SPEAKERS CONTENTS INSERTS
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[H.A.S.C. No. 10728]
NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT
FOR FISCAL YEAR 2003H.R.
OVERSIGHT OF PREVIOUSLY AUTHORIZED PROGRAMS
COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED SEVENTH CONGRESS
FULL COMMITTEE HEARINGS
Page 2 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCAUTHORIZATION AND OVERSIGHT
FEBRUARY 13, 2002
HOUSE COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
One Hundred Seventh Congress
BOB STUMP, Arizona, Chairman
DUNCAN HUNTER, California
JAMES V. HANSEN, Utah
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 DOCJ.C. WATTS, Jr., Oklahoma
MAC THORNBERRY, Texas
JOHN N. HOSTETTLER, Indiana
SAXBY CHAMBLISS, Georgia
VAN HILLEARY, Tennessee
WALTER B. JONES, North Carolina
LINDSEY O. GRAHAM, South Carolina
JIM RYUN, Kansas
BOB RILEY, Alabama
JIM GIBBONS, Nevada
ROBIN HAYES, North Carolina
HEATHER WILSON, New Mexico
KEN CALVERT, California
ROB SIMMONS, Connecticut
ANDER CRENSHAW, Florida
MARK STEVEN KIRK, Illinois
JO ANN DAVIS, Virginia
EDWARD L. SCHROCK, Virginia
W. TODD AKIN, Missouri
RANDY FORBES, Virginia
JEFF MILLER, Florida
JOE WILSON, South Carolina
IKE SKELTON, Missouri
JOHN SPRATT, Jr., South Carolina
Page 4 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCSOLOMON P. ORTIZ, Texas
LANE EVANS, Illinois
GENE TAYLOR, Mississippi
NEIL ABERCROMBIE, Hawaii
MARTIN T. MEEHAN, Massachusetts
ROBERT A. UNDERWOOD, Guam
ROD R. BLAGOJEVICH, Illinois
SILVESTRE REYES, Texas
TOM ALLEN, Maine
VICTOR F. SNYDER, Arkansas
JIM TURNER, Texas
ADAM SMITH, Washington
LORETTA SANCHEZ, California
JAMES H. MALONEY, Connecticut
MIKE McINTYRE, North Carolina
CIRO RODRIGUEZ, Texas
CYNTHIA A. McKINNEY, Georgia
ELLEN O. TAUSCHER, California
ROBERT BRADY, Pennsylvania
ROBERT E. ANDREWS, New Jersey
BARON P. HILL, Indiana
MIKE THOMPSON, California
JOHN B. LARSON, Connecticut
SUSAN A. DAVIS, California
JAMES R. LANGEVIN, Rhode Island
Page 5 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCRICK LARSEN, Washington
Robert S. Rangel, Staff Director
Christian Zur, Professional Staff Member
Jarrod Tisdell, Research Assistant
Alexis Lasselle, Staff Assistant
Daniel Hilton, Staff Assistant
C O N T E N T S
CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF HEARINGS
Wednesday, February 13, 2002, Fiscal Year 2002 National Defense Authorization ActSecretary of the Navy: Chief of Naval Operations; Commandant of the Marine Corps
Wednesday, February 13, 2002
Page 6 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCWEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2002
FISCAL YEAR 2002 NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACTSECRETARY OF THE NAVY; CHIEF OF NAVAL OPERATIONS; COMMANDANT OF THE MARINE CORPS
STATEMENTS PRESENTED BY MEMBERS OF CONGRESS
Skelton, Hon. Ike, a Representative from Missouri, Ranking Member, Committee on Armed Services
Stump, Hon. Bob, a Representative from Arizona, Chairman, Committee on Armed Services
Clark, Adm. Vernon E., Chief of Naval Operations, U.S. Navy
England, Secretary Gordon R., Secretary of the Navy
Jones, Gen. James L., Commandant of the Marine Corps, U.S. Marine Corps
Clark, Adm. Vernon E.
England, Gordon R.
Jones, Gen. James L.
Skelton, Hon. Ike.
Page 7 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCStump, Hon. Bob
DOCUMENTS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
[There were no Documents submitted for the Record.]
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
FISCAL YEAR 2003 NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACTSECRETARY OF THE NAVY; CHIEF OF NAVAL OPERATIONS; COMMANDANT OF THE MARINE CORPS
House of Representatives,
Committee on Armed Services,
Washington, DC, Wednesday, February 13, 2002.
The committee met, pursuant to call, at 10:30 a.m., in room 2118, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Bob Stump (chairman of the committee) presiding.
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. BOB STUMP, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM ARIZONA, CHAIRMAN, COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
The CHAIRMAN. The meeting will please come to order.
Page 8 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Today, the committee begins its review of the budget requests of the military services of the Navy and the Marine Corps.
I am pleased to welcome back Secretary of the Navy Gordon England, Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Vernon Clark and Commandant of the Marine Corps General James Jones to testify on the Navy Department's budget for the year 2003.
Last week, Secretary Rumsfeld testified that this year's budget request represents a strong commitment to national security against terrorism.
Turning to the Department of the Navy, the budget request for next year is $108 billion, roughly $9 billion over fiscal 2002. While this budget represents a nearly 10 percent increase, the specifics it contains also serve to highlight precisely why the President's overall defense budget increase is so critically needed.
Contrary to the conventional wisdom coming from the editorial pages that this budget contains no hard choices, I am confident that everyone who listens carefully to today's discussion and those to follow will quickly realize that even the significant defense top-line increase requested for this year is not enough to eliminate the many pressing shortfalls facing our military services.
Faced with this reality, I believe the Navy has made some very difficult trade-offs on this budget and deserves credit for resisting the temptation to continue the shell game of underfunding critical readiness and operations accounts, as has been the case for the past decade. This decision, unfortunately, comes with the price of having to continue to defer some important initiatives, particularly in the area of modernization. However, in spite of this, the budget moves in the right direction, and I look forward to working with the leadership of the Navy to make sure we stay in this course and solve the remaining shortfalls as soon as possible.
I would like to recognize the committee's ranking member, Mr. Skelton, for any remarks he may wish to make.
Page 9 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC [The prepared statement of Mr. Stump can be found in the Appendix.]
STATEMENT OF HON. IKE SKELTON, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM MISSOURI, RANKING MEMBER, COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Chairman, thank you.
Secretary England, Admiral Clark, General Jones, thank you again for joining us to discuss the details of the Navy and Marine Corps fiscal year 2003 budget request.
Before we begin let me commend all three of you on your tremendous leadership during the current war. We thank you very, very sincerely.
The capability of our carriers and of the Marine units on the ground has been critical to our success in Afghanistan. Our sailors and Marines have shown great courage, determination and resourcefulness in this battle, and we thank you for the troops who continue to fight and endure what they have.
Turning to the budget, I am very pleased to see an increase of nearly $9.5 billion in the Navy/Marine Corps topline. This request goes a long way toward addressing critical personnel, readiness and modernization issues. An increase in military pay across the board of 4.1 percent provides targeted raises for groups of sailors and Marines we most need to retain. These investments are crucial to ensuring that our troops know how much we value their service.
The budget achieves readiness goals in important areas like flying hours, ship operations and depot maintenance. This will ensure our troops can fight their best and can keep deterring other potential adversaries.
Finally, I am pleased to see a number of important investments in this budget. The success of precision-guided munitions in Afghanistan shows that we need to invest more in this area. Similarly, while the fiscal year 2003 aircraft procurement numbers fall well below the Department's goal of 180 to 210 per year, the budget builds a solid plan for addressing the needs for additional aircraft.
Page 10 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC These are all positive achievements, but I have some concerns as well. Let me share them with you.
Chief among these is shipbuilding. This is not new. I have mentioned to each of you that the size and potency of our Navy ensures that we can dominate any enemy in time of war and deter potential adversaries through our presence in time of peace. The global scope of U.S. interests requires a robust Navy, and I fear that the decline in shipbuilding, including the purchase of only five new ships for this coming fiscal year, will leave us unable to ensure its power in the future. I very much would like to hear your thoughts on this.
I am also concerned on whether all of our armed forces have sufficient end-strength to meet the requirements we impose on them. General Jones, I am delighted to see that the budget reflects an end-strength increase of 2,400 more Marines to fill out the 4th Marine Expeditionary Brigade for antiterrorism; and, Admiral Clark, I understand that while overall Navy end-strength is lower than last year, you received 3,300 additional people for antiterrorism and force protection. However, I know that all the services have made requests for additional end strength, and we will approach each service at a time.
Finally, I am disturbed to see that the overall military construction levels declined, even with a $9.4 billion increase in the Navy/Marine Corps topline. In briefing our staff, the Under Secretary of Defense, Dov Zakheim, indicated that the services had made the choice of which military construction priorities to fund. I hope each of you will address how these decisions were made. The postponement of the next base closing round to 2005 does not eliminate pressing construction needs. We must do everything we can to maintain our troops' quality of life. It is very important.
I thank all three of you for testifying today and for your continued service to our Nation. I know I speak for our colleagues when I say that you have our unified and constant support in your daily efforts in the war, and we thank you so much.
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[The prepared statement of Mr. Skelton can be found in the Appendix.]
The CHAIRMAN. Gentlemen, your entire statements will be printed in the record. If you care to summarize, we would appreciate it.
STATEMENTS OF THE HON. GORDON R. ENGLAND, SECRETARY OF THE NAVY; ADM. VERNON E. CLARK, CHIEF OF NAVAL OPERATIONS; AND GEN. JAMES L. JONES, COMMANDANT OF THE MARINE CORPS
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Secretary, the floor is yours.
STATEMENT OF THE HON. GORDON R. ENGLAND
Secretary ENGLAND. Thank you, Chairman Stump and Congressman Skelton and members of the distinguished committee, I thank you for the opportunity to be here today. It is delightful to be able to discuss our great Navy and Marine Corps with you today. The Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), the Commandant and I are grateful for your continuing support to keep the Navy and Marine Corps the very best in the world and especially for your strong support of our sailors and Marines and their families.
It is a privilege to appear here today, and I am delighted to be here with Admiral Clark and General Jones because together we have formed a very strong leadership team representing the finest Navy and Marine Corps the world has ever known.
All of you have witnessed either firsthand or in compelling news stories the superb performance of America's Naval forces on the global war on terrorism. I don't believe in my entire adult life that I have seen a time in which the combat capabilities and mobility of the Navy/Marine Corps team have been more important to the joint warfighting effort. In my estimate, not since World War II has the inherent mobility of combat power at sea been so central to our ability to take the fight to the enemy and sustain that effort over time.
Page 12 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Naval forces of the 21st century will continue to offer secure sea bases from which our sailors and Marines will be able to operate both in peacetime and wartime alike. Such bases will offset the restrictions caused by sovereignty issues, which increasingly limit or impede our national strategies, especially during times of crisis.
Naval carrier battle groups were on station in the Arabian Sea when our Nation was viciously attacked on September 11. These ships, manned by truly great sailors and Marines who have volunteered to serve their country, were ready when the order was given to strike back at the terrorists and those that harbor them; and they remain on station today in support of our troops on the ground in Afghanistan, elsewhere in the region and indeed around the world.
This is not to say that the Navy/Marine Corps does it alone, not by a long shot. We can all be justifiably proud not only of how well our individual services have performed but, more importantly, how seamlessly the operational capabilities of all the branches of our great military have been woven together to great effect on the battlefield.
We also know that this would not have been possible without the wisdom and support of this committee over many years; and, Mr. Chair and members of the committee, I thank you for all your past efforts because that is what put this capability in place today.
I can also say without hesitation that the President's budget for fiscal year 2003 accurately reflects the priorities set by the Navy leadership. The Chief of Naval Operations, the Commandant of the Marine Corps and I all agree that we must continue to keep faith with our people by providing them the pay and benefits they so richly deserve and must also ensure that our forces remain trained and ready to carry out missions on the war on terrorism.
To this end, we have prioritized spending on critical readiness elements such as adequate flying hours and steaming days, spare parts, preventive maintenance and replenishing our inadequate supplies of precision munitions. We have added more than $3 billion to operations and maintenance accounts and an additional $1 billion to buy munitions.
Page 13 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC On the personnel side, we increased the military personnel account by about $4 billion. Now that is real money, and we will put the emphasis where we believe it will do the most good.
There have been many reports recently that the Navy is underfunding the shipbuilding and aviation procurements accounts. I am here to tell you those reports are accurate. We do need to increase funding in these accounts, and we do increase those accounts across the future years defense plan (FYDP).
The good news is that we did fund the conversion of the first two of four Trident submarines to cruise missile shooters or SSGNs. That was about a billion dollars. And we added another billion dollars to pay off whole debts in the prior year's shipbuilding account and to fund more realistic program cost estimates to reduce such bills in the future.
Although we increased spending on aviation procurement by more than $300 million, we actually built fewer new planes because of the type of aircraft being procured.
The bad news is, as this committee is well aware, we need to build 8 to 10 ships every year and nearly 200 aircraft if we are to recapitalize the force and ensure that my successors will inherit the ready Navy and Marine Corps that I am proud to lead.
