Army Logistics:

Global Combat Support System-Army Is Supporting Requirements at Selected Units

GAO-15-378R: Published: Apr 3, 2015. Publicly Released: Apr 3, 2015.

Additional Materials:


Zina D. Merritt
(202) 512-5257


Office of Public Affairs
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What GAO Found

At the selected Army units GAO visited, the Global Combat Support System-Army (GCSS-Army) was supporting their logistics requirements. GCSS-Army is an information system used at tactical units to perform logistics functions such as ordering and tracking supplies and managing maintenance. It is being fielded across the Army in two waves: the first wave is being fielded to warehouses, and the second wave is being fielded to Army units that manage maintenance and property accountability. Once a unit has fielded the first and second waves of GCSS-Army, the unit will use what the Army calls the "full solution." Based on GAO's visits to two units that had fielded the first wave of the system, units were able to perform warehouse operations using GCSS-Army. Similarly, based on GAO's visit to a unit that had fielded the full solution of GCSS-Army, the system was supporting supply, property accountability, and maintenance functions. Some users at each of the units also told GAO that the system provided certain capabilities that were not available using legacy systems, such as providing a near real-time, authoritative source of data for decision-making. According to Army officials, units experienced a decrease in productivity during the initial transition from legacy systems to GCSS-Army, but returned to a more normal operating level after becoming familiar with how to use the system.

The Army is developing a performance management approach to assess the extent of benefits realized from using GCSS-Army. After GCSS-Army is fully fielded in September 2017, the Army expects the system to provide more than $11.8 billion in financial benefits from fiscal years 2018 through 2027. According to the Army's 2012 Economic Analysis for the system, these benefits will be comprised of a $1 billion cost savings from the retirement of legacy systems, increased efficiencies resulting in cost avoidances of approximately $2 billion, and productivity enhancements providing $8.8 billion in benefits. To measure the extent of the benefits, the Army is developing a baseline measurement of the performance of units that are using legacy systems to perform logistics tasks. Because the Army's approach is under development, it is too early to evaluate its effectiveness. GAO is not making any recommendations.

Why GAO Did This Study

GCSS-Army is an information system that replaces legacy systems used to manage logistics functions at Army tactical units, such as ordering and tracking supplies, maintaining accountability of organizational equipment, and monitoring unit maintenance. As of February 2015, the system had been fielded to two Army units, and fielding for the remainder of the Army has been divided into two waves. The first wave began in November 2012 and replaces the legacy system used to support supply functions at Army warehouses. Fielding for the second wave is scheduled to begin in July 2015 and will replace legacy systems used to support maintenance and property accountability functions. Once the second wave of fielding is complete in fiscal year 2017, according to the Army, more than 150,000 users at multiple locations will use the full solution of GCSS-Army to manage an estimated $216 billion in assets on an annual basis. According to Army officials, GCSS-Army had an estimated lifecycle cost of $3.9 billion and, as of December 2014, the Army had spent about $1.8 billion.

GAO was asked to evaluate the use of GCSS-Army at locations where it has been fielded. This report assesses the extent to which (1) the system is able to support the logistics requirements of selected units and (2) the Army has developed a performance management approach for measuring any benefits realized from using the system. GAO reviewed Army regulations, training materials, and presentations describing the system's capabilities, as well as interviewed officials. GAO also observed use of the system at three units. GAO selected these units based on a non-probability sample. Specifically, GAO visited one unit because it was located in close proximity to the program management office and two units because they were both located at Fort Bliss, Texas, which is one of two locations that had fielded the full solution. Accordingly, results from GAO's visits are not generalizable to other locations.

What GAO Recommends

GAO is not making any recommendations.

For more information, contact Zina D. Merritt at (202) 512-5257 or

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