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GAO: Challenges in 5 Main Areas Impact DoD Mission Capacity

The Government Accountability Office has determined five key areas that hinder the Defense Department‘s capacity to complete its missions.

GAO said in a report published Tuesday DoD’s operational obstacles include cyberspace threats and cyber expansion requirements, escalating program costs, human capital management, efficiencies in defense business operations and a need to rebalance its military forces.

Each military branch encounters specific readiness challenges that resulted from budget constraints which then led to the lack of training, maintenance and modernization requirements.

The government watchdog agency also discovered that annual military health costs are expected to rise to approximately $70 billion in fiscal year 2028.

GAO urged DoD to address financial management deficiencies which cover improper payments to contractors and use of expensive leased facilities.

The report also recommended DoD to implement a new comprehensive compensation strategy for military personnel to meet current retention and recruitment targets.

Previous GAO reports have determined four factors which impact DoD limitations including a lack of sustained leadership involvement, gaps in strategic planning and performance monitoring, budget, resource and program misalignment as well as management control system issues.

GAO has made more than 3,000 recommendations to help the DoD address operational challenges and approximately 1,030 of the recommendations remain open including 78 priority recommendations.

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The Government Accountability Office has found that the U.S. Air Force intends to start fielding in fiscal 2020 new Combat Rescue Helicopters to replace aging HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters that have recorded the most flight time when it comes to staff recovery missions. GAO said in a report published Thursday the service will initially deploy the new helicopters to the active component six years ahead of the reserve component and to the Air National Guard by 2027.

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