SPEAKERS CONTENTS INSERTS
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[H.A.S.C. No. 1099]
NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT
FOR FISCAL YEAR 2006
OVERSIGHT OF PREVIOUSLY AUTHORIZED PROGRAMS
COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED NINTH CONGRESS
TACTICAL AIR AND LAND FORCES SUBCOMMITTEE HEARING
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BUDGET REQUEST ON DOD UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLE AND JOINT UNMANNED COMBAT AIR SYSTEM INVESTMENT PROGRAMS
MARCH 9, 2005
TACTICAL AIR AND LAND FORCES SUBCOMMITTEE
CURT WELDON, Pennsylvania, Chairman
HOWARD P. ''BUCK'' McKEON, California
JIM GIBBONS, Nevada
KEN CALVERT, California
FRANK A. LoBIONDO, New Jersey
JEB BRADLEY, New Hampshire
MICHAEL TURNER, Ohio
MICHAEL CONAWAY, Texas
TERRY EVERETT, Alabama
ROSCOE G. BARTLETT, Maryland
Page 3 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCWALTER B. JONES, North Carolina
JIM RYUN, Kansas
W. TODD AKIN, Missouri
J. RANDY FORBES, Virginia
JOE WILSON, South Carolina
BILL SHUSTER, Pennsylvania
NEIL ABERCROMBIE, Hawaii
IKE SKELTON, Missouri
JOHN SPRATT, South Carolina
SOLOMON P. ORTIZ, Texas
LANE EVANS, Illinois
ADAM SMITH, Washington
MIKE McINTYRE, North Carolina
ROBERT A. BRADY, Pennsylvania
STEVE ISRAEL, New York
JIM COOPER, Tennessee
KENDRICK B. MEEK, Florida
TIM RYAN, Ohio
G.K. BUTTERFIELD, North Carolina
DAN BOREN, Oklahoma
Douglas Roach, Professional Staff Member
John Sullivan, Professional Staff Member
Jesse Tolleson, Research Assistant
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C O N T E N T S
CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF HEARINGS
Wednesday, March 9, 2005, Fiscal Year 2006 National Defense Authorization ActBudget Request on DOD Unmanned Aerial Vehicle and Joint Unmanned Combat Air System Investment Programs
Wednesday, March 9, 2005
THURSDAY, MARCH 3, 2005
FISCAL YEAR 2006, NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACTBUDGET REQUEST ON DOD UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLE AND JOINT UNMANNED COMBAT AIR SYSTEM INVESTMENT PROGRAMS
STATEMENTS PRESENTED BY MEMBERS OF CONGRESS
Abercrombie, Hon. Neil, a Representative from Hawaii, Ranking Member, Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces
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Weldon, Hon. Curt, a Representative from Pennsylvania, Chairman, Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces
Keys, Lt. Gen. Ronald E., Deputy Chief of Staff for Air and Space Operations, USAF
Lamartin, Dr. Glenn F., Director, Defense Systems, Office of the Undersecretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology and Logistics)
Pickup, Sharon, Director for Defense Capabilities and Management, Goverment Accountability Office
Post, Brig. Gen. Martin, Assistant Deputy Commandant for Aviation, USMC
Schloesser, Brig. Gen. Jeffrey, Director, Army Aviation Task Force, USA
Sullivan, Mike, Acting Director for Acquisition and Sourcing Management (Joint Strike Fighter), Government Accountability Office
Winns, Rear Adm. Anthony, Deputy N78 Aviation Requrements Officer, USN
Page 6 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCPREPARED STATEMENTS:
Keys, Lt. Gen. Ronald E.
Lamartin, Dr. Glenn F
Pickup, Sharon, joint with Michael J. Sullivan
Schloesser, Brig. Gen. Jeffrey
Winns, Rear Adm. Anthony L., joint with Brig. Gen. Martin Post
DOCUMENTS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
[There were no Documents submitted.]
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
[The Questions and Answers can be viewed in the hard copy.]
FISCAL YEAR 2006, NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACTBUDGET REQUEST ON DOD UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLE AND JOINT UNMANNED COMBAT AIR SYSTEM INVESTMENT PROGRAMS
House of Representatives,
Committee on Armed Services,
Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee,
Washington, DC, Wednesday, March 9, 2005.
The subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 2:06 p.m., in room 2118, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Curt Weldon (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.
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OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. CURT WELDON, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM PENNSYLVANIA, CHAIRMAN, TACTICAL AIR AND LAND FORCES SUBCOMMITTEE
Mr. WELDON. The subcommittee will come to order.
This afternoon, the Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee meets to receive testimony from the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) and each of the military services regarding Department of Defense (DOD) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) systems.
As we proceed with our hearings on the fiscal year 2006 budget request on oversight of procurement and research and development (R&D) programs, I ask that we keep in mind the over 170,000 personnel deployed overseas in combat operations. Nearly every issue that comes before our subcommittee is related to the war on terrorism and should be addressed with the effectiveness and safety of the war-fighter first and foremost in our minds. What must also be kept in mind is the impact these programs have on the taxpayer and that we should be making only those investments that are necessary for required current and future capabilities.
We have asked our GAO witnesses today to provide an assessment of whether there was a satisfactory strategic plan that guides DOD UAV investments, to describe the operational successes as well as the challenges of current UAV operations and to detail lessons learned that could contribute to more efficient development, fielding and employment of UAVs.
Page 8 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Our DOD witness has been asked to provide an overview of current operational unmanned aerial systems, the 2006 to 2011 architecture for these unmanned aerial systems, current field experience for UAVs and for the Air Force and Navytheir plans for the joint unmanned combat air systems program. The Department of Defense continues to make significant progress in the employment of UAVs. But we should expect significant progress with the expenditure of over $2 billion a year on UAV capabilities.
As one of the staff remarked to me coming in, ''It is like flowers blooming up all over the fields of America. Everybody has a UAV.'' And while that may sound good, that creates an impossible situation for us as the funders of programs. In fact, some of these UAVs are not even authorized. They are simply stuck in appropriation bills. And that has got to stop.
As the witness statements indicate, UAVs are being used in an increasingly variety of applications. We have UAVs that are operational and deployed in support of combat operations, and we have UAV development programs. By one count, we have 19 operational unmanned aerial vehicles and systems ranging from the special operations command's micro-air vehicle to the Air Force's Global Hawk.
But even a small UAV costs the taxpayer as much as $150,000 each. Our largest system, the Global Hawk, costs $85 million each. We also have approximately 17 UAVs in some phase of development that we know about. While much has been accomplished, I believe there is reason to be concerned, and we can certainly do much better.
A whole range of issues exists from OSD oversight, vehicle and data link proliferation, lack of system interoperability and adequate bandwidth availability, shortfalls in program management to limitations on congressional oversight. I appreciate the efforts that OSD has made to oversee these complicated programs. But I do not think there is any way we can justify 35 to 40 different UAV programs.
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I understand that there is a joint task force for UAVs within OSD. It would seem that this task force has much more to do to establish a common UAV system architecture and most importantly, enforce compliance with that common architecture once established. The Defense Airborne Reconnaissance Office, known as the DARO, which was established within OSD in the 1990's, failed in part because it was not given sufficient authority to make choices between UAV and other intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance programs and enforce decisions. The joint task force needs to do much more to discipline the development and deployment of UAVs if it is to avoid the same failures as the DARO.
I can also appreciate why we cannot expect one UAV type to satisfy all missions, why it is beneficial for the industrial base to have several programs, how large numbers of programs helps non-traditional suppliers and how multiple programs further competition. But I am not convinced that each service needs its own unique vehicle for every mission type and in some cases, several vehicles in the same service for the same mission type.
The Predator is an example of a very capable system. But Predator and similar systems require different significant R&D funding to field. I am yet to be convinced that we need to be spending hundreds of millions of dollars developing Predator-like systems solely because of what some see as failure of the joint allocation and tasking of available UAV resources.
Aggressively fielding new types of vehicles and even building more of the same type of vehicle may be premature. We must feel confident that we have adequately addressed some of the fundamentals to ensure that unmanned air systems are designed and fielded consistent with the common communications architecture and that common standards are established for operations.
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We have 1,400 UAVs deployed worldwide today. But many sit on the ground because there is inadequate bandwidth for them to be used effectively. Outrageous. In addition, ground stations for particular UAVs are incompatible with the video feed from other UAVs, even from UAVs in the same service. Had OSD enforced its requirement for the services to use the tactical common data link, our UAV support to combat operations would be much improved today.
Congress is not without some blame in current system inefficiencies as funding has been added to the budget in the past for additional UAVs and UAV types compounding shortfalls in the systems' architecture and logistic support. It is also a concern that the way these programs have evolved has significantly limited congressional oversight. Some services are buying million dollar UAVs using operations and maintenance funding that has never been specifically authorized for UAVs and for which appropriations have never been made. Well, we are going to get to the bottom of that.
Other services are leasing UAV services for combat operations using operations and maintenance accounts. And some services have effectively reduced congressional oversight by establishing UAV projects within multi-billion dollar, multi-project aggregated program requests. To summarize, DOD has made significant progress. But it has come at major expense to the taxpayer, and we have much work to do.
Before we begin with testimony, I would like to ask my good friend from the full committee, who is our Ranking Member, who I appreciate joining us today, for any opening remarks he would like to make, Mr. Skelton, our distinguished leader on the Democrat side.
Page 11 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCSTATEMENT OF HON. IKE SKELTON, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM MISSOURI, RANKING MEMBER, COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Chairman, thank you for this opportunity. I am sitting in because Mr. Abercrombie, who normally would be here as your Ranking Member, has a conflict, and I take his position. I ask unanimous consent to put his opening statement in the record.
Mr. Chairman, I find it rather interesting and ironic that I am here today. Having been on the committee longer than anyone else, I think back to the early UAVs. I think back to my time on the Intelligence Committee. And I think we have wasted more United States taxpayer dollars in this area than in any that I can conceivably think of. We are talking about a model airplane with a camera.
