combatant command planners regarding what the JCASO was intended to do. For example:
U.S. European Command planning officials stated that it was not clear what the JCASO’s role would be, how it would fit into the broader plan development and review process, or how the contract support planners would interact with the JCASO. U.S. Central Command logistics planners stated they do not have a good understanding of what the JCASO concept is. They were familiar with the draft concept of operations but remained unsure as to how the JCASO would work with or for the combatant command and were waiting to see how the concept evolves. U.S. Northern Command planning officials were unclear as to what the JCASO’s roles would be and how the JCASO would support their efforts. The officials believed additional information was needed in the JCASO concept of operations to define how the JCASO would fit into the combatant command’s efforts. U.S. Southern Command planners saw the JCASO more as a body to coordinate contract support-related policy and doctrinal changes, noting that the JCASO was still being developed and that more coordination with the planners would be helpful in defining the JCASO’s role in plan development and review. U.S. Special Operations Command planners thought the JCASO could deploy in support of the geographic combatant commands but were unsure what support, if any, the JCASO could provide to U.S. Special Operations Command.
JCASO officials acknowledged that they were still building processes to validate the JCASO concept. According to these officials, the contract support planners are their entrée to raise these questions in the planning process. Further, the draft concept of operations states that the JCASO and the contract support planners are key contributors to integrating operational contract support in exercises and plans. Although the draft concept of operations does not describe how the two should work together, it does indicate that the contract support planners are to become part of the JCASO. According to ADUSD(PS) and JCASO officials, aligning the contract support planners within the JCASO will enable contingency response and contract planning functions to be under one operational management staff and to share lessons learned. We found one case where the lack of management of the contract support planner program led to the failure to share best practices. Planners at U.S. Southern Command developed a detailed checklist for reviewing plans to track progress and ensure that each plan was reviewed in a consistent manner, but did not
GAO-10-472 Warfighter Support