share this checklist with contract support planners at the other combatant commands.
In addition to challenges arising from the lack of detailed guidance, the JCASO has not been fully staffed, further limiting its ability to execute its responsibilities. The JCASO concept calls for a staff of about 30 people drawn from disciplines such as finance, law, and engineering as well as a liaison from the Defense Contract Management Agency. According to the memo establishing the JCASO, the office was to achieve an initial operational capability by fiscal year 2009. However, as of December 2009, the JCASO consisted of only 5 individuals, primarily contractors. According to ADUSD(PS) officials, DOD included funding for a 28-person JCASO as part of DOD’s fiscal year 2010 budget that was submitted to Congress. DOD now has the funds in its approved budget, but the JCASO is not expected to be fully staffed until late 2010.
As a result of these staffing challenges, the JCASO has been limited in its ability to carry out the broad responsibilities described above. We found that the JCASO’s interactions with the combatant commands thus far have not dealt with the JCASO’s role in reviewing and assessing the discussion of operational contract support in operation plans. Rather, the focus of the JCASO has been on integrating itself into combatant command exercises in order to demonstrate and refine the JCASO concept. According to ADUSD(PS), a U.S. European Command exercise in 2008 was used to conduct a pilot implementation of the JCASO concept, with additional JCASO participation in U.S. European Command and U.S. Pacific Command exercises in 2009. Similarly, JCASO officials stated that these exercises have been helpful in developing a better concept for the JCASO’s potential role in providing or supporting contingency contract management during an operation. However, JCASO and ADUSD(PS) officials acknowledged that the JCASO has not yet reviewed any operation plans.
While DOD has recognized its reliance on contractors to support operations both now and in the future, the department continues to face challenges in integrating the potential use and role of contractors into its operation plans. The introduction of the Annex W requirement and the deployment of contract support planners to the combatant commands has raised awareness of the importance of operational contract support and led to some improvement in planning for contract support. Despite these actions, the combatant commands have not fully identified for senior DOD leadership the extent to which their plans rely on contractors. As
GAO-10-472 Warfighter Support