SPEAKERS CONTENTS INSERTS Tables
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[H.A.S.C. No. 10969]
NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT
FOR FISCAL YEAR 2007
OVERSIGHT OF PREVIOUSLY AUTHORIZED PROGRAMS
COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED NINTH CONGRESS
FULL COMMITTEE HEARING
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BUDGET REQUEST FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
FEBRUARY 15, 2006
HOUSE COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
One Hundred Ninth Congress
DUNCAN HUNTER, California, Chairman
CURT WELDON, Pennsylvania
JOEL HEFLEY, Colorado
JIM SAXTON, New Jersey
JOHN M. MCHUGH, New York
TERRY EVERETT, Alabama
ROSCOE G. BARTLETT, Maryland
HOWARD P. ''BUCK'' MCKEON, California
MAC THORNBERRY, Texas
JOHN N. HOSTETTLER, Indiana
WALTER B. JONES, North Carolina
JIM RYUN, Kansas
Page 3 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCJIM GIBBONS, Nevada
ROBIN HAYES, North Carolina
KEN CALVERT, California
ROB SIMMONS, Connecticut
JO ANN DAVIS, Virginia
W. TODD AKIN, Missouri
J. RANDY FORBES, Virginia
JEFF MILLER, Florida
JOE WILSON, South Carolina
FRANK A. LOBIONDO, New Jersey
JEB BRADLEY, New Hampshire
MICHAEL TURNER, Ohio
JOHN KLINE, Minnesota
CANDICE S. MILLER, Michigan
MIKE ROGERS, Alabama
TRENT FRANKS, Arizona
BILL SHUSTER, Pennsylvania
THELMA DRAKE, Virginia
JOE SCHWARZ, Michigan
CATHY MCMORRIS, Washington
MICHAEL CONAWAY, Texas
GEOFF DAVIS, Kentucky
IKE SKELTON, Missouri
JOHN SPRATT, South Carolina
Page 4 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCSOLOMON P. ORTIZ, Texas
LANE EVANS, Illinois
GENE TAYLOR, Mississippi
NEIL ABERCROMBIE, Hawaii
MARTY MEEHAN, Massachusetts
SILVESTRE REYES, Texas
VIC SNYDER, Arkansas
ADAM SMITH, Washington
LORETTA SANCHEZ, California
MIKE MCINTYRE, North Carolina
ELLEN O. TAUSCHER, California
ROBERT A. BRADY, Pennsylvania
ROBERT ANDREWS, New Jersey
SUSAN A. DAVIS, California
JAMES R. LANGEVIN, Rhode Island
STEVE ISRAEL, New York
RICK LARSEN, Washington
JIM COOPER, Tennessee
JIM MARSHALL, Georgia
KENDRICK B. MEEK, Florida
MADELEINE Z. BORDALLO, Guam
TIM RYAN, Ohio
MARK UDALL, Colorado
G.K. BUTTERFIELD, North Carolina
CYNTHIA MCKINNEY, Georgia
Page 5 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCDAN BOREN, Oklahoma
ROBERT L. SIMMONS, Staff Director
JOHN WASON, Professional Staff Member
JOHN CHAPLA, Professional Staff Member
DEBRA WADA, Professional Staff Member
JENNIFER GUY, Staff Assistant
C O N T E N T S
CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF HEARINGS
Tuesday, February 15, 2006, Fiscal Year 2007 National Defense Authorization ActBudget Request from the Department of the Army
Tuesday, February 15, 2006
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2006
FISCAL YEAR 2007 NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACTBUDGET REQUEST FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
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STATEMENTS PRESENTED BY MEMBERS OF CONGRESS
Skelton, Hon. Ike, a Representative from Missouri, Ranking Member, Committee on Armed Services
Weldon, Hon. Curt, a Representative from Pennsylvania
Harvey, Hon. Francis J., Secretary of the Army
Schoomaker, General Peter J., Chief of Staff, U.S. Army
[There were no Prepared Statements submitted.]
DOCUMENTS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
The Posture Statement submitted by Hon. Francis J. Harvey joint with Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
Page 7 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCMr. Israel
FISCAL YEAR 2007 NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACTBUDGET REQUEST FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
House of Representatives,
Committee on Armed Services,
Washington, DC, Tuesday, February 15, 2006.
The Committee met, pursuant to call, at 10:01 a.m., in room 2118, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Curt Weldon presiding.
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. CURT WELDON, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM PENNSYLVANIA
Mr. WELDON. The Committee will come to order. Chairman Hunter cannot be with us this morning as he is in California recovering from a cold. We wish him a speedy recovery. I would say he has done such a fantastic job as committee chairman getting involved in a very personal way in every major issue affecting our troops, and he is not here, but he is here with us in spirit and we wish him a speedy recovery from his brief illness.
This morning the committee continues its review of the Department of Defense fiscal year 2007 budget request, today, hearing from the Department of the Army. Our witnesses are the Honorable Francis J. Harvey, Secretary of the Army, and General Peter Schoomaker, Chief of Staff of the Army.
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Gentlemen thank you for being here and your dedicated service to the country. As in the past years, this budget cycle poses a number of important policy and budgetary issues that will receive considerable debate and attention over the next several months. The process is adjourning and at the end of the day the fundamental issue this Congress and committee must address is whether or not the proposed fiscal year 2007 budget establishes the proper policy framework funding sufficient to meet current and future national security challenges and supports the needs of the brave men and women defending our Nation around the world.
I might point out that this committee with bipartisan support has, in the past, requested supplemental funds when the White House did not want those funds because we wanted to make sure that our troops had every possible resource that they need, and we proudly did that and will do so in the future, to make sure we are listening to our warfighting leadership.
General Schoomaker, I agree with the comments you made before us last week, the Army's not broken. In my judgment it is the most motivated and most magnificent Army in the history of the United States, and I must digress a minute.
General Schoomaker, I am proud of you for a couple of reasons, and you have much to be proud of in your career. In a previous life when you headed up special forces command you had the vision to do something, and if this country would have responded back then, I think would have gone a long way to better protect us. When you headed up special operations, you did many things, most of which will never be noticed in the public. But this afternoon we will do a hearing on one of your small programs called Able Danger. I don't want a comment, but I want to tell you thank you for the great service you provided to America.
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Second, it was the Army, it was the Army that came up with a prototype process of collaboration that is the model for the country today that resulted in the framework of the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), so I want to also publicly acknowledge the Army's leadership and your work at Fort Belvoir and the work of Army military visionaries who understood the kind of terrorist challenges we would be facing in the 21st century and how we could best deal with them.
I have been to Iraq three times, I will be leading one more trip there in the spring to Iraq and Afghanistan. My experience is that our young men and women are performing superbly under uniquely challenging circumstances. They are succeeding and they are making a difference. I, like my colleagues on this committee are very proud of our Army, as I know you are.
With regard to the Army's budget request for fiscal year 2007, I am concerned that, like the overall Pentagon's budget, it is more of a result of an arbitrary budget top line than a realistic consideration of the multitude of threats and resulting requirements facing the Nation. I am not now advocating an increased authorization for the sole purpose of an increased top line. We will continue, as we always have, to evaluate budget requests based on the supporting policy and program rationale. However, when one considers the national strategy and the unmet needs of the services in supporting that strategy, as well as reset, restructuring and recapitalization, it appears to come up short.
We will have to await a more complete examination of the details of the proposed budget. This committee on both sides of the aisle has questions and concerns that need to be addressed. One of our concerns has to do with the Army's transition to what it calls a modular force. This involves a total redesign of the Army into a more powerful, flexible force and moves the Army away from a division centric structure to one built around brigade combat teams to include heavy brigades of Abrams tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles, light infantry brigades and those built around Stryker combat vehicles.
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The Army testified last year that the modular initiative required to support the national military strategy would require 77 brigade combat teams or BCT's, with the possibility of growing to 82. Now with the receipt of the fiscal year 2007 budget, we are told only 70 brigade combat teams are required to support the national military strategy. Why did it take at least 77 brigade combat teams last year, but now it only takes 70?
We need to understand how we got from 77 to 70 and the level of risk associated with this decision. One obvious question is where did the money go. We are a Nation at war. Our objectives are the same. Our first priority must be and will be to support our men and women in uniform. They depend on us; our Nation is depending on them.
So, gentlemen, once again we look forward to your testimony, we appreciate your appearance today and the country is fortunate indeed to have your public service. Before recognizing our first witness, let me recognize the distinguished ranking member, my good friend, the gentleman from Missouri, Mr. Skelton, for any remarks that he would like to make.
STATEMENT OF HON. IKE SKELTON, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM MISSOURI, RANKING MEMBER, COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Chairman, thank you very much. I, along with you, welcome Secretary John Schoomaker. Mr. Schoomaker, glad to see you back and raring to go once again. I look forward to your testimony. And it is good to see General Helmly, General Blum, General Vaughn, General Sinn being with us today. Looking out in the audience today, you see all the stars and officers out here and you say, ''Who is running the Army today?'' I tell you who is running the Army, the young men over here, sergeant first class and two staff sergeants are out there running the Army while you all are up here answering questions for us, and I have to tell you how proud I am of them. So thank them for being with us and thank all of the United States Army for its service.
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Our Nation's soldiers are bearing the burden of a long war on terror. Bravery, sacrifice, determination is seen every day. All of them are doing a tremendous job. America stands behind them every step of the way and that is why we are here today.
It is rather interesting to note historically that the American people are 100 percent behind those in uniform today and I know this is unlike those who served during the Vietnam era, and you have got to be very proud of our American neighbors as they are proud of those who wear the uniform.
I have been saying, Mr. Secretary, General Schoomaker, that the Army is stretched thin and there is a potential we could break the force if we are not careful. There is concern that the Army will not be able to achieve its transformational objectives, and I want you to address that with us, let alone meet the future challenges. The proposed budget seems only to exacerbate that problem. But I am just a country lawyer and that is what I see.
Several months ago, as Chairman Weldon mentioned, the Army's transformational objective indicated a need for 77 brigade combat teams, yet the President's budget requests only funding for 70. There is also drastic cut in a number of support brigades as well, even though some of those are heavily used in the military today.
The Army has authorized end strength for fiscal year 2006 is 512,000. However, the President's budget request only providing funding for authorized end strength of 482,000, a reduction of some 30,000.
Page 12 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Furthermore, the Army National Guard authorized end strength in fiscal year 2006 is 350,000, the President's budget funds only 332,900, a reduction of 17,100. The Army's reserve authorized end strength for fiscal year was 205,000, but the budget request only 200,000; a reduction of 5,000. If the Army National Guard meets its authorized end strength, where will this money come from to pay for it? The personnel accounts, training accounts, operation and maintenance.
The Army's recruiting budget is also a concern. When dollars per recruit are considered, the budget request reduces funding for recruiting and advertising by 40 percent for the active Army and 52 percent and 20 percent respectively for the national guard and reserves.
It is true that retention is at an all-time high, which has helped offset the recruiting shortfall, so when we look closely, we see, over the last several years, the Army has spent much more than budgeted to pay for those big bonuses. Mr. Secretary, I would ask you to address that particular issue regarding bonuses for the recruiting scene. While the budget request does increase funding for retention, it is not clear it will be sufficient to maintain the current retention rates.
Money is so tight in the operation and maintenance accounts. Continuous combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan have placed a heavy burden on our equipment. Since 2001 the Army has lost nearly 85 aircraft and nearly 1,000 combat vehicles and trucks, with the bill for replacement approaching some $9 billion.
Beyond battle losses, accelerating wear is also taking its toll. Some equipment is wearing out up to ten times faster than during peacetime. The Army's estimate for repairing equipment to prewar levels is roughly an additional $12 billion a year, with a total cost of $35 billion. Furthermore, if the war ended today it would take two years to fix all the equipment and to reset the force. This budget request includes only $8 billion to reset activities.
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The Army's budget has been adversely impacted by the recent program decision memorandum, which called for a $30 billion reduction in the Department of Defense budget. My understanding is that the Army's share of that reduction is $11.6 billion.
I hope that the Secretary and the Chief can walk us through those funds, where they were taken from, and what the impact of the reduction has had on the Army's ability to fully fund for fiscal year 2007.
Mr. Chairman, it is our constitutional duty and our responsibility to insure the Army and the other services are properly manned, trained, equipped to protect our Nation's security. So we do as we are supposed to do, we need the necessary information to make rational informed decisions, and I hope we will have an open and frank discussion today.
I believe it is the Army's future, and therefore, our Nation's security depends on it. Mr. Secretary and General Schoomaker, let me, again, thank you for your dedicated service to our Army and to our Nation. Thank you.
Mr. WELDON. I thank the distinguished gentleman. Without objection, the testimony of Secretary Harvey and General Schoomaker will be entered into the record, without objection.
Secretary Harvey, you may proceed with your statement.
STATEMENT OF HON. FRANCIS J. HARVEY, SECRETARY OF THE ARMY
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Secretary HARVEY. Good morning. Congressman Weldon, Congressman Skelton, and distinguished Members of the committee, General Schoomaker and I appreciate the opportunity to be here this morning and to offer testimony on the posture of the United States Army. America's Army is the world's preeminent land power with a quality force of over 1 million soldiers supported by nearly 240,000 Department of Army civilians, an Army of active, guard and reserve soldiers deployed stationed overseas for securing the homeland, soldiers from every state, soldiers from every corner of this country serving the people of the United States with incredible honor and distinction.
We provided the committee the 2006 Army Posture Statement as our written statement and I would like to take this opportunity to briefly highlight some of the Army's key initiatives and programs. General Schoomaker will also make an oral statement at the conclusion of my remarks. I know that this committee, like me, appreciates the insights and unique perspective that General Schoomaker provides from his distinguished career of service to our Nation as a soldier. The soldier remains the centerpiece of America's Army. General Schoomaker will introduce to you three of those soldiers here with us today during his remarks.
The 2006 Army Posture Statement is a succinct summary of the Army plan which addresses the challenges of today, while preparing us for those we will face tomorrow. The Army plan is a comprehensive, fully integrated, strategic and operational plan which provides the road map to first build a more capable and relevant Army for the 21st century through transformation and modernization; and second, sustain the full range of the Army's current commitments, particularly fighting and winning the Global War on Terrorism.
Page 15 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC On 9/11 the Army's operational capabilities lacked the breadth and depth for the long war. We appreciate the continuing support of Congress as the Army shifts its center of gravity to provide a broader portfolio of operational capabilities to meet the complex challenges of the 21st century security environment, particularly irregular asymmetric warfare.
For example, we have already completed the first two years of converting the operational Army to a modular brigade-based combat force. Our objective is 70 brigade combat teams, or BCT's, and 211 support brigades. This is an increase of 46 percent in the number of BCT's over the current force.
To date, we have completed the conversion or activation of 19 BCT's to the modular design or approximately 27 percent toward the objective of 70 BCT's. In addition, we have started the conversion or activation of another 18.
Even though the modular force effort is not
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Mr. Chairman. Mr. Chairman, I don't have his testimony in front of me. Where is the testimony?
Mr. WELDON. Mr. Secretary, did you submit your testimony?
Secretary HARVEY. Written testimony is submitted as the Posture Statement. This is my oral testimony.
Mr. WELDON. Should be in everybody's packet.
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Secretary HARVEY. This right here.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Does that contain a statement on 9/11 the Army was not prepared. I don't see that statement. I don't see what is being testified to here.
Mr. WELDON. We will let the Secretary respond. We can ask him whatever questions we want. He is entitled to make his statement and you can ask him whatever question you want to ask if you feel his testimony doesn't cover an issue or reflect a concern that you have.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. I guess so. A statement like that.
Secretary HARVEY. We will go into the details. The chief will show you the details.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. I hope so.
Secretary HARVEY. It has already increased our operational capabilities and established a foundation for a rotational force generation model that is structured, predictable and provides more combat ready units while reducing stress on the force.
In order to sustain the current missions and continue to posture for future commitments, the Army needs the full support of Congress for the Army plan in the Army's request for the 2007 Presidential budget. Additionally, beyond the importance of maintaining full funding for the modular force transformation, we also want to emphasize the importance of fully funding the future combat system (FCS) program. This is a key modernization program for the Army and is really the first major modernization effort in over four decades.
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Although the word ''future'' is in the program title, this is not a program that only exists on PowerPoint slides. FCS is becoming a reality today and spinouts of FCS technology to our current modular force will begin in 2008.
Put simply, the FCS program is the fastest and surest way to modernize the Army. Furthermore, it is the only way to effectively modernize the Army in an integrated manner. The FCS program and the modular force initiative, in conjunction with the full spectrum of other programs in the areas of R&D, acquisition, training, leadership development, advanced techniques and procedures, business transformation, as well as the growth of the operational Army will insure that our overall capability to conduct both traditional and nontraditional operations including the Global War on Terrorism will continuously and methodically increase and improve as we go forward in the uncertain and unpredictable 21st century.
We also need to draw your attention to the importance of our effort with your support to sustain an all volunteer force through recruiting, retention, and providing a quality of life for our soldiers and their families that match the quality of their service. This is the first time in our modern history that the Nation has tested the concept of an all-volunteer force in a prolonged war. Full funding in support of Army programs in this way is critical to sustain the finest Army in the world.
Finally, I want to emphasize that the Army plan is a total plan to transform the entire Army, active, guard and reserve. 2005 reaffirmed to the people of the United States that we are truly an Army of one. Simply put, the Army could not perform full spectrum operations without the tremendous contribution of the Army guard and reserve.
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For example, last year, the Army National Guard had 10 brigade combat teams and a division headquarters serving in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Balkans for at least a portion of the year. Despite this overseas commitment, the national guard was still capable of responding with 42,000 soldiers in a little over a week to support Hurricane Katrina relief operations. I might add that there were still tens of thousands more national guard and reserve soldiers available if needed.
Based on the insights from 9/11, homeland defense operations, hurricane recovery operations, and lessons learned from the Global War on Terrorism, the Army plan shifts the focus of the reserve components from a strategic reserve to an operational force and rebalances the reserve components force structure to an operational skills they need for the 21st century security environment.
For example, in the current plan, the Army National Guard will continue to maintain a total of 106 brigades, which are beginning to be transformed to the same modular design as the active Army. However, we are changing the organizational mix of brigade combat teams and support brigades based on the capabilities needed to conduct both their national defense as well as their state missions.
In essence, the Army National Guard and the Army Reserve are transforming and modernizing from an underresourced standby force to fully equipped, manned and trained operational ready units.
Let me close and give General Schoomaker an opportunity to address this committee by saying that I remain confident that with the continued strong support of the Congress, America's Army can accomplish its mission and reach our strategic goal of being relevant and ready both today and tomorrow. Thank you.
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[The Posture Statement submitted by Secretary Harvey joint with General Schoomaker can be found in the Appendix on page 57.]
Mr. WELDON. General Schoomaker, the floor is yours. Your statement will be in the record. You may make whatever comments you might.
STATEMENT OF GEN. PETER J. SCHOOMAKER, CHIEF OF STAFF, U.S. ARMY
General SCHOOMAKER. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, Congressman Skelton, distinguished Members of the committee. It is a pleasure to be back with you this week and continue the testimony and the conversation that we began last week when the Secretary of Defense was here.
I mentioned last week, kind of talked about where we were, where we are, and where we are going. I would like now, since we have our Posture Statement out and in your hands, sometime during the hearing you might want to refer to page two. There are some charts that show some of the historic funding. If you would just put your attention up on these charts.
I am putting up here a chart that is on that page that shows spending in defense as percentage of GDP over history, and you will notice that I think it is the top figure on the upper right-hand corner of page two. You notice in World War II, we were spending 38 percent of our GDP. You can follow it down through the years to where we are currently spending about 3.9 percent.
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What is interesting here is the Army's history throughout this. During the years of the drawdown, as I testified last week, we experienced a $100 billion shortfall in investment in the United States Army. At the same time, we took over half a million soldiers out of the Army, active, guard and reserve.
How that breaks out then, if you take a look at this, is a percentage of the DOD investment dollars, you will notice the Army in the green wedge there has traditionally had over these years about 16 percent of the total DOD investment account. And you can see it there in relation to others. What is interesting, you look at its relationship to the defense agencies.
So then put up the holes in the yard chart that I talked about last week. So we started on 9/11 with about a $56 billion deficit just in equipment in the United States Army. And so when we cross the berm, we had to make the units in contact with the enemy whole, and we did that by pushing equipment to the right and using additional funds that the Congress provided for us to fix things like lack of connectivity, mobile communications, blue force tracking, force protection, and other things.
When we talk about resetting the Army, we are really talking about five categories; we are talking about replacing combat losses, we are talking about recapitalization for equipment that is missing or broken, we are talking about resetting equipment through our depos, we are talking about force protection that you see there like Warlock, the armored security vehicles, Humvees to a tune of over a billion dollars and these kind of things, and we are talking about the money now placed in our base budget for modularity, about $5 billion to correct what we are talking about.
