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SURVEY OF MILITARY SUPPLY MANAGEMENT AND
SURPLUS PROPERTY DISPOSAL PRACTICES
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 6, 1953
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS,
Port Tlueneme, Calif. The subcommittee met at 10 a. m., at the United States Naval Advanced Base Supply Depot, at Port Hueneme, Calif., Hon. R. Walter Riehlman (chairman of the subcommittee), presiding.
Present: Hon. R. Walter Riehlman, chairman of the subcommittee, and Hon. Chet Holifield, member of the subcommittee.
Also Present: Michael P. Balwan, staff director; Robert T. Morris, staff member; and Harold Lane, field secretary for Mr. Holifield.
Present from the Department of Defense, Washington, D. C.: Hon. Charles S. Thomas, Assistant Secretary of Defense (Supply and Logistics); Col. W. Hightower Smith, Deputy Chief, Investigations Division, Directorate of Legislation and Liaison, Office of Secretary of the Air Force (Special Department of Defense representative accompanying the subcommittee).
Present from the United States Naval Advanced Base Supply Depot, Port Hueneme, Calif.: Capt. H. D. Wolleson, commanding officer; Capt. W. C. G. Church, commanding officer, Construction Battalion Center; Commander R. E. Van Liew, executive officer, Construction Battalion Center; Commander E. S. Hobson, officer in charge, Construction Equipment Depot, Construction Battalion Center; Commander A. A. Pabst, officer in charge, Advanced Base Supply Depot, Construction Battalion Center; Commander W. M. Huey, executive officer, Yards and Docks Supply Office, Construction Battalion Center; Lt. (jg) R. H. Stutheit, disposal officer; and Charles A. Ploch, Procurement Division supervisor (senior civilian disposal officer).
Present from the Bureau of Yards and Docks, Department of the Navy, Washington, D. C.: Norbert R. Fortier, Deputy Director, Materiel Procurement and Control Division, Office of Assistant Chief for Business Management.
Mr. RIEHLMAN. The subcommittee will be in order.
I understand that Captain Church is scheduled to explain the general mission of the depot.
Would you proceed, please, Captain Church.
STATEMENT OF CAPT. W. C. G. CHURCH, COMMANDING OFFICER,
CONSTRUCTION BATTALION CENTER, UNITED STATES NAVAL ADVANCED BASE SUPPLY DEPOT, PORT HUENEME, CALIF.
Captain CHURCH. We would like to welcome you to the construction battalion center, and feel that we have an interesting day for you.
I would like to emphasize that since the news of your visit reached us on the arrival of Mr. Fortier yesterday from Washington, we have tried to assemble as much of the data that you need as possible. If this data is not complete we would be very happy to prepare detailed memorandums and forward them to you if desired.
I would like for a moment to cover the mission of this center, the general picture of what we have here at Hueneme, and I will ask the various officers interested in supply and surplus stocks to assist me.
The mission of the advanced base depot-it is a command for the administration and coordination of the components concerned with the training of advanced base personnel and the assembly of personnel and material for advanced bases.
The mission of the construction battalion center, which is the senior command under the advanced base depot, is to support the advanced base depot and to exercise military command and coordination control over activities assigned to the center, in order to provide adequate facilities for the discharge of the advanced base mobilization responsibilities of the Bureau as assigned by the Chief of Naval Operations.
Broken down into words of one syllable, it means that the commander, advanced base depot, has overall military command and is responsible here for the job the rest of us do, and is the senior representative of the commandant in the area.
Under him we have the CBC, which is my command. Construction battalion centers are not merely storage depots for material. They are set up to support the group VIII Navy ratings. They are a rather unique organization in the Navy, since there are only 3 of them in being: 1 here at Hueneme, 1 at Gulfport, Miss., and 1 at Davisville, R. I.
The one here at Hueneme is the only fully manned, fully staffed, and fully organized one of the lot. In fact, we have 1 or 2 activities over and above what would be our normal mission. We do here all the training of all enlisted personnel and Civil Engineer Corps officers in their various responsibilities.