And I am not so understanding as to why the proliferation of UAVs that we have and the difficulties that we have. And some blame the fact that the engineers were not the first class engineers that they had on airplanes that had pilots in them and the like. But be that as it may, I commend your efforts in this regard. It would be nice to get all this under control so the money will be spent wisely and do the job effectively and well because the purpose of UAVs is so very, very important. Thank you.
Mr. WELDON. Thank you, Mr. Skelton. Thank you for your leadership. And I do not know of a hearing I have been to that you have not been in attendance. And I know of your schedule. It is extremely difficult, but you are always there for us. I thank you.
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We do have two votes that are going to come about very quickly. I will introduce our witnesses, and unfortunately have to adjourn while we gonot adjourn, but have a temporary suspension while we go vote.
We are very pleased to haveour first panel will be from the Government Accountability Office, Sharon Pickup and Mr. Mike Sullivan. We will return to you as soon as we get back. And then Dr. Glen Lamartin will then testify on behalf of the Office of the Secretary of Defense. And then finally, we have representatives of each of the military services who will testify on behalf of their own programs: General Ron Keys of the Air Force, General Jeff Schloesser representing the Army, Admiral Andy Winns representing the Navy, General Martin Post representing the Marine Corps.
Without objection, all of your prepared statements will be entered into the record. And as soon as we return, I will begin with our panel.
And so, I would apologize for this interruption. There will be two votes. We should be back probably in 20 minutes. Thank you.
Mr. WELDON. The hearing will reconvene.
Again, we apologize for the delay. And we have a lot of competing issues going on and programs, but members will be in and out. But feel free to make your statements. And again, your written statements are a part of the record.
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STATEMENT OF MRS. SHARON PICKUP, DIRECTOR FOR DEFENSE CAPABILITIES AND MANAGEMENT, GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE
Mrs. PICKUP. Right. Thank you, Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee. We are glad to be here today to discuss GAO's work on unmanned aerial vehicles.
Before I turn it over to my colleague, Mr. Sullivan, I will briefly talk about our preliminary observations on some of the operational successes and emerging challenges DOD is experiencing with UAVs in the field. And I understand that the department and the services will also be discussing this in some detail after our panel. I will also touch on the department's progress in developing a strategic plan to guide UAV investment decisions. And Mr. Sullivan will then talk about acquisition issues, including some selected programs of interest to this subcommittee.
For my part, I would like to make three main points. First, as you know and as you mentioned in your opening statement, Mr. Chairman, DOD plans to spend a lot of money on UAV programs, and demand for UAVs on the battlefield is growing. Between fiscal years 2001 and 2005, funding for UAVs has grown from about $360 million to $2.3 billion, and it is projected to grow to nearly $3 billion by fiscal year 2009. The number of UAVs in operation has grown significantly as well from one type of UAV in Operation Desert Storm to 10 or more in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Second pointwe are hearing some good things about the performance of UAVs. I might add just last week the CENTCOM commander testified that UAVs are a key part of joint war-fighting and that demand for them, in his words, has been insatiable. We understand UAVs have been used with good success in the traditional roles of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance as well as some non-traditional roles like arm strike and close air support.
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At the same time, our preliminary work shows some challenges are emerging, some of the same ones that you mentioned, sir. For example, problems in interoperability can make it difficult for UAVs to operate with one another, with manned systems and with ground forces. Also, UAVs are limited at times in poor weather conditions, and sufficient bandwidth for effective communications is not always available.
We know DOD and the services are aware of these challenges. And as we continue our work for this subcommittee, we will be examining them in more detail as well as the department's plans to address them.
My third and final pointas DOD and the services seek to satisfy the war-fighters' growing demand for UAVs, the department needs a viable strategic plan to guide development efforts and investment decisions. Such a plan could also help DOD anticipate and potentially minimize the type of challenges emerging today. And importantly, it would also provide the Congress with information it needs to evaluate DOD's funding request.
Last year, we recommended, as you know, DOD establish a comprehensive and integrated strategic plan or set of plans for integrating UAVs into its force structure and to designate an office to implement the plan. To DOD's credit, its current UAV roadmap represents a good start as it sets the needed goals and desired capabilities for UAVs, but it does not yet give a clear sense of how service plans fit together, how UAVs relate to manned systems, nor does it identify opportunities for joint endeavors or lay out investment priorities in funding needs.
While the UAV planning task force is active and actively coordinates and seeks to influence the services, it is still not an authoritative body. And our concern is as funding increases, new programs get further down the road and a coordination role may not be enough to really make some of the tough decisions needed. We understand that DOD is updating its UAV roadmap and are hopeful it will contain the elements of the strategic plan mentioned in our testimony today.
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That concludes my part. And I will turn it over to Mr. Sullivan.
[The prepared statement of Mrs. Pickup joint with Mr. Sullivan can be viewed in the hard copy.]
STATEMENT OF MIKE SULLIVAN, ACTING DIRECTOR FOR ACQUISITION AND SOURCING MANAGEMENT, GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE
Mr. SULLIVAN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
In past reviews of individual UAV acquisition programs, we have identified practices that lead to success and others that tend to increase risk on these programs. Factors for success include an innovative process, an evolutionary approach, strong management attention and doable requirements with fixed resources. These practices are critical for UAVs, which tend to face barriers when transitioning to acquisition because of their potential to change long-standing military service doctrines.
Factors that increase risk include ambitious schedules, a rush to production and complex requirements that tend to outstrip resources that are available. Our reviews of four major UAV programs over the past year reveal that DOD has been able to employ practices for success early on but has not been able to sustain them further into their acquisitions. Let me briefly summarize.
Page 16 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC With regard to the Global Hawk acquisition, top DOD management attention set the stage for early success by insisting on fielding an initial capability that could be developed within a fixed budget and adding capability only as technology became available. This approach quickly delivered seven demonstrators, which very effectively supported combat operations in Afghanistan and in Iraq.
Now, the Air Force has dramatically changed the acquisition strategy, adding more complex requirements that rely on immature technologies for the next delivery of Global Hawks. Development cost estimates have tripled. Development cycle time has increased. And the procurement schedule has been compressed creating significant concurrency between production and development.
Likewise, the early stages of the Army's Shadow and Air Force's Predator A also benefited by top management attention and focused and restrained requirements but also had challenges in transitioning to acquisition with new technology requirements. A newer program, the Joint-Unmanned Combat Air Systems (JUCAS) program, is seeking synergy by consolidating Air Force and Navy demonstrations. However, DOD has changed leadership and management direction several times on this program in the past 18 months.
There are trends that run consistently through these four programs that we have reviewed. That is when DOD provides strong leadership at an appropriate organizational level, it enables best practices. Designating these programs as Advanced Concept Technology Demonstrations (ACTDs) in their early stages helped sustain attention and enabled OSD to protect them from parochial interests that may negatively impact requirements and resources.
Page 17 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Nevertheless, once that leadership was removed or diminished, accountability also tended to dissipate. And these programs, with perhaps the Shadow as an exception, have tended to lose control of requirements, add technology risk and/or begin production too soon, raising costs and probably more importantly, slowing delivery to the war-fighter. DOD officials tend to agree on the factors that lead to success and have made some limited progress in the last year. But we have not yet seen a consistent and across-the-board application of these successful practices.
To conclude, I will add that we are encouraged by recent actions taken by DOD in initiating a joint concept technology demonstration business process as it is intended to meet joint and coalition forces' needs, and it will promote many of the good practices we have outlined above. To be successful, this process must have the authority and clout to overcome traditional barriers and the tools necessary to drive a knowledge-based evolutionary acquisition approach.
Mr. Chairman, this concludes our oral statement. We would be happy to answer any questions the subcommittee may have.
[The prepared statement of Michael Sullivan, joint with Sharon Pickup can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Mr. WELDON. Thank you, both, for your statements. And thank you for your excellent work. We rely upon you to give us counsel and advice and independent analysis. And we will use the statements you have given to us as a basis for questioning both the Defense Department witness as well as the individual services.
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Can either of you describe the operational impact of failure to have a common communications architecture for control and a data downlink for UAVs in Iraq?
Mrs. PICKUP. Well, let me start out, and perhaps my colleague will want to add something. And as I said, I understand the services will be providing some more specific information, but we do understand that in some cases, the lack of a common data link has, in fact, you know, caused a delay in operating information getting to the units in the field,
For example, in the case of Predator, the lack of a common data link between the Predator and the air ops center required the information to be sent back to the states and interpreted and sent back to theater. And a common data link in that case could have possibly saved 30 minutes to an hour by some reports. So that would just be one example.
Mr. SULLIVAN. Nothing to add.
Mr. WELDON. Do you have any comments on that?
Mr. SULLIVAN. No.
Mr. WELDON. Now, that is one of our concerns. Staff had raised this issue in the past in last year's hearings. It is an ongoing concern and something we will be addressing in detail with the services individually as well.
You note that the joint UAV task force lacks sufficient authorities to enforce UAV program direction. Is that a legislative issue where we have not done our job, or is this limited authority self-imposed?
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Mrs. PICKUP. Well, I think that the optimum, you know, would be for, you know, the department to empower the task force. It is not that the task force is not active and actively coordinating with the services. It is just the case where it does not really have the authority to force programmatic decisions. And so, I mean, I think the optimum would be for the department to empower the task force as opposed to, you know, a legislative option. But that is certainly one that the committee has.
Mr. WELDON. If I might add, when we are talking about acquisitions, the authority that the task force, I think you get into perhaps some Title 10 issues when we are talking about how to organize and equip the war-fighter. And Title 10 is what it is. And, you know, I think it has been interpreted the way it has been interpreted. But there is, I think, some room for OSD, especially when you have a technology or a new technique like UAVs that have so many different applications, to take a stronger hand sometimes and keep it out of the stovepipes.
