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Operation Desert Storm: Full Army Medical Capability Not Achieved
GAO discussed the Army's ability to to provide medical support for Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. GAO noted that: (1) the Army had to overcome significant problems to make medical units operational in the Persian Gulf before the ground war began; (2) the personnel information systems the Army used to identify doctors and nurses for assignment to active units contained incomplete and outdated information; (3) many of the doctors and nurses scheduled to deploy were non-deployable; (4) many doctors and nurses in active, Reserve, and National Guard units had not trained during peacetime to perform their wartime missions and were unfamiliar with their units' missions or field equipment; (5) hospitals did not receive equipment and supplies or received only partial shipments; (6) hospitals were able to move only a portion of their surgical capability and bed capacity in order to keep up with highly mobile combat divisions; and (7) the Army was able to provide adequate medical care for soldiers in need, but if the predicted number of casualties had occurred, the Army would not have been able to provide adequate care.
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