SPEAKERS CONTENTS INSERTS
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[H.A.S.C. No. 10828]
OPERATIONS AND RECONSTRUCTION EFFORTS IN IRAQ
COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED EIGHTH CONGRESS
JANUARY 28, 2004
HOUSE COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
One Hundred Eighth Congress
DUNCAN HUNTER, California, Chairman
Page 2 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCCURT WELDON, Pennsylvania
JOEL HEFLEY, Colorado
JIM SAXTON, New Jersey
JOHN M. McHUGH, New York
TERRY EVERETT, Alabama
ROSCOE G. BARTLETT, Maryland
HOWARD P. ''BUCK'' McKEON, California
MAC THORNBERRY, Texas
JOHN N. HOSTETTLER, Indiana
WALTER B. JONES, North Carolina
JIM RYUN, Kansas
JIM GIBBONS, Nevada
ROBIN HAYES, North Carolina
HEATHER WILSON, New Mexico
KEN CALVERT, California
ROB SIMMONS, Connecticut
JO ANN DAVIS, Virginia
ED SCHROCK, Virginia
W. TODD AKIN, Missouri
J. RANDY FORBES, Virginia
JEFF MILLER, Florida
JOE WILSON, South Carolina
FRANK A. LoBIONDO, New Jersey
TOM COLE, Oklahoma
JEB BRADLEY, New Hampshire
Page 3 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCROB BISHOP, Utah
MICHAEL TURNER, Ohio
JOHN KLINE, Minnesota
CANDICE S. MILLER, Michigan
PHIL GINGREY, Georgia
MIKE ROGERS, Alabama
TRENT FRANKS, Arizona
IKE SKELTON, Missouri
JOHN SPRATT, South Carolina
SOLOMON P. ORTIZ, Texas
LANE EVANS, Illinois
GENE TAYLOR, Mississippi
NEIL ABERCROMBIE, Hawaii
MARTY MEEHAN, Massachusetts
SILVESTRE REYES, Texas
VIC SNYDER, Arkansas
JIM TURNER, Texas
ADAM SMITH, Washington
LORETTA SANCHEZ, California
MIKE McINTYRE, North Carolina
CIRO D. RODRIGUEZ, Texas
ELLEN O. TAUSCHER, California
ROBERT A. BRADY, Pennsylvania
BARON P. HILL, Indiana
Page 4 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCJOHN B. LARSON, Connecticut
SUSAN A. DAVIS, California
JAMES R. LANGEVIN, Rhode Island
STEVE ISRAEL, New York
RICK LARSEN, Washington
JIM COOPER, Tennessee
JIM MARSHALL, Georgia
KENDRICK B. MEEK, Florida
MADELEINE Z. BORDALLO, Guam
RODNEY ALEXANDER, Louisiana
TIM RYAN, Ohio
Robert S. Rangel, Staff Director
James M. Lariviere, Professional Staff Member
Justin Bernier, Staff Assistant
C O N T E N T S
CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF HEARINGS
Wednesday, January 28, 2004, The Operation Iraqi Freedom Force Rotation Plan
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Wednesday, January 28, 2004
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 28, 2004
THE OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM FORCE ROTATION PLAN
STATEMENTS PRESENTED BY MEMBERS OF CONGRESS
Saxton, Hon. Jim, a Representative from New Jersey, Chairman, Subcommittee on Terrorism, Unconventional Threats and Capabilities
Skelton, Hon. Ike, a Representative from Missouri, Ranking Member, Committee on Armed Services
Cartwright, Lt. Gen. James E., Director for Force Structure, Resources, and Assessment, J8 Joint Staff, United States Marine Corps
Hagee, Gen. Michael W., Commandant, United States Marine Corps
Schoomaker, Gen. Peter J., Chief of Staff, United States Army
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Schwartz, Lt. Gen. Norton A., Director for Operations, J3 Joint Staff, United States Air Force
[The Prepared Statements can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Hagee, Gen. Michael
Saxton, Hon. Jim, a Representative from New Jersey
Schoomaker, Gen. Peter J.
Skelton, Hon. Ike
DOCUMENTS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
[The Documents can be viewed in the hard copy.]
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
[The Questions and Answers can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Page 7 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCMr. Taylor
THE OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM FORCE ROTATION PLAN
House of Representatives,
Committee on Armed Services,
Washington, DC, Wednesday, January 28, 2004.
The committee met, pursuant to call, at 10:10 a.m., in Room 2118, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Jim Saxton, (member of the committee) presiding.
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. JIM SAXTON, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM NEW JERSEY
Mr. SAXTON. The committee will come to order. This morning, the committee kicks off the new year with an opportunity to learn about the most significant large-scale rotation in American military forces since World War II. Chairman Hunter has asked me to fill in for him today as he was unable to make the necessary travel connections last night. He sends his regrets and also wishes to thank our distinguished panel of witnesses for agreeing to appear today on this important topic. It is a pleasure to welcome our witnesses today. General Peter J. Schoomaker, Chief of Staff of the Army, will be with us shortly just for everybody's information. The General is at the White House and he will be here as soon as he possibly can. General Michael Hagee, Commandant of the Marine Corps. Lieutenant General Norton Schwartz, Director of Operations of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Lieutenant General James Cartwright, Director for Force Structure, Resources and Assessment of the Joint Staff. Gentlemen, we look forward to your testimony.
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As Washington prepares to consider the President's budget defense proposal for the coming fiscal year, it is critically important that Congress gain a better understanding of one of the most crucial national security issues we face, the Global War on Terror, and how the U.S. military will accommodate its growing requirements. How the Department of Defense and each of the military services as force providers choose to meet this challenge will, in many respects, shape the U.S. military for many years to come. Decisions on active/reserve mix, mobilization and rotation rates, force protection, personnel tempo and other key issues are already, and will continue to have, a lasting impact on all our all-volunteer force.
On the other hand, this situation also provides an unprecedented opportunity to examine long-standing personnel and organization policy since most of the underlying assumptions used to build today's force decades ago are about to be put to severe tests.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Saxton can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Mr. SAXTON. Let me recognize the Ranking Member for his statement, my friend, Ike Skelton.
STATEMENT OF HON. IKE SKELTON, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM MISSOURI, RANKING MEMBER, COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
Mr. SKELTON. Thanks, so much, Mr. Chairman. I enjoy you welcoming our witnesses. We look forward to having General Schoomaker being here with us in a few minutes. General Hagee, thank you for joining us today. And General Cartwright and General Schwartz, we thank you also for sharing your insights with us. The activities with which we are engaged in Iraq subduing the guerrilla conflictand we should not mistake what it is; it is truly a guerrilla war as opposed to what some may call terroristssubduing this guerrilla conflict and rebuilding the government, are unprecedented since the days of the Second World War. And we now face a troop rotation on a scale of also unseen proportion.
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I want to commend all of our witnesses for the care in which this rotation is being handled. It gives one pause to consider the logistical feat that is involved. The force taking over in Iraq is smaller than the force that is leaving. Now, while I understand the argument that a smaller force can have greater capability, it must still cover the same amount of ground and deal with the same size Iraqi population. Moreover, while the numbers of Iraqi security forces continue to grow, their training and capability remain uneven at best, and our forces have exceptional training and are undoubtedly up to the task, but all of this is particularly important in the next six months as we transfer sovereignty to the Iraqis. It is critically important that this transfer happen in a stable and secure environment.
Beyond Iraq, I am concerned that the ongoing need for substantial troop numbers in Iraq and Afghanistan will continue to strain our overall force, particularly the reserve element. This does not mean we should pull back from our commitments. We can't unring the bell. We are there. We have got to win. We have got to stabilize that country. We cannot afford that to evolve into a Civil War. And recently the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), in an article that was recently published, is evidently concerned about that issue. We must increase our Active Duty strength so we don't break our current force.
Lieutenant General John Riggs, who is currently examining this issue for the Army, agrees and recently says that the Army likely needs substantially more than the 10,000 soldier increase. This medium to long-term solution is one we must begin now. And when General Schoomaker gets here, I will be interested in asking him questions about that. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Page 10 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC [The prepared statement of Mr. Skelton can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you Mr. Skelton. Before turning to our witnesses, let me briefly cover two administrative items. First, both General Schoomaker and General Hagee have commitments that they have to be back at the Pentagon at 1:00, and so we have a back door on our time here, and so I would urge everyone to ask concise questions so we can move through the entire committee.
Second, it is entirely likely that elements of today's discussion can only be discussed in classified session. So we may need to shift into executive session at some point if it becomes necessary to fully explore classified details. I hope that doesn't happen. I think we are going to get a sweep across the big picture here today. However, if it does become necessary, we will have to go up to 2212, which has been swept and is ready to accommodate our needs should we need to go classified.
With that, we will hear from our witnesses.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you, gentlemen, for being with us this morning. We appreciate this. And we will start with General Schwartz.
STATEMENT OF LT. GEN. NORTON A. SCHWARTZ, DIRECTOR FOR OPERATIONS, J3 JOINT STAFF, UNITED STATES AIR FORCE
General SCHWARTZ. Mr. Chairman, good morning. Thank you for having us before the committee, and with your permission, I will make a few introductory comments to put the rotation plan that we are currently executing in perspective. The slides which you have at your table and which are shown to my left and right reflect at a macro level what we are undertaking at this point.
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The current set in what we are calling Operation Iraqi Freedom 1 is four divisions and about 17 brigade equivalents. Those divisions are the 82nd, the 1st Armoredthe 82nd being in the west; the 1st Armored, which is in the Baghdad area4th Infantry in the more central sector of Iraq, and 101st in the north. The transition will occur, and in fact, it is now underway. We have completed the deployment of some 13,000 personnel so far of the 100-plus that will occur over the next few months. Those divisions will transition to a three-division set with about 14 brigade equivalents led by the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force in the western sector, the 1st Cavalry Division in Baghdad, and the 1st Infantry Division in the north central sector.
In addition, there are additional elements providing for security of both lines of communications and fixed facilities, that currently being performed by two elements from the Florida and Indiana National Guard being succeeded by the 81st enhanced separate brigade from Washington and California.
In addition, of course, there is a logistical set that is associated with the major combat units. That theater support command will remain in Iraq while some of its personnel will transition. And of course, all of the combat support, combat service support units that range from company to brigade size transition, as well. These personnel for the Army will be on tours for up to 12 months, and in the case of the Marines, approximately 7 months.
The overall numbers of combat support and combat service support personnel will diminish between the first and the second rotation. That is achieved primarily by contracting initiatives which have occurred since we deployed the initial personnel last year at this time and also whether efficiencies which were gained. And those numbers go from about 66,000 on the support side to about 50,000. It is an important point to make that an imperative for us in working the plans which were ultimately vetted by the joint chiefs and recommended to the Secretary was to maintain competency on the ground for those units that naturally have a year's experience in the area of operation now, and those that will succeed them.
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And so we worked to maintain this competency in a number of ways. And a couple of points. The staff of Combined Joint Task Force-7 (CJTF-7), that is General Sanchez's organizationthe key staff and leadership will not transition when the 5th Corps, which comprises most of that headquarters, transitions to Three Corps here in the next couple months. The key personnel will remain. In addition, we did our best to assure that at least one brigade was either deployed early to a division sector or remained in the division sector in order to provide stability and continuity during the transition in that sector. The case in point would be the 1st Brigade of the 1st Infantry Division, which is remaining in the western sector as the Marines come on board.
In addition, this transition plan is not a spike. It is actually one that started in December and will continue through May. It is four, five months. And that was a deliberate effort, again, to assure that we maintain a sufficient level of continuity in each of the sectors. Of note as well is the effort that it took to prepare the force for deployment. That preparation began as long ago as the summer and August of last year.
Typically, leaders made visits to the theater, certainly at the division level, and in many cases, at the brigade level. Those leaders went to Iraq and visited with the folks that they were going to succeed and exchanged face-to-face information. So that the training plans that were implemented and accomplished in the intervening period were specific to the needs of their location.
The inbound units will come into theater and will spend about two weeks or so in Kuwait first linking up with their equipment, and then preparing for the environmental aspects of the theater and preparing to move to their battle stations in Iraq. Once they move into Iraq, there will be at least a two-week handoff between the unit that is currently there and the one that will be succeeding it. The terminology typically used is ''left seat, right seat'' to make sure that the new personnel gain the benefit of the experiences of the earlier and departing unit.
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So that is the major features of the game plan to maintain continuity at the unit level. At the leadership level, there was a similar effort made. As I mentioned earlier, the Three Corps is succeeding 5th Corps from Europe as the Corps of the Combined Joint Task Force-7 headquarters. The first visits from Lieutenant General Tom Metz, the Three Corps commander two theater began last September and continued through November. He and General Sanchez interacted and so did his principal staff members.
