tv Senate Armed Services Subcmte. Hearing on Air Force Readiness CSPAN November 16, 2018 10:11am-11:48am EST
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memphis saturday at 7:00 p.m. eastern and sunday at 2:00 p.m. on american history tv on c-span 3 as we explore america. air force secretary heather wilson testified recently about air force readiness. joining her were general david goldfein and john pendleton of the government accountability office. issues addressed included equipment and infrastructure maintenance, technology and cyber security, and the anticipated needs of the air force to meet the goals of t202 strategies. this hearing is 90 minutes. >> good morning. this hearing on the subcommittee on readiness and management of our u.s. military will come to order. the subcommittee meets today for
the first time since the passage of the john s. mccain national defense authorization act for the fiscal year of 2019 to receive the testimony on the current readiness of the united states air force. i do want to begin by noting a obvious significant loss to the country, to the senate. i'm the new chairman of this subcommittee. i wasn't the chairman before we lost senator mccain, i would rather not be the chairman, but to have senator mccain still be here. we all know that was a huge loss for everybody around the table and everybody in the senate. as a matter of fact, senator mccain once sat in this seat from 1995 to 1997, as well as senator inhofe, who is now the chairman of the committee, so i think it's just something we should all recognize and be cognizant of.
i am particularly pleased that we have my ranking member who is a good friend, senator kaine, and a great panel this morning in terms of the secretary of the air force, secretary heather wilson, the chief of staff of the air force mr. goldfein, and mr. john pendleton, the director of defense capabilities and management for the government accountability office, i want to welcome our witnesses. it has been almost six months since this committee received testimony from the air force on its current posture and support of the fy-19 budget. as i mentioned prior to that, in those six months a lot has happened. >> the ndaa was passed with $716 billion in authorized funding and didn't get a lot of press, but 87 u.s. senators voted for
that bill. very, very bipartisan effort to rebuild our military. the same amount has also been appropriated. the air force has now released it's the air force we need plan. i want to thank the secretary for laying that out with the need to ramp up from your perspective, madam secretary, to 386 squadrons as well as conduct internal operation and safety review. the gao has released a number of new reports citing the need for instances of needed change inside the u.s. air force. there is plenty to talk about today and i want to thank all of my colleagues for being here. with the announcement earlier this year of a document that i think most of us find very persuasive, secretary mattis' national defense strategy, which laid out a new strategic
approach to addressing military challenges, this committee has a new lens to ensure the lines of effort in this nds are focused and supported by the congress. i certainly support secretary mattis' efforts in this document, the national defense strategy and appreciate that the topics we discuss here are framed in how they support the nds, especially in how we address potential peer and near peer conflicts with china and russia. with congress passing its first on time authorization for the first time in over 20 years in an appropriations bill for the military for the first time since 2008, it sends a timely message to both our adversaries and allies that a bipartisan group of senators and members of the house are focused on rebuilding our military in a way that doesn't do damage, but actually helps them.
it also sends an important message to the men and women in uniform that we are here to deliver bipartisan support for them. the air force of today looks in some represent -- respects like the air force of yesterday. and that's not a complement. for instance the average air force aircraft is 28 years old and since desert storm, we have 58 fewer combat coded fighter squadrons. while this is not a modernization hearing it is a readiness hearing. unless we modernize our air force for the future, we will put lives at risk both on the ground and in the air in terms of readiness. along with this comes a significant burden on sustainment. the air force must find balance between keeping our existing aircraft battle worthy and ramping up to new squadron requirements that the secretary laid out in her recent speech.
in a recent gao study, it was found that the b-52, c-17, f-16 and the f-22 all face unexpected replacement of parts and repairs, delays in depot maintenance and the diminished manufacturing sources. additionally in october 2017, gao found f-25 aircraft availability is well below service expectations. gao recommended that the department of defense revise f-35 sustainment plans to ensure they include the key requirements and decision points needed to fully implement the f-35 sustainment strategy. the gao also released another report on the need for the air force to improve its f-22 organization. which could lead to improved aircraft availability and pilot training. the gao found in july 2018 that
the air force's organization of its small the-22 fleet has not maximized aircraft availability and their utilization of f-22s reduces opportunities for pilots to train for their key missions in high-threat environments. mr. pendleton, i appreciate you walking us through these findings and recommendations as alaska is home to two very critical f-22 squadrons. as my colleagues know, as my colleagues know, i do like to talk about my state, that won't die mipish as the chair of this committee. i like to mention that alaska constitutes three pillars of america's military might. we are the corner stone of missile defense, the radars and the missiles that protect the whole country. we are a key platform for expeditionary forces because of our strategic air lift and strategic location that can fight tonight pretty much anywhere in the northern hemisphere and we are the heart
of the air combat power in the asia pacific. in the next couple years we'll have over 105th generation combat coded fighters, which i'm pretty sure no place on earth will have that kind of fire power and punch. secretary wilson, i know you have been a proponent of our small 60,000 square feet mile j-park facility. that's air space that's larger than florida. i look forward to getting your thoughts on the 2025 plan and more broadly how we are going to make sure we have range spaces all over the country and the world for fifth gen fighter aircraft. again, i want to thank everybody for being here. i'm very much looking forward to being the chairman of this committee. i would like to now turn it over to senator kaine for any opening remarks and i'm also honored to have the chairman of the full
armed services committee here as well. senator kaine. >> thank you, mr. chair, and thanks to our witnesses. i'm looking forward to our hearing today. i will echo who the senator is said about just the first big committee meeting since the passage of senator mccain. i luckily inherited the office that senator mccain had for about 20 years when he decided to move around the corner into the office that had been occupied by senator kerry when he became secretary of state. my seniority was so low that i should not have been able to get mccain's office, however he didn't believe in painting an office and was a packrack so his office didn't have a lot of curb appeal. i was able to get it despite low seniority and paint it and i love being able to be in the office he had for so long. i sometimes feel like i'm hearing the ghost cursing me out which he did on occasion.
>> we all know what that is like. >> we can all remember those words. i'm glad you opened up with that. i look forward to working with you. i had a great relationship with our current chair when he was chair of the readiness committee, and i think he will attest that i was generally reliable and i look forward to working with you, senator sullivan. you get congratulations not just for being chair but you joined the committee and became chair in one jump, which is in the subcommittee, so that's pretty cool. >> very cool. >> i don't know that that's ever happened that you join the subcommittee and become chair in one jump. congratulations. a couple of issues that i would hope to hear about. and i just want to say i want to alert, i'm introducing a virginia nominee for a district court judgeship position in the judiciary committee, so i will leave a couple minutes before 10 and come back and have questions for you. the issues that i'm most interested in are, first, just readiness recovery. we have had testimony in the past about shortages of pilots and maintainers.
