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[H.A.S.C. No. 10627]
OPERATIONS IN KOSOVO: PROBLEMS ENCOUNTERED, LESSONS LEARNED AND RECONSTITUTION
MILITARY READINESS SUBCOMMITTEE
COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED SIXTH CONGRESS
OCTOBER 26, 1999
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MILITARY READINESS SUBCOMMITTEE
HERBERT H. BATEMAN, Virginia, Chairman
SAXBY CHAMBLISS, Georgia
WALTER B. JONES, Jr., North Carolina
BOB RILEY, Alabama
DUNCAN HUNTER, California
JAMES V. HANSEN, Utah
CURT WELDON, Pennsylvania
TILLIE K. FOWLER, Florida
JAMES TALENT, Missouri
TERRY EVERETT, Alabama
JIM GIBBONS, Nevada
DONALD SHERWOOD, Pennsylvania
SOLOMON P. ORTIZ, Texas
NORMAN SISISKY, Virginia
JOHN M. SPRATT, Jr., South Carolina
OWEN PICKETT, Virginia
ROBERT A. UNDERWOOD, Guam
ROD R. BLAGOJEVICH, Illinois
ADAM SMITH, Washington
JAMES H. MALONEY, Connecticut
Page 3 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCMIKE McINTYRE, North Carolina
CIRO D. RODRIGUEZ, Texas
Peter M. Steffes, Professional Staff Member
Diane W. Bowman, Staff Assistant
C O N T E N T S
Tuesday, October 26, 1999, Operations in Kosovo: Problems Encountered, Lessons Learned and Reconstitution
Tuesday, October 26, 1999
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 26, 1999
OPERATIONS IN KOSOVO: PROBLEMS ENCOUNTERED, LESSONS LEARNED AND RECONSTITUTION
STATEMENTS PRESENTED BY MEMBERS OF CONGRESS
Bateman, Hon. Herbert H., a Representative from Virginia, Chairman, Military Readiness Subcommittee
Page 4 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Ortiz, Hon. Solomon P., a Representative from Texas, Ranking Member, Military Readiness Subcommittee
Amerault, Vice Adm. James F., Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Logistics)
Flanagan, Brig. Gen. Robert M., Deputy Commander, II Marine Expeditionary Force, U.S. Marine Corps
Handy, Lt. Gen. John W., Deputy Chief of Staff, Installations and Logistics, U.S. Air Force
Jumper, Gen. John P., Commander in Chief, U.S. Air Forces, Europe, U.S. Air Force
Murphy, Vice Adm. Daniel J., Jr., Commander, U.S. Sixth Fleet and Striking and Support Forces, Southern Europe, U.S. Navy
Robertson, Gen. Charles T., Jr., USAF, Commander in Chief, U.S. Transportation Command
Page 5 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC[The prepared statements can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Amerault, Vice Adm. James F.
Flanagan, Brig. Gen. Robert M.
Handy, Lt. Gen. John W.
Jumper, Gen. John P.
Murphy, Vice Adm. Daniel J., Jr.
Robertson, Gen. Charles T., Jr.
DOCUMENTS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
[There were no Documents submitted for the Record.]
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
[This information is pending.]
OPERATIONS IN KOSOVO: PROBLEMS ENCOUNTERED, LESSONS LEARNED AND RECONSTITUTION
House of Representatives,
Committee on Armed Services,
Military Readiness Subcommittee,
Page 6 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCWashington, DC, Tuesday, October 26, 1999.
The subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 10:00 a.m. in room 2212, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Herbert Bateman (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. HERBERT H. BATEMAN, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM VIRGINIA, CHAIRMAN, MILITARY READINESS SUBCOMMITTEE
Mr. BATEMAN. The subcommittee will come to order. I would like to welcome everyone here today to this Military Readiness Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee hearing. This hearing is being held to help Members of Congress get a better understanding of the lessons learned and the problems encountered in the conduct of the military operations in Kosovo, also known by the code name Operation ALLIED FORCE.
This hearing is an effort by the Readiness Subcommittee to look at how the readiness of the military units who participated in the operation were affected before, during, and after the conduct of the Kosovo operation. Many of us know something of the effort it took to prosecute the operational aspects of the ALLIED FORCE. But I for one do not claim to understand the full magnitude of the effort, nor do I have a good appreciation of the impact that it had on the overall readiness of our Armed Forces.
Perhaps even more important than the readiness of the units, personnel, and equipment involved in the actual operations of Kosovo, is the impact it had on the units that remained at home at their home stations, the units at home station that remained to respond to any crisis that may have arisen in some other part of the world. Every indication we have gotten in Congress is that these home station units were the bill payers for needed parts, smart bombs, ammunition, personnel, and equipment needed in the ALLIED FORCE.
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Today I hope to learn more about the challenges faced by these nondeploying units, especially the Air Force, the stay-behind force. We are led to believe that nearly 40 percent of the Air Force was involved in Kosovo at the peak of operations. I fear that we are accepting a great deal of risk that was magnified by the lowered readiness rates of the units left behind.
In recent Readiness Subcommittee hearings we verified that the lack of spare and repair parts has proven to be a major stumbling block to the improvement in the readiness of the military. The recent General Accounting Office report shows that a survey of 1,000 active-duty troops in retention-critical specialties revealed that many of the respondents to the survey are dissatisfied and intend to leave the service. Dissatisfaction with their, quote, quality of life, unquote, due to the unavailability of equipment, parts and material is ranked number two and number one respectively among enlisted and officer personnel.
Although there were assurances during our recent hearing, assurances, I might add, that we have heard before, that the problems of the shortages will soon be rectified, I am interested in learning how these admitted parts shortages impacted the actual conduct of Operation ALLIED FORCE in the ongoing recovery of forces.
Another area as it relates to the Kosovo operations that I am personally very interested in learning about is the impact that shortages of personnel has had on planning and execution of operations. For example, we know that there are shortages of key personnel, such as maintenance personnel in the Air Force, especially first-line supervisors. Nearly all of the military services are experiencing personnel shortages, especially within low-density, high-demand military occupational specialty fields. I hope our witnesses today will help us understand the true impact that the personnel shortages have on readiness when the military is asked to go in harm's way to execute a major operation such as ALLIED FORCE.
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Another area of interest to me is what the military calls the, quote, reconstitution of forces, unquote, or the recovering of the force. We know that the military who participate in this kind of operation need time to reconstitute forces and recover from the intense operations necessary to conduct theater operations. At the end of hostilities in Kosovo, the Air Force had asked for six months to stand down and recover. I want to understand what needed to be done, how much has been accomplished toward recovery, and the current status of any ongoing efforts to return to the readiness state normally maintained by units prior to the conduct of ALLIED FORCE.
We are very fortunate to have two panels of military witnesses whose commands have played a key role in the overall theater of operations in Kosovo. These panels can give us insight into the readiness challenges they face and some ideas how we can all work toward fixing any identified problem. We look forward to that testimony.
Before we get into hearing from our panel, I would like to yield to my good friend from Texas, the Ranking Democratic Member of the subcommittee, the Honorable Solomon Ortiz, for any comments he may wish to make.
STATEMENT OF HON. SOLOMON P. ORTIZ, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM TEXAS, RANKING MEMBER, MILITARY READINESS SUBCOMMITTEE
Mr. ORTIZ. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Page 9 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I join Chairman Bateman in welcoming all of our distinguished witnesses to this readiness hearing today, especially since the focus of this hearing is really on assessing and understanding the overall readiness of the military to support contingency operations. It is especially useful to me for this hearing to be held so soon after hearing the Chiefs testify about the status of readiness in their service and their unfunded requirements.
During the question and answer period at that hearing, it occurred to me that we would never get ourselves out of this declining and unacceptable level of readiness. It appears that no matter how much money we have or supplemental appropriations we approve, nothing really changes. It is somewhat difficult to grasp and understand the readiness accounts are nearly double what was available in the middle of the 1980s and we have a far smaller force to spend this money on.
If I appear frustrated, Mr. Chairman, it is because I am. At the conclusion of the Readiness Subcommittee hearing earlier this month, I had reached a conclusion that we were on the path to success, that we were not going to hear future concerns about the needs for more money for missing repair or spare parts or about the unacceptable levels of cannibalization of major items of equipment. We were told that the funding that had been provided was sufficient to address the repair and spare parts concern, and that time for the system to respond was a basis for delay in the field of availability of repair parts. Specifically, I heard that the Air Force was expecting an upturn in the availability of repair parts this year, but that does not appear to be the case.
I am now being told that the increased aviation cannibalization rates and declining mission-capable rates for Air Force aviation elements can be attributed to increased utilization. I have also been informed that a shortage of repair parts were contributors to the negative readiness trend. And I also recently read special operations equipment readiness response was found unsatisfactory because of a shortage of Air Force readiness spare parts.
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General Ryan testified that the recent operations in the former Yugoslavia ultimately became the equivalent of one Major Theater War (MTW) level of effort and not the MTWs. Edward Justin testified about the continued decreasing readiness of nondeployed Navy air wings and the aging fleet, combined with the stress of the high operational tempo, is driving costs beyond what was expected.
I am concerned, Mr. Chairman, about the implications that our declining readiness posture would significantly increase the risk to our military personnel in any future conflict situation. The seriousness of readiness decline is troubling because it raises questions about our ability to execute the two MTWs national military strategy. I worry that we will have more difficulty in balancing the funding requirements needed to take care of today's readiness against the needs needed to address future readiness requirements.
In a real world of reduced defense spending and increased competition for the remaining defense dollars, Mr. Chairman, I think it is fair to ask if we would ever be able to reverse the negative readiness trends. If so, at what price? Where did all of the money go? What did we accomplish with it? Is the equipment becoming too costly to operate? Do we have the right kind of equipment and the right numbers? Are we operating and maintaining it properly? Are the services using the right assumptions and formulas to ensure that the right repair and spare parts are available when needed? Will there be an upturn this year in the availability of Air Force repair and spare parts?
These are just some of the questions that come to mind when I think of the investments we have made in the readiness accounts and continue to hear about the declining readiness. I know that this hearing is also focused on reconstitution of the force, but I am also convinced that first we need to understand how to make sure that the forces are truly prepared to exercise their assigned mission. As members of the Readiness Subcommittee, we need a clear understanding about what really drives our readiness posture. Otherwise we cannot properly exercise our Congressional oversight responsibilities.
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Again, I welcome all of our witnesses to this hearing today. I know that you have done a great job and we appreciate what you have done in the past and continue to do now. But in order for us to be more effective, we need to hopefully understand and answer some of these questions that we will be asking this morning.
Again, Mr. Chairman, thank you.
Mr. BATEMAN. Thank you, Mr. Ortiz. The panel of witnesses, or the first panel of witnesses this morning, consists of General John P. Jumper, Commander in Chief, U.S. Air Forces, Europe. I might say and am proud to say that he has recently been designated as Commander in Chief of the Air Combat Command headquartered at Langley Air Force Base in Hampton, Virginia. Someone has even whispered to me, General, that you are a graduate of Hampton High School. My first job out of William and Mary College was teaching at that high school.
Our other witnesses are Vice Admiral Daniel J. Murphy, Jr., Commander of the 6th Fleet, United States Navy. Admiral Murphy, we are delighted to have you.
Then we have Brigadier General Robert M. Flanagan, Deputy Commanding General, Second Marine Expeditionary Force, United States Marine Corps. General, we are pleased to have you.
STATEMENT OF GEN. JOHN P. JUMPER, COMMANDER IN CHIEF, U.S. AIR FORCES, EUROPE, U.S. AIR FORCE
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General JUMPER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I graduated from Hampton High School in 1962. I noticed that your home town is Newport News. I can report that we lost mightily to the Newport News football team. I can report that because that year Hampton lost every game.
Mr. BATEMAN. And it is probably the first time in a decade that you could use.
General JUMPER. Yes, sir. I think they are a lot better now.
Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, let me start by thanking you for allowing me to sit before you today and talk about the readiness of our Air Force and its performance in operation ALLIED FORCE. While as you all know, sometimes our weapons and our technology tend to steal the show and headlines, it is the people who make the difference. I am heartened to see that many members of this committee were able to visit Ramstein, Aviano, Tirana, and other places during the campaign and to visit our airmen both ashore and afloat that participated in this campaign. You saw firsthand the enthusiasm, the commitment and the loyalty that are evident among our people in uniform.
And so I report to you, Mr. Chairman, on their behalf, our gratitude first of all for your support for the pay raise, the 4.8 percent pay raise, the pay table reform, and the return to the retirement system that is held so dear by our members in uniformnot so much for the dollar amount or for the money, but as an indication to our people out there that the Members of Congress and the people of the United States are grateful for the sacrifices our people in uniform make. I bring to you their gratitude for your support, Mr. Chairman.
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All Americans in uniform, all of the services, participated in this operation we called ALLIED FORCE along with our NATO partners. Together we compelled Mr. Milosevic to comply with the demands of NATO. This was a testament not only to joint warfighting but to an Alliance that for over 50 years has practiced the interoperable tactical arts that allowed us to come together. Many of you got to see firsthand the complicated nature of bringing some 50 or 75 or 100 airplanes together in the middle of the night, in terrible weather, out to refueling tracks, into target areas, and then back out to refueling tracks and back out to some 47 locations around the European theater, a complex military operation by any standard. It was performed superbly by the Alliance.
In the end, it was 38,000 sorties that were completed with a loss of only two aircraft and without any combat casualties.
