tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN May 1, 2015 1:00am-3:01am EDT
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twitter. we see here in the new york daily news that the aerial contraption a florida mailman flew through miles of restricted airspace before landing at the u.s. capitol a couple weeks ago was indistinguishable from a flock of birds a kite or a balloon. that came from testimony by michael huerta the head of the federal aviation administration before the house oversight committee yesterday. during the two-hour hearing the chairman of the panel republican jason chaffetz said the gyrocopter should have been blown out of the air.
and what the people of baltimore are going through, our hearts and prayers and thoughts are with you and your neighbors and your friends and your community the police officers and we're roud of you and the way you're conducting this and getting through it and you are a true leader. i would hope the people of baltimore, maryland, would listen to your message and -- but know that our thoughts and prayers are with you. >> mr. chairman, i wanted to take this moment to not only thank you but thank the members of our committee and who have expressed their concern about baltimore. and you, mr. chairman, have a kind of unique perspective because you had a chance to visit baltimore with me before you even became chairman. so you had a chance to see what -- what the issues are in our city. so i'm looking forward to working with you and others to try to you know, heal some of
that pain. i do appreciate you and i will never forget your visit and people in my city will not forget your visit. thank you for your comments. >> well thank you. we will be conducting this hearing a little differently today. i'm going to ask unanimous consent that we're going to change the order here. that they will recognize our panel, allow them to give their opening statements and then we will go into recess. we will reconvene we will give our opening statements and then we will get into questions. but given that we have the very historic presence of the japanese prime minister here to address a joint session of congress we're particularly sensitive that, for instance, one of our witnesses the house sergeant of arms mr. paul irving, has to leave us early in order to fulfill his duties and to accommodate his schedule i would ask unanimous consent to forego opening statements for us. we will come back and give them later. and swear in the witnesses and begin their testimony.
without objections, so ordered. we will get as far as we can and recess so members can join the joint session, we will reconvene 30 minutes after the conclusion of the joint session to continue our hearing. without oaks so ordered. so we will now recognize our panel of witnesses first we have the honorable paul irving sergeant of articles at the u.s. house of representatives essay company by tom loji tempt deputy sergeant of arms. we also have admiral william gortney, commander of norad the u.s. north come mr. robert -- help me with the pronunciation salesses deputy secretary of defense for homeland integration and defense support of civil authorities at the united states department of defense, the honorable michael huerta administrator of the faa, the federal aviation administration, the honorable joseph clancy director of the united states
secret service, mr. robert maclean chief of the united states park police and mr. kim dine chief of the united states capitol police. we welcome you all. approximate you are sunt to committee rules all witnesses are to be sworn before they testify. mr. blojet you are included as well. we would can:that all members -- or all of the panel please rise and raise your right hand. do you solemnly swear or affirm that the testimony you're about to give will be the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth? thank you. you may be seated. let the record reflect that all the witnesses answered in the affirmative. >> all of your written statements will be entered into the record. we would ask that you would limit your verbal comments to five minutes. we're going to recognize mr. irving first. at the conclusion of those remarks we are going to excuse him so he can tend to the duties of escorting the prime minister into the house of representatives. mr. irving you are now recognized for five minutes. >> thank you.
good morning mr. chairman mr. cummings and member of the committee. i appreciate the opportunity to appear before you today. as sergeant in arms and chief law enforcement officer of the house of are representatives i'm fully dedicated to ensuring the safety of the entire capitol complex, a permission formed in close consultation with the capitol business board and capitol police. before i begin i'd like to extend my thanks to all the men and women of the u.s. capitol police for their professional response to the incident on april 15th. u.s. capitol police officers and officials romtly sobbed to the west frond and arrested the individual and ensured the craft was harmless. we're currently working closely about with our partners in federal law enforcement, the department of defense, transportation and homeland security to maintain robust airspace security within the challenging on fines of the urban environment of the national capitol region. working with our partners to ensure the most efficient and robust early detection, tracking and warning systems, ensuring
there is consistent and constant interagency communication and early warning communicated in realtime. improving and ensuring immediate an onis going communicationsen alerts to members and staff during a security incident and honing the counter measures and policies consistent with those counter measures. since the event i have ordered the chief of the capitol police to utilize the house notification system to alert members, staff and to the extent possible visitors in as timely a manner as possible, to alert regarding all life safety and potentially threatening events that affect the capitol community. the incident on april 15th reminds us all the greatest asset of the capitol can at times be one of our greatest challenges, however every incident allows you to refine our capability enhance our training and be better prepared for every event actuality. i'm happy to answer questions. thank you, lk. >> i thank you. please be excused and tend to your duties.
