tv Politics Public Policy Today CSPAN March 11, 2015 3:00pm-5:01pm EDT
decisions themselves are relatively simple. certainly highly supportive by congress, so we're all in this together should a decision be made. but i would just like to get your sense of how badly on the heels, again of what we never did in syria on the heels of a red line that was never adhered to and this particular issue which was so important to world stability, i'd love to get your sense of how this is affecting us with others. >> well, chairman, i would say with regard to my patch europeans do see strong bipartisan bicameral support, on the economic side or security side, and frankly, per capita we've done -- i don't want to say per capita, but we've done far more than most nations in
the transatlantic space to support ukraine. and i do think that our leadership in this is recognized. we are having as spirited a debate as is going on there's also a trans-atlantic debate so that question gets asked also in our diplomacy. but europeans come at it from both sides, depending upon where they sit. >> with regard to ukraine and the things that need to be done, and that has been appreciated, very much by my -- by most of us, i would have at this point significant difficulty coming to work each day with these decisions lingering and the way that they have and us, again,
not taking the steps that -- that many people within the administration, as i understand it, feel needs to be taken. and yet we continue for some reason not to do those things that we've acted as if we might do. i have a number of other questions that i'll send in writing. and i thank each of you for being here. i realize that in all cases, y'all are messengers and not the ones that have these decision memos sitting on your desk unheralded, but we thank you for your service to our country. and appreciate your candid testimony. our first witness is former assistant secretary of state for european affairs and former u.s. ambassador to germany, john kornblume. second and final witness is ambassador to ukraine and director of eurasia center, john herbst. as you all are getting seated and comfortable, we will -- we
will begin with ambassador kornblum. ambassador kornblum i want to thank you for being here. in particular, i know you're a resident of nashville, tennessee. we're always happy to have bright people from nashville, tennessee, here testifying. with that, if you'd begin. we appreciate it. >> thank you very much. i have also, you might even be more pleased to learn a very direct contact with city you
know chattanooga, tennessee. and mr. mayor burke is going to be at a meeting i'm organizing in berlin in three weeks to talk about the tremendous success chattanooga has had in revitalizing the city and supporting entrepreneurship there. and i think you had a little bit to do that. i've heard that, anyway, from history. and so i'm very pleased to be here. both because of my ties to tennessee and also because these are issues i worked upon very -- a lot in the 1990s. i was it is assistant secretary during this whole period of all these memorandum and agreements and everything and participated in negotiation of everything. not the budapest paper but most of the others. and so to you and also to ranking member menendez, i'm very pleased to be here. i have a very special point to make. you have heard in very extremely
good detail if not satisfying detail about how our government sees things but i think there's one thing that we need to think about, which senator rubio in particular talked about, and that is that the direction of this conflict and a definition of this conflict. my own view is, and i've been living in germany for a long time now, after i stopped being ambassador, and i think that i can say with a certain amount of accuracy that whatever we are doing in ukraine and with russia, we are losing the public affairs battle on this crisis. the narrative, as we say in the journalistic world. the narrative that is most prevalent in the united states to a considerable extent but more so even in europe, is that this is a russia which is
reacting angrily because it was cheated, ill-used, misused by the west after 1990. and i think it is important that we focus on this fact because many of the decisions, and i'll say a couple points about that, which are going to be taken in the future will depend considerably on whether the russians believe that they have the upper hand on this aspect of the crisis and whether we, in fact, can maintain a strong situation, a strong direction. the fact is that after 1990 we dealt with the russian leadership which saw the foreign -- the collapse of the soviet union as a liberation and not as a western attack on russia. and they knew exactly what our plans were. we talked to them in great dpee tail about it. we didn't talk to them about the details about nato in largement or eu in largement, but we told them our goal for them and
europe was to establish democracy, establish free market systems, and to allow russia to join the western world. and on many of the discussions i had, ambassador herbst was along, and i think he can attest to this, we worked very hard to make this point, not only clear but to establish things to make it real. and now 20, 25 years later for me, the narrative of this crisis is not whether russia somehow is now a wounded power but the fact that the united states, three administrations in connection also working with the congress, have established between the baltic states and now hopefully ukraine also, and the south a community of nearly
a billion persons, which is democratic, which is secure which is oriented toward free markets and which wants to be part of the western and the atlantic world. now, i say this so precisely because we have to remember what the situation was 25 years ago. 25 years ago we had the western part of the continent democrat democratized. the eastern part, was to put it mildly, a mess. when we first came into establish relations with the new governments in poland and czechoslovakia, hungary, we found they had hardly any of the basic conditions for modern, industrial western society. and so the cooperation within nato and with strong leadership of these countries has, in fact succeeded. and many of the reasons we have this conflict with russia right now is not because ukraine
violated orders or not because russia has somehow felt threatened by the west. it is because russian -- the leadership in russia after the beginning of this century has covered its own misdeeds, own poor performance, and they're finding that the countries on their periphery, but also until recently much of their population, wanted to join the west and not to maintain an eastern orientation. this is a basic point. and it leads to strategy, however. it suggests, for example that entering into negotiations with the russians over how to conclude this crisis are not very relevant at the moment. there isn't any new security system which we can offer the russians which wouldn't include the sphere of influence in these very countries we're trying to
protect. there isn't any military arrangement which we can enter with the rushes which wouldn't defend these countries to the east which have helped to become democratic. is there isn't any new political forum which we can think up which would change the fact that the real reason that putin and his cohorts and russia in general feel threatened at the moment. it's not because of anything we've done. and not because of nato sanctions, even though i favor them, but because of things such as -- it's all been discussed here today -- the oil price. russia's lack of investment in the high-tech sector. russians inability to build the infrastructure necessary for a modern industrial economy, et cetera, et cetera. it also, i think, has to do with the fact that russia -- mr. herbst is more an expert on this than i am -- has, in fact,
also failed to have the political leadership since 2000, which helped its population come out of the shock of the end of the cold war and to understand how closely its interests are involved with being part of the west. so, we have a situation now which is important for all the reasons that our government officials mentioned to you today. they gave, i thought, a very comprehensive view of what's going on. but we are in effect, facing an even larger challenge. a challenge which is not only a challenge to europe, but a challenge, actually across the entire world. and that is that russia is -- whether consciously or by accident, is taking account of a growing unease around the world at the dislocation caused by
what is called globalization, what is called the modern information technology world, what is happening with the dislocation of industries, et cetera et cetera. and that the russians have been able to harness this dissatisfaction in their own country. but i can tell you with, shall i say, a lot of experience, i've been living in berlin now for 17 years, and i'm still very politically active there, that these arguments are also having an affect in western europe and they're also having an affect, as you know in other parts of the world. added to that, one of senators mentioned, that russia is financing with very large efforts movements in western europe who are anti-democratic, who are trying to undermine the western system. and russia is also continuing to threaten in one way or the other the weakest points of our
system, such as the baltic states, such as the republic of georgia, where i worked quite diligently in recent years and so we are facing not just the question, and it's a very important question. i might add that i will mention to senator murphy that my wife grew up in the ukrainian community in hartford connecticut, so she has been an election observer twice there already, so we are very committed to ukraine. but the real challenge of this crisis is that russia after immense efforts on the part of the west, and i must say really immense efforts, has broken out of the channel of unity and cooperation among the countries of europe and is now adapting an anti-western but ultimately that means anti-globalization and anti-american approach.
and to understand the importance of this, there was an extremely good article in "the washington post" this week, talking about the rhetoric being used inside china about the west. and it turns out to be almost word for word the same rhetoric russia is using. the same rhetoric is heard in the middle east. and even in india which we consider to be a very important partner, putin has been visiting and he -- and the indian leadership more or less agrees with many of the things he was saying. so we're talking here not just about a problem with russia which is an important one, we're talking, in fact, which is why i mentioned senator rubio, a wearing away of the foundations of the western community in europe but even more so a wearing away of the ability that the west is going to have to influence, control if you will, the content of the new
globalized world, which is coming up. >> thank you. >> and so that's the main consequence that i see in this conflict. and my final point would be, i'm very appreciative of your personal efforts to increase our information budgets to have radio liberty and radio free europe be more active. and i think that winning back the narrative and using tools such as the ones you're financing, is almost as important as considering military support for ukraine, which i support very strongly. thank you. >> thank you. ambassador? >> chairman corker, ranking member menendez, thank you very much for this chance to testify. it's an honor to be here. i've been asked to talk about -- sorry. okay. i've been asked to talk about kremlin aggression, ukraine and how to counter it but in order to take the subject on properly we need a wider lens.
