Better Followup Can Reduce Equipment and Facility Problems Affecting Army Guard and Reserve Training

NSIAD-84-29: Published: Nov 10, 1983. Publicly Released: Nov 10, 1983.

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GAO reviewed the Army's Unit Status Reporting (USR) system to determine whether: (1) equipment shortages and constraints on access to training facilities adversely affect National Guard and Army Reserve units' ability to train; and (2) the Army has an effective means to identify and correct reported training problems.

GAO found that: (1) because instructions for preparing reports are not clear, reported information is often inconsistent; (2) some commanders are not listing all of the equipment shortages or facility constraints affecting their training; and (3) follow-up on reported training problems is minimal because Army officials do not analyze USR training data and they lack confidence in the validity of reported training problems. GAO believes that, due to the inadequate follow-up system, valid training problems remain unresolved and that, once action is taken to provide valid and complete information, the Army should use the USR data to assist in making decisions on equipment allocations.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Army conducted an internal assessment of the need for more specific criteria and revised its regulation to increase objectivity into USR in certain training areas. Although more objectivity was originally planned, it complicated issues and exceeded the original intent of identifying and reporting training constraints.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should develop and implement criteria for classifying the training impact of equipment shortages and facility constraints and follow up to ensure that the criteria are used correctly.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Army sent a message to the commanders in the field emphasizing the importance of completing USR.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should emphasize the importance of completing all information required by USR.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Army developed a program called Minimum Essential Equipment for Training, which provides for following up and making cross-leveling decisions. Although the implementing regulation will not be finalized until October 1986, the program is currently ongoing, thus, provided units a means of identifying and requesting equipment without regard to established priorities.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should use USR data for following up on problems that have a major training impact and making cross-leveling decisions at each level of command.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

 

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