We must be careful not to conclude that casualty-free means risk-free. I have noticed in some press reports that this conclusion has been drawn by many. We forget the fact that more than 700 SA6 and SA3 missiles were shot at our airmen, and the fact that they were able to avoid those missiles attests not only to their superb skill but to the technology and the professionalism of a force that knows how to deal with this sort of a threat. So casualty-free does not mean risk-free.
Despite also the threat, our crews fought the most precise air war in history. Of the 9,400 designated target impact points that we had during the war, more than 70 percent were struck with precision munitions. The challenge here was to do this while keeping collateral damage down. As you know, we saw new standards of collateral damage requirements that we had not seen before. One of the lessons learned is that we have to learn how to deal with this sort of environment in the future.
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Even as we fought this war, the military services were dealing with our crisis. As this air campaign went on, it began on the 24th of March, there were already 250,000 internally-displaced refugees inside of Kosovo; and as the fighting progressed, those 250,000 turned into hundreds of thousands more, and we set up Operation SHINING HOPE to deal with the growing refugee crisis. All the while we were doing Operation NORTHERN WATCH out of Turkey, SOUTHERN WATCH out of Iraq, dealing with earthquakes and hurricanes back home, and crisis in the Pacific. Nothing let up around the rest of the world.
So what is the impact on our readiness? A cumulative effect had a world wide impact on our readiness, Mr. Chairman, as you said. While we maintained mission-capable rates at about 80 percent during the war, the rest of the fleet suffered mightily. Just as one example, the F16C, which is not the newest or the oldest of our models, sort of the middle of the road in Air Combat Command, during the past 12 months they have not once met their mission-capable goal of 83 percent. As a matter of fact, they have only once gotten over 79 percent. So it is an indication of the sacrifice the rest of the force paid to make sure that we were combat ready in our theater.
Having said that, I would also like to thank the committee and you personally, Mr. Chairman, because we all know out there in the field of your commitment toward making spares available to the forces in the field, to getting the funding through that gets this out to us.
Mr. BATEMAN. We keep trying. We keep hearing they are in the pipeline, but it seems to be a very long pipeline.
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General JUMPER. On behalf of all of those youngsters out there on the flight line around the Air Force, let me thank you for what you have done, because indeedand we will talk about it later, our feeling of the impact.
We are also heartened by the commitment of our allies to commit themselves to increasing their commitment to precision weapons and other things that make their warfighting capacity better, commitments that were only made at the recent Washington Summit.
In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, I go back to our people. These wonderful youngsters that are out there in uniform throughout the world doing the Nation's business, they are committed. Anyone who has any doubt about the ability of our young people to commit themselves, to show loyalty, to commit themselves to something larger than they are, need only to walk the flight lines of Europe, or anyplace our other services are, to see exactly what kind of youngsters we really have. They are magnificent.
Mr. Chairman, I thank you for this opportunity to speak.
Mr. BATEMAN. Thank you, General Jumper.
[The prepared statement of Gen. Jumper can be found in the Appendix.]
Mr. BATEMAN. Now, Admiral Murphy, we would be happy to hear from you.
Page 16 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCSTATEMENT OF VICE ADM. DANIEL J. MURPHY, JR., U.S. NAVY, COMMANDER, U.S. SIXTH FLEET, AND STRIKING AND SUPPORT FORCES, SOUTHERN EUROPE
Admiral MURPHY. Thank you, sir. Good morning, Mr. Chairman and Mr. Ortiz. When I last appeared before members of this subcommittee it was only three weeks before the beginning of Operation ALLIED FORCE. You were kind enough to meet us on our home turf in Naples, and we had representatives from all of the services there. At that time you asked me what my number one readiness concern was and I told you it was numbers; numbers of ships, numbers of airplanes, numbers of bombs, numbers of Tomahawk missiles.
That is not unchanged by our experience in ALLIED FORCE and indeed the many operations surrounding ALLIED FORCE, as General Jumper alluded to. ALLIED FORCE itself has remained in the spotlight. It was, as we all know, simply a means to the end to get boots on the ground to resolve what would be a very long-term and intractable for a long-term situation in Kosovo proper.
The Army isn't represented here. I would like to say on their behalf they are on the ground in Kosovo right now. Which leads me to my second point, which is that it was only 13 years ago that the Congress enacted Goldwater-Nichols legislation. At that time, the greatest concern was the inability of the services to work very closely together. What has gone completely unmentioned in all of the after-action analyses of ALLIED FORCE and JOINT GUARDIAN, which was then the follow-up land mission in Kosovo, was any concern with respect to our ability to operate together as a single team. In fact, despite the enormous complexity of working within a NATO Alliance that was not at all times fully committed to the effort, the glue that held everything together was the full integration of General Jumper's organization, Admiral Ellis's Naval forces in Europe, the Army forces in Europe, and the Marine forces in Europe. We did work very, very closely together. It was a team effort that began, frankly, as long ago as June of 1998. And again in March of last year when Members were there discussing with me, I gave you an update of where we stood at that point in planning for Kosovo and mentioned this was a fully integrated planning effort.
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I view the role of the 6th fleet, the Navy and the Float Marine Forces assigned to me as being that of a junior partner to General Jumper and his Air Forces. Naval aviation, Tomahawk missiles, cannot do what the Air Force can, as only the United States Air Force can put together an air campaign of the enormous complexity and size of what we saw in ALLIED FORCE. Our strength resides in our self-contained strike planning and support. Through our relative sizethat is, compared to the overall effortwe enjoyed a certain degree of agility that was used very well by the air component commander to go after real-time targets as they emerged. And I am particularly proud of the same-day devastating strikes, for example, again Podgorica Airfield conducted by Air Wing 8.
We all had a very significant role to play, and I think the terrific news is that all of the forces were applied to their best effect; and there was never, to my knowledge, a very significant parochial issue that intervened in how those forces were applied.
In terms of readiness and reconstitutability, the Naval forces takes a bit of a different approach than what you have discussed with the Air Force. We flew only a very few forces that were not normally deployed forces, unlike the Air Force. So the impact for us was on playing that ever increasingly challenging shell game of attempting to find under what shell the Carrier Battle Group P is going to be located at any one given time. The ENTERPRISE Battle Group, which had trained up with General Short's team to perform strikes within Serbia and Kosovo proper, was sent to the central command region and ordered to maintain pressure on Saddam Hussein. That was done just ten days before the start of the conflict. I don't dispute the need to do that, but this was precisely at the same time that Secretary General Javier Solana was attempting to make very clear to Mr. Milosevic that we were dead serious this time. It is difficult to avoid the sense that there might have been mixed signals in that. But that is indeed what we wrestle with every day today.
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The reconstitutability factor for us is that the KITTY HAWK Battle Group, whose responsibility is to have expertise in the western Pacific and was to be on station in particular because of some of the turmoil in Korea, was sent with no notice to the Arabian Gulf to fill in behind the THEODORE ROOSEVELT that was sped across in order to make up for ENTERPRISE that was sent home on time.
This is a reconstitution and readiness issue that we deal with. We must be ready on day one in all three principal theaters in any given time, and then we have to be prepared to fill in as quickly as possible should our prognosis of where those forces are needed turn out to be wrong.
But the last point that I would like to make is that while there does remain a significant disparity between U.S. capability and NATO capability in terms of technology; and, in particular, the ability to exercise proper command and control of forces, that I do believe that our having evolved to an Internet-based means of communicating among commanders provides the key to how NATO can regain much of the lost technology that we have seen.
We have a terrific opportunity now to embrace a whole new means of exercising command of forces and exchanging data. That was pioneered by General Jumper, by Admiral Ellis, and General Clark, and I believe that is the way for NATO as well. Thank you, sir.
Mr. BATEMAN. Thank you very much, Admiral Murphy.
[The prepared statement of Adm. Murphy can be found in the Appendix.]
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Mr. BATEMAN. General Flanagan.
STATEMENT OF BRIG. GEN. ROBERT M. FLANAGAN, DEPUTY COMMANDING GENERAL, II MEF (MARINE EXPEDITIONARY FORCE), U.S. MARINE CORPS
General FLANAGAN. Good morning, Mr. Chairman, and distinguished members of the subcommittee. I would like to also thank you for this opportunity for the Marines to represent their story in Kosovo. I have a somewhat different perspective perhaps. We were a much smaller contingent in that conflict, as you know. We also think that readiness is one of our hallmarks; and I think in our way, again, we proved that in how we responded to operations in Kosovo. We had about 6,000 flight hours in support of operations in Kosovo, as many of you may know. We deployed our AV8B Harriers in operations there aboard Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) shipping; and, of course, one of the ARGs was presently in theater when the conflict began. So we had immediate response with our ARG aircraft, in this case six AV8B Harriers. We quickly deployed our EA6Bs in the theater, a total of 11. They arrived within four days of notification and they were on the ground and ready to do operations.
We also deployed two squadrons of F/A18Ds, our two-seat Hornets, from a cold start; that is, no warning. And within 14 days these Marine fighters were on the deck and ready to go. In addition we deployed a couple of C130s in support of our aircraft theater. We had about 1,200 Marines total in theater.
My statement does provide some details on our lessons learned from Kosovo, but if I may in the next few minutes, I would like to highlight a couple of pluses and minuses that we encountered. Let me first talk about our Prowlers, or EA6Bs. We have four squadrons of Prowlers, a total of 20 aircraft. In this case, a total of 11 actually were in theater but, in essence, the heart of three squadrons were deployed.
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Mr. Ortiz, the bill payer for the deployment of the three squadrons was, in fact, the squadron that remained at home. Because of the parts personnel that we needed to keep our three squadrons running in theater, our remain-at-home squadron provided those parts and now will slide their nexttheir planned deployment will slide until next year to get them a little bit in step.
We did need that support from the rear. I will tell you that the three squadrons did a very good job in theater. They were 100 percent mission capable and complete. They never dropped a mission while they were there. They fired the High Speed Anti-Radiation Missile (HARM) missile, as you know. We think they did a pretty good job. They also supported stealth ops early on.
Our VMAQ2, Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare squadron, the first one to deploy within four days, was in fact the only tactical Electronic Warfare (EW) platform in theater on the first two days of the war.
What were the shortfalls? We had a few in this aircraft. This is a relatively old aircraft, about 20 years or so. The first one we noticed is that it is not Night Vision Device capable. That includes the cockpit configuration as well as the devices and training for the pilots themselves. Thanks to your efforts of this subcommittee and the full committee, we did receive a supplement and we will be upgrading all of the EA6Bs with the night vision capability, a tremendous capability. Our limitation there was that everyone else in the theater had night vision goggles and devices. We were kind of odd man out, somewhat of a higher risk.
Page 21 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Another issue that came out in the EA6B community was our lack of LINK 16 or wideband data reception. This really is probably the main step in our Sensor to Shooter Program that DOD is trying to follow. The EA6B is not LINK 16 capable and, therefore, did not have the full integrated air picture, again making it a little more difficult to operate in that high-tech environment. I would like to thank you again for your your continued support and the Congressional plus-up that we received in fiscal year 2000 for LINK 16 upgrades.
My last comment on the EA6B was we found it to be absolutely essential for these kinds of combat operations. We anticipate that all of our EA6Bs in the Marine Corps will have an extended life out to about 2015; and we are now in the process of looking for a replacement, although we have not found any yet.
To address also the parts issue, I would just tell you that the the average flight time of our air frames in Kosovo ops was about 95 hours per month. Remember that we plan about 36 hours per month per air frame, and our supplies and spare parts are designed and purchased with those numbers in mind. So we exceeded that not quite by three times during that operation.
We deployed 24 F/A18Ds in theater. A little different here. We were set up in Taszar, Hungary pretty much on our own up to the north. The F/A18D is a multirole aircraft. It has considerable capability, we think, for a two-seater. It is strike TACA, FACA, Forward Air Control Airborne and Tactical Air Control Airborne. It is a HARM shooter and it has a rugged capability with our new ATARS system, the Advanced Tactical Air Reconnaissance System. ATARS provides us with several means of identifying targets, taking pictures of the targets for both Battle Damage Assessment (BDA) efforts as well as target destruction.
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I happened to bring a piece of ATAR imagery with me this morning that I would like to show you very quickly. These are actually friendlies. This is our new layout in Skopje, Macedonia, taken by an F/A18D. This is an electrooptical view of our aircraft. Standout capability, out to 40 and 50 miles with the radars, the synthetic aperture radars, and up to 20,000 feet. Excellent capability. We had two systems in theater that we used up north in Taszar. The downside of the deployment of the ATARS is that the technology that pushes the ATAR out is very complex. Today it is not compatible with all systems that we encountered in Europe. And some of the ATARS data was not used in a good way because of the high technology of the system. Nonetheless, it is an excellent system.
When we deployed our F/A18D to Taszar, we brought with them our special Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) capabilities. We brought with them an engineering support that enhanced the airfield, set up air traffic control, Marine air traffic controllers; and we allowed the airfield to go to 24-hour-a-day operations in foul weather. We set up arresting gear that allowed them to operate again in foul weather conditions when other airfields couldn't operate, and we also sent with them our MPs for force protection. They were pretty much of a stand-alone operation up north.
To give you an idea of the ops tempo of our F/A18D, let me just just tell you about two of the squadrons that were there. The VFA(AW)533 returned from Unit Deployment Program (UDP) deployment in March of 1999 and turned around and deployed to Kosovo in May. The other squadron that was there, the VFA 332, will deploy in January of this year, UDP having come back in July of this year.
