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tv   Hearing on 2023 Air Force Space Force Budgets  CSPAN  June 17, 2022 3:09pm-4:44pm EDT

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and now force secretary frank kendall, chief of staff, and gentle trust brendan spears fourth chief of space operations general john raymond testify on president biden's 2023 budget request. topics include modernization efforts, nuclear deterrence, and divesting from legacy of faster equipment. at the house appropriations subcommittee on defenses the host of this 90 minute event. [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] the subcommittee will come to order. i know call to order the -- [silence] this is a hybrid hearing so -- members -- these remover microphone after
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-- do not stop remarks if your -- if the screen does not change please make sure that you're not muted. illuminate any background noise. members who are mutually responsible for. if i notice, and i will notice [inaudible] that when you recognize you have not unmuted yourself, the. so please watch for that and then finally, [inaudible] require me to remind you that we have sent out in email [inaudible] that email has been provided this morning, members you are whichever sponsor bill for that includes the ranking member, myself [inaudible]. this morning subcommittee will receive testimony on the 2022 budget request of the air the staff might also send your request to unmute. so -- and then finally, house remind you that we have set up an email address for members to submit anything they wish to submit anything in writing --
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-- and provided to -- . we are going to hear from and that includes the ranking member and myself -- . this morning's subcommittee will include testimony on -- budget requesters request for the department of air force -- secretary frank -- first appeared before as well the secretary of the office -- he's certainly no stranger having five years in the department of defense's top acquisition official -- 2012 to 2017 -- we will also pleased to welcome back in person this time chief of staff of the air force and, general raymond, chief space operations. that this year's budget request for the air force is making
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large bets on future technology and capabilities coupled with a bold plan to divest. legacy aircrafts systems of the next five years and that is a bold plan and i am with you on that and there is the bow wave of new color modernization which is placing pressure on modernization the conventional forces. this pressure will continue throughout the current five year plan and beyond. this result is that the air force is trading near term capacity for what's hopefully will be successful investments in capabilities needed to meet the growing challenge from china. and as president biden stated this week, this administration is tackling inflation. as the rest of the department of air force is not only not immune to inflation, but i know you gentlemen will be carefully scrutinizing how we can keep costs down in your budget and
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make sure any inflation is truly inflation to the request that are being made. the fy23 request reflects a 30% raised over the 2020 level. some of this growth is due to the new military personnel account which is previously included in the air force budget was planned to be transferred to the space development agency into space force. however, even after adjusting for these transfers, space force budget increases substantial. it is about 18%. with these increases comes more responsibility to spend the funds effectively and efficiently to deliver operationally useful capabilities. we would like an update on the progress made in fixing space acquisition and bringing greater discipline to delivery systems on schedule within the budget. i would also like to congratulate mr. frank
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cabelli, who has recently confirmed to serve as the first ever at the space acquisition executive. we really welcome his expertise. we wish him well. i would also like to take a second to thank all the men and women who serve under your command in the air force and storage space force for their daily diligence and hard work and service to our country. i would also like for our members that we will be holding a classified briefing with the secretary kendall immediately or as i have to announce, depending upon votes, after this year. so i would like to turn to ranking member caliber for his opening remarks. mr.. gilbert >> thank you, madam chair. i would like to thank each of our witnesses for appearing before us today. we are grateful for your continued service to those under your command. well i will look forward to working with each of you to properly fund and equipp our airmen and guardsman, i am deeply troubled by the administration's weak request for defense. as we look around the world, we see evolving threats, rapid
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technology changes, more capable adversaries, this requires more resources. some aspects of the request are encourageing, such as the air force prioritization avuncular modernization. however, i question many other aspects including the divestment of legacy systems. again, the air force is looking to reduce its force structure, including capable platforms like the f-22, awacs, and a-10s. if we are going to proceed with these requests, this committee needs a better understanding of how we can beat the threat environment with a reduced inventory. i am also pleased to see the space force continue to grow its capabilities, as we on the subcommittee know, nearly allison committee know, nearly all of our military operations rely on a continue dominance in space. general raymond, i look forward to hearing how you are working to right size and shape the force. throughout this year, we have heard testimony from
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our geographic combatant commanders. i continue to be extremely concerned at the surface is an air force, in particular, are failing to prioritize the war fighting needs of our cocomms. like that three of you, i am an advocate for accelerating change, and accepting this to do so. i am encouraged by the advanced manufacturing and software first approach. you are taking for the next generation systems. however, we cannot overlook urgent war fighting needs, to instead divert funding to untested and unproven systems. hope is not a planning strategy, as my old man used to say. and it certainly will not enable a capable response to any type of conflict that may break out around the globe. before i close, i must reiterate my concern about how inflation is eating into the d. o. d.'s buying power. though everyone saw it coming, the levels of inflation you're dealing with today are the worst we've seen in the aids. even worse, we do not know what it will be once we pass the fy 23 bill. sharp price increases in fuel,
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shipping costs, and other consumer goods will have a disastrous effect on your ability to train. i am a big supporter of the use of augmented and virtual reality training. but, pilots need to fly real missions against real pilots. i saw the air force just canceled the large contract for adversarial air. i would like to--i would like you to give me the justification for this, and your training replacement plan going forward. as you know, on june 30th, 2020, my constituent lieutenant david schmitz, tragically lost his life during a training mission at shaw air force base. david's death is a painful reminder of what we risk with limited flight hours and insufficient training. it is clear that more work is necessary to ensure this doesn't happen again and that our servicemembers don't pay the price for a shrinking budget. it is critical that we work together to provide adequate resources to fully fund weapon systems, operations,
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and training. again, thank you again for taking the time to be with us. with that, madam chair, i yield back. >> thank you. ms. granger, as ranking co-member of the chair of the committee, would you like to make an opening statement? >> thank you, chairman mccollum. i want to thank you to the witnesses for appearing before us today. i look forward to hearing from you, and about how the air force and space force are preparing for both current and future conflicts. i want to begin by restating my serious concern about the inadequacy of the administration's request for defense spending. inflation is dramatically decreasing the department's buying power, and this budget proposal fails to provide the funds needed to maintain and modernize our military. looking at this year's request, it is clear that the air force wants to retire older systems, to fund new ones. it needs to be done
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in a thoughtful manner. we must be prepared for future conflicts, and we should not do that at the expense of current needs. as the war in ukraine has shown us, it is critical that the united states has a war fighting inventory that is flexible, capable, and ready. and we must protect our strategic advantages in the air, and in space. as we developed this year's bill, i look forward to working with all of you to ensure that our airman and guardsmen that have the tools they need to fulfill our national defense strategy. thank you again for taking the time to be with us today, and thank you, madam chair. i yield back. >> thank you. gentlemen, we have your full testimony in front of us and members have copies of it made available to them. i would like to have as much time as i have for members to ask their questions so i would trying to get after, and