we thank you and we look forward to seeing you back at the conclusion of that event. >> admiral, you are now recognized for five minutes. >> chairman chaffetz, ranking member cummings and distinguished members of the committee i'm honored to be here today. from a national security perspective i want to emphasize the sensitivity of these discussions in an unclassified environment. an open discussion of each unclassified information could be pieced together to pose a risk to our national security, therefore, i cannot go into many of the specific tails i deem sensitive in an unclassified environment, however, this a closed session i'm ready and able to talk to you in much detail as you need. norad's role is to provide airspace warning and control, to defend the united states and canada, including the national capitol region from all potential air threats. airspace surrounding the national capitol region known as the washington, d.c. special flights rules area is upon toward by a sophisticated integrated air defense system which is a vast network of radars cameras and other detection warning devices. each system is designed to detect, track and monitor
specific parameters. the integrated air defense system was implemented following and in direct response to the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and has continued to evolve with the threat over time. we are extremely capable of identifying attracting potential threats to the national capitol region anything from commercial aviation down to single propeller aircraft, however, a small manned gyrocopter or similar low altitude low speed aerial vehicles despite its assessed low threat presents a technical challenge. this is an interagency effort that collectively understands the technical challenges associated with these types of threats and vehicle and with our partners here at the table we will continue to implement technical and procedural solutions to close any seams. i know the committee has questions and i look toward to talking to you -- with you today. >> thank you. appreciate it. mr. salesses. >> thank you, chairman chaffetz ranking member cummings and distinguished members of the
committee. i'd like to thank you for the opportunity to address the department of defenses role in securing the airspace of washington, d.c. i'd like to acknowledge that aspects of this issue are sensitive to the department of defense from a national security standpoint. i look forward to continuing this discussion in a classified setting. because i know there is much to discuss i will be brief. to this end there are four points i would like to emphasize today. number one defending the stwat is the department of defense's highest priority. number two the department of defense is well post toured to defend the united states, number three, the department works very closely with its federal partners and law enforcement to protect the national capitol airspace. and last, the department continually pursues opportunities to enhance our homeland defense capabilities. the national security strategy makes it clear the united states government has no greater responsibility than protecting the american people. our national defense strategy makes protecting and defending the homeland the department's
first priority. to the men and women of the department of defense, military and civilian, these specific words are the reason they serve and the very core for their professional lives -- of their professional lives. every day these fine men and women whether serving here at home or some far off location across the globe dedicate themselves to protecting the american people and defending the united states. due to the leadership of the president, the secretary of defense and the congresses stead fast support dod is well postured with the authorities and capabilities necessary to defend the homeland. under admiral fwort knee's leadership and command the men and women of norad execute operation noble eagle, monitoring the u.s. airspace conducting military operations to dissuade, deter and if necessary defeat airborne threats. in this effort to secure the skies over our nation's capital the men and women of the
department of defense do not survey loan. they are joined by the counterparts at the department of homeland security department of transportation, the department of justice and our law enforcement partners in a whole of government approach to protecting the national airspace. working together we have built a network of barriers to protect the national airspace system against any and all threats. we have improved our threat detection capabilities, i object greeted our threat responses and refined our procedures to optimize response effectiveness. we continually look for opportunities to improve our defenses. we understand that no matter how good we are the adversary remains committed and we can always be better. to this end we're dedicated to continual improvement of our policies, procedures and operational capabilities. working with our federal partners we test we plan, we exercise to improve our
effectiveness. this is what the nation expects, we are committed to meeting this expectation and this is our obligation. thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today. we appreciate your leadership mr. chairman, and members of the committee and your support of the men and women of the department of defense. i look forward to your questions. >> thank you. mr. huerta. >> thank you, chairman chaffetz, ranking member cummings, members of the committee for the opportunity to appear before you today. i'd like to address your questions about the recent gyrocopter incident by explaining the faa's role in airspace security and how we coordinate with other agencies. first and foremost, the faa's mission is aircraft and airspace safety. we operate the nation's air traffic control system in order to separate aircraft. our primary focus is on getting aircraft safely to their destinations and managing the throw of thousands of aircraft and their passengers around the country every day. in addition to the faa safety mission, we also work very
crowsly with the departments of defense and homeland security on a daily basis to support their aviation security missions. particularly here in the capitol region. as part of that support we provide them a raw air traffic radar feed so they have situational awareness of what is happening in our national airspace system. to enable our controllers to safely control air traffic the first thing we have to do is distinguish the aircraft that are communicating with controllers from all other objects in the air that are not aircraft. these other objects that the radar defects could be things like vehicles on nearby roadways, flocks of birds weather events or occasional kites and balloons. air traffic controllers could not do their jobs if they had to work with an unfiltered radar feed. they would not bl able to distinguish the aircraft from other elements on their radar scopes. we require aircraft that fly in the airspace around washington, d.c. and other large cities across the country to use transponders that broadcast basic information such as the
