Military Airlift:

Requirements for Aerial Port Personnel in Wartime Need To Be Determined

NSIAD-87-115: Published: May 11, 1987. Publicly Released: May 11, 1987.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO evaluated the Military Airlift Command's (MAC) requirements for aerial port personnel to support wartime operations. MAC is responsible for providing technical supervision and assistance to the military services and providing and operating specialized materiel-handling equipment when it is not otherwise available.

GAO found that: (1) MAC plans to provide personnel to perform wartime unit movement functions that are assigned to the Navy and Marine Corps; (2) the Army needs to make its field manual consistent with the joint service regulation; (3) the Army has not established active organizations to perform certain duties, as required by joint service regulations; and (4) MAC should focus on strengthening the services' capabilities, rather than performing their functions.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: An accomplishment report for $130 million is in process.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should assess the services' capability to perform their unit move and aerial port responsibilities and, where needed, direct the services to strengthen their capabilities.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Personnel has been reduced. An accomplishment report for $130 million is in process.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Air Force to validate the need for the personnel it has programmed to support unit-move and aerial port operations and, consistent with its evaluation of the services' capabilities, reduce the number of personnel MAC has programmed for functions that are the services' responsibility.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Army published a new regulation covering responsibility for moving services on November 10, 1989.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Army to revise its field manual to clearly place the responsibility on the moving services for the functions outlined in the joint service regulation.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  4. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Staffing standards changed and staffing was reduced. An accomplishment report for $65 million is in process.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should periodically evaluate the services' and MAC capabilities and revalidate MAC staffing levels.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

 

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