the reason for the simple. there are influential people in the united states, and especially in europe, who don't understand the gravity of this crisis. they don't understand it because they think the crisis is simply about ukraine and moscow's aggression there. with that narrow understanding, they oppose the strong measures necessary to counter kremlin aggression and to secure a vital, and i mean vital american interest. not simply important interest. the crisis that we face is as i think almost every senator said today, a crisis of kremlin revisionism. mr. putin wants to overturn the coast cold war order. this order has been the foin addition of the unprecedented peace and prosperity not just europe but the entire world has enjoyed over the past 25 years. mr. putin has stated that he must have a sphere of influence in the post-soviet space. going into warsaw pact countries and he has the right to protect
ethnic russians and russian speakers wherever they reside. mr. putin has major resources to pursue aggression. he possesses the world's sixth largest economy, one of the world's two largest nuclear args naturals and far is away the strongest military in europe. and we all know mr. putin has committed multiple acts of aggression. in georgia in 2008, in crimea early last year, and since april of last year he has been conducting an increasingly overt covert war in ukraine's east. in this covert war in ukraine's east, he has escalated his intervention multiple times. he has agreed to two cease-fires, minsk i and minsk ii, and violated each one of them. his goal in ukraine is what the admiral said earlier today, to destabilize the country. but to achieve that, and this is not clearly understood he cannot -- he cannot settle for a frozen conflict. he needs to be regularly on the offensive. albeit, with tactical pauses.
he has made clear by his statements and his actions that if he succeeds in ukraine, there will be future targets. the targets may include nato allies, specifically estonia and latvia where russian speakers comprise 25% of the population. recent kremlin provocations include the kidnapping of an estonian intelligence official from estonia and that happened on the day that the nato summit ended last september. they've also included the cease you're of a lithuanian ship from international waters of the baltic sea. he is telling the baltic states and all the states in his neighborhood, are you not secure, even if you are members of nato. we have a vital interest, and again i use that word vital, in stopping moscow's policies before they move to other countries, especially to the baltic states. i think it was senator isakson who said that the kremlin menace
is the most important national security danger we face today. i endorse that whole-heartily. isil is a rag tag bunch of terrorists. a serious danger to americans, not an existential threat to the united states. a revaugsist moscow is an existential threat to the united states. even iran with its nuclear program is not in the same order of threat as the world's dish one of the world's two largest nuclear powers on the move. if wrn leaders clearly understand this danger, if they clearly understood it, they would devote substantially more resources to dealing with it and they would draw a bright red line in ukraine. stop putin and ukraine before he moves beyond ukraine. to date western policy has been slow reactive and all too concerned about giving mr. putin a graceful way out of the crisis. and not sufficiently focused on imposing costs that would make it too expensive for him to
continue his aggression. we had a very distinguished panel in the first two hours of the session, but they were all too reflective of slow approach. to persuade mr. put ton put aside his revisionist dreams we need to do things that play on his weaknesses. strong sanctions are part of this. we have to deal with mr. putin's economy. we must persuade mr. putin that by announcing strong additional sanctions for aggression to come, i think it was senator rubio who said, why can't we tell mr. putin now, what sanctions we will play down if he moves beyond the current cease-fire line. he asked a very good question. we need to have sanctions in place now if he moves again. that way it may deter him, but if it doesn't, if will clearly weaken his economy weaken his political support at home and give him fewer resources for his next aggression.
i give the obama administration pretty good marks for dealing with sanctions because they're trying to pull along somewhat reluctant europe. the other area we need to work on is on the security side. mr. putin has a serious vulnerability. the russian people do not want russian troops fighting in ukraine. that's why he's lying to them. that's why the russian dead that come back are buried in secret. that's why the families of the russian dead are told, if you tell the neighbors your sons fought and died in ukraine you will not get benefits. if we provide defensive, lethal equipment to ukraine, that means that either mr. putin will be deterred to going further into ukraine because he doesn't want to risk the political fallout of the casualties or if he goes further into ukraine, he suffers those casualties, his support in ukraine -- excuse me, at home, will weaken.
this is a compelling reason to give weapons to ukraine. some people who argue against this say if we do that he will simply escalate. perhaps. but if he escalates, again he suffers more casualties, he weakens his support and he has fewer resources with which to pursue aggression beyond ukraine. i was one of a group of eight former officials who produced a report on this. we suggest giving ukraine $1 billion a year for each of the next three years. $3 billion of weapons total. the report provides the details. i want to mention to this committee just two elements of that. one, we should be providing anti-arm anti-armor equipment because russians have used mass tanks in order to commit their aggression on ukraine. we should also be providing counterbattery radar for missiles, because ukrainians have suffered 70% of their
casualties from russian missiles. we are giving them counterbattery radar for motor er -- mortars. they need it for missiles. we need to keep in place the sanctions for the seizure of cry mere yeah. the atlantic council just released a report on substantial systematic -- excuse me, russian human rights violations in crimea. two other essential elements of our policy. we need to do more in nato to bolster the deter rents to russian aggression against the baltic states. the administration and nato have taken some good steps forward. the summit talked about deploying -- creating this rapid reaction force and deploying a company of soldiers to the baltic states. that's a nice first step but it's very small. we should put a battalion into estonia and the other baltic states properly armed as a
serious trip wire against further russian aggression. we need to make sure nato has a contingency plan dealing for a possible russian hybrid war in the baltic states especially vulnerable is narva in astone yeah, which is a russian-speaking enclave. finally, we need to do the right thing in the information war against russia. john already mentioned that. i know that this committee supports additional funding for radio free europe and radio liberty. this is important to offsetting the massive russian propaganda campaign. these four steps enhance sanctions, military supplies to ukraine, a much stronger military posture in nato's east and a ramped up information effort will give us a good, good start in stopping mr. putin in ukraine, making sure he doesn't go beyond ukraine. again, this is a vital american interest. >> thank you both for outstanding testimony. and i'm going to defer questions
at this moment to senator menendez. >> well thank you, mr. chairman. thank you both for your service to our country at different times. and always pleasure to welcome another tennesseeian here to the meeting room. you should all be very proud of him. ambassador herbst, let me just ask you, i think you laid out a pretty compelling case, and probably done it better than i've been successful in trying to do in terms of the importance of it. you've spent time in kiev as our ambassador. had a lot of opportunity to observe president putin's behavior toward its neighbors. if i were to ask you to -- and you largely, i think already referred to his intentions but would you expect, for example, if unchecked russian forces to move into marapol?
>> mr. putin cannot accept a frozen conflict. a frozen conflict is a bad outcome. but with a frozen conflict, ukraine could develop as a stable democratic prosperous state. that's what mr. putin's against. so, he has to move beyond the area he currently controls. mariopol is the likely target but not the only one. he could move further into the northern parts of the dunbos. the russians have been conducting a terror campaign in harkiev, but they've been unable to establish a clear presence there. but they will probe there. they'll move wherever they can with the least casualties to themselves and the least uproar in europe. we need to provide ukraine the means to stop that from happening. otherwise, he will continue to go forward. >> let me ask you to answer two
questions that are also often poised in a contrary view to mine. that providing defensive lethal weapons to ukraine creates serious problems with europe or providing such weapons would just lead russia to further escalate, what would you say in response to those questions? >> i'll start with the second because the answer's quicker. mr. putin has escalated half a dozen times precisely because he's not had any pushback. you push back -- i'm not going to say he won't escalate. we don't know. but the chance of him escalating go down. that's the first -- the second question. the first question -- i watched very carefully the chancellor merkel's visit to washington in february. she said, quote, that she opposes sending weapons to ukraine. she also said that if the united states were to do that she would work hard to make sure there's no trans-atlantic
disharmony. that is an amber light. a light which we can go through. because she understands the united states may ultimately make the intelligent decision to provide ukraine the weapons to defend itself. i don't have any doubt that we could manage the alliance in this. what you need is strong leadership which, unfortunately, we have not seen. strong leadership from washington, from europe, in nato. with that, this is manageable. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> well, gentlemen, i apologize for not having questions at this moment. have i to get to a meeting at 12:45. this has been a very long but very informative meeting. i want to thank you both for your testimony. if you would, we will have some written questions we would like for you to respond to. i do think the strategy you've laid out, ambassador, is very clear, very helpful. i think ambassador kornblum, the insights into what's driving russia is very helpful.
we appreciate both of you for service to our country, for being here as an asset to us as we try to serve our country. and with that, this meeting -- the questions, i guess will be open until march the 12th, so if people have questions, they can send those in and hopefully you'll respond promptly to those. we thank you for being here. the meeting is adjourned. secretary of state john kerry was joined by ashton carter today in a hearing looking at the administration's hearing for request to authorize the use of military force against isis. we will show you that hearing in its entirety at 8 p.m. eastern on c-span. we wanted to show you this, secretary kerry was greeted by code pink protesters at today's hearing. here's how he responded.
