Better Planning and Management of Army Watercraft Could Improve Mission Capability While Reducing Excess Numbers and Costs

LCD-79-419: Published: Aug 2, 1979. Publicly Released: Aug 2, 1979.

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During a contingency, Army troops will need to be resupplied with ammunition, fuel, spare parts, food, and the like, to sustain their operations. The Army has acquired watercraft to resupply its combat troops and to carry out terminal services at U.S. and foreign seaports. The Army is spending $23 million a year to operate, maintain, and store its watercraft. It has also established an $80 million program to improve watercraft, some of which are in excess of requirements.

The Army's watercraft requirements are questionable because adequate supporting documentation is not available, some assets are seldom used, and other assets have been recognized by the Army as excess. Although the Army has a current inventory of 840 watercraft, it has determined that its requirements total 500. The need for 93 watercraft assigned to an operational project in Europe has also been questioned. The European Command advised the Army that these watercraft were not needed in view of available fixed ports and host nation agreements and asked that they be transferred to another command. The decision to procure new watercraft for container-handling capability appears to be premature since some Army officials believe vessels already in inventory can satisfy the need for container capability and testing has not been adequate to determine the vessles' true performance or fuel costs.

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