In August 2011, we reported that the Marine Corps had developed a strategic plan that addressed the reset of aviation equipment used in operations in Afghanistan, but had not developed a reset strategy for its ground equipment or established a timeline for completing the strategy. As a result, we recommended that the Marine Corps establish a timeline for issuing formal reset planning guidance and a ground equipment reset strategy for equipment used in operations in Afghanistan. In response to our recommendation, on January 1, 2012, the Marine Corps issued its Operation Enduring Freedom Ground Equipment Reset Strategy; which provides Service level guidance for Operation Enduring Freedom ground equipment reset planning and execution. This strategy and related guidance will help facilitate a more effective management of equipment reset by providing a unity of effort across the operating forces and supporting establishment. Therefore, we are closing this recommendation.
In August 2011, we reported that it was not clear to what extent the Marine Corps planned to align its ground equipment reset strategy with its ground equipment modernization plan. Specifically, we reported that the Iraq reset strategy for ground equipment contained no direct reference to the service’s equipment modernization plans, leaving unclear the relationship between equipment to be reset and equipment to be replaced through modernization. As a result, we recommended that the Marine Corps provide linkages between its ground equipment reset strategy for equipment used in Afghanistan and equipment modernization plans, including the Expeditionary Force Development System and the annual Program Objective Memorandum Marine Air-Ground Task Force Requirements List. In response to our recommendation, in May 2012, the Marine Corps took steps to ensure that all reset stakeholders have a common operating picture by establishing linkages between its ground equipment reset strategy for equipment used in Afghanistan and equipment acquisition outlined in its modernization plans, including the Expeditionary Force Development System and the annual Program Objective Memorandum Marine Air-Ground Task Force Requirements List, the Marine Corps Operation Enduring Freedom Reset Plan, the Operation Enduring Freedom Reset Playbook, and the Marine Air-Ground Task Force Integration Plan. Specifically, the Reset Playbook documents the linkage between acquisition and reset actions and is updated monthly to reflect the current and future requirements, as well as the current on-hand inventories, which are critical to aligning the Marine Corps’ reset strategy with its modernization planning efforts. This clear alignment of the ground equipment reset strategy for Afghanistan and equipment modernization plans will help to ensure that the identification, development, and integration of warfighting capabilities also factor in equipment reset strategies so that equipment planned to be replaced through modernization is not unnecessarily repaired. Therefore, we are closing this recommendation.
In August 2011, we reported that the total costs of reset estimated by the Marine Corps may not be accurate or consistent because of differing definitions of reset that have been used for aviation and ground equipment. These differing definitions existed because DOD had not established a single standard definition for use in DOD’s budget process. As a result, we recommended that the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) act on the tasking in the Resource Management Decision 700 to develop and publish a DOD definition of reset for use in the DOD overseas contingency operations budgeting process. The definition of “reset” for use in the overseas contingency operations budgeting process was incorporated into the update of the DOD Financial Management Regulation, Volume 12, Chapter 23 published in December 2017; which provides a definition for the services to use to allow a consistent reporting of total reset costs. The Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) provided a definition of “reset” for both Operation and Maintenance and Procurement activities which includes a series of actions taken to restore units that have participated in contingency operations to a desired level of combat capability commensurate with the units’ future mission. It encompasses both maintenance and supply activities that restore and enhance combat capability to unit and pre-positioned equipment that was destroyed, damaged, stressed, or worn out beyond economic repair due to combat operations by repairing, rebuilding, or procuring replacement equipment. Included are Operation and Maintenance and Procurement funded major repairs and overhauls and recapitalization that enhance or restore existing equipment inventories through the insertion of new technology or restoration of selected equipment to a zero-miles or zero-hours condition. These actions met the intent of our recommendation and as a result, the accuracy and consistency of future reset budgets for the Marine Corps may be greatly improved.