SPEAKERS CONTENTS INSERTS
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[H.A.S.C. No. 10733]
NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT
FOR FISCAL YEAR 2003H.R. 4546
OVERSIGHT OF PREVIOUSLY AUTHORIZED PROGRAMS
COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED SEVENTH CONGRESS
MILITARY INSTALLATIONS AND FACILITIES SUBCOMMITTEE HEARING
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DIVISION BMILITARY CONSTRUCTION AUTHORIZATIONS
MARCH 20, 2002
MILITARY INSTALLATIONS AND FACILITIES SUBCOMMITTEE
JIM SAXTON, New Jersey, Chairman
JOHN N. HOSTETTLER, Indiana
ROBIN HAYES, North Carolina
KEN CALVERT, California
ANDER CRENSHAW, Florida
ED SCHROCK, Virginia
JOHN M. McHUGH, New York
TERRY EVERETT, Alabama
ROSCOE G. BARTLETT, Maryland
HOWARD P. (BUCK) McKEON, California
NEIL ABERCROMBIE, Hawaii
Page 3 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCSOLOMON P. ORTIZ, Texas
GENE TAYLOR, Mississippi
ROBERT A. UNDERWOOD, Guam
SILVESTRE REYES, Texas
VIC SNYDER, Arkansas
CIRO D. RODRIGUEZ, Texas
MIKE THOMPSON, California
Thomas E. Hawley, Professional Staff Member
George O. Withers, Professional Staff Member
Danleigh S. Halfast, Staff Assistant
C O N T E N T S
Wednesday, March 20, 2002, Hearing on the Fiscal Year 2003 Military Construction Budget Request for Programs of the Active and Reserve Components of the Departments of the Navy and the Air Force
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Wednesday, March 20, 2002
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 20, 2002
HEARING ON THE FISCAL YEAR 2003 MILITARY CONSTRUCTION BUDGET REQUEST FOR PROGRAMS OF THE ACTIVE AND RESERVE COMPONENTS OF THE DEPARTMENTS OF THE NAVY AND THE AIR FORCE
STATEMENTS PRESENTED BY MEMBERS OF CONGRESS
Abercrombie, Hon. Neil, a Representative from Hawaii, Ranking Member, Military Installations and Facilities Subcommittee
Saxton, Hon. Jim, a Representative from New Jersey, Chairman, Military Installations and Facilities Subcommittee
Brubaker, Brig. Gen. David A., Deputy Director, Air National Guard
Coleman, Brig. Gen. (Sel) Ronald S., Assistant Deputy Commandant, Installations and Logistics (Facilities)
Duignan, Brig. Gen. Robert E., Deputy to the Chief of Air Force Reserve
Gibbs, Hon. Nelson F., Assistant Secretary of the Air Force, Installations, Environment and Logistics
Johnson, Hon. H.T., Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Installations and Environment
Page 5 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Preston, Rear Adm. Noel G., Deputy Director of Naval Reserve
Pruett, Rear Adm. David, Office of Chief of Naval Operations, Civil Engineering Readiness Division
Robbins, Maj. Gen. Earnest O., II, The Air Force Civil Engineer
Abercrombie, Hon. Neil
Brubaker, Brig. Gen. David A.
Duignan, Brig. Gen. Robert E.
Fleet Reserve Association
Gibbs, Hon. Nelson F.
Johnson, Hon. H.T.
Robbins, Maj. Gen. Earnest O. II
Saxton, Hon. Jim
DOCUMENTS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
[There were no Documents Submitted for the Record.]
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
HEARING ON THE FISCAL YEAR 2003 MILITARY CONSTRUCTION BUDGET REQUEST FOR PROGRAMS OF THE ACTIVE AND RESERVE COMPONENTS OF THE DEPARTMENTS OF THE NAVY AND THE AIR FORCE
Page 6 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCHouse of Representatives,
Committee on Armed Services,
Military Installations and Facilities Subcommittee,
Washington, DC, Wednesday, March 20, 2002.
The subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 2:07 p.m. in room 2212, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Jim Saxton (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. JIM SAXTON, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM NEW JERSEY, CHAIRMAN, MILITARY INSTALLATIONS AND FACILITIES SUBCOMMITTEE
Mr. SAXTON The Subcommittee on Military Installations and Facilities meets this afternoon to continue consideration of the President's budget request for the military construction and military family housing programs for the Department of Defense (DOD) for fiscal year 2003. Today's hearing will concentrate on the Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force programs.
Two weeks ago, Dr. Zakheim and Mr. DuBois from the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) testified before this subcommittee about the military construction top line, fielding many questions from unhappy members of this committee about the low military construction budget request. The two gentlemen are important officials, one in charge of the Pentagon budget and the other in charge of Pentagon facilities. In essence, their testimony was that the military services set their own priorities and that the military construction needs did not take precedence over other perceived needs. Further, even though all recognized the dire straits of military bases and facilities, the Secretary of Defense decided not to override the decisions of his service secretaries.
Page 7 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I, for one, am happy about one aspect of their testimony, namely that the Department is distancing itself from the earlier assertions of the Secretary of Defense that delayed base closure was the reason for underfunded military construction requests. That reasoning made no sense to me or apparently to my colleagues, judging from their hard-hitting questions in our last hearing. What I do not understand is how, after years of neglect in base infrastructure, that military construction is not higher on the Department's priority list.
We have had hearing after hearing, both here and in the field, demonstrating the deplorable state of our military facilities. Every trip we take, whether it is overseas or close to the bases in our home districts, we see practically the same thing; troops trying mightily to perform under very difficult conditions. The events of September 11 brought into sharp focus a whole other set of unmet needs with regard to force protection. Now, base commanders are concerned with perimeter fencing, berms, and standoff distances, just to name a few things.
Construction costs have increased as we add Kevlar sheeting and blast-proof windows to military buildings. Not only that, but local civilian communities and their economies have been negatively affected. For example, a major U.S. highway along the Florida coast was closed for some time as the base commander of Patrick Air Force Base considered his base protection responsibilities and options. A vital community road through McGuire Air Force Base, something that some of you know that I am familiar with in New Jersey, remains closed to civilian traffic until force protection considerations are taken care of. This has had dire economic effects on the surrounding communities.
I certainly support force protection and I support both of these commanders' decisions, but I also insist that we commit the resources to solving these problems and not just shut things down. Considering all the very real needs of our military construction spending that I have described, and with the increase in the Defense budget, how the military construction budget request could actually decline is beyond comprehension.
Page 8 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Today, we hear from the Department of the Navy and the Department of the Air Force. I intend to ask the witnesses how this state of affairs occurred. Yes, you will have an opportunity to describe the good things in your respective budgets, but your rightfully placed priority on quality of life projects for military families and single troops, and how you have supported these diminutions.
What I want to know is what happened to fixing the deficit of facilities our troops are now working in. I will not repeat the observations I made last week about the deplorable conditions I recently observed at the Army's installation at Baumholder, Germany and at Ramstein Air Force Base, Germany, that exist across the military services. You know the conditions at your own bases and what needs to be done. I look forward to a frank and forthright discussion on these issues.
At this time, I would like to yield to my wing man, Mr. Abercrombie, the gentleman from Hawaii.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Saxton can be found in the Appendix on page ?.]
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Thank you, very, very much, Mr. Chairman.
I of course join you in welcoming our distinguished witnesses today. I do not suppose I have to emphasize to any of them thatand I expect that each have now developed a clear understanding of how frustrated the members of the subcommittee are by the substantially reduced military construction funding in the President's budget request for this year. Even so, it bears repeatinginvestment in our facilities is an investment in our war fighting capabilities, as each base is a platform, and it is an investment in the quality of life of those we ask to fight those wars.
I listen to the testimony of our witnesses, Mr. Chairman, in the context of frustration and hope. I am frustrated that we must year after year continue to see the military construction budget take a back seat to other accounts. I am hopeful that as we build a record of the dire need, we will be able to reverse that trend. As you noted, this budget request represents a 15 percent reduction from the amount appropriated last year. Our witnesses are the ones that have to make do with those numbers, and I will venture a guess, Mr. Chairman, that they were advocates of more robust funding. I do not mean to speak for your folks, but I have no doubt that if you had your preferences, that would have been the direction you would have headed.
Page 9 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC In that sense, then, Mr. Chairman, I believe we share some of this disappointment together. It is in that spirit that I would like to move on, then, to the hearing to see what we can do to address what I have to feel is a mutual disappointment.
So I thank you for calling this hearing, Mr. Chairman, and I certainly look forward to the testimony of our witnesses. Thank you.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Abercrombie can be found in the Appendix on page ?.]
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you very much.
We have two panels of witnesses for our proceedings this afternoon. I would like to welcome our first panel, the Honorable H. T. Johnson, Secretary of the Navy for Installations and Environment; Rear Admiral Dave Pruett, Civil
Engineering Readiness Division, Office of Chief of Naval Operations; Brigadier General-Select Ronald S. Coleman.
Sir, with your permission, we will refer to you as general.
General COLEMAN. I like that.
