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Monday, August 15, 2022
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GAO Urges Navy to Act on Ship Maintenance and Repair to Increase Readiness

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has found that the U.S. Navy collected, but did not analyze, limited data on the performance of intermediate maintenance periods—work often occurring while a ship is pier-side and capable of getting underway within 96 hours. 

Based on these data, GAO found that the Navy completed 191 of 414 (46 percent) submarine intermediate maintenance periods late from fiscal years 2015 through 2020, totaling 2,525 days of maintenance delay. The Navy did not collect several categories of data for submarines, surface ships, and aircraft carriers, including the planned and actual maintenance period costs. Without establishing and implementing procedures to collect and analyze these data, GAO says the Navy cannot effectively track and improve the performance of intermediate maintenance periods.

During its review, GAO identified four main challenges affecting the performance of intermediate maintenance periods for submarines, surface ships, and aircraft carriers based on discussions with ships’ crews and officials from Navy organizations. The challenges were identified as workforce shortages, high operational tempo/scheduling, limited maintenance and repair training, and a shortage of parts and materials.

GAO found that ships’ crews and shore-based maintenance providers have taken steps to address these challenges, but have had limited success because the Navy’s efforts have been fragmented, have not generally included the sharing of best practices and lessons learned, and have not included the performance of intermediate maintenance periods in its strategic planning. 

For example, the Navy’s aircraft carrier community independently created a working group to address some aspects of parts shortages, but has not shared this effort across the fleet. In addition, GAO found the Navy has not included the performance of intermediate maintenance periods for submarines, surface ships, and aircraft carriers in strategic planning efforts. 

According to GAO, addressing these issues will better position the Navy to increase the readiness of submarines, surface ships, and aircraft carriers needed to perform their missions.

GAO is making four recommendations to the Navy, including to establish and implement procedures to collect and analyze reliable maintenance data; share best practices and lessons learned; and include the performance of intermediate maintenance periods in strategic planning efforts. The Navy concurred with all four recommendations.

Read the full report at GAO

Homeland Security Todayhttp://www.hstoday.us
The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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