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entitled 'Defense Management: Additional Measures to Reduce Corrosion 
of Prepositioned Military Assets Could Achieve Cost Savings' which was 
released on June 14, 2006. 

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GAO: 

United States Government Accountability Office: 

Report to Congressional Committees: 

June 2006: 

Defense Management: 

Additional Measures to Reduce Corrosion of Prepositioned Military 
Assets Could Achieve Cost Savings: 

GAO-06-709: 

GAO Highlights: 

Highlights of GAO-06-709, a report to congressional committees. 

Why GAO Did This Study: 

The military services store prepositioned stocks of equipment and 
material on ships and land in locations around the world to enable the 
rapid fielding of combat-ready forces. GAO’s prior work has shown that 
the readiness and safety of military equipment can be severely degraded 
by corrosion and that the Department of Defense (DOD) spends billions 
of dollars annually to address corrosion. GAO was asked to review the 
impact of corrosion on prepositioned assets. GAO’s specific objectives 
were to assess (1) the measures taken by the Army and the Marine Corps 
to reduce the impact of corrosion on prepositioned assets and (2) the 
availability of corrosion-related data to the Army and the Marine Corps 
to support corrosion prevention and mitigation efforts for 
prepositioned assets. 

What GAO Found: 

The Army and Marine Corps have taken some measures to reduce the impact 
of corrosion on prepositioned assets, primarily through the use of 
humidity-controlled storage facilities on ships and in some land-based 
locations, but a substantial portion of Army land-based prepositioned 
assets are stored outdoors and are left relatively unprotected from 
elements that contribute to corrosion. When equipment was drawn for 
military operations for Operation Iraqi Freedom during 2003, it was 
reported in good operating condition and not degraded by corrosion. 
Most of this equipment had been stored in humidity-controlled 
facilities. However, whereas all Marine Corps prepositioned assets are 
stored in humidity-controlled facilities, the Army currently stores a 
significant amount of its land-based prepositioned assets outdoors. 
Under Army policy, the preferred method for storing prepositioned 
assets is in humidity-controlled facilities because outdoor storage 
makes equipment more susceptible to corrosion and increases maintenance 
requirements and costs. One Army study showed that sheltering equipment 
in a humidity-controlled facility had a return on investment, at 
minimum, of $8 for every $1 invested. In South Korea, the Army has 
recently completed an intensive effort to repair prepositioned assets 
and correct some long-standing problems, but almost one-third of the 
assets continue to be stored outside. Similarly, as the Army 
reconstitutes its prepositioned equipment in Southwest Asia, thousands 
of Army equipment items in Kuwait are stored outdoors in harsh 
environmental conditions. Army officials cited competing funding 
priorities and other factors as reasons for not providing indoor 
storage for all land-based prepositioned assets. However, temporary 
shelters may be a feasible option to address immediate storage needs. 
The Army has used temporary shelters and humidity-controlled storage 
for some prepositioned assets. 

Although the Army requires corrosion-related data collection for 
equipment items and Marine Corps officials believe them to be 
beneficial, data that could help reduce corrosion of prepositioned 
assets are not available. They are not available because the services 
consider this information to be a low priority and do not 
systematically collect it. Without these data, the services are not in 
a position to identify causes of corrosion, support efforts to more 
effectively reduce corrosion, and achieve long-term cost savings. Army 
and Marine Corps documents include information on the maintenance 
condition, actions, and costs for prepositioned equipment, but provide 
little data on corrosion. While cost data are limited, the services 
have estimated that about 25 percent of overall equipment maintenance 
costs are corrosion related and perhaps as much as one-third of these 
costs could be reduced through more effective corrosion prevention and 
mitigation. An Army review of maintenance records for about 2,000 
pieces of prepositioned stock in South Korea found that $8.7 million 
(31 percent) of the estimated $28 million spent to restore this 
equipment was used to address corrosion. The Army has had previous 
success using corrosion data on non-prepositioned equipment programs to 
support corrosion prevention and mitigation. 

What GAO Recommends: 

To reduce the impact of corrosion on prepositioned assets and support 
additional corrosion prevention and mitigation efforts, GAO is 
recommending that the Army examine the feasibility of using temporary 
shelters to store land-based prepositioned assets currently stored 
outdoors and that the Army and Marine Corps enhance their efforts to 
collect corrosion-related data on prepositioned assets. DOD concurred 
with GAO’s recommendations. 

[Hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-06-709]. 

To view the full product, including the scope and methodology, click on 
the link above. For more information, contact William Solis at (202) 
512-8365 or solisw@gao.gov. 

[End of Section] 

Contents: 

Letter: 

Results in Brief: 

Background: 

Army and Marine Corps Have Taken Some Measures to Reduce Impact of 
Corrosion on Prepositioned Assets, but the Army Could Increase Its Use 
of Storage Facilities: 

Lack of Corrosion Data Impairs Army and Marine Corps Ability to Support 
Prevention and Mitigation Efforts and Achieve Long-term Cost Savings: 

Conclusions: 

Recommendations for Executive Action: 

Agency Comments and Our Evaluation: 

Scope and Methodology: 

Appendix I: Military Services' Prepositioning Programs: 

Appendix II: Comments from the Department of Defense: 

Appendix III: GAO Contact and Staff Acknowledgments: 

Table: 

Table 1: Description of Prepositioning Programs: 

Figure: 

Figure 1: Locations of Army (USAR), Marine Corps (USMC), Navy (USN), 
and Air Force (USAF) Prepositioned Stocks: 

United States Government Accountability Office: 

Washington, DC 20548: 

June 14, 2006: 

The Honorable Thad Cochran: 
Chairman: 
The Honorable Robert C. Byrd: 
Ranking Minority Member: 
Committee on Appropriations: 
United States Senate: 

The Honorable Jerry Lewis: 
Chairman: 
The Honorable David R. Obey: 
Ranking Minority Member: 
Committee on Appropriations: 
House of Representatives: 

The Army and the Marine Corps store prepositioned stocks of equipment 
and material on ships and land in locations around the world to enable 
the rapid fielding of combat-ready forces. These prepositioned stocks 
are a strategic asset for projecting military power and have been used 
extensively to support military operations in Southwest Asia. The Army 
stores sets of brigade equipment and supporting supplies at land sites 
in several countries as well as aboard prepositioning ships in the 
Pacific and Indian Oceans. Each of the Army's prepositioned brigade 
sets is designed to support 3,000 to 5,000 soldiers. The Marine Corps 
stores equipment and supplies for its forces aboard squadrons of 
maritime prepositioning ships around the world as well as in Norway. 
Each of the Marine Corps' three prepositioning squadrons is designed to 
support 13,000 Marines for up to 30 days. We have previously raised 
concerns about the oversight and direction of military prepositioning 
programs.[Footnote 1] For example, we have reported that the services 
lacked sufficient information on the inventory level and maintenance 
condition of some prepositioned stocks. In addition, future plans for 
prepositioned assets are likely to be affected by the availability of 
funding, spare part and equipment stocks shortages, and the effects of 
transformation.[Footnote 2] 

Because prepositioned assets are critical to the readiness of combat 
forces, the military services must keep these items in good operating 
condition. Among the challenges the services face in keeping their 
equipment and supplies in good operating condition is corrosion caused 
by exposure to the environment.[Footnote 3] Corrosion, if left 
unchecked, can degrade the readiness and safety of equipment and has 
been estimated to cost the Department of Defense (DOD) billions of 
dollars annually. The military services have established programs aimed 
at minimizing the impact of corrosion on their assets, and DOD has 
developed a long-term corrosion prevention and mitigation strategy. 

