Defense Logistics: Department of Defense Has Enhanced Prepositioned Stock Management but Should Provide More Detailed Status Reports

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Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Department of Defense (DOD) positions equipment and supplies at strategic locations around the world to enable it to field combat-ready forces in days rather than the weeks it would take if equipment had to be moved from the United States to the location of a military conflict. However, sustained operations have taken a toll on the condition and readiness of military equipment. Over the last few years, we have identified a number of ongoing and long-term challenges regarding DOD's prepositioned stocks. The services have estimated the cost ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. September 30, 2011.

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Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Department of Defense (DOD) positions equipment and supplies at strategic locations around the world to enable it to field combat-ready forces in days rather than the weeks it would take if equipment had to be moved from the United States to the location of a military conflict. However, sustained operations have taken a toll on the condition and readiness of military equipment. Over the last few years, we have identified a number of ongoing and long-term challenges regarding DOD's prepositioned stocks. The services have estimated the cost and time frame to replenish their stocks in DOD's annual report to Congress, and they review their prepositioning programs to address new requirements to meet future needs. DOD has reported to Congress that the services are committed to reconstituting prepositioned materiel but must balance these efforts with the department's other priorities, such as restructuring capabilities within its prepositioned stocks and changes in its overseas military presence. In 2011, we reported that DOD has limited departmentwide guidance that would help ensure that its prepositioning programs accurately reflect national military objectives and recommended that DOD develop overarching guidance related to prepositioned stocks.2 DOD currently is developing a plan examining its prepositioning programs called the Comprehensive Materiel Response Plan. This effort is examining how to effectively and efficiently preposition stocks to enhance preparedness for a range of activities--such as major combat operations, security assistance, and humanitarian relief. DOD officials expect this review to be completed in the fall of 2011 and to provide additional guidance on its prepositioning programs. The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 amended Title 10 of the United States Code to require DOD to submit annual reports to the congressional defense committees on the status of prepositioned materiel and equipment at the end of each fiscal year. DOD's reports are required to address the following six elements: 1. the level of fill for major end items4 of equipment and spare parts in each prepositioned set at the end of the fiscal year covered by the report; 2. the material condition of equipment in the prepositioned stocks at the end of such fiscal year, grouped by category or major end item; 3. a list of major end items of equipment drawn from prepositioned stocks that fiscal year and a description of how the equipment was used and whether it was returned to the stocks after its use; 4. a time line for completely reconstituting any shortfall in the prepositioned stocks; 5. an estimate of the funding required to completely reconstitute any shortfall in the prepositioned stocks and a description of the Secretary's plan for carrying out the reconstitution; and 6. a list of any operation plans affected by a shortfall in the prepositioned stocks and a description of the action taken to mitigate any risk created by that shortfall. In March 2011, DOD issued its fiscal year 2010 report on the status of its prepositioned materiel and equipment from October 2009 to September 2010.5 DOD's report includes an unclassified section to address reporting elements one through five and a classified annex to address reporting element six. The law also includes a reporting requirement that directs us to review the DOD report and submit to the congressional defense committees any additional information that will further inform the committees on the status of the materiel in prepositioned stocks. For this report, our objectives were to assess the extent to which DOD has (1) addressed the six reporting requirements in the fiscal year 2010 report to Congress on its prepositioned stocks, and whether additional information would be useful; and (2) implemented recommendations that we have made since 2005 regarding prepositioning efforts."

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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 30, 2011

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Defense Logistics: Department of Defense Has Enhanced Prepositioned Stock Management but Should Provide More Detailed Status Reports, text, September 30, 2011; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc301286/: accessed September 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.