Navy Infrastructure:

Site Selection Process for the Northeast Regional Command Contained Weaknesses

NSIAD-98-230: Published: Sep 28, 1998. Publicly Released: Sep 28, 1998.

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David R. Warren
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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed: (1) the Navy's site selection process for its northeast regional command; (2) the extent to which the Navy fully evaluated the costs and implications of establishing a new command at the Naval Weapons Station (NWS) Earle, New Jersey, versus the Naval Submarine Base (NSB) New London, Connecticut or the Naval Undersea Warfare Center located at Newport, Rhode Island; (3) the extent to which the Navy followed its criteria for establishing shore activities and the extent to which it fully analyzed prospective costs of the three sites; and (4) location and infrastructure factors that would affect costs and operations of the new command at each of the three locations.

GAO noted that: (1) weaknesses exist in the Navy's process for selecting the location for the headquarters for its new northeast regional command; (2) in selecting NWS Earle, it is not clear to what extent the Navy followed its own criteria for the establishment, disestablishment, or modification of shore activities or fully assessed the comparative costs of establishing and operating the new headquarters at all sites it had indicated were under consideration; (3) the costs to establish the command at NWS Earle may be greater than the Navy estimated; (4) the NWS Earle site has some basic operational limitations compared with at least two other sites, including NSB New London and Newport; (5) these limitations relate to facilities' infrastructure to support the new command and increased travel time and costs associated with operating from NWS Earle; (6) the Navy stated that it needs a flag rank command closer to New York City to attain certain operational benefits; and (7) while this need may be appropriate, questions exist about: (a) how often the need to visit New York City arises; (b) whether the NWS Earle location provides a significant reduction in travel time compared with travel from the current location at NSB New London; and (c) whether it is desirable to separate the new command from other centralized support activities located at NSB New London.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Navy completed action on GAO's recommendation on August 3, 1999.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should require the Secretary of the Navy to review and more fully assess the prospective headquarters location for the Commander, Navy Region Northeast, against the Navy's decisionmaking criteria, taking into consideration issues and questions raised in this report.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense


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