SPEAKERS CONTENTS INSERTS
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[H.A.S.C. No. 10843]
THE PERFORMANCE OF THE
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE ACQUISITION
PROCESS IN SUPPORT OF FORCES
PROTECTION FOR COMBAT FORCES
COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED EIGHTH CONGRESS
APRIL 21, 2004
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HOUSE COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
One Hundred Eighth Congress
DUNCAN HUNTER, California, Chairman
CURT WELDON, Pennsylvania
JOEL HEFLEY, Colorado
JIM SAXTON, New Jersey
JOHN M. McHUGH, New York
TERRY EVERETT, Alabama
ROSCOE G. BARTLETT, Maryland
HOWARD P. ''BUCK'' McKEON, California
MAC THORNBERRY, Texas
JOHN N. HOSTETTLER, Indiana
WALTER B. JONES, North Carolina
JIM RYUN, Kansas
JIM GIBBONS, Nevada
ROBIN HAYES, North Carolina
HEATHER WILSON, New Mexico
KEN CALVERT, California
ROB SIMMONS, Connecticut
JO ANN DAVIS, Virginia
ED SCHROCK, Virginia
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J. RANDY FORBES, Virginia
JEFF MILLER, Florida
JOE WILSON, South Carolina
FRANK A. LoBIONDO, New Jersey
TOM COLE, Oklahoma
JEB BRADLEY, New Hampshire
ROB BISHOP, Utah
MICHAEL TURNER, Ohio
JOHN KLINE, Minnesota
CANDICE S. MILLER, Michigan
PHIL GINGREY, Georgia
MIKE ROGERS, Alabama
TRENT FRANKS, Arizona
IKE SKELTON, Missouri
JOHN SPRATT, South Carolina
SOLOMON P. ORTIZ, Texas
LANE EVANS, Illinois
GENE TAYLOR, Mississippi
NEIL ABERCROMBIE, Hawaii
MARTY MEEHAN, Massachusetts
SILVESTRE REYES, Texas
VIC SNYDER, Arkansas
JIM TURNER, Texas
Page 4 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCADAM SMITH, Washington
LORETTA SANCHEZ, California
MIKE McINTYRE, North Carolina
CIRO D. RODRIGUEZ, Texas
ELLEN O. TAUSCHER, California
ROBERT A. BRADY, Pennsylvania
BARON P. HILL, Indiana
JOHN B. LARSON, Connecticut
SUSAN A. DAVIS, California
JAMES R. LANGEVIN, Rhode Island
STEVE ISRAEL, New York
RICK LARSEN, Washington
JIM COOPER, Tennessee
JIM MARSHALL, Georgia
KENDRICK B. MEEK, Florida
MADELEINE Z. BORDALLO, Guam
RODNEY ALEXANDER, Louisiana
TIM RYAN, Ohio
Robert S. Rangel, Staff Director
Robert Simmons, Professional Staff Member
Mary Ellen Fraser, Professional Staff Member
Eric Sterner, Professional Staff Member
Jesse Tolleson, Research Assistant
Justin Bernier, Research Assistant
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C O N T E N T S
CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF HEARINGS
Wednesday, April 21, 2004, The Performance of the Department of Defense Acquisition Process in Support of Force Protection for Combat Forces
Wednesday, April 21, 2004
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 21, 2004
THE PERFORMANCE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE ACQUISITION PROCESS IN SUPPORT OF FORCE PROTECTION FOR COMBAT FORCES
STATEMENTS PRESENTED BY MEMBERS OF CONGRESS
Hunter, Hon. Duncan, a Representative from California, Chairman, Committee on Armed Services
Page 6 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Skelton, Hon. Ike, a Representative from Missouri, Ranking Member, Committee on Armed Services
Blount, Maj. Gen. Buford C., III, Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff, G3, United States Army
Catto, Gen. William D., Commanding General, Marine Corps Systems Command, United States Marine Corps
Hanlon, Lt. Gen. Edward Jr., Deputy Commandant for Combat Development and Commanding General, Marine Corps
Wynne, Hon. Michael W., Acting Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology and Logistics) Office of the Secretary of Defense
Yakovac, Lt. Gen. Joseph L., Jr., Military Deputy and Director, Army Acquisition Corps, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics and Technology)
[The Prepared Statements can be viewed in the hard copy.]
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Skelton, Hon. Ike
DOCUMENTS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
[The Documents can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Armor Survivability Kit Production Performance chart submitted by Mr. Hunter
Guntruck 4th ID picture submitted by Mr. Hunter
HMMWV Add On Armor Timeline May 2003 - April 2004 chart submitted by Mr. Hunter
HMMWV 1st AD picture submitted by Mr. Hunter
Interim Gun Truck picture submitted by Mr. Hunter
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
[The Questions and Answers can be viewed in the hard copy.]
THE PERFORMANCE OF THE DEPARTMENT ACQUISITION PROCESS IN SUPPORT OF FORCE PROTECTION FOR COMBAT FORCES
House of Representatives,
Committee on Armed Services,
Washington, DC, Wednesday, April 21, 2004.
The committee met, pursuant to call, at 5:35 p.m., in room 2118, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Duncan Hunter (chairman of the committee) presiding.
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OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. DUNCAN HUNTER, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM CALIFORNIA, CHAIRMAN, COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
The CHAIRMAN. The committee will come to order.
This afternoon, we meet to receive testimony on the performance of the acquisition system in fulfilling the urgent force protection needs of our combat forces in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.
I would like to welcome our distinguished panel representing the military's acquisition community. Gentlemen, thank you for the service you do for our men and women in uniform.
We are very proud of our people serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. They are making America and the world more secure by helping the Iraqi and Afghan people build democracy in the heart of the Middle East. Whether members of active duty, reserve, national guard units, or civilians, these heroes embody the best ideals of our Nation, serving so that others may be free and we thank them and their families for all the sacrifices they endure.
The trust given to the people in this room by the soldiers and families is that we will provide them with the necessary systems and equipment so that they can be successful in accomplishing their mission at anytime, anywhere in the world.
Page 9 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC In keeping this trust, we must be honest in our assessment of whether we are doing everything in our power to not only provide the soldiers what they need to accomplish their missionand I might add, marines and sailors and airmenbut when they need it.
Force protection is an essential part of this trust and has two components. The offensive component requires the equipment, systems and tactics to maintain the initiative, to defeat, disrupt and deny the enemy the ability to attack. The defensive component provides the survivability required to carry out the offense.
Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) continue to be the weapon of choice employed by those extremists, murderers and thugs who would deny the Iraqi people democracy. Therefore, adding armor to our vehicles in theater must be expediently accomplished.
And to help frame the testimony to be given here today, I will present two examples that raise questions about the total acquisition system's ability to meet our soldiers' needs.
This first photo is a picture that we took while we were over in the theater. It is a humvee from the 1st Armored Division. And it is representative of a local armor solution that is developed by soldiers. You see that door. That is quarter-inch mild steel. That door was put on by soldiers in theater who went down to a machine shop, an Iraqi machine shop, and had them put together a piece of steel for them.
I met with a young soldier at Landstuhl Medical Center who was traveling in just such a humvee. In spite of the fact that the quarter-inch mild steel didn't prevent his serious injuries, all this American hero wanted to talk about was getting back to his unit in Iraq. This young soldier provided me with both inspiration, as a result of his spirit, and concern that our system was not addressing the urgent needs of our troops.
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Chart 2 is our humvee add-on armor time line. I want to put this up.
And incidentally, gentlemen, I have all of your statements in the record and consider them all taken for the record.
And what I would like to do is move to this immediate question of armoring, because I know we have a limited amount of time, and have you respond to that question because that is the question of the day. It is when we are going to get this stuff and get it out.
That is a humvee add-on armor time line. If you look at it, you saw that our threat as of last year was developing from May through September. We had literally hundreds of IEDs exploding on a regular basis injuring our people, many of them roadside; some of them anything, as you know, from a coke can with some C4 explosive in it right up to 155mm rounds.
It wasn't until approximately from May through November that we actually started to produce some of these kits. In fact, we had a House Armed Services Committee (HASC) memo to the Army noting arsenals in industry and mills were not producing at a maximum capacity in February.
So while we were having people torn up by these IEDs, we went through a requirements definition stage of August and September. They started getting hit heavy in May.
We went to ballistic testing at Aberdeen. And this isn't rocket science, gentlemen. This is shooting pieces of steel, basically quarter-inch pieces of steel, with three or four different types of systems to see if the system would go through the steel. We did that October, November, December.
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We approved $129 million at the end of December and $300 million that wasn't identified. And the original Army schedule, incidentally, was to finish this as of December 2004.
Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM) received a final $131 million to complete the original requirements in April of this year.
Now, what this shows you is very simply this: From combat need, from the time when we saw we needed to put some steel between the bodies of our young people and these IEDs, to full production, basically just making steel kits, six months. The actual production time, once we got started, was three months. That is unacceptable. And I happened to get into this when I started to work onand in fact, we have had the HASC staff working on thison the gun truck idea, on the idea of not only armoring humvees but armoring trucks a couple of months ago when we made our last trip into theater.
And I would like to ask the staff to put up this picture of a gun truck from the 4th Infrantry Division (I.D.) While we have been going through this bureaucratic routine, this half-stepping, this treading water, this is what your people in-theater had for their gun trucks. You will notice that, in fact, is a double-hulled FMTV, or five-ton truck. That is the 4th I.D. That was driven up to us by General Odierno's people. And he showed that to us over there about a month and a half, two months ago.
