SPEAKERS CONTENTS INSERTS
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[H.A.S.C. No. 1082]
NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT
FOR FISCAL YEAR 2004H.R. 1588
OVERSIGHT OF PREVIOUSLY AUTHORIZED PROGRAMS
COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED EIGHTH CONGRESS
FULL COMMITTEE HEARINGS
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AUTHORIZATION AND OVERSIGHT
FEBRUARY 27, 2003
HOUSE COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
One Hundred Eighth Congress
DUNCAN HUNTER, California, Chairman
CURT WELDON, Pennsylvania
JOEL HEFLEY, Colorado
JIM SAXTON, New Jersey
JOHN M. McHUGH, New York
TERRY EVERETT, Alabama
ROSCOE G. BARTLETT, Maryland
HOWARD P. ''BUCK'' McKEON, California
MAC THORNBERRY, Texas
JOHN N. HOSTETTLER, Indiana
WALTER B. JONES, North Carolina
JIM RYUN, Kansas
Page 3 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCJIM GIBBONS, Nevada
ROBIN HAYES, North Carolina
HEATHER WILSON, New Mexico
KEN CALVERT, California
ROB SIMMONS, Connecticut
JO ANN DAVIS, Virginia
ED SCHROCK, Virginia
W. TODD AKIN, Missouri
J. RANDY FORBES, Virginia
JEFF MILLER, Florida
JOE WILSON, South Carolina
FRANK A. LoBIONDO, New Jersey
TOM COLE, Oklahoma
JEB BRADLEY, New Hampshire
ROB BISHOP, Utah
MICHAEL TURNER, Ohio
JOHN KLINE, Minnesota
CANDICE S. MILLER, Michigan
PHIL GINGREY, Georgia
MIKE ROGERS, Alabama
TRENT FRANKS, Arizona
IKE SKELTON, Missouri
JOHN SPRATT, South Carolina
SOLOMON P. ORTIZ, Texas
Page 4 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCLANE EVANS, Illinois
GENE TAYLOR, Mississippi
NEIL ABERCROMBIE, Hawaii
MARTY MEEHAN, Massachusetts
SILVESTRE REYES, Texas
VIC SNYDER, Arkansas
JIM TURNER, Texas
ADAM SMITH, Washington
LORETTA SANCHEZ, California
MIKE McINTYRE, North Carolina
CIRO D. RODRIGUEZ, Texas
ELLEN O. TAUSCHER, California
ROBERT A. BRADY, Pennsylvania
BARON P. HILL, Indiana
JOHN B. LARSON, Connecticut
SUSAN A. DAVIS, California
JAMES R. LANGEVIN, Rhode Island
STEVE ISRAEL, New York
RICK LARSEN, Washington
JIM COOPER, Tennessee
JIM MARSHALL, Georgia
KENDRICK B. MEEK, Florida
MADELEINE Z. BORDALLO, Guam
RODNEY ALEXANDER, Louisiana
TIM RYAN, Ohio
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Robert S. Rangel, Staff Director
James M. Lariviere, Professional Staff Member
Justin Bernier, Research Assistant
C O N T E N T S
CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF HEARINGS
Thursday, February 27, 2003, Fiscal Year 2004 National Defense Authorization ActU.S. Air Force Budget Request
Thursday, February 27, 2003
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2003
FISCAL YEAR 2004, NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACTU.S. AIR FORCE BUDGET REQUEST
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., Chief of Staff of the Air Force
Roche, James G., Secretary of the Air Force
[The Prepared Statements can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Hunter, Hon. Duncan
Roche, James G. and 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 DOCQUESTIONS AND ANSWERS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
[The Questions and Answers can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Mr. J. Miller
FISCAL YEAR 2004, NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACTU.S. AIR FORCE BUDGET REQUEST
House of Representatives,
Committee on Armed Services,
Washington, DC, Thursday, February 27, 2003.
The committee met, pursuant to call, at 9:38 a.m., in room 2118, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Duncan Hunter (chairman of the committee) presiding.
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. DUNCAN HUNTER, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM CALIFORNIA, CHAIRMAN, COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
The CHAIRMAN. The committee will come to order. And, Mr. Secretary and General Jumper, I want to apologize for starting a little late here. We had a little late finish here with General Holland, the special operators andbut we are ready to go.
Page 8 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC This morning the committee concludes its review of the military services fiscal year 2004 budget request with the Air Force. And I am pleased to welcome back Secretary of the Air Force, James Roche and Chief of Staff, General John Jumper, to testify on the Air Force's budget request for the year.
The Air Force, like its sister services, has had to quickly adapt to a new strategic environment where America's adversaries have demonstrated a willingness to increasingly challenge the United States at home and abroad. And, to meet this threat, the Air Force has expanded its air expeditionary presence overseas and strengthened its defense at home.
Before September 11, 89,000 Air Force personnel were either assigned or deployed overseas. Today deployments have increased by 250 percent with air expeditionary forces (AEF) deployed to 44 worldwide locations including 10 new bases. Before the global war on terrorism began, only 14 fighter aircraft were on alert at 7 locations in the U.S. Today, 45 aircraft are on alert at 18 locations in defense of the American homeland.
In some cases, new requirements have outstripped the Air Force's ability to meet and sustain them and new solutions are being pressed into place. So, for example, some 9,000 Army national guardsmen are now being mobilized to provide force protection at Air Force installations due to a significant shortfall of Air Force security police in the active, National Guard, and reserve force structure.
Three weeks ago, Secretary Rumsfeld outlined the challenge before us. To win the war, the Global War on Terrorism, to prepare for threats we will face later this decade and to continue to transform for threats we will face in 2010 and beyond. Faced with aging air and space systems that cost more and more to operate and maintain, the Air Force has a daunting challenge to sustain its current operation tempo, modernize for the decade and transform itself for future threats.
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The Air Force fiscal year 2004 budget request is $93.5 billion, an increase of $3.6 billion from last year. While this budget makes improvements to important quality of life areas, the proposed level of funding to operate and maintain today's forces and to modernize, is simply not enough to sustain the current force structure or to improve the Air Force's aging infrastructure.
And, General Jumper, I think you pointed out the other day that the average age of your frontline fighter aircraft now is a little over 20 years, I believe.
General JUMPER. Yes, sir. 22, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Which is an historic high.
The fiscal year 2004 budget request includes $6.1 billion for the Air Force's flying hour program, an increase of about 5 percent compared to last year. However, this increase buys us about three percent fewer actual hours in the air because the cost per flying hour continues to climb due to the Air Force's aging fleet. The infrastructure budget request, which contains, sustains current facilities begins new military construction (MILCON) and supports based communication facilities is $4.6 billion, a 10 percent decrease from the $5.1 billion level in fiscal year 2003.
Like its aging aircraft fleet, the Air Force's aging infrastructure results in higher operations and repair costs. The modernization budget represents a mixed picture. While the request for research and development increases about 26 percent, the procurement budget decreases about 3 percent from 17 billion to 16.5 for fiscal year 2004. And I am particularly concerned about this procurement decrease since I believe that only through the accelerated replacement of the Air Force's aging equipment can we begin to control the escalating operating and maintenance costs that are consuming an increasing share of the budget, but buys no additional combat power.
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To fund the increased cost of aging infrastructure and aircraft, the Air Force budget request includes a proposed reduction of 68 KC135E air refueling tankers, which is projected to save about $782 million across the future year's defense program. While further force reduction details for fiscal year 2004 are yet to be revealed, the reduction of air refueling tanker follows the planned deactivation of 32 of the Air Force's 92 B1s in fiscal year 2003.
And, gentlemen, we have talked about that a little bit. I would just say from a personal perspective, knocking back a piece of your deep strike capability, which is very limited to begin with, the B1s and accompanying that with a reduction of the lynch-pin for all of our aerial operations, which is our tanker capability. You know, we heard testimony from the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) yesterday that the birds that were working Afghanistan were hitting the tank four times on the way in. Those tankers are gold. And the idea that we are knocking that back for monetary reasons is very disturbing.
These decreases in force structure at a time of increased deployments overseas, along with a higher alert posture at home and the prospect for military conflict in several regions of the world, present an increase in operational risk that needs to be fully debated and understood.
So, we all look forward to a candid discussion of the risks associated with our readiness, investment and transformation strategy, both in the hearing and in our more detailed subcommittee hearings to follow. And I think we got aour subcommittees are up and running, gentlemen, and you are going to have a great opportunity to make your case. But, also for our members to make their case on doing some things that, perhaps, is not manifest in the budget documents.
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So, I would now recognize the committee's ranking member, my partner, the distinguished gentleman from Missouri, Mr. Skelton, for any remarks he might want to make.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Hunter can be viewed in the hard copy.]
STATEMENT OF HON. IKE SKELTON, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM MISSOURI, RANKING MEMBER, COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
Mr. SKELTON. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I am always thrilled to hear you pronounce the name of my state. You pronounce it correctly; Missouri and I want this committee to know that you have passed that major test.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you.
Mr. SKELTON. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. It is certainly good to have Secretary Roche and General Jumper here with us today. Today is the birthday of America's greatest aircraft designer, the late Kelly Johnson, who designed the P38, the F104, the C130, SR71 and the Constellation P3. And, I am pleased to see a continued rise in the Air Force budget request for this coming fiscal year.
You are going to be taking a lot of important innovative programs that will prove to be beneficial to combat power. And we in Congress can adopt the motto of the Ninth Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, ''always vigilant.'' I think that is a good place to start.
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In that spirit, I would like to highlight a couple of areas I hope you will address in your testimony. First, I understand the Air Force is considering force structure changes in several weapons systems. We would like to understand that better. Second, I was pleased to see, though not very large, but pleased to see the 300 person increase request in your proposal. I understand that is for special forces, but let me point out that there are 8,000 Army National Guardsman guarding Air Force bases, including Company C of the 110th Engineers from my hometown of Lexington, Missouri that is in training as we speak and going down to guard Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri. How is the Air Force planning to address this force management challenge?
I would like to express my concern over the request for more leasing authority in your budget. In the long-run this seems a more costly way of promoting capability.
And, I would like for you to address, gentlemen, a very, very unpleasant subject. Today in the New York Times an article written by Eric Schmidt, CBS, 60 Minutes, the other day and last night, ABC 20-20 touched upon the sexualalleged sexual misconduct at the Air Force academy. I am not sure what one can say, but you ask a mother of an aspiring young woman or young man that wants to go to the Air Force academy, would that mother tell them maybe they ought to look at West Point or Annapolis?
This is a major challenge for your service and I would appreciate your comments on that.
However, let me welcome you both. It is a privilege for you to be with us and share your thoughts today.
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Mr. Chairman, thank you.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Skelton can be viewed in the hard copy.]
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman.
And, Mr. Secretary and General, obviously, you have a lot ofyou have got a major operational challenge that you are undertaking right now. You are a massive piece of the staging operation that is taking place right now. We want to thank you for the long hours you are putting in and thank you for your service to the country. And, without objection, all your statements will be entered into the record. Mr. Secretary, the floor is yours.
STATEMENT OF HON. JAMES G. ROCHE, SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE
Secretary ROCHE. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. And, with your permission, sir, may I read some high points and then may I add
The CHAIRMAN. Absolutely.
Secretary ROCHE [continuing]. Begin the answer to Congressman Skelton's question that will give John a chance to both give his comments and also to address Congressman Skelton and the other members on this very important subject of the Air Force academy.
Page 14 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The CHAIRMAN. Yes.
Secretary ROCHE. With your permission, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes.
Secretary ROCHE. Well, thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, and Congressman Skelton, and members of the committee. It is my great honor to join General John Jumper today to represent the 700,000 active guard, reserve and civilian airmen who are engaged in defending our nation and serving our nation's interest around the globe.
We are very proud of their achievements this year from combat operations and homeland defense to their daily efforts that guarantee the readiness, health, security and morale of our fighting force.
In particular, as I said last year, it is my absolute thrill and honor to serve with General John Jumper. He is a man for all seasons. I have gotten to know him better. And I think this country has no finer military officer in service. And I delight in his humor, and I delight in his collegiality and I delight in his joining me to try to make this Air Force as wonderful as it can be.
So, thank you, John.
General JUMPER. Thank you.
Page 15 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Secretary ROCHE. In our travels around the Air Force, Mr. Chairman, we have been impressed and humbled by the creativity, commitment, professionalism of some of our airmen, of all of our airmen. And, with your permission, sir, I would like to be able to introduce one of our very special airmen, an air commander and combat controller, Staff Sergeant Alan Yoshida, who is behind me.
Alan is quite a young man. He is one of the 12 outstanding airmen of the Air Force this year. I had the occasion to award a Purple Heart for his wonderful service in Afghanistan.
He has been working on some of the vast majority of this for us. And the beauty of it is that John and I work for him, too. So, thank you.
Now, of utmost importance to our continuing folks on war fighting and delivering the capability that enables us to remain expeditionary and responsive. The combatant commanders rely on us to provide a full spectrum of capabilities from global strike, response, and mobility to battle space awareness and control. All while providing an umbrella of homeland security and nuclear deterrence to our nation.
Through the efforts of this committee, your colleagues in the Congress and the dedicated airmen like Sergeant Yoshida, I am proud to report that we currently are meeting these objectives, Mr. Chairman. We have some good news. A year of challenging operations, new concepts, readiness advances and investments in our people provided us with many good news stories.
Page 16 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC In defense of the homeland, we flew over 25,000 Operation Noble Eagle fighter, tanker, airlift and airborne warning sorties made possible only through the mobilization of over 30,000 airmen from the Air Force Reserves and Air National Guard. They have conducted over 75 percent of all the Noble Eagle missions. It has truly been a total force experience and they have been wonderful.
Today we have more than 200 military aircraft at over 20 air bases that remain dedicated to providing continuous combat air patrols or on call support to high-risk areas across the United States, and we conduct random patrols over other cities and key facilities, as you noted, Mr. Chairman.
In Operation Enduring Freedom we flew more than 40,000 sorties in 2002, over 70 percent of all coalition sorties. Over 8,000 refueling missions, 55 percent of which went to Navy and Marine Corps aircraft, made joint operations in a distant landlocked nation possible. In Afghanistan, our special operations teams developed new ways to bring air and space power to bear in a variety of ground engagements.
Notably, the combat controller colleagues of Sergeant Yoshida integrated new technologies and precision weapons so that we can truly do close air support from 39,000 feet using aircraft like the B2 bomber, B1 bomber, B52, as well as Navy and Marine Corps and Air Force aircraft.
We sustained a forward presence around the globe, protecting our nation's interests and assuring our allies with over 35,000 deployed airmen currently serving at some 50 expeditionary bases in over 35 countries, plus an additional 50,000 airmen permanently assigned overseas.
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In space we continued our professional operation of a variety of satellite constellations delivering essential capability to war fighters and civil consumers. Last year we launched 18 missions at 100 percent success rate, including the first space launches using the evolved expendable launch vehicles.
Finally, we are doing better at mastering how to target and engage time critical moving targets, something we are working on all the time. Continuous improvement in readiness and technology made many of these successes possible. With the terrific support of the Congress and Secretary Rumsfeld, we successfully consolidated our B1 bomber fleet, as you noted, but we improved the operational readiness dramatically. Its mission capable rate was up 10 percent last year and is now at 71 percent, the highest in its history.
The increased spare parts funding this committee and the Congress has supported is paying off, as well. 16 of 20 weapons system improve mission capable rates last year. The C5B achieved its highest mission capable rate since 1994 at 73 percent. It did so while flying the highest sortie rate since the Gulf War.
Congressman Skelton well knows that the B2 improved over 33 percent and the A10 was up 8 percent and our F15s were up 5 percent. These are the best mission capable rates we have experienced in five years, and the greatest improvement we have achieved since the mid-1980s. This is because the spare parts you provided and some extraordinary heroism among our maintainers, who have worked hard to keep these old aircraft going.
We have taken delivery of 25 C17s since 9-11. We have expanded our Joint STAR'S fleet to 14 aircraft, receiving our 10th consecutive aircraft ahead of schedule. With the standup of the very first blended wing of air national guard and active duty forces flying the Joint STARS at Robin's Air Force base, we took another step forward enhancing operational capability and truly transforming our force. The first time a wing as guard and active and mixed. In fact, the first commanding officer of the wing is a guard officer.
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Our F/A22 program's improving and the Raptor is currently meeting or exceeding all key performance requirements. And we have delivered our initial production aircraft to Nellis Air Force Base, have restructured the upgrade spirals to focus on developing the system's air to ground capabilities.
But, we are experiencing some ongoing issues with software integration and face classic challenges in transitioning from develop to production. It is not unusual to see these sorts of things at this stage of a program.
We have continued our efforts to make the acquisition process responsive and flexible. We have successfully applied this approach to our acquisition of armed and intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance-capable predictors. With our budget we will continue to add Hellfire missile capability to all new additions to the Predator fleet and significantly contribute to unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAV) research and development. By 2010, we will have 27 Predator systems, which equates to over 125 air vehicles. We have also made a significant investment in global hawk unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), giving us 24-hour persistence over the battle space.
Now, Mr. Chairman, at some time in a closed meeting we would be delighted, General Jumper and I, to tell you how we arewhat our strategy is in this whole unmanned area and in particular, a remotely piloted aircraft.
We will have a considerable number of families of aircraft that we will be working with real operators to understand how best to use them, replicating what the Army Air Corps did in the very end of the 1930s, where they had multiple types of airplanes choosing doctrine for them. So, at some time, sir, you might be interested in that.
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The CHAIRMAN. Would that bethat would require a classified briefing on that?
Secretary ROCHE. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Why don't we do that as soon as possible and why don't we do it, invite all members of the committee to come to that and let's try to do it upstairs here.
Secretary ROCHE. Fine, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. And, let's do it quickly.
Secretary ROCHE. Be glad to, sir. It will show you that we are approaching this in a very novel way.
On the people front, we have had much good news to report, as well. We have made progress in enhancing educational opportunities and strengthening the technical foundation of our force. We are creating an Air Force Systems Engineering Institute at AFIT, the Air Force Institute of Technology. It will offer master of science degrees, as well as certificate-awarding courses and systems engineering we identified as the single biggest weakness, both in our own acquisition system and in the industrial base.
We formed a partnership with the Navy for post-graduate studies and they are taking advantage of the institutional strengths of AFIT and the Naval post graduate schools to enhance technical education of both services personnel.
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Finally, we have opened AFIT to some of our enlisted men and women for the first time to pursue advanced technical degrees. We currently have eight airmen and six Marines who are at AFIT earning a master's-level degree in technical programs.
The Air Force rated officer retention is improving and pilot retention is the highest in four years. We completed one of our best recruiting years ever, exceeding the enlisted accessions goal of 37,000 by almost 700 young Americans. Now, while we are making progress in adapting the Air Force to the new challenges we face, I personally remain concerned that we can do better to deliver superior combat capability to our warfighters.
The increasing proliferation of advanced surface-to-air missile systems threatens our ability to gain and maintain air superiority. An advanced fighter has already been produced, specifically the Russian Su37, that is superior to our best fighters. Our reliance on, and threats to, our information and communication computing systems are increasing and the trend shows no sign of reversing.
The proverbial first shot of space warfare has been fired with the introduction of global positioning system (GPS) jammers, a capability specifically designed, albeit unsuccessfully, to neutralize our precision strike systems.
And, I should say, Mr. Chairman, if anyone in Iraq thinks that the jammers are going to thwart us, they are in for a surprise.
