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Special Operations Forces: Force Structure and Readiness Issues

(Chapter Report, 03/24/94, GAO/NSIAD-94-105)

As a result of problems with several special operations missions in the
1980s, including the failed attempt to rescue American hostages from
Iran in April 1980, Congress created a joint special operations command
to ensure the combat readiness of assigned forces. In April 1987, the
Defense Department established the U.S. Special Operations Command. This
report assesses how the Command determines its force level and mix of
active and reserve forces and examines issues affecting the readiness of
special operations forces.
--------------------------- Indexing Terms -----------------------------
 REPORTNUM:  NSIAD-94-105
     TITLE:  Special Operations Forces: Force Structure and Readiness 
             Issues
      DATE:  03/24/94
   SUBJECT:  Agency missions
             Defense operations
             Strategic mobility forces
             Mobilization
             Combat readiness
             Defense contingency planning
             Defense capabilities
             Interagency relations
             Armed forces reserves
IDENTIFIER:  DOD Major Force Program 11
             DOD Joint Strategic Planning System
             DOD Planning, Programming, and Budgeting System
             DOD Special Operations Master Plan
             Scud Missile
             Desert Storm
             Iraq
             DOD Operation Provide Comfort
             JCS Status of Resources and Training System
             MH-47E Helicopter
             MH-60X Helicopter
             MC-130H Combat Talon II Helicopter
             MK V Special Operations Craft
             Army Special Operations Modernization Action Program
             Europe
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Cover
================================================================ COVER
Report to the Chairman, Committee on Armed Services, House of
Representatives
March 1994
SPECIAL OPERATIONS FORCES - FORCE
STRUCTURE AND READINESS ISSUES
GAO/NSIAD-94-105
Special Operations Forces
Abbreviations
=============================================================== ABBREV
  GAO - General Accounting Office
  MFP - major force program
  SEAL - Sea-Air-Land
  SORTS - Status of Resources and Training System
Letter
=============================================================== LETTER
B-256218
March 24, 1994
The Honorable Ronald V.  Dellums
Chairman, Committee on Armed Services
House of Representatives
Dear Mr.  Chairman: 
In response to the former Chairman's request, we assessed how the
Special Operations Command determines its force levels and mix of
active and reserve forces and examined issues impacting the readiness
of special operations forces. 
Unless you publicly announce its contents earlier, we plan no further
distribution of this report until 5 days after the issue date.  At
that time, we will send copies to the Chairmen of the House and
Senate Committees on Appropriations and the Senate Committee on Armed
Services; the Secretaries of Defense, the Army, the Air Force, and
the Navy; the Commander of the U.S.  Special Operations Command; and
the Director, Office of Management and Budget.  We will also make
copies available to others upon request. 
Please contact me at (202) 512-3504 if you or your staff have any
questions concerning this report.  Major contributors to this report
are listed in appendix III. 
Sincerely yours,
Richard Davis
Director, National Security
 Analysis
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
============================================================ Chapter 0
   PURPOSE
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 0:1
As a result of problems with several special operations missions in
the 1980s, including the failed attempt to rescue U.S.  hostages from
Iran in April 1980, Congress directed the creation of a joint service
special operations command that would be responsible for ensuring the
combat readiness of assigned forces.  In April 1987 the Secretary of
Defense established the U.S.  Special Operations Command.  In
response to a request from the Chairman, House Committee on Armed
Services, GAO assessed how the Command determines its force levels
and mix of active and reserve forces and examined issues impacting
the readiness of special operations forces. 
   BACKGROUND
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 0:2
Special operations are conducted independently or in coordination
with conventional forces during peacetime--operations short of
declared war or intense warfare--and war.  Special operations forces
differ from conventional forces in that they are specially organized,
trained, and equipped to achieve military, political, economic, or
psychological objectives by unconventional means. 
On November 14, 1986, Congress enacted Public Law 99-661, section
1311, to revitalize special operations and correct deficiencies
identified in the nation's ability to conduct special operations. 
The law directed the President to establish a unified combatant
command for special operations to ensure that special operations
forces were combat ready and prepared to conduct specified missions. 
The law required the Secretary of Defense to assign all U.S.-based
active and reserve special operations forces to the Command and
special operations forces stationed overseas to the Atlantic,
Pacific, Southern, Central, and European combatant commands. 
To ensure that special operations were adequately funded, Congress
later directed the Department of Defense to include a new special
operations budget category, major force program-11 (MFP-11), in its
future years defense plan.  MFP-11 provides the Command with funding
authority for the development and acquisition of equipment,
materials, supplies, and services peculiar to special operations. 
Legislation makes the military services responsible for providing
standard equipment and supplies to their forces assigned to unified
combatant commands. 
   RESULTS IN BRIEF
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 0:3
The Command had inherited most of its present force structure from
the military services by 1988.  It determines its future force
structure requirements through an analytical process that considers
wartime and peacetime needs.  About 50 percent of the Command's
planned force structure is needed to meet peacetime requirements. 
Peacetime needs have grown considerably as operations such as
peacekeeping, peacemaking, and humanitarian assistance have
increased. 
The Department of Defense's Status of Resources and Training System
compares a unit's resources to those needed to undertake its wartime
missions.  The Command's readiness, as measured by this system, has
improved only slightly since the Command was established.  Equipment
shortages in active forces and personnel and personnel specialty
shortages in reserve forces have been the primary causes for the lack
of significant improvements.  Although defense planning guidance
states that this system will be used to measure the readiness of
forces, the Command believes that this system does not adequately
reflect the capabilities and interoperability improvements of its
forces. 
Other factors could negatively impact readiness in the future. 
Specifically, resources available to improve the readiness of special
operations forces could be reduced by the use of (1) Air Force and
Army special operations units for conventional combat search and
rescue operations on a routine basis, (2) special operations funds to
maintain reserve forces that could be excess to requirements, and (3)
special operations funds for expenses that are not unique to special
operations. 
   PRINCIPAL FINDINGS
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 0:4
      FUTURE FORCE LEVEL AND MIX
      DETERMINED BY ANALYTICAL
      PROCESS AND NATIONAL
      POLICIES
-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 0:4.1
The Command's force structure has changed little from the structure
it had inherited from the military services by 1988.  According to
the Command, the changes have primarily been reorganizations to
improve command and control.  For example, in 1989 the Army converted
its 1st Special Operations Command to the U.S.  Army Special
Operations Command. 
The Command's force structure development process begins with its
joint mission analysis.  The analysis is used to develop a mission
needs force, which is analyzed and adjusted based on planning
factors, basing considerations, and affordability to arrive at the
objective force.  The Command then adjusts this force based on the
Department of Defense's fiscal guidance to arrive at the program
force, which becomes the basis for the Command's budget request. 
Special operations forces support the theater combatant commands to
achieve national security objectives in peacetime and war.  These
forces have become an integral part of the theater commander's
peacetime strategy.  For example, the Southern Command plans to use
special operations forces for counterdrug and counterinsurgency
missions and assistance to foreign nations.  The theater combatant
commanders' needs for special operations forces have grown
considerably as operations short of war have increased.  As a result
of factoring increased peacetime demands into the Command's joint
mission analysis, about 50 percent of the Command's planned force
structure is for peacetime forward presence in key regions of the
world. 