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So as we go through and you look at this budget in 2007 and you look at the supplemental funding that accompanies our war costs, you will see the kinds of numbers that Congressman Skelton talked to that are significant. I think our reset costs are up around $13 billion in terms of our need. And part of that, there is the bow wave because, as you know, we did not have additional procurement money in the supplementals early on in the war.
So as we reset this Army and transform it, this is the challenge that we are overcoming, and you have been very helpful. I will say it right up front, the support that the Congress has given the United States Army during this period of extraordinary stress has been instrumental in keeping this Army and continuing to build it to the very best Army that we have ever had.
I think you correctly stated that when you measure the Army in almost any dimension, we have almost the finest Army, certainly in my career, and my father's career.
I will just wrap up by reintroducing some people that have already been recognized. First of all, Lieutenant General Ron Helmly is here. He is the chief of the Army reserve, one of our senior leaders. Lieutenant General Steve Blum, who is the
[The Posture Statement submitted by General Schoomaker joint with Secretary Harvey can be found in the Appendix on page 57.]
Mr. WELDON. Would you each stand so we can properly acknowledge your presence?
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General SCHOOMAKER. Lieutenant General Ron Helmly, Lieutenant General Steve Blum, Chief of the National Guard Bureau. Lieutenant General Clyde Vaughn, who is the Director of the Army National Guard, and we have got Lieutenant General Sinn here, who we trust with the money. He is as old as I am so we allow him to handle it. He is right behind the Secretary, who keeps him under tow.
These are very important senior leaders for Army that are instrumental in what we are doing as we go forward.
I would like to introduce, as you correctly stated, what makes the Army special to the people, it is the soldiers that are in the Army that are the center of the Army. And I have representatives here from each of our components, active, guard and reserve. And I would like to introduce Sergeant First Class Matthew Stansfield on the far right. Sergeant First Class Stansfield is out of the Washington State National Guard. He is a 19 Delta Scout. He served in Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) 2 from March of 2004 to January of 2005 and had extraordinary experience not only in protecting our long lines of convoys that were over there, but providing security and conducting combat operations around our large distribution center, which many of you have been to, as well as being instrumental in support of the Stryker brigade in Mosul in the elections in January of 2005. He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for his service there, and of course he is back home now safe and sound, which we are glad to see.
The 81st was the very first unit in the whole United States Army that we placed the full issue of the RFI, which is the new soldier equipment. And I think it speaks a lot to the priority that we have given in terms of making sure those soldiers go in harm's way, regardless of what component they are in in terms of equipment.
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Thanks a lot, Sergeant Stansfield.
General SCHOOMAKER. Staff Sergeant Jason Hall is next and he is from the U.S. Army reserve. Now Staff Sergeant Hall is a psychological operations specialist and he has served in both OIF 1 and OIF 3. Our psychological operational forces fall under the oversight and they are assigned to U.S. Special Operations Command along with our civil affairs special forces and rangers.
Staff Sergeant Jason Hall is from the 307th Tactical Psychological Operations Company, and he earned the Bronze Star Medal and the Purple Heart in Iraq. He was wounded on the 30th of September of 2004, and when his unit was attacked with a car bomb, Staff Sergeant Hall saved the lives of three other soldiers before passing out himself from his wounds.
He is now based in what we call a community-based health care organization which allows him to return near his home for his treatment and he is now attending college during the period that he is getting his care at home. His home is, I am sorry, where is your home?
Mr. HALL. Springfield, Missouri.
General SCHOOMAKER. Staff Sergeant Ian Walsh. By coincidence, and I didn't know this until we met, his father was actually a lawyer for me in Special Operations Command many years ago. Hard to believe that people my age have children his age, but he is 27 years old.
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Staff Sergeant Walsh is a Stryker brigade and he served both in Fallujah and Mosul, Iraq from October, 2004 to September, 2005. He is a Stryker vehicle commander and squad leader and during his period there he earned the Army Commendation Medal and the Combat Infantryman's Badge, and during the time he was in Iraq, he was personally involved in over 70 raids in over 280 combat patrols both day and night, killing or capturing over 100 insurgents, and on January 17, 2005 his Stryker was hit with an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) that was a mobility kill on that vehicle but did notthe vehicle protected the soldiers inside there.
We are very proud of him and I know you know the reputation of the Stryker brigade. They speak for themselves. So thanks very much.
General SCHOOMAKER. I will just wrap up again by saying what I say all the time and that is I couldn't be more proud of being associated with United States Army and the soldiers that we have. It is indeed an honor to becertainly be in a position of responsibility with them, but just an honor to be associated with them and I am very, very proud, and I thank you again for your support and kind words.
Mr. WELDON. Thank you, General, thank you, Mr. Secretary, and thank you all for being here today and serving the country. You are the reason why we here. And if I could digress for a moment, Mr. Secretary and General, having the three soldiers in here along with the leadership of the Army reminds me of the first trip that I took to Iraq, which was about a month after we had captured Saddam, and after being briefed by General Sanchez and Paul Bremer they asked our delegation to fly up north. And some of my colleagues were on the trip. We flew up to meet with the 4th Infantry Division (ID), at the time headed by General Odonero, a great soldier.
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As our choppers landed and he came over, he briefed us on how well the 30,000 troops were doing in the northern part of Iraq. Same story you are telling us here, pride and how the guard and reserve were blending in, doing the job with our active duty personnel equally.
Then I asked him to talk about casualties and he told an amazing story. He said let me give you an example of a casualty that happened several weeks ago, and he told the story of a 24-year old. In fact, he said, Congressman, he is from Pennsylvania, graduate of West Point and a bright young leader who all the other troops look up to, was leading his unit when he came under fire and hit and he went down, but he kept doing what our soldiers do, he kept protecting his troops, protecting his civilians, and fighting the enemy until his unit won, but he was killed there on that dirt road between two cities.
General Odonero told us what a great leader he had been. Would have been a general or head of a corporation or whatever. But, unfortunately, he didn't. He died there that day. And then I thought for a moment and I looked at the General and I said I know who that lieutenant was. He said how can you know who that lieutenant, I have 30,000 troops. I said his name was David Bernstein, wasn't it. He said yes, it was.
He was shocked I knew the name. I said when you told me the details of the incident, you told me he was 24, West Point grad, I said General, I nominated him to West Point. He was from my Congressional district. I interviewed that young man in high school and made the decision he was the kind of leader that America needed.
Page 26 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And amazingly his parents, and I grieved with his parents when he died, had written a 3-page letter in case I would meet someone who knew their son and I had that letter in the back of my jeans and I pulled it out and on the battlefield. I handed the General the three-page letter his parents had sent to me expressing their pride in their son and what a great job he had done and how he had loved the Army, that was his whole goal in life, and he told his parents frequently in letters: Mom and dad, if I die here, I've died loving what I did, and I died for the right reason, giving the children of Iraq the same opportunity I had back in Pennsylvania.
The General read the letter and I could tell he was very emotional, he reached in his pocket and pulled out a 4th ID medal which he gave to me to give to his parents, which I did. In fact, Bernstein was given the Silver Star posthumously on November 5th of last year.
Then the General said something that struck home, and it is why we all here, he said, ''You know, Congressman, this is an unbelievable story. My 24-year old son is serving right now in Baghdad and he graduated from West Point with Bernstein. They were classmates and friends.''
And as you well know, General Odonero was hit in the shoulder not too long after that and suffered some very serious wounds. He was able to recover.
But I want to make it a record and for the soldiers that are here today, I want you to know that is why we are here. It is because of each and every one of you that serves, and we all have these personal stories. We take this job, whether we sit on that side of the aisle or this side of the aisle, we take the job very seriously.
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Sometimes we have to be critical of your leaders and ask difficult questions because we want to make sure that more Lieutenant Bernsteins don't come home in body bags. We want to make sure that we take the extra effort. Whether the White House agrees with it or not, we are going to be there.
That leads me into my two brief questions before I turn it over to my colleagues. The first is, General, we are tough on the military; that is our job. Oversight. But I think we have to be equally tough with the media when they are irresponsible. Just a week ago, I berated The New York Times for a front page story that was based on information that was not correct by an internal study done by a forensic unit of our military.
But what offended me more than the story was they put a diagram of a soldier showing the vulnerable spots of that soldier and how that soldier could be killed. Now the young officers that we had here last week were as outraged as I was and said that photograph in that newspaper jeopardizes the life and safety of everybody we serve with.
So for the record, I would like you as a soldier to respond to whether or not you think that kind of journalism, especially when the commanding general that he interviewed begged them not to put that illustration in the paper, whether or not you think that kind of irresponsible journalism threatens the lives of our soldiers.
I don't know whether you saw the front page story or not, General. I am sure you did.
Page 28 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General SCHOOMAKER. Sir, I didn't see the story, but I am familiar with the testimony. I would say that many times it is difficult to reconcile the free press that is a very important part of our Nation and the kinds of issues that you are talking about. It is easy to get frustrated with it, not just in these issues but in the reporting of the war and the rest of it.
I think it is best for me to say that I fully support the free press. I would hope that all the people that are involved in the free press would weigh these issues and exercise the greatest amount of responsibility and restraint that they can within our system of a free and open press. But you hear this over and over from soldiers many times and we are often disappointed by the judgments that are exercised.
Mr. WELDON. Thank you, General. My follow-up is I have been on this committee for 20 years and it has a reputation on both sides of the aisle doing what is right by the troops. You mentioned the problem you had coming in and the shortfall of the Army. I was here during that time period and I was here during the six years in the 1990s where we increased defense spending above the President's request by $43 billion.
I remember Secretary Perry coming back and sitting where you are and I had a chance to ask a question, I said, ''Mr. Secretary, you are on the other side of the table and you are lobbying us to increase the acquisition budget by $60 billion in one year. I have a little problem with that because the years you were the Secretary, you criticized us for increasing spending for the military beyond what you said we needed. So I have to ask you the question, Mr. Secretary, where will we be today if he we had listened to you when you were the Secretary of Defense?'' His answer was well, ''You would be a lot worse of than you are today.''
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The fact is, thank goodness, this committee did increase funding by 43 billion above what the President's request was, but it also happened in this administration. I remember when we first went into Iraq, Paul Wolfowitz did not want us to request a supplemental, and this committee said you can't go in there with the Army requesting, and I was then chairman of Tactical Air and Land Subcommittee, they were looking to decrease the Army's budget for the next fiscal year. The unfunded priority list was $6 billion at that point in time. As you know, we called for a $25 billion emergency supplemental, the White House didn't want it, but we got it.
So my point to you is this committee is your support base. Yes, we are going to ask tough questions, yes, we are going to go to the wall on issues of uparmoring Humvees and personal protection and scrutinize every part of what you do, but in the end, you have a huge support base here in both parties. And I don't question that among any of my colleagues on this committee.
But that leads me to the ultimate question of why you went from 77 units requested, in telling us that was going to be your request last year, down to 70 brigade combat teams in this year's budget. I need a further explanation of that because as a layman, I read that as a budget driven change as opposed to a policy driven change. So would you comment on that please, Mr. Secretary.
Secretary HARVEY. Certainly. Let me just say up front, Congressman, that it is a strategy driven not budget driven change. Let me explain the arithmetic to you. When we had a planning base of 77, which was the base starting in mid 2004, that was based on our best guess ofour best estimate, I shouldn't say guessof what the steady state deployment of our brigades should be. That was simply based on what we had deployed at that time which was 20 brigade combat teams.
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And if you looked at the 77, which consisted of 43 in the active and 34 in the guard, if you put that into our force generation model, which we call the Army force generation model, those numbers were able to generate steady state 20 brigade combat teams.
Along comes the QDR. It does an in-depth assessment of what the requirements for the Army's deployment are and that strategic assessment said that the Army should be able to deploy or have ready for deployment 18 to 20 brigade combat teams. So that being formed by the QDR.
So in a sense when the Army did this we did our best estimate of what we thought was needed. That is a supply type of number. Along comes the QDR and says in an in-depth analysis this is what the 21st century security environment demands, 18 to 20. We chose to be able to deploy 18 to 19 brigade combat teams, consisting of 14 in the active and four to five in the reserves.
If you put that back into the Army force generation model, which says for the active, that a brigade will be deployed or ready for deployment one year and three and in the reserves, one year and six. You do all that arithmetic, you come out with 42, the requirement of 42 in the active and 28 in the national guard, for a total of 70. So it is really based on a strategic assessment and when you super impose a financial decision on it, we chose the number in that strategic window of 18 to 19. That is the arithmetic.
General SCHOOMAKER. Could I just add to this because there was another piece of the question you had there. You asked where did it go. I think that one of the things that perhaps we haven't been as articulate in explaining as we should have been is that the brigade combat team, while it is an important measure of an Army, is not the whole Army.
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When you look at the active force with a 42 brigade combat teams, we now have 75 other brigade organizations that are combat support, combat service brigades. When you look at the national guard structure with the 28 brigade teams, we have another 78 multifunctional or functional brigades that are a very, very important part of the Army. When you look at the Army reserve, there are 58 of these brigades.
Where we had our most risk in our current experience is in these other brigades, not in the brigade combat teams. If the brigade combat teams we have our whole, they populate the fourth generation model, as the Secretary said. But where we have had the most risk is in the combat service, combat support and in our special operations forces.
So when you say where did it go, it went to populate and take the risk out of these other parts of the Army. In fact, we have moved, as you know, in the special operations, we are creating an additional five battalions of special forces, the Green Beret aspect; we are doubling the number of civil affairs companies. We are increasing by another battalion of special operations aviation over there and increasing the equivalent of another battalion of rangers.
All of that happens within the Army's end strength of things as well as these other brigades. So if somebody was to tell me that we could have an unlimited supply of money, I would tell you that growing more brigade combat teams would not be my first recommendation. My first recommendation would be to accelerate what we are doing to get in balance in the Army that we need.
The next question is once it is balanced, should it be bigger smaller or whatever, and that is an issue that we are ensuring right now by this parallel effort that you have funded through supplemental funding of growing the Army by 30,000 more soldiers. And we have time to make the decision of whether we should retain those soldiers, bigger army, or whether we can now come back on the plan that we have and do it within the funding that we have.
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So this rubic's cube is very, very complex, and my recommendation has been to leadership that we balance the Army first and make it whole and that we fully fund, fully resource, fully man the Army, balance it so we take the risk out of it, and then deal with the issue of whether or not in balance they should be bigger. So I hope that explains where things went.
Mr. WELDON. The gentleman from Missouri is recognized.
Mr. SKELTON. I will have to admit, Mr. Secretary, General, I am having some difficulty with your mathematics. 77 BCT's, combat teams were requested last September, 70 today, and you are saying that you want to be able to deploy 18 to 19 brigades at one time, am I correct?
Secretary HARVEY. That's correct.
Mr. SKELTON. What assurance do you have, Mr. Secretary, that we are going to have an 18 or 19 brigade series of battles or requirements. Can't you imagine some scenarios where you are going to have to double that?
Secretary HARVEY. Yes, certainly. The 18 to 19 is based on an operational assessment model developed by the joint staff and that isactually, the number of brigades we have deployed today is actually worldwide is 18, including the brigade in Korea.
Now if we have to surge for any other operation with those deployed, the way our force generation model works is we have another 18 to 19 in the availability phase of our rotation model and we can surge with them. So we can maintain the steady state and then have the ability to surge if required by another operation.
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Mr. SKELTON. As a matter of fact, is the Army not being stretched today?
Secretary HARVEY. Congressman, I wouldn't use that word stretched, I would use the words we are being challenged. We have, as I said, 18 brigades deployed. We have a lot going on, but stretched, when I look
Mr. SKELTON. Let me interrupt you. Would you be able to recruit up to 77 brigades, Mr. Secretary? Supposing you got the funds, could you recruit up to 77 brigades?
Secretary HARVEY. That would certainly be a challenge. Remember what General Schoomaker said, just don't look at the brigade combat teams, you have got to look at the support brigades.
Mr. SKELTON. I understand that. Let me go back. You say this is strategy driven. You didn't tell us the strategy behind it. It is either strategy driven or dollar driven or recruiting driven; has to be one of those three. Which one is it?
Secretary HARVEY. It is fundamentally strategy driven.
Mr. SKELTON. Would you explain the strategy?
Secretary HARVEY. If you look at the QDR, the ability to support an operation like we have in Iraq and Afghanistan with the ability for a major combat operation. There is a force planning construct outlined in the QDR report, and that is the basic strategic evaluation of the security environment. Within that window we made a choice, which was financially driven. So to say everything is strategy driven is not absolutely correct. It is primarily strategy driven. And then within that strategic window of 18 to 20, we choose to be in the middle of 18 to 19, which then, obviously, is less cost than 20.
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Mr. SKELTON. Without eating up too much more time, I hope we don't find ourselves in a situation where we are wrong and that we will have to do more than have 18 or 19 or even double that in a surge.
One last question; we have talked about the 350,000 national guard authorization, but funded up to roughly 333,000.
Secretary HARVEY. Correct.
Mr. SKELTON. If you need 350,000, why don't you just recommend that we fund it? Second, if you want to go for 333,000 and fund that, where are you going to take the money from, if recruiting? General Vaughn says January was a great recruiting year. What if that continues? Where are you going to take the money from, some 17,000?
Secretary HARVEY. We certainly hope it continues. It is about at 334,000.
Mr. SKELTON. But you have to reprogram.
Secretary HARVEY. That is exactly what we will do.
Mr. SKELTON. Where are you going to take it from?
Secretary HARVEY. Depending on conditions, we will have flexibility. We are assessing what we are doing right then and ask for reprogramming.
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Mr. SKELTON. I will ask you again, where are you going to take it from?
Secretary HARVEY. I don't have specifically any account that I can tell you. I can tell you it costs $963 million out of a budget of $112 billion, and so I think there is enough flexibility in that budget. Furthermore, it also depends on how many national guards are deployed overseas because that comes out of supplementals. We certainly hope that the guard grows to the congressionally authorized number of 350,000, and they aggressively go about it.
Mr. SKELTON. Would you recommend any of that shortfall, which I understand it is $810 million?
Secretary HARVEY. $963 million.
Mr. SKELTON. Would you recommend that come from a weapons system?
Secretary HARVEY. Congressman, I am not going to give you a specific right now. I think we will see what the situation is, we will see whether there is underspending in a weapons system account.
Mr. SKELTON. We are faced with that. We may have to make that decision if we are going to fund it fully.
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Thank you, Mr. Secretary.
General SCHOOMAKER. Could I add to the testimony? Strategy is kind of my business as a member of the joint chiefs, so I would like to address the strategic question. If you look at the QDR, the strategy shows that we haveif you look at it as a bar in a steady state, we would like to have, for every unit deployed, we would like to have four units that are home. That would be the ideal in a steady state. If we have a surge requirement like a very major war, we would like to be able to surge all of the Army to do that, in other words, we would fix in place those that we have deployed and we would surge the Army.
As you come back off of that surge, we then need to maintain, because of the tail, as we know from Iraq and our other experiences, that you never go back to rest. You end up because of the reconstruction and the stability operations, et cetera. We would then like to have the depth to do a one-in-three rotation. For every unit that is gone, to be able to have two years rest on the thing.
That is how we built the depth in the force. If you wanted 77 brigades today, we could make it. We could make 77 brigades. But what we would do, I am just showing you the combat service support structure in the Army, active, guard and reserve.
The different colors on there, the blue I believe is Army reserve, the yellow is national guard, the white is active. Sure, we could make 77 brigades right now with what we have. We have the money, the end strength and the equipment. But that is not where we need the Army. We need the Army here because that is where we stressed. That is what I said a minute ago. This isn't World War II anymore. It is not the Cold War. It is a different world that requires a different kind of Army. It needs to be balanced and we wanted to take the risk out of here.
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I mean, I totally agree with what you have said. If you want to look at how the United States historically has funded its Army, go and read Rick Atkinson's book, The Army at Dawn. You will find out that this Nation putthree years after World War II started, we were putting soldiers ashore without rifles in North Africa, and training ammunition, not real landing ammunition. That's what Patton landed with.
That is how America has prepared its Army in the past. On our watch we don't want it that way and that is why we are recommending a fully funded resource Army that balanced. It's that simple. And you can push this around any way you want but our judgment, strategic judgment, is we need a balanced Army and the balance has got to be in the full force and not traditionally where we have taken the risk and that is in the support echelons of the Army.
So that is the way I would address your question there on that. As far as funding this thing, we have fully funded the guard to 350,000 in the 2006 budget. We have all the rest of this year to determine whether they will recruit to that level. We have all the way to the fourth quarter of 2007 to make determinations on where we might push money around in a very large budget. And, yes, we could.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Mr. Chairman.
