SPEAKERS CONTENTS INSERTS
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[H.A.S.C. No. 1065]
NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT
FOR FISCAL YEAR 2000H.R. 1401
OVERSIGHT OF PREVIOUSLY AUTHORIZED PROGRAMS
COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED SIXTH CONGRESS
Page 2 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCMILITARY READINESS SUBCOMMITTEE HEARINGS
TITLE IIIOPERATION AND MAINTENANCE
MARCH 4, 1999
MILITARY TRAINING CAPABILITIES AND SHORTFALLS
House of Representatives,
Committee on Armed Services,
Military Readiness Subcommittee,
Washington, DC. Thursday, March 4, 1999.
The subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 10 a.m., in room 2212, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Herbert H. Bateman, (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. HERBERT H. BATEMAN, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM VIRGINIA, CHAIRMAN, MILITARY READINESS SUBCOMMITTEE
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Mr. BATEMAN. The Subcommittee will please come to order. I'd like to welcome everyone to this Military Readiness Subcommittee hearing. We began the Military Readiness Subcommittee hearing this year with a review of the President's Fiscal Year 2000 Budget Request and the adequacy of that budget request to sufficiently support the critical readiness needs of our Armed Forces.
One of the many areas that causes me great concern is the adequacy and funding for the training of individuals and their basic skills required by a chosen Military Occupational Specialty.
Last week the Subcommittee traveled to Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, to hear from the commanders of the training centers on how they viewed the training levels of the units and personnel arriving at their training centers. I must tell you that the assessment by these commanders of the lack of readiness of individuals and units arriving at our training centers to compete against the opposing forces greatly concerns me.
Though I am satisfied that most of the problem has to do with the units' operational capabilities, my fear is that part of the problem stems from inadequately resourced military training schools that need to provide the necessary leadership and technical skills training required in today's high tech military.
For today's hearing we will look at the military's institutional training program. We'll hear from the individuals who have the overall responsibility for the military schoolhouses. These schoolhouses provide the core training and development of the essential individual skills required in mastering a Military Occupational Specialty.
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We want to learn from our panels today about the challenges faced by those who must provide the individual training from the individual entry level or basic training to the advanced professional courses required for senior rank. We know that often it is the combat operational units who receive all the attention and most of the resources.
However, in an overall budget-constrained environment, the schools are sometimes left to make do with less than adequate resources for instructors, ammunition, and the necessary dollars to maintain infrastructure and commercial contracts to maintain high standards of quality of life for the schoolhouse installations. I want to be assured that individual training at all levels is provided adequate resources.
The committee is also interested in hearing about the use of technology such as simulators to enhance and improve training methods, and the initiatives being undertaken to export training to where the service member lives and works by the use of Distance Learning. I know there is a great potential benefit from these types of activities and I look forward to getting a better understanding of what is being done in these key areas.
We have two panels today. The first is made up of senior representatives from each of the services. They will speak on a broad scale to the myriad of challenges related to institutional training. Our second panel is made up of representatives from each service who deal with the day-to-day challenges associated with running the schoolhouse and consistently producing technically proficient young men and women to serve throughout the military.
Before we get into the hearing of witnesses, I would like to yield to my friend from Texas, the Ranking Democratic member of the subcommittee, the Honorable Solomon Ortiz, and ask him if he has any comments he would like to make.
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STATEMENT OF HON. SOLOMON ORTIZ, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM TEXAS, RANKING MEMBER, MILITARY READINESS SUBCOMMITTEE
Mr. ORTIZ. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I join you today in welcoming our distinguished witnesses to today's Readiness Subcommittee Hearing to discuss military training capabilities. I am very pleased, Mr. Chairman, that this issue is being addressed in a formal hearing.
The investments we make in our military training infrastructure has a lot to do with how we prepare our military and how they will be prepared for the future. From what I remember, it is the military schools that are responsible for the initial technical and tactical training of the leadership, participating in the development of future operational concepts and hardware requirements, and development of the tactics and doctrine for those concepts and requirements. It is because of those critical functions that I am especially pleased we are expanding our specific oversight into the operation of the military schoolhouses.
Mr. Chairman, I could say more about the impact of neglecting the training base but I will hold off. I must say however, that it takes very little imagination to visualize the impact when we think about the kinds of training that takes place, activities that range from high intensity training like Ranger training and pilot training, to highly technical and complex maintenance training.
I know that we are pressed for time and I do want to reserve as much time as possible so we can receive the testimony from our witnesses and still have time for questions. So, Mr. Chairman, I yield back my time.
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Mr. BATEMAN. Thank you, Mr. Ortiz. At this point we're going to turn to our panel. And the first panel consists of General John M. Abrams, Commanding General United States Army Training and Doctrine Command, at Fort Monroe, in the First Congressional District of Virginia; and Vice Admiral John W. Craine, Jr., Director of Naval Training and Chief of Naval Education and Training, the United States Navy. Welcome.
We also have General Lloyd W, Newton, Commander Air Education and Training Command, U.S. Air Force; and Lieutenant General John E. Rhodes, Commanding General Marine Corps Combat Development Command, U.S. Marine Corps.
Gentlemen, thank you all for being here. We look forward to hearing from you. We'll start with General Abrams. And if you have written statements, they will all be made a part of the record and you may proceed to either deliver it or to summarize as you see fit.
STATEMENT OF GEN. JOHN N. ABRAMS, COMMANDER, ARMY TRAINING AND DOCTRINE COMMAND, U.S. ARMY
General ABRAMS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, members of the subcommittee for the opportunity to speak to you today. I'm happy to be here on behalf of the soldiers of the Army and, more importantly, on behalf of the command that I represent which is the Army's Training and Doctrine Command.
Many of you have Army presence in your districts. And at the forefront of our remarks, I'd just say thanks for your continued support to the soldiers and family members in their important mission and task, as they are the cadre that represents providing well-qualified and well-trained soldiers and leaders. I do have a statement for the record that I'd like to submit.
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Mr. BATEMAN. Without objection.
General ABRAMS. Sir, if I may, I'd like to go through a portion of my statement, if possible. I work directly for the Secretary of Army and the Army Chief of Staff as some of you know. The organization of our Command is the foundation of Army readiness. It was put in place to be the first step of Army readiness. I have two missions. The first mission is to prepare the Army for today's mission needs. The second mission is to prepare the Army, as you had mentioned in your comments, Mr. Chairman, to prepare the Army and its people for the future.
This includes the non-commissioned officers, the warrant officers and the commissioned officers that we draw from society and transform them and then embrace them with a continuing investment in their education and training throughout their full careers. TRADOC brings new soldiers and leaders into the Army.
This past October 1st, we assumed command of the Recruiting Command. And so now in addition to our traditional roles for the Army, we provide the leadership and support to 7,300 recruiters across the United States and all of the recruiting efforts on behalf of the Department of the Army.
It is a sizable undertaking but it makes a lot of sense because now we're able to draw the synergy of not only assessing the force but meeting its initial training and education obligations to prepare each and every member of the Army for success in their first assignment and, hopefully, for a promising career.
Page 8 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC As some of you also know, we run the Army's ROTC and Junior ROTC programs. This is approximately 218,000 high school students across the Nation currently enrolled in our JROTC program. We also have 41,000 college students involved in our normal Senior ROTC program. And in 1998 that Senior ROTC program provided us 3,500 2nd Lieutenants to serve on Active Duty in the United States Army.
We accomplish our mission in 16 major installations across the country, 1,500 recruiting stations, 270 universities and colleges across the United States. We are the Army's schoolhouse, the largest university in the world. TRADOC has 27 schools with about 10,000 instructors who annually provide training to over 240,000 active Guard and Reserve components both.
We provide the training and education for the total Army, from young recruits to senior leaders. It encompasses a 1 million force but, additionally, it includes 20,000 civilians and members from the other services, 4,000 international students, and 90,000 what we would classify as DOD and Department of State civilians.
TRADOC, in its second mission role, is the combat developer, and as such is the Department's executive division for the Army change process for the future. The Doctrine of Air-Land Battle which was one of the principal underpinnings for success in Operation Desert Storm was written by TRADOC. It was written by colonels, majors, captains and non-commissioned officers. We represent the institutional expertise and conduct experimentation.
We are the ones that cultivate an environment for new ideas, some bold and others not so bold, new concepts and new capabilities. We develop war games, experiments and tests that organize, develop and run our Training and Doctrine Command. We also developed the requirements for new Army materiel and organization.
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As many of you know, the Army announced a major initiative with the formation of Strike Force. Our confidence in this effort is the by-product of the last 4 years of experimentation, testing and war games. And now we are moving out on this important endeavor. It is at the forefront of what we consider to be important for us to meet our Title 10 responsibility for the future to meet the missions for our soldiers.
I have an annual command operating budget of $2.7 billion to balance TRADOCs' missions. Balancing TRADOCs' obligations is a fragile process. Our clear priority is to first ensure each and every soldier is fully capable of performing his or her assigned duties when he or she arrives at the first duty assignment. To keep training fully resourced, we are balancing our investments for base operations and infrastructure in combat development with deferred payments to safeguard the near term readiness of today's force.
We are continuing to focus on economies and efficiencies as a major goal as a part of this strategy. Examples to illustrate the kinds of things we are deferring include maintenance and repair of our infrastructure, and repairs on our equipment to Army standards. As you know, we bring some important combat developments in key areas for future training and education technologies, materiel solutions and organizational pizzazz.
In summary, it is my own personal assessment and the assessment of colleagues and subordinates within Training and Doctrine Command that we are able to meet our fundamental obligations to ensure our soldiers are properly prepared for their service to our Nation. The feedback from our field commanders, our new soldiers, our new leaders, their parents and relatives is that they have the right stuff to contribute to the Army and grow from an experience in service with the United States Army. I'll look forward to your questions.
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[The prepared statement of General Abrams can be found in the appendix.]
Mr. BATEMAN. Thank you, General Abrams. Admiral Craine?
Vice Admiral CRAINE. Mr. Chairman, with your concurrence, I'd like to submit my written statement for the record?
Mr. BATEMAN. Without objection. Admiral Craine?
STATEMENT OF VICE ADM. JOHN W. CRAINE, JR., DIRECTOR OF NAVAL TRAINING AND CHIEF OF NAVAL EDUCATION AND TRAINING, U.S. NAVY
Vice Admiral CRAINE. Mr. Chairman, members of the subcommittee, I appreciate the opportunity to appear here before you all today to talk about Navy training. First, I want to thank you all for your continued support for Navy and for our people. We have the best Navy today in the world because of your help. It's the best because of our men and women who are trained to operate and maintain our ships and aircraft.
As the CNO has recently testified, managed shortfalls are impacting our readiness. In the training world these shortfalls extend to our training sites as shortages of instructors. The President's budget contains pay and retirement initiatives that target exactly the right people, mid-grade petty officers and officers, to be our future trainers and replace those men and women we are short in our fleet. It will also to help make us more competitive in a very tough recruiting environment. We appreciate your support for these pay initiatives. They are important to our people and they are important for our readiness.
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One of the steps the Navy is taking to improve its manning is to expand our recruiting efforts. We in the training business will be prepared to take the surge of recruits that we are anticipating this summer. Our goal is to provide well-trained sailors to the fleet as quickly as possible without sacrificing any training quality.
With the current shortfalls that we're experiencing, it's all the more imperative that we're able to do this. To achieve this goal, we are re-engineering the way we train to make it more efficient and effective. We are installing advanced electronic classrooms, learning resource centers to enhance learning and to reduce attrition.
We're also expanding the capability of our Distance Learning to reduce travel costs, to extend the reach of limited instructors, and to make accessible training to more people. I'm pleased to say that we're, from our initial phase of this re-engineering effort, exceeding our initial expectations.
From my visits to our schools I've observed that our students are extremely motivated and they're absorbing incredible amounts of information. And I attribute this to the new modern technologies and teaching methods that we are beginning to install in our classrooms.
We've got to continue to make investments in state-of-the-art training, not only to stimulate learning but also to prepare our men and women to have the skills that they'll need to be able to maintain and operate the sophisticated equipment that we're putting on our ships and our aircraft.
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Equally important to developing a technically competent sailor is the ability to develop a well-disciplined war fighter who has the will to fight and win. We're doing this by instilling military discipline, teamwork, and values in our people. Our Navy military training program and our leadership continuum are key enablers that reinforce and build on our core values. These two programs develop the character and the leadership that our people need to succeed.
Overall, I'm pleased with the quality of training and its responsiveness to the fleet. We've teamed with the other services to provide common training and we're looking for efficiencies wherever we can find them. The budget realities are with us. We've had to make some tough decisions and we're placing the emphasis on maintaining the quality of our training rather than on maintaining our infrastructure. As the CNO has testified, the Navy believes that it needs a top line increase of approximately $6 billion a year to fully meet all of its requirements.
In conclusion, our people will continue to be the key to our success. Our students are motivated, our instructors are dedicated, and our training today is meeting the needs of the fleet. I once again thank you all for your support to our people and to our Navy. I am prepared to answer your questions.
[The prepared statement of Vice Admiral Craine can be found in the appendix.]
Mr. BATEMAN. Thank you, Admiral Craine. General Newton, we're pleased to hear from you.
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STATEMENT OF GEN. LLOYD W. NEWTON, COMMANDER, AIR EDUCATION AND TRAINING COMMAND, U.S. AIR FORCE
General NEWTON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I too would like to submit a written statement for the record. And I will at this time give you a summary of that written statement.
For you and members of the committee, indeed, I am pleased to join my service training colleagues here today to discuss the readiness of America's aerospace forces. Again, first let me join them in thanking you and the committee for your continued strong support of the Nation's Air Force. We are pleased with all that you have been doing for us. Your actions, in my mind, clearly demonstrate to our men and women that the American public really appreciate their service to the Nation.
Throughout, the Air Force has shown a unique ability to adapt to the changing national security demands that come upon us. As we continue to respond to a new world order, we must restructure our force to support a more expeditionary environment and better meet tomorrow's readiness requirements.
