SPEAKERS CONTENTS INSERTS
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[H.A.S.C. No. 1094]
NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT
FOR FISCAL YEAR 2006
OVERSIGHT OF PREVIOUSLY AUTHORIZED PROGRAMS
COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED NINTH CONGRESS
FULL COMMITTEE HEARING
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BUDGET REQUEST FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY
FEBRUARY 17, 2005
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
Page 3 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCJIM RYUN, Kansas
JIM GIBBONS, Nevada
ROBIN HAYES, North Carolina
KEN CALVERT, California
ROB SIMMONS, Connecticut
JO ANN DAVIS, Virginia
W. TODD AKIN, Missouri
J. RANDY FORBES, Virginia
JEFF MILLER, Florida
JOE WILSON, South Carolina
FRANK A. LoBIONDO, New Jersey
JEB BRADLEY, New Hampshire
MICHAEL TURNER, Ohio
JOHN KLINE, Minnesota
CANDICE S. MILLER, Michigan
MIKE ROGERS, Alabama
TRENT FRANKS, Arizona
BILL SHUSTER, Pennsylvania
THELMA DRAKE, Virginia
JOE SCHWARZ, Michigan
CATHY McMORRIS, Washington
MICHAEL CONAWAY, Texas
GEOFF DAVIS, Kentucky
IKE SKELTON, Missouri
Page 4 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCJOHN SPRATT, South Carolina
SOLOMON P. ORTIZ, Texas
LANE EVANS, Illinois
GENE TAYLOR, Mississippi
NEIL ABERCROMBIE, Hawaii
MARTY MEEHAN, Massachusetts
SILVESTRE REYES, Texas
VIC SNYDER, Arkansas
ADAM SMITH, Washington
LORETTA SANCHEZ, California
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
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DAN BOREN, Oklahoma
Robert S. Rangel, Staff Director
Eric R. Sterner, Council
Jeffery A. Green, Council
Jordan Redmond, Intern
C O N T E N T S
CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF HEARINGS
Thursday, February 17, 2005, Fiscal Year 2006 National Defense Authorization ActBudget Request from the Department of the Navy
Thursday, February 17, 2005
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2005
FISCAL YEAR 2006 NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACTBUDGET REQUEST FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY
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STATEMENTS PRESENTED BY MEMBERS OF CONGRESS
Hunter, Hon. Duncan, a Representative from California, Chairman, Committee on Armed Services
Skelton, Hon. Ike, a Representative from Missouri, Ranking Member, Committee on Armed Services
Clark, Adm. Vern E., Chief of Naval Operations
England, Hon. Gordon R., Secretary of the Navy
Hagee, Gen. Michael W., Commandant of the U.S. Marine Coprps
[The Prepared Statements can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Clark, Adm. Vern E.
England, Hon. Gordon R.
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DOCUMENTS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
[The Documents can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Letter to Secretary England from Hon. Roscoe G. Bartlett regarding the Otto Melara ''Super Rapid'' 76mm gun system and for evaluation of the OM 76mm SRGS, dated January 10, 2005
Letter to Hon. Roscoe G. Bartlett in response to letter dated January 10, 2005 from Secretary England
Letter to Secretary John J. Young, from Hon. Curt Weldon, dated April 19, 2004
Letter to Hon. Curt Weldon, from Secretary John J. Young, dated May 10, 2004
Memorandum for Deputy Under Secretary of Defense from Secretary John J. Young dated October 28, 2004.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
[The Questions and Answers can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Mrs. Davis of Virginia
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FISCAL YEAR 2006 NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACTBUDGET REQUEST FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY
House of Representatives,
Committee on Armed Services,
Washington, DC, Thursday, February 17, 2005.
The committee met, pursuant to call, at 9:05 a.m., in room 2118, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Duncan Hunter (chairman of the committee) presiding.
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. DUNCAN HUNTER, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM CALIFORNIA, CHAIRMAN, COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
The CHAIRMAN. The committee will come to order. This morning, the committee will continue its review of the Fiscal Year 2006 Defense Budget Request with a look at the Department of the Navy.
Our witnesses today are the Honorable Gordon R. England, Secretary of the NavyMr. Secretary, thank you for being with us this morning; Admiral Vernon E. Clark, United States Navy, Chief of Naval Operations (CNO); and General Michael W. Hagee, United States Marine Corps, Commandant of the Marine Corps.
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Welcome to the committee, gentlemen. We greatly appreciate your presence and your service to our country.
Before we begin, I would like to just take a moment to recognize that this is Admiral Clark's fifth and final posture hearing before the House Armed Services Committee.
As I am sure my colleagues are aware, the CNO will be retiring this summer after a successful tenure. Under his leadership, the Navy has become an increasingly agile and more rapidly deployable force.
Admiral Clark, we thank you for your lifetime of service to the defense of the United States. We wish you all the best in the future. Thank you very much.
Admiral CLARK. Thank you.
The CHAIRMAN. This year's defense budget requests $125.6 billion for the Department of the Navy, $6.4 billion more than the fiscal year 2005 budget.
This increase reflects a necessary step toward ensuring that we maintain a Navy and Marine Corps that are the world's most technologically advanced and combat capable. For example, every ship in the fiscal year 2006 program is a new design, including platforms such as the Virginia-class attack submarine; an LPD17, the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS); and the next nuclear aircraft carrier.
Page 10 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC These new platforms will ensure that our future Navy provides us with a force with speed, persistence, precision and reach. These new programs will ensure that we maintain highly ready forces, prepared to operate jointly while performing the full spectrum of military activities and meeting forward-deployed operational requirements.
However, I do have some concerns with this budget request, in particular the decreased shipbuilding rate and the overall reduction in the size of the fleet. If we do not carefully balance our shipbuilding rates with our production capabilities, our industrial base may lose the ability to meet the Navy's requirements.
The Navy must balance its long-term requirements with its short-term transformational goalsand of course, we are doing all that against the backdrop of a major operation, combat operations, in two theaters.
As we transition to a smaller more capable Navy, we also increase the wear and tear on individual platforms, possibly leading to shorter life spans and increased long-term maintenance and replacement costs. In addition, the reported decision to reduce the carrier fleet from 12 to 11 by retiring the John F. Kennedy ahead of schedule may exacerbate this problem.
The fleet response plan is an innovative solution for addressing near-to mid-term problems. But we could exacerbate wear and tear on ships if our security requires them to stay at sea more than the plan anticipates. In the short term, we may not have viable alternatives. We need to start developing long-term solutions to the problems of a smaller fleet and a declining industrial base.
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Finally, I am confident that I speak for the entire committee in recognizing the tremendous sacrifice of the men and women of the Navy and Marine Corps as they continue to meet and conquer the challenges of the 21st century.
I hope that today's hearing will provide additional insight into the Navy and Marine Corps strategy to adapting to an increasingly demanding world.
So, gentlemen, we all look forward to your testimony. We appreciate your appearance before the committee.
Let me just say, General Hagee, the performance of the United States Marines in these very close and deadly operationsthe close range, right down to the riflemen going door-to-door in Fallujah and other parts of that area of operation (A.O.), in Iraq, and of course the demanding hostile environment in parts of the Afghanistan operationthe performance of your Marines has been exceptional.
As we all watch the History Channel and we see the operations at Iwo Jima and Guadalcanal and all those other places being replayed for us from a historic perspective, listening to the descriptions of the battles that your people are undertaking, right up to the present day and the present hour and minute, has made me feel that the generation that fought in those great battles in the South Pacific, and Korea and the jungles of Vietnam, were great Marines, but the Marines who are fighting today are every bit as capable and dedicated and highly effective as any Marines who ever wore the uniform.
Page 12 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC So this is a broad spectrum of threats that we face. And perhaps the most important aspect, dimension of a viable naval Marine Corps fighting force is going to be our ability to adapt and to change and to meet new challenges and twists and turns by the enemy with a rapid response, both with people and training and equipment.
It is a major challenge. But I know that under your leadership and under Secretary England's leadership and the CNO's leadership, we have been able to maintain that in a very, very difficult and challenging role for all of you.
Thanks for your appearance before us today.
And to all the families of the Marines and naval personnel who have been carrying this load for our country in this war against terrorism, our very sincere thanks from this committee.
Well, Mr. Secretary, thank you. I want you to lead off here in a second.
I want to first recognize the Ranking Member, the very distinguished gentleman from Missouri, Mr. Skelton, for any remarks 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. Mr. Secretary, General Hagee, Admiral Clark, even with all that Missouri blood flowing through your veins, you know that the highest compliment when you get back is, ''You done good.'' And not only you done good, we look forward to your continued service until your flag comes down.
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Thank you so very, very much for your advice, your wisdom, your leadership through the years.
As you know, I never like to miss an opportunity to tell you how much I appreciate the Sailors and Marines. They do so well. And I probably sound like a broken record. They are America's national treasure, along with the other service young men and young women. That also goes to the civilians and for the families that support them so well.
Mr. Chairman, this hearing marks the annual event when Marines and the Navy leadership come before our committee to tell us about the future of their forces, and I look forward to a candid exchange.
I am pleased to see the Navy's budget has grown this year, even without factoring in the supplemental request. Yet even with the increase, I join my chairman, as well as many others on this committee, in concern that the budget plans on building only four ships. The Navy's service force will dip to 289.
So whatever happened to Ronald Reagan's 600-ship Navy? What happened to the last Quadrennial Defense Reviews's (QDR) 310-ship Navy? Our ships may be getting more capable but the oceans are not getting smaller. What happens if you lose one or two or three in a key place? You cannot replace it. This is my concern.
Additionally, I look with some concern over the reports of retiring an aircraft carrier. I know the Navy is developing some innovative operational concepts. We may hear about them today.
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The Army gets a lot of attention for the stress it is under. I know the Marine Corps is bearing a tremendous burden as well.
I was reminded just the other day that the warrior spirit remains alive and well within the Corps. Last year we acted to increase the Marine Corps end strength, but the cost of that increase was not included in this year's base budget.
General Hagee points out in his written statement that the Marine Corps is using its equipment eight times the peacetime rate. This is understandable, but it will require early recapitalization to reconstitute the force.
However, the President's budget, even when the supplemental is added to it, does not completely address the maintenance and the logistics shortfall.
Furthermore, I see that the planned purchase of the KC130J refueling tankers has been significantly reduced.
As you know, however, warfare is not about machines. It is about the people and the quality of the peoplethe Navy and the Marines, of which we will discuss today.
They never cease to impress me, doing the work that they do. That is why I am worried that the budget does not go far enough in doing what we need to do to properly support them. It only provides for a bare minimum pay raise of 3.1 percent; it does not target those we need to retain the most: mid-grade and senior noncommissioned officers; it does not reflect the proposed increase in the death benefit, which I am convinced this committee is going to look at very seriously.
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Additionally, I note the Marines have trouble making recruiting goals for the first time in nearly 10 years. I hope that is just a blip, but we will keep our eye on it as the days go by.
And last, I have long struggled to help the Navy better balance the operational demands of the fleet with providing your best Sailors and Marines with the best professional educational opportunities they need to grow into strategic leaders. It has not always been a happy struggle, but since we laid up professional military education needs back in 1988, the Marines have fully embraced those concepts, and I think the Navy is on board as well.
Between the wars, between World War I and World War IIthat was the golden era of professional military education. That is when the plans were drawn at the Navy War College that were executed during this Second World War. That is when the Army did not have enough billets for its up and coming officers, and they made instructors out of them. And consequently, those same instructors proved themselves worthy on the battlefield.
So I hope we can renew that golden age of military education, because it is truly needed in the days ahead, with a very uncertain future that we have when it comes to conflicts.
So, gentlemen, thank you for being with us. We value your service so very, very much. We look forward to your testimony.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
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The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman. Mr. Secretary, again, welcome, and the floor is yours.
STATEMENT OF HON. GORDON R. ENGLAND, SECRETARY OF THE NAVY
Secretary ENGLAND. Mr. Chairman, thank you. Mr. Skelton, thank you.
First of all, thanks for your very kind and heartfelt remarks about our magnificent men and women who serve our Nation.
All our men and womenour Sailors, Marines, Airmen, Coast Guard and Soldiersas you commented, are doing an absolutely magnificent job, and they are indeed part of this greatest generation.
I also want to thank you for the opportunity to be here, to have Admiral Clark and General Hagee and myself so that we can discuss with you this state of our great Navy and Marine Corps team and answer your questions, have a dialogue with you today.
I also want to thank every member of the committee, not just for your support that you do each year in terms of providing us financial support, but I thank you for your personal support. I know many of you have been to Bethesda and to Walter Reed, and I thank you for your personal time and the interest you show, personally, in our men and women in uniform.
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I do want to tell you that today, we do indeed have, I think in our collective judgment, the most capable Navy and Marine Corps that this Nation has ever had.
Now, over the last four years that we have been together, we have faced some hard decisions in allocating our resources across a lot of competing demands. I want you know, however, that this leadership team before you today has worked very, very hard to make the right decisions, and I believe that the readiness and the superb capability of the Navy and Marine Corps that we have today reflects those decisions.
Those decisions have also laid the foundation for a new 21st century naval force that will be strong and lethal. We are in the process of making a transition to a new future for our forces.
Over the last four years we have stressed innovation, and it is now part of our culture. And this culture stresses continuous improvement in both our effectiveness and our efficiency. Both our military and our civilian leaders have found that as they increase their effectiveness, they have also invariably become more efficient, and that allow us, then, to invest those dollars saved into new equipment.
It is not just about size or numbers, or at least it is not only about numbers; it is also important to consider the capability that we have.
From our Nation's founding 229 years ago, the Navy and Marine Corps has in effect been our first joint force. And today we are an integrated part of the Nation's total joint force. And I want you to know that that is our culture. Our culture is to solve national security problems through a joint national lens, and that is how we approach our budget, and that is how we approach our operation.
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Now, the budget before you today reflects the same process of innovation and joint perspective in balancing the needs of today with the requirements of tomorrow. We believe this budget delivers the right readiness posture to win the Global War on Terror and continues the transformation process to ensure that we are ready to win tomorrow's fights.
Finally, as we look back on the last four years and consider the plan for the next several years, I also want to take this opportunity to thank our great CNO for his leadership of our Navy. I have a very, very warm personal friendship with Admiral Vern Clark. And as you all know, I have enormous professional respect for his strategic vision and for his strong ethical leadership.
And I wish Vern and Connie Clark fair winds and following seas as they venture into their new experiences and challenges. With that said, he still has a lot to accomplish before retiring this summer, so we are not going to let him off too early here.
Together with our great Commandant, Mike Hagee, the CNO and I have formed a strong leadership team.
Four years ago I told this committee that regardless of the investment we make of all the money you provide for us, whether it is in submarines, ships or aircraft, the value to the Nation of those assets is zero. It is zero unless we have well-educated, highly trained and motivated people.
But when we have educated, trained and motivated people, the value of the investments you allow us to make is immeasurable to our Nation.
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Our Navy and Marine Corps today have such people, from those at my side today to those brave, young men and women at sea and at shore, in Iraq, Afghanistan and throughout the world fighting the enemies of freedom. They are, indeed, our greatest asset.
Mr. Chairman, thank you again for being here.
After Admiral Clark and General Hagee have given their opening statements, we would be pleased to address any questions this committee may have.
