To understand the regionalization initiative and its implementation challenges, the committee visited San Diego naval bases reporting to the Commander in Chief, Pacific Fleet (CINCPACFLT). The San Diego region has the second largest concentration of Navy personnel and units, and it is home port to 56 ships. Given base closings elsewhere, it appears that the Navy presence in the region will increase over the next few years. Although most of the bases participating in this regionalization effort are in the immediate San Diego area, some bases, such as Fallon, Nevada, and El Centro, California, are further away. To capture this wider consolidation, the new region is called the Southwest Region, and it covers three states.
As part of the regionalization process, ten San Diego bases are first being restructured into three megabases. Most of the money to operate and maintain the bases will come through one claimant (CINCPACFLT). Several other claimants have transferred money and control of property to CINCPACFLT as part of the process to simplify the flow of funds, and most of the installation support money comes to CINCPACFLT under the sponsorship of OPNAV-N4. The committee did not obtain a full understanding of all the planned savings because regionalization was still in the early stages of development and implementation.
Regionalization will consolidate the support of the three new megabases. The regional command will have consolidated departments headed by program managers (or assistant chiefs of staff [ACOS]). The departments will provide a range of services to the three megabases, such as facility management, security, port operations, and air operations. There is a regional advisory board consisting of the megabase commanding officers and department managers.
Based on the study of seven functional areas, the initial consolidation should save at least $20 million when fully implemented. The goal is to achieve savings of $40 million a year. Most of the savings from regionalization will come from reducing the number of middle management civil service employees and overhead features. Prior to the consolidation, bases in the region had reduced costs by $30 million. This was a 10 percent reduction in their base operating support budgets. The cuts were the result of overall budget reductionssome were met through efficiencies and others through reductions in service. From 1997–1998, 500 civilian workers were displaced by these cuts.
It was very difficult to account for the total cost of the infrastructure resident in the San Diego region. Excluding personnel assigned to ships and to deployable aircraft squadrons, there are 36,000 military personnel and 20,000 Navy civilians in the region. The personnel cost alone is $2.5 billion. This estimate excludes construction costs, contractors, and utilities. As far as the committee could determine, the regional commander will have control over only $500 million. Thus the identified savings ($20 million) and the savings goal ($40 mil-