Air Reserve Forces:

Opportunities for Savings in Transfer of C-5 and C-141 Aircraft

NSIAD-86-91: Published: May 1, 1986. Publicly Released: May 1, 1986.

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GAO evaluated the Air Force's actions and plans in transferring C-5 and C-141 aircraft from the active Air Force to the Air Reserve Forces (ARF) to determine how the Air Force was managing costs associated with such transfer.

GAO found that the conference committee for the Department of Defense (DOD) fiscal year 1984 appropriations act directed the Air Force to plan for transferring 36 C-141 aircraft to ARF. The Air Force recommended transferring C-5, as well as C-141 aircraft, to ARF because of the higher operational costs of the C-5 and the large peacetime role of the C-141 aircraft. GAO believes that ARF bases receiving new aircraft must acquire sufficient spare parts to preclude excessive grounding of aircraft; however, excessive spares will increase costs of storage and transportation and result in unnecessary or premature acquisitions. GAO found that the Air Force planned to establish a jet engine intermediate maintenance facility at Kelly Air Force Base (AFB) as part of the transfer of C-5 aircraft to three ARF units. The Air Force estimated the cost of facilities and support equipment at over $7 million. GAO also found that the Air Force plans to transfer an additional 64 C-141 aircraft to ARF in the 1990's. The Air Force estimated that the military construction cost for the transfer of the 16 C-141 and 44 C-5 aircraft will be $223.5 million, and the cost for ground support equipment will be $46.4 million. GAO believes that the Air Force needs to focus greater attention on the costs involved to ensure that such transfers are completed in the most cost-effective manner.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: While DOD stated that in-depth studies are always done, GAO saw no evidence that they were done in the past and there were no changes in requirements or responsibilities which indicate that they will be done in the future.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Air Force should require that in-depth cost analyses be prepared for future transfers so that the most cost-effective decisions are made.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Air Force

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Comments were received on reducing initial spares requirements. The Air Force plans to proceed with a jet engine intermediate maintenance facility at Kelly AFB.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Air Force should require a review of the costs involved in the current transfers to determine how those costs can best be minimized, particularly with regard to reducing initial spares requirements and constructing the jet engine intermediate maintenance facility at Kelly AFB.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Air Force

 

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