      DATA SHOWED SLIGHT
      IMPROVEMENT IN COMMAND'S
      READINESS
-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 0:4.2
Although Congress mandated that the Command ensure the combat
readiness of assigned forces, data from the Status of Resources and
Training System showed that the forces' readiness posture has only
slightly improved since the Command was established.  When the
Command inherited its original force structure in 1987, about 22
percent of its units possessed the resources required to undertake
their full wartime missions (a rating of C-1).  Through May 1993,
about 30 percent of the units were rated C-1.  The percent of active
units reporting C-1 ratings had improved from 38 percent in 1987 to
43 percent through May 1993.  The percent of reserve units reporting
C-1 had remained about the same with 14 percent of units reporting
C-1 ratings in 1987 and 15 percent through May 1993.  The Command
identified equipment shortages in active forces and personnel and
personnel specialty shortages in reserve forces as the primary
problem areas.  According to the Command, other intangible indicators
such as improved equipment, interoperability of forces, and training
need to be included when considering readiness. 
      FACTORS THAT COULD REDUCE
      FUTURE READINESS
-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 0:4.3
The Command believes that maintaining unneeded reserve forces is
adversely affecting its operations and will cost about $355 million
through fiscal year 1999.  Although GAO did not validate the
Command's position, it believes that any use of financial resources
for unneeded structure would not be prudent when the defense budget
is declining.  The Department plans to inactivate the unneeded units
by the end of fiscal year 1994. 
Special operations units were needed for conventional combat search
and rescue of downed pilots during and after Operation Desert Storm
because the Air Force had transferred its search and rescue assets to
the Command.  Although the Air Force is acquiring assets to assume
responsibility for conventional combat search and rescue missions in
more theaters, it does not plan to station a rescue unit in Europe. 
Until the Air Force reassumes the theater search and rescue
responsibility for downed pilots, special operations forces will have
to continue to perform these missions, which in the past have
degraded the readiness of units and restricted the availability of
limited assets. 
The Command will have unneeded Sea-Air-Land (SEAL) reserve positions
if it receives and fills additional training positions in active
forces.  Current mobilization plans call for reserve SEALs to fill
training positions if current active duty SEALs are deployed.  The
new active duty positions, however, would be for personnel who would
not deploy.  Thus, if the Secretary of Defense authorizes these
additional active duty positions, the SEAL reservists would no longer
have a wartime mission.  At the time GAO completed its audit work in
December 1993, the Naval Special Warfare Command had no alternative
plan for using or eliminating the SEAL reserve positions. 
To ensure that the Command has the authority to control or influence
resource decisions, Congress mandated that MFP-11 include funding for
equipment, materials, supplies, and services peculiar to special
operations.  Although items and services peculiar to special
operations are defined in Joint Publication 3-05, the Command and the
services have used varied definitions in their agreements. 
Consequently, MFP-11 funds have been used for expenses that are not
peculiar to special operations as defined by Joint Publication 3-05. 
This use of MFP-11 funds for common items and services could reduce
the readiness of special operations forces. 
   RECOMMENDATIONS
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 0:5
GAO recommends that the Secretary of Defense take the following
actions: 
  Direct the Secretary of the Air Force to develop a plan that meets
     the combatant commander's requirements for combat search and
     rescue in Europe with the least impact on special operations
     assets. 
  Notify Congress of its plans to eliminate reserve forces the
     Command has deemed to be excess. 
  Eliminate reserve SEAL positions that would be excess if the
     Special Operations Command receives additional active SEAL
     training positions. 
  Direct the Special Operations Command and the military services to
     consistently use and apply the agreed-upon definition of items
     and services peculiar to special operations from Joint
     Publication 3-05. 
   AGENCY COMMENTS
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 0:6
In written comments on a draft of this report, the Department of
Defense agreed with most of GAO's findings and the need to notify
Congress of its plans to eliminate reserve forces.  However, the
Department stated that any discussion of additional active SEAL
positions is speculation at this time and it is, therefore, premature
to assume that reserve SEAL personnel are excess.  The Command has
identified the requirement for the additional SEAL positions and
expects to request approval for those positions in fiscal year 1996
at the earliest.  Therefore, GAO continues to believe that if those
additional positions are approved and filled, the reserve SEAL
positions would be excess. 
The Department also said that there is no need for the Air Force to
develop a plan to meet combat search and rescue requirements in
Europe because the Air Force already has such a plan.  According to
Department officials, the Air Force has a plan to meet combat search
and rescue requirements during a major regional conflict such as
Desert Storm.  However, it has no plan to meet combat search and
rescue requirements for lesser regional operations such as enforcing
the no-fly zone and cease-fire in Bosnia and Herzegovina.  Because
operations such as those in Bosnia can last for extended periods of
time and degrade the readiness of special operations units, GAO
continues to believe that the Air Force needs to develop a plan to
meet its full combat search and rescue requirements. 
The Department stated that the Command and the services appropriately
use their agreements to define what items and services are peculiar
to special operations because an item in one service could be
considered special operations-peculiar while the same item in another
service could be considered common.  The Department cited the M-16
rifle, which is common for the Army but special operations-peculiar
to the Navy.  GAO continues to believe that the definition of items
and services peculiar to special operations from Joint Publication
3-05 provides the appropriate parameters for the agreements between
the Command and the services.  Without such parameters, the
agreements will continue to include varied definitions, which could
lead to varied interpretations of items and services peculiar to
special operations. 
INTRODUCTION
============================================================ Chapter 1
Several failed special operations missions in the early 1980s
prompted Congress to question the special operations capabilities of
U.S.  forces.  Because of deficiencies identified with those
capabilities, Congress directed the President to establish a joint
service special operations capability under a single command in
section 1311 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal
Year 1987, Public Law 99-661.  The command was to be responsible for
ensuring the combat readiness of assigned forces and for conducting
assigned missions.  In April 1987 the Secretary of Defense
established the U.S.  Special Operations Command at MacDill Air Force
Base, Florida. 
   LEGISLATION UNIFIES U.S. 
   CAPABILITIES TO CONDUCT SPECIAL
   OPERATIONS
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 1:1
In response to the failed rescue of U.S.  hostages from Iran in April
1980, the Joint Chiefs of Staff established a commission to examine
special operations issues.  The commission identified deficiencies in
organization, planning, training, and command and control and
recommended the creation of a permanent joint special operation
capability to overcome the deficiencies.\1 The U.S.  intervention in
Grenada in 1983 and the U.S.  response to the terrorist hijacking of
a Trans World Airline aircraft and the Achille Lauro cruise liner in
1985 focused congressional attention on the capabilities of special
operations forces and raised questions concerning whether the
capabilities were sufficiently integrated. 
On November 14, 1986, Congress enacted Public Law 99-661, section
1311, to revitalize special operations and correct deficiencies
identified in the nation's ability to conduct special operations. 
The law directed the President to establish a unified combatant
command\2 for special operations to ensure that special operations
forces were combat ready and prepared to conduct specified missions. 
