H.R. 5504, THE FISCAL YEAR 1993 DEFENSE APPROPRIATIONS ACT -- HON. ROBERT E. ANDREWS (Extension of Remarks - October 29, 1992)
HON. ROBERT E. ANDREWS
in the House of Representatives
MONDAY, OCTOBER 5, 1992
- Mr. ANDREWS of New Jersey. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support of H.R. 5504, the fiscal year 1993 Defense Appropriations Act. Specifically, I would like to commend the hard work and expertise of Representative Murtha, the chairman of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. Every year, Chairman Murtha successfully accomplishes the difficult job of bringing to the floor the largest of the 13 appropriations bill. It is to his credit that despite the complexity of this task, the Defense appropriations bill is brought to the floor each year, and passed with bipartisan support.
- Mr. Speaker, I would like to bring to the attention of the House instructions which have been given to the Navy by the Senate Appropriations committee, and discuss some of the issues surrounding these instructions.
- Specifically, I am referring to the report of the Senate Appropriations Committee to accompany H.R. 5504. The report states the following:
- U.S.S. Kennedy complex overhaul: The 1991 Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission recommended that the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard [PNSY] be closed but acknowledged that PNSY would perform the Service Life Extension Program for the U.S.S. Kennedy from September 1993 until mid-1996. The work on the U.S.S. Kennedy subsequently changed to a 24-month complex overhaul, which Congress required to be performed by PNSY. The Secretary of Defense concurred in this plan in September 1991. The Committee is deeply concerned that the Navy is not assigning sufficient work to PNSY to keep the work force at adequate levels to perform the complex overhaul of the U.S.S. Kennedy on time and to specification. Accordingly, the Committee directs the Secretary of the Navy to assign to PNSY such ship repair and maintenance work as will be necessary to maintain adequate work force levels at PNSY to support the U.S.S. Kennedy overhaul on time and to specification. Further, the Committee directs the Secretary to consider assigning the U.S.S. Biddle, the U.S.S. Detroit, and the U.S.S. Kidd to PNSY to provide work to keep the work force at sufficient levels to begin work on the U.S.S. Kennedy in September 1993.
- These instructions raise a series of potential questions which I would like to take the opportunity to address:
- First, is it feasible for the U.S. Navy to assign work to Philadelphia Naval Ship Yard in the manner which the Committee directs?
- The U.S. Navy routinely assigns ship repair work to public shipyards in order to achieve certain goals. For example, the following article appeared in a recent issue of `Inside the Navy' magazine:
The Long Beach Naval Shipyard reportedly has landed ship-maintenance without competition between the public and private yards. Industry sources said the naval shipyard was assigned three warships that industry was led to believe would be competed between the public and private yards. The Navy's Long Beach supervisor of shipbuilding for conversion and repair confirmed in a recent meeting on port workloads that in fact there would be no competition, according to the sources. Clearly, the Navy is trying to keep the naval shipyard alive, one source said . . .
Long Beach reportedly will work on the Austin Class amphibious ship Ogden (LPD-5), the Anchorage Class amphibious ship Mount Vernon (LSD-39) and the Spruance Class destroyer Foster (DD-964). The work is scheduled to begin between February and June of next year, an industry source said. [Inside the Navy, August 31, 1992]
- This article shows that the Navy is able and willing to assign ship repair work without public-private competition for the legally questionable motives which the article's sources identify. The Navy is equally able to assign ship repair work to Philadelphia Naval Ship Yard in order to fulfill the legal mandate created by the fiscal year 1992 Defense Authorization Act that the U.S.S. Kennedy overhaul be performed at Philadelphia, and the Appropriations Committee mandate that the work be completed on time and to specification.
- Second, what work force levels are necessary for the U.S.S. Kennedy to be completed on time and to specifications?
- The Appropriations Committee has directed the Navy to `assign the Philadelphia Naval Ship Yard such ship repair and maintenance work as will be necessary to maintain adequate work force levels to perform the complex overhaul of the U.S.S. Kennedy overhaul on time and to specification.'
- There is no simple formula for deriving the necessary work force level to complete a carrier overhaul. The difficulty is that an overhaul requires a large, technically qualified work force with a variety of labor skills. These skills vary from basic industrial manufacturing and repair skills to high technology electronics knowledge and even design, planning, and drafting expertise. While all of these skills are vitally important, the labor intensity for each varies as the overhaul progresses. For example, welding, electronics repair, critical machining, combat system testing, and drydocking a ship are all skills which are used at various times during an overhaul and which must be available at all times for unexpected situations. A deficit of skills in any of these areas, or in dozens of others as well, would preclude the overhaul from being accomplished on time and to specifications.
