SPEAKERS CONTENTS INSERTS
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[H.A.S.C. No. 10844]
THE STATUS OF U.S. FORCES
COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED EIGHTH CONGRESS
NOVEMBER 17, 2004
HOUSE COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
One Hundred Eighth Congress
DUNCAN HUNTER, California, Chairman
Page 2 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCCURT WELDON, Pennsylvania
JOEL HEFLEY, Colorado
JIM SAXTON, New Jersey
JOHN M. McHUGH, New York
TERRY EVERETT, Alabama
ROSCOE G. BARTLETT, Maryland
HOWARD P. ''BUCK'' McKEON, California
MAC THORNBERRY, Texas
JOHN N. HOSTETTLER, Indiana
WALTER B. JONES, North Carolina
JIM RYUN, Kansas
JIM GIBBONS, Nevada
ROBIN HAYES, North Carolina
HEATHER WILSON, New Mexico
KEN CALVERT, California
ROB SIMMONS, Connecticut
JO ANN DAVIS, Virginia
ED SCHROCK, Virginia
W. TODD AKIN, Missouri
J. RANDY FORBES, Virginia
JEFF MILLER, Florida
JOE WILSON, South Carolina
FRANK A. LoBIONDO, New Jersey
TOM COLE, Oklahoma
JEB BRADLEY, New Hampshire
Page 3 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCROB BISHOP, Utah
MICHAEL TURNER, Ohio
JOHN KLINE, Minnesota
CANDICE S. MILLER, Michigan
PHIL GINGREY, Georgia
MIKE ROGERS, Alabama
TRENT FRANKS, Arizona
IKE SKELTON, Missouri
JOHN SPRATT, South Carolina
SOLOMON P. ORTIZ, Texas
LANE EVANS, Illinois
GENE TAYLOR, Mississippi
NEIL ABERCROMBIE, Hawaii
MARTY MEEHAN, Massachusetts
SILVESTRE REYES, Texas
VIC SNYDER, Arkansas
JIM TURNER, Texas
ADAM SMITH, Washington
LORETTA SANCHEZ, California
MIKE McINTYRE, North Carolina
CIRO D. RODRIGUEZ, Texas
ELLEN O. TAUSCHER, California
ROBERT A. BRADY, Pennsylvania
BARON P. HILL, Indiana
Page 4 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCJOHN B. LARSON, Connecticut
SUSAN A. DAVIS, California
JAMES R. LANGEVIN, Rhode Island
STEVE ISRAEL, New York
RICK LARSEN, Washington
JIM COOPER, Tennessee
JIM MARSHALL, Georgia
KENDRICK B. MEEK, Florida
MADELEINE Z. BORDALLO, Guam
RODNEY ALEXANDER, Louisiana1\
TIM RYAN, Ohio
CHARLES W. STENHOLM, Texas2\
Robert S. Rangel, Staff Director
Erick R. Sterner, Professional Staff
Justin Bernier, Research Assistant
1\ Mr. Alaxander left the Committee on Aug. 9, 2004.
2\ Mr. Stenholm was assigned to the Committee on Sept. 8, 2004.
C O N T E N T S
Page 5 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Wednesday, November 17, 2004, The Status of U.S. Forces
Wednesday, November 17, 2004
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2004
THE STATUS OF U.S. FORCES
STATEMENTS PRESENTED BY MEMBERS OF CONGRESS
Hunter, Hon. Duncan, a Representative from California, Chairman, Committee on Armed Services
Skelton, Hon. Ike, a Representative from Missouri, Ranking Member, Committee on Armed Services
Clark, Adm. Vernon E., Chief of Naval Operations, U.S. Navy
Hagee, Gen. Michael W., Commandant, U.S. Marine Corps
Jumper, Gen. John P., Chief of Staff, U.S. Air Force
Schoomaker, Gen. Peter J., Chief of Staff, U.S. Army
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Hagee, Gen. Michael W.
Hunter, Hon. Duncan
Jumper, Gen. John P.
Skelton, Hon. Ike
DOCUMENTS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
[The Documents submitted can be viewed in the hard copy.]
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
[The Questions and Answers can be viewed in the hard copy.]
THE STATUS OF U.S. FORCES
House of Representatives,
Committee on Armed Services,
Washington, DC, Wednesday, November 17, 2004.
Page 7 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The committee met, pursuant to call, at 2:05 p.m., in room 2118, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Duncan Hunter (chairman of the committee) presiding.
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. DUNCAN HUNTER, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM CALIFORNIA, CHAIRMAN, COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
The CHAIRMAN. The hearing will come to order.
Our guests this morning are General Peter J. Schoomaker, Chief of Staff, United States Army; Admiral Vernon Clark, Chief of Naval Operations, United States Navy; General John P. Jumper, Chief of Staff, United States Air Force; and General Michael W. Hagee, Commandant, United States Marine Corps.
Welcome to the committee, gentlemen. We look forward to your testimony. We appreciate your appearance before the committee today.
In recent days, our Nation has been guided by the dedication and professionalism of our service personnel deployed around the world to fight the Global War on Terrorism. And even as we honor prior generations of service men and women last Veterans Day, our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines were cleaning out the terrorist rat's nest in the city of Fallujah.
City fighting is hard slogging, but our military stepped up admirably and once again answered the call when the country needed it.
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But as this committee knows, it is not enough to appreciate the military; we also have responsibilities to ensure that our troops are trained, equipped and prepared for the fights we ask them to undertake.
With that in mind, we must continually reassess the needs of our military, both for now and the long term. And we have some concerns in this area.
Because the military is so actively engaged in the Global War on Terrorism, we are in danger of wearing it out. We still have not recovered from the procurement holiday of the last decade, yet the pace of military operations is eating up the lifespan of major equipment, ranging from fighter aircraft to tanks to Humvees.
While the services have developed new organizational and operational concepts and Congress has done a good job of providing funds when requested, the simple fact is that our peacetime budget does not properly take into account the shortened operational lifetimes of major systems.
At the same time, because we are using them more, operating these systems at a higher pace will drive up the cost of maintaining them. Supplemental funding will not entirely fix that problem, since the limited capabilities of our overall industrial base will constrain our ability to repair, reset and reconstitute our combat capabilities.
For example, if we wear out 20 Humvees in a year, but we only have enough mechanics in the country to overhaul 10 of them in a year, then we have a problem.
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All of these factors are going to create a fiscal bow wave in the future that may well threaten some of our major modernization programs. And I know all of you are worried about that.
Second, we need to pay very close attention to the training, readiness and overall well-being of our folks who wear the uniform.
One consequence of a higher operating tempo (OPTEMPO) and increased wear and tear on equipment is that we focus on deployed units at the expense of units in training.
While no one would suggest that our combat units should not be first to receive the best equipment, failure to provide it to units in training means that our soldiers cannot properly train the way they will fight, which is the optimum scenario. And that has always been a key ingredient to their success. And we may put them at increased risk if we fail in this regard.
With that in mind, we must remain committed to our personnel. People are more important than machines and sometimes can wear far more easily.
So far, the retention numbers for Active Forces remain high, in some cases exceeding expectations. But we have not met our targets in some portions of the Reserve and Guard. Retention and recruitment have always been an early indicator that the force may be overstressed, so we need to pay close attention to these numbers.
Page 10 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC So with those issues in mind, gentlemen, thank you very much for your service to our country. And thanks again for appearing before the committee. We are honored to have you here to address both the accomplishments of our military and the stresses it is operating under.
We are going to get to that, but before we do that, let me recognize my partner, the committee's ranking Democrat, the gentleman from Missouri, Mr. Skelton, for any remarks he might want to make.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Hunter can be viewed in the hard copy.]
STATEMENT OF HON. IKE SKELTON, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM MISSOURI, RANKING MEMBER, COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Chairman, thank you. And thank you again for calling this hearing on this particular subject. I think it is very, very important.
Mr. Chairman, before I begin let me make note that there are a series of Democratic sub-caucus meetings that began at two o'clock, and many of our members will be coming in a bit later, and I wish to point that out, Mr. Chairman, that they will be here as we proceed with this hearing.
The CHAIRMAN. Certainly. I thank the gentleman.
Page 11 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SKELTON. Let me join you in welcoming all of our chiefs, General Schoomaker, Admiral Clark, General Jumper, General Hagee, and we thank you for your continuing service.
Please convey to your men and your women our heartfelt pride and appreciation for what they do. They are serving tirelessly, literally, around the world.
You know, every time we hold a hearing, I think back on how much we were asking of those young people in uniform. Each time I think they are strained almost to the breaking point, but they continue to do what they are doing and they do more.
This is a real testament to them. And our finest resource, all of us agree, is the best fighting force in the world, and they are demonstrating that again in Fallujah, Mosul, many other places that we hear about through the news.
During this Global War on Terrorism and the guerrilla war in Iraq, we are fighting extended campaigns with a military designed to fight wars. It is obvious our people are tired and we are wearing out our equipment at a faster rate than we can replace it.
Everything has a breaking point if we push it hard enough, and we must not be complacent about how thin we are stretching the force itself and the equipment.
Active-duty components are currently meeting their recruitment and retention goals, but it has not been easy, I am told. The Army sought a short-term solution to a long-run problem by having to call up the individual ready reserve and bring enlistees into the force earlier than planned.
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They are also reducing recruit quality requirements to make the numbers. Stop-loss, which is a tool to keep people in after their term has expired, is being used widely.
The strain is clear in Reserve Components which are beginning to show real signs of trouble. And you should be with me from time to time to see a spouse from my home district come up to me and talk to me about his or her spouse being extended and saying that this is their last enlistment in the Guard or in the Reserve. Of course, I hope that is untrue.
And I am sure that when they come back from wherever they are, they will feel a great deal of pride in what they have done. But that is some of the spouses that we encounter.
There are these early warning signs, or smoke that could signal a raging fire. We see the smoke. We need to ensure that the force is not consumed by the fire. Additional troops, of course, would help reduce the pressures on this force.
And, yes, more people cost more money, but you cannot sustain a campaign without soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines.
And by the way, as you know, in the bill that we passed from this committee, we did add some 20,000 additional Army troops, with additional ones hopefully in line for next year.
But we got to be honest with our servicemembers and their families. We should be sure they have the necessary forces to continue to carry out the future and present operations.
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To another serious problem, we are at the breaking point on equipment.
It is a perfectly understandable byproduct of the nature of the campaign. But what is not understandable is our inability to address this issue before it becomes a real bona fide crisis.
If the war were to stop todayassume the war stops today and we are told it will take the Army an additional two years to repair and to refit its forces. But there is no light at the end of the tunnel in Iraq that is going to stop and let us reset our forces. Other services are in roughly the same situation.
This of course requires billions of dollars in funding years after a war ends.
But the cost is not fiscal alone. The situation creates a real window of vulnerability. I will say it again: a real window of vulnerability.
And while we struggle to refit our forces to get ready for the next phase of the campaign or some next unforeseen emergency, we find ourselves in that window.
Well, gentlemen, you should take justifiable great pride in leading the finest-led, best-trained, best-equipped force on the planet.
With a strain of constant deployments, insufficient recapitalization, both those have put us in a situation where it is quite possible our forces will not have what they need, where and when it is needed.
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For example, I sent a letter to General Myers and to you, General Schoomaker, and a copy to our chairman just a few days ago, that a unit deploying soon to Iraq is short over 500 rifles for non-infantry units retraining to perform infantry tasks.
At this point, gentlemen, may I be blunt?
It pains me to acknowledge the limitations of this institution, the United States Congress that I love and serve. But we in the Congress cannot do it without your help. We know how critical your needs are, but we cannot continue to make this case from this dais. We need help from you.
We need your answers as to how we are going to address the issues, not only this year, but for the long-term.
What is your plan for addressing the deficiencies of equipment? How are you planning to budget? What are the tradeoffs that are involved? How do we help?
We must answer these questions regardless of how painful they may be to you, and to put our force in position where the forces cannot only sustain the current, rational commitment in Iraq and Afghanistan, but also ensure that we can meet future threats, and they are out there, to our national security.
You have the support of this committee. Every person on here understands we must meet these challenges, but we must have the straightforward information in order for us to be of help and assistance.
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Mr. Chairman, thanks.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Skelton can be viewed in the hard copy.]
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman.
And the gentleman from Pennsylvania, the vice chairman of the committee, has an announcement he would like to make.
Mr. WELDON. Mr. Chairman, I would just like to, for the record, offer the condolences of myself and, I am sure, the members from both sides of the committee at the recent loss of our good friend and former committee member, Tom Foglietta.
Tom was my neighbor in Pennsylvania, served with distinction in this body. He went on to serve as the ambassador for this nation to Italy.
He was a strong supporter of our military, and he used his voice and his vote on this committee, as a member of the minority side, and, when I first came, a member of the majority side, to fight for what was best for our military personnel.
So I know my friends on both sides of the aisle who served with Tom and who knew him would share our feelings that all of us who served with Tom had the pleasure of knowing that he truly was a patriot and a strong leader and a strong supporter of the military and truly reflected the best that this committee has provided to the Congress in support of our troops.
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The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman. I know all of us want to join in his sentiments and wish the family the very best.
General Schoomaker, why do we not start with you? And thank you for appearing before the committee.
You have, obviously, a ton of issues in the warfighting theaters and issues here that have been generated by those operations.
So we appreciate your service and being with us today. The floor is yours.
STATEMENT OF GEN. PETER J. SCHOOMAKER, CHIEF OF STAFF, U.S. ARMY
General SCHOOMAKER. Well, good afternoon, Chairman Hunter, Congressman Skelton and distinguished members of the committee.
I appreciate the opportunity to come before you today and testify on the tremendous accomplishments of our soldiers and our Army.
On behalf of the soldiers who are serving our country around the world, let me begin by expressing gratitude for the exceptional support that you continue to provide to our soldiers and their families. We could not begin to accomplish what we have without you.
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It is the soldiers, steadfast, well-trained, well-equipped and superbly led, who serve as the ultimate expression of the capabilities our Army provides to the Joint Force and the Nation.
And it is your support that is providing our soldiers with the tools they need to carry on their important and, most often, dangerous work.
As I have said before, there is no question that the pace of our Nation at war challenges our Army. We continue to meet these challenges with the seamless commitment of Active National Guard and Reserve soldiers and our families who continue to give so selflessly to our Nation.
As you all know, we are aggressively reshaping and rebalancing our Army. Rather than focusing on a single, well-defined threat or a geographic region, we are developing a range of complimentary and interdependent capabilities that will enable future joint force commanders to succeed in their missions in both peace and war.
Transforming the Army while fulfilling our global commitments is a complex endeavor. It means we are fighting and conducting extensive stability operations, while simultaneously preparing to deal with other known and unknown situations around the globe, both today and in the future.
It is like tuning a car while the engine is running or, as General Cody, our Vice Chief of Staff of the Army, has said in the past, it is like building an airplane in flight.
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It requires a careful balance between sustaining and enhancing the capabilities of current forces to meet today's commitments, while concurrently transforming to the future force.
With the help of Congress, we have made some huge progress this past year, the kind of progress that in more normal times would have taken decades.
We are reorganizing into a more modular Army. As part of that reorganization, there are three more brigades in the Army than there were last year, and we are building more.
In the process, we have begun converting 11 brigades to modular units of action. Some of those units will deploy to Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) III as part of the 3rd Infantry Division.
In 2005, we will add three more brigades for a total of six additional brigades.
By the end of 2006, we will add an additional four.
This will grow our Army by ten brigades in three years, or in the old terms, about three and one-third divisions, along with the necessary combat support and combat service support capabilities.
Page 19 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC In addition, we have grown the Army by about 15,000 soldiers last year, and we will continue to grow to about 30,000 more troops.
This is real growth, exclusive of stop-loss, through increased recruiting and retention.
We also, as you know, canceled the Comanche, which is leading to a revitalization of our Army aviation fleet, and we accelerated the Future Combat System program by spiraling future technologies into today's force.
Each one of these was a big decision, and they each involved dozens of related decisions that were pretty big in their own right.
So we are doing things that in the long term are good for our Army and good for our Nation.
We are acting now to meet the challenges of tomorrow. We are using this time and the momentum and the resources, provided by you and the American people, wisely.
We are working to achieve the Army's overarching strategic goal to remain relevant and ready by providing the joint force with campaign-quality land power and expeditionary capabilities to dominate across the full range of military operations. We must get it right to deal the challenges our Nation will face in the remainder of the 21st century.
We are not losing sight of the fact that it is our soldiers who put it all on the line and our families who are bearing the burden. And we are doing everything in our power to support them.
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Since March of 2003, we have produced in excess of 400,000 sets of body armor. We have gone from making 1,200 sets of body armor a month to over 25,000 sets a month.
Today, not one soldier, sailor, airman or Marine is deployed without body armor into combat.
In the summer of 2003, we had less than 250 up-armored Humvees in OIF. That is when I first testified before this committee. When the combatant commander requested more vehicles to support the ground force commander, we consolidated the up-armored Humvees worldwide and increased production from about 30 armored Humvees a month to over 450. And of course, we had your help doing that.
We have now manufactured over 5,000 up-armored Humvees, chasing a growing requirement in-theater for over 8,000 up-armored Humvees.
So we are talking about, in the last 15 months, we have gone from 250 up-armored Humvees in Iraq to over 5,000; actually it is about 5,600, growing toward about 8,100.
In addition, we are hardening another 12,800 vehicles with add-on armor kits. With your support, we will armor all of the 30,000-plus vehicles that are in-theater today.
As we improve our capabilities through the introduction of technological leaps forward, we must not forget that our technology enhances, but does not replace, the human element of our Army.
