SPEAKERS CONTENTS INSERTS
Page 1 TOP OF DOC?????
[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
Page 2 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCON
AUTHORIZATION AND OVERSIGHT
FEBRUARY 26, 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
Page 5 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Robert S. Rangel, Staff Director
James M. Lariviere, Professional Staff Member
Justin Bernier, Research Assistant
C O N T E N T S
CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF HEARINGS
Thursday, February 26, 2004, Fiscal Year 2005 National Defense Authorization ActSecretary of the Air Force; Air Force Chief of Staff
Thursday, February 26, 2004
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2004
FISCAL YEAR 2005, NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACTSECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE; AIR FORCE CHIEF OF STAFF
STATEMENTS PRESENTED BY MEMBERS OF CONGRESS
Page 6 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
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
Jumper, Gen. John P., USAF, Chief of Staff of the Air Force
Roche, Hon. James G., Secretary of the Air Force
[The Prepared Statements can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Hunter, Hon. Duncan
Roche, Hon. James G., joint with Gen. John P. Jumper
Skelton, Hon. Ike
DOCUMENTS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
[The Documents submitted can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Page 7 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
[The Questions and Answers can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Ms. Davis (Susan)
FISCAL YEAR 2005, NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACTSECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE; AIR FORCE CHIEF OF STAFF
House of Representatives,
Committee on Armed Services,
Washington, DC, Thursday, February 26, 2004.
The committee met, pursuant to call, at 9:03 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
Page 8 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC 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 Air Force. Our witnesses today are: The Honorable James T. Roche, Secretary of the Air Force; and General John P. Jumper, Chief of Staff of the Air Force. So welcome to the committee, gentlemen. We always look forward to your testimony and the discussion that will ensure in the following months.
The fiscal year 2005 budget request for the Air Force is $98.5 billion. That is a $7.1 billion increase over last year's peacetime budget.
Some believe that we can cut the President's request, that because there has not been a successful terrorist attack on U.S. soil since September 11, 2001, we can let down our guard.
But even a quick review of Air Force operations over the last year should remind us that the only reason we have been safe these last two years is because we are actively engaged in the world; because we are taking the fight to the enemy where he lives, rather than waiting for him to come to our shores.
Today, the Air Force continues patrolling the skies over America to protect us from a repeat of a September 11th-style attack. Just in the last year, the Air Force scrambled nearly 1,000 aircraft in response to 800 incidents as part of Operation Noble Eagle.
At the same time, the Air Force was actively engaged in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, where it continues to provide logistics and close air support to coalition units pursuing the remnants of al Qaeda and the Taliban.
Page 9 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Last year, the Air Force continued Operations Northern Watch and Southern Watch over Iraq, enforcing United Nations Security Council resolutions dating back to the early 1990's. These forces quickly transitioned into Operation Iraqi Freedom last spring, where they flew over 7,000 close air support missions in a war that toppled a dictator who had the habit of attacking his neighbors, using chemical weapons and defying the civilized world.
Since March of last year, the Air Force has flown over 79,000 sorties in support of coalition forces in Iraq and is an active participant in our efforts to bring democracy to the cradle of civilization.
The Air Force is still engaged in the war on drugs and is operating radar stations, tethered aerostats and flying counter drug surveillance missions. Simultaneously, the Air Force continues operations in the Balkans, with over 800 airmen supporting NATO forces seeking to build a stable peace in Kosovo and Bosnia.
At the same time, the Air Force continues its deterrence mission. That is a critical capability, as we were reminded last year when we had to deploy strategic assets to Guam in order to deter any attempt by North Korea to exploit Operation Iraqi Freedom for Pyongyang's benefit.
Also, last year the Air Force supported humanitarian missions in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Senegal. The Air Force did all this while modernizing its capabilities and developing new technology to ensure our superiority against the threats we will face tomorrow.
Page 10 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC When critics argue that the Air Force budget is too big and should be cut, I have to ask them: Which of those operations should we forego? Should we halt our efforts to win the war on terror? Should we refuse future requests for humanitarian assistance or evacuations?
Should we hand Iraq back over to a bunch of murderers and thugs? Should we cut back on modernization and send our soldiers into battle with less than the best we can provide? Obviously not.
In fact, I believe that our position in the world will call for greater resources in the future. Today, even with this increased request, we are spending less on defense as a percentage of the gross domestic product than we were under President Carter. And I am reminded that we spent about nine percent of gross national product (GNP) on defense under President Kennedy, about six percent of GNP on defense under President Reagan. And today, it is about 3.6 percent.
With that in mind, we need to fully fund the President's request so that our military services remain ready to defend the country today and can prepare to face the adversaries of tomorrow. We have to obviously meet that balance, the balance of undertaking this, managing this ongoing conflict and, of course, continuing to modernize at the best pace possible.
It is a tough balance, gentlemen. We realize that.
So we look forward to hearing how your budget request does just that. But before we turn the floor over to the secretary, let me turn to my partner and the distinguished Ranking Member on the committee, the gentleman from Missouri, Mr. Skelton, for any remarks he might want to make.
Page 11 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
[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, thank you and good morning.
Secretary, general, thank you. We appreciate you being with us. At the outset, let me say how proud we areall of usof the service of our airmen and what they provide. I had an opportunity recently to fly with them extensively on a trip with Nancy Pelosi and Robin Hayes of our committee. And I think that there should be some sort of a medal for people who fly 20 hours or more on C130's.
I am pleased to see a continued rise in the Air Force budget. The Air Force provides very crucial capabilities that our joint forces require.
Nevertheless, let me say I am concerned about the budget not providing funds to pay for the ongoing efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq. It particularly worries me when I am being told we will not need a supplemental until January.
And I hope you will address that, as to whether we run out of money between now and then. It is important to us to be able to conduct the missions the Nation asks for without sacrificing readiness.
Page 12 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Furthermore, you are currently carrying over 16,000 airmen in excess of your authorized end strength. Now, under the circumstances, it is appropriate. You do have a demanding workload. And you are not alone. All of the services are under a strain.
But it seems to me it is time to acknowledge this is not just a spike. This demand is not going to go away. For years, it is not going to go away. And I believe we should formalize it by increasing the end strength permanently.
And finally, you know the regard I have for the Air Force hardware. I only wish that there was more of it at Whiteman Air Force Base in the heart of America. But I do have three broad questions on the hardware.
First, I hope you will address the issue of fighters. I recently had the opportunity to see the F22 being built. And I was highly impressed with that.
Now you have, it appears, two highly successful sophisticated new platformsthe F22 and the F35. I am sure someone on this committee will ask you the question: If you had to choose between the two, which would you choose? But does the F35 need such expensive stealth, because the F22 is supposed to suppress defenses?
And second, I hope to hear more about where the Air Force stands on the tradeoff between expensive airplanes with cheap munitions and less expensive planes using long-range, standoff munitions.
Page 13 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Third, with regard to bombers, both the chairman and I are concerned the bomber is getting the short end of the stick. You have major programs for fighters, for tankers, for reconnaissance, but no bombers.
And I hope you will not consider my being parochial with the fact of Whiteman Air Force Base in our district, but I hope you will address that.
And let me welcome both of you and thank you for your truly outstanding service, not just to the Air Force, but to our Nation. So welcome.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman. And Mr. Secretary, without objection, your entire written statement, as well as General Jumper's, will be included in the record. And thanks for being with us. The floor is yours.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Skelton can be viewed in the hard copy.]
STATEMENT OF HON. JAMES G. ROCHE, SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE
Secretary ROCHE. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, Congressman Skelton and members of the committee. It is our great pleasure to appear before this distinguished committee and to represent the 700,000 Active, Guard, Reserve and civilian airmen who are engaged in defending our Nation.
General John Jumper and I are extremely proud of their achievementsas are youand their service this past year, from combat operations and homeland defense to their daily efforts that guarantee the health, security and morale of our force. They have contributed significantly to our Nation's global fight against terrorism and to our military achievements in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Page 14 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
They are devoted American servants. And I have the utmost respect and confidence.
Mr. Chairman and Congressman Skelton, I remain terribly proud of the opportunity to have the chance to serve with someone as wonderful as General John Jumper. He has truly been an outstanding partner and become a good friend.
Our highest priority continues to be a focus on warfighting and delivering the capability that enables us to remain decisive in combat. The combatant commanders rely on us to provide a full spectrum of air and space capabilities, all while protecting our homeland.
Through the efforts of this committee, your colleagues in the Congress and the dedicated professionals at the department, we are proud to report that we are meeting these objectives.
As we highlighted in the larger written testimony, we continue to adapt the Air Force to realize the President's and Secretary Rumsfeld's vision of transformation. Our strategy is to exploit the sources of strength that give us the military advantages we enjoy today.
Our goal is to build a portfolio of advantagesone that uses operational concepts to guide investment, is relevant to the joint character of warfare and is useful in the increasingly asymmetric conduct of warfare. To date, we have made great progress in applying this approach. In terms of strategy, we have refocused Air Force strategic thinking on core competencies. We have redefined our Air Expeditionary Forces, focused our training on homeland defense, close air support and close partnering with land, maritime and special operations forces.
Page 15 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
We are putting our space programs on track. We have increased the unity of effort among the Air Force, National Reconnaissance Office and intelligence community. And we have enhanced space support to the warfighter, bringing a joint perspective to our role as the Department of Defense's (DOD) executive agent for space.
We have made significant investment in people. We have a new force development program that involves officer, enlisted and civilians.
We have expanded our pool of deployable airmen to 75 percent of our active force. And this, Mr. Chairman, is up from about 40 percent just 2.5 years ago. And we have refocused on the fitness of our force to operate in an expeditionary setting.
We want to note that we believe that we have the right number of people in uniform to perform our mission, but that some are currently working in the wrong specialties. And we have major efforts underway to fill in distressed fields and to not have as many people in those fields where we believe we are in surplus.
Until we complete our efforts to reshape the Air Force, we see no reason to ask you for an increase in end-strength. In fact, over the long-run, we see our Air Force getting smaller as we introduce new, highly capable manned and unmanned systems.
With respect to capabilities, we have delivered a transformed Air Force to the battlefieldarmed Predators, Global Hawk, bombers working closely with our battlefield airmen on the ground, new tactics for time sensitive targets, networked intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (ISR) and advanced combined air operations center, a truly leveraging capability. Where it makes sense, we have integrated active, guard and reserve units as part of our future total force.
Page 16 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
And we have done some spectacular things there that we never thought were possible in having the guard and the reserves working very closely with our active force. And there are a number of states that have just leaned well forward to show that there are innovative things that can be done.
We will continue to do so when it enhances our combat capability, increases our surge capacity and enables us to achieve efficiencies in how we organize, train and equip our total force. We have created new expeditionary organizations, such as our contingency response groups. We consolidated the B1 bomber fleet, achieving its highest mission-capable rate in 20 years.
We modified that aircraft so that it now performs a dramatically good role in areas where air defenses have been suppressed. And it came into its own with very precise weapons and will continue to be a viable system as we give it standoff weapons for those. That phase of the war, Congressman Skelton, where you cannot go on top because of air defenses, but you can fire from a distance, once you can go on top, you can use the less expensive weapons.
We have engaged with industry to stabilize production of critical Air Force capabilitiesthe F/A22, C17, Predators, Global Hawks and other systemsthereby increasing efficiencies in the supplier base.
As I said, we transformed the F/A22 by integrating new avionics and weapons that will make it the premier air-to-ground strike system in heavily defended areas, as well as highly effective against cruise missiles, in addition to its main role of deterring any nation from challenging our ability to gain and maintain air dominance. Our F/A22 budget request continues much-needed programs to building and supports the transition from development to operational test with an IOC at the end of fiscal year 2005.
Page 17 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
The $4.8 billion request includes funding for production of 24 aircraft and continues our smooth ramp up to 32 jets per year.
Our next step is to focus on four distinct mission areas, all with demonstrable capabilities to support land and surface forces. So we are realistically modernizing our special operations aircraft. We will start with the recapitalization of our helicopter fleet for them and then continue with the tools essential to link air and ground operations, as we have shown over the last two years.
We are increasing our attention to close air support from various altitudes and at various ranges. Clearly, interdiction helps ground forces. But we are talking about working close aboard to the land forces.
In this regard, we will seek to update an as yet undetermined number of A10's and we will acquire the Stovl version of the Joint Strike Fighter, further expanding our opportunities for integration of training and certain facilities with our Marine Corps brethren.
We are developing a long-range strike strategy that includes investment plans to sustain our legacy force and a future stealthy, possibly regional, bomber. And we are focusing on joint warfighting in space, working with other interested parties on rapid insertion of microsats, as well as potential methods of protecting our space assets.