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does it really match with some of encourage you please to summarize your statement. i want you to be complete, but as succinct as you can be. also when it comes to responding to our questions, so i would like to now begin with the testimony began with mr. kendall. mr. kendall? >> thank you madam chair. members of the committee, i'm honored to have the generals join me in representing the nearly 200,000 airmen and guardinas that defend our nation. we are thankful for your insistence import of the years. speaking in 1940, general mcarthur said the following, the history of failure war, can almost be summed up into words. too late. too late in comprehension of the deadly purpose of a potential enemy, too late in realizing the mortal danger, too late in preparedness, too late in uniting all possible forces for resistance, too late in standing with one's friends. i believe mcarthur made this comment after france fell to nazi germany's aggression. but before the attack on pearl harbor, to the united states into a war in asia. a time that in some ways may be analogous
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to our own. but my colleagues and i are trying to do, what we need your help with, is to ensure that americans are in space forces are never too late. in meeting our pacing challenge, which is china. we are also concerned about the now obvious and acute threat of russian aggression. i would like to offer the committee a briefing that we've been giving on the hill that details the threat to china poses in more complete detail. i will be summarizing that our classified session, later today. that briefing lays out china's efforts to develop and field forces that can defeat the united states's ability to project power in the western pacific. china is also significantly increasing its nuclear weapon inventory, and working to field long-strike capabilities that put our homeland at risk. today we will say more about how the department and air force is responding to that threat, through our fy 23 budget, and their future budgets. our budget submission provides a
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balance between the capabilities we need today, and investments in the transformation required to address emerging threats. with the requested budget, the air and space forces will be able to support combatant commanders in the continuing campaigns that demonstrators of, support encourage our allies and partners around the world. simultaneously, our fiscal year 23 budget represents a significant early step in the transformation of the air and space forces, to the capabilities needed to provide enduring advantage. an important feature of our budget request is a substantial increase in research and development funding. this investment is a down payment on the production and sustainment investments, and hard choices that are yet to come. we are comfortable with the balance struck in the budget submission. we also want to ensure the committee understands that hard choices to lie ahead, at any budget level. and this request, we are asking for divestiture of equipment that is beyond its service life. this is expensive to sustain, and not effective against the basic challenge. these divestments are necessary to provide the resources required to transform the
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department the air force, to support integrated deterrence. we appreciate the committee support for the divestitures we requested last year, and we ask for your support with those we are requesting this year and in the future. change is hard. but losing is unacceptable, and we cannot afford to be too late. the work that we have ongoing in the department of the air force to define the necessary transformation is focused on seven operational imperatives. each of which is associated with some aspect of our ability to project power. as of today, there should be no doubt that the great power or acts of aggression do occur, and equally no doubt, of how devastating they can be for the victims of that aggression, and for the global community. first, if the space force is to fulfill its mission of enabling and protecting the joint force, we must pivot to transformational space architectures and systems. fiscal year 23, we are asking for funding to begin the transformation to resilient missile warning and tracking, and to resilient communications networks. second, we must integrate and efficiently employ air and space forces as part of a highly lethal joint force through an adveanced
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battle management system, or abms. this budget continues funding for the early -- of a biomass in the ongoing work that was divided investments at the department east coast eventually modernize our command control and the battle management network. third, to defeat aggression we must have -- fifth, we must have a resilient forward basis for our tactical air forces. this budget continues funding for this, both the indo-pacific and european regions. sixth, we must ensure the long term viability at and cost effectiveness of our global strike capability. within this budget, the b-21 enters production. finally, the department of the air force must be fully ready to
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transform to a wartime posture against a competitor. members of the committee, i look for to your support as we work to ensure that america's air and space forces are never too late. one team, one fight, we welcome your questions. >> thank you, so much. mister secretary. and now, general brown, please proceed. >> good morning, chair mccollum. thank you madam collared and, -- and distinguished members of this committee. it is an honor to appear before you represent the 689,000 total force airmen serving today. i want to thank you continued support for airmen and their families. i appreciate being here with senator -- and raymond just by on the fy 23 budget submission. a budget that continues to accelerate the rate of change to justice kennedy challenges -- in the national defense strategy. the budget budget continues to build on successive fy 22, the world
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looks at the united states air force as a leading example. and to make -- it look easy but it is anything. but a world class -- requires world -- class to that is equipped to -- budget communicate the nation needs with 2030 and beyond. our message does not change for fiscal year 23. and it won't change in future budgets submissions. we must modernize to counter strategic competitors, prc remains our pacing challenge and russia remains an acute threat. so we must balance between the demands of today and requirements for tomorrow. in order to do so puts our ability to put the national defense strategy at risk. it puts soldiers, sailors, marines, and guardsmen along their allies at risk. it desirability to place air power anytime anywhere risk. the only way our air force and the nation will be successful balancing risk between today and tomorrow is
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if we collaborate. in fact collaboration is the critical word in accelerate change or lose. we are beginning to see successes of our collaboration efforts towards transition to the future. this year's budget brought substantial increases to research and development. it is focused on placing meaningful military capability into the hands of our airmen. investments in systems -- our air force to penetrate dominate any scenario. this is important as our investments we've been successful in divesting systems that are increasingly irrelevant against today and tomorrow's threat. we did not do this alone. the support of congress is much appreciated. we accelerating changes the impetus between high and the department of the air force is--. this means moving with a sense -- what our nation demands for air force. the air force we are building is critical to
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deterrence, campaigning, and building enduring advantage. because nuclear deterrent is a backstop of detterence, this year's budget ensures our -- performers are -- at assets within days, share vital information, and increase our operability with our partners. finally the air force invests in advantages that allow us to defend the homeland, projector power globally, and operate as a join allied and parted force. more than, anyone i want tomorrow's airmen to be ready to respond on our nation calls. this includes investing in programs that allow all of our airmen and their families to reach their full potential. as united states air force celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, we are committed to remaining the world-class air force america can be proud of. current events demonstrate that the world is growing more complex and uncertain. i am certain will need the air power, anytime anywhere. i've certain this year's budget is another step towards transformation of the air force. i am certain
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there is still more work to be done. therefore, we must continue to communicate, collaborate, so we can accelerate change. thank you for the opportunity to be with you today, and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you. general raymond, please proceed. >> chair mccollumn, ranking member colbert, raking member gray bird, and a single overs of the committee. it is an honor to appear before you today with secretary kendall general brown. on behalf of the almost 14,000 guardian stations around the world, let me begin by thanking each of you for your continued leadership and your strong support of our guardians and their families. as we testify before you today, we found ourselves at a strategic inflection point where we are faced with an acute threat from russia, and a pacing challenge from china. the russian invasion of ukraine, has showcased the importance of space to all inferences of national. power it rinsed formation derived from straight, including commercial imagery has been instrumental in dominating the environment union forces intersecting missile threats. it is clear that the character of war has
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changed and spaces foundational to that change. however, russians recent direct dissent, anti satellite missile test last november is just the latest evidence of efforts to deny our nation the advance to just that space provides. just as concerning, are pacing challenges china is integrating space into their military operations to detect, track, target, and strike the joint force putting your sailors, soldiers, airman, and marines, and guardians on the ground, in the and in the air, and on the at high risk. we cannot allow potential adversaries to gang gain and unchallenged ability to conduct space enabled attacks. our joint forces will remain at risk until we can complete the transformation to resilient space architecture, and protect the joint force from space unable to tax. this is critical to supporting all aspects of the national defense strategy, integrate deterrence campaign and building enduring advantage. to remain the world's leader in space, this presents a budget request prioritizes space and invest
