[Senate Hearing 110-394]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]


                                                 S. Hrg. 110-394, Pt. 1
 
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION FOR APPROPRIATIONS FOR FISCAL YEAR 
                                  2009

=======================================================================

                                HEARINGS

                               before the

                      COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
                          UNITED STATES SENATE

                       ONE HUNDRED TENTH CONGRESS

                             SECOND SESSION

                                   ON

                                S. 3001

     TO AUTHORIZE APPROPRIATIONS FOR FISCAL YEAR 2009 FOR MILITARY 
ACTIVITIES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, FOR MILITARY CONSTRUCTION, AND 
   FOR DEFENSE ACTIVITIES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY, TO PRESCRIBE 
    PERSONNEL STRENGTHS FOR SUCH FISCAL YEAR, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES

                               __________

                                 PART 1

                            MILITARY POSTURE
                   POSTURE OF THE UNITED STATES ARMY
                   POSTURE OF THE UNITED STATES NAVY
UNITED STATES CENTRAL COMMAND AND THE UNITED STATES SPECIAL OPERATIONS 
                                COMMAND
                 POSTURE OF THE UNITED STATES AIR FORCE
   UNITED STATES SOUTHERN COMMAND AND UNITED STATES NORTHERN COMMAND
      UNITED STATES PACIFIC COMMAND AND UNITED STATES FORCES KOREA

                               __________

              FEBRUARY 6, 26, 28; MARCH 4, 5, 6, 11, 2008


         Printed for the use of the Committee on Armed Services




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                      COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES

                     CARL LEVIN, Michigan, Chairman

EDWARD M. KENNEDY, Massachusetts     JOHN McCAIN, Arizona
ROBERT C. BYRD, West Virginia        JOHN WARNER, Virginia,
JOSEPH I. LIEBERMAN, Connecticut     JAMES M. INHOFE, Oklahoma
JACK REED, Rhode Island              JEFF SESSIONS, Alabama
DANIEL K. AKAKA, Hawaii              SUSAN M. COLLINS, Maine
BILL NELSON, Florida                 SAXBY CHAMBLISS, Georgia
E. BENJAMIN NELSON, Nebraska         LINDSEY O. GRAHAM, South Carolina
EVAN BAYH, Indiana                   ELIZABETH DOLE, North Carolina
HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON, New York     JOHN CORNYN, Texas
MARK L. PRYOR, Arkansas              JOHN THUNE, South Dakota
JIM WEBB, Virginia                   MEL MARTINEZ, Florida
CLAIRE McCASKILL, Missouri           ROGER F. WICKER, Mississippi

                   Richard D. DeBobes, Staff Director

              Michael V. Kostiw, Republican Staff Director

                                  (ii)


                            C O N T E N T S

                              ----------                              

                    CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF WITNESSES
                            Military Posture
                            february 6, 2008

                                                                   Page

Gates, Hon. Robert M., Secretary of Defense; Accompanied by Hon. 
  Tina W. Jonas, Under Secretary of Defense-Comptroller..........     6
Mullen, ADM Michael G., USN, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff.....    13

                   Posture of the United States Army
                           february 26, 2008

Geren, Hon. Preston M. ``Pete'', III, Secretary of the Army......   103
Casey, GEN George W., Jr., USA, Chief of Staff, Army.............   115

                   Posture of the United States Navy
                           february 28, 2008

Winter, Hon. Donald C., Secretary of the Navy....................   180
Roughead, ADM Gary, USN, Chief of Naval Operations...............   196
Conway, Gen. James T., USMC, Commandant of the Marine Corps......   231

United States Central Command and the United States Special Operations 
                                Command
                             march 4, 2008

Fallon, ADM William J., USN, Commander, United States Central 
  Command........................................................   327
Olson, ADM Eric T., USN, Commander, United States Special 
  Operations Command.............................................   340

                 Posture of the United States Air Force
                             march 5, 2008

Wynne, Hon. Michael W., Secretary of the Air Force...............   400
Moseley, Gen. T. Michael, USAF, Chief of Staff, United States Air 
  Force..........................................................   419

   United States Southern Command and United States Northern Command
                             march 6, 2008

Renuart, Gen. Victor E., Jr., USAF, Commander, North American 
  Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command............   495
Stavridis, ADM James G., USN, Commander, U.S. Southern Command...   509

      United States Pacific Command and United States Forces Korea
                             march 11, 2008

Keating, ADM Timothy J., USN, Commander, United States Pacific 
  Command........................................................   572
Bell, GEN Burwell B., III, USA, Commander, United Nations Command 
  and Republic of Korea/United States Combined Forces Command; 
  Commander, United States Forces Korea..........................   588


DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION FOR APPROPRIATIONS FOR FISCAL YEAR 
                                  2009

                                ----------                              


                      WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 2008

                                       U.S. Senate,
                               Committee on Armed Services,
                                                    Washington, DC.

                            MILITARY POSTURE

    The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 9:31 a.m. in room 
SD-106, Dirksen Senate Office Building, Senator Carl Levin 
(chairman) presiding.
    Committee members present: Senators Levin, Kennedy, Reed, 
Akaka, Bill Nelson, E. Benjamin Nelson, Pryor, Webb, Warner, 
Inhofe, Sessions, Collins, Chambliss, Dole, Cornyn, Thune, and 
Martinez.
    Committee staff members present: Richard D. DeBobes, staff 
director; Leah C. Brewer, nominations and hearings clerk; and 
Mary J. Kyle, legislative clerk.
    Majority staff members present: Daniel J. Cox, Jr., 
professional staff member; Madelyn R. Creedon, counsel; 
Gabriella Eisen, counsel; Evelyn N. Farkas, professional staff 
member; Richard W. Fieldhouse, professional staff member; 
Creighton Greene, professional staff member; Michael J. Kuiken, 
professional staff member; Gerald J. Leeling, counsel; Peter K. 
Levine, general counsel; Thomas K. McConnell, professional 
staff member; Michael J. McCord, professional staff member; 
William G.P. Monahan, counsel; Michael J. Noblet, professional 
staff member; and William K. Sutey, professional staff member.
    Minority staff members present: Michael V. Kostiw, 
Republican staff director; William M. Caniano, professional 
staff member; David G. Collins, research assistant; Gregory T. 
Kiley, professional staff member; Lucian L. Niemeyer, 
professional staff member; Lynn F. Rusten, professional staff 
member; Robert M. Soofer, professional staff member; Sean G. 
Stackley, professional staff member; Kristine L. Svinicki, 
professional staff member; Diana G. Tabler, professional staff 
member; Richard F. Walsh, minority counsel; and Dana W. White, 
professional staff member.
    Staff assistants present: Jessica L. Kingston, Benjamin L. 
Rubin, and Brian F. Sebold.
    Committee members' assistants present: Sharon L. Waxman and 
Jay Maroney, assistants to Senator Kennedy; James Tuite, 
assistant to Senator Byrd; Frederick M. Downey, assistant to 
Senator Lieberman; Elizabeth King, assistant to Senator Reed; 
Bonni Berge, assistant to Senator Akaka; Christopher Caple and 
Caroline Tess, assistants to Senator Bill Nelson; Andrew R. 
Vanlandingham, assistant to Senator Ben Nelson; Jon Davey, 
assistant to Senator Bayh; M. Bradford Foley, assistant to 
Senator Pryor; Gordon I. Peterson, assistant to Senator Webb; 
Stephen C. Hedger, assistant to Senator McCaskill; Sandra Luff, 
assistant to Senator Warner; Anthony J. Lazarski, assistant to 
Senator Inhofe; Lenwood Landrum and Todd Stiefler, assistants 
to Senator Sessions; Mark J. Winter, assistant to Senator 
Collins; Clyde A. Taylor IV, assistant to Senator Chambliss; 
Lindsey Neas, assistant to Senator Dole; David Hanke, assistant 
to Senator Cornyn; John L. Goetchius and Brian W. Walsh, 
assistants to Senator Martinez; and Erskine W. Wells III, 
assistant to Senator Wicker.

       OPENING STATEMENT OF SENATOR CARL LEVIN, CHAIRMAN

    Chairman Levin. Good morning, everybody. The committee 
meets this morning to receive testimony from the Secretary of 
Defense, Robert M. Gates, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs 
of Staff (JCS), Admiral Michael J. Mullen. Joining them is 
Comptroller of the Department of Defense (DOD), Tina Jonas. Our 
witnesses are here to present the President's fiscal year 2009 
budget request for DOD, including both the so-called base 
budget and the additional bridge fund requested for operations 
in Iraq and Afghanistan for just the first part of fiscal year 
2009.
    I want to start by welcoming if he is here, but he is not, 
but I will welcome him anyway, a new member of our committee, 
Senator Wicker. We're glad to have him and I will want him to 
know that I have it on unassailable authority from a former 
colleague of his, a member of the House of Representatives who 
I have known for over 70 years, my brother, that he will make a 
fine addition to this committee.
    First some thanks to our witnesses for their service and 
the very positive way that you have worked with this committee. 
We very much appreciate the relationships which have been 
created and which are so important.
    I know our witnesses would agree that our first thanks will 
go to the men and women serving in our military. We are all 
truly grateful for their professionalism and dedication to our 
country and for the sacrifices that they and their families 
make.
    Last year this committee on a bipartisan basis compiled a 
record of accomplishment that we can be very proud of. First, 
we enacted the historic Wounded Warrior Act which will improve 
the health care and benefits of recovering veterans and service 
members and their families. Our law will vastly improve the 
coordination between the DOD and Department of Veterans Affairs 
(VA). It will end the confusing and conflict system of 
disability determinations that have existed for too long 
between the DOD and the VA.
    We also enacted legislation that requires private security 
contractors operating in combat zones in Iraq and Afghanistan 
to comply with orders and directives from military commanders 
and with DOD rules relative to the use of force. Our 
legislation established a commission on wartime contracting in 
Iraq and Afghanistan to investigate Federal agency contracting 
for reconstruction, logistics support, and security functions 
in those countries. We established a new Special Inspector 
General (IG) for Afghanistan reconstruction to provide 
oversight and address contracting abuses. We extended the term 
of the Special IG for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR).
    We enacted the far-reaching Acquisition Improvement and 
Accountability Act, which tightened the rules for DOD 
acquisition of major weapons systems, subsystems, and 
components, to reduce the risk of contract overpricing, cost 
overruns, and failure to meet contract schedules and 
performance requirements.
    We legislated a defense acquisition workforce development 
fund to ensure that DOD has enough skilled people to 
effectively manage its contracts; and we strengthened statutory 
protections for whistleblowers.
    We established a chief management officer for the DOD and 
each of the military departments to ensure continuous top level 
attention to DOD management problems.
    I'm highlighting what we achieved last year in areas of 
oversight and accountability because we are here today to talk 
about a request for over half a trillion dollars of taxpayer 
funds for the DOD for the next fiscal year, excluding the cost 
of Iraq and Afghanistan, and possibility exceeding $700 billion 
when you include the full cost of those wars next year. We are 
jointly responsible with the President for how those funds are 
spent.
    Last year's actions to strengthen oversight and 
accountability were necessary, but they're not sufficient. The 
DOD faces huge problems in its acquisition system. Over the 
last few years we've seen an alarming lack of acquisition 
planning, the excessive use of time and materials contracts, 
undefinitized contracts, and other open-ended commitments of 
DOD funds. These problems have been particularly acute in 
Afghanistan and Iraq, but they are in no way limited to those 
two countries.
    The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has reported 
that cost growth on seven of DOD's largest acquisition programs 
ranged from 26 to 188 percent. In a period of just 5 years, the 
GAO told us, the cost of DOD's top five weapons systems 
programs had almost doubled, growing from $290 billion to $550 
billion.
    The reforms that we adopted last year, now signed into law, 
are an important step towards addressing problems in DOD's 
acquisition programs. But it will take years of work by DOD and 
close oversight by Congress to make sure that we get the job 
done.
    Many other challenges lie ahead. We have an Army and a 
Marine Corps which are way overstretched. The stress on our 
forces from operations in Iraq and Afghanistan continues to 
build. The media reports that there is a strong possibility 
that General Petraeus will recommend that force levels in Iraq 
remain at the pre-surge level of approximately 130,000 troops 
for some unspecified period of time once the five surge 
brigades complete their redeployment this summer.
    Meanwhile, our Army troops continue to face multiple tours 
of 15-month duration, with only 12 months or less at home 
between rotations, and Marines also see more time deployed than 
at home. These levels of deployment without adequate rest for 
the troops and repair and replacement of equipment simply 
cannot be sustained.
    Over the past year, 30,000 additional troops have helped 
produce a welcome lessening of violence in Iraq and a lower 
U.S. casualty rate. But the purpose of the surge as stated by 
the President has not been achieved. That purpose, again as 
stated by the President, was to ``provide enough space so that 
the Iraqi Government can meet certain benchmarks or certain 
requirements for a unity government.''
    But the Department of State (DOS) reported to us as 
recently as November 21, 2007, that ``Senior military 
commanders now portray the intransigence of Iraq's Shiite-
dominated government as the key threat facing the U.S. effort 
in Iraq, rather than al Qaeda terrorists, Sunni insurgents, or 
Iranian-backed militias.''
    The military progress on the ground was achieved with huge 
sacrifice and brilliance. We cannot accept that that sacrifice 
will be squandered by Iraqi leadership continuing to fail to 
achieve the key political benchmarks that they set for 
themselves long ago, in particular amending the constitution, 
passing a hydrocarbons law that fairly shares Iraq's oil wealth 
with all citizens, passing a provincial powers act, and 
conducting provincial elections.
    The value of the new de-Baathification law, if it is a law, 
despite the constitution of Iraq saying that it isn't because 
it failed to get the unanimous approval by the presidency 
council required for it to become a law, the value will depend 
upon how it is implemented.
    For years, the Iraqi leaders have failed to seize the 
opportunity our brave troops gave them. It's long past the time 
that the Iraqi leaders hear a clear, simple message: We can't 
save them from themselves. It's in their hands, not ours, to 
create a nation by making the political compromises needed to 
end the conflict. That message is not the language of 
surrender. It's common sense, pragmatism, and the only 
realistic path to success.
    A critical priority for this and future budgets must be the 
war in Afghanistan. Unlike the war in Iraq, the connection 
between Afghanistan and the terrorist threat that manifested 
itself on September 11, and is clear, and American support for 
the Afghanistan mission remains strong. Unfortunately, as a 
number of reports issued recently made clear, the 
administration's strategy in Afghanistan is not yet producing 
the results that we all want.
    A report by the Afghanistan Study Group chaired by retired 
General Jim Jones and Ambassador Thomas Pickering, finds the 
Afghanistan mission is ``faltering.'' The report states that 
``violence, insecurity, and opium production have risen 
dramatically as Afghan confidence in their government and its 
international partners falls.''
    Last year was the deadliest year since 2001 for U.S. and 
coalition forces in Afghanistan. A separate report from the 
Atlantic Council states: ``Make no mistake, the North Atlantic 
Treaty Organization (NATO) is not winning in Afghanistan.''
    The United States has recently announced its decision to 
commit an additional 3,200 marines to Afghanistan, despite our 
already overstressed U.S. forces. Unfortunately, some of our 
allies have not demonstrated a similar commitment to providing 
troops and equipment which are needed for the Afghanistan 
mission.
    Finally, I'm disappointed that the budget request does not 
include a request for the full amount of the estimated 
expenditures in Iraq and Afghanistan for next year, as required 
by our law. While the monetary cost is not the most important 
part of the debate over Iraq or Afghanistan, it does need to be 
part of that debate and the citizens of our Nation have a right 
to know what those costs are projected to be.
    Again, with thanks to our witnesses, I turn to Senator 
Warner.

                STATEMENT OF SENATOR JOHN WARNER

    Senator Warner. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I join you and all 
members of the committee in welcoming our witnesses today.
    Senator Levin and I have had quite a few years in the 
context of these hearings and I think the Gates-Mullen team is 
going to set new high records for cooperation between the 
civilian side and the military side of the DOD. I have watched 
each of you very carefully here in the past month or so and, 
Admiral Mullen, this is your first appearance as Chairman; and 
Mr. Secretary, you have a fine teammate there. You really have 
earned the respect and the admiration and the confidence, of 
not only the Congress of the United States, but indeed the men 
and women of the Armed Forces and their families, which is the 
bottom line why we're here today.
    So I wish you luck.
    I join my colleague in drawing your attention to that law. 
It was the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 
2007. It was very explicit in requiring the full presentation 
of your expected costs in Iraq and Afghanistan. Nevertheless, 
I'm sure you have an explanation and we'll receive it.
    We are seeing signs of progress in Iraq, some progress in 
Afghanistan. But I think by any fair standard that level of 
progress to date is falling below the expectations that we had 
hoped here as a Nation. Senator Levin quite appropriately 
observed that the elected officials in Iraq are simply not 
exercising the full responsibility of the reins of sovereignty, 
and that puts our forces in a certain degree of continuing 
peril and risk. I would hope the administration and indeed the 
witnesses before us would do everything we can to expedite and 
get some reconciliation, because time and time again I think 
every single panel that's been up here in all these years, Mr. 
Chairman, has said there is no military solution for that 
problem; it has to be a political one.
    I also would be interested to know if you're beginning to 
lay plans as to how you convey a year hence this Department to 
a new administration and what steps you might take to lay that 
foundation, to have hopefully a seamless transition, Mr. 
Secretary, in your case to the successors who will come in. The 
Admiral hopefully will remain on. But I think we should begin 
to look at that at this time.
    I also join the chairman in recognizing the important work 
done by General Jones, Ambassador Pickering, the Atlantic 
Council, and the National Defense University that presented 
papers here to the Senate in the past week. I stayed throughout 
that hearing and found it extremely beneficial--a clear example 
of how the nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) are doing 
responsible work and making valuable contributions toward the 
problems that face us today.
    Dwell times, deployment lengths, terms of service in Iraq, 
these are high on our agenda and I do hope both of you give us 
your best views as to what period might we anticipate that the 
15-month tour can be reduced, hopefully to 12 and even beyond 
that if facts justify it. But the young men and women of the 
Armed Forces and their families all over the world are going to 
follow this hearing, and listen to what you have to say on that 
point.
    One of our most important duties each year is procurement 
and I point out that this committee, and indeed Congress, 
passed extensive acquisition reform last year. I urge you to 
bring to the attention of Congress how well that is working or, 
in the case it is not working to your satisfaction, to draw 
that to our attention.
    We also had as a committee chartered a commission to study 
the Reserve and National Guard. There were excellent 
individuals on that committee. They received mixed reviews in 
the press, but I would hope that that report did bring to your 
attention some necessary corrective measures and that you will 
spend some part of the time in your testimony addressing that.
    Ms. Jonas, thank you very much for year after year coming 
up here with all the figures. Now you have a little extra 
money. We're going to watch very carefully how you spend that 
money.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Levin. Thank you, Senator Warner.
    Secretary Gates?

   STATEMENT OF HON. ROBERT M. GATES, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE; 
 ACCOMPANIED BY HON. TINA W. JONAS, UNDER SECRETARY OF DEFENSE-
                          COMPTROLLER

    Secretary Gates. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Chairman, 
members of the committee: It is a pleasure to be here for my 
second and last posture statement. Let me first thank you for 
your continued support for our military these many years. I 
appreciate the opportunity today to discuss the President's 
fiscal year 2009 defense budget request.
    Before getting into the components of the request, I 
thought it might be useful to consider it quickly in light of 
the current strategic landscape, a landscape still being shaped 
by forces unleashed by the end of the Cold War nearly 2 decades 
ago. In recent years, old hatreds and conflicts have combined 
with new threats and forces of instability, challenges made 
more dangerous and prolific by modern technology, among them 
terrorism, extremism, and violent jihadism, ethnic, tribal, and 
sectarian conflict, proliferation of dangerous weapons and 
materials, failed and failing states, nations discontented with 
their role in the international order, and rising and resurgent 
powers whose future paths are uncertain.
    In light of this strategic environment, we must make the 
choices and investments necessary to protect the security, 
prosperity, and freedom of Americans for the next generation. 
The investment in defense spending being presented today is 
$515.4 billion, or about 4 percent of our gross domestic 
product (GDP) when combined with war costs. This compares to 
spending levels of 14 percent of GDP during the Korean War and 
9 percent during Vietnam.
    Our fiscal year 2009 request is a 7.5 percent increase, or 
$35.9 billion, over last year's enacted level. When accounting 
for inflation, this translates into a real increase of about 
5.5 percent. The difference consists of four main categories, 
which are outlined in more detail in my submitted statement. 
Overall, the budget includes $183.8 billion for overall 
strategic modernization, including $104 billion for procurement 
to sustain our Nation's technological advantage over current 
and future adversaries; $158.3 billion for operations, 
readiness, and support to maintain a skilled and agile fighting 
force; $149.4 billion to enhance quality-of-life for our men 
and women in uniform by providing the pay, benefits, 
healthcare, and other services earned by our All-Volunteer 
Force; and $20.5 billion to increase ground capabilities by 
growing the Army and the Marine Corps.
    This budget includes new funding for critical ongoing 
initiatives, such as global training and equipment to build the 
security capacity of partner nations, security and 
stabilization assistance, foreign language capabilities, and 
the new Africa Command (AFRICOM).
    In summary, this request provides the resources needed to 
respond to current threats while preparing for a range of 
conventional and irregular challenges that our Nation may face 
in the years ahead.
    In addition to the $515.4 billion base budget, our request 
includes $70 billion in emergency bridge funding that would 
cover war costs into the next calendar year. A more detailed 
request will be submitted later this year when the Department 
has a better picture of what level of funding will be needed.
    The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 
2007, as you have pointed out, requires the DOD to provide an 
estimate of costs for the global war on terror. We would like 
to be responsive to the request. Indeed, I was responsive to a 
similar request last year. Some have alleged that the 
administration has taken this position in order to somehow hide 
the true costs of the war. Nothing could be further from the 
truth. DOD has been very open about what we know about our 
costs as well as what we don't know.
    So the challenge we face is that a realistic or meaningful 
estimate requires answers to questions that we don't yet know, 
such as when and if the DOD will receive the requested $102 
billion balance of the fiscal year 2008 supplemental war 
request and for how much, and what if any adjustments to troop 
levels in Iraq will result from the upcoming recommendations of 
General Petraeus, U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), and the JCS.
    We should also keep in mind that nearly three-quarters of 
the fiscal year 2009 supplemental request will likely be spent 
in the next administration, thus making it even more difficult 
to make an accurate projection.
    I have worked hard during my time in this job to be 
responsive and transparent to this committee and to Congress. 
Nothing has changed. But while I would like to be in a position 
to give you a realistic estimate of what the DOD will need for 
fiscal year 2009 supplemental funds, I simply cannot at this 
point. There are too many significant variables in play.
    I can give you a number. I will give you a number if you 
wish. But I will tell you that the number will inevitably be 
wrong and perhaps significantly so. So I will be giving you 
precision without accuracy.
    As I mentioned earlier, Congress has yet to appropriate the 
remaining balance of the fiscal year 2008 war funding request, 
$102.5 billion. The delay is degrading our ability to operate 
and sustain the force at home and in the theater and is making 
it difficult to manage DOD in a way that is fiscally sound. The 
DOD, as I've said, is like the world's biggest supertanker: It 
cannot turn on a dime and it cannot be steered like a skiff.
    I urge approval of the fiscal year 2008 request as quickly 
as possible.
    Finally, I would like to thank the members of this 
committee for all you have done to support our troops as well 
as their families. I thank you specifically for your attention 
to and support of efforts to improve the treatment of wounded 
warriors over the past year.
    In visits to the combat theaters and military hospitals and 
in bases and posts at home and around the world, I continue to 
be amazed by the decency, resilience, and courage of our 
troops. Through the support of Congress and our Nation, these 
young men and women will prevail in the current conflicts and 
be prepared to confront the threats that they, their children, 
and our Nation may face in the future.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    [The prepared statement of Secretary Gates follows:]
               Prepared Statement by Hon. Robert M. Gates
    Mr. Chairman and members of the committee: Thank you for your 
continued support of our military these many years. I appreciate the 
opportunity to discuss the President's fiscal year 2009 defense budget 
request.
    Before getting into the components of this request, I thought it 
useful to consider it in light of the current strategic landscape--a 
landscape still being shaped by forces unleashed by the end of the Cold 
War nearly two decades ago. In recent years old hatreds and conflicts 
have combined with new threats and forces of instability--challenges 
made more dangerous and prolific by modern technology. Among them:

         Terrorism, extremism, and violent jihadism;
         Ethnic, tribal, and sectarian conflict;
         Proliferation of dangerous weapons and materials;
         Failed and failing states;
         Nations discontented with their role in the 
        international order; and
         Rising and resurgent powers whose future paths are 
        uncertain.

