SPEAKERS CONTENTS INSERTS
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[H.A.S.C. No. 1062]
NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT
FOR FISCAL YEAR 2000H.R. ????
OVERSIGHT OF PREVIOUSLY AUTHORIZED PROGRAMS
COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED SIXTH CONGRESS
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FULL COMMITTEE HEARINGS
AUTHORIZATION AND OVERSIGHT
FEBRUARY 24, 1999
FISCAL YEAR 2000 NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACTSERVICE CHIEFS
House of Representatives,
Committee on Armed Services,
Washington, DC, Tuesday, February 24, 1999.
The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 10 a.m., in room 2118, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Floyd D. Spence (chairman of the committee) presiding.
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. FLOYD D. SPENCE, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM SOUTH CAROLINA, CHAIRMAN, COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
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The CHAIRMAN. The meeting will please be in order. Today, the committee continues its oversight of the Fiscal Year 2000 Defense budget. We have with us today the chiefs: General Dennis J. Reimer, Chief of Staff of the Army; Admiral Jay Johnson, Chief of Naval Operations; General Ralph Eberhart, Vice Chief of staff of the Air Force; and General Charles Krulak, Commandant of the Marine Corps. General Eberhart is sitting in for General Ryan who is out of the country this week and is unable to be with us.
I want to add right here before I go any further that I would be remiss if I didn't take a few minutes to pay special tribute to both General Reimer and General Krulak on what might be their final appearance before this committee. In light of world events, I wouldn't be surprised if we see each of you again. But in case we don't, I want to express my deep appreciation and sincere thanks to each of you. You know we've been together for a few years around here now in the jobs that you hold and the one that I hold; and we've had to come to you for help on many occasions to try to get to the bottom of what our defense needs are in this country. And it's been a difficult thing to get it through sometimes otherwise. But you have come through. You and the other chiefs have come through and told us and the American people what the true situation is; and I want you to know I appreciate that. In the past maybe we haven't expressed our appreciation enough and in depth. But I'm doing it right now. And I sincerely appreciate your many contributions. You're great Americans and that's about the best compliment I can pay you.
General REIMER. Thank you, sir.
General KRULAK. Thank you, sir.
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The CHAIRMAN. I guess I'll continue then and say that I want to apologize to all of our witnesses for the inconvenience caused by the postponement of the February 10th meeting. Back on the 9th of February, the day before the hearing, I received a letter from Deputy Secretary Hamre indicating the chiefs would not be able to discuss their shortfalls at the hearing because OSD had not had time to review the chiefs shortfall list. While Dr. Hamre's letter had a number of institutional and prerogative concerns, the bottom line was straightforward. This is one of the most important hearings of the year, and I did not want to conduct it if our witnesses were not going to be in a position to discuss their budgets in complete detail. But, once again, my apologies and I'm glad we're back on track.
When the chiefs did appear before the committee back in January, along with General Shelton, one message we heard was that the President's budget represented a turnaround following years of declining defense spending. At that time, the committee lacked the information necessary to either confirm or deny this assertion. With the budget now before us, however, the reality of the numbers and the magnitude of the gimmicks and the nature of the political condition all reflect a budget that falls short of the rhetorical promise.
Even if every assumption or gimmick or whatever you want to call it and political condition is viable, the President has proposed a $4 billion, not a $12.6 billion, top line in defense spending increase. Even with the smoking mirrors, the Department's own figures indicate that the Fiscal Year 2000 budget represents real spending decline, as do two of the next three budgets. There is no sustained increase in this budget until the out years.
As I've said over the past several weeks, the President's budget is built on a troubling foundation of risky economic assumptions, cuts to other Defense programs, and what I call gimmicks. First, the President's request cuts more than $3 billion from the military construction program and re-programs the funding to other accounts. It is an unprecedented action that could decimate an already chronically under-funded construction program.
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Second, the request proposes $2.5 billion in rescissions of prior year Defense spending to pay for the Wye River Agreement and to create the budget hedge room necessary to jam the Fiscal Year 2000 budget in under the spending caps.
Third, the request is premised on a $3.8 billion in inflation and fuel savings betting on the economy to provide the resources necessary to address critical military needs is a high-risk gamble. As I've said before, the services' requirements are real, but the savings may never be.
Finally, even the $4.1 billion in new budget authority proposed by the President is predicated on a gimmick. At least $2.9 billion of the total is based on an Administration proposal to take mandatory savings from taxes on real estate investment trust funds and spend these savings on defense, in essence, take credit for mandatory savings and then apply the savings to increase discretionary spending. So even the $4.1 billion budget increase may not be real.
The same kind of political and budgetary shell game also characterizes the 6 year defense plan. The President has proposed an $84 billion increase over the next 6 years, which is only about one half of what our witnesses have indicated is necessary to address critical unfunded requirements. However, even this $84 billion comes with serious political strings attached. The President states very clearly in his budget that, and I quote it, ''If Social Security reform is not enacted, discretionary spending levels,'' defense parenthetically, ''would be reduced to those assumed in the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 for 2001 through 2004.'' So according to the President, there will be no pay raise or retirement reform or pay table reform or increased readiness funding or money for Bosnia operations or a more robust modernization program and so forth unless Social Security is reformed first. What kind of statement does this make to the troops? What kind of message are we sending when the Commander In Chief consistently holds legitimate national security requirements hostage to domestic politics?
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Either the services have shortfalls that need addressing or they don't. This budget may be reviewed as clever politics in the minds of some people downtown, but it sends a terrible message to the troops who are defending this country and it certainly does not represent a serious commitment to addressing our witnesses' critical unfunded requirements.
The bottom line is risk. Our witnesses, you have testified in the past that the level of risk associated with executing the national military strategy remains high, which in layman terms means increased American casualties and a reduced ability to respond rapidly in time of crisis or war. What happens to this already high level of risk if Social Security reform does not happen this year and the President delivers on his threat not to provide even the $84 billion in increased defense spending?
Needless to say, I look forward to this morning's hearing. Before turning to our witnesses, however, I would like to recognize Mr. Skelton, the committee's ranking member, for any opening remarks he would like to make.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Spence can be found in the appendix.]
STATEMENT OF HON. IKE SKELTON, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM MISSOURI, RANKING MEMBER, COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
Mr. SKELTON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And let me welcome our distinguished guests. A special thank you to General Reimer and to General Krulak, who if we don't have real emergencies, this may well be their last testimony, at least in a posture hearing before this committee. Any awards or medals you may receive for your service as the chiefs of your service and work for your Nation are certainly well-deserved, but along with that comes our sincere thanks for your dedication, for your advice, for you leadership, and, of course, for your friendship. And we thank you so much for what you have done and continue to do. And I will see you running hard until you cross the finish line of your military careers. So congratulations and thank you for being with us.
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I had it brought to my attention, Mr. Chairman, from the Charleston, South Carolina Post and Courier, an editorial entitled, ''Place for Bipartisanship Rules.'' And everyone on this committee, as well as those watching, should understand the good things that occur in this committee. In part this editorial says, ''The hearing,'' referring to a hearing with the joint chiefs of staff earlier, ''The hearing was a good demonstration of the kind of serious work a congressional committee can do when representatives cooperate.''
It goes on to say, ''In remarks early in the day, Mr. Spence highlighted the cooperative ethic of his committee. He said, 'While there is rarely complete agreement among ourselves, everyone on this committee works hard and approaches his or her assignment in a bipartisan fashion and with the appropriate sense of responsibility and seriousness. The rest of the Congress should think about emulating the House Armed Services Committee.'''
I'm pleased with the editorial and pleased with Chairman Spence's remarks. I'm pleased to see this rare way of thinking reign in this committee. And, Mr. Chairman, we thank you and all the members for the bipartisan spirit that reigns here.
I wish, however, to point out very, very briefly the President's budget for Fiscal Year 1998 did recommend additional dollars in addition to the Balanced Budget agreement that was entered into in 1997, $2.6 billion in 1998, $2.9 billion more than the budget authority in those particular years. And there are other indications that the White House is taking a more serious and more substantive attitude toward the budget, which, Mr. Chairman, you and I have been singing from the same sheet of music for some time on that.
Page 8 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution charges the Congress of the United States for raising and maintaining the military and also with writing the rules and regulations. In the latter category comes what turns out to be the Goldwater-Nichols law of 1986 and a subsequent series of statutes that we passed relating to professional military education. In truth and fact, Mr. Chairman, the buck stops with us in Congress. The Constitution makes us responsible for national security and we need to know and should continue to work in that bipartisan fashion that is spelled out in the Charleston, South Carolina newspaper.
Our first priority, in my opinion, this year would be to make 1999 the year of the troops. Discussions with the various service chiefs all have told me that our troops are our most important need. They're the seed corn. They're the ones that really need to be first in our thoughts, in our efforts.
A few moments ago, I chatted with General Reimer and I complimented him for his comment to me. He says he's not going to cut into the quality of the Army troops. And I know that's true with all the other services. You keep the quality strong, we'll do our best to support them. We make this the year of the troops. We will help in the retention problems. We will help with the recruiting problems. We will help with the readiness problems. And we will see the Department of Defense improving in those areas: retention, recruiting, and in readiness.
Pay and retirement are good first steps. Across the board pay increases for all service members, at least 4.4% effective January 1st. A pay table reform which is geared toward those mid-career NCOs and mid-career officers to reward them for better performance, compensating them for their skills and education, as well as for their experience. And, of course, the return to the 20 year retirement to 50 percent of basic pay I think is a must.
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The Administration's proposal is a good first step. We need to do more to take care of our service members and their families. We should consider, for example, a military thrift savings plan. Out in the private sector so many corporate employees have that. We need to look at that very strongly. We need to do a better job for military family housing, for barracks. We must make this a multi-year effort and let us begin this year in truly making 1999 the year of the troops.
My major request in your comments, gentlemen, for each of you, and I know you are planning to do this, to give us a status of your recruiting and your retention and what your outlook for those two factors are. They're at the bottom of the troubles that we face today within the military.
Again, I welcome each of you and a special thanks to General Reimer and General Krulak for your service. And Admiral Johnson, we thank you for being with us. And, Mr. Chairman, I must say a special welcome to my fellow Missourian, General Eberhart, thank you.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you. Without objection, the prepared statements of our witnesses will be submitted for the record along with any accompanying material. General Reimer, why don't you begin, followed by Admiral Johnson, General Eberhart, and General Krulak? General Reimer?
STATEMENT OF GEN. DENNIS J. REIMER, CHIEF OF STAFF, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
Page 10 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General REIMER. Mr. Chairman, Congressman Skelton, first of all, let me thank you for your nice remarks. I deeply appreciate that. I always look forward to these hearings and the professional interchange that we've had because the issues we're talking about, particularly our troops are very, very important.
Distinguished members of the committee, I would like to spend just a few minutes talking about change. During the time that I've appeared before you, we've had a lot of discussions about change and to me that's the major thing that's happening in the United States Army today. It's not the first time that we've experienced change. Our history of almost 224 years is filled with change, but what's different I think this time is both the magnitude and the change. It's coming very rapidly and it's coming in large doses.
There are two dimensions of change as far as I'm concerned. One is the physical dimension and the other is the intellectual or the human dimension of change. The physical dimension I think just about everybody knows. We've talked about that, the fact that we've reduced the total Army, active Guard Reserve, and DA civilians by about 600,000; we've closed over 700 bases, most of them in Europe but throughout the world; and we've reduced the funding for the United States Army by about 40 percent or more.
The more difficult aspect of change in my mind, however, is the human aspect. And that deals with changing the national military strategy, changing the strategy from containment to engagement and enlargement and all that means to our troops. That deals with the perception of the lack of threat or the reduced threat that we face in this new world order. It deals with the perception of our soldiers and family members of the erosion of benefits that they perceive are getting away from them. And really that's the most difficult part of change that we deal with.
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We built a cold war army that was a great army and it won a great victory. I guess the validation of that was probably during Operation Desert Storm. And anybody that doubted whether that army could fight, I think all the doubts were taken away. But we now have that cold war army facing a post-cold war world and, quite frankly, there's a little mismatch in terms of our force structure and our requirements.
During the cold war army, we had a ratio and active component to Reserve component of 45 or 50/50 and really about half in the active and half in the Reserve components. Today's army has 46 percent in the active component and 54 percent in Reserve components. That means that we have to change some policies. We have to look at things like teaming, actually combining active and National Guard divisions together so that you broaden the base in order to meet the diverse requirements that you have to deal with.
We also know that intellectual precedes the physical change and it means that we have to be able to embrace new concepts like strike force that gives you an adaptable force to meet the requirements that are out there in today's world. And so all of that is going on and that's part of the change process the United States Army is experiencing.
The 2000 budget that we provided you I think represents that change. From the Army's standpoint, it points out the fact that there is no time out for readiness. Our troops are busier than they've ever been. We still have between 28,000 and 30,000 people assigned away from or deployed away from home station. The budget also puts people first. It realizes the importance of quality of life, not only pay increases, but trying to improve our living conditions, our barracks, our family housing. It buys back some very critical non-commissioned officers. The non-commission officer corps always has been and always will be the backbone of the United States Army. We cut it too much during the change process. We've got to restore it. And it recognizes that we're going to use the Reserve components more and there's plus up in there for readiness and plus up for near-term readiness across the force. Such things as Flying Air program, training OPTEMPO, those type of things that are so critical to our soldiers before we put them in harm's way.
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It also continues the momentum of change. In our case, the Force 21 process that basically changes us from a cold war Army to the Army after next, a totally different Army. And that is incorporated in the budget that we have put forth. It recognizes that we do this for advance work experiments and the change process that we have institutionalized in the Army today.
The budget, however, does not fully recognize all of our requirements. As I testified in front of you in January, I said the requirements for the Army in terms of unfunded requirements are approximately $5 billion a year. This gives us about $2.4 billion a year and there's about $2.6 to YUPR. What it does is help us to handle the near term readiness, but it defers some of the modernization a little bit further and that is bothersome. We must keep the emphasis on making sure we get the full funding for that total bill that we talked about.
Congressman Skelton, in reply to your direct question about recruiting, I would say that recruiting in the Army today is a very tough challenge. The recruiters that I have visited, and I have visited a number of them, are working very, very hard. We are continuing to emphasize quality. We will continue to emphasize quality because that is the bedrock of this force and we don't want to fall off that. But I would tell you that this recruiting market is as tough as I have ever seen.
Right now, we're a little bit below Glide Path. Our estimate is that we will probably come in somewhere between 6,000 or so, or somewhere around 6,000 short of the end strength, which for the active component is 480,000. In the Reserve components, the United States Army Reserve is also below Glide Path and they'll probably come in short in their end strength. The National Guard is about on Glide Path and probably will meet end strength but they'll have a couple of quality indicators that we would like to see them move up also.
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So this is a tough market. But recruiting is only one part of a three part problem in terms of manning the force. The other two parts are retention. And the retention we're doing very well in the United States Army. From a macro standpoint, we are retaining at a greater than 100 percent of our objective and we expect to do that through the rest of this year. But I will tell you that the compensation package is very important to that retention program.
