National Defense:

Army Aviation and Troop Command

NSIAD-97-142R: Published: Apr 22, 1997. Publicly Released: Apr 22, 1997.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the disestablishment and movement of the Army's Aviation and Troop Command (ATCOM) from St. Louis, Missouri, to Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama, focusing on the: (1) Army's one-time cost estimate to accomplish the realignment; (2) Army's annual recurring savings estimate; and (3) health concerns raised about a building being renovated at Redstone Arsenal.

GAO noted that: (1) the one-time closure and realignment cost of ATCOM will likely be higher than the current Army budget estimate of $118.1 million; (2) this increase is because certain Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC) costs were not included in the Army's BRAC budget estimate, but more importantly Army and ATCOM estimates differ by about 50 percent on the number of personnel that will make permanent changes of station; (3) while both estimates for personnel movement costs have a basis for support, the actual number is uncertain until the affected employees decide whether they will move; (4) the annual recurring savings, which are attributed primarily to the elimination of civilian position authorizations, will likely be less than the estimated $56 million because 161 eliminations are not directly related to BRAC and an additional 89 are unclear as to whether they are BRAC related; (5) any increase in one-time costs and/or decrease in annual recurring savings will increase the Army's estimated payback period; (6) because of uncertainties largely associated with permanent change of station moves, a precise estimate cannot be made; (7) however, GAO's analysis shows the likely payback will be between 6 and 8 years; (8) an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services working with the Alabama Department of Public Health has studied the Redstone building being renovated and has determined that it will provide a safe workplace; and (9) GAO has no basis to question the building's safety and notes that air monitoring will continue when the building is occupied.

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