SPEAKERS CONTENTS INSERTS
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[H.A.S.C. No. 10719]
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE'S ROLE IN COMBATING TERRORISM AND FORCE PROTECTION LESSONS LEARNED SINCE THE ATTACK ON THE U.S.S. COLE
SPECIAL OVERSIGHT PANEL ON TERRORISM
COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED SEVENTH CONGRESS
JUNE 14, 2001
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SPECIAL OVERSIGHT PANEL ON TERRORISM
JIM SAXTON, New Jersey, Chairman
DUNCAN HUNTER, California
JAMES V. HANSEN, Utah
CURT WELDON, Pennsylvania
TERRY EVERETT, Alabama
ROSCOE G. BARTLETT, Maryland
J.C. WATTS, Jr., Oklahoma
JOHN N. HOSTETTLER, Indiana
JIM GIBBONS, Nevada
ROBIN HAYES, North Carolina
KEN CALVERT, California
ROB SIMMONS, Connecticut
VIC SNYDER, Arkansas
Page 3 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCSILVESTRE REYES, Texas
JIM TURNER, Texas
LORETTA SANCHEZ, California
JAMES H. MALONEY, Connecticut
MIKE McINTYRE, North Carolina
ROBERT E. ANDREWS, New Jersey
CIRO D. RODRIGUEZ, Texas
CYNTHIA A. McKINNEY, Georgia
BARON P. HILL, Indiana
JAMES R. LANGEVIN, Rhode Island
Robert S. Rangel, Staff Director
David Trachtenberg, Professional Staff Member
Peter Pry, Professional Staff Member
Jarrod Tisdell, Staff Assistant
C O N T E N T S
CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF HEARINGS
Page 4 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Thursday, June 14, 2001 Department of Defense's Role in Combating Terrorism and Force Protection Lessons Learned Since the Attack on the U.S.S. Cole
Thursday, June 14, 2001
THURSDAY, JUNE 14, 2001
STATEMENTS PRESENTED BY MEMBERS OF CONGRESS
Saxton, Hon. Jim, a Representative from New Jersey, Chairman, Special Oversight Panel on Terrorism
Snyder, Hon. Vic, a Representative from Arkansas, Ranking Member, Special Oversight Panel on Terrorism
Newberry, Robert J., Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict
Cofer, Jonathan H., Brig. Gen., United States Army, Deputy Director for Operations (Combating Terrorism), Joint Staff
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Cofer, Brig. Gen. Jonathan H.
Newberry, Robert J.
Saxton, Hon. Jim
DOCUMENTS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
[The Documents submitted can be viewed in the hard copy.]
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
[The Questions and Answers can be viewed in the hard copy.]
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE'S ROLE IN COMBATING TERRORISM AND FORCE PROTECTION LESSONS LEARNED SINCE THE ATTACK ON THE U.S.S. COLE
House of Representatives,
Committee on Armed Services,
Special Oversight Panel on Terrorism,
Washington, DC, Thursday, June 14, 2001.
The panel met, pursuant to call, at 1:05 p.m. in room 2212, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Jim Saxton (chairman of the panel) presiding.
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OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. JIM SAXTON, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM NEW JERSEY, CHAIRMAN, SPECIAL OVERSIGHT PANEL ON TERRORISM
Mr. SAXTON. This afternoon the Special Oversight Panel on Terrorism convenes an open session to hold a hearing on the Department of Defense's antiterrorism and force protection program. The problem of combating terrorism, including terrorism directed against U.S. military personnel and interests abroad, is one of the most serious and challenging problems confronting the United States.
This fact has been brought home in recent years by several terrorist attacks against the U.S. interests abroad. Five years ago the Khobar Towers compound in Saudi Arabia was bombed, killing 19 American service personnel. Two years later, simultaneous attacks against U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania left hundreds of people dead and injured, including Americans. And most recently in October of 2000, terrorists attacked the U.S.S. Cole in the Aden harbor, Yemen, during a scheduled refueling stop.
The Department of Defense has a critical role to play in preventing these kinds of terrorist attacks directed against Americans and in ensuring the safety and security of American personnel who are deployed abroad, often in dangerous and potentially hostile environments in support of this country's national security.
Within the Department of Defense, the responsibility of protecting U.S. personnel from terrorist attacks is divided among various entities. Because of the magnitude of the task and the importance of ensuring effective coordination between those entities and other Federal agencies with antiterrorism and force protection responsibilities, the Congress in the Floyd D. Spence National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2001 directed the Secretary of Defense to designate an assistant secretary as the Department's focal point for DOD's efforts in combating terrorism. Last month, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld designated the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations in Low-Intensity Conflicts, or ASD (SO/LIC), to assume this responsibility.
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An effective antiterrorism program requires sound intelligence on the nature of the terrorist threat and an appreciation of the strengths and weaknesses of existing force protection programs. In the aftermath of the Khobar Towers bombing in 1996, a separate organization was created within the Joint Staff to coordinate assessments of vulnerabilities of U.S. military installations in the United States and abroad to terrorist attack and to provide recommendations designated to address identified security shortfalls. The Joint Service-Integrated Vulnerability Assessment (JSIVA) process is a key tool in the Department's combating terrorism effort; however, I have questions about its effectiveness.
Yesterday the General Accounting Office (GAO) briefed the panel on work they are doing with respect to force protection at domestic military bases. I for one found their preliminary findings somewhat disturbing. For example, 5 years after the Khobar Towers terrorist attack, many domestic U.S. military installations still have not had vulnerability assessments done. Moreover, there appears to be no requirement that base commanders implement the force protection recommendations that flow from these assessments, most of which are not dependent on additional resources.
I hope we will hear more about this issue during today's testimony. In addition, next week the panel is scheduled to hear from individual base commanders on their force protection policies and practices.
Finally, I would note that the attack on the U.S.S. Cole last October exposed additional weaknesses in our force protection efforts, particularly as they related to the protection of in transit military assets. It was a clear reminder that terrorists will always seek to exploit the areas where we are most vulnerable.
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Last month this committee issued a report on the circumstances surrounding the attack in Yemen, which made a number of organizational and procedural recommendations for strengthening the Department's antiterrorism and force protection program. The report is available on the committee's Website. Clearly improvements must be made in our ability to protect U.S. forces from terrorist attack. The Department of Defense is seeking to enhance its ability to prevent similar attacks from occurring, and I hope we hear from our witnesses precisely what improvements to our antiterrorism program have been made since last year's tragic attack.
I would note that this is the first time since the public release of the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) report that the Department of Defense has had an opportunity to come before the committee and comment on the record on the report's findings and recommendations as they relate to force protection. I look forward to hearing from our witnesses on how the Department is addressing the force protection raised in this report.
We have with us today to discuss the Department's antiterrorism and force protection program Mr. Robert Newberry, the Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict, and Brigadier General Jonathan Cofer, Deputy Director of Operations, Combating Terrorism, at the Joint Staff.
We thank you both for being with us today, and weGeneral Cofer, a special welcome to you. As I understand, this is your first public testimony before Congress.
Let me just say also that the tone of my opening statement or the intent of my opening statement was to lay out clearly the depth of our concern. It was not intended to be particularly critical, because this is a relatively new issue, particularly on the domestic side. Our bases grew up in a relatively nonthreat environment. We have bases with roads through them, and we develop the base around those roads. We have bases with much-used water travel routes adjacent to them, and we built the bases not thinking much about that, because it was, as I said, relatively low or almost or even nonthreat.
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And so we have an institutional issue here on theon the domestic side, which is a very difficult one, and one, nonetheless, that we must address.