The other one is attrition and we're a little bit too high on attrition, and we're working that hard to make sure that we reduce the attrition without reducing our standards. And so that's basically where we are on manning the force.
Finally, Mr. Chairman, if this is my farewell appearance, let me just say from the bottom of my heart thanks to all of you for all that you've done for our troops. When I visit the troops out there, they tell me of your visits. And when you visit, you often tell me about how impressed you are with those soldiers and family members who serve our country. I would just simply leave you with the fact in my prepared statement you can pay them not enough, but you can't pay them too much. You can support them not enough, but you can't support them too much. And you all have been very, very good. And so on behalf of them, I just simply say thank you and I urge you to continue that support.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
[The prepared statement of General Reimer can be found in the appendix.]
The CHAIRMAN. Admiral.
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STATEMENT OF ADM. JAY L. JOHNSON, CHIEF OF NAVAL OPERATIONS, DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY
Admiral JOHNSON. Mr. Chairman, Congressman Skelton, distinguished members of the committee, I, too, appreciate the opportunity to appear once again before this great body. And I would like, sir, just to very briefly address a couple of points about our great Navy if I could.
In my last report to you on 20 January, I talked about OPTEMPO, about readiness, about retention, and about recruiting. I would just like to refresh that report today by saying the following. OPTEMPO deployed is still high, but I believe sustainable. The tempo and the workload, non-deployed, are clearly too high. We're hard at work fixing that and we can talk more about that later. The inter-deployment training cycle reduction is a significant piece of that, but we're hard at work on it. The readiness forward is still good. Desert Fox is a class example, as we talked about last time. But at home, the readiness bathtub is still too deep.
Recruiting and retention, to Mr. Skelton's point, I would classify both as problematic for us though our recruiting efforts for the year to date have met our goals in both quantity and quality. But I would remind the committee again that February, March, April, and May where we are right now begins the historically most challenging part of the year for I think all the services in the recruiting market. So much more work ahead of us.
Mr. Chairman, I, like Denny Reimer, would again stress that the pay triad: pay raise, pay table reform, the redux repeal, is of the utmost importance as the underpinning to help us overcome both our recruiting and our retention challenges. And I urge the committee for the strongest possible support for that triad.
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As to our requirements in this budget, I told you we needed top line relief and I'm grateful that this budget has it. As you know, the amount necessary to fully meet the Navy's requirements is $6 billion a year across the FYDP plus the pay triad. This budget takes the first step in satisfying those requirements. And, as we discussed before, there is more work to be done.
The Navy's priorities have not changed, sir. My No. 1 short-term concern clearly are people: the pay triad, OPTEMPO, stability at home. My No. 1 long-term concern is building enough ships and enough aircraft to recapitalize the force. We need a minimum of 305 ships, fully manned, adequately trained, and properly equipped. And we need between 150 and 210 aircraft per year to sustain the force centered around 12 carrier battle groups and 12 amphibious ready groups.
As always, Mr. Chairman, your Navy is grateful for the committee's support as our sailors continue to stand the watch out forward where it really counts.
I'm ready to respond to your questions, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. General.
STATEMENT OF GEN. RALPH E. EBERHART, VICE CHIEF OF STAFF, DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE
General EBERHART. Sir, it's an honor to be here this morning representing General Ryan, who, as the chairman said, is traveling today. He's visiting our airmen in Operation Northern Watch and Operation Southern Watch. I talked to him earlier today, and he reports what all of you know and what many of you have seen during your recent trips to Southwest Asia, to Turkey, to Bosnia, our men and women out there in harm's way are performing superbly. They're highly dedicated, they're well-trained, they're well-led, and they're selfless in their efforts. They don't ask much from us. What they ask from us is that we provide the right training, the right tools, that what they do is meaningful, it's important, that they have modern equipment, and that we provide for an adequate quality of life for them and for their families, if they have families.
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So let's now turn to this budget and what that means in doing what our people need and what our people expect. We talk about the budget in terms of readiness, modernization, infrastructure, and most importantly, our people. In terms of readiness, there's no doubt that our people have to once again have the training, the tools, and the spare parts to do what we expect them to do, what we ask them to do. This budget we believe will arrest the decline, the negative trends, those things that have been so alarming for us that we have seen in terms of our readiness.
In terms of modernization, we all know that you cannot fix all readiness issues by buying more spare parts. In many cases, you have to upgrade the equipment or replace the equipment. And we have all said that today's modernization will ensure tomorrow's readiness. So we have to stay the course of modernization. And what this budget does in modernization actually allows us to protect the modernization accounts that we usually attack and deplete to pay near-term readiness bills.
As we look at our infrastructure, the story is not quite as good. Our infrastructure continues to deteriorate and this is not just a trivial issue. This starts to impact readiness in the Air Force as we look at taxi-ways and runways. It certainly impacts quality of life as we look at where our people work, where they live, and where they play, and just importantly, where their families live and play, and the signal that sends to them in terms of how important what they're doing really is.
So we need, and as you look at our unfunded priority list, you'll see that infrastructure is the area where we have our biggest problems remaining and we predict as we look across this defense plan.
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The good news in this is what it does for our people. As we look at the triad rectifying a retirement system that was not equitable, as we look at pay raises that keep pace with inflation, and as we look at target pay, I think this takes us back to Mr. Skelton's question and that is the issues that we're seeing in terms of recruiting and retention. The signals that this will send I believe will be the strongest signals and the most important in terms of us working the problems and the issues that we're all experiencing in those areas.
The Air Force made its goals last year in terms of the people we brought in, but we did not make our goals in terms of those we have in the delayed program, the bank program, if you will. And as we look at the first quarter of this fiscal year, the news is not so good. We're down almost a 1,000 off of our goal. This is a new situation for the United States Air Force and one that we're working hard to alleviate. We're increasing the number of recruiters, some 200 strong. We're looking at how we target the cohort population out there to make sure that everybody knows about the Air Force, knows we're hiring, knows we're looking for good, young men and women. We have, in fact, instituted for the first time a paid advertising program on TV. This advertising program mirrors what the other services are using. It is designed to reach out and touch all Americans to include our minorities as we carefully design those recruiting programs.
We thank the committee for what the committee has done in the past, specifically last year the money that was added that allowed us to work some near-term readiness issues, some critical issues. And we look forward to working with the committee, and you in particular, Mr. Chairman, as we work and provide for what our young men and women expect and deserve.
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The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, General.
STATEMENT OF GEN. CHARLES C. KRULAK, COMMANDANT, HEADQUARTERS, UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS
General KRULAK. Sir, let me start by thanking you very much and Mr. Skelton for your kind words. Obviously, anything that I have done as the Commandant is a direct result of being able to stand on the shoulders of some magnificent Marines. And I don't mean that because I happen to be short, but because they are my support. [Laughter.]
I love them dearly. And anything I've done is a result of their efforts.
It's great to be back in front of this distinguished committee. This is the by my count the fifth time in little over 3 years that I've had the honor to be before you. My message each time has been the same. First, that your Corps is ready today. You blow the whistle, they're going to put on their helmets and their flak jackets. They're going to march to the sound of the guns. They're going to fight and they're going to win. And that's a guarantee. I guarantee you they will win.
We've also been consistent in our testimony that this near-term readiness has come at a great price. The inadequate defense budgets since Desert Storm have caused your Marine Corps to choose between what I call the near-term readiness or health of the Corps and what I call long-term readiness or wellness. We've had to draw, as I have articulated before, from our procurement infrastructure and quality of life accounts to meet the congressionally mandated requirement to be the Nation's expeditionary force in readiness, most ready when the Nation is least ready; and to meet the defense guidance priorities for readiness. Doing that has severely strained our long-term readiness capabilities. Simply stated, our equipment is old and it breaks down more often. Spare parts are often not found in the spare parts bins and when they are found there, they cost more than they did a couple of years ago. The equipment spends more time in the maintenance bays. The young Marines, male and female, work harder and longer to maintain that equipment and get it ready. Because the equipment spends more time in the maintenance bay, it isn't available for training. Because it isn't available for training, it takes longer to train your Marines. And it is a vicious, destructive cycle.
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The budget we're looking at today provides the first glimmer of hope in attacking this critical problem for your Marine Corps, begins to address shortages in procurement, infrastructure, and quality of life. It is a fact, a step in the right direction and a very welcome step, but it still falls short of addressing some of our critical requirements for this year and more importantly the out years. As I've testified before, solving the near-term readiness by putting money against an O&M requirement for today does not solve and address the long-term readiness issue of modernization.
As this committee knows better than anybody, the world is changing and it's changing very rapidly and in ways and with potential dangers that I'm concerned that the American people are unaware of. The days of armed conflict between nation-states are waning. We see that as the tip of the iceberg every single day: ethnic, religious, cultural, and tribal conflict, asymmetric warfare, enemies who have seen our awesome capability on CNN and who will attempt to negate our strengths while capitalizing on our weaknesses, terrorism, information warfare, economic disruption, and chemical and biological threats will become as dangerous to this country as what we now term as major theater war.
As you know, your Marine Corps has never focused on a major theater war. I like to say we've never focused on the Russian Bear. We fight across a spectrum of conflict. That is what we've always done. That's what we're always going to do. We're the Nation's insurance policy against an asymmetric threat and we're a very inexpensive policy at that.
My request to you do is continue to support my precious Marines, as you've done so in the past, keeping your very sharp and clear eyes on both the near-term and the long-term readiness challenges.
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Since this is likely to be my final testimony before this committee, I would be remiss, like my good friend Denny Reimer, if I did not express my deepest respect, my deepest admiration, and my deepest appreciation for what you have done as individuals and what you have done as a body for this great Nation of ours. You are true patriots. You are true patriots. And the country is better because you have chosen to serve in what I think is not necessarily the greatest job in the world.
Additionally, I would like to thank the unsung members of this committee and those of your staff and they're sitting over here. They've loyally served you and they've loyally served their Nation. And all though they're behind the scenes, they're critical to the work of this body. I thank them for their professionalism and, most importantly, I thank them for their patriotism.
And with that I'm prepared to answer your questions.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, General. And thank all of you.
General KRULAK. Oh, I would like tomy one comment, I do owe Mr. Skelton recruiting and retention, the Marine Corps has just completed 43 straight months in a row in meeting and exceeding their recruiting goal. We've done it with very high standards. We're averaging almost 97 percent high school graduates. Before a young man and woman of character can become a Marine, they have to get drug tested three times before they come into the Marine Corps. We take a look at their tattoos. If there is anything racist in nature, gang-related, they do not become United States Marines.
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Retention, we're having absolutely no problem with retention except in one area. And I share I think with both the Navy and my friends in the Air Force and that is we do have an issue with pilot retention. It is getting better, but it is not where we want it to be.
Thank you, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you again. Just for the benefit of those who might not be aware of the situation relative to the budget for this next year, I think it's no secret that some of us think that even though we've had a different way of looking at the future of our military from the Administration and efforts have been made to address some of these concerns, as I said in my opening remarks and as I've said before, I think the information we've been getting in this budget is suspect for a number of reasons. And we feel that we need to do more than what has been proposed by the Administration. In any event, to be able to do that and get the consensus we need in this Congress, we have to have, as I've said on many occasions, the help of you. You have been forthcoming in telling us what your needs are. And so we've got to get it on the record and tell the American people and the rest of the Congress, the Administration, and everyone else concerned what these needs really are and how they are not being addressed fully by the proposed budget that we've been given.
I understand you've been given the questions I want to have answered this morning to kind of set the stage for what we're trying to do, one is more tactical in nature and the second is more strategic. My first question comes in three parts and involves shortfalls. First, please put a dollar figure against your shortfall in Fiscal Year 2000 and tell us where you would recommend the expenditure of additional resources were such resources made available. Second, please provide a 6-year dollar figure and characterize in general terms the nature of the shortfalls. And, third, I'm aware that you were required by leadership in the Pentagon to vet your shortfall list with them before appearing before us. This has happened before. It's nothing unusual and we would like to note if that is the case and if any suggestions were made to you about how you would change the list that you had.
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And my second question, so you can go right on down and answer them all, is broader in nature, and we discussed it again before this committee, but we need to have it on the recordthe risk associated with the military's ability to execute the national military strategy. And for the ones who are unfamiliar with that, it's our ability to be able to fight and win two nearly simultaneous major regional contingencies. In the past, you have told us that this has been assessed as a high-risk by the joint chiefs. If domestic political considerations compel the President to carry through on his explicit threat not to provide the $84 billion in new defense spending, what level of risk would each of you assign to your service's ability to execute the national military strategy in the context of lower defense spending levels called for under the Balanced Budget Act?
Thank you. General Reimer, start with you.
General REIMER. Mr. Chairman, in answer to those two questions specifically, the shortfall in 2000 for the United States Army is $2.6 billion. Break down would be about $1.8 into modernization, which would be the future readiness piece and about $.8 into near-term readiness, improve our living conditions, our real property maintenance, those type of issues. The 6 year figure, again, was $5 billion per year.
The President's budget varies by year and I'll have to provide that to you in terms of the detail you've asked for. But, again, it would be in those two areas. A little bit in the near-term readiness in the initial years as we get more of the out year, we take care of that near-term readiness and we also plus up the out years. But basically it was $5 billion per year and it varies by year in terms of how much we receive.
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[The information referred to can be found in the appendix.]
As far as coordination of the list, the $5 billion figure that I testified to here, the list in terms of 2000 and the out years, the figures that I just talked about, $2.6 and then in the out years, that list was coordinated with OSD. It was not changed. There was no change made to that list.
The question on risks in terms of our ability to do the national military strategy, which in my mind embraces being able to shape, respond, and prepare for an uncertain future and includes certainly the two MTWs, the risk associated with not getting the $84 billion from the Army's standpoint at least is very clear there are two choices: either you hollow out the force or you're unable to execute the national military strategy. I don't see any other way you can do it. I do feel very strongly that the $84 billion commitment was a commitment, and I look forward to getting that money.
Admiral JOHNSON. Mr. Chairman, to your first point on the 2000 shortfall for Navy, the number is $2.27 billion. The specifics in terms of areas: $530 million in aviation upgrades; $200 million weapons procurement; $240 million in ship system upgrades; $280 million in the Navy-wide INTRANET that the subcommittee met and discussed yesterday; $600 million in infrastructure and support; and another $390 million in piers and runways. So that encapsulates most of that $2.27 billion which we've detailed to you, sir, in our letter.
Across the FYDP, I would just characterize it in general terms as a $36 billion requirement, six times six, overall, of which we believe we've seen relief on about $19 billion with $17 left unfunded. That's spread across the FYDP. And, again, most of that unfunded requirement falls in the categories I just described: modernization, weapons, some weapons, in large measure it's infrastructure related, sir. And I think that captures most of it.
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The vetting of the list, indeed, we did send our list down. I will tell you that there was one point of discussion. I don't consider it to be a point of contention. There was one point of discussion and, frankly, it had to do with our interpretation of the MILCON 25 percent in 2000, 75 percent in 2001 and whether that 75 percent should reside on our unfunded list. That's the only issue we had. We took it off and I don't considerI'm comfortable with the list I submitted to you and was supported by OSD.
