SPEAKERS CONTENTS INSERTS
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[H.A.S.C. No. 10644]
MILITARY SERVICE POSTURE, READINESS, AND BUDGET ISSUES
COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED SIXTH CONGRESS
SEPTEMBER 27, 2000
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One Hundred Sixth Congress
FLOYD D. SPENCE, South Carolina, Chairman
BOB STUMP, Arizona
DUNCAN HUNTER, California
JOHN R. KASICH, Ohio
HERBERT H. BATEMAN, Virginia
JAMES V. HANSEN, Utah
CURT WELDON, Pennsylvania
JOEL HEFLEY, Colorado
JIM SAXTON, New Jersey
STEVE BUYER, Indiana
TILLIE K. FOWLER, Florida
JOHN M. McHUGH, New York
JAMES TALENT, Missouri
TERRY EVERETT, Alabama
ROSCOE G. BARTLETT, Maryland
HOWARD ''BUCK'' McKEON, California
J.C. WATTS, Jr., Oklahoma
MAC THORNBERRY, Texas
JOHN N. HOSTETTLER, Indiana
SAXBY CHAMBLISS, Georgia
VAN HILLEARY, Tennessee
Page 3 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCJOE SCARBOROUGH, Florida
WALTER B. JONES, Jr., North Carolina
LINDSEY GRAHAM, South Carolina
JIM RYUN, Kansas
BOB RILEY, Alabama
JIM GIBBONS, Nevada
MARY BONO, California
JOSEPH PITTS, Pennsylvania
ROBIN HAYES, North Carolina
STEVEN KUYKENDALL, California
DONALD SHERWOOD, Pennsylvania
IKE SKELTON, Missouri
NORMAN SISISKY, Virginia
JOHN M. SPRATT, Jr., South Carolina
SOLOMON P. ORTIZ, Texas
OWEN PICKETT, Virginia
LANE EVANS, Illinois
GENE TAYLOR, Mississippi
NEIL ABERCROMBIE, Hawaii
MARTIN T. MEEHAN, Massachusetts
ROBERT A. UNDERWOOD, Guam
PATRICK J. KENNEDY, Rhode Island
ROD R. BLAGOJEVICH, Illinois
SILVESTRE REYES, Texas
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VIC SNYDER, Arkansas
JIM TURNER, Texas
ADAM SMITH, Washington
LORETTA SANCHEZ, California
JAMES H. MALONEY, Connecticut
MIKE McINTYRE, North Carolina
CIRO D. RODRIGUEZ, Texas
CYNTHIA A. McKINNEY, Georgia
ELLEN O. TAUSCHER, California
ROBERT BRADY, Pennsylvania
ROBERT E. ANDREWS, New Jersey
BARON P. HILL, Indiana
MIKE THOMPSON, California
JOHN B. LARSON, Connecticut
Robert S. Rangel, Staff Director
Laura Truesdell, Staff Assistant
C O N T E N T S
CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF HEARINGS
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Wednesday, September 27, 2000, Military Service Posture, Readiness, and Budget Issues
Wednesday, September 27, 2000
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2000
MILITARY SERVICE POSTURE, READINESS, AND BUDGET ISSUES
STATEMENTS PRESENTED BY MEMBERS OF CONGRESS
Skelton, Hon. Ike, a Representative from Missouri, Ranking Member, Committee on Armed Services
Spence, Hon. Floyd D., a Representative from South Carolina, Chairman, Committee on Armed Services
Clark, Adm. Vernon, Chief of Naval Operations, U.S. Navy
Page 6 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Jones, Gen. James, Commandant, U.S. Marine Corps
Ryan, Gen. Michael, Chief of Staff, U.S. Air Force
Shelton, Gen. Henry, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff
Shinseki, Gen. Eric, Chief of Staff, U.S. Army
[The Prepared Statements can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Clark, Adm. Vernon
Jones, Gen. James L.
Ryan, Gen. Michael
Shelton, Gen. Henry
Shinseki, Gen. Eric
Skelton, Hon. Ike
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Spence, Hon. Floyd D.
DOCUMENTS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
[The Documents Submitted for the Record can be viewed in the hard copy.]
[The Documents Submitted for the Record are pending.]
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
[The Questions and Answers can be viewed in the hard copy.]
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MILITARY SERVICE POSTURE, READINESS, AND BUDGET ISSUES
House of Representatives,
Committee on Armed Services,
Washington, DC, Wednesday, September 27, 2000.
The Committee met, pursuant to notice, at 2:20 p.m., in room 2118, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Floyd D. Spence (Chairman of the Committee) presiding.
STATEMENT OF HON. FLOYD D. SPENCE, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM SOUTH CAROLINA, CHAIRMAN, Committee ON ARMED SERVICES
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The CHAIRMAN. The meeting will please be in order.
Today the Committee meets to take testimony from the country's top military leadership on the state of readiness of our Armed Forces, including the state of military readiness, modernization, personnel and budget issues.
However, before we proceed, though, I would like to take a minute on a very much related subject, and that is the loss of a good friend of all of us and a colleague to many of us, the chairman of our Readiness Subcommittee, Herb Bateman.
I have been in various meetings since his passing, and it has really been amazing, the outpouring of sympathy to his family and friends, and the many good things that have been said about him and his service to his country and to his people.
I think I speak for all of us here today when I say that we have lost a good friend and colleague. The Department of Defense has lost a great advocate for our men and women in uniform. And the American people have lost a superior public servant.
There could be no more fitting tribute to Herb Bateman than for all of us to carry out the commitment of seeing that our military people are fully prepared and best prepared and equipped to carry out the many tasks they are given in our behalf.
In honor of Herb's memory, I would ask the Committee to observe a brief moment of silence.
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[Moment of silence.]
For today's hearing we have before us the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Henry Shelton, and the chiefs of the various Armed Forces: General Eric Shinseki, Chief of Staff of the Army; Admiral Vernon Clark, Chief of Naval Operations; General Michael Ryan, Chief of Staff of the Air Force; and General James Jones, Commandant of the Marine Corps.
Admiral Clark, as I have said before, let me congratulate you on your new position as Chief of Naval Operations. You follow many good ones before.
Admiral CLARK. Thank you.
The CHAIRMAN. I am sure you are aware of that. I want to welcome you to your first appearance in that capacity before this Committee.
Admiral CLARK. Thank you.
The CHAIRMAN. As we are all aware, the issue of military readiness has been in the news lately. And regardless of one's views on national politics, the fact that significant attention is being devoted to this issue is encouraging because for a long time it was ignored.
Earlier this year the Committee heard testimony on the strategy-resources mismatch, the fact that we have not adequately funded our forces to perform their assigned missions outlined in the National Security Strategy and the National Military Strategy. This point was driven home again by a recent Congressional Budget Office report that concluded that the Department of Defense would need to spend $327 billion annually-that translates into $51 billion more than this year's budget-just to sustain existing force levels.
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Today we will explore another mismatch, a readiness-reports mismatch, the fact that reports submitted by the Department of Defense to Congress describing military readiness do not square with the Department's own internal reports and those conducted by the General Accounting Office regarding the status of our military forces.
The most recent Quarterly Readiness Report to Congress, covering the period from April to June 2000, stated that, and I quote, ''Unit readiness ratings indicated that the overall readiness of our forces is improving.''
As it has in the past, the Department of Defense reported that the risk in executing ongoing operations and responding to a major theater war is moderate, while the risk for a second is high. There are some people who think that it would not just be high, the second one, it would be impossible to carry out because of what has been done to the military from a readiness standpoint.
While this overall assessment paints a stable, or even an improving picture of military readiness, we continue to see evidence of serious decline in key portions of our military force that appear to be at odds with that evaluation.
For example, at the direction of the former chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Jay Johnson, the Navy's Inspector General recently conducted an evaluation of naval aviation. His report, completed in April of 2000, found that funding for the Navy and Marine Corps' flying units have been, and I quote him, ''trimmed to the bone and beyond,'' to the point that, and I quote him again, ''acceptable levels of risk have been exceeded.''
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According to the report, this has resulted in debilitating levels of frustration and morale-crushing drudgery at the operational unit level. The Inspector General found that 75 percent of those polled stated that the current situation negatively impacted their decision to stay in the Navy-75 percent.
The Air Force is also experiencing readiness difficulties across the board. This past April, the Air Force experienced its lowest readiness levels in 15 years, with only 67 percent of its combat units reporting C1 or C2, the highest readiness ratings. Although spare parts and personnel shortages continue, the Department's last Quarterly Readiness Report noted that the Air Force is, ''beginning to arrest the declining trend in aircraft mission capable rates.''
The Army's readiness problems also appear significant. Ammunition stocks are low and nearing exhaustion, according to the Army's testimony before the Procurement Subcommittee last week.
In addition, an internal Army Training and Doctrine Command report, dated September 5, stated that the command's C4 rating, the lowest readiness rating possible, was due to the fact that, and I quote him, ''the level of funding and personnel, military and civilian, do not support mission requirements.''
Of particular concern to me, and I know to the Army, is the fact that both the Army's infantry school and artillery school, two key combat training centers, reported C4, our lowest readiness state.
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Major General Strickland, the commander of the artillery school, said that the artillery school, and I quote him, ''is nearing an unready state for training artillery soldiers.''
In light of these comments and similar comments made by the other 31 commanders in this report, I can only conclude that the Army's Training and Doctrine Command is in crisis, not by what they have done or have not done, but by what has been done to them.
The Marine Corps has also called attention to equipment and readiness concerns. In August, the Marine Corps grounded nearly one-third of its aviation fleet because of a variety of maintenance problems. Last week, Lieutenant General Nyland, Deputy Chief of Staff of Programs and Resources, testified before our Procurement Subcommittee that aircraft mission capable rates have declined since 1995. Moreover, he stated that acceleration of the pace of modernization is absolutely essential to our readiness.
Other problems continue to exist in our ability to fight two major theater conflicts nearly simultaneously, as called for by our National Military Strategy. The most recent assessment by the General Accounting Office reiterated that DOD does not have sufficient airlift and aerial refueling capability to meet the two major theater war requirements because many aircraft needed to carry out our wartime missions are, in their words, ''not mission ready.'' Now, I might add that we do not have the lift capability we need in any event.
In short, we are experiencing a readiness mismatch. The readiness reporting coming from the Pentagon does not appear to accurately reflect the true state of the force. Moreover, significant issues remain with respect to recruitment and retention, equipment modernization and other unfunded requirements that our witnesses today have previously identified as critical to their respective services.
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Let me also note, in summary, that there is nothing unusual about today's hearing. I have heard comments that the timing of this is unusual. I am not only surprised but baffled by any such comments. We have had these kind of hearings for the last three years, at the beginning of the year and in the fall. We are doing what we have done before: We are trying to assess the status of our military forces, once again, with the other budget submissions that have been made in the meantime.
I consider these hearings to be a very useful opportunity for the Committee and Congress to receive this up-to-date information.
Before we call on our witnesses for their comments, I would like to turn to our ranking member, Mr. Skelton.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Spence can be found in the Appendix.]
STATEMENT OF HON. IKE SKELTON, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM MISSOURI, RANKING MEMBER, COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Chairman, thank you very much. Let me, and I know all the members of our Committee, join in expressing our sympathy on the loss of Herb Bateman, our friend, our colleague. What a dandy human being he was, and outstanding member of Congress. It is not only Virginia's loss, but our Nation's loss, and we are sad for him leaving us.
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Admiral Clark, this is your first appearance. We wish you well on your maiden voyage before this Committee. And I hope you will not wish you were back on your very first ship as an ensign before the day is over.
Now, Mr. Chairman, I must point out that this is a historic moment in this Committee. This is the first time we have ever had two chairmen presiding over this Committee, one in the chair with the gavel, and one in a portrait right behind the chairman. So let us congratulate you on that beautiful portrait.
A well-deserved honor, my friend.
I join you in welcoming our witnesses. The question before us today is whether today's United States military is adequately equipped, maintained and ready to answer the call of our Nation. I am convinced the answer to that question is a resounding yes.
Our military today is able to successfully complete any job or any task assigned to it. Our forces are fully capable of completing deployments to meet any threat. They consist of the finest caliber and the best-trained personnel. Our units in Korea, the Arabian Gulf and Kosovo remain highly ready. And forces elsewhere, involved in humanitarian operations and non-combat evacuations, continue to perform magnificently.
In short, our military stands as a credible deterrent to rogue and hostile nations and is, in my view, Mr. Chairman, irrefutably ready for any contingency.
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I will, Mr. Chairman, put this question, at the proper time, to the five gentlemen before us-and the proof is in the pudding, I might say-based upon the threats that you receive in your daily briefings or your weekly intelligence assessments, is your service able to perform its assigned duties successfully to meet any one of those threats?
I am disappointed that some continue to suggest our Nation's military capability has atrophied and that there is a readiness crisis. If a readiness crisis does exist today, we in Congress share that responsibility for its creation.
Congress has the constitutional responsibility to raise and maintain, raise and support, the military. And if our forces are not up to par, we, in this Congress of the United States, bear the blame.
In fact, however, the overall readiness level of our military remains roughly the same as was existing in January of 1993, December of 1992. The percentage of overall active units, the percentage of fully ready Army units, has increased from 56 percent in 1993 to 60 percent today. In the Navy, the number has decreased slightly, from 61 percent to 51 percent. The Marine Corps has remained constant at 73 percent. The percentage of active Air Force units that report being fully ready has changed from 82 percent to 81 percent. Thus, contrary to the assertions of some critics, our military today maintains a robust state of readiness that has not declined.
To be sure, there is always room for improvement. I am the first to say it. The readiness levels of the Navy's non-deployed forces remain a matter of concern. The Air Force has been forced to cannibalize aircraft to maintain mission capable rates. Doubt remains about the risk associated with a strategy which calls for us to fight and win two nearly simultaneous major regional conflicts.
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Today's military, however, represents a fighting force superior to any in the world, one capable of capitalizing on dramatic improvement in technology and other force multipliers, such as state-of-the-art command and control capability. Improved targeting, interoperability and the communication capabilities have all contributed to the relative qualitative advantage that our military enjoys and have enhanced our readiness.
The reality is that defense budgets reflect a balance between operations and maintenance, personnel and quality of life, and modernization. And striking that balance between is part science and part art, particularly as the threat environment continues to change and as technological advancement does continue.
We ask the question: Is today's military adequately equipped, maintained and ready to answer the call of our Nation? You bet. But because the international security landscape is so complex, we need to closely monitor our readiness to make sure that our forces can continue in the future to meet that ever-changing set of threats our Nation faces. A force structure, a National Military Strategy for today, may not be suitable for tomorrow.
For me, the bottom line remains that we must maintain the most ready and capable force in the world. We must look to tomorrow, but in answer to the question today, I am convinced that our military is ready.
Thank you so much, Mr. Chairman.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Skelton can be found in the Appendix.]
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The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, Mr. Skelton.
Without objection, the written statements and accompanied materials of all of our witnesses will be entered into the record.
General Shelton, the floor is yours.
STATEMENT OF GEN. SHELTON, CHAIRMAN, JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF
General SHELTON. Well, thank you, Mr. Chairman, Congressman Skelton, and other distinguished members of this Committee, and thank you for the opportunity to appear before the Committee. The chiefs and I welcome the opportunity to provide you our assessment of the readiness of our Armed Forces.
First, Mr. Chairman, as you and Congressman Skelton indicated, today you have a missing man formation. So please allow me, on behalf of all of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, all of the men and women in uniform, today to offer our condolences in the loss of a great congressman, a powerful friend of our men and women in uniform and a great American, Representative Herb Bateman of Virginia. As chairman of the Military Readiness Subcommittee, he never wavered in his concern for the well-being of our troops, and he will be sorely missed.
To begin my statement, Mr. Chairman, let me first acknowledge and thank the Congress for your significant and sustained support of our military. We have made considerable progress in the last two years: increased pay and allowances for the force, beginning efforts to reform TRICARE and restore adequate military housing, and, most importantly, increased funding to help arrest the decline in near-term readiness. I would like to thank you personally for supporting our men and women in uniform.
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And let me pay tribute also to our military members and their families, in the active force, the Guard and the Reserves, many of whom are deployed away from home and family, maintaining the peace and upholding America's interests around the world.
Since I last appeared before this Committee in May, I have visited U.S. forces around the globe. Wherever I went, I saw courage, spirit and determination that clearly sets our forces apart from all others. And in my 37 years in uniform, I have never seen better soldiers, sailors, airmen or marines. They clearly are our most valuable resource, and they are the foundation of our readiness.
In your invitation to appear before this Committee, Mr. Chairman, you and Congressman Skelton asked the Joint Chiefs to provide our assessment of our force readiness to meet our national security objectives. The service chiefs and I work very hard to give the best and unvarnished advice to our national leadership, including the Congress. We do this in hearings like this, in regular consultations with the White House, and through the Quarterly Readiness Reports to Congress that you mentioned. So with this in mind, let me spend a few minutes on what being ready really means.
Up front, let me quote former Chief of Staff of the Army General John Wickham, a great soldier whose comments appeared in the Arizona Daily Star just last week, and I quote, ''During this election year, the media report many confusing stories about the condition of our military. Some critics claim that readiness and morale of our Armed Forces have deteriorated due largely to poor political leadership, yet other observers attest that our military has no peer anywhere. The truth is that America has the strongest, best-equipped, best-trained and best-led military in the world. The young men and women in uniform today are the best ever.''
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I think General Wickham has it right. But, as this Committee knows, readiness is a complex issue. We must first ask the question: Ready for what?
The starting point for any such assessment is the readiness of our minority force to execute the National Military Strategy, including the most demanding scenario of fighting and winning two nearly simultaneous major theater wars.
As I have testified throughout my tenure as chairman, that, while we remain capable of executing our current strategy, the risks associated with the two major theater war scenario have increased. We assess the risk factors for fighting and winning the first major theater war as moderate, but lower readiness levels of later deploying forces, combined with capability shortfalls in our lift and other critical support forces, result in higher risk for the second major theater war.
Today, our first-to-fight forces are trained and ready, as the Nation witnessed during Operation Desert Fox in 1998 and again in Operation Allied Force last year. And they are also ready for any lesser contingency. This readiness capability has been repeatedly demonstrated during the past year in the Balkans and Southwest Asia and East Timor and on numerous other operations and exercises.
I just returned last week after talking to troops, sergeants and commanders from Europe to Korea. In fact, while I was in Korea, I had the opportunity to fly over the valley where the U.S. Army's Task Force Smith was mauled badly early in the Korean War nearly half a century ago, and it was a vivid reminder of the cost in lives if readiness is ignored.
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But today our forces are, without a doubt, the most professional, effective and flexible in the world. Indeed, no one else could have simultaneously accomplished the high-intensity combat operations over Serbia, force deterrent and maritime interdiction operations in the Persian Gulf, and peace operations in Bosnia and Kosovo.
Additionally, they have demonstrated their flexibility to respond across the full spectrum of national requirements, by carrying out military training missions in West Africa and supporting fire-fighting operations throughout the western United States.
However, often when we reduce readiness discussions to sound bites, we talk only about the first to deploy and the first to fight, or the forward deployed, and they are ready. But when you look below these depths, you find that there are many other units that are vitally important to war-fighting that aren't in the Army's divisions, the Marine expeditionary forces, the Navy's battle groups or the Air Force fighter wings.
For example, our airborne tanker fleet, our strategic airlift fleet, our intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft-they provide critical capabilities to our war-fighting forces, as do the training bases that you mentioned, Mr. Chairman, and combat service support units. These are not as ready, and are, in some cases, suffering the consequences of resources that had been redirected to sustain the near-term readiness of the first-to-fight forces.
Mr. Chairman, for almost three years in open hearings and again today, you have heard me talk about our risk in the two major theater war scenario. In each of the Quarterly Readiness Reports to Congress, and specifically the classified Annex H, we lay out in great detail where these readiness shortcomings are that drive up our risk. The specifics can only be discussed in either a closed hearing or classified reports since we do not want to share our Achilles' heel with potential adversaries.
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Today, part of this post-1997 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) force, already 40 percent smaller than the force that won the Gulf War, are strained. The higher than anticipated operational and personnel tempo required to meet our increased national commitments is placing a heavy burden directly on our troops, and our equipment is wearing out at a much faster rate than expected. Consequently, our troops are paying the price.
They are spending more and more time working on aging equipment at the expense honing important war-fighting skills, and they know it.
Furthermore, the requirement to maintain our inventory of aging equipment in support of these high-tempo operations is costing much more in each succeeding year in repair costs, in downtime and in maintenance man-hours.
But this is not new news. Two years ago, the Joint Chiefs appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) and testified that we needed additional resources of $148 billion. And again, we testified in the same manner before this Committee.
At that time, the Administration, supported by this Congress, provided $112 billion to cover our most critical requirements. However, that left $36 billion of requirements, primarily in our infrastructure and modernization accounts, that went unfunded. These are requirements that have not gone away.
That said, the $112 billion and the fiscal year 1999 and fiscal year 2000 congressional increases were sorely needed to reverse the downward trend in near-term readiness while protecting our investments in modernization. That increased funding has clearly helped. However, in some areas, like spare parts, it takes 12 to 18 months after the money is appropriated to be reflected in the inventories and consequently in related readiness rates.
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Also, much of the money provided has been consumed by the high operational tempo that we have maintained. So while these plus-ups are a solid start, they are not a panacea.
With that background, if we could turn to the first chart. If I could direct your attention-it is over on my left, your right. And each of you should have a copy of these charts in front of you at this time.
In looking at the aggregated readiness rates of all active units of the four services, you will note that we have arrested the decline in readiness among our active units.
And how did this level off? This was accomplished primarily through the welcome additions to the top-line of the past few years, and we remain optimistic that this near-term readiness trend will not only level off, but will actually begin to increase for most units, not immediately, but over the next several years.
I should note, however, on this chart, that this is aggregate level data for active units, and it does not account for some readiness concerns at the individual unit level, and that, in many cases, these readiness rates have leveled off well below where they were a few years back, especially for the Air Force and the Navy. And the service chiefs will be able to provide a more detailed perspective shortly.
The 1997 QDR, based on the defense strategy of shape, respond and prepare, was designed to meet the projected threat of 2015 and to stem the migration of resources from procurement to Operation and Maintenance (O&M). Additionally, the QDR recognized that it was time to start increasing our investment in procurement. In fact, that QDR correctly pointed out that we needed to start procuring more, after the conscious decision in the early 1990s to downsize and cut procurement as a peace dividend.
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As a result of the 1997 QDR, our procurement goal was set at $60 billion per year. Our QDR assessment, developed by Department of Defense (DOD), both uniform and civilian, garnered a generally bipartisan consensus across Washington.
Since the 1997 QDR, as shown on this chart, $153 billion in real dollars has been added to the QDR baseline. This chart reflects where it was apportioned. Most of the increase, you will note, went toward our manpower and our operations and maintenance accounts, which directly impacts current readiness.
But when we look inside the O&M increase, we see that approximately 75 percent of this $77 billion went to fund the increased operations of our forces and our bases. Only the remaining 25 percent of that $77 billion went to preserving the combat readiness of our forces by the purchase of spares and repair parts along with depot-level maintenance.
