Questionable Need for Full Implementation of Plans To Construct Explosive Production Facilities by the Department of Defense

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1971-10-14.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

                                                                                        CT 14 IW
                 Deer Mr. Secretary:          '

                         On November 9, 1970, we sent you, for review and comment, a
                 draft of a proposed report to the Congress entitled          'Questionable
                 Need for Full Implementation      of Plans to Construct    Ejplosive    Pro-
                 dtiction Facilities     by the Department of Defense" (OSD Case 3200).
                 By letter      dated January 12, 1971, we received   comments on the draft
                 report     from the Assistant  Secretary  of Defense (Installations        and

                          In our draft report we stated that,      by using Minol-2     in place
                 of Tritonal      as the standard explosive   fill   for Air Force general
                 purpose bombs, the TNT production        base could be reduced from 30 to
                 20 lines at a savings of $lJ.O million       in construction     costs.    Accord-
                 ingly,     we proposed that the need for modernizing       TNT production
                 facilities     be reevaluated.

                         In his reply,    the Assistant         Secretary     agreed with our proposal
                 and advised us that the original               5-year program for modernizing        the
                 TNT production     base had now been extended to a lo- to 12-year effort.
                 He stated further      that the Depsrtment           of Defense is reviewing       and
                 analyzing     the Services'       explosive     fill   requirements    and the accept-
                 ability    of new or alternate         explosives,       but considers   it prudent at
                 this time to continue to modernize (ioem9 construct                    new replacements
                 for) the production        facilities       for TNT on a modular basis at Joliet
                 and Volunteer     Army Ammunition Plants,

                          In OUT draf't report,       we noted that the possibility           of reduced
                 facility     requirements      resulting      from changes in explosive        fills    was
                 not fully      explained    to the Congress at the time the Department's
                 program for construction           of new modern TNT facilities            was originally
                 outlined     before Congressional          committees.         For this reason we pro-
                 posed to submit the report             to Congress in order to inform it of the
                 potential      for significant       cost reductions         in future  Defense spending
                 by utilization        of alternate       explosive   fills,,

                       Subsequently,  this program was more fully  presented   to the Con-
          \      gress in hesrings   held by the Subcommittee on Department of Defense                         L r I
                 of the House Committee on Appropriations    in Yay 1971.    The Army

                                           SOTH ANNIVERSARY          1921_ 1971
representative      further advised the Subcommittee that the TNT modern-
ization     planning was being phased in increments      over the entire  planned
period--fiscal      years 1970-81--and   that the plan was being continuously
reviewed to assure that any subsequent development w-hich could elimi-
nate the need for a portion        of the TNT facilities   would be promptly

        Inasmuch as the Department of Defense has reevaluated            the modern-
ization     program, has stretched      out the program implementation      period,
and also has informed the Congres s more fully           of the potential    for
changes in TNT production-base          requirements,  we plan no further      report-
ing of this matter at this time.            Ye would appreciate  your keeping us
informed of any significant          changes in your plans related     to construc-
tion of TNT production      facilities.

     Copies of this      letter sre being furnished           to the Secretaries   of
the Army, the Navy,      and the Air Force.

                                                  Sincerely      yours,


The Honorable
Tne Secretary    of Defense