    In light of this strategic environment, we must make the choices 
and investments necessary to protect the security, prosperity, and 
freedom of Americans for the next generation.
    The investment in defense spending being presented today is $515.4 
billion, or about 3.4 percent of our Gross Domestic Product. This 
request is a 7.5 percent increase--or $35.9 billion--over last year's 
enacted level. When accounting for inflation, this translates into a 
real increase of about 5\1/2\ percent.
    I also strongly support Secretary Rice's request for the 
international affairs funding. This request is vital to the Department 
of Defense (DOD); in the current strategic landscape, we need civilian 
expertise and robust engagement around the world to build goodwill, 
represent United States values and commitment to our partners, 
complement the contributions of our military, and set the long-term 
conditions for peace, prosperity, and an environment inhospitable to 
extremism.
          strategic modernization--future combat capabilities
    The fiscal year 2009 budget request provides $183.8 billion in 
strategic modernization to meet future threats, a 4.7 percent increase 
over the previously enacted level. This category includes more than 
$104 billon for procurement.
Joint Combat Capabilities
    The base budget provides $9.2 billion for ground capabilities, 
including more than 5,000 Humvees and 4,000 tactical vehicles. This 
request provides $3.6 billion to continue development of the Future 
Combat System, the Army's major modernization program.
    A total of $16.9 billion is allotted for maritime capabilities, 
with $14.2 billion for shipbuilding, including:

         The DDG-1000, the next generation surface combatant;
         Two littoral combat ships;
         Two joint high speed vessels;
         Two logistics ships; and
         One Virginia-class submarine.

    The ships being built today must provide the capability and 
capacity to maintain the Navy's global presence and influence in the 
future. A fleet sized at 313 ships offers the agility required to meet 
a broadening array of operations and requirements with allies around 
the globe.
    To improve air capabilities, the budget includes $45.6 billion, a 
$4.9 billion increase over last year's enacted levels.
    This includes:

         F/A 18 Hornet and E/A-18G Growler fighters;
         F-35 Joint Strike Fighters;
         F-22 Raptors
         V-22 Ospreys;
         Unmanned Aerial Vehicles; and
         Recapitalization of various missiles and other 
        weapons.

    The Air Force's number one acquisition and recapitalization 
priority is the tanker fleet, specifically the KC-135, which is an 
average of 48.5 years old. This aircraft is increasingly expensive to 
maintain and less reliable to fly every day. The Air Force is 
proceeding with a traditional acquisition program for the KC-X, which 
will be able to refuel Air Force, Navy, and allied aircraft.
    Retirement of aging aircraft is a vital component of recapitalizing 
our air assets. I urge Congress to continue to authorize aircraft 
retirements, lifting restrictions from previous years to help the Air 
Force maintain readiness and perform missions more safely.
Space
    This request provides $10.7 billion to strengthen joint space-based 
capabilities in several categories, including:

         Space-based infrared systems; and
         Communications, environmental, Global Positioning 
        System, and Advanced Extremely High Frequency satellites.

    The Department's heavy reliance on space capabilities is clear to 
potential adversaries, some of whom are developing anti-satellite 
weapons. Protecting our assets in space is, therefore, a high priority. 
In the past, the Department has been slow to address this 
vulnerability, but we are ramping up to properly address this problem.
Research and Development
    As changes in this century's threat environment create strategic 
challenges--irregular warfare, weapons of mass destruction, disruptive 
technologies--this request places greater emphasis on basic research, 
which in recent years has not kept pace with other parts of the budget.
    This request for $11.5 billion will sustain ongoing science and 
technology research. Within this category, the fiscal year 2009 budget 
includes $1.7 billion for basic research initiatives. In total, I have 
directed an increase of about $1 billion over the next 5 years for 
fundamental, peer-reviewed basic research--a 2 percent increase in real 
annual growth.
Missile Defense
    The 2009 base budget provides $10.4 billion to continue developing, 
testing, and fielding a multi-layered system to protect the U.S. and 
its allies from tactical and strategic ballistic missile attack.
    The Missile Defense Agency has successfully fielded elements of the 
ballistic missile defense system since 2004. Today, for the first time 
in history, our Nation has an initial missile defense capability. In 
coming years, the Department seeks to grow this capability by testing 
against more complex and realistic scenarios, and by negotiating with 
like-minded nations. Since becoming the Secretary of Defense, I have 
been personally involved in ongoing discussions with Poland and the 
Czech Republic on hosting U.S. missile defense assets. I will continue 
to press for increased cooperation with our partners.
                   readiness, operations, and support
    The fiscal year 2009 request provides $158.3 billion, a 10.4 
percent increase over last year's enacted level, for operations and 
training, as well as facilities and base support. $68 billion of the 
request will maintain combat readiness, focused on next-to-deploy 
units. The budget invests in readiness measured in terms of tank miles 
driven per month, ship steaming days underway per quarter, and flying 
hours per month. Additionally, this request includes:

         $33.1 billion for logistical, intelligence, and 
        service-wide support;
         $32.6 billion for facility and base support;
         $11.8 billion for equipment maintenance to accommodate 
        increased requirements, expanded scopes of work for repair and 
        refurbishment of equipment, and the transition of systems from 
        development to sustainment in the field;
         $10.7 billion for training, recruiting, and retention 
        to ensure that the All-Volunteer Force has the right people 
        with the right skills; and
         $2.2 billion for sealift efforts and commissary 
        support.

    The Department will continue investing in a number of critical 
initiatives that will have long-term implications for the readiness of 
our forces and the Nation's ability to meet future threats.
Global Train and Equip
    The global train and equip authority provides commanders a means to 
fill longstanding gaps in our ability to build the capacity and 
capabilities of partner nations. It allows the State and Defense 
Departments to act in months, rather than years, to help other 
countries build and sustain capable security forces. The program 
focuses on places where we are not at war, but where there are emerging 
threats and opportunities. It creates the opportunity to reduce stress 
on U.S. forces by decreasing the likelihood that troops will be used in 
the future. Combatant commanders consider this a vital tool in the war 
on terror beyond Afghanistan and Iraq. It has become a model of 
interagency cooperation between State and Defense--both in the field 
and in Washington, DC, Secretary Rice and I both fully support this 
authority. Its benefits will accrue to our successors in future 
administrations. The fiscal year 2009 base budget requests $500 
million, along with a request for $750 million in authority. I urge 
Congress to provide funding and permanent authority to meet enduring 
requirements.
Security and Stabilization Assistance
    The fiscal year 2009 budget invests $200 million in security and 
stabilization assistance along with a corresponding request to increase 
the authority. This authority will allow the Department to transfer up 
to $200 million to the State Department to facilitate whole-of-
government responses to stability and security missions--bringing 
civilian expertise to bear alongside our military. This would give 
Secretary Rice additional resources to address security challenges and 
defuse potential crises that might otherwise require the U.S. military 
to intervene.
Africa Command
    This request includes $389 million, or $246 million above 
previously enacted funds, to launch the new Africa Command, allowing 
the Department to have a more integrated approach than the existing 
arrangement dividing the continent up among three different regional 
commands. This new command will help:

         Strengthen U.S. security cooperation with African 
        countries;
         Train and equip our partners;
         Improve health, education, and economic development; 
        and
         Promote peace and stability.
Foreign Languages
    The fiscal year 2009 budget includes $586 million for the Defense 
Language Program, a $52.3 million increase from last year. Thus far, 
our approach to improving language skills is having an impact. 
Proficiency in Arabic has increased 82 percent since September 2001. 
Although the value of foreign languages and cultural proficiency is 
recognized by our Special Forces, these capabilities are essential for 
all forces preparing for irregular warfare, training and advising 
missions, humanitarian efforts, and security and stabilization 
operations.
                            quality of life
    The fiscal year 2009 request includes $149.4 billion in military 
pay, health care, housing, and quality of life for Service personnel 
and their families.
    The request provides for $107.8 billion in pay and benefits an 
increase of 9.8 percent over the fiscal year 2008 enacted level. This 
includes a pay raise of 3.4 percent for the military. Since 2001, 
military pay has increased by an average of 37 percent. For example, in 
fiscal year 2009, the average enlisted E-6 (Army Staff Sergeant) will 
see a pay increase of $1,289. The pay of the average O-3 (Army Captain 
or Navy Lieutenant) increases by $1,943 in fiscal year 2009.
Family Housing
    The budget request includes $3.2 billion that will construct new 
family housing, improve existing housing, eliminate inadequate housing 
overseas, operate and maintain government-owned housing, and fund the 
privatization of 12,324 additional homes. The Basic Allowance for 
Housing increases by 5.0 percent and the Basic Allowance for 
Subsistence increases by 3.8 percent.
Wounded Warriors
    We have a moral obligation to see that the superb lifesaving care 
that the wounded receive initially is matched by quality out-patient 
treatment. To provide world-class health care to all who are wounded, 
ill, or injured serving the Nation, the Department is taking action on 
the recommendations made by the President's Commission on Care for 
America's Returning Wounded Warriors. To do so, we have formed a senior 
oversight committee--chaired by the Deputy Secretaries of Defense and 
Veterans Affairs--to examine several key areas:

         Case Management--integrate care management throughout 
        the life of the wounded, ill, or injured servicemember to 
        ensure they receive, as the President made clear, the ``right 
        care and benefits at the right time in the right place from the 
        right person'';
         Disability and Compensation Systems--streamline the 
        disability evaluation system making it a single, supportive, 
        and transparent process;
         DOD and VA Data Sharing--ensure appropriate 
        information is accessible and understandable between 
        departments; and
         Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)/Psychological Health 
        Issues--improve access and quality of care by reducing the 
        stigma associated with mental health care and establishing new 
        programs, such as a TBI registry.

    The Department has already approved new standards for all 
facilities housing the wounded and we have placed pay management teams 
at numerous sites to better educate troops and their families about 
pay, entitlements, and benefits.
    The budget requests $466 million to support construction of health 
care facilities at Bethesda and Fort Belvoir, as well as establish a 
Warrior Transition Unit at Bethesda. The transition unit will ensure 
the wounded receive optimum care, especially during the outpatient 
convalescent phase of recovery.
Future Health Care Issues
    In fiscal year 2009, DOD military healthcare costs are projected to 
be $42.8 billion in order to maintain benefits for 9.2 million eligible 
military members and their families, as well as retirees--more than 
double the level in 2001. By 2015, the Department's health care costs 
are projected to reach $64 billion, or 11.3 percent of the budget.
    Because of these concerns, the Department must also seek 
legislation to increase out-of-pocket health care expenses for retirees 
under age 65. The Department continues to believe that modest increases 
to TRICARE out-of-pocket costs for working-age military retirees are 
essential to make military health benefits affordable and sustainable 
for current and future retired servicemembers.
Global Posture
    The base budget requests $9.5 billion to continue U.S. Base 
Realignment and Closure (BRAC) efforts. For the approved fiscal year 
2005 BRAC recommendations, the budget fully funds 24 major 
realignments, 25 base closures, and 765 lesser actions. The Department 
is continuing to reposition U.S. forces at home and abroad in keeping 
with post-Cold War realities. Consequently, several units stationed 
overseas will be brought home. The Commander of European Command has 
requested that the Army activate two heavy brigade combat teams (BCTs) 
in Germany in 2008 and 2010 to support near-term security needs and 
allow time for construction in the United States.
                         increase ground forces
    Increasing the size of the Army and Marine Corps will relieve 
stress on the force and enable the Nation to meet its commitments at 
home and abroad. This growth in end strength is a continuation of 
growth that began last year and is expected to continue through fiscal 
year 2013.
U.S. Army
    The fiscal year 2009 base budget provides $15.5 billion to increase 
Army active end strength to 532,400, which includes an increase of 
7,000 over the fiscal year 2008 request. The Army request includes the 
cumulative cost of personnel added as part of a temporary increase in 
end strength after September 11, 2001--an increase which had previously 
been paid for in supplemental appropriations.
    The Army plans to grow its active ranks to 547,400 by fiscal year 
2012. In fiscal year 2009, the number of active Army BCTs will increase 
by 2 BCTs, from 40 to 42, with a goal of 48 BCTs by 2012.
    I am concerned that the percentage of new Army recruits with high 
school diplomas has declined in recent years. While still above the 
minimum standard established by Congress, we are watching these numbers 
closely, and are determined to grow the Army in a way that does not 
sacrifice the quality we have come to expect in the All-Volunteer 
Force.
U.S. Marine Corps
    The base budget seeks $5 billion to grow the Marine Corps' end 
strength to 194,000, an increase of 5,000 over the fiscal year 2008 
request. As with the Army, the Marine Corps' request includes the 
cumulative cost of personnel added after September 11, 2001. The Marine 
Corps' plans to increase end strength to 202,000 by fiscal year 2011, 
in order to achieve three balanced Marine Expeditionary Force units and 
to increase time at home station between deployments. This will enable 
the Corps to continue to be, as it has historically been a ``two-
fisted'' expeditionary force excelling at conventional warfare and 
counterinsurgency.
                              war funding
    In addition to the $515.4 billion base budget, our request includes 
$70 billion in emergency bridge funding that would cover war costs into 
the next calendar year. A more detailed request will be submitted later 
this year when the Department has a better picture of what level of 
funding will be needed.
    The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007 
requires the DOD to provide an estimate of costs for the global war on 
terror. We would like to be responsive to this request. The challenge 
facing us is that a realistic estimate requires answers the Department 
does not currently have to several key questions, such as:

         When and if the Department will receive the balance of 
        the fiscal year 2008 supplemental war request, and for how 
        much; and
         What, if any, adjustments to troop levels in Iraq will 
        result from the upcoming recommendations of General Petraeus.

    We should also keep in mind that nearly three quarters of the 
fiscal year 2009 supplemental request will likely be spent in the next 
administration, thus making it even more difficult to make an accurate 
projection.
    In short, while I would like to be in a position to give you a 
realistic estimate of what the Department will need for fiscal year 
2009 supplemental funds, I simply cannot at this point. There are too 
many significant variables in play.
    As I mentioned earlier, Congress has yet to appropriate the 
remaining balance of the fiscal year 2008 war funding request, $102.5 
billion. Delay is degrading our ability to operate and sustain the 
force at home and in theater, and is making it difficult to manage this 
Department in a way that is fiscally sound. The DOD is like the world's 
biggest supertanker. It cannot turn on a dime and cannot be steered 
like a skiff. The consequences of not receiving the balance of this 
request may include:

         Retarding daily efforts in support of Iraqi and Afghan 
        national security forces, to include training and equipping 
        efforts;
         Halting our ability to pay military personnel and 
        continue operations; and
         Limiting reset of equipment lost and damaged by 
        ongoing operations.

    I urge approval of the fiscal year 2008 global war on terror 
request as quickly as possible.
                               conclusion
    At this, my second and also last opportunity to present a budget 
before this committee, I thank the members of this committee for all 
you have done to support our troops as well as their families. In 
visits to the combat theaters, in military hospitals, and in bases and 
posts at home and around the world, I continue to be amazed by their 
decency, resiliency, and courage. Through the support of Congress and 
our Nation, these young men and women will prevail in the current 
conflicts and be prepared to confront the threats that they, their 
children, and our Nation may face in the future.

    Chairman Levin. Thank you.
    Admiral Mullen?