Mr. Chairman, these have been difficult choices to make, but I firmly believe the CNO, the Commandant and I made the right choices for fiscal year 2003. We cannot fix every problem in 1 year so we prioritized our funding. We can never afford to break faith with our people on adequate pay and benefits, and it makes no sense to shortchange current readiness and munitions at a time when the Nation is at war.
The CNO, the Commandant and I also agree that efficiency in our business practices is even more important now than before, and we are dedicated to that objective. I look forward to the opportunity to elaborate in response to the committee's questions.
Thank you very much.
Page 14 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, Mr. Secretary.
[The prepared statement of Secretary England can be found in the Appendix.]
The CHAIRMAN. Admiral Clark.
STATEMENT OF ADM. VERNON E. CLARK
Admiral CLARK. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Congressman Skelton and members of the committee. Good morning.
I, too, thank you for the opportunity to appear before the committee today. It is a privilege to be here speaking on behalf of the men and women who constitute your United States Navy today, and I thank you all very much for your continuing support in keeping our great Navy ready and sharp and especially now in a time of war.
There is a title from World War II, an old book that says, the battle is the payoff; and we are seeing the payoff now in operations over in Afghanistan and your Navy's performance in the present war in the immediate aftermath of 9-11 and in the ongoing campaign. It is simply outstanding. And it is no accident.
It is the result of the strong support, the sustained investment from the American people and from the Congress. It is the result of great equipment. It is the result of technology. But, more than anything else, it is the result of the hard work and the dedication of highly trained young sailors in the United States Navy. I will tell you I am mighty proud to be their CNO.
I do believeand the Secretary touched on thisI do believe that this war is demonstrating very clearly in a most powerful manner why we have a Navy to carry the sovereignty of the United States of America to the far corners of the earth with credible combat power ready to respond, ready to fight and ready to win. I believe that our Navy is an integral part of the joint team, but, first and foremost, the Navy/Marine Corps team.
Page 15 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC In previous years coming before this committee, I have talked to you about our battle for people, my top five
priorities, and the battle for people has been at the top of the list. And this year, I want to report to you that we are winning that battle. Not only has our Navy met its recruiting goals for the past 3 years, but you will be happy to know that retention is reaching record levels, in fact, the highest levels that we have ever experienced since I have been in the Navy in over 32 years of service.
I am happy to report to you that attrition is also decreasing. The pay raises that the Secretary talked about, the general and targeted raises and housing improvements, better career sea pay, the Thrift Savings Plan, improved medical care and retirement reforms have attracted and we are retaining the sailors that we need today.
I would also reiterate that the Navy was ready on 9-11, and it is ready now. Our decision to make current readiness a priority, something that I talked to you before in current visits to this chamber, that decision is paying off today over in Afghanistan. With your support, we have made significant progress in increasing the readiness of the fleet. Increased funding for spare parts and maintenance and training has resulted in better readiness and improved performance and absolutely higher morale.
Our global forward deployed force continues to perform as we expect it to conducting its many missions around the world, but one thing is different since last year's hearing. We gained additional tasks to execute for the Nation. For example, our expanding role in homeland defense. Today, we have 318 ships. This morning, 135 of them are under way. Ninety-one of them are forward deployed. The force sizing construct that Secretary Rumsfeld has defined requires us to mean an even more responsive Navy capable of answering the call in an expanding number of contingencies.
As I said in previous testimony, I have talked about my top five priorities. While continuing the positive trends in priority, number one and two, that is manpower and current readiness, our Navy must now sharpen its focus on force structure in the years ahead. This is part of what I am calling future readiness, and the Secretary has already alluded to.
Page 16 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC This budget supports investment to recapitalize part of our fleet, but there is more that we need to do to ensure tomorrow's Navy remains the finest in the world. We must increase procurement. We must reform acquisition and business processes. We must create efficiencies within the Department to maximize the impact of future investment. And we mustcentral to meeting this challenge, we must buy more ships and aircraft to meet the needs of tomorrow's Navy.
Also key to tomorrow is the task of transformation. Through new thinking and advanced technology, we are striving to realize advanced capabilities. I want every possible technical and tactical advantage for our people, advantages that will yield major increases in operational mobility, lethality, speed, combat reach, stealth, precision and fire power.
In summary, Mr. Chairman, our Navy is performing superbly in this war, and we are winning the battle for people, and current readiness is vastly improved. We are also dedicated to greater investment toward future requirements and to transforming our Navy into the world's most effective 21st century fighting force, a force that succeeding generations, sailors of the future will be proud to sail in defending our Nation.
So I thank you, Mr. Chairman and this committee, again for your steadfast support of our Navy and your support of our sailors and their families. It is truly inspiring to know that our Nation today is united in fighting freedom's fight and we are going to win this war.
I look forward to answering your questions, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, Admiral.
[The prepared statement of Admiral Clark can be found in the Appendix.]
The CHAIRMAN. General Jones.
STATEMENT OF GEN. JAMES L. JONES
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General JONES. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Mr. Skelton, ladies and gentlemen of the committee.
Just 10 days ago, some of the members of this committee and I had the privilege of attending a conference on international security in Munich; and I remember a statement uttered by the Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) when, just before he gave his speech, he said, diplomacy is a nation's first line of defense, but it is a wise diplomat who pays attention to his nation's second line of defense in case the first line fails. We represent the second line of defense in that context, and that is why we are here today.
I would like to talk a little bit about some of the great things that happened as a result of the 2002 budget and the actions of this committee. It was the best readiness budget in about 10 years, and it really impacted very, very significantly on the health and vitality of your Marine Corps. As a result, Marines are very, very secure in their identity, who they are and what they do. We see ourselves as a sea-based rotational expeditionary combined arms force. Those words are very important, and each one has an awful lot behind it, but that is who we are, and that is what we do.
We are characterized by our association with our Naval heritage and the power of our teamwork with the United States Navy, and together we provide immediate response, a persistency of application and a sustainability of effort that is unmatched, unequal than any other armed force in the world.
At the cornerstone of the Marine Corps warfighting capability is found in the Marine Corps Expeditionary Brigade, and this is the central piece and central to our success in Operation Enduring Freedom.
Second, the Marine Corps is culturally stable, as proven by not only by our success in recruiting but astoundingly successful retention statistics for the professional portion of the Corps. As I mentioned to you before, 68 percent of the Marine Corps is always on its first enlistment. It means that the average age of the United States Marine is somewhere around 24 years old.
Page 18 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Cultural stability is important to a service like the Marine Corps, and I would like to pause here and thank you, Mr. Chairman, and Mr. Hansen and several other members of this committee that greatly assisted through a lot of hard work with the partnership of the United States Air Force to resolve the dilemma of the proper placing of the Air Force Memorial, vis-a-vis the U.S. Marine Corps Memorial. I believe the accommodation that you guided us through helped us all arrive at a dignified solution for all services.
Airmen of the future are going to be absolutely thrilled by the location of the Air Force Memorial up in Arlington. The expanded nature for the grave sites of Arlington Cemetery is going to be a beautiful setting for two great memorials, and I can't thank you enough, Mr. Chairman, for your leadership in bringing that about.
The 2002 budget also supported our families, supported our single Marines. We made great progress in revitalizing our housing, health care and pay in allowances which our troops and our civilians so well deserve.
The point about the 2003 budget is that it emphasizes some unique characteristics that belong to the Marine Corps. We draw our strength from our partnership with the United States Navy. Operation Enduring Freedom dramatically highlighted the fact that we are no longer just an amphibious force in the classic World War II sense but we are truly an expeditionary force that can project combined arms up to and beyond 600 miles inland in a landlocked country and sustain it. Operation Enduring Freedom answered the challenge to specters and the issue of sovereignty which is going to be a difficult problem for us as we pursue this global war on terrorism.
Access is important. Naval platforms give you a solution to the access challenge and, as demonstrated in Afghanistan, it was a timely solution. We saw also that the ability of all of our forces to operate together is now a reality. Those who think that the service has spent so much time squabbling with one another over resources they don't get anything done are misinformed. This is a seamless integration between special operations forces, conventional forces, roles and missions of each service being brought to the fore and partnership on the ground that resulted in strong both strategic and tactical successes and brought about enormously good results in a short period of time.
Page 19 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC This 2003 budget request for the Marine Corps is a budget that was carefully put together in partnership with the Secretary of the Navy and the Chief of Naval Operations. It continues to take us down the path of emergence from the years of failure to recapitalize and modernize. It adds $1.3 billion to our military personnel account, half a billion dollars to our procurement and Research and Development (R&D) accounts and another half a billion to operations and maintenance. It does reduce about $98 million from the 2002 Military Construction Account (MILCON), but it is still better than the 2001 military construction account in years preceding that. As a matter of fact, we have been able to add 20 percent within our MILCON budget to our family housing, which we are very excited about modernizing throughout the Marine Corps.
As you know, it also provides for the pay raise, targeted pay raise, career sea pay enhancements, reduces the out-of-pocket expense for housing from 11.3 percent to 7.5 percent with a goal of achieving zero by 2005, which would be a tremendous thing for our sailors and Marines. It provides for 25 percent real program growth over the 2001 base line for operating forces, provides 11 percent real program growth over the 2001 base line for our bases and stations, and it provides for 90 percent of the Marine Corps' executable requirements for depot maintenance.
So it is, in fact, a budget that not only sustains modernization but also gets us into the transformation accounts.
In sum, it is a great time to be a United States Marine. Your sustained support will result in the transformation of our Marine Corps in the near years ahead and give the Nation the capability it so urgently needs as it discharges its important functions throughout the world.
I would be pleased to respond to your questions, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, General.
Page 20 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC [The prepared statement of General Jones can be found in the Appendix.]
The CHAIRMAN. The Chair recognizes the ranking member, Mr. Skelton.
Mr. SKELTON. Thank you, gentlemen, for your testimony.
When I was a boy we played the game called kick the can, and you probably played it, too. You kicked the can down the alley and, sadly, that is what I see and hear from your testimony today regarding end strength in ships.
There is an increase in money for the Marine Corps for 2,400 Marines in the recommendation. There is a recommendation for an increase of 3,300 sailors, and yet there is no recommendation for an increase in end strength. So that means you have to take it out of your 2 percent that is permitted by law to go up that much more. I am convinced that you need more than that.
Second, regarding shipbuilding, Mr. Secretary, to your credit you say the Navy is underfunding the shipbuilding accounts; and you also say there is a need to build 8 to 10 ships per year and 200 aircraft. Now there is a $10 billion so-called contingency fund in the request coming over here. I would submit that your needs for this year, rather than kicking the can down the alley to the future year and betting against yourself, I would submit that we can, with the power we have and the power we have in the Congress of the United States, help solve those problems and keep the can where it is.
You have covered all of my questions except one. I thank you for your forthrightness.
Let me ask one question of both the Secretary and the Admiral. Can you tell us how far along you are in the development of a littoral capability like the so-called Streetfighter that Admiral Cebrowski has championed?
Page 21 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Secretary ENGLAND. Mr. Skelton, first of all, we made a significant change this year to a program that was DD21. That is, we introduced a program called DD(X), and DD(X) is a family of ships. It consists of not only of the sea to ground capability fire support, but it is also a theater missile defense variance, and it is also a ship for operating in the littoral. So we have now put in place a program structure to be able to grow the Navy in those areas.
We also have a program funded through the Office of Naval Research for a small high-speed boat that will be built as a prototype. So we do have a program in place to deal with a prototype to learn from while we put a program structure in place, that we can actually grow the fleet in that direction. So that is where we are.
I believe the most significant, frankly, is the DD(X). It is very important that we move along with DD(X), and the down select will be this spring.
Mr. SKELTON. General, let me quickly ask you regarding the end strength that, hopefully, you will end up with of 2,400. Are you able to recruit to those levels that you request?
General JONES. Yes, sir, we are. We could recruit at this time considerably beyond that, but 2,400 will be with no difficulty.
Mr. SKELTON. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from California, Mr. Hunter.
Mr. HUNTER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman; and, gentlemen, thank you for appearing before us.
I want to follow up on Ike's initial comments that your personal leadership in this time of conflict has been superb. The Nation owes you a great debt, and we owe you a great debt.
You probably are aware that a number of the members of this committee, myself included, feel that the top line for Department of Defense (DOD) is lower than it should be this year. I personally think we should be spendinghaving looked at the budget and all the categories across all services, I think we could easily be spending another $24 billion in this budget to do some of the basic things that we need to do to meet our own requirements.
Page 22 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Nonetheless, looking at the top line that you were given and how you utilized it, I think you have done an effective job. You obviously had very difficult choices to make.
I want to ask you questions in three areas, areas thatand I think Ike has touched on several of them. But our mine countermeasures programs, especially in the littorals, is one that we are having some major challenges with. The detection and neutralization of enemy submarines in the littorals is another area where we see challenges emerging and where we see some real difficulties. Last, our ship defense, especially against cruise missiles, it continues to be an area of great concern.
So if you could mention what you are doing in those areas.
