Survey of the Potential for Better Use of Army Equipment for Training

PLRD-83-30: Published: Jan 27, 1983. Publicly Released: Jan 27, 1983.

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GAO conducted a survey to determine whether: (1) opportunities exist for greater sharing of Army equipment among and between the Active and Reserve components; (2) the total amount of equipment needed for training could be reduced; and (3) the equipment thus freed could be stored and maintained in a higher readiness state.

The survey did not indicate that Army components have more equipment than is needed for training. However, GAO believes that, through increased equipment sharing, the equipment available for training purposes could be used more efficiently. Existing Army policies and incentives are designed to encourage unit commanders to make their equipment available to others who need it, and the Army has implemented programs which increase equipment sharing and improve training efficiency. However, GAO found that some practices may actually constrain equipment sharing; and discussions with Army officials indicated a general reluctance to share equipment. Army Reserve sites and Army National Guard sites tend to confine equipment loans only to units in their respective components. GAO also found that active Army, Army Reserve, and Army National Guard units charge different fees for loaned equipment. GAO believes that consistent application of loan fees among all the Army's components would facilitate additional equipment sharing. GAO suggested that the Army closely monitor the extent to which assets of the National Guard are being loaned and be alert for any adverse effects on equipment sharing as a consequence of the fees being charged.

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