SPEAKERS CONTENTS INSERTS
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[H.A.S.C. No. 10827]
NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT
FOR FISCAL YEAR 2005H.R. 4200
OVERSIGHT OF PREVIOUSLY AUTHORIZED PROGRAMS
COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED EIGHTH CONGRESS
PROJECTION FORCES SUBCOMMITTEE HEARINGS
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TITLE IIRESEARCH, DEVELOPMENT, TEST, AND EVALUATION
MARCH 17, 2004
PROJECTION FORCES SUBCOMMITTEE
ROSCOE BARTLETT, Maryland, Chairman
ROB SIMMONS, Connecticut
JO ANN DAVIS, Virginia
EDWARD SCHROCK, Virginia
JIM SAXTON, New Jersey
JOHN HOSTETTLER, Indiana
KEN CALVERT, California
JEB BRADLEY, New Hampshire
JOHN KLINE, Minnesota
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GENE TAYLOR, Mississippi
NEIL ABERCROMBIE, Hawaii
ELLEN O. TAUSCHER, California
JAMES R. LANGEVIN, Rhode Island
STEVE ISRAEL, New York
JIM MARSHALL, Georgia
RODNEY ALEXANDER, Louisiana
Robert Lautrup, Professional Staff Member
Jean D. Reed, Professional Staff Member
John Sullivan, Professional Staff Member
Claire E. Dunne, Staff Assistant
C O N T E N T S
CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF HEARINGS
Wednesday, March 17, 2004, Fiscal Year 2005 National Defense Authorization ActUnited States Transportation Command's (USTRANSCOM) Airlift and Sealift Programs
Page 4 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCAPPENDIX:
Wednesday, March 17, 2004
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 17, 2004
FISCAL YEAR 2005 NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACTUNITED STATES TRANSPORTATION COMMAND'S (USTRANSCOM) AIRLIFT AND SEALIFT PROGRAMS
STATEMENTS PRESENTED BY MEMBERS OF CONGRESS
Bartlett, Hon. Roscoe, a Representative from Maryland, Chairman, Projection Forces Subcommittee
Taylor, Hon. Gene, a Representative from Mississippi, Ranking Member, Projection Forces Subcommittee
Handy, Gen. John W., USAF, Commander, U.S. Transportation Command, United States Air Force
Page 5 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCBartlett, Hon. Roscoe
Handy, Gen. John W.
DOCUMENTS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
[The Documents submitted can be viewed in the hard copy.]
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
[The Questions and Answers can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Mrs. Davis (Jo Ann)
FISCAL YEAR 2005 NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACTUNITED STATES TRANSPORTATION COMMAND'S (USTRANSCOM) AIRLIFT AND SEALIFT PROGRAMS
House of Representatives,
Committee on Armed Services,
Projection Forces Subcommittee,
Washington, DC, Wednesday, March 17, 2004.
The subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 4:04 p.m., in room 2212, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Roscoe Bartlett (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.
Page 6 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCOPENING STATEMENT OF HON. ROSCOE BARTLETT, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM MARYLAND, CHAIRMAN, PROJECTION FORCES SUBCOMMITTEE
Mr. BARTLETT. The hearing will come to order.
This afternoon the Projection Forces Subcommittee meets to receive testimony from General John W. Handy, United States Air Force, Commander of the United States Transportation Command.
Our hearing today will focus on the current and future state of our airlift and sealift transportation forces. Over the past ten years, the United States has reduced its Cold War infrastructure and closed two-thirds of its forward bases. This seems that to maintain the same level of global engagement, U.S. forces must deploy more frequently and over greater distances.
During an average week, the United States Transportation Command, TRANSCOM, operates air mobility missions transiting 52 countries, operates in 22 military ocean ports in 13 countries and has 20 chartered military ships underway.
Thirty-six additional government-owned and chartered vessels loaded with military cargo are strategically pre-positioned around the world, significantly increasing the responsiveness of urgently needed U.S. military equipment and supplies during a time of crisis.
During peacetime, TRANSCOM frequently finds itself operating at levels during day-to-day operations that closely parallel those of a contingency. Today we are engaged in contingency operations.
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TRANSCOM is the key enabler, ensuring that combat forces and equipment are available to support Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.
In fact, Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom now rank as the largest passenger airlift in history. Only the Berlin airlift exceeds it in terms of the number of missions and tonnage flown.
It is important to note that TRANSCOM currently combines these wartime missions with other worldwide war-on-terror operations, such as support for detainee operations in Guantanamo Bay, additional contingency in peacekeeping operations around the globe, and exercises, which are vitally important to keep our forces trained and ready.
In the 1990s, the Department of Defense undertook a series of studies to quantify requirements and identify shortfalls in the Department's wartime transportation needs. After some refinement of earlier studies, the most recent study, ''Mobility Requirement Study: 2005,'' or MRS05, was completed in 2001.
This analysis concluded that pre-positioning, surge sealift, inter-theater lift and continental United States transportation assets are largely satisfactory. But the earlier airlift requirements of 49.7 million ton-miles per day needed to be raised to 54.5 million ton-miles per day.
Although some MRS05 scenarios generated airlift requirements up to 67 million ton-miles per day, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and theater commanders agreed that the requirements for 54.5 million ton-miles per day would be the minimum moderate-risk capability to support the national military strategy.
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I am particularly concerned about today's airlift force structure since our current airlift forces provides only 44.7 million ton-miles per day, a shortfall of 9.8 million ton-miles. Additionally, I note that the MRS05 study was completed before September 11, 2001, and our airlift and sealift needs for the ongoing global war on terror have not yet been fully assessed.
General Handy, we look forward to your testimony today to help us understand the current status and future requirements of our airlift and sealift transportation forces as we continue the global war on terror.
I would like now to recognize the gentleman from Mississippi, my friend, the Ranking Member of our subcommittee, Gene Taylor, for any remarks that he would like to make.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Bartlett can be viewed in the hard copy.]
STATEMENT OF HON. GENE TAYLOR, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM MISSISSIPPI, RANKING MEMBER, PROJECTION FORCES SUBCOMMITTEE
Mr. TAYLOR. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. But since you told me to keep it brief, I am going to thank our witness for being here.
Is that brief enough?
Page 9 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you very much.
General Handy, without objection, all of your prepared testimony will be a part of the record. And we now welcome any remarks that you would like to make before questions and answers. The floor is yours.
STATEMENT OF GEN. JOHN W. HANDY, USAF, COMMANDER, U.S. TRANSPORTATION COMMAND, UNITED STATES AIR FORCE
General HANDY. Sir, thank you very, very much. For the fact that my statement is submitted for the record, I have some very brief comments, but not as brief as Mr. Taylor's opening comment.
I would like to point out that, as the Combatant Commander of Transportation Command (TRANSCOM), I represent 152,000 soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, as well as Coast Guardsmen, who constitute that workforce that we are so proud of today.
Those folks are represented by three componentsArmy, Navy and Air Forceso that we are responsible for everything that moves in the defense transportation systemair, land and seaas you well know.
It is remarkable to me as I sit as the Commander to understand that we have moved over 1.3 million people back and forth between just the continental U.S., Europe and Iraq and Afghanistan, and almost 3.4 million short-tons of cargo.
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Those are staggering numbers. Without those people and the assets that they managed, these would be virtually impossible.
Quite often we emphasize the airlift, air refueling, the sealift and the rail and truck traffic that we have. But we also have dramatic requirements in our entire system to include Halvorsens and Tunner loaders.
All of that package and all of those people add up to do the things that this command does. And I am so very proud of that.
And I am thankful for the opportunity to appear before this committee and be able to answer your questions. And therefore I am ready, sir.
[The prepared statement of General Handy can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you very much, sir.
