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The reason that I have asked the question is that there has been considerable confusion in the matter; that the Air Force was equivocating in congressional hearings on the matter in the past; and the record also shows that the contractors, the Corps of Engineers and the architect-engineer built to a limited operational extent by July 14 two bases, the one at Nouasseur in 83 days and the second base at Sidi Slimane in 64 days; and that these same men are building the balance of the bases and are still working for the Air Force. I just wanted to note for the record that what they had done by July 14 was actually in keeping with the wishes and the needs of the Air Force. Mr. HUGGINs. Let me just speak to that. It is the Air Force's fault that we do not have that document here. I had not known about it. But, insofar as a 6-month period for construction was set, that was based upon conferences between the Air Force and the Corps of Engineers. The Air Force is not a construction agency, has no background of knowledge as to what can be done within a given time. I would doubt somewhat in my own mind that we would give a directive—I cannot speak specifically to that—that we would give a directive saying, “Complete something by a given date” unless we had had some information that it . done by that date. Certainly the initial directive was based upon a conference between top Air Force people and top Corps of Engineers people. Therefore, I express at least a doubt that the dates in that directive were pulled out of the air by the Air Force without consultation with somebody. But I cannot speak to it because I know nothing about it. . Certainly it would be quite contrary to normal practice, and I think we would also expect the Corps of Engineers to fell us, if they could not do the work properly within that time, that the dates were unrealistic. Mr. DoNNELLY. May I ask you this question, Mr. Huggins? Does the Air Force feel that the district engineer should be criticized for having had the two bases operational to a limited extent on July 14? Mr. HUGGINs. The Air Force feels that he should be criticized for not telling us that they could not be built under the specifications within that time. And, so far as I know, that was not done. We never authorized deviation from specifications, so far as I know, and I have tried to check on that point very carefully.
RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN AIR FORCE AND CORPS OF ENGINEERS
Mr. DoNNELLY. Mr. Huggins, Mr. Perry also testified when he was here on July 2 to the relationship of the Air Force as the customer and the Corps of Engineers as the construction service. I should like to read his testimony and ask you whether it reflects the Air Force position:
At the outset, I think it is extremely important that we understand the nature of the relationship between the Air Force and the Corps of Engineers. This relationship is spelled out in agreements between the Departments of the Army and the Air Force. These agreements describe the responsibilities of the Corps as, first, providing technical assistance in preparation of master plans; second, execution of designs and preparation of preliminary plans outlined in specifications and cost estimates; third, administration and on-the-site supervision of the construction; and, fourth, providing the Air Force with periodic progress and fiscal reports.
The same agreements describe the responsibilities of the Air Force as, first, determination of its construction requirements and defense of its requirements within its budget estimate; and, second, stating generally its requirements for construction in terms of space lay-out, architectural style, characteristics of operations and equipment to be accommodated, degree of permanence, and such other details as are necessary to enable the designer to proceed in accordance with Air Force qualitative and quantitative requirements.
Obviously, such a relationship requires a considerable degree of cooperation. This, in turn, makes it difficult to determine, in actual cases, where the responsibility of the Corps of Engineers begins and the responsibility of the Air Force ends. I think it is evident, however, that the Air Force cannot supervise actual construction and that the Air Force must rely upon the Corps for the quality of the construction and for the exercise of a sound judgment as to the cost of construction. If the Air Force attempted to supervise construction and costs on any detailed basis, it would be compelled to create an engineer corps of its own, thereby bringing about the very duplication which the Army-Air Force agreements were designed to avoid
Certainly, the Air Force has the duty of providing the corps with all the information necessary to draw the plans and specifications for, and carry out, the construction set forth in Air Force construction directives. By mutual agreement, the actual preparation of master plans for the Moroccan bases was a responsibility accepted by the corps, which, in turn, contracted the work to the architect-engineers. The Air Force has the right to approve all master plans in order to insure that they satisfied Air Force requirements.
Mr. Huggins, let me hand that to you; it is quite lengthy.
Mr. DONNELLY. Do you agree with that statement, General Pick? Would you like to look at it?
General Pick. I would like to look at it.
Mr. HUGGINS. I might add I have no specific recollection in the case of Morocco that the corps was to have charge of the master plans. Normally the Air Force provides the master plans. But it may be that there was a special deal on that. Certainly the same architectengineers were doing both the master planning and the detailed planning.
General Pick (referring to testimony of Mr. Perry). I think that is in general a correct statement.
NATURE, QUALITY, AND VALIDITY OF TESTS AND PROCEDURES USED IN FINAL
STUDY AND DETERMINATION
Mr. DONNELLY. So much by way of background of the interrelationships of the Air Force and the Corps of Engineers, and the role of the architect-engineers. We now come to the extensive months-long evaluation tests which were studied at Morocco, as I understand, in the latter part of August of this year. They were interpreted and a determination was then made by representatives of the Corps of Engineers, headed by General Pick, by the Air Force, by the architect engineers, headed by Mr. Porter, and by Atlas Constructors, as to the extent of the weaknesses or deficiencies in construction and the scope of needed corrective action.