- In order to maintain this trade skill mix, particularly during a large and complex overhaul such as an aircraft carrier, the shipyard must maintain an amount of ship repair work which will sustain a workforce slightly larger than and equally diverse to that required for the peak performance period of a carrier overhaul. An analysis of the history of carrier overhauls at Philadelphia Naval Shipyard shows that work on carriers has averaged 66 percent of the total ship repair work in the yard at any one time over the last 11 years. During the past 2 years carrier work has averaged 77 percent of the total ship repair work in the yard at any one time. This balance between carrier work and other ship work has allowed the shipyard to maintain the trade skill mix and balance needed for success. Philadelphia Naval Shipyard has maintained the lowest manday rate and the highest productivity ratio of any public yard in the country during this period, and continues to do so today.
- Under Philadelphia Naval Shipyard's current work schedule, 88 percent of the ship work to be done at any one time during the first 6 months of 1993 will be on one carrier, the U.S.S. Forrestal. Moreover, 93 percent of the ship work to be done at any one time during 1993 and 1994 will be carrier work. All work on the U.S.S. Kennedy in fiscal year 1994 will be performed with 93 percent of the yard's ship work dedicated to that project. If this happens, the skill mix at the yard will be destroyed and there will be no way for the yard to complete the Kennedy on time and to specification. This is the situation to which the Appropriations Committee referred to when it stated that, `The Committee is deeply concerned that the Navy is not assigning sufficient work to Philadelphia Naval Shipyard to keep the work force at adequate levels to perform the complex overhaul of the U.S.S. Kennedy on time and to specification.'
- The work devoted to carrier work at any one time should not exceed 75 percent to 80 percent of the total ship work in process to insure proper skill-mix balance and successful performance. In order to determine how much additional work will be required to achieve balance and insure on time, to specification performance on the Kennedy, the point of maximum work on the Kennedy must be ascertained. Work on the Kennedy in 1994 is scheduled to peak at approximately 2,350 mandays per day in the March through July period. This means that Philadelphia Naval Shipyard should be performing approximately 2,940 to 3,130 mandays of ship work per day at that time. This also means that in order to preserve the necessary skill mix, 2,940 to 3,130 mandays per day of shiprepair work should be consistently performed at Philadelphia Naval Shipyard through that time.
- As currently scheduled, the ship work in the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard drops dramatically from 4,166 to 2,154 mandays per day between October 1992 and January 1993, and decreases gradually from there to reach a low point of 1,787 mandays per day in December 1993. This will cause a reduction in force and commensurate layoff of over 1,000 skilled workers and more than 500 supporting staff. Most of these displaced workers will be forced to move from the area to find work since the local economy is already suffering from high unemployment. However, starting in January 1994 the U.S.S. Kennedy workload will increase toward its peak of 2,350 mandays per day. The work which the Appropriations Committee directs to be assigned to Philadelphia Naval Shipyard between now and June 1994 will prevent the impending loss of many skilled tradesman necessary to perform the Kennedy overhaul and help to sustain the requisite skill mix for successfully completing the Kennedy on time and to specifications.
- Therefore, in order to fulfill the mandate of the Senate Appropriations Committee, the Navy must assign enough work to Philadelphia Naval Shipyard to maintain the performance of 2,940 mandays per day of ship work through the 1994 peak in Kennedy work.
- Third, in what manner should the Secretary consider assignment of the U.S.S. Biddle, U.S.S. Detroit, and U.S.S. Kidd to Philadelphia Naval Shipyard?
- The Appropriations Committee directed the Secretary of the Navy `to consider assigning the U.S.S. Biddle, the U.S.S. Detroit, and the U.S.S. Kidd to Philadelphia Naval Shipyard to provide work to keep the work force at sufficient levels' to complete the U.S.S. Kennedy on time and to specification.
- While the committee stated that the Secretary should consider assigning this work to Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, this does not weaken its earlier explicit mandate that the Navy should assign to Philadelphia Naval Shipyard `such ship repair and maintenance work as will be necessary' to complete the Kennedy on time and to specification. As discussed above, this requires a work load of at least 2,940 mandays per day through the 1994 peak. In fact, if the Navy assigned to Philadelphia Naval Shipyard all three of the ships suggested for consideration by the Appropriations Committee, it would not completely fulfill this mandate.
- As stated before, under its current schedule the workload at Philadelphia Naval Shipyard would drop dramatically from 4,166 to 2,154 mandays per day between October 1992 and January 1993. This necessitates assignment of repair projects to Philadelphia Naval Shipyard which will begin in January 1993.
- In order to achieve this, the Appropriations Committee suggested the assignment of the U.S.S. Biddle (CG-34), a guided missile cruiser of the Belknap (CG-26) class which is homeported in Norfolk, VA. It is scheduled to undergo a repair availability from January through June 1993. The repairs and alterations are estimated to require 48,000 mandays and over $15 million. The work package will necessitate drydocking and includes hull, mechanical, electrical combat systems and electronics. The assignment of the Biddle to Philadelphia Naval Shipyard will significantly improve the workload for early and mid-1992, and will reduce the almost immediate loss of hundreds of skilled workers vital to the overhaul of the Kennedy.
