Defense Needs Better System for Assuring Adequate Security at Reasonable Cost on U.S. Bases

PLRD-81-1: Published: Mar 6, 1981. Publicly Released: Mar 6, 1981.

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The military services spend enormous amounts of money annually for people, equipment, research, and for programs to upgrade facilities to maintain the physical security of military people and equipment. An evaluation was performed of the system for providing physical security at U.S. military bases.

Although the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Review has the authority and responsibility to establish uniform physical security policy, the Department of Defense (DOD) and its Physical Security Review Board have not taken an active role in providing guidance except for a few highly sensitive assets such as nuclear weapons. The design of security programs for all other assets is left to the services and local commands. This approach does not ensure consistent coverage of similar assets or proper emphasis on the most appropriate assets. No specific efforts are being made within DOD or among the services to ensure that proper physical security is provided at a reasonable cost. As a result, protective measures at many locations appear unneeded or questionable considering the cost and the degree of protection provided. In view of the enormous cost of protection, the disparate and independent approaches taken to provide security by the services and bases, and the questionable need for security people and equipment at many locations, an established management system within DOD or among the services would appear to offer opportunities to assure adequate protection at a reasonable cost.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should establish a management system for effectively achieving protection at reasonable cost and consider intensively monitoring the services' operation and management of physical security to ensure a more economical and efficient program.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  2. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should establish a management system for effectively achieving protection at a reasonable cost and consider expanding the roles and tasks of the Office of Security Plans and Programs and/or the Physical Security Review Board to include a wider spectrum of physical security matters. These roles and tasks should include: (1) determining what factors should be considered in tradeoffs among protective measures; (2) whether the individual services' overall management structures are appropriate; and (3) whether base-level security plans should be more uniform, formally documented, and reviewed by services' major commands and headquarters.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  3. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the service Secretaries to rejustify, substantially reduce, or eliminate the (1) Marine guards at the Armed Forces Staff College; (2) Army military police at Davison Army Airfield, Fort Myer, and Fort McNair; (3) Air Force's installation of any additional dual intrusion detection sensors in conventional munition storage areas; (4) civilian guard contract at Fort Bragg's ordance storage area; (5) planned installation of intrusion detection equipment at Fort Bragg's ordance storage area; and (6) installation of door and ignition locks on Army helicopters.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  4. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should establish a management system for effectively achieving protection at a reasonable cost and consider establishing more uniform Defense-wide physical security policies and standards.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

 

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