GROTON, Conn. (AP) — A government report recommends the Navy give more submarine repair work to private yards to save money.
The study released Monday by the Government Accountability Office found that the Navy hadn't "effectively allocated maintenance work between public and private shipyards," The Day of New London, Connecticut, reported . Attack submarines lost more than 10,000 operational days in the past 10 years because of idle time, according to the GAO. The missed days cost the Navy $1.5 billion.
The GAO suggests the Navy use private shipyards like Electric Boat to balance the load, despite the Navy's claims that public yards are less expensive.
"The Navy may have options to mitigate this idle time and maintenance delays by leveraging private shipyard capacity for repair work," the GAO report concludes.
Democratic U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy called the report a "wakeup call for the Navy" in a statement Monday.
Democratic U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney and other legislators requested the report following congressional hearings on attack submarines. Courtney shared his concerns about the Navy's management of submarine repairs.
"It's not like the government is saving any money by suspending maintenance work," Courtney said. "You still have to pay the crew. There's overhead fees associated with a ship that's tied up," Courtney added.
There's speculation that the Trump administration may propose to refuel Los Angeles-class attack submarines to extend their lifespan. Courtney pointed out that refueling happens at public yards which will add to the Navy's workload.
Courtney hopes the report will serve as a "launching pad" for talks in the House Armed Services Committee.
Information from: The Day, http://www.theday.com