General SCHOOMAKER. But we have time to do that.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Mr. Chairman, it is extraordinarily difficult to have these charts down there. Even when my glasses are on, 2020, I haven't any idea. None of this stuff is in front of us.
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Mr. WELDON. We have requested and we have been assured that we will receive this chart. We do not have it in the book but you will get a copy. It's the only chart to my knowledge not in the book. Is that correct?
General SCHOOMAKER. I didn't plan to use this, but I had it, so I would be glad to have them bring it up so you can see it. We will make copies.
Mr. WELDON. As long as you are sure every member will get a copy.
General SCHOOMAKER. I just wanted to use it for effect. You can see in the upper right-hand corner all of that yellow up there is inside the brigade combat team. That is the logistics that is inside the brigade combat teams, embedded. Brigade combat teams are not brigades. They are a self-contained fighting unit that has fires, maneuvers, reconnaissance, all the support inside the brigade. It is a different construct, so we can't mirror image it from the past.
Mr. WELDON. I thank the gentleman for his questions and for your answers. And I would just say before I turn my gavel over to my friend and colleague, Mr. Hefley, gentlemen, we need more of your comments and historical perspective discussions with the American people. And I know you don't go out and normally do that, but I will tell you, it will be very helpful because sometimes you have to step back and put things in the context as you just did a moment ago.
Page 39 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC With that, we will go into the five-minute rule and we will go in order of arrival in the committee, starting with seniority, those who were here first; and the chair will be now be taken over by the distinguished gentleman from Colorado, Mr. Hefley.
Mr. SAXTON. Mr. Secretary, thanks for being here today, we have been the Army's partner here for the last several years with regard to the transition of the Army structure to a brigade combat team structure.
It has been said during the last several years that we are actually going to increase combat power significantly by making these changes to a modular structure in the Army. This year's budget request cites a 46 percent increase in combat power.
Could you and General Schoomaker speak to this issue and tell us how this is possible?
Secretary HARVEY. Yes, Congressman.
If you start out with the following base, in the active, we had 33 percentexcuse me, 33 brigade combat teams and in the national guard we had 15 what we call enhanced brigades. And those are brigades that arehave a relatively high degree of readiness, but still had to be augmented and improved before they deployed. And we have used most all of those brigades in Iraq and Afghanistan.
So if you add 33 and 15, you get 48. And then, as I said in my opening remarks, and as General Schoomaker reiterated, our plan is to go to 70, which is 42 in the active, and 28 in the guards. So we are going from 48 to 70, and that is approximately a 46 percent increase in the number and therefore the combat power of the Army. And that is the arithmetic.
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General SCHOOMAKER. If you look at the company level where battles are fought, you will see that we have gone from a four-company battalion as opposed to a three-company battalion. If you look at the brigade combat team, there are actually 11 company elements, counting the three Reconnaissance, Surveillance, and Target Acquisition (RSTA), the cavalry squadron that is in there, there are 11 vice 9 that used to be in the heavy brigade.
If you take a look at the enablers we placed in the heavy brigade, that frees up combat power. For instance, the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) that are in there and the fact that we now have placed network connectivity, bandwidth, down to the battalionthe brigade and battalion level, they used to only reside at core level. We now have the ability to send technology over the hill to look at things, rather than having to maneuver soldiers over there, which allows you now to maneuver, out of contact with the enemy, on the enemy so to speak.
So the combination of the fact that we actually have more company maneuver elements within a brigade combat team and we have significantly increased the enablers like the intelligence, the analysis, the informationyou know, the ability to fight for information has increased the power of the brigade itself enormouslyif you then aggregate that up, the fact that we are fully resourcing, now, 70 brigades rather than partially resourcing a lesser number and you take a look at the, you know, an aggregate over there, you will see a significant increase in real combat power in the Army. It is not just a soldier-by-soldier representation.
And let me just use one other example. If we don't do future combat system and don't spiral these technologies on top of all of the brigades in the Army, we will not have a modernization program in the Army for almost four decades, a new start.
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If we get through FCS, which we believe we will, and we field things like the non-line-of-sight cannonand I used this example the other day: You now have a single cannon, that we have already fired, by the way, that has precision and range and all kinds of things in it that allows one of these guns with a two-man crew to do what six guns used to do with six-man crews, so two people with one gun on certain fire missions can do the equivalent of a battery of 40 people.
This is why the future combat system brigade, which is going to be 900 soldiers smaller than the heavy brigade it replaces, will actually have twice as much infantry in the infantry squads than the current brigade has, because we displaced, we adjusted inside of the brigade structure this stuff. This is a huge increase in combat power and a huge increase in our ability to cover a wider spectrumpiece of the spectrum and a huge capability of strategic mobility that we do not have in the current heavy force.
So, again, it is a very complex answer, but all of this would be at work in concert. And your support, the reasonthe reason we don't want to buy more people at the expense of moving forward in these kinds of technologies is for that very reason. In the end, we will end up with a much stronger, more useful, more capable, more resourced Army that we are going to need in this century.
Mr. HEFLEY. Mr. Ortiz.
Mr. ORTIZ. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. We read a lot of data and we read the newspaper and we get information, but it seems to me that data suggests that the overall readiness of the Army continues to decline. And I tend to be correct that if the data I have seen is wrong due to equipment shortages. Habitually, the fiscal year 2007 budget proposal shows a decrease in funding for depot maintenance, and then we go and we see how Humvees have been blown up, tanks, a lot of equipment. And then I see on your poster a statement on page 2 that says that increasing pressure to reduce the Federal deficit, coupled with rising fuel, health care, and other costs, may affect the resources appropriated to accomplish Army missions.
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And then here we come, we get a supplementaland I don't know how many supplementals we have had this year, and I think they come because we need them. I have always said that it would be better if you gentlemen would put what you need in your budget. A supplemental comes to us, and we don't know whether you are going to get what you need or not.
We are about to barter a $120 billion supplemental. You just explained to us some of your needs. Now, when we pass the supplemental, we don't know whether it is going to help you or not. This is whyand I think I talked to Chairman Hefley about itit would be a lot better because we want to help you.
We are on your side, but I think that we could do a lot more planning and better planning if we knew what you needed instead of depending on the supplemental.
Maybe I'm wrong and I stand to be corrected.
Secretary HARVEY. Let me start out and I will turn it over to General Schoomaker.
Congressman, we don't make the rules in terms of base budget and supplementals. Those are rules that we abide by that are worked out, my understanding, between the Congress and the OMB. So one-time costs related to war going to supplemental, and then there is the base budget.
But I can assure you that regardless of where you put it, when a unit goesas we like to say, goes over the berm into Iraq, they are 100 percent ready, and we have, I mentioned it before, we have a model we call the Army force generation model which, when a unit comes back, it goes through various degrees of readiness and improvement because it needs toon the equipment side, we need to recap or reset the equipment; on the soldier side, we need to give them some rest and we need to make changes in management and so forth and so on.
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But as they rotate around the Army force generation model and get ever closer to their deployment time, they are fully ready when they go over the berm. And I can also tell you that in terms of reset and recapitalization that the budgets willyou know, our request this year will go up significantly over last year.
We have moneys that we request that will give us the ability to fully recapitalize the battle losses and fully reset and do the depot maintenance we need to do. So that request, the fiscal year 2007 request, will be coming over at the end of this month, I believe, when you pass the President's budget. The fiscal year 2006 budget, you also advanced some of that supplemental money.
So we abide by those rules. And furthermore, we have a much better picture of what the reset and recapitalization needs are as we get closer to the actual operations.
It is difficult for example to say what it will be in fiscal year 2007 because we don't know exactly the operations tempo. We don't know exactly the number of attacks, the number of battle losses. But as we get closer to those times, we have that in some degree of specificity.
Mr. ORTIZ. Are you experiencing any problem with helicopters at this point?
Secretary HARVEY. From what point of view?
Page 44 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. ORTIZ. Ready to go fight, maintenance, maintenance parts, things like that.
Secretary HARVEY. Chief, you can chime in.
We have an operational assessment weekly in degrees of readiness in theater, and it is a dynamic situation where you will take helicopters offline, do some repairs to them and then they are mission ready. Normally, the mission readiness is in the 90 percent range across the theater.
There is a very detailed analysis that the operational Army goes through to ensure that theythat the needs are met and the helicopters are ready. That assessment is done almost daily.
General SCHOOMAKER. As you know, each different model of helicopter has a different readiness standard to it, and it is episodic. In general, we have had very, very good readiness rates in the helicopters that we have got in Iraq and Afghanistan in harm's way. And with the help of your supplemental funding, we pushed an awful lot of resources forward to repair and maintain those helicopters forward rather than having to spend the money to bring them all the way back to the States and then send them back over there.
But if youthe Comanche decision, part of the readiness issue that we had in the past was we really had underfunded our helicopter fleets and underfunded the modernization and underfunded the capitalization, especially in the guard and reserve for helicopters. So with the Comanche money that was about $12.6 billion, we have committed every cent of that to upgrading the helicopter fleet, aircraft survivability equipment, standardizing the fleet, standardizing the cockpits and all the rest of the things.
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So I would tell you, we are on a path to the finest aviation we have ever had.
The stress on the fleet out there is being handled forward. The resetting of the fleet that is back here is a very, very busy time. So when you ask about readiness, if you were to ask me, are we ready, I would guarantee you that the soldiers that are in harm's way are 100 percent equipped, manned, supported and everything. I can guarantee you that the soldiers that are getting ready, going to the units, are that way.
Where we are taking risk and where it is ugly, as I testified before, is in the reset process, and that is because we are trying to make up, you know, for the shortfalls that we started with. And that is why I tell you that accelerating this process is my number one priority, at least that is my recommendation.
Mr. ORTIZ. Secretary, General, thank you so much for being with us.
And, Mr. Chairman, thank you very much.
Mr. HEFLEY. Mr. McHugh.
Mr. MCHUGH. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Gentlemen, welcome. Like all my colleagues, I deeply appreciate your service along with those fine leaders that you brought with you when you introduced us. Most of all, we deeply appreciate the men and women in uniform that we all have the honor to serve. So thank you for representing them so well.
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As you two have heard repeatedly, there is certainly a lot of concern, a lot of questions, about end strength, about numbers in uniform; and that is as it should be.
But I would like to switch focus a little bit and talk about our recruiting and talk about the quality of those who we are bringing into the service. As I was flipping through the posture statement, interesting document, but one thing caught my eye under ''Recruit and retain the all-volunteer force,'' which is an incredibly challenging objective certainly.
But it says, and I quote, ''While the recruiting environment for America's young men and women is competitive, we will not compromise standards as we temporarily increase the size of the Army by 30,000 soldiers'' and then it goes on to talk about some of the latest achievements in that regard.
Let me read to you some of the data, some statistics that concern me, and then ask you a bit about the financing of our recruiting initiatives, our recruiting programs.
The percentage of recruits with high school diplomas in the United States Army, the active army, fell from 92 percent during fiscal year 2004 to 87 percent in fiscal year 2005. That is 3 points below the DOD 90 percent goal.
Over in the Army National Guard for the third consecutive year, less than 85 percent of the recruits were high school diploma graduates compared to that 90 percent DOD standard. The fiscal year 2005 rate of 83 percent for the Army National Guard was the lowest rate among active and reserve components since the guard recorded a rate of 82 percent during the fiscal year 1997.
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Back in the active Army, and I think perhaps the greatest concern is the increase in recruits who scored in mental category 4 which is, as you know, is the lowest category eligible to be accessed. The percentage of recruits in that category increased from 0.5 percent during fiscal year 2004 to 3.9 percent in fiscal year 2005. That is essentially the DOD maximum of 4 percent.
And in the guard, the category for recruits exceeded the DOD standard to access less than 4 percent when they saw a 3 percent jump during fiscal year 2004 to a total of 5 percent during fiscal year 2005. I think that reflects what we all understand, and as the posture statement said, it is a very competitive recruiting environment.
But if you consider those data and then you look at the 2007 budgetand I should preface my comments here by saying, we are still going through the numbers and I am not claiming these are finalbut if you look across the recruiting budgets, you have to be concerned because the active Army is looking at a recruiting reduction in its budget of 40 percent, $337.3 million.
The guard, as I mentioned, the third consecutive failed recruiting year during 2005, but the funding for their recruiting program would be reduced by 52 percent, $135.6 million.
That concerns me, and I would like to hear your comments as to how we are going to ensure that you retain those high quality recruits, that we successfully get the numbers that we need to sustain the all-volunteer force, those incredibly fine men and women who are serving us so well, with that kind of budget trend line?
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Secretary HARVEY. Let me respond to that. First, let me address the standard, the numbers that you quoted, and then I will get into some budget numbers.
The objective is to have 90 percentas you know, 90 percent high school graduates and then 10 percent high school equivalents, GEDs. So, in essence, it is 100 percent either high school degree or equivalent. Last year we fell slightly less than that, but our objective, I assure you, is 90 percent; and we are close to that this year, to date.
In terms of the category 4 on the ASVAB test, let me tell you the logic there, and I am responsible for that. And it happened last summer that the Army had a standard for category 4 of 2 percent, and DOD was 4 percent, and also we had a standard for category 1 to 3A of 67 where the DOD standard was 60.
When I asked the question of why that was, I never got a very good answer, quite frankly, but I did get the following statistic and that is that 12 percent of today's command sergeant majors, our E9s, scored in category 4 when they entered the Army, and another 21 percent scored in category 3B.
So I conclude that the DOD standard is adequate, and I conclude that the top of the leadership, the NCOsas we all know, our NCOs are the envy of the world; they are the best leaders and noncommissioned officers in the world. And our command sergeant majors, many of whichall of which had either an associates or college degree, some had a master's degree, some have even a Ph.D., started out at the 12 percent.
Page 49 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC So it says to me that the Army knows how to build leaders and knows how to educate people. And I am very comfortable with 4 percent. And that, by the way, is an annual goal, and this year in round numbers it is 2,873 people. And we will certainly be less than that because we can totally control that.
In terms of moneys, I am a little confused. I am looking at our enlistmentenlisted, recruiting and retention incentives. It has increased from 914 million to 954 million from 2006 to 2007.
Ourin the active component, the enlisted support, the recruiting support advertising has gone from 544 to 569; in the reserves, from 88 million to 89; in the national guard, from 125 to 127; and that does not include what we will ask for in the upcoming supplemental. There are costs both for incentives and advertising and support that are also in the supplemental. So year over year, at least the numbers that I have, show that we have asked for more money for incentives, more money for recruiting support, more money for advertising in the base budgets.
Mr. MCHUGH. Maybe, if I may, we should get together on the numbers because I have got the Department of Defense fiscal year 2007 President's budget, and for the Army, 2005 under the category Recruiting and Advertisingthat is why I hedged, because there are internal numbers there that we don't have a breakout yetbut 2006 is 854 million, roughly, and the request for 2007 is 516, almost 517.
Secretary HARVEY. We can reconcile that. I think probably the number you have is a combination of base budget and supplemental; and I am only quoting base budgets because the 2006 supplemental, which will include a big request for this
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Mr. MCHUGH. If I may, Mr. Secretary, that is fine.
And let me just, if I might, Mr. Chairman, editorialize, because the Secretary has already noted that the budget process, base budget and supplemental budget, is not the decision of the Army. It is a choice made elsewhere.
But from my perspective, there are few things we do that are more fundamental in the structure of the Army on a year-by-year basis than recruiting and retention. And we ought to stop this nonsense of requiring that these people have to wait around for a supplemental so that we can go out and fund our recruiting and retention.
This is a critical area. We haven't paid enough attention to it. And we are going to pay a very serious price if we don't get more serious about it.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. HEFLEY. Thank you, Mr. McHugh.
Mr. REYES. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
And, gentlemen, good to see you and thank you for joining us here this morning.
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I want to congratulate our soldiers here and tell them how much we appreciate the great work they have done and the sacrifices that they and their families have made. I want to make an observation in prelude to a question that I have, Mr. Secretary and General, because it is something that sometimes bugs me as I visit with our troops in Bethesda and Walter Reed. I have made this observation before and I do so just to, hopefully, make a difference in the way that diversity is presented to us as a committee.
And I have two different issues. The first one, I would like to know, how is the Army doing in terms of diversity in the leadership ranks, because that is an issue since I have been in Congress that I have been very interested in. I think, as we look at our potential for recruiting, as we look at our ability to show the opportunity that I know the Army presents to minorities, it is good to have role models, having somebody like General Sanchezwho has not received his fourth star, although I know it is still under considerationis important to us. I know it is important to me and my colleagues that join me on trips, not just to Walter Reed and Bethesda, but also around the world to see our troops.
So I would like to see that diversity brought before the Committee because as Iand again, I hold all of you in the highest esteem and I know all of you are great soldiers and do all the great things for our country. But I also know that there is a disparity in not bringing the face of America to this committee.
So I offer that as an observation, and I hope you take it as a recommendation as well.
Page 52 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC But how are we doing in terms of diversity, giving our soldiers, men and women, the role models that they tell us they want to see both in the officer and, particularly, the general ranks, and also in the noncommissioned officer ranks as well.
General SCHOOMAKER. First of all, I think it is a great question, and both the Secretary and I support precisely your line of thought on this. It is very, very important, in my view, that in an all-volunteer army, or in America's Army, that what we have are role models for our soldiers that reach across the entire spectrum.
I think we are doing pretty well, but we are not happy with where we are. And I think, for the record, we ought to provide you with a breakout of our senior leadership.
But I can tell you in the last six months we have had an African American three-star selected and confirmed for promotion to four-star, and Lieutenant General, promotable, Kip Ward, who should come out in the next couple of months and take the deputy commander's job in the European Command over in Stuttgart.
We just had a female promoted to a third star in Lieutenant General Ann Dunwoody, who is now the G4 at the Army.
I don't mean to highlight them, but we are moving, I think, in a very positive direction, and it is an area of interest to us. But, as you know, we have todiversity alone can't be the objective. So we are very, very fortunate we have a tremendous talent pool coming up that we will be selecting from.
Page 53 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. REYES. That leads me to, I know the diversity should not be its own goal, but it seems to me there should be a pipeline in the process, and that, frankly, has always been a concern of mine that there isn't an effort to diversify the availability. Because, you know, it is both good news and bad news that you can tell me the names of the last two that have been promoted in that category. That is great. But that also tells me that there are not that many, that you wouldn't be able
General SCHOOMAKER. I think when you see the numbers, if you take a look at our two-star bench and our one-star bench, you will be impressed by the amount of diversity across the entire spectrum. That is what I was telling you, look down to our colonel ranks at what is coming up. We have the opportunity here to do very, very well and do what is right. And it does have our attention; I can promise you that on each and every board.
Mr. REYES. Very good. If you can give me those figures, I would really appreciate it.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. HEFLEY. Mr. Kline.
Mr. KLINE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Thank you, gentlemen, for being here today and for your service. It is always great to see my amphibious warfare school classmate here in front of us, General.
Page 54 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC First, let me start by identifying myself with Mr. McHugh's comments about recruiting. If we are going to get thousands of young men and women to run down and join an army of one we are going to have to spend some money doing that; and we want to make sure that we are providing the funds to do that.
Both of you, Mr. Secretary and General, have talked about going across the berm at 100 percent. I don't want to wander off into a classified issue during this hearing, but I want to discuss that at some point.
I would argue that we have forces, Army forces, who have crossed the berm working in Iraq that don't have 100 percent of what they need. I am talking about rotary wing assets and their defensive posture specifically. And thatI am bringing that up because we have sent forces with what we have and the best that we had at hand, but that doesn't mean it was the best we could get our hands on.
And that, in large part, is due to budgeting considerations in years past, procurement decisions, when we are going to buy certain equipment and install it and get it ready to go. And my concern is that we are seeing in some cases that we are just not able to get things fast enough when we have decided to buy it.
The chairman of this committee and the Members of the committee have been concerned about this problem since we started in Operation Iraqi Freedom. We put into law a couple of years ago some provisions with the Secretary of Defense to waive all of the Federal acquisition regulations if the commander in the field is taking casualties and needs it. And I am concerned. My continued concern is that we fall back into the acquisition system that has ruled us for many years, and we may not perhaps be getting things as fast as we could.
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And so my question to you is, are there areas where you know of things that we ought to buy and get to our soldiers, that we are not getting because of regulations that are still in the way, or just the system is just not responding the way it should?
Secretary HARVEY. I thinkI think the record in regards to providing for the soldiers what they need is excellent. We appreciate your authorities that you have given us. And I can cite equipment after equipment, where we have got to the theater very quickly.
We had this initiative called the rapid fielding initiative, which is a set of equipment for the soldiers. We have now delivered over 500,000 of those sets, some 57 items in those.