The law required, unless otherwise directed by the Secretary of
Defense, the assignment of all active and reserve special operations
forces stationed in the United States to the Command and special
operations units stationed overseas to the Atlantic, Pacific,
Southern, Central, and European combatant commands.  By March 1988
most forces categorized as having a primary special operations
mission had been assigned to the Command.\3
The Defense Department's reluctance to implement section 1311 of
Public Law 99-661 prompted Congress to enact additional reforms in
1987 and 1988.  In December 1987 Congress enacted Public Law 100-180,
which directed the Secretary of Defense to provide sufficient
resources to the Command to accomplish its duties and
responsibilities.  The legislation further stipulated that the
Department establish a new special operations budget category, major
force program-11 (MFP-11), in its future years defense plan.  In
September 1988 Congress enacted Public Law 100-456 (section 712),
which made the Command responsible for (1) preparing and submitting
to the Secretary of Defense budget proposals and program
recommendations for assigned forces and (2) exercising authority,
control, and direction over its budgetary expenditures, including
limited authority over the expenditures of funds for special
operations forces assigned to other commands. 
--------------------
\1 Holloway Commission Rescue Mission Report, August 1980. 
\2 A combatant command has a broad and continuing mission under a
single commander and is composed of significant assigned components
of two or more services.  Such a command is established and so
designated by the President, through the Secretary of Defense, with
the advice and assistance of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of
Staff. 
\3 Special Operations Command:  Progress in Implementing Legislative
Mandates (GAO/NSIAD-90-166, Sept.  28, 1990). 
   ACTIVITIES ASSIGNED TO SPECIAL
   OPERATIONS FORCES
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 1:2
Public Law 99-661 listed 10 activities over which the Command would
exercise authority as they relate to special operations.  These
activities are as follows: 
  Direct actions are short duration strikes and other small-scale
     offensive actions to (1) seize, destroy, or inflict damage on a
     specified target or (2) destroy, capture, or recover designated
     personnel or material. 
  Strategic reconnaissance is conducted to obtain or verify, by
     visual observation or other collection means, information
     concerning the capabilities, intentions, and activities of an
     actual or potential enemy or to secure data concerning the
     meteorological, hydrological, geographic, or demographic
     characteristics of a particular area.  It includes target
     acquisition, area assessment, and post-strike reconnaissance. 
  Unconventional warfare is a broad spectrum of military and
     paramilitary operations, normally of long duration,
     predominantly conducted by indigenous or surrogate forces that
     are organized, trained, equipped, supported, and directed in
     varying degrees by an external source.  It includes guerrilla
     warfare and other direct offensive, low visibility, covert, or
     clandestine operations, as well as the indirect activities of
     subversion, sabotage, intelligence collection, and evasion and
     escape. 
  Foreign internal defense is conducted to assist another government
     to free and protect its society from subversion, lawlessness,
     and insurgency.  Special forces train, advise, and otherwise
     assist host nation military and paramilitary forces. 
  Counterterrorism is the application of highly specialized
     capabilities to preempt or resolve terrorist incidents abroad,
     including (1) hostage rescue, (2) recovery of sensitive materiel
     from terrorist organizations, and (3) direct action against the
     terrorist infrastructure. 
  Civil affairs operations are to establish, maintain, influence, or
     strengthen relations between U.S.  and allied military forces,
     civil authorities, and people in a friendly or occupied country
     or area. 
  Psychological operations are to support other military operations
     through the use of mass media techniques and other actions to
     favorably influence the emotions, attitudes, and behavior of a
     foreign audience on behalf of U.S.  interests. 
  Humanitarian assistance is conducted to relieve or reduce the
     results of natural or man-made disasters or other endemic
     conditions such as human pain, disease, hunger, or privation
     that might present a serious threat to life or loss of property. 
     This assistance supplements or complements the efforts of host
     nation civil authorities or agencies that may have the primary
     responsibility for providing this assistance. 
  Theater search and rescue is performed to recover distressed
     personnel during wartime or contingency operations. 
  Other activities are specified by the President or the Secretary of
     Defense. 
Special operations forces differ from conventional forces in that
they are specially organized, trained, and equipped to achieve
military, political, economic, or psychological objectives by
unconventional means.  Special operations are conducted independently
or in coordination with conventional forces during
peacetime--operations short of declared war or intense warfare--and
war.  Political/military considerations frequently shape special
operations and often require clandestine, covert, or low visibility
techniques.  Special operations also significantly differ from
conventional operations because of enhanced physical and political
risk, operational techniques, mode of employment, independence from
friendly support, and dependence on detailed operational intelligence
and indigenous assets. 
   SPECIAL OPERATIONS COMMAND
   RESPONSIBILITIES AND
   ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 1:3
The Special Operations Command is primarily responsible for providing
combat-ready special operations forces to the five geographic
combatant commands in support of U.S.  national security interests. 
The Command is not limited to a specific geographic area of
responsibility but must respond wherever the President or the
Secretary of Defense directs in peacetime and across the complete
spectrum of conflict. 
The Command has three service components, each of which is a major
command:  the Army Special Operations Command at Ft.  Bragg, North
Carolina; the Naval Special Warfare Command at the Naval Amphibious
Base, Coronado, California; and the Air Force Special Operations
Command at Hurlburt Field, Florida.  The Joint Special Operations
Command, a subunified command, is located at Ft.  Bragg, North
Carolina.  The Special Operations Command's fiscal year 1994 budget
exceeds $3 billion.  It has a planned end strength of 46,126
personnel for
fiscal year 1994. 
The active and reserve component commands and their forces are shown
in figure 1.1.  Appendix I describes these commands and forces. 
   Figure 1.1:  Active and Reserve
   Special Operations Component
   Forces Assigned to the Command
   (See figure in printed
   edition.)
\a Sea-Air-Land units. 
Source:  Special Operations Command. 
   OBJECTIVES, SCOPE, AND
   METHODOLOGY
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 1:4
In response to a request from the Chairman, House Committee on Armed
Services, we assessed how the Command determines its force levels and
mix of active and reserve forces and examined issues impacting the
readiness of special operations forces. 
To determine the process used to generate special operations force
levels and mix, we analyzed operational plans, studies, reports,
testimonies, briefings, national security and military strategies,
concepts of operations to implement the strategies, force structure
evaluations, and master planning procedures.  We compared the
Command's initial and planned force structures and evaluated the
basis for unit additions and deletions.  We discussed force
development policies and procedures with officials at the Special
Operations Command; the Army and Air Force Special Operations
Commands; the Naval Special Warfare Command; and Headquarters, U.S. 
Southern Command.  Moreover, we observed the Special Operations
Command's first force structure board that reviewed aggregate force
structure requirements and recommended force structure actions to be
included in the fiscal year 1996-2001 program objectives
memorandum.\4 We discussed the results of this board with cognizant
Command officials and officials at the Naval Special Warfare Command. 
To assess whether the Command has improved the readiness of special
operations forces, we analyzed legislation establishing the Command
and corresponding hearings and testimony.  We analyzed and compared a
judgmental sample of the Special Operations Command's Status of
Resources and Training System reports to identify the readiness
posture of assigned Army, Navy, and Air Force active and reserve
forces since the Command was established.  We examined memorandums of
agreement between the Command and the services and reviewed financial
documents to evaluate whether MFP-11 funds were being spent for
equipment, goods, and services peculiar to special operations. 
Moreover, we discussed MFP-11 expenditures with Command finance and
legal officials and officials from the three special operations
component command headquarters. 
We reviewed the roles and missions of special operations forces to
determine whether they were consistent with legislation.  We
discussed the roles and missions of forces with officials from the
Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the three component commands,
and the U.S.  Southern and Central Commands.  We reviewed the role of
special operations forces in conventional search and rescue missions
and analyzed deployment data to determine the extent to which special
operations units are conducting conventional search and rescue
missions.  We reviewed Air Force planning documents and discussed the
conduct of conventional search and rescue missions with cognizant
Special Operations Command, Air Force Special Operations Command, and
Air Force Air Combat Command officials. 
