SPEAKERS CONTENTS INSERTS
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[H.A.S.C. No. 1092]
NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT
FOR FISCAL YEAR 2006
OVERSIGHT OF PREVIOUSLY AUTHORIZED PROGRAMS
COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED NINTH CONGRESS
FULL COMMITTEE HEARING
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BUDGET REQUEST FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
FEBRUARY 9, 2005
NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT FOR FISCAL YEAR 2006 AND OVERSIGHT OF PREVIOUSLY AUTHORIZED PROGRAMSBUDGET REQUEST FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
HOUSE COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
One Hundred Ninth Congress
DUNCAN HUNTER, California, Chairman
CURT 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
Page 3 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCMAC THORNBERRY, Texas
JOHN N. HOSTETTLER, Indiana
WALTER B. JONES, North Carolina
JIM RYUN, Kansas
JIM GIBBONS, Nevada
ROBIN HAYES, North Carolina
KEN CALVERT, California
ROB SIMMONS, Connecticut
JO ANN DAVIS, Virginia
W. TODD AKIN, Missouri
J. RANDY FORBES, Virginia
JEFF MILLER, Florida
JOE WILSON, South Carolina
FRANK A. LoBIONDO, New Jersey
JEB BRADLEY, New Hampshire
MICHAEL TURNER, Ohio
JOHN KLINE, Minnesota
CANDICE S. MILLER, Michigan
MIKE ROGERS, Alabama
TRENT FRANKS, Arizona
BILL SHUSTER, Pennsylvania
THELMA DRAKE, Virginia
JOE SCHWARZ, Michigan
CATHY McMORRIS, Washington
MICHAEL CONAWAY, Texas
Page 4 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCGEOFF DAVIS, Kentucky
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
ADAM SMITH, Washington
LORETTA SANCHEZ, California
4MIKE McINTYRE, North Carolina
ELLEN O. TAUSCHER, California
ROBERT A. BRADY, Pennsylvania
ROBERT ANDREWS, New Jersey
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
Page 5 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCTIM RYAN, Ohio
MARK UDALL, Colorado
G.K. BUTTERFIELD, North Carolina
CYNTHIA McKINNEY, Georgia
DAN BOREN, Oklahoma
Robert L. Simmons, Staff Director
Eric R. Sterner, Council
Jeffery A. Green, Council
Jordan Redmond, Intern
C O N T E N T S
CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF HEARINGS
Wednesday, February 9, 2005, Fiscal Year 2006 National Defense Authorization ActBudget Request from the Department of the Army
Wednesday, February 9, 2005
Page 6 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCWEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2005
FISCAL YEAR 2006, NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACTBUDGET REQUEST FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
STATEMENTS PRESENTED BY MEMBERS OF CONGRESS
Hunter, Hon. Duncan, a Representative from California, Chairman, Committee on Armed Services
Skelton, Hon. Ike, a Representative from Missouri, Ranking Member, Committee on Armed Services
Harvey, Hon. Francis J., Secretary of the Army
Schoomaker, Gen. Peter J., Chief of Staff, United States Army
Harvey, Hon. Francis J. Harvey joint with General Peter J. Schoomaker
DOCUMENTS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
Page 7 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC[There were no Documents submitted.]
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
FISCAL YEAR 2006, NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACTBUDGET REQUEST FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
House of Representatives,
Committee on Armed Services,
Washington, DC, Wednesday, February 9, 2005.
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The committee met, pursuant to call, at 10:05 a.m., in room 2118, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Duncan Hunter (chairman of the committee) presiding.
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. DUNCAN HUNTER, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM CALIFORNIA, CHAIRMAN, COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
The CHAIRMAN. This morning, the committee formally kicks off the fiscal year 2006 budget process with the review of the Army's budget request; and our witnesses are the Honorable Francis J. Harvey, Secretary of the Army, and General Peter J. Schoomaker, Chief of Staff of the Army.
Let me start by officially welcoming the new Secretary of the Army, Fran Harvey, to the Armed Services Committee. Mr. Secretary, we look forward to working with you, and I am confident we are going to continue to build upon the productive partnership that this committee has forged with the Army.
And General Schoomaker, always good to have you before the committee. Thanks for being back with us. As you said, maybe you shouldn't have taken that cell phone call in your pickup in Wyoming a couple of years ago. We are glad to have you here. These are times that we need you.
The fiscal year 2006 defense budget requests $98.6 billion for the Department of the Army. But this figure and what it covers only tells part of the story. This budget request does not include funding for a number of activities the Army will clearly undertake next year, proposing instead to fund them through supplemental appropriations. Such activities properly include the cost of operating in Iraq and Afghanistan, but they also appear to include additional end strength, expansion of military benefits, modularity costs and other important areas, and some areas which traditionally have been part of the base bill.
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So while we all look forward to receiving the Administration's supplemental appropriations proposal for the remainder of fiscal year 2005, it is important to note that we will not get an opportunity to see precisely what the Administration proposes for these unbudgeted fiscal year 2006 activities until this time next year, 12 months from now.
Turning back to what is before us, the fiscal year 2006 request continues a trend of focusing on military personnel and operations and maintenance, reflecting the fact that our people are our most important assets in the war that we face.
The budget also continues the process of Army transformation, intended to create a larger rotation base by modularizing deployable brigades and improving their capabilities by bringing new technology and operational concepts to the Army.
Gentlemen, we can all agree that this Nation is blessed with talented and dedicated men and women in uniform who have demonstrated an ability to perform their mission effectively and adapt to unpredictable and changing realities on the ground.
The successful elections in Iraq and Afghanistan are a testament to their skills and sacrifices. Just as they are doing their job, our task is to determine the policies that will guide our Nation's approach to the long-term challenge of winning the Global War on Terrorism.
Even with the 4.8 percent increase this year, the President's defense budget request represents just 3.3 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP). That is a far cry from the six percent of GDP we spent during the Reagan build-up or the nine percent of GDP we spent during the JFK Administration. The stakes for our national security are not lower now, and we must act accordingly.
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At the same time, we need to pay closer attention to our industrial base and the ability to mobilize our economy in defense of our freedom. In order to prevail, our industrial base must be capable of responding quickly to the changing needs of our military as it engages our enemies.
Congress has provided the military with waivers from the bureaucratic tangles of red tape that slow up efforts to properly equip our troops. That is, I think, strongly manifested in this provision that we passed, both independently and as part of our base bill last year, that gives the program managers and the service secretaries the ability basically to waive all U.S. regulations when they are taking casualties on the battlefield and they need to react quickly.
So we need to ensure that everyone in the chain of command is doing everything possible to make sure that they are not taking unnecessary risks to perform those missions. That is our job here in Washington and on this committee. We know we can count on our two guests to accomplish this important task properly and effectively.
So, gentlemen, we look forward to your testimony. We appreciate your appearance today, and the country is fortunate to have your public service.
You know, as we watched those people putting those ballots into the boxes throughout Iraq with what appeared to be great enthusiasm and some degree of courage and perseverance in light of the threats that were made and the attacks that were made on polling places, I couldn't but reflect as we saw those desert cami uniforms in the background, the great people that wear the uniform of the United States, that this election stood on the shoulders of your soldiers and our Marines and our airmen and our sailors. And I hope that everyone, gentlemen, from your leadership echelons on down, felt that they had contributed something of great value to the cause of freedom and to our country.
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We have got a lot of work to do. It is good to have you before us this morning. I just wanted to tell my colleagues, with this new Secretary of the Army, Secretary Harvey, that when I called him up and had some issues on armor and on steel being available in the theater that this gentleman rolled up his sleeves and went right down and worked this thing personally, right down to locations of armor, locations in depots, steel locations, and ascertained that in fact things were moving and moving in the right direction and that, by God, he had in place, what his papers that were in front of him said he had in place. You have got a hands-on Secretary of the Army, and coupled with the good leadership of General Schoomaker we have got good leadership.
So let's work together this year and try to do as good a job in our places as our soldiers are doing on the ground. Thank you, gentlemen, for being with us. I would like to recognize now my partner on this committee, Mr. Skelton, for any remarks he would like to make. The gentleman from Missouri.
STATEMENT OF HON. IKE SKELTON, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM MISSOURI, RANKING MEMBER, COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
Mr. SKELTON. Thank you very, very much. Secretary Harvey, welcome to House Armed Services Committee for your very first testimony. I am sure you will have occasion to be here and that we will get to see you many times in the coming years. We look forward to building a strong and very positive relationship. And, General Schoomaker, certainly good to see you once again. And you, as always, are most welcome here.
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Secretary Harvey, General Schoomaker, I will tell you that each time you come before this panel I will tell you that I sound like a broken record. I remark on how wonderful your soldiers are and how stressed your force is. Make no mistake, I mean it every time. You truly lead America's most treasured resource, our sons and daughters. It not just a bumper sticker. These soldiers are wonderful. They do all we ask of them, and they do more, and they do it amazingly well and with professionalism. They go forth without a murmur and do the most difficult tasks. Frankly, I worry for them; and I know you do, too. So please thank them for us whenever you have the opportunity.
This hearing marks the annual event when the Army leadership comes before the committee to tell us about the state of the Army. Today, it is your turn to stand up and testify about the welfare and the future of the Army; and I look forward to a candid exchange which will enable this committee to execute its constitutional responsibilities.
Frankly, looking at this budget, it occurs to me that we can win this war but come out the weaker for it if we are not very careful. Breaking the force in the process would make it a hollow Army, and I have got a real concern about it.
First, General Schoomaker, your plans for transitioning the Army to a modular configuration are dramatic and important. It is an audacious vision, and I commend you for tackling the task and for recognizing the security challenges of the 21st century and that they require a fundamental rethinking of how we train, man and equip the force. And there are risks involved.
Page 13 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC We need to find over 9,000 additional soldiers in critical occupations. You need to convert over 100,000 more to new jobs to make this transition work. The demand for more equipment to outfit these new units is enormous. Putting aside for the moment the issue of paying for much of this out of the supplemental budget request instead of through the normal budget process, it is still not clear to me that the costs are fully accounted for regarding the transition to modularity.
And even this does not begin to address the challenge covering the National Guard or the reserve or building the facilities we will need to house and train the new brigades. I will be interested to hear today how you are going to manage those tasks.
The high tempo of operations is wearing out equipment at a tremendous rate. Some equipment is aging five times as fast as it would be expected in peacetime. This is to be expected by the nature of the campaign, but the stewards of our Army need to take every step possible to identify the Army's maintenance requirements and articulate them to us here in the Congress.
The Army has indicated that there is a bow wave of maintenance that is building, and we are falling behind. We cannot fall behind. We cannot allow ourselves to go back to the hollow Army of the late 1970's and the early 1980's. I remember it so well, and I know, General, you do as well, when units were unable to conduct training because their equipment was broken and spare parts were so scarce. I well recall them.
We must be ready for what lies around the next corner. Congress can't help if we are not fully informed as to what you need.
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Ultimately, however, warfare isn't about machines. It is about people. It is the quality of our people that wins the wars for us. In that sense, your soldiers and, of course, all of the civilians in the Army family never cease to impress me. That is why I am worried that the budget doesn't go far enough in doing what we need to do properly to support them. It only provides a bare minimum pay raise of 3.1 percent. It does not provide a targeted pay raise to the troops we need the most to retain, the senior enlisted, the junior and the warrant officers, nor does it recommend the proposed increases in the death benefit.
The most important thing we can do for our soldiers and their families is to give them a chance to catch their breath now and again, and we do that by matching the size of the force to the demands required of it. We do that by arguing, as I have done, for an Army end strength increase of 40,000. I have been saying this since 1995, as have others on this committee.
I was pleased that, as a result of the bipartisan effort last year in this committee, we got a modest one year's addition thereto; and I am pleased with the bipartisan effort in that regard.
But I am disappointed to see that the cost of this coming year is not included in the baseline budget. Permanent addition to the force is needed and ought to be included in the normal budget process.
Last, you have got two missions as I see it, to fight these wars, the war on terrorism and the war in Iraq, and, second, to prepare for the next war. The golden age of professional military education was the period following the First World War. It sustained the Army's war falling competency during the lean times and produced the commanders that led the Nation to victory in World War II. That is no small thing.
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Intellectually, the United States Army was prepared as a result of the professional military education that the officer corps received after World War I and prior to the Second World War. Today, warfare is becoming more complex at a lower level. Our professional military education must continue to evolve to develop the thinking warriors that the future will require.
Military education is so very important. Sir William Francis Butler said a century and a half ago, he put it very well: ''The Nation that will insist on drawing a broad line of demarcation between the fighting man and the thinking man is liable to find its fighting done by fools and its thinking done by cowards.''
It is time to consider what we need to do to renew that golden age for military education, for the demands of the present and the future. If you recognize this and work with us in Congress, future generations of military leadership will be prepared for the uncertain future conflicts which, as God made little green apples, they are going to happen.
Mr. Secretary, General Schoomaker, each of you knows how much I value your service. All us value your service as well as the men and women under your command. We must forthrightly address the challenges facing the force so that we might better address them in the coming year. Mr. Chairman, thank you very much. We welcome them today.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, Mr. Skelton, for a very thorough and thoughtful statement and thank you for your partnership on this committee.
Page 16 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. Secretary, without objection, your prepared statement and that of General Schoomaker will be taken into the record. Welcome, and the floor is yours, sir.
STATEMENT OF HON. FRANCIS J. HARVEY, SECRETARY OF THE ARMY
Secretary HARVEY. Thank you, Chairman Hunter, Representative Skelton and distinguished members of the committee. General Schoomaker and I appreciate the opportunity to be here this morning and to offer testimony on the posture of the United States Army, which today is conducting operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and some 120 other countries around the world.
Let me begin by saying a few words about the great soldiers in our Army, the centerpiece of our formations.
Our Nation is blessed with the world's finest Army, an all-volunteer force representing the best that our country has to offer. On that note, General Schoomaker and I are pleased to be joined today by three soldiers who, in turn, represent the over one million soldiers in our Army. The Chief will introduce these soldiers to you at the end of my opening statement.
Let me add here that, since becoming the 19th Secretary of the Army 3 months ago, I have become more and more impressed with all of our uniformed people, from senior leaders such as the Chief, who provides me candid and wise counsel, to the splendid soldiers serving in the Army. And when I say soldiers, I include all volunteers serving in the active component as well as those in the Army Reserves and the Army National Guard.
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The condition of the Army today can only be understood when one considers where we have been and where we are going, both the results of decisions made over the past decades.
In the immediate aftermath of the Cold War, there was a widespread and apparently reasonable assumption of a peace dividend, of a new world order in which conflicts would be less frequent and less threatening to the United States. This assumption affected defense planning and budgeting and resulted in a significant decrease in the size and readiness of the Army and a structure which was more reflective of the threats of the past.
Unfortunately, because of subsequent events, these decisions resulted in a significant funding deficit that has and is being redressed. Those subsequent events are, of course, the events of 9/11 which have radically altered the realities of America's security environment, making it clear that the United States is in a protracted war against a global enemy that fights with different means and standards of conduct that includes a total disregard for human life.
The changes in the world have made us realize that, to ultimately be successful in the Global War on Terror, we must transform our capabilities. We will not be ready and relevant in the 21st century unless we become more expeditionary, more joint, more rapidly deployable and adaptive, as well as enhance our capabilities to be successful across the entire range of military operation from major combat to the condition of stability.
The future environment is uncertain and likely to remain so, making the Army's transformation even more imperative. The Army has put tremendous effort in understanding and planning transformation, even as we wage war. Most important, our transformation is built on the enduring values and rich traditions of the Army.
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Now in order to accomplish our mission of providing the necessary forces and capabilities to the combatant commanders in the support of national security and defense strategies, we have developed and are executing four over-arching and interrelated strategies supported by 20 different initiatives. Transformation is engrained in all of these strategies as well as in all of the supporting initiatives.
These strategies are: First, providing relevant and ready land power to the combatant commanders; second, training and equipping our soldiers to serve as warriors and growing adaptive leaders; third, attaining a quality of life for our soldiers and their families that match the quality of their service; and, finally, providing the infrastructure to enable the force to fulfill its strategic roles and missions.
I will briefly address each of these strategies by highlighting a few of the 20 supporting initiatives by which these strategies are being implemented. Let me stress that, in executing these initiatives, our actions will at all times and in all places be guided by the highest of ethical standards.
Among the nine initiatives supporting the strategy of providing relevant and ready land power, I will discuss one, the Army Modular Force Initiative, which is our major transformational effort. This initiative essentially involves the total redesign of the operational Army into a larger, more powerful, more flexible, more rapidly deployable force, and moves us away from a division-centric structure, one built around a brigade combat team unit of action.