But before proceeding further, I would like to invite Mr. Snyder to make any comments he would makelike to make relative to this hearing.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Saxton can be found in the Appendix.]
STATEMENT OF HON. VIC SNYDER, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM ARKANSAS, RANKING MEMBER, SPECIAL OVERSIGHT PANEL ON TERRORISM
Mr. SNYDER. No, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate you holding this hearing. I think we are going to have a short afternoon with votes, and I would say let us get on with it.
Mr. SAXTON. Okay. As is customary, the prepared statements of our witnesses will appear in the record, and so, Mr. Newberry, the floor is yours, sir. Thank you for being with us.
STATEMENT OF ROBERT J. NEWBERRY, PRINCIPAL DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF DEFENSE FOR SPECIAL OPERATIONS AND LOW-INTENSITY CONFLICT
Page 10 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. NEWBERRY. Thank you.
Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman and other distinguished members of this committee. I will repeat again. I am Robert Newberry, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict, and I will be giving a short oral statement to match the written one that is being provided for the record.
Indeed an honor for me to testify before you today on how the Department of Defense supports U.S. Government combating terrorism missions and on our continuing effort to improve the way we organize and structure ourselves to defend against this threat of terrorism both at home and abroad.
I commend you for addressing the complex issues that arise from this continuing challenge, and I look forward to the opportunity today to discuss with you our focused and mutual efforts to protect the Nation.
DOD's combating terrorism program is part of a coordinated United States government interagency team response. No single agency possesses the authorities, response mechanisms and capabilities to effectively deter and resolve terrorist incidents.
The Department of Defense plays an important supporting role in assisting the lead Federal agencies in their response to terrorist incidents. Certainly as a major supporting agency, DOD brings a wealth of unique resources to this effort. We support the Department of State as the lead agency for coordinating our combating terrorism policy and operations abroad, and the Department of Justice through the FBI is the lead agency for combating terrorism in the United States.
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DOD's combating terrorism activities are divided into four components: Antiterrorism, which is a collection of all defensive measures taken to reduce vulnerabilities and protect our personnel, facilities and resources against a terrorist incident; counterterrorism is a range of offensive response measures taken to deter, preempt and resolve a terrorist act; terrorism consequence management is our effort to prepare for and respond to the aftermath of a terrorist event; and, of course, intelligence is our effort to collect and analyze information about terrorism and disseminate it to those people who can put it to use. Intelligence is a criticalis critical to our success across all combating terrorism components.
As the chairman mentioned, Secretary Rumsfeld recently completed a review of the civilian oversight within the Office of the Secretary of Defense for combating terrorism activities and its support to civil authorities domestically. As a result of this review, and, of course, in response to a congressional statute, the Secretary consolidated civilian oversight responsibility for the Department's combating terrorism activities into one Assistant Secretary of Defense (ASD) office, and this was the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict.
This oversight includes direction and supervision for policy; program planning and execution; allocation and use of resources for both DOD combating terrorism activities and for domestic incidents involving the release of chemical, biological, radiological nuclear material, or high-yield explosives.
I believe we have made significant enhancements in our policies, procedures, training, assessment, resourcing since Khobar Towers and the bombing of our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, but as revealed by the tragic attack on the U.S.S. Cole, we remain vulnerable.
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In a recent revision to our antiterrorism standards, we have incorporated 28 recommendations from the U.S.S. Cole Commission report to date, and even more improvements are forthcoming and some that were not in the standards publication DOD Directive 2000.16. Those improvements should have a tremendous impact on reducing our vulnerabilities, particularly for our in-transit force.
Likewise, I am aware of the key observations and recommendations contained in the recently reducedreleased House Armed Services Committee report on the terrorist attack on the U.S.S. Cole. We will address fully each of those recommendations during our ongoing review. Many are similar to recommendations contained in the Cole Commission report.
We also had an outbriefing with the GAO auditors, who, as you mentioned recently, completed a review of our antiterrorism posture at domestic installations, with recommendations for expanding vulnerability assessment. We will be addressing those recommendations as well.
Likewise, we will continue to enhance our preparedness for mitigating the consequences of potential terrorist incidents. Whether we are in a supporting role to either the Justice Department or to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), we are addressing measures that we can take to alleviate damage, loss of life and human suffering.
The Department of Defense is fully committed to working with its interagency partners and members of this committee to continue to establish and maintain effective combating terrorism programs and policy. Complacency is not an option for us. We are always open to productive discussions and exchanges with Congress and to other government agencies as we work together to protect our Nation.
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Thank you again for this opportunity to testify, and I look forward to your questions. I believe General Cofer is going to give you a JSIVA 101 briefing here, and he will try and be quick, and please.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Newberry can be found in the Appendix.]
Mr. SAXTON. General, I will leave this up to you. We have to leave here in about five minutes for this vote, and so if your testimonyif we can squeeze your testimony into that five minutes, that is fine. If not, we can leave now and hear your testimony when we come back. Either way.
General COFER. Sir, I would prefer to go ahead and wait, and have you take your five-minute break and come back.
Mr. SAXTON. Yes, sir. Okay. Thank you. We will stand at recess. And incidentally, I am afraid there may be two votes, so we may be more than 15 minutes getting back, maybe closer to a half hour.
Mr. SAXTON. I have got good news and bad news. The good news is that was the last vote of the day. The bad news is I went outside and heard all the jets warming up out there to take everybody home. So that is the bad news.
Page 14 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General Cofer, we are anxious to hear your testimony.
STATEMENT OF JONATHAN H. COFER, BRIG. GEN., UNITED STATES ARMY, DEPUTY DIRECTOR FOR OPERATIONS (COMBATING TERRORISM), JOINT STAFF
General COFER. Hello, sir. Representative Saxton and members of the House Armed Services Special Oversight Panel on Terrorism, it is a pleasure for me to be here today to brief you on the significant progress the Department of Defense has made in antiterrorism force protection in recent years as well as where we are headed.
In my written statement, I summarized the Cole Commission report, outlined key DOD antiterrorism program initiatives and discussed our way ahead. In this briefing I want to address in more detail several of those areas, including the Joint Staff Integrated Vulnerability Assessment, or JSIVA program.
The Khobar Towers bombing was a watershed event for DOD's antiterrorism/force protection program, and the subsequent Downing Commission Report recommendations provided a foundation for our program transition and the many initiatives during the 5 years since this tragedy.
We are obviously very pleased with the importance placed on antiterrorism by the new administration, and the Department of Defense has benefitted greatly by the tremendous leadership of the Chairman. Our longer-range vision is to be premier in antiterrorism force protection by institutionalizing our antiterrorism program, while our day-to-day challenge is to maintain our antiterrorism focus. Our national tragedies at the Murrah Federal Building, Khobar Towers, the East African embassies and now the U.S.S. Cole, they remind us it is not a matter of if, but when another terrorist attack will occur.
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After the Khobar Towers bombing, the Secretary of Defense designated the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff as the principal advisor and focal point to the Secretary of Defense antiterrorism/force protection issues and assigned the tasks depicted here. To better support the Chairman in accomplishing his responsibilities, in April of this year the Directorate of Operations, Combating Terrorism (J34) reorganized into three divisions, with the associated tasks depicted on this slide.
The Cole Commission has challenged DOD to address antiterrorism (AT) readiness across the full spectrum of operational activities, including in-transit units, deployed forces, as well as installations worldwide. The central proposal of the Commission was the development and use of concepts of operational risk management, to provide adequate security for U.S. forces, while sustaining strategic and operational engagement in support of the U.S. interests worldwide. This in turn requires continuous assessment of AT readiness for both operating forces and installations.
