National Defense:

Future NATO Funding at Collocated Operating Bases Should Focus on Key Needs

C-ID-83-1: Published: Jan 14, 1983. Publicly Released: Jan 14, 1983.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO assessed the status and implementation of the collocated operating bases program for augmenting U.S. and allied bases located in Europe with U.S. equipment and aircraft in the event of an emergency. Since GAO first assessed the program in 1977, Congress has been concerned about the increasing requests for U.S. funding to support construction projects for the program.

The United States has negotiated a series of bilateral agreements with North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies in Europe to implement this program, and $240 million has been spent for construction projects at collocated operating bases. The Air Force command in Europe says that only a limited number of bases are fully able to support the assigned forces. However, GAO found that Air Force assessments of base capabilities often do not consider support facilities provided by the host nation. Further, the Air Force: (1) does not factor in initiatives by U.S. logistics planners to preposition fuel and munitions stocks closer to some bases; and (2) does not adequately assess the joint demands of U.S. and allied aircraft on existing facilities. GAO believes that the collocated operating bases program should rely on NATO funding. Although the Air Force has begun focusing on building key collocated operating base facilities in priority order, it has not closely coordinated this strategy with NATO.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Secretaries of Defense and State should seek NATO's commitment for a minimum level of annual funding and a timeframe for achieving the program's most important objectives.

    Agency Affected: Department of State

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Secretaries of Defense and State should seek NATO's commitment for a minimum level of annual funding and a timeframe for achieving the program's most important objectives.

    Agency Affected: Department of State

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Air Force to develop a methodology to more accurately assess the operational status of each collocated operating base.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  4. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should develop a data system to collect the up-to-date information on existing capabilities and construction needs.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

 

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