And, General Jones, thank you for your great statement with respect to the U.S. Marine Corps. I would just ask you to give us perhaps yourthe area of greatest concern. If you had one problem that you needed to fix right now with the U.S. Marine Corps, what would it be?
General JONES. From the Marine Corps' perspective, it would be to ensure that those elements that we associate with our transformation are, in fact, kept funded to the levels that get us to, in fact, the transformational period, which for us is somewhere around 2010 now. Some of the programs have slipped to the right.
We are optimistic that getting the tilt rotor technology as part of the inventory will be transformational and certainly would have made a great difference in our abilities and our mission execution in Afghanistan. I think the Commander in Chief of Special Operations Command will testify to that. I know he and I have talked a great deal about what a capability that would have been overcoming the very, very difficult obstacles in Afghanistan with that transformational technology.
Page 23 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I think keeping the joint strike fighter on line is extremely important for us, and I believe that the Armed Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAAV) program represents the third cornerstone of our programs.
The fourth area I would say is, in partnership with the Navy and working with the Secretary, is to work on some truly exciting shipbuilding programs that offer a transformational capability at sea for the naval forces in the future. I think sea basing is the 21st century challenge, which will help us overcome rising sovereignty all over the world, and I think we are going to have to look at our sea-basing concepts. So high-speed vessels, vessels that can project power to different corners of the world when needed, are exciting transformational programs that I very much look forward to working with my colleagues on.
Admiral CLARK. Thank you for the opportunity to address this specific question. It goes to the heart.
I start with the issue of mine countermeasures, and I would just say that when we restructure the DD(X) program to create a family of ships, it is my conviction that an essential for the future is the littoral combatant ship that deals with two areas that I will talk about in an open forum. One is the whole mine warfare issue. The second area is near land anti-submarine warfare (ASW), and I would be happy to talk about the other either in a private consultation or if you desire to call a closed hearing. It is my conviction that this capability we need to field as rapidly as possible.
I think that I have said that about the littoral combatant ship. The Secretary has already mentioned that the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) is doing an experiment. We have an experimental platform in Norfolk, Virginia, that we have leased called the high-speed vessel. We are in partnership with a European nation on another composite-based vessel.
What I have said is I don't know the exact shape of this hull. I don't know exactly what it looks like, but I know functionally what we need it to do. We are putting our experimental resources toward that as we speak, and it is represented in this budget.
Page 24 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I would also say this. The departmentlarge Department of Defense is targeting funds for transformation, and I want to be able to compete in this specific area for those transformational funds.
With regard to submarine warfare, I have addressed the low-cost sonobuoy (LCS), the specific issue with near land, but also the introduction of the new helicopter, the 60 Romeo, is very important to us. We need this capability as soon as possible.
I was part of the roll-out of the 60 Sierra last week in San Diego, California. The Romeo is coming on the heels. It is very important to our future.
With regard to shipboard defense, I would say that we rapidly also get to the lines of classification here. But off-base sensors are going to be very important. Off-ship sensors are going to be very important for us.
In this budget, you will see transformational dollars committed to radar modernization program (RMP), for example, for the E-2, the radar modernization program. There are other self-defense systems that are in this budget that we need to talk about in closed session that get to this specific point.
The Navy of the future has to be able to climb in the ring with an enemy, and it has to be able to defeat that enemy, and the resources and the special programs are in this budget to keep us in a position so that we can take on that enemy and outrange that enemy.
There are issues with regard to long rangethe future of missile defense, and much has been written and said about that. I believe that the future will require the Navy to be able to outreach a competitor. I am pleased by recent successes that we have had in the R&D field, and we need to continue to invest in that area.
The CHAIRMAN. Gentleman from Texas, Mr. Ortiz, is recognized.
Mr. ORTIZ. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
First of all, Mr. Secretary, Commandant, Chief of Naval Operations, I want to say that we appreciate the fine work that you have done and your people in this war; and I want to compliment all of you.
Page 25 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. Secretary, I heard what you said about the question that Mr. Hunter said about in reference to a question that he asked about mine warfare and the shipbuilding. As you well know, I have a big concern in Corpus Christi. We have had some hard lessons we have learned, I hope, from the USS Princeton and the USS Tripoli and countless other examples, you know, that we have had.
I want to believe and I think there is a commitment from the Navy to go ahead and prepare the best mine warfare in either the school and the command that we have there. But, as you well know, the USS Inchon has been out of commission because of the fire.
Sometimes we want to move, and I don't think that we have the capability, you know, to move mine countermeasure and control to different areas where we feel threatened. Are we working on that to be able to respond to the need? Can I be assured that there is a strong commitment from the Navy to continue toand I know sometimes maybe this is a lack of funding, but I just want to know where we stand as far as the commitment from the Navy as far as mine warfare is concerned and the replacement of Inchon. There is a study being conducted, and maybe I can have you respond to my question.
Secretary ENGLAND. I will ask also the CNO if he would make a comment, but the Inchonwe were decommissioning the Inchon. Frankly, the fire was sort of the straw that broke the back on the Inchon, because we already had the high maintenance. It was very expensive. The ship was slow, et cetera, et cetera. Then there was another problem for $10 million for that fix. We decided that was not appropriate. We really needed a different vessel to do that.
We are committedI mean, this whole mine warfare is obviously a critical aspect. The Navy can't operate unless you can neutralize mines. So we are looking at different alternatives now, and some of those could be radically different than we have seen in the past. It can be some of our newer high-speed ships.
This is a very innovative look of how is the best way to do this. All the people across the Navy have taken a very broad look now at how do we solve a wide range of problems, including this one. So we will be out with a recommendation here before long, Mr. Ortiz, but this is a capability that is critical to the Navy. We just now need to decide what is the best way to do that. And, CNO, if you want to.
Page 26 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Admiral CLARK. Thank you, Mr. Secretary.
I want to thank you for your support of our Navy in Texas. We appreciate your strong interest in our people and our facilities there.
Let me say, I think the key thing that the Secretary talked about is looking at the analysis of alternatives. As a CNO, I wasn't going to bring forward a recommendation that we do just the same thing that we have always done. So Admiral Natter is developing the interim approach for us to be able to respond globally to the mine countermeasures, command and control mission to develop flyway capability, to embark it on existing amphibious platforms. We are developing that. But we were convinced that perpetuation and spending the resources on Inchon was the wrong way to go.
I believe that the analysis of alternatives will present us with one of the transformational alternatives for the future, and it is about speed. We have one of these ships. We need a ship that is able to respond anywhere in the world at high speed. We need a platform that will be able to then carry the aviation resources that we are going to need for this mission and that will have the command and control capability that we need to do mine warfare anywhere in the world.
I think that the options that we are studying and experimenting with today present us with excellent opportunities. We have to see those through to fruition, that coupled with the previous comments that I made about the littoral combatant ship. A key part of what this ship has to be able to do is to be able to do mine warfare in the littorals. That is where we are going. We believe that is the best course of action. We believe it takes our Navy into the future, and that is our commitment.
Mr. ORTIZ. Do you think the funding is adequate to do what you are planning to do? Is this going to require more funding?
Admiral CLARK. Yes, sir. The analysis of alternatives is not complete, so we can't have the funding in place yet. We are going to need funding to get this accomplished.
Page 27 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. ORTIZ. Thank you so much.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. Gentleman from Utah, Mr. Hansen.
Mr. HANSEN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
General Clark and General Jones, I have heard you gentlemen talk many times about the importance of training and live fire training. In fact, you sent a letter to Secretary England at one time regarding Vieques, where you pointed out the tremendous importance, as you thought it, was on live fire training. You haven't changed at all?
Admiral CLARK. No, I have not.
Mr. HANSEN. Still believe that?
General JONES. Absolutely.
Mr. HANSEN. Now I understand the problem with the John F. Kennedy (JFK) and why it didn't go through that, and I appreciate Admiral Fallon for calling and bringing me up to date on that type of thing. I understand you have another one in March; is that correct?
Admiral CLARK. That's correct.
Mr. HANSEN. Do you intend to do live fire training with that battle group before you sent it out?
Admiral CLARK. We do not intend live fire with the next battle group.
Mr. HANSEN. May I ask why?
Admiral CLARK. There are several reasons, Congressman. One is that we have been given clearance to use inordinates down there. In order to get to a live fire posture there are a number of bureaucraticsimply stated, bureaucratic things that have to be accomplished. With the acceleration of the time line for the next battle group, that cannot be accomplished in that time line.
Page 28 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. HANSEN. Thank you.
You know, the thing that disturbs me on this is that, basically, I know that you know that we signed or put a law down that the President signed that said that we set aside the referendum that there would be available for live fire training until a place at least comparable is found, and all those things are staring us in the face.
Secretary England, if I may ask you, sir, and I hope I got this wrong, but it seems to me when you were talking to the other body about training in Vieques that you would require approval of the residents of Vieques which in my opinion somewhat flies in the face of the law that we passed last year and signed by the President to set that all aside. Now the problem I thinkand I may be wrong and you correct mebut I think you have got a real problem on your hands. You got a king-sized headache if we are going to start asking approval of all of the local residents.
Being one that stumbled around these places for the past 20 years, you name the base, and I will tell you the people that disapprove of it. Is that correct? Or what happened over in that other body?
Secretary ENGLAND. That is not correct, Mr. Hansen. Nobody ever said we were going to survey the people or anything. No, sir, that is not the case.
I think the issue here is, for example, if you go to Oceana where we have our F-18 Es and Fs, where we like to put our Es and Fs, we now have a community and some lawsuits because of the noise issue, and we try to respond to that. So we are looking where we put our airplanes because of noise issues. We do try to accommodate everywhere we practice. We do try to be good neighbors, reasonable for us to do so.
Same is true in Vieques. We would like to be a good neighbor, and so we do respect the input. They, frankly, do not like live fire. There are some major issues, been going on a long time, you know, something we all inherited.
Page 29 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Originally, when the decision was made to go inert, it was to take the edge off that situation so we could continue to train there and not have our total facilities shut down. So that is still the situation. We would like to continue to inert there.
We do run the risk, frankly, if we go out and pursue live fire, we get back to the same issue we had before. We spent $11 million last year for security. We had all sorts of people from the Federal Government there, Department of Justice. We had the Coast Guard patrolling the water. We had our security people. And, frankly, we don't have enough of those people now to protect the United States, much less to protect our brain.
So there are practical issues associated with this, and I think we need to be aware of those practical issues. So I don't believe this is quite as straightforward as some people make of it. This is not just a choice to decide, gosh, we can do this any time we want.
By the way, we will definitely comply. I appreciate the law that was passed last year. It was exactly what we wanted, and when we find an alternative we will certify to the Congress in accordance with the law.
Mr. HANSEN. I think it is admirable that you are looking out for their interests, and I have no problem with that. But you have to be a little careful. You could establish a precedence there that could spread to a lot of people.
I would be happy to share with you the things from different pamphlets put out by different organizations. We had one in the Resource Committee yesterday talking about what they felt about this type of thing. You start looking at all our test and training ranges, wherever they may be. I would hate to see you folks in a position where you could not find anyplace to train.
Also, you should consider the people on Roosevelt Road. They complain too much about all the money you put in there, Admiral, and all the things they have done there.
There is a base re-alignment and closure (BRAC) coming up in 2005, and you might as well give serious thought to that because, as I recall, last time, in having gone to help write that thing originally and worked on it all the way through in every round, I can tell you that you may find yourself in a real headache. The first thing you look for is the person who complains a lot, and maybe that is justified. I don't know. But if I were sitting in your chairthank the Lord I am notyou would find yourself in a position that you look at some of our issues. Because if we can't train our guys, write this whole thing off.
Page 30 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Secretary ENGLAND. Encroachment is a problem at all of our bases for various things.
If you go out to Pendletonwe were just there recently. We have 17 miles of shore lineCamp Pendleton. We use 1,500 feet, and yet that 1,500 feet is restricted. So our Marines cannot come in depending on what happens to be growing or what critters are there at that particular time, and we are restricted to a very narrow range. So, in 17 miles, we are restricted even for our training out in California. That isI mean, that has been building up for a long time. So the encroachment issues are very severe.
Frankly, I am not looking for a cause celebre that makes us more difficult for all of our bases. I do think that we need to manage our way through this because it is much larger in Vieques. It does affect our bases. We need to have a way to work through this. We have the studies, and we said we were going to do that. It will be out here in another couple months. We will see what the results of those are. I am still hopeful that we will find some alternatives.
Admiral CLARK. Mr. Chairman, if I can, one point here. I just want to make sure that it is clear to all the people who might be listening to this in this body and some of my sailors that their CNO doesn't sit here and say that we are not training our people. We have been working this problem for 3 years, working a live fire problem at Vieques, the challenge at Vieques.
We have modified all kinds of things in the way we work up these battle groups. We have moved other training opportunities around. We moved the operationswhen they go to Fallonaround. We made them closer to the deployment.
