SPEAKERS CONTENTS INSERTS
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[H.A.S.C. No. 10821]
NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT
FOR FISCAL YEAR 2005H.R. 4200
OVERSIGHT OF PREVIOUSLY AUTHORIZED PROGRAMS
COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED EIGHTH CONGRESS
FULL COMMITTEE HEARINGS
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AUTHORIZATION AND OVERSIGHT
FEBRUARY 25, 2004
HOUSE COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
One Hundred Eighth Congress
DUNCAN HUNTER, California, Chairman
CURT WELDON, Pennsylvania
JOEL HEFLEY, Colorado
JIM SAXTON, New Jersey
JOHN M. McHUGH, New York
TERRY EVERETT, Alabama
ROSCOE G. BARTLETT, Maryland
HOWARD P. ''BUCK'' McKEON, California
MAC THORNBERRY, Texas
JOHN N. HOSTETTLER, Indiana
WALTER B. JONES, North Carolina
JIM RYUN, Kansas
Page 3 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCJIM GIBBONS, Nevada
ROBIN HAYES, North Carolina
HEATHER WILSON, New Mexico
KEN CALVERT, California
ROB SIMMONS, Connecticut
JO ANN DAVIS, Virginia
ED SCHROCK, Virginia
W. TODD AKIN, Missouri
J. RANDY FORBES, Virginia
JEFF MILLER, Florida
JOE WILSON, South Carolina
FRANK A. LoBIONDO, New Jersey
TOM COLE, Oklahoma
JEB BRADLEY, New Hampshire
ROB BISHOP, Utah
MICHAEL TURNER, Ohio
JOHN KLINE, Minnesota
CANDICE S. MILLER, Michigan
PHIL GINGREY, Georgia
MIKE ROGERS, Alabama
TRENT FRANKS, Arizona
IKE SKELTON, Missouri
JOHN SPRATT, South Carolina
SOLOMON P. ORTIZ, Texas
Page 4 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCLANE EVANS, Illinois
GENE TAYLOR, Mississippi
NEIL ABERCROMBIE, Hawaii
MARTY MEEHAN, Massachusetts
SILVESTRE REYES, Texas
VIC SNYDER, Arkansas
JIM TURNER, Texas
ADAM SMITH, Washington
LORETTA SANCHEZ, California
MIKE McINTYRE, North Carolina
CIRO D. RODRIGUEZ, Texas
ELLEN O. TAUSCHER, California
ROBERT A. BRADY, Pennsylvania
BARON P. HILL, Indiana
JOHN B. LARSON, Connecticut
SUSAN A. DAVIS, California
JAMES R. LANGEVIN, Rhode Island
STEVE ISRAEL, New York
RICK LARSEN, Washington
JIM COOPER, Tennessee
JIM MARSHALL, Georgia
KENDRICK B. MEEK, Florida
MADELEINE Z. BORDALLO, Guam
RODNEY ALEXANDER, Louisiana
TIM RYAN, Ohio
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Robert S. Rangel, Staff Director
Eric Sterner, Professional Staff Member
Justin Bernier, Research Assistant
C O N T E N T S
CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF HEARINGS
Wednesday, February 25, 2004, Fiscal Year 2005 National Defense Authorization ActActing Secretary of the Army; Army Chief of Staff
Wednesday, February 25, 2004
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2004
FISCAL YEAR 2005, NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACTACTING SECRETARY OF THE ARMY; ARMY CHIEF OF STAFF
Page 6 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCSTATEMENTS PRESENTED BY MEMBERS OF CONGRESS
Hunter, Hon. Duncan, a Representative from California, Chairman, Committee on Armed Services
Skelton, Hon. Ike, a Representative from Missouri, Ranking Member, Committee on Armed Services
Brownlee, Hon. Les, Acting Secretary of the Army
Schoomaker, Gen. Peter J., Chief of Staff, Department of the Army
[The Prepared Statements can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Brownlee, Hon. Les, joint with Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker
Hunter, Hon. Duncan
Skelton, Hon. Ike
DOCUMENTS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
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[The Documents submitted can be viewed in the hard copy.]
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
[The Questions and Answers can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Mr. Turner of Ohio
FISCAL YEAR 2005, NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACTACTING SECRETARY OF THE ARMY; ARMY CHIEF OF STAFF
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House of Representatives,
Committee on Armed Services,
Washington, DC, Wednesday, February 25, 2004.
The committee met, pursuant to call, at 10:03 a.m., in room 2118, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Duncan Hunter (chairman of the committee) presiding.
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. DUNCAN HUNTER, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM CALIFORNIA, CHAIRMAN, COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
The CHAIRMAN. The committee will come to order. This morning the committee will continue its review of the fiscal year 2005 Defense budget request with a look at the Department of the Army. Our witnesses today are the Honorable Les Brownlee, Acting Secretary of the Army; and General Peter J. Schoomaker, United States Army Chief of Staff of the Army. Welcome to the committee, gentlemen.
This year's defense budget request is $98.5 billion for the Department of the Army, which is $5.2 billion more than the fiscal year 2004 peacetime budget. Unlike similar hearings in the past, today we do not have to theorize about how the Army is doing or will do in the field of battle. Today's Army has been and continues to be on the frontlines in the war on terror.
As we speak, Army forces are hunting down terrorists in Afghanistan and Iraq, rebuilding these nations from the devastating effects of years of tyrannical rule, while at the same time undertaking fundamental reforms in order to better defend our interests well into this century. While our troops are deployed around the world, it is our responsibility back home to give them all of our support and every tool they need to accomplish the mission. Since the attacks of September 11, I believe it is fair to say that we have all worked toward that end no matter our politics or districts. This year must be no different.
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We can start by, at a minimum, fully funding the President's budget request for the next fiscal year. That does not necessarily mean accepting it as is or without scrutiny. But we should agree that no matter what debate follows as part of our normal process, we must make sure that our troops in the field fighting receive all the resources they need to carry out their mission as effectively and safely as possible. Funding the President's requested defense budget topline is an essential starting point toward that goal.
Doing that may be difficult this year. There are some who apparently believe that the threats to U.S. national security are sufficiently contained to allow us to begin cutting defense spending again. That would be a mistake. Al Qaeda is still out there. Ansar al-Islam is still out there. Rogue states are still out there. And as the daily news headlines confirm, some of them continue to pursue weapons of mass destruction. It has been said that eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. Now is not the time to let down our guard by shortchanging our troops on the battlefield.
In that same vein and beyond the budget debate, it is equally important that Washington, both Congress and the Pentagon, take every step and exhaust every option in providing our troops in the field with all available technology and equipment options to carry out their mission. As both of our witnesses know from various discussions we have had, I am deeply concerned that our military acquisition system is too hidebound and obsessed with archaic process that only gets in the way of rapidly fielding simple equipment solutions that can make the difference between soldiers coming back home alive or in one piece.
You can be assured that this committee will be making these force protection issues a critical priority for as long as we have our troops deployed in harm's way. I certainly hope we can continue this productive dialogue in this area and continue to work together to find ways to push these critical capabilities into the field and into the hands of soldiers as rapidly as humanly possible. I assure you that this committee and my colleagues stand ready to do anything we can to assist you in this regard.
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Gentlemen, thank you for being with us this morning, and thank you for your service to our country in these very challenging times. Before recognizing our first witness, let me recognize my partner on this committee, the gentleman from Missouri, the Ranking Member, Mr. Skelton, for any remarks he might want to make.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Hunter can be viewed in the hard copy.]
STATEMENT OF HON. IKE SKELTON, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM MISSOURI, RANKING MEMBER, COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Chairman, my friend, thank you so much.
Mr. Chairman, with your permission, I would like to mention on a personal and professional level an item a number of days ago, when my good friend Dudley Tademy told us that he was going to retire as a member of our staff. Dudley Tademy is a rare hero here in our country. He was a hero in uniform and a hero on our committee staff, and I know all of us wish him very, very well in his retirement. He has served us well and we thank him for that.
Mr. Chairman, let me say welcome to Secretary Brownlee and General Schoomaker.
The CHAIRMAN. Would my friend yield for just a minute?
Page 11 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SKELTON. You bet.
The CHAIRMAN. Since he has mentioned Dudley Tademy, ever since I saw the movie We Were Soldiers, I have discovered that Dudley was in that Landing Zone operation (LX)/XRay, which was the subject of that great movie, I think one of the great movies about Vietnam. I have been mentioning that on any and all occasions, and it always embarrasses Dudley. Like a true hero, he does not take accolades well. Dudley, you know, one of the real values to this committee is to have people serving on it who have that great element of field experience, which is very difficult to replicate. You brought that great experience to this committee, and we appreciate your professionalism in all you have done for the United States of America. Thank you very much.
Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Chairman, thank you.
Dudley, we are proud of you. Thank you for your service.
I appreciate the General and the Secretary being with us, so let me at the outset say how proud we are of our American soldiers. We are frankly doing so very, very well. The strains are enormous, both for the soldiers and their families and I hope you will remind them how members of this committee are grateful for their service.
General, let me give you credit for the innovative approaches the Army has taken in restructuring and stabilizing its forces. We are asking an awful lot. Sometimes I think we are asking too much of our soldiers. We had testimony in this room back in 1995 that the Army needed 40,000 more soldiers. Since then, Iraq continues to be a considerable demand on our military resources and will be, even if the political transition goes smoothly, which is a separate subject for which I worry.
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However, on top of that, for a soldier deployed in forward stations in over 120 countries, there is no real end in sight and I do not see how we can make an argument that the current demand is a temporary spike. In fact, the Army recognizes that it cannot meet the enormous demands placed on it with the current authorized end-strength. General Schoomaker, you recently announced that you have started to increase manning levels by 30,000 soldiers. Since our current budget does not provide for such an increase, the Army plans to pay for them out of the supplementals that we have already passed. I really do not think that is the right way to do it. Congress should authorize the end-strength increase and pay for them through the regular budget.
Even as we struggle with the question of troop levels, I think we are concerned about what the Army is doing to fund ongoing operations. The Department tells us it will be January, at the earliest, before they send a new supplemental budget to us. With the Army spending over $3 billion a month on these operations, how will we bridge the gap without hurting our other Army programs? We on this committee want to ensure that your soldiers can fight as effectively as possible without asking them to mortgage the future fiscal health of the Army to do it.
Secretary Brownlee, thank you especially for your service, Mr. Secretary. We have worked with you through the years when you were in the other body, and you were so effective there. And we see you doing an excellent job here, and we thank you for your service. And General Schoomaker, thank you for coming back to serve not just the troops, but our country. We feel very confident in your leadership.
With that, Mr. Chairman, thank you so much.
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[The prepared statement of Mr. Skelton can be viewed in the hard copy.]
The CHAIRMAN. I thank my colleague.
Mr. Secretary, we do appreciate your service. You bring a rare combination, which is a lot of acumen in this city, in terms of knowing how to get things done, working with the executive branch and the legislative branch, coupled with a persistence that I think comes from your service in the field in the U.S. Army. That is a good combination for us, one that we need right now. We need your persistence, your stubbornness and your intellect. There are going to be some difficult things, in many cases doing more with less.
The floor is yours, sir.
STATEMENT OF HON. LES BROWNLEE, ACTING SECRETARY OF THE ARMY
Secretary BROWNLEE. Mr. Chairman, before I begin my statement, with your permission I would like to make a couple of brief comments. First, I want to tell this committee what a pleasure and an honor it is for me every day to have the privilege of working alongside this great soldier, this outstanding general officer who is sitting here beside me. He truly is a great soldier and an American warrior in every sense of the word, and a true American patriot.
Pete Schoomaker has brought new meaning to the word ''transformation,'' and he has revitalized Army transformation in a marvelous way. He has also revitalized the spirits of our soldiers by his renewed emphasis on the warrior ethos and the soldier's creed. We are all fortunate that he and his family have made the difficult decision to leave a very lucrative, comfortable and well-deserved retirement to return to lead the Army during a time of war. He brings tremendous leadership to the Army every day. It is an honor for me to sit next to him this morning to represent our Army in front of this distinguished committee.
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While I have had a long relationship with this committee, this is the first time I have been honored to testify here. I am truly honored. Most of my previous experience over almost 17 years was as a professional staff member and, later, Staff Director of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and of course I had the privilege of going to conference with members and staff of this great committee for each of those 17 years.
Most of my time was spent in what seemed like endless staff negotiations to assist in finding resolutions to the difficult issues with which this committee must deal. I trust you have forgiven me for any of those past dealings, since I almost always lost anyway. But I do appreciate the many courtesies afforded me over these years and the many memories and relationships with both members and staff which remain so very much a part of my life.
Mr. Chairman and distinguished members of the committee, I appreciate the opportunity to appear before you today along with our Chief of Staff, General Pete Schoomaker, to testify on the status of our great Army. We have prepared a posture statement, and with your permission we would like to submit that statement for the record.
The CHAIRMAN. Without objection.
Secretary BROWNLEE. On behalf of our great soldiers who are serving our country around the world, let me begin by expressing gratitude for your tremendous support for our soldiers and their families. This support comes not from the members alone, but also from your dedicated professional staff, as well, one of whom we have just recognized, Dudley Tademy, a fellow with whom I have had many years relationships. He was a distinguished officer, of course, in the Army, highly decorated, and then served many years of faithful service on this committee. I have enjoyed and appreciated that relationship very much.
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Also to both members and staff of this committee who have been of such recent and tremendous assistance in helping us with these difficult issues of force protection. I know that everyone in this room wants all of our soldiers to be protected as rapidly as possible with the best equipment possible. I assure you that General Schoomaker and I are working to that end, but sometimes when you see a way to help, I assure you it is very much appreciated.
I know that you are also deeply interested in the great work our soldiers are doing, their morale, their training, and how we have equipped them. Since June, I have had the opportunity to visit our troops in Iraq three times, and those in Afghanistan twice, as well as traveling to our posts in South Korea, Germany and here in the United States. I have spoken with commanders and soldiers at various levels and am in regular contact with senior Army leaders in each theater. I am grateful to have the opportunity to share what I have learned with you.
The most important point I want to make here today is that we are an Army at war serving a Nation at war. This fact underlies everything we are doing and planning to do. The Army has two core competencies. First, we train and equip soldiers and we grow leaders. The demands of war today and in the years ahead require smart, dedicated and adaptable men and women. We have such people, but it takes time to prepare them for the duties we ask them to perform. We must therefore continue training and educating our soldiers even as we deploy and conduct military operations around the world.
Our second core competency is to provide relevant and ready campaign-quality land power to combatant commanders as part of the joint force. To better do this, we are restructuring our forces to meet the challenges of today and to more effectively use the resources the American people have entrusted to us. The fiscal year 2005 budget we submitted fully supports these two competencies and represents a balanced consideration of both our current and long-term requirements.
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We are extremely busy these days in the war on terror. The pace of our current operations is high and has human and material costs. We appreciate the assistance of the Congress in addressing these as we work to restore our units and equipment to the high levels of readiness necessary to continue to meet our obligations to the Nation. Despite extraordinary accomplishments to date, we are not content to rest solely on what has worked in the past.
