Defense Infrastructure

Funding Risks in Services' 1999 Central Training Programs Gao ID: NSIAD-99-56 February 24, 1999

In a June 1998 report on the Defense Department's (DOD) formal training and education programs, known as central training, GAO found significant reductions in the fiscal year 1999 Future Years Defense Program (FYDP) from the 1998 FYDP in the funds programmed for central training. (See GAO/NSIAD-98-168.) Central training is the training of individual military members in formal courses. This report discusses the (1) training categories and military services with the most significant funding changes from the 1998 to 1999 FYDP, (2) bases for the changes, and (3) potential impact of the changes on the services' future training budgets.

GAO noted that: (1) the total funding for central training was projected to be $8.4 billion less in the 1999 FYDP than the 1998 FYDP; (2) the categories with the most significant changes in each of the services were the Army's training of new personnel; and the Army's, the Navy's, and the Air Force's professional and skill training, aviation and flight training; (3) the majority of the $8.4 billion decrease was due to changes in the Army's central training program; (4) $4 billion of the decrease in Army funding was to correct for an error in the 1998 FYDP that overstated the cost of enlistees' student salaries; (5) another $1.1 billion of the decrease related to the realignment of Army aviation procurement out of central training; (6) the remaining $3.3 billion primarily came from projected savings from: (a) the Army, the Navy and the Air Force reducing the number of personnel projected to be trained; (b) all of the military services contracting some installation support functions with lower cost providers; and (c) the Army and the Navy implementing training initiatives that utilize technology and other cost savings measures; (7) additionally, some of the $3.3 billion came from cuts by the Army and the Navy in funding levels for installation support and underfunding by the Army of some of its training programs; (8) the Army, the Navy and the Air Force may not be able to accomplish their central training programs at the funding levels in the 1999 FYDP; (9) the services are experiencing lower-than-expected retention rates for enlisted personnel, which will require increased accessions and additional funds for new personnel and skill training; (10) the services projected savings in installation support and funded real property maintenance at minimum maintenance levels; (11) if the programmed savings do not materialize, the services will need additional funds to maintain the current levels of maintenance or add to the existing backlog of real property maintenance; (12) the Army did not fully fund training initiatives, but it plans to fully fund these initiatives in the future; (13) the Army already had to request supplemental funding for fiscal year 1999 for the Army reserve professional development training programs because it found that programmed reductions adversely affected the programs; (14) the Army's actual aviation training workloads are higher than those used to develop FYDP 1999; and (15) the Army and the Navy programmed savings from training initiatives that use technology to reduce training.

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