SPEAKERS CONTENTS INSERTS
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[H.A.S.C. No. 1094]
NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT
FOR FISCAL YEAR 2006H.R. 1815
OVERSIGHT OF PREVIOUSLY AUTHORIZED PROGRAMS
COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED NINTH CONGRESS
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TITLE IIIOPERATION AND MAINTENANCE
DIVISION BMILITARY CONSTRUCTION AUTHORIZATIONS
MARCH 3, 15, and APRIL 6, 2005
JOEL HEFLEY, Colorado, Chairman
JOHN N. HOSTETTLER, Indiana
WALTER B. JONES, North Carolina
JIM RYUN, Kansas
J. RANDY FORBES, Virginia
JEFF MILLER, Florida
MIKE ROGERS, Alabama
JOE SCHWARZ, Michigan
CATHY McMORRIS, Washington
JOHN M. McHUGH, New York
Page 3 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCHOWARD P. ''BUCK'' McKEON, California
ROBIN HAYES, North Carolina
ROB SIMMONS, Connecticut
JEB BRADLEY, New Hampshire
CANDICE MILLER, Michigan
TRENT FRANKS, Arizona
SOLOMON P. ORTIZ, Texas
LANE EVANS, Illinois
GENE TAYLOR, Mississippi
NEIL ABERCROMBIE, Hawaii
SILVESTRE REYES, Texas
VIC SNYDER, Arkansas
ROBERT A. BRADY, Pennsylvania
SUSAN A. DAVIS, California
JIM MARSHALL, Georgia
KENDRICK B. MEEK, Florida
MADELEINE Z. BORDALLO, Guam
TIM RYAN, Ohio
MARK UDALL, Colorado
G.K. BUTTERFIELD, North Carolina
Mary Ellen Fraser, Counsel
Ryan Vaart, Professional Staff Member
Lynn Bope, Professional Staff Member
Page 4 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCLindsay Young, Staff Assistant
Sarah Gelinas, Staff Assistant
C O N T E N T S
CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF HEARINGS
Thursday, March 3, 2005, Fiscal Year 2006 National Defense Authorization ActAdequacy of the Fiscal Year 2006 Budget to Meet Readiness Needs
Thursday, March 3, 2005
THURSDAY, MARCH 3, 2005
FISCAL YEAR 2006 NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACTADEQUACY OF THE FISCAL YEAR 2006 BUDGET TO MEET READINESS NEEDS
STATEMENTS PRESENTED BY MEMBERS OF CONGRESS
Hefley, Hon. Joel, a Representative from Colorado, Chairman, Readiness Subcommittee
Ortiz, Hon. Solomon P., a Representative from Texas, Ranking Member, Readiness Subcommittee
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Cody, Gen. Richard A., Vice Chief of Staff, U.S. Army
Moseley, Gen. T. Michael, Vice Chief of Staff, U.S. Air Force
Nathman, Adm. John B., Vice Chief of Naval Operations, U.S. Navy
Nyland, Gen. William L., Assistant Commandant, U.S. Marine Corps
[The Prepared Statements can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Hefley, Hon. Joel
Moseley, Gen. T. Michael
Nathman, Adm. John B.
Nyland, Gen. William L.
Ortiz, Hon. Solomon P.
DOCUMENTS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
[The Documents can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Page 6 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCThe United States Army 2005 Posture Statement
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
[The Questions and Answers can be viewed in the hard copy.]
FISCAL YEAR 2006 NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACTADEQUACY OF THE FISCAL YEAR 2006 BUDGET TO MEET READINESS NEEDS
House of Representatives,
Committee on Armed Services,
Washington, DC, Thursday, March 3, 2005.
The subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 2:24 p.m., in room 2118, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Joel Hefley [chairman of the subcommittee] presiding.
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. JOEL HEFLEY, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM COLORADO, CHAIRMAN, READINESS SUBCOMMITTEE
Page 7 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. HEFLEY. The committee will come to order.
First of all, we have two apologies to make. One is that we apologize for keeping you waiting. I like to start meetings when we say we are going to start them, but we were over doing votes on the House floor, so we could not leave.
And also when I came in I had the very great privilege of meeting a young Marine who lost his foot in Afghanistan. I met him out here. He lost his foot in Afghanistan, so instead of going home and sitting in the easy-boy or something, he goes to jump school and now he is going back to Iraq.
And, Generals, I do not mean any disrespect but I was not going to leave him for you. I mean, I am really touched by that, so we were taking some pictures. So we are starting a little late, and I apologize for that.
And, second, I apologize for the lack of attendance at the committee. And some of you have been through this with us. We do these meetings when we can get the room and when we can do it, and when we dismiss this early from votes on a Thursday afternoon people scatter like quails. So I appreciate all the members that are here, and this is no disrespect to your testimony which we regard as very important, and we do want to get it on the record, but I am sorry that we do not have more folks here.
But I do want to welcome you to the Readiness Subcommittee, which is actually our first hearing of the 109th Congress. We have a distinguished panel of witnesses for the first hearing.
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This afternoon the vice chiefs and the assistant commandant of the military services are here to testify to the readiness level of the military forces and to what extent the fiscal year 2006 President's budget request supports future readiness levels.
As often as possible, I like to publicly thank the soldiers, airmen, sailors and Marines as well as their families for all they do for our country. And today I would also like to recognize another American patriot, former Congressman Tillie Fowler. She was a tremendous leader, particularly here on the Readiness Subcommittee. She was a great friend to you all, I can tell you for sure, and she was a great friend to me, and I am heart sick about it, but we lost her this week.
This afternoon we are gathered to hear testimony on the readiness of our military forces. A readiness discussion captures issues related to training, equipment, maintenance, installation, quality of life, operational tempo, as well as recruiting and retaining of forces. Today, I hope to learn to what extent these programs are funded in the fiscal year 2006 President's budget and to ensure that these funds are adequate to protect future readiness.
A complete evaluation cannot be done, however, as we rely upon emergency supplemental funds to pay for the cost of war. The size and repeated reliance on emergency supplemental funds causes me concern. I believe it is fiscally prudent and responsible to place known, identifiable and predictable costs in the baseline budget, not in the emergency supplemental.
For example, I question to what extent military construction project funds for recruitment and retention or costs for modularity should be in the emergency supplemental.
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This afternoon I also hope to discuss where each of the military services are doing well, succeeding as expected, but also where the military services are taking risks. Each chief of staff has varying priorities and difficult decisions that have to be made. I would like to be aware, however, of those decisions and understand the extent of the risk.
Another topic I would like to address is the concept of tiered readiness. The Navy, which has a cyclical deployment schedule, recognizes that as a carrier strike group returns from deployment, that military unit is in a lower level of readiness and cannot return or deploy quickly. I would like to know to what extent the Army and Marine Corps believe this is a policy or approach that they should adopt.
Before I introduce our distinguished witnesses, let me first turn to Mr. Ortiz and ask him for any remarks that he would like to make.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Hefley can be viewed in the hard copy.]
STATEMENT OF HON. SOLOMON P. ORTIZ, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM TEXAS, RANKING MEMBER, READINESS SUBCOMMITTEE
Mr. ORTIZ. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I would like to echo what you just stated about losing a great friend. Tillie Fowler, we served together for many years, and we lost a great American. We wish her family and her husband Buck, we will be praying for the family.
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Mr. Chairman, I want to thank you, first of all, for holding this hearing today, and I join you in welcoming our distinguished witnesses, and I look forward to hearing the testimony on this important issue.
I would like first to take this opportunity to express my thanks and appreciation for the sacrifices that our military personnel make and for the service they provide for our defense. We owe the soldiers, airmen and Marines a tremendous debt of gratitude for the sacrifice in honor to our Nation.
I would also like to recognize the support our dedicated government service civilians and private individuals provide in maintaining the readiness of our armed forces. Their sacrifice is sometimes overlooked, but we cannot fight and win without them, and I thank them for their dedicated service to our national defense.
Mr. Chairman, our armed forces have been engaged in the global war on terrorism (GWOT) for over three years. The stress of this continuous combat is evident on the equipment and military uses to fight this war, and I am deeply concerned about our ability to continue at the current pace without addressing the growing maintenance problems.
As you may already know, the Department of Defense (DOD) is conducting an equipment stress study to determine the impact the high level of operations in Iraq is having on deployment equipment. The news is not that good at all. The increased utilization of equipment is aging equipment at an accelerated pace. We are using up our resources and there is no end in sight, but I am glad that the department has begun to identify this serious problem. I am very disappointed that the President's budget request for 2006 fails to address this mounting problem.
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As an example, the Army's request for operation and maintenance, excluding supplemental funding, barely exceeds the fiscal year 2005 request and does not keep pace with inflation. Considering the serious maintenance shortfalls, the Army's facing this budget does not seem to be very forward-looking.
The supplemental appropriations request for 2005 does try to address some of the Army and Marine Corps maintenance shortfalls, but it only goes part of the way toward addressing them. It leaves a lot of maintenance unfunded and deferred into the future.
One last concern I would like to share is with the industrial base that we will use to recapitalize this service equipment. Our depots are doing tremendous work repairing equipment for our troops. I am very proud of the hard work our civilian workforce has done to meet the tough delivery schedules for equipment repair.
I am concerned, however, that the Department is not doing all it can to help the depots expand to meet the mountain of maintenance workload. The 2005 supplemental request over $2 billion for our Army depot maintenance equipment reconstitution. This is $800 million increase over the amount requested in the fiscal year 2004 supplemental.
I sincerely hope that the Department will take this opportunity to expand depot capacity to meet this requirement. This conflict has demonstrated we must have the ability to surge our industrial base and sustain that rate over the long term if we can expect to meet the needs of our armed services.