This report responds to a request in the Conference Report accompanying 
the fiscal year 2006 Defense Appropriations Bill that we review the 
impact of corrosion on prepositioned assets.[Footnote 4] Our specific 
objectives were to assess (1) the measures taken by the Army and the 
Marine Corps to reduce the impact of corrosion on prepositioned assets 
and (2) the availability of corrosion-related data to the Army and the 
Marine Corps to support corrosion prevention and mitigation efforts for 
prepositioned assets. 

Our review focused on prepositioned stocks managed by the Army and 
Marine Corps because these two services have the largest amounts of 
prepositioned equipment and provided most of the equipment used in 
current operations in Southwest Asia. To conduct our work, we reviewed 
the services' policies, procedures, and practices for managing and 
maintaining prepositioned assets; analyzed various reports on these 
assets, including inspection and maintenance reports; visited selected 
maintenance facilities and prepositioning sites; and discussed 
corrosion issues with officials responsible for managing and 
maintaining prepositioned assets and for managing corrosion prevention 
and mitigation programs. We determined that the data used were 
sufficiently reliable for our purposes. We conducted our work from May 
2005 through February 2006 in accordance with generally accepted 
government auditing standards. The scope and methodology section 
contains more detailed information on the work we performed. 

Results in Brief: 

The Army and the Marine Corps have taken some measures for reducing the 
impact of corrosion on prepositioned assets, primarily through the use 
of humidity-controlled storage facilities on ships and in some land- 
based locations, but a substantial portion of Army land-based 
prepositioned assets are stored outdoors and, therefore, are left 
relatively unprotected from moisture, sand, and other elements that 
contribute to corrosion. When prepositioned equipment was drawn by Army 
and Marine units for military operations for Operation Iraqi Freedom 
during 2003, it was reported to be in good operating condition and was 
not degraded by corrosion. Most of this equipment had been stored in 
humidity-controlled facilities. However, the Army is currently storing 
a significant amount of its land-based prepositioned assets outdoors. 
In contrast, all Marine Corps prepositioned assets are stored in 
humidity-controlled facilities both on ships and in caves in Norway. 
Under Army policy, the preferred method for storing prepositioned 
assets is in humidity-controlled facilities because outdoor storage 
makes equipment more susceptible to corrosion that degrades its 
condition and increases maintenance requirements and costs. One Army 
study showed that sheltering equipment in a humidity-controlled 
facility had a return on investment, at minimum, of $8 for every $1 
invested. In South Korea, the Army has recently completed an intensive 
effort to repair prepositioned assets and correct some long-standing 
problems, but almost one-third of prepositioned assets, including 
brigade-set and sustainment stocks, continue to be stored outside 
rather than in shelters. Similarly, as the Army reconstitutes its 
prepositioned equipment in Southwest Asia, thousands of Army 
prepositioned equipment items in Kuwait are stored outdoors in harsh 
environmental conditions, requiring more frequent maintenance than 
would be the case if shelters were used. The Army's prepositioned 
afloat maintenance facility in South Carolina also lacks humidity- 
controlled storage for equipment awaiting upload to ships, and 
equipment is stored outside anywhere from 1 to 3 months, on average. 
Army officials cited a number of factors, primarily competing funding 
priorities, as reasons for not providing indoor storage for all land- 
based prepositioned assets. However, temporary shelters may be a 
feasible option to address immediate storage needs. The Army has used 
temporary shelters and humidity-controlled storage for some 
prepositioned assets. 

Although Army regulations require corrosion-related data to be 
collected for equipment items and Marine Corps officials believe them 
to be beneficial, corrosion-related data that could enhance efforts to 
prevent and mitigate corrosion of prepositioned assets are not 
available. They are not available because the Army and Marine Corps 
consider this information to be a low priority and therefore do not 
systematically collect it. Without these data, the services are not in 
a position to identify the underlying causes of corrosion, support 
efforts to more effectively prevent and mitigate corrosion, and achieve 
long-term cost savings. Army and Marine Corps documents we reviewed 
include information on the maintenance condition, repair actions, and 
costs for prepositioned equipment, but provide little data regarding 
the extent and nature of corrosion found during the maintenance 
process. Army and Marine Corps officials said corrosion is routinely 
treated as part of the overall maintenance process and, given its low 
priority, corrosion-related data are not tracked separately. Although 
the Army and Marine Corps are not collecting data about the current 
costs to prevent and mitigate corrosion of prepositioned assets, the 
services have estimated that about 25 percent of overall maintenance 
costs are corrosion related and perhaps as much as one-third of these 
costs could be reduced through more effective corrosion prevention and 
mitigation. At our request, the Army conducted a limited review of 
maintenance records for about 2,000 pieces of prepositioned stock in 
South Korea and found that about $8.7 million (31 percent) of the 
estimated $28 million spent to restore this equipment to serviceable 
condition was used to address corrosion-related problems. Information 
that would be obtained through the collection of corrosion data could 
support the Army's and Marine Corps' efforts to more effectively 
prevent and mitigate corrosion and achieve long-term cost savings. The 
Army has had previous success using corrosion data on non- 
prepositioning equipment programs to support corrosion prevention and 
mitigation actions. Two examples where such actions resulted in cost 
savings are the Army National Guard's humidity-controlled shelter 
program and the Army's Hellfire missile program. 

To reduce the impact of corrosion on prepositioned assets and support 
additional corrosion prevention and mitigation efforts, we are 
recommending that the Army examine the feasibility of using temporary 
shelters to store land-based prepositioned assets currently stored 
outdoors and that the Army and Marine Corps enhance their efforts to 
collect corrosion-related data on prepositioned assets. In commenting 
on a draft of this report, DOD concurred with our recommendations. 
DOD's response is reprinted in appendix II. 

Background: 

Prepositioned equipment and supplies are strategic assets, along with 
sealift and airlift, for projecting military power. These assets 
include combat equipment, spare parts, and sustainment supplies that 
are stored on ships and on land in locations around the world to enable 
the rapid fielding of combat-ready forces. (App. I provides an overview 
of the military services' prepositioned assets and their locations.) 
DOD has made significant investments in its military prepositioning 
programs, totaling several billion dollars in annual acquisition costs. 
In addition, the services have collectively used an average of over $1 
billion each year to operate and maintain these assets. For example, in 
fiscal year 2005, the Army spent $386.1 million for storage and 
maintenance of prepositioned assets, including $76.5 million for assets 
in South Korea and $38.3 million for assets in Southwest Asia. 
Prepositioned assets have been used extensively to support operations 
in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Marine Corps used equipment from two of 
its three prepositioned squadrons to support these operations. The Army 
used nearly all of its prepositioned ship stocks and land-based stocks 
in Kuwait and Qatar, in addition to drawing some equipment from Europe. 

