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[H.A.S.C. No. 108–3]



FOR FISCAL YEAR 2004—H.R. 1588






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MARCH 20, 2003




CURT WELDON, Pennsylvania, Chairman
W. TODD AKIN, Missouri
JEB BRADLEY, New Hampshire
HOWARD ''BUCK'' McKEON, California
WALTER JONES, North Carolina
JIM RYUN, Kansas
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ROB SIMMONS, Connecticut
JOE WILSON, South Carolina

JOHN SPRATT, South Carolina
LANE EVANS, Illinois
ADAM SMITH, Washington
MIKE McINTYRE, North Carolina
ROBERT BRADY, Pennsylvania
JOHN LARSON, Connecticut
JIM COOPER, Tennessee

Douglas Roach, Professional Staff Member
Roger Smith, Professional Staff Member
Bob Lautrup, Professional Staff Member
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JJ Gertler, Professional Staff Member
Jesse Tolleson, Research Assistant




    Thursday, March 20, 2003, Fiscal Year 2004 National Defense Authorization Act—Budget Request for Army and Marine Corps Ground Force Requirements


    Thursday, March 20, 2003




    Weldon, Hon. Curt, a Representative from Pennsylvania, Chairman, Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces
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    Abercrombie, Hon. Neil, a Representative from Hawaii, Ranking Member, Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces


    Bolton, Hon. Claude M., Jr., Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology, Department of the Army

    Kern, Gen. Paul J., Commanding General, Army Materiel Command

    Lamartin, Dr. Glenn F., Director, Tactical and Strategic Systems, Department of Defense

    Magnus, Lt. Gen. Robert, Deputy Commandant for Programs and Resources, United States Marine Corps

[The Prepared Statements can be viewed in the hard copy.]

Bolton, Hon. Claude M., Jr., and Gen. Paul J. Kern

Lamartin, Dr. Glenn F.

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Magnus, Lt. Gen. Robert

Weldon, Hon. Curt

[The Documents submitted can be viewed in the hard copy.]

[The Questions and Answers can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Mr. Abercrombie
Mr. Evans
Mr. Everett
Mr. Turner
Mr. Weldon


House of Representatives,
Committee on Armed Services,
Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee,
Washington, DC, Thursday, March 20, 2003.

    The subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 2:02 p.m., in room 2118, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Curt Weldon (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.
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    Mr. WELDON. The hearing will now come to order. And I apologize to our distinguished panelists for this delay. We are trying to do 11 hearings in one week, and so we start at 9:00 and we usually go to 8:00 at night. Apologize for making you stick around for 40 extra minutes before we start.

    This morning the Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee meets to receive testimony from the Department of Defense (DOD), Army and Marine Corps witnesses on the breadth of DOD's current ground force weapons programs and the industrial base that supports those platforms.

    The witnesses will also address the technologies and industrial base required to field the Army's future combat systems and meet next generation Marine Corps ground equipment requirements.

    This hearing was scheduled in February, however, it is of particular significance today with 105,000 soldiers and 80,000 Marines engaged in combat operations along with Navy, Air Force and coalition forces in both Afghanistan and Iraq.

    These personnel comprise a full spectrum of U.S. ground forces including special operations units, light and airborne infantry, heavy armored forces and Marine Corps expeditionary units.
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    We as Members of Congress have very little control over how things will evolve in either of these theaters of operations but we do want to express our deepest respect and appreciation to our men and women and supporting personnel for their service to the Nation and offer our Godspeed in their mission.

    All of the major weapons systems employed by Army and Marine Corps ground forces today were originally fielded in the early to mid-80s. However, many of these systems have received at least one if not several upgrades through technology insertions, in order to address evolving threats.

    As you review our ground forces, today's Army is comprised of a light infantry and heavy armored force mix. The heavy force is centered around the M–1 Abrams tank and the Bradley fighting vehicle, currently the most sophisticated and superior armored fighting vehicles in the world, and originally designed to go toe to toe with the best heavy armored vehicles built by the former Soviet Union during the Cold War.

    Major upgrades of these vehicles have enhanced the original analogue variance with state of the art digital command and control technologies and thermal sites.

    A gap between the light infantry and heavy forces was identified by the Army after the Gulf War. The Army determined that a more lethal deployable and sustainable combat force was required to enhance its capability to respond to a broad spectrum of threats and operations.

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    To bridge this gap, the Army is currently filling the interim force comprised of medium armored vehicles centered around the Stryker Brigade Combat Teams (SBCT).

    The fiscal year 2004 budget request includes $1.2 billion for a fourth of six planned Stryker Brigades. The Army transformation plan also includes a long term acquisition strategy to fill what it refers to as a 21st century Army, much of which entails the future combat systems, FCS.

    The magnitude of the requirements that have been articulated, the process for carrying it to fruition, the attendant costs and the time required to do surveys raise many questions, all of which are our responsibility to address.

    The objective force of which the FCS is a major component, is one of the three major pillars of Army transformation, the other two being the legacy force and the interim force.

    The Army has requested $1.7 billion to continue to developing its FCS in fiscal year 2004. A networked system of 19 separate systems, the Army has laid out a very ambitious plan to achieve first unit equipment (FUE) for FCS in fiscal year 2008 and to obtain initial operational capability (IOC) by fiscal year 2010.

    Trying to fulfill all of these requirements simultaneously means the Army must maintain its current light and heavy legacy force in some state of readiness, field medium armored brigades and repriororitize procurement funds in its fiscal year 2004 request from the termination of 24 current programs and the deferment of restructuring of 24 additional programs for research and development to accelerate the FCS.
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    As a result, the subcommittee members must be confident that the Army in its best efforts to transform as rapidly as possible with limited resources has made the right decisions in what appear to be a high risk trade-off in its 2004 request and through future years defense programs (FYDP).

    There is some concern that the Army may be taking far greater near term risk than may be prudent or warranted.

    The total of 48 terminated and restructured programs in fiscal year 2004 are in addition to the 18 programs that were terminated in the fiscal year 2003 budget to affirm transformation requirements, which I might add this committee fully supported the Army on last year.

    The 2004 request may present more risk than the American public is comfortable with, which also includes termination earlier than planned of both its heavy armored vehicle upgrade programs. As a result, the Army now plans to only field two digitized divisions versus the Army's original plan of fielding three and one-third digitized divisions.

    A large amount of funds that was originally planned to be requested for these terminated and restructured programs in fiscal year 2004 was reprioritized in order to fund FCS in fiscal year 2004. Consequently, since the Army buys the majority of heavy ground vehicles within DOD, the decision to terminate the Abrams and Bradley upgrade programs early may have both industrial base and affordability implications for FCS and next generation Marine Corps armored vehicle programs as well.
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    Accordingly, I am concerned that there may not be an adequate industrial base to transform in order to produce whatever type of FCS ground vehicle requirement emerges over the next several years.

    Therefore, we are interested in hearing today what analysis the Department of Defense has done in its decision to endorse the Army program.

    It is noteworthy to mention that there is much skepticism even within DOD on the achievability of Army FCS goals. The Department's own Director of Operational Testing and Evaluation (DOT&E) and is highlighted in his recent annual report, and ''It is highly unlikely that the current schedule for FCS development can be maintained to field threshold levels of mission performance due to the high levels of technological and operational risk.

    The FCS block one development schedule calls for a series of limited user tests in fiscal year 2004, yet the government asks industry to prepare proposals in April 2002. And there are currently no vehicle test beds, prototypes or even mature operational concepts to test. Survivability will depend upon quantum leap improvements,''.

    Further, press accounts this week of FCS program briefs to Secretary Rumsfeld indicate he questioned nearly every aspect of the objective force. The report indicates that Secretary Rumsfeld suggested that the Army establish an independent panel to conduct the 30 to 60 day Institute for Defense Analysis assessment of the objective force and FCS.

    The DOT&E report and accounts of the Army briefing to Secretary Rumsfeld do not provide the confidence we require to commit today to $1.7 billion in spending for an aggressive time schedule for fielding FCS.
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    We all have numerous questions today about what has changed in the DOD requirements, development and acquisition process to make it possible to field some undefined, uncosted number of a family of systems simultaneously by fiscal year 2008 to obtain an operational capability of 2010.

    While I am extremely hopeful we could rapidly accelerate a group of technologies and break the current, 10 to 20 out year cycles for complex systems, there is reason for concern given the poor track record of fielding even individual complex programs such as the Comanche and the Land Warrior.

    In summary, there is no question first of all that we support our troops in the field, but this hearing is about the next generation of weapons systems for our ground forces and making sure current policies and budgets will sustain an industrial base for the future.

    We must do everything we can to make sure that the limited funds available for our ground forces are being wisely allocated. To get a better handle on these complex and difficult issues today, we are pleased to have Dr. Glen Lamartin, Director of Strategic and Tactical Systems, Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition Technology and Logistics, the Honorable Claude Bolton, the Assistant Secretary of the Army, Acquisition Logistics and Technology, General Paul Kern, Commander Army Material Command (AMC), Lieutenant General Robert Magnus, Deputy Commandant of the Marine Corps for Programs and Resources.

    I would now like to recognize the gentleman from Hawaii and my good friend Neil Ambercrombie, for any remarks he would like to add.
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    [The prepared statement of Mr. Weldon can be viewed in the hard copy.]


    Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I think you have stated the case before us. And I think we best get right to the testimony.

    Mr. WELDON. I thank the gentleman for his leadership, and he is a tireless advocate for what is right for our troops and someone who is always willing to not just ask the right questions but be there to support the funding necessary to provide the proper equipment. And I appreciate that.

    And with that, I will turn to our distinguished panel. Your statements will be entered into the record without objection. And you can have what is time—such time as you may want. I would just ask that you attempt as much as possible to keep your statements fairly short because we have another hearing coming in at I believe at 2 o'clock.

    But we want to hear from you and whatever points you want to make, you are welcome to. And again, thank you for coming today.

    Dr. Lamartin.

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    Dr. LAMARTIN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And good afternoon, Mr. Abercrombie and Members of the committee.

    My name is Glen Lamartin. I serve on Mr. Aldridge's staff. He is the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition Technology and Logistics.

    I am pleased to have this opportunity to speak to you about changes in the Department's acquisition policies and how they will speed up the fielding of our weapons systems, in particular the future combat systems program about which you expressed specific interest.

