C-130 Force Structure:

Air Force Addressed Statutory Elements in Its Report, but Decided Not to Transfer Certain Aircraft as Proposed

GAO-15-637R: Published: Jul 13, 2015. Publicly Released: Jul 13, 2015.

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Cary B. Russell
202-512-5431
russellc@gao.gov

 

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What GAO Found

GAO found that the Report on C-130 Force Structure addressed all of the required elements in section 138 of the Carl Levin and Howard P. “Buck” McKeon National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2015. For example, the report included an assessment of force structure in a six-year plan from fiscal years 2015 through 2020 for the Air Force, Air Force Reserve, and Air National Guard that calls for a total force of 300 C-130 aircraft by fiscal year 2019. Furthermore, the report included an explanation of the costs and benefits of the proposed C-130 aircraft transfer from Keesler Air Force Base to Little Rock Air Force Base, as required by section 138 of the NDAA for Fiscal Year 2015. At the conclusion of the Report on C-130 Force Structure, the Secretary of the Air Force included an amendment that differs from the C-130 force-structure plan presented earlier in the report-—canceling the proposed transfer of 10 C-130J aircraft from Keesler Air Force Base to Little Rock Air Force Base. The amendment eliminated short-term relocation costs but is not consistent with the report’s description of the most cost effective and efficient basing alignment.

Why GAO Did This Study

Section 138 of the NDAA for Fiscal Year 2015 requires the Secretary of the Air Force to submit to the congressional defense committees an assessment of the costs and benefits of any proposed transfer of C-130 aircraft from one Department of Defense facility to another prior to obligating or expending fiscal year 2015 funds for such activity.Section 138 laid out seven required elements to be included in the assessment, such as an analysis of the recommended basing alignment that demonstrates that the recommendation is the most effective and efficient alternative for such basing alignment. In response, the Air Force submitted its Report on C-130 Force Structure to the congressional defense committees on April 14, 2015, according to an Air Force official. Section 138 also included a provision for GAO to conduct a review of the Air Force’s report. This report assesses the extent to which the Air Force’s Report on C-130 Force Structure addressed the elements of this mandate.

To determine the extent to which the Air Force’s report addressed the mandate, GAO reviewed and analyzed the requirements for the study outlined in section 138 of the NDAA for Fiscal Year 2015 and compared them to the discussion in the Air Force’s Report on C-130 Force Structure to determine whether each requirement was addressed. GAO also interviewed Air Force officials to understand the methodology and assumptions they used in developing the report. GAO did not conduct an independent assessment of the data, cost estimates, or recommendations presented in the Report on C-130 Force Structure

What GAO Recommends 

GAO is not making any recommendations in this report.

1Pub. L. No. 113-291, § 138(a), (b) (2014). Specifically, section 138 prohibits the obligation or expenditure of funds authorized to be appropriated by the act or otherwise made available for fiscal year 2015 for the transfer of C-130H or C-130J aircraft until a period of 60 days has elapsed following the submission of the assessment. § 138(a).

For more information, contact Cary Russell at 202-512-5431 or russellc@gao.gov.

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