>> when i came here last time, i mentioned that -- >> american people are speaking out, secretary kerry. we're tired of an endless war. we don't want to go in war with -- >> the committee will be in order. look, we appreciate -- >> another endless war, the killing of innocent people. >> okay. if this happens again, i would ask the police to escort immediately people out of the room. >> creating more terrorism. killing more innocent people. >> killing more innocent people. i wonder how our journalists that were beheaded and a pilot who was fighting for freedom, who was burned alive what they would have to say to their efforts to protect innocent people. >> secretary kerry from earlier today. we would like to know, do you think congress should authorize military force to be used in the fight against sith?
logon to our facebook page at facebook.com/cspan. here's what some of you are saying. john writes, no, not without a named enemy and an effective strategy to geet muslim terrorists. obama will never go into syria the proxy of iran. and chris feels differently saying, yes, it's now or later. and finally some senate news. mitch mcconnell announced the upper chamber would take up loretta lynch's nomination to be attorney general next week. as soon as a date and time are announced, we'll let you know. you can watch the senate live on our companion network, c-span2. here are some of our featured programs for this weekend on the c-span networks. saturday starting at 1 p.m. eastern, c-span2 book tv is live from the university of arizona for the tucson festival of books. featuring discussions on race and politics, the civil war and by the nation magazine writers with call-ins throughout the day
with authors. sunday at 1 p.m. we continue our live coverage of the festival with panels on the obama administration, the future of politics and the issue of concussions in football. and saturday morning at 9 eastern on american history tv on c-span3 we're live from longwood university in farmville, virginia, for the 16th annual civil war seminar where historians and authors talking about the closing weeks of the civil war in 1865. and sunday morning at 9:00 we continue our live coverage of the seminar with remarks on the surrender of the confederacy and the immigration of confederates to brazil. find our complete television schedule at c-span.org and let us know what you think about the programs you're watching. call us at 202-626-3400. e-mail us at email@example.com. or send us a tweet at c-span #comments. "like" us on facebook, follow us on twitter. yesterday the senate armed
services committee heard from navy sector ray mabus chief admiral jonathan greenert and dunford about the navy budget. john mccain of arizona chairs the armed services committee and rhode island democrat jack reed is ranking member. this is about two hours, 25 minutes. >> good morning. i want to welcome the witnesses. i thank you all for being here this morning. the committee meets to receive testimony on the plans and programs of the department of the navy for fiscal year 2016. i want to thank each of our witnesses for their distinguished service to the nation as well as to the sailors, marines and civilians they lead, who are serving around the world today.
this is admiral greenert's last posture hearing before the committee, and i'm sure he's relieved to know that. but his last appearance as chief of naval operations. and i'd like to thank you, admiral greenert, for your 40 years of distinguished service to our navy. and i wish you and darlene all the best in the future. in the last three months some of america's most experienced statesmen and strategic thinkers have offered this committee a clear unified and alarming assessment of current worldwide threats and u.s. national security strategy. as dr. kissinger testified on january 29th the united states has not faced a more diverse and complex array of crises since the end of the second world war. the actual global challenges we face are compounded by the limitations of the budget control act and sequestration which are a self-inflicted national security crisis.
indeed, all four of the military service chiefs have testified that defense spending and sequestration levels would put american lives at risk. now more than ever a strong navy and marine corps are essential to to assure allies and defend our national interests. from our strategy of rebalancing to the asia-pacific region to conducting ongoing operations against isil, to deterring rogue factors like iran or north korea to other many requirements the u.s. navy and marine corps are key pillars of our national security strategy. yet by any measure today's fleet of 275 ships is too small to address these critical security challenges. the navy's four structure assessment requirement is 306 ships. the bipartisan national defense panel calls for a fleet of 323 to 346 ships. and our combatant commanders say
they require 450 ships. but under sequestration the navy has said the fleet could shrink to 260 ships, equally troubling, mat reason corps continues personnel reductions down from 202,000 active duty marines in 2012 to 184,000 today to 182,000 in 2017. with the demands on our sailors and marines rising, these force reductions coupled with major readiness shortfalls due to sequestration are lengthening deployments, cutting training and time at home with families, and putting our all-volunteer force under considerable strain. the president's budget request attempts to buy as much readiness as the department can execute for fiscal year '16. and this is yet another reason why we cannot afford a defense budget at sequestration levels. the president's budget also
includes significant funding requests for major navy and marine corps acquisition programs. in the current fiscal environment, it is also the more important for this committee to conduct rigorous oversight of these programs to ensure that the department of the navy is making the best use of limited taxpayer dollars. that is exactly what we will do. the combat ship, despite initial cost overruns that more than doubled the cost per ship, the navy appears to have stabilized the cost of the lcsc frames, and yet the program still faces challenges to deliver the promised war-fighting capability. all of the packages need significant testing and must overcome major technology and inte grey grags challenges. this committee will continue further seeking information to justify this decision. without a clear
capabilities-based assessment, it is unclear what operational requirements the upgraded lcs is designed to meet. and that's how much more lethal and survivable the ship needs to be. in short, the navy must demonstrate what problem the upgraded lcs is trying to solve. we cannot afford to make this mistake again. with the first three ford class carriers, despite cost overruns of more than $2 billion each, this program is not exceeded the cost cap in the last three years. however, the skdz ford class carrier, the uss john f. kennedy, will deliver in fiscal year 2022, less capable and less complete due to the navy's proposed two-phase delivery approach. this plan would leave us with an incomplete ship should world events demand an additional aircraft carrier or if the "uss nimitz" encounters unforeseen problems in the final years of
its 50-year service life. i'm also concerned about the navy's plan to deliver full ship shock trials from the first to second ford class carriers. that day -- that delay is hard to justify for a new ship that is this complex. this committee also has a duty to shape the future of our navy and marine corps. with three service combatant classes set to retire soon now is the time to lay the analytical groundwork to replace those ships. as the navy developments requirements for the next class of amphibious vessel, we must ensure our warships are capable of supporting the marines in the manner they plan to fight in in the future. we must also carefully examine the future aircraft carrier complete and the carrier air wing, $12 billion or more for one ship is simply too expensive. we must do even more to reduce cost and increase competition within the aircraft carrier program. and as challenges to american air power projection grow, we
must chart a path to achieve the unmanned strike capability from our aircraft carriers. we look forward to the witness's testimony today and hope they will cover the broad spectrum of policy procurement, readiness, personnel and resource issues that the department confronts. senator reed. >> thank you very much mr. chairman. let me join you in welcoming secretary mabus and greenert and general dunford to the committee this morning to testify and the plan programs of the department of the navy and the review of the 2016 annual budget request. let me also thank secretary mabus joining us for the ceremony for uss colorado. thank you, mr. secretary. i want to welcome general dunford to his first hearing and i want to thank the chairman for admiral greenert as he exits. thank you for your service to
the navy and to the nation. our witnesses this morning face huge challenges as they strive to balance the need to support ongoing operations and sustain readiness with the need to modernize and keep the technological edge so critical to military success. these challenges have been made particularly difficult by the physical restraints of the budget control act and sequestration. all the military departments have been forced to make painful tradeoffs and now the threat of sequestration continues to loom. if congress does not act to end sequestration, i believe our long-terminal security interests will be threatened. last year the department of the navy was facing serious readiness problems caused by deferred maintenance, reduced steaming and flying hours and canceled training and deployments. increased emphasis on readiness in this year's budget will address some of the navy's most serious readiness problems but result in a serious shortfall and modernization funds to meet future threats. i'm interested in hearing the witness's views of the increased
in this risk because of the shortfalls. all areas of our naval forces are overtaxed. the navy is facing shortfalls on attack submarines, air and missile defense crews, destroy and strike fighter inventories. they have already been operating for two years now with fewer than required 11 aircraft carriers. and during the next decade as a first priority, the navy will need to buy a new class of strategic missile submarines to replace the ohio class submarines. a very costly venture. i'm interested in hearing how the navy is managing its operational tempo with these shortfalls. i'm also interested in the witnesses' views on how they will manage competing demandses on the budget once the cost of the ohio replacement begins. the president's budget request calls for marine corps strength of 184,000 marines down from the wartime high of over 200,000 marines. i'm interested to learn how the marine corps will manage mission risk with a force this size particularly with additional missions such as increased embassy security. for marine corps modernization,
the fy2016 request supports the decisions made last year that made the strategy for ground systems more sound. the marine corps clearly remains committed to the revitalization of its armored amphibious assault capabilities with that includes funds for survivability upgrades for current family of armored and amphibious assault vehicles and continues a competitive search for a new wheeled amphibious combat vehicle. we understand that the amphibious combat vehicle program would integrate a number of existing technologies into a new vehicle. marine corps has described this program as, quote, nondevelopmental. which raises question about what nondevelopmental means when you're developing a new system. i'm interested in your insights commander, on what this whole program is involved. also declare the marine corps real amphibious challenge on what general dunford called the amphibious gap -- navy witnesses have testified about the number
of ships required to meet amphibious shipping goals. sometimes lost in that discussion is the fact that changes to marine corps ground or ripple through the amphibious ship force requirement. i know that the navy's planned purchase of the lpd-28 amphibious transport is one effort to address the amphibious shipping shortfall. i'm interested to know what else the department of navy is doing to close or mitigate the gap between requirements and capabilities to ensure our amphibious force meets our needs and is capable and ready. the defense department strategic guidance issued in january 2012 followed by the 2014 qdr and this january by new national security strategy all echo a renewed u.s. military orientation on the asia-pacific consistent with that strategy the defense department has been working to realign u.s. military force in south korea and okinawa and plan to position navy and in singapore and possibly elsewhere in the region. the department has been implementing a plan to deploy
more ships as shown bit navy's second rotation of deployment of combat ship, the uss ft. worth, in significant posteriorngapore. i'm interested in hearing more aspects of this deployment. again, many questions but i want to conclude by once again thanking all of you for your extraordinary service to the nation, the navy and marine corps. thank you. >> mr. secretary. >> thank you, mr. chairman. chairman mccain, ranking member reed, members of this committee thank you for this opportunity to discuss the department of the navy with chief of naval operations john greenert, joe dunford, i have the great privilege representing the sailors and marines who serve our nation around the world. the civilians who support them and all of their families. as the chairman and senator reed pointed out, this is admiral greenert's last posture testimony before this committee.
