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entitled 'Military Transformation: Army's Evaluation of Stryker and M-
113A3 Infantry Carrier Vehicles Provided Sufficient Data for 
Statutorily Mandated Comparison' which was released on May 30, 2003.

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Report to Congressional Committees:

May 2003:

MILITARY TRANSFORMATION:

Army's Evaluation of Stryker and M-113A3 Infantry Carrier Vehicles 
Provided Sufficient Data for Statutorily Mandated Comparison:

GAO-03-671:

GAO Highlights:

Highlights of GAO-03-671, a report to Congressional Committees 

Why GAO Did This Study:

The first step of the U.S. Army’s ongoing transformation was to form 
two of six planned Interim, or Stryker, Brigade Combat teams and equip 
the brigades with a new interim armored vehicle—the Stryker. The 
fiscal year 2001 National Defense Authorization Act required the 
Secretary of the Army to develop a plan to compare the operational 
effectiveness and cost of an infantry carrier variant of the Stryker 
and a medium Army armored vehicle, the Department of Defense’s (DOD) 
director of testing and evaluation approve the plan, and the Army to 
conduct the operational effectiveness and cost comparison. The 
Secretary of Defense was also to certify to Congress that Stryker 
Brigades did not diminish the Army’s combat power.

As part of a series of ongoing reviews of Army transformation, GAO 
monitored the Army’s 2002 efforts to (1) assess whether the Army’s 
plan for the comparison met the legislative requirements and (2) 
determine whether the evaluation’s resulting data were sufficient to 
measure the two vehicles’ relative effectiveness.

What GAO Found:

The Army developed a plan, approved by DOD’s Director, Operational 
Test and Evaluation, that met the requirements of the fiscal year 2001 
National Defense Authorization Act. As required, the plan proposed 
comparing the operational effectiveness and cost of the Stryker and a 
troop-carrying medium armored vehicle selected by the Army—the M-113A3 
armored personnel carrier. Regarding the operational effectiveness, 
the plan’s scope included the use of various data, such as that 
obtained during operational vignettes, for which all participants and 
observers received training regarding the vehicles, and from technical 
testing. The plan focused on the armored vehicles’ effectiveness; 
suitability in support of infantry units, such as maintenance; and 
survivability during operations. Regarding the cost comparison, the 
plan proposed that a comprehensive cost analysis be conducted between 
the two vehicles.

GAO determined, based on its observation and analysis of evaluation 
plans and results, that the Army’s conduct of the plan provided 
sufficient data to determine the two vehicles’ relative effectiveness. 
To obtain the data concerning the vehicles’ operational effectiveness, 
survivability, and suitability, the Army conducted and evaluated 
operational training events and multiple technical tests. According to 
the Army Test and Evaluation Command, both the Stryker and the M-113A3 
enabled the infantry to complete missions. However, the Command 
concluded that the Stryker provided more advantages in force 
protection, support for dismounted assault, and close fight and 
mobility and was more survivable against ballistic and nonballistic 
threats. The Army also conducted a comprehensive cost analysis. GAO 
determined that the costs used in the analysis were reasonable and 
provided sufficient data to determine the vehicles’ relative cost—with 
the Stryker being more expensive to acquire than the M-113A3 but less 
so to operate and maintain. The Secretary of Defense, as required, 
certified to Congress that the Stryker Brigade Combat Team did not 
diminish Army combat power.

What GAO Recommends:

GAO is not making any recommendations. In commenting on a draft of 
this report, DOD concurred with the findings.

www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-03-671.

To view the full product, including the scope and methodology, click 
on the link above. For more information, contact William M. Solis at 
(202) 512-8365 or solisw@gao.gov.

[End of section]

Letter: 

Results in Brief: 

Background: 

Army's Comparative Evaluation Plan Met Legislative Requirements: 

Evaluation Provided Sufficient Data for Comparison of Vehicles: 

Secretary of Defense Certified to the Combat Power of the Army 
and Released Funding for the Third Brigade's Vehicles: 

Agency Comments: 

Scope and Methodology: 

Appendixes:

Appendix I: Section from Public Law 106-398 Concerning Limitations 
on Army Transformation Actions: 

Appendix II: Comments from the Department of Defense: 

Table: 

Table 1: Data Source Matrix for the Issues and Sub-Issues in the Army's 
Evaluation Plan of the Medium Armored Vehicles (MAV): 

Figures: 

Figure 1: Stryker Infantry Carrier Vehicle: 

Figure 2: M-113A3 Armored Personnel Carrier: 

Figure 3: Stryker Infantry Carrier Ingress Excursion: 

Figure 4: M-113A3 Armored Personnel Carrier Egress Excursion: 

Abbreviations: 

DOD: Department of Defense:

MANPRINT: Manpower and Personnel Integration:

MAV: Medium Armored Vehicles:

PA&E: Program Analysis and Evaluation Directorate:

Letter May 30, 2003:

Congressional Committees:

In early 2000, the U.S. Army began transforming its force to one that 
is expected to be more strategically responsive, rapidly deployable, 
and able to effectively operate in all types of military operations, 
whether small-scale contingencies or major theater wars. The first step 
was to form two of six planned Interim, or Stryker, Brigade Combat 
teams and equip the brigades with a new interim armored vehicle known 
as the Stryker. The first two brigades are located at Fort 
Lewis, Washington.

Because these brigades are an entirely new organizational design, many 
questions have arisen as to the unit's cost, combat effectiveness, and 
suitability. In the fiscal year 2001 National Defense Authorization 
Act,[Footnote 1] Congress required:

* the Secretary of the Army to develop a plan for comparing the 
operational effectiveness and cost of an infantry carrier variant of 
the interim armored vehicle and a medium armored vehicle currently in 
the Army inventory, although the legislation did not provide specifics 
regarding the comparison;

* the Director of Operational Test and Evaluation of the Department of 
Defense (DOD) to approve the comparison plan before the Army could 
carry it out;

* the Army to conduct the operational effectiveness and cost 
comparison; and:

* the Secretary of Defense to certify that the Stryker brigade combat 
team did not diminish the Army's combat power.