Page 23 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I mentioned our AV8B II Pluses that were stationed aboard ARG shipping. They operated very close to theater off the USS NASSAU and the KEARSARGE. That gave them no footprint ashore, excellent maintenance capability, and supply support. Basically we had no problems with those aircraft operating aboard ship, and no missions were lost due to maintenance for those aircraft. The one limitation that we had with the AV8B was its inability to designate a target with a laser.
Once again, due to the efforts of this committee, you provided us a supplement for nine external laser pads to retrofit into the AV8Bs. We are still looking to see if we can retrofit the additional 47 systems that we need.
Another interesting point about the Harriers I would like to mention is one of the key lessons we learned in their deployment and employment is that you have to come to the fight ready to go. Both of these squadrons had the benefit of passing through Vieques on their way into theater and were fully trained with live ordnance on the integration of combined arms with ground maneuver forces, although there were no ground maneuver forces, as you well know. But they were well-trained in live ordnance operations. When they arrived in theater, in some cases they went immediately into action.
We think this is essential for our forces when they deploy and that they be ready to go at a moment's notice. There is no time to plan for or train in theater. We had two C130s deployed in Bari, Italy. They refueled not only U.S. aircraft, EA6Bs,they also refueled the Spanish, the Italians, the French and British Tornados. Essential for us, they did an essential job.
Page 24 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And we are very grateful for the support we are receiving now from this Congress in replacing our 40-year-old KC130F/Rs with the new KC130Js. We think Kosovo was a success for Marine aviation and we think it validated or helped to validate our expeditionary capabilities, both sea-based and ashore.
Thank you for your support in the supplemental, the 45-1/2 million that we received that paid back our flight hours, our additional flight hours, and refurbished our spare parts and supplies. That amount of money was sufficient for us and allowed us at II MEF to not degrade other programs as we repaid our debt for the Kosovo operations.
I also would like to thank you for your support in the supplementals for the specific programs that I mentioned, the laser pods, the night vision devices in the Wing 16, and for your continued support on pay allowances and increases. Thank you again for this opportunity and I am ready to answer any questions.
Mr. BATEMAN. Thank you, General Flanagan.
[The prepared statement of Gen. Flanagan can be found in the Appendix.]
Mr. BATEMAN. I thank all of the witnesses. You each have submitted written statements for the record. They will be made a part of the record in toto. We thank you for your oral testimony this morning.
Admiral Murphy, you have made reference to your principal problem was shortages of ships and personnel. You made reference to the way that we had to swing aircraft carriers from point A to point B in order to conduct the Navy's portion of the Kosovo operations. How long was it before you got a carrier on station in the Adriatic?
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Admiral MURPHY. Mr. Chairman, it was 14 days exactly. The THEODORE ROOSEVELT was sailed on time. Our readiness aspects, about limits to Navy surge capability as the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) has testified, the bathtub effect, which you are familiar with, is getting deeper which means that we don't have the latitude to do a quick turn on a carrier in an air wing because they won't be ready on day one because their readiness prior to deployment had slipped. We don't have the flexibility that we once had to shoot two carrier battle groups as soon as you need them.
We had one carrier battle group, the THEODORE ROOSEVELT, that was deployed on time and then arrived. An air wing was assigned principally duties of attacking field and forces inside Kosovo. It was very important to be able to keep pressure on the Serbian Army and on the Serbian police in Kosovo even as we executed the strategic air campaign. That led to a significant tension with respect to prioritization of assets. My belief is had ENTERPRISE not left or had T.R. been able to get there earlier, there would have been those additional 48 strike aircraft that could have been applied from day one.
If I might just say, while certainly it is true that it is not possible to work tactical aviation against a situation inside a village where there is ethnic cleansing ongoing, we proved to be very effective, once on the scene in concert with the other forces, at denying mobility to these forces. We took away the roads; we took away the daytime. We forced them to hide under trees and inside barns. When you are doing that, you are not doing other things as well. So I believe that that was the practical effect of not having that additional asset available to the air component commander in the first two weeks.
Page 26 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. BATEMAN. Of course, that was the time when the worst of the ethnic cleansing was taking place. Am I correct in my recollection that as a result of the movement of KITTY HAWK, ENTERPRISE, and THEODORE ROOSEVELT, you ended up with no carrier in the Pacific in the Far East?
Admiral MURPHY. Yes, sir. It was the United States Air Force that backfilled the carrier responsibility with the short tether basically.
Mr. BATEMAN. Let me also comment, I am sure that all members of the committee were as pleased as I was to hear your references to how well the cooperation and coordination between the services went throughout the operation. That is certainly something that we are all extremely pleased to hear about.
The last area that I want to inquire about, and perhaps this goes to one other level of the chain of command, is what were the problems of target selection and approval as it affected the operation and how did it perhaps degrade the effectiveness of the operation? Any views on that?
General JUMPER. I can start with that, Mr. Chairman. I think we all agree that if we had a blank piece of paper and we were allowed allowed to plan the ideal air campaign, it would not have looked like the one that we ended up prosecuting. I think one has to understand the reasons for this, however.
First of all, no one of us at this table certainly can put ourselves in the place of General Clark and the pressures he was under at the political level in NATO. I think you all, though, can identify with the difficulty in trying to forge a consensus among 19 nations on how to go about prosecuting an offensive campaign that is completely different from what the Alliance had prepared themselves for.
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As you know, Mr. Chairman, for 50 years the NATO Alliance has been all about defending its borders against Warsaw Pact invasion of 100 divisions across the north German plain. This is what all of us at this table spent a lifetime preparing for as we grew up in this Cold War era. Now, here we were as far as back as May of 1998, putting together plans for not defensive borders, but out of area, out of region and on the offense. As you can imagine, this was very disturbing to some members of the Alliance. And then to try toas we approached the 24th of March, we had already gone through 40 iterations of the air campaign plan. The one that had the blank piece of paper one, the one that we started with that I described, and then as it iterated on toward what the consensus would allow on the 24th of March.
A part of that planning, along with that planning, went an abiding concern of collateral damage which we had to compensate for in our planning and a target approval process that assured, I think, the 19 members of the Alliance that the air campaign planners were doing their job and were competent. There is no line of discussion, Mr. Chairman, about whether we should have gone right down to downtown Belgrade, like we did in Baghdad in the winter of 1991. But, sir, those choices were never available from the political level.
What we did was what we were able to do at the time. And as the consensus began to solidify around the pathetic images of refugees coming across the border and the obstinance of Mr. Milosevic after the Washington Summit, then I think Dan would agree that we had the consensus that we would have liked to have had at the beginning of the war but we didn't. Then is when things started to build up.
If you look at the targets that were made available, not only as a result of political consensus but also very practical considerations like weather, the 78 days, we ended up with 22 days that were 50 percent or better cloud free. This is a difficult environment in which to do the things that Dan describes. As we tried to get inside the heads of these ground commanders in Kosovo, it took all of the technology we had to track these guys, learn their habits, be able to predict what they were going to do next. It took all of the services' assets to do that. Might I add the most significant contributor to that process were the resources of Task Force Hark and Hawk in our United States Army, whose people are the very best at doing this sort of predictive analysis of ground forces. It was after we started to combine that with good weather, as Dan said, that we were able to now start to get to these guys on the ground, the guys that were killing the people. That is what we always were trying to do, is get to the people who were killing the people. But in the beginning, the only consensus that existed among the 19 nations of NATO was to kill theto go after the fielded forces. Everybody agreed on that.
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The other things that had leveraging effect later on were not agreed upon until later. That, Mr. Chairman, is the scene that existed at the time.
Mr. BATEMAN. Thank you, General Jumper.
Admiral MURPHY. Sir, I see it exactly the same way.
Mr. BATEMAN. Mr. Ortiz.
Mr. ORTIZ. You know, I understand the process of borrowing available funds to finance contingency operations until the Administration decides how it is going to fund the money. I remember one year that we borrowed, or you borrowed, a lot of money and it was taken out from the depot maintenance. All of these accounts were raided because you needed the funds to continue. Now, would you tell me how your service has fared in replacing the money to those accounts that was taken from these other accounts and, if so, what percentage was returned, and has this process of borrowing money impacted on the availability of repair and spare parts performance of the depot level maintenance and ultimately the readiness of the equipment in your service? This is for all of you. Maybe you can give us some insight.
Admiral MURPHY. Sir, if I may, I would like to defer that response to Vice Admiral Amerault who is the Navy representative in Panel 2. He is the Deputy CNO for Logistics and is prepared to address that very question.
General JUMPER. Mr. Ortiz, General Handy is my colleague who is in charge of the details of this. Let me defer the bulk of that to him. Let me say that you have heard in testimony the complicated and complex reasons that have to do with repair cycle times and how money was deferred that got us into the situation that we were in. But there is also a lesson here that has to do with psychology of readiness which to me is probably the most important factor. It has to do with our people. If we stop buying all spare parts today, the Air Force would continue to run at high readiness levels for about two years. It would do so on the backs of these magnificent people who are out there trying to do everything that they can to make those sortie goals that we set for them to make.
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The first thing that we would see would be the astronomical cannibalization rates, which, if you compare the cannibalization rates that we saw in operation ALLIED FORCE to what we saw in operation DESERT STORM, the cannibalization rates for ALLIED FORCE were in some cases as much as four times higher than what we saw in DESERT STORM. The mission-capable rates for our fighters in ALLIED FORCE was about four to five percent less than what we saw in DESERT STORM. This was during a time when we were about bottoming out in our spares availability.
But the work that this committee has done to put in parts for funding to set the contracts in motion, to get the spare parts and repair cycles operating again, is beginning to take effect. For the first time, the United States Air Force in Europe and Air Force wideand I think General Handy will back this upwe have seen a leveling off of the cannibalization rates which to me is the first sign of agitation in the spare parts business. We have seen the leveling off and actual improvement from a 12.8 rate to a 12.2 rateless is betterin just the last quarter. So if there is evidence, sir, that things were starting to take hold, I think that we are beginning to see the evidence of what this committee has put forth. I will let John Handy elaborate on that during his testimony.
Mr. ORTIZ. One of the things that I have never been able to understand, this committee has been involved in spare parts because every time we visit, whether it is a unit in the United States, domestically or foreign, anywhere we go, spare parts. This is something that we have been dealing with for three to four years. The Chief testified and some other Pentagon official testified that still it would take 18 months to fix this problem. I mean we have been discussing it for four or five years and been putting money into it, and then they come and testify that still it is going to take 18 months to handle the spare parts problem? I just can't understand, Mr. Chairman. Is it the people that build the parts that can't build them?
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General JUMPER. Sir, I am going to let our expert answer that in the next panel. He is wincing back there.
Mr. ORTIZ. I can't wait until he comes and testifies.
General JUMPER. He is going to find an excuse to leave. He is the expert on that, sir.
Mr. ORTIZ. General, would you like to add anything?
General FLANAGAN. Just from our perspective, we did receive the supplemental of just over $45 million. We took 19-1/2 million of that and replaced our fly-in support packages which is, as you might guess, a backup that goes with a tight model series aircraft, a common parts usage bin, if you will. That $19-1/2 million did put us back on an even step before the conflict started. We were happy with that in that regard. Additionally, we put 26 million of that $45 million towards additional flight hours that we flew in support of operations in Kosovo. That was about 6,000 hours, as I mentioned, for the various types.
From the Marine point of view, we were satisfied with those moneys. But you can't, of course, pay backor you, perhaps, as you must pay back would be the extra time that we put on every air frame. We flew all of the aircraft very hard during that period. As I mentioned, when aircraft are designed, they are designed with certain repairables. There is time life on those repairables. The long lead procurement time for some of those parts is based on when that part is due to fail based on how many hours that airplane flies, et cetera, et cetera. As we up the ante on those parameters, those things fail quicker. We are finding as the aircraft gets old, not only does one piece fail but perhaps the whole assembly will fail with it. It takes more time to get those parts which are basically not programmed into our supply system. That is some of our frustration, certainly some of our frustration, that we are flying our aircraft quite a bit in times of conflict. They spike in usage and that supply train, if you will, is not keeping tempo.
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Mr. ORTIZ. One of the reasons that I am asking some of these questions is that I just read an article that came out. I was in Atlanta this weekendI don't know how many of you have read itabout some couple of companies used inferior metal as parts to repair helicopters, and you had a couple of crashes where people died. This bothers me because we need to have the best equipment, the best spare parts, not to shortchange the products, the material that it is made out of, because then we have fatalities like we had.
It worries me because as I read this article, it is one of a 10-part series that is coming out, I will provide copies. It is very troubling when you read something like that. I know that Admiral Murphy and some of youI traveled and I visited the troops, and I know how much you care about your troops and you want the best for your troops. But sometimes you have a hammer from above that there is not much that you can do. I hope that this committee working together with you, we can try to solve this problems. I have more questions. Some I will provide for the record and for the second panel, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. BATEMAN. Thank you, Mr. Ortiz. In the order in which they appeared in the committee, I now recognize Mr. Sisisky.
Mr. SISISKY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Welcome, gentlemen. I also have a question for General Handy and some other people. And it relates toI am not going to be here in the second round; that is why I just want to get it on record. It has respect to the surge in our depots, of how they treated that, and if there is any deficiency in the contractor, if the two of you might answer that.
Page 32 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Let me just follow-up on a question, Admiral Murphy, that the Chairman raised to you. I have raised this question. This is the second time in three years that we had to divert a carrier from the Pacific theater into the Adriatic or the Persian Gulf. Second time. Both times we left Korea bare. Now, I know what you said, that the F15s were deployed. As you know, the real threat in Korea is overtaking those airfields first from any enemy. You know who the enemy would be. I just don't think that is the proper answer. The other answer was that we could have a carrier from San Diego, 21 days I think to get there.