Additionally, you can see that we have invested some in our next- generation systems by increasing our Research and Development (R&D) efforts. However, these investments in R&D, some $34 billion for new systems, will not be realized for several years when we begin to field equipment like the Joint Strike Fighter, DD21, the F22, CVNX and so on.
Also, as the force continues to age, this practice of funneling money into O&M to maintain these older systems will continue. Let me give you three brief examples:
Today, the Army's UH60 Alpha helicopter is 17 years old and costs roughly $1,500 per hour to operate, whereas the UH60 Lima, the newer version, is only six years old and costs less than $1,000 per hour to operate, or 55 percent less.
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The Marine Corps amphibious assault vehicle, first fielded in 1971, will require Marines to spend $320 million over the five-year defense plan to address critical reliability, maintainability and operational concerns.
And the Army's M1 main battle tank, its operating costs have risen 23 percent over the last three years.
All the services have similar examples, and we collectively are, in fact, robbing Peter to pay Paul. Or, in this case, robbing modernization or long-term readiness to pay for current readiness.
I believe that these budget plus-ups are an important downpayment on readiness, but they only address the most critical needs of our near-term readiness problem. We need to ensure that the trend remains steady and in the right direction. However, we cannot do that or continue to do this at the expense of our long-term readiness.
As we all recognize, Mr. Chairman, budgets are about priorities and tradeoffs. And based on the missions assigned to us, our priority for the past two years has been to fund our near-term readiness for the first-to-fight forces, and to meet the 1997 QDR goals of $60 billion for procurement.
This is a real success story, from $43 billion in procurement three years ago to $60 billion in the 2001 budget, a significant achievement that has been led by Secretary Cohen.
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But the simple reality is that after three years of demanding and unanticipated military and humanitarian operations, we know that the $60 billion projected by the QDR will not be sufficient to sustain the force.
There are a number of reasons for this: For one, anticipated end-strength reductions were not achieved. Two, requested Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) rounds have been deferred. Operations and support costs have continued to grow due to higher fuel costs and sustainment of older systems. And finally, we have had significant unplanned costs associated with programs such as national missile defense and the DOD health program.
The result has been a continuous migration of dollars away from the procurement accounts. And even though we did achieve the QDR goal of $60 billion in procurement this fiscal year, let's look at what $60 billion buys for the department.
This next chart, again on your right, depicts a 17-year history of procurement of tactical aircraft, helicopters, ships and armored vehicles. The steady-state range, highlighted in blue in each category, represents what we need to buy to keep our equipment from becoming even older.
My message to you today is that we must accelerate the pace of replacing our rapidly deteriorating ships, aircraft, weapons and other essential military equipment. By increasing procurement into the steady state blue range right now and in the out-years, we will be able to ensure the future readiness of our force.
Page 27 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC This is also true of an aging infrastructure. At posts, camps and stations, such items as housing, fuel lines and water lines, as well as facilities where people work and live, have outstripped their useful life. Many of these facilities are beyond their intended life, yet are being patched instead of replaced, and this directly impacts our ability to provide a decent quality of life for our troops.
So the question is, obviously: How much more funding would be needed? This chart shows projected procurement in fiscal year 2000 and beyond. It remains at about $60 billion across the five-year defense plan, if measured in fiscal year 2000 dollars.
There have been numerous studies that have addressed the issue and made their own estimates, each of which is based on different assumptions. Even accounting for the impact of the supplemental authorized by Congress, the required level of procurement spending needed to sustain the force, as estimated by the Congressional Budget Office, is now well in excess of $60 billion.
The real challenge, then, is one of future modernization as our heavily used and aging equipment gets even older. And as we replace these systems, we must do so while maintaining the readiness of today's busy force.
I do not have a specific dollar value or dollar figure for you today, but in the succeeding months leading to the 2001 QDR, that answer should become clearer. One thing is obvious, however, and that is that $60 billion per year will not be enough to get the job done given our current strategy and force structure.
Page 28 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC We should anticipate the need for a significant plus-up in the defense budget over the next decade to meet military requirements. This also assumes that other costly initiatives, such as providing our retirees with the health care they have earned and deserve, and our national missile defense, will be funded separately.
If we are to sustain our unsurpassed war-fighting force and remain engaged in shaping world affairs to support U.S. interests in the future, we must, as a Nation, supply the resources to support this effort. The only alternative, one which, in my best military judgment, I feel is unacceptable, is to design a more constrained, higher risked strategy.
Mr. Chairman, in summary, as you and every member of this Committee know, we have got a great force; it is heavily used, protecting America's interest globally. It appears that near-term readiness for our first-to-fight forces is improving, thanks to the steadfast support of the Administration, this Committee and the Congress as a whole.
I am concerned, today, however, with the longer term readiness situation to be faced by my successors.
I consider it imperative, as I believe each of you do, that our men and women in uniform remain the best-equipped and the best-cared-for military in the world. And to do this, we must find the resources necessary to modernize the force, to ensure that we continue to leverage technology to our advantage when we send our great soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines into harm's way. In short, we cannot mortgage future readiness.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And I look forward to amplifying any of my comments in the question and answer session.
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[The prepared statement of General Shelton can be found in the Appendix.]
The CHAIRMAN. Who is senior service? The Army?
STATEMENT OF GEN. ERIC SHINSEKI, CHIEF OF STAFF, U.S. ARMY
General SHINSEKI. Mr. Chairman, Congressman Skelton, thank you very much for your leadership, other distinguished members of the Committee.
Let me also add my voice to that of the chairman's and to the Committee's leadership in expressing our great respect for Congressman Herb Bateman, who has been a friend of men and women in uniform and whose service we were all privileged to be a part of.
I would like to thank the members of this Committee for your support, both of our soldiers who serve at home and abroad, and of our vision for the future, especially the Army's transformation initiative, which will be so very critical to our readiness in decades to come to reverse some of the trend lines the chairman has laid out. And with your support, that effort that the Army enjoys today is well under way.
You know, we all know that the Cold War ended; we keep saying that. And it has been 11 years now, but we continue to live with some of the vestiges of that 40-year legacy, perhaps most visibly in the way we describe our readiness today.
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We evaluate our capability to fight and win the nation's wars through the readiness of our earliest deployers, our 10 divisions, in the case of the Army, two cavalry regiments, five special forces groups, all in the active component, to execute war plans associated with the two Major Theater War, (MTW), scenario. That report assesses the readiness of our soldiers, their equipment and the realism of their training to prepare them for the rigors of combat.
And I would just like to assure this Committee, let there be no doubt, if called upon to defend our way of life, these forces will deploy, they will fight and they will win. There is no better fighting force in the world today; it is fully manned, it is well-equipped, highly motivated and competently led.
Our soldiers are the finest Americans you will find anywhere: dedicated, disciplined, proud, tough and compassionate. And in the face of significant challenges, they are training hard every day to be ready to fight and win the wars of the Nation.
Now, achieving this level of force readiness has taken significant effort by the Army and unusual commitment by our soldiers and families.
We have fully funded training and taken risk elsewhere. And given the greater complexity of today's strategic environment, different from the Cold War, and an environment in which our Reserve components share our missions, readiness has taken on broader implications. Cold War readiness standards no longer suffice as measures of our capability to meet today's operational requirements.
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The price for achieving that kind of readiness in our early deploying units has been to accept risk elsewhere in the force. First, we have diverted soldiers from other organizations to fill our high-priority war-fighting formations. Second, we have, for years, mortgaged our future readiness, our modernizations programs, in order to assure that our soldiers had in the near term what it takes to fight and win decisively. And finally, given the increased operational tempo because of our more defuse and demanding strategic environment, we have leveraged war-fighting readiness on the backs of soldiers and families.
For a number of years now, we have focused resources into our high-priority units at the expense of other non-divisional units, Reserve component units and the institutional Army. We also deferred revitalization of our facilities.
The DOD benchmark calls for complete renewal of facilities about every 57 years. With current funding, it will take the Army about 157 years to fully revitalize our infrastructure. And in order to reduce the burdens of hostile environments, tough working conditions-the environment we train in-we are committed to bringing our soldiers' barracks to the one-plus-one standard by 2008. We will bring overseas family housing to the DOD standard by 2010, with Continental United States (CONUS) housing meeting the standard by 2014.
In addition, our current real property maintenance backlog currently exceeds $15 billion, and that is the result of prioritizing funds to pay for near-term readiness. And that problem compounds with each passing year.
Likewise, most of our legacy force equipment, our major combat systems today, are aging. Over 75 percent of them exceed the half-life of their expected service, and, as a result, operations and maintenance costs have grown 30 percent over the past four years. Army aviation safety of flight messages have gone up 222 percent since 1995.
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The Army transformation initiative to achieve objective force capabilities in the next eight to 10 years is about our best hope for solving these far-term readiness problems.
Finally, soldiers and families are bearing the biggest share of the readiness load. In deciding to man our early deploying war-fighting units first, we sought to dampen Personnel Tempo (PERSTEMPO) in the parts of the Army that were bearing the burden of multiple operational deployments to places like Korea and Kosovo and Bosnia and to the Sinai. Our soldiers and their families have answered the calls to mission in this new strategic environment, and we have concentrated our personnel shortages in later-deploying formations and in the institutional Army.
Earlier this year, I testified that I would return to discuss Army end-strength when the results of this manning initiative were in. We are in receipt of that data now, and we are rigorously analyzing it. Indications are that we have an end-strength problem; we need more people.
Our soldiers believe that the Army is too small for the missions it is asked to perform and underresourced for the operational tempo it executes.
We must restore faith with our soldiers. They love the Army, and they willingly accept the risk and sacrifice that comes with serving in it because they believe in what the Army does, and they reflect that faith through reenlistments. We have, for the second year in a row, attained and exceeded our retention goals.
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But they are burdened with too few personnel, aging equipment, poorly maintained homes and facilities. They have patiently waited to see the conditions get better. They are hopeful that the Nation will find a way to share with them the well-being that soldiers have won for our citizens.
America today enjoys a vibrant standard of living that is the envy of the world. At significant personal sacrifice, the American soldier guarantees that way of life, but he and his family do not share fully in it.
Our soldiers are proud, they are capable, they are honorable. They perform every mission we ask of them, professionally and to a very high standard. We can all be proud of them because they so ably shoulder the burden and responsibilities of our national security.
They are a tremendous bargain for this Nation. American soldiers have provided far more in readiness than we have paid for. But we should expect such selfless devotion to include the sacrifice of their families' well-being.
Mr. Chairman, thank you for the invitation to appear here today. I look forward to your questions.
[The prepared statement of General Shinseki can be found in the Appendix.]
The CHAIRMAN. Admiral.
Page 34 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCSTATEMENT OF ADM. VERNON CLARK, CHIEF OF NAVAL OPERATIONS, U.S. NAVY
Admiral CLARK. Thank you, Mr. Chairman and Congressman Skelton. I appreciate your warm welcome on my maiden voyage here. And the other members of the Committee, I thank you for the opportunity to testify regarding the readiness of our Navy.
And, Mr. Chairman, I so appreciate your words about Congressman Bateman. Of course, in his role on the Readiness Subcommittee, he was really tuned into this subject. He was a great friend of all of the military. He was also from Hampton Roads, and so, to those of us in the Navy, we so appreciated our relationship with him. And the words that you choose to describe him as a colleague and as a friend and an advocate for us in the military, those words really resonate with us. And we would extend our condolences to his family and this body. As I expressed to you in a note, we are going to miss him. He was a profound presence.
I have submitted a written statement. I would like to touch on just a few of the points from that document, and my statement will be brief.
Our forward-deployed forces are performing superbly, brilliantly in fact, getting the job done in the far reaches of this Earth, on the oceans, exercising America's sovereignty; representing our nation's interests, her vital interests; promoting regional stability, whatever the task is being called upon to do; deterring aggression; preserving freedom of the seas.
The truth is the pace of operations today on routine deployments is unprecedented, and by that I mean that on routine deployments our forces are engaged in combat operations. But today I am here to report on the status of the entire Navy, not just the forward-deployed Navy, and our Navy faces many challenges in keeping itself ready. And I want to briefly discuss the most important of these points.
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The first is manpower, and that is, manpower is, our most urgent challenge. I say, every place I go today, that we are at war for people, and we are engaging in that war in a campaign on three fronts: in recruiting, improving retention and attacking attrition. And certainly with the help of Congress, and, most notably, the messages sent to our people regarding the issues of pay and housing, we are improving.
Our recruiting goals have been met for the past two years, with a great deal of effort. Retention is better, but we remain below our goal. And I would say to you that I am concerned about the retention curves, and what they mean to us. Our attrition level is too high and we are engaged, the Navy leadership is engaged, to take it on.
Let me shift to the subject of current readiness. Today, 34 percent of our Navy is deployed overseas. The readiness is good. In fact, it is very good. However, the current readiness of our non-deployed forces is less than it ought to be.
Regaining that required readiness for deployment is harder than it should be. And the non-deployed side of our forces is clearly paying the price for readiness of our deployers. And that has, consistently, been reported in the quarterly report to the Congress.
The force structure of the 1990s, General Shelton mentioned that we are 40 percent smaller than we were 10 years ago. And this force structure is now being used at an increased rate. And although we have benefited greatly from readiness funding in the last several years, additional resources are required, in my opinion, to ensure that non-deployed readiness is where it should be, in fact, where I believe it ought to be. And that means a properly maintained force, a properly trained force, a properly equipped force and a properly armed force.
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We also need to take steps to better maintain our shore infrastructure. We need to improve the facilities where our sailors work and where they train. Improving our infrastructure is going to take a sustained commitment to increase funding in real property maintenance, a common bill-payer, and in military construction.
Shifting to future readiness, our Navy obviously has to look to the future and we must invest in the future. General Shelton has laid out the challenge. It is our biggest financial challenge. Today's force is aging. Our shipbuilding rate is inadequate to recapitalize the fleet and to sustain the QDR force, a 300-ship Navy. We are procuring desperately needed new combat aircraft, but not at the rate that is required to sustain the force required for the future. Ammunition inventories and weapons systems are similarly situated.
We must invest in the future. And I believe that the question before us is: What kind of Navy does the Nation need? What kind of Navy does the Nation want?
So, in conclusion, Mr. Chairman, I am proud of what our Navy is doing, especially in the forward areas on deployment. The performance of our people is superb. I am so proud of them. It is absolutely outstanding. Our people are performing brilliantly. They are proud, they are ready, but I can't say the same thing about the non-deployed force.
Now, the people attached to the non-deployed forces, they too are proud, and they are certainly committed. But they are significantly challenged to meet the readiness standard. We must invest in both non-deployed readiness and future readiness.
Page 37 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Our people are the finest we have ever had. We must likewise invest in them and ensure that their quality of service is what it ought to be and what I believe they deserve.
Mr. Chairman, I welcome any questions the Committee may have.
[The prepared statement of Admiral Clark can be found in the Appendix.]
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you.
STATEMENT OF GEN. MICHAEL RYAN, CHIEF OF STAFF, U.S. AIR FORCE
General RYAN. Mr. Chairman, Congressman Skelton, we all miss the presence of Congressman and former Air Force officer Herb Bateman, and I know that his family appreciates the heartfelt tributes that we have given him here today.
And I thank the members of the Committee for the opportunity to once again come before you and speak on behalf of the great team of men and women of the United States Air Force.
Our airmen, active-duty Guard and Reserve, and civilians, are keeping up a substantial pace of operations around the world to protect both the security and the conditions for prosperity of this Nation.
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From last year's major theater war to humanitarian operations such as flood relief in Mozambique, they have succeeded at every task we have asked of them. And as we speak today, they are in combat operations policing the no-fly zones in Iraq.
They appreciate the support of both the Administration and Congress, and particularly this Committee, for the focus on their quality of service and on their quality of life. The pay raises, the retirement adjustment and the other personnel improvements have had a positive impact on the force. The increased funding for readiness is also much needed.
I testified, in 1998, that we needed about $5 billion additional a year to reverse the near-term readiness declines. That amount did not include the personnel initiatives, nor did it address our needs for long-term recapitalization of our forces and our infrastructure.
Over the past two years, we received plus-ups to our budget, from the Administration and Congress, of about half those amounts. That truly helped.
Acknowledging that, I must tell you that the near-term readiness of the United States Air Force has not turned around. At best, it has leveled off. Combat unit readiness has dropped well below 20 percent, and our mission capability rates on our aircraft are down more than 10 percent over the last decade.
These decreases in readiness can be attributed to past underfunding of spares, high operations tempo, loss of experienced airmen and an aging aircraft force. Over the last several years, we have funded our spares accounts to 100 percent. Operations tempo, since the victory in Allied Force last year and the implementation of our Expeditionary Air Force (EAF) concept, is tolerable. However, we are still struggling with retaining our experienced people, our lifeblood.
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And our aircraft are aging out at a rate that has us very concerned. We must recapitalize this force.
The average age of a United States Air Force aircraft is 22 years old today. And in 15 years, it will be nearly 30 years old, even if we execute every modernization program we currently have on the books.
We have never dealt with a force this old, and it is taking inordinate time and work and money to keep the force airworthy and ready.
To keep the readiness we do have is a tribute to the dedication of our airmen and the fact that we have mortgaged long-term readiness to shore up near-term readiness. We are buying about one-third of the aircraft needed to stop the force aging, and we are on a 250-year replacement cycle for our infrastructure, where our people work and live.
Despite these challenges, our men and woman are capable of fighting and winning today. We couldn't be more proud of them; they are dedicated and selfless professionals. They deserve the best equipment, training and leadership to do the tough tasks we ask of them. And they and their families deserve the best quality of life that we can provide.
We appreciate all this Committee has done in helping to address our critical readiness needs, and I look forward to answering your questions.
[The prepared statement of General Ryan can be found in the Appendix.]
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The CHAIRMAN. The Commandant, General Jones.
STATEMENT OF GEN. JAMES JONES, COMMANDANT, U.S. MARINE CORPS
General JONES. Mr. Chairman, Congressman Skelton, members of the Committee, I join my colleagues in expressing our sorrow at the loss of Congressman Bateman, a friend and supporter of men and women in uniform, champion of readiness. We certainly were proud to honor him at a parade at the Iwo Jima Memorial earlier this summer, and we will all miss him greatly.
And it is in this spirit that I would like to just summarize my statement very briefly with a few comments.
In March of this year, I was privileged to appear before you to present testimony concerning the current state of the Marine Corps. At that time, I expressed my opinion that the Corps was capable of executing both its peacetime and wartime missions with a probability of success that the Nation expects. I continue to feel that way as I appear before you today.
I further testified to the need for a discussion with regard to the underlying reasons behind the need to more fully fund our national security requirements in the 21st century. I remain persuaded that debate on this issue is healthy, and that is precisely what we are doing here today.
Page 41 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC In so doing, we should not fail to capture the important lessons of the 20th century, a century that defined us as a nation in the modern era. In discussing our requirements, I prefer to use the words ''national security'' rather than ''defense,'' as the latter term implies a rather restricted reason for our investment. To defend ourselves as a requirement is, to me, a subset of our articulation of national security requirements, hence, a broader characterization of what we are here to discuss seems appropriate.
Readiness to do what is a fair question. In my view, we invest in national security to both assure and ensure that our interests, as well as those of our friends and allies, are advanced throughout the world. Implicit in this investment is the assurance of military victory wherever the Nation chooses to use its armed forces as an instrument to achieve our national objectives.
We do not invest solely to be able to defeat an enemy, either known or unknown, to us at present. Our investment is also in what our uniformed men and women do each day throughout the world; that, more than anything else, makes such a big difference in the lives of our citizens and in the destiny of the Nation.
This is the gift of those who preceded us in the 20th century, and we must not fail to embrace it. It is, in fact, their legacy.
Most of the time, we are employed for missions short of war, some of which can also be quite dangerous. In fulfilling these missions, we contribute very significantly to, among other things, maintaining stability in regions in order that our global economy may prosper and thrive, setting the example for other militaries who want to emulate our democratic example of military subordination to civilian authority, expanding our cultural influence and maintaining our 21st century technological leadership wherever we are engaged.
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What we can be most proud of is the incredible impact of our ambassadors in uniform, wherever they appear in the world. They represent stability, confidence, hope to many millions of people around the world.
So, in large measure, we invest to pursue our national or engagement strategies, which provide the underpinnings of our global leadership responsibilities and to prevail in a major conflict should one arise. The success of the former frequently mitigates against the latter from ever happening.
Marines play a very significant role in both contexts: winning and engaging. And I think we do both quite well. I can report with confidence that we can do what the Nation expects today. Actions taken by both the Department of Defense and the Congress have, over the past four years, done many good things, as the chairman has represented in his testimony.
However, we have not adequately arrested our tendency to finance near-term readiness at the expense of modernization and recapitalization. Our major systems are aging at a simultaneous rate across the inventory. The future readiness of the force, therefore, is what we are most concerned about.
Over 20 years ago, the Nation rebuilt its forces with the threat of the then-Soviet Union as our impetus. No one predicted that this force would be used to defeat Iraqi aggression, nor its use in Somalia, Bosnia, Kosovo or East Timor.
History shows that preparing for the worst case was wise then and is prudent now. Indeed, our position as the world's most influential nation argues persuasively that this is so.
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Modern readiness issues require comprehensive solutions. It is no longer enough to simply equip marines and send them on their way.
Today's requirement mandates that we work hard to not only provide equipment but pay attention to other aspects of readiness, such as family stability, housing, spousal support, quality-of-life issues, health care, education and a multitude of other societal realities that were not clearly evident 20 years ago.
We all know that the all-recruited force requires special care. For example, efforts must be constantly made to enhance our retention goals for both qualitative and quantitative reasons.
But, in the main, my statement is about the need to raise our investment to adequate levels in order that future generations will be able to both enjoy and fulfill their leadership responsibilities as citizens of the most influential Nation on Earth. They will be thankful for our having set the conditions which will enhance the probability of their success.
We have made some good progress in many areas, and marines and their families thank you profoundly for your support.
But the task ahead is clear, and I look forward to responding to your questions on this issue.
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[The prepared statement of General Jones can be found in the Appendix.]
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, General Jones.
I am going to yield my time to Mr. Hunter.
Mr. HUNTER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
And, gentlemen, thanks for being with us today.
And, General Ryan, let me start with you. I am going to put up a statement that you made earlier.
If staff could put the poster up there. Turn that over. The other one has got all the military causalities there.
I am going to quote your statement, General Ryan. ''Since 1996, we have experienced an overall 14 percent degradation in our operational readiness of our major operational units. This is especially true of stateside units, which are prioritized lower than the overseas and engaged units. For instance, in Air Combat Command, their operational readiness has fallen 50 percent since 1996.'' General Mike Ryan, Chief of Staff, United States Air Force, 20 January, 1999.
Was that statement true at that time when you said that?
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General RYAN. Absolutely.
Mr. HUNTER. I have got another statement here that you made in June, and I quote you, General. ''Air Force readiness is now at the lowest state we have been in years, and we are the ones who are demanded to be first in line when a crisis erupts.'' Did you make that statement?
