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Joint Training: Observations on the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Exercise Program (Letter Report, 07/10/98, GAO/NSIAD-98-189).


Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Chairman, Joint
Chiefs of Staff (CJCS), Exercise Program, focusing on the: (1) number
and type of CJCS exercises conducted and planned from 1995 to 2002; (2)
basis for the Department of Defense's (DOD) estimates of exercise costs
for the same time period; and (3) availability of DOD data to estimate
the impact of CJCS exercises on deployment rates.

GAO noted that: (1) DOD cannot determine the impact of the CJCS Exercise
Program on overall deployment rates because DOD does not have a system
that accurately and consistently measures overall deployment rates
across the services; (2) without such a system, DOD cannot objectively
assess the extent to which the program contributes to deployment rate
concerns; (3) from fiscal year (FY) 1995 to 2002, 1,405 exercises were
or are planned to be conducted as part of the program at the 5 regional
commands; (4) the objectives of these exercises are to: (a) ensure that
U.S. forces are trained to conduct their highest-priority mission
contained in regional command contingency plans; (b) provide joint
training for commanders, staff, and forces; and (c) project a military
presence worldwide and support commitments to U.S. allies; (5) some
exercises focus on just one of these objectives, whereas others focus on
more; (6) about 37 percent of the exercises during FY 1995 through 2002
are directly related to executing contingency plans, 60 percent are
intended to provide joint training benefits, and about 44 percent are
primarily directed toward engagement activities with foreign nations'
military forces and U.S. allies; (7) the Joint Staff maintains data on
transportation-related expenses but does not monitor and track the
complete costs of the program; (8) before the FY 1998 National Defense
Authorization Act, DOD was not required to determine total program
costs; (9) in DOD's February 1998 mandated report to Congress, the Joint
Staff used a combination of actual and estimated costs to estimate that
the total program would cost between $400 million and $500 million
annually from FY 1995 to 2000; (10) DOD does not maintain the data that
would enable it to determine the extent to which military personnel
deployments associated with the program contribute to overall DOD-wide
personnel or unit deployment rates; (11) the services use various
methods to track individual or unit deployments and collect some data on
the numbers of personnel or units that participate in CJCS exercises and
the length of personnel deployments associated with the exercises; and
(12) the services' ability to measure overall personnel or unit
deployment rates is still evolving; as a result, the impact of the CJCS
Exercise Program on deployment rates remains unknown.

--------------------------- Indexing Terms -----------------------------

 REPORTNUM:  NSIAD-98-189
     TITLE:  Joint Training: Observations on the Chairman, Joint Chiefs 
             of Staff, Exercise Program
      DATE:  07/10/98
   SUBJECT:  Military training
             Training utilization
             Cost analysis
             Defense contingency planning
             Human resources utilization
             Military operations
             Military personnel
IDENTIFIER:  JCS Exercise Program
             
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Cover
================================================================ COVER


Report to Congressional Requesters

July 1998

JOINT TRAINING - OBSERVATIONS ON
THE CHAIRMAN, JOINT CHIEFS OF
STAFF, EXERCISE PROGRAM

GAO/NSIAD-98-189

Joint Training

(703209)


Abbreviations
=============================================================== ABBREV

  CINC - Commander in Chief
  CJCS - Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff
  DOD - Department of Defense

Letter
=============================================================== LETTER


B-280041

July 10, 1998

The Honorable James Inhofe
Chairman, Subcommittee on Readiness
Committee on Armed Services
United States Senate

The Honorable Herbert H.  Bateman
Chairman
The Honorable Solomon P.  Ortiz
Ranking Minority Member
Subcommittee on Military Readiness
Committee on National Security
House of Representatives

The Honorable Norman Sisisky
House of Representatives

The Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) Exercise Program is the
Department of Defense's (DOD) primary vehicle to train its forces and
staff in joint operations.  Recently, the Secretary of Defense and
Congress expressed concerns about the impact of this program on the
high rate of U.S.  force deployments.  At your request, we reviewed
the CJCS Exercise Program.  Specifically, we determined the (1)
number and type of CJCS exercises conducted and planned from 1995 to
2002, (2) basis for DOD's estimates of exercise costs for the same
time period, and (3) availability of DOD data to estimate the impact
of CJCS exercises on deployment rates. 


   BACKGROUND
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :1

U.S.  national military strategy requires air, land, sea, and special
operations forces to be capable of working together as a joint force
in military operations.  At the direction of the Chairman, the CJCS
Exercise Program began in the early 1960s to provide joint training
opportunities.  According to CJCS policy,\1 the exercise program's
primary objective is to achieve joint preparedness.  Specifically,
joint exercises are to be designed to demonstrate that forces are
proficient in wartime and other tasks considered essential by the
regional commanders in chief (CINC).  CJCS guidance allows the
program to satisfy other national security objectives, including
overseas presence, coalition building, and support of U.S.  allies.\2
However, the guidance requires the CINCs to ensure that the program
accomplishes training essential to war-fighting missions first.  The
guidance also allows the CINCs to train for lesser contingencies,
such as peacekeeping and humanitarian operations, while emphasizing
training for major contingencies. 