In November, there was a major training iteration, which included mission rehearsals for the headquarters. That involved both Metz's Three Corps and Sanchez's CJTF-7, which concluded in December with a certification exercise which was orchestrated and evaluated by the Joint Forces Command, Admiral Giambastiani and company, which certified Three Corps as ready to assume the leadership of the mission in Iraq. And that deployment began earlier this month and will continue through April. So, once again, the transition of the headquarters will occur over several months rather than over a very tight period.
One other subject to address before I conclude, Mr. Chairman, relates to the tour lengths of personnel in Iraq. You will recall that the leadership of the department on numerous occasions has articulated that the standard is up to 12 months boots on the ground. In working the transition plan, wethere are roughly 1,250 units which are redeploying from Iraq as a part of this rotation.
Initially, in November of last year, we identified some 267 units, about 20,000 personnel all together, who we were looking at perhaps being in a situation where we might have to extend certain people beyond that 12 months boots on the ground in order to ensure that we had overlap between the outgoing and the incoming unit. We worked this very hard, implemented a number of mitigation measures, and I will address those in a second.
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But ultimately, we reduced that 267 units to 12. It turned out to be 1,567 personnel specifically. Nine units of the 12 were of greater than 60 days. The longest extension isI should say 9 of the 12 were more than 15 days. The longest will be 60 days. And 3 were less or equal to 15. Of those 12 units, 2 were reserves, 1 unit from the Illinois National Guard and 1 unit from the Washington State Guard.
Now, some of the things we did to try to minimize these extensions included increasing throughput through the ports, both air and sea, in order to maximize the flow of personnel in the theater. We also used some amphibious shipping in order to optimize the use of the Ashwaba commercial port as well as the other ports available in Kuwait. Very importantly, we implemented a strategy of using stay-behind equipment. So, in many cases, units simply would fall in on the equipment that the previous organization used, and we only had to transport the personnel and not their accompanying equipment. We compressed both the mobilization and training times on the front end and did our best to compress thewhat we call reception staging and onward movement as well as the handoff that I had talked about earlier on the back end.
And finally, we do something called joint sourcing. About 5,000 or so Navy and Air Force personnel will be performing ground force functions in this rotation because there were shortfalls in the force. For example, the Air Force is providing truck drivers and the Navy, as well, and engineers and the like. So, those elements were the major features of our effort, number one; to maintain continuity on the ground between units. Number two, maintain that continuity in the leadership cadre, and then finally to assure that we were as loyal to our commitment on up to 365 days boots on the ground as we could possibly be and still sustain the mission.
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Mr. Chairman, those are my introductory remarks, sir. And after our colleagues make additional comments, I will be happy to take your questions. Thank you, sir.
Mr. SAXTON. General Schwartz, thank you very much.
[The prepared statement of General Schwartz be viewed in the hard copy.]
Mr. SAXTON. General Cartwright.
STATEMENT OF GEN. JAMES E. CARTWRIGHT, DIRECTOR FOR FORCE STRUCTURE, RESOURCES, AND ASSESSMENT, J8 JOINT STAFF, UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS
General CARTWRIGHT. Rather than do any introductory remarks, Mr. Chairman, I am happy to be here and willing and ready to take your questions and I will pass my time to the service chiefs.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you very much.
STATEMENT OF GEN. MICHAEL W. HAGEE, COMMANDANT, UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS
Mr. SAXTON. General Hagee.
Page 16 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General HAGEE. Congressman Saxton and Congressman Skelton and distinguished members of this committee, it is truly my pleasure to report on your Marine Corps and our participation in operations in support of the Global War on Terrorism. I thank the members of this committee for your continued support of your Marines. Let me assure that the Marine Corps' first priority is and will continue to be war-fighting readiness and excellence in support of our Nation's security. I have had the opportunity to talk with Marines after major combat operations, and I also had the opportunity to talk with them before they crossed the line of departure last year.
And what they continue to tell me is that your support, the support of the Congress and the support of the American people are the two most important things to them. And your support in funding, your support when you articulate how much you respect what they are doing over there and your trips over there mean a great deal to the servicemen and women who are deployed throughout the world.
During this past year, the Marine Corps, both active and reserve, was engaged in operations from Afghanistan to the Arabian Gulf, the Horn of Africa, Liberia, Georgia Republic, Colombia, Guantanamo Bay and the Philippines. Most prominent in highlighting the value and power of the Nation's naval expeditionary capability was the Marine Corps' participation in Operation Iraqi Freedom. The First Marine Expeditionary Force deployed a combat ready force of about 70,000 Marines and sailors in less than 60 days.
Exploiting the operational speed, reach and inherent flexibility of sea power, the Navy and the Marine Corps closely integrated with joint coalition and Special Operations Forces engaged in 26 days of sustained combat operations and fought 10 major engagements destroying 8 Iraqi divisions before stopping in Tikrit almost 500 miles inland. Following major combat operations, First Marine Expeditionary Force assumed responsibility for security and stability operations in five central Iraqi provinces until they were relieved of the last province by coalition forces just last September.
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Since the end of major combat operations, the Marine Corps has been setting the force in order to enhance and maintain warfighting readiness for future contingencies. Reloading of combat equipment and material on maritime prepositioned force shipping is nearly complete. We are using provided funding to repair, refurbish and, where necessary, replace equipment. During this period, Marines have continued to forward deploy and Marine Corps units have continued to support numerous operations to include Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and operations in the Horn of Africa. We have conducted a major program to identify and analyze lessons learned from this campaign. We have also begun to assimilate these lessons and determine where and how our force should be rebalanced.
The Marine Corps is currently preparing to deploy forces to relieve the Third Cavalry Regiment and the 82nd Airborne in western Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom II. These forces will be deployed in two rotations of approximately seven months each. This rotation policy will result in the least disruption for the long-term health of your Marine Corps. Precluding stop-loss, stop-move and unnecessary interruptions in recruit training, career progression and development, professional military education and other deployment requirements. The first rotation from March until approximately September of this year will include 25,000 Marines and their equipment, and this includes almost 3,000 Reserve Component Marines.
A second rotation of approximately the same size and composition will overlap the first and ensure a smooth and stable transition. In preparation for Operation Iraqi Freedom II, First Marine Expeditionary Force has analyzed lessons learned from their experiences in conducting security and stability operations from March to September of last year and recent Army lessons learned. As they did last year, First Marine Expeditionary Force is already working closely with U.S. Army forces in Iraq. They have conducted a number of liaison visits with the Army units that they will relieve. They have drawn from procedures used by the Los Angeles Police Department for neighborhood patrolling in gang-dominated areas, the tactics of the British in Iraq, which reflect years of experience in low-intensity conflicts, and peace-keeping operations as well as our own extensive small war knowledge. We have assimilated these lessons through a comprehensive training package that includes tactics, techniques, procedures for stability and counterinsurgency operations.
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We have conducted rigorous urban operations and exercises. Over 400 Marines are receiving Arabic language courses and all deploying Marines and sailors are receiving extensive cultural education. Our supporting establishment is focused on the equipage, logistical and training requirements of the force, paying particular attention to individual protective equipment, enhanced vehicle and aircraft hardening and aviation survival equipment and procedures. While the operational tempo remains high, recruiting and retention continue to exceed our goals.
During this next year, Marine Expeditionary units will still deploy. Units will still rotate to Japan. Some of these forces will deploy from Japan in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom II. We are diligently ensuring that the Marine Corps remains ready for all of our current and future responsibilities. I look forward to presenting a more detailed statement on the current posture of your Marine Corps when I return before this committee on the 12 of February. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I look forward to your questions.
[The prepared statement of General Hagee can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Mr. SAXTON. General Hagee, thank you very much. We have been joined by Chief of Staff of the Army, General Schoomaker. Welcome aboard, sir, and we are ready to hear your statement.
STATEMENTS OF GEN. PETER J. SCHOOMAKER, CHIEF OF STAFF, UNITED STATES ARMY
General SCHOOMAKER. I apologize for being late. I think you know why, and I have submitted a statement for the record. I would just like to make a very brief opening comment here, and that is, I appreciate the opportunity to be here today. You know this is an exciting time to be in the Army. Tough time in many ways, but in many ways, it is very fulfilling and I appreciate the opportunity to be back with the men and women in uniform. And every day I continue to be reinforced by their courage and their dedication and their selfless service. I just returned from Christmas from the theater, both in Afghanistan and Iraq. A member of the committee here, Congressman Jim Marshall, accompanied me on that. Appreciated his counsel and his company. But again, tremendously reinforced by what I saw there and encouraged by where we are going in the future. So I will stand by for your questions.
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Mr. SAXTON. Thank you, General.
[The prepared statement of General Schoomaker can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Mr. SAXTON. Why don't we start our questioning with the ranking member, Mr. Skelton, for whatever thoughts or questions you may have.
Mr. SKELTON. General, let me welcome you and thank you for being with us today. I hear the phrase from time to time ''breaking the Army.'' So let me tell you, I am concerned with the depth or the challenges that now face the Army. They have reached such a level that we are starting to see folks who previously did not speak publicly discussing the serious problems in the press. First, Jeff Record of the U.S. Army War College published a piece arguing that the administration has dangerously confused the war in Iraq with the Global War On Terrorism, undertaking a strategic error on the first order with the result of an unnecessary preventative war on choice against a deterred Iraq that had created a new fund in the Middle East for Islamic terrorism and diverted attention and resources away from securing the American homeland against further assault by a terrible al Qaeda.
The ongoing conflict and reconstruction efforts in Iraq have put continuing demands on our force; this has led Lieutenant General John Riggs to conclude and say publicly that the Army likely needs substantially more than a 10,000-soldier increase. My own view is that the solution lies more in the neighborhood of 40,000, based on testimony going back to 1995. If we don't fix this problem soon, we are in danger of seeing more of the problem identified and again cited publicly by Lieutenant General James Hemley, head of the Army Reserve. He told the Washington Post last week that the Reserves faced a potential retention crisis once stop-loss is lifted.
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With these problems now prominently discussed by senior officers in the media, how is the Army addressing issues of retention and of rightsizing our force by increasing end strength?
General SCHOOMAKER. Sir, I would like to approach it from the front end of your statement to the rear. First of all, there are lots of opinions, and I encourage as we go forward here that, you know, that people have their opinions. I would hope that they would discuss them with me before they are discussed in the press, but nevertheless, everyone has their right to express themselves as they see fit. There is no question the Army is stressed and that the degree to which we are engaged today in what is a very important endeavor, in my opinion, can't be debated. I mean, it is clear that we are committed to that. What we are doing is trying to transform the Army simultaneous with meeting the security commitments of the Nation.
The retention last year, 2003, as I have testified before and spoken in the press, we met our goals 100 percent across the board, with one exception, and that was in the Army Reserve, mid-careerist, which we missed by 6 percent. And this was at a time when their primary source of people that come into the Reserve, with their primary source with people leaving active duty, was cut off as a result of stop-loss, stop-move. So I think that is pretty laudible.
So far this year, indications are that we are on track right now, that we are at 100 percent of goal across all components: Active, Guard and Reserve. There is no question that as we continue to operate at the level that we are, and if we don't make some significant moves, which we are in the process of doing to increase the predictability and stability not only in the lives of our soldiers, but their families, that this is something that is clearly on our mind and we are working on.
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Right now I have been given the authority by the Secretary of Defense to grow the Army by 30,000 people within the authority he has under the emergency powers that he has under the law, Title 10, and to do that, to buy the opportunity to restructure the Army, which is what we are doing. And we are in very serious moves looking at modulizing the Army, standardizing it and developing an Army that is more lethal, more agile and more capable of meeting the current and future environmental tasks, and that is what we are going to do right now. This has been ongoing. And you and I have had private conversations on this and other members have, as well. But what I stress again is that we should not make a commitment to permanent end strength increase at this time with the cost of that incurred and placed upon us in the future years, because we will drive ourselves back into the kind of army that I joined in the late Vietnam era, early 1970s, which was an army of a lot of people that was hollow, couldn't train, couldn't move, couldn't fly, couldn't do the kind of things the Army required. It cost $1.2 billion for every 10,000 people we had in the Army.
And the worst thing in the world we should get is legislated end strength increase that we are forced to meet within our current level of budget and incur that in the outyears. And I am adamant that that is not the way to go. That if we can structure the Army in a way through this temporary growth and that we look for internal efficiencies, we think we can get 10,000 spaces through military and civilian conversions. We think by stabilizing the Army where we don't move the Army every two to three years on an individual basis, but we keep people in place and develop cohesive stable units, where spouses can work, where kids can go to school, where people can invest in homes and develop equity, stabilize this force; it is better for the fighting force, better for the families and it will increase our retention.
Page 22 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC By stabilizing that rotational basewe have 63,000 people in constant rotation. 40 percent of those moves are discretionary moves, happen to do with Korea because of the individual placement system. And these efficiencies have to be taken. And we also believe we are going to get significant efficiencies as we reposture and restructure our overseas overhead and headquarters in a way that will also give us people.
As we get our temporary bump-up where we can take these efficiencies, I believe we can bring it back down within the current targets, operate more effectively with a better Army more capable of what it needs to do within our current level of resourcing. So I hope this addresses your question.
