SPEAKERS CONTENTS INSERTS
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[H.A.S.C. No. 1075]
NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT
FOR FISCAL YEAR 2002H.R. 2586
OVERSIGHT OF PREVIOUSLY AUTHORIZED PROGRAMS
COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED SEVENTH CONGRESS
Page 2 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCMILITARY READINESS SUBCOMMITTEE HEARINGS
TITLE IIIOPERATION AND MAINTENANCE
MAY 22, 2001
For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office
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MILITARY READINESS SUBCOMMITTEE
CURT WELDON, Pennsylvania, Chairman
ROSCOE G. BARTLETT, Maryland
SAXBY CHAMBLISS, Georgia
WALTER B. JONES, North Carolina
BOB RILEY, Alabama
DUNCAN HUNTER, California
JAMES V. HANSEN, Utah
Page 3 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCHOWARD P. ''BUCK'' McKEON, California
J.C. WATTS, Jr., Oklahoma
VAN HILLEARY, Tennessee
JIM GIBBONS, Nevada
SOLOMON P. ORTIZ, Texas
LANE EVANS, Illinois
ROBERT A. UNDERWOOD, Guam
JAMES H. MALONEY, Connecticut
MIKE McINTYRE, North Carolina
CIRO D. RODRIGUEZ, Texas
ROBERT A. BRADY, Pennsylvania
BARON P. HILL, Indiana
SUSAN A. DAVIS, California
Peter M. Steffes, Professional Staff Member
Joseph F. Boessen, Professional Staff Member
Mary Ellen Fraser, Professional Staff Member
Diane W. Bowman, Staff Assistant
C O N T E N T S
CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF HEARINGS
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Tuesday, May 22, 2001, Fiscal Year 2002 National Defense Authorization ActConstraints and Challenges Facing Military Test and Training Ranges
Tuesday, May 22, 2001
TUESDAY, MAY 22, 2001
FISCAL YEAR 2002 NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACTCONSTRAINTS AND CHALLENGES FACING MILITARY TEST AND TRAINING RANGES
STATEMENTS PRESENTED BY MEMBERS OF CONGRESS
Ortiz, Hon. Solomon P., a Representative from Texas, Ranking Member, Military Readiness Subcommittee
Weldon, Hon. Curt, a Representative from Pennsylvania, Chairman, Military Readiness Subcommittee
Amerault, Vice Adm. James F., Deputy Chief of Naval Operations, Fleet Readiness and Logistics, U.S. Navy
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Angello, Joseph J., Jr., Acting Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Readiness, U.S. Department of Defense
Buchanan, Maj. Gen. Walter E., III, Director of Operations and Training, Deputy Chief of Staff, Operations, Department of the Air Force, Accompanied by Fred Pease, Senior Executive Service
Hanlon, Maj. Gen. Edward, Jr., Commanding General, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, U.S. Marine Corps
Van Antwerp, Maj. Gen. Robert L., Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management, Headquarters, Department of the Army
[The Prepared Statements submitted can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Amerault, Vice Adm. James F.
Angello, Joseph J., Jr.
Buchanan, Maj. Gen. Walter E., III
Page 6 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCGibbons, Jim, a Representative from Nevada
Hanlon, Maj. Gen. Edward, Jr.
Northard, Scott, Project Manager, Private Fuel Storage, LLC
Van Antwerp, Maj. Gen. Robert L.
DOCUMENTS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
[There were no Documents submitted for the Record.]
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
[The Questions and Answers are pending.]
FISCAL YEAR 2002 NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACTCONSTRAINTS AND CHALLENGES FACING MILITARY TEST AND TRAINING RANGES
House of Representatives,
Committee on Armed Services,
Military Readiness Subcommittee,
Washington, DC, Tuesday, May 22, 2001.
The subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 2:05 p.m., in room 2212, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Curt Weldon (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.
Page 7 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCOPENING STATEMENT OF HON. CURT WELDON, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM PENNSYLVANIA, CHAIRMAN, MILITARY READINESS SUBCOMMITTEE
Mr. WELDON. The subcommittee will come to order.
Good morninggood afternoon, I should say. I thank everyone for joining us today. We just returned from an outstanding field hearing in Philadelphia yesterday. We had ten Members of Congress, includingwe allowed actually one from the other body to sit in with us. I think it was to try to give them some experience about how to run hearings.
But it was a great hearing where the Marines had a chance, along with Special Ops and the Navy, to tell the story of the V22 and also to talk about general readiness issues; and we reinforced the need for the Administration to come out with an emergency supplemental in the quickest possible time frame.
I did a one-hour special order last night where I again reaffirmed that; and we have got our continuous Members on both sides of the aisle, as my good friend and colleague did with me last night, and my other friend and colleague has done with me before, to raise this issue, because overriding everything we do, the capabilities of our troops are at risk; and I think July 1st is the drop-dead date.
We have to have something done by then, so I didn'tthat wasn't the primary purpose yesterday, but we got into that issue; and it was a great hearing.
Page 8 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I want to thank my colleague and ranking member for coming up with me, my other colleague for joining us. We, in fact, had eight other members, a great showing from the committee.
The topic of today's hearing demonstrates the wide and varied range of issues facing the Readiness Subcommittee. This is our third hearing in one week.
This is the first hearing this committee has had on encroachment. It is a significant issue and deserves considerable attention and it will get it this year and next.
The nature of the military is to train and then train again. Before our soldiers and sailors are put in the battle or placed in harm's way in any capacity, our soldiers and sailors must know what to do. They must be trained; their lives and our country are depending on them. But training can be costly, noisy and dirty, and sometimes perhaps perceived by others as politically incorrect, unfortunately.
And like so many other things, one may support the need for training but not in my backyard. The Department of Defense's (DOD's) deed and desire to be a good neighbor, as well as an environmental steward, can collide with the need to train. The urbanization of neighborhoods surrounding military bases, the movement of endangered species on the military facilities, and the competing interests for the radio frequency spectrum all fall under the broad category referred to as encroachment. This hearing will focus on encroachment in the environmental arena and, in this context, the effect encroachment has on our training and readiness levels.
There is a cost to compliance, and that cost is more than financial. The military services typically perform work-arounds. For example, if it can't be done one way, then another way will be found. A work-around, however, may include reducing the number of available training days or modifying tactics, attitudes and air speeds, for example, which reduces training realism. Realistic tests in training are critical to ensuring that our troops can fighttrain as they fight.
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So are these work-arounds, however, cheating the troops out of vital training? If so, how is the Department measuring this impact on training?
Encroachment is often gradual and can go unnoticed. Its cumulative impact can, however, erode readiness, and that is why we are having the hearing today.
And let me say at the outset, I am what I call a ''green Republican.'' I pride myself on my environmental record of supporting key issues involving clear air, clean water, endangered species and other legislation, but I am not going to sit on this committee as the Readiness chair and allow the Green Movement in this country to determine the readiness of our troops. That is unacceptable. And I am putting the environmental community on notice: We will pursue this issue aggressively this year, and I would ask the environmental movement to work with us, as opposed to against us. Our primary need is to have a well-trained cadre of military men and women.
Let me summarize for you an example from the Marine Corps. In March and April of this year, the Marines conducted a large-scale amphibious exercise at Camp Pendleton. However, one landing team could not land on the beach because it would disturb a riparian habitat that supports several endangered species. The movement between the beach and the highway was limited to two single-lane roads due to the presence of an archaeological site.
On a second beach, a light-armored reconnaissance company was degraded from a tactical movement to an administrative movement due to restrictions imposed for endangered species.
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A tactical mission across a third beach was cancelled again because of endangered species concerns, as well as the inability to penetrate the highway and noise concerns from the adjacent community. The support unit could not exercise the ability to move supplies from the beach by helicopter because of airspace restrictions along the highway.
Finally, lead infantry units ashore and moving inward could not establish gun positions in the beach and provide fire support to advancing infantry because of airspace constraints.
The exercise was at best fragmented and at worst ineffective. That has got to change, folks. And we are not saying we have to disrupt the environment or provide people dirty air or dirty water or harm endangered species, but we have got to apply common sense.
Before turning to our witnesses, Mr. Ortiz, do you have anything you would like to add, my good friend?
STATEMENT OF HON. SOLOMON P. ORTIZ, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM TEXAS, RANKING MEMBER, MILITARY READINESS SUBCOMMITTEE
Mr. ORTIZ. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I join you in welcoming our witnesses to this readiness hearing today, and I look forward to the opportunity to hear their views on an issue that has become a major concern of the Congress and the Department of Defense.
Page 11 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Today we are here to gather more information about how the Department is coping with the significant challenges presented by the encroachment. I am particularly concerned because of the potential impact of court decisions, regulatory requirements and public pressure on the ability of our military forces to perform tests and to train in a realistic environment.
Encroachment is not necessarily focused on regional matters. California, Texas, Washington State, Louisiana, Florida, Virginia, Illinois, North Carolina, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Kentucky, Massachusetts and Utah are among the states where encroachment-related issues have surfaced.
Neither is it an issue that is popular only in the continental United States. Germany, Japan, Guam, Hawaii, South Korea and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico are locations where United States military training activities are currently being challenged.
Broadly speaking, encroachment is a complex and legalistic matter. It is also an issue that is laden with emotions. Even among members of the House Armed Services Committee, I have heard some of our colleagues express strong support for an anti-encroachment legislative proposal, so as long as the proposal does not affect a district. It is difficult to perceive a military training activity that does not have impact in someone's district.
There is no doubt that equipment operational tests must be subjected and testedequipmentto conditions that that equipment must operate in. If we don't test them before we send them to the troops, how do we know it works? And this is this is why this is a very, very dear matter.