Mr. SAXTON. Assistant Deputy Commandant, Installations and Logistics Facilities, United States Marine Corps; and Rear Admiral Noel G. Preston, Deputy Director of the Naval Reserve.
We welcome your participation this afternoon, and note that this is Mr., or in his previous life, General Johnson's first appearance before this subcommittee.
At the outset, I will state that without objection each of your prepared statements will be entered into the record, so you can feel free to elaborate on those points that you think are the most important.
We will begin with my old friend, Mr. Johnson.
Page 10 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC STATEMENTS OF HON. H.T. JOHNSON, ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, INSTALLATIONS AND ENVIRONMENT; REAR ADMIRAL DAVID PRUETT, CIVIL ENGINEERING READINESS DIVISION; OFFICE OF CHIEF OF NAVAL OPERATIONS, BRIGADIER GENERAL (SEL) RONALD S. COLEMAN, ASSISTANT DEPUTY COMMANDANT, INSTALLATIONS AND LOGISTICS (FACILITIES), UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS AND REAR ADMIRAL NOEL G. PRESTON, DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF NAVAL RESERVE
Secretary JOHNSON. Thank you, sir. I am very pleased to be here today.
I also was very pleased and honored to join Mr. Ortiz on visiting many bases around the country and we saw what your committee is concerned about throughout all services, and we share the concern in trying to do something about it.
I would like to highlight a few items. More details are in the written statement. We have done well in the current budget climate. The Department of the Navy 2003 budget request for installations, all of installations, is $9.3 billion, which is higher than the $8.9 billion appropriated for 2002.
As I believe you mentioned, Mr. Chairman, we have tilted this funding toward our top priority, our sailors, marines, civilians and their families. There is $375 million for family housing construction and improvement. This is a 15 percent increase over this year's enacted levels. This will allow us to build 1,147 new homes and renovate 3,100 existing homes.
We also funded 4,500 new bachelor quarter homes for our single sailors and marines; 764 of these spaces are to provide homes ashore for our shipboard sailors. There are 31,000 shipboard sailors who do not have a home ashore. When their ship is in home port, they live aboard. Fortunately, we are able in Hawaii and Guam to bring some of them off. At Guam, we had some extra housing, and in Hawaii we had built a new barracks and arranged to put some of them in there. This is a big issue for our Secretary and our Chief of Naval Operations (CNO). That is really the lowest quality of life in the Department of Defense. We would like to get them all ashore by 2008.
Page 11 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC We added $269 million to sustain our existing facilities. This is a 15 percent increase over last year, and I believe Admiral Pruett will have some comments about this. Sustainment is a new metric and it gives us all in the Department of Defense a common level to look at our sustainment, and we are using that to determine our budget.
Unfortunately, as you mentioned, Mr. Chairman, our active and reserve military construction request of $948 million is 21 percent below last year's, but it is the second highest in 6 years. Last year, we were very pleased to have more than this year. As you mentioned, base realignment and closure (BRAC) played no role in the Department of the Navy in any consideration in terms of determining military construction (MILCON) levels.
We also have $261 million in cleanup of contamination on installations of prior BRACs, and we have a similar amount, in fact a little bit higher, to cleanup on our active bases. I think we have learned our lesson that you have to clean as you go, or you just can never get there. So we are doing both. By the way, on the BRAC, that is 23 percent higher than before.
In housing, we have worked very, very hard. As you know, the Secretary of Defense moved the requirement to have adequate homes for all of our families from 2010 to 2007. The Navy will meet the 2007. The Marines will meet it 2 years early, in 2005. We are very pleased about that. The good news is our public/private ventures, our partnerships, have been the key to our success here. We have awarded contracts at 6 locations for a total of 6,600 homes. We have solicitations on the way for another 1,800 at 2 locations, and we plan 12,000 more at 7 locations. The Marine Corps is a little bit in the lead here. They will be in the 90's when we finish the next period of housing in the privatized mode.
I believe there are real opportunities to take this same concept and take care of our single sailors and marines. Second only to the people who live aboard ships, I think we have not done well by our single sailors and marines, and we want to take this same public/private partnership into the bachelor quarters. We will be coming to you in this session asking for support for a pilot program to do three projects on bachelor public/private partnerships.
Page 12 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC We should not talk about installations without talking about energy. Our Department has worked very, very hard on energy-type activity. We continue to do that. We are very pleased with our geothermal activity. We are very pleased with the ability our troops have shown to reduce the amount of energy we use. I think Mr. Ortiz will remember that Southern California saved the most. Of course, they had the biggest challenge in the last year. The President awarded four awards across the country. We in the Department of the Navy got two of those, and we are very proud of that.
Sir, I would like to defer to my partners for a short statement now.
[The prepared statement of Secretary Johnson can be found in the Appendix on page ?.]
Mr. SAXTON. Please.
Admiral PRUETT. Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman, distinguished members of the committee. It is a pleasure to be before you again this year to discuss the Navy's fiscal year 2003 MILCON budget request. I am just going to make a couple of additional comments, and amplify some of the areas that were mentioned by Secretary Johnson in his statement.
Mission accomplishment is what we call in the Navy our main thing, but our people are our top priority. Truly, if you look at it, both mission accomplishment and our people are inextricably linked. As Secretary Johnson discussed, one of our top issues is that we have 31,000 sailors living onboard ship while in home port. These sailors, like all sailors in the Navy, endure a very austere lifestyle aboard ship while they are on deployment. And so while they are in home port, we need to offer them a better place to livesome place to call home similar to what their married shipmates and all their shipmates ashore have. This is a major quality of service issue, and we are programming to execute projects that will resolve this challenge.
Page 13 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC We also need to look at executing projects that will resolve this challenge. We also need to come up with some innovative ways to do that, and we are working on those innovative solutionsthings potentially extending public/private venture (PPV) authorities in bachelor quarters (BQs). This year, we have made some progress in the budget with two projects that will provide about 764 shore-side rooms for our junior sailors while they are in home port. Our goal is to have this complete, to have them all off ships by 2008. Again, this will lessen the divide with regards to housing between our single sailors compared to the married sailors.
Another issue or quality of work issue is protection of our people while they are at work and at home. This has become of paramount importance in the wake of the attacks on September 11. I want to assure you that our facilities projects are designed to meet the latest antiterrorism force protection engineering standards. They include, as you mentioned, Mr. Chairman, things like shatter-resistant glass, building hardening, perimeter protection and structural reinforcing. We employ all these standards based on local conditions and threat analysis.
Quality of facilities and infrastructure are an integral component of our readiness. Our installations do serve as our launch platforms for our sailors and marines who deploy to execute their missions, while their families remain behind. They are places where our sailors, marines and our families live, work, train and relax. We do remain committed to ashore readiness. There are no quick fixes to our infrastructure deficiencies that you have discussed, Mr. Chairman. We must stay the course, though, and continue to balance our available funding across all accounts, our facility accounts, to first of all sustain our facilities and keep the growth of C3 and C4 deficiencies from continuing to grow, then correct our facility deficiencies, particularly those C3 and C4 deficiencies and achieve our recapitalization rate, OSD goal, and Navy goal of 67 years. Continued support by the Congress and the Administration over the long term is vital to the condition of our facilities in order to meet fleet readiness requirements, both now and in the future.
Page 14 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I do sincerely thank you, Mr. Chairman and members of the committee and your staff, for the support that you have given to the Navy-Marine Corps team. In closing, as I mentioned earlier, mission is our main thing. People are a top priority. You could also say mission first, and people always.
Thank you, sir.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you. General?
General COLEMAN. Thank you, sir.
Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, it is a pleasure to appear before you. First of all, I would like to thank you for your ongoing support for Marine Corps military construction. Facilities are a critical component of our readiness to fight and win the nation's battles. Top-line constraints over most of the last decade forced us to defer investments in areas that did not have an immediate impact on near-term readiness, such as investment in military construction, family housing and maintenance of our existing facilities. We sustained our combat readiness at the expense of construction because we had no other option. These are painful decisions because ultimately combat readiness is more than just a well-trained and equipped marine.
I have visited all of our Marine Corps bases and spoken with many marines and their families. I am pleased to report that our marines and their families are more optimistic about their future than at any time before. Family housing, bachelor housing and operational construction supported by this committee has finally begun to become visible on Marine Corps installations. Our fiscal 2003 military construction family housing and reserve budget provides over $500 million. Our proposal will support our most urgent requirements for readiness and quality of life construction.
Overall, our program will continue to provide in excess of $50 million for new barracks construction. I am happy to report that in fiscal year 2003, the Administration supported the Commandant's request to increase the family housing construction budget by 19 percent over fiscal year 2002. In fiscal year 2003, we will have almost $147 million to devote to replacement, construction and improvement of approximately 1,000 family units.
Page 15 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I would like to say that in addition with the 2003 construction budget, at every Marine Corps installation, there is either construction of new housing or renovation of older housing. All these projects continue to focus on our enlisted marines. Every dollar you spend for our facilities is an investment that pays long-term dividends in readiness, retention and mission accomplishment. The Marine Corps thanks you for your continued support.
Mr. Chairman, this concludes my opening remarks. Thank you.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you very much.
