SPEAKERS CONTENTS INSERTS
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[H.A.S.C. No. 10618]
READINESS OF THE ARMY AH64 APACHE HELICOPTER FLEET
MILITARY READINESS SUBCOMMITTEE
COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED SIXTH CONGRESS
JULY 1, 1999
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MILITARY READINESS SUBCOMMITTEE
HERBERT H. BATEMAN, Virginia, Chairman
SAXBY CHAMBLISS, Georgia
WALTER B. JONES, Jr., North Carolina
BOB RILEY, Alabama
DUNCAN HUNTER, California
JAMES V. HANSEN, Utah
CURT WELDON, Pennsylvania
TILLIE K. FOWLER, Florida
JAMES M. TALENT, Missouri
TERRY EVERETT, Alabama
JIM GIBBONS, Nevada
DON SHERWOOD, Pennsylvania
SOLOMON P. ORTIZ, Texas
NORMAN SISISKY, Virginia
JOHN M. SPRATT, Jr., South Carolina
OWEN PICKETT, Virginia
ROBERT A. UNDERWOOD, Guam
ROD R. BLAGOJEVICH, Illinois
Page 3 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCADAM SMITH, Washington
JAMES H. MALONEY, Connecticut
MIKE MCINTYRE, North Carolina
CIRO D. RODRIGUEZ, Texas
Joseph F. Boessen, Professional Staff Member
Diane W. Bowman, Staff Assistant
C O N T E N T S
CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF HEARINGS
Thursday, July, 1, 1999, Readiness of the Army AH64 Apache Helicopter Fleet
Thursday, July 1, 1999
THURSDAY, JULY 1, 1999
Page 4 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCSTATEMENTS PRESENTED BY MEMBERS OF CONGRESS
Bateman, Hon. Herbert, a Representative from Virginia, Chairman, Military Readiness Subcommittee
Ortiz, Hon. Solomon P., a Representative from Texas, Ranking Member, Military Readiness Subcommittee
Bramblett, Colonel Howard T., Program Manager, AH64 Apache Helicopter
Cody, Brigadier General Richard, Assistant Division Commander, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Hood, Texas;
Hunter, Colonel Oliver H., IV, Commander, 11th Aviation Regiment, Illieshiem, Germany
Cody, Richard A.
Page 5 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCQUESTIONS AND ANSWERS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
READINESS OF THE ARMY AH64 APACHE HELICOPTER FLEET
House of Representatives,
Committee on Armed Services,
Military Readiness Subcommittee,
Washington, DC, Thursday, July 1, 1999.
The subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 2 p.m. In room 2118, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Herbert H. Bateman (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. HERBERT H. BATEMAN, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM VIRGINIA, CHAIRMAN, MILITARY READINESS SUBCOMMITTEE
Mr. BATEMAN. The subcommittee will please come to order. I would like to welcome everyone to this Readiness Subcommittee hearing, which is part of our ongoing effort to understand the true status of the readiness of our military forces. I firmly believe that readiness is a fundamental characteristic of an effective armed force. As required by Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution, Congress has the responsibility to provide for the armed forces as such, and it must understand the needs of the military. Understanding readiness is the key to providing an adequate national defense, and oversight is one of the means by which we in the Congress discharge our responsibility.
Page 6 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Today as a part of our oversight role, we focus on a critical part of the overall readiness of the Army, the Apache helicopter and the crews who fly and maintain it. I asked for this hearing after reading a memorandum from an operational commander to his military leadership concerning the readiness of the Apache units assigned to him. The internal memorandum, which was reported in the media, describes in some detail what appear to be serious problems in the Army's Apache aviation community. My preference would have been to have learned of this subject matter through military channels rather than through the news media; but it did become public, and the Army and the author of the memorandum, Brigadier General Cody, deserve an opportunity to address this matter before the subcommittee.
The Apache units deployed to Albania were said to be undertrained and underequipped to fight in a high-threat and dangerous environment.
Let me be clear from the outset that this hearing is not about the individual who wrote the memorandum or the other witnesses who are with us today. Brigadier General Cody, we commend you for a brilliant career and for your professionalism and for the candor you displayed in imparting information that probably no one wanted to receive, but clearly everyone needed to know. That should not threaten a career, it should advantage it, and I believe it will. And it should be pointed to as an object lesson for all military leaders at all levels.
I hope the Chief of the Staff of the Army, General Shinseki, will take the opportunity to commend Army leaders such as you, General Cody, who speak candidly about problems and make recommendations to fix them. Such candor is essential if the military's officer corps is to remain the pillar of courage and integrity that is so vital to the Nation's professional military.
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During the past 5 years, this committee has been at the forefront in pointing out the declining trends in readiness and the challenges our military must meet just to field the minimum force necessary to meet all the increasing mission requirements throughout the world. It is only just recently that the administration and the military leadership have begun to admit to how far our military readiness has declined since Desert Storm. Here we are again, where Congress has been led to believe that there was no problem with some aspect of the military only to find out that major problems do exist, and we need to know what is being done about it.
We have been led to believe the Apache fleet was at a C1 or fully combat-mission-capable status. To us that means units are capable of performing all of their war-time missions. We were assured that the best of the Apache fleet was given the mission to deploy to Albania to support the NATO effort only to find out later that the crews and the equipment were not deemed ready for combat when they arrived. This incident, where we have found the readiness problem far beyond what we were led to believe, makes one ponder what else might be out there.
Again, I applaud General Cody for candidly pointing out that, without several weeks of on-the-spot training in Albania, there would have been additional accidents. His memorandum states, and I quote, ''I am convinced we would have sustained several wire strikes and possibly one or two midair collisions. It was painful and high-risk during the first 3 weeks training in Albania,'' unquote.
The greatest tragedy of this entire deployment is the loss of two Army aviators during necessary rigorous training in the rugged Albanian mountains. We note the tragedy, but pointedly refrain from assessing any blame.
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I look forward to hearing from our witnesses today and to learn more about any problems that may exist in Army aviation, especially the Apache community. The areas of weakness that concern me most are the pilot shortages and the lack of pilot proficiency, unit combat training, communications, aircraft survivability equipment and the force structure. This committee must have a better understanding of the problems that exist and the efforts that will be necessary to provide the Army with combat aviation assets that are capable of fighting a, quote, come as you are, unquote, war.
In the future, when we need to deploy Apache units for combat duty, we need to have provided them with all the training and equipment necessary to successfully discharge that mission with the minimum of casualties.
Our panel today is made up, of course, of Brigadier General Cody, Commander of Task Force Hawk; he is accompanied by the Commander of the parent unit who provided the Apache units for Task Force Hawk, Colonel Oliver H. Hunter; and finally the third member of our panel is Colonel Howard T. Bramblett, Program Manager for the Apache.
Before we get into hearing from our witnesses, I would like to yield to the Honorable Solomon Ortiz from the great State of Texas and the Ranking Democrat of the subcommittee for any statement that he chooses to make.
STATEMENT OF HON. SOLOMON P. ORTIZ, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM TEXAS, RANKING MEMBER, MILITARY READINESS SUBCOMMITTEE
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Mr. ORTIZ. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I join the Chairman in saying welcome to our witnesses to this Readiness Subcommittee hearing today. I want to thank you, Mr. Chairman, for holding this view-from-the-field hearing. The timing of this hearing could not be more appropriate. This hearing, being conducted soon after the deployment of the Apache helicopter force and while it is still in the combat theater, provides us with the opportunity to gather additional information on the readiness of a critical portion of the Army's combat force structure and see the results of our investments or the lack of an adequate investment in the readiness of the force we rely so much on. It confirms our commitment to strive to improve the readiness of the force.
Mr. Chairman, as I have done in the past, I will not take much time with opening remarks so that we can receive the testimony from our witness. Also I want to reserve as much time as possible for all of our Members present to ask questions about the presentation that is being made. But I do want to share with our distinguished witnesses as representatives of the total force my sincere appreciation for their dedicated and professional performance of duty. In all my visits to the field, I remain impressed with the personnel that I see. We can all be proud of their accomplishment.
