Defense Planning: DOD Needs to Review the Costs and Benefits of Basing Alternatives for Army Forces in Europe

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Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Since the early 1990s, the Army has reduced its force presence in Europe by bringing troops and their families back to the United States and consolidating remaining forces and infrastructure at fewer locations. In 2004, the Department of Defense (DOD) announced an overseas basing strategy that called for further decreases of U.S. forces in Europe. As a result, the Army initiated actions to reduce personnel stationed in Europe by 30,000 personnel by fiscal year 2013 and reduce the number of Army brigade combat teams in Europe from four ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. September 13, 2010.

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Description

Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Since the early 1990s, the Army has reduced its force presence in Europe by bringing troops and their families back to the United States and consolidating remaining forces and infrastructure at fewer locations. In 2004, the Department of Defense (DOD) announced an overseas basing strategy that called for further decreases of U.S. forces in Europe. As a result, the Army initiated actions to reduce personnel stationed in Europe by 30,000 personnel by fiscal year 2013 and reduce the number of Army brigade combat teams in Europe from four to two. Since 2004, the Army has consolidated operational forces close to the European training facility at Grafenwoehr, Germany and at Vicenza, Italy. The consolidation included significant investments to construct new or renovate facilities at remaining bases to improve the quality of life for soldiers and their families. To help offset the costs of these investments, the Army closed some bases in Germany and has planned additional closures. Amid the implementation of the Army's draw down in Europe, DOD announced in the February 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review that it would retain the four Army brigade combat teams in Europe, rather than return two to the United States as originally planned, pending the outcome of a review of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization strategic concept and ongoing U.S. defense posture reviews. The DOD announcement cast considerable uncertainty on the Army's future force structure in Europe. For instance, the Army will now retain installations to house the brigades for an indefinite period of time while decisions are made. Regardless of these decisions, the Army is planning future investments of almost $200 million in Europe to construct a new theater-level Army headquarters facility at Wiesbaden, Germany and the TRICARE Management Agency is planning a future investment of approximately $1.2 billion to replace aging medical facilities at Ramstein and Landstuhl, Germany with a new consolidated medical center adjacent to Ramstein Air Base in Kaiserslautern, Germany. In light of these significant investments and the uncertainty about the Army's future force structure in Europe, Congress asked us to assess (1) the cost implications of potentially keeping more Army forces in Europe than originally planned, and the extent to which the Army's plans align with an evolving European strategic concept and U.S. posture plans, and (2) whether the process used by the Army to determine facility requirements provides an adequate basis for its infrastructure plans."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • September 13, 2010

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Defense Planning: DOD Needs to Review the Costs and Benefits of Basing Alternatives for Army Forces in Europe, text, September 13, 2010; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc298263/: accessed December 14, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.