We are therefore transforming the Army itself in response to the lessons learned and experiences gained by the Army's recent 2 1/2 years of combat in the Global War on Terror, as well as the operational environments envisioned in the foreseeable future. This is an ongoing process and we will keep the Congress fully informed.
As you are aware, on Monday we announced the termination of the Comanche helicopter program as part of a major restructuring and revitalization of Army aviation. In lieu of completing development and procuring 121 Comanche aircraft through fiscal year 2011 Future Years Defense Program (FYDP), we will propose instead to procure almost 800 new aircraft for the Active and Reserve Components, as well as enhancing, upgrading and modernizing over 1,400 aircraft in our existing aviation fleet. This reallocation of resources reflects the changed operational environment, and will provide the modularity and flexibility we must have to achieve the joint and expeditionary capabilities that are so essential to the Army's role now and in the future.
We are transforming the Army, while retaining those values critical to the Army's achievements of the past 228 years. The fiscal year 2004 defense legislation and supplemental appropriations have enabled the Army to do that which it has been asked to do. I look forward to discussing with you how the fiscal year 2005 budget request will permit us to continue meeting our obligations, now and in the years to come.
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In all that the Army has accomplished and all that it will be called upon to do, the American soldier remains the single most important factor in our success. Today, our soldiers are present in over 120 countries around the world, representing the American people and American values with courage and compassion. In the past 2 years, together with our sister services and our coalition allies, American soldiers have liberated 46 million people in Afghanistan and Iraq, and are helping those countries rebuild from the ravages of tyranny and terror.
During my visits to Iraq and Afghanistan, I have witnessed, as many of you have also, the magnificent performance of our troops executing every mission with quiet determination and achieving successes that do not always make headlines. We are making steady, if unheralded progress, and we very much appreciate those of you who have visited our soldiers there.
I want to express my appreciation for the service and enormous sacrifices by our soldiers, especially those who have given the last full measure, and their families, as we meet the challenges and risks posed by the war on terror. Our deepest thanks go to the members of our Active and Reserve Component units, as well as to the thousands of Department of the Army civilians who are deployed overseas in harm's way, also.
Regardless of where our soldiers serve, they perform as the professionals they are, with skill, courage, compassion and dedication. They embody the values of our Army and our Nation, serving selflessly and seeking only to do what must be done before returning home. Despite remarkable successes, our fight is far from over. It will take time to win the war on terror.
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Our enemies are resolute, but hard-line al Qaeda operatives in Iraq recognize they cannot dislodge our forces by fear or intimidation. Our commitment to prevail in Iraq and elsewhere is unshakable. I have seen the resolution in our soldiers's eyes, and heard the determination in their voices. We must do our part to ensure they have all they need to do the job we have set before them. When the American people and our leaders stand behind them, they can do any task on Earth.
Mr. Chairman, in closing I would like to thank you and the members of this distinguished committee for your continuing support of the men and women in our Army, an Army at war and a full member of the joint team deployed and fighting terror around the world. I appreciate this opportunity to appear before you today and I look forward to answering your questions.
[The joint prepared statement of Secretary Brownlee and General Schoomaker can be viewed in the hard copy.]
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Secretary, thank you very much.
General Schoomaker, thank you for your work and the engagement you have undertaken with the committee over the last several months on these pretty dramatic initiatives that you are presenting in this budget cycle.
The floor is yours, sir.
Page 19 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCSTATEMENT OF GEN. PETER SCHOOMAKER, CHIEF OF STAFF, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
General SCHOOMAKER. Sir, thank you very much. Good morning, Chairman Hunter, Congressman Skelton, distinguished members of the committee.
I would like to take just a minute as well and recognize Dudley Tademy. We had a nice conversation yesterday and he asked me for some guidance on retired life. He has set a goal that he will exceed more than 2 1/2 years, and beat my record for successful retirement. [Laughter.]
I told him the secret is, be careful when you answer the cell phone in your truck. [Laughter.]
I certainly join everybody else in recognition of Dudley's great service and sacrifice, not only in uniform, but here on the Hill in all that he has done.
By answering the cell phone in my truck, it gave me the opportunity to once again serve in uniform, and I appreciate everybody's recognition of that. I must say, though, sometimes it is somewhat embarrassing because the honor of being able to serve alongside our soldiers is great. One of the benefits that comes with it is being able to serve alongside Secretary Brownlee, who is a great soldier in his own right, very distinguished service, and of course served up here so well. I can tell you that his mentorship and his assistance as we go through what we go through here is very, very valuable to me. I appreciate being able to serve alongside of him.
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I would also like to recognize two other distinguished soldiers that are here today. Lieutenant General Ron Helmly, who is sitting with me here from the U.S. Army Reserve; and Lieutenant General Roger Schultz, next to him, from the Army National Guard. I think it is very, very important to understand that fundamental to the initiatives in the transformation of the Army is the notion of one Army in reality. What we are doing, as you will see as we transform, is ensuring that we are making the tightest team that we can as we go forth to meet the national strategy.
Chairman Hunter, Congressman Skelton, distinguished members of the committee, it is a pleasure to appear before you today to tell you about the tremendous work our soldiers are doing as they accomplish our Nation's business around the world.
To begin, I want to thank each of you for your tremendous support. You continue to show for our men and women in uniform and their families. The fiscal year 2004 defense legislation and supplemental appropriation have provided our soldiers the tools they need to carry on their important and often dangerous work. The fiscal year 2005 President's budget request provides our Army with the resources we need to meet the non-contingency requirements of the national security strategy.
It fully funds our statutory Active Component (AC) and Reserve Component (RC) end-strength. It supports training requirements in accordance with our joint and combined arms training strategy. The budget also requests funds for depot maintenance for the 15 critical systems in our recapitalization program. It provides funds to upgrade barracks and family housing, and funds facilities sustainment at 95 percent.
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The budget request also provides for future readiness by funding upgrades for the Stryker brigade combat team five, and our continuous investment in the Future Combat System. As with any budget, it reflects a balance, and we have accepted risk and some lower priority depot maintenance base operations in other areas. The budget request does not fund our contingency requirements for Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). We do not know with certainty what the requirements will be, but we will need a supplemental to fund them once they are known.
All of this has been carefully weighed, and I ask for your support of the fiscal year 2005 budget request. There is no question that the pace of our Nation at war challenges our Army. It is hard to recall a time in history, with the exception of World War II, when our Army has been busier as we deploy and re-deploy nearly 250,000 soldiers over the next 4 months. We continue to meet these operational challenges with the seamless commitment of Active, National Guard and Reserve soldiers who continue to give so selflessly to our great Nation. This is a significant challenge and we cannot approach it as if it were business as usual.
This state of war requires us to challenge old paradigms, to be flexible and adaptable. Now is the time for extraordinary action, for action that is tailored to the challenges we face today and are likely to face in the future. Our Army is on the move to meet the current threats. The current emergency presents a period of risk, yet it also creates a window of opportunity to effect dramatic changes in the Army. We can take advantage of this movement to re-set the Army in a way that builds new capability and better prepares us to meet the Nation's future security requirements.
Page 22 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Almost a month ago, I came before this committee to answer your questions about the ongoing rotation of forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. At that time, I told you that by using the authority provided by Congress and the flexibility you have built into our law, the Secretary of Defense and the President of the United States supported the Acting Secretary of the Army and my request to temporarily increase the force level of our Army by up to 30,000 soldiers above its statutory end-strength.
Since that time, members of the Army staff have had the opportunity to brief your staffs on some of the specifics of our proposals. I have met with several of you myself. The concern that many of you have shown over this issue reflects the best traditions of our government and your sincere concern for the welfare of our soldiers. This temporary increase is the right choice. A permanent increase in statutory end-strength before the Army has implemented our ongoing force structure reforms would be inefficient and could jeopardize the future readiness of our Army.
We have asked to temporarily increase the force under the authorities provided in Title X, Section 123(a) because the real issue we must address is improving Army capabilities by tailoring our structure to better meet the requirements of our national security strategy. Capability is the issue, not the number of soldiers. I ask each of you to support this approach.
Combined with other initiatives, such as adjusting the balance between the Active and Reserve Components, increasing the pool of soldiers in high-demand specialties, and implementation of unit modularity and stabilization, this restructure will provide the Nation and joint force commanders with an Army better suited to meet rotational readiness requirements we face today, while remaining ready to meet the challenges of the future.
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We must never lose sight of the fact that it is our soldiers who put it all on the line, and our families who bear the burden. We will do everything in our power to prepare them for the challenges they face. I could not be more proud of them and the professionalism, courage and competence that they demonstrate every day.
In closing, I would like to thank this committee for the opportunity to appear before you today and for your continued support for the men and women of our Army deployed in Iraq, Afghanistan and throughout the world. Thank you. I look forward to your questions.
The CHAIRMAN. General, thank you. Let us get right to it. This initiative that you have briefed a number of us on, and we just got a good briefing from General Cody here prior to this hearing, goes straight to the warfighting issue, to the end-strength issue. A number of us on this committee, including myself, watched with dismay as we took the Army down from a high of 18 divisions in 1991 to the present 10 divisions. We thought that especially the last several cuts that were made were made without deep analysis. They were made because of monetary priorities and fiscal priorities, and they were not shaped to the threat.
What you have presented to us is a plan to increase the 3 brigades that are presently today's Army by 3 brigades this year, 3 brigades next year, and 4 brigades in the following year, for 10 additional brigades, which is the equivalent, if you are going to run it into divisions, to 2 to 3 divisions. You think you can do that with the present members you have with this enhancement of some 30,000 personnel.
As I understand it, and there is a lot of detail here, obviously, but as I understand it, you are going to take out a lot of the bureaucracy that is in the core elements and the division elements. You are going to vest more capability in brigades so that brigades have more self-sufficiency so that the brigade commander's own capabilities, especially in the support areas, do not have to have them chopped down from division. Therefore, you will have the ability to move and match brigades, if you will, to a particular theater and a particular threat.
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As I understand further, you are going to cut down on personnel moves. Presently you have lots of folks moving, and those people are not available for warfighting, some 64,000 or 65,000 personnel at any given time. So if you stabilize rotations and keep people at their duty stations longer, that is going to free up people or make more people available for warfighting operations, effectively increasing your end-strength in the warfighting operations, while keeping the same number in overall end-strength.
A number of us have been briefed up on this, but I have one question. That is, if part of this move, this dramatic change which has a lot of promise if in fact you are able to do what you think you can do, involves moving heavy warfighting capabilities in artillery, for example, into some of the military occupational specialty (MOS)'s like military police (MP), which fits this theater well. I am thinking of the Iraq theater, because we have enormous stress on our MP units.
My question to you is, have you done a thorough analysis on the two major regional conflict (MRC) possibilities and the effect that that would have on a potential Korean theater in the future? That is, to divest yourself of some of this heavy artillery.
General SCHOOMAKER. Sir, I think I got most of it. The national strategy today is known as a l421 strategy. It is more than two major regional contingencies. As you know, it has the responsibility for the homeland security, which is a major portion of it. It has deterrence in major areas that we are concerned of. It has the ability to swiftly defeat the effort in a major regional contingency, as well as decisive ability to defeat in another.
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What we are very confident of, if we make these changes to modularity and increase the capability, take the resources we have and increase the combat capability, that we in fact will be improving our ability to do this, especially when you consider it in a joint context with the capabilities of the other services, to do what you are suggesting.
One of the very important points is we must not just focus on the fact that we are increasing the Active brigade force by 30 percent, but at the very same time we are forming 34 brigades in the National Guard that look like and will be able to operate in a plug-in play fashion with the Active force in a seamless way. I think one of the best demonstrations of that is if we look at how we are going to form the aviation brigade using the resources that we have. You will see that we are significantly improving our Reserve Component capability, as well.
The CHAIRMAN. So General, you are confident that this draw-down on artillery capability is going to be compensated by precision munitions and by air support that is going to fill that support requirement?
General SCHOOMAKER. Sir, I am very confident in that. I would just like to remind you, if you look inside the detail of it, we will still have in excess of 100 battalions of field artillery in our formations.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you.
The gentleman from Missouri?
Page 26 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Chairman, thank you.
It is rare that you have both a Secretary of the Army and Army Chief of Staff with such outstanding military records, including combat records. We compliment you both. Both of you know of what you speak. We thank you for your expertise. As a matter of fact, Mr. Chairman, I had to drag out of the Secretary in a good number of conversations the fact that he has not one, but two silver stars to his credit. So we thank you both for your past service, as well as for your present service.
These are difficult days. I am deeply concerned, gentlemen, about the budget that has been sent over for the United States Army. You know and I know that the ongoing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan have not been part of that budget. Am I correct?
Secretary BROWNLEE. For the most part, that is true, sir.
General SCHOOMAKER. That is true, sir.
Mr. SKELTON. Under the budget that you have and that you are working on today on those two operations, and you have Active Duty, National Guard and Reserve soldiers performing exceedingly well in harm's wayat what point, General, do you run out of money on these two conflicts?
General SCHOOMAKER. We are fully funded, sir, to the end of this fiscal year under the supplemental for the current efforts in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
Page 27 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SKELTON. Under the supplemental?
General SCHOOMAKER. Under the supplemental, that is correct, sir.
Mr. SKELTON. It was interesting, and I am not going to ask you to comment on it, but as a footnote, when your predecessor, General Shinseki, retired, he gave in his farewell speech a comment that we have a 12-division strategy for a 10-division Army. I know that there are stretches and strains in your proposed reorganization. I am sure you are taking all that into account.
However, I am concerned that there still is a shortfall. According to the figures given to me, we have sustained in both Iraq and Iran to date 2,703 injured or wounded in those conflicts, and 656 killed in those conflicts, for a total of 3,359. So I ask you, Mr. Secretary, are you asking for an end-strength increase to replace those 3,359 soldiers that were wounded, injured, or killed?
Secretary BROWNLEE. No, sir, we are not. We expect that we will replace those soldiers through our normal recruiting process. We have provided replacements in the theater for those soldiers who have been evacuated who have been both wounded and killed.
Mr. SKELTON. Are you asking for an increase in end-strength for the approximately 2,200 airmen requested from the United States Air Force to perform Army duties, Mr. Secretary?
Page 28 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Secretary BROWNLEE. Sir, my understanding is we have Army soldiers who are guarding Air Force bases. I guess I am not aware of aviators or airmen who are providing Army duties.
Mr. SKELTON. General, can you answer that question?
General SCHOOMAKER. I am not sure I quite understand the question.
Mr. SKELTON. Let me re-phrase the question. Is there not a request of the United States Air Force to furnish some 2,200 airmen to perform Army duties?
General SCHOOMAKER. You may be referring to the joint sourcing of requirements for the theater of operations. I am not aware of exact numbers. As we looked at sourcing the future rotations, we have looked where there are compatible capabilities across the joint force that would help relieve distress on the Army, where there were capabilities that were untapped and unused across the joint force.
Mr. SKELTON. So let me ask this question to either one of you gentlemen: Are you asking for an increase in end-strength for the approximately 4,000 sailors from the United States Navy to perform Army duties?