Page 19 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC By larger, we mean that we will grow the operational Army from 33 to 43 brigade combat teams. Let me note here that, because the brigade combat team unit of action is much more capable and a much more powerful unit, it is not particularly useful to only talk about the mandated end strength of the Army. It is more useful to talk about the number of units as well as the combat power of those individual units. Because, at the end of the day, it is the total combat power of the operational Army that counts.
Furthermore, because we are in the process of converting military jobs to civilian ones, in that part of the Army which generates the force, the so-called institutional Army, we may increase the personnel strength of the operational Army without increasing overall end strength.
Now the brigade combat team unit of action is a stand-alone, self-sufficient and standardized tactical force of between 3,500 and 4,000 soldiers that is organized the way it fights. Consequently, these brigades are more strategically responsive across the broad spectrum of operations required by the 21st century security environment.
Furthermore, because of the standardization, a heavy brigade unit of action in, say, the Third Infantry Division will be exactly the same as any other heavy brigade, thus aiding in planning and logistics. Additionally, we are developing standardized support brigades in higher headquarters.
This transformational effort will result in a force with a number of key advantages. First, there will be a 30 percent increase in our active component's combat power by 2007, an increase from 33 to 43 brigade combat teams, as I previously stated. Second, the number of usable brigade combat teams in the rotational pool will be increased from 48 to 77. Third, the headquarters will be joint capable and organized the way it will operate in theater. Fourth, future network-centric developments can be readily applied to the modular force design. And, finally, and very importantly, when complete, modularity, in combination with rebalancing the type of units in the active and reserve components, will significantly reduce the stress on our force because of a more predictable rotational cycle for all of the components of the force, coupled with a much longer dwell time at home base.
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Next, I would like to highlight two of the five initiatives we are implementing in support of our strategy of training and equipping our soldiers to serve as warriors and growing adaptive leaders.
First, in the area of recruiting and retaining soldiers, we essentially met all of our goals in 2004, with the exception of the National Guard recruiting goal. Through the first quarter of 2005 fiscal year, we again are either on or are very close to our recruiting and retention goals in the active force and the reserves. However, in the case of the National Guard, we failed to meet our recruiting goal but made the retention objective.
Now, in my mind, there is no question that the remainder of 2005 will be a very challenging year, especially for recruiting. For that reason, we have added over 2,000 new recruiters, which is an increase of 25 percent over 2004, with the goal of adding 1,000 more. In addition, we have increased the incentives across the board.
Let me end this part of my statement by saying that recruiting and retention of soldiers is not just an Army challenge, it is a challenge for our country. Every one of us in both the military and Congress must do our part to emphasize to our young people the importance of service to the country.
Now, next, in the area of equipping our soldiers, the Army continues to adapt to changes in the battle space. In the fall of 2003, when the insurgency in Iraq began to intensify, there were approximately 250 armed tactical wheeled vehicles in theater.
Page 21 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC With the support of Congress, acting in full partnership with industry, the Army has dramatically increased the pace of production and fielding. By the end of this month, at least 32,500 tactical wheeled vehicles will be in the Iraq and Afghan theaters, and they will be protected.
Most importantly, after February 15th, no vehicle carrying an American soldier will leave a protected base without armor. This overall effort has increased the number of armored vehicles in theater by a factor of over 100 since August of 2003.
With the strong support of this committee, we are implementing our strategy of obtaining a quality-of-life for our soldiers and their families that match the quality of their service. Let me highlight the new and renovated housing made possible through the Residential Communities Initiative. This program is truly a great success story, and it is very popular with Army families.
Since this privatization initiative first began in November of 1999 at Ft. Carson, the Army has transferred ownership of over 50,000 houses at Fts. Hood, Lewis, Bragg, Stewart, Campbell, Belvoir, Irwin, and Polk, among others. Actions such as these sustain our combat power because we enlist soldiers, but we reenlist families. We deeply appreciate this committee's continuing support of this program.
The final strategy I would like to address is providing the infrastructure to enable the force to fulfill its strategic roles and missions. We have a number of initiatives in this area. The one I will address today is business transformation.
Page 22 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC In order to free up resources for the Army's primary missions, we plan to reduce the cost of the business side of the Army by streamlining our organizations, reengineering our manufacturing, repair and administrative processes, outsourcing where it makes sense, applying information technology, and empowering our leaders to make the required changes and holding them accountable.
With these 4 over-arching strategies and 20 supporting initiatives, in conjunction with a fully-funded base budget request and supplemental, the Chief and I are confident that the Army can accomplish its mission and reach our strategic goal of being ready and relevant for both today and tomorrow.
Let me end by saying that none of this would be possible without the continuing strong support of Congress and specifically the House Armed Services Committee. Thank you for this past support, and I ask you for your full support of the base budget request as well as the supplemental.
General Schoomaker will now introduce the three soldiers with us today. And after that, we will be happy to address any questions that you may have. Thank you.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, Mr. Secretary.
[The prepared statement of Secretary Harvey joint with General Schoomaker can be viewed in the hard copy.]
The CHAIRMAN. General, thank you for being with us, and please proceed.
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STATEMENT OF GEN. PETER J. SCHOOMAKER, CHIEF OF STAFF, UNITED STATES ARMY
General SCHOOMAKER. Thank you, Chairman Hunter. Thank you, Mr. Secretary. Congressman Hunter, Congressman Skelton, distinguished members of the committee, thank you very much for the kind words as you opened and for the normal warm reception here before the House Armed Services Committee.
Without question, the most important reason why I took a temporary leave from the confines of my pickup truck were to be able to serve these young soldiers like these today, the ones that they represent and, of course, the civilians that are in our Army. So it is with a great deal of pleasure, and I would ask each to stand as I talk about them just briefly here.
The first on my right, your left, is Staff Sergeant Judy Ewing. Staff Sergeant Ewing is from the 30th Brigade Combat Team out of North Carolina. She just returned from Iraq, and she is an information systems specialist. Her job in Iraq was to integrate the First Infantry Division and the 30th Brigade Combat Team information systems so that they could do battle command and do the wonderful work that they have done there. We welcome her home, and we thank her for her service.
I promised these soldiers that they wouldn't have to testify but that I wanted them to be able to see firsthand a civic lesson, the process for which they have served and fought; and I am just real pleased to have them here with us. So, thank you, Staff Sergeant Ewing.
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The next soldier, Sergeant First Class Matt Gruidl. Sergeant First Class Gruidl was with the Third Infantry Division when they captured Baghdad, and he participated. He is a linebackerwhat is called a Bradley linebacker platoon sergeant. He participated in every major battle on the way to Baghdad and was present in the two major battles that seized Saddam International Airport. He earned the Silver Star during this period and the Army Commendation Medal with a ''V'' device for valor. He is now what we call an Advanced Noncommissioned Officers Course (ANOC) instructor. He teaches at Ft. Bliss, Texas. So we are bringing combat experience into the classroom and helping pass his experiences of leadership to our future noncommissioned officers and soldiers. So thank you very much, Sergeant Gruidl.
Sergeant First Class Wilson Frantz is from the U.S. Army Reserve, and he is a military policeman (MP) just returning from Iraq where he earned the Bronze Star. He was involved in planning, coordinating and supporting over 1,000 convoy operations in Iraq during his period of duty there and over 700 different area security missions during his tenure and he has recently returned with the 336th MP Battalion out of the U.S. Army Reserve. Thank you very much.
The CHAIRMAN. Well, General, that is about the best opening statement you ever made.
General SCHOOMAKER. I thought you would appreciate that, sir. With that, I will conclude my opening statement. I stand behind the Secretary of the Army in our joint statement and everything that he has said before you, and I am prepared to join him in answering your questions.
Page 25 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC [The prepared statement of General Schoomaker joint with Secretary Harvey can be viewed in the hard copy.]
The CHAIRMAN. Well, thank you very much, General and Mr. Secretary.
To my colleagues, you had a lapse of the chairman in the last hearing in which we carried onwe on the top row here carried on for far beyond our allotted five minutes per question, and we had a lot of members on the other rows that didn't get a chance to ask questions. So I want to ask Mr. Sterner to put us on a four-minute timer here, Mr. Sterner, if you could.
What I would like to ask my colleagues to do is to, in respect for their fellow members, we have got lots of people who want to ask questions, we have a big committee today, please ask just one question and allow one of our two guests to answer it. If you ask five questions, which I have been prone to do myself, and you ask both witnesses to answer it, you end up having ten answers, and we end up going way beyond time, and our guys on the other rows don't get a chance. So let's go on the four-minute timer, and that should be for question and answer.
So, to our witnesses, Mr. Secretary and General Schoomaker, you are going to get a short question, and you might wind that up about as quickly as you can. Be very succinct if you can.
In that spirit, let me yield my time to a guy who has got a big piece of Army in his district, Mike Conaway of Texas.
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Mr. CONAWAY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Secretary, you mentioned dwell time and the goals that you are assessing. We have been at a hearing recently which showed a chart of I think the next three reshuffles through Iraq. What kind of progress are you making? Are you making progress on the desired dwell times of a year or two years between deployments?
Secretary HARVEY. Let me just answer that by saying, and the Chief can chime in, our goal there is for the active component to have one year in theater and two years dwell time at home station. For the National Guard, we want to have one year in theater and five years of dwell time and, for the reserves, one year in theater and four or five years in dwell time. We are starting to move to that way as we modularize the force, but we probably won't be there until probably 2007 for the active component.
General SCHOOMAKER. I think that is correct. We have seen several units, Third Infantry Division, for instance, that is returning to Iraq with anywhere from 17 to 19 months dwell time in those brigades, direct result of both the added brigade combat teams as well as the fact that the Army National Guard has picked up their service in there. So our goal is 24 months. That will ebb and flow until we get the transformation complete, but we see evidence it is going in the right direction.
Mr. CONAWAY. Well, as difficult as limited dwell time is in the active Army, it is even more important in the reserve and National Guard. Can you talk to us about the impact there or the progress there?
Page 27 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General SCHOOMAKER. As the Secretary said, the dwell time in the National Guard, the objective is to do a turn, a deployment, in five or six years and add a great deal more predictability toif you take a look at our proposed force generation model, you have the active force turning at about twice the speed of our reserve component structure. We believe it will give stability to those formations, a great dealamount of predictability and, of course, increased readiness on it.
Mr. CONAWAY. The active Army is 2007. Can you give a sense of when you will get to that desired dwell times or redeployment frequencies in the guard and reserve?
General SCHOOMAKER. I think you will start seeing that in the same time frame. Of course, our National Guard transformation carries on well beyond this program. So it goes out probably towhat2018 in that area.
Mr. CONAWAY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman. The gentleman from Missouri.
Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Chairman, I yield my time to the gentleman from Oklahoma, Mr. Boren.
Mr. BOREN. Thank you, sir. I just would like each of you to comment on the increase in the death benefit.
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Secretary HARVEY. Well, I can say that we areI personally am certainly for it. I think it is a great idea. I know that legislation is now being formulated. So it is not what; it is, I think, how. We have to do it in a fair and equitable manner, and we are standing by. There has been testimony. The Vice has testified. But we are solidly in favor of a death gratuity, an improvement in that, and also in the life insurance component. So we are firmly behind it.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much. The gentleman from New Jersey, Mr. Saxton.
Mr. SAXTON. Mr. Chairman, following your lead, I will yield my time to Mr. Kline.
Mr. KLINE. I thank the gentleman for yielding; and, boy, I wish this could get to be a habit.
Gentlemen, I am looking at the numbers for end strength. As you know, many of us have been expressing concern for some time about the stress on the force, the guard and reserves and active force. I think it was the sense of many of us on this committee that we needed to increase the size of the active Army to help relieve some of those ops tempo stress on the active force and the reserve component. We have put an increase of end strength, and I think, as I am looking at the notes here in the budget, that you haven't continued that end strength increase into the outyears.
Page 29 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC What I guess the question is, what are you thinking about the overall long-term size of the Army? Is it in agreement with our expressed desire to increase that or do you have another plan?
Secretary HARVEY. Let me respond to that. There is a difference between the end strength and where it is budgeted at. We are aware that the National Defense Authorization Act of 2005 has mandated end strength at the end of fiscal year 2005 of 502,400, which is 20,000 above the 482,000 which that number, the funding for that number, is in the base budget. After that time, the Act specifies that the Secretary of Defense has the authority to go up another 10,000 if he sees the need to do that. At the present time, I mentioned in my testimony that we have a large business transformation initiative ongoing which is intended to reduce the size of the institutional Army.
So, having said that, our plan is to increase the size of the operational Army but to decrease the size of the institutional Army simultaneously. The success of that is kind of to be determined. So it is hard to say what a number is right now. But the operational Army is increasing. And, again, as I said in my testimony, it is most important that we focus on combat power. We are going from 33 to 43 brigades, and those brigades have much higher technology, and they will continue to have higher technology. So we are certainly increasing the size of the operational Army.
Mr. KLINE. Thank you. I see I still have a green light. Let me just follow up by saying that I hope that we are increasing the sustaining capability as wellI mean, increasing combat brigades. I knowGeneral Schoomaker, you know this very wellit is very handy, but they have got to be able to get to the fight and stay in the fight. It is not clear to me how that organization is coming. It is not really a question, because I am going to turn into red, but it is a concern.
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Secretary HARVEY. I can say that part of the Army modular force is to have sustained unit of actions. That has been planned. There is going to be 92 of them. That is in the plan. And we are going to start converting to the sustainment unit of actions starting this year. But we can provide more detail later on that.
Mr. KLINE. Thank you. I yield back.
The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from Texas, Mr. Ortiz.
Mr. ORTIZ. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Secretary, General, good to see you. I am going to try and make this question as short as I can.
But one of the five elements, key things identified in the Army fiscal year 2006 budget news release was repair, reset and to recapitalize equipment. But from what I see, I think that you are being funded at a 73 percent level, and I think that you are counting now on a supplemental to finish getting all of the money requests that you need so that you can continue this war on global terrorism. Now are you going to depend on a supplemental to finish your funding?
General SCHOOMAKER. The answer is yes. Weas the Secretary stated in his statement, we have a combination of both what is in the core budget for 2005 and what we expect in the supplemental that we have laid out for both the support, the Army modular force transformation, which we do as we prepare for and return from deployed duties, the reset money, as we have in the past, to fund the recapitalization and resetting of the force, as we consume the force and then, of course, the additional manpower that is in there. All of which is in the supplemental funding.
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So we areI personally am very satisfied, and I believeI won't speak for the Secretary, but I know he has told me that we are very satisfied with the support that we have gotten out of the Department in the preparation of this budget and that we can't look at the 2005 budget itself in isolation from the ongoing war cost in the supplemental funding.
Secretary HARVEY. Let me just say that I am satisfied. Since we can't get into the specifics of the supplemental, but if you put the two together, you are going to see somewhere near $10 billion for reset, recap, rebuild, maintenance, the whole ensemble. So, again, we are quite satisfied that we have the resources required to do that.
This is very important. It is very important not only this year but in the succeeding years, and after the conflicts are over we have got to continue to do that for a couple of years after that. It is very important so that we are ready, as Representative Skelton said, for the next operation.
Mr. ORTIZ. So we are assuming that the request will be in the range of $10 billion.
Secretary HARVEY. Yes, as a package.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman. The gentleman from Colorado, Mr. Hefley.
Mr. HEFLEY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I would yield my time to Geoff Davis, a new member of our committee from Kentucky.
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Mr. DAVIS OF KENTUCKY. Thank you. I think we have got the new guys are on point right now.
I enlisted in the Army nearly 29 years ago and lived through the dark period, the rebirth of the service during the 1980's. I even have comrades in the room from those days long ago, who served with great distinction and brought great honor to the service and also to the country.
I am very proud of the men and women in uniform and what you all have done to make the country safer. But now, looking at the changes, watching that Army grow, participating in some of the force structure design at that time and then working professionally in a parallel field after getting off of active duty, what I see is an Army that is effectively one-third smaller in actual numbers in that point, and operations tempo it is more than twice what we had around the time of Desert Storm prior to 9/11 and facing some great changes.
I think the efforts are commendable regarding the move to modularity, increasing jointness and flexibility. But, at the same time, I am wondering about how realistic some of the goals are that are laid out on the table for this transition with the force structure the way it is at this time. Specifically, I would cite the Third Infantry Division, for example, which served with distinction in Iraq, came back home, but effectively, as I understand, it had seven national training center rotations in the midst of this transformation, is now nearing its time to redeploy.
Secretary HARVEY. It is.
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Mr. DAVIS OF KENTUCKY. That being said, do you feel that thehow are we going to achieve the sustainment goals, maintain troop levels within the current force structure? Or might it not be more realistic, in order to maintain a flexible reserve, to respond to threats as they emerge in other parts of the world potentially where we do have some challenges now to meet those goals, have that sustainable force and be effective in this transformation?