Page 12 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. Chairman, I look forward to this hearing today. I am interested in hearing the testimony of our witnesses, their thoughts on how we will meet our needs for this fiscal year 2006. I am interested in hearing how the department will maintain the standards of the 50/50 rule. There is much to be learned about the Department's allocation of readiness resources and what this committee can do to support our forces. Our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines are depending on us, and they deserve the best.
So, witnesses, thank you so much for being with us.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman
[The prepared statement of Mr. Ortiz can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Mr. HEFLEY. Thank you, Mr. Ortiz.
Before I introduce our guests, let me say we will be on the five minute rule so that if we do have members who are going to try to leave and catch planes, at least we have the opportunity to get everybody some questioning in.
Before us today is General Cody, Vice Chief of Staff of the Army; Admiral Nathman, Vice Chief of the Naval Operationsand, Admiral, I apologize, you and I were going to get together yesterday and I had to change it, and I apologize for that; I do not like to do thatGeneral Moseley, Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force; and General Nyland, Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps.
Page 13 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Gentlemen, all of your written statements, without objection, will be put into as part of the record, and so we will turn it over to you.
And I assume, General Cody, are you the lead-off hitter here?
STATEMENT OF GEN. RICHARD A. CODY, VICE CHIEF OF STAFF, U.S. ARMY
General CODY. Yes, sir. Thank you.
Mr. HEFLEY. All right.
General CODY. Chairman Hefley, Representative Ortiz, members of this committee, I appreciate the opportunity to appear before you to discuss the Army's readiness regarding the adequacy of the fiscal year 2006 defense authorization budget and the fiscal year 2005 emergency supplemental request.
I thank the members of this committee for their continued support to the men and women in uniform who make up our great Army. Your concern, your resolute action and deep commitment to America's sons and daughters is widely recognized throughout our ranks and our services.
With me today are two soldiers, one from the 101st Airborne Division and one from the 4th Infantry Division, and I would like to introduce them. First is Sergeant Promotable Todd TwiggsTodd, stand up, please; thank youfrom Delta Company, 3rd Battalion, 101 Aviation Regiment from the 101st.
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Todd comes from that great State of Florida. He joined the Army in 1993. He is an Apache helicopter repairman and is currently serving as a technical inspector as part of our Resat Program for our Apaches.
He has fought in both Afghanistan for 6 months and Iraq for 12 months, including Operation Anaconda and the battle of An Najaf. He was with my oldest son who is a pilot in that battalion. He has a wealth of experience and knowhow on what it takes to keep helicopters flying in the harsh environments that we are now experiencing.
His wife Emily is four months pregnant with their second child, and he has a five-year-old son, Noah. He just re-enlisted for four more years, and he will be going back to Iraq with the 101st here probably in September.
The second soldier I would like to introduce is Sergeant Thomas McMurty from Bravo Company, 4th Support Battalion out of the 1st Brigade, 4th Infantry Division. He hails from the great State of Illinois, and he joined the Army after 9/11 in 2002.
He is a light wheel mechanic team chief. That means he repairs everything from humvees all the way up to heavy expanding mobile tactical truck (HEMTTs). When he was not riding in and securing convoys during Iraqi Freedom, he was keeping those vehicles running in the tough sands of Iraq.
Page 15 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC He also is witnessing the benefits of our efforts now to reset the vehicles as his unit prepares to go back. He just re-enlisted for four more years in the Army.
Both of these soldiers behind me recognize what this committee does to help reset our equipment, and we are very, very proud of the fact, one, they have served our country already, they know what the cost of war is, and they have re-enlisted in this Army to go back into combat.
Mr. HEFLEY. Let me say to both of you, I know the committee stands with me in expressing our very deep appreciation for what you are doing for your country. And it is extremely important, and years from now you will look back on this and say that you had an opportunity to really make a difference for the better in our country and our world. Thank you very, very much.
General CODY. Mr. Chairman, I have no further remarks. Those soldiers really say it all. Thank you, and I look forward to your questions.
Mr. HEFLEY. Admiral.
STATEMENT OF ADM. JOHN B. NATHMAN, VICE CHIEF OF NAVAL OPERATIONS, U.S. NAVY
Admiral NATHMAN. Yes, sir. Mr. Chairman, Congressman Ortiz and distinguished members, thank you for hearing us today. We are honored to be here.
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I know many of you have visited the sailors in the fleet, both ashore and at sea, and I want to thank you for your very visible support to the Navy.
I am here to report that your Navy is ready. In the Iraqi theater of operations, we have some 19 ships, a carrier strike group, an expeditionary strike group led by Harry S. Truman and the Bonhomme Richard. Those strike groups are providing strike support, security operations, maritime intercept operations and intelligence and surveillance to our Army and Marine Corps maneuver forces in the Iraq theater.
It might surprise you that we have some 7,000 sailors ashore in Kuwait and Iraq, Bahrain and Qatar. These are our Navy Sea, Air and Land special forces team members (SEALS), our doctors, our corpsmen, our combat engineers, our cargo handlers and our intel specialists that are doing a tremendous job in not only sustaining the coalition fight on the ground but helping Iraq build to a new free nation.
The Navy is ready for the global war on terror. Over a third of our ships are deployed right now, some 90, and they are making a substantial difference across the spectrum of operations across oceans of the world. Global interdictions, we have done more than 2,000 boardings in the last year in support of homeland defense and homeland security, interdicting cargo, interdicting people, interdicting terrorist operations.
Our submarine force has done an incredible job, our attack submarine force, in delivering a substantial national intelligence collection for this country.
Page 17 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And because we were there and because we were ready, we provided on-the-spot tsunami relief for Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Thailand. We did this through the sea basing of the Lincoln, the Bonhomme Richard and the United States Naval Ship (USNS) Mercy. We delivered over six million pounds of cargo in relief, but more importantly we delivered people on the ground that made the real difference, and we did it from our sea-based operations.
We continue to perform in a very important and instructive way in counternarcotics operations in Central and South America. And our strategic ballistic missile force is on station, delivering 247 strategic deterrence.
The Navy's sailors are ready. Our recruiting and retention has exceeded our goals. We have recruited at a higher level of high school graduate, and now we have increased the experience of new members that have joined in college degrees and college experience by 60 percent.
We are using our human capital strategy to keep our sailors ready for the future by matching their skills against the new technology and needs that we will need.
Our forces are ready. Our ship and aircraft maintenance accounts are essentially fully funded. We have realigned our operating funds to match our fleet response plan to deliver a more agile, responsive naval combat force. And we are making most impressive gains in this business of warfighting through our vice admiral-type commanders who lead horizontal business integration efforts to deliver better readiness for the least amount of money in our surface, in our submarine, in our aviation forces.
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And our Center for Naval Installations, our command there, has done a great job in driving down cost and centralizing the business of how we run our naval installations.
The supplemental targets funds where we need it the mostagainst our operating accounts in support of the war and the wear and tear and stress on the force.
Your support, Mr. Chairman, has been vital to our success. Thank you again very much on behalf of our sailors.
[The prepared statement of Admiral Nathman can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Mr. HEFLEY. Thank you very much.
Now, the Marine Corps.
STATEMENT OF GEN. WILLIAM L. NYLAND, ASSISTANT COMMANDANT, U.S. MARINE CORPS
General NYLAND. Yes, sir. Chairman Hefley, Congressman Ortiz, distinguished members of the committee, it is my privilege to be here today to testify on the readiness of your Marine Corps.
Page 19 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I would like to begin by thanking each of you and the committee for their continued support and concern for our Marines and their families. I also share with you the loss of Congressman Fowler. She was in fact a tremendous lady.
The individual Marine remains the most effective weapons system in our arsenal. Our corps today is made up of magnificent young men and women that represent a cross section of our society, and they reflect the strength, dedication and sense of purpose that formed our great nation and today keeps her free.
We continue to seek out and recruit young people who are able to think critically, adapt to a dynamic environment and respond to an evolving threat. We then train them, equip them, give them the opportunity to work toward a common goal, provide solid leadership and training, give them a sense of purpose and form them into your expeditionary force and readiness.
Supporting the global war on terror and sustaining our readiness while ensuring our forces are prepared to respond to whatever future challenges may follow is at the core of our readiness strategy. Today, we have more than 30,000 Marines forward deployed in Iraq, Afghanistan and across the globe. In Iraq alone, we have almost 30 percent of our ground equipment and more than 25 percent of our aviation equipment.
Usage rates for our ground equipment are averaging eight to one over planned rates, while our aviation assets are flying between two and three times their planned rates. The harsh operating environments of Iraq and Afghanistan are degrading our equipment at an accelerated rate and increased funding for maintenance parts and depot operations.
Page 20 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Our preposition assets have been used in part to sustain the readiness of our forward deployed combat units. We are closely managing our equipment to ensure every unit has the equipment to meet their training requirements as they return home and begin training for their next deployment.
While we necessarily focus our efforts on sustaining the current requirements for the global war on terror, we must mindful not to sacrifice our modernization and transformation initiatives in the process. This is particularly important given the fact that many of our aviation assets are no longer supported by active production lines and must be carefully husbanded until new platforms are designed and ready for production.
Most importantly, we must never waiver in the leadership or programs that take care of our Marines and their families.
Sustaining our readiness will require full funding of the Presidential budget request and the fiscal year 2005 supplemental submission as they are inextricably linked. Your continued support to reconstitute our preposition stocks, replace much of this equipment that will never come home, reset your corps and prepare for the future is absolutely vital.
I thank you again for your continued tremendous support and assistance in maintaining our readiness and the genuine concern you have demonstrated by your visits to our Marines, not only around the globe but to our wounded at Bethesda and Walter Reed.
I thank you and look forward to your questions.