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The Army's character and service to the Nation is defined by soldiers who demonstrate daily their commitment, as you pointed out, to live by the ideals contained in the warrior ethos and Army values.
I could not be more proud of our soldiers and the professionalism, courage and confidence that they demonstrate every day.
In closing, I would like to thank this committee for the opportunity to appear before you today and for your continued support for the men and women in our Army deployed in Iraq, Afghanistan and throughout the world.
We recognize that our Army will not succeed without the support of the Congress and the American people. This is a challenge that our entire Nation must embracenot just our Army, not just our sister services, not just the Department of Defense (DOD).
Today's challenges require the deep and enduring commitment of all of us, including every person in this room today.
Our Nation is asking much of us. I am confident that our Army is and will continue to deliver and do its part for the joint team.
And if I might, I would just like to recognize that yesterday we had confirmed our new Secretary of the Army, Dr. Francis Harvey, and we welcome him on board. His experience, leadership and management experience leading large organizations is going to be a great asset to our Army as he provides leadership for us.
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And I would also like to recognize our Acting Secretary of the Army, Les Brownlee, who over many, many months now, over a year and a half as the Acting Secretary of the Army, has provided us superb leadership and been a great partner as we have faced the challenges before us. And I could not be more proud of my association with both these gentlemen.
And I thank you very much, and I am prepared to answer your questions.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, General Schoomaker.
And let me tell you, I agree, we welcome the Secretary of the Army.
But I also want to add my words of thanks to Les Brownlee, who is a combat soldier and did a superb job serving the legislative process and in acting as Secretary of the Army.
I thank you.
General Clark, welcome. And thank you for your great service over the last many years to our country. The floor is yours.
Admiral Clark, I am sorry.
STATEMENT OF ADM. VERNON E. CLARK, CHIEF OF NAVAL OPERATIONS, U.S. NAVY
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Admiral CLARK. I answer to either one. It is fine with me.
The CHAIRMAN. I almost got General Schoomaker's attention there. [Laughter.]
Admiral CLARK. General Schoomaker said we are really joint over here.
Mr. Chairman and Congressman Skelton, distinguished members, good afternoon. I, too, appreciate the chance to be here today and talk about what is going on on the point and talk to you about the status of our Navy today.
I would like to align myself with the comments of General Schoomaker and talk about our appreciation for where we are today and the things that are going right, specifically support for the manpower and the readiness accounts.
I report to you that the readiness numbers in my Navy are higher than they have ever been since I have been in the Navy, and I joined in 1968. That is because of things that have taken place in this body and in the Congress over the course of the last number of years, all of that enabling our Navy to do what it does day in and day out, in peace and in war and being on the point.
So my report to you is: We are engaged, we are healthy, engaged on the front lines of the Global War on Terrorism.
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And as I appeared before you during the last posture statement season, I reported that the spotlight in Iraq is appropriately on the United States Army and the United States Marine Corps. We are operating some of our people in Iraq in support of them.
We are also spread around the world.
Thirty-four percent of my fleet is forward this afternoon, deployed doing the Nation's business, not only in the Arabian Gulf, but in other parts of the world: four carrier strike groups, an expeditionary strike group; corpsmen, almost 1,400 corpsmen operating with the Marine Corps over there; Seabees; aviators; along with the United States Air Force and Marine Corps, we are overhead, strike fighters providing support to the people on the point; boarding teams; thousands of sorties; over 5,000 interdiction operations conducted in that theater.
I would also report to you that we are healthy. The question and the comments that you raised about recruiting and retention, manpower, current readiness, future readinesswe are moving in the right direction.
In the Active Force, the retention numbers and recruiting numbers are superb.
There are issues in the Reserve Force, to be sure.
And one of the serious issues: our retention has been at levels, the last 3.5 years, that have made it more difficult for us to get the kind of people in the Reserves thattypically the Active Force was a stronger source to our Reserve structure than it is today. It is an issue that we are addressing.
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The 2005 program that is passed by the Congress provides us with a productive shipbuilding year.
For us, unlike each of the other services, my investments are longer-term than theirs are, and I have to get started early to make an impact later.
2005 is a productive year, to be sure.
We are examining the impact of actions that were taken in the fiscal year 2005 bills, which will impact some of our shipbuilding transformation. And those are all things that are in progress.
We are also experimenting with methodologies and approaches that improve our readiness. I have talked to you before about Sea Swap and about the Fleet Response Plan (FRP).
But since I appeared before this committee last time, we have had opportunities to not only continue to test some of these new approaches, but to begin to see feedback on how it will affect our force in the future and allow us to provide more combat capability to the Nation.
Our challenges fall along the lines of resources, to be sure. The $25 billion supplemental, the bridge to bring us into 2005, has been very helpful to us. We received $500 million of that supplemental.
Page 26 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And certainly discussions are ongoing now about what the requirements will be as we face the issues of 2005.
The most important issues with regard to equipment wear-out I would address to you, Mr. Chairman, are these. And I am discussing with the combatant commanders how to manage the high-demand, low-density resources that we possess.
EA6Bs are an issue. And they became an issue this last year as we discovered wing cracks. In the last budget we pushed the replacement aircraft, moved it to the left. Accelerating that delivery of the spinoff of the E-and F18 is a very important part of correcting the problem, as well as ongoing depot activity to fix the wing crack problem.
A longer-term, but at least as important, issueand it will be with us a whileis the P3 issue.
Now, the P3, designed to go hunt submarines in the Cold War, is an airplane that is in as high a demand as any airplane in the inventory, in I believe in any service.
John Jumper and I would have to compare notes to be sure that my statement is accurate.
But I will tell you that my issue is this: The P3s are flying almost totally in support of the land forces today, because the genius of America is to continue to produce the kind of sensors that the land forces need.
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The issue for us is getting the P3 to the transition point with the Multimission Maritime Aircraft (MMA), which the transition to that is represented in the 2005 budget.
We need to get there, and it is something that we have to continue to watch and manage carefully.
The future emphasis for us is this: delivering the right readiness at the right cost.
Delivering readiness at any cost is not something that we are doing in the Navy, and we do not think that is the right way to go for the Nation.
But we do believe that the right readiness to take on the Global War on Terrorism is our challenge, and that is what we are about.
Second: the professional growth of this all-volunteer force that is performingas each of you have already indicated, their performance has been brilliant, and we must ensure that we continue to make the right investments in them.
And third, accelerating our innovation and investment in Sea Power 21 and our future vision, helping to recapitalize and transform the Navy.
Mr. Chairman, the Global War on Terror is our number-one priority in the United States Navy as we share the front lines with our joint and coalition partners.
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I am pleased to be here to discuss these very important topics, and I look forward to your questions, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Admiral Clark, thank you very much.
General Jumper, welcome to the committee. Thank you for your many years of service.
And you have had a lot of difficult issues here over this last several years. How are things going?
STATEMENT OF GEN. JOHN P. JUMPER, CHIEF OF STAFF, U.S. AIR FORCE
General JUMPER. They are going well, Mr. Chairman. And I thank you for the opportunity to be here this morning.
Mr. Chairman, Mr. Skelton, distinguished members of the committee, it is a pleasure to join my colleagues here before you today.
May I make a comment, Mr. Chairman? I think that you will not find a group of more joint-minded service chiefs than the group that sits before you here today. It has been my pleasure for almost 3.5 years to work with this group, and I look forward to working with them for the rest of my tenure.
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I also want to add my thanks to the committee for the support.
And in particular, might I say, Mr. Chairman, that I know that an overwhelming majority of this committee has visited overseas. There was one delegation when I was there last week roaming the area of responsibility (AOR) with me.
And I applaud the number of members that have gone over there and put their eyes on the problems that exist, that you outlined at the beginning of this hearing. It means a lot to our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines to see you all there in person and to be able to talk to you in person.
Sir, last February when I sat before this committee last, we talked about the reconstitution of our air expeditionary forces (AEF) and the fact that we were in the midst of experimenting to see if the AEF concept actually worked. It was the first big test as we went through reconstitution, following major combat operations.
And I can report to you that while we are not able to reconstitute quite as quickly as I thought, with your help, we will be through with all of our major reconstitution by July of next year.
And we have reset most of our major combat forces. We still have 16 bases open over in the AOR and some 30,000 airmen deployed.
Obviously, the stuff that is still in use over there will have to come back, and we will have to address that at the appropriate time in the future.
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But I can report that our ability to pull eight of our ten AEFs forward to engage in major combat operations and then reset those has been a success.
And while many of us held our breath to see if this experiment would work, the fact that we have been able to reorganize ourselves on a rotational base force, take a lesson from the Navy and the Marine Corps, has worked. We are now in a good rotation pattern.
We have reset our deployment time during current operations from 90 days to 120 days. And we have about 80 percent of our force that is on a 120-day rotation. About 20 percent of the force that is in very high demand is longer than that, up to one-year rotations. But we are very pleased with that success.
In addition to that, of course, Operation Noble Eagle, back here in the States, we have flown some 40,000 sorties back home, covering the skies over the United States.
The majority of that, more than 80 percent of the brunt of that, is being shouldered by the Air Force Reserve and the Air National Guard. They are doing a magnificent job at some 16 locations around the United States, and we could not be more proud of them.
Our total forces also got a big part of the tactical airlift and the total airlift operation supporting current operations overseas.
Our C130 fleet, a large portion of that is Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve, flying many sorties a day in support of ground operations.
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In my recent visit over there, one of my conclusions is that we can still do more. And we come back with a charter to our tactical airlift community to see what we can do even more to bolster up our tactical airlift and reduce some of the pressures on the convoys that are on the road and reduce the casualties that result from those convoy operations.
All in all, our airlift forces, 55 percent of which are Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard, have lifted more than 2.8 million tons and over 11 million passengers.
It is remarkable that when we did the swap-out of the Army between phases of the current operation, we swapped out more than 250,000 soldiers in a very short period of time, and quite frankly, nobody noticed. It was a seamless operation, and I am very proud of that.
Our future Total Force will also look at our Air National Guard and our Air Force Reserve and get them into the modern missions that define contingency operations today: unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), space, command and control, information warfare.
We will do this with a plan to inaugurate associate units that associates National Guard and Air Force Reserve units with Active units, in there working with them every day to take advantage of the manpower in more efficient ways that exist in our Total Force.
We are enjoying, as Admiral Clark said, excellent results in our recruiting and our retention. As a matter of fact, one of the problems is that our end strength is more than it should be. We will be spending the next year working down to our authorized end strength of 360,000 active duty in our Air Force.
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In order to keep from breaking faith with anybody who wants to stay in the Air Force, we are going to take this mostly out of our initial recruiting. And we have a plan to do that, and I think it is going to work.
I do not want to kick any airman out of the Air Force that wants to stay. They have shown us great loyalty, and I want to return that loyalty to them.
In the future, we are looking, as a joint team, at concepts of operations for joint warfighting and joint warfare.
Even though we are engaged in contingency operations in Iraq, we have seen around the world continued manufacture of highly technical surface-to-air missile systems and highly technical aircraft still being produced, still being delivered around the world.
And we have taken pride in the fact that our F/A22 program is now emerging from the test phase and into production phase with magnificent results. We will look forward to getting that deployed against future contingencies and joint concepts of operations that require us to go into contested airspace in the future.
We are seeing some of that future now in operations in Iraq. Our unmanned aerial vehiclesas I said, Dr. Roche and I were over there last week and saw unmanned aerial vehicle operations throughout the theater.
There are some 450 unmanned aerial vehicles over there right now. One of the things that we talked to the leadership over there about is better organizing the unmanned aerial vehicles, the many that we do have over there.
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But we have seen great progress in integrating those with our bomber forces and our kinetic forces and even weapons that are carried on the UAVs themselves.
We are doing our part to help Pete in the transformation of the Army with about 2,000 airmen over there doing convoy duty and security forces duty. We are proud to provide those forces, and we are doing our part.
And I must say, I visit our airmen that are doing truck convoy duty, and the Army has trained them very well. They are very proud of that service that they are providing over there right now.
Our future issues, not unlike my colleagues at the table, have to do with our ability to recapitalize.
When I came into the Air Force the average age of our fleet in the Air Force was about eight years. Today that is 23 years, and if we do everything that is in our program, that will grow to 26 years, the average age of our aircraft.
It is not unknown to this committee what those problems are. Even since 9/11, just taking our tanker fleet alone, we have increased the flying time of our tanker fleet by some 33 percent, just since 9/11. We are working ways to try and work that average age down.
We have done this by taking bold steps: reducing the size of the B1 fleet to take advantage of the spare parts that are available and making the rest of that B1 fleet digitally compatible and more combat-capable than the rest of that fleet would have been had we kept the old airplanes.
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And we are looking for similar advantages, as aircraft become more capable, to take advantage of that in the future.
As I said, sir, I visited Iraq. I visited many of our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines over there, and I will tell you the singular message I bring back from them is: Let us not quit until this mission is done. They believe that.
They are dedicated to the mission that they are engaged in over there, and they want to see this mission through.
So I bring that back to the members of the committee, and I know that you all know that.
Sir, let me make note of the fact that announced yesterday also was the retirement of Dr. Roche as the Secretary of the Air Force. I must say I am very proud to have served with Dr. Roche during his tenure there. I have never seen anyone that cared more about the Nation's airmen than Dr. Roche has, and it has been my pleasure to have served with him.
So, sir, I thank you very much once again for the opportunity to appear before the committee, and I look forward to your questions.
[The prepared statement of General Jumper can be viewed in the hard copy.]
The CHAIRMAN. Well, thank you, General. And I share your commendation for Dr. Roche and the hard work that he put into this tenure in a very difficult job. Thank you for your statement.
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General Hagee, you have been right at the tip of the spear here with U.S. Marine forces, along with our Army forces in-theater, particularly over the last several weeks.
And I know that you take every casualty that emanates from the current operation in Fallujah and elsewhere very personally and that you are working hard to do everything that you can to provide more force protection, but also continue to increase the lethality of the United States Marine Corps.
And the Marines and Army personnel that are performing in that very difficult theater over the last several weeks have shown all the guts and competency and courage of the Marines who served at Belleauwood and Guadalcanal and Hue City, where close quarters combat was necessary.
Thank you for being with us today, and the floor is yours, sir.
STATEMENT OF GEN. MICHAEL W. HAGEE, COMMANDANT OF THE MARINE CORPS, U.S. MARINE CORPS
General HAGEE. Thank you for those comments, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Chairman, Congressman Skelton, other members of this distinguished committee, it is my privilege to report on your Marine Corps and its participation as part of the coalition force in operations in the Global War on Terror.
Page 36 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Your Marines are an expeditionary force in readiness who fight as an integrated air-ground logistics team within which every Marine is a rifleman.
Nothing can better demonstrate these core principles and their significant capabilities than Marine actions over the last year in Iraq, Afghanistan, Horn of Africa and Haiti, just to name a few.
Congress's sustained public and legislative commitment to Marines and other service members have been indispensable to our morale and our success. And on behalf of all Marines and their families, I thank this committee for your continued support.
However, make no mistake, today we are at war.
We should also not make the mistake of thinking this war will end in a year or two, or that eventual success in Iraq and Afghanistan will be the last battles in our campaign against terror.
We are here today to discuss and answer your questions on the demand on the force. As we do, we must remember, as the Chairman has just pointed out, there is a human cost that cannot be measured in dollars, and it is the sacrifice of our young men and women in uniform.
In the last approximately 10 days, we have lost over 45 Marines killed in action and over 350 wounded, just in Fallujah.
A month ago, we averaged 23 Marines and sailors a day being treated at Bethesda. Today, there are over 100 receiving care there.
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When I talk with these courageous young Americans and their families, they continue to strongly support our actions in the Global War on Terror. They firmly believe that we have an important mission.
They also believe that they are well equipped, well led, well trained, and most importantly, have the backing of the American people.
Like you, I am uplifted every time I talk with them.
As I mentioned, over this past year the Marine Corps has been actively engaged in the Global War on Terror in Afghanistan, Horn of Africa and Iraq.
We have accomplished this while retaining our readiness and flexibility to conduct short-notice operations, like the February deployment to Haiti, within 24 to 36 hours.
Critical to our ability to respond to emergency contingencies is our high level of readiness, our full expeditionary capability and our speed, flexibility and adaptability resulting from our robust training and education systems.
In Afghanistan this past spring, we provided, on short notice, a regimental headquarters, an infantry battalion and a combined arms Marine expeditionary unit. From March until July, this Marine force was a major portion of the combined joint task force so-called spring offensive to help in setting the conditions for the successful election that has greatly advanced the process of establishing a secure and stable government in Afghanistan.
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Since February of this year, the Marine Corps has had the lead for stability and security in the Al Anbar province in Iraq.
As you are aware, the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF), along with two U.S. Army brigades and five Iraqi infantry battalions, has recently taken control of Fallujah.
This morning the commander of that force, Lieutenant General John Sattler, informed me that, despite the casualties and the very difficult fighting, his force was extremely confident, ready, and the morale was high.
The Marines, soldiers, sailors, airmen and Iraqi security forces have displayed bravery and courage, along with warfighting acumen in conducting this demanding and dangerous operation.
The Marine Corps is performing well because of the outstanding courage, dedication and commitment of the individual Marines, regardless of where they are assigned for duty. They realize the danger to the Nation, their vital role and the magnitude of their responsibilities.
However, the demand on the force has increased exponentially. This demand is especially telling in the strain on our Marines, their families and on our equipment and material stocks.
We are an expeditionary force accustomed to deployments. However, in the past 2 years, we have gone from a deployment rotation of 3 to 1that is 6 months deployed, 18 months backto our current ratio of 1 to 17 months deployed, 7 months back, 7 months deployed.