Mr. SKELTON. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. SAXTON. We are going to go to Mr. McHugh, but before we do, General, you spoke in general terms about restructuring the Army. Could you be a little more specific and say what it is more precisely you intend to do.
General SCHOOMAKER. Yes, sir, I can. On the active side of the Army, we are currently authorized ten divisions in the active force. Our intention is to retain the ten division headquarters, battle command headquarters, but take much of the enabling resources, the air defense, the signal and all of the enablers that are in the division base and push them down to brigade level and increase the number of brigades under each one of those divisions. Tentatively, we think we can go from three brigades to four under each. That takes us from 30 brigades within the division structure to 40 brigades.
Page 23 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC We also, as you know, have made the decision to go forward with Stryker. That gives us five Stryker brigades within the active structure. It also gives us two airborne brigades and an armored cavalry regiment. One of the armored cavalry regiments, the second, is designated to become one of the Strykers, so it is included in those numbers. That moves us from 33 current active brigades under 10 division headquarters to a force of 48 active brigades, more lethal, more capable, more agile, more modular, that will allow us to be much more strategically agile than we are today.
Today we have six heavy divisions in the active force; all of them are different. Today we have two light divisions in the active force. Each of them are different. We have the 82nd airborne division and 101st, and of course they are different. This, we need to fix during this time. On the Reserve side, in the active Guard, currently we have 8 active Guard division headquarters which we will retain, but we want to go to 15 enhanced brigades that we have today to 22; increase their level of readiness and equip them along the lines of what we are doing today with the 30th, the 39th and 81st with the very best equipment available as they go forth and increase their capability to become part of a greater rotation base to meet the future strategy.
And then below all of that, combat service support, combat support, over 100,000 structural changes to be made. We are going to convert 36 artillery battalions to 149 military police (MP) units. We are going to increase the amount of transportation assets, medical, aviation restructuring. This is the biggest internal Army-kind of restructuring we have done in 50 years, but it must be done to make us relevant and ready to meet the strategy, and the real threat to the United States, as we know it today, as opposed to the Cold War, or World War IIlevel threat.
Page 24 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SAXTON. And what will it do to your plan if you get a legislated increase in end strength.
General SCHOOMAKER. If we get a legislated increase in end strength without the money and, by the way, on that 2004 authorization bill that just came into effect, we will raise 2,400 spaces, and there was no money that came with them. If that happens at a major level and we are caused to eat that money at the tune of $1.2 billion per 10,000 people, and one division costs 30,000 people, will take us 2 years to generate, my view is it puts our readiness at risk, puts training at risk, puts modernization at risk and puts transformation at risk, and that is why I am resisting it.
The Secretary of DefenseI presented him with the plan. He has given me the authority to dohe has given me the head room under his current authorities to grow the Army; not raise the end strength, but grow the Army to give me the bump that I need to be able to do these internal structures, and I believe we can deliver that kind of Army over the next four years that we need.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you very much.
Mr. MCHUGH. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. General Schoomaker, thank you to all of you for being here and thank you for the service and the magnificent you make available to the service of this country. I have been in Iraq twice now and am going to take a flip over to Afghanistan in a few weeks. And I am very proud of them and proud of you for providing the leadership to make sure that happens. General Schoomaker, I want to make sure I understand some of your comments here today. The Secretary has given you the option of going to 30,000 additional troops, saying that he has waived under the emergency declaration provisions the statutory cap on end strength.
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General SCHOOMAKER. That is correct.
Mr. MCHUGH. How long does the secretary intend to declare that emergency to waive that limit?
General SCHOOMAKER. Well, sir, I am not sure we can see into the future, but I have asked him to do that for the duration of the emergency, or to four years. I think I need four years to do this.
Mr. MCHUGH. And therein you use the word ''temporary'' and you were gracious to drop by my office when you came out of what I thought you described as a pretty peaceful and happy retirement to take up this. I admire youwell, I am going to keep out of your way, because I question your stability and by that I mean simply why anybody would want to take this challenge can only be described as a love for the Army, and I have a deep respect for that. But you are new to this challenge in that position.
But 90 percent of what has been said here this morning, with all due respect, is something we have all been hearing for years: that the Secretary of Defense comes up here and talks about rebalancing the Reserve Component and the Active Component. They talk about taking military uniform out of civilian positions and moving them into the Army and into military positions. And yet in all of that time, we have not seen one cent to achieve any of that. And that is the frustration for many of us and ranking member and others who have been concerned about this end strength because we are dealing now with a three to four-year period in retrospect, and you are talking about a four-year period on the other end. And I trust that is probably your best guess, but probably a best-case scenario, as well. We are talking about a lot of time and peoples' lives.
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As I understand it, you respect that effect on those lives, as well. As I understand your transition with increasing the modular capabilities of your two divisions as you bring them back and increasing the combat brigades, which makes a lot of sense, that requires 10,000 more support personnel, is that not true?
General SCHOOMAKER. I am not quite sure I am following.
Mr. MCHUGH. To look at what you are looking to create, it is a greater need of about 10,000 people in uniform to provide the support for those brigades.
General SCHOOMAKER. I am not sure that that number is accurate. If you want to create a division in the way that we created divisions in the past, it takes about 30,000 people across the force to generate a 15- to 17,000-person division. We are creating a different kind of force. I don't differ with you on the sanity check. You have to get in line behind my wife. But thebut I do differ with youif you take a look, number one, we achieved approximately 5,000 savings on the conversion this last year. And we think we can do that again this year.
If you take a look and see that we have created two Stryker brigades. We are creating the third and posturing for the fourth, I think that is significant restructuring and transformation that is taking place there. If you take a look at some of the things we have already done, Third Infantry Division as it is resetting right now is going through major experimentation in terms of what things should look like. I think we are making some progress. I would caution everybody here. One of the reasons it is so difficult to transform outside of the context of the current kind of emergency is that the amount of energy it takes to develop momentum within a stable force is huge.
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What we have now is a force in motion and under stress and highly motivated to transform itself. We should take advantage both for fiscal reasons and for national security reasons. We should take advantage of this movement that we currently have that is reset and transformed during this emergency. And that is what gives me the encouragement that, in fact, we can do this.
Mr. MCHUGH. I appreciate that. We have got internal information, and by internal, that the committee possesses that suggests that you are going to need additional troop strength or personnel to create those resets. But that is something we need to keep an eye on.
General SCHOOMAKER. Could I address something, because I am not sure I am making myself clear. If you take a look at the delta between what we can generate within our current end strength, which could be from 20,000 to 30,000 people, that is stabilization so that we garner some people, that is conversions, that is restructuring as a result of the headquarters overhead that we got right now in places like Korea, Germany and elsewhere that we will garner some savings out of, so that is within our current authorization. And then you take a look at the temporary hump, you are talking about a delta between 40 and 60,000 people we've got to use that we have already paid for, and we have the authority to use and that is the opportunity here.
That is the window of opportunity here that we haven't had that we are trying to take advantage of. I think it is prudent for the taxpayer and the Army that we take advantage of this opportunity and do this now, which is what we are trying to do. I really counsel against incurring permanent end strength increases within the program because it can only be paid one way, modernization, training, resetting.
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Mr. MCHUGH. If I may, to the extent that we don't provide the moneyand let me just close because we are not operating the lights here, but I don't want to be hoggish about the time. Close on two points. All of us support the initiative you have outlined, and I don't want to make it sound like it is cold gruel because it is not. You have brought your own design and I compliment you for it, and I think it definitely deserves to be pursued and holds a great deal of promise. Speaking for myself, I look forward to helping you and supporting you on that to the extent that is helpful.
Second of all, I could not agree more. The last thing we want to do is recreate the scenarios of the 1970s where you had the hollow force, and certainly I know, I have spoken to the chairman of the committee in the last 24 hours and he feels very strongly that should end increases be there, they would have to be funded because no one is looking for you to have to find out that would be I agree again devastating. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you very much.
Mr. TAYLOR. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and thank all of you gentleman for what you do and what the troops you lead do. Two things I would like you to address. Number one, several soldiers brought it to my attention that they were getting ready to permanent change of station (PCS), and that the unit they were PCS to was going to bring them right back to Iraq. Now I don't know if I happened to see a blurb, but I would be curious, General, if the Army is tracking how often that is going to happen as a percentage of the total force. Because again, I could imagine the toughest place for a soldier would be not necessarily the correct order, Korea, Afghanistan, Iraq, and I would be curious if the Army is tracking just how often these same solders are asked to do these back to back.
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Second thing I wish you would touch on. General Sanchez and I had a brief conversation at which time he said, off the top of his head, he thought that more than half of the casualties were being caused by IEDs, improvised explosive devices. He has not had a chance to get back to me. I have noticed my fellow Mississippians who have been seriously wounded or killed, and almost every one of them was because of IEDs. I am concerned that we are making, as a Nationand I use the word ''we''the same mistake with taking steps to prevent attacks from the IEDs as we did with the body armor. That we did not fully recognize the threat to every soldier, that we have the resources to address, and not in every instance, but in a heck of a lot of instances and that we are not devoting the resources.
Now the administration is going to come back and say, well, that is a classified number. So, with all due respect to folks who have said that to me, the Iraqis have figured out if they hit that detonator enough times, maybe it is only going to work 9 out of 10,000 times, 8 out of 10,000 times or 7 out of 10,000 times, but they have figured out that more often than not, because of the lack of resources, they are going to hit that detonator and they are going to kill or maim an American.
What are we doing with the units rotating to provide a greater level of protection for them. It is the protection I got when I went to Iraq. Doggone it, I am told that some of these units are down to $10,000 to protect a vehicle which is chump change when it comes to the lives of young Americans. What are we going to do to see to it that the units rotating in are going to have a higher level of protection than the units that are there now?
General SCHOOMAKER. Great question, and I share your concern on it. Let me answer your first question, which had to do with are we tracking with people that are going in back-to-back deployments. We absolutely are and this is what is so imperative about us changing from an individual replacement system to one of unit cohesion and stability, where we rotate units, not individuals. And this is also the point at which we achieve great personnel savings within that by stabilizing. You are exactly right.
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Somebody could be coming out of Iraq and be stationed in Korea or coming from Korea and being sent to a unit that is going to deploy to Iraq or Afghanistan. This is precisely why we must stabilize this force.
Mr. TAYLOR. Could you get that number for me.
General SCHOOMAKER. Yes. The second point is one which we share your concern. A year ago, less than 15 percent, I think the number is 12 percent of the force in the theater over there, had the improved body armor. And as I have testified to, and as I have said publicly in the press, today, we have 100 percent of the people that are deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan and now Kuwait, that have the improved body armor. That meant we had to go from a single provider of this to six vendors I believe we now have and we are now maximizing the capacity to produce this level of protection. And I will be glad to talk to you about what that level is in closed session. Likewise, on the up-armored Humvees as an example, a year ago we had very few over there, today we approaching 2,000. They have increased the requirement to over 4,000.
Mr. TAYLOR. Isn't the total number of vehicles in the 17,000 range.
General SCHOOMAKER. Yes, sir. We are not going to be able to up-armor every vehicle that is over there. But the Humvees that we are using for patrolsand I am talking about now building up-armored Humvees.
Page 31 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. TAYLOR. If I may, I would hope that you would address the jamming devices for the IEDs without getting too technical, because that is what I think we desperately need. The technology is there. And again, half the casualtiesaccording to General Sanchez, every Mississippian has been a victim of that.
General SCHOOMAKER. There is a difference between building up-armored Humvees from scratch, which we are doing. We have increased production from 80 to 120 a month. But we are producing armored kits that provide armor doors and panels. We are meeting the Marine Corps' requirement. But we are on track right now to increase the number of up-armored Humvees across the Army to 7,000. And we have moved over $4 billion inside of our program to provide not only this level of protection, but other initiatives to improve the equipment of the soldier. So that is big.
We also have a local initiative taking place over there, and I think you have been over there and I think you have seen some of the local initiatives. Our concern is that some of the local initiative we need to test to make sure they are not increasing their vulnerability by putting soft armor on that becomes part of the projectile. We have teams over there to ensure the quality of that local work is such that it is given the level of protection we desire on this. So we are doing that. I would like to talk to you about the IED initiatives and would be better to do that in closed session than in open session, but we have taken major moves there that are paying off in my view right now.
Mr. TAYLOR. General, and I understand the concern, I don't quite understandI really feel that the reason the number is classified is not so the Iraqi insurgents don't know, but so the American people don't know. The Iraqis have figured out that if they hit that detonator enough times, they are going to kill a vehicle that does not have a jammer.
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General SCHOOMAKER. Which number are you concerned is classified.
Mr. TAYLOR. The percentage of vehicles that have some form of an electronic jammer. It is miniscule, and I know it, you know it and the Iraqi insurgents know it. And $10,000 per vehicle, that is absolutely chump change.
