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ar 1939. To put these vessels on an operating basis it will be cessary to provide them with an initial outfit of consumable sup
This was not included in the original estimate of cost of the gs because it is not properly chargeable against the year in which e construction is authorized. It is estimated that the two larger gs will each require $1,200 and the smaller one $600, a total of ,000 for initial title C outfits.
DECOMMISSIONING 13 DESTROYERS
The next is item 32, objects 15 and 1291, “Decommissioning 13 stroyers, $29,400."
The present operating force plan for 1939 contemplates decomissioning of the following 13 destroyers during that year: Leary, aylor, l'illman, Barry, Borie, Childs, Gilmer, Humphreys, King, zurence, Sands, Williamson, and Schenck. Two of these may be nverted to light seaplane tenders. Estimates for that purpose are duced by the amount of the decommissioning charges. In decommissioning a destroyer certain work is done on the matinery to put it in proper shape for recommissioning and certain insumable supplies, such as rust preservative compounds, are used or the purpose of preventing deterioration while the vessel is laid P. Past experience has indicated that the average repaid work icident to decommissioning a destroyer is $1,250 and the average ist of supplies used is $1,200, a total of $2,450 per vessel. Past sperience has also indicated that changes in the operating force lan which may be expected, due principally to delay in completion f new vessels, result in slightly fewer vessels being decommissioned lan was expected the year in advance. For this reason the Bureau f Engineering is asking for funds for decommissioning only 12 essels, a total of $29,400. Mr. UMSTEAD. Admiral, when a vessel is decommissioned it is ther held for further service, if and when occasion may require, or is junked, depending upon the condition of the ship at the time it decommissioned ? Admiral Bowen. Yes, sir. Mr. C'MSTEAD. Your discussion of this item is directed toward the posels which are decommissioned on the theory that they are good nough to be used at some future time in the event of an emergency? Admiral BOWEN. That is correct. Mr. L'MSTEAD. What is the charge for decommissioning a vessel vhich is not in such condition as to permit its future use and which as to be junked?
admiral Bowen. That is a rather difficult question for me to give | definite answer on, but, of course, in such a case all of the machinry and equipment suitable for future use is removed by the crew.
Mr. UMSTEAD. In the event a ship is to be junked the only cost of lecommissioning would be the cost of removal of the worthwhile quipment and tools to some other vessel or shore station? Admiral Bowen. That is correct, the cost of salvaging such mahinery and material as can be used over again. We might have that igure. Mr. Chairman. Lieutenant Commander HAMILTON. It is about $1,200.
Mr. UMSTEAD. Are any of these vessels enumerated by you in connection with this item to be junked ?
Admiral BOWEN. No. They are all to be decommissioned for pos sible recommissioning.
RESEARCH AND EXPERIMENT
The next is "Research and experiment, item 33, object 16 $1,553,000.”
In making up the preliminary estimate for the 1939 budget, a tota of 62 items under this title, with a total estimated cost of $2,537.001 was listed as necessary or highly desirable. Recognizing the neces sity for reducing the total budget estimate to the barest minimum the total was reduced to 51 items at $1,553,000.
Of the 51 items included, all listed on the itemized statement of the estimate, pages 12 to 14, inclusive, the first 29, totaling $567.001 are for the continuation of tests, investigation, and research on mate rials and devices which are fundamental to naval engineering. Thes tests have been in progress for a varying number of years and each will continue indefinitely. It is by means of them that the San safeguards those materials which are essential parts of any engineer ing installation.
The next 11 items, totaling $429,000, are continuations of specific problems already undertaken during 1938 or previous years. With a very few exceptions, money requested for 1939 for these 11 item: will provide for their completion as experimental projects and no more funds will be requested for them under object 16.
The last 11 items, totaling $557,000, are the only ones which wil be new projects. These are the 11 of the 22 originally props new projects which are considered to be of the greatest importance The other 11 were eliminated as an economy measure and not be cause of any lack of vital importance. It is impossible to tell at the present time whether any of these 11 items will require addi tional funds in later years for completion. This will depend entirely on the way in which the projects develop after they are undertaken
Considering the rapidity with which engineering science is ad vancing; the appearance of new inventions and ideas; the necessity for the Navy, competing as it must with the inventive genius of ai foreign naval powers, to keep up with the latest developments; and the greatly increased severity of naval demands over commercial de mands for engineering materials, it is considered that in an eng neering sense there is no upper limit to the amount of money wh: should be expended for research and experiment. The only limita tion, and that an arbitrary one, is fiscal.