But, as we grow increasingly dependent on space, we can expect a comparable increase in counter-space threats. We are now facing the unreliableundeniable reality that other nations are investing in advanced American military technologies and fielding the best our aerospace industry has to offer in their Air Forces.
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While the investment of our good friends and allies is a great value to our alliances and industrial base, superior capabilities are now or shortly will be present in American-produced airplanes that do not fly the American flag. Who has the aero-battle management desk platform? Japan. Until we field the FA22, who will have the best two-engine multi-role fighter? Republic of Korea. The F15K, produced by Boeing for the Republic of Korea, has an advanced passive infrared search and targeting system, anti-jam GPS navigation, advanced avionic display suite, and is night vision goggle-compatible.
In the near future, we will have the best single-engine fighter in the world. Who will have it? It is built in the United States. The block 60 F16s we start delivering in 2004, less than six years from contract signing, will employ an active electronically scanned radar array, an advanced targeting pod, advanced electronics weapons suite, and will be powered by one of the best jet engines being built today.
Our F16 pilots do not have these advances, nor do they have the advances being deployed in new F16s to be delivered to Israel, Greece, Singapore, Chile and Poland. This concerns me, Mr. Chairman. It should concern anyone who cares about giving the best our nation has to offer to the men and women of our armed forces.
This is not an argument against foreign military sales. It is fundamentally a continuing recognition of the need to recapitalize our aging aircraft fleet, and I could not have said it more eloquently than you did, sir.
It is time for us to reverse some of these trends and make a renewed commitment to investing in the best technology our aerospace industry has to offer for our armed forces. And, John Jumper and I have gone back to each of these foreign contracts to look at when the contract was signed, when are articles being delivered, and we are stunned that we are so far off on the amount of time it takes to deliver systems to the United States Air Force. And so, we set a goal, at least within our Air Force, to streamline our own acquisition process to match the dramatically shorter timelines foreign buyers enjoy when they fund and buy American.
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And, by the way, these aircraft they are buying have enormous improvements, electronics and engines with very, very great integration problems, but they are able to do it in one-fourth of the time we are. And, even if we were to double that time because of new fuselage and wings, we still fall within one-half of the time. They can do it half the time faster than we. So, something is not right with our way of acquisition.
Now other nations are modernizing. We continue to employ aging systems that are becoming more difficult to operate and more expensive to maintain. Even with planned aircraft procurements, the total fleet average age is expected to increase from 22 years to 27 years by the year of 2020. That is if everything is on schedule.
And, while average age communicates in the aggregate picture, in some age of design, such as the KC135, some aircraft will soon approach 50 years of age. And, to give you a sense of the age of some of these things, Mr. Chairman, I should point out that a number of the tankers currently flying, including some of them we wish to retire, were flying in the American Air Force prior to my being commissioned into the United States Navy. And, I am old, Mr. Chairman. These planes are old.
I should tell you every single tanker of our C135 category was flying for the United States Air Force prior to a young gentleman named John Jumper being commissioned as Second Lieutenant at the Virginia Military Institute (VMI). These aircraft need to be modernized and the oldest need to be retired, sir.
The tyranny of age has birthed the long promised modernization death spiral. We are now migrating dollars from procurement to operations and maintenance accounts to sustain our aging fleets. For example, in 1997 the direct cost of corrosion maintenance for all Air Force aircraft was $795 million. Today we estimate it to be well over one billion a year, despite a five percent reduction in aircraft inventory of the oldest aircraft out of the inventory in the same period.
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The KC135 is one of our most serious concerns, as you noted. In the last decade mission capability rates are down 16 percent. Program depot maintenance costs tripled. Depot workload packages doubled and flow days more than doubled, primarily due to the challenges posed by corrosion on old fuselages. Other systems face other challenges.
Our F15Cs have suffered catastrophic vertical stabilizer failures, forcing us to limit the operational flight envelop for our frontline air superiority fighter.
Two-thirds of our entire F15C fleet now average over 21 years and the stresses on that airframe will only increase. Corrosion is now causing major cracks to the oldest 15s and also to our 219 C130 Echoes, who are also suffering corrosion problems. But, our maintainers are doing a phenomenal job of keeping these going under the circumstances.
The difficulties posed by aging systems are felt in our space operations, as well. We face degrading on orbit capabilities, obsolete range circuitry, deteriorating minuteman missile propulsion and guidance systems and failing minuteman display units.
Now, this budget for 2004 addresses many of these challenges and supports the Department's priorities. It accelerates our modernization and joint capabilities and maintains the gains and readiness in people programs we achieved each year. But, more and more of the money is going into maintaining older systems.
It gets money to our procurements funds and it funds essential capabilities our warfighters need. I strongly request your support. Our number one priority remains our people. We appreciate deeply your continued support of pay raises for our military and civilians. The 4.1 targeted pay raise continues to bring military pay closer to private sector compensation for our men and women and we all thank you.
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Our readiness budget increases by six percent this year. It funds an expanded six billion flying hour programs, sustains the positive trends we have achieved in our readiness growths. However, depot costs are outpacing our Air Force budget growth. This is a concern we have addressed by looking for innovative ways of delivering capability while acting responsibly as the nation's stewards of our treasury.
Our plan to retire 68 KC135 Echoes and our proposedproposal to lease 100 new 767 tankers, are examples in this innovation, at least as we see it. But, margin capability contributed by the Echo model tanker is becoming too expensive to justify. Its offload capability is only 84 percent of the R-models and these aircraft spend almost twice as much time in depot.
Retiring 68 of these aged aircraft allows us to avoid costly repairs and allows us to use the money to reinvest in the existing fleet. Our tanker lease proposal, which is under consideration by the Secretary of Defense, we would hope would give us a chance to get a head start on mobilization. If Secretary Rumsfeld approves we will be bringing this to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and also to you, sir.
Mr. Chairman, we are also working with Secretary Rumsfeld and our colleagues to assess, advocate and implement a range of sensible management practices that we believe will help minimize bureaucratic obstacles in the path to effect the future administration's department. Particularly we are looking at measures to transform our personnel system, acquisition system, the administrative system and range management practices. And we appreciate your support there, sir.
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As we look forward to the journey ahead, we are excited at the opportunities we have to serve and defend our nation. We remain focused on developing professional airmen, transitioning new technologies to warfighting and developing operational concepts that promote joint and coalition integration. Most important, with this budget, we reaffirm our commitment to deliver operational systems to warfighters and the men and women who fight our nation's wars.
Mr. Chairman, we thank you for the investment you have made in our future, and for the trust you and your colleagues have placed in our concerted effort to provide America with air and space dominance. Thank you very much.
Yes, sir, with respect to Congressman Skelton's point, I will speak and then ask my colleague to speak. We first became aware that something was grossly wrong when we received an email back in mid-December. One of the members of the Congress had sent us a letter before that and we were looking into a single case. When it appeared that something was broader than that, we immediately started to organize to go after it.
We have a very simple proposition, Mr. Chairman, with which we hope you agree. We must not commission any criminal. We must not allow any cadet to take violence on any other cadet. And, sexual assault and rape are acts of violence. They are not breaking regulations. They are acts of violence.
We are committed to rid the Air Force Academy of any cadet who, like any officer, would sexually assault anyone, including a fellow cadet. But, we are also committed to ridding the Air Force Academy of any cadet who would knowingly harbor some cadet who has done this, someone who knows something and does not come forward. And, we want to rid the academy of any cadets who would shun any victim because that victim came forward to do something for our Air Force.
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Why are we so dedicated to this? Not just because it is the right thing to do, Mr. Chairman, and it is, but because we cannot tolerate an officer who has such bad judgment as to have done something as alleged by the victims at the academy. We cannot tolerate that this officer might be flying an aircraft with 4,000 pounds of weapons under him and using his judgment instead of following the rules. This is something that must go away.
And, just as Jews cannot fix anti-Semitism and African Americans cannot fix racism, at the Air Force Academy, it is not the women's responsibility to fix this problem. It is the responsibility of the Air Force and the male cadet at that academy, and that is what I intend to tell those cadets when I travel there tonight. General Jumper would have wanted to join me, but unfortunately, his schedule is such that he cannot.
So, we will not tolerate this, Mr. Skelton. We will not tolerate it because it is wrong for our Air Force. And it is wrong for any taxpayer's daughter to have to have her parents fear that by going to the Air Force Academy she might be in jeopardy. That is not this country and that is not our Air Force.
[The prepared statement of Secretary Roche can be viewed in the hard copy.]
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, Mr. Secretary.
Page 27 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General Jumper.
STATEMENT OF GEN. JOHN P. JUMPER, CHIEF OF STAFF OF THE AIR FORCE
General JUMPER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Congressman Skelton. It is a pleasure to be here today and to be able to standor sit beside my boss, Dr. Jim Roche, whoand to tell you how wonderful it is to have someone who is blessed with 23 years of military service, he brings the experience of command to this job, as well as a wonderful experience of being a very successful businessman. And I think we have been able to successfully make the transition to old saw to old airman and I think you could see in him the passion that abides for our airmen. And I could not be more delighted to be his partner and be sitting with him here today.
Mr. Chairman, I would like to thank the members of this committee on behalf of our airmen out there who are deployed around the world for your support in, not only the incentives that you have championed and approved that are giving us the best retention rates we have had in our Air Force for many, many years, but also pilot retention rates that are higher than they have been for many, many years. And it is due to the concerns and the incentives that have been provided by this committee that we owe, in large measure, that appreciable improvement. And we thank you for that.
Also, let me tell you, the greatest thing that contributes to the retention of an airmen is to put the part in his or her hand that will fix his or her airplane. And the readiness improvements and the investments we have made in spare parts to deal with these aging aircraft problems are paying off in, as the secretary said, in higher mission capable rates that also transfers directly to retention. Because when we show those young airmen out there our support for getting them the resources they need to do their job, they do stay with us.
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And, I cannot tell you how much I appreciate that, Mr. Chairman. Sir, in this year we celebrate 100 years of powered flight. And, what a different world it is from the days of fabricates and wood to the frontier of space. We look forward to a year of celebration and a challenging year in employing that air and space power that the United States people have invested in.
Our people problems are, as the secretary said, are the ones that are most troublesome. As we prepare for whatever the President might ask us to do, we have done it within our air expeditionary force that you described, Mr. Chairman, but we have had to pull 23,000 airmen forward into the current deployment packages in order to get the job done that we need. Our air expeditionary force construct is giving us the ability to highlight our shortages and to try to be able to shift resources from specialties that are more robustly manned to the chronic shortages, and we are taking the opportunity to do that as best we can.
The secretary touched on the aging aircraft problem and I can only say that we would invite anyone out to Tinker Air Force Base to go on the depot line and see the KC135s firsthand. What you will see is the skin that is made with three types of metal when they get moisture inside. As a matter of fact, the people out there call the KC135 affectionately, the battery, because of the corrosion that is caused by the moisture and the dissimilar metals. You can pull the two outer layers apart and powder falls out from the middle. It is to the point that something needs to be done, as the secretary said.
The secretary mentioned the FA22. Sir, in the end, I believe that the committee and the people of this country expect the United States Air Force to go do their part to win the Nation's wars. And to do that, you have to put firepower on target. This is the one piece of modernization we are doing that actually puts firepower on target in ways that bring 24-hour-a-day stealth to the battlefield in ways that penetrate the next two generations of surfaced air missiles that we know about, in ways that deal with the Su37 that the secretary has spoken of.
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And, as you all know, from time to time we get our hands on these airplanes and we put people in theour best fighter pilots in these airplanes, not only Air Force, but Navy and Marines Corps. We give them two or three hours in these airplanes and we fly them up against our best in the F15 or the F14 or the F16 or the F18 withthat have thousands of hours of time in that airplane. And our guys flying their airplanes beat our guys flying our airplanes every time.
It is time for us to take a look at that and that is why we are so enthusiastic, sir, about the FA22.
The secretary also mentioned space and it is disconcerting to me as I look at the aging figures to see the Defense Satellite Program now is 33 years old. The Minuteman III is now 30 years old. These things that always I visioned as gleaming vehicles that were meant for space and were all shiny and bright and new are now showing their age, as well.
And, again, in the whole notion of recapitalization, Mr. Chairman, we have to make sure we are paying attention to our space programs. But, in the end, sir, it all comes back to people. And, I cannot tell you how proud I am, as I have visited around the deployed locations around the world, to see our total force, our active duty, our National Guard, and our Air Force Reserve serving so proudly.
I was standing at an airfield visiting an airfield over in Southwest Asia, and a young captain, a civil engineer; red horse engineer was completely rebuilding a runway, a major project by any standard. And he comes up and salutes to me. He is an air national guardsman and he said, ''Sir, I started this project. They are trying to send me home in a couple of weeks. I just want you to know that I am not leaving until it is finished.'' And his chief standing behind him said, and me either. So, I said, ''Fine with me, you stay until it is finished.'' These are the kinds of people we have.
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We have instituted a program that we did not really think much of at the time. It was an Air Force symbol with an E between the wings. And we send these out to the employers of our National Guard and Reserve who let their people go and put on the uniform. In response to this, we have gotten literally thousands of letters in return.
And you will see employers, if you look hard enough on the lapel, the Air Force symbol with the E in the middle. It is an idea we stole from World War II. It is amazing to me, Mr. Chairman, how grateful and how patriotic some of our employers are in all of your states out there that are supporting our people in uniform. And it is a real point of pride for the nation as far as I am concerned.
Sir, we had some tragedy that has followed our involvement in Afghanistan over the last year. And the secretary and I have had the privilege of going and traveling and giving some of the nation's highest declarations to some of our heroes. You have met one of them here today. But, there also those that did not come back.
And, Congresswoman Wilson knows very well our visits out to her state where we gave the Air Force Cross, the nation's highestsecond highest declaration for valor, to Senior Airman Jason Cunningham. Airman Cunningham was a para-rescueman onboard a helicopter with a group of Army Special Forces and he was accompanied by two other airmen.
As a para-rescueman, he was charged with the health and welfare of his team. And, as the helicopter approached the landing zone, it was shot down and immediately they were surrounded by bad guys and were taking casualties immediately. And Senior Airman Cunningham pulled them out of the CH47, got them to as safe a location as he could and over the ensuing hours, as they called in closer support, the other airmen there called in close air support to try and get them out. Senior Airman Cunningham was mortally wounded.
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And, at that ceremony, the Army guys that were aboard that helicopter were there. And they told me how Senior Airman Cunningham instructed them on how to save the lives of the wounded because he knew he himself was not going to make it.
And I gave the Air Force Cross, along with Secretary Roche, to his young wife Theresa, the mother of two children, two small girls. She is enrolled in Reserve Officer Training Course (ROTC) at Valdosta State College near Moody Air Force Base, where they were assigned, and she will come into our Air Force this summer as an officer.
It is these kinds of heroes that surround you all the time in our business. I know you all know that. But I wanted you to hear that story and be as proud as I am of these airmen.
So, Mr. Chairman, it is a pleasure for me to be here today, to be here with my boss, to be here in the presence of people who care about our military and our nation, and I look forward to your questions, sir.
And, let me just comment on the Air Force Academy, as well. I am the father of three daughters. Two of them are in the Air Force. The third will start ROTC next year. And, so I have a personal investment in making sure that our Air Force Academy is a place that is worthy of your nominations of your constituents to attend. And, as the secretary said, we will do everything in our power to make sure that that is true.
Our officers, our prospective officers at the Air Force Academy, must be endowed with a basic respect for one another that they do not let themselves get each other into these situations and that they have enough respect to avoid these situations. It has got to be a basic part of their character and in their upbringing on the same level as we enforce the honor code.
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Mr. Chairman, I join with the Secretary of the Air Force in assuring you that we will create that environment and we will make sure that we get to the bottom of this and have the processes available for all of the women at the Air Force Academy to be able to come forward and to be able to be assured that their concerns and their situations will be properly dealt with.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, General.
And, thank you, Mr. Secretary.
And, Mr. Kline, at the last service hearing with the Secretary of the Navy, you did not get your question in. That was my fault. So, I am going to yield my time to you for 30 seconds. No, I am going to yield my time to you for whatever time you need.
Mr. KLINE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 30 seconds.
And, thank you, Mr. Secretary and General for being here today, for your testimony. As we have listened to testimony from other service chiefs and other secretaries, almost in every hearing one of my colleagues has asked a question about the Guard and the Reserve and their utilization. As we know, in Minnesota has been flying cap missions, and I am sure that is true around the country on a sporadic, perhaps, basis.
Page 33 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC If the requirement is to increase those caps, what is your vision and what is your plan in how to use the Guard, the Reserve and the active forces to provide that kind of protection and to provide the force projection that we are talking about overseas, and in the context of the overall end strength of the Guard, the Reserve and the active forces?
Secretary ROCHE. Sir, one of the characteristics of the modern day is that we are all struggling to define what that new baseline of activity is after we come out of the Desert Storm through the Kosovo War, now through the situation in Afghanistan, looking forward to an enduring war on terrorism, and now facing whatever might be required of us in Southwest Asia. All of this adds to the baseline of activity that we have to be able to sustain. Noble Eagle added also a rather severe dimension to that baseline of activity.
And the question in all of our minds is how do we have to resource ourselves to be able to deal with that new baseline level? We do not know what that is yet and we are going to have to develop that over time. But, we can be sure it is going to require a mix of Guard, Reserve and active in some proportion that has probably changed from what we have today.
For instance, we have two of our National Guard units out there that are normally training units sitting active alert doing operational duty. That costs us training that we cannot afford to lose. So, there is going to have to be adjustments made there.
You have seen us make some minor adjustments in the combat search and rescue because we had put a little too much of that over in the National Guard and we brought it back to the active to compensate for what we lack. These adjustments will continue to have to be made.
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Today, the unit flying over Washington D.C., as we sit here and speak today, is an active duty unit. But, 75 percent of the time it is a National Guard unit that is doing those tasks. So, we are going to have to continue to look at this. Adjustments will have to be made. And, we are going to have to see where we settle down on the new baseline of activity in this world we live in, sir.
General JUMPER. Like him, Mr. Kline, we are very concerned that we do not break the Guard by using these folks who are supposed to be a plenum, to sort of help us on a contingency. The new world seems to be a contingency after contingency. They are not only part of Noble Eagle, but they are also part of our rotation base. And, so we have been very, very conscious of not doing things or assuming things about them. They have been quite wonderful.
And, we benefit greatly by volunteerism in the Guard and in the Reserve. But, we work very closely with the Guard Bureau and the head of the Air Nationalthe reserve units in order to be able to do sensible things. One of them, for instance, if we retire these old KC135Es-remember those are Guard crewsthey will go to ours because the planes can fly more than the crews can. Excuse me; the crews can fly more than the planes can.
And, so we can add multiple crews to a single plane. There are a number of other things we are doing. The blended wingif it works on Joint STAR, this will be a wonderful model for the future and it is a wonderful way to be able to introduce the Guard and the Reserves into some of the new technology we are getting.
But, the mission of Noble Eagle is not one we see going away at any time in the future.
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Mr. KLINE. Thank you. And, I appreciate the difficulty of trying to work through these force structure discussions. Each of the services is struggling with much the same issue. I guess I would just hope that as we move forward here, that each of the services and the Air Force today is looking at end strength as part of that force structure.
I spent my life on active duty and so I knowI look at it from that perspective. But, now I have been talking to a lot of reserves and guardsmen and I think there is a growing strain out there and I do not know how long we can delay facing the issue of end strength in each of the components. I do not know what the answer is either. But, I suspect that we need more end strength.
