Defense Transportation: DOD Should Ensure that the Final Size and Mix of Airlift Force Study Plan Includes Sufficient Detail to Meet the Terms of the Law and Inform Decision Makers

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Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Global mobility is a key component of U.S. national security. Since the end of the Cold War, senior decision makers have relied upon Department of Defense (DOD) mobility studies to provide insights they need to build and maintain the right mix of mobility capabilities. The most recent study, the Mobility Capabilities Study, identified the mobility support needed for the full range of strategic operations in the context of the September 11, 2001 attacks, the global war on terror, and DOD's evolving global defense posture, all in support of ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. April 28, 2008.

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Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Global mobility is a key component of U.S. national security. Since the end of the Cold War, senior decision makers have relied upon Department of Defense (DOD) mobility studies to provide insights they need to build and maintain the right mix of mobility capabilities. The most recent study, the Mobility Capabilities Study, identified the mobility support needed for the full range of strategic operations in the context of the September 11, 2001 attacks, the global war on terror, and DOD's evolving global defense posture, all in support of the National Military Strategy. According to DOD officials, the department plans to issue the next mobility study--the Mobility Capabilities Requirements Study--in the spring of 2009. The 2005 mobility study also assessed requirements for two overlapping war fights, DOD support to homeland defense, civil support, lesser contingency operations, sustainment of forward-deployed forces, and national strategic missions. In accomplishing these missions, DOD depends on its airlift force. The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 mandated a requirements-based study on alternatives for the proper size and mix of the airlift force to meet the needs of the National Military Strategy to be done by a Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC). The Act specifically defined what the study plan should include and set time frames for the completion of various events. The FFRDC was to submit a study plan to the appropriate congressional committees, the Secretary of Defense, and the Comptroller General 60 days after the enactment of the Act. The Act required us to review the study plan to determine if it is complete and objective and whether it has any flaws or weaknesses in scope or methodology and report to the Secretary of Defense and the FFRDC within 30 days. It also required us to include in the report any recommendations that the Comptroller General considers appropriate for improvements to the study plan. DOD selected the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA) to accomplish the study and signed a task order with IDA outlining the study framework. On March 28, 2008, IDA delivered the draft Size and Mix of Airlift Force Study Plan to DOD, congressional committees, and us. The draft study plan comprises 34 pages of bulleted information, graphs, and diagrams. The seven major sections are introduction, background, scope, objective, study management, staged approach, and schedule. The single objective of the study is to address the numerous airlift issues identified in the Act and to report to the Secretary of Defense and to the Congress by January 10, 2009. We assessed the draft Size and Mix of Airlift Force Study Plan that IDA delivered on March 28, 2008, for completeness, but we were unable to evaluate objectivity or identify flaws or weaknesses in scope or methodology. We also commented on another ongoing airlift-related study, the Mobility Capabilities Requirements Study, because it is related to the scope of the draft Size and Mix of Airlift Force Study Plan."

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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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  • April 28, 2008

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Defense Transportation: DOD Should Ensure that the Final Size and Mix of Airlift Force Study Plan Includes Sufficient Detail to Meet the Terms of the Law and Inform Decision Makers, text, April 28, 2008; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc302228/: accessed December 10, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.