The Army's and Marine Corps' major training facilities--Army and Marine Corps combat training centers and Army mobilization training centers--have focused on training units for counterinsurgency missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. As troop levels decrease in Iraq and increase in Afghanistan, larger numbers of forces will be training for Afghanistan. To meet future requirements, the services plan to adjust training to train forces on a fuller range of missions. The House report to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010 directed GAO to report on any challenges the Department of Defense faces as it adjusts training capacities. GAO assessed the extent to which the Army and Marine Corps have (1) made adjustments at their major training facilities to support larger deployments to Afghanistan; and (2) developed plans to adjust training capacity to meet future requirements. GAO analyzed service training guidance, future training requirements, and related plans, and interviewed headquarters officials and personnel from the services' major training facilities.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Department of Defense||1. To address the challenges associated with training its brigade combat teams for both ongoing operations and a fuller range of missions, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Army to develop and implement a plan to evaluate the full range of available options for training its brigade combat teams; assess the risks of not conducting the desired number of training rotations; and determine how, if necessary, risks will be mitigated.|
|Department of Defense||2. To maximize the use of existing resources, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Army to finalize the training requirements for smaller reserve-component units that will act as contingency forces under its Army Force Generation (ARFORGEN) model. The completed training requirements should identify when smaller units' training should occur and include an analysis of existing Army training capacity to determine whether any excess capacity exists. Specifically, the analysis should weigh the costs and benefits of using the training capacity that currently exists at the Army's mobilization training centers in conjunction with or as alternatives to its other efforts, such as the home station culminating training events.|