STATEMENT OF ADM MICHAEL G. MULLEN, USN, CHAIRMAN, JOINT CHIEFS 
                            OF STAFF

    Admiral Mullen. Good morning, Mr. Chairman. Thank you, 
Senator Warner, distinguished members of this committee. Thanks 
for the opportunity to appear before you today. I'm honored to 
be here alongside Secretary Gates, a man whose leadership and 
insight I greatly respect and admire.
    We are here to discuss with you the President's fiscal year 
2009 budget submission and, more broadly, the state of our 
Armed Forces. Let me speak for a moment about the latter. The 
United States military remains the most powerful, most capable 
military on the face of the Earth. No other nation has or can 
field and put to sea the superb combat capabilities resident in 
our Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps.
    I say this not with false pride or arrogance. I say it with 
conviction, for it is an indisputable fact. This stands as 
testament, of course, to the brave, talented men and women who 
serve, Active-Duty, Reserve, National Guard, and civilian, as 
well as their families. I've been on record as saying that they 
are the finest I have ever seen. I meant it then, I mean it 
now. Each trip to the field, each visit to a base, each bedside 
I stand beside, only reaffirms that for me.
    I know you have also made such visits and can attest to the 
same. So I also believe our enormous strength speaks well of 
the hard work of this committee and Congress as a whole, as it 
does of the American people, who through you, their elected 
representatives, have invested heavily and wisely in their 
national defense.
    We are grateful. We will continue to need that support, 
for, however powerful we may be today, that power is not 
assured tomorrow. That is why the budget we are submitting this 
week includes more than $180 billion for strategic 
modernization, including $3.6 billion for the Army to continue 
to develop the Future Combat System (FCS), and another $3.5 
billion to procure 20 more F-22 fighters, and another $700 
million in research and development.
    That's why it calls for money to continue to build the next 
generation aircraft carrier and guided missile destroyer, 
increased spending on missile defense, as well as funding to 
complete the standup of AFRICOM. It's why we are asking for 
more than $20 billion to increase the size of the Army and the 
Marine Corps.
    Some have argued there isn't much new in this budget, no 
big surprises. Maybe so. Quite frankly, we ought to take a 
little bit of pride in that, because it says to me that we've 
looked pragmatically at all our requirements, that we did our 
homework, and that from a fiscal perspective we have a good 
handle on where we want to go.
    A reporter reminded me just the other day that investment 
budgets are really a type of strategy. If that's so, and I 
believe it is, this budget reveals great balance in our 
strategy for the future, a realization that, while we continue 
to fight and develop counterinsurgency warfare, we must also 
prepare for, build for, and train for a broad spectrum of 
traditional war-fighting missions.
    We are doing well in Iraq, no question. Violence is down, 
business is up, al Qaeda is clearly on the run. Ambassador 
Crocker and General Petraeus deserve a lot of credit. The surge 
of forces we sent them and their innovative application of 
counterinsurgency tactics have markedly improved security on 
the ground. As both men have made clear, this progress is 
tenuous and must be carefully watched. I understand their 
concerns as we keep bringing home the surge brigades. 
Conditions on the ground count.
    But tenuous, too, sir, are the long risks we are taking to 
our security commitments elsewhere in the world if we do not 
address the toll that ongoing combat operations are taking on 
our forces, our gear, our people, and their families. The well 
is deep, but it is not infinite. We must get Army deployments 
down to 12 months as soon as possible. People are tired. We 
must restore our Marine Corps expeditionary capabilities. They 
are dangerously on the wane. We must stay dominant at sea, in 
space, as well as in cyberspace. Others are beginning to pace 
us in the speed of war.
    We must do a better job identifying and treating not only 
the wounded we see, but the wounds we do not see. Too many of 
our returning warriors suffer in silence. I greatly appreciate 
the law that you put into effect last year specifically with 
respect to treating our wounded warriors.
    This budget allocates $41.6 billion to provide world-class 
care and quality-of-life for the entire force. We must honor 
military families by enhancing the government-issued (GI) 
benefits transferability, by broadening Federal hiring 
preferences for military spouses, and by expanding child care 
benefits in appreciation for their many sacrifices.
    We must continue to stay persistently engaged around the 
globe, building partner capacity, improving international and 
interagency cooperation, and fostering both security and 
stability.
    I urge Congress to enact the authorities in the joint DOS 
and DOD Building Global Partnerships Act. I was called to 
testify before the House Armed Services Committee a few weeks 
ago about our progress in Afghanistan. I told them then that we 
are seeing only mixed progress and that Afghanistan was by 
design an economy of force operation. I told them we do what we 
can there. I stand by those comments even as we prepare to send 
more than 3,000 marines over there and even as Secretary Gates 
continues to press our NATO allies for more support.
    The business of war, not unlike governing, is about 
choices. Military leaders must make hard decisions every day, 
choices that affect the outcome of major battles, whole 
nations, and the lives of potentially millions of people. As we 
head into this new year with fresh assessments of our progress 
in Iraq, a new push in Afghanistan, and a continued fight 
against violent extremists, as we consider the depth and 
breadth of traditional capabilities, we must improve. Please 
know that I and the Joint Chiefs remain committed to making 
informed choices, careful choices, and choices which preserve 
at all times and in all ways our ability to defend the American 
people.
    Thank you.
    [The prepared statement of Admiral Mullen follows:]
            Prepared Statement by ADM Michael G. Mullen, USN
    Chairman Levin, Senator McCain, and distinguished members of the 
committee, I am privileged to appear before you and report to you on 
the posture of the U.S. Armed Forces.
    Let me begin by recognizing and thanking our servicemembers and 
their families. The brave men and women who answer the noble call to 
defend our Nation and the spouses, children, and parents who support 
them are our most valuable national asset.
    Your Armed Forces, and their families, have faced the challenges of 
continuous combat for more than 6 years. Our men and women in uniform 
serve our Nation, accepting unwelcome separation from their loved ones, 
long hard work under difficult circumstances, and in some cases making 
the ultimate sacrifice.
    Military families are equally deserving of our gratitude. They bear 
the brunt of the loneliness, the uncertainty, and the grief that too 
often comes home when our Armed Forces are at war. Acknowledging the 
importance of their support, we must consider new initiatives such as 
transferring GI bill benefits to military spouses and children, 
military spouse employment support, expanded childcare and youth 
programs, and long-term comprehensive support of Wounded Warrior 
families.
    We must provide our servicemembers and their families with the 
leadership, the resources and the support required to defend the 
homeland, win the Long War, promote security, deter conflict, and win 
our Nation's wars.
                              introduction
    Over the past year, your Armed Forces have done much to improve the 
security environment. Operating globally alongside allies and partners, 
often in concert with the interagency and non-governmental 
organizations, they have successfully protected our Nation's vital 
interests: a homeland secure from catastrophic attack, assured access 
to strategic resources, a strong national and global economy, sustained 
military superiority and strategic endurance, and sustained global 
influence, leadership, and freedom of action.
    A diverse set of perils threaten those interests and demand 
sustained action. Those threats include the proliferation of nuclear 
weapons and technology, transnational terrorism and rising regional 
instability. Today, these challenges manifest themselves most clearly 
in the Middle East.
    We face additional challenges in other areas: a number of state 
actors who appear intent on undermining U.S. interests and regional 
stability, a growing global competition for scarce natural resources, 
the constant threat of natural disasters and pandemics, as well as 
increasing cyber and space threats. Our military is capable of 
responding to all threats to our vital national interests, but is 
significantly stressed while conducting combat operations in Iraq and 
Afghanistan and other operations worldwide as part of this 
multigenerational conflict against violent extremism. A decline in our 
strength or a gap in readiness will undermine the U.S. Armed Forces 
capability to complete its range of missions from combat overseas to 
providing civil support at home. That is why I believe we must reset, 
reconstitute, and revitalize our Armed Forces while balancing global 
risk.
    We do not--and should not--face these challenges alone. Today, more 
nations are free, peaceful, and prosperous than at almost any point in 
history. While each has its own heritage and interests, most share our 
desire for security and stability. Increasing free trade, regional 
security partnerships, treaties, international institutions, and 
military-to-military engagements and capacity building strengthen the 
bonds between us and other nations. Our engagement with allies and 
friends demonstrates our leadership and resolve to fulfill security 
commitments, and works toward the common good. Most often, it is by 
taking collective action--and not going it alone--that we increase our 
ability to protect our vital interests.
    With this context in mind, and in consultation with the Secretary 
of Defense, I have set three strategic priorities for our military. 
First, we need to increase stability and defend our vital national 
interests in the broader Middle East. Second, we must reset, 
reconstitute, and revitalize our Armed Forces. Third, we need to deter 
conflict and be prepared to defeat foes globally by rebalancing our 
strategic risk. Finally, to achieve our objectives in each of these 
areas we need to place increased emphasis not only on development of 
our own capabilities and the capacity of other agencies (State, U.S. 
Agency for International Development, Agriculture, Treasury, and 
Commerce and so forth), but also on building the capacity of our 
foreign partners to counter threats including terrorism and to promote 
regional stability.
     defend our vital national interests in the broader middle east
    Although our vital national interests are clearly global in nature, 
the broader Middle East is the epicenter of violent extremism. Too many 
countries suffer from burgeoning populations and stagnant economies, 
which have increased radicalization. State and non-state actors alike 
foment instability. Terrorists and insurgents are at war with 
governments in the region. The confrontational posture of Iranian 
leaders with respect to nuclear proliferation, the Israeli-Palestinian 
conflict, Sunni-Shia rivalries, the threat of terrorism, tensions in 
Pakistan, Hezbollah in Lebanon, political instability in the Maghreb, 
and the existence of al Qaeda and like-minded groups, all threaten 
regional stability and, ultimately, our vital national interests.
    My near-term focus remains combat operations in Iraq and 
Afghanistan. The surge of U.S. forces to Iraq, a well executed 
counterinsurgency strategy and an Iraqi population increasingly weary 
of violence, and willing to do something about it, have all combined to 
improve security conditions throughout much of the country. Violent 
activities against our forces and against the Iraqi people have 
substantially decreased. These reductions have come about because of 
the hard work of coalition and Iraqi security forces and the decisions 
of the Iraqi people and their leaders. Insurgent activity is down and 
al Qaeda in Iraq is on the run--although both remain dangerous. Much 
hard fighting remains for Iraqi and coalition forces before the job is 
done. Increased security has promoted reconciliation in some key 
provinces and the beginnings of national level reconciliation. We are 
working to secure a long-term security relationship with Iraq that will 
serve the mutual interests of both countries. As we continue to 
progress forward, congressional support of future warfunding will 
remain critical to success. An important component of that funding will 
go to building the capacity of increasingly capable Iraqi security 
forces.
    Security is a necessary condition but is not sufficient for 
achieving our strategic end-state in Iraq. Political, diplomatic and 
economic development together with expanded governance and the rule of 
law form the foundations that will underpin long-term stability and 
security in Iraq. We are making solid progress, but we still have a 
long way to go. I ask that Congress continue its support for increased 
interagency participation in Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs), 
stability and reconstruction initiatives, U.S. business investment, 
Department of Defense (DOD) business transformation efforts, and good 
governance initiatives. I encourage your continued emphasis on the 
importance of achieving political and economic goals. Your visits with 
the Iraqi Government and other Iraqi political leaders support the 
efforts of American, coalition, and Iraqi forces.
    In Afghanistan we are seeing a growing insurgency, increasing 
violence, and a burgeoning drug trade fueled by widespread poppy 
cultivation. In response, more U.S. forces will deploy to Afghanistan. 
At the same time, the Afghan National Army and Police have increased in 
numbers and capability. The Afghan PRTs continue to aid the local 
populations, and President Hamid Karzai is reaching out to support the 
provinces. In the U.S. section of RC East, access to basic health care 
has more than doubled and provincial councils have become functioning 
entities active in development. North Atlantic Treaty Organization 
(NATO) forces provide a credible fighting force, but the alliance still 
faces difficulty meeting its force level commitments and some nations' 
forces in theater must be more operationally flexible. These challenges 
emphasize the importance of retaining U.S. freedom of action on a 
global scale. Just as in Iraq, your continued support for funding U.S. 
operations and efforts there, including PRTs, Afghanistan National 
Security Force development, and infrastructure development, is needed.
    In short, a stable Iraq and Afghanistan that are long-term partners 
and share our commitment to peace will be critical to achieving 
regional stability and security. This will require years, not months, 
and will require the support of the American people, our regional 
allies, and concerted action by the Iraqi and Afghan people and their 
leaders.
    I see daily reminders of other challenges in this part of the 
world. Recent irresponsible actions by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary 
Guard Corps in the Strait of Hormuz could have led to a crisis between 
our Nations. Restraint in our response does not signal lack of resolve 
or capability to defend ourselves against threats. Much more worrisome 
in the long-term, however, is Iran's hegemonic intent, their continued 
refusal to verifiably suspend uranium enrichment, their continued 
support of terrorism and the resultant instability these actions foster 
throughout the region.
    Al Qaeda safe havens in the under-governed regions of Pakistan, 
combined with the recent assassination of Benazir Bhutto, also 
contribute to regional instability. In my judgment, the most likely 
near term attack on the United States will come from al Qaeda via these 
safe havens. Continued congressional support for the legitimate 
Government of Pakistan braces this bulwark in the long war against 
violent extremism.
    Despite--or maybe because of--these diverse challenges, we are 
fortunate to enjoy the cooperation of many courageous partner nations 
in the region. A recent regional commitment to work toward an Israeli-
Palestinian peace accord is one example. We should not inadvertently 
signal ingratitude toward any of these nations. Foreign Military 
Financing (FMF) and International Military Education and Training 
(IMET) are programs that have the potential to have significant 
strategic repercussions. I therefore seek congressional support to 
ensure the Department of State's FMF and IMET programs remains fully 
funded.
    After three visits to the Middle East since becoming Chairman, I am 
more convinced than ever that we will not achieve regional security and 
stability unless we strengthen all instruments of international 
cooperation, regional partnerships, and national power. We need to 
ensure our plans sustain current gains and chart a course that both 
capitalize on lessons learned while focusing on future demands and 
dynamic conditions on the ground. Our forces must remain in theater as 
long as necessary to secure our vital interests and those of our 
partner nations, and they must operate with the full confidence and 
support of the American people and Congress.
             reset, reconstitute, and revitalize our forces
    To be successful in defeating our enemies and deterring potential 
foes, U.S. Armed Forces require talented people who are fully trained 
in their specialties and well equipped with warfighting systems. The 
pace of ongoing operations has prevented our forces from fully training 
for the full-spectrum of operations and impacts our ability to be ready 
to counter future threats. This lack of balance is unsustainable in the 
long-term. We must restore the balance and strategic depth required for 
national security. Continued operations without the requisite increase 
in national resources will further degrade our equipment, platforms, 
and people.
    Our Nation's servicemen and women--and their families--are the 
primary focus of my efforts to reset, reconstitute, and revitalize our 
forces. Caring for them is a critical consideration in every decision I 
make. Our All-Volunteer Force continues to meet the requirements and 
demands of national security, but with great sacrifice. This is the 
longest time that our All-Volunteer Force has been at war. Our 
servicemembers, in particular our ground forces and their families, are 
under significant strain. However, they remain dedicated, they are 
resilient and combat hardened, and they are taking the fight to our 
enemies. I do not take their service for granted and recognize that 
their resilience has limits. I am extremely concerned about the toll 
the current pace of operations is taking on them and on their families, 
on our equipment, and on our ability to respond to crises and 
contingencies beyond ongoing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
    The Secretary of Defense fixed and limited deployment cycles at 15 
months deployed/12 months home for the Army, 7 months deployed/7 months 
home for the Marines, and 1 year mobilization with 5 years back for the 
National Guard and Reserves. I strongly support his decision as it 
stabilized rotations and provided predictability. However, at our 
current force levels, we cannot sustain these cycles. Fifteen month 
deployments are too long. To preserve personal, operational, and family 
readiness, we must shift the Army's deployment cycle to 12 months 
deployed followed by 12 months at home and then as quickly as possible 
to 12 months deployed followed by 24 months at home. We must do the 
same for the Marine Corps by moving to 14 months at home for each 7 
month deployment. Therefore, the most important investment in the 
President's fiscal year 2009 budget is the commitment to expand our 
Army, Marine Corps, and Special Operations Forces. This continuation of 
the ``Grow the Force'' initiative is a long-term plan to restore the 
broad range of capabilities necessary to meet future challenges and 
restore a capacity for sustained action. This commitment encompasses 
nearly 33 percent of the total real growth of the DOD budget from 
fiscal year 2008 to 2009.
    Recruiters have a tough job during peacetime and it is made even 
more difficult now given the expansion of both the Army and the Marine 
Corps and the decrease in the propensity of key influencers to 
encourage potential recruits to enlist during this period of war. In 
spite of these challenges, our recruiters are doing exceptional work. 
The military departments met their recruiting goals for fiscal year 
2007 and remain on track for fiscal year 2008. We are also making sure 
we retain the people and the skills we need. The Services are using the 
full range of authorities given to them by Congress in the form of 
retention incentives, and I ask your continued support for these 
programs to sustain our combat-experienced force. Last year, the Army 
and Navy employed the Critical Skills Retention Bonus to retain mid-
career active duty officers who fill key positions. Likewise, the 
Services have offered bonuses to senior enlisted members of our Special 
Operations Forces. Investment in our people as our most important 
resource is vital. The cost of people continues to grow and we need to 
recognize this as we debate the right level of investment in defense.
    Retention challenges impact more than just our Active-Duty Forces. 
Though they met their recruiting and retention goals this last year, 
the Army Reserve and National Guard have experienced some shortages in 
company grade officers and mid-grade noncommissioned officers who lead 
our troops. We are overcoming these personnel shortfalls through 
enhanced incentives for Reserve and National Guard service, flexibility 
in terms of service requirements, competitive pay, and enhanced 
retirement benefits. These initiatives are important steps towards 
transitioning the Reserve components from a ``strategic Reserve'' role 
to part of the ``operational Reserve,'' creating the depth and staying 
power to respond to multiple global requirements, and maintaining our 
professional Guard and Reserve Force.
    Maintaining our professional Armed Forces, however, takes more than 
talented recruiters, attractive incentives, and competitive pay. We 
must understand our next generation of soldiers, sailors, marines, and 
airmen. Their affinity for technology and collaboration may 
revolutionize the way we fight. The willingness of future generations 
of Americans to serve is directly related to how they, and their role 
models, perceive the veterans of today are treated and appreciated. The 
All-Volunteer Force depends upon the trust and confidence of the 
American people in our institution; it depends on trust and confidence 
in our leaders; and, it depends upon trust and confidence that 
America's sons and daughters will be well-trained, well-equipped, and 
well-cared for in peace and in war.
    While all our servicemembers and their families have done their 
duty with great discipline and honor, one group in particular stands 
out: our returning Wounded Warriors and the parents, spouses and family 
members who care for them when they come home. As a Nation, we have an 
obligation to care for those who have borne the battle and who bear 
both the seen and unseen scars of war. Their sacrifices will not end 
following completion of their initial treatment. We should strive to 
provide only the finest medical and rehabilitative care for them and 
their families for the remainder of their lives.
    As leaders, we must ensure all our Wounded Warriors and their 
families receive the appropriate level of care, training, and financial 
support they need to become as self-sufficient and lead as normal a 
life as possible. Our support can mean the difference not just between 
life and death, but between a life of severe disability and one of 
manageable limitations. To the degree that we fail to care for them and 
their families, and enable their return to as normal a life as 
possible, we undermine the trust and confidence of the American people 
and ultimately put at risk the preservation of our professional All-
Volunteer Force.
    It is also imperative that we retain the experience of our combat 
hardened leaders. We live in a dangerous and unpredictable world and in 
a time of incredible change. I believe this change will accelerate, not 
slow down. Today's combat veterans are the ones that will take our 
military into the future. Their experience in fighting terrorists and 
insurgents as well as caring for those wounded on the fields of battle 
will enable us to better prepare for the challenges of tomorrow, but we 
cannot afford to lose their hard earned experience today.
    In addition to taking care of our people, we must repair, rebuild, 
and replace the equipment that has been destroyed, damaged, stressed, 
and worn out beyond economic repair after years of combat operations. 
As you are well aware, Service equipment has been used at higher rates 
and in harsher conditions than anticipated. In addition to the wear and 
tear experienced by our ground vehicles in Iraq and Afghanistan, our 
airframes and ships are aging beyond their intended service lives. 
Indeed since Operation Desert Storm, 17 years ago, the U.S. Air Force 
and U.S. Navy have flown near continuous combat missions over the 
Middle East and the Balkans. The impact of this usage is illustrated in 
the recent groundings of the oldest F-15 Eagle fighters, our repeated 
request to retire some of our C-130 Hercules and KC-135 Stratotankers, 
and the strains placed on our 29-year-old P-3 Orion reconnaissance 
aircraft.
    Despite usage levels sometimes five to six times above peacetime 
rates, and in the midst of extremely demanding environments, equipment 
readiness in theater remains high, well above the peacetime goals. Your 
support has been helpful in accomplishing this mark. However, this high 
in-theater equipment readiness comes with a price--namely the impact on 
the remainder of the Service equipment. For example, our ground forces 
borrow equipment from non-deploying units in order to equip deploying 
units. While our deploying units are fully resourced to meet the 
challenges of the fight that they are in, we must get ahead of this 
challenge.
    Our forces are relying upon the balance of funds requested in the 
fiscal year 2008 global war on terror request to accomplish equipment 
reset and to address readiness shortfalls. I urge Congress to quickly 
appropriate the remaining global war on terror request for fiscal year 
2008, as it is essential to have continued, predictable, and adequate 
funding for the repair and replacement of both operational and training 
equipment. I also ask for your continued support for our upcoming 
fiscal year 2009 global war on terror funding request.
    Revitalization includes force recapitalization, modernization, 
transformation, re-stationing, and repositioning, along with personnel 
and family support programs. A revitalized force creates a vital 
deterrent effect. Preventing future wars is as important as winning 
wars. Such prevention requires global presence and persistent 
engagement. A revitalized force provides the means to expand 
cooperative relationships with other nations and contribute to a global 
capacity to promote security and stability for the benefit of all. A 
revitalized force will also ensure that we remain prepared to meet our 
global responsibilities.
    Finally, a revitalized force is central to balancing global 
strategic risk. A revitalized force is a balanced total joint force, 
capable of operating across the spectrum of conflict. A balanced force 
possesses the capability and capacity to successfully conduct multiple 
simultaneous missions, in all domains, and at the required levels of 
organization, across the full range of military operations. A 
modernized, balanced total joint force is necessary if we are to 
successfully answer enduring and emerging challenges, and win our 
Nation's wars.
                properly balanced global strategic risk
    Beyond the Middle East, and in addition to revitalizing our forces, 
we must take a worldwide and long term view of our posture and its 
implications for global strategic risk. We have global security 
responsibilities across the range of military operations. The 
challenges in Asia to the vital interests of the U.S. and our allies 
are an example.
    We must be sized, shaped, and postured globally to leverage the 
opportunities for international cooperation and build the capacity of 
partners for stability, while at the same time, deterring, confronting 
and preparing for profound dangers of the future. I am concerned, as 
are the combatant commanders, that we do not have sufficient resources 
to meet all the needs. By working with other growing powers, and by 
helping emerging powers become constructive actors, we can ensure 
today's dynamic environment does not devolve into a prolonged state of 
conflict and disorder.
    The imbalance between our readiness for future global missions and 
the wars we are fighting today limits our capacity to respond to future 
contingencies, and offers potential adversaries, both state and non-
state, incentives to act. We must not allow the challenges of today to 
keep us from being prepared for the realities of tomorrow. There is 
risk that we will be unable to rapidly respond to future threats to our 
vital national interests.
    Funding by Congress is critical to restoring balance in the long 
term. But resources alone are not enough. We must think more 
creatively, more deeply, and more systematically about how to best use 
our resources. We have learned a great deal about how to leverage 
modern technology and interagency participation to counter terrorism--
those lessons can be shared with our partner nations, and applied to 
other security threats such as our Nation's counter narcotics efforts. 
Similarly, our new maritime strategy emphasizes the importance of 
leveraging other nation's capabilities. The growing interdependency of 
the community of nations will continue to offer similar opportunities. 
I support the United States' accession to the United Nations Law of the 
Sea Convention, and I believe that joining the Convention will 
strengthen our military's ability to conduct operations.
    Our enduring alliances and partnerships promote stability and 
security. The 27 nation NATO leads the effort to help extend security 
and stability inside Afghanistan. Australia and Japan have also made 
key contributions to operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. Another key 
ally, the Republic of Korea, has supported Operation Iraqi Freedom for 
the past 3 years--and continues to maintain a robust national 
commitment to security in Northeast Asia. Singapore and the Philippines 
work with us to counter international terrorist threats in Southeast 
Asia. Colombia's highly successful counterinsurgency struggle promotes 
stability in a critical region of South America. Our military to 
military relationships with Mexico and Canada are laying the ground 
work for greater Homeland Security. Enhancing our teamwork with our 
allies and partners is essential if we are to protect our shared 
interests.
    Persistent engagement and capacity building with allies and 
international partners is a key means of properly balancing global 
strategic risk. Persistent engagement consists of those cooperative 
activities that build partner capacity, provide humanitarian 
assistance, counter common threats, and safeguard the global commons. 
As I noted earlier, we need to fully fund our FMF and IMET programs and 
streamline the process for executing these and similar funds. Fostering 
and sustaining cooperative relationships with friends around the world 
contributes significantly to our shared security and global prosperity. 
Relationships take time to grow--and they require investment to stay 
strong.
    In many cases, other countries have significant competencies, 
relationships, and resources that can promote security and stability. 
One way to build relationships with other nations is to help them 
accomplish the goals they cannot achieve alone. Helping other nations 
overcome security problems within their borders by increasing stability 
and eliminating terrorist safe havens bolsters our security as it 
boosts theirs. Our Theater Security Cooperation programs also form a 
foundation for shared and interoperable response to contingencies. 
Regional Combatant Commands--such as U.S. Northern Command, U.S. 
Southern Command, and U.S. Africa Command--are being structured with 
interagency and international relationships in mind to boost our 
security and humanitarian assistance capabilities, and to foster long-
term U.S. military relationships with regional nations and security 
institutions.
    Legislation that increases the expeditionary capacity of civilian 
U.S. Government agencies is critical to rebalancing global strategic 
risk. Increasing the ability of the U.S. Government, as a whole, to 
deal with crises reduces the strain on our military forces. We need to 
empower the State Department to help other countries prevent and 
recover from conflict. I also fully endorse increased support for our 
intelligence agencies' global activities--upon which our Armed Forces 
depend. We additionally need to look at increasing the capacity of 
other U.S. Government agencies--such as the Justice and Agriculture 
Departments, which are otherwise oriented on domestic missions--to help 
contribute civil expertise that the military lacks in stabilization and 
capacity building missions overseas.
    Rebalancing strategic risk also means addressing capability gaps. 
The technology advantage that we have long enjoyed has eroded, with 
significant ramifications. Interruption of our access to cyberspace 
could substantively damage our national defense and civil society. 
Addressing this threat, the President's budget for fiscal year 2009 
includes funds to reduce our cyber vulnerabilities. Likewise, freedom 
of action in Space is vital to our economic, civil, and military well 
being. We need to increase our capacity to defend our access to that 
domain. We must also address shortfalls identified by our combatant 
commanders in our Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance 
sensors and processing infrastructure.
    Fighting and winning wars is the main mission, but deterring them 
is always preferable. This is even more the case in deterring nuclear 
threats. We now face the prospect that nuclear weapons will be employed 
against us and our allies by non-state actors and rogue states. To 
defend our Nation and assure our allies, we must enhance our capability 
to rapidly locate and destroy targets globally. We seek to improve 
conventional prompt global strike capability, further develop global 
missile defense systems, and modernize our strategic weapons systems 
and infrastructure, to include developing a Reliable Replacement 
Warhead and a conventional ballistic missile. These components of our 
``New Triad,'' together with improved intelligence and planning 
systems, will help to ensure credible deterrence across a range of 
threats in the 21st century strategic environment.
                     building partnership capacity
    Building partnership capacity underpins all three of my strategic 
objectives and is an area that requires additional congressional 
support. Unfortunately, there are serious shortfalls in the U.S. 
Government's ability to build the capacity of foreign partners--both 
within and outside DOD. The Departments of State and Defense conducted 
a systematic review of gaps in authority and developed an omnibus bill 
called the Building Global Partnerships Act which was personally 
brokered by the Secretaries of State and Defense. I strongly urge 
Congress to enact all of these authorities.
    Foremost, DOD requires extension and expansion of its Global Train 
and Equip authority. Every single combatant commander cites this as 
DOD's most important authority to counter terrorism and to promote 
regional stability by building the capacity of partner military forces. 
These programs will not get funded or executed properly unless DOD 
funds them and collaborates with State on implementation. Over the past 
3 years, all combatant commanders, the former Chairman of the Joint 
Chiefs of Staff, the Commandant of the Coast Guard, the Secretary of 
Defense, and the Secretary of State have requested extension, 
expansion, and funding for these programs. Now is the time to make 
Global Train and Equip authority permanent, to increase the ceiling, 
and to provide annual baseline funding.
    The Commander's Emergency Response Program has been enormously 
successful in Iraq and Afghanistan, and other combatant commanders have 
requested this same authority to enhance prospects for mission success 
in other regions of the world. Our commanders in the field view this as 
a critical force protection tool that allows them to shape the 
operational environment so force is not required.
    Building the security capacity of our partners is important, but 
partners often need additional assistance to promote stability. 
Stabilization and reconstruction assistance authority allows DOD to 
transfer funds to the Department of State to provide assistance to aid 
foreign police forces, to improve governance, rule of law, economic 
development or essential services, and for humanitarian assistance. 
Stabilization and reconstruction assistance authority recently allowed 
DOD and State to enhance stability in Haiti, Somalia, Nepal, Trans-
Saharan Africa, Yemen, and Southeast Asia.
    We are in a new national security era that requires building new 
institutional capacity that does not currently exist. Most authorities 
to provide other broader forms of assistance reside at the Department 
of State, where patriotic foreign service officers and development 
professionals are doing everything they can with the force they have. 
But that force is woefully small relative to need. I support Secretary 
Rice's request for the Civilian Response Corps and ask Congress to 
enact quickly legislation authorizing its creation. I also strongly 
support the significant plus-up in people that the State Department and 
U.S. Agency for International Development are seeking in the 
President's 2009 budget as well as its request for increased foreign 
assistance funding. The increases that Secretary Rice is seeking in 
2009 are crucial to supporting our foreign policy goals; underfunding 
these activities undermine our national security. I would also support 
the reconstitution of the U.S. Information Agency or an equivalent 
functional entity to more effectively counter extremist ideology. 
Finally, I appreciate Congress' direction to study the national 
security interagency system, and will strongly support that effort.
                               conclusion
    The past year saw America's men and women in uniform continue to 
engage in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, while they also provided 
humanitarian assistance, worked with partner nations, and stood guard 
around the globe. Our soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, and our 
Nation's coastguardsmen are making a positive difference. They do so 
willingly and unflinchingly. Their valor and dedication are inspiring 
and they serve this Nation superbly. It is an honor to serve alongside 
them and my most solemn responsibility to represent them.
    The American Armed Forces have evolved throughout our Nation's 
history. During the 19th century, while our country was an emerging 
power, the norm for our military included service at either small army 
posts on the Nation's western frontier or single ship patrols off 
whaling stations in the Pacific. Throughout the twentieth century, our 
military fought--and deterred--large scale conflicts against powerful 
competitor nation-states, or their proxies, around the world. Today and 
for the foreseeable future, we are embarked on something new.
    Our military challenge is to protect and preserve the American way 
of life by promoting greater global security, stability, and trust--
building up the strength of our friends, defeating violent extremists, 
and deterring regional conflicts. Our strategic environment requires 
that we have a force that is ready for operations across the range of 
military missions.
    We have yet to fully institutionalize the lessons learned 
particularly as it applies to building the capacity of partners and 
reforming the interagency. America has undertaken a staggering array of 
tasks in the past 6 years: securing the homeland, fighting global 
terrorism, applying a new counterinsurgency doctrine, expanding 
governance and rebuilding armed forces in shattered countries, and 
increasing our capability and capacity to assist other nations through 
a variety of material aid programs and expeditionary teams. All of 
these efforts have seen successes and setbacks. They have come at 
considerable cost to our Nation's sons and daughters, and to the 
treasure of the American people. We must do more than just document our 
lessons learned. We must accept that the future will likely require 
sustained engagement and continued operations that will focus on 
interagency and international participation. We must go beyond 
pondering and push to embed these lessons into a truly reformed 
interagency. We need continued congressional support to make this 
imperative a reality.
    As for your Armed Forces, we need a total, joint, expeditionary 
force that is suited to irregular warfare against asymmetric threats as 
well as supporting civil authorities at home and abroad. We also need a 
large-scale total force capable of major combat operations against 
traditional nation-state foes. We cannot do it alone; our forces must 
be part of a more encompassing team that includes other Federal 
departments and partner nations. We must also recognize building 
international and interagency capability will take time. In the 
interim, our superb military men and women, and their families, will 
fill the leadership role demanded of them.
    All this takes sustained, robust investment and partnership. With 
your continuing help, our military will be ready for the challenges and 
opportunities ahead. Thank you for your unwavering support in time of 
war.

