Funding Risks in Services' 1999 Central Training Programs
NSIAD-99-56: Published: Feb 24, 1999. Publicly Released: Feb 24, 1999.
Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO examined the significant differences in two Department of Defense training programs, focusing on the: (1) training categories and military services with the most significant funding changes from the 1998 to the 1999 Future Years Defense Program (FYDP); (2) bases for the changes; and (3) potential impact of the changes on the services' future training budgets.
GAO noted that: (1) the total funding for central training was projected to be $8.4 billion less in the 1999 FYDP than the 1998 FYDP; (2) the categories with the most significant changes in each of the services were the Army's training of new personnel; and the Army's, the Navy's, and the Air Force's professional and skill training, aviation and flight training; (3) the majority of the $8.4 billion decrease was due to changes in the Army's central training program; (4) $4 billion of the decrease in Army funding was to correct for an error in the 1998 FYDP that overstated the cost of enlistees' student salaries; (5) another $1.1 billion of the decrease related to the realignment of Army aviation procurement out of central training; (6) the remaining $3.3 billion primarily came from projected savings from: (a) the Army, the Navy and the Air Force reducing the number of personnel projected to be trained; (b) all of the military services contracting some installation support functions with lower cost providers; and (c) the Army and the Navy implementing training initiatives that utilize technology and other cost savings measures; (7) additionally, some of the $3.3 billion came from cuts by the Army and the Navy in funding levels for installation support and underfunding by the Army of some of its training programs; (8) the Army, the Navy and the Air Force may not be able to accomplish their central training programs at the funding levels in the 1999 FYDP; (9) the services are experiencing lower-than-expected retention rates for enlisted personnel, which will require increased accessions and additional funds for new personnel and skill training; (10) the services projected savings in installation support and funded real property maintenance at minimum maintenance levels; (11) if the programmed savings do not materialize, the services will need additional funds to maintain the current levels of maintenance or add to the existing backlog of real property maintenance; (12) the Army did not fully fund training initiatives, but it plans to fully fund these initiatives in the future; (13) the Army already had to request supplemental funding for fiscal year 1999 for the Army reserve professional development training programs because it found that programmed reductions adversely affected the programs; (14) the Army's actual aviation training workloads are higher than those used to develop FYDP 1999; and (15) the Army and the Navy programmed savings from training initiatives that use technology to reduce training.