Mr. UMSTEAD. Admiral, the sum of $1,553,000 requested by you Bureau for research and experiment would be used exclusively to your Bureau for that purpose!
Admiral BOWEN. Yes, sir.
Mr. UMSTEAD. And it is not involved in sums which may be carried in the bill for research, experiment, and investigation by other bureaus of the Department ?
Admiral Bowen. That is correct, sir. Mr. CASEY. Admiral, $1,553,000 is requested for research and ex periment by naval engineers!
Admiral BOWEN. Yes, sir; under the direction of the Bureau of Engineering.
Mr. CASEY. Is any provision made whereby the Navy could take advantage of research and experiment by private enterprise ?
Admiral BoWEN. Yes, sir; that happens frequently. Whenever we find a commercial laboratory which is better fitted to carry out a certain problem we contract for the project with that laboratory. Furthermore, when we bring something into being at one of our laboratories and its development has proceeded to the point where our facilities can go no farther, we call in outside talent.
Mr. CASEY. Assume that an individual or a laboratory has designed an engine that is a new approach to the problem of hoist engines, for example. He is an individual in private life. Would any part of this fund be available from your department to subsidize him in his experiments if you found they were worth while ? Admiral BOWEN. We decide each of those questions on its merits.
Mr. CASEY. Would you have authority to subsidize him in his experiments ?
Admiral BOWEN. Yes, sir; we would have authority to subsidize him, but each one of those questions must be settled solely on its merits, because sometimes we are deluged with requests from persons who want the Government to finance the development of an idea. We say in every case that the individual himself must finance the development. It would have to be an unusual, an exceedingly meritorious, project that we would directly subsidize and, of course, it has to have a naval application.
The "Material maintenance and improvement plan (vessels),” fiscal year 1939, contains 265 items, total estimated cost of which to all bureaus is $33,632,965. Of these, seven are repairs rather than alterations and have been handled under object 1291. Of the alterations, seven of the highest priority have been selected by the bureaus concerned as the only ones, in the interest of economy, for which money is being requested. The total cost of these alterations is: Ordnance, $2,596,000; Construction and Repair, $593,000; Engineering, $570,000; grand total, $3,759,000, less than 12 percent of the total of all items on the original approved plans.
Mr. UMSTEAD. Admiral, as I understand it, the purpose of this appropriation is to modernize vessels in the fleet.
Admiral BOWEN. Yes, sir; in a sense. The expression “modernization” has acquired particular significance, because we go to Congress to get authority to “modernize” a vessel whenever the estimated cost exceeds the statutory limit of $450,000 for navy yard expenditures in an 18 months' period. This item will be completed within the limitation.
Admiral KIMMEL. We put these under the head of improvements to the fleet.
RADIO IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM (VESSELS) 1939 Admiral BOWEN. Item 35, “Radio improvement program (vessels), 1939," $690,000.
The Chief of Naval Operations, in drawing up the needs for the naval communication service for 1939, furnished a priority list to
the Bureau of Engineering, approved by the Secretary of the Wary, of the projects which he considered essential for the maintenance of the communication system on an up-to-date, efficient, and effective basis. The total estimated cost of all those items of improvement for vessels of the fleet was $3,911,000, involving 18 projects. Budgetary limitations forced the Bureau of Engineering to reduce this total to a small fraction of its original value. The 14 projects listed under this item, at a total estimated cost of $690,000, represent complete elimination for 1939 of four projects and reduction of the remainder so that the total of the original list now stands reduced more than 2 percent.
Of the 14 items, 9 totaling $570,000, are continuations of programs previously undertaken.
At the rate funds are being made available, completion of these projects cannot be expected for an indefinite length of time. It must be realized that these projects, involving procurement of highgrade equipment as they do, entail a delivery interval of from 12 to 18 months; that is, no deliveries can be expected, even in the event of a national emergency, much within a year from the date a contract is entered into.
