July 23, 1999
Dear Mr. Harrison:
Enclosed is the final response I received regarding my inquiry on your behalf. I hope this reply includes the information that you need.
Thank you for giving me this opportunity to assist you. Responding to the concerns of individual Hoosiers in dealing with the federal government remains an important part of my work as a U.S. Senator. Please let me know if there is anything more I can do.
Richard G. Lugar United States Senator
Dear Senator Lugar:
This is in reply to your recent letter on behalf of Robert L. Harrison concerning the ex-CAVALLA (AGSS 244) in Galveston TX. I am responding for the Navy's Chief of Legislative Affairs.
First, let me provide some background in order to address Mr. Harrison's question. In September 1970, the Secretary of the Navy donated the ex-CAVALLA to the U.S. Submarine Veterans of World War IT, Texas under Contract N00024-71-0007.
Once donated, maintenance of the vessel is the responsibility of the recipient. The U.S. Submarine Veterans of World War IT, Texas, subsequently entered into agreement with the City of Galveston's Park Board of Trustees whereby the vessel was to be managed and maintained by the Board and located at Seawolf Park in Galveston.
The terms of the contract provide for periodic Navy inspections to insure that the structural integrity and historic nature of the vessel are preserved in a condition satisfactory to the Secretary of the Navy as required under Title 10 U.S.C. section 7306.
Navy inspection results indicate that maintenance and preservation concerns on this vessel have steadily increased since 1977. The most recent inspection by Naval Reserve Naval Surface Warfare Center, Port Hueneme Division, Detachment 511 on 20 September 1998 documented that the ex-CAVALLA's material condition is poor. The City of Galveston s Park Board of Trustees is not maintaining the ship due to limited resources.
The main deck supporting structure and associated free flood areas have experienced widespread general corrosion and are currently unsafe for the general public and off limits to visitors.
Conversations between the Navy's Ship Donation Program Office of the Naval Sea Systems Command and the Submarine Veterans of World War IT, Texas indicate that a maintenance plan, including refurbishment of the ex-CAVALLA's main deck supporting structure, is under development by Submarine Veterans of World War II, Texas. While this is an encouraging sign, Navy remains concerned that insufficient resources exist to accomplish all required repairs.
To facilitate review of the repair progress, Navy has requested that a Plan of Action and Milestones (POA&M) be submitted by the Submarine Veterans of World War II, Texas prior to the next annual inspection.
We anticipate the Submarine Veterans of World War II, Texas will complete the necessary repairs to allow this proud vessel to be once again displayed as a museum and memorial to the sailors who served on submarines.
I assure you that the Navy will not permit scrapping of this vessel by the City of Galveston and, if need be, will find appropriate alternative courses of action for this fine ship.
We appreciate Mr. Harrison's interest in historical vessels, and trust this information satisfactorily addresses his concerns.
As always, if I can be of further assistance, please let me know.