he's been a steady hand at the helm of the navy through the past four years of international stanlt and budget turbulence and every day his judgment, his advice, his good counsel have been critical. it's an honor to serve with them. and he will leave a lasting legacy. today our security interests face increasing array of threats, demands, while our budget situation issue so clearly pointed out mr. chairman, grows more challenging. but it is clear that the navy and marine corps team offer the best value to advance both our global security and our economic interests. uniquely, the navy and marine corps provide presence around the globe around the clock. we're the first -- we're the nation's first line of defense, ready for anything that may come over the horizon. presence means that we respond faster, we remain on station longer, we carry everything we need with us, and do whatever missions are assigned by our
nation's leaders without needing anyone else's permission. we've always known america's success depends on an exceptional navy and marine corps. article i of our constitution authorizes congress to raise an army when needed, but directs you to provide and maintain a navy. from the first six frigate s to our growing fleet today from tripoli to afghanistan sailors and marines have proven the founders' wisdom. american leaders across the spectrum have understood the vital significance of sea power. we are truly america's away team. we deploy in peace just as much as in war. and our own the last 70 years in securing sea lanes and streams of commerce have boosted our own and the world's economy. nearly half the world's population lives within 100 miles of the sea. 90% of all global trade goes by
sea and 95% of all voice and data goes under the ocean. the shellves of our stores are stocked with just in time delivery with products from all over the globe and some 38 million american jobs are directly linked to sea-borne international trade. for seven decades the navy and marine corps have been the primary protector of this international system. and that's why our national defense strategy so clearly focused on the maritime domain and requires investment in maritime assets. for the past few years the department of the navy has attempted to minimize the impact of an uncertain budgetary environment, marked by numerous continuing resolutions, the imposition of sequester level funding and the threat of the return of sequestration. this environment has made it much more difficult, but even more critical to set priorities and to make some hard choices.
the presence of our navy and marine corps uniquely delivers built on four foundations. people, platforms, power and partnerships. these are key to the capability, capacity and success of our naval services and they remain my top priorities. people, our sailors and marines are well known for their ability to exercise independent judgment and the flexibility to adapt to changing circumstances. we remain committed to providing our sailors, marines and our civilians with the training and the support they need to maintain our naval presence. and we include in this their dedicated families, our injured and our wounded. we've launched a comprehensive approach to assure the world's healthiest fittest, most resilient and best educated force, one which truly represents america's diversity. we continue to aggressively combat sexual assault abuse ethical failings, similar challenges. and we're exploring innovative means to improouft wayve the way we
manage the force. in platforms, our people as good as they are cannot do their job without ships. providing presence being where we're needed whenneeded, when we're needed requires those ships. quantity has a quality all its own. that means we have to have a properly sized and a properly balanced fleet. on september 11th, 2001, the navy's battle force stood at 316 ships. by 2008, our fleet had declined to 278 ships. our focus on two ground wars only partly explains that decline. in the five years before i came to this office navy contracted for only 27 ships. not enough to stop the slide in the size of the fleet. in my first five years we've contracted for 70 ships. halting and reversing the decline. by the end of the decade our fleet will once again top 300
ships. we've accomplished this with direct and fundamental business approach based in large part on the legislation which originated in this committee authored by chairman mccain and then chairman levin. things like increasing competition, relying more on fixed price contracts, and, thanks to this committee, congress' help multi-year and block buys. but budget instability, budget uncertainty, seriously erode our ability to grow our fleet, manage our resources and maintain the industrial base. without a correctly sized and shaped fleet the navy and marine corps will not be able to meet the demands for the kinds of missions for which we are the best and often the only option. in the face of budgetary uncertainty, cutting ships is the most damaging and least reversible course of action, which is why i'm committed to preserving ship building to the maximum extent possible.
fueling the ships aircrafts and vehicles of our navy and marine corps is a vital operational concern and naval as a global presence. that's why the that ivy has a history of inno he vags,vationinnovation, pioneering nuclear power. we believe our national security interests and the ability of the navy and marine corps to meet its missions must be enhanced by increasing our energy diversity and efficiency. our ability to maintain presence in advanced global security will also be augmented through partnerships cooperation makes us more effective and diffuses tensions reduces misunderstandings. again and again our naval forces have proven themselves the most immediate, the most capable and the most adaptable option when a crisis develops. overall the president's fy 16 budget balances current readiness needed to execute assigned missions, while sustaining a highly capable
fleet all within a tough fiscal climate. that climate demands, as you pointed out, mr. chairman our most rigorous examination of every dollar we spend and continuing our aggressive efforts to cut unnecessary costs in every program and shift resources from tail to tooth. when america's called, the navy and marine corps have always been there. in order to ensure that we continue to provide the naval force our nation's leaders and the american people commandant, the chief of naval operations and i look forward to answering your questions and to working together with this committee and with congress to maintain our great navy and marine corps. thank you. >> thank you, mr. secretary. the complete statements that have been submitted by all three of you will be included in the record. general dunford.
>> i'm honored to be here to represent your marines. i'll begin by thanking the committee for your steadfast support. due to your leadership we feel it is the best equipped navy or marine corps we've ever sent to war. our expeditionary ready force are expected to operate forward engage with our partners deter potential adversaries and respond to crises and when we fight, you expect us to win. you expect a lot from your marines, and you should. this morning as you hold this hearing, over 31000 marines were forward deployed and engaged doing exactly what you would expect of them. our role informs how we man, train and equip the force. it also prioritizes the allocation of resources that we receive from congress. over the last few years, we prioritized a letdy dyreadiness of four deployed forces to be counted on for immediate try sis response. they supported the recent
evacuation of u.s. citizens in south sudan, libya and yemen. these forces currentdy conduct strikes in syria, iraq, training the iraqi army and protecting our embassy in baghdad. these are the 22,500 marines in the pacific west of the international date line. i can assure you that your forward deployed marines are well trained, well lit and well equipped but we've had to make tough choices to deal with the effects of two wars, sequestration in 2013 and reduced budgets in 2013, into 2015. in order to maintain readiness of our forward deployed forces we have not sufficiently invested in our home station readiness modernization infrastructure sustainment and quality of life programs. as a result, approximately half of our non-deployed units, those are the units you depend on for unforeseen contingencies are suffering personnel equipment and training shortfalls. this results in the unnecessary
loss of american lives. over time under investing in modernization will result in maintaining older and obsolete equipment at highers cost erser costs and degraded capabilities. instead of innovating and adapting for tomorrow's threats. it will eventually erode or competitive advantage and we don't ever want our marines and sailors in an unfair fight. the challenges we have today provide context for my message this morning. we can meet the requirements of the president's budget but there is no margin. funding levels will election at bait challenges that we have today. it will also result in a marine corps with fewer available active duty battalions and squadrons than would be required for a single major contingency. perhaps more concerning, it will result in fewer marines and sailors being forward deployed and in a position to immediately respond to crises involving our diplomatic posts, american citizens or u.s. interests. as we saw in the wake of benghazi, the american people expect us to respond to today's
crisis today. and we can only do that if we're properly postured forward. in closing, my assessment is that funding below the president's budget level will require that we develop a new strategy. thank you once again for the opportunity to appear before you this morning and for your leadership in addressing today's fiscal challenges. i look forward to your questions. >> chairman mccain ranking member member reed and distinguished members of the committee, it is my honor to serve and represent more than 600,000 active and reserve sailors with be civilians and their families especially the 41,000 sailors who are under way and deployed around the world today. it is my pleasure to testify this morning beside secretary mabus and general dunford. chairman, your navy/marine corps team is united in fulfilling their long standing man date be -- to be where it matters when it matters ready to respond to crises. now to that point, recent events exemplify the value of forward
presence. last august the bush carrier strike group releektocated and began flying 20 to 30 sorediesties per day. a we have been where it matters when it matters. as i have testified before, the continuing resolution and sequestration of 2013 degraded our readiness and capabilities and we have not yet recovered. budget reductions have forced reduction afloat and ashore operations generated maintenance backlogs and have compelled us to extend unit deployments. since 2013 many of our ships
