PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) – A new government report says conditions at Navy shipyards are not up to par.
The report from the Government Accountability Office says facilities and equipment at four Naval shipyards are in poor condition. It’s created a backlog that could take nearly $4.9 billion and 19 years to fill.
The report says between fiscal years 2000 and 2016, inadequate facilities and equipment led to delays. Those delays contributed to 1,300 lost operational days for aircraft carriers and 12,500 lost operational days for submarines. At Norfolk Naval Shipyard, the facility has lost more than 2,900 operational days.
Senator Tim Kaine says the report is troubling, but officials are addressing it, knowing there will be a huge cost.
“The GAO report is not a surprise and that’s why we worked on this defense bill in committee in June,” says Senator Kaine. “That’s why in June we put this amendment in to require the DOD to give us a plan for how they are going to address the backlog. That plan, they need to tell us what they need to address it and it has a cost to it. Then the burden will be on our shoulders to budget and appropriate to meet that cost.”
In a statement, Senator Mark Warner tells 10 On Your Side:
“This report confirms the dire state of some of the Navy’s facilities and equipment, leading to operational delays that hurt our military readiness and put our country’s security at risk. As we proceed through the Congressional appropriations process, I am pushing for the Defense Department to do a thorough review of its public shipyards so we can develop a comprehensive strategy that revamps the way we use those national assets to maintain and upgrade our fleet.”
According to the report, Norfolk Naval Shipyard got $1.50 billion in funding, but the backlog has a price tag of $1.34 billion.