I understand that some concerns have been expressed regarding the Congress conducting the hearing based on a personal memo that became public information. I personally can understand the concern. But I want to assure our witnesses here today and the Department that this subcommittee membership is not here to blame. We are all serious about our readiness oversight responsibilities. And if there is something that needs correcting, we stand ready to assist in any way that we can.
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Mr. Chairman, with those brief comments, I yield back the balance of my time.
Mr. BATEMAN. Thank you very much, Mr. Ortiz.
Mr. BATEMAN. And, again, our panel today of witnesses consists of Brigadier General Richard Cody, Assistant Division Commander, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Hood, Texas; Colonel Oliver H. Hunter, IV, Commander of 11th Aviation Regiment, Illieshiem, Germany; Colonel Howard T. Bramblett, Program Manager, AH64 Apache Helicopter.
I want to thank all of you for being in attendance today.
And, General Cody, we have your prepared written statement. We will make that a part of the record. And you can proceed as you may see fit.
STATEMENT OF BRIG. GEN. RICHARD A. CODY, DIRECTOR, OPERATIONS, READINESS AND MOBILIZATTION, OFFICE OF THE DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF FOR OPERATIONS AND PLANS, U.S. ARMY
General CODY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for those kind words.
Mr. Chairman, distinguished members of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today to testify on behalf of America's Army, and specifically the superb soldiers who served as part of Task Force Hawk in Albania as part of NATO's joint Task Force Noble Anvil. Three days ago I departed from my assignment as the Assistant Division Commander of the 4th Infantry Division at Fort Hood, Texas, for my new assignment here at the Pentagon as the Army's Director of Operations, Readiness and Mobilization. In this new capacity I look forward, Mr. Chairman, to working closely with you and other members of this subcommittee to further address the
Page 11 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCreadiness concerns of our Army.
Mr. BATEMAN. We look forward to hearing from you and communicating with you very frequently, General.
General CODY. Prior to reporting to the Pentagon, as you know, I spent the past 3 months deployed to Albania as the Deputy Commanding General of Task Force Hawk. This most recent experience in Albania with the deployment of Task Force Hawk provided me invaluable insights to the capabilities of our Army aviation assets, and, most importantly, how we can improve on an already awesome and lethal capability to our Nation's military arsenal.
It was in this spirit that I captured lessons learned from my personal observations from the Task Force Hawk experience and forwarded them via memo to the Chief of Staff of the Army. This memorandum, dated 9 June, 1999, is a catalyst for my appearance before you today. I think I need to inform you up front that I was asked by the Army leadership, General Shinseki in particular, to capture these lessons learned outlined in my memo and to report what I observed.
Additionally the Army deployed to Albania the Center of Army's Lessons Learned, or, as we call it, the CALL team, to Task Force Hawk, to also gather lessons learned from this unique task force organization in this truly unique mission so that the Army could conduct a thorough analysis after that operation. This is a normal process within the Army, whether a unit is at the National Training Center or in combat. We did the same thing after Desert Shield, Desert Storm.
Page 12 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. Chairman, I am convinced that the internal memo that I wrote would have been reviewed and acted upon with or without the attention it has received outside the Army.
First let me say that Task Force Hawk accomplished all of its assigned missions short of combat. The soldiers participating in this operation performed magnificently, and had the task force been given the go-ahead to conduct strike operations against the Serb forces in Kosovo, I believe that they would have been extremely lethal and extremely effective.
The second point I would like to make, and I want to be clear about this, is that we are not broken. In fact, Task Force Hawk performed superbly in some of the toughest conditions I have seen in 27 years in uniform. The intent of my memorandum and the cornerstone of my service to the Army is to make a great Army even better. In that vein there are areas we need to improve, training and many systems we need to incorporate and review, and specialized equipment that can better serve and protect our soldiers. You know this, and it is why you asked me here today, so you can further your understanding on what we can do to help our Army get better. For that, sir, let me just say thank you.
Now, much has been written about the time it took to deploy the Apaches of Task Force Hawk into Albania. From my perspective, the deployment timeframes, given the several mission changes, the congestion at Tirane airfield and the weather, was done so in a very rapid manner and really is a tribute to our soldiers and especially the United States Air Force airmen who conducted that deployment for us.
As you have said, ours is an inherently dangerous but essential profession, and success often has its price. We should not forget the ultimate price paid by two of our great aviators, CW3 Dave Gibbs and CW2 Kevin Reichert, both great Americans, great pilots, great patriots, and who, like the other 5,000-plus soldiers of Task Force Hawk, dedicated themselves to accomplish the task force objectives and bring about a resolution to the crisis in Kosovo. Each and every American should be very proud of these individuals.
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But that doesn't mean it was perfect. No military operation ever is. One of the qualities that we as a values-based and capabilities-based Army cherish is the ability to engage in frank, candid and professional assessments of our abilities and levels of preparedness. With this quality comes a responsibility to provide not only an honest assessment of our strengths and weaknesses, but also recommendations for remedying those areas that we believe need improvement. In particular, we do this at the end of every operation both in training and in combat. That is how we improve our Army.
We must constantly evaluate and assess ourselves to ensure that no American soldier ever goes into harm's way or combat undertrained or under-resourced. As Army leaders we must be self-critical if we are to improve ourselves in an ever-changing and a most dangerous world. These lessons learned were broad-based and gleaned from soldiers of all ranks, private to general, whose only motivation was to continue to improve Army aviation in the Army. It is my duty to provide such an assessment. This assessment was a data point at a given point in time of our immediate strengths and weaknesses and my recommendations for improving those weaknesses.
The issues I brought up were done to generate some professional discussion and a comprehensive review of where we are in Army aviation today and where we need to go as we transition to the 21st century.
However, today across the Army, we are seeing results of many years of declining resources and resource constraints in terms of funding for training and equipment at a time when our mission load in the Army has increased over 300 percent. This funding is critical to ensure our current and future capabilities to execute our national military strategy of shape, prepare and respond.
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In closing I would like to thank each of you again for the opportunity to speak before you today. My experience with Task Force Hawk afforded me a great opportunity to assess the status and state of our Army aviation in light of an ongoing real-world combat contingency. I was expected to provide a candid assessment, to call it as I saw it, in an effort to improve the Army's readiness today and tomorrow. Therefore, my appearance before this committee is very encouraging to me. The Army faces many challenges while continuing to be strategically responsive to the needs of our nation. Your help is vital to that Army's preparedness.
I am proud of our Army, and I am certainly proud of the soldiers of Task Force Hawk, and I know you are also. Your continued support is needed so we can get better and maintain that qualitative overmatch capability that is both respected and feared by our potential adversaries. I mean it sincerely when I say that the soldiers in the field recognize that you, Mr. Chairman, and the members of this Readiness Subcommittee have our best interests in mind. Again, I am honored to be here and represent our Army and Task Force Hawk, and, sir, I look forward to your questions.
Mr. BATEMAN. Thank you very much, General Cody.
[The prepared statement of General Cody can be found in the appendix.]
Mr. BATEMAN. Let me reemphasize, and I don't think it can be overemphasized, that it is not a matter of concern on our part, it is a matter of a very affirmative approval that there is in being an active, ongoing process by which our military do a critique of all of their activities; and, obviously, with the end in view of improving upon their capabilities. And I would hope that there would be no one who would look upon this process and the process that you were a part of and asked to be a part of as being a negative exercise. It is not a negative exercise. It is an affirmative exercise. Because of that exercise, some deficiencies came to light, deficiencies hopefully that can be addressed and will be addressed.
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I am especially interested, as will be the members of the subcommittee, in what you need from us to address these problem areas that have been identified. That is the central reason for our interest and involvement, and in order to give to you and to the Army an opportunity to put this entire matter in the proper context.
You have with you two distinguished officers, and we would be glad to hear from either or both.
Colonel Hunter, do you have comments you would like to make?