Military equipment and infrastructure are often located in corrosive 
environments that increase the deterioration of assets and shorten 
their useful life. The extensive and long-term deployments of U.S. 
troops in Southwest Asia are likely to magnify the effects of corrosion 
on military equipment, including prepositioned assets, because of the 
region's harsh operating environment. Higher rates of corrosion result 
in increased repairs and replacements, drive up costs, and take 
critical systems out of action, reducing mission readiness. Corrosion 
can also reduce the safety of equipment items. Although reliable cost 
data are not available, estimates of corrosion costs DOD-wide have 
ranged from $10 billion to $20 billion annually. We have found in our 
prior work that DOD and the military services did not have an effective 
management approach to mitigate and prevent corrosion.[Footnote 5] We 
recommended that DOD develop a departmentwide strategic plan with 
clearly defined goals, measurable outcome-oriented objectives, and 
performance measures. DOD concurred and in December 2003 issued its 
corrosion strategy.[Footnote 6] 

According to DOD's corrosion strategy, knowing the costs of corrosion 
is essential to adequately implementing the strategy, and having 
corrosion data helps the department learn what works so it can be more 
effective in reducing corrosion. In addition, the Defense Science Board 
in 2004 stated that "accurate and objective corrosion data collection 
and new incentives to reward life-cycle cost reduction efforts must be 
implemented" as part of an effective corrosion control program and that 
such data are critical "not only to understand the depth of the 
problem, but to enable a quantitative corrosion mitigation strategy, 
which is founded on fact."[Footnote 7] 

Army and Marine Corps Have Taken Some Measures to Reduce Impact of 
Corrosion on Prepositioned Assets, but the Army Could Increase Its Use 
of Storage Facilities: 

The Army and Marine Corps have taken some measures to reduce the impact 
of corrosion on prepositioned assets, but the Army could increase its 
use of storage facilities for land-based assets. Prepositioned 
equipment drawn by Army and Marine Corps units for military operations 
in Iraq during 2003 had mostly been stored in humidity-controlled 
facilities and was reported to be in good operating condition and was 
not degraded by corrosion. The primary measure taken to reduce 
corrosion and achieve this good operating condition was the use of 
humidity-controlled storage facilities. However, we identified several 
locations where the Army is currently storing a substantial portion of 
its prepositioned equipment outdoors. Temporary shelters may be a 
feasible option to address immediate storage needs. 

Prepositioned Equipment Deployed for Military Operations Was Reported 
to Be in Good Operating Condition: 

When prepositioned equipment was drawn by Army and Marine Corps units 
in military operations in Iraq during 2003, it was reported to be in 
good working condition and was not degraded by corrosion. Army 
officials from the 3rd Infantry Division have stated that with the 
exception of rubber seals on some vehicles, prepositioned equipment 
entering Southwest Asia was in good shape and had minimal, if any, 
corrosion. These officials said they did not experience any corrosion 
that affected their ability to perform operations. Similarly, officials 
with the 1st and 2nd Marine Expeditionary Forces who used or observed 
the use of prepositioned equipment in Southwest Asia found it was in a 
high state of readiness and could not recall any instance where 
corrosion affected their ability to perform operations. Furthermore, 
officials with the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force said the equipment on 
the prepositioning ship USNS Lummus that was used in a 2004 training 
exercise in South Korea was generally in the same good operating 
condition it was when first uploaded about 2 years previously. These 
officials stated that subsequent maintenance in August 2005 confirmed 
that the equipment continued to be in good operating condition based on 
a detailed examination of about 200 pieces of this equipment. They told 
us that with the exception of minor hydraulic leaks and o-ring 
deterioration, the equipment was generally free of corrosion problems. 

Humidity-Controlled Facilities Have Helped Reduce Corrosion: 

The primary measure to reduce corrosion of Army and Marine Corps 
prepositioned assets has been the use of humidity-controlled storage 
facilities. Most of the prepositioned equipment drawn for military 
operations in Iraq during 2003 had been stored, either afloat or on 
land, in such facilities. Under Army policy, the preferred method for 
storing prepositioned assets is in humidity-controlled facilities 
because such storage is considered highly effective in preserving 
equipment. Maintaining low humidity levels reduces corrosion because 
moisture is a primary cause of corrosion. Similarly, Marine Corps 
policies indicate that equipment should be sheltered in climate- 
controlled facilities to the greatest extent possible. Army and Marine 
Corps officials told us that the use of humidity-controlled facilities 
is effective at minimizing equipment corrosion and maintaining high 
readiness levels.[Footnote 8] Army equipment on prepositioning ships is 
stored below deck in humidity-controlled cargo space. In addition, the 
Army stores some of its land-based prepositioned equipment in humidity- 
controlled warehouses. Marine Corps prepositioned assets are stored in 
humidity-controlled facilities either on ships or in caves in Norway. 
Humidity levels, particularly on ships, are required under Army and 
Marine Corps guidelines to stay within a specific range on a continuous 
basis and are closely monitored. 

In addition to humidity-controlled storage, the Army and Marine Corps 
have taken other measures intended to help reduce the impact of 
corrosion on prepositioned assets. Army and Marine Corps policies 
require that repaired equipment be restored to good condition before 
being placed in prepositioned status. Specifically, Army maintenance 
regulations require prepositioned equipment to be maintained at "10/20" 
standards,[Footnote 9] the highest standard the Army has for equipment 
maintenance. Army maintenance regulations also provide for the use of 
lubricants and preservatives, as well as regular inspections. Marine 
Corps policy indicates that all equipment generally will be in "Code A" 
condition at the time it is placed in storage.[Footnote 10] Code A 
means the equipment is serviceable without any limitation or 
restriction. Marine Corps officials told us equipment meeting this 
standard would have little to no corrosion. Marine Corps maintenance 
guidance for prepositioned equipment consists of a variety of corrosion 
prevention and mitigation measures, including visual inspections for 
leaks, corrosion removal and recoating, and preservation.[Footnote 11] 
For equipment stored on the prepositioned ships, inspections are 
conducted on a periodic basis. Both Army and Marine Corps officials 
said corrosion is routinely treated as part of the maintenance process 
for restoring equipment to meet standards.[Footnote 12] 

Army Is Storing a Sizeable Portion of Its Land-Based Prepositioned 
Assets Outdoors: 