Your people are pretty obviously the unsung heroes. Everybody just expects the people and the things are going to be there for the operation. And thanks to you and your people, they are there.
Let me turn now to my colleague, Mr. Taylor, for his comments and questions.
Page 11 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. TAYLOR. General, first, I am going to do this on behalf of my colleague, Mr. Wicker, who is an appropriator, so keep this in mind, that this is important.
In your testimony you mentioned the requirement for the 618 Halvorsen motors. Currently, 312 of them have been funded, leaving 306 for subsequent program objective memorandums for finishing. He points out that there is zero funding in the 2005 budget, and we would appreciate your thoughts on how the Air Force is going to proceed with funding the remaining 306.
General HANDY. Our hope, sir, is that we would be able to find somewhere in the Air Force budget the ability to extend that Halvorsen line.
The thing that concerns me the most is that these loaders, first off, are performing flawlessly in the field today, doing an incredible job. They are replacing our 25K loaders. These loaders are older than their numerical designation.
And while they may be working reasonably well in the field, it is not like any other system: The older they have gotten, the higher the cost of maintenance is.
And so from a combatant commander perspective, I would like to be able to encourage the Air Force to include dollars in their budget which they were not able to do in 2005. And I am hopeful that we can get into the 2006 budget, to certainly preclude a line drawdown or any other possible situation that would not continue getting Halvorsens into our hands and out to the war-fighters to be able to use to load and offload our aircraft.
Page 12 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And so, that is an ongoing debate within Air Mobility Command, my airlift component, air refueling component, and the air staff as they build that budget.
Mr. TAYLOR. Do you anticipate including it in some sort of an unfunded requirement list during this budget cycle?
General HANDY. We will always, from a TRANSCOM perspective, insist that we are supplied with everything we need and to make those needs as well-known as we possibly can.
Mr. TAYLOR. General, I happen to have been in this very room shortly after the first Gulf War when a group of members put the money in for the medium-speed, roll-on/roll-off ships that really were not asked for by the Navy. And they actually had to overcome the objections of the then-subcommittee chairman, and a great American, Charlie Bennett. And of course, years later, everyone says what a great idea that was.
If you recall, after the first Gulf War, we had to go out and charter something in the neighborhood of 90 foreign-flag vessels to resupply our troops.
I say that only in that nothing lasts forever. The world continues to change.
And I was very interested in hearing my colleagues mention the 20 chartered vessels. Was that 20 foreign-flagged vessels that had to be chartered for this, or were they 20 American-flagged vessels?
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General HANDY. That is at any given time, the numbers he gave. And that is ships generically.
We always go to U.S.-flagged first, and only go to foreign-flagged when we have exhausted all bidders to a request for proposal. And it is only then that we go to and use a foreign-flagged ship.
Mr. TAYLOR. Did you go to any foreign-flagged ships this time?
General HANDY. Yes, indeed we did.
Mr. TAYLOR. And what types of ships are those?
General HANDY. They run the range, the gamut. Our greatest need was in roll-on/roll-off ships, much like the LMSRs (large medium speed roll-on/roll-off), and roll-on/roll-off ships that you described. That is the most in-demand ship that we have.
And we exhausted all of our capabilities even with the LMSRs and the common-user, pre-positioned ships once they were released, and all of the capability of the U.S.-flagged fleet and then dug into some small numbers of the foreign-flag.
We also had to use some foreign-flag and some smaller-sized ships.
Mr. TAYLOR. Number one, as a citizen in support of the military, I recognize that we do not have a monopoly on good ideas and that from time to time it makes sense if you see a good platform out there, to try it out before you buy it. Now, I understand that was the case with some of the high-speed ferries that were used.
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The concern I have and the concern the folks in the American industrial base have is that this could lead to the acquisition of vessels like that from overseas. And as someone who represents shipbuilding country, and who is very keenly afraid of the loss of our industrial base, I would certainly hope that the use of these vessels was only as a demonstration and will not become a pattern as far as actually acquiring them overseas.
But I want to hear your thoughts on that for the exact same reasons that I wanted to see Boeing build the tankers and not Airbus. I am very much concerned about the American industrial base, particularly for our second-tier and our larger shipyards.
General HANDY. Absolutely. I can give you a perspective from one who is outside that equation right now.
The Army and Marine Corps have leased thoseand they go by either HSV, high speed vessel, or TSV, theater support vessel. They have leased them and used them in an intratheater role. They are not TRANSCOM assets. They are not managed by my naval component, for example.
But we are very familiar with it, and we have watched that experiment and the use of those assets for a whole wide range of reasons, not the least of which is the impact on the defense transportation system, how they might either solve or create seams, and how we service our combatant commander in an AOR (Area of Responsibility) anywhere in the world.
From our perspectiveand yes, for the TRANSCOM perspectivethese are very small and fairly limited niche capabilities. I do not want to sound too critical of them, but from a TRANSCOM perspective, we find better use of roll-on/roll-off ships the size of the LMSRs. We are talking 950-feet long, 150-feet wide. They displace 34 feet of water. They have got tremendous capabilities.
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But the typical TSV will handle about a battalion's worth of capability. And so they are more of an intratheater coastal capability than they are for open ocean transit of large things that we would tend to utilize and have more of a need for.
Mr. TAYLOR. But should they become a part of your inventory? I would like to hear your thoughts as to whether or not it would be your preference to have them made in America as opposed to overseas.
Because, again, I guess what I am searching for is, if I am going to hear that your preference is to buy them overseas, should they become part of the inventory? Then I and others would probably try to put ''Made in America'' language into the bill, just to make our intentions known.
General HANDY. I know exactly where you are going. I fall into that category of person who says, ''Build it in America.'' Pure and simple. It may be the easiest question I have had all day. I just do not see a need to go shop offshore, if you will.
Mr. TAYLOR. Looking ten years out, you know, I got here just in time for Just Cause. Actually, I got here just in time for the Berlin Wall to come down, when everyone told me peace had broken out. And there was a momentary euphoria, interrupted by Just Cause, for which we have seemed to have one conflict after another since.
Looking ten years out, since it usually takes us about ten years to solve a problem, what do you feel like this committee needs to be addressing, from TRANSCOM's point of view? What voids will need to be filled in the next decade?
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General HANDY. Yes, sir. The very first thing is about to kick off this spring. And in terms of committee support, it is for the mobility capability study that OSD, the Office of Secretary of Defense, and the Joint Staff are about to undertake.
Their target is March of this year. Take a year to do that and report out sometime in the March, April or spring of 2005.
Now, we in TRANSCOM have urged that study for some time for many of the reasons that both of you mentioned already, and that is the Mobility Requirement Study of 2005 (MRS05) was actually released in January 2001, but done in 2000. And immediately it was an attempt to try to predict what the requirement in the world would be in 2005. And that is the nature of trying to predict things.
As hard as they worked and as dedicated as they studied it, it still preceded September 11, 2001, the global war on terrorism, the creation of U.S. Northern Command, the Department of Homeland Security, and on and on and on. And so the requirements in our business have gone up dramatically, compared to what MRS05 thought they would be.
And so we, for that reason, to help establish a baseline requirement of analysis that we could all chew on, and then say what ought we to do for the niche requirements that we in TRANSCOM have for mobility, and that is where I am headed.
So the first thing is to push, watch, be very aware of the progress of that mobility capability study, because it will be an air, land and sea capabilities discussion. And its results will have a dramatic impact on where we go in the areas where I am leading so that we have capability needs.
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And the first one, in my humble opinion, is in the airlift world. We need to make sure that we meet at least the requirements of MRS05 plus whatever Mobility Capabilities Study (MCS) lays on the table.