If you look at what was done in response to up-arming Humvees in the fall of 2003 there were 300 or 400 up-armored Humvees. Fifteen months later, there are 30,000 vehicles that were up-armored.
In terms of body armor, in the spring of 2003 there were 32,000 sets of interceptor body armor. A year later everybody had them. We have changed from so-called SAPI plates to ESAPI plates to Deltoids. There is a whole series of improvements that have gone on in a very rapid way.
I am quite proud of the Army's record, the institutional side of the Army in rapidly responding to the needs of the theater and providing the utmost protection to our soldiers.
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Mr. KLINE. Mr. Secretary, I hate to interrupt, but I am trying to stay in the five-minute window here. I would say that, myself included, many Members of this committee and I know the chairman wouldn't regard the speed with which we put steel on the Humvees as a particular success story in how fast we can get things done.
Secretary HARVEY. Not to be disagreeable, but that involved not going to a hardware store and buying plate. That involves design testing, ballistic testing and going out to the vendor base. And we had 13 depots and outside suppliers doing that at one time.
Mr. KLINE. We will just disagree on the responsiveness for that.
Yes, General, go ahead.
General SCHOOMAKER. I just wanted to say that, each one is a separate problem as you take a look at it. And I will just take the aircraft survivability equipment as an example, without getting into things we ought to be talking about in closed session. But you know that the ability to do that quickly has everything to do with former investment because you just don't hang stuff on an airplane. You have to have the wiring in the airplane, what we call the A-Kits to be able to make it work, which means you have to tear the airplane apart. It is a huge problem.
So what we did with the Comanche money, again we funded over 2,000 of these so that we could do the kinds of thingsand I know I am preaching to the choir, but it iswhat frustrates all of us is the amount of time it takes between decision and the check being cashed and the ability to put things out.
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Mr. KLINE. So my time is up, but you are making my point. If there is something that we should be buying now that we know about, then we ought to be buying it now and not, you know, waiting three years later if we know about it now.
General SCHOOMAKER. My point is, while we have to fix yesterday's problem, what we shouldn't do is repeat the things that gave us yesterday's problem, which is why we don't want to underinvest in our future.
We have got to maintain, you know, our modernization or we are going to face the same problem, next crisis.
Mr. KLINE. I am the choir in that in that case.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. HEFLEY. Mr. Snyder.
Dr. SNYDER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
We all wish Mr. Hunter well, despite the virus he's got. But you look darn good in the chair there, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. HEFLEY. It does have a ring to it, doesn't it?
Page 58 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Dr. SNYDER. Yes, it does, Mr. Chairman.
Gentlemen, we appreciate you being here. I want to ask this, continue the conversation, General, we had the other day with regard to the guard and reserve strength. And I am a little disappointed you didn't have a written statement for us, because I thought you might have helped yourself by having those numbers laid out for us. Because it is on everybody's mind, and that would have had to have gotten approved by OMB.
And there are all kinds of problems with that, too, so we will do it this way.
As I understand it, we are currently authorized for guard and reserve Forces 555,000; is that correct?
General SCHOOMAKER. That is right.
Dr. SNYDER. And in the QDR on page 43 it says, by the year 2011 we want to stabilize at 533,000, a decrease of 22,000 by 2011. So when we have the kind of discussions you have had with some of the other members here that, well, we are currently at this number for the guard, but if somehow recruiting goes well, if we get up here, we will find a way to fund it. But when I read the QDR, it says the next goal of next 4 years is to have a decrease of 22,000, it doesn't look like much of a commitment to do that.
So going back to what Mr. McHugh said, if we really want to reach a certain number of the guard, we think that is really important to us, then I would think that the budget would reflect a robust recruiting budget that saysor enticements or whatever to say that we need to get to this number because it is very important.
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But when I read in the QDR it says, No, we are going to drop by 22,000, is that an accurate reading of the QDR, General?
General SCHOOMAKER. As we testified last week when the Secretary was here, that needs to be corrected; 555,000 should be the number in the QDR.
When we were here last week with Secretary Rumsfeldthat number needs to be corrected. The QDR should read 555,000. That is our intention. So what they are talking to there
Dr. SNYDER. So the number should stabilize at 555,000?
General SHOOMAKER. We want the guard and reserve to grow to the numbers, to their end strength numbers. What is confused there is, when they are talking
Secretary HARVEY. That number is incorrect?
Dr. SNYDER. One of the things the QDR talks about, or just mentions on page 41, you know what you are saying is the size of today's forces, both active and reserve components is appropriate. It says the numbers are about right.
How does that jibe with the fact that in our Iraq experience that we have had, that you all had to bring in like Air Force personnel to do guarding and convoys and that kind of thing, you have had to get help from the other services in order to do the tasks that you've been assigned?
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Isn't that an argument that the number is not about right for the Army, General? That you would benefit from an increase in end strength.
General SHOOMAKER. What it really speaks to is the imbalance that exists in the Army that we are correcting. As I briefed before, we had over 120 adjustments we had to make in specialties. We have done over 40,000 of those. We are continuing to work.
But what's happened, it is a very ugly story from the beginning in the hollowness of the force across the varying degrees, across the active, guard and reserveyou might remember when 9/11 happened, one of the first things we did was mobilize 20,000 guardsmen.
And where did they come from? Well, they came from across the country. They volunteered and they came out of units that already had holes in them. So when we started mobilizing units, then we started aggregating units under a single flag and sending them. And then when we came back to the next flag, we had already used them, and so now we got into, you know, what I consider to be a very, very difficult management problem, which is managing each, as opposed to units like we should be in the Army.
What we are trying to do is balance the Army so that in the future we don't have to compress compact units.
We used the example of the 42nd Division from New York that deployed, and did the most superb job under Major General Joe Taluto, to Iraq; and he, in fact, commanded active forces as well as reserve component forces and did a super job. But we had to put multiples of states together, active, guard and reserve, to fill the 42nd to be able to go do that.
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We don't want to do that in the future. We want to have them ready to go in like that.
So what really we are talking to is the imbalance. We have a lot of people that have not been mobilized and have not been sent. And you know, I could give you all kinds of numbers on that, but
Dr. SNYDER. Mr. Chairman, I know when I referred to you as the chairman of the full committee, the clock didn't get turned on. I must have thrown you off stride. I don't know how much time I have left, but
Secretary Harvey, I had sent you a letter in the middle of January about an article that was in the Washington Post about friendly fire incidents and I received a letter from you last week about that, that the IG is investigating that. And I appreciate your response.
Secretary HARVEY. That is correct. We investigate all incidents such as that. I ask the IG to do it.
Dr. SNYDER. I think that specifically regarded Jesse, I don't know how to pronounce the last name. I think it is spelled Buryj.
Secretary HARVEY. It is pronounced ''Buryj.'' but it is spelledyou can't look at it and pronounce it.
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Dr. SNYDER. I tried and wasn't close, but I appreciate your response on that.
General, you mentioned the QDR as being a strategy-based document, in response to Mr. Skelton. There have been some press reports or op-ed pieces that have come out since the QDR came out that have criticized it for not being very strategy oriented.
I read it, and I don't know your business very well. I mean, I have been on this committee for a number of years now, but it is different than what you do.
My initial reading was that somehow I think there are too many MBAs that are involved in the QDR process, because I thought there was language there that was hard to follow.
But what do we measure? You talk about being a capability-based force. What do we measure it against? Where are the scenarios, the threat assessments, that say, here is the most likely, this is most likely. How do you measure?
We just have to take your word, apparently, or somebody's word, we are going to do this, add this kind of capability that is going to be good enough.
I don't see what we measure that against. Isn't that how you base a strategy document, say, we have this threat, this scenario, possible threats, here is our strategy for doing it, here are the capabilities we need to do that?
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We have part 3. I don't see that we have parts 1 and 2 in the QDR. Help set me straight there.
General SCHOOMAKER. Well, I don't know if I can set you straight. I can tell you how it was approached.
When we had the Soviet Union to face, and we had 50 years to adapt, I don't know how we were going to face the Soviet Union, it is understandable how we became very comfortable with a threat-based system, that basically we expected to fight asymmetrically with somebody that looked and acted much like we do and where the playing field was identified; and in what one might call ''very conventional terms'' and the things that occurred on the peripheries, the surrogate wars, and the business I spent my life in, in special operations, tended to be secondary efforts to the main event of the circus.
We are in a different world today. We are in a world that when there is no real crystal ball to tell you precisely what is going to occur, but we have been informed about what the potentials are, and so
Dr. SNYDER. I don't see much of a discussion in the QDR about what some of these potentials are. There are more vague, general references. There are some specific areas, we can go around the world and you can get think tank people together and say, Well, this could be a flare-up here, these could flare up at the same time; this is our capability, and here is how we think that we will be able to act. Or even with this capability, we may have a deficit here because of the level of funding.
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General SCHOOMAKER. We are not able to replace the certainty we had with the Soviet Union with another set of certainties. But what we can do is look at the trends and understand what kind of capabilities are required. Intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance capability, special operations capabilities, strategic agility, precision, these kinds of things, to deal with the homeland security and defense issues, the unconventional warfare issues, the catastrophic issues, as well as the conventional.
So you are right. The first budget that is going to be really impacted by thisor the first programwill be the 08/13 program. So what we have done is some adjustments in the 2007, based upon what we know and based upon our experience. But you will see other adjustments as we go forward thatyou know, that will be based on the QDR thing.
Again, the reason why there is a lot of discussion is because there are a lot of people with opinions on this. And, you know, it is really kind of getting the vector that is important in producing a force with the kind of capabilities that we believe we are going to need.
Secretary HARVEY. Let me just add, and I spend a lot of time on QDR. I believeand I spent a lot of time in my corporate career on strategy. And this was an excellent process which described the security environment in which we live into four challenges and took, and derived from that a force planning construct that divided the type of operations we think the military will get involved in, to homeland defense, irregular warfare and conventional combat, with the subscenarios to that, and then out of the operational assessment came the type of forces and units we need to respond to that.
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And it was done as a function of time, it was done as a function of different types of operations. And so we had a force planning construct, we had a force sizing construct; and in our former remarks, we said, for example, out of that came the need for 18 to 19 brigade combat teams for the Army.
So I believe it was fundamentally strategy driven, and as any strategy review, strategic review, does, it looks prospectively and retrospectively, and it says, what you have done for the last four years, does that make sense vis-a-vis the security environment. And, for example, in the case of the Army, it verified and confirmed, I think, the brigade combat teams and its usefulness and its full spectrum capability in this type of very uncertain, insecure environment, unpredictable environment, we live in. So, although it wasn't threat based, it looked into the types of threats, developed a flexible, adaptable capability that had applicability to a range of operations.
Butnot to get into the detail, but if you look at our brigade combat teams and our multifunctional support brigades, you can see how their capability fits in with this spectrum of operations that may or may not occur in the next years.
Dr. SNYDER. Thank you for your time, Mr. Chairman. Thank you for your intelligence.
I am on the Subcommittee on Personnel and on page four of the posture statement you all referred to enhancing health care. We are hearing from a lot of people out there, both active and retiree, that are not convinced some of the health care proposals that are coming from the administration are an enhancement to health care. But we will get into that in a subcommittee level.
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Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. HEFLEY. Mr. Snyder, you see what your opening comment got you. Mr. Wilson.
Oh, by the way, we are going to take a short recess after this next questioner and grab a bite of lunch and come back at 12:30.
So, Mr. Wilson.
Mr. WILSON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
And Mr. Secretary, General, thank you for being here today. And I am really enjoying looking out and seeing the Army green, having served 31 years in the reserves and Army National Guard, I have really never been prouder of our Army and what you are doing, protecting the American people.
I know firsthand from my visits with the guard units with two sons serving in the Army guard now, I justhave just never felt better. And any time that I can hear you say something good about the national guard, particularly with General Blum presentI want to again thank Congressman Snyder for bringing up about force strength, andthat is so important; and I was thrilled again, from General Vaughn, to hear of success in recruiting.
But I just can't hear enough good about how what is being proposed is not a cut in the guard, not a slight of the guard, and that, indeed, young people who want to join the guard, that there is a bright future of being in the reserves and guard.
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I have another son who will be enlisting later this year, and so can you reiterate one more time about force strength and how it is 333,000, up to 334,000, 335,000, but could be 350,000?
General SCHOOMAKER. Well, the end strength of the national guard we support is 350,000, 350,000 soldiers that meet the DOD standards. The current strength of the guard, I believe is around 335,000, between 334,000 and 335,000.
It is moving up, and the trend is up. And that is what we want. We want it to go up. We want towe want to fully fund, fully resource, fully equip these units. We want them to be full and balanced.
Inside of that 350,000, we want to have some portion of thatright now, it is 2,000 in the Trainees, Transients, Holdees, and Students (TTHS) account, and that is what we are moving toward and funding, that we can use to go to school so that we don't have to take people out of units. We would like to grow that a little bit bigger. We believe it should be 8,000.
So we have about a 342,000 force structure, about 8,000 TTHS account down the road. That is what we are trying to go to. And we want those units to be whole and we want to keep people in school and training and education, so we don't have the problem we have had in the past following up units and finding out a lot of soldiers have not been to MOS qualification, a lot of the officers have not been to their basic schooling.
Page 68 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC So that is what we are trying to fix and balance it.
We understand that these kinds of changes inside of the national guard affect the local level. So we are working with the leadership in the national guard and the states, and the tags, and the units, and trying to work where it will be a minimum impact at the local level. There will probably be some, but we are trying to minimize that. But we believe that where we are going is the best for the national, it is best for the Army and it is best for the states and best for the national guard as part of part of the Army in that direction.
We are putting $21 billion into equipment, into the guard. That is a more than fourfold increase over the 19992005 program. It is huge. We are accelerating the fielding of aircraft to the national guard by five years if this program goes as we have planned, which I believe it will.
And you know, I can let them speak for themselves, but this is good news all the way around. But we have to go through a little bit of pain to get it balanced and get it right. And so we are listening. We want to work together.
I said yesterday in a hearing that it could have been handled better than we handled it. I will take responsibility for that. You know, the miscommunications that took place were unfortunate, but I believe we are on track now, and I believe that we will be very happy with the path that we are on. So
Mr. WILSON. And I greatly appreciate this message to young people who want a career in the guard and reserve because it was certainly fulfilling to me to meet the finest people in our country and to see the new greatest generation that is joining now.
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I want them to know, Mr. Secretary, that, indeed, every effort is being made to provide for a positive career path.
Secretary HARVEY. Absolutely. And again I think the guard and reserves should be very proud of 2005.
I mentioned in my opening remarks that the guard had 10 brigade combat teams in division headquarters deployed, and then in a little over a week they surged with 42,000 soldiers and served very well; and just like you hearand we had 8- to 10,000 active in the unfortunate situation that happened, Hurricane Katrina, but heard a lot of remarks like, well, everything is going to be okay because the Army is here. And once the Army showed up, it really had a very good psychological effect.
I have heard a lot of comments like, ''The Army is here, it is going to be okay.''
General SCHOOMAKER. Congressman Wilson, one thing, if I could real quick.
I should have added that we are not making this investment just to make the investment. We are making a huge paradigm shift between the guard being a strategic reserve during the Cold War to an operational force that will be used. So in the force rotation model, what we are planning is predictable access to the guard units that we are resourcing the way we are resourcing them. And, you know, the paradigm, there is a one-in-five kind of paradigm.
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But we are now building a force, a total army that when we call on it, we are expecting it to show up equipped, trained and motivated to serve.
Mr. WILSON. I know the guard members and their families appreciate it.
And as I conclude, I am thrilled for you that BRAC is behind us, but I do want to remind you in the midlands of South Carolina, with Fort Jackson, we have excellent schools for the dependents, we have technical colleges, colleges and universities, we have three interstates adjacent to Fort Jackson, a world-class airport. You are welcome to expand.
Thank you very much.
Mr. HEFLEY. May we work in one more?
Mr. ANDREWS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I want to thank the Secretary, the General and everyone that they represent here today for the excellent job you do for our country. My constituents are very proud of you and grateful for your service.
Mr. Secretary, I also want to say to you personally, you and your office have been very responsive to me on behalf of a couple of constituents. I am very grateful for the time you have put in and your responsiveness to the Members of Congress. Thank you.
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I have a question that has to do with the decision to go from 77 brigade combat teams down to 70. And I know that my colleagues have explored this issue; I want to explore an angle of it that has to do with the optempo for the guard.
It is my understanding that the plan is that 40 percent of these BCTs would be Army National Guard, 28 out of 70. It seems to me that, by definition, if we are dropping from 77 BCTs, or maybe even 82 BCTs, which was suggested last year, down to 70, by definition, we can expect a more severe optempo for the 70 that we have. The world didn't get safer in the intervening year, at least in my opinion.
I then lay that down next to the accession numbers for the Army National Guard, which is 80 percent of the goal for fiscal year 2005, and then I look at the quality measure that we are using, which is, I believe, the percentage of new enrollees that have a high school diploma, which is 57 percent, according to the material that I have.
If that is not correct, correct it.
Secretary HARVEY. That is not correct.
Mr. ANDREWS. My hypothesis is that there is a connection between the optempo and the accession and quality problem. Aren't we exacerbating the accession problem and the quality problem by increasing the optempo for these BCTs? Doesn't that have a negative consequence for that problem?
Page 72 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Secretary HARVEY. The optempo for the BCTs has not changed from the prior 77 to the 70. For the reserve component, when it was 77, which was a combination of 43 in the active and 34 in the guard, the deploymentthe deployment model there and the deployment process was still the same, that is, deployed one year out of six. Today, it is still the same, so the optempo has not changed, going from the number.
Remember, what we have done is, the number deployed, instead of being 20, is now 18 to 19. So if you go through the cycle and if you start out at year 1, go through year 6 for the guard, well, year 1 we will deploy five, then go fivefive, five, four, five, five, four to 6 years, which is 28.
And they will be rotating around in varying degrees of readiness. And as they rotate around our force generation model, they will be able to do their state missions, and then they will be deployed for one year.
General SCHOOMAKER. You know, we never had 77 brigades. There were never 77. That was a plan. So, you know, we never had more than 48 that we could immediately use, and we asked for additional ones.
Mr. ANDREWS. I guess to recover some ground covered earlier, what qualitative factors changed which changed the plan from 77 down
Secretary HARVEY. The QDR changed the plan. In other words, the QDR, the strategic review, said that Army, the strategic window of the number of brigades needed for this security environment and the operations in this spectrum of operations is between 18 and 20. We chose to deploy 18 to 19. And when you do that and you work back through our rotational deployment cycles
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Mr. ANDREWS. But whatin the QDR, what substantive factors justify the reduction from 77 to 48?
Secretary HARVEY. You would have to go into the operational assessment models that we have, and we don't have time to do that today, which look at the threat scenarios and put unit operations in and operations throughout the world in the areas of homeland defense, irregular warfare and major combat; and that you can't just do in a couple of seconds. But it is very strategically driven. There are operational assessment models that are run by the Joint Staff.
General SCHOOMAKER. Where our risk was, not just in the QDR, but in our experience, was not in the BCTs. It was in the BCT elements of the Army. Which is why I laid that chart up there showing why we made the decision to balance that way.
Remember, the reason we put so much stress on so many soldiers is, we were using soldier-designed units designed for one thing, functioned to do combat support, security functions and combat service functions.
Mr. ANDREWS. But isn't it a fair assumption that the model yielded the conclusion that you could get more work out of the 70 BCTs, you can get 77 units of work out of 70 BCTs?
Secretary HARVEY. No. What I said was, the amount of work went down.
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And General Schoomaker touched on a very important point. We are growing. For the prior baseline, we had 205 of the multifunctional and functional support brigades. In the current plan, we have increased those by six. So we havealthough we went from 77 to 70, we wentthe support brigades were, where a lot of stress is put on, were increasing those numbers.
And another very important point is, just beside numbers, it is skills you need. And so we have a rebalancing initiative going on, which the General alluded to, which is, we are changing 125 skills in the active, guard and reserve.
So that combination, we believe, gives us the capability. And ''balance'' is a very important word here. We had too many running backs and not enough tackles.
Mr. ANDREWS. I just hope we have a team that plays as successfully as the one we have now, in the future.
Secretary HARVEY. We have the best team in the world.
Mr. ANDREWS. I see my time is up. I would just ask if you can supplement the record with a written answer to the question about the operational factors which yield this conclusion going into the model. If you provide us with a written answer for that, I would appreciate it.
Mr. CONAWAY [presiding.] Mrs. Davis, would you like to ask your questions now or come back 30 minutes from now?
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Ms. DAVIS OF CALIFORNIA. I would love to follow up with a question and try to be as brief as possible.
Thank you for all your exceptional service, and the men and women serving as well.