You will notice, however, that the sides of it aren't steel. They are plywood. They are plywood because we didn't provide any steel and we could have done it very easily.
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Now, I want to go through this. In fact, you can take a look at this so-called interim gun truck, which very simply is an FMTV or seven-ton Marine truck with a steel hull built in the back with quarter-inch high-hard steel, which we had in surplus from making these Stryker vehicles, stitched together with six-inch strips of steel. If you have those things cut, it takes a soldier or a marine with a socket wrench about two hours to put it together. Mission impossible for the military acquisition system.
If the staff could put the interim gun truck time line up, let's take a look at this thing. And after I go through this, I want to ask the ranking member to show how he, through volunteer, private citizens, got some steel up on these trucks in Iraq and perhaps saved a couple of lives of some of our people over there.
The Stryker steel was reported available. We found out in February that we had, in fact, enough Stryker steel left over from the Stryker production to do maybe 60 trucks. We already had it. It was already produced. It was sitting there at the International Steel Group (ISG). We found out it was at ISG, one of our major steel mills. That was in February.
Toward the last of February, TACOM reported that Stryker steel had been purchased. In March, we saw this emerging requirement from theater of some 800 gun trucks, but of course we had these requirements, obviously, coming down from theater or existing in theater where they were using double-hulled plywood and these kits done by Iraqi machine shops long before that.
If you look at the time line on this interim gun truck, even though the Stryker steel was made available in February, it wasn't until April that Aberdeen Test Center (ATC) assembled the first interim gun truck kit. An industrial source, one of our private companies, said they could cut all this stuff in eight days.
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Now, we went down with some of the staff to Quantico and with the help of some of our good marines down there and their shop, with the help of retired General Terry Powell, we took these cut pieces of steel, two-feet wide, four-feet high, and we stitched them together into an armored box. One of your retired marine generals did that in about two hours with some help from the good marines who were there in the machine shop. These things are easy.
We had all this Stryker steel that was available. We thought, well, now we will just get this thing shipped over into theater and our troops are going to be able to get them on the backs of these trucks. They are going to be able to double hull them. And incidentally, the double hull configuration had, at this time been tested by ATC, having been shipped out, been constructed into a gun truck and shipped out by Lawrence Livermore Laboratory. They shot it heavily with rocket propelled granades (RPGs), AK47s and 155mm rounds and it had come through in stellar fashion. The only thing that came through was the jet on the RPG with no attending fragmentation.
So it worked, the idea of having a double hull truck, which incidentally is the same thing we did in Vietnam when we had RPG and AK47 attacks.
Nonetheless, we, at Quantico, took a look at this hull and it was recommended by one of our good marine generals that we cut these things into two foot panels, because we have these huge strips of high-hard steel left over from Stryker production. And so, instead of taking them over to theater in big pieces, we said, ''Why don't we just cut them into kits? And we will cut the bolt holes.'' And that means the Marines and soldiers, when they get them, can just get up on the trucks, no perforation needed, and with a socket set and a handful of bolts you can put them together in about two hours.
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Gentlemen, mission impossible.
We had contacted the ISG and said, ''Can you get these things over and get them cut?'' ''Yes, we think we can get them cut in a couple of days.'' At that point, the U.S. Army took over. Now, that was several months ago.
The last time I checked only three kits had been cut. One of your generals stopped all of the cutting because he wanted to retest the Stryker steel, which has been tested for about 10 years now. And the information was that when they get finished testing themand then, in fact, the test came through once again with Stryker steel the same as it was 10 years ago; it still worksthey are still going to produce them at the rate of three a day.
Gentlemen, any one of you with a plasma torch can cut about 60 pieces of steel a day. It takes just a couple of minutes per piece.
So the answer to this is we are not going to get this stuff into theater if we continue at the same pace for about two months. So it is taken a month and a half just to get existing steel sitting at the docks at a steelyard left over from Stryker production to the point where we start cutting it. If you extrapolate that out, it means it is probably going to be May, June or July before you get a few pieces of cut steel over into theater.
Now, while that is happening, we have lots of trucks that are being hit with these IEDs. I think the number of tankers that have been destroyed now with attacks is something like between 80 and 100. You have civilian convoys that desperately need to be escorted with gun trucks.
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When Abe Lincoln was talking to General McClellan, he told him he had a case of the slows. None of this is happening because I guess we have an acquisition system that absolutely has a case of the slows. You guys can't tie your shoelaces.
The idea that we can't get a few pieces of steel cut and moved into theater when all you got to do is cut them and punch a few holes in each side and ship them over, and you got General Handy from US Transportation Command (TRANSCOM) saying he is ready to go as soon as you get it cut, and it is mission impossible, makes me understand why Comanche got canceled when you got an acquisition system that doesn't work.
Now, Mr. Secretary, that is the state of play.
And I would like to ask our good professional staff member here, Mr. Bob Simmons, what the total number of truck kits is after working this problem for some three months.
What is it, Bob?
Mr. SIMMONS. One kit has been built.
The CHAIRMAN. One kit has been built.
That means after three months we built as many kits as one marine retired general put together in two hours by himself, with a little help from a couple of other Marines. That is pathetic.
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And at the same time, I would presume that some of the protection we have over there is things like those double-hull plywood hulls that we have in the back of our five-and seven-ton trucks.
Now, I think that at this point I am going to ask the fine gentlemen from Missouri, Mr. Skelton, to tell us a little bit about what some private people did to protect their folks overseas and how it worked.
The gentleman is recognized.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Hunter can be viewed in the hard copy.]
STATEMENT OF HON. IKE SKELTON, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM MISSOURI, RANKING MEMBER, COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Chairman, I think it is very, very important that you called this hearing. It is extremely important because, for those who have young folks over there, if anyone should get hurt and not have proper armor plating, I can see how they would get upset.
I got involved, Mr. Chairman, in being of some help a number of weeks ago with some folks in Jefferson City, Missouri, which is in the 4th District. They wanted to help a company, a transportation company, get some additional armored plating. And of course, the bureaucrats turned it down.
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With your permission, Mr. Chairman, let me read from yesterday's Jefferson City Post Tribune page 1 headline: ''Soldier's Mom Passes Word: Armor Plating Did Its Job.'' And under that it says, ''428th Members Unhurt In Roadside Bomb Attack,'' by Kris Hilgedick, News Tribune.
''Virgil Kirkweg was gratified to learn that the steel armor he helped donate to the 428th Transportation Company may have served its intended purpose by saving lives in Iraq during the weekend.
''Kirkweg said a local woman, the mother of one of the men in the unit, called him this morning to relate the news.
''This lady called and said her son was in the 428th, said Kirkweg. According to the woman, the vehicle was hit by a bomb over there on Sunday and the plate definitely saved soldiers lives.
''Kirkweg was so caught off guard by the phone call that he neglected to obtain the woman's name or any details about the specific incident.
''She was pretty disturbed and, of course, I was too. She said she couldn't force herself to even talk about it yesterday,' said Kirkweg. 'It was a very touching phone call.'
''After spending most of the day at the Baghdad International Airport, Staff Sergeant Timothy Wilding replied to a News Tribune e-mail and wrote that any information regarding specific attacks would have to come from the unit is commander or higher headquarters. But he added his unit is providing security for convoys.
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''So the steel is coming in handy to protect us in the cabs,' he said.
''His unit has built steel boxes in the beds of the trucks, mounting machine guns or grenade launchers inside.
''The donation of the steel occurred shortly before Christmas and only a few days after the men and women of the 428th learned that they had been deployed overseas.
''Kirkweg is the co-owner of Industrial Enterprises, Incorporated out of Apache Flats.'' That is right near Jefferson City.
''That company, together with financial help from Houser-Millard Funeral Directors, donated the labor needed to mount steel plating on 72 vehicles.
''Designed to reinforce the undercarriages and doors of Humvees and five-ton trucks, the armor is intended to protect American soldiers from small exploding devices used by the Iraqi insurgents.
''The volunteer project initially met with resistance from the military bureaucrats, who eventually relented and allowed the armor to be transported and mounted.
''After all the fuss over this donated steel, you would be amazed at all the different homemade modifications we have seen over here,' Wilding wrote.''
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''Reid Millard''of the funeral homehas estimated it took only a few hundred dollars to outfit the vehicle with the steel; a far cry from the costs military contractors are currently charging.
''Kirkweg said he was moved by the woman's gratitude and the news of her son's survival.
'''It makes all of the hassle worth it,' he said. 'All of our money and hard work have already paid off.'''
So we can, Mr. Chairman, say a special thanks to our Missouri folks, and whoever the bureaucrats were that resisted this initially we should say, ''Shame on you.''
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman.
And gentlemen, let me make a point here up front.
It is the front-end of the process that is killing us here. Once we get production going, at least we get some momentum up and we start making things and once we get them going, we are good at making them. But it takes us a long time to respond and a long time to make stuff.
Page 20 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC If we have another chart up there, will you put that next chart up?
Right now, TACOM is ahead of its projected schedule. And that shows what is required and what is actually being done in terms of installation is the yellow line. The gray line in the middle is the requirement. The purple line is production. Yellow is what is being installed.
