GAO: DOD’s Air Support Contract Awards Have Increased Since FY 2015

1 min read

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that the Department of Defense (DOD) awarded approximately $8.4 billion in air support contracts between fiscal years 2015 and 2021 in support of various training activities. 

GAO said Tuesday that DOD components, including the U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps, also use the contracts to manage costs and address the shortage in military planes.

According to the report, the services have increased the use of air support contracts since FY 2015, such as raising the availability of flying hours under these contracts and increasing the number of training sites to meet training requirements.

The military branches have also used the contracts to train fighter pilots by replicating enemy forces and provide close air support training to air controllers.

The congressional watchdog found that defense components have initiated steps to determine the effectiveness of air support contracts.

“In particular, the services are determining the appropriate mix of training capabilities, to include contract aircraft, as well as affordability and timeframes to modernize U.S. military adversary air capabilities. These reviews, to be completed in fiscal year 2022, are expected to affect future investments in air support contracts, according to DOD officials,” the report reads.

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