General Jones and Iwe would always prefer to put our people into a situation that is as near to real life as possible, and that is why I am a strong advocate in live fire if we can figure out how to do the combined arms piece of this. We have worked with the resources that are available and the opportunities available, and we are putting our guys on the point with the capability to do the job at the level that we believe they are ready to go into combat.
Page 31 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. HANSEN. I am sure you are. Thank you very much.
The CHAIRMAN. Gentleman from Mississippi, Mr. Taylor.
Mr. TAYLOR. Thank you Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Secretary, Commandant, CNO, we appreciate you being here. I very much like to associate myself with the remarks of Mr. Hansen.
Guys, I recently went back to Vieques. I have asked you to do some things to be better neighbors, and I don't see it. All of your body language down there tells me you are leaving. The point that troubles me and also relates to shipbuilding is I am going to commend you for the phenomenal job you are doing right now, but there is something I have seen in your jobs that troubles me. Because somewhere out there is a lieutenant who is one day going to be a CNO and another lieutenant who is going to be the Commandant, and I don't think we are leaving them a very good legacy.
The Secretary's remarks talk about the average age of the fleet, but you totally ignore the fact that the Kitty Hawk is 41 and-a-half years old, Constellation is 41, the Enterprise is 41, LPD 4 is 38 years old, LPD 5 is 37 years old, LPD 6 is 37 years old. I mean, I could go on and on. You can play great games with the numbers, but these are the numbers you are not mentioning.
If we started a replacement for the Kitty Hawk, it doesn't go into the fleet for 5 years. If you go to replace an LPD, it is 4 to 5 years. Yet your budget, after a $66 billion increase over the past 2 years, you are building fewer ships than the Clinton Administration.
Guys, who is going to jump up and say, when do we get our share? Because if you don't do it, who will?
You are doing a wonderful job in Afghanistan. I mean, we are looking great for this nanosecond that exists. But what about the future? What about that lieutenant that is going to take your job and the lieutenant that is going to take your job? What is he going to inherit?
Page 32 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I would hope that someone in your capacity would step forward, Secretary England, and say, after a $66 billion increase to the defense budget, it is inexcusable that we have the smallest fleet since the Great Depression. Who is going to say it? Because if we do it, then the press jumps on us and says it is just pork.
It has to start from within the service. $66 billion would build, last I checked, 66 destroyers or a dozen carriers or 50 LPDs. I mean, fill in the blanks. You are not getting your slice of the pie, and I am curious who is going to start saying something, that we got to change this. Who is going to turn the situation around in Vieques where you are as good a neighbor there as you are in Gulfport, Mississippi, and Biloxi, Mississippi, so we can keep that base?
You all got a political problem, not a military problem. You are not being the kind of neighbor you can be and the kind of Navy you are in every other community in America.
I would love to hear your response.
Secretary ENGLAND. I believe we already said we need more ships and more airplanes.
Mr. TAYLOR. You said that last year, Mr. Secretary.
Secretary ENGLAND. Airplanes are a bigger problem to us than ships because of the very high operations and maintenance (O&M) costs. This year we had $9.5 billion of new money in the Navy. $4 billion went to personnel accounts, $3 billion went to O&M accounts, $1.5 billion went to R&D, and $1 billion went to procurement and that went to munitions.
By the way, the Kennedy, it had trouble because we didn't do all the overhaul in the past. Makes no sense to have our ships out there if we are not going to do the O&M and keep them up and operating.
So we made the decisions that were appropriate to make.
If you look at the FYDP in the past, I believe what has happened is we have used money that was planned for ships and we used it for other things as we got to the outyears. We have five new ships, but we have a billion dollars also going into two SSGNs, and they are real ships to our Navy. I mean, they are real. Next year, we have another two SSGNs. We are really putting seven ships into our Navy this year and next year.
Page 33 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC In addition, we are paying this year $645 million from prior year's shipbuilding overruns, overruns at the various yards that build these ships.
Now we also this year put in another $400 million to more fully fund our programs as a way of, hopefully, avoiding these overruns in the future. Right now we still have, Congressman, $1.6 billion after this year of prior year's shipbuilding that has to be paid off. I mean, that is a shipwe had $800 million last year and $600 million this year and $1.6 to go. And I can tell you that is also a few destroyers.
We need to work our way out of this, but I believe we have put the foundation in place that, particularly with DD(X) coming, we will be in a position to accelerate the procurement and the growth of the Navy. But first we made those priority decisions. It was important. Our people are at war, and we are going to give them the spares and the support they need. That is what we did first, and that was the right decision, and I am proud of the decision the three of us made in that regard.
The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from Pennsylvania, Mr. Weldon.
Mr. TAYLOR. Mr. Chairman, I think the CNO was getting ready to say something.
The CHAIRMAN. I am sorry.
Admiral CLARK. Congressman Taylor, more than anything else, when I finish this tour, I don't want anybody to question whether I served well. That is all I want anybody to be able to say about me. So that lieutenant, I want him to know that this CNO said, from the day he got here and the first time I appeared before this committee and talked to you about this issue, I have said, when they asked me the way I am going to prioritize it, I am going to come in and take the budget up to the Secretary that recommends that we take care of the Navy that the taxpayers of this Nation already bought, and that is what I am going to continue to do.
Page 34 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC When I got here we weren't taking care of the readiness accounts.
The second thing I said, and I reiterate it again today, if we don'tthe Nation and the Congress decide what kind of Navy we are going to have in the future. And I repeat again that if we do not make a commitment to a level investment of around $12 billion a year long-term in the shipbuilding business, we are not going to have the kind of Navy we want in the future. But, given the numbers I had, I believe that these trade-offs that have been made are the right numbers.
I agree with the Secretary. It is not just shipbuilding I have to worry about. The spiraling cost of an aviation force that has averaged over 17 years of age is a serious problem for me.
Thank you for asking the question. I want Lieutenant Smith out there to know that this CNO is trying to get the resources for him that he needs, but the first ones is where I put the priority that Congress has come forward and stepped up. We are a lot better off than we were a couple of years ago. We got a ways to go. We can't undo what has happened over the course of years of underfunding the acquisition accounts. That is the way I see the priorities today. I believe that long-term we got to make that commitment. The Nation needs to make a commitment to a level investment in our long-term and future readiness.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Weldon.
Mr. WELDON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Thank you all for coming and for your service to the country.
My first comment to the Secretary, you mentioned the issue of encroachment with Mr. Hansen and how you are having a problem. We tried to work that issue in conference last year and could not get the Senate to work with us to the full extent that we wanted. But I have to tell you why we had a problem. It is because the Senate pointed out to us the Secretary already has a waiver authority.
Page 35 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC So it is good to come in here and talk about the problems at Camp Pendleton, which I went out and saw last August with my colleagues. But, Mr. Secretary, you have got to tell your boss he better start to ask for the appropriate waivers that are already there. We understand. But to come in here and talk about encroachment which we all understand and not exercise the capability that the Department already has doesn't let us fight the battle appropriately. Call for that waiver which the Secretary of Defense has based on national security to take away the limitations that are imposed upon the Commandant so you can do proper training.
The Department needs some backbone. And I will be honest with you, I haven't seen it. I led the fight on that issue in the last conference, and I was very frustrated when my Senate colleagues stood up in conference as we tried to make the case that we needed to take away the artificial impositions that are placed upon our training incapability. So, to some extent, the comment you made to me is hollow rhetoric. Get your boss, Secretary Rumsfeld, someone who I highly support, to ask for and request the appropriate waiver. It is already in law and already part of the statute.
Number two, I have no shipyards near me, nowhere near me, but I can tell you that, as the chairman of the Procurement Committee, I am very much concerned about what is continuing to happen. The 2003 budget plan for the Navy has us going down to a 286 ship Navy. Yet our operations tempo (OPTEMPO) rating deployments are out of control.
What I see happening is what happened in the 1990s when the Clinton Administration came in year after year and said, we are going to take care of modernization in the outyears, and look at our FYDP, look at our plan in the outyears. You are going to see that increase. Well, that increase never came. Thank goodness, this committee in bipartisan votes plussed up defense spending by $43 billion over the 8 years of the Clinton Administration to put some of that money back in.
I thinkand this is my own opinionthat you are banking on Congress to put extra money in for shipbuilding and tactical air (TACAIR), and I think that is wrong. I think you got to be more candid. The President has got to be more candid. If that meant we have to take some of the $48 billion increase the President has proposed, we should have taken the money to pay for those back-year ship contracts out of an emergency supplemental so the budget request more fully funded the shipbuilding needs that I think we have. We are going to be looking at this issue in a great deal of depth on the Procurement Subcommittee this year.
Page 36 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. Commandant, I want to thank you for the great work you are doing, as I would thank the CNO. Your men and women are serving extremely well.
I am concerned about some issues. I am concerned about our lack of movement on the V-22. I have the same confidence in the program I had when we fought the original battle when I flew with you, with my friend Walter and a bunch of other Members. It was an outstanding aircraft then that we flew, and I would fly in it tomorrow with you if you asked me. I think the validation now we are seeing come back again.
General Hester has come out and said that we need to get on with making sure this program becomes reality. He said the requirement is fairly clear. We have revalidated it.
As you know, we also heard the same thing from the Army Special Forces, General Franks. He, in fact, gave us a specific instance where one mission in Afghanistan flown by existing helicopters took three times the length, was refueled twice in the air and exposed our military personnel unduly to the air defense support the Afghans had. The V-22 would have had none of that and could have flown above the air defense capability.
But you have been talking about a new term that you referred to as ''sovereignty.'' I think that is an extremely insightful look at what our emerging threats are. I would like you to comment on that and also on the need for additional resources for perhaps a second sea berth team. Your sea berth team is doing an outstanding job on the war on chemical and biological terrorism and nuclear terrorism. I would like you to comment on whether or not you think we need to stand up a second unit of sea berth.
Finally, congratulations on your privatization housing program at Camp Pendleton. It is in fact, in my opinion, an outstanding example of what all the services should be doing.
If we want an economic stimulus package, we shouldn't be fighting politically here. We ought to unleash the power of the private sector to do what you did at Camp Pendleton and let the private money and private capital remodernize and rebuild our housing for our families and our single personnel across the country. We can't do that with the current services because they are all fighting over process. You have set the example, and I applaud you for the work you have done there.
Page 37 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General JONES. Thank you for your comments on public-private ventures (PPVs). We are excited about that concept. It not only affects Camp Pendleton, but it also affectspotentially affects all of Quantico as well. With the success we have had in the PPVs for both installations, it is quite possible right now that, starting in 2003, we will rebuild every house at Quantico aboard the base. So it is a terrific story, and we are very excited about that. I know the residents of Quantico, which has not been modernized or had any attention paid to it in probably 30 years, are very, very happy with this development.
Sea berth is a very chemical and biological incident response force which is now located in Indian Head, Maryland. It is a valuable asset. I would evenunfortunately, it is still a national asset. We need more of those units. But I would submit that we need them in the context of homeland security. I really believe that the National Guard units should retool themselves and give us this national capability; and, of course, this will be the function of Governor Ridge and his important mission.
But that is a key component, I think, of our national security response. We are going to need more ways to respond to weapons of mass destruction. The National Guard is, in fact, the best place to put that in terms of homeland security.
I would like to be able to see the Marine contribution be more focused on the expeditionary capability, able to go both ways in the continental United States when required but also in support of external threats as well; and we are growing that slowly in our Marine expeditionary units that are deployable. So more of that capability on a broader spectrum, not just the Marine Corps, I think is required.
The issues of sovereignty were classically revealed I think in Afghanistan. Sovereignty is certainly a nation's individual right, and we have a whole panoply of protocols by which we negotiate access. When the nation needs to respond to a crisis, though, we should do those things that allow us not be held hostage to too many of those issues.
Page 38 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC We spent weeks and now months with the countries surrounding the northern part of Afghanistan trying to negotiate basing rights, access rights. Each country has its own view of things. Each country brings to the table its own demands in return for access. Frequently, those negotiations are not done in the timely enough fashion, and so we need to offset that where we can.
I believe one of the offsets isand this gets to Mr. Taylor's point and your point with regard to sea basing, the possibility and potential of sea basing in the 21 century, if you agree that the likelihood is that the United States will not have access to not only international bases and the way in which we enjoyed them in the 20th century but issues of sovereignty will drive us to find different ways to have our military-to-military contacts both in peacetime and certainly be able to get our forces to the fight in satisfactory time in times of conflict. So the flexibility of the seaswe are a maritime Nation. We have enjoyed the Navy second to none. We are going to continue to do that.
I associate myself with the Secretary and the CNO thatand the Secretary of Defense who has also said publicly that he wishes that we could have done more this year. But the foundation for doing more has to be set because we didn't get where we are in a year. No Commandant before me has ever come before a committee and not paid attention to, for example, amphibious lift; and my previous testimony reflects my concerns as well. But we do have to reset the base line, and then we have to work with the Congress to make sure that the peaks and valleys, and particularly the valleys that we have been subjected to for 10 to 12 years, don't in fact return.