The statute further provided that vehicles for the third brigade could 
not be acquired until 30 days after the certification.

See appendix I for the full text of the law.

On the basis of the authority of the Comptroller General, we monitored 
and assessed the Army's efforts during 2002 to meet the requirements of 
the legislation. In doing so, we observed operational training events 
held at Fort Lewis, Washington, which the Army used to collect 
comparison data, and a vehicle survivability test at Aberdeen Proving 
Ground, Maryland. Our objectives were to (1) assess whether the Army's 
plan for the comparison met the legislative requirements and 
(2) determine whether the results of the evaluation provided the data 
needed to measure the relative effectiveness of the two vehicles. The 
report also discusses the Secretary of Defense's report to Congress and 
certification regarding the combat power of the Army. We are providing 
this report, our fifth in a planned series related to Army 
transformation,[Footnote 2] to you because of your committees' 
oversight responsibility.

Results in Brief:

The Army developed a plan, approved by DOD's Director, Operational 
Test and Evaluation, which met the requirements of the fiscal year 2001 
National Defense Authorization Act. As contained in the congressional 
mandate, the plan proposed comparing the operational effectiveness and 
cost of the Stryker Infantry Carrier vehicle and the troop-carrying 
medium armored vehicle currently in the Army inventory--the M-113A3 
armored personnel carrier. With regard to operational effectiveness, 
the plan's scope included the use of various data, such as that 
obtained during operational vignettes and technical testing. The plan 
focused on three main comparison issues relating to the armored 
vehicles--their effectiveness, suitability in support of infantry units 
such as vehicle employment and maintenance, and survivability during 
operational missions. Regarding the cost comparison, the plan proposed 
that a comprehensive cost analysis be conducted between the 
two vehicles.

Based on our observation and analysis of evaluation plans and results, 
the Army's implementation of the plan provided sufficient data to 
determine the relative effectiveness of the vehicles. The Army 
conducted and evaluated eight operational training events per vehicle 
type and data from technical tests to compare the operational 
effectiveness, suitability, and survivability between the two vehicles. 
Prior to the operational vignettes, all participants and evaluators 
received training pertinent to their roles. The Army also conducted a 
comprehensive cost analysis as part of the plan. After analyzing the 
Army's cost plan and data, we found that the costs used were reasonable 
and provided sufficient data to determine the relative cost of the two 
vehicles. Based on the results of the evaluation, the Secretary of 
Defense certified to Congress that the Stryker brigade combat team did 
not diminish the combat power of the Army. The Secretary of Defense 
also approved obligating funds for the Stryker vehicles to equip the 
third brigade.

In commenting on a draft of this report, DOD concurred with the 
report's findings.

Background:

In October 1999, the Secretary and the Chief of Staff of the Army 
unveiled their vision to transform the U.S. Army into a more 
strategically responsive force that could dominate across the full 
spectrum of military operations--from small-scale contingencies to a 
major theater war. In testimony before the U.S. Senate in March 
2000,[Footnote 3] the Chief of Staff of the Army stated that the Army 
had to transform to meet current and future strategic requirements such 
as the rise of sub-national and transnational groups, including 
criminal and terrorist elements that may pursue objectives that 
threaten U.S. interests. The Army believes that the transformation is 
necessary to respond more effectively to (1) the growing number of 
peacekeeping operations and small-scale contingencies and (2) the 
challenges posed by nontraditional threats such as urban operations in 
biological/chemical environments. The Army plans to transform its 
forces over a 30-year period.

In initial efforts to meet this new vision, the Army's Training and 
Doctrine Command developed a concept that described the capabilities, 
organization, and operations of a new brigade combat team. This brigade 
would provide a capability that the Army did not possess: a rapidly 
deployable, early-entry combat force that is lethal, survivable, and 
capable of operating in all types of military operations, from small-
scale contingencies to a major theater of war. As an early-entry force, 
the brigade is expected to have sufficient built-in combat power to 
conduct immediate combat operations upon arrival in theater if 
required. The brigade would be formed around a new, medium weight, 
armored vehicle. The Army chose an armored wheeled vehicle, designated 
as the Stryker, as its primary combat platform. The Army selected one 
light infantry brigade and one mechanized infantry brigade at Fort 
Lewis, Washington, to become the first Stryker brigade combat teams. 
The 3rd Brigade of the 2nd Infantry Division was selected to 
transform first.

Congress supported the Army's efforts to transform into a force that 
not only was lethal, versatile, suitable, and survivable but could also 
deploy rapidly. However, members agreed that the Army must conduct 
an evaluation that compared the operational effectiveness and cost 
between a medium armored vehicle currently in the Army's inventory 
and the Stryker Infantry Carrier vehicle planned for the brigades. The 
comparative evaluation was formalized in the fiscal year 2001 National 
Defense Authorization Act. For the comparison, the Army selected the 
M-113A3 armored personnel carrier as the medium armored vehicle 
currently in the inventory. Figures 1 and 2 show the Stryker Infantry 
Carrier vehicle and the M-113A3, respectively. The Army began 
conducting the comparison in September 2002.

Figure 1: Stryker Infantry Carrier Vehicle:

[See PDF for image]

[End of figure]

Figure 2: M-113A3 Armored Personnel Carrier:

[See PDF for image]

[End of figure]

Army's Comparative Evaluation Plan Met Legislative Requirements:

The Army-developed and the DOD Operational Test and Evaluation 
Director-approved plan for evaluating the Stryker Infantry Carrier 
vehicle and the M-113A3 armored personnel carrier, currently in the 
Army's inventory, met legislative requirements to compare both 
operational effectiveness and cost. The Army developed a plan that 
compared the operational effectiveness and cost between the two 
vehicles. The congressional mandate did not provide specifics regarding 
the comparison but specified that DOD's Director, Operational Test and 
Evaluation, approve the Army's plan.[Footnote 4] The purpose of the 
plan was to (1) assess and compare measures of operational 
effectiveness, suitability, and survivability and (2) compare the costs 
of the two vehicles. As required by the statute, the DOD Director, 
Operational Test and Evaluation, approved the operational effectiveness 
portion of the plan in August 2002 and the cost comparison portion in 
December 2002.

