Review of the Management of the Defense Retail Interservice Logistics Support Program at Selected Department of Defense Installations in the United States and in Europe

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1971-02-23.

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



            The Honorable
            The Secretary           of Defense

                      Attention:         Assistant      Secretary     of Defense

            Dear Mr.        Secretary:

                   We have made aGeview of the management of the Defense Retail
            Interservice   Logistics   Support           ram at selected Department
            of Defense (DOD) installations               d States and in 3urope.I"4

                  Our review concerned the effectiveness             of management techniques
            and established     procedures    of the DRILS program designed to attain
            full  participation     by the various       military   services.      The enclosure
            lists  the organizations       and installations      visited     during our review.

                      We wish      to bring     the following        observations      to your   attention.


                   We believe that the DRILS program as presently                   administered       has
       I    been less than fully       effective      because the Defense Supply Agency, which                 lo'
            manages the program,       does not have the authority            necessary to direct
            and control     the program to accomplish           DXLS objectives.           'The present
            DRILS program does not make it incumbent upon the military                        services      to
            vigorously     pursue opportunities'for          interservice      support that would
  I         result    in greater   economy and efficiency           nor does it furnish         any strong
   2        incentive    for eliminating       overlapping      or duplicate      functions,      activities,
            and services.       We also found that information             on the magnitude of the pro-
            gram shown in some of the reports             being submitted       to the Defense Supply
            Agency was inflated       because of duplications            and other errors.

                   Instead of being centrally     controlled     and coordinated    at the
            departmental   level,   DRILS is a decentralized         program in which reliance
            is placed upon the initiative       of installation        commanders to request
            needed support from other nearby military           activities,    or to provide
            support when requested      if they consider      such support to be within       the
            capabilities   of their   local resources.        Even where of,Picials    reg$rd

                                              50TH ANNIVERSARY            1921- 1971
this program with the best of intentions,          this approach has limited
effectiveness    because installation      commanders are restricted      in the
amount of available       resources   they can divert   to provide   support to
another military     activity.


      The basic policies     and principles     fox interservice       logistic     support
are set forth in DOD Directive       4000.19,     originally     issued March 26, 1963,
and revised August 5, 1967.       The directive        requires    the military     services
to request and/or provide support to one anot'ner,              and to other Government
agencies,  when capabilities     exist,     and it is to the overall          advantage of
the DOD. In 1965, the Defense Supply Agency (DSA) was authorized                      to
administer   the DRILS program in conjunction            with the military      services
and other DDD agencies.

       The publication       of the Defense Supply Agency Manual 4140.4 in
January 1965 implemented the DRILS program and provided                    formal guidance
to lower commands.          The stated program objective           is to afford   installation
commanders a means of improving            overall    effectiveness     and economy in theif
operations     by utilizing     logistical     support (with some exceptions)            available
from activities       of other military      services     or DOD agencies.

       Area Coordination      Groups and Subgroups have been set up within               the
DRILS program,     There are six Area Coordination          Groups in the United
States.    It is the responsibility       of these groups to promote the use of
DRILS procedures     when appropriate     to increase    overall      effectiveness      and
economly of operations      in military   organizations.       The groups and their
subgroups are the principal         means for coordinating       retail     interservice
support between major commands of the military             services      on a regional
basis in the continental        United States.      In Europe, functions          of the
Area Coordination      Groups are performed by the major command headquarters
of the military     services.

        At least two subgroups are organized within                  each of the six areas
of the United States.            The subgroups are informal           working groups expected
to meet at least twice a year to exchange information,                         explore opportuni-
ties for retail       interservice        support,    and arrange such support where
beneficial.       They are composed of representatives                of .DQD activities     within
stipulated      geographica,      limits,      The representatives          are individuals
normally     responsible     for providing         or arranging    logistic      support for the

       Major military      commands and other     DOD agencies         arc responsible     for
exercising     supervision    over subordinate     activities,         for promoting   inter-
service    support,    and for appoint&g      representatives          to Arca Coordination
.   .
    .     .

