Troop Reductions:

Lessons Learned From Army's Approach To Inactivating the 9th Division

NSIAD-92-78: Published: Jun 9, 1992. Publicly Released: Jun 9, 1992.

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GAO assessed the Army's inactivation of the 9th Infantry Division at Fort Lewis, Washington, and activation of a separate motorized brigade from division assets, to determine whether the Army's personnel and equipment practices had implications for future downsizing and restructuring efforts.

GAO found that: (1) Fort Lewis officials chose an inactivation approach that emphasized maintaining readiness, minimizing reassignment hardships for soldiers and their families, and minimizing time spent to prepare equipment for return or transfer; (2) Fort Lewis personnel practices included laterally transferring troops from inactivated units to units that would transition to the new brigade, and reassigning troops to other Fort Lewis units; (3) Fort Lewis equipment management practices included requiring the return of mission-capable equipment to the installation supply system, exercising flexibility about maintenance schedules, and accepting non-working but repairable weapons into the installation supply system; (4) about 67 percent of troops from inactivated units were reassigned at Fort Lewis; (5) the fact that most of the troop reductions occurred after activation of the new brigade suggests that there is a trade-off between maintaining readiness and achieving rapid personnel reductions; and (6) although the Fort's modified equipment maintenance policy resulted in quick relocation of division equipment, it exacerbated maintenance and repair backlogs and shifted some repair work to the Fort, where repair costs are higher.

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