Opportunities for Savings in Personnel Cost in the Fleet Ballistic Submarine Program

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1971-01-27.

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

Opportunities For Savings In
Personnel Cost In The Fleet
Ballistic Submarine Program

                              UNITEDSTATESGENERALAcc0~4~4G OFFICE
                                        WASHINGTON,   D.C.    20548



          Dear Mr. Secretary:
                     The General Accounting Office has made a review of the gffectiveness,..
    I                                                         Ballistic Missile -~~~~ldw~~;--1*-'11
                                                                                 submarines '
           identified      by our Code 7.4423, was made at the following Naval activities:
           ^- -U.S. Naval Submarine School, New London, Connecticut                    , - it/
              -Fleet    Ballistic Missile Training Center, Charleston, South Carolina ~ -'
               -Headquarters, Submarine Force, Atlantic Fleet, Norfolk, Virginia             .5
              -Naval Guided Missiles School, DamNeck, Virginia                         -     I
               -Fleet Submarine Training Facility, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
               -Headquarters, Submarine Force, Pacific Fleet, Pearl Hartir, Ijawaii -- .'*'
                  Our review included an examination and analysis of the submarine
          refit and patrol cycle and the readine_sri!-~~~s.a~~~a~~~~~~~-~-~~.
          igzg&nes.        Specifically, we reviewed the patroxrefit  cycles to deter-
          mine whether the 60 day patrol-30 day refit was maintained by submarine
          and for groups of submarines assigned to the fleets.       We also reviewed
          readiness ratings to determine whether deficiencies had been reported as
          a result of personnel or training problems.
                Data furnished by crews on shore at the three training sites for
          rehabilitation,   leave, and training (off crews) were evaluated to deter-
          mine the emount of time utilized for training and other activj.ties during
          the off-crew cycle. In addition, we obtained information about the types
          of training offered and the participation of off crews in training at
          these activities.
                Copies of this report are being sent to the Secretary of the Navy
          and to the Commandersin Chief, United States Atlantic and Pacific.
          Fleets, for their information.
                     Wewould appreciate receiving scour commentswithin 60 days.

                                                             Sincerely yours,


          The Honorable
          The Secretary of Defense

                   OXfRTBIFMOF !i%EiRE'FRCTIVRRRSS
                                                OF MARUING

      The mmniug of each Fleet Bsllistic Missile submarine with two
cunplete, well-trained crews is achieting the Ravy's objective of main-
taining each submarine at sea 08 patrol at a high level of readiness
for 8 months of each year, excluding the time required for overhaul or
modification.    w having an alternate crew take over each submarine as
it returns from patrol, the EJavyhas been able to conduct more patrols
with fewer submarines than would be possible if only one crew was
available for each submrine.
      The present Racy policy,of pmvifling two crews for each Fleet
RsJlistic Missile submarine assigued to the Fleets permits each crew
to rotate between the same submarine aud a shore installation within/
a 18041ay period:
     On shore at the crew's homeport                     90 days
       For rehabilitation  and leave       30 says
       For off-crew training               60 days
     At the submrine's homeport for
       refit prior to patrol                             30 sass
     0x3patrol at sea                                    60 days
      Readiness data and reports prepared by submarine c-ding       officers
upon ccmpletiou of patrols indicate that their crews are capable of per-
forming their assigned duties. The favorable readiness posture .ef the
crews appears to be attributable to the initial and advauced tra&ning
programs conducted at Bureau of Naval Personnel training facilities     rather
than the off-crew training program. This view is supported by information
obtained relatiug to training of new persouuel assigned to the crews aud
the overall experience of the crews. To illustrate:
     --After each patrol at sea approximately one-fWth of the crew is
       replaced, with most of the new personuel being received fmm
       Rureau of Raval Personnel training schools.
     --The new personuel do not join the crew as a group, bat arrive
       one-by-one throughout the! off-crew period. Training of these
       meniberswith their new crew before going on patrol varies