But right now, as of yesterday, 6,900 humvee kits. Of those 6,900, 5,675 have been produced and TACOM will finish before April 30th. The Army reports that 3,863 kits have been installed and that although installation appears to be lagging behind, they will complete installation in May.
Now, my point is that once we get going, once we get production rolling, it tends to continue. And at that point, we can build what we need. But what is terrible about this situation is we have a slow front-end.
So the bad guys come up with a system that works extremely effectively in causing American casualties. In this case, it is the IED. It takes months and months and months for the United States of America to respond with something as simple as taking a sheet of steel, cutting panels like that, standing them up, putting bolts through them, and bolting those things together without even having to touch the truck.
Now, all the shooting that we have done at ATC has shown us something. It is shown us that if you put a panel on the outside, you have a steel box on the outside on the back of a five-ton or seven-ton truck, and you put a box on the inside about eight inches in, and you can put sandbags in between or you can put this new eGlass system or you can put aluminum or other flag catchers in between. But if you do that with a double-hull system, you knock down practically everything from a 155mm round that is hurting our kids. And you take the jet from a RPG, but it is like a single bullet; it doesn't carry any fragmentation with it. And it stops all small arms stuff. You do that without having to perforate the truck in a single place.
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So the question would be: Why don't we do that? And the answer is we have a system that is incapable of reacting quickly, and that is the reason I have asked you to be here.
And incidentally, I want to point out that we went down to Quantico, we put that sample kit in place. The Marines were very cooperative with us. They even let a retired marine general like Terry Powell climb around on your good equipment. And we put that thing in and you were, in fact, gung-ho to get that stuff into theater.
The one mistake we made was we said, ''Let us let the Army cut it first.'' And that, starting over a month ago, reduced us to a molasses-like pace that, here, a month later results in having enough kits for one gun truck to be built. That is as much as, Mr. Wynne, as you could cut with a plasma cutter yourself in probably an hour. That is what you have. That is the system we have right now. It is not responsive. We have to change it.
Gentlemen, with that short discussion on why I wanted you to be with us today, what can we do to do better?
Secretary Wynne, you are recognized.
STATEMENT OF HON. MICHAEL W. WYNNE, ACTING UNDER SECRETARY OF DEFENSE (ACQUISITION, TECHNOLOGY AND LOGISTICS) OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE
Page 22 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. WYNNE. Mr. Chairman, I would like to say thank you for holding this hearing and thank God for the inventiveness of the American soldier. It has been that way since time in memorial. And we have a whole lot of respect for the feedback we get from our soldiers and our sailors and our airmen and our marines, I must add.
I would like to start by thanking the Members of this committee for all of your continued support. And I would like to also say, sir, that there are some things that you are, I think, highlighting today that we could do better.
We worry a lot. There is still some fear in our system for striking forward. I recently got an Inspector General (I.G.) report that basically asked me to hold administrative sanction against some contracting officials because of their innovativeness and responsiveness.
I have sympathies for both sides because there is a respect for the American taxpayer that we have to do and yet there is a responsiveness to the American soldier that we have to do as well. And so, I have respect for both sides of that problem.
We leave our acquisition professionals on that dilemma. We also leave, I will say, on the horns of the dilemma, what do we do about new starts? What do we do about notifications for reprogramming?
And basically, some things are about money, although my friends in the comptroller shop tell me it is not all about money. It is all about, sometimes, developing requirements, partnering with our requirements people and making sure that the testing that you have so fairly indicated goes well and that we ship utility and we ship efficiently to our soldiers for repair.
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I think I will stop right there, Mr. Chairman.
And again, thank you and the Members of this committee. We have scoured the planet for responsive, reflexive and inventive people.
I will tell you one thing. I was down at the GemVision Laboratories on Belvoir, which is just up from Quantico, and they were working on, to protect our soldiers, a shoulder-mounted and a side-mounted SpectraShield.
I can tell you that the people who thought this up and shaped it correctly were worried about whether or not it would be accepted. As you might expect, the line forms around the corner. And now we are going to be short, I will tell you, the armor pieces for that piece of equipment. And in that regard, sir, we are proud to be short because I think it will help.
And the requirements are skyrocketing in that regard. So there is, in fact, a lot of scientists from all over the world that have offered us inventive equipment. They turned out a job shop and of course, if it works, we want a lot of them.
So, with that, sir, I will say thank you for your dedication and your caring. We care just as much for the health and protection of our soldiers. And whatever we can do, sir, to speed this process up, we intend to do it.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Wynne can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Page 24 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The CHAIRMAN. Well, I think, Secretary Wynne, speeding the process up is what we want to do.
And believe me, there is no inventiveness in taking a piece of Stryker steel that we have already tested until the cows come home and cutting it into two-foot strips and putting it together. That is simply a case of a bureaucracy that is paralyzed, absolutely paralyzed.
So I appreciate your optimism. But this is something that has revealed, I think, very clearly that we are broken at the front end.
Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes, I would be happy to recognize you.
Mr. SKELTON. It is interesting just sitting here and without casting aspersions at America, the great country of ingenuity, of being able to do what no one else can do on something that is very basic such as protecting our young folks, that this isn't something that is in the past. So we have to have a hearing on it?
The CHAIRMAN. Thank the gentlemen.
General Yakovac, what do you think? What can we do?
STATEMENT OF LT. GEN. JOSEPH L. YAKOVAC, JR., MILITARY DEPUTY AND DIRECTOR, ARMY ACQUISITION CORPS, OFFICE OF THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE ARMY (ACQUISITION, LOGISTICS AND TECHNOLOGY) DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
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General YAKOVAC. Sir, thank you very much for the opportunity to come over here and discuss with you what can be done. And before I get into that, I just want to go back and re-talk about the process.
And from my point of view, when you go back and look at May 1st IEDs, the original requirement, what we thought would be adequate was to provide more up-armored humvees, a vehicle that has been designed to have additional protection. And we really began to move up-armored humvees into theater.
Not until the time line was correct in August with the acquisition communitythe part I representproviding a material solution, we looked at up-armored kits as a way to augment and to then meet a requirement that we knew would be coming had not yet arrived.
I have had numerous jobs in acquisition, and one of those was in the mid1990's when we went into Bosnia and had a similar situation to provide up-armored humvee kits.
We created, very quickly, 400 by adding armor and not thinking of also the impacts of that armor on reliability, maintainability and other features of the vehicle. And those 400 were miserable failures.
This opportunity came before the requirement. We immediately looked at what could be done because we have a number of humvees, M10 97s that are not capable of carrying a lot of extra weight, in our inventory, which is the majority of the ones that were in theater.
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And so, one of the engineering challenges was to provide a protection level against a threat that we knew was characterized by IEDs and small arms; at the same time, provide a vehicle that was reliable and sustainable.
By the end of September, we had not only shot many more samples and decided on the kit now referred to as ARL; we had also run mileage to characterize the fact that that vehicle would not be a logistical burden to the soldier.
In that time frame, the product manager then diverted dollars from a humvee line to begin the buying of the steel. It was not until November that we had a requirement for the initial numbers of kits, which was 1,139 at the time. Today, it is 8,400.
We immediately put those kits on order at the same time the supplemental process was working. And as you indicated, the first dollars that we received outside of the initial investment we made was on 23 December. I took over my current job on 1 December. And so, since then I have been very involved in this process.
We ordered 2,860 kits at that time. As you stated in your time line, we needed additional money. We asked for it. It came in and we ordered the remainder. And since then, as your chart shows, we have moved out smartly on those kits.
[The prepared statement of General Yakovac can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Page 27 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The CHAIRMAN. Okay. General, we started seeing IEDs in substance, in force, back last summer.
General YAKOVAC. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Now, while you were doing this, while you were walking down this timeline that you described, here is what people in-theater did, because we went over and looked at what they had in-theater: They went to Iraqi machine shops and they got soft stuff.
In fact, we were over with the 1st AD and the 82nd Airborne, they trotted out their most prized personnel, which was a welder, a guy who I think was a Spec. 4. He was a great welder and he showed us some of his work with soft steel. I later saw some of the kids that got hit with stuff that came through that soft steel.
Now, let me just suggest something you could have done while you were designing these kits, putting out the requirement, testing for load-bearing capability of the Humvees, thinking up engineering fixes, et cetera.
You take two pieces of high-hard steel per side. You cut it in 3'x4' pieces. You go down to Home Depot and you get what is known as a piano hinge. It is about this long. It bears a lot of weight. Each of those pieces weighs approximately 120 pounds, which the Humvee can handle. You cut a hole in it up front so that the G.I.'s head is back from the blast. You remove the door of the humvee by lifting it up and out. You then take off the regular hinges and you can bolt in the same hinge holes, because I have done it. Get a piano hinge. You now cut four holes in each of your 3'x4' panels and you bolt them onto the piano hinge. You now have a high-hard steel door and you put them side by side, which we have done, which Lawrence Livermore Laboratory has done, and lots of other people have done, and you have a much more substantial protection than this kid having to go down to a machine shop in Tikrit and getting some 3/16th soft stuff.
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Now, what you have just gone through, the fact that I laid out the fact that it took us months and months to start on this problem and you followed that up by walking me through these laborious steps that you take shows the problem. That means that the guys in the field get a faster reaction out of a machine shop in Tikritand remember, the last time we were there, incidentally, when we saw the products for the 82nd Airborne and the 4th Infantry Division, that was a month and a half ago. That wasn't last summer. They still had the FMTVs with plywood sides. So while we are doing this engineering and working the system back here, we have junk in the field.
