SPEAKERS CONTENTS INSERTS
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[H.A.S.C. No. 10728]
NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT
FOR FISCAL YEAR 2003H.R.
OVERSIGHT OF PREVIOUSLY AUTHORIZED PROGRAMS
COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED SEVENTH CONGRESS
FULL COMMITTEE HEARINGS
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AUTHORIZATION AND OVERSIGHT
MARCH 6, 2002
HOUSE COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
One Hundred Seventh Congress
BOB STUMP, Arizona, Chairman
DUNCAN HUNTER, California
JAMES V. HANSEN, Utah
CURT WELDON, Pennsylvania
JOEL HEFLEY, Colorado
JIM SAXTON, New Jersey
JOHN M. McHUGH, New York
TERRY EVERETT, Alabama
ROSCOE G. BARTLETT, Maryland
Page 3 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCHOWARD P. ''BUCK'' McKEON, California
J.C. WATTS, Jr., Oklahoma
MAC THORNBERRY, Texas
JOHN N. HOSTETTLER, Indiana
SAXBY CHAMBLISS, Georgia
VAN HILLEARY, Tennessee
WALTER B. JONES, North Carolina
LINDSEY O. GRAHAM, South Carolina
JIM RYUN, Kansas
BOB RILEY, Alabama
JIM GIBBONS, Nevada
ROBIN HAYES, North Carolina
HEATHER WILSON, New Mexico
KEN CALVERT, California
ROB SIMMONS, Connecticut
ANDER CRENSHAW, Florida
MARK STEVEN KIRK, Illinois
JO ANN DAVIS, Virginia
EDWARD L. SCHROCK, Virginia
W. TODD AKIN, Missouri
RANDY FORBES, Virginia
JEFF MILLER, Florida
JOE WILSON, South Carolina
IKE SKELTON, Missouri
Page 4 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCJOHN SPRATT, Jr., South Carolina
SOLOMON P. ORTIZ, Texas
LANE EVANS, Illinois
GENE TAYLOR, Mississippi
NEIL ABERCROMBIE, Hawaii
MARTIN T. MEEHAN, Massachusetts
ROBERT A. UNDERWOOD, Guam
ROD R. BLAGOJEVICH, Illinois
SILVESTRE REYES, Texas
TOM ALLEN, Maine
VICTOR F. SNYDER, Arkansas
JIM TURNER, Texas
ADAM SMITH, Washington
LORETTA SANCHEZ, California
JAMES H. MALONEY, Connecticut
MIKE McINTYRE, North Carolina
CIRO RODRIGUEZ, Texas
CYNTHIA A. McKINNEY, Georgia
ELLEN O. TAUSCHER, California
ROBERT BRADY, Pennsylvania
ROBERT E. ANDREWS, New Jersey
BARON P. HILL, Indiana
MIKE THOMPSON, California
JOHN B. LARSON, Connecticut
SUSAN A. DAVIS, California
Page 5 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCJAMES R. LANGEVIN, Rhode Island
RICK LARSEN, Washington
Robert S. Rangel, Staff Director
Christian Zur, Professional Staff Member
Jarrod Tisdell, Research Assistant
Alexis Lasselle, Staff Assistant
Daniel Hilton, Staff Assistant
C O N T E N T S
CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF HEARINGS
Wednesday, March 6, 2002, Fiscal Year 2003 National Defense Authorization ActSecretary of the Air Force; Air Force Chief of Staff
Wednesday, March 6, 2002
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 6, 2002
Page 6 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCFISCAL YEAR 2003 NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACTSECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE; AIR FORCE CHIEF OF STAFF
STATEMENTS PRESENTED BY MEMBERS OF CONGRESS
Skelton, Hon. Ike, a Representative from Missouri, Ranking Member, Committee on Armed Services
Stump, Hon. Bob, a Representative from Arizona, Chairman, Committee on Armed Services
Jumper, Gen. John, Chief of Staff, U.S. Air Force
Roche, Secretary James G., Secretary of the Air Force, (USAF)
Forbes, Hon. Randy J.
Jumper, Hon. John P.
Skelton, Hon. Ike.
Roche, Hon. James G.
White, Hon. Thomas E.
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DOCUMENTS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
[There were no Documents submitted for the Record.]
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
FISCAL YEAR 2003 NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACTSECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE; AIR FORCE CHIEF OF STAFF
House of Representatives,
Committee on Armed Services,
Washington, DC, Wednesday, March 6, 2002.
The committee met, pursuant to call, at 10:05 a.m., in room 2118, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Bob Stump (chairman of the committee) presiding.
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OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. BOB STUMP, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM ARIZONA, CHAIRMAN, COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
The CHAIRMAN. [Presiding.] The meeting will please come to order.
Today the committee concludes its review of the fiscal year 2003 budget request for the military services with the Air Force.
As our witness, I am pleased to welcome Secretary of the Air Force, James Roche; Chief of Staff, General John Jumper to testify on the Air Force's budget request.
As we are all keenly aware, the Air Force played a significant role in the collapse of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. Within only a few months the Air Force demonstrated value of air power as a force multiplier for our ground forces to fundamentally change the combat equation. Moreover, the Air Force keeps watch over the skies here in the United States to dissuade and, perhaps, preclude another September 11 from happening.
Last week the Commander in Chief, General Tommy Franks, told the committee that all the delivery and most of the re-supply personnel equipment in Afghanistan has been done by air. In addition to the enormity of this humanitarian relief operation, the Air Force efforts in Afghanistan have been remarkable. However, all of this comes at a cost.
The committee is well aware of the toll that sustained operations have on pilots, air crews and their families and aircraft and equipment. While the budget request for the Air Force of 2003 is $87 billion, an increase of about $7 billion over fiscal year 2002; the unfunded priority list is almost $4 billion. Clearly, hard choices are still required, even in this new era of increased defense spending.
Page 9 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The Air Force programing for the coming year has shortcomings, especially in the area of facilities modernization. But leadership demands both tough decisions, and I commend the Secretary and the General for delivering a budget that ensures that the Air Force will remain ready and able to defend this nation anywhere at anytime.
Before we proceed, let me turn to Mr. Skelton for any remarks that he may wish to make.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Stump can be found in the Appendix on page ?.]
STATEMENT OF HON. IKE SKELTON, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM MISSOURI, RANKING MEMBER, COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Chairman, thank you very much, and I join you in welcoming Secretary Roche and General Jumper. We look forward to your testimony, and we will have some questions for you a bit later.
Now, generally speaking, Mr. Chairman, I am pleased with the fiscal year 2003 budget request for the Air Force. In particular, I am impressed at the effort and the improvement that the Air Force is making in the areas of transformation, information operations, advance capabilities, such as the use of unmanned aerial vehicles.
Now, I applaud the fact that the Air Force is doing the important thing in making people a priority. The investments being made today in recruiting and retention and quality of life programs, I believe, will pay dividends for many years to come. And, as I have said before, and I still believe it to be true, that personnel programs and policies, though they do not the glamour, they are the guts of the system. So, let me commend you on that.
Page 10 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I also want to credit the Air Force for making education and professional military education a priority. Not only has the Air Force succeeded in making the completion of professional military education a condition in proceeding to promotion, but now the service is on the verge of sending enlisted personnel to graduate and technical schools to pursue masters degrees in relevant fields. This is an outstanding proposal and achievement, and we will follow that very closely.
Mr. Chairman, I also want to sound a couple of notes of caution. The ongoing war on terrorism has highlighted a conspicuous need for more strategic airlift and for more tanker aircraft. And, I will look forward to any comments, General, you might have in that regard.
I also am aware that the Air Force has sought authorization in funding for increased end-strength; more young people in uniform. And although this is exceeding this statutory authority end-strength by up to 2 percent that flexibility really does not solve your problem. And, in a wartime environment, it is clear to me that all the services need additional end-strength.
Mr. Secretary and General, I know you are performing a very difficult balancing act, trying to get the right mix to balance the appropriate amount of resourcesdevoted to the force structure on the one hand, modernization, infrastructure, readiness, personnel, and quality of life issues. Those are all extremely difficult balances to manage, so I commend you for your success in striking that balance. I also want to credit you for making wise trade-offs and for having helped to convince the administration that more was needed for defense.
I believe that the American people intuitively understand that our prosperity at home rests in part on the stability that our forces help maintain overseas. Our leadership of the world is reinforced by the ideals associated with our country, the wisdom of our leaders and their policies and the strength of our armed forces. As our forces are demonstrating on a daily basis in Afghanistan, we are the world's preeminent military force, and I thank you both for helping to ensure that we maintain that.
Page 11 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC So Mr. Chairman, we look forward to the testimony of these two gentlemen. Thank you.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Skelton can be found in the Appendix on page ?.]
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, Mr. Skelton.
Gentlemen, let me again welcome you. Mr. Secretary, and General Jumper, your entire statements will be printed in the record. If you care to summarize, we would appreciate it. Unfortunately, we are going to have a vote sometime in the next 20 minutes or so, so we will have to recess at that time. Thank you.
Mr. Secretary, the floor is yours. You may proceed in any way you see fit.
STATEMENTS OF HON. JAMES G. ROCHE, SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE AND GENERAL JOHN P. JUMPER, CHIEF OF STAFF, DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE
STATEMENT OF HON. JAMES G. ROCHE
Secretary ROCHE. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Chairman, distinguished members of this committee, it is an honor to appear before you today representing the Air Force team, along with my colleague, John Jumper.
John Jumper is an extraordinary officer. One of the most imaginative human beings I have ever met and it is my distinct honor to have the opportunity to spend these next number of years as his colleague helping to lead this Air Force team. Together we have set ambitious goals and we intend to achieve them, Mr. Chairman.
Page 12 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC We are committed to succeed in our responsibilities together with our sister services to provide for this nation's security now and in the foreseeable future. You have our full attention and we are ready to get down to the important business at hand.