have been on deployment for eight to ten months or longer, and that exacts a cost on the resiliency of our people and the service lives of our ships. this degraded readiness has reduced our ability to respond to contingencies. for example our combat commanders require that three carrier strike groups and three am funness ready groups be ready to respond within 30 days to a crisis. that's our covenant to them. however, today on average we have been able to keep one carrier strike group and one am fibbess ready group in this readiness posture. we're at one-third the requirement. now assuming the best case of an on-time, adequate and stable budget, and no major contingencies, we might be able to recover from the accumulated backlogs by 2018 for our carrier strike groups and by 2020 for am fibbess ready groups. that's at least five years after this first run of sequestration. that's just a glimpse of the damage sequestration would cause
if we go back there. we've been forced to slow navy modernization. the overall impact of the budget shortfalls in the past three years has declined our relative war fighting advantages in several areas. notably, anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, air to wear warfare and what we call integrated air and missile defense. so we have been compelled to accept significant risks in the execution of two key missions that are specified in the defense strategy. i provide each of you a handout that summarizes where the navy stands with the missions and where we stand relation to those missions under the two budgets, president's budget and sequestration. the first mission at risk is to deter and defeat aggression. which really means to win a war at sea while deterring another at sea while in a different theater. the seconds mission at risk is to project power despite the challenge. when i say risk, i mean that some of our platforms our
people, and our systems will arrive late to the fight. they will arrive will insufficient ordnance and be without modern combat systems censors and networks that are required and they will be inadequately prepared to fight. ultimately this means more ships and aircraft out of action and battle wbl battle, more sailors, marines and merchant carriers killed. given the circumstances our '16 submission represents the absolute minimum funding levels needed to execute our strategic guidance. we focus to build the appropriate capability and deliver that capability at whatever capacity we could afford. we were once again compelled to defer upgrades in aircraft, upgrades in ship and submarines and to take significant reductions in aircraft procurement, munitions and shore infrastructure. so, mr. chairman today's world
is more complex, more uncertain and more turbulent. our adversaries are modernizing and expanding their capabilities. it is vital that we have an adequate predictabilityle and timely budget to remain an effective navy navy. i thank you and i thank this committee for what they've done for us and i look forward to working with congress to find solutions that will ensure our navy retains the ability to organize, train and equip our great sailors and their families in the defense of this nation. thank you. >> i want to thank the witnesses and that was a very compelling remark, general. general dunford do you share admiral greenert's level of concern concerning effects of sequestration and the, as admiral greenert pointed out, a significant period of time before we can even recover from the present effects of sequestration. >> chairman, i absolutely agree with sequestration of 2013 has
certainly impacted our current level of readiness. frankly if we go to sequestration we'll be unable to meet the certain strategy and have to decrease the troops that are forward deployed. >> is this sequestration put the lives of the men and women who are serving in uniform in greater risk? >> chairman i'll take that. it absolutely does chairman. and in this way. we have readiness challenges at home station. my expectation is that when marines are called we will go. they'll either go late or they'll go with shortfalls and equipment and training that would absolutely put young americans' lives at risk. >> admiral greenert? >> absolutely, chairman. a lot of people write recently about today and today's navy. an i.c.e. article recently. this is about the future navy. our benchmark 1 to 20. if we don't modernize we'll be late. we won't have what we need to defeat and deny.
>> is it affecting morale and retention of outstanding men and women? >> it is. the families are angry with the -- with sequestration in general and the threat of it again. we have pilots very key part of our ability to project power, who are -- our retention is low in pilots. it is low in nuclear trained operators. aegis technicians and cyber. >> and general dunford the deployments are longer. is that correct? >> chairman, the biggest significance is the time between deployments. most of our units are deploying for less than one to two deployments. that means they are deploying for seven months, they are home for less than 14 months before they deploy and that continues almost at infinitum. >> so that is another factor on re-enlistment. >> chairman it will be over time.
we have not seen the impact on the ability to recruit and retain high-quality forces right now. but it does have an impact on two things. it has an impact on training across the range of military operations and it also has an impact on the amount of time our marines are able to spend with their families between deployments. >> mr. secretary, you and i have had conversations about the situation, the cost overruns the aircraft carriers of the "gerald r. ford." i understand that the follow-on 78 and 79, they will be around $12 billion each. is that correct? >> the 79 has a congressional cost cap of about 1$11.5 billion. we're under that. >> i hope, mr. secretary, given new technologies and drones and a lot of other aspects of warfare, including the f-35 capabilities, that we will be
looking at alternatives as well to the nimitz class or latest class of aircraft carrier. is that correct? >> it is, senator. i think that if you and i discussed everything as getting smaller and faster with the possible exception of the military. >> i guess i'm not quite clear on why -- isn't it true that the major cost overruns were due to advances or new technology in launching and electromagnetic aircraft launching system, advanced resting gearing with dual band radar and advanced weapons elevators. are those still the greatest risks on the cost problem with the "gerald r. ford" and the
"kennedy." >> mr. chairman, are you absolutely correct that those are some of the reasons for the cost overruns. you and i are in pretty violent agreement that the way the "ford" was built is not the way to build a ship. it was being designed while it was being built. too much new technology was trying to be forced in and that technology was not mature. today though the "ford" is 87% complete. the testing on the electromagnetic launch and the advanced resting gear is where it should be and it's moving along and the risk of anymore cost overruns, as you pointed out in your opening statement, we've had stable costs for the last three years or more now, and it goes down every day. there is still some risk in the testing of those brand-new systems that we've never used
before. >> general dunford and admiral greenert, could you give a brief update on the progress of the f-35? >> chairman, in our case the first squadron will be at initial operating capability this summer. that's vmfa-121 out in yuma arizona. i visited the squadron a couple of weeshgsks ago. i'm confident we can bring that up to ioc. we also have a good number of aircraft laid in across the five-year defense plan to bring the f-35b into service. >> admiral. >> we had our carrier test this past summer. it went great. tail hook was certified. we had no. bolters. so the avionics, the aircraft itself, the c model that's ours, is good. we still have a way to go for the software. that's the 3f software. right now we're on track for an ioc of late fiscal year '18 or early '19. my concern is that this software
is able to integrate all of the weapons systems that we have on the current aircraft on our air wings. this aircraft has to fit into our air wing. we can't fit the air wing around the aircraft. so far so good. we have to keep really close watch on it. >> thank you. senator reed. >> well, thank you, mr. chairman. let me first say that the chairman's questions regarding sequestration and your responses about the real and dramatic effects on the lives of the men and women that we serve are, i think, another strong indication of the need for collective and bipartisan action to ends sequestration. so thank you, gentlemen. thank you, mr. chairman. last year in the defense authorization bill we in section 1022 created the national sea based deterrence fund which was to help you at a defense level
to build a replacement for the ohio class submarine. can i just ask both of you how you intend to use this fund, and in general, your plans for the replacement the "ohio"? >> we very much appreciate the establishment of this fund. we've been talking for some time now when we begin to build the "ohio" class replacement in 2021 if it is a pure navy built, it will devastate some part of the navy, either our ship building or readiness or something. because the high cost of these and because we don't recapitalize them very often. if you look back in history there is precedent for either making this a national program because it is the most survival leg of our deterrence triad or
adding funds to navy ship building to accommodate it. the 41 for freedom in late '50s early '60s and the "ohio" class in the late '70s through '92, both times navy ship building was increased pretty dramatically to accommodate these submarines. but to show you the effects from '76 to '80, navy ship building budget doubled to accommodate the "ohio" class. our fleet still declined by 40% because it simply wasn't enough to do both. >> admiral? >> first of all i think it is a great start. i think we need to pursue clarity of the intent of the congress. what i mean by that is the legal ramifications for sources of the fundings we could put in there. is it just other navy ship building accounts? is it just other navy appropriations? or do we mean the whole
department of defense could contribute to this fund which in my view would be great. >> thank you very much. in my view it would be great too. and that was the intent i believe. but the clarification we'll try to produce for you, sir. general dunford, again, in my opening remarks i talked about the fighting vehicle program. this has been an interesting and tortured path. expedition fighting vehicle was canceled. we've had several different concepts. this has spanned the careers of several commandants. now this new amphibious combat vehicle. now what do you see as the challenge, what are you trying to accomplish by this and how do you avoid the fate of the preceding vehicles which we spent money on could never deliver. >> senator thanks. we've been working for some