Page 21 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC [The prepared statement of General Nyland can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Mr. HEFLEY. General Moseley.
STATEMENT OF GEN. T. MICHAEL MOSELEY, VICE CHIEF OF STAFF, U.S. AIR FORCE
General MOSELEY. Mr. Chairman, Representative Ortiz, distinguished members of the committee, thank you again for this opportunity to discuss the state of your Air Force's readiness.
This committee has been a powerful and trusted steward for the defense of our great republic, and I am deeply grateful for your concern and support of our military.
I am particularly honored to appear before you today representing 700,000 airmen in our United States Air Forceactive, Guard, Reserve and civilianvaliant men and women who serve alongside our soldiers, sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen.
It is also a distinct pleasure and an honor for me to serve with the gentlemen that sit at this table. I could tell you we spend hours every week in conferences and meetings together, and this group of patriots searches for what is good for our nation, setting parochial interests aside.
If I could take a moment, Mr. Chairman, to also express our regret for the loss of Congresswoman Tillie Fowler. She was a great leader, a respected member of this committee, a great American and a friend of all of us that wear this country's uniform.
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This afternoon your Air Force is part of an incredible interdependent joint team. This afternoon, over Southwest Asia, your Air Force is flying 73 strike missions against insurgents, airlifting 700 shore tons and 3,000 passengers, conducting surveillance with U2s, Global Hawks, Predators, J-STARs, Rivet Joint aircraft, space assets and other platforms, filling over 2,500 positions in 16 different combat support skills alongside soldiers, to include driving trucks, guarding prisoners and interrogating detainees and using C130's and C17s to reduce the number of convoys on the roads in the Sunni Triangle by nearly 350 trucks a day.
All told, we have about 30,000 active-duty, Reserve, Guard and civilian members deployed to the Middle East. In the Far East, we continue to airlift supplies and passengers in support of the joint and coalition tsunami relief effort. Thus far we have delivered over 15 million pounds of relief efforts in support of the people affected by that tragedy.
Here at home we have 10,000 on watch serving in Operation Noble Eagle, patrolling the skies over America. All the while our fantastic space cadre work to provide continuous communication, missile, remote sensing and pinpoint Global Positioning System (GPS) navigation accuracies to fielded forces wherever they are.
We are particularly proud of the fact that our National Guard and Air Force reserve and active forces are a seamless, integrated part of everything that we do. Fifty-five percent of our 170,000 airlift sorties and 36,000 air refueling sorties last year were flown by Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve crews. They also fly about 80 percent of the 6,500 or so missions we fly every year over this nation in support of Operation Noble Eagle.
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All told, we have airmen in 122 countries, on every continent and every time zone. And I am immensely proud of their professionalism, courage and dedication. Every day these airmen get their job done through hard work, tenacity and ingenuity. Yet we do not do this without some stress.
We are facing reading challenges in a number of our platforms, as we operate the oldest fleet of aircraft in the history of the United States Air Force. While I do not doubt the ability of our airmen to accomplish today's missions, it is getting more difficult.
The Air Force's number-one challenge is to recapitalize these aging systems. We have our eyes on the future and have a plan to get us there within the budget. Our success will hinge, as it always has, on our people.
On watch this afternoon these are the finest, most skilled, most educated, most professional and most lethal airmen in the history of your Air Force. And on behalf of these men and women and their families, let me say thank you again for your support in making this Air Force what it is today and for what it will be tomorrow.
Mr. Chairman, Mr. Ortiz, thank you. I look forward to your questions.
[The prepared statement of General Moseley can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Mr. HEFLEY. Well, thank all of you very, very much.
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Let me deal with one quick issue, which some of you may be getting tired of me harping on, but I am still troubled by the fact that we put so much stuff in the supplemental. I assume that what we are doing is that few at the Pentagon consider anythingyou consider the supplemental a wartime budget is what it appears to me, and correct me where I am wrong on this, but you consider it a wartime budget, so anything, whether we can predict it or not, if it has direct or even sometimes indirect relation to the war effort, that goes in a supplemental.
My theory has always been that you put in the supplemental things that surprise you, things that you were not expecting to come up. So let me just say, for instance, in the emergency supplemental, and that is what this is supposed to be, we have $1.4 billion in military construction. $320 million of that is here in the Continental United States (CONUS).
We have Army modularity and transformation at the tune of $5 billion. Again, in that, there is $261 million in Military Construction (MILCON), and then there is operation and maintenance and so forth that goes in that too.
In the Marine Corps, the force structure has $325 million in the supplemental$250 million in procurement and $75 million again in MILCON. Recruiting and retention, we have $450 million. We have tuition assistance, $12 million.
And what I am asking is, couldn't most of this be anticipated, and shouldn't most of this be in the normal budget?
Page 25 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And the only reason it makes a particular difference, I suppose, is that we scrutinize the normal budget much more carefully than we do the supplementals. And I do not know whether this is the technique so that we do not scrutinize as much as we would otherwise, but it does trouble me that we have adopted this philosophy of budgeting.
If any or all of you would like to speak to that.
General NYLAND. Yes, sir, I will start.
We do, in fact, have a guidance that tells us if it is linked to the global war on terrorism that we would put that in the supplemental, and we have done that. You mentioned $250 million of procurement for the Marine Corps. That would replace many of the vehicles that have been offloaded off the Maritime Prepositioned Squadron (MPS) that are on the ground in Iraq.
The MILCON is split between a little bit of money for force protection and utilities at Djibouti, where we operate the Joint Task Force Horn of Africa. And, in part, as we look at a reorganization inside the Marine Corps to put more infantry battalions on the line, there is a little bit of MILCON in there for Bachelor/Base Enlisted Quarters (BEQs) for them.
But we built the budget in compliance with the guidance that we were given, and that is where those items are located, sir.
General CODY. Mr. Chairman, I will echo and agree with what General Nyland said. Because there is a lot of talk about modularity, let me address it up-front and see if I can explain it.
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When this Army got ready to go to war, if you remember, there were 44 preparatory tasks that were sent down from General Franks for the 1003 Victor Operation plan. That required the Army to cashflow about $3.2 billion of money for the five-and-one 3rd divisions that were going to fight that war. And a lot of that money was for single channel ground to air radio system (SINCGARS) radios, blue force tracking and other things that in previous years, due to constraints on the investment dollars, we had a C1 Army but not a C1-Plus Army to go across.
And so we cashflowed quite a bit of that money to build back capabilities in terms of crew serve weapons on combat support and combat service support vehicles, rebuilt engineer equipment for bridging, put blue force tracking in command and control across the force in accordance with what the combatant commander wanted.
When the second rotation for Operation Iraqi Freedom, when we went into a rotation base where we basically moved 240,000 soldiers and eight and a half divisions to do the rotations between Afghanistan and Iraq during the second rotation, the combatant commander came back in and said, ''I want these formations to look like this.''
And so we were already taking the Cold War formations of the 1st Calvary (Cav) Division, the 1st Infantry Division and our other formations and restructuring them into a modular-type formation, equipping them to the realities of a 360-degree battle space where every piece of terrain was challenged. And, again, we funded that with supplemental dollars.
At the same time, we started the modular Army of building three types of brigades: Stryker Brigades, heavy brigades and infantry brigades. We knew we had to do this to get the Army out of the Cold War structure. And while we had the whole Army in motionactive, Guard and Reservewe did not want to reset it into their old formations.
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And so, basically, what we are getting in the supplemental of the $5 billion each year to build the 10 more active component brigade combat teams, which is basically a lot of restructuring, there is not a lot ofwe are just reshuffling tanks and Bradleys. But when you get to the command and control piece and the night-vision piece and the weapons piece for the type of fight that we know we are going to be fighting in the future, we had to make some investments in preparing these units that are going down range again and again and again with one year in, one year out and one year invery similar to what these two great soldiers behind me are experiencing.
We had to buy back an awful lot of night-vision goggles, SINCGARS radios and other things to give that force the full complement of what it requires, not just for the modular force but what the combatant commander needs.
The 3rd Infantry Division is a good example. They just redeployed. While they were resetting, we spent money to make them modular, but at the same time we were also meeting the combatant commander's needs. We are doing the same with the 101st, as they restructure to modularity, and the 4th Infantry Division.
What I think you will see in the 2007 timeframe is modularity is part of the base budget. But right now, as we are building these 10 new brigades, as well as equipping the National Guard units, which we had to take out of our other active-duty units so that we sent them down range with all the right equipment, because, as you know, they did not have all the up-to-date, state-of-the-art equipment that we want them to have. We had to take that from our active-duty force also, which drew down our preposition stocks and everything else.
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So that is why I think you see this term, ''funding of modularity,'' in the supplemental, but quite frankly, it is meeting the combatant commander's requirements, and it is also enabling us to reset the Army that is coming out and preparing it again to go back in.
General MOSELEY. Mr. Chairman, might I add an example for you?
Mr. HEFLEY. Sure.
General MOSELEY. We have lost 29 or so unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in combat since the beginning of operations in October 2001. We have continued to refit and recapitalize those particular assets, but to get to your specific question to only be able to know what you know, the emerging requirements for UAVs and for coverage in theater has taken us from November of last year where we were flying six orbits to where we are today flying eight orbits and where we will be in the fall of this year to fly 12 orbits.
And in the supplemental to meet the guidance of new investments being able to support deployed forces, we have a request in there for 15 more of the UAVs to be able to get to these larger numbers of orbits and to be able to provide more coverage for land component and special ops components engaged. And those are in the supplemental, but we also have a variety of those in the unfunded priority list as well as in the 2006 President's budget.
Just to keep up with both the losses and the increasing opportunities that we have with UAVs for intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and also being able to shoot off of them but also the emerging requirements as we see how things shift on the ground and to be able to support the ground forces.