In that respect, General Pick, would you give the committee a statement as to the nature of the tests, the period covered, the quality of the tests, the validity of the tests, and the procedures employed in the final study and determination?
General Pick. Mr. Chairman, I would like to review a moment the preliminaries leading up to the studies which have been referred to by counsel.
REVIEW AND STUDIES OF MOROCCAN PROJECTS BY CHIEF OF ENGINEERS
In the early part of October of 1951 it was brought to my attention that conditions were not going too well in north Africa. I could not go myself; so I sent General Nold, the Deputy Chief of Engineers, to north Africa, in the middle of October, to review the situation and make recommendations. The administrative and organizational problems over there were such that I thought it was necessary to look into them.
General Nold made a report to me when he returned. He actually reported to me over the telephone from over there. As a result of his report it was decided to do some reorganizing on our part, so I established a new division and set up the headquarters at Richmond, Va. I put the work under that division, and took it out of the New York division office.
As a result of that trip of General Nold and the reports which I had from our former division engineer, and the new division engineer, I had meetings with the members of the contracting firm of the Atlas Contractors and the officials of Atlas Contractors' firm and in the latter part of December I decided to make a trip to north Africa to see for myself.
Prior to my going I sent two of our experts, Mr. Philipe and Mr. Pringle, over to north Africa to look into the construction features and to determine the character of the work.
I made a trip out there in January and returned in February. As a result of that trip and the technical studies we had started, I directed that they be continued, and I had that included in a report which I submitted to the Secretary of the Army-a memorandum report to the Secretary of the Army-on the 6th of February 1952. And in that report I stated that —
There are exhaustive studies being conducted to determine whether or not the pavements which were rushed to completion in 1951 are fully responsive to the design criteria. If these studies show a need for additional treatment to insure the long life and low maintenance cost of the work, I believe that it will be a relatively minor undertaking. The completed work has been thoroughly tested with the heavy roller and no weak pavements were foundThat was the condition that I observed when I was there in February.
Mr. Chairman, I should like to insert a copy of this report of February 6 in the record at this point.
Mr. RILEY. Without objection it will be inserted in the record at this point. (The document is as follows:)
FEBRUARY 6, 1952. Memorandum for the Under Secretary of the Army. Through: Assistant Chief of Staff, G-4. Subject : Visit to Middle East and Mediterranean areas.
1. Reference is made to letter dated February 4, 1952, from Office of the Under Secretary of the Army, subject : "Corps of Engineers Construction Contract ------," in which request was made for a report upon the completion of my visit to Morocco.
2. There is attached a memorandum report on these projects which both points out the evaluation of the operations and also indicates the steps which have been taken to improve performance.
LEWIS A. Pick,
Chief of Engineers.
FEBRUARY 6, 1952. Memorandum for the Secretary of the Army. Subject: Visit to Middle East and Mediterranean areas.
1. I have just returned from an inspection of our overseas construction for the Air Force in the Middle East and Mediterranean areas. In view of the recent publicity given the work in Morocco, I hasten to report my views on these projects. 2. I did not find corruption, willful negligence, widespread inefficiency, or organized effort to defraud. I did find some improper procedures and even some serious deficiencies which have not been entirely unkown to us, but for which correction has not yet been made. In a few instances, contractors' employees have been arrested and convicted of illegal acts, and even now a contractor's employee is being arraigned for trial on the accusation of a fellow workman for influencing a procurement action in the local market. Considering the number of men employed, the nationalities involved, the conditions under which the work was carried on, I seriously doubt that the few minor dishonesties uncovered are any more than might have been expected. I know of no instances where any major frauds have been discovered. 3. In weighing the past shortcomings and present deficiencies of these operations, some consideration should be given to the many contributing factors involved, many of which could not reasonably have been foreseen. The constructors, each of whom have a good national reputation, have been restricted in the scope of work, planning the operations and advance procurement from the beginning. Lengthy delay in the acquisition of the sites, changes in the scope of the program, problems arising from working under the French agreement, have all contributed to the unusual nature of the task. The great urgency attached to the prosecution of the work led, in no small measure, to inefficiency, to improper control in the best utilization of labor and, in some instances, slighting adopted standards in construction. 4. In trying to meet the emergency requirements of the so-called crash program, some construction practices associated with the runway and apron work were adopted which would not be acceptable in a normal situation or in the United States where required resources in skills and equipment are generally available as needed. However, none of the runways or completed aprons have failed, even though there have been many reports to the contrary, and I can assure you that there is no danger of any completed work failing under operating conditions. 