10/31/2019 | News release | Distributed by Public on 10/31/2019 12:12
In March 2018, the Department of the Navy submitted to the Congress a plan to modernize the nation's sealift force over the next 30 years. Sealift ships move most of the equipment and supplies that the Army and Marine Corps need when they are deployed to overseas theaters of operation. CBO estimated the cost of implementing the Navy's plan and then compared that plan with four alternatives.
All four of CBO's alternatives would meet or nearly meet the Department of Defense's (DoD's) goal for the cargo capacity of the sealift force, and the total costs for the Navy's plan and the four alternatives, including acquisition and 30-year operation and support costs, are similar. The costs of those alternatives would vary from $34 billion to $40 billion over the next 30 years; the two alternatives for buying new ships would cost more than buying used ships or chartering ships. Three of the four alternatives would cost less than the Navy's plan, according to CBO's estimates, by between 5 percent and 12 percent.
DoD's current goal for the sealift force is to maintain at least 15.3 million square feet of militarily useful cargo space on its ships. That space would be used in the event of a war that required transporting the equipment of a large military force overseas. Troops would be flown to the overseas location where the equipment was deposited to begin operations. DoD would like to maintain an additional 4.3 million square feet of cargo capacity in commercially owned ships, available on 18 days' notice, to transport equipment and supplies to those overseas military forces. The civilian ships would primarily transport supplies for the military units once they were assembled.