Secretary BROWNLEE. Sir, all I can tell you is that we had a number, again, of National Guard soldiers who were providing
Page 29 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SKELTON. I am talking about sailors.
Secretary BROWNLEE. Sir, I am just not aware of requests for sailors. If there are, I am not aware of them. We have had Army soldiers providing security on ships during this conflict. They have been posted on there and providing security for some of the Navy's merchant ships or transport ships.
General SCHOOMAKER. I am a little confused by the question because we fight jointly, and we look at where we can get synergy across the joint force. It makes perfect sense to me that we would be looking for any and all capability across the entire Department of Defense (DOD) that we could apply against our contingent requirements. So the answer is, we are not asking for replacement for any of that.
What we are actually doing is asking for a temporary growth that gives us the seed corn to create increased capacity. We will have 10 Active divisions, if we take the off-ramp, with 43 brigades. That is a 30 percent increase in strength. As was pointed out by Chairman Hunter, in fact in real fighting capability, that is a three-division increase as we have known it in the past. So we go from our 10 division to 13 divisions in fighting effect.
If you take a look at the Reserve Component and the National Guard, we retain 8 divisions with 34 brigades. That is a huge increase in capability of the United States Army within its statutory end-strength. To me, it is the most prudent course both fiscally, operationally, and strategically for the Army to do that, and to make it more joint so that we are able to operate more effectively with our joint partners.
Page 30 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SKELTON. Is my statement incorrect regarding the 2,200 from the Air Force and 4,000 from the Navy? Is it correct or incorrect?
Secretary BROWNLEE. Can we check, sir? I just do not know. I had not heard of it. We may take it for the record and would be happy to check it.
Mr. SKELTON. If you will take that question for the record, I would certainly appreciate it. Thank you.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
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The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman.
Mr. HEFLEY. Thank you very much, and thank you for being here, both of you.
I have a lot of concern about the Reserves. I think a lot of us do on this committee, the way they are being used; the frequency of their use. We are beginning to get more and more complaints from our employers saying we want to be patriotic, but we can't have key employees gone as much as they are gone. We get complaints from families saying, my spouse wants to do his duty, but gosh, enough is enough. I think that is going to begin to affect our retention. Any comments you have on that I would appreciate.
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Second, I was just out in Germany last week, and the biggest complaint I got was that reservists are not treated the same as regular duty; that reservists who come do not ship a car. They arrive with two suitcases. That is all they are allowed. When they leave, they do not ship a car back; that they are on a different pay schedule. I got this complaint not just from the reservists who felt they were being mistreated, but from the regular people who thought their buddies that work beside them doing the same job in the same uniform, were being mistreated. I would like your comment on that, whether or not this is true, and if it is true, why is it true. It does not seem to make any sense to me.
Secretary BROWNLEE. Sir, I have heard one report I think in Germany when I was over there. There are some selected reservists who do serve in that capacity who do fall into that category. We are looking to see if we can resolve that now. I got the same report, probably at about the same time. I think it has not been a problem in the past because there have not been that many of them, but now there are. We are looking to see if we can resolve that, sir, but there are some of those. I am not sure why it happened either, just that they fall into a different category and we are trying to figure out what that is and work it out.
Mr. HEFLEY. But you recognize this is not fair, is not right, if we are going to talk about an Army of one. In fact, they make jokes about the Army of one concept because they say it is simply not true because of the way they are treated.
Secretary BROWNLEE. Yes, sir. And I appreciate that. We hear that also. Let me just say that both General Schoomaker and I are doing everything in our power to overcome that. We have one Army, and that is the way we want it viewed. These wonderful people who are serving as citizen soldiers on Active duty are, as far as I am concerned, part of another greatest generation. I think they are marvelous people doing tremendous things for their country, and we appreciate it very much; them, their families and their employers, as well.
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Let me give you an example. Recently, when we were preparing forces for the next rotation OIF II, that is now going over, there are three enhanced National Guard brigades that will go over and participate as a part of that force. General Schoomaker and I made the decision that those forces would have a higher priority than Active Components for issuing of equipment, what we call our rapid fielding initiative. It is individual equipment, everything from scopes to night vision to sunglasses and kneepads. These are things that they did not have an opportunity to train on like some of the Actives, and we made them first priority for that equipment. Our conversations with them indicate that they recognize and appreciate that. We want things to continue in that way. We do not want anyone to feel like they are second in any way. The Army is one Army.
Mr. HEFLEY. Do you want to comment on the utilization of them, the frequency of deployments?
General SCHOOMAKER. I would like to address that if I could. I would hope I would have a chance to do that.
If we were postured in the way our initiative is taking us; if we had what I just described, we would have a totally different situation on our hands. We would have a rotation cycle that would be predictable and would allow us to carry on the current level of effort without about one deployment out of three years on the Active side, and one deployment of the current length on the Reserve Component side in five or six years. By increasing the number of deployable brigades, if we could snap our fingers and jump into that posture, it would solve almost all of the issues that you just talked about.
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So I think the case that you are making there supports and puts emphasis on the reason why we ought to be taking advantage of this motion that we have going right now to set ourselves for the future, and not let ourselves re-set for the past, because it is going to continue with some of the problems that you just described.
Mr. HEFLEY. Thank you very much.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman.
Mr. TAYLOR. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
General Schoomaker, Secretary Brownlee, thank you both for being here today and for everything you do for our country.
General Schoomaker, I realize you have a large number of responsibilities. One of those is health care at Walter Reed. I have recently been informed by representatives of the Disabled American Veterans that their representatives at Walter Reed are not allowed to visit patients and inform them of the programs, the opportunities that our nation can provide for soon to be discharged veterans. I do not know this to be true, but I was just told this.
Just as Secretary Brownlee was so kind to tell the committee that he appreciates us coming to him and making suggestions, I would hope in that light, since we are now taking young 18-, 19-, 20-year-old soldiers who probably never dreamt that they would get hurt, and who now find themselves leaving the Army under circumstances not to their liking, I don't think it could hurt to have one more group making them aware of the benefits that this Nation owes them. So I would ask that you would look into that. If that is the case, I would ask that you would reconsider that policy.
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Secretary BROWNLEE. Yes, sir. Could I comment on that, sir? Just so you will know, when we first started receiving soldiers who are wounded and some of them, as you know, very grievously wounded, at Walter Reed and other places, we wanted to ensure that, many of these soldiers want to stay in the Army, but certainly some of them are disabled to the extent that they can't, and they are going to become disabled veterans and be transferred to the Veterans Affairs Department.
I called Tony Principi. We agreed together that we would put together a seamless operation so that no soldier gets dropped at the footstep. We have had our people meet together. We have people from the Veterans Affairs Department working in Walter Reed and other hospitals. They start to counsel those soldiers very early on. We have people with them, too, and our goal is that none of these soldiers gets dropped off in this transition. We hand carry them.
I personally do not see anything wrong with the Disabled American Veterans being a part of this. If you let us check, we will find out, sir.
Mr. TAYLOR. Thank you, sir.
[The information referred to can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Secretary BROWNLEE. I know in some cases they provide marvelous assistance. I am personally aware of that.
Mr. TAYLOR. Thank you. Again, it was just reported to me. I do not know it to be true, but I think it is a reasonable request on the part of that organization.
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Secretary BROWNLEE. We will find out, sir.
Mr. TAYLOR. I very much appreciate, Secretary Brownlee, your coming by yesterday and talking about improvised explosive devices (IED). I very much appreciate your awareness of the problem and your willingness to address it. I will honor your request not to get specific on it since you have given me your assurance that you are working on it. I thought it was a reasonable request.
Secretary BROWNLEE. Thank you, sir.
Mr. TAYLOR. I was told that as a part of the mobilization last year of the Guardsmen and Reservists, that a large number of Guardsmen in particular were not able to be mobilized on fairly short notice because of dental problems. I would hope thatagain you have so many things on your platebut I would hope that you would try to address that, since it is my opinion that we are going to be counting on the Guard and Reserve for a long time, and that on not all of these mobilizations will we be able to give them a lot of notice that we are calling them up. I know that we should strive to do so, but that is always not going to be the case. In a sense, it has been identified as a problem toward mobilization. I would hope that you all could do something toward that.
The last two things: A number of Guardsmen and Reservists are going to be facing a tough decision when they get home. They get caught up in the moment while they are over there. We have had, as you have said, very high reenlistment rates in-theater. But for those who have not reenlisted in-theater, they are going to get home to a spouse, two children, two employers who are going to be putting some questions in their minds as to whether or not they should stay in the service.
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I would think that one of the things that we could do to tell those people that we value their service, that we want them to stay, is to revisit their retirement benefits. I know that a number of Reserve organizations are asking for a 20-year retirement. I do not know that we as a nation can do that, but I would ask that you would consider rewarding those Guardsmen or Reservists who serve more than 20 years by lowering their retirement age on some sort of a formula based on how much longer they have stayed in the Guard and Reserve past that 20 years.
I would also ask that we find a way of rewarding those Guardsmen and Reservists who have done extensive periods of Active duty, whether it was voluntarily or involuntarily, because obviously a guy spending one year in Afghanistan or one year in Iraq is a heck of a lot tougher duty than the guy who is doing one weekend a month. That just stands to reason. We as a nation ought to find a way to reward those folks.
So I would hope as you look at your budget for this year and the following years, that you would consider that. I think it would be a good things for the Guardsmen and Reservists. I think it would be a good thing for our Nation.
Secretary BROWNLEE. Sir, we will certainly take it under advisement. As you well know, the whole benefits issue probably needs to be reviewed. We need to ensure that we are in fact recognizing and rewarding those who serve. We have, as General Schoomaker can tell you, a large reservoir of Reserve Components, many of whom have not been called. So we want to be sure that we recognize and reward those who have served on Active duty, and have been called up or volunteered to come up and do that.
Page 37 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The kinds of programs you have described, you probably know better than I do what those cost. Imposing those costs and absorbing them within our current budgets, of course, is very difficult, so we have not gone there. But we certainly agree with you that this kind of service deserves recognition and reward, and we are always looking for ways to do that.
Mr. TAYLOR. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Thank you, General.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman.
The gentleman from New Jersey, Mr. Saxton.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Gentlemen, thank you for being with us. We appreciate very much the time that you are spending with us and the information that you are bringing to us.
Earlier today, Lieutenant General Cody gave us a very good and detailed briefing on transformation, particularly Army transformation, but also from a DOD perspective. Obviously, we are doing this because today's threat is different than it was some time ago.
In this morning's press, there is an article that reports on some testimony that was given yesterday by Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director George Tenet and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director Mueller. I would just like to read the first part of it here, because it points out the nature of this threat. It says, ''The al Qaeda terrorist group is still planning to attack the White House and the Congress, targets the group missed on September 11, and a growing extreme Muslim movement is threatening the United States, the directors of the FBI and the CIA told Congress yesterday. There are strong indications that al Qaeda will revisit missed targets until they succeed, such as they did with the World Trade Center, FBI Director Robert Mueller III told the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. The list of missed targets now includes both the White House, as well as the Capitol. Mr. Mueller said al Qaeda is seeking nuclear, chemical and biological weapons for attacks on targets that also include transportation systems such as subways, bridges, major cities and airlines.''
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The article goes on from there, but I think we all get the gist of it. I read this not because it talks necessarily about the Capitol and the White House, but because it points out the nature of this threat. So my question is, in the context of transformation, what is it about transformation that will make us better able, more capable in meeting these threats?
General SCHOOMAKER. Sir, first of all, I don't know any more about exactly what took place yesterday with Director Tenet than you do, except for what I read there, but it certainly is in tune with my feelings about the threat that we face and will continue to face. Through my own experience over the years, I know this is a formidable threat. It is an insidious threat. It is one that is going to be persistent, and one that is very, very dangerous to our way of life.
Specifically, what our transformation will do is permit us to deploy more agile, lethal, adaptable forces in concert with a strategy that allows us to act at our time and place of choosing, to do the kinds of things with the precision that is required to deal with this kind of threat. It is a significantly different capability than was required to stand toe to toe with the Soviet Union in a conventional battlefield in years past.
At the same time, it allows us to aggregate these very lethal forces into campaign quality formations to fight a conventional fight. I think that is it in a nutshell, from where I am. This is definitely the direction we need to go. If we allow ourselves to re-set into the previous formations with the previous mindsets and the previous understandings of single-service operations, going back to Congressman Skelton's issue, we do not fight as an Army alone anymore. We do not fight as a Navy alone. We do not fight as an Air Force and a Marine Corps alone. We fight as a joint team. It is perfectly reasonable for us to leverage each other's capabilities and to develop joint interdependencies unlike we have ever done in the past. That is what this force does.
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Secretary BROWNLEE. Sir, I might just add one thought. Certainly, and General Schoomaker has brought as I said earlier such wonderful new meaning to transformation, and it applies to our strategy of attacking them where they spawn and live, and where they fester, more or less. But it also includes our Reserve Components, especially the National Guard, who clearly have a homeland security mission. This transformation includes them, as well.
Certainly this program we just announced Monday to revitalize Army aviation includes new helicopters for the Army, Guard and Reserve, which we think they desperately need, not just for their missions when we deploy them, but for homeland defense, as well.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Thank you very much, gentlemen.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman.
Mr. REYES. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Gentlemen, thank you for being here.
Mr. Secretary and General Schoomaker, I don't know that this applies to the question that Mr. Skelton asked, but in December I was approached by a gentleman in El Paso who was concerned because his son is currently in the Air Force and he is part of a transportation company or battalion, I forget which one. They had just received orders or had been put on alert for duty in Iraq to replace an Army transportation unit.
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So I do not know if Mr. Skelton was referring to in terms of his question, but I know that when Secretary Rumsfeld was here, I asked him that question from the concerns expressed by the parent. His concerns were the following: That they are going to replace an Army unit is fine, but he was concerned that they received the training, the equipment, the survival, the evasive. The 507th came from my district, so that is fresh in the minds of all of those that have fighting men and women in-theater.
So, obviously, they are concerned that if you are, understanding that you want to fight using jointness, that everyone receives the kind of equipment and training and all of the things that offer maximum protection, as much as you can protect somebody that is in a combat situation, in a difficult environment like Iraq is today.
So can you comment on that from that perspective?
General SCHOOMAKER. If that is the essence of Congressman Skelton's question, that makes a lot of sense to me. You are exactly right. We have asked for, in the Joint Chiefs of Staff we have taken a look in the Joint Staff at what other capabilities reside across the services, like finance and personnel and transportation and engineering and things like that, that would be available to continue and to relieve some of the stress purely on the Army force.
Transportation is one of those areas. I can assure you that we are not talking about taking Air Force transportation units, first of all because they do not come with trucks and they do not come with maintenance. They just come with drivers, which is a lot different than Army transportation. So we are not talking about taking them or plugging them into tactical formations.
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We are talking about doing transportation things, moving supplies, moving parts, moving things for instance in Kuwait where we have a lot of transportation requirements, but certainly not plugging them into division structure, similar to what you just described. They will go through the theater-required validations to make sure that they have the skills to do the job that is going to be required of them.
