition; 
FY 2009 (budgeted): $0.3 billion; 
FY 2010 (budgeted): $0.5 billion; 
FY 2011 (requested): $0.4 billion; 
FY 2012 (requested): $0.2 billion. 

Operations and maintenance; 
FY 2009 (budgeted): $0.5 billion; 
FY 2010 (budgeted): $0.4 billion; 
FY 2011 (requested): $0.7 billion; 
FY 2012 (requested): $0.5 billion. 

Total reset funding; 
FY 2009 (budgeted): $2.2 billion; 
FY 2010 (budgeted): $1.3 billion; 
FY 2011 (requested): $2.6 billion; 
FY 2012 (requested): $1.8 billion. 

Source: Budget data provided by Marine Corps Program and Resources 
officials from the Global War on Terror Resources Information Database. 

[End of table] 

Table 3: Marine Corps Aviation Equipment Reset Funding, Fiscal Years 
2009-2012: 

Procurement[A]; 
FY 2009 (budgeted): $216.2 million; 
FY 2010 (budgeted): $202.3 million; 
FY 2011 (requested): $45.5 million; 
FY 2012 (requested): $83.4 million. 

Operations and maintenance; 
FY 2009 (budgeted): $66.7 million; 
FY 2010 (budgeted): $57.8 million; 
FY 2011 (requested): $56.1 million; 
FY 2012 (requested): $45.3 million. 

Total reset funding; 
FY 2009 (budgeted): $282.9 million; 
FY 2010 (budgeted): $260.1 million; 
FY 2011 (requested): $101.6 million; 
FY 2012 (requested): $128.7 million. 

Source: Budget data provided by Marine Corps Aviation officials and 
Naval Air Systems Command officials from the Program Budget 
Information System, Navy Enterprise Resource Planning system, and the 
Justification Management System. 

[A] We have included procurement funding for the replacement of losses 
in the aviation equipment table to be consistent with the table for 
ground equipment. As discussed in the report, the Marine Corps does 
not consider the replacement of aviation equipment losses to be within 
its definition of aviation equipment reset. 

[End of table] 

The Marine Corps' top 10 ground equipment reset procurement items 
totaled approximately $365 million and accounted for approximately 90 
percent of their total reset procurement funding in fiscal year 2010. 
Table 4 provides a summary of the procurement reset funding budgeted 
for these ground equipment items. 

Table 4: Top 10 Marine Corps Ground Equipment Reset Procurement Items 
That Received Fiscal Year 2010 Funding: 

Rank: 1; 
Procurement - ground equipment: Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement; 
FY 2010 (budgeted): $105.5 million. 

Rank: 2; 
Procurement - ground equipment: 155mm Lightweight Towed Howitzer; 
FY 2010 (budgeted): $54.0 million. 

Rank: 3; 
Procurement - ground equipment: Logistics Vehicle System Replacement; 
FY 2010 (budgeted): $45.0 million. 

Rank: 4; 
Procurement - ground equipment: Tactical Fuel Systems; 
FY 2010 (budgeted): $33.4 million. 

Rank: 5; 
Procurement - ground equipment: Radio Systems; 
FY 2010 (budgeted): $32.5 million. 

Rank: 6; 
Procurement - ground equipment: Intelligence Support Equipment; 
FY 2010 (budgeted): $23.4 million. 

Rank: 7; 
Procurement - ground equipment: Common Computer Resources; 
FY 2010 (budgeted): $23.1 million. 

Rank: 8; 
Procurement - ground equipment: Command Post Systems; 
FY 2010 (budgeted): $23.0 million. 

Rank: 9; 
Procurement - ground equipment: Family of Tactical Trailers; 
FY 2010 (budgeted): $13.4 million. 

Rank: 10; 
Procurement - ground equipment: Repair and Test Equipment; 
FY 2010 (budgeted): $11.7 million. 

Procurement - ground equipment: Total; 
FY 2010 (budgeted): $365.0 million. 

Source: Budget data provided by Marine Corps Program and Resources 
officials from the Global War on Terror Resources Information Database. 

[End of table] 

[End of section] 

Appendix III: Comments from the Department of Defense: 

Office Of The Assistant Secretary Of Defense: 
Logistics And Materiel Readiness: 
3500 Defense Pentagon:
Washington, DC 20301-3500: 

July 15, 2011: 

Mr. William M. Solis: 
Director, Defense Capabilities and Management: 
U.S. Government Accountability Office: 
441 G Street, N.W. 
Washington, DC 20548: 

Dear Mr. Solis: 

This is the Department of Defense (DoD) response to the GAO Draft 
Report, GA0-11-523, "Defense Logistics: Actions Needed to Improve the 
Marine Corps' Equipment Reset Strategies and the Reporting of Total 
Reset Costs," dated June 14, 2011 (GAO Code 351552). 