Stable investment in shipbuilding will get us out of this hole. I am convinced of it. It is absolutely imperative that we do, because these issues of sovereignty are going to continue to be an Achilles heel. And sea basing and the tremendous transformational potential that sea basing concepts of the future offer will give us a warfighting and presence capability that will offset the sovereignty issues.
Page 39 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from Guam, Mr. Underwood.
Mr. UNDERWOOD. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I want to express my admiration for the work the Navy and Marine Corps has done in Afghanistan. I also want to associate myself with the remarks, and without going over them, on shipbuilding. I think it is vitally important that if anythingif any of these experiences teach us anything it is the importance of having sea-based forces.
Commandant, I want to, just on a personal note, thank you for the work we were able to do with the Marine Corps on moving Andy south and moving that property along that was both helpful to the Marines and to the people of Guam.
I guess this question is either for or both Admiral Clark and Secretary England, two issues, and refers back to the Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR). The QDR first noted that there would be an increased aircraft carrier battle group presence in the western Pacific and that they would explore more options for homeporting additional surface combatants in that part of the world. Can you comment, Secretary England, on the thinking beyond this reorientation? Is this still a goal, and what is the progress towards implementing these decisions?
Secretary ENGLAND. Let me pass that on to the CNO. He is closer to that discussion, sir.
Admiral CLARK. The QDR talks about the importance of the Pacific Rim, and it is a maritime theater. So the tasking we have been given is to develop alternatives in a way we can do that and make that increase in presence a reality. Those studies are ongoing, including the potential placement for additional surface combatants. That work is not completed and, when it is, it will be obviously brought forward.
Of course, you more than anybody here are aware of the fact that we are increasing our naval presence in Guam with the movement of submarines that have been announced in the past year, fast-attack submarines. So we are analyzing each of those potential alternatives, and we have not come to conclusion yet, but we owe a recommendation up through the Secretary to the Secretary of Defense.
Page 40 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. UNDERWOOD. Could you explain perhaps what the time line might be for that?
Admiral CLARK. I will have to validate the time line, but I believe that we will be presenting those particular options and analyzing them in the development of the 2004 budget, and we will get back to you with the specifics, sir.
[The informatiom referred to can be found in the Appendix beginning on page ?.]
Mr. UNDERWOOD. Last week, Secretary Rumsfeld commented that the QDR left the current force structure for carriers at 12. You know, recognizing that some of us think that is inadequate, but, in addition to that, you have the additional problem in the western Pacific of what you are going to do withas conventional carriers go off line, particularly in Japan. So what is the current thinking in terms of dealing with that particular issue and the placement of carriers in the western Pacific?
Admiral CLARK. Well, this gets to the point that Congressman Taylor made that Kitty Hawk is 41 years old. John F. Kennedy is not as old, but those ships are designed for a longer lifetime. The point he made about an LPD is absolutely correct. Two and-a-half weeks ago, I was on LPD 8 in the Indian Ocean. She was commissioned in 1965. That was before I came in the Navy myself, and I am not a young man anymore. This is the reason we need ships like LPD 17.
With regard to the specifics of your question on the conventional carriers, Kennedy is currently in the program scheduled to be in commission through the year 2018. So we have some time to deal with that challenge.
Mr. UNDERWOOD. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Page 41 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from New Jersey.
Mr. SAXTON. Mr. Chairman, thank you very much.
Gentlemen, let me just ask one question, and then let me make a comment and then ask you to answer my question.
As late as this morning, the Office of the Secretary of Defense representative indicated to me that they have a belief or a fear that the acquisition level of ships in some casesand I am particularly fond of the DDG because it is close to my heartthat the industrial base and the scientific base does not get maintained at two DDGs as in the proposed budget. Apparently, the suggestion has been made to the Navy by the Secretary of Defense or his office that there ought to be some additionalan additional request for an additional ship or two this year of some kind, even if it is not a DDG, to help maintain the industrial base and the scientific base that is necessary to go forward with DD(X) or whatever the next generation of ships will be. Because if we lose this industrial base in terms of shipbuilding or the base in terms of the scientific and engineering technology, it will be extremely difficult and expensive to replace, and two DDGs doesn't do that. The question is, could you comment on that?
But before you do that, I just want to reflect back to a broader issue that has been mentioned on several occasions this morning, most predominantly by Mr. Taylor and by others, too, and that is the rate of modernization that we are able to accomplish, if you will.
The Secretary of Defense was here the other day; and, prior to his appearance here, CongressmanChairman Stump and Congressman Hunter and I believe Mr. Skelton was in the group invited to the White House to express our views on where we need to go with the top line of defense. Congressman Hunter made a great presentation that day and outlined why we believe that you need about $50 billion for three things: modernization, munitions replacement and the pay raise.
Page 42 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Coincidentally, later that afternoon the President announced a $40 billion increase in defense spending, and we were quite encouraged. But what we didn't know at the time was that out of that $48 billion it is necessary to do some offsets$6.7 billion, for example, for inflation. Some must pay bills that have to do with TRICARE and civilian retirement health care; and, of course, the pay raise that was in there was $2.7 billion. So we had another $14.1 billion that we couldn't use for either modernization or munitions replacement.
Then we got to a category called realistic costing, which I guess pays for some cost overruns on weapons systems that are already in procurement.
So when you get to the bottom lineand, of course, after using some of the $48 billion of the increase to pay for the war, both costs that have already been incurred for the war and costs that are anticipated for the war, reducing another $19.4 billion from the $48, we are now down to $9.8 billion that we really have for modernization and I guess some munitions replacement.
So then Congressman Weldon made the point this morning, and I think it was a good point, that maybe some of these costs should have been paid for in a supplemental. But that is kind of academic. The point of the matter is, as Congressman Hunter pointed out in a hearing last week, as big as $48 billion sounds, when you get finished doing all the things that have to be done with it, you don't much left to do the things that we really need to do for the future that Mr. Taylor talked about.
I would like to point that out because the American people and some of the folks perhaps who casually watch this process hear about a 15 or 16 percent increase in defense spending, $48 billionoh my God, what a lot of money. When you do the things that really have to be done in order to worry about retention and recruitment and treating people right who have served in the military, there is not much left.
It is not a question. It is just an observation I wanted to make so everybody could hear it once again.
Page 43 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Anyway, would you answer my first question?
Secretary ENGLAND. Let me take a shot at the first one.
All that money, obviously, is going to critical things in the military.
Mr. SAXTON. I didn't mean it as a criticism.
Secretary ENGLAND. This budget is dramatic in terms of making our Department of the Navy whole. We literally filled every single bucket that wasn't filled in the past, including a billion dollars in munitions, and it goes up about a billion dollars every year in munitions across the FYDP. So real money is going in these accounts.
If we could buy one ship this year, we would buy DDG. I mean, that is what we would buy this year. So if it was a billion dollars basically and if we had a billion dollars, that is one thing we did not buy.
Frankly, that billion dollars went to munitions. We put a billion dollars in munitions, and there is no sense having these systems if you don't have any munitions. So it is pretty straightforward. And that is not war munitions. We will have a supplemental for war munitions. This was just to get our stockpiles on an everyday basis at some reasonable level. Because we have a deployed force, and it is not like you go to the warehouse. They are deployed around the world. The munitions have to be deployed on board our submarines and on board our carriers and our ships. But we made that decision.
But if we buy more ships, we would indeed buy DDG this year. By the way, DD(X) does keep the industrial base technically, I believe, very healthy. We did not stop funding. What was DD-21, that was R&D money; and DD(X)'s R&D, it doesn't show up in procurement accounts.
But we did increase our R&D accounts this year by $1.5 billion; and a large part of that, I believe $900 million, goes into DD(X). So a lot of money is going into industrial base in terms of technology.
The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from Maine, Mr. Allen.
Page 44 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. ALLEN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Secretary England, Admiral Clark and General Jones, thank you especially for being here and your leadership in this current conflict. The sailors and Marines who are serving under you are doing a phenomenal job, as others have said, and I want to say how much we appreciate what you have done and they have done.
Secretary England, what you just said is certainly helpful. I mean to say that if you can have one more ship, it should be a DDG. It is very important. Because we have been at both Bath and Ingalls. They have been dividing three ships a year now for a long period of time, and moving down to two is going to have a substantial adverse effect on those yards.
I grant you there is additional money for the DD(X), but it doesn't go to the same employees who are actually constructing the ship. It is a little bit of a different thing.
This is my sixth year listening to Navy presentations, and I have to say that, every year, I do hear pretty much the same thing. We need more ships to meet the requirements to maintain a 300-ship Navy, but we just don't have the money right now. Now during the Clinton years, you know, that wasit was unfortunate, but we had more modest increases in the budget. So at least it was understandable.
I have heard all you said about readiness, but it is harder to understand with the kind of dramatic increase that we are seeing in the defense budget right now.
I want to mention a fewrefer to a few charts here on the left. During the campaign in 2000, the President said that help is on the way, but it is pretty apparent that help is not on the way when it comes to new ship construction. The Clinton 2001 budget, which ran out through fiscal year 2005, compared to the President's budget this year, had eight more ships than for those years than we are seeing right now; and that is a serious, serious shortfall. Secretary Rumsfeld said last year that the right shipbuilding number is nine, and it has been going on for year after year after year, and it is about ready to fall off the cliff. He didn't say exactly that this year.
Page 45 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Admiral Clark, you said pretty much the same thing last year. The right number is nine. I notice in your testimony today you are saying the right number is nine but starting in the later years of the FYDP. The shipbuilding accounts are always getting pushed back to the later years. I get especially troubled about the later years now because I think we are going to be buying whatever we are buying by running up deficits and borrowing from our grandchildren. Because, as the tax cut really hits home, the revenue picture for this country is much more serious. The priorities, where did the money go?
That third chart. You know back in the fiscal 2001 year, we had $10.5 billion for shipbuilding. I grant you there was a carrier in that. And you just look at the decline. New ship construction is down 46 percent over 2 years, and missile defense is up 47 percent over 2 years. When you look at what is recognized as the least likely threat to this country of all the external threats we face, it is the threat of an attack on this country by an inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM), and yet that is where the money is going. Seems to me we need to scrub those accounts, scrub other accounts to figure out how to come up with that $1 billion for an extra DDG.
Just a couple of questions for Admiral Clark. As I said, last year you talked about nine ships a year and needing that. I don't understand that the QDR significantly changed the requirement. If you could respond to that. What is the difference? I mean what is going on here? Why do we need nine ships a year last year and now it is nine ships a year beginning sometime in the future?
I have heard what you said about readiness for 2003. But the shipbuilding accounts are really pushed off for some period of time.
Admiral CLARK. Thank you for the question.
The issue gets to, first of all, the guidance that we had. We knew we had an issue with the ability to sustain the force, and the guidance that we had was that, inside the FYDP, to get us to a place that we could sustain the force. So it is not built that way because we didn't want to have more ships earlier, but it is built that way because that is what we could afford and the trade-offs we had to make.
Page 46 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Last year, I also testified about this issue that we must figure out how to reform this part of the business. We have seen the compression of the number of shipbuilders in the United States of America and partnerships that now get us to two major industrial agents, and we are their customer. Last year, I talked about the difficulty with a sine-cosine curve and making the partnership work. I firmly believeand if we look at the 2001 numbers, the 2001 numbers point out specifically why this is such a difficult industry and why we have to look at ways to reform the way we do business.
In 2001 we built an aircraft carrier, so the number is small. I don't have 2001 with me, but I think it was $4.3 or $7 billion all by itself. When you have that kind of spike, your numbers are going to be low. Seems to meI am not a business man. I am a military guy. But in studying this and in dealing with the industry, if we could figure out a way to level fund and level invest in this part of the industry, we wouldour research shows that we would be able to do much better and we would be able to partner more effectively.
So we didn't push forward a recommendation intentionally to have the numbers only show up in the outyears. If there was a way we could have done it and with the requirements that we have in the personnel accounts.
And what I said earlier, that as long as I am in this job I am not going to send those kids out there with airplanes that don't work and ships that are broken, so we committed significant resourcesthe Secretary laid out the specific numberssignificant resources to do what needs to be done in the current readiness accounts.
In previous yearsyou have been here six. You have heard this discussion about where we were in current readiness. Well, I am so proud of the fact that we are not having that discussion this year that I can hardly stand it.
That leaves us with another shortfall. So we are dealing with the proverbial wolf closest to the sled here. We want it to be different. We don't have the resources to make it different in the near term, and that is why it is drawn up that way.
Page 47 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. ALLEN. I appreciate that. I have a place, I take it, from.
Secretary ENGLAND. Congressman, in all fairness, you cannot ignore the billion dollars we are spending on these two SSGNs. That is a huge amount of money. We are basically taking two boats that otherwise would be gone and putting them back into the fleet, and we are effectively growing the force by seven this year and seven next year. Then it goes up each year.
So, from a Navy point of view, this is real hardware, may not be from a manufacturer's point of view. It is for the people who do the mods. But it is a real asset.
We are also doing cruiser conversion. We have tried to balance this approach, and it is not quite that dire.
Mr. ALLEN. I do understand the point about the conversions, and I thank you all.
The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from Maryland, Mr. Bartlett.
Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you very much, gentlemen, for your service and your leadership. It is really very much appreciated by both America and this Member.
My district is landlocked, so, obviously, we don't build any ships there. Maryland has a big seashore, but we don't build any ships there either. So my concern about the problem that we are building down to a 200-ship Navy is not a self-serving concern, and I want to join the voices of my colleagues in expressing concern for this.
I know that we have significantly reduced our surveillance capability for submarines that might be out there. Off the Hill several years ago I attended a briefing where a retired Navy officer told the group that Russian submarines can now travel clear across the Atlantic and surface near our coast; and, if they traveled deep and slow, we were unable to track them. When they came near the surface, then hurried home, travelling more shallow depth and faster, we could then track them.
Page 48 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC No one from the Navy or the Administration stepped forward to say that this wasn't true, so my presumption is that it was true then and, since we haven't upped our capability for submarine surveillance, that it is still true now. I know this is not the kind of a war we anticipate fighting in the near future. I also know that the war we are now involved in we didn't anticipate fighting in before 9-11. So I am not sure what the future is going to hold for us.
I am concerned by the fact that certain capabilities are now being underfunded, like our ability to track submarines. We are now waiving electromagnetic pulse (EMP) hardening for essentially every new weapon system that we acquire, and I am concerned that future Congresses may sit here and quote scripture, saying this ought you to have done and not to have left the other undone.
I know that we are funding the major priorities for the war we are fighting and for future wars of this nature. But I am concerned that we can't read the future, and if indeed we were to fight a war in which enemy submarines and robust EMP laydowns are a possibility, I am concerned that we are not funding these capabilities.
You know, it is a little bit like pay the insurance policy for your fire insurance. You don't expect that your home is going to burn tonight, but I know none of you would rest very easy if you hadn't paid that fire insurance policy. I think our capability to deal with potential EMP laydown, our capability to deal with enemy submarines that can now surface off our coast without even knowing they were in our environs, I think this is a bit equivalent to you and me as an individual not paying the premium on our fire insurance. And.
I wonder if you could comment. I know that if you are looking at today's priorities, your house is probably not going to burn, and so, you know, maybe going to the football game or buying that new suit of clothes or paying college tuition is a higher priority for today. But most of us in our personal lives do look down the road and do pay that fire insurance, and I wonder if you could comment.
Page 49 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Admiral CLARK. It is very difficult for me to get specific with regard to your question, Congressman Bartlett, but let me see what I can do.
First of all, I certainly want to align myself with your words that we cannot see the future.
Point number two, I am not exactly privy to the exact time and moment that some retired individual made a comment about what a potential submarine could do coming across the Atlantic and so forth. But if that happened this afternoon, my posture would be to not get up in public and confirm or deny whether or not somebody could do that to us.
But here is what I will tell you. We have significant resources in this budget and on our submarine warfare. All of them are in areas that I can't talk about in this forum, and there are exciting technologies that deal with our ability to outpace the opponent. We are not looking for any fair fights. We are looking for technological advantage to the end, and I would be happy to come by and talk to you about some of those specifics.
We are really talking about leveraging the advantage that we have in the United States of America, and that is bringing technology to bear and the speed with which we can make technology, not just see it in the lab but bring it to our forces in the field. There are exciting things going on there.
I agree with your assessment that if we were to sit down and align what our priorities are today that this isn't one that jumps off the page at us today. So I want to align with your comment. We cannot see the future, and this is exactly one of the fundamental principles that this QDR was built on, moving away from two muti-theater wars (MTWs) and saying we don't know exactly what kind of task we are going to have to take on in the future. What we really want to do then is create as much combat capability as we can.
It takes me back to what I tell our sailors. When I talk to groups out there, I talk about the sovereignty issue again. Our task is to create combat capability and take the sovereignty of the United States of America to the far corners of this earth.
Page 50 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I would be happy to go on one on one with you or again in closed session if you want to take on some of those high-tech issues.
Mr. BARTLETT. I appreciate your offer, sir, and thank you very much.
The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from New Jersey, Mr. Andrews.
Mr. ANDREWS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I would like to thank the witnesses for their testimony and their service, and I would hope you would convey to the sailors and Marines serving this country how proud we are of all of them, whether they are directly involved in Afghanistan or wherever they are. We are very proud of all of them.
I wanted to touch on Admiral Clark's comment about sovereignty. I think it is probable and I believe necessary that we will be engaged in the very near future in an action in Iraq. I think it is regrettable but probable that the land-based advantages that we enjoyed there a decade ago will not be at our disposal this time. I wouldn't give up on that, but I think it is a fair assumption to assume that we will not have those advantages.
I know that we can't do in several weeks or months or even years all that we need to do to optimize and maximize the sea-based assets that we would need to be successful. But, given those constraints of time and money, what does this budget do that is different than a year ago to expedite the development of those sea-based assets so we can have a higher probability of success and what are you unable to do because of financial limitations that you would like to see us do in addition to what you are able to do?
Secretary ENGLAND. If I can take an answer to that, sir.
First of all, last summer, when I was confirmed last May, the first one thing we worked on was year 2001 supplemental. So literally 9 months ago we didn't have money to steam our ships and fly our airplanes. We were talking with the CNO and the Commandant about what we were going to do. Were we going to mothball or were we going to bring our ships back that were deployed? I mean, literally 9 months ago we didn't have the money to steam our ships and fly our airplanes.
Page 51 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Now in 2002, we had a dramatic improvement, dramatic in terms for us, a few billion dollars. This year has made a dramatic improvement. I mean, we literally have now what I call fill the buckets. All the buckets we know about across our naval services, we have filled those buckets. Our men and women out there now have the resources they need to go protecting and defending the United States of America and every day do their job and, by the way, want to stay in the military and new people want to join the military and all those things associated with it.
So it is a dramatic difference. It is a dramatic difference where we are today as opposed to where we were just a year ago.
Mr. ANDREWS. What kind of prospects do we have to get more buckets?
Secretary ENGLAND. Of getting more bucks?
Mr. ANDREWS. Buckets. Given the potential that we have, we can get the ships there faster and we can get them more powerfully than we could a year ago, but what other assets would we need beyond what we have right now? What are we doing to fulfill that shortage?
Secretary ENGLAND. We invested $1.5 billionwe put $1.7 billion in the strike fighter and bought airplanes. We could have taken that $1.7 billion and bought F-18s. We could have bought other airplanes or ships with it. So we funded the future of the Navy. I mean, we have funded those things important to the future of the Navy, sonetwork centric warfare, the new kind of radar systems, the advanced forward-looking infrared radars (FLIRs). But only in the past we are buying airplanes without the advanced forward-looking infrared radars (FLIRs). So we have made it well this year. I mean, we have bought all the things we need for today's Navy and also invested in the future.
At the end of the day, we end up with sevenmy count is sevenships this year and seven next year. We would like to get that number out so people would say, gosh what would you like to do? I would like to be able to buy another ship this year. I would love to buy more airplanes. And we need to look at all of our assets. You can't do this in 1 year.
Page 52 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. ANDREWS. I for a moment do not question your priorities that you got to solve these problems immediately that you inherited and still have today. I do think there is an incongruence right now between the strategic reality of having to do more sea-based operations to deal with this international effort and our postponing of more ship acquisition to the outyears. I don't pin that blame on you. It is our responsibility.
But I think that anybody who looks at the next 5 to 10 years of American military strategy would draw the conclusion that we are going to do more things off of ships than we have in the past, and they are going to be more important than they have been. That means that thenot only the quality of those platforms that you are working off of but the quantity has to be stepped up.
I am interested in working with you and my colleagues on this committee to give you more of those tools, not simply to make the tools that you have now work more effectively but to give you more of them.
I think it also has tremendous diplomatic ramifications. Our need to accommodate some surly behavior from some ambiguous allies becomes a lot less if the basing of military operations on their soil is less necessary.
I thank you.
Secretary ENGLAND. Appreciate your offer of support. Thank you.
The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from Texas, Mr. Thornberry.
Mr. THORNBERRY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Secretary, first I want to commend you and Admiral Clark on your decision to move ahead aggressively with the Trident conversion. That is an issue that I thought made sense for some time. We even had an amendment on this committee 3 or 4 years ago to try to keep the option alive. I have learned to appreciate that it is not as easy a decision as it may appear. In some ways, it is countercultural for the Navy.
Page 53 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC To begin with, I appreciate your decision. I think it makes a lot of sense, and I think it is the right thing to do.
General Jones, I also just want to voice a word of appreciation for some of the comments in your statement dealing with transformation. I have been concerned that, because it has become such a fashionable thing, that that label gets slapped on all sorts of stuff. The least little increment and improvement in technology gets labeled transformation. But you talk about it in terms of not only the technology, but the vision, the revolutionary concepts, the organizations. I could add personnel policies, professional military education (PME) is an important part. There are lots of other parts to it.
I guess, in a somewhat related vein, I would like to ask you, because Afghanistan reaffirms again how important jointness is, all the services have to work together. One of the things that is happening, of course, is that your folks are working with the special operations forces; and I would be interested to know how you feel that is working and should work in the future. Because I think that the Marines and Special Ops relationships are important for the foreseeable future of this war at least.
My second question, Mr. Secretary, I would like to address to you. I hesitate to wade off into this ship number issue, and I really don't want to talk about it as far as this budget, but I am interested in the concepts that you are looking at and where you see the Navy going. Because, on the one hand, you do have absolute numbers of ships. On the other hand, you have the capabilities of those ships. I mean, it is notyou have to look at both things.
There has been concern that has been expressed before that if you have too much into big ships then you make it a more inviting targetone of the questions earlier about cruise missile defenseand so one of the suggestions is that we need more ships but need them smaller and faster. We need to have them where it is not so hard to man. Rather than thousands of people to man something, maybe a dozen or so.
Page 54 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I am just trying to use that as a going-off point for where does the Navy go. Obviously, we are going to have some big and some small. I understand that. But how should we move ahead not just next year or even the FYDP, but how should the Navy move ahead in the number of ships, capability of ships? Obviously, linking together with network centric warfare has got to be critical, but I think the vision in the longer term would be important for me to understand.
General Jones, on the special operations, and then Mr. Secretary.
General JONES. Thank you, sir, for that question.
One of the things that we should take great comfort in is seeing how the forces on the ground and in the air and at sea really interrelate with one another. As I said in my opening comments, that is to be celebrated. Because we are a joint force, and those of us who are privileged to lead the respective services spent a lot of time making sure that our forces get to the joint line of departure ready to be successful on the ground, at sea and air.
With regard to special operations, the Operation Enduring Freedom showedrevealed something that was no surprise to me, and that is the fact that the Marine Corps' own expeditionary units, which train up to a tier 3 level special operations capability, do have a great role to play in the future, particularly in the global war on terrorism with regard to the sea-basing concepts that apply.
We saw also that the working relationships on the ground with Special Operations Command and the Marines was very seamless. Marines provided a combined arms capability from the sea that bolstered and gave more volume to the Special Operating Forces. We participated without much difficulty in tactical recovery of aircraft and personnel, mass casualty evacuations, security missions, Marine aircraft, inserted special operations forces into difficult missions. We provided close air support for them, and all of this as though we have been practicing for many, many years. In many ways, we have.
On 9 November of last year I signed a memorandum of understanding with the Commander in Chief of Special Operations Command, General Holland, and since that date Special Operations Command and the Marine Corps have been working in close coordination to build bridges between these two organizations that could have been built some time ago. The important thing is they can still be built. I believe we can, with the naval platforms that we have, with very little additional cost, really become a force multiplier for special operations in the future.
Page 55 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC There is a continuum in the roles and munitions panoply in all of the armed forces that is starting to emerge, starting with very light forces at the outset, but a capability to reinforce them if things don't go as well as they did, for example, in Afghanistan. If the scenario had been something different, you would have needed robust forces to be able to get there. In this case, the freedom of movement that the sea basingsea-base forces gave was the force multiplier. Then, ultimately, the expeditionary forces can leave and a more permanent force, if required, can flow in.
So there is a natural symmetry to this whole thing that I am excited about, the potential for doing something of significance for the Nation with regard to the expanded special operations capability that, coupled with the man on the ground and the man in the air and at sea and the asymmetric advantage that we have over virtually any potential adversary that I can see in the next 10 or 15 years, is really an exciting thing to do, and it is going to be time well spent.
Secretary ENGLAND. Sir, a few quick comments. I know time is very short here.
The most important thing I believe the Navy has done the last year is the DD(X) program, because DD(X) is a family of ships, theater missile defense. It is also the fire support and also the littoral ship. Now we are looking at a wide range of products that fit that. By the way, that all deals with manning, and those ships will have reduced manning compared to what we have today, CVNX reduced manning, all new technologies.
So as you look forward, my judgment, we are building the base for the next Navy right now, because we will move on beyond the ships that we are building today, and it is important that we get into the next round of technology. That is what is important about DD(X). It allows us to get the next round of technology and a different foundation than what we have today.
The CHAIRMAN. Did you get your other question answered?
Page 56 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The gentleman from Connecticut, Mr. Larson.