2005 told us at least 222 C17s. It told us some number of highly modified C5s. Both those programs are ongoing. The C17 is funded up to 180. At 15 a year, that is taking us far too long to get to the solution to even a 54.5. And I would certainly like to see MCS come out with some data that we could lock our arms around and say, ''That is the right answer for a C17 buy.''
The reason that is so critical to me is the line is due to shut down in 2008. If we do not have a long lead to keep that line open in the 2006 budget, the outcome is almost inevitable.
And so MCS will not be out in time to affect our budget bill. It will be in time for Congress to chew on that data. But I fear that we have to make some decisions, and that the next 42 in a multiyear would be a position that I certainly endorse. That is in the C17 world.
In the C5 world, we certainly need to continue the efforts to modify the A's and the B's, so that we end up with an airlifter there whose mission capable rates are at least the 75 percent the contract calls for.
Now, those are not competing programs. Those are both tools in the kit of mobility that we need as a nation to get a variety of things deployed. Where they come in competition is in the dollar end of it, but not in their capability.
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So that is airlift.
On the tanker side, we are operating today with tankers last year that we never got to give. We were talking about tankers 43 years average age. Now they are 44.4 years average age. And if a decision were made today to replace them all and we were able to start today, the oldest tanker that would retire would be at least 80, and in some scenarios, as much as 100 years old. And that, as you would all appreciate, is like me having squadrons of Wright flyers on my installations today at 100 years.
And so a tanker replacement is an imperative to get started on. Regardless of what the solution is, there is a clear and well-known requirement to start recapitalizing our tanker fleet.
That is the air side of it.
Sealift, you have touched on some of it. We have 19 LMSRs. I would like to see us get up to that full surge capability so that we can rid ourselves of that roughly ten million square feet of shortfall and surge capability. That is in a roll-on/roll-off fleet.
I would further like to work with MARAD (Maritime Administration) to reduce our reliance on ships within the Ready Reserve fleet that are not militarily useful. And that is that category of ships that have either aged out or are break bulk and are certainly less optimum from a transportation perspective since they are break bulk and not containerized.
Page 19 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Most of what we do is either roll-on/roll-off or containerized today, and so there is a significant need in the sealift side.
The other part of sealift that I would certainly endorse to explore is not small intratheater high-speed lift but the possibility of increasing the speed of large ships in that LMSR range. Because one of these days, we are going to have to replace our fast sealift ships in the Ready Reserve fleet that are boiler-powered shipsgreat ships.
But they are aging out, and we need something that can get up into that 40 to 45 knot range and deliver the bang for the buck that we can today with an FSS (fast sealift ship) or an LMSR.
So that is sealift.
On the surface side ashore, we have done great progress since the days of Shield and Storm with rail-head rail improvements, flat car acquisition such thatand in containers by the waysuch that we are reasonably well off in that area.
So that is air, sea and surface, from my perspective, that are things that need to be watched in that mobility capability study.
One final point: In looking at that study, it is critical that the assumptions in that study be critically looked at up front. And by that I mean that you can make some assumptions up front that may negate an outcome that takes you down a path that may not face reality.
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And I can address those, if you are interested at all.
Mr. TAYLOR. Mr. Chairman, I would love to hear, but I do not want to monopolize the general's time, so I will yield back in hopes that at some point he can touch on those things.
Mr. BARTLETT. We will have a second round, if some other member does not touch on it with their question.
The chair will recognize our members in their ranking on the committee if they were here at gavel call and their appearance on the committee if they came in after gavel call, so that means Mr. Saxton is next.
Mr. SAXTON. You confused me with that formula, but that is okay, I will take my turn now.
General, in the chairman's opening statement, he talked about the airlift requirement. And he mentioned that at one time the airlift requirement was established at 49.7 million ton-miles per day. And that at a later time, after the mobility requirement study bottoms-up review, the requirement number was moved to 54.5 million ton-miles per day.
And I have to admit, you reminded me of this. I had forgotten where we were today, at 44.7 million ton-miles per day.
Page 21 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And I just would share with the other committee members who may not have been here or who may not have had this recollection, I remember when the C17 was proposed, when it was in its developmental stage, we thought we were going to need, help me out, I think it was 220?
General HANDY. Two-hundred and forty was a figure that we had etched in stone at one time.
Mr. SAXTON. Right. And then it is my opinion that for budgetary reasons, Secretary Cheney decided that we would originally commit to buy 120.
And there was a lot of discussion on the committee about how to make 120 work. There was some discussion of extending the life of the C141s, and that was deemed to be a bad idea because of the service time and the type of missions the C141s flew. That would have been a very expensive proposition and, frankly, it is a small older airplane anyway.
And then we talked about what to do with the C5s, which have a mission capable rate ofthe B models, I guess, are 60 percent?
General HANDY. They have been in the mid to high 60s over the last roughly 12 months.
Mr. SAXTON. So we cut the buy of the C17 in half and then added them back a little at a time when we found an excuse to do so. The first 15 we added back for special operations submissions, and then we decided that we were so short on lift that we added another buy.
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But this seems like such a simple answer to me, and we keep making it complicated. We originally thought we needed 240. We have been adding them back whenever we can find an excuse to do so. And, General, it must make interesting time for you to hear us debate this issue. Eventually we are going to have to buy 240 C17s.
So, anyway, that is my opinion, anyway.
Now, we have got some options here laid out in the mobility study 2005. And option number one, General, I am interested in your thoughts on this.
Option number one is to modernize, at least, part of the C5 fleet at a cost of $8 billion and to buy 60 C17s to get us to where we need to be. Those two items together, that would get us to 54.7 million ton-miles per day. Is that right?
General HANDY. Each of those options discussed in MRS05 or to get to 54.5 million ton-miles per day.
Mr. SAXTON. All right.
Mr. Chairman, did you not mention that there is some thought being given to increasing that 54.7 million ton-miles per day?
Mr. BARTLETT. This is moderate risk. And for those who would like to go into war without moderate risk it jumps up to 67is it?
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General HANDY. Yes, sir.
Mr. BARTLETT. Sixty-seven million ton-miles per day. You have to remember that this is moderate risk. And I do not know how many of our people really want their young people out there under moderate risk?
Mr. SAXTON. Option number two is to slow down the retirement of C141s. Well, that may have been an option when this paper was written but they have been done retired. I think we have got nine left in the active fleet.
How many are left in the active fleet, General?
General HANDY. I will check sir, but there are probably eight or nine still at McGuire.
Mr. SAXTON. Right.
General HANDY. But they are leaving McGuire very, very fast.
Mr. SAXTON. That is true. So that is not really an option. There is another option here: increased use of commercial aircraft. We had that debate when we were trying to decide to whether to buy the C17 or not. And I hope we do not have to relive that debate because the C17 just flew circles around the commercial derivative.
Page 24 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Another option would be to reduce the airlift requirement. I do not think that is an option.
And another option is to accept less strategic airlift capability, which, if we think much about our national security, it is not really an option either.
So we are debating on whether to send $8 billion to modernize the C5 fleet and $8.9 billion to buy 60 more C17s. And I think we ought to get to that decision.
What do you think, General? Maybe that is not a fair question for me to ask you, but
General HANDY. I almost feel like asking you to turn that cell phone back on again. It is time for that sort of music.
Mr. SAXTON. Yes, sir.
General HANDY. Clearly, I do not think it is prudent for someone in my position to not clearly articulate the requirement that this nation faces in terms of mobility. And so to some degree, there clearly is a need for specificity and clarity.
And I certainly want the mobility capability study to wind its course. But it will confirm thatI predictthat we have at least studied this a lot. It is prudent that we not buy any more C17s than the nation needs.
Page 25 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC We should not have any more LMSRs or fast sea lift ships than the nation needs. But we ought to have at least what we need.
