Army and Navy Watercraft Programs for Logistics-Over-the-Shore Operations Can Be Better Managed

NSIAD-84-31: Published: Mar 13, 1984. Publicly Released: Mar 13, 1984.

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GAO reviewed the management of the Army and Navy watercraft programs in relationship to logistics-over-the-shore operations.

The services have over $2 billion worth of watercraft, and they plan to modernize some vessels and obtain additional ones at a cost of nearly $1.9 billion through fiscal year 1988. GAO found that improvements can be made in coordinating the programs, determining the resources available for the logistics-over-the-shore requirements, and assessing the need for additional watercraft. GAO believes that opportunities are being lost to improve operations, reduce costs, and conserve resources. GAO noted that the need to coordinate the development of Army and Navy watercraft capabilities to conduct logistics-over-the-shore operations has been recognized for more than 10 years. While actions have been taken to improve coordination, additional efforts are needed.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: DOD does not believe that a directive is needed. DOD does agree that a coordinated cooperative effort is required and will do this through an air-cushioned vessel working group established in 1981.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretaries of the Army and Navy to combine development of future air-cushioned vessels and take advantage of existing capabilities and expertise.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  2. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: DOD states that the variations in watercraft reflect the specialized missions doctrinally assigned to each service. GAO believes that more standardization is possible.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretaries of the Army and Navy to decide the extent that ship-to-shore lighterage should be standardized and gear the services' acquisition programs to this decision.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  3. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: DOD believes that the DOD sealift study and concurrent service reviews have already addressed this recommendation. These reviews discuss requirements in broad terms but do not make the requirement-onhand comparison envisioned by GAO.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretaries of the Army and Navy to redetermine the resources available for logistics-over-the-shore operations and compare them to total needs before buying additional watercraft and equipment.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  4. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: DOD believes that commercial lighterage is needed and satisfies the logistics for over the shore, coastal, harbor, and inland (CHI) waterway missions. In view of the modernization program for existing lighterage, GAO believes that the planned procurement of replacement lighterage needs to be reconsidered. DOD provided no support that the lighterage will be used for CHI missions.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Army to reconsider the planned procurement of commercial replacement lighterage.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

 

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