General SCHOOMAKER. I will be glad to get you the figures of what we got in that regard, but I don't think it is appropriate here to discuss it. I also think that you understand that every vehicle doesn't have to be equipped. You have to have groups of vehicles that have that kind of capability under an umbrella, and I think that is left best to
Mr. TAYLOR. I would like the opportunity to discuss it with you.
Mr. SAXTON. Mr. Hayes.
Mr. HAYES. Thank you, sir. And gentlemen, thank you for being here today and the men and women that are doing such a magnificent job. General Schoomaker, just comment briefly on how you are working with big Army and Special Operations Command (SOCOM) to create the proper synergy, as force structure and transformation occurs, coordination between soft and big Army.
Page 33 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General SCHOOMAKER. As you know, I commanded Special Operations Command before retiring in 2000. I was the Commander in Chief at the U.S. Special Operations Command. The current commander general, Doug Brown, and I have had a long relationship going back to the Iran rescue mission, when we were both union officers on that mission. I would tell you that I have never seen better integration of special operations and conventional forces than I have seen today.
And that is a recurring theme we are getting from the field. If you take a look at some of the most high profile operations that are taking place over there, that would bear that out. Part of our restructuring is providing significantly increased capacity to SOCOM of Army forces, and the number of special forces, civil affairs, psychological operations, special operations, aviation, that is all part of our restructuring. Those are already taking place and already reaping the benefits of that movement going back to Congressman McHugh's point as in terms of what kind of progress we are making.
I mean, I am very optimistic and very encouraged. And you know, over my long career in special operations, I have never seen this level of integration and synergy being achieved between those two components as I have today, and this includes across the whole force, Marine Corps, Air Force and Navy. As you know, U.S. SOCOM is a joint command and they are a very, very capable joint command that is operating across the joint force in a way that I believe was envisioned by many of us who were involved in the transformation of that capability from the dark old days post-Vietnam.
Mr. HAYES. I would agree with your observation, and unless we give all the credit to General Brown, General Kensinger when you answer my second question. Talk a little bit more about whyand I agree being so successful. And the second question, what changes are we advocating within the Army to better work with Special Operations Forces (SOF), and are we adapting new organizational models to complement lighter, more mobile, more agile transformed Army?
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General SCHOOMAKER. This past week, I was at both the Joint National Training Center, the new national training center construct that we have with the Marine Corps, the Army, SOF. The Air Force out of Nellis are all coming together in line in virtual and constructive wargaming. We have builtif you go out to the National Training Center today and take a look at the six to eight Iraqi and Afghan villages we have built out there, the hundreds of civilians on the battlefield, the insurgents that are on the battlefield, and look at the joint work that is being done across the services and SOCOM with the units right now, the Third Infantry Division, Third Brigade is out there going through this, it will water your eyes. I talked to a young company commander that was involved in an operation out there last week that had just returned from Iraq, and I asked him what he thought, and he said this brings back some really bad memories of what is going on.
General SCHOOMAKER. He said this is demanding. It is exactly the kind of thing we need to be doing. If you go to the Jointthe Joint Reserve Training Center (JRTC) down at Ft. Polk and take a look at what now is on the battlefield there, we have over 600 Arab speakers, both contract and uniform, that we now have on that battlefield that are creating precisely the kind of operational environment that we are facing.
We have gone from kind of 12th grade work to Master's Degree on the path towards Ph.D.-level work in terms of new integration and bringing the current battlefield construct, strategic construct to our training base. So I think we are exactly on the kind of path that we need to be on and it is borne out byand by the way, the unit that is going through Ft. Polk now in that environment.
Page 35 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. HAYES. Old Hickory.
General SCHOOMAKER. Old Hickory. That is exactly right. And I spent some time with them last week through their trainings from the mobilization Fort Bragg and all the way through this, and I think they are giving very, very high marks in terms of how they are being prepared and expected to go and do what they are going to do.
Those three National Guard brigades are getting the best training that we have ever given anybody and they are getting the best equipment that we have ever put on soldiers. Over $3,000 per soldier in the very newest equipment, body armor. That is part of the $4 billion that we programmed in our resources this year.
Mr. HAYES. Thank you. I have been to the National Training Center (NTC), look forward to Polk, and I was there with Old Hickory. Appreciate all of you. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. SAXTON. Mr. Snyder.
Dr. SNYDER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I wanted to ask General Schoomaker just a couple of practical questions in terms of bringing in a unit and replacing and swapping out a unit. You are going to have an overlap period. In terms of housing, how do you respond to that challenge? I assume we are not going to double up in bunks for a week or two or three. How do you handle the housing needs as you have two units in the same geographic location?
General SCHOOMAKER. I was not here for the J3's piece of this as he laid it down. I don't know how much he explained. The specifics we probably ought to do in closed session. But you know there are some changes that are taking place in the way boundaries are laid and where units are going and all of that. And right now that is not an issue to the best of my knowledge. That is something I have asked about. I have been assured by General Sanchez and the others over there that we have done that.
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As you know, take the Old Hickory, they have had already three or four reconnaissance trips in there with their leadership looking and organizing and coordinating with the units they are replacing, looking at the terrain they are going to take over and integrating that construct, and all that is all part of what they are doing. And nothing has been brought to my attention right now that is problematic in that regard.
Dr. SNYDER. Good. I wanted to ask, toowith regard to equipment, you talked in some detail in Mr. Taylor's question about the up-armored Humvees and the number that are there and those that are coming in. At what point do the number that are there are having to be brought back because they are worn out or need major repair or overhaul. What is the life expectancy of an up-armored Humvee in Iraq these days?
General SCHOOMAKER. Not unlike any other. But we are bringing none of those back. Everything is staying that we have invested over there. We are bringing no up-armored vehicles back.
Dr. SNYDER. So they will be able to be maintained and overhauled there?
General SCHOOMAKER. Army Materiel Command has put forward depot level contact teams forward. We are doing maintenance and refurbishment in the field. As you know, the 3rd Infantry Division, when it went in on the initial war phase, fell in on prepositioned equipment, over 9,000 pieces of that equipment. That is being reset and refurbished in theater. But there are no up-armored Humvees, no body armor or anything else like that is coming out of theater. It is remaining and will be passed on to units that are coming in.
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Dr. SNYDER. General Hagee, in your opening statement you talked in detail about experience with small wars and contacts with the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) and looked at the work in neighborhoods and communities in a different way and there were some press reports that I think tried to draw some distinction between that approach and what has been done in Iraq so far. I am sure you saw those articles, too. But the kinds of things that you are drawing on, the years of experience in the past, the Marine Corps knowledge of small wars, contacts with LAPD, that is information that has been out there for years. Is this part of this discussion that has been going on about, could we have approached this differently from the beginning after Baghdad fell? Is that part of that discussion that we perhaps could have been done better with a different approach from the get go?
General HAGEE. In my opinion, no, sir. I believe that the forces that are over there, when they started the current operation several months ago, the battlefield was different at that time than it is today. They have done a tremendous job preparing that particular battlefield, and it has changed. And weas I mentioned in my opening statement, we have worked very closely with the Army units that are over there so that we truly understand how that battlefield has changed. In fact, the scenarios that we are using to train our forces are the same scenarios that the Army forces over there recommended that we use.
So all of us are changing as the situation on the ground changes in trying to respond to that situation on the ground.
In the past, no surprise, especially over the last 18 months, we have spent a lot of time on major combat operations, and we have not forgotten how to do that. But what we want to do now is focus on and refresh some of those capabilities that we have to have done for the different type of operation that we are facing on the ground there now.
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Dr. SNYDER. My last question, General Schoomaker, a National Public Radio (NPR) story I heard talking about there were close to 10,000 medical evacuations from Iraq of wounded or injured or some other medical condition. As you are planning for bringing back substantial numbers of people simultaneously back to the States, is the system prepared for the kinds of medical evaluations and screenings to handle those kinds of numbers?
General SCHOOMAKER. Sir, this is a real success story in the way that medical care has been brought to soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines on this battlefieldand civilians by the way. We have had extraordinary success because of the improvements and because of the organizations and everything that we have got there. I think you know, and I don't want to get into the exact figures but I think you know that not everybody that is wounded, injured or falls ill is a result of enemy action. And there are some historical trends that are consistent with what we are seeing right now.
But I will tell you that every soldierand this is one of the lessons learned from the first Gulf Warevery soldier that comes back from theater goes through thorough medical examination and it is now documented in the database and tracked, regardless of whether it is a combat wound or a noncombat injury or whether it is an illness.
Dr. SNYDER. And you are confident that the system will be able to handle the increased numbers that are all coming back at the same time?
General SCHOOMAKER. Sir, we have mobilized our mobilization and demobilization stations in a way that it is handling this adequately now. And I see, we have really gone to school on this. I think we are going to do very well.
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Dr. SNYDER. Thank you, gentlemen.
Mr. SAXTON. Mr. Simmons.
Mr. SIMMONS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. To General Hagee, earlier you made the remark about congressional support of our troops in the field. I believe I see from your ribbons, General, that you are a Vietnam vet, and I would say that one of the saddest parts of that war, and I served in Vietnam myself, was that troops in the field did not feel we had support. And I certainly commit myself, as I am sure most MEMBERS of this committee do, to providing that support to our troops in the field.
And that leads me to my question for General Schoomaker, a couple of questions. I had the privilege of going to Iraq last October on a Congressional delegation (CODEL) from this committee. I met with four different Guard and Reserve units. And one of the issues that came up repeatedly was the fact that Guard and Reserve units, many of them MP unitsare doing MP or security assignments, do not have up-armored Humvees. And I wrote to the Secretary of the Army and he wrote me back in November saying that the movement of these vehicles into the Central Command area of operations has been a top priority. Top priority.
I think we know from previous comments that there continue to be numerous Guard and Reserve units that do not have up-armored Humvees and the adapter kits that are being produced by Rock Island Arsenal and other commercial vendors are simply not getting over there fast enough.
Page 40 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And when I look at the testimony, General, your testimony on page 4 where we read that 18 component field artillery batteries are going to be converted to MP military occupational specialty (MOS), my guess is that they do not have up-armored Humvees because their traditional mission did not require it, and yet they are going to be out there operating on what is essentially a country without a frontline.
So these vehicles, these non-up-armored Humvees, some of which have Eisenglas windows and canvas doorsto which I could take this pen and jam it through the doordoors that are no more secure than the doors on my CJ7 Jeep, these units are converting to a task where they are running essentially combat operations in vehicles that simply are not up to standard.
I have been in touch with commercial vendors who have kits available, some are slap-on kits with various types of plastic material. I have been in touch with Rock Island Arsenal on their doors, which can be converted in two hours, and one of those doors actually saved the life of a Connecticut guardsman. The door was put on a day before the ambush and saved his life. The family called me and were crying on the phone.
This to me is a top priority, but I am not satisfied. I hear that some of the kits are being shipped over by ship, not air. I think that is inadequate. Some of the vendors are not operating at full capacity. They are waiting for more orders and it seems to me this is such an obvious thing for us to focus on.
And so I would also like to say that it is a real morale buster for the Guard and the Reserve. Many of them get put into an Active Component command, their equipment is inadequate because in the Guard and the Reserve you do not get the up-armor, and yet they are over there operating, doing the same things, going on the same streets, securing the same areas. And when they get caught in an IAD, they are wounded and killed and the Active Component folks are adequately protected.
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I would like to hear what you personally are doing to implement what the Secretary of the Army told methe Acting Secretary told me was a top priority so that we can get these kits out to our men and women in the field and make sure that these converting Reserve units are fully and completely equipped before they go over.
General SCHOOMAKER. Sir, I think you know I cosigned this with the Acting Secretary, and I am very close on this. It is our highest priority. If you know of anybody that we have not talked to, we will take that and talk to them and do everything we can to make sure that we are using the full capacity of this Nation to protect our people.
I do differ with you, however, in that the Reserve Component is not the only component that did not have up-armored Humvees. The Active Component did. Really, a year ago up-armored Humvees were limited to very few units, Active or Reserve. And the distribution of up-armored Humvees in theater has nothing to do with whether it is an Active or Reserve component. It has to do with where the commander considers his priorities of protection to be. And there are lots of MP units that have to do with detention, for instance, other kinds of things that they do not patrol, that obviously some of these 149 units that I am talking about are not all going to be over there at one time. And many of them are not going to have patrol functions that require that level of protection. They have other jobs, other military police jobs.
So I guess, just to kind of tie it all together, if you know something we don't know and there is something we can do, I will take that and we will act on it. The distribution of what is available over there, which is an increasing inventoryI said that we had very few over there initially. We are now approaching 2,000 in just 4 months. And we at the same time are putting add-on kits to all kinds of vehicles, Humvees, all kinds of vehicles that you can imagine to include the local fabrication of things over there. I think we pulled all the stops out. If there is something we missed, we will address it.