The Joint Staff's Operational Plans and Interoperability Directorate
monitors and coordinates training activities under the CJCS Exercise
Program.  However, the program is actually implemented by the CINCs,
who determine requirements, develop joint training plans, and conduct
and evaluate CJCS exercises for their respective areas of
responsibility.  The military services provide forces to the CINCs
and use service operation and maintenance funds to absorb the costs
stemming from the forces' participation in the exercises.  The Joint
Staff allocates funds to cover transportation-related costs among the
CINCs.  Congress makes an annual appropriation for these
transportation-related costs in the DOD-wide operations and
maintenance account.\3

The Joint Staff and CINCs coordinate some CJCS exercises with the
Department of State and the National Security Council, including
those that (1) involve large-scale participation of U.S.  and foreign
forces, (2) require granting rights or approval by another nation,
(3) have particular political significance or are planned to occur in
politically sensitive areas, or (4) are likely to receive prominent
media attention.  The State Department's role in the exercise program
is primarily to review exercise plans and consult with the Joint
Staff and CINCs about the implications of exercises to be held in
politically sensitive regions. 

CJCS exercises may be simulated, live, or a combination of the two
and can range from classroom seminars on a specific topic to the
deployment of thousands of forces to train for military operations. 
Examples of these exercises include

  -- sending four senior military officials to a 3-day war game
     seminar to study the interrelationships during peacekeeping
     operations among the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the
     United Nations, international and nongovernmental organizations,
     and the media;

  -- deploying about 1,350 land forces to a foreign country to
     conduct combined force tactical military operations, such as
     infantry tasks, reconnaissance, and combat medical operations;

  -- involving about 20,000 air, land, sea, and special operations
     forces in a training exercise to perform joint tasks, such as
     maneuvering to position, identifying targets, and providing
     combat support; and

  -- sending 300 Marine Corps and Air Force personnel overseas to
     construct a vehicle maintenance facility and renovate a
     community center and medical clinic. 

Over the past few years, the Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman, CINCs,
and military service commanders have expressed concerns to Congress
about the high level of personnel deployments by a downsized force. 
DOD and Congress then considered the possibility that CJCS exercises
were impacting the high DOD-wide deployment rate.  On the basis of
this and other concerns, the Secretary of Defense directed in May
1997 that the number of CJCS exercise man-days be decreased by 15
percent between fiscal year 1996 and 1998 to reduce the potential
impact of the exercise program on deployment rates.\4 Also, Congress,
in its conference report for DOD fiscal year 1998 appropriations,
called for a reduction in funding for the CJCS Exercise
Program--including both DOD-wide and service incremental funds--of
about $118.5 million. 

In addition, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year
1998 (P.L.  105-85) directed DOD to report on CJCS exercises
conducted from fiscal year 1995 to 1997 and those planned for fiscal
years 1998 to 2000.  This one-time congressional reporting
requirement was to include (1) the percentage of mission-essential
tasks performed or scheduled, (2) exercise costs, (3) exercise
priority, (4) an assessment of the training value of each exercise,
and (5) options to minimize the effect of CJCS exercises on
deployments.  The Secretary of Defense submitted the required report
to Congress on February 16, 1998. 


--------------------
\1 CJCS Instruction 3500.01A, Joint Training Policy for the Armed
Forces of the United States, July 1, 1997. 

\2 CJCS Manual 3500.03, Joint Training Manual for the Armed Forces of
the United States, June 1, 1996. 

\3 Congress appropriated almost $364 million for these costs in
fiscal year 1998. 

\4 Man-days is DOD's term for the number of personnel participating
in CJCS exercises. 


   RESULTS IN BRIEF
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :2

DOD cannot determine the impact of the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of
Staff Exercise Program on overall deployment rates because DOD does
not have a system that accurately and consistently measures overall
deployment rates across the services.  Without such a system, DOD
cannot objectively assess the extent to which the Chairman, Joint
Chief of Staff Exercise Program contributes to deployment rate
concerns. 

From fiscal year 1995 to 2002, 1,405 exercises were or are planned to
be conducted as part of the Chairman, Joint Chief of Staff Exercise
Program at the 5 regional commands.  The objectives of these
exercises are to (1) ensure that U.S.  forces are trained to conduct
their highest priority mission contained in regional command
contingency plans; (2) provide joint training for commanders, staff,
and forces; and (3) project a military presence worldwide and support
commitments to U.S.  allies.  Some exercises focus on just one of
these objectives, whereas others, such as war-fighting training,
focus on more than one objective (i.e, contingency plans and joint
training).  About 37 percent of the exercises during fiscal years
1995 through 2002 are directly related to executing contingency
plans, 60 percent are intended to provide joint training benefits,
and about 44 percent are primarily directed toward engagement
activities with foreign nations' military forces and U.S.  allies. 

