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Detailed Information on Operational Contract Support Generally Not Included in Other Sections or Annexes of Operation Plans

Nonlogistics Personnel Tend to Assume That Operational Contract Support Planning Will Be Addressed by the Logistics Community

could also limit the department’s ability to provide congressional decision makers with information on DOD’s reliance on contractors to support future operations.

As with the one-size-fits-all approach to Annex Ws discussed above, a lack of specific guidance regarding which plans require an Annex W has resulted in a mismatch in expectations between senior DOD leadership and combatant command planners regarding the level of detail the Annex W will contain. In most cases, we found that Annex Ws did not contain the level of detail expected by senior DOD leadership and envisioned in current guidance, limiting the utility of the Annex W as a planning tool to assess and address contract support requirements. Senior decision makers may assume that the combatant commands have adequately addressed contractor requirements in a plan, even though many plans do not contain Annex Ws or lack the expected details on the anticipated contractor support needed to execute the mission. As a result, they risk not fully understanding the extent to which they will be relying on contractors to support combat operations and being unprepared to provide the necessary management and oversight of deployed contractor personnel.

We found that nonlogistics personnel tend to assume that the logistics community will address the need to incorporate operational contract support throughout operation plans. Although the Annex W is intended to be the focal point within an operation plan for discussion of operational contract support, DOD guidance underscores the importance of addressing contractor requirements throughout an operation plan, including the base plan and other annexes as appropriate. The department’s primary guidance for joint operation planning, Joint Publication 5-0, states that for any operation in which significant reliance

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GAO-10-472 Warfighter Support

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