We analyzed Special Operations Command deployment data to identify
the theater commanders' use of special operations forces.  We also
analyzed Command force structure evaluations recommending the
elimination of reserve components and reviewed cost data associated
with maintaining these components.  However, we did not validate the
Command's force structure evaluations or the cost of maintaining
forces it determined to be excess.  We reviewed the Special
Operations Command's methodology and justification for expanding its
Navy SEAL force and discussed the need for reserve SEALs with Special
Operations Command and Naval Special Warfare Command officials. 
Our review was conducted at the following locations from November
1992 through December 1993 in accordance with generally accepted
government auditing standards: 
  Washington, D.C.  area:  Office of the Assistant Secretary of
     Defense for Special Operations/Low Intensity Conflict, the
     Pentagon; Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Special
     Operations Division, the Pentagon; Office of the Deputy
     Secretary of Defense, Program Analysis and Evaluation, the
     Pentagon; Washington Office, U.S.  Special Operations Command,
     the Pentagon; Office of the Chief of the Army Reserve, Rosslyn,
     Virginia; National Guard Readiness Center, Arlington, Virginia;
     and Headquarters, 352nd Civil Affairs Command, Riverdale,
     Maryland. 
  Fort Bragg, North Carolina:  Headquarters, Army Special Operations
     Command; U.S.  Army Special Forces Command; U.S.  Army Special
     Operations Integration Command; U.S.  Army John F.  Kennedy
     Special Warfare Center and School; and U.S.  Army Civil
     Affairs/Psychological Operations Command. 
  Florida:  Headquarters, U.S.  Special Operations Command, MacDill
     Air Force Base; Headquarters, Central Command, MacDill Air Force
     Base; and Headquarters, Air Force Special Operations Command,
     Hurlburt Field. 
  Coronado, California:  Headquarters, Naval Special Warfare Command;
     Naval Special Warfare Center; Naval Special Warfare Group One;
     and SEAL Team 3. 
  Panama:  Headquarters, U.S.  Southern Command; Special Operations
     Command South; C-Company 3rd Battalion-7th Special Forces Group;
     3rd Special Operations Support Company; 617th Special Operations
     Aviation Detachment; Naval Special Warfare Unit 8; and Special
     Boat Unit 26. 
  Langley Air Force Base, Virginia:  Air Rescue Directorate, Air
     Combat Command; and Center for Low Intensity Conflict. 
--------------------
\4 This annual memorandum is submitted by the Department component
head to the Secretary of Defense.  It recommends the total resource
requirements and programs of the component, commensurate with the
parameters of the Secretary's fiscal guidance. 
FUTURE FORCE LEVELS AND MIX
DETERMINED BY ANALYTICAL PROCESS
AND NATIONAL POLICIES
============================================================ Chapter 2
The Special Operations Command had inherited most of its present
force structure from the military services by 1988.  The additions,
deletions, and reorganizations represent about a 14.5-percent net
increase in total military personnel strength from fiscal year 1988
through fiscal year 1994.  The increase occurred at a time when the
Department of Defense's personnel levels were decreasing.  The
Command uses a joint mission analysis to determine its future force
structure requirements. 
Special operations forces support the theater combatant commands to
achieve national security objectives in peacetime and war.  The
theater combatant commands' needs for special operations forces
during peacetime have grown considerably as national security
policies have emphasized missions such as peacekeeping and
humanitarian assistance.  The result is that about 50 percent of the
Special Operations Command's planned force structure is to meet war
requirements and 50 percent is to provide a peacetime U.S.  forward
presence in key regions of the world. 
   FORCE STRUCTURE IS MOSTLY
   INHERITED
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 2:1
Many of the changes to the Command's force structure have been
reorganizations to improve command and control.  For example, in 1989
the Army converted its 1st Special Operations Command to the U.S. 
Army Special Operations Command.  One year later, the Air Force
converted most of its 23rd Air Force to the Air Force Special
Operations Command.  Various force structure changes have increased
the total military personnel strength by about 14.5 percent from
fiscal year 1988 through fiscal year 1994.  As figure 2.1 shows, the
Command's personnel levels increased as the Defense Department's
personnel levels decreased. 
   Figure 2.1:  Personnel Levels
   of the Command and the Defense
   Department
   (See figure in printed
   edition.)
Source:  Department of Defense. 
   COMMAND USES AN ANALYTICAL
   PROCESS TO DEVELOP FUTURE FORCE
   STRUCTURE NEEDS
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 2:2
The Command's force structure development process begins with its
joint mission analysis.  The analysis provides information to the
Command's master planning process, which provides inputs to the Joint
Strategic Planning System\1 and the Department's Planning,
Programming, and Budgeting System.\2
Through the joint mission analysis, the Command develops a mission
needs force.  According to the Command, this force is needed to meet
the national missions,\3 two major regional contingency scenarios,
and peacetime engagement scenarios for the five geographic combatant
commands.  These scenarios, which include multiple missions, are
developed by the Command, approved by the geographic combatant
commanders, and coordinated with the Defense Intelligence Agency. 
The mission needs force is analyzed and adjusted by three distinct
boards--Force Structure, Aviation, and Maritime Mobility--based on
planning factors, basing considerations, and affordability.  The
boards' decisions result in the objective force, which is required to
adequately meet the theater combatant commanders' mission
requirements at an acceptable level of risk.  This force becomes the
basis for the force structure section of the Special Operations
Master Plan.  The Command adjusts this force structure based on
Department of Defense fiscal guidance to arrive at the program
force,\4 which becomes the basis for the Command's budget request. 
The analysis reviews special operations forces by theater and
measures the ability of the program force to meet future mission
needs derived from operational scenarios.  The goal of the analysis
is to determine program force capabilities and deficiencies, identify
limiting factors, and develop and assess alternative courses of
action to address shortfalls in force structure. 
--------------------
\1 This is the primary formal means through which the Chairman of the
Joint Chiefs of Staff carries out his statutory responsibilities
under Title 10 of the U.S.  Code and Department of Defense Directive
5100.1. 
\2 This system produces the Department of Defense's portion of the
President's Budget. 
\3 National missions are sensitive, compartmented, and unilateral
special operations or psychological operations directed by the
National Command Authority. 
\4 This force includes the major combat and tactical support units
approved by the Defense Department for each year of the future years
defense plan. 
   NATIONAL SECURITY POLICIES
   DRIVE EXPANSIVE NEED FOR
   SPECIAL OPERATIONS
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 2:3
The fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of Soviet and Eastern
European communist systems in the late 1980s and early 1990s caused
the United States to rethink its Cold War national security strategy. 
President Bush's 1991 security strategy shifted U.S.  priorities from
containing the Soviet Union and preparing for global war in Europe to
stopping regional conflicts against uncertain adversaries.  The new
regional defense strategy required maintaining a diverse, highly
ready force to meet a broad range of regional security problems that
could threaten U.S.  interests.  In January 1993 the Secretary of
Defense told Congress that special operations forces play a role in
each element of the new defense strategy, particularly in forward
presence and crisis response operations. 
