Army Reserve Components:

Better Training Could Improve General Support Maintenance Capability

NSIAD-91-219: Published: Jul 9, 1991. Publicly Released: Jul 24, 1991.

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Donna M. Heivilin
(202) 512-8430
contact@gao.gov

 

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

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO: (1) examined how well the Army was preparing its reserve general support maintenance units to perform their wartime missions; and (2) assessed actions underway to improve their capability.

GAO found that: (1) although 51 of 56 units GAO surveyed had received some missions guidance as of May 1990, 22 units had not received guidance identifying the specific equipment they would be expected to repair during combat; (2) many reserve general support units did not use their limited training time to develop and sustain maintenance proficiency, and between 42 percent and 50 percent of their mechanics were not prepared to perform their wartime tasks; (3) excessive administrative demands, the lack of mission-essential equipment, and the wide geographic dispersion of units from potential repair sources adversely affected the efficient use of reserve units' limited training time; (4) the Army lacked a system to evaluate reserve unit or individual proficiency, and was not aggressively pursuing actions to develop such a system; (5) although the Army implemented such initiatives to improve reserve maintenance capability as a Hands-On Training Program, Regional Training Sites-Maintenance Program, and the Overseas Reserve Maintenance Training Program, they may not ensure the general support maintenance units' preparation for wartime missions; and (6) the Iowa National Guard developed initiatives to measure and track the proficiency of unit mechanics performing general support-level repairs and ensure that certain training weekends are dedicated to primary mission tasks.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: In June 1993, the Army issued revised mission guidance specifying equipment to repair in wartime to its reserve general support maintenance units. This action follows unit realignments that occurred in April 1993.

    Recommendation: To enhance the capability of reserve general support maintenance units, the Secretary of the Army should ensure that commanders in all wartime theaters provide mission guidance to reserve units specifying the types of equipment they would be expected to repair in wartime.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: During fiscal year 1992, the Army began providing force modernization equipment repair opportunities for heavy equipment maintenance companies participating in the overseas training program. The Army has assessed the problems with the Hands-on Training Program and is establishing a Memorandum of Understanding between FORSCOM and AMC to resolve the problems.

    Recommendation: To enhance the capability of reserve general support maintenance units, the Secretary of the Army should resolve problems such as: (1) administrative and repair parts' difficulties with the Hands-on Training Program; and (2) the lack of force modernization equipment available to units participating in the overseas program for heavy equipment maintenance companies that have limited the value of reserve training initiatives designed to provide units with opportunities to repair equipment they would be expected to repair during wartime.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Army has reviewed the initiatives of the Iowa National Guard and has determined that, although valuable for Iowa units, the initiatives were not readily transferable to other units because: (1) job books differed from other units; and (2) the automation required was unique to the Iowa Guard. No further action is planned.

    Recommendation: To enhance the capability of reserve general support maintenance units, the Secretary of the Army should determine whether unit-level initiatives to improve general support maintenance capability, such as Iowa National Guard actions to: (1) measure and track the proficiency of general support maintenance mechanics; and (2) more effectively manage reserve training time, can be adopted in other reserve units.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

 

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