SPEAKERS CONTENTS INSERTS
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[H.A.S.C. No. 10731]
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
Page 2 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCMILITARY READINESS SUBCOMMITTEE HEARINGS
TITLE IIIOPERATION AND MAINTENANCE
MARCH 7, 8, 13, and 14, 2002
MILITARY READINESS SUBCOMMITTEE
JOEL HEFLEY, Colorado, Chairman
CURT WELDON, Pennsylvania
SAXBY CHAMBLISS, Georgia
WALTER B. JONES, North Carolina
BOB RILEY, Alabama
DUNCAN HUNTER, California
JAMES V. HANSEN, Utah
J.C. WATTS, JR., Oklahoma
VAN HILLEARY, Tennessee
JIM GIBBONS, Nevada
HEATHER, WILSON, New Mexico
ROB SIMMONS, Connecticut
Page 3 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCMARK STEVEN KIRK, Illinois
SOLOMON P. ORTIZ, Texas, Ranking Member
LANE EVANS, Illinois
ROBERT A. UNDERWOOD, Guam
JAMES H. MALONEY, Connecticut
MIKE MCINTYRE, North Carolina
CIRO D. RODRIGUEZ, Texas
ROBERT A. BRADY, Pennsylvania
BARON P. HILL, Indiana
SUSAN A. DAVIS, California
RICK LARSEN, Washington
Peter M. Steffes, Professional Staff Member
Diane W. Bowman, Staff Assistant
C O N T E N T S
CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF HEARINGS
Friday, March 8, 2002, Fiscal Year 2003 National Defense Authorization ActMilitary Training Capabilities/Shortfalls
Page 4 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCAPPENDIXES:
Friday, March 8, 2002
FRIDAY, MARCH 8, 2002
FISCAL YEAR 2003 NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACTMilitary Training Capabilities/Shortfalls
STATEMENTS PRESENTED BY MEMBERS OF CONGRESS
Hefley, Hon. Joel, a Representative from Colorado, Chairman, Military Readiness Subcommittee
Ortiz, Hon. Solomon P., a Representative from Texas
Gibbons, Hon. Jim, a Representative from Nevada
Underwood, Hon. Robert A., a Representative from Guam
Abrams, Gen. John N., Commander, Army Training and Doctrine Command, Department of the Army
Cook, Gen. Donald, Commander, Air Education and Training Command, Air Force, Department of the Air Force
Hanlon, Lt. Gen. Edward Jr., Commander, Marine Corps Combat Development Command, U.S. Marine Corps
Harms, Vice Adm. Alfred, Commander Chief of Naval Education and Training, Pensacola, Florida, Department of the Navy
Page 5 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Johnston, Maj. Gen. L.D., Commander, Air Warfare Center, Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, Department of the Air Force
Kamiya, Brigadier Gen. Jason K., Commander, Joint Readiness Training Center, Fort Polk, Louisiana, Department of the Army
Naughton, Rear Adm. Richard J., Commander, Navy Strike and Air Warfare Center, Fallon Naval Air Station, California, Department of the Navy
Swan, Brigadier Gen. Guy C. III, Commander, 7th Army Training Command, Grafenwoehr, Germany, Department of the Army
Thurman, Brigadier Gen. J.D., Commander, Army National Training Center, Department of the Army
Weber, Brigadier Gen. Joseph F., Commander, U.S. Marine Corps Training Command, Twenty Nine Palms, California, U.S. Marine Corps
Abrams, Gen. John N.
Cook, Gen. Donald
Hanlon, Lt. Gen. Edward Jr.
Harms, Vice Adm. Alfred
Johnston, Maj. Gen. L.D.
Kamiya, Brigadier Gen. Jason K.
Naughton, Rear Adm. Richard J.
Swan, Brigadier Gen. Guy C. III
Thurman, Brigadier Gen. J.D.
Page 6 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCWeber, Brigadier Gen. Joseph F.
DOCUMENTS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
[There were no Documents submitted for the Record.]
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
[Questions and Answers for the Record are pending .]
FISCAL YEAR 2003 NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACTMILITARY TRAINING CAPABILITIES/SHORTFALLS
House of Representatives,
Committee on Armed Services,
Military Readiness Subcommittee,
Washington, DC, Friday, March 8, 2002.
The subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 9:00 a.m., at the Elkhorn Conference Center, Fort Carson, Colorado, Hon. Joel Hefley (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.
STATEMENT OF THE HON. JOEL HEFLEY, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF COLORADO
Mr. HEFLEY. I would like to welcome everyone here today to this field hearing by the Subcommittee on Military Readiness of the House Committee on Armed Services. It is a distinct and personal pleasure for me to hold this hearing at historic Ft. Carson, which is a visible symbol of the United States Army's military capabilities. Conducting a readiness hearing on these hallowed grounds is significant in that the military readiness can be seen, heard, and felt firsthand. It is also significant that several other of our most important military bases, including the Air Force Academy, are nearby, and that many of the nation's top technology companies are in this community to support the Department of Defense that is located in this area.
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I believe it is important to get out in the field and get out of Washington, DC, and to hear from individuals at all levels who are charged with ensuring the readiness of our armed forces. I also believe that it is important that all levels of military personnel have the opportunity to view the process by which Congress and the House Armed Services Committee exercises its oversight responsibilities mandated by Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution of the United States.
We are here today not so much to ask questions, but rather to listen to our witnesses give their own personal perspectives on the issues before us. Our hearing today will comprise of two parts. This morning we will hear from the four military services about their individual training programs. After lunch we will hear from representatives of the Department of Defense, the military services, and the private sector representatives concerning the issue of information assurance. Military training, in my opinion, is one of the cornerstones of readiness. Adequate and effective training is like readiness; once you find itfind out that it is broken, it is usually too late to fix it. Our first panel this morning represents the senior leadership within the military services responsible for the formulation and execution of the training and education programs for our military men and women. We will also hear from the commanders of our premier combat training and development centers, where much of the planning, training, and execution of established tactical doctrine is put to a test that is just short of actual combat.
One of the concerns that I have in this area is whether we are investing sufficient funds for training. During the past several years, the Department of Defense's training workloads appear to have increased at a much greater rate than our investments in training. At the same time, we are increasing the deployment of our forces to worldwide contingencies on missions that challenge traditional training concepts. Since the end of the Cold War, the Army has reduced from 18 to 10 divisions. The Navy has reduced by nearly half the number of ships it operates, and the Air Force has reduced from 24 to 20 fighter wing equivalents. Overall, military personnel downsizing has taken us from approximately 2.2 million active duty service members, to the budget request level for fiscal year 2003 of 1.4 million active duty soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines.
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We seem to be doing as much now as we ever have in the past, with about one-half of the resources, including training resources. As everyone here today is well aware, O&M funding is being stretched to the limits. We must get the most effective use out of each and every O&M dollar, including each and every training dollar. I am also concerned with the quality of the training that our military members are receiving.
Some of the questions that I would like addressed today include: Are the military forces receiving the required training to develop the necessary combat skills to not only fight, but to win in any potential armed conflict? Are the training centers adequately funded, and do they have all the necessary equipment to perform their training? Is the equipment that the training centers train with the same or similar to the equipment the trainees will be assigned to on the completion of training? And are the services accomplishing the levels of training needed to sustain individual combat capabilities.
I would also like to hear about some of the new technologies that the military services are using to improve training and to fill in when there are insufficient funds to accomplish training in the field, such as distance learning and simulation. Some of these new technologies may improve the methods by which we train, but we must balance these new methods with the actual hands-on training that has served us so well in the past.
I believe this hearing today will be one of the more important hearings the subcommittee will have this year. It is important that members of the subcommittee hear what is really going on from a cross-section of our military service members who are in the know on these issues. We are very fortunate to have two panels of military commanders representing the four military services who are directly involved in the training and education of our combat forces, and are certainly in the know. Our aim today is to hear from those who have to deal with the day-to-day training and education challenges of their respective services.
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You know, this hearing could have been held in Washington, DC; and it might have been easier on all of us if we had held it in Washington, D.C. But I think it is important for the committee members to get out into the field to where the work is actually done, and to get the information, as much as possible, out there. To get anot just the knowledge, but the feel of what is going on. So that is why we are here today. And before we continue with our panel, I want to turn the microphone over to our Ranking Member, the Honorable Solomon Ortiz of Texas, for any statement you would like to make.
STATEMENT OF THE HONORABLE SOLOMON P. ORTIZ, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF TEXAS
Mr. ORTIZ. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I also join Chairman Hefley in welcoming all of our witnesses to this hearing today. I am especially pleased to be a part of this hearing, to observe firsthand what training readiness is all about. It is at this level where we get a direct and very clear understanding of the issues you face each and every day. I am confident that all of us agree that it is our interest to get the most efficient and effective training possible with the resources available.
At this time, Mr. Chairman, I want our witnesses to know just how proud we are of the dedication and performance of duty of our military forces, especially during this period of national crisis. Much has been expected, and they have risen to the challenge. That includes not only those forces serving under combat conditions in some of the most remote, desolate areas and locations of the world, but also those who have been serving here in the continental United States. I remember, from being on active duty a long, long, long, long time ago, and those personnel who did not deploy, had to work extra hard to take up the slack. We thank all of you for your dedication, and please pass on my appreciation for members of this committee to those who are not here today.
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Mr. Chairman, we have heard much about the readiness of the first deployers, or so-called forces at the tip of the spear. They have again demonstrated that they are prepared to defend the national interest of this great nation. We also know that the readiness we now enjoy did not come cheaply. Among other things, it is common knowledge that an acceptable level of readiness cannot be maintained without an adequate training infrastructure. We have seen many official statements about the increase in this year's budget for readiness. But as you highlighted in your hearing yesterday, Mr. Chairman, upon close inspection, we note that the most of the increase does not fall into direct readiness accounts.
I am concerned that our training institutions and activities will continue to suffer from neglect in the resource allocations process. Over the years, the trainers and the maintainers have observed many of the personnel and dollar shortfalls in all the services. For example, just a few years past we learned that ourin one of the services there were two standards for maintenance of facilities; one for deployers, and a separate one for training activities.
While I wish that things were different, I am not certain that we have made a conscious decision to make the resource investments necessary to meet the challenges associated with providing relevant, efficient, and effective training to support the readiness of the total force. The bottom line is that I do not believe that the budget request in the direct related readiness accounts is sufficient to meet the known training needs of our active and reserve component military personnel. And that does not take into consideration those additional training requirements that have been generated since the tragic terrorist attack on 11 September of last year. And God forbid that we would forget about our dedicated civil workforce. They have a long history of faithful service to our nation's armed services. There is little that we can accomplish without them, but while they are not the primary focus of this hearing today, their training must also be considered.
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Again, I thank all of you for coming to this field hearing today. Your testimony will help us understand about the state of training infrastructure, and how we can assist the department in getting the best possible training for dollars available. Our nation and those who serve, both military and civilian, deserve it. And I agree with the chairman, you know, that sometimes members of the committee get criticized because we come to field trips like this or we travel overseas. And we get chastised by the media, by the newspapers, that we go on junkets. But, my friends, if we do not go to the field we do not know exactly what we need to do to be of help to you.
So I do agree with the chairman, and I am so happy that he has got tremendous vision, and he brought us to a great place in Colorado. And I think this is your home state. Thank you.
Mr. HEFLEY. Well, you know, I wish this was a little more junket, Solomon, because I would love to show you folks more of not only Ft. Carson, but the other things we have here in Colorado Springs. But every member of this committee is going to be on the road right after the hearings are over, and be heading back to their home districts, and I am going to be heading to part of the new district that I have just gotten in redistricting.
We are going to do a couple of things before we go further. And that is, I want to thank Ft. Carson. Ft. Carson isit is unbelievable the preparations that they have given, the security, the organization. And I will probably do this several times before the day is over, because I do not think anyone could have done a better job, and we really appreciate that.
Page 12 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And second, I want to introduce our panel, for some of you that are in the audience that may or may not know them. Over here at my right is Jim Gibbons from Nevada, a former Air Force pilot, brings tremendous background and expertise to the committee, and we rely on him very heavily, although I sometimes wonder why, because Jim is the only Member of Congress, besides myself, who has a wife who is also in the state legislature, so you know we are not very smart. But he brings a lot to the committee.
Over here, the one who gets the award today for the Member of Congress who has come the farthest to this hearing is Bob Underwood from Guam. And Bob is from Guam, and is a great American, and he serves well on this committee. He also serves with me on the Natural Resources Committee and is a great contributor to Congress. Even though the delegates from Guam do not get a vote on the House floor, they certainly do in committee, and Bob is very active and works hard at that.
Silvestre Reyes over here from Texas. Again, a fairly new Member to Congress, although you may feel like an old hand by now because you have gotten a little under your belt, but comes with a great background and contributes to it.
And then Mark Udall on the end, who is not a member of the Armed Services Committee, but does have an interest in this, and is a member of the Colorado delegation. And, Mark, we are delighted that you took time to come down here and be with us, as well.
With that, let me break from procedure just a little bit, see, since we have Members that arehave come a long way, to see if any of you Members would like to make any kind of an opening statement before we get started.
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STATEMENT OF THE HONORABLE JIM GIBBONS, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF NEVADA
Mr. GIBBONS. Well, thank you, Mr. Chairman. And I want to just take a moment to join with you in your accolades and plaudits to the men and women of our armed services who do such a wonderful job. Also to thank Ft. Carson for their hospitality here today.
I do not have an opening statement, per se. It is a great honor and a great privilege for me to serve on this committee with the chairman. You are always a gentleman, you are very, very considerate of everyone's needs, and I certainly hope that next time you will consider that either Fallon Naval Air Station or Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada will be the next hearing, so at least it is closer to Nevada, and we could get out there.
Mr. HEFLEY. At least we would not have mountains out there to contend with, would we, Jim.
Mr. GIBBONS. We are going to argue this point till hell freezes over about mountains in Nevada. But I want to thank you, Mr. Chairman, again, for the hospitality, and having us out here to hear this. This is extremely important, I think, to the men and women who serve in the military, to know that we care enough about them to come out here, listen to the side of the stories that they are presenting, to understand what their needs are. We take that information back, and it helps us do a great job to correct some of the shortfalls that have been in the past. And we certainly have a lot of work to do ahead of us, but without these types of hearing, Mr. Chairman, as you know, we are kind of doing things in a vacuum. And we certainly appreciate not only your effort in this regard, but all of the witnesses that are going to be here before us today. And thank you very much.
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Mr. HEFLEY. Bob.
STATEMENT OF THE HONORABLE ROBERT A. UNDERWOOD, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE TERRITORY OF GUAM
Mr. UNDERWOOD. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And I just wanted to also express my gratitude for your leadership and for bringing us out here on this field hearing. A field hearing actually forces people to rearrange their thinking quite often in these hearings. So it is not the typical hearing that you have in Washington, DC. And I also wanted to express my gratitude to Ft. Carson for all their hospitality, and point out that sometimes when you go on theseon various bases and they have the flags of the 50 states, some posts do not have the flags of the territories. But I am very glad to see Guam's flag out there.
Mr. HEFLEY. You never miss a thing.
STATEMENT OF THE HONORABLE SILVESTRE REYES, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF TEXAS
Mr. REYES. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I also would like to thank you for your leadership and vision in holding these kinds of field hearings. This is, I think, my third or fourth trip to Ft. Carson, so I have had an opportunity to enjoy their hospitality. But I think there isthere is not anything more important that we could possibly do than to do these kinds of field hearings, so that we get the benefit of looking at the facilities and talking to people at those facilities to really, truly understand the role of each facility in national defense. And part of, I think, the success of this committee is prioritizing the kinds of things that we are going to be discussing here today, so that our men and women in uniform have all of the necessary tools with which to keep us safe. Thank you again, and thank Ft. Carson for their hospitality.
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Mr. HEFLEY. Thank you.
STATEMENT OF THE HONORABLE MARK UDALL, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF COLORADO
Mr. UDALL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I, too, wanted to associate myself with the remarks of my colleagues. I wanted to, as a fellow Coloradan, welcome all of you who are not from Colorado here today. And we want you to visit. We are not so sure we want you to stay permanently. But it is a tremendous state. And I did also want to pay tribute to all of the military personnel and all the civilians who are involved in these important efforts.
My friend, Senator John McCain, was once quoted, when he was asked why he served in the Navy, as to his motivations; and he said in order to keep his self-respect, he had to dedicate himself to a cause greater than his own self-interest. And all of you here, I think, typify that credo. And I salute you. I am proud to even be able to associate with you. And I am very pleased to be a part of this hearing today.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. HEFLEY. Thank you very much. And without further ado, we will get started with the hearing. The first panel is composed of General John Abrams, Commander, Army Training and Doctrine Command, Department of the Army; Vice Admiral Alfred Harms, Commander, Chief of the Naval Education and Training in Pensacola, Florida, of the Department of the Navy; General Donald Cook, Commander, Air Education and Training Command of the Air Force; Lieutenant General Edward Hanlon, Commander, Marine Corps Combat Development Command of the U.S. Marine Corps.