General RYAN. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUNTER. And you believe it to be true?
General RYAN. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUNTER. I want to read back to you what your shop sent over to us in terms of degradation of your front-line fighters: F15E has dropped, since 1992 to today, to a mission capability rate which used to be 86 percent in 1992 to a state, today, of 78 percent. And I have got your document, if you need to take a look at it. I have got your F15 dropping from a mission capability rate of 81 percent to 73 percent. And I have got your F16 dropping from 82 percent to 75 percent, between 1992 and today. And I have got your statement-or your chart on those readiness rates if you would like to have that. Does that sound accurate?
General RYAN. That sounds about right.
Mr. HUNTER. Thank you, General.
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General Shinseki, I have got your document reflecting your shortages in ammunition. You reflect a $14 billion overall shortage, but $3.3 billion of what you call a critical ammunition shortage. Now, that was sent to me in September, first of this month; it is now the last of the month. Was that an accurate document that you sent to me, a $3.3 billion critical ammunition shortage?
General SHINSEKI. That is correct, as I recall, the number is. I think it also said, though, that we had put into the program money to reduce that by about half. But, I mean, that is money in program to purchase ammunition.
Mr. HUNTER. That is money that is to be spent in the next five years or so, right?
General SHINSEKI. That is correct.
Mr. HUNTER. But right now we have a $3.3 billion shortage, right?
General SHINSEKI. That is correct.
Mr. HUNTER. Earlier, in fact, in November of 1999, we had two Army divisions, the 1st Infantry Division, the 10th Mountain Division, whose division commanders reported that they were not ready. They reported a low state of readiness to deploy and go to war, did they not?
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General SHINSEKI. That is correct.
Mr. HUNTER. Those were good commanders, weren't they, those division commanders?
General SHINSEKI. Superb.
Mr. HUNTER. And they were the ones that made the report to the division commanders, the generals. It wasn't a politician who made that report, right?
General SHINSEKI. That is correct.
Mr. HUNTER. That was in November of 1999. In December of 1999, the Army declared that those divisions were ready, did they not?
General SHINSEKI. Those commanders submitted their reports in 1999 and said that their readiness condition, which had to do with their deployability, had improved.
Mr. HUNTER. And the reason that they were now ready in December of 1999 and they weren't ready a month earlier is because, for a division to announce that it is ready, it has to be able to be trained, equipped and be able to deploy to its area of operation in a given amount of time-it is a classified amount of time-but in a given amount of time. Is that not correct?
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General SHINSEKI. That is correct.
Mr. HUNTER. And because these units had to retrieve some of their units from other places like Bosnia and bring them back, lift them back, retrain them and redeploy them, the commanders didn't feel they could do that in that given amount of time, did they?
General SHINSEKI. That is correct.
Mr. HUNTER. So they were given more time, weren't they?
General SHINSEKI. I adjusted their flow, time lines. That is correct.
Mr. HUNTER. So they were given more time.
So the difference between November of 1999, when the commander said they weren't ready, and December of 1999, when the commander said they were ready, was the fact that they had been given more time to deploy. Is that right?
General SHINSEKI. That is correct.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay.
Page 49 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Admiral Clark, Admiral McKinnon, commander of 3rd Fleet, says in the testimony that he gave to our Subcommittee, and I am sure you have had a chance to look at that, that the Navy needed 350 ships, did he not?
Admiral CLARK. I have not looked at that, but I would not be surprised that that was his response.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay. I am going to ask the staff maybe to take down his-well, I will just ask you: Do you agree with it?
Admiral CLARK. What I have said, and I am on the record that I believe that the current number of ships that we have is too small. I have been asked what the right number is and I have, since I have taken over duties as CNO, directed the staff to examine this issue so that I personally can buy into all the assumptions that are there and that are built into what the right number is, and we are currently doing that.
Mr. HUNTER. We have 316 ships today, don't we?
Admiral CLARK. Three-eighteen.
Mr. HUNTER. Three-eighteen. And you agree that we need more ships?
Admiral CLARK. That is correct, I do.
Page 50 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. HUNTER. That means we are going to have to increase the shipbuilding number, doesn't it?
Admiral CLARK. That is my view.
Mr. HUNTER. That means we are going to have to increase the defense top-line.
Admiral CLARK. That is my view.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay. Thank you.
General Shelton, when the discussion erupted about the 1st and the 10th Infantry Divisions not being ready, you came forth and said that they were ready and that it was nonsense for anyone to imply that they weren't. Sir, that was a yes and severe statement, was it not?
General SHELTON. Not exactly. Let me state for the record and clear the record.
First of all, my response to that allegation, that they were not ready, was at Los Angeles at a forum that I had been scheduled to speak at for about eight months. It was a coincidence that Governor Bush had said the day before that they were not ready. Of course, that is what had been reported at an earlier time. But, in essence, what they reported not being ready is, they were not available because there was not a plan that they knew about-two great division commanders, as General Shinseki said-they did not know what the plan was that would allow them to redeploy in time to meet their wartime mission. And so they very correctly said, for that reason: We would not be ready to meet our wartime mission.
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But in terms of their training, their personnel and their equipment status, they were in good shape. So, in fact, when I was asked, ''Are they unready?'' at that time, the answer is, no, they are not unready. And I told the truth, as you would or anyone else would. They, in fact, were ready, but they couldn't meet the time line-
Mr. HUNTER. Okay. But, now, General, you just told us it is important for generals to tell the unvarnished truth, right? And the whole truth?
General SHELTON. Exactly. And that is what I am doing-
Mr. HUNTER. Now General Shinseki just said they were given more time. And that-giving them more time, and the document that came down that gave them more time, a piece of paper, turned two infantry divisions from unready to ready the instant that piece of paper hit the desk, did it not?
General SHELTON. It allowed them to meet their wartime requirements. There is a difference.
Mr. HUNTER. Well, and they then submitted reports that said C1, meaning they are ready to go to war, right? Did they not?
General SHELTON. Well, we won't go into C ratings because they are classified. But they reported they were ready.
Page 52 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. HUNTER. Okay.
So my question is, General, you didn't then tell-and you spoke to the Nation, you talked to a lot of people when you talked about this. You never said-and if you did, correct me-but you never told anyone, the public or anyone else, that the reason they were now ready was because they had been given more time, did you?
General SHELTON. What I said was that the reason they reported that they were not ready at the time was not the readiness status reporting that normally makes you unready; it was because they had determined they were unavailable to meet the wartime requirement.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay.
So my question again is, you didn't tell the public that they had been given more time, did you?
General SHELTON. I wasn't asked if they had been given more time, because I said
Mr. HUNTER. Then your answer is no, isn't it?
General SHELTON [continuing]. They were ready then, and they are ready now. They were ready then, but they could not get there in time.
Page 53 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. HUNTER. So you did not tell the public that they had been given more time?
General SHELTON. I responded to the question I was asked on that date. I wasn't asked later if they were given more time.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay. Thank you, General.
General SHELTON. But I would have been happy to tell them that they were given time, because the Army, in fact, had come up with a plan that would allow those divisions to meet their wartime requirements. And that is what makes the difference.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay. Thank you for your response. I appreciate that, General.
General Jones, your requirements officers testified to us this last week that the Marine Corps was $320 million short of basic ammunition. Is that an accurate statistic?
General JONES. That is correct, sir. I am sorry, excuse me. A correction, $220 million, sir.
Mr. HUNTER. $220 million.
Admiral Clark, I have got a document from the Joint Chiefs here that says that your two theater requirement for Tomahawk missiles is in excess of 4,000 birds. Is that right?
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Two theater requirements, open document.
Admiral CLARK. That is correct.
Mr. HUNTER. You only have about half that, don't you?
Admiral CLARK. That is correct.
Mr. HUNTER. You have about 2,200 or so, right?
Admiral CLARK. Classified.
Mr. HUNTER. Do you have any plans to build new Tomahawk missiles?
Admiral CLARK. Last year, the requirement for ordnance was scrubbed across the Navy and a new Non-Nuclear Ordinance Requirement (NNOR) was published. We are skirting on classified issues getting into specific numbers here. But I would be happy to provide that for the record and just say to you that the number of Tomahawks has been increased.
Mr. HUNTER. Well, then, let me just ask you for your-and we know that we are increasing some with some of the conversions that are being made. But let me ask you your professional opinion. A Tomahawk missile is pretty valuable, isn't it?
Page 55 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Admiral CLARK. That is my opinion, yes.
Mr. HUNTER. Saves your pilots' lives, doesn't it, when you can fly that in to a heavily defended area instead of sending an aircraft with a person in it, right?
Admiral CLARK. There is a clear role for that weapon.
Mr. HUNTER. Do you think it is prudent for us to be operating at the present time with half the load-out requirement for Tomahawk missiles?
Admiral CLARK. I think we need to make all of the munitions accounts whole, including Tomahawk.
Mr. HUNTER. So the question is: Do you think it is prudent to operate with a half-load of Tomahawk missiles? That is my question.
Admiral CLARK. Well, there is not a simple yes-or-no answer to that. So, you know, if it is not prudent, then the question would be, then, what would you do?
Mr. HUNTER. Well, I am asking for your judgment.
Admiral CLARK. So my judgment is that the levels of Tomahawks that existed before we went into a period when there was a high expenditure of Tomahawks was a reasonable number. It wasn't the full requirement, but it was a number that allowed us to outfit the ships properly for routine deployments. And then what happened is that we got to a period when we expended a high number of them, and they cannot be replaced overnight. That is the nature of this.
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Mr. HUNTER. But the line has been shut down, has it not?
Admiral CLARK. That is correct.
Mr. HUNTER. Do you think it would be prudent of us to open the line back up?
Admiral CLARK. That was a business case, a business judgment that was made based upon the development of a new system; I know that you are aware of this. And so, that judgment was made.
I believe that the leaders who made that judgment at the time felt that was the right choice.
We are at a point now that I believe that it would not be in the best interest financially for us, given all of the other challenges that we face, to open the old Tomahawk line.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay.
Last question, gentlemen. You have certainly seen the Congressional Budget Office's calculation that we are spending $30 billion a year too little on modernization. They took the current force structure and the platforms that support it, and they averaged out their expected lives. And they figured out how much we have to spend on a steady state annual basis to keep the force halfway modern. They came up with a figure of $30 billion a year extra.
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When Bill Perry, former Secretary of Defense, testified, he said he thinks it is between $15 billion and $20 billion, although he didn't do the precise calculations. Jim Schlesinger thought it was in excess of $40 billion to $50 billion, another former Secretary of Defense (SECDEF).
Do you agree with the Congressional Budget Office's conclusion that we are spending $30 billion a year too little to maintain the modernization of the current force structure?
Now, to start with General Shinseki.
General SHINSEKI. I would answer that this way, Congressman. It is a move in the right direction. But speaking for the Army, the case made in that study for the Army understates our requirements. It does not take into account transformation, which has been, for the last year, the Army's major effort. So it does not accommodate any look to the future. In fact, it would keep us kind of a C2, C3 condition.
Mr. HUNTER. So you are going to need more money than your proportion of that $30 billion a year?
General SHINSEKI. Well, I am just referring to the statement that is made in the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) study. From the Army's standpoint, it understates our requirements.
Page 58 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. HUNTER. It understates it? So you are actually going to need more money?
General SHINSEKI. That is correct.
Mr. HUNTER. Is that a yes?
General SHINSEKI. Yes.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay. Thank you.
Admiral CLARK. I wouldn't want to speak to the whole $30 billion because I haven't analyzed the other services. But with regard to the Navy piece of that, I would say that that is roughly the right number, the number that is quantified for Navy procurement, to meet the objectives of the QDR force, and that is sustain the present force.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay.
General SHELTON. Congressman Hunter, as I said in my opening statement, obviously it is going to take a lot more than $60 billion in the future. There have been four different studies they have done; I think the CBO study is the latest. Obviously, it will take a lot more.
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I think the QDR that is coming up will give us a chance to refine the numbers and come in with what-make the right assumptions to go with the strategy and the force structure that comes out of that and, therefore, give you a even firmer number in terms of foundation.
Mr. HUNTER. Well, what do you think about-
General SHELTON. Obviously, more.
Mr. HUNTER. Well, what do you think about the $30 billion today, though? What is your opinion, your personal judgment, about the need to spend $30 billion more a year on procurement?
General SHELTON. Well, it is certainly closer than $60 billion is to maintain the current strategy with the current force structure.
Mr. HUNTER. I am talking about an additional $30 billion.
General SHELTON. That is what I am referring to.
Mr. HUNTER. You think it is close?
General SHELTON. Think what is-
Page 60 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. HUNTER. Do you agree with CBO that we need to spend an additional $30 billion a year to maintain the current force structure and modernization?
General SHELTON. Over and above the $60 billion that we are currently receiving?
Mr. HUNTER. Yes. Their recommendation is an additional $30 billion a year.
General SHELTON. I think that is probably going to be closer than $60 billion is. Again, it is tied to strategy and force structure.
Mr. HUNTER. That takes it to $90 billion. You understand, that is-
General SHELTON. I understand.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay. And you think that is reasonable?
General SHELTON. Closer than $60 billion.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay.
Page 61 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General RYAN. I can't speak for the other services on the $30 billion; I can speak to the kind of air and space recapitalization rates that we need to meet to keep the current force structure at an average age that allows it to be viable, and that is somewhere between $10 billion and $11 billion. But that doesn't count what we need to do with our physical plant, and reinvestment in our people and some of our near-term readiness; that is recapitalizing the air and space force we have.
So if a third of that $30 billion was meant for the Air Force, then that is close.
Mr. HUNTER. General Jones.
General JONES. Sir, the CBO study didn't separate the Marine Corps, so they rolled us in with the Navy, so let me separate it for you.
Mr. HUNTER. Well, the Army said they had taken your share.
General JONES. That wouldn't fund the O&M for one Army division for a year, I don't think.
Sir, the Marine Corps share of the $60 billion procurement goal realized in 2001-2002 will not modernize the Marine Corps. To modernize, we need $1.5 billion per year above current plans for about seven to nine years.
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Now, the good news here is that sum will include the war-fighting equipment and the infrastructure, to include Military Construction (MILCON), family housing, maintenance of real property, base operations.
If we are able to sustain that, the good news is the young captain and the young staff sergeant this year, in 2008, will be in one of the most modern forces on the face of the Earth.
Mr. HUNTER. But you need an extra $1.5 billion a year.
General JONES. $1.5 billion a year.
Mr. HUNTER. More than what you got now.
General JONES. More than what we have got now. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUNTER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you.
Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Chairman, thank you.
Page 63 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I don't want our adversaries, our potential adversaries, or our allies to get the wrong impression, so I will ask the question of each of you. Based upon the threat briefings that you have, either daily or periodically, is your service-and in your case, General Shelton, the services combined-capable of fulfilling any mission that would be assigned to them, based upon those threats, and perform them successfully?
General SHINSEKI. Congressman, the answer from the Army is yes. The two major theater war scenario that we are accountable for in allocating forces is executable.
I would add, however, that we described that the second, at this point, the second MTW is executed at high risk, is our estimate.
Mr. SKELTON. Admiral Clark.
Admiral CLARK. See, this is where, Congressman Skelton, I feel a little schizophrenic. You know, the glass half full and the glass half empty.
The things that our people are doing every day in a peacetime way and dealing with those issues, and I said they get involved in combat operations, they are handling those and they are doing that just fine. My conviction is that the-but your question is any task.
Mr. SKELTON. I am speaking today of any task based upon any threat that you periodically receive.
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Admiral CLARK. Yes. And so I fall back to the two MTW strategy, and I believe that that is the most demanding and pressing that we would face. And so, in an unclassified forum, the second, we can certainly handle. The first MTW is a moderate risk, which has been stated, and we could get into the eaches with regard to what type of equipment would have the greatest impact in that kind of an encounter.
The second one and the high-risk part of it, it is high. I think what is a challenge for, when I talk to groups and people about it, is the definition of ''high.'' What does high mean? And it means it is going to be difficult, it is going to be a great challenge. But in, you know, in the heritage of the history of the Armed Forces our people are going to respond when called, and we have made the judgment that we can take on that challenge, but the risk is significant.
Mr. SKELTON. General Shelton.
General SHELTON. Congressman Skelton, the answer is yes, although, as my two colleagues here have said, in the second MTW the risk is high. We spell what drives that risk to high in great detail in the classified annex to the quarterly report to Congress, as you know.
Mr. SKELTON. General Ryan.
General RYAN. The answer is yes today. But at our current recapitalization rates, I am not sure how long the answer remains yes in the future.
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Mr. SKELTON. General Jones.
General JONES. The Marine Corps is primarily a one MTW force. We can meet that requirement. I have concerns about the second MTW, as expressed by my colleagues.
Mr. SKELTON. Thank you.
General Shelton, is our military the finest in the world?
General SHELTON. Unquestionably, yes, sir.
Mr. SKELTON. Much of this is due to our capability of what we call force multipliers, such as command and control and intelligence, reconnaissance. Is that correct?
General SHELTON. Yes, sir, it is.
Mr. SKELTON. Since our Goldwater-Nichols reform of 1986, we have embraced a greater jointness capability. Am I correct?
General SHELTON. I would submit that we lead the world, without a doubt, in that arena, Congressman Skelton.
Mr. SKELTON. That is my next question: Unlike other armies, navies, et cetera, is that correct?
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General SHELTON. Yes, sir.
Mr. SKELTON. General Shinseki, you spoke of troop numbers. In January of 1995, Lieutenant General Ted Stroop sat exactly where you are and testified that the Army should be at 520,000 end-strength. It was that week, my recollection is, that the Army entered Bosnia for the first time, and we all, of course, know the history since then. I am convinced that, in order to pay other bills, the Army end-strength recommendation came forward-this is, of course, before your watch-at lesser figures.
Are you convinced that there was merit to what General Ted Stroop testified to in January of 1995?
General SHINSEKI. I can't sign up for the exact number now. I have work underway to come up with a number. But yes, the essence of his statement is correct. The Army's requirement for an increase in end-strength was valid then. At that point, we were headed to Bosnia. We thought we were going to be there for a specified period of time. We are still there and Kosovo since. The requirement for end-strength increase in the Army is validated yet again today.
Mr. SKELTON. The end-strength question, Admiral Clark, do you have a comment on the Navy?
Admiral CLARK. I do. I believe that you know our end-strength is established by the QDR. And if you look at our trends, you find, today, I am 14,000 people short: almost 8,000 at sea, and 6,000 ashore. That has to be redressed. We are working on that number.
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I believe that you get to end-strength by dealing with how long people are in the pipeline, accessions rate, and also retention can help because it reduces the number of people in training and so forth. So it is a balance of all of these factors.
So I am not certain of the exact number. We are working on that right now. I am convinced that-
Mr. SKELTON. Will you come forth with a recommendation?
Admiral CLARK. It is my intent to do so in the next budget submission.
Mr. SKELTON. Thank you.
General RYAN. We are currently about 5,000 short of the number that we ought to be at, at budgeted level. And that is probably 5,000 under what is required. So a total of 10,000 short right now.
Mr. SKELTON. General Jones, there was a recommendation to take you down to 159,000 and we kept that number up, if you will remember.
General JONES. I do recall those conversations.
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Mr. SKELTON. Yes, we do, too. How about the end-strength for the Marines today?
General JONES. Well, sir, as you know, our end-strength right now is set at 172,500 for the active and roughly 39,000 for the Reserves. The effect of the last QDR was to, essentially, cut into some of our muscle. What we lost was the shock absorber that allows some recovery time between an accelerated pace of operations. We have been pursuing internal efficiencies in the Marine Corps. We have been able to return 2,100 Marines to the operating forces just from the internal structure of the Corps.
I will be prepared, during the next budget submission, to make a more concrete recommendation. We have been studying this issue now for my full year in office. My prediction would be that I would come in with a request of about 4,000 to 5,000 to restore that shock absorber that was taken out.
Mr. SKELTON. Thank you.
It is my hope that when the five of you gentlemen come to testify in January or early February, you will have researched your needs for the future and, as the commandant says, the future readiness of our force is what we are concerned about, and after, hopefully, having a heart-to-heart talk with whoever the chief executive may be in making his recommendations and giving us that same set of recommendations.
We thank you for your testimony and your candor.
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The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Hansen.
Mr. HANSEN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I think this has been a very interesting hearing. And I enjoyed, last night, going through the testimony of the Joint Chiefs, reading it. I am encouraged from what they say, because they all say they have got a problem. And that is probably half the thing: If you have got a problem, how do we face it?
General Shelton made an interesting statement. He said, ''Ready for what?'' And that is a pretty good question, really, and we could have a lot of fun discussing that one.
I would add to that, compared to what? Are we comparing it to what we had eight years ago? Are we comparing it to what the adversary may be?
I remember of all my years on the Intelligence Committee, we had-I still remember Jim Woolsey, director of CIA, used to say the old Soviet Union was a great dragon in the jungle, and it split apart and now we have got all these slithering snakes. And so now you folks have to figure out, instead of that huge military we had before, how do you take care of all the slithering snakes. And I know from my work on Intelligence and as a member of the Cox commission, we were looking into that, and you are looking at a different thing. So compared to what, as well as ready for what, what are we going to do?
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I am encouraged to see how you are all looking at building it back up again. I agree with many things my colleague from California said. I am especially conscious of that Tomahawk problem and what happened.
I hope you can bring that back, Admiral. It makes a lot of sense. I think your answer was a good one. Maybe you should be the politician and we should sit down there, when you said that people at that time made a decision. And I guess that is a very honest and straight-forward answer.
I personally feel they made the wrong decision, and I think we are going to pay big time for it. And I hope you can look up for it.
But as we kind of bum around these different areas and go into your bases and talk to enlisted guys and junior officers and spend some time, it is really interesting. These guys are really smart. I mean I don't think we have any more deck apes like when I was in the Navy. I mean these are really smart young people. And they are pretty good at answering questions.
You know what comes through in all the forces when I talk to these guys? The number one thing is parts. They say, ''We want more parts.'' They don't want to cannibalize an airplane. They don't want to mess that type of thing up. They want to have it.
Of course they always talk about paychecks; we all talk about that. They talk about facilities and all of those things. And I think we are down a little bit.
Page 71 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And it doesn't just take a commitment from this Committee, even though we have come up with $40 billion or so. It takes the commitment of leadership from the White House, and it takes the commitment of the leadership from you folks. And I think you are showing it today, and I appreciate that.
In talking to a pilot at Cherry Point, he said that in the last few months he had only flown four hours. Now, I just got to ask: How does any pilot stay proficient in four hours in two months?
Boy, General Jones, that really would worry me. I don't think anyone could stay proficient. As a private pilot, I can't stay proficient with that kind of flying. You got to do a lot better than that.
Admiral Clark, I enjoyed reading your testimony. And I don't mean to pin you down on anything here, but you say here, ''Our ability to train jointly, especially with the Marine Corps, is also being affected by the lack of live-fire capability for the Atlantic Fleet forces. Our troops should get their first experience with live arms before actual combat.''