With your permission, Mr. Chairman, as you said, I would just like to make some short introductory comments and ask that our combined opening statements, the Air Force 2002 Posture Statement, be included in the record, sir.
Mr. Chairman, America's Air Force has had numerous opportunities over the past several months to implement and validate significant changes in the concept of military operations and, indeed, in the conduct of air war. With the full support of Don Rumsfeld, our Secretary of Defense, we have encouraged and exploited the rapid advancement and deployment of innovative technologies. We have already begun to reorganize and find efficiencies throughout the Air Force. And, we have taken significant action to implement the findings of the Space Commission in our new role as the Department of Defense executive agent for space.
We precede, however, Mr. Chairman, hungry rather than complacent, recognizing that much work and many more opportunities to improve await us. Despite our dedication to demanding, critical and global operations, we have not faltered in our steps to continue the task of transforming our force to match the demands of this new century.
But, first and foremost, Mr. Chairman, you can be justifiably proud of the American airmen who serve our country at home and abroad. Operations Northern Watch and Southern Watch over Iraq over the last decade, our folks have quietly amassed over 200,000 sorties.
In Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan; it has demanded over 19,500 sorties to date, some of which have broken records in mission range, hours flown, combat recognizance. Tanker support to join operations; nearly 8,000 tanker sorties to date, 55 percent of which have been for Naval aircraft. Our mobility demands and humanitarian tonnage delivered have all been unprecedented. For the first time in the history of warfare, the entire ground operation in landlocked Afghanistan, infiltration, exfiltrations, sustainment of supplies and support equipment has been accomplished by air.
Page 13 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Here at home in Operation Noble Eagle over the skies of America, more than 12,000 of our airmen, 265 aircraft and 350 crews from the Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve and active Air Force have flown over 17,000 fighter, tanker and airborne early warning sorties, as well as pre-positioned C-130s for emergency response. Our North American Treaty Organization (NATO) partner nations have deployed forces to our own country for the first time. Seven Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) and NATO crews help defend the skies of the United States as we speak.
It is the first time since the Monroe Doctrine of 1823 that the Continental European Force is helping to defend the Continental United States, and, it is the first time Article 5 of the NATO Charter was invoked and the first deployment under the innovation was to the United States.
These NATO crews have flown over 250 sorties, totally about 2,700 flight hours since they arrived on the 14th of October. And, I have had the pleasure to go down and visit with them. They are doing this with great pride and our folks in Oklahoma have been wonderful hosts to them.
As John and I work to complete our transformation, support our airmen, reinvigorate the military industrial base to become an even more efficient team, our vision remains a total air and space force providing global reconnaissance and strike to include the movement of troops and their support across the full spectrum of operations. But, we face challenges, Mr. Chairman.
First, we need to provide persistent intelligent surveillance reconnaissance across a critical section of a distant country in all weather conditions, 24-hours a day, seven days a week for up to a year. But in the course of the last few months, we have demonstrated that we think we know how to do this, and this is a goal we can achieve.
We need to develop the ability to provide near instantaneous ground attack from the air, precisely and with a wide variety of strike weapons, by working closely with troops on the ground equipped with special sensors and communication links, as well as with a portfolio of off-board sensors and platforms, including unattended or unmanned vehicles. All simultaneously coordinated.
Page 14 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Again, over the last number of months, we have demonstrated that this is a goal we can achieve. We need to define and pursue the optimum space architecture to fully integrate space assets into the global strike operations from the air, land and sea. And we need to develop our role in homeland defense and arrive at a steady state of roles and responsibilities among our active Air Force, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve. And we need to complete and implement our long-term strategy for our air logistics centers. We need to modernize our tanker and intelligence surveillance reconnaissance capabilities that we will need in the years ahead.
And here, Mr. Chairman, I am particularly concerned, as is John, over the age of our 707-based tanker fleet and our intelligence surveillance recognizance fleet. We have roughly 545 KC-135s based on the 707, and only 55 operating KC-10s. Yet, 55 percent of our fueling in the area of responsibility have been to naval aircraft. These planes are over 40 years old in average age. And that is you have seen us try to find innovative ways to replace some of them as soon as we can, including an attempt to see if we can leasedone properly, in accordance with the rules of the Congressa number of aircraft to start to introduce a chance so that we have some dissimilar tankers, because we fear that we could face a class problem in the 707, which would shut down the fleet.
Now, we also note that these planes are so old they may not have class problems left, but on the other hand, one could appear. And we believe it is time to get on with it given the age of the planes and given that both of us have spent time in Air Logistics Center, have seen the delaminating aluminum, have seen the catalytic corrosion in the bodies of the planes, and recognize that we are patching very old aircraft.
Meanwhile, we are also developing concepts and strategies to seamlessly integrate our manned and unmanned systems. And, again, we have demonstrated capabilities in this area, especially through our combined air-operating center that has been used in the current conflict. And, last, we remain ever focused on retaining our people, especially those in mid-career who will benefit from the provisions in this budget for improved family housing, pay and facilities.
Page 15 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. Chairman, America's Air Force is able to perform the extraordinary feats asked of us because we are blessed with full support of the American people, the Congress, and the President of the United States, all of whom have been graciously supportive of our efforts and missions. We sincerely appreciate the confidence in our commitment and our capabilities, as well as the wisdom, vigilance and patriotic sense of duty that join us in our journey to provide our nation with superiority air and space throughout this century.
When you go the area of responsibility in Southwest Asia, Mr. Chairman, as both John Jumper and I have done, you, too, will be proud of the airmen you meet; a dedicated team of men and women that you and your colleagues in the Congress have raised and supported.
Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. General Jumper, did you have a statement to make?
STATEMENT OF GENERAL JOHN P. JUMPER
General JUMPER. Sir, I thank you for the opportunity, Mr. Chairman, to make a statement. Mine will be very brief. I think Secretary Roche covered the specifics and the highlights of the current operation of the Air Force.
I would just to take a moment to thank the distinguished members of the committee, Mr. Chairman, on behalf of all of the nation's airmen. As the Secretary said, we both had the opportunity to travel over to the Area of Responsibility (AOR) and to see firsthand our young airmen perform on behalf of the nation.
I have been wearing this uniform for 35 years. And every crisis that we endure, I continue to be surprised at the dedication and the commitment of these young Americans in uniform of all service. And in this generation where we are led to believe that our youngsters are brought up in a culture of Beavis and Butthead and the Simpson's and they do not know how to be committed or loyal or patriotic, one only has to travel to the front lines and see these great Americans who display all of these great characteristics and qualities and be proud to know that they are as dedicated, as principled, as patriotic as any generation of Americans that ever served.
Page 16 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And let me thank you specifically, Mr. Chairman, and members of the committee, for what you have done to give these young airmen the resources they need to do their job. I have had more than one crusty, knuckle-dragging Non Commissioned Officer (NCO) come up to me and say, ''Sir, I am grateful for the pay raise, but, you know, I would have given it up just to get the parts that you are now giving me for these airplanes, so I can fix my airplanes.''
We give them the resources to do their job. We show them the appreciation with a small pay raise from time-to-time and they will stay with us, Mr. Chairman, because they are all great Americans.
As Secretary Roche said, we are on a road toward transformation, and we are dedicated to the integration of air and space and ground and naval forces seamlessly so that we can reap the benefits of this information age on the battlefield. We saw a recent example of this with a young staff sergeant named Lienheart, a 24-year old Staff Sergeant, he is a special forces' guy, he is an Air Force member and he was on the ground in Afghanistan.
We have read the stories about these people on the ground who ride the horses and this was the fellow. And the picture is on the horse with the laptop computer on the saddle horn hooked up to a satellite to give him his precise position with a laser tripod and binoculars bouncing off the back of the horse as they get to their next position and calling in strikes from B-52s seven miles in the sky and putting bombs to within 800-meters of his own position.
Sir, using B-52s for close air support is something that we never thought of. We train these bomber pilots to take off from the northern tier of the United States and go in some way on a nuclear mission, but now transformational ideas coming out of the heads of these youngsters are putting these airplanes in the close air support, combined with guys like Gunning Staff Sergeant Lienheart to do the nation's duty.
So, Mr. Chairman, I thank you. I thank the members of the committee for all you have done to support our people in uniform and just let me say God bless America.
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[The joint statement of Secretary Roche and General Jumper can be found in the Appendix on page ?.]
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, General.
The chair recognizes the gentleman from Missouri, Mr. Skelton.
Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Chairman, thank you.
I think we are truly blessed to have the civilian military team that is sitting in front of us today and we thank you for your hard work, your efforts and your wisdom. There are a good number of questions we need to ask and I will ask a couple.
I was down at Hurlburt Air Force Base just a few days ago, and what you were telling me last year that the Air Force is 1,500 pilots short did not sink in until I saw the fact that all of the planes are not capable of being fielded because of lack of pilots and supporting maintenance and crews.
So my obvious question is that you just cannot throw money at the problem, what are you doing to fix this? It has to be fixed.
I am very concerned about the young folks, in particular those who are Air Force Academy graduates bailing out on you and leaving. How are you going to keep these young folks in the service and particularly the pilots? You have got to do it. How are you going to fix it?
Secretary ROCHE. I will start, sir, and then ask John to comment.
With regard to the pilots, we are now putting as many pilots through basic training as we can. We are short, and we have had shortages in officer accessions for a number of years.
Page 18 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC You have hit on the key, though, Mr. Skelton, which is, we have to retain pilots, and we have instituted a program of re-recruiting, which is to send out teams and right now they are working on the battle managers and on the scientists and engineers because our pilots happen to be very busy. So we use role models to go out and re-recruit people for the second half of their careers, to point out the burdens of command, but the fulfillment of command; the notion of developing policy, of leading large organizations and why that would be a very rewarding second part of their career even though they may fly less than they did in the first part of their career.
With your help, we are fixing up family housing. We are doing a number of other things to make life, quality of life, better for these folks. The air expeditionary force was a way to try and get some stability to deployments. And, while it is being stressed right now because of the current conflict, we are conscious of our folks being away from their families for long periods of time.