STATEMENT OF COL. OLIVER H. HUNTER, IV, COMMANDER, 11TH AVIATION REGIMENT, ILLIESHIEM, GERMANY
Colonel HUNTER. Yes, sir, I certainly do.
Mr. Chairman, distinguished members of the Readiness Subcommittee, good afternoon. Less than 96 hours ago I was seated in the front seat of an AH-64 Apache in Albania conducting a security mission. It was during that flight, sir, that I was notified that my part in that mission would end immediately. I would be boarding a C130 and flying to Washington to be with you here today.
Sir, our regiment.
Mr. BATEMAN. I am sure this is not nearly as much fun.
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Colonel HUNTER. I am getting to that part, sir.
Our regiment had been deployed since the 11th of April, and it was just yesterday that the Second Squadron, the 6th U.S. Cavalry, or 2/6, redeployed to our home base in Illieshiem, Germany. The 6th Squadron, 6th U.S. Cavalry, 6/6, will remain in Skopje, Macedonia, and they will be partaking in the peacekeeping operations in Kosovo. They are scheduled to return first week in August. Although I wish I were with my soldiers at this moment, I do welcome this opportunity to be with you today and talk about the leadership and stewardship of people, equipment, and time in the 11th Attack Helicopter Regiment. I look forward to your questions. Thank you, sir.
Mr. BATEMAN. Colonel Bramblett.
STATEMENT OF COL. HOWARD T. BRAMBLETT, PROGRAM MANAGER, AF64 APACHE HELICOPTER
Colonel BRAMBLETT. Mr. Chairman, distinguished members of the Readiness Subcommittee, I am Colonel Howard Bramblett, the Project Manager for the Apache Attack Helicopter, clearly the finest attack helicopter in the world today. As such, I have the material acquisition management responsibility for the entire Apache fleet.
I want to thank you for your support of the Apache fleet, and I want to thank you for your interest in Apache readiness.
Page 17 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I am honored to be here today, and I, too, look forward to your questions.
Mr. BATEMAN. Thank you very much, Colonel Bramblett.
Mr. BATEMAN. The bells have rung, signifying that we have a vote. The vote is on the conference report on the Y2K Readiness and Responsibility Act. My suggestion would be that the committee recess, take care of the vote, and get back as quickly as possible, and then we will begin our questioning at that point.
Mr. BATEMAN. The subcommittee will come to order. And I believe we have got to the point where our witnesses await our questions.
Let me start with asking about the selection of the Apache units that went to Albania. They came from Germany, and my understanding is that in the nature of things and the way the Army utilizes its resources, they were not the highest mission-capable combat-ready units, which seems strange to me, if these are the units that were selected to go to Albania. Can you enlighten me on that?
General CODY. Mr. Chairman, let me take that first, and then I'll defer to Colonel Hunter, who has lived in Germany and works under 5th Corps.
I think that selection of the 11th Attack Helicopter Regiment, based upon the time lines that the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) General Clark wanted, based upon the fact that they are a 5th Corps unit, and it was going to be a 5th Corps command and control element that was going to take them, based upon the fact that they had already previously done two tours in Bosnia and had done some train-up to go into Macedonia, I think they were probably the right unit to do it. Had we had to move a unit from the states, the strategic lift requirements would not have met the time lines of what General Clark wanted.
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I will let Colonel Hunter discuss in detail about his readiness status.
Mr. BATEMAN. Colonel Hunter.
Colonel HUNTER. Sir, I would suggest that our regiment, the 11th Attack Helicopter Regiment, Illieshiem, Germany, is the singular most well-prepared unit for this mission. Sir, if I could.
Mr. BATEMAN. Let me interrupt to ask you this. I hear that view from you, and I would almost be shocked if I didn't hear it from you, but is that a consensus view of everyone in the community who is knowledgeable, or is there another unit commander who would be telling me the same thing about his unit?
Colonel HUNTER. I am sure there are, sir, but I can go into some detail on that role, sir, about some of the training and give you a feel for what we do in our stewardship of people, equipment and time.
Sir, we conduct situational training exercises, if you will, STXs or battle drills. Each of our company-level organizations, known as troops in the cavalry, each one of our six troops conduct an STX every week. Each of our two squadrons, sir, conduct a squadron-level STX every month. I don't know of too many other units that do that many battle drills. And all these battle drills are centered around those exact missions that, as it turned out, we would be doing in Kosovo. They took on the auspices of deep attacks, if you will, deep attacks. Sir, additionally, field training exercises, each of our troops does a FTX, about a week in length, every other month. And during a normal week FTX, they will do probably 10 missions, most of them at night. Each squadron does an FTX every month, and the entire regiment attempts to do an FTX twice a year.
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Sir, we have our annual gunnery exercises. We do two a year, one each sponsored by each of the squadrons so that newly arriving pilots from Squadron A, if they are not matched up to go throughon a time line, not matched up to go through gunnery with their own squadron when it has its turn to go through, then we align it with the other squadron, so no particular pilot, irregardless of what time he arrives in the regiment, has to wait very long to go through gunnery.
Sir, about 60 percent of our flight hours are conducted at night. While we were deployed in Albania, we were flying about 85 percent of our flight hours at night, using both the forward-looking infrared and the night vision goggle systems.
Sir, we have a series of exercises known as the Raging Mustang exercises. Raging Mustang exercises not only entail the use of the AH-64s in the corps, but it also brings in many assets throughout 5th U.S. Corps. It brings in the Deep Operations Coordination Cell, or DOCC, which is a corps asset. It brings in artillery units. It brings in the United States Air Force, United States Navy, and other assets that are going to be involved in our suppression of enemy air defense, and all the other pieces that go into a deep operation mission, once again, that mission that we would be doing in Kosovo.
Sir, in Bosnia last year, both of our squadrons, as we have said, are recent graduates of Bosnia experience. But as an example, last year we turned each one of our peacekeeping missions into a High Intensity Conflict scenario, or HIC scenario. For instance, if we were going to the town of Srebrenica to overwatch and provide security for the women of Srebrenica as they return to visit the cemeteries in that town, we would convert that mission of overwatching, providing security, we would turn it into a deep battle scenario for our en route time to get to that town. And once we got there, then we reverted to the primary mission that we were to perform.
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The same went for weapons storage site inspections and all the other missions that we did there. We turned them into high-intensity conflict scenarios as opposed to just pure peacekeeping operations.
Sir, our regiment also ascribes to the tenets of modern training, the tenets of modern training; that is, OC'd, OP4'd, AAR. OC'd, observer-controlled, this is when we bring in members of other units or the Combat Maneuver Training Center, CMTC. We bring them in, and they observe our training. They provide that gift of an external look; OP4, a professional OP4, or maybe a nonprofessional OP4, which provides targets. It provides a thinking, moving enemy to complement our battle drills, our battle scenarios.
And last AAR'd, as mentioned by John Cody, After Action Reviewed, after we conduct the exercise, we stand back, we look at ourselves and ask what went right, what went wrong, how can we make it better the next time.
Sir, I think the regiment, the 11th Aviation Regiment, was the unit to perform this mission.
Mr. BATEMAN. General Cody's memorandum makes reference to assigned aviators had less than 500 hours. None were night-vision-goggles-qualified in the primary flying position. Do you have anydo you take any exception with that statement?
Colonel HUNTER. No, sir. First of all, night vision goggles are not required in the AH64 Apache. The AH64 Apache has its night visionics. It is provided by the forward-looking infrared system, or IR system.
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Mr. BATEMAN. Would I be incorrect if I suggested that at least it was somebody's opinion that in addition to your forward-looking infrared radar system, it is also useful, if not important, to have night vision goggle capability?
Colonel HUNTER. Yes, sir, it is important. And I am certainly glad that we got on board a program for using the night vision goggles. Back in Germany in peacetime to get a night vision goggle program going, once again, not required but a wonderful thing to have, and we now have one, but to get a program going in peacetime requires first acquisition of the goggles; second, an external maintenance support team to do all the periodic inspections, very difficult inspections, on the goggles; plus you need to send off your instructor pilots off to another unit, possibly all the way to Fort Rucker, for them to get current on the night vision goggle system. They return to the unit, and then they train all the other members of the unit.
