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tv   Marine Corps Pentagon Officials on Presidents 2023 Budget  CSPAN  May 21, 2022 6:55am-8:01am EDT

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subcommittee. this is just over an hour.
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chair norcross: good morning. if the member is experiencing technical difficulties, they should contact staff for assistance. i would like to turn to my opening remarks. we believe we have until 11:00 or maybe quarter of, but we will stretch that as far as we can and we appreciate you working with us. first of all, i would like to welcome the principal civilian deputy secretary of the navy. and the commanding general for marine combat corps command. thank you for being with us today. i look forward to this
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discussion. it is important we acknowledge the context of this year's marine corps modernization budget requested three years ago -- budget request. three years ago, there was an orientation to better align the marine corps with challenges posed by today and tomorrow. certainly anybody who is reading any defense news, there is plenty to be said about that. over these three years, congress has found the marine corps modernization strategy has been stable, affordable and achievable. accordingly we have demonstrated our support. however, modernization is not without challenges or risk. there are programs within and outside the jurisdiction of this subcommittee that certainly merit continued scrutiny. at today's hearing we will specifically focus on a rotary aviation and ground systems. which across the marine corps program appear generally in good
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shape. particularly interested to hear from our witnesses, their assessment and impacts on equipment and munitions in support of the conflict in ukraine. we also look forward to hearing their thoughts on modernization management, the use of new acquisition authorities intended she would accelerate research development and the acquisition process. finally, we look forward to hearing updates on specific programs such as the ch53k, the amphibious combat vehicle and tactical network, long-range antiship fires and more. much to cover and we would like to yield to my partner on tactical air and land, from missouri. rep. hartzler: thank you mr.
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chairman. i would like to thank the witnesses for being here today and your dedicated service to our country. three years ago, commandant berger introduced a plan to radically and aggressively redesign the marine corps into a more lethal force better prepared to defeat threats. one of the most commendable aspects of the plan is the marine corps proposed paying for and resourcing the majority of the change from within. the marine corps has continued to live or on their promise to transfer to more capable systems in a sustainable, affordable and achievable way. the majority of programs have remained on track and on budget, and this has not been lost on congress. i look forward to a robust conversation about the current status of the marine corps's design and implementation and the systems necessary to yield
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the marines with the capacity for success. as for congress and specifically this committee, we have demonstrated support for this program and the strategy the commandant has placed in front of us. i commend the marine corps leadership for their dedication and hard work to continuously reassess modernization, investment priorities and reallocate already limited resources to fund the development and procurement of essential defense requirements and capabilities necessary to build a more lethal defense force. as we discussed, the future modernization of the programs, i would like witnesses to identify what risks the marine corps is accepting in the short-term in order to keep planned modernization programs affordable and on course to meet the mid to long-term defense requirements of creating a more lethal, resilient and agile force able to compete, deter and win against future threats from
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peer competitors and rogue actors. i'm also interested in the marine corps assessment of how a flat helpline and the resulting imposition of cuts and decreases to lower priority programs and investment accounts affect the health and stability of your modernization strategy, as well as the industrial base that supports it. lastly, the defense budget request did not factor in russia's invasion of ukraine or the ongoing response by the u.s. and allies to provide vehicles, munitions, missiles, and other military equipment to ukrainian forces in the fight against russia. today i hope our witnesses can inform us on how these missile and equipment transfers have affected u.s. stockpiles and whether you are getting what you needed through the various supplemental appropriations to fund these operations, replace vehicle and equipment transfers, and replenish stockpiles. if there is additional funding
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or authorizations we can provide to get after replenishing some of these now and avoid the need to continue funding supplemental through 2023, to restore your depleted capabilities, we need to be having this critical discussion now. i think the chairman if organizing this important and timely hearing and i yield back. chair norcross: thank you. again, i want to mention that what you have been doing with the limited funds and redirection of those items that are the highest priority is not lost on this committee and what you are doing. it is much appreciated. not to suggest there aren't things that are of concern, but i think generally we are headed in a very good direction. i think you will hear that, speaking for myself and generally, we certainly believe it.