The risks in execution of the two MTW strategies, sir, as you've heard me say before, the Navy, of course, is not really sized for two MTWs. We're sized for the daily business that we're asked to conduct around the world. And I believe that that is as it should be. Having said that, if you ask for the construct in terms of our ability to serve two MTWs and how this budget meets that, I would still have to categorize the second MTW in particular as high-risk. And it has to do with our personnel shortfalls that we're dealing with right now. It has to do with all of the deficiencies that we've talked about in the previous hearing. I believe that this budget, and if we follow it through, will help us overcome that, but that is certainly not an area where I would get into ''the check is in the mail'' business. We have to see the change before I would change my assessment. So I still characterize it as high, sir.
General EBERHART. Sir, as we look at 2000, the shortfalls that we've identified are about $2.6 billion. If we break that down to infrastructure and that infrastructure that directly affects our people, it's about $926 million. Modernization about $788 million. Readiness, $900 million. As we look across the 6 years, we're looking at about $9.8 billion. And as we break that down into infrastructure and people programs, that's about $3.4 billion. As we look at modernization, about $3.6 billion. As we look at readiness, about $3 billion.
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In reference to changes to our list
Mr. HUNTER. Just a quick clarifying question, Mr. Eberhart.
General EBERHART. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUNTER. When you testified earlier, the total amount above last year's baseline was as I recall Army $5 billion, Navy $6 billion, Air Force $5 billion, Marines $1.75 billion above last year's baseline. When you give this $2.2 billion now, are you talking about above and beyond the President's revised budget, which implies a $12 billion increase over last year's baseline?
General EBERHART. For the Air Force, sir, the numbers I give you are based on the baseline in the 2000 budget. So this is what we would call the difference between what we told you earlier we needed and what was provided in the 2000 budget.
Mr. HUNTER. OK. Are you familiar with what the chief of staff offered last time?
General EBERHART. Yes.
Mr. HUNTER. A $5 billion increase?
General EBERHART. Approximately $5 billion per year, yes, sir.
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Mr. HUNTER. OK. So the $2.2 is what portion of that $5 billion?
General EBERHART. That would be the difference between what's already in the budget in that line. For example,
Mr. HUNTER. OK. So it's above and beyond the President's implied $12 billion increase?
General EBERHART. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUNTER. OK. But if you're looking at it as a clean increase above last year's baseline, that's consistent with the $5 billion increase above last year's baseline, is that right?
General EBERHART. For the Air Force and I believe that's true with all the services.
Mr. HUNTER. OK. That's my question.
General EBERHART. Reference to the changes to the list, there were no changes to the list after it went downstairs that were not Air Force initiated. Just because other things happened during that time, that we initiated. No changes were made that were directed by anyone else.
Page 27 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And then as we look at risks, as we look out through the FYDP, I agree with the CNO, right now depending on how this all comes to be, I see nothing that would cause us to change the risk at this point. I don't know how you go from high to higher in a second MTW, but I think that's where we would have to stay.
Now, in terms of if this money does not come to be, then I think we're talking about things other than just MTWs. I think we're talking about risks associated with smaller scale contingencies and other operations that we would have to try to quantify.
General KRULAK. Sir, the figure shortfall in 2000 is approximately $1.2 billion with 70 percent of that going to ground and aviation modernization; the other 30 percent going to O&M to infrastructure and quality of life. The figure across the FYDP is $5.5 billion.
Regarding coordination of my list, yes, that list was coordinated. They did not attempt to change my list. I have made a couple of changes as a result of a recent 10-day visit to Marines in the second Marine Expeditionary Force, and I just flew back last night from visiting Marines in Hawaii and the first Marine Expeditionary Force, kicking tires, talking to the people who are in the actual trenches maintaining the gear. We've made some minor fixes, but nothing that would have to have any scrutiny by the Department of Defense.
Finally, on the issue of risks associated with NASA military strategy, I'm with Denny Reimer, I think we've gone too far. We are there now. If we don't do something about this, we are going to be back into the hollow armed forces. And this Nation can't have it, can't take it because the world, as I mentioned earlier, is changing so rapidly, it's so dangerous that we need to stop this now.
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The CHAIRMAN. Thank you. Mr. Skelton.
Mr. SKELTON. I yield to Mr. Spratt at this moment.
Mr. SPRATT. I thank the gentleman for yielding and I thank the chiefs for their excellent presentation. And I don't want to sort of back-end your presentation by talking over what you've said, but I would like to say something about the budget in order to address the context we find ourselves in. We're in a difficult situation, but we're in a lot better situation than we've been in. In the 1980's, defense took precedence over the deficit, no question about it. With the end of the Gulf War and the end of the cold war, the deficit took precedence over the defense. Now we are to the point where we've gotten rid of the year to year deficit and we've got to reshuffle the deck. And we're right now in a period of setting priorities, and I appreciate your candor today.
Let me just say something about what this Administration is doing and what we in the Democratic party are trying to do. In 1996, if you go back to 1996, the last year that there was a concurrent Republican budget resolution, the Republicans that year were trying to get to a balanced budget in the year 2002. That was their target year. They provided $1.371 trillion in budget authority for national defense. The next year, 1997, the President's budget for Fiscal Year 1998 requested for that same period of time, 1998 through 2002, $12.3 billion more than had been requested in the concurrent budget resolution for that same period in the prior budget.
We got together that year in a bipartisan balanced budget agreement and we actually added to that sum. The President sought $12.3 billion more. We added $4.4 billion more in the Balanced Budget agreement, which meant we plused-up the resolution of the prior year by $16.7 billion, about the only thing in the BBA that was really plused up with any significance.
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The next year, 1998, the President's budget sought $2.9 billion more in budget authority than the House budget resolution provided or than the Senate budget resolution provided. There was no concurrent budget resolution. We ended up in the fall with an agreement on appropriations that plused up defense by more than $2.9 billion.
This year, and I don't think this should be slighted, the President's budget for Fiscal Year 2000 provides $54.9 billion more in budget authority for defense, 050, between the year 2000 and the year 2003, than either the Senate or the House budget resolutions provided for the same period last year.
Now, let me go back to the BBA. In the BBA, we made several fundamental decisions. One was to flatten discretionary spending. That was one way we achieved our goal of balancing the budget by the year 2002. We provided a meager $41 billion over 5 years for all discretionary spending. Out of that sum, defense got $24 billion, non-defense got $17 billion. So you had a substantial edge.
This year the President's budget for Fiscal Year 2000 provides discretionary spending levels through the year 2009. Now, before he makes any allocation of the surplus, the President said we're going to set aside this surplus out here until we've solved Social Security and Medicare, before he makes any allocation of that surplus, it will be saved after the solution of those two problems, he takes defense from $277 billion in 1999 to $374 billion in 2009. That's $100 billion increase over 10 years. It's a growth rate of 3 percent. The CPI for that period in the same budget is 2.3 percent. So you're growing ahead, modestly ahead, of the rate of inflation.
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By contrast, in the President's budget request for this year, non-defense discretionary spending grows from $304 billion to $325 billion, just barely $20 billion, a fifth the amount of the growth in the defense budget. Now, the President says when we've settled these bigger problems, we've got about $481 billion to allocate to defense and non-defense. So he allocates $206 to defense, non-defense $112 to defense, when you come out in the wash, after that allocation is made, defense is growing at 3.3 percent, 1 percent over inflation. Non-defense is growing at 1.3 percent.
Now, none of this has been accomplished. And all of it is in the out years and a lot of this has to be brought to fruition in a time when the President is not around here, doesn't have to implement the hard decisions, but in laying out his blueprint for the next 10 years, he has provided substantially more for defense than for non-defense. And I think some recognition ought to be taken of that.
Now, the Congress can add to that. But we've got to keep in mind that we've still got the caps on. We've got no fire walls. Last year, we made the decision that transportation spending would be cordoned off. It will not be subject to any sort of offsets. So you've got to take discretionary, non-defense discretionary, less transportation and all the wedge or increases for defense had to be taken out of the rest of the discretionary budget. It isn't going to be easy to make those allocations and it will not be any easier to make additional allocations over and above what the President has sought.
Another point about inflation. Everybody knows that when inflation turns out to be less than what we project, then the nominal dollars in the out year budget become more valuable. And this is real money and it has produced some tangible savings. If the trend holds up, there is some real money to be accomplished in the out year budget. The total savings in inflation over the period we've been concerned about, 1995 through 2003, are about $75 billion. I've got all this in a report and it comes from CRS. And I think we ought to take note of the fact that these are real.
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We've also got a problem that we're going to have to deal with sooner or later and that's the mismatch between budget authority and outlays. Why we did in the Balanced Budget Agreement in 1997 was plus up BA $24 billion for defense, but at the same time we only added $5 billion to outlays. What did we do it? We were shimmying the numbers in the year 2000 in order to hit our target. Everybody knows that's a mismatch. We pull that trick around here all the time. And sooner or later, the future catches up with you and you've got to make an adjustment.
Now, there are three ways to adjust for that. One is to reduce BA. I sure don't want to do that. Another is to go back to non-defense BA and take it out of non-defense BA so that you get your outlays within the cap. And a third is to change the caps. All of these issues are before us as we look at the budget this year.
Mr. Chairman, I would like to put this defense budget fact paper in the record. I think this is something we're all struggling with, and I think the President has come forth with a pretty substantial proposal for national defense next year and for the next 10 years.
[The information referred to can be found in the appendix.]
Thank you very much for allowing me to say that.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Could the gentleman kindly yield? Could the gentleman yield to me for a moment?
Mr. SPRATT. Certainly.
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The CHAIRMAN. I think we better get back to regular order. That was a pretty good size question right there. We'll get to you.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. OK.
The CHAIRMAN. In due course. Mr. Stump.
Mr. STUMP. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Gentlemen, thank you for your appearance here today. I have a couple of specific questions. Admiral Johnson, as you are aware, we did a lot of studies and analyses to come up with a near-term land attack missile system. And I think after all those studies were concluded, it was decided that the existing Navy missile modified to land attack was the way to go. In fact, we provided the funds in last year's budget.
Admiral JOHNSON. Yes, sir.
Mr. STUMP. Now, I see reports that this is not necessarily being carried out at the Pentagon. Would you comment on that, please?
Admiral JOHNSON. There are two pieces to it, Mr. Stump. And you're absolutely correct on the first of those two pieces. I made the decision last year based upon a study that was conducted at Johns Hopkins, the applied physics lab, and our own analysis that we would go forward with the land attack standard missile, which you're talking about, to fulfill the missile requirements, short-term missile requirement for our Aegis Force.
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A second long-term issue has to do with how we will missile, if you will, arm with missiles the DD21 force that we'll start building in Fiscal Year 2004. At issue there is whether, indeed, that land attack standard missile is the right missile or a Navy version of ATACMS or something else. And, indeed, that is being analyzed right now. So the short-term decision is for LASM. The long-term decision has not been made yet, sir.
Mr. STUMP. What happens to the money we provided for the LASM in this year's budget?
Admiral JOHNSON. Right now, my understanding is that the money is being held only until I think it's this month or next month, until someone else has the same comfort level I have regarding the standard missile and its rightness for the short-term. I believe that it will happen. I'm looking forward to the release of those funds. We need to get on with it.
Mr. STUMP. Thank you, sir. General Eberhart, as you are well aware, we've lost four F16's out of Luke in the last 5 months, fortunately, with no serious injuries. Would you comment is this a problem of maintenance, is it a shortage of money, shortage of personnel or what?
General EBERHART. Sir, as we look at our engines in both our F16's and F15's, in particular our F16's since it's a single engine airplane, and we look at the cause of grayness issues, and obviously the ultimate issue a crash, a safety issue, we see that this past year of the fighters we've lost, it was because of an engine loss, an engine failure. In most cases that's a structural thing. It is not a maintenance failure. That's not because of lack of experience, but it's a structural failure of the engines. We're trying to address that and this budget provides for part of that money as we look at upgrading our engine components, buying more spare parts. In some cases, we change our maintenance practices, but those maintenance practice changes are often we inspect to look for failures as opposed to changing how proper our techniques are.
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I think with the committee's support of those dollars that we are trying to add to our engine component programs that we will set this on the right track and not lose so many airplanes to engine failures as we have in the past.
Mr. STUMP. Thank you, sir. General Reimer, I have a question regarding Army aviation but it is rather detailed and I would like to submit it to you if you would answer for the record please because of time constraints here?
General REIMER. Be glad to do it, sir.
[The information referred to can be found in the appendix.]
Mr. STUMP. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Ortiz.
Mr. ORTIZ. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I remain concerned about the many out-sourcing and other efficiency initiatives the Department has ongoing. I think it must be a nightmare to try to keep informed of their status, not to think of trying to manage them in a coherent manner. My personal concern is that the primary focus appears to be simply one of saving money at all costs, and it does not appear that the Department has a clear understanding of the cost or the unintended consequences of some of the initiatives. And I'm going to ask a series of questions for the chiefs and maybe we will have time for you to respond. If not, maybe for the record.
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What up-front investments are required to study and implement the various initiatives in the services?
To what extent are you providing additional funds to the major commands to support the initiatives or are they required to take it out of hide?
What can each of you tell us regarding the steps you're taking to ensure that the primary focus of the various initiatives you consider for implementation will be their ability to provide responsive and quality support to the forces?
And given the Department's limited success in collecting savings from previous reform initiatives, how will you really know what progress you are making in achieving the projected savings?
And what will happen if the assumptions you use in developing the budget turn out to be too optimistic?
This is something that really concerns me and maybe you can touch on some of these questions.
[The information referred to can be found in the appendix.]
General REIMER. Let me start, Congressman. And I will be glad to provide the details that you've asked for in whatever detail necessary for the record. The out-sourcing and privatization issue is one that's very, very important to the Army and we spent a lot of time on that. I think we've gotten a lot of data based upon our experience there. It is, as you say, a way of becoming more efficient. The $5 billion figure that I mentioned here in terms of our requirements per year does not include the total requirements, and we're counting on being as efficient as we possibly can in order to really provide the soldiers what they really need. So out-sourcing and privatization and efficiency still continues to be a part of the way the Army needs to do business.
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Our history on this indicates that we save about 28 percent from the out-sourcing and privatization competition. About 50 percent of the cases that we've studied, the in-house workforce does very well and wins those competitions. The other 50 percent obviously go to out-sourcing candidates.
The point you raise about making sure that critical functions are retained in-house is absolutely critical. We must have the core functions remain under military control. And I think that that's a premise that we start with. And so once you identify the core functions, then the rest of them are subject to the out-sourcing and privatization. The Army position is that we'll take 4 years for that, 2 years to do the A76 study, which is too long as far as I'm concerned, but that's what it takes. And then you have a year in which there will be a 10 percent decrement based upon projected savings. And then the second year, the fourth year I guess in that 4 year process does take the full 20 percent. That is conservative based upon our experience of 28 percent.
So I think we have a pretty good process in place based upon history. I think your caution about making sure that we retain the core capability is what worries me the most. And those are the type of things that we continue to focus on. But I really believe that this issue of making the Army and the military as efficient as we can possibly be, we have a great in-house workforce, as you know very well. And they will compete well if they're allowed to become the most efficient organization, and I think they'll do very well under this competitive out-sourcing system that we have.