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I remind the witnesses that your testimony, in its entirety, will be put in the record, and you canwe are not going to limit you as to time or as to what you have to say, but if you want to summarize, we will have your entire statement in the record. So we shall start with General Abrams.
STATEMENT OF GENERAL JOHN N. ABRAMS, COMMANDER, ARMY TRAINING AND DOCTRINE COMMAND, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
General ABRAMS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, members of the subcommittee, for the opportunity to speak to you today and be a part of this process. I, like you, am very proud of the soldiers, the leaders, and the family members of Ft. Carson, the Army's Seventh Infantry Division, and all of the support we have here. We have got a great civilian and military workforce. They are very proud of what they are doing to contribute to the defense of this nation. And they are, quite frankly, very proud to live and work as a part of the armed forces of the United States in this state and in this installation. Some of you also have an Army force in your district, so you have an opportunity for firsthand insights on the United States Army, its role in national security, and its issues on readiness.
We are very, very mindful on how supportive the House Armed Services Committee has been to the United States Army over the years, and we look forward to opportunities to work with you to maintain a strong focus in our efforts, in our role as part of the armed forces of the United States, and, quite frankly, have benefitted by the leadership and counsel of this committee over previous years.
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I have a statement for the record that I would like to submit, and I have a few introductory comments that I would like to take an opportunity to go over right now. These are comments about context, about what I represent.
I am honored and privileged to command the Army's Training and Doctrine Command. My boss is the Chief of Staff of the United States Army and the Secretary of the Army. Every day when I am engaged in discussions with them, they want to know what I am doing on Job One, and that is, simply stated, training soldiers and growing leaders. And that is what we are dedicated to.
In a year, we touch active and reserve component soldiers and leaders to the tune of about 300,000, in terms of our commitment, direct commitment to their professional development. We do it through wide varieties of mediums. A lot of it is hands-on, with professional cadre, working to transfer citizen to soldier. But more importantly, how we guide and lead the professionalism of our leadership, our non-commissioned officers, our warrant officers, and our officers. We use a very effective model. It is a terrific cadre linked with small groups of leaders, and we take them through a laboratory environment for their professional development, and we stay with them while they are continuing their career in the United States Army, to whatever extent that goes.
We are on 15 different installations in the United States, cut across the United States, all supported very favorably by the local population, civic communities. We have a responsibility as members of the community. We take that very seriously in terms of what our role is in civic responsibilities, as well as to ensure that the training that we do is absolutely safe in every regard. And thatI would make a mention on that so that you get kind of a sense for the range of things that we get involved in. On an average month at Ft. Benning we do 10,000 individual parachute jumps, on an average month. It is high risk training. It involves utilization of the air space in coordination with the FAA. These are brand new soldiers with cadre members working very closely with the Air Force to give these soldiers the right kind of skills, as well as the confidence, not only in themselves, but the non-commissioned officers they are going to work for when they followfor follow-on assignments.
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You go all the way to the other end, and we have got soldiers who are equally competent and have equal character for their role in the Army, that are network engineers in our digital command post infrastructure, a lot of which is deployed right now in support of CINCCENT, General Franks and the force, and everything in-between.
And you will see, as you get into the discussions today, we are very agile. When the CINC comes to us, as General Franks does routinely, and says, ''I need more linguists in these fields,'' we respond to those requests immediately, and we have a way to calibrate that. So we have a responsibility, in a very, very direct way, to the readiness of the force during missions and between missions. And that connection is done very proudly and very professionally by the cadre that I am honored to command and lead.
We have one other role that we play, very critical for the Army. This command is viewed as the architect of the future. We take it very seriously. We lead the discussions, do the work in terms of rationalizing the equipment, the doctrine, the tactics that our soldiers, their leaders, the formations of the units that go on these military missions, as the chairman so aptly described. And we do that very directly with units. This operation is ongoing right now. We have embedded in these formations a group, very professional group that is out of this command, out of the center Army lessons learned. This group is embedded in the formation. They tell us about are the night vision goggles working properly, are the soldiers that came out of Ft. Benning for infantry training, aredo they have the requisite confidence in who they are and what they are doing, working at elevations of 8,500 feet altitude in a strange land, in a very dynamic environment. And it gives us the honest feedback of not only the contributions of the technologies that we worked, in cooperation with the U.S. Congress, to put in the hands of these soldiers, but also the training with that equipment when they are assigned to these units, and how it holds up during the rigors of these missions.
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Again, I am honored to be here today. Look forward to the opportunity to discuss these issues and any others that you choose to raise. And we are very, very proud of Ft. Carson and the military community that is here.
Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. HEFLEY. Thank you, General.
[The prepared statement of General Abrams can be found in the Appendix on page ?.]
STATEMENT OF VICE ADMIRAL ALFRED HARMS, COMMANDER, CHIEF OF NAVAL EDUCATION AND TRAINING, PENSACOLA, FLORIDA, DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY
Admiral HARMS. Mr. Chairman and distinguished members of the committee, I am Vice Admiral Al Harms, and I am currently the Chief of Naval Education and Training.
As General Abrams mentioned, it is a pretty broad-ranging responsibility. Every single sailor in the United States Navy is a graduate of the Chief of Naval Education and Training, one of their education and training programs. And on any given day we have about 40,000 sailors involved in one of our training offerings somewhere around the world. I am truly honored to be the commander of that, because it has such an impact not only on our sailors today, but certainly our sailors and our Navy of tomorrow.
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Couple of things that I would like to mention. I believe that the current performance by the United States Navy in the war against terrorism is a very good metric about the relevancy and the quality and the completeness of training for our sailors today. Their performance has been magnificent to date, and no mission with which they have been tasked have they not been prepared to execute. And, again, I think that is a good certification of the quality of training that our sailors receive every single day.
I think you know or you perhaps have heard that our Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Clark, has made as his key interest point in this second year of his CNO tour what he is calling a revolution in training. As good as we are in the Navy today, our sense is, is that we can do better. And we had an executive review of naval training that was conducted from the fall of 2000 until the summertime of 2001, where we looked at how we had trained in the past, what our requirements were today, and what we needed to do to be relevant in the future from a training and education perspective.
The efforts of that study have transitioned to a task force, Task Force Excel, which stands for excellence through commitment to education and learning. This is an effort to run some pilot projects and see how we can leverage some of the ideas that came out of the executive review of naval training, to better shape and better support our training and education programs in the future.
There are two main thrusts of this task force in where we think we want to go, Mr. Chairman. First of all, we clearly believe that we can improve the sailor's day-to-day performance on the deck plate with some innovative and new training methodologies and training technologies. We can improve comprehension, we can reduce time to train, which is crucial to us, and we think that the sailor will be more successful on the deck plate, that equating directly to improved readiness of our Navy. That is one dimension that we are pursuing very, very, very hard.
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The second dimension we think is equally important, and this is a wall-to-wall effort to enrich our sailors' lives, both professionally and personally. In addition to improving their professional performance, we think that, through training and education, there are opportunities to enrich their lives where they not only succeed on the job, but they succeed in their personal lives as well. We think that is a win for everyone. It certainly is a win for the United States Navy because we have improved performance out on our fleet, and that equates to improved readiness. We think it is a win for the sailor, because in ways they have never before imagined, they will have the opportunity to grow and develop professionally and personally. And frankly, at the end of the day, it is a win for our communities when the sailor chooses to returnleave active service and return to the community.
We have some exciting pilots underway right now where we are teaming with civilian institutions to do some of our training, which allows us to sustain currency a little easier than it is in some of our traditional schoolhouses. It makes for a wonderful partnering relationship with these institutions in our various fleet concentration areas. And the initial feedback that we have from our sailors is that they are enormously excited about this.
In addition to getting traditional training qualifications, our sailors are also receiving academic credit for their work and progress toward professional certifications that are widely recognized in the civilian world. Again, we think that is important, because it will keep our folks current with the latest progress and the latest technologies and the latest state-of-the-art applications in training and education that are available in the world today. And likewise, when they transition back to their communities from active service, it should ease their transition back into the workforce.
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We are pushing harder on this on all fronts. We have implementation teams from coast-to-coast, Mr. Chairman, and we are terribly excited about where this is going. At the end of the day, we think this will also make significant inroads in retention of our people. We have good data backing today that if we invest in our sailors in this manner, they are retaining at much higher rates than we have seen in the past. We have some specific ratings that are actually reenlisting at over double the rate as a peer that has not had this investment in their training. So we truly think this is a win, and we are pushing ahead in this particular area.
As part of that, we are re-engineering much of the curricula across the board in Navy education and training. We have found out that much of it is outdated. Some of it does not need to be presented to the sailor at the time that it is. And as we transition to a more, what I would say, relevant or flexible, more agile, more just-in-time training, we, in fact, are getting, we think, better return for the dollar invested for that particular training. We have historically loaded up training up front, and when our sailors get to the fleet they do not always use all of that training early in their career. And we think that with some of the technologies and some of the methodologies that we are pursuing, that we can better sequence that training throughout an individual's career, such that their performance not only is bolstered, but also we get better payback for that investment in training and education for our people. Lots of exciting initiatives going on in that area.
Last, but not least, Mr. Chairman, clearly I think there are three reasons why our United States Navy is doing well today. Number one, and foremost, is the quality of our people. The young men and women who choose to serve in our Navy are truly magnificent young men and women who are willingly making the commitment to serve their country as sailors in the United States Navy. That is number one in my mind.
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Second, our nation continues to equip our forces with absolutely outstanding equipments. We have the best that there is in the world, and that certainly comes into play in the success of our forces.
I would tell you the third piece, and the one that I am directly responsible for, is that our nation has made a commitment to training and educating our forces such that they can perform their jobs well. As you and I know, there are good people all around the world. The world is littered with good military equipment. And the reason that I think American armed forces are so successful is that we make that commitment to allow them to train, we educate them such that they can truly be the best in the world, which I believe they are today.
Mr. Chairman, that is all I have for an opening statement. It is really a pleasure to be here. Thank you, sir.
Mr. HEFLEY. Thank you, Admiral.
[The prepared statement of Admiral Harms can be found in the Appendix on page ?.]
STATEMENT OF GENERAL DONALD COOK, COMMANDER, AIR EDUCATION AND TRAINING COMMAND, AIR FORCE, DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE
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General COOK. Yes, Mr. Chairman, Mr. Ortiz. Thank you very much for the opportunity to appear before the committee. Today we will recruit and enter into the Air Force 142 civilians, high school graduates. This morning, about an hour ago, we graduated, at our basic military training school, over 800 young airmen, who then will go into our tech training schools. Yesterday, we probably flew in the neighborhood of 1,800 sorties in 21 different kinds of aircraft. And, in fact, Air Education and Training Command (AETC) will fly nearly 600,000 flying hours this year alone. And we do that with a great cadre of instructor pilots and other crew members who have recent experience in the field. We also are bolstered by 1,650 recruiters, who day-in and day-out are in your districts and your communities talking at the high schools and recruiting young men and women to come into your United States Air Force.
First, let me thank you and the committee and Congress for your continued support. Your actions demonstrate to our airmen, our soldiers, our sailors, our Marines, that Americans understand and appreciate their service. And America can be proud of its military.
Our airmen are trained, educated, equipped, and are simply the best in the world. And this is not by accident. Air Education and Training Command is postured for success, thanks in large measure for what you have done for us. Currently the demands of our quality airmen is high, higher than ever before. We are transforming our training and education programs to meet these challenges. To be effective, our air and space forces must be able to produce effects anywhere on the globe to support national security objectives. Training a force capable of producing those effects represents a unique challenge for us in AETC.
Our mission spans the entire spectrum of military operations, from recruiting, training, educating talented airmen, to providing expeditionary combat support to operational forces. We have nearly 13,000 members in AETC personnel postured to support air operations across the globe today. Additionally, since September 11th, we have provided more than 1,000 personnel in support of homeland defense and counter-terrorism operation, including over 300 medical personnel who deployed to New York area immediately after the terrorist attack.
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We also partner with our Guard and Reserve airmen as key players in our missions. They not only provide forces to operational commitments, but also work side-by-side with our active duty instructors and trainers, providing a total force and total education environment.
Be it participating in real world contingency operations, disaster response, or the war on terrorism, we, in AETC, are engaged. Moreover, we are learning the lessons from these operations and incorporating them directly into our training syllabus and education missions, particularly in two areas: combat control, and intelligence.
As a representative of nearly 600,000 men and women of Air Education and Training Command, I am here most of all to tell you how proud I am of their service and their dedication. Your support of our operations, your endorsement of pay and allowances increases, and your approval of increased budgets for defense all sent clear, direct, and positive messages. Air Education and Training Command mission is to give our Air Force people the skill, the leadership, and the confidence to succeed. And I think the results of the recent operations around the world speak more clearly than I ever could to our success in recruiting, training, and educating. My job is to ensure the command is well-positioned to continue to deliver the very best trained and educated people to our nation's Air Force, now and into the future. I am convinced that, with your help, we can focus on the proper attention and place the proper attention on education and training improvements and initiative to ensure that we are successful well into the 21st century. And I do have a statement for the record.
Mr. HEFLEY. Thank you, General Cook.
Page 26 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General Hanlon.
[The prepared statement of General Cook can be found in the Appendix on page ?.]
STATEMENT OF LIEUTENANT GENERAL EDWARD HANLON, JR., COMMANDER, MARINE CORPS COMBAT DEVELOPMENT COMMAND, U.S. MARINE CORPS
General HANLON. Thank you very much. It is good to be with you again today, as well, sir. In fact, it is good to be back in front of this committee once again.
And, sir, I would like to just echo the comments made earlier about having a field hearing. I mean, every time I have had a chance to be here with you, it has always been in Washington. It is kind of fun to go someplace else. And were it not for your invitation, I probably would never come to Ft. Carson. It is my first time here, and thank you for doing that.
And the only thing I would say, in Virginia we do not have the mountains that you have here, but I think we have got a few more trees, sir. I will tell you that. But I would also like to say that the folks thathere at Ft. Carson have just taken a wonderfulhave just taken great care of us and been verymost hospitable to us, and we thank you for that, as well, sir.
I would like to introduce somebody to you before I make a couple of comments, and it is my sergeant major, Sergeant Major Kevin Bennett. Sergeant Major, stand up. Thank you. He went way in the back of the room, sir, because he knew I was going to do this.
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But I wanted to introduce the sergeant major to you, because whenever I travel on trips like this or go out and visit Marines that are training, I take him with me. Not only to give the advice to me that sergeants majors are tasked to do, but to look at the training that is going on out there from his eyes. He has been a drill instructor, he has been a teacher, he has been a trainer, he is an infantryman by Military Occupational Specialty (MOS), he has been in combat. And it justhe helps validate, from his perspective, the kind of training that we are doing out there with our Marines. And I just wanted you to meet him here today, because he is just ahe is a superb American and a great Marine and with 28 years of service in our corps. And I do not know what I would do without him.
I have a statement, Mr. Chairman, which I would submit for the record, in which I hope I have captured the questions that you asked us in your letter that you sent to us a few weeks ago. I think we have.
I have just a few things to say to you all, though, and that is at Quantico we are responsible for the concept development of the Marine Corps, our future war fighting concepts, responsible for our war fighting requirements, the kind of equipment the Marines will need in the future. We are responsible for the doctrine that not only applies to the Marine Corps, but we are responsible to make sure that our doctrine talks to the doctrine of the Air Force and of the Navy and of the Army, as well. And we also are very much involved in that with joint forces command and making sure that what we do is in the joint context.
Experimentation is part of our portfolio. The Marine Corps war fighting lab at Quantico is part of the command. And last but not least, of course, we do all the training and education for all the enlisted and officers in the Marine Corps. Much of it for the officers, being right there in Quantico, Virginia; but for our enlisted Marines, it is literally all over the country.
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My responsibility to the commandant and to the Secretary of the Navy is basically to provide highly trained, highly motivated, well-equipped Marines for service with the Fleet Marine Force, with the fleet, and with the joint force commanders. And I thinknot I think, I know we are doing just that.
We established, in July of 2000, a training and education command that is part ofcommanded by a major general, with a brigadier general that looks at the training aspect. The brigadier general looks at the education. And it has been terrific, because we have been able to bring eyes-on-target with our training as never before. And I would like to report to you, Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, that I think the training that we are doing for our Marines today, which has always been superb because it is the very essence of who we are as Marines, our culture begins with our training. I would like to report to you today that I think it is as good as it has ever been.
