Defense Infrastructure: The Army Needs to Establish Priorities, Goals, and Performance Measures for Its Arsenal Support Program Initiative

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Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Army has three government-owned and operated manufacturing arsenals that it considers vital to the Department of Defense's (DOD) industrial base because they provide products or services that are either unavailable from private industry or ensure a ready and controlled source of technical competence and resources in case of national defense contingencies or other emergencies. These three arsenals are Pine Bluff Arsenal, Arkansas; Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois; and Watervliet Arsenal, New York. Pine Bluff's core mission is the production of conventional ammunition and other types of munitions. Rock ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. November 5, 2009.

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Description

Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Army has three government-owned and operated manufacturing arsenals that it considers vital to the Department of Defense's (DOD) industrial base because they provide products or services that are either unavailable from private industry or ensure a ready and controlled source of technical competence and resources in case of national defense contingencies or other emergencies. These three arsenals are Pine Bluff Arsenal, Arkansas; Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois; and Watervliet Arsenal, New York. Pine Bluff's core mission is the production of conventional ammunition and other types of munitions. Rock Island's core mission is weapons manufacturing, and the arsenal is home to the Army's only remaining foundry. Watervliet is the Army's only cannon maker and also produces other armaments and mortars. Historically, the Army's arsenals have generally had vacant or underutilized space. For many years the Army has not provided the capital investment needed to keep pace with modern manufacturing requirements and retain core skills in the arsenal workforce. Additionally, the arsenals have generally had lower workloads during peacetime, but since the onset of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan they have experienced a surge in workloads to provide vital manufacturing capabilities, such as producing armor kits to harden Army personnel vehicles after it was found that the Army's existing vehicles were susceptible to improvised explosive devices. During the defense drawdown of the 1990s, the manufacturing arsenals were struggling from a diminishing and fluctuating workload, high product costs, significant reductions in force, and a fear that their core skills were being lost. The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2001 authorized the Arsenal Support Program Initiative (ASPI), as a demonstration program designed to help maintain the viability of the Army's manufacturing arsenals. The ASPI authority sets forth 11 purposes for the program, including utilizing and employing the arsenals' skilled manufacturing workforce by commercial firms; encouraging private commercial use of underutilized government facilities; reducing the government's cost of ownership and the cost of products produced at the arsenals; and fostering cooperation between the Army, state and local governments, and private companies in the development and joint use of the Army's arsenals. The conference report accompanying the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 directed us to review the ASPI program and report to the defense authorization committees. Our objective for this review was to determine the extent to which the Army has addressed the intended purposes set forth in the ASPI authorizing legislation. Additionally, in response to congressional interest, we have provided information that discusses other available authorities that the Army uses or could use to improve the viability of its manufacturing arsenals. In response to direction by the conferees to conduct a business case analysis that examines the cost, return on investment, and economic impact of the ASPI program, the Congressional Budget Office expects to submit its report later this year. Accordingly, our review did not address those aspects of the ASPI program."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • November 5, 2009

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Defense Infrastructure: The Army Needs to Establish Priorities, Goals, and Performance Measures for Its Arsenal Support Program Initiative, text, November 5, 2009; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc299327/: accessed May 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.