We want to give them educational opportunities to make the point that we want to invest in them because they are very important for future leadership. So we are working at that. We are doing better in the enlisted ranks than we are in the pilot and air battle managers and navigator ranks. Scientists and engineers we are also terribly short of. And we are looking at each one of these to see if there are things in our own procedures, or our own ways of dealing with them, that cause them a problem that we can easily fix. And we are taking this, not one at a time, but two or three at a time.
In the case of the scientists and engineers, we have found some of our own procedures have been part of the problem. And, when we find that, we fix it and we fix it immediately.
General JUMPER. Mr. Skelton, as you know, sir, the pay incentives that has been supported by this committee have gone a long way to helping us out. We have a 13 percent increase in the number of pilots that are committed to take the bonus over last year. We have had 150 people since the 11th of September come back into the Air Force to fly again that had recently gotten out of the Air Force.
Page 19 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC But your point is well taken, and we have taken steps to try and control that thing which bothers our pilots the most, and that is the tempo. We are asking a lot of these people. They are gone away from home a lot. I have never had an F-15 pilot come up to me and say, ''Sir, I have decided I want to stop flying the F-15 and I would rather fly a Boeing 727.'' That is never the case. The case is always, ''Sir, it is like too much candy at Halloween. I am going all the time. I am not participating in the upbringing of my own children. My spouse has a career and the opportunities are just too good on the outside.''
It is controlling the operational tempo of being able to get ourselves into a solid rotational base, being able to provide the incentives that make it, at least, somewhat comparable with what they can get on the outside. And you know, Mr. Skelton, as well as I do, that although the hiring rates for the airlines have been cut in half since the 11th of the Septemberthe projections have been cut in halfwe still expect the airlines, the major airlines, to hire 1,500 new pilots this year. And, as the Secretary said, we train 1,100. Now, the other services train some too, but the demand is far outstripping the resources.
So we have to make the incentives there; we have to control the opt tempo; we have to watch quality of life, all the things that I know are of concern to this committee, sir.
Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Chairman, I have two other questions, but I would prefer to do that toward the end of hearing so that others may participate.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, Mr. Skelton.
The gentleman from California, Mr. Hunter, is recognized.
Mr. HUNTER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Gentlemen, thanks for being with us this morning, thanks for your service to the country.
I think a major lesson has been learned over the last several conflicts that we have been involved in, and certainly this latest one is no exception, and that is that two of our best technologies, when married together; that is stealth coupled with precision munitions, result in a lot of leverage on the battlefield. And you folks have been denied a little piece of this action because your tact air does not have the legs or did not have the legs early on to get into the theater. And the Navy was the primary mover with tact air.
Page 20 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC But we learned the lesson, and I do not know whether you guys attended the press conferences with then-President Clinton at Whitman Air Base after the B-2s had returned. And from those Kosovo air operations, we saw the first validation of that idea; that is stealth married with precision munitions, in the Gulf War 10 years ago. And you have seen that same idea validated in this last operation.
Granted, you can run those B-52s up and drop them pretty close, when you have some precision attached to that. In fact, I think, Kasan was one place where we came in a little tight to put a few crowd pleasers out there as they ringing Kasan and trying to drive the Marines into the South China Seam, and that was very effective. But you have learned this lesson of stealth accompanied by precision munitions and, yet, we have 21 B-2 bombers and I do not see a blueprint for going forward. And, when we have asked you about it, there has been vague statements about weapons from space at some point, which is necessarily vague because I think it is something that will never happen.
Where we going? Are you going to come out with a bomber blueprintstealth blueprintthat is going to give us some long-range stealth capability? And what do you think about this Chevy B-2 that the Northrop's come up with that is a cheaper B-2?
Secretary ROCHE. First of all, sir, yes, we have seen stealth and precision work very well together. Stealth can be in the airplane; it can also be in the weapon. We have a bomber roadmap that says take the 21 B-2s that we have, fix them up to make sure they can always penetrate.
The days of having to drop a lot of weapons in order to have a high probability of success are over because now each weapon can have a high probability of success. Where our stealth is coming is in something that can be stealthy and fast, and the F-22 gives us that. The joint strike fighter will also give us stealth and speed, self-protection, as well as the ability to attack.
Page 21 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The F-22 increasingly will be used in two ways: One, to clear the skies, which it was originally designed for; and two, to work with forces on the ground and going against very precise targets. We are developing a small, lighter bomb thatsmaller diameter bombthat will be very precise so that we can carry more of them on many types of vehicles.
Mr. HUNTER. If you flew F-22, Mr. Secretary, out of Whitman Air Base to a targetto a theater as far away as Kosovo, how many air refuelings would you need for the F-22?
Secretary ROCHE. You would probably need a good distance that has 600-mile legs. However, we have bases that are closer. And right now, we have found when we flew the B-2 out of Whitman, we needed a number of tanks. But that was good for the time it was done.
Mr. HUNTER. We understand. But one problem that you folks have now come up against, the tact air fellows in Air Force; you have now had trouble getting into theater in Afghanistan early on because you did not have air bases close by.
Secretary ROCHE. Yes, sir, but we had
Mr. HUNTER. And the Navy got to the point where they were having to borrow Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAMS) from you because they were doing all the shooting.
Secretary ROCHE. The statistics will show that the bombers dropped, I think, a larger number of weapons than the Navy did.
Mr. HUNTER. Well, my point is, you are right; when you went to your bombers and you had to call on B-52s, then you got into the action. So my question is, do you think 21 is enough in terms of the stealth aircraft?
Secretary ROCHE. We believe 21 of the current version of the B-2, or a B-2 that shape, is enough. We are moving to standoff weapons for the B-1. The B-1 has performed magnificently in that it no longer has to go dashing in on the deck. It can stand off with the weapons that are now in production; the Joint Air-to-Surface Stand-Off Missile (JASSM), which will give it very stealthy attack capabilities from a standoff range. We believe moving to something that can both be fast and stealthy is ideal.
Page 22 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Now, for a bomber roadmap, yes, sir, we do have thoughts of what we would do in the near-term, what we would do later on and the point you made about space is a very distant thing. But, at this point, we believe taking weapons and weaponizing the bombers has the greatest return, while we try to field F-22s and joint strike fighters.
General JUMPER. Sir, I might add that we are taking steps, as you know, to put 80 bombs on each B-2 bomber, 80 precision bombs. If you put four or five B-2s in there with that many bombs on there, it takes care, very quickly, of any target base that we have out there today.
We have flown very few B-2 sorties in Afghanistan. I would not hesitate, as we are doing right now, to take F-22s out of other bases in the region, as we are doing with fighters today, if the situation warranted the F-22 to go in and take out the highest threats to enable the B-2 to come in with the larger loads. This is the combination of stealth standoff and precision that has to be kept in balance because, sir, as you know, this war is like this war; it is not the last one and it is not going to be like the next one. We have to balance the need to be able to get into those toughest targets.
You also know that in the air-to-air role, that from time to time we get our hands on the next generation of potential fighters we would go up against, made by various countries throughout the world; in particular, the ones made by the Russians. When we get our hands on those and our pilots fly them, our guys flying their airplanes beat our guys flying our airplanes every time. And this the other thing the F-22 will do for us as it is taking care of that air-to-ground role.
Mr. HUNTER. No, I am not against F-22. I just want to see the bomber rollout. I think you need them both.
General JUMPER. We would like to see the next generation of bomber take advantage of the next generation of technology. And as the Secretary said, I am not sure what that is; if it is manned, unmanned or orbital or sub-orbital, but we ought to take advantage of that next generation. And my personal belief is that we have the bomber force structure we need to get us to that point.
Page 23 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. HUNTER. I just have one other comment, sir.
I think it is one of the really good news points that we have demonstrated in the last number of months. The Navy big deck carriers were there and we did not have bases close by. The distance their planes had to fly when they had weapons on board and the drag that you know so well, they would have had a very difficult time were it not for land-based tankers. It is the fact that the portfolio the United States has can work so well together is the good news. Here we were able to very much support them in terms of tact air.
As time has gone on, we have been able to move things into the region. So each scenario we face favors different parts of the American portfolio. In this case, the combination of our tankers, their tact air in the early days, plus our long-range weapons really paid off.
The CHAIRMAN. Gentlemen, at this time we will stand in recess until the sound of the gavel for about a 10-minute break. When we return, we will resume with Mr. Ortiz and Mr. Weldon.
The CHAIRMAN. The meeting will please come to order.
The gentleman from Texas, Mr. Ortiz.
Mr. ORTIZ. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Secretary, Chief, happy to see you here. We want to thank you for the outstanding work that you are doing and our young men and women.
I have got a question. You know, in light of current efforts by the Air Force personnel to support Operations Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Noble Eagle and the increased operational flight hours of aircraft well beyond those initially planned for, CAPs, the Combat Air Patrolswhat do you see the impact of current operations on personnel there?
I know you have added a little bit about that, you know. And then I read part of your testimony where you say, Mr. Secretary, that in 1990 the Air Force purchased 257 aircraft. By 1996 that number had fallen to 30. What happened between those six year, 1990 to '96? Were there requests made? Were there different priorities? Why did we fall so low from 296 to 30 planes? Maybe you can elaborate a little bit on that.
Page 24 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Secretary ROCHE. I would be glad to, sir. I appreciate the question.
Let me touch on the personnel first. Our young people and older, middle-aged people are doing spectacularly well, but there are impacts, sir. One that has come home to both John and myself is that a number of our people who are in things like our AWACS systems have not had the chance to take leave and they are allowed to accumulate 60 days leave on the books before they lose leave. But if we do not even give them an opportunity to take leave, it is an unfairness there. So we have extended that to 80 daysaccumulative 80 days.