If that is the essence of the question, the answer is yes, that is occurring, just like the Air Force asked us to guard air bases. So we have soldiers guarding air bases for them, so that their security police can do expeditionary things with their expeditionary airfields. Just like we guarded the equipment on Navy ships, so that their security people could focus on ports and the kinds of things where they had to perform security functions. From a soldier's perspective and from a joint officer's perspective, this makes perfect sense.
Of course, we always want to make sure we have prepared all of our young people, regardless of what service, to perform the tasks which we ask them to perform and do it in a manner that is prudent and safe.
Mr. REYES. Maybe, at least it would be useful for me, because when he asked that question, and even when I asked the question of Secretary Rumsfeld, I assumed that you were going to take Air Force trucks and all of their support capabilities, and transfer them in.
General SCHOOMAKER. The Air Force does not have tactical vehicles to the extent that the Army does. Generally, what they have in their transportation units is they go down to the base transportation motor pool and draw a vehicle that are maintained in that motor pool. They are not an integral unit for deployment in that regard.
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That is not to say there aren't some in the Air Force, obviously, for their Air Expeditionary Forces, but in the main they are not organized in the manner the Army is organized for tactical operations. It is different requirements altogether.
Mr. REYES. Are there possibly other areas where we can be provided a briefing on some of these joint type tactical decisions that you are making so that we have the information so that we can reassure parents, spouses that are very much concerned?
General SCHOOMAKER. Absolutely. I think just real quickly here, and we will get you even more detail, but if you take a look at Landstuhl in Germany, that is manned Army and Air Force. We use joint doctors. It is under joint management there and everything else.
If you take a look at the capability of Navy Seabees and Marine engineer units and Air Force Red Horse, there are capabilities there in engineering that are applicable to the kinds of work that we do in the stability and support operations. If you take a look at the security police, MP business, we have joint capability that we could be leveraging across that; and of course in finance and personnel and in a bunch of areas.
So it just makes a lot of sense to use the whole team and to use the capabilities, which is what we areit is a capability-based force. As we go into the future, we will look for increasing joint capabilities as we build our force structures for the future, but we will get you the detail on it.
Page 43 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. REYES. Mr. Chairman, it might be a good idea to have a separate briefing on some of these issues so that we can speak with a degree of understanding and reassurance to those that ask those questions in town hall meetings and things like that.
The CHAIRMAN. This might be one of our good candidates for one of our early morning bagel briefings here, so Mr. Reyes, we will fire it up.
Mr. REYES. Right.
General SCHOOMAKER. I am reminded here, it is really a Joint Staff issue, and what we ought to do is get the view there and have a comprehensive presentation of what we are doing.
The CHAIRMAN. Okay. We will be happy to do that.
General, Mr. Secretary, we have a little thing that we do now on a lot of these issues. We will have an early morning briefing, kind of an informal breakfast where we sit around and you can ask lots of candid questions. This might be a good candidate here.
Mr. EVERETT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Secretary and General, welcome. Thank you for your service. I appreciate your return to Active duty, especially giving up what you gave up. I ride around with my dog in my truck every morning that I am at home, and I do not have a cell phone. [Laughter.]
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I had a little senior moment there, I guess, or something.
Up until I moved out on my farm about a year and a half ago, I lived three miles from the Enterprise gate at Fort Rucker. I have to confess to you that when I talked to General Sinclair and found out that the Comanche had been cancelled, I had some pretty tough moments. As a matter of fact, I had to have a couple of days to look at what was happening and to try to keep an open mind about this.
Having said that, I have some questions that I would like to get to. I will begin by saying it seems clear to me and others that Army aviation is a critical component of the Army's transformation. The canceling of the Comanche may put this in question. First of all, I would like for you to reaffirm the importance of Army aviation as far as the Army transformation.
Secretary BROWNLEE. Yes, sir, absolutely. This was to fix Army aviation, sir. The study that General Schoomaker directed the Army staff to do did not begin with the thought of terminating Comanche. It began with a thought of how do we fix Army aviation. It is that critically important. Not only does it include over the FYDP, the Future Years Defense Program, the procurement of almost 800 new aircraft, it includes the refurbishment of 1,400 aircraft of our fleet.
Mr. EVERETT. We are refurbishing and buying new aircraft, 2,200 of them for 129 Comanches, roughly.
General SCHOOMAKER. It is 121 Comanches.
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Mr. EVERETT. 121 Comanches.
General SCHOOMAKER. It is $14.6 billion.
Mr. EVERETT. I want to ask you about that $14.6 billion and what we are going to do with it. The Comanche is the most advanced helicopter program in the entire Department of Defense. That is a huge step, canceling it. This proposal seems like we are regressing, or going backward. Are we?
General SCHOOMAKER. No, sir. First of all, I got the commitment of the Secretary of Defense, the President and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) that we would be allowed to move what was in Comanche into fixing Army aviation. We have over $100 billion invested in our Army aviation fleet. We have a mis-match in brigade structure there; seven different kinds of aviation brigades that we are now standardizing. So we have them across the Active and the Guard and the Reserve. We are putting into the aircraft fleet that we are talking about with this money, aircraft survivability equipment that will provide protection for our aircraft in the kind of threat environment that we have. Comanche did not do that. For us to be able to protect Comanche in this environment it would have cost us billions more to be able to do that.
Mr. EVERETT. I understand that the Comanche actually once it opened its gun bays, it could be seen.
General SCHOOMAKER. It is not only opening the gun bays, but if you were going to protect it against the information operations (IO) threat, you would have to hang others things on the outside that do not go inside of it. So you lose the essence of the program.
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I would also tell you that we are moving in Apache to block three, which takes it to Comanche block one-level of capability. So we are not losing capability here within this area.
Mr. EVERETT. Except possibly speed?
General SCHOOMAKER. Excuse me?
Mr. EVERETT. Except possibly speed? Let's say the Apache will do about 119 knots and the Comanche was going to be a little faster than that?
General SCHOOMAKER. The Comanche was faster than the Apache would be.
Mr. EVERETT. Of course, the Comanche was to replace the Warrior.
General SCHOOMAKER. That is correct.
Mr. EVERETT. It would go between 70 and 80 knots.
General SCHOOMAKER. That is correct.
Mr. EVERETT. Which didn't make sense because it was supposed to be the scout aircraft for the Apache, and yet it had to fly behind the Apache because it could not keep up with it.
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Let me ask you, if this plan goes forward, are you committed to provide the resources necessary to train the additional pilots at Fort Rucker?
General SCHOOMAKER. That is correct.
Mr. EVERETT. Okay.
General SCHOOMAKER. This also funds the aviation school 21 construct.
Mr. EVERETT. Flight School 21?
General SCHOOMAKER. That is correct, Flight School 21 construct.
Mr. EVERETT. I thought we had that in the program objective memorandum (POM) already this year?
General SCHOOMAKER. It is, sir.
Mr. EVERETT. Okay. But this is additional money?
General SCHOOMAKER. What this does is provide the advanced aircraft that Flight School 21 needs to do it.
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Mr. EVERETT. Okay. The Comanche program was set to receive $1.2 billion in 2005 and $14.6 billion to fiscal year 2011. Can you assure this committee that all this money will be spent on Army aviation in light of the many competing interests, not only within the Department of Defense, but also the government at large?
General SCHOOMAKER. Sir, I can assure you that the Department of Defense and the White House has told us that is true, and the OMB. It is up to the Hill to determine whether that money goes to Army aviation. So I am asking for your support to ensure that that money does go there.
Mr. EVERETT. From an operational standpoint, has the Army determined from lessons learned in Afghanistan and Iraq that the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)/manned helicopter should be shifted more toward UAVs? If so, could you please explain that?
General SCHOOMAKER. Sir, the residual of the Comanche program is going into tech base, which specifically is going to look at the advanced UAVs, as well as the advanced joint rotorcraft. What we are putting into Apache will allow it to do level-four control of UAV just like Comanche was going to do.
Mr. EVERETT. Finally, Mr. Chairman, I have one other question. You have told the committee that part of the restructuring of Army aviation that you plan to leverage this technology base we have achieved from the Comanche for future joint aviation programs. Is it fair to say that as a part of this effort, the Army will begin an estimated $2 billion development effort for a new joint multi-role helicopter? Please describe to us a plan to move out on this effort. When do you expect this joint helicopter will be fielded and what will its capabilities be?
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General SCHOOMAKER. We are going to move out as soon as we get approval to do this recommendation that we have had. There is some money in the 2005 budget that will go to start that tech-based development.
Mr. EVERETT. Is that the $2 billion that we are talking about?
General SCHOOMAKER. It is a little less than that in 2005. It is about $500 million.
Secretary BROWNLEE. Over the FYDP, I believe that is about $500 million, sir. Some of this is contingent on the final determination of termination liabilities and how much money is left.
General SCHOOMAKER. But the time frame we are talking about is the 2020 to 2025 time frame.
Mr. EVERETT. I am assuming that Comanche is not altogether a bad idea. It is just an expensive idea and we are in the position right now where we need the bucks for something else, and that is basically to get
General SCHOOMAKER. Comanche was a wonderful idea up until about 1989.
Mr. EVERETT. We started hanging everything in the world on top of it, and it went from $16 million to $46 million.
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General SCHOOMAKER. We started seeing that kind of threat disappear that it was prepared for, and then it continued to disappear over this last decade. It was becoming obvious now that we have had 2 years of war and have lost 9 aircraft and 32 lives to a different kind of threat, that we should not proceed and put all of our eggs in that basket. It makes more sense to do what we are doing.
Mr. EVERETT. Gentlemen, thank you very much.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman.
Just to follow up briefly, as we do this new multi-role chopper, I think it is important that it has characteristics that allow us to pivot off that technology into the domestic market. I would hope that you folks would make sure that we design it in that way. Is that a consideration?
Secretary BROWNLEE. Yes, sir. Sir, it is now, sir. [Laughter.]
The CHAIRMAN. Good.
Secretary BROWNLEE. It certainly should have been. I have to tell you that this is a joint program and certainly it is in the formative stages. Certainly, we will want to leverage on what is there and make sure that that is also transferable to the private sector.
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The CHAIRMAN. It is a big aspect of what we do. It is a big national investment.
General SCHOOMAKER. A point well made, sir. We should do that.
The CHAIRMAN. Okay. Thank you very much. I thank the gentlemen.
Dr. SNYDER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Welcome, gentlemen, we appreciate your being here today.
General, I was at Fort Polk on Monday with some of the Arkansas delegation. We have several thousand of our Arkansans from the 39th brigade that are in the last part of their training. They feel very good about the training they are getting down there. But there are two specific questions, and I don't think I need you to give me an answer now, but if somebody could get in touch with my office. But some of the folks that are there had been activated for I believe it was a six-month tour in the Sinai, plus they had some training time before then. They have now been activated and will be going to Iraq.
Apparently, they are concerned, and you will appreciate this concern, having been drawn out of retirement, General; but their concern is that they will somehow hit this 24-month activation and be pulled back from Iraq before their unit is scheduled to come home. They are of the belief that they are supposed to get some kind of waiver or paper sign-off giving them the knowledge that they will not be pulled back from Iraq, but they will be able to complete the tour.
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General SCHOOMAKER. Sir, they were not mobilized for the Sinai if that is where they were under partial mobilization. They were under Presidential selected Reserve call-up. Partial mobilization is contingency-dependent. So they should not be affected by the previous deployment.
Dr. SNYDER. That would be good.
The other issue that came up is, some of the folks are going over with advance units, so they are staggered over several weeks. This policy of 12 months on the ground, is it fair to say it actually begins when the whole unit is intact together, and that for those folks who go over in advance, they are actually going to be there for a few weeks longer?
General SCHOOMAKER. That is a better description. We call it center or mass of the unit, but basically what we are looking at is the unit. There obviously will be individuals that will be there somewhat shorter or somewhat longer. It is the unit that we are looking at.
Dr. SNYDER. I wanted to ask some questions about the whole thing of transformation, which the briefing this morning described as the biggest change in the Army in 50 years. I wanted to ask about costs. As you look at building these capabilities with the brigades and the transition that is going to occur over the next several years, do you have a cost estimate in fiscal year 2004 or 2005 or 2006 or 2007, and what those costs will be to do those kinds of changes?
Page 53 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General SCHOOMAKER. The answer is yes. I don't have it available, but we would be able to provide that for the record if you want to look at it. It is continuing to develop as we take a look at the order in which we might realize it. We made a decision that we are probably going to do a heavy brigade, which we are already doing this year with the Third Infantry Division (ID).
Dr. SNYDER. If I might interrupt, General, and go back to cost. Sorry to interrupt, but we have only five minutes. My understanding is that the estimate for 2004 is $1.2 billion; for 2005, it is $1.6 billion; for 2006, it is $3.1 billion; for 2007, it is $4.0 billion; for fiscal years 2008 through 2011, a total of $10.2 billion; for a total of $20.1 billion over that period of time. Does that sound like it is in the ballpark?
General SCHOOMAKER. That sounds in the ballpark, yes, sir.
Dr. SNYDER. If those numbers are correct, and I have been assured that they are, why can that not be budgeted for as part of the regular authorization or appropriations process?
General SCHOOMAKER. Sir, some of it is, but the majority of it is re-set money as we bring units out of the theater and refurbish their equipment and re-set the force that served in the theater. For instance, if you take a look at the units we are re-setting, we are re-setting the ones that are returning from Iraq or Afghanistan. We are using that momentum and those resources to re-set ourselves. So a lot of it is supplemental money, not inside the budget.
Page 54 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Dr. SNYDER. General, in your opening statement, you stated that if the Congress were to do a change in the end-strength, and I have signed onto any bills that do that, so I am still trying to sort this out. Your exact words were, this will jeopardize future readiness. Explain to me whyI think Ms. Tauscher has a bill to deal with end-strength for really a short period of time, for five yearsbut why would congressional action to do what you are doing, when you see these numbers going up and the President still has some flexibility in there, even if the Congress were to actexplain how does that jeopardize future readiness?
General SCHOOMAKER. Sir, I would be very happy to, and I will have Secretary Brownlee, who is an expert in the way that Congress works here.
Secretary BROWNLEE. Let me just explain what some of our assumptions were here. We looked at our own budget. If in fact we tried to pay for this out of our budget and out of our future year defense program, if we just presumed that an additional 10,000 soldiers cost us about $1.2 billion per year, and we tried to add 30,000 in our budget, we would have to go in and take out $3.6 billion in the first year, and then in the out-years thereon, and we would have to pay for that out of the programs within the Army's budget.
Now, since it is not in our budget because we think it is more appropriate to pay for those costs out of supplemental appropriations, if the decision were made here in the Congress to pay for those 30,000 soldiers over here, you have issues over here that we really do not have. I know that because I worked over here a long time, in that your budget is scored by the Congressional Budget Office and you have certain outlay targets you have to meet. You have budget authority and outlays.
