Joint Operational Contract Support Planners Face Challenges in Executing Their Responsibilities and Their Future Is Uncertain
support requirements and integrate them into the combatant commands’ operation plans.24
First, DOD has allocated joint operational contract support planners to each geographic combatant command as well as U.S. Special Operations Command and U.S. Joint Forces Command. These contract support planners are tasked with assisting the combatant command with identifying military capability shortfalls and the contract capabilities necessary to meet these shortfalls and defining these requirements in the combatant commander’s operation plans. Second, DOD has established the JCASO, which will be responsible for, among other things, performing an independent review of the combatant commanders’ operation plans to ensure early identification and inclusion of contract requirements. This office will also lead the integration and synchronization of contract support in operation plans across combatant commands and U.S. government agencies.
DOD has deployed contract support planners to the combatant commands, but a lack of institutionalization has created challenges in how the planners execute their responsibilities. As discussed above, there have been long-standing requirements to integrate contractor support into operation plans, including the development of Annex Ws. In determining how to meet these requirements, ADUSD(PS) and senior leadership at the combatant commands recognized that there was a significant shortfall in the combatant command planning processes regarding the contractor- related portions of operation plans. As a result, ADUSD(PS) agreed to initially fund contract support planners to supplement the staffs of the combatant commands and give the commands the ability to ensure that operational contract support considerations are adequately factored into their plans.
In an October 2007 memo, ADUSD(PS) defined the broad responsibilities of the planners to include
developing the contracting support plans and contractor integration plans that constitute the Annex W; standardizing contract management business practices;
24 GAO, Contract Management: DOD Developed Draft Guidance for Operational Contract Support but Has Not Met All Legislative Requirements, GAO-09-114R (Washington, D.C.: Nov. 20, 2008).
GAO-10-472 Warfighter Support