The Joint Staff maintains data on transportation-related expenses but
does not monitor and track the complete costs of the Chairman, Joint
Chief of Staff Exercise Program.  Before the fiscal year 1998
National Defense Authorization Act, DOD was not required to determine
total program costs.  In DOD's February 1998 mandated report to
Congress, the Joint Staff used a combination of actual and estimated
costs to estimate that the total program would cost between $400
million and $500 million annually from fiscal year 1995 to 2000. 
This estimate could be understated because the Joint Staff did not
include some incremental operating costs, such as those for
pre-participation and recovery time, and other operating costs that
the services would normally incur in their operations, including
flying hours, steaming days, and tank miles. 

DOD does not currently maintain the data that would enable it to
determine the extent to which military personnel deployments
associated with the Chairman, Joint Chief of Staff Exercise Program
contribute to overall DOD-wide personnel or unit deployment rates. 
The services use various methods to track individual or unit
deployments and collect some data on the number of personnel or units
that participate in Chairman, Joint Chief of Staff exercises and the
length of personnel deployments associated with the exercises. 
However, the services' ability to measure overall personnel or unit
deployment rates is still evolving; as a result, the impact of the
Chairman, Joint Chief of Staff Exercise Program on deployment rates
remains unknown. 


   EXERCISES ARE CONDUCTED FOR
   VARIOUS CINC MISSION
   REQUIREMENTS
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :3

The regional CINCs use the CJCS Exercise Program largely to ensure
that their forces are trained to conduct missions contained in
contingency plans, provide joint training, and project a military
presence worldwide to shape the international environment.  Some
exercises focus on just one of these objectives, whereas others, such
as war-fighting training, focus on more than one objective (i.e.,
contingency plans and joint training).  CINC exercise officials
stated that deliberate decisions are made to determine the number of
exercises and their objectives necessary to meet the commands'
regional security needs. 

Our analysis showed that the five regional CINCs conducted or plan to
conduct 1,405 CJCS exercises during the period from fiscal year 1995
to 2002.  On average, about 37 percent of these exercises have or
will train forces to implement the CINCs' existing contingency plans;
about 60 percent are designed to prepare U.S.  forces for joint
operations; and approximately 44 percent are designed primarily for
engagement purposes, such as projecting U.S.  military presence
abroad or fostering relations with foreign military forces.\5


--------------------
\5 Since an exercise can satisfy multiple objectives, some exercises
are counted in more than one category. 


      EXERCISES DIRECTED TO
      EXECUTE CONTINGENCY PLANS
---------------------------------------------------------- Letter :3.1

CINCs develop contingency plans that cover a wide variety of wartime
and peacetime operations, such as major theater wars and evacuations. 
The joint training system focuses on war-fighting or preparing forces
to perform the missions contained in these plans.  Joint Staff
guidance requires that training should emphasize war-fighting
missions and focus on major regional contingencies before other less
critical training is done.  Of the 1,405 CJCS exercises conducted or
planned for fiscal years 1995-2002, 521, or about 37 percent, were
directly tied to contingency plans.  Figure 1 shows the number and
percent of exercises that are linked to contingency plans at each
command.  It also shows the current geographical areas of
responsibility for the five commands. 

   Figure 1:  Exercises Designed
   to Provide Training Related to
   Contingency Plans, Fiscal Years
   1995-2002

   (See figure in printed
   edition.)

Note:  The number of exercises in this figure overlaps with the
number of exercises in tables 1
and 2 to the extent that the exercises have more than one objective. 
By order of the Secretary of Defense, on October 1, 1998, Moldova,
Ukraine, Belarus, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, the Black Sea, and
the Sea of Azov will be added to USEUCOM's area of responsibility and
on October 1, 1999, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan,
and Tajikistan will be added to USCENTCOM's area of responsibility. 

Source:  Our analysis of DOD's data. 


      EXERCISES DIRECTED TO JOINT
      TRAINING
---------------------------------------------------------- Letter :3.2

The CJCS Exercise Program also provides the CINCs with opportunities
to train forces in a joint setting.  Such training requires the
application of joint doctrine, which contains the fundamental
principles that guide the employment of forces of two or more
services.  Also, joint exercises are either to respond to
requirements established by a joint force commander or train joint
forces or staffs for missions.  Thus, joint training under the CJCS
Exercise Program is primarily designed to train forces, commanders,
or staff of two or more services using joint doctrine, tactics,
techniques, or procedures to employ forces. 

The percentage of exercises intended to provide joint training at the
regional CINCs has increased over the past 3 to 4 years.  In 1995, we
reported that about 25 percent of CJCS exercises in fiscal years
1994-95 were designed to provide joint training.\6 Our current
evaluation of 1,405 exercises conducted during fiscal years 1995-97
and planned to be conducted during fiscal years 1998-2002 shows that
836, or about 60 percent, were or are intended to provide U.S. 
forces with joint training experience.  The percentage varied among
the five regional commands, ranging from 39 percent in the U.S. 
Central Command to 76 percent in the U.S.  Pacific Command.  Table 1
shows the exercises directed toward joint training. 



