U.S. Reps. Walter Jones (R-NC), Dan Boren (D-OK), Randy Forbes (R-VA) and Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo (D-Guam) today unveiled a new report required by Section 322 of the FY2009 National Defense Authorization Act. The report produced by LMI Government Consulting, entitled Future Capability of DoD Maintenance Depots, highlights transformational changes to the depot maintenance business model as maintenance requirements diminish with more modern weapons systems.
Congressmen Jones and Boren, who serve as the co-chairmen of the House Military Depot and Industrial Facilities Caucus, released the following joint statement with Congressman Forbes and Congresswoman Bordallo regarding the report's findings:
"We would like to thank Dr. Nick Avdellas and the LMI Government Consulting team for their work on the first comprehensive look at depot maintenance in a decade. This truly independent study on the future of the depots will serve as a solid foundational document as we move forward in a post-reset environment.
"This data-driven study highlights several factors that will be critical in shaping the future of the depots. Primarily, yet not surprisingly, it forecasts potential reductions in depot workload due to lower operations tempo and the procurement of modern weapons systems with lower maintenance requirements. Furthermore, it reinforces our own observations that how and where we perform depot maintenance have changed irrevocably with changes in operational techniques and blending of intermediate and depot levels of maintenance that result in expanded repair capabilities forward in theaters of operation. We concur with LMI's conclusion that "Congress and DOD must make a strong, concerted commitment to an enduring and effective organic depot maintenance capability to ensure the existence of this ready and controlled source.'
"The 'Future Capability of DoD Maintenance Depots' study will serve to underpin our efforts as we move forward in a deliberate manner to strengthen and modernize the existing statutory framework for the depots. While we do not anticipate sweeping changes in the fiscal year 2012 legislative cycle, we firmly believe there are some short-mid- and long-term actions that must be considered. We aim to take a collaborative approach, working with the Secretary of Defense, the services, the DoD industrial facilities, private industry, and other stakeholders to chart a course toward an adaptive, responsive framework that supports not only the government repair and manufacturing facilities, but also enables and encourages industry partnerships and participation. In that view, we have also asked the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to review this report, and we look forward to their findings being delivered to Congress in May. GAO's inputs are an important part of the entire analysis and will be vital in our decision process as we move forward.
"We must all come to terms with the fact that the depot maintenance business models, both in the DOD and in industry, have changed. If we are to ensure the nation retains a ready and controlled source of repair for our military, we have an obligation to respond to these changes in a manner that promotes an efficient and effective government capability, but also fosters continued development of a vibrant commercial industrial base. GAO has often noted operations and sustainment costs account for more than 70% of the life-cycle costs of a weapons system. As the nation faces these tough economic times, we cannot afford to allow this trend to continue. We must do more to ensure we can afford to operate and maintain the weapons systems we are buying."