Thanks again for the opportunity. It is an honor and privilege to be here, Mr. Chairman.
[The prepared statement of Secretary England can be viewed in the hard copy.]
The CHAIRMAN. Well, thank you, Mr. Secretary.
Admiral Clark, thank you for being with us and for all of your dedication over the lastin this very challenging tour.
Tell us about your Navy.
STATEMENT OF ADM. VERN E. CLARK, CHIEF OF NAVAL OPERATIONS
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Admiral CLARK. Thank you. Chairman Hunter and Congressman Skelton, distinguished members of the committee, good morning, again. It is a privilege to be here.
Mr. Chairman, I would ask that my written statement be made part of the record.
The CHAIRMAN. Without objection, all written statements will be taken into the record.
Admiral CLARK. First, I am honored to be here once again, for the fifth time, for the fifth year, to appear before you, and appear before you part of this teammy Secretary, Gordon England, and my number one joint partner, General Mike Hagee.
These men, ladies and gentlemen, represent all that is right with our naval institutions and the leadership in this institution, and I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to serve with these individuals.
It is also, again, a great honor for me to represent the sons and daughters of Americathose who have chosen to wear a sailor's uniform in our world today.
These tremendous young Americans genuinely appreciate the support of the Congress and the citizens of the United States of America.
Page 21 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I am so proud of what our Sailors have accomplished this past year, and I thought I would just talk a little bit about what has happened since I was here a year ago.
The men and women of our Navy today are doing an absolutely superb job, around the world, around the clock, I like to say, in the defense of freedom. Over the past year, they have deterred and disrupted the movement of terrorists at sea, supported U.S. and coalition forces on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan, and guarded Iraq's critical oil infrastructure in the Persian Gulf.
Amid war on terror efforts, they have also provided incredibly appreciated support operations to the nations that were devastated by the tsunami in Asia and Indian Ocean, proving again the inherent value of being there, from the sea base, and the responsiveness that naval forces can bring to any crisis around the world.
And I can report to you this morning that the United States Ship Abraham Lincoln is the most famous ship in all of Indonesia.
In short, and this is a short and very abbreviated statement, I could not be more proud of the operational accomplishments of your Navy.
I also want to tell you that the business of running the greatest Navy in the world is transforming. Our Sea Enterpriseand that is a program that we established a couple of years ago to revolutionize our management approach to the Navythese efforts have resulted in a more efficient financial process that ensures the maximum effectiveness of every dollar that we spend. We estimate that we have generated more than $50 billion in savings and efficiencies across the multiyear defense program.
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Still, beyond these achievements, I must share a number of challenges that lay before our Navy and the Nation.
First, while transformational threats are the focus of our efforts today, we must also keep watch on increasing anti-access and sea-denial capabilities that are being developed by nations in the Middle East and in Asia.
Accordingly, I have requested a closed hearing, Mr. Chairman, to discuss some of these developments in detail.
Second, rising operational and overhead costs are competing with our ability to transform for the future. Slowing the pace and reducing the scale of vital programs for our futurelike the Littoral Combatant Ship, the DD(X); and CVN21, our new aircraft carrier; and Joint Strike Fighter, among others.
Third, escalating shipbuilding and aircraft procurement costs are eroding our buying power. I have included, for the first time, in my detailed testimony informationit is on page 21 of my testimonyto illustrate the point that we need, in my view, the help of Congress to better partner with industry to deliver more fighting power at less cost to our Nation. I hope that we can discuss these issues.
And finally, personnel costs continue to rise, especially regarding health care. Now, we owe our men and women and their families a solid standard of living that reflects the great value of their service to our Nation, and we must also ensure that our force is properly shaped and trained and educated to provide the maximum return on our Nation's investment. This is, in my view, a looming crisis. We need a 21st century human capital structure to ensure our future. The system we have today is over 50 years old, and it is time to make it better.
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To meet those challenges, we need congressional support to implement more flexible ship and aircraft procurement funding mechanismssuch as advanced procurement, split funding, and aggressive use of research and development fundingto accelerate the delivery of our lead ships.
We need tools and authorities which will allow us to leverage economies of scale, help the industrial base and speed the delivery of advanced technologies to the fleet.
As I have testified before this committee, and other committees in the Congress, in the both the House and the Senate, since 2001 of the need for this kind of change, I am convinced that we cannot build the Navy of the future with the funding mechanisms that exist today.
We are buying our ships, particularlyI guess this applies to the entire appropriations approachbut particularly our ships, and to some extent our aircraft, in the most difficult way for both the Navy and the industrial base of our Nation.
Virtually every one of our procurement programs is proceeding at a sub-optimum economic order of quantity.
We are paying a premium and realizing substantial cost growth because of production efficiencies, due to the lack of economies of scale, but especially because of stop and go investment streams.
Page 24 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Finally, we ask for your support for our continued experimentation with innovative force-shaping tools to ensure our Navy is properly sized and trained to meet future challenges. Navy is leading the way in innovation in this area, and we need your support to continue toward that 21st century human capital structure.
One final thought: We will probably spend much of our time today speaking to a few high-visibility issues. And I just want to point out that there is much that is very good in this budget. It makes some crucial investments for our future to deal with future threats, which, frankly, can be only be discussed in a closed session.
It requests $1.9 billion more in procurement than last year.
It requests $1.3 billion more in research and development funding than the 2005 budget does. And in fact, this research and development budget is double what it was when I first came here five years ago.
In sum, we are making progress in many areas, and your Navy is, today, more ready than I have ever seen it my career. And I have been doing this since 1968.
Today, we are very proud to stand beside our joint partners in fighting the Global War on Terror. Our Sailors and civilian shipmates are delivering their promise to the nation, on the high seas and on the ground in the desert of Iraq.
And we are committed to delivering the future security for our Nation and friends around the world. And we all realize that none of that would be possible without the continuing and constant support of the Congress.
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So once again, I thank you on behalf of the men and women of our Navy, those Sailors who are performing their duties on distant stations around the world this morning.
And with that, I welcome the opportunity to respond to your questions, Mr. Chairman.
[The prepared statement of Admiral Clark can be viewed in the hard copy.]
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much, Admiral Clark. And thank you for your great service to our country. We appreciate you.
And now, General Hagee, you have an operational Marine Corps that is engaged right now and has an array of challenges in terms of equipment and readiness issues and personnel issues that we are all working through, that attendant these operations as well as your status of being a 9/11 force that is not only fighting in this Global War on Terror but also ready to go in other contingencies that might arise.
And you also have the honor of being therepresenting what I call the VIPs, in fact maybe there is another acronym, maybe our ''most important people,'' and those are the people who meet the enemy at five meters, ranges of five to ten meters with rifle fire, most of them enlisted folks, but the people who literally are the tip of the spear in this war against terrorism.
And it is our job to ensure that they have the very best very quickly, that we move to them the best equipment that is possible in a very, very short period of time and provide them all the support that they require.
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And I am reminded, sitting behind you is General Kelly, who was the deputy commander of the 1st Marine Division. But the last time he came in my office, I did not want to get my picture taken with General Kelley, I have lots of those, but I wanted a picture with his son, Robert, who had just returned from being a member of a rifle squad in the battle of Fallujah, and participating very effectively in that battle.
That represents that group of VIPs, America's ''most important people'' represent the very finest and I think have presented some degree of shock to the insurgents in Iraq, to the bad guys around the world and to the terrorists who thought that our country had lost some of its toughness.
Because the toughness that they exhibited and continue to exhibit reflects the very finest traditions from Belleau Wood to Guadalcanal to Chosin to the present day.
So our job is to make sure that they have, once again, the very best equipment in a very, very quick period of time. And I think we have a lot of work to do there.
But welcome to the committee. Thanks for your service. What can we do for our Marines?
STATEMENT OF GEN. MICHAEL W. HAGEE, COMMANDANT OF THE U.S. MARINE CORPS
General HAGEE. Mr. Chairman, Congressman Skelton, other distinguished members of this committee, it is really my privilege to be here and to report on the readiness of your Marine Corps.
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Mr. Chairman, thank you very much for those very kind words. I think everyone knows that you are the father of one of those VIPs, a son who has just recently returned from Iraq, and we thank you very much for his service.
Sir, I would also like to mention what happened 60 years ago this Saturday, on the 19th of February: 80,000 Marines on board 880 U.S. Navy ships made the initial landings on the island of Iwo Jima. That battle would go on for another 33 days. At the end of it, over 24,000 Marines and Sailors would have been wounded, and 6,000 Marines and Sailors would have paid the ultimate sacrifice.
During those short 33 days, we had 27 Medal of Honors awardedone-half of them posthumously.
Mr. Chairman, I can tell you that today's Marine Corps is experienced, is battle-hardened, and I, in my 37 years as a Marine, I have never seen a more ready nor a more effective force.
But today, we are again at war, a different type of war, but still a global war. And your consistent physical and legislative support over the past few years have been critical in delivering the high quality young American, equipment and training capabilities needed on today's battlefields.
I would also like to thank you personally for your caring visits to our wounded and your comforting actions for those families who have lost a loved one. Your support is greatly appreciated by our Marines and their families.
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Last year when I appeared before this committee, I highlighted the importance of the flexibility and adaptability of your Marines in rapidly responding to multiple and varied contingencies, many on short notice since 9/11.
Again, over the course of this past year, the value of this expeditionary force in readiness, able to operate and sustain itself as part of the joint force across the spectrum of conflict was demonstrated repeatedly in Iraq, Afghanistan, Horn of Africa, Haiti, and of course mostly recently in relief operations in the Indian Ocean.
A notable example of the value of your Marines' readiness, the quality of their training, their leadership and their understanding of joint and coalition operations was in the Al-Anbar province. In November of last year, the Marine force, tightly integrated with Army brigades, SeaBees, joint air assets, coalition forces, including five Iraqi battalions, mounted a high-intensity joint assault in a demanding urban environment, destroying the insurgents' safe haven in Fallujah.
This close-quarters fight against an adaptable and dangerous enemy was executed rapidly and successfully.
Equally impressive, in my opinion, but not often noted was after the assault, the force immediately returned to counter-insurgency and civil affairs operations.
While your Marines and their equipment have performed well, both at home and abroad, we face some significant challenges, sir, as you mentioned.
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The tempo of operation and demands on the force are extremely high across the entire Marine Corps, both regular and Reserve, in supporting the Global War on Terror. Marine units and operating forces are either deployed or are training to relieve deployed units.
No forces have been fenced. And since 9/11, we have activated in excess of 95 percent of our selected Marine Corps Reserve units, the majority of whom served in either Iraq or Afghanistan.
Last year we met our recruiting and retention goals, both in quantity and, most importantly, quality. Although we remain on track to meet our annual goals this year, the additional effort required by our recruiters in our career retention specialists is quite significant.
Your continued support of recruit advertising and re-enlistment bonuses is important.
The Marine Corps greatly appreciates Congress's authorization last year to increase our end strength by 3,000 Marines.
Internally, we have also reviewed our current force structure and have begun to implement initiatives to better organize our Corps to meet the operational needs of the combatant commanders and reduce the operations tempo (OPTEMPO) on our force.
We have tremendous support from our families. This support sustains us, both at home and when we are deployed in harm's way. They have my sincere gratitude for their courage and sacrifice.
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Your continued support of quality of life issues, injured Marine programs and our families who have lost loved ones are critical to our success.
With regard to our material and equipment, we currently have 30 percent of our ground equipment and 25 percent of our aviation equipment deployed in-theater in one of the harshest operating environments on the planet.
Our fiscal year 2005 supplemental submission addresses the significant increases in wear and tear in addition to combat losses we are experiencing. Together, our fiscal year 2006 budget request and the supplemental will ensure that our essential war-fighting capability and readiness remains high to meet the combatant commanders' operational requirements.
The Global War on Terror will be long, and the sustainment of our near-term readiness is vital to ensuring victory.
Additionally, we must also keep a weather-eye to the future and ensure we are prepared for other contingencies and emerging challenges.
The success of our armed forces to date is a reflection of Congress's strong fiscal support over the past years. Our equipment, support facilities and the personnel policies that attract, create and keep our most lethal and effective weaponhigh-quality Marinesare the product of your long-term, sustained investments.
The funding of our modernization and transformation accounts will ensure that future joint force commanders will have the right capabilities.
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Joint sea basing is the Navy-Marine Corps teams' overarching operating concept for using the sea as maneuver space. This transformational concept breaks down the traditional sea-land barrier. It will enable the joint force commander to project joint and combine forces anywhere in the world. Sea basing assures joint access by leveraging the operational maneuver of forces on the seas and by reducing dependence upon fixed and vulnerable land bases.
This concept will provide our combatant commanders with unprecedented versatility in operations spanning from cooperative security activities to major combat.
In support of our transformation efforts, it is critically important that our funding for sea-basing research and development be fully supported to ensure our upcoming experiments and research that will support critical design and doctrinal decisions.
In conclusion, let me emphasize that your Marines are fully dedicated to the idea of service to our Nation. And they know that they have the solid backing of the Congress and the American people.
We fully understand that our greatest contribution to the Nation is our high level of readiness to respond across the spectrum of conflict.
Marines and their families greatly appreciate your support in achieving our high level of success and your efforts to ensure that we will be able to respond to future contingencies.
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I look forward to your questions.
[The prepared statement of General Hagee can be viewed in the hard copy.]
The CHAIRMAN. General, thank you very much. Mr. Secretary and Admiral, thank you for very thorough opening statements.
Once again, we have a committee, we are going to have lots of questions. We are going to do the five-minute rule, because I have had an opportunity to talk with the Secretary and the general and the commandantor the Secretary and the admiral and the commandant. I am going to yield my five minutes to the gentleman from Michigan, Mr. Schwarz.
Mr. Schwarz, do not make a habit out of this. But it is good to have you with us. We have some great new members on the committee. Joe, thank you.
Dr. SCHWARZ. Mr. Chairman, thank you very kindly for yielding your time.
Mr. Secretary, Admiral Clark and General Hagee, I am a former Navy guy, and actually they call me half a Marine, General Hagee. I was battalion surgeon for 21 in 1965 and 1966, which seems an eon ago.
Would you pleaseany one of you gentlemen who wish to tackle this, and I expect all of you would like toI am concerned about themore concerned perhaps because I do not understand adequatelythe plans for the DD(X). It apparently has been scaled back some. This is the ship concept, I believe, that you believe is going to allow you to continue to have over the littoral sort of warfare that the Marine Corps and the Navy are so adept at.
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Can you give me some idea of the progress that is being made on DD(X)? Is it going to continue forward in this and out-years?
Perhaps a little bit of an unclassified briefing on the Long Range Land Attack Projectile (LRLAP) weapon on that vessel and how that fits into the plans of the Navy-Marine Corps team over the littoral sort of warfare that is a possibility, even though there has not been an opposed landing since Inchon, I think, but the possibility in many parts of the world that that sort of activity may have to take place.
Secretary ENGLAND. Mr. Schwarz, if I could start, then I will turn it over to the CNO and the commandant.
Just briefly, we do have five DD(X)s in the budget, so we are proposing five DD(X)s. We did, frankly, have to delay the ship because last year, as the CNO said in his opening statement, we do need a little help in terms of mechanisms to do funding. Last year we wanted to do this with Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation (RDT&E) funds. We were instructed to do this with what we call shipbuilding and conversion (SCN) accounts. We could not fund this ship fully this year, so that would be a cause of delay.
