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SURVEY OF MILITARY SUPPLY MANAGEMENT AND
SURPLUS PROPERTY DISPOSAL PRACTICES
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 7, 1953
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Warner Robins Air Material Area,
Warner Robins Air Force Base, Ga. The subcommittee met at 2:35, p. m., at Warner Robins Air Materiel Area, Warner Robins Air Force Base, Ga., Hon. R. Walter Riehlman (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.
Present: Hon. R. Walter Riehlman, chairman of the subcommittee, and Hon. Frank Ikard, member of the subcommittee.
Also present: Paul J. Cotter, chief counsel, Michael P. Balwan, staff director, and Robert T. Morris, staff member.
Present from the Warner Robins Air Materiel Area: Gen. K. E. Tibbetts, commander; Brig. Gen. A. V. P. Anderson, deputy commander; Col. L. E. Johnson, director, supply and services; Col. Andrew Meulenberg, director, procurement and production; Lt. Col. T. H. Gorton, assistant for programing;
Lt. Col. J. E. Miller, deputy, maintenance engineering; Maj. J. B. Workman, property disposal officer; A. H. Cotton, assistant to the director of supply and services; and Elwood Maggard, assistant to the director of maintenance engineering
Present from the Directorate of Supply and Services, Air Materiel Command Headquarters, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio: Col. W. B. Packard, deputy for operations; Col. W. R. Betz, chief, disposal task group; Maj. H. E. Brose, aircraft engine branch, office of deputy for programs and requirements; and J. P. Haines, civilian chief, property disposal branch.
Present from Headquarters, United States Air Force, Washington, D. C.; A. T. Bishop, Programs Control Group, Directorate of Supply and Services, Office of Deputy Chief of Staff for Material.
Mr. RIEHLMAN (chairman of subcommittee). The subcommittee will be in order. Will you proceed, Mr. Counsel.
Mr. COTTER. I understand the first gentleman whom we should hear is Mr. Haines. Will you please proceed, sir.
STATEMENT OF J. P. HAINES, CIVILIAN CHIEF, PROPERTY DIS
POSAL BRANCH, DIRECTORATE OF SUPPLY AND SERVICES, HEADQUARTERS, AIR MATERIEL COMMAND, WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, OHIO
Mr. HAINES. I am the civilian chief of the Property Disposal Branch in the Directorate of Supply and Services, Headquarters, AMC.
Mr. Riehlman, Mr. Ikard, General Tibbetts, gentlemen; my story this afternoon is the disposal picture or Project Springclean.
WARNER ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE EXHIBIT No. 1
PRESENT DISPOSAL CRITERIA
Progject SPRING CLEAN
The present disposal criteria approved
A. Aeronautical items peculiar to aircraft for
which retirement dates have been established -
not having retirement dates - 5 times the cur-
requirement whichever is greater.
criteria as for the aircraft spares i.C. A or
B as applicable
the current program requirements or the
mobilization reqmts. whichever is the greater. E. Commercial items - if no issues for 3 years
(actual implementation was the same as above.) Mr. COTTER. Are they synonymous at the present time?
Mr. Haines. They are actually synonymous. Shortly after hostilities broke out in Korea the Air Force severely restricted disposals in order that we might reevaluate our requirements and to insure that we did not dispose of anything that might possibly be needed in the Korean conflict.
That situation went from shortly after the Korean outbreak until May 1952. During that period we could only dispose of that property for which we had absolutely no use, either through obsolescence or being completely obsolete, or which was beyond repair and had been found unsafe in use, or which had been completely worn out and was fit only as waste or scrap. That, of course, caused some of the problem we have today with our excesses.
In May of 1952, Headquarters AMC and Headquarters USAF, realizing that we must have some relief from this problem, arrived at an understanding or new disposal criteria.
Now, we realized at the time, and Colonel Packard this morning mentioned several of the factors considered, we realized this was a cautious approach, but we were in the process of the conflict in Korea at the time and we were in the process of decentralizing, and the world conditions we did not feel were just right to go out into a disposal program.
That program was intended to take only the peak off of it, after which we would again reevaluate our problems. We would come up with new criteria and then we would go into it again.
The program under which we have been working is as follows and this is a little bit misleading on this chart here: Our program was not aimed at disposing of specific quantities but at determining what we needed to meet any eventuality that we had to face. We determined what we should keep, and anything above that we would dispose of.