Now, the Marines have another problem. And the other problem they have is when they got to the steel mills, they had steel that was about half as thick as the Army steel. And the numbers are classified, but I would commend to all of you to look at the Aberdeen tests on 155mm rounds against the Marine steel that is now in theater.
And what that begs, Generals, is a double hull at least on your seven-ton trucks, because if you have a double hull, even with the 3/16ths on the outer layer, you can take down almost all the frag off a 155mm round at close range and you can take down all the AK47 fire, and you can take down everything but the jet on an RPG.
So General, we have to fix this system. And going through this litany of how we develop this slow-moving process where we want to address everything, including the weight-bearing capability of the humvee, before we move out with the quick fix shows that we have a big hole in this system.
Page 29 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC When we started seeing those IEDs, we should have had high-hard steel that could have served as those doors. And incidentally, I put that kit on, the one I just described to you, with a humvee. I did it at a machine shop; it took me about two and a half hours. Of course, I had a couple of guys with plasma torches that know how to work them. But it doesn't take a lot.
We should have had that stuff in theater. It shouldn't have been February where we are looking at FMTVs with plywood hulls on them because we don't have the good stuff there yet. That is the problem we have and that is the problem we need your suggestions on to fix.
General Blount, what do you think?
STATEMENT OF MAJ. GEN. BUFORD C. BLOUNT, III, ASSISTANT DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF, G3, UNITED STATES ARMY
General BLOUNT. Sir, I agree.
I have been a field soldier for 32 years. I guess I am not a military bureaucrat working at the Pentagon. But I agree with you a 100 percent. We have to fix it. We have to deliver the product out to the field much faster.
We are taking some stuff to try to do that, to try to at least get the requirements in quicker and get them out into the procurement process. And you know, we have our strategic planning board and the process that we get the requirements into. The Pentagon, I think, will speed this up, get it down to probably a week from the soldier in the field up through and into the Pentagon.
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That is a draft requirement, but that is what gives us enough to start working the solutions to the issues when they come up. And, you know, the final solution has to be acquired and shipped, and that is where we have to put more focus.
And yes, I agree with you 100 percent. We can do better. We must do better. And I think the Army and the leadership of the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) is committed to doing that, sir. I don't have the golden answer right now, but I think
The CHAIRMAN. Well, let me make a suggestion here, and Secretary Wynne, maybe you could help on this.
And incidentally, I want to give due credit to the Marines. They let us go down there and build that system on their truck. And they said they wanted to get that Stryker steel as fast as possible. And we just kind of let them down on it and haven't gotten those kits over yet.
But gentlemen, at least the Marines stepped up and tried to move this stuff out quickly. But interestingly, you are the folks that probably need to have that double hull on those seven-tons more than anybody because you have outside steel that is half as thick as what the Army has.
But let me make a recommendation here, Secretary Wynne.
We have a couple of steel mills that make this stuff. They make either rolled, homogenous armer (RHA), this is really homogeneous steel, or high-hard. Let's get them moving. Let's make a bunch of it. When our professional staff member, Mr. Simmons, got after the mills, they were at about 60 percent capacity. Let's make a bunch of this steel and let's farm it out to get cut and get the holes punched in it for kits. And let's get those kits flown over.
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Now, General Handy, the head of TRANSCOM, has promised me that he will have those babies flown off out of this country just as fast as we get those kits cut. We should be able to cut hundreds of them in one day. We get some bolts together, a high-grade bolt, socket wrenches or air guns, and we can bolt up the back of those trucks very quickly. At least, we can have it for the field commanders. They can put them together in a manner that they see fit. But why don't we do that?
Mr. WYNNE. Sir, I think that is a doable do. The question merely comes to mind is sustainment and how do we do the follow on. But I think, sir, that notifying the steel mills is not a problem. America stands ready to support their soldiers, always has.
I would say putting the kits together is interesting. I am not sure that flying the steel over is as efficient as shipping it, but nevertheless, we are talking three days, not six weeks.
But I would say to my colleagues here with me, we need to take this on board and see how fast we can execute it, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Okay. Let us work it.
General Catto, what do you think here? You brought us down there to Quantico. You were very hospitable. Would you folks like to see these double-hulled capabilities on your seven-tons?
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STATEMENT OF BRIG. GEN. WILLIAM D. CATTO, COMMANDING GENERAL MARINE CORPS SYSTEMS COMMAND, UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS
General CATTO. I think there are a number of issues that you have raised, Mr. Chairman. We are going to use those capabilities when they are available.
I would like to hearken back a second and talk about the rapidity of the acquisition system for just a minute. Many of the things you have said are very true, that the system is ponderous. Sometimes, as you know, we have problems with manufacture base and, unfortunately, many times the capabilities that both the Army and the Marine Corps need, because there is only one factory making them, we compete for those things and have to get in line. And that is something that you are well aware of and you are helping us with.
The CHAIRMAN. I will let you know, when we also checked on it, ISG, for example, is the major steel maker here; they weren't up to max capacity.
General CATTO. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Simmons called them up and, on his word, they fired up to max capacity that night.
General CATTO. Yes, sir.
Page 33 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The CHAIRMAN. But they hadn't been for seven months.
General CATTO. I agree with that.
When we started this process for the Marine Corps, we didn't have a deployment order until November. And, as you know, we weren't sure we were even going until later in December, and by March 19th, 100 percent of our vehicles that went into theater had armor in theater to protect them.
Now, as you know, some of that was the .202 inch steel. Some of it was the Foster Simmons; some of it was O'Gara-Hess; some of it were the M1114s that we got from international sources.
So there are ways to do things quickly when you are inventive, but part of the issue for everybody here is that when there is only one guy that can make it, it is tough to get enough capacity to do that.
The CHAIRMAN. Well, General, let me just say, I agree with you totally, and you did move out, even though you didn't get the thick steel. We had to take what was left, which was the thin stuff.
That is why it was so critical, from our perspective, to get that Stryker steel, and we found this windfall. Here is a bunch of Stryker steel sitting there from Stryker production. Nobody even knew about it, and we could have it, and all we had to do was cut it and put holes in it, and we had our second hull.
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Now, what we have gotten from Aberdeen is, if you took your seven-tons with that thin steel on it on the outside skin and you put the inside box with using the high-hard Stryker steel that you could knock down all of the small-arms fire. You could knock down all the stuff off of 155mm except about 1 percent of the frag.
But let me tell you, when you look at the classified numbers on how little of the frag is knocked down by the thin stuff you have now, you are going to be somewhat surprised.
But the point is we had that there ready to go, had total agreement with everybody, from the Secretary of Defense on down, and our system, with all the king's horses and all the king's men, couldn't cut a bunch of pieces of steel and get it over into the theater. We were incapable, and that is a system we have to fix.
Now, I do commend what you folks down at your operation in is it in Georgia or South Carolina?
General CATTO. Albany, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. It is in Albany where you put this stuff together. Your guys worked day and night to do it, but they got the thin stuff on, and we needed to get that Stryker in there. We needed to get the Stryker steel in to augment this.
So let's try to fix this system. I commend you for what you did, but we need to get the rest of it. We need to get those seven-tons double hulled, I believe.
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General CATTO. One additional piece of information for you: By the 1st of May, we will have 100 percent of our armor in theater that is the medium protection capability, which is the 3/8 inch, rolled homogeneous.
So, I mean, on the medium piece we are there. We support what you want to do on the double hull. We understand that.
The CHAIRMAN. Okay.
General Hanlon, what do you think here?
[The prepared statement of General Catto joint with General Hanlon can be viewed in the hard copy.]
STATEMENT OF LT. GEN. EDWARD HANLON, JR., COMMANDING GENERAL, MARINE CORPS COMBAT DEVELOPEMENT COMMAND, DEPUTY COMMANDANT FOR COMBAT DEVELOPMENT, UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS
General HANLON. There is not much, sir, that I can add to what has already been said by the other individuals here at the table, but I just want to stress a couple things to you.
General Catto mentioned that we got the alert on this in November. We started working on it really hard in December, and by the 1st of May, we will have hardened our humvee fleet.
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And I know your focus today, Mr. Chairman, is clearly on the vehicle hardening, but let me just say one other thing to you.
And I brought with me, as well, Colonel Phil Exner, who is sitting behind me, who heads my lessons-learned team, who spends most of his time in Baghdad, but I brought him back here for a couple weeks to brief our senior leadership. He is part of the closed loop system that I have in reporting back to me on things the Marines need.
Since November or December, there have been something like 69 urgent requests that the Marine Corps has needed. We are talking about hardening vehicles, but it includes night-vision sights, it includes deltoid protection for the vest, small arms protective inserts (SAPI) plates, you name it. And we have been able to respond to those needs very, very, very rapidly, which I think, sir, does speak highly to some parts of American industry being able to respond and help us.
And I want you to understand something, sir. This is very important to me personally. I mean, there are bureaucrats everywhere; I know that. But from the time we got the word at Quantico, at the systems command, to move out to make sure that 1 Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) had the things that their Marines needed, we moved out, sir, and wherever we had to blast through bureaucrats, we did.
Now, there were sometimes it was just too hard and you had to find an alternate way of doing it, such as the other steel we had to use. But I want you to understand, sir, we have not been dragging our heels.