The frustration comes not in what we do not buy, but the fact that when I sit down with, as I did last year at exact same time with General Tommy Franks, and we talk about the war plan that he needed to execute, and we in fact must negotiate the time and each component of that war plan, that we can get it delivered.
And he might say within 60 days. And I will say, ''But, General, we cannot do thatair, land or seaunless you can give me 75 days or defer these particular force packages that are less dear a little bit further out and we will get the real dear stuff up front.''
And so as a combatant commander charged with supporting all other combatant commanders, it is very, very difficult to be in that negotiating position all the time.
What is even worse is to be able to support General Franks, and now General John Abizaid. We do that really well, we make it look very, very easy, but we are in a constant negotiation with not only them, but all the other combatant commanders and all users of our goods and services around the world to negotiate how we can get the nation's work done.
And so that is the frustration we have as people in this business is that we do not have the tool kits in our tool bag sufficiently staffed with C17s or tankers or shipping that we know we need to get the job done.
Page 26 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And so the only solution for us is at least get to the 220 that we know was validated in MRS05 and start modifying C5s to the tune that we know was validated back then and let this other study wind its course.
And so if it sounds like I am fairly passionate about it, I indeed am. I really and truly want to see us fix this problem.
Mr. SAXTON. Mr. Chairman, last year, when we marked up, you will recall I am sure that we pretty much tied the Air Force's hands on the C5 issue.
Some of the older A models were going to be retired and, I guess, maybe they did get retired in this cycle.
General HANDY. We had permission to retire 14 this year.
Mr. SAXTON. And after that, you are tied
General HANDY. Yes, sir.
Mr. SAXTON. You are tied up because we put a provision in forbidding any more retirements of C5As, which, from my point of view was a mistake because we need to move on with the C5 rebuild plan, which is the newer ones that can be rebuilt efficiently. And I hope we can take another look at that. I suppose that is something we can negotiate with the Senate because I think they were pretty interested in that.
Page 27 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC So anyway, this is a set of issues that to me, as I look out at the need and the options to meet that need, well, it is an expensive but simple solution. And we keep debating, trying to find other ways to do this. And it is a bit frustrating from time to time.
The requirement to deploy Stryker brigades in 96 hours, a Stryker brigade in 96 hours, has that changed the lift requirement overall?
General HANDY. That is one area of MRS2005. Of course it did not exist then and is an area that we have said you need to lay on the table as we look at the mobility capability study. What will it take to do what the Army needs to do and to have done today? What is that requirement? How many? Where?
We have had some notional looks. And the plan that we endorse is a quick thrust of Stryker with C17 and then sealift for the remaining force that gets it closed not in a 96-hour window, but certainly fairly fast. But those are preliminary looks at how could we accomplish that challenge for the Army.
Mr. SAXTON. That was not in the previous mobility study
General HANDY. No, sir, but needs to be a factor in the MCS that is about to take place.
Mr. SAXTON. Mr. Chairman, I guess I will pass for now and maybe give some other folks a chance to
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Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you very much, and we should have time for a second round.
The next in our queue is Mr. Kline.
Mr. KLINE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Thank you very much, General.
I want to switch to a different look at this transportation thing. I am thinking back over the years thatwell, in fact, let's go way back when we were involved in moving large amounts of troops and equipment in and out of Vietnam. We had Da Nang, we had Cam Ranh Bay, we had Tan Son Nhut, we had some runway and ramp capacity.
Certainly when we did Desert Shield and Desert Storm, there was a lot of concrete down there that was available.
But when we did Operation Restore Hope, going into Mogadishu, we were extremely limited in both available runways and certainly in ramp space and port capacity.
And as you are looking at the MCS, the new study, I trust that those issues are being addressed in that to make sure that we are doing everything that we can to be prepared to operate in Mogadishu-like environment where we do not have the big reception facilities.
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Would you care to address that at all?
General HANDY. Well, I certainly would.
I should go back a long time. It does not seem quite that long ago that I was both at Cam Ranh Bay and Tan Son Nhut and doing many of the same things that you are referring to.
We did have a lot of concrete back then, and we had a lot of access.
I was the TRANSCOM J3, J4, for Mogadishu. And so I know from air, land and sea what we went through in that particular event.
And of course, I have been through various scenarios in the last 37 and a half years.
Afghanistan uniquely was even worse than Mogadishu in that it was totally landlocked. And so that further highlighted the challenges.
As we look at the attempts at MCS, our role will be to be a very active partner. There are the two co-chairs: the Joint Staff and OSD Program, Analysis & Evaluation (P,A,&E).
And of course we will play in that.
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And of course we will urge that consideration be given to the access component of mobility, which is airports and seaports.
And how do you deal with anti-access strategies and scenarios? And in those rare occasions like Afghanistan, how do you solve the problem?
Now, we did and we certainly made it look very easy, but it was not.
Mr. KLINE. Well, I appreciate the answer.
And it is encouraging to know that it is an important part of the study. But it does worry me a little bit that we look at LMSRs, for example, you pointed out how long they are and how much draft they have. And there are those places like Mogadishu where it is just you cannot get there from here.
And we need to make sure that we have enough diversity in our assetsI think the C17 would certainly apply to thatthat would allow us to get in.
I remember very well being on the ramp in Mogadishu and you could not move or breathe. You could not get another airplane in there with a crowbar. And if there was a hiccup when the C5 kneeled or tried to unkneel, you had a real problem. And I watched as runways literally got chewed up and you could not use them anymore.
Page 31 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And it is hard to ever remember a day when I thought fondly about Da Nang, but I thought about how much concrete and runway space that we had there.
So I appreciate very much that you are doing that.
And one follow-up: We have discussed from the very beginning hereand it is an amazing feat what you and your troops are doing, as you have this largest troop movement since World War II going on.
Is access to the ports and runways and ramps sufficient to move at the rate you would like to move? Or is that a constraining factor?
General HANDY. The constraining factor for us has not yet been ports, either sea or air. Our greatest constraint has been that we are moving 250,000 in such a short period of time. And so we have pressed our commercial partners into service at incredibly high rates.
And we have literally unleashed everything that we have that can potentially haul passengers comfortably, reasonably comfortably, into that fray. And that means KC135 tankers, configured. It means C5s with the 75 seats and as much as we can floor load, you know, with airline convertible seats.
So we are throwing everything we can at this problem.
And so the constraint is clearly one of airlift, as opposed to access.
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Now I would be remiss if I just did not point out that a good bit of this transition takes place at Kuwait International Airport.
And when you are transiting 3,000 to 6,000 troops at a day's time, in a 24-hour period, that is a huge challenge to the infrastructure of the airport and the onward movement and reception that the Marines, and Army, Air Force and in some cases the Navy see.
So I do not want to leave here thinking that those are not real challenges. They are superior challenges, but they are being worked in an incredibly fine way.
Mr. KLINE. Apparently they are, because it is not the constraining factor. It is the number of airplanes, the number of seats that isthank you very much, General.
And I yield back, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you.
We now move to our members in order of appearance after gavel fall.
Mrs. JO ANN DAVIS OF VIRGINIA. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Page 33 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And thank you, General Handy, for being here.
I was going to ask you what procurement challenges might lie ahead for Military Sealift Command, but I think we have heard that. It is sort of like at my house, my husband tries to take the cheap, easy way to repair something and we end up having to spend more down the road because we should have done it right to begin with.
But based on what I heard Mr. Saxton say, it seems to me that we just need to see what you need and bite the bullet and fund it and get on with it.
But I do want to specifically ask you your thoughts on what factors might affect the balance at Military Sealift Command with regards to leasing versus owning. And what are the possible consequences that we would see down the road?
