Kosovo Air Operations:

Army Resolving Lessons Learned Regarding the Apache Helicopter

GAO-01-401: Published: Mar 2, 2001. Publicly Released: Mar 2, 2001.

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The Army deployed its team, called Task Force Hawk, to participate in a Kosovo combat operation known as Operation Allied Force. This report (1) examines how Task Force Hawk's concept of operation compared to Army and joint doctrine, (2) reviews the lessons learned identified from the operation and determines the status of actions to address those lessons, and (3) examines the extent to which the Army and the Air Force were able to operate together as a joint force. GAO concludes that Task Force Hawk's deep attacks against Serbian forces in Kosovo was consistent with doctrine, but was not typical in that the task force was supporting an air campaign rather than its more traditional role of being used in conjunction with Army ground forces to engage massed formations of enemy armor. The Army identified 107 items that require remedial action. As of January 2001, 47 of the 107 items had been recommended for closure. Action is in process for the remaining 60 lessons. Finally, the Army and the Air Force experienced significant problems in their ability to work together jointly and the interoperability of the command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence equipment used during the operation. The Army is working on both issues aggressively. However, it will take time for results to be seen.

Matter for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: On March 13, 2001, GAO provided the House Armed Services Committee with draft legislative language for periodic progress reports on implementing the lessons learned from Task Force Hawk. GAO cannot assess final action on the matter for congressional consideration until Congress completes action on the fiscal year 2002 National Defense Authorization Act. While Congress did not include reporting language in the fiscal year 2002 National Defense Authorization Act, the Army is using the material GAO developed as benchmark for its contnuing effort to track progress on implementing lessons learned. GAO believes that the Army's action is responsive to its recommendation, and that congressional action is no longer necessary.

    Matter: To ensure that the Army maintains the momentum to take actions to resolve Task Force Hawk lessons learned, Congress may want to consider requiring the Army to report on remedial actions taken to implement Task Force Hawk lessons.


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