Beyond establishing and maintaining air dominance, there are initiatives where we are pressing forward with families of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV)s and remotely-piloted aircraft, many of which will support land combat directly and in real time. We are building a portfolio of sensing capabilities. And we continue to develop ground moving target indicator capabilities, cruise missile defense technologies, as well as new integration of battlefield command and control (C2) capabilities, all focused on dramatic support of land forces.
Page 18 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
General Jumper and I believe it is important that our counterparts continue to see us demonstrate our obvious commitment to air-to-ground support, both deep interdiction and close air support.
Mr. Chairman, our 2005 budget supports this joint focus. The $98.5 billion budget request invests in a portfolio of military advantages that continues to develop and take care of our Air Force people, maintain readiness, improve our infrastructure and provide decisive effects based on capabilities that are needed for our joint warfighters.
The budget request continues to support our core competency of developing airmen. In this budget, we have made a determined effort to balance our military to civilian force mix, ensuring a combat-ready force and managing the demand of our most stressed military career fields.
The 2005 budget also will allow us to replace, renovate or privatize more than 10,400 family housing units, over 10 percent of our total inventory. This keeps us on track to eliminate inadequate housing at continental United States (CONUS) by 2007, our four northern tier bases by 2008, and our overseas by 2009. In addition to your continued support of equitable pay and benefits, this is one of the most tangible investments in the quality of life we can make for our airmen.
We are concerned, however, as we look at all of this, with the growing pressure and increased costs in our military health care system. Improvements to the TRICARE benefit over the past several years, coupled with escalating premiums and copays in the civilian sector are driving many retirees and family members back to choose TRICARE.
Page 19 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Over the past two years, we have seen an increase of eight percent in the number of retirees returning to our system. This is a good news story, at one level. It is validation that we are caring for our retired servicemembers.
It comes, however, with significant cost growth. We were advantaged when our retirees used other medical systems in the past.
This year, the Department reprogrammed over $600 million to pay for this growth, cost increasingly absorbed by the services. Although you will mark the defense health program as a separate authorization, General Jumper and I ask you to keep this increased usage and cost in mind as you consider any proposed expansion of benefits.
Our $27.1 billion readiness request ensures that the Air Force remains ready to perform our wide ranging global missionsfrom space support to global mobility. Our fully funded flying hour program funds considerable spare parts and fuels needed to sustain air crew combat readiness.
Finally, our budget request includes increases in both research, development, test and evaluation (RDT&E) and procurement to support our emphasis on transformation and modernization, consistent with the strategy I have described already, as well as our military construction budget, which is equal to that which we said we would put into the 2005 budget last year.
Our proposed budget makes a significant investment in a number of critical joint systems: 14 C17s, 11 C130Js, seven Predator As and two Bs, four Global Hawks and $650 million in joint space capabilities, including beginning work on transformational communications, space-based radar and military satellite (SAT) communications.
Page 20 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
We are also investing in a wide range of joint weapons for close air support and precision strike, including more than 23,000 highly precise Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM)s. In addition to our increased focus on air-to-ground concepts of operations, we are proud of our continued investment in these joint warfighting capabilities needed by our combatant commanders.
Mr. Chairman, please let me close today on the same topic which I closed our posture hearing last yearsexual assault. With the help of this committee, your counterparts in the Senate, former Congressman Tillie Fowler and her panel and the reinvigorated Air Force Academy Board of Visitors, we have taken a wide range of action at the academy to protect our cadets and to implement a system of response, investigation and victim care consistent with those in the operational Air Force.
Since the implementation of the agenda for change in March of last year and the release of the Fowler Panel report, we are pleased to report there has been a meaningful progress across multiple fronts. The academy senior leadership is aggressively focused on the area of basic cadet training, officer development and the cadet discipline system.
In the area of prevention, we have sought outside experts to review and assist in training faculty, staff and leadership. We have incorporated almost all of the Fowler recommendations to enhance training, implement a tough new alcohol policy and, most important, have created an integrated response team for victims of sexual assault.
But we continue to refine our approach. For instance, based on the Fowler Panel's recommendations on confidentiality, we have attempted to strike a balance between the needs of the victim and the necessity of investigating felony allegations.
Page 21 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
While this is proving to be a difficult concept to implement, we sincerely believe it is in our best interest to remove barriers to victims coming forward so that we can prosecute criminal offenders. But we also have to recognize we have a military organization and that each member of that organization has a responsibility to the mission, to the crew, to the team, to ensure we do not have criminals among us.
Whether we look at the record numbers or increasing quality of female applicants, our initial reactions are very positive. As of today, the academy admissions office has received over 3,000 applications from women, an increase of over 35 percent and the largest number of female applicants in the history of the academy.
The increases in the average grade point averages across all four classes of cadetsboth male and femaleappear to show that we are instilling an improved climate for learning, as well. These are initial good signs.
We are on a long-term agenda for change that will change the culture. And we know there is much to do. So we remain focused.
I would like to inform the committee of a recently commissioned assessment that General Jumper and I ordered of our sexual assault response across the entire Air Force. We have asked our major command commanders to include education, training and prevention, reporting procedures, response programs and program oversight in these comprehensive reviews.
And we directed this assessment across our major commands prior to the recent press articles about the Sheppard Air Force Base incident. In fact, over the fall, we had our Pacific Air Force Command take the lead in doing an initial review of our active Air Force to make sure that, as we make the academy closer to our active Air Force, our active Air Force is, in fact, performing as we would want it to.
Page 22 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, we are proud to lead the finest Air Force in the world and are honored to be part of the joint team that has done so much to defend America and our interests. With your continued support and the investment this budget makes in adapting our force to the demands of this new era, we will continue to deliver for our citizens.
I look forward to your questions, sir. Thank you very much.
[The joint prepared statement of Secretary Roche and General Jumper can be viewed in the hard copy.]
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, Mr. Secretary.
STATEMENT OF GEN. JOHN P. JUMPER, USAF, CHIEF OF STAFF OF THE AIR FORCE
General JUMPER. Mr. Chairman, Congressman Skelton, it is a pleasure to be here today. And I thank you for the opportunity to sit before you with my boss, Dr. Roche. Together, I think that we have been able to make some significant impacts on our United States Air Force. And it is a pleasure for me to be able to serve with someone who cares as much as my boss, Dr. Roche.
Page 23 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And I also thank you, Mr. Chairman and Congressman Skelton and others on the committee who have taken the effort to go visit the area of responsibility (AOR). I get feedback when you go. And it is a huge deal when you all show up and you show the concern for our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines that you do when you are in the field. And I appreciate that very much.
In return, our airmen are working as hard as they can for this nation. And I think that you see that out there every day, in all sorts of missions, all around the world.
And as you know, Mr. Chairman, we have completely restructured the Air Force over the last several years, as we have transitioned into an Air Expeditionary Force (AEF) that Dr. Roche mentioned. We have ten Air Expeditionary Force packages that we use to conduct the nation's business. And during Operation Iraqi Freedom, we had to call eight of those ten AEF packages forward to be used during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
We have just finished the initial part of reconstituting our force. And we are starting back this month in our normal, 90-day rotational construct.
We will continue to have to reconstitute certain elements of our mission support. We opened 36 bases between Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom; 14 of those bases remain open today. And it will take some while for us to get back on a normal path with mission support as we continue on into the future.
And as you know, Mr. Chairman, and as you said, we are still flying 150 sorties a day over Iraq, between mobility, air refueling, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and close air support, and some 50 sorties a day over Afghanistan for the same purposes.
Page 24 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Every day, Mr. Chairman, 47 percent of the active duty Air Force is committed to supporting combatant commanders around the world. They are deployed for contingency operations, they are engaged in global mobility operations, they are on alert with our strategic deterrent forces or they are on duty in forward locations all over the world. And we could not be more proud of the way they conduct themselves.
In our mobility forces alone, the tempo remains about 50 percent above pre9/11 activities. And of course, as you know, Mr. Chairman, we cannot do any of this without the full participation of our total forceour Air National Guard and our Air Force Reserve.
About 20 to 25 percent of each of our AEF packages is made up of Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve members. And let me just pause here to say a word about employers.
When we started off in Operation Enduring Freedom, we started a program where we issued to employers who had let their employees go to be activated or to volunteer, a small pin with the Air Force symbol that had an ''E'' in it, for employers. And it took after a program that we found in the history books that had taken place in World War II.
We got thousands of replies from employers around the United States, telling us how proud they were to be able to have their employees participate in the war on terrorism and that we had their full support. It was a heartening response to the call to duty.
Page 25 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC In Operation Noble Eagle, as you know, Mr. Chairman, patrolling the skies over the United States, more than 80 percent of that effort is borne by the Air National Guard and the Air Force Reserve and has been for 2.5 years now.
We also are continuing, Mr. Chairman, to join the other services in our work to continue our joint transformation. I spend a lot of time with the other service chiefs, talking over joint concepts of operation.
We are, in the Air Force, reorganizing our warfighting headquarters construct around the world to be more responsive to joint commanders worldwide. We are globally networking our air operations centers to be responsive to rapid crises throughout the world.
And we are working with the other services to make sure that we understand their emerging concepts. The Army's brigade combat team concept, which calls for forces potentially deployed deep in enemy territory and then makes us have to rethink the way that we keep corridors open for resupply, the way that we get back to deal with soldiers on the ground who might be in trouble, again making the case for the utility of the F/A22 in such situations that the F/A22 can exist in those environments. And with the Navy, to look into their seabasing concept and see what the Air Force has to do to adjust to that way of thinking.
And I know of a concern to Congressman Skelton. You will be proud to know, sir, that the joint chiefs are engaged in looking at professional military educationjoint professional military educationinto ways to improve that on into the future.
We have put great emphasis on concepts of operations and capabilities to guide the way that we buy our force and guide our way toward the right kinds of programs. In the work up to Operation Iraqi Freedom, we took forces out into the western deserts of Nevada. And we actually rehearsed the Scud fight with the special operators, with the platforms that would be actually used in the combat.
Page 26 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
We took those very same people and we transported them over to the bases around Iraq to do that fight during the course of battle. And it paid off, big time.
I wish you could have gone and seen the proficiency with which that joint team was able to find anything that moved out there in the desert. It was truly amazing. And I could not have been more proud of them.
We have seen new ways of doing close air support. In Afghanistan, we saw young Staff Sergeant Matt Lienhard on the ground, on the horse, with the laptop computer and the satellite dish and the laser goggles, being able to designate targets over on the next ridge line and call those up to B52s at 39,000 feet. And we have now incorporated that into our close air support doctrine as new ways to support our soldiers and Marines on the battlefield.
The networking of intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, satellites and bombers, we saw during the dust storm in Iraq. And you may recall, at the end of March, we were able to tell exactly when that dust storm was going to hit with our satellite weather prediction capabilities.
We were able to completely redo the air tasking order, to put the Global Hawk, the Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (STARS), with its ground moving target indicator radar capability, the Global Hawk, with its high altitude reconnaissance features, in with the air operation centers and our bomber forces, to be able to network them and do real time tracking of those forces coming out of Baghdad, trying to reinforce the Medina division, being able to get exact coordinates and being able to bomb them quickly.
Page 27 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Now that network was done on chat rooms with the speed of typing. We need to continue to improve the way we network so that it can be done truly digitally at the speed of light. And we will continue to do that.
And that is why we talk about new generations of integrating platforms like the E10A that will bring to us the capability to horizontally integrate the manned, unmanned and space platforms of the future.
And again, we are also mindful of the concepts of operations it takes to deal with future threatswith cruise missiles, with new generations of surface-to-air missiles, with new generations of fighters that are being built and deployed today.
And we still have to work on other areas. We came out of Iraqi Freedom still not satisfied with our ability to do bomb damage assessment and get quick feedback to commanders on the ground about what has been destroyed in front of them. We will continue to work that. And the Joint Chiefs have pledged we are going to wrestle that to the ground.
We still have work to do on fratricide. Even though the numbers were small, even one is outrageous when we either put bombs or shoot down one another's aircraft. We need to do, again, better integration and seamless networking among the air, land and sea and coalition partners that we fight with in these crises.
And we realize through all of this the increased importance of our global requirements. Our tankers and our global mobility assets enable all that we do. And we must continue to put emphasis on recapitalizing, especially our tanker fleet.
Page 28 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Enabling it all, of course, as well as the mobility forces, are the space forces as we look forward, as the boss said, to new capabilities such as space-based radar and transformational communications.
And finally, as the boss did, let me just end quickly on our people. Our recruiting has never been any better. Our retention is 100 percent in all categories and, as a matter of fact, greater than 100 percent in most categories.
And with this, we are very pleased with the abilities of our recruiting force to attract people to our Air Force. The quality has never been higher. We have not reduced our quality requirements at all during this crisis and as we continue to recruit people into our Air Force.
