Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO)
Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Task Force (JIEDD TF)

The Joint Improvised Explosive Device (IED) Defeat Organization (JIEDDO) leads Department of Defense actions to rapidly provide counter-IED (C-IED) capabilities in support of combatant commanders and to enable the defeat of the IED as a weapon of strategic influence.

JIEDDO is organized along a deputy director structure with supporting divisions aligned under a chief of staff. The focus is along 3 primary lines of operation: attacking the network, defeating the device and training the force. JIEDDO provides a rapid acquisition ability. Once a combatant commander requirement has been validated, JIEDDO can develop a solution and have it making a positive effect on the battlefield in as little as 3-4 months, or 75 percent faster than the regular military acquisition process. This is referred to as the Joint IED Defeat Capability Approval and Acquisition Management Process (JCAAMP), formalized by JIEDDO in 2007.

Faced with the escalating use of IEDs in Iraq, the Army Chief of Staff established the Army IED Task Force in October 2003. The task force reached out to Army components, the other services, the private sector, and academia to improve threat-intelligence gathering, acquire C-IED technologies, and develop C-IED training for US troops on the battlefield.

The early successes of the Army task force drove down casualty rates per IED attack despite an increased in-theater use. This led then-Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul D. Wolfowitz to create a similar organization, known as the Under Secretary of Defense, Force Protection Working Group, which reported directly to him. In 2004, the Joint IED Defeat Task Force (JIEDD TF) was formed to coordinate the activities of these 2 entities. The once-small group could now leverage experience and expertise of warfighters across the services, enhance its network attack focus, increase procurement of device-defeat tools and build a robust set of IED-specific force training operations. The JIEDD TF had a permanent staff of 174 military, government civilian, and contractor personnel.

Department of Defense Directive 2000.19E, dated 14 February 2006, formally established the Joint IED Defeat Organization (JIEDDO), redesignating it from the previous Joint IED Task Force. JIEDDO absorbed the Army IED Task Force and the Under Secretary of Defense, Force Protection Working Group. The directive established a JIEDD Senior Resource Steering Group (SRSG), a JIEDD Integrated Process Team (JIPT), a JIEDD Systems Integration Board (JSIB), a JIEDD Resource and Acquisition Board (JRAB), a JIEDD Lab Board (JLB), and a JIEDD Test Board (JTB). It also designated the Secretary of the Army as the Department of Defense Executive Agent for JIEDDO. JIEDDO also established the Counter-IED Operations Integration Center (COIC) during 2006. The COIC responded to the needs of tactical commanders quickly. The COIC's ability to provide commanders with fused intelligence, operational data, and technical products allowed warfighters to marshal and sustain attacks against IED networks. JIEDDO also established the Joint Center of Excellence (JCOE) in 2006. JIEDDO had an approved authorization of 363 personnel in 2006.

The JIEDDO started with the mission to focus (that is to say lead, advocate, coordinate) all Department of Defense actions in support of the combatant commanders' and their respective Joint Task Forces' efforts to defeat Improvised Explosive Devices as weapons of strategic influence. JIEDDO came to be focused on 6 areas: driving down the effectiveness of IED attacks; homemade explosives, primarily made from fertilizer; the threat to dismounted operations in Afghanistan; the transition from coalition security to the Iraqi government; working toward a whole-of-government approach to resolve the challenges associated with IEDs; and the resurgence of improvised rocket-aided munitions in Iraq.

To get ahead of rapid threat IED development, JIEDDO created the Competitive Strategies Group (CSG) in FY08. The CSG sought to develop and provide JIEDDO with a continuous competitive advantage in the C-IED fight by anticipating second and third order effects of adversary adaptation in the use of IEDs in order to defeat IEDs as weapons of strategic influence.

The Acquisition Oversight Division (AOD) was established in early FY08 to improve program management oversight for C-IED initiatives across all phases of the JCAAMP, including oversight of cost, schedule, performance, and test activities. AOD's efforts to facilitate transitions and transfers of C-IED initiatives to the services subsequently resulted in enhanced transparency of transitions and transfers activities, closer coordination with the services, and better synchronization with established Department of Defense organizations and processes.

JIEDDO established an Internal Review Office in FY08 as an independent assurance and consulting activity designed to: standardize and monitor internal controls for financial management, assist in developing policy for managing information technology, define and monitor management roles and responsibilities of JIEDDO’s component organizations, and improve standardization of JIEDDO’s process for publishing Broad Area Announcements.

The creation of the AOD and the Internal Review Office were prompted by a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on the need for more transparency over the "financial and human capital operations" of JIEDDO, published in March 2008. In the report, the GAO concluded that JIEDDO's financial management processes did not provide adequate assurances that its financial information was accurate, and as a result, JIEDDO was unable to provide full transparency over the cost of its operations. GAO noted that JIEDDO had improved its financial management processes, but that it had not yet reached a point where those processes contained an effective system of internal control. GAO identified 4 internal control weaknesses that affected JIEDDO's financial management processes. First, JIEDDO had not comprehensively documented its administrative policies and operating manuals, which affected the consistency of how its financial management personnel performed their duties. Second, JIEDDO did not have adequate funds authorization controls to ensure that transactions were properly authorized before funds were committed. In reviewing funding transactions totaling $795 million, 18 of 24 initiatives were not properly authorized in accordance with internal control standards. As a result, funds could have been used without proper scrutiny and without a mechanism to detect, correct, or address the control failure. Third, JIEDDO did not have controls to ensure that transactions were properly categorized. GAO cited as an example, the $1.34 billion in FY07 commitments reviewed, where JIEDDO was said to have inaccurately categorized at least 83 percent of the money under one category that should have been applied to others. Such inaccuracies had the potential to distort information used in assessing trends and prioritizing funds. Fourth, JIEDDO did not have an adequate internal process to monitor and review the efficacy of its internal controls. In the absence of an adequate system of internal control, the agency could be unable to achieve all of its objectives and its use of resources might not have been consistent with Department of Defense priorities. Furthermore, decision makers could end up basing their decisions on inaccurate financial data and reports.

