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tv   This Week in Defense  CBS  December 9, 2012 8:00am-8:30am EST

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. welcome to "this week in defense news." i'm vago muradian. the united states maeve may be smaller today than it was in 1916 but even with 287 ships and 317,500 sailors, it is the most powerful maritime force in the world. leading it is admiral jon greenert, the 30th chief of the naval operations who has held some of the most critical jobs in the service including serving as comangdzer chief, heading the services fleet forces command before becoming the first submariner in nearly two decadeses to hold the navy's top job. he was vice chief of the navy where he helped shaped joint strategies and budgets and the fate of acquisition programs. but the navy he leads faces challenges. deployments are getting longer, suicides are on the rise, commanders are being fired at
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near record levels, ship costs are soaring and budget cuts are coming. admiral greenert, it's an honor to have you on the program. >> thank you for having me. >> what sequestration planning are you doing? i know you've been thinking about it for a long time and where are you going to cut if you have to come up with more money as almost everybody expects as part of a budget deal? >> well, we still remain in a, if you will, a thinking phase. we will be given guidance on precisely where to take the reductions but it's relatively clear. military personnel has been exempt. we've asked for that and we got that. that's the right thing to do. it's -- sequestration is an algorithm. the deal is those directed cuts in every budget line and project. we may be given some leeway but if we are, i don't know what that is yet. that will be forth coming. the concern would be operations and paint nance. we want to be -- paint nance. we want to -- paint nance.
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we want to know that those are covered. those getting ready to deploy have appropriate resources. so that will be my primary concern going in. >> do you know at this point what else you would ask to be exempted? would there be nuclear things, for example? what would be things that would fall into the bucket that you might ask redress from? >> that would certainly be one. for example, strategic nuclear, we have to cover that. but we have i think that sort of opportunity there. in other words, the ability to move operations and maintenance maybe here, there, to cover, again, those forces that are forward. that would include strategic nuclear. the concern is civilian personnel because that one i don't think we can preclude reductions. they support our forces. they're part of the team. how we do that is of concern and something we'll watch very closely. >> the navy used to cap deployments at six months. but that -- as the number of ships and fleet have gotten smaller and demands remain constant, that stretched to
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eight, nine, ten months sometimes, they require that there be two carriers in the gulf at all times. that strains the fleet. you say the navy can't maintain this degree of tempo. does the requirement have to be reconsidered and is there a certain point in which the navy is going to have to say no to combatant commands who want your presence? >> we agreed through march to provide a presentation in the arabian gulf as you alluded to. that was a request by the central command and was agreed to by all the chiefs and eventually the secretary of defense. we've been doing that since 2010. what my point earlier was, it is not in our strategy to main obtain two in the arabian gulf and one in the western pacific. however, we can surge. that's part of our fleet response plan and the fleet response training plan supports it. but it's difficult. if we are going to sustain this beyond let's say the remainder of this year, we need to look at the industrial base, the repair industrial base, we need to look at our training processes, and we need to measure the tempo of our
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people. >> that's-- >> that's my number one concern. the individual tempo. >> speaking of that, what is the long-term impact of longer deployments on sailors and equipment? >> on equipment it will wear earlier, especially if you don't maintain it right. just overall, if you figure a ship will last, say, 50 years, there's a certain element or a certain assumed operational tempo in that. if you're going to use it more, then it won't last as long. we need to take that into account. nuclear fuel, the beauty of nuclear aircraft carriers is the uranium fuel. if you burn more of the fuel, then you'll have to refuel sooner. >> it's a gas tank. >> effectively. >> it's just a lot of gas in a tiny bit of space. >> when i mentioned industrial base, that's the point. we need to not only if need be turn them faster so make sure we have the right capacity there but also take into account when do they come in for maintenance. >> operate forward has been one of your tenets of your term. but how will you maintain a forward presence when you have
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fewer ships here, fewer people and less money? >> there are two very good ways. it's leveraging the ships that you can keep forward. what i mean by that, we have the forward deployed naval forces in japan, in bahrain. and soon to be in spain and soon to be in singapore. what that gets you is that gets you ships that are forward. numbers of ships are important. numbers of ships forward are of most importance. >> reducing transit time for example. >> precisely. you get the presence of a ship forward a factor of .8, maybe 20% maintenance, refresh, refuel, things of that nature. if you have to come from the west coast or east coast, i need four ships to keep one forward. one is there. one just came back. one is on its way or getting ready and one is in deep maintenance so you see the leverage. >> being forward, present and engaging has been things the navy has been delivering for more than 200 years but you said the navy would have to focus much more on war fighting