i think that what we're going to hear is you made real headway in addressing those shortages and i'm interested in that. i think in particular in virginia, as i'm at langley and talking to our air force, i hear more about the maintainer side shortage in a way than the pilot side shortage. i think sometimes that doesn't get the same attention that pilot shortages do. i'm interested in hearing how we're trending there. we have a low unemployment rate and we have a lot of civilian aviation competitors who really want great maintainers and pilots and i know as you're trying to fill gaps, we're helping you on the budget side, we're helping to give you more certainty, but it is a competitive environment. i'm interested in that. second, the state of our installations, our infrastructure is an important part of our readiness. the air force is facing about $300 million in construction cost overruns and other shortfalls, how does that affect
what we need to do on the installation side. i have found that steel tariffs have increased military construction prices significantly in some instances by about 30% in terms of the use of steel on projects. of steel on mill con products. and we will continue to have robust debates about climate change, but climate change is having an affect on installations. the air force had to cancel a fy 18 project due to the thawing of permafrost. we see significant effects at the langley base in richmond -- i'm sorry at the langley base in hampton, dealing with sea level rise that's affecting that base and it's also affecting other bases in virginia. how are we going to deal with that challenge as we're trying to make investments? it's something i am interested in as well. he with have great witnesses and we'll have a great hearing. >> thank you very much. >> senator inhoff, as chairman, i would like to give the floor to you. >> i only want to make a comment.
first of all, senator kaine you were always attentive during the times we had that relationship and i appreciate all of your activity. i was reminded just a few minutes ago and that's why i was a few minutes late coming in here by the heritage foundation talking about some of the recommendations that we're making and we're all very aware that what we went through, that during the eight years, the obama eight years, he did not have a high priority in the military, things we thought were being done were not being done and so we are in a catch up mode. we're going to continue to do it. i have had numerous conversations with our witnesses about this and i look forward to that. however i also will be chairing the 10:00 meeting next door. mr. chairman. >> mr. chairman, thank you. lastly i want to make one note and it's something senator inhofe and i have discussed a lot. our members are all allowed to ask questions.
i just want to make a comment on the space force. i commend president trump for thinking about space in a more assertive and organized way, but i think the witnesses won't be surprised what i have been saying about this idea is that first, and it is appropriate for this committee, we must focus on the readiness of the existing military services which i think everybody recognizes has plummeted over the last several years, so that they are fully ready to do what the president and the american people expect of them. while i understand that the desire to talk about the space force today might be pressing, i believe that the chairman of the full committee intends to address this topic. as kind of a full committee issue as well at some point. again, i want to thank the witnesses. your prepared statements will be entered into the record and we respectfully request that you
keep your opening remarks in the vicinity of five minutes. secretary wilson, we'll begin with you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i'll just summarize my opening remarks from my written statement. america is building a more lethal and ready air force. the predictable and increased funding levels that came from the united states congress have helped tremendously in helping move us in that direction and i wanted to personally thank you for your leadership and your support of restoring the funding for national security and giving us some certainty. the national defense strategy recognizes that we are in a more competitive and dangerous international security environment than we have experienced in decades. so the restoration of the force, the restoration of the readiness of the force, to win any fight, any time has to be job one for all of us. what does that mean and what has the air force been doing? last spring we gathered together
50 airmen from around the world and ab sonsconded them away in basement of the pentagon for almost six weeks to drill into the readiness challenges that we face. how do we measure readiness. how do we resource readiness? how do we recover readiness more quickly and give a plan to be able to implement. the elements are four fold. the first is people. our end strength is up to 685,000 because of the resources that you have given us. in 2016 the air force was 4,000 maintainers short. today we are 400 main dinners short. by december in the active duty service will be back to close the game and no longer have a 4,000 maintainer shortage on active duty. we have to season our young airmen an get them to be craftsmen at their work, but at least now we have enough people
do the maintenance that needs to be done. second, with respect to aircrew. we have a national shortage of aircrew, and it affects the united states air force because we are so good at training people how to fly and the airlines know it. we are focused on retention and improving the quality of service and quality of life, but we are also focused on increasing pilot production. in fiscal year '17 the united states air force trained 1,160 pilots. in fy-19, we will train a little over 1,300, moving by fy-22 to about 1,500 pilots and we will stay at steady state at 1,500 thereafter. if we're able to do that and achieve our objectives on retention, we will recover the pilot shortage by 2023, where we will be 95% manned. we are also trying to scrub all of our requirements for aircrew so we are not overproducing aircrew and we have what we really think we need.
third is training. if we're preparing for the high end fight, we need to be able to provide time and places for our airmen to train in realistic situations. that means ranges, but it also means what we call virtual and constructive training. sometimes now you can do more in simulation than you can do actually up in the air. that training has to be relevant and realistic and mr. chairman, you're right, jay park as well as our testing training range are two of our premier training in the world to train for the high-end fight. the fourth thing we need to do is cost effective maintenance and logistics. we have an old fleet with high operating tempo for the service and i think this is going to take the most intense focus on recovery of readiness, is how are we going to make sure our aircraft are ready to go and fight tonight. the final thing i would mention
on things that we're doing and things that you funded and helped was the restoration of munition stockpiles where we were depleting our stockpiles in the fight against isis faster than we were replacing them and the funds that you provided have allowed us to significantly recover from that situation. we are doing these things to recover readiness. we are simultaneously trying to field tomorrow's air force faster and smarter. we set a goal for ourselves six months ago. we have a very good leadership team in acquisition. they got together and said, you know, in the first 12 months together as a team, they wanted to strip 100 years out of our acquisition programs. 100 years. so far they have stripped out 56 years out of our acquisition programs. we are using prototyping and changing the way we're doing software development to do that faster and better and we are committed to transparency and
accountability. we have seen just over the last few weeks that competition works. we have saved about $13 billion just on three major acquisition programs that we have announced over the last few weeks, the tx, the replacement for the uh-1 helicopter and the gts satellite program have all because of competition come in at lower than our cost projections. the air force is more ready for major combat operations today than we were two years ago. more than 75% of our pacing force is combat ready today in their lead force packages. that said, we all know we have a long way to go. and we're after it. chief? >> thank you, secretary wilson. general goldfein. >> thanks madam ski, and thank you, mr. chairman. what i would like to do is share a story that perhaps will offer us perspective on what we're here to talk about today. of all the work and obligations
that we have and this is a shared obligation between this committee and the secretary and i, the one that i believe is nothing short of a moral obligation is to ensure that every airman, soldier, sailor, marine, that we send into harm's way is properly organized, trained, equipped and led and when they get back they can come back to their families that we've taken care of while they're gone. everything else we do the best we can. let me just share with you one quick story about what i call confidence under fire, which is what we're here to talk about. how do we producing the readiness of the force to accomplish that moral obligation that we have in sending those into harm's way. i was a captain when we went into desert storm. you know that warrior's prayer hasn't changed over the years, please, god, don't let me let my buddies down and let me get the job done. so when we went into desert storm, i was in a squadron that
had all but one -- none of us had had combat time. the commander had squadron combat time and we went in uttering that prayer, and we crossed into enemy territory for the very first time and i remember his voice on the radio when he said, there's triple a right 2:00 and we all stared at it. surface to air missile 10:00 and we stared at it like a telephone pole coming up through the formation and watched it explode. we heard on the radio, splash mig 29 and one of our 5-15s shot down a mig 289 and we watched it explode. i remember that moment in the cockpit as a captain because it game to me that nothing i was seeing or hearing was new. i had been in an environment just like this before at nellis and at j-park range and had been put in this situation, every radio call, every formation, everything that i was seeing was something i had been trained for. in fact, i would share with you, i remember thinking this is
actually easier than red flag, because they threw everything at me plus the kitchen sink when i was there. that moment in the cockpit produced this level of confidence that i knew that i could succeed in combat. i think that's what we're here to talk about. how do we ensure that the young captains, the young airmen, the nco's today and tomorrow have that same confidence under fire that i had when i went into combat in desert storm. i look forward to the questions and dialogue today because this is a shared obligation to make sure that we all remain committed to these soldiers, airmen and marines go into harm's way with what he need to get the job done and take care of their families while they get the job done. >> thank you. mr. pendleton. >> chairman sullivan, members of the subcommittee, thank you for inviting us to to come and talk about the air force readiness. i think we're in agreement with the air force on the challenges going forward.
