Delays and Cost Overruns Plague Navy Shipyards
Article from For Liberty by Norm Leahy.
The U.S. Navy has a maintenance problem, according to the Government Accountability Office. Lengthy and costly delays are hurting Navy readiness, with “shipyards averag[ing] 113 days late for aircraft carriers and 225 days late for submarines.”
GAO investigators found that shipyards were chronically understaffed, which was the main culprit behind “maintenance delays for aircraft carriers and submarines.”
There was also a rise in what the GAO called “unplanned work—work identified after finalizing maintenance plans—contributed to more than 4,100 days of maintenance delays.”
According to investigators, unplanned work lead the Navy to repeatedly underestimate how many workers would be needed to perform ship maintenance. This faulty process “contributed to more than 4,000 days of maintenance delay on aircraft carriers and submarines during fiscal years 2015 through 2019.”
With fewer workers handling more tasks, overtime costs skyrocketed:
GAO’s analysis found that high overtime among certain production shops, such as painting or welding, averaged from 25 to 32 percent for fiscal years 2015 through 2019, with peak overtime as high as 45 percent. Furthermore, shipyard officials told us that production shops at all four shipyards are working beyond their capacity. Overtime at such rates has been noted as resulting in diminished productivity.
All of these problems persist despite huge Navy investments in their shipyards:
For fiscal years 2015 through 2019, the Navy spent $2.8 billion in capital investments to address shipyard performance, among other things. However, the shipyards continue to face persistent and substantial maintenance delays that hinder the readiness of aircraft carriers and submarines.
Unless the Navy gets serious about fixing its maintenance problems, the GAO says the Navy will “continue facing maintenance delays and reduced time for training and operations with its aircraft carriers and submarines.”
Image Credit: Clemens Vasters from Viersen, Germany, Germany / CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)
Shipyards have always ripped off the government.
Have you ever done any ship repair?
Have you see the number of shipyards that go out of business every year.
It is a very risky business.
I have done shipyard repair as an enlisted Navy petty officer and as a shipyard civilian worker in Portsmouth, VA and General Dynamics in Quincy, MA and while Portsmouth was quite efficient and work ethically oriented the Union ripped off the Navy regularly in MA.
Just like any other ….union…..tied into the fed gove…….they suck for as much as they can get. Let see….this is national defense…..so maybe the unions should go, and may be those at the navy department need to find jobs else ware since this seems to be a major problem that has gone on for quite some time …..may be check for a money line for a thing called pay offs, especially with the union.
i was on subs and remember when i was in new london and there were rumors that a layoff was coming.so what did the union members do?they went and took out loans at the credit union so they weren’t among those getting laid off! don’t know how that works but most never lost their jobs! that’s union for you!
Maybe it is time for the Federal government to step in and take the Shipyards back…like SDiego, LBeach, Seattle and Boston NAVAL Shipyards……
Government has proven time and again they are not capable of running efficient and cost effective operations at any level. When it is “other peoples” money, spending is not controlled. With little to no accountability of those “in charge”, it is unlikely this will change anytime soon.
ALL SCHOOLS THROUGHOUT THE USA SHOULD HAVE, “TRADE SCHOOLING”. COLLEGE HAS BECOME A DAMN JOKE WITHIN THE USA. MOST SO IN, COME OUT JUST AS DUMB WHEN THEY ENTERED. WE NEED TRADESMAN BADLY, ALL PHASES OF CONSTRUCTION, NOT JUST THE NAVY, BU IN ALL FIELDS OF BUILDING.
Same ole’, same ole’, nothing to see here folks. It called selecting the “Lowest Bidder”. Add in Military budgeting games and forcing employees to “do more with less”.
Don’t hold your breath waiting for it to change.
John G. You are so right . Shop and vocational training are badly needed again!