Page 12 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Now, you know, sometimes the equipment is placed in the units only to find out that it does not perform as intended. Neither can we even think of sending our forces into harm's way without being properly trained. Testing and training realism are essential contributors to readiness.
At the same time, we know that we do not expect the military to be cavalier about or abrogate their responsibilities as good neighbors and good stewards of the environment.
Mr. Chairman, I believe that there will always be stresses and tensions between military training activity and those citizens who are focused on protection of the environment and/or perceive a need to protect the citizenry from air, water and noise pollution. I see this as a possible product of the success of the military in securing the peace and development that comes with progress.
I am not concerned that we have reached an impasse between the citizenry of this great Nation and the military that is charged to protect it. I am encouraged by the comprehensive approach being taken by the Department and the willingness of the services to engage in productive discussions with the appropriate governmental and nongovernmental agencies. This type of cooperating is essential in developing mitigation measures that will ensure that training realism is not sacrificed, while the services are seen as responsible stewards of our natural resources and good neighbors to community residents residing near military installations.
I thank the witnesses for their contribution to this effort, Mr. Chairman, and I think that we need to work together too, so we can find a balance, because as I said before, if we don't have a strong readiness, if we don't have a strong defense, nothing else matters.
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I thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. WELDON. I thank my good friend and colleague and ranking member, and I agree with him. And again, I will use the words common sense. That is what we have to apply in this process, common sense.
We are fortunate to have with us today a witness from each of the military services. Today we will hear from Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Readiness, Joe Angellowe thank you for being here; Major General Ed Hanlon from the Marine Corps, Commander of Camp Pendleton; Major General Robert Van Antwerp from the Army, Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management; Vice Admiral James Amerault of the United States Navy, Assistant Chief of Staff for Fleet Readiness and Logistics; and Major General Walter Buchanan, III, United States Air Force, Director of Operations and Training.
Gentlemen, we thank you all for being here. Your statements will be entered into the record, without objection, and we invite you to make whatever statement you would like to make before we turn to questioning from the Members. Thank you.
Mr. Angello, the floor is yours.
STATEMENT OF JOSEPH J. ANGELLO, JR., ACTING DEPUTY UNDER SECRETARY OF DEFENSE FOR READINESS, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
Page 14 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. ANGELLO. Well, thank you, Mr. Chairman. I would like to, and I appreciate the opportunity, to speak to you today on this critical readiness issue. As you had suggested, I am Joseph Angello. I am the Acting Deputy Under Secretary of Defense.
Mr. WELDON. I apologize for the mispronunciation.
Mr. ANGELLO. That's fine, sir.
In this position, I am responsible for advising the secretary on all issues related to the readiness of our military forces. Included in this responsibility is the oversight of military training.
As this committee well knows and as you just suggested, realistic training makes a ready unit. When our training is constrained, readiness will decline. That is why range encroachment is such a serious issue for the Department of Defense.
Readiness is our highest priority and responsibility. While it is our men and women in uniform who must be ready to defend us, it is our Nation's military ranges and training areas that make this readiness possible. The land, sea, air and space we use to test our weapons systems and train our personnel are irreplaceable national assets.
The ability to train as we would fight provides the critical edge for our armed forces when called to battle. We learned this lesson again, and just how vital it is, in Operation Allied Force, Kosovo. Lessons from that operation showed that air crews without live ordnance performed less effectively and missed more targets early in the conflict.
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I am here today to testify that the cumulative effects of range encroachment strain our access to ranges and our ability to prepare forces realistically for combat. We face many challenges to the military use of land, air and sea space. Rapid urban growth, increasing environmental constraints, radio spectrum and airspace competition are all examples of what we call encroachment. Until now, dealing with these encroachment issues has fallen largely to our range or installation commanders. While their efforts have been successful, there is no doubt our ability to test and train realistically have degraded over time. We must ensure that this trend does not continue.
I would like to emphasize that our managers have excellent track records as environmental stewards and good neighbors, to the point that many of our ranges have become islands of biodiversity in otherwise increasingly developed landscapes. DOD remains fully committed to sound and proactive stewardship of the land and other resources in our care. However, military readiness must remain our primary focus.
The ranges need the flexibility, the tools and the funding to effectively test and train our forces, manage our natural resources and coexist with our neighbors. We call this concept sustainable ranges. We are working hard to be sure that our ranges are indeed sustainable and meet your future test and training requirements.
Last year, the services articulated their encroachment concerns to the Senior Readiness Oversight Council (SROC), the forum that is responsible for DOD readiness oversight. The council directed a comprehensive analysis and action plans to address each of the following concerns: Endangered species, ordnance, frequency encroachment, the maritime sustainability, airspace restrictions, air quality, airborne noise and urban growth. The action plans provided a preliminary road map for our efforts in each encroachment effort.
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For example, one action was to designate the Navy as the executive agent for maritime sustainability with a charter to work with the other services and Federal regulators to resolve constraints on testing and training at sea. DOD-wide coordinated actions are being taken in each of the other areas as well.
I brought a viz-aid here. These are our action plans. They are comprehensive, and they arewe shall be working towards them. They set the road map for what we need to do to address these issues and to develop sustainable ranges.
We are making strides towards a more comprehensive approach towards sustainability. You will hear from our service representatives here, and they are the real experts on the specific constraints affecting the testing and training ranges.
The Department of Defense recognizes the need for sustainable ranges as vital to sustaining our military living. I am here today to reinforce our determination to work with Congress, the Federal agencies across all areas, to make sustainability of DOD ranges a reality.
Thank you again, Mr. Chairman, and the members of the committee, for the opportunity to air these important readiness issues.
Mr. WELDON. Thank you for your statement.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Angello can be found in the Appendix.]
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Mr. WELDON. General Hanlon.
STATEMENT OF MAJ. GEN. EDWARD HANLON, JR., COMMANDING GENERAL, MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, U.S. MARINE CORPS
General HANLON. Thank you, sir. Can you hear me all right, sir?
Mr. WELDON. I can hear you fine.
General HANLON. Chairman Weldon, Congressman Ortiz and distinguished Members, I amfirst of all, I am delighted to be here today, and I thank you very much for the invitation.
I am privileged to command Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, which, as I almost said, Congressman Jones, is the Nation's premier amphibious training base; but since you are here from Camp Lejeune, I will say one of two premier amphibious training bases.
I have been there for 33 months, and I have been increasingly concerned over the growing strangulation of encroachment on our ability to train Marines at Camp Pendleton. Our Commandant has identified encroachment as a serious threat to our mission readiness.
Our bases are our cornerstones of readiness. It is there that we have our gunnery ranges and our maneuver ranges, our facilities, our airspace. The Corps, the Marine Corps is built around the concept of the Marine Air Ground Task Force and involves the use of combined arms to enhance our combat effectiveness in close cooperation with our sister service, the Navy.
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We train at sea, from the sea, in the air, on the ground; and the reasonable unencumbered access to those mediums is crucial to our ability to train our Marines. We train Marines to be prepared to fight and operate in the full spectrum of military operations, from high intensity combat, which we saw in Desert Storm, to humanitarian operations, which have become so commonplace today.
In fact, to give you an example of the magnitude of training we do at Pendleton, we train about 360 days a year, about 45,000 training events annually, which equates to about 130 a day, and that is everything from a four-man fire team going on a patrol all the way up to regimental or brigade-size amphibious landings.
Training is the key to success in battle. It must be dynamic, it must be realistic, it must be challenging, and it must involve the use of live ammunition on occasion. The challenge we face today is retaining our unencumbered access to our lands to continue this essential training.
We refer to this cumulative effect as encroachment, or death by a thousand cuts; and urban development is the root cause. If you can go back in your memory to 1942 when Camp Pendleton was established under the War Powers Act because World War II was imminent, there was nothing in that part of California. The base was established. But you fast forward that to the year 2001, you see Camp Pendleton is wedged right between two of the most wealthy and dynamic counties in the United States, Orange County to the north and San Diego County to the south.
With that also comes the noise ofmilitary noise concerns, loss of frequency spectrum, which was mentioned by my DOD colleague; commercial competition for special-use airspace; and the growing pressure for using our bases for nonmilitary purposes. Let me give you just a couple of quick examples.
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The difficulties which were mentioned earlier, training at the Vieques ranges; training at Camp Pendleton and Camp Lejeune, both primary amphibious training bases, as I mentioned, constrained by application of the Endangered Species Act. Noise concerns and the Endangered Species Act have precluded live firing at three-quarters of the aerial bombing range in our California desert, the Chocolate Mountain Bombing Range; and noise concerns have resulted in requests to seriously alter our air ops at Beaufort and Miramar Air Stations.
And something that we deal very much with in San Diego County is that as the City of San Diego struggles for a new airport, options run out; they start looking at places like Miramar or Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD) or Camp Pendleton or North Island where there is an alternative to build an airport, all of which in our mind are unacceptable.
There are some environmental constraints that concern us; our main concern being the application of the Endangered Species Act. The Endangered Species Act was passed in 1973 for all the right reasons. It was to protect our national heritage, the bald eagle and the grizzly bear. No argument there. But since then, this well-intentioned law has had some unintended consequences. Basically, the application of the Endangered Species Act through rules, policies and court decisions is now strangling our training flexibility.
The question I believe, Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen, is what was the Congressional intent when this law was passed, and what is the Congressional intent today, vis-a-vis our Title 10 responsibilities in the Endangered Species Act? And with that goes critical habitat, a designation which we feel is unnecessary and totally incompatible with military training.
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There are costs to encroachment, which you mentioned, Mr. Chairman. The true cost is our inability to train as we would fight. When we constrain training, we lose a vital element of realism. We lose the ability to provide authentic and genuine hands-on, no-kidding interaction between leaders and their Marines, the ability to go out and make mistakes, to learn, to do it again and again and again until you get it right; this as a cost is unacceptablethis cost is unacceptable.