General JUMPER. Weif I may, Mr. Chairmanwe are respecting and absolutely agree fundamentally with Don Rumsfeld's notion that we should see where do we have our airmen now and are the things we can stop doing with uniformed airmen so as to free people up. We found that we have 12,000 of our airmen not working inside our Air Force active duty of 350,000, 359,000 active duty Air Force. We are trying to get them back, bring them home. We found too many of them in the agencies. Too many of them have been loaned labor that has stayed there and they got replaced there.
When that is all said and done, and it is one of theand, adding to that the fact that I must tell you that I very strongly support the secretary in the base realignment and closure (BRAC) area because we are defending bases that we think can be consolidated. And this is costing us to the point where we have exhausted all of our own active duty force protection force.
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We have now basically drained the Reserves of all of theirs and they have to get back to their lives at the end of this fiscal year because, weof the 14,000 had their extending, close to 10,000 were reservists, but we are depleting the police and fire departments of many small towns. That is why, as the chairman noted, we have effectively hired close to 8,000 Army National Guard to come and protect our bases until we can get the number of bases down, find out the new steady state, and we also have to protect the new bases we opened overseas. So, we are under particular strain and the Guard and Reserve have just stood very tall. We are terribly proud of them.
Mr. KLINE. As are we all. And, I know that the Guard and Reserve who are called up are proud to serve. My guess is having talked to some of them, they would rather not be guarding bases. But, I know they are proud to serve and we are proud of them. I see my time is expired.
Thank you very much and thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. Your 30 seconds is up and the gentleman from Missouri, Mr. Skelton.
Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Chairman, thank you very much.
We appreciate you both being with us today. And, I would be remiss if I did not tell you the admiration we have for you, the confidence that we have in you, and we could not ask for a better team than the two gentlemen sitting before us. We thank you for your dedication and your service.
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General Jumper, you said it right a few minutes ago when you said, ''In the end it all comes back to people.'' And, we thank you for bringing staff Sergeant Yoshida with us today and your comments about Senior Airman Cunningham; they make us proud. They make you proud. And the issue that I raised a few moments ago at the Air Force Academy and your positive investigative attitude toward it, is encouraging for us.
General, you are the role model and the father figure of everyone in the Air Force. So for the record, because all of us take great pride in naming young folks to the service academies, young men, young women, who are the best and the brightest in their high school classes. So, for the record, would you tell us what we should say to the mothers and fathers of America, as why they should encourage their daughters and their sons to attend the Air Force Academy in light of the recent situation?
General JUMPER. Yes, sir. Thank you for that question, Mr. Skelton. The answer, I think, is very simple. The leadership of the United States Air Force will very quickly take all actions that are required to make the Air Force Academy worthy of your trust and confidence and the trust and confidence of your constituents. We are the greatest Air Force in the world. We have women on active duty today who are serving in nearly all, including combat specialties, that make us proud.
As I said, I am that father figure because I also have daughters in the Air Force. They are proud to serve. And I can only assure you and them that every step will be taken to return the Air Force Academy to a place of pride, a place of mutual respect, and a place where all cadets can be proud of their institution and their service.
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Mr. SKELTON. I thank you, and I am sure that the families in America will appreciate and understand your comments. I'll reserve my other questions, Mr. Chairman, for a later moment.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman from Missouri.
The gentlemen who chairs the Readiness Subcommittee, Mr. Hefley.
Mr. HEFLEY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
And, let me just say to both of you, we have talked about this situation at the academy. I represent the academy. I have been enormously proud of the academy over the years. We will be proud of the academy again. But, this is something that we will not tolerate and I have appreciated so much the way both of you have jumped on the situation and had the attitude of no tolerance.
Sometimes these kind of things, it seems like, are kind of winked at. Neither one of you are winking. You are serious about it and weI commend you for it and I thank you for the way you have worked with me and my office regarding it.
On the aging airplanes, boy you made ayou both made a good case on the aging airplanes and I am concerned about that. I read an article last week in stars and stripes about the F15s and how the pressure we are putting on themwe maybe could strength them out longerbut that we are putting such enormous pressure on them that these things are going to begin to fall apart that we are indicating.
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And I was out at Nellis the other day and I saw the first FA22. And it is a wonderful piece of machinery. It is also a very expensive piece of machinery. And the F15 is a tremendous piece of machinery, as well.
It does not do everything the F22 does, but it is still a wonderful piece of equipment and I just wonder, are we convinced that thewe should put all our eggs into the F22 basket. Or should we continue to replenish our F15s and use them in certain missions and roles? It seems to me it is a very good aircraft and not as expensive, or maybe it is as expensive now. Maybe you want to say that it is.
Secretary ROCHE. I will start and ask John to finish up. The issue is is trying to take some of the F15 and go forward. There is nothing we can do to the F15 that will give it super cruise. There is nothing that we can do to the F15 that can really reduce its cross section, lower its stealth.
The FA22, as we have modified it, is the only aircraft that is around that is going to be able to have any effect against targets of the moving deep enemy territory. We have nothing else that is doing that. And most of our enemy realized that if it is a stationary targeta conversation the chairman and I have had a number of occasionswe now can target a stationary target over and over and over with a combination of our platforms, our precisions weapons our assisted service of the Navy cruise missiles, their aircraft.
The other thing is something that is moving in the background. And a lot of things are doing that, whether it's surface-to-air missile systems or Scud launchers or increasingly mobile command posts. And, even in some cases, mobile systems to create chemical weapons.
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Second, as we have looked at the future, besides mobile targets that are deep, cruise missiles are going to increasingly become a problem for our forces, pray God, maybe never to our country, but potentially. The only aircraft that has the ability to have multiple shots and a good chance of getting it, the stealthy cruise missile, is the FA22 as we have reconstituted it. It is, by far, the world's most dominant air-to-air fighter. But, we have not said that that is the reason why the taxpayers should invest in them.
Last, the cost often times gets confused. We are now at a point where we are coming down the cost curve. It is still an expensive airplane, surely. It is around 120-some million dollars a copy for what you pay for the next one, the marginal cost. We are driving to a point of trying to get a steady production line. When we do, we know how to go after cost when there are not all of these disruptions.
So, sir, in the case of something like the C17, there was a time a few years ago where the average of the C17 was over $400 million a copy because it went from 220, 110excuse me, 210, 120, 40, 0, 40, 80, 120, now $180. $16 billion was lost because it bounced around so much. Once it became a stable program at $15 billion per year, we have seen reliability go up, such that we take delivery and we fly to the area of responsibility (AOR) within 48 hours. We have seen costs come down.
In the case of the FA22, we already have an arrangement for the manufacture of the radar. We improved the radar dramatically and reduced the cost per radar by over 40 percent. Because it is the same radar that goes in the F35, well, parts are the same.
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We have now talked to the engine manufacturer and do the same thing. We shortly will be dealing with the communications manufacturer, electronic warfare manufacturer. We are convinced we can get a lot of those costs back once we have a stable production line. But, we are living with a program where spare parts were not purchased for this phase of the program, money was not budgeted for the integration and test phase, which is always difficult.
It is the transition of production and for anyone whose been in the business. It is the one you are scared most of. And you see this showing up in the programs. Whether it is the airborne laser or its finite element analysis (FEA) or others. It is the same type part of the program. Once it is there, it will compliment other aircraft, including our legacy aircraft, as well as things like the F35, which, you know, are 10 years away, just now going into some engineering drawings, just now going through what the FA22 has gone through over the last 10 years, hopefully with an acquisition program that is better than what we did to the F22.
But, we believe it changes war. It changes what an opponent thinks he or she can do to us and makes it a completely different world and allows us to fly stealthy 24-hours a day. Where now we can really only do it during the nighttime.
General JUMPER. Sure, let me just add, if you do not mind, as we work also with the United States Army and their future concept of operations, their future combat systems call for them to be able to work directly behind enemy lines.
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It is the FA22 that is going to be able to respond quickly to that sergeant on the ground who needs fire power quickly with its internal load of eight small diameter bombs, which are also wing and can fly out a long range of tens of miles to get to targets that might be trying to deny access by surfaced air missiles, or to work with the sergeant on the ground for a close air support sorts of things.
Now, with ground forces on the ground deep comes a lot of re-supply. This is the airplane that is going to have to range widely and keep corridors open for streams of C17s to get back and to keep our troops on the ground and re-supplied in this concept. We also team with the Navy in the anti-access scenarios, where we are up against a competent enemy and they are trying to deny us access.
We team with the Navy because this is a scenario that requires stealth's standoff and precision. The stealth can penetrate to get the surfaced air missiles to deal with the air dominance questions and to team with the stealthy cruise missiles and the other things that take out those anti-access targets.
This is the airplane that does that in ways that no other airplane can. It not onlyit does not just replace the F15. It will also replace the F15E, the F117, and it will take over a large, a much larger, role and responsibility than just this air-to-air mentality that many people think that we are trying to push with this airplane. That is why we renamed it the FA22, so for our own internal audience they get the notion this is also about getting to the person on the ground and dealing with those very difficult surfaced air missile targets.
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Secretary ROCHE. Mr. Hefley, I should tell you, Staff Sergeant Yoshita was one of the first to test something that was really envisioned as being part of the FA22, as John said, for the sergeants deep in enemy territory. He had the gaggle of laser range finders, radios, GPS units and all kinds of batteries.
And, one of the things he is doing for us is having lived that as a consumer, and what we believe is transformational in the way of acquisition, we have asked Alan to take the lead for the Air Force on how do we make this lighter, more efficient. How do we do it so that he does not have to be on a radio at the same time? Simple things like inventing a switch to go from two different frequencies on the radio and two different antennas instead of having to take something apart and put something together.
But, all this was envisioned as part of this program to catch movers deep in enemy territory and that is why we are so proud of him.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman.
The gentleman from Mississippi, Mr. Taylor.
Mr. TAYLOR. Thank you, Mr. Secretary and General Jumper for being here today. I am going to shift gears a little bit and ask you a question related to BRAC. When you decide to BRAC a base, to what extent will the encroachment issue factor into that equation? A second part of that is for those communities that are trying to prove that they are good neighbors to an air base, to what extent do you work with them to develop an air plan so that that encroachment of airspace, of acoustics, height variances does not become a detriment to that base?
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Secretary ROCHE. Thank you, sir. You know the program of BRAC is one that is controlled by rules set by the Congress and we are following them exclusively.
Mr. TAYLOR. I had not seen too many rules coming out of this Congress other than there will be a BRAC.
Secretary ROCHE. There will be a BRAC, but also when we can begin work, et cetera. So, we are beginning the work and under the instruction of the Secretary of the Defense we will shortly start creating criteria based on force structure. But, I would anticipate, anticipate over the next few years, that as we look at our forces, what we expect them to be, where they can be optimally placed, where we can consolidate where we can, the issue of whether we are welcome in an area or not welcomed becomes terribly important.
If in fact, we cannot use a range, the base diminishes dramatically for us. And those communities where the communities have gone out of their way to help us maintain ranges so that we can practice, it is the cutting edge of the American Air Force that we have these ranges. That is why air forces of almost all of our allies want to come to the United States and fly because of our ranges and because of communities that allow us to do that.
Communities have helped us with environmental concerns. Communities have helped us in many others. We would want to work with communities to get a sense of the long-run. And if we are not welcomed, that would be a place we might consider leaving. Where we are welcome, we will make sure that we take that very much into account.
Page 45 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. TAYLOR. Mr. Secretary, back to my point and apparently I did not make it very well.
Secretary ROCHE. I am sorry. I did not hear it then well, sir.
Mr. TAYLOR. It was in my very best mumble, sorry. As far as height variances, height restrictions, setback restrictions, glide path restrictions, acoustic restrictions, to what extent do your local base commanders express what they need to local governing authorities?
Secretary ROCHE. I am sorry, sir. You are asking whether our base commanders are, in fact, representing their concerns to the local community?
Mr. TAYLOR. And, is this an Air Force-wide program to let local communities, who really do not have the resources, as a rule, to know what a glide path of an F16 is or an F22 are going to be. To what extent do you work with them so that they do not make mistakes that, in effect, hem in a base so that it becomes unusable?
Secretary ROCHE. Thank you, sir. I apologize for misunderstanding the question the first time. In each of our bases, the wing commander has a relationship with the local community and often times has a panel of local leaders who are adjuncts to the base. They are local members who have had a very interest in the base and the airmen who are on the base. Those teams of people really give a lot of their time and the wing commander gives a lot of his time so that they understand the concerns.
Page 46 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC When the chief and I travel, separately or together, we almost invariably spend a little bit of time with some of those local leaders because the wing commanders do share their concerns, if there are any, and often times the first solution is to work with the local community. And, we know of examples where that has happened in very dramatic ways where it is not required to come to Washington. But, we share our concerns with those local communities, yes.
Mr. TAYLOR. My concern with that policy is, using my own bases, I might be on the ninth or tenth base commander that I have dealt with at my Air Force base. If one of them were to come up with a decision that may be okay forit might have worked in 1990, but as a different variant of the C130 comes along, or as a different mission for that base might comethat might have hemmed in that base. To what extent are those recommendations kicked back to Washington so it really becomes a big Air Force position that this is what the Air Force needs, not only this year, but for the foreseeable future for this installation?
I keep pointing to the poster child of Cecil Field in Jacksonville, Florida, where we have three 8,000-foot runways and then a 10,000-foot runway right next to the ocean, builtwent to all the expense of building a base only to shut it down and only to have the Navy out buying land right now to replace it. I do not want to see that stupidity become the poster. I do not want to see that become the norm. That was one mistake. I do not want to see that happen again. So, what is the Air Force doing to see to it that this does not happen again? And, I realize that was a naval installation, but it is still within the DOD.
Secretary ROCHE. The Navy does not have a monopoly on stupidity, sir. We could do it, too. What we are trying to do is to look where we will want to place our forces. What changes does that incur? So, for instance, when we think of the FA22, where we would like to place it, we do try to take into account-do we change something in the community or do we not? Do we add noise? Do we add people? What are those changes? We have reinvigorated the assistant Secretary for Installation, Environment and Logistics, which has been blended into one of the bureaus in the Air Force headquarters, and we have a very good team looking at just this.
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Nelson Gibbs, the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Installation, Environment and Logistics, increasingly spends time on making sure of the point that you raise. That we understand what it is we wish to do when we go forward and that we take into account what is there. What changes may we perturb if we start to make some changes? So, we are trying to be very, very mindful of that so that we do not do something like say we do not need this and then turn around in a few years and say, ''Oh, gosh, we really do need that.'' So, we are being very conscious about it. And I would be glad to have Nelson come up and spend some time with you so that you get a sense of how he is thinking.
Mr. TAYLOR. His name again, sir?
Secretary ROCHE. Nelson Gibbs, G-I-B-B-S.
Mr. TAYLOR. And, his rank is?
Secretary ROCHE. He is the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Installation Environment and Logistics. He was a former colleague of mine in industry and he was a former senior vice president of Deloitte Touche.
Mr. TAYLOR. Okay. Thank you, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much the gentleman from Mississippi.
Page 48 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC We have this briefing by the Director of Homeland Security Secretary, Mr. Ridge, at 11 o'clock, but the intention of the chair is to continue to move through this important hearing. But, folks are advised that this, the briefing, I think it is on the House floor, starts at 11 o'clock.
The gentleman who chairs the Subcommittee on Terrorism and Unconventional Threats and Capabilities, Mr. Saxton.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Secretary, and General, let me just begin by saying that I had the wonderful opportunity to visit with your folks down at Herbert Field, who carry out a very important mission. And, I have got to tell you that I was glad I went there and saw, not only their capability, but their dedication. They are great folks and they make me proud, as a member of Congress, to know that they are out there doing the job they do.
Let me just ask maybe a two-part, three-part question, I guess three-part question. Last year we authorized dollars for theI guess you call it ''the service life extension'' in the C5. I think it was two B-models that we did. And I guess the overall question is, how is that project coming? And, can youis there a vision at this point about the C5, C17 mix? I did find some information in my recent studies that indicates that there are some unique missions that we need the C5 for, which, I did not realize, have to do with activities that I would have recently been involved in. So, what is the mix there?
The second, can you give us more detail on the KC135 retirement, if you will, and the tanker lease and where we are with that? And, finally, on the tactical side, back in New Jersey, Mr. Lobiondo and I are extremely familiar with the conditions of the F16s that are used for homeland defense, and that picture is not real pretty in terms of the capabilities or the readiness and the cost of maintaining those F16s. Is there anything in the mix that we might be able to help you do, relative to the equipment that we are using, not only in Atlantic City, but in other parts of the country, as well?
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Secretary ROCHE. Sir, I will start on the C5s and C17s and then I will ask John and we can both do the tanker and C130Es and then I will ask John to do the tactical and F16s. With regard to our large lift aircraft, we really have three programs going on almost simultaneous, it is almost in parallel. We have purchases of C17s. We have a dedication to do an avionics modernization program on C5s, starting with the C5Bs, and then we have a program called the C5 Reliability enhancement and Re-engineering Program (RERP), another Air Force acronym, which is effectively a life-extension program and a refurbishment of the aircraft.
It was our hypothesis and it is our hypothesis that the C5As will prove to be too costly to maintain. One of the things we are going to institute across the board because of aging aircraft is an air worthiness board, to have a team of specialists who have long-term positions to, in fact, act like the Naval Board of Inspection and Survey to go in and say, ''Look, this thing is not worth going forward; there is a class problem,'' et cetera.
But, the way the parallel strategy will work is, we will do the refurbishment on two of the B-aircraft, meanwhile doing the avionics on all of the 50Bs. Then we will go to one of the As and take it down and do a diagnosis. Then it is our strategy to then go to the secretary and come here to Congress and say, ''Here is what the doctor says. This is not as bad as we thought. It is as bad as we thought. It is worse than what we thought.''
If we feel that way, then we will be under pressure to find ways to extend the production on the C17s and probably build more C17s. If, in fact, it turns out that we can do something with the C5As, then we will think of refurbishing the best of them. In any event, the Bs will be brought up, both in terms of the avionics and in terms of a refurbishment across the board. But, they are much newer aircraft. And they already have the advantage of newer technology in their hydraulics systems, et cetera.
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So, that is the strategy we have for the lifters. And it is a sensible one that does not have us waste money, but has us learn and then, based on learning, make decisions, but have everything going along in parallel.
Mr. SAXTON. When you made your opening comments you talked about the 73 percent mission capable rate, which is high.
Secretary ROCHE. For the Bs.
Mr. SAXTON. But, I would just remind everybody that that is more than one out of four times thewhen you go to carry out a mission that the planes are not ready. And, will we see that improve and was it
Secretary ROCHE. In all these systems that takes into account whether something is down for two hours or if it is down for three days or if it is in depot. It basically says that the aircraft, if you can get about 75 percent, our goal is 80 percent. We would like to have four out of every five ready to go at a moment's notice. Depending on the complexity of the plane, it gets more difficult. This aircraft in the past, to be blunt, was starved of spare parts. And the actions you all have taken in the last couple years have made a dramatic difference.
Those maintainers, by the way, were leaving our Air Force because they felt none of us cared for them. If we cared, we would have given them the parts. It is turned around completely. General Jumper has reorganized the wing, so they have maintenance. My kind of kids are right up there and frontline and highly regarded and respected and doing a great job.
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So, if we can get to 80 percent, we feel very good because they are complex systems. And if in a particular mission you have to make, it does not mean the plane is hard down, it just means some part of it is not working the way it should.
But, let me get to the tanker thing and let John try that.
General JUMPER. Go ahead, boss, on the tanker.
