SPEAKERS CONTENTS INSERTS
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[H.A.S.C. No. 10813]
AIR FORCE SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY PROGRAMS
TACTICAL AIR AND LAND FORCES SUBCOMMITTEE
COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED EIGHTH CONGRESS
JULY 19, 2003
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TACTICAL AIR AND LAND FORCES SUBCOMMITTEE
CURT WELDON, Pennsylvania, Chairman
JIM GIBBONS, Nevada
W. TODD AKIN, Missouri
JEB BRADLEY, New Hampshire
MICHAEL TURNER, Ohio
PHIL GINGREY, Georgia
TERRY EVERETT, Alabama
HOWARD P. ''BUCK'' McKEON, California
WALTER B. JONES, North Carolina
JIM RYUN, Kansas
ROB SIMMONS, Connecticut
ED SCHROCK, Virginia
J. RANDY FORBES, Virginia
JOEL HEFLEY, Colorado
JOE WILSON, South Carolina
FRANK A. LoBIONDO, New Jersey
NEIL ABERCROMBIE, Hawaii
IKE SKELTON, Missouri
Page 3 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCJOHN SPRATT, South Carolina
SOLOMON P. ORTIZ, Texas
LANE EVANS, Illinois
JIM TURNER, Texas
ADAM SMITH, Washington
MIKE McINTYRE, North Carolina
ROBERT A. BRADY, Pennsylvania
JOHN B. LARSON, Connecticut
STEVE ISRAEL, New York
JIM COOPER, Tennessee
KENDRICK B. MEEK, Florida
RODNEY ALEXANDER, Louisiana
John Sullivan, Professional Staff Member
J.J. Gertler, Professional Staff Member
Jesse Tolleson, Research Assistant
McAlpine, Elizabeth, Staff Assistant
C O N T E N T S
CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF HEARINGS
Page 4 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Saturday, July 19, 2003, Air Force Science and Technology Programs
Saturday, July 19, 2003
SATURDAY, JULY 19, 2003
AIR FORCE SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY PROGRAMS
STATEMENTS PRESENTED BY MEMBERS OF CONGRESS
Weldon, Hon. Curt, a Representative from Pennsylvania, Chairman, Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee
Lyles, Gen. Lester L., Commander, Air Force Materiel Command
Nielsen, Maj. Gen. Paul, Commander, Air Force Research Laboratory
[The Prepared Statements can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Lyles, Gen. Lester L.
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DOCUMENTS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
[There were no Documents submitted.]
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
[There were no Questions submitted.]
AIR FORCE SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY PROGRAMS
House of Representatives,
Committee on Armed Services,
Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee,
Washington, DC, Saturday, July 19, 2003.
The Subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 8:33 a.m., in the Carney Auditorium, Air Force Museum, 1100 Spaetz Street, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, Hon. Curt Weldon (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. CURT WELDON, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM PENNSYLVANIA, CHAIRMAN, TACTICAL AIR AND LAND FORCES SUBCOMMITTEE
Mr. WELDON. The Subcommittee will come to order.
Page 6 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC We are very pleased to be here in Dayton today to join in the centennial of flight celebration by highlighting your rich aviation heritage and the importance of science and technology programs to the future of the Air Force and to our nation's security and economy.
For many of you, it is probably our first attendance at a Congressional hearing. As you well know, in our government, we have three separate and distinct branches. The President spends the money on behalf of the taxpayers but we decide how much to give him and under what terms and conditions.
In the area of defense spending, our Armed Services Committee in the House has the responsibility for the largest discretionary portion of our federal budget dollar. My good friend and colleague, Duncan Hunter, chairs the full committee and we have just now completed the conference process with the Senate on a bill that will authorize approximately $400 billion of your money for our nation's defense.
This particular hearing is a subcommittee hearing which I chair on air and land, so that my portion of the defense budget, which primarily focuses on research and development (R&D) and procurement, oversees those programs within those categories.
Our job is two-fold. Our job is to take the President's request, which comes through the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) as it is developed by the various services; to hold hearings and decide whether or not the amount of money the President and the Secretary of Defense asked for is the appropriate amount of money, and if it is in fact in all the right categories. In the end, we make that decision and we do it collectively as Republicans and Democrats. And then we submit our final package of our spending plan to the White House and the President can either approve it or veto it. And as you know, we can in fact, in the end, override the President's veto.
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The second purpose of our hearings, like the one we are having today, is our oversight responsibilityto look at the programs that we fund through our defense budget, to look at perhaps areas that we need to put more focus on, areas that we need to in fact put more money into, to basically learn. And that is the purpose of being here todayto learn.
So we are very pleased to bring this congressional hearing directly to the Dayton community, to the fine folks at Wright-Patterson, and to learn from this hearing.
The science and technology (S&T) community here at Wright Patt has made major contributions in providing the superior advanced capabilities that exist in today's Air Force that make our military as a whole without equal in the world today. You deserve credit and should take a great deal of pride in the world class technology that gives our Air Force the premier systems that it has. The advanced technology demonstrations developed and managed from here directly contribute to several critical enabling capabilities such as Global Hawk and Predator Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAVs) with their advanced sensor systems; the Litening navigation and laser targeting pod; and the communications networks that link all of these systems together. But you do much more than that.
Achieving an adequate commitment of resources to fund science and technology programs that provide these kinds of superior capabilities is a perennial Washington battle, both in the Pentagon and on Capitol Hill. The pressure is always on to fund near-term needs and to put off the more abstract and less immediate long-term needs. This is certainly the case today, with our troops deployed around the world in the battle against international terrorism. Because the near term is much more tangible, convincing decision makers to increase the commitment to critical, yet less defined science and technology programs is always an uphill battle. This requires everyone in science and technology to ensure that redundancies among the services be reduced to the maximum extent possible and that resources are applied to technologies that offer the greatest promise to providing future war fighting capabilities. This is a difficult challenge, if nothing else, due to the nature of the scientific process and the complexity of the technologies involved.
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The science and technology community needs to work through its professional associations, academic institutions and other organizations to ensure that your legislative representatives realize the importance of what you do and what your contribution has been and continues to be.
And let me say to our friends from the Ohio delegation, you have the best. They are here today, they are outstanding advocates for the outstanding work that you do. If Dave Hobson and Mike Turner hit me over the head one more time to come out here and see what you have, I am going to hit them back over the head. In fact, I want you to know that we had to go up and down Hobson Way five times before we got to this hearing room today.
Mr. WELDON. I want you to know we stopped the bus and took a photo with all of us pointing up to Hobson Way, and before the end of this year, Mr. Hobson will have an appropriate item that will be in his office that will reflect upon our feelings of having traveled up and down Hobson Way five times.
And by the way, we are still looking for something named after John Boehner and Mike Turner. Someone suggested we will have to find an alley some place for Mike; and John Boehner, I know there must be a school around here someplace that we can name after him.
In 2003, as in 1903, the critical element to scientific innovation and discovery is the self-disciplined, highly motivated scientist and engineer. However, it takes more than a bicycle shop as a venue to provide the necessary tools to support technological innovation and development in the 21st century. As you all know, providing adequate labs and facilities takes major, sustained funding. And the competition for these resources continues to be fierce. That is why we must all work harder to see that adequate resources are made available if we are to be world class providers of aerospace technology in the future.
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Much of the renewed vigor in science and technology funding within the Air Force can be credited to ''Team Dayton.''. Your local leaders as well as your past and present representatives in Washington have been aggressive supporters of the need for increased science and technology program funding.
When I spoke to the Dayton Development Council in Washington earlier this year, I said I am from Pennsylvania, we want to join you, we have been building the country's first smart region by linking the Information Technology Systems (ITS) of Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey and Maryland. A natural extension of that is to link up with Team Dayton and our Ohio friends because you do such great work.
Not that I want to challenge our friends from the west or the south, but think for a moment, when you bring together Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, Maryland and Ohio, you bring together almost 60 members of the House, 10 members of the Senate. There is not much attention that we cannot get in Washington. So I challenge our friends here to work with us, and Mike has agreed to provide leadership here in this effort to expand what we call the smart region.
