Depot Maintenance:

Lessons Learned From Transferring Alameda Naval Aviation Depot Engine Workloads

NSIAD-98-10BR: Published: Mar 25, 1998. Publicly Released: Mar 25, 1998.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the readiness implications of moving critical maintenance workloads from closing military depots to remaining depots.

GAO noted that: (1) the transfer of Alameda's depot maintenance workloads to the Jacksonville and San Antonio depots was not executed in the most efficient manner; (2) both receiving depots experienced production delays and increased costs, but they could not be quantified; (3) there was an impact on reported unit readiness; however, it was not widespread; (4) based on the Navy's and Air Force's experience in moving the Alameda workloads, several lessons learned have been identified to mitigate future workload transfer problems; (5) according to Navy and Air Force officials, the delays and increased costs were attributable to a variety of factors, including competing priorities between the gaining and losing facilities, unidentified equipment and retooling requirements, lack of spare parts in the Navy supply system, limited Air Force access to Navy parts supply system, outdated technical data, personnel equipment certification requirements, and shortfall in skilled Alameda workers accepting transfers to the receiving depots; (6) officials noted that the Alameda workload transition was further complicated by the subsequent decision to close the San Antonio Air Logistics Center; (7) GAO's examination of readiness reports submitted before, during, and after the transition period for 114 Air Force and Navy units using the engines, shows that the transition problems encountered in moving the maintenance workloads to Jacksonville and San Antonio had minimal impact on equipment readiness; (8) of the 57 Navy units examined, only 2 reported lowered equipment readiness rates based on depot maintenance problems with the transferred engines; (9) according to Navy officials, extraordinary steps, including the removal of engines from nonoperational aircraft, were taken to minimize the impacts of transition problems on reported equipment readiness; (10) none of the 57 Air Force units GAO reviewed reported adverse readiness impacts from the transition of engine maintenance workloads; (11) maintenance workloads can be transitioned without impacting equipment readiness if the transition is properly planned and effectively implemented; (12) while detailed plans were prepared to move the workloads from Alameda to Jacksonville and San Antonio, problems arose during the transitions' implementation phase; and (13) Air Force and Navy officials offered several lessons learned to mitigate these problems in future workload transitions.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD has stated that the lessons learned from the Alameda workload transition will be shared through the Defense Depot Maintenance Council Working Group. Additionally, information will be shared on an ongoing basis as work is transitioned from other sites closed through the base closure and realignment process.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should share among the military services the lessons learned from closing and transferring workloads from Alameda and other depots.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense


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