              Quarterly,  each installation  or organization providing support to
        other organizations   submits a report to the Defense Logistics  Services
        Center, Battle Creek, Michigan, which shows the dollar value of support
        Inadequate efforts    of local   officials
               The Coordination Groups are responsible for conducting surveys to
        Identify     and develop opportunities     for use of interservice    logistics
        support among the installations         in their areas. Thefr subgroups are
        informal organ$zations to establish a close, working relationship               to
        discover and develop local DRILS opportunities.            However, neither the
        Area Coordination Groups nor the subgroups have the authority to direct
        the establishment of interservice         arrangements between installations.
        This authority     is vested only in the individual      installation    commander.
        The denial of direct authority over DRILS actions results in the inability
        of subgroups to do much more than encourage the adoption of a support
        possib$lity.                           ;,
              In our review of two of the six Area Coordination Groups in the
        continent+. United States, we were told that no surveys had been made to
        determine -or develop opportunities   for effective    interservice   support,
        as required by the DSA manual on DRILS. In only one of the two groups
        had an inventory of the functions and needs of each tilitary         activity
        under its jurisdiction  been developed. At this Area Coordination Group,
        we found that 17 such activities    were not participating      in the D&RIM
              The military  commands' responsibilities     in the program, as set forth
        in the DRILS manual include (1) exercising supervision over support opera-
        tions of subordinate activities,    and (2) providing representation     on Area
        Coordination Groups. We found, however, that tilitary         commands were placing
        only slight emphasis on participation       in the DRILS program.
               For example, our discussions with officials   of the Sixth U.S. Army
    /   and of the Military   Airlift   Commandrevealed that command supervision over
        retail   interservice logistics   support operations of subordinate activities
        consisted of little   more than appointment of a coordinator and review" of
        minutes of meetings and interservice     support agreements. Subordinate
        commands were not required to develop specific objectives for identifying
        functions and services for increased interservice     support.
               Commandswe reviewed in the Washington, D.C.,barea told us that their
        participation   in the DRILS program did not include establishing   guidance
        for subordinate activities.     Further, we found, in one case, that command
        representatives   had decided not to attend future subgroup meetings because
        they found them to be valueless.

      Officials of t$ro of the major commands near Norfolk,  Virginia,
stated they did not become actively   engaged in this program until
November 1968, although the DRILS program was fmplemcnt+d    in Januar::
1965 by DSA.

Examples of potential          areas   of
interservice support

      In the geographical      areas covered in our rcvie~,         wz found a number
of situations  in which DOD organizations         located   near one another were
engaged in similar    functions     and/or services.      Some or these W.TY common-
place, and yet, despite the DRILS program,           apparen-tly    no consideration
had been given to whether any could be eliminated              through consolidation.
Some examples ;"ollow.

      Procurem::nt     acti-vitics

         We found three military          procurement     activities     ;Yith simila.~ functions,
within      a radius of ten mills of Kaisorslautcrn,                 German:;.  P:locurcment
officers      told us that they knew of no plan for obt&ning                   potential     benefits
from consolidation          under the DRILS program.
                                                                                         a 1444
          The mission of the Procurement           Division      of the Army's Rheinland-Pfalz
Support District,         Kaiserslautern,        Germany, is to procure repairs            and
utilities       services    (up to $50,900 per transaction)             and other scrviccs      and
materials       (up to $5,000 per transaction)            for a number of Army activities
and installations         located within       a radius of about 35 miles from Kaisers-.
lautern.        The staff    of 29 people processed about 40,030 procurement
actions      valued at about $9.7 million           during fiscal       year 1969.

        Two Air Force installations,         located within       t:n miles of Kaisers-
lautern,    also have procurcmcnt       offices.     Tl-12 staff     of 19 employees at
Ramstein Air Base had processed about 3,XYJ procurement                      actions durin:
the first    11 months of fiscal       year 1.969. 'Th: total         local procurement
programmed for the fiscal         year was $3.6 million.            At n,?srby Sembach fir
Base, tha procurement      office     had 13 employc~s.          Data I,-:lich ;~e obtained
indicated     Sembach's workload was considerably            l:ss than that of Ramstein
Air Base.