Recruiting, training, education are certainly key enablers to force readiness and combat capability. Therefore, as the Commander of Air Education and Training Command, my goal is to foster an expeditionary mind set and skill set that is woven into the very fabric of our aerospace forces. To that end, we must start with a successful recruiting program.
Page 14 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC While we are working our recruiting shortfalls hard, we are facing an uphill struggle, as you well know. There are several factors that contribute to this recruiting problem, not to mention a robust economy, low unemployment, increase in college enrollment, low propensity of our youth to join our military, and of course, pay and retirement issues.
At the end of February we in the Air Force were just over 1,000 enlistees short of where we wanted to be at this point in the year. Therefore, this is the first time since 1979 that we're clearly in danger of not meeting our recruiting requirement. For these reasons I strongly feel that we must provide even better opportunities for young Americans to be drawn in and to stay in our military services.
Although recruiting remains a primary concern for the Air Force, we are working the retention issues just as hard. Pilot retention clearly has been receiving the majority of the headlines on the retention home front. However, mid-level retention rates for our NCOs are quickly becoming a threat to Air Force readiness. For fiscal year 1998, second term enlistments were 6 percent below our 75 percent goal for retention.
These retention trends make this the most challenging time for the Air Force since 1981 to meet our re-enlistment goals. Pay and benefits and other enhancements are certainly a step in the right direction. Within that framework, restoring the retirement system is our top priority. Therefore, we will continue to request your support for these and other quality-of-life programs and we think these are vital to our Air Force readiness.
Shifting our focus to training, undergraduate flying training is now operating at its highest tempo for many years. To alleviate some of the pressure on this system, we have introduced several new programs. One is the acquisition of our Joint Primary Aircraft Training System, known as JPATS, that we're purchasing in concert with the Navy.
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It is important to note that the JPATS is more than just an aircraft. It is a comprehensive training and resource management system. This program is key if we are to continue to produce high quality pilots efficiently and in the right quantities.
Similarly, our fighter and mobility graduate flying training programs are maxing out as well. We are working with our Air National Guard and our Air Reserves to develop total Force solutions to these problems. The first program we initiated in my command was the Air Force Reserve Command Instructor Pilot Program, which has allowed us to return a significant number of Active Duty pilots back to operational cockpits.
In addition, the Guard and Reserve are also helping us with flight training for our F15, F16, 141, and 130 crews as they progress to those aircraft. This will better align our training work load with the shape of our total force today. As you know, Mr. Chairman, and members, today's modernization is tomorrow's readiness.
While I've already touched on the Joint Primary Aircraft Training System, I'd like to mention a few other programs which we have been working. They are a T38 avionics wing and engine modernization programs. These programs will allow our pilots to train in the latest technology and increase the reliability and the maintainability of an aircraft which first entered the Force in 1962.
On a broader note, Education and Training Command is challenged with a fleet of aging aircraft and the lack of sufficient spare parts. Engine readiness has been on a slow decline for several years. It will take several more years of hard work and a robust funding before we are fully recovered. While these modernization programs are critical to developing a combat-ready airman and sustaining our readiness capabilities, we strongly feel that education is another vital step in the process.
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Tomorrow's military leaders must clearly understand the impact of the political, military and economic changes taking place in the world around us. These concepts are as important as developing their technical skills to employ our most advanced weaponry. For this reason we are asking for your support and continued support in adequately funding our classrooms, our dormitory requirements, which will help resolve in-resident capacity problems.
The final readiness area I wish to discuss is our base infrastructure. Our facilities are aging at our air bases and they suffer from a lack of adequate investment. While we appreciate the new facilities that have been provided by the Congress, the majority of our infrastructure is over 40 years old. Therefore, an increase in real property maintenance funding is vital if we are to keep our bases viable.
Mr. Chairman and members, the United States Air Force is the most highly respected aerospace force in the world today. We have good equipment operated and maintained by outstanding committed men and women. However, we are experiencing dangerous signs in readiness trends. We are asking our people to do more and they are exceeding our expectation.
We need your continued support to send a message to our airmen and their families that this Nation's leadership value their sacrifices and their contributions. We can do this with your help by providing adequate funding for our readiness account and continuing to support pay and benefit and other quality-of-life initiatives. Once again, I thank you very much for this opportunity to be before you and I too look forward to your questions.
Mr. BATEMAN. Thank you, General. General Rhodes, we'd be pleased to hear from you.
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[The prepared statement of General Newton can be found in the appendix.]
STATEMENT OF LT. GEN. JOHN E. RHODES, COMMANDING GENERAL, MARINE CORPS COMBAT DEVELOPMENT COMMAND, U.S. MARINE CORPS
Lieutenant General RHODES. Thank you Mr. Chairman, committee members, staff members. We welcome this opportunity to discuss with you the training of American Marines. Like my counterparts, I would like to thank you for the fantastic support that you provided to every soldier, sailor, airman, Marine, our civilian counterparts who work along side, and the families of all of these great workers.
As the Commanding General of the Marine Corps Combat Development Command, my primary mission is to ensure the Marine Corps is ready to succeed in today's and tomorrow's environments. What I'd like to do is begin by describing what we see as the operating environment for the future. I'd like to follow that up with how we are responding to meet those challenges that are posed by that environment.
The Marine Corps is charged by Congress to be most ready when the Nation is least ready. In our simplest terms, we define ''readiness'' as the ability to provide operational forces that can rapidly deploy and carry out assigned missions. Missions that have grown more varied, grown more complex, grown more frequent. The environment our forces will face will be intense, fast-paced and chaotic.
Page 18 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC We see a splintering of nation states continuing, we see the asymmetric challenges increasing, we see a blurring of combat and noncombat. We see an increase in urban operations, whether they are in cities, ghettos, refugee camps, or the urban sprawl of the large major Third World cities. We see an increase in night operations. We understand we will have to operate in a joint and combined arena, operate with governmental and non-governmental forces.
To cope with this environment our Marines must be bold, physically tough, and mentally agile. Our forces, as you know, are most frequently employed from a foreign deployed status. And as such, we know that we cannot train for every contingency or every asymmetric challenge. So what do we use as guidelines to prepare our Marines?
We train to specific rigid standards in training environments that range from strict control during recruit training to an environment that encourages innovation and initiative at the later stages. We see the outcome of operations quite frequently depending upon small unit leadership without the direct supervision of their senior. And we know the training forms the foundation for these small unit leaders. We see the small unit leaders as our strategic corporals.
And we know that the key to success is a bond of common understanding and values between the Marines and their leaders. This begins with a life-long commitment to professional development for all of our Marines. Recruit training, Marine combat training, the School of Infantry, the MOS skill training, the small unit training, the preparation for deployment training, the exercises, the certifications, the contingency deployments, the annual battle skills testing that is linked directly to our Marines' promotion.
Page 19 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Now, we understand there is a lot of resources required to training our Marines. We are willing to pay that price. Our training expenditures account for about 16 percent of our total man years in ends training. We know that we have about 11,000 Marines continually undergoing training at any one time of the year. We staff our over 8,500 training instructor billets at 100 percent staffing.
Now, just because we accept this high overhead does not mean that we are not looking at new initiatives to improve our training, reduce training time and prepare for emerging threats. We have several ongoing training modernization efforts. We are training especially in the initial stages just to core competency. We are doing away with adds-ons or just-in-case training at these initial stages. We are using realistic scenarios now for training.
Yes, we have the classroom preparation, but it's followed by emersion in the field with scenarios that are realistic in an expeditionary environment. Where it is day-on, stay-on 24 hours a day under the supervision of a squad leader or a platoon sergeant.
We are using the new training technologies, Distance Learning, MARNET, if you willand thank you very much for your support on thatwhere we are reducing the traditional classroom training time. Where we are able to train our Marines ahead of time, whether it's at home or at the current bases before they attend the formal schools.
And where we can provide a training continuum for our forces when they are deployed, where we are using electronic classrooms, where we are using computer-based training which greatly replaces the program text, where the Marines can learn at their own pace, where they can determine self-mastery under the supervision, again, of an instructor.
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We are using, of course, hands-on training where they work on actual equipment but also where they work on computer mock-ups where you are able to program faults, where you are able to take excursions which you could not do with normal equipment.
We are increasing the use of simulation and simulators, No. 1, to get better fidelity on the specific aspects of the training problem we are trying to enforce. No. 2, where we can do the no-damage excursions, see what happens when you press this button, see what happens when you push the envelope. Again, self-paced.
And we are using simulators to provide more flexibility. Case in point that all of the services use, would be aviation where certain sorties can be flown in either the aircraft or the simulator in getting credit. Now, although we're looking at the new methods and new technologies, I must make one final point. We are not doing away with the tried and true. We do not intend to do away with all of our instructors. Instructors are key to producing Marines.
It is important to have a Sergeant Striker, if you will, in front leading our Marines where they provide the leadership, they provide knowledge, they provide the instruction, and most importantly, they provide a role model, especially during recruit training and the initial stages of the training.
The training systems and institutions that support our operating forces are doing a great job to turn our Marines to meet the challenges of today. And we will continue to do so tomorrow. We thank you for your continued support in this most important area and for this opportunity to share our thoughts with you.
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[The prepared statement of Lieutenant General Rhodes can be found in the appendix.]
Mr. BATEMAN. Thank you, General Rhodes. At this time I'd like to acknowledge the presence with us this morning of the Honorable Ike Skelton, who is the Ranking Member on the full House Armed Services Committee and recognize him for any comments he may choose to make.
STATEMENT OF IKE SKELTON, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM MISSOURI, RANKING MEMBER, COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
Mr. SKELTON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. If our friend Mr. Ortiz will pardon me for saying a few words here?
Mr. ORTIZ. You are my leader.
Mr. SKELTON. Thank you. Thank you very much for your excellent testimony. I wish I could be here for the entire hearing. The other day, General Newton, I saw your picture in a publication. I said, ''My don't those four stars look good on our old friend from yesteryear when we first came to the Congress.''
General NEWTON. Thank you, sir.
Page 22 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SKELTON. Thank you for your wonderful service to our country through the years. We like to claim you for this building. This subcommittee is key to our readiness, it's key to properly funding those things that you need. I had a discussion with General Abrams about this and I know that his thoughts as well as the thoughts of the other gentlemen before us will be taken into consideration and will looked at quite seriously.
My only comment today is, well, two-fold. No. 1, we're going to fixwe're going to fix the pay, the pay tables, and the pension system. We're going to do that. I think that will be a major step in helping you recruit and retain.
But we can't fix something else, and that is, I suppose, that if we must brag on anyone, we must brag on the Marines for this. I'm not going to brag on you too much because there is always room for improvement
General ABRAMS. Yes, sir.
Mr. SKELTON [continuing]. And that is the indescribable something called ''esprit.'' I don't want to call it ''morale,'' that's too bland of a word. George Brett, the famous Kansas City Royals baseball player, a number of years ago on the first day of the season, told the Kansas City Star newspaper that ''I woke up at 4 this morning and I could hardly wait to get to the ballpark.'' That's what you need to instill in the young men and young women in the military, ''I woke up at 4 this morning and I could hardly wait to get to the rifle range.''
Mr. BATEMAN. I did that this morning.
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Mr. SKELTON. We have a role model sitting right up here. But I don't know how you fix that. I have made a request of each of the services to tell me what, if any, history of America and history of that particular service is taught to the new recruits in the recruit boot camp phase of the military. I think that's important for them to be able to identify that I am wearing a certain uniform and a lot of very important people, courageous, brave people wore before me.
Maybe an increase in identifying with the past might help this thing called ''esprit.'' I would hope that you would take an extra look at that. I know that that's not fixable with dollars and cents, but I think that is what we need. We're going to help take care of the other part of it. I would charge you each to take a look at what you can do to increase the esprit, the wanting to get to the rifle range at 4 in the morning.
Mr. Chairman, with that I appreciate your allowing me to speak and I will be leaving in a few minutes. But the work that you do is extremely important and thank you very much.
Mr. BATEMAN. Thank you, Mr. Skelton, and we're always delighted to have you visit with the Readiness Subcommittee. Let me ask each of you who have Junior ROTC programs to tell us whether or not you have any record as to whether or not those programs are of substantial assistance in your recruiting. Is there a higher incidence or likelihood of someone that goes through a Junior ROTC program to join the Armed Services than someone who has not? General Abrams, do you have any experience with that?
Page 24 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General ABRAMS. Yes, sir, I have. First off, I'll just tell you that one of our largest waiting lists is from the School of America who wants JROTC. I am called frequently on how we can expand this program. I think over the course of the last 18 months what has emerged for us and its value is, first, in its commitment to building a foundation for civic responsibility of the youth of America.
And it's not because JROTC comes up under my command, it's the response that we're getting from parents, from school administrators, and educators, and city officials and people throughout our communities that there is an enormous payoff in the developmental process. As you know, it's a volunteer program. We man it with a cadre of seasoned veterans, responsible veterans, officers and non-commissioned officers, who, in a very credible way served in the United States Army and now have chosen this.
To your specific point, there is first off a direct corollary where we have JROTC in an education system of a school district where our recruiters enjoy enormous respect and admiration and access into these facilities. There is a synergy that goes on because of the goodness of this program. It has increasingly brought on the confidence of school administrators and educators that our recruiters are responsible young men and women and will do right for the children.
The second thing that we see as an indicator is that there is a propensity that is built on this foundation of civic mindedness that the youth picks up on. They all don't go into the Army. We're not interested in all of them going in the Army, quite frankly, but there is this trust and confidence that service in the Air Force of the United States is an opportunity and is an honorable commitment on their part.
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So we are very, very strong on the benefits of JROTC and we are working very hard right now to expand it in areas of the country as moneys become available. The Secretary and the Chief of Staff of the Army are very supportive of this program and quite frankly, it's doing very well.
The third dimension that I'd offer to you about JROTC is that it also helps us and youth in their application to and interest in colleges and universities around the country. Administrators and admissions officials have told us that when they see on the resume membership in the JROTC that it has the same value, in terms of credentialing, of discipline and individual competence and capability to have personal goals and objectives to pursue in academic endeavors. That JROTC is viewed favorably, much the same as Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, 4H Club, and other groups that have been long standing traditions in our country.