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24. 5 billion to ensure our assured access to, and freedom to maneuver, in space. the largest shares research and development testing and evaluation funding, almost 16 billion dollars, to modernize our forces. a portion of which will begin to pivot to a more resilient and mission capable -- our commercial industry, and our allies and partners. to increase readiness, we are funding operational test and draining infrastructure. this ensures that we can get the right capability on orbit, and in the hands of operators
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trained in operating in a contested zone. robust testing and training capabilities are -- telecommunications. finally, and most importantly, we invest in our guardians and their families. over the past years, we have overhauled how you recruit, assess, train, develop, promote, an employee, and take care of guardians. resilient space power isn't just about satellites, it is also about guardians. this is one of the reasons why we are seeking the integration of active duty and reserve forces, into a single hybrid component structure. this space component is central to our human capital plan, and will last to best align our full-time a part-time members. this is our number one legislative proposal, and we look forward to working with this committee, to implement this bold and transformational approach. as secretary kendall has mentioned, change is hard, and losing unacceptable. the transformation we are beginning that was the central, to protecting the joint force, and for the security space. thank you again for your leadership, and support of our space force
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it is an honor to appear before you and i look forward to your questions. >> thank, you. all four members thank you, all. for members who have just come in, we are going to a church at a five minute will as we don't know when folks are going to be called for. all of us will ask questions today. gentlemen, as you know, different space systems on time and with the budget has been a challenge for quite some time. examples, gps grant control segment was more than six years late and 70% over budget. gps handsets for war fires were years behind schedule and the current missile warning system was delivered nine years late and 15 billion dollars over budget. so fixing acquisition is one of the four primary reasons why space force was created. so, secretary kendall, you and i are going to have an opportunity to talk later today, so i'm going to focus on space force. we need to make sure the overall space force five your
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budget is executed ball and support-able. the next five your budget estimate is basically flat, rising a bit in 2024, be falling falling before below the 2023 proposed budget level. secretary kendall and general brown, do you feel that the fy 23 were quest and then the out year projections reflect what will actually take to deliver a successful acquisitions and programs? there are significant budget shortfalls that you are aware of over the next few years, and if so, what programs could possibly be put at risk? does a space for us really believe that it could carry out this mission with that flat budget prioritizing current activities and? and if so, what would you prioritize. secretary kendall and then general raymond. >> chairman it's a great question. i think it's very perceptible. the transformation i talked about in the difficult choices that lie ahead are related to what you just asked me.
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we are starting to transformation of our capabilities in space with the missile warning architecture and the communications architectures that we are investing in 23. we are also working to define our other needs, but to provide the services and enable the joint force from space and also to protect the joint force from possible attack based on targeting by our enemies from space. we have a lot of work still to do their. but i think we're off to, i think, a very solid start. i do not anticipate that future budgets will remain factor go down for the space force a, quite the opposite. but we still have the funnel requires. we have to make sure that the programs that we put in place, as you indicated, are structured for success. we don't have massive schedule and cost overruns. we'll want to avoid that. there are opportunities through emerging technologies and through commercial best practices that i think will make that possible. but we're still going to have to be disciplined and we're going to have to be smart about how we invest a space. and i think that's the picture that we see coming, okay?
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at this point, i think, the 23 budget, does a good start, gives us a good start towards those type of architectures and gives us the resources we need to decide what next steps we need to take. yes, ma'am, i agree wholeheartedly with secretary kendall. we still have work to do. we've got a great fourth design that's united to partner do on this fourth design now we have to acquired and if we acquire this fourth design in the same way we do legacy systems it would be unaffordable and we have to change the way we do dismiss and central to that is the work that we've done to modernize our acquisition systems. you mentioned previously the current constellation and the overruns it had. the current program, next geo, it's on schedule. it's about every performance parameter and inspect all these coupons parameters and completed its critical design regime reverend discount 25 months ahead of the average time it takes from start to large of a program and. so we are keeping a laser focus on this to make sure we can
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deliver on a cost and timeless that's critical to our nation. >> well thank you gentlemen. i'm impressed with your enthusiasm that you're going to be on time, on target, on budget on budget. but i do have a, i do have some concerts. >> be,. >> especially as light as both the ranking member and i brought up inflation. inflation is something that wasn't fully, i'm sure, baked into this budget. but inflation in general that doesn't mean and increase and i appreciate your due diligence in making sure that when we have contracts or concerns about inflation that we are counting the right things in the right basket for inflation and not just taking an across the board increases. so we will follow up with some more questions for the record. but for right now, i thank you. and members, i am yielding back time. mr. caliphate. >> thank you, madam chair. general brown, you are aware of my disagreement with the air
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force views on the future of the mq-9 report. it seems that when you did not want to keep the aircraft in your inventory you're labeling it not survive rubble. without clearly describing what it means, and requesting to divest it, i understand that if you are or if we are in a kinetic war with china that the mq-9 will not be able to collect isr an adversarial territory. but much of the world's uncontested air fleet airspace. and co-comes in these areas desperately need more isr. every single combatant commander i talked to once more isr and specifically specifically the mq-9. i have a four questions i'd like you to answer. one, can you put more context and specifics into the term survive ability? two, are we meeting our geographic combatant commanders operational needs? and three, the air force seems
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to have no problem justifying the purchase of -- command fighter aircraft at a higher cost than the more survival fifth jim, yet it refuses to see any value in a fourth jen on affordable platform. i could see a value in the mix of the fourth and fifth generation platforms, so how do you explain the air force is different positions on these platforms? and finally, if the air force position is to maintain the current fleet until 2030, and then require the mq-9s, when will this be prototype, tested, and then fielded? olivia's time to answer this. >> appreciate the question, mr. covid. that we put it all in context. there is a mixture of capabilities and specific to the mp nine 90 isr, -- because the air force. the air force is in high demand from the back mentors and i speak to them quite often. as you look at the mp mq-9s in
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this particular budget, there are hundreds of them that are being transferred to in the government, into government transfer and they'll be no impact to the commanders on the mq-9. no impact to the number comment is maintaining the combat lines. the same thing with our -- >> why do they disagree with that? why is it? >> you know, they are, i noted there demanding customers. but we are providing them the isr that we do have. and this is why again the air force is in high demand. as far as their needs there, the balance of leads between them with the combatant commands and not only for the mq-9s but other platforms and to put the survive ability pearson to context i can talk to any more in a classified session of the specifics of these platforms. so they will be a mix of the connector -- persistent with the mq-9s and so we will continue to have mq-9s in our inventory. first as to the fourth and fifth jen, just like the mix on of fighter fleet between fourth and fifth jen, we will have the same kind of a mix with our isr