    I will also address the current and future ability of the U.S. industrial base to effectively and affordable meet our national security needs in this area.

    It is fitting that we take time today to consider what we do together to give our soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines the best capability we can so that they will prevail in combat now and in the future.

    The Department is in the process of reissuing the DOD 5000 series documents that guide our acquisition activities. Secretary Aldridge is scheduled to testify on these exciting changes before the full House Armed Services Committee early next month.

    Among the emerging changes are to reduce the time it takes to acquire systems by using evolutionary acquisition, an approach that seeks to rapidly deliver useful capability, but with the explicit intent of improving that capability over time, to encourage tailoring the program structure—each program structure and approach to match its particular conditions and to foster innovation, learning and continuous improvement in all that we do.
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    My role includes overseeing for Secretary Aldridge how programs such as the Army's future combat systems will put these important changes into practice. I also see to the proper use of sound management and engineering approaches and in so doing, help to ensure their success.

    Regarding the FCS program, I must point out that the program now is under review by the Department for a milestone B decision later this spring. That decision will confirm that the program is ready to move into the next development phase, what we call system design and development (SDD).

    Since the review is ongoing and Mr. Aldridge has not approved the details of the program structure and approach, I must temper some of my responses. However, I am pleased to tell you how we are approaching this important decision.

    FCS is key to the Army's transformation. It is a challenging——

    Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Mr. Chairman, excuse me.

    Mr. WELDON. Sure.

    Mr. ABERCROMBIE. A point of clarification. Are you testifying that you have a double track review system underway? Is that what you just testified?

    I want to make sure I understand. Mr. Aldridge has a separate review process?
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    Dr. LAMARTIN. Mr. Aldridge, as part of the acquisition process, he serves as the defense acquisition executive. And that—the process includes periodic milestone reviews, which——

    Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Isn't that being undertaken by the Army?

    Dr. LAMARTIN. No, the Army has its own internal review process that they will present the program to the Department of Defense——


    Dr. LAMARTIN [continuing]. And Mr. Aldridge then in turn will review the specifics of the program.

    Mr. ABERCROMBIE. So there is not a review by Mr. Aldridge separately from that which the Army is conducting right now?

    Dr. LAMARTIN. The Army will look closely at the program first, then present it to Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), the Office of the Secretary of Defense and Mr. Aldridge, but they will participate in the review at that level as well.

    Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Thank you.

    Dr. LAMARTIN. It is a challenging program to develop as one system the systems, a family of aerial and ground, manned and unmanned, combat vehicles all linked by a capable command and control network.
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    We are taking a number of steps to ensure a thorough review of the program and answer the many questions we have about successfully executing this complex acquisition. We are carefully looking at the program and the challenges we face on three basic levels.

    First, as a family of systems, what it takes to put the pieces together to make them work well. Second, as a key element of the future Army, how it is that we will integrate it with the other parts of the Army, the legacy forces, the interim forces and modern systems such as Comanche. And third, in a joint context, how we will integrate FCS with systems in the other services to make it even more effective?

    To prepare for the milestone decision, we plan a series of reviews by the Defense Acquisition Board (DAB). That group is made of the most senior leaders in the Department and is chaired by Secretary Aldridge. Its members include the Secretary of the Army, and the Director for Operational Test and Evaluation.

    In particular, the first of these DAB sessions will focus on the technical foundation on which we are building. It will look at the maturity of the technologies critical to success and the plans to resolve the remaining risks. I should note that the Army has already partnered with the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency, (DARPA), to identify and advance those technologies and systems with the most promise.

    The Department knows full well that the FCS schedule is ambitious. Concerns about the program's ability to hold that schedule will be thoroughly addressed during the DAB's deliberations.
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    To that end, my office is leading a detailed review of the Army's plans for program management and systems engineering. The Department's staff is also planning for test and evaluation, assessing technology readiness levels, developing an independent cost estimate, reviewing the acquisition strategy, assessing needed industrial capability and looking hard at logistics and support matters.

    These are typical milestone B activities that in this case, will consider the special nature of the FCS program. Together these activities will ensure an informed decision about proceeding into the next program phase.

    Regarding the defense industrial base, the Department has had to make difficult choices as it weighs operational risks and balances its investments into today's forces with the steps it must take to transform to meet future needs. These choices about recapitalization, modernization and the acquisition of new capability can have implications for the industrial base.

    For example, we know the shift from heavy armor plated vehicles to lighter more deployable vehicles built of composite materials and specialty metals will challenge the industrial base to respond with new manufacturing technologies and processes.

    Yet we are confident that there are adequate opportunities for industry to contribute now in the design, development and integration activities as well as to prepare to meet our future production and support needs.

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    Although the department believes that forces in the market are positive, and that industrial capabilities will be available when needed for combat vehicles, we will work closely with two Army-led assessments in this area.

    One will cover the entire ground combat industrial sector. The other focuses specifically on the FCS. This later will be a continuing effort that will assess the industrial capabilities needed to design, develop, produce and support each of the systems of the future combat systems family. And it will surface any issues it finds for management attention.

    The Department is excited about the transformational capabilities that FCS will bring to the battlefield. We believe the changes in our acquisition processes are well matched to this program and the new environment in which we find ourselves.

    We look forward to the challenges before us.

    Thank you for this opportunity to testify before the committee on these important topics. I will be happy to answer any questions you might have.

    [The prepared statement of Dr. Lamartin can be viewed in the hard copy.]

    Mr. WELDON. We thank you.

    Secretary Bolton, the floor is yours.

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    Secretary BOLTON. Thank you, sir.

    Good afternoon, and thank you Chairman Weldon, Representative Ambercrombie, distinguished Members of the Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces for this opportunity to discuss the Army's ground combat, combat support and ammunition procurement programs as well as future technology initiatives.

    With me today is General Paul Kern, Commanding General for the Army Materiel Command. And Mr. Chairman, as you already pointed out, we will submit our joint statement for the record.

    Today's Army is busier than it has ever been. Our soldiers are helping to win and fight the global war on terrorism. They are defending our homeland. They are serving with distinction in the Balkans in Saudi Arabia, in Kuwait, in the Sinai and in Korea.

    And even with a force deployed worldwide, they are transforming to the objective force, aggressively reaching toward the future. We are changing the way we deploy, fight, sustain and use information to become more strategically responsive and dominant across the spectrum of operations.

    Our job is to equip, improve and sustain the Army, the world's most capable, powerful and respected land force. We ensure that our soldiers have the weapons, the weapon systems, and equipment they need in order to fulfill any mission they are called upon to perform.
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    Our efforts are focused in the following key areas: programs, people, production and improvement.

    Let me briefly talk about each of these areas. First programs. The Army's comprehensive transformation advances along three major axis—preserving the Army's legacy, bridging the capabilities gap with the interim force, and building the objective force, our future force.

    The first path of the Army transformation is to selectively modernize and recapitalize today's force to maintain readiness while preserving resources for the Army's transformation. The Army's modernization program includes the Abrams tank, the Bradley fighting vehicle and several other critical systems that were key to our success in the Persian Gulf War and will continue to have a vital role in our war-fighting capability.

    While improving today's force, the Army is fielding a new interim force to bridge the gap between the current force and the introduction of the objective force which begins in 2008. These forces, known as the stryker brigade combat teams, are centered on the stryker family of wheeled fighting vehicles. Beginning this year, the Army will begin to field six stryker brigades over the next five years.

    And this new lighter forces will in combination with advanced air and sea lift capabilities, give the U.S. the ability to project military force more easily and more directly around the world.

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    As our Army modernizes and recapitalizes the current force and fields the stryker brigades, it is also developing our future force, the objective force. The objective force will represent a complete transformation of the Army into a force designed to meet tomorrow's challenges.

    The cornerstone, as noted earlier, as a transformation to the objective force, is the future combat system, the FCS, a joint effort between DARPA and the U.S. Army. The DARPA Army team adopted a new acquisition approach through the competitive selection of the Boeing Company and the Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) as the FCS lead systems integrator, or LSI. The LSI serves as an integral team partner with a total FCS systems integration responsibility which will lead us successful through a milestone B decision later on this year.

    The second key area, people. Within the next two to four years, 50 percent of the Army acquisition work force will be eligible to retire. About one third of the Army's civilian population is eligible to retire today.

    Ensuring a world class acquisition work force will not be easy. Members of the acquisition corps and the larger work force are at the front of the transformation march. Their abilities to develop systems, manage costs and schedule and procure products and services are absolutely critical to the Army's overall success.

    Planning is underway to address the pending critical loss of a significant portion of our world class acquisition work force.

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    Production, the health of the defense industrial base is key to the Army's ability to continue to provide innovative technology and superior systems and equipment at favorable and competitive prices.

    Production is dependent upon the organic industrial base, our depots and arsenals, our defense industrial base, the commercial, the non-industrial base, and where appropriate, industrial bases from abroad.

    It is clear that the defense industry and the industrial base of the 21st century will consist of a complimentary and synergistic mix of private sector and government capabilities.

    The mergers in the defense industry that followed the end of the Cold War have left most of these firms stronger, but the consolidation has brought increased challenges to maintain price and technological competition. We must maintain competition when and wherever possible.

    When it is not possible, one of our biggest challenges will be to structure business arrangements to ensure better results through the use of contractual incentives.

    Improvement, we must constantly work to improve conditions in all of the key areas I have just discussed and to institutionalize process improvements.

    In closing, Mr. Chairman, the Army is the world's preeminent land combat force. As we continue to meet the needs of the nation, we thank you for your strong support and valued advice.
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    With your help, the help of the committee members, we will remain the most respected land power to our friends and allies and the most feared ground force to those who threaten the interests of the United States.

    And that concludes my opening remarks, Mr. Chairman. I will be happy to answer any questions. But first, I believe that General Kern also has some brief opening remarks.

    [The joint prepared statement of Secretary Bolton and General Kern can be viewed in the hard copy.]

    Mr. WELDON. Thank you, Mr. Secretary. General Kern, it is all yours.


    General KERN. Chairman Weldon, Mr. Abercrombie, I appreciate the opportunity to meet with you this morning and to review the issues that we have in front of us.

    I represent today the Army Materiel Command, an organization of more than 50,000 members of military and civilian across our country in 40 states and 38 different countries around the world today.

