Appendix I: Scope and Methodology
In designing and conducting our assessment, our objectives were to determine (1) what progress the Department of Defense (DOD) has made in developing operational contract support annexes for its operation plans, (2) the extent to which operational contract support requirements are included in other sections of operation plans, and (3) what progress the department has made in establishing a long-term capability to ensure the inclusion of operational contract support requirements in operation plans. To address our objectives, we met with and obtained documentation from the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Staff to review key guidance on how contingency operation plans are drafted and reviewed and to obtain an understanding of how operational contract support is addressed in this guidance. We visited all of the geographic combatant commands as well as U.S. Special Operations Command, U.S. Joint Forces Command, and some combatant command service components to discuss their roles in drafting contingency operation plans, how operational contract support was addressed in those plans, and other related efforts to improve the preparation and planning for working with contractors in future operations. We reviewed some base plans and annexes at the combatant commands, comparing them to DOD’s guidance on plan development as well as its operational contract support guidance in order to determine how well these documents incorporated contract support. Specifically, we reviewed
7 of the 34 Annex Ws drafted or approved as of February 2010, 3 base plans (1 base plan for a level 4 plan and 2 base plans for level 3 plans), 4 Annex Ds (logistics), and contractor-related excerpts of a base plan and an Annex D (logistics).
However, because DOD limited our access to its operation plans, we were unable to provide a comprehensive assessment of each plan’s assumptions, comprehensiveness, feasibility, adequacy of executable detail, and other aspects of operational contract support as directed in the mandate. Nevertheless, we believe that the excerpts of plans and annexes DOD allowed us to see, along with in-depth conversations with planners and other officials responsible for drafting or reviewing base plans and annexes, gave us adequate information with which to assess DOD’s progress in incorporating operational contract support into its plans.
Following our site visits to the combatant commands, we requested updated information on each command’s number of plans, by plan level, to determine the total number of plans for which they were including operational contract support in an Annex W or D or in other sections of
GAO-10-472 Warfighter Support