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46

2011

DISHONORABLE DISPOSAL

iii. Best Value Considerations Ship donation and transfer occurs at no cost to the taxpayer; the ship recipient is responsible for all costs associated with the transfer, as well as maintenance of the vessel after donation. The Navy acknowledges that donation is generally less expensive to the Navy than reefing or scrapping, but the Navy notes that not all ships are viable for donation.

Furthermore, caution must be used as many current donated ships are falling into disarray due to improper and infrequent maintenance. The states and organizations that manage the memorials have experienced financial challenges in recent years, yet they are still responsible for all ownership costs, including renovation, repair and disposal at the end of the museums productive life. The USS YORKTOWN, located at Patriots Point in South

Carolina, serves unforeseen costs.

as

a

reminder

of these

The state of

South

Carolina

has

been

responsible for all ownership costs since 1974. However, these costs are well beyond the financial capabilities of the state program that manages the ship. The Navy estimated in October 2009 that current repair work for the USS YORKTOWN will cost $100 million to $120 million.133 Rear Adm. J.P. McManamon of the Naval Sea System Command said in an interview with the Post and Courier that the Navy is prohibited by law from providing financial assistance for any of its donated ships. I n e f f e c t , t h e N a v y s s h i p d o n a t i o n p r o g r a m transfers merely the financial burden of

deteriorating vessels to non-profit organizations and state historic programs and is thus free of all liability, including vessel disposal.

iv. Conclusion While ship memorials and museums provide a best value to the Navy, this option is limited and merely transfers the storage and maintenance

http://www.postandcourier.com/news/2009/oct/21/navy-on- yorktown-fix-it-or-junk-it/ 133

BASEL ACTION NETWORK

costs to state and non-profit programs. Vessel donations continue to be a low volume option for the Navy.

The USS YORKTOWN at Patriots Point, South Carolina Image Source: Flickr user hyperion327 under Creative Commons agreement.

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