Even with the pressure on the federal budget, Air Force science and technology funding will be up over ten percent this coming fiscal year. Mike Turner, Tim Ryan, Dave Hobson, John Boehner, to name a few, have all worked very hard to make sure that we do not short change our technology future by inadequately funding science and technology programs. Sustained commitment is required if we are to maintain U.S. leadership in aerospace technology.
I would like to especially welcome today's witnesses, General Les Lyles and Major General Paul Nielsen. General Lyles is about to end a distinguished career in the U.S. Air Force35 years. If there is a person that you could point to as an example of what this nation is all about, it is the gentleman sitting in front of us who is about ready to end an extremely distinguished career on behalf of this nation. He has had so many senior leadership positions it would be impossible to name them all. Much of our success in our missile defense program today in defending this country and our allies and our troops around the world can be credited to Les Lyles. I had the pleasure of working with him as the Chairman of the Research Committee for six years and I can tell you there is no more honorable person serving this country than the leader of this community and this command.
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General LYLES. Thank you.
Mr. WELDON. And so as we come here today, it is with a sense humility that we sit in front of someoneactually he should be higher than we are, for his service to America. But he knows the respect that all of us have for his tenure. And we have been told that when he leaves office in August, he will become a professional race car driver
Mr. WELDON [continuing]. And he is going to be driving either in the Indianapolis 500 or Pocono or Dover.
General LYLES. Pocono sounds good.
Mr. WELDON. Before we begin, there are members that would like to make opening comments. But first of all, our leader, my friend, the Chairman of the full Committee, an individual who served the country as a veteran in Vietnam, understands and always requires us to focus on that person at the lowest level of our military and what his or her needs are, as they serve America in our most difficult circumstances around the world. He is the Chairman of the full Armed Services Committee, and let me tell you what an honor it is for all of you to have him join this Subcommittee, to come out and spend time when he has so many other duties and responsibilities.
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So I am going to ask our distinguished Chairman from Californiaand we do not hold that against him in the east, do weto make whatever comments he would like to make and then we will ask other members on the dias also the make whatever opening comments they would like to make. Chairman Duncan Hunter.
Mr. HUNTER. Thank you, Curt, it is great to be with you. And let me tell you, ladies and gentlemen, this is going to be a great hearing because Curt Weldon knows science and technology and air power and this is going to be a great, great hearing.
And let me say I wasI did go to Vietnam, I was volunteered by the University of California with a 1.7 grade average
[Laughter and applause.]
Mr. HUNTER [continuing]. But it went up a little bit after I got back, but not much.
But it is really wonderful to be with you and to be with this wonderful delegation. You have got a great delegation, you know that when John Boehner and David Hobson come up to us on a regular basis and tell us you listen to that Mike Turner because he is a brilliant guy and he has got a lot of great capability and a lot of great leadership capability, listen to what he says.
And you know, he does have a lot of leadership capability and it is his initiative that has moved us to do this hearing. And it is kind of a neat hearing, this is something we do not do very often. And sitting at dinner last night and again this morning at breakfast, it just wasI was impressed, re-impressed, with the importance of American air power and how central you are and this great institution and this great base and community are to the success of our country on the battlefield.
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I was sitting next to the PBY Catalina and I had never seen it before, never seen one. General Lyles said yeah, that is a Catalina, had the open door gunner seats, tail gunner seats in the back where a guy would actually slide that sunroof off and fire at incoming aircraft. That is the aircraft that Ensign Leonard Smith flew when he dove out of the clouds in the early 1940s and almost ran into the Bismarck because we had sent those Catalinas over to Great Britain to help find the Bismarck. And they took a few shots at him and he went back in the clouds, he radioed in the Bismarck's location and Churchill's fleet, what was left of the Churchill fleet, descended on the Bismarck and sunk it.
Last night we were dining under that B52 bomber, that great aircraft that projected American air power and I remember our old friend Sam Johnson from Texas, prisoner of war (POW) for a number of years in Vietnam, who told about looking out the window in the Hanoi Hilton in Operation Linebacker in 1972, December of 1972, and watching those B52s come in and just pound Hanoi. And he told us about watching one of them explode in midair when a surface to air missile (SAM) hit it. And I thought of that old baby and I went over and I read the insignia or the plate on the B52 that you have here and in fact, it was damaged by anti-aircraft fire by a SAM missile in the skies over Vietnam.
What a heritage we have and what an important, just a critical aspect of national security. You have got some really great, bright members of the House here with you, people who really care about security. If you read the papers or were watching TV last night, you may realize we did not quite escape from the House of Representatives in time, we tried to get out of there before all the fist-fights started. But we actually do some important work now and again.
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There is nobody with more skill on this Commission and more understanding of science and technology than Curt Weldon, and he really devotes himself to this area. We are going to have a great, great hearing today.
Let me just say about General Lyles, I was playing golf with General Lyles the other dayhe is not very good
Mr. HUNTER [continuing]. And General Lyles and General Nielsen, and General Nielsen made the mistake of standing almost at right angles to General Lyles as he was teeing off, and General Lyles hit one right off the end of the clubJohn Boehner does this quite often
Mr. HUNTER [continuing]. And it hit General Nielsen right in the forehead and he just dropped like a rock. And I said my God, what are we going to do, and General Lyles says, you know, I think I will move my grip over a little bit.
Mr. HUNTER. Anyway, we are going to send some advice to Tiger Woods because they need to know how to win that British Open.
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But let me just say, we have got men and women around the world, and especially an ongoing tough military operation in Iraq. The reason we were able to drive the tip of that armored spear right up through Iraq in record time and take all those bridges and oilfields and key points before the enemy could blow them, was because we had American air power paving the way with its great JDAMs, Joint Direct Attack Munitions, and our other precision munitions that are the evolution of a lot of the systems and the innovation and the technology that reposes here, and are the product of a lot of projects that were undertaken here and are being undertaken today.
We go up against nations that have 20, 30, 40 divisions on the ground compared to the mere 10 Army divisions that we have total in the United States of America. In fact, when we were in Iraq, we had an enemy force that had in excess of 20 divisions, lots of it armored, and yet we went in and were able to take them out very quickly, largely because of American air power. American air power is the key to freedom. And your real product here is not just aircraft and a lot of metal and a lot of systems, your real product here is freedom. We brought freedom to 100 million people plus when we brought down the Soviet Union. That was largely a function of the strength of American air power. And we just brought freedom to 25 million more people in Iraq, if they can keep it. And that is largely because of American air power.
So we are going to make sure we invest plenty in the coming years and we are going to make sure that we pay lots of attention to this great center of American air power.
So thanks for letting me be with you, Mr. Chairman, you run a great hearing. And thanks to all my colleagues who are doing really the most important work you can do in the country today, and that is ensure our security.
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And thanks to our hosts. And it was a pleasure driving down Hobson Way, believe me, that was a lot of fun. And John, thank you. Mike Turner, thank you for your great leadership on the Committee.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. WELDON. Thank you, Duncan.
We are now gong to turn to the other members that are here. This is a very unusual hearing to get this many Members to come out to any one location. And again, that is a tribute to your delegation that really put the bite on the Members to get them out, as well as the cutting edge technology that is here that members wanted to see first hand.
We are not going to go in seniority order, which I know Mike Turner has a huge smile on his face, because as a freshman, you very rarely even get to say hello.
Mr. TURNER. Or sit next to the Chair.
Mr. WELDON. So we are going to start with Mike Turner who was the driving force behind us getting here. Mike, whatever comments you would like to make.
Mr. TURNER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I want to thank Chairman Hunter and Chairman Weldon, General Lyles, General Nielsen for the opportunity to have this hearing. Your approving doing this and the efforts to organize it, certainly the Dayton community, the Dayton Development Coalition, worked diligently to make certain that this delegation was toasted appropriately, and I want to thank them also.
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I want to thank all the Members that came out because they are taking time away from their families and other opportunities so that they can be here at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and hear about the exciting things in science and technology that occur here.
The President was here July 4th and he, at that time, recognized the importance of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and the science and technology that is here and he was really at the beginning of the kickoff of this community's celebration of the 100th anniversary of flight. We will be ending that celebration this weekend with this Congressional delegation having come and also recognizing the science and technology.
