Force Structure:

Army National Guard Divisions Could Augment Wartime Support Capability

NSIAD-95-80: Published: Mar 2, 1995. Publicly Released: Mar 2, 1995.

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GAO reviewed whether: (1) the Army could successfully support two major regional conflicts; and (2) Army National Guard units could be used to alleviate any potential shortfalls.

GAO found that: (1) the Army would have difficulties supplying certain types of nondivisional support units for two major regional conflicts; (2) some support could be made available from National Guard divisions with similarly skilled personnel and equipment; (3) shortfalls were avoided during the Persian Gulf War because U.S. forces had ample preparation time before launching a counteroffensive; (4) Saudi Arabia provided extensive host nation support to U.S. forces during the Persian Gulf War; and (5) the Army could face potentially greater difficulties in a two-conflict situation than those encountered in the Gulf War.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD concurred with the recommendation. During its biennial analysis of support requirements completed in January 1996 and a subsequent analysis of the design of Army National Guard divisions completed in May 1996, the Army addressed the recommendation to identify unresourced support requirements that could be met using National Guard units. Based on these analyses, Army developed a plan to convert about 110,000 reserve component combat spaces--most of which are in the National Guard--to support spaces. This plan meets the intent of the recommendation because it uses existing capability in the National Guard to fill unresourced support requirements. The recommendation, therefore, is considered closed.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army, as part of the Total Army Analysis, should: (1) identify the specific unresourced nondivisional support requirements that could be met using National Guard divisional support units and the personnel and equipment in these units; and (2) work with the National Guard to develop a plan for employing this capability.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army


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