The ultimate price is the risk of Marines not fully trained or educated in their training skills, which means they might have to learn these skills while in combat, which is the wrong place to learn and would mean the unnecessary loss of life.
I believe there are solutions. These are complex issues; and I will admit that which need extensive interagency coordination and community outreach, both of which we do, sir.
We are not seeking special treatment, but what we do need from the Congress is recognition that intendedrecognition that the intended purpose of our military installations is to train Marines for service in national defense. We need a combination of our mission requirements. I believe we need clarification of legislation that would impact on our training; and I believe that we need protection from threats which would restrict our ability to train at sea, on land and in the air.
Finally, after 33 months in commandand I leave onI leave early in JuneI am delighted and encouraged that the Congress has allowed me to present our case and to offer to lend a helpful hand. I believe that a solution is possible and that reasonable men and women can bring our Title 10 responsibilities and environmental stewardship together in a meaningful partnership.
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Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, for the opportunity to make this opening statement, sir.
Mr. WELDON. Thank you, General.
[The prepared statement of General Hanlon can be found in the Appendix.]
Mr. WELDON. General Van Antwerp.
STATEMENT OF MAJ. GEN. ROBERT L. VAN ANTWERP, ASSISTANT CHIEF OF STAFF FOR INSTALLATION MANAGEMENT, HEADQUARTERS, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
General VAN ANTWERP. Chairman Weldon, Congressman Ortiz, distinguished members of this committee, it is a real pleasure to be able to come and talk to you about this very important subject; and I associate myself with both of your remarks, how important readiness is in the training of our forces using live fire and maneuver, similar to the Marines. It is a must. You can't simulate it.
There is no question that societal changes and the demographics have impacted us, and it is time for new management and a new balance to be struck between the laws and regulations and how we are able to train.
Our essential training in the Army focuses on two things when you get right down to it. One is live fire and the other is maneuver. And in order towe always say we are going to fight like we train, but we have got to train like we fight, and the only way you can do that is to have ample space and be able to fire the right weapons at the right distances, and have the training land available to do that and do it effectively.
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We are committed to being responsible stewards. What we want to do is strike the right balance here. Never will we endanger the public health of the American people, we want to be on record for that; but we also feel there is a balance that can be struck here, and a lot of what has to be done is through a commitment to partner, if you will, with local communities.
We have experienced the very same thing. If we had to tell the three most important issues of encroachment, one would be urban sprawl. The other one would be threatening endangered species, and the other one would be unexploded ordnance; and we justthat last one, we don't know how big that is going to be for the future.
I think that I would like to just give one example. If you take Fort Hood, one of our great installations in Texas, we have about 200,000 training and firing range acres on Fort Hood; 128,000 of those acres we can't dig on because of the Clean Water Act, because of erosion concerns. Another 66,000 acres on that, because of endangered species, we can't use it to the full extent. And that just gives you a little picture, when you extrapolate that over other installations, where we have 93 endangered species on 150 installations, there are major concerns here.
So I just, again, thank you for the opportunity to come talk to you and answer any questions you have. And I thank you for holding this hearing; it is very important. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
[The prepared statement of General Antwerp can be found in the Appendix.]
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Mr. WELDON. Thank you, General.
My math is a little slow. What does that leave you in terms of acreage that is totally usable and free?
General VAN ANTWERP. Well, we have probably in the neighborhood of about 60,000 acres that you could use. Some of those overlap of that 128 and that 66, but about 60,000 that you have unlimited access and you can dig and use smoke andbecause there is otherthere are Clean Air Act concerns, too, with the use of smoke. So when you put all those together, it is a small piece of that 200,000 acres.
Mr. WELDON. Thank you.
STATEMENT OF VICE ADM. JAMES F. AMERAULT, DEPUTY CHIEF OF NAVAL OPERATIONS, FLEET READINESS AND LOGISTICS, U.S. NAVY
Admiral AMERAULT. Mr. Chairman, and distinguished members of the committee, thank you very much for this opportunity to speak with you today about the difficult challenges we face in maintaining the readiness of our fleet. The Navy is finding it increasingly difficult to train our sailors effectively due to overly broad legal requirements and commercial and urban encroachment of our training facilities and ranges.
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Forward-deployed naval forces, planes, ships, sailors, Marines, are on the front line that protects our Nation's economic, political and security interests around the globe. Our naval forces are expected to provide immediate response in times of crisis. Therefore, they must be credible, combat-ready forces that can sail anywhere at any time to demonstrate America's resolve and, if necessary, to prevail in combat with minimal losses.
Readiness is the foundation of that fighting capability. There is a direct link between readiness and training. Having experienced combat firsthand, I can assure you there is no substitute for live fire training to know absolutely what your reaction will be, what your shipmate's reaction will be.
Let me also stress that in a world where advanced weapons systems are available to anyone for the right price, no amount of technology, hardware, personnel or leadership can substitute for training. And that means training the way we fight. When a Marine or a soldier calls for gunfire or close air support in future combat, we cannot afford to have the ship or the aircraft crew learn on the job. There is a lesson there that is written in blood.
The foundation of military readiness is training and the building blocks of training are molded on our ranges, ranges where we train in an environment that mimics real combat as closely as possible. I think this is essential, because nothing takes the place of doing it for real. That is why full access to our ranges is vital to fleet and Marine force readiness. Use of our ranges, however, is increasingly constrained by overly broad and ambiguous regulation and expanding encroachment.
Page 25 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC These challenges confront us despite a continuing commitment to environmental stewardship. That commitment is underwritten by an investment of $900 million a year in support of Navy environmental programs.
Since 1970, however, environmental legislation and implementing legislation have expanded considerably. When these laws were adopted, they focused primarily on civilian activities. Their application in the area of military training and the potential impacts on military readiness were not fully discussed or anticipated. Now we know better. Overbroad interpretations of ambiguities in law or failure to accommodate or consider unique military activities has imposed significant burden on military training, often with very little actual benefit to the environment.
Even worse, it has provided a powerful weapon to those who oppose military activities for whatever reason. Further complicating the issue is the application of a precautionary approach to managing protected resources. This approach says that, in the absence of scientific information to the contrary, our proposed training is assumed to be harmful. The burden of legal compliance is exacerbated by the shrinking real estate available for natural resource conservation. Commercial development surround our once-isolated ranges, reducing available conservation areas outside our facility.
Our installations and ranges, on the other hand, have proven to be safe havens for our country's natural resources. Consequently, our property is becoming a refuge for endangered species. This has led to a corresponding decrease in our ability to use our own ranges for their intended purpose.
Page 26 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The same pattern of encroachment that we are seeing around our ranges is beginning to emerge around our air stations as well. In part, this is because public perception of the need for military training has changed since the end of the Cold War. For example, people no longer view noise generated by low-level flights and carrier landing practice as essential to national security, but rather as a local nuisance. Believe me, it is essential to the flight safety of that carrier pilot who is making those flights.
Although no one issue is totally responsible for impairing readiness, the cumulative effect tends to erode like slow death by a thousand cuts. The resulting impairment to readiness manifests itself in a variety of ways.
For example, encroachment impacts readiness by reducing available training days. Realism is diminished by mitigation measures taken to comply with environmental regulation. Mitigation also adds significant costs to our training.
Mitigation requirements during one recent battle group exercise, we spent $300,000 to avoid even the possibility of harassing a single sea turtle. In another, we expended $1.5 million in increased support costs to use another service's ranges for air-to-ground training and another country's naval surface for our support training.
In keeping with our can-do spirit, we have pursued several options to balance military readiness and environmental conservation. When a range was made unavailable, we sought work-arounds, changing the way we train to comply with the particular environmental regulation or encroachment. Those very work-arounds are now themselves under attack. For example, we moved some of the Atlantic Fleet's air-to-ground training to the Pine Castle Range in Florida. Some groups are now clamoring for a closure of that range.
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We also are looking at training alternatives such as computer simulators and other technologies to enhance readiness. We will use them as they prove effective. We use them now in many cases. But based on my experience, however, I can tell you that no amount of creative alternatives can ever totally replace actual maneuver and live-fire training.
Our most innovative response to environmental encroachment is our Maritime Sustainability Initiatives. It began nearly a year ago as an enterprise to address the effect of sound on marine mammals and has evolved into an initiative whose overall goal is to achieve sustainable readiness in congruence with environmental law and regulation. This initiative is based on a core pillar strategy of operating from a sound legal position, gaining knowledge superiority and employing consistent policies and procedures, and engaging and educating the public. Despite our best efforts, our ability to maintain a combat-ready fleet is still challenged.
We do not seek total exemption from existing laws. We are proud of our stewardship and our effort to protect the environment. In fact, some readiness, however, must be considered when applying environmental requirements to military-unique training activities.
To restore balance, we need your support. We request that the Congress take the steps to ensure that impacts on military readiness are considered and environmental law and regulation are written or adopted, thereby reducing the overbroad and inflexible application to military training.
We think we owe that much to your sons and daughters and those of your constituents whom we send in harm's way. Readiness is an edge; it is the edge that you want on your side. The force that maintains that edge is the one that will prevail and will prevail with the location loss, the least harm to its people and, I believe, the least harm to the environment.
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Mr. Chairman, I thank you for your strong and consistent leadership and your support, and will be standing by to take additional questions.
Mr. WELDON. Thank you, Admiral.
[The prepared statement of Admiral Amerault can be found in the Appendix.]
Mr. WELDON. General Buchanan.
STATEMENT OF MAJ. GEN. WALTER E. BUCHANAN III, DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS AND TRAINING, DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF, OPERATIONS, DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE, ACCOMPANIED BY FRED PEASE, SENIOR EXECUTIVE SERVICE
General BUCHANAN. General Weldon, Congressman Ortiz, distinguished members of the committee, thank you very, very much for this opportunity to talk to you about the valuable ranges in airspace that we have. They are so vital to maintaining the combat readiness we have within the United States Air Force.