One of the problems that I have noticed is that because it seems almost every third or fourth contractor has an idea for a UAV that a lot of them are going directly to members. And members are coming in with requests, and the services are saying, ''Well, yes, we would like to have that if it is available.''
Do you have any thoughts or ideas on howI mean, this is a congressional problemhow we can deal with that issue? I mean, in some cases, it is nurtured by the services. They will say, ''Well, go get your Member of Congress to get the plus-up funding for this,'' or, ''Go get your member and then we will support it.'' And as a result, we get all these programs, you know, that are coming about.
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Because my policy on this committee is I will not support any program that the services do not put on their unfunded priority list. So it does not matter that somebody comes up with an idea. And I guess it is hard to get the services to say, ''No, we do not want that.'' But maybe you would have some suggestions prior to us talking to the services about this dramatic growth in the amount of UAV programs.
Mrs. PICKUP. Well, I think that gets right back to the point that you made in your opening statement, that that is one of the things that a strategic plan can do for you, recognizing that, you know, any plan has to be flexible and be adjusted. But if you have some kind of benchmark or framework where you can see the relationships between different development efforts and both in the near-term and the far-term, then you have a benchmark for evaluating the, you know, ideas and interests. And I think that is what our position is, that a strategic plan can be kind of that forcing mechanism.
Mr. SULLIVAN. What you are saying hasyou know, we have done some best practices work in the commercial world. This is not necessarilyit does not come across the government totally. But just kind of conceptually, we did look atyou know, commercial corporations have similar problems with suppliers coming in to program managers sometimes or at a corporate level. And they have taken steps, policy-wise, to address that.
Of course, they have got a pretty strict bottom line and a lot of relevancy issues that keep them on track. But that is a very tough problem because even within the Pentagonit does not only happen in Congress. But there are a lot of suppliers that go above program managers, for example. That is one thing we find program managers have a very tough time with on acquisition programs is getting very tough business cases handed to them because somebody has done a sales job without them knowing it.
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Mr. WELDON. This is probably a topic you did not look at, but I will ask the question anyway before I turn to my friend and colleague, Mr. Wilson. And that is my concern over adversaries having the same aggressive capability in developing UAVs and because the technology oftentimes is so basic.
Did you look at that at all in terms of what other nations may, in fact, be doing or what activities are underway to defeat our UAV capability?
Mrs. PICKUP. No, that has not been part of our work to date.
Mr. WELDON. Mr. Wilson?
Mr. WILSON. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
And thank you for being here today. And it has just been extraordinary the opportunities that I have had to see how the UAVs operate. I fortunately saw them prior to my son being deployed to Iraq.
And one of the reasons I had such confidence in his returning safely as he did is because of the technology and knowing how, as they would go on convoys, that I just had high hopes that UAVs were somewhere located in such a way to help the convoys, which, indeed, they did.
Additionally, as we face a symmetric enemy, just an extraordinary challenge. To me, the way to do this now is truly through technology. And we just match as they come up with Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) deviousness or whatever, we match whatever they do through technology. And I know that there was a streamlining of providing of jammers to interfere with the ability of IEDs to be operated. I recently have learned about acoustical triangulation of determining where gunshots come from and through monitors. Are you aware of what we can do to help identify the technology and then streamline its ability to get to the war-fighter?
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Mr. SULLIVAN. Are you talking aboutis this just technology in general that would be
Mr. WILSON. Technology in general, yes.
Mr. SULLIVAN [continuing]. Helpful to getting that to the field as quickly as possible?
Mr. WILSON. Absolutely. Some of it is off the shelf.
Mr. SULLIVAN. Right.
Mr. WILSON. And
Mr. SULLIVAN. You know, I think the department and the Congress has written some legislation to try to enable the department to speed that up in terms ofI know that there is legislation that enabled the technology transition initiative and a defense acquisition challenge program that has tried very hard to take technologies either out of our own government labs as quickly as possible or just from the commercial world in general, an office that would actually kind of corral a lot of these non-traditional businesses' ideas like the Chairman was just talking about, a kind of a clearinghouse for that. And I think they have had some success in doing that.
So I think the department is working on that. I think theyand they have been pushed by Congress, by this committee in particular, to do that. And there have beenthey have been successful in getting some really new technologies out there that have helped the war-fighter a lottechnology transition initiative and a defense acquisition challenge program in particular.
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Mr. WILSON. I am, again, just so hopeful that as the technologyas the enemy used different tacticsI relate, in the Army National Guard 4 years ago, I was at the national training center at Fort Irwin, California. And our means of travel was by a Chevrolet Suburban. And, of course, the thought of traveling in a desert conflict area today that way would be absurd.
But that is how far I think we have come to address changes. And so, if there is anything that I can do, and particularly working with Chairman Weldon and with the proven interests of Chairman Hunter of waiving and expediting, I just look forward to working with them.
Mr. SULLIVAN. Yes, sir. That is something that I know we want to look more at, is how well the department can transition technologies more quickly and, you know, find the feasible and relevant technologies for the field right now today.
Mr. WILSON. Thank you very much.
Mr. SULLIVAN. Okay.
Mr. WELDON. I thank the gentleman.
We thank you both for your questions. I have other members that are not able to be back who have questions which we will submit for the record if you can answer them.
But we genuinely appreciate your great work. It helps us to have a fuller understanding of where we are going, to identify the problem areas and to make necessary corrections legislatively. So, again, we thank you both for appearing.
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And with that, unless you have any other statements you would like to make, we will move to our second panel.
Mr. SULLIVAN. Thank you, sir.
Mr. WELDON. Thank you.
Our second panel consists of Dr. Glen Lamartin, who is Director of Defense Systems for OSD Acquisition Technology and Logistics. Dr. Lamartin's been before this subcommittee and committee in the past, and we welcome him to the table again today.
Dr. Lamartin, it is great to have you back again. You had a chance to digest all the criticisms before we left, so I am sure you have all the answers now.
Dr. LAMARTIN. Sir, I do not consider them criticisms. I consider them challenges.
Mr. WELDON. Challenges? Well, it is good to have you back. You have been very responsive to us, and we know that in the end, you are doing the job that you were asked to do, which is to serve the taxpayers, but also to make sure our military has the best technology and equipment that they need in the field. And we appreciate your effort in that regard.
And we want to work constructively with you to help you deal with the inter-service rivalries. The Members of Congress have all these great ideas they want you to fund and to try to make sense out of all this and to have a roadmap in place it helps us better get control of where we are going with UAVs. I mean, to go from a program that not too long ago was, you know, below $.5 billion to $2.3 billion is amazing.
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And our concern is as we have grown that amount, we have not had the full control over it for obvious reasons. And we know that you have been putting into place some significant new direction. And we want to hear about it and look forward to having a chance to chat with you about some questions that we have. And your statement will be entered in the record, and you can make whatever verbal comments you would like.
STATEMENT OF DR. GLENN LAMARTIN, DIRECTOR, DEFENSE SYSTEMS, OFFICE OF THE UNDERSECRETARY OF DEFENSE (ACQUISITION, TECHNOLOGY AND LOGISTICS)
Dr. LAMARTIN. Thank you, sir. I do have a few brief oral remarks. Good afternoon.
And good afternoon, Mr. Wilson, as well.
Acquisition oversight of unmanned aerial vehicle systems, or UAVs, is one of my duties. And that is why I am here today. I would first like to thank the members of this subcommittee for your consistent direction and support toward development and fielding of UAV systems. We owe many of our successes to the unwavering support you have provided.
What a difference a year does make. Last year when I testified before this committee, UAVs were already playing a major role in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. During the past year, not only have UAV operations continued in support of the global war on terror, they have expanded dramatically: counter insurgency operations, force and infrastructure protection, collection of vital intelligence and strike of time-critical targets.
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Today the military departments boast a force of over 1,200 small UAVs and over 200 tactical and theater UAVs. In addition, the department is conducting significant UAV-related development and acquisition. The department oversees this work through the joint staff's joint capabilities integration and development system for requirements, the standard acquisition process, the Planning, Programming & Budgeting System (PPBS) budget process and through our UAV planning task force. I can also assure you again this year that the acting Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition Technology and Logistics, Mr. Michael Win, remains personally involved, and he continues to have weekly meetings with his UAV planning task force members.
We think of UAV systems in a multi-level construct according to how they are used. They range from small, hand-launched UAVs supporting Army platoons through tactical and operational systems to the largest, most capable theater-level systems that support the joint force commander. No single UAV type can satisfy this multi-level construct.
While this might seem to result in too many UAV types, the construct allows for inexpensive UAVs to be used where we need less sophisticated performance. The construct also supports the industrial base by making it easier for small companies to participate. It also promotes innovation in design and lowers cost through competition at the various levels.
Certainly, to get the most out of our mix of systems, we must continue to reduce unnecessary duplication and find better ways to share data among systems and users. It is good that each day we seem to find more ways to use UAVs. However, it is important to settle on stable requirements for those systems we do pursue while retaining flexibility to allow for future discovery.
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The President's fiscal year 2006 budget request reflects some tough choices, including changes to the joint unmanned combat air system program, JUCAS. JUCAS will demonstrate unmanned combat capabilities where we face our toughest threats, suppression of enemy air defenses, penetrating Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance (ISR), electronic attack and related strike missions. As you recall, last year's budget kept the unmanned combat air vehicle technology programs under Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) management, postponing the planned transition to the services and instead consolidated funding into a single program. We did this to better advance this transformational technology.
Over the past year, we have encouraged the services to lay out their requirements for unmanned combat air vehicles (U-CAVs), infused competition with contracts to Boeing and Northrop Grumman, pushed for early demonstration hardware, outlined an operational assessment to put capable systems in the hands of war-fighters and set the foundation for a common operating system with the Johns Hopkins University applied physics laboratory as our integrator broker. We have made good progress. We now are ready to transition management of the joint program to the services with the Air Force as the lead.