Army's Plan Evaluated Operational Effectiveness, Suitability, and 
Survivability of the Two Vehicles:

The primary objective of the comparison evaluation was to assess 
and compare measures of operational effectiveness, suitability, and 
survivability for each of the vehicles. The Army Test and Evaluation 
Command developed a detailed comparison evaluation plan that, as the 
law required, was approved by DOD's Director, Operational Test and 
Evaluation, on August 23, 2002.[Footnote 5] The plan's scope included 
using existing data and data developed during physical examination of 
the vehicles, modeling and simulation, and live fire testing of 
vehicle-mounted weapons. Data collected from production verification 
tests that evaluated vehicle performance--such as braking, 
acceleration, traction, and sustained speed over various types of 
terrain--was also included. The operational portion of the comparison 
involved a series of platoon level tasks, including operations in 
complex rural terrain and urban areas under various light and weather 
conditions. The plan focused on 3 main comparison issues and 10 sub-
issues. The main comparison issues were defined as follows:

* Effectiveness: How well the unit performs and what capabilities the 
vehicles provide in support of operational missions.

* Suitability: How the vehicles are deployed, operated, and 
logistically supported while performing tasks that support the infantry 
platoons in conducting their missions.

* Survivability: How well the vehicles protect the crew and infantry 
squad, vehicle system survivability, and the effect of vehicle damage 
on mission performance.

The plan included evaluating each of the issues and sub-issues 
(see table 1) during various evaluation events. These events included 
examination, modeling and simulation, technical testing, and 
operational testing.

* Examination: A review and analysis of available vehicle design and 
performance data. The vehicles would be physically examined to obtain 
specific measures and characteristics. Existing data was the primary 
source, but other appropriate data sources such as historical data were 
also used.

* Modeling and Simulation: Application of existing and collected data 
to determine the mobility characteristics of the vehicles.

* Technical Testing: The measurement of demonstrated performance 
characteristics and capabilities not available through existing data or 
modeling and simulation. Additional data were provided from events held 
during the acquisition process and ballistic survivability testing at 
the Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, test center.

* Operational Testing: The Army designed operational vignettes to 
directly compare two equally organized and trained infantry platoons. 
The platoons conducted identical tasks and missions against a common 
opposing force with one platoon employing the M-113A3 and the other 
employing the Stryker Infantry Carrier vehicle. The opposing force 
consisted of mounted and dismounted military units, paramilitary 
forces, and civilians.

Table 1: Data Source Matrix for the Issues and Sub-Issues in the Army's 
Evaluation Plan of the Medium Armored Vehicles (MAV):

[See PDF for image]

Source: GAO analysis of the U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command's 
comparison evaluation plan.

[End of table]

Army Compared Costs as Required by the Statute:

The Army directed its Cost and Economic Analysis Center to conduct a 
cost comparison between the Stryker Infantry Carrier vehicle and the 
M-113A3 armored personnel carrier. The Analysis Center developed a plan 
to determine and compare the life-cycle costs of the Stryker vehicle to 
the life-cycle costs of the M-113A3 currently in the Army inventory. 
The Army directed that the Analysis Center examine the costs of 
equipping, training, fielding, and maintaining the vehicles for use in 
the Stryker brigades. To determine these costs, the Analysis Center 
emphasized the costs associated with vehicle manufacturing, military 
personnel, replenishment parts, and fuel/petroleum for each vehicle. On 
October 4, 2002, the Army submitted the cost comparison portion of the 
plan to the Director, Operational Test and Evaluation, for approval. As 
required by the law, the Director, Operational Test and Evaluation, 
officially approved that portion on December 17, 2002, as the Secretary 
of the Army submitted the comparison evaluation report to DOD.

Evaluation Provided Sufficient Data for Comparison of Vehicles:

Based on our observation of the vignettes, unit and evaluator training, 
and a technical test and on our analysis of the test results and review 
of cost comparison assumptions, the Army's conduct of the Army Test and 
Evaluation Command plan produced enough data to gauge the relative 
effectiveness and cost of the Stryker Infantry Carrier vehicle and the 
M-113A3 armored personnel carrier. To ensure competency during 
evaluation events, the Army certified that the units conducting the 
operational vignettes received comparable amounts of training in their 
vehicles and that the evaluators were familiar with appropriate 
infantry tactics and doctrine. The purpose of the comparison evaluation 
plan was to collect data to measure the relative effectiveness, 
suitability, and survivability of both vehicles. To do so, the plan 
consisted of operational vignettes, augmented by gunnery exercises, 
modeling and simulations; physical and other vehicle examinations; and 
technical testing. Comparison data included surveys, results of force 
on force exercises, and mission success and task performance ratings. 
The plan also assessed the costs of both vehicles.

Unit and Evaluators Certified Prior to Conduct of Operational 
Vignettes:

Prior to conducting the operational effectiveness segment of the 
comparison evaluation, the two infantry platoons and the event 
evaluators received training specific to their roles in the comparison. 
The two infantry platoons received training that ensured all 
participating personnel were proficient with the vehicles, digitized 
equipment, and the associated support equipment. For example, one 
platoon trained on the Stryker vehicle while the other trained on the 
M-113A3 vehicle. All vehicle commanders were trained on the M2 .50-
caliber machine gun and the MK19 grenade launcher--the weapon systems 
for the two types of vehicles. The two platoons participated in a 20-
day training exercise and practiced incorporating the use of the two 
types of vehicles in missions assigned to a platoon in a Stryker 
brigade combat team. The brigade commander certified that the two 
platoons were trained according to doctrine and that both were 
similarly manned and trained.

During the comparison evaluation, subject matter experts[Footnote 6] 
evaluated the units' performance during each operational vignette. 
Similar to the two platoons' personnel, the evaluators were certified 
as trained in current Infantry doctrine and tactics. Furthermore, 
personnel from the Army Test and Evaluation Command trained the subject 
matter experts in data collection methods, test instrumentation, and 
familiarization of the vehicle types and the terrain in which the 
vehicles were compared. Prior to conducting the operational vignettes, 
the evaluators participated in a pilot test where full data collection 
and test controls were rehearsed. After completing the pilot test, test 
officials certified that the subject matter experts were trained and 
that they complied with the established data collection procedures. The 
subject matter experts observed each unit and recorded comments on task 
performance and mission success by filling out performance matrices. 
Upon completion of an event, Army Test and Evaluation Command data 
collectors harvested and validated data collected during that 
particular activity. All data collected and validated were included in 
the Army's database and analyzed by the Army Test and Evaluation 
Command.