As has been mentioned, I am General Buchanan. I am the Director of Operations and Training in the Air Force. As such, underneath one of my duties is to watch over airspace and ranges, but behind me and with me is a Mr. Fred Pease, a member of our senior executive service, who, as you know, has been very, very engaged in this particular issue as we have gone along.
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But more importantly, I would like to tell you that approximately eight months ago I gave up command of Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, where I was not only the wing commander, but I was also the installation commander and essentially the mayor of about 28,000 acres and 16 miles of very, very nice beachfront property in the panhandle of Florida.
However, the most important thing we did there, day in and day out, was train the young men and women that we have today around the world, that are flying combat missions in our F15Cs. And as you very well know, we are rapidly losing our technological edge in the air combat arena, and the only way right now that we can guarantee that we are going to be able to prevail in any kind of future conflict is with the training that our men and women get today.
We were blessed down at Tyndall because of thequite honestly, a naturalat least a treasure off the coast of our overwater ranges, where our folks were able to train in supersonic, utilizing both Total Asset Visibility (TAV) as they would in combat at the same time overland, down to 500 feet. So they were able to realistically train as we would expect to fight as we go along.
At the same time, Congressman Ortiz, you mentioned the testing of our weaponry. Our weapons systems evaluation program is based out of Tyndall. We were able to go ahead and live fire, not only live 89 heat-seeking missiles but also Radar-Aim 7 and 120s against full-scale targets. We cannot do that everyplace else. As such, I feel very, very good about the fact that we have men and women out on our front lines that are, in fact, trained.
However, Tyndall in many ways is unusual. When you go around the United States, you can find that we do, in fact, have restrictions not only on the tactics that are employed; so we arehave somewhat negative training, and that we have individuals now that are required to do run-ins at different altitudes than they would in combat. They are able to restrict their tactics more than what they normally would.
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The ranges that we have at Tyndall are important, but also the majorthe ranges we have such as the Nellis Test and Training Range, where we go from both the basics of air-to-air, one-on-one combat and how your flight would employ, but also how you would fight as a team in the Joint Force. And those are very, very important.
In addition to the range itself, I found myself having to deal as well with some of the endangered species, the encroachment issues that others have mentioned. As you might well imagine, with 16 miles of beachfront, the turtles that find themselvesthe loggerhead turtles that nest along the Florida Panhandle, found our part of the Florida beach line much more attractive than the areas that have been built up. However, we had a good working relationship with the State of Florida, and they are very proud to say that we were able to find accommodations. We are working together. We were able to maintain that. In each year, we were able to protect over a hundred nests to ensure that the survival of the 85 or 100 eggs inside, each one of those, got out to sea.
At the same time, we have gone to great measures elsewhere. On the Nellis Range, we have our targets surrounded by chain-link fences to go ahead and try to keep out the desert tortoises from getting in the target areas themselves, so we can continue to train.
On the encroachment issues from urbanization, again, I was fortunate. Tyndall was one of those places where I am surrounded on three sides by water. Not true elsewhere. You take the bases like Luke Air Force Base, where years ago in World War II, when it was initially placed, it was about 23 miles out of town.
Page 31 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Not so today. We have the entire base almost surrounded by communities that have come on by, and that is now aan area of concern, both the noise and the Clean Air Act attainment that we are having to deal with. That right now is the centerpiece for all of our F16 training in the United States Air Force with over 200 F16s launching from Luke every day, working in the Goldwater Ranges.
The bottom line is, in the Air Force, we have been able to make some accommodations. However, at the same time, we can rapidly see that if, in fact, we find ourselves having to restrict our training more, we are going to findas we begin to move into the future and we lose this technological edge, we are going to run the risk of sending our young men and women into combat without clear assurance that they are going to have the edge that they need to be able to win and then prevail in conflict.
We appreciate very, very much your attention to this matter, and we look forward to working with you in the future. And we stand by to answer any questions you may have. Thank you, sir.
[The prepared statement of General Buchanan can be found in the Appendix.]
Mr. WELDON. Thank you, General, and thank each of you for your statements and for your testimony and for your leadership on this issue.
Let me just start out by saying, as I said in my opening statement, that I take great pride in the 16 years I have been in Congress in supporting a balance when it comes to the environment. I am proud to have been a cosponsor of the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act. I am proud to represent the U.S. in two ocean forums, one based in London called the Advisory Council on Protecting the Seas; and the other, the Global Task Force on Ocean Issues and Maritime Issues.
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And I sit on the Migratory Bird Commission as the only Republican in the House that serves on that commissionmy Democrat counterpart is John Dingellwhere we basically support the work of our refuges and migratory bird flyways throughout the northeast and throughout Mexico and Canada. So I spend a great deal of time working on what I think are important issues for protecting the environment; but I can tell you as one Republican who has been there, who opposed the attempts to put detrimental riders on appropriation bills that every environmental group opposed, I am dismayed. I am dismayed, because the pendulum has swung far too much to the extreme.
As a supporter of this legislation, this wasn't my attempt. All of us want to protect endangered species and clean air and clean water and protect the oceans. In fact, if you look at what the Navy has done, no organization funded by the federal government has done more for oceanographic research than the Navy, and anyone involved with that knows that.
I helped to form, with Admiral Watkins, the Consortium for Oceanographic and Resources and Education, made up of all the oceanographic institutions in this country, from Woods Hole to Scripps to the other institutions. The primary funder of all that research is the U.S. Navy.
No one did more for oceanographic research than Admiral Gafferty, and Admiral Cohen now, to help understand the ocean ecosystem using Marine and Navy sensors as we are doing to establish a global network of understanding the environment.
We worked to prod the military to make use of classified satellite technology available to predict and know when forest fires are starting, to avoid costly and deadly forest and wildlands fires in the West and the Midwest. All of this was done with the military, yet somehow this has all been twisted around, almost as though there is a hidden agenda here. I find that offensive.
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As someone who takes great pride in my environmental record, I spent a year of my life as an environmental educator in the schools of Pennsylvania. I find it offensive, not because I am anti-environment, because I am not, but because I think we have lost, to some degree, common sense in applying the standards that this Congress and I voted for and supported, working with people like Sherry Boehlert on our side and others who are active environmentalists.
I am concerned, and I can tell you this is not going to be the last hearing we hold on this issue. It is not going to be the last piece of action.
Now, hopefully, it won't have to result in legislation; but if needs be, we will go in that direction. Maybe we need a national security impact statement, which should be applied before any environmental law is interpreted. We have an environmental impact statement; maybe it is time we have a national security impact statement because the No. 1 priority of the Federal Government is to provide for the national security of our people, so maybe it is time we change the pendulum. I don't want to do that, but there has got to be some common sense here.
I would hope from today's hearing we can send a signal to my environmental friends. We need to get together. We have got to work out some compromises. These are not anti-environmentalists sitting here testifying before us.
Do any of you have an anti-environmental record?
General, are you against the environment?
Page 34 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General HANLON. No, sir. Of course not.
Mr. WELDON. How about you, General? I mean, is that one of your key priorities, to leave your kids a worse-off environment?
Mr. ANTWERP. No, sir. I want to leave it better.
Mr. WELDON. Mr. Angello, how about you, sir?
Mr. ANGELLO. I am green, sir.
Mr. WELDON. You are green.
How about you, Admiral?
Admiral AMERAULT. I am blue, but I am green, too.
Mr. WELDON. You are blue and green. You are a blue-blood green admiral.
How about you, General?
General HANLON. Sir, I am Air Force blue-green.
Mr. WELDON. Air Force blue-green.
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You know, I have seen times when our military has expended significant dollars to help us solve environmental problems. Talk to anybody involved in oceanography. Pat Kennedy and I introduced and passed, and it became law, the National Oceans Partnership Program two sessions ago, which for the first time brought all nine federal agencies together under one umbrella to fund oceanographic research.
Who is in the lead, the agency that spends the most money? It is not NASA. It is not EPA. It is not NOAA. It is not NOAA; it is the U.S. Navy that spends the bulk of the money on oceanographic research, and no one has been more cooperative in oceanographic research, education and environmental issues than the oceanographers of the Navy, a proud tradition of working on behalf of the environment, especially our marine ecosystem, and understanding degradation of coral reefs, overfishing, like countries in the Far East, and land-based sources of pollution. All of this action was brought forward by the military.
And yet, here we have a course which seems to me, in my initial appearanceand I would love to have, and will willingly accept from the environmental community, their response to these positions. It seems to me like we are finding itfinding ways to make it impossible for our troops to train, using laws that are well-intentioned, which I supported, to somehow shut down our military's operation. That was not the intent of the Congress.
So my question to you is, is the law the problem, or is it the interpretation of the law by overly aggressive bureaucracy? In your own opinion, which do you think is the problem?
Page 36 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General?
General HANLON. Sir, I think that it is probably the latter. I mean, I think what we have seenthis is just Ed Hanlon's opinion in talking to my own staff, sir, but I think that because it has been a whilein the case of the Endangered Species Act specifically, you know, it has been a while since that particular law has been reauthorized; and I think what we have seen is because a series of court actions and interpretations that have led to the regulators having to make certain decisions, based on those decisions, and as a result, they take the actions they take in our base because they have very little choice but to doI mean, that is what they have to do. So I think as much as anything else, sir, it is probably a matter of taking the law, which I believe is probably a good basic law, and maybe just clarifying it in terms of some of the issues regarding our ability to train.
Mr. WELDON. How about you, General? Is it the law or is it the interpretation of the law?