Admiral PRESTON. Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman, and distinguished members of the committee. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to come here this afternoon and represent Vice Admiral Totushek, the Director of the Naval Reserve and our some 88,000 reservists serving our nation. I should add that of these 88,000, some 10,000 reservists are mobilized today in support of Operations Noble Eagle, Enduring Freedom and fighting our global war on terrorism. I thank you very much for your support of these great Americans.
Thank you for your support also in fiscal 2002. You provided your Naval and Marine Corps Reserve approximately $53 million in budget requests and congressional adds to support our sailors and our marine reservists. We appreciate that.
Our budget request for fiscal year 2003 totals approximately $52 million, essentially the same amount as fiscal year 2002. Of that, $36 million is earmarked for naval reserve projects. We believe that these projects are well aligned to the Chief of Naval Operations and Admiral Totushek's top priorities for our Navy Reserve, which are manpower and readiness.
Again, thank you for the opportunity to come and speak with you today, and thank you for the support that you provide our reserve sailors and marines.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you very much, admiral.
At this time, we will go into our questions. Mr. Ortiz, would you like to be the lead-off hitter here?
Page 16 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. ORTIZ. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I think that Secretary Johnson needs that fifth star after that grueling 25-bases in 4 days trip that we took.
Secretary JOHNSON. And you need eight.
Mr. ORTIZ. You know, when we began the joint venture in housing, we wanted to do that because we felt that that would relieve some of the burden. You did not have to put up all the money. You could be, by private industry at least, met halfway with the money, because we felt that the services would have more money to spend on housing. But now we see that the Navy and Marine Reserve military construction account is funded at such low levels in this budget request. Why is this? Is it because you have some other more serious priorities than housing? Why is it so low? Anybody at the Navy or the Marines that can answer that question?
Admiral PRUETT. Are you talking about the overall housing?
Mr. ORTIZ. Yes, sir.
Admiral PRUETT. Sir, what we have done in Navy, we have a goal, as you know, the 2007 goal that was brought back from 2010. I think you hit on some of our capability that you have provided as far as MILCON goes or construction of family housing. The majority of our housing budget$707 million of about a total of $936 millionis operations and maintenance. It is the sustainment piece of our housing and actually doing the operations. The difference there for our construction is about $95 million. What we have found is we have been able to leverage about 1:11 I think is about the right average1:10, MILCON dollars with PPV. And as we project out, trying to reach that 2007 goal of completing our housing improvements over time, we feel that the PPV housing has allowed us to reduce our MILCON investment up front and at the same time we have a life cycle savings because of the operations of the private venture and the efficiencies that are gained there.
Part of what you do not see in this budget is the money with the basic allowance for housing (BAH) increase moving closer to zero out-of-pocket by 2005, and along with more of our Navy families being in PPV, we are seeing an increase in our Military Personnel Navy (MPN) accounts that are basically reducing the cost of our family housing budget. So I do not know if that helps explain it, but that is it.
Page 17 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. ORTIZ. It does. You know, one of the things that really bothers me is that I hope that we do not continue to have retention problems. When we see those young sailors go out, and I was with them in Thailand, Bangkok when the Seventh Fleet was there5,000, 6,000, 7,000 of them. You know, they go out at sea and stay six, 7 months. And then when they go back and they berth in their home port, they have to stay in their quarters inside that ship.
We are going to have to do better to provide housing for them. Otherwise, if we do not try to better the quality of life, these young men and women are not going to stay in the Navy anymore. This is why I was very upset to see that the budget was less than what we had last year. I know that you have other priorities as well, but I think that quality of life and to be able to retain these young men and women is very, very important.
I just have one more question, Mr. Chairman. I just want to know how is the Navy preparing for the 2005 budget base closure round? Where do we stand? What do we expect to see? Maybe you can clue some of these members. I know that they are very interested about base closure, just like I am.
Secretary JOHNSON. Sir, we are following the law very, very carefully. This year, as you know, we are supposed to look at force structure and then the infrastructure. We do not have a BRAC office. We do have an infrastructure analysis office that we have manned, but we are not getting out front. Our intent is to follow the rules, the time lines. And even when we start doing it, we will look at functions, rather than bases. The bases will fall out, but we will go about it. Anybody unaffected would say we went about it in a very straightforward way. If someone is affected, of course, nothing is straightforward. But we are working, straining to make sure that we do not make pre-decisions.
Mr. ORTIZ. Do you think that the Navy at this point still has excess capacity in their facilities?
Page 18 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Secretary JOHNSON. The Department of Defense thinks there is some 20 percent. I do not know the answer to that. I know we have excess. Perhaps the Navy might have more than the Marines. But until we do the analysis as directed by the Congress, we have no preconceived ideas. We know we have reduced the force structure and we have not reduced the bases accordingly. And we have things like that, but we have not done the analysis to say we have 20 percent, 10 percent of whatever.
Mr. ORTIZ. I was not one of the few who supported base closures, because this is the wrong time to be shutting down bases, in my opinion, especially when we have this war going on, when all these sailors are scattered throughout the world. But I am very concerned. I am not too familiar, Mr. Chairman, when do you start hiring or deciding and getting all the information to see which of the bases are vulnerable to closure? Is that further on down the road?
Secretary JOHNSON. Yes, sir. The first step is do force structure. The second step is look at the infrastructure. Now, as you might know, the joint staff is looking at overseas basing as we speak this year. That is being done through the joint process. We have some insight, but we are not running that. That is separate, but I believe the Congress wanted to make sure that if we looked at U.S., we looked outside the U.S., and that is going on this year.
Mr. ORTIZ. We thank you very much. And thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you. Mr. Calvert, please.
Mr. CALVERT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
On base housing, I understand that funds are short, but I am from an area that is a leader in manufactured housing in the country. We send that out to everywhere in the United States, and manufactured housing is not what it used to be. It is a question. Have the services looked into manufactured housing as a reasonable alternative to on-ground construction? One, the quality is very goodhigh quality construction today. And it can be moved onsite. Obviously, the land is there very readily, especially on bases that may be overseas where you may have a hard time getting materials, et cetera. Have you looked into utilization of manufactured housing?
Page 19 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Secretary JOHNSON. Each time we go out with a request for a proposal, everyone has the opportunity to propose. In recent memory, in fact, you can add to this in a moment, we have not had any manufactured homes proposed. I was asked this question earlier. I went back and looked at what had happened. They can compete, but they have not chosen to.
Do you want to add anything to that?
Admiral PRUETT. Sir, as the Secretary mentioned, we go out and we dobasically, housing for some time now has been design-build. So we look for the best offer, both in quality and price for family housing. And most of those proposals have notnone that I am familiar withhad manufactured housing. Now, we were just answering a question about some construction of housing overseas, and there is some of that that we have done with some manufactured housing. And as a matter of fact, there is some requirement for that, but nothing that I know of in the continental United States (CONUS).
Mr. CALVERT. I have been on some of the bases overseas, and I know that the industry has gone a long ways on the quality side relative to some of the construction I have seen, and I know that they could either match or exceed what is going on overseas. I wonder why they have not gotten involved. Is the process a burdensome process to go through? Do they believe that the juice is not worth the squeeze, so to speak?
Admiral PRUETT. You mean in CONUS, sir?
Mr. CALVERT. What is that?
Admiral PRUETT. Do you mean in the States? Is that what you are saying?
Mr. CALVERT. The States or overseas.
Admiral PRUETT. Well, overseas, we have just discussed this recently. We do have a requirement for us to actually have some prefabricated housing when we are doing it through MILCON, to have it built in the United States and sent overseas. So that is actually happening. But in the States, we do not have that requirement and we rely on the industry to come in with the best price and quality.
Page 20 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Secretary JOHNSON. But to answer your question, we do not know of any impediments. We will re-check that again, but when I checked it a month go, there were no impediments. Anybody could bid.
Mr. CALVERT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. SAXTON. We have kind of an unfortunate situation. Those bells that went off told us that we have a 15-minute vote which we are in the process of taking currently, and we have to go do that; followed by 3 5-minute votes which turn into 7 minutes votes. So we are looking at 21 plus probably 15. So we are looking at 3540 minutes there. And then probably because there are some unhappy people with the process, there will be a motion to adjourn. So that will be another seven or 8 minutes.
So rather than us just going off and leaving you here not knowing what is going on, why don't we recess until a certain time. Let's say we will be back here at 3:20, 3:25, and hopefully we will be able to be back here by that time. Sorry about this.
Mr. SAXTON. The good news is that we will not get interrupted again.
Let me just ask my questions while others are coming back. As you know, I am disappointed with the budget proposal for military construction, which as General Johnson pointed out, we have 20 percent, I think General Johnson said 21 percent, smaller than the fiscal year 2002 military construction budget that Congress just enacted.
The budget was supposed to be the start of an aggressive renewal program, that is, the budget for the current fiscal year. Instead, now we have been presented with a 20 percent reduction and the news that you have to defer $400 million in projects across DOD. Would you please comment on this, and then further submit for the record the list of projects you deferred, and explain why the Navy and the Marine Corps military construction budget requests do not at least come up to least year's levels?
