Supply Chain Council of European Union |

Army Ammunition: Actions Needed to Improve Management of Procurement and Production Practices

What GAO Found

The Army manages the procurement and production of ammunition—such as small arms cartridges, rockets, artillery shells, and mortars—at government-owned, contractor-operated plants. Doing so involves overseeing complex relationships—such as intersecting roles and responsibilities—among multiple Army organizations at both the headquarters and plant levels.

Army Organizations Involved in Ammunition Procurement and Production, and Their Intersecting Areas of Responsibility

Army Organizations Involved in Ammunition Procurement and Production, and Their Intersecting Areas of Responsibility

The Army has not revised governing documents to reflect changes over time. For example:

  • The agreement that lays out the responsibilities of two Army organizations—Joint Munitions Command, and Joint Program Executive Office Armaments and Ammunition—has not been revised since 2004 even though the roles, responsibilities, and authorities have often changed.
  • Governing documents do not reflect the role or operating procedures of the recently established Army Futures Command, nor do they outline the relationships between Army Contracting Command and other Army organizations.
  • Officials from some Army organizations told GAO that, due in part to this outdated documentation, they lack clarity about the roles and responsibilities of the multiple organizations responsible for managing ammunition plants. Army officials indicated that the governing documentation should be revised to clarify roles and responsibilities. Previous attempts to do so stalled, however, as all relevant parties have not yet been able to come to an agreement.

Why GAO Did This Study

The Army is responsible for procuring and producing certain types of ammunition for all the military services. The Army procures most of this ammunition from five government-owned, contractor-operated plants, which, according to the Army, reduces its role in the production process to one of management. The Army also retains a significant capacity for ammunition production that can withstand fluctuations in demand.

GAO was asked to review the Army’s current practices for managing the procurement and production of ammunition. This report addresses the Army’s relationships and challenges related to government-owned, contractor-operated ammunition plants, among other issues. GAO reviewed and analyzed relevant statutes, regulations, documents, and contracts; and interviewed Army and vendor officials.

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