Secretary ROCHE. Okay. In the 68 KC135Es, these are some of the oldest planes. These are ones that were commissioned before I was commissioned. And the cost of maintaining them is just becoming prohibitive. Prohibitive in the sense that they are not available enough. When we send them into depot they require an enormous amount of money. When we bring them out, they are still not as good as the Rs.
It is not a matter of re-engineering them because the engines are not the problem. It is the basic plane. And for catalytic corrosion, as John talked about, they are called batteries. And it is a shock. And I think the reason why you are hearing about it more now is coincidently both of our backgrounds are such that we know materials. And when I was asked to go down to Tinker Air Force base shortly after becoming secretary, I was to be shown the facilities.
What grabbed me was the condition of the aluminum and other materials on these planes. And I know catalytic corrosion from my life at sea. And then when John assumed the role as chief, he went down and he had the same shock that when you start peeling away these airplanes you keep finding something that is worse.
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The Guard has asked us to retire some of these planes and they came up with 20 real fast because they are concerned with safety, among other things, at some point. If we retire them, then we can devote the money to buying new tankers. That is what we would like to do.
But, as the chairman has pointed out, we do not have enough cash. You cannot go 15 years or 12 years of not recapitalizing. We are not like a company that was smart enough to invest its depreciation rate each year so as to not get itself in this pickle. We buy a bunch of stuff and then boom, the bunch of stuff gets old almost at the same time and that is scary.
We are trying now to block off a number of things. To your shock, Mr. Saxton, we are now the experts at flying Huey helicopters. We have to create a training program because the Army has gotten away from Hueys. Every time I get on the helicopter in the Air Force, I tease John. The first thing I do is ask for the nameplate to see if it was in Vietnam when I was in the Tonkin Gulf. They are old. So, there are the tankers; our combat aircraft are old. We have some things stabilized like our bomber force. We have a good strategy for our mobility force.
Another one that you are very familiar with now, the MC130 gunships, we are straining. These are old aircraft, as you know, with guns brought from other systems. What is the follow-on?
Mr. SAXTON. Actually, that was on my list to ask you about, also, but I thought I was going too far.
Page 53 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Secretary ROCHE. No, sir. So, our idea is, we are willing to takewe have worked with General Handy at Air Mobility Command (AMC), we are willing to take a risk to retire these 68 planes because they are just absorbing people, move the people to Rs, use the Rs more often because a lot of them are in much better shape, and then aim for a steady program to have a replacement for the tankers.
Mr. SAXTON. And, what happened to the lease?
Secretary ROCHE. The lease is being considered by the Secretary of Defense. It is different, Mr. Saxton. You bring people like me into the government, we are going to try and find ways of getting a good deal. We think we have a good deal because it is a unique moment in history. One, we need planes; two, Boeing 767 line is starting to get low enough that they may consider shutting it down. And, three, the interest rates are so low and people have so few places to invest their money that investors are willing to take bonds on a sure deal because we need the tankers. But, it gives us the chance to avoid all kinds of problems that typically occur because the Congress is giving us an opportunity to not worry about the color of money, to be able to amortize Non-Recurring Engineering (NRE) over.
We do not pay a dime until the plane drives up. So, it is not the usual thing where you invest millions and millions and you see nothing. But, to be able to have advanced procurement, to be able to allow Boeing to buy 100 ship sets at one time and make the best deal they can with their suppliers.
We think it is a good deal. But, it is different. There are interest rates. There are bond rates. Enough, so that I fully understand why the Secretary's office wants to take a deep look at it. We are trying to answer every question. And, we will support him. If we cannot lease them, then we will start buying in a few years when we can see some spots.
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Mr. SAXTON. Do not misunderstand us, we are not necessarily against the lease deal. We need the airplanes. We know that. And
Secretary ROCHE. We all agree, and Don Rumsfeld absolutely agrees, we need tankers. It is what is the smartest way on behalf of the taxpayers of the United States to get them. And, we have a good debate going.
General JUMPER. If I could just add one point, quickly, sir. The reduction in the KC135Es that is proposed would also allow us to plus up the crew ratios with the R models and with the greater effectiveness of the R-models, we think this will result in about a 4 percent decrease in capability in our entire tanker fleet. And that is the risk that we assess that is there with that decision.
Secretary ROCHE. F16s?
General JUMPER. On the F16s, sir, again this is just further to the aging fleet problem. The guys up there are doing a great job with the airplanes they have. The experienced maintainers you have in that unit are just exactly the right people to be dealing with the problems we have with these older F16s that we have scattered throughout our Air Force. And they are doing a great job of dealing with that.
The plans that we have to replace the fighter aircraft start with the FA22. And the quicker we get those in the inventory and get those onboard, the quicker we will be able to make other plans about where to shift the airplanes and resources.
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Mr. SAXTON. I thank you very much. Maybe we can talk about that F16 issue a little bit later.
General JUMPER. Yes, sir.
Mr. SAXTON. I have used enough time, but that is a real issue and I think it is an important one.
General JUMPER. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman.
The distinguished gentleman from Massachusetts, Mr. Meehan?
Mr. MEEHAN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Just by way of comment, Mr. Secretary and General, from time to time in America, institutions and organizations have to deal with a crisis of some unpleasant and impending scandal. And oftentimes institutions or organizations do not always handle them well initially. I think of the way the Navy initially handled the tail hook scandal.
And, I just want to comment and compliment the way both of you have handled this issue with the academy. Not only just in your statements before this committee, which were outstanding, but your statements prior to this committee. Part of the challenge of any institution or organization dealing with impending crisis and handling it correctly initially and I really want to compliment both of you for all of your statements on this.
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Secretary ROCHE. Thank you, sir.
General JUMPER. Thank you.
Mr. MEEHAN. Secretary Roche, the Sensor Fused Weapon program is key to the Air Force's weapons program. The budget provides for $117 million for its procurement for fiscal year 2004. This amount is less than last year's budget request, and I am wondering, is that enough to ensure that this program will be up to the task when called upon?
And, also, General Jumper, can you detail to the committee the utility of the sensor fused weapon?
Secretary ROCHE. Sir, I am sorry, it is a good weapon. I did not realize that there was an issue with it. So, I am not prepared to just todayI will be glad to get back to you. It is a weapon that has great utility.
But, if I may, sir, you complimented us; I would like to compliment you and your colleagues for giving us a chance to handle this problem. And, I especially wanted to compliment Congressmen Tancredo and Hefley who have told us, if you want to solve this, you solve it, we will sit here and wait for you to do it.
I also want to tell you that there is an advantage when you have good colleagues. And, John and I have a great colleague in Bill Bodie, who has helped us from day one on how to handle this.
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But, let me get back to you on the budget issue
Mr. MEEHAN. Yes, it is a matter of the funding for fiscal year 2004 being actually less in terms of dollars than last year
Secretary ROCHE. Let me get back to you on that. But, on the utility, I think General Jumper can speak to it easily.
General JUMPER. Sir, there is no doubt of the utility and we did in actuality go down from $125 million in 2003 to $118 million in 2004 and buy quantities down from 310 to 294, but, with some improvementssome product pre-planned improvements on the weapons that give it greater combat capability. There is no doubt about the utility of the weapon, sir.
It was designed primarily to go after heavily armored vehicles and we have put the resources into this as best we could. Most of our money for weapons, I must tell you, has gone into the Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM), the GPS guided JDAM because we think we are going to need lots of those.
And, so, I cannot comment exactly on why the number was shaved down, sir, but if you will allow me, I would be delighted to get back to you and give you the specific reasons.
Mr. MEEHAN. That would be great.
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Mr. Secretary and General Jumper, we have had previous discussions on how it is that the Air Force, and really all of the services, have to have the latest in command and control information systems. And, the electronic systems center that is located in Hanscom Air Force Base in Massachusetts performs this important mission. Can each of you highlight any specific programs in your budget that utilize Hanscom's unique capability to collaborate with leading cutting-edge industry, academic or other Department of Defense (DOD) organizations?
Secretary ROCHE. Well, we can certainly get back to you on specifics. But, I can tell you it is hard to imagine any of our advanced programs that we do not involve the electronic Systems Center (ESC) in. Sergeant Yoshida can tell you ESC has been one of the great contributors to his project to make this system of close air support from very high altitudes with a sergeant on the ground controlling all these aircraft. They have been key, not only the people at ESC, but ESC has relationships with Miter, with Lincoln Labs, with a number of places.
John and I have made great use of the relationship with ESC and Lincoln Labs to help us think through advanced space systems. Wherein, we have a body of experts who fully understand this very rapidly changing world of electronics.
We also note that ESC at Hanscom is a way to tap some of the best universities in the history of the world, and to tap the knowledge at those universities and to attract some very good young graduates who want to work in science and engineering, who know if they go to Hanscom Air Force Base their colleagues are some of the best the country has to offer.
Page 59 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC So, I think it isI would rather stay and praise the general aspects of ESC, as compared to any specific program, sir.
General JUMPER. Sir, I do not mind being specific at all because the work they are doing at Hanscom toward this multi-sensor command and control aircraft, which is what we are attempting to support to finally bring together the information technology that will integrate at the machine level, our space, manned, unmanned, land and sea platforms and sensors in a seamless way to produce what we call, ''the cursor over the target.''
The information technology is here to do this. The platform that we would like to center this capability on is called the MC2A. Much of the work is being done in one way or the other right there at Hanscom. And we think this is going to be a tremendously leveraging resource to get to this network-centric sort of capability that, right now, is hampered by the many stovepipes you have to deal with to get to that capability.
Mr. Pete Teats, the undersecretary of the Air Force, is also the leader of the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), he is the guy who is bold enough and brave enough to at least consider the possibility that NRO satellites could talk directly to airborne manned and unmanned platforms. Previously, the sort of stovepipes that have grown up would not even allow us to consider such a thing.
These are the steps we have to make. This is the expertise at ESC and at Hanscom that will allow us to do these things, sir.
Secretary ROCHE. When you are next there and see an old 707 flying, it is a flying test bed called the Paul Revere. And on that test bed, the work that John is talking about is being tested in some very, very novel ways. We think really it has been transformational in how we do our acquisition by having a test bed like that.
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Mr. MEEHAN. Thank you, gentlemen.
Thank you, Mr. Secretary.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman.
The gentleman who is the chairman of the Total Force Subcommittee, Mr. McHugh.
Mr. MCHUGH. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Gentlemen, welcome. Let me begin by adding my words of deep respect and appreciation to both of you for the leadership that you have brought at some very challenging times. I, as other members have mentioned, had a chance to do some traveling a few weeks ago. I visited with active and Guard folks over at Ramstein and other places. And they are a tribute, certainly to this nation, but also a tribute to your leadership and your foresight. And, you have demonstrated that here again today. We all appreciate it.
Let methe issue of the Air Force Academy has been dealt with a number of times here. Yesterday, in our subcommittee organizational meeting, originally brought up by Mrs. Sanchez, we discussed this, and like everyone, and yourselves included, we are deeply troubled and concerned that this be resolved fully and effectively. And I want to compliment you both for your response here today.
Page 61 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And, Secretary Roche, I know you spoke without prepared notes and it was a very moving and very appropriate response.
But, I did not hear in both of youreither of your comments, assurances, to my level, that we would also look at those professional staff people, the officers who have, perhaps, allegedly been derelict in their duties. There has, as you know, been reports and allegations made that some of the female cadets did try to make reports that went unanswered, were not taken seriously, or whatever it may be. I feel confident you did not mean to say you would not call them to task for that, but I just wanted to make sure you have the chance to put that on the record.
Secretary ROCHE. Be delighted to do so, sir. We have a team out there right now. And, the way we are approaching this, there is really three parts to what we are doing. One, John and I together have a team headed by our general counsel, Ms. Mary Walker.
That team is out there trying to understand the processes, trying to just build a matrix of what we are talking about, because we hear from different people and we are trying to create an environment that we have asked the cadets if there is something that has not been reported before, come forward now. We guarantee you will not have a problem, or if they have best practices, come forward.
And there was a system out there that they thought in 1993 was addressing the problem; maybe in 1993 it did. It did not now.
So, we have our broader look, including what we would hold our senior officers accountable for. We will take a look at that. But, the problem at the Air Force Academy, sir, did not occur in the tenure of any particular officer here. It is a cultural one that apparently has been building up for a number of years.
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The second thing that is happening is the Office of the Secretary of Defense and Inspector General (IG) has been asked by the government opts committee to take a look at each of the cases narrowly. That is good because they are not the Air Force and, therefore, no one can accuse John and I of trying to make it a better picture. We are delighted.
But, it is a very narrow look at a case and I think when they go through, they are probably not going to be disturbed by due process where we are disturbed by the environment. No case the IG will look at will worry about a young woman being shunned the following week, where we will.
And, then the third thing is the Office of Secretary of Defense for Personnel is new secretary is going to be looking at what we are doing and then try to see how this is applied to the other academies. We are looking at the Air Force Academy primarily, but we also, then, will go and look at our ROTC program because we are going to be sending cadets out on summer camp. We do now. We are increasing that. We are going to get much bigger. And, we are also going to look at our officer training school to make sure we have got the right policies in every place.
But, one of the things that is emerging is, on a classic Air Force base, the wing commander and the processes on a base mean that an airman first class is treated better and the situation is handled better than at the Air Force Academy, which tried to do something in a university environment when it is not a university.
It is somewhat of a university, but is a military installation. These are aspiring officers, and you have charged me to sign a certificate for each of them when they are commissioned that says, ''We repose special trust and confidence.'' Well, I do not know if I can say that about everyone. I certainly cannot say that about any assailant. And, that is what is driving us.
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But, we will look to see who is accountable. But, we also are not going to say, ''it is because of Joe,'' to the problem. It is broader and I think we have to attack it more broadly.
General JUMPER. If I could just add, sir.
Mr. MEEHAN. Certainly.
General JUMPER. Over the years we have found, as you always do when you look into these things, that budget pressures cause us to make some very irrational decisions. In the past, we took the air operations commander of each of the squadrons, (that is the active duty officer who is with each of the cadet squadrons). We sent them through some very specialized training and counseling on how to deal with youngsters in the age group that you find at the academy.
As budget pressures came over the years, we stopped training them that way and we just took people right off the line and put them into those jobs in ways they were probably not well-prepared to do.
Also, we are going to strengthen the fact that we have very capable non-commissioned officers also assigned to each of those squadrons. And, if you go to any Air Force unit out there in the active duty Air Force today, you will find that the first sergeant in that squadron knows everything that is going on in that squadron. There are no secrets.
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And as he has got his nose in everybody's business, he has got the tempo, he has got the pulse, and he has got the atmospherics of that squadron down pat, and he is advising that squadron commander on all of those things.
We have got to make sure that we have got that sort of an atmosphere, which is the military environment in this setting, and that we make sure that we understand, as the secretary said, that this is a military installation, a military organization with perspective military officers. It ought to beit ought to run that way.
And then, let me add my personal thing for the record, sir, is that accountability and responsibility will reside at the same level.
Secretary ROCHE. Let me give you an example, sir, if I can. It has not made the papers in a big way, but early on the fall, there was an incident where we believed the scenario officer there did not exercise the kind of judgment that we would want him to have exercised. This is an officer we have removed from the chairmanship of the department because he allowed a skit to be put on that was highly offensive to a number of women.
We have acted. But, we may have to come back and get some help from the Secretary of Defense and you because he holds a permanent professorship. And, if, in fact, when we go through this and take a fair look and listen to his side of the story, we feel that he should not be a permanent professor, we recognize that is a congressionally done thing and we may want to say, ''Why, if we have someone we believe has exercised bad judgment, we should be able to say we do not want that person leading our cadets, even in a particular department.''
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But, I have got to make sure that we have due process and this officer may have an answer back to us that makes us understand the circumstances in which he was. But, this has increasingly become a hybrid university. And we feel that, for everyone's sake, and for the taxpayers, it needs to be a fully charged Air Force institution where we teach and train future officers in whom we can repose special trust and confidence.
Mr. MCHUGH. Well, thank you. Well, obviously, I cannot speak and would not deem to speak for the chairman, but from the subcommittee level, we certainly would want to work with you to make this a better system. I was confident you both felt very strongly about that with respect to the officers potentially involved.
I just wanted to make sure the record reflected that. And, I have to tell you, although, obviously, we are going to continue to follow this very carefully and closely, I personally am very reassured that two gentlemen of your stature and caliber and obvious concern are pursuing this. Thank you.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Would you yield for a moment, a brief moment?
Mr. MCHUGH. If the chairman will allow me, so gracious, because my time has expired.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Just for a point of clarification, Mr. Chairman.
Page 66 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Excuse me, Mr. Secretary, are you implying or are you saying explicitly that the Congress deals with questions of tenure at the
Secretary ROCHE. No, it is not so much tenure, Mr. Abercrombie. It is a matter of a notion we call, ''the presidential appointment,'' which, of course, the senate has to approve. But, the presidential appointment in the case of the Air Force Academy was done in a way to have a level of super-tenure. It was for a uniformed officer.
It is also at the military academy at West Point, but not at the Naval Academy, Where when an officer becomes a permanent professor, typically a head of a department, he is allowed to stay on active duty, if he chooses to, until age 64 and then when retired I think can be addressed as Brigadier General. But, it is
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. So, this a personnel question within the Air Force, as opposed to an academic?
Secretary ROCHE. It is a military question going beyond the Air Force, but it also picks up West Point and the individuals who hold thesea typical assignment, we would assign an officer a colonel to a particular job, not a presidential appointment.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Excuse me, Mr. Secretary. I can see, obviously, this is going to take a little bit longer.
Mr. Chairman, rather than pursue it now, do you suppose, with the acquiescence of Mr. McHugh, that perhaps we could get a little rundown on what is involved in this? Because I do not think that the intention is ever to have the Congress be involved in academic decisions in terms of keeping people in their.
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The CHAIRMAN. Well, I would say, Mr. Abercrombie, why do not we have the secretary, have somebody whose up to speed on this issue, it seems a little bit kind of a unique set of circumstances
Secretary ROCHE. Over and above the particular instances.
The CHAIRMAN [continuing]. Come over and brief you and brief Mr. McHugh
Secretary ROCHE. If I may.
The CHAIRMAN [continuing]. On this mechanism.
Mr. MCHUGH. I apologize, I did not mean to interrupt you. That, to Mr. Abercrombie, is an area involving, as the secretary said, presidential extensions and appointments. And, it overlaps, apparently in this situation, to the service academies. The Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) is currently examining that process in general.
So, I am sure someone over there, out of Secretary Chu's office, perhaps, could provide you with an overview and if youI am sure they would respond to your request, but if we can be helpful in that regard, I would be more than willing.
The CHAIRMAN. Sure. And, I think this a great candidate for one of those 7:30 in the morning briefings. So, the chairman of the total force is fully authorized to make that happen. Personally, all of my appointments were over by 8 o'clock this morning, since they started at 6:00. So, I am becoming one of those early morning briefing people.
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And, Mr. Abercrombie, let's run that to ground. I think that is a good candidate. Are you okay here?
I thank the gentleman and the
Mr. LARSON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And, I want to follow-up on Mr. Saxton's questions because what I did not hear about the leasing of the tankers is timelines. And, I wanted to askfirst off, I want to say, in your testimony and comments you made the case, ''Let's get moving on this''. And, yet, the budget does not reflect the Air Force getting moving on this. Presumably, through no fault of your own. I know you have been very supportive of trying to get the tankers replaced.
But, I would like to know what is holding this up? And, what specific timeline does the secretary have to review the deal and then, assuming there is an approval there, what timeline, then, does OMB have to approve the deal, assumingit is certainly my hope, assuming that there is an approval of the deal.