General HANDY. I think the best way I can answer that question is: We have a requirement, at least an established requirement in the past that will be updated. And it is going to sound like a broken record when I keep talking about how desperate we are to get MCS completed. But that requirement will be more known just how short we are of sealift. And the ways that we can solve that run the gamut.
Clearly, one way is to own our own capabilities as we do with the LMSRs that we have already talked about.
The other way, of course, is for MARAD, the Maritime Administration, to acquire and continue to manage in the ready reserve fleet those types of ships that run the gamut of large to small, much like Mr. Kline's point. So we have a mix-and-match fleet which we can draw from.
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The other way we do it, of course, is a robust U.S.-flagged capability, which gets back to Mr. Taylor's point. And were it not for the reauthorization of the Maritime Security Act last session that gives us authority that will start in 2006 for MSC reauthorization that keeps at least 60 ships with the U.S. flag, which will employ mariners, by the way, which we also are deeply in need of.
So it is the combination of some acquisition and on the leasing area where I have looked to MSC is that we actually rely on that U.S.-flagged fleet to allow us to charter or liner bits of a ship to get the job done. It is the combination of those two things.
Now, I think that your question is talking about do I lease or buy within my own organic fleet. I have not looked at the financial analysis recently enough to give you an honest answer. And I would be more than happy to take for the record and insert back for you a more detailed analysis of what MSC thinks lease versus buy might be in our organically held shipping.
Mrs. JO ANN DAVIS OF VIRGINIA. Like my colleague over here, Mr. Taylor, I am very concerned about our industrial base and where we are going. I also have a keen interest in the Ready Reserve fleet. So I do not mind MARAD having ships there that are ready to go in reserve that are usable.
I do have problems with some of the ones that are there now, and I cannot imagine you would want to use them.
Page 35 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC But I would like for you to take that for the record and get back to me.
[The information referred to can be viewed in the hard copy.]
General HANDY. Yes, ma'am.
I just would tell you the NDRF (National Defense Reserve Fleet) is something that we are on record as saying that at TRANSCOM we have no requirement for any of those ships whatsoeverno requirement whatsoever.
Mrs. JO ANN DAVIS OF VIRGINIA. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. BARTLETT. Mr. Abercrombie.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. General, thank you for your excellent summary. Going back to your response to Mr. Taylorand I wanted to take it up at that pointbut ask you first, in regard to that very detailed summary that you made, the funding is not there, right?
You outlined what you believe is necessary. But the funding for that, either in this budget or proposed budget, essentially is unfunded, an unfunded need. Would that be a fair characterization?
General HANDY. The funded part of it, to be very clear, of course is the 180 buy of C17s, which was the last multiyear authority. That is funded through 180.
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Mr. ABERCROMBIE. I should have been more specific. I am referring now to the sealift side.
General HANDY. Okay. There is nothing in the Navy budget that I am aware of that targets any more of the sealift that we are talking about for surge capability within MSC's span of control.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Now, with the security program and so on, we have had, ever since I have been herethis is my 14th year now dealing with thisbut one thing about hanging around long enough is, sometimes you learn something and you have it down pretty cold.
Now, we talked sometime back and for some period of time about charter and build, about trying to revive the American Merchant Marine and to put it on a basis that it would be in line with what I refer to as national security interests.
My own belief is, in terms of full disclosurebecause I am not trying to lead you down a path, believe me, although you may be aware of my views on thisis that I consider maritime security national security and consider that a loan program or a program of some kind that would enable us to revive an American Merchant Marine would be in our national security interest.
Perhaps we could do it with a low loan program or something. You are familiar with the various schemes that have been put forwardand I use schemes advisedly when I say thatvarious scenarios have been put forward.
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Now, I am not so much asking you whether you feel that that is something that needs to be done. I just put that forward for the chairman's consideration and for this Congress' consideration.
We have got to come to a conclusion on this fairly soon. With these kinds of deployments that are taking place now, we simply cannot rely on the system of transport that we have gotten away with so far. I am going to put it that way. I think we have gotten away with it.
In any event, your testimony, if I understood it correctly, to Mr. Taylor, was that there is a significant need currently unmet with regard to sealift in various forms, that if you could get and we could authorize and fund a system for addressing that, you think it would be in the nation's interest. Is that a fair summary?
General HANDY. It certainly is.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Very good.
Without going into the details of what that might be, maybe that is something we can talk about at another time, or maybe the chairman can take up.
You then said at the end of your response to Mr. Taylorand I am paraphrasing here a bitthat there are related subjects with regard to unintended consequences or directions that might be taken that might be adverse in nature but did not have time to go into.
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Could you illuminate that at this point?
General HANDY. And I am talking specifically about assumptions prior to a study. And it is not just MCS, it is any study that anyone undertakes, it is what sort of assumptions do you make?
And there are several assumptions that have been used in the past that we certainly have cause for concern. And I can lay out just a couple of very important ones. They tend to be assumptions with war-time scenarios which you then analyze, how would I execute that particular task.
If, for example, you assume presidential reserve call-up immediately, on initiation of conflict, that is an assumption that we have yet to see, but it is quite often put in scenarios. And the reason that is so critical is that if you assume you have that kind of manpower and you do not, you start out in a deep, deep hole.
So it is an assumption that we always watch out for early on. And any scenario that gets played in the mobility world is, well, why would you assume that, if the reality is that is not likely to happen for the most likely contingencies that you are going to undertake.
Another one that we watch very carefully is the assumption that you will go immediately on notice to CRAF (Civil Reserve Air Fleet) Stage 2. It has never been done.
Page 39 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And CRAF 1 has been used twice. And it is with incredible prudence that we use CRAF because we tend to get volunteerism early on in any scenario that gets quite a bit of capability into our toolkit. And we rely on CRAF activation virtually as a last resort depending upon how challenging the scenario is and how threatening the threat may be.
And so any hint that you are going to do some of the things automatically at initiation of a more typical crisis does not play well in a scenario that we see today. And the scenarios we are talking about are small regional contingencies as opposed to a all-out regional worldwide conflict.
And so those are the things that I am talking about: greater relying on CRAF or presidential reserve call-up, things that happen right away that in history we know just do not happen right away for a whole lot of reasons.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. How do you relate that, then, to say the sealift lack that you see right now? So if you had your wayI was going to say if you were being askedI will ask you now not to commit yourself to anything but to be responsive to the question.
If you had your way right now with respect to sealift and did not have to concern yourself with the funding mechanism per se, what would you need today in the context that you just outlined, the most realistic assessment of what you face right now and likely scenarios with these possible multideployments and highly specialized kinds of contexts?
I am speaking about sealift now.
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General HANDY. Yes, strictly on sealift, there are two areas I would look at right away and it would be right with MARAD and it would be right with the age of the RRF (Ready Reserve Fleet). So age is one thing.
Specifically, if you look at our fast sealift shipsand I mentioned them earlierboiler plant power stations where if we really need to move something across the ocean fastand that is happened multiple times in the last 24 monthswe can put the throttles to them and scoot across the ocean, but at some significant risk to those power plants.
And so we try to throttle back. So we are trying to save that kind of lift.
The first thing would be the age of our RRF, which is that go-to force for immediate reaction.
There is an aging issue and there is that power plant issue.
Tied to that, of course, is the next concern, which is not directly at shipbuilding, but is the mariner issue you point out.
Without a strong U.S. flag fleet, the dwindling nature of our mariner pool continues in a spiral. And that is why getting from 47 to 60 ships was such a significant boon to us at TRANSCOM that it might enhance that mariner pool.
Page 41 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And so it is indirect, but those mariners are people that when we call the union halls, they show up, they roll up their sleeves, they get their anthrax and smallpox shots, and they go to sea and they do incredible things for us in great numbers.
