SPEAKERS CONTENTS INSERTS
Page 1 TOP OF DOC?????
[H.A.S.C. No. 10725]
SECURITY AGAINST TERRORISM ON U.S. MILITARY BASES
SPECIAL OVERSIGHT PANEL ON TERRORISM
COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED SEVENTH CONGRESS
JUNE 28, 2001
Page 2 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office
Internet: bookstore.gpo.gov Phone: (202) 512-1800 Fax: (202) 512-2250
Mail: Stop SSOP, Washington, DC 20402-0001
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
SILVESTRE REYES, Texas
Page 3 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCJIM 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
David Trachtenberg, Professional Staff Member
Peter Pry, Professional Staff Member
William Natter, Professional Staff Member
Jarrod Tisdell, Research Assistant
C O N T E N T S
CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF HEARINGS
Thursday, June 28, 2001 Security Against Terrorism on U.S. Military Bases
Page 4 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Thursday, June 28, 2001
THURSDAY, JUNE 28, 2001
SECURITY AGAINST TERRORISM ON U.S. MILITARY BASES
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
Bice, Maj. Gen. David F., Commanding General, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton
Bouchard, Capt. Joseph F., U.S. Navy, Commanding Officer, Naval Station Norfolk
Davis, Col. Addison D. IV, Garrison Commander, 18th Airborne Corps, Fort Bragg, North Carolina
Page 5 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Hering, Capt. Leendert R., USN, Commanding Officer, Naval Base San Diego California
Kane, Brig. Gen. Thomas P., USAF, Commander, 60th Air Mobility Wing, Travis AFB
Bice, Maj. Gen. David F.
Bouchard, Capt. Joseph F.
Davis, Col. Addison D. IV
Hering, Capt. Leendert R.
Kane, Brig. Gen. Thomas P.
Saxton, Hon. Jim
Steele, Capt. John G., USN, Commanding Officer, Naval Support Activity, Bahrain
DOCUMENTS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
Page 6 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC[There were no Documents submitted for the record.]
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
[The Questions and Answers are pending.]
SECURITY AGAINST TERRORISM ON U.S. MILITARY BASES
House of Representatives,
Committee on Armed Services,
Special Oversight Panel on Terrorism,
Washington, DC, Thursday, June 28, 2001.
The special oversight panel met, pursuant to call, at 1:11 p.m., in room 2212, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Jim Saxton (chairman of the panel) presiding.
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. JIM SAXTON, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM NEW JERSEY, CHAIRMAN, SPECIAL OVERSIGHT PANEL ON TERRORISM
Mr. SAXTON. This afternoon, the Oversight Panel on Terrorism meets in open session for a hearing on force protection policies and practices of the U.S. military base commanders. The hearing will also examine the prospective of base commanders on the potential terrorist threat to their facilities.
Page 7 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
I hope to hear in the testimony today a frank assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of U.S. military bases and their force protection practices and preparedness to cope with potential terrorist threats.
Our witnesses today are the U.S. military commanders from the Marines, the Air Force, the Army and the Navy.
Major General David Bice, the commanding general of the Marine Corps Base at Camp Pendleton; Brigadier General Thomas P. Kane, commander of the 60th Air Mobility Wing at Travis Air Force Base; Colonel Addison D. Davis, garrison commander of the 18th Airborne Corps at Fort Bragg; and Captain Joseph Bouchard, commanding officer of the U.S. Naval Station at Norfolk; and also, Captain L.R. Hering, commanding officer at the U.S. Naval Station at San Diego.
Let me just say also that Captain Steele, John G. Steele, from the Naval Station Bahrain, was going to be with us today to offer his expert testimony, which is great. But because of the force protection condition Delta in the Middle East, he was unable to travel here today and we certainly understand that.
Gentlemen, I want to welcome all of you. And I have a statement here, which I would like to submit for the record.
[The information referred to can be found in the Appendix.]
Let me just say that this topic has become of some interest to us on this panel as well as to our witnesses today for very obvious reasons. We believe that there is a threat, obviously, internationally and we also believe that there is today a threat presence here in the continental United States relative to our military bases and other potential targets.
Page 8 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Some time ago we asked the General Accounting Office (GAO) to do an assessment for us, as they are our research arm here in the Congress. And they reported back to us that, yes, in fact, they believe there is a threat and inasmuch as our military base structure was established and grew up in a relatively threat-free environment, that we have a lot to look at and a lot to be concerned about relative to not only our mission capabilities, but also our ability to protect our personnel and our assets here in the United States.
So we look forward to hearing from our witnesses this morning, who have the primary responsibility for managing these issues that have to do with force protection and the terrorist threat to our military bases.
So without further ado, I will ask Ranking Member Mr. Snyder if he has any remarks, and if so, he may feel free to give them at this time.
[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. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
We have had a series of hearings over the last I guess eight or 10 months on the potential threat out there. But to me this is where the rubber meets the road, what you all do day in and day out to keep bad things from happening. I look forward to your testimony.
Page 9 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you, very much.
General Bice, the floor is yours.
STATEMENT OF MAJ. GEN. DAVID F. BICE, COMMANDING GENERAL, MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON
General BICE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Congressman Snyder, distinguished members of the panel.
I am privileged to command Marine Corps base, Camp Pendleton, our Nation's premier amphibious training base in California.
Camp Pendleton's number one priority is the safety and security of all 60,000 personnel who live and work on our base. Our Anti-Terrorism/Force Protection (AT/FP) program is built around the concept that the best deterrent is an alert, trained, combat-ready marine. Our principle resource at Camp Pendleton for force protection is the 25,000 marines and sailors of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force.
This is a timely opportunity to discuss AT/FP, as two weeks ago we sponsored a weapons of mass destruction exercise that included participation from our partners in surrounding cities, county, state and federal agencies.
Our exercise program is a cornerstone of our AT/FP efforts. Exercises are essential to establish working relationships with local, state and federal partners. Our recent weapons of mass destruction tabletop exercise was based on a scenario built around a bio-terrorism event initiated on Camp Pendleton but ultimately impacting Southern California from Los Angeles to the Mexican border.
Page 10 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Our focus was on discussion and understanding of first responder capabilities, emergency action procedures and to facilitate face-to-face interaction among the participants. Our participation included regional assets.
The most important lesson learned from our exercise program is that weapons of mass destruction (WMD) events require a regional response, inclusive of all communities, both military and civilian.
We have challenges in our AT/FP program. First is our current infrastructure: 3,800 buildings and structures are on Camp Pendleton; 40 percent were built in the 1940s and 1950s. Our sustainment, restoration and modernization program suffers from underfunding.
In my belief, we have a decaying infrastructure due to delayed maintenance and repair projects, especially for our bachelor enlisted quarters that were not built or maintained to AT/FP or even quality-of-life standards. In my opinion, this magnifies our vulnerability to terrorist attacks by impacting on those alert marines we rely on.
This historic underfunding of maintenance, repair and requirement for new construction of bachelor enlisted quarters adds to a significant impact on our AT/FP posture.
The second challenge I would like to talk about is what I would call a geographic challenge. Camp Pendleton sits between Los Angeles and San Diego. Our access control, perimeter protection, protection of the key facilities remains a day-to-day challenge on our 125,000-acre base.
Page 11 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
On any given day, 100,000 people are on our base, with 62,000 cars entering our base every day. We have 18 outlying encampments, 16 separate family housing areas, six public schools, a naval hospital, a Marine Corps air station, and an adjoining naval weapons storage facility.
Within 60 miles of our base we have an international border. And we have the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station aboard our base and that provides a unique, added element of risk.
In conclusion, we have learned a great deal in development of our AT/FP program and will continue to test it and improve it. Coordination efforts with local, state and federal partners are essential.
In my opinion we have an effective AT/FP program posture overall, but our infrastructure side of force protection is not good. Without correction, our AT/FP efforts remain a band-aid on a catastrophic wound.
Congress and the American people can be certain that safety and security will always remain my highest priority as commanding general of Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.
Thank you, sir, gentlemen, and I look forward to your questions.
[The prepared statement of General Bice can be found in the Appendix.]
Page 12 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SAXTON. Thank you, General Bice.
STATEMENT OF BRIG. GEN. THOMAS P. KANE, COMMANDER, 60TH AIR MOBILITY WING, TRAVIS AFB
General KANE. Mr. Chairman, Congressman Snyder, distinguished members of the Terrorism Oversight Panel, on behalf of the 14,000 men and women at Travis Air Force Base, it is my distinct honor to testify before the committee today. I appreciate the opportunity to share the proactive steps we have taken at Travis Air Force Base and to show how they are important to our vital national interest, especially protecting 37 C5 Galaxy aircraft and 27 KC10s, along with the personnel who guard, maintain and operate them.
As a commander of the 60th Air Mobility Wing at Travis, I can assure you that the protection of our personnel and our resources is of foremost concern of mine and the entire wing.
Each squadron commander and every airman, sailor and soldier at Travis Air Force Base takes that responsibility very seriously. In order to heighten their individual awareness and commitment, each has undergone extensive anti-terrorism/force protection training in accordance with the Chairman's and the Department of Defense (DOD) guidance. My commanders are taught the fundamentals of deterrence, detection and defense to prevent and mitigate the successful attack by those who would wish us harm.
Page 13 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC With our global mission addition to the complexity of the threat model, we review and monitor our forces that deploy overseas and who have stationed in different locations around the world.
Let me begin my stating that there are no impenetrable force fields that will guarantee 100 percent against terrorists who wish to harm. An effective AT/FP program requires good intelligence and a clear picture and understanding of the threat measured against the command's knowledge of its own anti-terrorism and force protection strengths and weaknesses.
Our force protection measures vary to provide proper levels of protection across the spectrum of conflict. From peacetime normal operations to the extremes of all-out war, we modify that level of force protection and employ to protect our people and our resources against unnecessary risks.
As terrorists improve their tactics and leverage new technologies to carry out their attacks, we have tried to remain constantly vigilant and develop countermeasures to stifle their efforts.
At Travis, we have a proactive threat working group comprised of our intelligence group, security forces and the Office of Special Investigations. They identify and command in all those emerging asymmetric threats to the wing and those agencies that support Travis Air Force Base.
We use exercises like those mentioned by General Bice to test our effectiveness against those threats because we believe those threats are inevitable. Our exercise scenarios are designed to provide not only wing leadership but all of our forces indications on how responsive they are to many type events.
Page 14 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Each quarter, we will conduct some type of anti-terrorism type force protective event. Hijacking, large-scale protests, bombings, assassinations and kidnappings have been reviewed over the last 18 months.
We integrate all of the expertise on our base to include bio-and environmental engineers, structural engineers, medical, fire and communication engineers to evaluate our vulnerabilities and develop and refine plans to eliminate and mitigate the known threats.
As you all know, Travis Air Force Base has had three extensive reviews of our AT/FP processes and programs. The Joint Service-Integrated Vulnerability Assessment (JSIVA) in February in 1998, an Air Mobility Command staff assistants' visit in September 1999, and an Air Force Air Mobility Command and vulnerability assessment in December 2000.
These processes are very important because these outside expert eyes review our force protection measures and capabilities and help us identify our shortcomings.
The enemy is out there every day in the shadows making similar assessments. We are well aware of that. By self-identifying and correcting our vulnerabilities now and being unpredictable in our daily mission activities, we limit and stymie an enemy's ability to infiltrate and degrade our mission capabilities, or worse yet harm and kill our dedicated warriors.
I too appreciate the opportunity to appear before the Congress today and stand ready to answer your questions.
Page 15 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Thank you .
[The prepared statement of General Kane can be found in the Appendix.]