Secretary ROCHE. First of all, sir, thank you for the question. The reason you do not see the lease cost in the budget is that would be mouse trapping my boss, the Secretary of Defense. To put the money in the lease would assume he approved the lease. And, therefore, our plan A is to buy tankers and those phase in a couple of years out, if he chooses to support. If he thinks it is a good thing for the taxpayer, then we will reprogram from our existing plan, our five-year plan or six-year plan and put money in.
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But, if we do not, then we have to go back to a buying scheme and, to give you a measure of one of the reasons we would like to lease, is by the time we would get our first purchased tanker, we could have 67 on the runways if they were leased. Because we are able to amortize thenover the whole period. So, that is why we think it is good.
But, there are interest rates. There are legitimate issues and this has never been done before. So, I need to defend people who are taking a good look at this.
With regard to timelines, my boss sets his own timeline and I respect it. In terms of OMB, there are no timelines. The Congress just said when I get through that, what will I have to do to come to the committees and I believe the authorizing committees should have a chance to look at this, as well.
General JUMPER. Sir, I cannot add to that.
Mr. LARSON. Thank you very much. I wouldI appreciate you saying there are no timelines. I understand the secretary needs to take his own time and you are not saying there are no timelines, I am just saying folks need to take their time to get through that. But, it is certainly an interest of mine and many others to see this move forward.
And, you know, really it is mainly because of the case you have made about the aging of these tankers. And, as you said earlier, it is not engines; it is the planes themselves. I do not want to be too radical in these comments, but if you are talking about the 100th year anniversary of the Kitty Hawk flight, it was 12 seconds long. You know, and pretty soon those tankers will be, you know, equaling that flight time if we do not get these replaced. We need to move forward on this.
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Secretary ROCHE. As I said, some of them were commissioned and started flying before I was commissioned and they were all flying before he was commissioned. But, the Office of the Secretary has asked questions to us, we have responded to questions. They are not sitting idling by. They are trying to get some outside help mainly because there is a concern that is: Is this something that sets precedent? Is this something other services were going to jump on? My own sense is it is very narrow circumstances when you can do this, but I fully understand that when you do something brand new in the government it is not like having a novel business idea where I could go to the board of directors, weigh out the case, the board of directors would take a deep breath and say, ''Okay, the chairman of the boards is for it and the president of the company is for it, go.''
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman.
And, Mr. Secretary, as a guy who hates to see those 30 and 40-year old airplanes, we are now going to shift to the chairman of the Subcommittee on Projection Forces, which includes those B52 bombers, the youngest of which I believe was built in 1962. So, you will get to lay out a case on how you are going to replace all those older bombers, because I know you will want to do that.
Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you very much.
Thank you, gentlemen, for your service to your country and for your testimony this morning. Can you tell me how many Milstar satellites we have? Is it two or three?
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Secretary ROCHE. Can we caucus, sir?
Mr. BARTLETT. It is a very low number; it is two or three. Can you tell me whatyou mentionedthe reason I ask that question, Mr. Secretary, because in your testimony you mentioned that we were increasingly dependent on space assets. And I wanted to know if you knew what percent of your communications go through your Milstar satellites and percent go through your other satellites?
Secretary ROCHE. Mr. Bartlett, I do not know that off the top of my head. We can get back to you. I know that when a contingency comes along, you know, we buy time on commercial satellites, or other satellites. We have worried very much about things like our Global Hawks that take up an enormous amount of bandwidth. One of the things we want to do on thewhat is called the multi-mission aircraft, is that battle management section in the back. We control Global Hawk so that we can get off the satellite and not have to load that.
But, in terms of the communication bandwidth, there is Milstar, there is transformational communications, which we both strongly support, which will take a look at AEHF satellites, Advanced Extremely High Frequency satellites, potentially moving to other laser based satellites. This area is one where technology is explosive and it could be very, very successful.
I think it would be terrific if we could ask Undersecretary Pete Teats, who is quite wonderful on this subject, to come on over and spend some time with you and he would be able to answer all of your questions.
Page 72 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you.
Secretary ROCHE. Since he comes from this background.
Mr. BARTLETT. It is my understanding that the only space assets we have which are radiation hardened, are the Milstar satellites, which is why they are called Milstar?
Secretary ROCHE. I think. In open session I would beI would want to be more careful of the answer and I would again beg your indulgence and ask if Mr. Teats can
Mr. BARTLETT. I would be pleased with that. The question I wanted to ask was I believe that probably a very larger percent of your communications goes over non-Milstar, therefore, non-radiation hardened satellites. A single nuclear detonation above the atmosphere, intentional or unintentional, anywhere in the world will, depending upon its size, either disrupt or destroy all the satellites which are within line of sight, the prompt effect.
By the way, in any communication system, unhardened satellites are the softest link. They cost about $10,000 a pound to put something in space. And, so we are very conservative in what we put there and hardening chews up a lot of payload weight, which denies a performance capability, and which is why commercial satellites and satellites that do not need to be hardened are not hardened.
In addition to killing all of the satellites (or disrupting if it is just a small burst) all of the satellites within line of sight, the Van Allen Belts will be pumped up for a year or so. So, satellites which would have a long life will now have an exceedingly short life, like a few days. It will do you no good to launch a new satellite because the Van Allen Belts are still pumped up?
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What will we do if that happens?
Secretary ROCHE. Well, clearly we will have a problem. One of the things that John and I have spent a lot of time on, Mr. Bartlett, I think you would approve, is we feel that putting everything in space does not make sense, and putting nothing in space does not make sense. You have to have a portfolio.
We actually talked about taking certain capabilities and bringing them down from space, or putting them in very high altitude. So, for instance, we couldand we are talking about envisioning an area of the world where we have global hawks acting as if they were satellites where we could place them well below a Van Allen Belt, well below the effects of a nuclear explosion and give you a capability and area so that you do not have all of your eggs in one basket, or in this case, all of your communications in unprotected satellites.
A number of the satellite systems are hardened, and I would like Pete to talk to you about those, but we think it ought to be a portfolio just as we think about portfolios across the board, whether it is communications or it is trying to get a ground target moving indicator. A portfolio is a sensible approach. If we only depend on space-based systems, we offer an opponent a very critical target.
Mr. BARTLETT. Yes, I am concerned that our greatest strengths should not become our greatest weaknesses. And as we are increasingly dependent on these high tech systems, which are increasingly vulnerable to this kind of attack, we place ourselves in a position where asymmetric warfare might be determining in the future. And I am just concerned that in developing our approaches that we do sufficient war gaming that we know what we would do in the off-chance that something like that were to happen.
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Thank you very much and we will look forward to the briefing.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman. And the area the gentleman has hit on is of a lot of concern, I think, to the folks in the committee. And I would like to have Mr. Bartlett, if you could put this together, maybe a little classified briefing on this, an early morning briefing. And I know I would like to see that and I will see it with you.
The gentleman from Georgia, Mr. Marshall?
Mr. MARSHALL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I do not want to beat this to death, but I must say that I found your words, in particular, Secretary Roche, concerning the situation with the Air Force Academy, very, very powerful, very persuasive. And after listening to your responses to the questions that people have had concerning how you are going to follow up with this, how will you accomplish a cultural change, how are you going to address possibly some more problems in the other academies, I find myself thinking that it is not only an example of what we ought to be doing in our military institutions, but as a country, very, very wonderful words.
And God bless you for that.
Now, to the more mundane. In response to Mr. Saxton's questions you described a process that was going to involve refurbishing a couple of the C5As and then selecting one to be examined by a pathologist I guess.
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Secretary ROCHE. C5Bs
Mr. MARSHALL. C5Bs.
Secretary ROCHE [continuing]. Would be first so we have a baseline.
Mr. MARSHALL. I see.
Secretary ROCHE. And then start looking at A and compare the A to the B to get a sense of whether it is worth investing and fixing or should they be retired and move to more C17s.
Mr. MARSHALL. How do you get a fair judgment based upon one selection? I do not know enough about the C5s, their history; it would seem to me that if you picked the wrong one, it is not going to be the right test. And, you might pick one that is in great shape and you had not intended to do that. The results are, therefore, biased in favor of a mix that favors the C5 or vice versa. You pick one that is in terrible shape, not intending to do that, intending to pick one that's representative, and your results are biased in favor of C17s and let's get rid of all the C5s.
Secretary ROCHE. Sampling theory would say that picking one is not the way you do it.
Page 76 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. MARSHALL. Right.
Secretary ROCHE. The reason we want to do the Bs first, being newer, and having a benchmark, you can then take a look at an A and look for things that are systemic. Now, if you find something in one of the As, you can go and check that particular thing in the others. So, for instance, we have a problem on our KC135Es of the pylons that hold the engines. They were taken from old 707s years ago to increase the lifespan of the Es.
We recently observed a corrosion crack in one and then another pylon on a particular airplane. Then you have a very focused look at the others to see if this is a problem. We have the same thing with wing cracks on the F15s.
So, in the diagnosis of the one, you look for something and then you go check others. But, you have the maintenance records from all of these aircraft and the depot records. So, you start with a sense of all of the As having been looked at.
Mr. MARSHALL. Is it just economical and practical to look at more than one?
Secretary ROCHE. If, in fact, it is on the edge, we may choose to look at another one. But, if it is prettyif it is one way or the other very strongly, then there is no reason to. But, if it is on the edge, we will. But, that is why we want to form a board of people who are going to be doing this for all of our aircraft over a period of time. And, we have time to be able to make decisions. We know we want the Bs done and if we do not do the As, then we will get C17s.
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General JUMPER. And, I would just like to add to that quickly, Mr. Marshall, that to emphasize the point there are extensive records on these airplanes that are available. So, there are none that are truly unknown. I will second your point, though, that these are old airplanes and we are finding surprises every time. So, what you say is certainly something we have to pay attention to.
Mr. MARSHALL. What concerned me, Secretary Roche, is that your follow-up is somewhat dependent upon what you find in the one that you have selected. And, so, if you do not find those stress fractures that all the rest of them have, then you do not follow up to see whether or not the others have the stress fractures and some catastrophic event occurs and we are all disappointed.
Secretary ROCHE. It could. The way we would go at this is we would probably sample certain things on multiple airplanes, but take one and strip it all the way down.
Mr. MARSHALL. I have another question. It is with regard to two different things here. Depot strategy in August of last yearany afterthoughts by either of you two gentlemen, second thoughts, those sorts of things? And, then the transformation from Joint Surveillance and Target Attack Radar System (JSTARS) to the MC2A platform, I guess my question is timing; you know, what are some of the details of your plans with regard to that?
Secretary ROCHE. Yes, sir. I will start and John will follow-up. We think the depot strategy was a smart thing to do. We think that sharing and working with the members so that they did not think we had a little side game going has proven to be very effective. We are delighted to say, in the location of our three depots, that we now have great support for what we are doing.
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That the notion of partnering is something that the members, many of whom have business experience, spotted and said, ''right'' on the way you are going. I think you will note, if you go to Robins or anyplace else, that there is benchmarking going on. There are lean manufacturing issues being looked at. The places are dramatically cleaner. There is a great deal of pride, and we are proud of them.
And, so, a depot strategy, where we have a fund where, when someone wants to do something that can contribute to its efficiency, they can compete for money from it, makes sense. A number of parts of the strategy are holding up very, very well at this point. But, it has to be looked at each time.
And, by the way, it is a tribute to General Mike Zettler and to the General Les Lyles and to Nelson Gibbs, secretary, so, Secretary Gibbs. So, I think that is on a good path and I think everyone wants this full open knowledge.
With regard to Joint STARS and MC2A, there is the platform, which now housing the original Joint STARS Radar is a 707-derived platform, as you know. We would like to move to a 767 base for two reasons. One, we can have a deeper gondola, which means we can make the height of the antenna a little larger, which would give us much greater accuracy. And about the time we would be modifying the airplane, we would have our first of the improved radars called MPRTIP (Multi-Purpose Radar Technology Insertion Program), which means it is modular and it is a radar improvement program that the two companies are working on together to fit in there.
But, just as much, we want that back-end space, because the back-end space will take this battle management work that General Jumper has been working on for year, that we are now testing on this Paul Revere aircraft up in Massachusetts and to be able to have a battle management space, which would be comparable on a follow-on Joint STARS, follow on Airborne Warning and Control (AWAC) et cetera, so they could run the battle control drones, et cetera.
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I believe I am the first American official to go onboard the Japanese AWAC after they were commissioned into service, because I asked. And, the Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) commander, a four-star general and I were gratefully not photographed, but we were hanging upside down looking inside the various amount of space that was on that plane, picturing what we wanted to do on a multipleor on the multi-missioned aircraft.
And it appears to be exactly what we want that you can have the air mobile target indicating system AWACS in the front, battle management in the back, lots of space for cooling, power, generation, et cetera. And, so, we see a good evolution to wit, we do not see in the short-term being able to do both the AWACS job or the Joint STAR'S job on the same airplane. Sometime in the future there will be a radar that can do both, right now it would not be worth doing because what we want is good Ground Moving Target Indication (GMTI), good air control, but also this battle management.
General JUMPER. And, let me just add that as far as timeline goes, we are trying to get something going by 07. And, start to work on the airplane in 07 with an 11 or a 12 date to get the thing actually airborne and working. Again, it is on thewe are making this on the JSTAR'S aircraft just because this is an excellent opportunity to transition this JSTARS into the newer generation of radars and we have determined that it is going to take another generation of Joint STARS to be able to do the ground moving target radar work that needs to be done before we can get the space-based radar.
As we then build the space-based radar, it will be a major objective to make sure that you have those two platforms talking at the digital level to one another so that one can compliment the other. And that gives you more options, then, about how you might design and build your space-based radar. So, all those things blend together, sir.
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Mr. MARSHALL. Thank you.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman.
The gentlelady from New Mexico, Ms. Wilson?
Mrs. WILSON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Secretary and General Jumper, thank you for coming today. As you can imagine, I have been asked the question that Mr. Skelton asked you about how would you advise the young women of today with respect to going to the United States Air Force Academy. And I appreciate the seriousness with which you are taking this.
And, not only the action that you are taking, but the passion that you express with respect to what is going on at the Air Force Academy. And saying very clearly that we will not tolerate this behavior at our academy or in our Air Force. The academy's mission is to develop leadership character for the nation. And the behavior there is inconsistent with that mission.
When I was there a long time ago, that was not a problem. And, it is clear that there has been a culture change that has to be rectified and I appreciate the fact that you get it. It is not about how we deal with specific cases, but an environment that has to be addressed, and, I appreciate your leadership in that regard.
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The challenge is difficult and it is not going to be solved by firing a few people and declaring that they took the garbage out with them when they went. It is kind of like a fire in a closed compartment. And I appreciate your seriousness. I am also glad that you are going to the academy tonight because I think they need to hear directly from you what you think about it and what you feel about it. And it will be the first step in rebuilding trust among your young future officers.
I am most concerned, not that there would be some young people who would prey upon others in acts of violence, but that large percentages of women at the academy now believe that if they report it, they will be punished. No institution can survive if large numbers of their people believe that if they report a felony that they will be punished. So I appreciate your time and your attention and will continue to work with you to restore the reputation of that institution.
General Jumper, I have
Secretary ROCHE. Thank you so much, thank you so much. Now that we have John's daughter bugging us, I also have my own daughter.
Mrs. WILSON. Yes, sir.
General Jumper, now to more on mundane things, airborne laser and ballistic missile defense. I understand that we may not be doing operational testing for ground and sea based ballistic missile defense, and this may not come under you. But, with respect to the airborne laser, do you still anticipate doing full operational testing? And, could you comment on where we are in the Advanced Disk Laser (ADL) program and where you expect to be over the next year to 18 months?
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General JUMPER. Well, I will start off. We just actually spent two and a half hours, I think, last night going over every deal, every detail of the airborne laser program with the program manager to see exactly where we are. And, of course, with a program of this complication, there are challenges ahead, but in general I think we can both say we are very pleased with where we are in the airborne laser. And its role as a part of the layered defense system that is envisioned by General Kadish in his missile defense leadership role, which takes into account, not only attack operations where you try to get these things on the ground, but being able to shoot them during the liftoff phase, which is the job of airborne laser or to track them very carefully and be able to pass them on to other systems, which could destroy these things in route to a target.
The airborne laser's part of this is very significant. And, as they proceed now to put together the test bed that is on the ground at Edwards Air Force Base and they prepare for a first firing in a few months, and then on toward 2004 or early 2005, sometime in the fiscal year 2005or calendar 2005 timeframe, an actual flight with the firing. Everything is progressing as we would expect, certainly with challenges to overcome. But, the test program and the development program are proceeding in parallel and the results and the test criteria is pretty well laid out. So, we are watching it very closely.
Secretary ROCHE. Ms. Wilson, I would only add that we had a superb kind of management meeting. General Kadish was with us, as well as the program manager, and she is doing a terrific job. My concern is one that I have expressed on a number of other programs. It is so easy, Ms. Wilson; it is so easy for our Air Force or the department to lay a budget out of a program and assume that when things go together, they all fit together perfectly. I have never seen it happen yet, whether I built the stuff or I was responsible for having somebody else build the stuff. It does not happen.
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You have problems where you can only learn when you pull it all together. And I think Colonel Putrowskidid I pronounce her name correctly? I am sorry?
General JUMPER. We call her P-plus 12.
Secretary ROCHE. Colonel P, who is just an absolutely impressive officer and an impressive intellectual on technical things. She has done all the right stuff of putting together things on the ground. When you put it in the airplane and you start changing the weight distribution of the airplane and there is vibration and there are other things, you are bound to come into problems.
So, I guess I would want to give everyone a warning that, don't everybody get excited when she pulls this all together and it starts to fly if there are not vibration problems, Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) problems. She has plumbing that is an incredible type of plumbing that is going to have difficulty.
What is good is how General Kadish and she are focused on a test and their driving schedule. And, yes, it is costing more. And, yes, they are going to have to pull in money from the future and other programs. But, it is my experience building the stuff, that is, that the only way to do it is to drive on a schedule.
It is the same thing John and I are doing with the FA22 to get something. Otherwise, everybody just absorbs the money and absorbs the schedule. So, I feel very confident, both in how she is running this program and the support that General Kadish is giving her, and we came away from that saying anything we can do to help you, we would be glad to do.
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Mrs. WILSON. Thank you.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentlelady.
The gentleman from Hawaii, Mr. Abercrombie.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Secretary, I want to pursue with you what Mr. Saxton began, and I was not here at the beginning of the hearing and we may be going over some issues, which you have already addressed. But, I think they are so important in terms of funding for the Air Force that it warrants some recapitulation if it is all right with you.
Secretary ROCHE. That is fine, sir.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. This is not necessarily about the least question per se. But, it has to do withand Iyou are going to have to indulge me just a little bit, Mr. Chairman, and Mr. Secretary, because these pages are not numbered. So, I am
Secretary ROCHE. Did we do that again? We have lots of acronyms, Mr. Congressman; numbers we do not have many.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Yes. Yes. This has to do with a question at one point in the testimony addressing recapitalization challenges, which I read with great eagerness because I have been an advocate, for some time, of trying. I will say a frustrated advocate because I have not been able to figure out how to do what I am about to talk to you about, which is a capital budget versus an operatingnot versus an operating budget, but a capital budget to compliment an operating budget for the DOD as a whole.
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But, most certainly I think for the procurement side of things with these weapons platforms, it would seem to me that the Air Force would be a prime candidate for such a concept being put forward or being brought to fruition because of the very things that you discussed so clearly with Mr. Saxton.