And finally, I would just simply say that the proof was in the pudding, I think, when the war began after 911, and it was necessary for us to put troops in Afghanistan, we were able to bring together very rapidly Marines from two Marine Expeditionary Units (MEU) together under Task Force 58, working for CINCCENT, and were able to project those Marines inland some 400 miles to the fire base at Rino, and then later to Kandahar. They performed magnificently, and our aviation units were able to support the special operating forces that were operating over there. And so I think we are doing very well, Mr. Chairman.
And with that, sir, I will stop and just say that any questions that you have, I will be more than happy to answer, sir. Thank you.
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[The prepared statement of General Hanlon can be found in the Appendix on page ?.]
Mr. HEFLEY. I want to thank all of you in this very good testimony. Let meI have had the opportunity to be on a four-man tank crew down range here at Ft. Carson, and to be the gunner on that crew and fire the gun and so forth. And I want you to know there was not a weed in that part of Colorado safe from my wrath as I fired those guns, and it was exciting.
I have also had the opportunity to fly the simulators at Pax River on the V22 and the F18. First time and only time I have done that. And I was absolutely amazed at the realism of simulation. You know, we werewe flew the F18 out of Edwards Air Force Base, and they punch buttons; and all of a sudden there was that long runway and, you know, that was Edwards Air Force Base. And pretty soon you felt like you were really there. Same way with the V22 we flew off a carrier. And very realistic.
But I crashed that V22 coming in for a landing on the carrier, and I said, ''Oh, shucks,'' and we tried again. So I would like for you to speak to simulation as a part of training, which we seem to be moving more and more to. And it looked to me like, from those very limited experiences, the real thing on the one hand and the simulation on the other, that simulation has a real role to play. But there was a difference in adrenaline flow when I was in the tank firing real ammunition, than there was sitting there, knowing full well that I was going to get up in a few minutes, perfectly safe, and walk away from the simulators at Pax River.
Page 30 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC My sense was you could learn a lot from the simulators, but that you really had to do the real thing to train properly. The Secretary of the Navy sat in my office awhile back, and we were talking and he said, ''Well, we can go out in the ocean and we can take a Global Postioning System (GPS) reading and we can attack that point out in the ocean.'' Somehow to me that is not the same thing as bringing Marines onto the beach under fire with Navy bombardment and airplanes dropping live ammunition and doing it in a real sense. And I think, Jim, in a hearing yesterday you used the phrase ''train like you are going to fight,'' so would you speak to this simulation, and how far we are going, and how far we can go with that, and how much we need the real thing? And I guess we will start in the same order as we did before.
General ABRAMS. Mr. Chairman, I would be happy to provide the committee some insights from our perspective. We started in the mid-1970s with an idea that there was value in constructive simulation for training; that there was value for virtual training, like these simulators that you have mentioned. And that there is a very specific role for live training.
You know the combat training centers, for us, is where we bring formations together, all of them joint, every training scenario. We are tied in, in both what we call traininglive training enabled with simulators. We call them force-on-force. They go against a world class out forum, no kidding around, dukes up, and demonstrate your competency, not only as a formation, but as a combat leader, non-commissioned officer, officer, or soldier.
Our objective, in that live experience, is every battalion and commander and every brigade commander, during that two-year period of command, takes that formation through one of those rotations. We would prefer that they do it sooner in their rotations of command rather than later, so that they are imbued by this life's experience as a command team, and carry that home to their home station. Could be here with the Third Armored Cavalry Regiment at Ft. Carson. And to continue to refine and maintain those skills and competencies that they brought out of the experience, whether it is the high desert of Ft. Irwin, California; or, for our light forces, primarily down at the Joint Readiness Training Center; and for our forces in Europe, at the combat maneuvers training center.
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But the Army will never back away from the value of live training. We do rigorous live fire training, not just with simulators. When you see the discipline of a force that can conduct combat operations against a numerically superior force, the discipline and confidence of the soldiers and the leaders working in coordination to bring joint fires to effect, cannot be conducted for the first time on mission. We believe that that has got to be central to the rigor of the training experience. They have got to have absolute feedback into it. And if they do not measure up to the training standard that we have determined by the Department of the Army working with Training and Doctrine Command, that we put that unit back through that training, or those small units in remedial training till they get it right. Now, that is at the heart and soul of our conventional live training.
And we have had a huge debate inside the Army, because you see the passion in my own words about live training and the value and whatever, in terms of how far you can go with virtual and constructive simulation, and how to connect all this. Quite frankly, theone of the best insights that I can give to you is, is we train in this command every rotary wing aviator for the United States Army at Ft. Rucker, Alabama. We take them through basic rotary wing training, all the way through their advanced training on mission aircraft in mission profiles. For an Apache that is on the deck in excess of 140 knots with a full mission payload, evaluated every moment in an instrumentation environment so we know that they have got the skills. Frankly, one of the things that virtual simulation does for us, particularly when we can bring a suite of simulators together, is that we can go through all of the contingencies that these aviators must be able to handle during combat operations without putting them at risk, so if an engine goes out or a flight instrument goes out or the like. And it is the repetition of training in virtual simulators, not just as individual crewmen, like we do for the tank training, but in groups of trainers, and not necessarily with all the same platforms, you can get the repetition in there so that you begin to reinforce some in their memory what to do when things happen, because they are not always in control of the variables for these things.
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We do that now embedded in the units, not just in the schoolhouse. We rely on virtual training to give us the repetition. It is to complement the live training. It gets very realistic for us, but like you say, live training with live bullets, maneuvering at night in complex maneuvers in a combined arms environment is difficult to replicate, to stand. And it also leaves the soldier with a little uncertainty and confidence, that I have been through that. The worst thing you want is that they have been through it the first time they are in combat.
And so our view is you have to have a mix. And we have embedded it not only in our training base, but have embedded it as a part of the day-to-day training regimen for our units. We have been challenged at times, in the procurement process, of making sure that the simulator suites, as training support packages, have been brought online as we field new equipment. The leadership in the Army has been very adamant in two regards. We will either reduce the number of platforms that we buy, the number of Comanches that we buy, to provide the monies that those simulators are, in fact, in the training base and in the units. And they will be developed along the same path as the platform, itself. So I think institutionally, the department has got major dedication in terms of integrating the value of simulation.
I would like to give you one last point on simulation. This is a project we have been in for the last eight months. It has to do with the explosion of some of these technologies that we are putting in the hands of our soldiers, information technologies. About every six months people want to come in and want to update the software on how some of our equipment works. And so you get into the problem of how does the soldier absorb what that means, in terms of how to install, operate, and maintain the equipment. What we have been able to do with industry is put together what we call a virtual training, and put itembed it in the equipment, that has all of these new procedures, so that the soldier has not only the opportunity for us to spin him up on the latest modifications to the software application for, for example, mobile scriber equipment, which is a way we link our command post, is impacted by software design. Now we can port that into the operator, have done that during this operation in Uzbekistan, through distance learning with a virtual trainer. It goes right into the rig, so they not only get the benefit of the best technology in their hands, they have a training support package that leverages virtual training, that has been piped over to them and it is embedded in their equipment. Very powerful aid. So it is also a venue for us to ensure that the soldiers on mission have the benefit of our latest work. And we are pretty comfortable with the strategy that we are moving on. Thank you, sir.
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Mr. HEFLEY. Well, really, if I understand you correctly, you are saying that simulation, virtual training, is an indispensable tool, but will never take the place of the real thing.
General ABRAMS. In the focused areas that I outlined for you very specifically, yes, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. HEFLEY. Admiral.
Admiral HARMS. Mr. Chairman, I would say that the Navy has historically had some cultural resistance to simulators. And I think that was based on obviously a love for doing it live, but also it was deeply rooted in the poor quality of simulation that we have had in years past. I see that changing across the board. In our war fighting units, in our schools, starting all the way with our young recruits in boot camp. And I will share a couple of examples.
I think we feel very similar to what General Abrams said. We do not think that there are a whole lot of areas where it can completely replace live training. I believe that there are some. But it is a marvelous tool to leverage the live training opportunities that we do. What I am talking about there is in the high end training that we do, battle group training, unit training, et cetera, some of those scenarios that we must train in are so complex today, so difficult, it is almost impossible to stage the scenario to give the presentation that you would like to give to the warriors that you are trying to train. Simulation enables you to do that, and it enables you to do it in a repetitive fashion. If you are trying to assemble a battle group of ships or a huge armada of aircraft in some sort of war fighting scenario, enormously expensive. And yet, with the simulation capabilities that we have today, you are not only able to do that once, but you are actually able to do that on repetitive occasions, to expand the training experience for our people.
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I would like to go back to recruit training as an example. An initiative that we are pursuing very hard right now, and this is based on fallout from 11 September, historically, we provided an opportunity for our sailors to become familiar with weapon training in our boot camp. And there were discussions on handling weapons, weapon safety, et cetera. But we were to the point where we only had a few live rounds that we were allowing our sailors to send down range, and for a multitude of reasons. Timing, expense, and ultimately, we felt that the ones that we needed to have good firearm training we would selectively train once they got out to their fleet unit. And that is historically how we have done it.
I am under the impression right now that we may be in a world where competence, at least with a sidearm, and perhaps a shotgun, may be a core competency now that we want every single member in the Navy to be comfortable with. Not that they are necessarily going to become snipers or marksmen. But with our anti-terrorist and force protection efforts today, we are putting a burden on the ship's captain if he or she now needs to go out and select the individual that needs training, and then rush out and get them the training, and then worry about their update in rotation. Our sense is, is that with some of the firearm trainers that we have right now, and I have participated, like you have, in a couple of these trainers, they are amazingly effective. And I am actually getting some of the old diehard law enforcement personnel in our services are starting to come around and really embrace this type of training for our people, where now a far greater percentage of our sailors will have exposure to something as basic as firearm training.
It goes across the board, though. Another exciting area that I have seen is in our maintenance training. It is enormously expensive to acquire and then maintain the technical training equipment for all of the different launch systems, radars, I mean, you name it. That is a very expensive proposition. And not only is it an up-front expense, but the sailors that you have to then employ to sustain those systems and the cost to do upgrades, which come very, very frequently in that legacy equipment, becomes an enormous bill. Through PC simulation and maintenance of these components, not only are we able to do upgrades very quickly when there is a modification to a legacy system, we increase training throughput; and we have good data that shows that training performance has improved.
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You sit a young sailor down in front of a PC, and today you would set him in front of a piece of technical equipment, and there would be a queue of all 30 students behind him, because youif you are fortunate enough to have that piece of technical equipment to train on, there is probably one, and the instructor is at high energy. Because if we, in fact, you know, get the wrong probe on the wrong pin, we could fry that card, and now we are at all stop. We will have to repair that piece of gear, and there is some time wasted by the sailors who are in line to train on that piece of gear.
With PC based simulation maintenance training, we now have electronic classrooms where there will be 20 to 30 workstations. Every sailor can work individually. They can fail, and that can be a very good learning tool, to allow a sailor to fail in a maintenance procedure, and you can show them an entire spectrum of problems with that particular equipment. We feel that we are building better technicians, we are reducing the time to train, the expense of providing that training equipment; and as opposed to the Legacy equipment, it is a bargain from a business case, also. So we are pursuing those sorts of opportunities, too. And we think that it is enormously important for our sailors to have that.
I would share with you, we also think that there are two other areas where that has a good potential for payback. Right now, as we face increasingly complex battle spaces with increasingly complex weapons systems and reduced manning crews, we are asking more and more and more of the individual sailor. We do not have the luxury that we had years ago where you could train and become an expert on just one piece of gear; one radar, one computer. We are asking our sailors now to become experts across the board. This type of training enables what I am going to call just-in-time training. If you give the technician a basic set of core competencies, and they then need to flex to some of these other systems, with this type of training opportunity, and again, as General Abrams said, you can update it at the push of a button, our people are able to use that type of technology and that type of equipment to better maintain, train when they need. And, frankly, it also supports the delineation of what you need to learn and what you could put under what I would call a knowledge management hat. Just that it is there; if you need it, you can go track it down very quickly and use it. We find that to be enormously important, and we are very excited about some of the pilots we have, and we are not going to turn back from that, I do not think, Mr. Chairman. We think that is so important.
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Simulation is growing in importance every day in our Navy, both in the operational areas, in the maintenance areas, in the basic training areas. And I do not see us turning back from that. But, again, I would emphasize it needs to be a complement to, in most cases, the live training that ultimately puts the certification on the record that you are ready to go to combat.
Mr. HEFLEY. General Cook.
General COOK. Mr. Chairman, I think that of the services, perhaps the Air Force has been most accepting of simulators and simulator training, particularly in the areas of our pilot training where we have both low-end and high-end simulations.
Our newest aircraft, the T6, for example, we have a 270 degree screen. It is not motion, but it is visual. And when you turn the aircraft, you cannot tell that you are not really in an airplane flying.
They are excellent for procedures. We call it ''switchology,'' if you will. It is also very beneficial to enhance safety. But, on the other hand, you cannot, in the air, in a three dimensional environment, turn a switch and say, ''Time out.'' And so the value of simulation has to be put in the proper context, along with the flying hours and the other training that we must do in the air. It would be a dangerous assumption to say that we could trade an awful lot of flying hours for simulator hours.
Two other areas that I would like to discuss. One is our E-learning, electronic learning, where we use simulation on a smart board where you point and click on the board. And if I am going to conduct a lesson on the Gatling gun, like Admiral Harms was talking about, the value of this kind of learning is tremendous. Because up pops the Gatling gun, which will move. The instructor can point to a specific spot on the Gatling gun. He can then take and move the rounds out of the Gatling gun, show the students how to put it in, put it in the Gatling gun, take apart the Gatling gun on a screen simply by touching this screen. Instead of having 12 or 13 students waiting in line to disassemble the Gatling gun, you can do it on the electronic smart board. And what we have seen is a 60 percent improvement on the certifications of our youngsters going to be weapons loaders and working on this complex aircraft Gatling gun.
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Another area where we are capitalizing on simulation is virtual reality. At Shepherd Air Force Base in Wichita Falls, Texas, we train our avionics and our crew chiefs for aircraft maintenance in their tech schools. We do not have an F1E, because they are a precious commodity for our operational air forces. So what we have done is we have taken a virtual reality helmet and put the youngster in a simulated cockpit where they can learn the safety switches and all the techniques they need to know when they go to Seymour-Johnson or to Mountain Home, Idaho, or over to Europe to be an F1E crew chief. And so what we are seeing in this is that normally when they arrived on station they had to train for 40 hours in order to learn these procedures before they got certified. We have reduced that to 18 hours. There is tremendous capital, if you will, in simulation, particularly in these areas.
We are in the process, in the Air Force, of going to the high-end tech, with distributed mission training, distributed operational training, where you could do large force packaging with perhaps an AWACS and a rivet joint and others. So you can fly multiple aircraft in this simulated combat environment. But I would like to quote from one of our fighter pilots after Desert Storm, that we cannot do Red Flag in simulation, which is the exercise out at Nellis in Mr. Gibbons' district. And the quote was, ''If I can do Red Flag, I can do Baghdad.'' And the only way you can do Red Flag is to hop in the jet and go do it. That simply cannot be done through simulation.
So there is tremendous value in simulation. I would caution about going too far in trading off actual flight hours in this area.
Mr. HEFLEY. Do your pilots who have gone through simulation and training, do they solo faster?
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General COOK. They do not solo faster, but when they solo, they are safer.
Mr. HEFLEY. I see.
General COOK. Because we canyou have visuals, and so they learn the traffic pattern in the simulator. They learn the switches in the simulator. Now, some of them may solo in ten rides, some may do it in 11, and some may do it in nine. But we would not profess to say we want to solo somebody in five hours.
Mr. HEFLEY. Thank you.
General COOK. Yes, sir.
Mr. HEFLEY. General.
General HANLON. Mr. Chairman, I would say that in the Marine Corps simulation, distance learning, using information technology to enhance our training and education is something that we certainly embrace. And basically, we believe to use it wherever it makes sense. I mean, wherever it makes sense, you know, we certainly would like to be able to apply it.
Personally, I think the simulationphilosophically, it is used to enhance training, never to replace it. And I would like to just share just amost ofthe gentlemen to my right have really covered the waterfront pretty well on the issue of simulation. But I will just tell you a little story that happened to me yesterday. And you were talking about, Mr. Chairman, when you were at Pax River when you had a chance to sit in the simulator and fly the V22.
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We are buying a new truck. It is called thewell, it is a seven-ton truck called, I think, the Mark 23. It is a huge thing. It is replacing our five-ton fleet. And we are introducing it into the fleet right now, and it is a big one. We train all of our motor transport drivers at Ft. Leonard Wood, where we have a joint facility out there with the Air Force, the Navy, and the Army. And yesterday we had about 540 young Marines going through training out there.
Now, if you can just picture the scene for a second, there is like awhat used to be a hangar that has been completely reconverted. Inside this hangar are simulators, very, very much like what the aviators use. In fact, when I walked in, I thought, my gosh, I could not believe that I was in the motor transport training facility instead of an aviation training facility.