But as our U.S. flag fleet faces the threat of a reduction, that is a direct hit against the very mariners that man our RRF ships. And these are great Americans who perform magnificently on the seas of the world.
And so sustaining mariners and sustaining adequate U.S. flag shipping in the commercial sector is the other area of greatest concernage and a sustained U.S. flag fleet.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. I appreciate your indulgence, Mr. Chairman and other members.
So if we found a way, then, to address that question in terms of funding, regardless of what that might beI am not asking you for thatbut that that would materially aid your capacity to be able to respond in the manner in which you already know how to do and feel we must be able to do; that is to say, addressing the mariner issue and the U.S. commercial fleet question, how to sustain it, or actually revive it I think is closer to it.
General HANDY. Totally agree.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Mr. Chairman, I have a question I would like to submit for an answer rather than take time now on the study assumptions.
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And I believe the frame of reference is called ''terms of reference,'' is that correct?
General HANDY. That is correct.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. I do not know if we have time for that now, maybe another set. But could I submit that question for you to address, because I think that addresses your question of assumption.
Mr. BARTLETT. Absolutely.
I might note that because this an oversight hearing, there are a number of questions to which we really need to get answers. We will not have an opportunity to ask all of those questions in open session.
With your permission, General, we would like to submit to youand any member of the committee may add to that listquestions that you need to answer for the record.
General HANDY. Absolutely.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Thank you.
General HANDY. Thank you, sir.
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Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you very much.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and other members. I appreciate the time.
Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you very much.
Mr. MARSHALL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
General Handy, I cannot put a date on exactly when I submitted or my office submitted a series of questions concerning the use of foreign airlift capacity to support our forces generally during the last year or so when Operation Iraqi Freedom has been ongoing.
And I have not, to my knowledge, at leastand I may be mistaken about thisI have not received a response to that detailed list of questions. And I guess I just, for the record here, ask that we work through that and I get those responses. I am quite sure that
General HANDY. We have incredibly good techniques for finding out where the logjams are and unjamming them.
Mr. MARSHALL. And I certainly hope it was not in my office. It may be that somehow this has come back. I apologize for not being here earlier. I was unavoidably detained and I have not had an opportunity to ask my office what is the status of that. But it has been really quite some time.
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And obviously, all of us would be concerned if we were dependent upon foreign commercial carriers to meet needs. I understand that we contracted with Russia for a certain amount of carrying capacity airlift during that period of time.
And I am sure that for the sake of security of the United States, it would be best to be maintaining the capacity to meet all of our needs for the reasonable contingencies included in the futuremaintain that capacity ourselves, rather than be relying upon foreign governments.
That is one of the reasons why I had that series of questions, and I would like to see exactly what the scope of that was.
General HANDY. I will certainly press back, because it is very disappointing if we have not been incredibly quick to answer your questions.
Mr. MARSHALL. And I hope it is not me.
General HANDY. A little insight. We have contracted foreign carriers, but we contract that because of reasonable laws, and laws that we certainly appreciate, through our craft partners. And in this case it is with a craft U.S.-owned company who has a subcontract relationship with a Ukrainian operator of the AN124.
And so we do not contract with foreign governments under any circumstances, but we do access this capability, but only and only when we have exhausted every conceivable avenue of lift, either organic or commercial. And I really emphasize, it is an exhaustive process making sure that we just do not have anybody who can do what we need done.
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And part of the problem was, early on and right now, the fact that Baghdad International and Iraq as a nation and Afghanistan are still off limits to U.S. flag carriers. We, in our organic fleets, with our defensive systems can fly into those environments.
And in some cases, our craft partner has a sub with that airline that could do that. And some very unique things that we needed moved at the time.
Mr. MARSHALL. Well, I am sure you all are doing absolutely the best you possibly can to contract only with U.S. carriers and to not be dependent upon a foreign government to provide us with the airlift capacity that we need in order to meet our strategic objectives.
The response you just gave concerns me a little bit. I really do not think it matters whether you are contracting with a U.S. company that happens to have a subcontract with a foreign country, and then we are in a position to say we have not contracted with the foreign country for airlift capacity directly.
It just seems to me that one lesson learned here may be that we need to rethink our airlift capacity and perhaps increase it beyond what we are projecting right now, so that we can meet the needs and not rely upon some foreign government to come through for us, whether it is with a subcontract or not.
General HANDY. I totally agree. Some of our earlier dialogue proves that point, just hands down. Given the adequate assets, we would be in a different position.
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Mr. MARSHALL. Thank you, sir. Appreciate your service, and wish I had gotten here a little sooner.
Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you very much.
General, before turning to my colleague, Mr. Taylor, for questions of a second round, I would just like to ask you one brief question before we continue.
I am sure that in your war games that you have looked at a wide range of potential engagements from very small to very large. On that continuum, where would you place what we are doing in Iraq, on a scale of one to ten, from the smallest to the largest? How would you rank it?
General HANDY. It is an interesting question. And the reason I am somewhat smiling about that is that Afghanistan was the one place in the world that in every war game I have ever played in, when someone mentioned it, they said, ''You will never have to go there, so pick another country.''
And so what we are seeing is sort of our worst scenario is an Afghanistan, landlocked, without the capability for robust sealift at the start.
We have significant sealift in through Pakistan now. But that one scenario is the one that we had always been told to avoid because it just would not happen.
Page 47 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC So if on a scale of one to ten, what we see is we are, I would in all sincerity say, it is in a 10-plus range. You did not give me that option, but it is about as extreme as we can get.
Mr. BARTLETT. It would be easier if we went to war with the Russians?
General HANDY. No, that is not what I mean. In most likely scenarios, if you want to
Mr. BARTLETT. Oh, all right.
General HANDY. If you want to talk extremes, then, I mean, it is a
Mr. BARTLETT. With the potential enemies, this is nowhere near a ten, correct?
General HANDY. Oh, no. This is in the most likely scenarios that we face today.
Now, if you take most of our studies and war games that look at an East and West scenario, where you have something like an Afghanistan or Iraq happening in Southwest Asia and you also have an East Asian scenario where our forces are split, that breaks the bank in terms of mobility.
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We are not postured to handle that dual role.
And what we have said in the past and say today is we would have to fight one to a standstill and then go execute the other one in the traditional two-MTW (Major Theater War) construct. We are not in that construct today. But that is the most demanding scenario that we ever played.
Today's scenario gets us into multiple small-scale contingencies that are more like what I described with my first answer.
Mr. BARTLETT. And with just what we are doing now, you are stretched pretty thin.
General HANDY. We have virtually everything that we have at our fingertips, both organic and commercial air, in the fight today on the air side and not quite strained on the sealift side. In air refueling, we are back down to a more normal pace. And so that gives you a picture of where we are.
Mr. BARTLETT. And if there were a North Korea coincident with this, you would kind of be in extremis.
General HANDY. There is no question about it.
Mr. BARTLETT. The question I would like to ask is, your MRS study 2005 was done pre-9/11.
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Clearly, our world changed. Do we need to have a relook at that to see what the daily ton mileages really need to be in the context of this new world we are in.
General HANDY. It is precisely the issue with that mobility capability study which is about to take place. They have to go back and revalidate what the real requirement is. And that number, 54.5, I am absolutely totally confident with the years I have been in this business will pale in comparison to what the reality of the world is that we live in today.
Mr. BARTLETT. Sixty-seven will not be too high?
General HANDY. We did a quick look study on just what we have just done in terms of Iraq and Afghanistan, and our best guess is 54.5 went up to somewhere in the 60 million ton-miles per day just in the scenario we have run.
And so if you get to a scenario like you are talking about, then easily one could say that 67, which was the highwater mark of low risk of MRS05 could be exceeded.