type of aircraft its speed, direction and altitude. when radar defects those aircraft it picks up the transponder information and it displays it on an air traffic controller's radar screen. controllers can see all the flights in a specific area along with the i had buying information from each aircraft. anything that doesn't have a transponder shows up as an emergency representing a simple small dot on the radar screen and there are typically' many of them across a controller's radar screen. to assist controllers in focusing on safely managing air traffic we apply filters to the controller's radar to eliminate the vast majority of those small dots. safely managing air traffic is a controller's mission and they must be able to do that without distraction. now, to support national and homeland security the paa shares a realtime unfiltered radar feed with our partners at the department of defense and several other agencies. we do that so they have the same information that we have and so
they can apply the appropriate filters for their own mission, to protect the airspace. we also embed technical air traffic staff at a number of north american airspace defense command facilities around the country to provide additional operating expertise and support. on april 15 mr. hughes' gyrocopter appeared on our radar as one of those small unidentified elements. indistinguishable from all other non-aircraft radar tracks. the national capitol region coordination center called the faa at 1:24 p.m. that afternoon to alert us to the flight based on information they received from the u.s. capitol police. after the incident we conducted a forensic radar analysis and looked for an image that might match mr. mousse's gyrocopter. we understood he had taken off from a small airport in gettysburg, pennsylvania and we had an approximate approximate time. so we looked at unfiltered radar at that time at that. a trained radar analyst identified a slow moving image that traveled from gettysburg
toward the capitol and vanished from radar about the time mr. hughes landed on the west lawn. we now believe that unidentified radar element was mr. hughes' gyrocopter, but the dot appeared only intermittently throughout that flight. when we got the call from the capitol police we immediately note tied our interagency partners on the domestic events network or den, a 24-hour, seven days a week uh-huh and huh-uh case line we operate to support a shared situational awareness among our agencies partners. we initiated the den more than a decade ago to quickly share information about activity in the airspace with multiple agencies. it now includes more than 130 federal and local agencies as well as major faa air traffic facilities arne the country. the den has played a critical role in dis sem information to other agencies as quickly as possible. each agency has a responsibility to announce an airspace incident on the den as soon as they know about it. we're committed it to our safety mission at the faa and we're
dedicated to working closely with all of our airspace security partners to support protection of our air space. we're assisting the department of homeland security in its ongoing interagency review and this ns in addition to our own internal review to ensure that faa employees followed all the proper procedures and protocols during the event. if we immediate to make changes as a result of these efforts we will and i will keep the committee informed. i would be happy to take your questions. >> thank you. director clancy. >> good morning chairman chaffetz, ranking member couple i think so am and distinguished members of the committee. thank you for the opportunity to be here to discuss the secret service's role within the broader effort to secure the airspace of the national capitol region or the ncr, the long standing relationships between interagency partners many of which are represented here today, are critical to ensuring the security of people and places given protection by the secret service and others. the secret service must be prepared to confront and defeat
evolving threats, including those from small manned and unsmand aircraft systems as these technologies become both more advanced and more widely available the secret service will continue to work aggressively with our partners to address existing threats and anticipate those to come. existing faa flight restrictions and the ncr were enhanced following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. the faa implemented the special rights -- i'm sorry, special flight rules area which includes within its boundaries the flight restricted zone and prohibited area p 56 or area 56. the white house, the vice president's residence and the u.s. capitol are located within the p 56. the secret service's role in the administration of the restricted airspace is limited to issuing waivers for access to the p 56 in consultation with the capitol police and park police. airspace security for the ncr is coordinated by the interagency national capitol region coordination center. the center was created after the
september 11th 2001 terrorist attacks to provide realtime information sharing and tactical coordination to address potential airborne threats in and around the washington, d.c. area. it is staffed at all times with personally trained personnel assigned to the secret service airspace security branch, in addition to representatives from the military, the faa and selected federal civilian law enforcement agencies. the mission of the secret service airspace security branch is to give early notification to the protective details and uniform division and provide realtime information to allow appropriate time to make i believe formed decisions about actions to take to ensure the security of our protect tease and protected sites. given the pace at which events can unfold in an air incursion mabs piesing the time to react is critical. presently the airspace security branch combines radar feeds from a number of so rss to create an image of the airspace. this image is monitored by the detection system specialist who
have military or civilian radar backgrounds. with respect to the history between the secret service and douglas mark hughes, the pilot from the april 15th incident, hughes first came to the attention of the secret service on october 4th 2013. at that time the secret service obtained information at that houston tended to fly a single seat aircraft on to the grounds of the capitol or the white house with no specific time frame provided. that same day the secret service relayed the information to our law enforcement partners at the capitol police. the following day special agents from the secret service interviewed hughes who denied owning an aircraft or having plans to fly one to washington, d.c. however, subsequent crab testify interviews revealed differently. purt, the investigation revealed no evidence of an interest in persons or places protected by the secret service and information regarding hughes was made available to other interested law enforcement agencies in the national capitol region.