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you, General Kane.
STATEMENT OF COL. ADDISON D. DAVIS, GARRISON COMMANDER, 18TH AIRBORNE CORPS, FORT BRAGG
Colonel DAVIS. Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman, Congressman Snyder, distinguished members of this panel. I will provide a brief oral statement to summarize the written testimony submitted for the record.
It is an honor for me to report to you today on force protection at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. As each of you know, Fort Bragg is one of our largest and one of our most diverse military installations with an average daytime population of over 100,000 people.
With the support of nearby Pope Air Force Base, we are the U.S. Army's premier power projection platform and home of airborne and special operations forces.
I can assure you that we take force protection at Fort Bragg extremely seriously. Our mission requires it and the American people expect nothing less.
Page 16 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
I am a graduate of a Level IV anti-terrorism course sponsored by the Joint Staff. I personally co-chair the Installation Force Protection Committee, which meets quarterly to review ongoing and planned force protection programs and operations. And I am held accountable for force protection by my rating chain.
We believe that an effective force protection program must be well grounded on sound intelligence, coupled with an appreciation of what effect the threat might have on our force protection programs and ultimately what that threat will have on our ability to rapidly deploy forces from Fort Bragg to any location around the world.
We have identified several existing threats along with a number of potential threats, all of which have been factored into our planning. Additionally, we have an effective system in place right now to disseminate a daily force protection message to units throughout the installation.
During the last eight months, we have taken a number of proactive measures to further enhance force protection on Fort Bragg. We completed our terrorist threat response plan required by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, which was validated in October 2000 during our installation-wide force protection exercise, which also exercised our weapons of mass destruction preparedness, mass casualty evacuation procedures and mutual aid agreements with the local communities, fire and emergency services in particular.
We conducted a subsequent installation-wide exercise in May of 2001 and will continue these exercises twice each year, the next one in October of 2001.
Page 17 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Additionally, we have instituted a random anti-terrorism measures program, or RAMP, which has significantly increased individual awareness and overall vigilance. We, too, believe that the soldier is the single key to force protection on a daily basis.
During the course of the past three years, we have received assistance visits from several organizations to include the Joint Staff Integrated Vulnerability Assessment, or JSIVA, team visit in June of 1998, the U.S. Army Forces Command Force Protection Assessment Team visit in March of the year 2000 and the Soldier, Biological and Chemical Command, who visited in May of 2000.
We welcome each and every one of these visits to the installation and very much appreciate the candid assessments and recommendations that they provide.
I would also like to add that the first document I asked for upon assumption of command over 13 months ago was a report from that 1998 JSIVA team visit. And more importantly, I asked to know what actions had been taken to correct noted deficiencies from that visit.
We are currently preparing plans to implement the U.S. Army Forces Command operations order on installation access control. This order requires that Fort Bragg establish a vehicle registration program and initiate control measures at installation access points in order to reduce the likelihood of criminal or terrorist activity.
We have briefed our concept to the commanding general of Forces Command and are in the process of developing a detailed plan for execution within the upcoming months. We will, obviously, be doing this in close coordination with the local communities that surround the Fort Bragg area.
Page 18 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
In summary, Mr. Chairman, we believe that the senior leadership of the installation is fully engaged in force protection planning, preparation and execution. We also believe that we have made great strides in the improvement of our force protection posture in just the last few months. But we also realize that much more needs to be done.
We are confident in the support of our senior leadership and greatly appreciate the important work of this committee on a very difficult and challenging task.
Thank you, very much, sir.
[The prepared statement of Colonel Davis can be found in the Appendix.]
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you, Colonel Davis.
STATEMENT OF CAPT. JOSEPH F. BOUCHARD, COMMANDING OFFICER, U.S. NAVAL STATION AT NORFOLK
Captain BOUCHARD. Mr. Chairman, distinguished members of the panel, thank you for this opportunity to provide the Special Oversight Panel on Terrorism with an overview of force protection policies and practices at Naval Station Norfolk.
I also want to thank the members of this panel and the House Armed Services Committee for your attention to this critical issue and your support for our efforts to enhance force protection in the armed services.
Page 19 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Naval Station Norfolk has the largest supported population of any facility in the U.S. Navy: 54,000 military and 11,000 civilian personnel.
Fleet units based at Naval Station Norfolk include 77 ships and 16 naval aviation squadrons with 138 aircraft. Additionally, 115 other commands call Naval Station Norfolk their home.
Seven functions vital for the readiness of the Atlantic Fleet are carried out aboard Naval Station Norfolk: support operations, air operations, logistics, ship and aircraft maintenance, training, communications and personnel support. These many activities mean that Naval Station Norfolk never rests. It is busy 24 hours a day every day.
The large concentration of fleet units at Naval Station Norfolk, as well as the diverse functions carried out there, generate significant force protection challenges. I will highlight four of them.
The first is maintaining effective perimeter security. Naval Station Norfolk has 14 miles of shoreline and 13.7 miles of fence line.
Additionally, the most significant personnel support area hosting the Navy exchange, commissary, medical clinic and dental clinic, is located outside the perimeter fence. For that reason, even as I work to enhance the security of mission-critical assets, my top priority is to upgrade security for these vulnerable soft targets.
Page 20 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC My second challenge is providing effective defense in depth. Mission-essential areas and facilities are scattered across the base, some in locations difficult to protect: the 14 piers, for example, over two miles of waterfront along a very busy waterway.
My third challenge is ensuring security for the numerous special events that are held on Naval Station Norfolk every year. Many involve visiting dignitaries and some events are open to the public, like the annual Azalea Festival Air Show, which attracts over 250,000 spectators.
My fourth challenge is providing security for the 24 flag and general officers who reside on Naval Station Norfolk and the nine who work there.
To meet these challenges, I am pursuing a number of initiatives to enhance force protection at Naval Station Norfolk. My fundamental goal, the Navy's fundamental goal, is a change in the minds and culture that integrates force protection into every aspect of our planning and the day-to-day execution of our mission.
For example, the level of security provided at threat condition normal has been greatly increased. This entails a certain amount of inconvenience but is essential for maintaining an effective force protection posture.
A key security enhancement that has been put in place is random anti-terrorism measures. By randomly implementing special, highly visible security measures on a daily basis, we complicate the planning of a terrorist contemplating an attack by making it difficult to discern a predictable pattern to our security posture.
Page 21 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Implementing the Navy's defense and depth approach to force protection, Naval Station Norfolk has identified mission-essential areas and has established a strategy of barriers, street closures, parking restrictions and access controls under threat condition normal, as well as at increased threat conditions.
Naval Station Norfolk has implemented enhanced flight line security procedures at Chambers Field. A new flight line security fence was completed this spring. Guards are posted at entrances to the flight line and roving patrols check on the guards and the fence line.
Significant improvements have been made to waterfront security. Last fall Naval Station Norfolk installed a float line marking the perimeter of the restricted area around the piers. It probably would not stop a determined attacker, but it has proven invaluable for keeping civilian vessels away from the piers. We have more than doubled the harbor patrol presence on the waterfront.
But these and several other measures we have implemented do not provide sufficient assurance that we could stop a determined attacker.
My goal, shared by my chain of command, is to put in place an integrated waterfront security system consisting of surveillance systems, patrol boats and pier sentries and barriers. I need additional resources to implement that system. The Navy is currently testing various anti-small test barrier designs and deployment of a suitable barrier should be given high priority for funding.
Page 22 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
A number of upgrades to perimeter security are also needed. Over the next few months gates will be installed at four of my entrances that have no gates at all and existing gates will be strengthened to better resist penetration. A security fence around the area that contains the Navy exchange, commissary, medical clinic and dental clinic is badly needed to enhance my ability to protect these vulnerable soft targets.
I also need to move our truck inspection station off-base and to upgrade its rudimentary capability with state-of-the-art inspection systems already used by other government agencies.
Some of the force protection enhancements I described are already programmed and funded. Others, such as the float line that marks the perimeter of the restricted area, were funded by reallocating funds from other purposes. But most of the future enhancements I need require additional resources.
In conclusion, Naval Station Norfolk has taken numerous actions to enhance force protection using the defense-in-depth approach. I am strongly supported by the Commander in Chief U.S. Atlantic Fleet and Commander Navy Region Mid-Atlantic, but they must balance force protection against other requirements that directly impact fleet readiness.
We will continue to do all we can to provide effective force protection. Ultimately, however, the only way to provide effective force protection for the mission-critical assets at Naval Station Norfolk, as well as for the military and civilian personnel who work and live there, is to provide additional resources for force protection.
Page 23 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Thank you, sir.
[The prepared statement of Captain Bouchard can be found in the Appendix.]
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you, very much.
STATEMENT OF CAPT. L.R. HERING, COMMANDING OFFICER, U.S. NAVAL STATION AT SAN DIEGO
Captain HERING. Mr. Chairman, distinguished members of the House, it is indeed an honor to address you here today. Thank you for taking the time to look into this very important defense matter.
As commanding officer of Naval Base San Diego, and assistant chief of staff for fort operations to Commander Navy Region Southwest, it is my pleasure to represent them here today.
Naval Base San Diego is the home port to almost two-thirds of the U.S. Pacific Fleet.
Mr. SAXTON. Captain, if I can interrupt you just for a minute, that is our system of letting us know that we have to go to the floor to vote and they will ring again in about five minutes. And about five minutes after that, or when you are finished with your testimony, we will take a break and we will go vote, so don't let that bother you, sir.
Page 24 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Captain HERING. Naval Base San Diego is the home port to almost two-thirds of the U.S. Pacific Fleet. It consists of nearly 1,400 land acres and 326 water acres. The average daily population is anywhere between 25,000 and 30,000 military and civilian personnel. Fifty-four ships of the fleet call it home port and there are 52 tenant commands on board, all supporting the fleet directly or indirectly.
Because of its central location, it serves as the hub for most dependent and retired personnel in the region. More than 90,000 personnel utilize the commissary and exchange every month and more than 20,000 vehicles pass through each of the three main gates every day.
The primary mission of Naval Base San Diego is to provide sustained logistic support for ships while providing quality of life and service to assigned personnel and their families. A major part of that responsibility includes providing a secure and safe environment, a responsibility I take very seriously.
The naval station is located 19 miles north of the U.S.-Mexican border and it shares its immediate border with the cities of National City and San Diego. The harbor from which we operate is the showplace of what is locally coined America's finest city. More than 100,000 active duty military personnel live in the immediate area and due to the severe shortage of government housing, most personnel live within the surrounding communities.
Anti-terrorism and force protection within the continental United States is a difficult task, not because we are unable to provide but, because it is a diverse environment, it actually becomes so multifaceted and more complicated than meets the eye.
Page 25 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
It requires a changing in the mindset more than just the military. It requires educating and preparing countless others to be aware of the potential dangers and just how they fit into the force protection equation. No one wants to believe that something like the Khobar Towers or the U.S.S. Cole could possibly happen in America's finest city; and, more importantly, not on a military facility.
We all know that it is not true and since I, too, am a graduate of the level four training, I have come to realize that those risks should no longer be taken. The secret is to minimize those risks by utilizing preparedness, education, communications, technology and good intelligence. They are all the ingredients that allow our defense in depth to work.
The naval station has a manning allowance of 125 civilian and military security forces. We are currently staffed with 97 assigned security force personnel who provide continuous protection 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Thirty-five are specially trained military personnel, the rest are civilian security officers.
An auxiliary security force comprised of well-trained, shore-based sailors from tenant commands augments these security forces during heightened conditions of readiness. This force, combined with the personnel from ships, who are providing pier-side and ship-board security during heightened threat conditions, are the strength which compromises a defense-in-depth structure which I believe is sound.