Mr. BATEMAN. Admiral Craine?
Vice Admiral CRAINE. Yes, sir.
Mr. BATEMAN. What is your likelihood of recruiting from the ranks of your JROTC?
Vice Admiral CRAINE. Sir, this is one of the first questions that I asked when I took over my job about 3 months ago, what the return on investment was. We've gone from about 226 units to 434 today, just in the last 7 years. The answer directly to your question is we don't know. We do exit surveys of those when they are departing, in their senior year from high school. But how many actually end up enlisting down the road, we don't know. But we're working to see if we can find a good answer to that. We ought to be able to do it.
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Mr. BATEMAN. I think it would be useful. The point of my question is that now that we're experiencing greater difficulties in recruitment, if this has a direct correlation on getting someone with a higher propensity to join, maybe we ought to be expanding the program, even in a very constrained budgetary environment, if it's going to meet or help meet recruiting need and the quality of the recruit is going to be measurably better.
Vice Admiral CRAINE. Yes, sir.
Mr. BATEMAN. General Newton?
General NEWTON. I join my colleagues in saying that obviously this has been a tremendous program for us in the Air Force. We have 609 detachments around the Nation.
And there are probably two parts that clearly come to mind as I get out and visit the schools and visit those detachments.
One is that, as was mentioned by General Abrams, it gets our recruiters inside the school as a natural connection and, therefore, it drives the opportunity for us to recruit more. I do not have specific numbers for you but I think we can pull those up. The other one is, and to me, extremely, extremely important, as our forces continue to draw down, there is going to be less contact with the American public.
This is an ideal way for us to continue to have that contact with the American public along with our recruiting force and others of us that are out there. Clearly, the school instructors and administrators tell me that the on the day that they wear uniforms the discipline rate is much lower than on the other days. I think it speaks to the value that we bring to the table with this particular program.
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We, too, have a long list of well over 100 schools that are waiting to get this program. They love it. It pays big dividends. I'm high on it. If nothing else, it teaches our individuals leadership, responsibility and citizenship, and I think that's extremely important for us as a Nation, particularly as we proceed into the 21st Century.
Mr. BATEMAN. General Rhodes, do you have a JROTC?
Lieutenant GENERAL RHODES. Yes, sir, we do. And, first off, I agree with all the comments, we're all for it. I'll be perfectly honest, at times this causes me a headache and it causes General Jones a headache. And it's a good headache, it's a frustrating headache, because like the other services we are oversubscribed. We have the school waiting lists, we have principals calling us up, ''Can we expand, can I start a splinter one over at this school?'' They are working every angle possible to increase those programs. That's the No. 1 headache.
The No. 2 headache is we get some funding to help us initiate the startup costs but there is a tail between that, and we've got to make sure that we have adequate funding for the tails to continue this program. And that, to be perfectly honest, is a little bit of a problem. But we're all for it. Everything they've said, we'll go ahead and double. And this is an opportunity to grow and to address the problems of recruiting.
Mr. PICKETT. Mr. Chairman, would you yield just a moment?
Mr. BATEMAN. Sure.
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Mr. PICKETT. Is there a separate line item in your budgeting for the JROTC program?
Mr. BATEMAN. Sir, the way the funds are allocated for this program is it does have visibility with the Department. Outside the Department I'm not unaware of, but inside the Department it does have a discrete line for resourcing and it's separate from the Senior ROTC program that we have at the universities. Thank you.
Mr. BATEMAN. But it might be helpful, if you would, for the record, furnish us some information on how much you could expand your programs, if you were given ''x'' additional amount of resources, so that at least we can look at alternatives as we're putting together our authorization bill. This is certainly not intended as a promise or a commitment that you are going to get this pot of money, but at least we can look at the alternatives and know how much you could expand it if you had some additional money.
That leads me to the next question and my guess is that you are not able to answer it this morning. But when you are able we would like you to furnish that information. We've gotten the President's budget request. We hear things in a public relations context that sounds like it's a big increase over the levels of prior funding, but we also have some doubts as to what baseline is being applied.
But what we really want is when it gets down to the level of your commands, how much money is being allocated for the functions you are responsible for, how does it relate to next year, and is it adequate? We want to know the budget impact upon the training function of all of the services. It's absolutely indispensable, in our view, that we take care of that responsibility. And we want to make sure as we look at the authorization bill that we are doing all that we reasonably can to protect that function.
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So when you get that from the bean counters at the Pentagon down to your commands, we'd like your input as to what resources you are being given, relative to what you have had, and its adequacy. With that, I'll call on Mr. Ortiz for any questions he may have.
Mr. ORTIZ. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I would like to dwell a little bit on recruitment and we do have JROTCs in my district. Some of the people that I talk to see that there is probably a need to review a procedure of recruitment.
When some of these young persons on the JROTCs want to enlist in the military, and I want to see if this is correct what I'm hearing, when the recruiter talks to them and they see that this young person is college bound for three or 4 years, they don't tell them about the possibility of him becoming an officer because he loses that number that quota that the recruiter has.
And I'm saying this because the Hispanic community is very concerned that we do not have enough Hispanic officers in the branches of the military. And then when we go up high, we only have three generals for the entire military. But maybe it starts with the procedures, and maybe they need review.
I am not an expert, I am just telling you what I hear as to why we don't have enough Hispanics in the officer ranks. Because if I am a recruiter, I have a certain quota and I want to be sure that he goes as an enlisted man, because when he is college bound, I lose that number. And maybe you can be kind enough to check into that and see if that is true?
Page 30 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Now, it is my understanding that the budget is built on some savings and from efficiencies and anticipated outsourcing. And I would like to emphasize this, anticipated outsourcing. I would like each of you to address the following budget-related questions, and there are three of them.
How much of your budget for fiscal year 2000 and 2001 is based on savings to be accrued from efficiencies and outsourcing? The second one is, how do you assess the risk for being able to achieve those savings? And then what programs do you think will have to be adjusted, if the savings of some of them that have come under assumption do not materialize? And maybe you can address, each of you, those three little questions that I asked?
General ABRAMS. Those are anything but little questions. Let me respond to you very directly. At the outset, for A76 process, we had a goal in the Army that we would pursue on the order of magnitude of about 28 percent savings in terms of economies and efficiencies through that process and other related processes. We do not in Training and Doctrine Command track exactly the details of where those moneys have been accrued. That's been done by Army Audit Agency and others.
They have confirmed that where those have been applied that the Army has been able to take advantage and, in fact, achieve near 20 percent. That is not visible at our installations as you go installation by installation. We have a number of studies that are ongoing, as you well know, that talk about taking a look at our manpower authorization versus in house or outsourcing. Those studies will continue. But in terms of closure on those studies right now we have not reached closure to make a business decision of whether the in house or the outsourcing is the right thing to do.
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Fundamentally, I will tell you that many of the senior leaders that I work with and work for me, are, in fact, at the forefront trying to make the right business decision but they are also interested in that the in house work force is not disadvantaged in the process. And I think that's a good sign, that there is a lot of confidence in the process that we can get through this review and analysis that's got to go on with these studies, but that we are not intentionally disadvantaging our in house work forces in the process, in the great service and tradition that they have provided us over the past years.
And so the bottom line answer that I would give to you, at a departmental level for the Department of the Army, I would say the answer is ''Yes, they have been able to achieve some economies and efficiencies by this process.'' It's at an approximate of 20 percent less than what they achieved. How the delta has been applied between the 28 percent goal that they were after and the 20 percent achieved, how that's been spread over the command operating budgets, I'd have to provide you the details of that.
Mr. ORTIZ. I see that my red light has just come up but
Mr. BATEMAN. The others certainly are free to answer the same question.
Vice Admiral CRAINE. In the Navy, for savings we're looking at 30 percent. What we have seen from those things that we have outsourced, those business areas that we have outsourced to date, we're getting about a 30 percent return. With regard to risk, we want to make sure that we get it right the first time because once it's outsourced, it's probably gone for good.
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So before we start down that process, we have a very deliberate procedure where we'll go through and identify what is core to our function, the various training areas, things that we feel that we have to have for that military instructor in the podium or in one of our cockpits. Then whatever is not related to turning that civilian citizen into a sailor or developing those technical or military leadership skills, we'll look at as a commercial activity. And then we'll look to see what alternatives are out there to do it other than ourselves. What's the quality of those alternatives, in assessing the risk, what's the cost of that alternative source to provide that function?
We've, as you know, outsourced in our Naval Aviation Training the maintenance and upkeep of our aircraft. We've been doing that now for going on about 20 years and that is working well for us. There are other areas that we're now looking at in the areas of Base Ops to see what we ought to be outsourcing. We'll start going through that, coming up with the most efficient organization in house first before we look at outsourcing.
Mr. BATEMAN. Thank you, sir.
General NEWTON. The number that impacts the overall 1902 budget savings, I do not have a percentage for you. Like my other colleagues, over the years historically when I and others have initiated these kinds of studies, we've averaged 25 to 30 percent as well. I've done a number of those in the command and I just initiated a couple just the other day here. And what I try to do is, with reference to answering your second question, you know, what impacts does this have and how do you know it's going to work? What I do is I take it to my field commanders and say, ''You know best what we need to outsource and what needs to be done by our blue suit force.''
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And so I take it to them because I want buy-in from them when we go and initiate one of these studies and what areas that we want to study. Like the others, we've traditionally done in the Training Command that which we can do in our aircraft maintenance. That will work very, very well. Some have gone to contractors, some have gone to in house civilian work force as well, and has worked well for many, many years for us.
Other areas will be in the support area, base operating support areas. We'll be looking at some of those over the next several years as to outsourcing. In my mind there are clearly some things that should be outsourced and there are clearly some things that should never be outsourced. We want to make sure that we get that right, never outsource the things that shouldn't be outsourced. I would say that we're getting right near to the bottom of what we should be outsourcing, as we look at these things that we have laid on the table to look at.
Mr. BATEMAN. Thank you. General Rhodes?
Lieutenant General RHODES. Yes, sir. First off, I'd like to take that question for the record, but I'd like to provide a few comments. I think General Newton's comment, that there are certain areas that we should and certain areas we should not. That's very important, we must keep that in mind.
And although we've got to keep in mind the budget, that's not our business. We're war fighters. Our business is to win wars. And sometimes we can't make a best case business case for what we have to do in order to ensure victory or to go ahead and preserve lives out on the battlefield. So there are certain areas we can scrutinize.
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Second, I am extremely skeptical of the 30 percent savings taken business. And that's the number everybody is using. Extremely skeptical. In fact, in most cases the bottom line comes down to cutting forcestructure. And the forcestructure they are looking at is military forcestructure. And in the military forcestructure, when we see missions that require additional people on the ground to handle them, and when we see cutting the infrastructure which you would need, for lack of a better term, of having the shore to deployment rotation based to give them a little bit of a break, so I'm a little bit skeptical of the savings.
I'd like to take a question for the record. I think you have to be very, very careful because we are in the business of winning wars, sir. And I'm not trying to lecture you but I'm kind of upset with cut, cut, cut.
Mr. BATEMAN. Well, I appreciate that.
Lieutenant General RHODES. And we can't make always a good business case for what we do.
Mr. ORTIZ. One of the things that I have seen for the last two or 3 years is that the budget is more budget driven than service driven, and it bothers me. And I know that there is many doors being broken down with an aggressive energetic method to convince you to outsource everything that you can.
It's gotten down to the commissaries, to the PXs, where you won't see small businessmen any more. And that's the key, the backbone of our business industry, the small business. This is now the big conglomerates, and I doubt it very seriously if we see any savings. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
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Mr. BATEMAN. Thank you, Mr. Ortiz. I understand Mr. Pickett is willing to yield to Mr. Sisisky.
Mr. SISISKY. Yes, I do have another meeting to go to. I just wanted to tell you I woke up at 4 this morning with heartburn. I did wake up at 4 a.m. this morning.
I got dressed and I was out at the Central Intelligence Agency at 7:30. And I spoke to the chief of stations who came in from Asia and of course my first remark, I said, ''I spend every day of my adult life in Washington D.C. talking about something which I know you don't understand but you may be next. And that's called 'privatization'.'' And of course it brought a big laugh.
I said, ''You know, we can privatize spys, and why not? We do to a certain extent anyway.''
This whole area and gentlemen, you know I understand you are put in the position of ''Here it is, here is the budget and that's it'', but let's be very honest. When they've cut, and I know where it's coming from, when you cut 30 percent at the Pentagon, they haven't got the damn slightest idea what they are doing. And I'll tell you why I say that.
Mr. Chairman, we had a meeting the other day and I picked up a report from the inspector general of the Department of Defense, the inspector general of the Department of Defense. They said they can't even have accounting to balance their checkbook. They can't. And I swear to you they can'tthe GAO can't even audit the accounts, if they don't have the bookkeeping to do it.
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So working off of that premise, how in the world do you know if you contract out or outsource what you are doing, that you are going to really save money? You really don't know. General Abrams, you said that the accounting is done somewhere else. It's baloney is what it is. Corporations are set to make profits.
Now there are some things that we can outsource, unquestionably, that would never affect national security. And 4 of you gentlemen are sitting there for one reason, and I look in the quotes here and I'd like to read this stuff. And we talked about we are, in fact, the foundation of readiness. General Abrams, tell us what the age, the average age of a civilian work force is who has worked most of their lives for the Department of Defense, do you have a number on what the average age is of the people that are left?
General ABRAMS. Sir, I can ballpark it for you in a very credible way. You know that the downsizing of the civilian work force, concomitant with our forcestructure, that the elements of seniority and tenure have us in a position right now, for my headquarters in specific, the leadership of the civilian work force is about 45 to 47 years of age.
And that the young next generation for that work force, for combat developments, and integration, and training developments, we do not have that broad base to draw from. And so we are going through a revitalization of the civilian work force as a result of that and trying to attract new young people.