Page 21 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General Johnson, would you comment on this? I kind of know what your answers are going to be, but for the record would you comment with regard to these questions?
Secretary JOHNSON. Yes, sir. First of all, we do not have a list of what was deferred. There just is not a list. As you well know, in our process we have a back and forth within the Department of Defense, and we have no list. There are two listsin fact, there are four lists, I guess. Each service chief is asked to give unfounded requirements. In the Marine list, they actually list MILCON projects. In the Chief of Naval Operations list, he has an amount, but the projects are available and can be passed to you. So we have that, but we have no other list to my knowledge.
Mr. SAXTON. I am confused. You say you have no list, but you have projects that you can enumerate.
Secretary JOHNSON. Sir, each year the service chiefs, not the Department of Defense, but the service chiefs are asked for their unfounded priorities. Each of the service chiefs, in our case General Jones and Admiral Clark, send to the Congress their unfunded priorities. In the Marine list, they actually list MILCON projects in priority. In the Navy list, they do not list them, but I am told that the list of the MILCON projects that go with the amount in his list is available for the Congress.
Mr. SAXTON. Okay. Can you explain why the Navy and Marine Corps military construction budget requests do not at least come up to last year's levels?
Secretary JOHNSON. I have no explanation, sir. We look at things in a little different way, and we looked at the overall infrastructure, and the overall infrastructure was higher than last year. That includes the family housing and everything associated. It is called a request for installations$9.3 billion versus $8.9 billion in 2002. Every part is higher except the section called active reserve military construction. So we think we have done well overall taking care of our people and our facilities. We talked about sustainment and those categories. If you break out just the traditional MILCON, we are down.
Page 22 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SAXTON. I would like to direct a question to General Coleman. Not long ago, I spent the better part of a day at Quantico looking at the housing there, and was impressed with the extreme need to replace virtually all of the housing that exists at Quantico. Can you bring us up to date on what the plans are to accomplish that task?
General COLEMAN. Yes, sir. Quantico is now a good news story for the Marine Corps, sir. Because of the plus-up in BAH, because of phase two PPV at Camp Pendleton, the Marine Corps is finally seeing the light. We believe that with those two things I just spoke to, and the fiscal year 2003 budget, we will fix all family housing at Quantico. It is an amazing story, but we were able to do it based upon the increase in BAH and the PPV, sir.
Mr. SAXTON. Would that be a privatization program?
General COLEMAN. Yes sir, it will.
Mr. SAXTON. Is there a time line?
General COLEMAN. Sir, we have started briefings at Quantico. I attended that myself. We briefed General Jones on this. We hope to break ground early next year, sir.
Mr. SAXTON. I can only say congratulations. It is much needed. I guess I would just say for the record that I have been around to a lot of military bases, both in the U.S. and overseas, and I have been told of the condition of the housing at Quantico, but I had to see it for myself to know the full dimensions of it. It is something that needs to be done. Can you say whether thoseI have not visited other Marine bases in the United Stateswhat is the situation relative to those bases as compared to Quantico?
General COLEMAN. Quantico is bad, sir, but I visited every base in the Marine Corps. My personal opinion is that we have other bases as bad. I do not know that we have anything worse than Quantico, but I just personally came from Camp Lejeune, where I was stationed until last summer. TTTarwood Terrace housing at Camp Lejeune, is probably the worst I have ever seen, sir.
Page 23 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Secretary JOHNSON. We are very fortunate with the public/private ventures. We are able to fix the family housing and we want to take that same concept and work on the barracks. One of the three projects is at Quantico for the same reason.
Mr. SAXTON. Yes, I have been in those barracks also, and understand the need for that. I wholeheartedly support your efforts and want to do anything that I can to help that move forward.
I have a question and I am interested in making sure. Privatization seems to work well. I am an advocate and I worked with the former chairman of this subcommittee, Mr. Hefley, to make sure that the statutes were adequately scrutinized before they were passed and put into place with Phil Grone who is now over at the PentagonTom's predecessor. So I am not critical in any way of privatization.
But I do have a question that keeps nagging at me, and that is this. When we have military construction facilities which are financed by this subcommittee in the normal traditional way, then our military personnel live in those houses and do not receive a base housing allowance. When we privatize, it has the immediate advantage of providing the facilities that we need now and we do not have to wait until MILCON dollars are available, or at least not to the same extent. However, over the long run, and this is the question, over the long run, has it been shownare you satisfied that the increased costs in BAH will not break the bank as we move forward 10 or 15 years from now? Is that all manageable? I think it is a very serious question.
Secretary JOHNSON. We believe so, sir. Public/private housing is not much unlike living on the economy. In fact, we like them where there is no fence. You are just part of the economy. And we believe the first place our sailors and marines should live is in the economy. We are Americans first, and we want to be part of the communities. As the BAH goes up, the demand for additional housing, on-base housing, may in fact go down. We are confident, looking at everything we have seen so far, that we certainly will have enough people that want to live in these quarters to always fill them. There is not an issue there. But the BAH really made us being a part of the community more affordable, so we are very pleased about that. We do not believe it will break the bank.
Page 24 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC When you look at the bachelor housing, our initial looks at these pilots indicate that we would have some percent of BAH. In other words, it would not require the whole bachelor housing allowance to provide the quarters and the barracks.
Mr. SAXTON. Okay. Thank you.
Mr. HAYES. A couple of quick questionsthank you, gentlemen, for being here. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
General Coleman, is it the snake pit or the snake ranch down at Beaufort Marine Corps Air Station? And where is that in the plan for upgrading?
General COLEMAN. Beaufort, like Quantico, is going to be done. We signed just recently, the snake pit, with Beaufort/Parris Island for PPV. So Beaufort and Parris Island, our belief is a January time frame we are going to break ground on family housing there also, sir.
Mr. HAYES. The military seems to have gotten the pages reversed. They have houses like the ones at Quantico which ensure keeping you hot in the summer and cold in the winter. I applaud your efforts. Where did the 20 percent go that the budget does not include, and it was reduced this year? Who got that money? Anybody?
Admiral PRUETT. You are talking about 20 percent in the military construction budget, sir.
Mr. HAYES. Right.
Admiral PRUETT. Well, for Navy, what we focused on and what the OSD has focused on as the Department in general is sustainment dollars. And those sustainment dollars have been increased to, as I alluded to in my opening statement, that we have a model that helps us determine what the overall requirement is for sustainment, something that we are using across all services as a common practice, which is a big accomplishment in itself. And that model helps us figure out exactly, based on square footages, linear footages, whatever types of facilities, what our requirement is for our facilities. And we are really focusing on making sure that we sustain, meet the requirement for sustainment the best we can.
Page 25 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And then, number two is taking care of our operational facilities, our BQs, our utilities, those types of facilities in fixing C3 and C4 deficiencies. MILCON is really a big part of that, C3 and C4 deficiency fixing. Our priority, though, as we looked at it this year, was to make sure that we are sustaining the best we can, facilities, so they are not deteriorating more and adding more to the C3, C4 problem. With the money have, that is where we have focused.
Mr. HAYES. Be sure to use this committee, which is very enthusiastically behind helping you create opportunities to improve living conditions and keep our good folks in the military. Again, thanks for coming.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you.
Dr. SNYDER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I apologize, Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, for being unable to be here during your opening statements.
I wanted to, with the chairman's indulgencehe and I have talked about these issues multiple timesbut bring up a topic that my guess is you all do not have much to do with, but we are all going to feel bad if we do not do something about, and that is embassy security and embassy infrastructure. General Coleman, do you have any responsibilities for the infrastructure with regard to safety and security of the marines assigned to embassies?
General COLEMAN. Sir, I can take that one for the record, but I believe the State Department has that one, sir.
Dr. SNYDER. That is what I think also. Do you agree with that, Secretary Johnson?
Secretary JOHNSON. Yes, sir. We certainly have a training program at Quantico for the State Department, for our marines that participate.
Page 26 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Dr. SNYDER. For their procedures, but not MILCON.
Secretary JOHNSON. No, sir.
Dr. SNYDER. If you will indulge me, and this will be easy since it is not your responsibility and you do not have to respond to it at all. One of my concerns I have is in response to September 11, that the President and this Congress and the American people support a very hefty increase in the Defense budget.
But when you look at the line item for infrastructure for our overseas embassies, it is a minimal increase at best. When Secretary Rumsfeld came before the full Armed Services Committee a few weeks ago, his No. 1 priority was homeland Defense and security of our overseas bases. My guess is if within your responsibility had been embassy security, it also would have gotten a hefty increase. But we have this bipartisan, nonpartisan dichotomy between Defense and State Department and the reality is our embassies are tremendous targets.
General Ralston today testified before the full committee, and I asked him this questionhe and Admiral Blairand they both agreed that within their areas of responsibility, not only have they both had threats, relatively recent threats of terrorism attacks on our embassies, but they both acknowledged and are very concerned about the embassiesright along streets, I mean just very, very vulnerable; the kind of things that we would never tolerate on a military base.
