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Highlights

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO evaluated the Air Force's decision to implement force projection composite wings at three Air Force bases to determine whether these wings: (1) can achieve expected advantages; and (2) create adverse effects.

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Recommendations

Matter for Congressional Consideration

Matter Status Comments
Congress should consider directing the Secretary of Defense to direct the Secretary of the Air Force to take no further steps to implement the force projection composite wings until: (1) the benefits of wings planned for Mountain Home, Pope, and Moody AFB have been analyzed; and (2) the disruptive consequences have been resolved. Congress may also wish to require the Department to make the results of these analyses available to it for consideration during debate on any future budget requests or reprogramming actions related to the force projection composite wings.
Closed - Not Implemented
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
If the Department of Defense determines that force projection composite wings should be implemented, Congress should consider directing the Secretary of Defense, before further action is taken to implement the wings, to direct the Secretary of the Air Force to formally commit aircraft with scarce and critical capabilities to the force projection wings to ensure that these capabilities are readily available to train and deploy, if required, with the wings.
Closed - Not Implemented
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
If the Department of Defense determines that force projection composite wings should be implemented, Congress should consider directing the Secretary of Defense, before further action is taken to implement the wings, to direct the Secretary of the Air Force to examine the feasibility of retaining jammer aircraft at Mountain Home AFB as part of the air intervention wing instead of eventually collocating heavy conventional bombers with the wing.
Closed - Not Implemented
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
If the Department of Defense determines that force projection composite wings should be implemented, Congress should consider directing the Secretary of Defense, before further action is taken to implement the wings, to direct the Secretary of the Air Force to assess other potential locations for the Pope AFB air/land wing to determine if the same degree of advantage can be achieved and to ensure that the Army and U.S. Special Operations Command concerns related to the air/land composite wing at Pope AFB have been resolved.
Closed - Not Implemented
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of the Air Force 1. The Air Force should establish criteria for assessing the operations of the force projection wings and for evaluating the validity of the composite wing concept.
Closed - Not Implemented
This recommendation is still valid; however, OSD retired the case on October 22, 1993, and does not plan any future action. Accordingly, the recommendation should be closed. GAO will look at this issue again in future work.
Department of the Air Force 2. The Air Force should compare the costs and benefits that would be achieved by integrating an enhanced, deployable wing command element into existing composite training with the benefits to be achieved by the force projection composite wings.
Closed - Not Implemented
This recommendation is still valid; however, OSD retired the case on October 22, 1993, and does not plan any future action. Accordingly, the recommendation should be closed. GAO will look at this issue again in future work.

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