And let me just add one final note about sexual assault. The boss said it very well. But let me just add that on this team we call the United States Air Force, on this team that we call the joint force that the Nation sends to engage its enemies, there is no room for predators or for felons.
We will continue to do everything we can to make sure that our teammates all know that we cannot tolerate predatory behavior of any kind in our forces. And the boss and I will continue to put that forward, as we have with the academy scandal, in whatever else emerges in these reports that have surfaced over the last few days.
Mr. Chairman, we thank you once again for all that you have done and this committee has done for the United States Air Force. And I stand ready to take any of your questions.
Page 29 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
[The joint prepared statement of Secretary Roche and General Jumper can be viewed in the hard copy.]
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much, general. And Mr. Secretary, thank you for being with us.
Obviously, you folks cover a big piece of the DOD waterfront. And I am going to reserve most of my questions to the end here. But I wanted to ask you one thing that I think is key to the operations that are underway right now in theater.
The point of damage to American forces right now resides in these improvised explosive devices (IED)s that are going off on the roadways in Iraq. It has become the weapon of choice for the bad guys.
The times when they are vulnerable, obviously, is when they are putting these things out. There are prospects for using technology to be able to monitor those roadways and, more importantly perhaps, to combine that technology with the warfighters on the ground. And I am thinking especially of the hot areas of operation (AO)s here where the 82nd Airborne, 4th Infantry Division and others are right now working to hold the line and provide stability.
And what you have to have in operations like that is very close communications and coordination between the folks on the ground and the folks in the air. For example, if you are using devicesairborne devicesto spot people putting out bombs on the roadside, you have to get that information to the folks on the ground like that. You have to be able to talk to them. You have to be able to coordinate with them.
Page 30 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Now the systems that we have over there right now are owned by you folks and owned by the AO commander, by the Central Command (CENTCOM) and the big DOD. The division commanders and their brigade and battalion and company leadership who are deploying the forces on the ground do not own the assets.
I think that is making it more and more difficult to really do the extremely close coordination that is necessary to use assets in the air and assets on the ground to effectively work in that AO. So my question is, looking at both your manned and your unmanned assets that you have available, I would ask you, Mr. Secretary and general, to make a review with your Army and soon-to-be Marine leadership who are going to be on the ground over there, to make sure that your assets are being used.
I mean, we use the term ''interoperability'' and ''jointness'' all the time. This is a time when, literally, that guy that has got a rifle platoon or a rifle squad and needs to be able to vector them into a position within minutes, needs more than ever to have direct communication and, in some cases, control of the aerial assets. I think we have a little disconnect right now.
I think you did great in the big operation when you could independently go out there and, as long as you had moderate coordination with the ground forces, you could knock these targets out. But I think now that perhaps more precision is needed, more real time communication. I think we have lost that connectivity.
Page 31 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Secretary ROCHE. Thank you for the question. It is one that we could spend a good two hours on between us.
We started a project right after the end of base recumbent operations. And our concern was it appeared that a large part of our strike role was over. But yet, we would have ground colleagues who would be on patrol, and what was our responsibility to them? What could we do?
And it was to screen all the technology we had and focus on the problems that they face. We worked with the Army, with the Acting Secretary of the Army, the Chief of Staff of the Army.
We now have a group that consists of the chiefs of staff of the services and the secretaries. We have met once. We have subgroups who are bringing technology from the Navy, the Air Force, et cetera.
And it is the points that you make. It is bothwe have the large vehicles that can do wide area surveillance. And they tend to be controlled in the United States. But we are now adapting more to be able to downlink directly to a laptop-type screen or a land force operator on the ground.
Just let me use the word ''soldier'' or ''trooper'' for the category, because it includes people like our special operators, our Air Force battlefield airmen, as well as Marines and soldiers in the Army. The Marines had taken the effort to take the Litening II pod that we developed and to provide a link between the aircraft for the Litening II to again a ground display so that the ground forward air controller (FAC) and the pilot could work very closely together.
Page 32 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
We have experimented with a series of UAVs, very small ones, including working with the Army on their Raven, which is something we have carried. And we have developed an individual, manned, portable in a rucksack drone that I had the pleasure of sharing with Mr. Skelton yesterday. And six of those are now being taken over to be used by our security forces. And we have shown them to the Army, as well.
If we prove these out, we will turn these over to them. And that is within a mile or so of you.
We have a series of experiments on radars that look at disturbed earth. I think you may be aware of one. There are others. There are some that can be worked with the Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar System (ASARS) radars on the U2s. They have radars on Predator.
There is also a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) radar that we are very much encouraged by, which can observe in synthetic aperture radar the disturbance of earth. We went to Yuma, which has the closest soil to the Baghdad area in the United States. And we have tested that there.
In all of this, we are trying to share as much of this as we can with our Army colleagues. With respect to who controls what, let me ask John to speak to that issue because it gets to the air component commander and the ground component commander and to what has to be part of the package of an Army battalion as compared to what services can we provide.
Page 33 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General JUMPER. And let me just say quickly, Mr. Chairman, that we are in touch with our air component commander over there, General Buchanan. And his instructions are to work with whoever he has to work with to make sure that those connectivities are made, those connections are made that you describe.
And wethe boss and Ihave been out looking at technologies to get the pictures and the displays directly to the ground or to sit the Army guy in the console with our folks. The only thing we are trying to avoid is making sure that we do not get to a position where we have to teach a whole bunch of people how to deal with a prop over speed or a fuel pump payer or something that is going to lose the asset.
But we can put the sensor any place that the people on the ground want. And it is a matter, you are exactly right, of making the right connections and getting the right communications right down at the division or lower-level to be able to do this. And we will continue to work that, Mr. Chairman, I promise you.
The CHAIRMAN. General, let me just say, from my perspective of looking at this and understanding what you are doing, I think we are failing.
General JUMPER. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. I do not think we are making the connectivity.
And Mr. Secretary, you spoke of the Predators that are being tested at Yuma. That test is done. You have a system there you could probably move into theater.
Page 34 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Secretary ROCHE. We have others. The thing I was thinking of is we have other systems which may be equal or better to it.
The CHAIRMAN. And I guess my point is, I understand that. We are great at developing things. And we are great at working and R&Ding and convening groups.
You have a batch of Predators that are in this country right now that are not being used. The one consistent call that we heard in country by division leadership was a need for these systems.
Basically, this persistent scrutiny of these road beds, because the only time you have a shot at these guys who are killing our troops is when they are putting these things out. Now it takes a little effort to put these 155 rounds out and hook them up and get them ready to go.
Once they are out and some guy could back off a half a mile away with some type of a remote device, he no longer is exposed. So you have a very limited window. We need your assets to be able to see during that short window and be able to operate. And you have a very limited time to be able to get them.
And I guess, to some degree, this is the challenge that we face. We had the Army before us talking about the need to be able to modularize the Army to the point where you could move brigades, you could mix and match and you could fit conflicts in a much more precise manner and be much more effective in utilizing end strength.
Page 35 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
We have, with the uniformed and the non-uniformed capability in this country, massive military capability. And the ability to focus that on a precise point is the real test of the genius of the American military.
Now we have lots of assets right now that I think could be helpful in knocking these IEDs off. To some degree, it is similar to being at Tikrit and saying, ''Well, what have you got for armored Humvees?'' And they drive up with something that was worked on in a machine shop in Tikrit with half a dozen Iraqi welders.
So with this massive industrial base that we have to support this thing, in the end, when you are watching the guys go out on patrol, they have something they picked up in a machine shop in Tikrit because all the king's horses and all the king's men could not flow down to them what they needed. Now with respect to this capability, you have a bunch of Predators in country right now that I think could be deployed. And if you have better stuff, let's use it.
The problem with all of our wars are they are all ''come as you are.'' And the system that is four or five or six or eight months down the line from being turned out and tested is not any good to us.
Secretary ROCHE. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. It is not going to show up on the battlefield tomorrow.
Page 36 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Secretary ROCHE. We have stuff out there. To the best of my knowledge, every one of our Predators is either being used for training here or is deployed.
The CHAIRMAN. That is not my information. We just did an analysis on this and we just located a batch of them over here, plus the ones you just took out of testing at Yuma, which have some good capability.
Now, let me tell you what I am told by the guys that operate them. They said they could be in country in two weeks, working, operating.
Secretary ROCHE. Those are Bs, I think, are they not? They are still in development, the B models. I was referring to the A models, which are in fact over there. And where that system works well is on pipeline monitoring. The IEDs in town, the electro-optical systems actually work better because you are looking for changes in the patterns.
The CHAIRMAN. But you also have long stretches of roadways that are what I would call out of town or suburban. That AO, for example, to the west of Baghdad, is as big as Wyoming.
Now it has some urban arteries around Fallujah and other places. You have obviously got the Baghdad system. But you have all types.
And you also have this massive move right now that is taking place, this change in operations and units, where we are doing literally hundreds of thousands of truck miles with these convoys. Having persistent surveillance over those arteries is valuable. And what I am told is, at least our analysis is, we have lots of units here.
Page 37 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Another thing we have done is we have movedas I understand, a lot of our systems have been moved back to the United States to be ''reset;'' that is, to be fixed and maintained. We could move maintenance crews into theater and maintain them there.
Just looking at this thing and in the briefings that I have had and the information I have got, my feeling is you have a little bit of a disconnect right now between the folks that need this stuff in theater. They would not be telling us they needed it if it was all there and it was three bags full. It is not three bags full.
Secretary ROCHE. We agree, Mr. Chairman. We both have been there. And we have both talked to them. And we agree that it is not hooked up directly with the folks.
We will get back to you specifically on where each Predator is. But we have them all out there and working. And the things we are talking about are stuff that we can get out there now.
Part of the problem has been the connectivity between the air component commander and the ground component commander. The ones that are being reset, I think, are almost all Army systems because we were about to retire one of the Predators that were overseas and we fixed it up in place, did exactly what you talked about. And we have more contractor personnel working them in place so that we do not have to bring them back to be reset.
The CHAIRMAN. Okay. Let's follow this up. We do not want to take up the entire time on this issue. But this is the issue of life and death right now, in theater. Your focus on this is greatly needed.
Page 38 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
That SAR system that is at Yuma, as I understand, SAR/Predator, could be in theater in a couple of weeks. Tests are over. I think we need to be able to reestablish what I think we had during the Baghdad phase, which was, I think, a close cooperation and coordination between the ground guys and your folks.
Secretary ROCHE. We will follow up with you, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Okay. Thank you.
The gentleman from Missouri, Mr. Skelton.
Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Chairman, I yield my time to Dr. Snyder, the gentleman from Arkansas. I will ask questions later.
Dr. SNYDER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you, Mr. Skelton.
Welcome gentlemen. I have several quick questions that I think should take reasonably short answers in my five minutes.
First of all, after the first Gulf War, the Air Force commissioned a Gulf War Air Power Survey that was considered very independent, although you all had commissioned it. Is it your intent to do that kind of thing, Secretary Roche, after the current war in Iraq?
Secretary ROCHE. I know the author of that study. It was a very good piece of work. And I actually had some employees who participated in it.
Page 39 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
We are doing our major lessons learned work ourselves and in conjunction with the Joint Forces Command. So it is not that we are doing only our own look at ourselves. The Joint Forces Command, under Admiral Giambastiani, actually has the lead for Secretary Rumsfeld, so that the need for a replica of the Gulf War air power study is not as necessary, in that the joint force is, in fact, taking the lead on that.
Dr. SNYDER. I wanted to ask one very specific question with regard to the Air Force Academy and the problems with sexual assaults and sexual harassments. Congress has several appointees on the Board of Visitors. What is the current report on attendance of the congressional appointees to the Board of Visitors? Do you know?
Secretary ROCHE. Oh, I am proud to say that at our last board meeting, we had the highest attendance from the Congress that we have had in history.
Dr. SNYDER. All right.
General Jumper, the Brits used some Jmodels, C130J models, in Iraq. My understanding that they had some problems with navigation and dust and radar. Are you satisfied that that is not going to be a long-term problem for our Jmodels?
General JUMPER. I am satisfied that we have a good handle on the things that have gone wrong with the Brits and with our own experience with the airplane and that there is nothing that cannot be overcome in the problems with the C130J. It is going to take some diligence on the part of the company to do it.
Page 40 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Dr. SNYDER. And what is the current status of the C130 Aircraft Modernization Program (AMP) program? Is it on track? It seems to have been pretty quiet, the old C130.
General JUMPER. The programs to modify these up to a standard?
Dr. SNYDER. Yes.
General JUMPER. Yes, sir, it is on track. As a matter of fact, I think we briefed the Congress on the plan to upgrade those airplanes and then the sequence of basing, et cetera. We did that work over a year ago, I think.