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And, sir, in fact, just this morning, I was on the video teleconference (VTC) with General Conway, and he and I talk frequently, and we are, almost every other day, talking about what is it you need, you know, what are we not getting you.
And so, my sensing from the customer is that we are meeting the great majority of their needs over there. So it is important you understand that.
[The prepared statement of General Hanlon joint with General Catto can be viewed in the hard copy.]
The CHAIRMAN. General, I agree with that and I have walked through that, and let me tell you, the focus of my hearing today is on what happened with their steel. Once we had it, we had it identified, all we had to do was cut it and ship it, and it didn't happen.
My point was, and the reason I have you in attendance here is because the Marines are perhaps the major recipients of a lot of this because you had to take a lot of thin stuff because that is all they had. They had 3/16 stuff instead of 3/8 stuff when we started out the beginning of the year.
You got the call to go over; you had to take what was available, and because of that, you need, at least on your seven-tons, you need to have that second hull in the back. The Stryker steel was intended to be split 5050 between the Marines and the Army. That was the agreement we made with Secretary Brownlee.
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And we were looking forward to getting that over there and getting at least 60 gun trucks armored up with it. And if your people sit in the back of those things, rather then have the plywood trucks that we saw there at the 4th Infantry Division, they have excellent protection.
In fact, that protection, if you look at Aberdeen's records, you have the double hull exceeds Stryker protection, so that was the method, or that was the program that we launched on.
I understand that you moved out very quickly. I know I talked to Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) who was down with your people at Albany, and very appreciative of what they did.
Nonetheless, the system that we have for getting that stuff up and on, when we had the Stryker steel ready to go and all it had to do was be cut and punched, didn't occur. That is not your fault, and I understand that.
On the other hand, you were to be the recipients of at least half of it, and that is why you should have an enormous interest in getting that stuff over there. If you get it over there, you can armor up the back of a seven-ton, which, incidentally, because it is got this great carrying capacity, has the capacity to be not only as heavy, in terms of armor, you can put over 3/8 plus Eglass on the floor or sandbags of a Stryker, but you can also carry more armament.
Page 39 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Now, what we did in Vietnam was carry dual 50's in the backs of those trucks and they were used for these escorting operations for convoys. I think you are going to have a lot of convoys ambushed over there from here on out. I think it is clear that the IED is the order of the day for the bad guys, and we have to be able to keep steel between our guys and those IEDs.
The 3/16 that you have over there, you got over quick. You are to be commended on that. We need to buttress that and supplement it with more thickness. Do you agree with that?
General HANLON. I do, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Okay.
General HANLON. Sir, and one other thing as well.
Please don't think that there has been a pull between the Army and the Marine Corps here, too. I mean, I want you to understand that our systems command, both the Army side and the Marine Corps side, sir, have been working this as a team, trying to make it work as well as possible for both services.
The CHAIRMAN. General, there is no thought of that.
General HANLON. Okay.
Page 40 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The CHAIRMAN. After three months of working with this doggone Stryker steel, we have only got one truck's worth of it cut, so Army and Marines can't very well split that single truck.
I want to see you both do well. We should have had enough for 60 trucks on its way over about six weeks ago.
So let's work, Secretary Wynne, to try to get that stuff over. What do you say?
Mr. WYNNE. Sir, I am inclined to get with the Army immediately and find out what the plan was and execute.
I would like to add one thing, and that is that this is not just a defensive operation. We coordinate every day trying to find IEDs, trying to stop their explosion beforehand.
The CHAIRMAN. I understand. We have been through the whole drill with IEDs.
Mr. TAYLOR. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and I do want to thank our panel. The hour is fairly late. I know you have waited a long time just to get blasted by the committee, and you have been great sports about doing both.
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I do think the Chairman raises some important points, and I would like your honest answer to my question that, is this systematic of several things it could be: Number one, have we, as a Congress, gotten so addicted to flashy gee-whiz stuff and appropriated so much money to that that we have forgotten the average foot soldier on things like SAPI plates, on protecting them from IEDs?
I mean, the last I checked, we were going to spend something in the neighborhood of $10 billion this year on national missile defense. The Iraqis, nor any of our foes, to date have used an intercontinental ballistic missile to harm one soldier, and yet on a daily basis, 155mm shells are being remotely detonated and doing serious damage to American troops.
I happen to have had an engineering unit over in Fallujah from home, national guardsmen. One of them was a shop teacher back at Hancock County High School. He took great pride in showing me the double-thick welded steel that they had put around a humvee and, A, it was great that they were doing that, but, B, as a Member of this committee for 15 years now, I felt bad that that was the best we had to offer, and I guess we, as a committee, should have seen that coming. And, quite frankly, we think you gentlemen should have seen it coming also.
The Chairman has been steadfast, and I want to commend him on this, on his desire to have ''Made in America'' language included in our defense bill, and this is not something that just happened last week or last year, but for the 15 years I have known him.
I share his concern with the decline in the shrinking American industrial base, and I do think things like North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and things like permanent trade relations with China have contributed to that. That is Congress's fault.
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But my question to you is, is part of this frustration an outgrowth of the declining industrial base? As one of you gentlemen said, you have one vendor to call on. That is not a healthy thing. It can't be healthy for us.
In your testimony, as to when you talk about outsourcing to solve some of the problems, well, what if some of the people you chose to outsource to happened to be the Germans and the French, and they were still smarting from some comments made down the street at the White House? Maybe they weren't too anxious to help us.
And I really would like to hear from you, you know, your honest assessment of how we can fix things like this. What is that this committee needs to do? I know there is a lot more to it than just beating up on you guys.
So what is it that you would like to see in this year's defense authorization bill that would help you solve problems like this?
And, Mr. Wynne, I do appreciate you taking a look, and we have had this conversation. I know I have had this conversation with other folks. As concerned as the Chairman is about armament, I am concerned about improvised explosives and the lack of putting the electronic resources of this nation to work to either keep them from being detonated or have them detonate before our folks are put at risk.
I guess there are really several ways to solve this problem, and I do commend the Chairman for the time he has taken on this.
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I have asked you a bunch of questions, but I would welcome your thoughts.
Remember, this is an authorization committee. We are going to have a bill coming up in about six weeks, and if there are some things that you specifically want to recommend to this committee that you think would help you solve these problems, please tell us today.
Mr. WYNNE. Thank you, Mr. Taylor. I appreciate the offer.
I will tell you that our electronics community is working 24 hours a day to try to figure it out and we have energized them on that very topic.
I will also say that as a part of our search we have actually received great countermining equipment and some instructive, because other people in other nations have had this problem long before we ran into it.
I think the estimate is that through the foreign comparative tests, we have probably invested about a little over $750 million and we have saved about $4 billion in estimated research and developement (R&D). Plus, as a result of your efforts, we have, in fact, transferred that work largely to American industry.
In the case of O'Gara-Hess and the doors, O'Gara-Hess was a job shop when we started this effort. And they have now actually paved over and sheltered their whole parking lot in order to accommodate the continuous orders that have flowed through that shop.
Page 44 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I do agree with General Catto. It is a sad story to report to you, but had we known then what we know now, we would probably have gotten another source involved. Instead, we kept broadening up incrementally the volume and the velocity through that plant and we sent people in there to help them drive their velocity up, including steel manufacturers and productivity experts.
Even now, we are looking at a way to provide a armor door and armor on the bottom side of the vehicles to try to add to the protection. The O'Gara-Hess door that is coming up, that has been rushed through our system and up into the process possibly as an alternative for General Hanlon's problem.
That having been said, sir, I have a very healthy respect for the American industry, the way it sits. I believe that we do produce. I do also say to you that we do not run into the same problems as some of our contemporaries in other countries. I cite the Australians' work in East Timor. I cite the British experience with the troubles in Ireland. And we learn from them.
I also will tell you that we try to coordinate so that the problems are solved one time and one time only. We run every week a VTC with the in-country people. We have people far forward. In fact, the senior top sergeant of the R&D Command was injured recently in a mortar attack in Camp Victory in Baghdad, really trying to field the latest technology to the soldier. And here he is, the top sergeant of the R&D Command over in Baghdad soliciting ideas from the soldiers, by the way, feeding them back into our system.
And that is not just run by us. It is attended by all of the agencies. It is attended by all of the Special Forces Command, the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, as well as the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), and we have the General Services Administration (GSA) attending so that we can get access to catalogues.
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Whether it be a flashlight with a mini camera attached to go into wells, whether it be a pack box to go into caves, we are attempting to respond in a very, very short period.
I listen and I listen with great regret, in fact, to the chairman's lamentation and the time line it seemed to take to approve these armor kits. We probably had some people in the system that were not pleased with the fact that the soldiers had gone out and gone out in soft steel that proved to be more deadly than if they had done nothing, but it is something, and it is their inventiveness.
And I can recall from photos in Vietnam, as well as in World War II, sir, the people stacking sandbags on top of what appear to be good armored trucks to try to add to the protective element.
So I, again, compliment the inventiveness of the American soldier. We can all learn every time, and we do.
Mr. TAYLOR. What action, if any, was taken in the wake of Mogadishu, with the humvees and the attacks on the humvees? Was anything initiated after that as far as armoring humvees? What was the time line on that?
Mr. WYNNE. The invention of the up-armored humvee is what you are asking, I believe, and, General Yakovac?
Page 46 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. TAYLOR. What was the driving factor?
General YAKOVAC. On up-armored humvees?
Mr. TAYLOR. Yes, sir.