It is a half-year or more program in peacetime from start to finish to get it going.
Sir, all Army aviators are qualified in night vision goggles. They may not be current, but they are qualified. So when we got to Albania, we were able to quickly get the helmet fitting devices that allows application of the goggles to our helmets, get them installed and move right into a night vision goggle program.
Mr. BATEMAN. Well, Colonel, I hear what you are saying, but I am still left with sort of a curious feeling. If you are sending a unit into what can be anticipated to be a very severe, rigorous combat environment, wouldn't you want to have that unit equipped from the very outset with the greatest and highest capability that the Army can provide?
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Colonel HUNTER. Yes, sir, I certainly would have, but fortunately, unfortunately, we were in Bosnia and recovering from Bosnia after Bosnia. So to get that program going requires a 100 percent dedication. It was a relatively short time between our return from Bosnia last October and our deployment.
Mr. BATEMAN. My quarrel isn't with the fact that you were not or could not under the circumstances under which you operated, my concern is maybe we ought to change the circumstances under which you operate so you wouldn't be subject to any shortcomings or shortfalls certainly in terms of equipment that could have been brought. I have this memorandum before me, and I have read it, but the nature of my memory is not such that I remember each and every piece of equipment. But there are several pieces of equipment, communication equipment and other things, that are cited by General Cody as having been, shall we say, at the very least desirable, but were not present.
Is that condition still present? Or if it is, or if it is not, are we seeking to do anything about it? Can we anticipate? Should we expect the Army to be requesting us for procurement action or authority to correct any equipment deficiencies in Apaches, which are the front line of the Army's aviation combat programs?
Colonel HUNTER. Yes, sir. There are several programs that are afoot, and Colonel Bramblett is our Ph.D in that area.
General CODY. Sir, let me, if I may.
Page 23 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. BATEMAN. By all means, General.
General CODY. Seeing as I am the guy that wrote that poor thing, and Colonel Hunter is being very kind. The basic issue about the training, he has a great unit, well trained. If you noticed in my memo, which again is lessons learned so we can get better, I firmly believe that until we get the second-generation FLIR in the Apache, when we go to mid- to high-intensity conflict in those type of conditions.
Mr. BATEMAN. FLIR, forward-looking infrared?
General CODY. Yes, sir, the night vision system, I apologize, that is the sensor on board the Apache that is not only used for targeting, but also for in flight on one eye. It is a monocle. Both the pilot and copilot use it. Until we get the second-generation forward-looking infrared, and we expect our pilots to fly in all these conditions, my recommendation to the Army is that we put up a full-up goggle program, front seat, fund it, train them. Because even though what Colonel Hunter said is true, all pilots are trained in goggles, but they are not trained as a crew, front seat, back seat, in the complexities of going into a combat situation with one pilot on a night-intensifying system and one on a forward-looking infrared system, and that took us time. And that was the reason I said it was painful and high-risk. We went from crew training and went right into full-up collective mission training in Albania. And the Army has to look at that until we get the second-generation forward-looking infrared. And that was why I put that in there.
Mr. BATEMAN. Well, General and Colonel Hunter, you are both at the very core of what this hearing is intended to be about. If you don't have systems that technology has made available, but we haven't authorized or funded it, I would hope your leadership is going to ask us for it, and if they don't, we are willing to take some initiative as long as we understand the need.
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General CODY. What did happen, sir, is as soon as Colonel Hunter and I had this discussion back at Illieshiem, the Army went out and procured for us 74 sets of the newest, best night vision goggles, and we got them very quickly.
The real answer is getting the second-generation forward-looking infrared system for the Apache.
Mr. BATEMAN. Do any of the Apaches have that second generation?
General CODY. No, sir.
Mr. BATEMAN. None of them have it?
General CODY. And I am going to pass this off to my good friend over here.
Mr. BATEMAN. Colonel Bramblett, we look forward to hearing from you.
Colonel BRAMBLETT. Sir, I would be glad to speak to that topic. Second-generation FLIR is, in fact, the number one priority from the user community for the Apache program, and we are working diligently to meet that requirement. We have funding beginning in 2000 for R&D for the development and integration of the second-generation FLIR. That FLIR we expect will double the resolution and range of the visionics compared to what we have on board today. It will also include things like local area processing and imaging intensification, which will, in fact, eliminatewe expect will eliminate the requirement for the goggles that General Cody has stated, because it will give them the opportunity to see things outside the infrared spectrum, which is what the goggle does for you.
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Right now with the funding that we currently have in the palm, we are looking at a 2004 introduction of the second-generation FLIR into the Apache. I think you are aware of the prime vendor support initiative that we have ongoing which would allow us, if the Army makes the decision to follow that path, we would then have an opportunity to glean the second-gen FLIR earlier. And I think that is in about the first quarter of 2003 time frame.
We also looked at an emergency program which would allow the PEOA, the Program Executive Office for Aviation, to introduce second-generation FLIR earlier to meet the emergency deployment requirement that we had for Kosovo. We had supplied the information up through Army for the dollars required and the time line that would allow us to support that initiative.
Mr. BATEMAN. Thank you, Colonel Bramblett.
I want to discontinue my questions for the moment, but let me make the committee aware that we will be submitting some questions for the record because I want to make sure that the end of the day and this proceeding that we have focused on each of the areas where equipment is a part of the piece that needs to be fixed in order that we can evaluate that against all the other priorities that we have to wrestle with. But that is the essence of what we are about is identifying needs and making sure that they are not unmet through anything this committee can avoid.
[The information referred to can be found in the appendix.]
Page 26 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. BATEMAN. At this point, Mr. Ortiz.
Mr. ORTIZ. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And let me ask this question: Did the training in Germany with this concern about noise at night have any effect on night training of the crews?
General CODY. Sir, I will let Colonel Hunter answer that. I have never been stationed in Germany.
Colonel HUNTER. Yes, sir, I am on my third tour. Some of the specific restrictions, let me name a few of them. First of all, no flight after midnight, 2400 hours. Another one, sir, between 1700 and sunset, which during the summertime is quite a span because it doesn't get dark until after 10 p.m., there is no flight below 500 feet above ground level (AGL). Also, sir, there is no flying on weekends in Germany unless you get a request in for permission X number of months in advance.
Sir, the Apache, of course, is a night fighter, and we need to train at night. Looking at the summer months, which in Germany does not get dark until 2230 hours, 2220, about 10:30, during the months of July and August, that really cuts into our window of training. Additionally, we cannot fly before sunset in the morning, whereas at another post elsewhere post, Campbell, Fort Hood, et cetera, you are allowed to fly during those periods.
So we have a heavy night scheduling program during the winter months when the nights are long, and as we move into the summer months our window of opportunity does lessen. There are initiatives occurring right now, sir, from the United States Army Headquarters Europe, USAREUR, in order to get an additional 2 hours during the months of June, July, August, tagged onto 2 nights a week for the four Apache battalions that are located in Germany. So there are some moves being taken within our own theater to fix that restriction, to fix that shortfall. But those are our restrictions that have hampered training for years and years.
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Mr. ORTIZ. And these are restrictions that are imposed by the German Government?
Colonel HUNTER. That is correct, sir.
Mr. ORTIZ. What is the difference between your trainingI know you mentioned something between your training in the states versus training in Germany?
Colonel HUNTER. I am sorry, sir?
Mr. ORTIZ. Do have you more time, different scenarios? I know that you train for different missions before you go to a different area.
Colonel HUNTER. Yes, sir. Sir, the states, the military installations are very large, Fort Campbell, Fort Hood, very large tracts of land. In Germany, outside of Hohenfels, the Combat Maneuver Training Center, and Grafenwohr, outside of those two posts, we have to depart our military reservation to do our training, especially the deep attacks. For an example, I mentioned the Raging Mustang exercises that we conduct. We will do deep attacks as many as 150 kilometers one direction away from our home post. We will hit a simulated target 150 kilometers away, and we will return.