We have an area which comprises some 1,700 acres inside the fence, and a plant account value of $14 million. That is actually a false fig. ure, because it is the cost of the original construction, most of which is temporary and makeshift construction. The recovery value would be considerably less than that figure. As you will note later, on our tour, our buildings are not modern or particularly convenient or good for the storage purposes for which we have had to utilize them. Our appropriation and allotment is $13 million a year for support activities.
We do not have any particular problems, other than a major reorganization which is scheduled to take place within the next several months. I will not go into detail concerning this reorganization,
since it won't particularly affect the problem you have at hand. In passing, we feel that as a result of the reorganization we will save at least 5 to 10 percent in maintenance costs and probably more than that in reduction of personnel ceiling.
Mr. RIEHLMAN. What reorganization is that?
Captain CHURCH. At the moment, there are eight separate component commands within my command.
There is the construction battalion base unit, which is composed of 2 officers and 10 enlisted men, which is a small receiving unit.
We have the Naval School for Civil Engineer Corps Officers, which has at all times about 150 oflicers under training.
Mr. Balwan. That is here?
Captain CHURCH. Yes. That is part of the center. They train the men from OCS at Newport and have some Reserve training and advanced retraining of individuals.
We have United States Naval Schools, Construction, which is enlisted training of the construction men of the Navy. We train between 500 and 800 men in support of the requirements of both the Pacific and Atlantic Fleets.
This is the only CBC that is fully manned and organized.
Mr. RIEHLMAN. Would you have schools at Davisville and Gulfport? Captain CHURCH.
Davisville and Gulfport are not actually operating as full construction-battalion centers.
We have the only Engineering Research and Evaluation Laboratory which is involved with the advanced work in research on our equipment. I like to consider it application work and testing of materials and buildings developed by engineers throughout the country.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. How do you coordinate this research work with that done by the Corps of Engineers of the Army?
Mr. FORTIER. They do that at the Bureau level. The Army is doing most of theirs at Fort Belvoir. In the Bureau of Yards and Docks they have an Assistant Chief, Plans and Research, who coordinates what we and the Army are doing, so there is very little duplication.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. Do you have any people there at Belvoir ?
Captain ChurcII. No, we don't.' There is one CEC officer, but he is under the Bureau of Yards and Docks, and unless there has been a cut back in personnel he is still there. Actually Belvoir is so close to Washington it is not too difficult to maintain liaison.
With reference to the reoganization that I mentioned earlier, all of these units are being kept [pointing to components on the chart).
We have four other units here which are being absorbed.
The operational training unit didn't develop too well. For regrouping and retaining it was felt necessary to have a group here to retrain the men. However, we found it is easier to do this ourselves so that unit is being incorporated within the center.
The CED and the ABSD are the two activities which control our material and our stock. Commander Pabst and Commander Hobson are the gentlemen in command of these components. The actual accounting, keeping of records, of course, is a supply function and is accomplished in the supply depot. The exercising of the equipment and the technical control is held in the CED. It is those two components that are primarily involved in the reorganization. They are te that way.
going to be reduced from separate activities and made departments of the CBC. The savings will accrue mostly in overhead and integration of reports so there will be considerably less duplication.
We have another activity called the Yards and Docks supply office, which is the supply demand control point for all Yards and Docks material, with the exception of mobilization reserves. What we have here is mostly mobilization reserve and they do not control that. They are in control of our excesses that are in the reserves that shouldn't be there, a result of rollback of material in the Pacific. A great deal of material was returned, of very high potential value primarily I am speaking of spare parts. There is still an excess in the neighborhood of $17 million estimated in the spare parts system. The Yards and Docks supply office controls those. They are the only supply demand control point here, and are under management control of Bureau of Supplies and Accounts and they report to the commanding officer, CBC, mainly because of their geographic location on this base.
