Military Readiness:

Data and Trends for April 1995 to March 1996

NSIAD-96-194: Published: Aug 2, 1996. Publicly Released: Aug 2, 1996.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed readiness information for the four military services, focusing on: (1) readiness trends of selected units from April 1, 1995, to March 31, 1996; and (2) readiness trends from October 1, 1995, to March 31, 1996, of selected units that participated in the Bosnia operation.

GAO found that: (1) from April 1, 1995, to March 31, 1996, readiness of the 87 units GAO reviewed and covered by GAO's prior report was at levels consistent with service goals in 80, or 92 percent, of the units; (2) this represents an improvement of 12 percentage points, compared with the unit status during the prior period; (3) readiness reductions were caused primarily by shortages of available personnel, particularly those trained to perform highly skilled military occupations; (4) of the 31 Army and 5 Air Force units GAO reviewed that participated in the Bosnia operation, 5 Army units, or 14 percent, and 1 Air Force unit, or 20 percent, reported readiness reductions; (5) the Army units had deployed elements or key personnel to Bosnia, thus lowering resources available to the parent (reporting) units; (6) the Air Force unit has historically had personnel shortages; and (7) the Bosnia operation did not affect the readiness of Navy or Marine Corps units since they were either already in the theater or had planned a forward presence deployment to the area.

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