and other structures used to construct a base camp, and they look at the force structure and units coming in to build the support structure. Similarly, planning officials at U.S. European Command told us that if a plan has force packages in it, they would identify what will be provided by the military and what will be provided by contractors for things such as housing, food services, and other support.
However, most operation plans address broad missions but do not contain details on specific courses of action or identify the specific military forces required to meet the mission. For example, combatant commands have plans to evacuate U.S. citizens or provide humanitarian assistance, but these plans do not provide details on the size of the mission, such as the number of people to be evacuated or assisted. Additionally, operation plans lay out key tasks for accomplishing the mission, but these tasks may also lack specific details needed to identify potential contract support requirements. For example, a key task in one operation plan could be to provide precision strike capability within 72 hours. Combatant command officials noted that this is a description of a capability rather than a specific description of the number or type of units required. Therefore, a response to this task could involve 2 aircraft or 100 aircraft. Planners told us that the lack of information on military forces and the capabilities they bring makes it difficult for them to identify specific contract support requirements as called for in Annex W guidance.
There are a few operation plans that contained sufficient details on the scale of effort involved and the size and capabilities of the military force to enable contract support planners to develop more detailed Annex Ws that identify capabilities that could reasonably be expected to be provided by contractors. For example, we reviewed one operation plan at U.S. Southern Command that contains significant details regarding the size of the military operation and the capabilities needed to execute the plan. As a result, as discussed earlier, planners were able to develop a more detailed Annex W that describes expected contractor support by phase of operation and identifies existing contracts that could be used to support the operation. The annex also outlines the staffing for a Joint Theater Support Contracting Command to support theater contracting efforts. However, this is a plan for a highly defined operation of limited scope, which enabled planners to more readily develop a detailed Annex W that identifies specific contract support requirements. Similarly, U.S. Central Command officials told us that they were making progress in identifying contractor support in one of the command’s operation plans. Contract support planners said that the plan identifies the military forces coming in to execute the operation, which helps them identify gaps in needed
GAO-10-472 Warfighter Support