The Department's recently completed "bottom-up" review, which
developed military strategies for the post-Cold War era, reinforced
the regional defense strategy.  Stationing and deploying U.S. 
military forces overseas in peacetime was seen as an essential
element in dealing with the new regional dangers and as a means to
pursue new opportunities.  While the Department stated that deterring
and defeating major regional aggression will be the most demanding
requirement of the new defense strategy, U.S.  military forces are
more likely to be involved in operations such as peacekeeping, peace
enforcement, and other intervention operations that are short of
declared or intense warfare.  Special operations forces were seen as
particularly well suited for intervention operations. 
      DEMAND FOR SPECIAL
      OPERATIONS FORCES HAS
      INCREASED
-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 2:3.1
During combat operations, special operations missions might include
locating, seizing, or destroying targets; performing strategic
reconnaissance; and disorganizing, disrupting, or demoralizing enemy
troops.  For example, during Operation Desert Storm, special
operations units were tasked to eliminate Iraqi radar units and aid
conventional forces in locating Iraqi SCUD missile sites.  Also,
psychological operations and naval special operations forces
simulated preparations for a large amphibious invasion, which kept
elements of two Iraqi divisions in place on the Kuwaiti coast.\5
During peacetime, special operations forces can contribute to
regional stability through humanitarian assistance, foreign internal
defense, counternarcotics, and counterterrorism activities.  For
example, after the Gulf War, special operations forces provided
humanitarian assistance to Kurdish refugees in northern Iraq and
Turkey in Operation Provide Comfort.  Air Force special operations
units air-dropped emergency supplies, while Army Special Forces,
civil affairs, and psychological operations personnel located refugee
camp sites and assisted indigenous leaders in training the refugees
to become more self-sufficient.  According to the Command, special
operations forces saved thousands of lives by providing skilled
personnel to (1) rebuild the civil infrastructure, (2) establish
supply networks, and (3) furnish medical assistance and training.  As
of December 1993, Operation Provide Comfort continued to require
special operations forces. 
Special operations forces have become an integral part of the theater
commanders' peacetime strategy.  For example, the Southern Command
has developed a peacetime engagement plan to accomplish forward
presence operations.  The Command's draft plan is the key document
used to execute the theater strategy for countering threats and
strengthening democracy and democratic institutions.  The plan
requires special operations forces to perform counterdrug and
counterinsurgency missions, provide assistance to foreign nations,
and improve the professionalism of Central and South American
militaries. 
The theater combatant commanders' use of special operations forces
have grown considerably as operations other than war have increased. 
The deployments of special operations forces increased over 300
percent from fiscal year 1991 through fiscal year 1993.  Figure 2.2
shows the number of deployments by geographic theater. 
   Figure 2.2:  Deployments of
   Special Operations Forces by
   Geographic Theater
   (See figure in printed
   edition.)
Source:  Special Operations Command. 
As a result of the increased peacetime demand for special operations
forces, about 50 percent of the Command's planned force structure is
to meet a peacetime U.S.  forward presence in key regions of the
world.  War requirements support the remaining 50 percent of the
Command's planned force structure. 
--------------------
\5 United States Special Operations Forces Posture Statement 1993. 
THE COMMAND'S READINESS HAS BEEN
AND COULD CONTINUE TO BE A PROBLEM
============================================================ Chapter 3
Congress established the Special Operations Command in part to
improve the combat readiness of special operations forces.  Readiness
data we reviewed showed that the Command's readiness has improved
slightly, if both active and reserve forces are considered. 
Equipment shortages in active forces and personnel and personnel
specialty shortages in reserve forces have been the primary causes
for the limited improvements.  The Command believes that these data
do not adequately reflect the improvements it has made in the
capabilities and interoperability of its forces. 
There are other factors that could negatively impact the readiness of
special operations forces in the future.  Specifically, resources
available to improve the readiness of special operations forces could
be reduced by the use of (1) Air Force and Army special operations
units for conventional combat search and rescue operations on a
routine basis, (2) special operations funds to maintain reserve
forces that could be excess to requirements, and (3) special
operations funds for expenses that are not unique to special
operations. 
   READINESS DATA SHOWED SLIGHT
   IMPROVEMENT IN COMMAND'S
   READINESS
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 3:1
Congress mandated that the Special Operations Command ensure that its
assigned forces are combat ready and adequately trained and equipped
to conduct assigned missions.  However, data we reviewed showed only
a slight improvement in the readiness posture of these forces since
the Command was established. 
The Congressional Research Service recently reported that combat
readiness was the Command's "number one priority," according to
current and previous commanders.\1 Furthermore, past and current
Defense planning guidance directs that special operations forces
maintain high readiness levels.  For example, the Department's
current planning guidance states that the Status of Resources and
Training System (SORTS) will be used to measure the readiness of
forces and directs that active and reserve special operations forces
maintain the highest readiness level. 
SORTS data show that, as a whole, the Command's readiness has
improved slightly since it was established.  SORTS compares a unit's
resources to those needed to undertake its wartime mission.\2 These
resources are personnel, equipment and supplies on hand, equipment
condition, and training.  SORTS describes readiness in terms of
category levels, or C-levels.  These levels identify the degree to
which a unit meets established standards.  The Department of Defense
ranks readiness from C-1 to C-4.  A rating of C-1 indicates a unit
possesses the required resources to undertake the full wartime
mission it was organized or designed to meet.  A rating of C-2
through C-4 indicates a unit has progressively fewer of the resources
needed to undertake its wartime mission.  Figure 3.1 shows the
Command's average readiness indicators since it was established. 
   Figure 3.1:  Special Operations
   Command's Average Readiness
   Indicators
   (See figure in printed
   edition.)
Source:  GAO analysis of Special Operations Command data. 
When the Command was established in 1987, about 22 percent of its
units reported C-1 ratings.  Through May 1993, about 30 percent of
the units reported C-1 ratings.  The readiness data showed that 38
percent of the Command's active forces reported C-1 ratings in 1987. 
This had increased to 43 percent through May 1993.  The Command
identified equipment shortages as the primary reasons for ratings
less than C-1. 
In contrast to the active units, only 14 percent of the reserve units
reported C-1 ratings in 1987.  Through May 1993, the reserves had
sustained about the same status, with only 15 percent of its forces
reporting C-1 ratings.  Shortages in personnel and personnel
specialties have been the reserves' primary resource shortfall. 
The average readiness indicators for the active and reserve forces
were about C-2 and C-3, respectively, when the Command originated. 
The readiness indicators have remained generally constant except for
the Gulf War period, when the readiness of the active forces improved
and the readiness of reserve forces declined.  Figure 3.2 shows the
active and reserve component average readiness indicators since the
Command was established. 
   Figure 3.2:  Active and Reserve
   Component Average Readiness
   Indicators
   (See figure in printed
   edition.)
Source:  GAO analysis of Special Operations Command data. 
According to the Command, the SORTS data do not adequately capture
the improved readiness status of its forces.  Moreover, intangible
indicators, such as improved equipment, interoperability of forces,
and training have increased the Command's readiness to perform its
missions.  For example, the Command has identified improved mobility
as its most important modernization concern for the 1990s.  As a
result, the Command is buying MH-47E and MH-60K Army special
operations helicopters to increase low-level flight capabilities, and
the Air Force Special Operations Command is buying MC-130H Combat
Talon IIs for low-level infiltration and resupply operations.  Navy
Special Warfare mobility improvements include the MK V Special
Operations Craft, which has greater speed and payload than the older
MK III.  Additionally, according to the Special Operations Command,
changes have been made to improve the command and control of special
operations forces through improved training, training facilities, and
intelligence collection and dissemination. 