And yet we have substantial number of military personnel, not just marines, substantial number of American citizens, substantial number of very hard-working, loyal and dedicated locals that we employ there, and we have had devastating experiences, two devastating experiences in Africa. We will have attacks on embassies, and they will be very unfortunate, but we are all going to feel pretty bad if we do a really hefty increase in the Defense budget and because of the way we compartmentalize thingsI wish you all did have responsibility for embassies. I think you would go out there and say things are bad at Quantico, but we cannot have plush embassies knowing right beyond that wall is, you know, 12 marines and 30 American citizens plus local personnel literally this far away from the street. And that is the situation in a lot of towns.
Page 27 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The chairman and I have discussed this, and it is not in our responsibility, although he and I serve on the terrorism panel, and he is the chair of that panel. I think it is a real problem, and I am just going to keep talking about it, even to people who have no responsibility over it because I think we will come to regret not having done everything that we could do for embassy infrastructure security. There is probably aboutthey could absorb another $600 million or $700 million in their budget and spend that much to do new embassies and upgrade the security. If we do not do that, you all will lose and we will lose military and civilian personnel.
That is my sermon for this afternoon. Thank you for the indulgence, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. SAXTON. My friend Vic Snyder and I have the same concern, having recently seen some embassy security which is problematic. I wonder, General Johnson, if it would be appropriate inasmuch as our marines are in these locations, too, and not, I might add, as many people think on guard duty, but more of aI do not knowwhat do you call, what kind of
General COLEMAN. Security, sir.
Mr. SAXTON. Okay. Well, maybe it is called security, but the marine detachment representative that I saw was inside a glass booth in The Netherlands, and the security outside was by the Dutch, and the two guys out thereone in a trailer and the other sitting in a truck. And I asked if they were armed, and I was told no. So the marine inside was as vulnerable as anybody else to an attack. I just wonder if maybe we Marine Corps guys should communicate our concern to the State Department.
Secretary JOHNSON. We certainly share your concerns. We have our marines there, but we have an awful lot of Americans and friends of ours that would suffer if the situation turns out as you have described. We might make that known to the State Department through the Department of Defense.
Page 28 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SAXTON. I intend to, and if you doas a matter of fact, Vic and I will do it together and if you sing from the same page that we are singing from, then maybe somebody will begin to listen. At least we will be on record and our consciences will be clear, having said it.
Dr. SNYDER. Mr. Chairman, if I might, you said ''if something occurs.'' There will be attacks on embassies. They will be unsuccessful attacks, but there will be attacks on embassies and let's not have any mythology here that, gee, we might stop all possiblethere will be attacks on embassies.
Mr. SAXTON. Mr. Abercrombie?
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. Thank you all. If you will lookSecretary Johnson, I am going to pick on you because
Mr. SAXTON. He has big shoulders.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Right. You have the highest rank here at this point, I guess, as Assistant Secretary.
Secretary JOHNSON. Just a humble Assistant Secretary, sir.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Yes. On page three of my notes
I am going to read something to you, and ask a question, because it is of concern to me, because Secretary Rumsfeld has emphasized, at least before 911, and even before I want to say in relation to what Mr. Saxton has been propounding for some time. Back when the last budget came into effect, and then when Mr. Rumsfeld came into office, he was adamant about reform. And then we had this discussion over the BRAC. And the reason I want to read this to you is so you know exactly the premise that I am coming from.
The budget request contains $545 million for base realignment and closure activities of the Department of Defenseobviously that is not just the Navyin fiscal year 2003, an increase of approximately $13 million over the 2002 request.
Page 29 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC In fiscal year 2002, 92 percent of the funding was intended for environmental remediation and restoration with respect to the BRAC that has already occurred. Fiscal year 2003, 89 percent of the funding will be spent on environmental remediation and restoration.
Now, the last round of base closure was conducted seven years ago. Part of our difficulty, so you understand it and the panel to follow understands, this is not just some carping from the Congress because everybody is concerned about whether they can get military construction for their district. Obviously, they want to pay attention to that, but as you well know, this subcommittee has responsibility for military construction as a whole.
Our difficulty is that the Department is unable to state with certainty when these substantial clean up bills will begin to decline. So the cumulative cost of the first 4 rounds of base closure total more than $22 billion, and that is through fiscal 2001. That does not count 2002.
Now, obviously it is required by law and I understand that. But we have been talking about savings, and I know that you are required to say that this present construction budget has nothing to do with the BRAC. It is difficult for me to believe thatI do not mean believe it in the sense that this is something that you on your own make up or say on your own. At the same time that this is occurring, the Air Force has deferred military construction budgets for the next three fiscal years, waiting until 2006 and 2007 to show an increase. The Navy has deferred any increases until fiscal year 2005. Given the state of Navy facilities, it is difficult for me to understand how this approach makes sense, since the Department will be required to budget for increased base closure environmental and remediation costs, I presume beginning in 2006.
So with base closure costs competing with other military construction priorities for at least six years, depending on the service, I really cannot understand what you and/or the Marines for that matter, let alone the reservesI have not even gotten to the question of the reserves and whether or not they are going to have adequate funding. I do not understand, how could you possibly be going down? Why would we not be emphasizing more military construction on the basis that the ostensible savings that were to accrue from the previous base closures are not manifest yet and unlikely to be manifested as far as I can see for some years to come?
Page 30 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I know the premises are lengthy, but I hope I made them in order.
Secretary JOHNSON. First of all, the clean up that you speak about I think no one could have imagined the real cost to clean up the bases. I say that from an uncertainty standpoint several years ago, but also from a commitment standpoint to the communities.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Sure.
Secretary JOHNSON. Originally, we probably had not planned to clean up quite as well as we have. I think we have served the communities quite well.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. I have no objection to thatquite the opposite. My premise is that that is not only your inclination, but it is required by law and we are meetingand for conversation's sake, I am going to stipulate that we are meeting the necessities required there. But is that not an argument to increase military construction funds, then? Now, whether they have toset aside for a moment the question of whether they have to compete with procurement and other elements. I mean, I do not understand the rationale. I really do not.
Secretary JOHNSON. In our case, we did spend money for installations, but not under the military construction line item. We spent more for housing, more for the sustainment that Admiral Ford talked about. In other words, we are trying to sustain our houses, and we are spending more on active bases from an environmental standpoint than we are on the BRAC closed bases because we have to bring up all of our bases from a environmental, from a sustainable standpoint.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. But General Ralston, for example, this morning in a hearing in the main committee room indicated that 73 percent of the housing installations in Europe, for example, are below standard.
Secretary JOHNSON. I am sure that is accurate. I will ask Admiral Pruett. I do not believe our naval housing is that high. In other words, we do not have a number. And I believe our quality is much better. You and the other committees have been very gracious in the past to help us with Naples and other overseas locations. So I think our housing is not as poor.
Page 31 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Okay. I was not trying to make the comparison. What I am saying is that my argument isyou know, it is strange for me. I will give up on it. Maybe, you know, you are the wrong people to have to answer. Rumsfeld should have to answer for it or the President, because you cannot have this both ways. I do not want to be preached to about nothing is too good for our fighting men and women and we are in a war, and everybody has got to sacrifice. The only sacrifice I can see so far is we have postponed the Super Bowl one week. Everybody else wants whatever they want, including their ideological positions. I do not give a damn what Grover Norquist thinks or any one of these clowns that are running around in the Administration preaching ideology. This committee is not ideological. I think people make a big mistake if they think they are coming, that they can divide us up on the basis of party. We are trying to help you guys.
Secretary JOHNSON. And we appreciate that, sir, very much.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. I do not thinklet me put itand I understand, this is nothing against you guys personally. Believe me, it is not. But the message has to get back to the Secretary and whoever is the civilian ideologues that are running around over there that this is unsatisfactory. There is no rationale that can be defended on this, not if we are serious.
We are going to try and put more money in here. What we do not want is to have to fight you over it.
Secretay JOHNSON. Understand, sir.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. And I will tell you, if somebody starts coming up with the idea of pork barrel or something like that, then we will take the gloves off. But we have to put more money into this. We just have to do that. How can we sustain a civilian, unlessnow, you want to go back to the draft?
I have already said, and the chairman knows, if we are really serious about this, and this is going to be a long time, well then let's start talking about having a draft, because I do not see how you can sustain a volunteer serviceand I will tell you, I am going to speak, I have not given a chance to the reserves to speakbut I will tell you, there is no way you are going to keep the requisite number of people in the guard and reserves if we keep operating the way we are.
Page 32 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC You are going to deploy them until the rationale for having a guard and reserve disappears, because all it is is an alternative active duty service with unlimited deployments, and you are going to lose whoever the hell you have.
And then we are not providing, at least as far as I am concerned, maybe I am getting a little ahead of myself, Mr. Chairman, but I do not see that a reserve budget is adequate in terms of the necessary, the construction we need to have facilities adequate to handle the kinds of things that we expect from the reserves now, let alone the National Guard.
I hope you do not think I am beingI am not trying to be pejorative or argumentative. I am trying to make observations that I hope you can comment on.