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mr. stefany, great to have you back. mr. stefany: chairman, ranking member, distant wish members of the subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today to speak on the fy 23 budget request for marine corps modernization. during this hearing you will hear the marine corps has undertaken an aggressive modernization of its programs over the last five years -- sorry, three years. we will ask lane why the modernization was required while emphasizing the fundamental mission of the marine corps to be the most ready when the nation is least ready has not changed. the marine corps will continue to serve as a force of readiness, prepared to answer the nations call whenever and wherever that may be around the globe. as we watched the events unfold
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in ukraine, it is clear more for -- warfare is changing. advance intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platforms, anti-armor fires have proven to be very effective in combat operations. it is evident we cannot stand still. the initiative recognizes this new reality, focusing on more capable intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platforms and smaller systems for our ground formations. additionally, the marine corps is investing in the research and development of its future munition, which we call organic precision fires. we are using acquisition authorities for this program and other force design programs that will allow us to rapidly develop prototypes and demonstrate new capabilities. speeding the deville -- speeding
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the delivery of those capabilities to marines. the marine corps's top priority remains the ship interdiction system, a ground-based antiship missile system. we have successfully conducted two tests most recently in august 2021, and are currently conducting develop metal and operational assessment ovens for the system. i believe it will have an immediate effect on the operational environment when it is deployed in 2023. the fy 23 budget request continues a pattern of investing in successful programs that will make a difference in future conflicts. this includes the ground air task oriented radar, currently supporting nato operations. the amphibious combat vehicle, which has just met its mark for mobility, protection and safety, and will deploy with marine platoons later this year. and the joint light tactical vehicle, the modern ground vehicle that will replace legacy
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humvees the next several years. the marine corps's forward posture is lying on ground, aviation and surface mobility. rotary wing platforms play critical roles within force design, providing maneuverability, targeting, flexibility and persistent sustainment. we have completed operational testing of the ch53k heavylift helicopter and last month declared initial operator capability of that aircraft. the fy 23 budget includes a request for block by authority for fy 23 and 24 aircraft production with projected savings of 120 $3 million over purchasing one year at a time. we have also reached ioc for the presidential helicopter program in the last year and are starting the white house
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commissioning efforts. the success of the navy marine corps team to be ready to answer the nation's call is rooted in being forward deployed. this readiness provides options and decision space for our senior leaders such as yourself. the navy marine corps also helps incidents from becoming crisis, or crisis from becoming a conflict. we are confident the programs in our marine corps portfolio are achievable, affordable, and will make our marines more successful. thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today and for your strong support of marine corps modernization. we look forward to your questions. chair norcross: thank you. lieutenant, you are recognized. mr. stefany: that was one
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statement for all three of us. sorry about that. >> so repeat the same, right? [laughter] chair norcross: thank you for your statements. certainly this gives us more time for questions. you started one of your statements talking about ukraine and what we've been witnessing, and the impact particularly of the javelins and the stinger to a lesser extent, at least in this area. given the performance come and let us a tough word to suggest in the russian vehicles in ukraine, the assessment of what you are witnessing, both of the lack of protection in some ways of the armor of russia come and the ability for ukraine to use the missiles, particularly the javelin to decimate much of armor.
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what impact it might have on our existing fleet of vehicles and the future? if you could comment on that. >> yes, sir. thank you for the question. i wanted to comment on the continued support about -- support from the subcommittee. they key. -- thank you. first of all, we exercise caution to draw conclusions too soon. one of the things to consider about, just as an overarching, to frame the discussion, the russian tactics and procedures, it seems like they are not there. we use combined arms.
