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Highlights

The Department of Defense (DOD) issued the Mobility Capabilities Study (MCS), which was intended to identify and quantify the mobility capabilities needed to support U.S. strategic objectives into the next decade. The MCS found that projected capabilities are adequate to achieve U.S. objectives with an acceptable level of risk--that is, current U.S. inventory of aircraft, ships, prepositioned assets, and other capabilities are sufficient, in conjunction with host nation support, and assuming planned investments take place. The Senate report accompanying the bill for the fiscal year 2005 Defense Authorization Act required GAO to report on the adequacy and completeness of the MCS. GAO assessed the extent to which the MCS met generally accepted research standards that this type of study would be expected to meet to be considered sound and complete.

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Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Defense To provide decision makers with adequate and complete information concerning mobility capabilities so they are able to clearly understand the operational implications of the study and make fully informed programmatic investment decisions, and to improve the usefulness of future mobility capabilities studies, the Secretary of Defense should, when conducting future mobility capabilities studies beginning with any study currently underway, develop models and data for all critical missions, such as homeland defense, and processes, such as the flexible deterrent options/deployment order process.
Closed - Not Implemented
DOD recently completed a new mobility capabilities and requirements study. While they developed requirements for homeland defense and used flexible deterrent options in the scenarios, they did not develop models and data for them.
Department of Defense To provide decision makers with adequate and complete information concerning mobility capabilities so they are able to clearly understand the operational implications of the study and make fully informed programmatic investment decisions, and to improve the usefulness of future mobility capabilities studies, the Secretary of Defense should, when conducting future mobility capabilities studies beginning with any study currently underway, include in study reports an explanation of how stated limitations might impact the study results and, at a minimum, describe how recommended future studies might be conducted to enhance the results of the original study.
Closed - Not Implemented
In the recently released Mobility Capabilities and Requirements Study-2016, DOD did not identify limitations nor did they explain how any limitations might impact the results. The new study did not refer to previous studies to describe how the new study enhanced any previous study.
Department of Defense To provide decision makers with adequate and complete information concerning mobility capabilities so they are able to clearly understand the operational implications of the study and make fully informed programmatic investment decisions, and to improve the usefulness of future mobility capabilities studies, the Secretary of Defense should, when conducting future mobility capabilities studies beginning with any study currently underway, incorporate both mobility and warfighting metrics in determining capabilities.
Closed - Implemented
In the recently issued Mobility Capabilities and Requirements study, DOD used both warfighting metrics and the mobility metric of million ton miles per day to identify requirements.

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