Test Range Needs:

Future Navy Underwater Range Requirements Need To Be More Fully Assessed

NSIAD-87-30BR: Published: Oct 31, 1986. Publicly Released: Oct 31, 1986.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Navy's progress in conducting an assessment of its underwater range requirements.

GAO found that: (1) the Navy has not yet developed a comprehensive, coordinated range-assessment plan incorporating all underwater requirements; (2) although 3 years have elapsed since Congress requested such an assessment, the Navy has neither collected nor analyzed all underwater range requirements data, nor provided a comprehensive report containing conclusions and recommendations; (3) the scope of the Navy's current assessment to complete its 20-year range development plan was comprehensive; and (4) in order to accomplish its goals and objectives, the Navy needs sufficient time and effort to thoroughly collect and analyze data, draw conclusions, and make decisions to implement recommendations concerning the use of ranges in foreign waters under agreements involving millions of dollars in compensation. GAO believes that this will require effective and timely management oversight and review to ensure that the Navy will adequately meet its objectives and be available in lease renewal decisions in order to mitigate the effects of potentially serious limitations on cost and range-usage data and the impediments to improving range facilities caused by different funding sources.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: GAO issued a report, NSIAD-88-80, March 1988, which included a similar recommendation to prioritize test resources.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Navy to provide the defense appropriations, authorizations, and oversight committees the results of its current range assessment for use in: (1) deciding on whether to renew the current Atlantic Undersea Test and Evaluation Center (AUTEC) agreement; and (2) determining the justification for Navy test range improvement and modernization plans for all major underwater facilities.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  2. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: GAO issued a report, NSIAD-88-80, March 1988, which covers this issue. The Navy plans to update its test resource plan by November 1989. Also, GAO plans on reporting on the utilization of the MATFB by late 1989.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Navy to resolve the fragmented range management problem and develop compatible range-usage and cost data.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The underwater resource plan, submitted in July 1987, will be reviewed and revised annually.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Navy to periodically update and prioritize underwater test and training needs considering advancements in weapon capabilities and range technology.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

 

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