over the past quarter century, we have been tracking readiness and we have seen a gradually but steadily decline. primarily because the air force has gotten smaller, but the demand has stayed high. back in 2016, we urged the department of defense, including the air force to develop a plan for readiness rebuilding. at that point, the air force felt that rebuilding the readiness of its force would take a decade or more, and only if they got increased budgets and a decreased pace of operations. budgets have increased, but the pace has stayed high. today the secretary testified or in her statement actually that the air force is aiming to have 80% of its over 300 operational squadrons ready within about five years. this is an aggressive goal. and to meet it the air force is going to have to focus on the building blocks of readiness, as they have said they intend to do -- people, training and
equipment. let's talk about personnel briefly. the air force has shortfalls of both maintainers and pilots. the gap for maintainers is about to be closed, but i think it will take time to grow experience. the pilot shortfall may take a bit longer. the incentives today have not worked to meet goals. i think that may take longer for the air force to close. regarding equipment, we have found not surprisingly that older equipment breaks down more, but it's not limited to the older aircraft, the mission capability challenges. the f-22 capability mission rates are well below desired levels as you know. it's partly because the aircraft are so maintenance intensive. they have a low observable coating on them that makes it difficult to work on. the f-35 is proving to be so costly to operate and sustain that it actually jeopardizes the program as many of you know.
d.o.d. and the air force are working to get those costs down. i think that will be critical. training as the secretary mentioned is another challenge area. the pace of air force operations have left little time for aircrews to train. as the air force seeks to rebuild readiness, i agree that training may be one of the more difficult things to achieve, especially if demand is not dampened. the full spectrum mission of the f-22 for example, is so complex that it takes most of the year to fully train for it. we found questions about the way the f-22 is utilized. it's called a way to exercise training value. it sits alert, gassed and ready and not training. they have to fly air for each other because they don't have dedicated adversary air in the vicinity and that doesn't provide much training value for the red air. we made several recommendations
around organizing and utilizing the f-22 better which the air force agreed with and we're beginning to take action. these are a few highlights. we've made 14 readiness related recommendations that i summarize in the back of my statement and i'm happy to talk to you about any of those as the hearing goes on. looking to the future, i understand the air force's desire to get larger. like the navy, air force readiness has suffered as demands have stayed high while the force has shrunk. like the navy, the air force believes it needs to grow by about a quarter to meet the demands and the strategy. but regardless of future growth, the air force will have to keep much of its existing infrastructure for years to come. mr. chairman, i'm encouraged by what i have heard from the air force today. they have taken several steps in the right
direction. now it's a matter of achieving results. recovery won't be easy or fast. it took a quarter century for the air force to get here, so it may take time to recover. we stand ready to assist you in your oversight. >> thank you and thanks for all the good work that gao has been doing in this area. let me begin, madam secretary, this is a question for you, the issue as it relates to the readiness of aircraft that are available that come into the air force fleet, and in particular, i'm thinking about the f-35, so i saw just a couple days ago that secretary mattis ordered the air force and navy to get mission capable rates up to 80%. i did a little sniffing around, i think delta airlines, their aircraft readiness in their fleet is about 86% i believe,
it's something along those lines, and yet for the f-35, it's a new airplane, coming online, coming out to the fleet. i think it's in the -- you can correct me if i'm wrong, but mid 60s. so why is there a, such a disparity between military aircraft that are brand new and commercial aircraft and can we get to within a year, i know that's what the secretary put in his memo, can we get to a rate of 80% and how can we do that? >> thank you, mr. chairman. the readiness recovery plan that we put together in the spring accelerates our readiness recovery by about six years and says that by the end of fy-20, our pacing units, our most important units for peer competition, of which we have 204 operation squadron, that 80% of those will be at c-1 or c-2
readiness by the end of 2020. the secretary of defense has asked us to accelerate further our f-16s, f- 2s and h-35s to the end of fiscal year '19 and come up with a plan to do that. what we're focused on is not the entire fleet, not the test evaluation airplanes and those things, so we have a situation where we actually are now standing up -- we're not at full operating capability for some of our squadrons, but we are focused on the operational squadrons and making sure they are at high levels of mission capable readiness both gfor ther pilots, equipment and training. what are the challenges with the f-35 fleet with respect to sustainment? >> is that a number in the mid 60s? >> it varies by squadron. significant variation. i may ask the chief to jump in on this. there's a couple issues. obviously one of them is that the spare parts lines did not
start up fast enough. that's something that predates all of us. but they were so focused on initial production they didn't start up and really work the logistics system fast enough. the second and most obvious difference between an f-35 and an airliner is the lower coding and the complexity of maintaining that. we are putting together a plan with the joint program office to get the supply line right so that our operational squadrons can meet the goals that the secretary of defense has set out for us. chief? >> mr. chairman, i share with you a couple weeks ago i had a conversation with the israeli air chief and he said, dave, we're -- i'm not integrating the f-35 into the israeli air force. i'm integrating the israeli air force into the f-35. it was a telling statement on how this aircraft, this weapons system, is looked at
operationally as the quarterback of the joint and the allied team, because it's really an information fusion engine. operationally we're getting -- we are seeing incredible capabilities coming out of this platform. where we're focused and i think mr. pendleton said as well is on that sustainment piece. as an international air chief, speaking on behalf of my fellow f-35 international air chiefs, we are working to drive the sustainment costs down so they are on par with a fourth generation f-16, f-18 because that's what all the air chiefs have put into their budgets. this is one that we're working with the department, the joint program office, and with lockheed martin to drive the sustainment costs down and we will not stop until we see them on par. >> mr. pendleton, do you have any views on just the fleet readiness and why, you know -- i know it's a complex aircraft. it only took almost two decades to procure and develop, which is
a whole other topic for another hearing. it does seem to me kind of ludicrous that we get new aircraft off the production line and, you know, within a month, they're at 65% readiness. what do you think's going on there? >> i think the air force focused on production and not enough on sustaining the aircraft, just to be blunt about it. it's causing problems now. the depots are already several years behind, parts are a problem, and it's going to be difficult to achieve those kind of mission capability rates. i will say on mission capability rates, whenever i hear a percentage, i'm a auditor, that's a numerator and denominator, what's in those will become very important and we'll be watching that, of course. >> great. thank you. senator. >> thank you, mr. chairman,
general goldfen, with regard to the discussion about the capabilities, the immediate capabilities or at least the -- between the f-22 and the f-35, we know that as low observable aircraft, both of them have some challenges because it is a technology that is difficult to maintain. yet, we changed the styling on the technology the way that we handle low observibility between the f-22 and f-35. there's a reason. part of it is what we learned. would you like to share briefly what we expect to get out of the f-35 that we couldn't get out of the f-2 in terms of low visibility and making it easier to maintain the capabilities of the f-35. >> thank you, sir. we took all the learning -- i flew the f-17, so we could say first generation and was a wing commander responsible for low observable maintenance on the f-17. we learneded from that and sent maintainers and pilots to the b-2 to learn and then so