--------------------
\1 Congressional Research Service Report, Special Operations
Forces-An Assessment 1986-1993,
July 30, 1993. 
\2 According to the Command, the Department does not have a system
that measures readiness for peacetime missions. 
   SPECIAL OPERATIONS FORCES
   ROUTINELY PERFORMING COMBAT
   SEARCH AND RESCUE MISSIONS THAT
   LIMIT TRAINING
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 3:2
When Congress created the Special Operations Command, it identified
theater search and rescue as a special operations activity insofar as
it related to special operations.  Under joint doctrine,\3 each
service must provide forces capable of combat search and rescue in
support of its own operations, and special operations forces should
not be routinely tasked to perform conventional combat search and
rescue.  Nevertheless, Air Force special operations forces are
routinely conducting extensive conventional combat search and rescue
operations.  Consequently, the readiness of some Air Force special
operations units has been degraded, and the availability of assets to
conduct special missions has been restricted. 
The Air Force Special Operations Command was created in 1990 from the
23rd Air Force, which had combat search and rescue as one of its
missions.  The transfer left the Air Force without the specialized
aircraft or trained aircrews to conduct this mission.  The capability
to perform this mission is being developed within the Air Force's Air
Combat Command, which plans to station rescue squadrons throughout
most of the world. 
Although special operations forces are responsible for the combat
search and rescue of their own forces when operating in environments
that demand unique special operations capability, their equipment is
not specifically designed, and their personnel are not specifically
trained for conventional search and rescue missions.  Moreover,
special operations recovery missions differ substantially from the
service's combat search and rescue operations.  However, the Air
Force does not yet have all the necessary assets to reassume this
mission, and special forces have therefore been tasked to perform
this role. 
Air Force special operations units began conducting conventional
combat search and rescue missions of downed pilots during Operation
Desert Shield in October 1990 and continued to perform these missions
in Saudi Arabia until relieved by Air Force units in February 1993. 
Command deployment data showed that from April 1991 to July 1993, Air
Force special operations personnel deployed 68 times to provide
theater combatant commanders with a conventional combat search and
rescue capability.  Army Special Forces supported these missions 31
times.  Moreover, Army and Air Force special operations personnel and
equipment continue to perform conventional search and rescue
missions, some of which are classified. 
According to a former Commander of the Special Operations Command,
support for conventional search and rescue operations significantly
reduces the readiness of special operations forces.  Personnel
responsible for operations within the Air Force Special Operations
Command also stated that some post-Desert Storm combat search and
rescue operations degraded readiness.  For example, night flying
restrictions by a host nation adversely impacted the ability of
special operations aircrews stationed in that country to maintain
night flying proficiency, thus degrading their readiness.  In
addition, special operations aircrews were unable to participate in
scheduled training exercises due to conventional search and rescue
missions, which could further impact readiness. 
Although the Air Force is projected to have the assets it needs to
reassume its search and rescue role from special operations by the
end of fiscal year 1994, the Air Force does not plan to station a
rescue squadron in Europe.  It is, however, studying how best to
perform this mission.  Until the Air Force does reassume this
responsibility, special operations forces will have to continue to
perform this mission. 
--------------------
\3 Doctrine For Joint Combat Search And Rescue, Joint Publication
3-50.2, Dec.  20, 1991. 
   RESERVE FORCES COULD BE EXCESS
   TO REQUIREMENTS
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 3:3
According to the Command, it has reserve forces that are not needed
to meet contingency mission requirements.  Moreover, Command
officials stated that maintaining these excess forces will cost about
$355 million through fiscal year 1999.  Although we did not validate
the Command's position, we believe that any use of the Command's
financial resources for unneeded structure would not be prudent while
defense budgets are declining.  The Department plans to inactivate
the unneeded units by the end of fiscal year 1994. 
The Special Operations Command plans to add 12 active operational
SEAL platoons by converting existing SEAL training elements into
operational platoons.  The Command intends to request additional
active positions to replace the converted training positions.  These
positions would be filled by staff who would not deploy.  If the
planned expansion occurs, the reservists would no longer have a
wartime mission. 
      EXCESS RESERVE FORCES COULD
      COST MILLIONS TO MAINTAIN
-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 3:3.1
In November 1990 the Department of Defense developed budget guidance
that directed the deactivation of three Army National Guard and three
Army Reserve Special Forces battalions.  The Department subsequently
rescinded the deactivation plans for the three Army Reserve
battalions pending the results of the Command's joint mission
analysis.  Conferees for the 1993 Department of Defense
Appropriations Act included in their report the expectation that the
Army Special Operations Command would maintain existing Army National
Guard Special Operations units through fiscal year 1993 and rejected
any plan or initiative to expand the active component special
operations forces to replace these National Guard units.  The
conferees further noted that in the fiscal year 1992 Defense
Appropriations Act, Congress had limited any conversion of National
Guard missions to the active components. 
The Command's analysis validated the need to deactivate the six
battalions and identified further reductions of reserve units.  Table
3.1 lists the reserve forces that the Command identified for
deactivation.  The six battalions are in the 11th and 19th Special
Forces Groups. 
                          Table 3.1
            Reserve Forces the Command Identified
                       for Deactivation
                                                      Reserv
                                                           e
Unit                                                  spaces
----------------------------------------------------  ------
1-245 Special Operations Aviation Battalion              463
19th Special Forces Group                              1,040
5th Psychological Operations Group                       495
11th Special Forces Group                              1,266
============================================================
Total                                                  3,264
------------------------------------------------------------
Source:  Special Operations Command. 
According to the Command, the forces listed in table 3.1 are linked
to the drawdown of conventional forces in Europe and the Soviet
threat and are not needed to meet contingency mission requirements. 
Moreover, according to the Command, maintaining the excess reserve
structure will cost about $355 million through fiscal year 1999.  The
Command stated that using funds to maintain excess force structure is
adversely affecting the operating tempo of special operations forces. 
According to the Department of Defense, it has a plan to inactivate
the excess units by the end of fiscal year 1994.  The specific units
will be announced by the Department in the second quarter of fiscal
year 1994. 
      RESERVE SEALS MAY NOT BE
      NEEDED
-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 3:3.2
The Special Operations Command plans to expand its operational Navy
SEAL platoons by 25 percent, from 48 to 60, in fiscal year 1996 at
the earliest.  According to the Command, these additional SEAL
platoons are needed to meet increased deployments in support of the
theater combatant commands.  Although the Command has reported that
it maintains a force structure of 60 SEAL platoons, only 48 platoons
are operational and deployable.  The 12 remaining platoon equivalents
provide manpower to SEAL training elements. 
The Command plans to convert existing SEAL training elements into
operational platoons and request additional positions in the active
force to replace the converted training positions.  These spaces
would be filled by staff who would not deploy. 
The Command presently staffs the training elements with active
component personnel who upon mobilization would be used to create the
12 additional operational SEAL platoons.  According to the
mobilization plan, SEAL reservists would then occupy the training
positions. 
If the Department authorizes the additional positions for the
training personnel, the reservists would no longer have a wartime
mission.  At the time we completed our audit work in December 1993,
the Naval Special Warfare Command had no alternative plan for using
or eliminating the 318 SEAL reserve positions. 