My question goes to the caliber of the people who serve our country today, and I bring this up in part because it is the kind of headline we see, and we have a number of questions about that in our district and this one deals with the Army accepting more recruits with criminal and drug histories, which goes to our recruiting question that we had asked before.
In that particular article they talked about the category of individuals, a lot of the people who would ordinarily be barred from the service, have medical waivers and I think that is very understandable. This provides more of concern and perhaps the story does not represent at all, and I would like you to be able to refute it, if you can, then. The category includes aggravated assault, robbery, vehicular manslaughter, making terrorist threats, et cetera. This was a spokesman for the Army Recruiting Command at Fort Knox, Kentucky was reporting that.
Can you share that information a little bit more with us? It is not part of the material that I have. Perhaps that kind of information should be more often so that we have a little more of a heads-up sometimes.
Secretary HARVEY. I can certainly respond to that. There is four categories in waivers: misdemeanor, drug/alcohol, medical, and serious criminal misconduct. We traditionally have had waivers over the last 5 years on the order of 10 to 11 percent of the recruits that we bring in fall into these categories. And in 2005 that increased from the historic 10 to 12 percent to 15 percent.
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Roughly 90 percent of those are in the misdemeanor, medical waiver category, and serious crime and drug/alcohol in terms of numbers actually went down relative to what their historic numbers are.
What I have asked and what I previously asked, because I am aware of what you are talking about and we follow this closely, is I have askedand I will have them shortly, within the next monthwhat the attrition rate of those waivered individuals are relative to the attrition rate that we normally have. In the first 6 monthswe track attrition rate in initial entry in the first 6 months then we track from 7 to 36 months. We also track it after that.
But I want some assurances that from an attrition point of view, that those attrition rates of people that are waived are not significantly different than what they are for others, but the vast majority, as I indicated, of the waivers are for medical and misdemeanor and very small amount for the drug and the alcohol and serious crime.
Again, there is no grandiose policy here. This is an individual assessment. You have to be a little bit forgiving. And if a person who has had a problem is rehabilitated, we want to give them a chance in the Army.
Having said that, we don't want to be foolish about this and let in people that then are going to be problems and not have the quality that we have, because at the end of the day as we say, we are a soldier-centric organization and it is the quality of our soldiers which is paramount to us and it is the key that, along with our leaders and our training and our technology and our values, are to me the reason this is the greatest army in the world.
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Ms. DAVIS OF CALIFORNIA. I agree with you, sir, and I think the concernand, again, that is what is out in the public and I think we need to able to respond to that. This particular article actually suggested the number of recruits in that category increased to 630 from 408 in 2004.
Secretary HARVEY. That is true. But in 2001 it was 728, and in 2001 the drug and alcohol was 13,008, and now it has dropped to 737. So you can't go year over year, you have got to take a 5-year average. Again, my concern is that we are not bringing people in, spending money on them and exercising the system, and then finding out that they drop out anyhow. That would be foolish.
Ms. DAVIS OF CALIFORNIA. I understand.
Secretary HARVEY. I am going to get good statistics on that, and one way or another we will adjust it accordingly.
General SCHOOMAKER. Congressman Davis, if I can just make one comment. By any measure, we have increased the rigor in basic combat training by several orders of magnitude. It is a much more rigorous program now, and when we put that program in place, our attrition shot way up. We have been on a continual downward slope on attrition. We are below 12 percent attrition in the training base even though the training base is a much, much tougher place to go. I think that the program we are on, I agree with the Secretary, it really is an individual based program. I think our trends are right and I think that the output so far that we have had is on the money. That is what counts. We are putting in the units.
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Mr. HEFLEY. We are going to take a 30-minute break. While there is no one else in the room, there are other members who want to come back and grill you, so if you will be so kind enough to rejoin us in 30 minutes we will continue the hearing at that point in time. The committee is recessed.
Mr. KLINE [presiding.] Please have a seat. We will be starting momentarily.
The hearing of the House Armed Services Committee is now reconvened. Welcome everybody back from lunch, and we will resume with questions with the gentleman from Nevada, Mr. Gibbons.
Mr. GIBBONS. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, and to our witnesses as well before us, and the men and women who are supporting you and doing the day-to-day work behind you every day that keep our Nation safe. I thank you for all of that. We are very proud of what you do and we are pleased to have you as well before us today.
What I want to do is join my friend Mr. McHugh, Mr. Snyder, and talk about end strength, especially relative to the national guard. In the documentation that we have before us, which is pretty much a summary, let me say that they are reporting that Army leadership has publicly indicated that funding to support the Army National Guard end strength of 350,000 would be provided ifand that is a pretty big ifif the national guard demonstrated an ability to recruit and retain to that higher level. Is that pretty much what the Army leadership is saying to the guard?
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Secretary HARVEY. Yes.
Mr. GIBBONS. You are qualifying your support there; if they able to recruit and retain at the 350,000 level.
Secretary HARVEY. Correct.
Mr. GIBBONS. The reduction in the reserve is apparently related to efforts to reduce nondeploying headquarters and management staff and not to substantially or substantively reduce deployable forces; is that correct?
Secretary HARVEY. I don't viewthey have been at the 333,000 to 335,000 level for almost 14 or 15 months. They have the same number of units overall. It is just a matter of whathow they are manned, what percent they are manned to.
Mr. GIBBONS. The question was related to the type of individual that we are directing these cuts to, so it is the nondeploying forces within the guard or reserve at 332,000.
Secretary HARVEY. Again, they have been at roughly 333,000 to 335,000 for well over a year so there are no cuts involved. They had been coming down. The number of unit isn't changing, so it is a matter of what the readiness of that unit is or what percentage of authorized strength they are at.
Page 80 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. GIBBONS. Under their authorized level. They are not meeting the authorized level.
Secretary HARVEY. That is right.
Mr. GIBBONS. Let me ask you this, and maybe I can ask this both of the Secretary and Chief there: Can you assure Congress that the rebalancing that you are talking about of the national guard brigade combat teams will not marginalize the guard mission in certain states and ultimately making it easier to cut guard end strength in future budgets?
Secretary HARVEY. The intentionlet me just talk at an Army level. The intention is to, in this rebalancing effort, is to actually give them units in these support brigadesin particular something called a combat support brigade and an engineering brigadeto increase those numbers because they have functionality that is very relevant to their state mission. So, in theory, balancing our intention is to give them a balance of capability, keeping in mind that they have this dual mission of the national defense and the state, and the intention is to balance that according to those two missions.
And so not the same numberthey were going to be growing, again from 15 to 34 versus they are growing from 15 to 28, but then we are going to grow the number of these support brigades actually in total of six. So some came down, some stood up, which I think is a more balanced capability for their unique mission.
Mr. GIBBONS. I guess my question is, in the little bit of time I had with regard to that, to kind of assure you that the devil is in the details, of course; and what I am concerned about is not your intent with this budget today, but down the road we end up having a marginalized guard capability which then allows for changes and reductions in the guard on other nonrelated mission capability. And with that said, it makes it easier to cut end strength.
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Secretary HARVEY. Our intention, as the Chief said, and this is oneI think one of the major outcomes of the QDR is to change the role of the guard from a strategic reserve which, quite frankly, was underresourced significantly to an operational reserve that is fully resourced, fully manned fully trained, fully equipped.
Chief, you may want to chime in. For as long as I think you have been in the Army, this has never been the case.
General SCHOOMAKER. If you go back to the conversation that happened with Congressman Snyder, which had to do with this balance, and you take a look at what the QDR and what our experience showed us, that what we need is balance between what we call the away game, which brigade combat teams tend to play in, and the home game, which brigade combat teams play less of a role in but where transportation, security, engineers, these kinds of things play a big role.
Where our stress in the Army has been in the war on terrorism has been greater in the combat service support and combat support areas which are also the areas we need for more of the home game. If you look at Katrina and Rita and think about the kind of capabilities that we need in the states and we certainly are going to need if we have multiple Katrinas and Ritas as a result of terrorist attacks, chem, bio, or nuclear attacks, we are going to need engineering, medical, military police, and these kinds of things. That is what we need. That is what we are growing. So I don't see that there is a correlation at all between future cuts and end strength and the kind of units that we are building. We are building units the Nation needs for both the home and away game.
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Mr. GIBBONS. Getting back to my original question, what you have said to me today is basically that, yes, there is an assurance that what you are doing today with this rebalancing of the military is not trying to ultimately make it easier to cut but to reshape the missions of the guard and the reserve so that they can accomplish those roles that we are in critical need of today. But the assurance was we are not going to use this to cut the guard down the road.
General SCHOOMAKER. I think the $21 billion investment in equipment is a point in fact. We wouldn't be making that kind of investment in something we weren't going to keep and use. In my view this is good news and I know it is sometimes hard to understand what the argument is about as well, but we are listening and we will work together on this, but I believe very strongly that what we are building is the right thing and that it is time that we get it done; otherwise, we are going to be right back in the conversation we were having a minute ago about being behind the power curve next time there is an emergency.
Mr. GIBBONS. General, thank you, Mr. Secretary. Thank you very much.
Mr. KLINE. The Ranking Member is recognized.
Mr. SKELTON. May I ask General Vaughn a question regarding the national guard recruitment?
General, you were quoted somewhere in the news media that this past January was an excellent recruiting month and allegedly the projections for recruiting the national guard will lead us close to the 350,000; is that correct?
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General VAUGHN. Congressman, that is correct. That is exactly what I said.
Mr. SKELTON. That answers it. Thank you.
Mr. KLINE. I thank the gentleman. Resuming order, the gentleman from Georgia, Mr. Marshall is recognized.
Mr. MARSHALL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. You certainly have moved up rapidly.
Looking at the posture statement, page 13, there is a specific discussion of improving capabilities for stability operations, increasing Army capabilities to dominate complex investments. And I know, Chief, you talk about pentathletes and the need to adapt to more current threats. Seems to me Vietnam had lots of lessons, didn't learn them, chose not to. Easier to go back into a World War II, Cold War conventional forces state-to-state mentality. A belief at that time that we weren't going to get involved in that kind of thing again. We didn't anticipate we would have that problem where we would deploy large number of conventional soldiers into an environment which they weren't really suited for.
Now we find that there are areas in the globe that threaten us as long as they are left lawless and that we may in fact have a real challenge where security is concerned from these areas. It is Vietnam on a mini scale.
Page 84 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC We alsoand there is a reference to this in the posture statementwe don't think that we are going to see a lot of conventional conflict. Hopefully we won't. We won't be in a fight with China, we won't be in a fight with Korea. And the conventional conflicts that we might see are likely to mirror the one that we just had with Iraq; very, very quick conventional fight and then afterwards the real fight that goes on for a long, long time.
I personally thought for some time that the conventional part is the surge capacity that you were referring to earlier is something that should be maintained largely in guard and reserve and that within our active-duty forces we ought to be building our capacity to deal with the long-term, tail-end real fight. And I don't know that the brigade structure does that because it is largely conventionally oriented.
It just seems to me in the posture statement, the QDR, is more of the same. It is like the post-Vietnam. We are going to go back to what we know and can do, in part because in order for us to be effective at the national building, stability, reconstruction, those sorts of efforts, the Army thinks we got to get at more people involved, State Department, USAID, et cetera.
I would like to hear from you and the Secretary whether I am just totally off base in thinking that guard/reserve can provide us more of our conventional capabilities and that the long-term strength is an elevated quality in our active-duty forces to deal with this almost T.E. Lawrence kind of challenge; where, really, what we ought to be doing is outsourcing as much as we can, embedding as much as we can, force-multiplying by working with local forces, those sorts of things. That is how you win these kinds of fights.
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General SCHOOMAKER. If I could start this. Number one, the Army provides the heavy lifting for the Nation in terms of ground combat power and the Army is going to have to continue to do that. And it would be a mistake in my judgment for us to uncover our dominance on the conventional end of the stick. That does not mean we need to maintain a conventional capability the size we did for the Cold War because of the nature of that threat, if we are going to avoid somebody overreaching in the traditional sense, we must have a credible deterrent and that is part of the shaping business.
At the same time, we must be able to use all of the tools within our kit box, and I call it different kinds of units, more creatively than the best. That is why we have gone away from a pure brigade and division structure to the brigade combat team structure which allows us now to do a wider range of things. For instance, if you have the kind of situation that we have got right now, let us say in Iraq, where you have got to cover a lot of ground and you want to deny people access across borders and you want to run precision tactical operations, you need brigade combat team type of capability to do that wide range of things. Where you have got to increase surveillance, increase bandwidth to bring national level intelligence inside in a level we have never had before: things like UAVs and other sensors; smart munitions that allow us now not to have to put people all over the place but extends our reach and then save our people to maneuver on the places where we are alerted to the problem. You want MPs, you want engineers, you want internal logistics. So that is what we are doing with the brigade combat team.
Now, on the other side, we have increased our depth in transportation, engineering, aviation and the things that you know right now are very, very useful in the broader sense.
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And then I will make one last comment and that is we are in a world where very few things are going to be solved purely militarily. We are in a world that is going to require interagency cooperation, operate jointly with our other service partners and operate in coalition with others. And so we have got to provide an Army tool kit that is complementary to the kinds of things that we are going to do in the broader set of national elements of power tools.
So we must provide the kinds of things that support such things as State Department, Commerce, Energy, United Nations operations, coalition operations, which happens to be communications, security operations, intelligence and these kind of things. That is what we are building in our Army.
So I will tell you we are moving away from where George Patton is the icon, to where we have got some George Pattons but we really need kind of the Old West and the kind of opening of frontiers and the Lewis and Clark kind of things, where we have that kind of capability to deal in a wider range. That is what we call a pentathalete. That is why we are investing training, education, language skills, all of this inside of this force to be able to do it.
It is a complex answer, but I do disagree with you that what we are doing is more of the same. This is fundamentally different, what we are doing.
Mr. MARSHALL. I see this red light so I am constrained. I would like to follow up.
Page 87 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Secretary HARVEY. We can certainly follow up. The Chief and I believe the brigade combat team design, as I said in my opening statement, has a broad portfolio. We have done a lot of thinking about the applicability of the team to stability, reconstruction operations and also to Homeland Security.
Let me end with one important point. The capabilities and technologies that are coming out of the FSC program in terms of UAVs, UGVs, ground sensors, precision munitions, the network, all have applicability, great applicability. We have some videos and almost cartoons that show how you would use those technologies in homeland defense disaster relief and how you would use those provisions to do a search operation and take out a bunch of terrorists in a house, while preserving lives and everything else.
We think between the Army modular force initiative and the brigade combat team, and again to reemphasize the Chief's points, the support brigades we are standing up in the FSC program, that we are going to have this spectrum of capability. Conventional, we are there. Homeland defense, we are there; because we have this flexible, rapidly deployable organization.
Mr. MARSHALL. And I appreciate the follow-up and look forward to the conversation. I am in favor of everything that you just described. It just seems to me it leaves a large gap, and to the extent we are relying on national guard to fill that, it is unrealistic, because it is a long-term problem and they don't want to be in the away game long term. And so the gap needs to be filled within the military and I
Mr. KLINE. The gentleman's time has expired. I know we could go on for a long time. We would love to do that, but we have some pressing things.
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The gentleman from Arizona, Mr. Franks.
Mr. FRANKS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and I always want to thank all of you every time you come before this committee, your officers and what you do for this country and the cause of human freedom. You should never be forgotten. And I hope you understand that even though you get a lot of appreciation, sometimes we just want to stop and pause and tell you that we know that you are doing more for the cause of freedom than any of us can really personalize, and we appreciate it very much.
Having said that, I am on another committee and I think the Chairmen deliberately tried to hold them at the same time, so I won't be at one of them. I am not sure whether to take personal umbrage over it or not. So my question probably has already been asked; but related to Iraq, I continue to understand that ourGeneral Schoomaker, I will point the question to you, sirthat the IEDs continue to be the monster that we have the hardest time dealing with. I had heard kind of on a side note that you have some type of joint committee on IED defeat and you might help me understand what that is and help us understand where do you think you are. I know the enemy adapts, gets more powerful IEDs and more insidious ways of deploying them, and it is an ongoing problem, as it always is I suppose in any military equation, but can you bring us up to date without going into anything classified?
General SCHOOMAKER. First of all, thanks for the question because it is clearly a weapon of choice in the current conflict we are in and one that is very, very difficult. By the way, it will continue to be a challenge because there are infinite possibilities, and both the offense and the defense will continue to evolve in kind of a dance. But over two and a half years ago, we in the Army started an IED defeat program on our own, within our own resources, and you helped us with some supplemental funding to do that, and it has done a lot for us.
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But a little more than a year ago, realizingand, by the way, I put this program under the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army for Oversight and created a special cell of people that we asked to think like the enemy and to help us do the things that we are doing, and I don't want to say any more about it than that.
A little over a year ago, I said I believe this program requires broader OSD help, and they came forth, and that now has evolved under an OSD umbrella to the point that we now have a retired four-star general who is a very good friend of mine, with a Ph.D, commanded the forces in Europe, Bosnia and and Kosovo, switched onto the problem and is making a big difference.
What he is bringing to us now is a broader reach into the national laboratories, into industry and all kinds of other places to work and deal with this problem. We are now fielding parts of his organization into theater and we have a joint capability that has come together under him in a way that is moving this thing forward.
So my view is we are moving very aggressively and very innovatively and I believe we put a lot of leadership and money with your help. In fact, I don't know what the thing is now
Secretary HARVEY. 37.5 billion now. It has tripled every year.
General SCHOOMAKER. But I will tell you that this is not a problem that is going to go away. This is one we will be with and continue to be very dangerous, and the thickness of armor is not going to be the answer to this deal. We just lost an M1 tank to this problem. I would just rather not say any more about it.
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Mr. FRANKS. An M1 is a pretty durable little gadget. I know that makes it very difficult. But in terms of the operational statements for tactical-wheeled vehicles, are any of those statements not yet satisfied? I want to get a slice at this to get it together.
And what have we learned about the juxtaposition between the up-armored Humvee's performance against the robust-kitted Humvee? And can you tell me, do you think that as Iraqi forces stand up, that some of these IEDsome of the impetus between these IED efforts will continue as strongly as they do now; in other words, are these just terrorists that are committed to taking Iraq back over, or do you think they will begin to back off a little bit when American forces are diminished? I guess that is a lot of questions but that is probablythat will probably be the last shot I will get at it.
Secretary HARVEY. As far as the insurgents and the terrorists, I don't think they are going to back off. They are going to continue. Their intention is ultimately to destroy the free way of life in the world. In regards toI am not so sure I understood your question regards to up-armoring.
Mr. FRANKS. Well, we had robust-kitted Humvee kits to kind of help them out and then we also had the up-armored Humvees. I don't know if there is ever any real difference or just a matter most of these IEDs are powerful enough.
Secretary HARVEY. I can respond to that. We have essentially two types of Humvees: level one, level two. One is a kit and one is made in the factory. In terms of the ones in the factory, they are up-armored level one. We have systematically increased the production rate. We are now at 700; we are going to 1,100 a month. And we have a new variant. The designation of the existing one is the so-called 1114, a combination of 1115s, 1152s. Eventually they will be all level ones.
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In the meantime we continue to improve the armor of the up-armored. We continue to up-armor the up-armor. We have three improvements to improve its protective capability from side, under, and back. So even though they are the best we have, we are trying to make them better and we are going to retrofit and forefit those improvements as we increase the rate to 1,100 a month.
And so I think we have a comprehensive program to give the soldier the best armor he has, but keeping in mind that this is just one part of the solution. It is techniques and procedures, it is discovering the IEDs before they go off, and that has increased. So it is a whole combination of armor techniques, techniques and procedures and the ability to detect and render these safe in combination. But as the Chief mentioned, even an M1 tank has its liabilities. We just like to get away to go up the so-called food chain, do away with the factories as much as we can, and avoid them as much as we can.
We will continue to do the whole spectrum.
Mr. FRANKS. Thank you all very much and thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. KLINE. I thank the gentleman. I recognize the gentleman from Mississippi, Mr. Taylor.
Mr. TAYLOR. Thank you. I appreciate you for sticking around today.
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Secretary Harvey, I am one of the many who is really distressed, having seen what a great job not only the Mississippi guard but all the national guard did in the wake of Hurricane Katrina; the apparent lack of emphasis on the part of your Department to get them back up to full strength. I am hearing people say it, but what I would prefer to hear is we are going to do everything it takes to get the national guard back up to full manning, whatever it takes.
We had half of our guard in Iraq the day of the storm, the other half did a magnificent job, and it is something that you are never going to have through the Northern Command. It is the local knowledge.