I know people are very familiar with the story of the Wright Brothers and that they came to this area to perfect and learn how to fly and that Wright-Patterson Air Force Base ever since that first flight, the first plane here that could sustain flight, all the way through Stealth, Global Hawk and the Predator, this base and this area has had an impact on that research and the science and technology.
Part of our heritage is represented here with the National Aviation Hall of Fame, the Air Force Museum, our National Park which is dedicated to the Wright Brothers, and I am certainly glad to have the Members of Congress here so that they can see some of the things that we have here, including many of them who will be attending the Dayton Air Show today, which is part of our celebration of flight.
We know that the science and technology that is here provides us with the advantage on the battlefields of tomorrow, and as we look to how we can invest in that to make certain that we remain a strong military and a free country, it is certainly an important focus for this hearing. And we all know that that is a result of the commitment of the men and women who are here and their commitment to excellence.
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So I want to thank you for this opportunity.
Mr. WELDON. Thank you, Mike.
All of our hearings are bipartisan and all the members up on the podium are not members of the Armed Services Committee, but they are members of the Congress. Before I introduce our other Ohio Members, I would like to take the time to introduce our top Democrat from the Armed Services Committee, who came here from North Carolina and ask him to make a few comments on behalf of our Democrat friends who are as equally supportive of defense as we are on the Republican side.
Mr. MCINTYRE. Thank you so much, Mr. Chairman, and thank all of you for your hospitality.
I am especially glad, being from North Carolina, to come to birthplace of aviation
[Laughter and applause.]
Mr. MCINTYRE [continuing]. Because once they learned how to do it, they would come back to North Carolina and have the first flight. But it is great being here and I am excited. I appreciate also our full Committee Chairman, of course, has already spoke, Duncan Hunter, and all of the Ohio delegation, they have really done quite a job. You should be very proud of them and what they do for you in Washington.
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I know that Tim Ryan could not be here because of an illness in his family, so we want to remember him today as well.
I just think of three words when I think of Wright-Patterson and the hospitality and the things we have already learned and we are eager to hear more about today, as well as the folks from Ohio that represent youthat is integrity, ingenuity and imagination.
First of all, your delegation has the type of integrity that sets an example for all of us. You have heard about several of the individuals already and I just know from personal experience, not only in getting to know Mike Turner, but also working with Congressmen Hobson and Boehner, of their personal integrity. And that speaks volumes, not only for who they are, but for what the values are of the folks here in Ohio.
I also am excited about the ingenuity, because Wright-Patterson is a leader. Science and technology are important issues for us as we look ahead to the future for our military. And so often when we see that one bomb is so accurate it does the job of ten, airplanes tend to disappear on the radar screen without needing many electronic jammers to be flying around them as they used to, we see the advance from one Gulf war to the next in technology and what that has done in terms of our superiority and what we are able to do to stand up for our values and ultimately to protect lives and to be able to deliver those principles of democracy to freedom-loving people worldwide. We realize that ingenuity is making a real difference in people's lives and in what democracy stands for.
And in that imagination, from the Wright brothers, who started here at the birthplace of aviation, and went to North Carolina, then came back and perfected that even more and then taught us, in fact as a nation ultimately, and then of course as the world learned about all that they did with their imagination, it gives us the excitement to think about imagination in space and propulsion and communications, in sensors and all of the technology, and then the coordination that, quite frankly for our generals and other officers from the Air Force, that other services are benefitting from your leading the way in science and technology.
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Right now, the Department of Defense (DOD's) goal is for each service to spend about three percent, as a top line budget, on science and technology. The Air Force is already at two percent, the other services are learning greatly from your example and we appreciate that.
So indeed, I say thank you, thank you for your hospitality and welcome, we are excited about today. Thank you for the integrity and the ingenuity and the imagination. May God bless you and thank you very much.
Mr. WELDON. Thank you, Mike.
The way the process works in Washington is the authorization committees determine the parameters of how money will be spent and define the amount of money that will be authorized for a given program. But authorization is not actual dollars. The actual dollars that are put forth are done by the Appropriation Committee, so it is a two part process.
In Ohio, you have the best of both worlds. You have leading advocates on the authorization side of defense spending, but you have one of the most aggressive and most successful members of the Appropriations Committee, who can follow through to make sure that the funds are actually put forth. There is, in my opinion, no one who does it better than Dave Hobson. He is aggressive, he is very well respected on both sides of the aisle. He delivers, and he makes sure that in fact in his appropriation leadership position, that the actual money that is being put forth is in fact consistent with not just what the administration wants, but also it is what is best for America. It is that check and balance system that makes our country so great. And so we are very pleased to not just have him here with us as an appropriator, but also to call him our friend. And we look forward to traveling again on Hobson Highway in our own congressional districts. In fact, I am willing to rename one of my major streets in Pennsylvania Hobson Thoroughfare if the appropriate dollars are appropriated by
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Mr. HOBSON. Thank you, Mr. ChairmanCurt. It is nice to be with all of you today, and thank you for allowing a mere appropriator to be with you today.
We do have a bipartisan approach frankly in most of our things that we do, especially on the Appropriations Committee and on this committee, which has always had a great tradition of that. And I thank you, Mr. Chairman Duncan Hunter also for being here. Curt, we will make sure we fund your projects as we go through.
Mr. WELDON. Did you get that down?
Mr. HOBSON. I am not the Energy and Water Chairman, and everybody here has got a water projecteverybody in the world has a water project.
I put a couple of things in your packet, one is a fact sheet about the base that is off their website. Boehner just pointed out to me there is one little typo in here, so we need to check that out. I also gave you some golf balls, Boehner said he did not need any, he has lost all his already, and I gave him my coin, that is the new one from Energy and Water.
This is a wonderful base, but we would not be hereand I want to say thisand I want to say thiswe would not be here if it was not for Mike and what a great job Mike has done on his committee, knowing these gentlemen, them tutoring him into the process, but also his bringing his expertise and his knowledge to the committee, and I think he has been verythe Chairman came up to me one day and said by gosh, that Turner, I am glad he is on our committee, he stood up and spoke out on some things that needed to be talked about. And I think that is a great tribute to the citizens of this community, that they saw in him when they voted for him to get into this job, so I want toand we would not be here if he had not started to promote this thing.
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Just a couple of things I would like to say about technology and mainly about the base. We do try to support this great technologyI call it machine that is here, they will call it the labs, but it does produce things here and they are real things and I hope the Members will get out today and go to the booths and see what is there. It is a wonderful area and we have a great heritage here.
But there are other things on this base that you should also know about. Everybody was asking me yesterday how big is it. Well, there are a lot of places a lot bigger, but it is big, it is about 8300 acres. There are about 117 other tenants on the baseand sometimes we forget about those tenants, but they are very important to our war fighting capability and to the support of the Air Force. There is the 445th here, which will be transitioning to C5s very shortly. We have a great hospital, it is a regional medical center for the Air Force here. We have Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT)and when you were on that street up there, one of the reasons I think that street is that way is that AFIT was dead at one point and Kenny Craft, my stafferI said how do we save it and he said we will just do a little study until that particular Air Force Secretary is gone
Mr. HOBSON [continuing]. And we did it and the next Air Force Secretary kept it alive, and frankly, this current Secretary, who I had some doubts about before, because he is from the Naval Post-Graduate School, actually came to Wright-Patterson, saw the facilities and has frankly enhanced it to where we will have about 2500 young people there. We also have National Air and Space Intelligence Center (NAIC), which I think is one of the premier organizations in the world in what it does.
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The other thing that we need as you go around the base and look around, we have done Military Construction (MILCON) here, we have the new Vince Russo gate out there, if you have not seen it, but we have a lot of facilities here that we have to keep up and maintain. And MILCON has been, I think, a shortened bill that frankly I am embarrassed about this year, it is so small. And I think we should all look at the MILCON because we cannot do these missionswe can fund the money for all the technology stuff that we have to do, but if we do not have the facilities to do that in, and if we do not take care of the quality of life for our peopleand one thing I had hoped you would be able to see but you probably will not, as I drove in this morning, I drove by our new privatization of housing project that we have over here in some old World War II housing, which is being redone in a totally new concept, to provide the quality of life that I believe and every member here does, that our servicemen and women need.
