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Highlights

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Navy's use of alternative crewing arrangements for Navy auxiliary ships, focusing on: (1) the Navy's plans for turning over the operation of military crewed auxiliary ships to its Military Sealift Command (MSC) for civil service or commercial crewing; (2) whether cost savings would be realized if the Navy turned over the operation of the remaining military crewed auxiliary ships to MSC; (3) the relative costs of operating a Navy auxiliary ship with a civil service crew and the costs of operating the same ship with a commercial crew; and (4) the increase in the merchant mariner pool if the operation of the multiproduct ships were turned over to MSC.

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Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Defense 1. Given the potential savings that could result if the Navy turned over the operation of the seven active multiproduct auxiliary ships and the one ship due for delivery in early 1998 to MSC for crewing with civil service mariners, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Navy to devise a detailed plan for turning over, in a timely manner, the operation of the multiproduct auxiliary ships to MSC.
Closed - Implemented
In commenting on the draft of this report, DOD partially concurred with this recommendation. In June 2001, the Navy made a decision to transfer 1 multiproduct ship (AOE) to the Military Sealift Command by July 1, 2001, after extensive study by the Navy, in accordance with recommendations by GAO and the Center for Naval Analysis. The Navy plans to transfer 3 additional AOE ships to the Military Sealift Command in FYs 2002, 2003, and 2004. The Navy decided to retire the 4 older AOE ships.

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