Mr. BARTLETT. When you have completed the study, can you give us you needs in terms of low risk, moderate risk and high risk?
General HANDY. We will certainly do everything we can to make sure that when the OSD and Joint Staff agents work that study, that our part of it will be to drive them to those kinds of conclusions so that we can clearly articulate high, moderate or low risk and the MTMs (Million Ton-Miles) per day or millions of square feet per day that we can move by sealift.
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Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you. That would be very useful to us in our deliberations.
Mr. TAYLOR. Thank you again, Mr. Chairman.
General Handy, I remember, I think it was in late November or early December, the insurgents in Iraq were able to hit one of the DHL planes. Thank goodness it landed safely.
My question is: What if the Iraqis got as clever with missiles as they have obviously gotten with improvised explosives?
And what if a carrier like DHL said, ''We won't do that anymore. You cannot pay us enough money to fly in there.'' What happens then?
What percentage of your total requirement is provided by outside contractors?
General HANDY. They were not under contract to us. They were operating independently. We have no commercial carriers of any kind going into Iraq or Afghanistan that are U.S.-flagged.
Page 51 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. TAYLOR. How about foreign-flagged?
General HANDY. The Antonov 124 has made trips into Baghdad, and it is for that reason. No other people could do it, and so we went to them to solve that problem.
Mr. TAYLOR. What percentage of your total requirement is done byminuscule? Less than 10 percent?
General HANDY. It would not even be the point of a pencil on a sheet of paper.
A critical part of your question, if I could, sir, is not only was the DHL hit, but so were one of my C5s and one of our C17s. And both of those occurrences happened shortly after the DHL incident.
And so it further points that in areas where man portable air defense systems (MANPAD) are used, that the commercial factor is taken right off the equation.
And so we are funneling our commercial traffic through alternate hubs, in this case, predominantly either Incirlik, for some of the retrograde, we haul things up to Incirlik, Turkey, and move out of there, or down to Kuwait International where that has been the hub and the heartbeat of all our commercial endeavor in the war to date.
Mr. TAYLOR. I notice that on page 30 of your testimony, you talked about the large aircraft infrared countermeasures. And I am aware that a significant number of your air crews over there are Guardsmen and Reservists. And I regret that my comrade, Congressman Simmons, is not here. Because both of us have heard from our Guardsmen and Reservists that they felt like, in other fields, that they were not getting the same equipment that the regular force was.
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So my question is: What percentage of the 130s in theater are now equipped with this? And is that pretty evenly divided between the regular force and the guard and reserve force over there?
General HANDY. The 130 fleet has no LAIRCM (large aircraft infrared counter measures) on it. It is a brand new system.
Mr. TAYLOR. None of them? None of them is what you are telling me?
General HANDY. Not no LAIRCM.
Every 131 in-theater has defensive systems, that is, radar warning and flare capability. And in fact, we have precluded any C130, your specific question, from flying anywhere in either Afghanistan or Iraq without DS capability, defensive system capability.
In an air mobility command, there is no difference between active, Guard and Reserve with regards to equippage or training or standardization or inspections or TDY (temporary duty) rates.
We, by necessity, have everybody treated the same because it is the only way to go to war where it is a total team effort.
There are some exceptions in that the Guard units are equipped with more modern C130s than the active component, but that is just a function of how those assets were bought.
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Mr. TAYLOR. I noticed that you mentioned the high usage of the 130s, and just as a casual observer, I certainly noted their high usage in the theater.
And I saw where you were calling for the acquisition, I think, for, oh, about another 100, over 100 of them, over how many years, sir?
General HANDY. Right now the J model buy is a fixed program that we are not asking for any more. What we currently have authorized is exactly what we have decided we will need in the J model fleet. And we will go back and highly modify the remaining E's, H1s, 2s, 3s, up to a common configuration in a program called Avionics Modernization Program.
The combination of those two will give us a common fleet for most aircraft and then the J model fleet that will flesh out in accordance with the current multiyear buy, which isI do not recall the exact numbersI think 45 aircraft still to acquire.
Mr. TAYLOR. I have been toldand I will let you tell me if there is any validity to thisthat the weather radar on a J is actually inferior to previous models as far as a pilot being able to identify the most serious weather and, therefore, try to avoid it.
I would think that that is a problem that has to be overcome. And I was wondering, if that is indeed the case, what is being done to fix that?
Page 54 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General HANDY. It is one of the issues we have worked for some time between General Sherrard in Reserve Command and ourselves with the weather birds at Keesler.
The 241 radar that they have got installed is wonderful for normal routine flying to avoid weather. The problem with it is, in the hurricane hunter mission, you need to see not just that there is a storm there, but you need the radar capability to penetrate that storm to tell you its intensity and when you will break out to the other side.
And the radar in the J model that came out for our crews at Keesler does not have the capability that they had resident in their current replaceable aircraft.
And so from the start, we have been working with the manufacturer, both the prime and the sub, to come up with a solution that we would be happy with because we are not happy until that challenge is solved.
Now, the latest I have been given on that solution is one that we are certainly hopeful will work. It is not currently identified, documented enough to put funds against it. But it is a software upgrade to the existing 241 radarand that is just the nomenclature on itthat will give us that capability.
But I assure you we are Rottweilers on this and are not about to back off until we have the capability for those assets that we need for the obvious reasons of their primary mission.
Mr. TAYLOR. Stepping back one, is it your intention to equip the 130s in the Iraq theater with the Large Airframe Infrared Countermeasures?
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General HANDY. Our intention is that we
Mr. TAYLOR. And what is your time line for that?
General HANDY. Right. It is very extended, Congressman.
And the problem is, we have just come out of test. We know that LAIRCM works really good. I think we are up to about eight one-ball turrets.
I do not want to get too complicated here, but the whole system on an aircraft is one up each side of the nose and one on the tail. And that gives you full-spectrum capability.
An option that we have used with the C17 because of the threat and the high capability of LAIRCM is to put the one-ball laser turret on the tail of a C17, and that gives us about 70 percent coverage to detect and defeat IR (infrared) missile threats.
We are installing that as quickly as we can on C17s. And that program, when the tests are completed on 130s, we will ramp into the C130 as well.
Now, that is added capability. And we want to make sure that it really will do what we need it to do on the C130.
And we want to make incredibly clear that it does what we need done on the C17.
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Right now the Air Force is supporting us with an aggressive buy and installation to move those programs from what would be right on a time sheet, back toward the left, to get them done sooner. And I would be happy to supply a time line for both C17 and C130s for you to see.
Mr. TAYLOR. Generalokay, I am not pointing thingswe, the Congress, the administration, the DOD, we screwed up on the body armor. And I think right now we are screwing up on IEDs (improvised explosive devices). And if I sure as heck six months from now find out that we are losing planes at a steady clip because we have not done what we needed to do on this draft, even though it had not beenthank goodness, we have not had many troubles.
As these guys continue and unfortunately seem to be getting more sophisticated, I think that is probably one of the next things that happens.
General HANDY. Well, clearly I emphasis one point: There are no aircraft flying in either of those theaters without defensive system capability. The issue is one of better capability that we are most anxious about and are pressing hard on.
Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you, we have about 15 minutes remaining and then we must adjourn because we have a full committee hearing that starts in 15 minutes.
Page 57 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General, while Mr. Langevin is preparing for his questions, let me ask you a couple of questions for extremely brief answers, as few words as possible, if you could, sir.
Why do we not have more U.S.-flag ships available? You do not need to be kind, just use as few words as you can. Is it because, sir, there just are not very many U.S.-flag ships?
General HANDY. We have made it so expensive for our U.S.-flag operators to operate in this country.