time, as you alluded to, to replace the 40-year-old amphibious assault vehicle. until two years ago we tried to reconcile the protection required against today's threat, the cost that we could afford then the ship to shore capability, that high-speed self-deploying capability. it turned out that we couldn't reconcile those three so a decision was made to break the program into thirds. the third is address the need for ground tactical vehicles with adequate protection for our marines ashore right now. that vehicle would be moved from ship to shore in a connecter. the second phase would be to get our vehicles to at least have the same capability as today's assault amphibious vehicle, it could self-deploy from an amphibious ship. from that point down the road we have decision to pursue a self-deployed high-speed vehicle if we can rectify those two variables or to continue to make improvements to the second phase which is a vehicle with at or greater-than capability to our current assault amphibious vehicle. senator, the reason we are where
we are is we simply couldn't rec reconcile the cost, be capability and protection required against the current threat. >> you are focusing first on a vehicle that's basically had some limit forwarding capability to get a low distance in low surf then fight on land with all the protections we've seen against ieds and those things and all the lessons
that actually i think may get pretty close to the second phase that we require. >> thank you very much. >> just final lid, mr. secretary, the director of operations has raised concerns about the survivability of the lcs.the director of operations has raised concerns about the survivability of the lcs. have you specifically established viability requirements for the modified lcs and have you -- are those requirements much different than the initial requirements of lcs? >> the small surface combat task force looked at that and did upgrade the survivability by things like hardening the area around the magazine, around various combat systems. cno has pointed out, very accurately in the past, the best way to survive is not to get
hit. and so we've upped the defensive capabilities of that ship. it's also a very fast ship, too to keep that -- it's important to keep in mind that this is a small surface combatant, that it is -- the new upgraded ones have been designated a frigate but they are not -- they're not destroyers. they're not cruisers. and they have a very different role to play. but the survivability for a small surface combatant particularly with the upgrades, meets our fleet requirements, meets the requirements that we have set. >> thank you. thank you gentlemen. >> thank you, mr. chairman. our sage panel we have a good attendance up here so we'll be talking about a lot of systems. i'll start out on one, admiral greenert that i think has changed quite a bit and that's
the program where you talked about adding 4,400 or so of the jso jsous. that was in the '15 budget. how many more would that represent when you said 4,400? >> i have to get you those numbers. >> is it like 2,000 now or -- >> we benchmark against the combat requirement. and again, i got to get you the number. >> okay. that's fine. but i guess my point is if we were talking about projecting in last year's budget, 4,432 more over the life of the program which would have included at that time -- because we have in this budget -- or we had in this budget 200 to be bought, then all of a sudden at least it was to me the program was terminated. i just wonder what has happened
that caused that not to be a necessary component as it was considered to be before now? >> well we had to take some chances. i'm not happy at all. we don't have enough munitions. i'm very concerned about it and i think i expressed it. but the point was we felt we were at the combat expenditure. we watch very closely how many we use during the year. when i say combat we have enough for what we believe would be the model number and can we reconstitute the line and we felt we could so we're taking risks. >> that's a good point. you're adding risk by having to do this. you would prefer not to. >> i'd prefer not to. i have risk in other munitions that are just as bad. it is not a good picture senator. >> no. that's right. senator reed talked about general dufford -- about the f-35. just to elaborate a little bit more, that would actually be replacing the f-18s. is that correct? and the ea-6bs?
>> it will replace three aircraft, all of which are over 20 years old. >> yeah that's right. 23 years old the f-18s and e e-6bs, 27. you've looked at the missions of all these and you're satisfied these missions will be met with this change and getting rid of the older but -- the 35 will be capable of doing that? >> it will do that but it is also important to point out this just doesn't replace the f-18 dz, it is a fundamentally different capability. it will do everything that those three aircraft will do but also in terms of the information environment, it will do a significant amount more more the marine air/ground task force. >> you talked about -- no, admiral greenert you talked about the pilots. we'll have a pilot shortage. you've talked to your -- the air force and the problems that they're having right now.
are your problems similar to that? >> they are. what happens is people get deployed, they're flying all the time. in fact, they're flying so much working up quickly to go on deployment, some of them say i can't even get a will done. then when we come back we shut down. they sit around here and they look out on the tarmac. there's a super who arehornet. they'd love to be flying but we don't have the funding to provide that. they say what's with this? that's not what i signed up for. >> that's the same general that general welsh talked about. >> it is, yes, sir. >> the same situation. now tell me if this is true. i remember bringing this up kind of comparing the cost of replacing some training versus retention. as i understand, the ten years of the retention -- or bonus was around $250,000. that's in the air force. is that comparable to the navy? >> it's comparable. we have same thing. >> and then also the training
if you take in the f-22 capability is going to be something like $17 million. up here we look at the economics of this thing and obviously it's far better if we can retain these people rather than go through training. have you thought of anything specifically that would help you in that respect? >> we have yes, sir. we use the term we want to optimize what we call as our training plan. our fleet response training plan. you hit the nail on the head. it's getting the fly-in done more consistently throughout. keep them, if you will, busy, proficient proficient, that they feel they have a part, a predictable future out there. instead of a cycling process as they get ready to deploy. >> and that's the message i get when i talk to those. we know there is a lot of competition with airlines. we know that in the training, it's a supply and demand thing. >> senator, excuse me. a consistent budget will really
help us be able to do that. consistency is key. >> absolutely. i understand that. you said general dunford and senator mccain asked you some specific questions about it. but you said -- i wrote it down -- funding below the president's budget will require a new strategy. you've answered a couple questions about some of the specifics. but what would an overall new strategy look like? what are we talking about? >> well, senator, what i really meant was that on a day to day basis, we wouldn't have the marines that are forward deployed to meet the sure allies, part of the strategy and to respond to crisis part of the strategy. then we would have fewer forces than would require to meet a single major contingency. so in my mind that does from a marine corps perspective drive the need for a new strategy. so it is a capacity issue as well as a readiness issue. >> my time's expired but if you want to expand on that for the record, please do.
because that would be something that we need to be equipped with here. thank you. >> will do that senator. thank you. >> thank you mr. clarmhairman. thank all of you for your service. appreciate it very much. there's no the a person i know in west virginia that's not extremely proud of the military that we have and have served with distinction and surely is truly is proud to have the greatest military the history's ever recorded. with that being said i set my first meetings in this armed services committee and at that time we had joint chiefs of staff and admiral mullen was here. question was asked to admiral mullen what's the greatest threat the united states of america faces. i thought i was going to hear his depiction of valuation of around the world terrorism we were facing. he didn't even hesitate. he said the finances of our country is the greatest threat we face. people back home in west virginia want us to be
responsible. they ask the question and they said, we hear that our military, our department of defense, will spend more than the next seven or eight countries combined. how come we can't do it more efficiently or more effectively? and finance money is the problem, we've got to make sure that we have the money to do it but are we using the money wisely. through procurement, we're trying to get audits find out why everyone has a different platform. everything seems to be siloed if you will rather than integrated. i don't know if you all have a comment or answer to that but it's lard to go back home and explain -- i think the request is under $600 billion this year for fiscal '16. is the request $585 billion. i think just from the navy yours have gone from $149 billion to $161 billion. so they're not going this way. i know you say if sequestering
kicks in. sequestering has a real onerous, i think connotation to it because of the way it is administered. if we allowed you all to do things maybe differently than us all trying to intervene and tell you how to do your job might be a little bit better. i appreciate that too. i know it is hard for you all to make those comments mr. secretary. but is there ways that we can do a more eit more effectively and efficiently and what can we do to have you have the ability to do more with what you have? >> senator, first, you're absolutely correct that we as a military have to be efficient have to be effective, have to use the taxpayers' money very efficiently. my father was the cheapest human that god ever saw fit to put on this earth, i think. i am his son.
