Index


Army Modernization: The Warfighting Rapid Acquisition Program Needs More
Specific Guidance (Letter Report, 11/03/98, GAO/NSIAD-99-11).

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Army's
implementation of the Warfighting Rapid Acquisition Program (WRAP),
focusing on the current status of the program.

GAO noted that: (1) the Army's criteria for selecting WRAP candidates
are open-ended and allow room for different interpretations; (2) as a
result, although the Army initially justified WRAP funding on the basis
of the need to urgently field technologies associated with the first
digitized division, not all WRAP initiatives support the first digitized
division; (3) furthermore, some initiatives do not meet all the Army's
criteria for WRAP funding; (4) the Army is reducing the testing of new
technologies through large-scale warfighting experiments; (5) as a
result, the Army may need to change the criteria used to evaluate and
rate WRAP candidates; (6) this may affect the quality of future
candidates; (7) to date, the Army has not been able to finalize its
selection of WRAP candidates early enough to ensure timely approval by
Congress; (8) as a result, the final approval of funds and the
subsequent start-up of initiatives have been delayed; (9) delays also
occurred because the Army did not obtain the timely release of WRAP
funds from the Department of Defense (DOD) and because DOD reduced
funding for WRAP; (10) in spite of these delays, GAO believes that WRAP
funds may still help speed the fielding of some new technologies, though
not as much as originally estimated; (11) after initial congressional
approval of the first 11 WRAP initiatives, the Army made substantial
changes to some of them; (12) these changes affected program
implementation; and (13) Congress was not informed of the changes
because current reporting requirements do not require the Army to report
such changes.

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

 REPORTNUM:  NSIAD-99-11
     TITLE:  Army Modernization: The Warfighting Rapid Acquisition 
             Program Needs More Specific Guidance
      DATE:  11/03/98
   SUBJECT:  Army procurement
             Eligibility criteria
             Military appropriations
             Military budgets
             Concurrency
             Reporting requirements
             Weapons systems
IDENTIFIER:  Army Warfighting Rapid Acquisition Program
             Army Land Warrior System
             
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Cover
================================================================ COVER


Report to the Chairman, National Security Subcommittee, Committee on
Appropriation, House of Representatives

November 1998

ARMY MODERNIZATION - THE
WARFIGHTING RAPID ACQUISITION
PROGRAM NEEDS MORE SPECIFIC
GUIDANCE

GAO/NSIAD-99-11

Army Modernization

(707285)


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

  ASARC - Army Systems Acquisition Review Council
  AWE - Advanced Warfighting Experiment
  DOD - Department of Defense
  OPTEC - Operational Test and Evaluation Command
  TRADOC - Training and Doctrine Command
  WRAP - Warfighting Rapid Acquisition Program

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


B-277968

November 3, 1998

The Honorable C.W.  Bill Young
Chairman, National Security Subcommittee
Committee on Appropriations
House of Representatives

Dear Mr.  Chairman: 

This report responds to your request that we evaluate the Army's
implementation of the Warfighting Rapid Acquisition Program (WRAP). 
You had expressed some concern about the program's performance and
direction in its first 2 years.  This report discusses the current
status of the program. 


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

During congressional testimony in early 1996, the Army Chief of Staff
requested funds from Congress to speed up the fielding of urgently
needed new technologies to the soldier.  The Chief of Staff stressed
that Congress and the Army could accelerate the development of new
technologies by making funds available more quickly than is normally
required in the budget process for new programs.  The Army proposed
WRAP as a tool that would help jump-start technologies that were
still under development but nearing the production phase. 

These new technologies were being tested in Army experiments designed
to support a new warfighting concept called Force XXI.  Force XXI
embodies the Army's vision of how military operations will be carried
out in the 21st century and relies heavily on the fielding in the
year 2000 of the 4th Infantry Division, the Army's first digitized
division.  The Army selected technologies slated for WRAP funding
from those tested in the Task
Force XXI Advanced Warfighting Experiment (AWE),\1 completed in March
1997 and carried out to support the first digitized division. 

Congress added $50 million to the Army's fiscal year 1997 budget. 
The money eventually funded the first 11 WRAP initiatives.  However,
the House Committee on Appropriations, in its report on the fiscal
year 1997 defense appropriations bill, expressed concern that WRAP
funds might be used for limited fielding of unbudgeted items that had
not competed for funds and would not be affordable in future
budgets.\2 Therefore, it required notification to the defense
committees prior to the obligation of WRAP funds and stipulated that
these funds could not be used to field interim Land Warrior
prototypes.\3

When it established the program in early 1996, the Army planned to
request $100 million per year from fiscal year 1998 to 2003.  In its
guidance for the program, the Army established the condition that
these funds could not be used for technologies requiring "indefinite
experimentation" and that WRAP candidates must be a compelling
experimental success, urgently needed, ready for production within 2
years, and sufficiently funded in the out-years.  Technologies
requiring "continued experimentation" were to be allowed to receive
WRAP funding.  According to the Army, these differ from technologies
needing indefinite experimentation in that they are not mature but
are expected to start production within 2 years. 