throughout the evolution of low observable technology and maintenance we've learned from every one of the generations going forward. we took everything we learned from the f-22 and applied that to the f-35, not only in production but in terms of maintenance. how we do the codings, how we achieve the low observability we need is a generation beyond what we are doing in both the f-22 and b-2. the big story on the f-35 is the information fusion. i will just share this, when i was flying the f-16, i would go out for a mission and then when i came back, my debrief was primarily to determine what i had missed, what didn't i see? what information was out there that i didn't collect? how could i improve my ability to manage my systems to do that? the f-35 pilots are having a completely different debrief. because it's all there. the question is how did they fuse it and how did they act? just to give you an example,
when an f-35 pilot is taxiing out, he or she is already getting information fed into the cockpit on what's going on in the cyber world in the space world and they're already calling audibles. so going back to what the israeli air chief said, i'm integrating my entire air force into the f-35 and why we think about it as the quarterback because it's able to call audibles real time in a complex environment in ways we've not been able to do before. it's the combination of low observibility, allowing to penetrate and persist and the information fusion, what you can do once you're inside an enemy environment, that allows the f-35 to do what it does. >> if i could, what you're saying and what i'm hearing is that we're basically in the cutting edge technology that will get better, but we're learning as we go along and this is a part of that learning curve that we're in right now? >> yes, sir. and you can't overestimate the importance of international aspect of the f-35 because i've never been in a
fight where i've done it alone. every time i've gone into combat we've been with our partners and allies. it's one of the most important coalition outcomes going forward. >> sometimes we forget about that and i appreciate your bringing that up because the partnerships are critical and something our near peer adversaries do not have. >> yes, sir. >> thank you. secretary wilson, i'm curious, the -- there's going to be a discussion about whether we should be working on maintaining our existing force and bringing it up to speed versus adding new squadrons, manpower and so forth. i think the two are integrateble and they cannot be separated. would you share your thoughts about the need to not only increase but to -- so that we've got aircraft to do the mission that's necessary and what's -- and the reason why we're having problems right now in terms of the amount of hours we're expecting from the airframes that we have got and the pilots we have got on hand right now? >> senator, job one is to restore the readiness of the force that we have.
this committee asked the chief and i last move, what is the air force you need to execute the national defense strategy. we have a formal report that's due to the congress in march. due to the congress in march. so we -- we have a group within the air force. there is also mighter corporation and the csba who are also doing independent looks at what is required in order to implement the defense strategy. new concepts of operation integration with the joint force, dependance on allies. we have done a few war games and modellings and simulations that show we are too small for what the nation is asking of us under the national defense strategy. when we project to the 2025, 2030 time frame in particular. that's because we have returned to great power competition. we have a rapidly innovating adversary that is putting a lot of effort into the development of their military.
i think we have an obligation to you to be able to answer that question, what is the air force we need when we look at the rapidly innovating threat? that was theis base of our work in saying we think it is about 3 of squadrons in the 2025, 2030 time frame. that will engender a debate on how we get there, can we get there, what are the resources required. we understand that. but at minimum we should be able to tell you what is needed. >> mr. chairman, i think one of the most critical pieces in what the secretary has said is that the public is expecting we will have the best air force and that we can handle our near peer competitors. actually what she is saying is that without the increases that we need in manpower and in new squadrons we are not able to meet that near peer competition. >> well, sir, we are ready to fight tonight. there is no question. but when we project forward into 2025, 2030, with the best
intelligence estimates we have, that's where -- that's where the greatest issue is. and so we can see what the adversary is doing and project forward as to what they plan to do. and we have an obligation to maintain dominance in air superiority to carry out the national defense strategy and provide options for the commander in chief. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> senator shaheen. >> thank you mr. chairman i am sorry i had to step out i am going to say this even though it is not directly related. but i wanted to -- i went out because there is an exhibit in the rotunda of young people who have overdosed, and these are portraits that are very dramatic. and this is an issue i think for all of us across our society. i would encourage everybody to walk through the rotunda on your way out. the portraits were painted by a
woman from new hampshire and that's how i am connected to it. i am sorry that senator inhofe has left because i wanted to respond to his comment about the last eight years of president obama. i think leadership and politics aside one of the biggest challenges the last eight years has been sequestration. i raise it because if we don't make a change we are looking at that coming again. so i think we can't -- we can't just suggest that it's been about leadership. it's been about our failure to provide the funding that our armed services has needed. and we better face up to that now because we are looking at it coming down the pike again. i would encourage us all to think about how we are going to address that. because these readiness challenges really got crit couple during the years when sequestration was in effect. preface, i want to begin
secretary wilson by again thanking you and the air force for your fast response from the contamination from p pass that has been at the former peace air force base. you sent up the assistant secretary of the air force for installations, environment, and energy. he was very effective in meeting with residents of the community who had been affected and reassuring about the effort to address this issue, which i know everyone very much associated. i want to ask you, though, because one of the questions that came up was about the fire fighting foams that contributed to the problem that we have at peace, and what is being done, there has been some concern about whether there is going to be a new fire fighting foam that's going to meet the same requirements. can one of you talk about what
you are seeing and what the prospects are to develop something that's just as effective? >> yes, senator, i think. first of all the air force, i think to its credit and it was my pred predecessor who got us this path. we did an assessment. we pretty much completed that assessment at all of the air force locations, identified where we have problems, and we are committed to fixing it and providing clean water immediately when people are affected. we have also replaced this foam already at air force locations with another kind of a fire retardant that doesn't contain that chemical. >> well, that's really good to here because there is a hearing in the subcommittee of the environment public works committee that raised questions about whether the air force has in fact replaced that fire
fighting foam. so i hope that that message will get sent loud and clear to everybody so that everybody understa understanding that that has been done. >> i will follow that up in writing. >> earlier this year, senator rounds and i introduced pfas registry act. there are pieces of that that are included in the mccain authorization bill. i wondered if you could talk about whether efforts have begun, if you are aware of efforts that have already begun dod to already set up this registry and what we might need to do to support that. >> senator, if i could take that one and go back and also get that answer for you in writing. >> sure. that would be great. i am almost out of time. i will save my question for the next round. >> senator ernst.