The decision this year to reduce funding for JUCAS reflects a balance of competing needs across the department. But it does not alter our commitment to develop this transformational capability. I remain excited about the progress and prospects for UAV systems.
Only 2 weeks ago, I was at the Predator operations center at Nellis Air Force Base outside of Las Vegas. I watched three different Predator operations in progress, all from a single site. I saw Air Force Predator pilots and sensor operators working missions over 5,000 miles away under combat conditions. They operated from the safety of home. Unmanned systems allow us to maintain our technological advantage and engage even in high-threat, non-permissive environments while honoring the value of life we hold so dear. In 20 years when we look back, it will be hard for us to imagine how we may do without these systems.
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This concludes my prepared remarks. Thank you for the opportunity to express the department's views on the progress we have made. And thank you again for your continuing support.
Mr. WELDON. Thank you, Dr. Lamartin.
Dr. LAMARTIN. I welcome your questions.
[The prepared statement of Dr. Lamartin can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Mr. WELDON. Thank you.
Last year, you indicated to us that you thought you had adequate authority to direct UAV programs and effectively integrate them into the operational forces. Do you still believe that is the case? Do you have enough authority? Do you need more? Are there things that we could be doing to assist you in your oversight role?
Dr. LAMARTIN. Sir, I believe that we still do have adequate authority. We have authority through the joint staff's capability generation system to make clear the requirements and to satisfy joint needs. The acquisition process provides for the discipline and structure necessary to execute individual programs. And the PPBS budget process, which beats out an annual rhythm, calls for us to look at each investment on an annual basis and make sure that we are making the proper resource allocation.
Page 29 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Our joint UAV planning task force and their roadmap work lays out broad goals and ambitions, identifies what we think will be important to achieve improved success. And as we learn from operations in the field, our challenge is to translate those lessons into lessons learned in the steps that we take.
Mr. WELDON. Dr. Lamartin, a month ago, I gave an opening speech to the first U.S.-Russian homeland security conference in Moscow. And I had known that other countries were pursuing UAV technology, but what I saw in a huge kind of display area where they had 10,000 people attend was an amazing array of UAVs of all configurations. And so, it raises a couple of questions in my mind. And I alluded to it with the earlier witness panel.
And perhaps you cannot talk about this in open session, but for the record you can answer it in classified format. Are we doing enough, not necessarily against the Russians, but against those countries that are also pursuing UAVs in an attempt to harm our troops? If we can use this technology, obviously others can use it.
And since a lot of UAVs are basic evolutions of the old model plane technology, you can put all kinds of things on them. Do you feel that we are doing enough in that area of assessing what other adversaries or would-be adversaries would have against us? And are we putting enough focus on that within the agency?
Dr. LAMARTIN. I think I would have to defer to my colleagues in the intelligence community to judge the adequacy of our assessment of the threat that such systems might pose to us. I would offer, though, that among our threat set for air and missile defense are UAVs, unmanned air vehicle systems. We certainly recognize the value to our forces in providing intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. And to that extent, they could provide similar services to our adversaries. And that is something that we will have to deal with.
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Mr. WELDON. And that is the next question. One, do we have any UAV programs like our other major weapons programs like the joint strike fighter and other technologies where we are working with our allies? Do we have any UAV programs that are in that same mode of joint cooperation with the allies?
And number two, do we have adequate controls over UAV technology from being picked up and used by those who would use them against us? Or is that just something that we can never totally stop?
Dr. LAMARTIN. You may recall the history of Pioneer, which is a system in operation by the Marines and that has legacy overseas. We are certainly working with our NATO partners to establish standards, something called the STANAG 4586, which is designed to structure the exchange of information that will allow us to work better with our coalition partners on the battlefield. We do not have any major developments like joint strike fighter with partners overseas.
Mr. WELDON. Do we have adequate controls on the programs that we are, in fact, purchasing, limiting those vendors from perhaps selling those technologies to other nations?
Dr. LAMARTIN. I am not prepared to answer on the specifics of just which technologies are controlled. But some of them do fall under the missile control technology regime restrictions on export of technologies. But as you know, much of the technologies for UAVs is not sophisticated, especially for the smaller aircraft. Certainly, as you think about something like the JUCAS, the joint unmanned combat air system, which is designed to penetrate the toughest of defense systems, there we will be applying very high technology.
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Mr. WELDON. And I realize that the technology oftentimes is very basic, but it is the equipment that goes onto the UAV that oftentimes presents the problem. I would assume in your roadmap and your planning process that you are looking at what technologies we are paying to develop and what limitations, if any, should be placed on those contractors that might want to offer those platforms for sale overseas. I assume that is a part of your process.
Dr. LAMARTIN. Sir, we have an update in the works. And we plan to publish probably in the April, May timeframe this year. I will take another look at the document to make sure that we have adequately addressed that.
Mr. WELDON. I asked before about homeland security. Are we using any of our UAVs with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) right now for border patrol purposes?
Dr. LAMARTIN. I cannot say whether there are any operating at this minute, but we have been in a good, close dialogue with the Department of Homeland Security to make sure that they understand what UAV systems are like, what their operations consist of, what they might possibly do to contribute to the homeland security mission. In fact, our roadmap update this year for the first time will include an appendix prepared by DHS that outlines just how they might work better with the Department of Defense, what they might be able to do with some of the UAV systems and capabilities that we have developed.
Mr. WELDON. The thing that I want to avoidI serve both as Vice Chairman of this full committee and Vice Chairman of the Homeland Security Committeeis I want to avoid the Department of Homeland Security going out and replicating or duplicating everything that has already been done within DOD.
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Do you have a mechanism in place? You said that you have a relationship there, but I want to make sure that DOD and the applied research arm of homeland securityI meant homeland securitydoes not go out and attempt to try to redo what we are already doing. You feel comfortable that is not happening now?
LAMARTIN:I do, sir. And our Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense works on a daily basis with the Department of Homeland Security. And others across the staff, including folks on my staff who are the technical experts on UAV systems are in frequent contact with DHS.
Mr. WELDON. Getting back to my original opening statement, I mentioned that there are upwards of 35 UAVs in development and fielded with a number of different communications architectures, which, to me, presents the most obvious real-term problem and potential embarrassment as well as harm to the troops, if you will, caused by delays. What are your plans to address the architecture problem and what seems like an excessive number of systems?
Dr. LAMARTIN. One of the top 10 goals outlined in our roadmap, our 2002 roadmap, was the pursuit of common data links for tactical UAVs, the Shadow, Hunter, Pioneer class and up. Since publishing that roadmap, the Army in particularand I would defer to the Army to amplify on this commenthas taken steps to allow for Shadow and Hunter to share data links. We believe the Marine Corps through Pioneer in the future will move in that same direction. But as you will learn from lessons learned, there is more to be done in this area.
Mr. WELDON. And that leads me to a very specific question regarding Iraq. You may not be able to answer this, but I am going to put it in the record, and if not, perhaps for the record you can. Do you have a feel for the failure to field the tactical common data link? And has that hindered tactical UAV operations in Iraq? How many Shadow UAVs are deployed there now? And how many can be flown at any one time because of bandwidth limitations?
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Dr. LAMARTIN. Sir, I think the number actually deployed would be classified and it would be best taken up in the classified discussion later this afternoon. And again, I would have to defer to the joint staff to address that specific question.
Mr. WELDON. But you get the gist of the question?
Dr. LAMARTIN. I do, sir.
Mr. WELDON. And that is a very real and serious concern of this committee that there are limitations currently occurring in Iraq in theater as defined by the terms of the question. We will get to that in classified session, but in open session, we need you to understand that we are monitoring that very closely and expect to have some answers from the Army and the services in our closed session.
Dr. LAMARTIN. But sir, you make a good point, that too often we think about unmanned air vehicles alone. We believe that we need to think about unmanned air vehicle systems. Yes, the platforms themselves are important, but also the sensors or weapons they carry, the architecture for information exchange, the communications links that are put in place, the frequency management, the bandwidth management, the coordination of airspace operations, the command and control of the individual systems in support of war-fighter operations all come into play.
So when we think about expanding capability, it is not just counting the number of airplanes. It is looking at the system, the entire system and what it is capable of doing. And finally, people are part of that system, too, the training, the education, the experience of that team of people.
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Mr. WELDON. Dr. Lamartin, the GAO has raised some major concerns with the restructure of Global Hawk program. Do you feel satisfied that the restructure program can be executed as proposed with the funds that are programmed?
Dr. LAMARTIN. We share the GAO's concern for the progress of the Global Hawk program. I can tell you that as we speak, we are working with the Air Force. The defense acquisition executive, the OSD staff, the joint staff is working with the Air Force to understand where we stand with that program, what it will take to go forward and to succeed.
Mr. WELDON. When do you expect to complete your analysis involving the Air Force on that?
Dr. LAMARTIN. Within weeks.
Mr. WELDON. So you will report back to the committee as you get that analysis, I would think?
Dr. LAMARTIN. Sir, we would be happy to do that.
Mr. WELDON. Why was the JUCAS program moved from DARPA to the Air Force? And why was $1.1 billion removed from the program over the fiscal years 2006 to 2011?
Dr. LAMARTIN. Sir, let me take the last part of that first. The withdrawal of the funds was to meet higher department priorities. But as you pointed out, a large amount of money was left in program despite significant budget pressure across the department. Senior leaders felt that this new capability is so important that we want to proceed with a real, useful, operational assessment.
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The leadership responsibility has not yet transitioned. It is our intention to do so. We have decided that we want to transition it to Air Force leadership but as a joint program with the Navy. We have called for them to provide us a detailed transition plan. We will assess that plan and make sure that the program is postured for success.
Mr. WELDON. But you do not have a problem with the $1.1 billion removal?