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there is an inherent amount of protection and safety in the way we employ our forces as a task force. specifically to the weapons systems, i believe our nation makes some of the best year on the planet. i don't think it, i know it. it proves itself time and again, from the soviets being thrown out of afghanistan, they said there was no change in tactics, but there was a stinger. that is a case in history and i think we are bearing it out again. i think the armor issue of character warfare is changing quickly in front of us and we are seeing where just wrapping yourself in a bunch of armor that requires a lot of fuel and sustainment is not necessarily going to make you safe and effective on the battlefield. >> sir, i think also what i
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would add is the distributed nature of how the ukrainians are operating and the benefits seen in operating in that manner is very insightful and instructive, and the direction the marine corps is going to validate in some ways the approaches we have taken their, from -- taken there . you talk about sins and make sense, and how that allows you to be more effective in the battle space and i think we are seeing some of that from those operations as well. which flows directly across to the armor and javelin being able to do the targeting activity up front. many good lessons and i would say equally, we need to make sure we learn the right lessons. what counter affect are the russians using or not out there, so we make sure we put resilient systems that can survive any battle space. chair norcross: thank you.
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i'm going to say for a moment this line about what we are learning from ukraine, we are shipping a lot of systems and weapons in addition to humanitarian aid to ukraine and the marines have been part of that drawdown. what am going to ask is, from your perspective, that assessment of risk versus what we have available to us, both from operational capabilities, but also in terms of what we are shipping, what do we need to have available to us to resupply in particular? because of the change in your operating concept. what was less number? 5500 javelins, that is a rough number, have been provided.
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what the impact is on the marine corps. >> i think most of those weapons would be in the generals area. lt. gen. heckl: the marine corps has supplied first -- the comment about -- when this budget request was not constructed with the supply to ukrainians in mind. that is an issue, you are exactly right. second and third, we have provided approximately 1000 javelin missile systems and approximately 1000 stinger missile systems to ukraine. they are critical to be resupplied for us. and i would look to mr. stefany if there are industrial base concerns. mr. stefany: the 3.4 billion is not enough to resupply, so we
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look forward to your committee and the larger congress and the larger funding effort for the supplemental. but we do have a little bit of money and we are starting to recharge that line right now. chair norcross: thank you. obviously we are waiting eagerly for the latest to pass through the other house and get that moving, but certainly there is nothing unique to the marines's javelins and stingers not facing the other services. i just want to shift a little bit to the ch53k's, which are moving along, and talk about the brownout issue. lieutenant general y's, we have --wise, we heard a lot about changes along the lines. can you tell us where you are
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now and going forward, the risks we are looking at in the present configuration? lt. gen. wise: certainly. on the 53k -- i think the light is just a little dim, sorry. for the 53k, the initial assessment was very early in the test process. i would answer it into ways, because we addressed it from multiple angles. the 53k, when we start the test ovens, we start at the heart of the envelope and workout. the test ovens are limited, so time limitations -- the tests are limited, with time limitations.