Mr. ORTIZ. Because one of the problems that still continues, General, is the lack of parts. And I hope that we can address that, and I hope that we can keep track of the savings because so far we haven't been able to really track down what savings we have been able to accomplish during the past budget years.
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General REIMER. May I respond on that?
Mr. ORTIZ. Sure.
General REIMER. Because you're right, the savings piece and being able to track it is very important. We have what we call a strategic management plan in the Army and as we programmed about $10 billion worth of efficiencies, we track that. Right now, we're at about a 91 percent success rate. We would like to be at 100 percent, but there are some efficiencies that we're kind of pushing the edge of the envelope and for various reasons we can't get there. But I think the 90 percent really is a pretty good track record in this area as we get into a more efficient business operation.
And I assure you that we have a tracking mechanism in place, and I can tell you the number of dollars we programmed for efficiencies, and we monitor that on about a quarterly basis through our strategic management plan.
Mr. ORTIZ. Thank you. It looks like I'm out of time, but maybe the other chiefs when you have time, maybe you can respond to me for the record.
[The information referred to can be found in the appendix.]
Admiral JOHNSON. Be happy to, Mr. Ortiz.
Mr. ORTIZ. Thank you.
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The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Hunter.
Mr. HUNTER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Gentlemen, this Congress led by this committee, led by Mr. Spence, has added over the last 5 years about $30 billion above and beyond the President's budget that Mr. Spratt was talking about. Was that money needed, General Reimer?
General REIMER. Absolutely.
Mr. HUNTER. Admiral Johnson.
Admiral JOHNSON. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUNTER. General Eberhart.
General EBERHART. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUNTER. General Krulak.
General KRULAK. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUNTER. Second question: I understand that you're sticking by the requirements, the unfunded requirement figure that you gave us that involves an additional requirement of $5 billion per year for the Army, $6 billion per year for the Navy, $5 billion for the Air Force, $1.75 billion for the Marine Corps, on top of approximately $2.5 billion per year to fix the personnel pay problem and retirement problem, is that right?
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General REIMER. That's true, yes, sir.
General EBERHART. Yes, sir.
General KRULAK. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUNTER. OK, two thumbs up from Admiral Johnson. OK, so everybody is in accord with that. Now, let's place that in the context that we all may be looking at very quickly, and I want to ask for your personal opinion with respect to this question. You've all been analyzing the Kosovo situation and the prospect of introducing American forces into Kosovo. In your personal opinion, do you anticipate that U.S. casualties could occur in A, an introduction of troops into Kosovo; B, air strikes in Kosovo? Do you anticipate U.S. casualties?
General REIMER. From the standpoint of both, and I'll concentrate primarily on the ground option, I think we enter every military operation with the possibility of casualties occurring. And if we're not prepared to do that, than the Nation should not commit the force as far as I'm concerned. Our job is to try to minimize that. This is a tough situation and if it requires troops to go in on the ground, then I think the possibility of casualties is real.
Admiral JOHNSON. I would just say, Mr. Hunter, that first of all, we're there. You know that. We've got the Enterprise carrier battle group in the Adriatic. We have the NASA amphibious ready group on station, as they always are. As to your point on casualties
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Mr. HUNTER. We understand that they're there, but they're not in Kosovo yet?
Admiral JOHNSON. That is correct. As to the casualties, I'm with General Reimer, we must, before we commit those troops, be aware of the fact that the potential for casualties is very real, indeed.
General EBERHART. Sir, I echo those positions.
General KRULAK. Sir, we'll never go anywhere without thinking that you're going to get hurt. I mean you cannot plan any other way.
Mr. HUNTER. OK. Have all of you analyzed the military capability of the Kosovars, the resistance in Kosovo and the Serbian military?
General REIMER. I have not done that in detail, Congressman. I think the commander in chief over there and his people, the NATO staff and also the people on the ground have done a lot of that.
Mr. HUNTER. OK, but I would simply ask all of you do you agree that it's capable, that either of those militaries is capable of inflicting significant casualties on an American ground force if we're there?
General REIMER. They're capable. The potential is always there. I guess the significant piece would be the part that was worth discussing
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Mr. HUNTER. OK. Admiral.
Admiral JOHNSON. I agree and I think let's not forget about the air piece, as well.
Mr. HUNTER. OK.
General EBERHART. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUNTER. Now, Admiral, when you say the ''air piece,'' you mean we could take casualties in air
Admiral JOHNSON. I'm talking about an integrated air defense system and dealing with that, yes, sir.
Mr. HUNTER. They have a significant air defense system, do they not?
Admiral JOHNSON. They have a good air defense system, yes, they do.
Mr. HUNTER. General Krulak.
General KRULAK. Yes, sir.
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Mr. HUNTER. If we put together a ground force of approximately 4,000 personnel presuming they're going to be primarily Army personnel, does that degrade our capability to fight effectively, to executive effectively the two war strategy?
General REIMER. Yes, sir, it does. Basically when you do something like that, we use a three for one rule, which means that you have one committed and usually one coming back eventually and then one getting ready to go. So it does have an impact. Given the current commitments, probably that commitment would tie up elements of two divisions. So it would have an impact upon your ability to do two MTWs. The assumption associated with the national military strategy is when one of those MTWs breaks, that we would start pulling those troops back. But it does have an impact.
Mr. HUNTER. You would be pulling them back out of Kosovo?
General REIMER. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUNTER. At that point?
General REIMER. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUNTER. And this is a question perhaps General Krulak you could answer this. And, incidentally, I wanted to thank you. I think you've been probably in my last four or 5 years, in fact, my last 18 years in this house, you've been probably the worst politician who has ever come to Capitol Hill in uniform, but I think probably the best military leader because you've been very candid, very frank, and I understand you've taken a few whacks for it over the years. But I think you've done a great service for this country and that you have been candid and frank. And I think you've been a leader, as all have you have been, in coming up and telling us what you do need in terms of military equipment. And you wouldn't have served your country well if you hadn't said that to us, if you hadn't been frank with us.
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General KRULAK. Thank you, sir.
Mr. HUNTER. I'm interested in what a small unit commander would do in Kosovo if fired upon. And because you've gone through that in Vietnam and other places, if fired upon, A, by a Serbian military; B, by the Kosovar resistance; C, by an unknown source within a populated area, like a village or a town, what would be the parameters of return fire policy?
General KRULAK. Sir, I'm sure that General Wes Clark is going to lay out his rules of engagement, but the basic rule of engagement is if you're fired on, you're going to return fire.
Mr. HUNTER. How about from an unknown source in a village or town?
General KRULAK. Well, you're going to do the best you can not to hurt the indigenous personnel. That's why each Marine expeditionary unit carries with them both lethal and non-lethal capability. They'll have their non-lethal capability sets with them to help handle an affair where you have civilians and military mixed. But if you're taking fire, you're going to protect yourself, sir.
Mr. HUNTER. OK, thank you. And, thank you, General Reimer, for your service to the country. And Admiral Johnson, thank you for being with us and General Eberhart.
Page 44 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, Mr. Hunter. Mr. Pickett.
Mr. PICKETT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I have two questions, one dealing with the military construction proposal where $3 billion has been taken out of military construction for the year 2000 on a theory that that money is not typically expended in the year in which the contracts, or all of it is not expended in which the contracts are let. I understand in one case, this is information that was given me from several sources, but in the case of the Navy, I'm told that this would be very disruptive of your military construction program because of the way that the Navy already manages its funds in this regard. I don't know about the other services, but what is the impact of this $3 billion coming out? And how will it affect your individual service?
And the other question has to do with the morale, welfare, and recreation issue, MWR. We have a great disparity among the services in the amount of money that's spent per uniformed individual for the MWR effort. And I think it's time that we took a good look at this and do some things to try to equalize this expenditure among the services. It just seems like in some cases that the service leadership is willing to accept too high a threshold of pain in the MWR area for their members, and I think with the expenditure of some money, we can lower that threshold and make life a lot more tolerable for our military people.
So I would like to have each of your comments on those two matters, please.
Page 45 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General REIMER. Congressman, in terms of the impact of the incremental funding in the 2000 in the MILCON, my understanding is that we have funded it at a rate that is equivalent to the historical outlays that we have in the first year. And if that is the case, and if we get the 2001 funding that is needed to come in behind that, then it should have negative impact. What impact it does have, however, is to provide us additional dollars for near-term readiness, improvement for the quality of life, running our base ops at a little bit higher rate, our real property maintenance, those type of things. Those moneys were made available for that in 2000 with the idea that the pot would be made right, so to speak, in the MILCON in 2001.
As far as the MWR historicalor the equalizing expenditures, I think each service has their own culture. I think it's important that we continue to work the balance between appropriated and non-appropriated funds to take care of our people as best we can. I don't know the differences between service. I certainly am interested in looking at that because we want to make sure that we provide our soldiers and families the best quality of life we possibly can. We look at that from a balance standpoint with the dollars we have available and try to do the best we can to balance it.
Your point is a good one. We'll take that and look at it and see where we are compared to the other services.
Admiral JOHNSON. Mr. Pickett, to the second point, I agree with General Reimer. I think it would be very useful for us to look at that. I don't know honestly where we stack with the other services, but I think we ought to have a look. My sense is that we could all probably do better in that regard just as a function of the environment we've been dealing with here in the funding streams for the past few years. So I think that's noble work and we ought to go for it.
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The MILCON, I agree with General Reimer. My sense of it was that the determination of this number really came from what the first year outlays normally are. I may be at odds with my own folks based on your comment, I don't know. And, frankly, I'm not smart enough on the aegis. I've heard anywhere from 12.5 percent to in the 20's. And I don't know. I'll get that for you for the record. But my point would be so long as, as Denny said, so long as the money that we free up in 2000 can be applied to other programs in readiness, and in modernization in particular, that's probably a good trade so long as we deliver in 2001. But that's an if. It's got to happen that way. We need the 2 year commitment if it's going to work.
Mr. PICKETT. Excuse me, but I think it's very important for us to know for certain how this is going to impact
Admiral JOHNSON. Yes, sir.
Mr. PICKETT [continuing]. On individual services because if we do this, and then realize we've caused a problem
Admiral JOHNSON. Indeed.
Mr. PICKETT [continuing]. It could be a very serious one for individual services.
Admiral JOHNSON. Yes, sir. As I say, my sense of it right now is there's no negative impact to this from our standpoint, but I'll provide you a little more granular answer for the record.
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[The information referred to can be found in the appendix.]
General EBERHART. From the Air Force's perspective also, we know of no administrative or process problem here, but I think it's very important to echo what has previously been said, once we start down this course, we need to stay on this course because what it would do in terms of the bill to pay if we suddenly went back to single year paying this bill, or decrementing the MILCON account because we could not, that I think would be disastrous.
Mr. PICKETT. How about the MWR issue?
General EBERHART. On the MWR issue, we're fairly proud of where are on the MWR issue, the numbers as I understand them. I guess our caution would be don't bring us down on the MWR issue.
Mr. PICKETT. No.
General EBERHART. The second thing is that we need to make sure that we're talking apples to apples here because we may, in fact, be talking about some things that we credit to this area and then we divide by the number of people that the other services do not credit. So we just need to make sure the denominator is the same.
General KRULAK. There's no question who's lowest. It's the Marine Corps.
Page 48 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. PICKETT. Sorry about that, General. I know
General KRULAK. About $295 per person.
Mr. PICKETT. I know what the numbers are.
General KRULAK. We're about 100the closest to us is a 100. That's not because I'm an ogre or my Marines don't think we're ogres. The fact of the matter is balancing our readiness requirements, the No. 1 quality of life issue for my Marines and their families is bringing them home alive. And right now, we're in a position that we're struggling to get the equipment to be able to allow them to go out and fight and win across the board. And so we're aware we're short. It has come up in recent years. It is not where our fellow services are. Again, the service ethosI agree with Dennyhas to play. The MWR answer would be the same that was given by General Eberhart.
Mr. PICKETT. How about your military construction?
General KRULAK. The sameI am sorry. MILCON was the same answer that General Eberhart gave.
Mr. PICKETT. OK. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you. We have a vote on so we better break for this vote and be right break.
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The CHAIRMAN. The committee will please be in order. Mr. Bateman, you are next.
Mr. BATEMAN. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, and welcome to our witnesses. We are, as always, pleased to have you with us. I am not very pleased that this may be the last of such occurrence for General Reimer and General Krulak. We have appreciated the quality of your service through the years and we will miss it in the future.
I want to make a comment or two about the budgetary concerns that we have focused much on. And just ask you, if you would, to be alert as you get deeper into this budget document as to whether or not what you think are increases are going to be in fact increases. I am having a little difficulty with a 4.2 increment of new money, leaving some $8 billion in presumed available money from variousnot necessarily stratagemsbut assumptions. And I am not prepared to say the assumptions are wrong. It is even conceivable that the assumptions, the reality may be better even than the assumptions being made. But I think we have to be very wary that they may not be correct. And so the $12 billion, based on which you are indicating your budgets are being increased, may not be real.
You also need to look very closely that somewhere, out of the $12 billion, if it in fact be that amount, you have got a commitment that the President has made to a Wye River agreement. Again, the President's budget submission calls for each of the services to absorb the cost of commissary operations rather than coming out of your hides. That is $1 billion between the services. I think you are going to need to look at that.
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We have got a large plus-up in funds that I don't oppose as a policy matter, if it is properly executed, for nuclear proliferation incentives or exercises. We have got plus-ups in money for ballistic missile defense, which I applaud. We need it. We have needed it more in the past; we need more today and in the future. But it is above what you were getting in previous budget submissions. We are plussing-up, as we should, programs to deal with counterterrorism and heaven only knows we have got to do that. That is a very increasingly real threat. But, again, you can't spend the money there and be spending it to plus-up your readiness in the other problems that we all realize are there.
For military construction, that is $3.6 billion. I personally am not opposed to that approach. It probably, to me, makes more sense than the way we have historically done it. But it is different and what I am hearing from most of my colleagues is it is not an acceptable way to fund military construction. If it is not, what do we then do? Do we do without the military construction, to the extent of $3.6 billion? Or do we take $3.6 billion, or whatever the figure is, out of some other part of your budgets? Because we can't spend that money twice.
So we have got all of these things. And even discounting any of these things being a problem, each of you have indicated for the Army a $2.6 billion, for the Navy a $2.27 billion, for the Air Force a $2.6 billion, and for the Marine Corps a $1.2 billion shortfall, even if none of these other matters become a matter of concern. So as you analyze more closely your budgets dealing with these very real areas of question, we are going to need to hear from you as to what it is then going to do to you and your hopes that you can stop the bleeding that has been going on and your current readiness and the jeopardy to your near-term future readiness.
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Having raised all of that, let me bring up this very, very vexing matter of Kosovo. If I understand what our country's policy is, it is to try and insist upon the signing of an agreement by which Serbia recognizes autonomy for Kosovo, even though the Kosovo Albanians are insisting upon independence. I am going to have a great deal of difficulty convincing my constituents that the United States ought to be committing our armed forces in acts of war against somebody over the difference between whether Kosovo is going to be autonomous or independent. I don't think I can sell that.