- If the Secretary is unable to assign the U.S.S. Biddle to Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, it can fulfill the Appropriations Committee mandate by assignment of the U.S.S. Yorktown (CG-48). This is an Aegis guided missile cruiser of the Ticonderoga (CG-47) class and is also homeported in Norfolk. It is scheduled to undergo a repair availability from January 1993 through April 1993. The repairs and alterations are estimated to require 36,000 mandays and over $11 million. The work package includes hull, mechanical, electrical, combat systems and electronics and will also require drydocking. Assignment of the U.S.S. Yorktown to Philadelphia would be an ideal substitute for the Biddle, in both timing and workload, in the event the Navy is unable to assign the Biddle's work to Philadelphia Naval Shipyard.
- The assignment of either of these work packages will fulfill the Appropriation Committee's mandate through mid-1993. Thereafter, the committee suggests and assignment to Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, of the U.S.S. Detriot (AOE-4), a fast combat support ship of the Sacramento (AOE-1) class which is homeported near Philadelphia in Earle, NJ. It is scheduled to undergo a phased maintenance availability from May through October 1993. The repairs and alterations are estimated to require 48,000 mandays and over $15 million. The work package includes hull, mechanical and electrical work, but is much less intensive in combat systems and electronics than is the work on a combatant such as the Biddle. The work will again require drydocking. The assignment of the Detroit to Philadelphia will maintain a constant level and trade mix of skilled workers from mid to late 1993.
- Assignment of the U.S.S. Lasalle (AGF-3) to Philadelphia would be an ideal complement to the assignment of the Detroit in both timing and workload. The Lasalle is a communications command ship which traditionally serves as the flagship for the Commander of the Middle East Forces, and is homeported in Philadelphia. It is scheduled to undergo a regular overhaul from May through November 1993. The repairs and alterations are estimated to require 60,000 mandays and over $19 million. The work package includes hull, mechanical, electrical, and electronics work, and will require drydocking. The Lasalle would provide an even better trade skill mix than the Detroit, in that it has a higher level of electronic work scheduled, thus helping to retain those critical skills for the U.S.S. Kennedy.
- After the Navy exercises the options above, it will still need to assign work to the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard for the second half of 1993. For this reason, the Appropriations Committee has suggested the assignment of the U.S.S. Kidd (DDG-993), a guided missile destroyer and lead ship of the Kidd class ships which is homeported in Staten Island, NY. It is scheduled to undergo a repair availability from June 1993 through January 1994. The repairs and alterations are estimated to require 19,000 man-days and over $6 million. The work package includes hull, mechanical, electrical, combat systems, and electronics, and will require drydocking. Assignment of the Kidd to Philadelphia will, in concert with the work on the Detroit and/or LaSalle, maintain the necessary level of work and trade mix through the end of the 1993 calendar year. This will ensure the availability of a trained workforce for the Kennedy, particularly in the combat systems and electronics skills.
- As the earlier analysis shows, in order to complete the U.S.S. Kennedy on time and to specifications, the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard must maintain this work level until the Kennedy workload reaches its peak in June 1994. In order to accomplish this, the Navy could assign to Philadelphia the U.S.S. Turner (CG-20), a guided missile cruiser of the Leahy (CG-16) class which is homeported in Charleston. It is scheduled to undergo a phased maintenance availability from December 1993 through July 1994. The repairs and alterations were originally estimated to require 65,000 man-days and over $20 million, but a decrease in the planned work has reduced this to 46,000 man-days and $15 million. However, older ships such as the Turner traditionally have large increases in the scope of work after the beginning of the overhaul, and the original estimate is probably close to the actual cost. The work will require drydocking and will include hull, mechanical, electrical, combat systems, and electronics. The assignment of the Turner to Philadelphia, although not in the legislative report language, will maintain the necessary level and mix of skills at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard through the peak workload on the U.S.S. Kennedy in June 1994.
- The various options for ship repair assignments which I have explained here are not the exclusive ways which the Navy could comply with the Appropriations Committee mandate. Other possible assignments include the scheduled work packages on the U.S.S. Philippine Sea (CG-58), the U.S.S. Conolly (DDG-979), the U.S.S. Comte de Grasse (DDG-974), the U.S.S. Thomas Gates (CG-51), the U.S.S. Sprague (FFG-16), and the U.S.S. Saipan (LHA-2).
- Mr. Speaker, I am confident that the Navy will comply with the legal requirement of the fiscal year 1992 defense authorization bill that the complex overhaul of the U.S.S. Kennedy be completed at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, and with the mandate of the Appropriations Committee that sufficient work be assigned to the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard so that the Kennedy is completed on time and to specification. I hope that my remarks today have made clear for the Navy what steps need to be taken to comply with these mandates. I look forward to working with the Navy to see that these requirements are met.