We identified several locations where the Army is storing a significant 
amount of land-based prepositioned assets outdoors without adequate 
sheltering. Specifically, we found equipment being stored outdoors at 
Camp Carroll, South Korea; Camp Arifjan, Kuwait; and Goose Creek, South 
Carolina. At these locations, assets are left relatively unprotected 
from moisture, sand, and other elements that contribute to corrosion. 
Army officials noted that unprotected equipment corrodes faster and 
will more quickly fall below required maintenance condition standards. 
At Camp Carroll in South Korea, about 30 percent of the Army's Heavy 
Brigade Combat Team equipment--mostly sustainment stock--is stored 
outdoors in an often damp and humid region. The remaining equipment is 
stored in humidity-controlled facilities. Army officials told us that 
the equipment had been poorly maintained and, as a result, experienced 
many significant defects and readiness shortfalls, with corrosion being 
one of the primary problems.[Footnote 13] These officials said some of 
the equipment corroded faster and more severely because of being stored 
outside and, as a result, the Army incurred additional maintenance 
costs. Army officials in South Korea noted that it costs more to 
maintain equipment that is stored outside in part because the equipment 
needs to be inspected three times more often than equipment in humidity-
controlled storage. Large amounts of Army prepositioned equipment are 
also stored outside in Kuwait where, according to DOD and Army 
officials, the environment is highly corrosive because of the humid 
climate, sand with high salinity levels, and strong winds. As of April 
2006, the Army was storing outside nearly all of its prepositioned 
assets (numbering about 11,000 items) in Southwest Asia.[Footnote 14] 
At the Army's prepositioning afloat facility in Goose Creek, South 
Carolina, equipment is stored outside during the time it is not 
undergoing maintenance because of a lack of storage facilities. The 
amount of time equipment is stored outside ranges, on average, from 1 
month to more than 3 months. In some cases, equipment is stored outside 
well over 3 months. For example, 44 M1A1 tanks and 10 fuel tankers sat 
outdoors for more than a year after undergoing maintenance and 
experienced a total of $1.2 million in corrosion- related damage. Army 
officials said that prolonged periods of outdoor storage as happened in 
this case rarely occur, but that some period of outdoor storage is 
expected for equipment waiting upload. 

Army officials acknowledged having an immediate need for additional 
sheltering, preferably with humidity control capability, for 
prepositioned equipment located in South Korea, Kuwait, and South 
Carolina. However, under current construction plans, additional storage 
facilities will not be available at all three sites until 2012 at the 
earliest. In South Korea and Kuwait, Army officials said that even with 
the additional planned storage facilities, substantial amounts of 
equipment will still be stored outdoors. For example, officials 
estimated about 20 percent of equipment in Kuwait will remain outside. 
Officials cited competing funding priorities as the primary reason for 
not providing indoor storage for all land-based prepositioned assets. 
Army officials also cited uncertainties regarding the number and type 
of equipment and length of time it is stored, which make it difficult 
to accurately define storage requirements and justify funding for 
construction of additional storage facilities. In South Korea, Army 
officials told us the lack of available land limits their ability to 
construct new, or expand existing, facilities. These officials also 
said that estimating storage needs is difficult because of 
uncertainties regarding the consolidation and reconfiguration of U.S. 
Forces Korea facilities related to future force restructuring. Army 
prepositioning afloat officials said that the Goose Creek facility 
primarily is a maintenance facility and is not meant for the storage of 
equipment, which makes it difficult to justify the building of new 
storage space. 

Although building additional storage will require Army investment, the 
use of humidity-controlled storage in general has been shown to provide 
a substantial return on investment. According to a study by the Army 
Cost and Economic Analysis Center, sheltering Army National Guard 
equipment in a humidity-controlled facility had a potential return on 
investment of a minimum of $8 for every $1 invested. The Army National 
Guard also estimates that it will have achieved a total of over $1.2 
billion in cost savings by fiscal year 2010. Most of the projected 
savings is based on having to perform less maintenance on equipment 
that is being preserved better in humidity-controlled facilities. The 
humidity-controlled sheltering program includes combat vehicles, 
trailers, radar systems, and other equipment located at Guard 
facilities in 45 states and U.S. territories. According to Army storage 
and maintenance guidelines, storage of equipment in facilities without 
humidity control--particularly in open storage without protection--not 
only invites greater and more rapid deterioration because of corrosion 
but requires increased surveillance, inspections, and maintenance. For 
example, whereas combat vehicles in humidity-controlled facilities need 
to be exercised and road tested every 30 months, vehicles stored 
without humidity control require exercising every 12 months. One of the 
benefits of humidity control is avoiding or at least minimizing these 
increased maintenance requirements. 

Temporary Shelters May Be a Feasible Option: 

Given the competing funding priorities and other constraints cited by 
Army officials in providing additional storage facilities for 
prepositioned equipment, temporary shelters may be a feasible option to 
address immediate storage needs. Temporary shelters are available in a 
range of sizes, materials, and features, including humidity control. 
For example, "K-SPAN" temporary shelters are steel structures 
constructed on-site and set over a concrete foundation. These shelters 
may be dismantled, packaged, and relocated. Army officials told us that 
temporary shelters are used primarily in situations where immediate 
storage is required but may be durable enough to last for several 
years. Furthermore, they can be acquired faster than permanent 
facilities, which may take several years to plan, fund, and build. The 
military services have made prior use of temporary shelters in several 
locations, for both prepositioned and non-prepositioned equipment. For 
example, the Marine Corps uses temporary humidity-controlled facilities 
in Florida to store some of its prepositioned assets awaiting 
maintenance and upload to ships. In addition, the Army has stored 
prepositioned equipment in temporary shelters located in Livorno, 
Italy, and Camp Carroll, South Korea. The Marine Corps has also used 
temporary shelters to store non-prepositioned equipment in Hawaii. 

Lack of Corrosion Data Impairs Army and Marine Corps Ability to Support 
Prevention and Mitigation Efforts and Achieve Long-term Cost Savings: 

The lack of available corrosion data impairs the ability of the Army 
and Marine Corps to achieve long-term costs savings through corrosion 
prevention and mitigation efforts. The Army and Marine Corps consider 
collection of corrosion data on prepositioned assets to be a low 
priority and, consequently, do not systematically collect them. These 
data could be used to support additional prevention and mitigation 
efforts that achieve long-term cost savings, similar to the Army's 
previous success using corrosion data regarding non-prepositioning 
programs. 

Army and Marine Corps Are Not Collecting Corrosion Data on 
Prepositioned Assets: 

Corrosion-related data that could enhance efforts to prevent and 
mitigate corrosion of prepositioned assets is unavailable because the 
Army and Marine Corps consider collection of this information to be a 
low priority and, consequently, do not systematically collect it. Army 
regulations require units to collect corrosion-related data as part of 
their equipment maintenance and storage programs, while the Marine 
Corps generally lacks requirements for collection of corrosion-related 
data.[Footnote 15] For example, the Army's Corrosion Prevention and 
Control Program regulation includes a requirement for a corrosion- 
related survey of all divisions and separate combat brigades to be 
conducted at least every 4 years.[Footnote 16] In addition, Army policy 
on reporting equipment quality deficiencies includes a requirement to 
report problems that are corrosion related.[Footnote 17] The Marine 
Corps, on the other hand, does not require the collection of corrosion 
information for all equipment, but believes it to be beneficial. The 
mission of the Marine Corps' Corrosion Prevention and Control Program 
is to reduce maintenance requirements and costs associated with 
corrosion, and the program seeks to identify and assess current and 
projected corrosion problems for all tactical ground and ground support 
equipment. Marine Corps officials said that the desire for the 
collection of corrosion information applies to all Marine Corps 
activities, including prepositioning programs, but acknowledge that 
data are not collected on prepositioned assets because they have a low 
priority. Corrosion data could be used to help identify underlying 
causes of maintenance problems and obtain a better understanding of the 
costs of corrosion and the extent it affects readiness. 