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So, sir, I would offer that is one example of you only know what you know and when things begin to change on you, you have to be able to adapt, and we have that in the supplemental.
Admiral NATHMAN. Mr. Chairman, I would add that I believe we are using it properly from the standpoint that it is difficult to program for operational tempos (OPTEMPO) that you cannot anticipate until you see the demand signal from the combatant commander.
A good example for us is the military sealift commands operating tempo delivery based on a brigade structure. That is important for the stability and the sustaining fight in Iraq. And it changes, because the assumptions on the ground change over there, and we have to make sure we support the Army and Marine Corps in delivery of materials and brigades and equipment.
We could not anticipate the demand signal of the tsunami. We stepped up to it. We are also using it to fix our cashflow issues that was our compensation. And so one of the benefits that we see in the supplemental, of course, is the certain sense of timeliness and ability for us to backfill rapidly around those changes that we do not understand. And we believe also it is an opportunity for us right now to provide full visibility of what we are asking for and why we are asking for it.
Mr. HEFLEY. Mr. Ortiz.
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Mr. ORTIZ. As I stated in my opening statement, our industrial base is vital to our success on the battlefield, and can each of you please describe for me the role our depots are playing in the war in Iraq, Afghanistan and around the world? And maybe you can enlighten not only me but the committee as to the role that they are playing.
General CODY. Yes, Congressman. And thank you for the opportunity because we agree with you that our depots right now are absolutely vital to sustaining this force, and we could not do what we are doing right now with our Army in particular if it were not for our depots.
As you know, in 2002, we had about 11 million direct labor hours across our major depots of Anniston, Corpus Christi, Letterkenny, Red River and Tobyhanna. We are now ramped up to 20 million direct labor hours, and we will move to 25 million direct labor hours in 2006.
When this war ended in terms of the major combat phase, where we had five and one-third divisions over there, along with our Marine brethren and the Navy and the Air Force, when that force ended, we had 46,000 wheeled vehicles that had driven thousands of miles, about five times the OPTEMPO of a year. We had 5,700 tracks, over 1,000 helicopters in some of the toughest conditions, and we had to reset them.
At the same time, as you know, the combatant commander came back in and said, ''This part of Iraq has changed, and some of the predictions did not go the way everybody wanted.'' And as you know, we put inwe thought three coalition divisions were going to go in, it ended up only being two, which required us to have 17-plus brigades with the Marines being in there.
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That was not predicted. What that meant was we had already used up our Army preposition stock three and five that was over there, and we had to reset it. So we had to ramp up Red River, we had to ramp up Letterkenny, Corpus Christi certainly because of the engine repair and main rotor blade repair. And today they have about reset that first rotation.
The second rotation is now coming, and we are going to have to reset it. And when I say reset, we are really going to recapitalization. I just left Red River where they are totally stripping down Humvees, for instance, and making them brand new. At the same time, they are also doing the add-on armor kits, rebuilding HEMTTs and armored combat earth movers (ACEs) and everything else.
It is going to take us several years, as we continue to have this level of commitment and that type of terrain, to rebuild the equipment of our Army, and that is why we are ramping up to 25 million direct labor hours.
And to get to your point about the 5050 rule, everything I have seen, and we checked this very closely, we do not project having to come back and asking for that piece. I think we have it about right.
But it is tremendous work done by the depots to keep this Army going, as well as keeping the National Guard, which we had to equip. No one predicted two years ago that we would have seven National Guard brigades in combat, and we fully equipped them. A lot of it is stay-behind equipment that our front-line active component troops left in theater. And then, again, we are feedingnot feeding off, but we are surviving off what our depots are able to recap very quickly and then also the production line and increases in the production line that we are getting out of our vendors. But they are absolutely critical to what we are doing right now.
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Mr. ORTIZ. General.
General NYLAND. I would absolutely echo that. The work that the depots are doing is absolutely magnificent. Our numbers are a little smaller. We are at about 2.1 million direct labor hours but growing. Already we have had help with the bridge supplemental of an additional $40-plus million to the depot, we have money in this supplemental.
For instance, at Albany today we are working on shift plus, and that will soon be two full shifts. The work they are doing is just absolutely essential to supporting these young Marines and sailors that are deployed overseas.
One of the greatest successes has been the ability to armor the vehicles that we have and that we provide to our young folks over there as they go about the dangerous business of being at war. So we are very, very proud of what they do, and it is absolutely essential what they do, and I see them being quite busy for many years to come as we either sustain or reconstitute when we come home.
I would also say that on the aviation side our partnership with the Navy and the aviation depots is similarly magnificent. They do the work that is required, as you are well aware of that fine rouge dust that takes on the blades of engines and on the interiors of turbines, the loss of the skin on aircraft. So the depots across the board are doing magnificent work for us.
And to the question of the 5050, I believe we are probably at about 6040 and we see no need to have to revisit the 5050 rule, sir.
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Mr. ORTIZ. Thank you.
Anybody else? General Moseley.
General MOSELEY. Yes, sir. Please allow me to echo our full support and pride in the depots that the Air Force has in Utah, Oklahoma and Georgia. Those people are simply outstanding in managing and helping us keep an aging fleet flying, the effects of an aging fleet to include things like obsolescence of diminishing manufacturing sources, non-metal fatigue, metal fatigue, corrosion. The experts that are in the depots are doing a magnificent job maintaining the mission capable (MC) rates that we have.
Congressman, in 2004, we have had $3.4 billion; 2005, $3.6 billion; and 2006 President's budget is $3.5 billion for our depots. Those people are doing major manufacturing of subassemblies on aircraft that do not have manufacturers or vendors anymore, and they are keeping this aging Air Force flying. Both civilian and blue suit workers are truly professional and magnificent.
Mr. ORTIZ. Admiral.
Admiral NATHMAN. We are in the process right now, particularly in our aviation depots, of rebaselining our concepts. We have gone to this integrated maintenance concept. We have also gone to productive ratios. A lot of it was to drive the overhead out of our aviation depot business and get it right. We have been pretty successful with that.
Page 34 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC So I could sit here and talk about how good our depots are, they are very good, they do tremendous quality work now and they are doing properly targeted work that we think are funded properly, they are on both engines and on air frames. We are inside a fleet response plan looking at rebaselining our class maintenance plans of which our depots will have a significant role in that. And part of that in that baseline is understanding what our regional maintenance concept now supports.
So I believe we are properly funded and we are doing the right thing, and the President's budget is correct.
Mr. ORTIZ. I agree with the chairman when we look at the budget versus the supplemental, and I know that it is going to take some time to fix the problem that we have, the erosion of the equipment and the use of the equipment. And maybe next year maybe it should be put in the normal budget. We want to be of help to you, and if you put it in a yearly budget, I think that we can get a better handle as to what we can do to help you.
Thank you so much for the fine work that you do. We really appreciate it very, very much.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. HEFLEY. Mr. Reyes.
Mr. REYES. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Page 35 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Gentlemen, welcome, and we appreciate your service.
And, General Cody, thank you for bringing a couple of American heroes to the committee today. We welcome them as well.
As you heard, there are some concerns with some of the items included in the supplemental. One of my personal concerns is about the movement of troops from overseas to the new modular units.
And, General Cody, I would like if you could please discuss the Army's basing requirements for the troops who in particular are returning from Iraq and Afghanistan to these new modular brigades. And does the Army have all the funding needed to meet these requirements?
General CODY. Well, thank you, sir.
It is a very, very complex issue, as you know. Growing 10 new brigades as well as restructuring our aviation brigades from three layers to basically one layer, as well as the restructuring of our fires brigades, our artillery units, and the restructuring of our combat service support that we really collapsed two echelonswe took the corps sustainment and collapsed it into the division sustainmenthas caused movement around our posts, camps and stations. And that is why some of the MILCON is in there to help site preparation.
The MILCON is also in there because today we have 152,000 National Guard and Reserve soldiers on active duty, and over time our power projection platforms, in terms of the World War II barracks and everything, were not sufficient, and so we have had to buy additional site for as we mobilize and train up this large number of National Guard and reservists.
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To your point about what it means to the posts, camps and stations, your Army is restructuring 100,000 spaces throughout the active Guard and Reserve. We are building 10 new brigades. We are doing most of that on the existing facilities that we have at places like Fort Campbell and Fort Hood and Fort Carson.
There is a little bit of stress on Fort Carson, because, as you know, we made the decision in concern with General LaFleur that as we deploy the second of the 2nd Infantry Division into combat from Korea, right into combat, that we would restation it back at Fort Carson; in other words, not return it to the peninsula. We have some of that MILCON in this supplemental to take care of that so we have the barracks.
The larger challenge we have is not the modularity piece, because that is done inside the 482 plus the 30,000 that we are growing to assist us in modularity, the real challenge we face in the next three to four years is the rebasing out of Europe and out of Korea 75,000 soldiers back to CONUS.
We cannot get into the details of it because it is pre-Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) and that is our challenge, because we are an Army that is rotating a very large force in and out of Afghanistan, in and out of Iraq, resetting and modularizing but at the same time having to prepare to take the 1st Infantry Division and the 1st Armor Division as well as some of the 5th Corps units in the next four to five years and restation them back here to Continental United States.
Once BRAC is over with, then we are going to have to come back and readjust our MILCON and our facilities. We know we have the capacity for the size of Army that we are going to relocate and put the brigades and everything else, but we will be challenged, not so much in the dollars, but in time.
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George Marshal probably said it best during World War II. He said, ''Before 1939, I had all the time in the world and not enough money. But after Pearl Harbor, I had all the money and not enough time.''