Recently established water-borne security forces, security booms with warning buoys and towers designed and strategically located to see miles in all directions have provided a visible deterrent to a would-be assailant by the bay.
Page 26 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Local boaters understand the need to change our posture and have been very accommodating, despite the fact that we have created areas in the bay, protected under U.S. Code 33, which are no longer sightseeing routes or fishing holes.
An emphasis on fence lines and gates have helped to identify weaknesses in our ability to provide a solid first line of defense. We are working hard to identify and correct those areas without reverting back to what was once a prison-like appearance.
Some major improvements have occurred to include rebuilding our guardhouses to comply with current standards. By the end of this fiscal year, four guardhouses will have been completed, three more to be built next year and the rest funded shortly.
Remotely actuated bollard systems are being installed at the four main gates to allow for better access control. Static barrier plans are in the works to provide rapid movement control throughout the entire facility. Physical facility issues identified through various lessons learned and the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) and the Joint Staff vulnerability assessments, both conducted on the naval station, are being programmed and planned to enhance readiness and safety.
Random anti-terrorist measures are in place and have become a daily way of life. They have become the primary planning factor for every mission, activity and event on the station. Making people aware of the threat is the most important part of the battle. In a message to the Navy in February of this year, the CNO puts this issue in a very simple term: ''Every sailor in the Navy must embrace force protection as a core competency.''
Page 27 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
The naval bases in San Diego and Navy Region Southwest enjoy a remarkable relationship with local, state and federal law enforcement and support organizations. The exchange of information from all aspects of support is excellent. We enjoy tremendous cooperation during every phase of planning and execution. Memorandums of understanding established with harbor police, U.S. Coast Guard, Customs, Border Patrol, local hospitals, fire departments serve to clearly outline support limitations and requirements. They are vital to our achieving defense-in-depth strategy.
Technical is, as I see it, but one area in which we stand to gain the greatest advantage in the area where the naval base needs to center its correction. Wireless encrypted systems, which allow for rapid communication and alert, are necessary. Video, radar, sonar, back-scatter x-rays and other high-tech systems are needed to be purchased so we can, again, gain an advantage.
By embracing technology, we make it harder to target military facilities and we provide our security force personnel with the force multiplier they so desperately need to be successful.
There is no doubt that no matter how we do in the area of AT/FP, a determined terrorist will find the scene. We are not naive enough to think that we are impenetrable. But we are smart enough and organized enough to make absolutely certain that if given the choice for success, the terrorist would choose a different target.
A lot has changed since October 12, 2000 and we will need time to adjust our strategies and to fund our requirements. Changes in the environment of such magnitude won't happen overnight. The changes we have made to date, and those that are planned and programmed and supported through the fleet commander and regional commander, in the very near future will provide for a much safer and secure facility. Vigilance, unity of effort and presence of purpose will determine the outcome in this battle for security and protection of our personnel.
Page 28 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Thank you again for this opportunity to be here today and your attention to this issue. I stand ready to answer your questions.
[The prepared statement of Captain Hering can be found in the Appendix.]
Mr. SAXTON. Well, thank you all very much. We appreciate those statements.
Let me just say before we run off to vote that we appreciate the job that you are doing and we have had the opportunity actually to travel a bit and we have been to Travis and we have been to Bragg, not on this issue but on others, and Captain Bouchard was kind enough to host us at Norfolk just a month or so ago. Congressman Hunter has been trying to drag me to San Diego and I am going to get out and see you guys, too.
Captain HERING. You are welcome anytime, sir.
Mr. SAXTON. I will enjoy that. And Robin Hayes is making sure that we get back down to Bragg here. I think we have a trip scheduled for the 13th of
Mr. HAYES. At least once a month.
Mr. SAXTON. Once a month. [Laughter.]
We are going to have to go vote. When we come back, I will be the first questioner, and I think what I would be interested in hearing first off is how you assess the threat at your base, what you need in terms of resources to do security measures or to put in place security measures that would take care of what you see is the most serious threat at your bases.
Page 29 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Just this morning we had the Secretary of Defense here and we were going over the budget priorities that the Secretary and the Administration have set forth, and so we will be in a position during the next month or two or threehopefully in that period of time; maybe longerto fashion our DOD defense authorization bill for this year and, obviously, this is one of the things that we are concerned about.
So if you can give us some specific ideas about what your needs are, we would appreciate that, and we will be back in 10 or 15 minutes. Thank you.
We stand in recess.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you all for your patience. We will have other members coming back as they complete their activities over on the floor. So why don't we start with Captain Hering this time?
Captain Hering, just in a general way, what do you see as your needs relative to the security of your base, relative to force protection? And what kind of resources would you need to take yourself to the next level of security?
Captain HERING. Yes, sir.
Our defense-in-depth concept primarily is hindered now in execution by resources. We are in a fight for personnel. We have difficulty securing security force individuals because of competing salaries on the outside. So, as I said, we have an allowance for 125, we are currently staffed with 97. And some of those billets have been open for a while; we just have not been able to fill them.
Page 30 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
The other thing is that the naval station, as you might know, is a facility which is very old, very industrial in its nature and has some major facility problems that need to be fixed. Some of them are just because it was never designed to do the force protection and anti-terrorism procedures that are required today. Physically, we can't get there from here without some major changes in the facility.
The technologies, as I said in my statement, are necessary for us to be able to regain the edge. We are what I would classify as low-tech at this present time. Our communications capability on-board was both noted in the JSIVA and the CNO evaluation as being less than satisfactory. We are working to try to solve that through an off-the-shelf system which has been also evaluated by the Joint Staff and has been successful.
And then I would say the other thing is our fence line which, of course, is our first line of defense. We are in the process and have been in the process for probably the last seven to eight years of replacing the chain-link fence with wrought iron and secured facility. We have roughly three miles of fence yet to go, and at roughly $210 a lineal foot, it is a very expensive process.
And we are Program Objective Memorandum-ing (POM) and have programmed for that as well as changes to the AT/FP facility requirements for enlisted quarters (EQs), for our bachelor housing and our office facilities along with our gates and that type of stuff.
Mr. SAXTON. Captain, is Naval Station San DiegoI have not been there, as I said earlier, but I saw a picture of what I believe is your facility with a big fuel storage capacity; is that right?
Page 31 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Captain HERING. We have a cogeneration plant actually located on the facility, sir, and there are two very large tanks, but it is inside what we call the dry side of the station. It is not easily accessible from that.
Mr. SAXTON. And do you have a big T-dock, a pier? I am trying to recall from the picture I saw.
Captain HERING. We have 14 piers. Most of them are slip in nature, each of them provide what we call a quay wall; an opportunity for a ship to slip in between. And then we have one very large mole pier and in the very center of the facility, we have a dry dock-like facility and that may be what you are referring to.
Mr. SAXTON. Do the piers pose a security problem to you on the water side? Is there a need for some type of barrier system that would protect from the water side?
Captain HERING. Sir, after the zero-based stand-down, we determined that to be one of our most important issues. We did create a visible boom and barrier system which allows the commander to make assessments for a line of demarcation, if you will. Again, it won't stop anybody.
The Navy is under study right now through the Naval Engineering and Support Command to evaluate a number of different types of booms and barriers that it might utilize.
Page 32 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
The difficulty that we are experiencing with what we have had so far is, like Captain Bouchard, slip operation requires that boom to be almost like a gate and because sometimes we can have eight or 10 ship moves out of one slip in a day's time, it becomes very manpower and labor intensive and equipment intensive to be able to open those big booms.
So we are evaluating all the different capabilities that are out there. It is not something that will happen overnight, but it is something that we are working on and does need to be done.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you very much.
Captain BOUCHARD. Sir, some of my top priorities include, first and foremost, I do have very serious personnel shortages in my security force. Right now I am undermanned by 89 military and civilian personnel below my authorized strength.
In addition to that, we have validated a requirement for 69 additional billets that the Commander in Chief Atlantic Fleet has requested and they are programmed to be added to my security force between 2002 and 2007. And in addition to those validated billets that have been requested, we have identified and validated 38 billets that I am told will be requested in the next submission for 2003.
So I do have very serious personnel shortages. I try and make those up by using personnel from ships, from aircraft squadrons and from other tenant commands, but I can't get enough people from tenant commands without having a very serious negative impact on their readiness.
Page 33 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
My second major concern is the waterfront. Like Captain Hering, defending the piersor more accurately, the ships at the piers against threats from the water is a very significant challenge. We have pursued a number of initiatives that have made our situation much better.
For example, the float line that we installed and that we showed to you, sir, has been very valuable for keeping the public farther out away from our piers so that we have open water that allows us to more readily identify an individual with perhaps hostile intent. But that float line won't stop a determined attacker; we do need some type of barrier system.
In conjunction with that, we need much better surveillance capabilities on the waterfront and we need more harbor patrol boats. I don't have enough now where I have high assurance that I could intercept an attacker before he could get alongside a ship.
As I mentioned in my opening statement, I have a very significant personnel sport area, that is outside the fence line and, although that doesn't qualify as a mission-critical area, it is probably my most vulnerable area, because of the number of military personnel and their families who are there. For example, at the front of the navy exchange we have a food court with great big plate glass windows right on a street and a bomb going off there could easily kill a couple hundred people.
I have taken interim measures to improve security at the naval exchange and commissary, putting up barriers to prevent vehicles from penetrating into the buildings and to provide minimum amount of standoff, but I need to fence in that area so I can keep intruders out.
Page 34 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
And, finally, I do have other problems with perimeter security that were identified by the Joint Staff Integrated Vulnerability Assessment. For example, having the truck inspection station on-base three blocks from the gate the trucks enter; basically, we have to trust them to go to the truck inspection station. A truck carrying a bomb could just bypass it and go to the piers or one of the barracks. We need to move it off-base. I am pursuing that with vigor.
And there are other upgrades as well, similar to what Captain Hering described; fixing weaknesses in our fences.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you, sir.
Colonel DAVIS. Yes, sir, Mr. Chairman.
One of our biggest challenges that we have right now at Fort Bragg is the fact that for many years, as most of you know, Fort Bragg has been a relatively open installation. We have several major state arteries that flow through the installation which is good because a vast majority of that traffic, based on our interaction with the Department of Transportation, is just transit traffic. It does not come onto the installation proper, but just, kind of, goes through it.
And so as we look at these traffic patterns and, obviously, try to strike a balance between maintaining a high degree of force protection on the one hand and reducing the amount of inconvenience to the local public on the other, we are trying to come up with some innovative ways in which to do that; one of which may be the construction of an underpass or overpass of the Bragg Boulevard road which is the primary road that goes through Fort Bragg, connecting the towns of Spring Lake to the north and Fayetteville to the south.
Page 35 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
We think by doing that that would allow us to connect, essentially, the eastern and western portions of the main cantonment area of Fort Bragg without allowing individuals on that road to move off of it into the cantonment area that we are trying to secure.
The other thing that we are looking at is an expansion of the security guard pavilions that we have constructed on the installation. Right now we have 11 of our access roads that have security guard pavilions constructed that, once we implement the plan I mentioned earlier, we will be manning on, to a certain degree, permanent basis. In other cases, it might be a random basis based on the particular access control point.
And so we are looking at plans right now to construct additional security guard pavilions in the event we have to man all of the access roads into and out of the installation.
Shifting briefly to the weapons of mass destruction side of the house and, again, as we develop our strategy in terms of how we are getting after the real issue of force protection, we are really trying to do two things, Mr. Chairman.