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Mr. SIMMONS. General, I plan to visit some of these factories in the next couple of weeks. I look forward to going back to Iraq in a month or so. I think we can speed the process up. I think it is a no-brainer. I think up-armored Humvees save lives. I don't want to go to the funeral of one of my constituents who is caught in an ambush in an non-up-armored Humvee and tell those parents that I did everything that I could and the country did everything it could when a little bit of glass and hardened steel could have saved that soldier's life. And the Connecticut Army Guard has no up-armored Humvees in all of its units, five units in Iraq and some rotating back. When they deploy they do not deploy with any of that stuff. And I am sure that is true of other Guard and Reserve units, especially those who are taking on MP tasks out there every day, all the time. And this is a low cost thing to do and I think it is a no-brainer.
So I will be happy to join with your staff on these visits to these companies and arsenals to make sure that they are into max production to get these kits over there, because they do save lives. And I take it very seriously, as I am sure you do. I thank you.
General SCHOOMAKER. We share your concerns in every regard.
Mr. SIMMONS. Mr. Chairman, I would like to submit some questions for the record on that.
Mr. SAXTON. Without objection. Thank you very much, Mr. Simmons.
Page 43 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC [The information referred to can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Mr. SAXTON. Mrs. Tauscher.
Ms. TAUSCHER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Gentlemen, thank you for being here. I think many of us have been committed to transformation for a very long time. And I think that clearly the spontaneous utterances by others in the military over the last few weeks about the end strength needs have led to frustration by many of us who for a long time have tried to work with the Pentagon to get a sense of reality for what we now know is a very labor intensive environment, especially in Iraq and Afghanistan.
I believe our military is overstretched. I am deeply concerned about the stop loss orders, which I consider to be masking serious retention problems, leading to potentially very serious morale problems. I have introduced legislation to temporarily increase the military by 8 percent across the board, specifically the Army, Air Force and the Marines. I stress the term ''temporary'' because I am not interested, nor is anybody, in bulging out a military that is not going to deliver us in the short term or midterm what we need and then causing you problems in the long-term.
But let's be really honest about what this is about. This is about priorities. We have appropriated on an emergency basis $166 billion. And we are sitting here, ladies and gentlemen, hearing about not having up-armored Humvees, not having the right kind of Kevlar vests, and the truth is we do not have enough troops to do all the things we have to do at once.
Page 44 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC My favorite show growing up was the Ed Sullivan Show and my favorite people on that show were the plate spinners. Remember the plate spinners? They started spinning plates and by the time they get over to number seven or eight, number one started going wobbly on them. We cannot go wobbly. We need to know that we have a temporary ability to increase the size of our end strength, do all the things we need to do, including transform.
But what I am deeply concerned about is that we have a Pentagon civilian leadership that is more interested in getting what they wanted for a long time, which is transformation, than making sure we have the right amount of troops. And then also making sure they get all the toys they have wanted for a long time. We could reprogram this budget tomorrow and have a temporary increase in the end strength and maybe slow down national missile defense for an hour and a half and not have to worry about the money. We know what the problem is. The problem is the money.
General Hagee and General Schoomaker, if I was able to deliver you both the money and the troops, it would be easier, wouldn't it, to do all the things we have got to do? The answer has to be yes, does it not?
So if it is about the money, what we need to do on this committee, I believe, is to make the decision to really get the civilian masters in the Pentagon to face the facts. We cannot put the strain on our military and on our American people just because we insist ideologically to keep the budget the way it is and to keep our investments going on things like national missile defense and other things that should not and cannot be a priority right now.
So let me ask you, General Schoomaker and General Hagee, if the money came along and you had a temporary increase in the troops, would it make it easier for you and would it make it better for you in the short term?
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General HAGEE. I am not sure that one can answer that question with a very succinct statement, either yes or no. It is not really about end strength; it is about the capabilities that the force has.
It would take some time, if we received an end strength increase and if the money came, to stand up those capabilities. And my sense is that three or four years from now, that the situation is not going to be the same now. So we get an eight percent, which is a significant increase for the Marine Corps, a significant increase for the Marine Corps. And so four years from now, we would have eight percentI am an infantryman, so slow on the numbers, but several thousand individuals out there that we would have recruited, trained, equipped, found housing for, with some indication that there is a career for you here. And so four or five years from now, we have those brigades and divisions ready to go. Do we need them at that time? My sense is right now, Ma'am, that we do not.
And so my sense is that at least from the Marine Corps' standpoint, and really when you talk about, does the Marine Corps need an end strength, does the Army need an end strength increase, we really need to look at it from a joint standpoint, and that is what we have been doing in Iraq and not looking at it from a service standpoint.
But as the Commandant of the Marine Corps, my sense right now is we do not need an end strength increase, that we can do what we need to do, at least over this next year, and this is something that we have to watch. There is no doubt about that. And we have to watch all of the indicators to ensure that we are not breaking this unbelievable magnificent force that we have right now. But my sense is that we do not.
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A couple of numbers that support that: for fiscal year 2004 we are at 3 months, almost 4 months into fiscal year 2004, our recruiting is over 100 percent. Our retention on the regular side and the reserve sideon the reserve side it is over 100 percent. On the regular side, we have achieved in the first 3 months of this fiscal year 75 percent of what we need for the entire year. That is how the young Marines out there are voting.
Could that change? Absolutely. And we want to watch that. But what I do not want to do is mortgage the future for a situation that we have right now that I believe that we can handle with the capabilities that we have in the Marine Corps.
Ms. TAUSCHER. General Schoomaker, what is the difference between what the Secretary we now understand is going to do, which is an emergency order to basically lift the end strength numbers specifically for the Army by 30,000what is the difference between what he is going to do and what we have suggested that he do?
General SCHOOMAKER. First of all, he is doing what I asked him to do. This is the plan I gave him and he has approved it, and it is my best judgment. This is not a one-dimensional game here. This is a Rubik's cube. We have to do all the things we have on our plate all the time. And I tried to explain earlier that I think we need to take advantage of both the momentum and the level of resources we currently have under this emergency condition to do not only our operational tasks, but to do the kinds of transformational things internally that we need to. We must achieve the kind of efficiencies and effectiveness within the force.
Right now, especially in the Reserve Component, we are severely overstructuredtoo much structure for the level of authorization. And that structure is inappropriate for not only the current operational environment we are in, but the future operational environment.
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And so we must do these things concurrently, which is bring that structure down, form that structure correctly, make that structure correctly across the Active and Reserve Components, properly train and equip and man, and then stabilize this force so that it canthe fallacy in end strength is that pouring more money and people in that single dimension on top of this current construct is like pouring a canteen in the sand. It will not achieve the end that we want. What we must do is have a sound structure with some integrity in it that is appropriate and relevant to what we are doing. And that is why I chose the plan I did.
You know, I have got a lane. I do not have an ideology. I have looked at this. I have used my judgment. I have come up with what I consider to be the most prudent plan for the Nation and for the circumstances that we are in. And I will tell you, I think it is a unique opportunity right now to use these emergency authorities and emergency funding that we have got to get the head space that we need to do these kinds of things and allow ourselves to take a look at what our level of effort is over the next couple of years.
And be informedI am with General Hagee here in that our indicators are we are not only recruiting adequatelythere are more people lining up to come in than we have ever had and the quality of those people is higher than it has ever been. And there is no indication right now that that is not going to continue.
But what I can predict is if we do not take advantage and transform and develop a broader rotational base of relevant force so that we can elongate the rotations and provide some predictability in the force, that we will have a problem if we do not do that. So, you know, this is not just numbers, it is content that is important. And I believe that what we have got here is a very prudent plan for the Nation and one that we can execute now. If you are talking about
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Ms. TAUSCHER. General, with all due respect, it does not sound any different from what we have suggested, except it is not being done by the Congress, it is being done by the Pentagon.
General SCHOOMAKER. Wouldn't you expectright now when I reach down inside the force I can't touch all the force because it is inappropriately designed and not accessible to us. Do not you expect us to be prudent?
Ms. TAUSCHER. I do. I just worry whether you are spinning too many plates, General.
General SCHOOMAKER. That is what we are trying to do. We can do this faster and better and in the long-term it will be better for the Nation. And then, if what we have is not a spike and not a butte, but it is a new plateau, then I think we have a legitimate question about whether or not we need to grow a force that has integrity to a larger size. But right now just dealing in a single dimension is not only wasteful but it will not solve our immediate problem. We have to do this internal stuff.
And I agree with you. There are many cases in the past there have been, you know, transformational talk that perhaps did not look for transformation. But I can tell you that it is very difficult without the focus and emphasis and motion that we have got today, if this force is allowed to come back to rest as it was previously, it will be impossible again to get the level of transformation that we want.
Page 49 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Ms. TAUSCHER. Mr. Chairman, I just want to say one thing. I do not disagree with you. I am wholeheartedly supportive of all the things that you are doing. My concern is that the Constitution says the Congress is the one that puts up the military. We need to be fully involved in this. We have, I think, been moving and trying to get this moved ahead for years and now, all the sudden, it looks like it is going to happen kind of not with us, but certainly in a way that I am concerned in the end does not provide us with the kind of military force that we are going to need in the next three or four years. And we are doing it on the backs of these men and women.
We could do it by reprogramming some of the budget and get more people in the short-term and have the money there and certainly have the equipment that we know we need to protect in this field of battle. And I just worry about the priorities that the administration is making.
General SCHOOMAKER. As you know, right now the United States Army has 11,000 more people over end strength.
Ms. TAUSCHER. That is the bubble.
General SCHOOMAKER. That is part of the bubble. And part of what we have permission to do is target that growth in the way that makes sense. Recruit, train, place, form this force. We can do that. And my view is it is prudent to do it that way.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you very much. We are going to go to Mr. Wilson next, but before we do that, General, may I make an observation probably in the form of a question. It seems to me that the structure that we have now currently in the forces, in the services, and many of the strategies and tactics that we still employ, were developed during the Cold War for a much different type of a scenario. We basically were on guard because we had a foe known as the Soviet Union who had certain capability which is fought in a certain way which we knew all about and we designed our force and sized our force over time to take care of that perceived threat.
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It would go without saying that the threat we face today is different and therefore isn't what you are saying that we need to change our force because we have a much different threat than the current structure was designed to defend against?
General SCHOOMAKER. Absolutely. When the wall fell in 1992, of course there were indications in 1989 that things were changing, andI am sorry; when the wall came down in 1989, it was a big indicator that things were going to happen, and by 1992 with the demise of the former Soviet Union it changed everything. We spent the decade since transforming in what people thought would be a strategic pause. And what we now have is a whole new threat at a strategic level that is very, very serious to this Nation. And what we have done is we have adapted and we are moving out to address this threat. But the force structure lags. That it is more difficult to make the physical moves. It is easier to train to, and to change your tactics, techniques and procedures, which we have done, but we need to formalize that and bring the force along to meet the things that we are adapting. And that is what we are doing.
This, in my opinion, is not a threat that is going to go away any time soon. I think we are in a new era. That we are going to live with a level of threat in this world that is going to cause our Armed Forces to have to look, think and do things differently than we have in the past. So I agree with you. But it is not simple, it is not linear.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you. Mr. Wilson.
Mr. WILSON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And, Generals, thank you very much for being here today. I have really been looking forward to this hearing for several reasons, for different perspectives that I have. In July, I concluded 31 years of service in the Army National Guard and I am grateful for the service that I had. And, ironically, I spent 25 years on premobilization legal counseling, and so I am seeing it all come to fruition and indeed our Guard people and Reserves are proud to be serving.
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Additionally, I am honored to be here as a member of the Armed Services Committee and, in particular, I have had the opportunity to travel around the world to visit our troops, and I am constantly reminded of the dedication of our troops and competition of our military leaders and the equipment that you provide. I am very, very pleased about that.
But very important right now is that I am a proud dad of a son who is at Ft. Stewart, and he is being retrained from field artillery into light infantry. And so seeing the extraordinary changes of November 9th, 1989, we are evolving. It has been extraordinary to me to learn from him the movement from Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) to recovery of ordnance. And I want to congratulate you on that. And I have another son who will be joining the Signal Corps this summer. I look forward to him having an Army career.
As I point this out, I want to be reassured one more time, General Schoomaker. You said that the equipment is being left during the rotation. I believe that the equipment has been tested; the highest quality is right there. But, and I share the concerns of Congresswoman Tauscher and Congressman Rob Simmons about the armored Humvees and additionally the flack jackets and body armor. Are we on schedule for persons on patrol to have the proper equipment?
General SCHOOMAKER. Sir, in my opinion, we are. And what I said I will stand by. We are not retrograding any of this equipment. We have up-armored and specifically designed and deployed for the purpose of providing that protection. What we are rotating out is standard equipment, tanks, artillery pieces, things that went over there and fought the war. What we are not rotating is body armor, up-armored Humvees, any up-armor kits or any of that stuff.