Our post is only a half a mile by a mile in size, and you can see we very quickly outrun our own small installation there. So that would be the primary difference between flying in Germany and flying in the United States.
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Mr. ORTIZ. Has retention been a problem with the Apache pilots? And I know that we have had hearings and we have talked about retention in the field hearings. We have talked about deployments where they deploy, you know. Is this a problem now?
Colonel HUNTER. Yes, sir, it certainly is. As a matter of fact, sir, in our troops, our company-level organizations, we are short or have beenthe last 2 years we have been short about one-third, one-third factor among our line pilots, the warrant officers.
Mr. BATEMAN. Could I interrupt to pick up on that?
Mr. ORTIZ. Yes, sir.
Mr. BATEMAN. Where that problem exists and you get orders to deploy, do you then get backfill to make up for the positions that have routinely more or less been empty up to that point?
Colonel HUNTER. Yes, sir. In this most recent deployment we did. We were required to deploy 24 Apaches out of the 48 that we owned. We deployed 24 Apaches from Illieshiem. We were augmented from the 229th Aviation Regiment located at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, by 11 crews, 22 officers.
Mr. BATEMAN. Does that explain the phenomena that General Cody mentioned with reference to pilots with less than 500 hours flying time; is that reason for that?
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Colonel HUNTER. Actually, sir, our average per pilot went up with the addition of those crews from Fort Bragg. They sent very, very good, seasoned crews to us, sir.
Mr. BATEMAN. Okay.
Mr. ORTIZ. Just one more question before I yield to my colleagues here. Have you been cut money in training because money was needed someplace else?
Colonel HUNTER. No, sir, we have not. And the traditional measurement in our training money is in-flight hours, and we have received what we requested the last 2 years.
Mr. ORTIZ. So you are satisfied with the level of money.
Colonel HUNTER. The flight hours, that is correct, yes, sir.
Mr. ORTIZ. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. BATEMAN. I have got a follow-up on that one, too, Colonel. You have not been constrained in your training schedule or program because of money. Have you been constrained because you didn't have the personnel to conduct exercises that you had the money to conduct and would have conducted had you had the personnel?
Page 30 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Colonel HUNTER. No, sir. I was dealt a certain set of cards, and we drive on with our training profile whether we had them or not. I have not let that interfere.
Mr. BATEMAN. So there has been no limitation or restriction on the training you wanted to do or were authorized to do because you didn't have certain key people available to do it?
Colonel HUNTER. No, sir.
Mr. BATEMAN. Okay. Thank you.
Next, Mr. Everett.
Mr. EVERETT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and thank you for calling this hearing. Thank the panel for being here. I know you have all spent considerable time about 8 miles from my home at Fort Rucker.
And I have some questions. I would like to start by asking, you had a dark mission there, it was a practice mission. We ended up losing a helicopter, Apache. Why did that Apache go down?
General CODY. Sir, I will take that question. When we got in country, with all the great training that Colonel Hunter talked to you about with the 11th Attack Helicopter Regiment, there was still no way to replicate flying the distances through the mountains, at the weights with full combat loads of a helicopter fire, the 19 rockets, the 230-gallon wing tank, and some amount of 30 millimeter up through those mountain passes and working the power management required to conduct those mission profiles. And we knew that that was going to be the master level thing that was going to give us the greatest problem. That is why up front General Hendricks and I and Colonel Hunter put the three to four mission rehearsal exercises into the deployment piece before General Hendricks went back to General Clark and said, we have now met initial operational capability.
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This is a long answer, but I think it is germane to the case about the accident. This is the toughest terrain I have seen in 27 years, and I have been all over the world flying attack helicopters. And for the mission profile that we were asking these great crews to fly, they were flying on the margin for some 30 to 40 minutes at the gross weight of that aircraft. And you will see later it is an equipment issue about the 230-gallon tank. I think the tank is too big, and there are some other problems with it, but that is what we had at the time, and that was what was required to penetrate that border and to get to the target site.
The particular crash you are talking about was caused very simply by a loss of power of what we call settling with power. In a high-density altitude, the pilot brought the aircraft below a certain air speed at a certain height above ground where the aircraft and rotor system at the gross weight it was flying could not maintain level flight, and they had no time to recognize that they got into it. You only have about 3 to 4 seconds to do the corrective action. And thankfully, they did not get hurt. That speaks to the crashworthiness of that helicopter, by the way.
And when the helicopter hit the ground, the tank, the 230-gallon tank, luckily broke away. Had it not broken away, we could have had a real catastrophic situation on our hands because, as you know, that tank is not crash-worthy. But that is what caused the crash. Young crew, good crew, but certainly had not been put in those conditions.
Mr. EVERETT. Would a belly tank have made any difference?
General CODY. Yes, sir. And you will see that in my lessons learned.
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Mr. EVERETT. You spoke a little bit about load, and that is one of the things that seemed to be a recurring concern about the load. Would D models have made a difference?
General CODY. No, sir.
Mr. EVERETT. D models have more power than the A model.
General CODY. Yes, but it has also got more weight.
Mr. EVERETT. More lift power.
General CODY. The mission-to-power ratio we have with the Apache was fine with the A model we had. I am not sure.
Mr. EVERETT. The A model was flying on the margin.
General CODY. Yes, sir. For the first 30 or 40 minutes until it burned off quite a bit of that fuel.
Mr. EVERETT. Colonel.
Colonel BRAMBLETT. Sir, thank you for the opportunity.
Page 33 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC We currently have a mixed fleet in the field with respect to the engines that the aircraft are equipped with. We have the 701 engine, and we have the 701 Charlie engine. The 701 Charlie engine creates and provides about 200 more horsepower per engine than the 701 engine. The D model Apache, the Longbow Apache, with the fire control radar as a part of the Longbow equip, includes the 701 Charlie engine. The D model without the fire control radar is equipped probably with thewill be equipped with the 701 engine. The reason I say probably, it is merely a matter of taking advantage of the engines that are currently available in the fleet and utilizing the equipment that we have.
So ifand I admit my ignorance in this matter. If it were an A model Apache with the 701 Charlie engine, which we have them out there today, then that aircraft would have had more horsepower available to it than if it were an aircraft with the 701 engine. And it is merelyit is a matter of money and priorities with respect to the aircraft that are currently in the field today. They are what they are.
Mr. EVERETT. Getting away from that for a moment, but the D models also have better electronic countermeasures.
Colonel BRAMBLETT. Sir, the countermeasures currently on the D model fleet are the same as they are on the A model.
Mr. EVERETT. The same.
Colonel BRAMBLETT. Yes. I will be glad to talk to the AOC now or later, as you see fit.
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Mr. EVERETT. How about communications?
Colonel BRAMBLETT. The communications remain the same as well with respect to the high-frequency radio, which will take care of the non-line-of-sight communication issue that General Cody mentioned in his memo. We have a long-term plan as a part of the modernization of the Apache to incorporate that capability.
Mr. EVERETT. General Cody, did I read, I think, in your earlier statements that you said there were no WOs in this crew, the original 24 that came over, no warrant officers in the original crew?
General CODY. No, there were several warrant officers. The training piece of the 500 hours and nonpilot and command that I brought out in the memo was targeted towards lieutenants and captains. Across the board in 11th Regiment and in 229, the training and proficiency and track tactics and techniques of flying among the warrant officer corps is pretty good, in fact very, very good. My concern that I brought up was the development of the lieutenants and the captains as what I saw we as an Army have to address and do better at.
Mr. EVERETT. I think you are recommending additional training.
General CODY. Yes, sir.
Mr. EVERETT. Mr. Chairman, first of all, I appreciate this panel, I appreciate you having this hearing so we can highlight the problems that may have come up here. We have some courageous young men out there flying someflying in a very dangerous situation. It is complex, it is dangerous. We lose, what, 100 helicopter pilots servicewide a year to accidents? So they run in, I think, a very dangerous mission.