The idea of a long-term commitment without putting cash up front, particularly when that is regarded by the accounting side of the House as money no longer available to the Air Force or the Navy or the Army, for that matter, Marines. But, I read it quite eagerly except by the time I finished reading it, I did not know anything more. It was a lovely series of paragraphs that kind of went no place, as far as I could tell.
Let me just find it here. Shoot.
Secretary ROCHE. You do not have to find it. I know exactly what you are talking about.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Okay. And that led to what you call business transformation and then investments. You did not mean investments, obviously, literally, like stock market investments or something, investments in
Secretary ROCHE. Capital.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE [continuing]. In trying to prolong the life of systems and so on. And, I was looking for the business transformation. You had, for example, the smart
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Secretary ROCHE. Anchor.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE [continuing]. I am sorry, I amI hooked the pages over so that I would be able to get them real easy. Here we go. Addressing recapitalization challenges and within the concept of operation, I really could not understand what it was that was going to address the recapitalization issue other than the fact that it was stated quite clearly it needed to be done.
So, then when I went forward from that, we got to the question of enacting business transformation and what it seemed to me followed on with, Mr. Secretary, what was some processes of bookkeeping that were going to be a lot more integrative. Existing like the metric system and reporting tool, the real time program status information, those kinds of things are all well and good, but I do not see that as really a transformation. I see that as increased deficiency of information sharing intra-agency or interagency.
And, then there was something called high-powered teams that would do spiral development plans. That is when you really lost me, because I have no idea what a spiral development plan is, particularly when it says that if we have one or several such plans, you could then aide capability increments for future spirals. Maybe you could, just if you could clear that for me briefly and then I will finish my observation and my question.
Secretary ROCHE. Thank you, sir. You raise a wonderful many-hour-conversation, which I would love to have with you. But, I must say poor Pete Aldridge is going to hurt that ''spiral'' is not well understood. If I may, start from the back and go forward. Most of these are concepts, which we apply very differently, but your point about a capital budget, I just want to say, yes. I live with that business. I understand that the notion of deprecation rates, you have got to plow money back. If you do not plow money back, you are going to create a monster at some point.
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You could look at the same thing in terms of people who are not funding properly their retirement funds for their employees, who are not filingexcuse me, not placing enough money into the retired health care. There are a series of areas where companies had to merge because they no longer could face the bill because they let it go on too long.
You have the same thing in capital in the company and I wish we could have, in our way of doing government budgeting, something like a capital budget, as compared to budget authority and outlays wherein if we try to do something over a period of time, boom, we are hit with the whole cost in one year and budget authority, although there is no cash consequence.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Yes.
Secretary ROCHE. So, therefore, sometimes leasing makes sense, sometimes leasing does not make sense.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. I understand that.
Secretary ROCHE. And, the capital budget would work.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Or private initiatives in housing, for example, which you cite. Now, Mr. Hefley and I
Secretary ROCHE. Which worked, that is right
Page 88 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. ABERCROMBIE [continuing]. Others on this committee pioneered that effort
Secretary ROCHE. Yes. Yes.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE [continuing]. Which I think is going to result in a capital expenditure by the Armed Services that will pay enormous dividends and has not compromised the role of the Congress
Secretary ROCHE. No.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE [continuing]. In terms of authorizing or appropriating funds as all.
Secretary ROCHE. No, sir. And, in fact, I
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. It is supplemented in my judgment.
Secretary ROCHE. I agree with you. I think the multiple is something like eight to one, eight to one. In other words we put up one and the private capital puts eight, but they get their return. And they get a steady return.
We can apply this differently. And something like spiral, a good example is how we have treated the predator. I mean this starts with my partner having a bright idea when he was frustrated and in battle in Kosovo. And, puts a laser designator on it. And, now, okay, we know where things are.
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And, then, of course, when Kosovo was over they took the laser designator off because, after all, that is not what this thing was supposed to have. He forces them to put it back on. He says, well, we have a designator, why don't we put a weapon on it? And, has to force that.
I come along and they say, well, that is exactly the right way to think. So, we take a system like Predator. We go to General Franks. And we said to him, we have a number of unmanned or unattended aircraft or remotely piloted aircraft that are not ready for prime time. May we employ them in Afghanistan and learn? And, I believe we have learned an enormous amount. To go to a level to say okay, this one is going to be a razorblade, meaning it is cheap. If we lose it, it is okay. On next generation, we will plan on having so much.
But, we are not trying to solve world hunger. We are trying to go to a next level that makes sense. That is an example of spiral development, where you are willing to accept
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Okay.
Secretary ROCHE [continuing]. Something at the 60 or 70 or 80 percent level and then let the next generation make the next step.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Fine. Then having that in mind, I think that the way Mr. Hunter has reorganized the committee as a whole will enable us to deal with that kind of thing more effectively in terms of research and development (R&D) and procurement and authorization. I mean, I am quite confident that this reorganization is going to result in a lot more efficiency that way. We may even be able to do a little spiraling ourselves here and succeed.
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But, doesn't that emphasize my point about capital budgeting?
Secretary ROCHE. Absolutely. I mean
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Now, the garden-variety response right off the top, that will interfere with year-by-year appropriations. It will, you know, dilute power and so on. I do not see it that way at all. Having served in multiple legislative bodies from city councils to state legislatures to non-profit organizations like the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA), a capital budget is the sensible way of funding long-term heavy fiscal commitments, particularly when you have an evolving need.
Now, I grant you thatan evolving need like, say, the bombers that weor the F22s or the joint strike fighter or whatever it might be. Now, I will grant you that it is more difficult to make capital budgeting work as a theoretical concept when you do not necessarily have social utility associated with it.
If we capital budget a biological laboratorywell, there is going to be experiments, or a medical school, or say the academy, you build a college campus. That is generally what is thethe social utility of the tank or the social utility of an F22 is not so easily established. You can establish one for a bus that takes people or a metroline or something like that.
So, but, I do not see that that should inhibit within the context of the DOD, being able to define very clearly what was appropriate for a capital budget approach, because as my experience inand I will conclude with this, my experience on this committee is is that year, after year, after year, we keep dealing with the question of the marginal advance or theof the capability of how far are we getting with the F22 or the Joint Strike Fighter. There are modifications that need to be made, so on and so forth.
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Would you consider, then, in the context of your testimony, thator let me askthat is now what Inot would you consider, but is it your conclusion that you have not yet reached a point where you can say with definitive authority from your side that you figured out how to do this transformation, how to address the question of the recapitalization challenge?
Secretary ROCHE. I can absolutely say that we have not reached that point, sir. I agree with my boss, who talked about we should not use the word transformation. We should say transforming. But, in many respects we are going back to basics. You will recall in the capital budget, you will invest capital for two reasons. One, to save costs, or two, to increase productivity. So, while there is a societal benefit from a hospital or a bus system, there is also a wartime benefit from having an additional capability, both in deterrence and, then, in modeling and how you fight a war. That is one of the reasons we are so committed to delivering to you a FA22 of which you would be proud.
But, there are other reasons, you can also reduce maintenance costs, et cetera. It allows you to look at a lease in more imaginative ways. We have taken our Air Force and broken it down into whether, as a good organization, what are the basic core competencies of our Air Force, defined exactly the way a good academic wouldthings that are enduring, that have very high barriers to entry that an opponent cannot get at.
Well, one of the reasons you do that is to make sure you invest correctly. So, we think there are three for our Air Force: Developing airmen, transitioning technology to war fighting and integrating operations.
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That last one is a good example of something that would always fall off the table when people are talking, yet it is unbelievably powerful.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Okay. Thanks.
Secretary ROCHE. That is how we have been able to operate.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. The
The CHAIRMAN [continuing]. If the gentleman would wrap up
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. My time is up, so you would consider the concept of a capital budget if we could work on some things
Secretary ROCHE. I would be delighted to support it. And I would hope my good colleague, Dov Zakheim, would be willing to take a look at an experiment of looking at it. And, I know it is tough, but what
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Thank you.
Secretary ROCHE [continuing]. You have done under the lease is you have given a chance to start to think that way.
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Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Thank you very much.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Cole.
Mr. COLE. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Let me join my colleagues first in thanking you both for your service to your country. In particular I would just make a personal point here. My dad was career non-com for 20 years in the Air Force, and it was a great life for us as a family. My brother went on and joined. My cousin is a light colonel now deployed in Southwest Asia.
It has been very interesting for me to watch over the generations, each of them they had success in experiencing what we always believed was a great Air Force and how much better it has gotten, quite frankly. You and your predecessors really have succeeded in creating a self-sustaining culture of excellence. It is quite remarkable, thank you very much.
I have a couple questions, really following on some remarks my colleague, Mr. Marshall, made earliersome questions that he had. I have similar questions, similar concerns. You both mentioned Tinker Air Force Base in the course of your remarks, a subject near and dear to my heart since I represent it and my brother and dad worked there when they were civilians after they left the service.
I note with terrific appreciation that you have got $350 million scheduled for depot improvement and modernization, about more than double, as I understand it, what was there before. So, one, would you comment a little bit on how important those dollars are for you over thein your long-term investment strategy? And, two, are you planning to continue that level or better, hopefully, of investment in the next four or five years over the out years so to speak?
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Secretary ROCHE. Thank you, sir. The future, I do not have on the top of my head. The idea was to make the point that an air logistics center and the employees could be as efficient and as effective as a private firm. The challenge that has been taken up by the employee force at Tinker, as well as Ogden, and at Robins, Warner Robins, has been inspiring.
Once we were able to help them think through benchmarking, and that the data for benchmarking was not for John and me to yell at them. It was for them to look at, and the one thing I am delighted that General Johnson did at Tinker is he put up big screens. And on the screens he just puts metrics of his colleagues versus some private firms. And they look at that and say there is not any reason why those people are better than I am. And when they are better than the private firms, they are bursting with pride.
Second, they were part of the pioneering of the partnership notion, which says that thein the long-term we have to have organic capability to maintain. In the short-term it is often sensible to do a contractor or logistic support, especially during the warranty period. But, if they can partner early on, the tension goes away. No one has a conspiracy going to the other and some of the investment you get is the company making the investment, because, you know, half of a deal is a heck of a lot better than 100 percent of a no deal.
And, companies are not stupid and they realize that this is a sensible thing for them, because at some point they do not want to be harnessed to old technology. They want to be working on the new technology. A partnership is a way to handle aircraft, especially over a very, very long period of time. So, the investment is to bring Tinker, Ogden and Warner Robins to a level where we can point that this is really good for the taxpayer and good for the country, and I have been very proud of the men and women at Tinker who have taken up this challenge, at first wondering where the heck this was going. But, I will tell you, you have been there before. You go there today, that place is brightly lit, it is clean, there are metrics everywhere, and they are taking it seriously and I commend them to you.
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General JUMPER. May I just add that an old mentor of mine used to say that things get better when you measure them. They get even better when you measure them and compare them with like industries. And when you measure compare and reward is when it is the best. So, that is the basic principle we have gone by here with regard to our depots. And, I must say that the results have been outstanding.
We got up to over 400 days for each KC135 at Tinker Air Force Base to get through the periodic maintenance line. With attention placed to it and looking at processes and a close study of processes and improvements, we were able to get that down to less than 200 days. And, we are working onwe are working even harder now.
It goes up and down depending onbecause the aging airplane problems are giving us more surprises than we thought. But, it is not 400 anymore. Those are the kinds of things that we are paying attention to and the workforce at Tinker is doing a magnificent job for us.
Mr. COLE. I appreciate that. Let me ask you, too. Obviously, you are dealing with a period now of very intense operations on, as you pointed out earlier, Mr. Secretary, an aging fleet of aircraft. So, we are in a period where surge capabilities are very important. Do you have the capacity at the depot systems that you need now, given the missions that you have and looking forward?
Secretary ROCHE. I think so, sir. I must tell you in my blunt style, the surge argument was always one that I thought was a thin reed. I much prefer the competency argument. Then you will see as competence, do not worry about the surge. They will know how to do it. I think we do have the surge capacity.
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I think investment in tooling can pay off. I have spent time with some of the engine people that say, ''Do not think about buying a tool for this engine.'' Is there a tool for septive engines so the tool is not used one day out of 12, but it is used 11 days out of 12?
I know John has gone down and had the same sense that a place can become efficient, and when it becomes efficient, you create capacity without having to add buildings, which is always the way you make money.
Mr. COLE. One last question, really a comment, to pick up on, again, a point that my colleague, Mr. Marshall, made. I had the opportunity to visit the AWACS facility out of Tinker and those are old, old, old planes. I mean my dad would recognize those planes. And, I commend you for looking at new platforms and would just urge you to continue in that regard. They do a great job. Those crews are unbelievable. But, the demands on them now, and the Guard units beyond are pretty extraordinary. So, if you get us some new platforms quickly, it would be much appreciated.
Secretary ROCHE. Well, if it was up to us, we would have them. If you can get us some new platforms.
Mr. COLE. Just consider me your pocket vote, Mr. Secretary.
Secretary ROCHE. Thank you very much, sir.
Mr. COLE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
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The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Turner.
Mr. TURNER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
General Jumper, I appreciate your initial comment in which you recognize the significance of 2003 as the 100th anniversary of the centennial of flight. And, I want to thank you and the secretary for your support for Wright-Patterson Air Force Base
General JUMPER. Right.
Mr. TURNER [continuing]. In Dayton, Ohio. In their celebrations, as they prepare to celebrate the accomplishment that occurred there. As you know, the Wright Brothers perfected flight. So research and development at Wright-Patterson Air Force Baseresearch and development that comes out of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is critical to the mission of the Air Force.
General Lyles, from Wright-Patt, recently at the Air Force Association's Los Angeles composium indicated that he saw that the research and development budget of the Air Force was soon going to be overtaken, as a majority of percentage, by space research. And I wonder, if the pressure is for the Air Force to be a leader in space if this might justify increases in research and development funding so that we make certain that non-space research is not neglected.
General JUMPER. I will tell you that there is a lot going on in non-space research. Now, I will have to get back to you on the particulars of the budget cuts. But, when you look at some of the basic research we are doing in propulsion, the strides we have made in some of our support equipment on airplanes that had to do with the expeditionary Air Force, efficiencies in manufacturing techniques, all of these are attributable to the lab work that goes on. I am very pleased with what I see.
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I will get back to you on the specifics, sir, but that is a magnificent operation we have there at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. We are all very pleased with what they do. The teams that go out from there and help us with things like the FA22 with the airborne laser development, is all absolutely cutting-edge work that we pass on to industry as quick as we can. And I think it is a very well respected operation. We will get back to you on the budget piece of it, sir.
Secretary ROCHE. In the research area I think some could accuse us of not having supported space research to the degree that we should have, and we are trying to make up some time. Under the new direction from Secretary Rumsfeld, we are the executive agents from space for all of the services.
So, it is appropriate we do that. There is a tension, to be honest. We would be less than honest if we did not say that some of our colleagues in OSD might suggest that we act like terrorists when it comes to the subject. We are committed to making sure that we do not overload one side or the other side. And, there is tough debate, very tough debate, and when we finally get a conclusion, it is something we can all sign up to. And, we are all signing up to the fact that in this area of space we need to demonstrate credibility and put money into it.
This does not mean we need to walk away from the other R&D items. But, it is not just so much R&D. We have got to find ways of going from R&D to transition into actual products and be able to get the darn things in less than 20 years.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman.
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Mr. BISHOP. Mr. Secretary and General, first of all, I want to thank you for being here. Believe it or not, I had not intended on asking a question or saying anything when I came here. I did not think they would get down to this row by noon anyway.
I apologize for going to the noon hour. I do want to thank you for the comments and the answers you have given. You have to realize I am old and I am slow. I am sitting in a comfortable chair. I am still on mountain time and I found every answer that you gave kept me awake, and I appreciate that very much.
I did, thoughas I was reading last night on the comments that General Meyers made back on the fifth, one paragraph jumped out that I had not seen before. He said that that time that he wrote Congress about grave concerns on the impact and unforeseen consequences of environmental laws on military training and testing activities, and that this Congress had provided temporary relief, but only for one statute. Last week, while I was back, actually the last two weeks, I had a chance to spend three days on the Utah Test and Training Range (UTTR), which is a wonderful facility. If not the largest, it is one of the largest that you have.
I just wondered if you had any kind of comments as far as those types of impacts and someone also on the Resources Committee who would like to see that we can preserve that range for future activities and achievements, and if there are any areas or kinds of activities that you would like to see us move to try and help protect at UTTR?
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General JUMPER. Sir, let me just say that of the ranges that we use, the UTTR is certainly the king of the ranges; those and the Nellis ranges are the crown jewels of our training capacity in our United States Air Force. The edge that we have today in our United States Air Force is not all technology anymore because there are other systems, as we discussed earlier, that match the stuff that we have.
Our true edge is the training we give our pilots and our crews that make them absolutely, positively the best in the world. Everyone wants to be like us. Everybody wants to come and train like us and it is those ranges that give us that capacity.
We are less affected probably in the Air Force than the other services. And, so, we support anything we can do to make sure that while we are absolutely committed to be great custodians of the ranges that we use, that we do not give in to reinterpretation of old laws or statute that might be used to further inhibit our activity.
Now, the Secretary of Defense's range improvement initiatives and transformational initiatives have worked, helped us very much in this regard. At one point, just for an example, we were going to have to have a permit for each airplane that might strike a bird in the air. You would have to buy a permit for that aircraft.
Mr. BISHOP. That is known as a duck stamp.
General JUMPER. Yes, sir.
Page 101 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. BISHOP. We were goingWeldon recommended that we have a giant duck stamp on each fuselage so you could get your limit on a daily basis.
General JUMPER. Which then meant you could not go hunting.
Mr. BISHOP. But, the problem is you have to dress them out after that.
General JUMPER. Yes, sir. You had to find them and dress them out, yes, sir. And there is not much to find when you hit one at 500-knots, sir. I have had the pleasure of doing that before and it scares you, as well.
And there are occasions that our Army and Marine colleagues will tell you that when they are out in the field they are not allowed to dig the fox hole. They have to put the circle down on the ground where they would have dug the foxhole because of certain things. We have five biologists on the Goldwater Ranges outside of Luke Air Force Base in Arizona, five biologists that we hire to search the ranges visually for prong-horned sheep before we are allowed to clear airplanes on to the ranges.
All that weand we continue to want to be good custodians, but we ask in the UTTR and in the other ranges that we carefully monitor attempts to further squeeze down the ranges by reinterpretation of what is the species of animal; what is the sub-species of a piece of vegetation and does that really comply with the intent of the original law?
Boss, anything to add?
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Secretary ROCHE. It would be hard to, other than to say that we have some of our colleagues who suggest that if you are an endangered animal who moves into one of our ranges, we will take great care of you and all your little relatives. The other point that I would make is that I think our ranges are the envy of the world.
There is a reason why other air forces want to fly red flag, want to fly our ranges; because they are unique in the world. And they give our airmen a dramatic and imperative advantage to anybody else. Therefore, our sense is they are as intrinsic to our Air Force as would be any depot capability or R&D capability, because we get to do things and train bright young people to just do some magnificent things with the technology that they have. They are spectacular at using some of the old technology. They are going to be just dynamite with some of the new technology.
Mr. BISHOP. Thank you.
The CHAIRMAN. Rob, if you would yield for a minute on that point. Mr. Hanson put together a program, a plan for the Utah Test and Training Range. And the idea was to accommodate both those who wanted to see more wilderness in the United States and to accommodate training and that was to overlay that base with the wilderness designation that would allow planes to continue to operate and fly and yet would give a wilderness designation to a large part of the training range.