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This means that if you are in the operating forces, you are either deployed or getting ready to relieve a unit that is deployed.
We have met our mission requirements with a total force approach.
Since 9/11, we have activated approximately 95 percent of our selective Marine Corps Reserve units, most of whom have served in either Iraq or Afghanistan.
Despite this high operations tempo, the Marine Corps continues to meet its recruiting and retention goals in quantity and in quality.
Although we met these goals last year, the individual recruiter will tell you he or she had to spend a great deal more time with each candidate and his or her parents. We see this trend continuing.
Similarly, our career retention specialists had to spend more time with the individual Marine in order to ensure we met our re-enlistment goals.
We need your help to ensure we maintain a strong advertising budget and selective re-enlistment bonus program.
Morale, dedication and commitment are high. We cannot lose these dedicated young Americans.
Page 40 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC While the details of the fiscal year 2005 supplemental request are still being worked, I can provide some broad indicators.
The demanding wear and tear on material, in addition to combat losses, is a significant concern.
During 3rd Battalion 11th Marines deployment to Iraq this yearincidentally, that is an artillery battalion that we transformed into a provisional security battalionthe commanding officer reported to me that out of the 150 tactical vehicles he had during the 7 months he was there, he drove them over 825,000 miles, conducting over 700 convoy security operations.
This usage equates to over 13 years of wear under normal conditions.
Currently, 30 percent of Marine Corps ground equipment and 25 percent of our aviation equipment is deployed in-theater and experiencing significant use in one of the harshest climates on the planet.
The additional cost to support our combat operationsintermediate and depot-level repairs, combat losses and sustainmentis approximately $8 billion to $10 billion.
These funds will go a long way to sustain the fighting force while recovering from accumulated demands on this force.
Page 41 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC To help ourselves, we have recently, like the Army, completed an extensive review of our force structure and made some important decisions to better prepare us to meet the Global War on Terror and to address rotational stress within the force.
I would also like to especially thank you for the additional forces provided in the fiscal year 2005 authorization bill. We intend to use this increase of 3,000 to man our infantry battalions at 100 percent and address other internal shortfalls.
We are currently assessing whether we will need an additional increase of personnel to meet long-term commitments in the Global War on Terror.
We are working aggressively with DOD and the Department of Veterans Affairs on initiatives in support of our Marines and families, particularly to address the long-term needs of our seriously injured Marines.
I can assure you that if we find legislative changes are required, I will report them to you immediately.
Adequate funding without dipping into our base accounts will allow us to continue to improve our force for future challenges and still allow us to continue the process of transformation.
Operations over these past few years, including those we are currently conducting in western Iraq, have dramatically highlighted that our focus on readiness to fight across the spectrum of conflict, our expeditionary mindset and our combined arms philosophy are on the mark.
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The ability to fully fund our modernization and transformation accounts will ensure that these critical capabilities will be ready for the future challenges.
Sea basing through a robust amphibious maritime pre-positioning force of the future, as well as other critical naval capabilities, will greatly increase our national capability to respond.
In conclusion, let me emphasize that Marines fully understand that our greatest contribution to the Nation is our high level of readiness for combat operations across the spectrum of conflict.
We will continue to ensure that our Marines and their equipment, their training and our organization are prepared for any potential contingency, today and in the future.
Marines and their families greatly appreciate Congress's support in achieving our high level of success and your efforts to assist us in sustaining our rich legacy, which inspires Marines and instills a fierce determination to overcome seemingly impossible challenges.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and I look forward to your questions.
[The prepared statement of General Hagee can be viewed in the hard copy.]
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, General.
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And thanks, gentlemen, to all of you for your statements.
And what you have basically laid out for us is, we have a lot of work to do.
So this committee is going to be getting into that job and doing everything that we can to make sure that we reset this force while keeping our eyes on that horizon and future conflicts that may require future capabilities.
You know, I think probably the best place to get into questioning is to go to the base budget that we provided for 2005, along with this $25 billion bridge fund that this committee led with and was followed on by the succeeding committees and by the other body, and we ultimately came up with a $25 billion conference product that was available immediately upon enactment of the appropriations by the President.
Let me ask each of you just this first question: How much of that $25 billion have you received at this point? And what have you done with it?
Looking at that, and now being able to reassess your reset costs, for the remainder of the fiscal year, what do you think you are going to need in additional supplemental appropriations for these categories: operational costs, resetting costs, manpower costs and, for the Army, your continuing modularization costs?
So if you could tell us first about how much of the $25 billion you have received and, beyond that, what you are going to need, I think that is a good starting point.
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General SCHOOMAKER. Yes, sir, thank you.
To answer your first question, the Army has received $15.4 billion of the $25 billion supplemental, the bridge supplemental, that came. And we have in our base budget for 2005 approximately $100 billion.
Now, I think, to really put this into context here, first of all, what General Hagee, the Commandant, talked about there, just to give you a scope of the United States Army, if you are just talking about Iraq alone, I totally subscribe to what the Commandant said in terms of usage.
But you have to think in terms of the fact that the United States Army in Iraq is five times the level of force structure of the United States Marine Corps.
So when I am speaking here, I am talking about quite a large-scale deal.
I would like to go back, because I do not think we can talk about the future without talking about what we have had to do this year, with your help.
The United States Army, since September of 2001 to November this year, spent almost $88 billion to get the force out of the hole that it was in$88 billion.
Page 45 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC That is about $23 billion in military personnel costs. That is about $60 billion in operation and maintenance costs for OPTEMPO, et cetera, and it is about $5.4 billion in investment costs.
So when we talk about the future, I think we need to instruct ourselves about the past and why we go through these sine waves of support in preparation of the force.
I also think we need to think about the fact that, in fact, right now today, we have three armies. We have an army that was built the way it was for the Cold War; we have an army that is task-organized, troop to task, in the war fight in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere in the world; and we have an army that we are building for the future.
In many cases there are separate requirements for each of these armies as we go through this transformation.
And while we have opportunity, in this strategic window of opportunity we have, through the transformation, we must understand, like I said in my opening statement, it is like building an airplane in flight.
So what we have given, now to answer your question about the future, in terms of what is requiredand I cannot give you a dollar figure, because they are being costed, but I will tell you the magnitude of the things that we have identified.
Right now, we are paying for, on average, 145,000 Reserve Component soldiers that are mobilized.
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So our Army, in fact, is at about 640,000 to 650,000 soldiers on active duty today. We are paying also for 25,000 over strength. And we are paying special pays for about 175,000 soldiers that are deployed in the war.
Units that are preparing, pre-deployment training, because of duty military occupational specialty (MOS) qualification, reclassification and collective training, is increased.
Communications and electronics: 41,600 radios that we need.
Weapons: 33,500 M4 carbines and 25,000 machine guns.
Tactical wheeled vehicles: 3,700 vehicles of all mixHumvees, medium tactical vehicles, palletized load systems (PLS), et cetera.
Units returning and restructuring: As the commandant has stated, our unit and depot level maintenance costs are nearly three times the base-level for our depot-level reset costs. And we will need to recapitalize 1,160 track vehicles and 5,437 wheeled vehicles.
Force protection: I mentioned that we have built 400,000-plus sets of body armor, and we need 373,000 sets more this coming year. As well as the RFI, we have issued 180,000 sets of the Rapid Fielding Initiative, the new equipment that soldiers have gone to war with, and we have a need for 131,000 more to be outfitted.
Page 47 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Vehicles: Armored security vehicles, 828.
Add-on armor kits: 12,500.
Aircraft survivability sets: 20.
And about 3,500 improvised explosive device (IED) electronic countermeasure sets.
So this is just examples of the scope of what it is we are talking about that we will be building and is going to the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) that we have said we will need.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you.
Admiral CLARK. As I have reported, I have received, and my share is about half a billion of the $25 billion.
With regard to what the supplemental is going to look like, here are my categories. Some of them I know I can estimate with some degree of clarity what the number is going to be.
For example, we are already projecting what the reserve mobilization will be to support the Army and the Marine Corps, and that will be about $775 million.
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The personnel support costs are going to be $175 million, somewhere in there.
The part I cannot tell you with clarity, that we just do not have worked out yet, is what the operations and support (O&S) costs will be, but that is a major category.
I will have transportation costs somewhere in the neighborhood of a billion dollars, and that is to support my good friend down there on the left end of the table. We cover his transportation costs as you move the Marines in and out of theater.
And then there will be a small number for investment costs, and these are, as General Schoomaker mentioned, aircraft survivability mods, things like antiterrorism/force protection (AT/FP) that are ongoing kinds of new developments.
These kinds of issues will beI do not know what that number is going to be yet, and we are working on that.
General JUMPER. Mr. Chairman, the Air Force got about $590 million of the $25 billion.
As we look into the future, our current monthly burn rate in the ongoing operation is about $800 million a month.
Like Admiral Clark, as we look out to the future, it is hard to get the exact estimates, and we are still working on the categories of modifications, vehicles, equipment, and our bare base equipment that is being used up at a great rate.
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We have some 14,000 tents out there, set up throughout the AOR, right now, and those will last for about one season before they have to be replaced.
It is categories like that we will have to continue to estimate how much those things will cost.
But as I see it right now, we have $590 million of the $25 billion, and we look at $800 million a month as a current burn rate is what we are seeing.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, General.
General HAGEE. Mr. Chairman, I gave you our estimate in my opening statement there. As the other service chiefs mentioned, that is still being worked, but I think that is a fairly good ballpark figure on what we would need.
We got $1.6 billion out of the bridge. And at our current burn rate, that would take us through early spring next year.
General SCHOOMAKER. Mr. Chairman, if I might.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes.
General SCHOOMAKER. I failed to mention our burn rate. Our burn rate is $10.4 billion a month for the United States Army$10.4 billion.
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The CHAIRMAN. Okay.
Okay, thank you, gentleman. Thank you for that answer. I think that is a good starting point here.
Right now, as you are aware, we are in the final stages of negotiation on a fairly sweeping reform of the Nation's intelligence system. And one of the concerns, I think of both houses has been, and the administration, is to create this national intelligence director and at the same time maintain the lifeline, if you will, the intel lifeline between our intelligence apparatus and the warfighter in-theater.
And I do not know if you are familiar with the letter that the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Dick Myers, sent me on October 21st, which states, ''It is my understanding that the House bill maintains this vital flow of resources through the Secretary of Defense to the combat support agencies,'' meaning the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), National Security Agency (NSA) and Geospatial. ''It is my recommendation that this critical provision be preserved in conference.''
We are still in conference, gentlemen, and that is still one of the primary issues before the conference.
As members of the Joint Chiefs, what are your views on this question? Do you support General Myers's position on this?
Page 51 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General SCHOOMAKER. Sir, from the Army's perspective, we have had extensive discussions with the Chairman, and I fully support the letter that he wrote you.
Our concern is the support to the combat formations and the protection of those capabilities and our ability to be supported in that regard.
Admiral CLARK. I align myself with the Chairman's letter. I see the issue boiling down to defining the organizational principles that you believe in.
And for me, the principle issue here is the difference between the strategic-level intelligence and tactical-level intelligence.
And my approachby the way, I believe reform is very much needed. I believe that the idea of moving from need-to-know to need-to-share is exactly the right kind of thinking. We need to do this better.
But we must also not lose focus on this simple, straightforward fact: strategic intelligence provides one level of support for the warfare and tactical-level intelligence provides another, and there needs to be coherency between those two.
It is my view that you cannot have that without having some say-so over the resources that are being spent on intelligence.
General JUMPER. Sir, I could not agree more with my two colleagues. I fully support the letter that General Myers sent.
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And let me just add that we see every day the absolute requirement for the free flow of operational-and tactical-level intelligence that goes to the battlefield every day.
I might point out that many of the resources that are required for strategic-level intelligence are those that have to be able to shift with great agility to the tactical-and operational-level problem at a moment's notice and getting to go from the collect-analyze-report traditions of the intelligence system to the real-time kill chain that is happening in real time.
We are seeing that work now in Iraq, every single day.
So any system that is adapted must be very sensitive to the need for the free flow of tactical-and operational-level intelligence that uses the same assets, in many cases, as the strategic-level programs.
General HAGEE. Sir, I align myself completely with my three joint partners.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, General.
The gentleman from Missouri, Mr. Skelton.
Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Chairman, thank you.
Page 53 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General Hagee, I am going to ask you a question, actually in two parts, if I may.
And, General Schoomaker, I will ask the same question of you, as it applies to the Army, in just a moment.
General Hagee, as we know, the threat in Iraq continues to evolve. What challenges has the Marine Corps faced as you work to keep pace and transform and adapt to it?
Further, what insights can you provide as you look past Iraq and anticipate other adaptable enemies who are watching what we are doing there and learning about our strengths and about our weaknesses?
General HAGEE. Sir, thank you very much for that very perceptive question.
We probably spend the majority of our time thinking about that.
I would like to talk about two issues: one, when we got ready to go in February and what we are doing right now on this next rotation which is going to occur in March.
As we got ready to put 25,000 Marines into Iraq in February, we worked very closely with the 82nd Airborne Division. They told us what we should be doing. They told us what they would have done differently if they had been on the ground longer and, if they had to come back, how they would have attacked the problem.
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We learned from them. We took their lessons learned, and we integrated it into our training program.
We significantly modified how we train Marines at Twenty-nine Palms, at our Marine air-ground training center out there, to focus it on the current fight.
In addition, we put a lessons-learned team embedded, a lessons-learned team overseas with the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force. That team reports back almost on a daily basis to our schools, so that we are actually changing the training on the fly so that a battalion, getting ready to go today, is being trained differently than a battalion that we trained just six months ago.
And the reports that we are getting from the commanders in the field is that it is working, that these individuals, these units are arriving better prepared for what they are going to face on the ground.
Now, you asked about how we are going to apply that in the future.
We have a red cell. We are trying to think like the enemy. And as you pointed out, sir, it is an adaptive enemy, a thinking enemy. And we are trying to guess where they are going to go so that we can prepare our Marines for that.
We are doing some things now that we have never done before.
Page 55 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC For example, on the first rotation we took 800 Marines and we sent them to an Arabic language course. Not a long one, four weeks, but at least they had some basic understanding.
We hired scholars in the Islamic religion, and we hired some scholars in the Arabic culture, and we put every single Marine through a series of classes to better understand that culture and those people when they go over there. We had not done that before.
And that is what we are learning from this team that is over there right now. It is being fed back so that we are modifying our training. And then that is going into our doctrine process to see where we need to change the doctrine to better prepare ourselves to fight these sorts of stability and reconstruction-type of operations.
The CHAIRMAN. General, thank you.
General SCHOOMAKER. Yes, sir. The United States Army is doing many of the same things that the Commandant just described.
If you go to our combat training centers today, they are totally different than they were 18 months ago.
We have 500 to 600 civilians on the battlefield now at those places, six and seven villages that are villages that are populated with Arabs in dress, playing the roles of Iraqi police, playing the roles of Iraqi mayors, citizens, the marketplaces, the insurgents and all the rest of it.
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At the National Training Center today we have seven villages built and over 100 miles of tunnel that is built. We have caves that have been constructed. If you squint your eyes, it is not hard to transport yourself very quickly into Iraq.
And we are providing the turnaround time, especially on issues like the adaptation of IEDs, tactics, techniques and procedures that our red cells are developing are being turned into these training centers very, very quickly.
We are populating now our platforms in our schools and in our training base in the basic training and in our Non-commissioned Officer Education System (NCOES) and Officer Education System (OES) systems with combat veterans that are coming back. We are changing the nature of the way education takes place.
Of course, this takes time and we are working very hard on it.
But I think the bottom line is, if you are going to try to fight an adaptive, innovative enemy who is operating as a network with a hierarchy, a bureaucratic hierarchy, that has got all of the tensions and frictions and all of the kind of things within the typical hierarchical structure, it is difficult, if not impossible, to operate that way.
So we are trying to develop a United States Army, just like the Marine Corps, into a learning, adaptive organization full of learning, innovative, adaptive people that understand that we have got to adapt and change faster than the other guy, anticipate what he is doing and be better at what he does than he is, as we go.
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And it goes back to what I said about having, in a sense, three Armies.
We have a piece of the Army that we have not yet moved through the system the way we want; we have a piece that is got a great deal of experience in this business; and we are trying to carry this experience into the future force, not only in terms of the organization, the doctrine and the tactics and the leader development and all of the rest of it, but in the total construct as we take it forward into a much more learning and adaptive force.
So it is a huge challenge. And it goes to the very, very nature of the strategic issue, and that is, what kind of volunteer Armywhat kind of volunteer force do we need for the future? How are we going to build it? How are we going to get it? How are we going to sustain it? How are we going to maintain it?
And we cannot let this great force that we have with all this experience slide back into the prior mentalities and shape that we started out this endeavor on.
And I am highly encouraged with your support for the direction that we are going here.
Mr. SKELTON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman.
The gentleman from Pennsylvania, Mr. Weldon.
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Mr. WELDON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Thank each of you for coming in today.
General Hagee, it brought a smile to my face to hear the name of John be brought up, John Sattler, who was in congressional affairs and a great friend to all of ours. And we are not surprised he is doing so well over there. If he could handle Congress, he can handle anyone.
So you give him our best and continue to give him our good blessings.
As you mentioned, each of you, I think almost every one of the committee members have been over to the theater. I do not have any questions, because we can answer those in our ongoing process.
But I just want to comment on the caliber of our troops.
They continue to impress all of us. They are just unbelievable. They are the best America has to offer.