Secretary HARVEY. Well, I think one of the real benefits of the modularity is the fact that we are going to end up with 77 brigade combat team unit of actions between the active and the Army National Guard. We talked about the rotational cycle and the force generational cycle of that. However, if we have to surge, we can surge also. You know, our model is based on a 20 brigade unit, brigade combat teams deployed at any one time. If we have to surge and provide more, we can.
Mr. DAVIS OF KENTUCKY. For example, if you had to surge in the next six months, how would we do that?
Secretary HARVEY. I talked about the end state. He can tell you what we would do in the interim.
General SCHOOMAKER. We have the capability to surge in the next six months, without question, from the residual that we have in the States and what we have got available globally.
Page 34 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I would like to build on this whole notion just for a minute, because I think it is really important to instruct us for the future.
In the Army that you served in and I served in, in those times, there is no comparison to the Army of today, either in capability or in quality of service or anything. We have always had great people, but we have come a long way in terms of things.
I would tell you that you might remember that, in the decade of the 1990's, from the time thatlet's just say from the end of the first Gulf War until the end of the 1990's, we reduced the active Army force by 300,000 people and took almost a hundred billion dollar procurement holiday across DOD.
If you cut down 300,000 trees, you can do that pretty quick. But now grow 30,000 of them back. But there is an analogy there that is pretty apt. It takes time, as you know, to grow the quality soldier, quality leaders that we have. We have done very well.
When I sat here last year this time and announced that we were going to grow the Army by 30,000 in a temporary way, and the Congress has come back and validated that and authorized it, that was a steep climb. We now have almost achieved 20,000 of that number, growing at a time that we have also been at war.
So our transformation has created more capacity. It is increasing our actual capability and the effectiveness of the force at the same time that we are doing this transformation. And we are in a position right now to respond, obviously, differently than we would if we didn't have the level of service, the level of deployment that we have got to the Middle East. But, nevertheless, we have the capability because as a joint force we fight differently and more effectively than we ever have. So I wouldthis is an unclassified session, but I would just say I would not want any of our potential enemies to miscalculate here. Because we have apt capability at our disposal to deal with things.
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The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman. The gentleman from Massachusetts, Mr. Meehan.
Mr. MEEHAN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Welcome Mr. Secretary and General.
General Schoomaker, there have been press reports indicating that we are building 14 bases in Iraq. In my trips to Iraq, obviously, we see a lot of construction, a lot of pouring of concrete. I am concerned that these bases send the signal that we plan on keeping a permanent presence in Iraq. How much money are we spending on these bases? Where are the bases? Is there funding in the current budget request or in the upcoming supplemental request for base construction; and, if so, what for? I am interested in whether we would return these properties to the Iraqis when our forces mission is complete; and, if so, do we have an agreement with the Iraqis to turn these bases over to them?
General SCHOOMAKER. First of all, I have no knowledge of creating any permanent basing anywhere over there. We are creating forward operating bases to provide adequate force protection and adequate quality-of-life for the soldiers that we have deployed. But I know of no efforts to create permanent basing.
However, we will take that for the record and make sure that we correct it.
Mr. MEEHAN. General, like the 14 bases, is that not accurate? I have seen that reported a few times.
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General SCHOOMAKER. I will have to take that for the record.
[The information referred to can be viewed in the hard copy.]
General SCHOOMAKER. There are numerous forward operating bases, for instance, Bahlad and the Anaconda. The air field and logistics construct now that we have created up there, I would classify it as a forward operating base. And, yes, we are putting in things to increase the force protection and increase the quality-of-life for the soldier there, but I would not compare it to building a base as people understand permanent basing that perhaps you would find in the United States or even in Europe.
Secretary HARVEY. Let me just also add that I am not aware of any plan to have a permanent forward base. I am not aware of that. But we will look into that and get back to you on the record.
[The information referred to can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Mr. MEEHAN. In the budget that you are submitting or in the supplemental, are there any plans for any moneys for construction of bases?
General SCHOOMAKER. For force protection and quality-of-life, yes, in that direction. But for establishing permanent bases, I have no knowledge.
Secretary HARVEY. It would be for force protection. We are doing a lot there. The chairman knows very well our plans in counter rocket and mortar. We are continuing to do things like that to protect the bases, protect the soldier, provide for a quality-of-life. Those are very important and we will continue to fund those, but I have no knowledge of any permanency.
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Mr. MEEHAN. Is there any agreement with the Iraqis once our military mission is completed to turn over the bases or have there been any discussion with the new Iraqi government or the prior government on that issue?
General SCHOOMAKER. Those kinds of discussions would be taking place between General Casey, Ambassador Negroponte and General Abizaid. I don't have any knowledge, but we will certainly check into it.
[The information referred to can be viewed in the hard copy.]
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you. Just a note to my colleague that, at this point, there is not a permanent Iraqi government to give permission to the U.S. for any basing accommodations. But every soldier and every Marine, every airman every sailor who is stationed in Iraq has a base; and the base at Bahlad is Saddam Hussein's old fighter base that we basically moved operations into.
Mr. MEEHAN. Mr. Chairman, the question is, how do we distinguish construction that is not permanent from the type of construction that you speak of? That is what I am trying to get at, because there are press reports.
The CHAIRMAN. I understand. But the question presupposed that there is an ability of the Iraqis at this point to give a permanent basing agreement to the U.S. and there isn't, because we are under transitional law and under United Nations resolution. In a number of months, when the constitution is in place and the permanent government is in place, they will be able to have relations with other countries just like any other country can.
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I thank the gentleman. The gentleman from New York, Mr. McHugh.
Mr. MCHUGH. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. In keeping with your precedent, I would be happy to yield to the gentleman from Michigan, Dr. Schwarz.
Dr. SCHWARZ. I thank the gentleman for yielding.
I am going to change pace a little bit, if I may, here.
I am a Navy guy, which makes me suspect immediately, I assume, Mr. Secretary and General Schoomaker. In my home of Michigan, there are numerous guard and reserve components. In my district, there are numbers of them as well. I am the only physician in my specialty in my part of the State of Michigan who accepts TRICARE, the only one; and I have military dependents driving sometimes more than a hundred miles to get care because physicians in their communities do not accept TRICARE.
My question is this: Is there a plan in the budget to increase payment for TRICARE for military dependents living off a base and living at home, dependents and their children, while the active duty individual is in Iraq or elsewhere, but certainly remote from their family?
It would seem to me to be appropriate that the payment that TRICARE makes might be increased some so other physicians would take the payment that TRICARE makes. Many of them don't. It drives me up the wall that they don't. And I have done everything I can to try and convince physicians to do so.
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The multispecialty group in which I practice wanted to drop TRICARE. I had to convince them, show them the mistake in their ways in that, and they continued to accept TRICARE. Part one.
Part two, are there plans to make TRICARE available to dependents of guard and reserve individuals who are serving remotely from their families? Certainly that should be part of the plan as well.
I would simply like your comments on TRICARE and perhaps most particularly to the two points I brought up.
Secretary HARVEY. Let me say that I am certainly not aware of the details of a physician's right or not right to accept TRICARE; I assume it is similar to Medicare where they have their own personal choice not to or they can. So I guess it is a free country. We certainly would encourage physicians throughout the United States to accept TRICARE. It is important to us, it is important to our soldiers, it is important to their families.
You know, I do know that the Department overall will spend in excess of over $26 billion this year on medical care, so it is not like we don't care and we don't have a very good program. And, you know, I am also part of it, and I think it is very good. But I don't think I can intelligently comment on the decisions of a local physician one way or the other, to certainly encourage him and say we have asked our soldiers and their families to serve this country, they are defending our freedom, they are over in very difficult circumstances, and please rethink it; you know, they serve our country, please, you serve our country. But having said that, you know, it is a free country.
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Now in terms of reserves, Chief, you may want to comment on this. I know there is a provision that says that for every 90 days that you are deployed as a reserve or National Guard, you get one year of TRICARE. I know that that passed, I believe, last year. So there is a provision in the law now that provides TRICARE for reserve and guard based on their deployment time in theater. That is the extent of my knowledge. And I don't know of any plans to extend that at this time.
General SCHOOMAKER. And I don't really have anything to add, but I am getting a nod from our brain trust back here that what the Secretary said is correct. I think we ought to accept your question for the record and give you some detail on what is in there because I can't add to what the Secretary said.
[The information referred to can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Dr. SCHWARZ. I know the red light is on, but I would just comment, I will make this comment. I would hope that the Department would make public statements, very much like the Secretary made, to try to convince some of my fellow physicians that this is what they ought to do. There are physicians who faithfully, like myself, accept TRICARE and never will not accept TRICARE; there are so many others that don't, and we need to enlighten them up a little bit.
Secretary HARVEY. And let me just end by saying we appreciate you doing that very much. Thank you very much.
Page 41 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Reyes.
Mr. REYES. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
And, Mr. Secretary, welcome for your first appearance before the committee. And, General Schoomaker, as always, thanks for your service. And to your brain trust, and in particular the three American heroes that you brought here, thank you for bringing them here; and thank all of you for serving.
My question deals with the Stryker Brigade. Late last year, the last time that Chairman and I and a couple other Members were in Iraq, we got a chance to not just see them, but actually ride with some of the soldiers in one of those vehicles, and so I have a could of questions regarding the Strykers.
Now, the first one is, according to the information that we have, the Army plans to activate five active Stryker Brigades by 2007 and one National Guard Stryker Brigade by 2010. And on your posture statement here for 2005, there is an actual picture here of one of those vehicles that is providing support for our infantry troops. And so I was wanting to know, first of all, is this enough, given the value that they have proven and the kind of combat that we are in today; that is the first question: Is this the schedule, and is it enough?
And the second question is, can you give us some personal testimony on how effective you know them to be in Iraq?
General SCHOOMAKER. Well, thank you for that question, because I would say that we are absolutely enthusiastic about what the Stryker has done in its performance not just as a vehicle, but as a system. And the Stryker Brigade Combat Team as a system is a very good snapdog view into the brigade combat team unit of action, enabled by information technologies with great mobility, great operational reach for strategic deployability, and large numbers of well-trained infantrymen, as well as joint fires and all the rest of it.
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I think one of the best examples isand I won't get too specific on thisbut at one time in the last year, a Stryker Brigade in the most northern reaches of Iraq dispatched a battalion combat team that did a 420-mile move, entered battle on that move at one place, won, and moved to another battle, and did all of this in 48 hours; and did it with planning on the move, great blue force situation awareness, great joint interconductivity, and exactly the kind of leadership, exactly the kind of combat capability we are looking for as we move toward our future combat system.
And so the Stryker Brigade is a good example. It also has demonstrated the highest operational readiness of any system that we have had over there. It is routinely above 95 percent in a war ratealways above 90, to the best of my knowledgeand it is one of the most survivable vehicles we have. And when I was in Iraq and Afghanistan in the theater over Christmas, I spent some time up north in Mosul with the Stryker Brigade Combat Team up there, and every soldier thought they were in the most special outfit that ever was devised. I mean, it was just a huge deal to do.
So we are very pleased with it, and we nowwhen you ask somebody like me is it enough, it is like saying is there enough ice cream in the field. You know, obviously we are very happy with it. We have got a schedule right now that is going to take us several years to meet, but we will be better informed, and we will make other decisions as we move forward here.
And as you know, last year there was monies put in for some additional battalions, and so we are looking at whathow the leveragethat support that you have given us, and what we might do; do we need to go to a 7th Stryker Brigade, how elselooking at it.
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And I will just wrap up with one more statement. In fact, U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) is working with us now and is interested in Stryker variance as perhaps part of their solution for Special Operations force. So I would say Stryker has acquitted itself very well, and we are very pleased with it.
Secretary HARVEY. Let me just add oneI know we are over, let me add three seconds' worth. If you look at the budget, you will see that the biggest single line item in the procurement is Stryker, so I think that is a reflection of how important we think it is.
Mr. REYES. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Everett.
Mr. EVERETT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I am afraid I might have to break our littleI am late to another committee meeting, and I have a question that, frankly, is very important not only to my district, but to the Army, Navy and to the Marines, and that concerns the fact that I was quite disappointed to see that the budget, the Army's 2006 budget, contained no funding for the Joint Common Missile (JCM) Program. This missile was scheduled to replace the Maverick, TOW, Hellfire, and Longbow aviation missiles, as you know, which are all nearing the end of their life span. The JCM would provide beyond-line-of-sight capability and the flexibility to be used as an air-to-ground and ground-to-ground weapon.
What troubles me most, I think, is that in terminating the program, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has elected to use the Joint Capabilities Integration and Development System, JCIDS, process to determine the needs for the missile. However, it was the very same JCIDS process that has already determined that the Army, Navy and Marines have critical gaps in their missile technology.
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In canceling this program it seems to me that the Department of Defense, as well as the Army, is ignoring the cost and performance benefits of an advanced missile system that meets current and future requirements. The program is far ahead of schedule, under budget, meeting all requirements, low risk, and will replace aging programs.
Gentlemen, it is my understanding that the requirement for this munition still exists. Do you believe that requirement still exists, and if so, how do you plan to address these requirements without the Joint Common Missile?
General SCHOOMAKER. Well, I would say that, first of all, that was a joint program. I believe the Navyam I correct in saying thatthe Navy was the program office on it. And you are correct that that was a joint decision.
It would be great to have it, yetbut there are precision means available to us, and that was one of the areas in whichin the overall construct of things, one of the areas in which it was believed that there was acceptable risk in making that decision.
Again, it goes back to it would be wonderful to be able to afford every one of these capabilities, and I really couldn't say more about it than that.
I don't think
Mr. EVERETT. With due request, my question was, does the requirement for the missile still exist? And what are those other methods that we can use?
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General SCHOOMAKER. I don't think there is an absolute void. You mentioned it, Hellfire can perform some of that, Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM), can perform some of it, laser-guided munitions and other things that we have. And granted, some of these are adaptations, and some of them don't have the future growth potential of what you are talking about, but nevertheless, there is not a void in the precision area that is there.
Secretary HARVEY. I can just chime in a little bit and say that you may be familiarthis is a decision that comes out of what is called the JCIDS process, the Joint Capabilities Integration Development System, where they look at capability gaps, if there is any, and determine whether or not there is a gap existing in that capability. I think the decisions were made that the gap is small and the risks are small, and therefore, even though it is a marvelously performingor at least on paper it isit is not needed at this time. And unfortunately, in a resource-constrained environment, you have to make decisions, and you have to establish priorities.
But there is, I think, from my point of view, there is a methodical systematic process for doing that, and there are a lot of people involved in that, and it is just not an arbitrary and capricious decision.
Mr. EVERETT. Well, thank you for your answer, and I see my time is out. Thank you for being here. And I appreciate, General Schoomaker, what you said about our soldiers, who are doing historic things over in Iraq to not only free people in Iraq, but protect this Nation. But I will have some follow-up questions for the record, I believe. Thank you.
Page 46 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General SCHOOMAKER. I might just add that what is happening at Anniston, to help us with the great progress we have made in being able to provide the add-on armor protection, is phenomenal.
Mr. EVERETT. I appreciate that. But I expect my folks down at Ft. Rucker
Secretary HARVEY. We greatly appreciate it.
The CHAIRMAN. Ms. Sanchez.
Ms. SANCHEZ. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Good morning, gentlemen. And thank you, Mr. Secretary and General, for being here today, and also for bringing those three great soldiers behind you; we are really excited to see them.
I have a lot of questions. I am going to submit most of them to the record, but hopefully I will get through a couple of these.
The insurgent violence continues to intensify since the January 30th elections in Iraq, and I don't know anyone in the Pentagon who really believes that it will subside in the coming year.
In the last 9 days, 15 United States troops have been killed in combat, and 153 Iraqis have also been killed, including 106 Iraqi Army and police.
Page 47 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Last year seven nations withdrew from the coalition in Iraq, and this year already the Ukraine, Poland and the Netherlands have announced their intentions to withdraw most of their forces. And yesterday General Petraeus announced thatadmitted yesterday that insurgent intimidation is cutting his ability to recruit Iraqi soldiers. And, of course, we already know that the Pentagon has proven incapable of giving Congress accurate reports about the status of the Iraqi security forces.
So my question is, with the rising insurgent violence and decreasing international support to the coalition, isn't it equally possible that the U.S. will have to increase our forces in Iraq this year? And second, is the Army, as the main force provider for Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), developing contingency plans for meeting possible force increases in OIF?
General SCHOOMAKER. First of all, the reason I believe insurgent violence is as you described it is because the election is scaring them to death, and that obviously, you know, they are doing all they can to try to reverse the very positive kind of things that occurred at the end of January.