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we validate that we got the envelope are right. some of the limitations were based on the initial envelope limitations. what we have found since then is a couple of things on the equipment side. one is the diagnostic capability of this airframe is a spectacular. the pilot can get a real-time engine prmance capability readout to make real-time decisions on how the engines are performing regardless of the environment, including brownout conditions. so that is part of it. it has actually been expanding the envelope much lighter -- w ider than those initial assessments indicated. also, the automation on the airframe. it is designed to allow the pilot to get the airframe into even the worst brownout conditions and on the ground safely and minimize its time in particulate matter, which also negates the issues we have with,
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potential issues with brownout conditions. so far since then, we have demonstrated in the worst brownout conditions, the aircraft has performed for 21 minutes in the worst brownout conditions with zero degradation of the engines. it points back to the initial test parameters can be taken in the wrong way. we purposely limit it until we prove ourselves correct as we go out. but it has been performing billion lee. their multiple systems on board -- we have been performing brilliantly. chair norcross: we talk about acquisition quite often. what are we doing right or wrong. on this one, you have asked for the block by authority rather than multiyear. can you explain why the block buy rather than multiyear? mr. stefany: a multi-year is still in our plan, our plan is
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after the two year block buy to do a multiyear procurement after that. the reason we are not doing it now is the criteria in the statute to be able to have a proven design, proven manufacturing so we can have an estimate. we did not have that at the beginning of the process. we decided we would get that data and then we would be able to provide it to you and the cape to do the analysis for a multiyear starting two years from now. chair norcross: it's more -- it is more the data. chair norcross: but you want to get it to the chain that this is coming? mr. stefany: we can buy two
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years of equipment at once and get the five year spun up and get chair norcross: to full speed. incredibly important after -- get to full speed. chair norcross: incredibly important after the pandemic. rep. hartzler: back to the depleted stocks and supplementals that have been through. if the senate approves the bill that was passed in the house, will that be adequate or will you need more in fy 23 ndaa? mr. stefany: for what we know right now and what we project, that would be adequate. the work continues on and request for drawdown material, it could change over time. right now we believe it is sufficient for what we can project going forward. rep. hartzler: please keep us posted on that. as it relates to the industrial
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phase, this situation in the ukraine and global allied mobilization providing support by way of equipment and munitions have shone a light on issues with our industrial base and supply chain. how are you working with partners in the military industrial base supply chains to mitigate and fix these issues? mr. stefany: very close partnership. stinger and javelin are made with partners in the army and air force. we are working with, together with industry, recognizing something like javelin is a little more modern and able to scale easier. stingers we will have to go back, probably not more authority but we will need more industrial base money to get them to high enough production level they can restock in time. that is an ever we are working with the army and we will certainly come back to this committee when we get those results. rep. hartzler: when you
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anticipate that to be? mr. stefany: i will have to take that for the record and get you that. rep. hartzler: we need this answer yesterday so we can produce stingers again or shift to another munition. navy that another country has perfected -- maybe that another country has perfected. are there any changes that need to be made in our strategies to get over these programs of long wait times, shortfalls and material obsolescence? mr. stefany: i think between the authorities we have and defense production act of authorities, i think we have the authorities we need. we need to finish the assessment of where the biggest risks are and start moving out on addressing those. rep. hartzler: ok. as, obviously. -- as soon as possible, obviously. on the ch53k, i am glad to hear about the solution with the
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brownout concerns, 21 minutes without any degradation. that is encouraging. the ch53k from the start has had per-unit cost concerns, so i wanted to ask about that. it currently costs as much if not more per aircraft than a joint strike fighter. can you explain why this is? >> thank you for the questions. for the 53 k, we continue to realize cost reductions in the acquisition lots. the last two were the lowest two so far, and each of them came down a level each the cost for the most recent 53 case, if you look at the same measurements we use for the f-35, it is lower. rep. hartzler: how much is it now? >> the last lot was negotiated
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at $93.7 million per copy. if you use the same metric for the 35, depending on which variant, it is approximately 117 to 107. rep. hartzler: how are you working with them to bring down costs? lt. gen. wise: we work multiple angles. part is the program office to drive costs down in the actual process, as well as with the vendor. there are other things that are helping us. one is congress's generosity for the addition of two additional airframes in the last two lots per, four additional airframes, helps ride down the costs through a quantity by. recently on the international side, the israelis committed to purchase 12 aircraft with an option for six more. it looks very good they will go down that road.
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there are additional opportunities starting to show up for the 53 k. i know it will be part of the berlin air show this year. looking at more opportunities to drive down costs through quantity buys as well. approaching it from multiple angles, not just manufacturing, but allowing the learning curve to come up and produce in a more effective manner. rep. hartzler: ok, switching to another platform, the nemesis. you mentioned it in your opening statement and it sounds like a very exciting and helpful platform. can you provide more information on what the system is and the capabilities it brings to the fight? lt. gen. heckl: glad to. nemesis is another one of the programs alluded to by yourself and the chairman as far as things going right for us. the navy marine corps ship interdiction system is our number one modernization priority from the commandant.