We are now in the position where, because of the tempo of operations, they cannot even take leave now and we, under the authority as we have, extend that to 100 days. So one of the things that is happening is in a number of our parts of our forces, our young people do not have the timeor our middle-aged peopleto take the leave, to spend some time, to take a vacation, to relax a little bit. They are under a pressure of tempo of operations, which, God love them, they are holding up to.
The second thing that is happening to us is that a lot of the training that we require our crews to have is being foregone. That happens in every war. What is different is we have so many of our forces being used in the United States who are not able to do training.
Now, these are very bright people and they come up with workarounds, and they will do such thingsas in the AWACS' world, they refer to it as agile centurywhere they will take up a crew for a mission over the United States, but they will also take a bunch of students. And if it is quiet they will start training the students, but they keep the regular crew there in case something goes wrong and they can quickly just shift out the seats. Or they try to catch a CAP that is coming back from its routine mission and see if they cannot get a patrol, or they use simulators exquisitely.
And by the fact that we have been able to link a lot of the radars inside the United States to North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD)we have a situation were we have an AWACS' crew on the ground in a simulator in Oklahoma actually controlling naval aircraft off of San Diego by using the other link. So in the personnel area of training, it has been really hampered, and also a chance to give our people the normal vacations and rest and time with family.
Page 25 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC With respect to procurement, it has been referred to as a procurement holiday and I have always resented the term. What happened is in any large institution, if you do not have a continuous stream of investment, you will pay the piper at some point. We have seen some of our allies who have lived through this, who had to start to shrink their commitments. And you will recall nothing east of Suez at one point among our British allies.
When you take a procurement that goes about 10 yearsa procurement holidayand you do not buy systems, everything we have gets older, yet it is not that they are not needed. Whether it was Kosovo, or Bosnia or the current conflict or still maintaining forces for Northern Watch or Southern Watch, plus the deterrent forces in Korea and Asia, and now responsibilities for the air space over the United States, those systems are needed and we are hurting.
What we have tried to do is to put forth a budget that takes the most immediate needs first. So, for instance, we know we are going to face a, what is called a bathtub in our fightersthey are just going to wear out or, unfortunately, a number of them will crash and we are willing to take that risk if we can introduce some new systems so that our folks are not spending all of their time trying to hold old things together.
And we are taking each slice and saying, ''Okay, in the bombers, let us do weapons now. In something else, let's get new airplanes. In lift, let's have C-17s.'' Working our way through to try and catch up because you cannot catch up all at once. It will take more than 10 years to overcome the 10-year procurement holiday.
General JUMPER. Sir, just let me add on the personnel sideand Congressman Spratt and I have talked about this beforethe demands that we are making on our people. We are trying to figure out what the new steady state is. We get in these contingency operations, as we are in Afghanistan, and we get the surprise like we had on the 11th of September, it defines another level of steady state for us on which we calculate our rotational base and the tempo of our troops. It takes awhile to figure what that is going to be, or even if we are going to be able to predict it properly.
Page 26 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The good news is that we have enough flexibility in our system that we can respond to this but, in doing so, we work our people very, very hard, and we lean very heavily on our Guard and Reserve. We have to figure out a way to get ourselves back to a more normal situation to control the tempo of both our Guard, Reserve and our active duty people.
Mr. ORTIZ. Thank you, my time just ran out. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman for Pennsylvania, Mr. Weldon?
Mr. WELDON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Thank you both for coming in today, and more importantly, thank you for your service to the country.
General, you folks are doing a fantastic job and we are very proud and our job is to continue to make sure they have the proper tools and resources to allow you to continue to motivate them and do what they are doing.
And, I want to also, Mr. Chairman, congratulate this committee, because one of the successes we are seeing in Afghanistan is the Predator. It is doing a great job, especially with those Hellfire missile attacks. It was this committee, six years ago, without any request from the administration, that added $10 million to equip the Predator with the Hellfire missiles.
So I want you all to know that as we take criticism for playing a legitimate role in the process of adding money in for priorities, here is a clear example where this committee was ahead of the curve. And we supported the 901 dollarsthe $10 millionequipped the Predator, and, I think, General, you would probably agree, that has been a great asset, has it not?
General JUMPER. Absolutely, sir, absolutely.
Mr. WELDON. So congratulations to you, and congratulations to my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for doing the job that we are suppose to do.
Page 27 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC You know, General, I took a delegation of Mr. Secretary up to 25 installations in four days back in August to look at the terrible problem we have with real property maintenance and the capability of our troops to be able to live comfortably and attend schools, and their children and to have a decent quality of life, and also to look at the spare parts problem.
And, one of our stops was at Mountain Home up in Idaho and I got to tell you, my good friend Solomon Ortiz was with me and Sylvester Reyes was thereremember that fellow, that Air Force guy who had just spent six days, 12 hours a day, non-stop, giving up personal medical appointments, giving up time with his family, to cannibalize a B-1 to keep another B-1 up in the air.
And, you know, my point to youand I know you know this, and I know the B-1 is an older platform that requires us to go out and get parts remachinedbut I hope that your budget, in fact, this year is addressing that issue, because you have the moral of the troops, and we saw it in the eyes of that young guy there who was so proud that he would do whatever it took; 12 hours a day, six days a week, it did not matter to him, he was proud to have done itto keep that plane in the air. But, we cannot go on like that, and that is the reality of what happens when we cut back on, not just spare parts, but on modernizing the way we need it.
So I want you to respond to that; about the need to deal with the spare parts issues, especially with programs like the B-1. And the question I want to ask you is your unfunded priority list is about $3.8 billionI might add that is lower than the other services, as you knowbut you did not include the $4.2 billion that you also need to take up the cost for Guard and Reserves being used in the current combat scenario. So your actual request is about $8 billion.
Now, my question to you is an obvious one; why did you not include the entirety of that $8 billion in your unfunded list because it is all unfunded? And what is assurances have you gotten from Department of Defense (DOD) and, perhaps, from Office of Management and Budget (OMB), that that money that you would need for that $4.2 billion is going to be there, because many of us on this committee see that $10 billion just dribbling away? And, in fact, if you do not get that $10 billion, then that 4.2 becomes a part of an $8 billion unfunded request as opposed to 3.8.
Page 28 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC So the question is why did not you include it? And what assurances have you gotten from both DOD and OMB that that money will be there when you need it?
Secretary ROCHE. Sir, let me start off on the point of the B-1. You are absolutely right, John was the head of Air Combat Command (ACC) when Mike Ryan and I looked at the B-1 case and realized what we were doing to our enlisted folks in demanding they maintain those planes and that it was unfair. You will recall that last year, when I last testified here, we had made a decision to do away with 33 of them and to plow every bit of that money back into making the 60 that remained really workable, really good, modernized with the appropriate standoff weapons.
I am proud to tell you, sir, we are doing that. I am also proud to tell you that those crews, once they understood what we wanted and thatboth of us have gone out to the field over in the area and met with the B-1 crewsthey have found they can take that plane up to an economic altitude, set the wings just right, go great distancesand you know it carried 50 percent more than any other bomberand use all three rotary launchers, the spare parts are there. We have talked to the engine mechanics.
One young lady made it very clear to me if I had any complaints about her engines, I had to deal with her, and she was absolutely adamant that those engines would work whenever called up.
Your help in spare parts made a huge difference. The fact that the Secretary backed us up and said, ''Yes, any money you save from the reduction in force, you may plow, untouched, into the rain and the forest takes care of it.''
With regard to our unfunded priority list, we have said that we have had our priorities met in this budget. It is one of the first times we really we can say that. The Secretary has supported us. The OMB and the President has supported us. What you see, our budget is our priorities.
Page 29 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC In the unfunded priority list, what we have just done is to give you things we have put out over time to say each of these will be addressed, but they will not be addressed this year. They will be addressed over time. And we have asked that tradeoffs not be made from our point of view because the president's budget honestly reflects our priorities.
The 4.2 is the cost of our operations for Guard, Reserve and for our operations in Noble Eagle and OEF, and that is part of the $10 billion, as you point out and it is a much more immediate thing. And I think in my letter I made the point that, golly, if that does not come through and we have to eat it, then, Katie, bar the door because we are going to have to go back and utterly draconian on what is in the budget.
The Secretary is making the point to OMBand I cannot speak for OMB and OMB has not given me any assurancesbut, so far, observing the Comptroller and the Secretary and the Deputy Secretary working with OMB, it has been a very understanding discussion, and we have had no cause to complain about the support we have been given. In fact, we feel that for the first time we have a budgetif it can stay consistent, sir, if we can have what is asked for with maybe 3 percent growthwe can give you back your Air Force in top, top, top notch shape within about five to ten years.
General JUMPER. Let me just add a point on the B-1. Congressman, you are exactly right, and let me thank you, sir, for your hands on style where you go out and get to see these things first hand. It makes all the difference in the world.
I think you have learned that these people are not whining about their job. They just want the stuff they need to do their job. And in addition to what you said on the B-1, the young captains who fly it had figured a way to get in and splice into the wiring in the cockpit so they could hook up a laptop to a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver and get digital and precise information about their location and help their bombing computer as well.
Page 30 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The kids invented it themselves at a time where we just did not have the resources to put this in as an investment. So it goes on and on and on, the heroes we have out there, and we have to keep faith with them.
The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from Mississippi, Mr. Taylor?
Mr. TAYLOR. Thank you, Mr. Secretary. Thank you, General Jumper.
Mr. Secretary, I would like to hear your thoughts pertaining to the replacement of the KC-135s and the options that are available to us. In particular, I have heard the arguments that maybe we should lease these. But the problem is just like anyone who has got a mortgage; I hate paying a heck of a lot of money on the interest if I do not have to.
The second problem I have with that that I hope you could talk to and possibly some legislative remedies, is I hate the idea of leasing something for 10 years and the leasor gets it back. If we are going to go to something along those lines, I think a lease purchase agreement would make a heck of a lot more sense. I realize that takes some legislation but that is what we do. But I would at least like to hear your thoughts on that, giving that our procurement holiday put that program in the same bind as the fighters and a lot of other things.