We always plan so that we have options. The indications right now from theater, and that is where we get our requirements, is that we are planning against a level effort. Our hope is that as we build the Iraqi forces across the full security spectrumArmy, border police, all of those that have been talking about and described so wellthat we will have the opportunity to start going to a different level of overwatch that has been described several times by General Casey and General Abizaid.
Page 48 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC This is their call, not our call. Our job is to organize, train, equip and provide the resources that they ask us to do. And it is prudent for us to plan against worst case or against their bestgreater than what we anticipate would be the demand. And right now I know of nothing that changes the assumptions that we are on, which are that we will be able to start adjusting our force levels based approximate the production thatnow, what General Petraeus said about insurgent activity and intimidation is right on. I mean, that is the nature of insurgency, that is the nature of the whole deal. And I believe that it is a direct result ofyou know, of the success that occurred in January with those elections. And we are going to have to continue to knuckle through and do what we are doing.
Secretary HARVEY. Let me just add that rest assured that there is aand you are probably familiarthis is an enormous effort going on to organize, train and equip Iraqi forces. There is something like 136,000 that have been; there is a goal to get to 200,000, I think, by the end of the year.
Their capability has to be improved. There are a lot of plans to give them a command-and-control structure. I know there are some North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) or European Union countries involved in setting a school up, a training indoctrine-type school up. There is a lot of infrastructure going on. So there is a lot of effort, and I think let's see how it develops in the future.
You do realize that you have a group of people that are slowly but surely losing control and will not be in charge of this country in the future, so their behavior, as abhorrent as it is and as evil as it is, is somewhat expected, and we have got to continue our efforts to organize, train, equip and have them have the capability that we have in our own Army. So that is ongoing. And General Petraeus is doing an outstanding job; he is a great soldier.
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Ms. SANCHEZ. Mr. Secretary, I had the opportunity to talk at length with General Petraeus when I was in Iraq at Christmas time. He also acknowledged that one of the problems that we had in Mosul was that we took our men and women out of Mosul and we put them to the Fallujah front, and, of course, then Mosul fell apart, and our Iraqi Army and National Guard and policemen there, almost 5,800, ran away, took their equipment and have never been seen again.
So this is the concern that I have, that as much as you banter around, 120,000, 137,000, 200,000, the fact of the matter, after having a long discussion with Petraeusand I have his numberswe are nowhere close to 137,000 full capability, National Guard
Secretary HARVEY. I don't disagree with you.
Ms. SANCHEZ [continuing]. Army, and, you know
My concern is I have the best-equipped, best-educated, best-trained military that the world has ever seen, and they are getting killed every day out there. And you want to replace them with Iraqis who I know aren't trained, educated, equipped anywhere close. And, General, hope is not a strategy. So, you know, the concern is that more of our fine young people like the three behind you will end up being in Iraq. And we haven't really planned for the worst-case scenario all along in this war, quite frankly, General.
Secretary HARVEY. Congresswoman, let me just say that the Chief and I are the 2 people that sign 15 condolence letters a week, okay? And I take them every Sunday morning before I go to church and I sign those letters. So I feel the same way you do. I don't like it any better than you do. But I also know that my freedom and this country is being defended. So we are the ones that sign it, we are the ones that go to Arlington National Cemetery for funerals, we are the ones that go to Walter Reed (Army Hospital). And my fondest hope is to eventually end this, and the way to end it is the strategy of training, equipping and making them capable.
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We are seeing sausage being made in a sense. And let's give General Petraeus a chance. There are other things going on behind the scenes that will bolster the military and the government, but it is sausage being made, and it is tough. But you don't have to tell the Chief and I about how tough this is. It is very tough on me, and it is very tough on the Chief, but it is also our freedom, and it is our country, and that is the compromise.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Bartlett.
Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you very much. I have a very quick question for the record, and then if I may, I yield the remainder of my time to Mr. Franks.
You are going to come to us with a supplemental. Let's imagine that the war ends when that supplemental runs out, and to make sure that the tip of the spear is as sharp as possibleI know that you have been bleeding money from operations and maintenance (O&M). I know that our equipment is wearing out, that the supplemental will not include the cost of replacing that equipment. There may be additional personnel training cost.
If the war were to end at the end of this supplemental, how much money will it take to make you whole? I know you probably don't have that at the tip of your tongue, so if you take it for the record and give us a good accounting of that, I would be very appreciative.
And let me yield the remainder of my time now to Mr. Franks, if I might.
General SCHOOMAKER. Did you want a response, or just take
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Mr. BARTLETT. If you have it on the tip of your tongue, great. It won't take long to give me the number, 20 billion, 40 billion; what is it?
General SCHOOMAKER. We will give you a complete answer for the record, but if you take a look at the entire program out through 2011, you will see that the money for modulizing the force continues out through 2011 at about $5 billion a year. I have testified several times in here that it will take us at least two years of supplemental funding to reset the force, to repair, replace, recapitalize our equipment whenever this ends. And, of course, the additional strength in the Army we will deal with year by year as we have this year, but we would really anticipate that would be supplemental as well.
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Mr. FRANKS. I thank you, Mr. Chairman, Mr. Bartlett.
Well, my father served in the Army, so I am always especially encouraged when you come before this committee, and I just can't express to you now how grateful that I am personally, and I know the entire committee is, for all the great service you do for this country.
My dad used to say thathe was an Army engineer, but he used to say that the infantry were among the greatest heroes because they often took the greatest number of casualties; and I know that remains the situation today.
I was particularly impressed, Mr. Secretary, with your testimony today that, if I understood it right, that not only have we increased our armored vehicle capabilityif I understood you righta factor of 100, but that now it is such that people do notour people do not leave a base in Iraq without either armored escortand I am not exactly sure what the perspective there isbut does that reflect a retrofit of existing vehicles, or does that reflect replacing some of the Humvees with Stryker vehicles? What makes that happen; what makes that true?
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Secretary HARVEY. We kind of have a multicomponent strategy. There are three levels of armor; there is level one, level two and level three. Level one is that which is made in the factory. It is like our up-armored Humvees; they are armoredthe Humvee comes off the line as a frame, and then armor is incorporated into it. So that is kind of an integrated.
Then we have these add-on kits which you heard about, and those are added on in Kuwait, sometimes they are added on in this country when they are preparing to go, I know Fort Carson is doing it. And they have produced about over, in a combination of our depots and arsenals, Rock Islandand Anniston, as you heard, is involved; and then we have industry doing that. So there is a wholethere is something like 10 or 12 organizations, government and industry, doing that. We are getting welders from the Navy, the Air Force. They are taking them and going up to New York. It is all out-factored.
Then in theater we have this level three armor, which is cutwe have plasma torches, and we have designs, and we cut it out and we weld them onto the vehicle in theater. A lot of that goes on in Balat, and it goes on in Kuwait. So we have those three levels.
Our eventual objective is to get to all level one and two eventually, and we will have that done by May or June. In the meantime, like I said, there are 32,500 plus that have either level 1, 2 or 3. So it has been an absoluteI like to use it as a compliment to the institutional Army, they adaptlike we do in the battlefield, we adapt it here back in Congress.
Page 53 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General SCHOOMAKER. I would just like to add to that. The public focus generally has been on the Humvee and where we have made real progress in the Humvee. The real boost has been in the fact that we are now armoring every wheeled vehicle, so trucks, heavy equipment transporters (HETS), PLF trucks, tankers, all of those. And so that is where you have seen this mushroom ofand much of that was doneand it has taken design time and a bunch of other stuff to be able to do that.
But the other piece of it is that we are nowour production line, we have focused our production now on heavier-framed vehicles. In other words, instead of buying a lighter-weight Humvee that isn't designed to carry this armor, all of our Humvees in the future will be on the 1151 frame, which is a very heavy-duty frame which allows
Secretary HARVEY. Heavy frame. Bigger engine, bigger transmission.
General SCHOOMAKER. It is very complex. And thankfully we are at a point now where we are able to harvest all this great work that has taken so long to plant.
Mr. FRANKS. Thank you.
Mr. HEFLEY [presiding]. Mrs. Tauscher.
Ms. TAUSCHER. Thank you. Mr. Secretary and General Schoomaker, it is good to see you both.
Page 54 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. Secretary, I know you have only been on the job for a few months. I have to tell you I am disturbed by your answer to Congresswoman Sanchez's question. You have your job, and we have our job, and our job is to ask you questions. And this is your first appearance at the committee.
You are not the only person that has gone to funerals, and you are not the only person that has gone to Walter Reed. And I appreciate the fact that it is deeply disturbing to have to sign condolence letters, but these are our constituents that are dying, too, and we have a lot of accountability that we need to be sitting for. And you weren't here for a lot of these decisions, and maybe part of your defensiveness is that you don't like some of the decisions that have been made. I certainly don't like a lot of the decisions that have been made.
Now, you came from the business community. Can you explain to me why we are relying, riskily, on two years of supplementals to fund Iraq and Afghanistan? And would you believe that you would ever do that and get away with it in the private sector?
Secretary HARVEY. Let me say I didn't want to lecture anybody, I just wanted to indicate that I share the same feelings you do. I mean, there are legitimate feelings, I feel the same way. I am highly motivated to bring the troops back. In fact, that picture is on my desk, and I think about it every day. I am the Secretary for that infantryman right there.
My understandingand this is more of a question, I think, for the rulesmy understanding is that these are one-time expenditures, and that is appropriate to be funded in supplementals. And that is what my understanding
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Ms. TAUSCHER. With all due respect, Mr. Secretary, if I had an apartment, and then I all of a sudden bought a house, and I decided I was going to take my thousand-dollar apartment payment and my $2000 mortgage payment and I was just going to act as if my mortgage payment was just a temporary thing because I may sell the house someday, and I was going to fund it all on a credit card, you would call me crazy, wouldn't you?
Secretary HARVEY. Sure.
Ms. TAUSCHER. Well, that is what we are doing here. We know what the run rate and the burn rate to this OIF and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), have been for 21/2 years and 3 years. We know what the burn rate is. It is almost $5 billion a month, and we are using basically a credit card and borrowing this money every 10 or 12 weeks, $75-, $80 billion a clip, and we are acting like we have got two sets of books. And I don't believe that we are being accountable or responsible. I think it is risky; and I think, frankly, we are floating on this attitude that we can just call off the war on terrorism, and the American people will go along with it. It is irresponsible accounting.
Secretary HARVEY. Well, I can't comment on that because I thought those were the rules; I don't make the rules. And if the rules change, we will go accordingly, but my understanding is one-time costs are in supplementals.
Ms. TAUSCHER. Well, I don't call a recurring war, an ongoing war, where we have no idea when it is going to end, a one-time cost.
Page 56 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General, the issue of end strength has come up every other question. We have kind of had a deal to agree but disagree on how to deal with it. We have temporarily increased troops by 30,000; we decided to fund it in the supplemental. We can't quite agree on deciding, I think, once and for all that we have to, perhaps, I believe, increase the size of the active duty force. Where are we on this whole process right now?
General SCHOOMAKER. Well, we areas I described, we are trying to grow back 30,000 in the force at the same time we are rebalancing inside the force at the same time that we are recalibrating inside the force and doing military-to-civilian conversions to increase the size of the operational Army. So it is not just you are on the force. You know, we are in motion and have grown by about 20,000. The reality is we have about 640,000- to 650,000 people on active duty right now, and that the active component, 502,000, is just a piece of that. I mean, we will get back into the disagreement over supplementals here.
We havein my view, we still have time to make a decision about the permanency of this because we have got to get throughsee, I think from where I sit that we have got options that go both ways, and I think that because of discussions certainly the Secretary has had, but I certainly had previously with the Secretary of Defense and others, I am fully confident that if I were to walk through the door of Secretary of Defense and tell him that we needed to grow the Army again, that he would say to do it.
Ms. TAUSCHER. Well, I would be right behind you the day you do that. And I frankly don't care what you call it. The Secretary is very facile with definitions. I don't care if you call it temporary, part-time, sometimes, maybe. I just think we need more active duty troops, and I hope we will get to that sooner than later.
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General SCHOOMAKER. If I could just add, I think the issue of permanency or temporary has got to do with the funding more so than
Ms. TAUSCHER. Well, we have already decided to fund it out of the one-time supplemental that
General SCHOOMAKER. Whether in our core budget or whether it is in the supplemental funding, but we are building real soldiers that will be with us.
Ms. TAUSCHER. Well, thank you very much. And thank you for bringing the three great heroes with you. Thank you.
Mr. HEFLEY. Mr. Hayes.
Mr. HAYES. Thank you, Mr. Chairman; thank you, gentlemen. And we appreciate your efforts doing everything we can for our soldiers. They are represented by the men and women behind you. We particularly appreciate their service.
Three questions for you. I continue to be concernedwe have talked about this in previous yearsabout the way maintenance money goes down to our bases. In the past we appropriated money here, the money doesn't get down there. Right now, today, yesterday, there are 303 buildings at Fort Bragg that didn't have any heat. Only 42 percent of the money that was appropriated by Congresswe appropriated 97 percent of what they neededdidn't get to that base. I want you all to tell me why this is happening and how we can get the money. Is the Installation Management Agency (IMA) deal not working?
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Number two, we have got a good MILCON construction budget, which I appreciate, but if we build more buildings, until we get the flow of money for reserve and maintenance straightened out, then that problem is going to get worse.
And last but not least, hurricane costs in 2003 were handled in supplemental funds. The money that went away from my Corps Support Command (COSCOM) barracks at Fort Bragg to help with hurricane relief was supposed to come back. It wasn'tit is not back yet. Can we get that money back?
Secretary HARVEY. I can take the barracks question.
I am very pleased to say that the Chief and I had a review of our barracks modernization program a couple of weeks ago, and we both decided that it will take too long to bring some substandard barracks up to quality levels; it takes them like three or four years as part of the modernization program. We made the decision to have two parts to the barracks modernization, a short-term part which will take 20,000 substandard barracks totally up to quality levels this year. It will be done this year, calendar year 2005.
So in terms of that, it is consistent with my philosophy, my priorities of importance of the soldiers and their families, there will be no substandard barracks after this year; 136,000 barracks will be all at the quality. The Chief and I made that commitment. We just said, ''Go find the money.''
So in terms of barracks, if you have substandard barracks in Fort Bragg, they won't be there. If they are there in January, the Chief and I are going to be very unhappy. So that is the barracks component of it.
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General SCHOOMAKER. We have 177 barracks that we have identified. I would say on average that we are going to be repairing, on the average, of about 20 a month as we go forward, buildings. And I agree with the Secretary, I am going to be very disappointed if we are not there.
On the rest of your question, I am going to have to take it for the record, because by the time we got to the hurricaneI just remembered the front part. But I don't know the answer to that, and we will take it and get you an answer.
Mr. HAYES. Mr. Secretary, thanks. We are upgrading the barracks and doing a great job, but they are coming out of a warm barracks, and tomorrow they go into these 303 buildings that don't have any heat on, and we are backing up. So find out where sustainment, resteration, modernization (SRM) money92 percent appropriated and only 40 something is getting out
Secretary HARVEY. We will look into that. I don't know the detail either, but we will provide you an answer for the record on that issue.
Mr. HAYES. Thank you, sir.
The CHAIRMAN [presiding]. Thank you, gentlemen. The gentleman from New Jersey Mr. Andrews. Welcome back.
Mr. ANDREWS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I am honored to be here. I thank the witnesses for their testimony this morning. I especially thank the soldiers they brought with them who stand here today representing all of their brothers and sisters that are serving around the world. Please know there is a unanimous feeling of pride in your achievements and respect for your commitment to your country.
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Mr. Secretary, you said what secretaries always say, we always say, which is that you recruit the soldier, but you retain the family. We all agree with that principle, which is why, when you look at the budget proposals in the area of military construction and military housing, I am alarmed and troubled.
Last year the Secretary of Defense and the services came before this committee and projected that in this fiscal year we would be spending $1 billion more in the area of military construction than you have proposed to spend in this fiscal year. If you go back a year, look at what the fiscal year 2006 projection was in MILCON departmentwide, not just for the Army. Your own projection was it would be $1 billion higher than you have actually proposed this year.
Second, if you look at the Army MILCON proposal it is $600 million less than we spent last year; the Army family housing proposal is $200 million less than we spent last year.
The way I would keep score on this is before we get to the other services, that means that we are somewhere in the vicinity of $11/2 billion dollars short of what we thought we were going to havewhat you thought you were going to have a year ago.