Mr. LARSON. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
I, too, would like to join the chorus today in complimenting all of you on an extraordinary job that you do and the men and women who wear the uniform and how proud you make all of us.
I had the great honor of being with General Jones over in Germany recently and noted a certain dynamic stress between us and our NATO allies and particularly over an issue, as Lord Robinson laid it out, over one of technology transfer. What concerned me is that, with regard to this issue on a domestic level, you have the European nations contributing mightily, in fact, directly subsidizing their aircraft industry, indirectly subsidizing it through military efforts. In the case of, I guess, Rolls Royce, I guess they have got the trifecta where they get American indirect through Allison. You direct subsidy through the Brits and indirect.
So my concern is the military sense about the perspective of technology transfer with our NATO allies, given their reluctance, it seems from my position, to really step up to the plate and deliver in terms of the efforts thatthe war efforts where the United States often finds itself as the lone sentinel on the watch for freedom. I would be interested in your responses. Is this something thatis the technology transfer issue something that we have to proceed with caution or is that something that we should be actively engaged with our NATO counterparts?
Secretary ENGLAND. Mr. Congressman, I think a lot has to do the with particular nation and technology. The biggest issue is not technology transfer. It is literally what we invest in our military. I am sure the numbers are dated, but I can recall when we were spending $200,000 per military person, European governments, as composite, were spending about $60,000, which means that we are developing a lot of technology for our people compared to our European counterparts.
Page 57 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I think they are our partners in a lot of the programs, so we obviously share a lot of technology with them. On the other hand, there is technology that is very sensitive, and now the policy of the United States Government is look at this on a case-by-case basis, depending on the nation involved. But I don't believe the technology transfer is as much an issue as the fact that we just outspend them in terms of technology. So you will see a large gap, and that is not healthy between our allies and Europe and our own military. But that is a subject, in my judgment, that needs to be addressed at the diplomatic level.
Admiral CLARK. One of the four pillars of QDR was to assure the allies.
The nature of the technology, I align myself with the Secretary's comments, and I would just say that I believe we have to find ways to release the technology, and some of that is technology itself and how to protect it. But I also believe and I will tell you in discussions with my counterparts when they invest in our technologies they are doing so because they desperately do not want to be left behind. When those kinds of investmentswhen they reach towards us like that, I believe we need to reward that kind of activity.
But I will also tell you what I tell my counterparts. Yes, I know we are going fast; and, no, we are not slowing down.
Mr. LARSON. I just wanted one follow-up question, and that has to deal with mechanics, and this came up during several of our discussions last year. At least it has been made apparent to me in terms of maintenance of our aerospace space fleet that there is currently a shortage of mechanics both, frankly, on the commercial side but also, alarmingly, on the military side. Is there a plan afoot to try to bridge that gap or narrow that?
It would seem to me that with turndowns in the commercial airline business, et cetera, mechanics that might be availableone of the things that we might look towards as a Nation is the ability to incorporate people, machinists and mechanics who are capable of repairing and fixing things and being able to use them, utilize them in our military, rather than standing in unemployment lines. It is just a thought that I have. I would be interested in your comments.
Page 58 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCRPTS STRICKLAND
Admiral CLARK. Well, I will take the question, and I will have to provide you with additional information, Congressman, as a follow on. I am not familiar with the data on the mechanic side of the house. I am familiar with it in reverse on the pilot side of the house. There is a shortage in the industry and they are interested in the product that we produce, and we compete for that all of the time.
[The information referred to can be found in the Appendix beginning on page ?.]
But I would say that there is no question about our innovative ways to posture ourselves for the future in what in effect is outsourcing or the same sort of public-private cooperation, and we do that in some areas today. And one of the things that Secretary England has challenged us with, and one of the things that we haven't talked about much today, but is that we have to be continually looking at and challenging all of our assumptions about the processes that we are using, challenge assumptions about the way we produce combat capability, and we have a model that we have used.
For example, you bring up the point about maintaining airplanes. By and large we have been using this model for all the time I have been in the Navy. Where we now have shore-based airplanes, we are challenging all of that. For example, the analysis of alternatives that is being worked up for the replacement for the P-3 is all about those kinds of issues. So I absolutely believe there is potential for us.
Mr. HUNTER. [Presiding] Mr. Hayes.
Mr. HAYES. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. First let me add my thoughts to every positive thanks and appreciation for what you and the men and women you represent have done for us here, and let me give a different view of what Congressman Allen had to say and then direct some questions to General Jones.
Page 59 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC We have been coming out from under 8 years of a previous Administration where the military was abysmally underfunded. Now all the sudden in the last part of the Administration's last year, there was a dramatic increase. Whether it was a conversion or a legacy building attempt, I don't know. But the facts are we are moving in the right direction. So I am concerned that you all are prepared for conventional attack on this country. But to continue on that, I think one missile hitting Los Angeles and being able to deter that is very important, and two is even more important. So let's not leave that unchallenged.
Direct question: General Jones, in your testimony, page 1 and 13, you refer to the new computer generated uniforms. Have we used them in Afghanistan? Are they comfortable? Were they functional? Where were they developed and who makes them?
General JONES. They were used by two people in Afghanistan, me and the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps.
Mr. HAYES. How did they do for you?
General JONES. I am happy to report that they did very well. They got us back.
Well, the idea was to create a product improvement, to produce something that would identify Marines on the battlefield. I think that cultural identity is important. And I believe that we producedwe harnessed some technologies and produced a uniform that is much better for Marines and much cheaper to maintain. It is completely wash and wear. It probably is a pay raise of about something on the order of $50 a month for each Marine. Not that they would have to follow orders and starch them and press them and everything. But so far the acceptance has been exciting.
We have produced 23,000 sets, and we are planning on 2 or 3 years of turnover, because we have to wear out the existing uniforms. But once they try these on and wear these, I think they will find it is a tremendous improvement.
Page 60 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. HAYES. Do you know where they were manufactured and developed?
General JONES. I could get that for you. There are three companies that bidded and received contracts, but I will have to submit that for the record.
[The information referred to can be found in the Appendix beginning on page ?.]
Mr. HAYES. All of these folks have shipbuilding. In my district, that is important. But I have a lot of uniform, underwear and boot manufacturers in my district. And while we are on that subject, how is the new ICB, infantry combat boot, doing? It is waterproofed. It has not rained in Afghanistan in 3 years; that waterproof quality, did that help over there?
General JONES. Well, as an infantryman I do pay a lot of attention to that subject matter. In April of this year, we will be coming out with a new boot that in fact will be issued to Marines. It is a rough-side-out leather boot. There will be two variations. Both will look the same. One is Gortex for the harsher climates and one is a lighter weight desert boot. I have personally tried the boots out, and I think they are the finest boots that I have worn as an infantryman. I am sorry that it took me 34 years to try them, but I will not trade them in.
The other factor is somewhat of a heresy in some circles, but there is no polish associated with this new boot. So if you have a wash-and-wear uniform and do not have to shine your boots, you should spend more time doing things that are more important, like learning your basic skills.
Mr. HAYES. High-tech does not make any difference when your feet are hurting. I appreciate your attention to those kinds of details. They are very important. It may be a promotional message on my part, but our industrial base has done a wonderful job of researching, developing and meeting the demands, and I appreciate you all bringing it to the attention of the folk here today.
Page 61 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General JONES. I appreciate that. On the industrial base, from idea to acquisition was 1 year. From the idea of the uniform to the rolling off of the first production models was 1 year. And the way in which we acquired this uniform is going to result in a savings of about 7 to 8 million a year for the Marine Corps.
Mr. HAYES. Thank you.
Mr. HUNTER. I thank the gentleman, and my understanding is that, unlike the challenge that the Army had with their berets, these boots were made in America?
General JONES. The boots are made in America, yes, sir.
Mr. HUNTER. Thank you.
Mr. SIMMONS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and I thank the panel for this very interesting morning. I have two comments I wanted to make. First of all to Admiral Clark, I wanted to thank you for leading us last week in the National Prayer Breakfast. I think you have distinguished yourself as a leader in uniform; I think it is important that we recognize that you have also distinguished yourself as a leader in prayer, and I think that that is a very important message, not only to our men and women in uniform, but also to all Americans. I will share with you that I learned the positive power of prayer as a Vietnam veteran, and keep up the good work in that area.
Second, I remember years ago when I worked for Senator John Chafeeand I think General Jones remembers those days, he was a major then but he has moved up since that timeSenator Chafee was a former Secretary of the Navy and he used to comment that it is not how many ships we have but what they can do. And I realize that no ships means no Navy, but aggregate numbers have to be examined in light of the capabilities of the vessels, and that is what I would like to comment and question on.
First of all, Trident conversion. I agree with you, I think we are getting a wonderful buy. We are taking four incredible platforms and transforming them into something that is going to work for the future, not the past, and I think it is going to be cost-effective. I think it is going to be lethal, and I think it is going to be stealthy, and I think these are all things that we look for and that we need. So I commend the Administration for their initiative in that regard, and that, I think, is going to be a great program and none of those conversions will take place in my district. So I am an enthusiastic supporter of that concept. It fits what we are trying to do.
Page 62 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I want to ask about the Virginia Class. On page 33 of your testimony, Mr. Secretary, you made the comment that the new Virginia Class is going to be as quiet as the current Sea Wolf. The program has received awards for cost reduction and efficiency, a 30 percent lower total ownership cost modular spine spiral acquisition and the insertion of future technologies, and I agree it is an awesome platform that is coming together there.
The manufacturersit includes I believe Electric Boat and Newport News shipyardsbelieve that multiple purchases are going to save literally billions of dollars on this program. And on page 21, you indicated that you are not ready for the rate acceleration this year. It will be later in the FYDP, or the F-Y-D-P, that we will go to two Virginias.
Can you comment on that issue and give me a sense of when that might be?
Secretary ENGLAND. Well, the comment was really directed at Virginia as well as a number of our ships. We have not built the first one yet, so it is in process. So it is inappropriateand in fact we have three of them in the queue, I believe, right now. And we are still near the end of the design, but still in the design phase and still the manufacturing phase. So it was really a ''prudent decision'' is how I would describe it in terms of do not rush forward until we absolutely know how it works and what the final cost is.
We have already had the manufacturers working with us in terms of a purchase we might use to reduce costs and rate buys and those sorts of things, so we have done a lot of homework in that regard. And at some point we do absolutely have to get the rate up. And we are building half a submarine in each yard. That is hardly an economic quantity, to build a half of a submarine. So we do need to get the rate up, and we will work to do that.
Right now we go from 1 to 3, but I think we all realize that will not happen that way, that we will actually go from 1 to 2 to 3. And if there is a way that we can do this in some sort of a multiyear, obviously we will pursue that.
Page 63 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SIMMONS. I thank you, Mr. Secretary, and I would certainly be happy to invite you and anybody else up to eastern Connecticut, and perhaps down to Virginia to see the design build program that we are using and the teaming relationship that we have between the shipyards. It is an extraordinary development in the technology of building these ships. And I think it provides for really quality ships that will serve us well for those who are lents now, that hopefully will be lent commanders commanding these ships in the future and it gives the American people a great buy on the platform.
Mr. HUNTER. Ms. Davis.
Mrs. DAVIS OF VIRGINIA. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And thank you, gentlemen, for being here today. And thanks to my colleague for talking about the sub. That gives me more time to talk about carriers.
I know there has been a lot said today, and I do have quite a few questions and would like unanimous consent to submit the ones I do not get to for the record.
Mr. HUNTER. Without objection. And also without objection, Mr. McKeon left some questions, and we would like to offer those for the record also.
General JONES. Absolutely.
Mrs. DAVIS OF VIRGINIA. Thank you. I have heard combat power at sea, secure sea base, sovereignty issues, and I think the large deck carrier has proven its importance. By the way, General, I do not have any questions for you, but thanks for the great comments on Quantico, keep up the good work.
The carriers, as you all would agree, is vital and my comment goes to pushing the CVNX out a year, and even the comment in Admiral Knapp's interview that we are even going to have split funding for the first time ever, and those things concern me.
The DDX technology that I have heard you both speak about today replace the DD-21. And I guess my question to you, Admiral, is what effect the loss of the radar suite on the DD-21 might have had on pushing the CVNX out a year and was that a factor in the decision? What would the cost be to go ahead and do that radar suite?
Page 64 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Also Admiral Knapp said in his interview that there will be no room now for any contingencies because we have pushed the CVNX out a year and there is a possibility that we could have a short-term gap drop and down to 11 carriers. 12 carriers sounds like a lot, but we only have four or five out being used at any one time. The Enterprise is old and I believe the CVNX is to replace the Enterprise. And I think his comments were that if we manage the Enterprise appropriately we will be okay.
All of that concerns me. As you both know, it takes a long time to build a carrier. We can't make the decision, whoops, we need one. They have proven their effectiveness, especially in landlocked areas like Afghanistan. I guess my big question is doing away with the radar suite on the DD-21, did that have any effect on the CVNX?