Vignettes, Gunnery, and Modeling and Simulation Used to Determine 
Operational Effectiveness:

Effectiveness is an assessment of the extent to which a vehicle allows 
a unit to successfully perform tasks in support of infantry platoons 
conducting missions in an operational environment. To determine 
effectiveness, the Army compared the two vehicles' capability to 
(1) support infantry platoon missions, (2) move around the battlefield, 
(3) store and move personnel and equipment, and (4) employ their weapon 
systems during day, night, and limited visibility conditions. Data for 
the comparison came from operational vignettes, gunnery, physical 
examination of the vehicles, modeling and simulation, technical 
testing, and operational testing of the vehicles. The most visible of 
these data sources were the operational vignettes conducted at Fort 
Lewis, and the other data collection methods augmented those findings.

The Army conducted the comparison of the two types of vehicles during 
a scheduled training event held from September 12 to October 2, 2002, 
at Fort Lewis. The comparison, used to assess mission support, payload, 
and mobility, included two 2-hour road marches and two platoon-level 
training exercises designed by the 3rd Brigade of the 2nd Infantry 
Division and approved by the Army Test and Evaluation Command. 
During each exercise, the vehicles were loaded with all unit 
personnel and equipment according to unit procedures. The two road 
marches--designed to demonstrate the vehicles' ability to move on and 
off road, store and transport personnel and equipment, and provide 
human factors data--were conducted over varying terrain like paved 
and gravel roads, rutted and uneven trails.

The operational vignettes required the platoons to execute selected 
small-scale contingency missions such as a raid or an attack with 
events lasting from 12 to 17 hours. The evaluations were conducted in 
environments designed to ensure similar training and conditions for 
both platoons and vehicles. For example, the missions were conducted in 
the same light conditions, against the same opposing force and using 
the same doctrine and tactics. Fort Lewis' terrain is densely wooded 
and open and undulating. Rocky terrain is common. During the vignettes, 
the vehicles were operated over different types of terrain, including 
paved and gravel roads, rutted and uneven wooded trails of varying 
slopes. In some vignettes, the vehicles traversed loose soil about 3 to 
6 inches in depth. We observed that the Stryker and M-113A3 vehicles 
were operated over the same terrain during the operational vignettes.

The operational comparison was divided into two exercises. To 
compare how the platoons employed the vehicles, we attended the 
same vignettes for both exercises. We observed varying phases of the 
vignettes such as an obstacle breach, checkpoint security operations, 
civilian disturbances, and a rescue of endangered indigenous personnel 
to determine how the subject matter experts and the data collection 
personnel documented the key actions and outcomes as each of the 
platoons conducted its tactical missions.

During the first phase of the training events, we observed that the 
employment of the M-113A3s and the Stryker infantry carriers was 
minimal. For example, both platoon leaders used the vehicles primarily 
as a troop transport and had their soldiers egress from the vehicles 
before reaching the mission site. By doing so, the platoon leaders were 
unable to support their mission by employing the vehicles' weapons 
system. During the second training exercise, both platoons moved closer 
to the mission site and used the vehicles' weapons system to support 
their specific mission. Based on our observations and discussions with 
unit leadership, we concluded that this was due to the units' limited 
amount of experience in employing either of the vehicles. Other factors 
that impacted the vehicles' employment included platoon composition and 
command guidance. Both platoons were comprised of a mix of soldiers who 
had and had not previously served in mechanized infantry units, and the 
employment of the vehicle was entirely subjective on the part of the 
platoon leadership. Neither platoon had published platoon or company 
standard operating procedures for the vehicles. These observations and 
conclusions on the employment of the vehicles were validated in the 
test team observation section of the Test and Evaluation Command's test 
data report.

Although providing data for all of the sub-issues measuring 
effectiveness, the Army augmented data collected from the vignettes 
through gunnery exercises and modeling and simulation. Upon completion 
of the vignettes, the Army sent both platoons to the Yakima Training 
Center, Washington, to conduct gunnery exercises. While at the training 
center, live fire of the weapons provided additional data to augment 
observations from the vignettes and the previous technical testing. To 
further evaluate mobility, the Army used modeling and simulation at 
Aberdeen Proving Ground to determine how well each vehicle would travel 
over different terrain types. Measurements included movement over 
simulated terrain in Korea, Europe, and Southwest Asia under both wet 
and dry weather conditions.

We did not observe any significant differences in the way the Army 
compared the two vehicles during the operational vignettes. Subject 
matter experts and test personnel were consistent in their data 
collection while observing vignettes for both the Stryker and the 
M-113A3 vehicles. Moreover, the vignettes provided sufficient data to 
determine the relative operational effectiveness of the two vehicles, 
and the additional data collected accentuated the findings. According 
to the Army Test and Evaluation Command, both vehicles enabled infantry 
squads to complete platoon missions and effectively transport personnel 
and prescribed equipment. The Stryker infantry carrier provided 
advantages in employing its weapon systems and mobility during most 
situations, and the M-113A3 had an advantage in off-road mobility.

Human Factors and Technical Data Used to Assess Vehicle Suitability:

Suitability is an assessment of the extent to which a vehicle, when 
deployed to an objective area, can maneuver, be maintained, and 
supported in combat operations. To determine suitability, the Army 
compared (1) transportability, (2) reliability and maintainability, 
(3) integrated logistics support, and (4) MANPRINT[Footnote 7] data for 
the two vehicles. Primary data for this comparison came from physical 
examination, technical testing, and operational testing of the 
vehicles. Of the four areas used to compare suitability, manpower and 
personnel integration was the only area that occurred during events 
that we directly observed. Data collected for the other three measures 
of suitability combined data and information from a variety of sources.