    Chairman Levin. Thank you, Admiral.
    We're going to do our best to get the Secretary and the 
Admiral out as close to noon as we can, so let's try a 7-minute 
first round.
    Mr. Secretary, you've indicated all the reasons why an 
estimate that you give us about war costs for 2009 would not, 
necessarily at least, turn out to be a realistic estimate, but 
that you are still willing to give us that estimate as the law 
requires, if we ask. So I'm asking. What is your estimate?
    Secretary Gates. A straight line projection, Mr. Chairman, 
of our current expenditures would probably put the full year 
cost in a strictly arithmetic approach at about $170 billion.
    Chairman Levin. The bridge funding in the budget is $70 
billion. That's included in the $170 billion.
    Secretary Gates. Yes, sir.
    Chairman Levin. So that means that the total if that 
estimate turned out to be accurate, that the total then would 
be the $515 billion base budget plus the $170 billion.
    Secretary Gates. Yes, sir.
    Chairman Levin. That would be a total then of $685 billion, 
does that sound right?
    Secretary Gates. Yes, sir. But as I indicated, I have no 
confidence in that figure. Part of the reason I've felt able to 
comply with the law last year was that I felt the assumptions 
that underpinned were fairly reliable and that we could have 
confidence in them. I think you saw the analysis that 
underpinned it and made it possible for us to do that. We just 
don't have that at this point and we will certainly provide it 
just as soon as we have it.
    Chairman Levin. Thank you.
    General Petraeus recently said that he thinks ``it would be 
prudent to do some period of assessment before deciding on 
further troop reductions after we get back to the 130,000 pre-
surge level in July.'' Do you agree with General Petraeus that 
we should have a period of waiting before we make any further 
decisions after we get back to the 130,000 pre-surge level?
    Secretary Gates. I have not discussed this with General 
Petraeus. I have made clear to him that I believed his 
recommendation should be based on his view of the situation on 
the ground in Iraq. I have tried to structure the decision 
process this time around as I did last August and September. 
General Petraeus will give us, the President and I, his 
recommendations based solely on the views he has in the 
situation in Iraq.
    Chairman Levin. So at this time at least, you can't say 
that you agree with what he has said?
    Secretary Gates. That's right, I neither agree nor 
disagree. I intend to be visiting Iraq again in the near future 
and I'm sure we'll have that discussion.
    Chairman Levin. Then the President has said, however, to 
General Petraeus that if he wants to slow down the reduction 
it's up to him. The President has explicitly said that it's up 
to General Petraeus as to whether the drawdown will continue. 
Is that your understanding?
    Secretary Gates. As I started to say, Mr. Chairman, we will 
also receive the evaluation and recommendations of Admiral 
Fallon at CENTCOM and also of the Joint Chiefs. Frankly, I 
expect that I will have my own views, and I would expect that, 
as last fall, the President will take into account all of those 
points of view before making a decision.
    Chairman Levin. You're not telling us, then, what the 
President said, that it's up to Petraeus, is what will in fact 
occur? Your understanding is that it's not ``up to Petraeus,'' 
that it's going to be a matter of many recommendations given to 
the President and he will then decide; is that correct?
    Secretary Gates. The President certainly will decide. I 
certainly don't want to put any daylight between myself and his 
comments. It's clear that General Petraeus' view will have a 
very strong impact on this, but I think that the President will 
need to hear other points of view as well.
    Chairman Levin. Mr. Secretary, any agreement with another 
nation, whether it's called a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) 
or something else, has always been submitted to the Senate for 
advice and consent as a treaty if it contains a commitment to 
defend another nation with military force. Now, is it the 
intention as far as you know to submit any agreement which is 
negotiated with the Government of Iraq to the Senate for its 
advice and consent if there is any commitment in such an 
agreement to defend Iraq beyond the term of this 
administration?
    Secretary Gates. I'm certainly no lawyer, but I would say 
that any elements in the agreement, in any agreement that's put 
together that involves the treaty ratification authorities of 
the Senate, would require that it be submitted. At the same 
time, I would tell you that we have somewhere at any given time 
between 80 and 100 SOFAs with other nations, none of which over 
history have been submitted to the Senate. So I think it will 
depend very much on the content of the agreement.
    Chairman Levin. Do you know of any SOFA agreement which has 
committed our forces to the defense of a country?
    Secretary Gates. I'm not that well versed. I'd have to 
check.
    Chairman Levin. Would you let us know, because we don't.
    Secretary Gates. Okay.
    Chairman Levin. It's a major difference. We have all kinds 
of SOFAs with other countries, 80 to 100, whatever the number 
is, but those SOFAs, those agreements, do not contain 
commitments to defend other countries. Those commitments are 
contained in treaties which are submitted to the Senate, and if 
you have any evidence or any information to the contrary would 
you submit that for the record?
    Secretary Gates. Yes, sir.
    [The information referred to follows:]

    None of the Status of Forces Agreements in force between the United 
States and other countries commits U.S. forces to the defense of the 
other country.

    Secretary Gates. I will just tell you that the subjects 
that I have seen listed that we are interested in in this SOFA 
do not include that kind of a commitment.
    Chairman Levin. Except that there was a declaration of 
principles for a long-term relationship that was signed between 
the President and the Prime Minister of Iraq, and it includes 
the following language: ``Providing security assurances and 
commitments to the Republic of Iraq.'' So those words are in 
there, words which I think should raise real concerns on a 
bipartisan basis. This is not a partisan issue. This has to do 
with the constitution of the United States and the role of the 
Senate.
    So if there's any information you have about those SOFAs 
which make commitments, security commitments to other 
countries, please let us know, would you?
    Secretary Gates. Yes, sir.
    Chairman Levin. The security adviser of Iraq, Adviser 
Rubae, recently said that the Iraqi Government is at a 
stalemate. Do you agree with that?
    Secretary Gates. No, sir, but it's pretty slow.
    Chairman Levin. Now, this is Iraq's own security adviser. 
Now, are you concerned by the slowness of the political coming 
together in Iraq?
    Secretary Gates. Yes, sir, although I would say that, 
particularly at the national level, and I would say that just 
in recent weeks, there has been some evidence that they are 
beginning to move on some of these pieces of legislation. The 
de-Baathification law, and the accountability and justice law 
has passed and they have become law. According to the Iraqi 
constitution, if the presidency council does not veto it or act 
upon it within 10 days it becomes law, it has to be published 
and then it will become law.
    They are debating the provincial powers law as we speak. 
They are debating a budget. So they are beginning to act on 
some of these pieces of legislation, and of course you have 
been briefed many times on the activities that are taking place 
at the provincial level. So it's clearly important for them to 
continue to move and in my view to move faster on some of the 
legislation they are finally debating.
    Chairman Levin. Just in terms of what the constitution of 
Iraq provides, it specifically provides that legislation 
requires unanimous approval of the presidency council within 10 
days of its delivery in order to become law or it is sent back 
to the council of representatives. I know what's been stated 
about it, but nonetheless that's what the constitution 
provides.
    So we'd appreciate it if you'd have your lawyer take a look 
at the language of the constitution and then tell us, given 
that language, whether or not we have confidence that, despite 
the Iraq constitution's own language, that nonetheless that is 
the law.
    But I think you would agree that, even if it is ``the 
law,'' that how it is implemented is critically important. 
Would you agree with that?
    Secretary Gates. It is critically important the spirit in 
which it is implemented. I would say further that I understand 
that President Talabani and the presidency council may also 
introduce some amendments to the law.
    Chairman Levin. Thank you very much.
    Senator Warner.
    Senator Warner. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    I just go back to the chairman's question about the SOFA. 
Have your researchers check 1951, the NATO type of structure. 
That did come to Congress. It was a very important one. I just 
feel that Congress should be made a full partner in the 
decisions with respect to both Afghanistan and Iraq as we go 
forward into the next administration, and that we need the 
support of Congress because therein rests the support of the 
American people. So I do hope that you lay that foundation.
    Returning to the NATO issue, I want to commend you for the 
very strong and pragmatic public statement you've made with 
regard to your concern concerning that situation in Iraq and 
the participation or lack of participation by certain countries 
who've committed forces to that military operation. The problem 
of national caveats has been one that's been before this 
country and Congress for deliberation many times. But it's just 
a question of basic burden-sharing, risk-sharing of the forces 
that are committed to that region. I find it difficult that we 
can ask the U.S. forces, the British, the Canadians, and 
several others who do fully participate in sharing the risks, 
to do the whole thing and the others simply do not participate.
    So I hope that you continue with your strong statements and 
efforts to reconcile that problem. That brings me directly to 
the question of the decision by the President, which I support 
and I think Congress thus far has supported, of sending two 
Marine Corps battalions over there this coming spring.
    Was that decision necessitated by the shortfalls in the 
commitments made by the NATO partners?
    Secretary Gates. Yes, sir. I would say that, in reference 
to my public comments, I have achieved a goal I have been 
working for for the last year. I have brought unity to the 
alliance, unfortunately not in the right direction.
    Yes, sir, this is a concern. I think we have to be 
realistic about the political realities that face some of the 
governments in Europe. Many of them are coalition governments. 
Some of them are minority governments, and they are doing what 
they think is at the far end of what is politically acceptable.
    But I worry a great deal about, and will say so in a 
conference in Munich this weekend, the alliance evolving into a 
two-tiered alliance, in which you have some allies willing to 
fight and die to protect people's security and others who are 
not. I think that it puts a cloud over the future of the 
alliance if this is to endure and perhaps even get worse.
    I believe that focus on people meeting their commitments in 
Afghanistan will be an important element of the Bucharest 
summit of NATO in early April. I leave here this afternoon, 
after the House hearing, to go to a NATO defense ministers 
meeting in Vilnius and once again will become a nag on the 
issue, but I think it is important. There are allies that are 
doing their part and are doing well. The Canadians, the 
British, the Australians, the Dutch, and the Danes are really 
out on the line and fighting. But there are a number of others 
that are not.
    Senator Warner. I would not suggest you use the word 
``nag.'' I think you've been very forthright, clear, and I 
think convincing of the need to rectify this situation. So 
press on, Mr. Secretary, because you owe no less to the men and 
women of our country and the other countries who are taking the 
full measure of the burdens and the risks in that region.
    The most troubling aspect of that region, of course, is 
this each year enhanced drug trade, and the revenues from that 
drug trade in Afghanistan, the poppy crop, are recycled 
directly to the Taliban. The Taliban then invests them in 
weapons and use those weapons against our forces and our other 
allies in that region.
    What should be done in your judgment? We just can't start 
another nine-point plan and a six-point plan. Somebody has to 
say this has to be addressed head-on.
    Secretary Gates. This gets to a larger issue in Afghanistan 
and that is in my view the continuing need, as I suggested 
almost a year ago, for a strong figure empowered by NATO, the 
European Union, and if necessary the United Nations (U.N.), to 
coordinate international efforts in the nonmilitary side of the 
effort in Afghanistan. I very much regret that the appointment 
of Lord Ashdown didn't work, but it goes to the 
counternarcotics problem.
    First of all, I believe that our allies do not take this 
problem as seriously as we do, even though most of that opium 
ends up on the streets of Europe. Afghanistan at this point, I 
think, produces 93 percent of all of the opium, or heroin 
rather, in the world.
    Also, I think we've gotten too caught up in debates about 
specific means of eradication. The United States favors aerial 
spraying because we've seen it work in other places, such as 
Colombia and so on. It's clear that the Afghans themselves, the 
Afghan Government, and most of our allies are opposed to it. So 
my view is let's move on and figure out what kind of a 
comprehensive strategy we should have.
    My view is that if you're going to eradicate a man's crop 
you better be there the day before with money and seeds to let 
him know that he's going to have a livelihood for the next 
year, and you better have roads so that he can take those crops 
to market. So I think we have to do all these things at once. 
You can't do it serially, doing one thing and then do another. 
It seems to me you have to do eradication, you have to do 
interdiction, you have to do alternative development, and so 
on.
    Senator Warner. Thank you, Mr. Secretary.
    Admiral Mullen, the tours of our men and women of the Armed 
Forces, the current tour of the Army of some 15 months, what 
can you share with the committee with regard to the future and 
the likelihood that that'll be brought down to a more realistic 
level of one for one, in other words at least a month back home 
for every month over there, and those months over there not to 
exceed 12?
    Admiral Mullen. It is the views of the Joint Chiefs and 
many in leadership that we need to get to one to one as quickly 
as we can, 15-month deployments are too long. General Casey has 
spoken to this very consistently. That said, there's a very 
delicate balance between what we need to do on the ground to 
sustain the gains in Iraq and balance that with the stress on 
the force.
    In fact, there is a review that's ongoing to look at when 
that might occur. We've had discussions about it, and my goal 
would be to support that sooner rather than later, but that 
decision clearly hasn't been made.
    Senator Warner. I conclude with one of your quotes. In 
October 2007, you said: ``The ground forces are not broken, but 
they are breakable.'' I draw your attention to some statistics 
that I reviewed yesterday. Whether it's divorce, absent without 
leave, alcohol, suicide, and I could go on, there are some very 
serious indicators and they could be directly the result of the 
pressures.
    Admiral Mullen. I think they in great part are, and it has 
built up since October. I'm still in the same position. I don't 
think that we are broken, but we clearly can break them. We are 
focused on this very heavily in literally every decision we 
review.
    Chairman Levin. I thank you. I share your view that they're 
not broken, but we must be alert. It's an All-Volunteer Force 
and it's the most valuable asset we've had as a part of our DOD 
for generations.
    Admiral Mullen. Yes, sir.
    Chairman Levin. Thank you, Senator Warner.
    Following our usual early bird approach, Senator Reed.
    Senator Reed. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
    Thank you, gentlemen, for your service. Mr. Secretary, one 
item in the defense budget is not often cited, but it's 
important. That is the investment in critical basic research 
for universities, and I commend you for maintaining that in a 
very difficult budget environment.
    Secretary Gates. I was heavily lobbied by some of my former 
colleagues, but, frankly, I felt it was very important to send 
a signal that we were going to again emphasize fundamental 
research, peer-reviewed research. So it's about $300 million 
for 2009 and about $1 billion over the Future Years Defense 
Program.
    Senator Reed. Thank you, Mr. Secretary.
    Admiral Mullen, following on Senator Warner's line of 
questioning, if there is a decision to freeze our force levels 
at 15 brigades in Iraq this summer, would that almost 
automatically require continued use of 15-month deployments for 
the Army and an accelerated callup of Reserve and National 
Guard forces to maintain that force structure?
    Admiral Mullen. In the review of this that I've undertaken 
so far, General Casey has indicated that that may not be the 
case. He's really working his way through that right now, that 
in fact it is possible that we could get to shorter 
deployments. But that again is all tied into General Petraeus 
and Ambassador Crocker coming back with their assessment and 
their recommendation, what the President decides, because 
clearly that's the bulk of the deployed force right now and 
both sustaining what we're doing as well as creating any relief 
is going to be in great part based on that decision.
    Senator Reed. But I think one of the obvious consequences 
is that the real opportunity to reduce the tours to 12 months 
would be seriously compromised if in fact we commit to 15 
brigades indefinitely.
    Admiral Mullen. With some assumptions, we think it's 
actually doable, and in fact then if you end up with a 12-month 
out to a 12-month back, and to sustain at a certain level, say 
if we sustain it at 15 brigades, you just would end up 
deploying sooner.
    Senator Reed. Does that put pressure on Reserve and 
National Guard units?
    Admiral Mullen. It would put pressure on the entire force, 
including the Reserve and National Guard.
    Senator Reed. Mr. Secretary, the Army needs approximately 
$260 billion for their grow the force initiative, reset, and 
reequip modernization operations through fiscal year 2011. It 
looks as if there's about $141 billion roughly committed. 
There's a big delta. Are you concerned that we won't be able to 
continue this modernization and force increase for the Army?
    Secretary Gates. I must say, I think that if you look at 
the total cost of the FCS over the entire duration, I think the 
total cost of that program is about $120 billion and, frankly, 
it is hard for me to see how that program can be completed in 
its entirety. One of the things that I think is attractive 
about the way the Army has approached this is that as they are 
developing new technologies they are putting them into the 
field right away, instead of waiting to bring this thing full 
up.
    But I think that, in light of what inevitably are going to 
be pressures on the defense budget in the future, I think that 
is one we will have to look at carefully.
    Senator Reed. Tomorrow or later this week, Mr. Secretary, 
we'll hear from the Commission on the National Guard. One of 
their concerns is a shortage of equipment within the National 
Guard inventories for response to a civilian incident here in 
the United States, and they're estimating that it's about a $47 
billion shortfall which is not being covered at the moment.
    Do we have such a gap? Does it effectively compromise our 
ability to respond to incidents within the United States?
    Secretary Gates. There is a gap. We have in fact $46.8 
billion in the budget between fiscal year 2007 and fiscal year 
2013 for the National Guard, and we will push $17.5 billion 
worth of equipment to the National Guard over the next 24 
months--helicopters, 16,000 trucks, communications, and so on. 
But the historic fill rate for equipment for the National Guard 
has been about 70 percent. That fell to about 40 percent in 
2006, was up to 49 percent in 2007. We'll get it to about 65, 
66 percent during the course of 2008, and we hope into the low 
70s by the end of 2009.
    Our goal with what we have budgeted now would put the Army 
at a fill rate of 77 percent in 2013 and the Air Force, the Air 
Guard, at about 90 percent. If you want to try and get them to 
100 percent, which we've never done before, that would require 
an additional amount of money. But one important part about 
this new equipment going to the National Guard, is that it is 
exactly the same equipment that is in the Active Force. That 
will be a first. They have always in the past had either 
equipment that had been used by the Active Force or equipment 
the Active Force was no longer using because it had been 
replaced by more technologically sophisticated stuff. What 
we're going to be sending out to them is the same stuff, the 
same equipment that is provided to the Active Force.
    Senator Reed. I appreciate your efforts and your concern 
about this issue, but it seems we do have an equipment gap here 
with our National Guard Forces, principally attributed to 
deploying equipment in Iraq, leaving it there, and then, as you 
point out, trying to modernize old equipment that's been in the 
inventory too long.
    This raises a very general point and that is, do you agree 
with Admiral McConnell's assessment that al Qaeda in Pakistan 
is growing in its capacity and capability to recruit, train, 
and position operatives within the United States, or conduct an 
attack against the United States? Doesn't it raise some serious 
questions on our overall strategy if we have basically weakened 
our position in the United States in civil response? We have 
committed hundreds of thousands of troops to Iraq. We've put 
billions of dollars--we're debating how many billions will go 
to Iraq. Yet our enemy, which poses an existential threat to 
the United States, according to our intelligence leaders, is 
growing in their capacity as we discuss and debate Iraq.
    Secretary Gates. I think that Admiral McConnell is correct 
in saying that al Qaeda is taking advantage of the safe havens 
on the Pakistani side of the Afghan border to expand and train 
for attacks. Much of what we hear concerns attacks in Europe, 
to be frank about it. But clearly there's no doubt that they 
have the intent of attacking the United States and, frankly, I 
think that's one of the reasons why you're seeing a major push 
for equipment over the next 24 months.
    Senator Reed. Mr. Secretary, I don't think anyone has done 
a more credible job in my short tenure here as you, and 
unfortunately your short tenure, too. I want to also commend 
Admiral Mullen for his distinguished service. But I think we 
will look back and seriously question some of the strategic 
decisions that have been made in the last several years, 
particularly in reference to our last discussion.
    Thank you.
    Chairman Levin. Thank you, Senator Reed.
    Senator Inhofe.
    Senator Inhofe. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Let me first of all say to both our witnesses, I really 
believe your opening statements were about the best I've ever 
heard--very direct, and you got into some areas other people 
don't want to get into. Secretary Gates, for the first time I 
ever heard anyone in the last 7 years talk about where we 
should be in our overall defense systems in the future. It's 
been 7 years since that's really been discussed with this 
panel, and you talked about percentages of GDP, where we've 
been in the past, and where we are today.
    I believe I'm accurate when I say that if you go back to 
the 100 years of the 20th century that it averaged 5.7 percent 
of GDP. Then of course, at the end of the drawdowns of the 
1990s it went down to under 3 percent, about 2.7 percent. 
Unfortunately, a war came right after that, so you don't know 
what's going to happen, that's an uncertainty.
    Another uncertainty is what our needs are going to be in 
the future, because when I was serving in the House just in 
1994 we had a witness that said in 10 years we'll no longer 
need ground troops. So I think that you'll be surrounded with 
very brilliant admirals and generals trying to say what our 
needs are going to be in the distant future of say 10 years 
from now and they're going to be wrong.
    So, having said that, where we are today if we include the 
supplemental spending over this last year would be up to 4.7 
percent; without that, 3.7 percent. I know you've probably 
given some thought in looking into the future about where we 
should be. Do you want to share any thoughts with us that 
you've had on that subject?
    Secretary Gates. I used to say during the Cold War that if 
you were to graph the defense budget of the United States over 
a 30- or 40-year period it would look like an electrocardiogram 
of a fibrillating heart, and there would be deep cuts and then 
great increases, and it would go up and down. It is not an 
efficient way to do business.
    One of the advantages that I believe the Soviets had was 
they had fairly steady growth in their military spending over a 
protracted period of time. Four times in the 20th century, we 
made the same mistake. We fought a war, thought the world had 
changed for the better forever, and disarmed ourselves--after 
World War I, World War II, Vietnam, and the Cold War. Every 
time it turned out the world hadn't changed and so we had to 
rearm.
    Now, it seems to me that if we had a steady state and a 
bipartisan agreement of the investment of America's wealth that 
are required over the long-term to protect the Nation and 
everybody agreed and pretty much stuck to that figure, then I 
think we would all be advantaged, and I think, frankly, that 
when we do have to fight again we will save both lives and 
treasure.
    I think that number, if you look at it historically, 
probably ought to be in the 4 percent of GDP range.
    Senator Inhofe. I appreciate that very much.
    You generally agree with his comments, Admiral?
    Admiral Mullen. Yes, sir.
    Senator Inhofe. One of the reasons that I bring this up is 
because there is an expectation of the American people that our 
kids that are over there have the best of everything, and it's 
just not true, in terms of equipment. I know that Senator 
Warner has left now, but I can recall when he was chairman of 
this committee that I said the best non-line of sight canon or 
artillery piece that we have for close support is a Paladin, 
which is World War II technology, where you actually have to 
swab the breech after every shot. That's something people don't 
understand. There are five countries, including South Africa, 
that make a better one.
    I bring it up at this point because we're making some 
decisions that I think are very significant. When John Jumper 
in 1998 had the courage to stand up and say that now the 
Russians--and he was referring to their Su-27s and Su-30s--are 
making a better strike vehicle than ours. Of course, he was 
referring to the F-15s and F-16s. In many ways they were 
better. During that timeframe China made a very large purchase. 
That was unclassified.
    But I think that's very significant, because until we got 
into the F-22 we were in a position where we didn't have the 
best. Yes, our pilots are better, but the equipment wasn't in 
some ways as good. Some people say we could get by now with 
expanding the F-15s, maybe the E models, but they're not 
stealthy, that wouldn't work.
    Now, we're set up right now, we are flying 112 F-22s, 6 are 
being accepted by the Air Force, 50 to be built, and ultimately 
183, and it's my understanding that that's when it stops and 
that would mean that the line would start deteriorating around 
2009 or 2010. This is something that does concern me and I'd 
like to get your comments as to what--and then of course it 
would be another year before you'd get into the Joint Strike 
Fighter (JSF) and others.
    Do you agree with this level of procurement in F-22s?
    Secretary Gates. Yes, sir, we are, as you say, we are 
keeping the line open. There is a buy of 20 F-22s in the base 
budget. We will probably ask for several more as part of the 
supplemental. But we do intend to keep the line open. I'm 
persuaded that the 183 is probably the right number, or 
something in that ballpark. I know that the Air Force is up 
here and around talking about 350 or something on that order.
    My concern is that the F-22 is $140 million a copy and the 
JSF will be about half that, about $77 million a copy. My worry 
is that if the F-22 production is expanded that it will come at 
the expense of the JSF. The reality is we are fighting two 
wars, in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the F-22 has not performed a 
single mission in either theater. So it is principally for use 
against a near-peer in a conflict, and I think we all know who 
that is, and looking at what I regard as the level of risk of 
conflict with one of those near-peers over the next 4 or 5 
years until the JSF comes along, I think that something along 
the lines of 183 is a reasonable buy.
    Senator Inhofe. I'd like to ask Secretary Gates and all of 
your people to keep an open mind on this, because this is 
moving. It's not static.
    The last question I would ask would be just a real quick 
response if I could, Admiral Mullen. I've had occasion to spend 
quite a bit of time in both the Middle East and Africa, some 27 
trips. The one thing I consistently hear is that we have to 
enhance our train and equip, our 1206, 1207, 1208, and the 
Commander's Emergency Response Program (CERP). Those are the 
two most popular programs out there. I would like to know if 
you agree with that?
    Admiral Mullen. I do, very strongly. General Petraeus and 
General McNeil in Afghanistan speak literally about CERP money 
as ammo for making good things happen. Clearly the 1206 train 
and equip has tremendous leverage, far beyond the value of the 
money that we're actually spending.
    Senator Inhofe. Making it global?
    Admiral Mullen. Making it global.
    Senator Inhofe. I agree with that.
    I know my time has expired, but just for the record if you 
could give us your thoughts about what's happening with AFRICOM 
now, and particularly as the five African brigades that we have 
been concerned about, but nothing seems to happen there. I 
think of Africa as being a real critical area. So maybe for the 
record you could--thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    [The information referred to follows:]

    The African Stand-By Force is intended to be an African 
multidisciplinary contingent force with military and civilian 
components ready for rapid deployment within their respective African 
regions. It is planned that the force will be operational by 2010. The 
African Stand-by Force may be tasked to conduct peace support missions, 
post conflict operations, humanitarian assistance missions and other 
task as mandated by the African Union's Peace and Security Council. The 
African Stand-By Force five Brigades exist in theory and will be 
aligned roughly with Africa's five Regional Economic Communities. U.S. 
African Command (USAFRICOM) is engaging with the African Union's 
Regional Economic Communities in order to promote the professional 
development of the brigades. General Ward, Commander, USAFRICOM, is 
adopting a regional approach to the strategic environment. Our African 
partners have encouraged this viewpoint as it aligns with their 
strategic security concept. USAFRICOM intends to concentrate and 
prioritize its activities in the five African Union designated regions 
to further security across the continent. To achieve reliable 
partnerships while developing security partner capacity at the regional 
level, USAFRICOM will help develop capable professional militaries 
among our partner nations.