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platforms and you'll have platforms like the mq-9 and some of our big one isr with the other classified forms, we'll have more chance to talk about in the classified session. and so there is a balance between the current fleet we have today and the fleet we'll have to have in the future. and we have to balance it against the threat. the threat we've been up against for the past 30 years, particularly in the middle east, has been very purposes. the threats that we face in the future and frankly we're facing today are less permissive, and which is why we have to have a mix of capability to operated both in a permissive environment and a less permissive environment than you expect to see from our adversaries, particularly the peoples republic of china. >> well, i would point out that not just the middle east is -- but africa's permissive. south america is permissive. 90% of the globe is. so, when -- when we took a look at the cost information between the so-called survival isr versus what you've defined as not survival, it's significant. so we need to look at that and
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determine whether or not that risk is a really war is really worth it in the both in the short term and the long term. so forward to working with you on that but as you know, i disagree with your basic premise on this. >> and secretary, we know this as part of -- we do this at levels of analysis that go through this to make sure that we into the best -- getaway mix but. i'm very happy to work with you in the rest of the committee and be able to talk to you in more detail about it a, reproach, particularly as we look at, as we get into a classified session. >> just one last point. i just want to point out, as you know, the marine corps is buying more for indopacom so they obviously believe that they can count on the air force to provide that surface which is really frustrating. because in the beginning of this thing, air force was going to run all the isr and the cia had to do it and the army had to do it and then the marine corps is going to do was going
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to do it and it should have been, quite frankly, all under one umbrella of the united states air force. but obviously that that genie is out of the bottle. thank you, madam chair, i yield back. >> thank you, mr. calvin. mr. -- , you are recognized. >> general raymond, in recent years the space development agency, sda, has pursued its northward constellations. i believe that the proliferation of -- satellite constellations critical to our nation's future efforts in data communication, missile defense, projectile navigation, and battlefield operations in war. now, as a space forcefully absorbs sva in fiscal year 2023, her does your budget assure that we maintain it on authorities and efficiencies we need and sda to remain on
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contract >> thank you for the question, for airport programs? >> >> sir. sda, i too, believe that proliferation of the lower obsolete [inaudible] is critical the. cornerstone of our budget is exactly. that the space development agency has helped inform that. they've been working side by side with us as we bring sda in. their capabilities, their prototypes are included in this. the way secretary kendall has worked with rne, parent of sda today, is like there were part of our team. we're already integrating them and as we're going to bring them and we want to bring them in as they are to give them the flexibility to be able to operate as they are, and we're going to provide support to make sure that they stay lean and efficient and go fast. >> okay. secretary kendall, now that we are more than two years in, how do you assess the department of air force's management of building and integrating space force? and what hard budget decisions do
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you have to make in fy 23 to ensure we maintain our advantage in the space domain? i realize it's a broad question, but give it a shot. >> i think overall, i'm very happy with what i inherited as i came to office about a year ago. i think general raymond and his team have done a fantastic job. they have fully laid out a path forward to require resilient capabilities and they're also dealing with what we need to do to protect the joint force from targeting from space our adversaries. so we are on the right track. and we've made some good steps in the right direction. but there's even -- a lot of work still to be done. we have to define the rest of the architectures that we are going to need for space services, and we have a number of things underway. we'll talk about in the classified form as well. one of the key things we need to do was work closely with the intelligence community to ensure that the isrs, which came up just early in the field hearing, that we need from
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space, are provided effectively from space. the intelligence community has an intelligence mission but it also understand it needs to support operational forces. and we're working in close collaboration with the intelligence community to define requirements and that meet both of our needs and then systems that will do that as well. so that's a work in progress, and that's one of the things that we'll be addressing in the budget on future submissions. >> you know there's a lot of debate about that, whether we should do it, whether we shouldn't do, that there are a lot of different things that we've done. and we need to stand behind it. >> we, the space force? >> yes absolutely, congressman. >> >> -- then behind it, fully committed to making at this. >> -- the committee feels the same way. i think. >> i do. >> i yield back. >> i think we all want space force to be a huge success. you're next going to hear from ms. granger, and then mr. coleman.
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>> the commander of the u.s. european command testified about the incredible capabilities of the f-35 deployed in the region. however, budget requests reduce the number of f-35s the air force wants to buy. secretary kendall, can you please explain the reduced number in your request, and if the air force is still committed to the f-35? and to what degree? >> i will answer the second part first, we are absolutely committed to the f-35, it is a cornerstone of our fighter fleet and will be for many years to come. people have asked me if we are committed to the program, we're 15 years into production and i suspect we will be there for another 15 years. the reduction we took this year, and we'll probably extend into next year, was based on a number of factors. there were a number of things we need to do in the portfolio. one of them was to buy out the remaining number of inventory of f-15 exs that we need. for the capabilities that would provide. we want to increase the funding for the next
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generation of air dominance, which will be the follow along to the f-22. we have some other programs we want to move forward as well. we also are very interested and insistent on getting the block 4 capabilities where the f-35. the contractors have been late in delivering them so far so we want to see evidence that they will be able to accomplish that before we increase the production. that was a major factor as well. >> thank you. >> is the gentlewoman yielding back? or does the gentlewoman have another question? >> thanks madam chair, thank you for being with us. i was hoping to briefly cover two topics. secretary kendall, as you know, the air mobility command is the critical backbone of our nation's response to global threats. air refuelling is a key part of
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mobility commands operations, we are fortunate to have both the 92nd wing and also the 141st on the other side of my state in spokane. despite its critical role, the 141st still operates as a classic associate unit without kc-135s. as the air force brings more kc-46s into service, is the air force exploring options to -- >> we are in the process of looking at where kc-46 will be based for the remainder of what remains, we project. we are constantly looking at the basing for cost of force, basically. one of the things we do pay attention to is there is a numerous amount of political interest in maintaining capability. one of the things
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we are asking people to look at is that flying capability is not always the best thing for you to have. there are other capabilities such as cyber and battle management capabilities that we can use as well. one of our older aircraft is going to be retired. kc-135s serve us very well but it is a very old plane. we will be bringing down in our crest and bringing through the total number of tankers modestly. of course with the help of the committee. we are going to re-capitalize that fleet and continue to do that. tankers are incredibly important part of our structure. they are not the only thing. we also have to balance a lot of competing things as we do our planning for the future. >> the other thing i wanted to quickly touch on was housing. i know you are dealing with issues related to recruitment and retention of service members. we have seen, across the country, a big spike in the cost of single family homes in our neck of the woods, it has gone up 24% from the last year. rent is up about 19% since the beginning of the pandemic. that affects everybody but particularly servicemembers since, unlike civilians, they cannot choose where they live
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and have to deal with increasingly competitive housing markets. i applaud the d. o. d. for increasing the basic allowance for housing. it is clearly not enough. i was hoping you would talk about what is being done to ensure that service members can afford rent or purchase house at their new duty station. and, whether you are exploring any ways to increase on base housing as well? >> we are looking at all sorts of ways to address this, what has happened, as you indicated is that cost of housing has gone up dramatically and quickly. secretary austin is personally very concerned about this. we have had a number of conversations about it. we are taking steps to, in some places, increase basic help for housing out of cycle. we need this for the committee as we go forward. particularly as inflation continues making adjustments in interim periods. not just on an annual basis. it is something we are tracking very carefully. we are trying to maintain the quality of our on base housing as well. that is an important thing to do.