You don't say it, but I guess you are talking about Vieques, because I don't know where else you are going to go. And if you have thought of another place to go, I think that would be every encouraging to know where it is. But I guess that is what we are talking, and I hope what we worked out with our late and good friend, Herb Bateman, and the Readiness Committee, and Jim Inhofe, stays in, because I think that makes a lot of sense, and a good way to handle a very sticky problem. And I hope we would have your support on things such as that.
Page 72 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And, General Ryan, if I may say so, I received a very interesting letter from a lady whose husband is a staff sergeant at Hill Air Force Base. And she says in here, ''My husband puts in an average of 14 hours per day with no time for lunch. He has approximately five airmen he is responsible for with regard to training. He doesn't have time to do it.''
She goes on to say, ''I am particularly concerned with the health of my husband, as well as all the other men and women in the unit. There have been senseless accidents because of fatigue.'' And then she talks about and goes through the whole scenario. She talks about her father, who was a retired master sergeant, and that her husband wants to stay in forhe has got 10 years in. He wants to stay in at least for 20, but Delta Air Lines is looking better to him all the time, down the road in Salt Lake City, where he has got time off, he is not deployed, and he can do a few things.
Tough one to answer for me, General. And maybe I should give the letter to you and have you do it, because I don't know how to answer it. But we get those kind of letters every day about these people.
So I would hope, Mr. Chairmanand I didn't give you a chance to answer all those things, except a nod of the head but I would hope that we take a lot of these things seriously. And I am surely hoping that this Committee and you folks and whatever happens on the big day of November 7, and we all know who is in charge, that everybody is totally committed to building up the military forces.
And someday I would like to have that discussion with you, General Shelton, is: What is it we are looking at? Because I think that is just as interesting. You know, if you read history, the French and others prepared for things that didn't happen. And as I look, as a Korean War veteran myself, as how easy this thing is going to be in Korea to go knock those guys out of that peninsula in two weeks, as was stated by many of our military heads, and look what it cost us after that. I think sometimes we have to take a good look at those things.
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I thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you.
Mr. SISISKY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And welcome to you, gentlemen.
I have listened intently to my colleagues this morning, and I want you to know that I agree with the chairman of the Procurement Subcommittee. He and I do know that you need $30 billion more a year, at least. You admitted that. I even agree with my ranking member here, some of things he talked about; I forgot what he talked about, though. And the gentleman from Utah, that really said we need the leadership of executive branch, which we certainly do. And we need the leadership of you gentlemen.
But there was one thing left out: The leadership of the Congress, too, because we do have a responsibility.
Now, I know it is easy to answer a question: ''Do you need $30 billion more?'' ''$5 billion?'' I mean that is obvious that you could always use it. Everybody wants new and modern equipment.
But I don't think you would want $30 billion or more if that top line is not raised. Something is going to suffer in your budget if you do not raise the top line. And that is where we, in Congress, can act. If the White House won't act, if you won't submit a budget that calls for that, then it is our responsibilityand I really believe that-to do it.
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The purse strings are right here. It is right here in this Committee and in the Appropriations Committee, and, of course, the full body.
I had a beautiful question to ask. Looking at two pages, I was going to ask you. I mean, it was written so well, and I am just going to talk a little bit about the question, and that is all I am going to say on that thing.
But I am worried aboutreadiness is something else. Admiral Clark put his finger on it when he talked about the shore. We know the point of the spear is easier to get them ready and have a high readiness thing, but I worry about our shore installations.
General Shinseki, you know what I am talking about. I am talking about our training groups. Our infrastructure, I don't know who mentioned it, we have got, you know, from World War II now, or before World War II, we have sewage problems at some of these bases that are unreal. I am talking about the real huge money that we keep putting off.
I worry about our federal employee force. I mean that sincerely. I just read yesterdayand, Robin, you probably know better than I do-that under an A-76 program, 400 federal employees, an average age of 48 in that group, at Fort Bragg-I think it was Fort Bragg-were told they lost an A76 contract. And they lost it basically because of retirement. The company that gets it doesn't have to put retirement in. Well, I mean, that obviously gives them something.
But we are demoralizing our civilian personnel, and it just really bothers me. And I think, of all the readiness that we do, and I will submit this for you, gentlemen, everything that we do in this Committee, we ought to count the other factors of our readiness, such as just basic training and the infrastructure that we have to deal with.
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And I thank you for being here today. And if you would like to comment on anything I have said, feel free to do it. I am going to submit this to you in its entirety.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Weldon.
Mr. WELDON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I want to follow up on Mr. Skelton's question to each of you.
You were asked about your ability today to respond to a two MTW situation, which you all responded to positively, although I believe some of you said just barely with the second one.
So let me ask it a different way, because over the past six years this Committee, with overwhelming bipartisan votes, plussed up in annual dollars $43.1 billion more than what the president asked for. And if you take it in fiscal year 2000 dollars, that is $58 billion more than what you would have had today if we had abided by the president's budget.
So I want to go back to each of you again and ask the same question: If we had not plussed up that $58 billion that the Congress, in a bipartisan vote, increased, would you still have been able to sit here today and say, yes, we could handle the two MTW threat that has been provided to us.
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General Shinseki? If there were $58 billion less in the budget this year, would you?
General SHINSEKI. I would have to go back and look what that would mean.
Mr. WELDON. What do you think it would mean?
General SHINSEKI. But just the sheer numbers that you have placed on a table would be
Mr. WELDON. I am not asking you to verify my numbers. What if it would have been $58 billion less?
General SHINSEKI. We would have a different answer on the second MTW, may fall into the category of
Mr. WELDON. Admiral Clark.
Admiral CLARK. I think that it is documented that the risk has been going up as over the last couple of years in the second MTW, and what you have just indicated, it would be even higher.
Mr. WELDON. So would it not be possible?
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Admiral CLARK. Well, I can't tell without looking at specifics to that, you know, where it was applied and what end.
Mr. WELDON. You know about what percentage each service gets.
Admiral CLARK. It certainly is clear that the risk would be higher and it would be much more difficult, and this gets back to the definition of what high risk really is and what the cost would be.
Mr. WELDON. General Shelton, here is the question, because in your charts you take credit of the money that we plussed up each year, which the Administration criticized us for publicly. And after we put that money in, the administration, both the secretary and the president, said there goes that Congress again, giving the chiefs more money that they want, when each year, not this current panel, but the chiefs at the time would come in and practically beg us for more money. And you took credit for it and said, ''We have stopped the bottoming out.''
So I am asking you the question: If there were $58 billion less in this year's budget, could you complete the two MTW?
General SHELTON. Congressman Weldon, what I was reflecting is what has been done. I wasn't taking credit for it, I was simply showing
Mr. WELDON. No, the charts did. But answer my question. Could you do the two MTW with $58 billion less?
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General SHELTON. Well, as I indicated in my written testimony, the bills that we have-we have been maintaining the level of current readiness right now at the expense of recapitalization and modernization. So I would say that our emphasis, knowing that we have got to put people in harm's way, will always have us focused on fixing and making sure that we have them at the highest state of readiness we can. That means that we would be in far worse shape today on recapitalization and modernization.
Whether or not that $58 billion that you are using would have meant that it was so great that we could not even maintain current readiness is hard to judge without going back and looking at each one of the service programs.
Mr. WELDON. The reason I ask you is some of the chiefs said they were just barely able to meet the second MTW, so I am talking about $58 billion less.
General RYAN. I think that we have all said that the second would be high; that would just put it a lot higher. Whether it breaks it or not, I can't tell you that.
Mr. WELDON. General Jones.
General JONES. I think the answer is no. I think we would have probablyI am speaking for the Marine CorpsI think we would have done what we typically do, and we would have taken from our quality-of-life accounts and people would be voting with their feet.
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Mr. WELDON. Thank you.
One final point I want to ask about. We have talked about this Administration, over the past eight years, doing two major things: overseeing the largest real cut in defense spending in modern history, and the second is the largest increase in deployments of our troops. I use the Army figures of 10 deployments in the 40 years prior to 1991; 35 major deployments at home and abroad since 1991. And that is pretty much accepted, I think, around this city, in terms of decreasing defense budgets, increasing deployments.
But there is a third factor, and that hasn't been talked about. Because the third priority of this Administration's defense or strategic posture status was based on arms control. They base the stabilization of our relationship with our allies and the security of the world on the enforcement of arms control agreements.
Yet we have had the worst enforcement in the history of this country in not enforcing arms control agreements. There were, up until last year, 37 violations of arms control agreements by China and Russia. We imposed required sanctions twice, both when China transferred M11 missiles to Pakistan and ring magnets to Pakistan.
And the transfer of those technologies have all gone to Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, and North Korea, and, to a lesser extent, India and Pakistan. And when they transfer, as you all know, that gives those rogue states increased threats that you are going to have to prepare to deal with, such as the increased threat posed by the transfer of the accelerometers and gyroscopes by Russia to Iraq, which we have over 100 sets of, which were a direct violation of the missile technology control regime, which the Administration knew about, but because Boris Yeltsin was running for reelection in 1996, the year it occurred, they didn't want to embarrass Boris Yeltsin publicly, so we ignored the transfer of the violation. And that happened three times, not once.
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My point then gets to the following question: The threats are increasing more rapidly than what we thought they would increase, therefore, the need for us to prepare to deal with these threats.
So, specifically, I ask General Sheltonyou may not be able to answer these today or on the public record, and they may have to go to classified session, but I would like to have the answersdo you agree with the London Daily Telegraph story that just ran over the past several days that Libya now has a No Dong missile?
Libya now has a No Dong missile. Do you agree, General?
General SHELTON. I will provide you an answer for the record, Congressman Weldon.
Mr. WELDON. Would you tell me whether or not the tests of the Shahab-3 last week by Iran may well not have been a test of the Shahab-3, but may have been a two-stage Shahab-4 missile, which poses grave threats for Europe because that missile has a far greater range that puts Italy and our troops directly in the line of fire of Iran, a system that we were told would not be ready to be deployed for at least two or three more years?
General SHELTON. I will provide you with an answer for the record.
Mr. WELDON. And, finally, General, would you provide for the record whether or not we have any evidence of the Russians using a new experimental technology in Chechnya that is an extremely high explosive that we don't fully understand, that has been used in Chechnya on the battlefield?
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General SHELTON. I will.
Mr. WELDON. Thank you.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Ortiz.
Mr. ORTIZ. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And I think that all of us are in the same boat. And I think that we have a huge responsibility, and now we understand the problems that we have. And I think that finger-pointing or making accusations is not going to get us anywhere.
You know the problems we have, and we know the problems that exist. And just like Congressman Sisisky stated a few moments ago, if, for some reason, one of the agencies, whether it is the White House or whether it is another Committee, does not respond to your needs, let us know, because we want to help you.
And I am just so proud of the Committee, you know, that we are not making any finger-pointing, or making any accusations. I think that we are here because we want to help you, we want to work with you, we want to fix the problem, and it is for the best interest of everybody in this room and the rest of the country.
Now, I think that, years back, we learned a very important lesson. And I can remember when my good friend Ike Skelton, when we had the chiefs, and this is a long time ago, we were asking themthis is before your time how do we stand and what are the problems that we have. And the response was, ''We don't have any problems. We are doing fine.'' And I can remember what he asked: ''Now, who are you talking to? Are you talking to the admirals and the generals?'' He said, ''Don't talk to them. Go to the sergeants, go to the SP4s and see what they are telling us and see what they will tell you.'' I think that it was a very, very important lesson that we learned.
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But I appreciate what you have done. I mean, you can only do so much. Without our help, you can't do very much. But we want to help you. And I do have-I think that Admiral Clark touched on a very important issue that we have, and I am referring to the rapidly aging work force that have received minimal attention from the Congress. My concern extends to those personnel, both military and civilian, who are a part of what we commonly refer to as a part of the infrastructure.
As we all know, we have an aging work force. My Army depots, very few people under the age of 30. Do we have a plan in existence now that we can count on so that when these people get to retire, that we can continue to have first-rate, skilled workers at our depots?
And maybe we can start with General Shinseki. We can start with you and see if there is a plan available.
General SHINSEKI. Well, I think, Congressman, you have touched on an important point. We have had this discussion before. And it is a concern of the loss of the kind of experience we have in the work force. And we do treasure what these lifelong workers provide to us in our depots.
And in your case, you know what we went through with the Apache helicopter and how they provided for us a fix that was not available any place else.
We watch this. We do our very best to recruit quality youngsters to take their places. But they do represent a very large population of our work force. And we are concerned about it.
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Admiral CLARK. Congressman, this spotlights the whole issue of the war for people that I talked about, and it is civilian and military.
I was at a major lab in California a few weeks ago, and basically I could lose 77 percent of that work force in five years. I told them I would be back in six months because I needed to hear their plan on how we are going to recapitalize that force.
Frankly, I believe that this is the challenge that we face across the board for those in uniform and our civilian work force that makes it work.
We are at war for people. It has to be reflected in our budget. And we are going to need innovative ways to compete in the marketplace.
The demand for those specific kinds of people-those are the ones that are in demand out there in a high-tech world, and we need help.
Mr. ORTIZ. Chief.
General RYAN. You have hit a point that is critical to the Air Force, and that is the age of our civilian work force, particularly in our depots. Average age of our depot folks is about 48 years old. Over 50 percent of them can retire in the next five years. Getting replacements for them is very difficult.
General RYAN. We will need the help of Congress to give us force-shaping tools to allow some people to retire early, to bring on young ones and to incentivize the young ones to come with us. This is a huge issue, and we will need your help, sir.
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Mr. ORTIZ. General Jones.
General JONES. Congressman, we confer the title ''marine'' on five different categories of people: the active force, the Reserve force, the retired force, former marines-marines who have served honorably-and 15,000 civilians who make their career in support of the United States Marine Corps.
We are trying to do, as we speak-I echo the concerns of my colleagues-in recognition of some of those problems, we are trying to treat our civilian work force, our civilian marines, very much like we treat uniformed marines. That is to say, provide an environment where a young person can join us and someday aspire to be a member of the senior executive service.
We will shortly put into effect, within our manpower system, a career track that these civilian Marines can follow, much like our active duty folks can follow. We have not done that. We generally hire and let them make their way as best they can to various other levels. And we want to do that for them, and it is been met in the Marine Corps with great enthusiasm. So this is very much a component of the Marine Corps and one that we care about and value very, very much.
Mr. ORTIZ. Thank you, gentlemen. And we thank you for the fine work that you are doing.
And, Mr. Chairman, thank you for your time.
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The CHAIRMAN. Thank you.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I would like to address my questions to General Ryan. And I would like to focus on our airlift capability and what you may see as the solution to the shortage that has created.
Some years ago, a group of us got on a C141 and flew down to Charleston and had a nice briefing there. And the point was made very clearly, which General Ryan alluded to in his testimony earlier, that it is necessary, in order to reduce risks, to get there quickly. And, obviously, the more lift assets we have to get us there quickly, the better it will be.
And since that time, most of the 141s have gone out of service. And I am told that the mission capable rate of the C5 has gone down from 75 percent mission capable rate to about 55 percent mission capable rate.
And we have been waiting-I guess we were promised that we would have the Air Force Requirement Study to look at in September, which didn't happen. And I am hopeful that we will have it to look at during the month of October in order to enable us to be more helpful in getting you what it is you think you need.
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And I am curious if you can give us a glimpse at the results of that study today, involving either a C5 rebuild or a C5 rebuild together with an additional C17 buy, or just what it is that you see that we are going to have to help you do.
General RYAN. Let me address the first part, which is a requirement study, and that is the MRS05 Requirement Study for lift, which is not an Air Force product, but a product of the Joint Staff and Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) and with service participation.
Clearly, I think that the lift requirements for the future will be greater than they are today. That study, which is going through its vetting process in the Pentagon, no one has taken on the issue that it probably has to be bigger than it is today; it is just, ''How much bigger should it be?''
Once that decision of the requirement is made, then we are going to have to look at our different systems and see how they meet that requirement and what can be done to make sure that we have the lift we need to execute this two major theater war strategy.
But I can tell you this, that you are absolutely correct on the C5. The C5 is not making the mission capability rates it needs to make to meet even today's major theater war requirement for lift.
General RYAN. And we will have to make some strategic decisions about lift forces for the future. Whether we keep the C5 on and re-engine it and redo its guts, whether we continue to buy more C17s, those will be issues that we will have to address. And what we cannot reach in that requirement will be added risk to our capability to execute these war plans.
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Mr. SAXTON. General, I was pleased to be able to host the gentleman from Boeing who is the new head of the C17 program. And when you say we have to make these decisions, I know that, and I am anxious to see what those decisions are.
But when I was talking to the gentleman from Boeing, he impressed on me the need to get this done rather quickly because they apparently have laid an offer on the table for a certain number of airplanes over a certain number of years. And he is telling me, and I think correctly so, that if we don't get this decision made, their advance procurement won't take place, and, therefore, the deal that they have offered, which I think we all agree is pretty good in terms of the economics of it, he said it is going to have to change. And so it seems to me that we need to make a decision.
General RYAN. Right. If you look at the decision time line on the C17 force, given that the Brits have bought in right now, the U.K. has an order in, we have to make a decision next spring to summer to be able to continue the line and make sure that we have lead time for those long lead items. So with less than a year before we have to make this decision, or about a year.
Mr. SAXTON. Has the final decision been made on the necessary buy for the Special Operations Low Level (SOLL) 2 mission?
General RYAN. We have put into the budget 15 additional C17s. What we have not done is put them into a contractual nature with the Boeing Company because we will wait and see what these other decisions are. But, yes, we acknowledge that we need 15 additional for the SOLL 2 mission.
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Mr. SAXTON. Do you think that we will see the results of your study and recommendations in the next few weeks?
General RYAN. Have to ask the chairman on that one.
General SHELTON. The report, Movement Report System5 (MRS05), has been submitted to OSD, should be coming out of there any day now.
Mr. SAXTON. Within the matter of weeks, we will have it?
General SHELTON. I would certainly think so. As I recall, the suspense to Congress was the 30th of September.
Mr. SAXTON. Yes, sir. That is correct.
Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. My time has expired.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Taylor.
Mr. TAYLOR. Mr. Chairman, to move things along, I have a question for the record and will temporarily yield my time to the gentleman from Texas, Mr. Reyes.
The CHAIRMAN. Sir?
Page 89 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. TAYLOR. Yield my time to Mr. Reyes.
The CHAIRMAN. Okay.
Mr. TAYLOR. And a question for the record, sir.
Mr. REYES. I thank the gentleman for yielding.
I think there are three major areas that I would like to, perhaps, comment on, and then I do have some questions for the record as well. But I did want to get my comments in, in my short amount of time.
And I think sometimes we forget that a lot of the issues that deal with what we are wrestling with, whether it is with readiness, technology or whatever, has to do with the fact that we are the last remaining superpower on Earth and looked to worldwide for leadership and involvement, and we are looked at as the cop on the beat, and those kinds of issues. And it is a tough role, and I hope we don't lose sight of that.
The other thing that I think is important to mention is that, when we talk about us being the last remaining superpower, we are also talking about the fact that, yes, and I appreciate all of you commenting on the readiness of our forces and the professionalism, the ability to get the job done and the fact that they are all ready, willing and able to go anywhere that they are needed and keep this country safe, but we are also talking about, in the current military scenario, technology and weapons capability that are, yes, very effective; that can do the job technologically in terms, perhaps, that we have never even contemplated or dreamed of; and the third part of that is, that are very expensive. And so, we have to rethink the amount of money that has to be provided for all of the services and for the protection of this country.
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But I am most concerned about the third part, and that is what 10 or 11 years ago, whenever the Berlin Wall came down, the so-called peace dividend, and the fact that all of a sudden there was this euphoria that, perhaps because the wall came down, that we lived in a safer world and we could do without the kind of reassurance and protection that our military provides this country, again, being the last remaining superpower. And that is the area that I think I worry most about.
And I agree with my colleague, Mr. Sisisky, when he talks aboutI have had an opportunity to be in Bosnia, to be in Korea, to be in the Middle East, the places where our troops are on high alert and in the most danger in the context of prepared for engagement. And from talking to all of you gentlemen and representatives such as yourself of all the military, we don't have a problem with reenlistment and the kinds of issues that deal with our military being prepared for what their job is. I mean, that is what you train for, that is what you prepare for, that is what you are equipped for, and, therefore, they are doing the kinds of things that they are prepared to do on behalf of this country.
But those that are left behind, the infrastructure that supports the point of that spear, as we like to call it, needs some attention as well. And I hope that, at least as this member of Congress, and again, agreeing with my colleague, Mr. Sisisky, I hope we remember that there are three entities that are responsible for that kind of leadership, that we are looked upon by the men and women who wear the uniform.
And I would hope that, when we talk about leadership, yes, executive branch has a role to play, the military certainly has the most prominent role in terms of leadership for prepared defense of this country, but it is inherent upon us to accept our role as a Congress in being able to provide for whatever is needed.
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So within that context, I hope that we understand that when we have these discussions, when we have these kinds of issues, we run the risk of-well, actually two risks, from my perspective: number one, that somebody will get the false impression that we are not going to have the capability to go kick their butts if we need to, anywhere in the world, which will put some of our military people at risk immediately; and the second, and probably the most important, that our own men and women in uniform, including yourselves, start questioning our own capabilities and our own abilities.
And I just think, if we can keep the issues that we are concerned about in every sense of a professional manner, so that we do what is best for, first and foremost, the men and women that wear our uniforms, that put their lives on the line each and every day for us, and, secondly, the infrastructure that supports them and that makes that mission capable, I think that would be very helpful to all of us.
And I want to wind up by thanking each and every one of you. I have had an opportunity to sit and meet with you and discuss these very important issues, and I know that we have the same concerns and we also have the same hopes and aspirations that we collectively, working together, can come up with the solutions.
So I will submit the questions for the record, and I appreciate the gentleman from Mississippi yielding to me. So I yield back.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Buyer.
Page 92 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. BUYER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
With regard to Mr. Sisisky's comments, gentlemen, on A76, I think we have an opportunity coming up. There will be a new Administration. And as the new Administration sets out, perhaps, new guidelines within Office of Management and Budget (OMB) with regard to A76, hopefully you will speak with a unified voice that the men and women who work in the federal work force at your bases are part of the military family. Many of them are retirees or their parents were or they are Reserve. They are part of the culture. They understand time is of the essence, and they are a valued employee.
And so when OMB comes in and sets some pretty stark requirements on these bids, I would ask of you, in a warm welcome, and I will join with you in negotiations with the new Administration on these new guidelines with regard to A76. So I would like for you to note that.
The other I would note, on February 9 of 2000, when you last appeared before the Committee, General Shelton, you said, ''For years our recruiters have promised health care for life for career members and their families.'' You went on to say, ''Let me stress the Joint Chiefs' commitment to quality health care for all our military members, including retirees, remains firm. Keeping your promise to ensuring quality health care for military retirees is not only the right thing to do, it is also a pragmatic decision, because it sends a strong signal to all those considering a career in uniform.'' Do you concur with that statement today?
General SHELTON. Yes, sir, I certainly do.
Page 93 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. BUYER. With regard to your last sentence, were you pointing to the issue of retention? ''It sends a strong signal to all those considering a career in uniform.'' Issues of retention?