Selected initiatives are funded from the Force XXI Initiatives (WRAP)
budget, which is a holding account created expressly for WRAP
initiatives.  In fiscal year 1998, Congress appropriated $99.9
million for WRAP:  $61 million for the second year of the first 11
initiatives and $38.9 million for the first year of new 1998-99
initiatives.  However, recent actions taken by the Department of
Defense (DOD) and the congressional appropriations committees will
affect funding for new initiatives.  For example, DOD reduced fiscal
year 1998 WRAP funding for 1998-99 initiatives to $8.6 million (see
app.  I), and the appropriations conference committee reduced fiscal
year 1999 WRAP funding by $35 million to $64.5 million. 

On July 16, 1998, the Army submitted 6 new candidates for funding in
fiscal years 1998-99 and 4 new ones for funding in fiscal years
1999-2000 (detailed descriptions of the 21 initiatives and candidates
are in app.  I).  On September 25, 1998, the appropriations
conference committee denied funding for two of the four fiscal year
1999-2000 candidates.  The Army plans to submit additional fiscal
year 1999-2000 candidates by December 1998.  The Army is also
required by the Senate Armed Services Committee to submit quarterly
reports on the status of obligated funds. 


--------------------
\1 Report on the Plan for Fielding the First Digitized Division and
First Digitized Corp, presented by the Army to the Committee on Armed
Services, U.S.  Senate, May 1998.  The Task Force XXI AWE was one of
a series of AWEs designed to lead to a digitized division and corps. 
The objectives of this large-scale field experiment were to (1)
provide information to support investment decisions on the most
promising among 72 technology candidates that participated; (2)
refine digitized tactics, techniques, and procedures for brigade
operations; (3) use advanced technologies and concepts that leverage
the capabilities of information-age technologies; (4) assess the
digitized brigade combat service support concept; and (5) assess two
new technologies, Applique and Tactical Internet (discussed elsewhere
in this report). 

\2 H.R.  Rep.  #104-617, pp.  158-159 (1996). 

\3 Under the Land Warrior Program, the Army is developing a
computer/radio, software, integrated headgear, a weapon subsystem,
and protective clothing and equipment for the individual soldier. 
See Battlefield Automation:  Army Land Warrior Program Acquisition
Strategy May Be Too Ambitious (GAO/NSIAD-96-190, Sept.  11, 1996). 


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

In evaluating the program's implementation to date, we noted the
following: 

  -- The Army's criteria for selecting WRAP candidates are open-ended
     and allow room for different interpretations.  As a result,
     although the Army initially justified WRAP funding on the basis
     of the need to urgently field technologies associated with the
     first digitized division, not all WRAP initiatives support the
     first digitized division.  Furthermore, some initiatives do not
     meet all the Army's criteria for WRAP funding. 

  -- The Army is reducing the testing of new technologies through
     large-scale warfighting experiments.  As a result, the Army may
     need to change the criteria used to evaluate and rate WRAP
     candidates.  This may affect the quality of future candidates. 

  -- To date, the Army has not been able to finalize its selection of
     WRAP candidates early enough to ensure timely approval by
     Congress.  As a result, the final approval of funds and the
     subsequent start-up of initiatives have been delayed.  Delays
     also occurred because the Army did not obtain the timely release
     of WRAP funds from DOD and because DOD reduced funding for WRAP. 
     In spite of these delays, we believe that WRAP funds may still
     help speed the fielding of some new technologies, though not as
     much as originally estimated. 

  -- After initial congressional approval of the first 11 WRAP
     initiatives, the Army made substantial changes to some of them. 
     These changes affected program implementation.  Congress was not
     informed of the changes because current reporting requirements
     do not require the Army to report such changes. 


   WRAP IMPLEMENTATION TO DATE
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :3

WRAP has experienced growing pains in its first 2 years.  While
evolving, the program has lacked focus in the selection of
initiatives.  The assumptions and expectations that drove WRAP at its
inception have not been clearly stated.  As a result, we were unable
to determine whether the results are consistent with congressional
intent.  However, we found that (1) some initiatives do not support
the first digitized division, although the Army initially justified
WRAP funding on the basis of the need to urgently field technologies
associated with the first digitized division; (2) funds have been
used both for production items and development work; and (3) future
initiatives may not have sufficient test data for proper evaluation. 
Furthermore, the Army is still trying to refine its selection process
so as to avoid the delays that so far have hindered the program's
implementation.  Meanwhile, Congress is not being informed of the
program's progress or of changes in some ongoing initiatives. 


      A WIDE RANGE OF INITIATIVES
      WERE FUNDED
---------------------------------------------------------- Letter :3.1

WRAP criteria for selection of initiatives allow considerable room
for interpretation.  Therefore, the WRAP initiatives funded so far
are quite different from each other.  Some initiatives did not meet
all the Army's criteria for WRAP funding, and others will not be
fielded with the first digitized division in 2000.  They were
approved, however, because they fit the general description of
urgently needed new technologies that the Army is trying to field as
quickly as possible.  WRAP funds were also used to purchase
production items rather than to develop new technologies. 