When I was over there on a trip earlier this year and met General Odierno with the 4th Infantry Division up in an area in the northern part of Iraq, he told, with great pride, the success that our Active Duty and Guard and reservists were having in taking one town at a time, and not just repelling the enemy, but showing them how to control their own communities and how to make decisions and what a great job they were doing in showing the Iraqis how democracy really works.
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Well, that is our soldiers.
Unfortunately, he told me the story of a young, 24-year-old West Point grad that had just been killed a month earlier. The amazing part of his story was that when he finished, I asked if the name of that lieutenant was Bernstein. His eyes got real wide. And he said, ''Well, yes, Congressman, it was.''
The reason why it was so amazing is that I was carrying a three-page letter from Bernstein's parents, because I nominated him to West Point. He was a young soldier from my district.
His parents, when they wrote me after his funeral, told me how proud they were of their son. And even though he paid the ultimate price, he did it doing what he loved, and that was serving our country, serving in the Army as a Ranger.
And he died knowing that he was brining to the people of Iraq something that he had in America that he felt so strongly about.
I got the same thing from an e-mail I just got one week before the election.
I want to read this, Mr. Chairman.
Because as I went around my district and around the state, I would always tell parents and grandparents who had loved ones serving overseas, I said, ''Have them e-mail me. Tell me what is really going on.''
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So I got this e-mail from Grandma and Grandpa Swenson about their grandson. They asked him to send back his comments. They are mixed comments, but I think it is worth us listening to because this young Marine corporal I think represents what we need to hear on this committee.
He said, ''What I do and think as a Marine in Iraq consists of a lot of different situations. On a day off, I spend it cleaning my rifle, watching movies or trying to head over to the phone center and calling home or even writing an e-mail or two.
''Most days, you wake up to 110 to 130 degrees of heat hitting us right in the face.
''Living in two-man trailers makes for a lot better living conditions than just a tent, in which I lived in the first month I was here.
''The military provides everything we need to survive, from food and bottled water to the gear that we need to get the job done.
''The only thing I would complain about concerning the equipment is the armor we have for the Humvees. It is very thin, and a mine strike or IED could rip right through the thin armor with ease. I have seen IED strikes and mine strikes firsthand, being a combat engineer. After shipping up to a hit vehicle, it is not a pretty site.
''I know there is better armor out there, because I have seen civilian contractors with vehicles that can withstand a mine strike and keep on going.
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''But besides the armor for the vehicles, I feel very safe knowing my training and the Marine next to me will go to the extreme to make sure I come back safely after every mission.
''Missions change all the time. But the reason we are here in Iraq does not. We are here to win the hearts and minds of the people. Several months working with the locals in the Iraqi national guard, I can see we are winning the battle.
''A mission I went on the other day, we had locals tip us off about an enemy movement, and this information helped us considerably. And the outcome of this information helped our forces and the people in saving lives.''
This young Marine, I think, exemplifies the best that we have in America. He is 21 years old.
We are as concerned as all of you are about the up-armored situation, and we are giving you every dollar we have available to make sure that we give maximum protection to our soldiers and our Marines who are serving over there.
But I just want to tell you in closing, I am proud to be on this committee, because I am proud to support the best that America has to offer. They are doing the job, they are doing it extremely well.
We are here to support you all, regardless of what a White House says, whether it be Democrat or Republican, and we have shown that over the 18 years I have been here. We will be there to support you.
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We will be there because we understand that the Constitution gives us that mandate, to support the men and women who serve in uniform. And that is what we are going to do together.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you. I thank the gentleman.
The gentleman from Mississippi, Mr. Taylor.
Mr. TAYLOR. Thank all four of you gentlemen for being here.
If you do not mind, I am going to cut to the quick.
General Schoomaker, there are 4,500 Mississippians who will be going to Iraq with the 155th early next year. They are training right now at Camp Shelby. They are getting ready to go to the National Training Center.
They were impressed with some of the scenarios that they have had to train at Camp Shelby. But in none of those scenarios did they have either improvised explosive devices or the jammers that will be used.
I am told by a staffer who just returned from the National Training Center that, again, there are no jammers there, nor even prototypes of jammers or mock-ups of jammers.
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From what I can see from several thousand miles away, about half of our casualties continue to be caused by improvised explosive devices.
Now, I am pleased to hear that you have ordered about 3,500 of them. But earlier in your testimony, I thought I heard you say we have 30,000 vehicles in-theater. Quick math tells us that is one in ten. I do not think that is enough.
I say this as a concerned American. I think the Department of Defense is making the same mistake with improvised explosives and the jammers that was made with the body armor early on.
I do not know what it is going to take, but I would certainly hope that you will come back in next year's budget request, or if there is another supplemental, and spend whatever is necessary to protect our troops from something we know is killing American kids.
We spent ten billion dollars this year on national missile defense. We have not lost any Americans to intercontinental ballistic missiles. We lose Americans every day to improvised explosives, General.
And, again, it just frustrates me that I do not sense that the DOD is paying enough attention to this.
So I would like to hear your thoughts on that.
Page 64 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC While I still have a chance to ask my questions, Admiral Clark, I am concerned that there is a persistent rumor in this town, that I hope is not true, that the Navy shipbuilding budget for next year is only going to include four ships and the six billion dollars necessary to build them.
You have said that you thought the ideal fleet should be about 375 ships. Even the defense think tanks are talking about a fleet of at least 310 ships. You are down to about 290.
You are retiring ships now at 20-years-old. So if you are going to have a retirement age of 20 ships and you are only building four a year, we are looking at a fleet, in my lifetime, of less than 100 ships. I do not think that is enough.
So I would hope, when given the opportunity, you would address that.
If I may, General, if I could start with the IEDs.
General SCHOOMAKER. First of all, I was just down at Camp Shelby and saw the 278th that is deploying out of there now. They have been through the mob there, through the Combat Training Center (CTC), back, and they are now departing.
And the 155th is tracing the same steps that they do.
To directly talk about the IEDs: What we are teaching at Camp Shelby and what they will see more of as they go to the Combat Training Center is to start recognizing the signs and the placement and understanding the IED problem.
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The reason we do not have jammers at the National Training Center at Camp Shelby is, we are putting every one of them in-theater, where they are needed.
They do not do us any good. I mean, all it is is a box, and so there is no real learning that takes place by putting a jammer at the Combat Training Center here in the Continental United States (CONUS) when we need them on the vehicles that are over there.
There is also, as I saidthe 3,300 jammers that we are asking for are the future, that is on top of the ones that we have already placed in-theater.
This is relatively new technology that we really got onto this year and are building, and we are building them and asking for them in the numbers that are required.
In a convoy, as an example, every vehicle does not have one, because of the natureand I do not want to discuss it any further herebut in a way they are placed.
We also have other systems that are joint systems, and my joint partner sitting next to me here has some systems that we are also emplacing that are working this very same issue.
So I do not know if that helps you any. But I can just flat tell you that the reason the jammers are not in the training centers here in CONUS is because every one of themjust like having an up-armored Humvee here. It is not saving anybody's life at the
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Mr. TAYLOR. General, I accept that. But I am told there are not even simulators.
General SCHOOMAKER. There are not any what?
Mr. TAYLOR. There are neither simulators norwhat do these folks train with to be ready to properly use them when they get in-theater?
General SCHOOMAKER. Quite frankly, it is like training with a battery. You turn it on and it sits there. There is nothing else anybody does, except
Mr. TAYLOR. If I may, General, I thought that one of the things that has to happen is you have to search out and program different spectrum.
General SCHOOMAKER. I do not think we should talk about that here, but
Mr. TAYLOR. But, again, I would think that is a bit more complicated than turning on a battery, General, with all due respect.
General SCHOOMAKER. Well, I was not trying to be facetious. I was telling you, there is very little interface that is required there, that basically people are told how to set them and they do their thing.
Page 67 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The reason that we do not have them at the training centers is because we want them saving lives in Iraq.
Mr. TAYLOR. If I could leave you with a parting thought, you cannot, as far as I am concerned, ask for too many of them or too much money. And I would welcome your request to adequately
General SCHOOMAKER. Sir, I got the message on that, sir.
Mr. TAYLOR. General ClarkAdmiral Clark, third time.
Admiral CLARK. First of all, I will not be addressing the 2006 submit that has not been approved by the Secretary of Defense or submitted to the President, but we will address it when we come up next year.
I would talk about the numbers.
I mentioned in my brief statement before that the 2005 budget, it is the best budget that we have had in a decade in shipbuilding. And I mentioned that we will be addressing actions taken to see how it is then going to affect the 2006 build.
With regard to numbers, I talked about Sea Swap, but not extensively.
In the open, I have saidand I am on the recordthat Sea Swap is influencing our thinking. I have every expectation that if we are able to capitalize on Sea Swap principles, it will affect my 375 number, because we will be able to extract more combat capability out of the investments that we have made.
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I do not know exactly what that number is yet. I expect when I get to visit you nextI will tell you I have got analytical rigor going as hard as I can go to figure this out.
But there are a lot of unanswered questions in the whole Sea Swap experiment. But it is very clear that there is gold to be mined.
So we will continue to reach out to provide the Congress the correct number to invest toward.
And then let me just address briefly the issue of retiring 20-year ships.
I could not agree with you more.
When I got here in this job 4.5 years ago, there was no cruiser modernization program. And we are losing the Block I cruisers, because by the time you get around to investing in them, the cost of investing, there is not enough ship life left to invest in them.
So the budget that we are building addresses guided-missile destroyers (DDG), even though we are still building DDGsand I need your help to work on this to do this correctly because, frankly, it has not been done correctly.
We cannot build ships and retire them at 20 years. But you are left with that when you do not invest properly in a modernization program.
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So I look forward to working with you on that.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman.
Let me tell my friend from Mississippi, too, I had a briefing on the jammer situation yesterdaypretty extensive.
I want to make sure that Mr. Simmons shares, Gene, with you, the numbers on production.
But I think that we are working up a proposal that we want to get to the Secretary of Defense and to the Commandant and General Schoomaker about increasing that production, what we think it could go.
So, Mr. Taylor, we would like to have you involved in that. I will have Mr. Simmons give you the up-brief on it and any other members of the committee who are interested in it.
But we think that we can increase the production that we have right now in the current jammer system. So let us work on that if we can after the hearing.
The gentleman from New Jersey, Mr. Saxton.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
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First, let me thank you gentleman and the men and women that you lead for the fantastic job that has been carried out in the last several years.
This has been a difficult situation. The people that you lead have done a fantastic job for us. Just as everyone here has said, I repeat, and we appreciate that very much.
And when General Schoomaker was responding to someone's question earlier, he talked about the force that we had at the outset of this conflict, the force that we have today and the force that we are going to have for the future.
That brought to mind a question that I have contemplated over and over again, and that is that when we started this process back in 2001, went to Afghanistan and later Iraq, we had a set of strategies, given the unique international nature of this conflict, and we had a set of tactics that we used to carry out the fight.
Given the nature of this fight, given what we have learned during our experience in Iraq and in Afghanistan previously, how have we changed our strategies, and how have we changed our tactics?
We heard a little bit about it from General Hagee and from General Schoomaker in responding to Mr. Skelton's question.
But I am more interested in the big picture about how we viewed this fight when we started, from a strategic point of view and from tactical point of view, and through what we have learned, how has that changed?
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General HAGEE. I will take a first swing at that, sir.
I was the commanding general of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, just before we got ready to go to war, so I was very involved in the initial planning.
And I can tell you that we focused on the combat part of that. And we did a very good job on that, both the Army and the Marine Corps.
If I had to go back and do it again, I would spend a great deal more time thinking about phase fourin other words, the stability, the security, reconstruction part of that.
Of course, the U.S. military only plays a certain portion of that, more the security portion of that than the other portion of that.
But the integration of all elements of national power during the so-called phase four operations, if I had to do it again, I would put much more emphasis in that particular area so that we were better prepared for that.
General SCHOOMAKER. Sir, I was not here in the early stages of it. But I think the Commandant has hit the nail on the head there. I associate with his remarks there.
I will tell you that we were optimized to do what we did in the major combat operations. And the march to Baghdad is an example of where we were optimized.
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I would say, likewise, the kinds of things that we did in Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) in the early stages there with our special operating forces and other forces that got involved in that, we were optimized for that as well in that community.
But as we know, this is a war of ideas, it is a test of wills. It has so many more components to it.
Quite frankly, this is a job that is bigger than the Department of Defense. This is an interagency and a coalition job.
I think there are transformational aspects of the entire spectrum, as we think about what our future strategic needs may be, in terms of how we might need to approach them. And it is broader than just the military side.
General JUMPER. Sir, if I just might add, there have been suggestions along the way that in order to bring about this full-scope look at the problems that we faced after major combat operations, calls for an interagency deliberate planning process, much like the deliberate planning process that we have in the military, where formal assignments are made within the interagency to get up-front commitment to what the post-major combat operations requirements will be.
This is something I think where there is some area to, in my personal opinion, make some great progressinteragency, deliberate planning type of process.
Page 73 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Admiral CLARK. Well, let me just say very brieflymost of it has been coveredbut in the tactical round, for example, we have made great progress from lessons learned in close air support kind of operations that we provide with the Air Force in support of the ground forces.
You know, we were good, but we learned things. And we are better now and we are better by far.
Let us talk big strategy.
Since 9/11 in 2001, we created 1421 as a sizing strategy. One is to protect the homeland involved in four areas around the crisis hot spotstwo quickly defeats or one decisively defeat, a sizing construct.
And then, since then the 103030 construct as our force availability has been put forward.
We are talking about this right now, as we are even in planning for the next round of major strategy discussions in the Quadrennal Defense Review (QDR).
And I will tell you this: It is clear to me that we viewedand General Schoomaker said thiswe viewed major combat operations as the centerpiece of everything that we did. And almost everything that we did was inside of the circle of major combat operations. And if we had to do something lesser, we did it with those kind of forces.
Page 74 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I am of a growing view that we have to look at where those forces do overlay and should overlay and where they cannot.
What kind of forces do we need to take on the Global War on Terror? Are they forces that are optimized for major combat operations?
What kind of investments do we need to take care of the anti-terrorism, counterterrorism, force protection kind of requirements?
I am convinced that we are learning things at sea that we will continue to fine-tune and in fact alter our investments and potentially our strategy.
General SCHOOMAKER. Sir, could I re-address, real quick?
Big question: What is the corollary of the strategic forces of the past?
In other words, prior to September 2001, we had certain strategic forces that were considered that. And I think a fair question is, what are the strategic forces of the future? Are they the same ones, or are they different?
I do not have the answer for that, but I think it is a question we need to answer: What will be the strategic force composition of the future? I am talking about strategic forces now.
Tactically, we can do it.
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In Fallujah, under the United States Marine Corps, under the MEF, we had forces out of the 1st Infantry Division and the 1st Cavalry Division that fought under the leadership of the Marine Corps, supported by Marine, Navy and Air Force air, to include UAVs. And they did it superbly, seamlessly.
We know how to do that.
The young folks that we have today and the people that are leading understand how to kludge those things together. They are very agile, they are very adaptive and they know how to do that.
But the bigger issue is: Are we that agile and adaptive at the strategic level, and are we going to make the strategic investment in the right kind of strategic forces for the 21st century?
That is the big question. I would suggest that it may not be the same as we looked over the last several decades.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you.
Mr. Chairman, if I may just ask General Hagee, what is the U.S. Marine Corps burn rate per month?
General HAGEE. Right now our burn rate is about $300 million a month, sir. That is for OIF-OEF.
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Mr. SAXTON. Mr. Chairman, thank you very much.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman.
The gentleman from Texas, Mr. Reyes.
Mr. REYES. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
And gentlemen, thank you for being here. As I told you before the hearing, we appreciate all of your work and certainly want you to convey our pride to our men and women serving us so admirably around the globe.
General Hagee, you mentioned the burn rate. What is the total burn rate for the Marine Corps per month?
Because I think, General Schoomaker, in your comments, it was $10.4 billion for the whole Army. Am I correct?
General SCHOOMAKER. It was $10.4 billion for the war. That is just OPTEMPO costs, personnel costs.
Mr. REYES. Just for OIF?
General SCHOOMAKER. OIF-OEF.
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Mr. REYES. Okay, thank you.
Can both of you give us the whole burn rate for the whole Marine Corps operation and for the whole Army operation, per month?
General HAGEE. Yes, sir. We will provide that to you, sir.
Mr. REYES. The other area that I wanted to address, I recently had an opportunity to talk to a couple of soldiers that are convalescing in San Antonio that had been hurt in Afghanistan.
Especially for you, General Schoomaker, I am going to put a series of questions for the record that I will provide for you, because I want to cover some other things that I heard in you gentlemens' testimony here.
We learned, when we were looking at the report on Abu Ghraib, that General Sanchez had in fact asked for additional troops, because they did not have enough troops for force protection and facility protection in Abu Ghraib, and that was one of the huge issues that they had.
Can we be assured, as a committee, that if a ground commander today in Iraq or Afghanistan asks for additional troops that they will not be told that no more troops can be provided and not to ask for any more troops? Because that was the testimony we heard here as it regarded to Abu Ghraib.
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Can we have that assurance from you gentlemen?
General SCHOOMAKER. Well, I can speak for the Army.
To date, to the best of my knowledge, we have never failed to provide the troops that have been asked for.
Mr. REYES. The reason I am asking this question is because in the report it is clear that there was a request for additional troops, because no more additional troops could be provided to Abu Ghraib. The answer was no, and then they were told not to ask for more.
For me that is an issue, because if they need more troops, they ought to get them.
General SCHOOMAKER. Well, I understand your question.
But I think we would all agreeand everybody could speak to this.
