Reported Readiness of Combat Brigades During the Persian Gulf War
NSIAD-98-173R: Published: May 15, 1998. Publicly Released: May 15, 1998.
Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the Army National Guard's 48th Infantry Brigade, focusing on whether the reported readiness status of the 48th at the time it was activated for the Persian Gulf War accurately portrayed the unit's true readiness.
GAO noted that: (1) the postmobilization training plans developed by the three roundout brigades were based on unreliable readiness ratings; (2) specifically, Second Army and III Corps officials were skeptical of the accuracy of the brigades' reported readiness ratings, even after these ratings were revised following mobilization; (3) key officials involved in the training of the three brigades believed that the readiness reports fell far short of capturing the true status of the brigades' combat proficiency; (4) as a result, the Second Army and III Corps conducted independent proficiency assessments that drew heavily on the results of the brigades' prior visits to the Army National Training Center (NTC); (5) on the basis of their assessments of existing training plans and of the brigades' proficiency, the Second Army and III Corps substantially revised the training plans, calling for 91 to 135 days of training--over three times the number of days that the original readiness reports stated were needed; (6) for the 48th brigade, the Second Army developed a 91-day training plan that consisted of battle staff training, instruction in basic soldiering skills, and crew-level training; (7) the plan also included a rotation to the NTC; (8) in November 1992, GAO reported on two active Army brigades, including the 197th, that deployed in place of the Guard roundout brigades; (9) GAO's review showed that the replacement active Army brigades demonstrated a higher level of proficiency at the time of their deployment to the Persian Gulf for almost every objective measure of individual and unit proficiency than the roundout brigades; and (10) although the proficiency of the roundout brigades improved during postmobilization training, their overall proficiency did not reach a level comparable to that of the replacement brigades.