Despite Army corrosion data collection requirements and the 
establishment of corrosion prevention and control programs in the Army 
and Marine Corps, we found that information about corrosion of 
prepositioned assets is generally lacking in both services. We reviewed 
a wide range of reports and other documentation on Army and Marine 
Corps prepositioned equipment and found these to be almost devoid of 
corrosion-related data. For example, we examined information on the 
maintenance condition and repair actions for prepositioned equipment 
from the Army Maintenance Management System, but this system did not 
contain information regarding the extent and nature of equipment 
corrosion. Likewise, the cost data on prepositioned equipment contained 
in the Marine Corps' Standard Accounting, Budgeting and Reporting 
System, which contains total maintenance and repair costs for all 
prepositioned equipment, also did not include information specifically 
on corrosion costs. We also asked the Army and Marine Corps for 
information regarding the impact of corrosion on maintenance costs, 
equipment deficiencies, inventory levels, and readiness rates. In 
almost every instance, this corrosion information was not available. As 
we have previously reported, DOD and the military services generally 
have a limited amount of corrosion data related to cost estimates, 
readiness, and safety data.[Footnote 18] 

According to Army and Marine Corps officials, corrosion information on 
prepositioned assets is unavailable primarily because it has low 
priority. Although Army guidance for documenting equipment maintenance 
includes detailed instructions for reporting corrosion issues, Army 
officials said most of those responsible for documenting the 
maintenance action do not want to take the extra time to include 
corrosion information because they see it as having minimal value and 
have no incentive to collect it. Similarly, Marine Corps officials 
stated that there is minimal incentive to capture and report corrosion 
costs for prepositioned equipment because maintenance costs are 
typically managed at more general levels, such as the costs to repair 
or replace a piece of equipment. Officials from both the Army and the 
Marine Corps said that corrosion is routinely treated as part of the 
overall maintenance process, and corrosion-related data are not tracked 
separately. For example, Army officials at Camp Carroll, South Korea, 
told us that corrosion observed on the engine blocks in 5-ton trucks 
would be repaired during maintenance performed on the entire engine and 
would not be noted in the maintenance logs. Instead, documentation of 
the maintenance actions would include a description of the equipment or 
component and why it was not functional--such as being broken or 
cracked--but would not include the reason for the repair, such as 
corrosion. According to Marine Corps officials, corrosion information 
has value but not enough to be included with more critical information, 
such as the amount of equipment in the inventory and amount in 
serviceable condition. 

Although the Army and Marine Corps are not collecting data about the 
current costs to prevent and mitigate corrosion of prepositioned 
assets, the military services have estimated that at least 25 percent 
of overall maintenance costs are corrosion related and that as much as 
one-third of these costs could be reduced through more effective 
corrosion prevention and mitigation. Army and Marine Corps officials 
told us that this estimate applies to both prepositioned and non- 
prepositioned assets because corrosion affects both types of equipment 
in similar ways. Because of the lack of available cost data, the Army, 
at our request, conducted a limited review of maintenance records for 
about 2,000 pieces of prepositioned stock in South Korea. The Army 
determined that about $8.7 million (31 percent) of the estimated $28 
million spent to restore this equipment to serviceable condition was 
used to address corrosion-related problems. As another indication of 
corrosion costs, Marine Corps officials estimated that corrosion costs 
make up at least 50 percent of the $110,000 needed, on average, to 
repair motorized lighterage[Footnote 19] prepositioned equipment. 

Corrosion Data Could Be Used to Support Additional Prevention and 
Mitigation Efforts That Achieve Long-term Cost Savings: 

The additional information that would be obtained through the 
collection of corrosion data could support the Army's and Marine Corps' 
efforts to more effectively prevent and mitigate corrosion and achieve 
long-term cost savings, which could be significant given the resources 
the military services devote each year to addressing corrosion-related 
problems. Corrosion prevention measures may reduce the amount of 
maintenance needed, thereby extending the availability of equipment 
items over their life cycle. The Army has had previous success using 
corrosion data regarding non-prepositioning programs to support 
corrosion prevention and mitigation efforts that achieved long-term 
cost savings. For example, the Army National Guard began the initial 
phase of a humidity-controlled storage program for its vehicles and 
equipment in 1994. Guard officials told us that they collected and 
analyzed an extensive amount of information on corrosion and its cost 
impacts on selected pieces of equipment and estimated that a 
significant amount of corrosion-related costs could be avoided by using 
humidity-controlled storage facilities. Program officials currently 
estimate that the sheltering and preservation effort will save a total 
of about $1.2 billion through fiscal year 2010, which reflects a 9 to 1 
return on investment. Army officials cited similar results after 
collecting corrosion data on Hellfire missile launchers. The types and 
areas of the launchers that were most prone to corrosion--such as 
missile safety/arming switches--were identified and documented. Based 
on this research, maintenance technicians knew better to look for 
corrosion and how to control it before it worsened. The Army Missile 
Command's tactical missile program executive office attributed a large 
portion of its $3.2 billion overall long-term life cycle savings to the 
Hellfire corrosion prevention measures. Collection of corrosion data 
for prepositioned equipment could better enable the Army and Marine 
Corps to support similar corrosion prevention and mitigation efforts in 
their prepositioning programs. 

Conclusions: 

Effectively addressing corrosion on prepositioned stocks of equipment 
can enable the services to achieve significant cost savings and 
increase readiness and safety for rapidly fielding combat-ready forces 
around the world. Although the Army and Marine Corps have taken 
measures to reduce the impact of corrosion on prepositioned assets, 
there are immediate opportunities for taking additional action. 
Sheltering assets--especially sheltering in humidity-controlled 
facilities--has been shown to be a key anticorrosion practice, yet 
large amounts of Army land-based prepositioned assets are stored 
outdoors without adequate sheltering. This practice is wasteful given 
the large investment in acquiring the equipment and the annual costs of 
maintaining it. Furthermore, while the Army and Marine Corps do not 
collect corrosion data for prepositioned equipment, the collection of 
such data could provide additional information to identify the 
underlying causes of maintenance problems and develop solutions to 
address these problems. Without such data, the services may lack the 
incentive to support efforts to more effectively prevent and mitigate 
corrosion and achieve long-term cost savings. Until the Army and Marine 
Corps take additional actions to prevent corrosion, such as 
implementing use of temporary shelters to the greatest extent feasible 
and collecting corrosion-related data, prepositioned equipment stored 
outdoors will continue to corrode at an accelerated pace and the 
services will continue to incur unnecessary costs for maintaining 
equipment and repairing corrosion damage. 

