US ‘Global Train and Equip’ Projects Experience ‘Persistent Issues’: GAO

The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) has found that one of the country’s largest international security cooperation programs experienced delivery delays and unreliable equipment provision.

Called the “Global Train and Equip” program, the initiative provides training, services, and equipment to 90 partner nations to support their defense capabilities.

The US Department of Defense (DoD) has allocated $5.6 billion to support projects under the program.

However, according to the government watchdog, roughly 75 percent of the projects between fiscal 2018 and 2022 were delayed when compared to the Pentagon’s submitted timeline.

“Specifically, 82 percent of equipment deliveries, 68 percent of training deliveries, 72 percent of services deliveries, and 95 percent of small-scale construction deliveries were delayed,” the GAO wrote.

It also noted that nearly 55 percent of equipment delivery delays were completed at least one year behind schedule.

‘Unsuitable, Unreliable Equipment’

The GAO report revealed that two out of six Global Train and Equip projects failed to improve the capabilities of partner forces because of the provision of “unsuitable” and “unreliable” equipment.

One example is an unspecified $7.6-million project to supply ground sensors to an allied force, but the systems were “not suited” for the environment they were deployed in.

The office said the sensors only functioned for three months before becoming inoperative “because of factors such as insufficient battery life, damage to ground wiring by local fauna, and sensor failures in extreme temperatures.”

Another incident involved $12 million mobile border security system trailers provided to a partner nation, which the GAO said were “unreliable.”

The trailer reportedly functioned for only three months because of problems with electrical generators and damage sustained during shipping.


The GAO provided the US DoD and the State Department with 10 recommendations to address what it called “persistent issues.”

Among the proposed solutions was for the defense secretary to ensure that the Defense Security Cooperation Agency works with implementing agencies to identify and analyze the factors contributing to delivery delays.

They were also told to take important steps to improve the quality of Global Train and Equip projects, and conduct thorough evaluations to better align with international best practices.

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