Eliminating Marine Corps Logistics Overlap Saves Millions; Further Savings Possible

LCD-80-74: Published: Jun 30, 1980. Publicly Released: Jun 30, 1980.

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In 1975, GAO reported that the Marine Corps' logistics system either duplicated or performed certain logistics functions similar to those being carried out by other Department of Defense (DOD) activities. Substantial reductions in the Marine Corps' logistics system were possible through greater reliance on other DOD logistics activities and the General Services Administration (GSA). GAO recommended that the Secretary of Defense require that the Marine Corps operating forces receive supply support from other DOD integrated managers and GSA, ammunition be subject to DOD-wide management, equipment be overhauled by the congnizant military service, war reserve materiel be stored by appropriate DOD activities, and all principle items of equipment be purchased and provisioned by the military service which uses the items the most. In response to these recommendations, the Marine Corps eliminated some of the logistics overlap by discontinuing duplicate management of many items and no longer stocking them in wholesale quantities for peacetime use. It has also closed two small storage activities. DOD has designated the Secretary of the Army as single logistics manager for all conventional ammunition and transferred a small workload of Marine Corps equipment to other services for depot maintenance. These changes have saved an estimated $65 million, and recurring savings are estimated at $2.9 million annually.

GAO found that other needed changes they had suggested have not been made. GAO believes the Defense Logistics Agency could provide supply support for the 34,000 consumable items still managed by the Marine Corps for about $7.5 million less and provide better support. Other services could provide support for about 800 remaining items requiring active management. Duplication in maintenance effort and facilities could be reduced by scheduling selected items of equipment into depots which could do the most cost-effective overhaul work on combined service requirements, and other services could purchase and provision more of the Marine Corps' equipment at lower costs. Reductions in warehouse storage operations are possible through shifting consumable item stocks to Defense Logistics Agency depots and war reserve stocks to appropriate integrated manager depots. These changes have not been made because of Marine Corps concern that the changes would affect its ability to perform its mission. However, past experience shows that other services can provide service equal to or better than the Marine Corps now gets in house.

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