Army Pacific Pathways: Comprehensive Assessment and Planning Needed to Capture Benefits Relative to Costs and Enhance Value for Participating Units, Report to Congressional Committees [Reissued on November 30, 2016]   [open pdf - 3MB]

"In accordance with the shift in U.S. strategy and rebalance of military forces to the Asia-Pacific, USARPAC [U.S. Army Pacific] has turned its focus toward rebuilding its expeditionary readiness. To this end, USARPAC launched the Pacific Pathways initiative in 2014, in which it deploys a battalion-sized task force for approximately 90 days to conduct a series of exercises in the Asia-Pacific for the purpose of enhancing readiness and strengthening relationships with allies, among other things. As of September 2016, USARPAC had completed six Pathway operations. House Report 114-102 accompanying a bill for the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016 included a provision for GAO [Government Accountability Office] to review the Pacific Pathways initiative. This report examines the extent to which the Army has (1) assessed the costs and benefits of Pacific Pathways; and (2) synchronized plans and incorporated training objectives of supporting units to maximize the training value for all participating Army forces. GAO reviewed documents and data and interviewed relevant officials involved in Pacific Pathways. GAO recommends that USARPAC conduct a comprehensive analysis of Pathways' benefits in light of its costs, better synchronize planning, and integrate supporting units' training objectives. DOD partially concurred with the first recommendation and concurred with the other two. DOD said that USARPAC understands the strategic benefits and a comprehensive analysis is not needed. GAO believes that this recommendation is still valid, as discussed in this report." This report was re-issued on 30 November 2016 to correct a section of the highlights portion of the document.

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