We are trying to say do you need another carrier, really, in the group? That is not your baby, but I think that is why the Chairman asked the question. I just wanted to make that clear. I couldn't understand, General, about the EA6B without night vision. They were not equipped with night vision at all? Were any of your squadrons equipped.
General FLANAGAN. That is correct, sir. The pilots are not trained on night vision devices and the cockpits are not compatible with.
Mr. SISISKY. Didn't we learn this in Desert Storm, that we have to see at night? We didn't learn anything there?
General FLANAGAN. We certainly did, sir. I would say that the mission of the EA6B is somewhat different than other aircraft. Though it is a tactical jet, it generally operates from a stand-off capability. It is not a weapons platform that has to deliver precise munitions with eyes on target. So in that sense, it somewhat obviated the need for the night vision devices. What we encountered in Kosovo that we took back as a lesson learned was the fact that the EA6B was flying in conjunction with many strike aircraft who were on night vision devices. Half of the battle was fighting through the ground forces and the other half was making sure that you didn't bump into anybody on the way. When missiles came up off the ground, imagine a strike package of, say, 15 to 20 aircraft at night trying to get out of the way of missiles. They may be pulling seven or eight Gs. It gets a little complex.
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Not having the night vision devices caused our jets to have to employ different tactics. They had to stand back, they were given cleared altitudes in their spaces. We clearly recognize the need for night vision devices. I would say it is mitigated somewhat by the mission of the EA6B, but I would also tell you that we are very happy to receive that supplemental and we are, in fact, putting the night vision devices.
Mr. SISISKY. I wasn't complaining. This is called lessons learned, and we didn't learn from the.
General JUMPER. Sir, if I could add to that, if you don't mind, it was not only the Marine Corps but many airplanes in the Air Force were not equipped with these either. Another factor is the fact the cost has come down considerably since DESERT STORM.
Mr. SISISKY. That is another problem that I was just getting into. I did this to the Chiefs the other day and I will have to do it to you, too. We talked about high-demand and low-density assets like the EA6B, Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (JSTARS), our tankers, et cetera. Are we going to be be able to afford all of this? Is thisyou know the F22 comes right to the front. I also like to give somebody in the Air Force the opportunity to explain why we need it, but truly the real problem is we need these other assets also. So somebody, somewhere along the line, is going to have to make a decision. I like to keep the high-technology fighters or whatever we have right up there, but it looks like these other planes did the job there and we need those. So if you would go into that, I would appreciate it.
Page 34 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC One more thing before Iyou made one Member here very happy. I can't let it get away. Mr. Hunter, a big fan of the B2 bomber, you said it was a star.
Mr. HUNTER. You want to have a fight, don't you?
Mr. SISISKY. I said it made you happy. In reading your testimony it said that it was the star of the Kosovo operation. Of course, it was 1-1/2 missionsnot a day, I think 49 sorties out of the 78 days. The other aspect of it, they were able to changeI thought that that was the oneI thought we were going to put some money up for that, but they were able to do that without putting money up?
General JUMPER. It was a brute force operation, sir, that the additional funds for the additional flexibility will make us much better.
Mr. SISISKY. But you still need the money?
General JUMPER. Yes, sir. The B2 did very well, as you all know, being able to drop 16 bombs all aimed at individual targets. It is a great example of our technology at work. It did show great flexibility because in the beginning of this, the B2 beginsthey depended very heavily on precise planning. It sort of went along with the bomber mentality that has evolved over the years. I actually got in an airplane and flew to Whitman Air Force Base, Missouri, myself and sat down with the youngsters, the weapons officers. And we sat down, and with fighter background and their bomber background, and we figured out how to do this. As I said, it was brute force, it was not pretty. But en route to the target they were able to make ajustments.
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The first night they tried it they were actually able to kill an SA3 that was given to them the last minute. That is just one of the success stories, solutions that were brought forth by our people that just made the systems that we had just work a hell of a lot better.
But, sir, back to your statement on the very precious assets that we have, our Rivet Joint assets, our Joint STARS assets, our Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), our U2s, our combat search-and-rescue assets, we just have very few of these platforms available to us. And they are the key to being able to do the precise location, especially when the demand for reduction of collateral damage is so high. You depend greatly on these assets to pinpoint exactly where the targets are, so when the airplanes get there they don't have to loiter for a great amount of time to do the finding of these targets with their eyeballs, and they can precisely put the weapons on targets.
It is the horizontal integration, and I think Dan would agree, with all of our assets that were used, the horizontal integration of these that were the great lessons learned; and the great strides forward of this war to be able to shut down the seams between these stovepipe systems that all contained vital pieces of information. It was the use of reachback, the U2s actually shooting a picture directly from the U2 all of the way back to Beale Air Force base on the West Coast of the United States, getting processed with NASA-rated coordinates that you could use with some of our Global Positioning System (GPS) weaponsthose sorts of things we put together.
It is getting the collection of assets out of the collection mentality and getting it into a targeting mentality that gave us this real-time capability that was, I thinkended up being the breakthrough of this campaign. All of the services participated in that and took credit for what we did.
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Admiral MURPHY. I would like to tell a sea story to elaborate on just that very point. Early in the campaign, in the first week, there were a number of Serbian early warning radars that were wreaking some havoc because of the centralities of the overall effectiveness of the integrated air defense system. General Short called me and asked if we might be able to help in knocking those out from the 6th Fleet command ship. Then a young team of intelligence officers, working with the Joint Analysis Center in the U. K., took control of the Nation's Electronics Intelligence (ELINT) satellite system and were able to gain what we call ''5 ball fixed.'' To an intelligence officer, this is Nirvana. To a sailor, that is getting a perfect fix when you are navigating. But that was insufficient for targeting a Tomahawk missile, which was the weapon that we intended to employ. So I walked into the intelligence center and sitting there was a 22-year-old intelligence specialist who was talking to Beale Air Force Base via secure telephone and Beale Air Force Base was driving a U2 over the top of this spot. The U2 snapped the picture, fed it back to Beale Air Force base where that young sergeant to my young petty officer said, we have got it, we have confirmation. I called Admiral Ellis, he called General Clark, and about 15 minutes later we had three Tomahawk missiles en route and we destroyed those three radars. There is nothing service-exclusive about anything we do anymore. It is very much a team effort.
Mr. BATEMAN. Great story.
Mrs. FOWLER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Some of my questions are really a follow-up on what my good friend, Mr. Sisisky, has been asking about. First, I want to say I share his and my Chairman's concerns that every time we discuss these, we see the need for an another carrier. Maybe eventually we will get there, so I share their concerns and off the record would speak to the same thing. We will just go from there.
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I think as we are hearing today and in prior hearings, too, this air war showed really a significant shortfall in our inventory of some of our key assets in addition to the airborne jammers which General Johnson addressed last week and have been mentioned today. I was really concerned about the availability of our intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance assets, which you have just been showing how important they are and how critical.
During the campaign it is my understanding that we also pulled these assets from other regional CINCs order to make sure that European Command (EUCOM) had the resources that it needed. Even then it is my understanding that even with pulling them from other regional CINCs they were still strapped in theater.
I would note that in employing a majority of strike missions, we also flew 79 percent of the Intelligence/Surveillance/Reconnaissance (ISR) sorties over Kosovo. In light of that, these are my questions. Any of you can answer and I will just go through the questions real quickly:
To what extent were the these Intelligence/Surveillance/Reconnaissance (ISR) assets adequate for the campaign? Are you still resourced to provide sufficient ISR coverage for our forces that are in Kosovo? Are you aware, through your discussions with our senior commanders, whether other regional CINCs are adequately resourced today on ISR given the fact that their assets flowed from the air war to EUCOM? For example, I know there are current discussions underway now to bring back the Navy EFIII aircraft out of retirement so that it can be operated on a contract basis with outcome. Are you aware through your discussions with other NATO commanders whether the Europeans are really serious about investing adequately in these types of assets so that we in the future would not have to do 79 percent of them? In your view from the field, do we have enough of those assets?
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If any of these questions, if you could you address them, take different ones, I would appreciate it.
General JUMPER. Yes, ma'am. I can certainly start. I can tell you there was a constant demand for these assets just as you have indicated. In fact, we could not do continuous 24-hour-a-day operations in all of the areas that we would have liked to have covered during this operation. We did, in fact, borrow.
As a matter of fact, you may recall, Mr. Chairman, that we shut down Operation NORTHERN WATCH for several days as we repositioned not only Rivet Joints and AWACS but also EA6's to take part in the initial part of the confrontation. So the ISR assets are vital to what we do. Do we have enough of them? No, we don't. That is why they are managed by the Joint Staff day in and day out, and it is their job to balance the desires and the needs of the different regional CINCs so that the op tempo of our people in these assets can be managed.
I can tell you that of all of these assets I have just described, the operations tempo for each one of them is greater than 120 days in many cases, in cases of the U2. We didn't mention our combat search-and-rescue assets. It is up to 150 to 160 days a year. So it is platforms and it is people. It has to do with JSTARS, the Rivet Joint, the Compass Call, the ABCC, Airborne Command Control Aircraft, the U2s and the people who deploy with our unmanned air vehicle, the Predator, all fall into this category. So the question gets to are weis our end strength enough to deal with this? I would say no, it is not.
Do we need to look at how we buy these platforms and replace them in light of the worldwide demand? I think yes, we do. I think what we have learned is the requirement for the two major regional contingencies may be less in the real world that we are dealing with out here day to day. I think that we have found that, not only with these resources, but with other resources throughout our military.
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Admiral MURPHY. Ma'am, for the Navy's part, the principal platforms are the EP3, the P3, and the EA6B as well. There are five EP3s that are assigned to me in Europe. As much as General Jumper said, I don't really own them anymore because their employability is so great they are really owned by the unified CINC. Of those five, two are being modernized, one flies from Bahrain in Operation SOUTHERN WATCH, one flies from Turkey in Operation NORTHERN WATCH, and one flies daily over Kosovo and Bosnia. The P3s are not as well recognized but just as significant.
On the first of November, the Predator will redeploy from the theater. They are carrying all of the responsibility now for overhead surveillance in Kosovo. That responsibility is going to be picked up by P3 with standoff optics. We have nine P3s in the theater and about a third of those again don't belong to the Naval Commander anymore. They belong to the Unified Commander because of the importance of what they do.
Inconveniently last month, while we were worrying about the land center issue in the Balkans, the Russians deployed an Oscar submarine to the Mediterranean. It is a 6th generation, very best technology, the highest difficulty in tracking and locating. So we found ourselves with these nine P3 air crews looking for a tank on one day and then looking for a submarine on the following day.
As General Jumper said so eloquently, these people make it work somehow, but it is not really what we had ever intended to do in terms of stretching the requirement on the human resources to have so much professional expertise and for it to be applied in such diverse areas.
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General FLANAGAN. Ma'am, I have very little to add from the Marine perspective. We do fly the EA6B aircraft and have similar issues that the Navy has. I will tell you that our EA6B population, both pilots and air crews and enlisted Marines, is one of our most overworked communities. I mentioned in my opening remarks how one squadron that remained behind became the bill payer for the other three that we deployed. Subsequent deployments have been pushed back just to give them a little relief on their ops tempo. So it is certainly an issue in that regard.
As I mentioned, our EA6Bs will start to run out of useful life around 2015; and we are looking very hard at what the next platform might be, along with the Navy. I don't know that we have come up with an answer to that. I think the one aspect that we didn't touch on, but I would just throw in that has helped us in this war and other conflicts, has been our ability not just to have new platforms but to be able to integrate those platforms. I think the sensor to shooter concept is a valid concept. It is not fully developed yet; but as we move in that direction the platforms that we have today will will get smarter and smarter, and we will be able to put weapons on target with the platforms using smart weapons for instance, not necessarily the smartest platforms. We will see improvements in that regard as well.
Mrs. FOWLER. Mr. Chairman, I know my time is up. If I could address it, because I am talking about Europeans as part of my question, and you see them seriously interested in investing adequately enough to have some of these assets. You talk about interoperability. My understanding was there were major problems in interoperability between our assets and assets under the European Command. If they don't move forward to address some of this, we will continue to bear the great majority of any NATO actions like this in the future. Do any of you see any really serious move by the Europeans to put sufficient assets resources into this?
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General JUMPER. Ma'am, I think that we can point directly to the resolutions that came out of the Washington Summit, that the Europeans are going to take positive and identifiable steps to close this gap. Only time will tell how that translates into actual investments in technology. I would also add that there is a lot that can be done that does not require great leaps in technology.
Some of the things that you mentioned, things that are justa required decision like secure communications; identification of friend or foe equipment so you can tell the good guys from the bad guys; the LINK 16 data link interfaces that make this business so much easier and takes out so much of the fog of war that you experience in a densely-compacted environment in the air; night vision goggles and the like are all things that can be done without great leaps in technology that would greatly improveand this is without taking away any of the credit that NATO should get for all of the effort that they have made to standardize the procedures and the tactics that allowed us to do what we did without the loss of aircraft.
Mrs. FOWLER. I wish you well in your efforts to get them to continue to move forward at least in some of these areas that could be done fairly readily. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. BATEMAN. Thank you.
Mr. SPRATT. We clearly enjoyed in this war a substantial technical overmatch vis-a-vis our opponent. If our opponent had intermediate-range missiles, ballistic missiles that could have reached Aviano, would this have made a difference in the waging of this war?