    Chairman Levin. Thank you so much, Senator Inhofe.
    Senator Bill Nelson.
    Senator Bill Nelson. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Gentlemen, you know my personal appreciation and affection 
for the job that you're both doing. You've brought a candor 
that was desperately needed in DOD. This opinion that I express 
is shared by many of us on this committee and we appreciate it.
    Now, one of the areas with the lack of candor has been 
brought out in the questioning by the chairman today. There's a 
budget request of $515 billion and over and above that is what 
is called a bridge fund of $70 billion for the war, when in 
fact the testimony here, asked by the chairman, it's $170 
billion. So I realize your hands are tied by the White House 
and specifically the budget office of the White House, and I 
agonize for you as you go through this. But this is part of the 
candor that we need. Again, I just reiterate, thank you for the 
candor that you have brought in the relationship between 
Congress and DOD.
    Let me just ask a series of questions, some of which deal 
with the subcommittee that I have the privilege of leading 
here, the Strategic Forces Subcommittee. First of all, I want 
to get for the record, do we have any other difference, Admiral 
Mullen, on the question of whether or not we ought to have the 
11 aircraft carriers that we have for projection of our 
defense, or should it be less?
    Admiral Mullen. 11.
    Senator Bill Nelson. Okay. Now that that environmental 
impact statement (EIS) has been completed on the question of 
making Mayport nuclear-capable and therefore spreading the 
Atlantic fleet of carriers from just one port to two ports, do 
you think that the DOD will budget for the necessary 
improvements to Mayport in order to make it capable of 
receiving a nuclear carrier?
    Admiral Mullen. I remain where I was when I was the Chief 
of Naval Operations (CNO) and we discussed this, Senator 
Nelson, which is I believe that strategic dispersal is 
important, or that capability is important. It was tied to this 
process, and obviously I would lean on Admiral Roughead and 
Secretary Winter for recommendations to myself and the 
Secretary of Defense, but clearly to have that capability you 
need to invest in it, and we need to continue to do that.
    Senator Bill Nelson. On another subject, you in the 
uniformed military are working up a recommendation to the 
Secretary of the Navy and the Secretary of Defense about 
reactivating the Fourth Fleet to give Admiral Stavridis more 
power to project in the Western Hemisphere. Have you made that 
recommendation yet, and if not----
    Admiral Mullen. It has not been made to me. I thought it 
was a great idea when I was the CNO.
    Secretary Gates. One reason I like to come to these 
hearings is I learn so much. [Laughter.]
    Senator Bill Nelson. That's exactly why I brought it up, 
Mr. Secretary, so you would hear it firsthand.
    In the subcommittee that the chairman has given me the 
privilege of heading, we're getting back from some of our 
combatant commanders that they do not have the near-term 
capabilities against the existing short- and medium-range 
missiles that would threaten our forward-deployed forces. We 
even stated this 2 years ago in our National Defense 
Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007, to place a priority on 
the near-term effective missile defense capabilities. Yet the 
DOD in its budget is not placing more emphasis and resources on 
these near-term capabilities.
    So I'm wondering, where the disconnect is here?
    Admiral Mullen. Senator, I'm a big proponent of missile 
defense and in fact we have fielded capability on a number of 
our ships which give us some of the capability that you're 
talking about, and that capability continues to be fielded. 
It's not out there now as we would have it be in the future and 
I think we need to continue to emphasize that.
    My view is the challenge in the Missile Defense Agency has 
been how to best proportion the investments there for the 
future. In fact, the overall missile defense budget this year 
has been increased. But it's a growing concern, growing threat, 
and it's one I think we need to continue to focus on, not just 
in the near-term but in the far-term.
    Senator Bill Nelson. We're talking about the Aegis, we're 
talking about the Standard Missile----
    Admiral Mullen. Yes, sir.
    Senator Bill Nelson.--interceptor, and we're talking about 
Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD). Our concern in our 
subcommittee is that the military analysis shows that you're 
only planning to buy half as many THAAD interceptors and the 
standard missile interceptors as the commanders are asking for.
    Admiral Mullen. We deal with the commanders, the combatant 
commanders, all the time and we work these requirements. The 
combatant commanders are not going to get everything they ask 
for. There's an affordability as well as distribution and risk-
taking aspect of this, all of which goes into the equation.
    We have, in fact, fielded that capability, as you 
indicated, in some parts of our fleet and it's, as is always 
the case, a balance between meeting the requirement, the timing 
of it, affordability, and where those systems are in 
development.
    Senator Bill Nelson. A final question. I have the privilege 
also of serving on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. 
Yesterday in the open session, General Hayden, the Director of 
the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), stated his belief that 
Pakistan, the government, finally has a new appreciation of the 
problem of the uncontrolled tribal areas, and his opinion was 
that the Pakistani Government for the first time sees the 
situation in this area poses a direct threat to the stability 
of the Government of Pakistan.
    Do you agree with this assessment?
    Secretary Gates. Yes, sir, I do. I think it's a fairly 
recent development and probably brought home most vividly to 
them by the assassination of Mrs. Bhutto, that this is a 
serious threat. Al Qaeda has been public about threatening the 
leadership of the Pakistani military and the Pakistani civilian 
government. They have declared their desire to overthrow the 
Pakistani Government, plus the insurrectionist activity that's 
going on in the northwestern part of the country has really 
gotten the Pakistani Government's attention.
    Now, the problem that they face in a way is a little bit of 
the problem that the NATO alliance faces. The NATO alliance has 
trained and equipped over the past 50 years, almost 60 years, 
to meet the Soviets coming through the Fulda Gap. Pakistan has 
been focused for all these years on the threat to their east, 
to the Indian conventional military threat. So my view is that 
the Pakistanis, just as they recognize a new kind of threat to 
the stability of the country, are going to have to make some 
changes in terms of the training and equipping of their force.
    Senator Bill Nelson. Of course, that's the next question 
that we have to ask, and part of that has to be off the record.
    Thank you all very much for your service to our country.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Levin. Thank you, Senator Nelson.
    Senator Sessions.
    Senator Sessions. Thank you very much.
    Gentlemen, thank you for your service. You have indeed won 
a great deal of respect and credibility on both sides of the 
aisle here in Congress. Your candor and good judgment, I think, 
have been responsible for that and we appreciate it very much.
    Secretary Gates, I think your opening remarks, in which you 
talk about the new strategic threats we face, failed states, 
terrorism, and the like, represent a significant statement. You 
have indicated that we need to confront and be prepared to 
confront those threats for years and years to come. Are you 
confident that what we're doing within DOD now is the right 
balance between a potential peer competitor some time in the 
future, hopefully some years out, and the immediate threat of 
these kind of failed states and terrorist activities?
    Secretary Gates. I think we do have a good balance. I think 
it would be probably unrealistic for me to say with confidence 
that we have it all just right. When you have a budget this big 
and so many programs, you hope to get the balance in the right 
place. I think that what we have to do is figure out how to 
prepare for the diverse kinds of threats we're going to face.
    One of the issues, for example, that I've been discussing 
with the Army and where General Casey, frankly, has been very 
helpful is the fact that the Army is more likely to face 
asymmetric kinds of threats in the years to come, than it is a 
major conventional war, and how do they prepare and equip for 
that over the long term and at the same time be able to retain 
the full spectrum capabilities?
    So it's a matter not of one foot or the other, but the 
amount of weight you put on one or the other foot. So I think 
that another example of this is in the kind of ships that the 
Navy is buying. We've had these problems with these Littoral 
Combat Ships (LCS), but I think that they're exactly the right 
kind of ship for the kind of threat we're going to face in 
places like the Persian Gulf, where they can take on swarms of 
small boats and where they can go in shallower water and so on.
    So I think we have it pretty right, but I would never be in 
a position with a budget this big to say we have it exactly 
right.
    Senator Sessions. Admiral Mullen, do you want to comment on 
that?
    Admiral Mullen. I think, to Senator Inhofe's statement 
earlier about projecting, predicting the future, we're in an 
incredibly uncertain time. It's a dangerous time, and to best 
prepare for that I think we have to have a balance. We have to 
have this irregular warfare thing right. We need to continue to 
swing in that direction. But I also think we need to invest 
well for the future with respect to our conventional forces.
    I mentioned space and cyberspace. Those are of great 
concern to me as well. Most importantly, we have to get it 
right for our people, particularly our young people, so that 
they see that we're headed in the right direction, because 
they're the ones that always have to fight the fight.
    Senator Sessions. Thank you. I appreciate the Secretary 
mentioning the LCS and I hope, Admiral Mullen, we can break 
through some of the delays that are occurring there and not 
lose momentum on that critically important ship.
    I'm also pleased, Mr. Secretary, in your written remarks 
that you noted the need for the Air Force number one priority, 
the tanker. We'll soon be having a selection on that and it's 
something we're going to need to invest in for a number of 
years. Forty-eight-year-old tankers just cannot continue to 
meet our Nation's need.
    You mentioned cyberspace, Admiral Mullen. I am concerned 
about that. Even our new defense structure commits us even more 
deeply to high tech, satellite, communications, and computer 
systems. Of course the history of warfare has been that enemies 
have figured ways to penetrate communications systems and whole 
wars have turned on intelligence and spying activities. We of 
course have nations like China and others that are highly 
sophisticated in these areas.
    Are you confident that as we commit more to a high tech 
military that we have the defensive capabilities to guarantee 
the security of those systems in the event of a conflict?
    Admiral Mullen. I'm confident that we recognize the 
problem. The threat is exactly as you described it today, as it 
has always been; and that we have taken significant steps to 
invest to get it right for the future. But I would not sit here 
and give you a 100 percent guarantee that we could defend. It's 
a very active domain.
    Senator Sessions. I just have to tell you, the history of 
warfare is that somebody always figures a way to break these 
systems, and we're investing in them so heavily that I hope you 
will invest a lot in security.
    Admiral Mullen. We are.
    Secretary Gates. Senator, I might just say that one of my 
concerns is not only that they break them, but that somehow 
they figure out a way to deny them to us. One of the things 
that I've asked for is a study of what kind of, if you will, 
old capabilities we could resurrect as a backup in the event we 
lost some of the high tech capabilities to communicate and so 
on that we have right now.
    This world of cyber war is going to be very unpredictable 
and very dangerous, and it seems to me we ought to look back at 
some old pretty simple technologies so that we're not blind, 
deaf, and dumb if we're denied some of these high tech 
capabilities.
    Senator Sessions. Thank you very much for that insight. I 
think you need to press that because we absolutely could find 
ourselves in a situation where we're not able to utilize some 
of the technologies we thought we would be able to utilize.
    Missile defense site in Europe. Secretary Gates, you noted 
you personally have met with our Polish and Czech friends, that 
progress is being made there for a radar site at the Czech 
Republic and interceptors in Poland. Could you give us an 
update on that and why you think it's important?
    Secretary Gates. I think that we're continuing to move 
forward. It is my hope that we can reach agreement and break 
ground this fiscal year. I think that the Polish Foreign 
Minister when he made his public remarks after meeting with 
Secretary Rice indicated that the effort would go forward. I 
think the Poles clearly are concerned about whether there is an 
increased threat to their own security as a result of hosting 
these sites. Obviously the Russians are making a lot of 
threats. So we will be discussing that with them. But I think 
it is continuing to go forward.
    Senator Sessions. I would just note, I can't imagine why 
the Russians would object to this system. It poses no real 
threat to their massive capability in missiles. It's just very 
frustrating and another example of bad behavior by the Russians 
that's disappointing.
    Secretary Gates. We would like for them to be our partners 
in this, and we have made a number of forthcoming offers. 
Anybody can understand that this is not capable of being used 
against Russian missiles. The geometry is all wrong, the number 
of interceptors. I told President Putin: If your problem is 
breakout, that you think 10 years from now we'll do something 
different with this site that would make it a threat, we'll 
negotiate that with you so that there are limits. We talked 
about reciprocal presence in the sites.
    So we've really put a lot on the table in the hope that the 
Russians will see we're serious about this partnership. We both 
face the same challenge and that is the growing Iranian 
ballistic missile threat.
    Senator Sessions. You promised when you took this office 
that you would personally analyze conditions in Iraq and that 
you would give us your best judgment about where we should 
deploy, how we should deploy, the number, and so forth. In all 
the discussions that we'll be having, we want that opinion.
    Secretary Gates. Thank you.
    Chairman Levin. Thank you, Senator Sessions.
    Senator Ben Nelson.
    Senator Ben Nelson. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Let me add my appreciation to your service and particularly 
for the candor that you've been able to express in your 
position, Mr. Secretary and Admiral Mullen, as you continue in 
your role. I know you're going to give us your best estimate on 
what we need to do to keep our country safe in the midst of 
growing concerns and different kinds of challenges.
    Mr. Secretary, I dropped a letter your way today about the 
budget. My concern is the concern that was raised initially and 
one that you've responded to. I understand the difference 
between precision and accuracy. I don't know why they have to 
be at odds as far as they are in terms of the numbers.
    My concern is that we continue to bring together our desire 
for precision and getting it right accurately as well, so that 
the distance between the bid and the ask isn't quite so great, 
because it makes it very difficult to have anything back here 
called a budget. I don't know if I coined this word, but we 
came up with it in the office: It looks like a budget is now a 
``fudge-it.'' There's fudging in it, just because you don't 
know certain things.
    But I think we need to narrow down those differences as 
much as we possibly can. I know you told us that you were going 
to try to do that. The system here is broken and it's not your 
fault, but it is an opportunity for you to try to help us fix 
it so that we don't go through the rest of this decade with a 
broken system, to be inherited by the next administration. It 
just isn't going to enable us to get something that we can deal 
with.
    On high technology, let me say that I really think that, 
whether it's asymmetrical war or whether it's cyber concerns, 
that we have to be not only in a defensive posture--clearly we 
have to be able to defend what we have. If we lose our high 
tech capability, you're right, we better have some low tech 
response capability to be able to deal with that. But I also 
hope that we're at a position where we're not bragging, but 
making the world aware we have the ability to be on the offense 
on this as well.
    If the rest of the world understands that we can take out 
their cyber, assuming we can, we can take out their cyber 
capabilities, perhaps we can ultimately agree to certain things 
and reduce that risk to both sides, so that we don't continue 
to face the uncertainty of what high tech cyber war might look 
like.
    What I'd like to do is go just for a minute on the Pakistan 
military aid funding. I've been watching the media reports, the 
coalition support funds (CSF), and the foreign military 
financing aid that have been provided to the Government of 
Pakistan and it seems, according to the reports, this funding 
seems to have been used for means other than to fight al Qaeda 
and Taliban forces in Waziristan.
    According to a New York Times article on December 24, 
``Military officials believed that much of the American money 
was not making its way to front-line Pakistani units. Money has 
been diverted to help finance weapons systems designed to 
counter India, not al Qaeda or the Taliban, the official 
said.''
    In another article from the L.A. Times on November 1, they 
also talk about the billions of dollars that have been made in 
U.S. military payments over the last 6 years, but raising the 
question as to where those dollars have gone.
    So my first question is, are U.S. funds being used 
effectively and appropriately as well by the Pakistani 
Government in fighting al Qaeda and the Taliban?
    Secretary Gates. Based on the information that's available 
to me, Senator, I think they are. The funds have been used to 
help support I think something like 90 Pakistani army 
operations, to help keep about 100,000 troops in the field in 
the northwest. We have a process where the Pakistanis come to 
the embassy when they have an operation that they're going to 
perform. The embassy has to validate that it is in support of 
U.S. military and security objectives. It is then reviewed by 
CENTCOM, that not only further validates whether it's a 
legitimate military operation, but also whether the cost is 
reasonable. Then it's finally reviewed and approved by Ms. 
Jonas here.
    They have made airfields and seaports available to us. Half 
the material going into Afghanistan goes on Pakistani roads, 
convoys that are protected and so on.
    But as to some of the specifics, maybe I could ask Ms. 
Jonas to respond.
    Ms. Jonas. Senator Nelson, I'd just like you to know that I 
often talk to the IG on this, and when the program was 
initially set up we set it up in conjunction with them. He's 
looking at the program also to see if there are any management 
reviews that we can do or additional things that we can tighten 
up.
    I will tell you that my office in particular spends a lot 
of time testing the reasonableness of the costs. So there are 
plenty of things that we would turn down as well. But we do 
rely on the field to tell us, and to CENTCOM, as to how that is 
supporting the objectives.
    Senator Ben Nelson. Would that involve trying to decide not 
simply whether the use is appropriate, but are we getting 
results from it as well? Because I think that's the concern I 
have. How much do we need to provide to get the results that we 
are hoping for, and that is to avoid having the buildup in 
Waziristan and in the border, the non-border area where you 
have a reconstituting, reconstitution of the Taliban and the 
expansion and redevelopment of al Qaeda?
    So even if the money is being spent appropriately under the 
way in which it's been designated, are we getting the bang for 
the buck that we really ought to be getting? If we're not, is 
it because it's not enough or is it because it's not being 
used, while appropriately, not in the most effective manner 
possible to get the results we're after? Do we ask those kinds 
of questions or do we just go through--I don't mean to be 
pejorative here, and check the boxes to see that it's done 
appropriately, but what about effectively?
    Ms. Jonas. Certainly that would be the responsibility of 
Admiral Fallon and CENTCOM to judge that, along with the field.
    Admiral Mullen. Senator Nelson, if I may.
    Senator Ben Nelson. Yes, Admiral.
    Admiral Mullen. I know Admiral Fallon and I have 
specifically talked about this. I know he has addressed it with 
the leadership. To the Secretary's point, there has been a 
tremendous investment and we think generally it has flown in 
the right direction. Your question about results, output, or 
effects, I think, is a very valid question, particularly at a 
time, as was pointed out earlier, as this threat seems to be 
both expanding as well as turning inward. We know that General 
Kianni, who heads their army now, we all think is a great 
leader and has the right focus. It's going to take him a while 
to get the focus where it needs to go. It's going to take him 
years to get at this as well; and that our continued support is 
really important.
    To the level of detail where these dollars are going, I 
think it is a great question to look at from the standpoint of 
the effects. What we have seen from here, that's the case. 
Admiral Fallon is asking the same questions and I know they are 
in the field. I would hope that we would have detailed answers 
to that down the road that would answer that, that could put 
your concerns at ease.
    Secretary Gates. Senator, maybe we could ask Admiral Fallon 
to do a report for the committee on his view of the 
effectiveness of this investment.
    Senator Ben Nelson. Because if it's an investment and let's 
say it's effective to a certain level, I would like to ask the 
question, if we doubled the money would we get triple the 
results? I think there are certain kinds of questions you ask 
about a program like that, and when we don't seem to be getting 
where we want to be and they're reconstituting themselves and 
they're gaining strength in certain areas we have to ask the 
question. If we always do what we've always done, we'll always 
get what we always got. I think we need to break that and take 
a look at how we move forward to get the results we're after. 
If it's money, then we need to address that. If it's 
commitment, we need to address that. I'm not talking about our 
commitment, but I'm talking about the commitment of the other 
government.
    The other question which I hope to find out is what do our 
friends in Delhi think is being done with this money, because 
there are also reports that they're concerned that a lot of the 
money we're giving that's supposed to be going to Waziristan is 
just simply being used to build up the military strength of the 
Pakistan military on the border of India.
    So there are a lot of issues here and I hope that we could 
get from Admiral Fallon a pretty detailed explanation of that. 
Also, if he had his druthers and an open checkbook and an open 
opportunity, what would he ask for?
    Secretary Gates. I think one of the concerns that we're 
dealing with right now is there's quite a bit of sensitivity in 
Pakistan to the American footprint and presence in Pakistan, 
particularly an American military presence. I have said 
publicly that we are ready, willing, and able to help the 
Pakistani army should they need help in training for the new 
kind of mission and so on.
    They're very proud. They have a long history of being 
representative of the nation. I think, just further to Admiral 
Mullen's point, until General Kianni gets on top of the whole 
situation and what their needs are, I think we're in a standby 
mode at this point, other than this program.
    Senator Ben Nelson. With two wars costing us, what, $12 
billion to $16 billion at a pretty fast clip, one wonders what 
some of that money diverted to a stronger presence to attack 
Waziristan might get us and be cost savings in the long term, 
plus less threat--now my time's run out--to our troops if we're 
able to bring down the pressure there in Afghanistan and in 
Iraq.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you, gentlemen.
    Chairman Levin. Thank you, Senator Nelson.
    Why don't we do this, Secretary Gates. If you would alert 
Admiral Fallon to the line of questions that Senator Nelson has 
raised about the effectiveness of that spending, perhaps by the 
time he comes here, which is March 4, I believe, he could be 
prepared to give us that report. We would appreciate that very 
much.
    Thank you, Senator Nelson.
    Senator Collins.
    Senator Collins. Thank you.
    Secretary Gates, I want to talk to you a bit about two 
reports that were released last week on Afghanistan which 
Chairman Levin has already alluded to. Both of them are pretty 
stark in their warnings about what is at stake in Afghanistan. 
One begins with ``Make no mistake, NATO is not winning in 
Afghanistan. Unless this reality is understood and action taken 
promptly, the future of Afghanistan is bleak, with regional and 
global impact.''
    The other says that ``Afghanistan stands today at a 
crossroads.'' It talks about how the progress of the last 6 
years is threatened by some of the factors that you've already 
discussed. It says that the United States and the international 
community have tried to win the struggle in Afghanistan with 
too few military forces and insufficient economic aid. The 
reports recommend that the ``light footprint in Afghanistan'' 
be replaced by the right footprint of U.S. and allied force 
levels.
    My first question to you is, what is your reaction to these 
two reports and the recommendation? Second, I recognize that 
we're sending 3,200 marines this spring to Afghanistan, but is 
that going to be sufficient to put Afghanistan back on course 
if NATO forces aren't joining in an increased commitment?
    Secretary Gates. First, I think that I guess what I would 
say is that I think we are--and it sounds a little familiar--
being successful in the security and particularly in the 
military arena. General Rodriguez reports that to the eastern 
region of Afghanistan, January was the first month in 2 years 
where the level of violence was actually less than it was 2 
years ago. That's clearly where the United States has the 
biggest presence. It's our area of responsibility, and the 
counterinsurgency is going very well there.
    The Taliban no longer occupy any territory in Afghanistan. 
They were thrown out of Mussaqawa a few weeks ago, before 
Christmas. Now, I think that the Taliban have had some real 
setbacks. Probably 50 of their leaders have been killed or 
captured over the past year and we know that that's had an 
impact on their capability and also on their morale.
    All that said, because they are failing in the conventional 
kinds of attacks on us, they are turning more and more to 
suicide bombers, to terror, and to IEDs. So I would say that, 
while we have been successful militarily, that the other 
aspects of development in Afghanistan have not proceeded as 
well. Clearly, counternarcotics are a problem. Corruption is a 
problem. The ability of the government to get services to the 
countryside is a problem. Effectiveness of government 
ministries in many cases is a problem.
    Then overarching this is a problem that I started trying to 
work on a year ago, which was to bring about greater 
coordination of the civil effort among the NATO allies. There 
are some 40 partner nations active in Afghanistan, not to 
mention hundreds of NGOs. There is no overarching strategy. 
There is no coordinating body that looks at what's working best 
and what's not working and shares those experiences or that 
coordinates and says, you need to focus on electricity, and you 
need to focus on roads and so on, in terms of your commitment, 
rather than everyone doing their own thing all the way around 
the country.
    So the importance of somebody filling the position that 
Lord Ashdown was considered for is critically important, and I 
started proposing that a year ago. I also proposed at Nordvik 
last fall that what NATO needs is a 3- to 5-year strategy that 
looks out beyond the end of 2008, beyond 2009. Where do we want 
to have Afghanistan? Where do we see Afghanistan being in 3 to 
5 years, and what kind of forces will it take, what kind of 
civil commitment will it take, what kind of economic aid and 
development?
    One of the biggest problems with Afghanistan is that it's 
poor. Total government revenues this year will be $675 million. 
That compares with nearly $50 billion budgeted in Iraq, and 
Iraq has 5 million fewer people. So the contrast and the 
importance of the international community helping Afghanistan 
in some respects is even more important than in Iraq because of 
the poverty in Afghanistan.
    But this strategy is necessary, with some milestones on how 
we can tell whether we're making progress in these areas. I 
think that there will be a strategy like this approved at 
Bucharest at the summit, that also will, I hope, serve as an 
educational tool for the people of Europe to better understand 
the threat to them coming out of Afghanistan, which will then 
further empower the political leaders to do more.
    Now, to the second part of your question, I've been working 
this problem pretty steadfastly for many months at this point 
and I would say that I am not particularly optimistic. I think 
there are some additional opportunities and I think there are 
some straws in the wind that suggest some governments may be 
willing to do more and do more in a meaningful way, not just 
symbolic.
    My hope is that in Vilnius and then in Bucharest we'll get 
some better indication of what they're prepared to do. Some 
nations are stepping up. The Poles are sending additional 
people. So I think that there are some who are stepping up to 
do more, after I made the decision on the marines, I sent a 
letter to every defense minister in NATO asking them, basically 
trying to leverage our dispatch of the marines into getting 
them to dig deeper. In several cases I made specific requests 
of specific kinds of units and in some cases named units and 
where they needed to go.
    I haven't gotten any responses yet, but I'm sure I will in 
Vilnius. But we'll see. We just have to keep working it.
    Senator Collins. Thank you.
    Chairman Levin. Thank you, Senator Collins.
    Senator Warner has just made an excellent suggestion, as 
always, that you, if you would, send that letter to us so we 
can make it part of the record, if that is a public letter.
    Secretary Gates. It was public after it leaked in Germany. 
[Laughter.]
    Chairman Levin. Why don't you leak it to the record. If you 
could leak it for our record. [Laughter.]
    [The information referred to follows:]

    Senators Warner and Levin requested a copy of a letter Secretary of 
Defense Robert Gates sent to every defense minister in NATO on 
enhancing their contributions to activities in Afghanistan, dated 
January 24, 2008. Enclosed is the letter.
      