Two of the 14 projects, at a total of $75,000, mark the beginning of procurement projects based on the result of successful research covering a number of years. These two items in the future will join the previously discussed nine, eventually bringing the fleet up to modern standard as regards radio and sound equipment.
The three remaining projects, totaling $15,000, are for additional equipment urgently required. Funds requested herein should be sufficient for the completion of these projects.
Mr. UMSTEAD. Admiral, can you give us, in addition to the state. ment you have just made, a further statement relative to the efficiency and effectiveness of modern radio equipment as used in the Navy?
Admiral Bowen. The radio equipment in the Navy is entirely efficient within the limitation of the age of the equipment. Radio is a rapidly advancing art, and it becomes necessary from time to time to have a complete renewal of equipment and a complete modernization of equipment.
The fleet requires for its use, both in peace and in war, sendina and receiving apparatus which is capable of communicating on everything from low frequencies and intermediate frequencies to high frequencies, superfrequencies and short wave. The number of channels of communication that are required to be kept open ir. connection with the command of the fleet, of course require à con siderable investment in equipment. Ideal developments in the radi: field would guarantee that in the event of war communication can be had by the Commander in Chief with all the units of his coinmand without successful enemy interference.
RADIO IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM-SHORE STATIONS
Item 36: "Radio improvement program-shore stations," $477.CNN
The shore station portion of the Chief of Naval Operations' list previously mentioned totals $2,480,000. After thorough study of the entire situation, the original 19 projects were reduced to 12 and the money value of the total was reduced by 81 percent.
Six of the 12 items having a total cost of $180,000 are for continuing projects already undertaken, but at a rate very much slower than that desired by purely military considerations alone. Two at a cost of $12,000 are for new equipment urgently needed which, in the interests of economy, have been reduced 50 percent for 1939 to provide for their completion in 2 years rather than the 1 year properly required. One at a cost of $25,000 is incident to the completion of Naval Air Station, Alameda, and will be completed with the funds requested herein.
Three of the projects, totalling $260,000, are for undertaking procurement of equipment urgently needed to permit the safe operation of airplanes, principally of the patrol seaplanes whose numbers have increased so greatly of late. Considerations of safety of personnel and freedom of military operations dictate that these three projects should be completed immediately, that is, the entire amount required, $1,080,000, should be made available for procurement of all the material necessary in 1939. The reduction which has been made in this estimate will, if continued at the same rate, require the spread of the procurement of this equipment over 4 years.
Item 37 (crash boats): $30,000.
Crash boats are necessary at naval stations where airplanes operate over the water. In general, the crash boats now in service are in satisfactory condition. $65,000 appropriated for crash-boat engines in 1938 is being used in the construction of two crash boats; one for duty at Naval Air Station, San Diego, and one at Naval Air Station, Hampton Roads, Va. It is estimated that these boats will cost $30,000 a piece engineering. The remaining $5,000 appropriated in 1938 will be used for installing engines procured in 1937 in a crash boat being built for Naval Air Station, Anacostia.
At the present time the Navy is approaching standardization on three types of crash boats, all capable of making not less than 35 and as nearly as practicable 45 statute miles per hour. These three types are: (a) 28-foot boat powered with 200-horsepower engine, engineering cost, $10,000; (6) 36-foot boat powered with one 375-horsepower engine, engineering cost, $18,000; (C) 45-foot boat powered with two 300-horsepower engines, engineering cost, $30,000.
The present need of naval air stations for new crash boats, none of which is a replacement, is as follows:
Two 45-foot boats for Naval Air Station, Alameda, recently established.
One 45-foot boat for Fleet Air Base at Pearl Harbor. This is an additional boat required because of the greatly increased operations at Pearl Harbor since the strengthening of the patrol-plane squadrons stationed there.
One 36-foot boat to the Naval Academy at Annapolis, Md., where a squadron of patrol planes operates for training of midshipmen and no crash boat is at present assigned.
One 28-foot boat to the naval proving ground, Dahlgren, Va., where miscellaneous planes operate in connection with proving-ground work. There is no crash boat assigned to this base at the present.
The total engineering cost of providing these (5) boats, based on present estimates, would be $118,000 and prudence dictates that because of their possible contribution in saving life and salvaging Government property, they shall be procured during 1939. However,