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the system consists of two naval strike missiles, which we work in partnership with our navy brothers and sisters, and it is a fired from the joint light tactical vehicle chassis. we've had a lot of success. as was alluded to, it has been employed multiple times, as recently as the end of april, doing envelope expansion. we had very successful shots over three days. the weapons system continues to perform, and quite frankly, from august 21 during a large-scale exercise, we fired two navy strike missiles against a maritime target, both at very successful launch flight impacts. we are very pleased with that and at this classification level, the going forward, we are looking forward to shielding the system and getting it out to the pleats
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as soon as we can. >> when you anticipate that? it sounds like a great capability. >> fy 23. >> how many? >> i don't know the specific number. i'll get back to. >> i have for the second round, i will yield back. >> you are now recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i would like to complement the army and marine corps, they took initiative to improve the form, fit and function for the women. i encourage you to continue in those efforts. we just heard from the generals of the battlefield is changing rapidly. in a recent hearing with the john -- with the commandant, they said they want to give the enemy multiple problems to solve. the new design for the marine corps is to acquire indirect
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systems with increased range, accuracy, long-range fire accuracy, what if any canon platforms are you looking at to meet those needs? >> i will defer that to the general on that platform. >> thank you for the question. what about canon artillery? >> as you know, the commandant said as we experiment within our campaign of learning, which it forms the -- we will make changes. we were initially going to draw down to five batteries of triple seven 155 mm artillery. we are now going to go to seven. we are going from six tubes to eight. four on the west, three on the east. did the action -- answer the
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question? >> that answer the question. both of your missile beverly's, there is a large geographic signature will put the ml are at risk. are you adding some of those under r&d to allow long-range fires without sacrificing survivability maneuverability? >> you are right. it is very subtle. we have high bars currently within our inventory. we are working closely with army. not big enough to pursue programs and rents, we always seek out sister services to work with, it makes it more affordable. this will turn into the ml rs profit system, which will include multiple missiles, which
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to do land and surface targets. >> thank you. stepping away from the need to service targets, i would like to talk about how the mlr will sustain itself, with platforms being bulky and presenting challenges to maintain a basic load of ammunition in a contested environment. as the marine corps have a backup plan, when it comes to combat logistics, i know every bit of space matters, especially when delivering all classes of supply to regiments. do you think they will take the challenge and resupply throughout the year. >> great question. right now, i will tell you that logistics at his are pacing
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right now. we are laser focused on. particularly within the marine corps lab, logistics -- anyone who tells you otherwise, logistics is always a challenge. it can never be emphasized enough in preparation. the strength of the marine corps, a marine tour regiment -- it is tailored for threat. [indiscernible] the organic list we have, both air and surface is one of our greatest strengths. for instance, it is fully transportable. within the -- we've demonstrated it multiple times. we are standing up a fourth active-duty squadron with 16 aircraft going to white
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specifically to provide left within the indo pacific region. the service connectors will be critical. important aspect of a land to ship is that it is a short short connector. what you're seeing play out in ukraine, big signatures of any type, whether it is logistics or electromagnetic spectrum, trails of fuel trucks to refill armors of those are signatures. they are targetable and become vulnerability. the short short connector capability of the law is critical. we don't require ports, 12,000 foot runway's, we do things from an austere perspective. did not answer it? >> thank you very much, my time is expired, thank you for my
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oversight. i should come test those for you guys. thanks. i yelled back. >> mr. workman, you are now -- mr. whitman, you are now recognized for five minutes. >> general helpful, let me ask about the commandant's guidance. he talks about being theater agnostic, to make sure we can -- have the ability to cross over into the european theater, wherever we are needed to make sure lightning forces able to do that. the update this year refines the testing you done to get back concept on where it needs to be. can you give us more insight, where you are with the testing of this with marines in the field, and where you are today. i know you've made a number of
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adjustments, can you tell us about how you had that in the commandant's planning guide and how that allows you to achieve national defense strategy. >> great question. lightning makes it more agile and flexible and creates a certain dynamic component of that force. i think we are seeing that player in ukraine in real time. we are seeing widely spaced, efficient, missile. we've demonstrated multiple times how we can load nemesis on the casey 130, land -- does not necessarily require an airfield. we do it pretty regularly. the system offloads, launches a missile, reloads and is gone
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before the missile impacts. that is the kind of dynamic i'm talking about. lightning forces or to make that easier to do. with the ubiquity of sensors, particularly in the indo pacific, if you can be seen and are where the target, you can be hit. we are getting after signature management, it's back to the future, where drink camo netting, we have companies we are on contract with the have nothing that can go over peoples as well as people to reduce or eliminate ir signatures, visual, it's pretty impressive. that technology is advanced. the lighter the better it from every perspective. it means less a statement, less needy, which means i'm reducing the signature. i could go on all day.