Dr. LAMARTIN. We believe we can still execute a useful operational assessment that will guide our decisions for the future, put capable systems in the hands of operators, give them the same opportunity we gave operators in Global Hawk and Predator the opportunity to use these systems and through using, learn what they can do, learn what features are important, learn which features are not useful, learn what we would like to build into the future capability. We think we can do that within the funds that are allocated to the program today.
Mr. WELDON. I now ask you the toughest question of all. And this is specific, so I am going to quote you with all the appropriators that serve in the Congress.
Do you believe that procuring UAVs costing over $1 million each for which there was no specific authorization or perhaps appropriation is an appropriate use of operations and maintenance (O&M) funds?
Page 36 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Dr. LAMARTIN. Sir
Mr. WELDON. We are going to quote you on this, so, you know, with all the services.
Dr. LAMARTIN. Sir, feel free to quote me. It does not seem an appropriate use of funds.
Mr. WELDON. Does not seem? How about it is not an appropriate use of funds?
Dr. LAMARTIN. Sir, I am not a lawyer, and I cannot make a declarative statement that it does not seem to me to be.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Mr. Chairman, will you yield?
Mr. WELDON. Yes, I would be happy to yield.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. That is not an answer, ''I am not a lawyer.'' This is policy. The lawyers do what we say. Just answer the question.
Dr. LAMARTIN. Yes, sir.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. The Chairman is not fooling with you. Answer the question. What is the policy of the department? And you leave the lawyers outside the door.
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Mr. WELDON. You understand the problem, Dr. Lamartin, is that we are seeing the services use O&M funds for what is really not a legitimate use to, in our opinion, circumvent the legitimate process of authorization and appropriation. I mean, we are not stupid. You know, we may look like it sometimes. I mean, and sometimes the services think they can manipulate the process the way they want, but our job is to ask those questions and ask why.
And I would just ask you as a senior policy person, is it an appropriate use, if there is no specific authorization or appropriation, to use O&M dollars for that.
Dr. LAMARTIN. My opinion, no, sir.
Mr. WELDON. Thank you.
Mr. Abercrombieand we understand he is very busy, and he is a very dedicated public servant. So Mr. Abercrombie will speak.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Thank you.
Thank you very much for that. You understand it is not personal?
Dr. LAMARTIN. I understand, yes.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. The problem we have a lot of timesand as you know, in the DOD even recently, has had difficulty because when you start reverting to what is maybe correct in terms of a lawyer's interpretation, big trouble comes to a lot of people then because we have to refer back to the policy. And the reason for that is there is even some indications now, not just in this, but in other appropriations that have gone forward, is there has been reprogramming of these appropriations to programs and projects which the Congress has never heard of.
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And that is not something that we can countenance. I am sure you understand that. Any more than the Secretary would approve of some rogue operation within his own parameters saying, ''Well, we thought afterwards we could tell you about it. And you would like it because of a, b and c.''
So that is the reason for the question. It is not to punish anybody or to put anybody on a hook. It is to make sure that it is clear that we are trying to do our job here. And I think the services would agree that this committee under this Chairman, I can assure you, has been more than fair and sensitive and responsive to the genuinely expressed needs.
And I apologize for not being here earlier. I could not get here. So if I am asking something that reiterates what has been done, I hope you will indulge me for a moment.
What I am concerned about here is the question ofand when I came in, it was kind of implied in the answer you were giving the Chairman about your being postured for success and a few weeks down the line having everything lined up. If you go back to the GAO references and go back to the hearings that we had last year, I am concerned about whether or not there is a proliferation of projects that are not necessarily integrated with one another.
Now, I realize some of them may have different missions that you want to accomplish, but I am not sure that there is a handle on the question of program execution and integration in the most efficient use of what dollars you do have. Is that what you are going to address in a few weeks?
Page 39 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Dr. LAMARTIN. What we were talking about, sir, was the Global Hawk program
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Okay.
Dr. LAMARTIN [continuing]. In particular. But among the considerations
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. But you could use that as a template for my question.
Dr. LAMARTIN. Among the things that we will look at with Global Hawk will be the nature of the data it collects, the sensors that are used to do so, the information exchange, its ability to communicate and share that data and how that data will contribute to the broader capability.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Well, maybe I should be a little bit more specific. Will that contribute to the department controlling what the services do? Because my impression is now that it is a little bit of everybody is off on their own and theyand they may have good ideas.
Do not get me wrong. Each service may have some good idea. But there is a tendency, I think, in this program because it is a good idea generically to then say, ''Well, let us do this. Let us do this. Let us do this.'' And each one goes off on their own as opposed to
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Dr. LAMARTIN. Yes, sir.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. And which you may conclude that is a good idea, too, in the end, but only if it has all kind of come through some kind of decision-making process to see whether there is duplication or redundancy.
Dr. LAMARTIN. Sir, that is inherent in the way we look at the Global Hawk program. The defense acquisition executive will preside over that review and will use his defense acquisition board advisors that include the joint chiefs of staff or the joint staff and the services as well as the balance of the OSD.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. So you do not think there is some kind of rivalry by default going on to try and produce different versions?
Dr. LAMARTIN. I do not think there is a rivalry among the services to produce capability. I think there is a huge appetite among the war-fighters as they are exposed to what UAVs can do. The one thing I think we can say is they want more of what UAV systems can provide them. And they are less concerned with what the nature of that platform is than the nature of the data they receive and whether they get it in a useful form and in a timely manner.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Okay. Transposing that into our problem then as this committee, will you have a definitive answer on that in terms of authorization and budget that we can recommend to the appropriators in the timeframe that the Chairman has to take it to the full committee?
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Dr. LAMARTIN. We will not provide an update to the President's budget, which includes a wide range of investments that address UAVs and what it is that they can provide.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Well, then
Dr. LAMARTIN [continuing]. This spring.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Are you content that the Chairman has sufficient information and perspective or will have by the time we make our recommendation to the full committee on what needs to be done this year in this budget?
Dr. LAMARTIN. What I would propose to you, sir, is that we provide our roadmap, our 2005 roadmap, which we will publish in the April, May timeframe, that we provide that to you as soon as it has been staffed and published and that we follow that with whatever briefings or technical discussions to any member or staff that might be useful to understand what it is that we value and what it is that we would favor pursuing.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Yes, well, I am not sure II appreciate all that, but that was not my question. My question is are you prepared, at least preliminarily, to be able to inform the subcommittee of what we need to have in terms of what the Chairman has asked so that we can make an informed recommendation to the full committee. That is all I am asking. If you cannot do it, then I think you need to say so because we have to adjust our recommendations accordingly.
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Dr. LAMARTIN. Sir, we are prepared to sit down with the Chairman or any member of the staff at any time to explain what it is that we think needs to be done.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Okay.
I did my best, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. WELDON. Thank you very much. You always do your best.
The gentleman, Mr. Wilson, is recognized.
Mr. WILSON. Thank you very much.
And, Doctor, thank you very much for being here.
Dr. LAMARTIN. Good afternoon, sir.
Mr. WILSON. I want to know with your oversight of UAVs how important that is. And as I mentioned, as a parent having a son serve in Iraq, as a veteran and also as a Member of Congress, I just greatly appreciate how significant UAVs can be for our troops and projection of safety for them. And also I have had the opportunity while visiting Kuwait to see the capabilities of the Predator in terms of surveillance. I am certainly aware of reading about the use of Hellfire missiles. And so, I do have real interest in interoperability with emerging technologies and in particular with the new acoustical triangulation systems where it can be identified where a gunshot is coming from in 3 to 5 seconds and using GPS technology in addition.
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Has that been tied into UAV yet? Or what is the status of the interoperability of new technologies?
Dr. LAMARTIN. Sir, I am hearing two questions. One would be the specificI would refer to a system like a sniper warning system. I would have to defer to perhaps your discussion later today with the joint staff for a discussion of specific operations in Iraq and the lessons learned. But I can envision an appetite to couple that kind of sensor information with all of our response mechanisms, whether it is an armed UAV capable of delivering a weapon, an aircraft capable of delivering a weapon or forces on the ground.
Mr. WILSON. And I love the terminology, response mechanisms, because that is what it is. And is there anything as Members of Congress that we can do to assist you in terms of by statute or whatever to expedite the new technology to be provided to the troops?
Dr. LAMARTIN. Yes, sir. Adding toor thinking of your prior question in that regard, we are very concerned about our ability to transition technology from science and technology and early demonstration into real practical capability. And you know that the advance concept technology development activity, or ACTD activity, is one of the tools that we have designed in the department to do that. Global Hawk was an ACTD program. Predator was an ACTD program. And so, any continued support for that program of work and our proposals in that regard would be helpful.
We are also trying to deal with what happens to a successful ACTD demonstration and how do we secure its place in the operational, that you can imagine if you demonstrate this year a capability then how quickly can we move to put funding in place to actually field that. And with the lag between today and the next appropriated budget, you can see that there can be 6, 12, 18 months lag before we can receive new funding. So we think that having some kind of a resource pool that would allow us to ease the transition of ACTD demonstrations into the field would be a useful thing.
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Mr. WILSON. Well, one of the great understatements would be that we have a very innovative Chairman here with Congressman Weldoninnovative, enthusiastic. And so, I hope you will keep us fully informed
Dr. LAMARTIN. Yes, sir.
Mr. WILSON [continuing]. How we can all be working together. And I appreciate your service very much.
Dr. LAMARTIN. Just one last comment, each of the services has a rapid action capability, rapid action cells or teams that are organized to respond quickly to the war-fighters' needs. Recently we have organized on theat the OSD level a joint rapid action cell to take steps necessary to remove impediments, to identify all the steps that need to be taken to quickly move technology and capability into the hands of the war-fighter.
Mr. WILSON. Thank you very much.
Mr. WELDON. Thank you, Mr. Wilson.
Just one final statement, unless Mr. Abercrombie has additional questions. We are not obviously covering any of the classified UAV programs here today. But I want to state for the record that I would assume that, Dr. Lamartin, you are having some interface with the intelligence community on UAVs being used for classified purposes.