It also becomes a little difficult in a constitutional sense if we bomb Serbs because they don't agree to what we want them to agree to, based upon the operative relationship between Serbia and an autonomous province of Serbia, then I think we have committed an act of war and I don't think we commit acts of war unless the Congress of the United States has debated the matter and declared a state of war. I would be very interested in your views as to how legally and constitutionally we can deal with this matter, because I think we have got to deal with it and we have to deal with it on a basis that is constitutional.
So any comments you may have with reference to the advisability, desirability of what we have been threatening to do and whether or not it is something that should be undertaken only pursuant to a full debate in the Congress and some declaration of national policy by the Congress would be appreciated.
General REIMER. Congressman, let me start on I think Kosovo I guess is the place that we need to go. I think there are two issues on Kosovo. One is the policy that you mentioned in terms of national interest and the decision to commit. And, as I said earlier in testimony, I think when you make that decision, you must assume that there might or there is the potential for some type of casualties; these are not danger-free areas and we think we have to understand that in making that decision.
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The second decision, and that is where I have concentrated most of my time anyway, is to make sure that the force that goes over there, if the decision is made to commit forces, is the right force. I don't think that we should send too few to do the job. If we are going to err, we ought to err on the side of too many and then we can back it down. It is a lot easier that way and I want to make sure that, if we make the decision to commit troops, that we have committed enough troops to do the job that they are assigned to do.
Based upon my understanding, there are certain parameters of the policy decision which the Administration has laid out. There has to be an agreed framework in terms of the peace agreement that both sides would agree to some sort of peace. And so it would be a peacekeeping as opposed to a peace enforcing mission. But my major emphasis has been on making sure that the force is the force the commander on the ground needs to do the job.
General KRULAK. I think what the joint chiefs have been asking for and I think what you are driving at is: one, to fully articulate the goals that are expected out of the action; two, the measures of effectiveness to indicate whether or not you are achieving those goals; and, three, what is the end-state that will cause us to come back. And I do believe that we owe the American people the answers to those questions.
Mr. BATEMAN. Mr. Chairman, those are very helpful observations but, ultimately, if the policymakers in the White House conclude that we ought to intervene and put forces in Serbia and it is against the will of the government and people of Serbia, I think we have a clear constitutional requirement, under that circumstance, that the Congress has specifically authorized the injection of American military forces in that kind of a contest, short of an agreement which asks us to come in. Do any of you believe that we could do it without a declaration of war or some authorization from the Congress?
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General REIMER. My understanding is that there are certain caveats associated with the possible decision of committing troops. And one of those caveats is that there would be a peace agreement. And, if you didn't have a peace agreement, then I think your logic is pretty sound.
Admiral JOHNSON. That is my understanding as well. I believe that, fundamental to the employment of American troops, is an agreed peace arrangement. And that, of course, is still being worked.
Mr. BATEMAN. Thank you.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Skelton.
Mr. SKELTON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Let me chime in for just a moment. I do have a question, Mr. Chairman, regarding Junior ROTC I would like to submit for the record for each of you to answer at a later moment, please.
I would like share with you that recently I metas a matter of fact this last Saturdaywith some Air Force noncommissioned officers and then a couple of weeks ago with some Navy noncommissioned officers and I have come to the conclusion that the pay legislative effort, the pension legislative effort, will be of some help in retention and hopefully in recruiting. But it was interesting, I think, in some respects you are just wearing them out for two reasons. No. 1 is the operational tempo of overseas assignments and No. 2 is the shortage in the ranks of some areas of specialty. I think that both of these have to be addressed and neither are very easy, the operational tempo and the shortage in the ranks. When an Air Force sergeant talks about working extra hours because there are too few people in his shop to do the job and he says, I am going to get the job done, there is admiration, but there are also concerns for him and his fellow workers.
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I spoke briefly the last time you were here over helping to create the esprit, whatever that magic indescribable something is that we cannot give in Congress. We will, I think, just being the year of the troops we are going to be taking good care of them, we are going to do a much better job in paying them and recognizing them, but it is up to you to recreate that esprit de corps. Each of you have it in your own way and it is probably good in some areas and less noticeable in others. But I hope that you can raise the level of all the armed services in it, whether it be appreciation or added leadership attention. I would appreciate your addressing the very last issue of esprit.
General REIMER. Well, Congressman, I would say that esprit, pure and simple, is leadership business. And it is leadership that gives a damn about soldiers, that is focused on them, that is taking care of them, making sure that they are adequately compensated for their service to the best that they can do and all of us share in that responsibility. Making sure that the living conditions that they have are good, as good as we can make them. Making sure the training is realistic. Making darned sure that whenever we put them in harm's way, that we have properly trained them and prepared them to survive that mission and win and come on back home.
And it is all about leadership and that is what we have been concentrating our efforts on. It is a leader-intensive business that we are in right now. The change process that we are undergoing is extremely leader-intensive. And I am not sure that we have got the right mix in terms of leaders to lead in this force because so much of what is happening right now involves leaders.
Page 55 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The reason that we have personnel shortages in the ranks is partly due to the fact that we have recruiting challenges. But it is also due to the fact that we have got force structure out there that is not in the cold war force. And so we have to borrow from units and that takes majors and sergeants away from their parent unit and puts them over in Bosnia, for example, for that mission. But I would also quickly add, that the esprit in Bosnia at the small unit level is very good because those people are focused on a mission, they are making a contribution, and they feel good about it.
And so I think, essentially, esprit is leadership business and it is about our whole profession, a very special profession. And I think we all keep working on trying to make it as good as we possibly can make it.
Admiral JOHNSON. I agree with General Reimer absolutely. This is about leadership. When you are talking about esprit and the magic anddare I saythe fun, putting the fun back in this businessand I don't mean fun in a trivial way, and I know you understand thatit really comes down to leadership. That is why, for instance, we do well with our deployed forces, as I said in my opening remarks. Our challenge is in the non-deployed side of our lives.
That is why we are carving away 25 percent of inter-deployment training cycle in the Navy, putting it away, and investing that 25 percent back in the unit commanding officer. Because that commanding officer is the key to just what you talk about. He or her and their leadership team in that unit will make the difference, will put the esprit back into this business. And it is up to guys like me and everybody between that unit commanding officer and me to ensure that the environment is right, that the support structure is there, that we nurture them, that we take care of themthem being the commanding officers and their teamand it will happen.
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But it is not an on-off switch, as you know. You have to invest in that, as Denny says, and then stay with it. We are committed to that course. You know of the leadership training we are doing, officer and enlisted, in the Navy. Serious business that is already giving us good, positive yield. So it all comes down to leadership, sir.
General EBERHART. At the risk of being redundant, sir, I will say once, as they have, that it is leadership. As I said in my opening statement, it is leaders who make sure that the people know what they are doing is meaningful and it is important. It is leaders that make sure that the people are properly trained, that they have the right tools, that they have modern equipment. It is leaders that provide for an adequate quality of life for the person and, if that person is married, for the person's family. We have said and we have heard you say that you recruit the individual but you retain the families, so we have to make sure that the leader is involved in taking care of the families.
So, if we do all thisand you have been there. You have been to the units. You have seen the twinkle in the eye when the leader was providing that type of top cover, if you will, for the people in the organization. And, sadly, we have all been to organizations where that is not the case, so we have to make the former the rule and the latter the exception.
General KRULAK. I would agree with the issue on leadership. I think that the whole concept of esprit has got to go across the service and up and down. For us, it is this idea of a warrior ethos, that, in fact, these young kids, lead by corporals and sergeants and lieutenants honest to God believe they are unbeatable, that they can't be beaten. That, at the same time, they are a part of something different. They are a breed apart. They are men and women of character serving their great nation.
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And it is something that is beaten into them the second they put their feet on the yellow footprints at boot camp and it is the last thing that is given to them when the taps are sounded and their spouse gets that folded flag. It is part and parcel of being a United States Marine and they understand it.
Mr. SKELTON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you. Mr. Hansen.
Mr. HANSEN. I thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Chairman, it has been interesting to go through this accounting procedure we always go through around here and playing with figures. I think at the end of the day, there is no question that we have got to come up with a lot more money for these folks.
But, Admiral Johnson, I would like to ask you a couple of things that have kind of been bothering me. I haven't heard an update on the F18E/F program and the contract with it. I wish you could talk to that.
And my second thing to you, Admiral, would be we were recently with the Chairman in Bahrain and Admiral Moore gave us a little rundown on Desert Fox, which was fascinating. And I was amazed. I started counting up the number of Tomahawk missiles and the Air Launch Cruise Missiles that have been shot and, frankly, if my figures are right, you have got about 20 percent of the inventory is gone. And, also, on top of that, you do not have a production line of them going right now. And what are we waiting for? 2002 until the new ones come along? And I have yet to see too many make it on target, so it may be beyond that.
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So who knows what is going to happen. I mean, next week we could be shooting a bunch more of those things and, as I look at it, you very likely could be out of them. Would it be worth cranking up that line again, I mean, with those areas?
So those two questions I would like to ask you, Admiral, if I could.
Admiral JOHNSON. OK, Mr. Hansen, if I could take a minute. The second first. I will talk to the Tomahawk. I share your concern. You know we have expended over 300 Tomahawk missiles this year. We have averaged over 100 a year for the last few years. The budget that we have put forward carries with it the remanufacture of 324, plus or minus a couple, that is close enough, missiles, block 2 to block 3, at about $113 million, I believe.
The point isand what we are looking at right nowthe JROC has been tasked to look at the precision munitions piece. I will tell you from the Navy's side of that, regarding the Tomahawk, at issue with us right now is should we take the 2000 and 2001 investments that we have put in there for Tomahawk and pull those back in 1999. My sense today, my personal sense is, it is probably something we ought to do. We are working inside the building right now to draft that as part of an emergency supplemental and I believe that the JROC is probably going to validate that. So that is a long answer to say I think you have raised a good issue. We need to keep that line solvent to replace those missiles and then that will not interfere with the introduction of the tactical Tomahawk in 2003.
As to your first point with the F18E/F, the short answer is the program is doing extremely well. We are very proud of it. It is a model acquisition program. We can't get it to the fleet soon enough. It is meeting all the key performance parameters. We have requested in this budget multi-year procurement. LRIP is over. 2000 starts full rate production. We believe it is the best investment for us and for the taxpayers to multi-year that program. It gives us 222 planes for the price of 200; saves us $148 million in 2000 and over $700 million across the next 5 years. So we are very much hopeful that you will support us in that regard and I couldn't be more proud of the program.
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Mr. HANSEN. Thank you. General Reimer, maybe I could quickly ask you a question. Last week I went out to Dougway Proving Grounds. As you know, that is probably the most remote base I think there is in the United States. It is bigger than Rhode Island. And more and more, in my years on the Intelligence Committee and on the Cox Commission and all these things, I think chemical and biological has become one of the biggest sticking points we have got.
And these guys are out there doing all those things. They have got a BL3. They are putting all those things on. Then I notice there is $1 million coming out of the Army going to DOE labs. And I wonder what is your redundancy here? Why are we doing this?
Then, talking to the commanding people out there and the civilians, the O and M is going to pot. I mean they are sitting there. They have to drive all the way from Salt Lake and there is no gas stations, there is no stop and robs, there is no nothing and in a snowstorm they can hardly make it. And yet they keep pulling the money out for those places for them to stay. And those very talented chemists and physicists want to live on base.
Then if I may add, and bring the Air Force in just a tad here, no one wants to face an issue there. We have got a runway at Michael Field that is over 13,000 feet long. I have never been out thereand I have represented that area almost 20 yearsthat there is not something from Hill Air Force Base, Fowler Navy Base, Nellis, or Mountain Home because someone couldn't shake off some ordinances somewhere or they had an emergency. And so you have got thisand actually NASA is also involved in this, because they are going to try to put down the space shuttle on itand no one will face the music that the thing is in disrepair. As an old pilot, I wouldn't land a Pipe Super Cub on the thing. I mean, there are chuck holes all over the thing. And we are putting down these extremely expensive assets on it.
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And the Army says, hey, it is not us; it is these Air Force birds who are doing this. But it happens to be on our base. I wish somebody could face that and a kind of a two-part question there, General Reimer and General Eberhart. I would be curious to know if someone's going to finally stand up and say, let us fix this thing.
General REIMER. I don't know the details of the TDY issue thatI assume that is a TDY issue you are talking about, people going on temporary duty and having to live one place and driving the distance?
Mr. HANSEN. Not necessarily, General. A lot of those people are permanently there. They have some of the most talented people I know. They are going through every kind of thing you can possibly imagine. They are coming up with all those uniforms, the protective clothing. And I am just kind of amazed at how far down they are. As far as their firefighting, as far as their homes they have got, as far as their commissary that they have got, as far as their recreation. And I don't think there is a place I have beenand I have been in this business quite a whilein the United States of America that is more remote than Dougway Proving Grounds.
And in the last BRAC closing, Secretary Perry stood and he said the biggest mistake we ever made was putting that on the list and he asked the BRAC Commission please take it off. First one he asked taken off.
General REIMER. I am familiar with the great work that is done there at Dougway. I don't know the specific details in terms of how many people are not housed there. I will get into that. I would say that that is an issue that is associated with all of our remote places. You take places like the national training center in Fort Irwin, California. I mean, it is the same thing we face there. People live at Barstow and have to drive in the middle of the night to get to the national training center because we don't have enough housing.
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Now if you look back on it, in 10 years we have improved that condition at the national training center a great deal. My guess is Dougway Proving Ground maybe not as much. But I think we have tried to improve the conditions as we have tried to keep the thing balanced across training, readiness, and modernization across the whole Army. But I will get into the specific details and if you have more details on that, I would be glad to take it up.
Mr. HANSEN. Thank you. I appreciate that. I would like the Air Force, if I could, Mr. Chairman, to give me an answer on that 13,000-foot strip out there.
General EBERHART. Yes, sir. Well, first of all, as a pilot, and especially an F16 pilot, single-engine, I echo what you say about the importance of that airfield. As you look back over time, the number of airplanes that it saved because you had a close divert base and then the safety aspect of being able to go in there with an unexpended or hung ordinance is very, very important.
But I must admit that I am not aware of problems in terms of the condition of the runway. So I will take that for action and get back to you.
[The information referred to can be found in the appendix.]
Mr. HANSEN. Thank you, General. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you. Mr. Taylor.
Page 62 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. TAYLOR. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And I want to thank our participants for serving our country and putting up with us today. Particularly to General Reimer and Commandant Krulak, I want to thank you for your many years of service.
I am in the process of reading a really good book called The Unfinished Presidency by Douglas Brinkley, talking about all the things President Carter has done after he left office and using the prestige of his office to get things done like preventing wars in Haiti and Korea and Habitat for Humanity. I know it is real easy to ask someone else to do something with his free time, but I am going to ask you two gentlemen to use the prestige of your offices when you have the time, unbounded by political restraints and the law of the land that says you cannot be a critic of the Administration or the Congress, for that matter, to go out there and talk to the ROA's and the Navy leagues and the Air Force associations and the Marine Corps associations to point out how important it is that we do things like keep our promise on health care, pay the kids adequately, modernize the weapons system.