But we did also trim the total quantity in the Fiscal Year Defense Plan (FYDP). We did that because these new DD(X)s, frankly, are more expensive than the DD(G)s that we have had in the past. The first ship is likely in the tune of between $2.5 billion and $3 billion is our expectation. Now, that price will come down, but the first ship is very expensive. It is a larger, it is about 50 percent larger than the DD(G). And the mission is, indeed, support of the Marines, but it is also far more than that.
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This is a new-generation ship. It is a stealthy ship. It is larger but a much smaller signature. And it has significant on-board systems to defend the fleet. So this is also survivability. It is not just lethality, it is part of our survivability equation, which will be very, very important in the future.
Again, you notice the CNO talked about that sea-denial. So this helps to some extent to start the balance that equation again in the Navy's favor.
So this is a new-generation ship. It is very important. It will be built in limited quantities, still to be determined, but our expectation is probably 8 to 12 total number of ships, 5 of which are in the FYDP.
So that is the overview. And with that, if you would like some additional information, I will turn it over to the CNO.
Dr. SCHWARZ. I would love to hear what the CNO had to say as well, sir.
Admiral CLARK. The Secretary has covered this very well. There are a couple points I would add.
First, this ship allows us to bring about a revolution in the way we support the United States Marine Corps in war-fighting.
Page 35 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC War-fighting will change when land forces have the ability to bring precision effects in a persistent way to the battle space, and they are limited today because we have not produced the technology to do it.
This ship will be able to fire at a hundred miles and hit this desk in front of me. Now, that is a big deal. That is a tremendously important thing in the battlefield. And we have the science and technology funding on developing even the improved gun that would increase the size of the space affected by over 400 percent.
Because it is all-electric, because it is quieter than a 688 submarine, because it has a radar cross-section of a fishing boat, it is going to be able to live and operate in the battle space of fourth generation warfare that we are going to face in the future.
This ship is vital to our future. The Secretary has outlined the delays.
If I had more resources to press forward, we would be putting themmy recommendation is that we would be putting them in this account and in the LCS account.
Dr. SCHWARZ. I thank the Secretary and the Admiral. And I thank the chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman. The gentleman from Missouri, Mr. Skelton.
Mr. SKELTON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. In a moment I am going to yield the floor, but I want to make a quick comment that I am heartened when we speak about professional military education. I am heartened to hear you speak of Belleau Wood, Guadalcanal, and General Hagee speak about Iwo Jima in the historical context, we are getting somewhere.
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I yield at this moment my time to the gentleman from Washington, Mr. Larsen.
The CHAIRMAN. Let me just say to the gentleman before you do that, as a guy who hasas an Army veteran who has a father for a Marine and a son as a Marine, I hear about those places all the time. They claim the talent skipped a generation when I joined the Army, but I fight back. [Laughter.]
Mr. LARSEN. Is that my time now? Thank you.
The CHAIRMAN. You have the remaining 30 seconds here, Mr. Larsen, go ahead. [Laughter.]
Mr. LARSEN. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Skelton for yielding.
First off, Secretary England, thank you for visiting my district and seeing the christening of the X-craft. I appreciate that.
I know the folks in Everett are looking forward to the Lincoln and the Shoup at some point coming home fairly soon from their efforts in Southeast Asia.
General Hagee, I was in Hawaii and had a chance to play basketball with some of your Marines. It is the one unique thing can do, is play basketball, not very well. I asked them not to take it easy on me and they follow orders very well, or as well. [Laughter.]
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So I see knees I think from that game. But it was a good chance to get to meet some of your folks in Hawaii.
As co-chair of the electronic warfare working group, I have a question with regards to electronic warfare.
The other nightyou all talk about technology gear shift and blurring the line between land and sea and certainly see how that applies to the ship platforms.
But can you talk a little bit about how our Navy aircraft fits into this gear shift, into the future, particularly with regards to electronic warfare platforms, the F/A18G and multimission maritime aircraft (MMA) and the others?
Admiral CLARK. Well, Congressman, aren't you glad that a couple of years ago we decided to accelerate this program, so in 2006 we are buying the first platforms as prototypes to begin the engineering testing. And this program was going to deliver in 2009 or 2010, and we are going to start seeing it coming in this budget.
It is vitalEA6Bs, we have had to take Herculean efforts to keep them flying with the wear and tear. We are flying them very hard.
The Improved Capabilities Program (ICAP3), program is progressing. And we are very excited about the early introduction of the18G.
Page 38 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC We understandlet me see what I can say here. In an unclassified forum I guessthis airplane is vital to our ability to function and conduct warfare in the modern era. How is that for unclassified statement?
And the reason we are flying the EA6B as hard as we are is because it is so vital. We have them deployed on the ground and not on the sea in Afghanistan and in the Persian Gulf. So we are very excited about the way the program is progressing.
Mr. LARSEN. Secretary England, anything?
Secretary ENGLAND. Well, just a comment across all-electronics. We have the new MMA aircraft under contract now. We are also going to our new class of ships, Maritime Prepositioning Force Future (MPF(F)), and also we call Amphibious Assault Ship Replacement (LHA(R)) LHAR, to utilize our new V22 and the short takeoff vertical landing (STOVL), Joint Strike Fighter.
So you are going to see the air and sea assets, naval and Marine, integrated. Our whole approach now is one integrated concept of air and sea as we go forward. And that is part of the whole new approach and what we are funding in this new budget.
So I believe the chairman actually made the comment these are all new ships as we go forward. That is part of this integrated concept of air and sea working together.
Mr. LARSEN. General Hagee, anything on that?
Page 39 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General HAGEE. Nothing to add, sir.
Mr. LARSEN. With the few moments I have left, do you have any lessons yet learned from our deployments in Southeast Asia, tsunami relief, and how we can make available, if needed, our Navy and Marine assets if something like that happens again? Any lessons learned?
Admiral CLARK. Well, we are learning on the fly. But we have a team deployed to be, in fact, collecting these lessons.
One of the most significant things is that we are working hand in glove with nongovernemtal personnel (NGOs), part of the civilian structures, especially in the medical-care area. You know, we deployed the hospital ship Mercy. She is conducting operations over there and has a number of NGOs aboard.
We will put this in report form, but on the fly what we are learning isand I think General Hagee ought to talk about it; there was a Marine that was the overall commander for this effortwhat it takes to rapidly deploy in the area.
This is why we believe the sea-base capability is so important. Nobody could get there as fast as we could, because we are deployed around the world.
I pass to General Hagee for maybe some discussions about what his general has done in the leadership role.
Page 40 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General HAGEE. We are learning a lot of tactical lessons, and I will not go into them right now but would be happy to provide that to you.
I would say on the operational level, the lessons that we are learning are reinforcement of lessons. And the admiral mentioned it in his opening remarks, and that is: Presence is important.
We had a Marine Expeditionary Unit and an amphibious ready groupwe call it Expeditionary Strike Groupon the way. Major combat operations in the Gulf, they stopped, they helped. They had to be flexible, they had to be adaptable, and they had to be agile.
That goes back to what Congressman Skelton has quite often talked about, and that is education.
So rather than participate in a major combat operations, they were driving bulldozers and handing out supplies. And the Marines and Sailors who were on the ground first were able to do that because of the training and education that we gave them.
Mr. LARSEN. Thank you. I will get a follow-up perhaps another setting on these set of questions as well. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. HEFLEY. Gordon, you see I have taken over the power here on this committee. Did you notice that?
Page 41 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Secretary ENGLAND. Yes, sir, I did notice that.
Mr. HEFLEY. You can treat me with a little respect for a change, then. [Laughter.]
Well, we are delighted to have you here today.
Let me just very quicklywe all feel the necessity when we come to these kind of occasions of making our speeches about what a wonderful fighting force we have. You all have done it, we do it, and so forth.
And it is true. I mean, anywhere I go, Army, Navy, Marine Corps, anywhere I go I am so impressed, and I always walk away thinking, ''I would not want to take on the United States military.''
So by and large I think we do have extremely good quality. But we also have some slugs. We have people who throw off bridges, prisoners off bridges, and torture prisoners and so forth.
So can you tell me a little something about what kind of people we are getting in the service that are wanting to come in. Do we get a different kind for the Navy as opposed to the Marine Corps? What kind of education do they come in with now compared to in the past? And what kind of effort is being made to weed out those few that really do not belong in uniform?
Page 42 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Whoever would like to, would you speak to that, please?
General HAGEE. I would be happy to talk about the quality of the young American that we bring into the Marine Corps.
First, as far as quality of education is concerned, we are up around 97 percent high school graduates that come in. We could get 100 percent, but we believe that there is a certain segment out there, for whatever reason, have not had that opportunity and who want to serve and who would be good Marines, and we want to give them a chance. They come in, and by and large they perform extremely well.
The one thing that really impresses me about the young American, male and female, that we bring into the Marine Corps today is the idea of service. They come in to serve this Nation.
Of course, that is the type of individual we want to attract. I think you have probably seen our ''climb'' commercial where we do not promise an individual anything except if he or she is good enough they might be able to become a Marine.
And that is the type of individual who comes in and, as you have already talked about, sir, they perform magnificently on the battlefield.
We have one of the longest, toughest training regimens for both enlisted and officers at the beginning, and that is where we put a lot of effort to identify those individual who should probably be doing something else besides being a Marine.
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Admiral CLARK. General Hagee has said most of what needs to be said.
When I got here, we were taking90 percent of our people were high school graduates. We put a major effort onI do not know if you remember, but my number-one item on my top-five list for the last 4.5 years has been to win the battle for people. We have the highest retention we have ever had in the history of the institution, ever.
Our numbers rushed so quickly to 95, 96 percent, and we went through the same issuedo we close people out if they grew up and some way did not finish high school and not give them a chance?
Let me give you an example of what the opportunities are like today.
Five years ago we were recruiting 57,000 people. Today we are recruiting 38,000 people, and in this budget it will be 36,000. So I have reduced my recruiting effort by over 20,000 people.
So the competition to get in is higher than it has ever been. Now, that does not mean thatsometimes somebody gets through, then something goes wrong in their life and they make serious mistakes.
Just one other thing I would mention: A major initiative, the CNO's personal initiative in year two was the revolution in training, and year three was the revolution in personnel distribution, and out of that we crafted a whole program called Sea Warrior, which is revolutionizing the way we grow and develop our people.
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I am convinced that the reason we need a 21st century human capital strategy is that we are going to have to compete in the marketplace for the best America has to offer. Because the systems we have are going to become more and more complex. And I tell my Navy everywhere I go, look, we are not competing with the Marine Corps or the Air Force or the Army, we are competing against the Fortune 500 and 100 companies that want the same kind of people that we want in the Navy.
So, Congressman, that is what is going on.
Secretary ENGLAND. Mr. Hefley, let me make a comment if I can.
You know, your question, really, I think concerns standards and ethics and how people perform as individuals. In addition to being military people, how do they perform as human beings?
Let me give you my observations.
First of all, I believe this is a leadership issue and it starts at this table, the three of us sitting here who have high standards and set high standards and high expectations, and we set accountability of our people.
And I will tell you our philosophy: We have a philosophy what we call the ''slippery slope,'' and that is, you do not ever start down that slope. If you allow any small indiscretion, the next time it will be further down the slope. So we set high expectations, and we enforce those expectations.
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So we set high standards at our level, and our expectation is that will go down the force all the way to the deck plates and all the way to the riflemen in the squad. And I believe it is this environment that is set throughout the organization that creates this ethical background of high standards and expectations for all the people in the Department of the Navy, civilian and military alike.
Mr. HEFLEY. Thank you very much. Mr. Ortiz.
Mr. ORTIZ. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I want to thank Secretary England, Admiral Clark, General Hagee for your dedication and your commitment and your service to our military and to our country.
I have a question for Secretary England, or Admiral Clark or maybe both. You know history and threats indicate that an effective maritime access in our capability can be achieved with widely available, low-cost and easily deployed mines.
Mines not only have the capability to deny or delay our naval forces from achieving their objectives, but they also pose the threat of severe disruption to our national economy and global commerce.
Our economic and national security depends on free and open access to our domestic ports, and vast amounts of global trade depends on six straits whose geography, location, puts them at risk to terrorists.
Page 46 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The Mine Warfare Center of Excellence at Ingleside was created in response to significant shortcomings in this warfare area, and a specialized training, mission-focus and dedicated professionals have eliminated the counter-mine operational shortfalls highlighted during Desert Storm.
Ingleside's location is also of strategic importance to our Nation, as approximately half of our Nation's trade income is traveled through the Gulf Coast ports.
You know, in light of this disruptive military and economic threat, why does your budget include the disestablishment of half of our Nation's dedicated mine warfare fleet?
I would also like you to respond to whether or not the Navy is considering returning to the failed pre-Desert Storm defense-like approach to mine warfare training and disestablishment of the Mine Warfare Center of Excellence.
All it takes is a small mine that is worth maybe $200, $300 to create damage into the millions of dollars, like it happened to the USS Cole.
Maybe you can help me understand why this is being done in your budget, and I will appreciate your response.
Secretary ENGLAND. Mr. Ortiz, let me first address it again at a higher level, and I will turn it over to the CNO.
Page 47 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC We are first investing in a whole new class of ships. I mean, the Littoral Combat Ship is very important to us in the whole mine warfare area. That is one of the three requirements for that ship.
Also, we are investing in a broad range of technologies, because we agree with you. I mean, mines have always been an issue. They are in all the services.
We are investing in a lot of undersea, unmanned type of vehicles for mines, to actually find them, identify them and destroy them. So we have another whole range of technology.
And we are also looking to embed this technology on more of our ships rather than every ship just having specialized ships, having ships that can work this arena, this threat, you know, with on-board assets, because the technology is allowing us to things differently.
So the speed of our ships, the ability to engage, to be there when we need them, we are putting a lot of money into this arena.
So mine warfare continues to be pretty much number one on our hit parade in terms of our concerns and issues. Again, this is part of the sea-denial aspect mentioned by the CNO earlier.
So I think you find across the Department of Navy, we are putting a lot of resources, both in terms of money and talent, addressing this issue. And we are also, you know, again, developing new ships in our LCS that will have specifically this capability.
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Admiral CLARK. I would like to align myself with the comments of my Secretary and say thatI align myself with your comments, too, with regard to the importance of this warfare area.
And I believe that this budget really does indicate that we are heading toward a transformation in mine warfare that we have been investing in for some time and that we are going really see now in the days to come.
Let me give you a number: $6.78 billion across this multiyear defense program in mine warfareinside this multiyear program we will be able to clear the minefield in half the time that we can today. Inside this program we will begin to realize in numbers what we saw for the very first time in Operation Iraqi Freedom with the abilitybeginning to see the ability to get the man out of the minefield with unmanned vehicles.
Our investment is in more RMS, remote mine-hunting systems, and these kind of systems that will transform our capability.
You referred to reducing the size of the fleet. Mr. Ortiz, the fact is, is that my staff has recommended for the last three years that I move the Coastal Mine Hunter (MHCs) off of the rolls, and I did not. I refused to do it until we saw these technologies maturing.
The issue with the MHCs is their deployability. We cannot deploy them because of their size. We have been successful in home-porting overseas, but their deployability is an issue for us.