One, is we are trying to provide a deterrent measure to terrorists, criminals and other individuals who would seek to do us harm, and we do that in a proactive manner. On the other hand, we want to make sure that we have the response forces available; properly trained, first responders, fire, emergency services personnel, et cetera that move to the site of a potential weapons of mass destruction activity and take appropriate actions on-site to mitigate the results and to preserve lives, if you will.
Page 36 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
And so as we get into that weapons of mass destruction side of the house, again, as I mentioned earlier, we have conducted a major exercise this past year involving that sort of a threat and we have a lot of valuable lessons learned and we have identified some additional equipment that we think we will need in terms of personnel-protective equipment which allow us to have level A through C protective equipment for our first responders.
The second thing would be a second complement of detection equipment that would allow us to detect both chemical and biological threats.
We currently, within our plan, use detection equipment that is organic to the combat units assigned to Fort Bragg and we are able to deploy that equipment in very short order. However, if the units were in the process of a major deployment overseas, then they would have to take that equipment with them. And so we have a request which we have submitted up through our headquarters that will get us some additional personnel-protective equipment and the detection and monitoring equipment that we think we need for WMD.
My colleagues from the Navy have addressed the personnel issue. We think that that is an equally large challenge for us at Fort Bragg because, essentially, over time the military police elements that we had on our installations which were part of the TDA or the garrison were converted to military organizations that have a war-fighting mission.
And, for instance, of the four military police (MP) companies we have within the 16th MP Brigade, those MPs train for deployment into different theaters of war and, in fact, have been deployed. Within about the last 24 months, two of those four companies have been deployed either to Bosnia or Kosovo. We have another company that is there in the Balkans right now and another company, a fourth company, which has been on potential alert within anywhere between the next 12 to 24 months as a potential deployment.
Page 37 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
And so I guess my message to you, sir, is that as we look at those elements that are available within the military police side of the house, there are some limitations that we have. And so we are looking at what other options might be there in terms of other guard forces, whether government service, civilians or contracts, and as we work those, we will continue to work our requests up through the department levels, sir.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you.
General KANE. Mr. Chairman, I would tell you that Travis enjoys a fairly great location compared to the communities; no large cities within about six miles of the base parameter. There are some housing areas but, by and large, we are very well protected and we have worked with the communities to zone those areas from an encroachment perspective first but, more importantly, they have spillover on force protection.
That creates, for me, a low threat to Travis Air Force Base because we have a pretty view with a good secure perimeter fence; about 22 miles exterior around the base, although in need of repair and we have identified that as one of our requirements.
Two of the areasand I agree with Captain Hering that we ought to be leveraging technology because intrusion detection systemsCommander in Chief, Strategic Command (CINCSTRAT) just funded an intrusion detection system for our attack Counter-Terrorism Database (MO) airplanes that are on deployment to Travis Air Force Base out of the wing at Tinker. That is a big wing and that program will be completed in August. That was identified in the JSIVA.
Page 38 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
But in addition, I have asked my staff, as of a year ago, when I reviewed our JSIVA report when I took command, to find out how we could increase technology on the parameter of defense; not only lighting, but also a closed-circuit television system to complement that, that already protects our flight line very, very well.
We spent a lot of resources on barrier, so I will tell you my Class A resources airplanes and flight line are very well secured. Our major facilities that were pointed out in the JSIVA, we have taken and addressed issues on low-cost and no-cost type things.
And then I would agree with my colleagues that the people part of the formula really is where we get the synergy in anti-terrorism. Our exercise in April, we locked down the base, and while that wasn't a popular decision with either internal or external to the community, we proved that we could find the suspected terrorist given just a little bit of information.
And I will tell you that if I were going to invest some more resources, the intelligence that we get today from National Central Intelligence Agency, (CIA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), all of the agencies that cooperate, to include our Office of Special Investigations, Naval Criminal Investigative Service, Criminal Investigation Division (NCISCID), is very powerful and very much disseminated amongst the troops. So that is a huge investment; to be able to push that information to the lowest level in a very timely manner and we have taken advantage of that.
I think our progress in cyber-terrorism is something that we should take some credit for, because the effort that the Joint Chiefs of Staff and DOD did before the year 2000 (Y2K) definitely todaywhen JSIVA came and visited us in 1998, we had over 27,000 vulnerabilities in our system. Today we have less than 100 and those are high vulnerability-type things. We have had no breaches to the firewalls and so I think we have done a great job, again because this process focused us on what those issues were.
Page 39 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Today I have $5 million of unfunded requirements in the AT/FP area. I would tell you if I had $2 million today, I would completely re-do my fence around the perimeter of the base to include some of the internal structures and I would spend a lot of money on that technology to help protect the borders to optimize the 200 security forces that protect our base.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you, sir.
General BICE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
We had a JSIVA analysis done on our base in 1999. Our base, like all Marine bases around the world, we have controlled access, continue to control access to our bases.
However, we identified over two and a half years ago some $7 million worth of basic items, such as inspection lanes, portable lighting and bollards at the gate, those sort of things. They have been going through the normal POM process and we haven't really received anything. We have received $250,000 from Commander in Chief Pacific for emergent needs. But the POM process has been very slow in moving items to us.
Our base is not impenetrable. We have 17 miles of open coastline. We have a major freeway, Interstate 5, runs through our base. We stop, pick up 150 illegal immigrants a year on our base. So it shows that anyone can get on our base if they are determined enough. And that way we have to have protecting rings of security as we move from outside perimeter into the base itself.
Page 40 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
I must say that I cannot overstate the infrastructural side of force protection. Half our barracks are inadequate, not built to even seismic standards. They are attractive targets to anyone who wants to go in and hit a troop concentration. They have no standoff, setback procedures from roads, and so they are a very lucrative target for any determined terrorist who wants to get there. Couple with that poor quality of life, and you limit the alert marine that we rely on to help us in providing our force protection.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you, sir.
Thank you for the very thorough answers. And I would just observe that it seems like there is quite a list of needs, everything from personnel to changes in facilities to technology, particularly intrusion detective systems, fences, fencing, various types of additional security equipment, roadway modifications, detection equipment for weapons of mass destruction, and the list goes on. And I see we have a list here my staffer just showed me of items of similar natures that are included in the secretary's budget proposal that we just heard from today.
Mr. MCINTYRE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Thank all of you gentlemen for coming today, and particularly want to recognize Colonel Davis, our neighbor and friend. I know Congressman Hayes and I together at one time or another, he represents Bragg and I formerly represented Bragg, so we are good neighbors with working with you at Fort Bragg. And I want to commend your leadership in particular.
Page 41 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
For those of you who don't know, Fort Bragg received the Commander in Chief's Award for Installation Excellence just last month. And Congressman Hayes and I share in the joy that I know you must have for the good work you have done and the yeoman's job, with the positive things that have occurring at Bragg.
I just have a couple of questions today, and I would direct them to you, Colonel Davis, for our panel. You have outlined some very critical measures for force protection at Bragg.
And all of you gentlemen that have testified have outlined some excellent ideas and concerns.
Colonel Davis, could you tell us, how have you been able to increase force protection with the decline in the funding? Is it a question of shifting things within your own budget, or do you just, kind of, wait to be told how much you can spend and then you spend whatever you can, how much you can on that? And how tough has it been to do that in order to meet this increasing demand for protection against terrorism, because as you stated Bragg is one of the most open installations we have here in America?
Colonel DAVIS. Yes, sir. Just a couple things. Number one, getting back to some of these assessment team visits that we have had come to the installation, there are quite a few things that we have been able to do to further enhance our security that were procedural in nature, which really did not require us to expend any amount of funds.
Page 42 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And so we have spent a lot of time and effort into our procedures, how we establish security, how we establish notification procedures and how we prepare ourselves to respond to a whole variety of threats that might be out there.
One of the things that you end up doing when you do have a lack of resources, you have to accept risk in certain areas. And in some of those areas, we have had to accept risk in personnel readiness. And I would mention that from the standpoint of having to use some of those military policemen that I mentioned earlier for force protection-specific requirements to the installation itself in lieu of other training that they might need to do to perform their combat role as a military policeman.
As we go into the execution of the United States Army Forces Command (FORSCOM)-directed limited access plan, which I mentioned in my opening statement, we have already identified a need to bring in other supporting units to provide augmentees, if you will, that we would, obviously, train up for the task of providing security. And so we think that will also have an impact on the readiness of those units.
And for instance, let's say the 82nd Airborne Division is in a support cycle for that six-week period, then it would be the 82nd that we would draw on to provide us with the support that we needed in terms of manpower to augment the military police who would already be performing the mission of security on the installations. So I see that as another challenge.
And finally, in terms of other resources that we need, in terms of certain items of equipment, barrier material, there has been some money forthcoming this past year that allowed us to purchase additional Jersey barriers that we needed that would allow us to cordon off and gain the standoff that we need to mitigate the effects of a bomb or some sort of improvised explosive device.
Page 43 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
And so, that leads us probably to my last point, sir, and that is the prioritization we have to do in terms of looking at our essential command and control facilities as the top priority, and then as additional funds become available and resources then we can work out way down the list of the vulnerable areas we have identified.
Mr. MCINTYRE. Thank you, and I just have one other question.
And before I do, though, I would be remiss if I didn't thank my ranking member and colleague, Vic Snyder, also for yielding his time so that I could go ahead and ask these questions since I have another meeting. And I appreciate it.
And thank you, Mr. Chairman.
My last question is, Orbit Comet, that you mention in your report on page nineyou talk about the type of terrorist threat response plan. You worked it with Spring Lake, which is a small community in Congressman Hayes' district right beside Fort Bragg and Pope Air Force Base that you mentioned earlier.
I get questions so often in our areaand since I represent the bulk of Fayetteville, North Carolina, beside Braggfrom the sheriff's department, local police, firefighters, so often we hear that the tragedies of a terrorist attack, such as we saw on Tokyo a few years ago, are the first-respondersthe local firemen or the volunteer firemen who, you know, this is something they do to give to their community.
Page 44 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Are there things you are doing that could be an example to our military nationwide and perhaps even internationally, but particularly in domestic concerns, of what we can do to work with our emergency medical services (EMS) units, our volunteer firefighters, our local sheriff and police departments in terms of coordination against a terrorist attack? Is there anything you can tell us in terms of the way you all are training or trying to integrate working with civilian authorities and these local public safety officers and how you are accomplishing that that can be exemplary for others?
Colonel DAVIS. Yes, sir. I think that there are probably three key points in terms of the integration in the work that we do with those different communities.
Number one, we have a series of mutual aid agreements that are already in existence with the fire and emergency services in both Fayetteville and Spring Lake and with Cumberland County. And those agreements are in place as we speak in the event we had not only a terrorist incident or just a large fire or some other major catastrophe that we would require their services as assistants, or vice versa.
And so we have worked very hard on building those relationships with the local communities to include the Cape Fear Valley Regional Medical Center and other medical facilities in the area. And if we can do that in times of peace and lessened, you know, heightened tensions, then that really helps us as far as our relationship-building.
Prior to the execution of the exercise we conducted last fall, we also conducted a very extensive tabletop exercise. It involved about 150 individuals, and probably over 40 of those individuals were from Spring Lake, from the fire department, city manager's office, and the same from Fayetteville. And so we integrated them into this tabletop exercise where we went through a series of events which ultimately led up to the detonation of an improvised explosive device and emission of a sarin-type gas.
Page 45 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
And so as we talked through that tabletop, they were there with us going through the exercise in a tabletop fashion. And two days later, we actually executed the mission for real. We had first-responders from the local community. We had the Fayetteville Hazardous Material Response Unit, which came in and actually set up adjacent to the Fort Bragg Hazardous Material Response Unit, and we were able to provide a lot of great support.