In addition to existing assessment standards for installations, J34 is developing standards as recommended by the Commission for operating units in regards to access to AT intelligence, port security assessments, predeployment plans and training, and logistics plans and contracts.
The Commission also called for a more integrated approach to training. The organized J34 will strengthen the internal fusion of antiterrorism planning, policy and doctrine with the training initiatives that implement them. Also the Commission was very supportive of the Combating Terrorism Readiness Initiative Fund. J34 continues to administer this fund as a means to rapidly resolve emerging security shortfall, and we continue to promote sustainable solutions to the program objective memorandum, or POM, initiatives, and more effective and efficient use of technology and procedural solutions.
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The purpose of this slide is to gain a perspective on how the terrorist threat to DOD activities is evolving. Of note, while we have taken away vastly different lessons, the terrorist weapon of choice remains the improvised explosive device, or IED. We continue to focus on the IED threat, but we are also preparing now for potential terrorist use of other weapons tomorrow, including such things as standoff weapons and weapons of mass destruction.
The Joint Staff Integrated Vulnerability Assessment, or JSIVA initiative, remains one of the most important tenets of DOD's combating terrorism program. Six JSIVA teams assess antiterrorism/force protection readiness at military installations and activities worldwide. The Joint Staff has utilized the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, or DTRA, as a field agent for these assessments since the program was initiated in 1997.
Combatant commanders and services nominate installations to be assessed by the JSIVA teams. DOD guidance requires combatant commanders and services to ensure lower-echelon antiterrorism programs receive a higher headquarters vulnerability assessment once every 3 years. This requirement forms the basis of the JSIVA scheduling and allocation process. The threat level is also considered in the prioritization of scheduling JSIVAs. Those installations or activities in higher-threat areas tend to be assessed more often. In my view, this is the correct approach.
We conduct assessments on all military installations,Continental United States (CONUS) and Outside the Continental United States (OCONUS), which have 300 or greater DOD personnel assigned on a daily basis. This equates to approximately 360 installations. As of 1 June, 2001, we have completed 372 JSIVAs worldwide, and we will complete approximately 45 additional JSIVAs by the end of this calendar year. The Chairman additionally retains the capability to deploy JSIVA teams in response to emerging or emergent requirements throughout the year and to assemble specialized teams to assess specific or unique situations that may arise. JSIVA teams have responded on short notice on multiple occasions to conduct assessments to satisfy Commander in Chief (CINC) needs for deployments or changing threat environments.
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The JSIVA team normally consists of seven personnel, which includes a team chief and subject matter experts in security operations, structural engineering, infrastructure engineering, operations readiness and terrorist options. A Defense Intelligence Agency representative normally accompanies the teams on all overseas assessments, and a J34 representative accompanies the team on select JSIVAs.
While these assessments have unique elements, an assessment normally covers the intelligence collection and dissemination capabilities, physical security measures, infrastructure support and structural vulnerabilities, the installation's ability to respond to a terrorist incident, and the ability to manage the consequences of a terrorist attack.
A key focus of the assessment is on the adequacy of the installation's antiterrorism plan, including the essential components, which consist of a terrorism threat assessment; a risk assessment, which includes criticality and vulnerability assessments, physical security procedures; and incident response plan, which includes tailored force protection condition measures, that being exactly how the installation intends to ramp up at higher force protection conditions; and a terrorism consequence management plan. All these elements must be comprehensive, and of particular note, a risk assessment must contain criticality and vulnerability assessments to optimize its effectiveness.
Because the terrorist's most effective weapon today remains a large conventional explosive device, regardless of delivery method, our JSIVA teams emphasize the importance of sound perimeter security, thorough access control procedures, adequate standoff and comprehensive response plans for incident damage mitigation. However, in anticipation of the potential use of weapons of mass destruction in the future, the teams also address Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) response capabilities in their assessment protocol.
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An assessment is normally conducted over a 5-day period, during which interviews are conducted and practices observed. All assessment observations are in accordance with DOD-approved antiterrorism program standards. These standards apply to all installations, both at home and abroad.
A comprehensive in-brief on the methodology and assessment deliverables is conducted on the first day of the assessment, the target audience being the commander, key staff personnel and members of supporting organizations. At the conclusion of the assessment, a comprehensive out-brief aimed at the same audience is conducted. Key observations including potential vulnerabilities are briefed, along with potential options for mitigation.
The mitigation options presented are, to the best extent possible, both procedural and resource-based. Additionally, the team will conduct tutorials on security engineering, blast mitigation, planning and the resource requirement generation process.
A written final report is sent to the installation and appropriate members of the installation chain of command within 45 days of conclusion of the assessment. DOD guidance requires installation commanders to prioritize, track and report vulnerabilities identified during assessments to the next general officer or flag officer in his or her chain of command.
On this slide are JSIVA objectives. Subsequent to the attack on the U.S.S. Cole, the Joint Staff conducted a vulnerability assessment roundtable discussion, during which the Joint Staff, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), CINCs and services compared assessment protocols and discussed definitions and standards. The intent of the roundtable was to define vulnerability assessment terms of reference, arrive at common definitions and define common minimum requirements.
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JSIVAs have now increased our emphasis on assessing waterside perimeters. In a coordinated effort with the U.S. Navy, the Joint Staff has refined its methodology for assessing seaports and will incorporate its use this summer. These assessments will be aimed at both in-transit ports as well as strategic seaports.
Additionally, the Joint Staff is developing assessment protocols for exercises and higher headquarters AT programs. We anticipate incorporating these new assessment protocols into the JSIVA process by the end of this calendar year.
Our geographic CINCs and service chiefs have also organized their own assessment teams to evaluate installation readiness, assist installation commanders in refining existing plans and providing vulnerability assessment augmentation. Already United States Central Command (USCENTCOM) has developed a Country Vulnerability Assessment Team concept, which expands assessments beyond fixed sites to include exercise areas, ports and airfields used by DOD personnel.
The U.S. Navy is also working with the geographic combatant commanders on the development of a port assessment protocol and the execution of port vulnerability assessments. The United States Commander in Chief, Europe (USCINCEUR) is actively pursuing the expansion of the threat working group process and existing computer-based decision aids to improve risk management decisions that affect U.S. forces. The Joint Staff continues to assist in these efforts, while working to ensure that promising initiatives are shared throughout the joint force.
This slide illustrates several of the 40 key trend areas that J34 tracks from JSIVAs. Overall, we are steadily improving in all areas, but there is still more work to be done.
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For the year 2000, the adequacy of installation plans was a primary focus of J34. We looked at this area more critically than in the past, which likely accounts for the negative trend.
For 2001, we are also increasing our attention on adequacy of AT exercise plans.
As you know, on October 12th, 2000, a bomb exploded along the port side of the U.S.S. Cole while the ship was moored at a refueling dolphin in Aden, Yemen. The explosion killed 17 sailors, wounded 42 and severely damaged the vessel. In this incident, terrorists were able to exploit access control measures and perimeter security vulnerabilities associated with waterside approaches to our ships while they are in port.
The Crouch-Gehman Commission Report was comprehensive, containing 30 findings and 53 recommendations in the areas of organization, antiterrorism force protection, intelligence, logistics and training. It focused on the vulnerabilities associated with in-transit forces.
The Department of Defense is now aggressively implementing those recommendations. A DOD working group, representing both the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Staff, was formed to complete all recommendations. DOD's Antiterrorism Coordination Committee, or ATCC, and the ATCC senior steering group meet frequently and regularly to guide working group actions.