And if we believe that there is a terrorist threat, we have got to believe at some point they will succeed. At some point there will be a dirty bomb, chemical attack, maybe even possibly a nuclear attack. The people who are going to be in the best position to respond to that within our states is going to be the national guard. And to say that you are willing to live with a 17,000 reduction or to kind of haphazardly say we are going to get back up there someday I don't think is acceptable.
The second thing is last weekand I am a huge fan of General Pace, I am going to say thisbut he said something kind of distressing last week when he said the Joint Chiefs talked amongst ourselves and decided we had to do something about a copay on Tricare, something to this effect, because we are spending too much on health care.
I have the greatest respect for every one of the Joint Chiefs, but the fact of the matter is that they are at the top of the pay chain and every one of them, should they choose to, will have a very good job if they choose to leave the service, from some corporate entity that is just dying to have their name on the board of directors. Your typical chief petty officer doesn't see that. Typical major or lieutenant colonel who retires doesn't see that. What he does see is after having made a promise about the copayfirst it was free, then they changed to copay. That was supposed to be frozen and now it is going up.
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And I can tell you from personal experience, you are going to take your very best recruiters, which are your retirees, and turn them into your worst nightmare. You are going to see the letters to the editor begin all over again, in every newspaper across the country, that they betrayed me; they made these promises. Kids, don't join because they don't keep their promise.
We have been through that. And I don't know how many times we have to touch that hot engine block before we realize that is just something you don't touch. I think you are making a terrible mistake, and I think the sooner the Joint Chiefs come back and say we made a commitment, that we as a Nation are going to keep that commitment on health care, the better off you are going to be.
The third thing I would hope you would talk about, this is prepared by the National Guard Bureau, it says that on the day of September 11th they were at 75 percent of the equipment they should have had; that today they are at 34 percent.
I will point to one unit in Mississippi, and in this room when Secretary Rumsfeld came before the committee, I said we just got our engineering unit home from Iraq; they did a great job but they left every stick of equipment they had in Iraq. I said now just in case, Secretary Rumsfeld, we get hit with a catastrophic storm anytime soon, who are we going to call on? That was before Katrina. So it did happen. The day it hit, the guard unit had two-thirds of its equipment. They did a phenomenal job with what they had; but, again, what if it had been a different scenario? What if it had been chem, bio or dirty bomb? They probably didn't have everything they needed. So if that is at two-thirds, what are they going to do at 34 percent?
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The other thing that none of us could have envisioned is that when you have a catastrophic event, one of the things the Secretary came back and said, we'll go out and buy that stuff on the open market. What we have seen as a result of this storm, when you have a catastrophic event every contractor in the world is trying to buy the exact same piece of equipment; so instead of buying it at a good competitive bidding process during normal times, you are paying a premium for it during the worst of times, if you can get it at all. So don't tell me going out and buying it after is an option, because it is not. I see this every day.
Last, on the IEDs, I do appreciate the apparent effort toward this, but the bottom line is that the number of jammers that we have in Iraq continues to be a classified number. I heard what Chairman Weldon had to say and I respect that. But I am of the opinion the reason that number is classified is not because the enemy doesn't know; it is because the mothers and the fathers of the kids serving in Iraq would be outraged if they knew how few we had.
I am telling you what the goal has to be; that at least every other vehicle in Iraq travel in pairs, at the very least. That is not your goal, and the enemy knows how few we have, because they know how often they can hit the button and how many times the detonator goes off. They have figured out themselvesI am not going to say it on television, but that ought to be the goal for this Nation.
If we can spend $10 billion in missile defenseand we haven't lost one to a missilewe ought to be spending more on the thing that is killing and maiming half the kids in Iraq on a daily basis.
Page 95 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Secretary HARVEY. You asked four questions there. Let me start out and, Chief, you can chime in on health care and so forth. First, we are not haphazardly growing, in my opinion, the guard. We are funding them to whatever they can grow, up to the congressionally authorized number of 350,000. As you heard from General Vaughn, they are starting to turn that situation around, which is good. They bottomed out at the high 320,000's last year and they have been on a turnaround ever since, they are growing.
In terms of equipment, as General Schoomaker said, at the beginning there were many holes in the lawn, not only in the guard but in the active force, and that goes back into the underfunding of the nineties. And we have been trying to make up for that time andbut when the Nation called, the Army responded with the guard and reserves and the active and we kind of had a sharing of equipment: leave behind, stay behind equipment. And so that is one way to make up for the fact that we were not fully manned, not fully equipped, not fully trained. But we are making up for that with your support very quickly and
Mr. TAYLOR. According to this, you are actually worse off.
Secretary HARVEY. I don't know that document, Congressman.
Mr. TAYLOR. May I provide you with a copy of it?
Secretary HARVEY. We have a campaign plan that takes into account the fact when they come back from theater they may have left some equipment behind. The guard also has an arrangement for somebody that has gone to theater to backfill with their equipment. But the fact is that we are not where we need to be, but we have an Army plan that we talked about, that we presented today, that will get us to where we are. So, for exampleand the General referred to thisin the 1999 to 2000 time frame, 2005 time frame, the guard had a little under $5 billion for equipment. In 2005 to 2011, that is $21 billion. So we are putting into our planning the money required to fully train, fully equip the guard.
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We also have a force generation model that when the active come back, they are not ready, they are not fully equipped. And that is because of the situation, also because of battle losses, also because of wear and tear, reset and recap that has to be done. But our plan right now is to make up for that equipment in 6 months, and we are addressing it right now to ensure that after the guard has their rest periodwhich I believe it is at least 6 monthsthat they not going to be doing anything; in that 6-month to 12-month period that they have the equipment they need to perform their missions. They don't have to have Bradleys, Abrams, Strykers, but they need to have their trucks, they need to have their Humvees, and they need to have their weapons and they need to have their communications. And as the Chief said also, we have a major program calledif it is executed properly will probably be one of the quickest programs in the history of DOD, called light utility helicopter, which is mainly aimed at the guard to give them that helicopter capability they need.
So all these programs are in work today; and, again as the Chief showed on this chart, we are digging out of a hole and we are doing it rapidly. So in terms of equipping, I think we are there.
Chief, you may want to respond in terms of health careand we can both talk about the IEDs; of course, we can't do that in open session, but let me say there are thousands of countermeasure IED in theater today, and we are about to fill the next generation technology, and we need to do that; but we also need to do a number of other things. This is a very difficult threat that morphs all over the place and we have got to be very tenacious in it. As I said in response to another question, we have tripled the amount ofCongress has tripled in 1 year$3.5 billion.
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Mr. TAYLOR. Secretary Harvey, for the record, would you be willing to say which percentage of the approximately 34,000 vehicles in Iraq has a jammer?
Secretary HARVEY. We certainly can provide that to you.
Mr. TAYLOR. How about
Secretary HARVEY. The 34,000really it is how many of them have it when they go on a convey. How many in the lead, in the middle, and the end have jammers? Remember, I can't get into that detail. That is one element to the solution; it is not the be all and end all.
Mr. TAYLOR. The other question for the record, I am told that the Brits, that every one of their vehicles has a jammer; every vehicle that leaves the compound.
Secretary HARVEY. Keeping in mind that the Brits are in the south of the country.
Mr. TAYLOR. If I may, to that point, if they in a safer part of the country and yet they have every vehicle with a jammer, why not the same thing in a more dangerous part of the country?
Secretary HARVEY. I don't have firsthand knowledge of what the Brits have, and I don't know what the capability of those jammers are. I certainly can look into that.
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General SCHOOMAKER. I would just reinforce that, because we are in open session, but we could have two jammers on every vehicle and not solve the problem. So you are representing this thing for what it is not.
Mr. TAYLOR. General, if I may, to your point. I have been to visit every MississippianI have been to visit every Mississippian injured by a IED; funeral of every Mississippian killed by a IED. To the absolute best of my knowledge, everyone that this happened to did not have a jammer on their vehicle.
General SCHOOMAKER. I don't know. I won't concede that. I will just tell you that this is a bigger problem because of the physics of the problem.
Mr. KLINE. Can I suggest that because we are wandering into some classified areas, that we take that up as a separate item?
General SCHOOMAKER. The second thing I would like to say is I absolutely reject the notion that we are classifying anything to keep anything away from mothers and fathers. I resent it and I reject it, because that is not what we are doing. This is a very, very sensitive area that has nothing to do with keeping anything away from mothers and fathers. It has got to do with making sure
Mr. TAYLOR. Again, to that pointand you don't make that call, that is made by people in suits, not uniformsthen the numbers should not be classified. We never classified the number of the people with the best body armor, did not classify the number of vehicles up armored in Iraq in theater. This should not be. We will let the public decide whether or not it is being adequately addressed by the service secretaries.
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General SCHOOMAKER. We have never released the capability of our body armor in an unclassified forum. We have talked about how many people wore it, but we never talked about what its capability was as we improved it or otherwise. So I just don't want to go there, because I think it is absolutely wrong. And we can agree to disagree if that is what you want to do; but that isn't, whether it is suits or uniforms, that is not the way we have been working.
If your chart said zero, it wouldn't make any difference. We are where we are, and we are where we are because of where we have been. Both of us have been in this committee all day, and previously we have testified that we started in a hole, and you have helped us tremendously with a lot of money. But now what we have is a challenge to get the money spent and accelerate what it is we are doing to fix the issue. But we have to make some choices where we have got holes in the force, and the choice we have made is to make sure the soldiers in harm's way are the ones we put our priority on, and we take our risk as well at home.
I agree with you, we have got to get this thing fixed because we are facing a challenge in the future that could very well come home to roost. And we need a robust national guard to respond to that, and that is why we are putting the money in there.
On the health care, I think General Pace described it very well. I will try to recount what he described. Nothing that we have recommended impacts soldiers on active duty. What we are trying to protect is soldiers and their families on active duty. What we have asked to do, because our health care costs are doubling and they going to soon become a sizable percentage of the entire defense budget because of the cost growth, what we have asked to do is for those people who have retirednot soldiers that have gotten out, but people that have retired, between retirement and the age of 65for us to normalize their copay to the point that it was in 1995 when this started. It has never been adjusted. We do not want to impact their catastrophic cap. We are going to leave that alone. And we don't want to impact anything for soldiers on active duty, but we are in a position now where we are paying more of the health care costs, or larger, for people that are not serving than they are for the people that are serving.
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Mr. KLINE. The gentleman's time really has expired and I would like to recognize the gentleman from Hawaii, Mr. Abercrombie.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you, gentlemen.
Mr. Secretary, I want to give you an opportunity to perhaps clarify a little something so we don't get off into the kind of finger-pointing I think that undermines what we are trying to accomplish. The reason I was exercised at your oral statement, I couldn't findor tried to find in the posture statement what you were talking about. I presume you are referring to italicized No. two, page two. In your executive summary you said, overcoming years of underfunding prior to the event of 9/11, you characterize in your oral statement as lacking capacity or something for what you call the long war.
Secretary HARVEY. The breadth and depth.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. I have got yournot your statement, the Army's posture statement for 2001 right with me. I have been through this whole thing. Now I don't have the time, Mr. Chairman, and I hope, Mr. Secretary, you will grant me that I can summarize by saying, for example, in the introduction presented by Secretary White and General Shinseki, the President's amended budget of fiscal year 2002 ensures the Army is funded to support the national security strategy and the national military strategy. We will achieve irreversible momentum for the Army vision by fully funding the pillars of the Army vision: People readiness and transformation. I can go on in as well.
Page 101 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC You deal with the interim force, the legacy force, the objective force. You mentioned the funding for the interim force, citing specifically Congress supporting the IBCT, the interim brigade combat teams, with an additional $600 million in the Fiscal Year 2001 Defense Appropriations Act, et cetera.
When you say something like that it may have some rhetorical flavor that suits the idea that additional funding is needed, although you insist it has to be in supplemental budgets instead of the fundamental budget, but that in effect indictsI can tell you, everybody sitting on this top levelbecause we were present, Democrats and Republicans alike, during that timeand I can tell you, when it comes to assymetrical warfare, which is what is cited in your present posture statementwe no longer face only conventional armies that operate within clearly established political boundaries and additionally face enemies that employ irregular tactics.
I, for one member, and other members, I can say, starting with the Chairman and moving to my right down there, were citing the same things in the late nineties that you were talking about, and it is this committee that had to plus it up both through the previous administration and this administration. So I don't think it serves any useful purpose, believe me, at this stage to cite that kind of thing. If that was true then, why wasn't it in this posture statement?
Secretary HARVEY. What posture statement was that?
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. 2001.
Page 102 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Secretary HARVEY. I wasn't here.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. I know you weren't, but you are citing what happened during the nineties, and I will read the whole thing if you want. I am giving you the opportunity. I think it serves no useful purpose for us to go over this as if this Congress for onebecause that is who you are in front of todaywas somehow lacking either in insight or in direction or in purposeful action with respect to funding whatever was required for the Army to meet the objective force, the interim force, or future combat system or anything else.
If that was the case then, it should haveyou should have said so.
Secretary HARVEY. Let me respond to that. My understanding of that document, the long war, the Global War on Terrorism, didn't exist. That was a 2001 QDR. 9/11 didn't happen and we didn't know anything about
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Then I wanted to try and make this an opportunity for us to say, look, let us get on the same page. If you say that, then I think you have to do some homework, because I can tell you this committee certainly understood that and we understood what was going to be required of the guard and reserve in that context because Members, Republican and Democrat alike, said over and over again that with the deployments that were going to be required with asymmetrical warfare being in the forefront, that is why we responded positively to Army transformation. Army transformation was all about being able to meet the requirements of asymmetric warfare.
General SCHOOMAKER. Congressman, I was not in the Army at the time, but let me just respond, if I could. I retired in 2000. I spent most of my life in Special Operations. Before retiring, I spent my last three years commanding U.S. SOCOM. I could not get equipment for soldiers and Special Operations as my number one priority at SOCOM the entire three years I was there. I lost a helicopter that took me four years, I believethree years for sureof continual requests to get it replaced in those time frames.
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The holes that existed in the Army from the nineties are very real. What we have described is as it was. What you are reading from is a posture statement before 9/11. We also had a national guard in those days, that I am very familiar with, that was not resourced either. So it may be that everybody's heart was in the right place, but I can promise you that in those years we were not resourced to the level that was required for us to do the kind of things that we are doing today, regardless of where everybody's heart was.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. This has nothing to do with heart, this has to do with the solid numbers involved as well. In other words, what you are telling me is that the posture statement in 2001, which represented the work that needed to be done in the future based on what had been done in the previous, was not a true statement.
General SCHOOMAKER. I have no idea. I wasn't part of the posture statement. But I can tell you my recollection is the Army's entire budget in those years was about the size of the supplemental we are receiving now. That gives you a little bit of an idea of what kind oflet me give you an example. The Army's request for small arms ammunition is about two billion rounds a year. Prior to two years ago, we were producing a maximum of 350 million rounds; about 17 percent of the total requirement.
Body armor was being produced at about 1,200 a month. It was going to take 49 programmatic years to equip with body armor. We had very few requirements for up-armored Humvees.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. General, I am not going to dispute what you are saying there. What I am trying to say is if you are expecting us to fund what you are saying in this, what reason do I have to believe we are getting any more accurate information? If those things happened as you cited, it is not the fault of the Congress, it is not as if your requests were falling on deaf ears.
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As Mr. Weldon pointed out, Chairman Hunter, this committee has had to fight the DOD, has had to fight the Joint Chiefs on everything from health care. The very things you have taken credit for on page 18 in this, the 24,000 barracks spaces renewed, the state-of-the-art health care and so on came from this committee; it didn't come from the Joint Chiefs and it didn't come out of the DOD. It came from this committee.
My point is not to argue with you as to whether those are the case or not, but to say we are dependent on the information that we get. And if this information was incorrect and there was such deep holes in it, then somebody had to let us know about it. If this wasn't worth paying any attention to, then we have to decide whether or not this is worth paying attention to.
General SCHOOMAKER. I think we are sitting as well trying to tell you the truth. If you don't think we are telling you the truth, I would be glad to go home. We are laying out what we believe to be the requirement. We are humanwe might be understating, might be overstatingbut we think we are right.
Secretary HARVEY. We cannot respond to a document that we had nothing to do with.
Mr. KLINE. I am sorry, the gentleman's time has expired.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Of course. That is nonsense.
Page 105 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. KLINE. I would like to recognize the Ranking Member, the gentleman from Missouri.
Mr. SKELTON. The Program Decision Memorandum 3, PDM 3, required a $30 billion funding reduction or funding cut, and I understand that the Army's share of that $30 billion funding reduction is $11.6 billion.
My question, gentlemen: What Army programs were cut by this document?
Secretary HARVEY. The proposed budget for the Army is $112 billion in round numbers. Last year it was $99 billion. So there has been an increase in the budget, the Presidential budget, base budget of over 13 percent. The numbers you are referring to were budget exercises which were adjustments, still growing the budget, and basically nothing is being cut. I would say the only thing we are doing is funding, as we mentioned before, funding the guard at 333,000, with the ability to fund whatever they grow. So I don't view the 2007 budget as a cut, I view it as growth of over 13 percent.
Mr. SKELTON. One last question, then. The PDM 3, true or false, requires a $30 billion funding reduction in DOD?
Secretary HARVEY. Again, this is where growth is a cut. No, I don't agree with that. The DOD budget went from
Mr. SKELTON. Excuse me. Is there such an animal as a PDM 3?
Page 106 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Secretary HARVEY. Yes.
Mr. SKELTON. What does it do?
Secretary HARVEY. It is like saying that the guard was cut from 34 to 28 when it was growing from 15 to 28 versus 15 to 34. The defense budget grew by $25 billion. So if you could say maybe it should have grown by another 20 billion, I don't view that as a cut; I view that as a normal exercise that an organization goes through in coming up with a budget, which I have personally done in the private sector for 20 years. It is bottoms up versus tops down. At the end of the day, our budget grew by 13 percent and DOD grew by 5 or 6 percent. So it is all growth.
General SCHOOMAKER. What you are talking about was distributed over the entire program. It wasn't a 1-year deal, it was across the Program Objective Memorandum (POM).
Mr. SKELTON. Can you answer the question? Of that $11 billion funding reduction over the entire program, what programs were undone by the document? Army programs?
Secretary HARVEY. No programs were undone.
General SCHOOMAKER. We were fundedone of the things that came out of the program were negative wedges that were out of there, which is one of the objectives was to get the program balance across DOD I am talking about now. But in terms of the Army programs, we got our growth, as was described, by about 13 billion12and the net, according to Jerry Sinn. And what you don't see yet is the supplemental funding to offset our wartime costs that keep us on track. Our actual growth is described as about 12 percent growth.
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Mr. SKELTON. Chairman, thanks.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Mr. Chairman, is there an opportunity for another round of questions?
Mr. KLINE. Sir, I am sorry, there is not. They have to reset this room. We have another hearing in this room. My apologies to the members for that.
My thanks to the witnesses for coming and for the entire constellation of stars behind them. The hearing is adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 1:40 p.m., the committee was adjourned.]
A P P E N D I X
February 15, 2006
DOCUMENTS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD
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February 15, 2006
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD
February 15, 2006
QUESTIONS SUBMITTED BY MR. SKELTON
Mr. SKELTON. General Schoomaker, the Army claims that one of the benefits to converting the Army to the modular brigade combat teams is an increase in ''combat power.'' How is this ''increase'' in combat power being measured?
General SCHOOMAKER. Modular brigade combat teams (BCTs) are demonstrating their effectiveness in combat missions and in stability operations and are far better at interacting with other service tactical elements of the Joint force than Army of Excellence/Force XXI brigades (AOE/Force XXI). Analysis conducted by the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command indicates that the modular BCTs are as capable as AOE/Force XXI task organized divisional brigades. The modular BCTs also have organic capabilities and plugs that give them greater utility across a broad range of military operations. The modular force was built to face and defeat the threat in the Common Operating Environment (COE). Modular BCT Tables of Organization and Equipment (TO&Es) are staffed for full spectrum operations with Civil Affairs staff officers, Special Operations Forces Liaison Officers, and additional military intelligence personnel. There are also significantly improved staffs for dealing with complex environments and long duration operations. Such provisions were not made for AOE maneuver brigades (a small, maneuver-oriented headquarters). In stability operations, Modular BCTs provide more ''boots on the ground'' than their AOE counterparts. Because of reach-back capabilities, self-contained designs, and robust staffs, today's Modular BCTs provide tailored forces that execute unprecedented levels of tempo, lethality, survivability, and endurance over increased battlespace.
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Mr. SKELTON. I understand more units will help ease stress caused by unit rotations to combat zones, but isn't it true that through this conversion, the Army will become lighter, with a significant reduction in the number of tanks and Bradley Fighting Vehicles?
General SCHOOMAKER. Prior to our transformation effort, the Army had 46 heavy Brigade Combat Teams (BCTs) organized into four different configurations of tanks and Bradley Fighting Vehicles (BFVs) at different modernization levels. These brigades consisted of a mix of 88 M1 Tanks/44 BFVs or 44 M1 tanks/88 BFVs depending on the heavy/mechanized battalion configuration in the brigades. Under this pre-modular configuration, the Army had over 7,000 M1 Tanks and BFVs in its inventory. Army modular transformation reduces the overall number of heavy BCTs from 46 to 25 and increases the number of infantry BCTs from 27 to 38 and Stryker BCTs from 2 to 7 by 2013 (post modular force). The decrease in heavy brigades is a result of our rebalancing the force mix of our BCTs in the active component and Army National Guard in order to meet strategic requirements. Under the modular configuration at endstate (2013) the Army will have approximately 1,900 fewer M1 Tanks and BFVs in its inventory. This decrease in heavy armored capability is offset by the fact that the modular BCTs have greater utility and flexibility, across a broad range of military operations, than our pre-modular brigades. Modular BCTs are demonstrating their effectiveness in combat missions and in stability operations and they are far better at interacting with other service tactical elements of the Joint Force. Permanent task organization of critical core components such as engineer, field artillery and military intelligence has streamlined the command and control function and increased effectiveness and efficiency. As a supporting and complementary effort, we are restructuring our tank and BFV fleets. Our plan is to remove the oldest tanks and BFVs from our armored fleets in order to establish a two-fleet configuration of only the most modern versions of these dominant maneuver systems. The two-fleet configuration will consist of 17 BCTs equipped with Abrams M1A2SEPs/M2A3 Bradleys (five of these are BCT equipment sets for Army Pre-positioned Stocks) and 14 BCTs equipped with Abrams MlAlAIMs/M2A2ODS Bradleys. This BCT balance supports the needs of current and future rotations, as well as our ability to surge forces for unforeseen contingencies.
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Mr. SKELTON. General Schoomaker, the Army has requested $6.6 billion in procurement for Army modularity programs of which $4.6 billion is from the $5 billion added to the Army's budget in FY07 as a result of last year's budget decisions. Please provide a list of the programs that make up the $6.6 billion, and a list with specific dollar amounts by program of the additional $4.6 billion programmed for modularity in FY07.
General SCHOOMAKER. Modularity is the Army's major force transformation initiative that includes a comprehensive redesign of the operational Army into a more powerful, flexible and rapidly deployable force.
In fiscal year 2007, the Army will allocate $6.6 billion in resources Army-wide to support the Modular Force.
OMA $196 million
Construction $504 million
Procurement $5,900 million
Major Operations and Maintenance initiatives totaling $196 million include:
Tactical Radios $28 million
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Maintenance and Training Enablers $161 million
Major Investment, both procurement and construction, modular initiatives totaling $6.4B include:
Facilities $504 million
Sensors $184 million
Night Vision Equipment $253 million
Battle Command Systems $807 million
Combat Vehicles and Weapons $2,152 million
Trucks $1,332 million
Combat Support Equipment $1,085 million
Small Arms $91 million
Mr. SKELTON. General Schoomaker, the Army has suffered significant combat losses of equipment since the start of OIF and continuing to the current day. Since the Army is not allowed to program for combat losses, it is often two to three years before equipment lost in combat is replaced. Should this policy be reconsidered to allow the Army program and build beyond the current level of ''attrition reserves'' for systems which have experienced regular combat losses in OIF given the ''Long War'' nature of the conflict we are currently engaged in?
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General SCHOOMAKER. Based on the irregular nature of the Global War on Terrorism, it is difficult to project combat losses. If we were to budget to an unpredictable figure, we will undoubtedly short other known funding requirements. Programming and budgeting for peacetime attrition is a more predictable figure.
Mr. SKELTON. General Schoomaker, I understand that the TAGs and the Governors had signed up to reduce force structure within the guard to 348,000. The additional force structure cuts of 26,000 were additional reductions that they were unaware of and would result in soldiers being forced from their units, not just empty spaces not being filled. Was the TAGs and Governors consulted before the additional 26,000 cuts were made to the national guard? At what point did the Army enter into discussions with the guard on the additional force structure cuts? And where did the basis for the additional cuts come from?
General SCHOOMAKER. The Army is not reducing the size of the Army National Guard (ARNG); the total number of brigades remains at 106. During the Total Army Analysis (TAA) 20082013, the ARNG was eliminating over-structure and building a Force Structure Allowance (FSA) of 348,000 with a Transient, Trainee, Holdee and Students (TTHS) account of 2,000. Although consideration was made to reduce the FSA to 324,000 during the 2006 QDR, the decision at the end of the TAA Force Program Review was to implement the Army End Strength Plan for the ARNG that builds toward an FSA of 342,000 with a TTHS of 8,000 by fiscal year 2011. Additionally, analysis associated with the 2006 QDR determined the need to supply 18 to 19 combat brigades with associated support brigades during steady state operations. In a collaborative effort with the Chief of the National Guard Bureau, the Director of the ARNG, the Chief of the Army Reserve, and The Adjutants General Association of the United States Force Structure Committee, the Army is working to determine the right mix of capabilities within the 106 ARNG brigades to meet GWOT requirements while providing options to meet homeland security missions. Our goal is to build ARNG brigades that are fully manned, equipped, and trained to meet the full spectrum of operations, both in the United States and overseas.
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Mr. SKELTON. Did the national guard propose to reduce two division headquarters, 6 BCTs and one aviation brigade? Or was this specific action dictated by the Army to the national guard? And were the additional 7,000 combat support and combat service support positions a result of a review by the guard of what additional forces may be needed, or were these positions specified by the active Army?
General SCHOOMAKER. The Army is not reducing the size of the Army National Guard (ARNG); the total number of brigades remains at 106. The Army will fund the ARNG up to its authorized end strength of 350,000. The ARNG initially non-concurred with the Army's proposal for ARNG force structure changes that would meet the current operational demand and defense support to our civil authorities. Since then, as part of a collaborative effort with the Chief of the National Guard Bureau, the Director of the ARNG, the Chief of the Army Reserve, and The Adjutants General Association of the United States Force Structure Committee, the Army is working to determine the right mix of 106 brigades which will allow the Army to achieve its mission in the GWOT while providing enhanced options to the ARNG to support civil authority missions for defense of our homeland. The decision to rebalance the structure within the six BCTs and one combat aviation brigade into functional and multi-functional brigades is under review. We believe that this rebalancing will provide greater flexibility to the force while achieving greater balance across the Army for demands on our combat support and combat service support formations. We also believe that increasing the numbers of functional and multi-functional brigades within the ARNG provides flexibility to the commanders, as they can create formations from existing modular units in the ARNG to meet a wide spectrum of mission sets for both combat operations and defense support to our civil authorities.
Page 114 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SKELTON. General Schoomaker, there has been a tremendous amount of discussions about the force reduction in the national guard. However, the Army Reserve is also facing a reduction from 205,000 to 188,000, and the budget only funds up to 200,000. With over 60% of the Medical assets and 98% of the Civil Affairs in the Army Reserve, both critical to stabilization and national building; can you confirm that the Army Reserve will also be funded to the level they can recruit to their authorized end strength of 205,000?
Secretary HARVEY and General SCHOOMAKER. There is no reduction to Army Reserve Congressional End Strength Objective (ESO), it remains at 205,000. The U.S. Army Reserve (USAR) currently has a recruiting and retention strength plan and incentives in place to achieve the goal of being within two percent of ESO by FY09 and full ESO by FY10. As the USAR end-strength increases, funding must be made available to resource this increase. We need the continued support of Congress and the Department of Defense for critical funding of recruiting and retention incentives to meet our plan.
QUESTIONS SUBMITTED BY MR. SPRATT
Mr. SPRATT. General Schoomaker, you have indicated that the budget provides funding for 333,000 Army National Guard troops, 17,000 troops below the authorized level. You have suggested that if the recruiters are able to recruit above 333,000, then the Army will fund that expense through reprogramming. Last week, Secretary Rumsfeld in front of this committee suggested that the supplemental might be a vehicle for additional funding for this purpose over and above any reprogrammed money. He then put forth a caveat that a supplemental would only cover guard troops called to active duty. Could you clarify this funding confusion? If the Army National Guard recruits above the 333,000 provided in the budget, what will be the source of the funding? How much will it cost (per 1,000 troops)? Will any part of this expense come from a supplemental? If money needs to be reprogrammed, what programs will be cut to accommodate the increased expenses for the guard?
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General SCHOOMAKER. The Army is committed to funding the Army National Guard up to the 350,000 strength level in fiscal year (FY) 2007 and is in the process of identifying sources to meet this commitment. Cost per 1000 National Guard Soldiers is difficult to capture based on each Soldier's varied status in the national guard. For example, Soldiers mobilized for Operation Iraqi Freedom costs differ dramatically from a Soldier performing weekend drill on inactive duty for training. Efforts are ongoing regarding the equipment/investment (procurement) restoral and the total dollar amount depends on the final outcome of force structure adjustments.
Mr. SPRATT. Secretary Harvey, I understand the Program Decision Memorandum (PDM) 3 required a reduction of $30 billion from the DoD budget, what was the Army's share of PDM 3? 1 would like to know which Army accounts were impacted by the PDM3 and to what extent?
Secretary HARVEY. The Army's share of PDM 3 was a $9.8 billion reduction (FY07FY11). The changes the Army made to various programs were well thought out, strategy based, QDR informed, and resulted in a balanced Army with the critical assets necessary to protect vital national interests and to fulfill national military responsibilities. Our decisions will also provide our Nation's Governors with the critical assets necessary to plan for and execute their Homeland Defense mission.
Mr. SPRATT. Secretary Harvey, I understand the Army Reserve is the executive agent of the reserve components Officer Basic Course. With the national guard currently postured to recruit to the 350,000 end-strength, I anticipate there will be an increase in the number of OBC seats required for these new officers. Can you tell me if you have funded this program sufficiently to accommodate the number of officers needing this initial military education, and if not, what plans do you have to ensure that we don't bring new officers into the system without being able to get them the OBC in a timely manner?
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Secretary HARVEY and General SCHOOMAKER. The Army Reserve is not sufficiently funded to accommodate the number of officers needed to attend their Officer Basic Course (OBC). There are 2,285 Reserve Component (RC) Soldiers missioned for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2007 OBC (1,125 Soldiers from the Army National Guard and 1,160 Soldiers from the Army Reserve). The FY07 OBC resources currently supports 847 seats for the RC with $23.1 million in Reserve Personnel, Army (RPA) appropriation funding. Additional seats are required to support the current shortage of company grade officers and the influx of new officers for the RC. FY07 current estimated shortfall for OBC is $39.2 million. The Army Reserve has no plans to reduce the number of new officers brought into the system. This strategy would worsen the shortage of company grade officers in deploying units, lower the inventory of leaders for the future, and degrade unit readiness during a time of war. The Army Reserve is pursing a strategy to ensure eligible officers receive the education they need, and has committed to securing additional resources to support full funding. The Army Reserve has identified the funding shortfall to the Department and to Congress. Throughout FY07, the Army Reserve will evaluate programs and priorities and make necessary funding adjustments to ensure we only assess new officers in the system that can be trained in a timely manner.
Mr. SPRATT. Secretary Harvey, a front page article in this week's Defense News suggests that the army ''reset'' bills for this year will be at least $9 billion. It suggests that this will be funded through a combination of base budget and supplemental funding. What amount of funding is provided in your base budget for ''resetting'' the force? How much should we expect to see in a supplemental? Do you anticipate that this cost of resetting the force will increase in the out years and by what magnitude?
Page 117 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Secretary HARVEY. All Reset funding is requested in supplementals. There are base programs which are similarsuch as depot maintenance, RECAP, and procurement, but these programs are required for a peacetime Army. Decrements to these programs further exacerbate shortages of equipment and hinder readiness.
Reset costs for future years will be dependent on the level of commitment in theater, the activity level in theater, and the amount of equipment required to be returned each year because it is damaged or excessively worn. The Army expects the requirement to be $1013 billion unless one of these factors significantly changes.
Any Reset which goes unfunded in one year rolls over to the following year, increasing that requirement.
Mr. SPRATT. How have the military services been able to sustain significantly higher levels of deployment than CBO thought feasible, and what has been the cost in readiness, recruitment, and retention? What is the impact on dwell time, the amount of time at home station per year of deployment, for active, guard and reserve personnel? (The Army has a stated goal of two years dwell time for active personnel and four to five years dwell time for guard and reserve to ensure readiness, retention, and recruiting rates, and maintenance of morale.)
Secretary HARVEY and General SCHOOMAKER. Undoubtedly, the Army is engaged at unprecedented levels at home and abroad. Approximately 125,000 Soldiers are now serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Additionally, over 255,000 of the Army's active component Soldiers are combat veterans, and 63,000 Soldiers have deployed more than once to Iraq or Afghanistan. Since September 11, 2001, our Nation has mobilized 264,000 reserve component Soldiers to support the Global War on Terrorism, and 77 percent of these Solders have deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan.
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This increased level of operational deployments has affected active and reserve readiness and is reducing active component dwell times. In terms of readiness, the Army continues to provide units at high levels of readiness to support combatant commanders' requirements. However, non-deployed unit readiness has been reduced by cross-leveling of forces to support deploying units, stay behind equipment requirements in theater, and increases in leader deployment tempo to source the transition teams assisting the Iraqi Security Forces. The growth of cross-leveling is especially acute within the reserve component. For example, the Army Reserve has cross-leveled 62% of the Soldiers in deploying units for the last two rotations, compared to 6% in FY02 and 39% in FY03. Although stressed, the Army remains ready and capable of meeting the Nation's needs. Continued timely and appropriate supplemental funding is essential for resetting redeploying forces and maintaining a ready Total Army.
Despite the significant operational pace, the Army is retaining Soldiers at record levels. Since 2002, the Army exceeded the combined active and reserve component retention goals, culminating with 106% in 2005. More specifically, the Army National Guard has exceeded retention goals three out of the last four years, culminating at 104% in 2005. Additionally, over the last four years, the Army Reserve maintained, on average, 103% of its yearly retention goals.
In terms of recruiting, the Active Army and Army Reserve exceeded recruiting goals each year between FY02 and FY04. The Army National Guard exceeded recruiting goals in FY02, but fell short approximately 12% in the subsequent two years. Additionally, FY05 was a significant recruiting challenge for all components, attaining approximately 87% of our combined recruiting goal.
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The Global War on Terrorism and a strengthening economy continue to impact military recruiting. Increased private sector competition, an upward trend in those pursuing higher education, and negative trends in centers of influence recommending military service are contributing to an erosion of recruiter productivity. However, we are working to overcome the market effects by increasing incentives, deploying new programs and reducing attrition. This fiscal year appears promising with the active Army, reserve, and national guard all ahead of their year to date recruiting goals. We must remember that this is not just an Army issue, but a national issue.
Mr. SPRATT. How long can we maintain the existing level of troops in Iraq without violating the 24 month rotation limit for reservists in a single engagement (10 U.S.C. 12302)?
Secretary HARVEY and General SCHOOMAKER. The Army Reserve currently has 22,234 Soldiers in Iraq. The Army Reserve can maintain its existing level of troops in Iraq for the current deploying rotation (OIF/OEF 0608), and fill most of the currently identified requirements for OIF/OEF 0709. However, the Army Reserve passed back 1,772 Soldier requirements for OIF/OEF 0709 to the active Army for capabilities that have already been exhausted in the Army Reserve, such as military police units.
In order to fill the next rotation, the Army Reserve is preparing 33,825 Soldiers who have not been previously mobilized. These Soldiers represent common combat service support competencies and have military skills other than medical professionals, legal professionals, trainers (such as drill sergeants) or headquarters personnel. The majority of Army Reserve leaders, both officers and noncommissioned officers (NCOs), have already been mobilized.
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The goal is to mobilize and deploy Soldiers in a manner that maintains unit integrity; this is becoming increasingly difficult. There are individual mobilization augmentees as well as active guard and reserve Soldiers who could be available, with additional training, to augment personnel shortages in units if required.
In order to provide leaders for mobilizing units, we must ask our senior enlisted and officer Soldiers to volunteer for multiple deployments. Again, this is because the majority of our officers and senior NCOs have already been mobilized. Our ability to sustain leader volunteerism at the current level is unknown because as Citizen Soldiers, the volunteers must carefully balance service to the country with civilian employment.
Mr. SPRATT. What is the maximum force level that the U.S. can sustain in Iraq, given current force structure, the 24 month rule and the military's stated dwell time goals?
Secretary HARVEY and General SCHOOMAKER. Currently, the U.S. Army has approximately 104,000 Soldiers deployed in Iraq, which includes 14 combat brigades (12 active component/2 reserve component). To support this level of commitment as part of a large-scale, long-duration, irregular GWOT campaign, the Army continues to operate at a surge level of effort. Maintaining this level of commitment requires prudent risk mitigation measures to ensure readiness and manage stress on the force.
Based on analysis associated with the 2006 QDR, the Army determined the need to provide 1819 combat brigades for a variety of steady state operations and surge another 1819 combat brigades to respond to major combat operations. As a result, the Army is restructuring to form a rotational pool of 70 Brigade Combat Teams and 211 supporting brigades of essential capabilities among the three components. Once transformation to the Army Modular Force is complete, the Army will be able to provide combatant commanders with a sustainable force of approximately 174,000 Soldiers, which includes at least 18 combat brigades (14 active component/4 reserve component) for long-duration operations. These numbers are predicated upon predictable and assured access to the reserve component.
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Mr. SPRATT. How much 10 USC §12303 Presidential recall authority has the US Army relied upon to this point?
Secretary HARVEY and General SCHOOMAKER. The Army has not asked the President for authority to use 10 USC §12303. This provision would authorize the Army to call Army Reserve ''unsatisfactory participants'' to active duty. The use of this authority merits consideration. Soldiers who are unsatisfactory participants are failing to live up to the terms of their contract. If this provision is authorized and used on a limited basis, it would encourage unsatisfactory participants to return to their units to fulfill the terms of their contract. This would have a positive impact on recruiting by filling Army Reserve units with obligated Soldiers, and a positive impact on long-term retention. Retention rates are significantly higher for Soldiers who have completed successful deployments.
Mr. SPRATT. What plans does the US Army have to use 10 USC §12303 authority in the upcoming Fiscal Year (as 10 USC §12302 authority is used up)?
Secretary HARVEY and General SCHOOMAKER. The Army has not as yet decided to ask the President for authority to use 10 USC §12303 to call Army Reserve Soldiers to serve on active duty. It should be noted that this provision would authorize the Army to call Army Reserve ''unsatisfactory Participants'' to active duty. The use of this authority merits consideration. Soldiers who are unsatisfactory participants are failing to live up to the terms of their contract. If this provision is authorized and used on a limited basis, it would encourage unsatisfactory participants to return to their units to fulfill the terms of their contract. This would have a positive impact on recruiting by filling Army Reserve units with obligated Soldiers, and a positive impact on long-term retention. Retention rates are significantly higher for Soldiers who have completed successful deployments.
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Mr. SPRATT. On September 3, 2003, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) issued an excellent study on our deployed force levels in Iraq, entitled An Analysis of the Military's Ability to Sustain an Occupation of Iraq. CBO reported that our military services would be unable to sustain an occupation force of 120,000 in Iraq beyond March 2004 without putting considerable pressure on Army personnel. Almost two years has passed since that date, and U.S. forces in Iraq still exceed 120,000. In fact, over 138,000 are deployed in Iraq and over 20,000 more are deployed in Afghanistan and neighboring countries. These numbers far exceed the force-level range of 67,000 to 106,000 that CBO thought sustainable over the long term in your September 2003 report. The high level of deployment of active and reserve personnel is having an impact on recruitment and retention; and there is concern that current force levels cannot be extended for another year without breaching rules against call-up of reserve components for more than twenty-four months in a single engagement. I have several questions stemming from this assessment: How much 10 USC §12304 recall authority has the President relied upon in response to Hurricane Katrina?
Secretary HARVEY and General SCHOOMAKER. None. Soldiers deployed in support of Hurricane Katrina were initially deployed on State active duty orders. On September 7, 2005, the Acting Deputy Secretary of Defense authorized the national guard to conduct the Hurricane Katrina Relief in Title 32. Authority for Title 32 was retroactive to August 29, 2005. The authority was applicable to all approved requests for Soldiers and support conducting hurricane relief operations in support of the States of Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, and Alabama. It also applied to all approved requests for Soldiers conducting support to displaced persons.
