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Force Structure: Better Information Needed to Support Air Force A-10 and Other Future Divestment Decisions

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Technical Report

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U.S. Government Accountability Office Washington United States

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Why GAO Did This Study. DOD faces difficult decisions on how to best balance current demands and future needs within fiscal constraints. Decisions regarding the A-10 aircraft exemplify the difficulty. In the fiscal year 2015 budget request, DOD and the Air Force prioritized modern multi-role aircraft and proposed divesting the A-10 fleet, but Congress prohibited this action. DOD and the Air Force have continued to propose divesting the A-10 in two subsequent budget requests. The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015 included a provision for GAO to review the A-10 divestment proposal. This report reviews the extent to which 1 the Air Force and DOD have quality information needed to understand the implications of A-10 divestment and 2 the Air Force followed best practices when estimating cost savings from A-10 divestment and evaluating alternatives. GAO analyzed agency documents and interviewed knowledgeable officials for this review. What GAO Recommends. With regard to the A-10, GAO recommends that the Air Force fully identify mission gaps, risks, and mitigation strategies, and also develop high-quality, reliable cost estimates of the savings from divestment before again proposing to divest its A-10 fleet, and that DOD establish quality information requirements to guide major weapon system divestments. DOD non-concurred with the recommendations, but GAO continues to believe that they remain valid as discussed in the report.

Subject Categories:

  • Attack and Fighter Aircraft
  • Economics and Cost Analysis

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