Page 21 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The majority of the recommendations were implemented and completed within 30 days of approval of the working group plan. The remaining actions have been divided into 3-, 6-, 9- and 12-month completion time lines.
I want to summarize just some of the more significant actions taken in response to the Cole Commission report. We are finalizing the assignment of antiterrorism responsibilities for the only three countries that were previously not assigned to a geographic CINC.
CINCs are now developing their own in-theater terrorist incident response capability to improve response time and capability. We have classified force protection condition measures to prevent access to them by potential adversaries, and we are ensuring that all in-transit units are provided better intelligence either before or shortly following arrival in-theater.
We have changed the threat condition terminology to force protection condition to prevent any possible confusion. Component command staffs should now consider full-time antiterrorism staffs. We are placing additional emphasis on the in-transit unit logistics support contracting process to better screen out potential terrorists from husbanding agent staffs that service our units. We have also mandated threat assessments to be done annually.
We will also require the services to expand AT standards to include predeployment and recurring AT training and exercise requirements, and require them to develop and incorporate AT tactics, techniques and procedures into predeployment training.
Page 22 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Services will also be required to enhance their AT Level III or precommand course training program with terrorist scenario vignettes to focus on the hostile intent decisionmaking process.
Before moving on to the topic of J34 initiatives, I would like to briefly comment on the House Armed Services Committee staff report on the investigation into the attack on the U.S.S. Cole. I have completed my review of this report, and, in my view, it is thorough and consistent with the Crouch-Gehman Commission Report.
I concur with its findings and recommendations in all areas that are under my purview, with one minor point for clarification. The report stated that the Navy operates under multiple force protection standards. The report is actually referring to DOD's force protection condition system, and to clarify, the Navy operates under the same mandatory force protection condition system as the other services and CINCs. However, the services, as well as CINCs, can augment force protection condition measures. Also individual unit commanders are authorized to tailor force protection condition measures.
In the case of the U.S.S. Cole, force protection condition BRAVO measures, including several Commander in Chief, U.S. Central Command (CINCCENT) augmented measures, were in effect.
J34 continues to provide critical AT support as depicted in this slide. I discussed these areas in detail in my written statement.
I also previously mentioned our way ahead for JSIVAs. We are also looking at ways in which we can improve our training programs.
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While today we focus primarily on the terrorist threat posed by improvised explosive devices, we must be mindful of emerging terrorist capabilities, for example, in the areas of weapons of mass direction, cyberterrorism and even agroterrorism. We must also consider additional terrorist weapons to include standoff weapons, aerial vehicles and even submersibles.
Finally, we must continue to improve our antiterrorism/force protection where we are most vulnerable, including sea and air ports of embarkation, out-of-the-way CONUS installations, and off-base DOD housing areas, to name just a few.
This concludes my oral remarks, and I would be happy to answer any questions you might have, sir.
[The statement of General Cofer can be found in the Appendix.]
Mr. SAXTON. Well, General, thank you very much. That was certainly a great overview of the way you see this and youron the end of your activities, and we appreciate that. We appreciate that very much.
Mr. SAXTON. Let me ask a general question, and you can both answer it.
How do you set priorities as to the types of activities that you encourage the folks on the ground, the base commanders and the people that work with themhow do you set priorities for them in terms of what is real important, what areas, what basesare the bases that we need to worry about the most, what groups of folks that we have in various parts of the world are vulnerable, the most vulnerable? How do you go about making those determinations? Is it based on a record of where things have happened, of folks sitting down and figuring out in a creative way where things could happen? It must be a tremendous task to try to getto get your arms around this issue, because it isit is not a new threat, but the level of threat is new. The higher level of threat is new. And I am just curious how you start to begin to deal with the many issues that are involved in force protection in this atmosphere.
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Mr. NEWBERRY. Let me let John start that out from a scheduling perspective from his JSIVA visits, because that is how we developed that schedule based on past trends, unfortunately, and where the current threat is that we see.
General COFER. Sir, I would say in general, the commanders set priorities. Our job in the JSIVA business is to help that commander get some situation awareness based on the threat, based on a risk assessment, based on the resources he may or she may have to go ahead and make the right calls on where they want to put those scarce resources to protect their people. We do that by looking at appreciation of the threat, the threat environment and, as I said, the resources that he or she might have available to counter that, and the commander might have to take some risks based on where he or she is at and based on the threat.
Mr. SAXTON. So if the commander of a particular base somewhere isn't aware of or doesn't think there is a significant threat, he may take verymake very limited provisions for basefor force protection? Is that what you are saying?
General COFER. Sir, in my mind, as part of the vulnerability assessment process, both JSIVA and component commander service is to, as I said, raise the situation awareness, make that commander aware what his vulnerabilities are. JSIVAs and vulnerability assessments are vulnerability-based, based on, as I said, factoring in the threat. We make that apparent to the commander, tell him what his vulnerabilities are, and then the commander must apply his or her resources to those problems that he or she sees. And the commander makes the call on the priorities.
Page 25 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SAXTON. Yesterday we learned that the vulnerability assessments had been doneI thinkwell, today you said 372 had been completed; yesterday I think 288 or something. So you are obviously making progress, but there are obviously some bases numbering over 500 that haven't been assessed yet; is that right?
General COFER. Sir, there is no doubt that there is still some work to do, and I think in your opening comments, the way you laid out the security environment of our CONUS installations is right on target. Access control is a problem based on where we have been.
Mr. SAXTON. Let me just say what concerns me. I have made several visits to CONUS bases, and I have been briefed on what may be the most secure base, the one in Bahrain, the naval base in Bahrain. The commander came all the way from Bahrain to sit and talk with me for an hour about the base and explain in some detail measures that have been taken there, both of a physical nature and of a personnel nature, in training and coordination with local officials and all of that.
You know, there is a doctrine in terrorist training manuals onthat says something like, you know, we don't have to attack a tiger if we can attack a lamb. So it seems to me that somehow the level of vulnerability in CONUS bases in particular and in some bases overseas that may not seem to be very vulnerable, in fact there is a vulnerability there that is quite significant based on the nature of the thought process of the people who carry out acts of terrorism. And yet our system has left quite a number of bases apparently without vulnerability assessments, and that concerns me. And I am not beingI am not saying that to be critical in any way. I am just kind of laying out what I see as pretty much a fact.
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General COFER. Yes, sir, and as I mentioned, I think there is some work to do. Now, JSIVAs have not ignored CONUS sites. Out of the 250 installations that have over 300
folksand that was a yardstick JSIVAs initially used for where they are allocated, because they were looking at the large-vehicle threatterrorist threatbomb threat, and we wanted to make sure that we got the installations that had a significant footprint. So that was kind of the yardstick JSIVAs initially used. So out of 250 installations that JSIVAs have been applied to, over 50 percent of those have been CONUS installations.
No doubt there is work to do, but part of the JSIVA process is to make those vulnerabilities apparent to the commander for him to focus his or her resources on.
Mr. SAXTON. I talked with one commander who said that resources are a problem in addressing some of these issues. Is thatobviously that seems pretty apparent.
General COFER. Sir, I don't think there is any commander who would say he has enough resources.
Mr. SAXTON. Yes, sir, but at the same time, we were told yesterday that 60 percent of the provisionof the inadequacies that were pointed out during the JSIVA process don't require resources and remain unaddressed.