I guess the unintended consequence of Desert Storm is we have made all the American people think it is easy, that you can have a painless war. And, certainly, if we get behind on our weapons, if we lose good people, we neither are going to have a painless war, we could very well end up having a catastrophe. So I would encourage you to do that. You are men of great stature. You have served your country well. I think our nation would be better off for it.
Along the lines of those things we can change, I realize that we have all come in for a bit of a shocker with the demise of the negotiations for the future of Howard Air Force Base. It caught all of us by surprise. I guess we were all hoping against hope that we would be allowed to stay and it is not going to happen.
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And I realize that, having put that off, we are now in a situation where a great many things have to come out of there in a heck of a lot of hurry. And a lot of those things are more important than others. And I think that the services overall, since you are all involved, are doing a good job of getting the most important things out. But it did come to my attention that some of the things that aren't important militarily, but are important for the quality of life for our troops are being left behind.
And I know for the guys who have to worry about nuclear catastrophe, this is a little thing. But you have also got to worry about troop retention. So, therefore, it is a big thing. Something that I am told that is going on on a daily basis is, yes, we are offering the white goods in the housing that we have in Panama, that is soon to be turned over to the exact same people who did not want to negotiate with us. It is not necessarily going to the government. I think in many instances it actually ends up in the hands of these individuals who poisoned the well. And I resent that.
I am told that the white goods are offered to the people in those buildings. But it starts and stops there. There isn't a soldier, sailor, airman, or Marine who is aware of this offer. Then it is turned over to DRMO and they are so overwhelmed with this drawdown that they are taking these things, many times, still in the box. I am talking about refrigerators, washing machines. Again, things for guys who make pretty good money like four stars and congressmen, OK, it is a pain. But for an E3, that is a major expenditure. These things are going straight to the landfill where some Panamanian, probably a well-connected Panamanian, picks it up, takes it out on the market, and sells it.
Page 64 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Now that is wrong in two ways. 80 percent of your kids, Commandant Krulak, are going to serve 1 term. 80 percent of them, I think, are E3 or below. None of those guys make much money. A lot of them are married. And if we can come up with a system where those things can be made available to those E3's so that his wife can spend what time she has in the house doing the laundry instead of going down to the laundromat, she is going to be a little bit happier. And if she is a little bit happier, he might be a little bit happier. I think the same goes for all those underpaid people in all the services.
I realize we all got caught by surprise on this. I am not laying blame; I am just making an observation. And you have done a good job of worrying about the big things. But the little things matter too. My request would be, as you know Congress passes a supplemental every year. And that comes up pretty soon, so it would be in time to do something about this. My request would be, for the sake of those troops who would come up with a means of getting those things, and, instead of sending them to the landfill, have your MWR folks get hold of them. Have something like a bargain basement on the base, make them available to the troops, and then turn those funds around and put them back in the MWR kitty.
And, again, I think the mistakes we have made have both been in the macro. We have convinced the American public that high tech works. We have done it so well they don't think we need ships or sailors. And the same has happened for other things. But I also think, again, every time someone in your position says we are going to cut the force, has had a ripple effect. It made the people worry about if they were next. It made people less likely to join.
This is just one more of those little things. But the little things do add up and I wish that, in the supplemental, that you gentlemen would make that request so that we can give those fine young people who are serving our country for way too little money at least a break on something like that.
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The CHAIRMAN. Thank you. Mr. Buyer.
Mr. BUYER. Thank you. I have a series of congratulations and questions. So let me first open up and congratulate General Reimer and General Krulak. I know how happy you are that this is your last testimony. But let me thank you for your service to the country. And it is not just your last. There are two other individuals I would like to recognize. And that is, from the Navy, an individual who works well with a lot of us is Captain Dale Snodgrass. I believe he has served the Navy well. He has served you well, Admiral Johnson.
Admiral JOHNSON. Yes, sir, he has.
Mr. BUYER. You know, when people think of the top gun, who is he? There is not a finer, better, Naval aviator, F14 pilot, not only in this country, but the world, than Captain Dale Snodgrass. And, in my opinion, he is highly professional. He is dedicated to your Navy and to this country and he will be retiring soon and we wish him Godspeed.
Admiral JOHNSON. Thank you.
Mr. BUYER. The other is Colonel John Kelly. John Kelly, I believe, Commandant, he embodies the definition of a Marine and he projects the image of forever faithful. And he does that day in, day out in the performance of his duty and I also believe he serves your corps admirably as he works daily with each of us. And he does it with a can-do spirit and he leads with integrity. So when we have a problem or a concern, he leans forward to address it, but it is done with integrity and in the scope of honor, one for which you are proud of.
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So while Captain Snodgrass is retiring, I wish him well. I would also, in my opinion, I know that I have worked with a formeractually, strike formera future general officer of the Marine Corps, in my opinion.
General KRULAK. Thank you very much, sir.
Mr. BUYER. I also want to compliment General Reimer, Admiral Johnson, and General Ryan. And I will also include you, General Eberhart in that. For popping the lid off and speaking with candor. I guess I didn't include General Krulak in that because we have come to expect that from you, General Krulak, and we appreciate that.
I never will forget the day you talked about the problems with the V22. And you caught all of the attention of us and you caught some grief back across the river, but you gained a lot of respect for that candor from members of this committee. So I don't know what happened and I don't know what the decisions and what all took place, but we are here today addressing these very real concerns because of your candor and willingness to come forward. And that respect is also felt down with the troops and the sailors and the Marines. I mean, I was just at Norfolk and I could hear them talk about it. So they are also as pleased as I am.
I also will say this to you. I am very pleased to see at the training centersand this doesn't just come from me; it also comes from your mid-level and your senior NCOs and the mid-level management out there who have been complaining about softness, who have been complaining about the product for which they received, and they understand their responsibilities of polishing the stone, but some of them are a little too rough. And so I appreciate what you have done in your basic training to extend it, get back to warrior spirit. And while we recognize this world of political correctness, we don't necessarily have to be led by it. We understand what the mission is of the military, to fight and win the nation's wars.
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You will never hear from me a complaint about an attrition rate at basic training. You will never hear that from me. Because I am going to do everything I can to support you so that the product that comes out of the basic training centers is exactly what they need. All right?
We will address today in the Personnel Subcommittee the concerns with pilot retention, but let me address recruiting for just a moment. And I am going to ask for your help. Because what I hear has to be what you hear on the recruiting side of the equation. Yes, we can pay great compliments to the Marine Corps. And, yes, you are a smaller force and it is impressive you have met all of your targets. But with recruiting, it is not just those who are out there. Everyone is a recruiter. Everyone in uniform is a recruiter.
So I would ask you to begin sending out the message that when someone leaves the service, they are also a recruiter because they are going to go back and tell the soldier's story, the sailor's story, the airman's story, the Marine's story. And we want it to have been a positive experience. And we don't want them to tell the negative experience. So when we have a retention problem, it is synergistically intertwined with the recruiting concern. So when we tell the commanders and the first sergeants and the sergeant majors out there and the chiefs to make sure that it is a worthwhile experience, not only for the service member, but for the family, it is a very important recruiting tool.
So I am hopeful and I am asking of you to send the message out downline and I would appreciate your comments on that. Thank you.
Page 68 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General REIMER. Congressman I would just simply say that I spoke to all our major commanders about that same issue yesterday. Because I totally agree with you. I mean, we are all in the recruiting business. I would take it a step further. I would say that every alumni of these institutions is a recruiter. And I would ask your help in terms particularly of those veterans who have retired and over65 medical care is really a key issue. And if we are not able to satisfy that, then we have turned them into a negative recruiter. And that impact is being felt in the recruiting business, I can assure you. So I am totally on-board. I would just ask you to take a step further and take care of our retirees too.
Admiral JOHNSON. We are very much invested in exactly what you say. We are all recruiters. We say it all the time and we are delivering on it. There are great innovative things that are happening out there with the fleet. We just had one I will provide you for the record an experience with the carrier John C. Stennis. When they came back from deployment, the CO of that ship built his own recruiting force from within of the young men and women who had been deployed and sent them home to become recruiters. The feedback is phenomenal. Just an example. Nobody told them to do that, but he believes he is a recruiter. So it is out there. We just have to keep working it.
General EBERHART. Sir, we are committed to that too. The fact of the matter is, in the past, we have probably not done that well enough. But we certainly need to push it up. It is the right thing to do. It is the right thing, especially given the number of people who are serving now and who return to all parts of our great nation. The smaller our military gets, the smaller or the less likely we have for those contacts out there in all the different towns and villages of this great nation. So we have to work that harder and we are committed to doing it.
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General KRULAK. And, sir, I can tell you without any question the entire Corps is committed to that. That is what we do.
Mr. BUYER. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you. Mr. Meehan.
Mr. MEEHAN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I also want to welcome the service chiefs here this morning and I appreciate their contributions to our national security and the contributions of the servicemen and women that they represent.
Gentlemen, I would like to briefly focus on the research and development test and evaluation programs. The research and development budget funds a pool of technologies from which the next generations of weapons systems are drawn. Recently, Secretary Cohen was asked what specific threats necessitate a large and continued investment in cold war era defense weapons systems. And he responded by saying, I would not call the aircraft that are flying over Saddam Hussein's territory in a no-fly zone right now cold war relics.
This is the kind of equipment that is going to be necessary to be used in a threat environment which is likely to increase. We have a superior Air Force, Navy, Army, and Marine Corps today and we are going to keep it that way. So we need to continue to invest in the kinds of technologies that will anticipate changes that are taking place.
Now, having said that, I was surprised to learn, as I reviewed the Department of Defense research, development, testing, and evaluation budget request for Fiscal Year 2000 that the Fiscal Year 2000 request was $3-plus billion less than the Fiscal Year 1999. Additionally, the service requests were lower than in Fiscal Year 1999. My question to each of you gentlemen is how do you intend to obtain the types of equipment and technologies that Secretary Cohen spoke of and how do we keep this superior force if we don't invest or, in this case, significantly decrease our investment in the research and development of weapons and technologies that will anticipate the changes in the threat environment.
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General REIMER. First of all, I think you are absolutely correct in terms of the importance of research and development. I would say that that is an issue that we all wrestle with and, in our case, we try to keep it in balance. Let me give you a comparison. For example, during the mid-1980's, our procurement to research and development, the ratio was something like four to one. Today, because of the way the RDA accounts the research and development acquisition accounts have come down. That is about 1.5 to 1.
What I am really saying, Congressman, is that I think we put as much into research and development as we possibly can. It is about $1.3 billion in the early parts of the research and development of the 61, 62, 63 money, as we call it. What we are trying to do is to make better use of that, focusing it into those areas that we think have the high payoff. We tie that to our Army after-next-war games, take a look at the threats we see out in the 2020 timeframe and then go back and try to make a direct link to how we use our research and development dollars to focus on that.
It is an issue of balance. If we had more money, we would probably put more into research and development. And as we go along, as we go toward the out years, I think that does increase.
Mr. MEEHAN. Admiral Johnson.
Admiral JOHNSON. I would comment, Mr. Meehan, that we too are very serious about the research and development piece of our budget and, indeed, it does flux year to year. But, overall, I will tell you that I am quite comfortable with where we are this year. The 61, 62, 63, particularly the 61, which I call gives you the feel of a thousand flowers, that is a very important long-range commitment that I think we have stood up to. The key, as Denny said, is to be able to take from that and focus the energies of those investment streams to the things that will make a difference for the, in our case, the 21st century Navy.
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To that point I would also say that it is very important for us, with the money that we put into R and D, particularly to your point about not becoming cold war relics, in things like the F18E/F, the Joint Strike Fighter, the CVNX, DD21, all of which have significant R and D streams on the front end of them to make sure that they will be, indeed, revolutionary kinds of platforms. We must have those R and D investments that we put into our budgets. That is really important to us and, frankly, we missed the mark some last year on a couple of them. So I am asking for help there, if I could, sir.
Mr. MEEHAN. Thank you, gentlemen.
General EBERHART. I agree with what has been said in terms of the dollars. Not having the figures right in front of me, I am not quite sure how much of that decrease was in defense lines and how much of it was in service lines. But several things are at work here. As alluded to earlier, as we start procurement for the F22, the R and D in the F22 goes down. So this is fairly cyclical and it goes over time, as you are well aware.
In other cases, we have dollars that we have changed the coding on. We used to have R and D money that we would use, essentially, for O and M at different labs and other places. And now we have changed the coding of some of that money to 3,400 to reflect how it is actually used.
Finally, we have another factor at work here and that is the 912 legislation, which is driving some efficiencies, in some cases and some drawdowns that you see reflected in this decreased R and D. We have got to proceed smart in the 912 area and back to the outsourcing and privatization and other issues, not do anything here that we regret later.
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But, in summary, we believe the R and D account is close to being right. We can always welcome more money in that area, but we think it reflects what we need to do in the future.
Mr. MEEHAN. General Krulak.
General KRULAK. Sir, obviously from my opening statement, I believe this is critical. I will say that the Marine Corps, in fact, has increased its R and D budget substantially, over $150 million since Fiscal Year 1998. And to show you how big a jump that is, we have increased to $360 million. So, in 2 years, we have increased almost double. So the statistics are pretty plain insofar as where the Marine Corps is going with R and D in the future.
Mr. MEEHAN. Mr. Chairman, I have a couple of questions I would like to submit for the record and get responses afterwards.
[The information referred to can be found in the appendix.]
The CHAIRMAN. That would be fine.
Mr. MEEHAN. Thank you.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Riley.
Page 73 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. RILEY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Gentlemen, I understand that you may have some problems with retention. You may have some problems in meeting your recruiting goals. But I had the ability and the opportunity last week to go to Kuwait and I was so glad to go on the Vinson. And I want to tell you, you guys have got some of the greatest soldiers and sailors. Their esprit is as high as I believe you could possibly expect it to be. We made the comment among our groups when we were there last week. When we were 19, 20, 21 years old, I don't remember having that level of discipline and passion and intensity that they do.
So the people that you are retaining are, I believe, are the best soldiers, the best sailors, the best Marines this country's ever produced. I just want to compliment you on it.
But back to more parochial issues. General Reimer, as you know, Fort McClellen is being closed. We have a chemical DEMIL facility that is going to be operating in a few years in Calhoun County, Alabama. The closing of that fort is going to represent about two out of every five jobs in the county. The local community is making a concerted effort there to replace those lost jobs. But one of the things that is a determinant of how soon that can happen is the environmental cleanup. And I notice that now in the Fiscal Year 2000 budget, there is $146 million cut in environmental cleanup for BRACed bases, of which about $9 million is going to dramatically affect Fort McClellan.
What is the possibility of having that money restored? And how do we know in future years this is not going to be an ongoing trend that we have to fight every year? Because the future and the economic viability of that whole area of Alabama is going to be dramatically impacted by your decision on environmental cleanup.
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General REIMER. Congressman, as you indicated, there has been a change in the Fiscal Year 2000 budget in terms of the amount of money that was allocated for environmental cleanup. It has to do, I think, with the MILCON incremental funding issue. Our initial take on that is that we can use the money that is allocated to work the areas that will be the best for reuse. And so we do not, at this point in time, see a slowdown in our ability to turn over Fort McClellan to the community.