General SHELTON. Yes, well, I was also referring to a strong signal to the individuals out in the communities that we are attempting to recruit, that we, in fact, keep our commitments. And, of course, the retirees are a key part of our recruiting effort.
Mr. BUYER. If we could change the dynamic of the debate so you were no longer pitting retiree health care against modernization, readiness, MILCON, personnel accounts, is that a concept that you could agree with?
General SHELTON. Not only agree with it, Congressman Buyer, but have recommended. We need, in fact, to find an alternative means for financing health care so that it no longer competes with the requirement for new equipment, new technology and new bullets that we are concerned about, not only for today's readiness, but for tomorrow's.
Mr. BUYER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Do the chiefs of each of the other services concur with the chairman's remarks?
General SHINSEKI. I concur with the chairman's remarks.
Admiral CLARK. I certainly do.
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General RYAN. Absolutely.
Mr. BUYER. They all concur.
For which do you prefer, gentlemen? A permanent fix, regarding the over-65 military health care issues, do you prefer that permanent fix be sooner or later? Which do you prefer?
General SHELTON. Well, it would certainly be desirable to have it sooner.
Mr. BUYER. Thank you.
Would it help you, when you formulate your defense budget in the Pentagon, if the retiree health care were funded with discretionary accounts or with mandatory accounts? Which do you choose?
General SHELTON. I believe, Congressman, that we should be approaching the health care as an entitlement, viz something that would be discretionary. I mean, this is a bill that must be paid if we, in fact, accept. And I do and believe very strongly that there has been a commitment made to our retirees and that we have a moral obligation to take care of them. And, therefore, it should be in a separate funding line from readiness, and should be something that is viewed as an entitlement.
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Mr. BUYER. So, Mr. Chairman, if you agree with the first premise, that if we could change the dynamic of the debate so you are no longer pitting military retiree health care, in particular the over 65, against modernization and those other accounts, if we break that dynamic for which you agree, and we should then move it, perhaps, to mandatory spending, then we have broken successfully that dynamic, have we not?
General SHELTON. You have.
Mr. BUYER. Okay.
And your preference would be sooner rather than later; is that correct?
General SHELTON. That is correct.
Mr. BUYER. I don't want you to get involved in this dynamic of a debate between the House and the Senate, but the House has stepped forward, in a very historical manner for the Republican and the House leadership here on our side, to say, in a time where we talk about budget surpluses, we are saying we are going to acknowledge more debt; that if the military retiree health care issue is in excess of $150 billion, the House is prepared to step up to the plate and acknowledge greater debt. By doing that, we move to a mandatory entitlement account with accrual funding.
Is that a concept for which you could agree?
Page 96 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General SHELTON. We certainly could agree to that.
Mr. BUYER. Thank you.
General SHELTON. How you work it out between the two different bodies, of course, is up to this body, or up to the Congress.
Mr. BUYER. Okay, now let us be realistic. If, in fact, we do not come to an agreement between the House and Senate, but we agree on what is the right thing to do, can we expect, coming out of your budget to us, that you submit to the president, he makes those budgets, the recommendations that we decide here today?
Why do I ask that? Because in the spring of 1997, when we engaged on whether Military Retirement Reform Act of 1986 (REDUX) reform was the right thing to do for the force, you stepped up to the plate and you said, ''Yes, Congressman Buyer, it is the right thing and we are going to do it.''
Can we expect that from you?
General SHELTON. You can expect it from us for sure in terms of it is the right thing to do. I would, just like we did with REDUX, have to say that if we don't raise the DOD top-line to pay for it, if in fact DOD is required to pay for it, it certainly would break an awful lot of things. Because, as we have shown here today, our ability to recapitalize the force, not to mention modernize it, is a challenge that we can't meet even today with the top-line we have got.
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The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, Mr. Buyer.
My good friend, Mr. Underwood.
Mr. UNDERWOOD. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and just on behalf of Mr. McHugh and myself, these chairs really don't do much for us.
I have two comments, and one comment has been made repeatedly, and this one comment pertains to the civilian work force. And all of you have made comments in support of that civilian work force, and I know that some previous members have made mention of the fact that we have an aging work force.
And not to put too fine a point on it, but I do want to point out that in one particular case, in the closure of the Guam ship repair facility, which was then subsequently privatized, we now have the specter of asking people who are in their late 50s and 60s to perform the work on a very vital piece of the readiness picture, which is to have a support infrastructure around the world which will help us be ready wherever we need to be.
And it occurs to me, at the same time, that there was much discussion over this past decade about all the money we were going to save from out-sourcing and from new business practices, which were supposed to go into modernization and supposed to go into recapitalization. And based on your testimony, based on the kinds of requirements that you have outlined, it appears to have dissipated, I think in a way that many of us assumed it would dissipate over time, that there was really no way to equate the fact that there was allegedly this amount of money which was going to be saved, which was then going to go into these accounts and these activities, and we have yet to see that surface in that way.
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So I would certainly put in a strong pitch to continue to have a strong and viable civilian work force that we pay for up front that we can rely on at any time.
Just on the basic issue of readiness, and understanding that I sat on the Readiness Subcommittee for a number of years, and to date, despite all of the testimony that I have heard, I would have to admit that there are always a number of basic questions about readiness. And some of them are: Ready to do what? And at what level are we ready to do it? And how do we arrive at these readiness ratings, in any event?
And sometimes they are just a kind of the aggregation of a series of individual assessments which keep getting bumped up, and finally we get to a point where we match that up with a number of other things: where we are at in the world, the arms control picture, our foreign relations, where we are at, where our assets are around the world, and are we ready to carry out the two MTW.
I am very heartened and I am very comforted by your comments to know that, as the only remaining superpower in the world, that we are ready to do whatever it is that we need in order to perform the national mission.
At the same time, I think most of us on the Committeecertainly I think all of us on the Committee understand and were very comforted by the fact that you are very clear in what you need to be more ready, to be readier, if that is an appropriate term. So I am very glad to hear that.
Page 99 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC At the same time, I must ask, General Shelton, because I know this is a great chart, but I couldn't understand it. I have looked at it for several minutes now. And sometimes in the effort to make a point about readiness, sometimes we will take an individual point in time, a snapshot if you will, and say, see, at this point in time, you said we weren't ready with these two divisions. Now, a month later, you are ready. And so the snapshots in time kind of get confusing. So I was very glad to see that we were referring to trends, rather than snapshots.
So we have here a series of trends by service, and it is clear thatI guess it is clear that we have arrested this downturn in near-term readiness decline. But I don't know what the comparison is; I don't know what the basis is. You have a time line, but I don't have, in this chart, readiness to do what? What is the underlying here? What are we bumping up against?
And based on this chart, it would appear that, you know, the Army is now more ready than it ever was in 1986. Based on this chart, it appears that, in spite of the testimony by General Ryan, the Air Force is more ready than the other services, from the time that these comparisons were being made.
So I am just having a hard time understanding this chart. Could you clarify what is it that we are bumping up here?
General SHELTON. That, Congressman Underwood, is the readiness data reported by active units, but it is an aggregate, as I explained when the chart went up. And it is readiness data reported about personnel, training, equipment status.
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The chiefs make a decision or make a recommendation about where they stand in terms of readiness to perform any one of the missions they might be assigned. That's based on the current readiness status of their various units that would have to participate in those war plans.
So this data is aggregate readiness reporting data as submitted by the services. Again, aggregate data.
When you break out individual units, you can findyou split outfor example, General Ryan will tell you, you split out fighter wings, you know, from all other Air Force units, you will get some that are way down, some that are fairly high, and then you add your combat support, combat service support, you get different measurements of those, that is aggregate data.
Mr. UNDERWOOD. I understand that it is aggregate data. But I don't understand what the line is supposed to be on this side. Normally on a chart, you have a definition of what is the
General SHELTON. That is to make it an unclassified chart, and you normally would have C1, 2, 3, 4 type data.
Mr. UNDERWOOD. Okay. Thank you very much.
The CHAIRMAN. Mrs. Fowler.
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Mrs. FOWLER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
And thank you each for being with us today. And I want to thank each of you for the distinguished service that you perform each and every day for our Nation.
We have been listening to the testimony today, each of us, and I have to tell you, I read your testimony last night, and what I have read and learned over the past months, I truly believe that our Nation's military is on the verge of a crisis.
General Shinseki, the Army has been experiencing serious difficulties retaining its future leaders. Captains are leaving at an increasing rate, and it has recently reported that more than half of its training centers received the worst possible readiness rating.
General Ryan, as you pointed out, the Air Force has seen its mission capable rates decline by 10 percent since 1991 and has accumulated a $4.3 billion real property maintenance backlog. You have replaced the infrastructure at a 250-year replacement rate.
General Jones, you testified that the Marine Corps is well below its basic steady-state requirements for investment in ground and aviation equipment, and noted a 58 percent increase in cannibalization rates for Marine Corps aircraft just since 1995.
And, Admiral Clark, an April report by the Navy's Inspector General raised profound concerns about Navy training and maintenance, including revelations that Israeli pilots recently achieved a six-to-one kill ratio in exercises with our U.S. Navy aviators, that reductions in training expenditures have resulted in the Navy's pilots achieving less than 50 percent combat mission success rates with precision-guided munitions during recent contingency operations, and that the Navy's mission capable rates for its aviation fleet are approximately now at 70 percent.
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Now, this is throughout the services, as you read through these testimonies and look at the facts.
During my visit recently to my home to Naval Air Station Jacksonville-I went in April of 1999, and when I was there were 21 P3 on the ground and only four could fly. So I thought I would check this month, see where we were about a year and a half later. Well, the good news is we now have got seven of the 21 that can get off the ground, but only two are fully mission capable.
On the rotary side, our mission capable rates for the SH60F helicopter had been dipping below 50 percent during this last period, and we have been cannibalizing them at an increasing rate over the last six months compared to the 18 months before.
On our ship maintenance side, this year we have had three major repair packages canceled on ships that are home-ported in Mayport and two other repair packages significantly down-scoped.
So I look at the situation across the board and I am deeply concerned. Between the force reductions, budget cuts and increased commitments to overseas contingencies, this has put you all in a very untenable situation. And notwithstanding the addition of over $50 billion in unrequested funding since we took over the majority, funds that this Committee typically had to fight the Administration on, you are stillthe evidence is there, the facts are thereon the verge of a crisis.
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Now, Admiral Clark, I know you have only been in the job nine weeks and I know from the get-go you have been truly emphasizing readiness in your first months on the job, including trying to restructure our Office of the Chief of Naval Operations' (OPNAV), Staff to gain a better handle on these readiness issues, and I commend you for that.
I do have just two specific questions really that I would like to ask for you and General Jones to address.
The first one, I noted on page 7 of your testimony, Admiral Clark, that you highlighted the fact that the use of live ordnance, ''is a vital means of training our forces in combined arms operations,'' and this is also highlighted in the Navy Inspector General's report. And you also stated that, ''our ability to train jointly, especially with the Marine Corps, is also being affected by the lack of live-fire capability for the Atlantic Fleet forces.''
Admiral, could you and General Jones please describe for the Committee the specific readiness implications for your services of not being able to do live-fire training on Vieques over the last year and a half; what work-arounds have you employed; and what level of success have you had; and finally, what is the status of your investigation of alternative sites at which you could do combined armed exercises if Vieques ceases to be an option?
And my other question is based on this report. And I commend to all of my Committee members, you need to read the Navy Inspector General's report that came out April the 28th of 2000. They sent questionnaires to 3,700 naval aviation professions, from E1 to O6, and their answers are disturbing.
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And I am very concernedand this was not on your watch, Admiral.
But this came out April the 28th. Two weeks later we marked up our defense bill; we were not made privy to the information in this report. It would have greatly helped if the Navy had been forthcoming with what was in here as we were marking up that bill, because there are things pointed out in here that we could have dealt with in a much better manner if we had worked better together. So I am hopeful that, as future concerns get addressedbut I want to just touch on a couple of things in here, and if you could address them.
We are talking about interviews with 3,700 naval aviation professionals. Ninety percent of them said that the Navy has a problem with spare parts availability and readiness-90 percent. Seventy-nine percent say they do not have enough spare parts and consumables to keep their aircraft at readiness and maintenance levels; 72 percent, say they don't have enough maintenance manning to meet the number of aircraft readiness and availability that they need; 79 percent, say the cannibalization rate has been increasing, not decreasing, but increasing during the time they have been in. I mean, you go through this: 73 percent say that the conditions they work under today have negatively influenced their decision to stay in the Navy. I mean, it goes on and on.
And at the end of this report, they have some direct quotes from these 3,700. And just a couple of them. ''We are tired and hurting with no relief in sight.'' These are direct quotes. ''We are accepting doing our training in combat.'' ''Our readiness is based on funding, not on requirements.'' ''Naval aviation surge capability is a joke.'' ''I would rather have parts than a pay raise.'' ''Our day shift guys work until 11 at night.'' ''Day crew is the stay crew.'' ''Our recruiting efforts of selling kids on one term and then college. Why are we surprised when they are doing exactly what they signed for.''
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Admiral, whatever you can state in your addressing of that, I would appreciate, and some of the concerns based there. But let's first start with the question dealing with live-fire training. Thank you.
Admiral CLARK. Well, Congressman Fowler, I think that we can say we have had significant exchanges on the subject of Vieques, and our position on the requirement for live-fire has been, I think, quite clear. So your question is about, you know, what we have done without it. And, of course, I reflect back on my recent time when I was commanding the Atlantic Fleet, so I was close to this. And, Admiral Fallon, the 2nd Fleet commander, in concert with the commander of II Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF), they worked this problem to do work-arounds, there is no question about it. And we took forces to Eglin Air Force. We did operations there, and great cooperation from the Air Force to help us develop alternative approaches.
How did it affect our readiness? Specifically, we violated the one tenet that you talked about in my statement. We want our people to experience these kinds of operations in training, not the first time in combat. And we were able to take it all the way to the weapon release of a live weapon.
And so, we didn't get all the way there, but we did significant training to get all the way to that point. And then the local commanders, they simulated the operation the best that they could without live ordnance. It did affect our training. We got as close as we could get to the optimum readiness to deploy.
Page 106 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC With regard to alternate sites. I am on the record, in fact, of sayingI was asked the question, ''There must be someplace else.'' My response to that is, maybe there is, I don't know where it is. It would be irresponsible, I think, to say that there isn't anything else we could do. And I cited, ''Shoot, we could build an island.'' It would cost billions, but this is an issue that is in front of us that we have to deal with.
And I am hopeful that we are on the right track in Vieques. We are making progress, and I am encouraged by what is happening down there. But, obviously, we have a referendum in front of us that we need to win.
With regard to the issue of spares in the survey that you cite, you know, when I was confirmed, I made the point that current readiness was going to be at the top of my list. And it is number two on my top five; manpower is number one.
I am so convinced that if we do not deal with these issues-and this is very complex. I wish we had great time to go into it. But the reality is this is part of keeping up an aged force. It is harder to maintain a force that is getting older. And it affects us, not just in the manpower doing the job, but in our ability to effectively predict what it is going to cost. And when the force gets older, my experience is today that our model doesn't accurately predict for us what the cost ought to be.
So, for example, in 2001 the budget that we sent forward, you know, by my predecessor, was built a couple of years ago. Today, as we are getting ready to execute, we don't have enough money in the flying hour account to buy the spares that we are going to need, because it was priced wrong, because the cost has gone up. And so, that is why I have made it the priority that I have.
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And I am committed to pushing forward budgets that fund to 100 percent of our requirement. And, frankly, we haven't always done that in the past. And that is what I intend to do in the future.
And just let me add that, with regard to the Inspector General (IG) report, there is a lot of activity. Twenty-nine task forces have been put together; 29 action items are being analyzed. And I am going to review the status of all of those in a few weeks. This, though, is the cost of maintaining an aged force.
And current readiness challenge has to be met, because without regard to what happens in the future, we are all talking here about recapitalizing the force. We have people out there today that are executing missions, and we have to properly fund the requirements so that they can execute their mission.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Reyes.
Mr. REYES. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And I will yield my time to the gentleman from Mississippi.
Mrs. FOWLER. Mr. Chairman, I think General Jones wanted to speak to the Vieques thing.
The CHAIRMAN. I am sorry, General Jones, you better take advantage of this opportunity.
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General JONES. I will just dovetail on my shipmate here a little bit.
The implications of live-fire training in concert with the Navy is very important to the Marines. Specifically, access to ranges where we can integrate our Tactical Air (TACAIRs). You know, we deploy on our fixed-wing squadrons with the carrier battle group. And we also have Harriers that operate off of the Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) shipping. So those kinds of carrierARG integrations are very, very important to us, whether they be on the East Coast or the West Coast, anywhere in the world.
Naval gun fire support, also very important. We need to exercise all of the drills shipboard and also on land that establishes clearly the ability to communicate with the ships and to call in close air missions or naval gun-fire missions. And that is usually the province of Marines on the ground.
So I think it is a confidence-building measure. I subscribe to the fact that you can go so far with simulation and other work-arounds, but ultimately you need to know that you can do the real thing.
I think I am reminded of previous testimony that both of us gave in the admiral's case, Jay Johnson, but that showed very clearly that, over the past few years, the probability of naval aircraft being involved in combat missions, whether it is Kosovo or in the Persian Gulf, at one time was highly probable, so we were very concerned about any deterioration of access to ranges in that context.
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I might also signal that one of the very real readiness issues for the 21st century is the issue of encroachment. Issues that were not there 50 years ago when our bases were generally built where there were not high concentrations of people, now there are.
And so I think that is going to be an issue that is going to be with us, Mr. Chairman, for quite awhile and one that we need to step up to.
With regards to spare parts, no question. We have the same difficulty. I would like to quote from my own statement, if I may. ''Many of our aircraft are approaching block obsolescence. In fact, the majority of our primary rotary wing airframes are over 25 years old. When our first KC130F rolled off the assembly line, President Kennedy was beginning his first year as the commander in chief, thus underscoring the importance of the KC130J. Similarly, our CH46E, an off-the-shelf platform, averages over 30 years old. Some of our younger pilots are flying the exact same aircraft their fathers flew.
''While we are now receiving the V22, their rate of production and delivery is neither economical nor efficient, and thus prolongs the retirement of CH46.
''The short take-off, vertical landing Joint Strike Fighter, the replacement for our F18s and AV8Bs, is scheduled to begin in 2008 with initial operating capability of 2010. We must hold the line on this date.
''Our success in keeping Marine Corps aircraft safe and operational is due to a constant and tremendous maintenance effort.''
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And this gets to your spare parts question. ''While the recent grounding of four different types of aircraft was primarily a flight safety issue, increasing maintenance challenges do influence our level of readiness. Since 1995, the direct maintenance manhours per hour of flight increased by 33 percent, and there has been a 58 percent increase in our cannibalization rates.
''During the same time, the full mission capable rate, though still within reasonably acceptable parameters, has decreased by 9.4 percent across the force.''
And so these are telling statistics in terms of the direction we are headed. Thank you for the question.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Snyder.
I thought you were going to yield him. I am sorry.
Mr. REYES. Well, I yield to the gentleman from Mississippi who yielded to me earlier.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Taylor.
Mr. TAYLOR. Thank you, Mr. Reyes.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
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I very much appreciate Congressman Buyer bringing up the subject of health care.
General, I just walked in as I heard you saying, ''We need to find new ways to fund it.'' As you know, earlier this year an amendment put forth by myself, Mr. Skelton, Mr. Abercrombie, Mr. Bartlett, Mr. Jones and several others, passed the House by enormous margin, 400 votes, that would allow Medicare-eligible retirees to use military treatment facilities. Since they have already paid Medicare taxes all their lives, and since they are Medicare eligible, it would for the first time have the Medicare trust fund reimbursing base hospitals for things that you have been doing out of hide.
CBO has scored that as having only a $20 million effect on your budget next year if you implement it. And over the next few years, and of course, over the next few years we are talking aboutonly about $290 million out ofover the next five years. So if we figure out of the next five years your budget is going to be about $1.5 trillion. We are talking about a minuscule amount of your budget to fulfill this promise.
As you know, we are stuck in some pretty tense negotiations right now with the Senate. Senator Warner has come up with what I think is a clever plan to help those military retirees who do not live near a military treatment facility, to let TRICARE be a second payer to Medicare to minimize their out of pocket expenses.
But for the extremely large number of retirees who did choose to retire near a military treatment facility, we can do something about it, and we can do something about it with a minuscule amount of budget loss to you, because I know your budget's too tight.
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My question to you gentlemen is, having made you aware of this, and realizing how close we are to doing it, would you be willing to go on record in support of doing both: Senator Warner's proposition to help those who do not live near a military treatment facility and the House position, passed by over 400 of my colleagues, that would take care of those who do and let Medicare foot the bill for your Medicare-eligible retirees?
General SHELTON. Congressman Taylor, from my perspective, we have an obligation to take care of our retirees irregardless of where they live.
Mr. TAYLOR. That was not my question, General Shelton.
My question is, since you are here, since this is a readiness issue, and since it is in question right now as we speak, as we are trying to put together the authorization bill, could I ask you to endorse the idea of leaving Senator Warner's language, TRICARE as a second payer to Medicare for those people who do not live near a Medical Treatment Facility (MTF), or choose not to use an MTF, but Medicare subvention, as passed by the House, for those who do live near an MTF and would like to use that MTF?
The budgetary implications of the House portion of that is only $20 million a year out of your budget to fulfill that promise of lifetime health care.
And my hunch isyou can nod if you choose to or notthat every time you are encouraged to reenlist, the promise was really made of a lifetime of health care at a military treatment facility. And that is what we are trying to fulfill.
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General SHELTON. I think, as we have said all along, in our previous testimony, we fully support taking care of the retirees, feel like we have got a moral obligation and a commitment to do that. However, this is moneyas we have testified here today, already we have concerns about recapitalization, about modernization, about readiness issues. We need to make sure that the additional costs of any one of these programs is, in fact, added to the Defense top-line and not competing the readiness requirements we have today.
Mr. TAYLOR. General, again, you are a far more intelligent man than I could ever hope to be, but no man can know everything about everything. So I can't expect you towhat I am trying to get to, is you realize that the House position would, for the first time, have Medicare reimbursing your base hospitals for something that you are taking out of hide right now. It would, in effect, plus up your base budgets and fulfill the promise that was made to all those people in all those branches of service years ago when they reenlisted.
Since I think that makes abundant sense and fulfills exactly what you are trying to doand, again, we need to find new ways to fund itcan I ask you to endorse it, now that the House has already done it and we are in some tricky negotiations with the Senate trying to get this done this year? Let's get it done.
General SHELTON. We certainly would support the reimbursement as you have outlined. And we will take a look at the details of it and get back to you.
Mr. TAYLOR. Can you do it in the near future, sir?
Page 114 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General SHELTON. Sure will.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. McHugh.
Mr. MCHUGH. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Taylor's comments about no man can know all things at all times, he is obviously not reading the same campaign material that I am.
I won't say out loud any names.
Gentlemen, let me add my words of welcome to you here today. And under the title of editorialization, I appreciate the very frank comments that you have had to make. And in comparison to other panels in years past, particularly, it is both refreshing but very sobering.