Mr. SISISKY. Therein lies the problem. I didn't just bring that up idly. I know a base that's 51, average 51. Stop and think about that. How in the world are you going to attract a young work force, and they can see, they can just look around. Where is the job security? What are we doing? We'll go somewhere else. And with the 4.7 percent unemployment rate, you know they are not going to join you. And I'm not preaching to you. I understand exactly what happens.
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But sooner or later somebody has got to speak up. And I'm talking about out loud and say one word, and you know who told me this, it will affect training. And if it will affect training, it will affect readiness, by your own admission. And that's what scares me.
I think, Admiral, you said something, you said ''gone for good.'' And I was going to interrupt you to see exactly what you were talking about. Were you talking about the civilian work force would be gone for good?
Vice Admiral CRAINE. The opportunity to get that back is difficult, that's the point.
Mr. SISISKY. That's exactly right. And let me just tell you this. We invest all of this money. You invest your lives, we invest the taxpayers' money, for one reason, to buy insurance and hope to Hell we'll never have to use it or collect off of the insurance. But sooner or later history has proved we're going to have to do something, there is going to be a battle somewhere. There is going to be a war. Somebody is going to be over aggressive.
How long would it take to build this back in a scenario of war? At least if you had a cadre of people that are there, even smaller, you could do it and you could build it back. But I don't think that you can build it back fast enough to save lives. I just worry so much what we're heading to. And I know the battle is three letters, it is Full Time Equivalents [FTEs].
And just like I'm talking to you, I talked to the secretary and the deputy secretary but, obviously, I'm not making any headway, because these things are still happening. But if it affects training, it's going to mean that it's going to affect lives in the end. And I don't want to be any part of that. And that's why I really am sincere that sooner or later somebody is going to have to speak up. We've got to do it.
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And with that, I just have one word for the Navy, if I can. Somebody told me a couple of weeks ago that you only have one training center now, am I right?
Vice Admiral CRAINE. Yes, sir.
Mr. SISISKY. That we closed one. Could you take a surge in that one? They said you couldn't even fill the billets if you had to do it now. Am I correct in that?
Vice Admiral CRAINE. We've got one center at Great Lakes. We have expanded our capability to accommodate a surge of recruits anticipated this summer, moving it from the ceiling that we had last summer of about 14,000 on board at any given day, to 16,000 this summer.
Mr. SISISKY. You can expand it though?
Vice Admiral CRAINE. Yes, sir. But we can't go any higher than that with the existing footprint that we've got. It's a matter of how many beds we have
Mr. SISISKY. So you mean that if we add 30 ships we've got a heck of a problem, don't we?
Vice Admiral CRAINE. Well, we've got some MILCON
Page 39 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SISISKY. I mean, that's not going to happen by the way.
Vice Admiral CRAINE. Yes, sir.
Mr. SISISKY. I wish it would. I don't want anybody to think there is something secret hidden around here. But that still is a worry and you are still training. And we should never forget you that do the job that's a necessary thing in our service. Without good qualified peopleand the other thing I wanted to ask is about joint training. Are all of you doing joint training? I know the Marine Corps is doing it in water and I think oil with the Army.
Lieutenant General RHODES. Yes.
General NEWTON. The Air Force and Navy are doing joint primary training. Admiral Craine and his folks are working to
Mr. SISISKY. That's the good way to save money.
General NEWTON. We do joint pilot training.
Vice Admiral CRAINE. Construction and battalion [CB] work by all three of the services.
Mr. SISISKY. Where are you doing the training?
Page 40 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General NEWTON. Joint pilot training?
Mr. SISISKY. The Navy and the Air Force?
General NEWTON. Down at Pensacola and out at Vance Air Force Base, in Oklahoma.
Mr. SISISKY. Do you all know where Corpus Christi is?
General NEWTON. We're working on that.
Mr. BATEMAN. OK. I think at this point we'll revert to Mr. Pickett since he's been very patient, and then Mr. Sherwood.
Mr. PICKETT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I would just observe before I start any questions here that the Pentagon has succeeded. They confounded the Inspector General and they found out that they couldn't audit their books, and they have achieved what they set out to achieve. They've been fully cognizant for a long time, and so they finally told the inspector general about the bookkeeping.
General Abrams, I just want to mention one thing, something parochial about training. I've got a very, very fine Army base in my district called Fort Story. And they very badly need a training center for their people there. I know that this is not a MILCON hearing, but I hope you will look at that because it will serve two purposes.
Page 41 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I know you do your own training with your own instructors and so on, but there is also another component and that is that frequently educational institutions will come on a base and offer courses of training to the military members there who most of the time very badly want to get it and participate in these programs. And there is just no way for them to do it at this base. And I hope that you'll take a good look at that and see what you all can do about it.
General ABRAMS. Yes, sir. If I might though, you raised ait's a phenomenon that we're seeing all over the country. The power of access to the information highway. And applying it in partnership not only with the active and Reserve components but also with universities and other venues, is beyond our expectations, quite frankly. It is a medium to provide increased access so the people of America, as well as the Air Force of America, to each other, as you've heard us all say. And we have moved out.
I think right now we're in excess of 500 instrumented classrooms to be able to do this. It'll triple in the coming years. We're in for some very exciting potential for courses where it's interactive, things that we didn't even dream of 4 or 5 years ago. So your support for this is important to us. But it's also a report of support from all across the country and I'll take that on personally.
Mr. PICKETT. Thank you. The other thing I wanted to ask about, I know the question about joint training in the context of training for specific military occupations is one issue, the training of pilots, and so on; but another joint training issue is for joint operations. And I'd just like to focus on that for a minute.
Because I get the impression that when there are joint operations to be conducted there's always the question of who is going to pay the bill, how that's going to be handled among the different services participating in the joint exercises, and so on. How is that managed, and does the inability to provide the funding restrict or restrain the training for joint operations at this stage of military operations?
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General ABRAMS. John Rhodes and I have been together for a long time and we're probably the best Huntley-Brinkley on this topic because of the partnership that we've been in in our work for advancing our capabilities to fight in urban areas and restricted terrain.
Right now that is being done with the support of OSD through an ACTD, Advanced Technology Demonstration Program. The Marine Corps battle lab and the Army battle labs are rotating from 1 year to the next who is the lead of that experiment and the like.
But it is fundamentally DOD dollars that is given to John Rhodes and I through our service chiefs to be able to go through that important enterprise. The expansion that you have been briefed on of the role of ACON we think is very good.
And we are right now working with Admiral Gehman and his staff in my own headquarters on behalf of the Army to pursue a broader venue of goals and objectives for joint experimentation and training than we have looked at in the past. But I will tell you that at the core of that there will always be a need for each of the services to meet its training requirements that are unique to our service.
So what you see us doing right now with this partnership, quite frankly, for the joint contingency force advanced war fighting experiment for the fall of 1900 is you'll see service money focused on service objectives and that you will see ACON focusing on a couple of limited objectives in a partnership effort. And we've got more work to do on how to sort that out, but we think it's doable. And it is a way to expand the venue for joint capability and interoperability that our CINCs are telling us that they need to move out on.
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Mr. PICKETT. Mr. Chairman, can I ask one follow-up question?
Mr. BATEMAN. Oh, certainly.
Mr. PICKETT. I know, I suspect the other three could give an answer but I'm going to assume it's very similar to what General Abrams just gave. And if it's going to be substantially different, please tell me, but I did want to ask this question.
The Armed Forces Staff College that has the assignment to do the training for a cadre of middle and upper level military members to prepare them to move directly into joint commands, can you tell me how you view the product of that school, whether it serves your purposes and whether the program is one that adequately trains these people to follow on in the joint billets?
We'll start with General Rhodes since, General Abrams, you've been getting all the questions. We'll start at the other end.
Lieutenant General RHODES. One of the difficulties, sir, that we've got, is the expectations of what an individual should do for career progression with each rank. And in our particular service, for example, you'd like to be able to send one to professional military education, you would like to send one to command, you would like to send one to a joint job. When you add the time involved for all three of those areas, you exceedI'm not saying slow down the promotionbut you exceed the ability to get that exposure for a particular rank.
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I think that, as far as the Marine Corps goes, yes, we send the people to the Armed Forces Staff College. We know that we've got to develop Joint Service Officers [JSOs], we're on board with that.
But at some time there is a price to pay when it comes to the total development of that Marine because not everybody develops at the same pace or in the same manner. And there are certain MOSs that require troop handling skills, there are certain MOSs that require physical skills or intellectual skills and one size cannot fit all, sir.
Mr. PICKETT. General Newton?
General NEWTON. Sir, I would comment that clearly from the product that's coming out of the school, I think it's fitting the needs of our joint environment, from the Air Force perspective. Clearly there are some other issues that surround timing and development of the individual that we might need to work. And it might be better to ask this question to some of the folks on the operational side that are coming right behind us because they deal with this on a daily basis. But from what I know and have experienced over time, the school clearly provides a first rate product.
Mr. PICKETT. Admiral Craine?
Vice Admiral CRAINE. I would have to say from my observations I agree with what General Newton has said, the product is there. And picking up on what General Rhodes said, timing, trying to get all of the requirements into one's career development is difficult.
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Mr. PICKETT. General Abrams?
General ABRAMS. Sir, it has a long tradition of value to the professional development of our officers. As you know, we're going through a review process right now. We at times have not coded graduation from the Armed Forces Staff College to provide what we call ''MEL4,'' Military Education Level 4, for field grade officers for that level of school. We had a decision a few years ago that we are putting under review right now to see whether we can go back to providing a MEL4 qualification for attendance at the Armed Forces Staff College.
But in the main, what you will hear from all of our school commandants and people that have been successful and in current positions of responsibility in operational commands, Joint Headquarters, is that the Armed Forces Staff College is value added to the development of the officers.
Mr. PICKETT. Thank you very much. Mr. Chairman, I appreciate your indulgence.
Mr. BATEMAN. Thank you, Mr. Pickett. Mr. Sherwood?
Mr. SHERWOOD. Thank you very much. Gentlemen, it's been very interesting and we are very aware of the constraints you are under with the budget, and I very much appreciate your frankness in some of the answers, General Rhodes and others.
My background, and I'll adjust my comments a little more to the Army and the Marine Corps because that's where I'm more familiar, but in my other life I was also a school director and I know a little bit about education and training. And I know you are trying to operate under reduced budgets. And I'm very concerned about civilian instructors and some of the things you are doing because I don't think that they put the esprit d'corps in, as Mr. Skelton said earlier.
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But I'm wondering how effective have you been with your Distance Learning operations? We have found that there is a great deal that can be done, interactive video and Distance Learning. And I'd like to ask a couple of you, as time permits, how that's working for you and what you see as the future of that type of education?
Lieutenant General RHODES. I'll take the first shot at the answer. We're increasing our Distance Learning efforts. We have found out that it's a combination, as you kind of alluded to, of Distance Learning but still maintaining the instructor. We have in our development what we call seven regional centers where we take retired or Marines or those that have an academic background and have them run a center at our major base wherein we hike through, if you will, through the infrastructure backbone the Distance Learning initiative.
So they actually have an instructor on board that has the interface best, both from the Distance Learning portion of the central management but also for the direct execution underneath the leadership of an individual who understands education, understands what we're working.
And the results we've found in some courses have been fantastic. Not only has the participation increased, but the completion rates as well. Because unfortunately, a lot of these cases are people that sign up after a while kind of drop off on the side. We're finding out the participation has gone up and that the completion rates have gone up.
Mr. SHERWOOD. Thank you.
Page 47 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General NEWTON. Clearly for the Air Force, this technology has been a big plus as well. And it's a big plus for a whole host of reasons. First I would mention, though, that there is something that I think all of us have to work, and that this is a cultural shift for our folk because they are very accustomed to seeing someone stand before them in a classroom environment. So you have to address that and get them prepared for that.
But, clearly, when I need to have a particular maintenance course a new piece of something, a new procedure that comes out that I need to get done in career with all of my say F16 maintenance folk, this the way to do it. It's done and they can be just in time kind of training for them. And it's done very efficiently and very effectively.
So this is a plus. We're going to be doing more of this in the future. There is a lot more technology that's coming along that will allow us to do this in an even better way because the technology is available to us. And so we'll proceed down this road.
Mr. SHERWOOD. And it's not as much of a cultural change for your younger people because when they are coming out of civilian life they are a little used to that.
General NEWTON. Clearly.
Vice Admiral CRAINE. We too are expanding our efforts with Distance Learning video teletraining is one, using the Internet another. And we have yet another geographically distributed learning where we're bringing schoolhouses physically to the students, all to make us more efficient and save money and to stretch those limited number of instructors.
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With the video teletraining we're not only military courses tech manual changes that we can get out over the nets real quickly, but we're also bringing graduate education to our sailors at sea, partnering with Old Dominion University and Georgia College, on two of our large deck carriers. They are being able to take Master's degree courses at sea.
I think that there is a awful lot more that we're going to be doing in this area. We're expanding a number of our sites over the next 3 years. And what's going on the Internet, those courses are just being added all the time.
Mr. SHERWOOD. And I understand that and I think that's wonderful. But are you able to use it in your more basic skills with your sailors also, as opposed to post-graduate and degreed?
Vice Admiral CRAINE. Oh, yes, sir. A majority of the recipients are sailors but we're keeping that sailorization process with a military instructor on the podium. This is for the video teletraining, and the Internet, for those follow-on courses. As General Newton said, if you've got a sailor on a ship in New Jersey that needs a safety course, instead of going to Norfolk to get it, he or she can take it down off the Internet and get it that way.
Mr. SHERWOOD. Thank you.
General ABRAMS. Sir, we've done some very good development work on kind of testing where this works and where we have the most potential for its application. We started out looking at it as a way to do basic leadership development at the entry level, early levels for both non-commissioned officers and officers. It didn't turn out to be the course that we wanted to go.
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We find that at the early developmental periods for our leaders, our junior leaders, that they need to be in a small group and they need to interact with a mentor on a daily basis. Now, what we have done that's fairly interesting and we've gotten enormous payoff out of it, is that we have hooked them into our Combat Training Centers.
