Report of the Defense Science Board Task Force on Readiness   [open pdf - 3MB]

This document contains the final report of the DSB Task Force on Readiness. The report focuses on the Department's readiness management and oversight processes, especially key indicators for measuring readiness and candidate methodologies for providing early warning of potential readiness problem and on other matters affecting individual and collective readiness. The Task Force did not look in detail into acquisition, technology, or industrial base issues related to readiness; the adequacy of forces to carry out the Bottom-Up Review; or nuclear forces strategy and requirements. The Task Force concluded that although there are some downward indicators, the general readiness posture of today's conventional and unconventional forces is acceptable in most measurable areas. However, the Task Force reported that is observed enough concerns that they were convinced that unless the Department of Defense and the Congress focus on readiness, the armed forces could slip into a 'hollow' status. For analytical purposes, the Task Force divided readiness into three levels: unit, joint (and combined) force, and national. The Task Force found that there currently exists a well-defined reporting system to evaluate the current readiness of combat and support units. It found the Department's systems for predicting future unit readiness significantly less mature and less comprehensive. The Task Force determined that the Department has neither a clear definition of joint readiness nor of a system to measure it. At the highest level, national readiness is important to ensure that our forces have sufficient readiness to carry out our National Military Strategy. The Task Force deferred judgment on this level of readiness

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