But as you get in these simulators, you are sitting now behind the dashboard of one of these new seven-ton trucks, and you have the 270 degree screen around you. The thing goes up on hydraulics, just like the aircraft one does. It moves, it vibrates, it shakes, it makes noise. The only thing you do not smell is the diesel. But when you are in it, I mean, you are like in that truck. And they put you in all the scenarios; driving down a highway towing a one niner A, going across country with a load, snow, ice, dark, you name it.
And Sergeant Major and I got up in a simulator and we rode it. We did it. They put us in there, and we went through a number of their scenarios. When that was done, we then got in the car and went out to the training area where they had a brand new seven-ton truck. I hopped up in that thing with thenot one instructor, twoI guess when they let generals drive, they give you two instructors, not one. But, so I got up in it and took it through a combat course. And I said okay, here we go. And got up, and it was one of these, you know, through the mud and brush and through the water and everything else. And it gave me a chance to really see that synergism that translates between a simulator and then the hands-on. And this is for something, now, that is more low tech. We are talking about a truck right now, as opposed to an F15 or an F18. And it was very impressive.
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And so I asked my instructors, I saidthe two that were with me. I said, ''Tell me, what does this mean?'' And they said, ''Well, what it really means, General, is we can now take these drivers and we can bring their skill levels up so much faster than we could in the past.'' They get comfortable with the switchology, as Don Cook mentioned a few minutes ago, they understand the nomenclature. They understand the feel of the truck, so that by the time they get out there and actually drive it, you can see the confidence level.
But I also asked this one question. I said, ''Okay, howcould we just kind of do all of it by simulation?'' And Sergeant Clements, who was one of the two instructors who was with me, said, ''You know, General, about one out of every 20 Marines that comes out here, they do wonderful in the simulator, because they grew up in that generation where kids at home play on simulators, you know.'' You know what I am talking about. He said, ''But when you get them behind a real seven-ton truck and you get them on a highway, you know, about one out of 20, if not locks up on you, kind of goes through like a little mild panic when they are actually out there with this truck driving it down the road.'' And he says, ''It helps you identify those that need more help.'' So they actually have to get that hands-on training with the real equipment.
And I would really, really like to dovetail on what General Cook said about the safety piece, because I think that is one of the great aspects here, about being able to use this as part of just improving the overall safety of our drivers.
Going back to your original question, and to General Abrams' comments, Mr. Hefley, and that is about live fire and simulation. You can replicate the firing of artillery in a simulator, and you can go to an isolated range and fire artillery. You can do the same thing with heavy weapons, you can do it with tanks, you can do it with helicopters, and you can do it with close air support. You can do all of that individually. But it is different, believe me. I have been there as a captain and as a lieutenant colonel and as a general. It is different when you have to do this in the heat, in the cold, in the dust, in the fog, in the dark, and everything else, and bring all that together, the timing, the synchronization of all this. And you do not do that in a simulator. It is something you have to go out there and physically do. And odds are, the first time you do it, you are probably going to mess it up. So you stop and you go back and you do it again and again and again until you get it right. Because, again, as General Abrams said, you know, what you do not want to end up doing is training your people in combat. You want to make sure by the time they get there they have done it time and time, like a good football team. They have done that drill time and time again, until the day of the ball game they know exactly how to execute that play.
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And, sir, I just do not think you are ever going to replace that part with simulation. It will enhance our training immeasurably, it will help us save a lot of time and money. But I think at some point in time you still have to go out there and do it. Thank you, sir.
Mr. HEFLEY. Thank you, General. I had to smile. At one time in my checkered past I was a dump truck driver, and the day I showed up for work the first day, the guy that owned the truck, he says, ''There is the truck, there is the field. Go out there and practice with it until you think your ready, and come back.'' And before the end of the day, I was hauling eight tons of asphalt in traffic to pave streets. I wish to heck I had the simulator.
General HANLON. Yes, sir.
Mr. HEFLEY. Because I did not feel at all confident at that point.
Mr. ORTIZ. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. It was not too long ago, Mr. Chairman, the witnesses sitting right here, and this panel was sitting right here, were staff a few years back. And we then had what we called an education panel. And General Cook then was a lieutenant commanderI mean, lieutenant colonel in the Air Force. And
Mr. HEFLEY. Now, this is the Navy here and the
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Mr. ORTIZ. I am very familiar with the Navy, because I served
Mr. HEFLEY. You get those guys at Corpus Christi, and they
Mr. ORTIZ. I served in the Army and I stick out like a sore thumb, because it is a Navy city. But it is gratifying to know that we have commitment of young men and their professionalism, their loyalty, and the commitment to this country where they stayed in the military. And I think that out of four staff members who were on loan from the military, two of them were able to get four stars, General Cook and Admiral Natter.
So we want to say to you today that those that have made the military a career, that we thank you. I think that this is why today we enjoy the freedoms and liberties that we have, because of the commitment that you have made to this great country. And, General, it is so good to see you again. And the last time I saw you, you had two stars. Good to see where you have four.
And I would likeyou know, we do some joint training in Corpus Christi. And I would like to maybe, you know, get you and Admiral Natter to come and visit with us and see what we can do to enhance training in Corpus Christi.
Mr. Chairman, what I would like to do, I would like to pass on to my colleagues for them to question. But I would like to include some of my questions for the record, if I may.
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Mr. HEFLEY. All right, fine.
Mr. GIBBONS. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. And, General Hanlon, I want to thank you for reminding the audience that it takes two instructors for every general when you go into the real Air Force, a real airplane to fly, or a tank. But it takes a seeing eye dog when you put a Congressman in there, to get the airplane back to the field, so you are not alone in that.
And, you know, I may have left the audience with the impression that the chairman and I are in great disrespect of each other over our states. Each one of us love our states dearly, and we will continue our debate over the argument about mountains. But I was interested in hearing the issue of trees, Mr. Chairman, Virginia versus Colorado and trees. But I do have some statistics that I have to say. I mean, this is just this ongoing little debate we have gotthat Nevada is larger than Colorado. It has 26 separate mountain ranges. That is greater than the number Colorado has. That, after Mount Whitney, Nevada has the second, third, and fourth highest peaks, which are all higher than Pike's Peak. And if you ironed out Nevada to a level of 1,500 feet, it would be larger than Texas, Colorado, and Virginia, combined. I just wanted you to know a few statistics.
Mr. HEFLEY. I want all of you to enjoy Mr. Gibbons, because he will not be back.
Page 44 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. GIBBONS. Well, I am the only one who did not get the memo today about wearing a dark suit to your hearing.
Actually, what I want to talk to theon a more serious note, I want to talk to the Army, and especially General Abrams. One of the issues that we see today, General, very serious, is the men and women now who are in operations in Afghanistan are operating in an elevation above 8,000 feet. How often do we put our men and women in training in the Army in special forces? The Marines have a high altitude training camp. Does the Army do anything to put its men and women in a high altitude training environment before we put them in that type of an operation?
General ABRAMS. The Army has a history of work in this issue. We work in three different ways. The up-front piece is that when we focus a unit on its competency, we evaluate its war time and contingency mission operations. So if it calls for Tenth Mountain Division, for example, Garrison, which it in fact does, to operate at high altitudes, then we expect the necessary resources be allocated and the commander's training focus to focus on those skills for those environmental factors. And Tenth Mountain does that. They are very comfortable at those altitudes.
Mr. GIBBONS. Talking about the 101st?
General ABRAMS. The 101st has the responsibility for high altitude training. They are not in proximity, in their local training environment, to do that. They have to go elsewhere.
Page 45 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. GIBBONS. Well, perhaps what Imy whole direction in this question is to get to the idea that perhaps we need to be looking at some area where we can put a training scenario together, or temporary operations, where we do give them that type of training. I mean, there is nothing more difficult than carrying a 60 or 80 pound pack on your back, trying to climb from 8,000 feet to 10,000 feet and conduct a war if you are not physiologically capable of doing that. And, so, my question to you, of course, and you have answered that, is that the Army does do that, I presume. And so we do have that capability.
The other thing I wanted to talk, and maybe all of you can talk about here very briefly, is the difference in our personnel tempo, in our operations tempo when it comes to the impact of having security and peacekeeping forces requirements, as we have had in Bosnia, Kosovo, now since 1995, 1996, 1997. That rotation, that continual drain on our men and women in the uniform, what does that have on our ability to carry out operations in terms of actual war fighting? It is going to obviously impact the time they have to go back into training, once they come out of a police-keeping scenario, to get back and prepared. Can you discuss the impact on your personnel tempo and your ops tempo with regard to those operations.
General ABRAMS. This topic is a topic that the leadership of our operational formations, all the way to the Chief Staff of the Army and the Secretary, reconcile almost daily. And it is the proper balance between the missions that we are called upon to perform that are down at the low end of the spectrum of conflict, stability, support operations, includes peace enforcement, peacekeeping, Kosovo and Bosnia, for example. The task force that we put in the Sinai, similar requirements.
Our strategy, as a departmental strategy to account for that, is that wefor both active and reserve component units, formations, we change their mission focus six months out prior to the deployment for one of these missions in Bosnia, to focus them on the requisite skills that they need for that mission. Then we take them for six months, after they return, to get them back into the upper end, war fighting competencies that you outlined.
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Clearly, while they are on these missions and going through this process, you have got a unit, a formation that does not have a lot of high-end sustained readiness for war fighting. It is a risk that we measure all the time.
The Army's approach towards the pers tempo side of this thing is to stay within the framework that I have talked about, so that you are not jerking people from one mission task to another, and demand of them that they be competent; that it accounts for an orderly transition from one mission profile of peacekeeping and peace enforcement to another.
Having said that, it is clear the size of the United States Army, both in its active and its reserve component, it is a very busy Army. We are an Army that employs an individual replacement system. So I have been talking about units and formation. As you and I know, a third of the army moves to different units of assignment every year. And so that contributes to the difficulties of our manpower, of being able to fit in properly with units that are at various stages. And we have to work through that routinely. But it is absolutely something that the leadership and our force commanders reconcile frequently, and make decisions about not only what the unit is focused on and its readiness focus, but the process by which they use it.
Like here, as an extension to three corps, the amount of training, for example, that these units are allowed to do on the weekend is much different than it was during the Cold War period, because it is an attempt by the leadership to accommodate the tempo and pace of operations and the range of task of these soldiers. The leave and pass policy is all a part of this; attendance at schools, all synchronistic. But it is a reflection of a very busy Army that is participating across the spectrum of conflict right now, and it is challenging.
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Mr. GIBBONS. Mr. Chairman, I know the time is short, but if any of the others wish to address this pers and ops tempo question, I would appreciate it.
Mr. HEFLEY. Admiral.
Admiral HARMS. Sir, just a couple of extra comments. The operational units themselves, even though their turnarounds may be shortened from time to time, from a perstempo perspective, we are not seeing tremendous impact right now. Like all of our armed forces, our sailors like to operate. If they are
out doing their mission, they are doing fine.
Our grander concern, I would tell you, is the opportunity to do the maintenance and the upkeep on the platforms, themselves; the ships, the jets, the equipments that are being supported out of there. That cannot be unattended forever or you get a backlog that truly will impact your operations. And so we are focusing, I would tell you at this point, more on that than we are on the actual optempo. We cannot do optempo increases indefinitely. I mean, there will come a point where you will burn out the force, and we do not want to do that. But we do not think that that is of an immediate concern right now.
Interestingly, back at the home front we have seen some challenges. With the increased requirement for anti-terrorism and force protection personnel, folks who typically were doing base operations support or, in my particular case, training, I have had to pull some instructors out of classrooms to support some of the security requirements that we needed on our bases. And I think that that has happened across the Navy. We are working hard with that to make sure we do not run into a problem there, but I have had a lot of sailors who have worked port and starboard for several months after 11 September because they were the only ones that were available.
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Part of that is tied into another change that we have had in the Navy and in all of the services over the years, and this has kind of an unidentified, or at least an unexperienced outcome of some of the outsourcing that we have done over time. As we have contracted out some of the services that typically had been done by sailors, you lose a little bit of flexibility in how you can surge to a new mission requirement.
And what I am saying is, is not that those contracted-out elements cannot perform additional services, but there is an immediate and real tail to that, a bill, overtime, new hires, or whatever it is. In the past we have typically asked our sailors to do double-duty, we bring in an extra duty section, we work weekends, we work nights. And, like all good servicemen and women, they heartily salute and they get the job done.
We have sensed, I think for the first time in my career, the impact of this transition to more outsourced capability back on the home front. I am not saying that is good or bad. It is a new dimension that we have to work through right now, and it has caused us to struggle somewhat.
We became very comfortable with the flexibility and the shock-absorber effect of a serviceman or woman in responding to a surge requirement. It is not as agile and as easy and up-front in the near term; it is not asI hate to use the word cheap, it is more expensive in the way we are structured now in many of our forces. So it is a new phenomena for us. We are working through that.
The Navy has taken painstaking efforts to map out what we think we need in the future for anti-terrorism and force protection forces, additional ones that we will need based on the increased emphasis on homeland defense. And as we palm for and get those people trained and on the roles, I think that this will get back under where we are not as uncomfortable with it.
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Mr. HEFLEY. Thank you.
General COOK. Mr. Gibbons, you know from your experience in the Air Force that there are push factors and pull factors that cause our Air Force members to make decisions to depart the service. Certainly the pull factors are good economies, opportunity to go to the airlines, go work for somebody you always wanted to, or some dissatisfaction. The dissatisfaction part, then, is a push factor.
The fact that the Air Force was doing 400 more percent of temporary duties (TDYs), if you will, from 1992 to present was a clear indication to us that we had some push factors that we needed to look at and get a handle on. And so a little over three years ago, the Air Force reorganized how we present forces into ten Air Expeditionary Forces, not unlike how the Navy schedules their carrier battle groups. And what that did for us was commit 20 percent of the Air Force, if you will, that are in these ten AEFs for a 90-day deployment every 15 months.
The result of that was that we gave our people some predictability and stability in their lives. We were having people who were going TDY on short notices, extremely short notice, and they were pushing people out of the Air Force. I contend that if you are in today's Air Force, you should expect to go TDY, but do not tell me on Wednesday that I have to be over in Europe or Afghanistan on Monday. And so what we did was align people in a predictable schedule.
Page 50 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Now, because of the current events, the Air Force is stretched a little bit thin. And some of our skill sets will have to stay in the area greater than their 90 days, some up to 150 days. But they know it, and we are addressing that with identifying the skill sets that we need to train to as shortfalls. And one of those areas has been the security forces. We are all taking people out-of-hide, so to speak, from our personnel, from finance, and letting them do gate duty and other security duties on our bases. And so remaining within the head room, we have been tasked in AETC to train 1,300 more security force personnel since 911. We have the capability to do that, and we arehave been resourced to do that, and so that is what we are doing. But clearly, our reorganizational efforts three, three-and-a-half years ago, are giving our people some predictability and stability in their lives, so they know when they are vulnerable to deploy.
Mr. GIBBONS. Thank you.
General HANLON. Congressman Gibbons, in your comments or in your question, I mean, you are right, sir. Because of the events of 911 and the increased demands overseas, and the homeland defense demands, as well, have certainly placed optempo very much in theon the marquee in terms of things that we are looking at.
But my sense is, in talking to the operational commanders who really see this even more than I do atit is under control. I mean, I think the Marines that are out there serving in the corps today came in the Marine Corps to serve. They understand that this isthere is a reason for this. It is serious business. They are doing it because they like doing it. You know, we deploy all the time anyway with the fleet. You know, our expeditionary nature takes us off shores a lot, anyway. And so my sensing, in talking to the operational commanders, is that right now we do, indeed, as I said, have it under control.
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But, you know, there are metrics that you watch, and such things as safety. Are you hurting people on the job, in training, or inoperationally at a rate maybe higher than you were six months ago? Is that indicative of something that is, you know, under the waterline? Stretches on the families back home. And, in fact, we are spending a great deal of time making sure that we are giving that support to the families back home for the Marines that are forward deployed.
So we will have to see where this goes, sir. I mean, you know, how longthe President has said this could be a long campaign. And if you ask me that same question six months or a year from now, sir, maybe I would give you a different answer. But right now, sir, I think it is under control.
Mr. GIBBONS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. HEFLEY. Mr. Underwood.
Mr. UNDERWOOD. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And I know that in your testimony, General Abrams, you mentioned that you are doing some kind of training activities in 15 installations, and you also mentionedtalked a little bit about community relations around those installations. And I know, General Cook, you talked about the application of the Endangered Species Act, and I know we are probably going to be treated to some specifics on those issues.