Page 55 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Some programs outlay at greater rates than others. Military personnel outlays over 90 percent. It is about one for one. So for you to go back into our budget and find $3.6 billion of outlay and account for the outlays, if you had to take that out of operations amd maintenance (O&M) funds, they outlay at rates from 50 percent to 75 percent, as opposed to 1 to 1; research and development (R&D) accounts outlay at about 30 percent; and procurements count anywhere from 25 percent down to 1 or 2 percent. You might have to cut somewhere between $6 billion to $10 billion or $12 billion out of other programs in order to find $3.6 billion of military personnel (MILPERS).
I hope that is not too confusing, but it is what your committees have to deal with in making sure that you balance your budget authorities and outlays in accordance with the targets given you. It is just one of the things you would have to face. Quite frankly, when we were looking at this and trying to find the best way to do it, of course the first we looked at was authority, and clearly the Congress provided an authority for peacetime, which is authorized end-strength; an authority for wartime, which is in Title X, paragraph 123(a), which allows the President to waive or defer the end-strength, and let the force grow to meet the conflict. When we asked how are we paying for that growth now, we were paying for it out of supplemental appropriations. We looked at historical precedents, and it had been done the same way. It seemed right from a precedent point of view and it certainly seems right because it is better for us and better for you.
The last point is, because General Schoomaker and I intend that this bubble of headspace and flexibility is temporary. We feel a huge responsibility to go into the Army that we have at 482.4 end-strength and find the efficiencies within that force so that at the end of this period we can keep these combat brigades we have created with this headspace, but at the original end-strength of 482.4. That is our strategy and our goal.
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Dr. SNYDER. My time is up. Mr. Secretary, it might be helpful to have you prepare a written summary, because when I ask questions about jeopardizing future readiness, you are talking about something that you are intimately involved with over here, which is how we do our appropriations, authorizations and outlays. It is pretty complicated stuff. If we had a two-or three-page summary, that might be helpful to answer some of these questions.
Secretary BROWNLEE. Yes, sir. I would be happy to do it. The impact on readiness could occur if the money had to come out of O&M in order to make pay for the MILPERS bill.
Dr. SNYDER. Thank you.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman.
Mr. HAYES. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Thank you, gentlemen, for being here. Got your pencils ready?
Secretary BROWNLEE. Yes, sir.
Page 57 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. HAYES. General Schoomaker and Secretary Brownlee, I am aware that IMA, the Installation Management Agency, has been charged with standardizing installations across the Army. While some standardization across the Army can be useful, I am concerned about IMA as the Army tries to transform, fight a war, and take care of soldiers.
Additionally, we are embarking on another round of BRAC which may fundamentally alter the face of many installations as we move toward more joint basing concept. Please tell me about the funding contained in your budget for IMA; how much of this funding used to go to United States Army Forces Command (FORCSCOM) and how much to individual installations.
Additionally, we are told that Sustainment, Restoration and Modernization (SRM) is only being funded at 70 percent and sometimes I question that. How is IMA funding in its quest to make every Army installation look the same, a wise investment now, when we aren't even fixing leaky roofs at our installations? Bragg is not like Jackson, is not like Polk, is not like the National Training Center (NTC). The curtains at General Vines's house don't need to look like the curtains at somebody else's house. I see an expense, but I don't see the value to go with it.
Secretary BROWNLEE. Sir, if I could take the detailed response to that for the record, I will. Let me just say that we would like to provide more funding to the SRM and to IMA. General Schoomaker and I have agreed that our installations should truly be flagships for the Army. We want them to represent the very best.
Part of the intent of stabilizing the force and stopping so much movement and turbulence in the Army is also associated with building up our installations here in the continental United States (CONUS), bringing our forces back from overseas stations and putting them at home stations and building those up. That is part of our plan.
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We are always challenged to find enough money to meet the demands for our installations. We are doing that every day on a daily basis. I personally do not feel obsessed with making everything look alike either. I agree with you. If we are doing that, I think we have created the wrong impression. What we really want to do is make them all better. That is our intent. But there is no intent on my part or anybody that I know to make them all look alike.
General SCHOOMAKER. Sir, if I could, I will be very brief. When the 18th Airborne Corps Headquarters deploys to Afghanistan; when the 101st goes to Iraq, their headquarters division; when the 10th Mountain Division goes to Afghanistan; when the 3rd (ID) goes from Fort Stewart, who is running the installations? Air System Command. That's right. What we have here is a means by which we can provide some direction and some standardization, prioritization and make sure that it is being done right.
What happened in the previous times, and I have lived on all these installations for a long time and had to compete on those installations with the kinds of things, it is not the best way to do business and it is time for us to transform and do it more effectively and more efficiently and make sure that we are creating flagship installations.
Mr. HAYES. I appreciate the comments. You and I are on the same page. We had the death by PowerPoint presentation from IMA and asked a number of questions two months ago, the answers to which are not forthcoming, least of which is why are you spending money on these flip charts when you could be fixing my roof and helping my soldiers. That is my point.
General SCHOOMAKER. That is a good point.
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Mr. HAYES. Thank you. You have been doing a good job of fixing there.
Secretary BROWNLEE. Thank you, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman.
Ms. SANCHEZ. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and thank you, gentlemen, for being here today before us.
I, as usual, have a lot of questions. I would like to first of all start off with the recent press reports raised about serious concerns to this committee about the problem of sexual assault against female soldiers serving in Iraq. I know that you have done some preliminary analysis of the rate of sexual assault crimes in OIF. Could you summarize your findings on that issue? Do you believe that there is an in ordinate rate of sexual violence among our troops deployed in Iraq?
Secretary BROWNLEE. If I could take that, please. We always watch this very carefully. Of course, those that are reported, we believe are for the most part, not always, but for the most part treated right. They are investigated. The young women who are the victims, we intend to be treated properly and to receive the right kind of both medical and other counseling and care.
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The problem that we have had in the past sometimes is that in many cases these go unreported. We do not want that. We want an environment where these young women will feel free to report. One of the most successful things we have had is kind of a buddy system for them.
What I did when this came to light that there were cases out there which had gone unreported, which were now coming to light, is that we assembled a task force within the Army. I directed them to undertake a study on this to see what we could do, because the problem is you don't know what you don't know in those that are unreported.
One of the things we had already done, recognizing that some had been reported, but maybe some had not been, we had already started a survey to see if we could determine from the results of the survey if there were assaults out there that had not been reported.
Ms. SANCHEZ. Do you think a soldier is less likely to report a sexual assault than a civilian?
Secretary BROWNLEE. I don't know. I just don't know. It may be true that it might be less likely to be reported depending on where the soldier is and what the soldier is doing and the conditions at the time. I suppose that is true. What we want to have is an environment where if a young woman is assaulted, she feels like she is in an environment where she can report it in some way, so we can take care of her and hopefully stop this. But as I said, our survey was still being conducted and we did not have the results.
Page 61 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC So I went ahead and appointed a task force. This was when these first came to light. We are working at that very diligently and intend to. We take it very seriously. I personally do. It is not just enough to react when an incident is reported. I believe that we must create an environment where these young women feel free to tell someone what has happened. That is what we want.
Ms. SANCHEZ. The Unified Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) provisions defining sexual assault have remained basically unchanged since the 1950's. I think you will agree that there has been a lot of extensive changes in American law since that time. In fact, in 2001 there was the Cox Commission recommendation that rape and forcible sodomy statutes in the UCMJ should be repealed and replaced by more comprehensive sexual abuse statutes that mirror what we have in Title XVIII. Do you believe it is time to adopt this recommendation and revise the UCMJ?
Secretary BROWNLEE. Ma'am, I would have to research that more thoroughly. I am just not prepared to give you an answer on that. I would be happy to look into it.
Ms. SANCHEZ. Okay. We will leave that for you to answer in writing.
[The information referred to can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Can you outline for me what victim support services are available to soldiers who suffer sexual assaults in Iraq, in the zone?
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Secretary BROWNLEE. I can give you a general sense. I would be happy to provide for the record a more strict accounting of that. If a young woman reports a sexual assault, we want to ensure that she receives immediate medical attention; that she receives counseling that she may require; that she is protected; that she does not feel threatened by her situation or her environment or anyone around her.
We want to investigate thoroughly and find out who did this and take appropriate action. Those are essentially the things that we would do. We certainly want to care for her in every way. On the other side, we want to investigate and find out what happened exactly and who is responsible, and take appropriate action.
Mr. SAXTON [presiding]. Mr. Secretary, thank you very much.
Mr. SIMMONS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I thank the panel for being here today.
I have questions for several panel members, and because of the time limitation, what I would like to do if I could is ask each question in sequence, and then wait for the answers. My first question will go to Acting Secretary Brownlee. I thank you for the correspondence that you and I have had on a number of soldier issues dating back to last fall, a very comprehensive response to my concerns for O'Garo-Hass plates for Guard and Reserve, to body armor, and most recently up-armor for humvee (HMMWV)s doors and windows.
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I note, Mr. Secretary, on page 13, a comparison of where we were a year ago and where we are today on the HMMWV issue. I note for the record that I went out to Ohio to the O'Gara-Hess facility and you followed me out there a few days later.
Secretary BROWNLEE. Yes, I did.
Mr. SIMMONS. My question for you, and I will just ask it and move to the next question, is describe the actions that you have taken to address the issue of armor for HMMWVs, and when we think that our soldiers will be fully protected with up-armor and windshields, and if there is anything else that this committee or this Congress can do to address that issue.
Secretary BROWNLEE. Okay, sir.
Mr. SIMMONS. Point two for General Schoomaker: You never should have answered your cell phone. My wife does not allow me to take it on vacations and that is probably a good thing. My question for you goes to the issue of transformation. I have here a book which is Transforming the Legions: The Army and the Future of Land Warfare, which is a very interesting analysis by the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments on Transformation. They indicate on page 85 that when the German general staff was transforming the German army in the period prior to World War II, General Hans Von Seeckt served for 7 years in a leadership position to make sure the transformation took place; that when the American Navy transformed, Admiral William Moffett first served for 12 consecutive years. How long do you intend to be in your current position to work on this transition? Seven years? Twelve years?
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It is a serious issue because your predecessor was in for four years. Military rotation usually involves quick tours. To make these things stick and to deal with what they call the counterrevolution to transformation, which is bureaucratic politics, it takes a long period of time of service to make the transformation work. So I would be interested in your thoughts on that.
Then I would like to switch briefly to the Guard and Reserve. I know we have General Helmly and General Schultz here. On page 10, there is a photo of helicopter maintenance and repair folks in the field. They are not named, but the 1109th Aviation Classification and Repair Depot (AVCRAD), which is a Connecticut unit, just returned on Monday of this week. They have been maintaining and repairing helicopters in Kuwait with people in Iraq. Two things, one, they were the first aviation repair and maintenance unit to go over there. They took everything they had out of Groton, over $10 million worth of material, test-bed materials, not just screw drivers and hammers. Much of that is being left behind, so they will now be moving into an empty facility in Groton-New London, unable to perform their basic mission because a lot of those materials that they took have been left behind. I requested last year for $10 million to make them whole in the supplemental. That was turned down, so now I am looking at this cycle to see how we make a unit like this whole.
Second, the commander of the unit, Colonel Erickson, who is a test pilot for Sikorsky, says he has great concerns about the numbers of helicopters that we have in the field and in the inventory to perform the mission. Not only are they being beat up in the war on Afghanistan and in Iraq, but they are being beat up by the weather, by the dust, the dirt and the sand. This kind of shifts me back to the whole panel.
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When we are surprised, as I was, with the Comanche announcement, that followed a visit down to Sikorsky; when we were surprised by the Comanche announcement, right away I am thinking, where are these dollars going to go? Are these dollars going to go into the helicopter force that is in serious trouble, that we are holding them together, and people have come back from the field, who I respect, who are knowledgeable, and are telling me, we have a serious problem there. Are these dollars going to go somewhere else? And what about the very skilled designers and workers at Sikorsky down in Bridgeport, what about them? Are those skill sets going to be lost because this money is going to go some other place?
My time has run out, and I thank you.
Mr. SAXTON. The gentleman has left no time for the answers to his many questions. [Laughter.]
Secretary BROWNLEE. Thank you, sir. Should we respond?
Mr. SAXTON. Yes, please, if you can do it quickly. What happens here is that the ladies and gentlemen in the first row get real itchy when we each take 10 minutes. So if you could keep the answers short, we would appreciate it.
Secretary BROWNLEE. Sir, let me respond first to your question on up-armored HMMWVs. We consider this as a matter of force protection. In the Army, General Schoomaker and I have said both in writing, and we say it every day, if it involves force protection for soldiers, it is our most urgent highest priority. It will be worked on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There is no limitation on it. That is from development, testing, procurement, right on through transportation and distribution. Up-armored HMMWVs fall into that category.
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As you know, when the war ended, we had a few hundred there. The situational operational environment changed, and we suddenly saw the requirements start to go up. They went to 1,000 and we ramped up to do that; to 2,000, we ramped up again. They went to 3,000. At that time, when they were 3,000, General Schoomaker and I testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee that the best estimate we had at the time of filling that requirement, that those would not be produced until May, 2005. Now, that was unacceptable to us, and we know it would be to you.
So through a whole series of actions by the Army and the industry, we have worked together. I had an industry day where I had truck makers to include HMMWVs, and the armor makers that we could get to come in. We all met and the question was, what can we do to fix this? We need a World War II-type industry-military effort, to get together, put the proprietary interests and everything else aside, and let us get this done for soldiers.
My follow-up trip was to AM General, to meet the chief executive officer (CEO) there, with the CEO from O'Gara-Hess. We went through that plant. The three of us went together to O'Gara-Hess. Then we sat down together and I said, show me a ramp that is the fastest rate you can produce these. We know or we are told that we can get to a rate of 220 per month by May. We agreed in that room that they could add 50 per month for the next 5 months. That should allow us to reach the production goal of not 3,000, but 4,149 by the end of July 2004. Hopefully, it will not take more than 60 to 90 days to get them over there and into the hands of the soldiers, but that fields them much quicker.
I commend the members of the industry, both AM General, O'Gara-Hess and all their suppliers who have come to the table on that. We are now going through the Army's budget to find the money to fund that ramp increase, but we intend to do it.
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Mr. SIMMONS. Thank you very much.
Secretary BROWNLEE. Thanks for your help and leadership on this issue, sir.
Mr. SAXTON. Ms. Tauscher is next. Thank you.
Ms. TAUSCHER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Secretary Brownlee and General Schoomaker, thank you very much for all of the work that you are doing. I am very impressed by all of the things that I have heard from General Casey and General Cody and others. I really support this initiative to create more capability, but I am really concerned about the way we are going to be funding this. Just to clear the record, even though I keep hearing that you are all very concerned about a permanent increase of end-strength, I do not know of anybody who has suggested a permanent increase of end-strength. My bill, which is the only bill out there, is a temporary increase in end-strength, for the very reasons that we would want to have a temporary increase in end-strength, to give you more capabilities. So we seem to be talking past each other about this.
I think it is important to structure and rebalance, using the AC-RC mix. We are going to 43 brigades. I would like to know a couple of things about where exactly these new ten brigades are going to come from. I have been told that the new brigades are going to be made up of a portion of the 30,000 people that are brought in under the emergency end-strength increase.