It may not be apparent totally this afternoon, but one of the two joys of this Committee is the bipartisanship that, perhaps, is not shining as brightly as it has in the past, but still is, I think, the underpinning force that helps this Committee be the great one that it is and one I am so proud to be associated with.
And like the ranking member, I certainly don't want anything that is said here today to cause any of America's enemies or potential enemies to think that our men and women are not up to the task of fighting the next war, or the next two wars, or as many wars as it takes to achieve victory.
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But I do think we have to be honest enough with ourselves to ensure that, as we progress, we are constructing a force that can do the job effectively, efficiently and lethally.
And I get concerned when we talk about concepts like readiness. I get concerned when we use phrases like ''first to deploy, first to fight.'' They mean something to all of us, but I think they may give the wrong signal to others because we cannot sustain a force that is just up to par based upon the first to fight, the first to deploy.
I hope all of you would agree that the very disturbing signs of below-par status for the broader range of those troops not first to deploy, not first to fight, needs to be addressed.
I want to return now to an earlier comment that you, General Shelton, and Congressman Hunter had, with respect to the two divisions that were ranked C4, not ready to deploy, one of those being the 10th Mountain Division that I have some association with and a great deal of affection for. And I just want to make sure that the record is clear.
Am I correct when I say that that rating was not a reflection upon the quality of those troops, it was not a reflection upon their ability as soldiers, and certainly was not a reflection upon their training and their skills, General?
General SHELTON. You are correct. And it was not based on their state of training, their state of equipment, their state of personnel, it was based on their state of availability to meet their wartime requirement. And that was not their issue, that was an Army issue.
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Mr. MCHUGH. And I appreciate that.
And that brings me to my next question. The ratings status was changed based on a redefinition of the timeframe. Did I understand that correctly?
General SHELTON. That was what General Shinseki indicated.
Mr. MCHUGH. General.
General SHINSEKI. Let me add my comments to your question.
There's no question that the division is filled with very competent, very highly motivated, great soldiers ready to do their requirements if called upon. With about 50 percent of the division deployed to Bosnia, performing an operational mission we had given them, the time that it would have taken to recover those elements, marry them back up with their division, do the final preps that would be required, did not allow them to meet the stated time line to be in a major theater war sector. And that is what caused that division commander to say, ''There is a timing issue here.''
He was absolutely correct. There are other forces that were in a flow. Our adjustment was to let a follow-on force take that place, and he was given a little bit more time so that he could get his forces married together.
I will take the lick on that. Had I seen it, he would not have been asked to report that kind of a time line. But he did the right thing.
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Mr. MCHUGH. I appreciate your willingness to step forward, but I want to make sure I understand what adjustments were made. I assume you inherited the stated time line and the readiness rankings.
General SHINSEKI. That is a time line that is articulated by the Commander in Chief (CINC) who owns the theater, and our requirement was to provide him a force.
Mr. MCHUGH. And I assume that the CINC developed that time line based upon what he felt was a reasonable function of meeting the wartime requirements of the Army, in this case.
General SHINSEKI. That is correct.
Mr. MCHUGH. So if you make a change in the time line, you really are making an artificial adjustment in reconfiguring the needs of providing troops in the need to deploy in a wartime.
General SHINSEKI. The CINC had a requirement for a force. I provided that force with another package that could meet the time line, so there was not an adjustment. I provided the force the CINC requested, and moved another element up earlier in the deployment time line and allowed the 10th to have a little bit more time.
Mr. MCHUGH. I heard the click back here. It's like a mother hearing a baby cry.
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Mr. Chairman, if I may, because I think this is an important situation and I am not going to ask for any more time unanimous consent, because there are other members who've been patient here. But I think it's an important issue and it does reflect upon end-strength, which is where I wanted to take this. So with your permission we will submit those for the record.
The CHAIRMAN. That would be fine. Thank you.
Mr. MCHUGH. Thank you.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Snyder.
Mr. SNYDER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Thank you, gentlemen, for being here today. I think you've set a good tone for the work to come in the future. Election Day really will come and go, and then we will come back in January and February, and I think this Committee and the Congress look forward to working on these issues in a bipartisan manner.
Let me just make a few comments, if I might. The book that came out not so long ago, ''This War Really Matters,'' by George Wilson, I think was analyzing the 105th Congress with regard to defense issues. It made the point that, in the QDR process in 1996 and 1997, that the word came down at some point in the process that there was to be no dramatic conclusions, that is was basically to end up to be a status quo report. And Mr. Sisisky has made the point before that it was budget driven, it may have been more just, ''Nothing else, stay within the box.''
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And I think that, as we look ahead, as you outline these needs of the future, I would hope that we are all going to work together to think outside the box in terms of what our defense needs are of the future.
This CBO report that came about is very clear that their comments are about funding needs if we keep the same strategy and the same force structure. And I think we all have to work together. Do we need to change strategy? Is there a different force structure that would work in an era of different wars?
Another point I would make is, I think, as we look ahead to whether we use an additional $30 billion to support this same force structure and strategy or whatever it is, it puts more burden, not only on us, but on you to figure out ways to save dollars and, to be just as candid with yourselves and with us, how to save dollars. Probably the biggest example that we talk about is BRAC. I think that the Air Force has probably been the most insistent that they don't need to have all this excess infrastructure and they could save billions of dollars over the long run, and yet we ignore that part of your candor.
I think you all need to advise us, authorities that you need to help save dollars with, whether it is how we procure things at whatever levels, or whether it is how to move Guard and Reserve forces around. Maybe we don't need C130s and fighters sprinkled all over in other towns; maybe they should be consolidated to other bases. But I think we need to have those kind of candid discussions amongst ourselves and with the American people.
Congress needs to figure out how to do business differently, I think. I think we are too parochial. I think you would probably agreeI won't ask you thatthat we are too parochial. It works if we out-vote each other 434 to 1, but that is not the way it works, and we end up, probably, funding both procurements and bases that we probably don't need.
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I think one of the challenges that we all have together, is the economy we have. I mean, that is the issue of retention and recruitment. I mean, you all don't offer many stock options out there. I mean, you don't have these sweetheart deals that we would all like to have and you all hoping to have after you retire.
It is a very difficult environment for recruiting and retention, and we hope that does not go away. But it is unprecedented in the history of this country, the job that you have to do in this modern era, in terms of recruiting the kind of people you need, and we have to deal with that together.
Finally, the last point I would make is, we talk in terms of national security and armed services, we talk about quality of life, but quality of life is a bigger issue, I think, than just what occurs within the military.
For example, if we also lined up a panel here today of senior citizen advocates and nursing home administrators, and we asked them, ''What are your funding needs for the future?'' they would paint a horror story. Nursing homes are going bankrupt. Well, those home health agencies and nursing homes are taking care of the parents of the men and women that are in uniform today. And we all deal together with hardship requests and hardship discharges to take care of parents. I think that is a national security issue.
Our teaching hospitals are in dire straits. That is a national security issue. We have to have our medical people trained.
Page 121 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Public schools: We have issues of the quality of people that come into the military, and if we lined up school superintendents, ''Is your infrastructure adequate? Do you have the adequate technology to train kids?'' they would, I think, give us horror stories. They need additional dollars over the next decade or two. Yet, that is a national security issue. I think that Dwight Eisenhower made that point in the 1950s with the National Defense Education Act.
But we could go down the line on that. Economic leadership: I think that is part of the Big Three of American leadership in the world: military, diplomatic and economic. Our economic leadership and our status as such a great economy in the world comes from things like R&D tax credit, our investment in schools, our investment in technology and universities. If we lined up our college presidents, they would say, ''We have more need if we are going to maintain that technology edge in the future.''
Those are the kinds of things, I think, that we all have to work on together, not only as a Congress and a military, but also the American people. And what all do we want to do together?
I don't think it is going to turn out to be as simple as, ''Yes, you're right. Let's add an additional $30 billion.'' I think that there are a lot of other needs that are also, indirectly or very directly, national security issues. And I look forward to working with you on those issues. I think you have set an excellent tone.
I also think we need to spend more time on this issue of strategy. We get so focused on a platform or a defense system, we forget about what was it actually to do. We had a staff-well, I won't go into any details.
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But thank you for your service, and we look forward to working with you.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, Mr. Snyder.
Mr. Jones, the gentleman from North Carolina?
Mr. JONES. Thank you very much. Thank you for holding this hearing, which I think is extremely important to the American people. I think the American people really need to be made aware that this is a very unsafe world, and to protect the national security interests of this country, they're going to have to make an investment. Obviously that investment comes through taxes and how we spend the money here in Washington.
I wanted to, somewhat, pursue the line of questioning that Congresswoman Fowler pursued, but dealing with the pilots.
And, Admiral Clark, I would like to ask you this question, then General Ryan and then General Jones.
Do you believe that the Navy aviators are getting enough time in the cockpit, in the air? Yes or no, in your opinion?
Admiral CLARK. The interdeployment training cycle people are challenged.
Page 123 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. JONES. Okay. So I assume the word ''challenged'' means probably no. I don't want to put words in your mouth. No.
Major Ryan, your fighter pilots?
General RYAN. We flew our flying hour program within the Air Force this last year. We will close it out with about 97-plus percent of the flying hours flown that we had programmed.
Some of our units are not getting as much flying as they should get, because of our inability to generate the aircraft because of mission capability rates, but across the Air Force, on the average, we are about 97 percent execution of our flying hour program.
Mr. JONES. Okay.
General JONES. The answer is no.
Mr. JONES. Okay.
General JONES. Primarily due to the fact that we are spending so much time on maintenance and getting parts and trying to keep old airplanes airworthy. We're not going to launch an aircraft that is unsafe.
Page 124 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC So I've got the statistics that I just read. I think the answer is no.
Mr. JONES. Chairman Spence, this is why I brought this up. During my August break, as every member went home, I had two situations to happen. One, I was up in Currituck County, which is in my district at Blackwater Hunting and Training facility, which they train some of our military. There's a contract there as well as men and women that want to practice shooting and so forth.
I met a Tomcat pilot. I will never forget it. I was introduced to him, and we were talking, and I was asking questions, probably to him dumb questions, but questions out of sincere concern about, you know, his life as a Tomcat pilot. And he told meI can't remember the exact figure, but I believe that he was being offered a bonus of $100,000 to stay in for five more years. And he said, ''Congressman, quite frankly, I am getting out.'' He said, ''I am not getting enough time in the cockpit to feel combat-ready to defend this country.''
And I think that, as members of Congress, we have tremendous responsibilities, but I think, as you said, General Jones, it is a tragedy in this country when we cannot afford to have adequate parts and give these pilots the training that they need in the air.
I will always remember that, because I thought it was extremely sad. Here was a man that was a graduate of Annapolis, that wanted to stay in the Navy much longer, but he was going to make the decision, as he said that day, probably to get out.
General Jones, just this past week, there's a fellow down in New Bern named Jack Trabuco-he was an F4 pilot in Vietnam; won the Silver Star because of a night bombing mission-that called me to say, ''Walter, you've got to do something.'' He said, ''I am having Harrier pilots to tell me''-and this is exactly what you just said-''that we are not going to stay in, because we cannot get the training in the cockpit that we need.''
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And I think, as a Congress, to Chairman Spence and Mr. Skelton, we must speak to this issue of our aviators and our pilots, because you gentlemen know much better than I that we have to have a strong Air Force, a strong air for the Marines and our aviators in the Navy.
And I think this is really getting to be where it is a crisis, whether it be because of parts or because of having to shift the monies around and so therefore you're saying to the pilot, ''You don't get this amount of time in the air.''
May I ask you this, and I go back through, how much time do you think is adequate? Or, if you could write the check, how much time would you want that Navy aviator to have in training per month?
Admiral CLARK. I will give you the answer, but I will have to explain something about the comment I made before.
The interdeployment training cycle ramps down and then it ramps up. And we won't deploy them if we don't have the air wing, all of them, in a position that they meet our readiness standard to deploy. So when we are short of flying hours and we are short of parts, we take it away from those that are furthest away from deployment. And that is the person that I am talking about is not getting enough flying.
You know, the standard is drawn on 20 to 25 hours a month. And so when we have a spares problem, that individual that is farthest away from deployment, he is going to suffer to the expense of the individual we are training up. And when we are training them up, they are going to get the priority and they are not deploying without it.
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Mr. JONES. General Ryan.
General RYAN. I have to do it by each of our category by aircraft, how many sorties and flying hours they get. But we are short in many of our categories. I will give you that for the record.
Mr. JONES. Okay.
General JONES. Sir, I associate my answer with those of the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO). As you know, we fly Navy airplanes and so we adhere to Navy standards.
I would just like to make a comment, that I hear a lot of anecdotal stories about young pilots or young crew members of tanks or young officers considering different options, and that is certainly a right of them to do that any time they want along their career.
The five of us that you see at this table, we are the Vietnam generation, for the most part. I remember in 1970, when I was a Reserve officer, making a very difficult decision as to whether I wanted to stay in this career and I did. And I am very glad I did, obviously. I've been through about two or three different Marine Corps in my 34 years, and I am glad I stayed through the evolution of each one.
Page 127 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The message that I would give to that young pilot or crew member or whoever he or she may be is that, ''If you really like what you are doing, and you really like working with people, and you like cohesion, and you like camaraderie, you like doing exciting things, then you ought to have faith in our system, because at every time along the trail that I have walked down, when things got really serious, it was fixed. The question really is, do you have the patience to sit here? Do you have the patience to wait for it?
''And if you are not patient and you don't let the system work, you don't let your leaders advocate your responsibilities and you don't give the time for the Congress to deliberate and make its decision, Administrations to make their case, then you will make a wrong decision and you will regret it.''
So there is great optimism in the system and it is built that way. It is not always as responsive as they might like. They don't always see the parts. But when it gets really serious, it has been my experience that we fixed it. And I am very proud of this system. And my message would be to our young people out there to not jump too quickly. If it is serious, it will be fixed.
Mr. JONES. Mr. Chairman, I thank you.
And I thank each and every one that is on the panel today for your service to this Nation, as well as all the men and women in uniform.
Mr. JONES. Thank you.
Page 128 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Pitts.
Mr. PITTS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And thank you for convening this important hearing today.
And thank the chiefs for their candid testimony.
Following Operation Allied Force over Kosovo last year, we began to recognize some shortfalls in the U.S. Electronic Warfare (EW) capabilities and its importance for maintaining air superiority. And for this reason, we established an EW working group-it is a bipartisan group-to bring more attention to EW, and try to ensure that we don't again forget about EW until it is too late.
And so I have a few questions relating to electronic warfare capabilities, and if you can't answer here, if you will provide the answer for the record, I will give them to you.
First of all, General Ryan, you spoke of the need to maintain experienced airmen. What is the current status or inventory of trained Electronic Warfare Officer (EWOs) in the Air Force? Does the Air Force have an adequate force of experienced or company-grade EWOs? And what attrition rate of EWOs do you expect over, you know, the next five years?
General RYAN. I will give you an exact answer for the record, but our EWO force is aging out. As we came out of the F111 aircraft, as we came out of the F4G aircraft where we heavily used our EWOs, we cut back on our EWO training for a couple of years.
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That probably was a mistake. We should have filled in those years, because we still have a big requirement in terms of expertise in the electronic warfare area.
You can never depend on silver bullets to do one task. Even our stealth aircraft require electronic warfare kinds of techniques to assure that they successfully penetrate the Integrated Air Defense System (IADS).
I will give you an answer for the record, but we are very dependent upon the expertise of these individuals and they are valued members of our Air Force.
Mr. PITTS. Are you doing anything to retain the unique experience of the F4Gs or F111 EWOs?
General RYAN. One of the things that we have been able to doand this applies to some of our specialized pilots and othersis we were given authority to hire, at full rate, back into the Air Force some of our ex-members, so that they didn't have to give up the salary. And that has helped us tremendously with our pilot shortage that we have, and it has also helped us in special skills that we do not have in depth in the Air Force.
Mr. PITTS. Recognizing the crucial importance of self-protection jammers, such as the F15 LQ135 and the F16 LQ131, and the role they play in protecting our aircraft and our air crews, have you been able to properly fund related EW procurement and sustainment accounts to ensure that we maintain and fully deploy these important capabilities? And if not, could you speak to the amount of funding required to ensure that we do procure these systems at economic rates, deploy them, you know, at an operationally necessary pace and sustain them properly?
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General RYAN. The answer is we do not. We have not had enough funding to do that adequately.
We had, within the Air Force, an electronic warfare summit where we looked at our electronic warfare needs, from requirements through execution, and we laid out areas where we have to put much more emphasis on that start all the way up in the front end with collection, so that you know the threats and new emerging threats out there and to rapidly get that into our electronic warfare area.
So the answer is no. And I will provide you the amount of unfunded requirements for the record.
Mr. PITTS. Thank you.
General Shelton, missile warning systems are a critical component of automatic Infrared (IR) countermeasures, both laser-directed and expendable decoys. Without missile warning systems, a pilot must visually acquire a missile in flight, relying on a wingman to give him a warning call. The small size and the extremely short time in flight of modern threat systems, like the SA10 and 20s, leave very little time to acquire a threat and react.
Service withdrawal from the Common Missile Warning System program, which is admittedly over budget and behind schedule, will delay the fielding of this critical component. How does the withdrawal of the Common Missile Warning System affect our pilots' ability to combat threat systems? And have the services evaluated any replacements?
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General SHELTON. I will provide you with an answer for the record for that.
Mr. PITTS. All right.
And finally, regarding this two MTW question, Admiral, the EA6Bs are a very important part of providing air superiority, and could you give the Committee your evaluation on this aging EA6B force EW capability? Could we fully support the two MTW strategy?
Admiral CLARK. It is well documented, our heavy use of the EA6B during Kosovo operations and every operation that we've ever been in. This is a critical part of the way we go engage.
The apportionment of assets is always a decision that is made and recommendation is made to the secretary, and I defer that to the chairman to talk about that, because that is always what happens, is the request comes in from the CINC and then the resources are apportioned. I would say that the operational plans are drawn and the resources are currently apportioned in a way that will deal with the problem.
The aging situation that you address is another item entirely. And so now we are talking about the Mission Capable/Fully Mission Capable (MC/FMC) rate and their ability to be ready.
Page 132 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Of course, the Congress has directed an analysis of alternatives on this platform to address the future and committed funds so that that kind of examination can go forward. And clearly the EA6B is a high-demand low-density asset, and one that is closely monitored by the military leadership. A replacement will be required in the future, and that is what the analysis of alternatives is about.
And that is about the extent that I can go into in unclassified, and if you would like, we can provide more information for you.
General SHELTON. I would just add one comment to that, Congressman, and that is, as you know, as a result to the additional funding from Congress in the Kosovo supplemental, we added an additional squadron, because it is one of our low-density high-demands, and, obviously, has been used very heavily in recent years.
Mr. PITTS. Mr. Chairman, I have some other questions, but I will submit them for the record.
The CHAIRMAN. That'll be good.
Mr. PITTS. Thank you very much.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Kuykendall? I am sorry, Mr. Hayes came in.
Page 133 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. HAYES. I think he's been here all along, Mr. Chairman. Do you want to let him go first?
The CHAIRMAN. Whatever you decide.
Mr. HAYES. That would seem fair. Come back to me.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Kuykendall?
Mr. KUYKENDALL. Thank you very much.
Gosh, you sit here and you run up a whole list of things you want to ask you guys about if you wait this long as I do for questions. We can start a whole debate all over.
A couple of things in particular, and I am just going to piggyback on the back of what you have heard from several others.
This question of Vieques and training on the East Coast and getting combat-ready forces has got to be addressed, and it has got to be addressed very forcefully and very quickly. Because we continue to deploy carrier battle groups and ARGs, and they go to Kosovo, and they go to the Persian Gulf, and they fly combat missions the day they leave. And they aren't ready. They aren't being allowed to drop enough live ammunition before they deploy so that they are prepared to do it.
And I don't know how they answer is, but I am prepared and I think there are others, and I don't know whether we can carry the House or not, but that issue is very, very critical to the forces in the field that we have right now. And I think I just want to reiterate how important that is.
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One thing no one has touched on, and it is in two different areas, from the Air Force side, I wonder, did you give us any lists of how many satellites you need to buy and how many rocket launchers you need to put them in space versus how many planes? Because, quite frankly, we talk a whole lot here about C17s and fighters, and we don't talk squat about, how many lift rockets do you need? How many satellites do you have to put up? How many new engineers do you need to be able to man those squadrons of satellites that you put in the air?
Because, quite frankly, the Air Force is the force that provides that to everybody. And whether it is the Army, Navy or the Marines, they all have to rely upon your capability to get them in the air. And I would like some comment on where do you think you are in that aspect of it?
The second thing, for the Navy, we don't often hear you talk about your maritime lift capabilities, because it is not a destroyer, it is not an amphib ship, and we fight a lot over the ones that are going to haul the Marines and I think we are short in that category and probably don't have enough ships for your actual direct naval forces.
I am concerned we are short of national maritime lift, and I would like your comments on that, and I would like that to, kind of, be a normal thing you would brief us on regularly as just part of your normal readiness position: Do you have the ability to lift heavy forces? Because that is what the Army is, and as they transform, they have still got to be hauled by ship, not by an airplane.
So those two areas are ones that I would like to have some comments on.
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And, finally, I will reiterate another point people have made. This future threat question, we aren't going to fight the same war in the future we have fought the last 10 years. That is just not going to happen. They are going to come after us with computers, they are going to come after us with weapons of mass destruction, it is going to be against our homeland, it is going to be so many different scenarios that we won't talk very often about. And if any of you want to make any comments about that, I would like this Committee to be more engaged in that future threat assessment, and if we have to do that in classified sessions-probably is where we need to do that, in classified sessions.
But to me that is an important issue, because I am afraid we will go down the wrong track, buying too many of this airplane and not enough of this ship, or too many of this sub and not enough of that, without understanding these threat environment we are in as closely as we do.
So maritime and space are the two things I would like to hear a little bit about.
General RYAN. I will begin on the space side.
We do have recapitalization issues in space. But our space systems, by design and the amount of redundancy we put in to them, are our most ready forces, because they have to be there all the time, and it is very hard to go up and get them and bring them back to depot and fix them. So we have funded our space systems, quite honestly, in this budget environment to make sure that we have recapitalized and we have a recapitalization plan in every one of our space areas.
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We have shifted our basic research from about 13 percent in space, over this next plan, to almost 35 percent of our basic research will be done for space systems. We have invested heavily in the expended launch vehicles that are coming on board that will help us make sure we get payloads to orbit much more cheaply than we do today.
And we have a program for almost every one of the space systems out there on the books, whether it is Space-Based Infrared System (SBIRS) for IR or the follow-on navigation satellites for Global Positioning System (GPS).
So we have funded that very well, because all of us depend on those capabilities, whether com or anything else, to execute military operations.
Mr. KUYKENDALL. You know, on that subject, just briefly, I also want everybody to understand, the Air Force, I know, sometimes feel like they got to pay for this service and everybody else gets to use it. And I don't like having any fights over that aspect of it. I would just as soon have the Air Force put the best plan up there and all of you feel free to use it.