Data collection for manpower and personnel integration occurred during 
the vignettes at Fort Lewis and was used to compare the effect of the 
vehicles on soldiers performing necessary tasks. The Army's MANPRINT 
data collection team collected both quantitative and qualitative data 
by interviewing soldiers and collecting soldier surveys prior to and 
after the completion of certain events. The primary events used to 
facilitate MANPRINT collection were road marches and performance of 
common soldier tasks. Postvignette interviews with soldiers were also 
used to collect data.

The road marches were used to determine the effect that riding in 
vehicles had on soldiers' stress levels. Two self-assessment 
questionnaires, one a list of adjectives that soldiers checked to 
indicate their current feelings and the other an individual stress 
rating, were administered prior to and after each road march. In 
addition, data collectors took saliva samples from soldiers before and 
after each road march to determine changes in soldiers' stress 
levels.[Footnote 8] To facilitate a comparison, soldiers rotated 
vehicles during the second road march.

To determine the effect of vehicles on common soldier tasks, the Army 
designed short events, entitled excursions, to collect data on the 
effects of entering and exiting the vehicles during a variety of 
different combat situations. After the first road march, each platoon 
arrived into assembly areas and conducted several excursions, with 
soldiers entering and exiting vehicles under duress, in chemical 
protective gear and while conducting casualty evacuations. Data 
collectors measured the length of time for each of these excursions, 
and upon completion of all events, soldiers filled out questionnaires. 
Figures 3 and 4 show examples of these excursions, with soldiers 
entering a Stryker infantry carrier and leaving a M-113A3.

Figure 3: Stryker Infantry Carrier Ingress Excursion:

[See PDF for image]

[End of figure]


Figure 4: M-113A3 Armored Personnel Carrier Egress Excursion:

[See PDF for image]

[End of figure]

Upon completion of each training exercise, soldiers filled out another 
series of questionnaires designed to gauge ergonomic factors. 
Questionnaires, again administered by MANPRINT data collectors, asked 
soldiers about sound level, space, seat comfort, ability to communicate 
within the vehicle, situational awareness, and other safety issues.

To assess transportability, reliability and maintainability, and 
integrated logistics support, the Army relied on existing data from 
previous events, developed projections where data was lacking, or is in 
the process of collecting additional data during the continuing 
developmental testing. Using existing data, the Army determined that 
both vehicles were transportable; however, the M-113A3 was more 
deployable by air because of its reduced weight but less deployable by 
road because, for longer distances, it required either rail or truck 
support. To assess the Stryker vehicle's reliability and 
maintainability, the Army is continuing to collect data. While the Army 
is able to claim that there are no specific failure patterns, the 
relatively low number of Stryker miles prevents a statistically 
reliable forecast. To assess the M-113A3's reliability and 
maintainability, the Army primarily relied on existing data. Because 
the system is still in development, the Army used projections to 
determine that the Stryker vehicle is more logistically supportable 
because the family of vehicles and higher gas mileage reduce the 
overall size of the logistic footprint. For example, the Stryker 
vehicles are built on a common chassis and thus require fewer different 
parts. Moreover, the Stryker, as a wheeled-vehicle, requires fewer 
mechanics to maintain it.

We did not observe any significant differences in the way the Army 
compared suitability for both types of vehicles. According to our 
review of the Army Test and Evaluation Command report, both vehicles 
are transportable and both have manageable failures for maintenance and 
reliability. In terms of human factors, the MANPRINT data indicate that 
soldiers riding in a Stryker infantry carrier reported reduced fatigue; 
more ability to move within, inside, and outside the vehicle; lower 
levels of stress; less irritation; and a better ability to communicate 
than those riding in a M-113A3.

Vehicle Survivability Assessed against a Variety of Threats:

Survivability is an assessment of the extent to which a vehicle 
survives under different threat conditions and protects the crew and 
the equipment. The Army's Test and Evaluation Command decided that 
vehicle survivability would be determined through a comparison of 
existing test data, technical data, and modeling and simulation. The 
vehicles had to demonstrate that they could provide an adequate level 
of protection to the infantry squad and vehicle crew against threats 
such as small arms, artillery, and mines. The M113A3 was designed to 
provide protection against a standard 7.62mm threat. The Army intended 
the Stryker to have an all-around 7.62mm armor-piercing protection, 
plus 14.5 mm protection on the front, sides, and rear. The top will 
have 7.62 mm armor-piercing and 152mm high explosive airburst 
protection, and protection against antipersonnel mines through the 
vehicle floor. Stryker also has an embedded spall liner. Also assessed 
was the vehicles' ability to support missions under different 
battlefield conditions such as nuclear, biological, and chemical 
environments. Most of the technical evaluation occurred at the Aberdeen 
Proving Ground test center. The Test Command concluded that the Stryker 
vehicle was more survivable than the M-113A3 against both of these 
types of threats.

We also observed a vehicle survivability test at the Aberdeen test 
center. Based on our observations of the testing and data collection 
process, we determined that the test community had systems designed to 
collect objective, technical data on the vehicles. We obtained and 
analyzed the Test and Evaluation Command's evaluation report; however, 
we are unable to comment on specific test results because the results 
are classified and technical testing remains ongoing. Our observations 
and analysis do allow us to generally comment that the technical 
testing procedures appeared to be objective and sufficient to provide 
data to determine the relative survivability of the two types of 
vehicles.

DOD and the Army Assessed the Costs of Stryker and the M-113A3 
Vehicles:

The Army's Cost and Economic Analysis Center and DOD's Program Analysis 
and Evaluation Directorate (PA&E) estimated the life-cycle costs of 
equipping the brigade teams with either the Stryker or the M-113A3 
vehicle. The Center included both investment and operating costs in its 
calculations and defined the appropriate life cycle as 20 years. PA&E, 
using the Center's cost calculations, applied a slightly different 
methodology to assess the costs for one Stryker brigade. Both PA&E and 
the Army concurred that the Stryker infantry carrier is more expensive 
than the M-113A3. However, each report had a slightly different 
methodology. We reviewed the assumptions of the cost comparison and 
found they conformed to cost analysis guidance provided to federal 
agencies by the Office of Management and Budget. We found no instances 
in which these cost assumptions seemed to favor one vehicle over 
another. Based on this review, the magnitude of the increased costs of 
the Stryker vehicle appeared reasonable.