On those aeronautical items peculiar to aircraft, and by that word "peculiar” I mean usable only on or with airplanes, and for which retirement dates have been established, we would retain sufficient spare parts for the estimated life of the aircraft, plus 20 percent as a contingency.
Mr. Balwan. What do you mean by sufficient spares for the life of the aircraft? What would be an example of that?
Mr. Haines. Well, if we projected that a certain aircraft would be in the system for 5 years, we would keep, on the basis of our consumption and our computations, sufficient spares to maintain that aircraft for 5 years, and that would be all.
Theoretically, the aircraft would pass out of the system, and when that happened the spares would pass out.
Mr. Balwan. Could you tie it down to a particular kind of aircraft that you know about?
Coỉ. L. E. JOHNSON. The F-82, for instance, disappears from the inventory next month.
Mr. CÕTTER. Have you been using the inventory up to now?
Colonel JOHNSON. Yes, sir; the last eight are in the Alaskan theater at the moment.
Mr. BALWAN. What happens then?
Colonel JOHNSON. They will disappear. There will be no more requirement for them.
Mr. IKARD. Where will they go!
Mr. Balwan. How much time did you have for the F-82 when you were working on the Springclean operation, 6 months?
Colonel Johnson. They gave us a number of hours that that aircraft was expected to be in excess. We compute our requirements on the flying requirement.
Mr. COTTER. Is your scale based on a wartime operation, peacetime, or on what basis?
Mr. Haines. That would be on past requirement, I think.
Colonel PACKARD. Actually, we use both. If we have an aircraft in the system for 5 years we figure first the flying-hour program and then apply the consumption rate for the particular item.
We use five brakes, for instance, per year and we keep the aircraft in being for 5 years. We need 25 brakes, plus a 20 percent contingency.
That is peacetime.
Now, if the emergency plans continue for this particular type of aircraft-and they spelì out the aircraft and the mission and the estimated flying hours, then we will compute the same brake against
those flying hours, and whichever is the greater we will retain on hand.
We have to make 2 computations, 1 on a peacetime level and 1 on a wartime level.
You might think offhand that wartime would call for the greatest amount of spares necessary. That is not so. We have an attrition factor. That factor phases them out pretty quickly. At the end we may have a greater retention level under peacetime than under wartime.
Now the F-82, recognizing it is going out in 6 months, undoubtedly would phase out on the peacetime schedule.
Mr. COTTER. Supposing you were phasing out the B-29 in 1957. You would knock off the peaks on parts on the B-29 and you would not consider anything but excess quantities after you made your computations. You would have no regard for the obsolescence of the part as it is now. As I understand it, you would give as much time to that, to a plane that you knew was obsolete now and was taking up room in the warehouses and in your storage bins, because Air Force Headquarters has not told you it was no good. Colonel PACKARD. I am not quite sure that I follow you,
but on the B-29's, and it is a good airplane to take because it is a reserve type aircraft, a good many of them are in storage. We do know what the program will be under the emergency plans and we know what the peacetime plans are.
This develops into a disposal program if we figure out the retention. So we figure how much we must have to retain on the B-29, then if the item is obsolete or obsolescent and not utilized under
any program, then we have the authority to dispose of it without any instructions at all.
Mr. COTTER. But you have to get instructions that the particular plane will be obsolete next month, for instance?
Colonel PACKARD. Those instructions are the policies that Mr. Balwan mentioned this morning. We have to get a time factor as to when they will be obsolete.
Now there is another type of obsolescence. A plane or a part can become obsolete through a replacement. We may have a replacement part that makes the old part obsolete and we could cleanse our system immediately without authority and use the new part. That is a kind of technical obsolescence job.
Mr. Balwan. Which would not come out merely as the result of Springclean? Colonel PACKARD. That is right.
General TIBBETTS. One example there is the carburetor on the B-29. They will use fuel injectors.
Mr. COTTER. Your project of retention can be nothing better than a considered guess. You put in all the factors that you can compute, but it is still a guess.
Colonel PACKARD. Based on the available data.
Mr. COTTER. Is your problem of cost to continue these excesses beyond this considered guess as to proper inventory levels such a big problem that it is profitable to pursue that type of disposal rather than putting your prime accent on disposals of actual excesses arising because of obsolescence or a wornout condition which must also be an important factor in your storage and your inventory system?