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>> let me ask to look at today's situation. as you are looking at lightening the force. one of the challenges that gets thrown out you is what is happening now with munitions going out the door, both jablon and stinger. -- jablon and stinger. i think more important immediate question, what does the marine corps do in the meantime as a mitigation? as a weapon stores are going down, what happens if something occurs -- what can congress do to help you in that mitigation strategy? >> i'm not super familiar with how the industrial basis fostered and what capability -- there are ways to mitigate risk.
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a big part of that is the continued deterrence, a reference to the nass -- common sense strategy. if you look at the spectrum of things, the desire is not to get to the right side. the threshold may be breached every now and then as we compete and deters of the point is to deter, to avoid getting in a situation where the levels of our stores are concerned. for marine, that means being forward. being present with our allies and partners. i think there's a lot of strength in our allies and partners who utilize civil weapon systems. we need to play to that advantage. >> i would at the marine corps has not reached a place where they could not the forward deployed marines. the commandant will talk to before we get to that point. it's not like we've given away all of our missiles. we still have plenty for the florida marines. >> week tractor carefully at the
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training status of our units. the same weapon systems have to be used, we arrange to fire them on the basic to -- on that basis to keep them fireball. >> the ability to resupply right now has atrophied. >> mr. bacon, you are now recognized for five minutes. >> thank you. i appreciate your leadership. i want to talk to about a strike capability, what were challenging in the pacific theater, my question would be how does it work in the pacific theater? i know, the navy will have shipboard capabilities. is this a viable for the marine and army, how do we deal with that? >> great question.
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nemesis is one of our systems. the other one is long-range precision fires. an incredibly long-range weapon, we had demonstrated that weapon system firing off one of our platforms, ground-based. we are very happy with it. we have yet to determine going forward, is a larger system, for my concern, i get concerned when i see things that are big and have very, difficult to resupply, signature. the ground-based tomahawk, a long shot of mark 41 or launch system, which looks similar to other ones. there's opportunities there as we go forward.
