Defense Transportation: Additional Information Is Needed for DOD's Mobility Capabilities and Requirements Study 2016 to Fully Address All of Its Study Objectives

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Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The National Military Strategy of the United States calls upon the Armed Forces to retain the ability to rapidly deploy and sustain capabilities to diverse regions, and the Quadrennial Defense Review 2010 acknowledges the fundamental importance of U.S. capability to project power. The National Security Strategy identifies taking stock of capabilities as one of many ways of reducing military risk. To identify the mobility tools needed for force projection, the Department of Defense (DOD) has conducted several studies, including the fifth and most recent--the Mobility Capabilities and Requirements ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. December 8, 2010.

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Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The National Military Strategy of the United States calls upon the Armed Forces to retain the ability to rapidly deploy and sustain capabilities to diverse regions, and the Quadrennial Defense Review 2010 acknowledges the fundamental importance of U.S. capability to project power. The National Security Strategy identifies taking stock of capabilities as one of many ways of reducing military risk. To identify the mobility tools needed for force projection, the Department of Defense (DOD) has conducted several studies, including the fifth and most recent--the Mobility Capabilities and Requirements Study 2016 (MCRS-16). DOD issued the report in February 2010. The intent of the MCRS-16 was to provide senior leaders with a detailed understanding of the range of mobility capabilities needed for possible future strategic environments and help them make investment decisions regarding mobility systems. Specifically, the study was to examine, among other things, how changes in the mobility system affect the outcomes of major operations and to assess the associated risks. The MCRS-16 determined that with few exceptions, the projected mobility capabilities in 2016 are sufficient to support the most demanding projected requirements. The MCRS-16 reported on specific mobility issues, including the following ten mobility systems addressed in the unclassified executive summary and depicted in figures 1 and 2: Joint High Speed Vessel, Logistics Support Vessel, Intratheater Airlift, Petroleum Oil Lubricants Vessel, Containerships, Civil Air Reserve Fleet (CRAF) Passenger, CRAF Cargo, Strategic Airlift, Roll-0n/Roll-Off Vessels, and Air Refueling. Because of GAO's work assessing the 2005 Mobility Capabilities Study, we reviewed, at Congress' request, the MCRS-16 to determine the extent to which it provides useful information to decision makers. In response to congressional request, we assessed the extent to which the MCRS-16 report addressed its stated objectives. Within the context of relevant generally accepted research standards, we also examined each of the mobility issues cited above in relation to the study's objectives. While this report's executive summary is unclassified, we considered information included in the classified report of the MCRS-16, and our findings are supported by both the classified and unclassified portions of the report. According to its study plan, the MCRS-16 was to accomplish the following five objectives: (1) determine the Joint Deployment Distribution Enterprise needed to support the National Defense Strategy in the 2016 time frame; (2) identify the capabilities and requirements to deploy, employ, sustain, and retrograde joint forces in support of the National Defense Strategy; (3) determine capability gaps (shortfalls) and overlaps (excesses) associated with the programmed mobility force structure; (4) provide a risk assessment; and (5) provide insights and recommendations to support the Quadrennial Defense Review and decisions regarding future defense programs. To inform DOD's 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review and support decisions regarding future mobility force structure, the MCRS-16 developed three demanding cases of conflicts/natural disasters with multiple scenarios that occur concurrently over a 7-year period and require the use of mobility capabilities. The MCRS-16 used approved DOD planning scenarios to develop the three cases. For example, in one case, U.S. forces might be required to conduct a large land campaign and a long-term irregular warfare campaign, as well as respond to homeland defense missions. In another case, U.S. operations might include two nearly simultaneous conventional campaigns, while also supporting three nearly simultaneous domestic events and other operations."

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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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  • December 8, 2010

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Defense Transportation: Additional Information Is Needed for DOD's Mobility Capabilities and Requirements Study 2016 to Fully Address All of Its Study Objectives, text, December 8, 2010; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc301837/: accessed September 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.