So if you have got any problems about trying to sort out who is paying and who is using, let's get those on the table and get them dealt with rather than having that be a debate over where the money is going to get put.
General RYAN. There is no Title 10 authority that says the United States Air Force is in charge of space programs, but we have stepped up to it because we think it is the important thing to do. There is some funding of those kinds of systems that we need to look at in the future because of the cost of them, when we are providing a utility, that those who use it should pay. But we will work our way through that in the future.
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The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, Mr. Kuykendall.
Mr. HAYES. Thank you all for your patience. I know you have been sitting a long time and I appreciate you being here.
I particularly, in reviewing your testimony, appreciate the candor with which you approached the written testimony. I am a little bit concerned that, perhaps, there was not quite that level of candor in some of the answers to the questions from the Committee, specifically the $58 billion question. The answer is no, without that we would not have had the readiness and preparedness that we need.
And I come at this from the troops' standpoint. I enjoy working with the military and appreciate their can-do attitude. And when I go into the field, as I do quite often, particularly at Fort Bragg and Pope Air Force Base, I am astounded. ''Whatever you give us, we will do it.'' And that is great.
But unfortunately, the culture in our society today is not preparing young men and women for that kind of commitment. Fortunately, the military is breaching that gap, but we've got to make sure that we are ready. Because, as a retired sergeant major told me in Fayetteville just last week, we don't want our men and women in a fair fight. We don't want them in a fair fight. Major theater of war one and two, we want to be superior in every aspect, because that, oftentimes, will keep the conflict from happening in the beginning.
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So when I talk to the troops, whether it's at Fort Bragg, whether it's at Parris Island, I am amazed and proud of what you all are doing in taking young men and women and turning them into soldiers, into great Americans, into patriots.
But my question then becomes, how can we-because this Committee's done a great job today, Mr. Chairman, in getting at the point. And I think Mr. Ortiz summed it up very well. We're here to do everything that we can to make sure that the men and women that you command have the assets and the training so that they can perform. And part of that performance level, a big part, is prevention.
So what can we do, as a Committee, to make sure, in your opinion, that we are never subjecting those men and women to a fair fight? If we have a very, very bad scenario, I don't know if it is appropriate to name names, but just think of two major enemies in the Far East, two major enemies in the other direction get together-and certainly they are capable of using their own thought processes to create as many problems for us as they can. Again, what can we, as a Committee, do to make sure that you have the assets and the training and the weapons?
And let me say one more thing. I just read Sam Johnson's book about how he had to fly combat missions. Not only did he have the wrong ordnance for the missions that he flew, but he only had half a load. I don't ever want to be a part of putting our men and women in the sky, on the ground, or at sea in that kind of scenario. What can we do, as a Committee, to make sure that doesn't ever happen again?
General SHELTON. Congressman Hayes, I will take the first shot at your question, and say, first of all, thanks for your comments and we all certainly agree with you that we've got the finest force in the world. And they are very mission oriented and very can-do. And as I have testified earlier today and before this Committee, we always want to make sure that we not only don't have a fair fight, but that we've got an over-match; that we over-match them in both theaters if we have got to fight in two different theaters.
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The thing that we have got to do is to ensure that the funding gets us into a position that we can recapitalize the force, and that we, in fact, can modernize this force, so that when we do put our great men and women in harm's way, that we, in fact, are doing it with the latest in technology, which gives us part of that over-match, gives us those capabilities that make sure that it is not a fair fight.
And the message that I think all of us have been trying to send today is that, with our current $60 billion procurement budget right now, that is not allowing us to recapitalize at a rate that will keep the force from continuing to age, and therefore require more and more of our O&M dollars, and dollars that could be going into procurement, to go into fixing these old systems; and require greater workload on the backs of our men and women to try to repair them; and to increase numbers of parts that have to be provided for them.
And at the same time, with the $60 billion, we are not even addressing those long-term procurement issues that are coming up: the replacement, the DD21, the Joint Strike Fighter, the F22, et cetera. So it clearly is in the resources issue for the future.
When you try to put the exact dollar amount on that right now, how many billion dollars will it take, I think that we will have a much better figure and a firmer figure as we come out of the QDR 2001 that we are going into the process of right now, the new Administration will be faced with that early on.
To look at our strategy, look at the requirements for force structure to carry out that strategy, which in turn will drive the resources, and that is going to tell us a pretty, I think, specific figure that will be needed to allow us to maintain a healthy force and get it back up to where we are probably recapitalizing the current force.
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Mr. HAYES. General Jones, you have had most success. Numbers have big bearing on this in terms of recruitment. We spent a lot of time in the spring, in Concord in the 8th District, with a massive, very effective recruiting program in which all the services participated. And, unfortunately, all the young men and women don't get a chance to see what an incredible career is available to them in the military. You were doing some innovative things and, again, that is something that this Committee is going to be very helpful in causing to happen.
My question is, come back to me and the Committee in the future and tell us what the numbers are, to get us enough ammunition, get us enough gas so that our pilots are ready, get us enough ships so we can go where we need to go, and make sure that we have got the health care and the housing that our young men and women need. So when we go out with the latest and greatest in the recruiting forces, we have got something that backs you up and not just some great history, some great patriots, which is important, but something we can say, ''The freedom of the country is on your shoulders, and we are prepared to make sure that you can do what we need to make this and keep this the greatest country on Earth.''
So if you get that number that would be helpful.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, Mr. Hayes.
Page 141 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you very much.
Thank you for your testimony and thank you very much for your patience.
How many levels of risk are there when you are defining a risk relative to a war to readiness?
General SHELTON. We've got no risk, low risk, moderate risk and high risk.
Mr. BARTLETT. Okay.
So we are already admitting that we are not as ready as we could be, because all of you have indicated that the risk for a first war is moderate risk; is that correct?
General SHELTON. That is correct.
Mr. BARTLETT. If we were more ready, it could be low risk and it is not.
Now, I understand also that this risk is a euphemism for saying that the less ready we are the more of our young people get killed; is that not correct?
General SHELTON. That is correct.
Page 142 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. BARTLETT. Okay.
General SHELTON. I mean, it also can equate to terrain lost, lives lost, et cetera.
Mr. BARTLETT. Of course. Equipment lost.
General SHELTON. Yes, sir.
Mr. BARTLETT. Yes, sir. Okay.
All of our potential enemies now have missiles, I think, and many of them have and all of them will have or could have shortly at least a crude nuclear device. If in the theater an enemy was to take even a Scud launcher and put a crude nuclear weapon on it, it launches straight up and detonated at high altitude, say, 100 miles or so, that would produce an Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) laydown that would not hurt a single person or visually, physically damage any piece of equipment, but it would fry all unprotected microelectronics. If an enemy were to do that, how much of your war-fighting capability would remain?
It is my understanding that many of our new weapons systems procurements are waiving EMP hardening; that we have only two satellites that would survive an EMP laydown, the two Milstar satellites; that all the others would decay very rapidly; they would be taken out either by prompt effects or decay very rapidly because of pumped up Van Allen belts. How much of our military fighting capability would remain after an EMP laydown?
Page 143 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General SHELTON. Congressman Bartlett, I think, to stay out of the classified arena, we will provide you an answer for the record for that question.
Mr. BARTLETT. Let me just follow on by saying that I think that it is a reasonable assumption that any sophisticated enemy could do us no more harm with a nuclear weapon.
That arguably wouldn't even be the use of a nuclear weapon, because that is arguably simply sophisticated cyber-warfare, isn't it? Since not a single person is hurt, nor a single piece of equipment appears to be physically damaged, and yet all microelectronics are destroyed by that.
I think that it is fairly obvious that if we have unprotected microelectronics, that little of our war-fighting capability would remain.
I have heard the scenario that North Korea, if they were to do this-and they have the capability of doing it, certainly-that each of our 30,000-some people below the border, which now are more than a match for their million people, that they would really level the playing field and tilt it conspicuously in their direction if they were to do just this.
I am concerned that if we waive EMP hardening, that we are setting ourselves up for an eventual very bad situation, because I cannot imagine a sophisticated enemy not understanding-and it is, you know, in Tom Clancy's books. It is in TV scenarios. You know, it is on the front page of the New York Times. This is not some black secret we are talking about here. I think that everybody who cares to know about this knows about this.
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But I am concerned that, in our desire to get more weapons systems, that we are waiving EMP hardening and setting ourselves up for a very difficult situation.
In the future, Mr. Chairman, I would suggest that we did have a classified session on this so that we can talk about it and see where we are and what we need to do to get where we ought to be, because I don't think today we are where we ought to be relative to this.
Thank you very much.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Chambliss.
Mr. CHAMBLISS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
And gentlemen, let me just say that each and every one of you five folks and all of those folks out there behind you that are in uniform are real heroes. And you are what helps make this country the great country that it is, and allows us to continue to live under that great flag of freedom and democracy.
And I know you are very dedicated and you are very loyal to this country, and you are willing to risk your life to make sure that freedom and democracy prevails, but I guess what I have never been able to understand about the position that you hold is the political aspect of it. I know there is certain folks that you owe your job to and you have to respond to, but I just don't understand why you can come in here time and again and not ask for more than what you ask for, very honestly, when you sit here and you tell us some of the things that you have told us today.
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And it is not new. We have heard it every year that I have been here for six years. And that is that, ''Whatever you give us, we are going to make do with.'' And frankly, I don't think that ought to be good enough, from a budgetary standpoint. And I hope I have got a lot more to say about the budget next year than I have had to say in the last six years.
But, you know, when you look at the real state of readiness and the fact that every year we have had to plus-up, basically, the budget that you all or your predecessors have had to defend, has really been a deplorable situation.
I think this tells the story right here: Your own chart, General Shelton. I mean, you look at what is happened since 1993. Prior to that we had some peaks and valleys in the procurement aspect with just these four areas. But we have been in a bathtub since 1993, and it really is a deplorable state that I think we are in from this standpoint.
And General Ryan, we don't even have air mobility up here and I would hate to see what it would look like. But it would be really, again, a deplorable situation.
And you know, Admiral Clark, you talk about the fact that we are 318 ships short.
Admiral CLARK. Excuse me, I have only got 318 ships and we need more ships.
Mr. CHAMBLISS. And I concur with you 100 percent that if you say you need them, I know you need them. But, gee whiz, the last count I heard, you were some 11,000 sailors short to give a full complement to what you have got right now. And what in the world would we do to fill up those ships?
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General Ryan, I know we are some 1,100 to 1,200 pilots short in the Air Force right now. We have got real problems out there with recruiting as well as retention.
And I don't understand why you aren't in here just screaming and raising Cain about the fact that we have got some 3,500 to 5,000 troops that serve under you that are on food stamps today. And if that doesn't affect readiness, I don't know what in the world does. Not just those families that are on food stamps, but folks that know they are on food stamps.
And I will have to say to Congressman Buyer and Congressman Taylor, they have worked tirelessly over the last few years with you to reduce that number down to the 3,500 to 5,000, whatever that number is. But I think that exhibits a real state of condition about readiness.
And, you know, we have got to look at this thing not just from the top down, not just from a weapons system standpoint, but from the bottom up, too. And the morale of your troops out there-I don't have to tell you all this, you all know, it's not what it ought to be. It is not good. And we have got to do some thing to try to make it better. And we have tried to improve the quality of life for you folks.
General Ryan, you know, I visit Robins constantly, and we are doing a lot of things to make housing better. We're giving them more recreational opportunities, we are giving them more pay, we are trying to do better with health care, but we are still not doing all that all of us know we need to do.
Page 147 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And I really am bothered by the fact that, year after year, that you folks who are the leaders-and I am not picking on you, because it is your predecessors too, other than General Krulack, who would come in here and really just not stand up and give us the devil for not giving you more than what we give you.
Congressman Sisisky alluded to this a little bit. We can't put all the blame on you. Some of it is on Congress. But when you have got an Administration that we have brought to this point kicking and screaming, I think anybody who stands up and tries to defend this Administration, from a defense perspective, is being ludicrous.
And I just want to say that I think wherever we go in the next budgetary process, we have got some real soul-searching to do.
And, General Shelton, I want to compliment you and some of the folks who are here-General Ryan, I know was there. I guess none of the other three were-but when last Fall you did go to the White House and you did make a sales pitch for an increase in the defense budget. And I think you were realistic. In my opinion, you didn't ask for enough. You weren't down there with enough of an asking price. But you did a good job, I think, in making the Administration aware of some serious problems we have got out there.
But as we go into the next budget process, I think these readiness problems, in addition to procurement and in addition to all the other issues we have got, we have got to address these things. And we have got to get a game plan.
And I think that game plan has got to be in the form of a road map that we know we are not going to be able to cure in the short term. We're not going to be able to do it in one year or two years. But I think that everybody on this Committee, in a bipartisan fashion, is going to be ready and willing to sit down with you folks and let's develop that road map and let's see where we go. Because we are not near where we need to be, both from a standpoint of readiness, from OPTEMPO, from any other aspect that we want to look at it.
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Now that I have given my sermon, gentlemen, let me ask my question.
General Shinseki, as you transform the Army, situational awareness becomes a key element in how you fight and protect the force. How do you intend to use the Joint Star system to support the new brigade combat team? And in this regard, is the Joint Requirements Oversight Council (JROC) requirement of 19 aircraft enough to meet your present and future requirements?
General SHINSEKI. Congressman, I apologize to you.
Mr. CHAMBLISS. And, General Ryan, if you want to
General SHINSEKI. You asked the question how does the gold star, did you say?
Mr. CHAMBLISS. Joint Stars.
General SHINSEKI. Joint Stars.
Mr. CHAMBLISS. And, General Ryan, if you want to jump into that also please, sir.
General SHINSEKI. It is part of our situational awareness requirement to, in fact, provide us that visibility of the threat as we execute our war plans. We do have a requirement.
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Mr. CHAMBLISS. What about the JROC figure of 19 aircraft? Is that going to meet your future needs?
General SHINSEKI. I will come back to you, if I could, on the exact number. I believe that that is a full requirement, but I believe that there's discussion about
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Chambliss, could let him answer those for the record, if you could?
Mr. CHAMBLISS. Sure.
The CHAIRMAN. We're pushing the time line here and got some more people who want to
Mr. CHAMBLISS. Certainly.
General SHINSEKI. I will provide that for the record.
The CHAIRMAN. And other questions you might have too, to the others? Mr. Chambliss, do you have any more questions of the others they can answer?
Mr. CHAMBLISS. No, sir.
Page 150 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General Ryan, if you want to put any answer on the record for that, too, it would be fine.
General RYAN. Right. I will answer for the record on the Joint Stars.
Mr. CHAMBLISS. And I have another question I will submit for the record, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. All right. Do that please.
Mr. HOSTETTLER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
And appreciate the patience of you gentlemen and admire your endurance today.
General Ryan, if I could ask you, on September 20, 2000, USA Today reported in its lead story, ''Air Force Chief of Staff General Michael Ryan has told Congress that lengthy delays in security clearance investigations have put at risk critical Air Force programs, including one that assures the reliability of personnel who support President Clinton in Air Force One.'' The report went on to say, ''Ryan also said that delays have had an adverse impact on the nuclear weapons program. 'Without current investigations,' he wrote Congress, 'we cannot ensure the reliability of personnel who perform such critical duties.' ''
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General Ryan, as you know, your response was made to a question that I posed for the record as a result of your appearance in February. The report went on to say, in USA Today, that there were comments from the Air Force, not from you, but that your comments are outdated at this point. Are these comments that I just gave outdated?
General RYAN. I made those comments, in response to your question, back in February.
Since that time there has been progress made in the backlog that we have in security clearances. General Cunningham, who is running that program, has really taken on an aggressive approach to it, and it looks like we are starting to get our nose back above the horizon here and catching back up.
What happens to us in the human reliability area is that if we can't get our folks cleared we can't use them in their Air Force Specialty Code (AFSC) that they have been trained to until that occurs.
General Cunningham is very aware of that and he's working through an issue that has taken a long time to get there, and it is going to take us a while to get out of it, too.
Mr. HOSTETTLER. With that in mind, taking the time to get us out, the comment that programs are at risk, is that still relevant today? Even with the reduction in backlog, are there programs such as the nuclear weapons program and Air Force One?
Page 152 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General RYAN. I wouldn't say that those programs are at risk now, no.
Mr. HOSTETTLER. Not today. Okay.
General Shinseki, if I can ask you a question. On September 25, the Washington Times reported, in a front-page story, that, ''A confidential study of Army officers' career hopes had revealed deep frustration with their senior leaders in peacekeeping assignments. More than two-thirds of officers''-and that is what the report says-''more than two-thirds of officers in a survey sample agreed with the statement, 'I see no possibility for continued job satisfaction in the Army.'
''Job satisfaction is down across the officer corps''-the report followed-''operational tempo, micromanagement and not adhering to training doctrine are the major factors causing job dissatisfaction among the officer corps''-the Army report said.
Could you tell me, General, if these comments are valid? Have you had an opportunity to see that report at this point?
General SHINSEKI. I have not seen the report. I don't doubt that there's validity to some of the specific examples. The study is our study. It's a study I commissioned. I wanted to get a reading of where the force was on a variety of issues.
This is about training and the development of leaders for the transformation force that I have been describing here for the last year, and, with great support from this Committee, been able to get some momentum for the Army's future transformation. This effort was to understand where we were in training and then developing leaders today for that future force.
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I don't doubt that some of these comments are accurate as reported. It's my understanding that, of the four work groups that we have in this endeavor, one work group, this one in particular, had some comments like that.
I have not seen the report. I expect to have it here in the next month or so.
Mr. HOSTETTLER. General, I want to applaud you for the courage to do such a report. I am not so sure that these type of comments would not be uniform among the various branches. And I really commend you for doing this, because this is a real tough look in the mirror that the Army has taken on that you have commissioned to do.
And these comments, I think, do not speak at all to the ability of the Army to do the job that we have tasked you to do, but rather the job that we should be tasked by, according to the Constitution, and that the executive branch should do every time we ask them to look at budgetary requirements for the upcoming years.
So, in conclusion, I just want to say thank you to you gentlemen for your endurance and patience and your stamina today. Thank you for your service. And remember that this Committee always stands ready to help you defend our freedoms. And please feel free to tell us whatever you need to do that, regardless of what the Commander in Chief may say from time to time that you need, because we want to know from you what you need to fight and win major theater wars.
Thank you very much.
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The CHAIRMAN. Ms. Sanchez.
Ms. SANCHEZ. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I want to begin by thanking you gentlemen for staying here until this evening with respect to what we are asking. I really don't want to make any speeches, I want to get directly to some of the questions. But I do want to put, for the record, because I heard one of my colleagues, Mr. Kuykendall, talk to you about maybe bringing this Vieques issue to the House, and I would caution you to do that. As a Hispanic, it is never a good idea to bomb Hispanics, especially those who we consider to be American citizens and who don't have a vote in this Congress.
So I would just caution that I think we are trying to work this issue outside of the political context that we would find ourselves in the House.
You know, readiness is really a culmination of everything, personnel, procurement, research and development, so that we can make sure that we have the technology that allows our forces to be stronger. And we have worked very hard on the issues of personnel.
When I was out in Kosovo and Bosnia, General Meade alluded to the fact that our reenlistment rate is much higher when our service people are actually in a situation, in a deployment. So while the OPTEMPO might be more and we are deploying troops certainly, is it true? Have you continued to notice that reenlistment increases when our troops are actually in the field?
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And I guess I will give that to Chief Shelton.
General SHELTON. Congresswoman Sanchez, what we have found, I think, is that any place that the troops feel like they are making a great contribution, where they are contributing to the U.S. national interest, where they feel good about what they are doing, the reenlistment rates are up. And, of course, in a lot of these areas they have that feeling, and you can sense it when you are there with them, as I am sure you did.
And it also, of course, helps that there's also a tax advantage associated with that in these theaters. And so, if they happen to fall into one, that is a very convenient time to do it.
But overall, I would tell you, not only overseas and in deployments, but even in units within CONUS, I know of units that have a very, very high OPTEMPO, but where the morale is great and where the reenlistment is not an issue.
Ms. SANCHEZ. Great.
I have another question. One colleague talked about cannibalization of parts. Now, you know, my brother used to be a marine, so he used to tell me all the horror stories of all that going on, and he has not been in for about four years, but I know at every base that I go to and everybody that I talk to, when I meet somebody on a plane who, you know, happens to be an avionics person in the military, and I ask them the question of this, and most of them have indicated that that no longer happens. Now, one of my colleagues brought it up today.
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Is that or is that not happening out in the field?
General SHELTON. I will let the service chiefs comment on their respective services, but, in fact, there are still shortages of parts in the field. One of the things about this big machine known as the Department of Defense is that, when there is a shortage of funding and it starts to set in, your readiness rate start down and then you add money to it, it takes a long time to turn it around, or as we say to get it leveled off and then to start it back up. The lead time on some of the parts is up to two years; 12 to 18 months is kind of the norm, once you have the money appropriated.
And so, even with the fiscal year 1999 and the Kosovo supplemental, it just takes time for these
Ms. SANCHEZ. For ramp up.
General SHELTON. pipelines to catch up.
General RYAN. Congressman, I would just add that we make a great effort, at least in my service, to put as much funding for repair parts into units, because we understand when we deploy there is a certain amount of time that we will have to subsist off that investment until our national supply lines get linked up.
For the most part, we do that. But I would say that always in that pipeline there is going to be a shortfall in repair parts. And so, there is an unfinanced piece of this.
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I think, at least in my service, this business of cross-leveling parts does occur. We don't like it. It doesn't occur as frequently as might be suggested, but if there is a place in my service where it occurs, it would be in the aviation field.
Ms. SANCHEZ. And that really brings me to an issue that I, obviously, have worked on quite a bit, the Joint Strike Fighter, and this whole issue of interchangeability and parts inventory coming down and operation of such an aircraft. This Committee made a decision to delay development of that, which is probably about a $50 million additional cost, and more importantly delay of operational deployment.
For those three services that are going to be using the Joint Strike Fighter, if and when we get it on-line, what does this delay mean to you, in particular when I am looking at this chart that shows, you know, that our TACAIR is going away from us? And I guess that would be to the Marines, the Navy and the Air Force.
General JONES. The significance of the Joint Strike Fighter is absolutely essential.
I will let the CNO and the Chief of Staff of the Air Force speak to their requirements. But for the Marine Corps, we made a calculated gamble that we could take a leap in technology and not buy an interim aircraft to replace our AV8Bs and ultimately the F18s.
I am very excited about the potential of the Joint Strike Fighter, not only because of what it will do for our three services, because it will be state-of-the-art technology, but also, apart from a war-fighting standpoint, it is really an aircraft that allies are standing in line, right now, to buy. And so, for the industrial base, it is a significant boost and will guarantee our technological superiority and supremacy in developing this type of aircraft. And it is fundamentally important to the tactical aviation community of the United States Marine Corps.
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Ms. SANCHEZ. Have you calculated what type of a delay that means to you with this past year's decision to delay?
General JONES. The delay is not unacceptable in the sense that it is going to be years. We are talking about months right now.