Secretary JOHNSON. First of all, we agree with you about taking care of our men and women who are part of our active and reserve forces. Our reserve forces, you are absolutely right. We are asking them to do more and more, and they in most cases have other jobs. And at some point, if we do not take good care of them, they will not be there. I agree with you totally.
As far as the reserve budget, I will let Admiral Preston speak. We have done pretty well by the reserves. I think we did better percent wise than we have by the active, realizing it is a smaller requirement, but perhaps the admiral would like to say something.
Admiral PRESTON. Yes, sir. Our funding essentially has been level from 2002 into 2003. We went from approximately $53 million down to approximately $52 million, but still essentially level funding. We have one project in there to put in new bachelor quarters in Atlanta. It will give us 92 spaces. Actually, that equates to 84 before and below, and then another 4 resident advisers to live there also. That will be a big help to our drilling reservists at Naval Air Station (NAS) Atlanta.
We have three projects going in for New Orleans that will improve the quality of service for our folks with the working conditions, and will improve our operational capability.
Page 33 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Admiral, I understand all that. Does this budget meet your needs?
Admiral PRESTON. Sir, this gets us through 2003. Yes, sir.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. That is not what I asked. I am not trying to putyou have to answer it.
Mr. SAXTON. These guys are following orders, come on.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Okay. Are you told that that is whatin your estimation does this meet what you need?
Admiral PRESTON. Sir, this meets what we need in 2003.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Okay. Thank you.
Mr. SAXTON. You will be pleased to know that there is going to be an effort made by Mr. Abercrombie and me and Mr. Stump and Mr. Hobson to make sure that we more than meet your needs in this budget.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. A last thing, Mr. Chairman. Again, it is not your fault, but I wish the Secretary would understand that this is a cooperative endeavor. The Constitution requiresthe Pentagon does not, and the executive does not get to make these decisions. The Congress does.
What we need is information, and then we will make a decision. And if someone thinks we do not make adequate decisions, they have the opportunity every other year in the case of the House of Representatives to run against us and remove us. And that is the way we handle it. We make the decision, but we cannot make it if we do not get the right information. That is the only thing. I wish they would understand, particularly under today's circumstances.
We want to do the right thing, and we are prepared to take the consequences fiscally and otherwise provided that we know. Otherwise, we are left on our own, and then we get accused of making pork-barrel decisions or parochial decisions and all the rest of it. And that is not fair because that is not our interest, primarily. It really is not. So we may have to ask you for some more information anyway.
Page 34 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Secretary JOHNSON. Yes, sir.
Mr. SAXTON. And what I would suggest we do, Neil, is once we make a determination through the chairman of the full Appropriations Committee and the full authorization committee as to whether we are going to be able to plus our MILCON account up, then what we might want to do is get back together with you, if we are going to spend it, we would like to have your input.
Secretary JOHNSON. Yes, sir.
Mr. SAXTON. And so that is what we will do.
Thank you very much for being with us today. We appreciate your candor, and we appreciate your being here, and we apologize for the big break we had in the middle. We kept you here an awful long time because of that. We have a whole bunch of great Americans behind you dressed in blue who need to bring us their message as well. And so general, it is good to see you again. Congratulations, General Coleman. And Admiral Pruett and Admiral Preston, thank you for being here. We appreciate it.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Mr. Chairman, may I add my congratulations also. I hope you get a chance to come out to Kaneohe in the near future and see what we have done there to transform that base.
Secretary JOHNSON. I would like to say, sir, that we are proud to serve the great Americans that are in Congress, and we recognize your role and we are proud to be a part of your armed forces.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you.
Our second panel this afternoon will provide a brief to the subcommittee on the budget request of the Department of the Air Force. They are the Honorable Nelson F. Gibbs, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Installations, Environment and Logistics; Major General Earnest O. Robbins, II, the Air Force Civil Engineer; Brigadier General David A. Brubaker, Deputy Director of the Air National Guard; and Brigadier General Robert E. Duignan, Deputy to the Chief of the Air Force Reserve.
Page 35 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I understand that each of you have a statement to make. That will be great. Secretary Gibbs, why don't we start with you, or in any other order that you all have decided, but the floor is yours.
STATEMENTS OF HON. NELSON F. GIBBS, ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE (INSTALLATIONS, ENVIRONMENT & LOGISTICS); MAJOR GENERAL EARNEST O. ROBBINS II, THE AIR FORCE CIVIL ENGINEER; BRIGADIER GENERAL DAVID A. BRUBAKER, DEPUTY DIRECTOR, AIR NATIONAL GUARD AND BRIGADIER GENERAL ROBERT E. DUIGNAN, DEPUTY TO THE CHIEF OF AIR FORCE RESERVE
Secretary GIBBS. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. We will try to go quickly through our prepared statements.
Good afternoon. I appreciate the opportunity to appear before you to discuss the Department of the Air Force's fiscal year 2003 budget request for military construction, family housing and dormitories, environment and realignment and closure programs. The Air Force's total force military construction and military family housing programs play a vital role supporting Air Force operational needs, workplace productivity and quality of life. This committee's support for those programs has remained steadfast over the years.
Last year, the Secretary of Defense made a commitment to transform the Department of Defense installations and facilities into those required for a 21st century military. Given the ever-present competing priorities, the Air Force has developed an executable and fiscally responsible plan for getting its facilities on the path to recovery. The Air Force's top priorities within this year's President's budget are to sustain the facilities that already exist, enhance quality of life by improving housing for both single and married members, complying with existing environmental statutes, and supporting new missions and weapons systems.
For fiscal year 2003, the Air Force is requesting over $4.2 billion to invest in Air Force facilities and infrastructure, the same level as submitted in the fiscal year 2002 budget request. This includes nearly $2 billion for sustainment, restoration and modernization to maintain our existing infrastructure and facilitiesan increase of over $360 million from fiscal year 2002. This budget request also reflects the Air Force's continued commitment to taking care of its people and their families. Their welfare is a critical factor to overall Air Force combat readiness and the family housing program, dormitory program and other quality of life initiatives reflect a commitment by the Air Force to provide its people the facilities that they deserve.
Page 36 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The Air Force is requesting $1.5 billion for family housing, of which $700 million is to replace more than 2,100 worn out units at 23 bases and improve more than 1,700 units at 11 bases. This request also supports privatization of more than 4,500 units at 5 bases.
To improve the quality of life for the Air Force's unmarried junior enlisted members, the Air Force is requesting $135 million for its fiscal year 2003 dormitory program, which consists of 11 enlisted dormitory projects at 10 stateside and 1 overseas base. The fiscal year 2003 request also includes $500 million for active force military construction, $50 million for the Air National Guard, and $30 million for the Air Force Reserves. Included are 33 new mission projects totaling over $350 million.
The Air Force has remained a leader in environmental stewardship by focusing on its principles of enhancing operational readiness, being a good neighbor, and effectively applying its resources. To reach these goals, the Air Force has built an environmental program around four key pillars: clean up, compliance, prevention and conservation. The Air Force's compliance program strives to ensure compliance with environmental law as its conducts its mission, and the Air Force is proud of its record on open enforcement actions, having reduced the total from 263 in 1992 to 17 in 2001. The environmental compliance military construction program in fiscal 2003 includes 4 projects totaling $50 million in support of the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts.
In conclusion, I want to thank the committee for its continuing strong support of Air Force military construction, family housing and environmental programs. With the committee's assistance and support, the Air Force will meet the most urgent needs of its commanders in the field, while providing quality facilities for the men and women who serve in and are the backbone of the most respected air and space force in the world.
Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
[The prepared statement of Secretary Gibbs can be found in the Appendix on page ?.]
Page 37 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SAXTON. Thank you, Secretary Gibbs.
General ROBBINS. Yes, sir. Good afternoon, sir. This is my third year before the committee. As always, I appreciate the opportunity to come and discuss the Air Force military construction and family housing programs.
As Mr. Gibbs has stated, the Air Force recognizes the importance of robust funding for facility sustainment and recapitalization. Unfortunately, higher competing priorities and an insufficient Air Force top line have not permitted us to address all the problems we face with our aging infrastructure. In fiscal year 2002, the Administration and Congress provided a significant increase in our military construction and housing programs, bringing our total facilities and infrastructure investment to more than $4.2 billionthe largest in over a decade. That increase was supported and in fact enhanced by this committee and others in both houses of Congress. We sincerely appreciate that support.
The fiscal year 2003 program as outlined by Mr. Gibbs was developed using the facility investment strategy with the following objectives: to accommodate new missions, invest in quality of life improvements, continue environmental leadership, sustain, restore and modernize our infrastructure, optimize the use of public and private resources, and to continue demolition of excess uneconomical to maintain facilities. The emphasis this budget places on bachelor and family housing, new mission bed-downs, and our most compelling sustainment and restoration requirements will help us hold the line on our overall facility and infrastructure condition.
While the MILCON component of our request does not match what we received in fiscal year 2002, the total $4.2 billion we plan to invest in our installations is roughly the same as last year, and we have focused on housing and sustainment of existing facilities. As you can see in this budget request, the quality of our installations overseas continues to be a concern for us. Even though the majority of our Air Force personnel are assigned in the United States, we have 66,000 people and 57,000 family members assigned overseas. Thousands of others are outside the country on temporary duty.