Admiral CLARK. I am glad you brought it up because the Secretary has already commented and I would like to reinforce the point that DDX, it is a technology developer and we are going to spiral that technology into a number of platforms. And the radar development, which is breakthrough kind of development, it is going to go in the CVNX. That is the plan.
The real issuethat radar issue was not the fact that specifically drove the decision. The funding was splitI talked earlier about my desire for level funding. I would be for that kind of split regardless of the circumstance so we do not have the kind of spike that we talked about earlier in 2001. In my view that is a good way to do business. But the radar was not the driver in that.
Mrs. DAVIS OF VIRGINIA. What was the driver, the dollars?
Admiral CLARK. Fundamentally this is a cost issue and this is a dollars availability issue.
Mrs. DAVIS OF VIRGINIA. So if my chairman of Procurementwho is not here, but sounds like we are going to really look at it in-depthif we raise the dollars would you.
Page 65 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Admiral CLARK. Let me say that it is also true that when you have more time to develop that, some of these technologies will also advance. And so you can't pin your finger on one single piece of this is what I would like to say.
Mrs. DAVIS OF VIRGINIA. Would you leave it out a year if we increased the funding or would you bring it back to 2006?
Admiral CLARK. Based on how the whole program is developed now, we would leave it where it is. Let's talk about Enterprise. Enterprise goes away in 2013. We managed these deliverieswe managed the utilization rates on the corps in these ships every day. This is not unique. We do this all the time.
That said, there is the potential that we will have a gap out there for a year or so. It depends on a lot of things between now and the year 2013. This is one of the reasons we have these carriers. When we need to move them in a hurry, we move them in a hurry. And the Enterprise in her last deployment needed to relocate from one place in the world to another, and that is why we have got a Navy and that is why we have carriers in them.
I am glad you made the point about what is going on in Afghanistan. Periodicallythe other day I was cleaning out my office, a magazine that will remain unnamed but the cover of it had a picture of the carrier and the title was all
aboutyou know, questioning the carrier. Frankly, it is healthy for us to challenge our assumptions. But the world we live in today has proven to us once again we do not want to go into combat or battle if we do not have air supremacy. We are not even interested in fights. I made the point earlier. This is the kind of capability that enables us to take the fight to the enemy in the far corners of the Earth and we have to sustain this kind of capability.
Mrs. DAVIS OF VIRGINIA. Mr. Chairman, may I make one little comment? I also heard that the Department of Defenseand if this is inappropriate to ask it to you tell me later. The Department of Defense says 340-ship fleet. The Department of the Navy says 375. Is that correct?
Page 66 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Secretary ENGLAND. Let me address that if I can. There was a study conducted last fall, and it had, I believe, three different numbers for the size. The Navy concluded that 340 was likely the most appropriate number. The Department of Navy has been doing some studies, still doing it. The first answer out of that study is 375 ships. I am not sure what that right answer is, but I believe the CNO and the Commandant and I all feel like it is a larger number than we have today, and to get to that number for a long time we are going to have to accelerate the number of ships that we have. So to meet the requirements of the Marine Corps in terms of their lift and to have the littoral combat ships and to have theater missile defense and our carrier-to-carrier battle groups it will take more than we have today. And that number is somewhere north of 340 ships but a different mix of ships than we have today.
Mrs. DAVIS OF VIRGINIA. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. [Presiding] We have 10 minutes approximately before the next vote, and there are three of us. The gentleman from Florida, Mr. Miller.
Mr. MILLER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Secretary, as you know, I represent the cradle of naval aviation in Pensacola. We are very proud of what we do in northwest Florida and I will make my comments-question. First of all, I am concerned that the Navy's time frame of bringing the T-6, the new joint primary aircraft training system (JPATS) trainer on line has been pushed out considerably. We picked up a few aircraft in this particular budget year but to replace the aging T-34s that are out there. Is the Navy adjusting at all bringing those aircraft on line? Are you still looking at 2007?
Secretary ENGLAND. We are looking to do that in the future. The T-34 is a fine airplane and has a lot of life left. It is not a priority for us. I believe we have 42 JPATS at the moment, have a requirement for 300 and some as I remember. But we plan to buy those at the end of the Air Force buy so that we would just continue that procurement. That is when we need them frankly. We just do not need them ahead of time. We have some but we do not need them at the moment. T-34 does fine for us at the moment.
Page 67 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. MILLER. You do not intend to relinquish primarily training to the Air Force, do you?
Secretary ENGLAND. The subject has never come up, so I guess I have to say no because it has never been a question. Now, since I never considered that I would have to say in the future we will look at all the efficiency we can do across the DOD and if we looked at primary training, I don't know, it sounds to me like there are some things unique to our Navy and Marine Corps in terms of how they fly. So I guess I just do not know the answer to that question. It has not been answered.
Mr. MILLER. I would agree there are a lot of things that the Navy and the Marine Corps do differently, and I would hope that is not something that would be considered in the future. How is the Navy as far as with training airspace, quantity?
Admiral CLARK. Airspace is one of the most valuable commodities that exist. When I was the Second Fleet Commander you would look at the space we were doing our joint task force exercise off the East Coast and I remember the first time the Secretary of Defense (SECDEF) came aboard and saw the picture and said that is simulation, isn't it, and I said, no, that is all real. Airspace is precious. This is in every area where we have a training range or are conducting routine operation around our base. It is vital to our ability to function and operate.
Mr. MILLER. I would also key in off of that, it does not sound like you could afford to lose any of the airspace that we currently have. Is it possible that the Navy could support legislation that could remove training facilities from the BRAC process?
Secretary ENGLAND. I believe BRAC will take its due course. It is inappropriate for us to get involved in the BRAC process. That is a very defined process, and you really cannot make comments about it. We are not going to make any comments at all about BRAC. It would be inappropriate for us to do so.
Page 68 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from Illinois, Mr. Kirk.
Mr. KIRK. Thank you. First, I wanted to say, Mr. Secretary, thank you for what you have done to combine active duty and veterans health care. We have had leadership from the other departments on this combination that I think improves health care for both active duty and veterans in the Air Force and the Army, but it took your time as Secretary to develop Navy leadership on that. And I think in North Chicago that is what we are going to do, and it will mean better health care for all of the recruits trained in my district and also for the veterans in that area, and it was outstanding leadership on your behalf.
Secretary ENGLAND. And hopefully less money.
Mr. KIRK. And I am told by the facility out at Nellis they had a 25 percent reduction in the cost in both institutions by one instead of two radiology departments, one instead of two galleys, one instead of two laundries. I also want to applaud you on your emphasis on operations and maintenance. There is a iron triangle of lobbyists up here that will fight for the procurement accounts. The only one who will fight for operations and maintenance accounts are you three individuals. As someone who has been on the pointed end of the spear, in our squadron we had a hangar queen that we took spare parts off of. That became the Clinton Navy. That was how we ran things. On the John C. Stennis I had 33 intelligence specialists (ISs) working for me; 32 of them were not going to reenlist. And I note that you said you had about 3 weeks sailing and flying time when you took office.
I also think that given the U.N. schedule, we will be dealing with the issue of Iraq in May and then we might have something to look forward to in the summer. So to requote the President to the U.S. Navy, ''Get ready.'' .
But I want to ask you about looking at the air defense environment of Iraq. It is pretty robust, and if in the future we are looking at very robust surface to air missile systems like the SA-10 and SA-20, you have a very important analysis of alternatives with regard to electronic warfare platforms on your desk. It is a $35 to $60 billion question for the U.S. taxpayer. But more importantly it is a life or death question for the air crews that will be asked to go in.
Page 69 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Can you talk about this challenge that you see with electronic warfare in the future for the Navy, and also now that the prowler fleet is having some problems, is there anything we need to have to maintain that legacy force for a decade before we move to the next fleet?
Secretary ENGLAND. First of all, it is not just the United States Navy because the EA-6B is for all the military. It is the only airplane of its type in the U.S. inventory. Everything else was retired. So the U.S. military relies on that airplane. We have had some problems with cracking, but we also had problems with contamination in some of our engines which put some of our airplanes down. We had put money in to fix the cracking and replace the wing boxes, et cetera. The airplane, it still has life. But on the other hand, we do have, as you say, an analysis of alternatives (AOA) in process looking at alternatives. And I believe that is going to be read out of here in just a couple of months. In spring we will get the readout in terms of what the options are to replace the EA-6B, and that will then be a requirement that we can obviously need to fulfill.
Mr. KIRK. I think that is one of the reasons why Allied air crews return home safely.
Secretary ENGLAND. Absolutely. We have to have them.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Jones?
Mr. JONES. I would like to submit questions about the depot maintenance and amphibious ships.
Mr. Secretary, thank you for traveling down to my district. The people are still talking about your visit at the Navy depot and we very much appreciate that. To Admiral Clark, we have a lot of airspace in eastern North Carolina. We would like to have those F-18s that the people in Oceania do not appreciate. I hope that will be considered.
My question is in August of this year I visited the bombing range at Dare County to say thank you to the civilian workers. While there I met a colonel in the Air Force. I showed him an article in the Washington Times regarding the SU-27, which is, according to the colonel, who is a fighter pilot, is the most sophisticated fighter there is in the air today. He said the only difference is that our pilots are better trained. That is the difference should there be any type of dog fight.
Page 70 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC My question to you, primarily, Mr. Secretary, is the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program on target? Do you see any changes that would be of concern to the Marine Corps?
Secretary ENGLAND. No, sir. It is on target. It is funded. When we let the contract, the contract was for $19 billion. So the contractor is under way. I will tell you the comment about how good an airplane is, is not a question of an airplane, it is a question of how it is utilized in the total force. And we have a total network of airplanes and sensors and systems and magnificently trained personnel, as you know, so we cannot lose sight of the fact that it is an environment that we provide which is very important to the U.S. military, not just a given weapons system. The JSF will make a dramatic difference both to our Navy and to our Marines because it is a giant step above what we have today, very important to our Marine Corps.
Mr. JONES. Mr. Secretary, thank you. With that, Mr. Chairman, I will close by saying that I hope in a year or so when you appear before this committee again that we can introduce you as the Secretary of the Navy and Marine Corps. Thank you, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Dr. Snyder.
Dr. SNYDER. Gentlemen, I am sorry I was late. Secretary Principi was testifying at the Veterans Committee. I wanted to ask a couple of questions directed to General Jones. First of all, General, the one area of the budget that I think is terribly underfunded that impacts on military personnel, and our Marine Corps is not in the Defense budget, and that is on embassy security and embassy infrastructure. And while there is a slight increase in the State Department line item for infrastructure, I think it is terribly inadequate, and I think Colonel Regner and I have visited some embassies and seen security when we were traveling together, and I tried to visit but I think the number is 80 percent of them need major improvements.
Now, we can talk about how we did not anticipate a World Trade Center attack or Pentagon attack, but we can guarantee there will be other attacks on our embassies around the world and directly trying to hurt Americans, specifically American military personnel.
Page 71 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC How do you see the embassy security issue?
May I say one final thing? In Secretary Rumsfeld's statement he talked about his number one priority was homeland defense and protection of our bases overseas. It made me wish that embassies were part of the military because my guess is there would be a substantial increase in money for embassy security, but it is off in the State Department budget and it is not getting the attention it should.
General JONES. With regard to the infrastructure question, the ideal situation, if we could construct such a situation, would be to have the security guards living in close proximity, if not on the embassy compound. We are where we are around the world at the forbearance of our allies. Sometimes that is possible, sometimes not.
Having said that, there is a need to take a look at the infrastructure question. You are absolutely correct. The one thing we can do, though, is to make sure that our Marines that are assigned on Marine security guard duty are, in fact, trained as best we can, and it is for that reason that we stood up the Fourth Marine Expeditionary Brigade and took the Marines of the Marine Security Guard Battalion, which is State Department focused, the Marines of Marine Security Forces Battalion, which is under the operational control of the CNO, both the Chemical and Biological Incident Response Force and converted an infantry battalion to an antiterrorism battalion, and have now got a Brigade Commander at the rank of Brigadier General to focus on this antiterrorism question.
The Tier 1 counterterrorist force in the United States is the Special Operations Forces. Antiterrorism is a defensive measure, and it is my intent that through this Fourth Marine Expeditionary Brigade (MEB) that the Marines that are on post worldwide doing these important security missions be the Tier 1 antiterrorism force in the United States.
So we are seeing tremendous payoffs initially by standing up this force. For example, the Marines that went to Kabul to secure the embassy were from the Antiterrorism Battalion. They have also gone to Iceland to do security measures there. It is a tremendous synergy because we are all in the same business.
Page 72 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Dr. SNYDER. I think a likelihood of a significant increase in the State Department budget is pretty slim and this is the time in the process when we actually could take some money out of the $10 billion contingency fund and think about beefing up State Department security because we have had terrible experiences in Kenya and Tanzania and those kinds of attacks will happen again, and it is your guys that are often going to be targeted.
The CHAIRMAN. Gentlemen, thank you very much for your testimony. We are going to miss a vote if we do not hussle. Thank you.
[Whereupon, at 1:15 p.m., the committee was adjourned.]