Dr. SNYDER. And General Jumper, the Air Force has probably been the most outspoken in the desire that they would come out ahead under another round of base closure because of the amount of excess infrastructure you have. One of the arguments that has been made about whether this should be revisited is that if we had to pull folks back or have a surge in our requirements, that we may not have infrastructure to handle that.
Are you satisfied that if our demands were to change, that even after another round of base closure, that that would not be a threat to our ability to do
General JUMPER. Sir, the process that has been set up to go through this takes that into account. And as we step through the process and we define each layer of requirements that will go into this process, that is appropriately taken into account, sir.
Page 41 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Dr. SNYDER. There has been a lot of attention on the tanker issue that you mentioned. And I guess we are in the middle of an inspector general (IG) investigation of the current status of that.
But the broader picture of mobility and transportation, which has, I think, really been brought home, both for the Afghanistan war and the Iraq war in terms of our ability to move people and personnel in and out. And we now have this whole thing of all these folks coming back at the same time and a lot of folks going over.
What is the status of looking at our mobility transportation needs 5, 10, 15 and 20 years from now?
Secretary ROCHE. Either one of us can do it, sir. We are doing that. The prior number came from a study a few years ago done by the Joint Staff. That is being relooked at by the Joint Staff.
We have noted when we do get new tankers that they are cargo carriers, as well. And quite often, our tankers spend more of their time doing cargo carrying than they do anything else. Although in war, they really have to concentrate on the tanking issue.
The stress we have facing right now is because so many folks are leaving at one time and coming in at one time, and because we have over 50 percent roughly of our mobility lift in the hands of our Guard and Reserve, it is putting a temporary stress on the Guard and Reserve, which will be alleviated if we go through another rotation, which will be spread out a bit, rather than having everybody leave and everybody come in in a very short period of time, plus the rest and relaxation (R&R) trips and other things.
Page 42 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Dr. SNYDER. But take a longer view. Take 10, 15 years down the line. Are you all?
Secretary ROCHE. We are. In fact, one of the things that we want to do, as we look ahead, is to see, as we predict scenarios in the future, the kind of scenarios we are living with right now are the most stressing on our mobility life. There are other scenarios which are much more stressing on strike capabilitiesif we had, for instance, to deal with the North Korean problem.
And we are trying to understand what is the balance and what is the appropriate hedge to be able to do that on the basis of what is it that our sister services demand from us? What are the things that we have to do for them, because if we do not do them, they do not get done?
Well, clearly, one is mobility. The other is long-range tanking, long-range strike, close air support, a series of things like that, the whole strategic nuclear backdrop. And so, mobility as a subject area to be looked at is being looked at.
Dr. SNYDER. Do you have any comments, General Jumper, on that?
General JUMPER. Well, we are looking, of course, at the mix of C17s and C5s and exactly how much life and how reparable and what is the proper investment for our fleet of C5s, and then to strike the right balance between the C17s, the number of the C17s, the number of C5s and the number of C130's.
Page 43 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
The work on determining the flyability and suitability and air worthiness of the C5s is going on right now as part of our air worthiness process. And again, as we get into this next iteration of the mobility requirements study, which updates the one that was done actually well before 9/11, I think that we will be informed on the right mix of platforms and equipment to do this job.
Dr. SNYDER. Thank you.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman.
The gentleman from New Jersey, Mr. Saxton.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Gentlemen, thank you for being here with us today. And thank you for the great job that you and your folks, the folks that are with you and others associated with both of you continue to do.
I had three questions. I think the first one was pretty well covered by the Chairman on the UAV issue. We areI should speak for myself. I am absolutely shocked at the success that we have had.
Page 44 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I had no idea we had these capabilities with UAVs. It is a real success story. And I guess all I can say is it sounds like we need more, and different kinds, maybe.
Second question is a very short one. Could you give us a brief update on the tanker situation? Where are we? And where do you think we are going, short term?
It seems to me this is extremely important, given the E-model 135s and their condition.
And the third is more of an observation and it has to do with jointness. And I would like for you to respond to this observation.
Some years ago, the Chairman and I were asked by the Army to step forward and help lead in a controversial issue at the time, which was whether or not we wanted to spend money on Stryker. And during that conversation, we were toldI believe by the Army, I do not remember for sure, but I believe by the Armythat we had to have this system because it was C130 deployable and we needed it. It was lighter and we needed to deploy faster, in 96 hours, and all that that you know about.
And so we stepped up to the plate and did what the Army wanted us to do because of the arguments that were made. Some time after that, a friend of mine said, ''But it is not C130 deployable.'' And I said, ''Why not?''
They told me it would not fit. And the Army said, ''Well, it will fit. And we are going to prove to you that it will fit. So we are going to fly three of them up to McGuire Air Force Base on a C17 and we are going to roll one off and stick it in a C130. And you will see, it fits.''
Page 45 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
And they did that. And it fit.
But then Nick Williams, who was at the time commander of the 21st Air Force, said, ''You ought to talk to the pilot.'' So I got up in the cockpit and I sat there and I played with the yoke a little bit.
And I said, ''By the way, do you always fly with this much weight?'' And the pilot said, ''Oh no, sir.''
And I said, ''Well, what is the problem?'' He said, ''Well, you cannot really fly far with 40,000 pounds,'' which is what the load was that day.
So I called General Handy, and I said, ''General Handy, we just finished an operation in Afghanistan. If you were asked to deploy the Stryker on C130's in Afghanistan, how would you do it?''
He said, ''Well, let me draw you up some examples.'' So he identified eight airports in the theater and the takeoff characteristics at various altitudes and so on. And he made real simple charts so I could understand it. You have to do that.
And out of the eight airports that he used as examples, with a daytime takeoff and a nighttime takeoff, you could take off with 40,000 pounds 4 times out of 16. You know, this is all history. We are going to work around this problem with Stryker.
Page 46 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC But now we are developing the Future Combat System (FCS). Guess how much it is going to weigh? Same thing38,000 pounds. And we were here the other day with the Army. They are talking C130.
So my question is this, I guess, if we are going to have to have a 40,000 pound weapon system that we are going to deploy by air quickly, my question is: Are we developing a plan to do that? And I do not think we can do it with C17s. We could not deploy the Stryker with C130's. I am sorry.
So what is our plan? And I asked this question of the Army. And they are going to get back to me.
So I want to know if we have a plan about how we are going to deploy FCS if it, in fact, weighs 38,000 to 40,000 pounds.
Secretary ROCHE. Two questions. Let me start and then pass it over to John, if I may, sir.
First of all, on the UAVs, you are absolutely right. There are multiple families of UAVs. And the Chairman is right, in terms of what fits with what level and what type of jobs. We are learning as we go.
And thank you for the compliment to our folks on that. By the way, that is one where if we had allowed committees to design these things, they never would have turned out as good as they did.
Page 47 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
What we did consciously was to replicate what happened in the late 1930's when the Army Air Corps built planes, gave them to their airmen and said, ''How should we use these?'' And it is exactly what we have done with our UAVs. And they have created remarkable things.
For instance, we never thought that the Global Hawk could be flown like a plane. We always thought it was preprogrammed. Once a pilot realized that he could use the arrow keys and fly the Global Hawk, guess what? They are flown all the time. They wandered over to western Iraq and did all kinds of wonderful things.
With regard to the tankers, we are in a situation where we have to do something with the 133, roughly 130 E-models. They have old pylons, struts, engines. And we want to recapitalize those.
I think we have made the point that we have a need to begin recapitalization. I also very much agree with Secretary Rumsfeldpause to take a look to make sure that we can assure you that there was no untoward behavior on anyone's part in doing this.
Throughout this program, from the first time we mentioned the notion of getting these done, we said that we would put in our normal budget the regular acquisition process. And we have done that. And in the 2006 budget is the first time we start to spend moneyabout $150 millionon what is called generically the KCX.
So that is sort of the default condition. We were trying to accelerate that, if we could, by being able to replace the E-models. That is awaiting the outcome of a number of these looks and another review by the Secretary of Defense.
Page 48 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
But General Jumper and I are in complete agreement with this. We believe we have made our case. We turned this over to the Office of the Secretary of Defense, actually, in October, November of 2002. A leasing panel went through all the work.
Secretary Aldridge worked with the Secretary of Defense, approved the lease to go forward, announced it in May of 2003. We subsequently worked on a letter to the Congress.
We always said if any one of the committees objected, we would go back to what we called Plan A, which is in the budget. And so we are still on that course.
We believe it not wise to invest a lot of money in the existing E-models, given the needs that they have to be upgraded, because they were very different than the other aircraft and, in fact, had new engines and pylons that were taken from old 707 airliners. So that is that case.
With regard to the Stryker, we did do the test with the C130 as well down here in Washington. And you are quite right. It is a very tight fit. And because of temperature and altitudeand you have it absolutely right, Mr. Congressman; that is why the time of day, nighttime is cooler, betterthere are issues where you may launch these and get the kind of flying hours you would like because you have to either offload fuel from the Stryker or offload fuel from the airplane. And that is an issue.
At the same time, though, we happened to try putting three Strikers on board a C17. And it was remarkable. I was at the demonstration, as was the Chief, that when the one comes off the C130, there are things that have to be done to get it ready to fight. From the C17, the three rolled off and were ready to fight instantaneously, with all their people on board.
Page 49 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
So we have worked the Stryker issue with the Army and will continue to do so.
FCS, we have not gotten together with them yet. And it may be it is the stage of where FCS is at. But at some point, we clearly have to.
General JUMPER. Sir, let me just add that in a situation, a tactical situation where you would be moving Stryker vehicles around inside a theater, I think that it does fit and work well enough to move them short distances around the theater. But as the Secretary saidand I talked with General Shinseki about this at the timewhat we are going to really want to do is put the fighting unit, which is three Stryker vehicles with the people that go along with it, onto a C17, takeoff from wherever you takeoff from, and take it right into the place that is going to be used.
And when it gets off, it is ready to fight as a team. I think that is the preferable concept of operations. And that is what we have been talking mostly to the Army about.
And as we get into the Future Combat Systems, we will have to see exactly what the limitations are. I do not know those yet.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman.
The gentleman from Georgia, Mr. Marshall.
Page 50 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. MARSHALL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Secretary Roche, General Jumper, thank you very much for your service. I think you do a wonderful job.
The concern I would like to raise is one that comes to me from a number of different sources that has to do with our acquisition process for new weapons systems. And I think this is probably a DOD-wide issue, not simply the Air Force. We have decidedand we are so convinced that this is appropriate that we have put it in the statutethat we are going to maintain core maintenance capabilities.
We are also quite interested in being in a position to surge when need be, in order to meet needs that might not be met in a time-effective, cost-effective fashion by private business. The concern I have is that in our current acquisition process, whether this is intentional or it is simply the way the organization has evolved with time, we are relying on fewer and fewer contractors. There is a lot of horizontal integration that has occurred in the industry, who are vertically integrated, as well.
So there is less competition in subcontracting or there is no subcontracting or more limited subcontracting with smaller suppliers, smaller vendors. The weapons systems, as a result, wind up being the captive of one entity.
And that entity is interested in not simply doing the design, the development and the construction, but also the long-term maintenance. And so, the contract winds up being one that covers all of those areas. And little thought in the acquisition process, as far as I can tell, is given to transition from contractor-based maintenance to core maintenance being provided by DOD itself in its depots.
Page 51 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
And very little attention is being given, in the acquisition process anyway, to this problem with both the vertical and horizontal integration of all of our vendors, which in the long run is going to not serve us well. Just in my opinion, we need to be maintaining these folks as much as we can so that we have competition 10 years from now, 15 years from now, 20 years from now.
I wanted to express my concern, given what I have heard. It seems to me, at this stage, the only place to take care of the long-term core maintenance problem is in the request for proposal (RFP). Those who are bidding on new weapons systems, new platforms, have to tell us how we are going to maintain our core maintenance capabilities because it just does not seem that there is, in the acquisition processand again, I am getting this second-, third-and fourth-hand, but I get it from a lot of peoplethere just does not seem to be the kind of attention at the upper-levels to this issue of surge and the need to maintain that capability, core maintenance capability.
It is not there. And if it is not there at the initial stage and we contract away the entire game, including the tail end, then five, ten years from now, you are not going to have anything for the depots to do. I think that is a real problem for us, long-term.
Secretary ROCHE. Mr. Marshall, I think I can allay some of your fears. The case you described, I believe, was the case a few years ago. We went out of our way and personally got involved in this particular issue because there was a conflict going on when we both came into office.
Page 52 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And the Depot Caucus was the group who was making the case that this was not being addressed right. We created the whole concept of partnering, which is that yes, you build a new system and in the early stage of warranty, et cetera, it is maintained by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM).