     --Although the Navy is not always able to provide each submarine
        crew with personnel trained in the specific skills authorized for
       operating equipment and systems, the personnel provided have been
       trained in related skills and have been effectively utilized.
     --Although the Navy does    not consider that personnel received
       directly from training    schools or from other submarines are
        "qualified" until they   have been on two or three patrols, Navy
       reports do not indicate    any adverse effects on readiness.
      As shown above, during each 180-day cycle each Blue and Cold crew
spends 90 days at a submarinels homeport for refit operations or at
sea on patrol, and 90 days at the crewls home port which is also the
location of one of three off-crew training centers. In testimony be-
fore Congressional committees the Navy has stressed the need for the
Blue and Cold crews to spend 60 of the 90 days at the training facili-
ties after each patrol to obtain training.   Thirty days of this period
is used for rehabilitation  and leave.
      For the crews included in our review we found that, on the average,
only about 30 days of the 60 day period designated for training could be
accounted for in formal end informal training.   Although some crew
memberswere used for military or administrative duties, the Navy's re-
cords--or lack of records--indicated that Blue and Cold off-crew per-
sonnel actually are not used an average of about 60 days each 180-day
cycle, or about four months of each 12 months.
       Eoen though the Navy is achieving its objective of maintaining the
Fleet Ballistic Mssile sumnes         on patrol at sea through the use of
two crews for each subansrine, we believe improvements can be made in the
utilization   of personnel and training resources with substantial. savings
to the Government. This could be accomplished by
     --improving the organization and managementof off-crew training,
     --developing and implementing specific plans for the effective.
        utilization of off-crew personnel not engaged in training actually
        needed to maintain proficiency in their skills.
     The bases for our observations on opportunities   for improvement are
discussed below.

Oooortunities for imorovements in the
organization and managementof training
       Because the Navy has not established uniform requirements and
standards for off-crew training, the nature and extent of trailing
varies significantly  amongcrews and amongpersonnel assigned to
like functional areas of the same crews. Fleet Ballistic Missile
training facilities  as now established, equipped, and staffed for,
off-crew training are not being effectively utilized.     Classroom
space, equipment, and instructors are not being used to capacity.
     Definition of realistic requirements and standards for off-
crew training actually needed to maintain an acceptable readiness
posture and use of a centrally managedprogram of off-crew training
for all Fleet Ballistic Missile submarine crews should enable the
Navy to substantially reduce training costs. Training facilities
could be consolidated, and more effective utilization could be made
of equipment and personnel.                                        /-

       Optimum requirements and minimumstmdards for off-crew training
for Atlantic Fleet Ballistic Missile submarine personnel have been
prescribed by the Commander,Submarine Force, Atlantic.     Opti-    re-
quirements and minimumstandards for Pacific Fleet Ballistic Missile
submarine personnel have been prescribed by the Commender,Submarine
Force, Pacific.    The requirements and standards are not coordinated
and applied on a Navy-wide basis. There are no requirements within
the two Fleet commandsthat crews and individual crew memberspar-
ticipate in the sameoff-crew training programs.
      At present, the commandingofficer of each submarine determines,
within the framework of courses offered by the training centers, the
type and amount of training needed during the 60-day off-crew training
period by those crew members  --about four out of five--who till return
to the submarine for the next patrol.     New personnel joining the crew
one-by-one during the off-crew period have had training in Navy schools
of sometype--some have had experience in a special skill--and may .
receive some refresher training.     This results in significant differences
in the extent to which various crews and departments participate in
fefresher training even though personnel with comparable previous train-
ing and experience are assigned to the crews.

/   1


              We attempted to determine how the 600day period designated for
        training actually is used by off-crews.   The time that could be
        accounted for was used for a variety of activities,  including:
             --Formal training, i.e., courses conducted by the Fleet Submarine
                Training Facilities or other Navy schools.
             --Informal training, i.e., training conducted by ship personnel,
                including lectures, seminars, discussions, qualification
                training, cross-crew training, and self-study correspondence
             --Military end administrative duties, i.e., standing watch,
               musters, personal and depsrtmental administrative activities,
               dental and medical treatment, and barracks cleaning details.
             We analyzed the time used for both formal and informal training
        by two crews at each Fleet Ballistic Missile training facility.    As
        shown below, the crew average total time accounted for was only 30'
        days of the 60 days available:
                                              Averape davs -oer msn
                                     New Lond n     Charleston PearlHarbor
                                    6-G            619~ 6~lG 640C      642~ AveraPe
        Formal training                 9     11     13     19     11      12       12
        Informal training             26     -10    -15    -14     -23
                                      -                                    -17     -18
             Total Days              i35      21    =28     33     31      2       g
                                             =             =
          Submarine is identified   by hull number. @Cold Crew;
          B=Blue Crew
              As shown above, the time used for training and the type of training
        varied amongthe crews. Also, certain activities    considered to be
        informal training did not directly or indirectly relate to matters that
        would assist the individual in improving or maintaining competence in his
        assigned skill.   These are discussed in the next paragraphs.
             Formal training
              Formal training includes classroom instruction as well as team and
        individual training in the actual use and maintenance of shipboard
        equipment and systems.