For us, the modularity, we have time and we have the money and the space, but when you include the global rebasing of your Army, that is where we will feel the crunch. And we will work with this committee and certainly with the office of the secretary of defense (OSD) and everybody else, but that to me is our biggest challenge.
Mr. REYES. Very good.
Thank you, General.
And, Chairman, I will yield back my time.
Thank you, gentlemen.
Mr. HEFLEY. Dr. Snyder.
Dr. SNYDER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. We really appreciate you being here today.
Silver and I, we are just starting our ninth year on this committee, and one of my revelations when I first got here a little over eight years ago was that I think that the country does not appreciate enough the folks at your level and the military and your years of experience but also just your wisdom about a lot of things.
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And you have had some real challenges the last couple, three years, and we really appreciate you and know how hard you all work to do the right thing by our troops and the country, and we appreciate you a whole lot.
General Cody, I wanted to ask, it is my understanding on the unfunded priorities list that recruitingthere seems to be a significant amount of money for recruiting that is in there. Tell me about the decision that led to that not being funded, because we have some real challenges out there right now with recruiting, do we not?
General CODY. Thank you, Congressman, for those comments. All four of us here wish we were smarter and wish we could do a lot of this stuff faster. And, collectively, we have a lot of years of experience, but I will also tell you we are learning every day, and some of it is exploratory learning as we, all four of us, tackle these challenges.
I assume you are referring to the unfunded requirement letter that the Secretary and the Chief just sent over to Congressman Skelton.
Dr. SNYDER. Yes, sir.
General CODY. We do have some challenges with recruiting. We do not have the challenges right now in retention. And, quite frankly, these two young soldiers behind have already been to war and re-enlisted for four more years.
Our experience in the National Guard, Reserves and in the active-duty force is that these great Americans, this generation that everybody was kind of concerned about prior to 9/11, are re-enlisting at the higher rates than we have ever seen. And the quality of the re-enlistments is unsurpassed from what I have seen in 32 years in this all-volunteer force.
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Our challenge is in the recruiting piece. As you know, we have upped our active recruiting to 80,000 this year, and we are
Dr. SNYDER. But then my question is, why is it on the unfunded list then?
General CODY. Because we had to make some tough decisions across the board. We think we have enough money there, and if there was more money, then we would like to have more.
Dr. SNYDER. Yes, I got you.
General CODY. But we are not taking great risk on our recruiting incentives and what this committee has given us in terms of bonuses and our ability to put money out there to talk to soldiers and bring on the all-volunteer force. If we had more, we would apply it, but I do not think we are taking great risk right now.
The bigger challenge, quite frankly, for us in recruiting is the influencers. We are seeing now that I think we will make recruiting in the active, I think we will miss it in the National Guard. And, as you know, I have testified before that that is a combination of the fact that active-duty soldiers are staying on active duty because they, quite frankly, say, ''Geez, if I go to the Guard, it looks like they are getting deployed too.'' But also there is a sense of self-accomplishment and pride and service to the nation.
Page 40 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC But we are seeing some influencers in terms of parents. They recognize that the Army is at war, and I think all of us have to continue to tell the story about service to this nation and the call to duty. And that would be very helpful if we could get that theme going.
I do not think money at the end of the day will solve all of the recruiting issues.
Dr. SNYDER. Thank you.
General Nyland, I am not going to ask you how a guy gets the nickname, ''Spider.'' I am going to go to the next question.
In your statement, you discuss the age of your helicopters, and they have just been under such terrific use here for the last two years. Would you amplify on that a little bit and where you see this going over the next few years?
General NYLAND. Yes, sir. And I might add I would be glad to go over the ''Spider'' at a later time.
But not only are they old but, as you stated, we are using them at a very high rate. Our CH46, the frogs over there, we used to have lieutenants check in when I was the commanding general, flying the same airplane their dad flew in Vietnam. They average well over 32, 33 years old. Our Hueys and our Cobras are particularly affected by this kind of combat because they are in close. They provide the cover for the convoys. They come in quickly when the Marines and the soldiers get boxed in inside the cities.
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We are flying them at a very extensive rate and regrettably for both of those airplanes we have new models, reman if you will, of the four-bladed Huey and the four-bladed Cobra, but we can ill afford to take the ones that are on the line off the line to turn them in to convert them. So we are looking at ways to innovatively start over.
With the 46, the replacement, of course, is the MB22. And in the next two weeks, we expect that she will enter op eval and we are very optimistic that by July timeframe we will have the winner that we thought we should have all along.
Our heavy lift helicopter is doing monumental work over there and in Afghanistan. It too is growing old. We have already retired the first one. The rest of them will run out of service life in the 2011, 2012 timeframe. So we are working very hard to look and see what might be our heavy lift replacement and how do we accelerate that so that we can replace these older machines and give not only the capability to the safety to the young Marines that both work on them and fly in them.
Dr. SNYDER. Thank you.
And I am going to have a question for the record on the C130, General Moseley, but I am out of time.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. HEFLEY. Thank you, Dr. Snyder.
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Mr. ROGERS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Specifically, I would like to address this question to General Cody and follow up on the line of questioning of Mr. Ortiz. I agree with your assessment and that of the others about our depots and their productivity and work, but I want to ask you, looking forward, if we were to see a significant elimination of or reduction of a portion of our depot infrastructure, would that, in your opinion, adversely affect our nation's military state of readiness in the short term and the long term?
General CODY. I would say for both it would be veryI do not want to use a bad adjective, but it would be very harmful to the readiness, because what our depots are able to do for us is we have all kind of alluded in the discussion about the supplemental, a lot of this is unpredictable, and we do not have a clear prism to look through and predict what is going to happen. And our depots are very quick to adapt and give us that surge capability and proven quality, things like up-armoring that we are doing with the Marines and with the Army vehicles. Only our depots could do that as fast and produce it.
So near-term and far-term, loss of the current depot capability we have I think would be very harmful to our readiness.
Mr. ROGERS. Thank you. I agree.
Page 43 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I would like to ask this of you, General Cody, and General Nyland. Describe for us what you see as the stay-behind equipment with regard to your service?
General CODY. On the stay-behind equipment
Mr. ROGERS. In Iraq.
General CODY. In Iraq?
Mr. ROGERS. Yes.
General CODY. I was the one who decided initially back when I was the operations (ops) officer, so if I got it wrong, you are talking to the right guy. When we saw the problems with the improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and we started putting level two and level three add-on armor as well as we started realizing what the combatant commander needed, we started bringing on more National Guard units, combat support, combat service support, military police (MPs), truck drivers and also combat formations.
And they had enough to train on at the training centers for mobilization, but we had to go to war equipment sitting there in the 1st Infantry Division or 1st Armor Division, 4th Infantry Division (I.D.), 101st, and it was the newer equipment, the family of medium tactical vehicles (FMTVs), the light medium tactical vehicles (LMTVs), up-armored humvees and stuff like that. And they had the new SINCGARS radios, the newer night-vision goggles, the new mortars.
Page 44 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And so all the new stuff that we bought with emergency money to cashflow to get ready for the first big fight we identified that as stay-behind equipment. And so that is what units would train and then go to Kuwait and then fall in on the new equipment.
At a certain point of time, and it may be at the end of this year, we will be able to start retrograding some of it, because it has been there three years.
Mr. ROGERS. So you do see it cycling back.
General CODY. Yes, sir. In fact, we have 4,000 vehicles right now that we have identified that we are pulling back now to run through our depots so we keep all our depots. I am not sure if you were here when I said we are raising our depots to 20 million direct labor hours this year, 25 next years, and we are pushing as much of that equipment out of the theater to do that. And we have been able to do that, one, because we have been buying more trucks because of what is in the base budget in terms of our vehicle investments as well as what we pulled out our preposition stocks.
And we anticipate that we will have a lower requirement for our National Guard brigades next year. We think two National Guard brigades next year, which is five less than this year. And that will take some of the stress off. And all of that equipment will go to the depots for recap.
Mr. ROGERS. Thank you.
General NYLAND. Sir, our situation is very similar, although I would say that your two words, ''stay behind,'' describe the majority of our gear because I do not think it will ever come home.
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Mr. ROGERS. Is that right?
General NYLAND. We have put the gear over there, we have rotated the forces around it. As we draw down the number of forces that go, that gear does come back and go into the depots, and they are, as General Cody has said, flexible, adaptable, they do make a difference. But the bulk of that equipment, I believe, by the time we see the end of this coming, it will be best left there and just replace it.
Mr. ROGERS. Thank you.
And, finally, General Moseley said a little while ago when he looked out across the horizon that he saw the aging platforms in the Air Force being the biggest threat to the Air Force readiness in the future. I would like for each of the three of you to tell us what you see the biggest threat to your service readiness in the future would be.
General NYLAND. Okay, sir. On the aviation side, it comes to mind immediately and that clearly is the age of our aircraft. I discussed briefly the 46, the CH53 and the Cobras. I would tell you that our 130's we are still flying the same 130's that I refueled up as a first lieutenant in Vietnam. So on the aviation side of the house, it clearly is the age of the platforms.
I think on the ground side of the house, my biggest concern is to ensure that we get not only the right equipment and as we think of that in the rolling stock and vehicles but in communications. So that as we do every day work together, so will our forces work in a joint environment with a communications architecture and communication that allows this to be seamless and transparent.
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Mr. ROGERS. Thank you.
Admiral NATHMAN. Yes, sir. From our view, it would be the same. It would be the recapitalization of the force. That is something we need to move out with. And if you look at our aircraft recapitalization plan, it is really a question of affordability, how fast can you do it. We have near-term challenges with our helicopter force and with our maritime patrol and reconnaissance force because of the particular age of that equipment.
We are rebaselining what is called the future logistics environment (FLE), which is basically your flight utilization rates on our P3s and we are losing those aircraft faster than we predicted we would several years ago, because we just finished a test article.