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Mr. Chairman, you referred to a come-as-you-are war. And this Congress, this administration, the American people are going to have to recognize if we are going to ask these young men and women to participate in a come-as-you-are war, then they are going to be have to be equipped to participate in a come-as-you-are war.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. BATEMAN. Thank you, Mr. Everett.
Let me for the edification of anyone in the hearing room, probably not for the people at the desk, that in the authorization bill that we passed through the committee and now through the House of Representatives, we have fully authorized the request for the FLIR modifications. Also, I am told that in the R&D provisions of the bill, there are funds authorized to upgrade night vision technologies and obstacle avoidance technologies. So, hopefully, we will be able to in the future be addressing the kinds of concerns that General Cody has highlighted in his memorandum.
Now, Mr. McIntyre.
Mr. MCINTYRE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Gentlemen, with my hometown not being too far from Fort Bragg, I especially appreciate the opportunity, and we are very proud of our soldiers who serve with you from Fort Bragg over in the Balkans and, of course, raised a lot of concerns about the Apaches and the things that have been discussed here today.
Page 36 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The Chairman, I think, has just touched on a couple of the questions I was going to ask with regard to the fact that your assessment mentioned that no pilots were trained in the copilot gunner position with no night vision goggles prior to arriving in Albania. Do you think it is mainly a concern of lack of training with the night vision goggles or not having had enough of that particular piece of equipment available?
General CODY. It is both, Mr. Congressman. We are not required right now toApache units are not required for their readiness levels to be current qualified with a copilot gunner in the front seat with night vision goggles. Their air crew training manual, which drives their readiness rate in terms of trained and ready, only requires them to fly front seat, back seat with the forward-looking infrared. I disagree with that, and that is why I put it in the memo that every time we have a crisis, when we have to go out in the real world, we end up scrambling and quickly having to train soldiers up. It is something we will have to deal with. And I believe we will. Some units do it, and some don't I am advocating until we get the second-generation forward-looking infrared that all do it so we don't have to go through a 3-week train-up or a 2-week train-up.
Mr. MCINTYRE. With regard to electronic warfare equipment efficiencies, you also mention in your report some concerns about the random ghost acquisitions. Is there anything that we can do to support you in a concern about the training or the equipment itself with regard to electronic warfare and the jamming?
General CODY. Thank you for bringing that up, Mr. Congressman, because, as you know, very scary for pilots to think that someone is tracking them when they are not, to think that someone is engaging them when they are not, or to get a missile alert. That is actually what our pilots were getting on every mission. We had the same problem with the APR 39 radar warning system in the Gulf War, and we fixed some of it with the new version of the APR 39 radar warning system.
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We tried everything with the help of the experts to fix the problems, but we still got them. I am going to defer the rest of the technical piece to Colonel Bramblett, but I don't see right now in the near term how we are going to fix that problem, because we have had all the technical guys look at it. Basically the system picks up RF, radio frequency stuff, and you will be sitting on an airport, and it tells you something is tracking you, and there is nothing there.
Mr. MCINTYRE. Can you respond, Colonel?
Colonel BRAMBLETT. Sir, I would be glad to. The challenges that you bring up stem from the fact that we are talking about 1970s technology that was developed and integrated in the 1980s on board the aircraft. It has become our legacy equipment, which has then had the effectiveness and efficiency of it degraded by the technological advantages of the 1990s. So we simply haven't kept up.
With respect todirect answer to what can you do about the ghosting and the problems with the APR 39, the radar warning that the general mentioned a moment ago, we have upgraded that piece of equipment to the point where we can no longer upgrade it is what it boils down to. It has reached the limits of its capability.
The long-term plan or the long-term solution is the introduction of the suite of integrated radio frequency countermeasures and the advanced threat infrared countermeasure system, which includes a common missile warning system, these are a part of the long-term modernization plan for the Apache. These are pieces of equipment that we believe will be extraordinarily capable. It is equipment that is currently in development. In fact, the radar radio frequency piece of it, I am currently flying today on a Longbow Apache for the integration piece of it. It is a matter of prioritization, and it is a matter of funding. And we are funded right now, but the issue becomes one of the funding is out into the extended planning program. And we are not looking at the introduction of any of this new equipment on board the Apache until 2006.
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Mr. MCINTYRE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. BATEMAN. Mr. Sherwood.
Mr. SHERWOOD. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
And I have the deepest admiration for you gentlemen and your troops, but we do have some concerns, and I wouldn't suggest at all how you do your job. My military skills are very out of date. But our focus is readiness, and we need to know what we can do to assist your performance. And I am concerned about the time it took to get Apaches to the Balkans and to have them ready for action, and the crash. I know it is your job to perform well with the resources that you are supplied with. It is our job to see that you have those resources. But what bothers me is whose job it is to see that we are told what you need. It seems that in my short time here, we are always trying to worm out of a man in a uniform what he needs to do the job.
And I am concerned, when does the loyalty to the budget conflict with the commander's loyalty to his troops? Do you want to take a shot at that, General Cody?
General CODY. Thank you very much for that question, sir. That is why we are here. And we know, sir, of your concerns, and the soldiers in the field are very appreciative. We are uniformed officers and soldiers, and we take orders very well, and we have an obligation to take what we are given and train our soldiers hard and train them well for the things we anticipate will be given to us with the national command authority to prosecute. That is we hold that near and dear that no soldier goes into harm's way untrained.
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The unresource part, we have to come back to you and tell you what we need. We have had 13 or 14 years of declining budget in the military. The Chiefs of Staff, General Sullivan and General Reimer and now General Shinseki, have said that we are $5 billion short in our budget. So that is it. With that shortage, then, and you spread our money across tanks, Bradleys, artillery pieces, modernization accounts, you end up with some compromises. And I feel what you are seeing now is some compromises on long lead programs for the Apache in particular and other systems that also get compromised out and you end up with this end state.
Mr. SHERWOOD. Well, I know that $5 million figure, but that $5 million figurebillion dollar figure came out only after the man on my right almost drug it out of those folks. I mean, that was a painful hearing that day. That was the first day I was at one of these, and I couldn't believe what was going on.
With the time and our experience in Albania, what is your assessment now of our ability to handle two of these hot spots at the same time?
General CODY. Two hot spots like Albania and Bosnia, sir?
Mr. SHERWOOD. They are pretty close together. Suppose they were two hot spots that weren't that close together.
General CODY. I believe our strategy is sound right now for what we have. But, again, I go back to my original statement, sir. The heavy lifting in the Army has increased 300 percent since the Iron Curtain came down. We are a 10-division Army for probably about a 14-division mission.
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Mr. SHERWOOD. Thank you.
General CODY. That is my own personal assessment.
Mr. SHERWOOD. Thank you very much.
Mr. BATEMAN. Let me make this observation before turning to my colleague from California Mr. Hunter. Among several useful things that I think have been elicited from the witness table today is a reminder that while this committee is primarily about readiness, modernization is a very critical piece of readiness. If we don't provide you with the upgrades and equipment, if we don't modernize that which you have and replace that which is worn out, it obviously impacts your readiness. So readiness is not just operation and maintenance accounts and money for training, it is a lot more than that.
I hope we will all understand that that is a very vital piece of readiness as we go about doing the best we can with all that we can provide you with in terms of the resources.
Mr. HUNTER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I want to thank you and my colleagues for holding this hearing. I think it has been a very enlightening hearing for all of this. And Colonel Bramblett and Colonel Hunter and General Cody, thank you for being with us. I work on the Procurement Subcommittee with my colleagues and with the Chairman of Readiness, Mr. Bateman, and try to see to it that our operation is, in fact, seamless, because providing new equipment is an answer to long-term readiness problems certainly and can take care of some of the shortfalls.
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And, General Cody, I have looked at your statement. You make some pretty tough statements here that I have read with respect to some of the problems that we have. One of them, and I am quoting, the pilots have lost confidence in the APR39, the ALQ136 radar jammer, and are not sure of the ALQ144 IR jammer's true capabilities. Specifically on almost every MRE, mission rehearsal exercise, the AP39's displayed random ghost acquisitions, and you just spoke about that. And you go on with some fairly strong criticism, which is your job and your duty, which is to report what happened and what the situation is.