It looked to me like a great balance and whenI guess what it would do for the military is fix the ability to continue to train on that range for the future. It looked good. It did not make it through a conference. But, do I take it, General Jumper, that you had a chance to look at that plan and you liked the plan, I take it?
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General JUMPER. I had discussed it with the congressman and I will tell you that we think thatwe thought that that was the model we should go by for how to treat our ranges and achieve this balance that I talked about.
The CHAIRMAN. Okay. And, so why don't we work on that again this year and, you know, Jim Hanson is one of the wisest guys, best people that ever sat in a congressional chair on this committee, and why don't we see if we cannot work on that, Rob, this year. I think that makes some sense.
Incidentally, General, there is no such thing as a prong-horned sheep.
General JUMPER. It is an antelope, I know.
The CHAIRMAN. There is a big horned sheep and
General JUMPER. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN [continuing]. There is a prong-horned antelope.
General JUMPER. It is prong-horned antelope, I apologize sir.
The CHAIRMAN. But, I think that is why you guys have not found any of those out there, because there are not any.
Page 104 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General JUMPER. We got the wrong biologists.
Secretary ROCHE. We tried this morning to correct him about the antelope thing
General JUMPER. Yes. Yes.
Secretary ROCHE [continuing]. But, you know, he just sometimes is slow.
General JUMPER. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Skelton.
Mr. SKELTON. General, how many B52s does the United States Air Force have today?
General JUMPER. 76, sir.
Mr. SKELTON. How many B1s does the United States Air Force have today?
General JUMPER. 60, sir.
Mr. SKELTON. How many?
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General JUMPER. 63, I guess, 63, I am sorry.
Mr. SKELTON. And, how many
Secretary ROCHE. Going to 60.
General JUMPER. Going to 60.
Mr. SKELTON. And, how many B2s does the Air Force have?
General JUMPER. Twenty-one, sir.
Mr. SKELTON. There is a picture over on the far wall of a former member of Congress by the name of Carl Vinson who was in the Congress for over 50 years. He became chairman of the Naval Affairs Committee in 1931, and recognized the need to build up America's Navy fleet, realizing that by 1936 we would be the fourth great Navy power.
In 1934 he guided the passage of the Vinson-Trammel Act that provided for a 120-ship Navy, 92 of which were actually built. Were it not for his actions, we would have been in a far, far more difficult naval situation during the Second World War.
Now, our chairman, Duncan Hunter, has realized, both publicly and privately, the need to increase our bomber fleet. And, yet, I find no recommendation anywhere this year or in previous years for an increase in the United States Air Force bomber fleet. And, I commend our chairman for that.
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But, conflicts do happen. Accidents do happen. A small bomber fleetand you will have to admit that it iscannot grow unless you recommend it and we pass it. And, it may very well be that under the chairmanship of our leader Duncan Hunter on this committee, we may have to forge ahead like Carl Vinson did. But, it would certainly help if you and your capacities would make recommendations and assist us in that effort. This is not a question.
This is a request that you give serious consideration to this, for the world is very uncertain and even the immediate days ahead of us are uncertain and the years ahead are uncertain. And, as Carl Vinson said, the most expensive in the world is a cheap Army and Navy. Let me paraphrase that. The most expensive thing in the world is a cheap Army, Navy and Air Force. So, consequently, we would direct your attention to that and to the chairman of this committee, as well as to the rest of us. Thank you.
General JUMPER. Yes, sir. I understand.
Secretary ROCHE. Mr. Skelton, if I may, in our dialogue, something like the FA22 is a magnificent bomber. Mike Ryan and I and John early on tried to think, are we using words that are not conveying what we really ought to? Should we be talking about strike aircraft, long-range strike aircraft or shorter-range strike aircraft?
Most all of our aircraft require tanks. And, as John was talking earlier, the way our Army wants to fight is in a distributed manner. When we think of bomber, we do think of the FA22 as part of the bomber force. We think of the F15E as part of the bomber force.
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The long-range bombers we recognize, with standoff weapons, can hold us for awhile, but in time we want to start to think about something that may be very novel. So that, for instance, Sergeant Yoshida might be forward in enemy territory and he can digitally call upon a very large object that may or may not be piloted in the plane, but remotely piloted, and call for a particular weapon on a particular target at a particular time. The notion of being able to strike at great distance is a combination of systems, and we do take seriously your thoughts on this.
General JUMPER. If I may, sir. I think we are trying to be responsible on this point. I have deliberately named the next generation the next generation of long-range strike technology, so that it does not prejudice an answer of what that thing might be. And it will include things that might be in orbit or in a through space to be able to deal with the most difficult problems we have right now. The most difficult problem we have right now, as you know sir, is hard and deeply buried targets.
And, as we look at the bomber fleet we have today, especially as we plus-up 80 JDAM weapons on each B2, our capability against fixed target sets, which is thefor which the bomber is uniquely capable right now, goes up many, many fold, especially when you add the standoff capability with the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM) weapon and the B1 and the great carrying capability of the B52.
So, it may be that wewe will come to you with something. The question is, what is that going to be and that is what I am diligently trying to find out. What is the right thing for us to ask for? And, sir, this is on our plate and we hear you.
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The CHAIRMAN. If the gentleman will yield, I think theI want to thank the distinguished ranking member for bringing up a really, really important aspect of theof our fighting forces. You know, we have sat here for many, many years listening to people talk about concepts that may or may not work in the future. That is a great thing when it truly is deep thinking, creative thinking that is going to lead to a new capability in the future.
It is bad, however, if it is a substitute for what I would call action now. Now, we talked and dreamed about the new systems that we are hopefully going to develop in F22 and Joint Strike Fighter and other things, as we were putting together our purchase list for fighter aircraft, tactical aircraft, over the last 15 years. And, basically, the discussion of something in the future became a substitute for real aircraft.
So now, Mr. Secretary, you sit before us and talk to us about these aircraft with unretrievable corrosive problems, airplanesI think, General Jumper, you just did a press thing about planes that are unprecedented aged, what, 23 years average age on the line now? And, yet, if you look at the Joint Strike Fighter, for example, that baby is not coming on line until what, 2010?
General JUMPER. Earliest.
The CHAIRMAN. So, the people over the last ten years, the acquisition folks, and probably necessarily sobecause the administration during the 1990s basically attended to lots of other needs, and what they had left over they allowed that for the military and it was not enough to do the job. And we lived on the Reagan era.
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We all know that. But, it does not make awhen you look at this extremely small present day bomber force of 21 B2s, 76 B52s, and 63 B1s, you know, Sam Johnson, our esteemed colleague that was a prisoner of war (POW) in Vietnam, and I believe in 73, talked about looking out through his prison cell in North Vietnam and watching a B52 explode in midair as it was hit by a Surface-to-Air-Missile (SAM) missile.
So, we are fielding systems today, where the largest portion of our bomber fleet, the youngest of which I think came off the line in June of 1962, was destroyedwere destroyed at fairly good numbers by a third world military 30 years ago. That is sad.
The idea that that is all we have today is a tragedy. And the fact that you are thinking about some new stuff to replace it is not a substitute. We ought to have good stuff today and we ought to have lots of it and we ought to have robust deep strike capability today and we will let you have that stuff and we should have that and be able to think about things in the future.
But, thinking about things in the future is not a substitute for equipment now. You know, in 1950 we had the ultimate black box. We had a nuclear weapon, we thought nobody would mess with us. And we were thinking about lots of new things. We are entering this great new age and we had lots of people appear before the Armed Services Committee and talk about the leaner, meaner military with lots of new technology on the horizon.
But, people did mess with us. They came down the peninsula. Our bazookas bounced off the Russian made tanks because we did not have a good bazooka because we were thinking about stuff in the future. And we lost 50,000 killed in action (KIA). In fact, I think they captured the division commander when we rushed the 25th infantry division out of Japan. This is a tiny force, General.
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We used to turn a bomber an hour off the production line in San Diego, California, World War II. You could build the entire B2 line in a day and have three hours left over. Now, you got 76 B52s, the B1s. The one thing you have mentioned, Mr. Secretary, was that the survivors of this cut that we made, the 63 B1 survivors, are now at a fairly high mission capable rate. Is that right?
Secretary ROCHE. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Now, what that tells us is that the 30 or 32 that you cut were not defective airplanes. It was not a bad design. It has limitations, but nonetheless, it is an effective long-range bomber. You cut them for money reasons.
Secretary ROCHE. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. So, if you had your druthers and you had the money, you would like to have them, wouldn't you?
Secretary ROCHE. Mr. Chairman, if I had my druthers I would like to go back to the era of the B47, where we produced the single largest number of any type of aircraft we ever produced and the entire lifespan occurred in less than 25 years, from birth to retirement, because new technology was coming along and new technology was put into the field. We would love to be able to do this.
The CHAIRMAN. Let me ask you this question, what size bomber force, if you had your druthers and you had the money, would you like to have today?
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Secretary ROCHE. You may not like my answer, my answer is what types of targets and how many of those targets can I get at one time, which is a combination of distributed power and against fixed point
The CHAIRMAN. Well, I am not going to let you make the answer complex, because what I am going to give you is the world as you see it. You have got a world today that has some complex problems and what it tells you is you need to have broad capability as the head of the Air Force
Secretary ROCHE. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN [continuing]. And General Jumper needs it. So, looking at the world as you see it today, and you got a lot of deep strike requirements that may percolate real quickly. How many bombers would you like to have?
Secretary ROCHE. It isI would have to give you Abraham Lincoln's answer. How long should a man's legs be until they reach the ground? I know when looking at the plans for a possible contingency we may face that the bombers we have are more than sufficient. What we do not have are things that can go and catch mobiles.
The CHAIRMAN. Well, here is what I would like to ask you. Looking at the world as you see it today, you are getting all the briefings. You know where the world is. It has not grown, has not changed any in terms of the size and shape. The targets have changed. How many bombers would you like to have today?
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Secretary ROCHE. In the hypothetical that you ask me
The CHAIRMAN. No, I am not asking you hypothetical. I am asking you to just look at the real world as itnot as youas someone might describe it in a hypothetical, but as it exists, as the world situation exists, with the Korean situation percolating as it is, with the Iraq situation as it is today and other possible contingencies, and you were asked to go out and size a bomber force that met what youwill make you feel extremely comfortable. How many bombers would you like to have?
Secretary ROCHE. I will go ahead and leap into it.
The CHAIRMAN. Okay.
Secretary ROCHE. My definition of bombers, strike systems, I would like to have the 21 B2s we currently have. I would like to have 60 of the B1s with the JASSM extended range on board. I would like to have the chance to build the FB22, which has dramatic rangealmost as much as the B2that also can defend itself, that has advances in stealth. I would like to have 381, minimum, FA22s; minimum of 150 FB22s; and then I would like to get to the next generation.
The CHAIRMAN. Now, how many FB22s?
Secretary ROCHE. I would like about 150.
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The CHAIRMAN. Okay. Now, the FB
Secretary ROCHE. But, Mr. Chairman, if I were to do that, I do not know what else we would not do.
The CHAIRMAN. Well, I am not asking you that question, Mr. Secretary. I am asking you, based on requirements, based on threat, based on assessment of the equipment.
Secretary ROCHE. In my sense of the future, now taking your question very seriously, and
The CHAIRMAN. No, I am not asking you to look at the future. I am asking you to tell us what you would like to have to face today. If you had a shelf that you could pick systems off of today to build a bomber inventory, we know what you have got because you told Mr. Skelton, you got the 63, the 76 and 21.
Secretary ROCHE. I would stand by what I said, sir. I would like to have at least 381 FA22s, because they are bombers.
The CHAIRMAN. How many?
Secretary ROCHE. At least 381. And I would like to have 150, minimum, FB22s, which in fact are the modern version of the F111 which was a tremendous bomber.
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The CHAIRMAN. Okay. And you would take theand, on top of the additional force that you have today.
Secretary ROCHE. Right.
The CHAIRMAN. Okay.
Secretary ROCHE. And, I would like to continue with the standoff weapons, which are coming very quickly.
The CHAIRMAN. Okay.
Secretary ROCHE. Remember, the B52 is a standoff launch and
The CHAIRMAN. Okay. But, now what that tells me is this, Mr. Secretary. That you would like to have those in inventory ready to go. That 150 FB22s, basically, is the bomber version
Secretary ROCHE. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN [continuing]. The stretch version, if you will, of the F22. It is what some people call the B2-Light. Okay?
Page 115 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Secretary ROCHE. Right.
The CHAIRMAN. It does not go quite as far without refueling; it does not carry quite as much, but it doesit has got other aspects that are nice, right? That means that you do not have enough long-range bomber strike capability today because you want to have more.
Secretary ROCHE. Absolutely, because we all know this is an insurance policy.
The CHAIRMAN. Okay.
Secretary ROCHE. And, you gave me the opportunity to say what insurance policy I would love to be able to leave behind when my tenure is over? But, I also know there is not the treasury to produce it right now.
The CHAIRMAN. Well, yes, we understand that. And that is our fault. I mean, and that isbut, you are the guy that is supposed to lay out what you think the tools are, what tools are required to meet the particular challenge of the day. And you see the challenge, as well, as all the rest of us.
Secretary ROCHE. And, I also see the challenge of my boss who has to balance an under-capitalized Navy, Army, Marines Corps and I feel for this guy. How the heck do you make these trades when there has not been the recapitalization for 15 years?
Page 116 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The CHAIRMAN. Yes. Let me ask you a couple of questions, about this recapitalization. One thing that you and General Jumper expressed consternation with was the ability to get these doggone systems down the line and acquire them. And, you know, I mean there is probably no greater illustration of that as when I was out at the Pax River and I saw one of the competitors for the Joint Strike Fighter and said, ''There it is.''
They had a fly off or when are we going to have the first fielded wings of these babies? And you are looking at 2010. And you say, why can't you just say, you know, the ones we flew, make more of them, right, and put them on the line. And then they explain to you about the time that it takes to go down through thethrough all of the testing and the development and finally the fielding.
We have a massive bureaucracy that does this for us. Now, you also mentioned that you got some third world nations where people literally are eating the bark off the trees and have produced superior fighter aircraft to what we have. Now, what that tells me is, with limited resources, without the people, perhaps, without the technology, without the money, they beat us. And they get stuff built fairly quickly.
Secretary ROCHE. Here in the United States.
The CHAIRMAN. No, I am talking about the SU
Secretary ROCHE. The SU.
The CHAIRMAN [continuing]. 23. That is not built in the United States.
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Secretary ROCHE. The others that are built in the United States that are delivering in less than 4 years or 6 years compared to our 20.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes. Do you think we could cut thewhen we talk about the amount of time it is going to take to field stuff like the Joint Strike Fighter and even the F22, which took a long time, do you think that is attributable to the speed of technology, the technical complexity of these systems today, or the speed of bureaucracy?
Secretary ROCHE. It is a combination, I believeand I will ask John to commentthat in some cases we ask too much right off the bat because we are pressing technology. And then we are not willing to say it is okay. We will not take that, we will take
The CHAIRMAN. You will not take the 80 percent solution.
General JUMPER. Right.
Secretary ROCHE. Exactly. The second thing is, it is my belief, and I do not want to criticize anybody but ourselves, our own Air Force bureaucracy. We call it sometimes acquisition tyranny. Now, all the top leadersGeneral Lyles, Marv Samburall recognize we take too long. We have too many people involved in things.
We went out and found that the test program for the FA22, between the test program and the System Program Office (SPO) and the companies wasI do not want to use the word typical of sailors, an expression I would typically useit was not as tidy as it ought to be, as my boss might say.
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The CHAIRMAN. You know, Gordon England pointed out one time when we were making on F16, a week at Dallas Fort Worth, we had something like 1,100 Air Force personnel assigned to that program to watch these 53-year old, on the average, workers, who have been making F16s for a long time, make them at Dallas Forth Worth. Over 1,100 personnel watched them make one F16 a week.
Now, I remember talking to Jack Wilson, when I was a freshman, and Dave McCurdy and I were going to try to fix the procurement system in a week. And, so we got thethe chairman let us go around the country and talk to these guys. Now, Wilson in Boeing told us this, he said
Secretary ROCHE. T. Wilson.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes, T. Wilson. He said, I am going to be delivering some planes for such and such an airline. He said, they are going to be under cost, ahead of schedule. He said, while I was building these, I had precisely one rep from the airline in my plant.
He said, I am making these planes for the Air Force and I have got something like 250 Air Force personnel. He said, all they do is pull my engineers off the floor, force them to brief them for hours on end. And, he said, these planes are going to cost 30 percent more than they should cost. He said that is the problem.
Now, you know, I want you to give me, after you leave this place, a summary of the number of personnel you have got dedicated to the F22 program and how many people you got looking over folks' shoulders. And, also, in a positive way, see if there is not a way that we can accelerate the process for Joint Strike Fighter. Don't you think there is?
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Secretary ROCHE. Yes, sir. And, by the way
The CHAIRMAN. Well, if you are not going to do it, whose going to do it?
Secretary ROCHE. We are going to do it until we are fired. At least that is the old joke of the farmer who won the lottery. I mean we are sort of sitting here both restraining about coming over the table and yes, you know, the joke of the farmer who won the lottery and someone said what are you going to do?
Well, we are going to keep on farming until we go broke. We absolutely agree. We are looking at this ourselves. And in the FA22 we are asking our own people. We are getting our own bureaucracy fighting us. If we cannot master it, then it is hard for us to criticize others.
The CHAIRMAN. Okay. Let me give youwait a minute, let me give you one suggestion and this is what I have discovered after all these years. If you ask your system to come up with a streamlined bureaucracy for the F22, and let's say you have got 3,000 people doing it, they are going to come up with a great report to you, Mr. Secretary. It will be very well written. It will have a job for all 3,000 of them. If you arbitrarily jettison about 1,500 of those people and you tell the remaining 1,500 they better find a way to manage this program and be home in time to watch the ballgame, they will figure it out.
Secretary ROCHE. Right.
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The CHAIRMAN. And, that is how you will get creativity. You will never find a bureaucracy that will design away its own job. So, now what that says, that goes to, ultimately, is you may have to do what the Secretary is doing, which is put some mandates down.
Boy, he has put down mandates to take out certain percentages of his staff, of his DOD departments. He says we do not need to have all 100 percent of the folks that are in this office. We can do with 75 or 50 percent. Have you done any of those arbitrary cuts?
Secretary ROCHE. We have, especially in the test program and the SPO and the FA22. We also took a good leader, who is not a quote, ''acquisition'' person, but a leader and a pilot and put him in charge of those and tell him to drive on the system, to drive towards schedule. The thing that we would love to get back to is where there is a customer, people are going to fight in war. There is a supplier who is going to build something and there is a steady stream of funding, a steady stream of funding you can help. If we can get a customer, a supplier and a steady stream of funding and get the damn bureaucraciesexcuse methe darn bureaucracies out of the way, and stop stopping things to check.
When I was in a company and we were doing the wings, not the wings, but the fuselage for the 747, we would have a Boeing inspector come down once every six months, a, Boeing inspector. At the same time the B2 had a building full of people. Now, when I ran Baltimore, the old Westinghouse Electronics north of Grumman Electronics, I had a nice group of people; they were very nice, but increasingly I kept saying why are there so many of you?
Page 121 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The CHAIRMAN. Well, then my questionyou know, I was going to write an op-ed piece the other day about why Congress should not do certain things with defense. And then I stopped and said, wait a minute, you are Congress, at least you are part of it. So, we are going to try to do some things.
Secretary ROCHE. So, are we.