        The procurement        function      o.C the above thrcz activities       was quite
similar.      Contracts      or purchases includ,cd repairs           and mafnt?nanc~     to
buildings,      transportation        OLDhousehold f:E'fctcts, office       machin maintc-              '
nance, and (general supplies.                He were told that a limited        amount of
interservice       support was provided under blanket              purc'hasc authorizations
or indefinite       quantity      contracts,       whereby onc? scrvic?    would issue
delivery     orders against the contracts               0" the other s~2rr!'ce.
       The procurement   officer     at Rheinland-Pfalz      Suppo-rt District told
us that he knew of no instances          where consideration     had been given to
consolidating    procurement     functions.     He stated that he could see no
reason why a consolidated        procurement    activity   would not ef%ect$vely
serve the needs of both the Army and the Air Force in this geographic

      Photographic       laboratories


         Our review revealed that there were four photographic                    laboratory
 operations       at military    installations      within    a ten mile radius of
,K&%serslautern,        Germany.      Two of these laboratories           wer.e at Army
 installations       and two were at Air Force installations.                  The operators
 of two of the four laboratories               told us that they could take on addi-
 tional     work with the equipment on hand.               Representatives      of the labo-
 ratories      with whom we discussed the potential              for using these facilities             .
 under the DRILS program stated that to their                   knowledge no consideration
 had been given to availability              of these resources        for interservice

      Again, the missions of these laboratories          and the work performed    3 24+3
were similar.    The largest  of the four facilities        was the Army's 69th’
Signal Company laboratory.     Officials      of this laboratory    told us that
its mission was to support Headquarters,         United States Army, $wope,
and the Seventh Army in all photographic         services.     They told us that
this facility   had the equipment,     although not the personnel,       to do all
the Air Force work.

      Representatives        of each of th e two Army laboratories      told us that
they saw no reason        :rhy consolidation   and inters,.?rvice  support trould not
be feasible.

              Seattle,    IEJashin;$on,     area

       Seven DOD activities       visitrtd in th? Puget Sound area had their      own
photographic     facilities;     six of them within   a forty-mile   radius of Seattle.
Of the six activities         examined, none reported    having any formal inter-
service    agreements with other DOD activities        in the Puget Sound area.
Review of minutes of meetings of the Area Coordination             Subgroup indicated
that the possibility         of exchangin g support of this type had not been

              Norfolk,    Virginia,       area                                                          .

      There are ten photographic  labor:%ttories in the Norfolk                  area ranging
in size and complexity   from a small Army laboratory   at Yort                  Story,  engaged

                                                                                               -5   -
in processing      photographs    fo- 7 identification      purposes,     to the second
largest   laboratory      in the Navy at the Norfolk         Naval Air Station.         The
Navy facility,       capable of producing         all types of photographic       work,
has rather     elaborate    equipment and an authorized            complement of 38 people.
At the time of our review,          the laboratory       was upgrading      its motion picture
 facility   to produce sound motion pictures             in color.

       We found that there were no interservice    agreements in effect      at
any of the photographic    laboratories  in the Norfolk    arca.    However , some
support was being provided to others either     informally     or through intra-
service   agreements.

Additional opportunities     identified
by the Department    of Defense         -

        In addition     to the above information       developed during our review,
certain    studies    recently   completed by the Department         of Defense have
indicated     opportunities    for greater    interservice      support.

        The studies,     performed by so-called          Local Area Interdepartmental
Repair and Maintenance            Cormnittees a-t 25 locations       where there were
concentrations        of military     installations,      were concerned mainly with
functions     related    to real.property         maintenance    activities.       @on com-
pletion     of their    work, the various         study groups made recommendations
for improvements        and greater       economies in the area of real property
maintenance.        Many of thes? recommendations            suggested expansion of
interservice       agreements in existence           or establishment        of new agreements,

      We have started    a review of some of the studies and the actions taken
pursuant   to the recommendations.         Although we have not verified    the validity
of' any of the recommendations,        it is apparent that savings can be achieved
through increased     use 0:" interservice       support agreements for real property

Reporting     of program    performance
                                                                                             -B wQ
        The reporting     system provided     for in the TULS program requires                 ,."
'submission     of a report    to the Defens-   3   Logisti.cs    Services   Center    (DLSCI
 at the end of each quarter         by every installation          providing    support to
 organizations      of other military     departments.         This report    lists    the total
 dollar    value of reimbursable       and non-   reimbursable       support  provided    to       '
 each of the other military         departments      during the quarter,        as well as the
 number of agreements,        and their   location.         It is the sole reference        used
 for measuring tih.2 accomplishments         of the DRILS program.