General COFER. Well, sir, you are right. The majority of things that we find doing JSIVAs, and I would dare to say CINCs and service vulnerability assessments, to point out that most of those things that need to be fixed are procedural issues, standard operating procedures (SOPs), guard orders, those things that are basics. And those are the things that we highlight to commanders that they can fix right away and part of the emphasis that we put on the plan. Part of the planning process was to make sure you had those things in place.
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Mr. NEWBERRY. In fact, I think the Chairman a couple years ago pointed out that the JSIVAs originally were, I think like the General says, vulnerability assessments leaving with the commander a schedule or a list of things he should look at, and then it was up to the commander to do so. The Chairman has now said, let's put some more teeth in these assessments, and let's start following up and start adding standards, say these things have to be done, start sending these requirements up. We are not doing this just for fun.
So you are right. A lot of things weren't done. That is why the emphasis was on the AT plan this last year. People were not doing the plans, and so there was a lot of emphasis to go out to the installation commander and say, we want to see that plan, and you have to do it. It is not a volunteer situation. It is a must.
General COFER. About a year ago, the Chairman, based on the input from our trends, was informed that we were having repeat findings, and part of his concern, which kind of evidenced itself in the requirement for the first year, when what you are doing about those vulnerabilities came out of the fact that our analysis showed that people weren't fixing things. I think that has gotten better.
Mr. SAXTON. There is a pool of money, a fund, if you will, that is controlled by your office?
General COFER. Yes, sir, the Combating Terrorism Initiative Readiness Fund (IRF).
Page 28 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SAXTON. What is the level of funding in that pool of money?
General COFER. Well, sir, because of the Cole and the Commission recommendations, that fund has increased to $25 million this year and then $30 millionroughly $28 million for the outyears in the Future Years Defense Plan (FYDP). So it has almost increasedbeen doubled.
Mr. SAXTON. So it was around 15- and it is now around 30-?
General COFER. About 15-.
Mr. SAXTON. Per year?
General COFER. Yes, sir.
Mr. SAXTON. Is that enough?
General COFER. Sir, I would say that is probably never enough.
Mr. SAXTON. You have got a whole bunch of folks behind you shaking their head no.
Mr. NEWBERRY. Hopefully the IRF funds are not the central funding mechanism for fixing these problems. The services have to step up to the plate, and program objective momorandum (POM). Many of these things have a tail to them. So when you do something, the services have to step up to the plate to keep fixing the things that we add.
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Mr. SAXTON. I had a conversation with one base commander who said, yes, sirhe said, we have got to keep the fences in order. We have got to keep our guardposts in order, but I have got to make sure my runway doesn't have cracks in it, too, and all the other things that I have to do. And he said, I have to set priorities. And he said, frankly, you know, some of the things that you are looking at that you think I ought to do, I don't have the resources to do, flat out can't docan't do all the maintenance that I need to do, do all the operational activities that I have to do, the training I have to do and take care of all these problems at the same time. I don't have the resources.
Is that a common problem?
Mr. NEWBERRY. I would say it is a common problem in areasespecially in CONUS, I would say, as opposed to places where the threat is a lot more real and close.
Mr. SAXTON. Yes, sir. All right. Thank you.
We will do a second round of questions. Mr. Chairman, do you have some questions?
Mr. SPENCE. Well, I was just wondering, you know, a lot of words up there, a lot of planning, I am sure, and people have met and tried to get organized to do some of these things, but in dealing with the threat out there, the real threat that we have, I just wonder what we have in the way of counterterrorism and all these things.
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But let me put it this way: We had a briefing here one day at the Capitol. The security people around the Capitol, including the fire and medical and emergency teams and all the rest, briefed us on what would happen if we had a gas attack in the Capitol, and they told us they had these uniforms to put on people and what they were planning on doing. And somebody asked the third question of how many people would that protect? And they said, well, we have only got a few of these uniforms. That means all these thousands and thousands of people out here are unprotected. So do we have anythingany assets to protect people?
We talk about the vaccinations for anthrax, and there is controversy about whether they shouldour military people should even take them or not. And the fact is if some terrorist were to drop some anthrax over Washington, according to what we hear from experts, within about 24 hours, what, 3 million people approximately would be dead. And what you find out about it is that people start dropping dead around you, and then you find out what is causing it, it is too late to vaccinate them then.
These are practical programs we have to deal with. Now, are we planning to counter those kind of things, and do we have the assets to counter them? That is what I am concerned about. All of the bases we have, the same thing applies to them, all of the bases that we have to contend with.
Mr. NEWBERRY. Is that a question, sir? I think like the Chairman said, this is a new program, and we are certainly starting from scratch. It may not seem as new, because Khobar Towers was, what, 1996, but we have come a long ways, and we have a heck of a long ways to go.
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I think the Congress' directions to the Department of Defense and Secretary Rumsfeld's decision to put this under a single ASD to try and focus these efforts and look at the way ahead is going to help, not that everybody wasn't doing good work. The intelligence agencies, the services, the Joint Staff, everyone is doing their thing. Everybody is sincere. But the tough questions, like you say, are I have got things to do, and it costs money, and now I have got to look at these AT, counter terrorism (CT) consequence management areas, and nobody is giving me more money to do that. How do I divide the pot?
Last year or the year before, the only way that we directed a lot of that stuff was obviously when a tragic incident happens, everybody steps up to the plate real quick. The Deputy Secretary of Defense does a program decision memorandum that says, services, get the money funded, start installation preparedness. Do a pilot program. I think that is what this ASD will do, I hope. In overseeing all the programs, we will be able toyou will be able to have somebody that generates the paper, generates the oversight and elevates the problems so that we can get secretarial and deputy secretarial direction to start fixing the problems.
It is hard to do from the services. I know they are trying to do their best, but like you say, money is tight, and they have got different priorities.
So this central focus, I think, will help. Installation preparedness is just starting. Hopefully that will start working, especially in a domestic area. Just like the city training, and we will start preparing ourselves to at least first respond to answer. The Army is going out to build theirclose their bases. They are probably the farthest behind, because they have to get a lot of security guards, and they are big bases. That is going to take years to do. It is not going to be done in 1 year, but the programs have started, and I think everybody is going the direction you are asking.
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Protection for the dependents, for civilian hires, I mean, even overseas you have got gas masks, and everybody is prepared that has a uniform, but there is a lot of civilians and dependents out there that can't even get out of the building or the embassy, don't have a quick-don mask to put on. Those are things we are looking at through the research and development (R&D) program and technology to try and fix. I think we are doing it. It is just not done now, just like it is not done here for all of you.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you.
I am sorry. Mr. McIntyre. I am sorry.
Mr. MCINTYRE. I just wanted to ask you if there is any distinction between the amount of measures being done on domestic as opposed to foreign installations? Are you naturally trying to put the emphasis on foreign installations, or is there a greater sense of vulnerability to a domestic terrorist, for instance, than there would be to a foreign terrorist on our military installations?
General COFER. In regard to measures, sir, as I said in my brief, there is only one standard for measures for all DOD. So there is nothere is no different standard, no different list of measures at DOD level, and as I said, you know, CINC services can augment those measures. The threat is taken into account, and one thing we try to emphasize with our CONUS sites is that there is a threat out there. It may not be the same threat as OCONUS, but you have got to plan for a range of threats, both CONUS and OCONUS.
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Did that answer your question, sir, or.
Mr. MCINTYRE. Yes, sir. Thank you. No further questions right now.
Mr. SAXTON. Mr. Bartlett.
Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you very much.
Let me put the question I want to ask in context. We occasionally have a fire in a home. That doesn't mean that we build all of our homes out of concrete block and have tile floors and metal furniture and put a sprinkler system in our homes and hire a first responder to stand by and watch so that if a fire starts, he can put it out very quickly.
