Army National Guard:

Opportunities To Improve the Condition and Operation of Armories

HRD-86-49: Published: Aug 7, 1986. Publicly Released: Sep 15, 1986.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO reported on: (1) the Army National Guard's expanding federal role; (2) the adequacy of armories to accommodate the Guard's changing federal mission; (3) states' ability and willingness to pay their required 25-percent matching share for construction costs and 100 percent of maintenance and repair costs for state-owned armories; and (4) recent actions and proposals to increase the federal share of armory operating costs.

GAO found that: (1) since the Department of Defense (DOD) initiated its total force policy in 1970, the Guard's national defense role has expanded, placing new demands on the Guard's 2,655 state-owned armories; (2) troop levels have increased by over 25,000; (3) the number of full-time federal personnel working in the armories has increased, as has the amount of equipment stored at them; and (4) 42 percent of the armories were inadequate, largely due to lack of sufficient training, office space, and equipment storage space. According to the state adjutants general: (1) many armories were in a poor state of repair, resulting in an estimated $172-million backlog of maintenance and repair projects; (2) replacement or repair of armories is dependent on the availability of state funds; and (3) states have not committed the funds needed for construction, modification, maintenance, and repair because of fiscal problems, a relatively low priority placed on Guard facilities, and the expectation that armories would primarily carry out the federal mission.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: In response to this recommendation, National Guard Regulation NGR 415-5 has been revised and distributed to required parties on January 21, 1991.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should require the Chief of the National Guard Bureau to develop and implement a policy requiring each state to maintain its prior year's level of funding of armory operations, maintenance, and repair as a condition for receiving new federal funds for armory operations, maintenance, and modification.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: In response to this recommendation, the National Guard Bureau issued its regulation NGR 420-10 on February 15, 1990. Paragraph 2-9 specifically speaks to the issue.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should require the Chief of the National Guard to develop and implement a policy to consider each state's maintenance and repair record when reviewing the state's proposal for the construction of new armories.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: A memo was sent to the National Guard to determine the status of its efforts to implement the GAO recommendations. The Bureau has implemented an Automated Report Tracking System as a result of this recommendation. Each state Adjutant General is required to report annually their BMAR by November 1 of each year. This action was completed on December 4, 1987.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should require the Chief of the National Guard to develop and implement procedures to annually monitor the backlog of maintenance and repair (BMAR) projects of armories similar to nonarmory facilities.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

 

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