So as units are going through the JROTC down at Fort Polk, Louisiana, or out at Fort Irwin, that these mentors with these junior leaders are able to hear the commanders participate in this and then go through a developmental process of how they would solve the problem and watch of how it's actually being conducted.
This collaborative and interactive process, we think, is an enormous enhancement for all leadership development but it's particularly of high payoff for early development because they can see what this means. It's not dogma, it's real people, it's real tasks, and real groups.
We've been asked, on the other hand, for where we are having high payoff in learning mechanical processes, like staff process, to explore an initiative. We have a course out of Fort Leavenworth for all of our captains in the United States Army, called ''CAS cubed''. It's Combined Arms School. It teaches them staff process, tactical decisionmaking, and the like.
This one course which touches every captain in the United States Army has always been in a very small work group with a senior mentor. We have put a pilot together right now that we are going to export to the Reserve components in a distributed way, not only through regional sites but to our main port at Fort Leavenworth. The faculty is very supportive of this, they think it's the right thing. The educators from academia that we've had come in and consult with us say it's exactly the right thing to do.
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So we think the potential of moving down teaching staff officers, both non-commissioned officers and warrant officers their job skills over Distance Learning, terrific.
Now, when we just went to this last round of deployment to the Persian Gulf and we got a very interesting call from an Air Defense Commander over there and he said, ''Look I'd like for you to pipe in and do some battle staff training on vignettes and scenarios for the staff of my headquarters while we're over here sitting in the desert. And so we hooked up some world-class simulation, we put some great mentors from about five different sites across the country and networked into this staff. And through a collaborative process we were able to go through training, provide feedback and assessment. And I think there is a lot of positive institutional response through the total force on how this is working.
We are also looking at this in terms of our partnership within state networks so where the civilian education opportunities that are beginning to flourish out there with Distance Learning, we don't have to build two sets of infrastructure to do that where it makes sense.
Iowa has got a great example coming out of Camp Dodge, where they are networked with the civilian university structure of Iowa, and it meets the Guard needs to take advantage of their existent network, communications architecture, and then insert our courseware into it. And that has already shown great promise so we see this as an expansive area for us. And we think it's exactly the right thing to do, and we're moving out smartly.
Mr. SHERWOOD. Thank you.
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Mr. BATEMAN. Thank you, Mr. Sherwood. Before I recognize Mr. Underwood, I'd like to ask a quick question of General Abrams. The Department of Defense had at Fort Sherman in Panama a jungle training school or center, a very, very fine facility which is going to have to be given back under the treaty and we'll no longer have any jurisdiction over it. My understanding is that the last class is now going through that training center. Is that a part of Training and Doctrine Command or is that a Forces Command institution? My question would be, where is the jungle training going to take place in the future?
General ABRAMS. Yes, sir. This facility, the Jungle Warfare School, has always been a part of the Army component command for Southern Command. It has served us very, very well. What's going on right now is as we are closing down access to that facility, we're looking at a couple of different options in being able to pick that up.
Part of the decision process is to take a look at a course that is sponsored by Fort Benning, Georgia, the home of the Infantry School that and take advantage of the Ranger training facilities and infrastructure that we have got in Florida right now to accomplish the same thing. There is another option being looked at that wherever Army South ends up, it being co-located.
For every school active or Reserve component, no matter, if an American soldier goes to school, I certify the standards. So whether I run the school or I finance a school, I send cadre on an annual or bi-annual basis to ensure that the safety and well-being of American soldiers is safeguarded. And I approve the POIs to a large extent, that we have great influence on. You have hit a topic that we're working on right now and I don't have the solution at hand that's going to meet that need. We see two avenues of very good potential.
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Mr. BATEMAN. This is not the fault or responsibility of any of you gentlemen at the table, but I can't resist the opportunity to say publicly how distressing it is the poor way we have handled the transitioning out of our military presence in all forms and all services from Panama.
And how little prepared we are to resume activities elsewhere when we cease activities there because we were, unfortunately, so inept in our negotiations that we have not been able to negotiate a continued presence. But that is something that's above even your pay grade, it's certainly above mine. Mr. Underwood?
Mr. UNDERWOOD. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I thank you for the opportunity to talk about general training and educational activities in the services. One of things that caught my attention in the nature of the presentations and the written remarks, was the discussion on the use of learning technology; and I think Vice Admiral Craine referred to it as training re-engineering. And also some attention to the problems of resources both in terms of financial and manpower devoted to education and training in the services.
It is my hope and my belief that training and education are kind of constants inside any organization and that a certain allocation of resources should be constant regardless of what is occurring in so-called training re-engineering.
And I know that the temptation is there for people to say that if you do more Distance Learning, or if you rely more on these educational technologies, then one way or another you are really making an effort to cut costs. I've never been a believer that that's why you do that. I believe that you do that because you enhance learning.
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And the reason for educational technology is to enhance learning. And, in fact, given the complexity of your mission in the new world, it should be actually a call that there is more complex issues to be trained for and, to me, the contingencies that you face. And so I am very much a supporter of trying to make sure that you get the kinds of training and educational resources that you get.
On the other hand, I am a little concerned about the reliance on technology and Distance Learning and perhaps to contrast that with learning on the job. And this leads me to my question.
When I was in college and my three older brothers were in the Navy, they used to constantly chide me that I spent all my time in school and never learned anything about real life, and never experienced anything, and that experience was the best teacher, as opposed to learning in the schoolhouse. And I whipped out of Old English literature this quotation from Sir Thomas Wyatt. ''Experience is the schoolhouse of fools.'' And I used that merely as a way to hedge myself against my older brothers, which has been a constant in my life as well.
But there is a dimension in the discussion about Distance Learning and teletraining and use of simulators which maybe distances it from real life experience. And I know that in your testimony, Vice Admiral, there is a claim there that I find very interesting, and that is in terms of sonar training, that the interactive multi-sensor analysis training is the equivalent of 5 years of fleet experience for a sailor right out of apprentice school.
That's an amazing claim to take one segment of what would be a simulated training and make that equivalent to 5 years of experience. While I don't doubt that there is some substance behind those claims, I am more interested in trying to understand how each one of you sees the appropriate balance between training which is basically simulated, not hands-on, and opposed to hands-on training.
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And, General Abrams, you did mention in your testimony that there has to be some kind of balance in that. So I would just be interested in a general statement about what you think is the appropriate balance. And moreover, how do you assess the value of the new technology, the new learning technologies which you are employing in the services? Maybe we'll start with you, General.
General ABRAMS. We've gone full gamut in terms of categories of information based technologies. And let me just briefly start off. When we started out before we had the communications network to access for Distance Learning. We started out using digits on CDROMs that were things that we could update, put out to the field. And there was meaningful payoff for job skills, like unit movement officers, people that have got to organize, plan and conduct training, a menu of things in there.
We found in some key areas to be a very, very productive media, and we ought to stay in that media. There has been applications that we have pursued in terms of telemedicine where we have a consultation process between the medic out in the field, for example, outside of Skopje, Macedonia, right now, and have had over the course of the last 8 years, a small Army force there for its participation and observation.
That is part of the multi-national force to provide those medics onsite, over the horizon, expertise from qualified medical experts back not only in central region of Germany but also Walter Reed and other places powerful over the shoulder capability in consultation way. It improves if you will, not only the competence level but what you can provide for on the scene expertise. There is enormous pay off.
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There are some areas that we're moving a little bit slower on. For example, we ran a pilot for intermediate non-commissioned officer development program at Fort Knox. Early read on that is that the non-commissioned officers were not as sanguine about the potential of this experience being exported as it was being done in-residence with the equipment and the like. I don't know yet whether it's a cultural issue or, in fact, they've got a real learning issue. But we've got all the responsible agents involved in this process.
And I think at the forefront, we're after what you have coached us on and that is we're after increased effectiveness of the human dimension that wears this uniform. It's in my mind, if there is some economies and efficiencies to be made in the process, that is secondary to what we're trying to do at the forefront. The response from the field commands, we reduced the requirement for temporary travel from units into the schoolhouses is viewed as a plus.
Stabilizing the environment is a plus, keeping the leadership of these soldiers in contact with them during their development is viewed as a plus. The outreach to the Reserve components, both Army National Guard, and USAR, is the area I think we're going to get the greatest payoff in individual readiness for not only job skills but for professional development. And we are moving out in that regard.
We just formed in summary, in my headquarters, a deputy chief of staff, I've got a two-star former division commander right now who in charge of education in the Force. And his sole function in life is to expand the effectiveness of education and learning that goes on for our force. And Distance Learning is a strategic enabler to be able to do that. So I think we're on the right road and I think we've got the responsible people involved.
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Mr. BATEMAN. Admiral?
Vice Admiral CRAINE. Yes, sir. I couldn't agree more. Balance is important and on-the-job training is also important. But if we can provide a course via Distance Learning to a sailor that will keep that person on their ship or in their unit and avoid the travel cost and the time away from the unit and also the time away from home, then I think that's a pretty good return on the use of that Distance Learning technique.
You mentioned the interactive multi-sensor analysis trainer. One person described it as, ''If a picture is worth a thousand words, this is worth a million.'' It really helps the sailor visualize and conceptualize visually a very difficult understanding of the ocean and sound propagation and it replaces what was formerly taught through rote memorization. And they are able to see with their eyes, the differences, the changes.
And that's where you've got the tremendous increase in knowledge that I mentioned in the testimony for officers developing search patterns, they scored the equivalent of about 4 to 6 years worth of experience. For all of those who have been tested in their knowledge of oceanography, anywhere from three to 10 years worth of scores higher than what we see from people that have been at the fleet. We're very, very keen on this technology.
Mr. UNDERWOOD. Maybe we can get one for Congress.
General NEWTON. Sir, I think my statement and my answer would be similar to those of my colleagues. First, I would say that you are absolutely correct that there has to be a balance and, in my mind, there are no such things as a silver bullet, something that's going to come along that's going to solve all of our problems in the way of training and education.
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But clearly in the simulated environment and the kind of the new technologies that come along, particularly in the business that I'm in with reference to training close to aviation, those kinds of things, we can take the student beyond the limits so to speak.
In other words if I am teaching a young aviator how to fly an aircraft, I can let them in the simulator go out and do things that would cause them to crash the simulator a few times. That teaches them very quickly when I put the emphasis on ''you just died.'' That puts very good emphasis on ''I've got to pay attention to the parameters here.'' So from that standpoint it is very, very effective.
And like I said, with the new technologies that are coming on, we can provide that in much more graphic detail than ever before. We're doing an experiment called ''distributed mission training'' right now which allows us to fly in formation, you know how to use your fingers to engage all the weapons systems that are on the aircraft. And you want to do that before you get airborne.
So now you can take full advantage of the total flight versus by my trying to demonstrate to one of them as an instructor how do you handle the aircraft. Now we can actually engage in the combat environment. So I see this growing as we move to the future. Clearly you need a combination of doing things in a simulated environment as well as actually doing it in a training environment.
Mr. UNDERWOOD. Thank you.
Page 58 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Lieutenant General RHODES. Yes, sir. Like the other services, the Marine Corps has got, and we agree with you, a lifelong commitment for training our Marines. We have stated that we are not going to do away with the tried and true, we're going to keep the best of the old in with the best of the new.
And I think the balance that everybody is talking about is important to keep in mind, and the phase in which you are training. We would start with our recruit training in which we are basically in a transformation process like the other services. And I won't go into that, but let me tell you there is not a whole lot of Distance Learning in recruit training, they are somewhat up front and in your face.
Mr. UNDERWOOD. One would hope not.
Lieutenant General RHODES. We would then move to what we call Marine Corps combat training where we are giving the basics of combat skills to our Marines, all of our Marines, regardless of the MOS. In there we are beginning to introduce some new training efficiencies, new training methods like the Indoor Simulated Microchip Trainer [ISMIT] for marksmanship and so forth and perhaps some computer assisted types.
Then we move to the MOS skills and there is where the balance now begins to shift, sir. But we're not doing away with instructors we are keeping them up front with the Marines to provide a role model, leadership, and to impart real practical knowledge of basically ''here's what I learned through experience'' not ''I learned it over here on the machine.''
I fully agree with what General Newton said, especially when you get into the higher skills in the continuation of the training, I think that the Distance Learning and some of the new computer assisted and so forth probably has a better application, especially at the beginning portions, sir.
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Mr. UNDERWOOD. Thank you very much. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. BATEMAN. With that, we have a vote on and so I think we can excuse our panel with our very, very profound thanks for your being here and for bringing your information today. Mr. Ortiz and perhaps other members of the committee may have some questions they would want to submit for your answer for the record.
And with that, the committee, I suspect, must recess and go vote. And while we are away, if the second panel could be at the table, we'll get back as quickly as possible. Thank you very much.
Mr. BATEMAN. Now I'd like to welcome our second panel, Major General Robert B. Flowers, Commanding General U.S. Army Engineer Center and Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, U.S. Army; Rear Admiral Toney M. Bucchi, Commander, Chief of Naval Air Training Command, U.S. Navy; Major General David F. MacGhee, Jr., Director of Operations, Air Combat Command, U.S. Air Force; and Brigadier General Thomas S. Jones, Director, Training and Education Division, U.S. Marine Corps.
Gentlemen, thank you for coming and we welcome your testimony. Each of your written statements will be made a part of the record and you can proceed to summarize as you may see fit. General Flowers?
Page 60 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCSTATEMENT OF MAJ. GEN. ROBERT FLOWERS, COMMANDING GENERAL, U.S. ARMY ENGINEER CENTER AND FORT LEONARD WOOD, U.S. ARMY
Major General FLOWERS. Thank you sir. It's a privilege to be here and represent over 20,000 of some of the finest soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines, and civilians and their family members now stationed at Fort Leonard Wood. On behalf of all of them, and we have been following closely what's been happening; I thank you, sir, and the members of the Committee, and all, for having the vision to improve our pay and retirement. I've seen a noticeable improvement in morale.
