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Wednesday, July 6th, 2022

GAO reports cites DoD progress on addressing readiness challenges

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The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has found that the Department of Defense has made progress on efforts to improve the readiness and lethality of the U.S. Navy and Marines.

The significant readiness challenges have developed over more than a decade of conflict, budget uncertainty, and reductions in force structure. Several of the Navy and Marines’ readiness challenges fall under the categories of maintenance, personnel, and training. For example, within the NAVY, maintenance delays that keep ships in dry docks or planes on the ground have reduced the availability of these forces for training and operations.

“These challenges prevent the services from reaping the full benefit of their existing forces and attaining the level of readiness called for by the 2018 National Defense Strategy,” the GAO wrote.

In recent years, GAO made more than 90 recommendations to improve readiness in a variety of areas. The GAO reported that the Navy and Marine Corps are starting to address the causes of their readiness decline and have made encouraging progress. However, the report notes that addressing these challenges will require years of sustained management attention and resources. In addition, recent events, including the pandemic and the fire aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard, could compound and delay the services’ readiness rebuilding efforts. Thus, the GAO report stressed the importance of continued attention to these recommendations to further rebuild the readiness of their forces.