                                Table 1
                
                   Total Number of Exercises Directed
                  Toward Joint Training, Fiscal Years
                               1995-2002

                                                 Exercises linked to
                                                    joint training
                                                ----------------------
                                     Number of
                                    actual and
                                       planned
Regional command                     exercises      Number     Percent
----------------------------------  ----------  ----------  ----------
Atlantic                                   166          90          54
Central                                    262         103          39
European                                   618         379          61
Pacific                                    236         180          76
Southern                                   123          84          68
======================================================================
Total                                    1,405         836          60
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Note:  The number of exercises in this table overlaps with the number
of exercises in figure 1 and table 2 to the extent that the exercises
have more than one objective. 

Source:  Our analysis of DOD's data. 

In its February 1998 mandated report to Congress, DOD reported that
66 percent of CJCS exercises were for joint training purposes. 
Differences between DOD's and our figures can be attributed to
methodological differences in the evaluations.  For example, DOD used
planned exercises for the period 1995-2000, and we used a combination
of actual exercises for 1995-97 and planned exercises for 1998-2002. 
Further, we considered only those exercises that involved the
participation of more than one service component as joint; however,
DOD officials included certain exercises that did not involve more
than one service if they believed that the content of the exercises
had some joint training value. 


--------------------
\6 Military Capabilities:  Stronger Joint Staff Role Needed to
Enhance Joint Military Training (GAO/NSIAD-95-109, July 6, 1995). 


      EXERCISES DIRECTED TO
      ENGAGEMENT ACTIVITIES
---------------------------------------------------------- Letter :3.3

The CJCS Exercise Program is also used by regional CINCs to meet
other responsibilities that are not directly focused on executing
contingency plans or providing joint training.  For example, the
CINCs may conduct exercises or engagement activities to demonstrate
U.S.  forces' ability to project military presence within their
geographic areas of responsibility.  According to military officials,
gaining access to critical facilities, maintaining presence,
peacekeeping, providing humanitarian relief, and fostering relations
with foreign nations' forces are engagement activities that are
essential to accomplishing the CINCs' assigned missions. 

Of the 1,405 CJCS exercises conducted or planned to be conducted
during fiscal years 1995-2002, 625, or about 44 percent, were
directed toward engagement activities.  Some regional CINCs conduct
more engagement-related exercises than others.  For example, in the
U.S.  Southern Command, 81 percent of all actual or planned CJCS
exercises are for engagement purposes compared with 24 percent in the
U.S.  Pacific Command.  Table 2 illustrates the number of CJCS
exercises that each CINC devoted to engagement-type activities. 



                                Table 2
                
                     CJCS Exercises Directed Toward
                   Engagement, Fiscal Years 1995-2002

                                                 Linked to engagement
                                                ----------------------
                                     Number of
                                    actual and
                                       planned
Regional command                     exercises      Number     Percent
----------------------------------  ----------  ----------  ----------
Atlantic                                   166          76          46
Central                                    262          87          33
European                                   618         306          50
Pacific                                    236          56          24
Southern                                   123         100          81
======================================================================
Total                                    1,405         625          44
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Note:  The number of exercises in this table overlaps with the number
of exercises in figure 1 and table 1 to the extent that the exercises
have more than one objective. 

Source:  Our analysis of DOD's data. 


   TOTAL CJCS EXERCISE PROGRAM
   COSTS CANNOT BE DETERMINED
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :4

The Joint Staff does not track total costs involved in conducting
CJCS exercises; it only compiles actual cost data for strategic lift,
port handling, and inland transportation--items covered by a specific
congressional appropriation.  The Joint Staff, CINC staff, and
military services do not have systems to capture all exercise-related
costs.  Historically, there has been no requirement that total CJCS
Exercise Program costs be tracked or reported.  However, the Joint
Staff estimated that the CJCS Exercise Program would cost about $400
million to $500 million annually during fiscal years 1995-2000.  The
Joint Staff's estimate was derived from a combination of actual and
estimated costs; therefore, we were unable to independently verify
the estimate.  However, we believe that the costs reported by the
Joint Staff may be understated, since certain incremental costs and
other related operating costs were not included in its estimate. 


      COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH CJCS
      EXERCISES
---------------------------------------------------------- Letter :4.1

A variety of costs are directly associated with conducting CJCS
exercises.  These costs, shown in table 3, include strategic lift,
port handling, inland transportation, exercise-related construction,
and service incremental.  The costs are funded by the DOD-wide and
service operation and maintenance accounts except for
exercise-related construction, which is funded by the military
construction accounts. 



                                     Table 3
                     
                        Incremental Costs to Conduct CJCS
                                    Exercises

Cost
category     Paying agency          Payee agency           Costs paid
-----------  ---------------------  ---------------------  ---------------------
Strategic    Joint Staff,           Air Mobility Command   Movement of unit
lift         Operational            and Military Sealift   personnel and
             Plans and              Command                equipment to and from
             Interoperability                              CJCS exercises.
             Directorate

Port         Joint Staff,           Services               Commercial expenses
handling     Operational                                   to receive and
             Plans and                                     dispatch cargo at
             Interoperability                              ports of embarkation
             Directorate                                   and debarkation.