First question is, are these numbers adequate to meet the needs for military construction of Army family housing that you see in existence? I doubt that they are, but if I am wrong, tell me. And if, as I assume, they are not adequate to meet the needs for military construction and Army family housing, why aren't they, in a budget that is $98.6 billion? Now, if you said, ''Go find the money,'' in the discussion we just had for the barracks, which I fully embrace, why can't we go find the money to bring MILCON and military housing up to where it ought to be?
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Secretary HARVEY. Yeah; I may not be fully informed on this issue. My understanding is that the Army family housing is formainly for overseas locations in the residential community initiatives which I talked about, which we have gotten 50,000 homes underhave been transferred is primarily for the continental United States. So that is my understanding, but I could be wrong on that.
Mr. ANDREWS. Well, if I may, we certainly want top-quality housing for our personnel and their families, irrespective of where they are stationed.
Secretary HARVEY. Well, I agree with you, but there are two different accounts. So in terms of the residential communities initiative (RCI), I know there isbesides the projects that have been transferred, I have a list in front of me that has dates ofwe will transfer about 8,000 more in 2006, and 16,000 moreactually in 2005 and 2006, they have been awarded. And then in the future there is 8,000 more. So there is a plan in place to get up to about 95 percent of the housing in the United States.
Now, in terms of the Army family component of it, I am just not as knowledgeable on that; I will take a look into the record. I think it may have something also to do with the global rebasing, that if there is housing in Germany, for example, in Korea, and we are bringing people back, then we wouldn't be investing in that housing as heavily as we have in the past.
Mr. ANDREWS. I appreciate that
Page 62 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Secretary HARVEY. I think it may be tied up in that, but I will take that and get you an answer.
Mr. ANDREWS. I appreciate that. And we would like an answer for the record.
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Mr. ANDREWS. Just briefly, though, I would ask you to focus again on this point. Not our numbers or someone else's numbers, the Department's own numbers a year ago suggested that the need for fiscal year 2006 would be $1 billion more for MILCON than you are proposing for fiscal 2006. Did we suddenly have $1 billion worth of needs evaporate, or what is the problem?
Secretary HARVEY. Well, I certainly can't speak for the other services, but again, for the record, I will look into specifically if, in fact, the Army's MILCON budget has decreased year over year, 2005 to 2006, and why that is.
Mr. ANDREWS. Well, according to the data we have for today's hearing, the fiscal year 2005 appropriated amount was $2.5 billion, and the President's budget is $1.9 billion.
General SCHOOMAKER. I thinkif I could just add to this, and we will get a statement to you for the record, an answer for the recordbut last year we were successful in getting support out of Congress to raise the cap on the RCI, and because we were allowed to get the cap raised, we were able to expand the number of installations. And I believe we are up now to about 32 installations with the residentialor the commercial industry, and that has an impact, I believe, an offsetam I correct here on some of the
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Mr. ANDREWS. I thank you. I think you will find agreement on both sides of this committee that this is something we all want to do.
Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. And the Ranking Member had more to follow briefly on that.
Mr. SKELTON. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. Along that line, General, a reminder that you had received a letter from me asking for a list of unfunded requirements, and we would appreciate that at your earlier convenience, sir.
Thank you very much.
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The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, gentlemen. The gentleman from South Carolina Mr. Wilson.
Mr. WILSON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And thank you, Mr. Secretary and General, for being here. And thank you for bringing three American heroes with you. And also, I have great faith in your brain trust, particularly with the guard and reserve, and I want to let you know that you have got a great team.
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I feel like we have another team, and that is the active duty forces with guard and reserve; they are serving together so well. I have seen it firsthand with my 31 years in the Army National Guard. I am very grateful. I have a son who just completed his one-year service in Iraq. He is on his way home, will be returning to his law practice. It is a classic National Guard case. And then two weeks ago one of his younger brothers started officer basic training; and so we are very proud of our Guard participation. And then I even have one a little bit off track. He is in the Navy, active duty, and I am very proud of his service as an ensign. But as I raise thishe is in the medical corps like Congressman Schwarz, too.
As I look at all of this, I will be providingand we are limited in our questions today, understandablyI will be providing, separately, questions and suggestions in regard to six-month deployment boots on the ground for our guard and reserve members overseas.
Additionally, I have a real interest, obviously, in benefits and retirement for Guard members. I am working today with Congressman Tom Latham and U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham. We will be presenting at one o'clock a bill which provides for the Guard and Reserve Readiness and Retention Act. This is an act to provide for TRICARE expansion; additionally for retirement at an earlier age than 60, based on service of 20 years; and 2 years that you get a credit of 1 for the reduction. What we are trying to do is address stress on the military, on families and employers.
But in addition to the benefits that we are talking about, are there any other specific benefitsrecently the expansion of TRICAREare there other benefits and pay increases that can be cited as we all work on recruiting and retention?
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Secretary HARVEY. Well, I am awareI don't know the specifics, and we can provide those for the record, but I am aware ofrecruiting and retention incentives across the board have been increased this year, and we are specifically talking of reserves and the National Guard. The retention incentives and the recruiting incentives and educational benefits and student loan forgiveness, there is a whole bunch of things that have been done. We can provide that for the record. But I am aware qualitatively that we have done all those things.
It is very important for us to maintain not only the numbers, but most importantlyand I am very impressed with thisthey have quality measures. And I failed to mention that we are meeting all of our quality measures. We may not get exactly the number of people we want, but we are not sacrificing quality there. But we will get for the record the incentives.
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General SCHOOMAKER. I think the National Guard will tell you that some of the incentives that we just recently had the opportunity to put in has had an impact already. I know we have done in the active force some targetedSpecial Forces, for instance, we have targeted; we have got some programs in areas like interrogators, linguists where we have targeted, and we have seen some impact on that.
But first I would like to wrap up and tell you that we are absolutely committed to one force, one Army, across all these components; we are very, very proud of the service of all of them, and particularly thankful for your own service and your kin's service there.
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And I want to tell you a little ditty. Yesterday I got a little bird that came into my office, because, as you know, we are mobilizing the 48th Brigade out of Georgia right now, and they are drawing their equipment, and this little ditty said that two soldiersyou know, we are giving them the brand new Army combat uniform (ACU) now. The very first unit to get their new ACUs is the 48th Brigade out of the Army National Guard, just like the first brigade to get the Rapid Fielding Initiative (RFI) equipment last year was the 81st out of Washington.
But anyway, these two soldiers were talking and were overheard sayingy that, ''Do these bozos know that we are in the National Guard? You know, they are giving us these brand new uniforms.'' And the good news is we knew they were in the National Guard, we are doing it on purpose. We have been doing it, and I think we are getting the results out of a single Army here in a way that is historic, and we plan to continue to build it in a positive way.
Mr. WILSON. Thank you, again, for your commitment.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman. The gentlelady from San Diego, Mrs. Davis.
Ms. DAVIS OF CALIFORNIA. Thank you.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman and Mr. Secretary, General, thank you for being here. And to our highly professional soldiers, thank you very much for your service as well.
Mr. Secretary, you mentioned that the quality-of-life should match the quality of the service that our men and women perform, and I whole-heartedly agree with that, and I think that that is a fair statement. I think, perhaps, you know, our credibility with that has to be very strong, and some of the frustration that you sense from us, I thinkfrom all of us, really, is that we want to be sure that the quality of the preparation for this effort matches the quality of their sacrifice as well, and that is why sometimes we are concerned that that message is transmitted and that we are credible with our numbers, that we are credible with what is on the ground.
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So I wondered if you could just be a little bit more specific in terms of the quality-of-life issues and how that is demonstrated in our budget. Can a family look to the budget and see that we are increasing our effort to match the quality of the service that is being performed today? How would we do that?
We talked about housing. I am concerned about the postappointment health screenings, mental health screenings; will that be adequate? Are we relying too much in our programs on some volunteer assistance and help? And we have a Disabled Service Members Program, and that is a positive thing, but that relies largely on volunteers.
What are we doing to make sure that any family who looks at that budget and our commitment today would see that they are being taken care of?
Secretary HARVEY. In regards to the disabled, if you are referring to the Disabled Soldiers Support System Program for disabled soldiers, that is an excellent program that was started last year which is intended to provide an advocate for the wounded soldier for five years and transition him, if that ishim or herfrom, say, from the hospital into hisback to his or her community and get them a job. And I am very pleased to say that theI am sure you are aware of this program, the Civilian Aides to the Secretary of the Army, the so-called CASA program; there are something like 120 of them. They have taken this on as one of their programs, so that if a soldier returns to his hometown, and he wants to have one of these CASAs be his advocate to help him find a job, find the proper medicalhelp his family do that, it is kind of like a big brother or sister type of thing. So that is actually for free, the CASAs do that on their own. But that is an excellent program.
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Also, you know, I have been on the job three months, so I am not an expert in a lot of this stuff, and I have still got to learn, but I know with the reserves and guard, when they demobilize, that in-theater, there is an in-depth evaluation done of each of the soldiers to make sure that they are mentally okay and that they don't have any problems. And then when they get to the demode stationand the Chief can chime in herethey have extensive evaluations of the soldiers in terms of their physical and mental state before they are released; and that, I thinklet me just address that in a qualitative way.
And then, as you said, housing and, you know, the defense health program, the benefits, theunfortunately the death benefitthere are a lot of things that are going on right now, both tangible and intangible, but the Chief can comment on a little more detail of that demode for the reserves and guard.
Ms. DAVIS OF CALIFORNIA. Gentlemen, perhaps in your comment are the professionals telling us that, in fact, they believe that the time that we are allotting for thatand again, if National Guardsmen with a 90-day deployment only have a year of TRICARE, is that enough? Because we know that this is a continuingcan be a continuing problem and could affect many, many soldiers.
General SCHOOMAKER. Well, we had this conversation last time when we testified here, and you talked about your concerns out in San Diego with post-traumatic stress and some other kinds of things, and I can guarantee you that what we have done, included in the reintegration programs and the counseling areas soldiers are getting, regardless of component, you know, we are doing our very best to make sure they understand how to access this vast array of resources that are available to them. However, our commitment and our requirement to return soldiers to civilian life, reserve component soldiers, as an example, are whole, is a commitment we can't avoid and we are committed to.
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And as you know, we have medical-hold programs, and we have modified how we return some of these soldiers within the community, trying to get them close to their communities to recover in the hospitals, et cetera, are all part of a big process.
The Disabled Soldiers Support System isn't just a bridge to Veterans Affairs (VA), it is actually a commitment to the soldier, even though he is also incorporated into the VA business. And we have got tremendous, wonderful Americans that have wrapped their arms around this program and are helping this, and that is going to continue to grow.
To the heart of your question, how can you cross-reference this budget to support to families, we will give you that for the record, but I can tell you that we are funding family readiness group representatives, we are fundingdepends on the installations. It is a direct reflection of the commitment to these families, things likeyou know, we fought hard, and with your help gained increase in the RCI program for family housing, which if you haven't seen it, it is wonderful, and it is the fastest track to get our families in the right kind of housing. MILCON is a very slow track; this RCI is a very fast track.
Ms. DAVIS OF CALIFORNIA. I appreciate that. And we will look for the numbers. Is that all within this budget, or is some of that also included in the supplemental?
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Secretary HARVEY. This is in the budget.
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General SCHOOMAKER. No. This is in the budget.
Secretary HARVEY. I know we are overtime, but let me just add a very important thing, and it is also going on for families. We call it stabilization. Right now we have a plan not to replace individuals in, say, a brigade, but to transfer units, and then to have them stay with that unit for six or seven years so that the family stays in one place for six or seven years. Now we are not there yet, but we have this plan in place. That is an intangible, but it is very important that we don't send individuals one at a time from Korea back here and back and forth. We send a unit, and the unit's family stays in one place.
So that is another transformational initiative that we have ongoing, and it is not dollars and cents, but it is important to families, so I just wanted to add that in. But we will get you, as Chief said, a number for the record.
The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from Missouri, Mr. Akin.
Mr. AKIN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I am an old graduate of the Army Belvoir Engineering School, but I do have to confess I have a wayward son, he is a combat engineer, but he is a Marine. I don't know what happened to him. But we are delighted to have you here.
The CHAIRMAN. I have got the same problem.
Mr. AKIN. I appreciate you, Secretary, for coming to the breakfast this morning, your comments and priorities and everything. I think that is excellent.
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My interest really centers around kind of a combination of thingsthe Army transformation that you are committed to and that is moving forward, and also how that interfaces with the future combat systems (FCS). And I guess we have seen some examples in the past of very large programs that the Army has had where you have creeping program requirements, tremendous budgets on them, and finally the thing crashes and burns because it gets kind of heavy, and you just can't keep up the funding.
I guess my concern is, is there a level to keep up because this future combat system is a huge chunk of money to try to develop something, just by nature?
I have had a chance to have some fairly in-depth briefings on it. You have all of this stuff that is just integrated like a bowl of spaghetti. You have got to get the software to meet the hardware, and the hardware has got to meet the software; they talk about on-ramps and off-ramps, if this technology didn't come due, then this thing we are plugging into.
My only question is, they have got all these on-ramps; what happens if we don't fund it, and how does that impact things? Are you still committed to making that a priority?
Secretary HARVEY. You know, the Chief has doneI am going to start off and ask him to chime in, because he has done a great job on this, and I don't think he takes enough credit for it.
Last year, under his leadership, the program was restructured. You know, I had read about it before I became Secretary. And not to be clairvoyant, I did not think it was executable. The chief did not think it was executable. He restructured it. It had a low probability of success.
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He restructured it under his leadership into a program that is now executable and now has a much higher probability of success, essentially bringinghaving time to develop the technologies and moving the platforms out of theactually out of the Future Years Defense Program (FYDP), so in the near term, there is a reduction in the program from like $34 to $25 billion.
But most importantly, in doing that, he directed that we start spiraling these technologies into the current force, so that we have a concept of development where we evolve from the current force to the future force in a continuous, seamless manner and we, most importantly, start to network the current force.
If you think about the power of the current force, and then you think about the network, and then you think about spiraling in intelligent munitions and precision fires and unmanned ground vehicles and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), what a capability.
And then you have an organization and a structure that you then start putting these platforms in, these advanced platforms, the eight advanced platforms, a family of platforms that are lighter but more lethal. It is just a well thought-through plan, which our capability continues to evolve.
As I have told the Chief, it used to be a binary event. One morning you are going to wake up and you are at FCS. Well, this is going to just evolve before your eyes, and we are going to have capability in the meantime that is much enhanced over what we have today. And then we are going to end upthe end-state will be this. So, you know, let the Chief chime in, but he doesn't take enough credit for this.
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Mr. AKIN. Let me summarize what I think I heard you say.
One, you are committed to it. Two, you want to implement it in a way where you are getting the benefit of FCS, but you are also taking care of the upgrade that has to happen.
Secretary HARVEY. We are taking the benefit of FCS a lot sooner than we otherwise would have, because it is too far out. And now we are taking all of these advanced technologies in. It was a very well-thought-through strategy.
General SCHOOMAKER. The FCS isn't just a new vehicle; it is a system of systems that requires an army and soldiers and leaders to act differently, think differently, perform differently on the battlefield and all of the rest of it. It causes us to train differently.
So what we are doing now is spiraling technologies in on top of our current force that allow us to start acting like we will with the FCS. It gives us the opportunity now to control our destiny, because we do not want to pull a half-baked loaf of bread out of the oven here.
If the technologies can't be developed, we want to make sure that we bring this thing on in terms of what we are really getting what we are paying for. So we are committed to the future combat system.
Page 74 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC But this is a journey; it is not a destination. It is no longer the objective force. We will always be building to the future; even in 2025 we will still be building to the future.
Secretary HARVEY. You can almost rename this ''The future combat strategy leading to the future combat system.'' That is what we just articulated. A futurean evolutionary change leading to a revolutionary outcome.
Mr. AKIN. So the result is, then, if you do cut the budget back some, is that going to throw everything haywire? Or do you have more flexibility with this approach?
General SCHOOMAKER. What we have done is knitted it closer together than it used to be. This whole spiraling strategy is all part of the Army modular force. We are funding part of the Army modular force, and the way we are acting with these modular brigade combat team units of action is directly related to this, the UAV strategy, precision, all of that.
Secretary HARVEY. We have coupled the Army modular force concept and organization, and we have made seamless this transition to FCS. It is very well thought through.
The CHAIRMAN. I want to remind my colleagues, we still have some members, we want to respect their right to get their questions in. We may have a vote momentarily. The gentleman from New York, Mr. Israel.
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Mr. ISRAEL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I want to reflect on some conversations that we had earlier today at the Army Caucus, which was just an extraordinary event. We spoke about your understanding and recognition of the need to embark not just on a technical transformation of the Army, but a cognitive transformation of the Army. This is something that Mr. Skelton and I have been focusing on, giving our troops a cultural awareness as well as a situational awareness capability.
