GAO: Integrate active and reserve readiness systems

GAO: Integrate active and reserve readiness systems

About 300,000 of the 1.2 million National Guard and Reserve personnel have been put on active duty since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, but the Defense Department cannot track them efficiently, said a General Accounting Office report released yesterday.

In the report, Military Personnel: DOD Actions Needed to Improve the Efficiency of Mobilizations for Reserve Forces, GAO found that the Global Status of Resources and Training System'DOD's primary automated readiness reporting system'failed to track personnel adequately within small units that were often deployed.

Incompatibilities between the military services' active duty and reserve systems often made ad hoc coordination necessary, GAO found.

'The services' active and reserve components have developed their respective computerized systems ' but they are often unable to directly transfer information between their systems,' the report said.

GAO made several recommendations to Defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld including:

  • The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff should identify all the mobilization requirements that have evolved since Sept. 11, 2001, and create or update operation plans as necessary.

  • The undersecretary for personnel and readiness and the assistant secretary for reserve affairs should jointly develop a single integrated system for seamless transfer of reservists' information.

  • The secretary of the Army should develop a standard operating cycle to help increase predictability for Army reserve units.

  • DOD responded that it generally agreed with the GAO recommendations.

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