Army Force Structure:

Current System for Assigning Troops to Europe Has Advantages Over Alternatives

NSIAD-94-42: Published: Nov 10, 1993. Publicly Released: Nov 17, 1993.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the feasibility of rotating Army personnel to Europe to replace the forces stationed there, focusing on the relative merits of: (1) adopting the system of rotating personnel without their dependents; (2) introducing a unit rotation system without dependents; (3) rotating units without dependents for short-term training tours; and (4) continuing the current system of rotating personnel with their dependents.

GAO found that: (1) instituting an unaccompanied, individual replacement rotation system would enable the Army to close some dependent-related facilities, but offsetting costs would reduce savings; (2) unit rotations could only be instituted on a limited scale; (3) intermittent training rotations are costly and present considerable logistical difficulties; (4) the current system of rotating personnel is the most advantageous in terms of readiness and morale; and (5) substantial financial savings are possible if consolidations and improved efficiency of operations continue.

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