Better Management of Spare Equipment Will Improve Maintenance Productivity and Save the Army Millions

LCD-76-442: Published: Apr 5, 1977. Publicly Released: Apr 5, 1977.

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Maintenance float is the term used for operating equipment which is stocked at maintenance facilities for use while Army equipment is being repaired. The Army's stated maintenance float requirement is about $966 million, about $553 million of which is in operational readiness float.

In 1976, the Army was still using maintenance float factors developed in 1971 and had no way of knowing its true requirements. Since 1971, the Army has been unable to obtain the required data to evaluate its maintenance float requirements. In addition, certain Army activity groups were uncertain about their float responsibilities. At least $62 million in float requirements was used to support noncombat units such as training battalions and military policy. As a result, unnecessary equipment may have been purchased, and equipment which could have been used to fill Army shortages in active or reserve units was used unnecessarily for maintenance float purposes. If maintenance float support for noncombat units were discontinued, planned procurements could be reduced by about $11.5 million, and about $4.2 million in existing assets could be redistributed.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Army should discontinue the practice of computing maintenance float support for noncombat units except when such support is determined to be essential to the units' missions. The system for estimating requirements should be based on planned overhauls in a wartime environment, realistic performance standards, and improved maintenance concepts. Provisions should be made to periodically revalidate float requirements and collect the necessary data to do so. Future procurement plans should be revised to show any changed float requirements.

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