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How many of the 30,000 are new people, as opposed to restructured existing slots? If some of the 30,000 will be brought into the new brigades, why is not the Army recognizing the ongoing need for increased end-strength, temporary or permanent, and seeking authorization for the increase and funding it through the regular budget?
My problem is this, I am for what you want to do; I do not like the way you want to pay for it. I am not sure that actually these would be your choices, other than more senior people in the Pentagon's choices. What we have created is a separate set of books for Iraq and Afghanistan, that is outside the budget. It creates many, many problems, gentlemen, including the fact that this committee, which has to make significant decisions on policy and resources in an ongoing way, out many future years, basically has two places to look for informationthe separate set of books for Iraq and Afghanistan called the supplemental, and the regular budget. There is a blending going on every day.
So that blending may be convenience, and it certainly avoids hard choices that the Pentagon would have to make in other programs, but what it really is doing is not only diluting our ability to have any accountability and any ability to understand what is going on, but I think it is putting you all behind the eight-ball. I do not believe that what this is is a spike. I believe it is a plateau. Our efforts to work with you on a temporary increase are now going to be funded in a way that we cannot ever be sure that we are doing the right thing.
If you could answer those questions, I would appreciate it.
General SCHOOMAKER. First of all, I really appreciate all of your effort that you have taken to understand with us. I don't think we disagree. I think the problem is a practical problem. That is, that we have a fixed topline in our budget, and that we know we have to do this. We know that we cannot afford to do this inside of our budget. So what we did is the best we could to offer a solution, and that is what we did on it.
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Second, the Army is like a river. We have 63,000 people every day that are coming and going in the Army. So to answer your question about specifically are these new people, old people, what kind of people they are that will form these brigades, they will be formed out of soldiers that are on Active duty. Some of them will be new ones we assess and train. Some of them will be relocated within the structure we have. Some of them will come from wherever they need to come from as we re-form. Some of them are already in these divisions and will be divided in different ways, and then augmented by additional people.
The last thing that I think is really important here is that in the end, what we want to do is make sure we have more capability within our own resources. It really is very important that we take this opportunity of all of this turmoil that we have, of re-setting and all this motion, to re-set ourselves the future and not try to re-set ourselves the way we were. That is really the best answer I can give you. I think we want the same thing. It is just that you have to understand the practical realities of what is within our purview.
Ms. TAUSCHER. I do understand, General. I understand the rock and the hard place that you are stuck between, but you have to understand my position, too. I have got to be accountable for this money, and I cannot be; $166 billion of supplementals, and I cannot tell you where a farthing of it has gone. We cannot have this continue and act as if this is an emergency or a contingency that we could not plan for, and have it operate outside the budget.
So much of what we are doing is inside of transformation and all of the other things that are happening is happening on the back of this supplemental. I cannot be accountable for it and I don't think that we want a government that says, I can't tell you where the money went.
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General SCHOOMAKER. I can assure you we are accounting for the money. From my perspective, there is nothing stealthy or deceitful about this. The budget is open and the supplemental is open. We are required to manage it appropriately and be accountable to be good stewards of this money. I really do not have anywhere else I can go on it.
Secretary BROWNLEE. Yes, ma'am. Again, let me thank you also. We know that you are trying to help us. We are not in disagreement with any of that. It is pretty clear why we chose the way we did, but again, as we looked at what we were dealing with and knowing what you have to deal with over here when you put your budgets together, and the fact that there is an emergency and there is a wartime authority, this clearly appeared to be to us the best way to do this, not just for us, but for you, as well.
As far as the accounting for the supplemental, General Schoomaker is right. We do account for every farthing, and we are accountable for that. We do not see that as any under-the-table deal. The supplementals are right out there for everybody to look at. Each of you have the opportunity to vote on those. Each of you can propose amendments for how that money must be accounted for. We certainly recognize that this is the business of the Congress to authorize and appropriate these funds. We want to work with you to find the best way to do this, we truthfully do.
We thought as had proposed a solution that would be more in keeping with those issues you have to face, as well as the ones we do. Since we all agree that our strategy is to make this temporary, this certainly appeared to be a good alternative. There is no intent to hide anything.
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Mr. SAXTON. Thank you, Mr. Secretary.
Mrs. Wilson is next.
Mrs. WILSON OF NEW MEXICO. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
General, thank you; and Mr. Secretary, thank you very much for being here.
It occurs to me that you are involved at the moment in planning and directing the most comprehensive change in the Army, certainly since the all-volunteer force in 1973 and the end of Vietnam. In listening to the exchanges with my colleagues, it sounds as though we are in a situation where the decision is we cannot afford this inside our budget, so we will put the cost off budget in unauthorized spending. I think there is a reason to have a supplemental. I know you are going to need a supplemental for the actions in Iraq. But the change to the Army that we are discussing here today, and that you have put so much effort into planning, and so far I think it is a pretty good plan, that changed the Army. It isn't an emergency. It is a priority, and to me there is a difference there.
We are now getting from you and working with you, and have in many of these documents you gave us today, what you think you are going to need to accomplish that change. So that we know the cost, and that cost is not dependent on the actions of an enemy in Iraq or Afghanistan or anywhere else.
So what I really see going on here is, all of us are trying to tap dance around a bunch of rules and procedures as to where something fits, in which bill and which pot of money, and how do we account for it, as opposed to focusing on what it is that we need to do to allow the Army to get done what it needs to do.
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What I would like to ask you is, are there rules or restrictions within law that are barriers for you? Within the Army, you are tap dancing around rules that are imposed upon you that we need to change. Could you highlight a couple of those for me?
General SCHOOMAKER. First of all, I agree with you. I would like to say, for instance, in regard to what we are talking about here, this decision on Comanche is an example. What we have asked for is going to depend upon the Hill, the Congress making sure that money goes where we want it to go on the deal.
But one of the things that you and I discussed yesterday, Congresswoman Wilson, was this notion of DOD transfer authority and some of these other kinds of things that we think would be helpful. I wish I had the list here, and I don't, so I can't cite it. I could provide you for the record some of the kinds of things that we think would help us do it.
We are not tap dancing around rules here. What we have is, we are having to comply with resource processes that are quite frankly in my opinion antiquated, difficult to work with, and do not serve the best interests of national security or the Nation or fiscal responsibility. So I think that we could take a look at this as transformational and take a look at where we would get some better help on it.
Mrs. WILSON OF NEW MEXICO. I very much appreciate that, because we want you to succeed. I think we always add rules to the books and we never go back and look at the ones we need to modify or change, and we expect you to live by them. I notice also in your posture statementand Mr. Chairman, this will be my last question, particularly as we are going to get some answers for the record later onyou mention the importance of retaining the right volunteers in a volunteer force. Are there additional tools that you need to make sure you can retain the right volunteers as you go through this four-year period of change? Are there additional tools that you need from us to authorize?
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General SCHOOMAKER. I think there are lots of ideas on what tools we can use. We are evaluating a lot of different kinds of incentives to do the kinds of things that we need to do, not only for rewarding people for their service, but working on the retention of the family and all the rest. I think we are being quite creative in that regard, within the rules. There are opportunities here that we have not taken advantage of in the past, in my view, to be as innovative as we could have been in some of these regards.
Certainly, right now some of the incentives we have for those that are serving and in harm's way are very, very important to us. We have asked for the targeted reenlistment bonus and for the retention bonuses for those that reenlist in Iraq, for instance, or Afghanistan. These are important tools to us.
I guess I would just like to wrap it up. If you take a look at our focus areas that we have identified in the Army, one of those focus areas is called resource processes. I think these resource processes are a center of gravity. If we cannot transform the processes in which we are forced to work, then we are going to continue to promulgate the kinds of problems that brought us to where we are today.
So we are working at it very hard. We have done some pretty innovative things within the law that are not statutory restrictions, but they are regulatory or directives that we can affect to help ourselves. And we have done a lot of those, and we will continue to, but we probably have some opportunity on the statutory side to do some things differently.
Mrs. WILSON OF NEW MEXICO. Thank you, sir.
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Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you, Mrs. Wilson.
Mr. LARSON. I have two questions, and I would like to get the questions out there and then have you respond to them. One of the questions has to do with the Reserves and National Guard; and the other has to do with transformation, and specifically the Cherokee.
First, with the National Guard and Reserves, I have been to the theater both in August and then back again in January. In August, traveling with Mr. Murtha, and focusing on the need that he articulated to the entire Congress about the need for ceramic vests, up-armored HMMWVs, and jammers. I went back again in this past January and can say that, obviously, there was clear progress that was made, but still alarming concern over up-armored HMMWVs. I just recently met with an American hero, Steve Wabrek from New Hartford in my District, whose leg was blown up because he was traveling in an unarmored HMMWV, where this could have been prevented.
While it is great that we may achieve these goals by July, I think that it is an absolute travesty, including in the planning, that our Reservists and National Guard seem to be the ones that suffer. We were traveling with the adjutant general from Pennsylvania, and they were in long convoy lines with no armored vehicles, and in many instances they are trying to jerry-rig all of these things themselves so they can protect themselves. Then they are told by their command not to do that because there would be other liabilities that might occur.
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Last, with respect to the Reservists and National Guard, a young woman from East Hartford, Penny Palufka, stood up and talked about how she went online, put $1,100 out of her own pocket to get the ceramic vests that were needed to protect her son. Mr. Murtha assured me that he has contacted the Army and that they have indicated that all individualspreviously it was only the soldier that could be reimbursed, but any individual, whether it be mother, father, spouse, loved one who purchases this kind of equipment will be reimbursed, given as much as we have allocated$300 million. So that is the question I would like to see, is when can we anticipate that coming down from the Army, and what do people like Mrs. Palufka have to do to get reimbursed? That is my question with respect to the Reservists.
With regard to the Cherokee, my concern hereand again this piggybacks on something that Mr. Simmons said and, more specifically, on what Mr. Everett and what Mr. Hunter has said. Our Chairman has stuck his collective and political neck out on the line when he talked about Buy American. My question as it relates to transformation deals with my ongoing concern of the potential for further outsourcing as we look out toward the future, especially as we are going through transformation, looking at next generation, looking at the technology, the critical mass of highly skilled employees that we are going to need to retain in this effort, and the report that was given by the General Accounting Office (GAO) and the Department of Defense's Inspector General on the status of the Cherokee, which seemed to be fine.
The concern that I have is that you have told this committee that as part of the restructure of the Army's aviation plan that you will leverage the technology base and knowledge base of the Comanche for future joint aviation programs. Mr. Hunter, again, said yes, and we want to make sure that those are produced here.
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You have further stated that as a part of this effort, the Army will begin an estimated $2 billion development effort for a new joint multi-role helicopter. My question is, describe for us what that will be? Given the platform concern that the Chairman has and I have specifically, will these platforms be made and produced with American parts, American know-how and ideas, and American labor, and not part of some international coalition or partnership that will look at this thing jointly?
That is my concern. My concern is that as we project out into the future, that we are talking again here about outsourcing or potentially outsourcing this next generation of technology. I would like to know your response to that.
Secretary BROWNLEE. Sir, I do not know. This is a joint program. It is not an Army program. We will be participants in it. I don't know what the restrictions are with respect to the source of any of these. I could not give you an answer. The program is in the very early stages of development and I just do not know. Of course, whatever laws apply, we will comply with the law.
Mr. LARSON. It has been an ongoing concern of this committee and our Chairman specifically that as we look out and in protecting the country's security and interests that the parts that are developed and the machines that are required for our national defense that they be procured and made here in America. What I am concerned about as we project out, however valued some of our other allies may be, who also happen to be in similar like and type businesses, that we do not find ourselves in a situation where we are again exporting American jobs in this critical base of highly skilled, highly technologically focused employees, and providing that to some foreign nation to do the work for our country.
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General SCHOOMAKER. Sir, I am like Secretary Brownlee. I do not think that we have any insights right now on exactly the way this thing will promulgate itself. I would tell you that it just seems common sense to me that the more healthy our helicopter industry is in this country, the more likely it is that it will be the source of whatever we do in the future.
One of the things that we think out of our Comanche decision here is that it should support revitalizing the industry in the rotary-wing industry. We certainly have an intent of making sure that what we are going to do in the future is going to be relevant in the future both in the Army context and in the joint context. I do not think we can give you any other assurance.
In terms of reimbursing somebody for something they purchased, I know of no motion whatsoever to do such a thing. I do not know of any effort to do that. It is the first time I have ever heard of it.
Mr. LARSON. Excuse me, I do not mean to interrupt you, General, but are you saying that these people would not be reimbursed for the money that they had laid out for these vests?
General SCHOOMAKER. I am telling you I do not know anything about any effort to reimburse anybody for purchasing something on their own.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you very much.
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Secretary BROWNLEE. If we can just take it for the record, we will go back and see if there is such a program, sir. We are just not aware of one.
Mr. LARSON. I know that there was no program, but I know in talking to Mr. Murtha when we came back, when I relayed this story to him personally, and he said that he contacted the Army and that they acknowledged the fact this was a concern and a problem, and that anyone who went into their pocket to protect their sons or daughter would be reimbursed. I said I have a bill that I would have gladly dropped last year, and they said that will not be necessary. I will drop the bill.
Secretary BROWNLEE. I don't know if there is a program. I am not aware of it. We will find out and get back to you.
[The information referred to can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Mr. SAXTON. Mr. Secretary, thank you. We will anticipate a good answer to that.
Mr. BRADLEY. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, General Schoomaker, Secretary Brownlee.
Secretary Brownlee, in particular I want to applaud you for your work over the last few months, and your effort to protect our troops from shoulder-fired infrared missiles in Iraq. There have been a number of incidents in which helicopters have been lost in Iraq and many of us here on the Hill are watching with great interest what the Army's reaction to these losses is going to be. I am particularly pleased with your statement this morning that it is going to be your highest priority for force protection.
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My questions, I have three of them. It is my understanding the helicopter anti-missile program, (ATIRCMS), which means advanced threat infrared countermeasures system, will provide the Army helicopter crews with the next generation of protection utilizing a laser jammer to defeat missiles. Given what the Army has learned in Iraq, what are your plans to accelerate that production effort?
Secretary BROWNLEE. Yes, sir. We definitely have plans to accelerate it, sir. You should know also that I had another industry for industry for anybody involved in aircraft survivability equipment of this nature. We brought them in and we asked them also, please leave your proprietary interests at the door. We want to get this problem fixed. It is for our aviators and we have to fix it quickly. Everybody pitched in. It has resulted in the acceleration of that program.
What General Schoomaker and I have proposed with the revitalization of Army aviation will provide additional resources to accelerate that and broaden it in scope. Right now our first priority is, of course, aircraft in-theater, and we are working very hard on that. The ATIRCMS program is dependent on some technology with the multi-band laser that is being worked on, and we hope it comes to fruition very soon.
In the meantime, we are going ahead and wiring aircraft in advance to take the new warning system, the Common Missile Warning System (CMWS), which I am sure you are familiar with, which will give us additional warning, fewer false alarms, we believe, and enable the ATIRCMS to function better.