But what I wanted was a kind of a general comment about the nature of your training and how it isand the relationship that each one of the areas where you conduct training, what is the current state of the relationships with surrounding communities and regulatory agencies, whether they be state, local, or federal, and just kind of characterize whether these relations are getting better or are they getting more complicated or are they getting more difficult, and what suggestions you might have, short of changing every federal law on the book, to resolve these.
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General ABRAMS. Thank you, sir. I would characterize the environment right now as pretty healthy. We, on our side, over the course of the last decade in specific, which I have got some experience to talk to very directly, is we have staffed ourselves to deal with the agencies that are involved, as well as the interest groups. We are in cooperation with the state and federal levels, from an installation perspective.
It is more complicated today than it was just a few years ago. It is brought on, for example, by access to frequency spectrums for training, instrumentation. We rely on this instrumentation for feedback in training. We also rely on it for the development of capabilities onboard of manned and unmanned aviation platforms. And so the complexity of our environment and how we go through it is a challenge. And we have had to be properly staffed for it and dedicated to it, to help reconcile it.
You will hear specifically from the three combat training center commanders when they come here, the width and breadth of their normal framework of operating these combat training centers. We demand of them to be environmentally competent as they continue to perform their mission.
From the 15 installations of training and doctrine command, we have got a number of ongoing issues, environmental challenges that we deal with, from red-cockaded woodpeckers to access to water that is inextricably linked to the local communities. Our dedication is, is to work in partnership, but to safeguard our ability to train, and train to standard. And we have been very dedicated to that. And as I appear before you today, I think the environment is supportive for us to be able to maintain our ability to train the soldiers and grow leaders and be a full-spectrum capable force in the process. But it does take a lot of very dedicated energy for us to do that, and it is complicated.
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Mr. UNDERWOOD. Admiral.
Admiral HARMS. Sir, from the Chief of Naval Education and Training perspective, the relationships where we have training establishments are powerfully strong; very, very supportive. I think the communities are enthusiastic, they are eager, and they work extremely well with us to support our needs.
In particular, I am going to mention three sites, because that is where the preponderance of our activity is that would run into this challenge. Florida, the State of Florida is marvelously supportive of our needs. And Governor Bush and his team have worked justit almost brings tears to your eyes how well they support and are willing to listen to your challenges and find a way to make it so that our people continue their training very well.
In Texas, obviously focused around Corpus, but down at Ingleside and Kingsville, again, the leadership of that state, the legislatures, the communities are extremely supportive.
And the third one is up at Great Lakes. Obviously a very important dimension for us, the Naval Training Center up there. But in particular, Congressman Kirk and his team and others working up there have bent over backwards to accommodate and support our needs in the training environment.
That all said, I worry every day about encroachment. I have talked to Congressman Ortiz about this in the past. I am concerned that the next endangered species in our country will be the American warrior. And I do not say that frivolously. But as our platforms become more complex, as we look and want to have longer range systems, such that our young men and women stay further from the fight, itself, it is going to mandate increases in air space, in sea space, and ultimately, with our new technologies, I will call it the electronic space. General Abrams mentioned the frequency spectrum.
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I worry about that, because it is an insidious encroachment, as I see it. I will use the term ''death by a thousand cuts.'' Any single issue, in and of itself, does not seem to be a major impact. And, you know, you ask your people, can you alter your flight pattern. Could you do your training exercise in this sea space over here. Each and any one of those, viewed from an individual perspective, is not such a big deal and the constituency who is worried about that one may view it from that perspective. But from our perspective, when you look across the board, there are an awful lot of issues that we have to deal with.
And so, even though the relationships I think are strong and positive and supportive today, I worry about that. And again, we have had a couple of instances in Florida, right around Pensacola, as a matter of fact. But, again, the community there has been supportive, the legislature has been supportive, and we have worked through those. But they seem to continue to pop up every day. And I think it will be something that we need to constantly keep in focus, to make sure that we do not fundamentally disrupt our ability to train. And my concern is, is that once you lose that air space, sea space, electronic space, it is enormously difficult to try to capture it back.
And one other thing, I could, and this is kind of just a plug. My experience in the field has been both from the shore base side, working with Marine forces in my short time that I have worked with the Marines, and certainly on the sea side, our service men and women in our units are wonderfully good stewards of the environment, in general. I mean, every now and then there is a problem. But there is so much attention to, so much concern for; and in some cases we actually deviate how we would like to train to make absolutely sure that there is not a negative impact on the environment. So
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Mr. UNDERWOOD. And again, thank you.
General COOK. Mr. Underwood, thank you. I think this is athis is an area where the committee may want to get involved in. And let me take you down perhaps a path. I see four different kinds of encroachment: frequency encroachment; developmental encroachment, whether that is residential or industrial, and urban sprawl kind of encroachment. There is also air space encroachment, and there is also the environmental, and I hesitate to use encroachment, because I firmly believe that, like Admiral Harms, that our men and women in all our services are wonderful, wonderful environmental stewards of our lands.
Specific issues dealing with Luke Air Force Base in Arizona, that, built in the 1940s, is now, as you might expect, being surrounded by people who want to live in that great area of our country. The effects are direct on the Goldwater Range which is to the south. Today we cannot make a north departure out of Luke with weapons onboard due to the population overflight. We are just not going to do that. That affects us about 15 percent of the time, which is not a big deal.
Once we get to the range, however, approximately 30 percent of the time our F16 aviators are required to deviate due to the pronghorn antelope that share the range with us. And so these are some of the concerns.
But under the leadership of Brigadier General Steve Sergeant, he has brought the 13 surrounding communities together and, along with the state legislationlegislators and the senate, have passed legislation which are now restrictive, particularly on our routing to the south. Where farmlands have historically been converting to developmental, there are efforts to keep them as farmland.
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And so part of the solution is to ensure that the leadership at our bases works with the legislature, works with the elected officials of the community, that we educate the people and bring them to the base, and we do not go behind a fortress of our bases and not let them know the impact of the developments that are going on.
Specifically, I think that the departmental agencies need to talk. We have the Bureau of Land Management, we have the Department of Energy, we have the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), we have the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Unless we are all talking together about the second and third order of consequences, then we can get trapped into a situation wherefor example, Lukewe may suboptimize the training. And they have 160 airplanes there; they have got 12 flying squadrons there. This isLuke is the heartbeat of the F16 training for not only the United States, but for many of our allies.
And so we need to make sure, and I would ask the committee to perhaps take this on. You cannot move this, because once you move itI mean, if you move it, then the same thing will happen. And so at some point in time we need to call a time out and protect this. Otherwise, we could be paying for it with the lives of our young men and women who are flying these actions.
General HANLON. Mr. Underwood, if I understood your question on the first part of it, the relationships that we have with certainly the communities around our bases, I think I can report to you today; and I may be wrong, but I think I can report to you today that just about every Marine air station or base in the United States or in Hawaii certainly enjoys top-notch relationships with the communities that surround them.
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I am at Quantico right now. I know that is the case with the two counties that surround us there, and with the State of Virginia. Before that, I was at Camp Pendleton, where we had Orange County and San Diego County and a number of cities. I also sat, along with members from the other services, senior members, on the governor's council up in Sacramento, that dealt with issues of interest of encroachment and defense. And my sensing was it could not be better. I mean, theythese communities understand the importance of the bases, and they do everything they possibly can to help us.
In terms of the regulatory agencies, I think the relationships we had with them were always professional, but there were occasions when we did not agree. And I will be very candid with you about that. They had a job to do and we have a job to do.
And if I may just make another comment aboutbecause you mentioned, I think, the Endangered Species Act, sir. And if I canand General Cook was absolutely right in talking about the different levels of encroachment. Because, you know, it is the buildup around your bases, it is the air space. I mean, there is a lot of issues. Endangered species is just part of that.
As I understand the history, and I have had to sit down, like everybody else, and open the books and kind of read a little bit about the history of the Endangered Species Act. I do not think there is an American alive today that would disagree with the wisdom of that law being passed in the early 1970s. I mean, as I understand it, you know, the bald eagle was disappearing. It had to do, I think, with DDT, and the eggshells were too thin. And so it was necessary to take drastic action to do something to protect that species and other ones that were under duress, and it was the right thing to do. And I think all of us sitting at this table, and the men and women we represent, are environmentalists in that regard.
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You go to any base in the Marine Corps today or any other services and I think your eyes will water when you see how well we take care of our property, our flora and our fauna out there. I mean, we do a great job. And it does not come cheap. We spend a lot of money and we put a lot of great talent out there to go ahead and take care of our resources. And I used to tell people at Camp Pendleton, I would saybecause I would go to Yosemite and I would go to many of the other parks and places around the State of California, and I would say, you know, you can come to Camp Pendleton, and I guarantee you we are taking as good a care of what we have here as any national or state park is doing. And we are very, very proud of that fact.
The issue with the Endangered Species Act, however, was thatand again, Igreat trepidation do I come in here in front of Members of Congress and start talking about how laws are passed and what happens. But my understanding is, and I may be wrong, that it has not been authorized for a number of years, or reauthorized. And, as a result, what happens is, is that a great law over the years, as it goes through its interpretations by various courts and everything else, the interpretations become more and more stringent over the years. And so we find ourselves in situations where we have less and less wiggle room on our bases in terms of being able to train. And at some places, like at Camp Pendleton, it really gotit got to the point where it was getting critical. I mean, getting critical to the point that, as a base commander, I was losing the flexibility to allow the operational commanders on that base to be able to go out and to train the way that they felt they needed to train.
And so it is not, sirI think the comment you made about changing every federal law, I do not think anyone envisions that. But I think the wisdom of the Congress is needed in this regard, as General Cook said. Because it wasyou know, it was these laws that were passed by the Congress, all for very, very good reasons, that over the years have had a tendency, when you put them all together and add them up, there is a burden on some of the military training we have to do.
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And I guess all I am really asking, sir, is that the Congress take a look at this and find ways that we can make this a win-win for everybody. A win-win for us to be able to train on our bases the way we want to; at the same time, a win-win for people who are concerned about taking care of species. And we can do it.
In fact, Iyou know, we have now been told that on all of our bases stand up these integrated naturalNRIPs, I think they are called, the management plans. And all bases, I think, in all the services have done that. And we can go out there and show you how we can manage our land. I do not need someone to come in and tell me that they are going to put critical habitat down for a particular species and put that off limits. What I want them to tell me is, ''General Hanlon, how many breeding pair of California gnat catchers do you have?'' And I can say, ''Sir, we have 620 pair, and I know where every one of them are by GPS, because we go out and count the suckers.'' And all I want someone to tell me is what do you want me to be five years from now or ten years from now. Do you want me to double that? If that is what the goal is, we will do it. But all I am asking is let us have the ability to continue to train Marines on our bases, and we can do both.
This is not a win-lose thing. I do not think anybody is asking for that. And the onlythe last thing I will say to you, sir, and I think, this is important, is that anything that is required of a community around us, clean air, clean water, recycling, waste management, you name it, anything that applies to any community around let us say Camp Pendleton, San Clemente or Oceanside, should apply to us in running the base. But there is something that we do that they do not do, and that is we combat train Marines. And that is something that does not have a corollary over in the civilian community. And that is where I would have my discussions with some of the regulatory agencies, saying, you know, those things that we do the same as the local communities, we should be held to the same standard. But there are things that we do that local communities do not do, and we need awe need some help here. That is all we are asking.
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So Iyou know, I probably went on longer than I should have, Mr. Underwood. But I think that is where we are, at least in terms of legislation, sir.
Mr. UNDERWOOD. I thank you for those comments, and I think it is very interesting, Mr. Chairman and other members of the subcommittee, that the community relations seem to be on target, the people that surround the bases seem to be on target. That where perhaps we are having more difficulties than we need is with fellow federal regulatory agencies. And I believe, as General Cook mentioned, that we need to be engaged inand perhaps the subcommittee could take on the responsibility of trying to encourage some kind of level of communication, because that seems to be where many of the issues are. Thank you.
Mr. HEFLEY. Mr. Reyes.
Mr. REYES. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And after hearing my colleague, Mr. Gibbons, wanting to flatten out the State of Nevada so it could become bigger than Texas, I understand now why President Bush, a Texan, wanted to do what he wanted to do at Yakima Mountain.
But let me first congratulate all of you for embracing technology and simulation and all those kinds of things. I can tell you in the late 1970s, early 1980s, in my previous career, one of the biggest challenges we had with our field managers, the chiefs in the field, was a cultural resistance in terms of embracing technology, to make the border patrol more effective, and using everything from sensors to cameras and all these other things, as force multipliers. There is always a comfort level in terms of that is the way we have always done it and that is the way we are going to continue to do it. So I am proud that all of youI was looking at your bios to see if I was somehow much, much older than you were. But we are more or less of the same era, and I did not grow up with computers and I did not have the kind of background that today's young men and women had. I had the opportunityI sit on the Intelligence Committee, and I had the opportunity to watch the current operation and the pilots that are controlling the Predator. And they are comfortable as they could be sitting and controlling an aircraft a whole half-world away, and doing a great job with it, as you probably all know. So that is important, to be able to embrace that.
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Having said that, I can attest from personal experience that General Abrams is absolutely right, and General Hanlon, that all the simulation in the world, it is not until you get in there and you realize that it is for keeps that you really resort to training. And I applaud you for bringing your sergeant major, because I still remember who my drill instructor was back in 1966, because a year later, when I was in Vietnam and mortars started coming in, you did not stop and think about what you needed to do, you reacted, as a lot of you have already stated, and depended on your training to keep you alive. And that is vitally important. So all the simulation in the world and all the kinds of things that our young people today are so comfortable with, there is a difference in that kind of familiarity and what is reala real situation, life and death.
I think when we talk about what our challenges are today, and talk about readiness, I can also remember in the late 1950s I used to go to California and work the farms in and around Carlsbad and Oceanside. And Camp Pendleton was an isolated military post out in theyou know, out in the middle of nowhere. And today, I justCongressman Ortiz and I, and under the leadership of Curt Weldon and a couple of others, took a tour of the military facilities in four days, 23 facilities in four days, to look at our facilities' infrastructure, the needs, encroachment, all of those kinds of things.
And I will tell you, and this goes to your comment, General Hanlon, in terms of what you are forced to work with in an area like Camp Pendleton today. We were told by the base commander that Marines hit the beach on the landing exercise, then they are put on buses, where they are bused beyond the blue tailed snail, or whatever it is, so that they will not destroy that or impact that kind of area in a negative way.
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Yes, one of the things we have to recognize the chairman mentioned, and all of you know how contentious that has been in our committee, in the last couple of sessions of Congress. But as we talk about encroachment and as we talk about how do we find solutions to what is the most imperative, and that is making sure that our men and women in uniform are trained to go into combat, that is where the real challenge is, and that is where there is going to have to be some wisdom in Congress.
And the ability to recognize that a lot of these pressures are being driven by individuals that see great potential in developing the areas around military facilities. You know, the isolated Camp Pendleton that I saw in the late 1950s is now premium real estate in California. An island that was an afterthought 40, 50 years ago in the Caribbean, now is being looked at as a pristine area that has got great potential for cruise ships and all of these other things.
So those are the difficult decisions that are going to have to be made. And that is why I am particularly pleased to be on this committee that will, I hope, be able to make a difference for the kinds of missions that you all are responsible for.
So, with that, I want to just close out by saying that I represent the 16th District of Texas. That is the home of Ft. Bliss and White Sands. General Abrams knows that all of his other facilities, all the other facilities will all fit inside that military base. We support the military so we welcome all of you. You have no encroachment problems in Ft. Bliss and White Sands, so we can use the business, you are welcome to come there. And, more than anything, we appreciate your leadership in your respective services, because I can tell by your commitment and your passion that the reason we are being successful today is because we have great leaders like you in charge. So thank you very much. I do not have any questions, Mr. Chairman.
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Mr. HEFLEY. Thank you, Mr. Reyes. Thatour press members will note that was a break for a commercial message there. In fact, I have tried to get Admiral Harms to tell me that he would make Colorado Springs a port city, and he is working on it, but
Admiral HARMS. I jotted that one down, sir.
Mr. HEFLEY. Mr. Udall.
Mr. UDALL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I will be brief. I know we have another panel. And if I could ask a unanimous consent to extend some questions to this panel
Mr. HEFLEY. Without objection.
Mr. UDALL. I would have, I would defer those. I want to just thank the panel. Your comments have been thorough and educational, very helpful. And I have been fascinated by what is occurring under all your commands.
If I could just make a couple of very brief comments, and direct, in part, those comments to Mr. Gibbons and Mr. Hefley. We both serve on thewe all serve on the Resources Committee. And perhaps we ought to be looking at easement tools or other ways to promote the maintenance of these open space areas, so that the training that you all have talked about can continue to occur.