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And so we have retained this asset until we get the technological advances in place, and that has been our intention, sir.
Mr. ORTIZ. Let me say just one thing: Is this technology available now? Or do we have to wait several years before it becomes available?
Admiral CLARK. Some of it is available today, and some of it is progressing and going through the T&E process, and RMS is an example.
RMS is an exciting breakthrough because it has persistenceI cannot talk about specific links of time it can operate because that is classified. But it is coming, and we have it in the water.
Mr. ORTIZ. What reminds me is the Comanche helicopter, where we spent millions and millions of dollars, never flew, never was developed, and that is what concerns me, that this might happen with the new technology that we are looking at.
Mr. Chairman, I know I have passed my time and thank you very much. Thank you so much.
Mr. HEFLEY. Thank you. Mr. Saxton.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you, each of you, for being here.
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As you know, over the last 20 years, I have enjoyed the opportunity from my residence in New Jersey to watch some of the technology, Admiral, that you mentioned in DD(X) evolve from its early stages to the most capable naval system, at least in my opinion, in the world, the Aegis system, which will now form at least part of the backbone for the DD(X) system.
And you and I were also talking in the back room, Admiral, about the great effort that has been made to adapt this system to the Littoral Combat Ship.
In your earlier statement, you mentioned that we need to look for additional opportunities for Congress to partner with the Navy and with industry, and I think that is right.
Would you give us your thoughts on the Littoral Combat Ship and how it is progressing and if there are additional opportunities for Congress to partner, and is so, how?
And then, would you also talk a little bit about the next generation of cruisers, the CG(X), and whether perhaps the high-tech system for that ought to be competed before we actually start building the ship inasmuch that is such an important component of the ship.
Admiral CLARK. Two extraordinarily important questions about our future.
Number one, LCS, we said when we created the family of ships that would spin out of DD(X) that we would take these technologies and spin them off into the other platforms, including back into our legacies.
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What is really powerful about the way LCS is developing is that they are taking Aegis-type technology and the way they are processing information and spinning it into a combat system that is truly remarkable.
And here is what remarkable about LCS: It is about 40 percent of the volume of that shipand this gets back to Mr. Ortiz's question about mine warfare40 percent of this volume in this ship is reconfigurable. We have never hadreconfigurable by combat systems, not just putting cargo in there, totally reconfigurable.
This is a revolution. This means you will not have mid-life updates, because you are going to update this thing continuously because you are in module format, roll-on, roll-off, the spec says you got to be able to do this inside 24 hours. It is going to be remarkable the way it is unfolding.
Now, let us talk one other thing about the revolution and transforming acquisition.
This program is proceeding at a faster rate, with the help of the Congress, than anything we have ever produced at sea since World War II. You know, in World War II we built ships in months. But today it takes years and years to plan, build, design a ship, and you all agreed that you would let us spiral-develop this ship.
It first appeared in the budget, in the 2003 budget, and we will lay the keel on this ship in June. So it is coming along nicely.
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Second part of the question was on
Mr. SAXTON. Next generation of cruisers.
Admiral CLARK. CG(X), thank you.
In this budgetand I cannot go into it in this open hearing. I can only say this: In this budget I invite you to look at an investment that is nearly $1 billion in the aspect that will deal with the advanced development pieces that we have to get toand if talk about it at all and what is involved here, we would be across the line right away.
I invite the members to look closely at this.
We introduced CG(X) in fiscal year 2011. We must begin the development of key systems for that platform in this budget in advance of buying the ship.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you very much.
Mr. HEFLEY. Mr. Taylor.
Mr. TAYLOR. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you, Secretary England and Admiral Clark for being here today.
Let me begin by complimenting both of you on your statements on multiyear.
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We have been kidding ourselves, we have done it for submarines, we have done it for carriers, we ought to be doing it for destroyers.
So, again, you have come to the right conclusion. I want to compliment you on that.
I would now ask you to give me your opinion, since you are thinking out of the box, as to whether or not we are spending too much money on national missile defense and too little on shipbuilding.
This week we had our third failed test in a row after spending $89.8 billion on national missile defense. We are going to spend another $8.8 billion this year, and that is compared to $5.6 billion for shipbuilding.
When you build a ship, you have a presence. You get something for it. Today, we have $89.8 billion of nothing.
And if I recall, the last time General Kadish came before this committee, when I asked him if the North Koreans gave us a week's notice, told us exactly where they were going to launch the missile, when they were going to launch the missile and what the target was, what were the percentages that he could shoot it down after $89 billion, and the answer was zero.
My point is, if we are going to spend money, let us get something for it. I would much rather put that money in shipbuilding.
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I would like to hear your thoughts on that.
Second, Secretary England, I continue to be concernedand we have had this conversation, you were kind enough to come to my office, gave me a lot of your timeI still do not think we have spent enough money on jammers for improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
We have not lost a single American to intercontinental ballistic missiles; every day we lose Americans to improvised explosive devices. And I way I track it, well over half of all of our casualties in Iraq are from those.
I am told that the number of jammers is classifiedI am of the opinion the enemy knows how many we have. It is the American people who ought to know how few we have. And I think if the American people knew how few jammers we have, they would be appalled.
So I would hope that somewhere in your budget request is funds for additional jammers.
I am told that the convoys are fairly protected, but I know these kids who go out on quick-reaction teams almost always are not. And I like to know what we are going to do to address that.
The third thing, just your thoughts, since you have been brave enough to talk out of the box, I am becoming concerned that the simultaneous cancellation or delay in the F/A22, the DD(X), the V22 and the C130J, I mean, that cannot be coincidental. And do these reflect the hidden costs of the war in Iraq? Maybe we ought to be a bit more honest with the American people about this, because we got to be talking about the future. These are all future programs.
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And so are we canceling the future for immediate needs? I do not think you can do one or the other; I think we have to do both.
Last, I would welcome, and my colleagues, I think we need a hearing on the allegationsand I will just leave it at allegationsof oil being shipped out of a place called Khor al-Amaya by the shipload just prior to the war in Iraq. As CNO I guess you would have a hand in this.
And, again, it is just allegations, but was the Navy turning a blind eye to some shipments of oil leaving Iraq, other than the oil-for-food program, that apparently were going to our allies. The point is that the oil may going to our allies, but the money was going to Saddam Hussein.
At this point, they are just allegations, but I think there has been enough talk about this to where I would at least like to know whether or not the word was being passed to our Navy, which was enforcing the blockade, ''Well, that ship is okay, but that one is not.'' If it is a blockade, it ought to be a total blockade and not a pick-and-choose blockade.
Secretary ENGLAND. Can I just quickly give a quick response, Mr. Taylor?
Mr. TAYLOR. Yes, sir.
Mr. HEFLEY [continuing]. Asking the question, and so you have a very brief time to respond, and then if you would respond in writing to him
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Secretary ENGLAND. I will.
Mr. HEFLEY [continuing]. So we keep it under five minutes.
Secretary ENGLAND. Yes, just quickly on the IEDs, that was the first one mentioned. We will get back with you in writing on the other ones.
The IEDs, let me assure you, when the Marines first were deployed, we started instantly weekly meetings on how we defeat IEDs. They are hard to defeat. This is an adaptable threat we have, so we have had a lot of variety of equipment to go work this problem.
It does take a concerted effort. We have various integrated teams in the Pentagon working it in terms of how do we get application, and in the Department of the Navy we have actually allocated 10 percent of our research funds out at our Naval Research Center, what I call the underlying physics of this, to understand this in terms of a long-term approach to it.
So we have taken 10 percent of our money, we have taken our national labs, we have brought in universitiesI mean, we have a national effort under way in terms of the fundamental research, we have applications. I will tell you everything I know that we can do in these arena, we have done.
And I have personally, and the commandant has been involved, our lead technical peopleI mean, we work this weekly and we literally phone conversations with our Marines on-site on a regular basis to make sure that they have the right equipment and the very best that we can provide them.
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I will be pleased to meet with you again and discuss this, because there are some other classified issues of what we are doing.
And then we will close the loop on the other issues you brought up either in your office or we will do it by letter to you, Mr. Taylor, but preferably in your office where we can elaborate a little more.
But thanks for your questions. They are important, and we will get back to you.
Mr. TAYLOR. I am looking forward to hearing from you.
Mr. HEFLEY. Mr. Bartlett.
Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you very much. With your permission, Mr. Chairman, I have a two-page handout I would like the staff to distribute. And while that is being distributed let me quickly address another issue.
For the LCS, there were two medium guns that were the prime contenders for consideration there. One was the Bofors gun and the other was the Otto Melara.
When Secretary Young went with my ranking member, Mr. Taylor, and me to Europe to visit the yards there, we noted that all of the military ships in Europe that were equivalent to our LCS had selected the Otto Melara gun.
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Our contractors in LCS all chose the Bofors gun. We think that was more the cause of a flawed request for proposal (RFP), than the result of a fair shootout between these two guns. Because the RFP gave us, for example, the kind of gun to be selected, they gave the Bofors gun.
Secretary Young promised that we would have a test of the Otto Melara gun in the event that it was needed and desired in the future.
Mr. Secretary, I would like to have two things submitted for the record, with the chairman's permission: one is your letter to me of January 31 which gives a very excellent summary of the procurement process; and second, I would like to have the statement and questions of Mr. Weldon, my colleague, who cannot be here and wanted to be here, I would like to have that submitted for the record, if that is all right, Mr. Chairman.
[The information referred to can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Mr. HEFLEY. Without objection, it will be
Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you very much.
Mr. Secretary, I would just like your commitment that you will do what you can to make sure that the promise that Mr. Young made us can be kept.
Secretary ENGLAND. My understandingand I think the CNO has a little more data on thismy understanding is, is after the competition, Bofors did win that competition, and then to go forward and run the tests is very costly and we do not have an application for the other gun. So to run the test would be very costly without a benefit to us.
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So, frankly, we do not see the rationale to spend those funds when the outcome is not goingwe are not going to select them. We do not have a utility for that particular gun.
So I will get back with you. I mean, I will look at this again.
Mr. BARTLETT. I would appreciate thatif you will look at Mr. Weldon's question and his comments. Now, let me get back, you also have the handout at your desk, that we just handed out?
Secretary ENGLAND. Yes, sir.
Mr. BARTLETT. Admiral, I was stunned by the comparisons that you gave in several speeches and you included in your charts today, on page 21 in your statement before our hearing here.
When we looked at these dataand the basis of our data is the fiscal year cost derived from the Navy's fiscal year 2006 budget request and P40 budget exhibits.
You know, the charts and the statement that you gave were bad, you know, the numbers that we have are really bad.
If you look at these graphs you will see the little green thing in 1967, that is what these platforms cost in then-dollars. The dark blue beside that is what they would have cost if the dollar then is worth what is now. It would cost several times more, of course, because of inflation.
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And then that big, big light blue at the right over there, in 2005, is what it would cost now, like a 364 percent increase for nuclear attack submarines (SSN), 425 percent increase for amphibious ships, 196 percent for CVN, DD(G) to DD(X), 431 percentthis is not bad, gentlemen, this is awful. Can you tell us how we got here?
And I would like, Admiral, if you could have your staff kind of reconcile these numbers, because the ones that we got are really, a couple instances, worse than the ones that you reported. And maybe we can have for the record a resolution of these different input.
But how did we get here? And what do we have to do to move away from here?
Secretary ENGLAND. Let me make one comment here and the CNO can then comment.
I believe we only know part of this story. Because if you look at the cost of a ship, the hull, I mean, it is only a fraction of the cost of our ships today. So I do not know the comparison of our on-board systems compared to what we had in 1967. Obviously the ships we have today are vastly more capable than we had in 1967.
Part of that is this, ''the hull in the ship.'' But I expect the vast majority of that are our on-board weapons systems, both offensive, defensive, calm, security integrationall those things.
Page 61 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC So, frankly, before I believe we can answer that question, we need to parse this out and understand what parts have really contributed to the increase. I do not believe we know that. The raw numbers are rather startlingly, but until you really break this out, I do not believeI do not feel comfortable that I am in a position to explain that without being able to parse out the cost of our weapons system.
Admiral CLARK. Congressman, the numbers are going to vary basically because of how R&D was applied against a platform and which platform you use. Let us say the carrier, for example, you do not have the carrier shown here, but if you use CVN21, you get one number; if you use the last of the Nimitz class, you get another number.
But here is what it really gets to: It is happening because in 1967 we built five submarines. All of the overhead was applied and divided by five. Today we are building one. And that is what I meant in my opening remarks, for sure I know that this is an issue.
And this is why, when I appeared before the Senate and I say to you all again today, I believe this is an issue of national securitythat is what I believe. And I believe that we ought to be talking about having hearings about this, and we ought to get to the bottom of it and find out that each is just as the Secretary has suggested.
And when I talk to the presidents of the shipyardsand I consider them my partnerswhen I talk to the presidents of the shipyards, what they tell me is their principal problem is the sine-cosine curve that is the ski ramp of investment that then makes it impossible for them to achieve economies with their second-and third-order suppliers that also drives the cost up.
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And so what I believe that we have to do is, we have to examine every rule that is in place that governs the way we are going to buy the things and provide for our national security. And that means, I believe, that we have to figure out how to partner better and make it easier for them to compete internationally and everything else we can figure out how to do to keep them competitive, because that base is vital to our future security.
Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you both very much. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. HEFLEY. Thank you. Back to Mr. Taylor's questions, he would love to visit with you in the office but he would also like them in writing, if you could.
Secretary ENGLAND. Yes, sir.
Mr. HEFLEY. Mr. Abercrombie.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Secretary, you and I have had discussions in the past about the issue of capital budgeting. Sometimes it takes some years for a concept and idea to fully form. It is something like surfing in Hawaii: You have to wait for the kinetic energy to build in that wave and you have to be prepared to ride that wave when that time comes.
And I am just going to do a little bit of a preamble here, addressing the question of capital budgeting.
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There is an article by Scott Nance in Defense Today, February 11th, quoting Admiral Clark. I just want to emphasis a couple of the quotes. For conversation's sake, I hope, Admiral Clark, that it does summarize fairly your ideas.
I quote: ''I believe we must change the way we buy ships.''
''Clark blamed the shipbuilding cost spiral on 'such low-order rates' of ships today. He said based on the level of funding the United States has put forward toward shipbuilding over the last 15 years, the naval analysis indicates the Nation cannot afford over a 250-ship Navy, significantly reducing the number has been used previously.''
''I believe it also has a domino effect into the industrial base and what happens with constantly spiraling prices. In other words, when fewer ships are built, the price per ship likely rises.''
''Clark asked lawmakers to hold hearings on the problem of ship-cost growth.''
And then finally, ''He also advocates acquisition and budgeting reforms, including multiyear procurement, economic order quantity and other measures that could 'help to stabilize the production path and in our view reduce the per-unit cost of ships and increase the shipbuilding rate.' ''
Today, as part of his testimony, the admiral saidI wrote this down as quick as I could; I think it is to the effect of what was saidthat we cannot build the Navy of the future with the funding mechanisms that exist today.
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The chairman, Mr. Hunter, indicated where shipbuilding was concerned todayand again I am quoting, I hope, to proper effect''long-term solutions to the declining industrial base is fundamental.''
I go through this preamble not because you are not necessarily familiar with all of that but for the purposes of the record.
