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Highlights

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Army's use of Reverse Osmosis Water Purification Unit (ROWPU) equipment during Operation Desert Storm, focusing on the: (1) production capability and performance of the equipment deployed to Operation Desert Storm; (2) Army's projections of ROWPU production capability during the operation; and (3) status of the Army's program to buy 3,000-gallon-per-hour (gph) ROWPU equipment.

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Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of the Army 1. The Secretary of the Army should direct the Army to use the material condition status reporting system in Army Regulation 700-138 during future deployments of ROWPU equipment to collect and analyze actual production and performance data. Such a system should facilitate the rapid identification and resolution of potential performance, production, or spare parts availability problems relative to this critical soldier support equipment.
Closed - Implemented
The Department of Defense (DOD) stated that the Army Field Manual 10-52-1 outlines the requirement for monitoring the water purification data and production rates, and that the Army continues to emphasize the need for accurate data collection in training programs and with field commanders.
Department of the Army 2. The Secretary of the Army should, if a waiver of the ROWPU nuclear, biological, chemical decontamination requirement is granted, develop a plan of action that compensates for the equipment's inability to satisfy that requirement.
Closed - Implemented
A waiver was requested and granted. The project manager for Petroleum and Water Logistics prepared and submitted a management plan to satisfy nuclear, biological, and/or chemical decontamination requirements for the 3,000 gallon unit and all other water related equipment.

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