regarding events leading up to the april 15th incident i want to be clear. at no time did the secret service receive actionable advanced notice or any information that was -- that this event was taking place. while the secret service received telephone calls on the date of the incident at no time was information provided in the calls that would have alerted our personnel to the fact that hughes was piloting his air raft to the capitol. as a gyrocopter flew in the direction of the capitol it was observed by secret service personnel in the area of the white house complex. these individuals subsequently real laid that information through their chain of command. while in the process of making the appropriate notifications the aircraft landed and the incident was acknowledged on the faa domestic events network effectively notifying all relevant parties. that day and the days that followed the secret service field offices gathered information regarding hughes and his activities leading up to the event. while the capitol police are the lead investigative agency in this matter, the secret service stands ready to continue to
contribute any resources necessary and to work collectively with our partners. protection of the president, his family and the white house is paramount to this agency. the partnerships represented here today are critical to the success of our mission as it relates to effectively addressing airborne threats. continued interagency coordination is vital to ensuring safety and security in the airspace of the ncr. chairman chaffetz ranking member cummings and members of the committee this concludes my testimony and i welcome any questions you may have. >> thanks. director. chief mcclain you are now recognized. >> mr. chairman, ranking member cummings and member of the committee, hugh for the opportunity to discuss the united states park police involvement in the april 15th 2015 gyrocopter incident in washington, d.c. my name is robert mclain, i am the leave of the united states park police. united states park police established in 1791 is the oldest uniform federal law enforcement agency in the it united states. the park police which is
primarily responsible for safety and prime revenge this park lands administered by the national park service has enjoyed a long history of partnership and koord nation with the numerous public safety protection aviation and defense agencies within the national capitol region. in the district of columbia the park police has primary jurisdiction over federal park land which comprises approximately 22% of the district of columbia. including the national mall east and west potomac parks rock creek park, anticostia park and many of the small triangle parks in the district. the park police officers who proudly and diligently patrol federal park land every day are trained to identify, report and investigate violations of law and suspicious or unusual activity. although the park police has an aviation unit that flies law enforcement, medevac and search and rescue missions within the national capitol region the park
police does not have primary responsibility of airspace defense. as such the park police did you see duz not have radar detection capability nor does it have the appropriate tools to engage or defend against an aircraft in the airspace above these parks. those primary responsibilities and capabilities rest with other federal agencies. on wednesday, april 15th, 2015 at approximately 1:20 p.m. a park police officer observed and reported an aircraft later identified as a gyrocopter operated by mr. doug hughes. it was operating near the lincoln memorial and estimated it to be approximately 100 feet off the ground and traveling eastbound towards the united states capitol. the officer made a request to the park police dispatch center to contact the united states capitol police. a patrol supervisor confirmed the observation and requested the park police dispatch center notify the park police aviation union which in turn contacted
the national capitol region coordination center to report an aircraft in restricted airspace. another park police officer observed and followed the aircraft eastbound in his patrol vehicle. to where the aircraft landed on the west grounds of the united states capitol. the park police officer arrived at the capitol grounds and observed the u.s. capitol police arresting mr. hughes. at that point the park police became an assisting agency to the united states capitol police on the scene and at their command post. mr. chairman, this concludes my statement. i will be pleased to respond to any questions you and other members may have. >> thank you, chief dine. you are now recognized for five minutes. >> mr. chairman ranking member couple i think so am members of the committee, good morning and thank you for the opportunity to squus the event that occurred on wednesday, april 15th and the actions taken by the united states capitol police. i will begin by providing a timeline of the events and will gladly answer any questions that you may have. it it is important to note that this is an ongoing criminal investigation.
on wednesday, april 15th at 12:59 p.m. an individual from the tampa bay times sent an e-mail to the u.s. capitol police public information officer stating that a local man was planning on flying a gyrocopter as part of a protest and was -- would be attempt to go land on the west front. this individual inquired if the uscp was aware of the flight and if permission had been obtained. no time or date information was provided regarding this flight. at 1:00 p.m. the same individual called the uscp command center and stated to an officer that he had information about a man who was planning to fly a drone on to the maul and on to the west front of the capitol. he stated that he had called the u.s. secret service and they advised had him to call the united states capitol police. he also stated that this man who he identified as douglas hughes had received permission from the u.s. secret service and the uscp and he was calling to confirm that permission was granted. no time or date or actionable information was provided regarding the flight during this
telephone, either. the officer advised this individual had a she was not aware of any approvals to land a drone, they were transferred to a sergeant in the command center and this individual repeated that he had told the officer, except now he referred to the aircraft as a gyrocopter. the sergeant advised that no approval existed for a gyrocopter to land on the capitol grounds, the caller advised the sergeant that hughes live feed to be seen on hughes website which he provided. at this point in the conversation the conversation concluded and during the conversation no mention was made that the landing was imminent. at 1:07 p.m. the u.s. capitol police public information officer responded to this e-mail by immediately forwarding it to the investigations division currently the command center personnel went into the provided website -- when to the provided website but did not find the live feed noted by the individual by the tampa bay times. the command center notified the investigations division and the public information officer. as the command center was attempted to validate any air flight information with the uscp
staff at the national capitol coordination center the gyrocopter landed at approximately 1:23 p.m. at 1:21 p.m. just prior to the landing an officer posted on the pennsylvania avenue walkway in the west front was approached by a reporter who asked if he had seen a helicopter yet. the officer stated he had not seen a helicopter and con ult issed with another officer to determine if they were aware of it any prohibited airspace overflights. during this discussion the officers observed the inbound gyrocopter over union square nearly atop the grant memorial. the officers immediately notified the communications sent is ter and subsequently reported the landing of the gyrocopter. this information was immediately broadcast over the radio for situational awareness and response. the uscp officers immediately assessed the threat in accordance with department policy and training as the suchlt cp personnel quickly facilitated the movement of the public on the west front away from the gyrocopter. once the gyrocopter rotor stopped, uscp officers quickly approached the subject and took him into custody.