,         +

               We found that these quarterly        reports  have greatly     overstated   the
        accomplishments      of the DRILS program in Europe because of the inclusion
        of amounts for wholesale        support and duplications      in the amounts reported.
        For example, of the $110.2 million          reported  by the Army as DRILS for a
        period covering      seven quarters,     ending March 31, 1969, $109.6 million
        consisted    of wholesale    support and duplication:       about $53.5 million
        constituted     wholesale   support to the other military       services     and about
        $56.1 million     were duplications      of amounts previously     reported.     There-
        fore,    the valid DRILS total      should not have been more than $0.6 million.

               During our discussions        with representatives      from the United    States
        Army, Europe, they told us that they- knew the amounts of interservice
        support reported       were incorrect     and included    subsistence   support rendered
        on a wholesale       basis.    However, they had no procedures        whereby they could
        verir"y the accuracy or propriety          o f the amouMs reported      as retail    inter-
        service    logistics     support.

               In addition     to the above, the DREGS reporting               system as it is
        presently    functioning      is not providing         accurate    data on the total     number
        of agreements entered into since the program began.                      We noted that many
        of the accomplishments          reported      under the program were in existence          before
        it started,     or resulted       from circumstances        unrelated     to it.  For example,
        we found that military          installations       around &get       Sound had on file    56
        interservice     agreements amounting to a%out $773,000 in estimated                   reim-
        bursements which would be reported               under the DRILS program.         Yighteen
        of these agreements,        involving        an estimated     $&T&,830, or about 62 percent
        of the present total        estimated       value, were in 'existence prior        to the
        DRILS program.


              We believe    that the DRILS program has not been effective                in e
        nating duplication      or overlapping       oi" services.    Ihe ineffectivenss
        bs traced to the manner in w??ich the program has been organized                   an
        concomitant,   lack of vigorous      pursuit     of _nrog?am goals.
        Defense Supply Agency is responsible             for managin;; the DRIT3 progra
        has not b?en given sufficient         autho-rS.ty Lo accomplish      _nrogram objet

                 Participating         organizations       arc s&do2 r5ikhusiastic       about v
         to eliminate        a function,       activity,      or zervi.cc for which they hav
         received      authorization,         and wbic'h Shcy consider       import~a~it to th?.:
         of their      assi.gnetl mlssion3.           As 'was pointed out t?e:f'or~), the pyes
         program does not require              nlilitar3    dcpertmrnts   to vigorously      purs
        'tunities      for interservic~          supper t that would r7su3.t in greater          e
         and efficiency.           !irea Coordination         Grnu?s and their    subordinate
    .        \

.        *

        which are jointly        staffed    by -2he services,    do not 'have zuthorlty   to dizect
        establishment      of intzrse rvice arrangements         b&Teen installations.      Becauscz
        direct   authority     over 3RILS implementation         is denied, th,zsz groups cannot
        do much more than encourag e adoption of a              support possibility.     :%en In
        this limited      capacily,      the groups hav.2 not    effectivcl;r  developed and ore-      '
        m.oted interservice        suppor-t agreements.

               We recommend that the D&!Tznse Supply Agency be given the necessary
        authority    to direct    this program and to develop a uniform and systematic
        approach to identirfy,        evaluate and, where feasibk, eliminate unnecessary
        fu.nct+-!s   and services      that overlap.

                We would appreciate your comments on the matters   disclosed in this
        report.     Copies of this repor-t are beins sent to the Secretaries   of the
        Army, Navy, and Air Force, and to the Director,     Yefens= Supply Agency,
        for their    information.