      WRAP'S LINK TO THE DIGITIZED
      DIVISION IS UNCLEAR
---------------------------------------------------------- Letter :3.2

Neither congressional restrictions nor the Army's criteria specify
whether WRAP funds should be used only to support the Army's first
digitized division.  However, the Army initially justified WRAP
funding on the basis of the urgent need to field technologies
associated with the first digitized division, and appropriation of
that funding occurred in a strategic environment dominated by
development of the first digitized division.  For example,

  -- the Task Force XXI AWE was carried out to support the digitized
     division,

  -- the first 11 WRAP initiatives were tested in the Task Force XXI
     AWE,

  -- the Army's Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) cited support
     for the first digitized division as the top priority when
     selecting WRAP candidates,\4

  -- about two thirds of fiscal year 1997 funding was for initiatives
     that support the first digitized division, and

  -- the Army initially placed WRAP funds under the digitization
     budget before establishing a separate Force XXI initiatives
     budget. 

There is disagreement within the Army about whether WRAP should be
directly linked to the first digitized division.  An Operational Test
and Evaluation Command (OPTEC) official believes that WRAP is
directly related to digitization, while the Director of the
Acquisition Reform Reinvention Lab, Office of the Assistant Secretary
of the Army for Research, Development, and Acquisition, believes that
WRAP is an acquisition streamlining tool that may or may not support
digitization.  He views WRAP as part of the Army's efforts to field
needed technologies more rapidly, regardless of their relationship to
the digitized division. 

We found that 3 of the first 11 initiatives, accounting for about one
third of all WRAP funds, will not be part of the first digitized
division.  These initiatives, the Mortar Fire Control System, the Gun
Laying and Positioning System, and the Avenger Slew-to-Cue, together
received $14.3 million in WRAP funds in fiscal year 1997 and are
slated to receive $22.5 million in fiscal year 1998.  However, all
six of the WRAP candidates submitted for fiscal years 1998-99 funding
are considered critical for the first digitized division. 


--------------------
\4 See appendix II for an explanation of TRADOC's role in the
selection process. 


      NOT ALL INITIATIVES MET
      PRODUCTION CRITERION
---------------------------------------------------------- Letter :3.3

Two initiatives, Applique and Tactical Internet, did not meet the
Army's criterion that WRAP candidates be ready for production within
2 years, but as the backbone of the Army's first digitized division,
they were justified on the basis of urgent need.  \5

Both were approved as continued experimentation initiatives and are
not expected to begin production until fiscal year 2004.\6 An OPTEC
official told us that other initiatives were clearly closer to
fielding but that the Army approved Applique and Tactical Internet
because it believed they were worth the expense of additional
development work.  They received $12.3 million (about 26 percent) of
the $47.7 million of fiscal year 1997 WRAP funds and will receive
$8.6 million (about 14 percent) of the $61 million of fiscal year
1998 WRAP funds. 


--------------------
\5 Applique and Tactical Internet together make up the system
officially known as the Force XXI Battle Command, Brigade and Below,
which basically consists of a laptop computer, software, a Global
Positioning System Receiver, and communications connectors. 

\6 See Battlefield Automation:  Acquisition Issues Facing the Army
Battle Command, Brigade and Below Program (GAO/NSIAD-98-140, June 30,
1998). 


      PURCHASES OF PRODUCTION
      ITEMS
---------------------------------------------------------- Letter :3.4

WRAP funds have also been used to purchase substantial quantities of
production items (finished products ready for fielding).  The Army
allocated $17.6 million of $61 million (about 29 percent) of WRAP
funds in fiscal year 1998 to procure production items.  For example,
the Army will use 1998 WRAP funds to procure 432 Movement Tracking
Systems, enough to fully equip 2 Army divisions. 

WRAP was created to help jump-start new technologies that require
developmental work and that must be fielded quickly.  But production
items by definition do not require further testing or development. 
Army criteria allow the use of WRAP funds for operational prototypes
but do not specify what distinguishes a prototype from a finished
production item. 

In our opinion, using WRAP funds to purchase large quantities of
finished products (more than are needed for operational prototypes)
is not consistent with the WRAP goal of developing new technologies
until they are ready for production.  In response to our questions
about this issue, the Director of the Acquisition Reform Reinvention
Lab told us that the Army now acknowledges that the practice should
be discontinued. 