the sub did not resist and was compliant with police direction. a k-9 unit immediately approached and swept the gyrocopter and showed interest in the area of the engine and fuel compartment, which was expected. incident command was established at 1:26 p.m., the west front was closed and vehicular traffic restricted on first street between constitution and independence avenues along with maryland and pennsylvania avenues to third street. as this was occurring the investigations division provided the commanders in the command center with information about the subject from the internet video publicizes the subject's own sip of the gyrocopter his intentions to deliver a box of letters to congress if in reference to campaign finance reform and his investigative history with both the uscp and u.s. secret service. the command center notified the ncrcc of the situation. while a k-9 sweep was occurring a capitol division commander directed a brief lock down of the capitol and cvc. when the lock down was announced the uniformed services commander who was in the command center consulted with the incident
commander. usb commander decided to lift the lockdown of the capitol based on the following facts the k-9 had not alerted to the body of the gyrocopter but had shown interest only in the area of the engine and fuel compartment, the subject was in this custody and compliant with directions, the size of the small package area of the gyrocopter was limited to two backpack size boxes, information provided by the investigations division that the intent of the pilot was clearly expressed in his video and the uscp had established a strong perimeter from the gyrocopter with distance from the capitol. the exterior of the perimeter stayed in effect due to the extremely short time frame between the lockdown order and the direction to ift will the lockdown no messages were sent to the congressional community advising of the lock down. the uscp as douse devices section responded to this incident and utilized a robot to investigate the gyrocopter. since the robot could not access the two boxes in the gyrocopter 2:21 p.m. the personnel dawned protective gear gear and took
x-rays. the gyrocopter was determined to be clear of any hazards. traffic was subsequently released and the crime seen pros sd. it is important to note while suchlt scp does not control prohibited airspace over washington, d.c. we do monitor this airspace and we are directly linked to other federal agencies related it this this controlled airspace. on april 15th this gyrocopter did not register on radar as a threat and therefore was not raised as a concern among our federal partners. we take the monitoring of ro hibted airspace very seriously which is why we have a designated airspace coordinator and have assigned liaisons to provide immediate linkage to critical information regarding identified airspace threats. information about identified airspace threats allows you to make inn tormd decisions regarding the safety of our stakeholders, congressional community and the capitol complex. thank you again for the opportunity to discuss this event which occurred on wednesday, april 18th 2015. i am very proud of the
professional and immediate actions taking by members of the u.s. capitol police in addressing this incident. i would be happy to answer any questions the committee may have at this time. >> thank you. as previously announced, the committee is going to recess so that we can -- members will be allowed to hear the prime minister of japan as he addresses the joint session of congress. we will reconvene approximately 30 minutes after the conclusion of that. we appreciate your patience, the committee is in recess.
the committee will come to order. thank you for your patience. i know you're all very busy. the chair would like to notify members, remind members, that no subcommittee will start until the full committee is finished. we do have two subkpes that plan to meet at 2:00 we also have votes tall happen in 45 minutes. we will try to do this as swiftly as possible but i wanted to note that for members and those that might be showing up for the 2:00 hearing that is going to occur in this meeting. let's address why we're here today, the gyrocopter incident that happened two weeks ago. the 9/11 commission after that terrible horrific terrorist attack wrote, quote the most important failure was one of imagination imagination. we do not believe leaders
understood the gravity of the threat, unquote. we're here today because we need to understand who saw what and when, who communicated what, did it work, is it we learn those lessons of tragedies of past? on april 15th a pan in a gyrocopter was able to fly through the highly restricted airspace of the national capitol region and land on the west lawn of the capitol. he started off in the north came, went over the lincoln memorial right past -- into the airspace surrounding the white house, right past the washington memorial and landed on the lawn of the capitol. unbelievable. he first told the federal authorities about this, it came on the radar about two years ago and the national capitol region is unique in the department of defense, transportation and homeland security along with the capitol police national park police and the congressional setting of arms all have roles to play in protecting the
airspace. as best i can tell in in region there are roughly 32 law enforcement agencies that have some form of jurisdiction in the safety and security of the washington, d.c. area. but it's still unclear -- unclear who on this panel was ultimately responsible for first identifying this object, entering restricted airspace and then for responding to it. at this point ignorance is no longer an excuse when it comes to drone and small aircraft. in january a drone crash landed on the white house lawn, it's becoming very common throughout the world the gyrocopter incident after -- after the gyrocopter incident a drone with radioactive material landed on the japanese prime minister's residence. dozens of unaccounted drones have flown over the streets of paris since last october and a drone crashed in front of the german chancellor merkel at a rally in this 2013. there have been several instances involving the white house, involving helicopters and small aircraft and this is a
