Proposed Consolidation of Undergraduate Helicopter Pilot Training at Fort Rucker, Alabama

FPCD-79-94: Published: Sep 26, 1979. Publicly Released: Sep 26, 1979.

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The Department of Defense (DOD) proposes to consolidate Army and Navy undergraduate helicopter pilot training (UHPT) programs. There are now two UHPT programs: an Army program at Fort Rucker, Alabama, which uses an all rotary-wing syllabus; and a Navy program near Pensacola, Florida, which uses a combination fixed-wing/rotary-wing syllabus. These two programs would be consolidated into an all rotary-wing program at Fort Rucker, Alabama. DOD forecasts that the change will result in approximately $100 million in savings over the next 5 years and believes that a consolidated program will offer training as good as or better than the training Navy's students now receive.

GAO agreed that the Secretary of Defense's proposal to consolidate UHPT should result in significant savings, even though increases were necessary in both Navy cost avoidance and increased Army costs as estimated by DOD. Based on the 1979 Army/Navy joint memorandum of understanding to implement consolidation, the estimated savings should exceed $63.3 million over the next 5 years.

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