>> thank you, mr. chair, and of course to our witnesses, thank you very much for being here today. we certainly appreciate your service and your commitment to our great united states of america. general gold fien i would like to start with you, please, sir. and thank you very much for acknowledging the fact that we need to man, train, and equip our service members. and the training is very important, whether it is simulation or whether it is actual ear size inside the air. that muscle memory, and those rehearsals are very, very po important, and you are right, when it comes down to it, to be able to respond immediately in time of crisis very important. thanks for acknowledging that i know many of us here on the committee have been following the physiological episodes that have been occurring in our flint communitie -- our flying communities. we are all committed to ensuring the safety of our pilots.
i am happy to hear that the air force has joined with the navy now and we have a jantd team to really get after this problem. congratulations on that. i am aware there has been some progress made with regard to the p.e. issues in the air force trainer fleet. can you share with the committee this progress and then how it impacts resolving pe issues in other platforms as well? >> yes, ma'am. thanks. in the t-6, which is the aircraft that we have been most recently having the physiological episodes, as you mentioned we put together a team with the navy, went and looked at it and we were able to drive down to the point where with high confidence what we found is that it is the concentration of oxygen levels at various parameters of flight that was falling behind what was required. so in different maneuvers and
different flying in certain of the aircraft the concentration levels were off. so the way we are attacking this is near term and long term. in the near term, now that we have identified what the root cause is we looked at all of the maintenance practices -- the navy has t-6s and we have t-6. we looked at the best practices of both services. and we are maintaining every part to mitigate and minimize any implications of having the concentration values not be optim optimum. second we are talking with the force. we turned about the f-the. when we were doing analysis we stopped dialogue with operators and their families. they were wondering what we were doing. this has been an inclusive transparent process. we have talked to generals, families and town halls to make
sure they know exactly what's going on. the long term solution is going to be a redesign this system to ensure that we have the concentration levels right and we have a team right now that's doing the redesign. as soon as they come to us with the solution that's going to be a priority for the section to move forward. >> okay good. you mentioned that was the t 6 as well and the f 22 and you are applying that to or platforms as well then. >> yes, ma'am. >> i appreciate that. it is been very concerning and we are glad to see the attention really being paid by both the air force and the navy to the pe. i appreciate that. and thank you for mentioning the families. that's a ga lead in to the question i have for secretary wilson. thank you, seth for being here as well. i chair the emerging threats and capabilities subcommittee, and i have had the opportunity to learn about so come's success with preservation of the force and family program. and we ask a lot of our airmen and their families, and we all
want to provide them with the absolute best possible support we can. and i understand it may not be possible to apply poduf all across the department, but there is a way that we could incorporate parts of that program with folk in the air force? it know that it has been very helpful to those that are in the special operations community and fsoc, and we would like to see pieces or parts of that shared with the greater air force as well. are from ideas or things that could be applied? >> senator we are trying that out at four different base. we call it operation true north. the concept is to embed the caregivers in the squadrons where people are for both mental health, spiritual well-being, but also physical health and one of the outcomes from socom is if
someone is in the same unit and they are responsible for mental health there is conversations that go on that are easier to have than if you have to make an appointment over at the clinic and walk through that door. the second part on physical health we have actually found that by embedding -- we are taking care of high performance athletes. and by embedding physical trainers with the units it is not about what you can't do. it's about how you can do. and the number of injuries and the reluctance to go see a doctor -- if you see a doctor, they are going to take you off line status, it is hard to get back on. so there is a reluctance to get help. as opposed to -- a director said it was the best thing and the physical trainer was there. and he said let me show you how to lift, let me show you how to
strengthen those muscles. he said, i feel like a young man. i never felt in good because i am training properly now and i didn't have to go to the doctor. it is a different approach to maintaining the human weapon system and resilience by incorporating that into how we operate the squadrons. >> i appreciate that. and it is a very important program. if there are things we can do to assist in that effort please let us know. i am a huge fan of those programs. thank you all very much for being here today. appreciate it. thank you. >> senator purdue? >> mr. chairman, welcome to your know ro new role. i look forward to working with you. i think this is one of the most important meetings we could have. the timing is perfect as the chief said. i am chagrinned that with an important meeting like this we are owl double and triple booked, so the attendance here
is disrespectful to these witnesses. i want to note that. >> thank you. you raise a good point. there are several other hearings happening right now. this is really important. >> we are all missing something else to be here. but i think this is absolutely critical. chief -- as an old manufacturing guy i am worried about our supply chain, i am worried about our defense, our industrial base. i look at the f-35 though, and there are decisions that were made that you have inherited where we have got that supply chain spread all over the world. for whatever reason, social, economic, i don't know, but it certainly wasn't with national defense in mine. i want to know, what can we do, bringing technology into the force both in current readiness and developing the recap that you have to face over the next ten years -- bay the way, secretary i couldn't agree more. i am not worried about where we are today. i have full faith in today.
i am worried about what china said publicly about made in china 2025. 2025 and beyond i am really concerned about. eric schmidt from obama's administration said this. he said that bringing new technology in the force is the biggest concern. if there was one variable to solve for, it would be speed in competing with these guys. they don't have the same constraints that we do. he also said -- i am paraphrasing but the requirement process we have in d.o.d. is now the single greatest barrier to rapid technological advancement. he means not development, but deployment. sir, when we look at both recapping and improving our readiness today, where are we in terms of working with the industrial base and the supply chain that you have inherited to sort of get at this. i maybe both of you -- i see
your head nodding, secretary, maybe both of you may have a comment on this. >> taking advantage of the new authorities that you have given us to move at speed. we are both involved. limb give you examples. the f-35. the defense department in the air force is terrible at buying software. we changed the way we buy our software. we set up a software factory called castle run outside of boston. so rapid insertion of technology in an iterative way. we just this last week went out to nellis. there is a logistic system that supports the f-35. alis. it can't scale. it has huge problems. it drives the maintainers nuts. we put together a team of lockheed martin air force programmers, the maintainers on the flight line and said let's do desk ops and find where the problems are and rapidly get
tools to the war fighter to fix alis. they named themselves mad hatter. young techies. it is not only that. let me give you examples of where we are moving quickly. eric schmidt is right. we are partnering with diux in some of our space enterprise kinds of things. we started in jana space enterprise consort yum. we have 150 non-traditional companies. we have done 32 prototypes with greater than $100 million in total value of those 32 prototypes. the average time between solicitation to award is of the 0 days. we have given four awards since january for rapid launch of small satellites partnering with diux at $15 million to get small satellites up in the air and do it fast. we just broke into four program execute offices in our space and
missile operations center rather than one all the way at the top of the $6 billion enterprise. by doing, that we duty out three layers of of bureaucracy in getting kpalt to the war fighter. nine pay setters cut 19 years out of their acquisition time lines and they have a number of other pace setters in line saying we want to do it this way, too. we are using the horts for prototyping and experimentation that you have given us. we are stripping out layers of bureaucra bureaucracy. we have pushed down authority to program managers and given them to power to move quickly, to use competition, and the final thing i would say is we are partnering with our allies. we partnered with norway on a satellite communications polar satellite communications where we had a two year gap. we closed the two year gap and
saved of the $00 million by partnering with norway. we are doing the same on another project with japan. we are taking the tools you have given us and moving forward to go faster and smarter on acquisition. >> sunds like she might have prepared for that question. >> it is a big deal for us. >> it is a big deal. i agree. >> secretary wilson and i hosted our four star conference last week. and the guest speaker was eric schmidt. we asked him to talk to us about how do we bring the future faster? i am often asked the question, chief, what is nine years of continued resolutions, what does that do to you? >> i tell them it reeks havoc on our ability to plan for the future. but i follow up and salem tell you what it does to our industry partners. i have to go to a ceo and tell them listen, i don't know what i am going to buy next year, and i haven't gotten my money yet. but i am hoping i am going to get it by the end of this year.