And then the OEM starts to work more and more closely with one of the depots, so that in the very long-term, we know the depot is going to be responsible, because the company does not want to be in the business of maintaining something that is 40 years old, if the technology is too old for companies to do that. But they may create a subsidiary that is part of it. And I will get to that in a second.
We now write that into our contracts. So, for instance, on the next contract on the C17, which is either signed, about to be signed or was signed recently, there is a specific clause that requires the OEM to begin to invest in the partnering arrangement.
We have been doing this in the electronics world at Warner Robins early. And we use it as a model, so that there will be this flow. And this partnering has made the tension go away.
With respect to subcontracts under the partnering, the ALCs under the Air Force Materiel Command have the overall management responsibility to ensure we do not get ourselves in the position of only one supplier or one supplier, but we have an easy way to get a second supplier. So the subcontracting part is not totally controlled by the OEMs. And the more things shift, the more it becomes an integral part of the Air Force.
Page 53 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The second point I would wish to make is I think one of the things we are most proud of is the performance of the individuals, the commands and the members of the air logistics centers (ALC)s at all three of our major ALCs. Simple photographs of what the floor looked like three years ago and what the floor looks like today are dramatically different.
They went out and did what we told them to do. They benchmarked. They learned lean manufacturing. They were proud of some things that we had to tell them, ''I am sorry, those ideas are 30 years old. There is a lot newer.''
They went and did this to the point that one of the ALCs is now more efficient as a manufacturer than the two private companies who also do the identical work, who now come back and benchmark against that ALC. So by having a very strong core capability that partners, that allows technology to flow in without our having to come and buy every bit of the new test equipment because it flows quite naturally, it allows for a long-term relationship, such that if a company wants, for instance, a very large piece of composite structure, the company actually contracts with one of our ALCs for it because the technology has moved to the ALC in large composites.
So I think we have worked this through, that over the long run, we will be fine. Plus, there are some of these companies that are in the business of maintaining aircraft. And they are still doing things well.
The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from Georgia, Dr. Gingrey.
Dr. GINGREY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Page 54 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Mr. Secretary, Dr. Roche and General Jumper, thank you. Thank you very much for a very good briefing.
I wanted to know if you could tell us anything about the so-called F/B22 bomber. I have been hearing a little bit about that lately. And the reason I am asking, of course, is as you know, the F/A22 Raptor is produced right in my district at Marietta, Lockheed Martin. And I have been hearing some discussion about that. And any information that you can give us in regard to the Air Force long-term plans for a new bomber, whether it is the F/B22 bomber or something like that, I would like for you to discuss that.
General JUMPER. Sir, we have been working with the Chairman, actually, to work our way through what the next generation of long-range strike is going to be. And we have begun the process now to actually try to define what piece of technology we need to take the big leap to be able to do long-range strike and what it takes to bridge us to what that leap is going to be.
And one of the possibilities, one of the candidates for this, is certainly a variation of the F/A22, taking full advantage of the development work that has been done on that airplane. But we are in the process right now of starting down the analytical road that gets us into the milestone process for defining what this might be.
But certainly, taking full advantage of the work that has already been done is one of the distinct possibilities.
Page 55 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Boss?
Secretary ROCHE. I think that is absolutely right. The candidate that emerges early because it is potentially very efficient to build is a bomber variant of the F/A22, which would give it dramatically greater range, something short of the B2, but still it is able to fight and to depart quickly. Our problem with our very large bombers is that they do not have an ability to fight on their own.
And given where we are thinking of using very stealthy systems, the ability to escape a particular problem or to shoot back and scoot out become very important. They will never carry as much. But we now have weapons which are so darn precise that, instead of talking about how many aircraft we need to go attack a target, it is: How many targets can we attack with one flight of the airplane?
We just tested, for instance, 80 500-pound JDAMs from a B2, each one individually programmed with a very, very high success rate. That is an enormous number of weapons on just one pass.
In the case of the F/B22, we are looking for something that can complement the F/A22, which will be a deep strike system and will go after movers, et cetera, but be more regional than intercontinental.
General JUMPER. This also gets to the question that the chairman brought in his opening statement. He discussed the balance between standoff and proximity. One of the reasons that this notion of a regional-type bomber is attractive is because it is able to penetrate deep and to loiter for long periods of time and work problems on the ground, with a very short time of flight of the weapon, because it is overhead.
Page 56 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
As opposed to the fixed target ideas that go along with putting cruise missiles on standoff weapons, where your time of flight then can be more than an hour to get en route to the target. It is the time of flight balance that you are searching for and what makes a weapon such as this attractive.
It has to be stealthy. It has to retain, in this case, the benefits of supercruise to aid in its penetration and, in this case, also able to loiter for long periods of time.
Dr. GINGREY. In general, those are actually all of the characteristics of the F/A22 Raptor that would make it an attractive platform, possibly for
Secretary ROCHE. F/A22, most certainly. And F/B would be something with a much larger wing. But there is an issue that Congressman Marshall raises, which is we have such consolidation in our defense industry, that we are increasingly concerned that, as a monopsonist, the single buyer, we are dealing increasingly with a single supplier, which is never healthy.
And to do it right requires some very delicate work between the supplier and the government. We just cannot ask the question: Well, how much do you want to do that?
And we are seeing this more and more. And I think it is going to be a problem for all of the services, given that the industry has consolidated to the degree that it has, that we are able to have the sort of positions on price that allow us to come before you and not be embarrassed.
Page 57 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Dr. GINGREY. Right. Thank you very much. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman.
The gentleman from Mississippi, Mr. Taylor.
Mr. TAYLOR. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Thank you, Secretary Roche and General Jumper, for being here and for all that you do for our Nation.
Secretary Roche, you touched on something that is a pretty sore subject with me, and that is base closure. You touched on something that is a big subject for me, and that is military treatment facilities.
And I was wonderingyou mentioned that a larger number of your retirees are using those military treatment facilities. And you mentioned that is a good thing. And I agree with you. That is a good thing.
It is something they were promised the day they enlisted. No matter how long ago it was, they were promised it. And we do know from checking that over half of our nation's military retirees have intentionally retired near a base so they can use that treatment facility.
Page 58 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
My question is: As you put together your thoughts on base closureand hopefully, you are getting your thoughts to the commission or the future commissionhave you considered trying to exempt those bases with treatment facilities, just for that reason? It is something that was promised, something that a heck of a lot of your retirees have intentionally chosen to retire near a base so they could use it. It is being used more often, not less. And it is the place of choice, both for our Active Duty and for our retirees.
Second thing I wish you would comment onand I will use the specific instance of Keesler Air Force BaseI know all of us get caught up in buzz words. And one of the buzz words around this town now is privatization.
But I would guess that you as an individual probably own a home, rather than rent one, because in the long-run, it is cheaper to own than to rent. What I do not quite understand, which is going on in the case of Keesler Air Force Base, is a move to shut down houses that we own the property, we own the buildings, and go rent.
Now that may be great for a handful of folks who own those rental properties. But I do not think it is a fair thing for the taxpayers who are paying for that. I just do not see how, in the long-run, it is cheaper to rent than to maintain what we already own.
Third thing I would like you to comment onand in fairness, I had intended to do this to every one of our service secretaries. And I missed the first one. So unfortunately, you are going to be the first one I catch.
Page 59 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC We keep hearing about this excess capacity. I am going to put you on the spot. I want you to name just one base you think needs to be closed. [Laughter.]
Fourth thingand I do think your force does this well. But I think everybody can do it better. And that is why I am bringing it to your attention, not that you are doing a bad job, but I think we could all do better.
We hear encroachment is a big consideration. And I know one thing the Air Force has is a heck of a lot of experts on everything.
To what extentrather than letting encroachment become a problem that could jeopardize a multimillion dollar facility that the taxpayers have paid for, to what extent does the Air Force proactively approach town councils, boards of supervisors at the county level and tell them what you need as far as glide path restrictions and as far as noise restrictions, ahead of time? Rather than coming back, years later, and telling your town council or your board of supervisors, ''I am sorry, we have to close your base because you have made it impossible for us to land airplanes here.''
Has the Air Force taken a proactive approach ahead of time to say, ''Look, this is a valuable property. We employ a lot of your constituents here. It is good for national defense. It is good for your local economy. This is what we are asking of you so that we can continue to use this base in the future as far as glide path restrictions on height.''
And again, taking a proactive approach, rather than going back after the fact and saying, ''You have blocked my access.'' So I think those are my questions.
Page 60 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
And again, I hope you notice we are tweaking. That means everything else you are doing, you are doing fine. So we are just tweaking those things that I do see some concerns with.
Secretary ROCHE. Thank you, sir. And let me start again and ask John to comment, especially as a former wing commander and a major command (MAJCOM) commander, in terms of working with the locals.
The rules on the base realignment and closure (BRAC) do not allow us to exempt anything. And we are not. In fact, we are not looking at bases per se at this stage. We are looking at military capability.
But let me hook it to a point that you made. The issue that we raise is we have retirees coming back to the TRICARE system. I know in my daily dealings, some people would not agree. I believe it is a good thing because it says we are keeping faith with people and we gave them our word.
The thing that we believe, and especially in the case of the Air Force. Now I have had the experience of living under two medical systems, the Navy's and the Air Force's. I will not tell you all the details of how I feel about the Navy medical system, but I will tell you about the Air Force one. It is fabulous.
And we have unused capacity in our Air Force hospitals and clinics. And in some cases, we are doing some joint work with the Veteran's Administration (VA), as we have, for instance, in Las Vegas, and there is another place that I just cannot remember.
Page 61 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
We want to do an experiment to help keep down the costsand I have made this point to Dr. Chuwe would like to take an area and say: Let us advertise to our retirees what is available at our Air Force medical facility that we use to take care of our active people, to train doctors and staff to work in our expeditionary Air Force, and see how many of them will come back, not to TRICARE, which is cash, but come back to our existing facilities, work with our doctors.
We have changed the criteria for promotion of doctors. We have tried to make this and other medical personnel a field that is an energetic field.
We still believe that having those senior medical officers respond to a wing commander who is worried about the health and welfare of our airmen and families is an important key here. And we differ from our sister services in that regard.
So we take your point and are already trying to get this experiment to both lower costs and to make better use of our existing facilities. But with respect to BRAC, we are not permitted to take anything out.
With respect to privatization of houses, the privatization system works in the following sense: It is not just the ownership of the house, it is the maintenance of the house and other things which consumed a great deal of money. The way the privatization program works, as I am sure you are aware, is you bundle. And you tend to bundle houses that are in good shape, but houses that need a lot of work.
Page 62 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And instead of the taxpayer putting out the money to fix up everything and maintain it, a contractor takes that, takes the monies that are given for basic allowance for quarters and, on balance, invests very little in the brand new ones because they are in good shape and starts to build where there were old ones. As we have seen itand our sister services feel the same waythis has worked out well and appears to have legs for the long-run, as long as the local commander continues to demand that there be the prompt servicing of those homes, that the quality not slip. So it becomes a command problem to ensure that the contractor performs as the contract says he should.
We have certain facilities in our northern tier states where there is simply not enough housing. And there we do own and we build and we pay for everything ourselves. So we are seeing the contrast in monies that go into that, as compared to the privatization.
So, so far, sir, we see the housing privatization as making great sense for a very long term because that money will be continued to be plowed back in to both maintain and to build new ones.
On the excess capacity
Mr. TAYLOR. Okay. Secretary Roche.
Secretary ROCHE. Yes?
Mr. TAYLOR. Put me down as highly skeptical on that answer.
Page 63 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Secretary ROCHE. Sir?
Mr. TAYLOR. Put me down as highly skeptical on that answer. We are going to have to have another talk on this.
Secretary ROCHE. All right, sir. We can. On excess capacity, obviously I cannot name a base because we have not made up the list.
Mr. TAYLOR. You are one out of three now, Secretary Roche. [Laughter.]
Maybe you will win on this next one.
Secretary ROCHE. He acknowledged that these were not softballs, Mr. Chairman. [Laughter.]
And I am going to take the heat for the two of us on this one, as well. We cannot name a base with excess capacity. We know we have betweenin the total force, Guard, Reserve and Active Dutywe believe, as we look to the future, we have more infrastructure than we require, and especially because we have to provide security forces to protect the security.
The reason we have had to ask the Army to provide us with 8,000 Guardsmen is because we exhausted our Active security force, our Reserve security force, our Guard security force. We wiped out the fire departments and sheriff's offices of all kinds of small towns. And we cannot do that in the very long run because we also opened up 36 new bases overseas.
Page 64 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
So therefore, on a security force basis alone, it is forcing us to take a look at: What do we need? And what makes sense?
