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GAO discussed the Army's ability to support its essential force in initial combat operations in Europe. GAO found that the force requires: (1) European-based U.S. forces; (2) forces in the United States for deployment to Europe during mobilization; (3) European host-nation support forces; (4) prepositioned equipment and supplies in Europe; and (5) strategic lift capabilities. GAO also found that: (1) the Army had fewer personnel and less prepositioned equipment and airlift capabilities than required; (2) there were significant numbers of units that were not combat-ready; (3) although the Army is addressing support forces' problems and host-nation support improvements, shortages will remain if the Army continues to support less than the wartime requirement; and (4) since the Army projected substantial funding increases to implement its equipment initiatives, recent fund limitations in the defense budget restricted the initiatives.

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