Inland       Joint Staff,           Services               Surface
transportat  Operational                                   transportation of
ion          Plans and                                     exercise participants
             Interoperability                              and equipment to and
             Directorate                                   from an exercise area
                                                           or ports of
                                                           embarkation or
                                                           debarkation. Payment
                                                           made for services of
                                                           commercial-for-hire
                                                           firms when organic
                                                           transportation is not
                                                           available or cost-
                                                           effective.

Exercise-    Joint Staff,           Services               Construction costs
related      Logistics                                     paid from military
constructio  Directorate                                   construction accounts
n                                                          related to service
                                                           participation in CJCS
                                                           exercises and for
                                                           facilities expected
                                                           to remain in place
                                                           after an exercise is
                                                           completed.

Service      Services               Units participating    Expenses for exercise
incremental                         in CJCS exercises      peculiar equipment,
                                                           petroleum, oil,
                                                           lubricants, repair
                                                           parts, expendable
                                                           supplies, and
                                                           contract support.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      TRACKING CJCS EXERCISE COSTS
---------------------------------------------------------- Letter :4.2

Although the Joint Staff is responsible for program oversight, it
only tracks a portion of the total exercise program costs.  The Joint
Staff tracks actual cost data for expenditures related to strategic
lift, port handling, and inland transportation expenses and
reimburses the U.S.  Air Mobility Command, the Military Sealift
Command, and service components for these costs.  It also maintains
data on the amount of funding appropriated for exercise-related
military construction projects.  The costs reported by the Joint
Staff for these categories for fiscal years 1995 through 1997 are
shown in table 4. 



                                Table 4
                
                 Strategic Lift, Port Handling, Inland
                  Transportation, and Exercise-Related
                 Construction Costs, Fiscal Years 1995-
                                   97

                         (Dollars in millions)

                                               Fiscal year
                                    ----------------------------------
Cost category\a                           1995        1996        1997
----------------------------------  ----------  ----------  ----------
Strategic lift, port handling, and      $324.3      $388.5      $325.2
 inland transportation
Exercise-related construction              6.3         6.5         6.3
======================================================================
Total                                   $330.6      $395.0      $331.5
----------------------------------------------------------------------
\a These figures represent actual expenditures in constant dollars
from the DOD-wide operations and maintenance accounts for strategic
lift, port handing, and inland transportation and appropriations from
the military construction accounts for exercise-related construction. 

Source:  Joint Staff, Operational Plans and Interoperability
Directorate and Logistics Directorate. 

The Joint Staff estimated that the incremental cost to conduct the
CJCS Exercise Program annually between fiscal year 1995 and 2000
would be between $400 million and $500 million.  This cost included
actual and projected expenses related to strategic lift, port
handling, and inland transportation, as shown in table 4.  The
remainder of the cost estimate is based on an estimate of
exercise-related construction costs and service incremental
operations and maintenance costs.  The estimate does not include the
items funded in the military service accounts, such as flying hours,
steaming days, or tank miles. 

The CINCs do not compile, track, or report on total CJCS exercise
costs, although they have access to information on and track to some
degree strategic lift, port handling, inland transportation, and
exercise-related construction costs.  CINC officials told us that
maintaining total cost information would be of no value to them
because they are not responsible for paying these costs.  The Joint
Staff does allocate each CINC an annual strategic lift funding level,
which is not to be exceeded, to manage CJCS exercises.  Consequently,
CINC offifials said total cost information would have little bearing
on their management responsibilities. 

Because individual military services provide forces for CJCS
exercises, they incur and pay for the incremental operations and
maintenance costs associated with the forces' participation.  These
costs, which include consumable supplies, repair parts, and
non-aviation fuel, are tracked differently by each service. 
Depending on the service, costs incurred by units that are preparing
to participate in an exercise, equipment maintenance and repair
expenses, and costs associated with recovering from participation in
the exercises may or may not be tracked.  To assist the Joint Staff
in developing the exercise program costs for the February 1998
report, the services provided estimated cost data related to such
items as consumable supplies, repair parts, per diem, non-aviation
fuel, and communications. 

No commonly accepted process among the service component commands
exists to capture CJCS exercise costs; therefore, the services' cost
estimates will vary according to what costs they choose to include. 
The Army, the Navy, and the Marine Corps maintained some cost data on
the incremental operations and maintenance costs associated with
their participation in CJCS exercises.  In fiscal year 1997, for
example, these services reported costs of about $54 million, $11
million, and $12 million, respectively.  They developed these
estimates using various systems and records of funding targets to
help the Joint Staff meet its congressional reporting requirement. 
Navy components do not track operations and maintenance funds for
flying hours and steaming days used during CJCS exercises, and Air
Force components do not track flying hours used for the exercises. 
In providing information to the Joint Staff to satisfy DOD's
reporting requirement, the Navy and the Air Force estimated
incremental operations and maintenance costs, excluding flying hours
and steaming days. 