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>> thank you, thank you madam chair, i yield back. >> thank you, thank you members for being so considerate of over one. mr. cole and then ms. kilpatrick. >> thank you so much, great to have you, i want to begin by just associating myself with the remarks of the ranking member both the full committee and the subcommittee about these concerns about divestiture and the overall size of the budget. that is just, frankly, with all due respect, too low in the kind of world that they're living in today. i suspect that will be something the full committee and the subcommittee will struggle with going forward. an example of this or one of my concerns is, number one, i want to begin by complimenting you. thank you for beginning to replace our airborne early warning control systems, they are way out of date. they are old, aging. but i'm a bit worried about the speed at
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which you're retiring e3s. we had this fight during the obama, years and i remember having a discussion then with the chief and he said i don't want to cannibalize planes that i'm going to need, and i don't want to put you in that dilemma, but i think that you are in this again now. these are high demand assets from a commander standpoint. so give me an idea of how you are balancing this off, retiring them. because i am very worried that at the end we'll retire capabilities that at the end right now. not have them when we need them, and then frankly not have enough on the other side of this as we would have liked. >> thank you, congressman. we have a gap today at airborne early warning capability. current awacs are not where they need to be to deal with the threats that we currently
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are facing. and it is very difficult to maintain them. there availability rate is less than 50%. so what we hope to do by retiring 15 this year, is to increase the availability of the balance. a couple of ways we can do that is we transfer people over to those aircraft to do maintenance on them and we also have parts available from the aircrafts that we are retiring. but we need to do is to accelerate the capability that we really need, which in the interim is the e-7, and get that as quickly as possible. there are limited ways to do that. it takes about two years to get the new airplanes that we are going to be modifying, and then another two years roughly to modify them. we are looking at creative ways to try to accelerate that process, and to reduce the risk. and we are all very aware that this is an important priority for the air force. we are trying to do everything we can. >> i appreciate that, but this is not like the kc-135 where there are hundreds of them. 15 out of 32. and then say we are going to have capability four years out, is really high risk. i mean you are going to have a period of time where you simply don't have the aircraft that you need for early warning and
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control. >> the problem is, we don't have the aircraft that we need today. the awacs that we have today are not adequate for the threats. >> i totally agree. i have been making this argument for years. so again, i praise you for that. i think you are right to be bringing our new capability. what i worry about is losing over the next four years, four years is a long time. and i have watched--again i would rather replace capability as it comes on than retire aircraft. but the idea of retiring this money now, and hoping that we will have what we need in four years is a big risk to me. and one that i think is not wise to take and again we are putting you in that spot in my view. i am giving you the budget that you need, and capabilities to replace capability in a timely fashion. but anyway, and just to be honest with you, i've seen that throughout the budget. and again i put the blame for that on us, not on you. we stretched some of these
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platforms way too long on things like the kc-135 or things like the e3s. we should've done this long time ago but retiring them too quickly right now i think is a risk and i would rather risk giving you more resources, and have you bring on more capabilities, then sort of retire as you bring on as opposed to having a period where we drop from 32 planes down to 17 or so. that is just, i don't see how you can meet the needs that you have from your combatant commanders if we made that kind of decision. and i expect we see that again an area after area. i think that's where the ranking barrier member was about, her concerns on the f-35. i don't have a lot of time. i want to follow the good example of the others madam chair so i will yield
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back. we thank you. >> mr. patrick followed by mr. --. >> thank you madam chair, and thank you to all the witnesses. secretary kendall in general brown, as you are well aware, my district is home to the largest concentration of a-10 aircraft in the world with 89 based davis modern air force base. these uniquely capable aircraft have been called upon time and time again to deliver incredibly effective close air support in a way that no other platform has been able to do. saving countless allied lives in the process. the budget request proposes a divestment of the fleet to 260 planes, but the budget documents make clear that the air force only intense on procuring wing replacement kits for a fleet size of no
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more than 218 aircraft. you both have indicated that you do not believe there will be many viable mission sets for the a-10 in the near future. this is something we have heard from the air force for more than a decade. and yet the a-10 continued to be called upon. the security situation in ukraine, which is largely a mission the a-10 was designed for, by the way, demonstrates that the world is an incredibly dangerous and unpredictable place. i was glad to read this week that a-10s are deploying to eastern europe just report the armory's swift response exercise. i am just going to judge utility there. i was also glad to read this week, but the
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air force has determined that the a-10, and in particular, its unique gun system is capable of destroying even the most modern armor and contests and environments. with the air force's own press release stating, quote, the a-10 is well suited for agile combat employment roles, and this test proves the a-10 can continue to deliver massive rapid fire power, with devastating effects on enemy vehicles in a contested environment, end quote. clearly, there remains a mission for the a-10 beyond counterinsurgency. so my question for secretary kendall and general brown, do you agree that new ring sets must be
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procured in order to keep these aircraft flying into the 2030s? >> mister secretary, i am going to give you an additional 30 seconds beyond what you have to answer that and tthen we'll tgo on to the next question. >> our plan with the a-10 this to answer that. and then we year is to remove 21 aircraft will go to the next question. and replace them with f-16's in indiana. so a relatively >> our plan with the a-10 this moderate modest request this year is to remove 21 aircraft year. overtime though, we do to and replace them with f-16's in indiana. so a relatively intend to divest the a-10s. we moderate modest request this don't want to re-wing airplanes year. overtime though, we do to that we intend to divest in the intend to divest the a-10s. we not too distant future. i'm a don't want to re-wing airplanes that we intend to divest in the former army officer. i am a big not too distant future. i'm a former army officer. i am a big proponent of kosher support and i've been a fan of the a-10 for almost my entire career. the problem is, it is an old aircraft that was designed for an environment that is not the one we're most concerned about now. it was designed to be very survival against ground fire, in particular. it is not survival against modern threats. when we look at our.
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. . . >>. , -- ,,,,,,.
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,. >> -- and madam chair, i yield back my. time has expired. thank you, mr. womack, and then ms. capture. >> thank you, madam chair. generals, thank you for your service to our great country, and the work that you're doing presently to the distinguished secretary. i want you to know that you are not alone at fourth week in november. even though you are situated between two air force generals. that when you try to channel that inner black knight loyalty that i'll be with you. i have your back. >> thank you, congressman. >> football aside, i'd like to just ask you a question but the
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british tanker program a. i know it's a program you are tracking closely, one that you've been asked about in your at the hearings on the hill. i know the air force hasn't determined the requirement yet for this british tanker. can you share with us when you expect the requirements to be finalized and what amc is looking at in developing these requirements, a critical piece of our national defense strategy? >> well, thank you, congressman. we are looking at what our operational needs will be going forward, and what the cost effectiveness would be of various options. get to that is what we need operationally, first, right? and immobility commented looking at that. they're evaluating what class of tanker in terms of capacity arrangement and so on will be the best in the mix as we go forward. at one time it looked as if we would be moving towards a platform with significant today kc-46. it that's not very clear at this point.