   SPECIAL OPERATIONS FUNDS ARE
   BEING USED FOR COMMON ITEMS AND
   BASE OPERATING SUPPORT
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 3:4
Legislation requires each service to equip its forces assigned to
unified combatant commands.  Congress intended MFP-11 to provide the
Command with funding authority for the development and acquisition of
equipment, materials, supplies, and services peculiar to special
operations.  Some MFP-11 funds have been used for expenses that are
not peculiar to special operations as defined by Joint Publication
3-05.  Moreover, the Command has assumed the responsibility of
funding some base operating support obligations. 
      COMMAND AND SERVICES USED
      VARIED DEFINITIONS OF
      SPECIAL OPERATIONS-PECULIAR
-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 3:4.1
The Goldwater-Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act of
1986 assigns the services responsibility for administering and
supporting their forces assigned to combatant commands.  The Special
Operations Command's memorandums of agreement with the services are
the mechanism by which the services agree to provide common items and
services.  These memorandums define what is peculiar to special
operations.  Items and services that do not meet the definitions are
to be provided by the services. 
The Joint Chiefs of Staff have defined items and services peculiar to
special operations as follows: 
     "Equipment, materials, supplies, and services required for
     special operations mission support for which there is no broad
     conventional force requirement.  It often includes
     nondevelopmental or special category items incorporating
     evolving technology but may include stocks of obsolete weapons
     and equipment designed to support indigenous personnel who do
     not possess sophisticated operational capabilities."
We found that the Command and the services have used varied
definitions in their agreements.  For example, the Command and the
Air Force agreed that criticality of need for common items should be
part of the definition.  The agreement with the Army, on the other
hand, does not cite criticality of need as an element for defining
special operations-peculiar.  In contrast, the Army's agreement
specifically defines "common" as those equipment, services, or
programs ordinarily found throughout the U.S.  Army.  For example,
the agreement categorically states that the Army will procure, on a
nonreimbursable basis, common or standard Army ammunition available
through the U.S.  Army and common individual and crew-served small
arms and weapons systems. 
      MFP-11 FUNDS USED FOR VARIED
      ITEMS
-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 3:4.2
As a result of the varied definitions and interpretations, MFP-11
funds have been used for common equipment and services.  For example,
during fiscal year 1992, the Command obligated $787,000 for survival
radios Army and Air Force special operations forces needed, despite
the commonality of the radios within the services.  Moreover, the
Command included $4.4 million for more of these radios in its fiscal
year 1994 budget request.  The Command also obligated almost $26
million during fiscal year 1991 through 1993 for common weapons and
ammunition.  Command officials agreed that these items were not
peculiar to special operations but said that MFP-11 funds were used
because the services did not provide the levels of required support. 
The disagreement surrounding the definition of special
operations-peculiar is exemplified by the use of MFP-11 funds for an
information management network at an estimated cost of $73.6 million. 
According to the operational requirements document, the Department of
the Army's 1987 Special Operations Modernization Action Program
identified the need for a worldwide information management system
that would support Army special operations forces.  The Department of
the Army's Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations designated this
system as a critical priority, and as such, the Special Operations
Command inherited the requirement.  According to officials with the
Command's Inspector General, the Army refused to provide funds for
the system.  After reviewing the operational requirements document, a
Command lawyer concluded that the information system was not a system
peculiar to special operations.  Nevertheless, the Command's
Requirements Oversight Council approved the system's development and
acquisition in November 1992. 
The Command and the Army are revising their memorandum of agreement. 
According to Command officials, the definition of special
operations-peculiar remains a controversial point of negotiation. 
The Army wants to include in the definition common items of equipment
that exceed Army authorization levels and usage rates.  This would
require the Command to program and budget MFP-11 funds to pay for
these items.  However, the Command's legal office disagreed with this
position and stated that adoption of this language represents another
step in the Army's retreat from its responsibilities to provide
common items to special operations forces.  As of November 1993, the
Army and the Command had not agreed on a definition.  According to a
Command official, when a definition is agreed to, it will be
incorporated into Joint Publication 3-05 because the present
definition is too general to be useful.  It will also be used in all
memorandums of agreement as they are revised. 
      MFP-11 FUNDS USED FOR BASE
      OPERATING SUPPORT
-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 3:4.3
Base operating support is administrative and logistical support
necessary to supply, equip, and maintain bases and installations. 
The Goldwater-Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act of
1986 assigns the services responsibility for providing base operating
support to the combatant commands.  However, under the act the
Secretary of Defense may assign this responsibility or any part of
this responsibility to other Department components, including the
combatant commands. 
In December 1991, the Defense Department, through a program budget
decision, transferred funding responsibility for the Naval Special
Warfare Command's base operating support from the Navy to the Special
Operations Command, starting in fiscal year 1993.  According to the
budget decision, the transfer was made to streamline accounting and
dispersing systems and align base operating support funds with the
Navy policy for host-tenant agreements. 
As a result of the decision, the Navy transferred base operating
support funds to the Command for fiscal year 1993.  According to
Naval Special Warfare Command officials, the funds were inadequate to
meet all base operating support requirements.  The Special Operations
Command has agreed to make up the shortfall. 
Unlike the Navy, the Air Force retained responsibility for providing
base operating support to Air Force units assigned to the Command. 
However, the Air Force Special Operations Command chose to spend
$127,000 in fiscal year 1993 MFP-11 funds for base operating support
at Hurlburt Field, Florida.  According to Air Force Special
Operations Command officials, the Air Force failed to provide
sufficient funds to meet base operating requirements. 
The Conference Report on the Department of Defense Appropriations Act
for Fiscal Year 1994 directed the Special Operations Command to
include in its fiscal year 1995 budget request the funds required to
reimburse Fort Bragg for the base operating support it provided to
U.S.  Army special operations forces assigned there.  According to
the Department of Defense, this reimbursement contradicts Department
policy and the existing Army and Command memorandum of agreement. 
Also, according to the Department, the Army special operations forces
would be the only tenants at Fort Bragg that would be required to
reimburse the installation for common support. 
   RECOMMENDATIONS
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 3:5
We recommend that the Secretary of Defense take the following
actions: 
  Direct the Secretary of the Air Force to develop a plan that meets
     the combatant commander's requirements for combat search and
     rescue in Europe with the least impact on special operations
     assets. 
  Notify Congress of its plans to eliminate reserve forces the
     Command has deemed to be excess. 
  Eliminate reserve SEAL forces that would be excess if the Special
     Operations Command receives additional active SEAL training
     positions. 
  Direct the Special Operations Command and the military services to
     consistently use and apply the agreed-upon definition of items
     and services peculiar to special operations from Joint
     Publication 3-05. 
SPECIAL OPERATIONS COMMAND'S MAJOR
SUBORDINATE COMMANDS AND UNITS
=========================================================== Appendix I
   ARMY SPECIAL OPERATIONS COMMAND
   AND FORCES
--------------------------------------------------------- Appendix I:1
The Command is responsible for all U.S.-based active and reserve
Special Forces, Rangers, Special Operations Aviation, Psychological
Operations, Civil Affairs, and support units and selected special
mission and support units assigned by the Secretary of Defense.  The
Command includes about 30,000 active and reserve personnel. 
Special Forces (Green Berets) are organized into five active and four
reserve groups.  The groups are organized, trained, and equipped to
conduct the five primary special operations missions of direct
action, special reconnaissance, unconventional warfare, foreign
internal defense, and counterterrorism.  Special Forces soldiers
train, advise, and assist host nation military or paramilitary
forces. 