On your last point on encroachment, I am aware of a number of cases where we have a very active relationship with the community. I have spoken to the community leaders, as well as the wing commanders, base commanders have.
We have tried to tell them ahead of time what sorts of glide paths we need. I know of at least one where the community has been terrifically responsive and, in fact, has made sure that that glide path is taken care of.
I have worked with governors who have come out and said, ''I understand the problem. We will work with the legislature to ensure that we do not all of a sudden zone things in such a way that cause a problem between us.''
So in a number of cases, I know it has gone very well. And John has done this for a living.
General JUMPER. Yes, sir. I can say, in every case that I know of, there is a very active relationship between the base and the local community on keeping up with these kinds of issues. There are cases where land has been purchased by the local community to keep encroachment problems away, where swaps have been done between government land and privately owned land, for the same purpose.
Page 65 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I will get back to you on specifics, if there is a specific program or a specific process. But I know that it is on the front burner of every commander who has got a flying operation out there to make sure that the community is aware of those things that would impact that commander's flying operation because that is his living.
Mr. TAYLOR. Thank you again.
Secretary ROCHE. Mr. Chairman, I think that was batting 500.
The CHAIRMAN. Okay. You are getting close there to the 500. The gentleman makes a good point with respect to base closing. One of the things that I think is important for you to make sure you inject in your formulation on base closing is the surge requirement and also simply the expanded training requirement.
You are never going to get back these bases once they are gone. I think one thing we have learned is you will never retrieve them. You better make darn sure you get plenty of space to fly these.
As our systems become longer range, greater standoff, greater speed, I think it is important for your folks. And we injected in this committee, in the law, the requirement that surge capability and headroom for that surge be put into the base closing formulation.
So Mr. Secretary and General Jumper, I hope you keep good scrutiny on that factor, because it is clear we will never retrieve a base once it is closed.
Page 66 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Secretary ROCHE. And you raise a pointand you did last year, sirin terms of ranges especially, it is not a matter only of speed and precision and standoff. It is also electronics.
We find ourselves now with advanced systems and an economy that has a lot of electronics that we have to be careful that we do not do harm to communities. And therefore, part of the range issue is not just trying to fly supersonically. It is what can we turn on and what can we not turn on?
The CHAIRMAN. Exactly. Good point.
The gentleman from South Carolina, Mr. Wilson.
Mr. WILSON OF SOUTH CAROLINA. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And thank you, Mr. Secretary, general, for being here today. And I agree with Senator Saxton that this has just been an extraordinary year for the Air Force.
And so, in lieu of grilling questions, I just want to thank you for the service of the Air Force in Operation Iraqi Freedom, around the world. It has just been extraordinary.
And I truly grew up with an appreciation of this. My dad was in the 14th Air Force Flying Tigers during World War II. And so I grew up in the holy city of Charleston and am familiar with the Air Force base there and remember going to kids' day. Always been impressed.
Page 67 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
And then I am very grateful, I have a nephew at Langley. He served in Kurdistan in the past year. We were so proud of his service.
It is just on and on, the success of the Air Force. And in my visit to Iraq in September, I was so impressed at the lack of collateral damage, the success of the bombing, the precision bombing and what that had to mean for the people of that country and certainly to our troops as they advanced so quickly.
Additionally, I am very grateful that I do not have air bases directly in the district, but adjacent to the districtShaw Air Force Base at Sumter, McEntire Air National Guard Station right next door to the district that I represent. And I have gotten to know firsthand, from both bases, of their level of commitment.
They have been great about keeping me informed. And then I had the great opportunity to work with Senator Lindsey Graham, who was the Judge Advocate General (JAG) officer of the Air National Guard, as I was the JAG officer of the Army National Guard. And so know firsthand from Senator Graham of the Air Guard capabilities.
Additionally, I am really pleased. The Chairman has mentioned correctly about surge space. And a unique quality of both Shaw and McIntyre is they are adjacent to a national park, which happens to be a swamp.
And so, you will not have to worry, as Congressman Taylor has correctly pointed out, about zoning problems, encroachment. It is there and with blackout capability. And so I am grateful for the units next to me.
Page 68 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Another interest that I have, I am pleased to work with Congresswoman Tauscher as co-chairs of the Bulgaria Caucus. And I was very pleased to see that, in terms of operations, that certainly for the first time in historyin the 1,200 year history of Bulgariathat they are working with the United States voluntarily of providing a base.
And as we look at the global basing plan, the people of Bulgaria are very desirous of being part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), which they will be in May. And they very much appreciate working with the United States on the war on terror.
And so again, in lieu of grilling you, Mr. Secretary, not even a softball question, I just want to thank both of you. I am just grateful to be on this committee with our Chairman. And any way that I can be supportive, please let me know.
Secretary ROCHE. Thank you, congressman, very much.
General JUMPER. Thank you, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman.
Mr. LANGEVIN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Gentlemen, thank you for being here.
Page 69 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I just had a couple of brief questions, but before I do, I just wanted to mention that I went over to Iraq in January. And the Air Force took great care of us. And it was my first Congressional delegation (CODEL) and look forward to many more. So thank you for that.
As you know, in January, President Bush had outlined his vision for space exploration, which included, among other things, the manned mission to Mars. And he stated that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) would be the primary agency to sponsor the initiative, but indicated that other agencies could be involved when applicable.
So my question is: Has the Air Force been working on this initiative? And what role do you expect the Air Force to have in its development? And are there any items in your budget request related to the President's program?
The second thing I hadand probably more importantlythis committee has been concerned about the frequency and duration of Reserve Component mobilization. And in your partial statement, you noted several efforts you have planned to relieve the pressure on the reserves.
So what I would like you to do, if you could, is to elaborate on those plans. If you could answer those, I would be grateful.
Secretary ROCHE. All right. I will start on space. And John will pick up on the reserves, if it is all right with you, sir.
On space, we do not have anything in the current budget. We will be working with Sean O'Keefe and NASA.
Page 70 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Now we have a separate relationship with NASA that we have had for quite some time. And NASA does some unique materials work for us.
And we have talked about rapid access to space with them. How do we have a joint strategy? How do we make sure that we do not duplicate something where they may be doing a bit of work differently than we are?
In terms of the President's initiative, it is manned in space. And so therefore, taking rockets like our evolved expendable launch vehicle (EELV)s and making them safe enough is something that we will have to discuss and have to discuss in whose budget that goes.
But we would expect to be doing it. But there is nothing in the current budget for that now.
With regard to reserve mobilization, I will pass it over to my partner. Either one of us can do it, but . . .
General JUMPER. Sir, on the mobilization, there are many efforts underway to try to make sure that we do not overly burden our Guard and Reserves and especially these great employers that I talked about in my opening remarks. Just a small example of that is, for instance, in our Air Expeditionary Force makeup, the way we have it made up, we have the ability if the Nation chooses to be able to call forward our Air Expeditionary Force packages and only touch those active duty parts of that, to delay a mobilization decision in the event of a conflict as much as we possibly can.
Page 71 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
In the current situation, I think we still have about 15,000 or so mobilized.
Secretary ROCHE. About 15,000. We have 3,000 volunteers as of today.
General JUMPER. And 3,000 volunteers out there. We watch the numbers twice a week to make sure that they are coming down as quickly as we can and that nothing is being added that is not absolutely necessary.
And then, in the makeup of the Air Force, trying to figure out how we can accommodate the Guard and Reserve in the future. In the state of Georgia, we have our Joint STARS wing, which is our ground moving target indicator airplane.
And in Georgia, we have blended the Active Duty unit that was the Joint STARS wing with a former National Guard unit that was the B1 wing that was deactivated there, blended those two together. That unit is now commanded by a National Guard officer.
And what you find is that during the weekly training, the Active Duty guys are able to train and carry on a certain level, aided by the volunteers that come in with great experience, especially in the maintenance field. And then when you surge for combat, you first go with your Active Duty and your volunteers, which gives you a great initial capability. And then if you mobilize, you bring on the rest of the volunteers, so that you are able to take full advantage of that airplane while it is deployed.
Page 72 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
We are taking that example and using it in other types of aircraft and other units as an experiment to see how much of that we can do. It is things like that that we are doing to make sure that we do not take for granted the volunteer nature of our Air National Guard in particular and have taken over advantage of our Air Force Reserve.
Secretary ROCHE. One of the points that I would only add is to date, we have only mobilized one-third, a little over one-third of our Guard and Reserve. Now some of those units have spent a lot of timefor instance, the C130Js, which are in great demand because we are effectively the local airline inside of Iraq, as well. But 65 percent of our Guard and Reserve has not been mobilized and sent overseas.
Mr. LANGEVIN. Thank you for those answers. It is good to hear. Obviously, I know that you know how important it is that we do not overtax our Guard and Reserve. I appreciate you mentioning that and giving it attention.
Secretary ROCHE. Yes, sir.
Mr. LANGEVIN. Thank you.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman.
The gentleman from Texas, Mr. Thornberry.
Mr. THORNBERRY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I want to follow up on something you all touched on a little bit, I think. But I want to get a little more into it.
Page 73 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
It seems to me that one of the most obvious lessons from the last year or two is the importance of long-range strike. I do not remember off the top of my head the numbers about what percentage of targets were hit from bombers and so forth.
But I know that, in the future, we will have little guarantee of bases in the region. And we will increasingly, I think, be dependent upon being able to hit a target anywhere in the world from the United States or maybe a few other bases.
I know we are getting better and better about munitions. And we can take these old platforms and do amazing things with them. But platforms are not insignificant, too. And it is not just their age, but the number we have.
When you just have a handful of B2s and a decreasing number of B1s and then some of our B52s. There is just not much to work with.
And yet, my understanding is that there is just very little, if any, work going on to think about designs for a follow-up bomber. Aren't we being shortsighted in not pursuing platforms which have that global strike range?
Secretary ROCHE. Let me start, Mr. Thornberry. One, one of the datums that we use is that in the Iraqi Freedom conflict, we have flown under 600 bomber sorties in the entire conflict. But we have flown something like 16,000 fighter bomber sorties.
And of 94,000, we have something like 61,000 mobility sorties. So if you ask: What is our Air Force today? Our Air Force is very much a lift and mobility force.
Page 74 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
We also recognize that our bombersand as people talk about bombers, the economies of scale of them are very good against fixed targets. And with the precision of weapons and you go through the dimpywhatever dimpy stands for, the target pointswe can exhaust the dimpy list in hours, let alone days.
The tough ones are fighting in a condition where you have not suppressed the air defense systems, catching things that move. Those are the issues that have been looking at in terms of long-range strike, as well as distance, because you can, with the new stealthy airplanes like the F/A22 with internal carriage, by not putting weapons on the outside of the airplaneas you well know, the drag drops down so you get much greater range than you otherwise would have had, say, in F15s.
So this issue of how to do this best, in the long-run, there are probably some solutions that could be suborbital; could be, we are not sure. It is the short-run that the Chairman has challenged us in the last year to take a look at in great detail. And we have.
And we have done about all we are going to be able to do, in terms of making the B1 stealthier. What we have done with it is to make sure it can use all 24 of its positions, except in certain circumstances. We are now thinking of putting certain sensors on board, which will allow it for the first time to be able to see the targets it is going to attack.
We did that with our B52s, two B52s with Litening pods that the Guard and Reserve had the clever idea to try. And we put it on. And it was a home run. The (CFACC), the combined force air component commander, said, ''I want those B52s because now I have got pilots working them.''
Page 75 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
So we are trying to build a portfolio of long-range strike. We think the next phase of it, as we look at this point, is something that has, say, twice to three times the range of an F/A22, can carry very precise, small diameter bombs. Because as precision goes up, you do not have to have the impact.
Save things like our B2s for big, deep and buried targets and have a portfolio of long-range strike. And it is one of the reasons why we are so concerned about our tanker force.
Because even with bombers, big, long-range strike bombers, they all get tanked, tanked, tanked.
Mr. THORNBERRY. But should we not at least have some smart engineers fooling around on a sketch pad or whatever, thinking about what a next generation bomber might look like?
Secretary ROCHE. We have. We have. And the problem that the Chairman pointed out to us, we have so many studies going on that all we had were building studies.
Mr. THORNBERRY. Right.
Secretary ROCHE. And so the issue is to try and coalesce those down to: What are the choices for procurement? And we are in that stage right now.
Page 76 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
As I say, the early candidate is something like an F/B22, but not necessarily one.
Mr. THORNBERRY. And I appreciate the shorter-term issue that you all are focused on, which makes sense. I guess my concern is that, as we look out over a longer period of time20, 30-plus yearsthat that demand is only going to increase.
Maybe space can help provide a lot of the answers. I mean, I agree with that. But I would just hate to put all our eggs in that basket, or assume that these platforms can just go on indefinitely.
