Defense Logistics:

Unfinished Actions Limit Reliability of the Munition Requirements Determination Process

GAO-01-18: Published: Apr 5, 2001. Publicly Released: Apr 5, 2001.

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To determine the number and type of munitions needed, the military annually evaluates its munition requirements using a multiphase analytical process. The Department of Defense (DOD) is working to ensure that the requirements determination process yields accurate numbers and the types of munitions needed to defeat threats specified in the Defense Planning Guidance. Although DOD has made progress and has identified specific areas still requiring attention, there is no clear plan with time frames for resolving key issues. Some of these issues have only been partially completed and others are in the early stages of evolution. Specifically, target templates have not been completed and munitions effectiveness data has not been updated, nor have decisions been made on more detailed warfighting scenarios and the ranking of scenarios. Consequently, the reliability of the services' munitions requirements remain uncertain and could affect munitions planning, programming, budgeting, and industrial production base decisions. Until these issues are resolved and a revised Capabilities-Based Management Requirements instruction is issued, the accuracy of the munitions requirements will remain uncertain.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Capabilities-Based Munitions Requirements Instruction has been revised to address each of the issues raised in GAO's report.

    Recommendation: To ensure that additional actions are taken to improve the munitions requirements determination process, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics to take the lead in establishing a plan for resolving outstanding issues. Such a plan should include time frames for resolving the outstanding issues, metrics for measuring progress, and milestones for implementing the proposed changes. Specific areas needing attention include incorporating all improvements to the munitions requirement process in a revised Capabilities-Based Munitions Requirements instruction.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The current Defense Plan Guidance has implemented GAO's recommendation.

    Recommendation: To ensure that additional actions are taken to improve the munitions requirements determination process, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics to take the lead in establishing a plan for resolving outstanding issues. Such a plan should include time frames for resolving the outstanding issues, metrics for measuring progress, and milestones for implementing the proposed changes. Specific areas needing attention include resolving the issues involving the level of detail to include in the Defense Planning Guidance and whether to attach probability data to the warfighting scenarios.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD has completed the update to the munitions effectiveness data as recommended.

    Recommendation: To ensure that additional actions are taken to improve the munitions requirements determination process, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics to take the lead in establishing a plan for resolving outstanding issues. Such a plan should include time frames for resolving the outstanding issues, metrics for measuring progress, and milestones for implementing the proposed changes. Specific areas needing attention include publishing the updated munitions effectiveness data.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  4. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: At the direction of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Defense Intelligence Agency has developed target templates to provide a common picture of the types of targets on an enemy installation.

    Recommendation: To ensure that additional actions are taken to improve the munitions requirements determination process, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics to take the lead in establishing a plan for resolving outstanding issues. Such a plan should include time frames for resolving the outstanding issues, metrics for measuring progress, and milestones for implementing the proposed changes. Specific areas needing attention include completing target templates.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  5. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD has directed the Capabilities-Based Munitions Requirements working group to meet at least once a year to assess the adequacy of the requirements determinations process, and identify and implement any process improvements.

    Recommendation: To ensure that additional actions are taken to improve the munitions requirements determination process, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics to take the lead in establishing a plan for resolving outstanding issues. Such a plan should include time frames for resolving the outstanding issues, metrics for measuring progress, and milestones for implementing the proposed changes. Specific areas needing attention include establishing a time frame for reassessing munitions requirements once all improvements have been implemented.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

 

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