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so i've been trying to be very clear with people that the likelihood of competition competition has diminished as we've gotten to understand the requirements better were. not through with that process yet. we should be making a decision later this calendar year and exactly what the plan for profit will be but i want to be as trans for transports as of what the situation is. >> i share some of the concerns that -- particularly where it concerns the e3 a wax program. but generally speaking i have concerns about aircraft readiness. and when you look across the spectrum of our aerial platforms, mission capable rates are a big concern of mine and i know there are a big concern to the force as a whole. and ironically enough, i might be wrong, but i think the a-10 probably has a mission capable rate that's higher than a lot of the other platforms. but i do support the
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divestiture targets that you're looking at four terms of efficiency and need and to be able to free up resources to address some of our other needs are. does that fy 23 budget process request, address this issue, and what are your overall rolodex true expectations for some of these numbers moving forward? >> we are working on increasing and improving the availability of our aircraft. and i talked about in my opening statement. we're trying to balance the capabilities, which is a function of what we resources we put into that forces the resources we put into other things that are important to us. and i think we struck a reasonable balance. we're trying to meet the needs of our commanders around the world and we are trying to focus in particular on the pacing challenge in the indo-pacific region but also with developers in europe, we're having to basically make sure that we're as capable there as we can before as well as support ongoing requirements
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in other areas and when we look at that we try to maintain a fuller presence and capability as well as a search capability if it might be needed at. the same time, we are of course investing in the future. but we think we've got the bullets about in the right place at this point in time but we are always looking for ways to improvement. let me ask general brown to ask a atrophy where. >> that thank you very much. and that's the analysis we do, and we do a number of, and we really focus on is the analysis that we look at what we project the threat to be but all how also how we balance what the -- founders need and as i talk to commanders and talk in the building i talk about balancing risk overtime it's. the risk that we take today with the combatant commanders had as you look at the future at the risk we take in the future so. how do we balance that? we don't buy down all the risk today and when we get to the future, we have a lot more risk and. so that's part of the conversation we're having as we move forward. >> well, i share my, the same
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concerns with mr. cole. look, this problems on you, and it's really from us, i do believe that we need to increase the spending so that we can buy down some of that risk. and so, that will be an effort, i think, that a lot of us will continue to fight going forward. but i do appreciate the service to your great country, and thank you so much, and i'll yield back my time. >> thank you. ms. kaptur and then mr. carter. >> thank you, madam chair, very much. gentlemen, thank you for your great service to our country. secretary kendall, i wanted to just ask you a question in terms of the current conflict in europe with russia's war on ukraine. as the air force both in terms of regulator in terms of guard being been integrated in a manner that allows access space that may exist on cargo flights that are going over to europe anyway, we made available to humanitarian groups in our
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country that are attempting to get goods there, for example rotary there are many humanitarian groups, church groups, hospitals and so forth. it's so expensive by air. have you been asked to identify flights that are going over anyway that might take goods into some of our allies that then assure that it gets into ukraine? >> representative kaptur i'm, not aware of that. we can check that for the record, eternal brand. our activities have been supporting the conflict that providing things, as you are aware, the president has provided a lot of aid to ukraine to, the defense department has very very accurate in providing that and removing it over to europe. we've had of a lot of flights are going for that purpose. i'm not aware of the extent to which there may be, you know, additional capacity that wasn't used. it may be used for the purposes described, which sounds like a reasonable thing for us to be doing. i'd have to take it for the record to see what's being done could be done there. >> thank you, i really appreciate that.
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yes. >> very much, indeed, secretary. i'm not aware of any request so far but we willing to take a hard look at that and see what we can assist. >> there are certain assets sitting on the ground all over this country, and i appreciate your interest in looking at that. if someone could get back to me at some point, i'd be very grateful on that. thank you very much. i wanted to ask general raymond, you have to stand up something brand-new. that's really hard to. and i wanted to ask you, as you look at where the space force is currently a rate across the country, but in terms of physical space as well as human infrastructure, is it largely centered on one of the coasts? it's like, east coast? is it a rate across the country, is there anything in the great lakes? could you give us a sense of what that looks like across our country? not specific locations, but it just in general. >> thank you. and i am privileged to stand up to the mid force and i have a great team. and i'm proud of that team.
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largely, with pace being a global domain, you have to have capabilities around the globe to be able to operate. in coney, we operate in about six big from california to the east coast and we've got california colorado and a couple of different places in colorado, florida, new mexico or some of the big hubs. and then we have smaller sites kc-46s stationed in northern california and cape cod and north dakota and thule, greenland, -- alaska. and globally new york. so we are global enterprise. so very small numbers. 8400 active duty folks by the end of this year, but as a global presence. >> i would just like to say in terms of ohio the home of john glenn and neil armstrong the great lakes always seems to get left out. and i'm just making a plea i. can't make anything happen in this city. i've tried for a long time. but just pay attention to the great lakes look. at the number of enlistments that come from a recent for
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each of you, and i know about right back and but i'm just saying as we move forward don't forget us. you don't have to respond. >> i won't i, won't forget you. we do rely heavily on the folks at bright path. we have a guardian statement right pad as well. one of the big benefits that we received bob to file benefits that we received in setting up the state book is our ability to attract down. we have more people knocking on a door from around the world and around the country that we can take. that's a we will make sure we keep a close eye on getting the right and in the fourth. >> thank you very, very much. and i have two other items, very briefly. i'm wondering, in terms of the rejection in requests for f-35s, i'm privileged to represent the 188 fighter wing, which is a national guard unit that is always already. in toledo, ohio. and i'm just wondering whether or not that unit is still on the list for consideration for
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f-35s? it was in the past. in view of the fact that you are suggesting that the procurement be reduced? >> ms. kaptur d, want to do other questions so they can take it for the record? >> also there's plummet research station in ohio on your list for potential threats for hypersonic activities. >> well it takes us for the record. >> thank you, miss captain. >> thank you very much. >> mr. carter and then mr. crist. >> thank you, madam chairman. secretary general, since world war ii and midway through it we've dominated the airspace and awards throughout the history of the united states. we political leaders and ordinary city in zones we're fully aware of the progress going on in china. in your opinion, to fight
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tonight and in the future as we go through these process changes we are going to be able to dominate air spores space so that we can win, fight and win, in the fight tonight. >> no potential adversary of the united states should doubt for a moment the capability and the result of the united states of the capacity of the united states airport to deal with -- . we have the most formidable fighting machine on the planet but we are being challenged and, we are being challenged very effectively. the threat briefings that i talked about earlier lays out the ways in which we are being challenged. so we have to move to our next generation capability as quickly as we can. there's no doubt about that. the chinese have been watching the american way of projecting power since the first call for 30 years ago and they spent the last 20 or 30 years investing in things designed to defeat the united states.