And my question to you is, as part of your modularity plan, how will we be able to build into our brigades greater cultural awareness, more civil affairs officers, more foreign area officers (FAOs), more of the linguistics capability, more human intelligence (HUMINT)?
Secretary HARVEY. Good question. You know, if you look at the basic design of this so-called brigade combat team unit of action, what we have done is we have brought down functionality from the division level into the brigade.
So it is this stand-alone structure which, say in a major combat operation, is going to have its own military police, its own military intelligence, its own signal, its own chemical. But it is also going to have what we call an enabling unit where, as we transition from major combat to stability, we can plug in what you are talking about, Civil Affairs, Psychological Affairs. We can plug in the Corps of Engineers for managing reconstruction projects, we canso it is a structure which is flexible enough to transition to the spectrum of operations that we have.
Page 76 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And coupled with that, you know, we have got towe have got to train a little bit differently, we have got to educate differently, so we have got to bring the training piece to that. But the organizational piece is important. And that will frame it. And then I think we can bring the cultural stuff on board.
That is a long, involved road, but the Chief and I actually, as I said to you, have had a lot of discussions about the leaders of the future, the culture of the future, the attributes of that culture, and how we are going to do that. We are giving that a lot of thought.
But you have got to start out with the right organization, and then youso you transition that. You change that over. And then you can start thinking about these other dimensions.
General SCHOOMAKER. If you go to the unit of action, the brigade combat team unit of action, and bore down into it, you will find Civil Affairs assigned inside that brigade, you will find HUMINT, you will find counterintelligence, you will find strategic level intel connectivity, you will find UAVs, you will find the MPs, security.
All of these things that in the past were added from outside of the division, from corps or from within the division base, now are resident so that you have got it at the tactical level. And then with the modular formations that come to support, we can now stack on based upon the task that we are going to give these brigades, and weigh them as appropriate to the thing in a modular way.
So that is the organizational piece. The training and education and leader development is a whole new deal.
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And Congressman Skelton is exactly right. You know, the Marshalls, the Bradleys, the Middletons, and all of those people that fought World War II learned that, and thought about it in the intervening years. But in the conversation that we had I also reminded him that when George Marshall, my very esteemed predecessorand I wouldn't even pretend to be able to tie his shoes, you know; but when he came on board, he eliminated several hundred senior leaders in the Army as a first step. I think it was almost 400.
Then he closed the Army War College in 1940 and didn't reopen it until 1945. Then he went to Leavenworth and he cut back the class to a three-month class to mass produce this Industrial Age Army that we had. We are not doing that.
He had 11- to 12,000 officers to educate in his Army pre-World War II. We have 80,000 that we are educating, and we are committed to that education and training. So, you know, this is apples and oranges in terms of quality, quantity and everything else. We are absolutely committed, because if you can't make the intellectual transformation, you cannot make the physical transformation. And we must transform to be relevant.
Mr. ISRAEL. My time has run out. I just want to thank you for that and to restate my very strong interest in working closely with you on those issues.
General SCHOOMAKER. Let me say one more thing about Marshall, because I want to make sure that I get this in.
In 1942, George Marshall said before the war, ''I had no money and all of the time in the world. And now''this is after he got beat up there in North Africa''now I have got all of the money in the world and no time.''
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Believe me, this business of how we resource our armed forces has got to be rethought so that we do not go through this sine wave business of digging ourselves out of foxholes every time we have got a need for something.
I just throw that out because I do believe that we will revisit this in the future if we don't take it on differently.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman for his question. And I just have a follow-on to what you just said, General Schoomaker, and that is this making sure we don't go through the sine wave. And if you start in the early 1990's and you see the massive slashes we took in defense, and then the rebuild that is under way right now, there is an obligation on you also, and your fellow officers, that isthat you are going to have political situations where it is necessary to stand up and say, ''I am happy to fall on my sword, but these cuts go too far.''
So while there is an obedience to the civilian government, which is our tradition and our Constitution, there is also the requirement, the obligation to our Nation, to speak extremely candidly when it comes to whether or not we have got enough. And I would just say that if you look historically at theand regardless of who is in the White House, Democrats, Republicans, sometimes you have a reticence on the part of uniformed folks to say that the king looks extremely well-clothed when we know he is not.
General SCHOOMAKER. Sir, I hope you have never found us to be less than candid. And I also was speaking historically. I wasn't talking about the 1990's. I am talking about the way that America has gone to war and gone to peace in its entire history. This world is not going to give us this kind of time.
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The CHAIRMAN. I was looking back, reading about Billy Mitchell, who stood up before the world and said, we had to enter this new, expensive thing called ''the age of air power,'' and that we weren't ready for war. But we thanked him with a robust court-martialing. But sometimes that isthere are tough consequences, to be candid.
But let me say that you and the Secretary, in my estimation, have been very forthright. And you have been out there working hard to make the case for what we need for this new military; and we appreciate you for that.
The gentleman from Connecticut, another Army veteran, Mr. Simmons.
Mr. SIMMONS. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. And welcome, Mr. Secretary, to Capitol Hill. It is exacting, isn't it?
Secretary HARVEY. It is nice. It has been very good.
Mr. SIMMONS. I mentioned at the breakfast this morning that I had just retired as an Army colonel, 37 years in the U.S. Army Reserve, starting as a private, E1, which is the best place to start.
And I just want to say, I am proud of my service, and especially I am proud of the service of so many other men and women in the U.S. Army. The U.S. Army was part of the team that brought freedom to Iraq and Afghanistan, freedomfreedom to vote, freedom for women to vote for the first time. Our men and women in uniform, our Army, brought freedom to those parts of the world where it has never been before; and I am just very proud of that. I want to share that with you before I get into my questions.
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My questions go to your comment in the beginning of your booklet where you say that the funds requested will enable the force to recover from the stress placed on equipment and soldiers, stress placed on equipment and soldiers.
First of all, Army aviation, it is flat-funded. The 1109th Aviation Classification and Repair Depot (AVCRAD), which is an aviation classification repair Guard unit from my district, which was over there for a year. When they came back, Colonel Lane told me the conditions and the operations are chewing up the helicopters. We have to make sure that we maintain and resupply with the helicopters. So we are flat-funding the aviation. My first question is, do we have enough in the helicopter account?
And then let me put the second question on the table, if I could, Mr. Chairman. The second question goes to the U.S. Army Reserve and to General Helmly's memorandum, where optempo and other issues of deployment are affecting unit cohesion.
I was a reserve commander for a number of years, and on four occasions members of my unit were pulled out and deployed. The unit itself was never fully deployed. I guess they didn't want a colonel running around causing problems. But I will tell you that the operations tempo in the reserve, and probably in the guard, the fact that people are pulled out, they are not deployed as units, is really destructive to maintaining those assets.
So first question, how are we doing in Army aviation? Second question, how are we doing with the reserve and the guard?
Page 81 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General SCHOOMAKER. You will remember that this last year we terminated the Comanche program.
Mr. SIMMONS. I will never forget.
General SCHOOMAKER. There were $14.6 billion inside that; and we received a commitment, President Bush, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), out of the Department, that we would be able to keep that money and fix Army aviation.
So I just ask you a question: Can you imagine dealingkeeping Comanche and trying to fix the situation that you have talked about?
That money is, in fact, all going to fixing Army aviation. We are puttingwe are going to almost tier fleet Blackhawk; we are going to replace the Vietnam-era Hueys; the guard and reserve are going to see a big influx with the light utility helicopter. We are going to replace Kaiwa Warrior. We are going to upgrade our Apache Longbows, almost 600 of them, to block 3.
We put aircraft survivability equipment in over 2,000 aircraft under this program, upgrading to Hellfire by about 300I am sorryUAVs by about $300 million, Hellfire by about $95 million going into that, common cockpit, fly by wire, all out of that money.
So what I would say is, hold onto your seats, because when this industrial deal gets cranked up here, everything from Chinook all of the way down to the replacement for the Kaiwa Warrior is going to come in, and you are going to have a significantly improved Army aviation structure to include modular aviation brigades that are whole and are funded.
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In terms of fixing aviation, because we are, we are flying at extraordinary rates in theater in very, very sandy, dusty, terribly destructive environments. Supplemental funding is paying for that reset, for your Special Technical Inspection and Repair (STIR) program, for your depot rebuilds and all of that. But all of that has to be done connected to this major recapitalization of Army aviation that we are doing with Comanche.
So, you know, I made thisI have said it before. What we are doing in the Army, we have deliberately turned the tackle box upside down on the bottom of the boat. It is a mess. And we are sorting it out and straightening it out. When we are done with this thing, we are going to be very happy that we went through it, but there is no way that we can get to where we have to go without going through some ugly stuff. We are going through it in priority with your help and the funding that we are getting.
Secretary HARVEY. If you like, I can address the reserve question. You probably know more about this than I do. I would characterize the situation, the overall situation with the reserves, as not a crisis but a deep concern.
We are able to make the next rotation into Iraq, the so-called 0507, we have adequate availability of skills and units to do that. Next year we are planning the so-called 0608. The requirements are nothave not been generated, have not been developed.
There are concerns about availability of the reserves; I have therefore requested that a study be done with outside participation in what we are calling the Reserve Availability Assessment Program, in which we are going to take some planning scenarios that kind of bind the problem and look at availability in terms of people, skills, units, and leadersso a multidimensional look, not just the number of people, because you know better than I do about cross-leveling and unit cohesion. So we will have a comprehensive understanding of the availability of the reserves for deployment in this next rotation.
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It is a very important question. We are concerned about it. But it is not a crisis, because we have some time to look at it and work it and train for it and think about it. So you can rest assured that we take it very seriously, there is an up-front concern. I hope next year to be able to tell you that we can make it, because the requirements will be set. But we are taking a very thoughtful look at this.
Mr. SIMMONS. Thank you.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman for very thoughtful questions. The gentleman from Georgia, Mr. Marshall, another distinguished veteran.
Mr. MARSHALL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I want to begin by thanking Taylor and Abercrombie for not having said anything thus far.
The 48th, Chief, you made reference to your outfitting them well. I am glad to hear that. They are headquartered in my district. Everybody in Georgia is proud of the 48th, proud of the 3rd ID. Both are about to be deployed to Iraq, the 3rd ID has already served there very proudly. We are going to do everything we can to support them while they are there.
I have got three questions which I think can be answered, but I will submit them for the record, because I have got some observations to make after I ask my questions.
I got back from a trip to Iraq and Afghanistan just about two or three weeks ago, led by John Kline. Good trip, spent time with a number of different folks, pretty clear we are headed in the direction of Iraqitizing the war; and we have concluded that Iraqi unitsin order to do this, we need more trainers, more folks that we can embed, who are competent to be embedded with Iraqi forces, whether it is military forces or police forces, and more Special Operations Forces of our own. We need all three of those.
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I don't see how those kinds of needs really fit into the transformation to modular brigades. You wouldn't, in order to meet those kinds of needs, just pick up a brigade and move it over there to address those kinds of needs.
So I guess I would like a description of what process we are going through to fill the needs that we have identified to sort of change the quality of the force that we have over there, so that we can meet what we perceive now to be our need to improve the Iraqi forces.
My impression, and it is an impression that is based upon a number of conversations that I have had with different individuals is that the reservewhere the reserve deployments are concerned, it looks like the Pentagon is caught up in a prewartime process, when in fact we need to recognize that we are in a wartime optempo and a lot of that stuff probably doesn't fit very well and it is responsible for a number of the problems that the reserves are experiencingway too much delay in getting responses to requests with regard to individual mobilizations.
Why does the Secretary have to sign off on each one of those things? It just seems to me that decision-making needs to be moved down a rung, a little bit. More flexibility needs to be injected into the system, and there probably will be fewer problems with our reserve forces if that occurred. And I would just like to know what sort of thinking is being done on that and what sort of changes are being made so that we can diminish these problems.
Finally, minor point: We have, I think, five two-year military colleges in the United States. In the last budget cycle, we authorized scholarship money, in essence to be provided by DOD to graduates who are commissioned officers. They can go ahead and go to another school, get their four-year degree; while they are doing that, they will probably be ROTC instructors or at least part of the ROTC cadre.
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The prospect of that scholarship money is a very attractive admissions tool to be used by these two-year colleges, and I am just wondering whether or not in your budget you are funding that? That seems to me to be one way to head in the direction of filling the officer corps, which is fairly short both in Reserves and elsewhere.
Again, that is going to have to be for the record.
Quick observation: You know, I spent time with Petraeus when I was in Iraq just two or three weeks ago. I have spent time with Petraeus on other occasions. I did not find him to be pessimistic about our progress. He is realistic. Nobody knows what numbers to attribute, to come up with when trying to describe what we have got where Iraqi forces are concerned, but he is optimistic that we are headed in the right direction.
I thought he used a great term. I thought it was appropriate he used this term in light of who is the chief here. He said, '' You know, this is kind of like a cattle drive. Go back to the Old West. It is a cattle drive. You mass the herd, you start heading in the direction you need to go, and you are going to lose people along the way.''
But it is a massive cattle drive. More people join. More people join. Eventually it develops a momentum of its own, it is just not going to be turned back.
We are hopeful that these elections, and having an Iraqi government that is elected by the people will lead to more Iraqis being willing to step up and do some quality work. A half-way trained but motivated Iraqi soldier is worth a great deal to us.
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I am not going to compare, but, gosh, you know, our guys don't speak the language, et cetera, et cetera. There are so many disadvantages that we suffer from.
So I found Petraeus to be optimistic. I will add one more thing: I am not somebody that thinks that a whole bunch more quantity is the solution to this.
We had 530,000 soldiers in Vietnam at the height of that war. Look at the outcome. It is the sort of quality with which we approach these kinds of engagements that is going to determine whether or not we are successful. And just adding more soldiers, to me at least, is not the solution; it is embedding and Special Operations Forces (SOF) and training and trying toI get letter after letter after letter asking meand I guess it is natural, I am in Georgia, I am near the School of Americasasking me to do my best to close the School of Americas because of human rights abuses that some of its graduates have been guilty of when they return to their countries.
My response is, we don't countenance it, we try to keep it from happening, but we not only need a School of the Americas in the United States, we need a School of the World. We need to be doing more training of indigenous forces so that they are part of us and we are part of them, and we have got the relationships that we need, so that when we have engagements like this, we have got people on the ground that we know, they know us, we can work with them. And we need to be doing more of that stuff.
I have taken more than my fair share of the time. But I wanted to get a couple of those observations in.
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[The information referred to can be viewed in the hard copy.]
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman. And we have gotwe are going to break and come back. So let's take a 10-minute break here. We will come back for the last few questioners here. Thank you.
The CHAIRMAN. We have got a few more folks left to go here, and I know the ranking member has some follow-up questions that he wants to ask also. Mr. Larsen, you are next up. The gentlemen from Washington is recognized.
Mr. LARSEN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And again, thanks for visiting the Second Congressional District of Washington State this past weekend. I appreciate your presence there.
Gentlemen, thanks so much for spending some time with us. Really, following up on Mr. Israel's question, I guess, with regards to the posture statement and discussion about the investment in intellectual capital, in 1942 my father-in-law enlisted, January 1942, in the U.S. Army. And because he spoke Swedish, they figured that Russian was close enough to Swedish, and they sent him to school to learn Russian.
And then in 1945, when the U.S. Army met the Soviet Army, he decided he wanted to go practice his Russian; and he tried, and his commanding officer (CO) threatened to court-martial him for daring to go over and try to talk to some Russians and practice that Russian that he had learned. After the war he got out and went from there.
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My question to you with that story is about that investment in intellectual capital, because I noticed in your posture statement on education, you talk about the adjustment in the Defense Language Institute (DLI), to deal with the immediate operational needs in Iraq to instill some learning of Arabic. But a couple of things I wanted to ask that weren't asked with regards to that:
First, addressing immediate operational needs is one set of language skills. But addressing sort of the strategic language, literally the ability to negotiate long term, the ability to deal with leaders in other countries, military-to-military exchanges, that kind of thing is a whole different set of language skills.
And it is not only Arabic. Some of us just returned from China, and there is this feeling that one question we asked ourselves, we don't know if China is going to be our best friend or worst enemy in 20 years. The relationship is still evolving, it is still definable, and therefore we have a chance to define it; but to do that is going to take some investment in a lot of things, including investment in our future leadership, on learning things like Chinese, not only Arabic but Chinese, and some other languages that you can come up with.
So I wanted to ask you this: If you can identify specific initiatives in the 2006 budget, or even thinking about 2007, specific initiatives on investing in language skills, not just for immediate operational needs, but to really address some long-term strategic relationships that we need to be building not just with Arab-speaking countries, but also with China, if not, why not?
