Simulation Training:

Management Framework Improved, but Challenges Remain

NSIAD-93-122: Published: May 10, 1993. Publicly Released: May 10, 1993.

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Mark E. Gebicke
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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed: (1) Department of Defense (DOD) efforts to coordinate the use of simulation technology; and (2) the Army's Close Combat Tactical Trainer (CCTT) acquisition plan.

GAO found that: (1) in June 1991, the Defense Modeling and Simulation Office (DMSO) was created to coordinate and provide guidance for simulation issues throughout DOD; (2) DMSO has made progress in responding to its mandate, but has been unsuccessful in obtaining permanent staffing authority and hiring a civilian director; (3) the Army has recently reorganized its command structure for acquiring simulations so that it can acquire CCTT and subsequent simulations in the Combined Arms Tactical Training System as a major system; (4) CCTT was approved in October 1991, but the system's cost and training effectiveness are scheduled for reassessment before the Army proceeds with full-rate production; and (5) modeling and simulation responsibilities are shared by several joint staff directorates, which has resulted in some duplication of effort.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: As of August 1995, six permanent military billets, dedicated to DMSO functions, had been filled. Four billets are military and two are civilian.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should ensure that DMSO is properly staffed to carry out its assigned responsibilities.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: In June 1993, the Joint Staff completed two studies of its organization structure that resulted in two reorganizations. First, effective June 1, 1993, management responsibilities for information resources technology were consolidated under the Deputy Director for Technical Operations within the Force Structure, Resources, and Assessment Directorate (J-8). An instruction clarifying responsibilities for the development and management of simulations was distributed in August 1993. Second, effective September, 1994, the Joint Simulation and Interoperability Division and the Joint Warfare Center within (J-7) was consolidated into the Joint Doctrine, Warfighting, and Simulation Center in Norfolk, Virginia. These changes should eliminate most of the duplication at the Joint Staff. However, these actions may result in other duplicative efforts which are being addressed under another GAO assignment.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should eliminate unnecessary inefficiencies within the two Joint Staff directorates involved in simulations and more clearly delineate each directorate's roles and responsibilities in this area.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Army accepts the validity of the recommendations and advises that it expects to complete adequate testing, cost analyses, and training effectiveness studies before April 1997--the anticipated low-rate initial production decision point. To this end, the Army has designed the data elements to be tested, the most effective methodology for collecting and analyzing the data, and criteria for ensuring realistic training effectiveness of CCTT. The presentation of test results remains scheduled for January 1997.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should ensure that all prerequisite testing, cost analyses, and training effectiveness assessments are completed and fully considered before decisions are made about the full-rate production of CCTT.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army


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