General YAKOVAC. The driving factor really came out of an operational need for scout vehicles to be up-armored to provide reconnaissance capability, in lieu of heavier vehicles, out of our training experiences at the national training center and also as a response to military police requirements as they looked forward to see what type of capabilities they would need.
So it was a requirement for those two pieces that then led to the development of what we now know as the heavy humvee, which with the add-on armor, as well as a beefed-up suspension, brakes, engine, et cetera, started in about 1996, if I am correct.
They started to fill those in 1998 or 1999, and in response to those two specific needs, that requirement was roughly for about 7,700, if I remember correctly, of those up-armored humvees that we would put into the force structure.
Mr. TAYLOR. I want to open this up to the panel. At what point did it come to your attention that IEDs were not just a one-time event or a two-time event, but becoming to be a regular pattern on the part of our foes in Iraq and something that had to be addressed?
Page 47 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General YAKOVAC. To specifically my attention, or the Army's?
Mr. TAYLOR. Either, sir.
General BLOUNT. Sir, I think I have the first soldier killed by an IED weapon, and that was in May. Really, it was about a week later before the second one showed up and about another week before the third one. So middle of June is when a pattern started to develop for IED usage.
Mr. TAYLOR. At what point was a request fed into the chain for some sort of countermeasure to that, either by you or by others to your knowledge?
General BLOUNT. Probably the middle of June, and initially, the IEDs were very primitive. They were actually charges thrown underneath a moving vehicle, and there were no electronic devices used at that point.
And so, as we adapted our tactics, the enemy also adapted and eventually got to using the electronic devices, and then we processed the need statements for the jammers and those have been fielded now, and almost all convoys now have the capability to remotely jam the electronic detonation devices, like the garage doors or the cell phones.
So a series of requirements developed, depending on the tactics, techniques, procedures the enemy was using as he developed his IEDs and adapted to what we were doing.
Page 48 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. TAYLOR. It seemed to take way too long. No, it did take way too long to see to it that every soldier in Iraq had the best body armor. Has the decision been reached to see to it that every convoy will have some sort of protection from improvised explosives, some form of electronic countermeasures? Or has the decision been made to do it for some?
Again, I think weand I want to use the word ''we,'' because Congress probably didn't pester the powers that be within the Department enough on the body armor. I think it took us way too long to come to the conclusion that every soldier needed it.
Where are we now on some form of countermeasures for IEDs? Is there a decision that every convoy will be protected?
General BLOUNT. Sir, I cannot answer that truthfully right now to tell you that that decision has been made by the combatant commander. I know that is the intent, but whether that is, in fact, taking place right now, I would have to get back to you on that.
Mr. TAYLOR. What I am formally asking of you, gentlemen, is what is the goal? And is the date set to accomplish that goal?
And I will say this, and I will point to myself: I feel bad that, when I go to Iraq to visit the troops, someone is guarding me with that device. Doggone, if you can do it for me, you ought to be doing it for every kid that you send over there.
Page 49 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I am told that some of these devices, because with the production rates, we have gotten down to $10,000 a copy, and I don't think we can bury a G.I. for $10,000. This is a poor selection of priorities if we don't make this a priority, and I know all of you are working on it, but it is one thing to work on it; it is another thing to finish the goal. And this is something we absolutely have to finish.
And I do understand, before you even tell me, that once we do that, they are going to change tactics. Fine, let's make them change tactics, because what they are doing is working way too often and way too easy.
General BLOUNT. Yes, sir, I agree, and it is a priority and we will get back with you on the date.
Mr. TAYLOR. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman.
The gentleman from New Jersey, Mr. Saxton.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
And Mr. Secretary, and gentlemen, thank you for being here.
This is a really important question. I am going to get away from the armor for just a minute, but the armor issue is, I think, symptomatic of what we think may be a broader set of issues on how we are able to meet threats, meet problems that arise or come up from time to time.
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You know, every time we have ever gone into a conflict there are things that we know that we are going to face in the conflict. Today, it seems to me that there are increasing instances where we don't know what we are going to face. In other words, we don't know what we don't know going into the conflict.
And I would make the point here that, today, in facing this asymmetric type of foe, or asymmetric type of threat, that we are now in a position where we don't know what we are going to face tomorrow, and therefore, we have to have a system that responds to the threats that arise more quickly than we did, for example, in World War II. I think we had a pretty good idea of who the enemy was, what the terrain was going to be like where we were going to fight, what their weapons were, what their tactics were, how many of them there were and who sponsored them, what countries they were.
All of those things have changed, and it seems to me that our acquisition system that developed during those years, it seems like it has to change to be able to react to changing threats more rapidly, because, as Mr. Taylor just pointed out, we solve one problem; they adapt. Then we have to adapt, and if we can't adapt as fast as they adapt, we have a problem.
And so, when Chairman Hunter and I were in Iraq and first experience, first hand, first viewed this armor problem, it seemed like a fairly simple thing, as the Chairman has pointed out, and I won't go into that again; he has done an adequate job of it. It seemed like a fairly simple problem to solve.
In fact, as we have all said here, soldiers on the ground were solving the problem or working at solving the problem. In fact, we met a soldier in the hospital near Ramstein on the way back and he had gotten shrapnel in his lower leg and in his shoulder. And we both stood there and said, ''We are really sorry you got hurt.'' He said, ''Don't be sorry for me; if I hadn't hung that door on the side of my humvee the day before, I would be dead.''
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So, Mr. Secretary, what is it about our system that we need to change so that we can adapt to an enemy who is very adaptable in fighting without rules, fighting in different ways than we have ever fought before, and fighting in ways tomorrow that we can't anticipate today? How can we change? What needs to be changed about our system to permit us to adapt more quickly?
Mr. WYNNE. One of the things we have done is we have put a lot more scientific support forward. This has actually become an R&D fight, in the sense laboratory versus laboratory, spy versus spy, if you will.
But I think Mr. Taylor makes an outstanding point that it doesn't matter. We need to make them change tactics. We need to drive them into a higher dollar, if you will, equivalence, because we are, right now, on the wrong side of the economic war, frankly.
That having been said, I will tell you one thing that we could think about, with all due respect for oversightand I think oversight is a smart thing to dopart of the thing that happened to us on the door was there was a determination it might be a new start. A new start requires notification.
You all react fabulously well, but the new start notification requires a package to be put together, reviewed, tabled up and pushed forward. I think if we could overcome some of thoseand a lot of them are practice that has developed over the course of 25 or 30 years.
Page 52 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I would tell you right now that we have some reprogramming for Marine Corps humvee protection that is been in the Congress for a while. We are trying very hard to figure out how to get that done in spite of it. I think they have done a masterful job with Albany in the operation, but we can still use that transfer.
People talk about where the money is coming from
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Secretary, every time you put a reprogramming on my desk, I sign it. Now, where is this reprogramming that is not getting signed?
Mr. WYNNE. I believe it is in the opposing committee, sir, but it takes four.
The CHAIRMAN. Okay. But let me just bring you back to Mr. Saxton's question because you are not addressing it.
There were 78 pieces of steel at ISG. All they had to do was be cut with a plasma cutter or anything else and have the holes cut, punched out, a handful of bolts attached to each batch of steel, each little batch of plates, and have them put on a plane and shipped over.
Mr. WYNNE. Right.
The CHAIRMAN. Three months later, they are still sitting on a loading dock at ISG. That is not because of a reprogramming.
Page 53 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. WYNNE. No, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. It is not because of a contractual problem. It is because you have a case of the slows. And when I say that, I don't mean you personally, but I mean this system. The system can't cut a few pieces of steel and move it, and you have the head of TRANSCOM saying, ''I am ready; I will personally pick that steel up and ship it over,'' and three months later it still sits at the loading dock.
That is not a problem with congressional check-offs.
Mr. WYNNE. No, sir, I am only pointing to the build-up that occurs prior to that, as you are asking about time lines, and I think that Congressman Saxton was also. And I am actually trying not to have upset our practice that has been I think worthwhile for all of us to go through, and I am actually seeking ways to speed it up, perhaps make it even more informal than it currently is, to make sure that that is not an issue and we can respond as the TRANSCOM commander wants to do.
But I would say, sir, that this is a laboratory fight.
The CHAIRMAN. Well, no, wait a minute. Mr. Wynne, cutting a few pieces of steel is not a war between laboratories. That is simply a war between bureaucracies. That is simply a question of getting it done. That has nothing to do with the government.
That high-hard steel has been tested for 10 years. It is the same stuff. In fact, it is the Stryker steel. So there was no laboratory involved here.
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And let me say another thing. When we talked with General Odierno at 4th Infantry Division, he gave the staff a list of requirements that he sent up the line.
Now, the impression I got is that he sent it up a while back, and so my instincts are that we don't have a quick system where we react to what the bad guys do in the field quickly that allows for a fast turnaround, where a commander in country has what he needs quickly.
What do you think about having a system where we have what we call the five day or explain rule? And that is, when a combatant commander (CINC) sends a request for something, we do it in five days or else we have a darned good explanation of why it is not possible. What do you think?
If it is sent up through a CINC, General Blount?
General BLOUNT. Sir, if I could show you, what we are trying to do is cut out some of the time that we do hear from the commanders. And so, what we have set up now is, as the chain of command submits their request through the formal channels, we also get in a bootleg copy sent directly into our ops center. That is open seven days a week, 24 hours a day, and so we are getting an electronic copy now that comes directly in.