      REDUCED TESTING AND
      EXPERIMENTATION FOR FUTURE
      CANDIDATES
---------------------------------------------------------- Letter :3.5

The Army has not scheduled any AWEs through 1999 to test new
technologies.  Consequently, it may be forced to rely increasingly on
candidates that have not proven themselves through prior testing,
require long-term experimentation, or may not be ready to begin
production within 2 years.  Officials have expressed concern that
this approach may eventually lead to candidates that are less
developed and take longer to field.  Some approved initiatives have
not been proven in testing and are less developed.  While only 2 of
11 WRAP initiatives in fiscal years 1997-98 were defined as requiring
continued experimentation, 3 of 10 candidates in fiscal years 1998-99
fell into this category. 

OPTEC was the lead evaluator for the Task Force XXI AWE.  It
evaluated the 72 participating initiatives and prepared ratings for
13 WRAP candidates.\7

However, two of the three new continued experimentation WRAP
candidates (Close Combat Tactical Trainer XXI and Global Combat
Service Support System-Army) have not provided enough test and
experimentation data to allow OPTEC to carry out a thorough
evaluation and rating.  They were still unrated as of July 1998.  On
September 25, 1998, the appropriations conference committee denied
funding for both candidates. 

OPTEC may decline to issue a rating if it does not have enough data
to conclude that the candidate is a compelling experimental success
as required by Army criteria.  An OPTEC official said that the Army
will find it increasingly difficult to demonstrate such success
because it has not scheduled any AWEs or similar large-scale
exercises through fiscal
year 1999.  Without AWEs, he added, it will be difficult to find new
candidates at the same level of development and experimental testing
as the first group of candidates.  He said that evaluation criteria
may need to be changed to introduce other ways of qualifying
candidates.  In our opinion, this could result in more candidates
that need continued experimentation. 

Meanwhile, the Army is trying to fill the gap created by the absence
of AWEs.  The Director of the Army Acquisition Reform Reinvention Lab
said the Army is seeking alternatives to AWEs to expand its pool of
WRAP candidates.  The alternatives could include advanced technology
and advanced concept technology demonstrations, concept
experimentation programs, and battle lab warfighting experiments. 
Such candidate technologies could then use WRAP funds to move more
quickly through development and into production.  However, in our
opinion, these demonstrations may involve technologies that require
lengthy testing and experimentation. 


--------------------
\7 OPTEC is rating systems on a numerical scale ranging from 1 to 5,
with 1 indicating low risk and high potential effectiveness and 5
indicating high risk and low potential effectiveness. 


      PROGRAM DELAYS HAVE AFFECTED
      THE GOAL OF EARLY FIELDING
---------------------------------------------------------- Letter :3.6

The key to securing timely congressional approval of WRAP candidates
is the Army's ability to finalize its selection early enough in the
budget cycle.  To date, this has not happened.  In requesting the
release of fiscal year 1997 funds from DOD, the Army did not
initially justify the need for or indicate the ultimate destination
of the funds, delaying the start-up and implementation of programs. 
As a result, approval of WRAP funds was delayed until very late in
the fiscal year (see app.  II for a description of the Army's process
for WRAP candidate selection).  Additionally, funding reductions have
also affected implementation.  In the end, for most initiatives, WRAP
probably will not speed up fielding as much as initially hoped. 

The 1997 WRAP selection and approval process lasted most of fiscal
year 1997.  The Army narrowed its list of candidates from 300 to 15
and made its final selection after reviewing the results of a March
1997 Task Force XXI AWE evaluation.  The Army did not present the
final 11 candidates to Congress until May 30, 1997.  But even after
the candidates were selected, DOD withheld $47.7 million for several
months in fiscal
year 1997 because the Army had not clearly stated which programs
would receive the funds and how the funds would be used.  DOD
released $17.5 million of the funds in August 1997 and the remainder
in late September 1997.  In fiscal year 1998, DOD again withheld
funds, saying it wanted to be certain they were needed.  As of
October 8, 1998, $36.9 million of fiscal year 1998 funds still had
not been released. 

The Army has been trying to speed up its selection process in order
to receive WRAP funds earlier in the fiscal year, but with little
success.  The fiscal year 1998 selection process took even longer
than it had the previous year and the Army did not present its list
of candidates to Congress until July 1998.  This time the process was
reportedly delayed by continuing debate within the Army over
candidates, insufficient test data, and indecision about whether to
submit candidates all at once or in batches, as they were selected. 
The Army has acknowledged the need to start candidate selection
earlier.  For fiscal year 1999, it plans to convene the next Army
Systems Acquisition Review Council in November 1998,
2 months earlier than the previous year, and submit the last batch of
1999 candidates to Congress no later than December 1998. 

Funding cuts by DOD also affected the program.  DOD reprogrammed WRAP
funds to other operations, such as the Small Business Innovation
Research Program.\8 In fiscal years 1997 and 1998, DOD reprogrammed
$2.3 million and $5 million, respectively, from WRAP to other
programs.  In addition, a June 1998 omnibus reprogramming action
further reduced fiscal year 1998 WRAP funds for new initiatives by
$27.8 million, leaving funding for new initiatives at $8.6 million. 
Army Airborne Command and Control System officials estimated that the
loss of about $0.6 million of an $11 million WRAP allocation in
fiscal year 1998 could delay the program by about 3 months.  In
another program, officials agreed that even losses as small as $0.2
million can have a negative effect on program plans. 