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I made a comment in my initial remarks, as I heard myself say, it sounded a little harsh when I said stay here in Colorado, spend your money, but do not stay here permanently. And one of the things that wewe find that we are under a lot of pressure here, as well, because so many people have discovered that the West is a great place to live. So when you go home, I want you to tell everybody this was an unusual day here. Usually it is very hot and windy or very cold and windy, and that really it is not a great place to live here in Colorado.
But, more seriously, I think there is something we could do, Joel and Jim, to look at how we use easements and other tools to maintain these areas. The Goldwater Range, I grew up in southern Arizona and in Camp Pendleton. Both are phenomenal ecosystems, in part because we have set them aside for training. And I think, General Hanlon, there are ways to get at what you so passionately talked about.
I would warn you, you may find yourself in front of the Resources Committee, because you demonstrated a pretty adept grasp of the Endangered Species Act, and both the up sides and the down sides that it presents us.
Let me just end by saying that I had the great fortune for many years, and General Hanlon and I talked about it, to head the Outward Bound School here in Colorado. And Outward Bound is built on many of the military precepts of building character and teaching teamwork and learning to survive and thrive in wilderness and difficult environments. And we, of course, had to bring people back in one piece. And so our training efforts were very, very crucial to us. And we tried to do, I think, what I hear you all saying is at the core of your culture, which is to acknowledge and celebrate your successes, but also to aggressively understand why mistakes have occurred. And if I think that continues to be at the heart of what you are doing, that we are in very, very good shape for future.
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So I again salute you for your work and for your testimony today, and look forward to working with you in the future. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. HEFLEY. Thank you, Mr. Udall. And thank this panel. That isyou have been an outstanding panel, and we appreciate it thoroughly. It is obvious to me why each of you have risen to the level of responsibility in your respective services that you have, and it gives me comfort to know that we have leaders like you for our armed forces, and we appreciate it very much.
We will be talking some more, as you know. But this has been a very, very helpful and meaningful experience this morning. We will havewe do have other questions, but in the interest of time we would like to submit those for your responses in writing. I think also we will not take the break we had planned, we will go right to the next panel, because we are running a little over time, but I think it was worth the effort. Thank you very much.
General ABRAMS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. HEFLEY. We are a little pinched for time, and I would encourage you to summarize your statements, and we will put your entire statement in the record. Our second panel this morning, and we do not seem to allhave them all here yet, but I guess we will: Brigadier General J. D. Thurman, who is Commander, Army National Training Center for the Department of the Army; Brigadier General Guy C. Swan, III, Commander, Seventh Army Training Command; Brigadier General Jason Kamiya, who is Commander of the Joint Readiness Training Center, Ft. Polk, Louisiana; and Rear Admiral Richard Naughton, who is Commander of the Navy Strike and Air Warfare Center at Fallon Naval Air Station in California. And if weoh, I have got two more. Major General L. D. Johnston, Commander of the Air Warfare Center at Nellis Air Force Base; and Brigadier General Joseph Weber, Commander, U.S. Marine Corps Training Command at Twenty Nine Palms, California.
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So if we can start over here, General, and if you would summarize your statement and we will go from there.
STATEMENT OF BRIGADIER GENERAL J.D. THURMAN, COMMANDER, ARMY NATIONAL TRAINING CENTER, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
General THURMAN. Yes, sir, Mr. Chairman, Congressman Ortiz, members of the committee. Thank you for providing me the opportunity to appear before your committee today.
I am the Commanding General of the National Training Center at Ft. Irwin. I have held that position since June of 2000.
Our mission at the National Training Center is to provide tough, realistic combined arms and joint focus training at the battalion task force and brigade level, to assist commanders in training the soldiers and leaders in units of America's Army for success on the modern battlefield.
We are also tasked and provide feedback to improve Army doctrine and training methods throughout the Training and Doctrine Command. Additionally, my mission is to take care of our soldiers, civilians, and family members living and working at Ft. Irwin.
We currently conduct ten brigade-size rotations per year, averaging between 4 and 5,000 soldiers. We just completed a rotation this past week, and we start another one on Monday. The units deployed to the National Training Center (NTC) for intensive combat training against our dedicated opposing force. Each brigade training rotation is designed to replicate a contingency deployment to an overseas combat area.
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The NTC trains Army heavy and light forces at the mid- to high-intensity spectrum of conflict. The NTC provides a capstone training event for United States Army brigades and battalions that is realistic, tough, and it is demanding. We accomplish this through a combination of force-on-force training and live fire training. This is done to better prepare our units, leaders, and soldiers for future combat operations.
The NTC's demanding training environment ensures the hard lessons typically learned in America's first battles are not at the expense of soldiers' lives. My greatest concern is ensuring that the NTC has the necessary resources to keep Army training relevant in a changing and dynamic world environment. In order to keep pace with Army transformation, the NTC will need to enhance their instrumentation, training systems, construct urban operation training facilities, and modernize our opposing force to train America's Army. This will enable our rotational brigades to use the full spectrum of their combat multipliers in a mid- to high-intensity level spectrum of conflict.
It is truly an honor to appear before this subcommittee, and I stand ready to answer your questions today. Thank you.
Mr. HEFLEY. General Swan.
[The prepared statement of General Thurman can be found in the Appendix on page ?.]
STATEMENT OF BRIGADIER GENERAL GUY C. SWAN, III, COMMANDER, 7TH ARMY TRAINING COMMAND, GRAFENWOEHR, GERMANY, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
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General SWAN. Mr. Chairman, Mr. Ortiz, members of the committee, my name is Brigadier General Guy Swan. I am the commander of the Seventh Army Training Command based at Grafenwoehr, Germany. So I may be your only overseas representative here this morning.
My position I have held since September of 2000, and my position is slightly different than General Thurman and General Kamiya, as I represent the single point training management structure for U.S. Army, Europe. That includes all of the major training areas, including the Combat Maneuver Training Center at Howenfels, as well as Grafenwoehr training area, and training areas throughout Europe. I also play the role as the training expert for the commanding general of U.S. Army, Europe. And in that capacity, I am responsible for training regulations, plans, policy, and so forth.
I come to you here this morning as a representative of the 62,000 active duty soldiers and 3,000 reservists in U.S. Army, Europe, who are training every day. I am also here to allay fears that training in Europe is ais done in a highly restrictive environment. I can tell you that that is not the case, and I would be glad to answer your questions about our training environment, which continues to expand as we move forward.
U.S. Army, Europe, today is much more deployable than many of you remember during the Cold War days. So deployment training and deployment opportunities are the cornerstone of training in U.S. Army, Europe.
I would like to mention our host nation's support. Cooperation with all of the nations where soldiers serve in Europe is extremely strong, and not unlike the relationships we have at our bases here in the continental United States. And that is currently expanding outside of Western Europe, to countries of Eastern Europe, principally the new NATO members in Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic.
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As far as environmental stewardship is concerned, I can tell you that the U.S. Army has operated and trained in Europe for the past 50 years, and you are well aware of the environmental constraints in Europe. And I think we have a pretty good model for balancing military training with environmental stewardship.
The last thing I would offer to you in my remarks is the wonderful training opportunities available to our reserve component soldiers who come to train in Europe throughout the year in the numbers between 3,500 and 5,000 reservists and national guardsmen who train with us in Europe throughout the year.
I look forward to your questions. We are very proud of what we do in training U.S. Army, Europe, and other elements that come and train in Europe, and I will be glad to answer your questions.
Mr. HEFLEY. General Kamiya.
[The prepared statement of General Swan can be found in the Appendix on page ?.]
STATEMENT OF BRIGADIER GENERAL JASON K. KAMIYA, COMMANDER, JOINT READINESS TRAINING CENTER, FORT POLK, LOUISIANA, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
General KAMIYA. Good morning, Mr. Chairman and distinguished members of the committee. My name is Brigadier General Jason Kamiya, and I am Commander of the Joint Readiness Training Center at Ft. Polk since December 19th.
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The Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC) at Ft. Polk today, in my judgment, provides a viable and important link to our nation's defense. Our mission is twofold. First, we provide the world's finest joint training for light contingency forces for all of our services. And second, we provide a rapid deployment power projection platform for our active component and reserve component soldiers anytime, anywhere in the world.
Since September 11th, we have deployed approximately 1,000 soldiers from 18 different units. Simultaneously, we have conducted four brigade combat team rotations in our training center, and one mission rehearsal exercise for a unit going to Bosnia.
Once again, I would like to thank this committee very much for its continued support to our soldiers and families, our civilian workforce, and our retirees. And I am awfully proud of them all. I look forward to responding to your questions.
Mr. HEFLEY. Admiral.
[The prepared statement of General Kamiya can be found in the Appendix on page ?.]
STATEMENT OF REAR ADMIRAL RICHARD J. NAUGHTON, COMMANDER, NAVY STRIKE AND AIR WARFARE CENTER, FALLON NAVAL AIR STATION, CALIFORNIA, DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY
Admiral NAUGHTON. Mr. Chairman, Congressman Ortiz, I, too, would like to invite you to come to NAS Fallon some day. While we do not have the bright lights of Nellis Air Force Base, we certainly do have a world-class training facility there, and we really do consider it one of the crown jewels of naval aviation.
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I have submitted a statement for the record that covers, I think, everything you have asked us for. Everyone who deploys aboard a carrier battle group in aviation comes through NAS Fallon, and comes through the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center. And every trainer that trains anyone that does that is linked inextricably to the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center. We have an air wing training right now that is going to go into the Abraham Lincoln battle group. And all the battle groups that are over there right now were trained at Fallon.
We think that we are flexible. We are deep into process improvement. We are deep into simulation. And the ability to employ current weapons and current technologies, we really are dedicated to.
I want to thank the committee for the fiscal year 2002 increase in readiness. Readiness right now is like we have never seen it. I have people deploying to Fallon right now with more equipment, people, and airplanes than they have ever had before. Every air wing gets better.
I am confident that the increase that the Secretary and the CNO have asked for in the munitions and the precision guided munitions will significantly improve our training. And I look forward to answering your questions.
Mr. HEFLEY. General Johnston.
[The prepared statement of Admiral Naughton can be found in the Appendix on page ?.]
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STATEMENT OF MAJOR GENERAL L. D. JOHNSTON, COMMANDER, AIR WARFARE CENTER, NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, NEVADA, DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE
General JOHNSTON. Sir, gentlemen, L.D. Johnston, Nellis Air Force Base near Las Vegas. We are only 25 air miles from the 11,300 foot peak that has snow on it right now.
Mr. HEFLEY. Is that in Nevada?
General JOHNSTON. Yes, sir.
Mr. HEFLEY. Or California?
General JOHNSTON. Twenty-five miles. No, sir, that is in Nevada.
Appreciate the opportunity to be with you. The Nellis Air Force Base and the Air Warfare Center mission can be thought of as three ''T's'' and an ''O'' in its simplest form. The first one is we provide the high-end test and evaluation for each of our weapon systems, including the missiles, the bombs, the aircraft, the flight programs, et cetera. We also provide the high-end training for our crews, such as with exercises called Red Flag, where we have one right now that has some 120 aircraft, many of which are from overseas, from foreign national countries, as well as other services, including special operations, that matter.
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We also, in that high-end training slice, conduct the Air Force's version of Top Gun, as well as our air-to-ground operations school where we link up with our Army and our folks in the National Training Center in live force-on-force exercises.
The third ''T'' has to do with tactic development, for when we have the equipment tested, and then we have our troops training, we have to also develop new tactics for the current fight.
The thirdor the last part, there are the three ''T's,'' then the ''O.'' The ''O'' stands for operations, because under our air warfare center, which has some 12,000 people in 28 different locations, we also have an operational slice. We have a combat search and rescue helicopter squadron, and we are the host for the only Predator unmanned aerial vehicle squadrons, the two of them which are located 30 miles from main base Nellis.
I do appreciate the opportunity to be here. I would like to share one thought, in case I do not have the chance to later. As we had Secretary Rumsfeld on our base two weeks ago to talk to our troops and to hear what they had to say, I had to share with him, during my introduction and my closing comments, while he was there. I have been in the Air Force 32 years. I have seen some of the lowest times. I have seen my friends get killed in Vietnam, and I have seen times when it did not seem that the Congress gave a damn about our kids. In the last few years, the leadership that you, as well as our up-the-line leadership from Secretary Rumsfeld to General Dick Meyers, our Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to General John Jumper, our Chief of Staff, and again, so many of you have provided the kind of leadership that we need now more than ever.
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Since 1992, when we finished Desert Storm, our troops have been very stressed in all services. Very stressed in time away from family. And I hope we get a chance to talk to that later, as well. As I mentioned to the Secretary of Defense two weeks ago, we are now engaged, all of our services, in a marathon. This battle on terrorism will certainly be just like a marathon. We started the Air Forcewe, the Air Force, started this marathon tired from the last ten years of doing the things that we were tasked to do. So a matching of manpower and requirements is going to be critical.
And again, I thank you on behalf of my young men and women, many of which are in Afghanistan and the other 'stans right now, for the leadership that I likened, to Secretary Rumsfeld, a leadership much more like William Wallace and like Robert the Bruce, once he finally awakened to the realities of what his country needed, than some of the other forms of leadership that we have seen in the past, which were more likened to Longshanks, himself. So on behalf of my men and women, thank you very much for what you are doing for us now.
Mr. HEFLEY. Thank you.
[The prepared statement of General Johnston can be found in the Appendix on page ?.]
STATEMENT OF BRIGADIER GENERAL JOSEPH F. WEBER, COMMANDER, U.S. MARINE CORPS TRAINING COMMAND, TWENTY NINE PALMS, CALIFORNIA, U.S. MARINE CORPS
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General WEBER. Mr. Chairman and distinguished members of the committee, it is my privilege to serve as the Commanding General of the Marine Air Ground Task Force Training Command aboard the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twenty Nine Palms, California, and to appear before you today to present the status of my base and the very important training mission with which we are tasked there.
I would like to right up front take this time and opportunity to thank the Congress for the specific increases to my base budget over the past few years. These increases have enabled us to construct and rehab training facilities, improve communications capabilities, repair roads, waterlines, and help maintain the infrastructure aboard the combat center.
I was stationed at Twenty Nine Palms a little over 25 years ago, and upon my return I was amazed at the money the Congress and the Marine Corps put into this installation, of which I often describe as a national treasure. When you enter the main gate, you will immediately notice new housing construction, magnificent athletic recreational fields and parks, new sewage and waterlines being laid, a new $8 million maintenance facility for our tactile equipment allowance pool, groundwork and preparation for new commissaries, new BEQs, new dining facilities, all being built for our Marines and sailors and their families.
An acceleration of MILCON and M2R2 funding is resulting in over $140 million of projects being contracted and built this fiscal year alone. The Congress and my corps have been and continue to be good to Twenty Nine Palms.
But I firmly believe that long-term, sustained financial investment will be key to the combat center as it grows and transforms to meet future requirements. I consider Twenty Nine Palms an invaluable, irreplaceable national treasure, and that it has so much to offer to our Marine Corps, Department of Defense, and our nation. There is nothing else like it in the world, a natural, pristine, rugged environment where live fire in consonance with maneuvers is conducted freely and unimpeded.
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Our base at Twenty Nine Palms encompasses 935 square miles of the Mojave Desert. It is the largest installation in our corps. More importantly, we are the corps premier live fire combined arms training facility. Our primary mission, to develop, conduct, and administer ten live fire combined arms exercises, as well as various other training evolutions for active duty and reserve units of all services on an annual basis.
Twenty Nine Palms is the only base where Marines can conduct large-scale, new-plus 3,000 Marines greater size live fire maneuver exercises, bringing together the four integral elements of our MAGTF, our Marine Air Ground Task Force, our air, our ground, our combat service support, command and control elements. Every type of ammunition currently existing in the Marine Corps inventory can be expended on one of the many ranges aboard the combat center. Over one-third of the corps' war fighting forces travel to Twenty Nine Palms each year to take advantage of our unique training opportunities, to enhance their combat readiness and effectiveness.
The training facilities at Twenty Nine Palms have enabled generations of Marines to develop and enhance their critical war fighting skills. And experience has taught us that if we do not train as we expect to fight, the price we pay for combat will be unnecessarily high. What we do aboard the combat center is expensive, and it is going to get more expensive, costlier. But it will neverit will always be cheaper than the cost of being unprepared for combat.
Modernization of the battlefield adaptation to changing tactics, which I think the panel earlier talked about, are techniques and procedures by which we employ our forces requiring continual training. My biggest daily challenge is to ensure the effective and most efficient utilization of available resources to meet our expanding training mission.
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In summary, let me state that I fully understand that Twenty Nine Palms has an inherent obligation to employ our resources in a most efficient and cost-effective manner, and to identify areas for potential cost savings. We continually review existing business practices with the objective of improving the way we operate and conduct our business. I also understand there are many competing demands for scarce resources within the Department of Defense. Let there be no doubt about it, I remain most grateful for the projected funding increases for fiscal year 2003, which will go a long way to address both past and near-term funding requirements. But again, in the long term, sustained funding over the fitted-for-mission-critical programs with moderate increases is essential to the highest levels of combat readiness.