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I appreciatefirst of all, I should have started out, I appreciate your service. My father was in the service for 32 years, World War II, Korea and Vietnam. I have spent a fair amount of time in the service and I have a 19-year-old daughter, soon to be 20 next month, who did jump school in August and is going to air assault school in the summer and will be commissioned through Army Reserve Officer Training School (ROTC) at the University of Wyoming. So I have a personal investment here.
I surveyed our 307 active duty Army general officers; 92 of them have at least one child that is serving today in the uniform. I would ask what other portion of society can claim that level of personal commitment to that? We take this personally. This is not something that is being taken lightly or frivolously. And I would just like to throw that in. We share your commitment.
Mr. WILSON. I defended our general staff. Persons have indicated, how could they not provide the equipment? I said there is no question that they are, because it is their family members at risk, and whether by adoption or by actual birth. And so you adopt our young people and want the best for them.
Another question I haveI was grateful to serve on a delegation led by Congressman Skelton and we visited Iraq, and of all the things that impressed me was the one-on-one relationship of our troops to establish human intelligence. I had envisioned that the patrols were in speeding Humvees, but they are not. These young people are walking the streets. They get to know the local citizens. They establish a good relationship. And then as we have seen over and over again, this has provided the human intelligence to protect our other troops. But in a rotation what is being done to maintain this human relationship?
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General SCHOOMAKER. Well, you are getting on a very important point and that is preciselyyou know, this transition of authority as units rotate in there is not like a solid line. It is phased in and there is a handoff of all of these contacts. There is right-hand seat rides with your counterparts. Most of these transitions take weeks. We are very sensitive to the fact that the great progress that we have made has an awful lot to do with the relationships that have been established at the local levels and the integration of all kind of interagency capabilities and those relationships. It is an important point.
Mr. WILSON. It was really very inspiring to me. That is where the ranking member Mr. Skelton and I found out that 70 to 90 percent of the people in the country were very supportive of the coalition forces.
A final question, of course, is our concern about recruiting and retention. And from what I have seen, I have had many more people contact me about joining the Guard and Reserves, about being sent from one unit to the next so they can be deployed. I haven't had anybody contact me to the reverse. And you indicated that recruiting and retention are doing well. If you have those figures and if you could provide them by State, I would be interested.
General SCHOOMAKER. We will be glad to provide with you all of that. And I will reinforce what you just said. When I visited Old Hickory at Ft. Polk, one of the conversations we had with the whole group of soldiers was that they really would have been disappointed if they hadn't been included in what is going on. They served, they trained, they feel that they are being prepared. You know, to the best of my knowledge, we have had no problem in people showing up for mobilization. This is hugely encouraging, the commitment of these young folks.
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And again, I will tell you that one thing that the Nation is blessed with is some very, very brave and committed young people. It makes me enormously proud.
Mr. WILSON. Thank you. God bless our troops.
Mr. SAXTON. If you folks would keep your eye on the little lights, I would appreciate it. We need to give everybody a chance to ask a questions.
Ms. DAVIS OF CALIFORNIA. Thank you. Thank you, gentlemen, for being here. We appreciate your commitment. As I sit here and we talk about the need for equipment, I can imagine how difficult it is for you because, in fact, we have sent young people into harm's way without proper equipment, and that is a difficult thing for all of us.
I wonder if we could just go back a little bit through the challenges that we face in terms of the rebalancing of the Reserve and the Active Component. And I know that obviously we are relying, as you have said in your statements, as well, so much greater on the Reserves. And I am having a little difficulty understanding from your statements and our questions of how we are really lessening the impact on the Reserves by what we are doing and by our actions.
And part of it is the concern for equipment, making certain that it is equal among the Reserves and the Active forces. And we know that we have all heard some stories regarding that.
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The other is in medical follow-up. My concern is partly in the mental health area, that it is one thing for the Active units when they come back because we can follow them a little bit easier. It is harder to follow a number of our Reserve units that go back and they are really dispersed into communities and may not have some of those follow-up services. Could you help me out with that, what are we doing?
And finally, I appreciate the concerns of my colleagues, as well. I think that we were not as geared for civil defense as we needed to be. I appreciate your discussion in terms of the simulation exercises that we have been having. But once again, could you give me a better sense of comfort that we have made leaps in terms of our ability to deal effectively in the country and save lives as well in that regard.
General SCHOOMAKER. I wouldthe medical piece of your question, I will reemphasize. 100 percent of the people returning, especially the Reserve Componentsthe Active force of course is coming back home and going and staying at Ft. Stewart or Ft. Bragg or Ft. Campbell or wherever they came from, and we have a different handle on that. The Reserve Component people that we are demobilizing are being documented through the medical detachments at their demobilization station. That is part of their outprocessing. They are being treated, tracked, or the data is being collected from them, where they were, being compared against the mobilization medical evaluation and that is all going into a database so that we can retain this.
Page 56 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The Veterans Administration (VA) is working with us on this at these places. I am very, very confident that we have learned from our experience from the first Gulf War and that we are addressing the kinds of issues that arose out of that. I think we are doing very well in that regard and I am encouraged as I go around. In fact, as you visit these installations, one of the places you might want to visit is places where we are demobilizing soldiers and look at how that takes place. It is a very formal process and well documented and I am confident that it is going to do what you want.
On the other question, that is I can't talk to the broader homeland security interagency piece. I will stay in my lane on this, but one of the most useful components to homeland defense and security are our Reserve components, especially the National Guard and the Army Reserve. That is because they are distributed throughout the communities and the National Guard in particular operates under Title 32, which is a non-Federal status for the adjutant generals and the governors of their States. And part of our structuring of the Reserve Component is to not only take the component and make it more relative on the Active side, but also things that are more relevant to homeland security like transportation, engineering, signal, MPs, and things like this that will be useful in terms of emergency at home. And those very serious capabilities are useful to us when we get in the stability and support operations that we are in right now and contingency operations.
My view is, one of the biggest benefits we will get out of Reserve Component restructuring is not only reinforcing the Active force but improving what their contribution can be.
Ms. DAVIS OF CALIFORNIA. I certainly can appreciate that, sir, because in San Diego, of course, we realize how important it was to have more firefighting capability for wildfires, actually in the National Guard. And we hope to
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General SCHOOMAKER. It is hard to fight wildfires with artillery tanks and tactical helicopters.
General SCHWARTZ. That was a mix of forces, both Active duty and Reserve.
Ms. DAVIS OF CALIFORNIA. If I may, Mr. Chairman, one of the things that is obviously in terms of the questions that have come today is when we think of the quality as well among the services is having the officers from the Reserve Components available at the same time would also be helpful.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you very much. We are going to go to Ms. Wilson next, but Mr. Skelton has a quick question.
Mr. SKELTON. From what I have seen in the planning and the caliber of people in uniform, I think you are probably going to have a first class rotation, and I compliment you ahead of time. But just from what I see, I think it will go well.
But I have a tougher observation or question for each of you and it is very short. And I know you thought about this. In your opinion, how many more rotations like this will we have? This is not a one-time operation. General? General? General Hagee?
General SCHWARTZ. Sir, let me start with that. We are looking at, as we speak
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Mr. SKELTON. Where did you come from?
General SCHWARTZ. I'm sorry, sir. Forgive me.
Mr. SKELTON. Let me ask them, and then maybe you can chime in. General Hagee? Because their services are the two that arego ahead.
General HAGEE. We do not know. I don't know how many rotations we will have. Probably more importantly, I don't know what the size of those rotations are going to be. There is no surprise that we planned for a large rotation, which is worst case
Mr. SKELTON. But you have given it thought, I hope.
General HAGEE. We most certainly have given thought, yes, sir.
General SCHOOMAKER. I have given instructions to the Army that we should planthis is not a prediction, but it is a planning factorI have said I want to plan rotation three and rotation four to be sized like rotation two for planning purposes.
Mr. SKELTON. Thank you. Thank you very much.
Mr. SAXTON. Ms. Wilson.
Mrs. WILSON OF NEW MEXICO. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Chairman, I also wanted to thank those of you who are serving and the people that you represent for all that you do for this country. I also want to say that I think we may have had a breakthrough here this morning. This is the first time we have had someone from the Defense Department come up and actually say that we are going to need to increase the size of the Army. The question is for how long and which positions and so on. And I wanted to let you know that I am grateful for that.
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There have been a lot of us here on this committee, Mr. Cooper and myself, Mr. Skelton, Mr. Hunter, andin fact, the large bipartisan majority of this committee are very concerned that the Army is overstretched and that we needed to get beyond the talking points and into the budget, the plans, the time lines, the training, the things that are required to not only improve the capability of the Army to meet the threats of the 21st century, but to make sure that we have enough forces to do the job.
I look forwardand I know that you know, General, I have asked for a rather detailed briefing on this plan and on retention issues and recruitment issues, because I thinkand Mr. Cooper and I have also sent not only a letter to the Secretary of Defense, but to the President, saying this is an issue we must address in fiscal year 2005. There is no more putting this off. We have to figure out what we are going to do and how we are going to do it and to put the money there to make that happen. And I look forward to working with you and with the Army and the Defense Department on figuring out what are the scope and details of that plan and asking tough questions about it, too, to make sure we get this right. And also to know what are the risks that we are takingany plan has risks associated with it, and I think we need to understand those risks and what the trade-offs are that we are recommending.
I would ask you to comment on two things. One is the issue of what units in the Reserve and Guard and what units are on active duty. I wonder if you could elaborate a little more for us. I know there isyou call them buttes. We call them mesas in New Mexicoand spikes and all kinds of plateaus people are talking about. But all of us accept that there is a very high rate of mobilization at the moment associated with Iraq. But if you look even pre-Iraq, the rate of mobilization of Guard and Reserve forces has been much higher since September 11th. And that is for all of us a concern about what continues in the outyears, particularly for folks who are Reserve and Guard units associated with security, civil affairs and so forth. What are you planning to do with those kinds of capabilities and are you looking at bringing more of those on to active duty?
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General SCHOOMAKER. You want to talk about yourI can talk from the Army perspective and I know that General Hagee has done some things in particular with his Anglico. He is bringing more Anglico capability on the Active side.
What we are doing on the Army, the restructuring of the force is a total Army force, Active, Guard, Reserve. You are exactly right. We are using the Reserve Component forces for the purpose that we have them and that is to mobilize and support in times of emergency the Active force. And I think there are two strategic questions that we really are going to have to answer in the coming years. One of them is what is the proper volunteer force and how do you incentivize that force for the future? With the current operating environment, if it is indicative of the future and the effort that is required, what kind of volunteer force do we need in active duty?
The second question, is the current Active-Reserve construct correct? It was designed in a time of draft and we mobilized for war and we filled these units out and we went to major war. When your Reserve Component costs start approaching your Active Component costs for maintenanceI am talking about now training, equipage and all the rest of itit starts to beg the question whether or not there shouldn't be a ladies and gentlemen Active force, and I think that is a question for the future in terms of what the availability of the Reserve Component is going to be and the rest of it.
On the other hand, in our current environment and what I think will be our future environment there is going to be increased need for National Guard in particular capabilities in the homeland to deal with potential terrorist attacks, to deal with national disaster, to deal with the kinds of things that we have, and they need to be relevant to the local authorities because that is where the problems were dealt with initially at the local level before they were federalized. That is our system, the way it works.
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Having said that, as I look at restructuring this Army right now, we are moving capability, not people, but capability from the Reserve Component to the Active. For instance, port opening units, so that we can move much more rapidly in an expeditionary sense to open ports and airfields and seaports and those kinds of things. We are moving more civil affairs capability into the Active force structure. We are moving more Special Forces, more Special Forces aviation. We are moving more MP structure into the Active force structure.
On the Reserve side, we are taking down excess combat capability, excess field capability, airplane defense capability and other things and converting them to more usable force structure that will not only support us in an expeditionary sense, but in longer term campaigns and major war and also be useful in the homeland security arena.
So again, it is more like a Rubik's cube. There are things moving sideways, back and forth, up and down. The structure is changing so it can be maintained at a more ready level. And we are looking at what is the availability.
Right now, much of the Reserve construct is not reachable because of what it is, and what we need to do is bring more of that into play to relieve the stress both on the Active and the Reserve side as we go in the future. We have over a million people in the Army, Active and Reserves. 555,000 people comprise the Reserve Component, and 482,400 comprise the Active, and we are not touching that million people.
Mrs. WILSON OF NEW MEXICO. Thank you, General. I understand the concept. I think we are at the point where we are going to need to get into some of the details of your plans, programs and budgets, and that is not something maybe we can do here. But I look forward to seeing that. I am one of those people that does not buy a car until I have read all the Consumer Reports. And we have got to get beyond the talking points. I sense from your testimony today that you now have a plan and we are going to need to test that plan from a variety of angles and probably make some revisions to that and some suggestions to that. And I look forward to engaging on that, because I think this frankly is going to be the biggest issue of this year's defense authorization bill and how do we make sure the Army stays healthy and is ready for 21st century combat.