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and less on engagement. the new age strategy remains, for example, to engage and to be forward, to cooperate with allies over that vast region. critics say your drive for more combat foe qus is at odds with -- focus is at odds with that. is it and what is your strategy? >> i don't think it's at odds at all. in the end the first thing we need to do and what we will be measured to do is to be effective war fighters. so we need to be confident and proficient, all of us, from the food service attendant up to me to understand what it takes to deliver power projection if required. on the other hand, it is absolutely important that we engage with our allies, reassure them, develop new ones and be sure that we can meet together in an add hock nature as -- ad hoc as appropriate. we're looking at the strategy. it's four years old. it's a good strategy but i want to refresh it and revise it. we're completing land wars
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here. we're not completely done but we're drawing down. the focus on the asia pacific is there and the change in our fiscal situation. >> china has been driving hard to grow its naval capabilities backed up with a strong aerospace capability. you were the seven fleet commander. when you look at china and all the things in the chinese navy in particular, what do you see when you look at the chinese navy in terms of capabilities they're doing? >> i see a navy that's growing beyond a series of somewhat asymmetrical if you will approaches in its missions to something which frankly tends to be more conventional. what i mean by that, if you look at their shipbuilding plant, they're building a certain number of nuclear submarines similar to what the soviets did way back when as they look at what they need to protect and to be able to, if you will, operate forward in their own context. they're looking -- they build sort of dvgs like we did, missile destroyers with increased tonnage. they're building an aircraft
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carrier. that's a complex situation. you're into a new realm, you know. operating an air waing. every plane that takes -- air wing. every plane that takes off has to land. very complex. they're moving into that area. in some ways, it's consistent with a nation that has an ability -- has a building economy. what we don't know is their overall intention and strategy and that tends to be something we'd like to learn more of. >> more with admiral jon greenert, the chief of naval operations in just a moment. you're watching "this week
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we're back with admiral jon greenert, the chief of naval operations.
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your counterparts have been setting their priorities. general welsh, the air force chief of staff has set out his priorities. what are your top three priorities? the missiles. >> we've got to get that right. we need to bring the joint strike fighter in. it is a key and critical part of our air wing, very important. we need to bring the little combat ship in correctly, integrate it in the fleet right. it will be a mainstay in our fleet for the future. those three programs are my big ones. >> the lcs has come under a lot of criticism. there are people who say it's too light on capabilities, too small, the crew size isn't right. why is it the lcs the right ship for the navy? >> first, it's not a destroyer and we shouldn't characterize it as such. it's the right ship because it's fast. it has volume so volume and speed with the ability to adapt. it's -- i don't want to call it a truck. you can call it a fast truck if
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you want, but it has the ability to change its pay loads. i have seen in just my one year plus a few months what industry can do very quickly turning things around and the little anecdote my warfare and antisurface warfare, they've been able to turn around weapons systems. you can plug those in. so to me it's about payloads and this ship will bring us the ability to bring multiple payloads into the future as you look out 10, 15 years. >> you mention the ship costs overall is a problem. snbnx, that was supposed to be capped at $5 billion. the cost is now running at $6 billion. you guys want to buy 12 of them. that could force a reduction in the buy. what are some of the compromises the navy is going to have to make across its platt fortunatelies running at 14 billion and rising? what are some of the compromises the navy is going to have to make in order to drive down ship costs? >> we need to look at our requirements right upfront. we have to decide these are the
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requirements and stick with them. a lot of the extrapolated overruns if you start running them up will make the requirement changes, the order changes. we've got to define it. we've got to decide what is our objective. more importantly what is what we call the threshold, the minimum. and we need to stick with it. and as you mentioned earlier, as we were discussing, mr. stackley and i, as we look at the next ballistic missile submarine, we have to stick with the low pressures and get them -- with the requirements and get them right. we're having detailed discussions on this program so early on talking money and making cost a major part of the requirement early on. we haven't done that before. >> let's go to the question of what china is doing. china is investing heavily on, for example, missiles like the df21 and other capabilities to push the united states navy and u.s. forces entirely as far away from their shores as possible. what is the navy doing to prepare for the kind of antiaccess, conl septembers and