Service component officials cited two reasons for not accumulating
cost data at the level necessary to accurately determine total
operations and maintenance costs associated with participation in
CJCS exercises.  First, such data would not enhance their management
capabilities.  Second, there was no DOD-wide requirement for them to
track and report these costs.  The officials said that any measure of
the actual operations and maintenance costs consumed by CJCS Exercise
Program participation would require individual unit commanders in the
field (e.g., tank operators, pilots, mechanics, or explosive ordnance
specialists) to maintain such cost data and report it through
financial management channels.  Service officials did not believe
that accumulating such data would be cost beneficial. 


   DOD LACKS THE DATA TO ASSESS
   THE PROGRAM'S IMPACT ON SERVICE
   DEPLOYMENT RATES
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :5

The services use various methods to track the time individuals or
units spend engaged in operations and time deployed away from their
home stations because there is no DOD-wide requirement to collect and
maintain specific personnel deployment rate data.  Service officials
stated that they maintain some personnel or unit deployment rate data
to track their forces' participation in the exercise program. 
However, the services do not regularly track the impact of
participation in CJCS exercises on overall deployment rates.  As a
result, officials from the Joint Staff, CINCs, service headquarters,
and service components at the five regional commands could not
provide complete information on the total number of days consumed by
all deployments, including those associated with CJCS exercises. 
Without this data, the program's impact on personnel deployment rates
cannot be precisely determined. 


      THE JOINT STAFF HAS
      DIFFICULTY MEASURING
      DEPLOYMENT RATES
---------------------------------------------------------- Letter :5.1

The Joint Staff has generally had difficulty measuring personnel
deployments among the military services.  We reported in April 1996
that it is difficult to determine the actual time that either
military personnel or units are deployed.\7

Our report recommended that the Secretary of Defense (1) establish a
DOD-wide definition of deployment; (2) state whether each service
should have a goal, policy, or regulation stipulating the maximum
amount of time units and personnel may be deployed; and (3) define
the minimum data on deployments that each service must collect and
maintain.  DOD agreed to further pursue initiatives--many which were
noted in our report--to enhance its ability to manage deployments. 
Also, in January 1997, DOD forwarded a report to the Chairman, House
National Security Committee, on the impact of increased deployments
on training, retention, and readiness.\8 As part of that study, the
Joint Staff assessed the capabilities of service systems to track
personnel deployments.  The report noted that, although all the
services had systems in place to monitor deployments, each service
measured and defined personnel deployment differently.  For example,
the Army tracks personnel at both the unit and individual level,
whereas the Marine Corps and the Navy track personnel only at the
unit level.  The Air Force tracks personnel by aircraft type and
specialty type. 

The difficulty with measuring either military personnel or unit
deployment rates stems in part from the differences in how each
military service defines and tracks personnel deployments.  The
services have different definitions of deployed forces.  For example,
the Marine Corps considers a servicemember deployed after that person
has been away from his or her home station for 10 days, but the Army,
the Air Force, and the Navy consider personnel to be deployed after
only 1 day away from their home station.  Table 5 shows the variation
in service measurement systems and definitions that were in place as
of March 1998.  Military officials stated that systems that address
the different personnel deployment rate measurements are evolving. 



                                     Table 5
                     
                      Service Personnel Deployment Standards
                      and Tracking Capabilities as of March
                                       1998

          Army              Navy              Air Force         Marine Corps
--------  ----------------  ----------------  ----------------  ----------------
Definiti  1 overnight away  1 day away from   1 day away from   10 days or more
on of     from assigned     homeport          home station      away from home
deployme  quarters                                              station
nt

Limit on  No policy, but    Policy exists     No policy, but    No policy, but
deployme  goal is maximum   that limits       goal is for a     goal is for a
nt        deployment of     deployments to 6  maximum           maximum unit
          120 days per      months            deployment of     deployment of
          year, with a                        120 days per      180 days per
          threshold of 180                    year              year
          days per year

System    Unit and          Unit level        Air Force         Unit level
tracking  individual                          specialty and
capabili  levels                              aircraft type
ties
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

--------------------
\7 Military Readiness:  A Clear Policy Is Needed to Guide Management
of Frequently Deployed Units (GAO/NSIAD-96-105, Apr.  8, 1996). 

\8 Final Report of the PERSTEMPO Working Group, Chairman of the Joint
Chiefs of Staff, July 26, 1996. 


      THE JOINT STAFF DOES NOT
      TRACK THE IMPACT OF CJCS
      EXERCISES ON OVERALL
      PERSONNEL DEPLOYMENT RATES
---------------------------------------------------------- Letter :5.2

The readiness staff at Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps
headquarters, which monitor data systems, currently do not track the
impact of CJCS exercise participation on overall personnel or unit
deployment rates.  The services are developing systems to enhance
their capability to measure overall deployment rates.  At the time of
our visits, officials at the service components at the regional
commands had not been regularly maintaining data on the participation
of their personnel in CJCS exercises.  Some CINCs have tried to
determine this relationship, but their data and methodologies had
flaws.  For example, the U.S.  Pacific Command performed an analysis
on the relationship between CJCS participation and personnel
deployments.  The analysis showed that about 4 percent of the total
deployed days spent by service components in fiscal year 1996 were
attributable to participation in CJCS exercises.  However, the
analysis did not include data from all of the units assigned to the
command, the components determined deployment days differently, and
the information provided by the components was not complete.  For
example, their personnel tracking systems do not calculate the number
of days used by deployments for CJCS exercises. 