General VAN ANTWERP. I think it is the interpretation of the law. I think there is a balance that could be struck. A lot of it is an inexact science. When you are determining how much mitigation land, for instance, that is an inexact science, and so as we know more about this, we are able to interpret it better. But we have kind of defaulted to the worst case, and let's make sure that our decisions won't impact the future. But in our business, we have to take some risks. If you are going to train, you have to take some risks, and you might not know everything. So it isI think it is more in the interpretation.
Mr. WELDON. Mr. Angello.
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Mr. ANGELLO. I would agree interpretation as well, sir. For example, what does it mean to harass a Marine mammal? What does ''harass'' mean? It is interpretation, as you say, one that you just heard; we need to work through and make sure it is a common sense approach on what these interpretations are.
Mr. WELDON. Admiral.
Admiral AMERAULT. Yes, sir. I believe implicitly that it is interpretation and not only interpretation, but sometimes inconsistent interpretation between, say, the headquarters and the field level. The field level, perhaps motivated by concern for local environmental groups with which they have close interaction, may have a different interpretation than the headquarters, with which we act with to try to outreach to and come to logical conclusions on how to work within the law. This is difficult.
Mr. WELDON. General.
General BUCHANAN. Yes, sir. I would say interpretation as well and echo the comments of my fellow panel members. As I mentioned in my opening remarks, at Tyndall, I was fortunate. We had regulators from the State of Florida who were very reasonable. Their interpretations were very reasonable and allowed us to find accommodations. So we were able to go ahead, conduct our mission with very little degradation, at the same time, to do what we could do to enhance local areas. I can tell you that is not consistent across the United States. So I would say interpretation very definitely.
Page 38 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. WELDON. Do you find the state regulators more flexible than the federal regulators, or you can't really make a distinction there?
General BUCHANAN. Sir, I would hesitate to say at this point one way or the other.
Mr. WELDON. You know, it is amazing, we spend $11 billion in this year's defense budget on what we call environmental mitigation, a major part of our defense budget, $11 billion. In addition, of the 10 or so billion dollars that we spend in defense R&D on science and technology funding, which is basic research funding going to academic universities; much of that goes for the environmental sciences.
We spend significant sums of money on understanding earthquakes and in studying things like El Nino and in spending our science and technology dollars through the defense budget to better understand the environment.
I think it is time for the environmental community to get real and to come together with the military community and find a middle ground that is common sensical before the Congress has to look to a legislative remedy. Like I said earlier, I would hate to have to see us move towards establishing a national security impact statement, but maybe if we are going to have environmental impact statements before we do anything, it is time to look at the number one priority that the Constitution requires of us, and that is provide for the common defense of our people. And before people do interpreting of laws, they should do a national security impact statement on what the impact to our national security would be. I would hope we wouldn't have to go that way, but I can tell you, I am frustrated.
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My good friend and colleague, Mr. Ortiz.
Mr. ORTIZ. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I am reminded by listening to all of you today that in many ways, the military has been a successful party in protecting the environment. And I see that, because I have four military bases in my district. In some cases, the military reservation is the only thing that checks urban sprawl from the preserves of habitat and endangered species. Now, if preserving the ecosystem is to remain an important national goal, should the military be expected to support that goal as the normal cost of doing business? And I go back to the money that we have used. Instead of using it for training, we have used it to repair roads inside the military compounds, preparing sewer systems and so on and so forth.
Now, how much money have you spent, or do you have anyany records? How much money are you spending to protect the environment by protecting the woody woodpecker or something else? I mean, Iand is that coming from training to do that?
Admiral AMERAULT. I can speak for the Army that this year it is $17.4 in the Endangered Species Act, and it does come out of the same pot of money. Our operation and management (O&M) pot or our operational pot. So it isyou make trade-offs to be able to do that, and you know, work-arounds and those things, but that is what we spend for the endangered species.
Mr. ORTIZ. Now, is this all the military or just the
Admiral AMERAULT. This is just the Army.
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Mr. ORTIZ. Just the Army. Do you have any numbers, any
General HANLON. Sir, at Camp Pendleton, in fact, I do have numbers for this fiscal year, fiscal year 2001, sir. The total amount of money that we will spend on thatand keeping in mind, sir, it is a large installation, 125,000 acres. We will spend a little over $32 million total on an environmentalnow, sir, some of that is Superfund restoration money, but 1.3 million of that will be for threatened and endangered (T&E) species, about 21 million for compliance. Now, that money comes to us, as I understand, sirI will have to check with my staff, but that money comes to us through specific funding lines specifically dedicated for those particular programs, to the best of my knowledge. That is not coming out of our O&M or out of our training. It is budgeted specifically for those particular uses and that is how we use it, sir.
Mr. ORTIZ. Is that the same for the rest of you?
Admiral AMERAULT. Well, I am on the Army staff so we have a little different view. When we divide up the budget, it all is one color until we put it into those particular boxes, and thenbut once we do and it goes down to our installations, then it is earmarked for, in our case, the threatened endangered species.
Mr. ORTIZ. Admiral.
Admiral AMERAULT. Well, I mentioned in my opening remark that we spent about $100 million in our total environmental costs throughout the Navy, but that doesn't really count for what we do for work-arounds for training issue. For instance, we spent about a billion and a half dollars when a battle group was not allowed toor train at Vieques and had to go to other ranges. We spent about $2.5 million for the snowy plover, which was the endangered species that are naval amphibious-based. Money comes out of O&M funds that could be used for other things. I, we don't have a problem with using those funds to protect the environment; but I do think it is something that we are doing that is probably above and beyond what you put money in the military's hands for.
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Mr. ORTIZ. General.
General BUCHANAN. Sir, in the Air Force this past year, the endangered species, we have allocated $13.8 million. At the same time, we have alsoover $12 million for thethat we have gone through, and I will echo, too, that there is a lot of unquantifiable costs to work around.
Mr. ORTIZ. Would you think it would be better to maybe have a national fund that would be separate instead of coming from your training or other needs that you have? Because this is robbing your readiness, in many instances, and some other needs that you might have. So II would maybe think that if we had a separate fund, that does not impact into your funding or your training, maybe that would work better. I don't know whether that would work or not, but at least you won't be robbing your readiness to protect a certain area of environment. Maybe we should get funding from another source if it is protected.
Mr. WELDON. Perhaps you should ask the Department of Interior or EPA to pay the bill for the military's compliance with these environmental regulations.
Mr. ANTWERP. I would just make the statement that the direct costs are borne by the services, and that sometimes the laws are applied without concern for what the costs are. Thatit is a compliance issue, and the costsit doesn't matter where it comes in the budget year or what the dollar amount is. So we bear all the direct costs.
Mr. ORTIZ. II hope that we can work, like you say, Mr. Chairman. It is just common sense. And we need to find a balance. I have seen the readiness of our troops deteriorate, because you don't have the proper funding, and you have so many other needs that you need to put. This is an additional source of spending that you have to do. We too havein fact, I was at a hearing this morning with my good friend, Mr. Gibbons, and we talk about energy as well, the lack of energy and our dependence on foreign countries.
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An example is in my area, South Padre Island, one individual told me that we have enough natural gas, enough oil to supply the rest of the nation for so many years, but yet we can't get to it. And I think it can be done in a way that we protect the environment. So, again, I agree with what you just said, Mr. Chairman. We need to use common sense and get money from elsewhere so that we do not weaken the readiness of your troops. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. WELDON. Thank you.
Mr. GIBBONS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And I want to applaud you and congratulate you on your leadership on this issue. This is a very important issue to me as someone who has served in the military, who has seen a difference between being trained and those who weren't trained going into battle, and I can tell you that General Hanlon had it correct when he said that wartime is not the time for someone to get the training they need to defend this country. I think the last thing that we as Congress, we as a nation, the Department of Defense really want to do is to write that letter to some family and tell them that their son or their daughter died because we couldn't afford the training necessary to send them into harm's way.
Mr. Chairman, I have a written statement that I would like to enter into the record.
Mr. WELDON. Without objection.
Page 43 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC [The information referred to can be found in the Appendix.]
Mr. GIBBONS. But I think one of the things that we have to look at, too, that no one here obviously wants to denigrate the environment. We are doing a very expensive job now of looking at all of these issues and trying to figure out how that can be accomplished. And like you and some of your suggestions, I would also add that the suggestion to me that perhaps what we ought to do is make environmental decisions on military bases a part of the Department of Defense rather than EPA or something else, because I think they then could weigh the balance of the environment over national security and bringing that to the forefront.
But I think there is more things to this, more things that are going to impact on our training as well. And I would hope that as we go through this hearing, that we can look at direct impacts like endangered species, which you are doing today, indirect impacts such as shortages of energy, as Mr. Ortiz has eloquently stated. Shortages of minerals and metals which are going to have an effect on how we structure our national security in this arena. But, Mr. Chairman, I was caught by your statement that conspicuously absent today are responses to those people who bring lawsuits against the Department of Defense. Their justification to why I think would be very important and very helpful for this committee to understand and know why they sue the Department of Defense in these arenas and for what reasons do they feel that protecting thesome of the species, whether it is woody woodpecker in Mr. Ortiz' district or desert turtle in Nevada.
I represent two of the largest areas outside of Eglin Air Force base training areas. Nellis Air Force Base and Fallon Naval Air Station, which are the Ph.D. schools of aviation, and I will tell this committee that live ordnance training in all of those areas are becoming increasingly more difficult to accomplish, and getting back to the original statement, wartime is not the time to learn how to drop a live bomb.
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I had a number of questions, but I know we have got a vote on, Mr. Chairman, and I will relinquish my time. I think I have had my time on the soap box to stand here and I will be just interested to hear what the rest of the members say. Thank you.
Mr. WELDON. Thank you very much. We appreciate your comments and involvement here.