Page 89 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General SCHOOMAKER. First of all, off the top of my head, I can't give you a direct line-out of budget in there, but there is. We have money in there that allows us to do a multitude of things. As you know, in Special Forces, we maintain language proficiencies across much of the world. And I can tell you from experience thatin fact, my recollection was about 60 languages we are trying to maintain some level of proficiency in.
It is a very demanding task to do that. It is very difficult, you know, to specifically immerse everybody, other than through their deployments, which we did with a lot of Special Forces, and other things.
But the kinds of things I think we are going to need to do in the future is put a higher premium on languages, second language, and social, you know, kinds of skills and knowledge in places like the military academy. My view is we should be graduating people with second languages. In our ROTC scholarship programs, we should incentivize second languages and these things.
We should have programs thatall of those are being explored, by the way, programs where we recruit differently off the street from ethnic populations and bring them in, like what the original Special Forces, when we first built it, as a nation there, we had the law Judge Advocate Generals (JAGs); it was a method of recruiting indigenous people to get their citizenship through service, and so we recruited Special Forces, Poles, ethnic Russians and all of the rest of it. So there are lots of avenues to pursue.
But I am telling you that, right now, it is very, very difficult. We have two general officer positions in the United States Army for a foreign area officerone of them is in China and one of them is in Russiaset by law.
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This is going to require a very comprehensive approach that has got to do with our training and education, it has got to do with our personnel system, our promotions systems, how we do it. And, again, it is transformation, and we have to take it on.
And I will just wrap up by saying, look, this is about building a renaissance-man, or woman, kind of an approach, a multitalented athlete, someone that can play multiple positions and not kind of tribes and specialties and unions on things, but a much more diverse population of leaders and soldiers. That is the approach we are trying to take, and we have got a long way to go on it.
Secretary HARVEY. I can just endmy staff just sent me a note that says in 2006 the DLI budget is $59 million. So that is a specific number.
You know, the Chief likes to say we need pentathletes, we don't need hurdlers and sprinters, we needI call them men for all seasons. That is the type of person we are going towe are putting the template down to do that. Then we have got to do it.
Mr. LARSEN. If I can just quickly follow-up, Mr. Chairman.
The head of Central Command (CENTCOM), General Abizaid, is a product of the Olmstead Program, where you take someone out of their path and you put themyou immerse them in a language, then you bring them back in. It is that kind of program that would be important, but also to reward that activity as opposed to saying, well, if you choose to do this, you will be off the track for a while and then you have to catch up when you come back in.
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But I hear you saying, you are at least thinking about, this is part of promotion, this is part of advancement, this is part of what we want you to do in addition to the other things, and you will be rewarded for it.
General SCHOOMAKER. General Abizaid has ethnic origins. He is Lebanese. When he was being mentored and brought up, nobody was saying that he was going to be the Combatant Commander, U.S. Central Command (CINCCENT) or that there was going to be war in Iraq.
It is fortuitous that we had a General Abizaid available to us. I wish I could say it was absolutely by design that we are where we are, but becauseI will tell you, my bet is there are other General Abizaids out there in the force. We don't happen to have problems in the areas where they have got their expertise.
So we need to develop a broad capability in programs like the Olmstead Program, and others that we aren't scratching the surface on.
Mr. LARSEN. Well, success comes from preparation, opportunity and a little bit of luck. But you can't have the success unless you have got pieces in place to make it happen.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman. The ranking member had some questionshe very commendably gave his time to a junior member early onand the gentleman is recognized.
Page 92 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SKELTON. Everyone behind you, Mr. Secretary and General, knows full well that the United States Army is being stretched. Do you agree with that?
Secretary HARVEY. Yes.
General SCHOOMAKER. Yes, sir.
Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Simmons made reference to a memorandum by General Helmly, which we have read about.
Could either one of you mention the amount of stretching and straining of, A, the reserves; B, the National Guard; and C, the active duty as we sit here today?
Secretary HARVEY. Let me take a shot at that. It depends on how you measure stress and strain. From one
Mr. SKELTON. You are wearing them out, Mr. Secretary, that is bottom line.
Secretary HARVEY. Okay. But there areif you look at the reserves, for example, and the National Guard, you know that the policy is 24 months cumulative mobilization. So when you say ''stress and strain,'' they may be stressed, but they are not going back.
So there is another group of people that will bethat are being mobilized. There are people that are coming into the force. So there is clearly stress on the guard and the reserves.
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It may be the next rotation, there are adequate guard and reserve troops for that rotation in the so-called 0507. I am not awareright now it is my understanding, Chief, and you can chime in, that for the 0608 deployment, there will be no National Guard brigades in that next deployment. That is my understanding. But I don't think we have made the final, final on that. And there will be a limited number of Reserves, but I don't know if the
General SCHOOMAKER. Well, I am not prepared to say that. I am not sure. But we ought to clarify that the 0608 rotation is the rotation after next. So we are looking pretty deep, and we don't really have absolute knowledge of what
Secretary HARVEY. We don't know the size of it yet.
Mr. SKELTON. I need some help in understanding something that should be clear. My follow Missourian, Mark Twain, once said, ''The more you explain it to me, the more I don't understand it.'' and this is in regard to end strength.
Let me go back. Last year we authorized 20,000 additional end strength, with the possibility of an additional 10, which would have been a total of 30,000; and we paid for that 20,000 end strength out of the supplemental. But we did that in this committee. And let me remind you, if I may, the President's budget requests an active duty end strength of 482,400 for fiscal year 2006; am I correct?
Secretary HARVEY. That is right.
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Mr. SKELTON. That is what Congress authorized last year; am I correct?
Secretary HARVEY. That is right. In the base budget.
Mr. SKELTON. In the base bill; that is correct. The fiscal year 2006 request is 20,000 less than Congress authorized for 2005, and 20,000 less than the minimum statutory end strength floor of 502,400 enacted in the fiscal year 2005 bill.
If you look closely at the statutory requirement related to the minimum end strength floor, floor of 502,400, the law clearly requires that the Army's fiscal year 2006 budget fund that minimum level as part of the baseline budget request. That was not done; am I correct?
Secretary HARVEY. That was not done. But my understanding was that thethat was not done. I would like to comment on that when you are done.
Mr. SKELTON. That was not done. So you are looking at the 482,400.
What I don't understand is, number one, we have the opportunity and the ability to raise and lower end strengths in this committee, in this Congress. As a matter of fact, the Navy is asking for a decrease, you know that. We are going to do it.
Page 95 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I don't understand the reluctance not to pay for this out of the base bill, but to rely on supplementals to do that. And your answer obviously is going to be, Well, it is a temporary thing.
Well, we can go up and down, which we have done for the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, through the years. A proper way to do itsecond, the correct way to do it, based upon our direction last year for a 502,000 end strength should require you to come forward and do it that way. My problem is, why is it being done this way? I don't understand it. I am with Mark Twain on this.
Secretary HARVEY. Well, let me see if I can shed some light on it. First of all, it is my understanding that the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the 2005 authorization bill gave the Secretary of Defense the ability to pay for the over-end strength, or the end strength over 482,400 by either base budget, supplemental or a combination.
Obviously, the decision has been made to fund that over-strength, or that strength over 482,400 in the supplemental. So the 2006 supplemental, just like the 2005 supplemental, will have the additional 20,000, the money for that in the supplemental.
That same bill said that the Secretary of Defense has the authority to increase above 502,000 to 512,400, depending on his evaluation of need. So we have the authority to go above where you have given us the authority, to go above that.
And the way I answer that is that, today, we couldn't give you a very solid number; we could give you a number where we think we are going to be, but as I said in my opening remarks, we plan to bring the institutional side of the Army down.
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And so the most important thing, I thinkthe way I think about the Army, it is composed of three components, the operational Army, the institutional Armyand I am telling you things you knowand this so-called trainees, transients, holdees, and students (TTHS) account. So our plan is to take the operational Army up, bring the institutional Army down.
How much we can bring the institutional Army down, I don't know at this time. Therefore, it is hard to give a final number. For sure, we are going to comply with the law, and at the end of fiscal year 2005, there will be an increase to 502,400, which will be all in the operational Army. It will all be in operational Army as we go from 33 to 43 brigades.
The year after that, as we learn more about our ability to transform the business side and we go through a Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR), yearwhich, as you know, Mr. Skeleton, this is the QDR yearwe will have a better feel for what that final number is. But I think in a qualitative sense what we are saying is, we are clearly taking up, we are clearly increasing the size of the operational Army.
Mr. SKELTON. It seems to me, Mr. Secretary, you are making something complicated out of something that is really pretty simple. And I don't understand the whys of it. You explained how you are going to do it. But you don't answer the why, why in the world this is happening. Let me ask you this. Do you believe that the fiscal year 2006 needs for the Army should be at 512,000 active duty, that is, 30,000 above the 2004 levels?
Secretary HARVEY. I am not prepared to give you an absolute number for the reasons I said, which is, if the Army were operational only, that would be a different question, but it is composed of these three components. And we are working again to reduce the institutional Army, soby an unknown amount.
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And also I should add, the third kind of unknown is Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC). BRAC may yield some legitimate reductions. So we have a lot of wheels in motion. And because of that, it isI think it is more appropriate to put it in the supplemental.
But I can tell you that we are going to have to settle on this issue at least byyou know, in the next couple of years. But we are notI am not prepared to finalize a number, because there are too many things in motion.
Mr. SKELTON. Speaking about BRAC, you know you are going to bring about 70,000 troops, mostly Army, back from Europe.
Secretary HARVEY. That is correct. And a numbera number back from Korea. That all has to be taken into account.
Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Secretary, this is your maiden voyage. I welcome you. We appreciate your testimony today. When you come up with the why for this, would you give me a call?
Secretary HARVEY. Yes.
Mr. SKELTON. Thank you.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman. The gentleman from Mississippi, Mr. Taylor.
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Mr. TAYLOR. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. General Schoomaker, Mr. Secretary, thank you for sticking around so long.
Mr. Secretary, I am not so sure that anyoneand I am not pointing the finger at you, because I am afraid it is all of us. I am not so sure that anyone in this town is being honest about the true cost of the war in Iraq. I am not so sure that your budget reflects the total cost. I will just give you one for instance.
We had a National Guard engineering unit from south Mississippi, the 890th. They left every stick of equipment that they had in Iraq. Now, that is just the one unit that I am aware of. And not one bit of it has been replaced.
We dodged the bullet as far as Mississippi is concerned; the hurricane went someplace else, but had that hurricane hit south Mississippi, that engineering unit did not have one stick of equipment to do anything.
So that is just a unit that I am familiar with. How many other units have left their equipment behind, and there is no plan, no presentation, no one coming forward and saying that we need money to replace it? Because that is what we do. We are not going to pay to have it taken out of here.
We buy things. And hopefully we buy the things you need, but no one makes us aware of that, for whatever reason, be it for tax cuts for one group or social spending for another group. We ought to be honest with the American people, what this really costs.
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Secretary HARVEY. Let me just say, and the Chief can chime in here, that we have what we call the Army Equipment Campaign, which is a comprehensive document and plan to rebuild and replace the force. So if there is stay-behind equipment which eventually won't come out or will be given to another unit, that should all be taken into account in this plan, which is a very detailed plan, which we would be more than happy to come over and talk to you about.
So I am just assuming, without knowing the details, that anything that stays behind is given to another unit, that unit that came over there also had equipment that they left behind here, and at some time when this conflict is over, that we are going to reconcile all of that, and bring it back to some readiness condition. So without knowing the details, I am assuming that is the way it will work.
Mr. TAYLOR. Well, it is not what is happening. I would like to bring this to your attention.
You have inherited a tough job, and one of the tough parts of your job is, you have got to go to the American people and say, ''I need some money to replace this stuff.''
Again, that is just one unit that I am aware of. My hunch is that is the norm and not the exception; and I really would like to see a plan. And, please, don't get me wrong, but I can you take to you south Mississippi now and show you empty armories. There is nothing there except the troops.
Page 100 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC So how many other times is that going on? How many times is that going on in the reserves?
Secretary HARVEY. That someone else has left their equipment behind here?
General SCHOOMAKER. First of all, I don'tI think you are painting a very accurate picture. And I agree that that is probably the situation where you are, and there are units that have left equipment.
I don't know the name of the unit. I would like to have it and we will research it. That unit may not even be planned to remain in the force structure as we transform. I don't know. I am not suggesting that is not, but I just don't know. If it is not, we are not going to replace that equipment. We are going do something else with the money.
Mr. TAYLOR. General, if I may, let's face it, engineering units are not going away. They are more in demand now than ever. You have got Navy construction battalions over there, Army engineers over there, we are hiring contractors.
Again, I just wish that you, the Secretary, would come to us and tell us what you really need to refill your stocks, becauseI regret to say thisI don't think this is the last war America is ever going to fight. If we have no guarantee that someone else isn't going to start some trouble tomorrow in another part of the world, and where would we get the equipment?
Page 101 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General SCHOOMAKER. If you would let memaybe I can help.
If you look beyond 2006, if you look at 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011, you will find $5 billion a year in there for the modular Army. And that money is to equip the force. Every piece of this force that we are building, we have asked for, in the program, the money to build it. And so it is resident. It is not all in 2006, because we can't do it all in 2006. It is resident across the force. It is also reflected in supplemental funding in a reset of the equipment that we are going to recapture and reset and redistribute to the force out there.
So you are exactly right. There are a lot of things in motion here, and there are some things that are uncovered. But, in priority, I think if you take a look at the program, you will find that we are asking for the money that we believe necessary to develop the Army thatthe Army modular force that is required for the future.
Secretary HARVEY. Let me just add, and I think we can talk about these numberswe have a definite plan to end up with a force structure. The Army modular force is going to consist of 43 brigade combat team units, the active force, 34 in the National Guard, with 10 expeditionary packages in the reserves, and 92 support units and 26 headquarters. It is defined, what the Chief said. So we have a plan for force structure.
We also have funding from 2005 to 2011 of $48 billion to do the modular piece. We havein the 2005 supplemental you will see a lot of money to reset coming back, north of $5 billion. We will do the same thing in 2006.
So we have the pieces that we knowwe have fully funded the pieces that we know, and then there are going to be some resets in the outyears. So the only thing that is missing, in my mind, is in those numbers, is the reset of the forces not involved in the 2005 and 2006 supplemental. And when that number becomes known, we will put that in the supplemental.
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Mr. TAYLOR. Mr. Chairman, just a quick follow-up. Mr. Secretary, I am going to make a formal request of you, of the Chief, General Helmly, General Blum. It is my understanding that, as of December, the National Guard alone had left $20 billion worth of equipment behind. So I would like the number for each serviceI mean each department of the Armyas to what has already been left behind and what is your timetable for replacing it.
Secretary HARVEY. Yes, sir.
[The information referred to can be viewed in the hard copy.]
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman. I think it would be instructive for us if we had aMr. Secretary and General, if we had aif you folks could scrub the numbers and assure us that there is a plan in place to account for, if you will, the disposition of equipment of the units that are going over.
I thought there was one other variable. That may be that we are going to leave some equipment for the Iraqi forces, maybe some of the older stuff. So that all has to be a part of this evaluation of this analysis. So if you can get us what you have got, just so we are assured that there is a system for accountability of equipment that has been taken over or married up with units that are over there.
Secretary HARVEY. I will do that, Mr. Chairman. I can assure there is a process going on. I don't know if any decisions have been made about stay-behind yet, but that is a very important point that you brought up.
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The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from Tennessee, Mr. Cooper.
Mr. COOPER. Thank you. I want to focus on budget-type questions today. I want to commend my friend, the gentleman from Mississippi. I am worried that we are not accurately stating to the American people the cost of this war.
For the second year in a row, the President's budget has included zero dollars for the war in Iraq after September 30th of this year. Zero dollars. And we went through this last year. When the President requested zero dollars, Congress went ahead, and on our own, we passed $25 billion just to try to help out, so the Pentagon would not have to raid its accounts to fund our troops overseas.
Now, the Administration has talked about a supplemental. And one day we hope to see it. And, Mr. Chairman, I would like to ask your permission that we have another hearing on the Army, because it is awfully hardin fact, it may be impossible for us to conduct adequate oversight when there is one budget we have seen and another budget we haven't seen, but you have taken a look at. This is like Alice in Wonderland. It puts you all in an impossible situation, because apparently you can't tell us, the oversight committee, what is in the supplemental budget.
We appreciate your reassurances. But when I see the President's request for the Army, it looks pretty scary, because our men and women, who are carrying the greatest burden, are being reduced from fiscal year 2005 to 2006 by $300 million.
Page 104 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And we can talk about transformation and adjustments and this and that, but this is the day of the Army breakfast, and here we are cutting the Army. Cutting the Army. And maybe the supplemental will make it up. We all hope so.