Secretary ROCHE. Thank you very much, sir.
If I can give a bit of a background. I think the excitement that I came upon in the KC-135s comes from visiting the Air Logistics Center (ALCs) and seeing what our folks are doing to keep these going. And, also, we finally got enough data in on things like the joint stars where we take a 707 down to basic very bare airplane and rebuild it. And, the question that John and I asked the system was when we put these planes into the service like at brand new joint stars, does it behave like a brand new airplane when we start to see maintenance over time? And we are just now seeing the data that says no, it starts to really behave like a 17 to 20-year old airplane, which means even though we do so muchsometimes $125 million to refurbish one of these aircraftyou cannot do everything.
Page 31 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC So once we recognized that, we said we have to start worrying about our plan to replace these and the normal program would have the first KC-X coming out around 2008. When 9/11 occurred, and we recognized that we were now going to be using these things far more than we ever had before, including fueling our naval colleagues, we became very concerned about the class problem. And, it was not an outsider; it was really us sitting down and saying what could we do?
We observed that at the same time there are a lot of orders that were canceled with the Boeing Company and that there were Whitetails there. And we said, ''Well, maybe there is a way, just as years ago some of our predecessors picked up DC-10s and made them KC-10s, is there some way we could help us and also do some other good at the same time?'' But, by the way, if airbus came along and had a good dealthough, at this point, we would just like to get the tanker problem dealt with because we have planes in the air and we want to make sure they are fueled.
We looked at a lease as a way of doing something quickly; recognizing that the only way it works is if the cost of the lease was less than the cost we were avoiding. And, in fact, we recognized that if we had about 130 KC-135 Echo-Class, which are the oldest, in need of about $2.5 billion of normal maintenance, plus if we had to upgrade them as they are required to operate around the world, it was another $2 billion. And, we said, ''Can we get a lease, such that as normal business people, it would be worth it for a while to be able to avoid these costs?''
We came to the Congress forbecause it is such a large thingjust for authority to try, recognizing that we had to come back to authorize, as well as appropriations for the actual monies and to find out what are the boundary conditions because there is the operational leases, there is a capital lease? In the case of a capital lease, it scored right away, but that does us no good. An Operational lease, you have to return it and then it is a matter of in that tenth year is there a residual value that could be specified? What are the proper things we can do? What does it mean to return it? What does it mean to try and purchase it two days later? We are looking at all of that right now.
Page 32 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC That is Plan B; Plan A is our own budget to try to move procurement earlier, and we are going to work on it in the '04 budget, because we recognize that some of these planes are going to be flying in their 50th year, and their 55th year, even if we start to replace them. What we would like to dowhat had happened with the B-52swhich is, the older ones got retired and were replaced by other bombers and just retired.
In the case of the tankers, we have about 600 now, when all is said and done. Even with modern engines and keeping weapons inside and less drag, we are still going to probably want around 500 tankers. So this is going to take a long period of time. We wanted to get the ball going. And the only way the lease can work is if the cost avoided outweighs the costs of the lease and if we could find a way to resolve this tenth year problem.
Mr. TAYLOR. Mr. Secretary, I am in agreement with you.
Looking at the options, I would certainly, as one member of the committeebut I think I speak for a lot of members of this committeeask you to include ''Made in America'' as one of those boundaries.
Secretary ROCHE. Yes, sir.
Mr. TAYLOR. I do not think we need to buy our ships overseas and, I do not think we need to buy our planes overseas.
Secretary ROCHE. No, sir. If I may address that.
Coming from the airplane industry, all of these airplanes are world airplanes. And when you look at 767I have been in Mitsubishi; I have been in Kawasaki; I have been in Fuji; I have looked at their best practicesmost of what you see on the 767, less the wings, is made in Japan or Italy by Alina or Mitsubishi, Kawasaki or Fuji, and the same thing with airbusesan awful lot of the airbuses are made in the United States. These things are world airplanes.
There are 3.1 million parts in a 767 that are made by 800 international firms because it is a matter of who would invest in the planes. We will keep that in mind, and certainly American content becomes a very important point when we buy for the military. But just as a background point, all of these planes are world airplanes.
Page 33 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from Alabama, Mr. Everett?
Mr. EVERETT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Secretary, General, if you had not already figured it out, this committee is tremendously proud of the work that our young men and women and, perhaps, in some cases, not so young men and women, are doing in this world today.
Afghanistan and Enduring Freedom, I was also in South Korea in January and I just returned from Cuba, Gitmo, yesterday, late yesterday, and I have seen firsthand the dedication that many of the members have mentioned today of our people in the military, and I am just as proud as I can be about that.
I do have a question that in some respects involves commercial aircraft, but also I think it probably could involve military aircraft also.
You may recall that when Secretary Ron Brown was killed in an aircraft crash that an Air Force directive, AFPD 6314, which required our military aircraft to improve and standardize the information provided by the flight data units to the black box, I was wondering; number one, if that directive has been implemented. But, with that, I also understand that there is the technology available today whereas if an aircraft should go off course or if the pilot should trigger it, that that information and that black box would automatically be transmitted to wherever. And, it seems to me that that would be a great benefit, particularly on the commercial side. Rather than having us to sit and wonder if the black box is intact or if we are going to find it and that kind of thing.
And I guess my question would be this; under Directive AFPD 6314, if it would be possible to set up a demonstration of this particular black box that would transmit it? I understand, frankly, that there is some very simple software changes that could do that.
General JUMPER. Sir, I will have to go back and be able to assure you that we do have the proper data recorders on all of our airplanes. I cannot tell you that sitting here now, but I will get back to you on that. And, most certainly, sir, we can take a look at this technology. We can work with the FAA and others who would be interested to see if we are missing something. I would be happy to do that, sir.
Page 34 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
[The information referred to can be found in the Appendix beginning on page ?.]
Mr. EVERETT. Well, if, indeed, this is a simple that we can do, it seems to me that it would be foolish for us not to take a look at it, perhaps some military aircraft, but surelyand I do understand that the majority of the use of the privy of the FAAbut I thank you for your response.
Secretary ROCHE. Sir, let me add, I got a nice letter from a gentleman from Alabama who had retired from the Air Force. He said he was wanting to come back and fly airplanes for us. And, at the bottom he said, ''Now, I am 85 years old, but I am perfect health except for this pacemaker they just put in.'' So anyway, we have got great Americans out there.
Mr. EVERETT. That is the kind of the way those Alabamians are. Thank you, General.
The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from Arkansas, Dr. Snyder.
Dr. SNYDER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
We had a woman, 82, call our office, General, that volunteered to be a sky marshal shortly after September 11. I understand she was a good shot.
I appreciate you all being here and the work that you do. There is a couple of questions I want to ask.
Mr. Secretary, in your written testimony on page 52, you talk about the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) and you say, ''The Air Force will comply with the Secretary of Defense's guidance for conducting the BRAC process. What does that mean, the guidance? What were you referring to there? I assume that was from the Secretary.
Page 35 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Secretary ROCHE. It is both of ours, sir, but I can answer it.
Dr. SNYDER. Has that guidance been put out already?
Secretary ROCHE. The legislation that has come out says there will be BRAC in the year 2005. What will happen now is that the Secretary will set the criteria for us to take a look at our forces and our bases and that is something that is being coordinated in the Office of Secretary of Defense.
Dr. SNYDER. There has not been any guidance put out to this point?
Secretary ROCHE. No.
Dr. SNYDER. Okay. Thank you.
Secretary ROCHE. Although we have been asked to start to think about it. He is doing it the way you would want him to; about what is our force structure and what does that need.
Dr. SNYDER. Yes.
General Jumper, I wanted to ask you a question. And I know you are a fighter guy but, as you know, C-130s are a lot like fighters; they can just land on dirt. And I understand you had a very good visit at Little Rock Air Force Base.
General JUMPER. Yes, sir, we did indeed.
Dr. SNYDER. They are a great base and at the press report this morning about 400 of them are about to go overseas, as you know.
Several years ago several of us signed a letter to suggest that we have a hearing on strategic lift and it was not as sexy a topic then as fighters and B-2s and all those. But it is very clear now how important it is. I would not mind if you just took the remainder of the time, if you would, and just amplify on what you see as the needs in strategic lift. We hear suggestions that the system is stressed. Where do you see the stress points are at, both in intratheater and intertheater?
Page 36 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General JUMPER. Sir, one of the areas where we have cause to smile is in the area of airlift. As we see our great airlift force out there between the C-5, the C-17 and various models of the C-130, and you know, sir, there are manyAnd, by the way, sir, I started off in the C-7 Caribou. Yes, sir.
Dr. SNYDER. I have actually ridden in one of those.
General JUMPER. Yes, sir. In my first tour in Vietnam, it was 1,100 hours supporting the Army in the C-7. But this is a great success story, and what we have learned in these long-range engagements is the complimentary nature of the C-5 and the C-17, as the C-5 takes very large loads that are then broken down into the C-17. In some cases, the C-17 can take loads right into the dirt. In other cases, it has to be broken down to other types of airstrip where the C-130 is showing itself very proudly in Afghanistan today. It showed itself very proudly in the Kosovo conflict, as you know. And is a workhorse around the world.
We are doing all we can to get the C-17 onboard as quickly as we can. As you know, we also have multi-year on the C-130J's, which is very important to us. And I think that, of all the mission areas, we have some big challenges on the C-5 as we modernize the C-5, but of all the mission areas, that is one we can be the most proud of, I think, sir.
Dr. SNYDER. One final question. When we have incidence of mistakes made on air-to-ground ordinance, either a wrong targetit may not hurt anyone, sometimes does hurt someone, sometimes hurts their own troopswhat lessons are you learning from those mistakes and what process do you have in place to learn from those mistakes and where does jointness play a role in that learning?
