Phased Reduction of Loring Air Force Base

LCD-79-322: Published: Aug 8, 1979. Publicly Released: Aug 8, 1979.

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The Air Force plans to reduce operations at Loring Air Force Base, a Strategic Air Command base in Maine, in two phases. The first phase, to begin in the summer of 1979, will remove 24 of the 44 aircraft assigned to this base. The second phase will begin in 1982 or 1983 depending on the completion of phase I, and will remove the remaining 20 aircraft. This prolonged realinement action will provide operational utility and allow time for orderly community planning and integration of Federal assistance. GAO interviewed Air Force officials at the Pentagon, Loring Air Force Base, and Strategic Air Command Headquarters, discussed the proposed realinement with representatives of a private consulting firm, and reviewed in detail the following significant costs and savings items: military and civilian personnel cost savings, the one-time costs associated with military permanent change-of-station, and homeowner assistance.

Based on the items of cost and cost avoidance examined, the Loring realinement action appears economically justified. The one-time costs associated with the reduction will be recovered in less than 1 year; recurring savings through personnel authorization reduction are expected to increase from $13.5 to $26.7 million upon completion of phase II. The costs and cost avoidances reviewed resulted in minor adjustments to three of the four items. One-time savings from military construction were not considered in payback period calculation.

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