Navy Ships

Status of Strategic Homeporting Program Gao ID: T-NSIAD-90-37 April 24, 1990

GAO discussed the status of the Navy's strategic home-porting program. GAO noted that the Navy: (1) justified expansion of its home ports on the basis of a 1982 analysis of strategic principles involving battlegroup integrity, force dispersal, industrial base utilization, logistics suitability, and geographic considerations; (2) analyzed potential new home port sites in terms of operational considerations, land, community support, and environmental issues; (3) did not assess the extent to which strategic principles could be realized at existing home ports; (4) did not plan to expand its 546-ship fleet, although its 1982 plan called for accommodating about 600 ships; (5) cited the physically larger size of new guided-missile destroyers and cruisers as justification for new home ports; (6) appropriated about $625 million and included an additional $25.7 million in its fiscal year 1991 budget request for initial operating capacity, and will require more funds for full development; (7) had not compared the additional costs of continuing home port development with the costs of accommodating the ships at existing home ports; and (8) stopped or never started on some proposed new home ports due to the Base Relocation and Closure Commission's recommendations on home port plans. GAO believes that, before proceeding with its strategic home-porting program, the Navy needs to: (1) reconsider its need for the program in light of possible budget cuts and fleet reductions; (2) analyze the total cost of the program; and (3) consider alternatives.

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