Mr. Chairman, if the most recent performance of Marine units in Afghanistan is an indicator, these dollars in support of training will continue to represent money well spent. Thank you, sir.
Mr. HEFLEY. Thank you very much.
[The prepared statement of General Weber can be found in the Appendix on page ?.]
Mr. HEFLEY. General Swan, I have been told repeatedly that if you are a farmer near an American military base in Europe and you have two sons, that the first son inherits the farm, and the second son inherits the maneuver damage. Is that still the case? I understand, whenor I have heard that when signs go up that there are going to be maneuvers, before you turn a crank on a tank, the people are coming in to apply for the damage. And is that a big problem?
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General SWAN. Let me address that, Mr. Chairman. Today maneuver training, as you describe, on the countryside in the farmland is less of a component of our training strategy than it was during the Cold War days. You remember the large maneuvers that were conducted, especially during the winter months. That is a much smaller component.
We spend much of our time in maneuvers at Grafenwoehr training area and at the Combat Maneuver Training Center at Howenfels, the U.S.controlled training centers. But now we are looking at doing the kind of training you are talking about in the new NATO countries; in Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, who have welcomed us with open arms to come and train at training areas that they have used traditionally for their forces, and in earlier days for Soviet forces.
So there is less of a need to go out on the countryside, as you described, which our German friends and Italian friends certainly appreciate. That has not in any way impacted on our ability to meet our training standards. But we see less of a need to do that on the countryside than we did say ten or 15 years ago.
Mr. HEFLEY. Good. Thank you.
Mr. ORTIZ. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And we certainly appreciate all of you being with us today.
Page 79 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I have maybe a couple of questions for all of the panels, and maybe in a short way you can answer them. How do you address the issue of information assurance in your training activities, and what are the two most significant training distractors in your specific activity? And I do not know whether, because of the war that we are involved in now where you see our young men and women, you know, in different terrain, high altitude, whether you have had to or are looking at the possibility of having to change the training methods that you conduct in now.
Mr. HEFLEY. General Thurman.
General THURMAN. Yes, sir, Congressman Ortiz. In regard to training distractors, I really do not have any training distractors that I would tell you. We talked about the encroachment issues this morning that impact on training. The threatened desert tortoise is the thing that we work around at the NTC. Currently we have got 23,000 acres of the NTC that we do not maneuver on. That was an Army decision, so we couldthat is critical desert tortoise habitat. And we actually help hatch the tortoises out there in that respect.
With the land expansion, and thanks to the efforts of our great Congress this year, wein this year's defense authorization bill we got 110,000 new acres that we will be able to start training on, once we complete the environmental impact statement on that.
The other thing that we have, that we continually have to look at, it is not a distractor right now, is on frequency encroachment. Just an example, our digitized units require a high number of frequencies. We currently borrow 90 percent of the frequencies that we need. In terms of numbers, the last month the unit required about 1751 frequencies. We borrowed 157. Now, that is not a distractor, but it is something we have to work with, that I would phrase to you.
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In terms of high altitude training, the NTC is 6,500 feet in the Alvawats Mountain. We have currently been working in a new operational environment called a contemporary operational environment. The First and the Eighty-Seventh Infantry that is in Afghanistan was at the NTC in February of last year. We typically have a mix of light, heavy, heavy-light forces every month at the NTC. So what we have done is, we have looked at more close, complex type terrain with all our infantry units, and we adjust those based on what those division commanders tell me they want to work on. Now, that is not up to eight, 10,000 feet, but it is in our high desert area where we do the live fire operations. That is tough terrain up there. And it looks similar to what you would see in Afghanistan.
But I think we are doing a great job of assessing the operational environments that we will face in the future, to make sure we have got a tough, relevant opponent that we are going to fight against that uses a lot of asymmetrical type threats. And that is what we are currently doing today, sir.
Mr. ORTIZ. We can just move down the line.
General SWAN. Yes, sir. With regard to your question on training methodologies, I think ourcertainly in the Army, the methodology we have been using for the last 15 to 20 years, which focuses onheavily on our combat training centers, is very sound and continues to meet our training needs very well.
As you know, we have modified that to meet specific mission requirements in the Balkans, doing extensive mission rehearsal exercises. So we have got a pretty good training methodology, and I think the forces deployed around the world today for training or for combat operations are a result of that.
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As far as distractors, one that has impacted, to some degree, in U.S. Army, Europe, are the increased force protection requirements since September 11th. Right now, approximately 9,000 U.S. soldiers are involved in force protection duties on installations throughout Europe. That has been mitigated recently by a welcomed arrival of approximately 2,500 National Guard troops recently that have helped mitigate that down to less than that 9,000.
Likewise, the Bundisphere, the Carabiniere have stepped up to the plate and provided additional force protection forces for us. So, but even with that, force protection is now part of the environment that we live with and train with, and we are working through that.
Your last point on altitude, training at altitude, it is not done routinely in U.S. Army, Europe. I will tell you, though, that our relations with the Bundisphere, specifically the First Mountain Division, the Bavarian troops that train all the time in the Alps, have great training areas, and we certainly have reciprocal understandings that we could have access to those training areas, should we need to prepare units for that type of deployment.
General KAMIYA. Sir, in regards toI told you up front that my JRTC in Ft. Polk has two roles. One is to provide the premier joint training center for large field forces. From that regard, there are no training distractors from the mission of the combat training center. We protect, with great effort, the fidelity of the training experience of our light infantry forces.
However, I also told you that we also have a secondary mission of being a power projection platform to prepare and deploy forces throughout the world, from both our active and reserve components. This mission, since September 11th, has been somewhat of a training distractor because it pulls away soldiers and resources of our tenant units, not associated with the CTC, the Combat Training Center, but takes them away from other training that they would have normally been doing.
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Additionally, we have about 170 soldiers on our gates for force protection. That has also provided some distraction to training, as well.
Sir, as you well know, Louisiana has a very low water table, so we do not have any role right now in high altitude training. We get the division commanders' training objectives six months before the rotation starts, and we design and work the rotation scenario to address those specific training objectives.
And finally, sir, in the training center, itself, our primary mission is to growas General Abrams said, grow soldiers and adaptive leaders. Their easiest day at the training center, we tell them, must be equal to their worst day in combat. And, again, there is nothing, no distractors to rob from that training experience.
Mr. ORTIZ. Thank you.
Admiral NAUGHTON. You asked about information assurance. We have con activity with our forces at sea on the Cypronet, the high side, highly classified. And we are in contact every day with the forces that are in Afghanistan or off the coast there, and we are modifying our training every day to do that. This air wing is different than the past air wing, different to the previous air wing.
And you talked about high altitude. One of the things that we did immediately, upon 911 or in December when we were doing Air Wing 7 that is right now on JFK on their way overseas, is we partnered with our National Guard folks, who came out and built terrorist training camps in the mountains, that built some cave entrances that we did simulated runs on, that we forced the people to go find these camps. And that is how our training evolved, as Iwhen I talk about the process.
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Now, you asked about what my distractors are. I have two distractors. I am not really worried about the Taliban air force. And I am not really worried about the Taliban electronic warfare (EW) facilities. But I am worried about where we are going to go next, where we are going to send the next organization. And my EW facilities are kind of Vietnam era. We have some that are replicators of the current era and the current threat, but they are not up to date. And this is an area that we are working on very hard, to be sure that we improve that.
The other piece is the abilityand you talked about it in the encroachment pieceis the ability to employ today's tactical weapons. When our facilities, General Johnston's and mine were built, we were flying over and dropping gravity bombs that you went right over the target. Now we are ten, 15, 20, even 80 miles away. We need the ability to deliver those weapons in a realistic environment to do the end-to-end training. Not everybody has to do it. But we have to be sure that we can train with those weapons, and the first time we deliver those weapons is not in combat. And that is really one of our distractors, isis modernizing our EW facilities, getting flexible feedback; and the other place is the ability to deliver the combat weapons that we are going to employ right now. I can deliver some of the joint direct attack munitions in very restricted areas in my weapons ranges up there. But this is going to be a big deal to us as we continue to evolve with longer and longer weapons.
Mr. ORTIZ. Thank you.
General JOHNSTON. Lots that my friend, Admiral Naughton, is seen as common to us at Nellis and in Nevada and with some of the outlying areas, things that we operate, given the range structure and our responsibilities to prepare our forces, our respective forces with the right equipment and the training.
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Information assurance wise, if I could speak just to the Air Force, I am reasonably confident, given some of the systems and the people we have dedicated to protect us in our systems, even post 911. But you never know what you do not know.
When it comes to detractors, post 911, they come in about three areas. The first one is some of the high tech weapons systems which many of you, I know, are familiar with. The rivet joint kinds of airplanes, the AWACS, the command and control kinds of airplanes, and some of the other more specialized systems are deployed; therefore, we are not able to bring them to Nellis, as we would prefer, in order to train the troops that are going to go replace the ones that are in place right now.
Second, much as Dick has said, our range just north of Las Vegas, with all the mountains on it, is right at three million acres of withdrawn land upon which we can deploy surface-to-air missile threat systems, guns, and all the kinds of targets that we can currently drop live ordinance on, as well as 12,000 square miles, about the size of Connecticut, of other air space to which we can then use our current air frames to engage in air-to-air combat, as well as, again as Dick said, for some long range air-to-ground strike.
Detractors right now that we have is essentially from a number of years of not being able to quite fund the kinds of surface-to-air missiles that you want your sons and daughters to go play against in peacetime, before they go engage them either in some place like Afghanistan, or, more importantly, in perhaps some near future conflicts.
Second, just some of the basic infrastructure that it takes to keep those surface-to-air missile systems and the airfields that surround them in an appropriate condition where we can move in and out and operate the basic infrastructure, is right now a detractor.
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And last, is just the TODAY funds it takes to move our troops around, to bring them to Nellis, where in fact we have 417,000 bed days per year where we have people coming through Nellis Air Force Base, just Nellis, to train them. And, of course, having them there, as well as the kinds of munitions we need to purchase and have hung on their aircraft, is and has been for some time a bit of a detractor.
Mr. ORTIZ. Thank you.
General WEBER. Congressman Ortiz, sir, I would say probably my three detractors, and I think they are healthy detractors, are first and foremost what has been addressed up here. What is the future of Twenty Nine Palms? Nine hundred thirty-five square miles. Wow, is that big. Well, it is, until you get in an F18 Hornet at 500 knots, or when you start employing some of the standoff munitions we have.
We have weapon systems now that the platforms can be in General J.D. Thurman's sandbox and he can launch them and they can actually explode in my sandbox. And we are coming to that more with V22 and platforms and systems, munitions going farther, higher. We simply have got to plan in the future, work through the environmental issues, regulations, prepare or prep the zone to where we can expand. We cannot let Twenty Nine Palms, national treasures such as that and NTC, fall the way of the AEGIS. We must start planning now. And it takes money and resources to do that, master planning.
Page 86 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Encroachment, I am fortunate. I have only one endangered species. I have spent $4.5 million in the last five years. I do notI cannot tell you that I have kept any of my desert tortoises from dying, but I will tell you they are surviving and replenished, and I go out and see them, and they are happy. And across the corridor we continue to drop live ordnance, and we are living well together.
I will tell you what I am concerned about is the air space. Twenty Nine Palms, when we train from zero to infinity, we close that air space, we are right in the middle of two primary air corridors coming into the L.A. basin. Very crowded in that area. And we are working closely with the FAA and the Navy. We have got in the MILCON (Military Construction) money tofor infrastructure to bring in air traffic control radar. As we are good stewards with the environment and our endangered species and wilderness, we must be good stewards with the FAA, and share that air space as we can. It is coming to that. We are going to have to do that, get the equipment in there to do that.
And finally, I guess, the balance of this idea of simulation and live fire. We have to come to grips with that. I think we are at Twenty Nine Palms. But what we do at Twenty Nine Palms is the down and dirty business of the close fight. It is not glamorous, it is not all the time highit is not sexy, it is not high tech. It is justI say it is in the trenches with the mud, the blood, the guts, and the beer. It is carried out by Marines who stay up all night trying to put together a plan, and many in this room know as soon as you cross the line of departure the plan goes to hell in a handbasket. Tempers get out of control. Equipment breaks. Marines get hurt. The weather and the living conditions are horrible. And all that causes this thing we call fog and friction, which creates uncertainty. You cannot simulate that. And God forgive us if we send young men and women into combat without experiencing that. There certainly is a role for simulation to prepare them at home station, aboard ship, get the repetitive things they need to do to train in that manner. That is all.
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Mr. ORTIZ. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. HEFLEY. Mr. Gibbons.
Mr. GIBBONS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. General Thurman, you talked about frequency encroachment, that in your last exercise, of the 1751 frequencies you had to, quote-unquote, borrow 1587 of those frequencies from five other governmental agencies. When you borrow those frequencies, are those frequencies, let me say, surplus to those other agencies? What is the parameter by which you can borrow a frequency from another agency? How do you borrow it, and where do you see us going in the future as we increase our digitization and utilization of frequencies in war fighting capability?
General THURMAN. Well, first off, sirCongressman Gibbons, the way the frequency management works, weI have a spectrum office at Ft. Irwin, and we go out, and with the borrowing of the frequencies, those are available frequencies that they have that will not create any interference for us to use those systems.
Mr. GIBBONS. Well, are they not using those frequencies?
General THURMAN. In some cases they may not be, and in some cases they are, and it will not impact on what they are trying to do. That is the first questionor first answer I would give you.
What we spent, money-wise out there with the retrofits, that iswe have had to replace our entire communications system that we use for the observer controllers. Now, thanks to Congress, we got money for that. We got 1644 radio control targets. They operate above the 400 frequencyor 400 megahertz. We are going to have to retool all of those. We got $4.1 million to do that this year. So it is going asit is a cost to us. And, now, if there is further encroachment on that, then I do not have a good answer for you on that, because it is going to impact on readiness, because there is only so much frequency spectrum, as we are well aware of. But that is a key thing that we look at every single month out there. And we are very judicious about what we allow units to do in terms of jamming and things like that, so we do not affect things like thewe got a flight corridor, too, that goes down to the L.A. basin. So we arethat is a tough issue for us every month.
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Mr. GIBBONS. General Johnston, let me say that I read recently in Defense News that there is a projection of a 100 aircraft shortage in the United States Air Force by the year 2010, with the new added encumbrances and demands on our airplanes, with this war on terror, as we go through the battle in Afghanistan; and you already indicated you are coming into this marathon tired from previous demands and operations.
What do you see as a change in the Air Force flying hours as we go into this, knowing that we are using an enormous number of flight hours to defend U.S. cities, we are using an enormous number of flight hours to conduct an operation half a world away. Those flight hours are going to have to come out of somewhere. They are going to reduce the life span of some of these airplanes. There is a projection of a shortage of airplanes. What effect will this all have on the AEF, and the ability to project air power around the world with the ten AEFs if we do not do something about this?
General JOHNSTON. Well, sir, having been a programmer in my last job two years ago, I was fairly close to the issue of how many aircraft we're going to be short, specifically in the F16 fleet, given that we have more F16s in both our active duty and in our guard and reserve than we do in our other types of aircraft.
The 100 aircraft shortage I could not talk to specifically right now, but we do knowat least I heard last week, and I mentioned to the Secretary of Defense, that I believe with just the cap activity we have in the United States right now, we are burning up 24 aircraft a year, over and above what we would have. When you say ''burned up,'' an aircraft only has certain number of hours you can put on it in its airframe life, even though you can do modifications to it to beef up the structure of the airplane to get it out to greater service life.
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Certainly we might be able to get by with only three airplanes in the Air Force, if that was all that was required to do what we are doing. But with the operations NORTHERN and SOUTHERN WATCH that we have had over Iraq for, again, the last now 11 years, and with the additional flying and requirements that we are trying to fulfill right now, I am not sure the 100 aircraft shortfall is going to be correct by the time we get to the year 2010 or 2011.
We know right now that we are facing indeed some shortfalls based on the stated requirements we have for aircraft, and they are dramatic, and they are getting worse every day.
Mr. GIBBONS. And as far as force projection with our AEF and the plan you have already describedor maybe it was General Cook, with regards to being able to give our soldiers and airmen a 15-month rotation schedule, what effect will that have on the AEF?
General JOHNSTON. The AEF, and so as not to go into a history lesson by no means on how that came about, but getting somewhat more in line with how we are going to schedule our troops, like the Navy has done so well, and had good discipline in doing that, too, was a wonderful stroke to give our troops some idea of when they are going to be gone. There are going to be instances where, for example, our unmanned aerial vehicles, that were mentioned a while ago, that our units happen to own out of Nellis Air Force Base, the only two squadrons in the Air Force, and our combat search and rescue squadrons, like so many other systems that are called low density, high demand, which, as the secretary put the other day, just meant that we had mis-prioritized how many of these things we were going to buy based on an uncertain requirement in the future.