    
    
      
    
    
      

    Chairman Levin. Senator Webb.
    Senator Webb. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    I first would like to observe that I really appreciate the 
tone of the relations that we're having out of the DOD now, as 
compared to even a year ago when we were having some of these 
hearings. I think Admiral Mullen, Admiral Fallon, General 
Conway, and others have really demonstrated a willingness to 
rethink where we're going on a lot of these issues. It's 
vitally important that we do this and do it in a timely way.
    I was writing before the invasion of Iraq that my concern 
was we were falling into a double strategic mousetrap. I think 
if you look at this budget that's before us today, you see the 
ramifications of that, a double strategic mousetrap meaning 
first of all we were going to be tieing up our military in one 
spot, burning it out, burning out our people, burning out our 
equipment, at the same time that the enemy that we're facing, 
the true enemy that we're facing, which is global terrorism, 
international terrorism, would retain its mobility.
    I'm looking at the Washington Post this morning, the 
Director of National Intelligence (DNI) identifying what he 
called global hot spots--Iraq obviously, Saudi Arabia, Iran, 
Afghanistan, Pakistan, and China to the extent that it is 
providing missile sales and other weaponry to Iran. They're all 
focusing in that area in a way that we haven't been able to 
control it, in a large sense because of what's happened with 
our commitment in Iraq. To me that argues very strongly for 
getting our people off the streets of Iraq and out of the role 
as occupier.
    The second strategic mousetrap is that we were tieing up so 
much of our national attention and so much of our budget in one 
specific spot, while we were ignoring our strategic interests 
around the world, our larger strategic interests. We're seeing 
that coming home to roost now with the size of this budget. I 
support what we need to be doing, particularly with growing the 
Navy back to where it needs to be, but it's pretty unfortunate, 
from my own perspective that we're having to face these 
problems that were avoidable with a proper strategy.
    My question really is on the GI Bill. I've had meetings, 
I've had discussions with Admiral Mullen about this and others. 
I proposed a GI Bill a year ago that would give the people 
who've been serving since September 11 the same range of 
benefits as those who served during World War II. We took care 
of 8 million people after World War II, paid their tuition, 
bought their books, and gave them a monthly stipend.
    We keep talking about these young men and women as the new 
greatest generation, and yet we're having a very difficult time 
with this administration and, from what I'm hearing, inside the 
DOD, getting an agreement like this is something that these 
people have earned. Senator Clinton is on this bill. Senator 
Obama is on it. Governor Romney has indicated he supports 
something of this nature. We're still waiting for Senator 
McCain, who speaks so strongly about people who serve. We're 
still waiting for people on the other side here.
    But my question for you is this. What I've been hearing 
from the Pentagon is that there are people who believe that 
giving these young men and women this kind of a benefit will 
affect retention. I'm an old manpower guy. I spent 5 years in 
the Pentagon. My view on this is that it will increase the pool 
of people to be recruited, that right now we're burning out 
this one pool we've been going after time and time again with 
all these bonuses, and we've been seeing indicators from the 
Army that categories in terms of mental categories being 
recruited are going down. This would open up a whole new group 
of people potentially.
    I'm wondering if it's true that the position of the DOD is 
that this is somehow going to affect your ability to manage the 
force?
    Secretary Gates. I have not heard that, Senator, and I am 
certainly willing to take a close look at the bill and see what 
the budgetary implications are and so on. Personally, I've been 
trying to do what we can in terms of enhancing the benefits and 
the flexibility of the benefits. For example, the President's 
recommendation in the State of the Union address that a service 
person who does not intend to use his or her Montgomery GI Bill 
education benefits could transfer those to a spouse or to a 
child in their family, I heard that recommendation in one of my 
meetings with military spouses at Fort Hood.
    So I think we are looking for areas in which we can both 
help the families as well as the servicemembers. I'm very happy 
to take a look at this bill.
    Senator Webb. We've been trying to get people in the DOD to 
give us a specific comment on this for more than a year now. 
The Montgomery GI Bill averages out, the average payment on it 
averages out to $6,000 a year. If you were going to go to the 
schools that some of our World War II veterans were able to go 
to--Senator Warner, for instance, was able to go to Washington 
and Lee University--he and I have discussed this--and 
University of Virginia Law School. The Montgomery GI Bill 
wouldn't even cover 14 percent of that today.
    So whatever the benefit is to be transferred--and there are 
questions about transferability. As someone who spent 4 years 
as a committee counsel on the Veterans Affairs Committee 30 
years ago, the benefit itself is not measured to the value of 
the service.
    I'd be interested if the Admiral had any thoughts on this.
    Admiral Mullen. I'm an old manpower guy myself, Senator. 
Listening to you when you talk about this, it's my belief we 
need to take care of these people from the moment we recruit 
them, for as long as the system can support them, depending on 
what they do, whether they stay in and whether they get out. 
That doesn't, obviously, mean we take care of them for the rest 
of their lives, although I do feel strongly we have to have a 
system which supports those who are wounded in that regard.
    Specifically on this, I don't think there is any benefit 
that when I go out and talk to the troops and we meet with 
families--this gets talked about; it's the education benefit 
which they both see, you talk to the young enlisted, who so 
many came in for the education benefits. We know that it will 
lift up the country no matter what they do, whether they stay 
or go.
    I don't immediately sign up to whether this is affecting 
retention at all. I can get a little bit of that. But from the 
beginning to the end, from when they come in to when they 
leave, whether it's a few years or a career, we need to have a 
system which supports that. Education is a ticket to the 
future, whether you're in the Service or not.
    So we need to, I think, take a very careful look at it. 
I've not been made aware of this literally until we've talked 
in the last couple days, and I'm happy to certainly lend my ear 
as well.
    Senator Webb. I would suggest and hope that we can take a 
look at it soon, to try to get something through this year. 
We've been working on it for a year. We've been trying to get 
the other side to understand that this is not a political 
issue, it's an issue of rewarding service. All we're saying is 
try to give the same thing that we gave these people coming out 
of World War II.
    For every dollar that was spent on their education, we have 
$7 back in tax receipts because we increased the value of their 
professional lives. So I would hope we could work in a pretty 
rapid manner on this.
    Secretary Gates. Yes, sir. I say, I'm not a manpower guy, 
but the GI Bill did pay for my Ph.D. at Georgetown University.
    Senator Webb. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Levin. In your case it's probably 14 or 15 times 
the investment.
    Senator Webb. So far.
    Chairman Levin. So far, right.
    Senator Warner. Could I just commend my colleague from 
Virginia, and I wish to associate myself with your goals. I 
think we will be able to in this committee eventually put 
forward a bill.
    Senator Webb. I thank the senior Senator for saying that.
    Chairman Levin. I want to thank Senator Webb also for his 
persistence on this.
    But could you, Secretary Gates, get to us within the next 
month or so the position of the Department on this bill that 
Senator Webb and others have introduced?
    Secretary Gates. Yes, sir.
    Chairman Levin. We need to know what the Department's view 
is on it. We're entitled to know that, and Senator Webb surely 
has been, I think, not only very clear and right on this issue, 
but he's been patient as well. We're entitled to an answer.
    Senator Dole.
    Senator Dole. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Secretary Gates, Admiral Mullen, let me just underscore 
again, as each of our members have said, our thanks for your 
great service to our country and your candor before this 
committee.
    Chairman Levin. Senator Dole, if you would allow an 
interruption.
    Senator Dole. Sure.
    Chairman Levin. Forgive me for doing this, but I'm reminded 
that the question of this bill--this bill has been referred to 
the Veterans Affairs Committee, not to this committee. So that 
any report that you give to us should go also to the Veterans 
Affairs Committee because it is within the jurisdiction of 
Senator Akaka's committee.
    Thank you. I apologize, Senator Dole?
    Senator Dole. That's just fine.
    Admiral Mullen, you've endorsed the proposal to fund the 
annual defense budget at no less than 4 percent of the GDP. A 
review of this budget certainly makes it clear that we need to 
substantially increase the baseline budget. Accordingly, I am 
sponsoring with Trent Franks in the House of Representatives a 
joint resolution that calls for the United States to fund the 
annual defense budget at no less than 4 percent of the GDP.
    But rather than discuss percentages and dollars, would you 
share your view on the implications for our military in terms 
of modernization, the growth of our military, the quality-of-
life, and the research and development, if indeed we continue 
to inadequately support our armed services?
    Admiral Mullen. Senator, I've been in and out of Washington 
and a lot of time in the budget world since the mid-1990s, and 
I've recently discussed very publicly the need to have 4 
percent as a floor. Not unlike the other discussions, I'm not 
sure that's exactly right, but I think it's an important 
target. Over the last 10 or 12 years for me, as I've watched us 
through budgets which have been lower and budgets which have 
gotten larger, the impact of the growing cost to invest 
correctly for our people--and it's not just the members, but 
their families and the quality-of-life to have them stay in and 
to ensure that they see themselves as valued as we all say they 
are, and without whom we can't do anything--the growing 
challenges that we have across a full spectrum of requirements, 
and there are challenges in the acquisition world and we do 
need to contain those costs. But modern systems have gotten 
more expensive. The growing cost of operations. Those are the 
three big accounts.
    As I look back at a lot of people trying to get this right, 
and there are a lot of really dedicated people, I just worry a 
great deal about, in the world that we're living in right now, 
with the terrorist threat that we have, the weapons of mass 
destruction threat, the uncertainty, the regional instability, 
cyberspace, space, the growing challenges that possibly come 
from a near-peer competitor in the long run, the technology gap 
which is closing and which we're being closed on, that to 
underinvest across the board in a balanced way would be very 
dangerous.
    As I really roll it up and do the math, for me it's about 4 
percent. It isn't exactly that, but I think at a minimum we 
need to do that.
    To Secretary Gates' point earlier, we've made this mistake 
before. We can't do this now. It is a dangerous world, and if 
we do that I think we draw a great risk to ourselves in the 
future.
    Senator Dole. Thank you.
    Secretary Gates, let me speak to you about the need for a 
Goldwater-Nichols II interagency reform initiative. I read with 
great interest your speech to Kansas State University recently. 
You indicated there that, based on your experience serving 
seven presidents, as a former Director of the CIA, and now as 
Secretary of Defense, you said: ``I'm here to make the case for 
strengthening our capacity to use soft power and for better 
integrating it with hard power. One of the most important 
lessons of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is that military 
success is not sufficient to win. Economic development, 
institution-building, the rule of law, promoting international 
reconciliation, good governance, providing basic services to 
the people, training and equipping indigenous military and 
police forces, strategic communications, and more, along with 
security are essential ingredients for long-term success.''
    You also mention that ``What we do know is that the threats 
and challenges we will face abroad in the first decades of the 
21st century will extend well beyond the traditional domain of 
any single government agency. These new threats require our 
government to operate in a wholly different manner, to act with 
unity, agility, and creativity.''
    I would like for you to comment on the implications if we 
were not to move in the direction that you've suggested in this 
very impressive Kansas State speech.
    Secretary Gates. In many respects I think some of the 
challenges that we've faced in Iraq in terms of getting the 
development, reconstruction, the civil side of the equation 
right; the deployment, the difficulty that it has posed by 
trying to staff the Provincial Reconstruction Teams, as an 
example.
    In a way, this goes back to the question of resources. The 
reality, as I talk about in the speech, is that at the height 
of the Cold War, United States Agency for International 
Development (USAID) had 15,000 employees. It has 3,000 now and 
it's basically a contracting agency. USAID in its heyday was an 
expeditionary agency. It had all of the kinds of agricultural, 
rule of law, civic institution, all those kinds of people who 
knew and wanted to serve overseas and served in many third 
world countries, developing countries, and they knew what their 
role was and they were very good at it. It was an important 
component of America's arsenal in the Cold War, where that was 
as much a war of ideas as it was of military power.
    So we've really hampered ourselves. The freeze on the 
hiring of foreign service officers in the 1990s. One of the 
lines that I used in that speech is, you could take the entire 
foreign service and it would not be enough people to crew one 
single carrier strike group.
    So I think the government is out of balance. Now, the fact 
that I'm up here for a $515 billion budget suggests that I 
don't mean that we correct the balance by lowering the defense 
budget. But I think that there needs to be greater attention 
both in the executive branch and in the legislative branch in 
how do we strengthen some of the civilian side of the 
government that deals with international affairs.
    The second part of the problem is how do you structure it, 
how do you organize it? I would confess to you--and one of the 
few negative comments about that speech was that I didn't put 
forward any ideas on how to fix the problem. What we have done 
in the Pentagon is let a contract to a nonpartisan, 
nongovernmental think tank to try and come up with some ideas 
that could perhaps serve as a basis for legislation or action 
by a new administration in terms of how you structure it.
    The problem with the Goldwater-Nichols analogy is the same 
problem that I had with that analogy in the creation of the 
DNI. It is that the reason Goldwater-Nichols works in the DOD 
is that at the end of the day there is one guy at the top that 
makes all the decisions, and that's not the case in a 16-member 
intelligence community and it's certainly not the case in the 
interagency.
    But clearly the structure--the theme of that speech this 
last year was the 60th anniversary of the National Security 
Act. It created the Air Force, it created the DOD, it created 
the National Security Council, it created the CIA. It was a 
huge piece of legislation, of enormous consequence, and really 
provided the framework for decisionmaking for the entire Cold 
War. My suggestion was, if you are going to write the National 
Security Act of 2007, what would it look like.
    I just think that the legislative branch, because you have 
a lot of research capabilities up here, a lot of historical 
experience, the executive branch, and we're doing our part in 
the DOD, needs to begin to focus on this. Frankly, I think it 
needs to be as a new president looks out at the world, getting 
this right and figuring out how to restructure to use all of 
the elements of national power that we have should be a high 
priority for the new president.
    Senator Dole. Thank you very much.
    My time has expired.
    Chairman Levin. Thank you, Senator Dole.
    Senator Akaka.
    Senator Akaka. Thank you. Thank you very much, Mr. 
Chairman. I want to welcome our witnesses, Secretary Gates and 
Admiral Mullen.
    To Secretary Gates, as a result of the remediation for the 
problems identified at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, DOD 
and VA are currently cooperating and collaborating I would say 
on an unprecedented level. Secretary Gates, do you believe that 
the Department can sustain the current level of cooperation and 
collaboration, and how will this be administered?
    Secretary Gates. I think that one of the things that has 
played a critical role in bringing the Departments together and 
making sure that the various levels of the Departments are 
doing what they're supposed to be doing in terms of both the 
Dole-Shalala recommendations, the legislation that you have 
passed and others, is the fact that the Deputy Secretary of 
Defense, Gordon England, and the Deputy Secretary of Veterans 
Affairs meet every week, and their subordinates are in the room 
and they have a checklist of what they're supposed to do, and 
they are methodically working through it.
    I am confident that this practice will continue certainly 
for as long as Gordon England and I are in our positions.
    I think that when you are sitting up here a year from now 
confirming a new Secretary of Defense, it seems to me that that 
provides a useful opportunity to encourage that Secretary to 
continue this practice, because that's what it takes, frankly. 
It takes top-level attention and it takes short deadlines for 
getting things done, and it has worked and it's really worked 
remarkably well. But it requires continued top-level attention.
    Senator Akaka. I want to thank you for placing that in the 
record. I'm so glad to see that continue to happen.
    Some have suggested, Mr. Secretary, that a permanent joint 
DOD and VA transition office be established. Do you have any 
thoughts about that?
    Secretary Gates. I'm very open to this because when we 
started dealing with this problem I said we need to look at 
this from the standpoint of the soldier, sailor, airman, or the 
marine. Forget all these bureaucracies. Forget all these 
different organizational charts and everything else. I'm a 
soldier, I've been wounded, or even if I haven't been wounded; 
how do we create a structure that makes--this is perhaps a 
contradiction in terms and so idealistic it sounds naive--but 
that in effect makes the bureaucracy the ally of the soldier, 
not the adversary, and a seamless transition, so that the 
bureaucracy smooths the way rather than making it a series of 
obstacles to be overcome.
    I think you can do that, and as we were doing a lot of the 
wounded warrior things, I said, go out and just interview some 
wounded soldiers and tell them: If you had a clean sheet of 
paper, based on your experience so far, how would you design 
this system? What would you make it look like?
    So I'm open to anything that's going to make the 
bureaucracy more user-friendly to those who have served it.
    Senator Akaka. Thank you for those responses, Mr. 
Secretary.
    Mr. Secretary, given the increased interaction between DOD 
and VA, disagreements could occur that can't be resolved over 
jurisdiction or responsibility between DOD and VA within either 
the DOD-VA joint executive council or the DOD-VA senior 
oversight committee. In these cases, who do you think is 
responsible for brokering these disagreements between the two 
Departments, and how would the process work?
    Secretary Gates. Happily we haven't had any of those yet. I 
would assume that if there were a really tough problem that 
couldn't be solved by the deputies that it would come to 
Secretary Peake and myself. I find it difficult to imagine that 
we couldn't come to an agreement. But if for some reason we 
couldn't then clearly the next step would be to take the issue 
to the President.
    Senator Akaka. I want to thank you also for mentioning 
``seamless transition,'' because we have been working on that 
and we have been working here at the Armed Services Committee 
and the Veterans Affairs Committee.
    Many of the programs currently under development, Mr. 
Secretary, at DOD continue to be delayed or are experiencing 
cost overruns. The GAO report just released February 1, 
identified 11 programs that are the result of poor Department 
acquisition practices and reiterates some of the issues brought 
out in the testimony at the end of the last congressional 
session.
    Some failures identified include: overreliance on testing, 
immature technologies, and early entry into signed contracts 
prior to a thorough engineering analysis, both of which 
drastically drive up costs on these programs.
    Secretary Gates, what is the status of ongoing efforts 
within the DOD to improve the efficiency of the acquisition 
process?
    Secretary Gates. I think you could probably fill this room 
with studies of the DOD acquisition process over the past 
number of decades. We have a new Under Secretary for 
Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics, John Young. John has 
tried to lay out for his entire group a new approach to 
acquisition that tries to minimize the kinds of problems that 
you've just described. I would invite--and I'm happy to have 
Mr. Young come up and talk to you about it or come up and talk 
to the committee, because I think--one of my real regrets is 
that Mr. Young is only going to have a little over a year in 
office, because I think he's on the right track and I think he 
has it right.
    There's another problem, though, and someone alluded to it 
at the very beginning of the hearing. In the 1990s, for two 
reasons--one, four successive National Defense Authorization 
Acts that required the Department to reduce the number of 
acquisition officers by 95,000 people altogether; and the 
Department's own actions to reduce personnel because of the 
budget--that took the number of acquisition people in the DOD, 
people working acquisition issues, from something like 620,000 
to fewer than 300,000.
    Maybe more importantly, between 1990 and now, the Defense 
Contract Management Agency dropped from 24,000 contract experts 
to just over 9,000. So one of the things we have to do is 
figure out how many is the right number to be involved in 
managing these contracts, because it seems to me, given the 
problems we've had in Iraq and the problems we've had that you 
alluded to, the number where we are now probably isn't right.
    One of the things that the Army has done--there's been a 
lot of criticism and a lot of justifiable criticism about 
contracting problems in Iraq. We had 63 contract managers in 
Iraq until December 2007. We now have over 300 that the Army 
has sent out, the Army alone has sent out there.
    So it's clearly partly a process problem, but it's also a 
resource problem, and I think we're trying to address both of 
those. But I invite the committee and I invite you to sit down 
with Mr. Young, because I think some of the programs he's 
putting in place are quite valuable.
    Senator Akaka. Thank you very much, Mr. Secretary.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Levin. Thank you, Senator Akaka.
    Senator Chambliss arrived on the spur of the moment. 
Senator Chambliss, you are next.
    Senator Chambliss. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I apologize to 
whoever I cut off here.
    Chairman Levin. Senator Martinez was looking expectantly, 
and properly so. But you aced him out. Senator Chambliss?
    Senator Chambliss. Mr. Secretary, Admiral, thank you for 
being here this morning. Thanks for your great service to our 
country.
    Secretary Gates, in addition to requiring a force to defend 
the Homeland and to deter in and from four regions, the 
National Military Strategy requires our military ``to conduct 
two overlapping swift-defeat campaigns. Even when committed to 
a limited number of lesser contingencies, the force must be 
able to win decisive in one of two campaigns.'' These are 
quotes from that document.
    According to the strategy, it does not represent a specific 
set of scenarios nor reflect temporary conditions. Regarding 
tactical aviation, it is well known that there have been 
several studies regarding how much and what type of tactical 
aviation our National Military Strategy requires. Specifically, 
there have been at least three studies on this issue within the 
last 5 years: one by DOD, one by the Air Force, and one by an 
independent group.
    Each of these studies have come to a different conclusion. 
Only one of them, the DOD study, has concluded that we only 
need 183 F-22s. DOD's joint air dominance study, which was done 
in support of the 2005 QDR, assumes that of the two major 
regional operations that the force is sized against, only one 
of those is a stressing scenario that requires a large number 
of F-22s. I'm very concerned about this assumption. As a 
previous DCI, you know how hard it is to predict the future and 
I think that you would agree that our ability to predict our 
next military opponent over the last 10 to 20 years has been 
very inconsistent, and we've always been wrong.
    The DOD study completely discounts the possibility of a 
resurgent Russia over the next 20 years and uses predictions 
regarding proliferation of surface-to-air missiles and fifth 
generation fighter aircraft that are exceptionally conservative 
and that do not match estimates I received from intelligence 
personnel in the Pentagon just this morning specifically 
related to the double-digit SAM capability that Iran will have 
in 2024, the year the DOD study uses for its scenarios.
    We can't talk specific numbers because this is an 
unclassified hearing, but suffice it to say that the 
information that I received, the Pentagon estimates Iran's 
double-digit SAM capability at two to five times higher than 
the DOD study assumes. This would obviously require a much 
larger fifth generation fighter force to counter and would be a 
much more stressing scenario.
    Second, based on projections that I received from the 
Pentagon, there are at least 17 other nations that will have 
double-digit SAMs by 2024, including many of the Central Asian 
republics, Pakistan, Syria, Egypt, Libya, Algeria, Belarus, 
Vietnam, and Venezuela.
    Also, the DOD study makes the assumption, which I frankly 
don't agree with, that the F-22 and the JSF are equally capable 
against surface-to-air missiles, and also assumes that no F-22s 
will be required for homeland defense or to deter the threat 
from four regions, as the National Military Strategy requires.
    Now, given this threat information, the assumptions in the 
DOD study, and the fact that of the three studies only one 
recommends procuring only 183 F-22s, how confident are you that 
we are procuring the right number at 183?
    Secretary Gates. Senator, I know that the Air Force's view 
is that they would like to have 350 of these aircraft. I think 
at the end of the day, at least for me, it has ended up being a 
cost-benefit analysis of the F-22, of the growth of the F-22 
program beyond 183 or so aircraft, and the impact on the JSF 
program.
    My concern is that the F-22 is almost twice as expensive as 
the JSF. My worry is that a significant expansion of the 
production of the F-22 in the out-years will encroach on the 
production and the affordability of how many JSFs can be 
purchased.
    My view on this was that we have come to this conclusion in 
this administration in terms of the F-22, but there are 20 F-
22s in the 2009 budget. As I indicated earlier, we will 
probably ask for four or so more as replacement aircraft in the 
supplemental for 2009. So my objective was to keep the line 
open, quite frankly, so that a new administration as it looks 
at the DOD, at the defense budget and priorities, can make the 
decision. If they choose to expand the F-22 force, then the 
production line will still be open that would enable them to do 
that.
    Senator Chambliss. If you ask for four additional F-22s in 
the supplemental, how long is it your thinking that that will 
keep the line open?
    Secretary Gates. 2010.
    Senator Chambliss. Do you have any concerns about the fact 
that if that is not the case and you don't have money for long-
lead procurement in this budget, that in effect you're going to 
be shutting down that line because you're not going to have 
subcontractors out there that are going to have the assurances 
that they need from a long-lead standpoint? Is there a concern 
on your part that's real referenced to the shutting down of 
that line?
    Secretary Gates. I am concerned. My objective is to give 
the next administration an option. What I've been told is that 
this will keep the line open, that gives them that opportunity.
    Senator Chambliss. Has the fact that we now have--I'm not 
sure what the exact number is today; I think the last one I saw 
was about--160 F-15s, which the F-22 is replacing--we've had a 
significant issue with the F-15. We have about 160 of them that 
are grounded, I think, as of today. Has that factored into your 
decision or is that late issue that came into the picture not a 
factor?
    Secretary Gates. No, in fact that was an issue that helped 
persuade me to keep the line open.
    Chairman Levin. Thank you.
    Senator Chambliss. Thank you, Mr. Secretary.
    Chairman Levin. We are not going to be able to quite meet 
our noon promise, but we'll come very, very close. We're not 
going to be able to have a second round of questions, however. 
There have been some requests for that. We'll have to have 
those questions asked for the record, which we will keep open. 
But we are not going to be able to have a second round.
    Senator Kennedy.
    Senator Kennedy. Thank you very much.
    Thank you, Secretary Gates, for your service. Admiral 
Mullen, thank you very much for what you do for the country.
    I'd like to come back to an item that was talked about in 
the early part of the hearing by the chairman and the ranking 
member. That is the negotiations to sign a permanent long-term 
agreement with the Iraqis on the role of U.S. military in the 
future operations in Iraq. The agreement's expected to be 
concluded by mid-July.
    Obviously, the stakes are extremely high. Congress, I 
believe, must have the opportunity to approve or disapprove any 
security commitment, agreement, or assurance, pledge or 
guarantee, regardless of what it is called, that affects our 
troops and our national security. We're mindful that to date 
the Iraqi foreign minister is describing the agreement as a 
treaty. In a January 15 press conference with Secretary Rice he 
said: ``Our leaders have agreed to set a group of principles 
for the long-term treaty.'' The Iraq parliament is demanding to 
ratify the final agreement and the Iraqi Government has said it 
will submit any United States-Iraq pact to the parliament for 
ratification.
    General Lute, the Assistant to the President for Iraq and 
Afghanistan, said in November that congressional input ``is not 
foreseen. We don't anticipate now these negotiations will lead 
to the status of a formal agreement, which would then bring us 
to formal negotiation or formal input from Congress.''
    Yet, our troops are involved. Our national security is 
involved, and Congress should have the opportunity to approve 
or disapprove such an agreement. Congress even approves a 
security arrangement with the Marshall Islands, Micronesia. 
There's no convincing reason to bypass Congress.
    But let me ask you, before getting into comments about this 
issue. The existing authority under international law for the 
military presence in Iraq was extended in December 2007 through 
the end of 2008. Wouldn't it make more sense to seek a short-
term extension to enable the next administration to decide what 
form our commitment should take, if any?
    Secretary Gates. Senator Kennedy, the SOFA that is being 
discussed will not contain a commitment to defend Iraq and 
neither will any strategic framework agreement. My 
understanding is--and it's, frankly, a clearer point than I 
made earlier, and we certainly do not consider the declaration 
of principles as a security commitment to the Iraqis.
    My view is that there ought to be a great deal of openness 
and transparency to Congress as we negotiate this SOFA, so that 
you can satisfy yourselves that those kinds of commitments are 
not being made and that there are no surprises in this.
    Senator Kennedy. I appreciate that and appreciate your 
view. We have had other examples of statements that have been 
made where the administration's changed its position. In the 
last 4 years the administration said there would be no 
permanent bases. The President, on April 13, 2004, said: ``As 
proud and independent people, Iraqis do not support indefinite 
occupation. Neither does America.'' Secretary Rumsfeld said: 
``We do not have plans for permanent facilities in Iraq, no.'' 
Ambassador Khalilzad stated on August 15, 2005: ``We do not 
seek permanent military bases.'' Secretary Rice, May 7: ``We do 
not in the process these days of doing permanent military 
bases.''
    Now we have the National Defense Authorization Act this 
year and the President included a signing statement on the 
provision that prohibits funding for the establishment of any 
military installation or base for the purpose of providing for 
permanent stationing of U.S. Armed Forces, saying and 
indicating that he would not apply that language if it impedes 
his constitutional authorities.
    So we've had language from the administration giving the 
assurance to Congress one way and then the administration going 
the other way.
    Why not just simplify it? Why not just get the Iraqis to 
extend the U.N. resolution which has been the basis for this? 
Why not let them do it and then permit the next administration, 
Democrat or Republican, to make that judgment?
    If they are not going to do it, why won't they do it? If 
they won't do it, why shouldn't we take action that says that 
if they're not going to take responsibility in this area why 
should we continue to give effectively a blank check of 
American troops?
    Secretary Gates. We certainly are not going to give anybody 
any blank checks. It was very difficult to negotiate the U.N. 
extension for 2008 and I think that the general feeling from 
the experts, including our ambassador and General Petraeus, is 
that it would be extremely difficult to get the Iraqis to agree 
to even a short extension of this.
    In a way, they have a vote in this, and they don't want 
permanent bases either. They are interested in asserting 
sovereignty and, my personal view--I haven't talked to the 
President about it--but I suspect that that language had more 
to do with the constitutional issues than with the substance of 
whether or not we want permanent bases in Iraq. The fact is, in 
every meeting that I've taken part in, it has been affirmed 
from the President on down that we do not want permanent bases 
in Iraq.
    Senator Kennedy. The language is specific on this 
communique under item 3, the security sphere: ``Providing 
security assurances and commitments.'' That language is signed 
by the President of the United States. That has the President 
of the United States' signature on it. That means something. 
What we are asking here is that, in terms of binding a new 
administration, you've had the authority under the U.N. 
resolution in the past. The Iraqis have the opportunity to say 
that they can extend it for a year or renegotiate it in 6 
months. We're involved in fighting for their country. We don't 
get the reconciliation, the political accommodation. Why can't 
we expect that they would say, all right, you're going to get 6 
months and 12 months and leave the opening to a new 
administration, a new President, Republican or Democrat, to 
work those items out?
    When we have the President of the United States signing 
that document that talks about security, it seems to me that 
the American people are entitled to that kind of voice in its 
decision.
    Secretary Gates. Senator, my view is that there is nothing 
in the SOFA that we are just beginning to negotiate that would 
bind a future administration. It basically, like other SOFAs, 
sets forth the rules by which we continue to operate in Iraq in 
terms of protecting our soldiers, in terms of the legal 
relationship, and so on. I don't think that there's anything 
here that in a substantive way binds any future administration.
    Senator Kennedy. My time is up. Can you give the assurance 
that the Senate will have an opportunity to review it before 
it's implemented?
    Secretary Gates. As I indicated, I think there should be 
full openness as we go through this process.
    Senator Kennedy. I'll assume that that's an affirmative 
answer.
    Secretary Gates. That's a yes.
    Senator Kennedy. Thank you.
    Chairman Levin. Senator Martinez.
    Senator Martinez. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Gentlemen, thank you both for your patience. I think I may 
be it, so soon you get to leave, and thank you for coming and 
being with us and for your service.
    I wanted to just reiterate, as my colleague from Florida, 
Senator Nelson, indicated, my continuing interest on the issues 
relating to Mayport and thank the chairman. As the CNO, you 
made some great statements on that and I appreciate that, and 
we look forward to the continuation of the EIS and the future 
of Mayport, which is so important to Jacksonville.
    Also, very interested in issues relating to the potential 
for a Fourth Fleet. Admiral Stavridis does a terrific job with 
the Southern Command and, Mr. Secretary, I think as you look 
into these issues that it will be apparent that, given our 
responsibilities as well as the threats in the region, that 
this may be an idea whose time has come.
    I am, too, and I want to just let you know, very concerned 
about the issue of rotations and the 15-month deployment. Mr. 
Chairman, I'm sure that you are equally concerned about it. I 
recently have had occasion to visit with a young man that I've 
known since he was a small baby, and he is back for 2 or 3 
weeks. It does underscore for me personally the difficulty of 
these long deployments. I realize what a difficult circumstance 
you find yourself in, but just count me on the side of needing 
to look for solutions to that issue in the short term.
    My concern--two quick questions. One was on the issue of 
intelligence sharing with Turkey. I was recently there and the 
Secretary and I discussed, I think, the very positive effect 
that our cooperation in terms of the threat presented to Turkey 
by the Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK) has been very well 
received and it's a good thing. My question is twofold. Number 
one, how is this cooperation going?
    Second, I just heard yesterday about a series of aerial 
attacks that had taken place in northern Iraq by the Turkish 
forces. How are we preserving the integrity of Iraq as well as 
maintaining our Iraqi friends in the northern part of Iraq 
sufficiently content with what's taking place?
    Admiral Mullen. Coincidentally, Senator, I actually met 
with General Sigon yesterday. He's been here for about the last 
week or so. He has been the point of contact with the Turkish 
general staff along with General Cartwright, the vice chairman, 
and General Petraeus. We've worked our way over these last few 
months to a level of cooperation that had not been seen.
    Clearly it's a very delicate balance and I think all the 
senior leadership, not just in the military, of both countries 
understand that the balance is there, that this needs to stay 
both in balance and it is very delicate. We speak frequently 
with both General Petraeus and Admiral Fallon about this. 
General Petraeus is very aware each time there's any kind of 
operation which occurs similar to the one that you just read 
about, and it is in that balance that I think the long-term 
success of all the interests, the interests of this sovereign 
country of Iraq, clearly the internal interests that are there 
particularly in the north, as well as the interests of Turkey, 
and that this is focused on exclusively the PKK, which is a 
known terrorist organization.
    So we've made a lot of progress. We also believe that, not 
unlike in many areas that we've talked about, that there isn't 
just a military solution here, that this will, we would hope, 
buy some headroom so that the other aspects of this can be 
addressed for a long-term solution to this very difficult and 
longstanding problem.
    So from my standpoint, the intelligence sharing, the entire 
aspect of this has gone exceptionally well. It's just, like 
many things, a very delicate balance and we have to keep our 
focus on this to make sure that that balance is sustained.
    Senator Martinez. I think Prime Minister Erdogan, who I met 
with when I was in Ankara, was very appreciative of the 
cooperation, but also very cognizant of the fact that it was 
more than just a military solution. I think that General Sagin 
also echoed those comments when he was here. I saw him last 
week as well.
    Shipbuilding. I was concerned in looking at the current 
proposal that we may be seeing a reduction of seven ships from 
the projected schedule that we were on. I know the LCS issue 
and I know how passionately you feel about the importance of 
this. I concur with you, and I know the path we're on to try to 
allow the two current ships to be completed and proceed 
forward. But it does concern me that we are falling drastically 
off schedule from what was projected in our shipbuilding 
program to get us to the 313-ship Navy that I think you and I 
both believe is important.
    Admiral Mullen. Yes, sir.
    Senator Martinez. What can you tell me?
    Admiral Mullen. I think the analysis which went into 
underpinning that 313 number is still very solid. I think it's 
important to remember that was the minimum number of aircraft 
carriers, the minimum number of surface combatants, the minimum 
number of submarines, all those things. We had built ourselves 
down to a certain number that we could produce. Certainly we 
hoped the numbers would be up-tied to LCS.
    LCS had a very tough year last year. I thought the 
Department and Secretary Winter in particular put it under a 
microscope to bound the problem both in requirements and costs. 
It is a vital part of the Navy as soon as we can get it out 
there. The Secretary of Defense talked earlier about designing 
the right kind of ships for the kind of swarming tactics which 
we recently saw in the Persian Gulf that the Iranians executed, 
and that in containing it--and I think we can from a cost 
standpoint and we now need to move forward.
    Clearly, we weren't able to execute the third and the 
fourth in the class. We're now just with the first two. I think 
the overall acquisition strategy there is a good one and that 
once we get to the type model series that we want, we then need 
to generate them as quickly as we can and build up to that 55-
ship requirement.
    I think the submarine aspect of the program is solid. 
Clearly we're moving forward with the new destroyer, which is 
also in this budget. That's a really important transformational 
platform for the Navy for the future and I really believe for 
the Department in many ways. So the investment--I think it's 
somewhere above $14 billion this year, although some of that is 
overhaul money--continues to be there.
    I know I've spoken with Admiral Roughead, that his 
priority--I've heard him say it personally and publicly, that 
his number one priority is ships. You can't have much of a Navy 
without ships.
    Senator Martinez. That makes sense.
    Mr. Chairman, may I have one more question or am I out of 
time?
    Chairman Levin. I don't know if you're out of time or not, 
but why don't you quickly ask a question.
    Senator Martinez. Okay, thank you.
    Mr. Secretary, the one issue that does greatly concern me, 
as I know it does you, is the NATO cooperation in Afghanistan. 
I was chagrined that we had to send 3,500 marines there because 
it appears that our allies didn't understand the seriousness of 
their commitment, or at least didn't understand their 
commitment the same way we did.
    I wonder, in addition to what you said earlier, if there's 
anything you can tell us in terms of how we can bring about the 
kinds of results we need from NATO to undertake their 
responsibilities as it relates to Afghanistan?
    Secretary Gates. Senator, I leave after the House hearing 
this afternoon for Vilnius for a NATO defense ministers 
meeting, and clearly our role in Afghanistan is a key element. 
I mentioned earlier that I've sent--I'm trying to leverage the 
fact that we're sending these marines to get our allies to 
backfill behind the marines when they come out in winter. I'm 
going to provide a copy of that letter to the committee.
    I think we can--the reality is some of them have very 
difficult political circumstances at home. They're minority 
governments or they're in coalition governments and there's a 
difficult problem. One of the things I'm going to do in 
Vilnius, or actually in Munich at the Wehrkunde conference, is 
there are going to be a number of American legislators there 
and a number of European legislators, and I want to try and 
bring them together at a reception, because I think, frankly, 
one area where Congress can help us is in your interactions 
with European parliamentarians to talk about the importance of 
Afghanistan and success in Afghanistan, not just for their own 
security, but also for the future of the alliance.
    I think that the problem is they need to be more courageous 
in going out and trying to educate their population about why 
Afghanistan matters, and I think you in many respects have more 
credibility with them as elected representatives than people 
like me. So I think whatever you can do, that's one place where 
I think you can be helpful.
    Senator Martinez. Thank you.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Levin. Thank you so much.
    Senator Warner just wants to make a statement about our new 
Senator.
    Senator Warner. Thank you. Mr. Chairman, we have a new 
member, Senator Wicker, who took Senator Lott's seat from 
Mississippi. He has been trapped in this line of tornadoes in 
getting here to the Senate today and therefore he's absent. I 
ask unanimous consent that his statement and questions be 
admitted for the purposes of the record.
    Chairman Levin. Any statement will be made part of the 
record, and of course his questions will be asked for the 
record.
    [The prepared statement of Senator Wicker follows:]
             Prepared Statement by Senator Roger F. Wicker
    Chairman Levin and Senator Warner, thank you both for your kind of 
words. I am grateful and humbled to be a member of this prestigious 
committee. The work of the Senate Armed Services Committee makes our 
Nation stronger and the men and women who defend her safer. I look 
forward to contributing in some way to this important honorable cause. 
Thank you for this opportunity.