Although there have been delays, we believe that many WRAP-funded
technologies may be fielded sooner because of the program.  The Army
initially estimated that 9 of the first 11 WRAP initiatives would
accelerate the fielding of new technologies by an average of about 20
months.  In its justification to Congress, the Army did not provide
accelerated fielding estimates for two initiatives.  Most estimates
were made by the Army before the initiatives were approved and had to
be revised because the selection and approval process took too long
and funds were not released when planned.  According to the latest
fielding projections by program officials, six of the nine programs
may not save as much time as originally claimed, two may accelerate
fielding as originally estimated, and one may actually be ahead of
the original fielding estimate (see table 1).  Fielding could be
postponed further if there are more delays or funding shortfalls. 



                                     Table 1
                     
                     Initial Estimates and Latest Projections
                     of Time Saved by WRAP Funds in Fielding
                                 New Technologies

                    Initial Army  Initial Army    Latest
                     estimate of  estimate of     fielding date           Latest
                    months saved  fielding date   estimates          estimate of
Initiative           (July 1997)  (July 1997)     (August 1998)     months saved
----------------  --------------  --------------  --------------  --------------
Army Airborne                 21  August 2000     August 2000                 21
Command and
Control System

Avenger Slew-                 20  August 1998     January 2000                 3
to-Cue

Combat Synthetic              18  June 1998       March 1999                   9
Training
Assessment Range

Gun Laying and                20  August 1998     July 1999                    9
Positioning
System

Lightweight                   18  October 1999    January 2000                15
Laser Designator
Rangefinder

Mortar Fire                   36  October 1999    July 2001                   15
Control System

Palletized Load               18  March 1999      September 1998              24
System -
Enhanced

Radio Frequency               18  September 1998  January 2000                 2
Tags

Striker                       15  September 1999  September 1999              15
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note:  The Army did not calculate accelerated fielding estimates for
Applique and Tactical Internet. 


--------------------
\8 Congress established the Small Business Innovation Research
Program in 1982 to stimulate technological innovations, use small
businesses to meet federal research and development needs, foster and
encourage minority and disadvantaged persons' participation in
technological innovations, and increase the private sector's
commercialization of innovations derived from federal research and
development.  The program was reauthorized and expanded in 1992 by
the Small Business Research and Development Enhancement Act. 


      CONGRESS NOT NOTIFIED OF
      PROGRAM CHANGES
---------------------------------------------------------- Letter :3.7

The Army made substantial changes to some WRAP initiatives.  These
changes prolonged implementation.  The Army concluded, for example,
that the design of Avenger Slew-to-Cue was deficient and that the
technology would become obsolete before it would be fielded.  In
fiscal year 1997, the Army thus made major changes in the design and
acquisition strategy of the program; this led to additional
development work and testing.  Because of these changes, DOD has been
withholding 1998 WRAP funding for the initiative.  The Gun Laying and
Positioning System also experienced a schedule slippage that will
delay fielding.  According to the program manager, the slippage will
make it necessary to alter funding (for example, by shifting funds
from the out-years to underfunded or unfunded years) in order to
accelerate fielding.  The congressional defense committees were not
informed of these developments. 

The Army is not required to issue progress reports or to notify
Congress of changes in ongoing programs.  The only formal feedback
mechanism is a congressional requirement that the Army submit
quarterly funding reports to the Senate Armed Services Committee on
the obligation of funds for WRAP initiatives.  The Army is also
required to provide more frequent reports if WRAP has significant
successes or failures.  To date, the Army has not submitted any of
the required reports. 


   CONCLUSIONS
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :4

After 2 years, there is growing uncertainty about which technologies
should receive top priority for WRAP funding.  The Army's criteria
for WRAP candidates are open-ended and do not ensure that initiatives
share a common set of characteristics.  For example, there is
disagreement within the Army over whether WRAP and the fielding of
the first digitized division should be directly linked.  In the
absence of more precise selection criteria, disagreements over which
candidates are most appropriate for WRAP funding will likely
continue. 

The Army may find it increasingly difficult to identify candidates
that are sufficiently developed in the near future because it has
reduced large-scale test and experimentation exercises and will thus
have less data with which to assess new WRAP candidates. 

The Army has not presented its slate of WRAP candidates for
congressional approval early enough in the fiscal year to permit
timely obligation of funds.  This has led directly to delays in
fielding because estimates were predicated on earlier availability of
funds.  Although some technologies may be fielded sooner because of
WRAP, in most cases the program will not speed up fielding as much as
originally expected. 

The Army is required to report quarterly on the status of funding
obligations to the Senate Armed Services Committee.  To date, it has
not met this requirement, and there is no other requirement for
reporting on program performance or status.  We believe that Congress
is being asked to make funding decisions without all the information
it needs.  Information presently not provided on a consistent basis
includes

  -- program cost, schedule, and performance;

  -- planned obligations;

  -- any significant changes to program acquisition strategy; and

  -- any scheduled changes in program digital battlefield
     participation. 