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    They are people such as Neil Wachuka, civilian ammo specialist from Davenport, Iowa who today is off-loading ammo ships in Kuwait. Twenty-four years of service. He worries about the safety of the millions of pounds of ammunition crossing his docks.

    Stories from Sergeant Major Stewart. Sergeant Major Stewart is the deputy to my field support commander, Brigadier General Vinny Bowles. My discussions with him this morning were interrupted by a SCUD attack in Kuwait as they prepare our forces to move forward.

    Or Ms. Bobbi Sue Ridell, one of our specialists from Illinois, 22 years of service to our Army, where she left her friends and family to work in RFJohn, a tent city located in the middle of the desert.

    These are dedicated employees who form this industrial base in the organic support to our armed forces.

    I have a chart which I have provided here to the right, and copies which will be provided to the Members of the committee which address the organic part of the industrial base as you describe as one of the issues which we must be concerned with today.

    That industrial base is noted as 13 government owned and contractor operated and 13 government owned, government operated facilities. They produce munitions as well as the vehicles and they sustain that base for our armed forces.

    I do not show on this particular chart the commercial part of the defense industrial base such as the United Defense facilities in York, Pennsylvania, Boeing in Philadelphia or Mesa, Arizona or the General Dynamics facilities supporting their tank plant, which they operate for us in Lima, Ohio.
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    These facilities were developed when we had a research effort which was focused on building in our arsenals and supplying, sustaining in our depots. Today, these are partnerships across our country. And that is the industrial base, which we must look at, is this partnership between industry and government and what we need for the 21st century.

    Now that will be a critical issue which we all must address in the months ahead.

    Sometimes though it is something simple as this little piece of metal which is the link for our squad automatic weapon 5.56 millimeter ammunition which causes us the problems. When we found that we went down to one machining center to produce all of the links for the armed forces, and we had to rebuild that this past year so that we were able to sustain our force.

    So the industrial base is not often just large facilities and plants that we have to operate. It is sometimes small machine lines which are responsible for those critical components.

    This is all very important work and it is a work for which we do everyday to sustain our force. Now we are very pleased to work with a committee who initiated the work that we are doing for the future combat system a number of years ago and got us started with the Defense Advanced Research Organization in that effort.

    All of those are critical and I look forward to the questions that you and the committee have today.
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    Thank you.

    [The joint prepared statement of Secretary Bolton and General Kern can be viewed in the hard copy.]

    Mr. WELDON. Thank you, General, very much.

    General Magnus, the floor is all yours.


    General MAGNUS. Mr. Chairman, distinquished Members of the committee, I am pleased to have this opportunity to discuss your corps today and our future ground——

    Mr. WELDON. Excuse me, General, can you move the microphone closer to you? Thank you.

    General MAGNUS. Yes, Mr. Chairman.

    Mr. Chairman, distinguished Members of the committee, I am pleased to have this opportunity today to discuss your Marine Corps and our future ground combat capabilities along side these find soldiers.
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    First, I would like to thank the committee for your continued support of our efforts as we continue to ensure our readiness as the Nation's expeditionary combined arms team. The Marines are ready today. They are ready tomorrow, and they—we intend to be the right force for the next fight.

    But with your permission, sir, I have submitted my written statement for the record.

    Today, Marines, both active and reserve, are operating side by side with our Navy shipmates and with soldiers, airmen and special operations forces at sea, at shore and in expeditionary sites around the globe and here at home.

    Marine Corps operations have highlighted the versatility and adaptability of our signature organizational concept, the combined arms air-ground team, which we call the Marine air-ground task force, the MAGTF.

    Our rapid deployment of amphibious Marine expeditionary units and expeditionary brigades size forces from the east and west coasts of the United States to Southeast Asia to join today's first Marine expeditionary force illustrates the dramatic speed, flexibility, strategic mobility and scalability of our capabilities.

    Our demonstrated day to day forward deployed and rapid reinforcing capabilities of the Navy and Marine Corps team are a powerful national asset today and will be for the future.
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    Our future capabilities, especially our ground programs are the reason for my presence before the committee of course today. While ground combat capabilities are the central focus of our combined arms teams, the Marines know and value the powerful combat synergy of our air support, our expeditionary logistics and command and control, a synergy that we create in our Marines from recruit training through their education and on to today's battlefield.

    And today, sir, over 90 percent of our operating forces are forward deployed, forward stationed, or forward based.

    The Marine Air-Ground Task Force has a battle proven commitment to combined arms operations. On a daily basis, we train those cohesive units as fully integrated combined arms teams ready to go forward and stand along side soldiers, sailors, airmen and coalition partners to fight.

    Recently, our Marine—maritime prepositioned forces again proved their value to the Nation. In February, we rapidly off-loaded two maritime repositioned force squadrons. Eleven ships within 18 days delivering equipment to over 35,000 combat Marines and the equipment readiness rates were 98 to 99 percent. Maritime Prepositioned Force (MPF) equipment is fully compatible with our total force and just like the Marines, the equipment is ready immediately for employment.

    Our total force with 175,000 active duty Marines and nearly 40,000 in the selected Marine Corps Reserves is demonstrating its capabilities today as one team again on land, at sea and in the air.
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    Our success in global operations of course has not been achieved alone. We work closely with the Navy and the other services to realize the necessary troop potential of joint operations. And the readiness levels that we enjoy today reflect the strong sustained support of the Congress. And we seek your continued support in the fiscal year 2004 budget.

    We will continue our readiness and carefully balance the resources necessary that will ask of you to ensure that we transform the way we fight to continue our play in the joint team.

    We pride ourselves on our warrior spirit and our expeditionary culture. And it bonds generations of Marines and continues today as Representative Evans knows full well.

    All Marines, active duty and reserve, know that the focus of our combined arms team is the riflemen, our most versatile weapon. At the heart of every Marine beats the heart of rifleman.

    Today we must remain ready to fight even as we make difficult resource decisions for the future. There have always been fiscal constraints, but we believe we tried to set the necessary balance in the budget that you see before you.

    Recent operations and the scale of our deployments have increased the challenges as we execute this year's budget and will undoubtedly trickle into next year. Your Marine Corps remains ready.

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    We appreciate the support the Congress has provided for many programs, some of which we may discuss today. The initiation issue of equipment, including body armor for Marines, and ammunition, always something that Marines could use more of.

    The lightweight multi-band satellite terminal and other equipment allows us to put the right gear in the hands of Marines, ready for use today . We also appreciate support for important things that sometimes pass beneath many people's radar screens. The right funding for depot maintenance, the right funding for corrosion control so that today's readiness is not sacrificed tomorrow, so that we are always ready for the next fight.

    Future operations require levels of operational agility and tactical flexibility beyond that that is provided by our currently aging equipment.

    As you know, we had excellent success along with the rest of joint forces in Afghanistan and in unanticipated and very harsh high desert mountainous environments with weapons systems that were well beyond their intended service lives.

    We must ensure that the Marines and their equipment are ready, and we will do that. And we also must ensure that we will be ready in the future.

    To be able to bridge between today and the future we ask for your continued support of service life extension programs for important weapons systems such as our light armored vehicles, our current generation of amphibious assault vehicles as we wait for the next generation of advanced amphibious assault systems. Programs such as the M1A1 main battle tank firepower enhancement program will ensure that Marines as well as soldiers have the right equipment they need today, tomorrow and for the future.
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    One of our key themes in preparing for our 21st century challenges is making sure that while we transform we are ready to move and fight today.

    As the President explained in June of last year, our security requires transforming the military, ready to strike at a moment's notice, and we intend to maintain that capability.

    Our history as Marines shows our commitment to expeditionary joint and combined operations. And when directed, we are ready to lead those operations.

    This process of course, requires thorough war fighting expeditionary force development. At the same time as we look to the future, we are working to adapt commercial off-the-shelf hardware as well as the development of leap ahead technologies like our Osprey tilt rotor, the advance amphibious assault vehicle and the joint tactical radio system.

    While we focus on today and the future, it is all about a dramatic improvement in our capabilities. A comprehensive description of our programs of course is available in our Marine Corps Concepts and Programs.

    In conclusion, Mr. Chairman and Members, I would like to say the Marine Corps and marines and have always had a vision for the future, and we are moving forward to make our current vision of Marine Corps strategy 21 reality.

    Joint forces are composed of the unique and complimentary capabilities of soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines and Coast Guardsmen. The Navy-Marine Corpsteam has never been more critical to our nation given access challenges, providing powerful sovereign sea-based force capabilities anywhere, any time.
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    Our Naval vision 21 will have tremendous impact on the defense industrial base which we share of course great interest in combat capabilities with our sister service and the soldiers of the United States Army.

    Of course our aircraft, our ships depots and our ground equipment production lines are all important factors that we must consider as we move from today into the future.

    Challenges confront us, indeed confront our nation in days and years ahead. But we must ensure that we consider readiness today, readiness tomorrow as well as for the uncertain future.

    The commandant of the Marine Corps and our over 215,000 total force active duty and Reserve Marines appreciate your long, strong and continuing support of our service. Your Corps of Marines is forward and in the finest leatherneck tradition, ready and eager to attack.

    Thank you, Semper Fideles.

    [The prepared statement of General Magnus can be viewed in the hard copy.]

    Mr. WELDON. Thank you for your statement. Thank you each of you for your statements and for your commitment.

    I am going to ask one question at the beginning and then I have to take a phone call. And then I will pass the time around. But to get the discussion started, let me say to all of you, you know you are among friends here.
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    We have plused up funding for the Army and Marine Corps by billions of dollars over the past six years and since I have been here. And since I have been in a position of chairing a subcommittee, we have plused up perhaps over $10 billion.

    So we are your friends. We are your supporters. And so our questions here are not meant in any way to undermine where you want to go or what you want to do. I have met with General Shinseki and I have been impressed by his vision, still am, of where we need to take our Army and obviously same thing with the Marine Corps in terms of the job they do and the vision they have laid out. General Jones and I had a great relationship before he left.

    The key concern though is we have seen for instance with the Comanche program, the program was restructured six times. We almost lost that program. In fact if they have another restructuring. It will probably go away in spite of our aggressive support here. Pushing money in because we did not think DOD was putting enough money in the program.

    And hopefully now and from what I have seen and the briefings I have been given, we are on the right track now. The program is solidly moving forward. We restructured the program six times.