The Stryker vehicle has a higher investment cost than the M-113A3. 
According to both PA&E and the Army cost reports, acquiring a Stryker 
vehicle is $1.42 million each. The acquisition cost for an M-113A3 
depends on how it is acquired, either through reassigning vehicles 
currently in the Army inventory or upgrading existing M-113A2s.

The Army currently has 4,100 M-113A3s in its inventory, so a zero cost 
investment option would be to assign these existing vehicles to the new 
Stryker brigades. According to the Army, pursuing this course would 
adversely affect the readiness of the losing units, which would then be 
equipped with older versions of the M-113. PA&E noted that the loss 
of vehicles could be accepted as an additional risk to the current 
force structure, which will begin transforming to the future force in 
2008. A second option would be to upgrade existing M-113A2s. PA&E and 
the Army reports agree that the cost of upgrading an M-113A2 is about 
$303,000 per vehicle with an inherited value of $67,000 per vehicle, 
making the total cost of upgrading at least $370,000 per vehicle.

Capabilities costs are also not reflected in the investment costs of 
the M-113A3. Unlike the M-113A3, the Stryker vehicle was designed with 
two significant capabilities: 14.5-mm armor protection and a Remote 
Weapon Station. The M-113A3's armor protection is less than the Stryker 
vehicle's and an upgrade package will cost about $73,000 per vehicle. 
The M-113A3 does not have the Remote Weapon Station, which would cost 
another $200,000 per vehicle. Not included in this estimate are the 
costs of testing and integrating the Remote Weapon Station with the 
M-113A3, assuming that it can be done at all. Moreover, this estimate 
does not include the effect that the additional weight from the armor 
protection and Remote Weapon Station would have on the M-113A3's 
transportability or suitability.

PA&E and the Army agreed that the Stryker infantry carrier has lower 
operating costs than the M-113A3. Over a 20-year lifespan, both 
agencies estimated that each Stryker vehicle would cost $2.9 million to 
operate and maintain compared to $3.1 million for the M-113A3. These 
cost savings come from three main areas: fuel efficiency, replacement 
parts, and training costs. Both agencies agree that the Stryker vehicle 
is more fuel-efficient and requires fewer repair parts and consumables. 
Additionally, training costs encompass several different areas, namely 
the cost to train and staff mechanics, as well as instruct new crews on 
how to operate the vehicles.

With the exception of the number of brigades used to calculate costs, 
the methodology used by PA&E and the Army to calculate operating costs 
was consistent. The Army based its cost calculations on equipping 6 
brigades, for a total of 686 vehicles. In contrast, PA&E based its 
calculations on equipping 1 brigade, for a total of 118 vehicles. 
Although the two methods result in different total costs for the 
vehicle systems, they do not change the relative price difference, or 
the fact that the Stryker vehicle is more expensive than the M-113A3.

The Director, Operational Test and Evaluation, officially approved the 
Army's cost comparison on December 17, 2002. The comparison found that 
the Stryker infantry carrier vehicle was more costly than the M-113A3. 
Based on our review of the methodologies used, we concluded that the 
cost comparison was reasonable.

Secretary of Defense Certified to the Combat Power of the Army 
and Released Funding for the Third Brigade's Vehicles:

The Army completed the comparison evaluation and developed a report 
that included reports from the Army Test and Evaluation Command and the 
Army Cost and Economic Analysis Center. On December 17, 2002, the 
Secretary of the Army forwarded a memorandum of certification to the 
Secretary of Defense. The Secretary of the Army certified that, in 
terms of operational effectiveness, the comparison evaluation 
demonstrated that the Stryker infantry carrier vehicle is more 
survivable and provides better overall performance and mobility when 
employed in combat operations than the M-113A3. The Secretary of the 
Army also certified that the Stryker brigade combat team increased the 
aggregate combat power of the U.S. Army.

However, in the report submitted to Congress, DOD's conclusions were 
not quite as positive. The DOD report, prepared by its PA&E 
Directorate, summarized conclusions based on the Department of the Army 
report that included the Army Test and Evaluation Command and the Army 
Cost and Economic Analysis Center reports. The Director, Operational 
Test and Evaluation, also provided comments from a draft report. The 
DOD report stated that neither vehicle was preferred for all the 
criteria. The Stryker vehicle was superior under some criteria, the 
M-113A3 was superior on others, and the two vehicles were equal on yet 
others. However, DOD and the Army both agreed that the Stryker brigade 
combat teams would not diminish the combat power of the Army, and DOD 
so certified. As a result of the evaluation, the Deputy Secretary of 
Defense approved obligating the funding for the Stryker vehicles to 
equip the third brigade.

Agency Comments:

In commenting on a draft of this report, DOD concurred with the 
report's findings. DOD's response also provided technical comments for 
clarifying two areas in the report, which we incorporated. Appendix II 
contains the full text of DOD's comments.

Scope and Methodology:

To determine whether the Army's plan for the comparison was adequate to 
satisfy legislative requirements, we focused our efforts on 
understanding the Army's overall comparison evaluation plan. We 
obtained and analyzed the Army's Comparative Evaluation plan, data 
collection plans, and technical test plans and reviewed comments of the 
plan provided by various DOD and Army agencies. We interviewed 
officials and analysts involved in both the design and evaluation of 
the plan at Office of the Secretary of Defense; Office of the Secretary 
of the Army; Headquarters, Department of the Army; Army Forces Command; 
Army Training and Doctrine Command; Army Tank and Automotive Command; 
Army Operational Test Command and Army Test and Evaluation 
Command; Army Cost and Economic Analysis Center; and I Corps, 
Fort Lewis, Washington.