My question is, after examining what happened at the Cole, are there things that we could do where the juice is worth the squeezing, considering all of the other priorities that we have with our present resources?
General COFER. Sir, I think theI think maybe one answer to that is the smart use of technology. You want to make sure you are squeezing the right thing, and there are a lot of things that are going to be squeezed that won't get you what you need. And we are looking at technologythe right technology that could be used and can be expanded so that certain capabilities are given to counter some of those threats.
Page 34 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC You have to keep in mind what the threat is now, but you can't be looking at the past threat. As you indicate, you have to be looking at the future threat. So I think the wise application of technologies, both present and those developing, is one way to look at that problem.
Mr. SAXTON. Could you give us some examples of technology that are new and helpful?
Mr. NEWBERRY. Let me answer that also along with that question. When the J34 first started, after Khobar Towers, developing counters to high-explosion weapons, what they looked at was construction, for instance, on our facilities, and the facilities they concentrated on were where the troops would gather, for instance, the barracks areas, the messing facilities and those things. So you look at the standoff. You look at structures that don't fall apart when a bomb goes off near them. You look at the glass, the windows. You look at the design of the building. That doesn't mean we redesigned every base house or every building on the base, but we looked at those areas where we thought was vulnerable where you could have a mass casualty.
I know thethat was the focus, and now people are already saying, well, yeah, but now you have protected that, how about other areas of vulnerability for bases, the power stations or fueling stations, et cetera? And those have to be looked at as well, and they have been looked at by other types of organizations; not the JSIVA teams, but other teams. And I think we have done some of that focused effort.
Mr. BARTLETT. Well, I would not like to see us spend money in resources that are inappropriate to the threat. For instance, you could be struck by lightning, but I don't see you trailing a grounding wire and a little thing on your head so that the lightning will bypass you.
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I would not like to see us spending resources inappropriate to the threat. Always there will be a terrorist threat. We need to live with it. There isa determined enemy will get to us. The kind of things you mentioned are reasonable things to do for new construction. I think that it might be inappropriate to go back to refit all of the existing buildings to reduce that threat. I think we learn for the future rather than go back to that enormous expense to refit everything we have now got.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. SAXTON. Mr. Hill.
Mr. TAYLOR. General, a couple things I wish you would address. Number one, my State director of health brought to my attention that since, I guess, two or three decades now, we no longer inoculate children against smallpox. The nice part of that is it has been that naturally occurring smallpox has gone away; the bad side is that should someone get ahold of the stocks that the former Soviet Union had, and presumably other nations, it would make one heck of a lethal weapon. That is existing technology. We know how to inoculate people for smallpox. It is a vulnerability. It is more lethal than anthrax.
My question is at what point do we start inoculating Americans again for smallpox, starting with the people in uniform, knowing that the Soviets had it, knowing that it can be reproduced, and knowing thatI don't think I can give the exact number, but we certainly don't have a dose for every single American should we have to respond to it.
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The second thing that I would like for you to address is that I am still dumbfounded that a United States vessel went into a Third World port where we know there was openly hostile people, we know that it was capable of terrorist activities, and the security of that vessel was turned over to a Third World ship chandler. I am just dumbfounded. The response to that was to call up some Reservists, port security men from the United States Coast Guard, to fulfill that mission.
Obviously we now know there is a vulnerability, but as we both know, you can't count on Reservists forever, and is any move being made, either within the Navy or within the Coast Guard, to have a regular unit assigned to protect those vessels when they go into areas that we know are dangerous? I know that some port security units have been called up, but I don't see that as a long-term fix. So I would like you to specifically respond to the smallpox and to what is being done for waterside protection of our vessels in places that we know to be dangerous.
General COFER. Sir, on your first point, with all due respect, that is out of my lane. I just can't answer you on the inoculations piece.
On your second point, sir, even though the Navy might want to respond to that, I will tell you that, for example, in CINCCENT, they developed what they call flyaway teams in response to making sure that before a ship goes into a port, that that port is looked at and that security is there. They have just tested out that concept, and it has worked, where they put in security tointo a port before the vessel gets there.
So I think CINCs and services are doing things to attack that problem, but in regards to the Reserves and their capabilities, long term I can't answer that, sir, and that might be a question for the Navy.
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Mr. TAYLOR. Mr. Newberry.
Mr. NEWBERRY. Yeah. John Cofer is right. The Navy is and we all are in transit units looking at the counterintelligence units going in ahead, response forces being on the ship, response forces being able to respond should something happen. And you are absolutely right. It was a vulnerability that everybody missed. Unfortunately, the same thing could happen as we talk about the fact that we are concentrating on where we see the near-term threats, and we don't want to spend money whereunwisely where there are no threats. And I can't say that the next bomb that goes off won't be in a domestic installation where it is an Army base that is open. And there is a vulnerability. All of a sudden we are all going to jump up and start trying to fix these things, but I am not excusing it. It happened. It was a vulnerability. We are trying to fix it.
Mr. TAYLOR. More specifically, Mr. Newberry, the intercoastal waterway runs directly behind where the fleet is moored at Norfolk, okay, and my recollection is, it is just several hundred yards.
Mr. SAXTON. Our Navy fleet?
Mr. TAYLOR. Our Navy fleet.
Okay. What is to prevent that from happening again, because as we both know, Timothy McVeigh proved that a terrorist doesn't have to come from another country, and he doesn't have to have a specific agenda, other than killing a lot of Americans.
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Mr. TAYLOR. So what, right now, is being done to protect the waterside of our fleet at Norfolk for example, not just over in Saudi Arabia or United Arab Emirates?
I really would hope that you would get back to me in the near future. Because that is a vulnerability that has to be addressed, and I really don't think the Coast Guard does it or the Navy does it. But someone has got to have the specific long-term mission, based on what happened to the Cole, of protecting our ships when they pull into a port where they are vulnerable. And I don't see it now. I see a short-term fix of calling up some Coast Guard reservists. But that is a reserve rating in the Coast Guard. There is no such thing as a regular port security. So what is the long-term fix?
Mr. NEWBERRY. The Navy I believe is doing and looking at long-term fixes, and they are looking at the security of vessels in the continental United States around our coastal areas. We will get back to you and give you specifically what they are doing, but I know for a fact that they are.
And you are right. Before, you couldsmall boats would travel up and down the port in Norfolk. But I don't believe they are doing that now.
[The information referred to can be found in the Appendix.]
Mr. TAYLOR. You guys, I got to tell you I am less than comforted by your responses; and I would hope your follow on would be better than that.
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Mr. SAXTON. If you would, General, would you give us an examples of technology that we are currently employing or trying to procure to help with the technological issues that you alluded to?
General COFER. Sir, one of the big helps I think in looking at the technology issue was that, in May, J34 and SOLIC sponsored a force protection equipment demonstration at Quantico where over 400 vendors showed up to lay out all types of security, not only waterside but allthe whole spectrum of security type gear and equipment. Over 4,000 folks attended that, and that was one way to command a situation awareness of what is out there.
As a caveat, one of the things that commanders say a lot of times is, I don't know what's out there, I don't know what to ask for. So that particular demonstration I think was a good venue to make people aware of what is out there.
Specifically to answer your question, there are floating buoy barriers being looked at, there are waterside unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for observation, swimmer detection type technology. We use a DSEAG, Defense Security Equipment Action Group, and technical support working group has venues that go ahead and make that that technology, if it is there, we know about it. If it is not there, then it is developed.