    And so the question comes down and I do not know whether to use the term spiral development—I heard a new term today—evolution of acquisition, if that is the same thing or if that is some new term. I do not know.

    But the simple question is how are we going to be able to spirally develop or do evolution of acquisition if 19 different systems that we still have only vaguely defined and field them so that they are networked by the year 2008. That is really what it comes down to. We want to make sure that we do not end up with problems two or three years down the road as we commit billions of dollars which I think everybody on this subcommittee probably supports. But there is a concern there that perhaps we do not have the specificity. And maybe that has got to come over time.
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    But I think that is certainly where my discomfort lies right now, and I would welcome any of you to respond. Nineteen different systems, still vaguely defined. Tell us how we are going to field them by 2008?

    Secretary BOLTON. Well, let em tell you, Mr. chairman, that we have similar concerns. And we have been concerned about that for a long time.

    The FCS that we are embarked on, the first increment of that, actually started four years ago. I mentioned in my opening remarks that we had teamed with DARPA. That initial teaming was to go out and look at technologies that we could apply to an objective force. Last year we decided to get on with businesses, and we had four teams, if you will, that we looked at. We selected one team to be our lead systems integrator.

    That is important. Two things, sir. One, that we had teamed with DARPA to go and find the technologies. We had a lot of organic capability to do that. But going with DARPA, and going with the arrangement, a Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) type of contract, the arrangement so that we could seek technologies we would not normally get into this FCS was important. The second key point was the lead systems integrator as opposed to a prime contractor whose job it is to be—my general contractor—to go out and find the best of the best in this country, bring that technology and put the systems together for us based upon our requirement. And to continue using this other transactions agreement as the contracting vehicle, which allows a lot of collaboration which is exactly what you need, an industry and the government if you are going to bring something on board this complex in the timeframe that we are talking about.
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    We started with over 3,000 technologies to look at. Last year we boiled that down to 700 then to 540 which we took to the senior leadership of the Army. We have boiled that down to 31 technologies that we are convinced will make the timeframe that we are talking about. We have put on the street almost two weeks ago requests for proposals to industry, saying, ''This is the what we are looking for, please bid against those.''

    That gets to the 19 systems that you are talking about. Last week and this week we are defining for ourselves what that, what the systems is from affordability standpoint. We have been using virtual environments to put engineers requirement types, acquisition types, soldiers to understand what it means to be in a network environment, to start playing with these technologies in terms of zeros and ones right now so we can get a better handle on that so we know what we want to do in the next phase, and which of these technologies we actually have to demonstrate.

    We believe we have a plan that allows us to get there. And in 2008, we are not talking about fielding a unit. What we are talking about in 2008 is that is when we begin the fielding. And in 2006, I will go back to Mr. Aldridge, I will ask for a production decision; between 2006 and 2008 we will build the bits and pieces of the first increment of the future combat system. And in 2008, we will start putting that in the hands of the soldiers. We will train them on that. We will outfit them. And in 2010, is when I stand up the first unit of action, not 2008. That is only when I begin doing that.

    So we are laying this out. We are looking at how we manage this. This is truly a system of systems. It is not just one piece here and one piece there. The heart and soul of that is to network it together, and that is why the virtual environment that we have with the contractor and with the soldiers and so forth is extremely important.
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    What we are getting out of the Stryker Brigade is telling us how we can use this network system even better. It allows us to develop tactics and techniques and planning as a stage, if you will, on how we can use this network in the future. And to build the leadership requirements that we need there.

    So we are convinced that we are on the right track. We have heard no one say that you will not get to an objective force and change the Army. It has always boiled down to an issue of resources and time. And I will be more than willing to go into how we go about balancing all of that as we go through this hearing.

    But that is basically where we are, and we think we are on the right track.

    General MAGNUS. Mr. Chairman, if I might offer comments for the Marine Corps.

    Mr. MCKEON [presiding]. Absolutely, yes.

    General MAGNUS. Of course, we work closely with the Army on the development of many of their systems including joint systems such as Joint Tactical Radio and the Joint Light Weight 155mm Howitzer, which we will field our initial operational capability this next fiscal year.

    The Marine Corps' vision that we talked about, sir, though, is in firm grasp. We will have initial operational capability for seven major ground combat systems and weapons systems well inside of the 5th. We know what our future capabilities are and will field them.
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    Included in those capabilities, will be the IOCs, next year for a unit operations center which will give us command and control capabilities for the future ground combat force and the MAGTF.

    As I said, the joint lightweight 155mm with the Army next year, followed immediately by our high mobility artillery rocket system (HIMARS) which we in the Marine Corps have taken as a lightweight mobile derivative of the proven Multiple Launched Rocket System (MLRS) system and our common aviation commend and control system, followed of course by later on, but still in 2008, well inside the FYDP, the joint tactical radio system, our logistic system vehicle replacements. And the advanced amphibious assault vehicle, the only one of these which is a true leap ahead.

    So the rest of these are not only well in grasp, properly funded in the FYDP but also they are not so far out in terms of the technological stretch that one would say that all of these IOCs are in jeopardy.

    So I am very comfortable that your United States Marine Corps is going to field the future capabilities of the Marine Corps well inside this decade.

    Thank you, sir.

    General KERN. Could I add one set of comments from the research side of it?

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    Mr. MCKEON. Yes, sir.

    General KERN. The challenge that was laid in front of the United States Army to field in this decade the new capabilities looked daunting a few years ago. The Army Science Board reviewed those technologies and came back with an analysis that said, ''Yes, this is doable.''

    The combination of DARPA and the Army and the industries working together as the secretary pointed out has proved that we can do it in this decade. I would invite you to go down to Yuma Proving Grounds to see a demonstration of the active protection systems which we have developed. They work. They will knock down missiles in flight. They will knock rounds and fight today.

    I would invite you to go to the caves of Afghanistan where we have taken some of the ground robotics vehicles and already demonstrated that we can get inside these caves and not put soldiers in harms way .

    We are working very closely with the National Automotive Center, the NAC, which is a consortium of the defense industries and the U.S. automobile industry working together, looking at advanced propulsion systems, things such as the hybrid electric and the fuel cell vehicles which you see. They are real. They are here today.

    We could go up to Fort Dix, New Jersey and see demonstrations today or any other time that you would like of command and control on the move and you will see blue force tracking in the deserts of Iraq in the months ahead as we have demonstrated the capability to put C4ISR not in the laboratory but in fact in the hands of soldiers. You can go down and visit Eglin Air Force Base and see loitering missiles that work.
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    And so all of the technologies that compose the pieces of the future combat system are here today. And the challenge for us then is to integrate it and to put it together with the operation requirements and concepts which the training and doctrine command had demonstrated through volumes of analysis and simulations. And you can again go to Fort Knox and visit the maneuver battle lab there and see what they are doing.

    And so this is all very real, very much in our hands today both from the concepts of operations and from the hardware to make is real. I am confident with your support we can do this.

    Mr. MCKEON. Thank you, General Kern. I recognize the gentleman from Hawaii, Mr. Abercrombie.

    Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Thank you.

    Dr. Lamartin. I am going to have to speak to you because you are in effect representing the Department of Defense here.

    Dr. LAMARTIN. Yes, sir.

    Mr. ABERCROMBIE. The other folks here are all involved with the services as such and for purposes of my questioning, they are subordinate to you in the sense of where I want to go with this questioning.

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    Can you tell me—my understanding is that there is supposed to be some kind of review, some kind of a check. I am just—I have to go on what the newspapers say because unfortunately at least this Member was not given more detailed information with respect to this review. That is why I interrupted you in the beginning. I want to make sure I understand what is going to take place. Now I have had a conversation with Secretary Bolton. And I think I understand where the Army is going.

    Now can you tell me what is the background and the support for the Institute of Defense analyses?

    Is the Institute of Defense analyses supposed to conduct this parallel review?

    Dr. LAMARTIN. Sir, what I believe you are referring to what came out of a discussion that the secretary had with the senior leadership of the Army. And my understanding, and I was not at the meeting, but my understanding is that he asked them to bring together a team of senior experts to look closely at the future combat systems program and basically answer one key question, ''What have we missed?''

    Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Time out. I understand that. Who and what is the Institute of Defense Analyses?

    Dr. LAMARTIN. The Institute of Defense Analyses is a federally funded research and development center, organization. It is located here in the Washington area. They provide technical and programmatic advice to the office of the Secretary of Defense.
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    Mr. ABERCROMBIE. It is funded by the Federal Government? It is funded by us?

    Dr. LAMARTIN. Yes, sir.

    Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Is it funded by this committee?

    Dr. LAMARTIN. Sir, I believe your responsibilities include that, yes, sir.

    Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Do they work for the Pentagon?

    Dr. LAMARTIN. They work for the Office of the Secretary of Defense and for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs.

    Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Have they been involved in this process up until now?

    Dr. LAMARTIN. I cannot answer that question directly, sir.

    General KERN. I could answer that yes they have in part so that they have been very much an independent evaluator of different functions that we have been performing.

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    Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Has this been an ongoing process?

    General KERN. Yes, sir, it has been.

    Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Why are we just hearing about it now. I do not believe they have ever testified. Have they ever testified before us? Do they know more than the Army Science Board?

    General KERN. I——

    Mr. ABERCROMBIE. I am not trying to give you a bad time. I want to know, because I am not particularly interested in something that—every time somebody tells me there is going to be a bunch of independent experts come in, what it generally means to me is that somebody has a different view and they want somebody to come in who is going to substantiate that view.

    What makes the Institute of Defense Analyses at this stage, March 20th, before a May recommendation more capable of making a recommendation to Mr. Aldridge than the Army Science Board or for that matter the National Automotive Center ? Do they have experts that can tell us about propulsion of vehicles on that board?

    Dr. LAMARTIN. Sir, they have—they can bring together experts who are just that, experts in a wide range of things from war fighting to technology to program management to many of the disciplines necessary for success.

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    Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Dr., I am sure they can. Why should we have that? Isn't that what the Army Science Board and what Mr. Bolton and what the Army is doing right now and the Marines?

    Dr. LAMARTIN. Sir, it is. I believe it is to ensure they leave—that we leave no stone unturned, that we make sure that we have indeed asked all of the right questions and that we are satisfied with the answers. Their voice will be but one of the many voices that we listen to in the deliberations as Mr. Aldridge approaches this important decision.

    Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Well, that does not strike me as—I am sure that is your intention. And when you say it I am sure you mean it, but you know, this is my—next year will be my 30th year in public service, and I am sorry that is not the way it works. That is what you have these things happen for.

    I would like to know how this institute is supposed to gear up in the next 50 days—I do not even think it is two months—and offer an evaluation which should be seen a level or on par with the evaluation and recommendations that will be coming out of the existing system between the Marines and the Army right now.

    If I understand General Kern correctly, this process and I understand my conversation with Secretary Bolton, this process of evaluation has—and experimentation and verification and so on has been underway for a number of years.

    Secretary BOLTON. Yes, sir.
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    Mr. ABERCROMBIE. And if there is a plan—I am going to quote Secretary Bolton. ''We believe we have a plan to get there.'' I believe that is a direct——

    Secretary BOLTON. Yes, sir.

    Mr. ABERCROMBIE. I may look like I am not paying, Mr. Secretary, but believe me I am. [Laughter.]

    It is an old trick. [Laughter.]

    Secretary BOLTON. I understand.

    Mr. ABERCROMBIE. We believe we have a plan to get there. And I presume that is not a rhetorical device.

    Secretary BOLTON. No, it is not.

    Mr. ABERCROMBIE. In your testimony, you seem to state in some detail exactly what that is even down to the point of what year you expect of what time of what year you expect to move from step to step. Now I am not so naive as to believe that good intentions are—especially where technology and innovation is concerned, we will always be able to meet a timetable per se. But nonetheless, the game plan is there.

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    Is there anything in your estimation or in your consideration Secretary Bolton that would enable the Institute of Defense Analyses to make a better—come up with a better plan or evaluation than you intend to come up with?

    Secretary BOLTON. I am not sure that——

    Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Before May?

    Secretary BOLTON. I am not sure they will come up with a better one. I think we have a good plan. I have worked with this organization before. The acronym, we call it IDA. I used them on Comanche. I brought them in to give me an independent look because I had done a lot of things, but I wanted someone on the outside who had no vested interests in what I was doing and asked some key questions. It was a very quick study. In my last life in the Air Force I used them for the F–22.

    Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Okay.

    Secretary BOLTON. I will tell you——

    Mr. ABERCROMBIE. If they were supplementing your work that would be one thing, but my impression is—Dr. Lamartin I am going back to you—my impression is they are going to come up with a parallel investigation and recommendation as opposed to supplementing or being part of the team. And if that is the case, it really is disturbing to me as a Member of this committee. I can tell you that, and I cannot speak for Mr. Weldon on it, but I think I know him well enough that is that—I hope this is not going to become a contest of wills. Because we have a procedure in place for good reasons. And that procedure is not because there is a vested interest so called from the armed—of course there is a vested interest. They want to succeed.
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    But I operate on the assumption and I am sure other Members of the committee operate on the assumption that the reason is they are looking out for the welfare of the troops and for meeting the strategic requirements of this country with respect to the deployment and execution of missions by troops of the United States.

    So they have got a vested interest all right. There is no doubt about it.

    But I do not understand why I should pay attention to some evaluation coming in from the side at this stage of the game.

    Dr. LAMARTIN. Sir, my understanding is that the Secretary asked the Army to form this team and to ask the Army to look the team for——

    Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Is that because he does not have confidence in what the team has been doing to this point?

    Dr. LAMARTIN. No, sir, I do not think it is because he does not have confidence. But again, he wants to make sure that we have not missed anything in either the planning or the discussion of this system.

    Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Okay. I appreciate that. And I appreciate the difficulty you are under in trying to answer questions that I am having here. But so it is on the record, Mr. Chairman, I am going to be very skeptical of anything coming in from the side at this late date.
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    And I am going to look very, very closely at what has been accomplished up to this point by presumably competent individuals whose sole purpose is to put forward a plan that can meet the test of the oversight of this committee and the other requisite committees in the Congress.

    Thank you.

    Mr. MCKEON. The chair recognizes the gentleman from Florida, Mr. Meek?

    Mr. MEEK. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    I wanted to ask a question as it relates to the Marine operations in South America, the plane that we lost recently in a counter—how would you say, drug task force.

    I want to ask for an update on that as it relates to our future efforts in South America. And my second question, you mentioned something in your comments, General, regarding the need of the Marines having more not only ammunition, but also body armor. And what role does that play? Does that mean we have very old body armor that is not up to par to deal with the rifles and things of that nature that we are facing in today's world. Or does that mean we are fighting on different fronts and we may not have all of the armor we need to be able to give to our men and women?

    General MAGNUS. Yes, sir. Thank you very much for those questions. Mr. Chairman and Mr. Meek, two different aspects of our support of joint counter-narcotics operations in South America proper, we along with the Army and special operations forces are providing essentially mobile training teams to support host nation forces. The Marine Corps has no operational forces involved in counter-narcotic operations in South America.
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    However, the tragic loss of two Reserve AH–1W Cobra air crews occurred in our operations as part of the joint inter-agency task force which is assisting other Federal agencies in surveillance along our southern border where there are horses. Unfortunately, a tremendous flow of contraband including of course narcotics and those crews were lost during the night mission assisting the inter-agency task force, sir.

    Regarding your second question about equipment, I think I will phrase the answer, it is a combination of both things. One is the equipment that we have today is constantly being improved to provide for example with the personal protective equipment and body armor, getter ballistic protection for soldiers and Marines.

    And in fact, the United States Army and their laboratories and the materiel command literally pioneer that as they do with most ground combat and personal equipment for soldiers and Marines. So the truth is we are getting of course more and more lethal. Weapons being used against soldiers and Marines. And obviously close combat is not as some people might have thought some years ago, a thing of the past with long-range precision weapons. It is very much the heart and soul of when you want to take the war to the enemy. And so improved body armor is part of the case.

    Ammunition is something that soldiers and Marines use fortunately with great alacrity in peace time, so we are ready to use it and comfortable to use in combat operations and other than chow the next thing a Marine or soldier will ask for is more ammunition.

    We do not—running out of chow, but running out of ammunition has some pretty severe consequences.
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    Mr. MEEK. General, I wanted to really ask the question to the point due to the fact of our ongoing operations, not only in Afghanistan but now, future operations on the ground in Iraq as it relates to urban warfare and close quarters. And I know that the body armor is something that is going to be at close range, something very important to making sure that we have that for the long run.

    And I am glad to hear of some of the technologies and would like to hear more about it in the future, need it be from the department or from the Army and Marines, about this. I think it is very, very important. I served five years with the Florida Highway Patrol, and every year we would look for better, lighter, how would you say, something that someone could wear. We would suffer on the road and I know they are suffering from heat and things of that nature as it relates to desert warfare.

    And so that is as—as we start to look at that, if you do have something written on it I would love to have that.

    General MAGNUS. Yes, sir.

    Mr. MEEK. As we look at the future conflicts that we may very well have.

    General MAGNUS. Yes, Mr. Meek, I will do that. And I certainly would like to pass this to General Kern to provide the response from the United States Army.

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    General KERN. I wish I had Specialist Ashline here with me today. I will tomorrow for the Senate, and I invite you if you want to come over. We have some of the ceramic plate that he was wearing in Operation Anaconda, which is the body armor that the Marines and the soldiers have available to them today, where it stopped an AK–47 round that was right over his heart.

    We have body armor today that is in fact body armor as opposed to the flack jackets or protective vests of previous battles. And we are continuing to improve that. And I would be more than happy to invite you up to our laboratories to show you the work or bring it down here to show you the work that is being done.

    On the munitions as I mentioned earlier, those links become a critical part of the small arms weapons that we produce. We have surged that effort. And we have checked as recently as early this morning with our forces. And there is no one that is telling me they do not have enough.

    Mr. MEEK. Mr. Chairman, thank you so——

    Mr. WELDON [presiding]. Thank the gentleman. I want to thank the gentleman, as a freshman Member, he has displayed some very keen insights in both hearings today. So congratulations——

    Mr. MEEK. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    Mr. WELDON [continuing]. For all of the work you are doing.
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    The distinguished gentleman from Missouri, is recognized for five minutes.

    Mr. AKIN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I have got two fairly quick questions. General Kern, first of all, what are the risks associated with the FCS time line in regard to maintaining your current weapons capabilities and the transition there? That is the first question.

    Second is, with the transformation program, I come from more of a business and industry point of view when you put more money in to things, you put more equipment into something, a lot of times you are replacing labor with machines. Is the same sort of principle going on with the Army transformation? Will you need less people and will you be more effective with fewer people? Or how do you see that affecting your overall number of actual soldiers?

    General KERN. On your first question, the risk right now is a careful balance of the assessment of the readiness of the current force versus your investments in the future force. I think as well all know over the past dozen years accepted some risk by not acquiring new systems. And as pointed out by both the Marine Corps and the Army's position today, we are wearing out the equipment that has been in the field for the last 20 years. And so we must replace what we have there. And we must do that as quickly as we can and bring those two events together, the wear out of our current equipment as well as the introduction of the new equipment to reduce that risk.

    The challenges as the Secretary pointed out one of balancing the resources that we have available to maintain the readiness of the current force while we bring on the new capabilities. We believe that that risk is in balance today, but it is one we must judge each year as the world conditions change. And as we see the future unfold in front of us.
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    But I do not see that we have a choice. We must modernize our forces for the 21st century. And we must do that while maintaining the readiness of the current force to fight whenever we ask them and to win when we ask them.

    On your second question, the people aspects, I think of all the services today are being challenged. In the United States Army today is—has about 490,000 people on active duty . And we have called up more than 130,000 reservists to support us both the United States Army Reserve and National Guard. It is a one Army fight committed around the world, and they are supporting both here in the homeland as well as deployed.

    We see in the future and the challenge to us is to reduce our deployed footprint, not to reduce the total number of people and the number of places that we are asked to support the United States in its security mission. And so the numbers are dependent upon how many places that one has to support that operation as well as the size of the force that you have deployed.

    We intend with our future systems to reduce the number of support structures that are required in the future to deploy the force. And so we will do it more by reach back and we will be looking for more reliable systems which are more agile in their ability to perform multiple missions.