At Fort Leonard Wood we trained over 2,000 soldiers in 1998, in over 60 occupational specialties. Most of that training was gender integrated and included basic and advanced individual training, basic and advanced non-commissioned officer training, drill sergeant school, warrant officer basic and advanced courses, officer basic and captain career courses, and our pre-command courses for senior leaders.
We also trained over 4,000 sailors, Marines, and airmen in our inter-Service training courses. We've probably touched members from all of your states, because well over 70 percent of the engineer forcestructure alone is in the Guard and Reserve components. Many of the members that we train each year are from the Guard and Reserve. We write doctrine, develop training, we design organizations and materiel solutions to problems. We experiment and we test new equipment.
These missions support Army readiness and success in operations and directly affect recruiting and retention. To achieve efficiencies DOD has invested over $260 million to construct world class training facilities, to bring military police and chemical defense training to Fort Leonard Wood and establish the Maneuver Support Center [MANCEN].
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We have already begun this transition. Portions of the center are already operational; it will be complete by the 1st of October of this year. We're pursuing innovative opportunities to better serve our Nation and our region. We are the world's largest trainers of humanitarian demining. We also lead research in the detection of mines.
We are home to sizable Guard and Reserve and U.S. Army Reserve Forces. In the near future, the Seventh Rapid Assessment and Initial Detection Raid Team of the Missouri National Guard will set up operations at Fort Leonard Wood to support homeland defense. Fort Leonard Wood is poised to enter the next millennium under its new title as the Army's Maneuver Support Center and the Center of Excellence for Homeland Defense.
We pride ourselves on our ability to take what resources we are given and accomplish our mission. Now I want to do something that's hard, and it goes against our ''can do'' nature, and I'm going to express some areas of concern.
Manning, usually I get about 50 percent of my civilian requirements at Fort Leonard Wood. Doctrine, I have 60 percent of my doctrine writers and I have trouble keeping up with Army evolution. What that means, in part, is I can't translate lessons learned from the National Training Center and current operations as quickly as I'd like to the soldiers in the field.
Training Development, last year I was only able to meet 40 percent of my training development requirements. Not only can't I get the lessons learned in the field in a timely fashion, but I also have difficulty incorporating them as rapidly as I would like in the courses within the school. Officer Education, 65 percent of my required faculty to conduct instruction. Thirty or that 65 percent that I have lack the experience required.
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What that means is, for example, 5 years ago I was using experienced majors, and now I'm beginning to use captains with no field experience to train captains.
Funding, I get about 81 percent of my required funding each year. That annual shortfall forces me to make tough decisions on what gets funded and what doesn't. I clearly understand that training and the product that I turn out is my most important mission. We work that part hard, resource it as best we can, and that's what we devote our energy toward.
But I seem to be continually diminishing programs that affect my soldiers and their families, particularly in quality of life. Child care, debt counseling, housing assistance, widow support. Individual soldier equipment suffers, canteens, pistol belts, ruck sacks are typically funded now at about 50 percent. This means that soldiers often train with frayed or missing equipment which makes our drill sergeant's job of instilling discipline and high standards that much more difficult.
Every year I stop almost routinely family housing repairs during the third and fourth quarter. What I'm saying is I stop all routine family housing repairs during the third and fourth quarters.
That means that, typically, a drill sergeant who might go to work to wake the soldier up at 4 and they stay to put that soldier down and then come home at about 2100, 9 at night, could come home to a spouse who reports that the children's bathroom or the bathroom that the children use is not operational and probably won't be fixed for a while. And the sink downstairs it is going to take a little while to get it fixed as well. And I'm concerned that we may have lost an ally in the battle to get that great non-commissioned officer to re-enlist.
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There are some other things that concern me and that's that adding to the list or backlog of things that we haven't seen to for a while. Some of that includes in the family housing arena, and I'm just speaking about Fort Leonard Wood. $50 million in backlog. Last year I demolished almost 400 sets of quarters that had deteriorated so badly that I couldn't afford to repair them.
And my facilities I've got about a $100 million backlog of repairs. Our chapel annex roof began leaking because we hadn't properly maintained it. Significant damage was caused and we were forced to move all of our Sunday school classes indefinitely to the Post Theater. Over 50 percent of my trainee barracks are not air conditioned. In the summer, the very hot summer of 1997 I had soldiers who became heat casualties while they slept. Automation, $10 million shortfall.
It becomes vital when you are facing faculty shortages for quality education and for being able to command the control and do some of the distributed type training that we'd all like to move out more quickly on. So we have difficulty maintaining what we have in automation, let alone upgrading it to the latest technology so that we can leverage our productivity. I find myself having to defer equipment maintenance, $2 million worth.
Turn around time for a tactical vehicle in maintenance these days exceeds 40 days. I train the Army's truck drivers and when those trucks are not available for training the quality of training suffers. That plus 40 days which we're now experiencing should be 20 days by standard. It takes twice as long because I can't afford to fund the required number of civilian mechanics that's required. And I've got over $1 million in deferred automotive maintenance.
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All of these concerns and shortfalls impact the readiness of our Army as a whole. The quality of life is lower, or there is a perception that it's lower. It stresses our ability to retain quality soldiers and it impacts recruiting. My concern is that this could, if unchecked, translate to less qualified soldiers being sent to field commanders who are already struggling with PERSTEMPO and OPTEMPO.
It's not an all gloom or doom picture though. We're very comforted that there is a trend toward increasing spending for defense. We will continue to strive for efficiencies, as I've outlined in my statement for the record. The Maneuver Support Center is a great example. I am optimistic about the future. We've got great neighbors in Missouri, we're working hard to take the Army out into our communities.
We support recruiters, we sponsor schools, our band is a vital part of that community in all of our communities, we support civic groups and Junior ROTC. At present we're aggressively pursuing a very unique business research park initiative, as mentioned in my statement of record. I tell you we are working extremely hard. The OPTEMPO is high, we look forward to the future. I'd like to invite all of you to visit your Maneuver Support Center in Fort Leonard Wood. Thank you for your time and I'm ready to answer questions.
Mr. BATEMAN. Thank you, General Flowers. Let me, before recognizing Admiral Bucchi, compliment you for the frankness and the candor that you have shown in outlining your problems and your needs. This committee will not be able to do as much for you as we would like to do, as we believe you need to have done for you.
Page 65 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC But we can't even make a dent in it unless we have your very forthright evaluation of what your circumstances and conditions are. And unless the people who are leading the force let us know what the force needs, and whether or not they are being adequately met, we have little chance of being able to meet them. So I don't take it as a departure from the military culture that says, ''can do, salute smartly and go perform the mission.'' It's a part of performing the mission that you be sufficiently resourced.
And you've got to, therefore, communicate to those whose responsibility it is to provide those resources. So I welcome your frank evaluation of the major shortfalls that you are facing and the difficulties that you are having to work around that shouldn't really be there. Admiral Bucchi?
[The prepared statement of Major General Flowers can be found in the appendix.]
STATEMENT OF REAR ADM. MICHAEL BUCCHI, COMMANDER, CHIEF OF NAVAL AIR TRAINING COMMAND, U.S. NAVY
Rear Admiral BUCCHI. Thank you. Mr. Chairman, distinguished members of the committee, it is a pleasure to be back with you. I got the opportunity to testify before you to the same committee last year. I gave a fairly positive upbeat briefing at that time. I believe what I have to say today is a little bit better in most cases. I will try to point out the areas that are not going as well as I would like. I would like to try to talk to you a very few minutes about my resources.
Page 66 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I'll cover 4 areas of resources, give you an update on our retention and our quality of life, and then try to focus on an area that we need to do a lot of work in, and you'll see that when I get to it, and that's to reduce our time to train.
As a reminder of what the Training Command is really about, it is a job that I nearly wake up at 4 every morning because it is a super thing to see a lot of young people who have a lot of energy. It is composed of 16 squadrons organized under five different wings; we're located on five different naval air stations, and we are located in three different states, Florida, Mississippi, and Texas.
And we do training not only for the Navy, the Marine Corps, and the Coast Guard, but we have a very aggressive program with the Air Force, doing joint training and we have basically joint training in three of my five locations in addition to two locations, one being at San Antonio, at Randolph, and another one at Vance Air Force Base.
When I get to the resources, I think for the most part what you are going to see is the resources are fairly well balanced. We're doing pretty good there because the CNO himself has gotten himself involved with it and has made a large impact. The first resources are the aircraft. I have over 740 aircraft. We fly over 400,000 hours in a year. So you can see that we are pretty active in the Training Command. And that figure represents about one-third of the Navy's entire Flying R program.
We do have the luxury and the great news of being a part of two new acquisition programs, the T45 Goshawk is our advanced jet fighter trainer. The second one is in conjunction with the Air Force, the JPATS that General Newton talked about this morning. These two platforms bring to us not only new technology as far as airplanes go, but they bring us the new classroom. It's a system that's an integrated system, it's all part of the buy.
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And all the important things that were mentioned in the previous panel we are seeing direct benefits from those, and there is a big difference between that and the old system with the other airplanes. The one area that I would tell you that I am struggling is in the area of my T45, although it's one of my new platforms, I do not have the numbers that I need. That was budget driven.
The plan really called for a minimum of 15 in order to the job I'll need to do as I phaseout the A4. The A4 should have been phased out last year. Because I just did not have enough T45s, we had to keep them on line at a pretty good price tag. And this year I'll phase them out at the end of this fiscal year.
There is going to be about another year or so before the new buy of 15 per year takes real effect and I can dig myself out of the woods. But we will be doing some very close hand-to-mouth feeding to make sure that my strike pipeline, I'm able to do the job that I'm tasked to do. But the other areas, as far as airplanes, is going very well.
Instructors, just very quickly, we have about 1,020 instructors and they come from basically all the services, except for the Army is about the only service I don't have, although we do have soldiers in Corpus Chisti with Corpus Christi Army Depot [CCAD]. If were here 2 years ago, I would have to give you a very sad tale as to how we were manned.
That has been dramatically turned around and I'm sure that this committee may have had some influence on that. We're manned today nearly 98 percent of my requirement. That's pretty much unheard of. I will be funded at 100 percent in the fiscal year 1900 budget. Now because of recruiting and some of the other things that we may be able to talk about during the Q and A session, I may go down as low as 95 percent, but that is a good number. So instructor-wise, I'm doing great. These are people who are truly down in the ditch, they are the ones doing God's work for us laying the foundation.
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The other area of resources, the third area is my students. This is one where I'm blessed and I'm cursed. I'm blessed in the sense that these are without doubt the cream of the crop that this nation has to offer. They are intelligent, they are eager, they have the same enthusiasm for the job and for becoming aviators that I remember having, people such as myself, just a few years ago, as we went through the Training Command, that same deep desire, it's there.
The thing about exterioration I would tell you does not apply to what we see today. Where I am cursed is that we have too many students in the pipeline, and I'm going to touch on that in more detail when I get to the reducing the time to train. The last area of resources would be the funding.
This is one that I wish my boss were still here this morning, Vice Admiral Craine, he and the air warfare sponsor I've done a marvelous job to ensure that I am funded at 100 percent. You can audit my books; I am, no joke, funded at 100 percent. So I can only thank them for the support that I received in that area. So resource-wise, I'm really doing pretty good, they are pretty well balanced and that's the key with the exceptions that I noted.
As far as the retention and the quality-of-life update, this too is one that has done a little bit of a turn, but I would tell you and caution all of us that's it's way too early to get up and shout and call ''victory.'' Two years ago we had a mess in the Training Command. it was really ugly. I had squadrons that were manned at down around 50 percent. Every squadron was working 7 days a week, and that was about 50 weeks out of the year.
Page 69 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC At the end of that tour, I could not get instructors to go back to the fleet. Their minimum service requirement was up and they were marching and leaving the Navy in droves. To make matters even worse, we could not get fleet pilots to even desire to come down to the Training Command. That has given a pretty big turn.
Today, like I mentioned just now, we're manned basically at 100 percent. We're no longer working seven days a week. We work five to five and a half days a week. They are flying 40 to 50 hours a month and that is a big plus. And that's one of the things that we hear from the fleet counterparts, they don't get the flight time in the fleet. These instructors are getting the flight time.
Last year alone we sent back to the fleet more than the two previous years combined. That number, I would caution you, is not one that I would go brag about but it is a movement in the right direction. More importantly now, we're getting people coming to the Training Command that want to be there and we're having a good turn there. So from the retention side we're seeing a change, a change for the good.
There are many reasons for it and we can talk about those, but one I want to highlight is one that has been highlighted by everyone that testified this morning and that is the fact that the triad, that's just been discussed and passed at different levels, has been one that has been a very positive feedback on and I think sends a very clear signal that you and myself and others in the leadership positions, whether we wear uniforms or not, that we are behind our people and our junior officers. And our young enlisted, I think, clearly saw that and heard that.
Page 70 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I would say that the one area that I would like to highlight in this quality-of-life piece is not one that is rosy, and that has to do with our infrastructure. I no longer own the air stations that I operate out of. Those now belong to my boss; he and I talked about this.
But I tell you some of the conditions that we put our people in to operate and to work out of are sad. We have taken on several of those, and the problem is he doesn't have enough money that he can provide to me. So when we'll get to the CNOs unfunded for fiscal year 1900, we need your support very much to try to correct that particular piece.
Now comes the portion of my testimony that I'm not real proud of, on one side of the coin. On the flip side, it is something for us to be proud of how much we have made progress on. The reduction of the time to train is one that has gotten our attention. I would tell you that we have drastically increased the time to train an aviator. We have not changed the syllabus, we haven't changed the requirements, we just ended up not getting people out the door on time.
I am really graded on three things. The quality of my product, which I think is very good. That's the feedback the Fleet gives us. Can I make the numbers that I've been tasked to make? And, for the most part, the answer to that is ''yes.'' I struggle at times but mostly I make that number.
The third ticket is how quickly do you get them out the door? Well, what used to be a two and a half year trip maybe now is a 4-year trip. And when I use the term ''4 years'' I'm not talking about just a CNATRA piece, the Chief Naval Aviator Training piece of it. I'm talking from the time an individual really is commissioned and they start down this path.