Page 45 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I am aware that some of our military UAV assets have, in fact, some ties to some classified programs. And I want to make sure that in the roadmap and the oversight you are providing that there is at least a coordination or an interface with the intelligence community. And while this committee does not have direct jurisdiction over those programs, we do have a responsibility to the taxpayers to make sure that that continued growth of UAVs extends beyond just those that the public knows about to include those that the public does not know about. So I would just ask you for the record to make sure that is, in fact, the case.
Dr. LAMARTIN. Sir, that is, in fact, the case, that our joint unmanned air vehicle planning task force includes the office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence, who works with that broader community as well as the services, the joint staff and other elements of OSD.
Mr. WELDON. And I would ask for the record that you pass alongand we will do it formallythe Undersecretary for Intelligence to provide a briefing for this committee from the intelligence standpoint on UAVs in a classified setting.
Dr. LAMARTIN. Yes, sir, I will convey that.
Mr. WELDON. We thank you for your time.
Mr. Abercrombie, do you have any other questions?
We thank you for coming. I apologize for the members, but it is probably better for you, less nastiness coming from this side of the table. But hopefully it is not taken in that regard. We are all in this together to try to do the best job for our troops. And you are doing that every day. We appreciate that. And we look forward to continuing to work with you.
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With that, the formal hearing stands adjourned.
Dr. LAMARTIN. Thank you, sir.
Mr. WELDON. We are going to do that publicly? Okay. I am sorry.
Okay, we are going to bring the next panel up, which I thought was going to be classified, but that is not going to be classified. It will be open. Okay.
Our third panelwe are going to have a classified briefing, and I thought that was going to take place next. But this is going to be, first of all, an open, unclassified session with those military leaders I identified in my opening statements.
And we appreciate you all being here. We would ask you to take your seats. General Keys will start off, and we will go right down the list.
Whatever comments you would like to submit for the record, General, and the rest of you, will be accepted. And you may make whatever opening comments you would like.
And thank you all for, not only being here, but thank you for the work you are doing on behalf of our war-fighter. We deeply appreciate it. This committee is extremely proud of the role that our troops are playing around the world. And we know that without your help and cooperation, our success would not be what it is today. So thank you.
Page 47 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And the floor is yours.
STATEMENT OF LT. GEN. RONALD E. KEYS, DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF FOR AIR AND SPACE OPERATIONS, USAF
General KEYS. Mr. Chairman, thank you and Congressman Abercrombie. In the understanding that my written testimony is entered into the record, I would just like to thank you for this opportunity to discuss with your subcommittee today a critical family of systems and emerging capabilities called unmanned aerial vehicles, in some cases, remotely piloted aircraft.
As they did in our Air Force and as far back as World War II and then Vietnam, unmanned systems today have again fought their way onto the battlefield, not because of the novelty of being unmanned, but by doing certain missions better, faster, cheaper or with less human risk. Certainly, since 1995, due to their performance in every one of our major operations, we believe that UAVs and Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPAs) have proven their emerging ability to provide a persistent surveillance and killing presence now and will add to their portfolio in the future.
As a result, the Air Force is expanding remotely piloted aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles in types, numbers and assigned missions. And we are in the throes of establishing what we hope will be a joint UAV center of excellence at Nellis Air Force Base to capitalize on initiatives across the department from tactical to operational to strategic to the next leap, which we believe will be in what we call near space.
Page 48 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC In summary, we believe UAVs and RPAs are the future of our force, and we are committed to them. They give us operational capabilities today in a persistent, precise way and hold the promise of more capability in the future. The key requirements, however, are operational relevance and battlefield capability.
And to reiterate, the key parameters must be a leverage calculation of faster, cheaper, better as applied to the combatant commanders' requirements. And we certainly appreciate your support in turning this vision into an operating reality. And I am happy to discuss some of these programs with you today.
[The prepared statement of General Keys can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Mr. WELDON. Thank you very much, General.
General, the floor is yours.
General SCHLOESSER. Chairman Weldon, Mr. Abercrombie and Mr. Wilson
Mr. WELDON. Can you pull the microphone a little closer? Thank you.
General SCHLOESSER. Is that good?
Mr. WELDON. I think your microphone may be off. Let us try it again. Is it on now?
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General SCHLOESSER. How is it now?
Mr. WELDON. That is great. Thank you.
STATEMENT OF GEN. JEFFREY SCHLOESSER, DIRECTOR, ARMY AVIATION TASK FORCE, OFFICE OF THE DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF, ARMY G3/5/7
General SCHLOESSER. Thank you.
Chairman Weldon, Mr. Abercrombie and Mr. Wilson, again, thank you for the opportunity to speak today on Army UAVs. Since we last talked to you about a year ago, we believe we have made substantial progress in fielding and the use the UAV systems.
That said, frankly, we have still got a ways to go as we try to support soldiers in combat, just as Mr. Wilson has laid out for his own son, as well as equip a modular force. And we look to the future force as well for both planning and design. So what I would like to do is spend a few moments talking about our endeavors over the past few years and try to answer some of the questions that you asked of the Army.
Now, as you know, the Army has fielded four different UAVs. They are different types, and they have different capabilities, and they are set at different levels. We have a small, hand-launched Raven. It is about 4 and-a-half feet wide. And it is operated by an enlisted soldier of any specialty who receives about 2 weeks of training there in Kuwait before they are deployed up into Iraq and also into Afghanistan.
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Now, we have a larger system. It is called the Shadow. And we again operate it with enlisted soldiers. They are organized inside of a platoon of about 22 soldiers, men and women. And they support operations primarily at basically the brigade and the division level.
Finally, I think you are well aware of our Hunter program. It is our longest running program, again, operated and maintained by soldiers at a company level. We have four companies inside the Army at this point in time. They primarily support corps level operations.
Finally, thanks to Congress, we have one I-Gnat system. It is operated by contractors, our only one in the Army that is, in fact, not operated by enlisted soldiers. And it is primarily supporting operations above the division level. If we had come back here 3 years ago back in history, sir, and I gave you the numbers, we would have had just one Hunter company, two Shadow UAV platoons, and we would have had a few training systems that we were trying to evaluate.
What I am going to do now is lay out just the sheer numbers and the magnitude of the effort that has gone along. And some of this has been hand in hand with Congress.
We have fielded and deployed 164 Raven systems to Iraq and seven to Afghanistan. Each system has three air vehicles. And when you do the math, that is over 500 Ravens to date that we have fielded.
We have fielded 19 Shadow platoons. And this goes to one of your questions that you had earlier, Mr. Chairman, six of which have already rotated to Iraq and have returned back into the United States and nine that are currently serving inside Iraq. You clearly asked a good question about frequency management. And if you will allow me, I am going to address that here in about 1 or 2 minutes.
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With four air vehicles per Shadow system, that is over 76 UAVs that we have fielded to that system. Since that early time when we only had one Hunter company, we have build three additional Hunter companies. And they are such in high demand that every one of those companies have served inside of Iraq. To maintain support to the combatant commander, we had maintained one company at all times there inside of Iraq.
We also have built a company and we have it now at our training base. And it is allowing us to train our soldiers in a more effective and efficient manner.
We have six UAVs per Hunter company. We also have a few spares and test aircraft. Again, this is a long running program, as you know, and so, we have a total of 31 Hunter UAVs.
Finally with congressional support, the Army fielded the one I-Gnat system to augment the Hunter unit in theater. That includes three UAVs and will field two more vehicles this year.
As I said, the Army operates UAVs from the platoon level all the way through corps level. And they have different purposes based upon their capability. Most of these systems are operated by enlisted soldiers, and they are almost all focused at tactical level operations.
Since 2002, we have trained over 1,200 UAV operators. And these are all soldiers. The vast majority of these Army UAVs support what we would call time-sensitive, dynamic and what I would like to categorize as land warfare type of operations. They are as diverse, as has already been pointed out by Mr. Wilson, convoy security, area security around a place that we are trying to live and maintain vehicles, force protection when we are on the road, fire support.
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We have been doing some very exciting things with communications relay. And we look to that in the future. Also we are doing joint operations with what we call manned and unmanned teaming and traditional intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.
We have been fairly effective, I think, in using both the Shadow and the Raven as a means to identify and then eventually target these mortar teams and rocket teams that have been killing our soldiers, quite frankly. What we do is we find them, we target them using grid coordinates, and then we coordinate with our brethren here for their fixed wing attack aircraft from all of the services as well as Air Force AC130's, which are extremely effective and our Army attack and scout aircraft. They come into those coordinates with the Army UAV, again, at a small level, tactical level, and they destroy the target or they kill the insurgents.
We haveand I, frankly, would say that last year you warned us that we had a communications bandwidth problem with what is the c band. And it is in the forward of six gigahertz area, primarily within Shadow. As your question before noted, there are locations within Iraq, primarily the urban environment of Baghdad, where we have a great deal of frequency congestion.
A year ago, frankly, we did not know, although you told us, that we would have to work aggressively to both purchase and field the TCDL, the tactical common data link. We are now doing that. And we look forward to being able to address those frequency issues, again, primarily within the urban environment, primarily within the Shadow program.
Page 53 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC To equip the modular force that we are talking about here just in the very near future, we are continuing our procurement process with a small unit of UAV, the Shadow UAV and the extended range multi-purpose UAV. The ERP, that is the extended range, will replace our Hunter and operate primarily at the division level performing intelligence collection, communications relayas I said, we have gotten some good progress already in our current systemsattack missions and manned, unmanned teaming.
Again, it is going to be soldiers who operate this system. And it is going to be an auto-launch, auto-recover. And they will be flown from within the theater of operations.
As we support combat operations today and field the modular force, which is soon coming or in some cases has already been here, such as 3rd Infantry Division in Iraq, we also continue to plan for and design UAVs for our future force. We believe UAVs will play an even more significant role in combat operations in the future. And we know that the Army will have a continued requirement to support soldiers in combat with these systems.