We are very proud of this base, we are very proud that all of you came out here to view it today. I am sorry you will not have time to play golf on the golf course, as you were talking about yesterday, but those are non-appropriated funds
Mr. HOBSON [continuing]. But we are very proud of this facility. We hope that you go away from the region seeing the great support, community support, there is for this base and the men and women who work here. A lot of people come back andbelieve it or not, a lot of people come back and retire from the Air Force and other services to the Miami Valley because of the great experience they have had on this facility and the great treatment they have had from the community.
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So we thank you again, Curt and Mr. Chairman, for coming out, and all you Members because I know you have all got a lot of things to do, and to take your time like this is a great tribute to Mike and to the Air Force, and you are going to hear from two great gentlemen today.
Mr. WELDON. Thank you, Dave. You can see why Congressional hearings take so long, because every Member wants to make very valuable
Mr. HOBSON. There goes your project. [Laughter.]
Mr. WELDON [continuing]. Every Member with the exception of the Appropriations Committee, takes too much time, but we want to give each Member a chance to say a few words. The two Generals are smiling, because the more we talk, the less they have to.
But we have two full Committee Chairs here. Besides Duncan, we have John Boehner and John came along to make sure that our education was appropriate and that we do not misspeak, because he is the Chairman of the Education and Labor Committee, besides being a strong advocate for this region.
So the distinguished gentleman from Ohio, John Boehner.
Mr. BOEHNER. Mr. Chairman, thank you and I will be very brief, because on my Committee the opening statements are limited to the Chairman and ranking Member of the Committee, and other Members just get to submit written statements.
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But let me just say to all of you, welcome to this field hearing, and to my colleagues, welcome to the Miami Valley. And let me just say on behalf of all of us, how appreciative we are that Duncan Hunter came, and Curt and all the Members.
Let me also give my congratulations to Mike Turner. Without his perseverance, we would not be here today. He has done a great job as a new Member of Congress and a new Member of the Committee and is the reason why this hearing happened.
And to General Lyles and General Nielsen, thank you for your service and thank you for all of your help.
I would just mention one point, mostly to my colleagues, which you have probably seen already, but I do not want it lost on anyone. One of the real great assets for Wright Patt and Dayton are the tremendous cooperation that exists between the base, the civilian population, civilians in the area, the private sector, and the Dayton business community. There is a synergy here and a cooperation that you find in very few places. And it is this cooperation and this unity of purpose that I think helps make the Miami Valley the success that it has.
And I just want to say to the commanders, General Reynolds is here, and General Lyles and others with Wright Patt, and those in the business community, we in the community owe all of you a great big thank you for your willingness to work hand-in-glove together.
With that, Mr. Chairman, I will yield back.
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Mr. WELDON. Thank you. I would like to turn to our other distinguished Democrat Member that is here, another strong supporter of our nation's military, from the great State of Tennessee, Jim Cooper.
Mr. COOPER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. In the hopes of ingratiating myself with the powerful leaders here, I have no opening statement.
Mr. WELDON. Thank you, Jim. He will get no streets named after him.
Mr. HOBSON. He got his project already.
Mr. WELDON. Oh, he got his project already.
From the great State of Georgia, one of our new freshmen Members, a dynamic member of the Committee, Phil Gingrey, Dr. Gingrey, one of our medical doctors in the Congress.
Dr. GINGREY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And since Jim Cooper just took my speech, I will go ahead and make a few opening remarks.
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Dr. GINGREY. First of all, I want to thank my colleague, Mike Turner and his lovely wife Laurie, for facilitating this and being our host and want to thank General Lyles, General Nielsen and the community. My colleague, Chairman Boehner, just mentioned that and it is so important for the military and the community to work together to do things like this. I represent a district in Georgia and we have a similar situation down in the Columbus area with Fort Benning, the home of the infantry. And then from the perspective of the Air Force, of course, in my home county of Cobb and Marietta, the Lockheed Martin facility in conjunction with Dobbins Air Reserve Base there, it is just a great thing to see and to work together and to be part of that effort.
Mike mentioned in his remarks that the Members that are here this morning and this weekend gave up a lot of time maybe away from family and children and grandchildren to attend this field hearing, to see the museum last night and, of course, the air show this afternoon. But I want to say on behalf of my family, they are glad I am here.
Dr. GINGREY. They understandwell, that too.
Dr. GINGREY. But they truly understand what we are doing here is very significant and important and, of course, I will get to see them tomorrow.
Page 27 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC But again, I am a little bit envious of the Ohio delegation. You all know you have a great, great delegation and your leadership up and down from top to bottom, and we in Georgia have a great delegation as well, but I am envious of all these committee chairmen and appropriators and Cardinals and just very, very happy to be a Member of the Congress and to have a great freshman class. And of course I am sitting here with five of my freshmen colleagues and it is truly, truly and honor and an honor to be serving in this 108th Congress and I am so, so glad, Mike, that you invited us and we made the decision to be with you this weekend.
Thank you very much.
Mr. WELDON. Thank you, Phil.
We could not let Wright Patt dominate the entire agenda, so we had to give equal time to Tinker Air Force Base (Tinker), and we have from the great State of Oklahoma, to make sure that Tinker gets its due consideration, one of our rising stars on the Committee and in Congress, Tom Cole. Tom.
Mr. COLE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. That actually puts in context my remarks when I thought about coming here. It is a sacrifice to come, frankly, on the weekend. But Mike had been bugging me about this quite consistently and pointed out that we were sort of in the chain of command under Wright-Patterson, and so I called General Johnson at Tinker and asked him if that was true and he said let me put it to you this way, I work for General Lyles, that means you work for Mike Turner.
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Mr. COLE. So I am delighted to be here. And Mr. Chairman, in my part of the country we have brought Pennsylvania, Ohio and Delaware together on occasion, we call it the War between the States. We would just as soon not repeat the experience.
I will tell you the one place we will be looking forward to competing with all of you this year, I also represent the University of Oklahoma and we think we play football pretty well as well and we are looking forward to the coming season, as I know you are here.
Finally, quite seriously, it is a great privilege for me to get to be here. Tinker Air Force Base is the largest employer, the most important facility, the place for my dad worked for 20 years after a 20-year career in the United States Air Force, and we think we do it as well there as any place in the country, but I must say after coming here and having the opportunity to see this magnificent facility and the history and the tradition, the same kind of community support that I see in my area, Mike, I can understand why you are so justly proud of what you have here going for you, and all of you in Ohio, and I will say this to end my remarks, I did have the good sense to marry an Ohio girl from Bowling Green, so this is a little bit likeeven though it is a long way from Bowling Greencoming home. You have a remarkable state and remarkable tradition here. It is wonderful to be here and to enjoy some of it with you and learn more about it, and I look forward to working with Mike and the other members of the Ohio delegation to make sure that what you have here, not only continues here, but continues the tradition of excellence and the contribution that you make, frankly, to defense of freedom around the world is something that everybody on this podium takes very seriously and we appreciate it.
Mr. WELDON. Thank you, Tom. And our final speaker and member that has joined us today is another rising star on the committee and in Congress, and we saved the best for last because we want you to know he is an intelligence expert. He hit the ground running when he came to Congress. In fact, he spent last night getting a briefing from the outstanding intelligence asset capabilities we have here. He takes his job very seriously and if he does not like this hearing, he can always go back to the guy that has the job that he used to have. You see, he used to carry the black box that controls the nuclear codes for the President. So if you do not pay attention to this guy, he can do the ultimate, he can nuke this entire facility.
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Mr. WELDON. From the great State of Minnesota, John Kline.
Mr. KLINE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I cannot tell you how thrilled I am to have the opportunity to say hello, as a freshman Member, so I thank you very much for that.
I want to thank Mike Turner for pushing us, his fellow members of the freshman class and the other distinguished Members of Congress who are here, to come to this hearing.