The Department partially concurs with the GAO recommendation and 
appreciates the opportunity to comment on the GAO Draft Report. 
(Enclosed) 

My point of contact in this matter is Mr. John Stankowski. He can be 
reached at (703) 614-0948. 

Sincerely, 

Signed by: 

Alan F. Estevez: 
Principal Deputy: 

Enclosure: As stated. 

[End of letter] 

GAO Draft Report Dated June 14, 2011: 
GAO-11-523 (GAO Code 351552): 

"Defense Logistics: Actions Needed To Improve The Marine Corps' 
Equipment Reset Strategies And The Reporting Of Total Reset Costs" 

Department Of Defense Comments To The GAO Recommendations: 

Recommendation 1: To improve the Marine Corps' ability to plan, budget 
for, and execute the reset of ground equipment used in Afghanistan, 
the GAO recommends that the Secretary of Defense direct the Commandant 
of the Marine Corps to establish a timeline for completing and issuing 
formal reset planning guidance and a ground equipment reset strategy 
for equipment used in Afghanistan and allows operating force units and 
the Marine Corps Logistics Command to effectively manage equipment 
reset. 

DoD Response: Partially concur. The Department, and more specifically 
the Marine Corps, understands the importance of publishing formal 
planning guidance for the reset of ground equipment from Afghanistan. 
Since the reset of equipment will be challenging, it is critically 
important that effective processes and policies are enacted swiftly as 
the Marine Corps balances resources to support ongoing combat 
operations, re-arms, and repositions forces around the world. 
Important considerations such as retrograde, reset and reconstitution 
are being coordinated within the Marine Corps and with other agencies, 
and formal guidance is being shared with the operating forces and 
supporting organizations. This guidance for resetting the force is 
being developed in our Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) Reset Plan, 
the OEF Reset Playbook and the Marine Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF) 
Integration Plan. Although establishing timelines for execution is 
problematic due to pending decisions regarding the size and pace of 
redeployment operations, the Marine Corps has established a 
timeline/estimated completion date of 30 April 2012 for completing and 
issuing formal reset planning guidance and a ground equipment reset 
strategy for equipment used in Afghanistan that allows operating force 
units and the Marine Corps Logistics Command to effectively manage 
equipment reset. Therefore, the Marine Corps does not require specific 
direction on this matter. 

Recommendation 2: To improve the Marine Corps' ability to plan, budget 
for, and execute the reset of ground equipment used in Afghanistan, 
the GAO recommends that the Secretary of Defense direct the Commandant 
of the Marine Corps to provide linkages between the ground equipment 
reset strategy for equipment used in Afghanistan and equipment 
modernization plans, including the Expeditionary Force Development 
System and the annual Program Objective Memorandum Marine Air-Ground 
Task Force Requirements List. 

DoD Response: Partially concur. The Department recognizes the 
importance of linkage between ground equipment reset strategies and 
equipment modernization plans. The Marine Corps will outline these 
linkages in their Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) Reset Plan, the OEF 
Reset Playbook, and the Marine Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF) 
Integration Plan. The development of these documents is currently 
underway. The OEF Reset Plan will be an overarching policy that guides 
the planning and execution of important logistical tasks necessary for 
effective equipment retrograde and reset actions from theater.
The OEF Reset Playbook will serve as an equipment item manual for 
retrograde and reset strategy. It will also identify items that are 
obsolete, pending upgrade, or pending replacement by newer 
technologies. In addition, development of the MAGTF Integration Plan 
will define the parameters in which equipment modernization will 
occur. And, because the creation of the MAGTF Integration Plan will 
heavily influence the MAGTF Program Objective Memorandum across the 
Future Years Defense Program, it will effectively serve as the linkage 
from the equipment reset strategy to the service modernization plan. 
The estimated completion date for Marine Corps corrective actions in 
response to recommendation no. 2 is 30 April 2012. Therefore, separate 
guidance from the Secretary of Defense is not required. 

Recommendation 3: To improve oversight and ensure consistency in the 
reporting of total reset costs, we recommend that the Secretary of 
Defense direct the Office of the Secretary of Defense (Comptroller), 
in coordination with the office of the Under Secretary of Defense for 
Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation, the Office of the Under 
Secretary of Defense for Acquisitions, Technology, and Logistics, the 
Services, and the Joint Staff to act on the tasking in the Resource 
Management Decision 700 to develop and publish a DOD definition of 
reset for use in the DOD overseas contingency operations budgeting 
process. 