Page 80 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC This is clearly, sir, a game; it is not a game, but there are actions where the enemy adapts to what we do, and we have to adapt to what they do, and we are trying to get ahead of that curve.
General SCHOOMAKER. I do not have anything to add.
Mr. BRADLEY. Let me press on with this for a moment. It is my understanding the preferred solution for the aircraft is an ATIRCMS with a multi-band laser (MBL). Last year, I supported a $7 million budget enhancement for the continued development of MBL for ATIRCMS. I understand the funding will help ensure that this next generation of lasers is inserted in the second lot of ATIRCMS. So what is the status of that effort and the timeline for implementation?
Secretary BROWNLEE. Sir, if I could take that for the record, I will get back to you and lay it out for you. The reason I do not have it at my fingertips is because we have been revising it in real time. Let me see if I have it here.
[The information referred to can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Mr. BRADLEY. If you want to take that for the record, that is fine.
Secretary BROWNLEE. Okay.
Mr. BRADLEY. Let me ask my last question, if I might. It is also my understanding that there may be an effort to take one part of an aircraft countermeasures program, specifically a multi-band laser, and insert it in the current ATIRCMS program, thus mixing components of two manufacturers and products. Would this not be more difficult, more risky, and thereby also being more costly and time consuming than completing the funding on the MBL specifically designed for ATIRCMS?
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Secretary BROWNLEE. You sound almost like me, sir. I asked the same questions, but there are those who believe this might be doable. In this meeting that I described to you where I had people from various aerospace firms in who are involved in these businesses, the two companies involved decided they would sit down and see if they could work together on that, and they are doing that as we speak. So we will see what the result of that is. If it results in a better defensive system faster, then we are going to do it. If it does not, then we won't.
Mr. BRADLEY. But that is your priority, the soonest possible implementation and the best way to protect American soldiers.
Secretary BROWNLEE. The most protective protection, sir.
Mr. BRADLEY. Thank you very much.
Mr. HAYES [presiding]. Secretary Brownlee, back to IMA a minute. Do you share my concern that money may not be going to the troops; it may be going into papers and pencils that could be going into bullets and vests?
Secretary BROWNLEE. I don't know sir. I will have to look closely at exactly what you described. I was not aware of a briefing that sophisticated, but I will take a look at it.
Mr. HAYES. Okay.
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Mr. ISRAEL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Secretary, General Schoomaker, thank you for being here.
I have two questions. The first, if I could get you to give me a brief answer or get back to me on it, that will leave us some time for the second. The first question really picks up on something that Congresswoman Wilson discussed in terms of antiquated legal requirements that may at times inhibit your mission, General. I am led to believe that Guard and Reservists, for example, who would like to continue their service after a 24-month mobilization, are being forced to sign a form that they are volunteering for that additional service.
That imposes problems at home. Essentially they are saying to their employer, I do not want to go back; I prefer to sign this statement indicating that I do not want my job, or to a spouse, I do not want to come home; I want to sign this statement indicating that I want to stay where I am.
It seems to me that that is an example of a legality that may be inhibiting the mission of the Guard and Reserve. I am wondering if in fact my understanding is correct. Do we have that legal requirement? And can that requirement be reassessed?
General SCHOOMAKER. The best answer I can give you is everybody is being mobilized involuntarily. That affords them the protection that is required at the workplace. This is what this is, involuntary mobilization.
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Mr. ISRAEL. Is that something that we can follow up on separately? Would you be willing to do that? Okay, that is fine. I have a second question. I do not want to lose my time on that, but if you can briefly respond, that would be helpful.
General HELMLY. Sir, I will make it brief. As the Chief said, the first 24 months is involuntary mobilization. I believe what you are referring to is we have been asked that if the soldier will volunteer to stay beyond 24 months, that that would be done under a different section of statute, 12301(d), which says that I need to volunteer to the service secretary to come on Active duty and not be demobilized, but come on Active duty. In that instance, the soldier is asked to sign such a statement under that particular statutory title.
Mr. ISRAEL. I would appreciate the opportunity to follow up with you or some appropriate personnel to further discuss that.
Let me shift to my second question. We have been talking a lot in this committee about military transformation, something that I support strongly. We have heard just this morning about needing technologies that are lighter, lethal, more mobile. Most of that transformation deals with technology and machines and weaponry, and systems. Again, I support that.
But General Scales sat in your seat only a few months ago and talked about a different kind of military transformation. We have superb situational awareness. We know where every tank is, what direction it is going in, what kind of firepower it has. But we do not have the cultural awareness to know who is in the tank, what language they are speaking, and what their intent is.
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Many of us have been to Iraq. I was there only a few weeks ago under the leadership of Mr. Weldon. One of the recurring themes was, we do not understand the cultures we are diving into. We have the weapons. We have the hardware. We need the software. We need more linguists. One commander said, I spend more of my time as a peacekeeper than I do as a warrior; I was trained to be a warrior; are we training our warriors to become peacekeepers.
My question is, what kind of resources should we provide the Army so that they can perform well in this engagement and future engagements, not simply as warriors, but as peacekeepers?
General SCHOOMAKER. I would suggest that you take a trip to the National Training Center and the Joint Readiness Training Center. We have hundreds of civilians on the battlefield now. We have mosques and villagers and role-players. We have some 600 Arabic-speakers down at Fort Polk right now that people are dealing with. We are addressing this issue in spades. If you go down and talk to the 30th brigade out of North Carolina or the 39th brigade out of Arkansas, or who I just was with this weekend out at National Training Center, the 81st out of Washington State, I think you will find that they are dealing now in a whole different context than they were.
Mr. ISRAEL. When did we begin addressing this issue in spades?
General SCHOOMAKER. Excuse me?
Mr. ISRAEL. When we did we begin addressing this issue in spades?
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General SCHOOMAKER. Within the last four or five months. We had some of this going on before, but in all fairness, this is a no-holds-barred preparation now for these people. I will tell you that we have to be very careful here that we maintain a full spectrum military and that we don't get target fixation on the current situation, because we are going to be challenged again on the full spectrum and we have to make sure that we protect ourselves and our capability to conduct major land wars with this Army, as well as conducting the kinds of things that we see ourselves doing right now.
That is why this modularity. I will tell you, transformation is just not technology. It has to do with how you organize and equip. It has to do with your doctrine, how you develop your leaders and soldiers. It has to do with the whole spectrum of how we train. There are many, many powerful lessons in history that show you that if you do not change your culture along with the technology, that you are missing a big beat on transformation. That is what we are trying to do is a holistic transformation.
Mr. ISRAEL. Thank you.
Mr. HAYES. Mr. Gingrey.
Dr. GINGREY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Secretary Brownlee and General Schoomaker, I want to thank you for being here today and for having the patience to remain until you get down to the first row. My other colleague from Georgia, he and I think of the last of the Mohicans, but we really appreciate your sticking with us.
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General SCHOOMAKER. I didn't know we had a choice. [Laughter.]
Dr. GINGREY. My question really pertains to an article that I read in the Wall Street Journal yesterday. Actually, there was kind of a follow-up in the New York Times this morning. Of course, the main purpose of this hearing today was to discuss the 2005 defense reauthorization. This question really pertains to the supplemental. It speaks to the issue of the civilian defense force, and the need to stand that security force up so we can hopefully get more of our troops off of the ground and out of harm's way. You have the Iraqis doing this work. They know the terrain. They speak the language. They know the culture, and I think they probably are ultimately more prepared to do that job.
In the supplemental, we did not devote very much money to that effort, I think maybe $200 million to $300 million. In the big scheme, that is a pretty small amount. By comparison, to stand up a new Iraqi army, we were devoting something like $1.7 billion. This paramilitary force, I think, is hugely important, and of course they are getting paid something like $140 a month. They are under-equipped.
I fully agree with my colleagues on the committee of first and foremost making sure that our soldiers have the proper equipment regarding things like body armor and the up-armoring of HMMWVs and so forth. But it is very important if we are going to be successful in getting this Civilian Defense Corps (CDC) established and turning all this over to the Iraqi people that they have to know that they are equipped and have the support that they need. Otherwise, they are going to cut and run, for $140 a month. This article spoke to a recent incident where several of them were killed in a nighttime raid. Now, they won't even show up for work at night.
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So I guess my question is, do you agree that we need more funding for that effort? Of course, I guess that would be out of a subsequent supplemental, which we will probably be dealing with in early-2005. I think we have some real concerns here, and we are not quite giving the resources that we need.
Let me just give you just one quote. When I visited Iraq, one of the most impressive leaders I met was General Charles Swannack. I don't mean to be critical in regard to his comments, but they used this in the Wall Street Journal article yesterday. He was quoted as saying, ''My guidance to commanders is to take some risk. You can't let them get into a firefight where a bunch of them will get killed, but you have to take some chances. It is a tightrope.'' That is scary. Your comments on that?
Secretary BROWNLEE. First of all, with respect to the CDC, the Civilian Defense Corps, I could not agree more, sir. In fact, I know General Schoomaker and I have both had the opportunity to watch our divisions train some of these soldiers of the CDC. Our division commanders recognize just what you recognize, that these are the guys who are probably going to make the difference in the long-run. So where they saw there were shortfalls in equipment or uniforms or training, they were moving with the funds they had to try to alleviate those shortfalls.
I was with the 4th Infantry Division, General Odierno, and I was very impressed by the training, which happened to be Christmas Day, by the way. I was very impressed by the training. I was not impressed by the uniforms, and when I asked about them, they said yes, you are right; they are awful. We have already used some of our own money; we are having new uniforms made for them. Also, they addressed the issues of weapons and those things.
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So I think it is recognized, just as you recognized, and it will be addressed. I personally do not know how the money is broken out for those kinds of things, but I agree with your emphasis on the CDC, certainly.
General SCHOOMAKER. Yes, sir. I could not comment on the adequacy of funding. I think you are right on that there is going to have to be continued funding, because this is hugely important to the future of Iraq, that we have the Iraqis taking more and more of the responsibility for their own security there.
I would like to comment on the risk factor. This is all about risk. These soldiers and the leadership over there are taking risks every day. It is a constant evaluation of that. I just don't know of anything in life, and certainly not in Iraq, that there is not some element of risk involved every day in making decisions on what you do.
Dr. GINGREY. I thank you both for your comments. Of course, my question is just to try to call attention to the fact that we probably do need to fund that better, because there is maybe too much risk at this point, and we are not going to be successful at standing up that CDC unless we devote more resources into it.
Secretary BROWNLEE. I might just mention, sir, that one of the things I do have some knowledge of because the Army has assumed the responsibility for the contract administration and the program management for those Iraqi reconstruction funds. I do know that there are some contracts that are out, or request for proposal (RFP)s that are out for contracts to address some of these issues.
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Dr. GINGREY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. HAYES. Mr. Marshall.
Mr. MARSHALL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I found this to be very, very helpful and I appreciate your being here. It is very informative listening to you respond to the questions.
Secretary Brownlee, in response to Dr. Snyder's question concerning why not the general as opposed to the supplemental, you described $1.2 billion costs for 10,000 people; 30,000 people, $3.6 billion; and then the relationship between that and O&M that would have to be cut in order to reach a budget target.
If we grew the budgetif the budget was increased by $3.6 billion, you would not have the same objection to including this in the current budget. The phenomena that you describedI think that you are getting at; some of the problems that we have that make it more difficult for the Army, it seems to me from the Army's perspective, that phenomena works in the reverse, as well.
If you could work into the general budget now for the Army these funds, and the Army is actually able to reorganize over a period of about four years so that the number of personnel dropped, then the O&M budget that no longer carries this $3.6 billion, and those dollars 4 years from now, that O&M budget, if the military personnel drops $3.6 billion, O&M can go up. So I think it cuts both ways. It is just an observation.
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I do have a question for both you gentlemen. General Schoomaker, I think you are probably the one to answer this. I wholeheartedly agree with the direction you are taking us. I do think smaller, more mobile, more lethal organization of units is appropriate. It seems to me it would be helpful to us if you could take your vision of where we will be five years from now and take that vision and apply it to what we have just done and what we are doing right now. You have probably already done this.
We have a certain number of personnel that are in Iraq and Afghanistan right now. The number of personnel will drop, I suspect so. If we had the transformed Army to go into Iraq last year, what costs would we have saved? I think that would be actually probably pretty enlightening, certainly enlightening to me, and I suspect it would help your case, because I think you would show that in the long-run not only will we be more effective as an Army, it will not cost us as much either.
General SCHOOMAKER. Sir, I think you are right onto something there. As I tried to describe earlier, if we had the Army we envisioned 5 years from now, 4 years from now, an Army of 77 to 82 brigades Active, Guard and Reserve balanced, modular, plug-and-play, what this says is that we could sustain this current level of operation indefinitely by calling on brigade-size elements at 6-month rotations, 2 6-month rotations in a 3-year period on the Active side and 2 6-month rotations in a 5-or 6-year period on the National Guard side.
It means that because they would be standardized, that we could plug-and-play; we could rotate people on equipment; that are respositioned stocks would be standardized all over the world; and that we would be able to maneuver. We figure we can keep as much as 77 percent of the available brigades in a level of readiness that we cannot afford to do today.
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Mr. MARSHALL. And what I think would be helpful and I don't think it would take that much time, is to go ahead and take that vision and impose it on where we are today, and see numbers, costs, those sorts of things. I think that what we would see would be good news to us and would really make us a lot more enthusiastic to just go with what you want to do.
General SCHOOMAKER. Sir, I agree. But the point I am trying to make is that even though we would probably see some costs in dollars, some savings, the biggest savings would be in the human.
Mr. MARSHALL. Personnel.
General SCHOOMAKER. In the angst, in the unpredictability and the inconvenience and all of the kinds of things that we see people having to put up with today. That is why it is hugely important for us to get ourselves modularized, stabilized, and be predictable, so that employers and the Guard, the Guard families, and to include military families on Active duty, all the time have greater predictability, stability in their lives, and we can maintain a higher level of readiness cohesion at the unit level. This is a big transformational objective here, because this is something big to bite off, to transform the personnel system the way that we are talking about doing it.
Mr. MARSHALL. Will you be able to do an analysis that could maybe take where we are now and substitute that vision?
Page 92 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General SCHOOMAKER. We could try. We could take a look at doing that.
Mr. MARSHALL. Thank you, sir.
Mr. HAYES. Mr. Cooper.
Mr. COOPER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I know our witnesses have had a long day. I do not intend to add too much to your burdens, but just a little bit.
First of all, General Schoomaker, I really admire the work that you are doing. You are doing a great job. It seems to me, though, that you are in a little bit of a bind, because when we have the honor of visiting our troops in Iraq, the number one thing that the leaders tell us is don't interrupt the funding.
I know the President is not anxious to go ahead and ask for the supplemental before the election, but the head of OMB, Josh Bolten, has estimated about $50 billion will be necessary. Why shouldn't this Congress go ahead and initiate a supplemental before the election so there is no risk of funding interruption, so the people in the Pentagon do not have to raid every other account for months to try to patch up anticipated shortfalls? Why wouldn't it make sense just to take the monkey off everybody's back and Congress go ahead and initiate a $50 billion supplemental right now and pay for the anticipated shortfall? What is wrong with that? That is sensible budgeting.
