Navy Force Structure: Sustainable Plan and Comprehensive Assessment Needed to Mitigate Long-Term Risks to Ships Assigned to Overseas Homeports
GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE WASHINGTON DC
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Forward presence supports the Navy s goals of ensuring sea control, projecting U.S. power, and providing maritime security. To meet these goals and combatant commanders growing demand for forward presence, the Navy has doubled the number of ships assigned to overseas homeports since 2006, to a total of 40 by the end of 2015, and plans to increase this number further in the future. House Report 113-446 included a provision that GAO analyze the Navy s decision-making process for determining when to homeport ships overseas and identify the relative costs and benefits of various approaches. This report addresses 1 the operational benefits, costs, and readiness effects associated with assigning ships to U.S. or overseas homeports and 2 the extent to which the Navy has identified and mitigated risks from homeporting ships overseas. GAO analyzed Navy policies and 5 to 10 years of historical cost, operational tempo, and readiness data and interviewed fleet officials. GAO recommends that the Navy develop and implement a sustainable operational schedule for all ships homeported overseas and conduct a comprehensive assessment of the risks associated with overseas homeporting. The Department of Defense concurred with GAO s recommendations.
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