Certainly, Mr. Hefley knows and other members know that I have been banging this gong on capital budgeting for some time now. And I believe that the time has come to take this under consideration.
Would you be willing or could you give a comment briefly today and perhaps more considerably in writingor perhaps at another hearing that I believe will be upcoming on shipbuilding and capital budgetingon the concept of capital budgeting, separating the operational budget from capital budget, the way every other government entity, including little villages that want to buy a fire engine, does. As far as I can tell, we are the only entity in the United States of a governmental institution that cash-finances its capital acquisitions in this manner year after year.
Secretary ENGLAND. Mr. Abercrombie, let me first say this: My view is we need to do it. You know how I feel about this.
I will tell you, though, there are alternate views to this, because I expect there were likely bad experiences in the pastin the past, because if you do not fully fund it at the beginning, then conceivably as time goes on, you know, the ship could continue to increase in price, to everyone's dismay, or indeed the Navy or service could decide not to complete the buy.
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Whereas if you indeed fund it
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. This is happening right now.
Secretary ENGLAND. No, sir, that is not happening.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. We have had increases in budget and we have decided not to buy things, or to cut the acquisitions.
Secretary ENGLAND. Yes, but we do not stop
Mr. ABERCROMBIE [continuing]. Testimony, our summary we have, we were going to buy two ships, let us say two submarines, and now we are down to one, and that is happening right now.
Secretary ENGLAND. Pardon me, I apologize. That is not what I meant.
What I really meant is we were buying a ship and we were doing it over a five-year period, and halfway through, since we did not have the funds at the front end, you could conceivably stop, right?
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Well, precisely. That is why we want to do capital budgeting.
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Secretary ENGLAND. I am only commenting, there are some arguments in the other direction. I frankly believe it is beneficial to do it on an as-year basis, because it is better for us to budget, it is better for us to manage, and I believe there is better visibility for the Congress.
So I know time is short. You said you would be happy to discuss this later. We would be pleased to do that, and also give you a paper on this in terms of how we believe this should be done.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Thank you.
Secretary ENGLAND. So we will follow up with you with more time here in the future.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. One other point thenand again, you will have to
Mr. HEFLEY. Mr. Abercrombie, you have run out of your time.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Well, then, can I just ask, then, on the privatization of the workforce. We need to get something where the shipyards are concerned as to whether or not you intend
Secretary ENGLAND. If you will get us the questions
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Mr. ABERCROMBIE [continuing]. To privatize our shipyards.
Secretary ENGLAND. We will take the question and get back with you, sir.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Thank you.
Mr. HEFLEY. Mr. Jones?
Mr. JONES. Mr. Chairman, thank you very much.
Mr. Secretary, CNO Clark and General Hagee, I will take you in a different direction, and it will not be I do not think as stressful as maybe some of the previous questions.
I am so delighted in the 10 years I have been in office to hear the partnership and the teamwork of one of the greatest fighting teams there has ever been in the history of this country, and that is being proved today in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Three years ago I had introduced legislation, and have again, H.R. 34. And the House, in the wisdom of this Armed Services Committee, decided that they would put the language in the larger bill and send it over to the Senate.
I am more convinced today than I have beenand this is the fourth year of this effortthat a team so great as the Navy and the Marine Corps, that the captain of the team, who happens to be the Secretary of Navy, should have the name in the title of both sides of the team, and that would be Secretary of Navy and Marine Corps.
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I have done a lot of research on this and a lot of study, and I believe this year, we already have over 50-some co-sponsors, and I intend to get close to 200, if possible.
To go in a different direction, based on legislative history: The legislative history is that twice the Congress has saidwe have four separate services: Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps. So this year the bill says that the Department of Navy shall expand its name to be the Department of Navy and Marine Corps.
I want to read statements fromwe have, I do not know, 15 or 20 letters from former secretaries of Navy, admirals and commandants, and I want to read just sentences. It will not take but just a couple of minutes.
The first one is from Paul Nitze, who is now deceased. One of the biggest thrills I have ever had since I have been in Congress was to visit him in his house in Georgetown. I think he was 81 or 82 at the time. I am just going to read you one sentence. It is a letter of four or five paragraphs.
This is the one sentenceand he is very supportive of this change, or was, I should have said: ''However, we have seen how, with the passage of time, it is sometimes necessary not to allow those traditions to stand in the way of doing what is right and proper for our Navy personnel''supporter of this effort.
The former Navy Secretary, John Dalton, the 70th Secretary, this is his sentence out of a letter of three paragraphs: ''One of the things for which I am most proud that I accomplished during my tenure was moving the headquarters of the Marine Corps into the Pentagon. It was a controversial decision, but I am convinced that it was the right thing to do.''
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As we all know, the Marine Corps had been at the Naval Annex. I do not think that changed anything, quite frankly, but to strengthen, and that is all we are trying to do with this legislation.
Wade Saunders, who was the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Navy for reserve affairs, ''As a combat veteran and former Navy officer, I understand the importance of the team dynamic and the importance of recognizing the contribution of team components.''
The Navy and Marine Corps team is just that: a dynamic partnership. And it is important to symbolically recognize the balance of this partnership.
And then the last letterI have a little bit of time. This is from General Krulak, former Commandant of the Marine Corps: ''I heartily endorse this bill as an initiative that appropriately honors all of the superb men and women of the naval service, Sailors and Marines.''
I do not know, Secretary England, if you were the Secretaryand I apologize, I did not do my researchon April 4th of 2002. But Commandant Jones at the time was appearing at the U.S. Naval Institute annual meeting, April 4th, 2002. Someone from the audienceand it was not me; I was not there: ''Legislation has been introduced to rename the Secretary of Navy. What is your view?''
''''The Secretary has no objection, the CNO has no objection, I have no objection. It is what it is. So if it passes, we are very happy with that. Maybe that is something that is an idea that lawmakers believe whose time has come''that was Commandant Jones.
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And I know, CNO Clark, you were the CNO at that time. I do not know who the Secretary of Navy was.
The last point I want to makea couple more points and then I will close.
I attended the funeral of Michael Bitz, who was a Marine killed at Nasiriyah. I got very close to his family. I attended his funeral, and I also attended the service when his wife received the Medal of Honor. He was a hero, the Silver Star.
This is a beautiful citation, Mr. Secretary, signed by you. At the top it says, ''Secretary of the Navy, Washington, D.C.,'' and the naval flag.
I ask youno, I will not ask you, I will not put you on the spot.
But I will ask my fellow members of this committee and also the members of the House as I continue to get their support for this legislation: Wouldn't this mean more to the family 10 or 15 years from now when his childrenthree children, twins that he never saw, a 4-year-old sonwhen they are 15 and 16 and 17, and they look in the frame of how their daddy was a hero and awarded the Silver Star, wouldn't it mean much more to them to have the ''Secretary of the Navy and the Marine Corps,'' the team's namethe team's nameand look at the beautiful flag of the Navy and the beautiful flag of the Marine Corps.
The four services are great services with a great history and tradition. It is time that each and everyone is recognized appropriately.
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With that, Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
And may God bless our men and women in uniform.
Mr. HEFLEY. Dr. Snyder?
Dr. SNYDER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Thank you, gentlemen, for being here.
I apologize for having to leave. We had a Veterans Committee thing going on, and I was over there for a while.
Admiral Clark, I am interested in this discussion about how we buy ships and some of the reforms you all are talking about. But if I could just very briefly ask you, I frankly do not understand some of the terminology in your written statement. I assume by ''level-loaded shipbuilding investment stream,'' what you are meaning is, rather than have the whole cost of the ship go in one year, that you spread it out over several years, kind of at the burn rate of construction. Is that a fair definition?
Admiral CLARK. That is fair, plus I am talking about a level-investment approach
Dr. SNYDER. Get our ship numbers up where we want them to be?
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Admiral CLARK. You know, to me it goes like this: The industry itself does not care about how many ships that are in there. The industry is going to size itself by the investment into that part of the business, and that's whatI am talking about that too.
Dr. SNYDER. What does the phraseyou say ''acquisition budget reforms such as multiyear procurement, economic order of quantity.'' I do not know what means, ''economic order of quantity.''
Admiral CLARK. That means when you are buying them one at a timeI have said in my opening statement that we are buying them in a very difficult way. Admiral Bowman said a couple of months ago we are buying them in the worst possible way, one of each.
Then I referred to a moment ago, you were not here, that in 1967, we bought five SSNs, and so then you divideyou take all the overhead and you apply it to five units and dramatically changes the cost. So that is what I am talking about.
And you can make investments that will affect the economic order quantity, and that is a part of the acquisition strategy.
Dr. SNYDER. Well, I hope we will have hearing
Admiral CLARK. By the way, that is less apt to be on ships as it in airplanes and things like that.
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Dr. SNYDER. I hope we do have more detailed discussions about this. I would like to sit in on those.
General Hagee, I want to ask you, if I mightand if you just take whatever time I have left.
You have been in the Marine Corps for some time now. In terms of fighting insurgenciesI mean, I have heard references that we have had this discussion over the last year or so. I hear people talk about the Battle of Algiers and talk about Vietnam and go back to what the Marines were doing in the early part of the century. Would you talk about how you see counterinsurgency today, where it is going? Is it dramatically different from the way it used to be? Where does technology play a part?
Would you just use up whatever time I have left and just discuss this issue of counterinsurgency and where you see it going in the future.
General HAGEE. Sir, I do believe that counterinsurgency has changed today.
They are also globalized. They have hooked into globalization. They are able to coordinate worldwide, they are able to communicate worldwide, and they are able to raise money worldwide. That is significantly different than it was during the inner-war periods, between World War I and World War II, for example.
Page 74 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The issues, especially at that time, were also local issues. The issues now that the majority of the insurgents proclaim actually go across borders. The borders tend to disappear. Makes it also much more difficult for us.
I would say, on the ground, the individual Marinefor PFC Hagee out there, things probably have not changed a great deal. He has to have several capabilities. Number one, he has to have the normal combat capabilities, those normal skills. They serve him or serve her very well.
But he also has to understand the culture. Over in Iraq and Afghanistan, he needs to understand the religion, the differences in the culture, the differences in the religion, and then you superimpose on top of that the tribes. And sometimes, especially in Iraq, the fidelity to the tribe, the allegiance to the tribe, is more important than the allegiance to the city, is more important than the allegiance to the state.
Somehow you have to be able to work through that. That is why I believe so strongly that our education and training system needs to be really quite strong, and that we need to enhance it, especially in what we call the cultural intelligence area.
We do very well on the combat skills part. I think that we can better on the cultural intelligence part.
Mr. JONES. The gentleman from Connecticut, Mr. Simmons.
Mr. SIMMONS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you, gentlemenGeneral Hagee, for coming up to the Coast Guard Academy a few weeks ago, a month ago, to talk to the cadets. It was very exciting when you arrived at the academy, they said, ''The Marines have landed.'' [Laughter.]
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It was great to have you there.
General HAGEE. My pleasure.
Mr. SIMMONS. Admiral, it is great to have you here again. Your service is very distinguished, and we certainly appreciate all the good things you have done for the Navy. Know you will not be allowed to stack armsor whatever the Navy equivalent isuntil you leave, the day you leave.
Third, Mr. Secretary, a historic service from you. You have been Secretary of the Navy twice. We have a little bit of Homeland Security in between. Thank you for your service to the country.
Mr. Secretary, I think you know that the members of the Connecticut delegation were disappointed with a recent Navy decision involving a helicopter. We have had numerous private conversations on that subject. And I think for purposes of today's hearing, it is best that we continue those conversations in private.
So I thank you for your accommodation of our concerns.
Your statement began with the terms, ''winning today while transformation to win tomorrow.'' And with the nuclear guided missile submarine (SSGN) conversions and many other examples, we are transforming.
Page 76 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC But the area that concerns me is subsurface warfare, the issue of whether or not we should have two Virginia-class submarines in 2009, what the impacts of that will be on the Navy's capability to perform its mission in the out-years. And it is my understanding that two per year from 2009 on gives us 40 in 2028, one per year gives us 28 in 2028, and I just do not see how that works.
I also do not see how we can maintain our industrial base with that kind of production, I do not see how we can control costs with that kind of production, and I guess I am concerned about that.
Over 30 years ago, speaking before the Joint Atomic Energy Committee, Admiral Rickover made the statement that submarine designers''There is a great scarcity of submarine design personnel in this country. And the effect on our submarine design capability is obvious. These designers are the scarcest class of personnel in ship design in the United States. We do not have enough qualified submarine-design people.''
Now, that was in 1968, and we have done some amazing things since then.
But our production capabilities are limited to two yards, and our design capabilities are limited only by the contracts that we get. And when we lose these people, we lose them for good.
So the question that I have is: How can we transform our subsurface warfare, using new conceptsrobots, mini-subs, new systems? This is an unclassified Popular Science report, because I know that we are in an open session, but it is all in here.
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How can we use employer-design people and sustain our industrial base by enhancing our capabilities, by transforming some of the more expensive systems into more versatile and more numerous, perhaps less expensive systems, to accomplish these complicated tasks in the future?
Is that something that we can do? Are we doing it? How can we do it? Do you agree that we should be doing that?
And do we put the dollars against that target in this budget?
Secretary ENGLAND. Mr. Simmons, you are right. We are down to one submarine a year. We are at that rate now, and we were going to go two submarines for a couple of years, back to one. We were going to stay at one submarine year, I mean, frankly, because increased to two, I mean, incremental costs is $2.5 billion.
This is not like an airplane. If you build 30 or 35 or 40, you can just sort of ratchet the dollars to fit. In this case it is a one and zero, you either do it or you do not, and if you do it, it is another $2.5 billion. So it is hard to make that step-increment in any one year. So for cost purposes, it is just costly.
I do not believe that is an industrial-base issue. I mean, we are one a year now, and the base is, you know, it is basically divided between two companies. That is the way it was defined. So that is working.
Page 78 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC We can, by the way, if we need to in the future, obviously ratchet that up, just like the two in 2009 that we had planned, I mean, that would have been a change to the one a year. And I believe in the future if we need to increase that we will be able to increase that.
Now, when we took that submarine out, $600 million was put in the budget, and it was put in the budget by the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), and it increased our budget by $600 million to address those issues that you brought up, which are very important issues. I mean, what is the total way that we can address undersea superiority?
And so we have not decided how all those funds get allocated, because we are only a month into this. But it is to generate new thinking and approaches and the whole area of undersea warfare.
So there is money available. And we will be putting together our plans for that, and then we will discuss it with you.
But there is a whole new approach to this coming forward.
Mr. SIMMONS. I thank you for that. I do not know whether the admiral wants to add to that.
But my understanding of what you are saying is that this $600 million will be earmarked or designated for subsurface warfare transformation.
Page 79 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Secretary ENGLAND. That is correct. And that is in the FYDP. That is in the budget that has been presented to you, sir.
Mr. SIMMONS. Thank you very much.
Admiral CLARK. That is a key issue.
We published a new Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), concept in the last couple of months.
I will not comment on the unclassified magazine that you have, because if I comment on it, it will not be unclassified anymore. [Laughter.]
But to confirm or denyexcept that I have been very open, that it is my view that off-board sensors and systems are what the future is all about. It changes the calculus of warfare in the battle space, and that is what is going to happen.
Mr. SIMMONS. I thank you both. And, again, thank you very much, to all three of you, for your very distinguished service to our country.
