In an effort to work smarter, reduce un-needed redundancy, reduce our footprint and overhead, and work more collaboratively, there should be an effort within Global Force Management at the COCOM level (mainly CENTCOM, AFRICOM, and SOUTHCOM) to consolidate certain and specific areas. There are an overwhelming number of commands that each have their own full ADMIN/PAY and INTEL departments, several of which are in the same location, yet there are others that have only what they need to collect what they need at the local level and pass up the information to another entity/unit/command that specializes in this function and was built for that specific task.
One would think that the manpower directorates under the J1s would be doing this already, but from a source provider that works these requirements every day, it is evident that there is no conscious effort being performed. It is amazing that this day in age we can fly UAV/Drone aircraft over the Middle East from Nevada, but we can’t take the intelligence that is gathered and have it go to a central location for processing (granted, there are some instances that this is the case, but it is not the norm). In this case of intelligence and there being so many collection groups, how much duplication of effort is being done, and how many people are missing something because they don’t have “that one piece” of data that could be the link to what they are working? (Yes, it is understood that there are entities such as the CENTCOM JIC, but that only further proves that point that there is an existing group, at the top of the COCOM no less, yet there are all of these other commands in the middle and the bottom that have much more than they need.)
The mentality of the element/unit/command commanders in that if they don’t own the people and can’t directly task them, then they can’t perform the mission needs to stop and there needs to be an understanding that those in command over them who need the information are getting it from the people that have it and that the underlying commands will be disseminated what they need. Another example would be the astronomical number of administration and pay personnel that are in the same situation. In many instances, these commands fall under a Base Element that either already has the capacity to perform several of the functions necessary or just needs to have a plus-up to meet that need, which could be a fraction of the total number of those individuals when added together at each command.
Granted, there are several prime examples that should be the model for the lower level units. The Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) have only what they need to do on the spot collection and pass all of their information/data up the chain and only utilize those on each team in those specialties for collection and interpretation at the ground level.
So what this all boils down to is that by the COCOMs performing a study of the chains and their down lines, where the best places are to have the information flow to. Perform a study for each area (examples given are INTEL, ADMIN, and PAY, but there are several more) based on those “places” (Physical, commands, etc…) and what falls under them, and re-organize those billets accordingly, deleting all those that are not needed in the end. This will reduce the number of personnel needing to be trained, transported, and sustained. Whether this is a savings overall, or is just a way to get other assets on ground that are needed by removing current assets that aren’t is not for me to decide, but either way, it is a “savings” by working smarter and not just throwing bodies at it.