But this gets to, probably, a broader discussion about we have simply got to acquire new technology more efficiently and make the investment up front and the commitment up front and keep that unit cost down, and not keep sliding things to the right, which is, unfortunately, something that we do across the board in too many systems, in my opinion.
General RYAN. The United States Air Force is buying the majority of the Joint Strike Fighter. It is our replacement aircraft for both the A10 and the F16. It is the only alternative right now for those aircraft.
And as in most programs, we want to make sure, as best we can, that this program does not slip to the right, that we don't encumber it too much with too many stringent requirements that don't allow us to produce the airplane and get it in the field.
We need it. We can't stand slips in that program.
Ms. SANCHEZ. Right.
Admiral CLARK. We need Joint Strike Fighter and we need it for the reasons you cited in the early part of your statement and question: our cannibalization rates. Joint Strike Fighter is going to have a dramatically improved reliability and maintainability profile. That is exactly what we need so we don't have the kind of problems that we are facing with this aging force.
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So I align myself with the statement of my cohorts here and specifically with regard to the slips and the acceptability thereto.
Ms. SANCHEZ. Great. I would just remind you all we can build it a lot cheaper in California. So I hope you will agree to do a study that shows that.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes, ma'am.
Mr. WELDON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I just have one final question, and this is going to be an unusual question.
We're in the middle of a Presidential campaign and a congressional campaign. All of us are running for reelection, or most of us, and there are a lot of candidates running. I am not happy with either party, because I don't think either party is focusing enough time on our national security, the status of our military, the quality of life of our troops, the need to fully fund deployments.
I am not going to ask you to endorse anybody here today, so you don't have to worry about that. But I want you to take off your uniforms for a moment and as a civilian, as a citizen of this country, not as the commander that you are here in that capacity, are you satisfied with the level of debate and discourse in this year's campaigns in a general way, by both parties, on national security issues,and the status of our military? Or do you think, as a citizen of America, which you are, that perhaps both parties should, perhaps, focus more time on our military and the current situation that we are in?
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General Shelton, do you want to start?
General SHELTON. I think, Congressman Weldon, that national security is one of the most important issues for America, certainly for all the reasons we have outlined here today: what it does for us, not only our economic prosperity, but also providing for the defense of our citizens.
As such, I think also it is very important that national security receives bipartisan support. And again someone mentioned this Committee has been very bipartisan in that regard, and for that we are grateful.
And so the more that it is debated, I think the better off we are. But again I think, from a standpoint of bipartisan support, not to try to take it down, I mean to not support it.
Mr. WELDON. Well, that is my question. It is not to ask you to choose sides. It is to say, as individual citizens, whether or not you think the national discourse in this country, one month before a major election, is adequately dealing with the issues of our military and national security.
I want you to honest. I don't want you to support one party or the other, or one candidate or the other. Because I agree with you: Both parties need to focus on this issue. I am not satisfied with either party, my party or the other party, and I am asking you as citizens, are you satisfied?
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General SHINSEKI. I would welcome a larger debate on national security in a bipartisan context.
Mr. WELDON. When you speak, everyone that is listening to you in this body and around the country, then, perhaps, will demand of their candidates for office, from both parties, perhaps, that the chiefs think there should be more discussion and discourse on national security. Not to say you are choosing sides, because I agree with you, General Shelton, and all of our successes have been bipartisan here, and we are the first to acknowledge that.
Admiral CLARK. I don't think I can take off my uniform. What I say is going to come from the CNO.
But I align with General Shinseki's remarks completely as the CNO, and that is that our Nation will profit from this debate, and the items that you discuss-it is not just whether we are going to have particular systems, but it is going to be what is the role of the military going to be in the future? And in an era of globalization, do you want a military that is strong enough to affect events around the world in an economic way so that the corporate structures of America are willing to go invest throughout the world?
I believe that is the kind of a debate we have to have, and I say that as the CNO.
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Mr. WELDON. General.
General RYAN. I agree that nonpartisan debate on this issue is absolutely vital.
We have laid out today, I think, some of the huge challenges for our services and for the Nation, not just in what needs to be done, but how do we fund those capabilities so that we assure the prosperity of this Nation for the future.
Mr. WELDON. Yet every poll shows that national security is down at the bottom, and that is why I am asking you the question.
I didn't give you a chance, General. What is your feeling?
General JONES. Well, I will keep my uniform on in answering the question. But I have tried in my testimony-this is my second appearance before the Committee-to suggest that more needs to be done in the way of education from the standpoint-I am talking about education at the grassroots level-from the standpoint of what it is men and women in uniform do for this country. And I think we have taken it, not for granted, but we have just, kind of, assumed that they are always going to be there.
I do a lot of public speaking to corporate groups and captains of industry, and I ask them to imagine a world where a battle group isn't present or there is not a U.S. Army base nearby or an air base and how that would affect their opportunities to enter the global markets. I mean, there is clearly a value for us, the most powerful nation on Earth, the one whose armed forces are welcome virtually throughout the world.
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For the last 50 years, where Americans have engaged, there has been peace generally, stability, opportunity for growth, expansion of democracy, and our cultural influence has been felt. This is good. This is something that the world welcomes. Where we have not been fully engaged we have had various forms of chaos.
And so, at the very fundamental, grassroots level, we need to do a better job in articulating what we do. And that is why I try to make the distinction between using the word do we need more for defense or do we need more for national security?
The word ''defense'' implies the high-end stakes. Are you going to get into a war and are you going to win? That is certainly the most important thing. But 90 percent of our time is devoted to doing other things: training, presence, engagement, shaping. And those kinds of things are hard to quantify in the electorate, but they are so fundamentally important, I guarantee they'll know it when they don't have it.
Mr. WELDON. Thank you.
Thank you, Duncan.
Mr. HUNTER. [presiding] Thank you very much, Mr. Weldon.
I have just another question for you, General Shelton. Have you got this resource increases chart-could we put that back up if that is around?-that shows the resource increases?
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General Shelton, I will bet you get some of the same type of mail I get. You ever get this mail that comes from these mail houses like Reader's Digest where you get a check with your name on it and it's got, ''$1 million-pay to the order of General Shelton: $1 million''? And it looks pretty good, and then you look at the condition and it says, ''if your number is drawn.''
General SHELTON. Always.
Mr. HUNTER. You get that.
I want you to look at the chart you showed us. That chart isn't money that we have got. That chart, if you look down at the bottom, says ''Through fiscal year 2007.'' That means that is money that, presumably, will be paid to the U.S. military, to buy equipment, pay people and buy military construction, if some future President, who hasn't been selected, makes a budget proposal to a Congress, that hasn't been elected, and in the end everyone agrees to pay that money.
That money is simply a proposal isn't it?
General SHELTON. In the out years, yes. It's in the five-year defense plan.
Mr. HUNTER. Well, then, let's explain to the American people, in the out-years means something that hasn't happened yet. That means the future, doesn't it?
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General SHELTON. But it also includes the money that has been given to us by Congress
Mr. HUNTER. Yes, but if that is fiscal year 1999
General SHELTON [continuing]. And proposed by the Administration.
Mr. HUNTER [continuing]. Through 2007, you have got the majority of that is in the future; is that right?
General SHELTON. It would be, yes.
Mr. HUNTER. So, you know, we just talked about the fact that the American people don't seem to be too concerned about defense. One reason they are not concerned about defense is because I think we are lax in telling them about the inadequacies.
I think the average American, looking at that pie today thinks, ''Well, that is good. We have got that.'' In fact, you referred in your remarks to, ''That is money that we have got,'' or, ''That is money that is forthcoming.''
That money is conditional, just like that check that Reader's Digest sends you for $1 million is conditional on some event in the future happening. And it is not even a promise, because you will not be in a position to carry out that promise. Your President of the United States will not be in a position to carry out that promise, because he's not going to be here. Some future President, who has not yet been determined, will make that as a proposal, hopefully, and it will be acted on by a Congress, which hasn't been elected yet, hopefully. And at some point in the future we might get that; that is true isn't it?
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General SHELTON. The part that deals with the out years, yes.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay. So that is everything from
General SHELTON. That is the way the system works, as you know.
Mr. HUNTER [continuing]. 2002 through 2007, right?
General SHELTON. Yes.
Mr. HUNTER. That is five years. Well, that is most of that money, isn't it?
General SHELTON. Money that is been added to the 1997 QDR baseline, yes.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay. And that is most of the money that is on that chart, isn't it?
General SHELTON. Yes. Just like the $112 billion that we received out of the $148 billion that we asked for.
Mr. HUNTER. Yes. So, you know, one thing that we do thatI think you can understand some of this Committee's frustration, is that you have made a very strong statementeveryone has-about the personnel of the U.S. armed services; that they are spirited, that they want to serve their country, and that they have a high degree of patriotism. That is never a substitute for having bullets, for having good equipment and for having decent pay.
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And what I don't like to see is a situation where the American people hear those optimistic words and then sit back and reflect that defense must be in good shape because we have heard these nice optimistic statements from the chiefs.
Now I have read the testimony that came from the chiefs just before the Korean War, and it was some pretty optimistic talk, before June of 1950. They talked about the military being lean and mean, being ready to go, being smaller but very capable. The only guy who really told it like it was is Omar Bradley, who said, ''We don't have the ability to fight and win a major war.''
Now, I want you to think about the military that we had in 1992 in Desert Storm, in 1991. We had 18 Army divisions; today we only have 10.
You had 546 naval vessels; today you have 18, Admiral Clark.
You had 24 fighter air wings; today you have 13, General Ryan.
Now you told us that you thought that we could win the first, if we had to fight two regional contingencies. And for the American people that means if we had to fight, for example, in Kosovo, which we just did, and at the same time had the North Koreans coming down the Peninsula, or had a problem with Saddam Hussein and we had to engage in another contingency, the idea is we have to be able to handle two contingencies at the same time because one of our potential adversaries may take advantage of us, right?
Page 168 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC That is the idea behind that. And when we are tied up somewhere else, they may take us on in another location, feeling we are too weak to split two ways and still win.
So, it is important to be able to win in both locations, isn't it General Shelton?
General SHELTON. It is.
Mr. HUNTER. Yes, you said, and I want to paraphrase your testimony, you said we could win the first war
General SHELTON. Moderate risk.
Mr. HUNTER [continuing]. With moderate risk. The second contingency would have, what, General Shelton?
General SHELTON. High risk.
Mr. HUNTER. High risk. And high risk, in your statement to Mr. Bartlett, translates into U.S. casualties.
General SHELTON. And terrain lost.
Mr. HUNTER. And terrain lost. But that means for American mothers, some of their kids coming home in body bags, right?
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General SHELTON. That is correct.
Mr. HUNTER. So, if you compare the military you had at the time of Desert Storm, what would have been your answer if you were asked that same question during the time of Desert Storm with respect to two contingencies? The first MTW would have been what?
General SHELTON. Well, first of all Congressman Hunter, I wasn't part of the force in Desert Storm.
Mr. HUNTER. No, I am not talking about that. I am just talking about your force structure at the time that we had. In other words, if you take force structure, what was the risk at that point of the two MTWs?
General SHELTON. I am not sure, because I wasn't in this position at that particular time. I would assume it probably was low risk in the first and probably moderate risk in the second.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay.
General Ryan, if you had 24 fighter air wings instead of 13, and your front-line fighters were above 80 percent mission capable, as they were in the time of Desert Storm, instead of around 73 today for the F15, F15 E and F16, what would the risk have been, from your perspective, for the two-war scenario? The first MTW?
Page 170 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General RYAN. I think I agree with the chairman. Probably low for the first which proved the case.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay.
General RYAN. Probably moderate for the second.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay.
Anything, Admiral Clark, would you think?
Admiral CLARK. We didn't have that formal system that did that evaluation until 1994.
Mr. HUNTER. I understand, but in using your judgment to look at what we had.
Admiral CLARK. I agree with the assessments as they have been stated. And in our case, we do have the same number of carriers, but every carrier would have fewer ships with it in the scenario that you have described and the difference between 1991 and the year 2000.
Mr. HUNTER. So, you would have said that the first theater war you would have had what degree of risk?
Page 171 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Admiral CLARK. I would say it would be low to moderate, and the second one is high.
Mr. HUNTER. What is that?
Admiral CLARK. Moderate to high.
Mr. HUNTER. Moderate to high risk for the second one?
Admiral CLARK. Yes.
Mr. HUNTER. Even in 1991?
Admiral CLARK. Yes.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay. And what limitations would have affected that?
Admiral CLARK. The reason that I say that is that, basically, so much has changed since 1990. We were doing the bulk of this with non-precision munitions. The time lines would be a challenge. Half the force would have been committed. The force that then would follow would be the lesser-ready forces, in terms of where they were on the time line.
So, I still think the second one, the risk would be significant.
Page 172 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. HUNTER. Okay, would it be different then the risk today with your smaller Navy?
So, you say you would go from low to moderate for the first in, right?
Admiral CLARK. MTW and the second one, I would go moderate to high.
Mr. HUNTER. Moderate to high in 1991?
Admiral CLARK. But it is different, yes.
Mr. HUNTER. During the time of Desert Storm?
Admiral CLARK. Yes.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay. And what would you put it today?
Admiral CLARK. It's right where it is: moderate in the first and high in the second.
Mr. HUNTER. So, definitely high in the second?
Admiral CLARK. Absolutely.
Page 173 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. HUNTER. So, it is still substantial in the second even in 1991, but higher today? The risk is higher today in the second MTW?
Admiral CLARK. Yes, that is correct. In fact, the risk is higher today than it was four years ago.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay.
General Shinseki, 18 divisions instead of 10?
General SHINSEKI. Well, we have done a lot with the divisions since. But I would agree, I think low in the first and moderate in the second as well.
Mr. HUNTER. Low in the first, moderate in the second. Today, in your estimation for the Army, it is what?
General SHINSEKI. As I have testified, moderate in the first, high risk in the second.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay.
General JONES. I would say, in the 1990s scenario, low in the first, moderate in the second.
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Mr. HUNTER. And today, what is it?
General JONES. Moderate in the first, high in the second.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay.
So would it be fair to say, then, that we have higher risk today that we are going to take larger casualties in the second theater war under the force we have today than the force we had in Desert Storm?
General SHELTON. I think the answer to that is yes. I mean, we have said that we went from moderate to high in the second MTW, and that equates to greater casualties, lost terrain, et cetera.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay.
Let me just ask you this, gentlemen. Has it been your recommendation to the executive branch that we have increased force structure and increased expenditures on our forces?
And, General Shelton, why don't you answer for us?
General SHELTON. Would you repeat the second question?
Page 175 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. HUNTER. We now have higher risks, which can translate into higher casualties, with the force today than we had in the force during Desert Storm. I assume that that is not something that you gentlemen find agreeable, because that means casualties of your troops about whom you care a lot. Have you made recommendations to the executive branch to increase the force structure as a result of that?
General SHELTON. The force structure that was set, as you know, Congressman Hunter, by the 1997 QDR
Mr. HUNTER. I understand.
General SHELTON [continuing]. We all have a chance to make recommendations. If we are going to keep the current strategy, and knowing where we are today with the risks, as we go into this 2001 QDR, we will have a chance to review and to make a recommendation based on the QDR process.
Mr. HUNTER. Well, I understand that. But, General, you have used your judgment and you know that there is a chance for higher casualties with the force you have got today than the force you had in 1991. I presume that has inspired you to communicate that concern to the executive branch and make a recommendation to bolster defense spending and to get our force structure up. And I am just asking, have you made a recommendation to do that?
General SHELTON. We, in fact, did make a recommendation to get the defense spending up. And, of course, we have reported the shortcomings and the risk, not only to the executive branch, but to the Congress.
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Mr. HUNTER. Okay.
Just one other question here.
Admiral CLARK. May I comment on that?
Mr. HUNTER. Absolutely. Yes, sir.
Admiral CLARK. I would say, first of all, let me just say the reason I think that your previous question would be moderate to high in the second, is that our mobility capability was significantly less than it is today. The ability to move the force would have been the issue that drove it up for me.
And I speak now for my predecessor, not for myself, but with regard to recommendations that are made up the line with regard to improvements, it is made every time we submit a budget, and the above-core issues are the documentation of what has been requested.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay.
General Ryan, here is a concern that I think we have all got. Talking with your commander at Nellis Air Base in Nevada, he mentioned a fact that I thought was a pretty good human factor, he said that-I asked him, ''How's it going on retaining your folks: pilots, mechanics, the people that make the Air Force go?'' And he said, ''It's a birthday factor.'' He said, ''You can tell your people that they can miss one birthday or two birthdays''-and I think this probably applies to everybody. He says, ''When they miss four or five of their kids' birthdays, they are getting out.''
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And I thought about that. And I thought about that with respect to 13 active air wings. And you guys have a high personnel tempo. You are stretched all over the world. But you are going to be stretched all over the world no matter who wins this election. We're going to have to project American power around the world.
It may be that we can't keep our personnel and we can't solve the personnel problem, no matter what we do with pay, if we don't have enough force structure to spread out the load, because you have fewer people available now to go to deployment, the people who are available, who are still in the force, have to deploy more and more.
Have you been thinking about that? Can you do it with 13 air wings?
General RYAN. I think about it every day. In fact, the greatest concern that I have is about quality people in our Air Force, because we can have, you know, the best machinery, but if you don't have quality people on that force, you lose it. So, yes.
And I think that we are going to have to make substantial increases in funding with respect to pay and allowances if we are going to keep competitive with this market that is out there, that are asking for the kinds of drug-free leaders, followers, trained personnel that we have in our services.
Mr. HUNTER. General Shinsekiand then I will ask to yield to the ranking member. I apologize, Ike, for taking so much time.
Page 178 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC But, General Shinseki, you have come forth with this transformation proposal, and you have taken leadership initiative on that, and for that you will be punished, I am sure, by the Congress. No. I am being facetious. I think we are going to respect your initiative and respect this effort to provide an element where we have had an exposure, if you will, and that is the ability to move forces that are something other than soft bodies-that means what I call semi-hard-quickly into areas where you have an exigency and you have got to move fast, you have got to block an action, perhaps, like the seven Iraqi divisions that we saw in Desert Storm or another scenario.
That is going to cost money, is it not?
General SHINSEKI. It is.
Mr. HUNTER. And that is going to cost money above your baseline.
General SHINSEKI. That is correct.
Mr. HUNTER. Yes. Have you made that point loud and clear to General Shelton and to the Administration? Because I think they are going to have to calculate that in terms of projections for spending.
General SHINSEKI. I have certainly covered our requirements for both maintaining near-term readiness and investing in the transformation plan that I have laid out. That has been made in my briefings over in Defense.
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Mr. HUNTER. Okay. I think it is important to make that point loud and clear.
You know, General Shelton, you talked about coming up with newer systems that don't require as much maintenance, et cetera. It is an optimistic idea that we are going to save money down the line. But the ideas that we have actually come up with that are really going to take place, like Army transformation, are going to add costs to the baseline, they are not going to reduce it.
And, Admiral, don't you think we need more than 56 attack submarines?
Admiral CLARK. It would be great if we had what was outlined in the Joint Staff study. It would be great if we had the resources to have that force structure.
Mr. HUNTER. Well, instead of using the term ''it would be great,'' what do you think is required to provide for the security of the undersea Navy or of the security of the United States through the undersea Navy? What number do you think we need? Your personal judgment.
You have got 56; what do you think we need?
Admiral CLARK. I have said earlier in the hearing that this is one of the projects that I am taking on. I need to look at all of the assumptions that go into this personally, and I haven't had time to do that. But I am doing that as we speak.
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Mr. HUNTER. Okay. But if we go above 56, which as you know the Joint Chief's study says we need, what, 69?
Admiral CLARK. Well, 68 and then up to 74.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay. If you do that, we are going to have to go to two boats a year.
Admiral CLARK. Understood.
Mr. HUNTER. That is going to mean an extra $1.5 billion to $2 billion a year for the Navy budget, isn't it?
Admiral CLARK. That is correct. And that is why all of these judgments get made in the context of the total need and requirement and the tradeoffs that go with it.
Mr. HUNTER. I understand.
So, General Shelton, I guess our point is, I like the idea that you have put these optimistic statements in your statement about how we may have some units and some platforms that will be less draining of the O&M budget. But the reality is, the initiatives that at least both the Army and the Navy are talking about now are going to add substantial dollars to the budget, they are not going to detract.
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And if you add to that the monies that will be needed to increase airlift capability for the Air Force, to increase mission capability rates and if we are going to replace the bomber aircraft, the Clinton Administration projects that we can use the B52 until it is 80 years old.
And I take Sam Johnson's word on that, who looked out through the bars of his Prisoner of War (POW) camp during Linebacker of 1972, watched American B52s come into that Third World nation and be blown apart by mid-air by 1960s vintage Surface-to-Air Missile (SAMs). I wonder how realistic it is that we are going to fly those things until they are 80 years old.
So if you add the recommendations that are being made by your own services for transformation and for change, they add to the budget substantially. And I think it is important, so the American people don't get sticker shock, to let them know about that.
General SHELTON. Well, Congressman Hunter, that is what we have been saying, I think collectively, all day. It does add, but it adds to the procurement. But in the process of that, as you recapitalize and buy the new stuff, we quit having to plus up the O&M, which takes dollars away from the modernization account.
Mr. HUNTER. I think, as a generalization, that is true. But if you put a pencil to it, as we have, you add $2 billion by adding another submarine per year. You are not going to save $2 billion on submarine operations. That is an example.
Page 182 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General SHELTON. It's kind of like BRAC. You know, you pay up front, but in the long term, when you get out about five years, then you start adding some more money back in.
The direct offset, I would agree, you probably won't in the case of a submarine.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay.
And to my friend, Mr. Skelton, very articulate gentleman from Missouri who has waited a long time for his chance to follow up, please take all the time you need.
Mr. SKELTON. We're talking about resources, which means dollars. And I think that the record will reflect that, in February of this year, I testified before the Budget Committee recommending an additional $12 billion for this fiscal year. Our friend and chairman, Floyd Spence, testified before the Budget Committee recommending $15 billion additional for this year. And both of us wasted our time.
We can have all the recommendations from you, from the White House, but the buck stops with us, as Harry Truman would say. The buck stops here in the Congress of the United States, so that really the burden is on us collectively. And I hope that we reflect the dire needs that we have heard for the problems of tomorrow.
However, I do congratulate you on the readiness of today. And I think no one should misunderstand that we are strong, able and ready today.
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And I thank you for your service and for your testimony.
Mr. HUNTER. I thank you, Ike.
And just so we leave with everybody up to speed on the status of our armed forces, General Ryan, your statement in June that we had the lowest rate of readiness in many years, that statement still stands, does it not, for your aircraft?
General RYAN. Right. For all practical purposes, we are leveling out, but we have not started to climb back up.
Mr. HUNTER. Thank you.
And gentlemen, thank you for your great endurance. We appreciate you. Appreciate your service to the Nation. And Ike is right, we have an obligation to take your testimony and do something with it. And we will try to do that.
Thank you very much.
And this full Committee's adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 6:45 p.m., the Committee was adjourned.]
A P P E N D I X
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September 27, 2000
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