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Military Readiness: DODs Readiness Rebuilding Efforts May Be at Risk without a Comprehensive Plan

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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 For over a decade, DOD deployed forces to support operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and is now supporting increased presence in the Pacific and emerging crises in the Middle East and Eastern Europe. These deployments have significantly stressed the force. The House Report accompanying the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016 included a provision that GAO review DODs efforts to rebuild military readiness. This report 1 describes the factors that affect reported readiness levels and DODs efforts to manage the impact of deployments on readiness, and 2 assesses DODs implementation and oversight of department-wide readiness rebuilding efforts. This report is a public version of a previously issued classified product and omits information DOD identified as SECRET, which must be protected from public disclosure. GAO analyzed and reviewed data on reported readiness rates and departmental readiness rebuilding efforts. GAO interviewed DOD, Joint Staff, and combatant command officials regarding current demand and readiness rates and challenges with rebuilding military readiness. GAO also conducted separate reviews of the readiness of the military services.

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