    Senator Warner. I thank the chair.
    Chairman Levin. We found that out and we're glad you made 
that part of the record.
    We're very grateful to our witnesses, particularly, may I 
say, Secretary Gates, for your statement of a few minutes ago 
giving us the flat-out assurance that any agreement with Iraq 
will not include a security provision. That's what an anonymous 
person from the White House apparently said yesterday, as 
reported in this morning's paper. You have taken the anonymity 
away from that and given us your direct statement, and we now 
have it on authority and that's what we welcome so much. It was 
important, I think, on a bipartisan, an institutional basis, as 
you heard this morning, that any agreement not include security 
commitments to a country since that belongs in a treaty.
    Secretary Gates. That certainly is what I have been 
informed about with the SOFA.
    Chairman Levin. Thank you.
    Again, to all of our witnesses, thank you so much for your 
service, and we came reasonably close to keeping our 
commitment.
    Secretary Gates. Thank you, sir.
    Chairman Levin. Again, our thanks. We will stand adjourned.
    [Questions for the record with answers supplied follow:]
               Questions Submitted by Senator Carl Levin
                         de-baathification law
    1. Senator Levin. Secretary Gates, the Washington Post reported on 
February 4, 2008, that the Iraqi Presidency Council issued a statement 
on Sunday that the de-Baathification law was now ``considered as 
approved'' even though Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi, the only 
Sunni Member of the Presidency Council, refused to sign it and despite 
the fact that Article 138 of the Iraqi Constitution specifically 
provides that legislation requires unanimous approval by the Presidency 
Council within 10 days of its delivery to the Council to become law, or 
it is sent back to the Council of Representatives. Has the de-
Baathification law actually been approved?
    Secretary Gates. On February 3, 2008, the Presidency Council 
submitted the Accountability and Justice Law for publication in the 
Official Gazette.
    [Note: Since the February 6, 2008, Senate Armed Services Committee 
hearing, the law was published in the Official Gazette and is now law.]

                  project on national security reform
    2. Senator Levin. Secretary Gates, your speeches at Kansas State 
University and the Center for Strategic and International Studies 
called for major national security reforms. Section 1049 of the 
National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2008 
authorized $3 million for a comprehensive study of required reforms in 
the fiscal year 2008 budget. I understand the Department of Defense 
(DOD) has committed to entering into a cooperative agreement with the 
Center for the Study of the Presidency and the Project on National 
Security Reform for this study. Will DOD provide the full $3 million to 
the Project on National Security Reform?
    Secretary Gates. The Department has entered into a Cooperative 
Agreement with the Center for the Study of the Presidency and the 
Project on National Security Reform for this study and will provide the 
$2.4 million appropriated by Congress. These funds will be adequate for 
fiscal year 2008 efforts.

    3. Senator Levin. Secretary Gates, what other support will the DOD 
provide to this important effort?
    Secretary Gates. It is too early to know what support may be 
required, but I expect we will be able to provide whatever support is 
requested.

    4. Senator Levin. Secretary Gates, I understand that Director of 
National Intelligence McConnell and Secretary of Homeland Security 
Chertoff have promised funding or support to the Project on National 
Security Reform. Have you sought to use the cooperative agreement as 
the mechanism for this assistance as well?
    Secretary Gates. No. Neither agency has requested to do so. 
Additionally, the current cooperative agreement with the Project on 
National Security Reform, and its associated funding, was carried out 
under section 1049 of the NDAA, which limits the amount that may be 
expended to $3.0 million. Using the Cooperative Agreement, which is 
directly tied to the funding prescribed by the NDAA, could limit the 
amounts that other agencies might provide.

    5. Senator Levin. Secretary Gates, what steps have you taken or do 
you plan to take to gain assistance from other departments and agencies 
for this effort?
    Secretary Gates. This effort is being carried out at the direction 
of Congress under Section 1049 of the NDAA, with an amount of $2.4 
million appropriated for the project ($3.0 million authorized). This is 
not a DOD initiative nor should it appear to be one if the 
congressional intent of a non-partisan, independent study is to be met. 
The Department thinks it inappropriate to seek additional funding or 
support from other agencies or departments, none of whom were 
authorized nor provided additional funding by Congress to support the 
study. The Project on National Security Reform has been highly 
encouraged to seek assistance from other potential private donors, any 
department or agency of the U.S. Government, as well as from Congress.

    6. Senator Levin. Secretary Gates, your policy office has estimated 
that to make national security reform a reality will require $12 to $15 
million. Have you included funding for this effort in your fiscal year 
2009 budget? If not, why not?
    Secretary Gates. I am not aware of an official DOD estimate on the 
costs of national security reform. Given that such reform possibly 
would entail more than just the DOD and likely will extend beyond the 
Executive Branch, any inclusion of government-wide reform in the 
Defense budget would be inappropriate. Currently, at the direction of 
Congress, the Department is funding a study by the Project on National 
Security Reform to examine the dimensions of the problem and possible 
solutions. However, the study is due in the Fall and any discussion of 
its recommendations, and the cost of implementing those 
recommendations, would be premature at this time.

                    strategic arms reduction treaty
    7. Senator Levin. Secretary Gates, the Strategic Arms Reduction 
Treaty (START) will expire in December 2009. If that treaty is allowed 
to expire, the DOD will no longer have access to certain Russian data 
and vice versa. In addition, the START verification mechanisms on which 
the Moscow Treaty relies will be lost. Do you believe that the START 
should be extended?
    Secretary Gates. Our goal is to maintain a credible deterrent at 
the lowest possible level, consistent with our national security needs, 
including our obligations to allies. To that end, the Department does 
not want to extend START, a complex, Cold-War era agreement with 
intrusive verification measures unsuited to our current relationship 
with the Russian Federation and the future security environment. 
Instead, we prefer to extend the Moscow Treaty limits of 1,700-2,200 
operationally deployed strategic nuclear warheads, and apply a set of 
transparency and confidence-building measures, including data 
exchanges, visits, exhibitions, telemetry exchanges, and activity 
notifications, as a means to ensure mutual awareness and predictability 
regarding Russian and U.S. strategic capabilities.

    8. Senator Levin. Secretary Gates, what are the alternatives to 
obtain the data and replace the verification mechanisms that would be 
lost if it is not extended?
    Secretary Gates. DOD supports a set of transparency and confidence-
building measures with Russia including data exchanges, visits, 
exhibitions, telemetry exchanges, and activity notifications.
                                 ______
                                 
            Questions Submitted by Senator Edward M. Kennedy
                             iraqi refugees
    9. Senator Kennedy. Secretary Gates, section 1248(c) of the Refugee 
Crisis in Iraq Act of 2007 requires the DOD to provide Congress with 
information to be used to verify employment of Iraqi citizens and 
nationals by the U.S. Government. The law also requires options for the 
development of a unified, classified database of relevant employment 
information that can be used to adjudicate refugee, asylum, special 
immigrant visas, and other immigration claims. A report on employment 
information and a report on a unified database, both dating back to 
2003, are due to Congress by May 28, 2008.
    What procedures have been established to conduct a comprehensive 
review of DOD internal records and databases of Iraqi employees from 
the past 5 years, and how is this same type of employment information 
being gathered from Federal contractors, grantees, and other 
organizations employing Iraqis in support of the United States?
    Secretary Gates. With regard to the two sections, 1248 (c) and (d), 
contained in the NDAA for Fiscal Year 2008, the Department is working 
with the Office of Federal Procurement Policy on an appropriate data 
call and an appropriate lead agency due to the broad nature of this 
task, which requires the ideas and data from multiple Federal agencies.

    10. Senator Kennedy. Secretary Gates, what options are under 
consideration for establishing and managing a unified database on 
Iraqis employed since 2003? How will consultations with the State 
Department, U.S. Agency for International Development, Homeland 
Security Department, and the Treasury Department be coordinated?
    Secretary Gates. Section 1248(c) of the NDAA for Fiscal Year 2008 
requires the DOD, the Secretary of State, the Administrator of the 
United States Agency for International Development, the Secretary of 
the Treasury, and the Secretary of Homeland Security to review internal 
records and databases for information that can be used to verify Iraqi 
nationals' employment. Part of verifying their employment in Iraq 
involves reviewing internal records and databases to obtain information 
from prime contractors and grantees who have performed work valued over 
$25,000. Likewise, section 1248(d) requires the same Federal agencies 
to submit a report to Congress highlighting the options examined to 
establish such a database. Due to the broad nature of this task, which 
requires data from multiple Federal agencies, the DOD is working with 
the Office of Federal Procurement Policy on an appropriate data call 
and an appropriate lead agency for this requirement.
    The Department considers biometrics as one of many possible venues 
to address this area.

         Consistent with statute and policy governing the use of 
        personal identity information for non-U.S. persons, the near 
        real-time sharing and screening of identity data on foreign 
        persons of interest, to include data on employment, is a 
        critical priority for DOD. To that end, DOD has been 
        participating in interagency committees and working groups 
        designed to improve the interoperability of U.S. Government 
        identity data. DOD is evaluating the development of a federated 
        data architecture, governed by common standards, in which 
        relevant data can be queried and shared both within DOD and 
        across the interagency consistent with appropriate privacy and 
        legal guidelines. The current arrangement between DOD and the 
        Department of Justice (Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) 
        Criminal Justice Information Services Division) allows such 
        seamless sharing of identity data between the DOD Automated 
        Biometrics Identification System and the FBI Integrated 
        Automated Fingerprint Identification System.

