Estimates of Available Hours for Military Personnel in Wartime Distort Force Requirements and Planning

FPCD-80-6: Published: Dec 11, 1979. Publicly Released: Dec 11, 1979.

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An evaluation was made of the military services' policies for estimating the availability of wartime military personnel. The estimates are used in calculating personnel needed for future contingencies, and the potential need is then taken into consideration for establishing peacetime personnel requirements. The scope of this evaluation was extended beyond that of previous reports in that it considered interservice differences in determining wartime requirements.

There was no reason to change the conclusions of previous reports which stated that: availability determinations were not based on common criteria; estimates were often old, incomplete, and unsupported; and variances within organizations were not accounted for. One exception lies with the Air Force, which supports its availability estimates with detailed and fairly current studies. Personnel requirements based on inaccurate and out-of-date available hours may be greatly understated or overstated. In addition to a possible impact on readiness, this can also create hardships and morale problems which affect retention.

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