    We see robotic systems both airborne and ground as potential for the future to reduce some of that requirement for deployed forces in terms of the number of people, but it is still going to be a requirement to support them potentially with the reach back here in the continental United States. So the challenge then is to provide the agility by not requiring us to send so much forward. But being able to support it very effectively from wherever we are asked to.
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    And the second part, when you get down to the hand to hand battle of the infantrymen, whether he is a marine or whether he is a soldier, numbers count. And we are not going to short our forces in that close knife fight not matter how you count it.

    Mr. AKIN. So I think I heard what you said first of all, you see more of a change or shift of where the people are deployed with the transformation as opposed to the number of people over all. Did I understand you correctly?

    General KERN. That is correct.

    Mr. AKIN. And you are saying you are going to deploy fewer people forward?

    General KERN. That is our intent. In the design of the future force, we will not require as many people deployed forward to support the forces that are doing the fighting.

    Mr. AKIN. You will not have as many people forward who are support or as many people forward who are fighting? I am not quite clear on what you are saying.

    General KERN. We clearly are planning not to have any many people in the support structure forward.

    Mr. AKIN. Forward.
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    General KERN. I cannot tell you on the number of people in the fighting force——

    Mr. AKIN. Because it depends on——

    General KERN [continuing]. Because it depends exactly on what we are asked to do.

    Mr. AKIN. So in other words, the people you have forward, the theory is you want them all to be fighters and you want to have all of the people back being supported if you could do that——

    General KERN. In an ideal world, that is exactly what we would like to do.

    Mr. AKIN. Okay, thank you.

    General MAGNUS. Mr. Chairman, if I could respond to Mr. Akin. As I believe you know sir, you have got a company of 3rd battalion 24th Marines. And I strongly support what General Kern said, particularly in close combats whether it is in the mountains or the caves of Afghanistan or in a built-up urban area, quantity has a quality all of its own as far as infantry. And as I said earlier, I think my soldiers, friends, will agree that the most versatile weapons system America has got is a fighting man and woman. And if we give them the right kind of gear and the right shape.
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    To answer your question though, obviously FCS is not ours, but its absolutely right. And I said earlier about initial operational capability, the advanced amphibious assault vehicle of course is our leap ahead technology mobility system on the ground, and because of that we recently restrctured, adding a year of systems development so that could address that future risk and at the same time we continue to ask for the support of the committee to take our current generation AAV–7s and give them the upgrades that they need, a SLEP so that we do away with the risk of todays readiness force, that we are already ready to fight tomorrow even while we are transforming.

    The same goes quite frankly with SLEPs of our light armored vehicles. And improvements we are making to the finest made battle tank in the world the M1A1s and M1A2s. And there is nobody going to stand on the battlefield against soldiers and Marines with equipment like that.

    And the last one I will just give you an example on was our aging but still very capable TPS–59 radars. They are in places that Marines would be amazed to find out if you told the World War II Marines that we were in places like Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, and other locations, not with Marine air ground task forces, but with the joint force providing surveillance against all kinds of interesting air targets that we are concerned about.

    Our future system is a multi-role radar system, but we worked with the Congress over the past several years to make sure that today's system which is deployed completely outside of the United States except for the school house, continues to work in support of the joint forces.
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    So we again need to keep that balance to make sure that soldiers and marines are already to answer the Nation's call.

    Mr. AKIN. Thank you, General. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    Mr. WELDON. I thank the gentleman. And I now yield item to the distinguished gentleman from South Carolina——

    Mr. WILSON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And I would like to thank all three of you for being here today. And it is particularly good to see General Magnus in that you and I have a distinction. And that is that we both were commissioned in June 1969 in the Shenandoah Valley, you at University of Virginia. I was at Washington and Lee University.

    So proud of your service. And you have a very distinguished career. And I have—just want you to know having been in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan and Kuwait in the last month to see the equipment that our troops have and with all of our minds on the troops this moment, I feel so good about the equipment they have, the training they have, and the leaders they have. And I have certainly reassured a lot of family members that I feel very good thanks to the efforts that you all have made, to make it possible for our troops to have the best equipment.

    And I have a particular interest in the stryker support platforms. I think this is an extraordinary innovation and very positive. But as a member of the National Guard for Secretary Bolton, my concern is the modernization of the National Guard mountain forces. And I appreciate General Kern pointing out one Army fight because that is the way that I feel that it is, and I know that Guard members I work with are just so enthusiastic of doing everything and anything that they can to participate.
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    But I am concerned about the modernization. If you could bring me up to date on that.

    Secretary BOLTON. Well, I think that is a legitimate concern. That concern is shared by the leadership in the Army. I think as you look at what we are doing in the stryker brigades, particularly one of those going to that component of the Army, that is a clear indication that we believe Guard and Reserve and the active is all one Army. You see how we are operating today and you have just mentioned that. We cannot do the job that we are called upon to do without the Guard and the Reserve.

    And in order for them to be effective, they will have to have the equipment. They will have to have the training and the tactics in order to fit in seamlessly as some of the other services have done.

    As we look to the future, first on the stryker and we have the brigade dedicated to that component of the Army, as we look to the objective force, as we look to the FCS and we look into fielding and modernizing the entire Army, we are relooking at what we have done in the past which is basically been a flow down the Guard and Reserve and saying that is not the way to do business in the future.

    It is my task to come back to the leadership on the equipment side, the materials side, and say, ''Here is how I think we can do it.'' it is then working with the leadership across the Army to figure out how we make this happen in the future.

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    But clearly the intent is to have one Army that is capable of doing the job. Now the question is how best to go about making that happen.

    Mr. WILSON. And specifically, the Abrams tanks, the Bradley fighting vehicles are being modernized in active components, but it is not being funded in the Guard. And so will that be addressed? And you had specifically indicated flow down. We would sort of like to avoid that.

    Secretary BOLTON. I know, so would we. This—we do review this, and we are reviewing that now. The constraints that we have are mostly on one of just funding and balancing against the other areas I talked about earlier, whether that is the Stryker or the FCS. And then to flow down as quickly as possible the modernized portions of the Bradley or the Abrams and so forth.

    I am not sure that we are going to be able to satisfy you nor the Guard or the Reserve as quickly as we should——

    Mr. WILSON. I appreciate you being candid.

    Secretary BOLTON. I understand—as quickly as we would like.

    Mr. WILSON. Right.

    Secretary BOLTON. But I can tell you the leadership and the rest of us fret over this. We tried the best we can to figure out how to do this. If you look at the operation right now, you saw the equipment, we are flowing to anybody who is in harm's way, and I do not care what you patch is, you are going to get the best equipment and the best training. And as we come out of this, we are trying to figure out now how do we do this across the board. And I just do not have the answer to that right now.
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    Mr. WILSON. Well, and in fact you say, do not have the answer, but I think you are doing it. And that is those who are in harm's way have the best equipment.

    And I thank all three of you for being here today and yield the balance of my time.

    General KERN. Could I add one comment? The Army is planing right now and needs six stryker brigades one of which will go the National Guard and that is planned not as a flow down, but as a first force fielded to the Pennsylvania National Guard. And that is in our plan today. The National Guard is also conducting all of our future missions as we see it right now in the Balkans, Bosnia and then Kosovo and in the Sinai. And the equipment that we use there is not—has not been the traditional Abrams and Bradley, but it has been up our HMMWVs or Humvees.

    And so how we configure and equip our forces for the 21st century is question which we all need to ask and make sure that we are giving the right equipment to the right mission for the forces regardless of what their component is.

    General MAGNUS. If I could also just briefly add, I know we are talking top the Guard which is a strong part of the force that we need to bring to the field here at home as well as overseas. But we in some ways have the same and in some ways a different problem than the national army that—the greatest Army we have got in the world, thank God—because the Marine Corps Reserve is a smaller fraction of our total force, about 40,000 out of about 215,000 total force Marines. But the only thing that prevents us in getting the exact same equipment at the exact same time to our reserve forces as the active forces is simply fiscal constraints and affordability.
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    It is not a flow down plan in the Marine Corps. And in fact, the Reserve—the two Reserve battalions that were activated a year ago for support missions here and in some cases we have got Reserve platoons and companies replacing active units in places like duties in Guantanamo Bay. They have the exact same equipment before they are mobilized as the active force. And to the extent that we can do that, we will, because just like the Army we have many units that literally are first responders and first to fight. And our Reserve battalions and our Reserve aircraft squadrons flow early in all of the deliberate plans.

    And of course, some plans we get are not so deliberate like what happened after 9/11. And they flow early.

    Mr. AKIN. Thank you very much.

    Mr. WELDON. I thank the gentleman for his questions.

    General, would the Army ask for additional digitized units if funds were made available?

    General KERN. I think the Army will always take additional funds. We are always trying to balance the resources that we have. And clearly we have unfunded requirements that we prioritize that would be used for any additional funds which are applied to meet Army requirements.

    Mr. WELDON. What options are under consideration to do this and transform the industrial base in order to produce whatever FCS type ground vehicle would be identified?
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    General KERN. The transition and transformation of the industrial base is one which we are conducting a number of studies on right now. I would tell you that our current industrial base needs to be modernized. If you—the Lima Army tank plant was facilitized in the 1980s for the Abrams tank, and that is almost 20 years old right now. We have facilities that produce the—all of the smoke, the phosphorus rounds and Pine Bluff arsenal that one of the lines is a legacy of World War II.

    We have production facilities which are in some cases underutilized and in some cases the demand is exceeding our capacity. And so we are working double and triple shifts seven days a week.

    So we have to balance all of that to meet our future requirements. What I cannot tell you precisely though is what we will need for the composite materials, the new work that is going to come out as part of the future combat systems. And so we will work with the lead systems integrator and with the development of those new capabilities to ensure that the industrial base can both maintain the readiness of our current force as well as we have transitioned to the new force.

    Mr. WELDON. When do you expect to have some of those options available to give to us?

    General KERN. The next phase, which follows Milestone B this May in the systems development, and we will start to put the definition on what that is. As part of that systems' development that will be defined. And so following this milestone event in May of this year, by next year and the year after, we will be defining what those answers are.
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    Mr. WELDON. Thank you. The gentleman from Florida is recognized.

    Mr. MEEK. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, as it relates to my last line of questioning, I really appreciate the response and the insight that is going on. As you know as it related to our new mission as we are looking at the future, what we call the war on terrorism. I think soldiers and Marines are going to have a serious—how would you say as it relates to defusing not only non-state sponsored terrorism, but also what we may call quasi-state sponsored terrorism that is going on in Afghanistan right now and in other areas. And like the chairman said as it relates to the question and concerns, it is definitely in light of the fact that we are your cheerleaders in the Congress in being the Armed Services Committee because we have to explain to everybody else the reason why we are spending the dollars that we are spending.