>> if i don't, then i am going to interrupt the plan. >> that's right. you need to keep this sophisticated work force operating and then we will get back to you. the john mccain national defense act you passed sent a powerful signal to airmen and solders and marines, showing you are behind them and it sent an equally powerful signal to industry to plan your future and manage your work force to get us what we need. >> one more message to send the them. this year we got to 9 0% funding by the ends of august because we stayed here in august. you can tell your service people that we are on the wall that month. this is not something that's never going to be done again. we funded the military this year without a cr. and we know now what it is doing. speaking of that, i ask a f 22 -- i'm sorry.
i am past time. >> go ahead. it is a good question. >> i will come back in the second round. >> if you promise to stay for the second round. otherwise i will let you go. >> thank you. i will. i am sorry. >> i mentioned to mention senator purdue, and senator ernst have been leaders that he is talking about. they are both on special committee that's going to hopefully fix our budget problems. we have made progress this year. nobody benefits more than that than the military. we will start here with round two, which i think is great that we have. i want to do a small correction for the record. general, i appreciated your opening statement. i will mention, though, just -- you know, even if one doe employs, gets combat fit rep, eminent danger pay. i think it is important
actually, because we know who the real, you know folks are. and i always want to keep that record straight. madam secretary, i wanted -- i know you have been focused on the acquisition issues. can you a little bit more unpack what you were talking about in your opening statement on this issue, 100 years to 56 years? i didn't fully follow that i know it is important. i know you have been focused on it. senator purdue just asked a question. what were you getting at tlncht we have a great team that we put together. some military, some civil servants, and will roper, assistant secretary for acquisition. when they all got together six months ago now they said what should be some of the thing we are trying to achieve to get things faster? one of them was to say let's look at all of our programs and try to strip 100 years out of our schedules by using the new authorities that you have given us by take to tailor our
acquisition authorities so that we get things faster. usually when you get them faster they also cost less. time is money. they are at of a years. they have got another six months to go to keep stripping time out of schedules. >> when you went through that exercise, did you see any additional authorities that you think you need from us? again, there is a lot of john mccain here in this hearing, but as you know, he was very focused on this issue and in the last few ndaas we did give significant authorities back to the service secretaries and the chiefs to make thing work. what else do you need? >> senator, we are now in the point of execution and i think we are trying to execute in a way that is fast and smart. also the other part that we said is we want to be even more transparent than we are with traditional acquisition so we are fully open about what we are doing and what results we are getting.
i think there is tremendous promise in several of these particularly prototyping. and the reason why is that in traditional acquisition you would come up with an analysis of alternatives and you would be three or four years into in and all you have really got are stacks of paper and studies. you really don't know what is technically possible yet. if you prototype, you develop a real engineering technical understanding of what really is within the realm of the possible. we are using it for next generation engines. we have competitive prototyping with two of the big engine manufacturers to develop an engine that gets more thrust and fuel efficiency. they may not get there but we said build us something, see what you can get. then it will inform our requirements for a whole next generation of air force engines. imagine what it does to -- we are the biggest buyer of fuel in the defense department. 25% increase in fuel efficiency a 10% increase in thrust, that's
a game changer. so we are just trying it. >> sir, i just wanted to reemphasize the point senator shaheen made. the other thing to your question is -- is still the law of the land. >> yeah. >> just to make your point again, ma'am, we grounded the united states air force in '13. we created no fly zones across the united states of america where we stopped flying. we still have not recovered f. that comes back, it will undermine and devastate all the good work that you did in the recent bill. >> i agree with senator shaheen on that, certainly. let me go to the gao study as it relates to the f 22s. mr. pendleton, you know, inside a bunch of important as secretaries to that. that still is an incredible aircraft. the president talks about it a lot. it is a remarkable aircraft. again, that was -- you can't look back and kind of wring your
hands, but that was probably a pretty significant mistake to curtail production and deployment of that aircraft. but can you summarize quickly your recommendation? it is my understanding that the secretary and the chief agree with those. how are you looking -- or that you have concurred in those. how are you looking to implement these recommendations that relate to, you know, the small fleet that's not maximized, the organization with regard to the air force, the mission as you said? what can we do? this is still a tremendous fifth jen arlgt that -- you know, your work is important in this. can you talk about that quickly. if there are comments from the service secretary or the chief i would welcome that, too. >> yes, sir, we have two major findings. we found in a the organization the small fleet could be suboptimal. >> did you find that it is suboptimal. >> we think it is. >> not could be, but currently
is. >> we think it is yes. >> that's important. >> locations with fewer squadrons, people, aircraft, had lower mission kpalt rates than those with more. again that was an unclassified version of a classified report. i am having to be general about that. >> okay. >> we had the air force look at the way the f-22 force was organized. you could colocate more aircraft and get officials we think from that. you can also look at the way you deploy packages from within the draughn. what was happening is the air force was break out a portion of squadron and sending that fort forward and leaving what's left broken as well. you could augment that. we tried not to be too specific in the recommendation so the air force would have some room to maneuver on that. the second had to do with the way the air force is utilizing the f 22. it is being used for a lot of
missions that we don't think contribute to its training for high end fights. things like alert, and appearing in exercises as i mentioned in my opening statement that don't give them much value. we think that needs to be relooked as well and made recommendations. the air force did concur with us and i know that speaking from secretary wilson they are thinking about this. >> are you looking to implement these general or secretary? >> yes, sir, we are. we are looking. it is interesting, when you go back to 2010, we retired 252 aircraft, ten squadrons based on a demand signal that shifted those resources into other areas, space, sish, isr, nuclear enterprise. those were strategic trades we had to make at the time if you remember what we were in in that time flag. we didn't take down flags or squadrons, but just made them all smaller and we got to a point where we were less and are less efficient than we can be with larger squadrons when it
comes to achieving and meeting the demands of the national defense strategy. so we are absolutely looking at not only the f-22 but all of our weapons systems to see how we can get back into the on the mum solution. understanding that's a conversation we have to have with this committee and with the congress before we do anything. >> doesn't that help with the retainer issue as well if you consolidate some of the f-22s in terms of where they are located? >> it does. and it is across the board. it is maintenance. it's the back shop maintenance. it's all those parts that you need to be able to project airpower not only for the f-22 but for all the weapons systems. but for us, you know, in the active duty and in the air national guard and reserves what we found is that a 24 assigned aircraft is the optimum solution to be able to do the national defense strategy business. many of ours are now at the 18
number. we need to build those up to 24. then we need to hit an optimum solution in the guard and reserve as well. that's all part of our planning. >> senator shaheen. >> thank you mr. chairman. d.o.d.'s final report in 2018 on organization management structure for the national security space dependents of the department of defense -- i have to read it because it is such a long titled but it stated basically that space operations force will include space personnel from all military services including guard, reserve, and civilians. i wanted to ask you secretary wilson about the current role of the air national guard in the space domain. and if you could elaborate on how you expect that role to evolve in the future. >> senator, we have about a thousand guardsmen and about a thousand, plus or minus reservists who are part of -- some part of a space mission.