I am very anxious to hear from the General, so I will be very brief and say that I thought it was remarkable last night as I was sitting in this museum, in the hangar, and looking at the aircraft developed over the ages, and listening to the names of the real aviation heroes that were in that room. And I think it is a very good thing that you have this heritage and this museum co-located with the effort to move forward in cutting edge science and technology and research and development, because it reminded me, and I hope all of us, that those heroes are heroes because they pushed through some very, very tough times. They did not allow some setback and sometimes tragedies that occurred over the years, over the decades, as new leaps in technology were reachedthey did not allow those setbacks to stop them. They pressed on, and I hope that we will follow on in their steps as we look forward to new cutting edge technology in fixed wing and rotary wing technology, that we are not stopped either, and move forward to have, 50 years from now, a museum with some more marvelous pieces of technology and some more heroes behind them.
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So I am excited to be here, I am looking forward to hearing from the Generals and you all should be very proud of this base and all the folks on it. It is a terrific place.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. WELDON. Thank you, John.
And now we turn to the real purpose of the hearing, after we have all had our chance to make our statements and our jokes and have some funthe real purpose is to listen to the guys who really provide the service for America that make our nation's military the best that has ever existed on the face of the earth. And we have two examples of that sitting in front of us.
They do not, oftentimes enough get a pat on the back because they take their job seriously and they do it because they have committed their lives to protecting America, very selfless service where they unselfishly take time away from their family, but in the end, they perform those duties assigned to them by the Commander in Chief. And you have two of the best right here and we are pleased to now turn the hearing over to General Lyles and General Nielsen.
As you know, your joint statement, without objection, will be entered into the Congressional Record of the hearing. And General Lyles, it is an honor to offer you the floor to make whatever comments you would like to make.
Page 31 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCSTATEMENT OF GEN. LESTER L. LYLES, COMMANDER, AIR FORCE MATERIEL COMMAND
General LYLES. Mr. Chairman, thank you very much. We welcome you here to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and Dayton, Ohio. You know, we have used that term, this is the birthplace or the home and the future of aerospace, and I think we sometimes take that for granted. It is really a significant historical fact and one that we are all very proud of here at the base, and certainly here in the community.
And if I changed the word aerospace to military aviation, that term takes on even more significance, particularly in light of the contingencies we have had in this country and the world over the last 10 to 12 years. Air power has become more and more dominant and more and more important for winning all of our wars and certainly for the United States Air Force. Every aspect of air power, whether you are talking airplanes and the things that support them or space system, are all the responsibility of Air Force Materiel Command, and we are very, very proud of that and proud of our heritage from the Wright Brothers and their legacy, and certainly proud of all the things that take place in this wonderful Command.
General Nielsen and I are very, very honored and appreciate the opportunity to provide our testimony. As we stated, Mr. Chairman, I am going to keep my oral remarks very brief and we have submitted the formal remarks for the record, and I look forward to your questions.
Just want to make a couple of brief comments. One, to reiterate what Congressman Hobson said, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is a very, very unique place and unique organization. We are blessed to have a lot of great capabilities here and a lot of organizations here. This is the home ofthe headquarters of Air Force Materiel Command, my headquarters for the entire Command. The Command itself is remarkable, every time I think about it. We have ten major bases around the country, in the States of California and Florida and Oklahoma and Georgia and Texas and Utah and Massachusetts, Tennesseeall great places, 82,000 people. And we are responsible for any given year to execute about $42 billion of the United States Air Force money that you appropriateauthorize and appropriate to us, to get our mission accomplished.
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But here at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, we are very unique. Besides providing management and oversight for all of those 82,000 people and all the things that they do, we also have the responsibilities of executing some of those programs and missions also. We are blessed to have the Aeronautical Systems Center here led by Lieutenant General Dick Reynolds, who is here in the audience. They are the ones who are responsible for all the aeronautical systems from B2 to B1s to B52 changes and improvements, F15s, joint strike fighter for the future, FA22 for the future, unmanned vehicles like Predator and Global Hawk, all of them owe their support, leadership and management here to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
Our hearing today is going to focus on Air Force research and development, science and technology and our Air Force Research Laboratory is headquartered here, managed by my colleague to my left, Major General Paul Nielsen.
We in the Air Force several years ago established a single Air Force research lab. Paul runs that from here. There are several directorates in that laboratory and Paul will show you where they are, but most of those directorates are here and reside here at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
He will get into and will talk about and you will get a chance to see some of the cutting edge technologies that we either have today or we are building for the future. And we are very proud of that.
Congressman Hobson also mentioned another very important element of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. It is not part of my Command, but if you will, it is the seed corn, if you will for everything we dothe Air Force Institute of Technology, led now by Brigadier General Select Dave Eidsaune, who is also here in the audience. AFIT provides us with the resources, the key resource, to get the jobs donethe scientists, the technicians, the management expertise to make sure we can do everything we are charged to do within the United States Air Force.
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You also mentioned our intelligence features here. The National Air and Space Intelligence Center, NAASIC, which I think Congressman Kline had an opportunity to visit yesterday, is also headquartered here at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. They are not part of my Command, but they are an integral part of everything we do in our United States Air Force.
So this is a very, very unique organization, unique place, and as stated by several of you, we are also blessed to have tremendous community support.
I dare say if I go back and look at last year, the Air Force Times magazine, which is one of the periodicals that comes out once a week, had a vote to determine what was the best Air Force Base in the countryactually in the worldand the base that was voted the best, I can say to Congressman Cole, was Tinker Air Force Base. And when you went back and peeled the statistics to find why Tinker was named, it said and the people said that it was named to that distinction because of the great community support.
And I had to go back and look at all of our other bases, but particularly Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. I think that distinction could have been given to every Air Force Base and Air Force Materiel Command, but particularly Wright-Patterson. We have unique tremendous community support here. So we are very proud of what we have here.
Let me just cut to the chase very quickly and talk about science and technology. Congressman Weldon, you mentioned it in your comments, we, in spite of some challenges to our budgets overall in the United States Air Force, we have managed to increase the science and technology budget in our President's budget submission for fiscal year 2004, it is now up to $2.2 billion. That is an increase of $535 million from fiscal year 2003 President's budget.
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There are a lot of things that are now our responsibility and charge of for the United States Air Force that have caused parts of that increasehigh performance computer modernization, a very strong concern I know of Congressman Hobson, is now the responsibility of the Air Force for the entire Department of Defense. University research initiative, a very strong concern of all of you I know, is also now the responsibility of the Air Force for the entire Department of Defense. And then that I am very, very fond of, high energy laser work. We are responsible for that for all of the Department of Defense. There is also an additional $150 million provided to us for the national aerospace initiative, to develop cutting edge hypersonic and other technologies we will need for access to space and other realms is also given charge to us in the United States Air Force. And we have all of those as part of our budget for fiscal year 2004.
So we are very proud of the opportunity to take these technologies, take these technology areas and to be very, very successful in making sure that they are accomplished in the right way.
Mr. Chairman, we have three major strategies and principles for science and technology. I would like to expand on each one of them, but in the interest of time, let me just mention them and give one brief comment.
One is pursuing integrated, innovative technology solutions to make sure we are supporting our war fighters' needs in every aspect. You have no better example of that than what is developed here at the Aeronautical Systems Center and things like the Predator and Global Hawk. You saw them, those who were at the National Air and Space Museum dinner last night, you saw a Global Hawk and a Predator with Hellfire missile hanging from the ceiling. We are very proud of those two systems. They are examples of cutting edge innovative technologies that in some cases are still in development, but we are using them now to support our national security needs.
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The second strategy and principle is pursuing fundamental new and enabling technologies. There is no better example of that cutting edge technology than what Paul Nielsen will talk about that we are doing in our Air Force Research Laboratories.
And the third is one that is very important to all of us and I think is really the most important thing, to me and others, and that is to attract and nurture outstanding scientists and engineers. There are a lot of things we have done over the last couple of years with your support, with particularly the strong support of the Ohio delegation to make sure that we are protecting that most valuable resourcethe scientists, technicians and engineers we need for today and we certainly need for tomorrow's United States Air Force.
Again, I would like to expand upon each one of those, but I will save perhaps the opportunity in the question and answer session to address each one of those in perhaps a little bit more detail.