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General JUMPER. Yes, sir. There are several things that worried me consistently. I think Dan shared that and I know General Clark did; we talked about it daily. One was that very question, the question of the introduction of some sort of theater ballistic missile, some sort of a cruise missile. Along with that would have been the introduction of the SA10 or SA12 or one of the modern generation airplanes that are available out there on the market today.
Mr. SPRATT. What difference with respect to the SA6 versus SA10? If they had had the SA10, what difference would it have made for the anti-radiation missions.
General JUMPER. Sir, we essentially would have had to go in and attack with bombs these SA10s. We would have had to fight our way in brute force because we do not have the techniques to adequately defend ourselves against the capability of those missiles. As you know, sir, the SA10 is good enough that it can actually see the HARM that is being shot at it and shoot the HARM missile down on the way. We are just not adequately prepared for this sort of a system. As far as advanced generations of fighters out there, we have had a chance to see some of these fighters firsthand, including some of the ones built by the Russians. I can tell you in similar activity that our guys flying their airplanes would be our guys flying our airplanes. This is why we come forward so strongly for the F22 so that we get that air superiority that we have always taken for granted. We had it in this war in Kosovo and it wasn't against the highest-tech system, but by 2005 it would just be a matter of whether the Mr. Milosevics of the world decide whether they are going to buy these things or not, because they are going to be out there and available.
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Yes, sir, it would have altered our strategy considerably. It would have made a big difference on the way we went about this and I can almost guarantee it would not have been without significant losses.
Mr. SPRATT. With respect to target selection, this involved a political process. It is the nature of the Alliance. But in addition to disrupting your tactics, not being able to do what you prefer to do always, is there a security risk in shopping the bombing list around, the target list around? Did you have concerns about having information of this sensitivity shared by so many different people, many of them politically.
General JUMPER. Sir, I can tell you that I was not directly a part of the process. I do not think that they were actually passing target lists around. I think on the most sensitive targets that there was an approach made to some countries, not even all, but some at least for target approval. I can't describe to you exactly how that was done.
On a different level, though, we were concerned about compromise of target lists and even the air tasking order in some cases. But I could not tell you if that was result of the target process or result of leaks somewhere in the operational and tactical level system. But yes, sir, it was a significant concern to all of us. In some cases I was convinced they had that information.
Mr. SPRATT. That is true of the Navy in the 6th Fleet as well?
Admiral MURPHY. We are all part of the same integrated targeting assignment process. We took precautions with respect to Tomahawk missiles, Tomahawk Land Attack Missile (TLAM) missiles, and our Stealth technologies so they were never made available in terms of precise timing or ingress and egress. None of it was ever compromised, either. The target lists were not made available to NATO until the day of planning required, so there was notthe long master target file was retained in U.S.-only channels and then shared with selected allies as necessary for consultation. But this was a reflection of the very real concern that all of the senior commanders had that we didn't have an airtight security system within some areas of the NATO operation.
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Mr. SPRATT. You can't go to that theater, not just Aviano or Albania, but anywhere, when you go to Bosnia and you ask about the order of battle, so to speak, the different forces, and not be impressed with the gap between us and our European allies. It is not just in stealthy air frame and precision-guided munitions, but intelligence-gathering assets and lots of very basic stuff like KC135 refueling capability. One has to believe that as you look at what is happening in Europe this gap is widening rather than closing and we will get more so, or worse rather than better. Is that too pessimistic?
General JUMPER. Sir, again I look back at the Washington Summit with great anticipation and hope that the resolution made there to take the initiatives that were decided upon will yield some sort of result in closing this gap. But all of the points that you make are exactly right.
Mr. SPRATT. And the Europeans learned something from this?
General JUMPER. I know at the military level they all have, sir; but politically, I don't know.
Mr. BATEMAN. Mr. Taylor.
Mr. TAYLOR. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, especially since I am not a member of your subcommittee. Gentlemen, a couple years ago a question was asked of the Joint Chiefs that in an ideal world, if they were given one plus-up, what would they ask for? If there was to be some part of a supplemental either through this budget deal working its way to the White House or given the opportunity to give your first preference for next year's budgetary cycle, what would you ask for as a result of what you saw over the skies of Kosovo?
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Admiral MURPHY. I imagine you got less than an absolute direct answer when you asked that question.
Mr. TAYLOR. Actually, that is where the vortex of the Marines came from, if I recall, so it did prove to be worthwhile.
Admiral MURPHY. I will caveat what I am going to say; that everything is such a delicate balance that it is difficult to pick just one aspect. I do believe that our experience, though, in this conflict has shown the enormous promise of standoff precision-guided munitions. The big two with Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM), your basic Tomahawk used as a tactical weapon, following weapons behind it, Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW) and Joint Surface to Air Missile (JSAM) provide us with actuaries of altitude and distance that are going to reduce our dependency on some of these very very high-value, low-density assets such as the EA6B. So I believe whatever effort, whatever funding it takes to accelerate the effort to move tactical aviation, that is, all services tactical aviation, as fast as we can into the use of precision-guided munitions delivered from a sanctuary is what will make the greatest benefit for the future.
General JUMPER. Mr. Taylor, as Dan says, there is not just one thing. So to point to one thing is a very dangerous thing to do. Given our obvious affection for air superiority in the F22, I will tell you the thing that was of the most concern to me internal to the Air Force during this was our lack of properly-manned staffs. We essentially emptied out my major command headquarters to go augment the staffs in Vicenza. I seriously had to toy at one point with shutting down a fighter squadron to put the right number of rated people out there that had the expertise in fighter operations to do the planning that was required for this operation. As we face more and more staff cuts at what is aimed at administrative staffs, we have taken down our operational staffs. So the manpower to do the right sort of planning, you need people.
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Mr. TAYLOR. If I may interrupt, sir, had Senator McCain and others who advocated a stronger call for the Guard and Reserve prevailed, would that problem still have presented itself, or was the fact that we tried to as a Nation do this with the least disruption to the civilian population a hindrance?
General JUMPER. Sir, I will tell you that we did use the Guard and Reserves mightily, volunteers, thousands of them, to help us out.
Mr. TAYLOR. Would a call-up have solved that problem or Reserve units you could have called up to fill that gap, or would an individual call.
General JUMPER. Individuals were what we needed and in fact what we did do. What we didn't have was on the scene, right there when the action was breaking, the sort of people ready to go who were able to augment later on; but in the early stages of the planning we didn't have those things available. I think that the call-up affected sort of the subsequent manning relief that we got.
Mr. TAYLOR. If you were to do it over, would you have liked the authority to call up whole units?
General JUMPER. Sir, I would have to answer that for the record. It would have to be answered.
Mr. TAYLOR. This is how we learn something. Chances are if you supply it for the record, it is never going to get read. If you say it right now, it is going to get heard.
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General JUMPER. I will tell you right now that the Guard and Reserve forces that we did use were fully employed. Whether it would have been profitable for us to bring on more units at the time, I just can't honestly tell you, sir. We needed augmentation for our staffs and we did it with individual volunteers. It is not something that the unit call-ups could have answered for us. Those are the shortages that I can speak to directly. I don't mean to be evasive, sir.
Mr. TAYLOR. Did you encounter similar shortages in DESERT STORM and DESERT SHIELD when there was a massive call-up in the Guard and Reserves?
General JUMPER. Sir, I think at that time there was total commitment to the operation. I think that we had less of a commitment up front to this one is the way that I would characterize it.
Mr. TAYLOR. Mr. Chairman, are you going to let the General speak?
Mr. BATEMAN. Sure.
Mr. TAYLOR. Thank you.
General FLANAGAN. I think the Marine Corps is moving ahead in a lot of areas and I would say that we are moving ahead at a satisfactory rate. I have talked about some of the programs that we used in Kosovo, the LINK 16 and night vision devices, et cetera. Beyond the program buy for the V22 and the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), all things that are moving forward we think in an orderly way. Certainly it wouldn't be done without the help of this subcommittee and the full committee and we certainly appreciate that support.
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But I think the future of conflict as we see it is changing. And we look to the future and see a sea-basing autonomous capability. If you were to give me, Mr. Taylor, a silver bullet, I would share it with our friends in the Navy and say that our amphibious forces are where we need to look very hard at improvement, amphibious ships along with a Military Position Force (MPF) capability is absolutely vital for what the United States needs to do in the future. Anything to support amphibious platforms in our MPF and enhance MPF would I think be in the best interests of the United States.
Mr. TAYLOR. To that point, would you have liked to have had the LHD in the inventory right now?
General FLANAGAN. Sir, the LHD, Amphibious Assault Ship, (also LHA) we think is a critical asset. I would remind the committee that even the LHD is relatively dated technology. We are now operating our Harriers aboard ship. They are not designed to do that. We would like to bring the JSF aboard sometime as well. Again, they are not designed for that. We need to move on beyond LHD. We think we have passed LHA for certain. We would like to see LHD but we really need to look and see what is the the optimized platforms for the weapons systems we have today, the V22 and the JSF. Good point, thank you, sir.
Mr. BATEMAN. Now, the very patient Mr. Hunter.
Mr. HUNTER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I think that you have had an excellent hearing here. I want to thank you for it. I think all of my colleagues have covered the ground well. Let me ask you about these figures with respect to the kills you made. During the operation we askeda number of us asked the secretary and others what percent of Serbian armor, if any, we were destroying. Very vague answers and reports were coming back. We got relatively vague answers, incomplete, and most of them really on the minimal side.
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You have some impressive numbers here. You estimate that you killed more than 100 Serbian aircraft, 42 percent, 450 artillery pieces, 220 armored personnel carriers, 120 tanks. First, let me ask anybody who wants to comment, are you confident of those figures? Have those been conclusively validated by on-the-ground, after-action reports?
General JUMPER. Sir, you are reading from, I'm sorry? This is
Mr. HUNTER. I am reading from our briefing, but it is a report of the figures that were given as official NATO estimates.
General JUMPER. I see, in the after action report. Sir, what we did, as you recall what happened was General Clark, for the record and in public I think, came out with a figure of 110 tanks originally. That was countered immediately by the commander of the Serb Third Army who came back and said, no, there were only 13. This is the same guy who said they shot down 47 airplanes. We, therefore, sent a very large team into Kosovo and visited over 1,000 places on the ground where pilot reports and other evidence indicated that we had engaged armored heavy vehicles right down to the mortars on the ground. I can only recall from memory the number of tanks, and that number was 93 that came out. It is different from the 120 that you have there.
Mr. HUNTER. That is good, you ground-confirmed 93.
General JUMPER. That was beyond a shadow of a doubt. And also giving credit forwe didn't claim any dual kills beyond a two-kilometer radius. If there was any doubt, we discounted them. So the number indeed could have been 120 but 93 is what we stood up to as the Air Force.
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Mr. HUNTER. Let me ask another question with respect to NATO's contribution. A number of us are concerned. It is easier for the military, their respective militaries, to understand that they would like to contribute more. There is a difference between that and getting the politicians to give up social spending so they can do that. We have a formula that we use, as I understand, to derive our support or compensation from NATO when we do NATO operations the United States is involved in. We do get some reimbursement; is that right?
General JUMPER. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUNTER. What is that formula? Could you comment on its validity in your estimate?
General JUMPER. Sir, I would have to supply that for the record. My firsthand knowledge of this, I must confess to you, is a little bit weak. But it applies in two cases, not only to military operations but also infrastructure funding that goes on day to day within the Alliance. We leverage dollars that we pay in at a rate of 4- or 5-to-1 in the military construction for certain operational sorts of assets like runways, hangars and things. It does not apply to quality-of-life sort of things. Then in the military operation, there is another formula that I am not familiar with.
Mr. HUNTER. I would recommend you become very familiar with it because getting some of that money back may affect your abilities, respectively, to upgrade your forces. My instincts are that you are probably getting pennies on the dollar in terms of whatif you capitalized assets and put all of the miles that you put on these old '56 Chevies in running this operation, you are probably getting pennies back from NATO. We ought to update that formula or at least look at it.
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Could you go that get that, General, and share it with us in the committee and see if we might be able to upgrade that a little bit?
[The information referred to can be found in the hard copy.]
Mr. HUNTER. Lastly, Mr. Chairman, if I could ask, I think this mission has validated the move to deploy precision munitions, especially combined with stealth. As I understand, we are going to bewe have now, Admiral, the Navy has made a deliberate determination to be 50 percent short on the two MRC requirement for cruise missiles for the next ten years. You love them so much you are not going to fund enough of them to fill out one MRC, much less two.
But with respect to the Air Force, we have a lot of iron bombs. JDAM is a strap-on operation; it makes an iron bomb into a very valuable asset. I have talked with some of these guys in industry who have an idea that goes a little further than that. They have been working on that to stop on basically short wings on the guidance system of the iron bombs, and you get a 50-to-75 mile standoff capability with precision. So you actually back off the target a little bit and still do it for 12, 14, 15,000 bucks.
One of the impressive statistics that I understood is if you drop a JDAM with precision out of a B2 that has penetrated, and it cost 12 or $14,000 you have put munitions on target with the same precision as a TLAM that cost $1.4 million. So you put precision explosive on target for 1.01 of the cost.
Page 52 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I have been in some of these briefings and we have brought the Air Force in and had them look at some of these cheap strap-on kits that give glide capability or standoff capability. It has been mission impossible to get them to want to take the second step. The last time the contractors were in, they had three guys in a pickup truck down at Eglin Air Force Base; and according to the Air Force letter, they validated the standoff, the 60-mile standoff, but they hadn't validated the provision. But the Air Force desperately did not want to spend the extra $600,000 it was going to take to take the second step. It was Mission Impossible. It looked to me like a little prejudice on the account of some of the existing high-price systems that we were looking at; we need to protect them.