Rangers are organized into a regiment that contains a headquarters
company and three battalions.  There are no reserve Ranger units. 
The Rangers are rapidly deployable airborne light infantry units that
are organized, trained, and equipped to conduct complex joint strike
operations.  These units can also operate as light infantry in
support of conventional missions. 
Special Operations Aviation is organized into an active regiment with
three battalions, a detachment in Panama, and a National Guard
battalion.  These units provide dedicated specialized aviation
support to other special operations forces.  Their missions include
armed attack; inserting, extracting, and resupplying personnel;
aerial security; medical evacuation; electronic warfare; mine
dispersal; and command and control support. 
Psychological operations forces are organized into one active and
three reserve psychological groups that vary in number and types of
subordinate units depending on their mission and geographic
alignment.  Their mission is to study and be prepared to influence
the emotions, attitudes, and behavior of foreign audiences on behalf
of U.S.  and allied interests.  They operate with conventional and
other special operations forces to advise and assist host nations in
support of special operations missions such as counterinsurgency,
foreign internal defense, and civil affairs programs. 
Civil affairs units are comprised of 5 Army Reserve headquarters
(3 commands and 9 brigades), 24 Army Reserve battalions, and 1 active
battalion.  The units' primary function is to establish favorable
relationships between the U.S.  military and foreign governments and
populations.  Moreover, civil affairs forces assist military
operations through population or refugee control and support to other
U.S.  agencies.  The reserve civil affairs units provide professional
civilian skills such as police, judicial, logistical, engineering,
and other civil functions that are unavailable in the one active
unit. 
   AIR FORCE SPECIAL OPERATIONS
   COMMAND AND FORCES
--------------------------------------------------------- Appendix I:2
The Command has one Special Operations Wing, two Special Operations
Groups, and one Special Tactics Group in its active force and one
Special Operations Wing and one Special Operations Group in its
reserve force.  The Command consists of about 9,500 reserve and
active personnel. 
The Command's primary missions are to organize, train, and equip its
units, but it may also train, assist, and advise the air forces of
other nations in support of foreign internal defense missions.  The
Command operates uniquely equipped fixed and rotary wing aircraft for
missions that include inserting, extracting, and resupplying
personnel; aerial fire support; refueling; and psychological
operations.  Its aircraft are capable of operating in hostile
airspace, at low altitudes, under darkness or adverse weather
conditions in collaboration with Army and Navy special operations
forces. 
   NAVAL SPECIAL WARFARE COMMAND
   AND FORCES
--------------------------------------------------------- Appendix I:3
The Command has two naval special warfare groups, one naval special
warfare development group, and two special boat squadrons split
between the east and west coasts of the United States.  Each special
warfare group includes three SEAL teams and one SEAL delivery vehicle
team.  Each squadron includes subordinate special boat units (three
on the east coast and two on the west coast).  Naval special warfare
forces deployed outside the United States receive support from
permanently deployed naval special warfare units located in Panama,
Scotland, Puerto Rico, and Guam.  The Command contains about 5,500
active and reserve personnel. 
The 6 active SEAL teams are organized into headquarters elements and
10 16-man operational platoons.  Navy SEALs, like Army Green Berets,
are organized, trained, and equipped to conduct primarily direct
action, special reconnaissance, unconventional warfare, foreign
internal defense, and counterterrorism missions.  They conduct these
missions primarily in maritime and riverine environments.  SEALs can
also directly support conventional naval and maritime operations. 
   JOINT SPECIAL OPERATIONS
   COMMAND
--------------------------------------------------------- Appendix I:4
The Command is responsible for studying joint special operations,
requirements and techniques, training and exercises, and tactics. 
The Command also includes the Joint Special Operations Task Forces,
which are responsible for direct action, strategic reconnaissance,
and counterterrorism. 
(See figure in printed edition.)Appendix II
COMMENTS FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF
DEFENSE
=========================================================== Appendix I
See comment 1. 
See comment 2. 
(See figure in printed edition.)
Now on pp.  10-11. 
(See figure in printed edition.)
Now on pp.  18-19. 
Now on pp.  19-20. 
Now on pp.  20-21. 
(See figure in printed edition.)
Now on pp.  21-23. 
(See figure in printed edition.)
Now on pp.  24-27. 
(See figure in printed edition.)
See comment 3. 
(See figure in printed edition.)
Now on pp.  27-28. 
(See figure in printed edition.)
Now on pp.  28-30. 
See comment 4. 
Now on p.  30. 
(See figure in printed edition.)
See comment 1. 
Now on p.  31. 
(See figure in printed edition.)
Now on p.  32. 
(See figure in printed edition.)
Now on p.  33. 
See comment 4. 
(See figure in printed edition.)
Now on pp.  5 and 34. 
See comment 2. 
Now on pp.  5 and 34. 
See comment 4. 
Now on pp.  5 and 34. 
See comment 1. 
(See figure in printed edition.)
Now on pp.  6 and 34. 
See comment 5. 
The following are GAO's comments on the Department of Defense's
letter dated February 23, 1994. 
   GAO COMMENTS
--------------------------------------------------------- Appendix I:5
1.  The Special Operations Command has identified the requirement for
the additional SEAL positions and expects to request approval for
those positions in fiscal year 1996 at the earliest.  Because the
Command has not requested the positions, the Department considered
our finding premature and would not say what role the reserve SEALs
would have if additional active SEAL positions are authorized.  Our
position is that if those additional positions are approved and
filled, the reserve SEAL positions would be excess. 
2.  According to Department of Defense officials, the Air Force has a
plan to meet combat search and rescue requirements in Europe during a
major regional conflict such as Desert Storm; however, it has no plan
to meet combat search and rescue requirements for lesser regional
operations such as enforcing the no-fly zone and cease-fire in Bosnia
and Herzegovina.  Because operations such as those in Bosnia can last
for extended periods of time and degrade the readiness of special
operations units, we continue to believe that the Air Force needs to
develop a plan to meet its full combat search and rescue
requirements. 
3.  The Department states that there are ways of displaying the
Status of Resources and Training System data that could possibly show
higher readiness ratings for some service component units.  We have
no way of confirming or denying this position because the Command
does not have complete readiness data for all units from the date the
Command was established. 
4.  We have revised the report to reflect this information. 
5.  We continue to believe that the definition of items and services
peculiar to special operations from Joint Publication 3-05 needs to
provide the parameters for the agreements between the Command and the
services.  Without such parameters, the agreements will continue to
have varied definitions, which could lead to varied interpretations
of items and services peculiar to special operations. 
MAJOR CONTRIBUTORS TO THIS REPORT
========================================================= Appendix III
   NATIONAL SECURITY AND
   INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS DIVISION,
   WASHINGTON, D.C. 
------------------------------------------------------- Appendix III:1
Carol R.  Schuster, Assistant Director
Robert L.  Pelletier, Assistant Director
H.  Lee Purdy, Evaluator
   ATLANTA REGIONAL OFFICE
------------------------------------------------------- Appendix III:2
Jimmy R.  Rose, Regional Management Representative
Leo B.  Sullivan, Evaluator-in-Charge
Graham D.  Rawsthorn, Evaluator
Bobby D.  Hall, Evaluator
Gerald L.  Winterlin, Evaluator



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