Alternatives for Care of Material Stored Outside

LCD-80-35: Published: Feb 5, 1980. Publicly Released: Feb 5, 1980.

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The Army has accumulated a vast inventory of equipment and spare parts to ensure it can sustain a wartime effort should the need arise. As of June 1979, the Army had about 2.6 million tons of material occupying about 46 million square feet of storage space at 20 depots and other locations. Of this amount, 489,000 tons, or 19 percent, were stored outside. In addition, the Army stored about 3.5 million tons for other agencies. Generally, the material consists of larger items, such as trucks and tanks and enclosed mobile shelters which contain electronics or medical equipment. The decision to store this equipment outside can be attributed to: (1) a decline in the material issue rate as the Southeast Asia conflict drew to a close; (2) implementation by the Army of an area-oriented depot concept, under which material has been consolidated at fewer depots; and (3) the impracticality of inside storage of some items (such as large inoperable items awaiting disposal or overhaul or vehicles scheduled to be issued within a short period). A review was made of Army practices for storing material outside at depots. The scope of the review was limited to examining the range of possibilities for caring for the material stored outside.

According to Army sources, outside storage generally results from a lack of inside storage capacity where it is needed. Material stored outside deteriorates about four times faster than material stored inside. Thus, there is a tradeoff between the recurring cost of providing extra care for the outside material, costs pertaining to restoration and replacement, degraded material readiness, and additional inside storage capacity. Army logistics officials stated that approval of pending storage facility construction proposals is uncertain because storage facilities have a low priority. Contrary to Army regulations, various alternatives, or combinations of alternatives, are available for caring for the material stored outside, besides constructing additional warehouse space. The Army could: (1) store the material outside without providing recurring care, thereby possibly paying later for restoration of the material at the time of issue; (2) regularly care for the material to minimize future potential restoration and replacement costs; (3) consolidate inside stock more frequently to make more warehouse space available; (4) transfer stock levels that are beyond peacetime requirements to available storage capacity at other Defense installations; and/or (5) construct temporary shelters to provide limited protection from the weather.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

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

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Army to evaluate the Army's practice of storing material outside without adequately caring for it. This evaluation should recognize: (1) the cost of restoring needed material and loss of material readiness; and (2) the cost tradeoffs of alternatives, including those in the instant report, for improving the material care without constructing new facilities.

    Agency Affected:

 

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