I would think that you would want to latch onto inexpensive ways to take advantage of that big stockpile of iron bombs, no matter who does them. What do you think?
General JUMPER. Mr. Hunter, I couldn't agree more. With that same trip I made out to Missouri to deal with the B2 question, I stopped off at St. Charles, Missouri, to the factory where they have 85 people that make the kits for the JDAM. They showed me the very system I think you described. I think it is called the diamond-back modification for the JDAM. It is indeed a very low-cost concept on lengthening the range of the JDAM. In fact, we are indeed, as a result of a combat mission needs statement that we put in from USAF Europe (USAFE), taking a look at that very system. If it does pan outand there are some issues, but nothing we can't overcomethen indeed the sort of capability that you described, not only for range but for deviation from the center lane. Without getting into classified, you have more ability to hit a target that is off the center lane of the B2's path.
Mr. HUNTER. We still have a lot of iron bombs, one area that we are fat?
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General JUMPER. Sir, you are exactly right.
Mr. HUNTER. Could you get me briefed up on the stay of play on this?
General JUMPER. Absolutely.
Mr. BATEMAN. I want to thank each of the witnesses. Their testimony has been very, very helpful to us. And you have been very generous in your comments and your thanks to the committee for the things that we have been able to do for you. We certainly meant to do good things for you. This Member's only regret is that we haven't done more for you.
I am going to close just by saying to you, as I do to most of the senior military officers who come before the committee, there is little more that we can do for you unless you are willing to do some things for yourself, and that is to let us know what your needs are. If you are being underresourced, underfunded, only you have the credibility that is going to make it possible for the members of this committee to do what they want to do in order to see that the people that you lead have everything they need in order to go into harm's way with the least likelihood of there being casualties while successfully executing a mission. So a heavy responsibility falls on you to help us help you.
We thank you very much for your testimony today. We will take about a two minute recess while the other panel comes to the table and then we will be looking forward to hearing from them.
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Mr. BATEMAN. The subcommittee will come to order. Our second panel of witnesses consists of General Charles T. Robertson, Jr., Commander in Chief of the United States Transportation Command; Lieutenant General John W. Handy, Deputy Chief of Staff, Installations and Logistics, United States Air Force; and Vice Admiral James Amerault, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Logistics, United States Navy. Gentlemen, we look forward to hearing from you and General Robertson, you may proceed.
STATEMENT OF GEN. CHARLES T. ROBERTSON, JR., COMMANDER IN CHIEF, U.S. TRANSPORTATION COMMAND, U.S. AIR FORCE
General ROBERTSON. Mr. Chairman, members of the subcommittee, it is good to be back since I testified to you down in Norfolk a couple of months ago, but I do appreciate the opportunity to be here to represent the 160,000 men and women of the United States Transportation Command. They are a great team and every day that goes by they have a little more added to their plate as far as what they have to accomplish around the world, and I will talk to you about that.
But I would like to concur up front with what General Jumper said earlier about our sincere appreciation for what you have done just over the past year for the men and women of the United States military, not to mention the Defense Transportation System. When we talked in Norfolk, many of the things that are coming into effect today were just hopes and dreams; and the troops sincerely appreciate that and I echo that on their behalf.
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Before I talk about Kosovo, and I willlet me speak for the record on Kosovo and we can get into thatI would like to talk to you just a minute about some of the changes echoing your introductory remarks that face the Defense Transportation System today. The Chairman said that the motto of the United States Transportation Command ought to be ''Try Fighting Without us.'' That is exactly true. Everything that you see in the headlines every day is an indication of the presence of the Defense Transportation System, whether it be airlift, sealift, or surface transportation; nothing happens in any of the CINCdoms without the Defense Transportation System. And I will tell you that I think our Nation's readiness does not exist without the global mobility provided by the transportation system. Our number one job, and we repeat it to ourselves every day, is to make sure that the other warfighting CINCs are successful in the accomplishment of theirs. We pride ourselves and take very seriously the trust that those other warfighters place in us.
We don't ask for headlines and we don't usually get headlines unless it is something like dropping relief supplies down at the South Pole or rescuing a member of the National Science Foundation down there. But we enjoy the success that the other warfighting CINCs enjoy on a day-to-day basis. We are blessed with the best people that we have ever had. We wish that we could keep more of them. We are aggressively trying to come up with additional ideas to tell you how to keep those folks.
As I told you last summer, the initiatives that we have enacted have been superb, but I don't think they have gone far enough. And putting on my Air Force hat for a moment, I will tell the curves for first term, second term and career reenlistments have not turned yet. For the second year in a row they are below what we shoot for as our goal, so we do have a ways to go. We measure our growth as a Defense Transportation System operationally on how we have improved since DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM when the U.S. Transportation Command was basically created. We are making significant progress. We are modernizing our strategic sealift fleet, we are slowly modernizing our strategic airlift and air refueling fleets. We have increased the use of prepositioning, we have increased the use of commercial agreements with the sealift and airlift industry. We have improved the Joint Planning and Execution System and practiced that mission every day in peacetime. In fact, I tell my partners in the defense business that if they don't like the way I serve them in peacetime, they better complain, because they are going to get exactly the same service in wartime.
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That is what Kosovo was, an extension of peacetime operations into a major war theater effort on some behalf. Even so, I will tell you that as we improve the defense transportation every day in peacetime, it continues to be challenging to support the warfighting CINCs and the services and the other customers of the transportation system. It has been a combination of factors, but that combination of factors has led to a decline in our airlift capability which is going to juxtapose to an increase in worldwide requirements every day. They have fewer forces based oversees so we have to move them from CONUS to overseas whenever we have a crisis. That demands an increasingly flexible airlift and air refueling force.
Again, in sustained operation, the sealift force can take over and it is very healthy. But I will tell you the number of contingencies and humanitarian responses and ongoing operations has increased significantly. You talk about earthquakes in Taiwan, you talk about Hurricane Dora and having to evacuate Johnson Atoll. You talk about Hurricane Floyd on the East Coast. You talk about humanitarian relief to the South Pole. You talk about our day-to-day commitments in NORTHERN WATCH and SOUTHERN WATCH over the skies of Iraq, and in Bosnia, lingering commitments.
We are present at every one. As the East Timor's team come along and nuclear incidents in Japan come along, they just add to the stack of ''to do's'' that are on our list. We match that growing list of requirements with the reduction in the Nation's airlift capability; that is, basically trading off 270 C141s for 134 C17s, and my flexibility to support the customer on a day-to-day basis is basically cut in half. Then you add to that the ailing C5 with a 60 percent and declining mission-capable rate compared to what we need at about 75 percent, and my force is stretched in peacetime.
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I have got a tremendous amount of my force in the Reserve component who really aren't available in peacetime, who volunteer a phenomenal level of effort, so phenomenal in fact that I am afraid it is going to hurt my retention on the Guard and Reserve side. Fifty-nine percent of my tanker air crews are air Reserve members. We depend heavily on that volunteerism.
Kosovo was a total force success story. Without the Guard and Reserve manning those KC135s and the aircraft, it would not have been the success that it was. But still when when you combine increasing requirements, declining capability, commitments of the Guard and Reserves, it is a deficit in airlift and air refueling capability in peacetime.
I have trouble on a day-to-day basis meeting the requirements of my customers and responding to the CINCs. During Kosovo we either eliminated or deferred at least ten major CINC exercises in other parts of the world to support the Kosovo operation. We are feeling the effects of increased global ops tempo. Many of the things we have done over the past year will help that. But again from an operational standpoint, from a force modernization standpoint, and from a people standpoint, I will tell you that I think that we will need to continue to do more.
I will let my statement stand for itself and I will stand by to answer your questions. Thank you, sir.
Mr. BATEMAN. Thank you very much, General Robertson. All of the statements submitted will be made a part of the record.
[The prepared statement of Gen. Robertson can be found in the Appendix.]
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Mr. BATEMAN. At this point, Vice Admiral Amerault, we would be happy to hear from you.
STATEMENT OF VICE ADM. AMERAULT, DEPUTY CHIEF OF NAVAL OPERATIONS (LOGISTICS), U.S. NAVY
Admiral AMERAULT. Mr. Chairman, I have a statement for the record that I would like to see entered into the record. Mr. Chairman, members of the subcommittee, I want to thank you for the opportunity to appear before you once again. I represent with pride those personnel, sailors, Marines, and also civilians who work behind the scenes and often on the scene for the success in operations like ALLIED FORCE, those people in the logistics arena.
As always, I am very grateful for your support in ensuring that sailors and Marines have the resources and training that they need to respond to challenges today as well as to prepare for those of the future.
First and foremost, while we were fortunate not to lose any personnel, our people's skill, innovation and professionalism in action made the operation in Kosovo succeed. I think that we must continue to provide them the resources and training and quality of life that they deserve. Your help has been invaluable in the past, and I hope and I am sure that it will continue in the future. I thank you in advance.
Operation ALLIED FORCE reminds us also of the value of a forward presence that is provided by combat-ready carrier battle groups and amphibious-ready groups with their embarked Marine Expeditionary Units. The THEODORE ROOSEVELT Battle Group commenced highly successful strike operations three days after entering the Mediterranean and only ten days after beginning her regularly scheduled deployment. The ROOSEVELT Battle Group's performance is noteworthy for its many successes; scores of fixed targets destroyed, more than 400 tactical targets destroyed or damaged, in excess of 3,000 sorties flown without a single loss.
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Following the hostilities, a largely self-sufficient detachment of 375 Marine Seabees with 99 vehicles, tools, and equipment constructed shelters for NATO personnel and for Kosovars who were left homeless as a result of the war. They helped restore running water and reliable stored power to the devastated region. This Seabee capability is often unsung but is an essential capability that comes also from the sea and one we are determined to maintain in very vigorous condition. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. BATEMAN. Thank you, Admiral.
[The prepared statement of Adm. Amerault can be found in the Appendix.]
Mr. BATEMAN. Now, we are pleased to hear from General Handy.
STATEMENT OF LT. GEN. JOHN W. HANDY, DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF, INSTALLATIONS AND LOGISTICS, U.S. AIR FORCE
General HANDY. Mr. Chairman and distinguished members of the committee, it is an honor for me to be here today once again. I have submitted my statement for the record and, therefore, stand by for your questions.
[The prepared statement of Gen. Handy can be found in the Appendix.]
Mr. BATEMAN. My goodness. That is certainly short and sweet.
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Mr. HUNTER. This guy has been here before.
Mr. BATEMAN. General Robertson, you made reference to the shortfall in airlift. What can we do or what do we have to do to fix that problem, because it sounds to me like it is one of those problems that you just can't let hang out there and deteriorate; you have got to fix it.
General ROBERTSON. It is an agonizingly slow process, sir, because I watch it on a day-to-day basis. Every month when we deliver another C17, I rejoice. I wonder when we get to the end of that road whether it will be enough. My peacetime capability is driven by OCM and the Joint Staff's judgment of my wartime requirement; that is, the ability to meet the requirements of two major theater wars nearly simultaneously. It is my considered opinion that my peacetime requirement is outstripping my wartime requirement on a day-to-day basis. We have not reached the point to be able to say that officially.
At the same time, the mobility requirements study from the Bottom-Up review several years ago is what gave me the requirement for 120 C17s to replace the 270 C141s as they retire. It gave me a lot of other things, increased sealift capability that the Navy has stepped up to admirably with 19 new large medium-speed Roll-on Roll-off (ROROs) that have tremendously improved my capability and improved Ready Reserve Fleet on the sealift side.
But as Kosovo demonstrated, the warfighter, first and foremost, wants it fast; and airlift is the only thing that provides that capability. In this case he wanted air refueling in tremendous numbers. We need to fix the C5. There is a plan underway to do that, a program underway to do that, but that is another one of those agonizingly slow things that we are proceeding through. It is a funded program, but to re-engine the C5 it will take three years to develop a pylon and test it. That means that we are starting in about 2005 in major production of the C5. That will be the first time we will see an upturn in the C5's reliability in mission-capable rate based on improvements to the weapons system. The mod will not finish until 2014. Because I am so light, I have to phase them through. I need what I have on a day-to-day basis to meet the peacetime contingency. C17s are rolling off the assembly line at least one a month, well ahead of the schedule. They are performing magnificently. They were the hero, except for maybe the B2, of Kosovo. We could not have done TASK FORCE HAWK into Albania without the C17. It could not have been done the way that we did it. My big concern is the span of time between now and the time that all of these fixes take effect. We are talking, at the earliest, 2005, 2006. And then the other concern is to then will that be enough?
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The Joint Staff in OSD are addressing shortfalls in the mobility requirements study Bottom-Up review and a new mobility requirement study. In my view, personal opinion only, it would be counterintuitive for them to come up with a solution to suggest that we don't need more strategic airlift to serve the CINCs. I think if you ask each one of the regional CINCs individually, in their top five priorities would be more strategic airlift.
On the early refueling side, it is a manpower issue more than anything. The KC135 is healthy even though it is 40 years old. The KC10 is healthy. On the KC135 side, it still has the same crew ratio that we manned it with when it pulled alert in the Cold War. And as DESERT STORM showed and then reaffirmed by Kosovo, we need to bump up the manpower that mans and maintains the KC135. We will work that through the process and hopefully come to you with that request in the next budget cycle.