Secretary ROCHE. We understand that we have to recapitalize. For instance, in the case of the B52, we fly it very differently than it was intended. We took 76 out of 700 and picked the very newest and the very best. We fly it high and slow.
The big change with the B1 is flying it higher, flying it slower and using it in an area where we have always suppressed defenses. It is the breaking down the door. It is the stealth part.
And once you get the stealth, the bigger you make it, the slower it goes, the more fuel it consumes to push its way through the air. If you try to make it very sharp so it goes through the air, it is not quite as stealthy. We have a lot of engineers working that issue.
How do you cool surfaces so that they do not stand out in certain phenomenologies? That work is going on. And we would be glad to come and tell you what has been going on in our labs on those subjects.
Page 77 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Mr. THORNBERRY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank the gentleman. And I thank him for his line of questions. And I think the first part of his question is one that I think we should all remind ourselves of, and that is we have lost all these landing capabilities, all these air bases around the world, over the last 20, 30 years. And it is counterintuitive that, as we have lost basing and we have these big spaces to travel, our modernization program has on the average encompassed acquisition of aircraft with shorter and shorter legsthat is, almost no bombers; in fact, no bombers; lots of fighters.
And clearly, we are relying on the old B52s. While we talk a great game about technology and we certainly love it so much, interestingly the backbone of the system is the non-technological solutionsa big old bus that carries lots of stuff.
The B1s, we put in money to start the retrieval of the 23 B1s last year. We have talked about that, Mr. Secretary.
You have testified that the B1s, that you have saved money, so the remaining B1s you were able to upgrade and render more combat effective. And you have testified that they were very combat effective as a result of that.
That has led us to appreciate the fact that the 23 that were sent in off to mothballs would also be, with the expenditure of dollars, combat effective. And that is a major asset to let go at this point when there is no new stuff on the horizon.
Page 78 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
So I want you to know the committee is very interested in continuing to walk down this path of retrieving those 23 B1 aircraft.
Secretary ROCHE. We are starting, sir, with seven right off the bat that we will use the $17 million to hold onto. If I could at least deter the challenge of thought, we have actually introduced two bombers since the last time we introduced the fighter bomber.
So we are old in our design of the fighter bombers in service today. They are certainly not stealthy. The F15E, a derivative of the F15, is a terrific air-to-ground machine. But it cannot be used in a heavily defended area because of lack of stealth.
We are trying to balance the portfolio. And we know we have to get back to bombers.
The CHAIRMAN. Okay. In the end, we have to cover lots of space with lots of stuff. And you have to really stretch that F22 to get it to approximate payload and ranges of the big bombers.
Secretary ROCHE. You never could match the payload, sir. You never could match the payload.
The CHAIRMAN. So let's keep working that one. That is, I think, pretty important to the committee here, is deep strike capability.
Page 79 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
The gentlelady from California, Ms. Tauscher.
Ms. TAUSCHER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Good to see you, Secretary Roche, General Jumper.
Mr. Chairman, I think it might be good, Mr. Chairman, for those of us that have the finest Air Force bases in the world to get a one-minute unanimous consent paid political announcement so that we can talk about our bases and how terrific they are. Travis Air Force Base in my district is one of the best, obviously. And the nice thing is that it has such great community support from Solano County and Fairfield and Vacaville.
But I do want to talk to you about the funding levels in the budget for the C5A/B to C5M modernization programs, both the Avionics Modernization Program (AMP) and the Reliability Enhancement & Re-engining program (RERP) programs are not funded at a level that will get us to where we are supposed to be in 2007. And I am concerned about that, for the obvious reasons.
We are happy to have both C5s and C17s at Travis. But right now, we are using Russian Antonov 124s to do our work in Afghanistan and Iraq. And we cannot sustain that for very much longer, nor should we, in my opinion.
But what is the plan, since we have shortfalls in the budget, for the modernization program to get ourselves to where we need to be in 2007? Is that date going to slip? How are we going to work this out, Mr. Secretary?
Page 80 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Secretary ROCHE. Ma'am, I could be wrong, but I think the AMP is on track. It is the RARP that has slipped a year. And the reason that we wanted to do that is we have promised you that we will take a look at the A-models.
Ms. TAUSCHER. Right.
Secretary ROCHE. And among other things I createdor John and I createdthe Fleet Viability Board, paralleling the Navy Board of Inspection and Survey. Before we make a big decision, we want to have a sense of what those As look like and whether it is worth putting money into them, because they typically have been the planes that have the greatest down time.
Now, at your baseI think it is the wing at that basewe have had a period of time where planes have been maintained without cannibalization. And Madame, that is the first time I know of that happening on a C5. And we were ecstatic.
John sent me the note at home and they let me know about it. And now it has also happened at one other base.
So our folks are doing a terrific job. But we still have the long-range plan to do exactly that. We have to decide, beyond the Bswe know we are going to modernize the Bsin the As, are they in good enough shape to invest in? Or do we take a path that goes down buying more C17s?
Page 81 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Ms. TAUSCHER. And when will that decision be made?
Secretary ROCHE. How will it be made?
Ms. TAUSCHER. When?
Secretary ROCHE. Ma'am?
Ms. TAUSCHER. Is that part of the air mobility study that you just talked about?
Secretary ROCHE. This is actually ongoing. They are working right now to take a look at the As. We would expect this within this cycle or the next cycle, so within the next 1.5 years, to have an answer.
What my promise to you all was that we would do a diagnosis of the As, come up to the Hill, show you everything, give you a sense of what it would cost and then have the Congress sort of work with us to understand why we might take one path or the other path. But the Bs look like they are no problem at all.
With regard to the Antonovs, Transportation Command (TRANSCOM) is responsible for moving things from A to B, not the Air Force really, although we provide most of the things. When they hit a point they exhaust our stuff, the reserves, the civil reserve air fleet (CRAF) and, in a number of cases I think, in about 70 cases, they contracted for Antonovs.
Page 82 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC They are not doing that right now. But it was to take care of a particular spike.
I must tell you, as a business guy, I thought it was a very clever thing to do to handle a spike, just as I think their work with the CRAF group and the civilian airliners who have participated in CRAF, has been a very clever way of doing that business, as well.
Ms. TAUSCHER. Great. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from Texas, Mr. Reyes.
Mr. REYES. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
And Secretary and General, welcome. And thank you for spending some time with us today.
General, I was intrigued by your statement that we are averaging 150 sorties a day in Iraq and 50 sorties a day in Afghanistan. And to follow up the Chairman's concerns with the number of aircraft, including bombers, I have a question on the F117 aircraft. It is stealthy. And it has, I think, been a great part of the success on the war on terror.
And although they are not assigned to my district, they are adjoining. And I know they played a large part in both Afghanistan and the Iraqi theaters to date.
Page 83 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Given that, I was surprised to see that in the budget request, the funding for the F117s is down, eliminating ten of these proven aircraft from the inventory. I was wondering, can you explain the rationale behind the decision?
General JUMPER. Yes, sir. The stealth technology on the F117 is from the 1970's. And as we bring the F/A22 on board, we are balancing our stealth capability across the board.
The F117 is not going away. And so it is a matter of we think we have enough to do the jobs we are going to be asked to do with the F117.
And recall that the number of stealth sorties we flew with the F117 was relatively low in Operation Iraqi Freedom. The number of B2 sorties we flew over Afghanistan and Iraq, also relatively low. And as we bring on new capabilities, we want to make sure that we keep ourselves balanced.
So the F117 is not going away. We are just reducing the total numbers by what we think isand increasing our capability, as the F/A22 comes on board, by a prudent amount.
Mr. REYES. Well, in that context, I was wondering first of all, did we consider other options? Because it seems to me that reducing the aircraft number by ten ramps up the wear and tear on the remaining aircraft. Haven't they been part, a regular part, of the deployment in theater?
Page 84 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General JUMPER. No, sir. No, sir. We take and put them over there for specialized uses. And of course, the F117 is our only stealth fighter. That and the B2 are our stealth capabilities. There really were no alternatives to look at.
And again, I think we took a look at this in context of balance and prudent use of the taxpayers' money. And that was our judgment, sir.
Mr. REYES. In the event that something happens that you have to ramp up again, how much would it cost to reactivate these?
General JUMPER. Sir, I will have to get back to you on that and exactly what kind of storage they are being put in, et cetera. And I will get you that information in detail.
Mr. REYES. Okay. But as I understand your statements here, it does not affect in any way whatsoever our combat capability, that decision.
General JUMPER. Sir, we continue to improve in both our ability to kill targets with stealth aircraft. Witness the rack that carries 80 individually guided bombs on the B2. And we think that by making this reduction that we are going to increase the mission capable rate on the remaining F117s.
So we think that we do this with no loss in combat capability.
Mr. REYES. Okay. Well, if you would just get back to me on what we talked about.
Page 85 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
General JUMPER. Yes, sir. Absolutely, sir. Thank you.
Mr. REYES. I would appreciate it.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and thank you gentlemen.
[The information referred to can be viewed in the hard copy.]
The CHAIRMAN. Thank the gentleman.
The gentlelady from San Diego, Ms. Davis.
Ms. DAVIS OF CALIFORNIA. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. And thank you all for being here. We certainly applaud the brilliance and the professionalism of the Air Force. And I am proud to say that that was part of my family, as well. And I appreciate that.
I wonder if you could just speak for a minuteand you might have covered thisthe whole issue of minimizing the incidents on fratricide that you face. Are we putting enough resources into the research for situation awareness technology? What are we lacking in that regard? And how would you reprioritize some of those needs?
I apologize if you already answered that question.
General JUMPER. Ma'am, there are several things that are really bothersome about the decade of the 1990's and then our operations in Afghanistan and in Iraq. And one of the ones that bothers me the mostthe one that does bother me the most, and the other joint chiefs, I can tell youare these instances of fratricide.
Page 86 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
It is extremely disturbing. We have spent a lot of money over the years trying to wrestle this to the ground and trying to find the technologies that can give you the sort of reliable data you need to keep track of airplanes, ships, pieces of equipment and right down to people.
Many of these solutions are highly classified and they have to do with space. And what I can assure you is that among the major issues and lessons learned that the joint chiefs have decided to take on, this whole notion of fratricide is at the top of the list.
And we will continue to invest in the technologies until we beat this. And I will be glad to come over or send people over to talk you through some of the options and some of the technologies that are out there that we are pursuing in this regard.
Ms. DAVIS OF CALIFORNIA. I appreciate that.
Secretary ROCHE. I was just going to make the point to add to John's that we feel this strongly even though this is the lowest amount of fratricide we have ever experienced. It is a matter that we think this is something that you can eliminate totally, between both how you train, your tactics, procedures and technology.
But this is the lowest. It is not that we had a real problem here. It is that any problem is a real problem.
Page 87 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
General JUMPER. I was just working yesterday with a group on Wing 16, the data links, this notion of self-forming, self-healing networks. And with the equipment we have now or coming on in the very near future, we have the capability to track large numbers of things out there, be they air-, land-or sea-based.
And it just becomes a very simple task. It is a software task. And these sorts of things drive me crazy. This information has been hidden in these data link messages. And it is a matter of extracting the right information and putting it on the right display. But the information is already there.
And it was one of these byproducts that was discovered in this information technology that can be so very confusing. That is one example of the sort of breakthroughs we need to be pursuing to help us out with this.
Ms. DAVIS OF CALIFORNIA. Sometimes what I hear in San Diego is that there are some industries, businesses that are working on some new technologies. But sometimes, their access to folks to talk about that is difficult.
And so again, I think sometimes we get a little lost in that system. But we all worry that if people have been incentivized to discover, to find a cure, if you will, then we certainly want them to come to the attention of . . .
General JUMPER. We have the right incentive. I never underestimate the power of bureaucracy to hide something, believe me. But this is receiving high attention.
Page 88 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Ms. DAVIS OF CALIFORNIA. I appreciate that.
If I may, Mr. Chairman, just very quickly? I know that the skill sets that people develop in the Air Force are very highly valued and that is why we want to focus on readiness. I wanted to just ask a brief question about the housing situation, facilities, because I know that is one that needs some attention. And it is my understanding that they have capped some of the privatization awards that can go out if they deal with housing.
Are we raising the cap on those facilities?
Secretary ROCHE. Ma'am, unless there is some information we can get and we will get back to you. But my mind says that we are on track to finish our work by 2007, except for our four northern bases, which is 2008.
And we have some overseas bases where we are redoing housing. And I think that is done by 2009 or 2010. And we are on track to do that.
And there is money in the budget to make sure we do that. In some cases, we are putting more money into housing on a base than we are in military construction (MILCON).