Secretary ENGLAND. Thank you, Mr. Simmons.
Mr. JONES. The gentleman's time has expired. The gentleman from New Jersey, Mr. Andrews.
Page 80 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. ANDREWS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I would like to thank each of the witnesses for their service to our country and for their testimony this morning.
I want to preface my questions by saying I am obviously acutely aware of the need for respecting intelligence and confidentiality in classification. So if any of your answers would take into that realm, just tell us and we will obviously deal with it in the appropriate way.
But, General Hagee, I wanted to particularly say how proud we are of the 34,000 Marines presently in Iraq.
And to the admiral and the Secretary, we are proud of those 3,000 personnel on the ground who are nearby in Iraq.
They are doing a terrific job. We are united behind them, we are very proud of them.
I want to ask you, General, are you satisfied with the quality of intelligence that those 34,000 Marines are getting about the size and nature of the insurgency?
General HAGEE. I am really quite satisfied with the way we are processing the intelligence that we are getting. In fact, we haveand I will come back, I will answer the question.
Mr. ANDREWS. It is a very artful answer. [Laughter.]
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General HAGEE. We have done something over the past year that we have not done before, where we have developed an intelligence fusion cell, where all the players are in a room about half the size of this, all the downlinks are coming in. I will be happy to talk in a classified forum about exactly what is coming down and the connections that we have.
Having said that, especially in any insurgency and especially human intelligence, you can always use more. And do we have sufficient knowledge about where the weapons caches are, who the bad individuals are? No, sir, we do not.
Mr. ANDREWS. Do you think it is accurate to say that when you are sizing a force, when you are figuring out the proper force size, that you do need to have some assumptions about the size of the enemy? Are you satisfied that we have a sufficient estimate of the size of the enemy, the numbers of resistant fighters that are over there?
General HAGEE. I am not sure we know how many insurgents are over there. I think we have a fairly good feel on the hardcore insurgents.
Mr. ANDREWS. Do you think the numbers are going up or down, of the number of hardcores?
General HAGEE. I do not know. Could I take that for the record
Page 82 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. ANDREWS. Yes, sir.
General HAGEE [continuing]. And then I will be happy to provide you any answers.
Mr. ANDREWS. Yes, sir, and I do appreciate that part of that answer will take us to a new classified area as well.
If this committee could give those 34,000 Marines one new intelligence tool that would help them be more effective at suppressing the uprising and coming home, what would that be?
General HAGEE. I would say the ability to identify and track the insurgents, especially the key insurgents, that capability, that one capability. It also happens to be the capability that the Defense Science Board, in their summer session last year, in the Stability and Security Office, identified as one of those key capabilities that we need.
Mr. ANDREWS. To what extent do you think that that identification capability is technological in nature, and to what extent do you think it is human intelligence in nature?
General HAGEE. Sir, I think it is a combination.
Mr. ANDREWS. Is either of the two areas where you think we are stronger or deficient
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General HAGEE. I am sorry, I did not understand the question.
Mr. ANDREWS. Is it accurate to say you think that we have pretty good tools in the technological area but insufficient in the human intelligence (HUMINT) area? Or is that not correct?
General HAGEE. I think that we could improve in both of those areas. And I would be happy to talk with you in detail on that.
Mr. ANDREWS. I would ask the chairmanone of the things that flowed out of Secretary Rumsfeld's testimony yesterday was a request I madethe Secretary made reference to estimates he is seeing from Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and CIA, which obviously he could not discuss in this forum, but I would ask the chairman if we could ask the Secretary's office to do a classified briefing for us where we can see those estimates and draw our own conclusions.
The CHAIRMAN. I would just simply tell the gentleman, I would be happy toI mean, we have a number of hearings with the Secretary, and that is certainly within theobviously the size of the insurgency is kind of a key element to those classified briefings.
But what I wanted to do yesterdayand I have our staff instructed on thisis to get the estimates from the intelligence agencies, and we are going to have them over here, we will have them available for you and for all members.
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And they do vary. They are not precise. I doubt if the insurgency understands about how many people they have on an ebb and flow basis at a given time.
But, anyway, we will make those documents from the agencies available, Mr. Andrews.
Mr. ANDREWS. I see my time is up.
Understand, Mr. Chairman, the nature of my request is that we have a chance to see the materials and inquire as to the authors of those materials. I do not think we need to drag the Secretary back here to do that.
But I think it is essential that we form an independent assessment of that intelligence ourselves.
The CHAIRMAN. Why don't we bring inwe will try to bring in the authors of those, and of course, these things are derived from multiple sources. But let us try to drive down into thewe will try to drill down into the authorship chain as far as possible and have those folks available for the committee.
Mr. ANDREWS. Again, to each of the witnesses, thank you so much for what you have done for your country.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman. The gentlelady from Virginia, Ms. Davis.
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Mrs. DAVIS OF VIRGINIA. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Secretary, Admiral Clark, General Hagee, thank you all for being here today.
Admiral Clark, I assume you know I am going to come to you with questions.
The QDR outlined the need for 12 carriers to support the United States national security. The Department of Defense fiscal year 2006 budget calls for the reduction of the carrier fleet from 12 to 11 by October 2005. I heard General Hagee say how important the sea-based capabilities are, you said it a little while ago.
My question to you is: Has there been a reduction in operational requirements that justifies the reduction of the carrier fleet? And are there any studies by the Department of Defense, or the Navy, that provide us strategic justification for this reduction in the carrier fleet?
And I am just going to say, after the Secretary's answer to Mr. Simmons on the submarine, when he said that they are costly, my guess is that there is nothing strategic that is strictly budgetaryI am just sort of helping you out there a little bit.
But currently, the United States is involved in an insurgency in Iraq and to a lesser degree Afghanistan. And both of these are ground-force-intensive operations.
But my concern is possible contingencies in the future in the Pacific or the Persian Gulf and that they would require significant naval forces. We all know we could not go into Afghanistan without the sea-based capability.
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My question to you is: What level of risk are we assuming in other contingency plans by reducing the carrier fleet at the present time? And would you agree that reducing the carrier force structure at this time increases the overall risk and the possibility of increased casualties in some future conflict?
And then my final question is: What was your initial request for carrier fleet? When you initially put your budget in to Office of Management and Budget (OMB), how many carriers did you ask for?
Admiral CLARK. Can you repeat the third piece there? I did not get it all.
Mrs. DAVIS OF VIRGINIA. The very last thing I just said?
Admiral CLARK. Yes.
Mrs. DAVIS OF VIRGINIA. When you submitted your initial budget to OMBor to whoever you submit it tohow many carriers did you ask for?
Admiral CLARK. All right, let me start with that one.
I submitted my proposals to this man sitting to my left, and it was in August of last year. Let me tell you how this unfolded, but let me try to answer the questions.
Page 87 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC First of all, with regard to operational requirements: Since you have been in the Congress and since I have been the CNO, we have gone through some pretty radical changes in the fleet. Our Navy today can produce twice as much in surge, twice as much combat power, anywhere in the world as we could five years ago. This is a remarkable, cultural change in our system. And that, along with our ability to surge other platforms in Sea Swapand, by the way, on page 20 of my testimony, I talk about these new concepts and what it means to the overall size of the force.
It is my view that those factors have changed the way we look at all the numbers.
Mrs. DAVIS OF VIRGINIA. But you have not sea-swapped the carrier yet, right?
Admiral CLARK. No, I understand. I am talking about the whole force. The carrier does not go by itself.
The number one question is: Did the operational requirements change? The answer is no. So the second part is: From a strategic point of view, what is the strategic risk?
At the meeting where we discussed all of the issues that were put on the tableand I want to tell you, I put a list of things on the table that was as long as my arm for us to consider.
Because the President made decisions to reallocate prioritiesas Secretary Rumsfeld talked to you all about yesterday. And so in December, our top line did change, and so I was asked to submit possible items to discuss, and then we all got together and we discussed them at length. And frankly, they included other carriers as well.
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By the way, the budget does not name a carrier. We have talked about planning options and where we think we are.
At that meeting I said to Secretary Rumsfeld: Remember that when we brought our forces home from Iraq, I said, ''You said to us, Do not bring this back home and put it back together just the way it was when it all left.''
Before that was over, I had seven carriers deployed worldwide. When we put the fleet to work and the genius of our people and said, ''We did that. How do we sustain that?'' and that became the fleet response plan.
When I brought this back and briefed him, I said, ''Any day the President calls, we will be able to surge six carriers anywhere in the world in 30 days, and two more in a maximum of 90 days and probably sooner.''
I told him that day, ''If I do this, I will move from six-plus-two to six-plus-one or five-plus-two.
So there is risk there. And we have to decide in the world we live in today if that risk is acceptable or not, given the other requirements.
And, Congresswoman, it got down to this: When it came time to make the decisions, I have to make recommendations on a broad array of capability, and it was my view that, given where we were on the top line and the requirements for future investment, to sustain as much future investment as we could, this carrier, which is less capable than the nuclear carriers that we have, was the best way to go.
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Mrs. DAVIS OF VIRGINIA. Mr. Chairman, if I could ask that, for the record, he respond to the question on what was his number of carriers in August.
Admiral CLARK. Oh, I will answer. In August it was 12.
Mrs. DAVIS OF VIRGINIA. Thank you.
Admiral CLARK. That is what we changed in December.
Mrs. DAVIS OF VIRGINIA. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentlelady. The gentleman from New York, Mr. Israel.
Mr. ISRAEL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Gentlemen, it was good to see you at the Navy caucus meeting two nights ago.
General Hagee, it was good to see you in my office yesterday. I appreciate receiving your reading list. I read it last nightnot all the books on the list, but the list itself.
Mr. Skelton and I had a two-hour roundtable yesterday on professional military education with some very informed and helpful people. And I was very pleased to see on the front page of the Marine Corps Times this morning this article, ''Get Smarter: Three Reasons You Need to Start Studying Now.''
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And it talks, General, about your efforts to place a greater value in professional military education in the Corps.
It talks about the need for more foreign language training, tougher CMC reading list, new push for higher education.
My question isI think there is general agreement that we really do need to spend more time and invest more in professional military education so that we are developing Soldiers who understand the cultures and the languages that they are being sent to.
My question to you, and I would like to start with General Hagee: Does the budget that we are looking at right now, do you believeor how does that budget invest appropriate resources in professional military education? Does it advance your goals of placing higher value and premiums in professional military education?
And then if our other witnesses could respond, I would appreciate it.
General HAGEE. Yes, sir.
In general, it absolutely does. For example, it increases the bonus that we give to individuals who speak a language and keep that capability up. I think it almost doubles that monthly pay that an individual Marine would get if he speaks one of those languages.
We have sufficient funding for our schoolhouses.
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A large majority is really up to us, and to do the right thing in the schoolhouse, and to use the time that we have correctly, and to ensure that we provide that timeif an individual is not in the schoolhouse, provide that time where meaningful discussions can occur out in the field or in the classroom at Camp Pendleton or Camp Lejeune.
So from a funding standpoint, I am satisfied where we are.
Mr. ISRAEL. Mr. Secretary.
Secretary ENGLAND. I have to say we probably stated this a little bit too late, frankly, but we have tried to catch up in what we are doing. We are changing I believe everywhere in all of our institutions, including our Naval Academy. We are bringing in culture and language classes to replace the more traditional things that have been taught in that regard.
So at our war colleges and post-graduate schools, they now have curriculum, even post-construction-type of classes that we have never had in the past.
So we have an emphasis throughout the Department of the Navy, and I think a great awareness, just like the cover today, great awareness among our people from the deck plates and the squads and the leadership.
So this is something we are taking very seriously, because we know this is an important dimension of warfare.
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And as far as I know, we have had no limitations in our budgets, and that is, all the programs, meaningful programs, people have proposed, we have funded.
Mr. ISRAEL. Admiral, anything you want to add?
Admiral CLARK. I would just say if you pick up a copy of the other services' Timesand by the way, that is not our document, you knowyou would have seen that a couple of months back.
We are in the middle of a revolution in training. We have completely restructured our system, and in fact, every command in the system is fundamentally different with new missions.
By the time this year is over, I am going to own and have working for us more human performance specialists than any other institution in the United States of America. We are on a journey, and we have told our peoplein fact, with the subject of great discussion in the comment section of our paper like thatthat the CNO says if you are going to get promoted, you are going to have degrees.
It is my view that that is the kind of world that we are living in, and that is where we are going.
I will tell you that if I had more resources, I would figure out a way to do a couple of things, but they are minor. We were asked to provide an unfunded list, and there are a couple of small items on there, but mostly because they have come late, they came after we built this program.
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So because we are moving so fast, we did not have some of those requirements when we submitted
Mr. ISRAEL. Well, I want to reiterate my interest in working closely with you.
And let me just ask you to look into one question. I do not think you can give me an answer now. But one of the things that we learned at our roundtable yesterday is, there is a perception in the Navy War College, at least, that they have some pretty good, potential faculty members for the Navy War College, but they are foreign nationals. And there is a perception that there may be some statutory requirement that was on the books years ago that does not permit certain foreign nationals to become faculty members at the Navy War College.
It seems to me that as we explore greater cultural awareness, those are just the very people that we want in our faculty. If we have foreign nationals as students in Navy War College, it seems to me that we can have foreign nationals, once they are appropriately vetted and researched and receive their clearances, as faculty to help broaden our cultural awareness. If you would look into that, I would appreciate it.
Secretary ENGLAND. We will. It has not come to my attention as an issue, I do not think any of us here. But we will look into and get back with you, sir.
Mr. ISRAEL. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Page 94 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman. The gentleman from Virginia, Mr. Forbes.
Mr. FORBES. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Gentlemen, thank you for being here and thank you for your service and for the role models you are individually as well as in your professional capacities.
I have a question that I asked the Secretary of Defense yesterday and was unable to get an answer from him.
But my big concern, cutting to the chase, is what we are seeing developing in China today. Because if we look at these budgets, we are not talking about what is going to be taking place in July; we are looking at five years down the road, seven years down the road.
We just got back a few weeks ago from a congressional delegation (CODEL) over there. And there is no question in my mind they are moving toward at least a policy of sea denial if not sea control.
I think Congressmen Skelton, Pearce, Abercrombie, Wilson would agree with me that one thing we came away from there with was the fact that they have a plan. It might not be a good plan, it might be a great plan, but they have a plan about shipbuilding overall, and they are executing their plan. And it includes the workforce, it includes resources, right on down the line.
And the question I have: We talk a lot about process hereacquisition and what ships we are going to buybut do we have an overall shipbuilding plan in the country today that includes the number of ships we think we are going to need five years down the road, which is what we are looking at in this budget, and also including in that plan our workforce needs, our resources and how we are going to go about meeting the needs that we are going to have.
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If we have that plan, where is it so that we can look at it and get our hands around it, because at least many of the members that I know do not know where it is, and we feel that we need one.
And the second is: We talk about the cost effectiveness of the construction program, I know in last year's authorization act, we had a provision in there for an independent entity to study that cost effectiveness. I believe that report is due June 1st, which is only three months from now.
Has that entity been established yet? And can you tell us what kind of progress they have made in looking at what I think is an absolutely crucial issue for us to look at?
Secretary ENGLAND. Congressman, let me start and then hand it off, if I can.
First of all, the study is under way. I believe the due date is 1 October, if we are talking the same study. But there is a study under way, and that is progressing, but I recall it it is a little later time.