We know we are extending the hours on our helicopters, particularly our Bravos and our Fox Trots. These are the H60's and our destroyers and our carriers. Because they have reached a useful life with these life extensions, and we need to replace those aircraft. That is an affordability issue for us.
From a shipbuilding standpoint it is can we build enough ships, and I think there are a couple of issues there. The issues are there is an affordability issue. They certainly cost a whole lot more, and I think the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) and the Secretary have been very clear in their testimony about the cost we pay to buy a particular ship right now and how those costs have escalated beyond what seems reasonable.
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And I think there are a couple reasons for it. One is some limitations, and we need relief and the help of Congress on the fiscal limitations that we see or the way we want to fund our ships. When you pay for an aircraft carrier in one year, it is very hard to program other ships around that particular year because it tends to, as it were, soak up most of the money that we have in our Shipbuilding and Conversion, Navy (SCN) accounts. So having more agility in the way we fiscally program for ships would be very helpful.
We are going to need some relief, and we are going to need some relief by, I believe, Congress, the Senate and this chamber, helping us with looking at the price we pay for the industrial base that supports our shipbuilding, the overhead that the Navy carriers to build ships in our private yards. And I believe we carry a significant overhead in there in terms of their efficiencies and I believe this is a national issue. Just like the Secretary and the CNO, this is something we need to look at, we need to make these decisions about how much shipbuilding we want in this country, and do we want it to be a vital part of our security. I believe we do.
So those are kind of very important parts. But there is a small part, and that is being able to mission-fund our ships. We are rebaselining to our fleet readiness plan, and that means we want to be able to induct ships rapidly and have our public yards be able to induct those ships without having to rebaseline all the work inside of that particular induction year. And we do it now in our yards that are not mission-funded, that are funded through the working capital fund. We would like to correct that, and we have asked for support on that.
Thank you, sir.
Page 48 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General CODY. Sir, we are going to be okay with our tanks and our Bradleys and certainly our Strykers as we continue to buy them.
I think our biggest challenge is going to be in the light tactical fleet, as we make the decisions on the stay-behind Humvees and LMTVs and FMTVs. And like General Nyland, I believe that we will probably bring them up to 1020 standards and probably transfer them to the Iraqis over time and buy new. And so we will be challenged there.
We have a huge challenge in Army aviation if we cannot get the light utility helicopter and the armed reconnaissance helicopter bought in the next five to six years. That was the reason why we canceled Comanche and transferred that money into buying 900 new helicopters, and that is to replace the UH1s, the AH1s and the OH58s in the National Guard so we can get their formations up to where they need to be with new Black Hawks and Apaches, as well as the new armed reconnaissance helicopter over time and the light utility helicopter.
We are flying 50-some-odd hours a month on the OH58D. We have to replace it with the armed reconnaissance helicopter soonest, and we are working with Congress to work through that so we can get these helicopters bought. We have over 500-some-odd helicopters rotating every year just in Iraq, and we are having to recap them, and over time the expense of that fleet, if we do not get these new helicopters on the way and being bought, will cause us some problems.
Mr. ROGERS. Thank you very much.
Page 49 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Thank all of you.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. HEFLEY. Mr. Marshall.
Mr. MARSHALL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Appreciate your service and the service of all those that you represent and speak for today, including those in the future.
Two questions, General Moseley and General Cody. I will start with General Moseley, and, actually, give you time to think about your answer quickly with General Cody.
General Moseley, you have mentioned the aging of the fleet, everybody has mentioned the aging of the fleet as a serious challenge. C130 Es have been grounded in Iraq, you have mentioned that the C130's and C17s substitute for an awful lot of mileage that would be put on trucks that are subject to IEDs. We have the mobility capability study coming in.
Secretary Rumsfeld, when he testified before the committee, and it is in his written testimony, specifically said that air mobility was a critical thing that we need to be focused on. And yet the budget cuts C130 J.
Now, I traveled with John Kline most recently to the theater. He is a pilot, he was in a C130 J, raved about it, thought it was wonderful, he got up in the cockpit, and I hear nothing but good things about that platform, and yet here we have the C130 Es grounded, we have these needs, I suspect the mobility capability study is going to confirm that, everything I have heard from you all confirms that, and we are cutting the C130 Js.
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I also think that the cutting of the C130 J, the way it is structured, is going to wind up being extremely foolish economically, because if you just leave the thing in place as it currently exists, the cost per plane is much than the cost per plane of the planes that you would get under the proposed cuts. And so I just do not understand this one. It just to me does not make any sense.
General Cody, briefly, in last year's authorization bill, we put in some language that would permit DOD to fund scholarships for two-year military college graduates who then go on to complete their degrees. That I think is a very small budget item to fully fund something like that and it is a great recruiting tool for these two-year colleges. We have a shortage in our officer corps, it is fairly dramatic. We project future shortages.
We want to increase the quality of our officer corps. Improving the pool of applicants that go to these two-year colleges will ultimately led to improving dramatically the quality of the officer corps, and it just seems to me, given the size of the Army's budget that you can findI do not think it is more than about $2 million or $3 million or $5 million a year to fully fund that one item.
That is an observation, General Cody. I do not know whether you have a
General CODY. No, I appreciate, Mr. Congressman, that comment. My son is a two-year ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corps). He benefited from that program, and he is now a captain serving. I picked up the rest of the tab when he decided to become a Texas Aggie.
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Mr. MARSHALL. You would just as soon that we had in place this authorization earlier and that we funded it.
General CODY. It would have been very helpful. I probably would not have qualified.
We are going to go back and look at it. We have several incentive programs for the college funds. We have increased the college fund, as you know, as a recruiting tool, and we are going to go back and readdress it. We are just now getting in what our recruiting numbers are looking like, but I agree with you, we are going to take a hard look at the scholarship program to make sure that we have it right.
Mr. MARSHALL. Yes. The admissions offices for those two-year colleges would be out there right now touting the heck out of this with high school students, and I think you would see quite an increase in applications to the two-year colleges, knowing that they could go on with scholarship assistance.
General MOSELEY. Sir, we have two studies that we are going to get our hands on within the next couple of weeks. One is the military capabilities study (MCS)05 and the other study is a study by the Joint Staff that the Air Force requested to look at intra-theater lift. I think both of those will come in and suggest that we take another look at the C130 J opportunity and the C130 J multiyear.
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Sir, as you know, we have over 500 C130's. Two hundred of those are E models. We have over 30 of those grounded now, and we are looking at having to ground another 50 or so of those because of wing spar and wing box issues. Marines have 75 C130's, so we are in partnership across the board with C130 opportunities.
Now, the C130 J has proven to be at MC rates of over 95 percent. We have two of those in theater now, and we are about to have four total. It is out of Baltimore and out of Rhode Island, and we are about to get a couple more airplanes out of California. The J model, both versions of it, the short version and the long version, are playing out very nicely. The Royal Air Force, the Royal Australian Air Force, Denmark and Italy also are flying C130 Js.
So, sir, the C130 and the intra-theater lift challenge for us is real. The average age on those C130 Es for us is over 40 years. In fact, the oldest one we have we took delivery in June of 1961. So we are in partnership with our Marine brothers and sisters. We are working this C130 issue pretty hard but in a bigger sense the intra-theater lift challenge hard.
General NYLAND. I might just jump in for a moment, sir, if I might. I certainly echo General Moseley on the great capabilities of this airplane. I have had the privilege to fly it myself. We now have six of them in Iraq out of a squadron of 12, and my son-in-law is flying them, and he says it is a great airplane. That is good enough for me.
Mr. MARSHALL. Mr. Chairman, arguably, this is land, sea or projection forces, but I think this is also a readiness issue.
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Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Thank you, gentlemen.
Mr. HEFLEY. Mrs. Bordallo.
Ms. BORDALLO. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
I, too, would like to join my colleagues on this committee and thank our men and women in the armed services for their outstanding contributions to the defense of our country.
I represent the people of Guam, a U.S. territory in the Pacific, where serving in the military is part of our tradition. Guam is the home of two major military bases, U.S. Air Force and the Navy.
And I have two questions for you, Admiral Nathman. First, I would like to ask you whether the Navy is still committed to having three attack submarines home-ported in the western Pacific and what the impact of decommissioning one submarine, namely the United States Ship (USS) San Francisco, will be on that commitment in fiscal year 2006.
Admiral NATHMAN. Ma'am, we are committed to three submarines in Guam. We believe we have to have the right focus in the western Pacific. Our submarine force is key, not only to the preparation of the battle space or intelligent preparation of the battle space, but it is key to any future warfight in that area. So we are committed there.
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And I want to thank you for your help. I think the crew particularly appreciated your interest and your support around San Francisco and appreciate you looking at the boat, and the crew was impressed. And thank you very much for that, ma'am.
Ms. BORDALLO. Thank you very much, Admiral.
The second question I have is, can you tell me more about the unfunded requirement the Navy has of the $2.5 million for the expansion of low-frequency Awase Japan helix house? And I understand that this is the sole ballistic missile submarine low-frequency broadcast station for the western Pacific and the Indian Ocean.
Admiral NATHMAN. You are correct about it being the sole low-frequency communications. The unfunded list, the President's budget is right. It is about continuity of service, it is a risk-reduction method. It means that, without the money, we have to watch the risk that we have and the continuity of that service. We have to have the right continuity of service, because it deals with submarine communications.
So it is on the unfunded list for the right reason. It is really, can we drive out some of the risk? And if we had the opportunity, that is how we would spend the money, ma'am.
Ms. BORDALLO. Thank you very much, Admiral.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
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Mr. HEFLEY. Thank you.
Ms. DAVIS OF CALIFORNIA. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Thank you to all of you for your service.