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so we have to respond to that. and secretary brown has said, we have to accelerate change or we will lose. and that's an exactly accurate statement. that's what we're trying to do with the budget in 23 is to effect some of that change. so do you want to? >> >> they one other thing i will say is that data is the quality, it is not only the equipment we put in their hands but the hard work that they do day in and day out. ensuring we are able to deal with what the nation has asked us to do. i am very confident we can do that. by the same token i do not want to put ourselves in a position where you have any doubt, that this is why we want to make that transition in the future. >> as we look at what is going on in the world and we are seeing a lot of people are commenting based on what is happening in ukraine will have an influence on whether china decides to invade taiwan, which would put that fight over in
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the pacific. being in charge of helping out the heavy army, that is my job. we have to dominate the airspace for our armor to be effective. we have armor fighters here and they know that. therefore i am worried about the drawdown, i think that is the first question that mr. calvin asked. as we draw down, i read through that next question, it looked like you were just taking down an awful lot of platforms in the hope that you get to the future quickly. our history is we do not. i would say take a look at the f-35 and how long it took to get it there. and many, many other platforms, historically we view our bureaucratically bombs down in our forces with some of the way we procure and go forward. if we are going to drawdown in anticipation of being able to
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dominate in the future, that raises great concern to me. depending on that question is going to stand for the next five or six years. thank you. >> thank you, mr. carter, mr. crist and then mr. rogers? >> thank you, madam chair, very much. mister secretary, as we see powerful storms and more frequent flooding affecting our military installations i'm concerned about the effects of climate change on our security and readiness. we have already seen catastrophic flooding and wind damage at the air force base in nebraska and an air force base in our state of florida. many other facilities like macdill air force base, i wondered if you could talk about the threats posed by extreme weather, events, and what we are doing to respond to them. >> congressman, you gave two
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great examples of the facts. often that air spurs base where we have seen the implications of more extreme weather. we are trying to take that in account with our plans to make sure we are as resilient as possible. there are also other effects of climate change around the world. which changed the geopolitical behaviors and patterns around the world. change the environment we have to operate in to a wide number of a facts. the department is very aware of this and is trying to plan for the best we possibly can. >> thank you very much, i will yield back. >> thank you, next as mr. rogers, and then we will and with mr. at a holt. mr. rogers? >> thank you for your service to the country, and for being here today with us. since putin put his finger on the nuclear button has that changed our nuclear posture in any way?
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>> the short answer to your question is no, we have maintained a posture which we think is adequate given the threat situation. we are being paying a great deal of attention to president putin and the potential for something to happen there. it is a concern that we are watching. do you want to add to that? >> our posture has not changed, i am very proud of what we do day in and day out to ensure we maintain our nuclear posture. we also work that very closely with the united states strategic command and our air force which of the operation commanders that have the responsibilities to ensure organized training is equipped to support our nuclear portfolio. make sure it is safe, secure, and reliable. >> at what level of threat are we under, now? >> the way i would characterize this is we have increased just based on the rhetoric that
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comes from president putin and based on the current events. i would also offer that we do pay attention to maintaining our rates, not only our nuclear portfolio but really across all of our portfolios. increased awareness in that we are paying closer attention. particularly based on current events and how things are playing for mr. putin in ukraine. >> let me bring up the issue of j c two. modernization. as we see china and russia both increase their missile stockpiles, and advance hypersonic capabilities i believe it is of the utmost importance that we are able to detect incoming threats before it is too late. secretary kendall, in your opening statement you mentioned that the fiscal 23 budget provides
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for an interim airborne warning and control replacement. i am glad to see that we are modernizing but i worry about the word interim. what steps are being taken to ensure that this interim solution remains an interim solution? >> there are two or three things in that question, congressman. the interim solution is there because we envision at some point we will need to do something that is even more survival. what a threat is doing for airborne surveillance and for any aircraft that performs that type of a mission is to each further up in legal mechanisms that can defeat those. traditionally they survive to a large extent by standing off and being aware of a threat. trying to build systems that reach out. they are pretty far down that pass. with regard to hypersonics the critical issue
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is missile attack warning. we have capability now with the launches very well. it does a good job of tracking holistic missiles. i hypersonic missiles are much more uncertain in their trajectory's and difficult to track. the new arch that general raymond is talking about is designed to do that mission from space. in general we would like to move towards space based capabilities for surveillance against a variety of threats. it's the most efficient thing for us to do and it gives us global coverage and if we can do it as well as having resilient architecture that is an ideal solution for us. that is one of the words i use the word interim when i talk about this, general raymond may want to say a bit more about the hypersonics problem and what the new architecture will do for that. >> the architecture that you'll see in this president but its request has two things. one, it allows us to detect and track manoeuvrable hypersonics, which are more challenging today. and the second thing it does is
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it diversify our architecture, just like you diversify your financial portfolio, and build resilience to a threat on order. >> are we able to keep up with the recent chinese advances? >> that is why we are here. i'm very comfortable that we are the world's best today, and i'm very comfortable that we have a team, and with your support, the resources to be able to stay ahead of that threat. but there is work to be done, and we have to stay focused on that, and move fast. >> the russians deployed hypersonics in ukraine in the last few days. did our current systems prove useful to that observation? >> we have world coverage on being able to detect missiles and go into more details and a classified setting. >> all right, thank you. thank, you gentlemen, for your service. >> we have about five votes
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pending shortly. mr. aguilar, and mr. at our hold, and mr. ryan has just joined us. >> mister secretary, thank you madam chair, mister secretary i wanted to follow up on the hypersonic discussion. you previously stated that china has a asymmetric and are crucial to invest in systems that we can compete with our near peer adversaries. however, the air launched rapid response and hypersonic glide missile includes three launch test fares in 2021. and in the fuzzy -- requesting rdtd any funding for this program. you stated that this is not the long term strategy. what is the long term strategy for this? if we provide this funding do you anticipate it being able to move into production in 24? >> the arrow is one of the programs we have in the
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department of defense. the program has not been successful in research and development so far. it can indicate the flight test, we want to see proof of success before we see commitment to production. the overall situation with regard to hypersonics, i think people are a little more complex than people understand. where do not want to mirror image the chinese, necessarily, they have done some tests including one that wasn't orbital capability last fall. the u.s. has a different operation than china. they are trying to keep our forces out of the region and there is a target to present because of that to them. they present a different target said to us and what we want to look at is what is the most cost-effective mix of weapons. there is certainly a role of hypersonics in that and we need
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to invest in that in some quantities. there is still no question in my mind about what is the most effective mix. hypersonic has some very intricate features, they're also very expensive. people have asked me where we are relative to the chinese. basically, i think it's comparable from the point of view of technology. they have been very aggressive about pushing vehicles, and trying to move forward with those. we have been less aggressive, but i think in terms of our technological capabilities, comparable. we have had more success with everything and hypersonic weapons. the development of those, but still, in the early stages for those. so it's really complicated. we do need to get into some classified information and discuss it fully. >> i am not interested in mimicking the chinese. i'm just trying to understand the budgetary implications, and the request that you put for us, which includes 115 million to continue testing in this respect. you are also requesting 634
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million in my personal attack cruise missiles, which is a large increase over that 190 million, provided in fy 22. therefore, spend a few hundred million on hypersonic prototype team program -- hypersonic prototyping h c s w, or hacksaw, only in that effort, so, could you continue to expand? you have mentioned multiple layers, you've also mentioned that we can go into other venues and talk about this. from a budgetary perspective can you give us your thoughts on what the priorities are for hypersonic and how we continue to put money for research into advance our interests without putting dollars into things that cannot get to production? >> overall, what we need to get to with hypersonics is that ability to engage more than targets. and current systems are sort of limited in that capability. they are generally designed for
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fixed targets. there are some fixed targets that we might want hypersonics to attack effectively. but for the future, we want to get to another class of targets. i can't really say very much more without getting to a classified assessment. >> i will yield back, madam chair. >> thank, you i will, back matters. thank you and reminding members, we have five votes currently on the floor, i will be going into a classified briefing with the secretary immediately after votes. so please, after the last five votes, go directly off if you're able to go that classified briefing. mr. after holt and mr. ryan. and mr. ryan. ryan i will state to make sure that you can ask your question. mr. adler holt. >> thank you, thank you. gentlemen for being here. interviewing last year's space command, basing its decision to relocate space command headquarters tonsil, alabama. expect or general ultimately found that based in the decision, quote, complied with federal law, and d.o.d. policy in the process was reasonable. representing.