pervasive threat it's been there for a long time, it isn't going anywhere and when we show this time of vulnerability i worry that the shine that it will inevitably be taken down and taken down hard has gone away. someone should have identified that this type of threat -- we aren't prepared to meet or that our enemies would exploit. our defensive technology must be able to prevent and respond to uncoulden vengs nl and emerging threats. we need to have that creativity to understand that the would be terrorist and those people who want to see arm to the united states of america will likely be creative. but in in gyrocopter incident he was loud and clear what he was going to do. in fact, he was live streaming it. and yet none of it, nobody seemed to pick that up. news outlets did they sent staff, they sent reporters down along to watch it. the united states military has
researched drones since world war 1, for the last 13 years used them to fight against terrorists yet the primary drone detection technology currently used by the faa, norad, the secret service and the capitol police is roughly 70 years old. this antiquated technology can't even tell the dwirchs between a bird, a drone, a gyrocopter or just plain old weather, even a my lar balloon sets things off where people are hesitant to do anything because it might just be a balloon. i understand we will hear today about the pentagon's effort to improve our capability to identify and intercept small aerial threats. this is the same technology customs and border control has used on the border for years, long periods of time. they have been dealing with this type of gyrocopters and hang gliders and all sorts of these types of small aircraft on the borders for decades. they have been dealing with this for a long time did we ever learn if i of those lessons? do we need to bring cbp in here to help protect the capitol
region? ne seem to figure it out. the stakes are higher interagency intelligence sharing and communications coordination can never ever fail us. we must make sure all agencies with the role in the national security effectively communicate with each other. so hopefully we will hear today how the agencies represented here have effectively communicated about threats to their counterparts. quite frankly i didn't learn much in your opening statements. that was as bland as we could possibly have been. we're here to address a serious topic, we're not going to just stand here and say well it's classified we can't talk about it because evidently when you have been talking about it hasn't gotten done. i like other members of congress and congressional staff and visitors to the capitol also have concerns about the communication breakdown and alerting the capitol community about this incident. the first capitol wide alert came at 5:03 p.m., several hours after the incident was over. i look forward to hearing about
how the sergeant of arms and the capitol police have updated their policies it to prevent a break dunn like this from ever happening again. it certainly shouldn't have ever happened in the first place. it was very disappointing that three of the agencies here, the faa, the department of defense, for rad and the park police chose not to brief members of congress last week. now, i do appreciate capitol police, the sergeant of arms and the secret service for making themselves available. we had four agents, four committees four committee chairmen, four ranking members ask for your presence to have a behind the scenes closed door briefing on this topic and for whatever reason the faa, the department of defense and the park police refused to brief members of congress. that doesn't give us a whole lot of confidence, folks. and we will yank you up here time and time again until we get answers in the public. we are different than the rest of the world. we are different.
we're self-critical. don't take it so personally. understand this is how we make america the greatest country on the face of the planet. we do it this in an open and transparent way, but when you won't even talk to members in a closed-door meeting, that's not acceptable. it's a waist of our time it's a waste of the other people's time. we need results. because we had some yahoo in a gyrocopter land right over there and it didn't work. and i got these opening statements from you that shed no light other than a timeline and how big a space the park police protects. it didn't work. we need candor. i want to, again, thank director clancy, chief dine and mr. irving for their responsiveness to requests. i can tell you we have had a lot of interactions with the secret service that haven't been the most less ant but i will thank that agency for being so accessible in their
communications and particularly mr. clancy he has made himself available on the mobile phone and calling us and making sure that he is available here and i want to publicly thank him for that even though we have had our differences. we understand that the mission is difficult to fulfill but you are here today because you have been entrusted to accomplish it. we want to help that. we're in the middle of our appropriate appreciations season we can't ever have this mission fail. with that i will now recognize the ranking member mr. cummings for five minutes. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. unlike previous hearings our committee has held with the secret service and the dea which involved misconduct by individual agents, today's hearing presents a different question. how should our nation deal with the relatively new and evolving threat of unmanned or small manned aerial vehicles entering the airspace over our nation's
capital? this is a question of technology and policy, both of which are rapidly evolving. in this case i do not personally believe the answers to condemn the capitol police for not shooting down the gyrocopter, i also do not believe we should rush to criticize federal agencies charged with responding to this threat. instead i believe the best course of action is to work collaboratively with both the capitol police and these federal agencies to understand the threat, understand it, and to strongly support their swron going efforts to enhance comment technologies, many of which are classified. so i thank the chairman for calling today's hearing on this very critical issue. i completely understand the frustration expressed by the chairman and others about this incident and let me be clear i share the frustration.
