The National Defense Reserve Fleet, Can It Respond to Future Contingencies?

LCD-76-226: Published: Oct 6, 1976. Publicly Released: Oct 6, 1976.

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A review was conducted of the capabilities of the National Defense Reserve Fleet (NDRF) to meet contingency shipping requirements. This fleet is the only source of reserve dry cargo shipping available during a military or commercial shipping crisis. During the past two decades the fleet performed satisfactorily but Department of Defense (DOD) requirements now depend on faster reactivation. Findings: The number of fleet vessels has been reduced and ships are not kept in condition for activation in time to meet DOD needs. A program has been sponsored to improve 30 Victory ships for faster readiness to satisfy immediate needs. Conclusions: Greater reliance on NDRF to respond to future contingencies will require additional funding. Recommendations: Review the fleet on a continuing basis to assure timely activation; consolidate data into a single NDRF profile; identify spare parts sources and maintain an inventory system; and develop long-range plans for acquiring ships.

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