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northern alabama, i can personally tell you that huntsville does have a perfect combination for defense experts, businesses, school workers, educational opportunities, and quality of life, that will help space command accelerate our nations capabilities into the next generation. i look forward to seeing the g. a. o. report when it is released, as i understand it will be any day now. mister secretary, let me address this question that you, assuming for this question, that the g. a. o. report does not recommend overturning the original basing decision, can you briefly explain the process for reaffirming the basing decision, and the timeline to stand up space command in huntsville? >> we are all hoping to move forward with the final decision as quickly as we can. we do need to see the final reports and assess those, and the normal process at this point would be, we have picked the preferred location. and some
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acceptable alternatives, basically, a total, of i think, six. so it we need to do under the nepa process and evaluation of environmental impacts and so on, as well as look at some other considerations before we finalize the decision. normally that process would take on four months, total, and about three months we'll be doing the assessment, and another month of public comment. so i am very hopeful that one way or the other, we get a final decision within the next several months. >> so, what would be the actual timeline to stand up? what would be the actual timeline to stand up at huntsville. >> so it would stand up after the decision, i would have to get you that for the record. i understand it requires a new building to be built for the headquarters, and there is some lead time associate with that. >> okay. i see that the fy 23 request seems to cut more than 100 aircraft, in order to focus on the air force modernization priorities. and i understand,
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and supporting attempts to modernize u.s. air force to more challenges. but i'm concerned by the price in terms of aircraft structure, that the budget proposals to pay to modernize. furthermore, even while we modernize, we must stay laser focused on defending the homeland. that is a given. the national guard in the reserve have long been low-cost solutions for national events, and in fact, the international guard performs 93% of the homeland defensive our missions. my question, has a department made any attempts to seek cost savings by transforming force structure to the national guard rather than eliminating it from the total force? >> i will let general brown offer his views on that too. we look at force posture all the time, and we try have a balance between the active, the guard and the reserve, which is
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sustainable overtime. and which provides the mix of immediate available capabilities, and capabilities available on a longer timeframe to meet all our needs. the rule the guard and it was regular in home and events, is really appreciated. it is a really cost-effective solution for the guard. >> congressman, we do a couple of things as we do our reviews. we look at the active garden review mix, but we also look at our overseas and state side mix, to ensure that we maintain a healthy force. because there is a dynamic to make sure that we have the help of the force for all three of the components, active guard and reserve. and as we do, that i look at it from a total force perspective. and so are laden is not just the governor, not just the active reserve, it is how we lay down our cross to make sure the capability to do all the missions that they've asked us to do, and -- defenses are high priority for us. and you are right, the guard doesn't outstanding job working homeland events, and so they do play in art of decision very highly as we lay out, in this
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case the fighter force structure across the united states air force. >> thank you. and i certainly think that that is something that should be taken into consideration. has the department considered accelerating modernization of the international guard alert units out of the f-16 and l 15 d and the fex and the f 35 aircraft. >> gentlemen, if that is gonna take more time than you have, please submit that for the record, but i will extended for another minute. >> i think we can take it for the record anyway.
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ir indulge -- the j models. but i did want to note a couple of things as your team in the air force reserves seek to finish the basing studied ultimately determine where these planes go. firstly, the subcommittee has twice passed report language to the air force reserve that was written with the c-130js in mind, and both the fy-16 and fy 17 had the reports state. and nearly and identical language quote, the air force reserve includes units that have, a designated specialized mission, as well as a traditional tactical mission. and the committee encourages the chief
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of the air force reserve to review the requirements to ensure that specialized units are allocated equipment upgrades necessary to address safety concerns associated with these missions, end quote. so general scobey, in testimony in 2019 before this subcommittee said the following. our fundamental basis is going to be that we put those aircraft in our special mission which includes the firefighters in the aerial spray unit in youngstown. so pointed to is that, under the prior ministration this study was already delayed once. it was put on ice after site pushes. which you may know, after the site visits had already been completed at the aerial spring and then in youngstown in the firefighting unit in peterson colorado. so, i want to urge you to use the work that has already been completed, and complete the spacing study in the most expeditious manner
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possible. i just want your assurances, mister secretary, that the air force in the air force reserve, will complete a basing study whose criteria is in line with the criteria laid out by the subcommittee and that is consistent with the past statements of the chief of the air force reserve, and that it's completed as expeditiously as possible so that our pilots are not forced to fly older, less safe aircraft any longer than they already have to. >> congressman ryan, we want to move forward and make decisions as soon as we can, i want to commit to that. we are still in the early stages of that process but we fully appreciate the importance of special missions such as spraying and firefighting, and even the arctic mission, so the c-130's provide a variety of functions. functions that are important both to the government and the country. we will take that under advisement as we move through the basic process. >> great, the base is not far from my house and i talk to the pilots over there. it is time
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for us to get moving on this. i know the pandemic has contributed to a certain extent. but we seem to have the information we need so i really appreciate it, and if you could just stay in touch with me on that. i have another question, madam chair i am going to submit for the record for general brown on food transformation. general, you have been working on this for a long time. as i statedto the panel that we had, with the secretary of defense a few days ago. we also, the appropriation also funds va health and the higher rates of diabetes, the higher rates of obesity is driving up health care cost both for active duty and for our veterans. it is something i think ties directly back to the issues around food. i want to submit a question on food transformation and engage on some of the changes that we have been pushing for. but i appreciate that, and madam chair, i will yield back to balance my time.
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>> appreciate that, mr. ryan, mr. calvert, as we wind up i have some questions for the record that i will be submitting beside some text technical questions staff head on the arctic hypersonics. we will talk that a little bit more classified. the bloc upgrade you are talking about with the f-35s, other things related to the f-35s and nuclear modernization. mr. -- calvert, anything before i adjourn? >> justin i also will have some questions for the record and into the classified session i want to obviously get into the hypersonic issue in more detail. so i lo9ok forward to doing that. thank you. >> few remaining members. i will remind again immediately after the fifth vote we will go up into classified session within the capital. once again i want to thank secretary kendall, general brown, and general raymond for being here today. please, once again thank
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all those who have served alongside of you. those who wear uniforms and those who come to work wearing civilian clothes. they all play an important role in our nations national security. with that that concludes today's hearing. the subcommittee now stands adjourned. pentagon and
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>>. [inaudible conversations]
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>> now, students, educators, and others, testify on free speech in the classroom, academic censorship and parental rights. the house oversight and reform subcommittee on simple rights hearing runs just over two hours. students, educators and others testify on free speech in the classroom, academic censorship and parental rights, oversized and reform subcommittee just over two hours.


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