General JUMPER. Sir, I will tell you that General Franks and I talked about this. We look at every single incident in an individual basis and try to determine exactly where the error was made. If it is human errorsometimes it is mechanical error, as simple as a fin became disconnected from the bomb; or in the case of a laser, the cloud got in the way of the laser spot while the bomb was en route to the target. But we track down each and every one of these and try to feed back.
Page 37 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC In doing this, we have found from time to time problems. I remember in the Kosovo War, we found a bad lot of laser trackers in a lot of 500-pound bombs that we had to go back and correct. But it is through this process that we analyze exactly what went wronghuman error or mechanical errorin each and every reported incidents of collateral damage.
Dr. SNYDER. Mr. Secretary?
Secretary ROCHE. And as we develop this concept of airplanes working for sergeants, which we have demonstrated, one of the things; these young people having their GPS receivers, is to make sure they cannot transmit their own position, and that is a software change we can make.
We had a lot of breadboard stuff that was used, an idea that really only started in July. It was actually tested in October and November. We had a second generation put in place for the sergeants, and now we know what we really want in the long run. But one of the featuresand it is a software thingis to make sure that if they transmit their own position, it is because they consciously go through a number of steps and want it.
Dr. SNYDER. Gentlemen, I was 20-years old in Vietnam. My next-door neighbor was a Caribou pilot and he came by the Marine base one day and said he will take me with me. So we flew, dropped through the clouds to supply these Green Beret camps and I decided then that practicing medicine looked much more relaxing than flying Caribous.
The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from Maryland, Mr. Bartlett, is recognized.
Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you very much. Mr. Secretary, General, thank you very much for your service.
I understand that the average age of our Air Force jets is now, what, about 22 years?
Page 38 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Secretary ROCHE. Yes, sir.
Mr. BARTLETT. That for tankers, it is what, around 40 years?
Secretary ROCHE. Yes, sir.
Mr. BARTLETT. 41 years? Okay.
With this as context, I would like to ask youwe have given you a lot more money in the last year, but you are also spending a lot more money on the war. You have a whole lot more to do. At the end of the day, how big a supplemental will you need before you will be worse off in terms of readiness than you were before the war? And how big a supplemental will you need so that we can start to address some of the serious problems like 22-year-old jets and 41-year-old tankers?
Secretary ROCHE. Sir, let me start. I do not know if I can give you an exact number, Mr. Bartlett. But what we do know is if we can have some steadiness in our programswe are finally building the F-22, it is finally in productionwe have to get through all the tests for it and we will do that. We are now looking at other things in terms of spiral developments that are trying to make it perfect to start with; start with 80 percent, then get to 90, then get to 100. A supplemental will not do it because a lot of these things take time; the industrial base is not there.
Where we need the supplementals are for the costs associated with actually carrying out this conflict so that it is not taken out of our opportunity to modernize.
We have taken the position very consciously in our family housing, Military Construction (MILCON), and sustainment monies to, to use John's expression, to fix the Air Force we have. First and foremost, family housing; second, fix the Air Force we have. Fix the leaking hangers, fix the bad wiring in places, fix runways with potholes and then only build new for new systems that are comingtrying to stabilize what we have and then go forward over time and do new.
Page 39 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC So the supplemental, from our point of view, is really to help us with the ongoing operations. The rest of itthe industrial base could not absorb a whole heck of a lot of money, sir.
Mr. BARTLETT. I understand, but if we do not give you enough money to cover current operations, then you are going to have to take that money out of modernization.
Secretary ROCHE. Yes, sir.
Mr. BARTLETT. And my concern is that because of the cost of this effort that that may more than soak up the increased funding we have given you. You know, there is a lot of munitions that you have expended and so forth, and my concern is that unless we give you a meaningful supplemental, that modernization is going to suffer even more.
Secretary ROCHE. The Secretary is very aware of this and OMB has been working with us and certainly the President recognizes that we have to fix, transform, modernize, while we are also conducting this phase of a war. We expect, and we are planning for one variation of operation or another over the next four or five years.
Mr. BARTLETT. And you will let us know how much of a supplemental you need so that you will not be worse off at the end of the day?
Secretary ROCHE. Yes, sir, we sure will.
Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you. Thank you very much.
The CHAIRMAN. The gentlelady from New Mexico, Ms. Wilson?
Mrs. WILSON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I wanted to ask you some questions about retention. I know that in the budget you have given us, the selective reenlistment bonuses are not as much as they were last year and, yet, we are not meeting the second term goals in the Air Force and we have got end-strength problems. I wondered if you can give me some idea of how, in this next fiscal year, the Air Force intends to achieve its goals with respect to retention and enlistment?
Page 40 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General JUMPER. Thank you for that question. It is true that we have not met all of our retention goals and that is the thing we have to work on the hardest. There is a flush of patriotism as a result of 11 September, and, as a result, our six-year enlistment/reenlistments have gone up about 15 percent just in the last year, and those are the ones who opt to reenlist, as you know, for six years instead of four years.
Our recruiting is on target. It is the retention that you mentioned that we have got to manage, and the way we have to manage that is we have got to have enough people in our Air Force to do the job we are being asked to do so we can control the tempo of the people that we have.
We have reorganized the Air Force, as you know, into an AEF, an air expeditionary force concept, which takes a rotational base. This is meant to be able to put predictability into the lives of our people so that they know a year in advance where they are going to go and how they are going to go. We try to hold the time down that they are deployed to 90 days, as best we can. We are not able to do that in this current contingency. It is going to be up to 180 days for a lot of our airmen. But we recognize the problem.
It is getting the people recruited and trained and being able to control the tempo that are the keys to success for this force, and those are all things we are working on. The incentives and the bonuses for reenlistment, I think we have 181 specialties now that get reenlistment bonuses. These things all help. The 4.1 percent pay raise that the troops get and the fact that we target those to the most needy band are great retention tools.
General JUMPER. We were facing a position the companies face in pay compression, where they were noticing a new recruit was getting a bonus and the folks who had been in for awhile had not. With your help, we have been able to chance that in the last pay raise and we are very conscious of that. And we are looking for notions of how do we make it a more a fulfilling career? I mean, we are breaking some glass by saying the fact that someone has a baccalaureate does not mean they have to be an officer. We have a heck of a lot of our airmen who are enlisted who have baccalaureates we might very well want them to have a master degree so that they have more depth in the field than they have.
Page 41 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC So, we are trying to be more open and more imaginative to ways to make it a more fulfilling career.
Mrs. WILSON. I wanted to ask you about a policy you may not be directly involved in because I know it is a joint issue, but that is a very controversial policy and that has been at least partially changed now, and that had to do with the ordering of women to wear the abia in Saudi Arabia, which has been changed to ''strongly recommended'', whichwhen I was under the age of 25, if a 4-star general told me something was strongly recommended, I knew what that meant and it did not mean it was optional.
I wanted to ask you whether the Office of the Secretary or whether the air staff was involved in that decision, because my understanding from my friends and voices around the Air Force is that the field commander actually recommended the elimination of that policy and that it was added back in the Pentagon, and I would like to know what happened?
Secretary ROCHE. Ma'am, I do not know if I can give you an exact step-by-step, but my recollection, having followed this for about eight months since I was confirmed, was that this was a Commander in Chief (CINC) issue. It was an area issue. It had to do with force protection. It went on the joint SWA, Joint Southwest Asia CommanderI get the acronyms backwardsAir Force persons.
When I was in Saudi Arabia talking to John on the phone, we got together with the embassy and we said, ''Where did some of this come from?'' Well, there are two parts of the whole policy we could find no antecedent for it. We did not know where it came from. So we eliminated it that day. The only part that remained was to strongly encourage and there, Ma'am, I supported that. I supported not for those officers and ladies, who can understand what is going on; it had to do with our sense of writing a letter to a mother of a very young airmen who might think that meant that she could do something differently and if she got some acid thrown at herI did not want to have to write that letterbut still it is her choice.
Page 42 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC But things like having to ride in the back of the car, we could not find anything for that, and we did away with it; or having to be in the company of men, we could not find anything on that. The driving is a law. So we have made this to parallel officers in the Foreign Service at the State Department and the Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) in Riad is a lady, and went over every bit with her to make sure she thought this was still a sensible thing to do.
And I can assure you the Foreign Service ladies not wear abias, do not wish to wear a abia. But they recognize that we have a lot of young people and the ''strongly encourage'' was to do genuinely that, strongly encourage, not an order.
Mrs. WILSON. Does the ambassador to Saudi Arabia strongly encourage his young Foreign Service officers who are women to wear the abia?
Secretary ROCHE. In fact, the Foreign Service officers, by definition, since they represent the United States in the State Department do not wear them and we do not require our officers to wearwe do not require anyone to wear them.
There are occasions, yes, where the penance of people in the embassy, because I spokewent out of my way to find an old friend and spoke to his wife about the same issue where, in fact, there are occasions where she believes for the safety of the individual, there are occasions where she wears one as well. The rest of the time, it is in the back seat and keeps the children warm.
Mrs. WILSON. Thank you, Mr. Secretary.
You and I probably have a disagreement on this issue, and it really has less to do with the meaning of ''strongly encouraged'' than the issue of First Amendment rights and what you are asking or strongly encouraging women to wear is Muslim dress and it is very offensive
Secretary ROCHE. I understand.
Mrs. WILSON. as offensive as it would be for me to say you are strongly encouragedif you were a young enlisted troop and I were a senior officer, you were strongly encouraged to wear a Yarmulke. Or, if you were a non-Christian, you were strongly encouraged to wear a cross around your neck.
Page 43 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Secretary ROCHE. I understand that.
Mrs. WILSON. There is a line, and while, I think, in some ways DOD has tried to address it, because of the nature of the culture of the military, strongly encouraged is an order, and I think every young enlisted troop understands it is an order.
I yield the balance of my time.
The CHAIRMAN. The gentlelady from Virginia, Ms. Davis?