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it is very viable, your concern about access, one of the things, the multi-domain task force is having an mlr, it is smaller, more nimble, organic list -- left. it is bigger but has bigger further punch. it will be up to allies and partisans to determine what they are going to allow in. from my perspective as a marine, the third expeditionary force lives there day in day out. your point, the big missile system might not be something -- i would take those abilities from the air force, navy, army marines is biased. that's the concern i have, maybe
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there's more opportunities. as your primary weapon that we need to have replenished, what is your number one or number two things that need replenished? >> service of the number on issue is amphibious ships to be forward deployed. for dealing with ukraine, are there certain weapons that you correct -- the marines had to send over. >> the javelin. >> we see other countries have good capabilities, what would be your advice here, you saw our
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capabilities, i feel like we are hindered by our rules, other people are feeling that capability, do you see the issue? >> i think, you mentioned uavs, i did a couple of years with meadows -- nato in lisbon, spent a good amount of time at mount whitney doing exercises. from our perspective, i think whatever we do, working with the nato construct or partners, i think we can contribute more. i don't disagree with you. in hindsight you always wish you could move faster. >> we give restrictions to slow this down. on the surface, i think those
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are not as slow as those. >> the other countries are moving within our circle much faster, i feel like we are losing leverage an opportunity to provide primary weapons. i am out of time, i yelled back. i thank you for your time. >> dr. jackson you are now recognized for five minutes. >> thank you chairman, ranking member, thank you to our distinguished guests for being here. we're here here to discuss modernization strategy, such as ground systems, i want to talk on the importance of upgrading for the medical community, there seems to be a trend looking towards the medical side to support the need, most recently we saw the marine corps position
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get cut, which is a decision i wholeheartedly disagree with. a mistake like saying the tml sets us back in our modernization efforts and could potentially cause irreparable damage. i understand that having the latest aircraft and weapon system is important. that doesn't matter if we are forced to compete in the indo pacific, having appropriate leadership, it is going to be paramount for our success. as we modernize our military, i would strongly urge the leadership to reinspect the tml. i want to shift gears now and talk about some of the modernization efforts, including this budget request. we heard testimony on the adoptions in the indo pacific theater. he said there was necessary -- i
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appreciate, be telling this committee a few weeks ago that you showed the same feelings we have in the need to ensure we modernize our 22 fleet and increase the platforms overall readiness. in the priority list, nearly $75 million was asked for those -- to continue this vital program in future years. our 22 is not something we can weigh on, it's something we need to get started on now. you note the workforce in amarillo has risen to the occasion of completing the air force process ahead of schedule. there's no doubt this will beat my mind -- the case for you as well. in the recent submission to the committee, when asked do you know any factors that have the potential to hinder execution of additional funds for this item in fy 23, the answer was clearly stated as no.
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all this leads me to wonder if the amount requested on the unfunded priorities list is enough, or if congress needs to consider even larger amounts to ensure we can dominate any future conflict. if additional work can be accommodated by the workforce, we should increase the rates at which this work is done. with the marines be able to accelerate the program further into -- if additional funds were granted. >> great question. we are laser focused on making sure there is no break in that line i would continue, we have laden money through fy 23, to ensure it starts right at the backside of the air force upgrades to keep that going. as far as accelerating, i believe it does have the capacity to accelerate, we would also have to balance that with the aircraft off the line to
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make sure we had an optimum sequencing, so the rest of the rightness of the fleet to deploy is balanced. the part i would have to take for the record as far as how could we accelerated further in order to make sure we still have adequate capacity for deployments and maximize the line. certainly, we are interested in the program, it does offer so many perks for us. >> i agree with that. i had the opportunity to look at these. some of them look good, some look like they need a lot of work. i would like to do that as soon as possible. on a bipartisan basis, many members of the committee said presence request does not give us the resources we need. we'll have to do more money to relate to the -- budget.
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what are the capability gaps we would face if we didn't have inadequate level of breathing -- deviation from our 22? >> the 22 is extraordinarily capable, just because of the speed set the tempo develops, there is nothing else they can do it that way. can we lift -- support with 53 with other platforms, can you do that mission? you could not at that speed. it does fill a unique capability . that is something we need to make sure we maximize readiness to help those affect sets forward when we need them. >> i have a third question i will submit to the record, it is related to the army's future vertical lift at the marines are looking at what the army is doing.
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>> i have called votes. there's at least one question vicki and i had, i let vicki jump in here. let's talk about the humvees. obviously we are moving toward the jail tb, --jltb. litigation that has been going on. yet there is nothing in this year's request in terms of mitigating that. can you explain to us why you have elected not to include any of the safety upgrades? >> absolutely. the marine corps is all in jail tb, -- jl tb.