and i think we are at a point where the defense department is looking at how do we organize this going forward. the president has initiated the process to establish a u.s. space force and put out there a bold vision with respect to it. and we all know that we can no longer use space as a funk. it is a war fighting mission. so those discussions are ongoing. i believe that it is important for the guard -- sometimes i think when we look at some of these issues we forget the guard and reserve. and they are an pony important component of the total force, and particularly important component of the united states air force. and we want to make sure that that's in the conversation. >> i appreciate that. and certainly, there has been some interest from our air guard in new hampshire about what's going to happen in this arena. i know in your september memo on the proposal to transition to a space force you discussed the
potential to transition national guard units to a reserve component. that -- i assume there is more discussion going on on this but -- >> senator, there is a lot of discussion going on. and our team may have misused just the reserve component to being both the guard and the reserve. so the intention, though, is to make sure that we don't, as we address the space force, that we don't ignore the fact that while it is small, we do have components the guard and reserve who are engaged in space. >> that's great. i appreciate that. as i said, there has been a great deal of interest in new hampshire on what's going to happen there. i am sure that's true of other states as well. in terms of the number of squadrons you called for growing the air force from its current size to 38 of squadrons by 2030. under that plan, tanker squadrons would see significant growth. they would increase from 40 to
54 squadrons. can you talk about why you see this as being important? >> senator, the analysis that we did was based on the national defense strategy, which sets out for us what do we need to do, what are the missions we need to accomplish? then what are the most important operational problems? when you look at those missions, there are really give things we have to do at the same time. we have to defend the homeland. we have to maintain a safe, secure and effective nuclear deterrent. we have to be able to defeat a peer while also deterring a rogue state, and then maintain pressure on violent extremist organizations at the same time. so it is all five of those things. we know that currently when we look at a peer threat, russia is very strong, china is modernizing very rapidly, and when we project into the 2025, 2030 time frame, our pacing threat, we believe, is china.
so the challenge in the pacific in the tierney of distance. that means tanker squadrons are very important. that i believe is what in the numerous iterations the war games that we did drove the need for tankers. >> i appreciate that, especially with pes being down of the bases that's going to get some of the new tankers. can you also talk the interest that we have in making investments to protect that tanker force during a conflict? because i know there has been some concern about when we need to do prospectively to make sure that we are doing that should we have an adversary that we need to protect those tankers against. >> senator, i wouldn't want to go into too much detail in open session. but the intention is for new tankers to be more defendable
than their predecessors. i don't know if the chief can go further than that. >> i would say that in the joint chiefs, i give chairman dunford a lot of credit for leading the joint chiefs as we have been looking at global campaign plans. >> it is allowed us to move off of platform discussions into multidomain operations that looks at a platform as part of a family of systems that all connect together. so the discussion then about how we would defend a tanker or any other part of the family is an integrated joint and allied solution going ford as opposed to the platform discussion, which i think is more 20th se century than where we are headed. >> mr. chairman is there a plan to have a more qualified hearing or briefing on this.
>> yes. [ no audio ] >> we have spent a lot of time talking about maintenance this morning. i appreciate that very much. we all value our maintainers very much. and i know it is very different having maintainers in a transportation ground unit and your squadrons. but just really understanding how very important it is. and, secretary, in your written statement you did reference some of the challenges that you are facing in regard to sustainment of weapons systems of equipment, particularly with regard to the maintenance and the logistics. and i was pleased to see that the air force does continue to look for ways to improve efficiency and cost-effectiveness. again, going back to emerging threats and capabilities, one of the things that we spend some time talking about is artificial intelligence. and we do continue to hear about the potential benefits of ai and
machine learning on issues such as predictive maintenance. is the air force currently utilizing these types of technologies? or do you think these emerging technologies present maybe a cost-effective means of improving maintenance and logistics within the air force? >> senator a very good question. we were actually testing out what we call conditions based maintenance plus, which involves both predictive analytics and also sensing on aircraft. we are trying them initially on the b-1 and the c-5. we are seeing a significant reduction in cost, but also a reduction -- about 30% reduction in unscheduled maintenance. so this is your predicting when a part is likely to fail and you change that part when it is in for its inspection rather than waiting for it to fail out on the flight line. we are now trying to develop the apps to move that and propagate
it throughout the rest of the fleet. we are also doing some other things with respect to driving down the cost. we have set up an office, and we will give it a two-year run and then take a look at to how much it saved us called the rapid sustainment office to try to use advanced technology, 3b printing of metals, and cold technology to repair rather than replace parts. one example. there was a recently article about some of ourarymen out in california. we have a part that heats water on the back of a kc-10. the handle keeps breaking. because they only buy about -- they are not in manufacture anymore. because they only buy maybe five of them a year, they are expensive to go back and have somebody tool it the old way. in fact, the defense logistics agency was quoting some completely unreasonable cost. we we 3b print them for 50
cents. those kinds of things can drive down the cost. >> since you brought that up, i was out at 29 palms earlier this year. and we had that discussion about 3 d printing of parts to make it readily available for our men and women that are out in the field that are forward deployed. the supply chain is not as easy in those types of environments. any thoughts then on patents? there is a lot of concern from industry that we will be able to replicate various parts, replacement parts and not give full credit to the industries that have originally manufactured and designed those parts. any thoughts on where we should be going in that space? >> senator, we are trying to go to a place where we get the intellectual property or negotiate for a license to build things. just in the first quarter of last year, we had 10,000
requests for parts where there was not a single bidder. you look at something like the c-5. it is not being produced anymore. the parts aren't being produced anymore. so the door handle breaks on the back of a c-5 and you don't have a parts supplier. so we are 3d printing those in metal. we are also using technologies now -- the army, navy and air force are working together on advanced manufacturing. but the chafing on rivet holes on aircraft or on the hydraulics lines -- to be able to repair those by low temperature but high-speed spraying of nanoparticles of metal to basically repair the metal rather than replace the part. it is much less expensive and keeps our mission capable rates higher. so the rapid sustainment office is intended to use these technologies, rapidly get them into the field onto our aircraft and reduce the cost and increase our mission capable rates. love that, incredible cost
savings and innovation and to be able to do it right on the spot, too. very good. thank you very much. >> senator purdue. >> to follow up, i want to applaud what you are doing in shared services. back in the '80s manufacturers in the commercial space did this where they can have multiple divisions you have a tech knick and specialty, you develop that specialty. before every one of the divisions would have, that they would protect it and they were jealous of it. we took it away and developed shared services, when you are doing maintenance at an air force base base for the navy i applaud that. i think that's a wave for the future. i 3d printing in the marines and their depots are doing the same sort of thing. the supply chain is gone, nobody is making the part. 3d printing they are gearing that up, i would encourage the air force to partner with your sister services to make sure we are at the cutting edge of that. chief i have a question, and i
would secretary senator shaheen's comment about a classified briefing on the same topic. chief, you may want to take this of to, but hyper sonics and directed energy. i know you guys are working on that. general heighten gave us an update ill earlier this year about what the air force is now seeing that our near peer competitors are doing. can you give us an update on development in those two areas? >> probably the most important development has been a discussion that the three service secretaries have had about how we partner together on areas like hyperan soic -- energy. what i would do, ma'am, turn it over to you and follow up at the end. >> the three service secretaries, we get together -- we actually like each other and get together for breakfast every two weeks. it terrifies the staff. and we -- one of the thing -- one of our early meetings looked at where do we have science and technology investments that are similar and can we work together