Mr. BATEMAN. One of the things that seems to be a recurring theme today, though not put forth that directly, is that you have personnel shortages. That is in all services. I get concerned. For instance, Admiral Murphy indicated the great desirability, at least, of having an additional carrier battle group. How are we going to have another carrier battle group, even if we were going to come up with the money to build the carriers, if we can't recruit and retain the personnel necessary to make those magnificentto use that magnificent capability? How are we going to do these things that you need to do in the Air Transport Command and other commands if we aren't able to maintain the presently authorized end strength?
I don't know if any of you are worried about that, but it is a matter of very large concern to me. What can we do, for instance, if you want to get a little more specific, General Robertson, on the mission capability rates of the C5? Is that something that you have got to live with forever?
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General ROBERTSON. I will come at itI don't give too short answers. I will do my best to be brief. There is a three-phase program to fix the C5. The number one problem with the C5 mechanically is the power plant, the engine. Until we can do the research and development and test to put a new engine on the C5, we are replacing its most troublesome component, the high-pressure turbine. That is going on as we speak. We think it will double the time on wing for the current TF39 engine from about 1100 hours, which is where we are now, to about 2500 hours once we finish this modification. But that is compared to about 10,000 hours for a commercial modern engine. So we have a ways to go.
We are replacing the cockpit, basically, on the C5. The contract has been let to completely upgrade the avionic suite of the C5. That will increase the mission-capable rate, we think, about one to three percent, not significantly, not enough. It is the reengining and reliability improvement program that we need which is so far out on the horizon.
Mr. SPRATT. Excuse me. Are we talking about the C5A or the C5B?
General ROBERTSON. Both. They are within a few percentage points of each other as far as mission-capable rate. What we are saying is that the C5 generic, A, B, is sitting at about 60 percent mission-capable rate versus the desired 75 percent, 15 below. Since Kosovo, it is down to about 56 percent; it has dropped even lower. The B is a couple of percentage points above, sir; but it has the same engine and, therefore, is plagued with the same problems.
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As I said, it is not just the engine but all of the components which come off the engine, the electrical, hydraulic, environmental system; they all need to be fixed, so it is a major modification to the airplane.
We talked about people, also, sir. That is a problem with the C5. Only two bases, Travis in California and Dover in Delaware, are near 100 percent manned on the flight line. But you take that 100 percent manned and you subdivide it into who is qualified to work alone on the airplane versus who are the apprentices on the flight line; we are about 200 to 300 percent manned in the apprentice corps and about 75 percent manned in the journeyman corps. And those are the ones that we have to deploy. It gets even thinner on the flight line and becomes harder and harder.
Then you get to General Handy's problem, which is spare parts on C5. We are seeing some recovery in spare parts for some of my other weapons systems. The KC135 is doing fine. The C5 resists fix on spare parts and so the cannibalization (CANN) rates on the C5 are astronomical. Maintenance man-hours per flying hour are astronomical, and we need to get that spare parts flow to the C5 fixed as well.
My latest prognosis is, post-Kosovo, now that that delay is sometime next spring, to answer your question from the first panel. It is a combination of problems. It is a troublesome air machine and requires me, on a day-to-day basis when I have a priority mission, one of national importance, one that is going to make the headlines, when I have need for a C5, I put two against it just to make sure, which cuts into my capability. Long answer, sir, but that is the C5.
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Mr. BATEMAN. The correct answer, and only you can judge how long or short it should be, General, but it was a good answer.
Admiral Amerault, you mentioned, I believe, that the THEODORE ROOSEVELT Carrier Battle Group had gone through Vieques and did the training that a carrier battle group routinely does there. And when it got on station, it commenced combat operations, I think, on the third day. What is your perception as to what happens to a carrier battle group that is forward deployed and, say, has an operation such as Kosovo and it has not had the Vieques training experience? What does it do to degrade the capability of that deployment?
Admiral AMERAULT. I think you have heard from Admiral Murphy, as well, the importance of having used and experienced the eyes-on skills that are necessary in putting some of these new precision-guided but also often steered-to-the-target munitions on target. I think that is a skill that has to be practiced at least to some minimum amount. When that is not able to happen, I think the curve, the learning curve of getting up to speed, is significantly longer. I think that is the value of the experience that we get at Vieques, or some other place if it isn't an Atlantic fleet carrier group. I think it is a valuable one and leads to the readiness on-time that is very important in situations like this.
Mr. BATEMAN. Thank you, Admiral. Mr. Ortiz.
Mr. ORTIZ. I am sorry I had to leave. I had to be on the floor of the House, but I was just wondering if General Handy, everybody was waiting for to you respond. You are the star witness today. You are the expert. You probably remember my first question.
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General HANDY. Yes, sir. I was a little intimidated about the buildup because I was given a lot of time to think about it. Not that we needed it here today, but it is an issue that, much like many of you, we have thought about for years. I certainly don't want to build a Swiss watch; but as I look at the problem of aircraft mission capable (MC) rates, certainly spares and spare support repair parts support is a key element.
General Robertson touched on a couple of the others that affect a dollar spent on spares may not come out as an improvement MC rate if your retention of key maintenance skills is not where it should be. Ours is, in fact, not where it should be. If you are replacing, across the board, aging aircraft fleets commensurate with most commercial systems, then you are not dealing with aging aircraft, which is another aspect of all of us here at the table that we deal with.
Technical surprises are another thing that certainly can be tied to the aging aircraft fleet. But we are surprised; in the C5, the box tie fitting, we never suspected such a problem, yet we have it. There are many problems in the fighter world that are not as dramatic but have a significant impact on us. All of this creates new requirements that weren't thought about yesterday. You combine that with underfunding in past years that we are growing out of, and nowmany thanks to the efforts of this committee and otherswe have put dollars into the spares part of that problem and we already note that there is a turnaround in parts availability across the Air Force, across all weapons systems, but only enough at this stage of the game to what we would characterize as bottom-out in MC rates being the ultimate measure of that effectiveness.
Page 66 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC But as you look at supply stockage effectiveness, what is on the shelves, our best finger on the pulse says that in the JuneJuly time frame of 2000, in other words, this next coming spring and summer, we ought to see a significant trend towards an upward increase in parts availability, in overall MC rates, a reduction in cannibalization rates which are an ultimate measure of do you have the parts when that crew chief needs it? It is a combination of all of those endeavors that we need to work on, in addition to the spare parts issues.
Let me give you just a good example that you would be interested in. At the start of this year, January 1999, Materiel Command, Air Force Materiel Command, was working on a backlog of about 600,000 items. In the year that has ensued since, because of in great measure the effort in Kosovo, the surge that we put the depots in, they are well below 400,000 parts backlogged and a significant part of the parts on order now are now becoming available.
So I am not here to paint a rosy picture by any means because, frankly, I think that you have heard that before. We are worried about spending the right dollar on the right item, so ultimately the men or women in the field have it in their hands to fix the aircraft and launch it to the mission that it is intended to.
Mr. ORTIZ. In referring back to the newspaper article that came out that is going to include a 10-series part, it mentioned something about some of these crashes that have occurred, stating thatI am just quoting what I readthat there should be some investigative agency on the civilian side because of almost 24 percent of those crashesand this my quoting nowthey hide the reason why those helicopters crashed.
I am coming up with this, Mr. Chairman, because as we visit the troops and have hearings in the district, people are going to begin to ask. And then again, the parts that were fabricated that were inferior material, and I know that maybe has nothing to do with the hearing, but do you think there is a need for an independent body to investigate all of these crashesbecause there is a perception now that this is going to continue for the next ten days.
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General HANDY. You will notice that General Robertson and I both looked at each other, hoping the other would take the question, and since I am the three-star and he is the four-star, I guess I get it.
General ROBERTSON. I am going to talk, too, when you are done.
General HANDY. In all sincerity, I am aware of the 10-part series. I have not read the first part yet. I am not qualified to comment on what the author may have done in terms of putting together the article. I know that we have contributed significantly to the information that was gathered to produce the articles, at least from the Air Force perspective.
With respect to the helicopters specifically, I am not qualified to comment. Therefore, it would be very difficult for me to give a quantative answer other than this. I am intimately familiar with the Air Force's accident and investigation processes and program and, frankly, in all sincerity, take great pride in the genuine efforts of folks who get to the bottom line and put it in print for why an accident happens. There would be no other reason for us to exist than to try to determine exactly what went wrong in every case on record. So from a personal perspective, that would be an offering I would perhaps send your way as a way to perhaps answer the question.
Mr. ORTIZ. I know that I want to be as fair as I can. I think the members of the committee don't have at least the first story that came out. I will make copies of them to read it; but it is very, very troubling in that one instance a helicopter came down and they blame it on pilot error. The investigating team that was investigating the accidentand then they started investigating more and more, and they found it had to do with the way that the fuel tanks were on this helicopter, and it was not pilot error.
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We want to be sure that the parents of the young ones who are out there are satisfied that we are trying to do our best. If there is something wrong, that we are going to do our best to correct it and make it better, but not to haveat least to learn something from this incident to correct them and not to continue to have these accidents and then these young soldiers and Marines and Air Force people who die. I have some more questions, but I don't want to take all of the time, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. BATEMAN. Thank you, Mr. Ortiz. Let me say that I and, I am sure, all of the members of the committee, would be very interested in having these articles. If you could supply copies, as soon as you have them, to staff, they can see that all committee members get them and certainly they will be read with great interest and pursued and hopefully in a very logical, commonsense manner, if they need to be pursued.
Mr. SPRATT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Just an observation about the C5. The C5 was a total package procurement. When the contract was renegotiated with Lockheed for a loss of $200 million, among other things dropped from the contract were most of the maintenance guarantees on it. One of the unique features of the contract was a guarantee, for example, about the mean time between overall. That was virtually dispensed with on the C5A and probably when we built the C5BI don't know this for a factwe did it. This committee initiated that effort, and maybe the Air Force made the request; but in any event, when we bought those 50 planes, we probably carried the same contract for them and didn't get the guarantees.
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That is neither here nor there now. We are a long way from then. I hear you saying that your task for two MTWs, that you are resourced for only one, really. And a key part of your resources is the C5, which has a major maintenance problem right now. How do you get out of this bind? I will give you a lead: Do you buy more C17s? Is that under active consideration?
General ROBERTSON. Yes, sir.
Mr. SPRATT. What is the time frame for making that decision in light of the status of the current production line?
General ROBERTSON. Your hypothesis is correct. We are a one major theater war force in the transportation business. We swing that spotlight to whatever the current crisis is. We swung it to Kosovo. That is how the national strategy is set up. The C5 is126 C5s are critical to that. There is currently an analysis of alternatives underway addressing whether, in fact, reengining of the C5 is the most effective alternative, either the lowest-cost or the best-value alternative. That analysis should be out before Christmas.
Mr. SPRATT. This is the CF56?
General ROBERTSON. TF39. CF56 is the C130.
Mr. SPRATT. I thought there was a redesign of this engine, that GEis GE the manufacturer?
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General ROBERTSON. Yes, sir.
Mr. SPRATT.that they were pushing years ago. Did the Air Force not opt for it at that time?
General ROBERTSON. I don't have the history, sir. What we have done is we have attacked the troublesome parts of the engine, but the margin of turbine inlet temperature that we are allowed to operate with on a day-to-day basis has grown so small on the engine that we don't have any extra capability in the engine. That is why we are replacing the high-pressure turbine now.
Mr. SPRATT. Would this be a new designed engine or modified?
General ROBERTSON. Completely new engine. Modern commercial high bypassing.
Mr. SPRATT. Can you buy it off the shelf?
General ROBERTSON. That is the current plan. There are three major competitors for the engine. Actually there are six engines in competition, 40,000-pound thrust engines, 50,000-pound thrust engines; but all would offer a tremendously improved operational capability as well as maintenance.
Mr. SPRATT. Do you have to rebuild in the cell, the wing, and everything else to go with it?
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General ROBERTSON. Yes, sir. The wing can handle any engine that would require a newness cell to support a pylon, to support the engine on the wing.
Mr. SPRATT. What about the wing on a C5, is it strong?
General ROBERTSON. That is the dilemma when you ask should we buy more C17s. I would say from a personal standpoint, you would probably need to do that until you know that the fix is going to work on a C5. Closing a 15 percent MC rate gap from an engineering standpoint would be very challenging.
I lost my train of thought. But you have to replace the engine and you need a new engine on the C5. You have to replace all of the components that go along with it, because all of those 90,000 parts that make up the C5 contribute to its.
Mr. SPRATT. Are most of your maintenance problems connected with the engine?
General ROBERTSON. Yes. Engine and subsystem, yes, sir. Engine is a third of the problems in itself, but the electrical system is a problem, the hydraulic system is a problem, environmental control systems, Auxiliary Power Units (APUs) are all high-failure items. They all contribute to that low reliability rate and low mission-capable rate.
Mr. SPRATT. So they went back and redesigned the wing and it is strong enough.
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General ROBERTSON. They have done an engineering analysis on the C5. It is good for at least 40 more years, maybe 50 more years as a structure, wing body, a box. That is then your issue; you can't just throw away an airplane that has that much life left. You should make an attempt to fix it. The C5B is only ten years old. You start with the C5B and see if this fix.
Mr. SPRATT. But you are still having these problems with the components in the C5B because of the carryover from the C5A?
General ROBERTSON. Same components, yes, sir; same subsystems.
Mr. SPRATT. You have a good strong wing and air frame. You clearly need a new engine, but you have a lot of life left to go in the air frame itself?
