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Army Stryker Brigades: Assessment of External Logistics Support Should Be Documented for the Congressionally Mandated Review of the Army's Operational Evaluation Plan.



GAO-03-484R March 25, 2003

We are reviewing the Army's plans for deploying and sustaining Stryker brigades. We plan to complete our review and report the results in June 2003. In the meantime Adv. 1. in the meantime - during the intervening time; "meanwhile I will not think about the problem"; "meantime he was attentive to his other interests"; "in the meantime the police were notified"
meantime, meanwhile
, the Army will be conducting an operational evaluation The test and analysis of a specific end item or system, insofar as practicable under Service operating conditions, in order to determine if quantity production is warranted considering: a. the increase in military effectiveness to be gained; and b.  of the first Stryker brigade from late April through May 2003 as required by law. The purpose of this letter is to bring attention to issues concerning the adequacy of the Army's proposed operational evaluation plan. The operational evaluation is intended to facilitate an understanding of the initial brigade's overall capabilities. The evaluation was first directed by the conference report accompanying the 2001 defense authorization act. Subsequently, Congress included the requirement in Section 113 of the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2002, which provides that (1) the Secretary of the Army is to evaluate the brigade's execution of combat missions across the full spectrum of potential threats and operational scenarios, (2) the Department of Defense's Director of Operational Test and Evaluation (testing) operational test and evaluation - (OT&E) Formal testing conducted prior to deployment to evaluate the operational effectiveness and suitability of the system with respect to its mission.  (DOT&E) must approve the Army's operational evaluation plan before the evaluation may be conducted, and (3) the Secretary of Defense is to certify cer·ti·fy  
v. cer·ti·fied, cer·ti·fy·ing, cer·ti·fies

v.tr.
1.
a. To confirm formally as true, accurate, or genuine.

b.
 to Congress that the results of the operational evaluation indicate that the Stryker brigades design is operationally effective and operationally suitable. In this letter, we address the adequacy of the Army's operational evaluation plans for assessing the Stryker brigades' external logistics support--that is, the personnel, equipment, and services that will augment these brigades. Stryker brigades are organized and equipped to deploy rapidly and to execute early-entry operations immediately on arrival--potentially, into remote areas of the world. By design, Stryker brigades do not have the capability to sustain operations in this type of environment beyond several days or to perform other than minor vehicle repair and equipment maintenance. Thus, the brigades require the assistance of external logistics support for essential supply and maintenance services. Integrating external logistical lo·gis·tic   also lo·gis·ti·cal
adj.
1. Of or relating to symbolic logic.

2. Of or relating to logistics.



[Medieval Latin logisticus, of calculation
 support with the brigades' limited support structure is therefore a key concept of the Stryker brigades' organizational and operational design and is essential to effectively supporting and sustaining these brigades in combat.

According to according to
prep.
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.

2. In keeping with: according to instructions.

3.
 the Army's plans, external logistical support will not be formally assessed during the operational evaluation. Instead, the Army is planning to conduct separate, informal assessments of some external support concepts, but information about the scope and methodology for these assessments is not included in the operational evaluation plan that the Army will be submitting to DOT&E for its required review and approval. As a result, DOT&E will not have all of the information it needs from the Army to determine whether the operational evaluation will be conducted in a way that demonstrates that the brigades' design is both operationally effective and operationally suitable. Specifically, DOT&E will not be in a position to know whether the first brigade First (1st) Brigade can refer to numerous military formations, usually with long traditions, in various countries. They include:
  • Australia
  • 1st Brigade (Australia)
  • Croatia
  • 1st Guard Brigade (Croatia)
 will be sufficiently assessed during the operational evaluation nor will it be able to determine whether the results can provide a complete understanding of the brigade's overall capabilities. This lack of information could hamper the ability to certify the results of the operational evaluation. The Army does not believe that external support should be included as a formal part of the operational evaluation because the people and processes that provide it are not a part of the brigade's organization. Accordingly, we are making recommendations to the Director of Operational Test and Evaluation regarding documentation of Army plans for assessing external logistics support during the operational evaluation and reporting on results of the external support assessment.
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Publication:General Accounting Office Reports & Testimony
Date:May 1, 2003
Words:582
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