Page 38 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The Air Force overseas base infrastructure has stabilized after years of closures and force structure realignments. Now, old and progressively deteriorating facilities at these bases require substantial investment. Our fiscal year 2003 MILCON request for European and Pacific installations is $233 million for 14 projects. The program consists of infrastructure and quality of life projects in Korea, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy and Spain, as well as critical operational facilities on Guam, Diego Garcia, and Wake Island. We will appreciate your support for these vital overseas projects.
Mr. Chairman, I thank you and the committee for your strong support of our Air Force military construction and family housing program. With your help, we will ensure we meet the most urgent needs of the commanders in the field, while providing quality facilities for the men and women who serve our nation. I look forward to working with your committee and your staff toward making this budget request a reality.
Thank you, sir.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you, General Robbins.
General DUIGNAN. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, it is my pleasure to accompany Mr. Gibbs, General Robbins and General Brubaker to discuss the Air Force Reserve fiscal year 2003 military construction budget request. I appreciate the opportunity to appear before you today, but in the interest of time I will keep my comments short.
As you know, the Air Force Reserve construction priorities are merged with the priorities of the active Air Force and the Air National Guard to produce an integrated total force military construction program. Once the priority list is developed, it competes every year with the other most serious needs of the Air Force to determine a level of funding. Although smaller than last year, our program for fiscal year 2003 takes steps to start modification needed in support of a chief-of-staff-directed mission change at Portland Oregon International Airport. The 4 projects in our program are needed to convert the facilities currently supporting combat search and rescue missions to support the KC135 tanker aircraft.
Page 39 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Unfortunately, there simply were not enough dollars to allow us to include any other Air Force Reserve quality of life projects or other current workplace improvements in this year's request. As a result, our fiscal year 2003 MILCON program will not help in our effort to reduce our C3 and C4 rated facilities, nor will it help much with our recapitalization program. However, as you look at our future years defense program (FYDP) funding, we will make needed improvements in the near future.
Mr. Chairman, I appreciate what this committee does for the Air Force Reserve and its installations, and I assure you that the dollars you authorize go a long way to support the over 74,000 reserve personnel, over 400 aircraft, 58 operating locations and missions that take our men and women all over the world. I will be happy to answer any questions that you have. Thank you.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you, sir.
General BRUBAKER. Mr. Chairman and members of this committee, good afternoon. It is indeed a pleasure to be here today to represent the more than 108,000 Air National Guard members throughout the United States and its territories.
This committee has been extremely critical to the success of the Air National Guard because as you know our quality of life is the quality of our workplace. Your support over the past few years has been outstanding, and I want to thank you not only for myself, but for all the dedicated men and women who serve this country as a valuable and integral part of the total force team.
We all are aware that since September 11 the Air National Guard has become even more critical to the execution of the full spectrum of Air Force missions. The link between quality facilities and readiness, retention and recruiting has never been more evident.
For fiscal year 2003, the President's budget request is $54 million for the Air National Guard MILCON. This includes 4 projects totaling almost $41 million to support new mission requirements at Sioux Gateway Airport, Iowa and Jackson International Airport, Mississippi. The remaining $13 million is for planning and design and unspecified minor construction. These funds are needed to complete design of the fiscal year 2004 construction program and to start design of our fiscal year 2005 projects.
Page 40 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC In closing, I would like to thank you again, the members of this committee, for your continued and unwavering support. We are confident that the men and women of the Air National Guard will always meet the challenges set before them, and with your help remain an important part of an American military character as an expeditionary force, domestic guardian and caring neighbor, protecting the United States of America at home and abroad.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you very much.
Let me begin by asking some questions about overseas MILCON. The first question is one that involves long-term planning relative to what Secretary of Defense, in 1990, Cheney described as the changing threat, which has now at least partly manifested itself. The backbone of our overseas Air Force lay-down has always been, I think it is fair to say, in Germany. Because of the changed geography, the location of the threat, do you see long-term changes in military infrastructure needs overseas?
Secretary GIBBS. I will make a brief comment and then let General Robbins fill in around it. I am sure, as you are aware, there is a requirement for the Department to provide to the Congress a force structure plan for its overseas involvement. That is due to come up here sometime this year, and that particular study is being done under the auspices of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS). So to the extent there are Air Force people participating in that, it basically is through the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and I expect that will be up here fairly soon.
General ROBBINS. I would suggest that the draw-down that we have already undertaken in Germany, as you know, has been very large. We have two main bases left there, with Ramstein and Spangdahlem, and you see projects in this budget for both those locations. We similarly have two bases left in the United Kingdom of any substance. We have Mildenhall and Lakenheath, but an operating location at Fairford. Again, you will see projects in this budget for those installations.
Page 41 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SAXTON. I have not been to Mildenhall. Is that basically a tanker base?
General ROBBINS. Yes, sir. That is correct, whereas Lakenheath is still an F15 base.
In the Pacific, we have two bases in Korea, Osan and Kunsan. But you also see in this budget a project for Wake Island to improve the runway there.
So I think that the projects that are overseas that you see are a manifestation of, that we have, as I said in my statement, already shrunken our footprint overseas, and the bases where we are investing in this budget, be it in family housing on in operational-type facilities, represent locations where even today, as you indicate, we are fighting a war somewhere else, we use these bases as platforms, as launching pads, if you will. Another example is Moron, where you see a project for throughput through Spain.
So I cannot look in a crystal ball and say that there is not going to be a significant change in the future, but just given the politics and the current air expeditionary force or expeditionary Air Force approach to war fighting, I think we have got it about right in this budget for what is known today.
Mr. SAXTON. Do you have any information or have there been any studies or reports done relative to changing base structure in the Middle East or Central Asia?
General ROBBINS. As I understand it, sir, that is part of this overall DOD-Joint Chiefs of Staff basing study that is looking at the entire overseas footprint requirement. As you know, we have got many installations in Southwest Asia where the Air Force is temporarily located since 1990, 1991. We have minimized permanent investment in those countries, and we also get a lot of host-nation support for the facilities that are being used there. As far as a permanent basing strategy, I have not seen it. Again, I would assume this is part of the larger JCS-driven study that I think is due in the latter part of this calendar year.
Page 42 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SAXTON. Can you describe the base lay-down in Saudi Arabia for us?
General ROBBINS. Right now, the only primary base we operate out of is Prince Sultan Air Base. There are still people in Riyadh, but that is primarily the people who work with the Saudi foreign military sales and the Saudi National Guard people there in the Saudi government. But within the country, the only primary operating base for the U.S. Air Force is Prince Sultan.
Mr. SAXTON. Is it tactical aircraft at Sultan?
General ROBBINS. They have got all manner of aircraft there, but it is primarily being used now as command and control-type aircraft.
Mr. SAXTON. Do you feel any pressure from the Saudisdo we feel any pressure from the Saudis to move?
General ROBBINS. Sir, I do notthat is way above my pay grade. They do not pressure me to do anything.
Mr. SAXTON. In Korea, some years ago I visited Osan in particular and asked for a tour of the base and the commander was kind enough to point out problems involving housing. And way prior to the level of threat that we see now from terrorism, there was concern at Osan about security for families. Any change?
General ROBBINS. This budget reflects the movement toward change, and in fact there has been change. We have moved as many people as we can on-base. There are still a number of families that live out on the economy, but not many. But this budget reflects the first of a 3-year investment strategy to build 3 family housing towers of some 120 units each on the base proper, so that everybody at Osan will be able toall the accompanied tour people will be able to live on-base.
Page 43 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SAXTON. Let me come back closer to home. Is force protection an issueforce protection is an issue. I will not ask that question that way. Force protection is an issue at all our overseas bases, as well as our CONUS bases.
General ROBBINS. Right.
Mr. SAXTON. Do you have any needs that are unmet with regard to military construction for force protection?
General ROBBINS. We, along with the rest of the Department, have had the opportunity to make an input to the Defense Emergency Response Fund (DERF), the 2003 DERF request for the supplemental. It is not a supplemental. It is part of the regular budget OSD requested. It is either here or is en route, as I understand it. Embedded in that for the Air Force is some $200 million worth of military construction requirements, some overseas, some within the CONUS, for antiterrorism/force protection (ATFP)-type projects, very much focused on new gates, fencing, lightingthose kind of requirements.
Embedded in the projects that are part of our regular submittal, we have incorporated on an average of one to three percent of additional design, if you will, additional structure to accommodate the kinds of force protection issues that were mentioned in the Navy testimonysplinter protection, shatter-proof glass. We also berm where the vulnerability assessment tells us that is necessary. And of course, we always try to use stand-off as the cheapest way to do it, but as you know, that is not always possible. So we have included in our budget accommodation for ATFP, antiterrorism force protection, and coming over as part of, we hope, the OSD submittal for the DERF will be additional MILCON requirements.
Mr. SAXTON. Changing the subject one more time, and then we will move on to Mr. Snyder, with regard to the C17 lay-down, have you been tasked or requested to provide resources in the immediate year and in future years for construction deemed necessary for C17 lay-down? And if so, where would those projects be?