                                                           Sincerely     yours,


                                                                                                  Page 1

                            List     of Organizations       and Installations
                                       Visited   During     Our Review


         U. S. European             Command, Patch      Barracks,    Stuttgart,     Germany.


         U. S. Army, Europe, Heidelberg,     Germany.
         First   U. S, Army Headquarters,   Fort George G. Meade, Maryland.
         U. S. Army Test and Evaluation     Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground9
         U. S. Continental    Army Command,, Fort Monroe, Virginia.
         U. S. Army Recruiting    Command, Hampton, Virginia.
         Sixth U. S. Army Headquarters    Presido,    San Francisco, California.

United     States     Navy

         U. S. Naval Forces,               Europe, London, England.
         U, S. Naval Supply               Systems Command, Washington,        D. C.
         Cormnander in Chief,              U. S, Atlantic  Fleet,    Norfolk,      Virginia.
         Headquarters,  Fifth              Naval District,  Norfolk,     Virginia.

United     States     Air      Force

         U, S. Air Forces in Europe, Wiesbaden, Germany-
         U. S. Air Force Headquarters      Command, Boiling  Air Force                    Base,
            Washington,     D. C.
         Tactical   Air Command, Langley Air Force Base, Virginia.
         Military   Airlift    Command, Scott Air Force Base, Illinois.


         United     States         Army

         Army Engineer Command, Europe
         Frankfurt,  Germany

         Army Engineer             District,  Palatinate
         Kaiserslautern,              Germany

         Theater Army Support               Command, Europe
         Worms, Germany
                                                                                                          Page 2

INkEBMEDUTE AND SUBOJ3DINATEACTIVXTIES AND INSTALLATIONS                                           (Continued)

   Army Materiel            Command, Europe
   Zweibrucken,            Germany

   Forces Support              District,         Rheinland-Pfalz
   Kaiserslautern,              Germany

   Pirmasens           Army Depot
   Pirmasens,           Gemany

   Fort      George G. Meade, Maryland

   Fort      Belvoir,        Virginia

   U, S, Army Transportation                        Center,      Virginia

   Fort      Eustis,       Virginia

   Fort      Story,       Virginia       Beach,       Virginia

   Fort      Lewis,       Washington

    United      States       Navy

   U. S. Naval            Support       Activity,         Naples,         Italy

   Naval      Air      Facilities,           Andrews     Air     Force       Base,      Maryland

    Naval     Research         Laboratory,           Washington,           D, C.

    Naval     Photographic             Center,       Washington,           D, C,

    U, S, Marine            Corps Base,          Quantico,         Virginia

    Naval     Weapons Station,                Yorktown,         Virginia

    Naval     Supply        Center,       Norfolk,        Virginia

    Naval Air          Station        Oceana,       Virginia       Beach,         Virginia

    Naval Amphibious                 Base,    Norfolk,         Virginia

    Thirteenth          Naval District              Headquarters,
       Seattle,         Washington
                                                                                              Page 3

    Pug&      Sound Naval           Shipyard,          kkshington

    Naval     Supply       Center,       Puget      Sound, Washington

    Naval     Ammunition           Depot,      Bangor9        Washington

    Polaris     Missile          Facility,        Pacific,        Washington

    Naval     Torpedo       Station,         Keyport,         Washington

    Naval     Air     Station,        Seattle,         Washington

    Naval     Air     Station,        Wbidbey       Island,       Washingkon

    Naval     Communications             Station,        Puget      Sound,    Washington

    United     States       Air      Force

    Wiesbaden         Air Base
    Wiwbaden,          Germany

    Rawtein          Air BEG@
    Ramstein,         Germany

    Sembach Air Base
    Sembach, Germany

    1100th Air            Base Wing,         BoLling      Air    Force     Base,
    Washington,            D. C,

    1OOlst Composite Wing,Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland
      (Effective JuJq 1, 1969 changed to 1st Composite Wing)

    Langley         Air    Force     Base,     Hampton,         Virginia

    McChord Air            Force     Base,       Washington

    Other     activities

    U. S, Dependents School,                      European       Area
    Karlsruhe, Germany