Let me just close very quickly in conclusion to tell you, the Committee members, that we are committed in the Air Force, committed at Air Force Materiel Command and certainly committed here at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base to advance air and space technologies, to integrate them, to make sure that they are cutting edge and to get them into the field to support our war fighters. We are an integral part of the Department of Defense science and technology team and indeed, I think we are leading the science and technology team. And we are very proud of the workforce we have that gets the job done on a daily basis.
Mr. Chairman, I would be remiss, since you made reference to the fact that I am going to be retiring after a little over 35 years of service to our country and the United States Air ForceI would be remiss if I did not offer my personal thanks and appreciation to you and to Congressman Hunter. As you noted, we had an opportunity to work together for a little over three years in developing the missile defense systems for our country. And I strongly appreciated your support, your personal support, Congressman Hunter's personal support, your nurturing, your leadership, but more importantly your friendship as we went through some trying times, solved some very, very important problems and got this country to where it is today in missile defense. I owe a debt of gratitude to you, Congressman Weldon, and you, Congressman Hunter. Thank you for your support, God bless you continuously and I look forward to continuing to serve in some capacity even after I am out of uniform.
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Mr. WELDON. Thank you.
General LYLES. Thank you, sir, and I look forward to your questions later.
Mr. WELDON. General, we want to give you a standing ovation for your testimony.
General LYLES. Thank you, sir. Thank you.
Mr. WELDON. Thank you, General. General Nielsen, the floor is yours.
STATEMENT OF MAJ. GEN. PAUL NIELSEN, COMMANDER, AIR FORCE RESEARCH LABORATORY
General NIELSEN. Boy, how do you follow that?
Well, thank you, Mr. Chairman and Subcommittee members. It is a real honor for me to be able to provide some testimony to you on something that is so important to me, the Air Force science and technology program.
Page 37 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC All of you know, this is a real special year for aeronautical technology, for the U.S. Air Force and for the Dayton community, this 100th year of the anniversary of powered flight by the Wright Brothers.
This committee and its dedicated staff, have supported, bolstered and enhanced the Air Force science and technology programs throughout the three years of my tenure as the Commander of the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL), and I know from my good friend, my predecessor, General Dick Paul, that you did this also through much of the 1990s. Today's airmen and tomorrow's are really indebted to this Committee for the great support that they have provided.
Now this hearing has a special emphasis on aeronautical science and technology, and the heart of that work is clearly here at Wright-Patterson and with an ancestry that goes back to the Wright Brothers, the Huffman Prairie, the birth of the laboratory system that has grown into the Air Force Research Laboratory; but it is important to recognize that the Air Force Research Lab is more than aeronautical science and more than Wright-Patterson.
So I put up a slide here to show you the various locations of the Air Force Research Lab. We have got ten major sites in the continental United Statesin Massachusetts, New York, Virginia, Florida, Ohio, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California. In addition, we have some special facilities, some very unique facilities, in Hawaii and Alaska, as well as small offices in Tokyo and London.
In addition to aeronautical research, we work on space and information technologies, munitions, materiels, directed energy. We span the Air Force's total work in basic science, applied research and advanced technology demonstrations.
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The second point I would like to make while we are here is that we are not predominantly an in-house laboratory. Each year, about 80 percent of the funding that comes to the Air Force Research Lab goes to industry and academic institutions. We work hard to reach out to the best and brightest of our country, wherever they may be. And in this way, we ultimately have a workforce throughout the countrybig companies and small businesses, academic institutions and sometimes even smart individuals, innovative individuals. And therefore, we provide economic and intellectual impact throughout the country.
Today, I would like to take a few moments to highlight several of our recent transition successes during the war on terror. I have listed several of them up here, I am not going to talk about all of them in the interest of time. One of the most important ones that we feel very personally is the second one up there, the battlefield air operations kit.
In the Air Force, our Special Tactics Combat Controllers are sometimes the first people into a country, they are the people that have really worked hard in Afghanistan, behind the lines, inside the country in Iraq. And often, we have found that we send these people in with backpacks weighing 150 pounds, operating sometimes in Afghanistan at 10,000 feet or more. We have worked hard over these last few months and have made some really quick progress on lightening their load, on combining some of their equipment, on letting them have a little more room in their backpack for some food and water instead of just the equipment that they carry in to do their job so well. This special partnership we have with the Air Force Special Operations Command and the U.S. Special Operations Command has really come into a great fruition right now. We are working on some things in the future to help provide them with real digital machine-to-machine capabilities to do their job even better than they have in the past.
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In addition, I will highlight a couple of others on there, the laboratory transition to advanced munitions during the few months right before Operation Iraqi Freedom that were extremely important. One up there called crash PAD, the crash prompt agent defeat munition, is designed to neutralize chemical weapons that might be found with intense heat. And the surface target ordnance package, which has now been renamed the passive attack weapon, the PAW. It is a non-explosive weapon designed to penetrate soft storage facilities while producing an environment that will mitigate the spread of biological or chemical weapons and their agents. Both programs have proven to be a significant resource for the war fighter and were deployed into Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Working closely with operational users, the Air Force researchers here at Wright Patt continue to develop and transition new technologies that provide improved eye protection to air crews from varied levels of laser threats. The laser eye protection program enables air crews to conduct day and night operations without visual jamming or personal injury.
Other work here in Dayton that is extremely important has been in the integrated panoramic night vision goggles, which give people a much more natural view of their surroundings as they go into night time operationsreal important to our air operators as well as Army tank crews, et cetera.
I want to mention one thing at the very bottom heresorry, it is not at the bottom, but it is another issue that came up that is real important. We have developed something that is important both for civilian and military first response providers, in what we call the first response expeditionary fire vehicle. This is a small and lightweight fire vehicle that can be brought to the theatre faster than you can get the big fire vehicles and yet has all the capability and capacity of the large vehicle. It is not going to have the sustainment of a big vehicle, but it can put out some fires real quick. And General Lyles and I both have been able to experiment with that down at Tyndall Air Force Base, where this work is ongoing.
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The Air Force science and technology provides a means for conducting world class research that enables new technologies and capabilities to be developed and used by war fighters in order to maintain the technological superiority that we need as we go to war. The aim of the Air Force Research Lab obviously then is to identify those areas of science that, through exploratory research and advanced development, may yield breakthrough technology for the Air Force.
The five areas highlighted on the left of this screen are the areas that we see the most potential right now. You know, the information revolution has been ongoing for many decades, but it still has some horsepower, it is still advancing. We are still finding ways to double and redouble and redouble computational power, processing throughput memory, and this enables us to do so many things.
Many of you may have heard of biotechnology and think of that often in the guise of medical research, environmental research, agricultural research. We are not trying to duplicate that in the Air Force Research Lab, but there is a niche of biotechnology that is extremely important to the military, and that is what is called sometimes biomimetics. How do you imitate nature? In many cases, nature has solved some problems that the military is still trying to solve. How do you detect heat? We have our infrared detectors that do that. Pit vipers can do this, many insects can do this from far away. So we are trying to understand and study how nature has solved some complex problems to see if that can help us.
In other areas of biomimetics, we are looking at self-repair, self-assembly, things like that, to see how that could help us. In the area of self-repair, of course, all of us, if we cut ourselves, even starfish if they lose a whole limb, can regrow that limb. In our structural materials, if we have a small cracks that tends to grow and propagate until ultimately we have a structural failure. It would be great if we could find some way to have materials heal themselves. And at the basic research level, we have already found that, we have done some plastics now that can heal themselves when they start to have cracks. We want to continue that kind of work into the future.
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You know that we have put a lot of work into nanotechnology. I do not think I need to speak about that at great length right now.
In addition, we are swinging much of our resources into the space community right now. Four years ago, my predecessor noted that we had about 11 percent of our technology money related to space technology and he set about to double that. Right now, we have about 23 percent of our overall science and technology program dedicated to space technologies.
And then the final area up there, directed energy. This is an area that is about to explode upon the U.S. military. In much the same way that the stealth technology changed warfare in the last 1970s and 1980s, and precision guided munitions and Global Positioning System (GPS) changed things in the 1990s, I am convinced that directed energy technology is going to change the way we fight wars in the 21st century. And this is not just as weapons, although clearly the airborne laser and other weapons are going to be important. It is also lasers as communication media, also lasers as sensors. We see lasers and also high power microwaves as technology that is about to burst on the scene and really change the way we fight wars.