Page 44 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Secretary GIBBS. The C17 basing study is working its way through the Air Force today. It currently is at Air Mobility Command (AMC) headquarters. It is due into headquarters here at the beginning of April. This is the study which would support the basing for the 180 aircraft which basically are currently authorized. We expect to announce a location for the additional basing before the end of April.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you very much. I will not repeat the basic statement about the level of MILCON funding in the Air Force request. You know where we are coming from, and we will just let it go at that.
Dr. SNYDER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Would you all, whoever would respond to it, my understanding is the other services have as their goal for eliminating substandard housing the year 2007, but for the Air Force it is 2010. Is that correct and why is that?
Secretary GIBBS. That is correct. As part of the Air Force master plan, there are several bases, both domestic CONUS and overseas, where the master plan in our opinion requires us to do the construction in a phased manner so that it takes beyond the year 2007 to complete it. To pull phases of those projects forward would displace an inordinate amount of people on the particular bases that are involved in this, and we think that both from a construction management perspective and also from providing the best quality of life for the greatest number of people on the bases, confirmed that it is preferable to pursue the projects as we have started out, and 2010 will be the completion date.
Dr. SNYDER. I do not think you all have been as aggressive about privatization as the other services. Is that a factor also, do you think, or not?
Secretary GIBBS. I do not know. I have not looked at it from the point of view of aggressiveness. We have about 27,000 units that are currently in the queue, that have either been started or are in the queue for privatization.
Page 45 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The Air Force has followed a policy since it began looking at privatization and a concept called severability, and it set a very fairly rigid set of criteria as to whether the housing could be severed from the base or not. When General Jumper became the Chief, one of the first things he did is he sent instructions out to all of the major commands to do another review of the severability with slightlyslight is relative termwith a reduced set of criteria for severability. That is working its way through. We expect to be adding a number of bases to those which can be considered for privatization.
Once the severability criteria is set, and those are selected, then we will move on into the economic basis for doing that. But I personally believe by the time we come to speak with you next year, we will have added a number of additional projects to the privatization backlog.
Dr. SNYDER. And has the issue of encroachment in terms of population growth either around a base, at the end of runways, or around, underneath low-level routesis that in your all's area of responsibility also?
Secretary GIBBS. Yes, portions of it. Yes.
Dr. SNYDER. Portions of it. In Arkansas, not necessarily my district, but we have both fighters and C130's. I have not ridden in the fighters. I do not have as strong a stomach as some of my colleagues, but I have done the 300 to 500 feet low-level routes in the C130's. And of course our guys there have learned where the chicken houses are and all those kinds of issues. So you have got all kinds of issuesnoise and the low levels and all that kind of thing. Is the current state of Federal law and the Defense bill and all thatis that sufficient to address these kinds of issues? Is there any procedural stuff we need to be looking at? I think this is going to continue to be a problem as population grows and our military towns continue to grow. Do you all have everything you need to address those issues?
Secretary GIBBS. Sir, encroachment is a problem. It comes in a number of different forms. It is not always just physical. We think about encroachment also in the areas of the radio spectrum, radio waves and the need for military versus civilian uses. It comes in terms of the requirements for clean air, clean water; also for endangered species. It is a broad spectrum of other aspects of our overall environment, in a very general term, that have an impact on the military being able to complete its mission.
Page 46 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC We, as an Air Force, continuously work with local communities to attempt to mitigate the impacts that occur. You mentioned onenoise. There we deal directly with local communities, and in some cases we have had to curtail or severely limit night flights out of National Guard activities because of noise limitations; that they cannot do that. We have to go someplace else to do it.
And we are always looking to make sure that we are both good neighbors and complying with all of the legal requirements. When we have a need to request assistance in a legislative manner, we will do so. We will come up and ask you for help.
Dr. SNYDER. I apologize for having to leave. Ironically, I have a meeting with General Jumper. I am sure the men in uniform understand. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. SAXTON. Mr. Secretary, I am not going to pursue this now, but I visited Ramstein recently, and while we were there looked at the MILCON construction of family housing. I would like to talk with you sometime about privatization overseas. Unfortunately, I have to be on the floor in 10 minutes and so I do not have time to do it now. So we will go to Mr. Hayes as our final questioner.
Mr. HAYES. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
On the subject of overseas bases, I am sure you all know this, but for the record I would like to publicly compliment the military and all the folks involved. We were recently atair bases, Karshi Khanabad and Bagram. If I pronounce those incorrectly, I am not running for President so it does not matter. But it is really incredible what our folks have done in a very short time. In all honesty, some of the tent cities that they have erected there are superior to our somewhat more permanent housing over here, so I want to make sure that you all are aware of that and how much we salute you for the successful efforts that they have participated in.
As you know, Pope Air Force Base is in my home district, the Eighth District of North Carolina, and it has been a very great relationship between the Army, the Airborne and Pope. As it relates to Pope and housing, just comment in general for me if you would on the issue of adequate housing. What does adequate housing mean as far as you all are concerned, in our definition that we use in this description?
Page 47 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General ROBBINS. There are standards that are developed by the various services. They are pretty close across services. It has to do
Mr. HAYES. Everybody says the Air Force has superior housing, so we do not
General ROBBINS. Everybody says the Air Force has superior everything.
We have worked very hard to, in many cases, make silk purses out of sows ears. Adequate housing, either if it is adequate it meets Air Force standards, and Air Force standards have to do with how many square feet there are, first of all, for a family. It has to do with the number of bedrooms for a family of a given size. It has to do with meeting electrical mechanical codes. It has to do with the basic infrastructure of the facilitythe roof, the walls, the whatever meeting what you would consider to be an adequate or a satisfactory standard. You do not have people coming out all the time and having to fix roof leaks.
So when we developed this family housing master plan that Mr. Gibbs alluded to a few moments ago, we actually sent teams of engineering technicians out to assess the housing at every base. It starts out by looking at if it meets the square footage standards, but then it gets into the adequacy of the systems and the building components that actually make it up. Do the heating and air conditioning (HVAC) systems work? Again, does the electrical system meet the local electrical code?
So every building gets a score. Every type of housing gets a score, and there is a cutoff line. If it is below that cutoff line, then it is not adequate. If it is above it, it is. We will continue to invest money in it to keep it adequate, not to improve it. So that is kind of a nutshell of adequate versus inadequate.
Mr. HAYES. I think you did a good job of covering the objective criteria. How do you deal with things like curb appeal, location, amenities that would appeal to a young military wife, that would again help us with our retention issues.
Page 48 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General ROBBINS. Yes, sir. That criteria that I mentioned will look at a kitchen, for example, and make sure that it has a garbage disposal, because nobody lives on the outside today in a house that does not have a garbage disposal. The rangehas it got a working oven and four eyesthose kinds of things. BathroomsI live in a house that has a 1960-vintage bathroom in it. That does not make the house inadequate. The bathroom certainly is in my wife's and daughter's eyes.
Mr. HAYES. But you know they are very important.
General ROBBINS. Yes, sir. And when we go in and do a renovation or a replacement project, we make sure that we try to do what we call a whole-house improvement, and so we do not just piece-meal it. And we do not make it so that the kitchen is fine, but the bathrooms are still inadequate. Where we have got the funding to do it, we will do a whole-house renovation and we will take care of everything from the roof to that code-compliant electrical distribution system, to the bathrooms and the kitchens. It is part of this master plan that we have invested a lot of time and effort in, but it has been worth its weight in gold in guiding us through this whole drillprivatization and military construction.
Mr. HAYES. Be sure and keep the ladies involved, whether they are military ladies or support.
General ROBBINS. We get lots of help everywhere, sir.
Mr. HAYES. Last question. Mr. Chairman, we are in the process of putting RCI, residential community initiatives, together at Fort Bragg for the Army. Is the Air Force looking at doing something similar to thisPope or other locations? Is that something that is in you all's future plans?
General ROBBINS. I am not sure I know what the Army is doing.
Mr. HAYES. Well, we will go into that at some future date, but it is called a residential community initiative.
Page 49 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General ROBBINS. Oh, Okay. Yes, sir, there is no plan in the Air Force to replicate the Army model for RCI. I think they used that at Fort Carson also.
Mr. HAYES. Fort Hood.
General ROBBINS. Yes, sir. And there is a matter of scope involved here. Typically, Army installations where they are pursuing these initiatives have thousands of family housing units. We typically have hundreds.
Mr. HAYES. Right. Well, at least give some thought to it, at Bragg where there is something joint that might work.
Thank you, gentlemen. That is all I have.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you very much. I could keep you here for a while yetlots of things to talk about, and I am curious about a lot of things, but maybe we will do that over dinner some night instead. Thank you for being here. We appreciate your candor as always, and appreciate working with you. I know we have a number of other issues that are ongoing and we will be in touch further about those.
Thank you for the great job you all do. Obviously, I have spent more time with the Air Force because of things back home, than with any of the other branches. You guys just do a great job and we appreciate you. Thank you for being here.
The hearing is adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 4:40 p.m., the subcommittee was adjourned.]