Agency Comments and Our Evaluation
In commenting on a draft of this report, DOD concurred with all of our recommendations. In agreeing with our recommendations, DOD identified additional actions the department believes are needed to address our recommendations. We agree these actions are important steps toward addressing our recommendations. DOD’s comments are reprinted in appendix II. DOD also provided several technical comments, which we considered and incorporated where appropriate.
With regard to the Annex W, DOD agreed with our recommendation to clarify and specify the appropriate level of detail that should be included in an Annex W based on the degree to which the plan provides details on the size and capabilities of military forces and how the plan envisions those forces being used. In its comments, DOD described the progress the department has made in developing an Annex W template, but acknowledged that the level of operational contract support detail should be tailored to match the degree to which the plan provides details on the anticipated size of capabilities of military forces to be used. DOD added that the operational contract support community of interest is designing a contract support estimator tool that will help planners determine operational contract support requirements, particularly the contractor footprint anticipated for an operation. We agree that such a tool will facilitate the commander’s ability to integrate operational contract support in the overall operation. DOD also agreed with our recommendation to update DOD’s guidance for contingency planning to clarify and specify the level of plans that require an Annex W or similarly detailed discussion of operational contract support requirements. In its comments, DOD stated that the Annex W is as important as the logistics annex (Annex D) and that whenever an Annex D is required by joint planning guidance, the Annex W should also be required. The department added that joint planning guidance should dictate that operational contract support be included in the base plan. We agree that both of these actions would clarify the requirement for where and how to include operational contract support requirements in operation plans.
With regard to the need to improve the integration of operational contract support requirements throughout combatant command operation plans, DOD agreed with our recommendations to require all base plans to include an assumption on the potential use and role of contractors and to require the base plans and nonlogistics annexes of operation plans to address the potential need for contractor support where appropriate (e.g., intelligence and communications annexes). In its comments, DOD stated that the base plan at the operational or component level should also address the requisite assumptions and roles of contractors and the use of contractor
GAO-10-472 Warfighter Support