i said in a meeting the other day so often what happens is that we have a tendonsy to tell each other that everything will be fine when the rubber meets the road and then when it comes time for the rubber to meet the road we discover there is no road. the airspace around our nation's capital is supposed to be the most restricted in the world, yet a postal worker -- hello -- a postal worker from florida was able to fly his gyrocopter through 30 miles of restricted airspace before finally landing on capitol lawn. in this case the individual was only trying to make a peaceful demonstration, but we might not be so fortunate in the future. it takes almost no effort to
imagine what could have been. what if he had weapons? what if he were carrying a bomb? on the flip side it is also my understanding that based in part on classified briefings we have received that this individual is incredibly lucky to be alive today. the next person who tries something this stupid, and it was stupid hay not be so lucky. i'd like to thank all of the witnesses for testifying here today on such short notice. i also want to thank you for providing briefings last week, both classified and unclassified. your missions are extremely difficult and the lives of people throughout the district depend on your success. i look forward to hearing from each of you in an effort to address this very pressing situation. we all agree that our paramount interest in the continued
security of the airspace over the capitol in addressing any possible breaches as effectively and efficiently as possible that's what we're aiming at. it also a critical moment gentlemen, a very critical moment. by the way, it's wake-up call time. we live in a dangerous world with complex constantly evolving threats so it's imperative that we are prepared to counter them. in addressing these questions today, however the last thing we want to do -- the last thing -- is give a roadmap to those who want to harm us. i hope that you all agree on that. we don't want to do it anything that counters what you do every day and that is try to protect us. so obviously we need to treat this information responsibly and we do not want to highlight security vulnerabilities to
would be attackers because you can guarantee your bottom dollar they're watching. out of an abundance of caution i want to make 100% sure that owl of our witnesses understand that we do not -- we to not want you to discuss any sensitive information this this public forum. i think all of you know what i mean by sensitive. if you don't know, raise your hand now and let me know and we'll try to make sure you're clear what we're talking about. and i'm not trying to be smart, either. many of you have raised concerns about holding a public hearing on this topic and i understand your concerns, the chairman understands your concerns. our committee understands. after discussions with the chairman and his staff, and i want to thank him for this, we have agreed to set up a separate cleared room to address any sensitive issues at that may arise. the bottom line is that you are
the experts and we will defer to you on what can be discussed in this public setting. if our questions call for sensitive information, please let us know and we can reconvene in the closed setting to address those issues. our our sole purpose today is to help you counter the threats we face, not to expose our nation's capitol to greater danger by exposing operational details or security vulnerabilities. let me go back to something that the chairman said. i wholeheartedly agree with them on this. gentlemen, time is of the essence. time is of the essence. and i have not come here to ask you. i have come here to beg you to do whatever you have to do to get the technology, if we don't have it. to speed up the technology if
it's in the process. to more effectively and efficiently allow you to do the job that you are sworn to do. and i want to take this moment again to thank all of the people who work with you they are people who have come out here every day, trying to make sure that we're safe. and i want to publicly thank them on behalf of all of us for what they do every day. i want them to understand, and i know that the chairman agrees with me on this, although there may be criticism, it's about moving to a more effective and efficient system of protection for all of us. and so one of the best ways to do that, of course, is to make sure we have effective oversight, and again, mr. chairman, i want to thank you for calling the hearing, and with that, i yield back. >> i thank the gentleman.
i'll now recognize myself for five minutes. it starts with a simple question. who's in charge? you've got a dude in a gyrocopter 100 feet in the air crossing 30-plus miles of restricted air space. whose job is it to detect him and whose job is it to take him down? >> sir, as the commander of norad that's my responsibility and i'm accountable for that >> why didn't it happen? >> because we're working against physics, sir. our system is designed to detect, track, identify. we have a decision-making process to decide what to do. and then we engage. and that system is netted sensors, radars, cameras, and other capabilities that are out there, and we employ that system to the best of our ability, mitigate the risk to the best of our ability, but it's only capable down to a particular set of characteristics that the platform that we want to track and defend against is emitting. based on speed and based on size. and i can go into further
details in the classified session. >> your spokesperson in an article dated april 16th in "the baltimore sun" -- you had launched some balloons. it was designed to help officials spot low flying slow-moving targets. was it working? was it operational? >> it is not operational, sir. we put it up in aberdeen to test it. it is not netted into our system. and in the investigation we're goin' to find out was it able to detect that particular traffic. >> it wasn't operational on that day. >> it is not operational. it is in a test process right now. we're using it as a test
platform and it is not integrated into our system. should it prove to be effective, our choice is to put it into our system and make it operational but it is not operational today. >> u.s. customs and border patrol using the tethered system or tars. why aren't you using that. >> we think jlens has more promise. and the reason is i'll have to defer to the next session sir. >> who -- once you detect something whose job and role in responsibility is it to take it down? >> secretary of defense. deputy secretary of defense and if they are not there it is my decision or to my deputies. >> whose decision is it if they see something visually at the capitol hill police chief? >> mr. chairman as officers do every day, if they see something that is a threat to them or anyone else -- >> when did they see it? >> they saw it seconds before it
landed as it was above the statue at grand circle. >> what was the decision making tree at that point? >> they go through their training as far as threat and use of force training and i believe they in this instance made the appropriate decision based on the manner it landed the compliance of the pilot and the distance from the build. >> so we did have guns trained on it and decide not to fire. >> they made a diligent decision. >> as oppose fod shooting it down. >> yes, sir. >> you say in your written statement that the caller from the tampa bay times presumably advised the sergeant that hughes' live feed could be seen on his website which he provided. you later said but did not find the live feed noted by the tampa
bay times. we had news organizations sending their reporters down there because they were watching it. >> clearly the media knew about this ahead of time. when we got the call and that one e-mail we immediately began to investigate. and minutes later he landed. >> you told me last week personally that you would provide to me that e-mail. yet we have not been provided that e-mail. will you provide this committee that e-mail. >> why absolutely yes, sir. >> we have also been asked to meet with the individual, i'd like this committee, certainly myself the ranking member house administration candice miller and her ranking member to meet with the if people who had their guns up ready to fire. will you make those people available us. >> absolutely. >> will chairman yield just a second. when will we get the e-mail that chairman just asked you about? >> i can provide it to you
immediately. >> that means right after this hearing? >> yes, sir. >> thank you. last question before i turn it over to the ranking member. you saying your written statement chief, the due to the short time frame between the order and the effort to lift the lockdown no messages were sent advising the lockdown. the gyro captor landed at 1:23. later it was determined to be clear of any hazards at 2:57 p.m. and yet it was 5:03 p.m. before any notice went out. why did it take so long. >> we needily fixed that. the ned day i put out a directive to put out messages to the entire community that effect the community. no one got a lockdown message. we did send some messages out. but that matter has been fixed. we had an overly complex notification system.
