Army Maintenance:

Use of German Civilians and U.S. Reservists in Europe for General Support Maintenance

NSIAD-90-22: Published: Dec 28, 1989. Publicly Released: Dec 28, 1989.

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GAO reviewed the Army's utilization of German civilians and Army reservists in Europe for general support and maintenance operations.

GAO found that: (1) the Army authorized the employment of 660 German civilians to support maintenance for U.S. forces in Europe and for potential mobilization as a maintenance battalion during wartime; (2) only 400 German civilians were currently in U.S. support maintenance groups, and some of those civilians were not eligible for military service; (3) many German civilian employees held lower-level maintenance jobs and lacked the proper training and experience to fill other support functions; (4) only about 27 percent of German civilians employed by the U.S. Army in essential maintenance jobs were exempt from the German draft; (5) the Army began the first phase of its program to rotate U.S. military reserves to Germany for support maintenance in April 1989; (6) U.S. Army reservists were trained on older, unserviceable vehicles, since no maintenance program had been established for the more modern equipment; and (7) the Army did not have a plan to evaluate the first-phase deployment of U.S. reservists overseas for support maintenance.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: This recommendation is being dropped in view of changes to the defense mobilization plans being made in response to the reduced threat of the Warsaw Pact in Europe.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should direct the Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Army, Europe and 7th Army, to work with the German government to identify personnel who have had previous experience maintaining U.S. equipment (such as former German employees of U.S. Army maintenance facilities who are currently in the reserves) and could be employed to complete the authorized strength of the 471st Maintenance Battalion in the event of mobilization.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  2. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: This recommendation is being dropped in view of changes to the defense mobilization plans being made in response to the reduced threat of the Warsaw Pact in Europe.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should direct the Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Army, Europe and 7th Army, to follow through on actions underway to: (1) monitor the draft status of emergency-essential German employees; and (2) better ensure their availability to perform maintenance repairs during mobilization.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Army had evaluated the initial phase of the subject program using the data GAO suggested. GAO is continuing to monitor the program in an ongoing review of Army reserve general support maintenance (code 393386).

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should develop an evaluation plan to assess the effectiveness of the initial phase of rotating reserve components overseas to perform general support maintenance. The evaluation should consider, at a minimum, the total costs incurred in implementing the initial phase, the types of equipment repaired by the reserve maintenance units, and the relevance of that work to the most critical general support maintenance wartime missions.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

 

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