During Operation Iraqi Freedom, the Army and the Marine Corps experienced problems with the delivery of supplies to the warfighter. Such problems highlight long-standing weaknesses in the Department of Defense's (DOD) supply chain management. DOD has identified joint theater logistics as a key effort aimed at improving distribution and supply support. GAO was asked to examine DOD's efforts to develop and implement joint theater logistics. GAO assessed (1) the extent to which DOD's approach to managing joint theater logistics departmentwide encompasses sound management principles and (2) the progress DOD has made in implementing joint theater logistics initiatives. GAO reviewed DOD documents and interviewed officials from the Joint Staff, services, agencies, and geographic combatant commands.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Department of Defense||To improve logistics and supply chain operations, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics), in his capacity as the Defense Logistics Executive, to develop and implement a coordinated and comprehensive management approach to guide and oversee efforts across the department to improve distribution and supply support for U.S. forces in a joint theater. This approach should encompass sound management principles, including developing specific strategies and goals, assigning accountability for achieving results, and using outcome-oriented performance measures, and should be aligned with the results of the ongoing joint capabilities portfolio management test, the proposed realignment of focused logistics capabilities, and the development of a "to be" roadmap. In considering options for implementing this recommendation, the Under Secretary should determine whether any changes should be made to DOD's organizational structure and control of resources for joint logistics support and identify the steps needed to make these changes, including changes to existing laws, such as Title 10.|
|Department of Defense||To make more economical and efficient use of shipping and storage facilities, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Director, Defense Logistics Agency, to evaluate existing storage and shipping arrangements within the geographic combatant commands and identify opportunities for consolidation.|