The lack of such information is especially evident at the U.S. 
Atlantic Command, which has responsibility for training and deploying
nearly 80 percent of all U.S.  forces.  Officials from this command
stated that, to assess the impact of CJCS exercises on personnel
deployment rates, the command would need an adequate database with
visibility into all deployments, operations, exercises, and training
events.  Command officials stated that they do not have historical
personnel deployment data for all of their units; therefore, they
could not determine the impact of participation in CJCS exercises on
personnel deployment rates.  The officials also stated that they do
not have information on the extent of unit deployments and therefore
do not consider this factor when selecting units for exercises. 

Although many factors contribute to the pace of deployments, such as
routine training, peacekeeping efforts, and major deployments, the
military officials we met with believe that personnel deployments
created by participation in CJCS exercises have a minimal impact on
the overall DOD-wide deployment rate.  Nevertheless, the Secretary of
Defense directed in the May 1997 Quadrennial Defense Review that CJCS
exercise man-days be reduced by 15 percent between fiscal year 1996
and 1998 to reduce the stress on overall DOD-wide personnel
deployments caused by these exercises.  The officials we met with
believe that any reduction in CJCS exercise participation would have
virtually no impact on overall DOD-wide deployment problems. 
Participation in CJCS exercises has a greater impact on the personnel
deployment of low-density, high-demand units rather than military
units in general, according to these officials.  However, their
conclusion was based on professional military judgment, since no
systems exist to measure the impact of the exercise program on total
deployment. 

In its February 1998 report to Congress, DOD describes various
actions underway to reduce personnel deployments incurred as a result
of the CJCS Exercise Program.  The report cited the Secretary's
directive to reduce the man-days devoted to exercise programs and
noted that the military services had been asked to pursue further
reductions.  Actions to meet these mandates are underway, according
to the report. 


   CONCLUSIONS
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :6

DOD officials use the CJCS Exercise Program to accomplish a wide
range of objectives.  DOD policy directs that the exercises are to
prepare forces for their highest priorities--joint wartime
operations.  DOD policy also allows these exercises to be focused on
maintaining relationships with U.S.  allies.  CINC exercise officials
stated that the mix of exercises and their intended focus are the
result of deliberate decisions made to meet each command's security
needs. 

Total costs associated with conducting CJCS exercises cannot be
determined.  DOD and its components are currently unprepared to
report accurate and complete cost data because they do not believe
tracking such costs would be cost beneficial.  The cost data in DOD's
February 1998 report to Congress is incomplete because some service
participation costs are not included.  The reported costs generally
represent some of the incremental costs incurred in conducting these
exercises. 

DOD has no method to measure the impact of the CJCS Exercise Program
on overall individual and unit deployment rates.  Although the Office
of the Secretary of Defense questions whether deployment problems
exist, concerns expressed by Joint Staff, CINCs, and service
component officials have led to actions by both DOD and Congress to
reduce overall deployment rates by reducing the CJCS program in terms
of funding and the number of exercises.  Because DOD does not
consistently track information on deployments, the impact of the
exercise program on overall deployment rates cannot be precisely
determined.  Although DOD agreed to consider the recommendations in
our April 1996 report to address the problem of managing personnel
deployment rates, it has yet to fully implement them.  We continue to
believe that our prior recommendations to DOD are crucial to its
ability to measure the impact that the CJCS Exercise Program has on
overall personnel deployment rates. 


   AGENCY COMMENTS AND OUR
   EVALUATION
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :7

In written comments on a draft of this report, DOD concurred with our
findings and made several observations about the CJCS Exercise
Program (see app.  I).  DOD also provided technical comments, which
we incorporated where appropriate. 

DOD said that, even though the primary focus of an exercise may be
joint training, contingency operations, or engagement, it is not
appropriate to consider the value of this training for just one
purpose, since all CJCS exercises provide joint training value.  In
categorizing exercises according to their purposes, we used
established guidance published by the Joint Staff to identify those
exercises that provided an opportunity for joint training.  We did
not assess the value of the training but did include exercises with
more than one purpose in all applicable categories. 

With respect to program costs, DOD noted that the Joint Staff
monitors direct costs of the exercise program (e.g., strategic lift
and port handling) as well as service incremental costs.  DOD
acknowledged that the services do not track flying hours, steaming
days, and tank miles associated with the exercises because, according
to DOD, doing so would not necessarily benefit the agency.  As our
report points out, without such cost information, DOD cannot
determine total program costs. 