But it is impossible for us to do our Constitutional duty without knowing what is in both budgets, and matching them up and seeing whether your reassurances really are appropriate. I hope they are. Because, Mr. Secretary, we wish you well in your new job. I am worried that some political folks in the Pentagon are taking advantage of you being the new kid on the block.
The best way to assure a bright future for the Army is to have your numbers in the base budget of the President of the United States, not an add-on supplemental. So one day the Army numbers can be there where it is more appropriate.
One of my concerns has been the state of our reserve forces. General Helmly testified before that we basically had a broken force. I think he testified to this committee or one of his folks did. I won't put all of the blame on General Helmly, because we appreciate those who tell us the truth.
Apparently, we are not only 5,000 majors short in the reserve, we have been 5,000 majors short. And we rarely ever hear points like that on this committee; we generally hear reassurances. We are also short a bunch of second lieutenants and captains. That is a giant hole in our Army reserve.
What is our plan to address that? Are we going to reduce the Army budget? And maybe the supplemental will cure all of those problems too. We hope so.
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But it is our job to, as President Reagan put it, ''Trust, but verify.'' and without that other hearing, Mr. Chairman, I don't see how we can possibly do that where we can match up the President's request and the supplemental. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman. Obviously this is a different mix than we have had in the past in that you have got items which have been classically paid for in the base budget in strength, the modularity, including an equipment piece that now we are going to be paid for in the supplemental. So you have got to look at both bills to understand what the system is or what the budget is. And we will tellI assure my colleague from Tennessee, the supplemental should be emerging here in the next week, but this committee will look at it very carefully. We will get the gentlemen an opportunity to scrutinize it with all the members of the committee to put these pieces together so we can see what the total budget is for the Army. Go ahead, General.
General SCHOOMAKER. Congressman, if I could, I would just like to respond. Last year we requested a $25 million bridge supplemental at the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), and the Congress provided it. That was asked for by the Secretary of Defense. Second
Mr. COOPER. But it was not in the President's budget.
General SCHOOMAKER. It was not; it was supplemental funding to fund the burn rate for the war.
Page 106 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. COOPER. And there is nothing in the President's budget for the coming fiscal year.
General SCHOOMAKER. Secondthere is no disagreement.
Mr. COOPER. I doubt it.
General SCHOOMAKER. The other piece of it is that wethe Secretary testified to it earlierthat we asked for $10- to $12 billion in the supplemental funding to fund our growth in the Army, our reset and our modularity, and that is about $3 billion for people, that is about $4 billion for reset, and it is $5 billion for the Army modular force. That brings what we have requested, when you add it to the $98.5- that is in the President's budget and you add that, to over $110 billion.
If you then look at the next year, 2007, which is in this program that you received, the base budget is $110 billion because that money has been pulled inside the budget. And then we will add the cost of the war, if it is still going on, in a supplemental request to pay for it. So what you are saying is exactly correct. And what is happening, if you look in the program, as it goes out, more and more of this is pulled inside the Army budget. And we have, as the Secretary said, about $48 billion
Secretary HARVEY. Forty-eight billion dollars for modularity in thefrom 2005 to 2011.
General SCHOOMAKER. So the mechanics of it are not arguable. I mean, you know, we agree; I mean, what you said is exactly right. But from our standpoint where we are writing the check, you know, where that money comes from into that bank account is kind of transparent to us. We have confidence that we have got a commitment to fund to the level that is required, not counting the cost of the war.
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Mr. COOPER. General, if you look at the President's budget, this is the first budget since 1989 that only projects specific Department amounts out one year, one year. So I am worried about fiscal 2007, two years out, because there are not the concrete numbers in the President's budget to back that up. Every prior President, every prior budget except back to 1989, has included a multiyear outlook so we can have some reassurance. So while the gross number may be okay for you in 2007, the back-up is not there in the President's budget. Now maybe that can be corrected, we certainly hope it will be, but that makes me queasy.
General SCHOOMAKER. Well, I understand. That is beyond my hearing rating
Secretary HARVEY. If you want me to address the reserve issue, I will, if there is time; otherwise we can move on.
Mr. COOPER. If you would.
The CHAIRMAN. Go ahead.
Secretary HARVEY. I said earlier in the response that in regard to the reserve, we are not in a crisis mode, we are in a very heavy concern mode; that the next rotation into Iraq is the so-called OIF 05-07, and there is adequate reserves for that rotation, which is beginning as we speak. It is going to be started in the nextactually, it started in February. So there is adequate units, leaders and skills available for that.
Page 108 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Because of the concern with the next rotation, which starts probably 14 or 15 months from now, and the adequacy of skills, leaders and people for the reserves, I have started a program or a plan which we call the Reserve Availability Assessment Plan, and it is going to look at a number of planning scenarios.
And let me just add that the exact number that will be required for the next rotation has not been established, so we are going to have a range of numbers and skills, and we are going to look at the policies and the availability vis-a-vis the prior mobilizations, and we are going to assess the ability of the 200,000-strong reserves to meet the future requirement in a very methodical, systematic way from the dimension of people, leaders and units.
So I would say, am I concerned? I don't know enough not to be, and I hope that we canwe have adequacy based on our success in recruiting and retention, that we will take an in-depth look at that, but we are not in a crisis because we met the next rotation, which is about to start.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you. For the gentleman, I have got the baseline Army budget through fiscal year 2011. They dothe President's budget does include the outyears, going from $98.9 billion $98.6 billion in 2006 to $110 billion in 2007, $117 billion in 2008, $121 billion in 2009, $124 billion in 2010, and $126 billion in 2011.
Mr. COOPER. Mr. Chairman, those are the gross numbers. The back-up that is usually available and has been available ever since 1989 is just not there.
The CHAIRMAN. I would be happy to have the Secretaryif there is additional detail that the gentleman wants to see in terms of back-up. It looked to me like there is as much given as we have had in the past as you get into the outyear, but we would be happy to go over that. But the Army numbers are there up through fiscal year 2011.
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The gentleman from Kentucky Mr. Davis.
Mr. DAVIS OF KENTUCKY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I think the long-term transformation plans are quite admirable. I am very proud of the job our soldiers are doing at merely all levels of the command right now. My comments this morning regarding the questions related to surge capability sprang from a deep concern for the Army that I love very much, that opened the doors and changed my life.
In Kentucky we have similar situations in our reserve and guard units that the gentleman from Mississippi alluded to as well, which prompted part of my questions this morning. I think that also may have a corollary with the comments of the distinguished Ranking Member that as we look at these plans, I think long term is admirable, near-term stability, but the question is the flux in the middle, to be able to adapt. And going outside the existing budgets, at least in the outside military world and the corporate world, would suggest that the plan levels might be inadequate for the current state of need.
That being said, though, I have a question, a somewhat different direction. I look at the new map of potential threats and the changes to not only bring about the modular force, but have it culturally relevant. I understand the political geography, focusing on language skill, how people think, the clash of world views that was demonstrated so admirably in the Special Operations Force in Afghanistan. We were able to do some phenomenal things by taking advantage of understanding of the culture.
It seems that there are parallels right now that our Army is facing that run similar to almost 100 years ago when the doctrine of small wars emerged, and that said, that puts an increased focus on operations other than war; postconflict stability operations, peacekeeping, Civil Affairs (CA). And from a distance I would like your commentsand I really direct this to the Chiefregarding the dialogue on where the Civil Affairs folks really need to fall. Do you believe that this is something that should ultimately be brought back under control of the active component, more adequately rest on the reserve component based on some of the shortfalls that we have right now, and particularly looking at continuation, long-term, of these types of operations?
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General SCHOOMAKER. Well, first of all, as you know, the Civil Affairs structure right now in the Army is under the purview of U.S. Special Operations Command. There is the combatant commander, and inside of the Army Special Operations Command. There are about 25if I recall, there are about 25 battalions with Civil Affairs, 24 of which are inside the reserve, the Army reserve. So we have one happy battalion within the active structure.
The Army Special Operations Command and U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM), are right now working with us to grow that structure and transform it in a way that not only meets our requirements as we build these modular brigade combat teams, because I said we are going to have CA people inside of the brigade, but also to cover down on the operational level of war and the strategic level with what the combat commanders require out there.
And I don't have the exact numbers before me, but I talked to General Brown the day before yesterday that we are going to have a meeting to get our heads together and absolutely refine it, but my feeling is that Civil Affairs is in exactly the right place, that much of the kinds of things we are looking for in Civil Affairs trulythey are appropriate for the Army Reserve because of the kind of people that populate the Army Reserve and what the focus of Civil Affairs is, but that we have to have a different kind of construct to allow us to meet our expeditionary requirements, which means more need to be on active duty, but not all. And that is part of the rebalancing that we are talking about across the force.
As you know, to maintain that force you have to have an institutional piece of it, and right now the 39s, the specialty code for that, the proponent is at Fort Bragg under the Army Special Operation Command. They run the schoolhouse; they also run the Advanced Individual Training (AIT), for the enlisted soldiers that are there, and that is the repository for the institutional piece. And quite frankly, I believe that it is in the right place. I believed it when I commanded that place down there, and I believe it now.
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So the issue is one of balance, the issue is one of quality and quantity, and the issue is one of how we are going to integrate it into the Army modular force of the future.
And I also believe that it dovetails with Psychological Operations Forces and Special Forces. In other words, again, I go back to the tribes and the unions, I think we need to break down some of that and look more at that more horizontal integration in these capabilities and how you build an agile force that you can modulate based upon the requirements that you have.
The problem people have in force structure is, you know, it is kind of like the days whenit is like a football team, they quit running the ball and start passing, so you put everything into defending against the passing, and you give up the ground game. This thing has got to be across the entire range of military operations. We have got to have an agile force that is populated by leaders and soldiers that can play more than one position, that are culturally attuned and have the training and education that is required to meet the 21st century challenge. And I just don't know how to say it any better than that.
I just think it is important that we get this right, and we are working very hard to do it. And I go back to the fact that just because we have got the money and we say we are going to do it doesn't make it so. It takes time. That is the reality.
Mr. DAVIS OF KENTUCKY. Thank you, General. I yield my time, Mr. Chairman.
Page 112 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman. And the Ranking Member from Missouri wants to have another crack at you here. Mr. Skelton is recognized.
Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Secretary, to continue back to my law school daysand I can hear Professor Thatcher saying to me, ''Mr. Skelton, what does it say? Read it; what does it say?'' So I would ask youand your lawyers can help youto look at section 691, Title 10 USC which requires that the fiscal year 2006 budget be funded by a 20,000 increase out of the base. Thank you.
General SCHOOMAKER. We will look at it.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman. And the gentleman from New Jersey, Mr. Saxton.
Mr. SAXTON. Mr. Chairman, thank you. We are all different up here, and it won't surprise you, Mr. Chairman, to know that I have got a little different outlook on things than some of the last few questioners, and that is because I think, Mr. Secretary and General, I think we are doing a good job under the circumstances.
And you know, the Chairman and I, on the general subject of the kind of war we are fighting, go back further than a lot of people because in the 1980's the Chairman and I and four or five other Members of the House established what we called the Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare. And back in those days we thought there was going to be a problem, we just didn't know what the problem looked like.
Page 113 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC In 1990, here in this room, then Secretary of Defense, Dick Cheney, said, ''I have got good news and bad news;'' he said, ''The good news is the Soviet Union is going to go away, the bad news is the threat isn't, it is just going to change.''
And I would just say to my colleagues that, based on what the Chairman and I thought in 1980I think it was 1987, actuallyand what Dick Cheney thought in 1990 and 1991, we are living through that process of figuring out this threat.
General Corelli, in my last trip to Iraq, put it a different way. He said, ''This is a test.'' He said, ''This is a test as to whether or not a democracy can put down an insurgency.'' And it is a serious set of issues that have to do with how we manage it, how we are able to pay for it, how we are able to train our men and women, what is the right blend of reserves and active forces. We have recognized that we need to change the divisional structure, we are changing bases in the middle of it.
Who would have thought back in 1987, Mr. Chairman, that we would be fighting this kind of an insurgency? Who would have thought that we would be fighting people who kill women and kids? I just read on a website this morningactually an e-mail that somebody sends me on a regular basisour enemies were in a debate on the Internet yesterday. They were debating about whether it was all right to take female slaves, or should they just kill them. That was the debate, and that is who we are fighting.
And sure there is stress. Some Members are concerned about the reserves; well, the Secretary is concerned about the reserves, too. He said he was. And I am sure General Schoomaker is, and I am sure the reserve officers who are the leadership of the reserves, who are sitting behind them, are concerned about it, too.
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Well, I will tell you something. I see as much of the reserves as any member of this committee; I live with themwe all live with them. I watched the Super Bowl with them at Fort Dix's, and they are among the greatest Americans that you can ever see, that any of us can ever see.
I asked one young man, ''What is your greatest desire?'' He is up at Dix training. It is zero. He is living in a tent. I said, ''What do you want to do; what is your greatest desire?'' He said, ''I wish we would hurry up and deploy, that is what we are getting ready for.''
And so there are a lot of good things happening. There is equipment shortage; yup, there sure is an equipment shortage. General Anderson told me he didn't know where he was going to get equipment three months from now to train on. General Schwartz got it for him the next day, after I asked him, after I brought it to General Schwartz's attention.
So we are going down a bumpy road, but we are getting over the bumps. We will figure out what to do with the right force mix; we will figure out how to reconfigure our divisions into units of action; we will figure out which weapons to buy. We will figure out the improvised explosive device (IED). I left this meeting earlier today because I went next door to talk with some folks from Picatinny Arsenal who are trying their best to figure out new technologies to deal with IEDsanother bump in the road, and we are going to get over it.
So for somebody who may have come into this room and listen to Members point out questionsthey are all legitimate questions to ask about problems, that is what we are here for, to solve problems, but the fact of the matter is that we are solving those problems against a very difficult, merciless, determined enemy, and we are going to get there. And we want you to know that we are very grateful for all of you for the job that you are doing. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
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General SCHOOMAKER. Thank you for those words.
The CHAIRMAN. Well, Mr. Saxton, you didn't leave much for me to say, except the gentleman has expressed very effectively the sentiments of the committee. And believe me, we are with you. You have got a lot of challenges ahead. We will work closely with you. And thanks for your service.
And to the service personnel that you brought in, General Schoomaker and Mr. Secretary, thank you for your service to our country. And, you know, I think there has rarely been a reflection of the connection between freedom and the United States Army as illustrated as well as the voting that took place in Iraq. And they are going to have lots of problems, there is going to be lots of bombs going off in that country long after we leave for lots of reasons, but that election taking place and those ballots going in the boxes with those desert cami uniforms in the background that represented the United States Army were a real reflection of America bringing freedom to those people, as we have the people in Afghanistan, and there are lots of other parts of the world on the shoulders of the U.S. Military.
So thanks for what you do. Believe me, we are going to be working with you and getting after you when we think there are improvements to be made. And I know that you will come to us when you think that we haven't reacted quickly enough. But together we are going to get this job done.
And, General Schoomaker, any closing thoughts you would like to give here before we
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General SCHOOMAKER. Sir, as I was listening to you speak, I just wanted to be able to say that the people in Iraq voted because there were soldiers and Marines on the ground versus why they were able to vote.
The CHAIRMAN. Absolutely.
General SCHOOMAKER. So it wasn't because of other reasons. And so I hope that as we look forward, I subscribe to what I heard here, and I don't want to get out of my box, but I am very, very proud of what the Army and the Marines and others have done over there, but there are still people that question why we need an Army, and I don't know a better way to express why than what we saw demonstrated in the people voting in Iraqand Afghanistan, by the way.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you. Mr. Secretary, any closing thoughts?
Secretary HARVEY. Well, thank you for those kind words, Mr. Saxtonexcuse me, Congressman Saxton, Congressman Skelton. As I said during my formal remarks, it is my honor to be the 19th Secretary of the Army and to serve this great country of ours during a time of war. It was just wonderful to see that democracy; it was wonderful to see our soldiers. They are truly the vanguards of democracy.
You know, the Army and the armed forces have been the vanguard for my lifetime, and there are free people around the world, there are free people in Germany and France and Italy, in South Korea, and now in Afghanistan and Iraq because of our armed forces, and it is just a wonderful story.
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Democracy, as we know, this is such a great country of ours, sowe are not there, we are not done yet, but we took a big step, and I am very proud of our soldiers.
And thank you for all your kind words, and we look forward to working with you in the future. Thank you.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, Mr. Secretary and General. And we will roll up our sleeves, get to work and get this budget done.
Thank you very much. And this hearing is concluded.
[Whereupon, at 1:40 p.m., the committee was adjourned.]