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But in so many of our systems, we are, with our Predators and helicopters now, rapidly approaching 180 days of the year, not the 120 goal, which I would submit was too much to begin with to expect a young person from whatever service to spend four months or more away from their families every single year, plus go on a remote tour maybe twice in their career, such that they spent well over half of their life away from that little boy and girl and that spouse that are living back in a trailer house somewhere in Valdosta, Georgia, or in Ferot, Nevada.
In any case, we have toand this, I know, is your biggest concern, because you can talk training troops so that they are ready. But in the final analysis, whether it is recruiting or retraining or retaining our people, we have to find the balance where the requirements for air and sea and land power is matched to the numbers of people that are going to be asked to be gone away from their home base to train and to leave their family members. And that is a tough nut to crack. But if we do not get a good grip on that, if we do not get an active and reserve component four-structure mix and a total set of equipment, regardless of the service, so that we can get our young soldiers, sailors, and airmen to be home more than half the year, then all those other subelements are going to be almost too hard to work.
Mr. GIBBONS. Thank you.
General JOHNSTON. Yes, sir.
Mr. HEFLEY. Mr. Underwood.
Mr. UNDERWOOD. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And thank you for your testimonies on your training centers. I had the opportunity to go to Ft. Polk and Ft. Irwin to observe training, and one of thewell, it was a great event for me personally, in that at Ft. Irwin they had the Guam Army Guard performing as an op for. And this is more or less just a curiosity, just trying to figure out in the training cycle at Twenty Nine Palms, there isas I understand it, there is no op for phase in the training, is there? Can you explain themaybe you can educate me on why that is.
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General WEBER. I would say, Mr. Congressman, that it isI think what they do at NTCwhat they do at NTC, what we do at Twenty Nine Palms is, in a sense, a little bit of apples and oranges. We are more involved in the live fire combined arms piece of the close fight where we integrate all fires in the essential fires support task. Where our stress isemphasis is bringing all that together, integrating it, synchronizing it, the timing of it, laying out the battlefield geometry of it, to where, when we bring that to bear on the enemy, it is all done in a way to where we get the most efficient and effective use of our fires, and it is done in a safe manner, not to harm the friendlies.
I know they do somewhat of that out at NTC, and I will defer to J.D. We work very closely together, and I think it is important that the committee know that there is a lot of joint training going on between these training centers that I am not sure people at the higher level realize. We send Marines up to the JTC to get a littleNTC to get a littleand JRTC to get some exposed to some of their training. And as I speak today, I have got Army artillery, Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) battalions out at my place. So, but there is a difference, and I think we need to take a little bit of what each do, and we do do that, and share it.
General THURMAN. Congressman Underwood, we use four tenets at the NTC. First, we want a realistic battlefield as close to actual combat conditions as possible. That is the number one thing.
Page 92 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The second one is an opposing force. We use that opposing force to set training conditions to train against, whether we are attacking, defending, or conducting a movement to contact. And we do that for nine days. We get a considerable amount of reserve components out every month. I have twoa theater open in force module out there right now as we speak that is a reserve component unit with three units, working with thewith our units that are about to come in.
And then the next thing we have are skilled observer controllers. A lot of what we do at the NTC is about leader training. It is our belief in the United States Army if our leaders are flexible and adaptable, and we teach them on, not what to think, but how to think, they are going to adapt to any type of combat situation. We really believe that. We typically do about 600 after-action reviews every month out there. So we do nine days of force-on-force, and then we take them into live fire operations for six days, and we do that with a full brigade, live fire, much like they do at Twenty Nine Palms, and that completes the 14-day rotation.
And then the fourth element of what we have is a complete training infrastructure, so we can discover what happened, why it happened, and how we are going to improve it. That is kind of our methodology of how we train at the NTC.
Mr. UNDERWOOD. Very good. Thank you. I have no further questions, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. HEFLEY. Mr. Reyes.
Mr. REYES. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I have got a couple of questions. First of all, who decides what tactics and doctrine is employed at the training center? And the second part of that is when was the last time that there was a critical review of that doctrine and tactics that you all are using at the training centers?
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Admiral NAUGHTON. I would be happy to start that, sir.
Mr. REYES. Okay.
Admiral NAUGHTON. Air doctrine and air combat doctrine is always evolving. We have a process in the Navy to do that. It is critically viewed all the time. Naval Warfare Development Center at Newport, Rhode Island, under Admiral Natter's aegis as the Commander of Fleet Forces Command. We publish that periodically.
We have what we call Navy tactics and training procedures for air combat doctrine. I am in charge of updating it. I probably update it three times a year, and it gets reviewed by all the folks in the Navy; and it is then coordinated with our sister services as we go into the joint doctrine phase and we do joint doctrine working parties, to where the joint doctrineand joint doctrine is sort of likeI do not know, it is pretty much that you can put almost anything in it; and as it gets further and further down into the services it gets more and more specific. As our strike fighter tactics instructors, believe me, their doctrine is finite to a time line that is in seconds about how they are going to attack another aircraft, depending on that type of aircraft. And so that is continuously under review, and we do that all the time as to how we employ that.
And so I would say it is a continuing process. And the cycle in the joint doctrine is about three-and-a-half years. I would say a Navy doctrine is about 18 months, sir.
General SWAN. If I could make a comment on the Army side. It is clear training and doctrine plays a big role in developing the doctrine, with a lot of input from the field, using lessons learned from ongoing operations and historical operations. That cycle has been very successful.
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The Army has just published recently, within the last several months, several new doctrinal manuals; FM 1, Field Manual 1, The Army, New Definition of What the Objective Force and the Transformational Army Will Look Like. Second one is a companion document, Field Manual 3, Operations, which now describes a full spectrum force of operations, rather than just the high-end major theater war type of missions.
And then finally, we are currently reviewing our training doctrine methodology, updating the training doctrine we had in Field Manual 25100, to make that compatible with the world environment today. Much of that doctrine was built in days past when the high end of the spectrum was all that we did. I think you will see in the new doctrine a recognition that the Army is operating over a much broader spectrum. And that is all being exercised at the training centers.
General THURMAN. Congressman Reyes, one of the things that we do is with our observer controllers. And we typically put about 750 on the battlefield every month. We are looking at tactics, techniques, and procedures across this whole spectrum that General Swan just referred to, and we feed that back into TRADOC, through the Center for Army Lessons Learned.
Right now the Army is going through a review of a lot of our doctrinal publications, to make sure that we are doing the right thing with the force as we transition the force with the legacy force interim, out to the objective force. General Abrams and all his folks call on us, because we are seeing what works and basically what does not work every day out there, so we try to feed that back in.
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In regard to joint doctrine, there is a joint close air support test going on. We work very closely with General Johnston and General Weber on how we canhow the services can better integrate close air support on the battlefield, and that is currently ongoing. And that is one of the wayswe feed that also back into the joint community. You asked who decides. You know, that is, as General Swan said, it is at the training and doctrine command.
Mr. REYES. I am also curious, if I can do a follow-up, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. HEFLEY. Surely.
Mr. REYES. In the way of relevancy, how has this doctrine been affected when we are getting away from the ability to sustain two fronts, two wars simultaneously? And then, second, the issue that General Johnston mentioned, that we are in for a long, protracted engagement fighting terrorists. How does that complicate your ability to do your jobs in the training centers?
General THURMAN. Sir, I would tell you from the Army perspective, one of the things that we look at today is the amount of reach-back capability that we have, particularly in our logistics, our medical training. One of the things that we do out there on the battlefield to train combat medics and combat lifesavers, we use a simulator called Sim Man. It is a replica. I do not know if you have had an opportunity to see that.
Mr. REYES. Yes.
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General THURMAN. But we put that at the point of injury. It is an excellent trainer. So we are examining this type of methodology as we lookas the world and the environment is basically changing. We try to replicate the distances in communications. For instance, this last month I had the Fourth Infantry Division out there. They had all their digital systems up, and we were actually communicating back to Ft. Hood, Texas.
So key logistical things that we did not have, aviation repair parts, we are able to push those things forward. But it is something that we are constantly looking at as the environment changes.
General SWAN. Yes, sir. I would add that there is no question in any of our minds that we maintain our forces to fight and win the nation's wars, and we train to that standard. That is the highest standard.
We also realize that our armed forces are being asked to do other missions: the war on terrorism, humanitarian operations: and, frankly, we have stepped up to that task.
But our training methodology, I think, to respond directly to your question, is we spend most of our time training to that high end. That is the no risk, that is the survival of the nation at stake. And we take that very seriously.
And then, when we are sent on other missions, whether that be to the Balkans, Afghanistan, Haiti, Bosnia, elsewhere, we will take time to focus training, before deployment, on the specific requirements in that theater of operation. So we have adjusted our methodology to react to that wider spectrum of operations that we are being asked to do.
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Mr. REYES. You know, one of the things, if I can just make mention, because I want you to comment on this. One of the things that Jim and I were talking about, flying out here yesterday, as we were talking about our experiences in Vietnam, I was telling him I am glad that the Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) did not have MANPADS (man portable air defense systems) whenyou know, 50 years ago. And as I watched last weekend, the same Chinooks that I saw 32 years ago lumbering into landing zones (LZs) in Vietnam, again today lumbering into Afghanistan LZs with rocket propelled granades (RPGs) coming at them and, you know, there are MANPADS out there.
I am curious. How do we prepare our young men and women to go into combat with what I think are outdatedwhat is outdated equipment in thatjust in that particular instance, and what can you do inby the way of training, andyou know, and I have heard it all, you know. They have got bigger engines, they have got twin engines, they have got composite blades and all of this. But, let me tell you, I saw them lumbering in, just like I did 32 years ago, and being sitting ducks coming into that LZ. So how
General KAMIYA. I have a great experience that I think will kind of get to your question, kind of gives you an idea of where the focus of the combat training centers are. I learned at a course a couple of months ago that the paradigm has changed. During the Cold War the heavy forces defeated the light. The big, chunky armor defeated the lightly skinned armor. But now it is the fast that defeat the slow.
And everything we do in the Army now, and our doctrine is evolving, is improving our capabilities of our units and our young leaders to see first, see the enemy first, to understand what they are seeing first, to act first, and win decisively. And that, I believe, are the four cornerstones of where our doctrine is headed.
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And despite what you think are slow-moving helicopters or whatever, it is all about agile, adaptive leaders. It can be at a peacekeeping engagement on the one end of the spectrum, and the very next day be in high intensity combat.
Mr. REYES. General Thurman.
General THURMAN. Sir, now, what we have added at the NTC, I mentioned this contemporary operational environment. It is going to get ityou know, that is training conditions we are trying to set. We are going to basically triple the amount of MANPADS that we put on the battlefield. We are also going to triple the amount of anti tank guided missiles (ATGMs), anti-tank guided missiles, RPG threat that we will give the opposing force, which will make it tougher conditions for us to train against. That is the ideal, adjusting those conditions to meet the relevancy of the threat that we may perhaps go into.
General WEBER. I think we have been very goodwe have struggled with doctrine. We have been very good at writing conceptual papers that sound good, and there are good things in there. But getting that concept to doctrine and down to what is really important, the development of tactics, techniques, and procedures that allow you to execute on the battlefield.
I am remindedI do not know who the famous Russian general was after the wall came down, and we were talking about doctrine, and he said it made it so difficult for us to fight you Americans. You had all this doctrine. You never followed it. And every time we spend a lot of time on this and wean enemy pops up that does not fit into that mold, and I think what is happening today in all the training centers; and I am excited about it, is the word tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs), developing them to handle the situations. That is uncertainty. There is going to be MANPADS out there. We are going to have to deal with them. But if we have got the right kind of tactics, techniques, and procedures; and we have executed those in live fire training, we are going to be successful.
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And these TTPs are now flowing up, and I think that is the key. Not just down, but up to where those guys are that write that doctrine. And I think the key is going to be as we go to the joint piece of this and tie all this together. I know we are doing the joint system training exercises (JSTEs) and those kinds of things. We are seeing forces out there now with Air Force combat controllers and Marine fist teams, Army forward observers out there, all from the sorts of aircrafts. And I think it is exciting, and I think we are making progress.
General SWAN. Sir, if I could add, I think one of the things that maybe you would have enjoyed having in Vietnam in that situation were capabilities like Predator and some of the other systems that are now available.
During the course of my career, I can tell you that company commander level, company troop battery commander in today's environment, and you see it in Afghanistan now, has access to situational awareness that only generals had, maybe colonels had in the past. And that is going to allow junior leaders who are trained well, like we have been talking about at the training centers, to adapt quickly, to have a better awareness of what is around them on the battlefield. Not only where the bad guys are, but where the good guys are, which has been a problem in our history. And you are seeing that now.
So a large, lumbering aircraft, roger, it is very vulnerable. But the more you know about what is around that aircraft, the less susceptible it is. And I think we are seeing that now, and we are exercising that in our training.
Mr. REYES. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
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Mr. HEFLEY. Mr. Udall.
Mr. UDALL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I will be very brief, given the hour. I wanted to thank the panel, and I wanted to, Mr. Chairman, ask, as I process what I have heard, if I could have unanimous consent to direct some questions at the panel in the future.
Mr. HEFLEY. Surely.
Mr. UDALL. And then finally just to comment on what my colleague was just discussing. I think I see a lot of heads nodding. Which is that the conclusion, the concept that we can do all we want with training, with resources, and with the great professionalism you all bring, but if the doctrines that we are not implementing in our training regimes are not what we are going to face in actual combat, then we are wasting our time. So this discussion has been really fascinating to me, and I am excited to hear we are moving in this direction of more agile, adept, quick-moving forces, whatever the service branch. And, General, youI think you put it very well; move fast, act decisively. And I am glad to hear that that is where the discussions are trending.
So thank you again to the panel, and I have really learned quite a bit this morning. Yes.
Mr. HEFLEY. Thank you, Mr. Udall. One more question for General Swan, if I might. Do you do much training with the new NATO nations in joint maneuvers? And particularly I would be curious, Slovenia is one of the countries that people talk about as being perhaps one of the new ones, when we expand NATO. And I have watched some of their mountain troops work. In fact, they have a special connection with the Colorado National Guard. So they work together.
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General SWAN. Yes, sir.
Mr. HEFLEY. Would you evaluateif you do do joint maneuvers with them, would you give us a little idea briefly about how well those new nations are coming along, and if you have done anything with Slovenia as an effective nation, how they are doing.
General SWAN. Yes, sir. Yes, sir. Specifically on Slovenia, that is one of the nations where we have just been recently, as a matter of fact, within the last three months, been looking at their training areas. I mentioned this initiative that we have going to gain access to more training land in countries like Slovenia.
We do that with kind of a self-interest. We want to go there to train to U.S. standards. And that is the primary purpose. But there is a great deal of spinoff, when we are training there, that Slovenian forces, Polish forces are integrated into those exercises, see how a professional Western army operates, and as a role model for these new NATO partners.
They have limitations, as you can imagine, budget-wise, meeting NATO standards, the high standards required for membership. And even the ones that have been recently admitted, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland, are still working hard to get up to that standard.
Having said that, our experience in the Balkans has been very, very positive with those nations who have participated in both K4 and S4. Clearly, on a small scale. Not large operations. But certainly an opportunity to see their leaders, small unit leaders in action.
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They are coming along. They have a long way to go. But I think, from our experience in Poland, the fact that we are training there and visible to them gives them a great role model.
Mr. HEFLEY. Well, thank you very much. And thank you all, as a panel. You are an excellent panel, and we appreciate it very much. I think I can speak for all of us, that we have learned a great deal this morning. I hope you take back with you something you have learned from us, as well. And maybe you did not mean to learn it here. But that isand share this with the people that you work with back at your respective assignmentsis that the United States Congress does care about you. I think we have done some things, and you have mentioned some things lately to show that we are different than it once was, General Johnston, when you suggested that time when it did not seem like we cared very much.
We do care very deeply right now, particularly the Armed Services Committee and the House, which I can speak for more. And then I can speak even more for the Readiness Subcommittee. We want you to be ready. We want to supply you with what you need to be ready. You need flying hours, we want you to have that. You need to have the encroachment problem taken care of, we want to work with you on that. You need steaming hours, we want you to have that. What you need to be ready to meet any challenge that this country has, that is your job.
And we are so thankful that people like you and the people you command dedicate their lives to protecting this country the way you do. We could not do without you and we want to be part of your team. And we do not want to waste in that a single dollar. We want you to help us give you the resources you need, and we want them to be used efficiently and effectively to defend this country.
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And with that, if there are no other comments or questions, the committee stands in recess until 2:00.
[Whereupon, at 12:20 p.m., the subcommittee was adjourned.]