So we can go ahead and start doing the assessments and work on the quick turnaround if it is available, and sometimes it is 24 hours that we have been able to turn these around. And we have processed over 830 urgent needs statements in the last couple of years. Some of them, like I said, are turned in 24 hours.
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One of the things we do is we make an assessment, ''Okay, if it is good for you, does everybody need it?'' And so, if there is one commander asking for it, you know, ''He needs 10; well, maybe all the commanders need it.''
So we work on filling that requirement, but also go back and ask the theater, you know, ''Do the rest of the units need this?''
So there is a lot of action that happens in this process here as we are waiting for the formal requirement to come through. So we go ahead and start the work on it, and if it is an easy fix, we go ahead and pull it. And like I said, we have created two or three agencies working out of here to do the quick fixes as they come up, and I know you are familiar with the IED task force. We have the rapid fielding initiative teams and the rapid equipping force.
And with the IED, all three of these teams now have people on ground in both theaters, Afghanistan and Iraq. They are out with the units. They are picking up their requirements, assessing needs, giving advice, and working directly back to our acquisition process.
And they each have their own authority, and they can fill the need. If it is something that is readily available off the shelf, they can go buy it and ship it. And like I said, we have done that many, many times now.
The CHAIRMAN. Okay, if my friend would yield
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Mr. SAXTON. Do I have a choice?
The CHAIRMAN. No. [Laughter.]
Of course you do.
In the absence of having a device that jams, you need to have steel between your soldiers and that explosive device, right?
General BLOUNT. Sir, absolutely. I agree 100 percent on the steel, sir. That is one that we have not done well on.
The CHAIRMAN. Okay.
General BLOUNT. We are going to fix that.
But we are doing a lot of other actions out here, and we have two weekly reviews that we interface with the theater on a weekly basis, and we also brief our vice chief of staff on every requirement that is come out of the theater. So he gets briefed every week on every requirement that comes out of the theater, and we must brief him on the status of whether it has been approved, when it is going to be filled.
So there is a good bit of effort going into the process now, sir, and I think you are going to see a lot faster turnaround on the requirements.
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General YAKOVAC. Sir, I would like to take a shot.
You asked about, again, what have you done differently?
We do, as he said, have fully deployed people who are not there to fight, but are there to sit back and look at and think about, even without a commander knowing it, is there a solution that we can send forward?
So we have, in fact, moved away in some regards from the system that we know. We have people deployed who have a background in Web technologies that are available, to answer your question, to try to keep ahead of this idea of countering and then you come back and counter again.
And so, part of the required process, as he said, those people embedded, and they are not there to fight; they are there to think, to look at what is happening, reach back to the United States where we have people looking at technologies that we could quickly move forward.
So in answer to your specific question, we have adapted our processes to be more responsive, and it could be onesies and twosies, it could be in larger quantities, to answer your question.
Then we get to how quick can we ramp up the base to meet the requirement.
Page 58 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC So there is a part of this process that we have had in place since last summer to try to get to your concerns.
Mr. SAXTON. Let me shift gears to another threat that the chairman and I have talked at length about, and that is the threat posed by the use of mortars against our bases in Iraq.
It used to be that there was a traditional way, I suppose, in a conventional fight of using mortars. Nowadays, they pull up in their yellow pick-up truck. Maybe it is mounted in the back of a pick-up truck or maybe it is lifted off onto the ground. They fire; they put it back in the truck and away they go, and we have no way of defending them now.
I don't want to talk about the technologies; this is not the place to do it. But I have done some investigation and I have found that we are probably a couple years away from having the technology to solve that problem, and that seems like a long time because the technologies exist; they simply need to be refined and integrated.
Would you comment, in a general way, on that? And again, I am not asking you to talk about the technologies here.
General Yakovac, I know you are probably familiar with it.
General YAKOVAC. Right.
Again, you are correct about getting new technology. We have something in the tech base that we are pulling out.
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The issue, like you said, is the fleeting target of opportunity of a counterbattery mortar radar system; when this thing comes up, you catch it, you can go back and then do the back-plotting. If they shoot and move, the opportunity like we would have today in longer-ranged artillery, which we have had for a long time where you have an opportunity to pick it up. Artillery batteries stay relatively set for a longer period of time.
The problem here is one of opportunity. How quick can you pick it up and get a bead back on where it is to do something? That is the technical challenge. It is the timing issue, not the fact that you can't pick them up, and that is what we have been working on.
And there is a partial solution, not completely of the targeting, to rapidly take out that piece once it shoots. That is the tough part of it.
Mr. SAXTON. Now, I am told that it is 12 months to 24 months. The solution is that far away. Why is it that far away when the technology is out there?
First of all, I should ask you if that is correct. I don't know, maybe you don't agree with that.
General YAKOVAC. To totally mature, it is, but we are not going to wait for it to mature. We are going to put systems and determine how good it is at this point and see if it does give us the capability.
Mr. SAXTON. Okay.
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General YAKOVAC. But it is the maturity of it you are talking about, to get it to a point where it would act, quickly respond and give you the targeting that you need that is the challenge.
Mr. SAXTON. General, you just brought up another good point, and we have talked about this as well, and that is that the question is, are we in the mode of looking for a 100 percent solution too often?
There was recently a book written by a guy by the name of Doug Macgregor, who you may be familiar with, and the title of the book is kind of revealing. It is called, as you know, ''Transformation Under Fire.''
General YAKOVAC. Right.
Mr. SAXTON. And then there is transformation that takes place in peacetime, not under fire.
General YAKOVAC. Right.
Mr. SAXTON. And the needs in those two situations are different.
General YAKOVAC. You are correct.
Page 61 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SAXTON. I think we would all agree with that.
General YAKOVAC. Yes.
Mr. SAXTON. And, therefore, again, I will ask this question again.
Is there something in this system relative to the 100 percent solution being sought most of the time or too much of the time, is that a problem? And is there something that we need to change to make that go away? Or is there something you can change to make that problem go away?
General YAKOVAC. I think we have.
You are correct in the fact that our system is set up to get a 100 percent solution based on a requirement that is written to get there. What has transpired in the last year or more has been this recognition of what I call good enough. And what can we do to get good enough over there when we find something that will work?
Once you find it, and let's say it is in the tech base and there is no production base, then we have to have some ability quickly to then ramp it up and accept that it is good enough.
We also want to make sureand that is the short step that we have truncatedthat when we say it is good enough, we know exactly what that means. Is it a 70 percent solution or is it a 60 percent solution?
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And also, then, what can we tell the soldier who is using it so they don't get a false sense of security that it is everything that they think it is? So that is a little bit of testing we put into the process.
So good enough, yes. Test it and clarify what the limits of it is at that time. Buy whatever we can in terms of limited quantity to get the product over there. And then continue to assess it and grow it to meet the 100 percent requirement.
But our system is geared, as you said, toward the longer-term 100 percent solutions. From my perspective, one of the things that we have done with the Rapid Equipping Force (REF) is try to get that process to go faster.
One thing that I have thought about is, in 1998 or 1999, the Army asked for a war-fighting rapid aquisition program, called WRAP. The problem was that we let it become too bureaucratic and it died.
We had $100 million initially to try to do something quickly, and it was in the budget. We fell off of that as we made it be part of the 100 percent solution. I believe it is time to re-energize that type of funding line that says, ''Here are funds to go do what you just said,'' and would not be with a trust, but that is what we are going to do with it, and then they would pour it back, how we used it to get good enough in the process.
So I think there is something we would like to work.
Page 63 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SAXTON. Let me back up to another question that I should have asked earlier.
The Chairman described the situation where he conferred with the Secretary of the Army about Stryker armor, and the Secretary agreed that it should be cut and shipped, and half would go to the Marine Corps and half would go to the Army. And it went out to get cut at the plant and they didn't do it. How can that happen?
General YAKOVAC. I am embarrassed that I can't answer that question. I don't know how it happened. I am unprepared to answer your question, but I will get back to you.
Mr. SAXTON. And if it is a systemic problem, we need to know about it.
General YAKOVAC. The way it was described to me, it is our systemic problem and we can fix it.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentlemen.
And I want to ask our professional staff member, Mr. Simmons, who has been wedded to this project here, to ask a few questions. He has a couple of issues here.
Page 64 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SIMMONS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
General Yakovac, as you are aware, I have been closely involved with the add-on armor program.
One thing that concerns the committee: On or about March 11th, the Army received from the theater emerging requirements for a Special Operations Command, the United States Marine Corps and CJTF7. The emerging requirement was for 856 additional add-on armor humvee kits, 236 truck kits, which included FMTVs, and then 800 gun truck kits.
The problem here, specifically with humvee kits, is that I would like to ask is, since TACOM has done a really outstanding job at gearing up their arsenals and rapidly producing these kits, they are going to complete by April 30th, and yet there are more humvee requirements, and much like the SAPI plates, there will be continuing emerging requirements from the theater, and yet, on April 30th, production will cease.
There is no material requisition in the pipeline for the steel mills to continue to make armor plates. Therefore, on April 30th, seven Army arsenals will stand down with a break in production when we already know there are emerging requirements coming from the theater.
So, you know, the question is, where are those requirements since we know they have already been sent up by the combatant commanders? Where is the funding for that going to come? And are we going to do something to prevent a break in production?
Page 65 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General YAKOVAC. I will answer the latter that says when we get the requirementand I have to go back, because I haven't seen that requirement. And we will do what it takes not to do a break in production.
The requirement, as you well knowand I appreciate all you have done to work with usis the number of kits that have been identified: 8,400 plus up-armored humvees and interceptor body armor (IBA).
Now, I will take them in reverse. IBA, we will provide 840,000 of that, so that is the operation, or we determined that is what we are going to do. That is going to take us through 2006, at the rate we have, 45,000 a month, to get to there, and we know that.
So we are moving out in that to provide that to the operational force that we have. The requirement to meet, as you said, is 840,000.
We will continue to move through to 220 a month on up-armored humvees, meet the requirement that we have today, but continue to produce at a higher rate to go beyond the requirement.
We also, in the 2005 budget, have amended the quantities of basic humvees, and we are going to buy what we call now 1097 pluses. We are going to beef up the chassis, beef up the components, and so we can, in fact, easily add more armor to those kits. And so, we don't intend to stop those two.
When the requirement comes in, it will go to the resourcing board. The board will get the resources, and we will continue whatever we need to do to meet whatever that requirement that is emerging is.
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Mr. SIMMONS. Okay.
The reason I ask is because that requirement arrived in the Pentagon on March 11th, so it is already 30 days old. And so my analogy to the IBAs was the fact that, as we got the original requirements from the theater, we knew they would grow.
General YAKOVAC. Right.
Mr. SIMMONS. And again, with the added armor, I think we knew that those requirements too would grow, and yet, we are going to face a break in production now.
As a second and final question, one of the things that also concerns us is the priority of force protection. In the President's budget request this year, the funding to continue the M1114 up-armored humvee at the maximum rate of 450 vehicles per month, along with the add-on armor kits for fiscal year 2005 for trucks and humvees was submitted to the House Armed Services Committee as an unfunded Army requirement.
And the question that is obvious that while we are in a state of combat, how could force protection be an unfunded Army requirement and not in the President's original budget submission?
General YAKOVAC. As you stated, we are executing the missions that have been given us, and the requirements have continued to escalate. We have stated that, in order to meet those additional requirements, it requires supplemental funding, and for us to be the Army that people want us to be now and into the future, that is what we need.
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And so, when the President's budget was submitted, and we worked that out in the summer of 2003, the requirements that we submitted were the requirements that we had at that time. But since then, as you stated, the intensity of the conflict has changed and we are trying to meet all of those requirements, not only current, but future as well, and trying to be, as you said, forward thinking in doing that.
The fact of the matter is that additional resources are required for us to do all of the missions that the Army has been told they need to do. I don't know any other way to state it.
Mr. SIMMONS. Thank you, General.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. Okay, thanks, Mr. Simmons.
General Catto, you had a comment here.
General CATTO. Mr. Chairman, you asked us before what you could do to help us with the acquisition process.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes.
General CATTO. And one thing that you could do that I would like to discuss for a second is, last year, we used 100 percent of our below threshold reprogramming (BTR) in my command. This year, we have again used 100 percent of our below threshold reprogramming. And with your help and others, we are looking at the above threshold reprogramming, and that is good.
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But what we have essentially done in this case is we have eaten a lot of our seed corn. And one of the things you could do, when you look at supplementals, is give me that money back in the same color of money that I used for the BTRs.
In other words, when I use R&D and procurement monies for these issues, I need to get R&D money back and procurement money back in the supplemental so I can continue with programs in the out years. If you could help us with that, that would be very helpful.
The CHAIRMAN. So you basically want to restore the same accounts that the money was taken out of?
General CATTO. Correct.
The CHAIRMAN. Certainly. We can certainly work on that. I think that is a great suggestion.
And also, I think the suggestion the secretary made about giving more authority for reprogramming that he recommended this morning is an excellent suggestion, and we will work on that.
We want to be in a position, when you need something, I would say to the secretary, ''No new reprogramming request for this war gets cold on my desk.'' So we sign off immediately and move.
Page 69 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I was thinking, if you use these programs, and General Blount, you have gone over this fast field thing, but I know that when I was up, when we were with General Odierno in the 4th Infantry Division there and we had one of his troopers there; I believe it was with a nightsight that he had purchased himself. General Odierno gave us his list that he would sent up the line requesting a number of items.
The impression I had was that that wasn't a list that had been quickly responded to, but again, I think that is a function of the system. But is it your experience that in theater in Iraq you got things quickly when you needed them?
General BLOUNT. Yes, sir.
And I am a little familiar with Ray's requirement and it was a prioritization issue at that point, as the rapid fielding initiative was under way, and that covered the nightsights and the equipment.
And since 4th I.D. was nearing the end of their rotation, the Chief made the decision, let's field to the National Guard units first that are getting ready to go over, because they were very short resources, and so the prioritization was, ''Let's field them to the National Guard unit that is getting ready to go over for 12 months, give them a chance to work with this equipment that they are not used to having, and take it through their train-up.'' And so, the production was sped up but was still not enough to be able to field to 4th I.D. before they came home.
The CHAIRMAN. Okay.
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General BLOUNT. But everyone going over since then, sort of, has had the full issue and, you know, has the nightsights, has all the equipment that they are supposed to have now.
The CHAIRMAN. Okay, good. To your knowledge General Odierno received the request that he gave to us at our request when we were up there with him, what was it, in February? To your knowledge, he got that? His request was fulfilled?
General BLOUNT. No, sir, the request was not fulfilled. We acknowledged the request. We had the request, but the prioritization was to go to units that were just coming into theater; 4th I.D. was getting ready to come home and so, ''Let's give it to the units that are getting ready to deploy and that are deploying for OIF II.''
The CHAIRMAN. Well, you see, that goes to the question that Mr. Simmons just asked, which I think is a valid question, and that is at a time when you are in a war-fight and you have these IEDs blowing up like 60 and we are taking fairly substantial casualties, why would force protection, such as up-armor, ever be an unfunded requirement? Because you would think before that would be an unfunded requirement, you would pull down every piece of Army military construction (MILCON) that was going on over here, right?
That new building on Base A would follow and would be reprogrammed into war-fighting systems. But we have compartmentalized these systems, where they apparently compete against themselves in category, and that ends up giving you a very illogical answer. Wouldn't you agree?
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In other words, we weren't threadbare on the Army request, and yet you have armor, which there can be, in my estimation, nothing more urgent in theater when you have people that are being hurt by these IEDs, and we have programs back here in the United States that are 10-year programs. We have military construction programs for things like gymnasiums, and yet that money continues to flow into those programs, which are peripheral to the war-fight, and it doesn't go to the fight.
That seems, to me, to be a major defect in this system. Would you agree with that?
General BLOUNT. Yes, sir.
For the items I was addressing, the rapid fielding initiative, the funding had been given. I mean, the funding was there. We were fielding 100,000 soldiers' worth of equipment there in about a four-month period.
The CHAIRMAN. Okay, but I am talking about the armor; an unfunded request for the Army that is almost $1 billion, and it is listed as an unfunded request. And yet, obviously, we have lots of other things we spend money on which, while they are important, such as military construction back home, they can't be as important as saving lives in the theater.
Mr. Wynne, do you have any comments you want to make?
Page 72 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. WYNNE. We are reprioritizing every day, because when we send over reprogrammings, not only the ups, it is also the downs, to make sure that we can balance our priorities.
And I know that the secretary spoke to this this morning and responded, as you know, very well.
I would like to finish on a compliment to the Defense Acquisition Challenge Program, frankly, because there are people out there that have taken this up, as you promoted to us, to provide us medical equipment and blood substitutes that coagulates very fast.
I know these programs aren't of the same character as you were characterizing, but they, in fact, are, I would say, opportunities for the American civil society to participate in this engagement and, sir, they have.
And it is thanks to you that they have that opportunity.
The CHAIRMAN. Well, thanks, but I will tell you, Mr. Wynne, I think the first test of us, as a system, is going to be that it is now 7:15, and what I would like to do is hold this hearing again in about four weeks and see what happened to that armor that is sitting on that dock at ISG.
Incidentally, I want to thank the folks at ISG, and you have complimented the civilian production sector, and we called them up, they ramped up production just on the basis of a phone call, and then they got their people out, and they worked this thing 24/7.
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They have done a great job, as have your production people in the armories and in the military government locations, so they should be commended.
But why don't we have this hearing again in about four weeks and see what we have done to come up with making this thing work, and let's see where that steel is? What do you say?
Mr. WYNNE. Well, sir, I will be following up with you before that.
The CHAIRMAN. Okay, well, there are 78 pieces of it. It is 8 feet by 20 feet, and they are sitting on the dock at ISG right now, and we have people that can cut it and punch holes in it within 48 hours, probably max, if we use domestic companies. And we have General Handy who is chomping at the bit to fly it over.
So why don't we see if we can't get that over, and we will have a hearing in a couple of weeks here and see what happened to it? Sound good?
Mr. WYNNE. Yes, sir.
Thank you, again, for having this hearing, and I appreciate the sense of urgency that you bring.
The CHAIRMAN. Okay. Well, thank you very much, gentlemen, and pardon us for the late hours here. That is part of the territory. When we only work two days a week, we have to have long hours.
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But thanks for being with us and let's work to make this thing better. And we will try to help you as much as we can with the changes you have recommended.
[Whereupon, at 7:19 p.m., the committee was adjourned.]