Mr. SAXTON. When I was at Norfolk, looking at the intracoastal waterway, we got up on a guided missile destroyer (DDG) and we had a nice tour of the DDG. One of the things that happened, I leaned over the rail to look over, I heard this little bell ring. They had a fish line, monofilament fish line going around the edge of the ship, and it had little Christmas bells on it, kind that dingle. Then there were lines that ran down in the water with fishhooks on the end. So I thought to myself, I will bet that technology has been used for 50 years to defend ships from swimmers. Do we do better than that?
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General COFER. Yes, sir. As a matter of fact, at the equipment demonstration there is a buoy-type system that was shown where the buoys were actually in the water that set up a detection barrier for swimmers. It wasn't bells and string, it was a little bit more expensive than that, but it seemed to be quite effective.
Also, as I mentioned, there were also various pieces of equipment that would almost like radar be able to detect swimmers pretty far out coming into a coastline.
Mr. SAXTON. Do the base commanders make those requests for high-tech equipment or modern-day-tech equipment through you?
General COFER. We are one of the venues, sir. They have other options.
As I mentioned, the Technical Security Working Group (TSWG) and DSEAG are ways they can do it. There is a chairman's guidance (CG), there is this doctrine and publications that tell commanders how to do that. Like I said, venues like the one we had in Quantico is a good venue to go ahead and make commanders aware of what is out there.
I think what you saw in Bahrainwe can't talk about it here, but what you saw in Bahrain is the capability that they got because of talking to DSEAG and TSWG and also some of the backscatter technology that is out there.
Mr. SAXTON. What is backscatter?
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General COFER. It is a type of x-ray, sir.
Mr. SAXTON. See soft tissue?
General COFER. Yes, sir.
Mr. SAXTON. Why don't you explain to everybody here what backscatter x-ray is?
General COFER. It is a type of x-ray technology, sir, where it is better at detecting things that aren't right because it can kind of separate what is human and what is mass from what is not human and what is mass. So some of the things that would look like something wrong as a person is going through a backscatter that x-ray couldn't detect, the backscatter can.
Mr. SAXTON. Regular x-ray detects hard material and backscatter detects soft material.
Mr. NEWBERRY. Similar on the southwest border. With the backscatter radar when you see the trucks you can actually see the boxes and the items inside of a truck, as opposed to radarI mean, regular x-ray, it would just penetrate through.
Mr. SAXTON. Once again, when I was down at Norfolk they hadthe security officer on the base brought this subject up and said they would love to have some. Have they requested them?
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General COFER. That I can't answer, sir. I don't know. I can look into it, sir. But our job is to make sure that the commander is situationally aware of what is out there and show them the ways to get what is out there.
Mr. SAXTON. What about the question that Mr. Taylor raised about waterside protection? Seems like a fairly significant problem at Norfolk. The intercoastal waterway where hundreds and hundreds of boats pass by every Saturday and Sunday at least is 180 feet from the ships.
As a matter of fact, one of the things that really piqued my interest in this, it happened on the same day the Cole was attacked. By coincidenceI think by coincidence, an American Broadcasting Company (ABC) reporter rented a 20 foot or 19 foot boat, had a 20 horsepower outboard motor on it. He and a cameraman went to Norfolk and went up alongside of a DDG and touched it, took pictures of it, went back and made a documentary of it.
During the same period of time, they went to Groton, Connecticut, and did the same thing to a submarine which I guess they claim was a nuclear submarine. I suspect it was.
As I see it the situation in Norfolk, when I was there six or eight weeks ago I didn't see anything that would prevent anybody from doing the same thing again.
Mr. NEWBERRY. You are correct. The stuff I have seen so far that we have focused on is in the CENTCOM, Southeast Asia, other areas, foreign areas; and I will have to get back to you on the CONUS areas.
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[The information referred to can be found in the Appendix.]
Mr. SAXTON. General, do you think $28 million is sufficient? I mean, you can ask forwe provide the money. But we don't provide money unless somebody asks for it, generally. Once somebody does ask for it, those of us who believe that there are issues here that need to be addressed will do our best to try to get it.
But it doesn't seem to me likebackscatter radar, x-rays the trucks go through to my understanding costs about a million a copy. So this is not inexpensive technology, and I am just curious ifdo you have to go through a chain of command to ask for these dollars or are youdo you have the latitude of developing these requests on your own?
General COFER. The requests are developed by the CINCs and services. If I would like to stay a general, I probably ought to go through my chain of command. I do kind of like being one.
But in all honesty, sir, keep in mind that the combating terrorism fund is an emergency fund. What the Chairman is responsible for is things that weren't thought about before. So we are talking about a piece of equipment can be planned for. We are not talking about what the Chairman has at his disposal.
Mr. SAXTON. Yesterday we were talking with the Congressional Research Service who did a report, and they are in some respects critical of where we are and progress that we have made. Congressman Hunter who was here yesterday listened as it was explained that the base commanders had primary responsibility for terrorist protection at the bases; and then the question came up, would it be a good idea to have some specific criteria there, the job performance rating of base commanders relative to terrorism? Not specific-specific, but in other words this is part of whatthis is part of the criteria that goes into the rating of the performance of the base commanders. Is that done and, if not, would it be a good idea to do that?
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General COFER. Sir my, response would be that commanders are responsible for everything. If you are asking me should that be a specific bullet on a commander's report card, a commander being responsible for everything, it should be inherent in his total responsibility to protect people and protect things.
Mr. SAXTON. Mr. Chairman, do you have any further questions?
Mr. SPENCE. I don't think so.
I might want to comment on the National Guard Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Teams, (WMDCST) 27 of them. They are responsible to help support the governor, I guess, as part of the local State emergency management responsibilities. Congress has authorized an additional 5. Well, 27 and 5, that is not a wholespread the whole country, but I guess we must have plans to do more of those kind of things. Is that right?
Mr. NEWBERRY. Yes, sir. Right now, we are of course reviewing the entire program. The management of the program was criticized quite heavily by the Inspector General report last year, and that organization has been done away with.
We have about eight working groups looking at the different areas of WMD CST teamsmission doctrine, supplies, detail, logistics, location. We will be coming out with a report probably in August.
As you know, the teams have not been certified. We have got to look at certification of the initial teams. There have been studies on placement of the teams and how many do you need and do you need one in every State or have youdo you hit a maximum level of 30 something? Does that cover the areas and the population centers and any more than that really doesn't give you a lot of extra coverage.
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But, yes, we are looking at those; and they are part of the new portfolio for SOLIC as we inherited the responsibilities that were previously done by the Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Civil Support.
Mr. SAXTON. Mr. Taylor.
Mr. TAYLOR. Gentlemen, do you all believe anthrax to be a credible threat against American civilians or American military personnel?
Mr. NEWBERRY. Again, new area for us.
The anthrax vaccine.
Mr. TAYLOR. I didn't askdo you believe anthrax to be a credible threat against American civilians or against American personnel?
Mr. NEWBERRY. I believe it can be a threat, yes.
Mr. TAYLOR. General?
General COFER. [The witness nodded.]
Mr. TAYLOR. All right. Let's walk through this. A lot of crop-duster-type aircraft are used to pull banners around football stadiums: Eat at Joe's. In this instance the crop duster has anthrax aboard, sprays it on the windward side of the stadium. Four or five days later people start coming down with the symptoms. It happened to be a homecoming game, so people are from multiple locations that attended that football game. What happens? What do you all do?
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Mr. NEWBERRY. Well, right away.
Mr. TAYLOR. Who is called in to do what?
Mr. NEWBERRY. Right away, probably nothing happens.