We certainly appreciate your guidance and your assistance, and we look forward to any questions that you may have. Thank you.
[The prepared statement of General Schloesser can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Mr. WELDON. Thank you, General.
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STATEMENT OF REAR ADM. ANTHONY WINNS, USN, DEPUTY N78 AVIATION REQUIREMENTS OFFICER
Admiral WINNS. Mr. Chairman, Mr. Abercrombie, Mr. Wilson, it is a privilege to appear before the Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee to discuss Navy UAV programs. Thank you for your personal and the committee's outstanding support for our Navy programs.
The Navy is investing in future UAV capability by maintaining current capability for the Marine Corps by sustaining the Pioneer UAV. We are currently flying and testing Fire Scout, an unmanned helicopter which will reach initial operational capability in fiscal year 2008 and provide support for corps combat ship mission areas.
Additionally, two Global Hawk maritime demonstrators will be delivered this year and support fleet experiments and concepts of operation development for the broad area maritime surveillance UAV.
Finally, the Navy continues to participate in the JUCAS program to develop a carrier-based UAV system that provides persistent ISR and operates in the same battlespace as carrier strike aircraft. Interoperability continues to be a key element in the development of our UAVs. Tactical control system is a standards-based interoperable open system architecture solution that includes implementation of NATO standardization agreement, or STANAG 4586. Tactical control system and NATO STANAG 4586 represent the foundation for our UAV interoperability.
Page 55 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. Chairman, thank you for your consideration. And I look forward to answering any questions you may have.
[The prepared statement of Admiral Winns, joint with General Post can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Mr. WELDON. Thank you, Admiral.
STATEMENT OF BRIG. GEN. MARTIN POST, USMC, ASSISTANT DEPUTY COMMANDANT (AVIATION)
General POST. Mr. Chairman, Mr. Abercrombie and Mr. Wilson, thank you for affording me the opportunity to make a few short comments on Marine Corps unmanned aerial vehicle programs.
Marine Corps organized UAVs into three tiers, and the area of influence of that unit that the UAV supports determines the tier. Currently in the global war on terrorism, tier one, Dragon Eye; tier two, Scan Eagle and tier three, Pioneer fulfill the tiers of responsibility and provide complimentary ISR capabilities with the electro-optic and infrared cameras. These systems enable Marines to access areas of responsibility before crossing the line of departure and ensure situational awareness and mutual support throughout their missions.
Tier one, Dragon Eye, is a highly effective and much desired capability at the battalion and company level. Dragon Eye provides a small, simple, cost effective day and night surveillance sensor for the tactical commander to see over the hill or around the corner. Designed not to impact manpower, two Marines effectively employ this system as a secondary duty. The Marine Corps has 105 Dragon Eye air vehicles deployed to Iraq.
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Tier two, Scan Eagle is a commercial, off-the-shelf system currently supporting regimental operations in Iraq. Scan Eagle provides a tremendous time on station endurance. And we currently have 16 air vehicles deployed to Iraq.
The Marine Corps' tier three UAV is Pioneer. Operating extensively throughout Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF1), OIF2 and now OIF3, our UAV squadrons have increased operational tempo from 350 flight hours per year during peacetime operations to over 10 times that rate in support of the Marines and soldiers on the ground. Pioneer has accomplished this mission through an ongoing sustainment program. The sustainment program replaces engines, sensors and communications systems to update Pioneer's 1980's technology. The Marine Corps currently has nine Pioneer air vehicles deployed to Iraq.
I understand that our full statement is entered in the record, so I will conclude my remarks and thank you for your support of the Marine Corps and look forward to your questions.
Mr. WELDON. Thank you, General.
And thank each of you for your efforts.
Let me start with the Army, General. We had concerns we expressed in last year's markup process relative to future combat systems and the UAV component of that. And we saw some discrepancies between the roadmap and what the future combat system program called for. So let me be very basic. What distinguishes an Future Combat System (FCS) UAV from a non-FCS UAV?
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General KEYS. Yes, sir. Thanks for the question. The FCS UAV is built to be part of a system of 18 different systems plus the soldier. And so, because it is based upon a network and a backbone it is going to be totally integrated. So unlike today, as you well know and as you pointed out to us, we cannot effortlessly move information from one UAV system, say, all the way across the battlefield. We have all been working at it very, very hard. We are not there yet.
This is meant to try to get beyond that. And so, the FCS system of systems includes the capabilityactually, excuse me, the requirement for the FCS UAV systems to be able to do that, just that, operate on a network communicatingI would like to say seamlesslyit is overusedbut at all levels.
Mr. WELDON. Then do we need to have a non-FCS UAV? Why couldn't the FCS certified UAVs do the role for thethat we needed not a part of FCS?
General KEYS. Sir, if your question includes in time, you know, we look to 2014 to be fielding under the restructured FCS program really the first system of systems out there, the first unit of action or the first brigade level type of combat capability. Clearly, up until that time we are going to needas we support soldiers in combat, we are going to need this capability. And so, what we are doing right now is we are very clearly doing rapid fielding to support combat soldiers.
We are doing this modular, as I mentioned, this next portion because we are trying as we speak to modularize the Army that allows us to have more brigades and more capability at a, frankly, lower level. And so, we are trying to support that as well.
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And so, you could think of it as right now we have a current fight that we are doing our best with what we can rapidly. We are looking to do the modular portion, which is coming and is here, really, in most senses. And we are looking to plan and design for the future.
We do not believe that the modular forcewe do not have enough time since it has already started. We have got our first modular division back inside the fight back with 3rd Infantry Division. We do not have time to be able to incorporate the technology that is, frankly, not yet there at FCS and bring it spirally back into the current systems at this point in time.
Clearly, I understand what you are getting to. And we hope by 2014 to be able to operate in a much more clean system.
Mr. WELDON. What is DARPA's role in FCS UAV development?
General KEYS. Sir, DARPA is involved atI know that they are involved in what we call the class one level. Under the restructured program, we also have a class two and a class three that, again, associate more with the level of units. And as you know, at the class four, as my colleague has already mentioned, the Navy has the Fire Scout program. And there has been teaming with the Navy to achieve a class four capability called the Fire Scout.
DARPA has been, I know, involved in the first. And we will take the question for the record and ensure that we could lay that out fully for you on the other classes.
Page 59 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. WELDON. So has the Army selected any current UAV operational developmental UAVs for any of the FCS class UAVs?
General KEYS. Sir, I understand that the Fire Scout has, in fact, been selected as a class four UAV for FCS.
Mr. WELDON. And is the Army working with other servicesyou just mentioned one, the Navyon its UAV development?
General KEYS. Sir, we are working with Special Operations Command, not a separate service, on the small UAV program of record for our modular force. I am not aware of any other closely linked programs. But as you know, for example, the I-GNAT is a Predator-based system that, of course, the Air Force has primarily been working with. And we have had some sharing with sensor packages on that I-GNAT system that the Air Force has provided to the United States Army.
Mr. WELDON. Is the Army preparing a request for proposal for another small UAV to replace Raven? We have been led to believe that it is. And have funds been authorized and appropriated for this program?
General KEYS. The answer to the first part of your question is yes, sir. The answer to the second part of your questionI am not 100 percent certain. I canif you will allow me to turn around, I may be able to answer that. Sir, I am told the answer to that is no. But the rest of the story is that we have funds appropriated in fiscal year 2006, and we are looking to reprogram if, in fact, we do as you suggest, release an Request for Proposal (RFP).
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Mr. WELDON. And this gets to the heart of what I mentioned in the beginning and some of the confusion. There is a processand we want to be supportive of the services, and we are supportive. I mention frequently duringI have been on this committee 19 years. And almost every year we have plussed up funding far more than the Presidents have asked for, certainly during the 1990's, $43 billion over 6 years, more than what the White House and the service chiefs said they needed.
We want to be supportive. But we do not like the idea of other monies being used to develop programs that are not authorized and appropriated, because we have no way of monitoring what is happening, coordinating that with what we do know to be legitimate requests for authorization. And so, we would respectfully request that we would be given a briefing on the authorization and appropriation process for this follow-on program.
General KEYS. Yes, sir.
Mr. WELDON. With only 450 Raven vehicles delivered of 7,500 programmed, can you help us understand the requirement and timing of such an RFP?
General KEYS. Sir, if I understand the question, what we have done is we have deliveredwe are currently procuring 185 systems. And as I said, there are three Ravens per system, hence the math. We are looking to procure another 240 Raven systems in fiscal year 2006. I am not sure exactly where else your question is going. I am not sure
Mr. WELDON. Staff was told the inventory objective was originally 7,500 vehicles. Is that now wrong? Has that been changed?
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General KEYS. Sir, I am told that that includes every small UAV, including the Raven all the way out through 2012, including to the National Guard. And I want to be quite frank here. We are working currently with TRADOC, training and doctrine command, to actually set down the exact numbers of the system as we move from, again, the current to the modular force. And so, numbers actually, in fact, could change. I just want to be honest, sir, with you.
Mr. WELDON. And we understand that. We just want to be kept in the loop. And, again, this program area is growing so dramatically that it is hard for us to understand, one, that we do have a logical plan in where we are going. OSD is putting into place this planning process, but still, we are seeing programs pop up. We are seeing O&M funds being used. We are seeing programs that were not authorized and appropriated. And that is what is concerning the committee and the Members of Congress.
And so, we just want to be kept informed as to what the services are doing in this regard. And in this case, if the numbers are changing, you know, our staff needs to be updated on that.
General KEYS. Yes, sir.
Mr. WELDON. For the Marine Corps, General, does the Marine Corps use the tactical common data link in the Pioneer UAV? And if not, why not?