DoD Response: Concur. The Department is developing a definition of 
reset for use in the overseas contingencies operations (OCO) budgeting 
process that will be incorporated into the DoD Financial Management 
Regulation (FMR). In the interim, the Department is using specific 
criteria provided in OMB guidance for determining the reset 
requirements that are OCO or base. Additional and separate guidance 
from the Secretary of Defense on this subject is not necessary at this 
time. 

[End of section] 

Appendix IV: GAO Contact and Staff Acknowledgments: 

GAO Contact: 

William M. Solis, (202) 512-8365 or solisw@gao.gov: 

Staff Acknowledgments: 

In addition to the contact named above, Larry Junek, Assistant 
Director; Tamiya Lunsford; Stephanie Moriarty; Cynthia Saunders; John 
Van Schaik; Michael Willems; Monique Williams; and Erik Wilkins-McKee; 
Tom Gosling; William Graveline; Asif Khan; Thomas McCool; Charles 
Perdue; Gregory Pugnetti; and William Woods made key contributions to 
this report. 

[End of section] 

Footnotes: 

[1] GAO, Managing for Results: Critical Issues for Improving Federal 
Agencies' Strategic Plans, [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO/GGD-97-180] (Washington, D.C.: Sept. 
16, 1997). 

[2] Aviation equipment is managed by Deputy Commandant, Aviation, and 
ground equipment is managed by Deputy Commandant, Installations and 
Logistics. 

[3] U.S. Marine Corps, OIF Ground Equipment Reset Plan (June 16, 2009). 

[4] The term beyond economic repair refers to equipment that is 
identified as obsolete or uneconomical to repair which will have 
procurement/replacement as its reset action. Depot maintenance actions 
are conducted if the estimated cost of repair for the equipment is 65 
percent or less than the latest acquisition cost. 

[5] The Marine Corps's equipment reset budget totaled more than $12 
billion for fiscal years 2006 through 2008. 

[6] Equipment rebuild activities are funded with operations and 
maintenance appropriations, and equipment upgrades are funded with 
procurement appropriations. 

[7] [hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO/GGD-97-180]. 

[8] GAO, Defense Logistics: Army and Marine Corps Cannot Be Assured 
That Equipment Reset Strategies Will Sustain Equipment Availability 
While Meeting Ongoing Operational Requirements, [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-07-814] (Washington, D.C.: Sept. 19, 
2007). 

[9] [hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-07-814]. 

[10] GAO, Overseas Contingency Operations: Funding and Cost Reporting 
for the Department of Defense, [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-10-288R] (Washington, D.C.: Dec. 18, 
2009). 

[11] OMB, Criteria for War/Overseas Contingency Operations Funding 
Requests (February 2009). 

[12] U.S. Marine Corps, FY 2011 Marine Aviation Plan (September 2010). 
The aviation modernization plan, which is issued by the Deputy 
Commandant for Marine Corps Aviation, describes Marine Corps aviation 
policy, program decisions, and plans for modernization and provides a 
method to introduce new aircraft and improved capabilities. 

[13] U.S. Marine Corps, Aviation Reset Program Policy (April 2010). An 
addendum to the February 15, 2009, Aviation Reset Program Policy. 

[14] The Marine Corps' ground equipment modernization plan is 
comprised of (1) the Expeditionary Force Development System and (2) 
the Program Objective Memorandum Marine Air-Ground Task Force 
Requirements List. The Expeditionary Force Development System guides 
the identification, development, and integration of warfighting and 
associated support and infrastructure capabilities for the Marine Air-
Ground Task Force. The Program Objective Memorandum Marine Air-Ground 
Task Force Requirements List prioritizes existing programs and new 
initiatives for consideration during the next program objective 
memorandum cycle. 

[15] The Marine Corps' aviation modernization plan provides a method 
to introduce new aircraft and improved capabilities, and to shape the 
future organization of Marine Corps aviation while maintaining current 
capability. The Marine Corps' 2011 aviation modernization plan, for 
example, outlines the service's transition from 13 to 6 manned 
aircraft. 

[16] U.S. Marine Corps, OIF Ground Equipment Reset Plan (June 16, 
2009). 

[17] While the DOD Financial Management Regulation contains several 
distinct budget categories for various kinds of reset, it does not 
provide a single definition of reset, as a whole. DOD Financial 
Management Regulation 7000.14R, volume 12, chapter 23, Contingency 
Operations (Sept. 2007). 

[End of section] 

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