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Army Planning: Comprehensive Risk Assessment Needed for Planned Changes to the Armys Force Structure

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Technical Report

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U.S. Government Accountability Office Washington United States

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The Army plans to reduce its end strength to 980,000 active and reserve soldiers by fiscal year 2018, a reduction of nearly 12 percent since fiscal year 2011. According to the Army, this reduction will require reductions of both combat and supporting units. Army leaders reported that reducing the Army to such levels creates significant but manageable risk to executing the U.S. military strategy and that further reductions would result in unacceptable risk.The Senate report accompanying a bill for the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015 included a provision that GAO examine the factors that the Army considers and uses when it determines the size and structure of its forces. This report 1 describes the Armys priorities and planned force structure reductions and 2 evaluates the extent to which the Army comprehensively assessed mission risk associated with its planned combat and enabler force structure. GAO examined the Armys force development regulations and process, DOD and Army guidance, and Army analysis and conclusions and interviewed DOD and Army officials.

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