But the process is such that when a commander in-theater asks for troops, he does it toin this case General Abizaid. General Abizaid's request comes forward to the Joint Staff and that is adjudicated. And it goes through the joint forces process, and then we are told what it is that we should provide.
Page 79 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I do not know of an instance where we have been asked to provide something that we have failed to provide.
Now, I cannot speak to all of the rest of that chain, because we do not have visibility of that. But that is the way the system works. And I do not know of
Mr. REYES. Excuse me, General.
Maybe what I ought to ask for the assurances that you will send it down the chain of command, that attempts to get more troops into theater as needed should not be stopped or thwarted in any manner, way or shape, because I think it is important.
We should have that kind of assurance, that if troops are needed, more troops should be provided.
So if I can get your assurances, that would be fine.
General SCHOOMAKER. Well, you have my assurance that I am committed to providing the troops that are requested, but I cannot promise more than I have got.
Mr. REYES. True, I understand.
General Hagee, as well?
A couple of other areas.
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General Jumper talked about 55 percent of the Reserve is in-theater that is providing the airlift. General Hagee talks about the one-to-one deployment ratio that we are in today.
I have asked before for the Army to consider the six-months rotation, like the Marine Corps is doing.
Because that is a huge issue. As I talk to soldiers, they are wondering why they have to spend 12 months in-theater and Marines spend 6 months and get transferred out.
General SCHOOMAKER. If I could address that, and you will see that every one of the services here has different rotation policies.
I said earlier that if you take a look at the Army's contribution, just in Iraq alone, for every battalion of Marines you are talking about, there are five battalions of Army, plus all of the Army service support that we provide to everybody that is in-theater, plus all of that logistics business, all of the stuff that comes out there.
So between April and the 15th of June, in a 75-day period this year, we churned out 244,000 soldiers that went in and out of theater.
If we had been on six-month rotations, we would have had to rotate a half a million soldiers during that period.
Page 81 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC If you take a look at the magnitude of that and the amount of turbulence and the lack of continuity and the disengagement from all of the contacts that we have got in Iraq at that level of thing, it is just absolutely impractical.
So what we are committed to and what we are working are shorter tour rotations.
But it is going to be dependent upon the conditions being met of Iraqi forces being generated to take more of the stress off and reducing the overall requirement for Army forces in-theater. Otherwise it would be horribly disruptive and counterproductive to go to that.
And we are as concerned as everybody about these tour lengths.
Of course, the last thing I would like to say is, we are trying to increase, as I mentioned in my opening statement, the amount of deployable units that we are constructing with in the Army. And that is why we are slowly moving off the one-for-one rotation time issue.
As we build this Army broader at the base and have more deployable units, it will help significantly to give us more depth in our rotation base.
So it is a complex issue.
I have said in the past, like a Rubik's Cube, you know, you move one little thing, all of a sudden you see there are three or four other issues there.
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Mr. REYES. Thank you, General.
Mr. Chairman, I noticed that my time is up, but if General Hagee can comment on one last point, and that is, can we abandon that plan about embedded reporters?
War is hell. We should not be subjecting, in view of the events of the last few days. I think that is one of the reasons why National Football League (NFL) players do not have mikes on their uniforms. We know everything else about football, because we do not want to hear what is going on on the field.
I do not think it is a good idea to have embedded reporters in combat to the extent that we have them, and I hope we abandon that.
Not that we want to keep anything secret, but having had the experience of combat, it is an ugly situation.
People get into different kinds of situations. We should not be providing Al Jazeera with the kind of propaganda that they have had the last couple, three days.
General SCHOOMAKER. Sir, could I correct the record very quickly.
You asked a question on burn rate. The Army's total burn rate is $10.4 billion per month. For OIF-OEF it is $4.7 billion a month. So I have misstatedI misquoted.
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Mr. REYES. That is what I understood you to say the first time. That is why I asked that question.
Could you comment on that one last point?
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
General HAGEE. Would you like me to comment on that now, sir, or for the record?
The CHAIRMAN. You are at total license to comment right now, General.
General HAGEE. I would be happy to comment.
I understand the concern about embedded reporters. Obviously, I know the incident you are talking about.
But, sir, in my personal opinion, embedded reporters have actually worked very well. They inform the American public about what these great, young Americans are doing over there. And the large, large majority are doing, as the members here have already articulated, a tremendous job. And the American press is an important part of getting that information out.
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So I personally, Mike Hagee, would not want to do away with something that is working very well.
I would like to focus on the part that we might be able to do better and correct that, rather than doing away with the entire embedded reporting process.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman.
The gentleman from New York, Mr. McHugh.
Mr. MCHUGH. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Gentlemen, welcome. Thank you, as always, for your service.
Like many of my colleagues, most of my colleagues, on this body, I have been to Iraq a number of times. I just got back from my fifth time in-country about a week before elections.
And I think an honest assessment is, there are challenging parts that have probably gotten worse, but a good part, many good parts, that have gotten far better. The best of those good parts are the men and women in uniform.
I am just in awe of their commitment to mission.
Page 85 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I wished all of us in the United States had the clear understanding of what they do, of what they are about and what they are trying to achieve.
That starts at the top, as I have said before. So thank you for that kind of leadership.
A lot of talk today, understandably, about stress on the force, about end strength, et cetera.
As General Hagee referred in his comments, the Marine Corps under the 2005 authorization bill, is scheduled to receive 3,000 new troops; General Schoomaker's folks about 20,000.
The bill stipulated that that funding come out of supplemental, and I know that was an important part of the entire package.
To use, again, General Hagee's terms of broad indicators on the supplemental, any broad indicators on what the likelihood of that funding will be out of requests being there from DOD?
There is an enormous amount of pressure on this supplemental. We have heard some of your descriptions today climbing out of the hole and such. What is your early read on that, if you have one?
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General HAGEE. That a supplemental will be coming over, does that
Mr. MCHUGH. Well, that I am pretty sure of.
General HAGEE. Yes, sir.
Mr. MCHUGH. Will it include the headroom? Will it include the funding for the end-strength increase?
General HAGEE. Sir, we are aggressively working that.
Mr. MCHUGH. Good answer.
General SCHOOMAKER. Sure, I have you indications of what is in our request as we build it. I would hesitate to put a dollar price on, because they are doing the costing of it and I do not know what it will be.
But I told you kind of the magnitude of it there. It is very, very clear that we will need one.
Mr. MCHUGH. Well, I appreciate that.
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Obviously, those of us on this panel particularly have had concerns about the end-strength issues.
General Schoomaker and I have spent a lot of time talking about that. And I compliment him for the way in which he has very aggressively gone after a number of the components of this challenge. I think he has done an amazing job.
But at least in the near term, as we go forward in OIF and Afghanistan, as well, the end strength, I think, is a key indicator. I think General Hagee hinted at that, as well.
So I would hope you would prevail, to the extent you can, to make sure that that funding is part of that supplemental bill that comes over. I appreciate your attention to that.
The other commentand it really is more of a comment than a questionI mentioned the great men and women we have in our armed services, and we continue to bring them in.
Frankly, I am surprised at the Active Component recruiting. And that is a pleasant surprise. I am kind of surprised the numbers have retained their level of goals that they have. In fact, we are above the stated goals for all of the services, all the active, and I commend you.
Page 88 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC But we do have some challenges on retention in the active. We have some challenges in the Reserve Component. The Air National Guard: 94 percent. The Army National Guard is probably the biggest challenge at 87 percent.
With respect to retention, as I mentioned, we have got some shortcomings there that we have to be concerned about.
Your Navy re-enlistment rate failed, not by big numbers, but failed to meet its goal of 56 percent.
Air Force mid-career re-enlistment rate, your NCO are between 6 and 10 years; 70 percent was what you achieved, and you were trying to re-enlist 75 percent.
So we have got to keep a tight rein on that.
The statement I would have is, in the past, at least my experience doing personnel work, what we have seen on recruiting and retention is the up and down that General Schoomaker is mentioning, the sine curves, of dedicating effort, getting the job done, and then taking the funding away. And then as we hit the trough, we fund it back up.
I would hopeand it is always a challengebut I would hope, as we go forward and you are building your budgets, that we make sure that we maintain that effort to keep our recruiting as we see our retention programs robust enough to meet the job.
I just think that maintenance of effort is so very important.
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We have tried to, in this new authorization bill, increase the recruiting and retention incentives, tried to give you some flexibilities, and I know you will use those very, very effectively.
But it is just kind of an unpaid politicalsmall ''p''political advertisement that your budgets focus on that.
Because short of that kind of effort, I think we are going to see continuing erosion of what so far are pretty decent numbers given all the hard work your folks are doing.
I would be happy, at the Chairman's forbearance, if any of you want to comment on that, but it was not really a question.
Admiral CLARK. I would love to comment on that.
Mr. McHugh, you and I have shared a number of discussions about building a human capital strategy for the 21st century, and I do not think we have one. So I want to be on the record that way.
I believe that it is time that we started the hard work to create the kind of structure that we are going to have to have to compete in the 21st century against our competitors.
Page 90 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I do not compete with John Jumper. I do not compete with Pete Schoomaker. I am competing with those companies out there that want the intellectual capital that we need.
You know, I am going at this and my numbers and my end-strength issues are different than the other people at the table here.
But I am convinced that it is time for us to start the hard work to create a new structure that is consistent withthat gives the kind of incentives thatyou have given some of those to us in the last program, but we are going to need force-shaping tools to shape this force correctly, and I do not have the tools that I need to do so.
General SCHOOMAKER. Sir, I would like to chime in on that as well and talk to a different aspect of it.
We have had extraordinary success in recruiting and retention.
It is going to continue to be a challenge. It is going to get harder the longer we go with this, no question about it. And we are going to have to pay attention.
Back to my strategic question: What kind of volunteer Army of the future and how are we going to get it and how are we going to retain it?
We are going to need to pay continuing attention and give a lot of support to the families of these soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines.
Page 91 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC We recruit soldiers, but we retain families.
We will continue to be working hard on behalf of these families to set the right conditionsit is not allit is family housing, it is proper schools, it is proper compensation, proper health care.
It is also the proper environment for these families as their soldiers come and go on these many deployments.
We owe them a safe and secure facilities and environments. We are going to have to pay a lot of attention to that.
So unfortunately, sometimes we talk about all the force structure stuff, you know, that does not get all the attention it ought to have.
But having grown up in an Army family and never having lived in satisfactory housing through my entire youth, those days are over, and we are going to have to deal with it in the proper way.
General JUMPER. Sir, if I could just comment, what is remarkable to me is how well these youngsters in this contemporary culture respond to leadership, to sense of mission and take pride in being a part of something that is bigger than they are.
When you go over there and talk to them, it is all about those higher-order values that they cherish, and thus this sense of mission and their dedication to complete this mission.
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Once we get these youngsters in and trained, I think the emphasis needs to shift to retention.
We pay a lot of money to train an avionics specialist or a jet engine specialist. When we lose that ten-year tech sergeant, it takes ten years to replace himwith all their experience and all their leadership and all their skills.
So I think greater emphasis on retention is important.
It gets to quality of life, for sure, but it is just as much value of life. And that is what we in uniform, I think, bring to thiscertainly the contemporary culture and the current generation. And I think that is our greatest asset and we need to keep that up.
Mr. MCHUGH. Well, I would just say thank God there is a value component, because we could never pay them what they are worth.
But the points you all take are very well positioned and I look forward to working with you.
Thank you, gentlemen.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman.
Page 93 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The gentlemen from Arkansas, Dr. Snyder.
Dr. SNYDER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Thank you, gentlemen, for being here.
I wanted to, I think, continue this discussion that Mr. McHugh started.
General Schoomaker, there have been several issues-you have talked about some of the solutions, as did General Jumper.
Mr. McHugh mentioned that the numbers looked pretty good, but while the numbers are down for the Army National Guard and the Air National Guard, the recruiting numbers look pretty good for the active Army.
But are we not using the delayed entrywe do not want to get fooled. Have we not changed the way we use the delayed entry numbers? Does that give you some pause for concern in the future or is it a little bit like using the seed corn? I mean, there is another reason to be concerned, is it not?
General SCHOOMAKER. The answer is yes, we are using the Delayed Entry Program (DEP). The answer is yes, it is a matter of concern.
But I believe there is also a reason to think differently about that, and probably way beyond my level of expertise here to discuss it.
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But I would say, yes, these are areas of concern.
You have to remember that we increased our recruiting goals from 72,000 in 2003 to 80,000 this year.
Dr. SNYDER. Another area of concern relates to the Army Reserve.
General Jumper was talking about retention. I have a chart in front of me that talks about the unqualified resignations of officers from the Army Reserve, and those numbers. That trend looks very bad for the last 4 years: 20 resignations in 2001; in 2002 it goes to 121; 2003 to 194; and then by 2004 it triples again to 543.
Those are the people, I think, that we are very interested in retaining.
Is that another area that you all have looked at? These are Army Reserve officers?
General SCHOOMAKER. The answer is yes. I mean, we are looking at the whole package.
Quite frankly, part of this whole transformation of the force is a different expectation on what it means to be a member of the U.S. Army Reserve.
Page 95 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I have Lieutenant General Helmly here with me that I would be glad to let him discuss. Lieutenant General Schultz is here from the Army National Guard.
I mean, the whole expectation now of what it means to be a volunteer in one of the components of the United States Army is different, to include the Inactive Ready Reserve (IRR).
Dr. SNYDER. I wanted to ask a question about the IRR, if I might, General Schoomaker, just very briefly.
Some of the press reports have stated that there seems to have been some confusion about the obligation to resign your commission. Do you feel that was confusion? Or do you think that it is poor memory or retrospective history on the part of the concerned members?
General SCHOOMAKER. I think it is all of the above.
It is very clear that anybody that volunteers for the armed forces has an eight-year mandatory service obligation, unless they have more as a result of additional schooling and special programs that we have.
Whenever they do not serve on active duty, they serve in either the Selective Reserve or in the IRR. It is their choice to go in.
In the case of officers, they remain until they resign. That is the difference.
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Otherwise, people are discharged at the end of their mandatory service obligation.
Dr. SNYDER. But in some cases, it has been confusion, in your view?
General SCHOOMAKER. But in all fairness, there has been a different expectation in the past than there is today.
Dr. SNYDER. My recollection when I got out 35 years ago was, we would not be called up unless somebody landed on the shores of the Columbia River, but
General SCHOOMAKER. But what is a little bit surprising is that we called up 20,200 members of the IRR for Desert Shield/Desert Storm.
We have called up about 5,600 this time with a whole different level of tolerance there.
We are doing okay there. We are sorting it out.
In the end we will have the IRR sorted out and everybody will know what the expectation is and we will have it purified. It may be a little smaller.
Dr. SNYDER. I wanted to shift to another topic as my time winds down here.
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And I am not on the Intel Committee, and Chairman Hunter brought up this issue and you all four gave us the same opinion on it, basically. I think the argument is the difference between strategic and tactical intelligence.
I am not on Intel, and I would like you to amplify on that if you could.
Because it seems to me, in my amateurism here, that it is not as easy to distinguish between tactical and strategic in this war that we are fighting now, and if you all could help me with that.
For example, if we have intelligence in Singapore thatI would think, okay, we have got someI am just making something up. We broke up a ring there that was casing embassies in Singapore, but in the course of doing, we find out that there is information there that there is 100 people from Singapore that are planning to move to Afghanistan or Iraq. That obviously impacts on what you are doing.
By the same token, if you are interrogating somebody in Iraq, then you run across pieces of paper that have information about chemical weapons or information with drawings of embassiesthat has strategic implications.
I just do not think this distinction is as clean as perhaps some who are opposed to the Senate version of the bill are painting, that in fact, one of the issues is that it can be so cloudy that it is not as clear to separate out of the two.
Page 98 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Would you all comment on that, please? And then I am done.
General JUMPER. I would be happy to start, sir.
You are right, sir. The line between all strategic, operational and tactical levels of warfare is beginning to fuzzy as we see decision-making up at a higher level and execution still down at a lower level.
The point is that the same assets that might be taking the picture or gathering the intelligence in one part of the world on one operationor in one part of the battlefield at the strategic levelare the same platforms that have to be able to shift seamlessly over to help the engaged maneuver unit of soldiers or Marines on the ground with their current fight.
So you may be gathering signals intelligence or photographic intelligence with this asset that is going to help work a strategic-level problem of the type you described, and then the next minute it is called over to participate in the middle of a firefight, with streaming video, to put weapons on targets for maneuver units on the ground.
It is our agility to be able to shift seamlessly back and forth between those two things that we have to pay the closest attention to, in my estimation.
General SCHOOMAKER. I would add that the ability to move the kind of information you are talking about, or intelligence, after it is been analyzed, is dependent upon having the nodes in the various tactical formations to be able to receive that so we can distribute it.
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Dr. SNYDER. General Jumper, would there be more agility to have one person who had responsibility for both aspects of
General JUMPER. I am not sure there is. My point was that we have to be able to ensure whatever system and whatever organization, we have to be able to ensure
Dr. SNYDER. You have everything you need, yes.
General JUMPER [continuing]. That that operational and tactical level need is sustained. Because that is what we are using a lot of on the battlefield today.
Mr. MCHUGH [presiding]. The gentleman's time has expired.
If I may, as an aside, I think if we look at the two House bills, the one that assumed the bright line was not the House bill, it was the Senate bill, and therein lies the problem, at least in this humble member's opinion.
The gentleman from Maryland, Mr. Bartlett.
Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you very much.
Gentlemen, I join my colleagues in thanking you for your service. And I join you in commending and thanking our young people who wear the uniform for what they are doing for their country.