And so that is really our strategyto include them in the planning that we do on a day-to-day basis, have the mutual aid agreements in effect, and then when we conduct these tabletop exercises and other full-up exercises to make sure that they are an integral part of it.
And the training is kind of subsumed within that overall execution of the exercise because, throughout the year, we are training with them and they are training with us as far as the procedures that are in place for operating in a hazardous environment.
And so I think that that probably sums it up, sir.
Mr. MCINTYRE. Okay. Thank you.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you, Mr. Snyder.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you, Mr. McIntyre. Good questions.
Page 46 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you very much.
All five of you have outlined for us the plans for protection at your facilities, the challenges you are having in staffing for those. My question has to do with, how do we know when enough is enough? In the past, we have clearly been much less protected.
Obviously, we could have far more protection than any of you have described. We are a very open society, we have very open bases. That has been very beneficial to us because the community identifies with us and we have generally broad support from the community in anyplace our bases are. We do not have a fortress mentality which would detract from the acceptance of the local community.
Any resources you get, any personnel you get come from some other source. Readiness somewhere else is depreciated because they have moved some resources to your area.
How do we decide when enough is enough? And how did we arrive at this current level of readiness for countering terrorist attack? And do we have it about right, do you think?
Captain HERING. I am going to say that enough is enough, I guess, when we comfortably can sit back, after doing a tabletop or an exercise, and realize there are no huge seams in our plan where vulnerabilities exist, where even the most uneducated individual would be able to see that seam and be able to execute some type of terrorist attack.
Page 47 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Currently, we have some of those which have been pointed out today, primarily because we have not dedicated that type of concerned effort at hardening our facilities.
As Captain Bouchard has pointed out, he has an area like his exchange and commissary. I, too, have a facility which, if a terrorist chose, could make a very visible, easy target of a facility like that. My exchange and commissary is not protected on a daily basis, but yet 90,000 people walk through there every month.
I think that what we need to do is be able to take a look at those with an understanding that the threat base drives where we need to go, and we are prepared in both facility and capability of being able to respond to that threat and that we are at enough.
Do we need to be at the inevitable today? No, sir, I don't think so. Do we need to be at the inevitable if the situation around the globe changes? Yes, sir, we do. And we need to be able to look at how we plug up the seams and the gaps that currently exist. We need to build our defense in depth. We need to exercise. And when that defense in depth is in fact extremely vulnerable, we need to fix it.
And I think that technology helps us do that. First, line perimeter fencing helps us do that. And again, those are not huge resources, they are not amazing requirements that will drive the budget out of the world, but I think that those are the things that we have to look at.
Mr. BARTLETT. Captain Bouchard, how much discretion do you have at your facility? And who do you have to do battle with to get additional resources if you think you need them? Who do you have to convince that you need those additional resources?
Page 48 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Captain BOUCHARD. Sir, within the limits of federal regulations on reprogramming, I do have a lot of discretion to reallocate the funds that are given to me. I have done so over the last year to the tune of over $300,000. I have taken that money from other purposes and put it into force protection, in particular to upgrade security on the waterfront, at the airfield as part of defense in depth, and to improve security in other areas as well.
So I use the authority I have as much as I can. I am limited, however, in that it is a zero-sum game. Those are funds that I would have used for other purposes, for maintaining my yardcraft that I need to support the ships or for filling potholes. That may not sound like a big issue, but in terms of the quality of life of the people on my base, that is a big deal.
In terms of who do I go to for money, I start with the Commander Navy Region Mid-Atlantic Rear Admiral Cole. He has been very supportive. Force protection is one of his top priorities. He established a force protection task force, along the same lines of the task force that the CNO established for the entire Navy, to put together an integrated priority list for his region.
My requirements are on that list. He, in turn, submitted that to Commander in Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, Admiral Natter. And he has put together his requirements for his entire area of responsibility (AOR). Everything that I have identified as a requirement they have supported and passed on to the Department of the Navy. So I actually have very strong support for them.
Page 49 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Admiral Natter has taken millions of dollars from other sources and used it to procure new equipment, to reassign personnel in order to increase force protection throughout his AOR, including at Naval Station Norfolk.
I was given additional portable guard towers, portable floodlights and other equipment that he procured by reprogramming money from other accounts.
Mr. BARTLETT. Colonel Davis, were there a terrorist attack somewhere else in the world, we obviously desire increased security all around the world because one may very well precipitate another one. What kind of abilities do you have for rapid ramp-up? And do you have specific plans for that?
Colonel DAVIS. Yes, sir, we do. Obviously, that is something we pay close attention to as far as the world situation, because we think, with regard to the mission we have as a power projection platform, that something that happens elsewhere in the world might impact on us, as some of the ones that might be the first called up to move out on a certain mission.
The terrorist threat response plan that I mentioned earlier that we exercised this past fall and actually validated, along with our limited access plan for the installationthose two plans allow us to essentially cordon off the installation, restrict access to it during a heightened threat condition. That plan, in its current state, is very resource-intensive with regard to the numbers of soldiers that we believe it would require us to implement that particular plan.
Page 50 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The other challenge that we have, sir, is that if the terrorist incident occurs overseas, an isolated event and there are no soldiers from Fort Bragg that are put in motion to move forward, then that is one scenario. It becomes a completely different scenario when we start having soldiers in the deployment status who are having to focus on the mission that they would be required to perform once in theater.
So it would reduce our ability to continue to maintain that level of deterrence. And quite frankly, that is one of our biggest concerns, is that in the middle of the deployment when we are trying to move forces, both active and reserve component forces, out of Fort Bragg, that is a period of time that we would not have the other resources that we needed to provide the support and the security on the installation.
Mr. BARTLETT. General Kane, obviously a bright and determined terrorist could get through any reasonable defense area. Considering the other priorities that we have, do we have it about right, do you think, at your facility?
General KANE. Sir, today I would say yes. And I would go back to your first question of how much is enough. I think it is like insurance. How much insurance can we afford? And looking at the emerging threats that terrorism has demonstrated they were looking for and have the capability to demonstrate in the future, we need to continue to maintain hard targets so that they decide that military bases and our resources and people are not targets. And I think we have all talked about that.
Today, I would tell you, yes, we have it about right. But it depends tremendously on our human factor. Remember, we are not fully manned across the board, as you have heard my colleagues say. I think that the challenge is to continue to heighten the awareness of the individuals. I think that the intelligence system that gives us that information and gives us the early warning indications is critical for us to respond in a timely manner.
Page 51 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Our exercise in April, in 17 minutes we locked down our base. We caught the individual two miles outside our base perimeter because we knew the type of vehicle and the intelligence was so good.
So I think today, yes, but it demonstrates again the tremendous commitment we have from the Chairman and the Secretary of Defense all the way down to do antiterrorism and force protection training, level one, two, three and four. All of us have attended the level-four training.
So I would tell you that we look at the future threats and the requirements we have to face that. We need to leverage technology to give our people who have force protection requirements, our first-respondersthe fire department, the emergency response teams, the security forcesthe ability to not only know who the threat is and try to narrow that down as quickly as possible, but also to then respond with the type of equipment to handle those future threats.
Mr. BARTLETT. General, if there were a terrorist attack at your facility, Monday morning quarterbacks would find lots of things that you might have done and didn't do.
General KANE. Yes, sir.
Mr. BARTLETT. Are you prepared to defend yourself so that you don't become a victim of this? And will your superiors be there to say, ''Yes, he had it right, and, you know, these kinds of things can't be totally prevented''?
Page 52 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
General KANE. They can't be totally prevented. The buck stops with me, sir, and I can tell you, based on the JSIVA report in 1998, we have only satisfied 65 percent of the items that they have identified. Some of the other long poles in the tent were funding for fences and perimeter, barriers and emergency response teams, and we are working those very hard, like the rest of the commanders here.
Mr. BARTLETT. Yes. And I hope that all of you have backup, because a terrorist attack will occur, and the next day people are going to be pointing to all kind of things that you didn't do and might have done. And I just don't want to see any of you anywhere be scapegoats for this, so I hope that you all have backup, you know. We are having this hearing, that is a kind of a backup. We aren't arguing with you that you aren't at the right place.
And I just think that we need to make sure you have the kind of support you need to have so that when an accident occursand it will occurthat everybody up and down the line is going to say we were doing it right, that in this world you can't totally prevent this kind of thing, and we had the right kind of protection relative to the priorities that we had.
Thank you very much.
Mr. SAXTON. General Kane, before we go to Mr. Snyder, when you were talking about the 17-minute lockdown and catching the perpetrator two miles outside the gate, was that an exercise?
Page 53 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
General KANE. Yes, sir, it was, and it was demonstrating the fact that we had one of those level-four exercises we run all the way to threat condition (Threatcon) Delta. We actually caught the perpetrator the night before two times, because we had posted his California license plate on the commander's access channel. So he decided he had to get off base in order not to be caught more than the two. So we caught him the third time the next day two miles outside the gate in his U-Haul truck.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you.
Mr. SNYDER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Your discussion about how much is enough reminds me, probably the thing I am most proud of as an elected official was actually when I was in the state legislature getting involved in drunk driving legislation. But nobody ever comes up to you and says, ''I really want to thank you because if it hadn't been for you I would have been crushed as a pedestrian when I was six years old.'' You know, you don't ever have those stories.
And you are not going to have people come up to you and say, ''Well, you know, three years ago I was trying to take some C4 into your base to blow one of your barracks and your fence was too good.'' [Laughter.]
I mean, it is not going to be like that. And so it is a tough thing to evaluate. Probably some of the theft and illegal immigrants, those are probably good exercises for you, but the other stuff is going to be more difficult to evaluate.
Page 54 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Just briefly, the chairman asked the question a while ago and you all gave some detail about what you would do with additional resources. I still don't have a sense of the chores you see ahead of you. What percent of them require money, and what percent of them are just procedural, administrative changes? I mean, can you just brieflyI mean, is the bulk of the stuff you have left stuff that needs money or is the bulk you have left just a different way of doing things that doesn't take money?
If we could just quickly run down the line.
Captain HERING. I would say that probably 65 percent are resource-driven65 to 70 percent are resource-driven. Most of the administrative issues, if not immediately executable, are things that cause us to have to go back and do things like tabletop issues in order to develop our processes and procedures better. But I would venture to guess that probably 65-70 percent are resource-driven.
Captain BOUCHARD. Sir, I would agree with that, although I might put the resource requirement percentage higher. The procedural changes, the changes to trainingwe are doing that now, because those things can be done at relatively low cost. And they are an important interim measure that we can take until we do get the additional resources we need to correct the facilities and equipment efficiencies that we have.
Ultimately, however, no matter how well-trained our people are, no matter how good of an exercise program we have, no matter how sophisticated our tactics, our people have to be properly equipped. We have to have the right systems for them to be able to effectively carry out the force protection mission. And we are starting fairly low on the learning curve in that regard in the sense that we don't have good surveillance systems in place, and we do have these gaps in our defenses that we talked about.
Page 55 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
So we do need the resources. And I would say that is right now probably about 80 percent of the problem.
Mr. SNYDER. Colonel.
Colonel DAVIS. Yes, sir. We believe we have a good strategy, and I mentioned parts of that strategy earlier. And I also mentioned that we think that we are probably about 90 percent complete as far as the procedural actions that we need to take to correct certain plans and certain coordination that needs to be done.
But we still, as we continue to develop this U.S. Army forces command plan that I had mentioned briefly, we think that there may be some additional resources identified as a result of our mission analysis that we had not previously identified, and those come in the terms of infrastructure items that I mentioned earlier.
And I would say that in terms of our infrastructure, we may be as far as 60 percent of the way, as far as completion, of what we think we need to do with a 30-35 percent yet to go, and then kind of a 5 percent variable there.