and so we have been using the tools that this committee and this congress has given us. things i talked about, firm, fixed-price contracts, driving down things like that. but i'll show you a chart. here's what we have to do to buy anything. you can't read it. i can't either from here. it's spaghetti. it's a labyrinth that you've got to go there you. you could help us by taking out some of those things, by making us focus on what's important, and that's the outcome. we are also looking at things like contracts. the navy spends about $40 billion a year on contracts. and until couple of years ago, we could not track that money from the time you were appropriated, authorized and appropriated, until it got to
the contract. we can today. and we're saving today 10% a year. so $4 billion a year on contracts. we're going to do better than that. those are hard things. those are not easy things. the last thing is that there is really four parts to the department of defense. five parts there. the four services. the three departments. army navy air force. but there's also the department of defense. the defense agencies. that are all overhead and they have grown far, far faster. >> can i say one final thing? my time will be running out real quick, and i'm so sorry. but every time we talk about the lack of resources or money general and admiral, both, it's always reduction of force. how it's going to affect the people on the front line. but when we look at y'all's staff, your staff keeps growing and growing and growing, even
though you talk about reduction in force. doesn't make sense why all -- we go to the front line, immediately and have a reduction of force, when the staff has made no sacrifices. >> can i take a shot at that? >> whoever. whoever. >> i'm going to defend my two service chiefs here. their staffs have not grown. the uniforms and the civilians in the department of the navy have not grown. in fact from '14 doto '16 we have a difference of ten civilians. we're not growing. in fact, the marines are shrinking, the navy is staying steady and the staffs are going down. we're doing a 20% reduction in headquarters staff. but again, it's what we call the fourth estate. the department of defense agencies. things like the defense finance
and accounting service. things like the defense logistics agency. and their contractors have just grown exponentially. so that's where the growth is coming. it's not -- i'll speak just for the department of the navy. it is not in the department. >> thank you, secretary mabus maybe we'll have time to get back to that point but let me go ahead with my planned questions. admiral greenert, we sort of decided on this rebalance to asia before the latest provocations from russia before isis took over so much territory. if sequestration returns in october, what sort of gap will
these cuts create between america's asia rebalance strategy and the already-important tasks of deterring russia and defeating isis, and can you highlight to this committee the role amphibious ships will have in executing these missions. >> yes, senator. one of the top priorities we have is presence. so other than funding the sea-based strategic deterrent i need to make sure we are present around the world so my point will be we will pursue forward presence. you won't see much reduction under a budget control act scenario in our forward presence. most of the rebalance to the asia pacific is what we call forward stationeded or forward deployed naval force. in japan, in singapore and in guam. those will continue to in fact increase. our distribution around the world is -- we are increasing the forces in the european command as we look at how we're
going to deploy in the future, strictly for the reason you stated with the instability in the africom, uco movement region. amphibious forces play an important role. the new normal. the ability to respond quickly to counterterrorism, to piracy and to support our forces and defend americans abroad especially in our embassies. >> so the asia-pacific rebalance won't take a hit from sequestration. and our european presence will not take a hit from sequestration, those hits will take place elsewhere. >> those hits if you will will take place in our ability to respond to supplement those forces forward. those forces forward won't be as modern as they need to be. we'll have dramatic decreases in modernization. >> general dunford, as you know, i've been worrying aloud about
afghanistan. general dempsey told our committee last week there is a terrorist network that stretches from afghanistan to nigeria and we've got to keep pressure on it throughout its entire length. he went on to say "i think afghanistan is, and will remain, an anchor point for that pressure." do you agree with that, general dunford? >> senator, i do agree with that. i think afghanistan as a counterterrorism partner and as a platform from which the united states can protect its interests in southwest asia is absolutely critical. >> am i right then to worry about the current plans for drawing down our forces in afghanistan, to worry that those are based on more of a political calculation rather than the facts on the ground? >> senator, my understanding from listening to secretary carter's testimony general demty's testimonydempsey's testimony,
they're all reviewing the current plan in light of the folks you just made. >> i hope we do. last week before the committee i pointed out to secretary carter and general dempsey that things are headed in the right direction in afghanistan. i don't know if the american people appreciate that. but we've made great gains there. president kahani and dr. abdullah are in a partnership, they want us there as a stabilizing force. i just hope that we're not about to throw away what progress we've made. secretary mabus, you and i have been friends a long time. remarkable testimony, actually. very profound statement that you had, which you of course, had to abridge during your oral remarks. you mentioned what thomas payne said about the cause of america is in a great measure the cause of all mankind.
i almost want to substitute the worse "cost" there. it seems that it falls on the united states of america. you also correctly say for seven decades united states navy and marine corps have been the primary protector of this international system. we're doing it for everybody else. there is a sound basis in this proposition that rising international prospect is directly linked to the united states navy. thank you to our military and to our navy. we've kept the sea lanes open you say. we've kept freedom of navigation open for anybody engaged in peaceful and legitimate trade as the president said, we have been the anchor of global security. this is for you, but also for our friends internationally listening to this. we are going to have to insist on more of a contribution from our international partners. we keep the lanes open for them. our friends in europe, our nato
friends, our other friends in europe are depending on what exactly you're talking about. and i would just say, we are going to have to collectively come up with a plan to convince our partners in international security that it is in their interest, too, to make the financial sacrifice to help us afford all of this protection that we're giving to the world. would you like to comment on that, mr. secretary? >> first, to say we have been friends for a long time. second to say it is one of the reasons we are pursuing these partnerships. that's the message you just gave that i take to countries around the world. that we can't do it by ourselves. and that they have to bear their fair share of any burden. and as part of that, to be interoperable with us, to exercise with us, to make sure
that we go in to things together. one of the things that -- one of the tangible things that's happening right now is that french aircraft carrier "charles de gaulle" is in the iranian peninsula. >> thank you. i have gone way over. i hope that i speak for my ranking member that tul's perhapsyou'll perhaps address some of the problems you pointed out in that very confusing chart and if there are suggestions you have for ways we can cut through that red tape and make procurement of importance weapons systems a little easier and a little more favorable to our fighting men and women, i hope you'll get that to me. >> senator is correct, he has
gone way over. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i have taken warning of that comment that you just made. mr. secretary, thank you for your service. i want to tell you, and you already know you have a great team sitting there with you. general dunford, admiral greenert, admiral, thank you for everything you have done for our country. we were extraordinarily blessed to have you on command and we appreciate it. i also want to mention mr. secretary and to admiral greenert, i want to take a moment to recognize the superior performance of the navy's nuclear forces. it has been exceptional. you have created a culture of outstanding performance and it has not gone unnoticed. and so as a nation we really feel in your debt for having done all of that. now i want to ask you about
suicide prevention. it's been such a challenge for our services. it's been something we've all worked on together and what i want to talk about is physician assistants. they have a great reputation in the mission, a great reputation for medical care, and the first is to admiral greenert and to secretary mabus, then i'll get to general dunford second. but to admiral and mr. secretary, what are your thoughts about expanding the services use of p.a.s specializing in psychiatric care to fill some of the provider gaps that we see? >> that's an excellent idea. we've looked at things like this. i have to go back and take another round through that, but clearly we can use more folks to help us with the resilience ya in the psychological arena. zblr senator >> senator, i'm big fans of
physician assistants nurse practitioners, people we can get out in bigger numbers to help with some of this resiliency. as you pointed out, suicide is one of the big challenges we face. not just in the military. it's the second leading cause of death of americans 18 to 32 years old. >> it is a staggering and scary statistic. general, you've done a great job in embedding mental health providers with the expeditionary units units. what are your thoughts on the utility of physician assistants also helping in the marine corps with psychiatric care? >> senator, thanks. my answer would be similar to admiral greenert's, in the sense that i'd be supportive of anything that would increase the capacity of our ability to deal with marines and sailors and also their mental health. >> mr. secretary, mr. crkranin indiana we work on counterfeit parts protection.
