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support in the appropriate annexes where the plan determines a valid requirement for support. The department added that major operational contract support functions that will have a significant impact upon a mission should be included in the base plan concept of operations. We agree with DOD’s comments as well as the department’s observation that joint planning guidance should be modified to incorporate these requirements.

Lastly, with regard to effectively institutionalizing the required organizational approach to addressing operational contract support in operation plans, DOD agreed with our recommendations to clarify the roles and missions of the joint operational contract support planners and the JCASO and the relationship between both functions, take steps to ensure that both functions are adequately staffed and funded to meet their missions, and incorporate both of these initiatives in DOD’s operational contract support guidance. In its comments, DOD further stated that funding for these positions be centralized rather than placed with each combatant command. As noted in the report, there are concerns that funding the contract support planners out of the combatant command budgets could cause the planners to be redirected to focus on issues other than operational contract support. We agree that it is important that the planners retain their operational contract support focus and that their role needs to be institutionalized in operational contract support guidance. We also agree with DOD’s comment that the department should consider contract support planners at the service component and combat support agency levels.

We are sending copies of this report to the appropriate congressional committees and the Secretary of Defense. The report also is available at no charge on GAO’s Web site at http://www.gao.gov.

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GAO-10-472 Warfighter Support

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