What I would like to do is just get down to brass tacks and ask you what typewhat equipment needs to be acquired. And why don't we just start with night vision. You went through the goggles. Colonel Hunter gave us quite a good explanation on what the goggles bring to the mix. It is good to have them. And there is a synergy there between that and the other means of acquisition at night.
What do you need with respect to goggles?
General CODY. Thank you very much, sir. Right now.
Mr. HUNTER. Make the answers short, because I got a few others to go.
General CODY. Right now the OMNI4 version of the goggles, which has the highest resolution, which is what we are procuring now, once we fielded the 160th Special Operations Regiment, and then the rest of the Army has a buy-in, and I think we are on track right now. We have to study it as an Army to see how manyif the Army accepts my proposal of outfitting Apache outfits with goggles until we get second-gen FLIR, we as an Army have going to go back and take a look at the quantities.
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Mr. HUNTER. Okay.
General CODY. I need to take that back for the record, sir, and get back to you on that. That is something we have got to study.
Mr. HUNTER. If you could do that.
On aircraft survivability, electronic warfare equipment, you mentioned a number of these inadequacies. What do we need?
General CODY. Sir, we need the suite of integrated radio frequency countermeasures, the SIRFC, and we also need the suite of integrated IR countermeasures and advanced threat IR jammers.
Mr. HUNTER. Where are we on acquisition of those systems?
General CODY. Out to 2006, sir.
Mr. HUNTER. If have you any further details, we may need to have a follow-up with you. Could you be available to work with our staff on that?
Command and control equipment?
General CODY. Sir, the command and control equipment deal basically with the radio suites that we have in the Apache, the command and control helicopter, in particular to conduct these deep operations as well as to be able to do it in a joint environment, being able to talk to the airborne command and control center, the AB triple C, and the AWACs. Right now the current suite of radios we have do not give us the range at the knap of the earth levels we are flying to be able to maintain full communications for command and control on a very complex battlefield.
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The answer is we need new radios. We have one coming, the R220, and I will let Colonel Bramblett address where we are at on that.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay, Colonel. Where are we, and when do we get them?
Colonel BRAMBLETT. With respect to the high-frequency radio, it is currently flying on the special operations aircraft. It is not flying today on the Apache. We have done the integration on the current fielded A model Apache, and we are in the midst of preparing to do a user evaluation of it in November of 1999 with an IPR, an in-progress review, the decision about fielding into the scout attack units in April of 2000.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay. How about the auxiliary tank? I understand the 150-gallon tank is convenient, something that would work well with your systems. Where are we? Do you need those?
General CODY. Yes, sir, we do. We need them for a couple reasons. One is we need to free up the other wing store so we can put rockets or missiles back on the wing store that right now the current ferry tank occupies. The second piece.
Mr. HUNTER. When are you going to get those?
General CODY. Sir, they are being built now. We went in an initial procurement for 48and again, Colonel Bramblett knows the long lead times on these.
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Colonel BRAMBLETT. Sir, with respect to that, I found monies and initiated the procurement on 48 of the 13-gallon belly tanks that the general indicated. We expect production delivery to begin in 20 weeks on that. And we bought a sufficient quantity of them to take care of that. Part and party to that, that component will occupy the 30-millimeter ammo bay of the aircraft where we normally carry the ammunition for the 30-millimeter cannon. I have initiated the design development of what we call the ammo flak pack, which will lie on top of that 130-gallon tank, thereby taking up 20 gallons' worth of space. That is why you had 150, and I now have 130.
Mr. HUNTER. Let me ask you two more questions, Mr. Chairman, with your indulgence, if I could.
Mr. BATEMAN. Without objection.
Mr. HUNTER. I have two more things I have to check out. Gentlemen, I have gone over the issues, the areas where we see, at least from the testimony and your reports, the need to modernize. You need to get equipment. Is there any other equipmentand I would ask you, General Cody, and either of the other gentlemen want to answer thisis there any other equipment that we have that I didn't enumerate here that you need to make our Apache force as good as it can? Anything else you need?
Colonel HUNTER. Sir, simulation upgrades. We have a complete suite of simulators out there for all aircraft for the Apache. It is called the CMS, combat missile simulator. The Blackhawk has its own simulator, et cetera. Although these simulators are very superb training devices, they are very old at this point, and upgrades for those simulators are needed. As the real aircraft get upgraded, new equipment on them, so does the simulator.
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Mr. HUNTER. Okay. So you need that. And could you give us more detail for the record, in fact, exactly how many you need and how fast would you like to have them?
General Cody, answer to that question; anything else you need?
General CODY. Not that hasn't already been addressed, sir.
Mr. HUNTER. Colonel Bramblett, you see anything else that we have missed here?
Colonel BRAMBLETT. Sir, there are a number of things that the user community would like to have. I, however, am not in the business of doing the prioritization of that. What I do is the acquisition of it. The thing that I see as the greatest potential boon to the Apache fleet is the modernization program that we are under right now, which is digitizing.
Mr. HUNTER. We will leave the record open if you have some other things identified. You don't have to prioritize them, just put them down on the list and get with General Cody and leave that for the record,Mr. Chairman.
[The information referred to can be found in the appendix.]
Mr. HUNTER. The last thing we need is the Chairman and I are both pretty frustrated, I think every member of the committee is, getting technology fielded and getting these systems into the field and getting upgrades into the field. So I would ask you for the record to review the items that we have enumerated that you need, with any recommendations that you can make as to whether or not thesethe fielding of these items can be accelerated. You have given us some dates and some acquisition tracks. Can we accelerate the fielding of any of these items, and, if so, how do we accelerate it? Leave that one for the record.
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General CODY. Yes, sir.
[The information referred to can be found in the appendix.]
Mr. HUNTER. We want to get it to you quick.
Mr. Chairman, with that, thank you very much.
Mr. BATEMAN. Thank you Mr. Hunter.
Let me sort of echo the thrust of what you just asked. We have asked you a number of questions today, and you have given us good answers, and I am not complaining about the answers you have given us. But they are ad hoc, sort of off the cuff, spontaneously reacting extemporaneously. General Cody particularly, and Colonel Hunter, Colonel Bramblett, I would like for you to scrub this memorandum, each of the items in it, and then address the needs, make sure that we have an inventory, a laundry list of the items where material resources, funding, programs can make you more ready, make an already magnificent force an improved and enhanced force, because, again, that is the very purpose and the reason for the hearing.
Colonel Hunter, you made reference to simulators, and this is way above my head, but you have got an Apache and several models of it. Do you have to go through a different pilot qualifications or training track for each of these models?
Colonel HUNTER. Yes, sir. For all the aircraft types, there are minimum requirements per semiannual period; so many hours, X number of hours, if you will, that have to be flown in the CMS, in the instance of the Apache.
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Mr. BATEMAN. Does that require a simulator for each of the models, or can you adjust the simulator so that it gives the training for more than one Apache model?
Colonel HUNTER. Sir, there is a simulator being fielded here shortly that does modify itself somewhat. I am not an expert on that. I am looking to my left here. Maybe somebody here can help me. But I know that that is coming down the pike.
Colonel BRAMBLETT. Allow me to try to clarify a little bit if I can. There are two models of the Apache now. The A.
Mr. BATEMAN. Only two. Okay.
Colonel BRAMBLETT. Now, there are some differences, minor differences of different natures, within the A model fleet. But there is the A model, the current Apache, and then there is the Longbow Apache, which is the D model. The D model will require different training at Fort Rucker, which we are about to transition the training to Fort Rucker in October.
Mr. BATEMAN. I want to ask you something that intrigues me greatly. You have an Apache A model, and you have the Longbow, which is the D model. Why would you go from an A model to a D model without having a B and C model?
Colonel BRAMBLETT. Sir, I am glad you asked me that because I happen to be one of the few people in the room that is long enough in the tooth to remember why.
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Mr. BATEMAN. Oh, there is a reason.