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Secretary BROWNLEE. Sir, as far as we are concerned, that is kind of above our pay grade.
Mr. MARSHALL. It is not my purpose to get you all in trouble.
Secretary BROWNLEE. We have the resources, we believe, as General Schoomaker said, certainly to take us to the end of the fiscal year. If we are required to, we can cash flow out of other accounts, we believe, through the end of March. Beyond that, it will be a problem.
Mr. MARSHALL. Isn't that an embarrassing way for the world's greatest superpower to finance its most important overseas deployment?
General SCHOOMAKER. It is not the way I finance my household, that is for sure.
Mr. MARSHALL. Maybe this Congress can find it in itself to go ahead and fulfill that need in an orderly fashion, on time. That is just one point.
My second point is this: I happen to be a personal fan of Colonel MacGregor, who has written a book on transformation in the military. I am a little worried that he maybe was a little bit too far ahead of his time. It is my impression that he is being encouraged to leave the military, when you all are adopting, as I read it, a substantial portion of his recommendations.
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Not so much for Colonel MacGregor, but for others, I hope that we have a culture of creativity and thinking outside the box so that original thinkers are appreciated in the Army. I know that you, General Schoomaker, come from outside traditional Army ranks. I think you are a clear example of how outside the box thinking can be helpful to all the services, because we need to work together in a joint fashion. So I would just hope, whether it is Colonel MacGregor or others, that original thinking is appreciated and encouraged.
Mr. HAYES. Just a comment. I was talking to some soldiers the other day. There are some very mixed opinions among soldiers about MacGregor's works, on both sides.
Mr. SKELTON. I would like to go back, if I may gentlemen, to my questions earlier. I tried lawsuits for 20 years, and one of the basic rules is that during a trial, one should never ask a question to which one does not know the answer. You indicated earlier you would answer my earlier questions for the record, am I correct?
General SCHOOMAKER. Yes, sir.
Secretary BROWNLEE. Sure.
Page 95 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SKELTON. So question number one, did the Army make a request of the Air Force for 2,200 airmen to perform Army duties? Question number two, did the Army request of the United States Navy approximately 4,000 sailors to perform Army duties? Then I have a third, if I may add this third question to be answered for the record. You have explained that with the money that you are going to save from the 121 Comanches, you intend to buy almost 800 new helicopters and 25 airplanes. That will require an additional 1,700 more pilots. Do you not need an end-strength increase to man those new helicopters and those new pilots?
At your convenience, if you would answer those for the record, I would certainly appreciate it. Please understand, we appreciate what you do. Questions are not meant to embarrass you, but to help us, because the constitutional duty rests upon our shoulders to raise and maintain the military. So thank you for what you do and your past support.
I think it would be a good idea, along with what Mr. Marshall mentioned a few moments agoas you go forward with your change in force structure, it may be a good idea from time to time to give us a status report. I think you really have something there, but it would help for us to know the progress that you are making.
Again, thank you for being with us.
General SCHOOMAKER. Sir, did you want me to respond to that question you had there on the Army, Navy and all?
Mr. SKELTON. No, just do it for the record. That is fine.
Page 96 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General SCHOOMAKER. Okay, sir.
[The information referred to can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Mr. HAYES. Chairman Hunter.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman, and thanks for the great job of chairing this committee. There may be a coup if you stuck around here longer. [Laughter.]
You have done a great job, Robin. Thank you, sir.
Let me go, gentleman, just a last couple of questions on the up-armoring and the armor challenge. That is going to be a key challenge to see if we can do in terms of focusing the materiel base. That is the procurement capability of this country; this massive industrial base and military capability; to get stuff into theater that people have to have, whether you can get stuff on the ground in Iraq when you have division commanders that say they want it.
Along those lines, our staff went to the Red River Depot with your help, Secretary Brownlee, to review the Army's efforts to field more rapidly these up-armor kits for HMMWVs. As I understand it, you have a funding release to immediately buy the armor plate that is required for 6,900 HMMWVs, along with partial funding for 4,480 kits that are already in place.
However, as we understand it, there are $429 million that have yet to be reprogrammed to the tank and automotive command, of which $131 million is not yet identified. So we have some work to do to get that done. It is further my understanding that until you have full funding, fielding that armor cannot be completed. So I hope that you are charging hard to get that funding in place so we can move forward.
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Secretary BROWNLEE. We are, sir. I might just add, General Schoomaker mentioned earlier some things that would help us. You and I have talked about this before, but providing additional transfer authority to the Secretary of Defense and increasing the thresholds for reprogramming within the Army today could help us a lot in some of these reprogramming. We bring them over to you every time if they exceed the thresholds. It would help expedite sometimes if the thresholds were raised a bit.
The CHAIRMAN. Why don't you just move to us what you think we need to do. We don't want to be the long pole in the tent.
Secretary BROWNLEE. I understand sir. I do not want to imply that your staffs are not there. When we bring something to them, they treat it just as we would expect it to be. It is just another step in that process.
The CHAIRMAN. Okay. Is that a problem with that $131 million that has not yet been identified out of that $429 million?
Secretary BROWNLEE. Sir, I will have to check. I signed a letter this morning on some of this. I don't know if this is included or not.
The CHAIRMAN. Okay. Now, as of yesterday, as we understand it, 1,169 kits have been produced and shipped to the theater. At least 5,731 kits are remaining to be produced to meet the theater commander's requirement. We have six arsenals and depots participating in the add-on armor program, and they have determined that their maximum capacity is 412 kits per week.
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If the target completion date is the end of March, the Army has to average a little over 1,000 kits; that is 1,084 kits per week to succeed. That means that at the rate that we have coming out of the arsenals and depots do not get it. That is going to leave us far short of this March 31 deadline.
The Tank Automotive Command is exploring avenues to quickly contract with private industry, without the lengthy process of the peacetime acquisition system. So the industrial capacity exists. I think you are going to have to go to some outside sources to get us above that 412 kits per week, which the in-house system is producing right now. Will you work toward that?
Secretary BROWNLEE. Yes, sir. In fact, the battlefields of history are littered with the corpses of men whose commanders could not distinguish between a possible and impossible, but I laid down a 31 March deadline.
The CHAIRMAN. Okay.
Secretary BROWNLEE. Whether or not that is possible, I don't know, but we will go to every length we can to meet that.
The CHAIRMAN. It is possible if you get more capacity. If you don't, you are doing 412 a week. That is what they are doing.
Secretary BROWNLEE. Yes, sir.
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The CHAIRMAN. The next urgent protection issue we have are these tactical trucks. As we reduce the vulnerability of the HMMWVs, they are going to move to the next target, which is going to be our trucks. We have a couple of rapid programs that are nearly ready to start fielding kits in-theater, or at least develop blueprints or patterns of how you can put these double-hulled systems on the back of these trucks, basically weld them up with a quarter-inch of steel on each side of the hull, and you can put stuff in between, sandbags if you have to. That will take you up with about an inch-and-a-half of fiberglass shield to be able to meet any class C threat, which is a big stuff blowing off next to your truck. It will protect the GIs inside.
The Army Research Lab and Lawrence Livermore Lab are two of the institutions that have developed patterns on this. So I would hope that you would move Army funds to make sure we have the wherewithal to put those kits on in-theater. Basically, if you get the steel over there and you have cutting equipment, they won't look pretty, but you will have that much steel between your soldiers and those roadside mines. And you can get it put on in-theater. You can put it on in Kuwait or you can put it on in the division areas of operation (AO)s. It will make a good replacement for things we are doing over there now like using those little machine shops in Tikrit and other places that are kind of ad hoc putting stuff on.
Secretary BROWNLEE. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Last, a couple of things we have gone over to some degree, but unmanned aerial vehicles are requested by field commanders. Part of what you want to do, General Schoomaker, is focus force. That is part of your whole reorganization, focus force. We have to be able to focus equipment. The idea that we, as DOD writ large, have lots of stuff, and yet you get down to where you are visiting commanders in-theater and they can't get it, shows that we failed. We failed in terms of being able to focus materiel and equipment and take it down through the various bureaucratic levels in DOD to get it out to the guys that need it in the field.
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In the least, in these times of war, we should be able to get this stuff out there. That may mean you are going to have to have some table-thumping sessions, Mr. Secretary, with your counterparts, the service secretaries in other services. I think we have enough UAVs in other departments, in other areas to bring them into that theater, even if you have to scrub every one of those doggone roads in that triangle area.
I would hope you would work on that.
Secretary BROWNLEE. Okay.
The CHAIRMAN. Last, I understand also a bunch of those UAVs are being rotated back to the U.S. for ''re-setting.'' It might be a lot more effective to get the maintenance folks into theater and have them worked up there, instead of having them take the slow boat to China back here, and get so-called re-set, and then it will be months and months, probably the end of the year before you get those systems in-theater. I will bet you could get teams out there and undertake the maintenance requirements to get the UAVs flying again, to get those birds flying and keep them there.
Secretary BROWNLEE. Yes, sir. We discussed that the other night and we are examining that as we speak.
The CHAIRMAN. Okay, great.
Last, we have talked about jamming measures, other types of factors to defeat these IEDs. A lot of that obviously is classified stuff, but I would say this. I have looked at what we have, and the basic protestations from the system that it is going to be a long time before we have anything. I know you have some others, some stuff you want to talk about that you are working on.
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I think talking to some of the technical people, I think that there are some quick field solutions we could probably push. I hope you have a good team of folks.
Secretary BROWNLEE. Sir, we would be happy to talk to you about that in a different environment or to send a briefing over.
The CHAIRMAN. Let's do that.
Secretary BROWNLEE. Congressman Taylor is very interested in that too, but we would prefer not to discuss any of that in here.
The CHAIRMAN. Okay. I would say, though, that one general application or general rule that could be applied to that also though is that I think to some degree you have the speed of bureaucracy problems in that area, also. Aside from technical challenges, I think some of the stuff can be moved through the acquisition system a lot faster than it has been.
We have had a chance to work on that. I will tell you one thing, Mr. Secretary and General, we appreciate the fact that you take our phone calls when we are working this stuff, because we are one team and we have to get this stuff done.
Secretary BROWNLEE. I agree, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Thanks for being with us today and walking through a lot of good, pretty damned dramatic changes in the Army. We appreciate you.
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Mr. HAYES. I thank the gentleman for his insight and wise comments. This chair fits you better than it does me. [Laughter.]
Mr. SAXTON. General, in a previous conversation you and I talked about the deployability of a Future Combat System (FCS), as well as the Stryker and C130 aircraft. I think I will follow the Ranking Member's lead and just ask this question. I know yesterday privately you agreed to look at this issue. What concerns meand I know the Chairman had this concern as wellwe believed that the C130-Stryker deployability was a much different scenario than it turned out to be. It turned out to be what it is because of the capability of the C130 and the weight of the Stryker.
In talking with the prime contractor for FCS, I have been informed that the FCS is going to weigh the same as the Stryker, or within 1,000 or 2,000 pounds, which leads us down the same path and the same scenario with deployability with the FCS. So as you and I talked previously, we either need to plan on deploying FCS and Stryker on C17s, or make FCS lighter so it is in fact reasonably deployable in C130's, which raises questions as to survivability of FCS with armor and all those things.
I would appreciate if you could get somebody to make for us your best estimate of how we are going to balance these systems with each other. Let me put it this way. My friend's chief of staff in the middle of this Stryker conversation said, ''Mr. Saxton, that horse is out of the barn.'' Well, the FCS is not out of the barn yet and we want to make sure that it gets out of the barn like a horse coming out of a chute, rather than a sluggish old Stryker trying to fly on a C130, which it cannot very well do.
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Again, you and I had this conversation yesterday, and I know what the answers are, basically, but we would like to see a plan as to where we are going. The Chairman and I are going up to Fort Monmouth sometime in the future to look at the technology of the FCS. We are supporters of it. We want it to work, but we want to avoid this C130-Stryker.
The CHAIRMAN. Would the gentleman yield briefly? With the indulgence of the Chair, I want to ask just one more follow-on on this Stryker. This is kind of important to our folks. We are seeing the kids at Ramstein and the other hospitals and bases where they are flown out initially after being hit with IEDs. IEDs are now the weapon of choice of the bad guys over there.
The Stryker has resisted these first couple of attacks, I think it has been published, at rocket-propelled grenades. They have done very well. We saw some of the homemade soft stuff that has been ad hoc armored by the 82nd and the 4th Infantry Division down in the hot area where these kids are going out on patrols. Yet this system has pretty good armor against IEDs, and also non-exposure gun capability. That is, you do not have to have a gun peering out of, or standing in, a well. You can fire from inside the Stryker.
All that would seem to compel, at least intuitively when you ask where is the Stryker goingyou would say, well, I am going to send it where the bad stuff is so we do not have to send the kids out in the half-armored stuff or the soft HMMWVs. And then we saw that the Strykers are probably not going to be going there. I have talked to a number of folks, and I would just hope that obviously that has been discussed; the decision was made by the commanders in-theater.
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I would hope, Mr. Secretary and General, that you would ask them to re-look at that. I think it is a common sense thing that if you have a hot AO where you need the armor and the lack of armor is hurting your people, why keep the soft stuff and the hot AO and move the hardened stuff to the non-hot AO? There is probably a good reason for that. I know part of the reason is probably a coverage reason. You can substitute in a brigade and you can take the place of a division. On the other hand, that argument works with different configurations and different types of systems.
Right now, we have learned one thing, and that is if we look at our up-armoring program, it is not going to get there for a while, no matter what we do. So I would hope that you would at least ask the questions again about the possibility of getting the armor that we do have into the area where they are getting the proliferation of IEDs. Does that sound reasonable, general?
General SCHOOMAKER. Sir, I think you framed the issue, that it is a commander's call and there I certainly will ask the question, but it is an issue of the capability of the organization to cover a lot larger area. You have to replace a division with it. The area you are talking about, and it is probably not appropriate here to talk about where people are going, but some of the protection we get out of Stryker comes with a cost because of the slat armor of having it outside the vehicle, and it is difficult to operate that in urban areas, or so they have determined.
Originally, it went into some places, it was operating in urban areas, and it was a little bit difficult to get around and, in fact, takes away some of the advantage of what you have there in protection. So I am sure that the theater commander considered all of that in terms of where he thought he could best employ it. I will talk to General Sanchez and General Abizaid about it.
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Mr. HAYES. Gentlemen, we thank you. The Chairman was a little excessive with his use of time there. [Laughter.]
We do have some movement on the AGF, I need to tell you that.
We thank you all for coming. We thank you for your commitment. We thank you for your service. We especially thank you for the incredible job that the men and women that you represent and whom you lead are doing and their accomplishments.
The meeting is adjourned.
General SCHOOMAKER. Thank you, sir.
Secretary BROWNLEE. Thank you, sir.
[Whereupon, at 12:53 p.m., the committee was adjourned.]