General ROBERTSON. Yes, sir. Reengining is not an unheard of proposition. The KC135 is a perfect example. It works well.
Mr. SPRATT. What about the landing gear on it?
General ROBERTSON. We have some maintenance problems with the landing gear but it will also require some fix. I don't know whether I can say replacement. C5 landing gear reliability is problematic. That is part of the package.
Mr. SPRATT. The General is from Charleston. He probably remembers the first operation landing of the C5A at Charleston Airport. A wheel blew off and flew down the runway. A Member of Congress was there and he took the mike, and not to be outdone, he said, ''By God, that is why we put 26 wheels on that airplane.''
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General ROBERTSON. I watched it roll down the runway; yes, sir.
Mr. SPRATT. You have a major decision to make then about the C17. What is your time frame for making that decision?
General ROBERTSON. The C17 production line right now will go out to at least 2006. The Air Force in this year's budget put an additional 14 on top of the 120 that were in the original multiyear procurement. The phasing of those additional 14 is still to be determined. So it could be 2005, 2006, 2007. But we will have tobefore we know whether the C5 modernization program will work, that it will require some answers on whether we keep the C17 line open. Going back to the mobility requirement studies of 2005, it is my belief that that will help us make the decision to keep the C17. But that is a personal opinion, not a professional opinion.
Mr. SPRATT. Between an extensive mod job on the C5 or simply continuing the C17.
General ROBERTSON. The analysis of alternatives that is due out before the year is out addresses do you reengine all C5s, just the B's and C17s? Do you reengine and buy C17s? How do you get up to the two major theater war requirement as postulated in the mobility requirements? That is the kind of answer we are trying to come up with as we work through that analysis.
Mr. SPRATT. Thank you for your clarification.
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Mr. BATEMAN. Mr. Hunter.
Mr. HUNTER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I understand from your testimony that one of the C5 problemsand I think this may go throughout the array of transportation platformsis scarcity of top-notch mechanics, smart people that can put these things together and keep them flying. Is that a function of the extraordinary problems of the C5 that you described in terms of maintainability, or is that a problem that we now have servicewide?
General ROBERTSON. I could tell you definitely that it is a C5 problem. I could probably postulate that it is an Air Force-wide problem.
Mr. HUNTER. It shows up more with the C5 because you have a lot of maintenance to do there?
General ROBERTSON. That is it, sir. When you put the C5 bars matrix next to every other airplane that I own, the maintenance man-hours per flying hour, the cost per flying hour, the CANN rate, all far, farnot just a little bit, but far outstrip my other aircraft.
Mr. HUNTER. That is so vital because you have to have lift to get to the fight. So you can be guaranteed you are going to be stretched on maintenance personnel every time we have a foreign operation, right?
Page 75 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General ROBERTSON. Yes, sir. And part and parcel of that is the experience resident in the maintenance force. We are losing that experience. And to answer your question, we have not turned the curve yet on being able to retain. I will use my terminology to describe it: Three levels are our most junior basic skill levels, regardless of the skill, but in maintenance is a three level, that is a new airman; five levels are the ones that we depend on the to do the work, and the seven levels are the supervisors and the nine levels are the super-supervisors, a very small number of them. But the five levels and the seven levels, the core of the workforce, are undermanned because we are losing them in numbers to the outside economy and because of the tempo and all of the other things that we talked about.
Mr. HUNTER. What rate are you losing them at? Have you looked at this?
General ROBERTSON. I can't draw the line for you. I could and I will if you need me to. I can tell you for first-term reenlistment, we base our success on retention on second-term reenlistments, those at the eight- to ten-year point in reenlistment, we need 75 percent to stay. Right now we are 70 plus-or-minus percent on retention. It depends on the skills. Some are worse than others and in maintenance we are somewhere between 68 to 70 percent versus the 75 that we need. This year's retirement fixes, pay grade, pay table reform, pay raises, we hope will turn that around. But it hasn't yet.
This is two years in a row that we have not met our requirement as an Air Force. I am talking Air Force now as far as retention is concerned, that core second-term enlistment support, and that is across the board.
Page 76 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. HUNTER. What do you think we should do?
General ROBERTSON. Well, I think we need to continue on the pay improvements. We offered a CPI plus .5 percent for the next five or six years. That will help. The bonuses will help. I am not sure that we turned the spotlight or the rheostat high enough on bonuses for the maintenance skills that we are going to have to do that.
Mr. HUNTER. Are we giving you enough in this pay bill that you have now, the bonus package, to do something?
General ROBERTSON. I think the answer is yes, but I don't know, so I will have to answer that for the record. But spare parts are a problem. The guys out on the flight line get frustrated when they have to CANN from one plane to another over and over again. Quality of life across the board for families at home is a big issue that we really haven't even gotten to yet. Military family housing is woefully underfunded. There is just not enough dollars in the budget to fix that right now. We are working on the TRICARE system, all of these family issues. Families are the ones that are making the decisions to get out, not necessarily the member.
So if you ask me what we need to do next, we need to turn our spotlight, keep it focused on what we have been doing, but broaden it to include the family issues, the child care facilities, the medical care system, the family housing that folks live in and those kinds of things.
General HANDY. Sir, if I could add, General Robertson has stated the case extraordinarily well. In the C5 world, I would just point out those same factors are true across the Air Force. Our second- and third-term retention rates miss the target by anywhere from three to five percent, not just in weapons systems but across the board. The reasons are the same across the board. We estimate by modeling in the logistics world, we are about 3,200 people short in the Air Force, across the board, contributing to about a 10,000-person shortage across the board in the Air Force.
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I am happy to emphasize General Robertson's point on the difference you made in this year's bill with pay and retirement. That sends an extraordinary message to our folks out there that this business is one worth sticking with. Those messages, I am positive, will be filled and continued with strong support and the other quality-of-life issues that General Robertson has articulated. It is an across-the-board effect and certainly the across-the-board effort that you have made to support us is extremely well deserved out there.
Admiral AMERAULT. Sir, may I chime in on the Navy side as well? There are a lot of things that one can do. I am sure that our retentionI did read that our retention and recruiting this year happened to have been this year, 1999, in balance. However, we still have the same problems. There are lots of ways to solve your manpower problems. We have toyed with things like new ways of manning ships, smart ships, those kinds of things. But to tell you the truth, you hate to go into those kinds of subterfuges or ways of using fewer people to do the job where you need the correct number, because I think that we want people to experience the military in this country. That experience is getting to be shared by fewer and fewer people. I think that is not a good thing for the country.
I would just quote that in order to balance off of the things like spares and so forth, I will quote the CNO who said we have $2.6 billion unfunded in 2000. When you have an unfunded, then you have to make cuts. When you ask us about funding things and what we need, it is very difficult to give you an answer from this position because we know that we will throw things out of balance if we ask for something that you give us and it throws the rest of the budget out of balance. It is difficult to answer.
Page 78 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC In quoting him with the fact that we have an unfunded of that magnitude, if we had that unfunded fulfilled, those kinds of tradeoffs would not have to be made to the extent that they do; and things like spares and so forth could be balanced much more efficiently and better.
Mr. BATEMAN. If I might interject here, it is at least clear to me that the problems are not going to be solved without there being an infusion of additional financial resources at the top line. It is not fair to you to say how can we fix that problem, that problem, the other problem if someone at their pay grade isn't going to step up to the plate and say that we are underresourced; and we can't fix any of these problems or all of these essential problems without additional resources.
General Handy, I suspect you have now many hundreds of million of dollars of unmet needs in base operations and facilities. Nobody is talking about giving you the money to do that, are they?
General HANDY. Well, with a $4.4 billion backlog in repair and maintenance at the base level, I would love to hear somebody offer me a whole lot more money there and in the Milcon program as well. The family issues that General Robertson touched on, we have 110,000 family housing units in the Air Force, and 65,000 of them are inadequate. I will get off my soap box, it is just that you gave me a way to vent a little bit there, but I certainly agree with you.
Mr. BATEMAN. We want you on that soap box.
Page 79 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. HUNTER. If the gentleman would yield, on that point, one thing that we did a couple years ago in Milcon, I offered an amendment that affected this, was we put in a provision that said that any service that was closing basesand you have all had bases closed across the countrycould trade existing assets at the closing bases in return forwithout a dime paid in return for constructed assets at designated locations.
That meant, for example, if you were closing down in the Army and you are closing Fort Ord, California, which is great coastline real property and lots of it, you could make a deal with a developer or a financial firm to trade that property, you might get a piece of that property, you might get 300 constructed bases at your designated area.
You guys give us the impression that you are quite desperate to get these things done. We get solemn testimony from you. To my knowledge, not one service has taken one step toward investigating the capability of doing that. If I was you, I would put together a forum or seminar as fast as possible, bring in some of the big national developers and contractors and say, here is our list of assets across this country, the biggest real estate inventory in the world, and we want to know how many units you will build us at $69,000 a piece, 1,000 square feet, or whatever your specs are, at these locations and let's put out a request for a proposal.
None of you have done any of that stuff. My recommendation is you get on the stick and explore that possibility. I think that we could buildthe reason that we put that in there is so you guys could get a bunch of single-family housing for your people that desperately need it. Most of us have been to the bases and have seen the plight people are in. None of you have taken step one. You have been absolutely stuck in the mud, refusing to innovate. Are you familiar with that provision?
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General HANDY. Absolutely, sir. I would love to be able to come back and brief you. We have an aggressive program with one of the Nation's name-brand banking organizations that backs developers in all 50 states, essentially doing that very thing for the Air Force so that we can get out of this deficit with regards to family housing.
Mr. HUNTER. Have they built any housing yet?
General HANDY. We have privatized it.
Mr. HUNTER. I am not talking about privatization. I am talking about building you brand-new units at no cost. You trade me a billion dollars' worth of assets in a closed base for $500 million worth of assets. I build you $500 million worth of single-family construction at the bases that you are retaining. Have you done that?
General HANDY. No, sir.
Mr. HUNTER. Well, I suggest that you do it. All privatization is, you are saying you are going to find a developer who can pencil out that they will build assets and they will receive their income as you take money out of thebasically out of the housing allowance and pay them off in increments.
General HANDY. It is a version of that very thought.
Mr. HUNTER. Like a rental. I am talking about you guys getting free housing. No appropriations necessary. How about exploring that.
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Admiral AMERAULT. If we have the leeway to do that, I will be looking at it this afternoon.
Mr. HUNTER. We have had it for about five years now. Probably almost time to move out.
General ROBERTSON. This is the first I have heard of it, too, sir. I apologize. I am not into the business, but we have aggressively pursued, at least in the last couple of years, every idea that we had. I promise you we will go after that one.
Mr. HUNTER. Mr. Grone is a staff member on Milcon, I think, is up to speed on that. I would move out on that thing and try to get something done before these guys give away all of this property to rehab clinics and other local uses.
Mr. BATEMAN. It is my understanding, and I hope it is not correct, but it is presently my understanding that the political side of the House and the Department of Defense is saying to the services as they construct their 2001 budget submissions, that they are going to have to absorb the difference between the administration's requested pay increase and the 4.8 percent pay increase that the Congress supported and which the President signed into law. Have you heard that?
General ROBERTSON. Sir, I can only say I read the newspaper articles, but I can't speak with authority.
Page 82 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. BATEMAN. I think if I had the stars that you have on on my shoulders, I would be asking questions about that and letting people know that this was going to hurt your mission and the people who are essential to performing your mission.
General ROBERTSON. Sir, I do know that we have asked this, that we are going to have to absorb some of the differences between authorization and appropriation bills as far as pilot bonuses and those kinds of things are concerned. That will hurt. That is unfortunate as well. Everytime the word ''absorb'' is used, it comes on someone's shoulders.
Mr. BATEMAN. That is right. It comes out of hide. Not much hide left to take it out of.
Mr. ORTIZ. If I may, Mr. Chairman, I think that I agree with what my good friend, Mr. Hunter, said. We need to do better planning in the way that we look at things. One of the reasons why we havewe don't have the skills that we had, whether it is in the depot maintenance or in your area where you have to service people, because when we were downsizing the only thing we were looking at were numbers, we were not looking at skills. We needed to let 200,000 soldiers or maintenance workers go because we were downsizing and we let them go. Now, we are deprived of those skills.
As I traveled around the world to look at our troops, whether it was Bosnia or Kosovo, we talked to the Reservists who left the military, joined a Reserve unit and because of the skills that they had, they were being deployed time after time after time. This is going to hurt the Reserve program that we have, especially if you have a special skill, because they are not going to join because they know that they are going to be deployed.
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I think that we need to do better planning before we do any downsizing. Before we talk about housing or anything else, let's get together and think about it before we drop the ax on somebody. That is the only statement I have, and thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. BATEMAN. Thank you, Mr. Ortiz. Gentlemen, do you have anything further that you would like to add? We would be glad to hear further if there are some suggestions or thoughts that you would like to leave with us.
Mr. HUNTER. We have lots of suggestions for them, Mr. Chairman.
General ROBERTSON. Sir, speaking personally and professionally, I appreciate the dialogue. I think this will continue. It has been very productive today. We even have some good ideas to walk away with. But togetherthis is our struggle together to leave it better than we found it. I certainly appreciate your support.
Mr. BATEMAN. You certainly have this committee's support and I hope we will be successful in helping you meet your needs. We thank you very much for your presence and for your testimony today. With that, I guess we will adjourn.
[Whereupon, at 12:48 p.m., the subcommittee was adjourned.]
A P P E N D I X
October 26, 1999