Admiral Nathman, good to see you.
I want to focus for a second on the Navy. I guess that is appropriate, being from San Diego. And you mentioned the capitalization of the force and particularly the carriers. And I just wanted you to know that over the last week in the Navy-Marine caucus and in the shipbuilding caucus as well we talked about that issue. I think we all tried to grapple a little bit with what are the obstacles to doing that in a more reasonable way that makes sense in terms of cost.
And I certainly hope that we can all address that, because partly it is one of those things of looking in the mirror, and we all probably share a part of that problem, but I would like to see that changed.
But I also wanted you to talk about ship maintenance needs, because I have had a few folks suggest to me that we are in more trouble perhaps than we think; that in fact if we look at this next budget, we are okay, but if we look to fiscal year of 2007, 2011, that we need to do something differently.
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Could you speak to that? Certainly, sea basing plays a role in that, but are we cutting out ship maintenance contracts to the level that we really will begin to impact readiness?
Admiral NATHMAN. Ma'am, the short answer is I think we are doing the right thing about the readiness of our surface force in terms of its availabilities and the maintenance we are doing on that. But it is a fairly complex approach, because one of the things we have asked the surface force commander, and I know you dealt with Admiral LaFleur a lot on thishe is going to retire tomorrow after 34 years of service
Ms. DAVIS OF CALIFORNIA. I am sorry, I am going to miss that, certainly.
Admiral NATHMAN. He has 35 years, excuse me.
But part of this has been we have rebaselined the surface force and the carrier force to this fleet response plan. And the whole idea was to look at how we can improve the agility and availability of our forces to be more employable and deployable.
And we have found it somewhat cost-neutral so far. We still have to rebaseline the class maintenance plans around the cycles, the cycle time thatand each of the ships is on a slightly different cycle.
So that may reveal, ma'am, to your pointand that is why I am saying it is in the futureto look at when we rebaseline those class maintenance plans, have we gotten the availabilities so that we sustain the material condition of the ship and therefore its material readiness? That work still is in progress, and it may imply a higher investment level to improve and sustain the material conditions.
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But what is on top of that, which I find very interesting is inside of our ship readiness improvement initiatives, particularly the ship main that Admiral LaFleur has led, you have seen the consolidation of original maintenance facilities frankly to take a lot of overhead out of our ship maintenance and therefore it goes to the maintenance itself, not to the overhead, not to the management practices, not to the travel, not to parts in excess. So it has been an efficient study, which goes across depot, the availabilities, right down to the individual maintainer on the ship.
And inside that process Admiral LaFleur has looked at the readiness investments across that domain and said, ''We can do a whole lot better if we look at this as a system horizontal instead of looking at it vertically like we have done for years in the past.''
So my real answer to this one is we are still discovering through the rebaselining of the class maintenance plan, but we believe strongly that because of the ship maintenance efficiencies that we are doing, that this horizontal business integration, we believe we can drive those costs out and keep those costs relatively cost neutral to the old way of funding readiness. And so you are going to get more readiness basically for less money. And that I think is what we are trying to do. We do not know all the answers.
Ms. DAVIS OF CALIFORNIA. Will the tools for measuring that change dramatically then? I mean, are you comfortable about how we are going to measure that so that we know in fact that we have made that adjustment?
Admiral NATHMAN. Yes, ma'am.
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Ms. DAVIS OF CALIFORNIA. And what goes into that?
Admiral NATHMAN. I think what you are seeing is a very strong grip on cycle time, on link metrics from I level back to O level and understanding that in your class maintenance plan that you would better have the metrics that provide linkages across that.
They are not perfect yet, they are not even close, but we started this basically two and a half, three years ago. The progress we have made there is magnificent. There is a long way to go, and part of it is to your point: that you had better have the right link metrics so you understand the relationship of O-level dollar to a D-level dollar and what that changes.
So we are still in some discovery there, and I want to tell you that what we need to do is when we look at this we fund then to the readiness that we insist upon in our fleet readiness plan, and we use those metrics to determine what those readiness accounts will be. We have brought inside of that a very, I think, very disciplined process between our readiness resource sponsor on the staff and the fleet.
So there is a strong linkage there, and we believe we are funding to levels that he believes is right. So the fleet is allowed very strongly to tell the programmers at the Pentagon, ''This is the right level.'' I think we are doing a good job there, ma'am.
Ms. DAVIS OF CALIFORNIA. Thank you. I look forward to working with you on that, so we can track it responsibly.
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Admiral NATHMAN. Thank you.
Ms. DAVIS OF CALIFORNIA. Thank you.
Mr. HEFLEY. Mr. Schwarz.
Mr. SCHWARZ. General Moseley, let us talk about the A10 for a moment, if we might. My understanding is that after consideration and consultation with the Army and the Marine Corps, the A10, which was scheduled for being taken out of the inventory, is now going to stay in the inventory and be refitted and upgraded. Is that correct?
General MOSELEY. Sir, to be honest with you, without consultation with the Army or the Marine Corps, the Navy or the Coast Guard, the Air Force has decided to keep the A10 because of its performance in Afghanistan and Iraq and to re-engine it and continue with the service updates on the airplane until we can get a newer platform, which will look a whole lot like a Joint Strike Fighter, and it will look a whole lot like a short takeoff and vertical landing aircraft (STOVL) version of a joint fight striker that the Marines and we will buy so that we can better partner with expeditionary air fields and be able to provide close air support to the joint team.
Mr. SCHWARZ. What do you think might be the service life now of the A10's that are in the inventory, both in active-duty units and in Guard units?
General MOSELEY. Sir, some of themthat is the next aircraft that our Fleet Viability Board will look at. Some of them are in much better shape than others, like all other fleets. When we can get at the re-engining of a number of them and finish with the service life upgrades, we will have a whole lot better idea after the board looks at it. But for the majority of them, we think we can keep them until we can get the STOVL version of the Joint Strike Fighter. And, sir, that is Guard, active and Reserve.
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Mr. SCHWARZ. Is it your opinion that the joint strike fighter (JSF) can be as good a close air support aircraft as the A10?
General MOSELEY. Sir, I would offer, having done a bit of this, that it is not the platform that provides close air support, it is the weapon's effect and the orchestration with the ground party. We have flown close air support from 38,000 feet with a B1 and a B52, we have flown close air support with UAVs, we have flown close air support with combat rescue helicopters. So, yes, sir, I believe we can move into a newer platform when we can get the Joint Strike Fighter.
But the Hog has been a good airplane, and it has been a wonderful airplane to fly and to provide support for surface forces.
Mr. SCHWARZ. My hometown has an A10 base at the 110th, which has participated inMichigan Air National Guard, which has participated in every campaign in the past 15 years. When they are called, they go, and they are mission ready. And they are delighted, as am I, General, that the A10 is going to stay around a while longer, because it is a superb aircraft, and they in the 110th are superb people.
Thank you very much.
And, Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
General MOSELEY. Congressman, the advantage that the A10 has over other aircraft is that 30 millimeter gun.
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Mr. SCHWARZ. I have seen it fire on the range up at Grayling, and it is a sight to behold.
General MOSELEY. Yes, sir. She is a nice gun.
Mr. SCHWARZ. Thank you, sir.
General MOSELEY. When we get to the Joint Strike Fighter, our version of that will have an internal gun, so we will still be able to go kinetic with the precision of a gun. But the new engines on the A10 will also make her much more survivable and reliable.
Mr. SCHWARZ. Thank you very much, sir.
General MOSELEY. Yes, sir.
Mr. HEFLEY. Mr. Taylor.
Mr. TAYLOR. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
And thank all of you, gentlemen, for sticking around so far and for your great service to our country.
General Codyand I do not write as fast as you can speak, nor can I speak as fast as you can speak, but I thought I heard you to say we have seven fully equipped National Guard brigades. One of them happens to be from Mississippi.
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I know for a fact, based on my conversation with their commanding officer, that the first time they ever saw an IED jammer was in Kuwait. That includes months of training at Camp Shelby, I believe six weeks of training at the National Training Center.
I cannot believe that, given the fact that half of our deaths and wounded are the results of IEDs, that that could be considered full equipped without having been able to train. And some people are trying to give me a short answer on that and saying, ''Oh, it is nothing more than hooking up a box.'' With all due respect, I know better.
And for the halo that that provides around the troops it is affected by the type of truck in front of you, the type of jammer you have. And, quite frankly, I think we need to do better.
My question is, along those lines, what are we doing to do better?
Second questionthe first one I said I knew about, the second one I have only heard about, but I have received reports from the same unit that they lack what is called inter-squad radios. Do not know that for a fact, but this is coming from an e-mail to a dad recently, and I was wondering what is being done to address that?
General CODY. Thank you, Mr. Congressman.
You and I have had this discussion before, and I will try to be careful on the IEDs because of their classification. We are not happy that we do not have the jammers and the other type of IED protect systems in the quantities we have right now.
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As you know, we rebudgeted $161 million here about two or three months ago to expedite two or three different types of jammers that give us certain capabilities but not all the capabilities we want. And the production line is moving along, not as fast as we want it but certainly what the capacity is.
We stood up the IED Task Force in October of 2003 when we saw this coming, and we have been working several different technologies with the National Laboratories, and we do not have all the jammers that we need right now. We are mitigating some of that with use of other type of systems, in terms of detection systems, protection systems with up-armoring and others as well as using aerial platforms that do certain things. But, you are right, we do not have all the jammers, and we are working it hard.
Secretary Wolfowitz and I chair with these gentlemen once a month the IED operations planning team (OPT) where we are trying to get the technology. One jammer does not fix all. This is a very elusive enemy, and I think you know that. One jammer does certain things, and as soon as he finds out that we have that type of capability, they go to different types of devices.