Mrs. JO ANN DAVIS OF VIRGINIA. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And, thank you, Mr. Secretary, and General, for being here today, and I want to echo my colleagues on what a great job you both are doing and we really are blessed to have you.
My question goes, I guess, sort of inline with my colleague from Mexico, and it is with regards to the Air Force saying that you needand I think I read 30,000 more people, if I am not mistaken in something, somewhere I saw thatand my question has two parts and it has to do with the stop-loss being removed. And long-term, how would the current stop-loss affect the Air Force when it comes to an end? And, two, how does the current stop-loss affect recruiting for those specialties in which the stop-loss is in affect?
Secretary ROCHE. I will start, Ma'am.
We treat the same; our mobilized Guard and Reserve and stop-loss as airmen who are being asked to come on and serve beyond the time they normally would.
We have gone back and at first we looked to see where do we have a deep bench and where did we have a shallow bench. In the deep bench areas, we have released both from mobilization and from stop-loss. We are looking now for various things like proposing ideas for Operation Noble Eagle to bring down the demand on our Guard, which will then help for rotation purposes to be able to put people overseas.
We are recognizing that we never planned to have to protect all our forces overseas and our aircraft and protect bases here in the United States. And the demand in our immediate demands for personnel are security people, first and foremost. Another group are our red horse construction group, who are both endangered species. Every time either one of us see them, we hug them because there are not that many and we need more of them.
Page 44 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC So we have an immediate need to increase, and we have talked in terms of 7,000, but the Secretary correctly has said, are there offsets? Are there things that you are doing that do not have to be done by the active force? So this is not necessarily trying to be more efficient. Although if you cannot do something or do it with less people, that is great. But are there things that possibility could be done by the Guard or done by the Reserve or contracted out where we could not have the end-strength increase more than it should? Because if we increase the end-strength, that also absorbs budget and it affects our ability to get more new equipment into the field.
So we are trying to approach it in as sensible way as we can. Every 60 days we look at the mobilization and we have still, by the way of our 46,000 folks covered, about 9,000 are volunteersGod love themstill. But we look at it together; mobilization, volunteers and stop-loss.
General JUMPER. If I might add, the Secretary and I are also very sensitive to the plight of the employers out there whose very valuable people have put on the uniform and are serving. A lot of these people are the firemen and the policemen that are needed in the communities, and we understand that thoroughly. And, believe me, as soon as we can find a way to give some slack to this problem, we are very anxious to do so.
Mrs. JO ANN DAVIS OF VIRGINIA. I guess that is my concern, General and Mr. Secretary, is that, you know, I hear that I need the extra people and General, you know, we talked before the Aerospace Expeditionary Force (AEF) that you are doing and, you know, it was a great plan and it was working great until September 11. And I am concernedI believe we all agree, this war is probably going to go on for a long time, so it is only going to stretch you more and more and people are not maybe wanting to stay.
What you just said about the employers with the Guard and the Reserve, a lot of the employers are taking up the slack right now with the variance in pay because you have got the people who made a lot more in their private jobs then they are making on the Guard and Reserve, and these employers cannot go on forever. So, I guess, I have got a real concern of the longer this war goes on, where are going and are we going to have the people that we need?
Page 45 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Secretary ROCHE. And both of us, when they have been in the area, have gone out of our way to meet with our Guard colleagues. And I always ask them what they have in terms of benefits from their company. My former employer in our companywe went out of our way to take care of our Guard folks who were called up. A lot of companies give them a period of time and then that is it.
Mrs. JO ANN DAVIS OF VIRGINIA. Right.
Secretary ROCHE. So we are very, very concerned. And, then every now and then we run into a Guardsman who is a proprietor and whose business is going down and we feel for them.
Mrs. JO ANN DAVIS OF VIRGINIA. I understand.
General JUMPER. We understand.
Mrs. JO ANN DAVIS OF VIRGINIA. Well, if there is anything we can do here, legislatively, put on your thinking caps and let us know.
General JUMPER. Yes, Ma'am, thank you.
Secretary ROCHE. Thank you, Ma'am.
Mrs. JO ANN DAVIS OF VIRGINIA. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from South Carolina, Mr. Wilson?
Mr. WILSON. No questions.
The CHAIRMAN. No questions.
Mr. Abercrombie from Hawaii. He leaves.
The gentleman from South Carolina, Mr. Spratt?
Mr. SPRATT. I thought I was late and way down the list. I appreciate the opportunity.
General Jumper, I spoke with you earlier about one of my concerns. It is a small concern because it involves an individual airmen but, as I was telling you all during the Persian Gulf War, we had call-ups, as you know, in South Carolina, the 240th Communication Squadron and close to 169, not a single complaint and everybody made the mustard.
Page 46 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Now, I am getting a few who are calling in and saying, ''This two year obligation is something that I never anticipated when I joined the Air Force Reserve,'' and I have to feel it is going to have some feedback effects on your retention after this is over and behind us.
General JUMPER. Absolutely.
Mr. SPRATT. What are you doing to actively review this policy, if anything?
General JUMPER. Why don't you go ahead and start?
Secretary ROCHE. I know that it is one I worry about. I went down and spent some time with the recruiters in the recruiting school and the thought ofwell, how the heck does that someone recruit somebody in the Reserve today. You can be in the Reserve and you can do your job next week, then they call you up for two years, and it is very, very difficult.
We worry about the call-ups because it is something that should be done for surge purposes, and everyone accepts that. It is when it lasts. So you will find usneither one of us are wallflowers; neither one of us are shy and we are making noises and saying, ''Look, we need some help, we need people to help us understand the steady state.'' We cannot make decisions about Operation Noble Eagle. We just perform a service as required by the President and the Secretary.
The Secretary is very, very concerned about this. When we have a discussion with him, he specifically says, ''If I do this, how does that help your mobilization and your stop-loss problem?'' So we are all worrying about it, and we recognize that as we hit the six-month point, we are starting to cause difficulties for people.
Mr. SPRATT. The airman that I have been talking to is a sergeanta staff sergeant. He is in security; he does not have the support structure that you have on your base, you know. His wife is a nurse; she swing shifts, has to commute 30 miles a day. They have a small child. They just finished a house a month after he was called up. He served nine months. He is not trying to beg off by any means. But two years raises big, big problems for him and his family.
Page 47 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Secretary ROCHE. It was only last week that General Jumper and I stood and talked to two young folks from Maine. One was a fireman from a small town; the other was a policeman from a small town, and they do not get any special benefits, and the impact on their families and they are drawing down their savingswe are absolutely sensitive to it.
General JUMPER. Sir, let me assure you, the last thing we want to do is to take advantage or take for granted the volunteer nature of these young people and their willingness to do this job. But as the Secretary points out, you are exactly right, this has to be for surges and we need to be able to surge and get back down to some normal steady state and, unfortunately, what we are finding is, we need the surge just to do our basic jobs and we have got to find a way around this, sir. But I guarantee you, it is at the very top of both of our lists and we appreciate this problem.
Mr. SPRATT. Let me switch gears completely and go to the KC-135 and your decision last year to cut a deal, so to speak, and buy quite a few 767s. I recognize the need this committee feels to some extent that its flank was turned in the procurement of it. Do not get me wrong, I recognize the need and I recognize the need to do something expeditiously. But I have some concern that what we did in order to get the job done may have been a slightly more expensive procurement method than we need if we simply upfront budgeted the money for the 767s.
Would you explain what you did and whether or not it is going to cost us more money?
Secretary ROCHE. There has been a lot of misunderstanding of this. All we did was ask for the authority to try to negotiate a lease. If we are successful, we will be back to this committeeall four defense committeesto notify, to get your sense of it.
We recognize, I recognizethis is a subject that I am beating up on both sides overthat we have to have every
Page 48 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SPRATT. I am not beating you up. I just want an explanation.
Secretary ROCHE. No, you are not. You are very nice, sir.
I am just saying that a lot of people have misunderstood this. We just have the authority to try. And, in fact, we have had the authority to try in the past and have not been able to successfully come to a lease. And, in fact, then have had to come back and ask for a purchase. In the case of 757s, for instanceand also we were successful in the case of Gulf Stream Fives.
In this case, no monies have been expended. None have been obligated. It is a matter of we now know the boundary conditions under which we have to operate if we can pull off a lease which the costs of which are less than the costs we will avoid by trying to keep these 130 KC-135 Echo-class going, then we can have a good business deal we can come back to. And as I mentioned to your colleague, we have to worry about that tenth year; what happens at that tenth year and how we can deal with that. But we may wind up saying that we cannot do it and then come back and go through a normal purchase, which is Plan A, but the way.
Mr. SPRATT. What is the problem with simply having a one-year authorization for the full complement of 767s that you plan to buy and then
Secretary ROCHE. It is the opportunity costs on the rest of our program, sir. When you have 10 years of our procurement holiday and you try to do everything at once100 planes in one yearthat is a big load, even though they are just commercial aircraft being converted for tankers.
Mr. SPRATT. Well, I was thinking about something additional on a one-year, non-recurring basis and then the outlay effect, of course, would outlay over a 10, 12, 13-year period of time.
Secretary ROCHE. It is a scoring rule, and if someone did that under the total defense budget, if it did not come out of some other part of the Air Forceit might come from the Navy, it might come from Armywe recognize our colleagues face the same 10-year procurement holiday. We are trying to be as imaginative as we can in the expenditures of dollars. So our C-17 multiyear, for instance, is done in a slightly different way in order to save a $1 dollars, but over the course of seven years we can save a billion dollars, have a nice, steady output, allow subcontractors to plan for a buy of 60. We are looking for every imaginative way, which is why we thought you wanted business people like me to come in.
Page 49 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SPRATT. Thank you both.
Mr. SKELTON. May I ask a question on this follow-on, Mr. Chairman?
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Skelton?
Mr. SKELTON. In your response to an earlier question from Mr. Spratt, you said you have to have Reserves just to do your ordinary daily business, am I correct?
General JUMPER. Yes, sir.
