DOD'S Mobility Requirements:

Value of Intratheater Lift Analyses Can Be Enhanced

NSIAD-98-53: Published: Jan 30, 1998. Publicly Released: Jan 30, 1998.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Department of Defense's (DOD) 1996 Intratheater Lift Analysis (ILA), focusing on whether: (1) the analysis and recommendations in the study were appropriately linked; (2) the study considered all options in meeting the requirements for various lift assets; and (3) improvements could be made to enhance the study's value as a decisionmaking tool.

GAO noted that: (1) the ILA does not adequately fulfill the congressional directive to determine lift requirements and develop an integrated plan to meet them; (2) the study contains recommendations that would cost billions of dollars to implement, but the study's analysis generally did not support these recommendations; (3) the disconnect between the analysis and recommendations is especially evident in the information regarding tactical wheeled vehicles and outsize airlift capability; (4) in addition, the study's analysis did not incorporate several assets that can contribute significantly to the intratheater lift mission; as a result, the study's requirements and solutions may be overstated; (5) the analysis did not consider: (a) commercial vehicles provided by host nation support (HNS); (b) the use of the current and planned fleet of outsize-capable intertheater airlifters such as the C-5 and C-17; and (c) the extent to which Army watercraft could reduce the need for alternative sources of lift; (6) furthermore, improvements could enhance the study's value to decisionmakers; (7) these improvements include requirements stated as a range rather than as absolute numbers and tradeoff assessments based on the cost and capability of the various lift assets; (8) a range would have better reflected the dynamic nature of intratheater requirements, and system tradeoff assessments would have provided choices based on cost and capability; and (9) the 1999 Mobility Requirements Study and updated ILA will afford DOD a good opportunity to address these issues and provide Congress with a basis for acquisition decisionmaking in future budget cycles.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: According to analysts in OSD/PA&E and Joint Staff/J4, DOD has taken this recommendation into account in the Mobility Requirements Study-05.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct that the 1999 ILA update: (1) link the study's recommendations to its analysis; and (2) include assumptions that consider current Army doctrine when acquisition plans are based on the doctrine.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: According to analysts in OSD/PA&E and Joint Staff/J4, DOD has taken this recommendation into account in the Mobility Requirements Study-05.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct that the 1999 updated ILA: (1) consider HNS as a means of accomplishing intratheater lift and ensure that HNS assumptions are consistent with those in intertheater lift studies; (2) include the potential contribution of the C-5 airlifter and planned fleet of 120 C-17s; and (3) reflect the role, capability, and requirements for Army watercraft in an intratheater role, including an analysis of the extent to which these assets can alleviate identified shortfalls in tactical wheeled vehicles.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: According to analysts in OSD/PA&E and Joint Staff/J4, DOD has taken this recommendation into account in the Mobility Requirements Study-05.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct that the 1999 updated ILA determine intratheater requirements and solutions as ranges to reflect their dependence on the combat situations.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  4. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: According to analysts in OSD/PA&E and Joint Staff/J4, DOD has taken this recommendation into account in the Mobility Requirements Study-05.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct that the 1999 updated ILA include a cost-effectiveness assessment of the alternatives considered in the study that examines tradeoffs among the lift assets to reflect capability, cost, and requirements.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

 

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