Tactical Airlift:

Issues Concerning Air Force Plans for Pacific Distribution System

NSIAD-89-81: Published: Mar 30, 1989. Publicly Released: May 4, 1989.

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GAO reviewed the Air Force Pacific Distribution System (PDS) to assess: (1) the need for PDS; and (2) whether it can effectively and efficiently satisfy its planned objectives.

GAO found that PDS included: (1) a logistics command, control, and communications (LOG C3) system to provide theater-wide visibility over tactical aircraft spare parts; (2) a stockage warehouse to stock depot-level material; and (3) light-utility aircraft to provide delivery of mission-essential spare parts to U.S. tactical air bases in the Pacific. GAO also found that: (1) although the Air Force planned to use PDS to deliver spare parts between a logistics center, an intermediate repair facility, and its tactical air bases, it phased out the repair facility and eliminated the principal operations center that PDS would serve; (2) the Air Force planned to use PDS to provide rapid lateral support between bases, but selected an aircraft that was not fully capable of carrying out the PDS mission; (3) Congress disapproved funding for PDS in 1988 because the Air Force had not thoroughly evaluated the European Distribution System LOG C3 system before proceeding with the PDS LOG C3 system; (4) the aircraft designated for PDS continued to operate a similar service, while the warehouse only stocked a few items; and (5) the Air Force left several bases' operations similar to the planned PDS, since it expected to obtain authority to resume PDS operations with 1990 appropriations.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Air Force should not resume developing PDS until it has sought congressional authority and provided to Congress a detailed analysis of the need for and benefits to be gained from having such a system, fully considering the issues discussed.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Air Force


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