Navy Homeports:

Expanded Structure Unnecessary and Costly

NSIAD-91-158: Published: Jun 14, 1991. Publicly Released: Jun 14, 1991.

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Martin M. Ferber
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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Navy's strategic homeporting program to accommodate growth and prevent overcrowding at existing homeports, focusing on the: (1) berthing capacity of existing homeports; (2) strategic considerations that would be affected if the Navy did not open new homeports; and (3) costs to develop and operate each new homeport.

GAO found that: (1) existing homeports could accommodate their own ships as well as ships scheduled for the new homeports; (2) fleets are expected to decrease from 545 ships in fiscal year (FY) 1990 to 451 ships by FY 1995; (3) the program will not fulfill most of the original strategic objectives primarily due to the changing worldwide threat, decreasing fleet size, and budgetary restraints; (4) the Navy anticipated total costs of about $1.4 billion to develop the six new homeports and estimated that the annual operations and maintenance costs of the new homeports would total $129 million if all the planned 39 ships arrived; (5) the Navy received over $1 billion for the program from appropriations, state and local contributions, and other sources; (6) a nonrecurring savings of about $593 million could result from not opening the new homeports; and (7) annual operations and maintenance savings of about $57 million would result from berthing the ships scheduled for the new homeports at the existing homeports. GAO believes that the primary determination of the need for homeports should be whether or not they meet mission-related requirements, regardless of construction status.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: The Chairman did not agree with GAO and therefore did not include the new homeports in the base closure recommendations to the President. Since the latter milestone has passed, the recommendation should be closed.

    Recommendation: The Chairman, Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission, should terminate the new homeports and include them in his base closure recommendation to the President.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Secretary's Commission on Base Realignment and Closure


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