5. The operations apron at Nouasseur was partially surfaced when rains caught them with an excessive area exposed to the weather. Moisture penetrated the uncompleted pavement, only the binder course having been laid, and the engineer in charge decided, in accordance with standard procedures, to test the supporting capacity of the work in that condition by heavy rolling before resuming the pavement operation. The 200-ton roller developed the presence of some areas where moisture in the base had seriously affected the supporting values and the partially completed pavement in these locations was ruptured. It should be noted that these were failures induced by testing during the construction period and not by the operation of aircraft. The test was a severe one, the weight and tire arrangement of the testing roller produces a load that exceeds by approximately 50 percent of the wheel loading of the B–47. The purpose of locating such weak spots is to enable corrective measures to be undertaken by the construction forces rather than to have deficiencies show up later during the maintenance period. This procedure is now standard in the construction of heavy duty airfields or highways in the United States. 6. There are exhaustive studies being conducted to determine whether or not the pavements which were rushed to completion in 1951 are fully responsive to the design criteria. If these studies show a need for additional treatment to insure the long life and low maintenance cost of the work, I believe that it will be a relatively minor undertaking. The completed work has been thoroughly tested with the heavy roller and no weak pavements were found except in a small area on a taxiway at Sidi Slimane which has now been corrected. 7. I personally investigated reports of poor construction practices used in the plumbing installed in some twenty-odd latrines at Sidi Slimane, only to find that emphasis had been put on this incident which was all out of proportion to its importance. In order to accommodate the troops with limited camp facilities not contemplated in the original program, connections were made by temporary means as a convenience until the fittings, especially traps for the wash basins, could be procured. Although it was the view of the area engineer that the work was adequate for the type of structure and contemplated life (10
years), at the request of the Air Force Station Commander steps have been taken to install standard fittings that are now available.
8. During this inspection trip, members of my staff examined the current costkeeping procedures and found them to be generally satisfactory, although some posting of material charges to individual features had lagged unduly. Data was prepared on costs to date and an estimated distribution of deferred charges was prepared for the purpose of meeting current needs of the Air Force. Although the over-all cost of the work to date can be assumed to be accurate, and has been reported for previous periods, detailed cost figures by line item must be used with caution and understanding because few, if any, items are complete and the distribution of deferred charges will be affected by various considerations until the entire program approaches completion. Costs incurred to date are believed to be reasonable when viewed in the light of the conditions surrounding the undertaking and appear, at this time, to be in line with estimated costs.
It should be noted that the total Air Force program in Morocco is still not firm. The latest revisions were made to reduce the authorized scope of work to conform to appropriated funds. It is not possible to design many of the facilities due to a lack of criteria which must be furnished by the Air Force even for the work in hand. Estimates of costs based on indefinite requirements must necessarily be based on general experience.
Master plans for the last three stations selected have not been finalized and approved. In the case of Ben Guerir, the plan was approved, but in the last week approval was withdrawn because of contemplated extensive revision to meet new policies on dispersion. Master plans for the other two stations have not been completed. If excessive costs and loss of time in labor and equipment are to be avoided, these plans must be agreed upon without future delay. Without a plan, it is manifest that the final cost of grading, paving, and utilities cannot be determined with any degree of accuracy.
9. During and prior to this inspection, steps were taken to improve the performance of both the architect-engineers and the construction contractors. Improvement in organization in both has been effected in recent months and further improvements are being required. Steps have been and will continue to be taken to strengthen the Corps of Engineers' forces as the need arises. Now that the emergency aspects of the Air Force program have been met, planned businesslike procedures can be followed more closely and overtime eliminated or reduced to a minimum. There is still much room for improvement in the handling of labor and the safeguarding of materials and equipment. The use of native labor and the preventing of pilfering present unusual problems. Positive action to control and eliminate deficiencies in this field will be continued.
10. Although economical operation has not always been achieved in the past, as indicated above, I believe that much improvement will be made under the new concept of a lesser urgency, the improved organization, and the improved supervision provided in recent months. In general, I believe that deficiencies in these operations have been exaggerated, and certain engineering aspects have been misunderstood and distorted. There should be no concern that a dependable facility will be available to the Air Force upon completion.
LEWIS A. PICK,
Chief of Engineers. General Pick. Those studies which had been started prior to my report, and studies which I urged be continued by the division engineer on the ground, with whatever assistance we could give from my office by Mr. Philippe and Mr. Pringle, were continued. They covered the entire range or entire field of the pavement work that had been done during the 1951 program. Exhaustive studies were made; laboratory tests were made; field tests were made; and the results were analyzed over the period extending from the early part of the year of 1951 to 1952, through the spring and summer.
I asked the division engineer, General Walsh, to notify me when those studies had been completed to such an extent that he could draw conclusions. Those studies were being carried on under the direct supervision of the architect-engineer, Mr. Porter's group, followed