Recommendations for Executive Action: 

To reduce the impact of corrosion on prepositioned assets and support 
additional corrosion prevention and mitigation efforts, we recommend 
that the Secretary of Defense take the following three actions: 

* Direct the Secretary of the Army to examine the feasibility of using 
temporary shelters, including humidity-controlled facilities, to store 
land-based prepositioned assets currently stored outdoors, and if such 
use is determined to be feasible, to take appropriate actions to 
implement the use of shelters to the maximum extent possible. 

* Direct the Secretary of the Army to collect corrosion-related data, 
as required in existing Army regulations, and use these data to support 
additional corrosion prevention and mitigation efforts. 

* Direct the Commandant of the Marine Corps to require the collection 
of corrosion-related data and use these data to support additional 
corrosion prevention and mitigation efforts. 

We also recommend that the Secretary of Defense direct the Under 
Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics to 
specify the department's planned actions, milestones, and resources for 
completing an Army feasibility study on the use of temporary shelters 
to store land-based prepositioned assets and for collecting and using 
Army and Marine Corps corrosion-related data to support additional 
corrosion prevention and mitigation efforts. 

Agency Comments and Our Evaluation: 

In commenting on a draft of this report, DOD concurred with our 
recommendations that the Army consider the feasibility of using 
temporary shelters, including humidity-controlled facilities, to store 
land-based prepositioned assets currently stored outdoors and that the 
Army and Marine Corps collect and use corrosion-related data to support 
additional corrosion prevention and mitigation efforts. However, DOD 
did not provide specific information on planned actions, milestones, 
and resources for implementing the recommendations. With respect to the 
Marine Corps, DOD stated that collection of adequate data is not a 
matter of being a low priority but a funding issue. As noted in our 
report, we were told by Marine Corps officials that collection of these 
data has been a low priority. We believe that funding and priorities 
should be aligned to the greatest extent possible to provide greater 
assurance that the department's resources are being used prudently. As 
stated in our report, DOD can achieve long-term cost savings by 
investing in additional corrosion prevention and mitigation efforts. In 
addition, investments in corrosion prevention measures may reduce the 
amount of maintenance needed on equipment items, thereby extending the 
availability of equipment items over their life cycle. On the basis of 
our evaluation of DOD's comments, we have added a recommendation that 
DOD specify actions, milestones, and resources for implementing our 
recommendations to the Army and the Marine Corps. 

DOD's comments are reprinted in appendix II. 

Scope and Methodology: 

We focused our review on the prepositioned assets managed by the Army 
and Marine Corps because these two services have the majority of the 
military's prepositioned assets, and these services provided most of 
the equipment used in current operations in Southeast Asia. 

To assess the measures taken by the Army and Marine Corps to reduce the 
impact that corrosion has on prepositioned assets, we met with DOD and 
service command officials responsible for managing and maintaining 
prepositioned assets; obtained their assessments and perspectives on 
corrosion prevention and mitigation programs and strategies; and 
obtained and reviewed DOD and service policies, procedures, and 
practices, including technical orders and manuals, for managing and 
maintaining prepositioned assets. We met with DOD officials involved 
with developing DOD's long-term strategy to prevent and control 
corrosion. We also discussed additional actions that could be taken to 
further prevent and mitigate corrosion. In addition, we visited 
selected prepositioning locations and maintenance facilities, including 
the Army's facilities in Goose Creek, South Carolina, and Camp Carroll, 
South Korea, and the Marine Corps Logistics Command in Albany, Georgia, 
and Blount Island Command in Jacksonville, Florida. 

To assess the availability of corrosion-related data to the Army and 
Marine Corps to support corrosion prevention and mitigation efforts for 
prepositioned assets, we met with DOD and service command officials 
responsible for managing and maintaining prepositioned assets, and 
obtained and reviewed DOD and military service policies and procedures 
for collecting and reporting maintenance costs and related equipment 
material condition information. We obtained and analyzed various cost 
and maintenance reports on these assets, including inspection and 
maintenance logs, databases and assessments, and after-action reports. 
In particular, we discussed the barriers that exist to identifying and 
quantifying the impact of corrosion on prepositioned assets' 
maintenance costs and material condition, and the metrics and related 
information systems needed to better collect, track, report, and manage 
efforts to prevent and mitigate corrosion as well as quantify the 
related funding requirements to address this issue. 

We interviewed officials and obtained documentation at the following 
locations:[Footnote 20] 

* Office of the Secretary of Defense: 

* Corrosion Policy and Oversight Office: 

* Joint Chiefs of Staff: 

* Director of Logistics: 

* Army: 

* Headquarters, Department of the Army: 

* U.S. Army Materiel Command, Fort Belvoir, Virginia: 

* Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command, Warren, Michigan, and Rock 
Island, Illinois: 

* U.S. Army Field Support Command, Rock Island, Illinois: 

* U.S. III Army Corps, Fort Hood, Texas: 

* U.S. Army Field Support Battalion Afloat, Goose Creek, South 
Carolina: 

* U.S. Forces Korea and Eighth U.S. Army, Yongsan Garrison, South 
Korea: 

* U.S. Army Field Support Battalion Far East, Camp Carroll, Waegwan, 
South Korea: 

* Materiel Support Center Korea, Camp Carroll, Waegwan, South Korea: 

* 19th Theater Support Command, Camp Walker, Daegu, South Korea: 

* U.S. Army Pacific, Fort Shafter, Hawaii: 

* Marine Corps: 

* U.S. Marine Corps Headquarters: 

* U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific, Hawaii: 

* I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, California: 

* II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejune, North Carolina: 

* III Marine Expeditionary Force, Okinawa, Japan: 

* Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Virginia: 

* Marine Corps Logistics Command, Albany, Georgia: 

* Blount Island Command, Jacksonville, Florida: 

* Office of the Inspector General of the Marine Corps: 

* Navy: 

* Bureau of Medicine and Surgery: 

* Naval Facilities Engineering Command: 

* CNA Corporation, Alexandria, Virginia: 

* U.S. Navy Inspector General: 

* Naval Air Systems Command, Office of the Inspector General, Patuxent 
River, Maryland: 

* Naval Audit Service: 

* Naval Medical Logistics Command, Fort Detrick, Maryland: 

* Navy Expeditionary Medical Command, Cheatham Annex, Williamsburg, 
Virginia: 

* Military Sealift Command: 

* Air Force: 

* Headquarters, Seventh Air Force, South Korea: 

* Unified Commands: 

* United States Pacific Command: 

* United States Forces Korea: 

We conducted our work from May 2005 through February 2006 in accordance 
with generally accepted government auditing standards. We reviewed 
available data for inconsistencies and discussed the data with DOD and 
service officials. We determined that the data used for our review were 
sufficiently reliable for our purposes. 

We are sending copies of this report to the Secretary of Defense, the 
Secretary of the Army, and the Commandant of the Marine Corps. We will 
also make copies available to others upon request. In addition, this 
report is available at no charge on the GAO Web site at [Hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov]. 

If you or your staffs have any questions, please contact me at (202) 
512-8365. Contact points for our Offices of Congressional Relations and 
Public Affairs may be found on the last page of this report. Key 
contributors to this report are listed in appendix III. 