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threats that -- concepts and threats that potential forces are develop something. >> the way we operate and the way we operate with our allies, many people like to talk about the soft china, it's about freedom of navigation. it's very clear. those are international waters. we've delivered that message clearly. our actions are we operate in there. we will continue to operate in there, there being the south china sea and all international waters. we're very upfront about it. working with our allies establishes a common set of protocols, again deliver a clear message, be professional about it and talk with the chinese navy as we are. we have the military maritime consultant agreement talks, a series of talks by the pacific commander and his staff and many members in our navy and we also have flag officers talking. that must continue. >> do you also need to be investing in antimissiles, missiles in order to better protect the battle force and at what time do you spend so much
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defensive capability that you don't have so much offensive capability? >> you need joint access. that's there. we find the means to do that. when one considers defense, i'll talk about that in just a minute. you need to look at the whole spectrum in order for one to conduct any kind of an attack whether it's a ballistic or cruise missile, you have to find somebody. then you have to make sure it's somebody you want to shoot. then you have to track it, hold the track and then you deliver the missile. we often talk about what i call hard kill, knocking it down, a bullet on a bullet. there's soft kill, jamming, spoofing, confusing. we look at whole spectrum of operations. frankly, it's cheaper to be on the left hand side of that spectrum. >> you just mentioned that. one of your important priorities is the mastery as you put it of the electromagnetic spectrum. why is that so important to you and how is that going to shape your future investment? >> the electromagnetic spectrum, first of all we're all over it. what i mean by that aitsz espectrum of frequencies -- by
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that it's a spectrum of free queens with certain band wit. we don't have a very coherent strategy. we're using frequencies because they've worked before. my point is we're out and about on the ocean spewing electromagnetic energy out there because we never had to worry about it before. but today there are many people who are intercepting that and using it to perhaps their advantage. the other piece-- >> during the cold war, knowing mission operations were strtd practice -- standard operations. >> we called it mcon levels. some people call it -- being aware of what you're doing just like on your computer. you have a password that you change. in the electromagnetic spectrum, know what your energy levels are that you're putting out, at what frequency, when, control it, get command of it. that is also the means i believe of the future for cyberwarfare. today it's all about you sit on maybe a laptop or whatever on
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the keyboard and going through the electromagnetic spectrum is the way of the future i think. >> up next, more with the 30th chief of naval operations. stay tuned. k, and i was trapped. no way out. my usualt ransport was nowhere to be found. i knew, then and there, that i needed wheels asap. thats alpha, sierra, alpha...pickle.
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 we're back with admiral jon greenert, the chief of naval operations. sir, i want to take you to some cultural issues in this segment. foremost the suicide rate. the navy suicide rate is lower
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than the army's or even the air force but 54 sailors have taken their lives this year which is the highest since you started keeping records on it in 2001. what's the cause and what are you doing about it? >> i don't know the cause. if i did, trust me, i would do everything i could about it. but what we're doing about it is one thing we do know, sailors need resiliency. they need stress relief. sailors need to be cared for by other sailors. in other words, you need to care for them. what i do know is this, those who consider taking their lives say if somebody had not said something to me, i would have taken my life. so we're looking at it and we'll continue to do it and we need to find out what makes people that distraught. but the bottom line, we need to make our folks resilient. to feel that they can reach out and there's no stigma in not feeling right. it's okay to be okay. >> your top concerns were the number of sexual assaults as well as the sheer number of experienced officers that were
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being relieved of command for misconduct. today sexual assaults remain high and the navy is on track or nearing the 2003 record for the number of people relieved in a single year. why are these so intractable and what are you doing to fundamentally change either systems or the culture to make them go away? >> let me separate the two. sexual assaults very much concern me. in fact, i would put that very much never the top of my list. to me it is a safety issue, and it is unimaginable why one ship mate would sexually assault another. our folks deserve a safe environment. what we're doing about it is one, we need to educate folks and understand what it is and how it degrades readiness, this sexual assault thing. some folks just don't understand it. we've completed that training with our seniors, if you will, with our leaders. sailors are next and that is in progress. i think it's a pretty good training process. it's the same process, if you will, the same means we use for the don't ask, don't tell training which we got high
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grades for from the sailors themselves. they need to understand the culture and the means of it. next, we need to -- we are measuring them and discussing what happened. the commanding officer of that unit talks to the first flag in the chain of command where there has been a sexual assault and discusses what was the occasion, what was the environment. we track those, find out where they're occurring. then we find out why they're occurring. then we go after that. a very deliberate, if you will, straightforward manner to find out why are they happening. so i like to say i want to get to the left of the event. we're working very hard on the victim and taking scare of the victim, -- taking care of the victim, making sure that that victim will in fact -- will call and we can do something about it. >> about the leadership piece of this, there have been numerous cases where leaders have been relieved shortly after they were in command for either dishonesty for fraternization or alcohol- related offenses. that should have been spotted earlier. veteran officers tell me that the problem is that in the name