and we have immediately fixed that and that will not happen. >> and to the sergeant of arms mr. irving welcome back. why didn't we get notification there was a potential threat? >> there was a mix up in the command center. lack of communication between my staff and the command -- capitol police command staff. that will not happen again as the chief said. we have fixed that. we vowed that won't happen again. >> they are the same people, they are in the same room correct? >> it is correct. they are all in the same room. and the notification should have gone out. it was an error. and most cases the notifications do go out. we had had incident the prior weekend. they were flawless. in this case they were not. and we assure you that it will not happen again. >> thank you. i'll now recognize the ranking member and the general for maryland for five minutes.
>> thank you. chief, i want to ask you about the capitol police and current policies when to use lethal force. the chairman and others have suggested that you should have shot down the gyro captor but others disagree. you seem to disagree. this incident was not the first time the capitol police have had to make a life or death judgment call in a manner of seconds. 1998 a deranged individual burst through the doors of the capitol and shot and killed two capitol police officers. that was a tragic event and i'm certain that it is on the minds of sever singevery single capitol police officer serving these doors. a do you believe the shooting in 1998 influenced how the capitol police handle threat of this nature and when this accident
happened. >> yes, sir. in fact every threat this agency and other agencies face ends up influencing the history of that agency and the policies they put in place. >> well can you please tell us what impact if any does that shooting have on the policies used by the capitol police today? how did that effect it. >> we changed our security posture. and of course i'd be glad to discuss that more in closed session. but we drastically closed our security posture throughout the capitol in terms of methods and staffing. in this instance today we're talking about today as in any instance where an officer has to make a split second decision to use force or not to save their lives or other lives. that's what officers are up against every day. and in this particular instance given all the ramifications we discussed, i think they made the appropriate decision. but that is a challenge officers face every single day whether on a checkpoint, during a traffic
stop. when they are stopping people around the campus, etc. >> without going into any classified information tell me this. did this incident -- this incident that we're talking about today has that caused you all to change anything about your policies with regard to shoot downs lethal force? >> we have not changed anything yet. but it has caused us like those other seminal moments you referenced to re-examine how we do business. >> object twoin 2013 there was another incident. a woman drove on capitol grounds fleeing law enforcement and capitol place shot and killed her. we learned later she was mentally ill and not armed and that she had a one-year-old baby in the backseat of a car. is that right chief dine? >> yes, sir. >> now, while some praised the response of the capitol police, others criticize.
and chief dine, what impact, if any, did this incident that i just talked about have on your policies for using lethal force? >> ranking member, cummings as you know that matter is under litigation. but i can tell you every time we face one of these situations it causes us to examine how we do business and the fact of the matter in every one of the instances it is the police officer on the street that has literally seconds to make a decision about whether their life is in danger or someone else's in danger and they do their best at the time. >> it seems clear both cases the officer had to respond almost instantly as you said, life or death decisions. with respect to the jiegyro copter
incident. can you tell us generally what took against the gyro copter pilot. >> yes, sir. based on the circumstances of that day literally seconds having seen it. having observed it land the manner in which it landed. the geography from the united states capitol the compliance of the pilot and all of those kind of things as well as we discussed in closed sessions the ramifications which officers have to take into consideration as well when they are considering using lethal force and the ram fictions of that force. and the impact it may have on others. all of those decisions are processed literally in a matter of seconds. and that is what happened in this case. and i believe their actions were heroic. they quickly approached, arrested the individual. we screened the vehicle as well
canine wizse and used additional capabilities after that to keep individuals safe. >> is there simulation for these types of incidents in training? >> frankly that's something we're all examining. because when airborne vehicles reach the point where they become a law enforcement issue versus a dod, that is a phenomenon we're all examining. >> so you are saying -- you didn't answer my question. that is not a part of my simulation right now? >> we have the capability to do what we need to do and take any vehicle down. and i don't know that historically police agencies have practiced shooting at aircrafts but that is something that is clearly under -- but i want to make it clear we have the capabilities to do what we need to do. i do want to make that clear to the committee.
>> two more questions. there seems to be suggestion the capitol police should have shot him down. can you tell us whether the capitol police had opportunity to take down the gyro copter. and if so why they didn't. >> i would say in this instance the answer is no based on again the manner in which it landed. >> no to what? >> no, sir they did not literally have the ability to do it based on height and its proximity to other people. and all of the ramifications and how quickly it landed and then based on the whole decision making matrix that i mentioned. but there is often a split second or so where an officer has to make that decision. >> and last but not least, why do you say that the capitol police officers made the right decision? you have reiterated that over and over and over again. i just want to know why you feel so sure about that. >> because in