Defense Inventory:

Army War Reserve Spare Parts Requirements Are Uncertain

GAO-01-425: Published: May 10, 2001. Publicly Released: May 10, 2001.

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Barry W. Holman
(202) 512-5581
contact@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

According to the current National Military Strategy the United States should be prepared to fight and win two nearly simultaneous wars in different parts of the world. Military policy calls for each of the services to acquire and maintain enough war material inventories to sustain a two-war scenario until the industrial base can resupply our armed forces. Because of limitations in the Army's process for determining war reserve spare parts requirements, however, the accuracy of the war reserve spare parts requirements and funding needs are uncertain. These limitations include (1) not using the best available data on the rate at which spare parts would be consumed during wartime for its war reserve spare parts requirements calculations, (2) having a potential mismatch between the Army's process for determining spare parts requirements for war reserves and how the Army plans to repair equipment on the battlefield, and (3) lacking a fact-based assessment of industrial base capacity to provide needed parts for the two-war scenario. Uncertainties are likely to persist for some time as the Army contemplates a significant transformation of its forces and other changes are considered affecting military strategy and force structure. However, improvements in the above areas could lessen the degree of uncertainties that exist.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Army has developed an industrial base management tool called IB HUB, which is to assist the Army in managing its War Reserve Secondary Items. The capabilities of IB HUB, relative to a similar but more robust system developed by the Defense Logistics Agency, are detailed in GAO-02-650, "Defense Inventory: Improved Industrial Base Assessments for Army War Reserve Spares Could Save Money."

    Recommendation: To provide accurate calculations of the Army's war reserve spare parts requirements, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Army to promptly develop fact-based estimates of industrial base capacity to provide the needed spare parts in the two major theater war scenario time frames.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  2. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: The Army did not specifically address the recommendation of "eliminating the potential mismatch between war reserve requirements calculations and planned battlefield maintenance practices." No specific reason was given.

    Recommendation: To provide accurate calculations of the Army's war reserve spare parts requirements, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Army to promptly eliminate potential mismatches in how the Army calculates its war reserve spare parts requirements and the Army's planned battlefield maintenance practices.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  3. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: The Army established the Integrated Concept Team (ICT) at the Combined Arms Support Command (CASCOM), initially meeting May 2-4, 2001, to discuss validation of Equipment Usage Profiles and Mean Usage Between Replacement factors, with the goal of reporting their work by December 1, 2001. The ICT did not continue its charter, nor meet its goals. CASCOM instead focused on developing its Condition Based Logistics Planning Database, with the promise of Line Item Number, and soldier level detail to be used in future requirements planning processes.

    Recommendation: To provide accurate calculations of the Army's war reserve spare parts requirements, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Army to promptly develop and use the best available consumption factors in calculating all spare parts requirements for the Army's war reserve.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  4. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Army reassessed the war reserve requirements and funding programmed for these requirements for fiscal year 2004-2009. Subsequently, the Army programmed $1.12 billion for the prepositioned War Reserve Secondary Item (WRSI) shortfall requirement, of which $660 million was specifically used for medical materiel, spare and repair parts for war reserve stocks to increase the readiness of all prepositioned sets, and the ability to sustain the initial corps for both Major Combat Operations (MCOs). There is a moderate risk associated with supporting the two MCO strategies as outlined in the Defense Planning Guidance until these spares and repair parts are procured and delivered.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should assess the priority and level of risk associated with the Army's plans for addressing the reported shortfall in Army war reserve spare parts.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  5. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: Initially, the Army stated that they would not initiate action until after December 1, 2001, the date when the Army Industrial Base Strategy was to be completed. This was predicated on the completed work of the Integrated Concept Team (ICT). The ICT did not continue to meet beyond it's initial meeting, and therefore did not meet its goal of formulating an Army Industrial Base Strategy. Consequently, they could not develop more comprehensive assessments on industry's ability to critical spare parts for future DOD generated Industrial Capabilities Reports to Congress.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should include in future industrial capabilities reports more comprehensive assessments on industry's ability to supply critical spare parts for two major theater wars.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

 

Explore the full database of GAO's Open Recommendations »

Sep 22, 2016

Sep 21, 2016

Sep 19, 2016

Sep 12, 2016

Sep 8, 2016

Sep 7, 2016

Sep 6, 2016

Aug 25, 2016

Looking for more? Browse all our products here