   RECOMMENDATION TO THE SECRETARY
   OF DEFENSE
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :5

We recommend that the Secretary of Defense direct the Secretary of
the Army to issue WRAP guidance that calls for

  -- specific deadlines for candidate identification and selection to
     ensure timely submission of candidates to Congress and timely
     obligation of funds,

  -- minimum testing and experimentation requirements for WRAP
     candidates, and

  -- periodic reports to Congress on the status of ongoing WRAP
     initiatives. 


   MATTER FOR CONGRESSIONAL
   CONSIDERATION
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :6

Given Congress' 2 years of experience in reviewing Army requests for
WRAP funding of specific technologies and the disagreement within the
Army about which technologies are most appropriate for WRAP funding,
this may be an appropriate time for Congress to clarify its
expectations of the program and to ensure that these expectations are
embodied in more precise selection criteria for WRAP candidates. 


   AGENCY COMMENTS
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :7

In written comments on a draft of this report, DOD partially
concurred with our recommendation, but did not specify why its
concurrence was not complete.  In its response, DOD stated that the
Army is continuing to examine potential improvements.  DOD indicated
that the Army will provide recommendations for improvements by
December 1, 1998, to the Office of the Secretary of Defense
Overarching Integrated Product Team leaders as part of the Force XXI
WRAP program update.  DOD also stated that the Army is continuing to
examine potential improvements to the WRAP/Force XXI process,
including the schedules for candidate identification and selection,
the requirements for levels of testing and experimentation tailored
to the specific initiative, and the appropriate detail and frequency
of reporting. 

Since WRAP is now in its third year of implementation, we believe it
is time for specific remedies to address the issues that have been
identified and believe our recommendation addresses these issues. 

DOD's comments are reprinted in their entirety in appendix III. 


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

To assess the current status of the program, we reviewed the criteria
used to identify, evaluate, and select WRAP candidates.  We
interviewed both DOD and Army officials responsible for the WRAP.  We
visited the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for
Research, Development, and Acquisition, Washington, D.C.; TRADOC,
Fort Monroe, Virginia; and OPTEC, Alexandria, Virginia.  We reviewed
congressional funding restrictions and selection criteria as well as
the Army's WRAP policy guidelines, Army Systems Acquisition Review
Council briefing packages, and resulting administrative decision
memorandums.  We discussed budget withholdings, assessments, and
reprogramming with officials in the DOD Comptroller's Office and the
Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Research,
Development, and Acquisition. 

With Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Research,
Development, and Acquisition and TRADOC's assistance, we examined in
detail the WRAP candidate identification, selection, and approval
process.  We examined how TRADOC identifies and screens candidates
and reviewed Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for
Research, Development, and Acquisition's congressional briefings and
OPTEC's rating and evaluation process.  We also reviewed WRAP-related
documentation, including program management and budget documents,
congressional hearings and briefings, and AWE assessments.  We also
attended the Division AWE at Fort Hood, Texas, and observed WRAP
initiatives in the field. 

We reviewed cost, schedule, and performance documentation at WRAP
initiative program offices and reviewed program acquisition plans and
schedules.  We interviewed appropriate officials, received briefings,
and reviewed relevant program documents during visits to the
Short-Range Air Defense and Aviation Electronic Combat Project
Offices, Redstone Arsenal, Huntsville, Alabama; the Simulation,
Training, and Instrumentation Command, Orlando, Florida; and the
Armament and Chemical Acquisition and Logistics Activity, Rock Island
Arsenal, Rock Island, Illinois.  We also met with OPTEC officials and
reviewed relevant information papers and AWE assessments.  We also
discussed OPTEC's initiative rating process, particularly regarding
test and experimentation data necessary to support an OPTEC rating. 
We also discussed how TRADOC and Office of the Assistant Secretary of
the Army for Research, Development, and Acquisition officials
incorporate ratings in the selection process. 

We performed our review from September 1997 to October 1998 in
accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. 


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

We are sending copies of this report to other appropriate
congressional committees; the Secretaries of Defense and the Army;
and the Director, Office of Management and Budget.  Copies will also
be made available to others upon request. 

Please contact me at (202) 512-4841 if you or your staff have any
questions concerning this report.  The major contributors to this
report are listed in appendix IV. 

Sincerely yours,

Allen Li
Associate Director,
Defense Acquisitions Issues


DETAILS OF 21 WRAP INITIATIVES AND
CANDIDATES
=========================================================== Appendix I

Tables I.1 through I.4 show funding for two groups of Warfighting
Rapid Acquisition Program (WRAP) initiatives (fiscal years 1997-98
and fiscal years 1998-99) and briefly describe the programs in each
group. 