Mr. SNYDER. General Kane.
General KANE. Sir, I think we have it about right35 percent of those initiatives that were identified in both the vulnerability assessment and the JSIVA, we took care of just by doing process changes.
Page 56 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
There are certainly resource requirements, funding for emergency response teams, barriers, remote camera systems, technologythose are the main issues, and I think General Bice and I have both said our POM processes work pretty well.
When we can figure out where the pockets of money arefor example, CINCs' initiative funds, other types like medical funds, or doing training, buying equipment to work with the communities to perfect things that tell us about weapons of mass destructionthose are very powerful. And those, again, boil back to individuals who have initiative and then do commit themselves to doing the best they can with the resources they are given today.
General BICE. Sir, for us it is mostly resource-driven. We train our people for security all the time. Every marine is a basic rifleman. We train them in security. Officer, enlistedit makes no difference.
Where our shortfall is is in resources. Just like my colleagues, everything that we have done to date has been at the expense of doing something else. And it is taken out of our base operating support funds, so we are taking from something else to devote to this. So from our perspective, it is resources that is what is needed.
Mr. SNYDER. General Kane, would youLittle Rock Air Force Base is in my district, and I have been to the air show several times out there. And I wouldn't want to be responsible for security during an air show. You mentioned, one of you, that your place put on special events, but I think a couple of years ago we had so many people come to the air show they literally had to stopcouldn't let any more cars in, which meant the streets were all backed up with people lined up trying to get in.
Page 57 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
How much is aI assume we always want to do air showshow big a challenge is that?
General KANE. A tremendous challenge.
In fact, you know, based on the Threatcon Delta the chairman mentioned in the Middle East, we went to Threatcon Alpha last week. That, had it been done a week earlier, I had an air show, two days. We all learn through one of the scenarios at the level-four course that we go to as commanders, that one of the scenarios is an air show at McChord Air Force Base. And I can tell you, I was one of the ones that didn't stop the terrorists.
But I think that public awareness and the importance to sell your mission we put into practice months ahead of the air show, in fact, six months in our case. Some bases do it much longer in advance. We work with the FBI, the local law enforcement to identify those threats.
We today know who the domestic terrorists, international terrorist groups, that operate in our area. That is important to us. And then, what we do is we make a commander's decision of how carefully we can manage the situation. And then, depending on the crowd control or whatever, we are vulnerable.
I can tell you during our air show two weekends ago, we found two stray packages. And the teams showed up, removed them, we moved on. One was holding a baby's diaper.
Page 58 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC So it is a risk we all take. I think we do good threat analysis and commander risk assessment. We use operational risk management principles and go forward. But there are tradeoffs, and ultimately, again, this is the guy you have to look at when we fail.
Mr. SNYDER. In your written statement, you madeI think it was you, General Kane, said that one of the problems that you have, and I guess it is a resource problem, but it is the challenge of getting security clearances
General KANE. Yes, sir.
Mr. SNYDER. [continuing]. For your folks. Where is the problem there?
General KANE. Well, there are actually two issues. And I am glad you brought that up. We have people who operate on our bases today either through A-76 contractors that we leave it up to the contractors to determine whether they are secure on the base.
I can tell you last year at Travis Air Force Base we turned back 2,200 people because they didn't have the right credentialsimproper ID cards, false credentials, illegal aliens. I know some got into the base.
But the security clearance issue is pretty important to all of us, because it affects our ability to put airmen who are newly assigned to the Air Force on the line to do the mission in those secure areas, whether it be in the command post or the flight line, working on airplanes.
Page 59 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
I will tell you we have made some good progress. The Secretary of Defense put some emphasis on this over a year ago. The securities teams have gone out with more money and people.
Mr. SNYDER. Are these all Air Force personnel?
General KANE. No, sir.
Mr. SNYDER. Or do you get into civilians
General KANE. Civilians, contractors
Mr. SNYDER. No, I am sorrythe people who are doing thewhere is the roadblock in the security getting the clearances? Is it FBI clearances?
General KANE. Could we get back to you with an answer on that, because it is a pretty complex structure. And I think to show you how our system worksand we have made some progress, but I will tell you that it still is an issue that I think we all deal with.
[The information referred to can be found in the Appendix.]
Mr. SNYDER. Yes, I understand. Just one question, are all the roadblocks under your control?
Page 60 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
General KANE. No, sir.
Mr. SNYDER. Under the control of the
General KANE. They are not.
Mr. SNYDER. They are not.
General KANE. Absolutely.
Mr. SNYDER. All right.
General KANE. We will get you an answer for that.
Mr. SNYDER. Yes, that would be great.
And then, Colonel Davis, my last question, we have spent a lot of timewe talk about weapons of mass destruction. I think it was in your statement that you consider crime, cyber-terrorism and spies to be your most likelyfolks coming to you trying to get information.
Colonel DAVIS. Yes, sir.
Mr. SNYDER. And in your written statement, you say you have had evidence of people having come through just to get information about our military. That must be a difficult thing to stop with highways coming through your base.
Page 61 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Colonel DAVIS. Yes, sir, it is. And one of the things that weyou know, the onus of strategy coming after issues like that sort of threat is our operational security program, and on the installation itself, where we try to make sure that each and every soldier understands the importance of operational security with regard to not only training exercises that are being conducted, but also with regard to real-world missions.
And on any given daylet's take today for instancewe have over 4,123 soldiers deployed in over 15 countries around the world. And those are operational deployments we have right now.
And so as soldiers began preparing for and executing those deployments, it is a big challenge on our part to make sure that we maintain adequate security with regard to that information. And so that is where the secure telephones we have in place and other procedures that are allowable means for transmitting classified information must be used to reduce any sort of folks picking up information of that nature.
And so that is really the key element in protection, is making sure that folks use the devices and the systems that we have in place.
And by the way, we do do a pretty significant amount of operational security training for our soldiers throughout the yearnot only the ones deploying, but the ones that are just right there at Fort Bragg.
Mr. SNYDER. Thank you, gentlemen.
Page 62 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you.
Mr. HAYES. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
And I thank the gentlemen for coming today. There are probably people in the room, Colonel Davis, that don't realize that Fort Bragg is the epicenter of the universe, but we will bring them along slowly.
From my own education, is it correct to assume that in anticipating terrorist threats you concentrate on where the most people are at a given time? Would that be the highest concern? Anybody? Captain Hering?
Captain HERING. If I understand your question, you mean dedicate our threat analysis towards concentrations?
Mr. HAYES. Is that your highest priority as you look at this? I am going somewhere with it, so if you will just bear with me.
Captain HERING. Sir, I think if we understand the intelligence and there is a modus operandi for the terrorist activity, as there is any other, those informations known to the commander would certainly dictate a requirement to take a look at those type of vulnerabilities within a facility. And as I said in my statement, we make an opportunity, based on our intelligence, to adjust our measures of effectiveness, or our measures of antiterrorism-type activity based on that intelligence.
Page 63 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
I mean, if there are large concentrations of individuals, certainly from a vulnerability perspective, we take a look at those things.
Mr. HAYES. Well, of course, you have two thingsthreat to equipment, which is not nearly as severe as threat to our forces themselves.
Do you stageagain, this is for my edificationmock terrorist penetration effortsI heard, General Kane, you referred to some. How often do you do those types of exercise?
General KANE. Did you want an answer from me?
Mr. HAYES. Well, might as well since I have already taken your name in vain.
General KANE. Okay. We are required quarterly to run an exercise. That usually will incorporate one of the antiterrorism force protection measures. But I will tell you that my security forces, full-time, will run daily exercises that deal with those.
And then, as my colleagues have pointed out, we run random anti-terrorism measure exercises robustly, so two or three extras of random anti-terrorism measures throughout any given week.
Mr. HAYES. And, General Bice, how do you deal with your soldiers and marines on a day-to-day basis to keep their situational awareness at a proper level of ''this is something real,'' not just something in the textbook?
Page 64 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
General BICE. That is a very good question, because I just returned from being assigned from overseas, and one of my concerns was to make sure that when individuals arrive overseas that they are properly trained in force protection because the threat is obviously higher overseas for them.
They learn here in the continental United States how to act overseas. And so if they practice poor procedures here, they are going to practice it over there.
So we have a program to train ourselves, even on installations for civilians and marines, is that we don't do certain things in terms of making ourselves a targetparking cars next to buildingsjust common, everyday things thatpeople will see a vehicle parked next to a building, something is out of order, and they will alert and take action there. But it is a common, everyday approach is the best way of doing it.
Mr. HAYES. I assume that you all have a copy of this USA Today article. It was in our packet. And it just points out the nature of the enemy here. There is no connection between any kind of normal human being and the level of fanaticism that they have.
Colonel Davis, again back to the epicenter of the universe, when we deploy a group of soldiers on a training mission, we have a kind of unique situation when they are all there together on a green round.
Colonel DAVIS. Yes, sir.
Page 65 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. HAYES. That is a huge concentration of our best folks. I don't want you to get into any secret protection information, but I assume we have some special measures when those conditions occur?
Colonel DAVIS. Yes, sir, we do. And a lot of it, if I could go back very briefly to the indications and early warnings that were discussed earlier, in some cases, as we build these anti-terrorism exercises where we have an intruder that comes in to test our system, there is a scenario built around that. And we play off of that scenario.
And in many cases, once we start picking up initial intelligence, we will be able to determine what we think the threat might be in terms of, is it an improvised explosive device delivered by a truck? Is it some sort of aerosol chemical agent dispersed into the atmosphere? And, so as a result of that indication early warning on the terrorist threat, we will then take some proactive measures.
And going back to your question about, how do we handle large population densities. Well, one way to mitigate that, for instance, if we think that there is a threat of that nature targeted against school children on a military installation, then we send the school children home. And so we reduce the actual concentration on the installation. Much like we do if we have a bomb threat today. At the North Post Commissary, we will shut the facility down and go through the bomb disposal and detection procedures.
Much the same thing happens when we conduct, you know, whether it is an operational deployment or a training deployment in the vicinity of green ramp and the heavy drop rig site, enhanced security measures are made available at those sites to restrict access in and out of that area to only those people that need to go down there for the exercise. And I think that that is probably some of the most realistic training that we do to date as far as how we prepare for those exercises.
Page 66 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
But, again, as I mentioned earlier, my concern is as we have large numbers of forces that continue to deploy from Fort Bragg, that reduces the residual amount of forces that are remaining that might be made available for force protection missions.
Mr. HAYES. Do you ever do joint training exercises with other branches of the service where you call Camp Lejeune, send a couple of your best marines up here, see if you can effect penetration? You work those kind of things? It is one thing, in the movies they drive up in a yellow U-Haul truck, fairly easy to spot. But what if a Humvee is commandeered at the local McDonald's? People in military uniforms. Then they drivedo you do those kinds of things?
Colonel DAVIS. We have had Marine involvement, not as intruders, but they have been involved in some of our exercises in the past.
Most of the intruders that we try to portray, we don't have the big yellow pick up-truck. We try to do it as covertly as possible because that is really how we get a shake-out in terms of what our detection capability is. Sometimes it is very difficult.
Mr. HAYES. We certainly need some folks to see if the Marines are ready, too. I don't want this to be a one-sided instruction.
Colonel DAVIS. Yes, sir. Exactly.
Mr. HAYES. Captain Bouchard?
Page 67 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Captain BOUCHARD. Yes, sir.
Mr. HAYES. How do you guard against the pleasure boater? Supposedly they are everywhere. Thinking of the Cole scenario. I mean, you can'thow do you deal with that?