Mr. Thomas. How many supply demand control points are there?
Commander HUEY. Except for the mobilization reserves, and that is not handled by this supply demand control point.
Captain Church. That control is in the Bureau. We have minimum levels set by the Bureau.
Mr. THOMAS. Why do they split up? I don't see how they can operCaptain CHURCH. That is a matter of planning at the higher levels.
Mr. Thomas. The breakup between the control of reserve and operating stocks, is that true at the ships parts control service?
Commander Huey. There is a separateness between the reserve stocks and the operating stocks.
Captain CHURCH. This is a newer control point, and there is no question that with more experience and more time behind us better liaison can be accomplished. I don't see how they could take complete control.
Mr. Thomas. Your current issue of this type of material is at Oakland?
Captain CHURCH. Yes, sir.
Mr. Thomas (to the committee). I think you will find that there is a coordination at the Bureau level. They are separate operations, but they are coordinated.
Commander Huey. We use our operating stock. There is a definite control of both stocks. When we need it for reserve stock we use that particular material.
Captain CHURCH. One more point-that is the amount we have here. I think we would say here at Hueneme that we have a minimum level but our retention level needs clarification.
From our own local viewpoint here of what we can do efficiently and effectively, we would say that Hueneme today is probably 25 percent on the average overstocked, but that is against our local picture only, not against the overall broad Department of Defense picture, or the Department of the Navy picture. We don't know what these are.
Because of the cost of transporting the type of equipment we have it doesn't pay to ship a lot of that equipment to Davisville just to keep their minimum level and ours in balance. They would rather leave it here, even though we are over.
Mr. RIEHLMAN. The establishment of this retention level-take into consideration this 25 percent over here and 25 percent under at another base and they will balance off? The stock would be kept at that level, and in case of emergency it would be drawn from here to wherever it would be needed ?
Captain CHURCH. They have tried to avoid much transfer of material.
Mr. FORTIER. To redistribute the stock would require movement of approximately 25 shiploads out of Hueneme. This is considered uneconomical and inadvisable at this time, in view of the possibility of modifications to the mobilization program.
The reason for having a large percentage of our mobilization reserve here is that after the war this was the only activity we had, and in building a mobilization reserve all material was stored at this activity. Under the present procurement program, the bulk of the new procurement is being delivered to east-coast activities.
Mr. RIEHLMAN. Would there be a duplication of the same stocks you have here?
Captain CHURCH. It is the same equipment, but no duplication on needs.
Mr. RIEHLMAN. If you have 25-percent excess here, and you are buying on the east coast to build their minimum up
Captain CHURCH. They are buying against an overall requirement.
Mr. Balwan. Do you plan to explain more about those two components, CED and ABSD, later on this afternoon?
Captain CHURCH. Oh, yes. This morning I felt we would have only a quick briefing.
To explain the part the Yards and Docks supply office plays in the program here, Commander Huey will be our next speaker.
STATEMENT OF COMDR. W. M. HUEY, EXECUTIVE OFFICER, YARDS
AND DOCKS SUPPLY OFFICE, CONSTRUCTION BATTALION CENTER, UNITED STATES NAVAL ADVANCED BASE SUPPLY DEPOT, PORT HUENEME, CALIF.
Commander Huey. I represent Commander Lyle, who is the Yards and Docks supply officer, and is presently on the east coast.
I would like to explain briefly what the Yards and Docks supply office does and how it fits into the organization of the Construction Battalion Center.
As Captain Church has said, we are a tenant activity at the Construction Battalion Center. Upon establishment of Yards and Docks supply office in 1947, circumstances dictated the use of the buildings and facilities here, and lack of funds for moving have kept us on this base since that time. We occupy five buildings on this base. * * *
For purposes of military command we report to the commanding ollicer, CBC, who in turn reports to Captain Wolleson, commander, Naval Advanced Base Depot, and through him, to the commandant, Eleventh Naval District.