DOD noted that the Joint Staff is now collecting data on the number
of man-days spent participating in the CJCS Exercise Program. 
According to DOD, this data shows that the man-days associated with
the exercise program have been reduced and exceeded DOD's 15-percent
goal.  DOD acknowledged that the services' ability to measure overall
personnel and unit deployment rates is still evolving and is not yet
robust enough to allow the agency to determine the share attributable
to the CJCS Exercise Program.  Because the services use various
methods to determine deployment rates and do not regularly track the
impact of participation in CJCS exercises on these rates, we cannot
verify DOD's statement that it has met its man-day reduction goal for
the exercise program. 


   SCOPE AND METHODOLOGY
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :8

To assess the number and type of CJCS exercises conducted or planned
for fiscal years 1995 to 2002, we obtained and analyzed quarterly
schedules of exercises conducted by the U.S.  Atlantic, Central,
European, Pacific, and Southern Commands.  These exercises represent
approximately 88 percent of the total exercises conducted or planned
to be conducted during the time period.  We did not analyze the
remaining exercises, which were conducted by the U.S.  Space,
Strategic, Transportation, and North American Aerospace Defense
Commands and the Joint Staff. 

To determine the scope of the joint training, we used the Joint
Staff's published guidance to determine whether a particular exercise
meets the criteria for joint training.  We reviewed the training
objectives and tasks to be performed for each of the 1,405 CJCS
exercises conducted or planned to be conducted during the 8-year
period in our review.  We provided the Joint Staff and each CINC an
opportunity to review our analyses and make any necessary adjustments
to account for additional exercises conducted or planned and
exercises that were canceled.  Any discrepancies between the
information the Joint Staff and the CINCs provided about the
exercises were reconciled.  To identify the CJCS exercises designed
primarily to accomplish contingency plans, we relied on the
determinations of CINC officials.  To identify exercises conducted to
address engagement-type activities, we obtained and analyzed each
CINCs' joint training plans.  We discussed our analyses with
officials from the Joint Staff's Exercise and Training Division.  We
visited each of the five U.S.  regional commands and discussed our
analyses with CINC officials from each command.  We also interviewed
officials from service components of the Atlantic, European, and
Pacific Commands.  These officials generally agreed with our
categorization of the exercises. 

To determine the available cost data for the exercise program, we
interviewed officials and analyzed data obtained from the Joint
Staff, CINCs, service component commands, and service headquarters. 
We also interviewed officials and obtained budget data from
Headquarters, U.S.  Forces Command; Headquarters, Air Combat Command;
the Commander in Chief, Atlantic Fleet; the Commander, Marine Forces
Atlantic; the Commander in Chief, Pacific Fleet; and Headquarters,
Marine Forces Pacific.  We also discussed with the Joint Staff the
methodology for estimating the costs of the CJCS Exercise Program
that were reported to Congress. 

To assess whether DOD maintains the data needed to estimate the
impact of CJCS exercises on overall deployment rates, we interviewed
officials and obtained documents from service headquarters; the
Atlantic, Central, European, Pacific, and Southern Commands; and
service components of the Atlantic, European, and Pacific Commands. 
We determined the systems the Joint Staff, CINCs, services, and major
commands use to track military personnel and unit deployments by
contacting the following organizations:  the Joint Staff Operational
Plans and Interoperability Directorate (J-7); the U.S.  Atlantic,
Central, European, Pacific, and Southern Commands; the Army Deputy
Chief of Staff for Operations; the Air Force Operations Support
Center, Training Division; the Office of the Deputy Chief of Naval
Operations for Plans, Policy, and Operations; and the Marine Corps
Current Operations Branch Exercise Office, Deputy Chief of Staff for
Plans, Policies, and Operations.  We also contacted major service
component commands.  Because these organizations were unable to
provide data on the amount of time units and personnel deployed for
CJCS exercises, service training, and operational deployments, we
could not evaluate the impact of the program on personnel or unit
deployment rates.  Both the lack and inconsistency of the data that
is maintained made it difficult to determine the actual time
personnel or units are deployed. 

We conducted our work from September 1997 to July 1998 in accordance
with generally accepted government auditing standards. 


---------------------------------------------------------- Letter :8.1

We are sending copies of this report to appropriate congressional
committees; the Secretaries of Defense, the Army, the Navy, and the
Air Force; the Commandant of the Marine Corps; and the Chairman of
the Joint Chiefs of Staff.  We will also make copies available to
others on request. 


Please contact me at (202) 512-5140 if you or your staff have any
questions concerning this report.  Major contributors to this report
are listed in appendix II. 

Mark E.  Gebicke
Director, Military Operations
 and Capabilities Issues




(See figure in printed edition.)Appendix I
COMMENTS FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF
DEFENSE
============================================================== Letter 


MAJOR CONTRIBUTORS TO THIS REPORT
========================================================== Appendix II

NATIONAL SECURITY AND
INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS DIVISION,
WASHINGTON, D.C. 

Carol Schuster
Donald Patton
Penny Berrier
Rodney Ragan
Karen Blum

NORFOLK FIELD OFFICE

Janine Cantin
Harry Taylor

*** End of document. ***