Captain BOUCHARD. The float line that we deployed, which is strictly a marker lineit is not intended to stop boats, although we have had a couple of pleasure boaters get caught in ithas been extremely helpful. Prior to putting it in place, pleasure boaters were right off the end of the pier, which would give us zero warning of a threat, a potential attacker mingling amongst the pleasure boats.
Since we have put the float line in, we have had very good cooperation from the public. In the last six months, we have had one individual who complained that he couldn't come up close to the ships to take pictures. Everyone else is cooperating very well.
And that is a huge advantage to us because now instead of having to sort out a potential attacker from 20 or 30 or 50 boats right off the piers, we have open water from 100 to 300 yards of open water off the end of the piers. And if someone does cross that float line, my harbor patrol boats can move very rapidly to intercept them. So, a huge advantage.
The Coast Guard has been very helpful. They have been transmitting notices to mariners to let the public know that they have to stay out of the restricted area and that we do have this float line in place.
Page 68 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
In addition to that, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, as they update the harbor charts, have highlighted the restricted area much more visibly and highlighted the cautions to stay out of the restricted areas so that the public is much more aware that they need to stay away from the piers at naval installations. And that has been very helpful as well.
Mr. HAYES. Well, just to wrap it up, I am sorry I can't ask better questions, but I certainly appreciate the answers that you all have given. And it is very important that we win, on the one hand, the public relations battle with the press, whether we are at home or abroad. But I am sure my colleagues would join me in encouraging you to sacrifice the PR war if it relates to safety for our men and women if the question ever comes up, and then kick it up here and we will try and help straighten it out. Thank you very much.
Mr. SAXTON. Mr. Taylor?
Mr. TAYLOR. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I want to thank the panel for being here. I wish you had been here about 60 days ago. I would have loved to have known that Camp Pendleton needed $139 billion of real property maintenance money, while some people were walking around saying this town is awash in money, we don't know what to do with it. But that wasn't told to us 60 days ago. They tell us after the tax vote.
Colonel Davis, I am really interested in what you had to say on page 15 of your testimony. The chief medical officer for the state brought to my attention what he thinks is our nation's very strong possibility, very acute vulnerability of smallpox, because in our life time I guess you and I, as kids, were both inoculated. But they no longer do that because it no longer occurs in nature, although we do know that the Soviets had produced it as a weapon, and presumably it is still somewhere out there.
Page 69 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
So I was very much interested in your desire to have chemical and biological protection for the bases as opposed to the units that are deployed. What actions, if any, are being done to respond to that?
And I am also reminded that former Supreme Allied Commander of Europe, Wesley Clark, made his staff read the COBRA again, because he believed very strongly that we were vulnerable to that type of action. I am glad to hear what you are saying, but is anything being done to respond to that threat?
Colonel DAVIS. Yes, sir. And I would go back to this exercise that we ran last fall, which involved medical personnel.
We have a major medical facility at Fort Bragg, Womack Army Medical Center, and they were very deeply involved in the exercise that we ran and this is the one that involved the serin-gas-type, non-persistent agent. And during the course of that exercise, we identified quite a number of issues that we needed additional training on in terms of the casualties themselves and the decontamination that had to occur before casualties could be evacuated to the medical treatment facility for further treatment.
And as a result of that exercise, we came up with a request for additional funding to support the personnel protective equipment that we felt we needed for not only our first-responders on the scene, to include our firefighters and emergency medical service personnel, but more importantly, those at the receiving end, at the medical treatment facility itself, or at a satellite site that may be set up. Because in a scenario like that, we may not be able to take them, because of contamination, right into the main part of the medical treatment facility itself. And so those are some of the issues we are working through.
Page 70 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
But it was as a result of that exercise and the good work by our medical staff that we identified some of those requirements. And we are continuing to track those requests that we had submitted up through our higher headquarters for assistance.
Mr. TAYLOR. Well, going to your statement, that a request to purchase separate test capability at Fort Bragg is waiting for funding, was now that the President's budget has been submitted
Colonel DAVIS. Yes, sir.
Mr. TAYLOR. [continuing]. Was it included in the President's request?
Colonel DAVIS. I cannot answer that question, but we will certainly get an answer for you. I don't know.
[The information referred to can be found in the Appendix.]
Mr. TAYLOR. I would like to open that subject up to any of the other base commanders if you would like to comment on it. Because I do see it as something I regretfully say I think we will all live to see in our life times. I am curious what you have to respond.
General BICE. We, too, have identified that as a need. First-responders currentlyour first-responders do not have Level A, B suits to arrive there. So when they arrive on the scene, if it is in a contaminated area, they don't have appropriate suits to operate there.
Page 71 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Second, and it is just a simple thing of communication equipment. If we have an event that occurs, either on base or off base, we have to be able to communicate that with our local authorities. And our military communications are not compatible with the civilian law enforcement and other emergency response. They have an operator on a 800 megahertz. One of our exercises determined that we needed that capability.
We submitted it to our chain, the headquarters Marine Corps, and in fact the headquarters Marine Corps has determined that this is a corps-wide requirement and has requested funding on it.
So simple things like communication and coordination with your local authorities, as well as having appropriate protective suits for our first responders is an absolute requirement.
Mr. TAYLOR. Getting back to Colonel Davis' remarks about protection, even though you need to start putting the suits on. How well equipped are you along those lines?
General BICE. Sir, I would tell you that in some cases, as far as our training exercises are concerned and what we train our first-responders to do, we will go ahead and go to, let's say, a Level A scenario prior to actually determining, you know, what the agent might be, as a precautionary measure. It is a lot harder for the individual responders to operate in that level of protection, but we think it is well worth it the benefit in what we are doing.
Page 72 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
I am not sure if that answers your question, sir.
Mr. TAYLOR. Let me keep it real simple.
Colonel DAVIS. Yes, sir.
Mr. TAYLOR. What would be your ability right now, all of you, to detect that you have been subject to anthrax? A guy put it in a mosquito truck and went by one of your bases and got his hands on the crop duster. What would be your ability to detect that you have been subject to an attack of small pox?
Colonel DAVIS. Sir, we justin fact in our exercise two weeks ago was exactly on that scenarioon an anthrax scenario. And being able to determine that, because of the gestation period of the anthrax, it doesn't show up right away. And you start seeing sick people showing up at hospitals and clinics over a period of 12 to 24 hours, then you determine, you have to backtrack to where the concentration of people were on that.
So the ability to determine these things by our first-responders, it is just not there.
Mr. TAYLOR. Does the technology exist?
Colonel DAVIS. I don't know of any, sir.
Page 73 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. TAYLOR. I will take a for instance: a christening at Norfolk, big occasion; one of your carriers, several thousand people. And a cropduster, which is commonly used to trail banners advertising products, flies over the crowd. And someone notices a small spray comes out. Happens to be upwind of the crowd.
Does the technology exist for someone to say, let's try and get a sample of that stuff before the three-or four-day incubation period and try to at least keep this crowd here before they disperse to the rest of the nation and start, in the case of small pox, spreading that disease in every community that they return home to.
Colonel DAVIS. We do not have an installed detection system. That technology
Mr. TAYLOR. First of all, does it exist?
Colonel DAVIS. There is some technology available for that. I am not an expert on it, and I would have to get back to you with an answer for the record. I don't have that answer, but I do know that there is technology that can do that. I don't know how good it is; I don't know how widely deployed it is.
[The information referred to can be found in the Appendix.]
In the scenario you gave where we had potential visual detection of something be sprayed, we could react to that. I have a tenant command on the base that has very sophisticated detection equipment. We do run exercises. They have all the suits and protective equipment, and they do have the capability of testing for agents immediately. And we do run exercises on the base with that unit.
Page 74 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
The first-responders, my fire department, they have been trained. They do have limited first-responder equipment, typical of any fire department, not as robust as it probably should be. The need for better individual protective equipment and weapons-of-mass-destruction-type of equipmentthose requirements have been identified.
Again, I would have to get back to you with an answer for the record of where that stands in the programming and budgeting process. But if we did have an indication like you describe, we could very quickly, immediately, respond to it and start testing for it.
[The information referred to can be found in the Appendix.]
Mr. TAYLOR. Do you have the legal authority, particularly with the case of small pox because the point that the doctor made to us about how easily transmitted the disease is from one person to another once it gets going, do you have the legal authority to detain that crowd to keep it from spreading, if you had a very strong reason to believe that they had been subject to a biological attack? Has the question ever been asked?
General KANE. Sir, I think as an installation commander, if they are on your post, you have the responsibility to let them know what you suspect. But whether we have the legal authority to detain American citizens on our bases, I think that is a question the lawyers ought to be able to answer.
Now today, I would make sure that they understood what I suspected, but like we have talked about, the incubation periods for some of these are pretty extensive. And I don't know that, without the technology and the capability or the advanced intelligence warning, that that is a potential, which again I think is what the committee is here to discuss.
Page 75 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
We do not have the right to keep American citizens to go about their regular business.
Mr. TAYLOR. I am sorry to say I don't find this very comforting. So really the first thing that happens, the first time you know, the United States military, is when folks start showing up at emergency rooms in fairly large numbers with identical symptoms. But even for the military, that is the first time you are going to know about it.
Captain HERING. Depending upon the agent deployed, that is correct.
Mr. TAYLOR. Colonel Davis, is that correct?
Colonel DAVIS. Sir, one comment I was going to make, in thegoing back to our fall exercise, where we had this sarin gas released in a parking lot adjacent to the commissary and the exchange, we did, in factthe folks that were involved in that incident were exposed, if you will, were, in fact, detained. And they were processed on site, as that sarin gas moved based on the wind direction.
There was a housing area and then, as me mentioned earlier, the town of Spring Lake to the northeast of the installation also had awe simulated spring bazaar being conducted at one of the churches, and there were people there that were affected as well.
And so the first thing that was imperative for us to do was to execute our communication system, if you will, to get the word to Pope Air Force Base and to get the word to, you know, the individuals at Spring Lake to let them know what had occurred and what we thought was going on.
Page 76 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Because early on, we were able to detect that something was not right. We knew something was not right. We knew that there was some sort of, we thought, a chemical agent that was involved. But it took us a while to go through the various steps to actually and ultimately determine exactly what the agent was.
But we also had, and this, kind of, gets to the point you are making, sir, is that there were others in adjacent neighborhoods on the periphery that were affected as well as part of the scenario. And they were told, again, as part of the scenario, just to go directly to the medical treatment facility so that we could evaluate how the medical treatment personnel would be able to handle the situation.
And so I think it is a combination of both and a lot of it depends on, you know, the means of delivery of the agent, the composition type agent itself, what the initial assessment on the ground is by the first-responders and then the rapid communication of what we think the threat might be, worst case is really key to saving lives, I think.
General BICE. Sir, if I could just add one point. The only unit I know of, standing unit that I know of that has that capability and that intelligence is our Chemical, Biological Instant Response Force. They were certainly used for the presidential inauguration, and they are used in high profile events like that. That is the only capability I know of that is a standing element ready to respond like that.
Mr. TAYLOR. But today if a chemical attack occurred at a graduation ceremony at Camp Pendleton, a large crowd of people, even your responders, you don't have the suits even for your responders to go in there and try to get control of the situation?
Page 77 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
General BICE. That is correct. The first-responders do not have Level A and B suits to operate within a contaminated area. You asked about, do we have the authority to detain. I don't think that is the question. The real issue is, do we have the capability to save lives? And
Mr. TAYLOR. Well, that is the goal I would
General BICE. that is what we have to be doing. And anthrax, because you need to bring in some vaccine that is not present. And you know, that is held by a centrally managed organization. That would be problematic in and of itself.