So it is under way. It is being worked. Contractors are working along with our people.
The China issue, I think, again, CNO has already mentioned he would like to discuss that in a closed hearing, and that would be more appropriate in terms of what we are doing.
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Let me talk to you, though, about the plan for the Navy.
We are moving to what I call a total integrated Navy. That is, we are building our ships for the latest technology that we are bringing along to operate in a coherent manner for threats of the future. So when we talk about our MPFF ships and our LHAR, they are specifically designed to utilize now B22s and also our STOVL Joint Strike Fighters.
And part of this discussion of carriers, frankly, is that we will in the future have what amounts to small-deck carriers with very, very capable aircraft on those carriers, which actually gives us a higher degree of dispersion than we have today in terms of capability.
So we do haveI think the leadership teamI know the leadership team does have the view of where we are going. And you are right, we probably need to articulate that better for you, and we will do that.
Mr. FORBES. Mr. Secretary, does include in it the workforce and the resources that we are going to need to help create those ships down the road?
Because one my concerns is, we have needs that we have three or four years down the road, but our workforce, because of the cyclical nature of this industry, is no longer there to produce what we need to produce.
I mean, I am just throwing this out, but I think we need a comprehensive plan that says not only the ships we need but how we think we are going to be able to get those ships in terms of workforce, resource allocation and those kinds of things.
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Secretary ENGLAND. Valid input. I will only say, across the FYDP we have 8.2 ships, average, across the FYDP, and a number of those are Littoral Combat Ships. We do have a lesser number of what I will call deep-blue ships. I mean, we are going more to littorals in terms of our numbers.
So while this is a transition year and the rate is downI mean, last year we three DD(G)s, for example, and we are still designing DD(X). So obviously we are not going to move from three to three, or three to one this year, in terms of having this ship available.
We do have eight ships, which is about where we have been in the past. So I would expect that we have, you know, a sufficient industrial base to maintain that rate of about eight ships a year.
I do not see that we are ever going to go to a very, very high rate. I mean, that is the kind of rate that the funding will sustain and also the rate that we will need in terms of the Navy of the future. We will have a smaller but a much more capable Navy.
Now, we can do more of this in a closed session and probably need to have a lot more discussion than we can do here today, but we will be pleased to have that discussion with you, Mr. Congressman.
Mr. ISRAEL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman. I might tell the members that we are going to be having some closed discussions on this issue and on the Sea Power projection challenges over the next 10 to 15 years, and I think that would be a good time to bring them up.
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Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Mr. Chairman, by my timing Mr. Forbes still had about 15 seconds left. Can I ask him if he would yield to me?
The CHAIRMAN. Well, actually Mr. Forbes took about three extra minutes. And I would just ask the gentleman if he could hold on, because we have still got about five folks that need to get their questions in. But we will make sure we come back to you, Mr. Abercrombie, at the end of the session here.
The gentleman from Rhode Island, Mr. Langevin.
Mr. LANGEVIN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you, gentlemen, for your testimony today and for your service to the country.
Before I go into my questions, I am building on my colleague Mr. Israel's comments and questions about professional military education.
I am hopeful that as the Navy continues to modernize and leverage its technologies, such as electric drive and DD(X) and such, that it will free up opportunities for our Sailors to go to the Naval War College, which we are very proud of in Rhode Island. I know that is something that you are planning to do.
If I could, Admiral Clark, as you know, like many of colleagues, I am concerned about our Navy's shipbuilding rates. And I am particularly concerned with the state, of course, of our submarines, especially in light of the administration's decision to further delay the target for the Virginia-class procurement rates of two per year.
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Now, we have discussed this of course many times in the past, and I recognize the constraints that are placed on the Navy. However, as we approach the Quadrennial Defense Review, I want to make sure that our uncertain future in Iraq does not incorrectly influence our understanding and expectation of future security threat. I believe that we need do more to make sure that we are still capable of responding to more conventional threats and that we do not over-emphasis one combat scenario at the expense of others.
Now, in an interview in Defense News last November, Admiral Skip Bowman, former director of naval nuclear reactors, suggested that combatant commanders have been requesting a larger submarine fleet to be able to meet their mission requirements and to be able to respond to a variety of scenarios. However, those requests have not been reflected in the budget request.
So my question is: Are you confident that our combatant commanders have the tools that they require? Or should we in Congress be doing more to address their needs?
Admiral CLARK. The answer to your question is very complex, Congressman, because it involves the nature of the requirement.
I will tell you in an unclassified veinI think I can go this farthat the requirement for the numbers of submarines is driven in large part not by response to operation plans and fighting wars but by the intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance requirement (ISR).
Page 100 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC What we are seeing unfold, as technology delivers and you have other kinds of options, you have the ability to provide the ISR requirements by methodologies that are much less costly. And so there is a constant competition going on between particular types of tools to be used to meet the combatant commanders' requirements over time.
And I will tell you that that affected our judgment a great deal and the decision we made, as did our reaction to the response of the Congress in the conferee report last year that made comments about not going to two a year and that we had a multiyear and gave some pretty specific guidance about that. And when we were faced with a reduction in the top line, we decided that, given other opportunities that we had, that this was the right level to go to.
But let me just emphasize that we never make that decision one time; we are constantly reviewing what the requirement will need to be. And the Virginia-class submarine is an extraordinarily capable war-fighting platform. And in my view, we must have this kind of capability and take advantage of its stealth that allows us to change the way things happen in the battle space for us to be effective in the future.
And so given where we are today, the extension of Los Angeles Class Submarine (688) life with engineering refuel overhaul (ERO), that are out there and so forth, we are going to have over 50 submarines for a long, long time. And given that, we felt like we were where we need to be for this submission.
Mr. LANGEVIN. Mr. Secretary, do you want to comment?
Secretary ENGLAND. No, I think the CNO summed it up as well as I can, sir.
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Mr. LANGEVIN. Admiral, thank you for your answer to that question. We look forward to working with you to make sure that the sub fleet stays at or above the 50 level.
Admiral CLARK. Thank you very much. And thank you for your comments about our War College.
Mr. LANGEVIN. Thank you.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman. The gentleman from South Carolina, Mr. Wilson.
Mr. WILSON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Secretary, Admiral, General, thank you very much for being here. It is particularly meaningful for me to be here with you in that one of my sons is in your command, ensign in the U.S. Navy. We are very proud in our family of his service in medical school.
Additionally, I am very grateful, I know firsthand of your success and the quality of the Sailors and Marines serving our country at Parris Island, at the Marine Air Station, Beaufort Naval Hospital. I have visited, and it is just really reassuring the new greatest generation that we have.
Additionally, Mr. Secretary, I have been very impressed by your efforts of recognizing how important it is that families are appreciated, particularly the progress that you have had on military housing privatization, if you could bring us up to date on that, and also if it might be extended to barracks.
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Secretary ENGLAND. Let me talk about housing.
We are very pleased by the end of 2007 we will be totally up to date on our housing. I mean, we have public-private ventures literally by the thousands across the Navy and Marine Corps, and I will tell you, it is very important to the families. There has been a lot of articles recently about moms at home with their children, how great it is to have a great house to live in, secure and everything works and well maintained.
That program has worked very well. Like I say, by the end of 2007, we will have all of our poor housing eliminated.
By the way, for people who are not on base, the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH), the housing allowance, has gone up in every area. It is now, this year, equal to the community. That is, there is no more deficit for people, so they can now rent homes or apartments or buy homes in good neighborhoods.
So I believe that is a success story brought about largely because of the higher BAH rates for our men and women in uniform, and for that I thank the Congress for providing the funds to do that.
Individual barracks, we still have Sailors who live on ships in some places. We did last year, as I recall, get approval for barracks, for prototypes, to try approaches for barracks our single men and women. I will have to get back to you on the status of exactly where we are, Mr. Congressman.
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Mr. WILSON. Well, thank you very much.
General Hagee, with the leadership of Chairman Duncan Hunter, a Marine parent himself, there was an additional end strength increase of the Marines of 3,000. What was the status of the additional adding of Marines?
I do want point out that Parris Island is ready to train.
General HAGEE. In fact, sir, they are already training.
We are up to 177,000 and a couple of hundred. We leaned forward last year and started to recruit. So we are going to meet that end strength at 178,000 by the end of this year. And in fact, as I said, some of those individuals are already going through Paris Island.
Mr. WILSON. Terrific.
Admiral Clark, the Army has announced a policy to assign personnel for up to seven years at bases in lieu of a three-year rotation. Is the Navy possibly going to consider that also?
Admiral CLARK. Well, in fact, we, a number of years ago, examined a program called ''home basing.'' And I will tell you that we do not see people staying in the same job seven years. What we have done with the whole Sea Warrior concept is that we are seeking to put the power of choice in the hands of Sailors in the development of their careers, and this will involve their ability to choose where they rotate.
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And I want to say that the Congress has helped us immensely. Assignment-incentive pay was an experiment that we started I guess now 2.5 years ago. It has had a dramatic effect on the United States military. And what that really has done is allowed the individual to make those kinds of choiceswhich is what we want to have happen in the United States Navyand that is what we believe has to happen for us to have an effective, 21st century, human capital strategy that can compete in the marketplace for these outstanding young men and women.
Mr. WILSON. Well, again, thank you for your service. And our family is so proud to, again, have such faith in your leadership.
I yield the balance.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman, and thank him for his very thoughtful comments. The gentleman from Minnesota, Mr. Kline.
Mr. KLINE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you, gentlemen, for being here.
I would like to associate myself and my comments with those of many of my colleagues here todayMr. Taylor, Mr. Abercrombie, Simmons and othersabout looking at how we budget for appropriate funds for building ships and look at those shipyard.
There is a looming, as you said, Admiral, national security issue here, so I am very much in favor of that and would like to be part of that discussion.
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General Hagee, I know that you, like me, are extremely proud of every Marine. I just want to report to you that when I was coming back from Iraq four weeks ago, we stopped in Landstuhl, Germany, and had a chance to talk to some of these young Marines who had been wounded only four days before. Their morale, their esprit, their warrior spirit was very, very evident. And, again, it made me so proud of the young menthese were all young menwho are serving our country so well.
I just hope we forgot to reset the light, because that is the fastest five minutes
I do not know, maybe there is a message there.
Thank you, thank you, Mr. Chairman.
A couple of quick questions.
I am very concerned, as we have discussed before, about what is happening to our equipment in-theater. And in your testimony you talk about sort of burning up equipment at an eight to one ratio, and I want to get to that in a minute.
You also have a number in your testimony, General, about aircraft availability at 72 percent. That is certainly better than 50 percent, but it is not as good as we would like to have.
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So I have two questions. One, I would like for you to tell me how we are doing, what your assessment is, of how we are getting the parts that we need and the ability to repair aircraft. I know you know from my experience, I know that this is very tough on rotary wings. How are we doing there?
And then specifically, how the budget, both the supplemental and the base budget, is addressing the replacement of that equipment, the ground equipment, that we are using up so fast.
Look at this way, if you would: In three years from now, will the money in this budget replace with new, good equipment those Humvees and other pieces of equipment that we are using up so fast?
General HAGEE. Sir, first on the aviation: We are getting parts, both on the aviation side and the ground side. In fact, that is one of the real success stories here. Parts are arriving on time. And the Marines are out there fixing the equipment.
I just saw on Tuesday the availability of our fixed-wing and rotary-wing in-theater was around 80 percent. Our ground equipment also up around, actually over, 80 percent after having operated over there for a significantly long time. And that is a tribute to not only the parts arriving on time and being the right parts, but those Marines out there fixing that equipment.
On the second question, on the replacement of equipment: I can tell you, sir, that if you talk about the money that is in the fiscal year 2006 budget and the 2005 supplemental, will it be enough to replace all over our equipment? The answer is no.
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Because we continue to burn equipment up over there, and in the last two supplementals, we were not allowed to reconstitute our equipment. In this supplemental we are. And in fact, we have a significant portion of money in this supplemental that will allow us to start that process.
But as I have testified before, and I think as the Chief of Staff of the Army has testified, once the war stops, we will require additional supplementals or an increase in our total obligational authority (TOA) to completely reconstitute the force. It is a function ofas you know, it is not only a function of money; it is a function of the industrial base and how long it takes to either make or refurbish that equipment.
And we have a special problemand you are really aware of thisin aviation. We are not making anymore CH46s, thank goodness. And we need to bring that V22 along.
Mr. KLINE. Absolutely. Thank you.
That is exactly what I suspected the situation was. And it leaves us in an awkward position here, because as you know, the V22 is coming, but it is not ready. We are not absolutely taking worn out aircraft and wearing it out at a faster rate. Even the CH53s, the Echos and the Cobras that are in-theater, flying in those conditions is just horrifically tough on them.
And I am just concerned about how is the supply line doing? Are we going to have the parts there to keep those aircraft up for this rotation in Iraq and the next rotation and the next rotation?
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And I am very concerned that we are going to use up those Humvees, for exampleI will continue to use that as an examplebut all that ground equipment at this enormous rate, and we are going to find ourselves suddenly with some very, very worn out equipment, say, three years down the road and really in a hole. And I hope that you are addressing that in the supplementals and in the budget. I understand that there were some constraints.
But, please, be forthcoming with what you need so that we do not find ourselves in that position with just a bunch of tired equipment that we do not want to take anywhere.
General HAGEE. You have my commitment on that, sir.
Mr. KLINE. Thank you, sir, I thought I would.
The CHAIRMAN. Would the gentleman yield on that question?
Mr. KLINE. Be happy to yield.
The CHAIRMAN. I want to thank the gentleman for that line of questioning and just follow up.
General Hagee, if you look at your piece of this supplemental that is coming up, what do you think, on a scale of one to ten, in terms of the reset that you need, where do you think that puts you?
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General HAGEE. Sir, if the war stopped right now, based on the industrial base, we would still need a supplementalor as I said, an increase in our TOAfor another two years to completely reset the force.
The CHAIRMAN. How much? What do you think?
General HAGEE. The amount of money, sir?
The CHAIRMAN. Yes.
General HAGEE. Sir, could I take that
The CHAIRMAN. In what range, would you say?
General HAGEE. We are probably talking close to $1 billion.
The CHAIRMAN. Did you ask for money in the supplemental that is not in the final cut that came over to us?
General HAGEE. As far as reconstitution was concerned, we got what we wanted for reconstitution. That was driven more by what the industrial base could give us, to use Congressman Kline's example, on Humvees.
The CHAIRMAN. So if you had an accommodating industrial base, I would take it you would want to haveyou would have had a larger request?
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General HAGEE. If we could have executed it in the time that we have, yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Why don't you get some detail on that? We would like to get some detail for the
General HAGEE. Sir, we have that detail. We would be happy to provide it.
The CHAIRMAN. Okay, we would like to look at that. I thank the gentleman. The gentlelady from Virginia, Ms. Drake.
Mrs. DRAKE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Secretary, Admiral Clark and General Hagee, thank you being here with us today and answering our questions. And I know you will expect me to ask you about the JFK and the possibility of a carrier moving from Norfolk to Florida, that speculation.
And I am wondering if you could comment on: Do you really think we are looking at a carrier moving? Or because of the timeframe that it takes for Mayport to be equipped to handle a nuclear carrier, if there may be something else on line then, that we are not talking about a net reduction.
Another question that has surfaced because of this whole discussion is what happens in Japan if the JFK retires and the Kitty Hawk stays on line to be retired, that we would not have a non-nuclear sub to put there.
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And I would like to agree with my colleague from Virginia, Mr. Forbes, that I really think there needs to be a plan that people understand and they know how all of these things fit within that particular plan.
Secretary ENGLAND. If I can address that, Ms. Drake.
First of all, we have requested that we decrease the carrier force by one carrier. As the CNO commented, we have much higher rates of deployability. By the way, we also have vastly greater firepower off of those carriers. I mean, if you go back to Vietnam, it took 800 sorties and never did kill the Thanh Hoa bridge in Vietnam. And then it took four sorties with laser-guided bombs.
So we are vastly superioreven if you go back to 1991, the Gulf War, we only had about 20 percent of our munitions were precision weapons, and we were still talking number of sorties to kill a target. Now we talk about the number of targets per sortie.
So better airplanes, greater persistence, more accurate weaponsI mean, we are probably a thousand times or immeasurably better than Vietnam. And I would guess at least 10 times better than we were even in the early 1990's. So we have significant capability off our carriers.
It is very rational for us to decrease our carrier force, frankly.
We do want to have carriers on two bases on the East Coast as a matter of principle. That is something we do want to do. So we will want to have more than just one site. It is prudent after 9/11 not to have all of our equipment in one place. So it is prudent for us, as a matter of principle, to have another place, and so we do want to do that. I mean, in time we will do it.
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Now, the Kennedy, I mean, if it comes out, something that Congressobviously if that happens, they make the final decision. But we will moth-ball the Kennedy. If you ever need to bring it out again, we can do that for Japan or another country. So it is not gone; it is still there and it is still available.
Kitty Hawk still has useful life in Japan.
So we do have options available, and we will continue to work those both domestically and internationally. But certainly after 9/11, it is prudent not to have all of our assets in one place.
Mrs. DRAKE. Thank you.
Admiral CLARK. May I comment, Mr. Chairman, on the issue of the plan?
We submit a plan to the Congress each year. It is generally prescribed in one of the acts, and we do so. Of course, there have been changes to it. But I would like to comment with regard to Mr. Forbes' and your question about the national-level plan.
To me, this is the kind of thing that we ought to be taking up as a national security issue. Because we do not prescribe, nor could we. We do not have the authority to prescribe or control or be involved in the evolvement of the workforce in the yards that are owned by industry. This is a national security issue.
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Now, we have introduced something called the one-shipyard concept that iswe are trying to force this kind of integration to the limit that we are allowed to in the law.
But this, I believe, is the kind of issue that should be addressed, because we are talking about the intellectual capital of the United States of America.
Mrs. DRAKE. Thank you.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentlelady. The gentleman from Kentucky, Mr. Davis.
Mr. DAVIS OF KENTUCKY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I would like to begin, first of all, I enjoyed our meeting last month very much.
For the commandant, I would like to commend you on the incredibly high professionalism of your Marines. I have gotten to know a number of NCOs in the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force, one of whom came and spent a Labor Day with me in the district and represented the Corps very proudly. I think it is a great honor to be around young people like that who are serving our country as they are with great dedication and devotion to duty.
General HAGEE. Thank you, sir.
Mr. DAVIS OF KENTUCKY. Also I would like to commend the Secretary of the Department of the Navy on its approach to bringing lean production concepts, or lean concepts, to increase the projection and application of combat power in the future. I think it is a very critical process. Certainly the commercial sector has seen great gains as a result of that, and actually applies many doctrinal concepts that are applicable in the principles of war and have been used successfully for generations.
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In the 1980's, I got to see firsthand the tremendous transformation of the Marine Corpsactually led all of the services in the reintroduction of maneuverable warfare under some of John Boyd's patterns of conflict, principles that he taught, certainly had an impact on my life.
Even in another time, the Marine Corps adapted with the development of the small wars doctrine, which is really where I would like to go right now and address my question to the commandant.
We begin to find ourselves in kind of a deja vu situation as we return in the changing international security arena to the possibility of resurrecting that doctrine. And as you all adapt, I am interested in your perception, based on my understanding of the current operations tempo, the way the flow plan is playing out right now, and the Marines are definitely demonstrating let us say very broad shoulders on the deployment requirements they have with their current manning and structure.
My concern is over the next five years as this transformation is in progress. Would you comment on your operational concept to be able to surge and support other requirements if another strategic threat emerges in another part of the world right now, how you see the Marine Corps adapting and what additional resources you might think you would need to deal with that or how you are adapting internally.
General HAGEE. Well, as Congressman Kline pointed out, there are some equipment challenges. Having said that, in my opening remarks I talked about this being the best force that I have seen in my 37 years in the Marine Corps, the best force as far as their readiness is concerned and as far as their experience is concerned. They are combat hardened.
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And not only the regular force but our reserve force. We have 39,600 Marines in Marine Corps Reserve. We have nine battalions in the Marine Corps Reserve. By the end of this year, they will have all served at least one tour in Iraq.
So our reserve force is ready to go, much more capable, I would argue, because of the experience that they have had over the past couple years than they were two years ago.
So the ability to serve right now, surprisingly enough, because of the experience our reserve has had, is really a lot better.
Now, the timing as far as the ability to get there: I think that is going to be somewhat of a challenge. We have a significant number of Marines in Iraq. Depending on what the contingency is, how quickly can we move them there is something that we would have to work through.
Mr. DAVIS OF KENTUCKY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I yield my time.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman. The Ranking Member had some follow-up questions here. The gentleman is recognized.
Mr. SKELTON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Shipbuilding, Admiral Clark: You mentioned earlier that you consider the Navy and the shipbuilding industry as a team. Is that not correct?
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Admiral CLARK. I do.
Mr. SKELTON. How would you change, A, the relationship between the Navy and the shipbuilding; and, B, what would you change within the industry, if you could, to further the goals of more ships for the Navy?
Admiral CLARK. Well, I believe that the most important thing to change the way the game plays out is to look at the waythere are rules that have to do with our interaction. They are written in the FAR, the Federal Acquisition Regulations, all kinds of things that talk to the kind of things you can disclose to industry that affects the partnership that we have with industry.
So I believe that the economies are going to be brought about by doing something about the overhead that is required inside the government and inside industry to work more effectively together.
So what I am suggesting is: I believe a real examination of all of the acquisition regulations is something that needs to be looked at.
And I believe that you ought to have hearings and you ought to talk to the people in the industry and you ought to ask them what we are doing that makes it difficult for them and get it from them: ''What could we do that would allow you to streamline, that would allow you to become more effective?''
Page 117 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC We have examplesand I will not name products because of advertisements and so forthbut we have examples of where industry is brought forward, production approaches, because we have allowed particular changes have dramatically improved their productivity. And so I think those kind of things can make a big difference.
And then the other thing I think has to be done is thatI believe shipbuilding is a special niche. There is not any other area in the defense acquisition structure that is like shipbuilding, that has so much capacity tied up in so few places and where the investment peaks are so large. This is what changes the nature of the game.
So what I believe really has to happen there is that the Nation makes decisions and judgments about the level of investment and disciplines itself to a level investment that allows them to correctly size their own infrastructure. The difficulty they are facing isand I address it in the beginning as the peak and valley of financing construct that they find themselves in.
Mr. SKELTON. Wasn't there a time in historyomitting the warswasn't there a time in history when this was done?
Admiral CLARK. Well, I do not know the history well enough to give you an affirmative answer. I have made my judgments based upon watching this almost five years that I have been doing this, and talking to the leaders.
See, I had a war game three years ago. In the war game, we brought the shipyards in. We put forward concepts like advanced appropriations and all the multiyear structure we could put in place, and the product of that was that we were buying 15 percent more product for the same investment line. But the advanced appropriations line allowed you to level these peaks and valleys in a way that we cannot do today.
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And I just want to make a point on the opposite side of the peak and valley.
Look at the cost of the capitalthe capital asset of the United States Navy is an aircraft carrier. Look at the cost, the new investment cost, of one those. And look at the divot that it takes out of the rest of my programmatic structure when I have to fund it in a peak and valley kind of a way.
I want to tell you that it is the most difficult thing about this job that I have experienced in the acquisition side. And I am absolutely convinced that if we believe that it is serious enough that it is really affecting our national security, that we can challenge every assumption that we have ever made about the way we do this, and we can make it better.
Mr. SKELTON. I think that there were twoto answer my own questionI think there were two eras when this was done: Theodore Roosevelt's Great White Fleet that Congress and the President insisted on building the battleships which consisted of that Great White Fleet; in the 1930's the Sea Power Subcommittee of this committee did the very same, that allowed us to have the available ships that were so necessary during the Second World War.
It might be a good idea if we could have your legal folks take a lookat least in the 1930 eraon what the restrictions, or lack thereof, allowed the shipbuilding industry to be so robust and compare it to the regulations and laws that we have today. That will be very, very helpful. I think this committee would appreciate that if you could ask your lawyers to take a look at that.
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Admiral CLARK. Yes, sir.
I want to make the point that it is going to be bigger than us, because there are a lot of agencies that have authorities that affect this relationship, which is why I have recommended that this is an issue for a body like this.
Secretary ENGLAND. Could I make one comment, not a dissenting view but just a comment?
The Congress and the Navy, Marine Corps spent literally billions of dollars in new equipment and in research and development and scientific and technical (S&T), and technology has obviously come along exponentially. And our ships today are vastlyvastlymore capable than anything we have ever had in the past. I mean, every one of them is more capable.
So while we can talk the numbers of ships, I think we need to really decide what that number is. Because I am not sure we have this dramatic deficit in the number of ships. I mean, there is things we would like to do, but at the same time, you know, our budget going forward, I mean, our R&D is high now, it starts to come down, and more does go into the product side of this.
Look, this is something we need to discuss. But I am not sure the sky is falling on us. We do have a competitive industry and, frankly, some of the yards today, it would be hard to put a lot more into those yards without literally training and growing the workforce.
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So this a complex issue. It is worthy of discussion. I would encourage us to do that. But I do not have any conclusions yet as to what the outcome of this is.
Mr. SKELTON. Well, I understand fully, Mr. Secretary, the huge increase in capability of your ships. But as we know, presencemany of us think the time is more important than capability, just being present, and the oceans have not gotten any smaller.
In light of what you say, I think we still should look at doing our very, very best to increase the numbers, the last QDR aimed at the number 310. As we see, we are not even close to it.
So thank you for your comments.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman. I think this is an excellent point of embarkation for some pretty deep analysis. And we will be undertaking that with you, Mr. Secretary and Admiral.
I know Mr. Taylor has I think some follow-up comments and so does Mr. Bartlett.
Let me go to Mr. Bartlett and then we will go to Mr. Taylor, if we could.
Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you very much. I am really glad I was able to get back for Mr. Skelton's question. Thank you very much.
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We will hold a hearing, or hearings, on this, as the admiral would like to us hold. We will do that.
You know, I have a lot of concerns about our future. But if all of our leaders were caliber of the three leaders sitting at this table down there, I would sleep a whole lot better at night.
Thank you all very much for your service to your country.
Secretary ENGLAND. Thank you, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman.
The gentleman from Mississippi.
Mr. TAYLOR. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Very quickly, General Hagee, I left you out in my initial welcome. I certainly did not mean any offense and I hope you will not take offense.
General HAGEE. None taken, sir.
Mr. TAYLOR. Secretary England, I agree with everything you say about capability. But on the flip side, when you reduce the size of your force, when every ship becomes that big a piece of the overall strategy, counting on it to take out so many targets, wouldn't the flip side be every time you lose oneand inevitably we willyou have lost such a huge percentage of your fighting force.
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We lost the Cole for several years to a bumboat. We lost the Princeton to an errant mine. Again, against not first-rate powers, but against, in the instance of the Cole, a couple of terrorists; in the instance of the Princeton, a mine dropped either by the Iranians or the Iraqis somewhere out in the sea.
So I guess the question I would ask isI am not disagreeing with what you are saying about capabilities. But is someone seriously looking atwhen you are down to 11 carriers, if you lose of them to a Silkworm, if you lose two of them, look at the capability that you have lost.
And going back to Mr. Skelton's, you have not only lost a presence, you lose capability. When your force gets that small, each one of them becomes such a vigor prize for the enemy to sink.
Secretary ENGLAND. I would guess, then, that is aI mean, frankly, the choice we have made over the years as they go to more and more capable shipsI mean, our next carrier is vastly more capable and vastly more expensive than our current carrier. We decided not to with the current one but to go to a more capable one, and we spent a lot more money. When we decide to that, then you do limit yourself to the numbers you are going to have.
So numbers are indeed important, but my four years the trend has been, frankly, to more capability. And we have, frankly, sacrificed numbers for capability. I mean, what we are developingthe carrier is a good examplethe next carrier and the assets on that carrier and the weapons they deliver are vastly more capable than what we are producing today.
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So we are on a trend line to capability, and we do have to measure that against quantity. I mean, that is the classic tradeoff you always have, is numbers versus the capability of each of those ships. I mean, that is the tradeoff that the Navy makes, frankly, within the budget we have available. That is our tradeoff every year.
But it is not just that. It is also our air assets. So I mean, it is not just ships. I mean, we have a huge balanced Navy that requiresfor the ships to be effective we have to have the rest of the balance also in place. So we make these tradeoffs among a balanced, complete force. And it is numbers, capability and where we spend the money, including our people.
Mr. TAYLOR. Could one lucky shot of a Silkworm take out a carrier?
Secretary ENGLAND. Without getting classified, I would say no.
Mr. TAYLOR. I was just curious. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman. Gentlemen, thank you for a very fulsome discussion here of your major issues.
Let me ask if there are any other members that want to ask a final or follow-up question here before we wrap up.
Page 124 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC If not, if you could, Mr. Secretary, one thing we would like, and we know it is manifested in classified documents, are the munitions load-outs for our primary precision munitions, if you can get that to us. We may have it somewhere already in the committee, but I think that is an importantand the production rates of those particular munitions, that is important to us.
And I think we haveif we do not have the readiness rates of our basic platforms, I think we need very up-to-date readiness rates.
And, General Hagee, one thing we are concerned aboutI think you have heard this concern manifested in a number of members' statements and questionsis the problem with waiting until this war is over to reset the Marine Corps, as you have to reset all the time, because of folks coming back from deployment in Iraq and Afghanistan presumably could be called to the next 9/11 operation momentarily. So we have to be in a constant state of maintenance.
It is still a little unclear as to whether or not the monies that are your piece of the action in the supplemental puts you or maintains that state of maintenance for the next emergency, or whether we are waiting for the big crash in maintenance rates when we get back from operations in Iraq. I think Mr. Kline laid that out fairly clearly.
We need to work with you a little bit on that. So if you could get us some figures that let us drill down a little bit to where the Marine Corps is and where the readiness rates are for other contingencies, that will be important for us.
General HAGEE. Be happy to do that, sir.
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The CHAIRMAN. Thanks very much. Again, Admiral, thank you very much for your great service to our country. Your common sense and practicality has walked us through lots of challenges and will continue to that.
Secretary England, I know you are losing a great one here. But you have been a great team. We have a lot of challenges to work through this year, so we will be seeing lots of you.
Thank you very much for your time.
The hearing is adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 11:58 a.m., the committee was adjourned.]