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Background

2011 budget. However, the budget does not provide additional resources to fund the contract support planners and they are working with the DOD Comptroller to find an alternative funding source. Second, DOD has created the Joint Contingency Acquisition Support Office (JCASO), among other things, to look across DOD’s operation plans to ensure that planning for the use of contractors in future contingencies is consistent throughout the combatant commands. However, guidance for this office, including its role in reviewing plans, is still being developed. We found that the lack of specific guidance has led to confusion regarding the JCASO’s role in the requirements definition process. In addition, according to JCASO officials, the JCASO concept calls for a staff of about 30 people, but as of December 2009, the JCASO consisted of only 5 individuals. As a result of these staffing challenges, the JCASO has been limited in its ability to execute its responsibilities.

We are making a number of recommendations aimed at better enabling senior DOD leadership to determine the department’s reliance on contractors to execute future operations by improving the ability of combatant command planners to effectively identify contract support requirements in Annex Ws and throughout their operation plans and ensuring that the department effectively institutionalizes its organizational approach to addressing operational contract support in its plans. In written comments on a draft of this report, DOD concurred with our recommendations and identified additional actions the department believes are needed to address our recommendations. We agree that these actions are important steps toward addressing our recommendations. The full text of DOD’s written comments is reprinted in appendix II.

An operation plan describes how DOD will respond to a potential event that might require the use of military force. It is a foundation for an operation order, which entails the execution of an operation plan by a combatant commander. An operation plan is used to deal with a wide range of events, such as terrorism, hostile foreign nations, and natural disasters. An operation plan consists of a base plan and annexes. The base plan describes the concept of operations, major forces, sustainment concept, and anticipated timelines for completing the mission. Base plans are written following a five-paragraph structure—Situation, Mission, Execution, Administration and Logistics, and Command and Control. Plans will include assumptions that are relevant to the development or successful execution of the plan and the concept of operation that the commander plans to use to accomplish the mission, including the forces involved, the phasing of operations, and the general nature and purpose of

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GAO-10-472 Warfighter Support

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