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I appreciate your time, sir.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you very much. Just to take a little break here and just ask you, I know that General Hagee and General Schoomaker, you have 1 o'clock appointments at the Pentagon so you have to leave here at 20 of? Will that be satisfactory?
General HAGEE. That will be fine, sir.
Mr. SAXTON. Mr. Meehan.
Mr. MEEHAN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. General Schoomaker, it is obvious that many of us are concerned about the effect of the massive troop rotation in Iraq on the National Guard and Reservists. After the rotation it is my understanding that 45 percent of the personnel in Iraq will be activated Guard and Reserve units. Obviously this places a huge burden on individual members of the Guard and the Reserves and their families, and it also makes it to most of us seem likely that it will affect recruiting and retention.
As I see it, part of the problem is that we have such a large portion of missions related to stabilization and reconstruction operations that are concentrated in the Guard and the Reserve. For example, the United States needs troops with military police training to maintain order in Iraq, but only has 37,000 MPs. According to the Wall Street Journal, about 12,000 of those MPs are in Iraq. Only about 15,000 MPs are Active duty soldiers, so the rest presumably are Reservists and National Guard. Many of these people are pulled from civilian law enforcement and the call-up has put obviously serious strain on police departments.
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To use another example, Brigadier General David Blackledge, Commander of the 352nd Civil Affairs Command, said that 80 percent of the Army civil affairs forces have been activated during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom and because of this shortage we are only capable of replacing 70 percent of the 1,600 civil affairs soldiers currently in Iraq.
How do you plan to compensate for the loss of these personnel during this new troop rotation? And I understand the need to make sure that civilians have a stake in any major conflict we ask professional soldiers to undertake, but should we not be taking steps to make sure that the Guard and the Reserve forces do not have to bear such a large portion of the burden of long-term stabilization and reconstruction operations in the future?
And I am curious as to what you think of the idea of shifting some of the military police, civil affairs, engineering and intelligence capabilities used for stabilization and reconstruction efforts to full-time Active duty force.
General SCHOOMAKER. That is exactly what we are doing. The OIF 1, the first that we are terminating now and fixing to rotate outfigures I got here76 percent Active Component and 34 percent Reserve Component. OIF 2, figures I have here63 percent Active, 37 percent Reserve.
Now the way our Army Reserve is structured, the combat capability, in the main, about a decade ago, was moved on the Reserve Component side out of the Army Reserve and into the National Guard. The majority of the combat support and combat service support that is not associated with divisional structure was in the Army Reserve. And it is in the Army Reserve where you find the majority of your civil affairs capability.
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And one of the areas that I talked toand again, civil affairs are owned by U.S. SOCOM and the Army provides structure based upon their requirement and then they manage and rotate and deploy. But one of the areas in which we are significantly increasing U.S. SOCOM's capability is in the civil affairs area by moving more civil affairs from the Reserve Component, Army Reserve, to the Active side.
In the past, we had 25 battalions of civil affairs and 24 of those battalions were in the Army Reserve. Today, we are moving toward a number where we are increasing the number, but we are still going to be largely dependent upon the Reserve Component in civil affairs because that is where the expertise resides to do the kinds of things we do in civil reconstruction. That is, the strength of the system is that we bring that kind of expertise to bear when necessary.
Mr. MEEHAN. Thank you, General. I know that there has been discussion aboutthis is a question for General Hagee.
There had been question about adequate body armor protecting troops. And I apologize, I had to spend an hour in Judiciary, but I know this was discussed. It is my understanding that 20 percent of the HUMVEES currently being used by Guard and Reservist units in Iraq have been strengthened to protect against enemy fire or roadside bombs. I know the Army is working hard to up-armor 3,500 additional HUMVEES and get them to our soldiers as quickly as possible, but production is expected to take until 2005. This leaves our soldiers in many instances poorly equipped and poorly protected for nearly two years.
Page 65 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC As the Marines are prepared to deploy to Iraq again, it is my hope they will take some of the lessons learned from the Army in terms of providing adequate equipment to our troops. And I think there are signs that they are doing that. Just last week the Marine Corps signed a contract purchase for $7 million for add-on armor for ground vehicles from Foster-Miller, which is a Massachusetts-based company that I toured recently. And these lightweight inexpensive kits can be attached in the field within one hour instead of the half day it takes for the Army to outfit HUMVEES with metal armor here.
It is my understanding that the Marine Corps made this decision to purchase these kits after reviewing the Army's test results of Foster-Miller's products, which I believe were completed at Aberdeen Proving Ground. General, can you elaborate on how and why the military made its decision to purchase this add-on armor, and is it applicable to the other services for ground vehicles?
General HAGEE. First, I would say, Mr. Congressman, that we have worked very closely with the Army, especially those soldiers and units that are over in Iraq right now, as to what is the best protection that we can get. And our decisions have been based upon those discussions.
This is not athis is not an easy problem, if I could talk for a few minutes about that.
There is the requirement for personal armor, and we areas the Army, we are 100 percent. Every single Marine who goes over there will have the so-called ''Sappy'' armor. Then there is the question of how our vehiclesnot just the HUMVEES, but how our other vehicles are protected.
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For example, one of the things we are doing with our seven-ton truck, we are taking the seats off of the side of the truck and moving those seats to where the Marines sit back-to-back in the middle of the truck. We are putting armor up along the side of the truck. The truck was not designed for that; we are doing that.
The Army is leaving behindas General Schoomaker has said, 82nd Airborne is leaving behind some of their up-armored HUMVEES. They are leaving some of the kits they brought in, and we will continue modifying our HUMVEES. In those areas where we don't have the kits, we are using expeditionary ways, whether they are ballistic blankets or actually cutting steel. We are doing everything we can to ensure that our vehicles and that our Marines and our soldiers get the best protection we can give them.
In addition, and I think this is important, because here we have just talked about protecting the vehicles, there are other things that we are doing. We need to integrate and we are doing this in our technical and human intelligence. The Congressman talked about what our soldiers are doing on the ground interacting with the Iraqis and getting information from them. We will continue doing that. We are using technological means to locate where theseand I can't go very far in this in open session, but we are using technological means to protect the Marines and soldiers against the IEDs. And we are developing tactics, techniques and procedures.
So it is a combination of all of these events, tactics, techniques and procedures, human intelligence, technical intelligence and arming both individual-wise and our equipment that will provide the best protection that we can for the men and women who are over there. I have to tell you, sir, it is still going to be a dangerous place.
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Mr. MEEHAN. Thank you very much.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you very much.
General SCHOOMAKER. Could I add something to this to clarify, because I think your question indicated or would kind of lead one to believe that the Army and Marine Corps are doing things differently.
Mr. MEEHAN. Not necessarily. The testing that the Army had done at Aberdeen, I think, resulted in the Marines' purchasing a contract for $7 million worth of these kits. And I guess what I am getting atI am curious as to whether there will be more of that going on.
General SCHOOMAKER. Let me give you a figure here, because our requirement went from 3,500 to over 4,000 to meet the Marine Corps requirement. And all of those things that have been produced and shipped are staying there. They will get them all.
I just got some figures here. We are procuring 6,310 HUMVEE kits with $129 million. This will be completed by August of 2004. We have installed over 250 of these in-theater now and doing 182 Hemet kits for the bigger trucks, 19 Pulletized Loading System (PLS) kits and others. And I can give you these numbers.
Page 68 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC It goes on forever here, but the answer is, this is a huge investment and one that is very aggressive and one that takes the Marine Corpseverybody, Marines, Army, Air Force, everybody in-theater is benefiting from this.
Mr. SAXTON. Mr. Kline.
Mr. KLINE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
And thank you, gentlemen, for being here today. Thanks for standing in the trenches for us all. I am very pleased with the presentation that we got today about the movement of troops out of theater and into theater. I think it is probably a very good plan. I am not surprised a bit, but I find myself delighted again to hear that we are paying attention to lessons learned.
We got language immersion going into the Marine Corps, modifying tactics and procedures to adjust to the new situation. And I trust, General Schoomaker, that the Army is also doing some intensive language training. I am proud of my Active service in the Marines and very proud of my son's Active service in the Army. He has been in the Army for ten years and he, too, is proud of his service in the Army.
But I want to share my concern, along with my colleagues, about the Guard and Reserve. General Schoomaker, you said the proper mix of Active and Reserve and Guard forces was a question for the future, I think you said, and I think you are sensing that. From our perspective, it is a question for today. Looking at the force mix in-theater at the end of the troop rotation, we have now had different numbers. I guess it depends upon whether you are talking Army total force or service, but around 40 percent of the force in-theater will be from the Reserve and Guard component.
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Let me cut to a straightforward question. If you are successful in your transformation, moving from three brigades to four and so forth in the Active Army, and if we complete the movement from artillery units to military police that we see going on in the Reserve Component and upgrading some of the Guard components to make them more deployable, what would you guess that mix would be in-theater?
General SCHOOMAKER. I think it would reflectwell, you know, it is hard to tell the future.
Mr. KLINE. If you had it in place today, if the tactical situation was in Iraq what it is today, if you had that force mix, what would the Active and Reserve Component mix be.
General SCHOOMAKER. I think there would clearly be heavier weighting on the Active Component than the Reserve Component.
Mr. KLINE. Even though you are increasing the number of military police in the Reserve Component and increasing combat brigades in the Guard component. Sounds to me like your plan, which I am not critical of at all because we do need the change, is still putting a pretty heavy reliance on being able to call up to mobilize and activate Guard and Reserve forces, and I am wondering if I am misreading that.
General SCHOOMAKER. I think there is no backing off the fact that the Reserve Component exists to give a surge capability and reinforcing capability in times of emergency. But part of the restructuring of the Active side is to increase the percentage of civil affairs, MPs, transportation, to aviation; all the rest of it that right now is in heavy demand. As I said, the Rubik's cube includes Active, Guard and Reserve, in terms of restructuring both within it and across those boundaries in terms of capabilities within the force structure.
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Mr. KLINE. I don't know how to solve a Rubik's cube myself, but I understand the complexity that you are talking about. My point is that I hope at the end of this restructuring plan that you are working on that in the current circumstances, we would not be relying as heavily on the Guard and Reserve because I am heartened to hear that the retention and recruitment numbers are high in the Marine Corps and in the Army for Guard, Reserve and Active forces. But the other side of this, which I think some of us are frustrated about here, that we are getting a little bit of a tin ear from the Pentagon, is that we have employers who are losing valuable employees to Active dutybeing called up to Active duty. And we have a reliance in our communities on firemen and police and so forth who are no longer there; they have been called up to go over and serve in Iraq. And this relianceand I am afraid that this war on terrorism is going to last awhile.
This heavy reliance on the Guard and Reserve has had an impact in our communities and our businesses and our districts that I think we need toas a Nation, as a committee here and members of the Armed Forces, we need to put the whole picture in there.
So I am heartened to hear that you think there would be less reliance on the Guard and Reserve. I hope so. I am eagerly looking forward to working with all the services.
General Hagee is getting a little bit of a break here today. It won't always be so, General, but I am looking forward to working with you on that, and hope we are moving in that direction quickly.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you very much.
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Mr. LARSEN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and thank you for your patience today and thank you for your service. I have a lot of questions to ask, and I want to be sure that we are exercising our appropriate oversight role.
The first question is to General Schwartz, and this goes back to two hours ago and your comment on the Washington State National Guard who are in California training and getting ready to head out. Are you saying that the 81st would be one of those brigades that will be there longer than 12 months?
General SCHWARTZ. No, it is succeeding units. And, therefore, the contract is up to 12 months boots on the ground for the 81st.
Mr. LARSEN. They will be happy to hear that. Thanks. I appreciate that.
Second set of questions is for General Hagee and General Schoomaker, and this has to do with the troop rotation obviously, but the focus is less on our troops and more on Iraqi security forces.
One of the assumptions of being able to move from having 130,000 U.S. troops on the ground to 105,000 troops on the ground is having an increased Iraqi security capability. I don't want to simplify this too much, but we are decreasing the U.S. presence by about 25,000 through this troop rotation and the Iraqi security footprint will be right nowin October, it was 115,000, but it is certainly higher than that now.
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But it seems to me, what kind of confidence can we have in the capability of the Iraqi security force made up of police, civil defense and civil protection and the very few numbers that are in the Army, where it takes 115,000-plus Iraqi security forces to compensate for a drop in 25,000 U.S. security forces?
The question I have directly for you, General Hagee and General Schoomaker, is your assessment of the capability of the Iraqi security forces, especially in the face of a seemingly increasingly sophisticated and stubborn insurgency. Can you provide some comment on that and provide some comment with regards to your planning a troop rotation, and any thinking you have about it in the future?
General HAGEE. Sir, this is probably really outside of our lane. This is something that General Abizaid, who is the combatant commander over there, and General Sanchez, soon to be General Metz, are working on on a day-to-day basis and providing us information back. So, really, that question needs to go to them, sir.
Mr. LARSEN. General Schoomaker.