The CHAIRMAN. Not just recommend things to be done. I think you have got enough discretion, enough authority to actually, in your own shop, to make some fairly massive cuts in your bureaucracy, and when we did this shopper analysis, that is just on the people that do the paperwork to buy our systems, I believe. As I recall, the Army that year was buying about $8.7 billion worth of procurement.
The payroll for their shoppers, not metal benders, not guys designing the planes, but just the guys doing the paperwork was like $2.7 billion. That meant every time the Army bought a $10 million helicopter, they paid $3 million to the shopper that went down to sign all the paperwork to buy it, which is an incredible cost.
There are 300,000 professional shoppers in DOD in 1994. It is down some now. But, a lot of those are your people. And, I would suspect that the only way you are going toit would come down, I think, to a little under 200,000, but some of those have been replaced by consultants. I would recommend, you might actually be able to accelerate the progress of the F22 and Joint Strike Fighter and your other systems by arbitrarily reducing your own bureaucracy.
Page 122 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And I think you have the authority to do it. So, like me, when I was getting ready to write the op-ed to myself to tell me what Congress ought to be doing, right? Maybe you should take that budget pen and cut that bureaucracy back. Now, what that will do is, the folks that are remaining in that ten-man office who now are a five-man office, they will figure out how to get the job done with five.
Secretary ROCHE. Let me give you an example of how right you are. John had a staff and I had a staff. And we said well, if we can work closely together, why do we have two staffs? We do not
The CHAIRMAN. Good.
Secretary ROCHE. We have one staff now. And we do not need to duplicate it.
General JUMPER. Let me just add, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. Good, but I hope you take that symbolism and apply it to your entire shop and eliminate 50 percent of the bureaucracy.
Secretary ROCHE. We would like to. We would want to start at the top so people cannot say, ''Do what we say, not what we do.'' We are trying to say, ''We have done it, now why can't you do it?''
General JUMPER. And, nobody is sitting back waiting for a briefing, Mr. Chairman. We are out there. We went together and addressed the factory workers on the floor at Marietta who were building the FA22 directly. Over the heads of the company leadership, and talked to them directly about how important their project is. We have been out there to the test. We have gone through all of those things and we redesigned the test. And, we streamlined the processes and the people who were doing it. So, some of this is
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The CHAIRMAN. Well, now that is good, General. But, General, when you walk away from that plant, if you end up with theif you have 100 people assigned to the plant, I do not know how many you got. If T. Wilson is right, they are all going to come out the day after you leave with your eloquent speech about moving ahead, and each one of them is going to want to have a briefing from all the engineers on what they did that day and they are going to slow stuff down.
So, I would like to have from you, Mr. Secretary, a synopsis as to how many folks you got dedicated to these programs, how many uniformed guys are watching this process and maybe if we can speed this process up, we can make a case for getting some more dollars in there.
Secretary ROCHE. Well, I would be delighted to cooperate with that, sir. And, if we could go one step further. If we can make our part of it work faster, maybe some of the other bureaucracies that get in and ask the 5,000 questions that require us to have 500 people to answer the 5,000 questions, maybe we could work on them. Our belief is
The CHAIRMAN. Exactly. And, that includes us.
Secretary ROCHE [continuing]. Start in our own house.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes.
Secretary ROCHE. We want to start in our own house, and we are trying to make some progress.
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The CHAIRMAN. But, listen, let me make a recommendation. Do not just start because things take a long time and you will be leaving. I will be leaving and, we will be halfway through starting.
Secretary ROCHE. Yes, they are waiting for me
The CHAIRMAN. Why don't we just make some arbitrary cuts. That is the only way you are going to get it done. If you ask them to justify their own demise, a bureaucracy will never do that. They will define a job for each and every one of them; that is the way we are. That is what congressmen do. We do that all the time. We never define ourselves out of a job.
But, let me ask you another question. Is the Su37 an item of some concern? The Russians have transferred some of the production capability to the Chinese, have they not?
General JUMPER. Yes, sir.
Secretary ROCHE. They transferred the airplane. I do not know if they have transferred the production capability.
General JUMPER. Not so muchand it is not so much the Su37, but it is the modelsthe two models before the Su37 that the Chinese are actually getting.
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The CHAIRMAN. What is that called?
General JUMPER. The Su31.
The CHAIRMAN. If you compared Su31 to F16, where is it better?
General JUMPER. They have gotthe Russian airplane has longer-range missiles and is more maneuverable.
The CHAIRMAN. But, if you compared the 31 to the F16, F15, where is it? If Su37 is superior, where is the 31?
General JUMPER. It is equal to the F16 and the F15.
The CHAIRMAN. Okay. How many are the Chinese building, do you know?
General JUMPER. Sir, the answer is hundreds and I cannotlet me get back to you.
The CHAIRMAN. Okay.
General JUMPER. And, the service
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The CHAIRMAN. What is the productionis Russia building the Su37 in some numbers itself?
General JUMPER. It is not producing them. It has built it. It has flown it. And it is on the market. But, they have not actually sold any yet to my knowledge.
The CHAIRMAN. But, have they produced any Su37s for their own use? Is the Su37 a fielded aircraft?
General JUMPER. No, sir, but it is flying and it is for sale, but nobody has purchased it yet. And the Russians have not purchased any themselves. They just build it. It is on the
The CHAIRMAN. So, they just have a few prototypes?
General JUMPER. They have got, yes, sir, just a few airplanes of the 37.
The CHAIRMAN. Okay.
Secretary ROCHE. Was it Su35? What is the one that is in India and China that is also quite advanced?
General JUMPER. 35s, 31s and 27s are also quite advanced. We have experience against some of these.
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The CHAIRMAN. Okay. Has the 35 been produced in Russia in some numbers?
General JUMPER. Sir, let me get back to you on what is the answer
Secretary ROCHE. There are foreign sales of them and, in some cases, the electronics are much better than in other cases, depending on to whom they sell them.
The CHAIRMAN. I understand. But, what I am trying to ascertain is whether there is a one Russian industrial based producing fighter aircraft today.
General JUMPER. And, the answer is yes.
The CHAIRMAN. Okay. And, you do not know how many? If you get back with us.
Secretary ROCHE. We can find out and get back to you.
The CHAIRMAN. Okay. Well, that is kind of an important aspect of this. You know, one other thing we are concerned about here is we are spending a ton of money on taking down Russian weapon systems and we are doing that, not only with the warheads on the nukes, and the disassembling, but we are also going to be taking their gas plants, chemical plants, which they have an obligation under treaties to take down.
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They now want the Americans to pay for it. And, one thing we are concerned about on this committee is, while we are paying for it and it is costing cash moneywe just spent 100 million bucks building a plant to neutralize rocket fuel and found out all the rocket fuel had been diverted to the space program.
So, we got a $100 million white elephant out there. But, while we are doing that, they are taking their cash money and building weapons. So, it is kind of a dicey game as to how much cash you save somebody who is still building some weapon systems. And, presumably, selling these things. So, I would like to, if you can get that, get the production numbers, that will be good.
Tankers, if you look at your tanker numbers, have we got enough to run a robust deep strike with the systems that we have got?
Secretary ROCHE. Yes.
General JUMPER. Under the contingencies today, yes. The load of the Rs the distances our aircraft go, yes. When we have to have a lot of aircraft distributed over an area, you know, we work them pretty hard, but we are okay now. Our concern is a couple of years from now. We are fine right now. But, if we have a glass problem on the 135 aircraft type, then we are in deep trouble, because we only have 49 KC10s.
The CHAIRMAN. Okay. How many tankers do we have? Do you know?
Page 129 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General JUMPER. Sir, it is roughly 600. And, it is roughly 540 and 59 KC10s.
The CHAIRMAN. Okay.
General JUMPER. But, 600
The CHAIRMAN. We are the only nation in the world with fairly robust tanker capabilities.
General JUMPER. Absolutely.
Secretary ROCHE. Absolutely. And, our new aircraft, because of internal carriage, will, in fact, go longer and require less tanking, which will make it more efficient. Increasingly, the concept of how you tank is becoming very interesting. KC10s have paid off dramatically because they, themselves can refuel. So, that you can consolidate fuel on one aircraft and keep it up for a long time to supply a lot of the other aircraft.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Gingrey, and then I will have the ranking member ask the last question here.
Dr. GINGREY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Secretary and General Jumper, first of all I want to thank you for coming to my district at Dobbins Air Reserve Base at the invitation of General Cain and Lockheed back in December. You guys scared us so much that three days later I had to have open-heart surgery. But, I survived that. Well, I have got a couple of questions for you that really pertain, of course, to what is going on. They are in my district and at Lockheed Martin in particular.
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The F22, of course, is being assembled in our district, the 11th of Georgia. The status of this program is obviously of critical importance to me. Can you please provide me with the most recent update on this critical weapons system? And, furthermore, can each of you please speak to the role of the F22, or FA22 will play in the United States Air Force over the next decade? In particular, how do you see the development and eventual fielding of the Joint Strike Fighter interacting with the FA22 program?
Secretary ROCHE. In the three hours it will take us to answer this question, sir, very briefly, the FA22 gives us a dramatic ground capability deep and, also retains its very, very great air-to-air capability, which increasingly would be devoted to cruise missiles. It was meant to fly very high and to fly deep. The F35 is meant to fly much lower, also very stealthy, single engine, a very good set of electronics. But, to operate closer to targets than the 22 was. But, enough standoff exists with the 22, enough capability in an advanced radar for it, that it will be very good as a compliment. These will be complimentary systems.
In terms of where we are in the program, I will give my points and ask John all the key parameters we have met. It is stealthier than we want it to be. The engine, super cruise is greater than its spec. The radar performance is better than its spec.
As an airplane it is terrific. We are now trying to bring together all of these complex systems and integrate them and go into test and you always have difficulty at this stage. And it was part of the program that was not properly funded for in the past. We have fessed up. We have been funding it correctly.
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We are not asking people for 50/50 bets on it. We are saying what is an 80 percent chance of success if we have the right amount of money. And, we believe that we can devote this next year or so to making this plane something you would be proud of and get it to a steady production rate. We can then drive down its cost.
Dr. GINGREY. And, my last question, if I might, Mr. Chairman. In this regard, the C130J upgrades, the multi-year contract is what my question is, you know, where are we? When will the comptroller finish work on that multi-year C130J contract and when can we expect to have that information presented to the contractor?
Secretary ROCHE. I think it is very shortly. The issue had to do with the Marine Corps' participation in the contract and my last check on it was last week. And, in fact, it looks like we can go forward. So, I would expect, you know, that Secretary Zakhiem will wrap it up here shortly.
Dr. GINGREY. Right. That is good news to me. Thank you very much.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman.
And, the distinguished gentleman from Missouri?
Mr. SKELTON. I will not belabor the point, but you gentlemen know of my deep interest in the small dynameter bomb for the B2. Could you see to it that in the next couple three weeks I could get a briefing on the status of that and also, I would ask what efforts, if any, are being made to make that compatible with some weapon platforms in the Navy? Thank you.
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Secretary ROCHE. Be glad to, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Okay. I thank the gentleman. Let me ask you just one or two more questions and we are going to let you get out of here. But, the
Secretary ROCHE. I was going to fly to the Air Force Academy afterwards, so you can keep me all day if you want.
The CHAIRMAN. The FB22, the stretch versionwhat kind of range will we have?
Secretary ROCHE. It depends on whether you have a single seat or a double seat. When we looked at it we thought a double seat was worth it. I think I am in the unclassified realmwhereas the B2 is roughly something over 2,000, below 2,200 miles unrefueled, the FB22 could easily be 1,800 or 1,600. If it had 2 souls on board, it would be closer to 1,600. That just opens up a dramatic number of options.
The CHAIRMAN. F22what kind of general range are we looking at?
Secretary ROCHE. A range of something in excess of 600 miles, it is actually a much longer range than people realize.
The CHAIRMAN. Okay.
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Secretary ROCHE. About the same as the F35.
The CHAIRMAN. The F18 today, where is it at? Do you know generally? Maybe F16 would be even better.
Secretary ROCHE. We are going to talk with weapons.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes.
Secretary ROCHE. That is how this game gets played.
The CHAIRMAN. We do not expect you to go unarmed. The good news was you arrived early, but the bad news was you had no bullets.
Secretary ROCHE. The big difference, as you know, chairman, is if you have a stealthy airplane with armament, it flies the same as without. Whereas a typical aircraft like the F16 clean may have a great range, with weapons on it it is around 150 to
General JUMPER. 250
The CHAIRMAN. Okay. Now, let's walk this up. F15, F16, around 250 armed.
Page 134 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Secretary ROCHE. No, I do not think it is 250, I think it would be in the 100s
The CHAIRMAN. 150?
Secretary ROCHE [continuing]. For the 15.
General JUMPER. Right.
Secretary ROCHE. Armed, but all that is rational.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes, maybe 150 armed. Okay.
Secretary ROCHE. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. So, maybe you go from 150. The F22 takes you up to what?
Secretary ROCHE. 600.
The CHAIRMAN. 600. So, if you have a factor of four FB22 it would take you to what?
Secretary ROCHE. 2, with 2 pilots, 1,600.
Page 135 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The CHAIRMAN. 1,600. That is big. Now, the Navy talked to us about the fact that they had to get four refuelings in some of these aircraft, presumably FA18s in the Afghan theater. You guys had trouble getting into that theater early with tactical air (TACAIR), right? Because of the 150-mile range, is that right?
General JUMPER. Actually, sir, we had the ability to go in there. We chose not to because we had plenty of firepower from other places. And, as a matter of fact, we have airplanes on the ground there now.
The CHAIRMAN. Well, I know you got them now. But, I thought you had troublethe article said you had trouble getting into theater early on. And you had a little fuss when the Navy wanted some of your JDAMs because they were getting in?
General JUMPER. Sir, there was no fuss.
Secretary ROCHE. No fuss. No fuss.
General JUMPER. We traded back and forth transparently on the weapons. And maybe initially we had problems getting in there, but we
The CHAIRMAN. Okay.
General JUMPER [continuing]. Were able to get in.
The CHAIRMAN. Okay. But, nonetheless, that is extra range, so, if you do not look at the separation between bombers and fighters as a brick wall, but rather this is a continuum of the extra range that you get from going from 150, going up to 600 and then going from 600 to 1,600 is pretty dramatic.
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Secretary ROCHE. It is. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. And, it is a species of deep strike capability?
Secretary ROCHE. Right. And, as you go up in range, of course, you give up, say, Gs on the wing, but you still retain the self defense. I mean the beauty of the FA22 as we have envisioned it is that you really do get an honest range that is dramatically better than a 15 or 16 with stealth, with super cruise, but it depends on the profile you would fly.
The CHAIRMAN. Now, what is the next plane out the door for F22 and it is going to cost how much?
Secretary ROCHE. Right now, the marginal costand Johnny had it the other dayI think $124 million is the marginal cost for the planes coming up this year in current year dollars.
General JUMPER. We were trying to get to $111
Secretary ROCHE. $111 was our goal.
General JUMPER [continuing]. It came in right at $120, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Okay. When could you have
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Secretary ROCHE. Studies about how many there were going to beraised their prices.
The CHAIRMAN. When could you have F22B fielded?
Secretary ROCHE. We believe, but it is a first
The CHAIRMAN. FB22.
Secretary ROCHE [continuing]. Seven years after we start with an NRE investment, you could have an FB22 flying. I think it is 4.5 years to 5 years before our first flight, because everything we do on the FA22, Mr. Chairman, all the avionics, all the integration, moves over one for one. The thing that changes is the size of the wing, weapons base, and how you then control the weapons onboard.
The CHAIRMAN. Okay. So, you are looking at
Secretary ROCHE. Bigger
The CHAIRMAN [continuing]. A fielding a substantial number of FB22s, if you started now, when?
Secretary ROCHE. The first pass would beI think in honest, if we could do this in a sensible way, we could have a bunch of them starting to roll off in seven years. And then start cranking out. We would probablywe would have to debate where they would be built, but we could move. Remember that it is a program on the FA22 is one-third Boeing, two-thirds Lockheed.
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We would work something out with the suppliers. But, you would also be able to buy in numbers. It is the stability of a program. Mr. Chairman, if we begged for anything, it would be to give us a chance to get programs stable instead of one study after another study. I was a supplier, Mr. Chairman, to this plane, the FA22.
Every time I picked up a paper and someone was doing a study of how many F22s there were going to be, I pulled back my investment. I thought about raising prices because I could not trust anyone. Whereas, the foreign acquisitions I am talking about, they buy a block of airplanes for this price and you produce them.
The CHAIRMAN. The B2 bomber, is that range classified?
Secretary ROCHE. No, sir, as I said, it is roughly 2,200 miles.
The CHAIRMAN. Okay. Weapons carriage?
Secretary ROCHE. You have two rotary launchers, which right now carry 16 JDAMs. If you go to the 500-pound JDAM you are talking in terms of 80. If you were to go to small diameter bombs, you are up over 300. And, then the concern is not how many weapons are on board, it is how much time the doors are open.
The CHAIRMAN. How far away are we from the 500s?
Secretary ROCHE. 500 is
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The CHAIRMAN. Fielded.
Secretary ROCHE [continuing]. Been tested or is about to be tested. It has been tested. Fielding it is a kit. Once it is through the test, I would think by next year we should start to have the first one.
General JUMPER. The pacing item is actually the rack that you put the 80 bombs on. And I think we are still two years away from being able to deliver that rack, sir.
Secretary ROCHE. I think we have been pressingyou have helped me press faster and I think we are going to have our test of a rack simulating 80, dropping some, in this calendar year or early next year.
The CHAIRMAN. Now, the smaller, the so-called smaller diameter, How much is that going to weigh?
General JUMPER. 250.
The CHAIRMAN. That is about a 250.
Secretary ROCHE. With a glide. So, it has a little standoff.
The CHAIRMAN. 60 miles?
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General JUMPER. And wings?
Secretary ROCHE. About
General JUMPER. With the super cruise configuration, about 40 to 50 miles.
The CHAIRMAN. Okay. Well, now I was talking about B2.
Secretary ROCHE. Say 20 to 30.
The CHAIRMAN. B2 at super cruise.
Secretary ROCHE. No, no, the B2 cannot super cruise.
The CHAIRMAN. No. General Jumper was asked to destroy those blueprints, right?
General JUMPER. Yes, sir.
Secretary ROCHE. Well, now it is a design
The CHAIRMAN. I know. But, anyway, the 250 on the B2 would give ityou would carry, how many, 300?
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Secretary ROCHE. Over 300320 to 360, depending on how many spots you stuff them in.
The CHAIRMAN. Have you figured you would be able to take out a majority of targets that are presently taking the big JDAMs with the 250s?
Secretary ROCHE. We have a good sense that a 500-pound JDAM covers an awful lot of the targets we use a 2,000 pound JDAM for, because accuracy turns out to be more important than boom, explosive power, especially in buildings that are made of thick walls of mud and concrete.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes.
Secretary ROCHE. The 250, we want to be exquisitely accurate, and then there is a bunch of the 250s, which will be the weapon of choice against movers. That is why it and the FA22 could be so successful deep either with external cueing or in responding to Sergeant Yoshida who gives us three hits on something that moves. It is then dead.
The CHAIRMAN. Okay. Okay. Ike, do you have any more questions on the 500?
Okay, well, gentlemen, thank you very much for your presentation today. You have got a lot of operational challenges ahead of you and I almost feel guilty taking as much time as we do to scrub these systems.
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But, I think the members of the committee had a good give-and-take and got a good sense of where you are going on your programmatic issues and operationaland this issue in Colorado, too, with the academy is very important to a lot of members. Thanks for your service to the country and the hearing is adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 1:00 p.m., the subcommittee was adjourned.]