    .' B-171681

          There were significant variances amongindividual crews and functional
     groups participating  in the formal training. Attachment I shows the
     number of enlisted men aboard four submarines who engaged in formal train-
           There were significant differences in the average number of days
     used for training amongindividual crews and functional area teams of
     individual crews also. Attachment II shows the number of personnel
     available and the number participating   in formal training for the two
     crews included in our review at the Charleston off-crew training facility.
           Informal training
            Informal training includes time used by crews attending lectures
     and engaging in self-study.    As in formal training, we found significant
     differenoes amongcrews and crew membersin both the number participating
     and the days used for informal training.    Officers and key enlisted per-
     sonnel scheduled lectures which included subject matters such as mi$,itary
     courtesy and customs, personal insurance and benefits, and subjects which
     related to the specific systems aboard the submarines, such as diesel
     engine controls and ventilation systems. The lectures usually took from
     1 to 4 hours on a given day.
           Crew membersare permitted to use their free tims for completing
     correspondence courses, which vary in subject matter. For example,
     course subjects identified for us in our review included basic statis-
     tics, international relations, basic electricity,   geography, naval
     orientation,   and leadership. Crew membersparticipate in such courses
     on their own initiative   and there are no organized study times. Often
     the study is accomplished in their barracks or at their homes.
          The membersof two crews included in our review at Charleston
     estimated the average number of days they used for informal training
     during an off-crew period, as shown in attachment II.

           Militarv   and Administrative   Duties
            Crew membersreported a variety of military and administrative
     duties performed during their off-crew training period, including watch,
     cleaning, clerical, mail, and telephone detail.     Whennot attending
     classes, crew memberssometimes were required to report for muster (roll
     call).    These varied from once a day. for some crews or departments to
     once a week for others. During this training period some crew members
     took care of personal matters, such as medical or dental appointments.

1   I1

         * B-171681

                One crew included in our review reported military    and administrative
          duties during one off-crew period as shown below.
                            Number of         number of days         &jor
          Denartment        personnel         per individual        duties

                                                                    Office work
          Engineering           5;                   ‘i             Watch and cleaning
          Medical                                    18             Administrative work
          SUPPlY                                     13             Cleaning details and
                                                                      work at base galley
          Navigation            15                    5             Watch, working party,
                                                                      and cleaning details
          Weapons               21                    7             Watch, guard, mail, and
                                                                      cleaning details
          Operations                                  9             Watch, working party,
                                                                      and cleaning details

                Facilities for refresher training for the Fleet Ballistic Missile
          submarine.off crews are provided at the U.S. Naval Submarine School,
          New London, Connecticut; the Fleet Ballistic Missile Training Center,
          Charleston, South Carolina; and the Fleet Submarine Training Facility,
          Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. At New London and Pearl Harbor, the Fleet Bal-
          listic Missile Departments are part of Navy training facilities  used to
          train both Fleet Ballistic Missile submarine,off-crews and crews from
          other types of submarines. The Training Center at Charleston is intended
          for use primarily by Fleet Ballistic Missile submarine off-crews for
          refresher training.
                Each of these training centers has been furnished equipment and
          systems that are identical with those contained in the submarines, in-
          cluding complete missiles and the related systems. In many instances
          equipment at these installations  duplicates equipment installed at the
          Navy Guided Missiles School at DamNeck, Virginia.     Data obtained from
          the Navy showedthat through June 30, 1971, missile systems and related
          equipment costing more than $156 million will have been installed at
          the three training centers. Like missile systems and related equipment
          costing almost $198 million will have been installed at DamNeck. The
          Navy has a large investment in other equipment at these locations which
          is used for training for both the Fleet Ballistic Missile submarine
          program and other submarine programs.


        In our review we were not able to determine the cost of Fleet
Ballistic    Missile off-crew training.      No central office in the Navy
is responsible for funding of or accounting for training         costs.
Navy training      centers generally conduct more than one type of training
program, which may be funded by more than one organization         from more
than one appropriation.       Complete training   costs are not segregated by
training    program.

      One major organization      did furnish us a cost figure.      The Navy
Strategic   Systems Project Office in Washington--which has responsibility
for the missile systems and related equipment--informed         us that the
current cost of Polaris and Poseidon equipment alteration           and repair,
hardware installation,     and development of training    curricula    is about
$10.5 million    a year.   Also, at the Charleston Training Center, which
is engaged primarily     in off-crew training,   records and reports showed
that personnel and other operating costs are more than $5 million            a
year, exclusive of the pay and allowances of trainees.

