Information on Benefits and Costs of Establishing New Homeports
NSIAD-86-146, Jun 3, 1986
In response to a congressional request, GAO reported on the Navy's reasons for increasing the number of home ports, the scope and cost of developing the new home ports, and the cost of home-porting the ships in existing home ports versus the cost of home-porting them in new ports.
GAO found that the Navy's strategic rationale for the new home ports is that: (1) dispersing ships to more ports will improve the U.S. defensive posture and the survivability of the fleet; (2) collocating ships of the same battlegroup will enhance warfighting coordination; (3) home-porting ships near locations with existing industrial capability will permit the Navy to take advantage of this capability; (4) home-porting ships in more diverse geographical locations will permit the Navy to train in a variety of environments and will reduce the response time to potential conflict areas; and (5) developing additional logistics support complexes will help support the expanded fleet. GAO also found that the Navy's cost estimates understated the outlays needed to establish new home ports and the cost differences between new and existing ports. GAO believes that Congress needs to be aware of: (1) the total budgetary impact of the Navy's strategic home-porting plan; (2) the prospect for defense budgets with little real growth with over $1.8 billion in military construction deficiencies at existing home ports that would have to compete for funds with the Navy's strategic home-porting plan; and (3) additional recurring costs to operate and maintain the new home ports as well as existing homeports.