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for future contingency operations.3 We also suggested that DOD conduct a comprehensive reexamination of its use of contractors to determine the appropriate balance of contractors and military personnel and ensure that the role of contractors is incorporated into its planning efforts.4 Congress has expressed concerns regarding the department’s use of contractors to support deployed forces and has directed DOD to develop joint policies for requirements definition, contingency program management, and contingency contracting during combat operations and postconflict operations.5

DOD guidance has long recognized the need to include the role of contractors in its operation plans. For example, joint guidance states that military commanders must ensure that requisite contract planning and guidance are in place for any operations where significant reliance on contractors is anticipated, and planning for contractors should be at a level of detail on par with that for military forces.6 To provide greater details on contract services needed to support an operation and the capabilities that contractors would bring, DOD’s guidance for contingency planning was revised in February 2006 to require planners to include an operational contract support annex—known as Annex W—in the combatant commands’ most detailed operation plans.7 In addition, joint guidance gives the combatant commanders the discretion to require Annex Ws for additional, less detailed plans.

In its report accompanying the Duncan Hunter National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2009,8 the Senate Armed Services


See the related GAO products list at the end of this report.

4 GAO, Defense Management: Actions Needed to Overcome Long-standing Challenges with Weapon Systems Acquisition and Service Contract Management, GAO-09-362T (Washington, D.C.: Feb. 11, 2009), and Defense Management: DOD Needs to Reexamine Its Extensive Reliance on Contractors and Continue to Improve Management and Oversight, GAO-08-572T (Washington, D.C.: Mar. 11, 2008).

5 John Warner National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007, Pub. L. No. 109-364, § 854 (2006).


Joint Chiefs of Staff, Joint Publication 4-0, Joint Logistics (July 18, 2008).

7 Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Manual 3122.03B, Joint Operation Planning and Execution System (JOPES) Volume II Planning Formats (Feb. 28, 2006). Superseded by Joint Chiefs of Staff Manual 3122.03C, Joint Operation Planning and Execution System (JOPES) Volume II Planning Formats (Aug. 17, 2007).


S. Rep. No. 110-335, at 317 (2008). See also S. Rep. No. 111-35, at 116 (2009).

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GAO-10-472 Warfighter Support

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