    General Kern, you mentioned something earlier about working along hand in hand with the private sector as we start to move down the path. Could you elaborate on that because you kind of threw the ball in our court saying that we are looking forward to hearing more from this subcommittee or this committee on that?

    General KERN. There are many areas in which the investments in the commercial sector and in our universities which we fund a great deal of, produce product and capabilities that we can use very well with our armed forces. The investments which have been made in propulsion systems which I referred to earlier through the national automotive industry which we work through in the National Automotive Center (NAC), which has been sponsored by both the Congress and by the Department of Defense, working together, is one example of that. The automotive industries are spending billions of dollars on research and hybrid electric and fuel cell alternatives. And we will leverage that as we look at the propulsion systems for our future platforms.
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    In addition, we have sponsored and will be fully operational, a university affiliated research center at MIT this year, which is co-sponsored with industry, the Defense Department and industry looking at nano-sciences as applied to the soldier. And they will specifically look at the kinds of things which you refer to in terms of being able to provide protective equipment, monitoring equipment, uniforms and lightweight equipment for our soldiers and Marines. And we believe that a lot of that will also have some spinoff in to the homeland security area for our first responder, whether they be Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT), police or firemen.

    And so those capabilities there that we are working in the sector with our research and has its—it spins back into the commercial operations as well.

    You have seen things like the global positioning system which was a Department of Defense sponsored program, and our investments in that have spawned an industry today where in navigation systems we are only a tenth of 1 percent of the total market in the DOD.

    So again, we look then to the commercial sector for what they can provide us in those navigation tools.

    We have looked at a number of industries in the materials that are being used to produce equipment for soldiers that today might be used for camping which we find that we can then leverage that and also be using it for our equipment for protection against the elements and many of those are spun off of work that is done.

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    Stated at our soldier research center, moves off into the commercial center and then back again into the military sector.

    There are dozens of operations like that.

    The food that we eat, the Meals Ready to Eat (MRE) really started out with our developing that and the freeze-dried food the made it into the commercial sector and now back into our sector.

    We go—we are looking today to partner with as many different industries from small business all the way through our bigger corporations such as the automotive industry to develop those capabilities which we can use for the military.

    Secretary BOLTON. If I could just add to General Kern's comments on industrial base, General Kern and I have partnered on looking at industry, the defense industry, as well as our organic to see how we are going to use that industrial base and make it viable for the future.

    There is a near term particularly with the—some of our companies where there may be gaps in production and then how do we go about taking care of that because I need that same industry when the FCS comes along. And there are ways of handling that, and we are doing that.

    But in the long term as General Kern's already pointed out the question is, does the industrial base meet the future needs, 10 years and 15 years from now? And I will tell you in some regards, they do not.
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    Along with the things that General Kern already talked about, the FCS will be networked centric systems of systems. The heart and soul is the network. Where is our capability to generate millions of lines of code and do it quickly, and not only for the first increment, but for all of the spirals that go on within that increment. And where I need it in terms of hours or days, a months maybe, not in terms of months and years. Where is that industry, and how do I develop it?

    We are looking at technologies that involve lasers, particularly solid state lasers on the battle field. Where is the technology to drive that and how will industry fit in that 10 years and 15 years from now?

    Or if I look at electric guns and a whole host of other things, quantum computers that will be here in 20 years——

    Mr. MEEK. Mr. Secretary, I am sorry, to cut you off. You just hit on a point that when we talked about the private sector part of this, and how we move our Army and Marines ahead as it relates to having what they need to have, we talk about those industries and I know we are talking about mainly U.S. but I would believe that there is some level of procurement that is oversees. Am I correct?

    Secretary BOLTON. Oh, yes, sir. And in my opening comments, as I look at the production part of my responsibilities and the industrial base part of that, I look at the organic capability that we have. I look at the defense industrial base. I look at the commercial non-defense in this country, and where appropriate, overseas and see how we can bring that all together. Because there are benefits both to this country and to other countries in certain areas to do that.
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    Our task now is to look out in to the future, take care of the near term, and we are working on that. But in the future, we have to ask where do we want to be? Then work with industry to make that happen. And particularly when we look at the commercial side and particularly in the information technology (IT) area, where they tend to lead defense—how can I take a commercial entity and turn that around quickly in terms of hours, maybe a week to war time footing? How can I do that? It is a question we have not answered yet.

    But if I can, and I can partner very, very well with a commercial industry, I can also do that in a depot if I can bring in outside work that is of interest from a commercial standpoint and use some of the facilities and capacity that I have in the depot, or even ammo plant and make that a viable operation, and the reason I need that is sooner or later the balloon does go up and I need to some basic core capabilities that come from the ammo and the depot. How do I turn that over in 24 hours?

    Those are questions that we are going to have to answer if we want to have a real good relationship and partnership between commercial defense and the Army.

    General MAGNUS. Mr. Chairman, if I could just give a few brief comments to answer some of Mr. Meeks comments.

    In several areas the Marine Corps is very much like the Army and is partnering with universities and colleges as well as industry. And of course, to a great extent, we are literally piggy backing off of the tremendous effort made by the Army Material Command and its labs.
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    The Marine Corps has a research university at Penn State, which the Congress has strongly supported and we are now sustaining the relationship there. And that is not only science and technology research, but that is literally brain research. In other words, to think in areas where we do not have the capability or the assets and to support us in things like logistics.

    We have an extensive fellowship program as does the Army, where we send Marines to places like FED Ex for a year to learn not only what they do, but the kind of equipment that they use that we can incorporate in our logistic systems and in our planning, strategic planing, about how we do things like supply chain management.

    Our Marine Corps War Fighting Lab works in concert with the Office of Naval Research on the very same things that Secretary Bolton was talking about—real guns for fighting vehicles of the future. And clearly for the Navy, the same kind of things—electro-magnetic guns for ships.

    We work with Kansas State University, again with the support of the Congress with our joint non-lethal weapons laboratory to be able to field potential technologies like nano-technology. And of course our joint lethal weapons program down at Quantico, another thing which has been strongly supported by the Congress over several years, is working to bring to the 6–4 threshold, that is the threshold to which we could actually deliver systems for things like the advanced tactical laser and the area of denial millimeter wave radar.

    Overseas, the industrial base is of course and a concern of our. An interest because there are very good things that are happening over there, but also we want to be able to bring this technology home. A great example of that is the joint light weight 155mm which was technologies royal ordnance that the British started, and of course we improved—we redesigned it, and we are building it in America.
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    And things like the Pioneer UAV, which is the only routinely sustained tactical UAV, something we got from the Israelis a generation ago, and quite frankly we in the Army are quite eager to start fielding American designed American developed, American tested, and American built systems like that.

    So there is a balance. There is a two way street, and we have just got to make sure the balance is in our court.

    Thank you, sir.

    Mr. WELDON. Thank the gentleman, and thank you for your answers. A question before I move to Mr. Abercrombie, for fiscal year 2004, the Army stated it has a $1 billion shortfall for war reserve ammunition and a $130 million shortfall in training ammunition. The Marine Corps has identified $100 million shortfall for ammunition.

    Are there any other shortfalls that you have that need to be addressed as a result of opening war stocks in the Gulf?

    General KERN. The other identified shortfall which has always been in our unfunded requirements, Mr. Chairman, in the spares area which covers many different commodities. And we will be looking at how a war time footing because our footing today is based on a peace time standard has increased as a result of our deployments to the Gulf right now. And so part of our supplemental request will be addressing those shortfalls.

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    General MAGNUS. Mr. Chairman, if I could answer for the Marine Corps. I believe Mr. Skelton has previously asked the Commandant to provide that, and we have a copy of his response, his response and the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), Admiral Vernon Clark signed a joint letter back.

    But to be specific about some of the items on the list, the Marine Corps' list was just under $600 million of the kind of programs that we feel that because of the fiscal constraints of ensuring that our forces are ready, unfortunately we had to make some tradeoffs.

    Now our priorities are in the President's budget as I said earlier, but the truth is there are some really important things that would have to be deferred to later years.

    Some of those things are as simple as bachelor enlisted quarters (BEQ). So I will not go into military construction now, but that eventually effects you know, the future readiness of the force by retaining the kind of soldiers and marines that we do.

    But I will give you some specific examples, and because when we first calculated what we needed for ammunition, it was several months before we actually started thinking about how much we were going to be using in fiscal year 2003. So in fact what we have done is we have accelerated things that we would have bought later because we know we are going to have a pretty high expenditure rate. Our individual issue equipment, one of the lessons learned that we got from Operation Enduring Freedom—and joining me today is Brigadier General Ken Gluck from our expeditionary force development center down at Quantico—and we learned that some of the gear that we had soldiers and marines and special operations forces were not the best suited for the kind of operations we are facing now.
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    Some of that was mentioned by Mr. Meek about the weight, and the effectiveness of ballistic armor protection for troopers. But others of it has to do with our load—individual load bearing equipment, the so-called MOLI packs, which of course when you get out way out there, you carry a lot more gear than you thought you had to. And some of this gear just cannot stand the stress of it.

    So we are redesigning the future load bearing equipment for Marines. We have about $65 million of things like that that is literally individual equipment for Marines. Ammunition, as was said, is about $100 million. Depot maintenance and corrosion control, really important things not for readiness today but readiness in the near term, in the next year or so. And a lot of this gear is being rode hard. It is not being put away wet, but it really is going to need that depot maintenance and unfortunately we made some tradeoffs in those areas.

    There is about $43 million we are requested there.

    And the last one I will point out in terms of mitigating risk is our assault amphibious vehicles 7 which we are in a reliability and maintainability and rebuilt program. We were going to terminate that rebuilt down at our Marine Corps Logistics Base at Albany, Georgia, and quite frankly that was going to curtain some of our government industrial base. We do not think that is very wise right now. And looking at things, unfortunately in hindsight now, we think about another $49 million to get another 60 vehicles through there, put them back out on those Maritime Prepositioned Force (MPF) ships, get ready for the next fight would be the smart thing to do .

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    I wish we could have thought of that when we put together and saw how we are using them now. But those are some of the examples, sir, and we strongly support the letter that was sent from the CNO and the Commandant to Mr. Skelton.

    Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Thank you very much. Mr. Bolton, in your testimony you emphasize with respect to programs, the Joint Requirements Oversight Council (JROC)?

    Secretary BOLTON. It is composed of the vice chiefs of each of the services chaired by the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. There responsibilities are to take a look at the——

    Mr. ABERCROMBIE. That is okay. I know what their responsibilities are. I want to know who is on it. They have responsibility, do they not, to set priority of military requirements where acquisition programs are concerned within the context of the national military strategy, right.

    Secretary BOLTON. Yes, sir.

    Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Okay. Now they do the evaluating, do they not, as to whether these programs are moving along with respect to cost, respect to schedules, respect to performance criteria, et cetera. They have some—and I do not want to speak for the JROC and so I——

    I am not asking you to speak for them. I am asking whether or not they evaluate——
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    Secretary BOLTON. They do——

    Mr. ABERCROMBIE [continuing]. Things like cost and schedule and performance criteria.

    Secretary BOLTON. To my knowledge, they really do not do that. Their primary function is to look at the requirement. They may bring some of that data in just to get a feel, but basically they ask, is the requirement proper in terms of capability? Does it fit into the overall plan?

    Mr. ABERCROMBIE. All right.

    Secretary BOLTON. But from a cost schedule performance stand point, that typically is not what they are looking at. That is a primary role.

    Mr. ABERCROMBIE. All right, but according to your testimony, they oversee the joint capabilities integration and determination system.

    Isn't that supposed to standardize the questions of validation of programs and so on? Achieve a methodology for making this—somebody has got to make a decision as to whether to move ahead, because——

    Secretary BOLTON. Right, and now when it becomes——

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    Mr. ABERCROMBIE [continuing]. In January of this year, they approved the future combat systems mission statement didn't they?

    Secretary BOLTON. Yes, they did, which is another requirements document just as the ORD, the operational requirements document, they will approve as well or capabilities document.

    Mr. ABERCROMBIE. So in the Pentagon right now, this is a—I presume a joint team, right.

    Secretary BOLTON. Yes, sir, it is.

    Mr. ABERCROMBIE. You have already got then an institutional system in place to try and make these decisions, make these judgments.

    Secretary BOLTON. Well, once again we were only looking at a part of the overall system, and so there are several—you are absolutely right. There are several processes——

    Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Well, what have we got the vice chiefs' stage? Jesus, you know, presumably they are there for a reason.

    Secretary BOLTON. Oh, yes, sir.

    Mr. ABERCROMBIE. They are occupying space?
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    Secretary BOLTON. But by statute he cannot make the acquisition——

    Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Despite what might be said about him afterwards. I do not know. [Laughter.]

    Secretary BOLTON. I am not going there.

    But by statute, he cannot make the acquisition decision.

    Mr. ABERCROMBIE. All right, the reason I am trying to get this down tight is that I want to reiterate I am going to be very suspicious of somebody coming in from the side 50 days before this next decision after the vice—the JROC has already taken things this far. Because unless everybody is dropping the ball somewhere along the line, just taking a shot from the side is not going to be very impressive to me.

    Secretary BOLTON. Well, I would agree with you and probably would feel the same way. I will tell you on this particular effort, we probably have had five studies.

    Mr. ABERCROMBIE. I will bet you have more than that.

    Secretary BOLTON. Well, probably, but in terms of formal things. We just briefed Science and Technology, and I have got one on the IT portion of this.
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    Secretary BOLTON. I have had independent studies before, and in fact since I have been given the prerogative here, I have written the rules for this particular study group that you are recommend to.

    Mr. ABERCROMBIE. I have an idea if I pulled all of the different studies and reviewed everything together, I would be considerably taller than I am right now.

    Secretary BOLTON. I think we all would be.

    Mr. ABERCROMBIE. If I sat on them.

    The last thing, on people, which is something I can speak for the chairman or speak with the chairman on this subject. You pointed out very, very clearly that within the next two to four years, so we transition presidential terms, 50 percent of the Army acquisition work force is eligible to retire, a third of the Army—I am quoting to you now from page eight of your testimony—a third of the Army's civilian population is eligible for retirement. It is no news to people who follow this committee's work that I am very adamant about trying to retain a civilian work force under the jurisdiction and command of the various services. And I am not a fan of contracting out to corporations and others for civilian personnel. I want them working for who is ever commanding the facility of the institution or whatever.

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    But that said, it is one that we have had a lot of talk today in testimony about the manufacturing work force.

    Secretary BOLTON. The defense industrial base?

    Mr. ABERCROMBIE. The industrial base. What about—what are we doing? I know what we are trying to do with like apprentices at Pearl Harbor. We have instituted an apprentice program to try and get infusion into the special, highly specialized work force at the Pearl Harbor Naval shipyard.

    What are we doing with respect to being able to replace the work force that you site in your testimony or are we moving even further towards this contracting out business, which is very suspicious to me. It is suspicious to me in that I do not mean the process. But it is suspicious to me in terms of being able to—I want institutional memory. I want people who understand what they are dealing with that do not walk off the street.

    I mean, my prejudices and biases are very clear. So what is the intention, to the best of your knowledge, with respect to what you have cited in this testimony? Are we going to contract labor or are we going to replenish our institutional support?

    Secretary BOLTON. Well, let me answer this for the Army, and then Dr. Lamartin can answer for the Department, because this is not unique to the Army. This is across the DOD, particularly for the acquisition work force.

    We have not had a good track record over the last 10 years for a variety of reasons of hiring people. And yet the work force has gotten older and older. Now they are at the stage that I pointed out in my opening remarks. What are we doing?
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    We have set down and put the——

    Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Brand new acquisition responsibilities?

    Secretary BOLTON. Oh, yes, sir.

    Mr. ABERCROMBIE. If this transformation takes place——

    Secretary BOLTON. Oh, absolutely.

    Mr. ABERCROMBIE [continuing]. This is not something that amateurs can come in and deal with you.

    Secretary BOLTON. I agree with you. I deal with you wholeheartedly. And so what we have done is we have started to put together our plans as to what we are going to do with the work force. Part of that involves recruiting. Part of that involves shaping the work force to allow folks to retire early so I can bring other folks in. Part of it is bring new tools and processes in——

    Mr. ABERCROMBIE. But are you going to be able to retain those positions?

    Secretary BOLTON. That is precisely what I am talking about. How do I go about doing that? And that is part of the planning. Part of that requires resources, ie, money. Part of that just requires policy change, which we are working on.
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    The Department is also looking at this, and that is the OSD part of this. And are very concerned about this and are actually proposing legislation to help in some areas.

    So this is not an effort just to the Army.

    Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Well, I will not carry it on, excuse me Mr. Bolton, because our time is precious.

    Secretary BOLTON. Yes, sir.

    Mr. ABERCROMBIE. I will not carry it on, but the information that I have been getting or this committee has been getting is that the Pentagon is intent about carrying out this A–76 and all of the rest of these operations that are—expect to decimate the civilian work force of the military.

    Secretary BOLTON. Well, I——

    Mr. ABERCROMBIE. I do not know what planning you are talking about.

    Secretary BOLTON. I am talking about my planning for the acquisition work force of the Army.

    Mr. ABERCROMBIE. What you would like to see.
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    Secretary BOLTON. What I would like to see and then I will push that through our processes to our leadership and on to OSD.

    Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Okay, so I have not—the bad things are almost—Dr. Lamartin's fault. I got it. [Laughter.]

    Secretary BOLTON. Well, I would never say that, not to my good friend.

    Dr. LAMARTIN. Nor would I, sir. What I would say that my responsibly extends only across defense systems. And we have——

    Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Well, you got my point.

    Dr. LAMARTIN. Absolutely.

    Mr. ABERCROMBIE. I will not carry it further, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate your indulgence. But I want—I am a very strong advocate of having an institutional civilian work force responsible to and experienced in what is necessary to do the work for the United States military. Not outside contract employees coming in whose loyalty let alone whose competence in my judgment is open to question.

    General KERN. Mr. Abercrombie if I could just add a comment. I would like to submit this chart for the record.
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    Mr. ABERCROMBIE. It looks like diamond head from here. [Laughter.]

    General KERN. I wish it were. It is the demographics of the Army Materiel Command civilian work force. And what you can see between the shift and the O and the blue peaks is the age differential, but the alarming part is this number of few people that we have that are going to be the new work force for the 21st century. And I met with a—in fact Dr. Chu from OSD personnel yesterday to talk about that and the number of interns. And we have talked with the Army about it. I think it is a critical effort that we all need to work hard to make sure that we do have a 21st century work force.

    Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Thank you.

    Mr. WELDON. Does that mean the gentleman is reconsidering his position on the A–76? [Laughter.]

    The gentleman from South Carolina is recognized.

    Mr. WILSON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    Again, I want to thank the four of you. You are educating a relatively new Member of Congress. And it means a lot to me. I was particularly interested in General Magnus's point about the Penn State Marine training facility. I was impressed to learn that the stryker brigade with the National Guard is going to Pennsylvania.
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    General MAGNUS. Yes, sir.

    Mr. WILSON. I am reminded constantly of the very effective congressional delegation from Pennsylvania. I have no further questions. [Laughter.]

    Mr. WELDON. Give me a list of your plus ups for this year. [Laughter.]

    Mr. WILSON. And I do want to point out that, Joe Magnus, we do have some room at Paris Island for additional facilities.

    General MAGNUS. I thought you were full down there.

    Mr. WILSON. No, no, no. It is a great place to live.

    Mr. WELDON. I thank the gentleman for his comments and for his insightful questioning on the issues. And I thank my distinguished friend, Mr. Abercrombie. And we thank each of you for both the vision you provided for us and the leadership you are providing for us during these very difficult times.

    As I said at the beginning, our thoughts are with our troops that you have so very capably trained and prepared while they serve in harm's way right now.

    And I will reiterate our commitment to work with you. We want to see you accomplish the objectives. We just have to make sure that we have the dollars on the table, that we can justify the expenditures, that we do not let corporate America run away with programs that we then have to go back and try to fix, but rather that we work along constructively and will provide the resources as we have consistently to make sure that you have those extra dollars that are not in the president's budget request.
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    So we thank you all, and this hearing now stands adjourned.

    [Whereupon, at 4:00 p.m., the subcommittee was adjourned.]