HONOLULU — Pearl Harbor is the Navy’s most backlogged shipyard, despite all four shipyards being in poor condition, according to a report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office.
The report says poor conditions have contributed to inefficiencies, robbing the Navy of ship and submarine time at sea, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported (http://bit.ly/2ybWA5X).
“Navy data show that the cost of backlogged restoration and maintenance projects at the shipyards has grown by 41 percent over five years, to a Navy-estimated $4.86 billion, and it will take at least 19 years through fiscal year 2036 to clear,” according to the report.
Between 2000 and 2016, 49 of 57 maintenance jobs to Pearl Harbor were delayed, resulting in 4,128 lost operational days for nuclear-powered submarines, according to the report.
U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a Democrat from Hawaii who’s on the House Armed Services Committee, said the challenges facing Pearl Harbor are unique compared to the other shipyards. Those are Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Virginia, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Maine and Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Washington state.
The shipyard is Hawaii’s largest industrial employer, with a civilian workforce of nearly 5,200 and 543 Navy personnel.
Gabbard said this workforce “will continue to overcome the challenges before them, but must have the tools and personnel necessary to do so.”
Eighty percent of Peal Harbor’s nearly 4 million square feet of facilities is designated as historic, with many facilities being outdated for modern needs, according to the report.
“Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard faces historic preservation challenges that have complicated its infrastructure planning and capital investment,” according to the report.
Naval Sea Systems Command is putting together a long-range shipyard infrastructure plan for each yard, officials said.
“This plan will identify and define a vision to recapitalize and optimally configure shipyard infrastructure to improve productivity and effectiveness,” the Pearl Harbor shipyard stated.
Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, http://www.staradvertiser.com