In September 2009, the President announced a revised approach for ballistic missile defense (BMD) in Europe. The European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA) is designed to defend against existing and near-term ballistic missile threats and build up defenses over four phases as threats mature and new BMD technologies become available. Although the approach will include capabilities such as radars and landand sea-based BMD assets, the Department of Defense (DOD) has not yet established EPAA life-cycle costs. EPAA is DOD's first implementation of its new, regional approach to BMD. GAO was asked to evaluate DOD's plans for implementing EPAA. GAO reviewed the extent to which: (1) DOD has developed guidance and addressed management of cost and schedule for EPAA, and (2) DOD planning for EPAA is informed by operational performance data. GAO reviewed key legislation, policy and guidance, and initial plans for implementation and asset allocation.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Department of Defense||The Secretary of Defense should direct the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to provide guidance on EPAA that describes desired EPAA end states in response to concerns raised by key stakeholders.|
|Department of Defense||The Secretary of Defense should direct the Missile Defense Executive Board to oversee and coordinate the development of life-cycle cost estimates that would provide for the management and oversight of EPAA and allow the department to assess whether its plans for EPAA are affordable and determine if corrective actions are needed.|
|Department of Defense||The Secretary of Defense should direct the Missile Defense Executive Board to oversee and coordinate the development of an integrated EPAA schedule to include acquisition, infrastructure, and personnel activities that would help identify EPAA implementation risks that need to be considered.|
|Department of Defense||The Secretary of Defense should direct U.S. Strategic Command, in coordination with the Missile Defense Agency, to adopt BMD operational performance metrics for durability and effectiveness and include these metrics into the BMD test programs.|