The military services have estimated that the extra cost of providing protection and escorts for the 11 U.S.-flagged Kuwaiti tankers was $69 million from mid-July, when the operations began, through Sept. 30. That figure is not the total price of Persian Gulf operations; it includes only expenses above normal operating costs of the ships and aircraft and above normal salaries of the military personnel.
The services have said they cannot estimate future extra costs of the operations "due to the uncertainties involved."
Although the figures show no increase in ship maintenance costs as a result of the increased tempo of operations, top-ranking Pentagon officials have said they expect those costs to increase substantially because of the operations as well as the brutal gulf environment.
The Navy also reported that some previously planned modifications to helicopters have been accelerated as a result of operations to protect the reflagged ships. Navy officials said those changes have not created extra costs.
THE COST OF THE OPERATIONS
IN MILLIONS OF DOLLARS
NAVY Fuel for forces in Persian Gulf, Arabian Sea $20.2
Flying hours for forces in Persian Gulf, Arabian Sea 10.8
Transportation of material, supplies, personnel 25.0
Imminent danger pay 2.0
AIR FORCE Support costs for reconnaissance and refueling aircraft $6.7
Temporary duty 0.6
ARMY Miscellaneous $1.5
IN STAFF DAYS COAST GUARD One-time expenditures
Issuing registry certificates 15
Time spent by headquarters for coordination, congressional testimony, media relations 219
Future reviews and inspections 580
Continuing annual expenditures
Annual Inspections 90
TOTAL 1,072 STAFF DAYS
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION/U.S. MARITIME ADMINISTRATION Approval of radio/telegraph equipment 50
Approval of ship charters 12
Monitoring charter company's ship staffing plans 6
TOTAL 68 STAFF DAYS
NOTE: Numbers do not always add up, due to rounding. Navy estimates include transit costs to the Middle East. Air Force estimates include imminent danger pay but not increased depot-level maintenance cost. SOURCE: General Accounting Office