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We sit here in an air conditioned hearing room, and many of them are over there in circumstances where today is like yesterday and the day before. They will not all wake up in this life tomorrow morning.
So I join you and all of America: our commendation and thanks to our young people there.
Gentlemen, I think I got down the numbers correctly from your share of the $25 billion bridge money that we made available, and I think it added up to a whisker over $17 billion.
What is your understanding about the other $8 billion? Did it go somewhere else, or is it on its way to you?
Admiral CLARK. I have a spreadsheet on it, and it went to pay defense-wide bills that are paid from the top down. I cannot give you any specifics. I do not know that.
Mr. BARTLETT. But I thought this was a bridge for warfighting?
Admiral CLARK. I am not suggesting that it was not used for warfighting.
Mr. BARTLETT. But don't your force services provide the resources for warfighting?
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Admiral CLARK. I seek to try to defend the number no further, because I do not know how to do it. I just know that it was spent on defense-wide bills for the war.
Mr. BARTLETT. You are not going to try and defend the indefensible?
Admiral CLARK. I cannot. I just know what the explanation is.
Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you.
Admiral, there are rumors out there that the request for ships next year is going to be some number woefully shortfour, I thinksome woefully short number of providing the work necessary for our six major yards.
I read an article that suggested that the Navy of the future might be a few major platforms with swarmsI think was the adjective they usedwith swarms of unmanned vehicles in the air and on the surface and under the water that was commanded by and reported back to the mother platform.
We have two naval architecture studies in process now.
We are a bit like the farmer with seven horses and only enough food for five. Next year it may be only enough food for three and a half or four.
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And we are, with our yards, a bit like the farmer and his seven horses and enough food for five, he gives the food to the one that looks the worst, and shortly he looks around at another one is in bad shape, and so he has to take food for that one.
Sir, can you give me a timetable and a process that we are going to get this resolved?
Because it is really unfair to our thousands of people out there in our six major yards that are counting on us for work and clearly it may not be there in the future.
Do you have a timetable and a process for resolving this so we can be fair to these people?
Admiral CLARK. I would not know, honestly, Congressman, how to establish a timetable for decisions that have so many variables. I think it is very clear that there are many decision-makers in this process.
So, as I indicated to Congressman Taylor, I will not comment on and I will not confirm or deny rumors, because, frankly, these issues have not even been decided upon inside the Pentagon, let alone at the White House, before they are submitted to the Congress.
But this vision that you cite is a view toward a Navy that will exist 30 years from now.
Page 103 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Now, the definition and the mix of platforms is in fact different.
But I absolutely believe that the ship that you all authorized in the 2005 budget, the Littoral Combatant Ship, is going to change the whole shape and face of shipbuilding and applying maritime power at sea, with roll-on, roll-off, unmanned undersea, on-the-surface, unmanned aerial vehicles.
I absolutely believe that that is the future. But that future is not going to be here tomorrow morning; nor is it going to be here five years from now. We will grow toward a different kind of a force.
My force takes longer to create than anybody else's force here in terms of the investment requirements. It takes longer to build our stuff.
I do believe it is a legitimate question that needs to be addressed and raised: What is the correct level of inside industry, what kind of capability do we need to build ships in the United States of America?
Those are issues that are addressed every year, as you all address the budget and particular investment strategies.
I am going to start addressing my fifth budget here in another couple of months, and I am anxious for the debate.
General Hagee and I are bringing forward an approach to delivering twice the combat power in half the time. There are great changes ahead in the Navy-Marine Corps mix that we envision for the future. There is a lot of work to accurately define and specify the specific capabilities inside those platforms.
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This is a journey we are on, not a point solution, sir.
Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you very much.
It is very clear I think to everyone that we really do need to decide sooner rather than later what the infrastructure out there needs to look like. We just have not been very fair, because I guess we have not been able to make the kind of decisions that we needed to make.
Hopefully this can be done in the fairly near future out of fairness.
We cannot continue building half a sub at each yard a year when we used to buildwhat?six subs or seven subs a year in these yards, you know.
There is a limit to how little food you can give those horses and still have them survive until the next year.
Admiral CLARK. I was reviewing a declassification document from 1967 and we built five submarines that year.
But I have been speaking, now in my fifth year, addressing this issue.
We cannot have the kind of shipbuilding program that this nation needs with a sine/cosine curve investment strategy. It is impossible to create the Navy of the future with that kind of an investment approach. We need alternative funding mechanisms.
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Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you, sir. We want to work with you to get there. Thank you very much.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. SAXTON [presiding]. Mr. Bartlett, thank you very much.
We are going to go to Ms. Sanchez next, the gentlelady from California.
Ms. SANCHEZ. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
And thank you gentlemen for being before our committee once again.
You know, yesterday I was over at Walter Reed visiting a soldier there, Staff Sergeant David Glenn. He is in Special Forces. He has been three times in Afghanistan, one time in Iraq so far.
He lost his right leg. He injured his left hand, has a portion of it missing. And he still intends to return to service. I mean, he really believes he is going back in to the Special Forces.
He said, ''Congresslady, I just need to be able to carry my pack, parachute out of a plane''you know, the list went on and on.
Page 106 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I basically looked at him, I said, ''You are one crazy son of a gun.'' [Laughter.]
It was just amazing to see his attitude and his wife's attitude about getting him back in the service and doing what he did before.
But my questions today are about those that are not able to return. As much as they would like to, there are some who are not going to return to the service.
I think that as of November 15th, there were almost 4,800 service members who had been wounded in action and had been out more than 72 hours.
I know that since we started the siege of Fallujah on November 8th, they tell me that there are about 400 who have been evacuated to our military hospital in Germany.
So this is to all of you, but in particular, I want to start with General Schoomaker.
Because I know that the Army has implemented a program to help severely disabled soldiers, DS3, Disabled Soldiers Support System. It is supposed to provide an array of appropriate services to assist the soldiers' transition back to civilian life. We are talking about the people who are not coming back.
I want your honest assessment of whether that program has enough resources, given the kinds of numbers that I have seenand as many of the members here, in particular, have visited Walter Reed and other hospitalswhat do we need to do?
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I mean, do you have enough resources? What else can we do?
Can you tell me a little bit about the services they are going to receive or what they receive when they get discharged, when they are told, ''I am sorry. You are missing too many legs. You cannot come back''?
General SCHOOMAKER. First of all, thanks for the question, because it is an important one.
We are committedand I think the commandant also mentioned the Marine Corps is involved in thisto every one of these soldiers and their families to deal with them as individuals and be with them as long as we can be with them until they are set up in the future, whether they stay with us or whether they go out.
We have talked to industry. We are working with Secretary Principi at the Veterans Affairs.
We are setting up full time, as you know, at Walter Reed. We have a full-time set up there that is available: counseling and maintaining contact.
We have set a system up in our human resources command that will track these soldiers and talk to them routinely, even after they leave the service.
But every one of these is an individual.
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And, you know, you just mentioned a young staff sergeant at Walter Reed, who I have met.
Let me tell you about a captain who lost his leg in the 3rd ACR, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, over there, has made the decision to stay.
He ran in the Army ten-miler here in October and did very well with his new leg. And he is returning to Iraq with the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment in command of a troop, headquarters troop, of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment.
We have a history of being successful with those soldiers that have this kind of desire and will, and they work hard to do it, and I can tell you a whole long list of them over my period of service.
But it is not for everyone of them. And we have to deal with every one of these individuals in terms of what it means to them in the long-term in terms of their benefits, in terms of what quality of life we are talking about, in terms of what they and their family want to do as we go.
And so our Disabled Soldier Support System is designed around that, to deal with each of these as an individual, to be a broker for all of the resources that are available and to maintain the Army's commitment to these soldiers and their families beyond their time in the service.
Page 109 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Specifically, in terms of dollar resources that we need, I will have to take that for the record and get back to you.
We have elevated this to OSDand Secretary Wolfowitz is engaged with us now on this and is helping us, you know, working it through Dr. Chu and the othersthat we think that this is a viable program to be embraced more broadly within the Department of Defense so that we can fulfill our commitment.
Ms. SANCHEZ. I am told that the Army has actually made DS3 mandatory, and that is why I am worried about whether you really have the resources for each of the soldiers to go through that process.
So I would be interested to hear back.
General SCHOOMAKER. This is not to be confused with all of the counseling and rehab and medical treatment they get.
Ms. SANCHEZ. I understand that, I understand that. This is
General SCHOOMAKER. This is a whole different thing aside from that.
Ms. SANCHEZ [continuing]. For those who really have given in this war.
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General SCHOOMAKER. Exactly, exactly.
Ms. SANCHEZ. I guess I would ask the rest of you gentlemen: Are you planning to make these type of efforts for your services?
General HAGEE. As General Schoomaker said, we are in full attack in this particular area.
The one thing I would mention that we might need help onand I do not have clarity on it yet. I have talked with Secretary Principi and we are meeting again.
There is an issue besides resources, and that is that there may be some legislative changes that are required.
Right now between the Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs there is a wall. Both of us want to break that down to ensure that for those young soldiers or those Marines who decide or cannot stay that there is a smooth transition into that particular system.
So we are identifying some laws that may need to be modified, and when we have that, we will bring that to you and we would ask for your support on that, ma'am.
Ms. SANCHEZ. Thank you, General.
I just also want to commend, obviously, my Marines, our Marines, Chairman Duncan Hunter, and also the Congresslady from San Diego, because I know that our Marines have been fighting valiantly over there, especially from Camp Pendleton. Wefrom my knowledge, we have suffered the most losses of any camp, of any base in the Nation.
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So please get back to us, because we want to support those troops in particular.
General HAGEE. Yes, ma'am.
Mr. SAXTON. I thank the gentlelady for her questions.
I would now like to recognize the gentleman from Concord, North Carolina, probably located right next door to Fort Bragg and Pope Air Force Base, Mr. Hayes.
Mr. HAYES. You have got it right, Mr. Chairman. Thank you very much.
Let me add my thanks to you gentlemen for being here, for your service, and particularly my gratitude, appreciation and admiration for the men and women that serve under you.
General Schoomaker, to get right to the specifics, in September, Camp Boha contracting office awarded 60,000 pairs of medium cold-weather gloves to the Chinese, much like the black berets. It was done under a combat operations clause, which I do not think exists.
It is not our committee's intention to buy Chinese gloves, berets or anything else.
Page 112 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC We want to abide by the letter and spirit of the law. The gloves were available from a U.S. manufacturer on a timely basis, a company that the military regularly and successfully uses.
And last but not least, we are asking our manufacturing base to support our Guard, Reserve and active duty personnel. They are doing it admirably.
And we turn around and poke them in the eye again, first with the berets, flight jackets and now gloves.
What happened? How did it happen, and how do we fix it?
General SCHOOMAKER. Sir, since you have mentioned that to me, I am no smarter, but I will take it for the record.
As you know, the Army acquisition authority is the authority which that operates under, and that is a little outside my purview.
But I will get an answer from Secretary Bolton, who I know is working the issue, since you asked the question.
Mr. HAYES. While I have got you, on the surface, does this sound justified as far as an emergency for combat? Winter is fairly predictable, whether Iraq or anywhere else.
Page 113 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General SCHOOMAKER. Sir, I do not know anything about it, so I do not know. I would not want to try to pass judgment.
Mr. HAYES. Well, please find out, cancel the contract and stop it from happening in the future.
It is not my intention to shoot the messenger, which happens to be you, the Army. But there seems to be some hangup in the Pentagon.
And, I mean, this transfers into real, live situations, not only in the best quality and quantity of goods for our solders, but, again, we are asking our defense base to be there, ready for surge capacity, whether it is underwear, weaponry. We have talked about M4s and other things. And they deserve better from us.
This committee has been very specific.
Again, I just would really appreciate bearing down, and I really do not think it is you guys because that has not been my experience, but some folks over in the Pentagon need a wake-up call dealing with the folks who support our troops.
General SCHOOMAKER. I do not think anybody disagrees with the premise. And I am not even sure it is necessarily at the Pentagon.
You know, we have given an awful lot of flexibility to the field, in my view, and in the main, that is the right thing to do.
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Mr. HAYES. Absolutely.
General SCHOOMAKER. It will not be perfect.
So we will find out what happened here, and we will get you a definitive answer to it.
Mr. HAYES. There is a guy in Iowa with 100 employees that would love to know, as well.
General Hagee, I read one of our good friends' name in the paper today. It is remarkable what our folks are doing, both Marines, Army, Air Force, Navy. Again, in my time, I want to add admiration and thanks to them.
As Silver said earlier, it is just outrageous that this young Marine is being pilloried for protecting himself and the rest of his men.
I received an e-mail while we are here in this hearingand I appreciate your patience. I am sure your backside is probably the same shape as mine. But it is always, ''Blame America. Blame our troops.''
Thank you for sticking with them, and this committee, to a man and a woman, appreciates what they are doing.
Page 115 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And please let them know how much we appreciate them, no matter what the outrageous crazies on the left propose or suppose.
And again, our thanks.
And I yield back my time.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you, Mr. Hayes.
The gentlelady from California, Ms. Tauscher.
Ms. TAUSCHER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Generals, Admiral, it is always good to see you. Thank you so much for being here.
We have gotten a lot of questions this afternoon about equipment shortages, end strengthtwo issues near and dear to my heart.
I do have a couple of questions specifically for Generals Schoomaker and Hagee.
I have seen some charts from the Pentagon that give us estimated completion dates for adding armor to Army Humvees, and that is around the March 2005 time line; Marine Humvees, June 2005; and the projected dates required for the up-armored new ones is April 2005.
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I guess my question is really about with the continuation of the major operations in the Sunni Triangle against the insurgent-held cities, which I would expect were unanticipated.
What kind of plans do we have to deal with the wear and tear on this equipment and platforms?
And are we still on track, considering the fact that we have had all this wear and tear, for these March 2005 and June 2005 adding armor, and then the new Humvees that we are expecting in April 2005, are those dates still holding?
General SCHOOMAKER. The answer on the up-armored Humvees is yes.
I think, in all fairness, what we need to doand I have got the chart before me here. I mentioned earlier that we had 235 up-armored Humvees in-theater last year, and then we got a requirement for 1,407.
So we started chasing that requirement.
A month later, we got a requirement for 3,000, then it went to 4,150, and then it went to 6,223, and now it has gone to 8,105.
So every time we get close to the duck, he is flying. And we are catching up, and we are trying to get a lead on him, the thing up.
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So being kind of slow, what we now have figured out is, look, what the heck, we better up-armor everything we have got over there.
And that is what we are doing, and we are going to maintain the ramp and try to get ahead of this.
It looks like our crossover point right now is in about April of 2005, on the 8,100 requirement. And we will continue to manufacture these, with your support as we go out there.
Now, in a broader sense, not just up-armors, just the Army, we have about 70,000 wheeled vehicles, and in time here, we are going to have to recapitalize them70,000. That is not just up-armored Humvees and stuff.
Ms. TAUSCHER. Now, do we have a warm production line? Did we have a warm production line? Are we looking at redesigning?
I mean, when I was over there in September, what is clear is, one of these things hits an IED and it is dead. I mean, there is no coming back from that.
General SCHOOMAKER. Well, the answer is yes on the up-armored Humvees.
As you know, we have ramped up from production of 30 now to 450, and we will keep going on that.
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Oh, by the way, on the side, we are stamping out the add-on armor kits to the tune of almost 13,000 of those that will go on the cabs of things like the pallet loading system trucks, the heavy expanded mobile tactical truck (HEMTT), the 900-series trucks and all the rest of it.
So it is a pretty comprehensive effort, and in some cases, I mean, it is 24/7.
Ms. TAUSCHER. But are we going to go to everything being built up-armored? Because even the ones that we are adding the kits to, the suspensions are getting shot. We are cutting the life of the vehicle in half just by putting it
General SCHOOMAKER. That is why we have gone to theall the future Humvees that we buy will be the heavy-duty version, the 1151s, so that they will be able to carry the weight.
There is also some technologies emerging where, some of this, we can get better capability out of the armor we are putting out there in a lightermore modern technologies that are emerging that are going to give us more effective armor at less weight.
But, in general, what we are doing now is, we are going to go ahead and move, as we buy in the future, to the heaviest-duty Humvee so that we can put these on and off, and then manage these add-on kitssince they can come on and off, we can manage them and maneuver them on the force, based upon what requirements we have in the future, as opposed to just leaving them on there all the time.
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Ms. TAUSCHER. So they would be backups, effectively, like if a door comes off?
General SCHOOMAKER. Exactly.
So, in other words, this is an investment we are making that we want to maintain.
We do not want get through with the current problem and then end up some day in the future having the same problem again and not having retained, you know, what we have invested in.
Ms. TAUSCHER. General Hagee, you have the same situation?
General HAGEE. I really have nothing to add from what the Chief of Staff of the Army saidmaybe with one exception. Really, General Schoomaker has already mentioned this.
This is a very complex problem and there is not one single solution out there.
We should provide the very best armor that we can for these Marines and soldiers, and I believe that we are doing that.
Page 120 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC We should provide the very best technology that we can, and I believe that we are doing that.
We are developing tactics, techniques and procedures. General Schoomaker mentioned teaching the soldiers and Marines how to observe the terrain and how to spot these devices.
But we are going against a thinking enemy.
Right now, they are starting to use the suicide vehicle-born IED, which is very, very difficult to stop.
So this is a multifaceted problem, and there is not just one solution out there.
Ms. TAUSCHER. I just have one further question.
We have obviously dipped heavily into the pre-positioned war stocks to cover equipment losses. I just wanted to ask you very quickly, and you can answer me on the record later, but what kind of strategic concerns do you have about these diminishing war stocks, and how do you expect to pay for resetting them?