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They come through my portion of the pie and the Naval Aviator Training Command, to where I push them over to the Fleet or the Fleet Replacement Squadron and we get them into the Fleet itself. That, for a strike individual, which is the longest syllabus, should only take two and one half years. We are between three and a half to 4 years, depending on which student average you want to take.
Now that is a disgrace and I admit that. And I would tell you that a little over a year ago it got the CNO's attention. He directed us to go fix the problem. We have attached ourself in partnership with a firm in Dallas, Texas, called the Thomas Group. We've been working this problem real hard for a year. We probably have another two years of hard work to go.
The take-away from this part of it would be that we're going to get the training back on the track. We're going to see efficiencies and we're going to reduce that time to train back to where it should be. And I would again kind of caution you, we're not cutting anything in that syllabus, we're not cutting the hours, we're finding what the Thomas group would refer to as ''white space dead time.''
Because what happened, my curves from the students is where I got caught. My system is designed for ''x'' number of instructors with ''x'' number of airplanes, and I'm supposed to produce ''x'' number of students.
We, for various reasons, end up assessing into the program and accumulating more students than that system was designed to take. And what slowly happened was we began to put too many in the lines, the pipelines. The pipelines got saturated. The production line began to decrease in speed to the point that we had to pull people off the line and put them in a pool for dead time, and then we'd reinsert them.
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A little over a year ago we had so many pools that I can not even tell you how many pools I had. I mean they were hidden everywhere. The good news that I would tell you is that we have made progress. Today I only have two pools in my part of the training. Two pools. And 6 months from now I'll have zero pools. So we have the message and we're going to fix the problem.
And we'll end up with a quality student that is better than what we're getting out the door today because once they start, they are flying, they will fly until they get their wings, and get to the FRS, the Fleet Replacement Squadron, and then into the Fleet.
In closing, I would tell you I need your help and need your support in three areas. And these areas are all three quality-of-life related. And we have really talked about all three of them so there won't be anything new.
We continue to need your support for the triad, for the pay. We need your support for the bonus package that is being looked at and worked right now. It's very important that we get that. The third thing goes back to the unfunded or the CNO for our MILCON and our base support top to bottom. We need these things very, very badly to make the quality of life what it should be.
I thank you for again inviting me to come back to testify for you, and I look forward to your questions.
Mr. BATEMAN Thank you very much Admiral. General MacGhee?
Page 73 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC [The prepared statement of Rear Admiral Bucchi can be found in the appendix.]
STATEMENT OF MAJ. GEN. DAVID F. MACGHEE, JR., DIRECTOR OF AIR AND SPACE OPERATIONS, AIR COMBAT COMMAND, U.S. AIR FORCE
Major General MACGHEE. Thank you. Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman. The Hampton-Langley community sends their warm regards.
Mr. BATEMAN. Well, I'm looking forward to being there I think next week.
Major General MACGHEE. Great, sir. Also, at Drew, Wally Moorehead wanted me to pass onto you that on behalf of the senior leadership out there, thank you very much for leading the charge and going to field to find out what's going on.
Mr. BATEMAN. It was a very valuable experience and send our very good wishes and appreciation to General Moorehead.
Major General MACGHEE. I will, sir. To Congressman Pickett, Tidewater sends their best regards. We had a little bad weather last night, strong winds, but everybody is OK.
Mr. PICKETT. That's good.
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Major General MACGHEE. I think it would be best for me to first of all start off by saying, unlike some of the other speakers, I'm not only responsible for preparing the forces, I also provide the forces. So when a CINC asks for forces, just like they did in Bosnia, I'm the one who sends them the B52s, 117s, RIVET JOINT, COMBAT SENT COBRA BALL, to a theater. Unfortunately that makes my job twice as tough. Over 1,000 aircraft, 90,000 people, 18 stateside bases.
Let me start by saying it's a great opportunity because we would like to provide you with some information on the training challenges that we currently face. I would say the picture is not that rosy. We're grateful that you are interested and you are concerned about the difficulties we face. We want to continue to have the best Air Force in the world.
My personal opinion, I travel 145 to 150 days a year, prior to my job as the director of operations, I was the inspector general for Air Combat Command. I have visited every installation and I have flown every aircraft, except the B2 and the U2, and I will fly those next month. The men and women in our Air Force, I think, are of the highest integrity, they are true professionals, and they are dedicated every single day to carrying out the work of defending freedom.
It is very important, it is very important that those young men and women see tangible signs that the nation appreciates their service and their sacrifice. This committee has heard from countless previous witnesses that testified on the impact of sustained operations. You've all heard we're at 400 percent higher OPSTEMPO than we were in the early 1990's.
Page 75 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And the constrained budgets and the effect they have had on our readiness, unfortunately I don't have very good news in that arena. Overall measured readiness in the Air Force units has declined to 19 percent in the last 3 years. Unfortunately it's worse in Air Combat Command. In Air Combat Command we've experienced a 58 percent decrease.
While you were out at Nellis, Mr. Chairman, you heard a story where a young individual flyer said ''I am pressured to raise my readiness reports.'' I'd like to speak to that today. Only 28 percent of the 18 stateside Active Duty units that are reporting overall readiness are reporting that readiness in the top two categories of our readiness reporting system.
Now only the top 4 really apply. The fifth one means you are in transition. It means you are going from A10's to F15s. The first category is you are fully capable. Obviously, the bottom two, they are not so fully capable. Two-thirds of our stateside units are in the bottom two. We face supply shortages, a lack of training munitions, and a lack of flyable aircraft. It's almost a plague on our units.
We find it increasingly difficult to provide our airmen with all the necessary components of what we would call a comprehensive training program. And, frankly, in some areas we simply cannot achieve the same standards of training and readiness that we have in the past. Now, one of the reasons for that is when I came into the service there were 670,000 people in the Air Force, total force. There is about 370,000 today.
Now, there is a little humorous story that I would like to tell you and it's a little embellished, but Col. Swede Delyski, the Wing Commander at Lakenheath, was walking down the beach at Virginia Beach and he had his three squadron commanders with him, the 27th, the 94th and the 71st. And they happened to come upon a genie lantern and they picked it up and they were tired.
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And the squadron commander said, ''You know what, boss, what if we rubbed this thing, maybe we'll get a wish.'' So the first squadron commander rubbed that lantern and the genie popped out and said,''I'll grant you one wish.'' And he said, ''Well, I've been working seven days a week, I haven't had any time off, not enough spare parts, not enough training munitions, I'd like to take a year off and go golf.'' Boom, he was gone. Myrtle Beach.
The second squadron commander grabbed that lantern, rubbed it, the genie popped out, ''one wish.'' He said, ''I'd like to go fishing for a year. I'm dead tired.'' Boom Colorado on the river. The third squadron commander picks the genie up, rubbed it and said, ''I'd like to go hiking in California.'' Gone.
The wing commander bent down, picked up that lantern, rubbed it real hard, the genie popped out and he said, ''Hey, Genie, you know those three squadron commanders you just sent off to go golfing, fishing and hiking? I need them back in 15 minutes.''
We are working hard. We share probably the largest share of the Air Force's central training program outside of air education and training. And I'm here to tell you we know firsthand how the shortfalls affecting our combat units also hurt our units' ability to throughly train replacement crew members. Maintenance experience levels are well below the standards we use for planning. We categorize our maintenance as three levels, apprentices; five levels, somewhat trained; and seven and nine levels, journeymen. Our three levels are two-thirds more than our seven and nine levels.
Lower fleet-wide mission-capable rates mean less aircraft to fly. In turn, this drives a longer duty day because we are mission oriented. That means there is less training time in that day as we try to get the mission off. This desparle means more work is performed by smaller less experienced work force with a can-do attitude with little improvement in sight as we lose most of our experienced people because there are alternatives in the civilian community.
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Without question, officer and enlisted retention rates have been where we've paid the highest price for today's combination of heavy work loads and constrained resources. We ask for your continued support so that we can provide our airmen the equipment and the training they need, and the compensation and benefits we think they deserve. I'm here to tell you today that as I've traveled around the community pay is not the main issue.
But what is at issue is an understanding that when the gap gets too large, young men and women are not sure whether they are on the ''A'' team or the ''B'' Team. And, therefore, they sometimes chose to go somewhere else where they feel appreciated and recognized.
We appreciate your continued support for our people and our programs. I will submit a written report for the record. And it's a pleasure to be here, sir. Thank you very much.
Mr. BATEMAN. Thank you very much, General MacGhee. I wish you had better news for us and a prettier picture to paint, but we are great fans of realism. So thank you. General Jones?
[The prepared statement of Major General MacGhee can be found in the appendix.]
STATEMENT OF BRIG. GEN. THOMAS S. JONES, DIRECTOR, TRAINING AND EDUCATION DIVISION, MARINE CORPS COMBAT DEVELOPMENT COMMAND, U.S. MARINE CORPS
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Brigadier General JONES. Thank you, Mr. Chairman and members of the Committee. I likewise thank you for the opportunity to address Marine Corps training. General Rhodes did a pretty good job of describing my job earlier on. I probably should just ask you to submit his comments for the record. Since I also want to be part of posterity, I'm going to give you some comments myself.
I am in charge of two main things. I identify training requirements for the Marine Corps. And, most importantly, I identify and retain the resources to meet these requirements. As General Rhodes mentioned, we are an expeditionary force. Our young men and women have to be ready to be deployed forward presence almost immediately.
We are a young corps, 69 percent of our people are first term enlistees. Therefore, it places much greater demands on the initial package of training, the initial training that they receive. General Rhodes mentioned in his testimony that 11,000 people are in entry level training at any one time. Therefore, we put a lot of our priority on the transformation process that some of my compatriots have alluded to this morning. That starts at recruiting.
We identify the right individuals and then prepare these individuals for recruit training. And, of course, the recruit training we view as a socialization process. In the last two years we made major modifications to our recruit training. We've added a week, as you know.
Some of you have even seen the crucial event which is the culminating event, the rites of passage, Marine Combat Training, that General Rhodes alluded to on the premise of every Marine's a rifleman.
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This is where we start the mind set that you are going to be facing in an expeditionary environment. And then, to wrap up the transformation package and really give it life, we have cohesion teams that leave Marine Combat Training and go to their first school and hopefully stay together their entire first term enlistment. And then when they enter the operating force, they've got the idea that life is a team event.
The operating environment that General Rhodes talked about is the backdrop for how we build our training. It is a change paradigm. We have to think about training at the lowest end of the spectrum where we've got individuals making decisions which have absolute strategic and operational consequences.
Obviously, we need tough and demanding and stressful training, and we've got to make sure that the individual can make decisions under pressure and under stress. Obviously, in preparing ourselves for this type of training, we need to look at those core skills and reduce what General Rhodes alluded to, ''just-in-case training.''
So much of the time in the past we would keep throwing things into our training environment just in case this individual might see it in the first or second enlistment. By looking at core skills and core-plus skills, those skills that are absolutely needed to perform combat and combat missions, we've already improved effectiveness and efficiency. Then, by looking at the potential for technology and the potential for improving operational forces, we've found that we've made major impacts already. For example, in the 6 occupational fields we've looked at thus far, without even using technology we've already reduced 30 percent of our time to train just by reducing these ''just-in-case'' type of events.
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Now, as you talk about technology it is pretty exciting. We have to keep a balance, we have to use common sense, we can't cheat at solitaire, and we can't make something out of Distance Learning that's not there. And there is a certain amount of instructor-to-student ratio that's got to be there, to keep the Marine Corps ethos going.
But Distance Learning is very exciting, what we can do through your support; we have over $120 million to realize a very comprehensive Distance Learning program based on our telecommunications infrastructure. We will have MARINENET, as General Rhodes alluded to, by 1903. And this allows us the interactive multi-media, the video tele-training, and the network, and Internet-based training that is going to allow us to reach out and touch folks in their backyard, at the training site, cutting down TAD, and what not. But most importantly, transferring training to where it's most needed.
We've already had some successes. We've got a regional Development Center at Twenty-Nine Palms, in California. We have electronic classrooms that have been alluded to by other panel members. And one exciting example of this is LABVOLT, in Twenty-Nine Palms, where we teach all Basic Electronics. We went into this with the LABVOLT to reduce in Basic Electronics the time to train, which we've done, from 55 to 35 days.
But most importantly, most profoundly, we've reduced attrition from 46 percent at a very complex course to 6 percent, because now the student can, in fact, have one on one with the instructor at his or her pace, they remediate themselves and they can get that close-in instruction at their own pace.
Page 81 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Obviously, one of the significant concerns from a trainer's perspective is the OPTEMPO and the PERSTEMPO of our operating forces. We are expeditionary. We have 20,000 people deployed on this date. What do we do for them to cut down their time to train, and what not.
As mentioned also by General Rhodes, we have the indoor simulated microchip trainer, the ISMIT. We've got remote ranges that have come on line. But in the future we will see Combat Vehicle Appended Trainer; the CLASS, which is the Closed Loop Artillery Simulator, and the Range Instruction System, which came from your help, your dollars and your support, your financial support. And that will allow us again to give the Operations Commander the chance to train his people more prudently and save time, especially when we have so many forces deployed. And, most importantly, we'll be able to transfer all this training to the deployed side.
A real surprise we have was mentioned earlier in the first testimony, the Warfighting Lab that we've been working with in concert with the Army. We have the Combat Decision Range with is fielded today in March. We have now, again, simulator training that will test and stress the young decisionmaker, the young NCO, the young officer in making decisions. And that's in the fleet today. We think that we are in pretty good shape. I, too, have got pretty good experience and pretty good exposure on budget.
Obviously though, as General Kulak has alluded to in his many testimonies in the last weeks, this is dependent upon our infrastructure and our modernization. And how goes that is really how goes training. Right now we've got a really good balance. But, obviously, if there is a bill payer, and modernization has to be the bill payer which it has been in recent years, then training is going to take the lower priority.
Page 82 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I think one thing I would be concerned with as a trainer is that we've had to put a low priority on transient barracks. Again, we're talking about quality of life for new troops, and we've got people living in substandard quarters for temporary periods of time.
