Review of the Army's Decision To Disestablish the Training Center at Fort Dix, New Jersey

LCD-79-325: Published: Aug 6, 1979. Publicly Released: Aug 6, 1979.

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Over the past several years the Army has announced a number of realinements to reduce support costs and headquarters and overhead structure, and to improve Army combat forces. One such announcement, dated March 29, 1979, included the transfer of training functions from Fort Dix, New Jersey, to Fort Jackson, South Carolina; Fort Knox, Kentucky; Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri; and Fort Bliss, Texas. GAO reviewed data prepared by the Army as a basis for the decision to transfer training functions from Fort Dix, New Jersey.

Army estimates for the justification of annual savings and one- time costs were reasonable. The Army estimated annual savings of over $16 million would result from the move, and one-time costs would be about $73.5 million. GAO felt that annual savings were overstated by $410,000 and one-time costs by about $1.1 million. However, the amount designated as cost avoidance for construction needs at Fort Dix appeared questionable. The construction projects require additional agency and Congressional approval, and an estimate of $20.2 million that may be approved cannot be determined at this time. In addition, the amount estimated by the Army for barracks construction costs at Fort Knox and Fort Leonard Wood may be overstated. The Army included costs for its total reported barracks shortage, but its normal practice recently has been to request funds for barracks in incremental sizes. In summary, GAO believed annual savings in the disestablishment of the training center at Fort Dix should be about $15.8 million and the net one-time costs should be about $72.5 million. This would increase the payback period to 4.6 years. If the Army had estimated barracks construction costs based on the amount it will probably request, the net one-time cost would be reduced to about $59.1 million and the payback period would be reduced to 3.7 years.

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