Military Training:

Lessons Learned and Their Implications for the Future

T-NSIAD-94-128: Published: Mar 10, 1994. Publicly Released: Mar 10, 1994.

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GAO discussed the lessons learned concerning military training and the implications of these lessons for future training requirements. GAO noted that: (1) well-trained forces are more likely to survive their combat missions with minimal casualties; (2) combat skills erode without continuous and realistic training; (3) training problems have reoccurred in command and control, battle staff planning and execution, crew and unit performance, and mission rehearsals, and are exacerbated by high personnel turnover, funding constraints, inadequate joint training exercises, and logistics; (4) the Gulf War showed the need for joint training and the Department of Defense (DOD) is increasing its focus on joint training; (5) computer simulations are an increasing part of military training and enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of joint military training; (6) computer simulations can save time and money, but commanders lack guidance and training in the most effective use of simulations; (7) adequate funding levels for military training are difficult to calculate, since training funds may be diverted for other purposes; (8) the reserve forces will play a vital role in future military operations as DOD downsizes its military force structure; (9) reserve-forces training has been inadequate and does not address deficiencies in reservists' basic skills; and (10) the Army has revised its National Guard training requirements to emphasize combat readiness, but it has not addressed the need to train reservists in their specialties.

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