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Highlights

GAO reviewed the training and preparedness of the three Army National Guard roundout brigades that were activated during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, focusing on whether: (1) they had been adequately trained during peacetime to perform their wartime duties; (2) the Army's experience with the three brigades revealed any significant weaknesses in the National Guard's peacetime administrative strategy; (3) the Army's peacetime screening of reservists had adequately assessed the medical condition of the personnel in those brigades; and (4) peacetime training evaluations were useful in developing post-mobilization training plans.

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Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of the Army 1. The Secretary of the Army should ensure that peacetime training is provided to roundout brigade personnel responsible for operating active Army personnel and supply systems and for maintaining tracked vehicles upon mobilization.
Closed - Implemented
The Army has initiated several actions to improve the compatibility between Active Army and National Guard Systems. These actions are primarily geared to providing roundout brigades training on the Unit Level Logistic System, and the Standard Installation Division Personnel System. The Army developed software to improve Guard training.
Department of the Army 2. The Secretary of the Army should revise National Guard medical screening policies and procedures to provide screenings of roundout brigade personnel at age 40.
Closed - Implemented
The Army has revised its regulations to: (a) ensure medical screenings will be initiated at the first medical examination after the 36th birthday; and (b) establish the time point for physical examinations as 5-year multiples of the birth date.
Department of the Army 3. The Secretary of the Army should explore alternatives to identify and correct the serious dental ailments of roundout brigade personnel. Options could include: (1) requiring periodic dental examinations and treatment as a condition of continued membership in the unit; or (2) providing financial assistance to the members for dental care.
Closed - Implemented
The Army is developing a dental education program and is exploring the feasibility of a self-funded health insurance plan for the reserves. Also, the Army now requires dental examinations during periodic medical exams for reservists. Congress enacted legislation in FY93 that requires all Guard personnel to undergo an annual dental screening.
Department of the Army 4. The Secretary of the Army should reassess the Department of Defense's position on the training readiness evaluation recommendations made in a February 1991 GAO report to ensure that training readiness reports are accurate indicators of readiness.
Closed - Implemented
This recommendation involved three recommendations from the February 1991 report. Action has been completed on two recommendations dealing with evaluations on demonstrated proficiency in mission-essential tasks and headquarters review of 1-R evaluations. The Army still disagrees that the requirement that evaluators provide commands written evaluation results be eliminated.
Department of the Army 5. The Secretary of the Army should develop and issue criteria to be used to validate the combat readiness of reserve roundout brigades in future mobilizations.
Closed - Implemented
The Army has developed validation procedures for future mobilizations. Satisfactory completion of the combined premobilization and post-mobilization training program, requiring proficiency in mission-essential tasks, will be the evaluation criteria. Revised Army regulations have been developed and are being issued.

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