Ms. DAVIS OF CALIFORNIA. Okay. All right. Thank you. I appreciate it again. Thank you very much for being here.
General JUMPER. We are told that there are some caps in effect. So let us get back to you with some precise details, if you do not mind.
Page 89 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
[The information referred to can be viewed in the hard copy.]
The CHAIRMAN. Thank the gentlelady.
The gentleman from Minnesota, Mr. Kline.
Mr. KLINE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. You looked like you were too relaxed there. [Laughter.]
Mr. KLINE. I thought you noticed that. Thank you, gentlemen, for being here. It is great to see you again.
I apologize for myself and my colleagues as we come and go back and forth. I know you are veterans of this and you know how we have competing hearings going on at the same time and we are trying to figure out how to clone ourselves or something.
I want to thank you certainly for your service, general, and just tell you how enormously proud I am of the United States Air Force, Active and Reserve Components, of what just a terrific job that they have been doing and how pleased I am that, over the years, we have been able to develop truly magic weapons systems. And the ability to put ordinance on target in this war, compared to our first war is just truly amazing.
Page 90 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC So I am very pleased with all of those things. I have been beating a sort of a one-note drum here lately. And I am going to beat on it just a little bit longer. And that is the employment of the Guard and Reserve.
And we have, in Minnesota, the Guard is involved in Operation Noble Eagle. And the Guard and Reserve C130 squadrons have been used and used again. And I had the great pleasure of flying with the Minnesota Guard when I was over in Iraq and getting that little shuttle ride from Kuwait to Baghdad and had an opportunity to talk to them at great length.
And they are proud to serve. And they believe in what they are doing. They are starting to feel the strain a little bit. They were the particular crew, one of them that I was talking to was getting ready to go home in two weeksand this was back in Octoberbut they were going to be back over there before Christmas.
And one of them said, ''Well, aren't there some other C130 squadrons that could be going over there?'' The rumor flying around was that there was one or more Guard or Reserve C130 units that were staying in the home field pattern and not going anywhere.
So I guess I want to applaud the job that is being done and I want to applaud the integration that I think the Air Force has done better than the other three services between the Reserve Component and the Active Component, particularly in thewell, I will say itparticularly in the transport community. But in general, I think it is a very excellent integration of those.
But my question is: Are you seeingas you are looking at this budget and you are looking at plans coming up for this year and next year, are you seeing some lessening of the demand for these air Guard units that are literally carrying the load? And can you assure me, so I can assure them, that that is shared among the Reserve Component?
Page 91 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
General JUMPER. Sir, I can first of all assure you that it is shared. There are any manner of elements that go into decisions on who to send. One is the capability of the airplanes, of course. And spreading the load is certainly another factor.
And as you know, it is not only the overseas commitment, but we have C130 units tapped within the United States to be ready to deal with any homeland security event that might occur, as well. So as far as the balancing, I can guarantee you that we pay a lot of attention to that.
Now let me take this though and go back and let me make sure that what I have just said applies to your unit, which is the one that you are worried about. And we will get back to you with some specifics on usage, on balance and on your unit in particular, sir.
Mr. KLINE. Okay. I really do appreciate that. And I understand that there are missions at home and abroad, as you say. But it is the missions abroad that are putting a little bit higher stress, of course.
General JUMPER. Absolutely.
Mr. KLINE. If you are standing by and you are flying between Illinois and Phoenix, you know, or someplace, that is one set of demands on the family and the employer and so forth. And when you are deployed over to the Mideast, to the theater, that is a different demand.
Page 92 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General JUMPER. And the active, sir.
Mr. KLINE. Of course. I spent my life in the active service. And there is sort of an understanding that you are going to be gone a fair amount of time when you are in the active service. And I am concerned about their operation kmpo (OPTEMPO), as well. But my particular question is about the utilization of the Guard and Reserve and particularly in the transport, in the C130 community.
General JUMPER. Yes, sir.
So I would like to be reassured that we have poked around a little bit. But I am sort of making this an official request. Please tell me that the load is being spread among the Guard and Reserve units particularly.
[The information referred to can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Mr. KLINE. So again, thank you very much.
And Mr. Chairman, I yield back.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman. And some of his great Minnesota Guardsmen ferried us around for a while over there, too. Did a great job.
And on that point, let me just ask you, Generalincidentally, I think one thing that we need to close these hearings with is the notion that, with all the exceptions that we talk about here and the red flags that have gone up and issues that are important to us, we do a lot of things right. You do a lot of things right.
Page 93 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
And you are a great team. I think you have a lot of innovation between you and you have a good handle on operations and long-term stuff that we have to do.
And on that point, General, let me ask you a couple of questions. Number one: Are you understanding the turbulence that the distinguished gentleman from Minnesota just talked about, with the respect to Guard and the stress and strain?
Are you comfortable with the personnel situation? Do you think they are going to keep coming and signing up and operating with us with these inconveniences that they have experienced? How do you feel about it?
General JUMPER. Sir, in the discussions I have had with the people serving and with Danny James and Jimmy Sherrard, our National Guard and Reserve chiefs that I deal with and the boss and I deal with several times a week. And the feedback I get from the fieldincluding the employers, by the wayI am confident that the morale is high. And I am confident there is a commitment to this, although I do understand that there is a point beyond which things become impractical to support.
And we are dedicated to making sure that we do not take overly advantage of our people in the Guard and Reserve. We have not seenwhen stop loss came off last summer, we did not see the exodus that many predicted would happen.
As a matter of fact, our Guard and Reserve, the volunteer rates and the retention rates are still very good. As a matter of fact, they are so good that we now have this end strength problem that we have to deal with. So I am not giddy about this. I am cautiously optimistic.
Page 94 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
And with great concern that we pay the proper attention to the fact that we are taking great advantage of these employers and the people who are deploying. And believe me, sir, this has got my attention.
Secretary ROCHE. It is amazing when you travel. Like on Thanksgiving I was in Iraq. And at one of our bases, the deputy wing commander, who is the commander at the one particular base, that was his last week. And he was a reservist. And he was going to go back to his full-time job. But he was the commander.
These folks get positions of responsibility, just like the Active Duty force. And each time we travel, we always ask an audience: Who is from the Guard? And who is from the Reserve?
As long as they see fairness, their morale has been terrific. And they have been fabulous contributors, just fabulous.
The CHAIRMAN. Okay. General, let me go back to one point before we wrap up here that I think is important for us, and that is your efforts in support of the ground operations in country in Iraq right now and in Afghanistan. But my thoughts are, understanding that you have a liaison obviously, Air Force liaison, with division commanders, my thoughts are you need to have some good Air Force gunfighter over there, probably with stars on his shoulders, who when he consults with the division commander and they come up with some things you need, can call up and make things happen.
Page 95 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC If you have somebody of a lower rank, that gentleman or lady may be a good message carrier, but has to rely on other people to actually pull the trigger on action items. I think you need to get an operator side by side with those people on the ground and make damn sure you get them everything that they need, understanding that you are not going to train them to work systems.
But they can tell you, in pretty good shorthand, one of the great things about Americans is we can work together inter-service. And we have developed great relationships. That is really the key to the so-called jointness, operating jointly in the field.
Please take a look at that. Just scrub what you have, take a look at that and let's see what we can do.
General JUMPER. I have got you loud and clear, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. And Mr. Secretary and General, I just got the figures on what assets we have that are in country on UAVs. And I will, after the hearing, have him engage with your folks and let's go over that.
Secretary ROCHE. We just checked this morning. So if we have a difference, we want to resolve them.
The CHAIRMAN. Yeah, there is. We have some. I mean, our information, we have located quite a few that are here, warehoused in the States. So we will lock Mr. Lautrup up with you until somebody yells, ''Uncle'' here.
Page 96 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Does the ranking member have something to add here?
Mr. SKELTON. You bet. Mr. Chairman, thank you, sir.
General Jumper, you mentioned a few moments ago an earlier statement about the Joint Chiefs working on professional military education. A bit of historyyour predecessor, several removed, who later became the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, went public a good number of years ago saying that the Joint Chiefs of Staff advice that was given to the Secretary and to the President was watered down pabulum.
And as a result of this, he brought this to Congress. Richard White, a Member of Congress from Texas, had a series of hearings, put together a bill that did better things, created some sort of jointness.
When he retired, I put together a bill in early 1983 that abolished the Joint Chiefs of Staff. And I must tell you that the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to a person, had no sense of humor at that time.
But we continued and we had hearings. And thanks to a wonderful staffer, this committee two more times passed legislation. And it was stalled in the Senate until the Chairmanship changed in the Senate.
And then under Barry Goldwater and Sam Nunn, the Ranking Member, they put together a comparable bill. In 1986, we passed what came to be known as the Goldwater-Nichols bill. And Mr. Bill Nichols from Alabama was the Chairman of the subcommittee that worked so hard on it here.
Page 97 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
And this created a basis of jointness within the services. It also gave you a Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, which the Joint Chiefs were adamant against. The Joint Chiefs fought this all the wayunpleasant and, at one point, bitter.
But Congress did this with such majorities in both the House and the Senate, it was veto-proof. So Goldwater-Nichols was born.
A little over a year later, another step was taken toward jointness. And that was the professional military education panel that was established here in the House. And I was the Chairman of that.
And I might say that the Joint Chiefs cooperated much more fully in that effort, which of course created a jointness in education, as opposed to training, toward a jointness education atmosphere. The Pentagon sent over to us a retired Air Force colonel, name of Mark Smith. The Navy sent a commander by the name of Bob Natter. The Army sent a colonel, name of John McDonald. And the Air Force sent a lieutenant colonel over by the name of Don Cook and assigned them to our committee for that year.
And as a result of the work that we did, a good number of issues were changed, including joint requirements, joint schooling. And without going into any detail of it, but it was good work. And the work that we did here in the House was accepted by the Senate. And it worked out very, very well.
And that needs to be reviewed. My message to you and the other members of the Joint Chiefs, General Jumper, is we would like to work with you on this. It is our baby to begin with.
Page 98 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
You all fought it to begin with early on. And then, of course, you got with the program on professional military education, which capped off the jointness.
I hope we can work together on this issue and not have an adversary process. And I hope I am not overstating the case. But I have the memories of 1984, 1985 and 1986, although very pleasant memories of your predecessors working with us on the military education end of it.
So I hope we can do that. I have had the very interesting conversation with the Chairman on this.
We know of your concerns. And we may be able to, one way or the other, address them. But professional military education has done so well. And it pays off in the battlefield. My goodness, it does, in so many ways.
And I hope that we can work together on this. I hope, in some of your conversations with your fellow Joint Chiefs, you will urge them to work with this committee on that. And I hope I speak for our Chairman, just as well.
General JUMPER. Yes, sir.
Sir, if I just might comment? First thing I am going to do when I get back is call all those old guys and tell them they got me in trouble today. [Laughter.]
Page 99 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And I can tell you, sir, that working with the current set of Joint Chiefs, these guys are the most joint-minded group I have ever worked with. And in discussion with General Myers, I know it is his intent fully to work with the committee and with you in particular on a way ahead.
And I just want to report to you that this has been discussed and discussed in a very positive way among the Joint Chiefs in the tank.
Mr. SKELTON. Well, I hope this will have a lot of interest on both sides of the aisle here. But I feel a parochial interest that since all of this jointness really came from usit is interesting to note that there were at least three professional military education studies by the Pentagon and shelved. And then nothing happened until we actually put this in law and then a report.
And to your credit and your predecessors' credit, they actually worked it out well. There was only one recommendation that was not accepted, which was rather interesting.
The recommendation was to make the National War College a follow-on to the Army, Navy and Air Force war colleges. And this was done very tactfully, the Chairman appointing a commission under Bob Long, an admiral from Kansas City. Now he is gone; what a wonderful man.
But of course, I testified before that commission. And the outcome, of course, was obvious that they would not do that.
But that was the only recommendation that really was not accepted. And all the others were.
Page 100 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
And I just want us, on a bipartisan basis, to work with you folks and not be at loggerheads, as it was way back regarding Goldwater-Nichols. And I hope, Mr. Chairman, I hope I do not overstate the case. Thank you very much.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman. I thank him for his corporate memory there, too, and also the great work you did, Ike, in putting together those policy changes that today are showing up on the battlefield. So we will continue to march.
Gentlemen, thank you very much. We managed to wear you out, I think, with questions, even though we did not have as many troopers here today. But thanks for what you do. You do a lot of things right.
And we have to persevere in the ongoing conflicts, prepare for the next ones. We look forward to working with you. And Mr. Lautrup will be down here in a second here to tell you about our findings here on these systems.
And let us particularly focus on these theaters and work together. The hearing is adjourned.
Secretary ROCHE. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
[Whereupon, at 11:20 a.m., the subcommittee was adjourned.]