That has to be worked. And my view is that the way you prevent it in the future is that the incremental funding of MILCON should be a 1-year shot. We should not have it go on in the future. I don't think that is necessarily the way to go, at least from my standpoint. So I recognize that we have a challenge there. I think that we can, in fact, work around that challenge. And we will have to work with the local community and the people at the base at Fort McClellan to make sure that we get it right.
Mr. RILEY. To take it one step farther, the last time you were here, we had a discussion about the chemical DEMIL facility that is being built there and the incinerator there. And I appreciate the response that you sent our office. But I am still somewhat concerned because we are still going to be about 6 months to 1 year short if our $20 million is not restored in the next couple of years. You have got a community that is fighting on two fronts there and it seems like at every turn we are facing these continual shortfalls that will enable that community to, one, get rid of these chemical weapons and, two, have any chance at any type of economic viability in the next few years.
So I would like for you to comment, again. Where are we and what are the possibilities of restoring that $20 million for the chemical incinerator there?
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General REIMER. As you know, the Congress zeroed out that line in 1999. We have gone back to ask for help in that particular area. We have also taken that into consideration in terms of Fiscal Year 2000 and the out years. We still believe that the CHEM DEMIL facility is on track to complete their mission by April of 2007, which is consistent with the treaty. It has to be managed very carefully. If there was some way of getting that money back, it would take a little risk out of the program and that is what we have been pushing for and we will continue to push for that.
Could I just respond to what you said initially though?
Mr. RILEY. Sure.
General REIMER. Because you complimented our soldiers and I am sure all the other services included, and I speak for them, absolutely they are the finest in the world. And that is why I always refer to them as our credentials. They just do a great job. They represent the United States around the world and thank you for your compliments to them.
Mr. RILEY. Well, they are an incredible group. It is absolutely amazing to me to watch them, to watch them on the deck of that carrier, 19-, 20-, 21-year-olds moving $50 million planes around, working 14, 16 hours a day. And doing it with the type of attitude that they had. The same thing applies to the soldiers I saw in Kuwait. I mean, their commitment to that mission. They understand how important that mission is. Sometimes I believe they may understand it better than we do here.
Page 76 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC But, again, as far as your training, as far as the people you are bringing into your services, all of you need to be complimented.
General REIMER. Thank you, sir.
Mr. RILEY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, Mr. Riley. He is a recruiter for you out there too. He was talking about recruiting a while ago. Mr. Abercrombie.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. Two questions. One on the personnel side and another follow-up. We just, as Mr. Buyer indicated, came back from Norfolk where we had a very extensive and broad hearing with respect to personnel questions. Among the things that arose was the Triad proposal that all of you have either directly mentioned or alluded to in your testimony. While there were various opinions given at this hearing by the people testifying with respect to the raising of the pension from 40 to 50 percent, there was also a lot of interest in the question of a thrift savings plan or what amounts to a thrift savings plan or something in the nature of a thrift savings plan.
And, while I know that you are aware of it, for the record, what we're speaking about here is a situation in which a certain amount of savings would be put into a plan by the individual service member and the government would match that to a certain degree, either in a rising percentage fashion or some such agreement. It would be tax deferred and, of course, the accumulated amount would become available to the service member upon retirement.
Page 77 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Could I get your individual views on the question of the thrift savings plan as a possible element in the package that we are going to try to put together this year?
General REIMER. I think the most important thing from my standpoint at least is that the Triad proposal as we put forward stays intact. In other words, we need to make sure we increase pay, we reform pay tables, and we fix the redux retirement system. If the thrift savings plan is proposed in addition to that, then I think that is good. As I said in my opening statement, you can never overpay soldiers. You can underpay them and we just flat have to send them the signal that we care about them. But if the thrift savings plan is in addition to that, then I think that is a good deal. The only thing I don't know is how it is going to be paid for and I think that is an issue that has to be resolved too.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Thank you.
Admiral JOHNSON. I agree with General Reimer. I could repeat it, but I am there. Triad first, TSP. Above that, but do not impede the Triad. It is too important to us. The exit surveys that we have taken recently, as recently as last month, show us that 84 percent of the sailors that were interviewed felt that the retirement system was not sufficient to keep them in the Navy. And 64 percent of those same folks said that repeal of redux would cause them to rethink their decision. So we believe that it is fundamental.
General EBERHART. Sir, we stand in essentially the same place. We think the most important thing to do is look to Triad. In terms of the thrift savings program, I would say we are never against something that is good for our people. However, we would want to talk about where it was sourced and whether that came out of other programs or whether that was an add.
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And it is also, I think, important to note that this is the first time that I had heard thatthe programs in the building always talked essentially a savings program. So if there's matching funds, this is a little bit different thing that I have not heard about before because everything in the building we have been addressing is essentially to encourage people to save with no matching program. So we would be interested in talking about that.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. This would be a reflection of the kind of plan that is available to other government employees, including Members of Congress.
General EBERHART. And, again, the bottom line would be we think we need to do the Triad first and we are always for anything that helps our people, but we would have to discuss how it would be financed.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Thank you.
General KRULAK. Same thing, sir. Triad first. I had not heard the matching funds and that, again, is a cost issue that I would rather take back and look at before coming on board with that.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Very good. Thank you.
Now I want to follow up on Mr. Spratt's presentation and ask a question of you at the end. The funding of a government agency, the funding that can be obligated, is called budget authority. Again, I am going to recite some things here, not that you don't know it, but rather to make sure that we are speaking to the record in a comprehensive way. And the disbursements are the outlays. The debate over Defense spending in long-term budget agreements like the Balanced Budget Agreement has often been settled by raising the budget authority.
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Now, all of you gentlemen, save for you General Eberhart, were here when I asked previously whether or not you were operating under the same budget caps as has been cited in the past with respect to the budget. The question then becomes if the outlays exceed the discretionary outlay caps, to avoid sequestration under the budget agreement you have to cut the outlays in order not to exceed the caps. And a point of order can be laid against any appropriation with outlays exceeding the allocation under the caps. Does everybody agree that that is the way it works? OK.
Now, the Balanced Budget Agreement raised the cap for Defense outlays in 1998 by $5.7 billion to correct the mismatch that was spoken about previously. And it spared Defense a cut, then, in that Fiscal Year. Now the Balanced Budget Agreement has adopted different outlays, lower outlays, for Fiscal Year 1999 through Fiscal Year 2002. And the Congressional Budget Office, under which we operate, has scored the President's 1999 budget request for a Defense budget authority and concluded that the President's budget understated the Defense outlays flowing from the budget authority that we have by an amount that the CBO estimates over the period over the next 4 years of about $15 billion, $15.5 billion.
Now, neither the House nor the Senate budget resolution for 1999, to my knowledge, increased Defense outlays to correct this problem. Is that your understanding? That the budget resolution did not change the Defense outlays and increase it. Is that correct?
Admiral JOHNSON. I would take that for the record, Mr. Abercrombie.
Page 80 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC [The information referred to can be found in the appendix.]
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Well, let me follow with that, then. Unless the budget authority caps are raised, you will have to operate in terms of anything that you present to this committee within the budget authority numbers, the cap numbers, which you are given. Isn't that correct? You can give us all of the information that we may request from you about what you would like to have, what you would like to do, what you would like to see. But in terms of what you will present to this committee officially, it is within the budget caps that this Congress has established. Isn't that correct?
Admiral JOHNSON. That is correct. Yes.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. OK. The reason I am going through this, again, I want to point out, is not that I believe you don't know this and this is some revelation to you, but that, rather, some of the commentary that has come from the committee today and previously could be construed by some who may not be as familiar with this as reflecting a reluctance on the part of the Administration or the Pentagon or yourself to come forward with figures that you believe adequately represent your needs.
Now, what I want to establish for the record is that, unless and until the Congress raises the budget caps, it is not going to beand the Congress votes accordingly, then, in terms of the outlays and the appropriations, we are not going to get this increase. And all the admonitions and rhetorical flourishes in the world aren't going to change it.
So I want to quote to you something fromas reported in the National Journal Congress Daily today concerning the budget, speaking about the constraints. I am quoting now. ''Given those constraints, House Appropriations Chairman Young said he has advised the House leadership that, quote, 'Realistically, the caps are going to have to be adjusted. There is no other way,' unquote. Young added that GOP leaders agreed, 'that my figures are fairly accurate,' unquote. But they are still collecting feedback from the GOP conference before making any decisions. House Budget Chairman Kasich declined comment on either the tax cut parameters that Senator Domenici had laid out on Tuesday or on Young's assessment that the caps will need to be raised.''
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Now I am not asking you to comment on the politics of raising the caps. But I will ask you to comment, or to affirm, that unless and until that issue is resolved, any question about whether there is going to be an increase in the funding, all the discussion that has been held today essentially is a theoretical or academic discussion and that anything other than that has to come from this side of the aisle and not from your side.
General REIMER. Congressman, my comments would be three. Very simply, one is I think the BBA is your business and not necessarily ours. No. 2, the requirements that we have put forward are real requirements and require real money. And, No. 3, we understand the statutory requirements and will comply with that. We know what we can spend and what we can't spend.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Without all of you having to go through the same answer, does that essentially sum up what you would say?
Admiral JOHNSON. Yes, sir. He has got it right.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Everybody else?
General KRULAK. And I would also just add what the Chairman said at the very beginning, that the sign there in the United States Constitution regarding raising armies and maintaining navies.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Thank you very much. May I conclude, Mr. Chairman, by saying
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The CHAIRMAN. Conclude again
Mr. ABERCROMBIE [continuing]. As well that I am pleased to have had the opportunity to work with you gentlemen. I wish you the best in the future. I did have the opportunity, more particularly, to meet with Admiral Johnson and with General Krulak in Hawaii this past weekend for the change in the Pacific Command. I am certainly not speaking for everybody, but I think I could if I said that we wish you the very best, General Reimer and General Krulak, in your retirement and we hope that you will come visit us in your other capacity out in Hawaii as soon as you can.
And I particularly, Mr. Chairman, want to indicate that Admiral Johnson went beyond the call of duty. He not only gives his word, he keeps his word. He came out to Hawaii and went out to visit some areas that otherwise have never had anyone visit them before. And he went really beyond the call of duty there and I am very, very grateful to him.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, Mr. Abercrombie. We have another vote on so we are going to have to break for the vote. And we have got another hearing in this committee room at 2, so I suggest that we go and vote and come back and probably have to adjourn about a quarter until 2. So everybody be advised as to the time limits we have.
The CHAIRMAN. The committee will please be in order. Mr. Chambliss. And to give everyone a chance, gentlemen, we are going to have to get out of here by a quarter to 2 so be advised accordingly. We might cutoff other people asking questions if we take past our time.
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Mr. CHAMBLISS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I will try not to follow Mr. Abercrombie's precedent. Let me just thank all of you for being here and I would be very remiss if I didn't say to General Krulak and General Reimer that if this should be the last time you gentlemen are before us, thank you for what you have done for your country. General Krulak, I think God woke up one morning and said I want to create a Marine and that was your birthday. You have been a great servant to the Corps and a great servant to your country and we thank you.
And General Reimer, I appreciate your comments earlier in your opening statement about members going to visit bases and personnel and I have done that, whether it is at Benning or Fort Mack or Stewart in my State or outside anywhere around the world. I think you are right, they do. But I want you to know that those same personnel appreciate the leadership at the top and you have been a great public servant and we thank you for the job that you have done.
General REIMER. Thank you.
Mr. CHAMBLISS. General Eberhart, let me start off with you. I know we have got in the President's budget on the 14th JSTARS airplane. And any comment you want to make about JSTARS is fine, but I want to make sure there is still that commitment there for the full complement of 19 aircraft for the JSTARS program.
General EBERHART. Yes, sir. In terms of what we have funded in the budget, we have the 14th aircraft funded, as you have discussed. We still have the requirement for 19, but the 15th through the 19th is not in the President's program at this time for fiscal reasons.
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Mr. CHAMBLISS. Is it the opinion of the Air Force that we still need the 19 to be a full complement?
General EBERHART. As we look across the requirements from the various CINCS and we look at the requirements for 2 MTWs, there is a requirement for 19 airplanes. Although it is important to footnote, as we look at other low-density, high-demand forces, we have a requirement for two MTWs and we don't have this correspondent number of platforms. And in that case, we have to either jump them from one MTW to another or one MTW has to go without. And those are some tough decisions that would have to be made at that time and will have to be made if we don't buy to the 19th airplane.
Mr. CHAMBLISS. OK. General Krulak, the Air Force has made a decision not to include the buy of any additional 130's in their budget. And I know from discussions with you that KC130's are important to the Marine Corps and I would like for you to address your needs there and what it is you think you need to be brought up to speed with respect to KC130's.
General KRULAK. Yes, sir. We desperately need them. 36 of our 90 are over 37 years old right now. We have been having difficulty, obviously, with the limited budget that we have, to be able to buy them. I am happy to say that the Congress of the United States has helped us in this issue. They have provided the aircraft through plus-ups. We now have them, two of them, in the current program in the out years and we believe that this system is critical to the Corps. And the fact that they have been provided to us by the Congress has made a very big difference to us, not only for Marines who are flying them, but the war fighting capability it provides to the country.
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Mr. CHAMBLISS. OK. Thank you. General Reimer, we have had, over the years that I have been in Congressand I am personally familiar with the fact that it has been going on for many years beforethe criticism of the School of Americas at Fort Benning. That, obviously, will be another critical issue as we go through the authorization process this year. Would you address your feelings with regard for the need of the School of Americas please, sir.
General REIMER. Well, I think the School of Americas has provided a great service and I think part of the success you see in Latin America and South America, certainly, has been attributed to the people that have been trained at the School of Americas. The critics tend to focus on those that haven't turned out as well as they should have. I think any institution probably has a few of those graduates, but I think, overall, the School of Americas has made a big, big difference and a very positive difference. I think it is very important that we keep it that way.
Mr. CHAMBLISS. OK. Thank you.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you. Mr. Larson.
Mr. LARSON. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. And let me also add, as a new member of this committee, that, having done my homework and research, what an honor and privilege it is to be part of the committee and to have the opportunity to address the gentlemen and the outstanding job that you have done and the accolades you richly deserve.
Page 86 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC My questions are specifically to Admiral Johnson and they relate rather parochially, I guess, from the home State of Connecticut. The first beingand it is a question I asked some time ago butwith respect to the decommissioning of the four Trident subs and the report that I know is pending, my understanding is that report is going to be released shortly and am I correct about that? And, if I am, what are the Navy's recommendations? Does that fit with your overall plan with respect to incorporating that kind ofinstead of decommissioning, a different kind of use for those subs?
Admiral JOHNSON. A couple of comments, sir. First, my understanding is with yours that the report will be put out soon. We will take that report, take it very seriously, and analyze it and see what makes sense for us in terms of capability tradeoffs, future use for those boats. We are not there yet. I am not there yet. I am not smart enough on the options.
I would just say, for the record, again, though, and you know this, but that we will be an 18-boat force until such time as START II is ratified and only then am I allowed to talk about bringing the force down to 14 boats. But that study will be very useful for us. There is a lot of interest in what to do with those boats. We will put all the cards on the table before we render a decision. I am just not there yet.
