Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The True Cost(s) of the Blue Water Navy bills

from Paul Sutton and our friends at the Blue Water Navy Association

DVA did not acknowledge the need to remove sailors who have been given full presumption of exposure under the new Policy 211, for inland water service. In this program, any Blue Water Navy or Coast Guard vessel with any service on the rivers of Vietnam gained their entire crew the same benefits for herbicide as if they had “boots on ground.” These sailors need to be subtracted from any headcount that tallies the costs of HR-2254 and S-1939. Without counting any additional ships added after the first June (which should be a very significant number), we conclude about 22,500 fall into this new category.

It also appears that DVA could have counted full crews on each deployment of a ship serving offshore Vietnam, when in fact many of these were sailors previously counted and returned to Vietnam.

At any rate, the numbers, starting with head count then and now, and given as well over $10B over 10 years, were terribly wrong. BWN has prepared a spreadsheet that offers a more reasonable accounting. We note these numbers do not contain the costs for back-pay, DIC, or DVA overhead (which should appear in other operating costs). But our very liberal line items leave plenty of ‘fluff’ to these costs. If one were to triple our bottom line for the year 2020, one would still be 1/3 or less of the DVA’s projected costs.

Please see THE TRUE COST of The Agent Act of 2010 at http://bluewaternavy.org/newspage2.htm for a spreadsheet showing BWN total costs; an explanation sheet that gives a line item justification for our chosen values; and a downloadable spreadsheet for those who wish to change the variables to see the impact on related project costs. We feel certain these clarifications will show the costs of HR-2254 and S-1939 in a more favorable, practical, and affordable light.

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