To determine whether the comparison evaluation plan and its 
implementation would provide the data needed to measure the relative 
effectiveness of the vehicles, we attended the operational vignettes 
and associated training events scheduled in the Army's plan and 
reviewed the results taken from those events. For example, we reviewed 
the training procedures and attended the training sessions for the data 
collectors and subject matter experts administering the operational 
vignettes held at Fort Lewis, Washington. We examined the methods used 
by the test administrators to collect, store, and process the data. To 
determine if the conditions favored one vehicle over the other, we 
observed the terrain to be used during the operational vignettes. We 
observed 8 of 16 events conducted during the operational vignettes. 
These events included the road march, loading of vehicles, and various 
tactical missions. In addition, we rode in and drove both types of 
vehicles. We also interviewed the Army Operational Test Command 
officials who were administering the test, as well as representatives 
from the office of DOD's Director of Operational Test and Evaluation 
and the Institute for Defense Analysis and Army commanders of the unit 
participating in the evaluation. Upon completion of the vignettes, we 
interviewed soldiers who had participated in the events. For technical 
testing, we visited Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. We received 
briefings from the Developmental Test Command as to how the Army 
conducts technical tests on vehicles. We obtained and analyzed 
classified and unclassified ballistic testing plans and observed a 
vehicle survivability test that was comparable to other types of 
technical testing. We also reviewed the reports issued by the Office of 
the Secretary of Defense; Program Analysis and Evaluation Directorate; 
Secretary of the Army; the Army Test and Evaluation Command; and the 
Army Cost Economic and Analysis Center. We compared the results and 
conclusions of these reports to our own observations.

We reviewed the Army's Cost Economic and Analysis Center's cost report 
and the comments on the report made by the PA&E and the Office of the 
Secretary of Defense regarding cost comparison methodology. While we 
verified the general procedures and assumptions used in these analyses, 
we did not perform detailed checks of the many calculations they 
entailed.

Our review was performed from May 2002 to May 2003 in accordance with 
generally accepted government audit standards.

:

We are sending copies of this report to the Secretary of Defense and 
the Director, Office of Management and Budget. We will also make copies 
available to appropriate congressional committees and to other 
interested parties on request. In addition, the report will be 
available at no cost on the GAO Web site at http://www.gao.gov. If you 
or your staff have any questions about this report, please call me at 
(202) 512-8365.

Major contributors to this report were Reginald L. Furr, Jr.; Leo B. 
Sullivan; Robert Ackley; Timothy A. Burke; Kenneth Daniell; M. Jane 
Hunt; William McNaught; Jim Melton; and Sidney Schwartz.


William M. Solis 
Director, 
Defense Capabilities and Management:

Signed by William M. Solis: 

List of Congressional Committees:

The Honorable John W. Warner 
Chairman 
The Honorable Carl Levin 
Ranking Minority Member 
Committee on Armed Services 
United States Senate:

The Honorable Ted Stevens 
Chairman 
The Honorable Daniel K. Inouye 
Ranking Minority Member 
Subcommittee on Defense 
Committee on Appropriations 
United States Senate:

The Honorable Duncan Hunter 
Chairman 
The Honorable Ike Skelton 
Ranking Minority Member 
Committee on Armed Services 
House of Representatives:

The Honorable Jerry Lewis 
Chairman 
The Honorable John P. Murtha 
Ranking Minority Member 
Subcommittee on Defense 
Committee on Appropriations 
House of Representatives:

[End of section]

Appendixes: 

Appendix I: Section from Public Law 106-398 Concerning Limitations 
on Army Transformation Actions:

SEC. 113. REPORTS AND LIMITATIONS RELATING TO ARMY TRANSFORMATION.

(a) SECRETARY OF THE ARMY REPORT ON OBJECTIVE FORCE DEVELOPMENT 
PROCESS.--The Secretary of the Army shall submit to the congressional 
defense committees a report on the process for developing the objective 
force in the transformation of the Army.

The report shall include the following:

(1) The operational environments envisioned for the objective force. 
(2) The threat assumptions on which research and development efforts 
for transformation of the Army into the objective force are based. (3) 
The potential operational and organizational concepts for the objective 
force. (4) The operational requirements anticipated for the operational 
requirements document of the objective force. (5) The anticipated 
schedule of Army transformation activities through fiscal year 2012, 
together with--(A) the projected funding requirements through that 
fiscal year for research and development activities and procurement 
activities related to transition to the objective force; and (B) a 
summary of the anticipated investments of the Defense Advanced Research 
Projects Agency in programs designed to lead to the fielding of future 
combat systems for the objective force. (6) A proposed plan for the 
comparison referred to in sub-section (c).

If any of the information required by paragraphs (1) through (5) is not 
available at the time the report is submitted, the Secretary shall 
include in the report the anticipated schedule for the availability of 
that information.

(b) SECRETARY OF DEFENSE REPORT ON OBJECTIVE FORCE DEVELOPMENT 
PROCESS.--Not later than March 1, 2001, the Secretary of Defense shall 
submit to the congressional defense committees a report on the process 
for developing the objective force in the transformation of the Army. 
The report shall include the following:

(1) The joint warfighting requirements that will be supported by the 
fielding of the objective force, together with a description of the 
adjustments that are planned to be made in the war plans of the 
commanders of the unified combatant commands in relation to the 
fielding of the objective force. (2) The changes in lift requirements 
that may result from the establishment and fielding of the combat 
brigades of the objective force. (3) The evaluation process that will 
be used to support decisionmaking on the course of the Army 
transformation, including a description of the operational evaluations 
and experimentation that will be used to validate the operational 
requirements for the operational requirements document of the objective 
force.

If any of the information required by paragraphs (1) through (3) is not 
available at the time the report is submitted, the Secretary shall 
include in the report the anticipated schedule for the availability of 
that information.

(c) COSTS AND EFFECTIVENESS OF MEDIUM ARMORED COMBAT VEHICLES FOR THE 
INTERIM BRIGADE COMBAT TEAMS.--(1) The Secretary of the Army shall 
develop a plan for comparing--(A) the costs and operational 
effectiveness of the infantry carrier variant of the interim armored 
vehicles selected for the infantry battalions of the interim brigade 
combat teams; and (B) the costs and operational effectiveness of the 
troop-carrying medium armored vehicles currently in the Army inventory 
for the use of infantry battalions. (2) The Secretary of the Army may 
not carry out the comparison described in paragraph (1) until the 
Director of Operational Test and Evaluation of the Department of 
Defense approves the plan for that comparison developed under that 
paragraph. (d) LIMITATION PENDING RECEIPT OF SECRETARY OF THE ARMY 
REPORT.--Not more than 80 percent of the amount appropriated for fiscal 
year 2001 for the procurement of armored vehicles in the family of new 
medium armored vehicles may be obligated until--(1) the Secretary of 
the Army submits to the congressional defense committees the report 
required under subsection (a); and (2) a period of 30 days has elapsed 
from the date of the submittal of such report.