Colonel BRAMBLETT. There is absolutely a reason. There was an A model, B model, C model, and D model. The issue was we had the A model, and we were modernizing it. We were going to move to the B model back into the early 1990s, and that B model was going to include the Longbow Apache. Then we said, no, we are not going to do that; the Longbow will actually go onto the C model. And we will have an A model, B model and C model, and the As will either become a B or C.
Congress madeand the B model was going to be much less capable than the D. It was not going to have all the digitization capabilities of the D. We were going to have multiple aircraft within the fleet. Congress directed the Army to go to one standard configuration. That configuration became then, because we had the A, B and C, the D model, with or without fire control radar.
Mr. BATEMAN. It has certainly reassuring to know that there was a reason.
Colonel BRAMBLETT. Absolutely.
To go back to your question about the simulators, before I lose the bubble on that, there is one simulator currently in the field, the combat mission simulator for the A model Apache, which is a full-motion simulator. I believe the simulator that Colonel Hunter was speaking of a moment ago is, in fact, the Longbow crew trainer, which is the new trainer which will be fielded with the Longbow Apache, which gives you the full digital capability and replication of the airplane. And that will be outwe deliver the first one to Fort Rucker October of this year.
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Mr. BATEMAN. So that is scheduled and on line for the basic training for pilots in the Apache D, the Longbow. Does it need to be in the operating force as the training tool?
Colonel BRAMBLETT. Yes, sir. We looked at that. And what the requirement is, in factand let me back up one moment and give you one more piece of information: The combat mission simulator for the A model Apache is, in fact, a hard stand bolted in concrete, put it inside an air-conditioned building simulator. The LCT, the user, in their infinite wisdom, saw the need after Desert Storm or during Desert Storm to be able to take the simulator with you into the battle space in the event that you are there for a long time in the preparation build-up time. So the requirement became one of a mobile trainer to be issued to the battalion. So we are going to have two of them located at the school of Fort Rucker, one of them located at 21st Cav, the training base for Longbow at Fort Hood, and then each individual battalion within the Longbow force will have their own mobile simulator that they are able to take with them. Right now they are shared among the A model fleet.
Mr. BATEMAN. That is all in process.
Colonel BRAMBLETT. It is, sir. It is part of the multiyear program in the Longbow buy.
Mr. BATEMAN. Okay. We are back to Mr. Ortiz.
Mr. ORTIZ. I just have one question now. My good friend Mr. Hunter asked for an inventory of what you need. What is the process that have you to follow? I mean, you have to go through the chain of command and see if you might get it. What do you do once you know what you need? I mean, what is the process that you follow?
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General CODY. Sir, as you know, we have operational need statements. We have CINCs priority list in each theater. We have mission need statements. And these are all reviewed at the Training and Doctrine Command and reviewed at the Materiel Command and certain reviewed at the Army staff. That is the process. Some are generated from mission area analysis. Some are generated from things like Task Force Hawk and things like Desert Shield, Desert Storm, where we just could not imagine what was going to be thrown at us, and all of a suddenand some are generated by great American soldiers that say this is a better way to do it.
And then the process goes out, and Colonel Bramblett can talk to you more about it than I can about the acquisition process piece, but usually they are generated up in mission need statements. That is how we got to the internal aux tank, sir. We went out and said we need this, and we wrote up a mission needs statement which became an operational needs statement. And that is how we got the procurement.
Colonel BRAMBLETT. Sir, the general is right on target with where the requirements come from. The one other place that I would add that it comes from is out of our Director of Combat Development down at Fort Rucker, Alabama, where they do an analysis of the threat that our equipment is currently capable of today, can we overmatch that threat.
Additionally we take a look at technology advances and where we can take advantage of technology and how we stay out in front of our near competitors or what we project to be our near competitors, because the Apache is a wonderful weapon, it is a system of great capability, and we have to be able to maintain that technological overmatch that we enjoy today. And in order to do that, we go through a process that will allow us to determine where we want to go with it. Once we determine, Congressman, where we want to go with it, that information is then provided through the operational channels over into the acquisition channels where I live. And they tell me, here is what we need to be able to do. Here is what we need to be able to do.
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We then will do some sort of analysis to determine what is available on the market today, called market survey. Can we take care of it with something off the shelf? Do we need a development program, et cetera? Once we identify that need, then we figure out how much that program will cost. We would submit that back into the Pentagon, here is the cost of the program, and where we think it will take us and what the capability will be provided at the end of the program.
They then apply that to all the other things, all the other good ideas and requirements that we have, and say, here is the greatest bang for the bucks that we have available today, and they perform a prioritization, and those that make it above the cut line get funded, and those that don't, don't.
Mr. ORTIZ. Let me go back. It looks like it is a long process.
Colonel BRAMBLETT. It is very long, sir.
Mr. ORTIZ. I mean, Mr. Chairman here, Mr. Bateman, just gave us some information of some of the equipment, the new night vision equipment has been approved. How long have you been waiting since you made the request for this equipment?
Colonel BRAMBLETT. For the night vision goggles, sir, the new ones or the second-generation FLIR?
Mr. ORTIZ. I am talking about the latest that has just been approved by the committee, by R&D, I think. Right?
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Mr. BATEMAN. Well, there were two things that I made reference to. One was the updated FLIR, the forward-looking infrared radar. That has been fully funded. I guess your question goes to how long did it take to get it to that point where it has now been authorized in the authorization bill.
Colonel BRAMBLETT. Sir, I would have to take that for the record. I do not know off-hand the length of the process to get to the point where we are today.
Mr. ORTIZ. Because the reason I ask is that weyou remember when we had the hearings in Fort Riley, Kansas, some of the needs that the sergeants and the lieutenants and captainsthey were making the demands, but it was not going all the way to the top from training to the deployment. They were very much concerned. And I just want to be sure that we enter the request, that they hear you out. We want to be sure. Otherwise we will never be able to correct the deficiencies that exist.
Colonel BRAMBLETT. All right, sir.
Mr. ORTIZ. Thank you. I don't have any other questions, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. BATEMAN. Thank you, Mr. Ortiz.
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Mr. BATEMAN. Mr. Everett is back again.
Mr. EVERETT. No, thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. BATEMAN. Gentlemen, I don't have any further questions for you beyond that which we will be submitting for the record and which we have asked in terms of some of the laundry list, wish list, or whatever you might choose to call it, where we would like for you to give us succinctly a cataloguing of what your perceived needs are based upon not just Operation Hawk, but your general knowledgeability in this very important aspect of our Army combat or potential combat.
I do have a last question that I have been meaning to ask. The air campaign in the Balkans began on March the 26th, I believe is the date. General, do you recall the date that these units got the order to deploy?
General CODY. I would have to take it officially for the record. I know that we were approved to go to Tirane on or about the 4th or 5th of April was the final approval. But that was just to find out where we base. I will have to take that for the record. I wasn't part of Task Force Hawk at the time.
[The information referred to can be found in the appendix.]
Mr. BATEMAN. I would appreciate it you more taking it for the record than giving me off the top of your head recollections, which you had no reason to expect to be asked, and just clarify that I ask the question because I think it is an important aspect of our understanding of readiness problems, if there be any, is we started an air campaign on March the 26th, when did you get orders to become potentially a part of it, and by whatin what period of time were you able to be there where you had at least the capability to be inserted into the combat had you gotten the orders to do so?
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Not in the sense that I am finding fault with anything, but in the sense that it is of interest if we have got an ongoing war or conflict, how long it takes us to get the recognition that units may be important to the resolution of the conflict, and once they get the orders to go there, how long it takes to get them there and for them to be equipped to make a difference on the ground.
So let me know the time lines. Thank you. Thank you for that, and thank you for your testimony. We appreciate very much your being here today, and I feel you have been very helpful to the committee.
[Whereupon, at 3:47 p.m., the subcommittee was adjourned.]
A P P E N D I X
July, 1 1999
July 1, 1999
[The prepared statements submitted for the record can be found in the hard copy.]
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QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD
July 1, 1999
[This information is pending.]