Mr. UNDERWOOD. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I too, want to thank you for holding this hearing. I have a number of questions specific to FDM training mission, which I would like Vice Admiral Amerault to respond for the record, and I also want to thank the Marines forin an earlier hearing I asked for an immediate response to questions for the record, and low and behold, for the first time I have been here, they responded in three weeks. So that is a remarkable turnaround time. So I am glad the questions for the record are working out a little bit better than previously.
[The information referred to can be found in the Appendix.]
I justyou know, there has been a lot of issues raised here, and first of all, I am hoping andthat the focus is on theall the problems that you are experiencing in terms of achieving readiness, of achieving a State of readiness. At the same time, I want to congratulate youall the services for their record of environmental stewardship. I think that is aat some point in time, I think there are voices in the environmental community that are aware of that. I don't think it is quite asit is not often expressed, but I would like to say that there are a number of people out there that are in favor of various environmental issues or are grateful for the stewardship of the military in many instances.
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I would point to Anderson Air Force Base in Guam and their work, and they are trying to help the local community in the revival of some endangered species. But there is an issue of community relations here that at times I think, Admiral Amerault made mention of in passing. And that is the utilization of environmental regulations and some other argument. And Admiral, if you would like to just explain that a little bit, because I think you made passing reference to it, and that is the utilization of environmental laws to stop expansion or slow down military activities, which are the utilization of environmental law is not for environmental purposes but for some other purposes, and what is aperhaps you would like to elaborate on that a little bit. ''Amphibious'' I didn't say. Maybe you were talking about FDM in that case. This is a case where, in fact, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, it is an Act which was conceived to protect migratory birds against poachers taking their plumage for lady's hats or what have you or hunting without permits.
So it attempted to put permits into the situation and reduce that. We, of course, were not doing that, and so we have a place where we are trying to train, and we can't get a permit to take a bird, should that happen. And of course we are justwe don't go out with the intent of killing the birds, but it may be incidental to what we do, but I don't think it is a very great number, and I don't think it necessarily happens. But we do have a situation where someone has tried to enjoin us from any training based on a suit based on that Act, which I don't think had an anti- or stop military training purposes. So it is affecting our readiness. And the othersome of the other services as well who use that range.
So we do need to work with this, but we need to continue to train in that area. That is the one area in the western Pacific where an entire air group, which is based in Japan, trains, and it keeps its readiness full up, and it is the most fully deployed air group that we have that needs to be at a very high state of readiness at all times. It can't return all the way to the west coast of the United States for training, so it is a very important thing. But it is that tension between what we are trying to do to satisfy our Title 10 responsibility of provide training and equip ready forces, versus what someone else might perceive as their right.
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But in all of those instances, like in Vieques and everywhere else, we have a record of relationship with the local community, which has broken down and which we now seewe are now at the tail end of it. So there is a lesson to be learned in all of this, and I just wanted a chance to raise that particular issue, because I think community relationships, education, getting them involved, getting them to understand the appropriate role of the national defense and their community and their contribution is very critical to this.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. WELDON. I thank my friend and colleague. I think we probably ought to recess. Ms. Davis will be first and Mr. Rodriguez when we return. There are two votes. One is almost up. So we will be back in about ten minutes. Thank you. The hearing stands in recess.
Mr. WELDON. The subcommittee will come to order. I apologize for that interlude and thank our witnesses for hanging tough here.
Mr. Angello, you referred to a range plan document. Can you provide that either for the record or for staff so they can review that?
Mr. ANGELLO. Yes, sir.
Page 47 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC [The information referred to can be found in the Appendix.]
Mr. WELDON. Thank you. I want to acknowledge Representative Hansen wanted this hearing held and he can't be here, but it is a strong concern, interest to him. As we have said so far, I think we have to find a way to strike common ground here. As someone who, again, wants to work on the environmental side whenever possible of key issues affecting our country, but I don't think we can do it with a blind eye toward national security, and that is what appears to me to be happening here.
Now, let me ask this question of each of you. If you are doing something in your service jurisdiction, are you required to file an environmental impact statement?
General, are you?
General HANLON. Yes, sir. It depends on what it is, but yes, sir.
Mr. WELDON. How many would you say you have filed since you have been around?
General HANLON. May I turn around and ask my staff?
Mr. WELDON. Yeah. Approximately.
General HANLON. About 20 a year, sir.
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Mr. WELDON. Twenty a year environmental impact statements?
General HANLON. EIS.
Mr. WELDON. EIS. And, General, how about you?
General VAN ANTWERP. I would say we are in the same ballpark, about 20, 25 a year.
Mr. WELDON. And Mr. Angello, you don't file?
Mr. ANGELLO. We don't.
Mr. WELDON. Admiral.
Admiral AMERAULT. Yes, sir. Well, environmental impact statements, probably three times that number.
Mr. WELDON. So 60 a year?
Admiral AMERAULT. Yes. But there is alsojust a point of clarification. When we do a training exercise, there is an environmental assessment; and if we assess that we will do no damage, then we arewe can make up our own mind as to whether to consultand so forth. We can do that internally.
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Mr. WELDON. You have actually done about 60 a year environmental impact statements?
Admiral AMERAULT. Yes.
Mr. WELDON. General.
General BUCHANAN. Sir, I can't give you a total number. However, there is a very large one, as you are aware, going on right now with the F22 bed-down. And then we just completed over the last two years
Mr. WELDON. Is it five a year? Is it one a year? What isthe Air Force, what do you think?
General BUCHANAN. I will try not to
Mr. WELDON. For the record, can you provide that?
General BUCHANAN. I will do that.
[The information referred to can be found in the Appendix.]
Mr. WELDON. Well, just for the other three services, what we have heard is that the services are individually required and are completing about 100 environmental impact statements a year, if my math is correct, or close to it. And that doesn't include the Air Force. And my point is thatand they are important, because they tell us what the impact of our military actions will be on either species or items that are of concern that have been expressed by the Congress; but I can tell you, this Congress is also concerned about national security.
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Nowand, again, I don't want to get to this, but I am going to keep raising this issue, because I think we have to strike a balance here. What if we ask those Federal agencies or others when they are enforcing laws to do a national security impact statement; and we define a set of criteria they have to go through that includes training impact, readiness impact, impact on the loss of lives in a combat situation based on a reduced amount of training or flying or steaming hours that those soldiers cannot perform because of their installations? To me that is as important as saving an endangered species, if I am going to be saving the life of one of our military personnel.
Would you agree with that, General?
General HANLON. Yes, sir.
Mr. WELDON. Would you agree with that, General?
General VAN ANTWERP. Yes, sir.
Mr. WELDON. How about you, Admiral?
Admiral AMERAULT. Absolutely, sir.
Mr. WELDON. And General? Was that yes?
General BUCHANAN. Yes.
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Mr. WELDON. The point is, I think we have to find a common ground here, and what I am going to ask staff to do is toI am first of all going to talk to Chairman Boehlert and the ranking members on his committee, which I am also on, and to Chairman Hansen and the ranking member on his committee, and I am going to try and see if we can't bring a meeting of the minds together and express our concerns of the impact on our national security and the fact that we have to have some relief.
Hopefully, that relief will come in a voluntary meeting of the minds to work out a practical arrangement that doesn't allow the military to supposedly win. This is not a win-lose situation. All of us want a win-win situation, but certainly we can't have the kinds of examples that are occurring continuously. Let me ask the Navy a question. The Migratory Bird Act, which I am familiar with because I sit on the Migratory Bird Commission and I am a strong supporter of that Act, and so is John Dingell and so are the two Senators and the cabinet members that sit on there with us. It is 85 years old, but I understand only last year that the D.C. District Court stated that the Act applied to Federal agencies. Is that correct?
General VAN ANTWERP. Yes, sir.
Mr. WELDON. So in 84 years, that wasn't the case.
General VAN ANTWERP. That is exactly right, sir.
Mr. WELDON. In the 85th year, the court extended that.
Page 52 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General VAN ANTWERP. Yes, sir, based on the suit that was filed.
Mr. WELDON. Now, I understand there has been an environmental suit filed. Which group filed that for the record?
General VAN ANTWERP. I will tell you in just a second. Yeah. The Center for Biodiversity.
Mr. WELDON. The Center for Biodiversity?
General VAN ANTWERP. Yes, sir.
Mr. WELDON. I don't know who they are. Can you tell me who they are?
General VAN ANTWERP. I think they are a group from the southwestern United States. I don't know much more about them. I will get it for the record.
[The information referred to can be found in the Appendix.]
Mr. WELDON. So they filed a court case based on a D.C. District Court interpretation of the 85-year-old Migratory Bird Act that changed the interpretation of that Act?
Page 53 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General VAN ANTWERP. That is our assessment.
Mr. WELDON. Well, I am going to have a conversation with John Dingell. I will bring that up as an issue at the next Migratory Bird Conservation Committee, because those kinds of thingsagain, we are talking about common sense middle ground here. And this should not be a win-lose situation and should not be an attempt to undermine the ability to protect our soldiers, sailors, Marines and corps men; and that is what this is all about. And unless there is a caseif an environmental group comes to me and says, Congressman, we have a clear case of the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, Marines just being totally insensitive; they are wiping out endangered species; they are brutal; they are ravaging animals, tearing apart forest lands, tell me that and I will be the first to jump all over them, but don't use quirks in the law for some other purpose.
That is not what Congress intended. And I have been in Congress for 16 years, and I voted for all these bills, so don't tell me that is what Congress intended, because you are wrong. And you know who I am speaking to and if they are not in the room, hopefully the media will translate that back to the groups I am speaking to. We have got to find common ground and use common sense; and if we can't do that in a realistic pragmatic way, then I am going to encourage the Congress to do it legislatively. I am going to encourage the Administration to do it legislatively as a green Republican.
Ms. Davis, I am sorry for sermonizing.
Mrs. DAVIS. Thank you.
Page 54 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. WELDON. Do you have questions, comments, rebuttal or whatever?
Mrs. DAVIS. Yes, sir. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. WELDON. Sure.
Mrs. DAVIS. I appreciate it. And my good friend, Ike Skelton, just brought me a paper, because during the break we were discussing one of the issues that I asked him about, and being new here, I was going to my mentor and asking him whether he thought these issues had been raised before.
One of the concerns that I hear, and you know that I am from the San Diego community and represent the heart of San Diego and a number of bases thereI believe that the military, and certainly the Navy and the Marines, have been excellent stewards of the environment; but I think it is a best-kept secret in town. And I would ask you what you feel you have done, can be done, or is being done to change that in the community, because I think that we really do haveMr. Skelton calls it an understanding gap. I think it is a cultural gap.
There are fewer and fewer people that have contact with the military today, and so theythey don't know about all that you are doing. I know that in San Diego, we have Fleet Week now. We have many opportunities for people to go on carriers. We have many opportunities for them to view the power of the military, but you might ask yourselves how many times do you take people on tours of your environmental stewardship? You know, and you may do this, but I think that it is probably not as frequent as some of the other ways that we parade our strength. And it is another strength that we have, and that we want to think about that; and I would like to help you with that and see how we can be better stewards in that way and also to educate people.
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So I would be happy to see what measures are being taken, and I think the other question is about training and whether the people who really go in and work with the community are well trained and doing thatI think not so much in terms of the environment, but moreand I am sure you can identify with this in what the Marines in San Diego, because we have the issue, Miramar and the helicopters and whatever; and no matter what happens, I think there are always going to be detractors.
So I am not suggesting that, you know, one person is right and another is wrong, or that you will ever convince some people of a particular point of view; but I do think that there are many instances when I think a lot of people's minds have been made up already, really, before you go in. You know, you have to decide that this is what you are going to do and this is the outcome that you need. And quite honestly, the community senses that or perceives it even if it is not true. So we have to find, I think, better ways of doingof partnering in that way.
A number of years ago, the Department of Transportation in California wanted to build a freeway through my community; and I can tell you that people, you know, were not very accepting of that notion, and it dragged on for 20, 25 years, and they finally brought some people in who actually really had workedyou know, really were skilled at working with the community and were devoted to doing that; and everything turned around. You know, the freeway is now built. Butand I am not suggesting that the folks who are out in the community aren't skilled at this, but perhaps there are some gaps there, and that is my interestin trying to bridge that and to trying to see, you know, what are we doing to promote this, because in my tours of the base, I have been so impressed by that, but I can't probably find a person in San Diego, with the exception of, maybe someone who really works there who knows anything about that. So maybe we could figure that out a little bit more.
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General HANLON. May I make a comment, ma'am? In fact, speaking of tours, we are looking forward to your visit, I think a week from tomorrow; and we will make sure you get a good one at Camp Pendleton.
Wein the three years that I have been there, ma'am, one of the things that we at Camp Pendleton have done I think a very good job of is what we call our outreach program. It is the local press, the San Diego Union Tribune, the Minority County Times, the Orange County Register. We reach out to the environmental groups that are around us and invite them down to talk. I amI spent a great deal of my personal time out in front of rotaries, chambers of commerce, city councils, men and women's golf clubs, anybody that wants to have a guest speaker come out and talk about what the Marine radios are doing over at Pendleton, because it is important that they understand why those helicopters are flying, why the artillery pieces are shooting and why those ships are off the coastline.
I know that before coming to the U.S. Congress, you served in Sacramento. One of the things that we have done very successfully with the State Bill 1099 that was passed this year, they set up a special panel, the committeethe California Council on Defense Retention and Conversion, which Governor Gray Davis has assigned four of his cabinet membersor three of his cabinet members to and a number of representatives from both Houses and some local politicians; and the idea is to get out the word on what all of our bases are doing in California in terms of preserving our environment and taking care ofbeing good stewards of our land.
It has been very successful. In fact, Ms. Nichols, who, of course, is the Director of Natural Resources, she brought the Biodiversity Council down to Camp Pendleton where they had one of their quarterly meetings at Camp Pendleton, most of these people in the environmental business, brought them to Camp Pendleton, put them in the Officers Club. They had their meeting. Then we took them out and showed them everything that we do aboard a base. Their eyes were opened. They were really impressed with what they saw.
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I know that others do the same thing down in San Diego. But the thing is that this is labor intensive. It never goes away. You have got to keep on it time and time again. You can never give up on it. Because you are constantly out there educating.
So we do spend a lot of time and effort with it, ma'am, probably should spend more time. But you know, point well taken. We will take a look at it and see if we can't do more.
Mrs. DAVIS. Thank you.
General HANLON. By the way, I was slipped a piece of paper here that I should read here, and that is that at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, our sister amphibious base on the East Coast, I know just this last week I believe had the Nature Conservatory, the Sierra Club and Endangered Species Coalition make a visit down to Camp Lejeune to see the efforts the Marines are doing down there.
Mrs. DAVIS. I think that is very, very helpful. There are leaders in the environmental community. I think what we have tried to do here today is make the point that the readiness issue is so important. People need to understand what that balance is, and I think that it escapes people now. They really don't know and understand that.
Admiral AMERAULT. There are some exciting things going on in the field that you are talking about.
Page 58 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC In the northwestern United States there isat Whidbey Island in Washington, there is a recycling effort that I think the general public, if they like these kind of thingssometimes you have to get them there to see itit would wow them. Because there isn't a thing that isn't recycled on that base, including the garbage which is collected from the homes and used to make a mulch; and that mulch is then used in the gardens and other common grounds around the base. Nothing is wasted. I was completely blown away with what they do up there.
Now there is a companion project in San Diego I think to do the same kind of thing.
There are a lot of things going on. We have some world-class control of hazardous waste and material going on on a lot of our bases, particularly submarine bases and others where there is a lot of hazardous waste and material being used. These kind of dangerous things are done in a way that I think could be demonstrated. I hopeif there is interest in that, it would be great to get people to see. We have an Earth Day every year here in the Capitol of the Nation and in the regions as well.
Mrs. DAVIS. If I may, Mr. Chairman, just one more follow-up. You mentioned the interpretation of the laws and the way that, whether it is State or Federal, jurisdictions have enforced the laws; and I don't know in many instances what recourses you necessarily find are helpful, what recourses are out there. That might be an area that, you know, we can look at and make sure that there is a good appeal process there. Because I think if we make the right case in the community, and those groups are on board, they will be your strongest ally. But it is important to really locate in what chain of command, if you will, we are able to really impact that. You ought to be able to make your case quickly I think when, in fact, the laws are not being interpreted the way they should be.
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Mr. WELDON. Does the gentlelady have other questions?
Mrs. DAVIS. No. I am finished.
Mr. WELDON. I think the gentlelady's comments are right on the mark. I appreciate her looking for ways to help resolve this issue. What I would say to her, if she is willing, I would be glad to join with her and with the ranking member and perhaps we would invite in some of those environmental groupsbecause the ones that were mentioned are outstanding. The Nature Conservancy and Sierra Group, we work with them all the timeand bring in our service leaders for an off-the-record, nonpublic meeting and say, let's sit down and try to work this out.
We have fringe elements in everything in our society that are always going to be there to try to push beyond the envelope. They are not the ones that I am going to satisfy. I am going to try to satisfy the mainstream environmental leaders who I think are pragmatic. They have common sense. I support their agenda almost all the time, and I think we can find a meeting of the minds.
So if the gentlelady would agree to do that, perhaps we can do that together.
Mrs. DAVIS. I would be happy to.
Mr. WELDON. And the ranking member perhaps would join us in that effort.
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Mr. ORTIZ. You know what? I am also a member of the National Resources Committee, and we have at least six, seven members from the Armed Services Committee who are members of the National Resources Committee. Maybe we can enlighten all these groups or have a joint briefing among ourselves, and this way we could educate those members that have no military bases in their districts, who do not know much about military because their committee assignments are different, and we can have a joint briefing.
Mr. WELDON. Mr. Rodriguez had a good question. He couldn't come back, but I will ask it for him. He asked if we have a proactive effort on the part of our military base leaders to proactively reach out to the local communities when their zones and planning commissions are permitting new housing.
I think in all of our military baseswhen Camp Pendleton was first established, there wasn't any housing around it. So it is not a case of the roads going through the residential area. The military base was there. Anyone that bought a house or developed knew what they were getting in for. It is not like all of a sudden they woke up one morning and here comes this road down my street. This place was there.
You build a development, you know you are building next to the military base. You know what the military base does. They train. When you buy a house, you know what is there.
Do we have a proactive effort in our bases to work with local zoning and planners to make sure that plannersto make sure those developers are informing those residents when they are buying those homes what they are getting into?
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General HANLON. I can talk to bothCamp Pendleton's response on that. The answer is both yes and no. In the caseif I may take the City of Oceanside which abuts along our southern border in north San Diego County, they are excellentwell, they are excellent in the sense that whenever they have a housing development that goes up in the close proximity of the base, they alert us to it, they give us an opportunity to make comment, which we do, and they do something that I think is very smart and that is it is written into the deed, written when the person purchases the home they acknowledge the fact that they are buying a house, a piece of property that is directly adjacent to a military base and, as a result of that, they may be affected by noise from the base.
Mr. WELDON. That is Oceanside.
General HANLON. Oceanside does that.
Now, having said that, there are a couple of housing developments that are going in near Camp Pendleton in Oceanside that I wish they hadn't said yes to, but it is a tax base issue. We all know that. These are upper-end, upper-scale houses, probably half million dollar homes and tax revenue, but the people do recognize that when they buy the houses.
They go to the north, up towards San Clemente, which is another county. But to the north of us, they do not do that. I mean, in other words, it is not part ofit is not written in the deed.
What we do is that we go up and speak to the city council, the city planner and to the developer and say, you realize, of course, that this housingin fact, right near the northeastern part of our base, there are about 4,000 homes going in called Tolega Hills overlooking the northeast quadrant of our base; and they will be impacted by the noise. And, of course, the developer says oh, yeah, yeah, we are going to tell everybody, but I suspect they are not. Unfortunately, that is not written in the deed; and I predict, sir, that probably, in time, that there will be noise complaints coming from the folks living in that community up there.
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So it is a hit-and-miss kind of thing. I think it is an excellent idea, you know; and it goes right down to one core thing and that is really having good, solid relationships between the base leadership and the local city council and planning councils in your cities, because that goes a long way.
Mr. WELDON. Well, I would appreciate for the record any ideas you have or the services have on ways that we could encourage communities to do what Oceanside has done. Because we can't and we should not be in the position of trying to stop development from occurring. That is a local issue done byeven though we do it for wetlands and every other thing mandated by the Federal Government, I think we would have a problem trying to pass something in the Congress that did that for land next to our military site. But I think we can come up with recommendations that perhaps DOD can issue for our base commanders that would do exactly what you have done and what the community of Oceanside is doing.
I think it is unrealistic for a developer to be allowed to come in and build a site right next to a base that has been perhaps in existence for 70 years and then have those residents come back and complain to their reps that somehow they are being impacted by the noise. Well, duh? What did you spend all that money for? You knew what you were buying. So what should we do? Shut the military base down because you want to move next door?
I lived in a town where we had two oil refineries. I grew up with oil refineries. If I were living outside of town I wouldn't move back there because the oil refineries were already there; and I wouldn't move in and say, shut down the oil refineries, I am here. I think, again, it comes down to a common-sense approach to allowing us to do what we have to do to keep our military at the state-of-the-art in terms of readiness.
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I would hope we could again find common ground using some of the kind of common-sense examples the General referred to and some of the outreach effort some of you mentioned. Even if we hadevery base had an environmental advisory council, which some bases have, working with the citizen groups in the town, proactive effort with planning and zoning, in the end it is their responsibility, if they are moving next to a facility where we do training, that should not be a reason or a leverage point to try to stop us from doing what we have to do to keep our military prepared.
As one Member of Congress, I will not support that.
Let me ask one more question. Has there been an impact to readiness and how do you report the degradation in training caused by encroachment? How do you report that? Is there a way to report it?
General HANLON. I will start it. Then I will work down the line here.
Yes, sir, we have a system in the Marine Corps we refer to as our Status of Resources Training System (SORTS) in which units have to dothere is a set series of areas that they have to report on. One of them, of course, is training. So if the unit commander, the battalion or regimental brigade commander feels that he has had a problem with training, there is a way that he could report that and show that there has been an impact. That is reported up through the chain of command and gets visibility up at the various highest levels of the Marine Corps and over to the Joint Staff.
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So, yes, sir there is a way of reporting it.
General VAN ANTWERP. We have a similar report, the Unit Status Report. One of the things that impacts on this is where you are not able to train to the full extent we are having to take those people to the National Training Center. There is only a few places that we are able to get that large two-brigade kind of training that we really need. We can get, usually, the small training done at home stations; but for the larger unit training, one of the impacts of this is that we are having to truck or train or fly the folks to other locations to get it done.
Mr. ANGELLO. Let me answer that a little more in depth.
We do have Unit Training Status Reports across DOD for all of our units. Each one of them is made up of personnel, training equipment and equipment condition.
The training rating in particular is generally event based, sir. So you either had the events or you did not. That judgment is made by the commander, whether to take credit for that event. So if it is unrealistic and he elects not to take credit, he won't get a credit in his training rating. So the commander's judgment is always accounted for in our readiness ratings.
Now I have personally seen evidence of readiness ratings where training was degraded as a result of not being able to stage or not having the training completed to the commander's satisfaction. So I think we are seeing readiness implications as a result of that, perhaps Vieques being the largest example where the fire support just did not happen. So there are training implications.
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Since I am on the mike I will answer two other questions that you posed as well.
One, you talked a little bit about the communities around the ranges and others. We actually have an office within the DOD, the Office of Economic Adjustment, that was a joint land use study that provided advice to some of the neighborhoods; and, at that time, financial planning support to talk about alternate uses of the land, zoning of the land and others. We have asked this office to redouble their efforts or to focus as part of our sustainable range of initiatives exactly on the issue you were suggesting.
Likewise, Representative Davis mentioned the need for outreach. We in the Senior Readiness Oversight Council recognized an outreach as well and put a full action plan together to help enable and foster this within the range commanders or unit commanders and across the Department. Because we felt as well our message and our good environmental stewardship was not getting out and that we could do more along those lines.
Admiral AMERAULT. I echo what Mr. Angello said. There is a unit level reporting system; but I would say this, it is at the unit level, and it doesn't always get noted as to why training was missed or why eventsand it is event based. And I think that is a missing link. That doesn't say that it necessarily at the highest level was something that happened because a range was not available. Sometimes it can be deduced. Particularly with us it can because, generally speaking, ours are groups getting ready to go to a deployment, and they need to be certified.
Page 66 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC What we don't have, though, is some sort of a measurement for larger integrated organizations like battle groups or multiple air wings or joint training formations to get something that says this group is not as ready as it should be to go. We are working very hard to create that, but we aren't there yet. We have had battle groups deployed not as ready as they should be, most notably because of the recent issues with Vieques, and we have had to pick up en route. In one case in Scotland we did naval fire support, and in one case we did some bombing on an Italian range which does not always make up and it doesn't always get you there the way you need to be when you arrive. So those are some difficulties.
Let me add in, too, that the Senior Readiness Oversight Council that was spoken of is doing a great job in coming up with this range sustainment initiative which we are all a part of. A big part of that is outreach, and most station commanders, base commanders have an outreach program. But I can say this, that it varies; and the ability with which you have to integrate with that community to the extent that Ed Hanlon is talking about where you can actually affect zoning or people's propensity to buy near the base is very uneven across the Nation. The biggest example for us is Oceana, where, in fact, we are being sued right now for jet noise. That base was just like the base that was just a runway at one time with nothing around it. Now there are houses that havethat are in the impact area that
Mr. WELDON. Who is suing?
Admiral AMERAULT. A groupit is a class-action suit. I believe it is Citizens Against Jet Noise.
Mr. WELDON. So there are citizens who bought homes there.
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Admiral AMERAULT. But, at any rate, it is an interesting fact that even working with them, and many of them have been around the Navy for years and years, and still this can happen. So it takes constant outreach, a lot of work.
Mr. WELDON. General.
General BUCHANAN. Mr. Chairman, first, I would echo my fellow panelist's comments. It is difficult to measure at the unit level. We do report it, hopefully, in the line remarks. If, in fact, it can be tied directly to some kind of range restriction, it will let us know what the training impact has been. But, typically, we will try and do that, is deploy somewhere else. So we may find it is an unintended cost, the fact that we have got to go somewhere else to get the training we need.
We, too, as we prepare our air expedition forces for deployment to Southwest Asia or to the Balkans, we have something called the graduation exercise where they get the chancein our particular case, we like to go to Nellis to some test and training range where we get to put it all together. If, in fact, we find that that young, blue four-wing man has not had the opportunity to do the appropriate work-up training, we find you obviously don't have near the impact and getting him near the readiness that you would like him before you deploy him. And we don't have a good way to measure that.
Mr. WELDON. Thank you.
I would just say for my closing statement if there is a way that you could standardize and quantify that, that would be your best tool. I mean, if we can measure and assess that a certain action will cause X number of snail darters not to have their proper environment, we need to have an ability and a process to say that an accident was partly caused by a lack of training at that site and quantify that so we can go to our colleagues and say, look, we have had X number of accidents, we have lost X number of lives, we have had X number of injuries. We can attribute that directly back to, partially, the lack of training that we were not able to provide because of limitations artificially imposed upon us.
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When you do that, then you have the same basis for winning that those who have supported endangered species have for winning, only here we are impacting human lives and not an endangered species.
So I would just encourage you to try to come up with that standard. I realize that is very difficult to quantify, but that would be a big help to us in the process.
And, Mr. Ranking Member, do you have any more comments?
Mr. ORTIZ. It was just a very good hearing.
I think it is a matter also of educating the public, and we have shut down at least a hundred domestic bases. But we still have Army reserves, and we have, you know, the National Guard. I think if we could get them involved in some projects in the community to make the people aware that we are interested, as the military, in our environment.
Corpus Christi, there is good communication between the military and the civilian. They went out and bought something like 5,000, 6,000 acres of land, the city did, because they have touch-and-go, you know, airplanes. I live close to one of those touch-and-goes, and I listen to the noise of freedom every day, and I enjoy it.
So it was a good hearing. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. WELDON. Thank you. Thank you, Mrs. Davis.
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Speaking of endangered species, we have a staff member who is becoming an endangered species. Because after four yearswhere did he go? He is an endangered species. He left. Joe Boessen is retiring from the committee. He has been with the committee for four years. He is a retired Army helicopter pilot. And we want to just pay a proper bit of respect to him before he leaves. If not, it will be forever in the record that he left the hearing before it ended.
We want to thank you all for being here. You were outstanding witnesses, very candid. And to our environmental friends, we say we want to invite you in. This is not a one-way street. We are going to work aggressively to resolve this issue in a very pragmatic, thoughtful way. But we have got to get it resolved. We cannot let our military have this erosion take place and not have people stand up and say, wait a minute, this is not what the Congress intended. Because it wasn't. And it isn't.
So, with that, we thank you all for coming in.
The hearing now stands adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 4:07 p.m., the subcommittee was adjourned.]
A P P E N D I X
May 22, 2001
Page 70 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC[The Appendix is pending.]