General SCHOOMAKER. I am sorry, I did not hearwhat kind of
Page 121 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Ms. TAUSCHER. Pre-positioned war stocks.
General SCHOOMAKER. Oh, pre-positioned war stocks.
Well, much of this recapitalization we are talking about, because we have gone into our pre-positioned stocks to outfit and meet the requirements in-theater, we are going to have to reconstitute those stocks.
Ms. TAUSCHER. Do you have a sense for how much of a percentage down we are and what your recapitalization plan will be?
General SCHOOMAKER. It is wrapped up in those numbers I gave you, but I would have to answer that for the record. We can get it to you.
Ms. TAUSCHER. If you could give me a sense for that so we can start to plan for that, I would appreciate it.
Thank you, gentlemen.
Mr. SAXTON. May I just inquire, are there any problems with productionno, let me ask the right question this way: Is there a problem with resourcing for production?
Is there a problem with production? Is the manufacturer able to get things out, in terms of Humvees, I am speaking. Is everything working as good as it can be there, or is there something that we need to address?
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General SCHOOMAKER. Sir, I know of no problem, but I would rather come back to you for the record on that.
I know, as you know, a year ago when we were starting the ramp-up, there was some friction in the system in terms of what the capacities might be.
We had the same kind of problem on the body armor, because they had to create more kilns and there was a drag in the start-up.
But to the best of my knowledge, right now things are going very well. But I will come back to you with a more definitive answer on that.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you very much.
The gentleman from Virginia, Mr. Forbes.
Mr. FORBES. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Thank you all for the men and women that you are turning out and the great job that they are doing.
And I have just three questions, and I will just pose all three questions and then ask if you can respond to them.
Page 123 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC First of all, General Schoomaker, we have talked about what we do for our disabled troops when they come back. But one of the things that we are also concerned with is the debriefing process that we use for the other troops.
I have seen some of the programs that are working very, very well. Can you tell us basically what we are doing there? And have we had enough time to measure whether that seems to be working the way we want it?
And, Admiral, if I could just throw out a question for youI cannot thank you enough for what you are doing for our men and women in the Navy. The admiration they have for you is just incredible.
But could you give us just a feel for how the jointness, in terms of planning and operations for the Navy, is working out?
And then, General Jumper, are we on schedule for the F22 still, the Langley? And if you can, tell us how important that aircraft is to the Air Force.
Mr. FORBES. General Schoomaker, if you would?
Mr. SAXTON. General, may I just interrupt for one moment?
I would like to recognize, out of order, for just one moment, Mr. Weldon from Pennsylvania.
Page 124 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. WELDON. I would ask the gentleman if he would just allow me to do one quick item.
Chairman Hunter was going to recognize this delegation that we have here. I would like to thank the gentleman, the chairman, for allowing me and for Randy allowing me.
We are joined here today by the leadership of the parliament of Azerbaijan.
And as you know, their troops are serving with our troops in-theater under some very difficult circumstances. They have decided throughout this entire process to be our key ally and friend.
These are the leaders of the Milli Mejlis in Baku who have led that effort, and I wanted to introduce them publicly in this Armed Services Committee hearing in front of the chiefs.
These are the chiefs of our military. These are the top brass.
Have you all stand. Please stand and take a bow. The leadership of the Milli Mejlis from Azerbaijan.
So I wanted to have them come in front of each of you. I know that you appreciate the support of the Azeris in working with us, and we do, as well.
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So I thank the Chairman for yielding that time.
Mr. SAXTON. I would just like to also say to our guests, thank you for being herewe hope you are having a good visit to our countryand to say thank you very much, as Mr. Weldon just did, for the great allies that you have been over the past period of time.
Thank you, and welcome.
General SCHOOMAKER. You are speaking of the reintegration program that we have.
We have a mandatory reintegration program for every service member that comes out of the war zone. That includes the families and the children, and to the best of my knowledge it has been quite successful.
But I think it would be worthwhile if I had somebody come over and give you a detailed briefing about that.
It is an interesting program. I think that it is working quite well.
General HAGEE. Sir, if I could, I would like to comment on that, too, and also maybe send a team over, because I completely agree with General Schoomaker; this is very important.
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There are some people that argue that some people are affected in combat and some people are not. I strongly disagree with that.
Every single person who is in combat is affected. Some of them are affected more than others, and it could take years for that to manifest itself.
We have a warrior return program focused on the Marines and focused on their families, very similar to what the Army has, and we are committed, sort of like on the injured Marine program, to stay with them their entire time that they are a Marine.
But we would be very happy to send a team over and brief you on the work that we have done in that area.
Mr. FORBES. I would appreciate that.
And I also agree with both of you, I think that is great work. We are seeing from the people that I have spoken to, some of whom did not feel that they needed that program until they went through it and then realized the value that it has.
Thank you both for that.
Admiral CLARK. Very quickly on jointness, it starts at the home base with training syllabuses that are created under Joint Forces Command in Norfolk. Our forces are certified to some joint specifications before they ever even deploy.
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And then they get in-theater and, for example, all the airplanes are flying missions that are planned and coordinated and put togetherthe whole operation is run by a United States Air Force officer who is the commander of the CAOC, and all of that is being done in a joint context.
So we are at a level in our historyour joint precision and effectiveness has been on an up-slope since Goldwater-Nichols, and it is the highest it has ever been in our history.
Ours is operated and run through Fleet Forces Command there in Norfolk and Joint Forces Command, and then in-theater. It is all operated under General Abizaid and his component command structure that is completely joint and coalition, I would add.
Mr. FORBES. Thank you, Admiral.
Admiral CLARK. For example, we have coalition commander, and my maritime commander has a United Kingdom (U.K.) general who is his deputy, and we have liaison officers from countries all over the world. It is really a sight to see how far we have come.
General JUMPER. If I could just add to that, sir, when you go into the air operations center over in the theater, it looks like a multiservice organization and multinational organization with uniforms of all kinds running around in there, and I think it is absolutely remarkable.
Page 128 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC With regard to the F/A22, we are in the final phases of the operational test and evaluation. It is unbelievable, the results that we have gotten as we think forward to the next generation of surface-to-air missile threats and aircraft that are being built today and deployed today, surface-to-air missiles that are being built today and deployed today around the world, that are going to contest airspace that we are going to have to penetrate to get to the battlefields of the future.
The timetable is on track for the deployment to Langley.
And as you know, the facilities are being built and we look forward to activating that first operational squadron.
Mr. FORBES. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you, Mr. Forbes.
The gentlelady from San Diego, Ms. Davis.
Ms. DAVIS OF CALIFORNIA. Thank you.
Thank you all for being here. We all appreciate the magnificent performance of our armed services, which is why I think we remain concerned about their care after they leave, whether it is leaving the service or whether or not they are not able to do what they believe so strongly in doing again.
Page 129 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC We have talked a little bit about mental health services. I wanted to just mention, I know that in San Diego we have done a lot more outreach than in previous conflicts. I am hoping that that will make a difference for many of the men and women and that we will look for them before they look for us and have that kind of follow-up.
But I am wondering if we have really factored that into our costs, into our ability to make sure that their transition to civilian life is adequate.
What is your sense of that? Do you think that we are taking full account of it? Is there something that we could be doing differently?
And would you suggest, or do you think it is appropriate, that within the services we train more of our commanders to identify and work with active serving members to deal with mental health problems while they are occurring more in the field?
General SCHOOMAKER. Well, I know in the Army, if we are talking about the reintegration program, this is a commanders' program. And our commanders have embraced it very strongly.
I think it would be wrong for me to say we cannot improve. And I think that the more we learn and the more we go into this, the more we will know.
I believe we are adequately resourced for this. It is part of our whole personnel system.
Page 130 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC But as I said, if you put the disabled soldier support system on top of that and all the other things we are doing, we may come back and say that we could use some additional resources.
But in general, I do not know of anythingI think our commanders are embracing it. I think that we are adequately resourced for doing what we are doing.
But I do believe we have got a lot of room for improvement in this area, and we are going to actively seek to do that, because we are committed to it.
I think all of the chiefs would agree with that.
Admiral CLARK. We call it re-entry. We send teams from the home basein fact, fly them over so that they are with the forces on the way home.
And with regard to people who leave, we have continued to develop and improve our transition courses for our people.
But General Schoomaker said it exactly right. We have got to keep learning because circumstances change, our people are gone longer.
We cannot settle into a pattern and a solution that worked for us two years ago. We have got to constantly be assessing and evaluating to see if we can make it better.
Ms. DAVIS OF CALIFORNIA. Thank you.
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May I turn for a secondand I do not know, Mr. Chairman, we are not going to deal with this obviously in any depthbut having Iraqi Security Forces serving alongside with our military has to make some kind of a difference, not just in the ability culturally for them to respond, but also in training.
Could you speak to that somewhat? How does that make a difference to people out in the field in terms of their own training, what they need to be looking out for, and how impactful has that been? Has it been only in a few operations?
We see in Fallujah that there has beenI think from everything I have read, we have found that they are able to respond a lot better than previously.
But what is that doing for our soldiers, and how is that making a difference?
Are we also, Admiral, bringing Iraqis into the Navy operation in any way?
General SCHOOMAKER. Well, I will comment broadly and then turn it over to Commandant and he can talk about Fallujah in particular or his insights into this.
But fundamentally, the solution to Iraq is Iraqi ownership of their nation, and a great portion of that is developing effective security forces, for Iraqis to develop a security situation for their nation to develop.
Page 132 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And when you have indigenous forces in their own country working with you, there is a tremendous plus-up in your capability, not only from the standpoint of having additional boots on the ground, but from the standpoint of their understanding, their cultural awareness.
You know, they see things and recognize things that we will never be able to recognize.
And so it is a hugely valuable resource, and it is the way to go, in my view, and I think the performance today of these forces is significantly better than it was in April.
We have got a huge effort going to make sure that they were properly trained, properly equipped, properly led.
Now, it is not perfect and we are learning and, you know, we will continue to learn. But I think we are on the right path here.
And it is very much a part of the future of Iraq that we get this part right. And I think the Commandant probably has
General HAGEE. I would agree completely with what General Schoomaker has said there.
As I mentioned, there are five Iraqi battalions working in the Al Anbar province on the Fallujah operation. Three of them were the Iraqi intervention battalions and two of them were the new Iraqi armed forces battalion.
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And they performed very well. They were working with, in some cases, U.S. Army companies and in some cases with U.S. Marine companies. They were warfighters. They were not afraid and they, as I said, performed well.
One thing I would mention, and General Schoomaker mentioned it, and that is that they see things that we do not.
In one case, they stopped a suicide vehicle-borne IED because they said, ''You have to stop that car. That car should not be there.'' We would not have recognized that; they did.
So that is one of the real pluses that they bring to the force.
Admiral CLARK. With regard to naval forces, they are relatively landlocked, but they did, in fact, have a navy because of the waterways that connect to the northern gulf. That navy must be reconstituted.
We are working with their people. The details of that I do not want to get into in an open hearing just because I do not think anybodythere are a lot of people that do not need to know how we are doing that.
But clearly, in order for them to sustain and provide the kind of protection for key pieces of their economy, they have to have the capability to protect those resources, and we are working with them, and they are working with us.
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Mr. SAXTON. Thank the gentlelady.
The gentleman from Minnesota, Mr. Kline.
Mr. KLINE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Thank you, gentlemen, for your incredible patience today and your leadership every day.
There is no question that the Marine Corps that Chairman Hunter's son is serving in and the Army that my son is serving in is far better than the Marine Corps that I served in or the Army that the Chairman served in. And one day we are going to figure out where our sons went wrong. [Laughter.]
I am very concerned, and I have been since I got here, about what I consider to be the over-reliance on the Reserve Component.
And I am very glad that the chiefs of the Army, Guard and Reserve are here.
But I am hearing increasingly from the Reserve Component in Minnesota that they are starting to feel the strain.
I am just amazed, General Hagee, that we are talking about a one-to-one sort of deployment ratio hereseven months over, seven back and seven again. That is an OPTEMPO in the Active Force that is just incredible; that is amazing.
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I am sure you are just talking about the fleet, so when Marines are fortunate enough to be assigned the dreaded staff tour, they are probably actually taking a breather and glad to see it.
But that is an awful strain on the Active Force, and as I have said, I am very concerned about the strain on the Reserve Component.
And I hope, General Schoomaker, as you are transforming the Army and adding the combat brigades and so forth, that we are looking to provide some relief for both the Active Forceand that may require some more end strength; I am sure we are going to revisit thatand I hope that we are going to do something about giving the Guard and Reserve some relief.
And I am looking forward to working with you on that, because I just think we have to do it.
And then just very briefly, Admiral, I know you avoided answering any questions about the 2006 budget, so I will not hold out any hope that you will answer one for me.
So let me just say thisnow, you mentioned the P3s, and there is no question that we are flying the wings off of them; almost literally flying the wings off the P3s that have the advanced capability to provide the kind of capability that the soldiers and Marines need.
Page 136 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I have been a little frustrated because the funding for that has not shown up in the budget from the Navy the last couple of times, and we have been rushing in to add a little bit.
I sure hope that we are going to see that in this budget, because we just cannot continue to do it; we just cannot.
Those P3s, I understand we are parking them.
So I hope that we are going to address that.
Again, always trying to set the example for my colleagues, I am going to yield back my time before the light turns red.
But I would just, again, like to say thank you very much to you gentlemen for the leadership you are providing all the time.
And, Mr. Chairman, I do yield back.
General SCHOOMAKER. If I could just make a comment real quickI do not know where your sons went wrong, but it is a little intimidating to me, because we were classmates at the Marine amphibious warfare school together.
And Congressman Marshall, sitting over here, we were Ranger buddies.
Page 137 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC So, you know, I do not know how come they are on that side of the table and I am on this side. [Laughter.]
Mr. SAXTON. General Schoomaker, in terms of the Guard and Reserve, how is recruiting in the reserves? How are we doing?
General HELMLY. Congressman, I am Lieutenant General Helmly, the chief of the Army Reserve.
Good to see you again.
Sir, our recruiting is behind target this year. We are adding over 400 additional recruiters to the U.S. Army Recruiting Command that does Army Reserve recruiting. They will be on production by the end of the year. We will keep going beyond the 400.
I would close by saying that the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) 2005 changes, that this committee was a major part of, gave us a great deal of relief across all of the Reserve Components in terms of additional authorities, bonus authorities, flexibility in use of those authorities to begin to correct that.
We are optimistic that we will make our strength targets this year. But at the current time, we are behind.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you, sir.
Page 138 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. Marshall.
General SCHOOMAKER. Do you want to hear from the National Guard?
Mr. SAXTON. Sure. Thank you.
Mr. SCHULTZ. Mr. Chairman, I am Roger Schultz, the Director of the Army National Guard.
As you know, we missed our recruiting objectives last year with an 87 percent performance of our overall goal. We are 857 enlistments short of our current program figures.
Currently, we are selecting and training 900 recruiters before the end of December this year.
Our service enlistments are off. As you know, more soldiers are staying on active duty, and the schedule is such that we are just simply going to have to change our focus and our priority for non-prior service members.
So we are implementing right now, today, the authorizations that this committee helped us with last year. And with those incentives, additional recruiters will meet our targets for this year.
Page 139 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SAXTON. Do you feel as optimistic as General Helmly does that we are going to correct this situation?
Mr. SCHULTZ. Absolutely. I do, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you very much.
Mr. MARSHALL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
General Hagee, talking about the embeds, in this kind of fight, it seems to me no news is better than news which is unfairly balanced toward the bad.
What we want is balanced coverage. And, you know, frankly if we can get good coveragegood coverage in the sense that it buoys spirits, not only here but over in Iraqthat is even better, but balanced coverage at the very least.
And one problem I have observed with the embed program is that they show up for the conventional stuff and then they are gone. And we do not have any kind of balanced coverage of the day-to-day work that Marines and soldiers and others are doing in Iraq that is moving us in a good direction. It is kind of boring stuff. It is not houses on fire.
I do not know how the embed program could be modified, but if some sort of deal could be cut with the news agencies that want to embed reporters that, ''Fine, we would love to have you, but you have to be here for all of it and cover all of it instead of just picking and choosing.''
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As a result, I think, my personal opinion is, they give us a very bad flavor of what is going on over there; not a very accurate picture.
General Schoomaker, picking up on John Kline's comment here, I have got to apologize. Some Marshall genes headed in the wrong direction, and I have got a nephew who is a private in Fallujah with the expeditionary force. Somehow he wound up a Marine. What a crisis for the family. [Laughter.]
And it looks like, from comments that we have heard and news coverage, that the major conventional fighting is over with in taking Fallujah.
Now, the question is the follow on, or what you referred to as the phase four, General Hagee, something that, you know, Admiral Clark suggested that at least in the initial planning for this operation, we did not focus on very much.
I am kind of wondering what kind of planning has been done. What are we going to do to assure that we maximize the likelihood that the effort that has been put forth by these young Marinesmany of whom died, many of whom were woundedisn't for naught because all of a sudden the city falls into chaos again?
And with that in mind, specifically, I went to Iraqmuch too quick a tripin August, and had a briefing at the embassy and then had a briefing with the 1st Division.
Page 141 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC At that time there was a lot of news coverage about the fact that we were not spending the reconstruction money. That is a couple of months ago, so time flies, and we probably all have forgotten about that. But we had a lot of negative coverage on the failure to send the reconstruction money, to commit that reconstruction money.
When we had our embassy briefing, they were all uppie about committing the reconstruction money.