Signed by: 

William M. Solis, Director: 

Defense Capabilities and Management: 

[End of section] 

Appendix I: Military Services' Prepositioning Programs: 

The military services have prepositioning programs to store combat or 
support equipment and supplies near areas with a high potential for 
conflict and to speed response times and reduce the strain on other 
mobility assets. 

The Army's program involves three primary categories of stocks: combat 
brigade sets, operational projects, and war reserve sustainment stocks 
stored at land sites and aboard prepositioning ships around the world. 
The Marine Corps also prepositions equipment and supplies aboard 
prepositioning ships and at land sites in Norway. The Navy's 
prepositioning efforts are comparatively small, used mainly to support 
the Marine Corps' prepositioning program and deploying forces. The Navy 
prepositions equipment and supplies at land sites and aboard the 
maritime prepositioning ships. The Air Force prepositions stocks of war 
reserve equipment and supplies to meet initial contingency requirements 
and to sustain early deploying forces. The Air Force's prepositioned 
war reserve stocks include bare base sets; vehicles; munitions; and a 
variety of consumable supplies, such as rations, fuel, support 
equipment, aircraft accessories, and medical supplies. The services' 
prepositioning programs are briefly described in table 1. 

Table 1: Description of Prepositioning Programs: 

Service: Army; 
Types of Stocks: Combat brigade sets; 
Description: * Stored at land sites and aboard prepositioning ships; 
* Sets are designed to support 3,000 to 5,000 soldiers; 
* Heavy weaponry, such as tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles; 
* Support equipment, such as trucks and High Mobility Multi- purpose 
Wheeled Vehicles; 
* Spare parts and other sustainment stocks to support the early stages 
of a conflict. 

Types of Stocks: Sustainment stocks; 
Description: * Stored at land sites and aboard prepositioning ships; 
* Replacement equipment for losses in early stages of operations or 
until resupply is established; 
* Includes major end items, such as aircraft engines and tracked 
vehicles; 
* Secondary items, such as meals, clothing, petroleum supplies, 
construction materials, ammunition, medical materials, and repair 
parts. 

Types of Stocks: Operational project stocks; 
Description: * Stored at land sites and aboard prepositioning ships; 
* Authorized material above unit authorizations designed to support 
Army operations or contingencies; 
* Equipment and supplies for special operations forces, bare base sets, 
petroleum and water distribution, mortuary operations, and prisoner-of-
war operations. 

Service: Navy/Marine Corps; 
Types of Stocks: Maritime prepositioning force; 
Description: * Consists of 16 prepositioning ships organized into three 
squadrons; 
* Each squadron supports about 15,000 Marines for up to 30 days; 
* Includes combat systems, communications systems, construction 
equipment, munitions, medical supplies, and sustainment stocks. 

Types of Stocks: Prepositioning program-Norway; 
Description: * Several land sites located in central Norway; 
* Designed to support 13,000 Marines for up to 30 days; 
* Includes vehicles, weapons, munitions, rations, and other equipment 
that will be used to support any geographic combatant command. 

Types of Stocks: Navy prepositioned assets; 
Description: * Assets are stored aboard maritime prepositioning ships 
and at land sites; 
* Equipment to offload prepositioning ships, including material 
handling equipment, ramps and barges, landing and amphibious craft, and 
bulk fuel; 
* Construction equipment, such as cranes, forklifts, trucks, and 
tractor trailers; 
* Includes six 500-bed fleet hospitals[A]. 

Service: Air Force; 
Types of Stocks: Bare base sets; 
Description: * Base operating support equipment used to house forces, 
and equipment and supplies needed to support airfield operations. 

Types of Stocks: Vehicles; 
Description: * Includes trucks, buses, and High Mobility Multi-purpose 
Wheeled Vehicles. 

Types of Stocks: Other support equipment and supplies; 
Description: * Includes materiel handling equipment, rations, fuel, 
fuel support equipment, aircraft accessories, and medical supplies at 
land sites and munitions aboard four prepositioning ships. 

Source: GAO. 

Notes: In addition to the services' programs, the Defense Logistics 
Agency prepositions food and bulk fuel to support a range of 
contingency operations and training exercises. The Special Operations 
Command relies on the military services to preposition common support 
items for its forces, such as base support items and vehicles. 

[A] The Navy is in the process of transitioning from 500-bed fleet 
hospitals to smaller modular units. 

[End of table] 

The military services store these stocks of equipment and supplies at 
several land sites and aboard prepositioning ships around the world. 
Most of the military services store equipment and supplies in Southwest 
Asia, the Pacific theater, Europe, and aboard prepositioning ships. 
Figure 1 shows the major locations of prepositioned stocks. 

Figure 1: Locations of Army (USAR), Marine Corps (USMC), Navy (USN), 
and Air Force (USAF) Prepositioned Stocks: 

[See PDF for image] 

Note: DOD also prepositions smaller stocks of equipment and supplies at 
other locations not identified on this map. 

[End of figure] 

[End of section] 

Appendix II: Comments from the Department of Defense: 

Office Of The Under Secretary Of Defense: 
3000 Defense Pentagon: 
Washington, DC 20301-3000: 

June 5, 2006: 

Acquisition Technology And Logistics: 

Mr. William M. Solis: 

Director, Defense Capabilities and Management: 
U.S. Government Accountability Office: 
Washington, D.C. 20548: 

Dear Mr. Solis: 

This is the Department of Defense (DOD) response to the GAO Draft 
Report GAO-06-709, "DEFENSE MANAGEMENT: Additional Measures to Reduce 
Corrosion of Prepositioned Military Assets Could Achieve Cost Savings," 
dated April 28, 2006 (GAO Code 350648). 

The Department continues to consider corrosion to be an important issue 
associated with cost, readiness, and safety of its weapon systems and 
facilities. As a result, emphasis on prevention and mitigation of 
corrosion across all mission areas and obligations remain a top 
priority within the Department. 

The GAO report makes three "Recommendations for Executive Action." We 
concur and are committed to meeting the requirements of the Congress 
and, to the extent possible, implementing the positive recommendations 
of the subject GAO response. The Department's primary point of contact 
for this report is Daniel J. Dunmire, Special Assistant, DOD Corrosion 
Policy and Oversight. 

Signed by: 

Mark D. Schaeffer: 
Director: 
Systems and Software Engineering: 

Enclosure: 
DOD Recommendations for Executive Action: 

GAO DRAFT REPORT - DATED April 28, 2006 GAO CODE 350648/GAO-06-709: 

"DEFENSE MANAGEMENT: Additional Measures to Reduce Corrosion of 
Prepositioned Military Assets Could Achieve Cost Savings" 

DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE COMMENTS TO THE RECOMMENDATIONS: 

RECOMMENDATION 1: The GAO recommended that the Secretary of Defense 
direct the Secretary of the Army to examine the feasibility of using 
temporary shelters, including humidity-controlled facilities, to store 
land-based prepositioned assets currently stored outdoors, and if such 
use is determined to be feasible, to take appropriate actions to 
implement the use of shelters to the maximum extent possible. (Page 12/ 
GAO Draft Report): 

DOD RESPONSE: Concur. 