better. one of the first ones we identified was hyper son igs. we got our teams together. we rapidly developed a memorandum of understanding where we will take best technology, go fast, share results and work together. as a result on hyper sonics, the additional funding you allowed us to put in in '17 and 'is is $107 million in additional funding by using a navy developed war head for the army and putting it on an air force system we are actually going to prototype a system five years faster and gettet out there in 2021. >> is that a defensive? >> it is called hacksaw. it is an offensive weapon. >> okay. with regard to the f-22 that i talked about earlier i had a privilege to visit an advance squadron up in alaska. get a plug there. >> that's right. >> the colonel gave us an update about how crs directly impact them. they had training going on, they
had to interrupt it, bring it back and they had it documented down to the cents how much it cost them. we talk about the use of the f-22. you mentioned in your opening comment that we are using f-22 to chase 2 of the 5s up there around the line of demarcation. i know secretary you guys are talking about a light attack aircraft, i believe, that you are developing now to take on some of these more mundane tasks and use the fifth gen for mainly training to do what you mentioned in your opening remark. can you update us on the light attack program. >> we completed two experiments in the light attack. the idea, the second line of effort for the national defense strategy talks about strength strengthening our allies and partnerships because when it comes to competition and war we have allies and our adversaries generally don't. it is a strategic advantage. we as a service when we looked
at it from the air kpoent component standpoint, how can we leverage our ability -- what i hear very often from my international air chiefs, especially those that are not into the fourth or fifth generation -- either they can't afford it or are not getting into it. but yet they have violence within their borders. and strategy is to drive violence down to where it can be handled in the sovereign territory. the light attack experiment was about line of evident two and allies and partners and how can we produce a commercial off the shelf that's a low-end system that's very affordable that has low costs when it comes to sustainment and they can help our allies and partners. when we learned in the past is if don't buy some, they won't. we are looking at it internal the our air force, the marines are looking at it. this is an opportunity for us to actually spread our coalition, if you will, to be able to get at the strategy and line of
effort number two. and within the air force, we are also looking at it to the point of exactly what you described, which is can i now go after those lower end missions with a tailored commercial off the shelf kind of product that will then free the high end assets to focus on training and execution in the high end work we need to do. >> thank you. >> i want to -- oh. okay. we have senator kaine here. i am glad he made it back in time it is an important hearing. i appreciate you being here. i am scheduled to go preside right at 11:00. so i am -- on the republican side or senator kaine take over the hearing but i do want to thank the witnesses again for this very important hearing. there will be qfrs for the record. if we can get those back in a
timely american. and then i think senator shaheen's idea, which we all support, on a classified version of this hearing will be scheduled within time. madam secretary, and general gold feerngs i think that would be a good follow-up. i am going to pass the gavel to one of my colleagues here. i will let them fight over it. again, i want to thank all of you. i would normally be here but the presiding officer duty is something i am not supposed to be late for. i think i am already late. thank you very much. >> i will just be very brief. i apologize for missing. i was introducing a non-controversial nominee at a judicial year committee hearing but just because my nominee was not controversial, that didn't mean there were not other troess i was unaware of when i walked into the room. that's why i am a little bit of late. i don't want to belabor points that have been asked. let me ask this. i indicated in my opening comment that i am worried about how we are planning on the
readiness side with respect to infrastructure. i cited the air force example. i could have cited other examples, the navy base in richmond whose main road in and out to the center of the naval power in the world is increasingly under water based on normal tidal action not to mention extreme weather events. perhaps if you could talk about the in air force portfolio, i use the example of permafrost melting at the one base and how that changes milcon. how we are thinking about milcon projects going forward? if you would each address that, that will be my only question. >> with a hurricane headed for eggland and tindall today, we are dealing with those issues. let me take the broader question. we did a good piece of work stewarded by our assistant secretary for installations and environment, john henderson, but done by a group of captains
initially that said we now have data on all the infrastructure in the air force, every installation, every building on it down to when they roof needs to be replaced. they did mooing and simulation on it on how we can change did the way we maintain our infrastructure. they made recommendations. one is we fund the worst first. we wait until it gets really bad and then we fix it. we need to fixet before it gets to be really expensive. the second is, they recommended taking the 5% of our worst infrastructure off the books. the sufficient hanging around from the korean war that we should not be maintaining anymore. we are putting money for destruction and disablement into your budget. the third is we are going to have to tick up replacement value, funding of our infrastructure a bit over the long term. if we do those things over the
long term our infrastructure gets much better over time and we are able to keep the infrasure in much better shape. so given us a strategy. we have the modelling and sim laying of our facilities which tells us. the final thing that we also are doing is every facility will have a master plan. our commanders change too quickly to have just what the commander wants now because those projects are always in the future. so we have a master plan for every facility. and we will continue to execute projects on that master plan. so there are a number of things we are doing to improve the management of our infrastructure and planning associated with it. >> other witnesses have comments to add on this question. general? >> just one comment to add to the secretary's. we also as a land based force project power of course from our bases. we need to be the best at the world in defending those base. so the secretary and i have a concerted effort over the course of this year looking at
integrated base defense in addition to the investment we are making in mill con projects because not only do we have to invest in it and build it. we also have to defend it. >> you testified before the sask last year toward the tragic navy collisions and analyzing who was at fault there and what we could do better. are their parallels that we should be focus on with respect to the air force, aviation mishaps, gaps in training? are there things you learned in that capacity that we should apply to the air force as well? >> there are parallels but i think that what happened with the navy is the situation in japan just got away from them. we had warned a couple years before that they needed to take a look at the risks they were taking out there. as you recall from my testimony. and they didn't listen to us. i am not saying that with the
air force. now, having said that, there are parallels, short falls of people, short falls of maintainers, running equipment hard, having it take longer to fix when you bring it in, and too little time to train. >> right. >> i mean, that was one of the big problems with the navy as i am sure you recall. they were working so hard they didn't have time to train on things as basic as seamanship. like the navy also, the air force has a demand problem, sir. the demands on it have continued to remain high. and like i said during the navy hearing, i think it is going to be difficult for them to rebuild unless some of the demands are moderated. >> thank you. do my other colleagues have additional questions? with that, we really appreciate your testimony. we will keep the record open until 5:00 tomorrow, thursday, in case any colleagues have additional questions for you
in the view the war on commission they described fully the circumstances the assassination of president kennedy. but is there more to this story than the warren report ever discovered? >> this weekend on real america on american history tv, the 1967 special news series, a cbs news inquiry, the warren report, anchored by walter kron kite,
investigating unanswered questions into president john f. kennedy's assassination. saturdayate 10 p.m. eastern, lee harvey os warld and whether he acted alone to assassinate president kennedy. >> it seemed evident we should try to establish the ease or difficulty of that rapid fire performance. helps, our next question, how fast could that rifle be fired? >> watch real america, saturday, at 10:00 p.m. eastern on american history tv on c-span3. on this week's news makers room our guest is democratic congressman defazio of oregon currently the ranking member of the transportation and infrastructure committee. he talks about the possibility of a bipartisan infrastructure bill and his hopes for democrats as they prepare to take over the house. news makers is sunday at 10:00 a.m. and of p.m. eastern on
c-span. be with us month evening for american history tv in primetime when we will show you programs on the civil war. historian and author peter carmichael describes public react to the carnage at an teeth up in 186 the and how how it was depicted if photos, illustrations and letters that soldiers wrote home. american history tv in primetime begins monday at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span3. and -- also also be in primetime next week followed by a four day thanksgiving holiday weekend. the week begins with a look at military history with max hastings in his book vietnam, an epic tragedy. that's followed by neil bascum's the escape artest. and mary mcconaughey -- begins app p.m. friday night on