Then we got out and talked to the leadership of the 1st Cav, I guess it was, and they talked about Sadr City, not being about to get sweat funds, and how important that was to their strategic goalswinning the hearts and minds of the local populace, and that in fact they have been pretty successful.
And I wonder whether or not you all are going to have reconstruction funds available to you.
Vic Snyder and I got together. He was on a separate congressional delegation (CODEL), and had the same observation, that reconstruction funds were not getting into the hands of the people that needed to have them, and that is the units on the ground who are doing the day-to-day ''let us just fix this sewer pipe, and let us let these folks see that we are doing something in their community, then maybe they will give us the intel we need, maybe they will not hide the bad guys''you know, those sorts of things.
It was not happening.
Page 142 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I guess it was September 8th that Vic and I sent a letter to Secretary Rumsfeld. I have not heard back on that letter. But it was specifically on that subject.
And so, I am curious about reconstruction funds. I am curious about what follow-on, what phase four for Fallujah, so that what we have done, you know, the positive end result is maximized.
General HAGEE. Of course, that is a little outside my lane. In fact, it is a lot outside my lane.
But I have talked with General Sattler, and I can report to you that this is the number one priority as far as Ambassador Negroponte, General Casey, Prime Minister Allawi and General Sattler there in Fallujah.
Because they realize, just what you said, that if they do not do that right, then we are not going to be successful. And they are committed to that.
Exactly what they are doing, how they are doing, I just do not know, sir.
Mr. MARSHALL. I do not know, General Schoomaker, do you have any?
General SCHOOMAKER. Well, you know it has been, it had been a consistent complaint by the commanders that they did not feel the money was flowing faster. In my most recent trip, they felt better about it, but they still wanted to see improvements.
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I would just throw in that the kind of conversations we had, instead of hiring a construction firm with bulldozers and road scrapers, it might be better to hire 3,000 individuals with shovels to do that work so everybody is getting paid and they have an incentive, some sweat equity, as well as some real money in their pocket.
These are the kind of things that we discussed and that certainly had a lot of traction with the commanders on the ground over there.
But I agree, you know, this ultimately is not going to be won in the kinetic sense in battle; it is going to be won in having Iraqis taking ownership and investing their personal sweat and blood in the solution here.
And part of that, just like bullets in the war fight, is dollars to be able to do these kinds of things.
Mr. MARSHALL. I see my time is expired, Mr. Chairman, but I will just observe that I was very encouraged by some of the comments by Admiral Clark and General Schoomaker and General Hagee about how we are rethinking our approach to this kind of conflict, the organization of our forces, who best to address the long-term challengewhich I think is the greater challengeand how we are going to do that in the future, because this is the kind of conflict I think we are going to see.
Nobody is going to stand up to us conventionally in the near term. It is just not going to happen.
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Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you, Mr. Marshall.
The gentleman from Tennessee, Mr. Cooper.
Mr. COOPER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
First, I want to thank our men and women in uniform for their terrific courage and sacrifice.
On the Army Reserve question, I am a little worried that we have sugar coated it a little bit.
I have a memo from the Army dated yesterday that ends with this quotation. It says, ''Currently, within the company grade officer structure, the Army Reserve is facing extreme shortages that have seriously decremented our mission capabilities''seriously decremented our mission capabilities. ''Continued losses will only exacerbate an already depleted military force.''
So these are our first lieutenants, our captains, our majors.
My colleague from Arkansas already recited to you the large numbers that are requesting resignation. They have fulfilled their ordinary service obligations.
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This growing hole in the middle of our Army Reserve, I think, is something that deserves separate attention from this committee.
You indicated, General Schoomaker, you are looking at recruitment issues, retention issues, and those are important. But this seems to be a particular crisis right in the middle of our Army Reserve. Am I mistaken?
General SCHOOMAKER. No, I am confused here. You said we sugar coated? That did not sound like it was sugar coated to me. That sounded like it was pretty straight.
Mr. COOPER. But this is a private memo to me. In testimony before the committee, we are hearing, ''We are handling it, and we are at 87 percent,'' or this or that.
But here with our key officerslieutenants, captains, majorsthey seem to be leaving in droves, and we are having to tell them basically they have to stay.
They do not have a way of leaving, and I have not heard a positive policy mentioned here today that says, all right, we have now a way of keeping them voluntarily.
You know, they are choosing to leave in record numbers.
Page 146 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General SCHOOMAKER. I mean, I know the numbers that I know, and we have said that we are concerned.
But I have not seen anybody lighting their hair on fire. But I do believe that the support we have gotten out of this body, as was discussed here by General Helmly
Mr. SAXTON. If I may, Mr. Cooper, if you will just yield to me for a minute before General Helmly.
General Helmly and I had this conversation several weeks ago, and General Helmley did not sugar coat it for me. He told me it was a serious problem and a set of issues that we have to solve.
I think what General Helmly said today is that those solutions are being put in place.
Now, I do not mean to put words in your mouth, General Helmley, but I think that is the message that you have for us here today.
General HELMLY. That is correct, Congressman.
Congressman Cooper, I was referring to overall recruitment, not officer commissioned.
Page 147 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I am not trying to quibble there, but the officer-commissioning problem in the Army Reserve has us approximately 5,000 captains short at the time.
That is not a function of the stresses of this war. This problem goes back approximately nine years.
When I assumed my position, I saw that, at the time, we were about that same number short. We went to the Army, asked for a mission increase in Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC). That has been granted. Army cadet command and training and doctrine command have accepted that.
We have increased the number of Officer Candidate School (OCS) seats.
We have recently gone forward to the commander of the United States Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) and the Army G1 with a proposal to further increase that, because at the current rate, we will just get well over about a 20-year period. That is insufficient.
We brought the Army a plan to increase direct commissioning, further increase OCS seats with our providing some instructor force to correct this imbalance.
This is in an imbalance that candidly occurred because we had folks who were notthey were asleep at the switch.
We have recognized that. The resources have been provided.
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It will be a long-time fix though. It will be about five to seven years before we can correct that imbalance.
Further, I would tell you that with regard to a mass of, my words, proposed resignations, we have gotten about 500 so far into my office. We look at each one differently. We have approved about half of those.
We are very concerned about it.
But my remarks regarding recruitment were regarding enlisted recruitment, which is how we normally refer to recruitment.
General SCHOOMAKER. Sir, if I could, I would like to add one thing. And we have had this conversation between General Schulz, General Helmly and myself.
The question is the future Army and how to raise it and how to maintain it. And one of the conversations is if the Army National Guard or the Army Reserve cannot muster and provide the formations that are required, perhaps we need to increase the size of the regular Army.
It is a zero-sum game. We have a strategic requirement. We have got to have it, and we have got to have availability of these forces in an all-volunteer force.
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So that is the question.
Now, we have discussed this, but of course it has not gone any further than that. I think that is the way we have to look at it.
Mr. COOPER. Thank you.
The second question, this is an article from David Hackworth on Monday of this week. Two quotes: first he says, ''In an insurgency warfare, taking real estate, mountain or city, means zilch. Long-term winning is all about getting the people over to our side. As a Marine sergeant wrote last week from Fallujah, 'for every one killed, five more are recruited.' ''
He goes on to say, ''Ideally this task should fall to Iraqi forces, but so far, their performance, less a few elite units, has been amateur hour. They failed in the April Fallujah campaign and again in Najaf and Samarra where more than 300 Iraqi soldiers beat feet in retreat after the first shot.
''Meanwhile, the complete police force in nearby Mosul, which came under assault while our forces were taking Fallujah, also cut and ran.
''Sources working closely with the Iraqis say that most units are penetrated by informants who rat out allied movements, plans and precise schedules before units even leave their assembly areas.''
Page 150 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Does Colonel Hackworth know what he is talking about here?
General SCHOOMAKER. I have no idea. I have no idea whether he knows what he is talking about.
I think that is a question that would have to be asked to the theater commander over there, but it does not ring true with the reports that I have seen or heard.
I do know that we are vettingthey are using Iraqis now to vet the Iraqi forces that are being trained.
I do know that the commanders are reporting, as the commandant has reported, that the performance of the Iraqi forces in Fallujah was significantly better than it was in April when we had the previous raise in violence.
I am not totally aware of the situation in Mosul, other than I know that the chief of police quit and that so did a bunch of his substations there. But beyond that, I do not know.
So I do not know whether he knows what he is talking about or what his source of information was or whether that is theoretical.
I do not know if the Commandant has
General HAGEE. Nothing to add, sir.
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Mr. COOPER. Wouldn't this be material information to, first of all, know whether, you know, five insurgents are being recruited for every one killed; and second, whether, for example, the entire police force in Mosul quit or cut and ran, to use Hackworth's precise phraseisn't that material information?
General SCHOOMAKER. I would say it is material information that the on-scene commander, certainly General Casey and all the way downif that is true, I am sure they are aware of it.
Mr. SAXTON. The ranking member would like to be recognized for a moment.
Mr. SKELTON. General Helmly, did I understand you to say that there are 5,000 captains short in your force with an end strength of 205,000?
General HELMLY. Sir, that is correct. I said approximately 5,000 short
Mr. SKELTON. I would also say that is a very substantial shortage when you are speaking ofyou are not talking about second lieutenants, you are talking about captains?
General HELMLY. That is right, sir.
Page 152 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SKELTON. Where do you go from here?
General HELMLY. Sir, I have covered theI will be happy to take it for the record and give you the details of the plan of correction.
That plan of correction moves the corrective period from 20 years to about 7. And as the Chairman noted, in his office a couple of weeks ago, I did not sugar coat that. We covered the status of officer production, officer retention in the Army Reserve.
Mr. SKELTON. Thank you.
General Schoomaker, in my opening statement, I made reference to your calling former soldiers from the IRR, and I also was given informationand I cannot remember the percentages, but they seemed rather highof those that are not reporting or are going to court to contest having been called up.
What is the current situation on the IRR calls, the Individual Ready Reserve?
General SCHOOMAKER. My understandingand I will give you more specifics for the record, but it is in this ballparkabout 70 percent of those who have been called up have reported.
The delta is being adjudicated. And quite frankly, there are a great number of these folks that have been called that their addresses are not correct; contact has not been made with them, all kinds of things.
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But nobody has been listed as absent without leave (AWOL). It is a complex management problem that people are working through to get it sorted out.
But to the best of my knowledge, it is approximately the same result that we had in Desert Shield/Desert Storm in calling up the IRR.
So I think it is complex reasons.
There are clearly some people that have issues and they are being dealt with as individuals. There is clearly some people that we have been unable to contact, the people that are doing it, and then there is other things in between there.
Mr. SKELTON. Thank you.
Mr. SAXTON. The gentleman from Massachusetts, my friend, Marty Meehan?
Mr. MEEHAN. General Schoomaker and General Hagee, like many of my colleagues, I am concerned about the ability to get our troops the proper equipment and protective gear that they need.
Is the Pentagon tracking the number of casualties resulting from attacks from unarmored vehicles? And if so, how could we get a report of that, if in fact it is being tracked?
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General SCHOOMAKER. I do not know of anybody tracking that, but I will check.
Do you know? No.
General HAGEE. I do not know if we are going down to that detail, but I will check also, sir.
Mr. MEEHAN. Thank you.
The Pentagon has decided to extend the tours of roughly 6,500 troops through the Iraqi elections.
Since much of the force protection equipment, such as Small Arms Protective Insert (SAPI) plates, is swapped from outgoing to incoming units, how do you ensure that all of the incoming troops will have the equipment that they need?
General SCHOOMAKER. Nobody will cross the berm without their protective gear, and there is no need now to swap SAPI plates from troops to troops because, as I have mentioned, we have produced over 400,000 sets of individual body armor.
Now, we are challenged with armored vehicles and all the rest of that.
But, again, nobody is going to cross the berm in an unarmored vehicle that goes north.
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Mr. MEEHAN. The last thing I was interested in, General, as I understand it right now, is that medical evaluations for returning troops consist of little more than filling out a fill-in-the-blank form that is referred to as a DD2796.
What effects are made, or are being made, to properly screen soldiers for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), particularly in light of the fact that it really does not manifest itself until four or five months after returning home?
The reason I ask this, a September 2003 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report concluded that the Defense Department needed to implement a quality assurance program to ensure that service members receive comprehensive post-deployment health exams.
It just seems that that goal isn't being made, and I am wondering what we are doing to ensure that we can meet this goal.
General SCHOOMAKER. Well, as I mentioned, we are putting everybody through the reintegration process. Part of that process is to help people understand what the symptoms are of the various kinds of things that we have learned.
I do not know whether, what you just said, whether it always takes that long before you start seeing the results of some of that.
But we certainly are making people aware what the symptoms are and making sure that they understand who they can contact if they need help.
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But we are required to do a post-mob physical. That is one of the reasons why we continue to have medical holding detachments and make sure that people areall of their service-connected injuries are identified and corrected within the possibilities of doing that, and then properly transferred to other authorities as they leave this service.
So, I can get you more detail for the record on exactly that because I am giving you a very cursory
Mr. MEEHAN. That would be great. I am particularly interested in theto the extent that soldiers are properly screened for post-traumatic stress disorder.
Because, I think, in many instances, before we knew enough about this, that perhaps the mechanisms for making determinations were inadequate.
So if you could get me something on that, that would be great.
Thanks, Mr. Chairman.
[The information referred to can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you, Mr. Meehan.
The gentleman from southern New Jersey, my neighbor, Mr. Lobiondo.
Page 157 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. LOBIONDO. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
And thank you, Generals and Admiral, for being here today.
General Jumper, I have got just a couple questions.
Given the amount of Air National Guard Units that are supporting the Global War on Terrorism, it is my understanding that the usual course of doing business has been for a supplemental appropriation to deal more with the parity in equipment and training.
But based on the Global War on Terrorism, can you tell me how the Air Force intends to handle the 2006 budget this year? Will it be the same as in past years? Or will they be doing something a little bit different to recognize this OPTEMPO?
General JUMPER. I think the process, sir, will be the same. The emphasis is definitely different.
Going all the way back to major combat operations with regard to the Air National Guard, we saw them getting equipment, actually, that was better than the Active Duty equipment, in the form of laser designation pods for their F16s and integration into the data link systems.
That continues today, as they have cutting-edge equipment in the Air National Guard and, in many cases, are the preferred force for many of the missions that we are flying over there today.
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Now, that has come through the regular system and assured that it is not only parity, but sometimes, in many cases, it is better than what we have in the Active Duty.
We do this with consideration for our Air Expeditionary Force rotation schedule and without regard to whether it is actually Active, Guard or Reserve.
So the process we find to assure that they are properly equipped works well.
As I said earlier, we are also looking at how they are going to progress into the missions of the future. We need to get the help of our Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve into space and information warfare and unmanned aerial vehicles, et cetera.
So my opinion is that they are staying at the cutting edge, and in many cases it is even better than that.
Quite frankly, I have not heard any complaints about it in the other direction.
Mr. LOBIONDO. Thank you.
The second question I have, General, is sort of in a similar area.
But with the OPTEMPO with the Air National Guard and with homeland security having the priority that it is, we have had some discussionsI know I have, and you have been very responsiveabout where we are going with all this.
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But I am not sure whether I am under the right impression of the plans of the Air Force that would be under the future total force plan.
It seems to me that that could make some major cuts in what we are doing with our Air Guard and the F16 fleet. Am I mistaken with that?
My concern is that if it is coming out of the F16 fleet or the Air Guard, how do we make that up and where are we going with this?
General JUMPER. Well, first of all, there is nothing in any of our plans that reduces the manpower of the Air National Guardthat is point number one.
The missions, we will be asking the Air National Guard to transition into the more modern missions, along with the Active Duty. These more modern missions will include different things, like space operations, information operations, command and control, unmanned aerial vehiclesand to do that alongside the Active Duty units.
So there is a transition for the whole Air Forcenot just the Air National Guard; it is the whole Air Forceinto these new mission areas as we look to how we have to shift our force, as we talked about earlier today, to deal with the contingency world that we live in today that is different than the Cold War world that we lived in before.
And we want to bring the Air National Guard and the Air Force Reserve along on that journey with us.
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So it is going to be force-shaping for all of usGuard, Active and Reserve.
Mr. LOBIONDO. Well, I appreciate that. I would like to, in the future, just continue to be able to chat about
General JUMPER. Yes, sir.
Mr. LOBIONDO [continuing]. Where the Air Guard is going with the homeland security mission and the integral part that they are playing with the full Air Force.
I know I have not quite been able to connect the dots in my own mind, if the F16 fleet goes down, what we do with homeland security until we are able to right-size everything and have all the other missions in place.
General JUMPER. Right. Understand.
Mr. LOBIONDO. So I would appreciate
General JUMPER. That is part of it all, and we will stay in contact with you on that, sir.
Mr. LOBIONDO. Thank you, General.
Page 161 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you, Mr. LoBiondo.
Gentlemen, I think we have nothing further today, you will be sad to know. But let me just thank you for being here.
This all-volunteer force that we continually talk about has all-volunteer leadership, also, and it is pretty darn good leadership. You are all volunteers, and you are here because you want to be.
In fact, General Schoomaker even came back to join us. He told me one time he parked his pickup truck and came back to join us, and we appreciate that, too.
Leadership like you provide gives us the opportunity to go out and talk to the soldiers and airmen, Marines and sailors in the fieldpeople who tell us how serious they are about their jobs, how much they want to serve their country, how much they want to go back to their units after they are wounded.
Those kinds of attitudes do not just happen. It happens because of the kinds of leadership that you provide, and we appreciate that.
Thank you for being here today, and we look forward to working with you in the future.
Page 162 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC [Whereupon, at 5:24 p.m., the committee was adjourned.]