GAO also reported that JIEDDO did not fully identify, track, and report all government and contractor personnel as provided for in DOD Directive 1100.4. Identifying all government and contractor personnel was seen as important to JIEDDO's management and oversight responsibilities and contributing to its ability to effectively plan for its future workforce needs. JIEDDO had a system in place for routinely tracking and reporting numbers of personnel JIEDDO regarded as staff. This system was limited because it did not track all government and contractor personnel performing work for JIEDDO, in spite of the fact that JIEDDO relied heavily on contractor support to accomplish its mission. When the Senate Appropriations Committee directed that JIEDDO provide a comprehensive accounting of all of its personnel, including contractors, by May 2007, JIEDDO had to rely on an ad hoc process to develop the report, which resulted in several inaccuracies and inconsistencies.

In the March 2008 report, GAO said that at the end of their review, JIEDDO managers reported to them that they had corrected the identified weaknesses, but that GAO had been unable to determine whether these actions had been taken or how effective they might be as the corrective actions had occurred after the completion of their audit. In another GAO report on the same topic, published in July 2010, GAO reported that the measures to improve the identified weaknesses had not been successful. The Department of Defense again concurred with GAO's recommendations on how to correct the issues.

In October 2009, GAO issued another report touching on JIEDDO, in which it determined a need for a comprehensive database of all existing counter-IED initiatives across the services. The creation of JIEDDO was done in the absence of the Department of Defense having formal guidance for establishing joint organizations. Further, DOD did not systematically evaluate all preexisting counter-IED resources to determine whether other entities were engaged in similar efforts. The lack of a comprehensive C-IED database meant that there was a high probability for duplication of efforts by JIEDDO and other entities working on C-IED programs. GAO recommended the establishment of such a database and the establishment of other uniform criteria for C-IED efforts.

In FY09, JIEDDO orchestrated a $3.1 billion effort to develop and deliver counter-IED capabilities on abbreviated timelines. It also improved effectiveness in developing and fusing information to understand and enable attacks against IED networks. This information was then pushed forward to troops in theater. At the end of FY09, JIEDDO was working to posture itself to meet long-term Department of Defense needs to counter IEDs as weapons of strategic influence. During FY09, JIEDDO realigned the Technology Requirements and Integration Division (TRID) and Acquisition Oversight Division (AOD) under the Capabilities Acquisition Center (CAC). Also during FY09, the Joint Training Counter-IED Operations Center (JTCOIC) achieved initial operational capability in Newport News, Virginia.

In FY10, JIEDDO supported increased Operation Enduring Freedom C-IED requirements via rapid acquisition, reprogramming of funds, and repurposing of previous investments on the magnitude of $1.2 billion from an overall $2.7 billion effort. During FY10, the CSG was disbanded and its functions were realigned within the COIC and CAC. Also during FY10, JTCOIC was transferred to US Army Training and Doctrine Center. JIEDDO's Deputy Director of Training (DDT) coordinated training support requirements provided by JTCOIC.

In February 2012, GAO published a report stating in its title that "DOD Needs Strategic Outcome-Related Goals and Visibility over Its Counter-IED Efforts." GAO reported that JIEDDO had made several attempts to develop such a plan since 2007, but its strategic-planning actions had not followed leading strategic-management practices or had since been discontinued. For example, JIEDDO's 2007 strategic plan did not contain a means of measuring its performance outcomes, a leading strategic-management practice. In addition, JIEDDO's 2009–2010 strategic plan contained performance measures, but JIEDDO discontinued using these measures because it later determined that the measures were not relevant to the organization's goals. JIEDDO issued a new counter-IED strategic plan in January 2012, but the new plan only applied to C-IED efforts managed directly by JIEDDO, which the GAO had cited as being a major issue in tracking the organization's spending and effectiveness in its 2010 report. GAO said that the Department of Defense had still not fully identified its counter-IED initiatives and activities, and as a result was not able to effectively coordinate these efforts across the Department. JIEDDO had in fact discontinued support for the Technology Matrix as a database since the Department did not require all relevant organizations to provide information to JIEDDO, and therefore it was not comprehensive.

The official Department of Defense response countered that the GAO report was inaccurate in stating that JIEDDO did not have a sound basis to determine how to invest its resources. The Department of Defense did not concur with the basic recommendation the JIEDDO needed to develop outcome-related goals for its C-IED initiatives, saying that its C-IED Strategic Plan published in January 2012 did this. The Department of Defense did concur again with the GAO recommendation that a comprehensive C-IED database be created, stating that DOD Directive 2000.19E was being revised to clearly make JIEDDO the central C-IED entity and require other entities to report their initiatives to JIEDDO. They did not concur with GAO's recommendation of also developing a way of comparing the initiatives to reduce issues such as overlap and duplication.

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