Mr. BARTLETT. Okay, so this is a matter of regulations?
General HANDY. It is taxes, it is regulations, it is salaries. There are a lot of metrics that go into why U.S. shipping is far more expensive than a foreign flag or a flag of convenience.
Mr. BARTLETT. From a national security perspective, do we need to take a look at this?
General HANDY. In my humble opinion, yes.
Mr. BARTLETT. Okay, thank you very much.
General, just one other question for a really quick answer, and then I will turn to Mr. Langevin.
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The Army is configured so that it cannot fight without Guard and Reserve. Because it is not possible for a 19-year-old to have the kinds of skills and experience that a 39-year-old has, and so when they fight, they have got to activate the Guard and Reserve.
And now some of those have been activated for their second one-year stints since 9/11. And we have got to do one of two things: Either we have got to have different kinds of deployment in the future, or we have got to restructure the Army.
Because the Guard and Reserve are not going to re-enlist or they are not going to enlist at adequate rates to maintain them if we keep using them this way.
Is this also true of the Air Force? Do you have skills that are not available in the active forces so that you can only fight if you have activated Guard and Reserve?
General HANDY. In my area of responsibility, we have equal distribution of all career fields, talents and capabilities, so that we rely on them as volunteers or in a mobilized mode routinely.
We fly day in and day out. We are equally ready. Our reliance and team work with Guard and Reserve is absolutely optimum.
Mr. BARTLETT. So you activate Guard and Reserve only when you have exhausted the capabilities of the active forces, that you do not have to activate them because you have to have them in the mix to fight?
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General HANDY. At the start of this campaign, that is exactly the rule we followed. When we exhausted the capability of an active component, then we surgically called up our Guard and Reserve capability to fill that requirement.
As we have gone through time, the one area that we have had to break with thatand that is because of the time involvedis in the C130 requirement, 64 aircraft in-theater, roughly 125 to 126 crews, and we have had to spread that throughout the entire C130 force structure.
So that if you look at us today, we have some that have demobilized, but every single active, Guard or Reserve unit that has the capability has been in the fight.
Mr. BARTLETT. General, I know that you have an obligation to support the administration's budget. Might I ask, for the moment, to please ignore that responsibility and to tell us: Does the budget include the resources necessary to meet the apparent acute shortfall in airlift? Or do we need to do something different?
General HANDY. Clearly, I have been a proponent and will always be a proponent for more lift. And that is solving the problem with additional C17s and modified C5s. Those are the key solutions to solving
Mr. BARTLETT. So the answer to my question is, if you can ignore your responsibility to defend the administration's budget that you would like to have more capability in those areas.
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General HANDY. I would like that capability, and I would continue to insist on it. [Laughter.]
Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you very much, sir.
Mr. LANGEVIN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I will not put as much pressure on you, General.
I have some questions that I will submit for the record, especially since I came late.
But one question I did want to ask and it entails what the chairman was just asking: I was wondering if you could describe for us what the impact of the Army's recently announced reorganization will have on transportation needs.
And is U.S. Transportation Command assisting in its plan in order to prevent possibly shortfalls in transportation capability?
General HANDY. I would tell you very succinctly that I am more than just a little bit excited about what the Chief of Staff of the Army, General Schoomaker, has for a vision, as well as what he has articulated openly since his taking over that job.
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What he proposesand certainly we support itis a lighter, leaner, more lethal capability within the United States Army. And to that end we see a lot of capability in our hands to support the Army, even better than we have in the past.
I do not want to leave the impression that we are helping him in any way to create that vision or execute it, but we are certainly an active partner in how do you move that force, how do you plan to engage that force in the areas that we can be helpful.
Mr. LANGEVIN. So you believe the U.S. is sufficiently involved and being consulted with.
General HANDY. Absolutely.
Mr. LANGEVIN. Okay, thank you.
General HANDY. Thank you, sir.
Mr. LANGEVIN. I yield back, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you very much.
Mr. Saxton, additional questions?
Mr. SAXTON. Yes, sir, just one small item.
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I would just like to try to make a point, General.
You mentioned refueling tankers. When you mentioned that the KC135s are little over 44 years old, let me ask you: When did we buy the KC10s?
General HANDY. I would have to look back, sir. In the 1980s, I want to say.
Mr. SAXTON. I know we had them in 1993.
General HANDY. Yes. It was at a time where that was an option offered to us, and it was a reasonable thing to do, and I just do not recall the exact date.
Mr. SAXTON. At that time in the 1980s, would it be fair to say that the main mission of the KC135s and the KC10s was fighter support?
General HANDY. At that time most of the requirement was in fighter and bomber support.
Mr. SAXTON. I should have said strategic.
General HANDY. Right, and then some lift. Because the 141 had rather sizable air refueling requirements at the time as well. But they were fighter drag capability, the KC10 especially.
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Mr. SAXTON. But here is what happened. We have got this inventory of 44-year-old airplanes now, which existed then. And we have got KC10s, which were new then. They are no longer new today, and so the mission capability must be somewhat different today than it was then.
And our main use of them was for strategic and fighter support and some 141 support.
Then we decided to bypass, on the way to the fight, our European airports. And we built something called an air bridge. And that was a new requirement, was it not?
General HANDY. Absolutely.
Mr. SAXTON. And then in 1987, we stood up AFSOC, the Air Force Special Operations Command, and that was a new requirement. Is that fair?
General HANDY. Small.
Mr. SAXTON. And more recently, in your testimony, you talk about the number of missions that we have flown in CONUS (Continental United States) supporting air CAPS (combat air patrols). And that was a brand new mission.
So we have got the same inventory of airplanes that we had when we were supporting fighters and bombers and some 141s now doing the air bridge which is I think a very sizable addition, AFSOC (Air Force Special Operations Command) and CONUS CAPS.
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Now, how long can we do that?
General HANDY. That is a question I ask folks around me on a routine basis, Congressman.
It is that omnipresent concern that we have a fleet of aircraft whose depot costs have gone up exponentially in the last 10 years, whose challenges as we maintain them have gone up in an equal measure, as you point out, 44.4 years of age on average.
It is a fleet in the E model that is about 130 aircraft.
In my world, I have always suggested to the planners that we retire at least the E's as soon as possible and allow us to trickle downby the way, they are in the Guard and Reserve only. And I would like to take our models out of the active component and put them in those units and give us all the same capability and accept that roughly to 3 to 5 percent delta in capability because we retain the manpower and increase the crew ratio.
Those are the kinds of things that I turn to the staff and say, ''Why aren't we doingwhy can't we do this?''
And we have the same restrictions on the E model 135s as we do on the A model C5s.
Mr. SAXTON. Obviously, one of the things that we need to spend some time working on is how to get some more tanker capability. And the so-called lease deal is one of the options, I guess.
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Is that moving at all? Or is it still hung up in the other body?
General HANDY. The last time I had any kind of update on the lease was that it is still on hold by secretarial designation until all of the investigations and new studies get complete.
Mr. SAXTON. Okay, Mr. Chairman, thank you.
Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you.
We must adjourn momentarily for our next full-committee hearing.
But, Mr. Abercrombie, do you have a follow-up question? You are okay.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Well, for the record, if you would care to: Do you have an opinion on charter and build as a concept? And as possibly a useful response in the context of the chairman's question, I would be glad to receive it. I do not think that you have to be speaking for the administration or anything else.
But on the charter and build concept, I would really be pleased, and I think it would help the chairman with his question about what we need to do and what we need to consider.
General HANDY. I would be happy to do that.
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Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you.
Thank you very much, General. Thank you for the time you have spent with us.
General HANDY. Thanks so much.
Mr. BARTLETT. We are in adjournment.
[Whereupon, at 5:30 p.m., the subcommittee was adjourned.]