      At the time of our review, enrollment of off-crew members at the
New London center in formal training   courses was about 76 percent of
capacity.   At the Pearl Harbor center, the enrollment was about 65
percent of capacity, and at the Charleston center about 40 percent of
capacity.   This indicates that more training  facilities have been
established  than are needed.

       The New London training     center offered 51 comses related ex-
clusively   to the Fleet Ballistic     Mi::sile submarine and 135 courses
cormnonto both the Fleet Ballistic        Missile submarine and other vessels.
For the 3 months ended March 31, 1970, the center graduated 105 classes
exclusive to the Fleet Ballistic       Missile submarine.      The average en-
rollment was 6.4 individuals       per class.    Of the 678 personnel enrolled
in these classes, 643 were from Fleet Ballistic         Missile submarine crews.
We examined the records relating       to 12 of the 135 other courses for
which Fleet Ballistic    Missile submarine personnel were eligible.         The
average enrollment for the 29 classes conducted during the 3 month
period was 9.8 individuals      per class.     Of 283 personnel enrolled in
these classes, 211 were from Fleet Ballistic         Missile submarine crews.

      At the Charleston center, of 212 classes scheduled for January
and February 1970, 81 classes had an enrollment of three or less
students and 33 classes had no enrollees.     Navy officials     attributed
the low enrollment to the fact that Charleston was, at the time of our
review, the home port for the crews of only three submarines.           They
predicted that utilization   of the Charleston training      center will
increase when it becomes the home port for crews of submarines converted
to carry the Poseidon missile.


      At the Pearl Harbor center, 1,154 classes were scheduled during
calendar year 1969 in which the majority of the enrollees for the year
were Fleet Ballistic    Missile   submarine personnel; 385 classes had 3 or
less enrollees and 117 had no enrollees.        In February 1970 the Commander,
Submarine Force,Pacific     Fleet, issued instructions    that selected courses
with low utilization    would be scheduled on a request basis.       These
courses were subject to cancellation       when the enrollment was less than
50 percent of capacity.

      The average ratio of enrolled off-crew members to instructors           at
the training   centers as of April 30, 1970, was as follows:

                          Officers        Enlisted   Personnel

     New London            2.40 to 1          4.80 to 1
     Pearl Harbor          5.35 to 1          4.25 to 1
     Charleston            5.75 to 1          0.89 to 1                       .-

      Since the Fleet Ballistic  Missile submarines are standardized to a
large extent, it would be.expected that the same refresher training
courses would be provided at the three training    centers. Apparently
this is not the case. At the time of our review the New London center
offered 186 courses and the Charleston center offered 152 courses; we
could identify   only 48 courses that were the same even though the
Charleston center serves Fleet Ballistic   Missile submarine personnel
almost exclusively.    We noted also that in some cases the time required
for the same course offered by New London and Charleston differed.

      We were not able to compare the courses offered at the PearlHarbor
center with those offered by the New London and Charleston centers
because course titles  and descriptions were different.

        It seems apparent that more extensive training   facilities    for Fleet
Ballistic    Missile submarine off-crew refresher training      have been
established    than are needed as the program is now conducted.       Definition
of actual training    needs and organization  of a uniform, centrally      managed
program to satisfy those needs should permit the Navy to plan the effec-
tive use of both the off-crew personnel and the costly training         facilities.

                                                , ”                          F       -        i:   /Lx
                                                -.                               ,       ,I         ,


       Once an effective program is established, it might be possible to
utilize Fleet Ballistic Missile training centers for some advanced
training of missile personnel as well as off-crew refresher training.
This should enable the Navy to use somefacilities      now engaged in
specialized training-- e.g., the DamNeck facility--for     other purposes.
Onoortunities for imurovement in the
utilization  of Dersonnel
      Definition of realistic requirements and standards for off-crew
training, and improvements in the organization and managementof off-
crew training, should make available a substantial amount of personnel
resources to the Navy. Development and implementation of specific
plans for effective utilization  of off-crew personnel not engaged in
training actually needed to maintain proficiency in their skills should
make possible significant savings in personnel costs.
      The information obtained in our review indicated that the full:
60-day off-crew training period is not needed--and is not used--to
maintain the readiness posture of the Fleet Ballistic Missile crews.
If effective utilization  were madeof the 30 days of the 60 day period
designated for off-crew training that, on the average, is not actual1
being used, we estimate that approximately 1,500 man-years (1,500 men3
would be available to fill other needs of the Navy. This estimate is
based on the assumption that 33 of the 41 Fleet Ballistic Missile sub-
marines are either being refit for patrol or on patrol at any given
     We suggest that the Navy develop a program for effective    utiliza-
tion of these off-crew personnel.