(e) LIMITATION PENDING COMPARISON AND CERTIFICATION.--No funds 
appropriated or otherwise made available to the Department of the Army 
for any fiscal year may be obligated for acquisition of medium armored 
combat vehicles to equip a third interim brigade combat team until--
(1) the plan for a comparison of costs and operational effectiveness 
developed under subsection (c)(1), as approved under subsection (c)(2), 
is carried out; (2) the Secretary of Defense submits to the 
congressional defense committees, after the completion of the 
comparison referred to in paragraph (1), a certification that--(A) the 
Secretary approves of the obligation of funds for that purpose; and (B) 
the force structure resulting from the acquisition and subsequent 
operational capability of interim brigade combat teams will not 
diminish the combat power of the 
Army; and (3) a period of 30 days has elapsed from the date of the 
certification under paragraph (2).

(f) DEFINITIONS.--In this section:

(1) The term "transformation", with respect to the Army, means the 
actions being undertaken to transform the Army, as it is constituted in 
terms of organization, equipment, and doctrine in 2000, into the 
objective force.

(2) The term "objective force" means the Army that has the 
organizational structure, the most advanced equipment that early 
twenty-first century science and technology can provide, and the 
appropriate doctrine to ensure that the Army is responsive, deployable, 
agile, versatile, lethal, survivable, and sustainable for the full 
spectrum of the operations anticipated to be required of the Army 
during the early years of the twenty-first century following 2010.

(3) The term "interim brigade combat team" means an Army brigade that 
is designated by the Secretary of the Army as a brigade combat team and 
is reorganized and equipped with currently available equipment in a 
configuration that effectuates an evolutionary advancement toward 
transformation of the Army to the objective force.

[End of section]

Appendix II: Comments from the Department of Defense:

OPERATIONAL TEST AND EVALUATION:

OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE:

1700 DEFENSE PENTAGON WASHINGTON, DC 20301-1700:

May 13, 2003:

Mr. William M. Solis:

Director, Defense Capabilities and Management U.S. General Accounting 
Office:

Washington, DC 20548:

Dear Mr. Solis,

This is the Department of Defense response to the GAO draft report, 
GAO-03-671, "MILITARY TRANSFORMATION: Army's Evaluation of Stryker and 
MI 13A3 Infantry Carrier Vehicles Provided Sufficient Data for 
Statutorily Mandated Comparison," dated April 21, 2003, (GAO Code 
350179). The Department of Defense concurs with the report. GAO 
concluded that the Army conducted an objective and unbiased evaluation, 
data collected was sufficient to support a meaningful evaluation, and 
the evaluation met legal requirements.

We request GAO modify their report in two areas. First on page 12, 
paragraph titled "Vehicle Survivability Assessed Against a Variety of 
Threats," add the sentences: The M1 13A3 was designed to provide 
protection against a 7.62mm ball threat. The Army intends Stryker to 
have an all-around 7.62mm armor piercing protection, plus 14.5mm 
protection on the front, sides, and rear. The top will have 7.62mm 
armor-piercing and 152mm high explosive airburst protection, and 
protection against anti-personnel mines through the vehicle floor. 
Stryker also has an embedded spall liner. Secondly, would like to 
clarify the subheading on page 12 of the report, "Department of Defense 
and the Army Assessed the Costs of Stryker and the MI 13A3 Vehicles." 
The paragraph implies that the Office of the Secretary of Defense, 
Program, Analysis and Evaluation did an independent life cycle cost 
estimate of equipping the brigade teams with either the Stryker or 
M113A3. Program, Analysis and Evaluation estimated operating cost for 
one brigade, and compared its cost with the Army's estimate for all six 
brigades.

With these technical adjustments, we believe the GAO report will more 
accurately capture key points of Stryker survivability and cost data.

The Department of Defense appreciates the opportunity to comment on the 
final report.

Stephen C. Daly
Deputy Director, Conventional Systems

Signed by Stephen C. Daly:

(350179):

FOOTNOTES

[1] Floyd D. Spence National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 
2001, P.L. 106-398 (Oct. 30, 2000).

[2] U.S. General Accounting Office, Army Stryker Brigades: Assessment 
of External Logistics Support Should Be Documented for the 
Congressionally Mandated Review of the Army's Operational Evaluation 
Plan, GAO-03-484R (Washington, D.C.: Mar. 28, 2003); Military 
Transformation: Army Actions Needed to Enhance Formation of Future 
Interim Brigade Combat Teams, GAO-02-442 (Washington, D.C.: May 17, 
2002); Military Transformation: Army Has a Comprehensive Plan for 
Managing Its Transformation but Faces Major Challenges, GAO-02-96 
(Washington, D.C.: Nov. 16, 2001); Defense Acquisition: Army 
Transformation Faces Weapons Systems Challenges, GAO-01-311 
(Washington, D.C.: May 21, 2001).

[3] Testimony before the Committee on Armed Services, U.S. Senate, Mar. 
1, 2000.

[4] The Director of Operational Test and Evaluation is the principal 
advisor to the Secretary of Defense, concerning operational testing, 
including assessments of operational effectiveness, suitability, and 
survivability of the items tested.

[5] The Army Test and Evaluation Command is the Army's independent 
operational test activity and is responsible for overall management of 
the Army test and evaluation programs.

[6] Subject matter experts are usually noncommissioned officers who 
have extensive experience with the studied equipment, recent unit 
experience, and a background as a trainer or in training development.

[7] MANPRINT data measures human factors such as vehicle ride-ability, 
noise levels, and fatigue.

[8] Within saliva, there is an enzyme called amylase. Research has 
shown that the concentration of salivary amylase reflects substances 
produced by the body in response to stress.

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