General SCHOOMAKER. It is outside of our lane, but we have had visibility of what the plan is and the progress there, and I think there has been substantial progress. We are trying to stand up to a sovereign Nation. And if you talk to General Abizaid about his concept of going from local control to regional control to more of a strategic oversight, I think he is well on track for that plan.
Page 73 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And I don't think you can make a one-to-one relationship. I think it is complex standing a Nation up and dealing with all of the complexities they have got there across all of the kinds of demographics and configurations they have got. It appears to us from the briefings we have received, we are making significant progress and we are on track to well over 200,000.
Mr. LARSEN. Those are numbers. But I am talking capabilities. And the concern I am expressing has to do with the fact that it takes 200,000212 is the total number for civilian defense force, civil protection and police. But it will take 200,000 then to replace the 25,000 fewer U.S. troops it will have in terms of capabilities.
I am trying to get a feeling of the competence and capabilities of the Iraqi security force. Even in November when this troop rotation was originally planned, it was conditioned based upon the ability not just to throw in Iraqi bodies, but to have the capability for Iraqi security, capability within the Iraqi security.
General SCHOOMAKER. Their capability as a nation is increasingly becoming better, and they bring many attributes that in the long run will be beneficial because they speak the language, they are local and know all of the things there. And I am encouraged by the fact that we are making the progress we are. I think it is very, very difficult and incorrect to compare, on a one-to-one basis, the finest military in the world.
Mr. LARSEN. I am on board with that. There is no way we can make a one-to-one relationship between one of our military and one of their security. The issue I have is that we see an increasingly sophisticated insurgency, and their work continues. And they are targeting Iraqis as much as they are targeting us. If we are trying to eventually work our way towards Iraqi civilian government and work our way out of there, at some point, we need to be sure that Iraqi security can fill that gap so we don't have a bigger problem later.
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Mr. SAXTON. We have to move on.
Dr. GINGREY. Thank you, General Hagee and General Schoomaker. My question is going to pertainand I hate to keep taking you back to the issue of the HUMVEES and the improvised explosive devices, but when I was in Iraq with maybe the last CODEL that has been there from this committee, December 19 through 23, one of the soldiers that I met and talked with, Command Sergeant Major Eric Cooke, whose uncle lives in my district, was killed two days later by an improvised explosive device while on patrol in a HUMVEE. So I am real concerned about the issue of getting these vehicles up-armored.
And General Schoomaker, earlier in the testimony, you said in regard to body armor that we have gone now to up to six vendors who are producing the body armor. And it is my understanding that we only haveand certainly correct me if I am wrong on thiswe only have one vendor who actually does it in the factory at $50,000 per unit. I think you mentioned we are going from 80 a month to 220 a month of those that are armored in the factory. We need many more, and you talked about the kits.
My question would be, first of all, do the after-factory kits that we are purchasing and spending a lot of money on to give the same protection to those vehicles, those HUMVEES, as the ones that are actually up-armored in the factory? And if they don't, then maybe we shouldand why aren't we getting additional vendors to do that work if we only have one and we could go to six vendors for the body armor?
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My other question is in regardand I understand this might not be something you can talk about, but maybe you can hint at it. These improvised explosive devices, if there were some way, if there were some way that we could detect them without having a HUMVEE with four soldiers ride by; and as Representative Taylor was talking about earlier, you can't have cottonwoods on every patrol and jam the signals from these remote devices of setting these things off. There has got to be some way that we can find out and seek out and identify these things and so our bomb squad can come in and detonate them or whatever, inactivate.
I am talking about dogs. General Hagee, you hinted at this, technological means that you may or may not be able to talk about. But those are my two questions.
General SCHOOMAKER. We have deployed what we call ''task forces'' into the theater, and further discussion of the particulars we ought to have in closed session. But we are making progress. And there are capabilities that are being brought to bear that I believe have demonstrated significant progress along these lines.
It is a very adaptive foe, and we have to be able to adapt faster than he can. I don't think it would be useful in open session to talk about the particulars of it, but we would be glad to discuss that.
I am a little confused, because as I listen to your questions on body armor and HUMVEES, we are making 25,000 sets of body armor a month from six vendors. We went from one vendor to six vendors. We are building 25,000 sets of Sappy plates a month.
Page 76 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Dr. GINGREY. My question is, can't we transfer that same effort to speeding up the armor of the HUMVEES at the factory level.
General SCHOOMAKER. That is a fair question.
The Acting Secretary is in a meeting at the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) level with those folks and visiting the factory on how this happens. And we are addressing that, taking a look at what the possibilities are here.
It is very interesting how these are built.
The issue of whether the add-on kits are as effective as an up-armored HUMVEEthe add-on kits protect only certain portions of the HUMVEE. One of the things we made a decision on is that all future HUMVEES we make in the future will have the capability of accepting the additional weight because we are going to buy the bigger engine, transmission and suspension. In the past, many of these HUMVEES were not designed to carry that kind of weight and that limits our ability to up-armor them.
I think we are taking a pretty comprehensive approach as to what the future will hold.
Mr. SAXTON. We have ten minutes left and we have three members who haven't had an opportunity to ask questions. If we could save a minute here or there, it would be appreciated.
Page 77 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. COOPER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I am grateful for the service to the Nation of each of the panelists.
Three quick questions: Number one, General Hagee, you were quoted by Richard Halloran, a former New York Times correspondent, as saying, quote, ''Have we arrived at the point where we are going to have to have forces spread throughout the worldthe Sinai, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan? If we are,'' you apparently concluded, ''then I think the answer might be that we do, in fact, need an end strength increase.'' this is in a December Washington conference.
Is that an accurate quotation.
General HAGEE. Partially. I think I have talked about whether we are at a spike or whether we are at a new plateau. And if we are, in fact, at a new plateau, then I think we need to look seriously at an end strength increase because the time it takes to build these divisionsthree or four years from now, we will have those divisions ready to go.
If, in fact, this is a spike, a year or so, then to spend the money, to spend the resources to build those divisions that in four years we are not going to need because we are coming back down, I think is the wrong way.
Mr. COOPER. Second question: General Schoomaker, apparently there will be an emergency order to increase end strength by some 30,000 thousand troops. How will that be paid for.
Page 78 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General SCHOOMAKER. We are not increasing the end strength. We are growing using the emergency authorities in the current level of funding to include supplemental to do that.
Mr. COOPER. The supplemental we have already passed.
General SCHOOMAKER. That is correct. And the fact is that, as I said, because of stop loss, stop move and things we have done to stabilize the forces, that is not blanket across the whole force. Because of what we have stabilized, we have that bubble. What we want to do is target that growth in a way that facilitates this transformation that we are talking about. The sooner we can bring that down, because we find these things to offset it, that will work.
But I agree, again, with what General Hagee just said. If this is a new level of stress that is going to be forever not for the future, but for the long term. Then I think we have a different problem and that is not what we see right now. Before we grow that force, I want to make sure that it has a solid foundation, and we have got it set the way it should be for the future; and that is what we are doing in this emergency authority.
Mr. COOPER. In a leaked memo this fall to Secretary Rumsfeld, he said he did not have the proper metrics to determine whether we are winning or losing the war on terrorism. Do you gentlemen have any ideas on the proper metrics so the Secretary can have better measures to determine whether we are winning or losing this war.
General HAGEE. I would suggest there is no one metric, that there are a whole series of metrics. General Schoomaker has talked about helping the Iraqis stand up a new society. We are not only talking about security, but we are talking about economics, we are talking about schools opening, we are talking producing electricity, we are talking about kerosene. There is a whole range of metrics we need to look at and we are in fact looking at.
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Mr. COOPER. Those are not traditional military measures.
General HAGEE. This is not only a military problem. It goes across all elements of national power.
Mr. COOPER. What are some more traditional military measures that we could be looking at, measures that are within your lane.
General HAGEE. Security, obviously: the number of attacks on our forces, the number of IEDs. Those are all metrics we are looking at and tracking.
Mr. COOPER. The Secretary has said those were apparently insufficient because he has had access to those for some time.
I see my time is waning, and out of respect for my colleagues, I defer.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you very much, Mr. Cooper.
Mr. MARSHALL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I am probably going to ask both of you to think a little bit outside your lane as well, but I want to begin by thanking General Schoomaker for a privileged trip. And I don't think you benefited at all from my counsel. I certainly benefited from yours.
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Just a quick observation before I ask my question. Ms. Wilson's approach to this is entirely reasonable. There is a sense on this committee that end strength may be low. The fact that there is an emergency order that is going to increase the end strength by some 30,000 suggests that that may be the case. And you gentlemen are both saying that if we are at a plateau, then we need to rethink the end strength. But we don't know that we are and you are quite reasonable about increasing the end strength and not being given the resources you need in order to train or to do things you would like to do to have a quality Marine Corps and Army.
This committee's history and the Congress' history is not good when it comes to this, and we can talk to you about providing you the resources and money as much as we would like to right now, but then hard choices are made two, three, five years from now, you don't get the money or the quality force you want. It is reasonable for you to take the position that you are taking.
Ms. Wilson is quite right that the details behind the talking points would be very helpful to this committee, and I expect you will be forthcoming with those and, frankly, I think you are headed in exactly the right direction and we ought not to be part of the bureaucracy that gets in your way, but part of the bureaucracy that helps you move in that direction.
Out of your lanes, if you could ordersuppose you could order any kinds of individuals, not just in the United States, but I specifically have in mind the interagency folks. But if you were in a position to order individuals within the United States and outside the United States to move to a war theater like Iraq and perform certain functions to assist in the overall objective here, which is securing security and building a nation, which, by the way, our history is not good at17 efforts in the 20th century, three successful, and those were South Korea, Japan and Germany; the rest were not successful.
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So our history isn't good with regard to this. It is a long-term strategic interest of ours to be in a position to do this, so how do we do it.
Mr. Larsen's observation, one-to-one, can you transfer one Iraqi into a U.S. military role and expect you have the same capabilities? In some senses, they would greatly exceed our capability. I mean, they are there; they are the ones who have to police that country. An alien army, no matter how proficient it is, is going to really struggle to police a foreign country.
So we are going to have the Iraqis stepping in. There is a process that we go through institutionally in order to make it happen. Who do you need there now that is not there now, that you would like to be able to order to get over there and do something that would help you out?
I wouldn't limit myself to Americans. I suspect there are others around the world who have comparative advantages over us that we simply can't match.
General SCHOOMAKER. Well, without going into a war college lecture here, within our own capability, we need to think across all the elements of national power, diplomatic information, military, economic; and of course there are things in between, but those are the major muscle movements.
Our job is to provide the military element of national power which are principally security-based. And our job is to provide a secure environment and an environment in which other kinds of things can happen, the kinds of thingsby the way I think that this coalition effort which there is, that there is a wider understanding that this effort in Iraq is a very, very important effort for the future of not only the United States, but the world. And it is in our best interest to have a coherent country where its populace is brought into a process that they understand and can live with, where we have electrification in the country, we have proper security and proper water, have effective markets, we have all of the kinds of great potential that is resident within Iraq coming to bear.
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You know, I think those are the kinds of capabilities that need to be focused and fine-tuned to make this occur. Our job is to help create a secure environment for those kinds of things to happen. That includes not only our presence, but the efforts that we have in standing up security forces within the country so they can do much of this for themselves.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you very much.
Mr. THORNBERRY. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I am concerned that this end strength debate masks some deeper, in some ways more difficult, issues which we need to confront together.
General Schoomaker, you mentioned earlier the Guard and Reserve issues, not just how many, but who does what job and how they fit together. Another one which we debated quite a bit last year are personnel policies within the services. We had a big debate about what greater flexibility is needed with the civilian work force so they can take over some of the jobs that we have military folks doing.
But within the military services themselves we have issues like mandatory retirement age, a requirement that if you don't get promoted on a certain schedule, then you have to leave the service, a two-year rotation where you spend several months learning your job, do it for about a year and then you have to rotate out. Aren't there a lot of issues within our personnel policies that require a certain number of people which, if we look at it and, I would say, update a little bit, it may play into what we can do with a certain end strength.
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General SCHOOMAKER. The short answer is, transforming our personnel policies is at the center of transformation. If we don't transform our personnel policies, we won't be able to transform the force. That is why we are going to get out of individual replacement, take a look at things like retention control points, take a look at keeping people in cohesive units for longer periods of time, reducing the turbulence that is self-induced.
And you are putting your finger on one of the most important transformation points.
General HAGEE. I would like to align myself with the Chief of Staff of the Army. He is absolutely right, sir.
Mr. THORNBERRY. I think we are, all togetherservices and the committee are going to have to get into those things on this end strength issue.
Mr. SAXTON. Mr. Thornberry, thank you very much.
Listen, somehow we have run out of questioners here. We thank you for your forbearance and thank you for your generosity with your time and the straightforward answers that you were able to provide us this morning. We will let you go about your business now. And we look forward to working with you on those issues as we move forward together.
[Whereupon, at 12:45 p.m., the committee was adjourned.]
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