>> it's something that we have seen in the past and it could be critical in the future. it's important for stay on top of that because some of the counterfeit parts that we've crede tekt-- detected earlier, you can't take chances. that's part of the acquisition strategy that we've got to have adequate oversight anddetected earlier, you can't take chances. that's part of the acquisition strategy that we've got to have adequate oversight and in that our acquisition workforce, people around the country that oversaw things like this went down pretty considerably. and since 2010 we've been rebuilding that workforce to do exactly some of those very specialized skills like that. >> general dunford, the marines have played such a strong role
in anbar province in iraq over the years. a lot of extraordinary relations were created between the marines and the sunni tribes. as we take the battle to isil can you give me an update as to what role the marines are playing in terms of trying to cultivate those long-term relationships because they're so critical to our success? >> thank you, senator. we do in fact have forces in anbar province today. we have two 25-man training teams that are with the iraqis 7th division. we've also got marine corps lieutenant commander on the special ground task force assisting the counterisil effort. in addition, we've got marines protecting the embassy in baghdad. then also we provide the tactical recovery of aircraft
and personnel missions so we support strikes that go in both with carriers and with the joint force aircraft. we support the strikes that go in to iraq and syria with the v-22 so that if something did happen we'd be in a position to recover aircraft and personnel. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. gentlemen, thank you for your service. i'd like to follow up a little bit on what senator inhoff wase were discuss something. this would be for both of you and general dunford. in your judgment are your munitions inventories sufficient to support current operations and the defense strategic guidance plan? are there individual munitions whose inventories either present or projected, which are insufficient to meet the requirements requirements, and if so, what are they and what is being done to address the shortfalls? >> for operations today we have
sufficient munitions. for operations in the future, my benchmark year our benchmark year is 2020. there is a series of missions we have to do. they're outlined on the card i gave you. they are effectively based upon the war plans. we have insufficient munitions in 2020. even in some munitions in the president's budget. they are air to air. they are surface to surface, if you will. cruise missile. some of our air to ground as senator inhofe mentioned the joint standoff mission. the longer-range and medium-range both have shortfalls. our lightweight poreand heavyweight torpedo we need a shortfall. they need all of this to win in the model campaign and you have to have enough to reload. so you aren't standing around
saying we won but we're empty. that's kind of the baseline sir. >> general dunford? >> sir, thank you. we have adequate ammunition for today. we've taken risk in the am in igs that would be needed for major contingency as we've dealt with the budget challenges. the three major areas we had shortfalls are in our javelin systems and toad systems. those republican anti-tank systems. high-margin rockets, an artillery system, a rocket for our artillery. and a large number of smaller areas of munition that we're short. those are the main areas. again it has been a decision that we've made as we try to balance risk. for the marine corps as i mentioned in my opening statement, we'll always ensure that our units that are forward deployed have the wherewithal to accomplish the mission. we end up taking risk at home station and against any major contingency. that's what we've done in the case of ammunition. >> thank you. secretary mabus, you pointed out in the procurement process the
complications and added costs that come with that. are there programs that would benefit from cost reduction initiatives such as multi-year procurement or block buys that do not currently have those authorities? if there are, would you care to elaborate on them? >> well, thanks. senator, thanks to this committee in particular thanks to congress we've got multi-year authority on things like the "virginia" class submarines where we bought ten submarines for the price of nine because of that multi-year. we've got a multi-year on the marine osprey v-22s. and it's dramatically driven down the cost. we have a multi-year on our ddts 51s, our destroyers. block buys on our military
combat ship. any time we can do that we very much want to and appreciate this committee expanding those authorities to do that for weapons systems, for things like that, would certainly be helpful. but it's some of the things that i said in my opening statement, it is just basic business concepts. getting more competition in. doing some of these longer term things so that industry knows what we're going to buy, so that they can make the investments up front in infrastructure and job training, so that they can buy things and order quantities so that we can drive the cost down. the chart i held up just shows some of the steps that we have to go through, even if we get a multi-year. even if we get a block buy. we have to go through this very
convoluted process that really adds no value at the end and it doesn't give us a better weapons system. >> thank you. mr. chairman i'll yield back my nine seconds. >> that's very thoughtful. senator blumenthal, you have an extra nine seconds. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to begin by thanking all three of you for your extraordinary service to our nation. admiral greenert, particularly my personal thanks to you for your numerous visits to. connecticut and your strong advocacy of our navy strength particularly when it comes to submarines. i know that all of us on this committee and the american people join me in gratitude to you. i want to ask a question about submarines. the "virginia" payload model which i think is really
critically important to the "virginia" class submarines that we're going to be procuring and, as you know the "virginia" payload module adds significantly to the number of tomahawks that can be prepared. i think it is 76%. which will be especially important at a time when the number of boats in our fleet diminishes to minimum or below minimum strength. so i am wondering whether there is the possibility that that acquisition program -- i know that the "virginia" payload module, "virginia" class subs are going to be procured beginning in 2019 with one, and then in subsequent year one. whether that program can be accelerated so that more of the "virginia" class boats have the
bpm and are able to increase their capacity to deliver that kind of attack. >> we're going to look at that, senator, and by i think in april/may we'll be done studying that. we'd like to do that. we have to look at the technical risk associated with that. so if it is feasible we will give it a good try to get that done. if we go to that year, '18, we're into secretary just mentioned a block buy. we have a block buy in there so we're going to have to transition that bridge, if you will, into trying to manipulate such a major part into a block buy. so i don't know what it will do to the vendor but we'll have to study that. >> what do you think is the timetable for making that determination? >> by play we should have an answer. we'll be very close with your committee and make sure they know -- i'm sorry with your staff and make sure they know how it is coming along. >> if you could keep us informed, i would appreciate it. >> will do yes, sir.
>> let me move to an issue that i know concerns all of you. the imactpact of post traumatic care for men and women in uniform. jen dunford i've know you've been verya aattentive that issue. are you satisfied with this in dealing with the posttraumatic stress and brain injury which as you also know is not only a threat to readiness and also suicide and other facts. >> senator, we consciously protected those programs as we built the president's budget in 2016. but i would tell you again it goes back to what happens with bca a'sa levels or sques radiation
s ors or sequestration. i will be increasingly more difficult to protect those kind of programss as we draw down the budget further. >> the connectivity to the veterans administration on mental health issue, on a number of the personnel related issues has been questioned. and challenged in this very room by va officials and by other members of the department of defense. i wondering whether there is more that you can see being done to better relate and transfer information that is important to disability claims to healthcare and the va and so forth. >> absolutely. that is one of the critical things we do particularly for our wounded or injured as we move them from active duty to the va. we've got a goal in days of how long it takes to move someone,
both navy and marine carp are under -- corps are under that goal. we're doing it faster. but the goal is not a quick goal. it is too long and we need to get better at that. we need to get better at having systems that talk to each other between d.o.d. and the va. and it is something that we're very, very conscious of. and trying to eliminate some of the duplication in terms of disability determination that both dod and the va run. and sometimes they do the same things just at different times. >> thank you. thanks mr. chairman. >> thank you mr. chairman. thank you for being here today general dunford i'd like to start with you sir.
the budget we have right now in front of us reflects a switch from land-based operations, large scale battle, back to being a quick reactionary force for the marines. and i know that the marines are going to adapt accordingly. they always do that very well. but i do worry that our forces are going through a lot of uncertainty with financial constraints. and we seem to be caught off guard by our adversaries. our enemies are capturing stockpiles of weapons. some of which are the m-16s and the m-4s. using this individual weapon system for 50 years now. it was developed in 1964. this still remains our soldier and our airmen's basic rifle. and that puts us at an equal playing level with our adversaries on the ground. is it possible that while we're
taking a look at advancing our ship, mod miezernizeing ships and modernizing aviation platforms within the budget is there room to move on advancing weapon systems that put us at a technological advantage over our adversaries? >> senator thanks for that question. and that actually is one of my greatest concerns. you know, we know historically the marine corps needs to invest a minimum of the 11 or 12% of our overall authority into the mod nation. capability development. this year we're about 9%. so lower than historically. and i am concerned about it. today i think we're doing a pretty good job of resetting our capabilities to the fight that we had yesterday. i'm not satisfied we're investing enough in the capabilities that we need to fight tomorrow. and what your suggestion is mod nation of things like weapon systems. i would say this. i agree with your point that we need to be able to do that.
but also would just make a point that it's not just a weapon. it is whose behind the weapon. so it's still not a fair fight. it is the marine behind the weapon the that makes the m-16 most effective. your point about increased investment in these areas. that is one of the sacrifices we've made and we continue to fight today's fight and we have taken risk in our capable development. >> exceptional. thank you general for pointing out it is the marine behind the weapon system and making sure we're training them appropriately and have the means do that is extremely important. one thing that i would love to address to both admiral and to you as well general and secretary. in the statements we talittle bit about the total force that we have out there. which would include not only our active duty personnel but those reserve members that are being used as operational forces. and i would love to hear you
elaborate a little bit about the role that our reserve members have played in back-filling for your components. >> i would be remiss if i didn't acknowledge this is the 110 anniversary of the navy reserves. so happy anniversary. >> happy anniversary. >> we're unable to function without our navy reserve today. they have gone from folks that were there for a strategic force in case of the big war to now they are part of our total force. they do our logistics. all of our logistics. a lot of our medical. they are in cyber in a huge way. as we go to the unmanned and the remote areas they are or operators in waits. and a lot of them fully in that regard. they do our river force. the sub meern t ships out and around the world. and they co-building partnership
capacity. there are other areas they are working their way in into. very effective force woven into the fiber of who we are today. >> thank you. >> senator thanks. our ability to meet the kbant commander requirements on a day to day basis and in stons spo response a major con extension is inextricably linked todd marine reserve. when we look at requirements over the next couple years we have a generation plan that fully integrates reserves into the ability to immediate those forward presence requirements every day. that so us is what we mean when you use the term operation reserve what it means is we're using them on a day to day basis to not not only the routine requirements but a historic need. >> thank you very much. thank you mr. chairman. >> thank you mr. chairman and gentlemen thank you for your service and a particular alo ha
to admiral green, this ert this being your last posture testimony. i'm very committed to the asia pacific and we had a discussion about that between you and me. so it is really important our efforts to maintain stability in thease asia pacific area is important to national security even as there are conflicts arising in the other parts of the world. and as you stated in your testimony, quote, we must have the right platforms and rights places to ensure ow friends and allies ourns commitment, end quote. so the rebalance has to be more than rhetoric. and i trust that the navy as it updates strategic lay down and disperseal plans will ensure future plans reflect the rebalance of equipment personnel and partnership opportunities.
and i certainly look forward to further discussions with you. secretary, doourng this budget reflects our continued commitment to the rebalance with sufficient specificity? >> senator i do. the commitment to the rebalance is real. it is absolute. and you can begin to see the things that are already happening. you are seeing the second deployment of an lcs to singapore singapore. and by 2017 we'll have four lcss in singapore. the crew wills fall in on the shils instead of the ships coming home. today you are seeing deployments to australia. and that will go to nearly 2500 special purpose marine air ground task force.
you are seeing the plans that we have to put our newest equipment, both ships and aircraft in the region. and we're going from about 55% of our fleet in the pacific to 60%. but i think the important number is that the fleet is getting bigger. so that 60% of this fleet is going to be bigger than the fleet of the past. we in this budget specifically have the resources to carry out that. but i will echo admiral greenert and general dunford. this is the minimum that we have to have in order to do not only the rebalance but all of the other missions that we're called upon to do.