The U. S. Army has identified humidity controlled facilities as a key 
technology to prevent corrosion on prepositioned assets. The Army is 
already evaluating potential storage options for prepositioned assets 
currently stored outdoors in Army Preposition Stocks. Controlled- 
humidity is a requirement for newly built facilities both on land and 
sea. All U.S. Army future prepositioned stocks strategies will include 
review of available facilities as part of the selection of 
prepositioned locations. 

RECOMMENDATION 2: The GAO recommended that the Secretary of Defense 
direct the Secretary of the Army to collect corrosion-related data, as 
required in existing Army regulations, and use these data to support 
additional corrosion prevention and mitigation efforts. (Page 13/GAO 
Draft Report): 

DOD RESPONSE: Concur. 

The U.S. Army requires the establishment of and tracking metrics for 
all corrosion-prevention projects funded by their corrosion prevention 
and control office. The U.S. Army Materiel Command is capturing metrics 
for specific weapon systems/facility projects, and these data are used 
to evaluate the effectiveness of these projects. 

RECOMMENDATION 3: The GAO recommended that the Secretary of Defense 
direct the Commandant of the Marine Corps to require the collection of 
corrosion-related data and use these data to support additional 
corrosion prevention and mitigation efforts. (Page 13/GAO Draft 
Report): 

DOD RESPONSE: Concur. 

The Marine Corps Corrosion and Control Program Office agrees that the 
Marine Corps maintenance reporting system does not provide sufficient 
information to determine the condition of assets as related to 
corrosion. Data is not adequate for determining either cost of 
corrosion or mission readiness related to corrosion, but the tools for 
collecting and analyzing the data exists. Collection of adequate data 
is not a matter of being a low priority to the Marine Corps but a 
funding issue. 

[End of section] 

Appendix III: GAO Contact and Staff Acknowledgments: 

GAO Contact: 

William M. Solis (202) 512-8365 or solisw@gao.gov: 

Acknowledgments: 

In addition to the contact named above, Thomas Gosling, Assistant 
Director; Larry Bridges; Renee Brown; Lisa Canini; Amy Sheller; Allen 
Westheimer; and Tim Wilson were major contributors to this report. 

FOOTNOTES 

[1] GAO, Defense Logistics: Better Management and Oversight of 
Prepositioning Programs Needed to Reduce Risk and Improve Future Plans, 
GAO-05-427 (Washington, D.C.: Sept. 6, 2005). 

[2] Among recent changes, the Army is reconstituting prepositioning 
stocks in Southwest Asia and recently completed a significant effort to 
repair prepositioned items in South Korea. In addition, the Army plans 
to cut its afloat prepositioning capability in half (from two brigade 
sets to one) and is planning to reduce the contractor workforce at 
Goose Creek, South Carolina, where maintenance is performed on the 
equipment. 

[3] Corrosion is defined under 10 U.S.C. Section 2228 as the 
deterioration of a material or its properties caused by a reaction of 
that material with its chemical environment. 

[4] H.R. Conf. Rpt. 108-622, at 98. 

[5] GAO, Defense Management: Opportunities to Reduce Corrosion Costs 
and Increase Readiness, GAO-03-753 (Washington, D.C.: July 7, 2003). 

[6] Office of the Secretary of Defense, Long-Term Strategy to Reduce 
Corrosion and the Effects of Corrosion on the Military Equipment and 
Infrastructure of the Department of Defense (December 2003). 

[7] Defense Science Board, Report on Corrosion Control (October 2004). 

[8] With regard to readiness, for example, on October 24, 2005, the 
Army reported high readiness levels for prepositioned assets stored on 
ships in Army Strategic Flotilla II (Diego Garcia). Similarly, as of 
January 31, 2006, the Marine Corps reported high readiness levels for 
equipment stored on its prepositioning ships. 

[9] Army Technical Manual 38-470. 10/20 refers to the suffix found on 
Army technical manuals pertaining to vehicle and equipment maintenance 
practices. 

[10] Marine Corps Headquarters, Prepositioning Programs Handbook (March 
2005). 

[11] The Marine Corps' Prepositioning Programs Handbook describes the 
process used to maintain prepositioned equipment and supplies that are 
stored by subjecting them to periodic quality assurance inspections, 
replacement or rotation, and logistic support to maintain the highest 
state of combat readiness. See also Corrosion Control Procedures; Depot 
Maintenance Activities for Marine Corps Equipment (TM-3080-50); 
Organizational Corrosion Prevention and Control Procedure for USMC 
Equipment (TM-4795-12/1); and U.S. Marine Corps Maritime Prepositioning 
Force Operations, Marine Corps Warfighting Publication 3-32/Navy 
Tactics, Technicians, and Procedures 3-02.3. 

[12] We visited maintenance facilities and spoke with personnel 
responsible for equipment maintenance, including treatment for 
corrosion, but we did not review how effective the services were in 
meeting maintenance standards. 

[13] Until recently, the equipment located in South Korea suffered from 
serious maintenance deficiencies and readiness shortfalls because of 
long-standing management problems. The Army implemented an intense 
effort to address these deficiencies and reported that all equipment 
was restored to required maintenance standards by the end of fiscal 
year 2005. See GAO, Defense Logistics: Better Planning and 
Accountability Needed to Ensure Mission Capability of Army 
Prepositioned Stocks in South Korea, GAO-05-751 (Washington, D.C.: 
Sept. 6, 2005). 

[14] These data, in addition to Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, include smaller 
prepositioning sites in Qatar and Afghanistan. 

[15] Marine Corps mishap and safety recordkeeping and reporting 
guidance requires the collection and reporting of mishap causes, 
including some information on corrosion, if relevant. For example, when 
a mishap occurs, corrosion problems, such as corroded parts, corrosion 
control inadequacies or preservation failures, should be listed in the 
mishap report if they were causes of the mishap. OPNAVINST 5102.1D. 

[16] According to Army Regulation 750-59, these surveys are to include 
an assessment of the condition of equipment, to include prepositioned 
material; an evaluation of program management and procedures; and the 
development of corrective action plans. 

[17] According to Department of the Army Pamphlet 738-750, Functional 
Users Manual for The Army Maintenance Management System (TAMMS), 
quality deficiencies, such as those caused by corrosion, are to be 
reported when the defect may cause death, injury, or severe illness; 
would cause loss or major damage to a weapon system; or critically 
restricts combat readiness capabilities. 

[18] GAO-03-753. 

[19] Lighterage is small craft--powered and nonpowered--designed to 
transport cargo or personnel from ship to shore. Lighterage includes 
amphibious vehicles, landing craft, causeways, and barges. Marine Corps 
officials estimate that at least 50 percent of the $35,000 needed to 
repair the average nonmotorized lighterage equipment is used to address 
corrosion-related damage. 

[20] Unless otherwise noted, the officials listed have their offices in 
the Pentagon or at locations in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan 
area. 

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