Does this seem a high priority when you say that we're transient? Well, it does if they are in that school environment for a 6, to 8, to 10 month period of time. It starts the learning experience in a negative pattern.
I thank you for the opportunity to address some of our concerns and I'll be happy to respond to your questions.
[The prepared statement of Brigadier General Jones can be found in the appendix.]
Mr. BATEMAN. Thank you General Jones. I thank all of you. Let me just comment before we ask any questions. And I know that I will have some for the record that I won't ask today because we are moving into a timeframe where another committee is supposed to be coming into this room. But I just offer this comment.
I've heard so many times in the last 3 or 4 years that we have been sacrificing modernization, re-equipping the forces, in order to protect current readiness. I've heard for years people talking about deferred repairs and maintenance on real property and the infrastructure in order to be able to preserve readiness.
And yet we've done all of that, we've postponed all of that, we've stretched all of that, and we still haven't protected the readiness. Obviously, we have under-funded and under-resourced for too long and we're paying a very, very heavy price, is my impression, for having done this. It's very disturbing, certainly to me, and I believe it is to most of the people on our committee. I hope that with your help we can convince the majority of our colleagues in the Administration that you've got to have very real, real increases in resources.
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I'm a little surprised that testimony indicates you feel some level of confidence about your funding levels for the Year 2000. I'm having difficulty with people being able to answer questions as to what are you going to get this year compared to last year? How much better off are you going to be and where is the additional money being allocated?
You gentlemen seem to have a better feel for it than anyone else that's testified. Who do you know that other people don't know that you are so far ahead of the budget curve? Are you confident that you know what your 2000 budget is going to look like?
Major General FLOWERS. Sir, we've gotten, as we routinely do, projections for what we'll have in the Year '00. And at this point their projection is this year with the budget that I've been given, I can conduct business as I should conduct it probably through April. And then I have to start making cuts. Next year I won't be able to go that long.
I hope my comment earlier wasn't mistaken. I feel good about seeing a seeming trend for an increase in Defense spending. I don't know that that's going to translate into an increase in budget at my installation, however.
Mr. BATEMAN. Well, that's the thing that I want to sound a note of alarm on and I don't want to be making speeches to you all but we're really here to learn from you. The President has announced that he's asking the Congress to approve 12 point something billion in additional funding for national security. I applaud that.
But when you start looking beyond that assertion of the 12 point something billion, you find that increase in spending is founded on some assumptions about inflation, about fuel costs, about currency exchange rates, and these; I don't know what the present assumptions are so I can't really buy into are these assumptions sound. Can you go to the bank, can you General MacGhee, spend that money? I don't know yet and I don't think you know yet. We know they are talking about $3.6 billion in MILCON that's based upon a new way of financing military construction that most of my colleagues in the Congress seem unable or unwilling to buy into. And which, admittedly, if you do it that way this year, it creates an incredible byway for the future that you will have tremendous difficulty handling.
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So there is another $3.6 billion. We're talking about funding commissaries out of the military departments instead of it being out of the Department of Defense. We're about a billion dollars out of the operating budgets that we ought to be thinking in terms of. We're talking about $1.6 billion in rescissions from the 1999 budget that we don't see or know what they are or whether or not they are approvable.
We are increasing funding for ballistic missiles' defense, and we should. We're increasing funding for counter-terrorism, and we should. We're increasing funding for nuclear proliferation, and we should. But all of that is eating into this new money that you are looking for and what you desperately need. So I just hope to heaven that at the end of the day you are going to get it.
That's why I'm asking you as well as the preceding panel, when it bubbles down to you and you have a firm handle on what you are being told you've got to work with, we want to know. I want it to be as good as you hope it is. I'd like to see if we can't make it better. But I have to share with you my sort of misty view that things may not be as good as they might seem. Mr. Pickett?
Mr. PICKETT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I think we're all alarmed at what we're hearing here and the frustration is that we don't seem to be able to tie down the dollars in such a way that they get spent for what we expect them to be spent for. We do our best, we think we are doing right to put the dollars there and they disappear into other spending profiles. So I don't know.
Page 85 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC If you all have any ideas about what we can do here to make sure that the dollars that are designated for training and designated for base operations, and so on, get spent that way, I would certainly, for one, like to hear about it. If you don't feel comfortable giving it to us today, an unsigned letter will be fine.
I truly am concerned because I was looking here, General Flowers, for example, at your statement that Operation and Maintenance funding is $103 million in arrears. And it struck me, well, what is your annual budget for Operation and Maintenance?
Major General FLOWERS. Sir, last year I had a budget of about, all things said and done, about a little over $103 million.
Mr. PICKETT. So your backlog is equal to a year's budget is what we are talking about, isn't it?
Major General FLOWERS. Yes, sir.
Mr. PICKETT. Well, that's just unconscionable, Mr. Chairman. I don't know what we can do here in this committee to get this money spent where we want It spent. But something is happening between the time we put this bill together and the time that the dollars are distributed to these commands.
Mr. BATEMAN. Your point is very well taken. This committee has through all the years that I've been chairman and before I was chairman sought to take care of the training requirements of all of the services as a first priority.
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We have tried to allocate funds, because we have been aware of the deferred maintenance that's been going on, more and more money into base operations support and to real property maintenance. We think we authorized a substantial boost to those activities and then we find that you are having to take money from this in order to that becauseI don't know where the money is going.
Obviously, if you have a Bosnia operation and for 18 months or so the operation is nothing in the budget for it even though it's an ongoing operation when the budget is submitted, it's coming out of your hide. And that I think has a devastating effect upon your ability to plan and to utilize your resources.
But Mr. Pickett is absolutely right, we have a problem with whether or not what we authorize and gets appropriated gets expended in a manner in which Congress intended to be done. And so we do seek any suggestions to try and protect your resources from flanking attacks from we know not where.
Mr. PICKETT. One other thing. I think General MacGhee that you are the only one at the table that's an actual Force provider. I think the others have different roles there, but our subcommittee held a hearing last year and I know this is a very touchy subject, but there was some indication that the theater CINCs, or however we designate those, the operational CINCs there that do the warfighting, that in some cases they don't have any restraints on what they decide they want to ask for. And I know I'm asking a very tough question, but does that factor have an impact on what you are expected to do in the way of providing forces?
Page 87 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General MACGHEE. Yes, sir. One of our problems is a thing called a Global.
She told me this before, I'm just a slow learnereach of the CINCs obviously request what he thinks is necessary to do the job. What we would like in Air Combat Command is for the CINCs to request a capability, as opposed to a platform because we have lots of different systems which are multi-talented. And then, given how busy or what the readiness state of a certain system is, we can then provide that CINC with the same capability but with a platform which allows us to give either a break or a rest to what we call a mission capable aircraft that is overworked in the surge mode, we might say.
This is a big problem in the U2 community. As you might be aware, the U2 community flies missions on a daily basis in support of the CINCs, and when something like Bosnia kicks off, which is so important, the CINC wants to be able to understand the air picture and the ground picture. It could save lives. He then may request an additional 4 U2s, and there just aren't enough to go around.
So that becomes a major challenge. What we normally do is we RECLAMA that request through the Joint Staff. And then the Chairman arbitrates. I must tell you I think he and the J3 and the Joint Staff have been very fair. When they can, and when the risk is not too high, they have been very supportive of putting a lid on that. But it is a very touchy subject.
Mr. PICKETT. Well, I surmised it was. This issue about capability as opposed to specific platforms, is there something that could be done legislatively to help in this area, or is this just something that's to evolve by the military?
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Major General MACGHEE. I think that the chairman is on the right track. He has been very supportive. It think it's my job and General Hawley's job, the Commander of Air Combat Command, to help educate the CINCs. They don't do this maliciously or
Mr. PICKETT. Oh, no I didn't intend that.
Major General MACGHEE. And so we travel every 6 months to visit the CINCs and together we've carried this message. And I think they have been very supportive. So I think it's an education part. Now, part of the problem, sir, is we've gotten small.
Mr. PICKETT. I understand.
Major General MACGHEE. So this was never a problem for the CINC before and now instead of asking for an F15E, I'd like him to say, ''I need him to say I need a night precision bombing capability aircraft,'' and then I can give him an S16 Lantern, I can give him a B2, or I can give him an F15E. So I don't think legislation is necessary. I think we're making great headway and it's something that's our job and we need to do it better.
Mr. PICKETT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. BATEMAN. Mr. Ortiz?
Page 89 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. ORTIZ. I'm going to be very brief. I know that we need to relinquish this room for another hearing. But I would like to submit some questions for the record. You that provide training now, I understand that the Active Duty consists of about 46 percent, the Reserve and National Guard make up the other Fifty-four percent.
They are having retention problems too. And those of you that train pilots and other specific important MOSs, if they are having retention problems, if we are having retention problems, is this hurting you now? Or will this hurt you in the future? General Flowers?
Major General FLOWERS. Currently, the Army is about 50/50 in gross terms. Many of our branches, however, are significantly higher. Seventy-six percent of the Engineer Force, for example, is in the Reserve component. The No. 1 problem in my formations is Military Occupational Specialty Qualification. And we are working very hard to address that through expansion of Distance Learning and through exporting total Army School Systems out to the armories around the country. It's tough to do.
The other piece of that is the piece that, thank God, you all are addressing, and that's the pay and the retirement benefits. I think if a soldier, regardless of component, feels that they are being taken care of, properly utilized and trained, and get the operational experience that they now get, you have a great opportunity then to retain that soldier.
I just left last week, Honduras, and visited the task forces that were down there that were working on disaster recovery, many of whom were from the Guard and Reserve. And they are doing a tremendous job. And the morale among those formations is very, very high.
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There are ways to reach out and touch them as they go out there to continue their training; as they rotate through those on their Active Duty stints, it will create the ethos among all of the components that they are valued, they are working hard, they are being trained and paid, I think it will help. Admiral Bucchi?
Rear Admiral BUCCHI. I believe I understood the question correctly, the impact of the Reserves and their retention problems and how we use them. We only use a small percentage of the Reserves in the Training Command as instructors. Although I would tell you as a very important piece of it, we have a Reserve at each one of the five wings and probably, total, we're talking about 10 percent max where we get help from our Reserves.
Now, Admiral Steve Keith has been a great friend over the years, and he has been able to plus us up in drill periods, extra days given to us when we needed that. So that would be one of the things that he and I would work out together. If he started having a problem filling those slots for us, he would have to try to go to some other method that we could get those extra times. But right now I don't have a problem with that. We're having more people apply for that particular program for some very obvious reasons, and so I don't think we'll see any time in the near future.
Mr. ORTIZ. Let me tell you why I am asking this question. When I was in Germany, I talked to the Air Force. And the first time they were deployed, the Reserves, they loved it. The first time was ''Yes, sir, we'll go.'' The second time they said, ''We're going to think about it.'' The third time, ''Thank you very much, but we don't want this any more.'' Why? Because of their employers, they have a job back home. And I just don't want us to have a problem with retention here and here, to the point that we can't get anybody to go anywhere because we don't have them trained. General MacGhee, is this a problem for you?
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General MACGHEE. Sir, I think it's a very important point. First of all, the Guard and Reserve make up about 63,000 additional people on top of the 100,000 that the Air Combat Command, General Hawley, is responsible for and that I guess I'm accountable for if they are not trained and prepared and I can't provide them; and they bring over 750 aircraft to the fight. We're very, very proud of our Guard and Reserve. And when I was the Lakenheath Wing Commander, I often, in Northern Watch, swapped out with Guard in the F15 CAP. And I had no idea they were Guard. They were just as good as I was. And the only difference was they were better cooks. When we came back they could cook fish real good. But the issue is one that really is important to the Air Force right now.
As you know, we have kicked off an air expeditionary concept. And one of the good things about that concept is we want to spread the pain of deployments. And so we are going to rely heavily on our Guard and Reserve component. As a matter of fact, I just had a meeting with the Taos, New Mexico, and they are going to provide 255 days of precision guided munitions night capability in Northern Watch starting in June 1999.
If I don't have them trained and equipped correctly, I will not be able to execute the Chief's vision on the Air Expeditionary Force. As far as retention goes, it is very clear to me that the employer has the upper hand in our Guard and Reserve employees. I would like to say that my experience has shown though that the individuals are totally dedicated. And if they could, they would deploy.
But your point about the employer saying, ''Look, I hired you, I'm paying you, I need you,'' is a serious problem. Our approach has been, tell the Guard and Reserve what you need them to do and they'll figure out how to help. And so far, that has worked, sir. I don't know if it will continue because of the increased burden that they will have. But they are very, very clever, they are very professional, and we have been very proud of the support they have given the Air Force in the past.
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Brigadier General JONES. Yes, sir. We in the Marine Corps deploy total force concept. R4RES of New Orleans is led by a Marine Corps two-star general. Every operation we undertake, the Reserves are part of it. Our big problem in the Marine Corps is not one of retention or recruiting right now, it's one of retraining, much like General Flowers alluded to.
If we get somebody to come back in Reserves, how do you get them retrained if they change a Military Occupational Specialty where you only have two weeks of summer drill or two days per month on training? Modern technology and Distance Learning will, I think, score big points in that regard. Again, back to the issue of first you've got to identify the core skills, and when you've done that then you can exploit the technology. That's were we're doing now. We have a major problem in the Reserve relative to mismatch. About 25 percent of our Reserves are without MOS training. That's our big problem.
Mr. ORTIZ. We thank you and we appreciate the fine work that you do under the circumstances. And I think what we need to do is to make the military as attractive as we can, so that we can keep them. If we don't make it attractive, industry is very attractive out there. We need to make it attractive for you to keep these young men and women. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. BATEMAN. Thank you, Mr. Ortiz. And thank you, gentlemen, for being with us today. Your testimony is very helpful to the committee. And your service to your country is very much appreciated and recognized. Thank you again.
Page 93 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC [Whereupon, at 1:15 p.m., the subcommittee was adjourned.]
A P P E N D I X
March 4 1999
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DOCUMENTS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD
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Page 94 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCQUESTIONS AND ANSWERS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD
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