We have two big initiatives that are present in the fiscal year 2004 budget that has been submitted to you, and I will take a second to talk about each of them.
First, working with the entire space community, we are increasing our science and technology investments in space communications to support the ultimate development of what is called transformational communication system. I think you have heard of that, you know that there is a program office in Los Angeles that is combined with other agencies of the government to look at providing the great big backbone in space for laser communications. In addition though, in the Air Force Research Lab, we have reprioritized about $450 million of work to support that with the science and technology base. And in particular, we are looking at the extra dimension of once you get these big pipes in space, how do you get that information down to the soldier on the field or the airman in the airplane. We will be able to do some of that still at laser frequencies and some of it we will have to cross band down to Radio Frequency (RF) frequencies, and that is what we are working on in this great initiative of transformational communications.
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The second initiativeand General Lyles has alluded to that a little bit alreadyunder the leadership of Director of Defense Research and Engineering (DDR&E), we have committed to a national aerospace initiative, an initiative important not only to the Department of Defense, but also to continued American aerospace leadership. The goal of NAI is to develop technologies that will allow us responsive, reusable and affordable access to space.
There are three key pillars to the NAI program that we are working with DDR&Ehigh speed hypersonics, access to space and then continued advances in space technology. And we seek your strong support for this important initiative in this 100th year of powered flight.
Now like any great organization, we recognize that our most important asset, the one we can absolutely not do without, is our people. We have a superb group of world class scientists and engineers in our laboratory, both men and women, both civilians and military. We need to do all that we can to continue to attract our nation's brightest men and women to this service and to motivate them to continue to develop themselves and contribute to our nation's defense.
The Air Force Lab was the first laboratory in the Department of Defense to take advantage of legislation allowing us to experiment with alternative personnel management systems for our civilian scientists and engineers. This laboratory demonstration project, or what we call lab demo, has successfully combined a simplified job classification system, broad pay band levels and contribution-based compensation to enable AFRL to compete with private industry for some of the top science and engineering talent in our country. This contribution-based compensation system has provided our managers with the ability to manage their workforce and properly compensate high contributors. For instance, we have provided salary increases to some young, but extremely impressive young scientists, of over 30 percent a year to continue to keep them in the government and to show them how much we appreciate their contributions.
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On the other hand, this allows us, at times, to give a clear signal to people who are not performing and either have them change their performance, to increase their performance, or to leave government service, and we have had people do that as well.
This year, as you know, the Department of Defense is proposing a new personnel system for the whole department that incorporates the best features from the various personnel demonstration projects that have been around the department. We are working with OSD, with all the people in OSD, to make sure that this system will retain the key flexibilities that have been so useful to us and that are so important to attracting science and engineering talent.
In the meantime, of course, we are finding, mentoring and recruiting the future generations of scientists. You all know that our workforce is aging somewhat, but in science and technology, we find people that work well into their later years and they are great productive members. So what we are trying to do is bring on our new folks, the new people we can attract from the universities and colleges around our country, at a time when they can be mentored by the great experience of wise owls that we have. As my hair turns gray and falls out, I am beginning to appreciate wise owls even more all the time here.
General NIELSEN. We have a robust recruiting program that is going to campuses, conventions and job fairs, trying to recruit bright, motivated, enthusiastic, and a diverse crop of scientists and engineers. We are also reaching out to colleges, high schools and even elementary schools with numerous summer programs, work/study programs and educational outreach initiatives. I will mention two.
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Here at Wright Patt, the Wright Scholar Research Assistant Program hires promising high school students in their junior and senior years of high school to work with volunteer mentors on real research projects during the summer breaks for the students. This could lead into ultimate hire as a civil servant later on in their careers.
At our Phillips Research Site in Albuquerque, we are combining math, science, engineering, communications and the arts into a unique experiential learning opportunity designed for fifth graders, even at the fifth grade level. And this goes throughout the State of New Mexico.
Clearly, our scientists and engineers and the staff members who support this work are the finest our nation has to offer and we all owe them a great debt of gratitude.
As the foundation for evolutionary war fighting, AFRL has also recognized the need to transform our business processes and the way we work with our customers. You know that this is a big initiative throughout the Department of Defense. We have several initiatives that we have undertaken already that we are extremely proud of. I will just mention them by title, I think they are referenced in our written testimonyour Applied Technology Councils have really increased our connection to our war fighter and improved the transition of our technology into actual programs. We are now embarking on a whole thrust for capability-based planning. This actually leads off of the Congressionally mandated S&T planning review from 2001. We have taken advantage of the work that we did on that and have institutionalized that into our processes. So we feel that we have got some great initiatives on here.
Page 45 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC In conclusion, I would like to emphasize that 100 years of aeronautical research have taken us from Kitty Hawk and the Huffman Prairie to Tranquility Base and to extensive use of space. These 100 years have taken us from the Wright Flyer to the establishment of this great aerospace industry in our country and a commercial airline industry that has really shrunk the world and changed the quality of all of our lives. These 100 years have taken us from the World War I fighters that you have in this museum to the FA22, the B2, the C17 and to Global Hawk, Predator and UCAV. While we celebrate the first 100 years of flight, we must stand in awe at how aeronautical technology has accelerated and changed all of our lives. We should relish this past, but we need to recognize that our responsibility is to the future, to our children, to our grandchildren and to the next 100 years of flight.
With your strong support, the Air Force Research Lab and the Air Force science and technology community is creating this future for our Air Force and for our nation.
Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
[The joint prepared statement of General Lyles and General Nielsen can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Mr. WELDON. Thank you very much, General; thank you both for your testimony and for your leadership.
I think one of the things that people in Americaby the way, Chairman Hunter had to go back to Washington, so we excused him while you were speaking and he extended his regrets for having to leave, but he has some pressing business to take care of in support of our troops deployed right now overseas.
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One of the things that the American public needs to more fully understand, and I think in areas like Wright Patt, they do; is that all the major technology advances that have occurred in the U.S. over the past 100 years have largely come from the investment in R&D and science and technology dollars for the military. From laser technology to technology associated with the internet, it has all come from the military and much of what you are doing is driving that technology envelope so that we in fact can provide the benefit not just for our military, which is our primary purpose, but so that the civilian community can benefit directly. And I think perhaps you could just take a few moments and discuss some of the advances you are making in that area, but I want to just say that I also appreciate the fact in your statement that you said that you are relying on the private sector. It is the government overseeing it through the military, but a lot of what you are doing is done with private sector contractors.
General NIELSEN. Yes, sir.
Mr. WELDON. So that where we can have individuals and entrepreneurs create research and cutting edge technology, they become partners of yours, whether it is through an academic institution or through a research organization. You gave an example that hit me very well as you know, and that is your work in fire protection research. Having been a fire chief before coming here and working all of the issues with the fire service in the country as a part of homeland security, including Ohio, you are doing cutting edge work there as well.
So you might want to just comment for a moment or two on some of thejust for the publicsome of the benefit to come about because of research being done by not just the Air Force Research Lab, but by the military R&D budget. And I will just ask maybe each of you to just name a few of the kinds of things that you could identify off the top of your head.
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General LYLES. Well, let me just start, Mr. Chairman, with one that I think we all take for granted nowadays, and that is GPS technology, global positioning system navigational technologies, which literally has changed the way we do everything, from the Navigation (NAV) systems in cars to precise navigation in airplanes, commercial airlines, private airlines, boats, you name it, hand-held devices. That was all military technology of about 20-25 years ago that now has literally changed the way the entire world operates. And I dare say there is a part of GPS that most people are not aware of, all the banking industry depends on timing for shipping money from one place to another, one bank to another, one part of the world to another on the GPS signals that come from those satellites. So it has revolutionalized everything that goes on.
There are many, many others that we are going to see in the future.
Laser technologies that we use for military applications are already beginning to change the way we do medical research, medical operations, and they certainly are going to change the way we can even do security operations. One of the things you will see in a demo upstairs is something we call an application of high powered microwave. The device you will see upstairs is a miniature thing, we call it a finger zapper and what it represents is directed energy, high powered millimeter wave technology that allows you to control a crowd in a non-lethal way to literally be able to combat situations like we are seeing in Iraq, like we are seeing in Afghanistan. I can just imagine what any police force would do as soon as we mature this technology in the next couple of years. It will change the way they operate and do a lot of different things.
