Maintaining a Military Presence in an Industrial Environment--Issues and Costs

FPCD-76-7: Published: Apr 12, 1976. Publicly Released: Apr 12, 1976.

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The Department of Defense (DOD) operates about 90 commercial and industrial military support activities, excluding shipyards. To determine the need for and the cost of a military presence, GAO made a case study at the Naval Weapons Support Center, Crame, Indiana.

Only 23 or about one-third of the 68 military personnel were doing center-related work or were working for other military activities. The remaining 45, plus 10 civilians, were providing support services for the military complement, such as food and housekeeping, recreation, commissary and exchange stores, and health care. The Navy could not explain how the requirements for the center's military personnel were established and the number of military personnel generally exceeded authorized levels. DOD policy for staffing support activities has not been fully implemented at the center. The need for and assignment of military personnel to Crane were questioned since extensive welfare and recreation costs have been generated which would not otherwise have occurred. Because the center's functions are primarily industrial, managing them does not require military personnel. The required skilled people can be found in either the public or private sector.

Matter for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed

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

    Matter: Congress should consider requiring the Secretary of Defense to: assure that the work forces being used at industrial facilities are the most economical and efficient mix of military, civilian, and contractor labor; and identify and justify the dollar amount and comtemplated object of the funds being requested to support morale, recreation, and welfare for both military and civilian personnel. Congress should establish definitive guidelines on the use of funds considered available for welfare and recreation.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

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

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should: direct the Navy to convert the work force at the center by changing Navy military personnel to civilians; and review all other commercial and industrial military support activities to identify how military personnel could be reduced and how activities could be made more efficient and economical by employing more civilians.

    Agency Affected:


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