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Highlights

Prepositioned military equipment and supplies on ships and overseas on land have become an integral part of the U.S. defense strategy. However, the Army's program has faced long-standing management challenges, including equipment excesses and shortfalls, invalid or poorly defined requirements, and maintenance problems. In Public Law 109-163, Congress required the Army to conduct an assessment of its prepositioning programs and required GAO to assess (1) whether the Army's report addressed the areas required by Congress, and (2) the major challenges the Army continues to face in its prepositioning program. GAO analyzed the Army's report and other information it obtained from the Joint Staff, the Army, and its subordinate commands to identify the issues affecting the Army's prepositioning program. GAO also visited prepositioned equipment sites in South Carolina, Europe, South Korea, and Kuwait.

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Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Defense 1. The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Army to take steps to synchronize the Army's prepositioning strategy with the DOD-wide strategy to ensure that future investments made for the Army's prepositioning program align with the anticipated DOD-wide prepositioning strategy.
Closed - Not Implemented
DOD partially concurred with our recommendation, but stated that it had already taken steps to address our recommendations and that further actions were not needed. The department's referenced actions reflected a service centric approach to prepositioning and precluded opportunities for innovation, and could lead to duplication across the department. We believe that the department wide strategy for preposition stocks should not just reflect the cobble together plans of the individual services. We have made similar recommendations in our more recently issued report on prepositioned stock (GAO-11-647), and consequently are closing this recommendation as not implemented.
Department of the Army 2. Once the strategic direction is aligned with the DOD strategy, the Secretary of the Army should develop an implementation plan that completes ongoing reevaluation of the secondary item and operational project stock requirements, as well as establishes systematic readiness measurement and reporting of secondary items and operational project stock programs, identifies the optimal mix of storage and maintenance facilities at each location to support the emerging strategy, and prescribes oversight requirements for the maintenance of prepositioned equipment to ensure that equipment is ready for combat.
Closed - Not Implemented
DOD partially concurred with our recommendation, but stated that it had already taken steps to address our recommendations and that further actions were not needed. This recommendation was conditional based on our recommendation, that the Army first synchronizing its propositioning strategy with the DOD-wide strategy, which it has not. The department's referenced actions reflected a service centric approach to prepositioning and precluded opportunities for innovation, and could lead to duplication across the department. We believe that the department wide strategy for preposition stocks should not just reflect the cobble together plans of the individual services. We have made similar recommendations in our more recently issued report on prepositioned stock (GAO-11-647), and consequently are closing this recommendation as not implemented.

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