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GAO Report – Ballistic Missile Defense

BALLISTIC MISSILE DEFENSE: Actions Needed to Address Implementation Issues and Estimate Long-Term Costs for European Capabilities, GAO-14-314: Published: Apr 11, 2014. Publicly Released: Apr 11, 2014.

“The Department of Defense (DOD) met the presidentially announced time frame to deploy initial ballistic missile defense (BMD) capabilities in Europe under the European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA) but did not fully identify and plan to resolve implementation issues before deployment. As a result, DOD experienced implementation issues, such as incomplete construction of housing facilities for soldiers arriving at the EPAA radar site in Turkey and incomplete implementing arrangements defining how to operate with allies when certain BMD elements arrived in the host country. U.S. Strategic Command, in coordination with other combatant commands, developed criteria to assess whether a BMD capability is ready for operational use to ensure that BMD capabilities can be used as intended when they are delivered. However, the assessment criteria used during this process focused on effectiveness, suitability, and interoperability areas—such as whether BMD elements can work together to track ballistic missile threats—and did not explicitly require DOD to comprehensively identify and plan to resolve implementation issues prior to deploying these capabilities. DOD plans to continue to use its existing process to accept BMD capabilities planned for Europe in the future. Without identifying and planning to resolve implementation issues before deployment, DOD risks continuing to encounter implementation issues after it deploys additional BMD capabilities in Europe, which may lead to significant delays and inefficiencies.”

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