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of fairness, a lot of subjectivity has been taken out of the promotion process. and that some commanders are advancing people they shouldn't for fear of flunking them and then it reflecting badly on themselves. why do you think the navy has been promoting the wrong people and what are you doing to make sure you are promoting the right people to command. >> i don't think we have been promoting the wrong people. i don't think a measure of failing cos is a measure of the wrong people being promoted and i tell now this reasonable. there are four reasons predominantly why people fail in command. one, incompetent. that's a relatively low number. two, they crash the ship or run aground. that's been relatively low. three, they have, if you will, a bad atmosphere aboard the command. >> bad command climate. >> that's kind of low. behavior, that's a 2-1 factor among all the others. it bothers me that i really don't understand why the misbehavior piece. i'm looking into that. >> would you have felt as a midshipman they would
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understand you can't grab your slip mates back side or be drunk on the ship. >> drinking or driving or committing adultery, yes. i don't know why that is but we're looking into it very closely. >> but you are instituting -- let me go to micromanagement. one of the things sailors have complained to me about is micromanagement in the navy, that folks are hammering down on their subbored nantzs. -- subordinates. you've been concerned about this. what do you think is the problem and what's the fix? >> well, i think folks are headed to allow people to make a mistake. i say frequently hey, leaders, i would like you to be bold and accountable. there is an accountable piece to that. what i mean is be bold in thought. think about what needs to be done and express that. then if you have the authority and we give that authority where it's appropriate and the responsibility, take action. if you have the funds, fund it, whatever it might be. go ahead and try it out. but step up and say, you know, i think this is the right thing to do. i'll be accountable for that.
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it's not about disciplining people for mistakes. it's about saying hey, this is what i think we need to do. i'm going to go do it and this is my approach to this. >> and focus on the best elements of naval culture. >> yes, we'll take the best practices and move forward. >> sir, thanks very much they were coming. we knew it. there's only so much you can do to prepare for an all-out assault like that. we hunkered down, we braced ourselves... we just didn't have the numbers on the ground. what did we do? we used our navy federal cashrewards card to fly in reinforcements. nana. hoooaah! alright nana!
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with less than a month left for congress and the white house to strike a deal to avert $500 billion in automatic defense cuts, the obama
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administration has finally allowed the pentagon to start planning how to implement them. the white house had steadfastly argued it was a waste of time to plan for cuts that might never happen. but with negotiations appearing to be stalled and doubtless to pressure them, the administration has cleared government departments to start preparing. the administration says the pentagon has little flexibility and that the budget control act calls for uniform cuts to every program, project or activity to total about $5 hundred billion. -- $500 billion. given the. has exempted military personnel, cuts of about 9% would hit programs, operations, civilians and benefits over the coming ten years. it's the abruptness and the thoughtlessness ever the cuts that make them problematic. the pentagon can cut more. it just needs more time and less mindless rules to do so. could sequestration still be avoided? yes, lawmakers could strike a deal at the last minute to keep it from happening or stop it shortly after it takes effect. but no matter what happens with sequestration, d.o.d. should use this opportunity to prepare for what most think is inevitable. another 200 billion to $300 billion likely to be cut over
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the coming decade as part of any budget deal. in this fiscal and political climate, national security cuts will likely be demanded quickly. only by thinking ahead, prioritizing and rigorously driving reforms and slashing waste will the pentagon control its future rather than have its future deck at a timed -- dictated by powers beyond its control. thank you for joining us for "this week in defense news." you can watch this program on or e-mail me at i'll be back next week at the same time.
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are perverse economic incentives ruining ruining --i'm steve usdin welcome to "biocentury this week." >> your trusted source for biotechnology, information and analysis, "biocentury this week." >> academic scientists may not like to admit it but science are money are intertwined, the threat of budget sequestration makes this clearer than ever if. u.s. falls over the fiscal cliff $2.5 million could be slurred from the budget. economics influences everything from the types of questions researchers ask to the quantity and quality of scientists who conduct research. in her book how economic shapes science georgia state university economist paula stephan argues --


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