The Government Accountability Office has recommended the U.S. Army conduct regular assessments of mission risk and its combat force structures in order to avail mitigation strategies.
GAO said in a report published Wednesday the Army planned to reduce greater numbers of its enabler unit force than its combat force because senior leader counsel said shortfalls in its combat team are more difficult to address than risks in the service branch’s support team.
Auditors found the Army did not meet the Defense Department‘s missions for planning guidance and did not put into account the frequency and duration DoD’s policies would help enabler units to be deployed.
GAO conducted the study to determine the feasibility of plans to reduce the total number of active and reserve soldiers to 980,000 in 2018, the report said.
The Army determined it could reduce its brigade combat teams to 52 in 2017 — from a total of 73 in 2011 — but GAO’s report stated that the service branch plans to retain 56 BCTs along with 170 combat battalions to be kept.