General POST. Sir, at this time, no. We arewhen we were upgrading the avionics in the Pioneerand obviously you know it is an Israeli systemwe were going to go from a band C to K.U. band. As we made that moveand again, a lot of this was timing as far as where TCDL was for compliance purposes. And it was also a business case analysis as far as form, fit, function as far as in the size of the UAV, i.e., Pioneer body, if you will.
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So as far as compliance to TCDL, no, we were going to move that way. As a matter of fact, as the Shadow ground station is the ground station that the Army uses is where Pioneer is going to go. And we are going through that testing right now or through that appropriation or program office.
The bottom line, sir, is we would be another $3 million plus and probably about a year, 9 months to 12 months to a year if we were to have to wait for TCDL compliance. And we made a decision at this time to go ahead and go to KU band, use the non-proprietary TCDL at this juncture. But we are going to move. When we move to the Shadow ground station, which we are going to do in fiscal year 2006, then we will move on to TCDL.
Mr. WELDON. What precludes the Navy's Fire Scout UAV from satisfying the Marine Corps vertical UAV requirement?
General POST. Sir, it is a concept as far as our future war-fighting concepts. And really it becomes aI would call it aphysics issue. It is a speed and range issue as far as how we operate from the sea base when the Marine Corps is sea-based, when we work through the littorals across the beach and now as we introduce the V22, as we started seeing extended ranges of combat operations ashore is, candidly, the Pioneer is a 70-knot platform. The Fire Scout is a 100-knot plus platform, in that range.
The VTOL Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (VUAV) where we want to go to is in the 200 plus class airspeed range. And so, that is really driving our requirement here. And our VUAV program is actually in the final stages of going through the joint staff requirements process for final validation. And that really is the key indicator here that is really driving us to the difference between how we operate, both sea-based and land-based with respect to the Navy and the Marine Corps. And it is really the airspeed issue.
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Mr. WELDON. And finally, Admiral, before I turn to my friend and colleague, as currently planned, if the JUCAS demonstration is successful, could either air vehicle satisfy Navy requirements?
Admiral WINNS. Our requirements, Mr. Chairman, is that we come out of the operational assessment for the JUCAS with the carrier suitability. So in that regard, I would say as long as both of the vehicles are able to go to the carrier and demonstrate that capability, then the answer would be yes.
Mr. WELDON. Staff says they cannot.
Admiral WINNS. I am sorry, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. WELDON. Staff is telling me, tongue-in-cheek, they cannot.
Admiral WINNS. Well, in so much as our requirements are that we need to demonstrate the capability to have the vehicle land and take off from the carrier. So that is our requirement.
Mr. WELDON. That is something we are going to have to further explore. Staff's position is that as currently funded, they will not be able to do that, both of them will not. Only one of them will. And so, we will have to follow that up, I guess.
Did you have any questions? Did you want to ask one?
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Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I do not know whether I want to turn this into a context between the Army and the Air Force. It looks like I will not get the chance to anyway.
Hang on, one second. I am trying to get who is going to be in charge here. Now, is the Air Force going to be in charge, in the end, of making all theare you going to be the pass-through that makes the decisions on the standards and all the rest of the things like the admiral just mentioned?
I mean, I am getting this out of theyou know, there are stories in Aviation Week, you name it. It is all over the place, so naturally we are the last ones to find out about it.
So I am just going to ask you because that informs what my questions are going to be. I do not have anything up my sleeve. I just want to know.
General KEYS. Well, I guess there are three answers. One, OSD would clearly be in the policy seat about the roadmap that we are going to go down now.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Yes, I understand.
Page 65 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General KEYS. The second part of it is we are going to stand up a UAV center of excellence because we believe that we need to get our hands around the integration of
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Okay.
General KEYS [continuing]. Those sorts of things. And we are inviting our partners to come out there with their good ideas so we can work that out at Nellis where we have got
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Yes.
General KEYS. Now, the third one, which is what I think
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. So the short answer is yes?
General KEYS [continuing]. You are intimating is the rumors about whether or not there will be an executive agent for UAVs for the department and whether or not it will be the Air Force. And as far as I knowI have been here all day, but as far as I know, that decision has not been made. But there are discussions.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. But there is a decision coming on trying to get an executive agent for this, right?
Page 66 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General KEYS. I think.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. I could not quite get an answer from the DOD. But, you know, I understand you have got politics up the ying-yang over at the Pentagon. I just thank God that I do not have to deal with them. Mine are much more straightforward. But for our purposes, we have a serious problem. You know, we have got to make some decisions and some recommendations. So if that is going to be it, that is fine.
The reason I ask is I am not an engineer. I am not an aeronautical engineer or the rest of it. I have to rely on my brain and my eyesight and read as much as I can from people who supposedly know.
Now, what I am trying to get at here is that executive agent, whoever it is going to be, going to make some decision about what exactly we are going to acquire. Because if all my reading comes out here right, you are saying the Predator beating the Global Hawk, just as an example. Global Hawk we spent billions of dollars in. As far as I can tell, it is about $80 billion plus, maybe $85 million to put together.
The Predator, on the other hand, even right now for 2006 is about $12.5 million because you are only getting two of them. And I expect if you bought more of them, that the price would come down. Let us say $10 million. Now, it does not have the endurance in terms of being able to stay out there for a long time. But then if you had more of them, you could stagger the flights. And $10 million a copy is not $80 million a copy.
Are those the kind of decisions that if you get chosen you are going to have to make? Because that is the kind of decision we have to make because the Chairman and the committee is going to be given a figure in terms of the kind of money that we think we are going to be able to recommend. And we try to work with the appropriators and be hand-in-glove in that.
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General KEYS. Sir, two questionslet me give you two answers.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Okay.
General KEYS. One, whoever is the executive agent is going to clearly have to make those decisions, but would make those decisions with the affected parties around the table. You cannot make that decision in isolation. What is the family of UAV is going to look like? What is the common data line going to look like? How many receivers are we going to have on the ground so people can get the information? How do we parse the information, et cetera?
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. And what their capabilities are in terms of what it is going to cost to get those capabilities, right?
General KEYS. The second part of the answer was it has got to be faster, cheaper, better. You cannot just buy this thing because it is a novelty. It has got to do something that it cannot do now, or it has got to do something that it does now but that does it better or it does it cheaper.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Or does it differently?
General KEYS. Well, not necessarily differently. I mean,
Page 68 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Well, I was talking about the staggering, for example. If it came down to making as many people capable of having the advantage of these systems and you could get more of them cheaper but you had to do it differentlylike, for example, have to stagger the flights because onesay, the Predator was not as endurance capable as the Global Hawk, but you could get more of them and thus enable more units to be able to take advantage of itmaybe that is one way to go.
I am not suggesting that is what you have to do, but as someone who has to make a decision over here, I was just thinking in my own mind what would I recommend or what would I have to take into account.
General KEYS. You know, the going in position that we all march to is what is the war-fighter's capability requirement. He needs something. And then how do we get that something. Will, in fact, the Predator do what the Global Hawk will do? If it will do what the Global Hawk doesbecause that is a requirement from the war-fighterwill it do it cheaply enough that I can buy four of them to replace one Global Hawk.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Right.
General KEYS. Because you might have to do that.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Okay. I appreciate it.
Mr. Chairman, the reason that I asked the question wasand for the folks at the table, the reason I asked the question isif no executive agent and/or by extensionI mean, if the executive agent by extension of the Secretary of Defense is not able to make those kinds of recommendations to us fairly soon, then we are going to have to try and do it on our own. That is what I am driving at.
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And we would much prefer, I can assure you, to have your recommendation so that we can think about what is the best thing to do. But absent that, then people like myself and the other members are going to have to run through these kinds of calculations in our own heads. So even if you do not think you can give something definitive, my suggestion is that on the basis of good intentions and the assumption that you can assume that we are not holding you to anything as if it was holy writ, that, say, preliminary recommendations or even a perspective on these kinds of questions needs to come to the Chairman fairly soon.
General KEYS. I understand. And I am sure that is a departmental
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Nobody is going to come back later and hit you with a, you know, verbal two by four that, ''Well, you said on this date that thus and so is where you wanted to go.'' We realize you are not in that position just yet. But unfortunately we are up against deadlines.
General KEYS. I understand.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Okay. That is what I wanted to establish, Mr. Chairman. And I appreciate the opportunity.
Thank you very much. I appreciate your candidness.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
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Mr. WELDON. I have one final question. Again, this is for the Army.
And again, General, it is just a question we have to get on the record. All of us on the committee have traveled to Iraq and Afghanistan. I remember my time in Baghdad and then up in Tikrit and Kirkuk and meeting with the soldiers. And unfortunately I just lost a constituent, a graduate of West Point, when I was there. And I had to deal with his parents when I got back who were very proud of their son, as I am, of his service.
But the current rumblings that we are getting is that at any given time, less than 10 percent of our Shadows in Baghdad are able to be operated because of limitations. Is that, in fact, true? I do not want to give the specific number. I will just
General SCHLOESSER. Sir, as I
Mr. WELDON [continuing]. Say less than 10 percent.
General SCHLOESSER. Right. Sir, I would not want to go on the record and say that that is true. I would say, though, that your intent, as I clearly indicated before, that there is a need for the TCDL to get out of the c band congestion is absolutely right. So I do not want to get up here and argue percentages or anything like that. But we are limited in our operations in Baghdad clearly because we do not have TCDL.
Mr. WELDON. And that is a major concern because we did, as you know, raise the issue last year. The standard was set. And so, that is an area that we are going to be paying very close attention to. And I think we have made the point. And I would just ask you to take that back and continue to aggressively pursue this.
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With that, we are going to have a series of votes. We do have a classified brief for the members. It is not an actual part of the hearing, it is classified.
But we want to thank each of you for the work you are doing, for the service you are providing to our troops. We are proud of our troops and the excellent job they are doing around the world. And we are especially proud of the way that you are incorporating new technology to help better protect the men and women who wear the uniform.
This hearing stands adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 4:21 p.m., the subcommittee was adjourned.]