         SUMMARY OF OFF-CREW FORMAL TRAINING                                                                                          BY ENLISTED                      MEN FROM FOUR SUBMARlNE$

                  164i~I015l61111617/5111211                                                                                                                                                                            I       44     I

                                                                                                                                                      2           613                         1            0..                  46,
                      600G                    1         1                   3                  4                3              10                     1                10                     0            0                    23
                      611      G              13                            2                  8                9               4                     1                10                     0            0                    28
                      619       B                      0                    014                             5                    8                    2                010                    0            0                    19
                      641      G                       1210                                                 12                                        1                612                    3            3                    21
                       TQTAL.                          5                    7                16        f 18                    24                     5       18
                      600      G                       2                    2                 1          .o                     '                     A       I  c)
                      611      G          I
                                                        0       /
                                                                            2                  3                4                0             Ill1
                      619      B

                      611      G                        3                   0                  0                0                 0                   0                0           0          O”0                                3
                      619      B                        2                   2                  0                0                 1                   0                0           0          0’            0                    5
                      641      G                        2                   0                  0                0                0                    0                                       0            0                     2
                       TOTAL                            7                   2                  0                0                                     0                                       0            olI’o3

                      611      G                       7                 23                    23                               15                     8               2           4          21            1                   111
              ’       619B                            22                 14                    18                               16                    13               7           4          0 1           0                   107
                      641      G                                         10                    10
                      TOTAL                                              64                    59
!.’   E n g’ rnesring          Dept.              consists          of five       divisions:          Reactor       Control           Div.,     Auxiliary      Div.,       Communications     Div.,   Machinery         Div.,    and
             Electrical            Div.
-     Operations              Dept.       consists           of       two       divisions:          Sonar   Div.,     and       Radio          Div.
-     Navigation              Dept.       consists           of       two     divisions:            Quartermaster             Div.,      and     Navigation       Electronics          Div.
-     Supply          Dept.     consists               of two         divisions:             Supply     Steward       Div.,       and         Commissary       Div.
                                                                                                                                                                                                       -    10      -
    , . ..,

                                                AVCilhblQ                                                                                                                                  Avsra&e     l3:;s       hverapz     Toto.l    &ys
                                           to Participnte                                  Number        Participating             In                                                     Self+tvdy        Per   Trainillg    md Shlf-zjtudy
                                                In    'Ti-rdninu                           -n&%a---                                                                                       Avail,able     Km      -- l'cr A-x<lrb?~
                                                                                                                                                                                                                               _ 2---_' i'an
                                           641               619                  h&l Cold                                         619        Elue
                                           w                m        Fcmml    Inl-omal     Self-Stud        x    ibmal          Tnfox?mL              ~elf-stud~

                                               IL4             15      14         14           14                     10               15                 15       15    10                   6           25                     43
                                                 5              6        5                       5                     4                6                  6                                 12                                   24
                                               12              12      12         1:           12                                      12                 12       199   13
                                                                                                                                                                         I.4                  6            i                      27
                                                                7        9                      9                        :                                         16         3              11            3                     31
                                                2                        L                       3                       3              z                   z      37     7                                7                     xl
                                                                ::                                                       5              4                   6      12    17                   i                                   2:
                                                                                                 2                                                                 26                                      t                     ;a
                                                                i                                                        67             7’                  x      23
                                                                                                                                                                             4              11             9"
                                                                                                                                                            6      20    2';
                                                                                                                                                                                              5            :
                                                                1                                    1                                                      1       :      2                               3                       7
                                                                                                     2                                                      1              0                  ::           0
                                                                                                     0                                                      3       0        7                0            2                     13

        Average   per   man                                                                                                                                        19    l?       e   6       6            3       34             27

&IThe   nvoraces      ware corqmtod    cn Ihe basis   of tbc hours           of t?sjning    reportsd            for      irdivjduals
  oosigmd       tcj "the crew during    tho last patrol    mid also          at;cipod    to the crew            for      tbo wxt            patrol.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       -11 -