Mr. TAYLOR. Captain, you had your hand up?
Captain BOUCHARD. Yes, sir. The Navy does have additional capabilities. The Navy Environmental Protection Unit, which I have Navy Environmental Protection Unit II, resident on Naval Station, they do have the Level A and B suits and detection equipment.
Their purpose is to be able to deploy teams for the operating forces, but they are based on the base, and I do have that capability resident. And they do have the detection equipment. And working with my fire department, we could take initial action.
I would also very quickly elevate this to the regional level and get the assistance from all the assets available from the Navy, or if necessary, the other services. It probably would be necessary. And we would involve the local community as well. We have the mutual assistance agreements that you have heard described by some of my colleagues here. And we would mobilize every available asset to handle a situation like this.
Page 78 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Mr. TAYLOR. One last question, Mr. Chairman.
There was some talk about some different proposals that give this type of mission to the Guard and Reserve. Has it evolved anywhere along that path? Or is that still, at this point, just somewhat a proposal on a piece of paper somewhere?
General KANE. Sir, that has actually moved along, but I would defer potentially to the Army, because I think they are the executive agent for the DOD right now. But we have the Third Brigade 91st Division Travis, which has that as one of its missions to work with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and then to address natural disasters and weapons of mass destruction.
Mr. TAYLOR. Mr. Chairman, you have been very generous. Thank you.
Mr. SAXTON. Well, first of all, let me thank you, Mr. Taylor, for bringing up what I think is a very important subject and one that we had not touched on previously in this hearing, and one that I think deserves a great deal of attention.
During this discussion, I observed a couple of things that are common in this subject, at least for my experience. The first and maybe the most important is that we tend to deal with chemical and biological threats in the same sentence.
And let me just say that the chemical threat is a threat that we have had for many years. I guess gas was probably used the first time in World War I many years ago. If it wasn't World War I, it was certainly World War II. And that is a threat. In the late 1960s, we decided that the biological threat was even more important.
Page 79 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
And in 1969, we signed a treaty with the Soviets that we would stop researching and developing biological agents to be weaponized and they would do the same thing. We stopped, and they didn't.
As a matter of fact, they spent 20 years developing 70, I am told, 70 different biological and viral strains of weaponized agents, including Ebola virus, including, of course, anthrax, different strains of anthrax so that we wouldn't know what we were hit with if we did figure out it was anthrax. We wouldn't know how to inoculate against it because it would be a different strain. Smallpox, as Mr. Taylor pointed out.
And the threat posed by these things, these agents, is multi-thousands of times worse than gas. So, when we talk about these threats, we should always be careful to talk about them in two different contexts because they are nowhere near the same, at least from my opinion.
The second thing I think is relative to the technology being available for detection. I am told that we are on the track to being able to detect heavy concentrations of protein in the atmosphere, which is the agent upon which biological agents are born. Now, I don't know where that stands.
And I thank Mr. Taylor for bringing this up, because we need to find that out. And we need to find out if that technology is available, and if it is available, we need to spend some time figuring out whether or not it is usable at this point, stage of development. And if so, if we can procure it for our military forces and for other purposes as well.
Page 80 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
There is a guy in this country who defected here in 1982. His name is Ken Alibek. He defected from the Soviet Union. He was one of the two commanders in their offensive biological weapons development group called Biopreparat. And he is now working here trying to develop ways to deal with that, working for private contractors here, working for DOD, briefed many of us on this committee on this subject.
And so, again, Mr. Taylor, we are grateful that you brought this subject up, and I will tell you what. I will offer to be your partner, and we will work together to try to find some answers and also to make the American people more aware that this is, in fact, a very difficult issue and one that we need to deal with.
Let me just take another minute or two to ask a question that has intrigued me. Obviously, we all, who have dealt with this subject of terrorism generally, have long since concluded that the best way to defend ourselves against terrorism is good intelligence. And, of course, to that extent, national leaders are briefed on a daily basis. The Speaker of the House is briefed on a daily basis.
And I guess my question is, do you as base commanders and as leaders in the military get regular, daily briefings on threats and potential threats and what is going on in your neighborhoods? General Bice?
General BICE. Yes, sir. I receive regular briefings. The Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) is responsible for our force protection. They have liaison with the FBI, who, as you know, is the federal agency with responsibility for looking after terrorism.
Page 81 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
And so we get regular updates from the federal agencies as well as our local communities, or our local police departments. We are tied directly into them, and our provost marshal and our security folks work directly with them and we get regular updates on potential threats to our base and our bright people.
Mr. SAXTON. And how do you define regular update? Is it like every morning at 10 o'clock, or when they think you need to be briefed, or how does it work?
General BICE. Well, it works both that way, and then every week we have what we call a regular protection update in which I, chief of staff, and all the commanders sit around and we get briefings from our community liaison, our police department, our NCIS on threats to our base.
Mr. SAXTON. Do you hear from the FBI?
General BICE. Yes, sir. In fact, they participate in our exercises program and, through that exercise program, help us develop our own procedures for making sure that we are tied in closely with them.
Mr. SAXTON. General Kane, what is the situation at Travis?
General KANE. Sir, I would say ditto. I get briefed twice a week, once on Monday operations, which is a worldwide look. We pull that off the intelligence link and move through our headquarters and then just trans-continental. Wednesday, my whole staff gets briefed intelligence-wise. And then the operational subsystem interface (OSI) link with the FBI gives us the immediate threat, and how it applies to Travis. And we will get that as needed.
Page 82 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Mr. SAXTON. Have you ever had a briefing where you had to mobilize to defend yourself against a potential threat?
General KANE. Not to date, sir.
Mr. SAXTON. Colonel Davis.
Colonel DAVIS. Yes, sir. We do, in fact, a daily update book that we send around the key leadership that provides basically assessments of international threats in mission areas that we are focusing on. We also have a piece that looks at the domestic side with regard to the threat to Fort Bragg itself.
From time to time in the past 13 months I have been in command, we have gotten what I would consider a more urgent intelligence updates. And in some cases we have, in fact, convened either the full force protection committee in the installation or a smaller subset of that committee's leadership to determine if any actions need to be taken as a result of the intelligence we have been provided.
We are, in fact, tied in with the FBI. They work very closely with us on the domestic side. And during our upcoming exercise in October, we will actually for the first time, be establishing a joint operations center with the FBI right on the installation.
And in addition to that, sir, we also disseminate information out to the units, the tenant organizations on the installation, in the form of a daily force protection message that is put together by my director of intelligence and security on the installation to give those intelligence officers out there just a brief summary of what is going on out there that may be of interest to them as far as threat to Fort Bragg itself.
Page 83 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Mr. SAXTON. Ever had a threat?
Colonel DAVIS. Not a real threat, sir. We have had several bomb threats, and we have had, you know, some indications that there may be someone operating in the Southeastern part of the country, and that is about the extent of it.
General KANE. Mr. Chairman, if I could, when I was commander at Scott Air Force Base before I went to Travis, and on July 4 of 1997, we received an OSI report of a vehicle that was in the Wright-Patterson, Ohio area that was stolen with some explosives, and that caused us to go into an alert posture, there. So, yes, that intelligence system works, and it happened on the Fourth of July weekend. So, I have had one experience with that.
Mr. SAXTON. Captain Bouchard.
Captain BOUCHARD. Mr. Chairman, I do get daily updates on threats. Twice a week my security officer will provide an overview of the local threat at the staff meetings with the key leadership on the base. And then once a week he gives me a more thorough briefing. In addition to working through the Navy criminal investigative service, he has very close relationships with the Norfolk police, the Virginia State police, the FBI and the Coast Guard. And we keep well-informed.
We have had one occasion during the period I have been in command where the local police received word from, pardon me, I forget which state, but somewhere in the Midwest, that a naval enlisted person, who had been discharged, was out of the Navy, was wanted, he faced criminal charges, and there was a concern that he might be making bombs. And we implemented special measures to try and detect his presence if he came back to the Norfolk area because he formerly had been stationed there before he was discharged.
Page 84 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
I also do operational risk assessments whenever we do a special event, and we work very closely with local law enforcement for that, too.
Mr. SAXTON. I don't ask this question to be critical in any way of anybody, but I have a reason for asking it. NCIS, do you get the kind of support that you need on an ongoing basis from NCIS? And is there anything that you need that they can't or don't provide?
Captain BOUCHARD. I think they provide the best they can.
Mr. SAXTON. Yes, sir. I understand.
Captain BOUCHARD. Their limitations are the same limitations I think the entire intelligence community has.
Mr. SAXTON. I found out earlier this week that they don't have a line item in the budget. And I am trying to find out how they are funded and how that all works. And I am notdo you know?
Captain BOUCHARD. No, sir. We will have to get back to you with an answer for the record. I don't know.
[The information referred to can be found in the Appendix.]
Page 85 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General BICE. Sir, could I say something about the NCIS? I am very proud the service the NCIS provides our Naval service. I just returned from overseas, and we received direct support in the Balkans and the Mediterranean from the NCIS.
Mr. SAXTON. I think the NCIS is a great organization, sir. I am just not sure how we resource them and whether we have them resourced at the right level. That is my question.
General BICE. I am not sure on that. But I do know that we received considerable input from them on a daily basis on threat conditions overseas for our naval service.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you.
Captain HERING. Sir, I have to echo that same sentiment. I do get daily briefings as necessary. I also have the luxury of having what we call Secret Internet Protocol Router Network (SIPRNET). It is a secure communication, e-mail, message-type capability right at my desktop, which has provided me incredible capability to get first-hand materials from all of the different avenuesfrom the fleet commander, from NCIS, from any other antiterrorism alert center (ATAC)-type information right at my desktop, without requirement for somebody to come.
I do have the very senior CTCI-type counter-terrorist, counter-intelligence-type individuals actually stationed on my facility. So, they are very proactive in working the issues in and around the facility.
Page 86 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Additionally, we have the problem with the gang and the drug-related materials at the border.
So, NCIS is very much involved in the local law enforcement and the federal law enforcement agencies in the area to keep us abreast of what is going on. I do receive a monthly briefing from the NCIS folks on that particular issue alone. And anytime anything happens in particular investigations or issues that are going on, I am briefed directly. They come over and do that for me.
I will say that NCIS is providing a CI, counter-intelligence type, individual counter-terrorist type individual to the staff of Admiral Ruhe, Navy Region Southwest, to better formulate a communication flow of that information to the admiral's staff. So, from a regional perspective, we are better prepared.
And as far as being able to execute, just this past week, sir, we were heavily involved in the preparations for what might have been a Seattle-type event in San Diego, as the Biotech 21 convention was held at the San Diego Convention Center.
For an entire week, NCIS was on board every day providing intelligence from all of the local law enforcement agencies, which allowed us to prepare and do things in preparation for what was proposed to be a 15,000 person convention attended by 10,000 protesters. But, fortunately, it didn't turn out to be that way, but we were prepared because of their intelligence.
Page 87 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SAXTON. Thank you.
Mr. TAYLOR. No, sir.
Mr. SAXTON. Well, let me thank you for being here with us today. The information that you have provided is, obviously, very helpful. And we want you to know that we are here to be helpful in regard to this subject. You folks are obviously doing a great job with the tools that you have to work with. You have said that there are some additional things that you need. We are glad to be aware of that, and we will be working in this budget cycle and in the future to try to make some more resources available for those purposes.
Thank you for being here, and thank you for bearing with us. It has been almost three hours. And the lights are hot and everything. So we appreciate the fact that you have been able to stay with us, and we look forward to working with you in the future. Thank you very much.
The hearing is adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 3:40 p.m., the panel was adjourned.]
Page 88 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC