Navy Maintenance:

Fewer Shipyards May Be Needed As Ship Repair Requirements Decline

NSIAD-93-23: Published: Nov 18, 1992. Publicly Released: Nov 18, 1992.

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GAO reviewed the Navy's efforts to maintain the ship repair industrial base.

GAO found that: (1) future peacetime maintenance requirements will decline due to a reduction in the number of ships in the fleet and less maintenance-intensive ship designs; (2) the number of Navy ships decreased from 568 ships in fiscal year 1987 to 526 in fiscal year 1991; (3) due to decreased peacetime ship repair requirements, the Navy plans to let free-market forces prevail in the private shipyards, schedule one public shipyard for closure, and reduce work-force levels at public shipyards; (4) although the Department of Defense (DOD) has shifted its wartime planning focus from a single global scenario to an array of regional scenarios, the Navy has continued to base its ship repair planning on the global scenario; and (5) the Navy may be planning to maintain more ship repair capacity than it will need to meet future peacetime and wartime requirements.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD agreed that reduced fleet size and regional threat scenarios should be major factors in calculating ship repair requirements. Navy policy to this effect has been promulgated and distributed throughout the Navy.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Navy should direct the Commander, Naval Sea Systems Command, to use a regional threat scenario and reduced fleet size as major factors in mobilization planning for ship repair requirements.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Navy

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD stated that regional threat scenarios will be considered as part of the Base Realignment and Closure process. In fact, two shipyards (Charleston and Mare Island) are scheduled for closure as a result of the 1993 base closure process.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Navy should use the results of plans based on the regional threat scenario as a principal basis for his recommendations to close or realign public shipyards.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Navy


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