Army War Reserves:

DOD Could Save Millions by Aligning Resources With the Reduced European Mission

NSIAD-97-158: Published: Jul 11, 1997. Publicly Released: Jul 11, 1997.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO evaluated the Army's progress in redistributing war reserve equipment that is no longer needed in central Europe, focusing on whether: (1) the Army's plan for redistributing central European war reserve equipment provides for the specific and timely disposition of this equipment; and (2) cost savings would be realized by aligning the storage and maintenance capacities in central Europe so that they accurately reflect the reduced mission there.

GAO noted that: (1) the Department of Defense (DOD) could save about $54 million per year in personnel costs once the Army removes unneeded war reserve equipment from central Europe and aligns its resources with the reduced mission; (2) in its plans, the Army has focused on redistributing major items, such as tanks, trucks, and radios, to other war reserve programs and has firm plans for a portion of those items; (3) however, it does not have firm disposition plans for the remaining items; (4) the Army's plans to redistribute these items are closely linked with DOD's plan to reduce the facilities now available; (5) however, because personnel costs comprise about three-quarters of the central European war reserve budget, most of the Army's savings will likely come from aligning personnel with the shrinking workload; (6) the projected reduction in maintenance workload is about 86 percent, which will require only a small fraction of the personnel currently available; and (7) thus, the sooner the Army disposes of its unneeded items and aligns its resources with its reduced mission, the sooner dollar savings may be realized.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD concurred with the recommendation. DOD has developed disposition instructions for all excess equipment, but has not completed disposition actions.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Army and the Commander, Army Materiel Command, to develop a specific and timely disposition plan for all equipment not needed in central Europe.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD has made final decisions regarding the 8th brigade set and MRS-BURU increment plus up.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should make timely decisions about the fate of the proposed programs slated to receive additional equipment--the proposed brigade set and the increase in support equipment recommended by the 1995 Mobility Requirements Study Bottom-Up Review Update.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD has announced the closure of prepositioning sites and the reduction of personnel to meet the reduced workload. As a result of the Army closing prepositioning sites and associated facilities and reducing personnel, the Army reduced O&M funding from $117.2 million in FY 1999 to $48.8 million in FY 2000 and to $44.9 million in FY 2001. This was a total saving of $140.7 million in O&M costs.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Commander in Chief, U.S. European Command, and the Commander, Army Materiel Command, to reduce the costs of facilities and personnel to reflect the new, reduced mission in central Europe.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

 

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