                               Table I.1
                
                    Funding For Fiscal Years 1997-98
                              Initiatives

                         (Dollars in millions)

                                                     Fiscal year
                                                ----------------------
Initiative                                            1997        1998
----------------------------------------------  ----------  ----------
Applique                                              $4.3        $2.6
Army Airborne Command and Control System               3.4        11.0
Avenger Slew-to-Cue                                    5.8         7.4
Combat Synthetic Training Assessment Range             1.1         5.4
Gun Laying and Positioning System                      3.5         6.0
Lightweight Laser Designator Rangefinder               5.0         2.8
Mortar Fire Control System                             5.0        10.0
Palletized Load System-Enhanced                        3.0         3.0
Radio Frequency Tags                                   2.9         2.9
Striker (Scout Common Vehicle)                         5.6         3.9
Tactical Internet                                      8.0         6.0
======================================================================
Total                                              $47.7\a       $61.0
----------------------------------------------------------------------
\a Total does not add due to rounding. 



                                    Table I.2
                     
                      Army Description of Fiscal Years 1997-
                               98 WRAP Initiatives

------------------  ------------------------------------------------------------
Applique            Digital battle command information system that provides on-
                    the-move, almost real-time situation awareness to tactical
                    combat, combat support, and combat service support leaders
                    at individual fighting platforms.

Army Airborne       An on-the-move node that provides corps, division, and
Command and         brigade commanders mobility and communications
Control System      interoperability while maintaining sensor-to-shooter
                    connectivity.

Avenger Slew-to-    Provides a digitized sensor-to-shooter link, enabling the
Cue                 squad leader or gunner to designate a target for engagement.

Combat Synthetic    Battle command training system that provides collective
Training            training for brigade-sized organizations at Fort Irwin,
Assessment Range    California, and Fort Hood, Texas. In testing, the system
                    provided realistic signal intelligence, unmanned aerial
                    vehicle intelligence/imagery, and joint surveillance target
                    attack radar system intelligence/imagery to the brigade
                    combat team.

Gun Laying and      A tripod-mounted positioning and orienting device consisting
Positioning System  of a nondevelopmental item gyroscope, electronic theodolite,
                    position location ground receiver, and a short-range eye-
                    safe laser rangefinder.

Lightweight Laser   A man-portable laser designator and target locator with eye-
Designator          safe range finding, azimuth determination, self-location,
Rangefinder         and data/image export capability. It can locate targets in
                    day or night with all-weather capability.

Mortar Fire         Integrates mortars into the fire support architecture and
Control System      provides full field artillery tactical data system
                    compatibility. Consists of a high-mobility multiwheeled
                    vehicle configured as a fire direction center and three
                    subsystems: position navigation, fire control, and
                    situational awareness.

Palletized Load     This platform is capable of loading and unloading itself and
System-Enhanced     a companion trailer in 5 minutes to allow flexible mission
(Movement Tracking  assignment and operation under adverse conditions. It
System)             consists of the Palletized Load System platform and the
                    Movement Tracking System (MTS). MTS can identify position,
                    track progress, and communicate with the operators of
                    tactical wheel vehicles. It has global positioning
                    capability, can send base-to-mobile and mobile-to-base
                    messages, and can locate/track an asset's position using
                    personal computer-based software.

Radio Frequency     Provides asset visibility/in-transit capability to units and
Tags                managers. The tags are an assemblage of commercial off-the-
                    shelf equipment that store embedded data of container
                    contents, shipments, and vehicle identification. The tags
                    are fixed to containers to track material through the
                    distribution system.

Striker ( Scout     High-mobility, multiwheeled, vehicle used by combat
Common Vehicle)     observation lasing teams. The system can self-locate;
                    determine range, azimuth, and vertical angle to a target;
                    designate targets; and enhance day/night observation. It
                    will contain the same Fire Support Team computer mission
                    equipment as the Bradley vehicle.

Tactical Internet   A software enhancement to improve voice-data contention and
                    unit tasking order. Voice-data contention is the ability of
                    the Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System radios
                    to synchronize voice and data transmission over the same
                    radio path. Unit tasking order can dynamically task-
                    organize units within the Tactical Internet.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


                               Table I.3
                
                Funding Requested For WRAP Candidates in
                  Fiscal Year 1998 (as of August 1998)

                         (Dollars in millions)

                                                           Fiscal year
Candidate                                                         1998
------------------------------------------------------  --------------
Air and Missile Defense Planning and Control System               $0.9
Analysis and Control Team-Enclave                                  0.7
Digital Topographic Support System-Light                           0.9
Grenadier BRAT                                                     2.5
High Speed Multiplexer Card                                        2.1
Near-Term Digital Radio                                            1.5
Close Combat Tactical Trainer XXI\a                                  0
Global Combat Service Support System-Army\a                          0
Forward Repair System-Heavy                                          0
Tactical Simulation Interface Unit                                   0
======================================================================
Total                                                             $8.6
----------------------------------------------------------------------
\a Funding denied by congressional conference committee on September
25, 1998. 