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that has proven itself to be a solid weapon system. it is more safe, more capable, more survivable from every perspective. it has a lot of safety features that are inherent. probably on the -- humvees you have, we can -- we are getting rid of the worst is quickly as we can. the older vehicles are in worse shape. it has electronic steering control, all the things that contribute to a lower mishap rate, things such as rollovers. i think we feel that approximately 2500 of them, our aao is 12,500. as you know, i think there's 413 in this request, the faster we
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can go, the faster we can replace humvee. >> we agree with you, it is a great vehicle. at today's estimate, we are talking 2031 before we get rid of those mitigation, getting rid of those who can't be retrofitted. that is a long time. this is a serious issue that we know at a relatively low cost. it is something that we believe is extremely important. nobody likes to throw good money after bad system. i will defer to ms. parks alert for any additional comments. >> just a quick follow-up. my impression, the jail tb is on the -- he said there's 413 requested?
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>> i'm pretty sure we have that many vehicles in our budget request. >> thank you. >> general, i want to talk a little bit, the most important part of the platform is the pilot. i want to get your thoughts on broadway -- rotary bring -- rotary wing pilot. those pallets become more of a challenge to keep. to get your perspective on what the marine corps needs to do to maintain those pilot, in years to come? >> thank you for the question. obviously, we tried to retain -- with tackles for multiple directions. some of it is making sure the assessment piece is adequate.
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the big think would get more toward the question is the retention side of the house. some of that is looking at bonuses, we have got a range of bonuses depending on the platform in order to provide some enticement. from a personal perspective, when i was looking for attention in the early years, though enticing and nice, it was not the sole thing that kept me. what really comes into play is that right command climate, selecting the right people to provide the atmosphere the people want to come to work every day, be something like that. we are very focused there as well. the other good pieces being tied in closely, with the chief of naval aviation training, and watching those pipelines to make sure we are meeting the requirements for those pilots.
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for instance, we are a few short this year, we are only half over, it will fluctuate a bit towards the end, we don't want to get behind. most communities, we are considered healthy, which is 85% or above. i would not say that is true across the board. that one, we stayed glued to. we are relatively happy -- healthy right now in that regard. >> mr. v seat, you are now recognized. >> chairman, thank you very much. i want to ask you a question, now that each service is orienting its modernization strategy and priorities on some function of multi-operation functions, how does the -- fit into this. >> thank you for the question, looking at distributed operations, particularly as we
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look at the pacific's of the 22 is for uniquely capable, not just because of the fact it can deliver sustainment to a one -- anywhere or people. they've demonstrated it over and over it that it is uniquely capable to do things that no other platform can do. the tiltrotor side, as demonstrated across all the services. we seen that taking the navy and air force special operations of everyone missing the value of the platform. as far as future of tiltrotor and other opportunities, there was one having to do with future vertical list, and how the marine corps is expanding its view of some of the cape abilities that have been developed to that program that suggests of the tote roller -- tilt rotor and unmanned vehicles
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-- there is huge potential moving forward. we are working with all the vendors through what we are calling a family of systems within the future vertical lift to address those specific additional capacity requirements. >> what about the tiltrotor industrial base in the rotor bring aviation -- it looks like your overall assessment of now? >> for the industrial base, mr. stephanie can talk to that. >> certain things come to an end, armies first, future vertical lift is the future. we have this gap in the middle. that's way filling that void to keep the workforce hot is first
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the army than the navy and marine corps make our assessments for vertical lift. we are looking at the whole group to make sure -- >> what you think are the biggest challenges, that we are going to have to overcome to keep moving forward? >> the skilled workers. we need the right skilled mechanics in the right area. maybe not as appealing a career field as it was 10 or 20 years ago, getting the right work force, not losing them and places -- making sure we as a nation are keeping those blue-collar skills active and detroit's career for younger folks. >> we are definitely seeing a lot of that in my area.
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i appreciate your answers. i will turn it back over to the chairman. >> to our witnesses, very much appreciated. votes have been called, this is perfect timing, and much appreciated testimony and questions. we are adjourned.
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