Page 48 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Those are two examples, one current, one in the future. There are many, many others. And, Paul, you can add to that.
General NIELSEN. I would like to add one special one that sometimes people forget. About three years ago, Jack Kilby of Texas Instruments received the Nobel Prize for his part in the invention of the integrated circuit. We were sponsors of Jack Kilby's work in the 1950s and early 1960s and he wrote us a great letter after he got the Nobel Prize saying that without the support from the United States Air Force, he would not have been able to persevere, even within his company, to develop the integrated circuit. We all know what the integrated circuit has meant since its invention in about 1959 and how it has changed our whole economy, the whole world economy.
So that's another great example to go with General Lyles' examples.
Mr. WELDON. Those are both outstanding examples, all three of them. It is important for us to constantly underscore to the American people that a good part of our defense budget is not just going into guns and missiles and offensive programs that harm people but rather new technology that can provide security for people in America and around the world and allow us to have breakthroughs in everything from health care, to nanotechnology, to better ways to develop material sciences, composites and so forth. So when we invest in our military R&D budget, it pays tremendous dividends, plus, as you all know, in the 61, 62 account lines, a lot of that money goes for basic research at universities.
General NIELSEN. Right.
Page 49 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. WELDON. And students that do academic research and post-doctoral research are funded with military grants. And they are not doing work on guns and weapons, they are doing work on basic science.
We lose sight of that in America, and whenever I get a chance, I try to reinforce that so that people know when they invest in our defense budget, it is going for the benefit of them eventually down the road, because of this huge R&D capability that we have and Wright-Patterson is certainly the premier of that capability.
Let me turn to my other colleagues for questions. I will turn to Mike first.
Mr. TURNER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. It certainly is exciting to hear about the advances that you are making in the laboratories and the science and technology.
I have always been a big fan of the labs here at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. In high school, I had the opportunity of spending a quarter where a half day of the school year, I was in the metallurgical labs here, learning what types of careers and opportunities that there were in the labs, as part of a mentoring program with the Dayton Public School System.
General Lyles, in your comments, in the written testimony that you have given to us, you talked about the Aeronautical Systems Center and its responsibility for procurement of almost every major weapon system in the Air Force inventory. In your statements here, you also talked about the team here at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base for Global Hawk and Predator's development here at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
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As you know, the Department of Defense is in the process of deciding where to locate the acquisition work for the unmanned combat aerial vehicle, looking at its consolidation. I was wondering if you could give us some insight as to the experience here at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and what some of the advantages might be of that being located here at Wright Patt.
General LYLES. Well, Congressman Turner, the UCAV program, unmanned combat aerial vehicle program, is already sort of a joint effort between DARPA, the Defense Advance Research Project Agency, the United States Air Force and now the United States Navy. Under the leadership, from an enterprise perspective, of Lieutenant General Dick Reynolds, and his individuals here at Aeronautical Systems Center, we have been partnering with and helping to lead what happens, how we have matured the technology, how we establish a program acquisition for UCAV.
It may seem parochial, but because of the expertise, not just the technical expertise that comes in the laboratories here at Wright-Patterson, but more importantly, the management expertise on these developing aeronautical vehicles that have to integrate with other aeronautical systems. The natural place I think this organization should reside is here within the Aeronautical Systems Center under Dick Reynolds.
We are working with the Air Force, working with the Navy, working with DARPA, to define exactly how we set up the management structure for this, but from a synergistic standpoint and where the expertise and experience lies, to me, the natural place to do that would be to have it here at Wright-Patterson.
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General NIELSEN. I would like to add one thing to that, if I could. There's a special relationship here at Wright-Patterson because of having the laboratory work that goes on here in conjunction right across the street, sometimes deeply embedded with the Aeronautical Systems Center work that goes on here. It enables us to transition technology much quicker into systems and so the partnership between the Air Force Research Lab and the Aeronautical Systems Center here at Wright Patt is really a unique arrangement that is of utmost value to the Air Force.
General LYLES. We are piling on here a little bit, because this is such an important topic for the future. But there is one other element that is growing. General Jumper has been very popular and very adamant about emphasizing capabilities effects development. Not just a specific stovepipe weapons system, but developing the capability, and he has used the term that the enterprise management approach that we are using here at Air Force Materiel Command, particularly Wright-Patterson, is the way we need to develop every system.
UCAV is going to be part of an enterprise, it cannot operate alone. It has to be part of a synergistic weapons system with command and control, with sensors, with other platforms. The center of enterprise management is here under Dick Reynolds here at Aeronautical Systems Center.
So again, to me, it just makes sense to have the management of that program at this location.
Mr. TURNER. Thank you.
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Mr. WELDON. Mr. McIntyre.
Mr. MCINTYRE. You mentioned about people being the key and the fuel and source of your ingenuity and all that y'all have done. Is there anything that we can do, that we can take back with us in Washington, to assist you in increasing the supply of aerospace engineers or even perhaps those interested in chemistry, mathematics, physics, other areas that would help fuel the supply for the future?
General LYLES. Well, Congressman McIntyre, from my perspective, one of the key things obviously is what you and others in Congress are already doing and that is emphasizing the importance of science, technology and math in our schools for all of our people. Our country, to some extent, is not as far along as we should be, compared to some other countries in the world in emphasis on math and science in our young people, and we need that seed corn, if you will, starting at early ages, in order to grow the scientists and technicians and engineers that we will need for the futurenot just for the military, just for our own economy.
And the programs that Congress has already approved to help us in terms of accessions, growing intern programs, operating scholarships and bonuses to not only retain the engineers and scientists that we have today, but recruit even more, are very, very important to us and we just want to urge that you continue that great support because it is going to be really important to us in the future.
Mr. MCINTYRE. Thank you.
Page 53 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. WELDON. Thank you, Mr. McIntyre.
Normally in a congressional hearing, we would go down the line and ask all the members who would have questions lined up, but because of our time constraints, I appreciate the Members cooperating with us.
General Lyles and General Nielsen are going to host us in a tour of technology upstairs, and we will not ask additional questions. But we will allow for members to submit formal questions for the record. Everything that has been said is taken down, that becomes a permanent record of this process, which is a part of the ongoing deliberations that occur in Washington. One of the pluses of our system is all of our hearings are open and in the public, you can get copies of the proceedings of any of any of our hearings by contacting your Member of Congress. It becomes a permanent record of what was discussed and the points that were made, as well as follow up questions that we submit for the record, which they then in turn answer for the record. So it becomes a good way for this communication process between the Executive Branch and the Legislative Branch to interact on giving you the best value for your tax dollar.
So I want to thank you both. I want to thank all of my colleagues for being here today and as was mentioned, they could have been a thousand other places today, but they chose to come here because of the diligence and persistence of your Ohio delegation, and in particular, Mike, who is just a fantastic leader.
We also want to thank the staff. Everything we do in Washington depends on good staff. We have committee staff that organized this hearing, as they do all of our hearings. If I could have all the committee staff on the Armed Services Committee please rise, so we can acknowledge and thank you for your leadership. Up here and I think there are a few in the audience. These are the staffers on the committee that worked the process for us.
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I would now like to ask our personal staff, I would like you all to stand, who work on behalf of members, who came with us, who represent other Members that could not come here, but will go back and report to their members of Congress the information, they will report what they saw. So we develop a whole capability of interaction. These are the people who work to make the success of the leadership of people like General Lyles and General Nielsen allow us to do the good job on behalf of you the taxpayers. It is a very in-depth process, it does work. It is not perfect, but it is the most responsive system known on the face of the earth and we are proud to all share our proper role in that process.
Thank you, staff for the great job that you have done in organizing this. And Generals, again, we cannot thank you enough. We look forward to going through and seeing the exhibits and look forward to seeing the air show later on today.
And for the people of Ohio, thank you for your great contribution, not just for this state but for the future of America and the security of our country.
This hearing now stands adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 9:54 a.m., the subcommittee was adjourned.]