Mr. LARSON. Well, my second questionand, again, is one where the announcement last week on the part of General Dynamics with respect to its acquisition of the facility at Newport News, how will that impact the Navy with respect to the teaming that is currently done? And has the Navy been able to examine this?
Page 87 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Admiral JOHNSON. It is being looked at right now is probably the best answer I can give you today, which doesn't specifically answer the details you are asking for, but we are justI'm out of my lane there. The lawyers are looking at all that and I think it would be inappropriate for me to make much comment at this stage. I will say that, relative to the teaming that we are doing right nowand you knowbetween Electric Boat and Newport News, regarding our new Virginia class of submarines is working very well for us and we are excited about that.
Mr. LARSON. So would it be safe to say that any kind ofif the sale in fact does goes through, that the teaming would still take place between Electric Boat and Newport News?
Admiral JOHNSON. I am not in a position to answer that, sir. I don't know the reaches, if you will, of the plan between General Dynamics and they are being looked at right now.
Mr. LARSON. Thank you very much.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, Mr. Larson. The gentleman from North Carolina, Mr. Hayes.
Mr. HAYES. Mr. Chairman, thank you. And let me echo the accolades of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, not in the form of heaping on praise, but simply heartfelt personal thanks and thanks from the country for what you have done.
Page 88 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Something is on my mind and I don't want you to be confused about what I am saying so I am going to make it very plain. The President's budget is wrong for the military. The message that it sends is dishonest. He is asking you, again, to do more with less. He stands before the American people and says, here is a budget that is giving you more. But when you analyze it and look between the lines, it is not there.
I was in Norfolk along with my colleagues on Monday and I was moved by a number of things, but, particularly, a young man. I won't name the service because it reflected the attitude across the board of all of them. And he said to the panel, whatever you give us, we will get the job done. Well, what does that mean? That means that morale to the military is a technical term. Readiness, personal commitment is incredible. Pride and patriotism drives it.
It is not about morale. Morale can't be high because you are not getting what you need. What that young man said needs to be reflected and what I see this committee doing is providing you and the American people and the military the resources and assets they have been deprived of and the American people getting the protection that they expect.
Having said that, I again appreciate what you have done and I want to get that message out because the American people need to know. Three questions. In my district in North Carolina, production of titanium is important. As we know, the U.S. is developing the most sophisticated aircraft in the world, requiring a ready supply. My concern is this. This administration has done very little to protect the U.S. titanium industry from Russian and Asian dumping. In fact, products are imported in this country duty-free and this is creating a dependency on foreign sources. In your time spent at interagency trade meetings, are you able to make a strong case for protecting our military and their ability to get this material and is this whole matter being closely scrutinized to be sure that we are protected on supply? Whoever.
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Admiral JOHNSON. We are all just talking amongst ourselves here. I think probably the best thing to do, sir, would be to give you an answer for the record.
[The information referred to can be found in the appendix.]
Mr. HAYES. OK. Let us keep that on the record and thank you.
General Krulak, we mentioned it earlier. I am thoroughly impressed with the JSTARS program. From your point of view, speak briefly on that and its need and where we are with that.
General KRULAK. Well, I am pretty much in agreement with the Air Force and I am sure Denny Reimer would say the same thing. It is a great war fighting capability. Obviously, there is a shortfall right now and if I were standing with feet on the ground, I would want that flying for me.
Mr. HAYES. Thank you, sir. Last question. In thinking about what we are being asked to do in the military, a police force rather than a military, I have kind of developed some ideas of how we should deploy. It should be a compelling national interest, requests from at least one or the majority of the combatants in a situation, significant support from our allies, and some sort of exit strategy. Given the current state of the Kosovo crisis, would you comment on your thoughts about whether this is correct.
General REIMER. I think, clearly, that those are the type of issues that have to be dealt with. I mean, you have to have an objective, a clear-cut objective, a military objective, if you commit military force. I think, as I said earlier, you have got to have a national commitment, be willing to accept some casualties if they come, because there is always a potential. And the exit strategy is always very important to us. I think those type of criteria you are talking about are the issues that have to be decided in the policy decision to commit U.S. forces.
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Mr. HAYES. Well, thank you. We just don't seem to have that available in our present strategy. And in closing, again, thank you all very much. But I can't help but go back to the wonderful men and women that you have trained to protect this country. And as I look at them, it is absolutely incumbent upon us to give them the badly needed resources and assets that they haven't had. Morale is a technical term. Forget about it. They are ready and they are going to do it.
But why should we, as a Congress, force them beyond the breaking point and they have extended the breaking point because of readiness, because of preparation and training. They have stretched the envelope beyond my imagination. But let us give them what they need. And thank you all for your candor.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you. Mr. Blagojevich.
Mr. BLAGOJEVICH. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And let me associate myself with all the remarks that the other member said about all of you. I don't want to burden you with another accolade, but thank you.
General Reimer, as you know in 1996, the civilian marksmanship program was transferred from the Department of the Army to a new private entity called the Corporation for the Promotion of Rifle Practice and Firearm Safety. A recent General Accounting Office report has just come out and it has found that a disturbing number of the surplus military firearms have actually been sold to individuals without first performing the required criminal background checks under the Brady law. Let me quote from the report, quote, ''The corporation's policies were insufficient to ensure that they did not sell firearms to persons who were convicted of a felony or otherwise ineligible to purchase a firearm.''
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In addition to the report, there was memorandum of understanding back in 1996 between the Army and this corporation which requires the corporation to certify in writing that sales have met the background check requirements before the Army ships firearms to the purchaser. This, according to the report, has not occurred. And let me again quote from this report, quote, ''The Army has never denied a request from the corporation to ship a firearm, even though the corporation has not provided the certifications,'' end quote, which is a way of talking about requiring background checks. Certifying that background checks were performed.
In fact, the corporation officials estimate that they requested background investigations for less than half of the 16,600 firearms sales to individuals that occurred between 1997 and 1998. Now that means more than 8,000 firearms were sold to civilians under this program without any investigation of the applicant's criminal background.
General Reimer, according to the General Accounting Office, the Army is storing more than 230,000 M1-Gerrands, over 35,000 22-caliber rifles, and more than 4,000 other firearms for potential transfer to this corporation. Now, it is a little unclear as to who is responsible and liable for this corporation, but there seems to be a relationship still between the Army and this program. Can you tell me what actions the Army has taken or will consider taking, prior to transferring any more of these weapons to the corporation so that we can ensure that criminal background checks are conducted on prospective buyers and that the requirements of the 1996 Act are met?
General REIMER. Congressman, as you say, it is a very complex issue and we are aware of the GAO report. We, obviously, will work the details of the GAO report and if there is some fine-tuning that we have to do, then we will do that. But I think that is all ongoing at this particular point in time. I can't get into specific details and answer those type of questions, but I will assure you that we understand the GAO report. We have looked at it. And we will continue to work the details of that.
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Mr. BLAGOJEVICH. That is very good, General. Thank you for acknowledging the report and we will follow up, of course, from this vantage point so that those criminal background checks are done. Thank you.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, Mr. Blagojevich. And last we have a very faithful member of our committee who has stuck with us all through the hearing. I am going to get to you, Mr. Rodriguez from Texas.
Mr. RODRIGUEZ. Thank you very much. And I gather I was next. [Laughter.]
General Reimer, let me congratulate you. I have enjoyed, you know, working in the short time that I have been here, thank all of you. And I especially enjoyed those comments that you made in terms of how we treat our veterans. In fact, one of the reasons why I was late; I am also on the Veterans Committee and I have been there a year and a half and it has been a kind of very frustrating committee in that both sides, Republican and Democrat, doesn't seem that there is the will there to make something happen in that area. And both of them deserve that lack of credit, you know, from that perspective. And I think you are right that that would definitely help in terms of recruitment.
And for the Marines, General, I want to congratulate you on your recruitment efforts, as well as the Army. I know you are looking at at least some multiple criteria for recruitment. And I am hoping that the Air Force and the Navy also begin to look at some others. We are not asking you to look at less-qualified, we are just asking you to look at multiple criteria and set up some other criteria for determining admissions.
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Let me quickly just add a question. I think there was some comments made regarding science and technology and research. Especially in terms of the Air Force, I know that there is a $95 million recommended cut. Last year there was a $160 million cut. And I wanted to mention your section 214 of the National Defense Authorization Act that expresses the sense of the Congress that, for each of the years from the year 2000 and 2008, that you should at least look, at the minimum, of 2 percent above the rate of inflation, as determined, you know, by the Office of Management and Budget, as a deal for science and technology.
And so I was real concerned in terms of the proposed budget cuts in that area. And then it seems like there might be some allocations, some additional items, and then cutting those items that are there now and not taking into consideration human effectiveness research and making that blend between that technology and the human aspect of it in terms of the operation of that technology.
And I just want to add a little further, I know that there was some question that was made prior to that, but one of the things that was mentioned, General Eberhart, was the fact that you will be willing to look at additional resources. But I want to mention something that I think is outrageous and that is that, you know, the Air Force, it is my understanding, has already moved to make some RIFs and already moved in some of the bases and science and technology. And if you already do that, it is myat least, Mr. Chairman, I think that we have two branches of government here where we need to vote on it before that happens. But the RIFs, you know, process has already gone into effect. And if we even add the money at the end of the summer and look at that, you are going to lose valuable individuals that are going to be very difficult to replace.
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And so I would ask that you kind of look at that process, you know. And if you need more information as toand I know you need to notify us, by law. But I think you have, you know, jumped the gun from that perspective in terms of already moving to make some RIFs and I was kind of concerned about that.
General EBERHART. First of all, in terms of a $95 million cut in S and T account, we have not cut the S and T account by $95 million. What we have done is we have refocused some of the money to other areas. And what that does oftentimes, when you refocus S and T dollars, especially if you go to contract, as opposed to in-house labs, then it has the effects that you are talking about in terms of losing in-house expertise.
We have refocused some of that science and technology, that research, on what we think is our future, as we look at space and the integration of air and space. So that is a growth industry in the Air Force. It is a growth industry in our S and T and we have made some very difficult choices, if upheld by the Congress, as we rearrange those S and T dollars.
In terms of complying with the law, we fully intend to comply with the letter and spirit of the law. We will notify you of these four structure drawdowns, of these changes, and then if the Congress objects, we have, as you have implied, until the end of the summer before anybody would leave involuntarily. So we will comply, work with this committee, and the Congress along those lines.
Mr. RODRIGUEZ. Well, let me ask you why is itand can you look into the fact that you have already moved to make some RIFs at this point in time? And as you do the research, apparently there was not too much of a high priority when it comes to the human effectiveness aspect of it and that is the individual that is going to be able to utilize that technology. You know, it is one thing for the engineer to create that technology, but if that individual doesn't make the match, you know, we have got a serious problem there.
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General EBERHART. No. And I agree and I will look the former area to make sure that we are complying with the law and the spirit of the law. As far as I know, we have everything ready to go, but we have made no moves yet until we comply with official notification and other things required by law.
Mr. RODRIGUEZ. Thank you.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you. Mr. Hilleary has returned to the committee. So, Mr. Hilleary, the time is about passed, but you have got about 2 minutes.
Mr. HILLEARY. Well, I appreciate that. I feel like a pinball that has been all around the pinball machine today, backwards and forth. I thought I was going to get in there before the break.
Thank you for being here. Thank you for your service to the country. For those of you who are retiring very soon, thank you for what you have done. For those of you who we will have for a little while longer, thank you for hanging on and keeping on.
I want to ask a couple of questions, if I can, real quickly. One has to do with the quality of life, the quality-of-life issue, with soldiers and marines; namely, where they sleep and what they wear; specifically, lightweight maintenance enclosure LME-type tents and extreme cold weather clothing systems, or ECWACs.
My very worthy staffer, General Krulak, has pulled up a quote of yours. I think I know how you feel about those two items, but he found this quote that you had. It says, quote, ''Thanks to the support of Congress, our most important weapon system, the individual marine, is now receiving the second-generation cold weather clothing system, ECWACs, and a new combat tent.'' And you go on to say about how critical you think this is.
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My question to General Krulak is, basically, could you describe your procurement intentions and any unfunded requirements you have found for both ECWACs and LMEs and in both Active Duty and the Reserves component, please?
General KRULAK. Yes, sir. It is the intent to outfit every single marine with the ECWACs, and also to provide them the tent, both active and Reserve. We look at ourselves as a total force, and so every one of them is going to get it.
I think you see in our program that we have those items still in the program. In fact, in our enhancement list, we have even asked for a $10 million enhancement, so that we can accelerate the initial issue of this tremendous equipment. It is a greatand I know Denny feels the same waythis is just great gear.
Mr. HILLEARY. Would you like to comment on that, General Reimer?
General REIMER. Thank you. Yes, equipping our soldiers and marines is, obviously, the most important thing we do. We try to make sure that we give them the proper equipment, based upon the geography or the location that they are located, so that they are properly equipped. I agree totally.
Mr. HILLEARY. How do you feel about these two particular items?
General REIMER. I think that is an issue thatthose two particular items are very, very good. It is also an issue of cost-effectiveness in terms of how much better they are in some of the capabilities that we have now. We need to do it across the total force; I agree totally with Chuck on that. We have got to make sure we do the cost-effective analysis, though, and the rest of it.
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Mr. HILLEARY. OK. And just very quickly, General Eberhart, this idea of the expeditionary Air Force to try to deal with the OPSTEMPO situation, where you all have included Reserve components in that, which I think is greatI think the Air Force, though, I think they have always done an excellent job in the seamless integration of the Reserve components.
But someone brought to my attention that possibly the munitions that the fighter units would need in the Guard and Reserve, and being part of that force, possibly is not where it needs to be. Maybe you have some requirements that are not being met. Could you just comment on that briefly, please?
General EBERHART. Sure. As we look at the F16 fleet, which a lot of our Reserve Forces, guard and Reserve Forces, are equipped with, they have some of the older F16's that are not precision or near-precision munition-capable. But we have programs in this budget, and throughout the 6-year program, that rectifies that situationby not only providing them precision capability on those F16's, and also buying new F16's which will allow F16's to cascade down that have precision capability.
Mr. HILLEARY. OK. Anyway, once again, thank you all, gentlemen, for being here and for your service to our country. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN Thank you, Mr. Hilleary. Mr. Skelton.
Mr. SKELTON. Thank you. Mr. Chairman, one last comment. Our admonition to our two gentlemen who may well be testifying here for the last time, while you have received a lot of well-deserved accolades, comments that are very positive, compliments, but before you two float out of here on the clouds of feeling high, we want you to know, among all the strong feelings and admiration that we have for you, that there is a lot of hard work and heavy lifting between now and the time we let you go. [Laughter.]
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So we wish you well and we look forward to working with you in the days ahead, before you do assume your civilian life.
And to Admiral Johnson, General Eberhart, thank you very, very much.
The CHAIRMAN Again, I thank all of you gentlemen for your contribution.
With that, the meeting will be adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 1:49 p.m., the committee was adjourned.]
A P P E N D I X
February 24, 1999
[This information is pending.]