Mr. TAYLOR. We are talking about four or five days later symptoms are showing up in different emergency rooms in a four our five State area.
Mr. NEWBERRY. Although.
Mr. TAYLOR. What is our Nation's response to that?
Mr. NEWBERRY. I don't know if you are aware of the top-off exercise last year where we looked at biological threats as well as chemical as well as explosive. FEMA, the Health and Human Services (HHS), everyone is looking at that. The first signs would be people showing up at hospitals.
Mr. TAYLOR. That is all you have. So what is the response? Who does what? You do have a plan to respond, right?
Mr. NEWBERRY. Yes.
Mr. TAYLOR. Who does what?
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Mr. NEWBERRY. Obviously, the local State governors will be in charge; and when they see something has got bad they will contact FEMA and the Federal health organizations. We will be called in to assist as required, depending on what they want us to do.
From a medical point of action, we will help out on medical evacuation or quaranteeing or whatever is desired. We won't be in the lead, I guess is what I am trying to say. That is a FEMA question, although we have exercised with them in these scenarios; and we have exercised during the city training scenarios in training to metropolitan areas to respond to those types of events.
Biological is really the hardest, obviously the hardest, because of the time it takes for something to react and then how those people scatter to the winds throughout the Nation, they are carrying a bug with them. So there are plans.
Mr. TAYLOR. Is there no way involved in the response in trying to keep it from spreading, trying to take care of those people who are already sick and keep others from getting sick?
Mr. NEWBERRY. The Department of Defense? Yes. We do help out.
Mr. TAYLOR. I am asking, what happens?
Mr. NEWBERRY. We open up.
Page 48 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. TAYLOR. Is there a way in place? Who does what?
Mr. NEWBERRY. What I am saying is it is.
Mr. TAYLOR. It starts off with FEMA. Then I asked, does the Department of Defense have any involvement? You said, yes. My next question is, what is your involvement?
Mr. NEWBERRY. Hospital bed availabilities at different hospitals. At the Veterans Administration (VA) hospitals, for instance, doctors called up, labs assisting with the analysis, beds, small hospital deployments. Whatever FEMA and the local community or the State government decides they need. Because, depending on the area and the hospitals and number of people affected, they will come to DOD to backfill what their shortfalls are.
Mr. TAYLOR. Who within the Department of Defense is responsible?
Mr. NEWBERRY. The coordinating agency, right now, from a policy perspective we will be, SOLIC. Joint Forces Command, and underneath it Joint Task Force Civil Support will be the organization that will be in charge of manage or command and control, the DOD elements that go to support FEMA in that endeavor.
Mr. TAYLOR. Is there an active duty unit assigned to the response or are the reserve missions, as part of the Guard's mission?
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Mr. NEWBERRY. Joint Task Force Civil Support is an active duty unit under Joint Forces Command. And they are building units that are available and capabilities available in the United States that they would have to respond to an event, whether it is biological or chemical or.
Mr. TAYLOR. I gave you a specific instance.
Mr. NEWBERRY. They will havethey are developing plans and reaction to and how they would respond to assist in biological events such as you described. Are we thereas a Nation, we are a long ways from there.
Mr. TAYLOR. Are you adequately funded in your opinion to respond to that one scenario? I know you can't respond to everything. But are you adequately funded to respond to that one scenario?
Mr. NEWBERRY. I am not sure funding is an issue in that scenario, because we are using existing assets. But if you are asking ifthe Department of Defense and the Nation as a whole, the biological response we are probably the least adequately able to respond to at this stage.
Mr. TAYLOR. Do you have the suitsenough of the suits so that the people you send into in area are protected themselves and themselves don't become carriers and eventually die from it? Are you properly equipped for the task and are people properly trained for the task?
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Mr. NEWBERRY. I will have to get back to you on those kind of details.
[The information referred to can be found in the Appendix.]
As to the size of the event, number suits of response, the doctors' capability, their capability to isolate the patient, I would have to say we probably won't beI would say we are probably going to be overwhelmed.
Again, it depends on.
Mr. SAXTON. Mr. Bartlett.
Well, I want to thank you. Let me just make kind of a concluding observation.
First of all, I must say that I think that we collectively have underestimated the problem posed by biological weapons. And from what Iand again, I don't do this to be critical because I know what a difficult situation this is. But a couple of years ago I met a guy by the name of Ken Alibek who defected here from the Soviet Union in 1992 who ran theirthey had 70,000 people working in their offensive biological weapons development group, 30,000 of which worked for him.
He has written a book which you may have read. You did. I read it, and it stood me right up straight.
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You know, basically they claim to have weaponizedafter they signed a treaty with us, by the way, in 1969 and we stopped our biological weapons development program, they developed and weaponized something like 70 different strains of virus and biological diseases, if you will. And having weaponized themand according to Mr. Alibek this is not high-tech stuff anymore. This is things that are viruses and so on, ebola viruses and smallpox and what have you which technologies have been disseminated to various people in various parts of the world, and that stuff is out there.
I think that we as a society have, by and large, underestimated the danger posed by that. And again, not being critical of you because it is a societal problem that we have, but I think it is a danger that we have to face.
Specifically with regard to force protection, just an observation, it seems to me that, as I stated earlier and as Secretary you agreed, this is a relatively new problem and one that is difficult to deal with because we are not quite sure what we are dealing with in many instances and therefore we are not quite sure what steps we need to take. And, as Mr. Bartlett said, we don't want to build the wrong kind of facilities just because we think there might be a threat. We have got to be able to concentrate our resources in an appropriate way.
But, still, there seems to me to be a need for us to anticipate what may happen in the future. For example, terrorists aren't terrorists just because they want to kill somebody. They have objectives. And as I speculated yesterday in this room, what would happen if we had a Saddam Hussein situation occur again like Desert Storm and Saddam Hussein was smart enough to say, gee, I need the help of some of my terrorist friends because the United States is going to bring all kinds of equipment and men and women over here and soldiers, and they are going to kick me back out of Kuwait. I don't want them to do that, and I don't want them to get here, so I will disable McGuire Air Force Base, and I will disable Dover Air Force Base, and I will disable Charleston Air Force Base. We couldn't get there, could we, if that happened?
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I think that is something we need to be cognizant of. Because inasmuch as this is a high-level threat today around the world, inasmuch as places like Chechnya and the Balkans and these types of activities have occurred, that I don't think we can discount the fact that they could occur here. And I know you don't.
I am notit is not intended to be a lecture. I keep trying to just pass along the information that I have gathered from years of study and worrying and thinking about these things, and that is to me a very real scenario. They may not disable McGuire Air Force base 100 percent or even get to Dover or even Charleston, but I think those are distinct possibilities.
Another scenario, some group wants to decide that their objective is to diminish our military capability by dissuading people from being in the services. There are a number of ways to do that, by making it difficult for families to deploy together, by making it difficult for people to be comfortable and feel secure at CONUS bases. So I worry a lot about these.
Incidentally, this is first time the chairman and I have been together in this forum. The chairman stood this panel up at my request about 18 months ago, and I appreciated it very much. Because this is first time, on the House side at least, we have had a formal forum in which to discuss these matters. I think it is extremely important. So, Mr. Chairman, I want to thank you publicly for giving us this opportunity.
I also want to thank you, General Cofer, for the job you are doing and you, Mr. Secretary, for the job you are doing. We appreciate it very much.
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I would just conclude by saying that whatever we can do to help you do your job, that is what we are here for. You wanted me to ask. So thank you for being here. Unless have you something further, I don't believe we do.
The hearing is adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 2:50 p.m., the panel was adjourned.]