I would like to tell you we are ahead of them; we are not. And it is a matter of concern, and we are continuing to work it.
Mr. TAYLOR. Have you within the Army set a goal, a timeline for at least for those units who are now trained to go to Iraq that they will at least have this in place here in the States to train with and that the day they are rolling into Iraq is not the first time that they see one?
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General CODY. We are doing that, but pressure was on, and I know the frustration because I have that same frustration. We would like to have the soldiers trained with the stuff at the National Training Center or the Joint Readiness Training Center, active, Guard and Reserve.
But we pushed everything in-country and rather than have 24 or 30 back for training, these are so vital in some of these units, on some of these areas where we know what type of IEDs are being used. We absolutely took everything off the production line that comes off and pushes it in country.
I think we are now at the state with this rebudgeting that we are going to put some in the training base. But, as you know, in Kuwait, before they go down range, we have that IED Task Force there, and they get the convoy training and they get use of the jammer training.
I do not think we will have all the jammers and all the technology to defeat the IEDs here in the near term, even with all the jammers we are buying. I just need to be honest with you.
Mr. TAYLOR. And the radios?
General CODY. The radios, I get the same comments from active components. Because of the way some of the units are fighting and it is evolving as we go along in terms of tactics, techniques and procedures and this type of fight, we have pushed forward embedded radios, we have pushed forward intersquad radios and other type of radios, but we do have units still coming back to us saying, ''We trained with this. Now we are over here and what we really need for squads and others is this type of radio.'' And we are trying to work each one of those operational needs statements as fast as we can.
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Mr. TAYLOR. Last one, Mr. Chairman. You have been very generous.
It has come to my attention that if a soldier who has paid into and earned his Government Issue (GI) bill educational benefits, if he unfortunately is killed in the line of duty serving his country and if he happens to be a dad, that those educational benefits do not flow to his children.
I would like to ask each of you if you think it would be a good idea to amend the law to see to it that those benefits that have been earned and paid for that he can leave them to his children?
General NYLAND. I do not have to hesitate. I think that would be a tremendous idea, sir.
General MOSELEY. Yes, sir, I agree.
General CODY. I agree also, Mr. Congressman.
Mr. TAYLOR. Admiral, there is no more room on your sleeve. You cannot get another stripe.
Admiral NATHMAN. Well, you know, I was personally in that position because my dad died on active duty. Emotionally it certainly appeals to me, but I would like to understand what the impact is.
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Mr. TAYLOR. I understand that the Veterans Administration does have some provision for those kids, but on the flip side of that, that soldier earned it, he paid into it, and it just does not seem right. I do not know why we have not addressed it sooner, but it could be ideal.
Admiral NATHMAN. I think it is worthy of study, sir.
Mr. TAYLOR. Thank you, Admiral.
Mr. HEFLEY. Mr. Hayes.
Mr. HAYES. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Since I am last, is there no time limit?
Mr. HEFLEY. No. Take the rest of the afternoon, Mr. Hayes.
Mr. HAYES. Okay.
Mr. HEFLEY. If you do not talk about Fort Bragg.
Mr. HAYES. All right. Oh, you brought it up. Thank you.
Page 67 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General Nyland, are the Marines still flying airplanes?
General NYLAND. Absolutely, yes, sir.
Mr. HAYES. Last week I said something about people being hand wringing bedwetters, and I apologize. I was too understated. I should have called them something a little bit worse.
We are facing a problem, you all know it, and I am going to focus on C130's. It has been talked about before but I want to raise the conversation to a much more shrill level. Got a problem and many of us in Congress know we have a problem, but a lot of us in Congress do not, and the general public does not have any idea of the seriousness of this problem.
I am asking you all to bring this to a much higher level of attention, because it is one of the worse crises that we face.
We talk about transformation, General Cody, but I do not call transformation turning the airborne into the infantry, and that is what is going to happen if we do not deal with the C130 problem.
Specifically, what I would like for you to do is raise the volume, raise the content. In your statement today, in eight pages there is one mention of a 43-year-old airplane, there is a mention of a group that is studying the problem. What I would like to have is the facts. Age is important, how many aircraft are down, but let us go beyond that.
Page 68 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC We all fly airplanes, and at that age my airplane went in for phase inspection on the 24th of January. It was in for three days. It came out 33 days later. That is what you face when you look at the wing box, which is much more than a box. It is what holds the wings on the airplane. When that process starts, the percentage of downed airplanes is only going to increase.
So if you could give us the facts and the figures but more importantly what the master chief, like the lady at Mildenhall who works on those airplanes says is going to happen as a result of those periodic inspections, because we are really taking the transportation away from our incredible military. So I want to get that on the table, and I want to get it out there quickly.
The business end of this equation is we are spending millions and billions of dollars trying to fix and repair airplanes that are getting more and more expensive, less and less available. Somehow we need to put facts and figures on the table that says we not only need the money we have, and we have some increased spending for the military and we need to do more, but for now we need to be spending that money on new platforms that will be available to do the things that you need to do.
Now, with that introduction, how can we get the problem on the table so that we can deal with it and make sure that these incredible men and women in uniform that you all represent so well are well supplied with C130's and all the other platforms that are in similar condition?
General MOSELEY. Congressman Hayes, let me jump on that one first. This morning I asked our installation and logistics guys as of this afternoon how many airplanes does the Air Force own and how many are operating either under some flight restriction or are grounded. We have about 6,100 airplanes, and we have about 2,200 airplanes that are either grounded or operating under some flight restrictions.
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Now, that flight restriction could be something very minimal, but it could be something very significant, like the C130 Es where we cannot carry the fuel or we cannot carry the weight or we cannot maneuver the airplane because of the wing box or the spar assembly.
Mr. HAYES. If I may interrupt you a minute, I think it was Congressman Marshall got into some of those numbers, and they are important, but we have to get beyond where we are, which is bad enough, and have those experienced people that have been trying to fix them for years tell us what is going to happen when we start tearing them apart.
The suggestion would be to get a planeload, C130 load of Congressmen and women, take them out to Andrews and say, ''Okay, every other one of you gets to get on the plane because it is restricted.''
General MOSELEY. Sir, we would not do that. The rest of the fleet is in like shape. When you look at a fleet that is the oldest Air Force we have operated when we have some aircraft that are 40 years old, like the C130 E and we have some of the other aircraft that are 40 plus years old, our average age of our fleet is 23 and a half years.
In 1967, when I put on the uniform at Texas A&M University in the Corps of Cadets, the average age of our fleet was about eight and ahalf years old. So in my career, we have gone from 8.5 years to 23.5 years, average age.
So, sir, it cuts across all of our areas, from trainers to combat rescue, to our mobility assets, our bombers and our fighters.
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Not too many years ago we talked about the average age of an air-to-air fighter would be about 10 years, and that is about right. After that, you get into wing cracks, fuselage cracks, tail cracks. The average age of our F15s right now are about 22 years. And that is showing with the flight restrictions we have on the airplanes.
So we are looking forward to working with the committee and the staff and looking forward, as we are with the Joint Staff and with the OSD staff, to highlight these issues, because they are not much different of any of us that operate aircraft.
General NYLAND. I would echo we can talk all day about the age, sir. I am a young man, and they are older than I have been flying. We have a stated requirement for 51, and as we go into this study, I fully expect to see that number not get smaller but get larger.
And our fleet, as you know, the F models and the R models, the youngest one is 30-some years old. We have one squadron of the J that is performing magnificently now in Iraq. It is a great airplane. It has tremendous capability and more importantly it has tremendous availability.
I am with you, sir, we need to move on and we need to put these kind of aircraft in the fleet. We have many examples of them, as General Moseley has said, across others, as we can talk about CH46s becoming MB22s. We need to put our young men and women, whether they are driving them, working on them or flying in them, in good equipment.
Page 71 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. HAYES. Again, I appreciate it.
I know my time is up, Mr. Chairman, but somehow that study group needs to give us the figures that show not only the seriousness of where we are today but what we are facing. Those inspections are not going to be good news, and I think opinion is very valuable, because there is much history to support what those guys and ladies are going to say.
KC135, magnesium in that tail. Came in for a routine inspection. They have to get that out. How long is it going to take? Well, we do not know. But those kinds of things are mighty hard to plan.
Talking to the Speaker about this issue this afternoon. He is very much aware. He said a 1958 model aircraftI would love to have a 1958 model of Chevrolet, but I do not want to fight a war with it.
So, again, here is the opportunity, and it is up to us, and we have to get something done on this thing.
General Moseley, you remember the motto of that tanker group over at Mildenhall, NKAWTG?
General MOSELEY. You will have to help me with that one, Congressman.
Mr. HAYES. ''No kick expletive deleted without the gas.''
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General MOSELEY. Yes, sir.
Mr. HAYES. That is right. We cannot fight the war without the gas, and they deserve, and give us something to help you with.
Mr. HEFLEY. Mr. Forbes, do you have any other questions?
Mr. FORBES. No, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. HEFLEY. Mr. Hayes, more questions?
Mr. HAYES. No questions.
Mr. HEFLEY. I have some additional questions, but I am not going to keep you gentlemen here all afternoon for three of us, so if I might send you some questions to answer for the record.
We really do appreciate your time, appreciate you coming, appreciate you bringing these young, brave sergeants with you and introducing them to the committee, and we look forward to working with you through this process.
You have to tell us what you need, because otherwise we will not know. And this committee I think will bend over backwards to see that you have what you need to go and meet and come back victorious from any challenge that we have. But we have to hear it from you. So as we go along if things change or whatever, you let us know so that we can work with you.
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And thank you very much for being here.
The committee stands adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 4:05 p.m., the subcommittee was adjourned.]