                                    Table I.4
                     
                     Army Description of Fiscal Year 1998-99
                           Candidates for WRAP Funding

------------------  ------------------------------------------------------------
Air and Missile     Uses a network of computers and communication equipment to
Defense Planning    provide a joint integrated air picture to battalion,
and Control System  brigade, division, corps, and theater commanders, providing
                    real-time air situational awareness and enhancing air
                    defense-force protection.

Analysis and        High-mobility, multiwheeled, vehicle-mounted shelter with
Control Team-       digital communication that allows the brigade combat team to
Enclave             integrate, process, and interpret real-time sensor and
                    broadcast reports from remote intelligence data bases via a
                    common ground station and to merge the information with the
                    brigade's organic reconnaissance.

Close Combat        Provides combined arms training for the digitized division's
Tactical            close combat heavy battalion and units below. Supports the
Trainer XXI         training of mission training plan tasks by the digitized
                    force using all Force XXI C4 I systems.

Digital             Receives, updates, and disseminates digital terrain data to
Topographic         provide both digital and analog tactical decision aids in
Support System-     support of the commanders' battlefield visualization
Light               process.

Forward Repair      Heavy contact maintenance vehicle that provides forward area
System-Heavy        battlefield maintenance to mechanized forces.

Grenadier BRAT      Automated, worldwide, beyond line-of-sight tracking and
                    messaging system used to inject unit location and limited
                    messaging for nondigitized elements into existing and
                    planned automated C2 systems. Links digitized and
                    nondigitized forces.

High Speed          Provides essential video and high-speed data access through
Multiplexer Card    mobile subscriber equipment. Allows users to move voice,
                    video, and data over the existing communication network.

Global Combat       These modules merge data from the Unit Level Logistics
Service Support     Ground System, the Unit Level Logistics System, and the
System-Army         Standard Installation/Division Personnel System into a
(battalion          relational data warehouse based on a client-server system.
maintenance and
management
modules)

Near-Term Digital   Provides high data rate communications between tactical
Radio               operation centers at brigade level and below.

Tactical            Provides digitized training for two-way exchange between
Simulation          tactical command and control system work stations and
Interface           distributed interactive simulations.
Unit
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

PROCESS FOR WRAP CANDIDATE
SELECTION
========================================================== Appendix II

The Army's process for identifying, evaluating, and selecting WRAP
candidates involves several organizations and a number of steps that
lead candidates from initial identification to final presentation by
the Army Chief of Staff to Congress.  Key to securing timely
congressional approval of WRAP candidates is the Army's ability to
finalize its selection early in the budget cycle.  It is important
that WRAP candidates be processed promptly, since the success of the
program depends on the timely development of technologies determined
to be urgently needed by the warfighter. 

Proposals are initially submitted by the using commands to Training
and Doctrine Command's (TRADOC) Battle Lab Board of Directors. 
Proposals must include (1) a battle lab experiment plan containing an
urgency of need statement, test results, an acquisition strategy, and
a budget estimate; (2) an operational requirements statement
addressing defense planning guidance, threat, system requirements,
and constraints; and (3) an information paper addressing technical
merit and maturity, criticality, and priority of the warfighting
effort, affordability, effectiveness, and budget sustainability. 

After the Board reviews the proposals, it forwards them to the TRADOC
Commanding General, who approves and prioritizes them and forwards
them to the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Research,
Development, and Acquisition.  Further review is then carried out by
the Army Systems Acquisition Review Council (ASARC), which is
composed of 13 representatives from the Army's commands, the Office
of the Chief of Staff, and the secretariats.  The Council is convened
by the head of the Acquisition Reform Reinvention Lab (Assistant
Secretary of the Army for Research, Development, and Acquisition) on
request from the TRADOC Commanding General. 

In assessing proposals for WRAP funding, the TRADOC Battle Lab Board
of Directors ensures that the candidates comply with WRAP criteria. 
For its part, ASARC examines proposals for urgency of need,
requirements, affordability, and experimentation results.  When
assessing candidates, ASARC relies on information from a number of
sources, including the Operational Test and Evaluation Command
(OPTEC), which was the lead evaluator of the Task Force XXI Advanced
Warfighting Experiment (AWE).  OPTEC evaluates candidates and issues
its own ratings for consideration by ASARC. 

The Council reviews the proposals and can recommend approval by the
Army Chief of Staff, require further resolution of outstanding
issues, or recommend funding from other sources.  The Council also
approves acquisition and funding strategies and assigns management
responsibilities.  ASARC forwards its recommendations to the Army
Chief of Staff, who presents the final list of candidates for WRAP
funding to Congress for approval. 




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



(See figure in printed edition.)


MAJOR CONTRIBUTORS TO THIS REPORT
========================================================== Appendix IV

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

Charles Rey, Assistant Director
Stefano Petrucci, Communications Analyst

BOSTON FIELD OFFICE

Arthur Fine, Evaluator-in-Charge
Joseph Rizzo, Jr., Evaluator


*** End of document. ***