Page 123 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SPRATT. On September 3, 2003, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) issued an excellent study on our deployed force levels in Iraq, entitled An Analysis of the Military's Ability to Sustain an Occupation of Iraq. CBO reported that our military services would be unable to sustain an occupation force of 120,000 in Iraq beyond March 2004 without putting considerable pressure on Army personnel. Almost two years has passed since that date, and U.S. forces in Iraq still exceed 120,000. In fact, over 138,000 are deployed in Iraq and over 20,000 more are deployed in Afghanistan and neighboring countries. These numbers far exceed the force-level range of 67,000 to 1 06,000 that CBO thought sustainable over the long term in your September 2003 report. The high level of deployment of active and reserve personnel is having an impact on recruitment and retention; and there is concern that current force levels cannot be extended for another year without breaching rules against call-up of reserve components for more than twenty-four months in a single engagement. I have several questions stemming from this assessment:
Why the proposed increase in 10 USC §12304 recall authority from 270 days to 365 days?
Secretary HARVEY and General SCHOOMAKER. Increasing the duration of active duty time to 365 days would assist in the facilitation of the ''boots-on-the ground'' requirement.
Under the current provisions of 10 USC 12304, Presidential Reserve Call-up, Reserve Component Soldiers can be involuntarily called to Active Duty for 270 days. The proposal to increase the time period from 270 days to 365 days would greatly benefit the Army National Guard. The current operational rotation cycle varies from six to 12 months ''boots-on-the ground''. The addition to allow the President to call-up Reserve Component Soldiers to provide assistance in a serious natural or manmade disaster, accident or catastrophe allows a more versatile and useful legal authority when local, state and federal civilian agencies are exceeded.
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Mr. SPRATT. General Schoomaker, Hurricane Katrina has exposed the problems that can be caused when our guard forces are stretched thin. What is our military's ability to respond to other threats while maintaining current force levels in Iraq and Afghanistan?
Secretary HARVEY and General SCHOOMAKER. Regarding Hurricane Katrina response, Army forces were on the ground in the affected areas within hours of receiving orders. The build up of Soldiers committed to the relief efforts rapidly grew from 6,900 on August 29, 2005, to 14,000 on September 1, 2005, and peaked at 59,000 Soldiers on September 8, 2005. Soldiers provided a full spectrum of services including rescue operations, helping to restore order, distribution of relief supplies, medical care, evacuation, and relocation of displaced citizens.
The Army remains prepared to support the goals and objectives of the National Military Strategy and National Defense Strategy. We maintain sufficient forces that are not engaged in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom to respond to additional missions and operations.
The Army's primary challenge affecting readiness is resetting the equipment of units returning from OCONUS operations. Accelerating reset, which includes repairs, recapitalization, and replacement, would further ensure adequate Army capabilities in the necessary capacities to respond to other threats and mission requirements.
Page 125 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCQUESTIONS SUBMITTED BY MS. BORDALLO
Ms. BORDALLO. It is my understanding that you are undertaking to significantly reduce the number of combat brigades in the Army National Guard. Can you please describe for me why you decided to reduce the number of brigades?
General SCHOOMAKER. It is important to understand that the Army is not reducing the overall number of brigades within the Army National Guard (ARNG). We will maintain 106 brigades within the ARNG. What is important for the Army is to determine the right mix of these 106 brigades. Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) 2006 demonstrated that the Army must provide between 1819 BCTs and associated multi-functional and functional support brigades on a recurring basis to meet steady state demands around the world. Current demands on our Army have demonstrated that our modular BCT design is more than adequate to operate in combat operations, but those demands place a premium on our combat support and combat service support units. The collaborative efforts of the Army staff, the Chief of the National Guard Bureau, the Director of the ARNG, the Chief of the Army Reserve, and The Adjutants General Association of the United States (AGAUS) Force Structure Committee will determine the appropriate force structure for the ARNG that can best support the Army's efforts to win the GWOT while meeting the demands of our on-going homeland defense mission. This proposed structure will provide the flexibility needed to enable the Army to fight the long war against global terrorism while providing far greater options to our civil authorities to meet the challenges of homeland defense within our nation's borders.
Ms. BORDALLO. It is further my understanding that this decision may not have been made fully collaboratively with Lt. Gen. Blum, Director of the National Guard Bureau, and Lt. Gen. Vaughn, Director of the Army Guard. Further, it is not clear whether you sought the input of State Governors or State Adjutants General, parties with an incredibly important stake in this decision and in this process. Can you please tell me what role was given to the Guard Bureau and to State officials and at what points they were included in your decision making process?
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General SCHOOMAKER. The Army is sensitive to concerns such as these, and the Army recently opened a direct dialog with key representatives of the Army National Guard to discuss these important changes. Specifically, key members of the Army staff will work a collaborative effort with the Chief of the National Guard Bureau, the Director of the Army National Guard, the Chief of the Army Reserve, and The Adjutants General Association of the United States (AGAUS) Force Structure Committee to optimize these proposed changes to the force structure. We have yet to determine the impact of these changes on the Army National Guard force structure and the associated impacts on the individual states. As the Army works this collaborative effort over the next several months, input from the National Guard Bureau, the Army National Guard, and the AGAUS Force Structure Committee will play a key role in determining the best force structure mix across the states. The resulting force structure changes will reflect our continuing goal to build fully manned, equipped, and trained combat and support brigades in the Army National Guard that meet the full spectrum of operational demands, both in the United States and overseas.
Ms. BORDALLO. I am also concerned that now that Governors and Adjutants General have been briefed on this decision, they may once again be excluded from deciding how to execute the restructuringthat is who gets what units and who loses what units. Have decisions been made about how to achieve the new restructuring including how each state will be affected? How were these decisions made? To what extent were State Adjutants General and Governors included in the decision making process? If decisions have not been made, how will they be made and what role will State Adjutants General and Governors have?
General SCHOOMAKER. To provide relevant and ready forces to our combatant commanders, we continue to determine the correct force structure across all three components to meet the challenges we face. The goal with any decision affecting the Army National Guard (ARNG) is for close coordination and synchronization with the National Guard Bureau and the ARNG. We believe that we can improve this process as we adapt to the changing capabilities our warfighters need to fight the long war. Key members of the Army staff will work a collaborative effort with the Chief of the National Guard Bureau, the Director of the ARNG, the Chief of the Army Reserve, and the Adjutants General Association of the United States (AGAUS) Force Structure Committee to optimize the proposed changes to the force structure. As the Army works on this collaborative effort over the next several months, input from these groups will play a key role in recommending the best force structure mix in the ARNG. The resulting force structure changes will reflect our continuing goal to build fully manned, equipped, and trained combat, functional, and multi-functional support brigades in the Army National Guard that meet the full spectrum of operational demands of our Nation.
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Ms. BORDALLO. I am also concerned by the nature of the combat brigade reduction proposal and how it will be received by the men and women in our guard, many of whom truly embrace the warrior spirit that goes with being a combat Soldier. I can assure you that the men who serve in the infantry battalion on Guam, all of whom who have served or are serving in the Horn of Africa and many others who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, are warriors. They will not take kindly to being told they can no longer be Rangers and Airborne if they now have to convert to combat service support specialties. I suspect that many of the Soldiers in Brigades you will be shutting down as combat brigades will be equally sensitive to maintaining their occupational specialty. Many, probably virtually all, of these Soldiers are combat veterans. They have fought on the front lines, been wounded, lost comrades. So, as you consider how you plan to implement a plan that will reduce the number of national guard combat brigades in order to, as I have been told, permit the full manning and equipping of those brigades that remain, how you are going to face the challenge of dealing with the cultural shift this will require of so many hardened combat veterans who identify themselves as infantryman and tankers?
Secretary HARVEY and General SCHOOMAKER. I share your concern about how combat arms Soldiers might perceive the changes in the force as well. This is why the Army is working with the Adjutants General in a collaborative effort to determine the right mix of capabilities in the Army National Guard (ARNG). As changes to the ARNG force structure are implemented, we will work with the ARNG to minimize the potential for the dissatisfaction that you describe. But the change that the Army is undertaking with the modular force initiative is more than a force structure change. It is a fundamental change in manning, equipping, and training the force. It starts with the expectation that every Soldier in this Army possesses the spirit and skills of a warrior, and they must be able to rapidly adapt to their operational environment. Further, every Soldier can expect to have the right tools to fight as the Army is applying additional resources to ensure every type of unit is fully equipped. Additionally, all Soldiers will routinely undergo the same individual training to reinforce and sharpen their fighting proficiency. A key lesson in this long struggle is the rear echelons of combat formations are also on the front lines, and every Soldier must be prepared to fight anytime and anywhere. In the end, every Soldier is a warrior, regardless of the specialties they are assigned to.
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Ms. BORDALLO. Reducing the number of combat brigades seems to me not to fix the problem of manning. In the national guard you cannot transfer a trained infantryman in the Iowa National Guard to the Idaho National Guard just because his infantry unit went away and Idaho needs infantryman. You still have to find people in Idaho. You still have to train people in Idaho. And now you have to retrain the people in Iowa to new specialties. This does not strike me as a solution to the manning problems the national guard has right now at all. How do you plan to address this challenge?
Secretary HARVEY and General SCHOOMAKER. The Army Staff is working a collaborative effort in a forum comprised of State Adjutants General from the national guard to address how best to rebalance the Army National Guard force structure to meet wartime requirements, current operational demands and potential Homeland Defense missions. As part of a total Army force management review, this collaborative effort will focus on the impacts on manning, training, and equipping the Army National Guard as we build its structure toward 28 brigade combat teams. A General Officer Steering Committee (GOSC), co-chaired by the Deputy Chief of Staff, G3/5/7 and the Director of the Army National Guard will meet periodically beginning in March 2006 to develop a rebalance plan as we address the force structure requirements to meet the Army's strategic requirements. A key objective of this GOSC is to identify the most effective structure for the Army National Guard while minimizing the turbulence on the affected states. The recommendations from this GOSC will be presented to the senior Army leadership for incorporation in the Army Structure Plan to be published in January 2007.
Ms. BORDALLO. Can you describe for me over what period and in what general amounts full equipping of the remaining combat brigades will be achieved? Will full equipping mean these guard combat Brigades get the same equipment as their active duty equivalents?
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Secretary HARVEY and General SCHOOMAKER. One of the great benefits of modular conversion is standardization across the force. Army National Guard (ARNG) Modular Brigade Combat Teams (BCTs) will be organized and equipped like the Active Component. The Army will prioritize and manage equipping units based on their assigned missions and their place in the rotational cycle of the Army Force Generation Model (ARFORGEN). We started transformation of four ARNG BCTs in 2005 and project completion of 28 ARNG BCTs by 2013. The Army and ARNG are working together closely to ensure ARNG BCTs will always have the equipment and capabilities required to support homeland security and homeland defense missions, regardless of their status within ARFORGEN, and to ensure that all BCTs deploy with the personnel, equipment, and training required for missions overseas.
Ms. BORDALLO. Gentlemen, I am interested in the U.S. Army Vessel known as the Spearhead (TSV1X). It is my understanding that this high speed vessel may be able to deliver an entire brigade of Stryker combat vehicles rapidly to the battlefield and that one such vessel, if it goes into full procurement, may be homeported on Guam. Does the fiscal year 2007 (FY07) budget request fully support the Army's vision for the Spearhead and how does the Army plan to move forward with plans for the Spearhead, or like vessels, in the future? If the Navy has undertaken full leadership for the program, is the Army content with the support the Navy is giving it and the Navy's budget request?
Secretary HARVEY and General SCHOOMAKER. The Spearhead (TSV1X), leased by the Army from 2002 through March 8, 2006, served as the primary experimental vessel for the Theater Support Vessel (TSV) Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration (ACTD). In January 2005, the Army TSV and Navy High Speed Connector (HSC) programs merged to create the Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV) program. Although the JHSV capabilities development process is ongoing, initial capabilities analysis has determined that the JHSV will have a payload of between 500 to 1,000 short tons, and will be capable of rapid operational maneuver of intact unit sets. JHSV stationing analysis is ongoing, and homeporting decisions have not been made; however, Naval Base Guam is under consideration as part of this analysis. The Fiscal Year (FY) 2007 budget request fully supports the Army's vision for JHSV. The first JHSV will be procured in FY08 with an estimated construction period of 24 months. At current funding levels, the Army will procure five JHSVs between FY0811. The Army and Navy Acquisition Executives signed a Memorandum of Agreement which established the Navy as the acquisition lead and established a Navy Program Office staffed with Navy and Army employees to execute the JHSV program. The Army is receiving exceptional support from the Navy JHSV Program Office Team. The Navy's FY07 budget request supports the FY08 JHSV lead ship contract award, and the Army is satisfied with the Navy's funding commitment to this program.
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QUESTIONS SUBMITTED BY MR. ISRAEL
Mr. ISRAEL. The Long-Term End-strength plan reduces ''TTHS'' (Trainees, transients, holdees and students) accounts by 17%. This means a reduction for funds for entry level and professional development schools. At a time when Professional Military Education is more critical than ever, why would you make this cut?
Secretary HARVEY and General SCHOOMAKER. The funding request from Fiscal Year (FY) 2006 to FY07 for both Initial Military Training (IMT) and Professional Military Education (PME) has increased by $30 million. This is outlined in the Army's Justification Book for Operation and Maintenance Activities. However, the reduction of the TTHS account does not equate to a reduction in funding for IMT or PME. Funding for IMT is based on training requirements developed from the number of Soldiers (enlisted and officer) accessed into the military each year. Funding for PME is based on training requirements developed from several factors that include a Soldier's rank, time in service, where they stand on an order of merit list, and availability to attend school. PME can either be conducted at a resident campus, an alternate campus located near home station, or at home station through Advance Distributed Learning. Education at locations other than the resident campus can be accomplished at a lower cost to the Army.
Mr. ISRAEL. While I congratulate you in meeting most of your recruiting and retention goals, the fact is that you have done so by lowering quality standards and raising incentives. In fact, the percentage of Army recruits with high school diplomas has fallen by 6%, while reenlistment bonuses in 2005 cost over 500% or $400 million above what you budgeted. Why are you facing these challenges, and what will you do to fix these problems.
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Secretary HARVEY and General SCHOOMAKER. The Army is recruiting 175,500 Soldiers to man the force across all components. This is occurring in an environment of an improving economy, declining youth propensity, and negative trends in influencers' willingness to recommend military service. This is also the first time the Nation has tried to fight an extended conflict with world-wide requirements with an All Volunteer Force. To meet these challenges, the Army is aggressively shaping and adjusting its recruiting resources to meet the DOD standard. With continued Congressional support, the Army will continue to recruit and retain an All-Volunteer force.
Mr. ISRAEL. The Army is transforming into a Modular structure, but its training strategy and programs have not changed to reflect this. When and how will you adapt your training to fit your organization?
Secretary HARVEY and General SCHOOMAKER. Our training strategies are changing to reflect the transformation to modular organizations and those changes required based on other Army initiatives, such as the Army Force Generation Model and lifecycle manning. Some training program changes are obvious and others are more subtle. The changes in the Combat Training Center (CTC) program are an example of the obvious changes. We modified the support structure at the CTCs to reflect the changing modular force organizations. Additionally, we are examining a concept for exporting training from a combat training center to a unit's home station in order to increase units' exposure to rigorous training facilitated by subject matters experts. We are also exploring a concept that would provide training to support brigades, like fires brigades, that do not currently train at a combat training center.
Page 132 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC More subtle changes require evaluation of our training strategies within the context of the three Army initiatives previously mentioned, the modular force transformation, the Army Force Generation Model and lifecycle manning. One example is illustrative. The modular force transformation increases the number of organic battalions with a modular brigade. To achieve maximum effectiveness, the brigade must conduct additional higher level collective training to exercise all battalions interdependently. This increases the training strategy requirement. However, lifecycle manning will stabilize Soldiers within units for extended periods, decreasing the need for training designed to counter personnel turbulence. The net effect of these two initiatives, modular force transformation and lifecycle manning, change the type and frequency of events; but when viewed at the macro level, the training strategy appears unchanged.
Mr. ISRAEL. Last year, almost one in six Army recruits had a problem in their background that would have disqualified them from military service. In order to accept them, the Army granted special exceptions, known as recruiting waivers. Recruits with medical problems made up the largest single category of those given waivers. However, the largest increase was among recruits with a history of either criminal conduct or drug and alcohol problems, according to data provided by the Army. How can you argue that permitting gays in the military will affect unit morale when you are letting in such large numbers of criminals and addicts?
Secretary HARVEY and General SCHOOMAKER. The Army policy for granting enlistment waivers has not changed and is within historic averages for accessions. The Army has a sound process for conducting waivers that allows those who have overcome mistakes made earlier in their lives to serve their country. The enlistees who receive waivers are not coming into the Army to be rehabilitated; they have already overcome their mistakes. The ''Don't Ask, Don't Tell'' policy derives from federal law (Title 10, United States Code, Section 654). The Army follows the law and Congress's intentthe Army has no discretion to do otherwise. Why does the Army discharge otherwise fully trained and qualified soldiers? Congress evaluated this concern during its 1993 hearings when it formulated its policy concerning homosexuality in the armed forces. It concluded that ''the presence in the armed forces of persons who demonstrated a propensity or intent to engage in homosexual acts would create an unacceptable risk to the high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion that are the essence of military capability.''
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Mr. ISRAEL. The Army is reducing its goal for active Brigade Combat Teams from 77 to 70. At a time when we need more combat force, not less, how does this decision make sense?
General SCHOOMAKER. Based on analysis associated with the 2006 QDR, the Army realigned its goal to build a pool of 70 Brigade Combat Teams (BCTs) with the objective of providing 1819 BCTs for steady state operations. In terms of warfighting capability, the Army is actually growing the size of its fully manned, equipped, and trained Operating Force (from a total of 756,000 in Fiscal Year (FY) 2004 to 790,000 in FY11). Along with the 70 BCTs, the Army will build a total of 211 multi-functional and functional support brigades providing increased capability in aviation, fires, intelligence, maneuver enhancement, and sustainment. As we complete modular transformation and optimize the force mix across all three components, the Army will increase its combat structure providing effective force capabilities to meet the full spectrum of operations, both in the United States and overseas.
Mr. ISRAEL. The national guard is going to reduce 27,000 appropriated spaces, and pay for the difference to authorized endstrength out of supplemental funding. Since you project that you will, in fact, use all authorized endstrength in FY07, why not just budget for what you need?
Secretary HARVEY and General SCHOOMAKER. The Army is committed to funding the Army National Guard up to the 350,000 strength level. The Army fully funded the national guard for 350,000 in the fiscal year 2006 budget. The Army will recommend modifying the fiscal year 2007 budget to address the additional personnel and associated training costs required for up to 350,000, and is in the process of identifying the sources to meet this commitment. In affecting this modification, the Army will follow prescribed procedures and congressional notification requirements.
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Mr. ISRAEL. The Air Force has terminated the C17 program at 180 buys. Will this provide enough aircraft to deploy an Army Unit of Employment or a Division across the world to austere airfields while fulfilling other requirements?
Secretary HARVEY and General SCHOOMAKER. The Army is satisfied that the current programmed global airlift capability is sufficient to meet the Army's strategic airlift requirements under the current defense strategy. This answer is based upon the results of the Quadrennial Defense Review and informed by the Mobility Capability Study (MCS 2005). The global airlift fleet modeled in this recent study consisted of 180 C17s, 112 C5s and the Civil Reserve Air Fleet (CRAF).
Strategic mobility of forces in support of the Combatant Commanders' requirements is best provided by a balanced mix of airlift, sealift, and pre-positioning of selected assets. Maintaining this balanced mix of sealift, airlift, and pre-positioned stocks, now and in the future, gives the Joint commander multiple options for deployment and employment of force to and within his area of operations.
Additionally, though the MCS 2005 focused on the 2012 timeframe, Army analysis indicates that Future Combat System (FCS) equipped forces may reduce overall demand compared to similar current force capabilities, due to cube, weight, and sustainment requirement reductions. The Army supports a formal Joint analysis of global lift (air, sea, and prepositioning) requirements in the 20122024 timeframe.
Mr. ISRAEL. How much of the supplemental funding for RESET is going on maintenance that would be required regardless of OIF/OEF, and how much of the supplemental funding is being spent on transitioning to modularity? Why is any modularity funding in the supplemental request not included in the FY07 budget request?
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Secretary HARVEY and General SCHOOMAKER. None of the RESET funding requested in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2006 supplemental is for maintenance that would be required regardless of OIF/OEF. The RESET request is entirely for actions that are required because of current contingency operations. There is $5 billion requested for the modular transition in the FY06 supplemental; this funding is required in FY06, not FY07. In accordance with guidance from the Office of Management and Budget, Modularity transition costs for FY 2006 are to be requested in the supplemental. FY07 and later, modularity funding will be in the base budget. Unless guidance changes, there will be no Modular Force Transition requirements in the FY07 supplemental request.