DOD employs about 80,000 civilians at maintenance depots to keep helicopters, ships, and other weapon systems working. This workforce is aging and DOD faces challenges in hiring and retaining workers with key skills. Officials cited examples of maintenance taking months or years longer than expected, in part due to shortages in skilled personnel.
Some of the services’ plans for dealing with depot workforce needs are outdated or are not in use. The services have also not evaluated training programs and other steps depots have taken to maintain key skills.