Mr. SKELTON. How many active duty end-strength do you need?
General JUMPER. Well, sir, you
Mr. SKELTON. Just give me a figure.
General JUMPER. As you know, we were on the road to ask you for 7,000 in '03. And, as the Secretary explained, the Secretary of defense rightfully has asked us to make sure that we have looked for ways to offset this number within our existing force structure. It is a fair question. And, we are in the process of doing that. But that was the first number. It was 7,000.
Mr. SKELTON. Thank you.
The CHAIRMAN. I would like to say to the witnesses and the members, we have five members left. We have about 20 minutes before, if you could keep this in mind when asking your questions and the answers. We may not have to come back after the next vote.
The gentleman from North Carolina, Mr. Hayes?
Mr. HAYES. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I claim South Carolina too.
Thank you, gentlemen, for being here.
I just returned from Afghanistan. I want to first say, airmen, soldiers, sailors, Marines are doing an absolutely incredible job. The Minnesota Air Guard and the tact air went in and what they did, they got us around to the places we need to be. Thank you.
Page 50 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. Secretary, a comment on General Jumper. I have heard a lot of briefings, some better than others, while I have been in Washington, his is the best I have ever heard. A great job, Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) and the F-22.
Talk to you about Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (JROTC), the Air Force JROTC for a minute. I would like for you to comment, number one, on the contribution you think this makes to our overall readiness, ability to recruit not only airmen, but support personnel, obviously, had funding shortfalls. Help me, for the record, help you address that shortfall issue.
Secretary ROCHE. I will start and then John can help me.
We think the Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps Program is a terrific program. It is a citizenship program. It is not an Air Force recruiting program. It is a chance to show some young people that you can have a disciplined life and it is a good thing. We liked it so much that we have 600-some, now we have authority to go up to 900 and some and we intend to do it. We just find it to be a very good thing. And, so far, the expenses have been modest. And we feel that we should be able to handle the expenses. We would be glad to come back to the Secretary of Defense, and you, if we thought we needed more, sir.
General JUMPER. Let me just add
Mr. HAYES. A quick comment on that. I would take issue with you slightly, it is a recruiting. We have got Army ROTC Programs that are recruiting folks for the Air Force. It is a wonderful way to show folks how important the military is. And, again, we have got schools in my district who very much want to participate in theand, Pete knows about that ROTC Program, but we just do not have enough funds to do it.
Excuse me. Go ahead, General Jumper.
General JUMPER. Sir, if I could just add; one of the great benefits of a program like Junior ROTC is to let young children know the possibilities for the rest of their lives. We have been out there in a very aggressive program to try and attract more African Americans into our pilot career fields in the Air Force. And one of the things that we found out in researching this is that many young African American officers who we come up to and talk, ''Why did not you become a pilot,'' tell us, ''I never knew that I would have an opportunity to become a pilot. It never occurred to me.''
Page 51 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC So in the Junior ROTC Programs, we are able to get into these schools and acquaint children of all types of these sort of opportunities that, in some cases, never occur to them as a possibility for the rest of their life. Very beneficial.
Mr. HAYES. Thank you, sir.
The next question is about the integration of air and ground forces; fantastic example of success, lasing targets, people on the ground doing things to compliment what you are doing in the air. Talk about our future there.
Secretary ROCHE. You could have us both turned on for about an hour.
We believe that General Arnold, when he supported General Patton, post-Normandy, was something that was exquisitely good, and that it was time to return to that and technology allowed us to do it.
The fact that we could take a laser beam, we could get a range of bearing and we want now instruments also to give elevations so since the GPS assumes a flat globe. And then weapons, which have very precise X,Y and Z coordinates to attack, that this allows us to be able to bring support to troops on the ground. And our expression is, do we mind working for sergeants? Heck no.
As General Franks points out, there will be times when the sergeants will work for us and John faced a situation in Kosovo where we wished we did have some sergeants on the ground spotting a mobile SA-6 system and to tell us where it was. And also, use this to catch mobiles.
Where we are going is that the Army's objective forceand we have been working with the Army on thisthey are going to smaller, more highly maneuverable units. We are thinking in terms of, not that we need bombers to drop a whole lot of bombs in order to get the target, but because everyone is so precise, to go from mainframe kind of thinking to more distributed parallel processing kind of thinking, putting F-22s over a hostile area with small smart weapons; they fly in two, they carry eight small diameter weapons, that is 16. And, in fact, hooking them very clearly to troops on the ground so that these young people have the chance to bring weapons down from high altitude not just at 800-meters, but a lot closer than that.
Page 52 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. HAYES. Thank you very much. And, in closingI see my time is running outI want to put in another promotional plug for the incredible job that the military, all branches, are doing in Afghanistan.
Our success, regardless of what your specific issue over there, is contingent upon our full and complete support of the military and their completion of the mission. Then we can do whatever you need to after you guys have done the job.
Thanks for what you are doing.
The CHAIRMAN. The gentlelady from California, Ms. Tauscher.
Mrs. TAUSCHER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Secretary, General Jumper, it is great to see you. I, too, join my colleagues in congratulating you for the great men and women that you have.
When I was in Afghanistan and a few other places in January, I was terribly impressed. I was very proud of the people from Travis Air Force Base, a new part of my district, who are supporting everyone over there and just doing a terrific job.
The C-5, obviously, is so much of an important part of our strategic lift and, I believe, our budget coming forward shows our investment in the avionic package and all the things we need to do. Can you just briefly give me a sense for where the C-5 sits and overall in transformation for you, General.
General JUMPER. Well, I can start and the Secretary can add a lot because he is personally involved in this endeavor.
The day before yesterday I was crawling all over a C-5A at the Air Logistics Center at Warner Robins in Georgia and seeing the toll that our service has taken on some of these airframes. I saw a 14-inch crack in the main wing spar. And the older of the C-5s are staring to show their age.
Still in all, we have a good percentage of the C-5 fleet that I think is going to be very beneficial to go in and upgrade. And we have an aviation modernization program, followed by an re-engineering program, that will make the C-5, I think, fully capable of getting it to mission capable rates that are 75 percent or even greater, much better than they are today.
Page 53 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC It is a critical part of our mobility force, because it does things that no other airplane, even the C-17 can do. We have to have a certain number or them and we have studies ongoing right now to figure out what is going to be an economical program to upgrade these airplanes. What is the right mix of C-5, C-17s, and C-130s to do this job.
Secretary ROCHE. Very briefly, Ma'am. We feel that we can do the C-5Bs and we want to do two Bssealift like upgrades, and this is after the avionics. This is on the hydraulics and the structures. Then take an A and do a real diagnosis of an A; stop, come back and share with members our views. And if our views are it is not worth investing in it, then to use the monies to buy C-17s instead, but to keep the block of 50 Bs because they are our real wholesale aircraft.
Mrs. TAUSCHER. Is there any chance that you reblend the portfolio of C-5s and C-17s to include moving some C-17s to Travis?
Secretary ROCHE. We have a plan on C-17s that are associated with the next buy of 60 that we are hoping to be able to unveil in about 30 days. We have some environmental impact statements that are still due. We have some debate within our own family. We have an issue of a long-term bed down and roadmaps, since John and I would like to have a sense of where we would want things, the same thing with the C-130.
I cannot answer that specifically, Ma'am. But I can tell you that Travis is certainly one of our key spots and a good friend of mine is now dispatched from Travis down the Diego Garcia. She is doing a heck of a job down there.
Mrs. TAUSCHER. Right.
I do have some questions about housing, especially since our end-strength numbers could go up dramatically and we have severe shortages at Travis. We have got a potential opportunity of using the Conquered Weapons Naval Station Housing. I seemed to not to get a lot of support over at the Pentagon for that, but I think we have got to fix this problem. We have specific issues in California of having very high housing values and not a lot of places to put people, and people are commuting too far to come to work. It is a real issue for us. So I will come back to you at another time and talk about that.
Page 54 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Secretary ROCHE. Just a minute. May I ask our Assistant Secretary for installation and logistics, Nelson Gibbs, whose a tremendous guy and a resident of California, if he can come see you? Would that be okay?
Mrs. TAUSCHER. I would love that. That would be great. Thank you very much.
The CHAIRMAN. One to go, the gentleman from Missouri, Mr. Skelton.
Mr. SKELTON. A quick question; what role do you see for the Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs) in the future of the Air Force?
Secretary ROCHE. Sir, this would unleash, normally, a half-day lecture. I will confine my remarks to just a few minutes.
Mr. SKELTON. 25 words or less.
Secretary ROCHE. Yes, sir.
It is going to play a big part. It is going to be a big part not only in intelligence, surveillance and recognizance, but in the hunter-killer role, for which we will specifically develop the Predator B and in the intelligence, surveillance and recognizance role for the Global Hawk and other missions for the Global Hawk that will evolve that we are studying. And then the introduction of the unmanned conventional vehicle, which will be a stealthy vehicle that will carry out combat missions, we are aggressively pursuing a role for that.
Mr. SKELTON. I just saw a bunch of fighter pilots back there flinch.
Secretary ROCHE. They are not going to keep flinch if this thing keep them alive, sir, because we are going to have some manned airplanes going in there too for quite a while.
Mr. SKELTON. Thank you.
Page 55 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The CHAIRMAN. Gentlemen, thank you very much.
If you have any closing statements you would like to makewe do have a couple of questions from members that left for both of you if you would kindly answer them for the record.
Secretary ROCHE. We would be glad to do so.
On behalf of all of our airmen, we would just like to say thank you, Mr. Chairman, for you and your colleagues, for the support you have given to all of us, for the encouragement you give John and me, and we appreciate the tolerance that you have shown us as we come and pester you and give you briefings and have some good dialogue with you, sir.
Thank you very much.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, sir.
General JUMPER. And, from all the airmen, God bless every member of this committee, Mr. Chairman. Thank you.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, sir. If there are no more questions, this meeting is adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 12:00 p.m., the committee was adjourned.]