    With regard to how consultations with the Department of State, 
USAID, Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of Treasury 
will be coordinated:

         DOD has been participating in interagency committees and 
        working groups designed to improve the interoperability of U.S. 
        Government biometric data. Notable among these activities is 
        the National Science and Technology Council's Committee on 
        Technology, Subcommittee on Identity Management and Biometrics. 
        Within its working groups, the executive agencies have 
        collaborated to develop government-wide standards agreements 
        and interoperability policies. DOD will consult with the other 
        executive agencies through this body, to determine the correct 
        structure for collaborating on future initiatives and to 
        develop options for achieving a unified data architecture that 
        will enable the seamless sharing of identity data across the 
        interagency.
                                 ______
                                 
                Questions Submitted by Senator Jack Reed
             unfunded science and technology opportunities
    11. Senator Reed. Secretary Gates, please provide a prioritized 
list of science and technology (S&T) areas in which additional funding 
beyond that requested in this budget request would be supportive of 
defense missions and help address defense technology capability gaps.
    Secretary Gates. The fiscal year 2009 President's budget of almost 
$11.5 billion represents a robust investment in S&T, despite difficult 
budgetary demands from the war on terror and anticipated higher energy 
costs. We shifted funding to address capability gaps identified in the 
2006 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR), and our increase in Basic 
Research of $270 million, also focused on addressing those gaps, will 
enhance the science and engineering personnel base and develop 
innovative solutions.

              laboratory personnel demonstration programs
    12. Senator Reed. Secretary Gates, how does the DOD plan to utilize 
the new authorities relating to the ongoing and highly successful 
laboratory personnel demonstration programs included in the NDAA for 
Fiscal Year 2008?
    Secretary Gates. DOD will utilize the new authority provided under 
the act to ensure that the maximum benefit of the extant demonstrations 
is afforded to each location affected by the legislation. We continue 
to work with the Service laboratories to monitor use of new and 
existing authorities.

    13. Senator Reed. Secretary Gates, what is the process and schedule 
planned to establish demonstration programs at the Natick Soldier 
Center, Office of Naval Research (ONR), and Edgewood Chemical 
Biological Center?
    Secretary Gates. (from Army) - The previous DOD policy that allowed 
for new laboratory demonstration projects to be approved only if they 
provided for new ``interventions'' different from existing initiatives 
at laboratories has been impacted by the recently passed legislative 
initiatives contained in the NDAA for Fiscal Year 2008, sections 1106 
and 1107. Natick is currently processing all necessary actions to 
establish a laboratory personnel demonstration program with the current 
fiscal year.
    Secretary Gates. (from Navy) - As an alternative to the Office of 
the Secretary of Defense (OSD) rejected 2001 Lab Demo proposal, the ONR 
has worked with Navy National Security Personnel System (NSPS) and Navy 
Human Resources offices to propose a hybrid NSPS/Lab Demo system.
    Based on a comparative analysis of the proposed 2001 Lab Demo and 
features available under NSPS and other Lab Demos, ONR has modified the 
proposed 2001 Lab Demonstration in the following ways:

         (1) To eliminate features that have been overcome by current 
        Federal regulations or are not critical to recruiting and 
        retaining employees
         (2) Design career tracks and pay bands to allow transition of 
        personnel between NSPS and the ONR Lab Demo program and to 
        facilitate an ONR transition to NSPS if that decision is made 
        later
         (3) Retain Senior Scientific Technical Manager and 
        Contribution-based Compensation Systems
        (4) Identify and implement features not previously considered 
        but are now important.

    Examples include:

         Revise Certain NSPS Pay Bands to Reflect Logical Career 
        Progression and Breaks
         Change Maximum Pay for Band III to Executive Level IV plus 5 
        percent
         Move from two Career Tracks in ONR Demo to six Career Tracks
         Accelerate Developmental Compensation for Developmental 
        Positions Modified for all Career Tracks
         Retain Scientific and Engineering Positions as Shortage 
        Category for Direct Hire
         Retain Conversion-Out Rules
         External Developmental Assignments

    The Chief of Naval Research is briefing the proposed Lab Demo 
personnel system up the Navy chain, and plans to brief OSD (Dr. David 
Chu, Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness) by the end 
of April.

             international research and technology programs
    14. Senator Reed. Secretary Gates, how does the DOD track the 
research and technology capabilities of our global allies and 
competitors?
    Secretary Gates. There are a number of programs within the 
Department that work in concert to track global research and 
technology. Following the 2004 report by the National Academy of 
Sciences, ``Avoiding Surprise in an Era of Global Technology 
Advancement,'' both the Militarily Critical Technologies Program and 
the Department Technical Intelligence Program have been focused to 
systematically increase awareness on global technology. Several 
efforts, including the S&T net assessments and the Military Critical 
Technology List review process, assess comparative research and 
technology capabilities of emerging S&T, commercial technology, and 
military applications between the United States and its allies and 
potential competitors.
    These programs look at technologies from a threat perspective as 
well as assessing the export control perspective. The Department uses a 
team approach that relies upon subject matter experts from the 
Services, Government, industry, and academia in more than 20 technology 
areas. These experts also forecast downstream technologies and capture 
them in a related Defense S&T List that we are currently updating and 
expanding to address the global scope of S&T.
    Additionally, the Services maintain S&T offices abroad in 10 
countries that provide unique ``boots on the ground'' insights into 
regional activities. This global presence of informed military S&T 
experts helps ensure we stay abreast of developments in every corner of 
the world to both avoid technological surprises and to seek out 
opportunities for collaboration with our allies and coalition partners.

    15. Senator Reed. Secretary Gates, how is that information used to 
inform DOD investment decisions and the development of cooperative 
research opportunities?
    Secretary Gates. The Department assesses both the technology threat 
and the opportunities from allied technology development for enhancing 
existing and establishing new cooperative research programs. The 
information gained from offices with international liaisons (e.g., ONR, 
Air Force Office of Scientific Research, and Army Research Office) is 
an important component of the defense strategic planning, requirements 
generation, and acquisition processes of the Department. The Services 
maintain technology scouting offices in 10 countries whose job is to 
monitor and assess technology maturity and potential for U.S. 
collaboration in and around the countries the offices are located 
within. Where identified, and advantageous, the Department enters into 
collaborative technology development agreements with our close allies. 
We must use the best technology available worldwide to provide the best 
capability to the Nation and an awareness of international S&T and 
cooperation with our allies are vital parts of providing that 
capability.

    16. Senator Reed. Secretary Gates, are there any research or 
technology areas of importance to DOD in which you feel that the United 
States will not have a sufficient technical lead within the next 5 to 
10 years to preserve future military superiority over any adversary? 
Which technical areas? What is being done to address this issue?
    Secretary Gates. The recent National Academy of Sciences report, 
``Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America 
for a Brighter Economic Future,'' highlighted some strategic national 
challenges with respect to the number of scientists and engineers 
(S&Es) being produced to meet the needs of the Nation. The growth in 
S&Es in other countries compared to the United States results in a 
competitive market place for discovery of new scientific phenomenon and 
engineering. The production of new S&Es is growing faster in some 
nations other than America. This leads to an increased risk of the 
United States falling behind in technology areas of importance to DOD, 
although we are not prepared to state that there are specific 
technology areas that could result in a reduction of our operational 
and technological advantage. However, the DOD does need to remain 
engaged in understanding the technology developments in other nations 
to continue to develop new technologies and capabilities. We also need 
to remain engaged to reduce the possibility of technology surprise. To 
address this challenge within the DOD, we have increased our overall 
budget request in fiscal year 2009 by over 4 percent real growth for 
all of S&T and over 16 percent for basic research compared to the 
fiscal year 2008 budget request. This increased budget request for S&T, 
particularly in early sciences, enhances our insight into emergent 
technology areas. To guard against technology surprise in later 
programs, we are also developing a tighter integration of technology 
intelligence into our S&T planning process. These two actions should 
safeguard the DOD from technology surprise.

                       technology prize authority
    17. Senator Reed. Secretary Gates, each of the Services and the 
elements of the Office of the Director of Defense Research and 
Engineering (ODDRE), including the Defense Advanced Research Projects 
Agency (DARPA), have the authority to award prizes of technological 
achievement, as established in past NDAAs. What are the Services', 
DARPA's, and ODDRE's plans for utilizing this authority for the 
remainder of fiscal year 2008 and fiscal year 2009?
    Secretary Gates. The DARPA held the Urban Challenge on November 3, 
2007, featuring autonomous ground vehicles conducting simulated 
military supply missions in a mock urban area. First, second, and third 
place winners were awarded a total of $3.5 million in cash prizes. 
DARPA has no plans for prize competitions in fiscal year 2008 or fiscal 
year 2009.
    The ODDRE is sponsoring the Wearable Power Prize competition at 
Twentynine Palms, CA, from September 22 through October 4, 2008. The 
Wearable Power Prize competition was announced July 5, 2007, with the 
goal of reducing the weight of power systems warfighters carry to 
operate military equipment. Beginning September 22, 2008, 169 
competitors will gather, test, and demonstrate wearable electric power 
system prototypes that provide on average 20 watts of electric power 
continuously for 96 hours, with peak operation up to 200 watts for 
short periods, attach to a standard vest, and weigh 4 kg or less. First 
place winner is awarded $1 million; second place, $500,000; and third 
place, $250,000. See: http://www.dod.mil/ddre/prize for more details.
    The Services have announced no plans to conduct prize competitions 
in fiscal year 2008 or fiscal year 2009.
                                 ______
                                 
             Questions Submitted by Senator Daniel K. Akaka
                                  iraq
    18. Senator Akaka. Secretary Gates, last February, you testified 
before this committee that the DOD was putting together ``a fairly 
complete checklist or matrix'' that would give us the ability to rate 
the Iraqi military and police forces. Today, with reduced violence 
levels across the country, and Iraqi forces actively participating in 
operations around Mosul, I expect a growing number of these forces have 
met the grade. Yet recently, the decision has been made to put a freeze 
on U.S. troop withdrawals beginning this summer.
    What are some of the obstacles that remain in the training of these 
Iraqi forces that prevents a continual and steady shifting of control 
from U.S. forces to the Iraqis?
    Secretary Gates. There has been no decision to freeze U.S. troop 
withdrawals beginning this summer. After the final surge brigade 
departs in July 2008, there will be a period of consolidation and 
evaluation for a few weeks. After that period, the commanders will 
reconsider the conditions on the ground and make a recommendation on 
force levels accordingly.
    The Iraqi security forces continue to develop its capabilities. 
However, challenges remain. These include the development of logistical 
and combat enablers and the lack of experienced leadership. Coalition 
trainers are working closely with their Iraqi counterparts to address 
these challenges.

    19. Senator Akaka. Secretary Gates, you and others have suggested 
that having timelines for troop withdrawals from Iraq is a mistake 
because of the signal it sends to the enemy that they only have to hold 
out so long in order to achieve victory. Yet, our entrance into the war 
was based on the assumption that we would not be there for an 
undetermined extended period.
    If events on the ground dictate that it is necessary to maintain a 
significant military presence in Iraq for the next 10 years, what are 
the biggest operational and structural challenges that will need to be 
overcome?
    Secretary Gates. Our current force projections are based on a 
reasonable estimate of the ground situation in the coming months. We 
are pleased with the security progress that has been made in Iraq, but 
the progress has not attained an irreversible momentum.
    Our planning for future force levels is not based on timelines, but 
on conditions on the ground. Any presence of U.S. forces in Iraq would 
have to be agreed upon by the United States and Iraqi Governments.

                          joint strike fighter
    20. Senator Akaka. Secretary Gates, a lot has been said about 
funding today. It seems to me that we are facing a choice between 
improving our ability to fight ongoing worldwide counterinsurgency 
operations and investing in systems like the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) 
that improve the long-term ability of the American military to be 
competitive in conventional warfare. Iraq and Afghanistan have shown 
the limitations of technology. Given the increasing costs of 
technology, operations, and personnel, what nature of conflict will the 
U.S. military be best postured to handle in 20 years' time?
    Secretary Gates. The future strategic environment is difficult to 
predict, but will likely tend toward greater disorder and persistent 
conflict. This unpredictability requires that the U.S. military be 
postured to address a range of operations that includes overlapping 
demands in conventional warfare, irregular warfare, disaster 
assistance, and nation building.
    My intent is to ensure the development of a force capability and 
capacity that can deter, and failing that, defeat threats to our 
Nation's security and the security of our vital interests. To 
accomplish this, the Department will require significant resources to 
not only reset and reconstitute our people and platforms due to the 
toll of current operations, but also to revitalize the force to address 
emerging threats.
    I recognize that the resources devoted to the Department represent 
a significant portion of Federal discretionary spending and there is a 
limit to what our Nation can devote to national security. Nevertheless, 
I consider that our future force is affordable and that the Nation 
cannot afford the consequences of being unprepared.

                            joint operations
    21. Senator Akaka. Admiral Mullen, the Air Force is standing up its 
permanent Cyber Command in Louisiana later this year. Concerning roles 
and missions, the Air Force is arguing that operations in cyberspace be 
primarily the function of this branch of the military, given its 
technology heavy assets. The Navy, however, already has a Network 
Warfare Center. As an example of future joint operations, what steps 
are being taken by DOD to ensure unity of effort and interoperability 
among the Services' efforts?
    Admiral Mullen. Every Service brings unique and valuable expertise 
to operations in cyberspace that are critical to joint net-centric 
operations. The Defense Information Systems Agency and U.S. Strategic 
Command (STRATCOM) serve as operational seam managers, interacting with 
the Service organizations to ensure our cyberspace activities achieve 
interoperability, unity of effort, and economies of scale. The National 
Military Strategy for Cyberspace Operations Implementation Plan will 
help to ensure we foster continued unity of effort and Service 
interoperability in the Joint Force. This includes developing a joint 
operational concept, exploring appropriate organizational constructs, 
and clarifying command relationships to ultimately shape future 
requirements leveraged and synchronized across all of the military 
Services.

    22. Senator Akaka. Admiral Mullen, what is being done to minimize 
redundancy at all levels of joint operations?
    Admiral Mullen. The Joint Requirements Oversight Council (JROC) is 
responsible for ensuring individual Service program requests support 
the Chairman's guidance and contribute in a holistic manner to an 
increase in overall capabilities. While some redundancy may be built 
into any given capability, the JROC is responsible for ensuring that 
future programs develop weapon systems and other capabilities that 
combine across the warfare and command and control spectrum to enable 
U.S. forces to carry out national tasking across a broad range of 
mission sets.

                            troop readiness
    23. Senator Akaka. Admiral Mullen, I am concerned about the 
operations tempo facing our current forces in meeting the challenges of 
Iraq's reconstruction efforts. It appears that as the situation begins 
to improve on the ground in one area of responsibility (AOR), we must 
shift forces into the other in a perpetual cycle, as we are now seeing 
with the sending of thousands of more troops to Afghanistan. I am 
further concerned, and agree with your testimony, that this seemingly 
endless cycle of operations between the two AORs leaves our military 
thinly stretched and ill-prepared to handle another crisis should it 
become necessary.
    What plan is there to address these resource shortfalls, and how 
will maintaining a large military presence in both Iraq and Afghanistan 
affect our ability to respond to other regions?
    Admiral Mullen. The size, scale, and duration of operations in 
Afghanistan and Iraq have clearly strained the Army and Marine Corps. 
In order to ensure the highest level of readiness in our deploying 
forces, those recently returned or between deployments have paid a 
price. The impact of giving resourcing priority to the deployed force 
is reflected in the degraded readiness reports of non-deployed units. 
The most significant aspect of this lowered readiness in non-deployed 
units is the increased risk we must assume in the event of an 
unexpected contingency.
    There are sufficient forces and equipment to respond to some 
contingencies abroad but the readiness of those forces may result in 
longer timelines and increased casualties in achieving strategic goals 
and increased risk to mission success. In the case of another major 
theater war, the Army would be unable to source sufficient forces to 
meet all requirements.
    Several initiatives underway help minimize the readiness impact on 
non-deployed forces and maximize contingency readiness. Over the past 3 
years, we have used the Global Force Management process to ensure the 
deployment burden is balanced across the force through global sourcing 
of units and in-lieu-of sourcing. However, this can do only so much in 
managing our shortfalls. The fiscal year 2009 budget fully resources 
our commitment to increase the size of the Army and Marine Corps in the 
base budget. This effort is essential in providing the strategic depth 
necessary to improve our force rotation ratio and readiness of non-
deployed forces.
                                 ______
                                 
           Questions Submitted by Senator E. Benjamin Nelson
     defense experimental program to stimulate competitive research
    24. Senator Ben Nelson. Secretary Gates, what is the fiscal year 
2009 request and plan for the Defense Experimental Program to Stimulate 
Competitive Research (DEPSCOR)?
    Secretary Gates. The fiscal year 2009 request for the DEPSCOR is 
$2.833 million. The Department plans to expend all funds appropriated 
for this program in fiscal year 2009.
    Section 239 of the NDAA for Fiscal Year 2008 granted the Department 
more flexibility in the execution of the DEPSCOR program. Section 241 
requires an independent evaluation of it by a defense Federally Funded 
Research and Development Center. This evaluation is underway.

    25. Senator Ben Nelson. Secretary Gates, what is the status of 
execution of the funds appropriated for the program in fiscal year 2007 
and fiscal year 2008?
    Secretary Gates. Under the DEPSCOR program in fiscal year 2007, the 
DOD awarded $17 million to 13 academic institutions in 9 States to 
perform research in science and engineering. Academic researchers in 
Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, 
Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, 
Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Dakota, South Carolina, Tennessee, 
U.S. Virgin Islands, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming were eligible 
to receive awards in this competition.
    In the fiscal year 2008 DEPSCOR cycle, proposals were received from 
the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCOR) 
committees in the 23 eligible states by the closing date of October 26, 
2007. The Services are making final award decisions now (announcement 
expected before March 31, 2008) that will fund these State proposals up 
to the fiscal year 2008 appropriated amount, $17.078 million.

    26. Senator Ben Nelson. Secretary Gates, how will the two 
provisions relating to the program in the NDAA for Fiscal Year 2008 be 
reflected in the execution of the program's appropriated funds?
    Secretary Gates. Section 239 of the NDAA for Fiscal Year 2008 
granted the Department more flexibility in the execution of the 
DEPSCOR. We have used those authorities to evaluate specific proposals 
in the fiscal year 2008 cycle. Section 241 requires an independent 
evaluation of DEPSCOR by a defense Federally Funded Research and 
Development Center. This evaluation is underway.

    27. Senator Ben Nelson. Secretary Gates, what is the status and 
plan for DOD to comply with the study requirement in the NDAA for 
Fiscal Year 2008?
    Secretary Gates. Section 241 of the NDAA for Fiscal Year 2008 
requires an independent evaluation of the program by a defense 
Federally Funded Research and Development Center. This evaluation is 
underway.
                                 ______
                                 
                Questions Submitted by Senator Evan Bayh
                             future threats
    28. Senator Bayh. Secretary Gates, as the DOD struggles to balance 
its spending priorities on future threats and current needs, why has 
the DOD not done more to cull less efficient or effective weapons 
systems from its own budget?
    Secretary Gates. The Department is constantly challenged with 
funding weapon system programs to combat conventional and 
unconventional threats in a limited resource environment. As an 
integral part of this exercise, the Department constantly evaluates the 
effectiveness and efficiency of weapon systems currently in 
development, production, and operation. The cancellation of the 
Crusader and RAH-66 Comanche Helicopter programs, the significant 
reduction in funding for Transformational Satellite System (TSAT), and 
the recent restructuring of the Littoral Combat Ship and the C-5 RERP 
programs provide examples of resource decisions necessary to balance 
the Department's investment to meet current and future threats from 
land, sea, air, and space.

                          congressional report
    29. Senator Bayh. Secretary Gates, in February 2007, you told this 
committee about the positive steps that DOD was taking in assuring a 
strong printed circuit board technology and industrial base as a result 
of the study and issues identified by the National Research Council 
(NRC) Committee on Manufacturing Trends in Printed Circuit Board 
Technology report. This report identified printed circuit board 
technology as critical in nearly every weapons system. You stated that 
a report on this topic, which was mandated by the NDAA for Fiscal Year 
2007, would go into detail on these positive steps. In October 2007, 
your Under Secretary for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics told 
the committee that this report would be coming over to Congress by the 
end of November. To date, we have not received this report. What is the 
status of the report? Why has it been delayed?
    Secretary Gates. The report has been signed by the Deputy Under 
Secretary of Defense for Logistics and Materiel Readiness and copies 
were provided to the House and Senate Armed Services Committees. The 
report recommends that the Navy be designated the Executive Agent for 
Printed Circuit Board Technology. Preparation of this report required 
the establishment of a Principal Response Team led by the Defense 
Logistics Agency and Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane Division who 
analyzed, evaluated, and commented on the findings and recommendations 
contained in the NRC study. This evaluation and subsequent 
recommendation took longer than anticipated resulting in the delay of 
submission of the report to Congress.

                          hazardous substances
    30. Senator Bayh. Secretary Gates, it has come to my attention that 
there are potential reliability issues that may result from the 
European Unions (EU) Restriction on Hazardous Substances (RoHS) on 
lead-free solders utilized in electronic assembly. The science seems to 
indicate that if lead-free components were to enter the commercial 
aircraft industry or U.S. military and our allies' defense systems 
(high reliability electronic systems), severe reliability and potential 
catastrophic failures might occur. What is the military doing to ensure 
that lead-free and/or a mixture of leaded and lead-free components do 
not get incorporated into high reliability, mission-critical electronic 
systems?
    Secretary Gates. The Department has four initiatives to meet these 
challenges posed by RoHS to the Department's mission-critical 
electronic systems.
    1. The Defense Microelectronics Activity Office is participating in 
a joint effort with our industrial partners (Electronic Lead-Free 
Integrated Process Team) to minimize any disruption of the supply or 
reliability of electronics. It focuses on commercial off-the-shelf 
components and sub-assemblies.
    2. The Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, 
and Technology has also undertaken a study to identify the occurrences 
of lead-free electronics in weapon systems deemed a priority by the 
Army. The National Defense Center for Environmental Excellence is 
involved with both of these initiatives.
    3. DOD's ODDRE and the Aerospace Industries Association of America 
participate in meetings to inform stakeholders of upcoming research 
needs and recommendations with regard to lead-free issues.
    4. The Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Installations and 
Environment is conducting an enterprise-wide assessment to evaluate the 
risks of changing global lead regulations and their potential impacts 
on mission capability.

    31. Senator Bayh. Secretary Gates, given the unintended 
consequences of the EU's RoHS legislation on lead-free solders and the 
subsequent impact it had on military electronics, what mechanisms are 
in place to deal with another pending EU regulation--Registration, 
Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals (REACH)--to influence the 
legislation, to establish policy and guidelines within DOD, and to 
foster implementation should implementation be warranted?
    Secretary Gates. REACH went into effect in July 2007 and is unique 
in that it covers both chemicals and the products that contain 
chemicals. The first date with possible implications for DOD's supply 
chain is the registration deadline of December 1, 2008, as failure to 
register certain materials by that date may result in the refusal or 
the delay of these shipments to the EU.
    The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) is compiling a list of chemicals 
with known or potential regulatory consideration within the EU. 
Following DLA's compilation of chemicals transported to/through the EU, 
DLA will conduct a similar search to identify products of concern under 
REACH, also known as `articles.'
    REACH does allow for defense exemptions by member states. The 
Department will have the burden of demonstrating the mission critical 
nature of a material for which no safer alternative is commercially 
available, without a reduction in performance and making its case to 
the member state(s). The Department will continue to address other 
potential effects of this legislation, including costs and potential 
solutions.

             intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance
    32. Senator Bayh. Admiral Mullen, in your testimony, you noted 
there is a significant shortfall in intelligence, surveillance, and 
reconnaissance (ISR) sensors and processing infrastructure as 
identified by combatant commanders in the field. Would you please 
describe what kind of assets would address that shortfall?
    Admiral Mullen. [Deleted.]

    33. Senator Bayh. Admiral Mullen, how will the Joint Chiefs of 
Staff act to ensure that these shortfalls are properly defined and 
described to Congress so that we can work with you in meeting that 
need?
    Admiral Mullen. The Joint Staff has directed U.S. STRATCOM to 
develop a methodology and taxonomy to accurately capture combatant 
command (COCOM) ISR requirements and associated ISR shortfalls. We will 
use standard operational plans for testing scenarios to validate and 
verify U.S. STRATCOM's process. In the meantime,  the  Joint  Staff  
has  worked  with  the  Air  Force  to  produce  and  field  MQ-9 
Reaper and RQ-4 Global Hawk weapons systems at the maximum possible 
rate, and accelerate the wide area airborne surveillance sensor. 
Additionally, the Joint Staff is fully engaged and actively 
participating in the Secretary of Defense's ISR Task Force. 
Expectations for this task force are high and they are examining anew 
all potential options to address shortfalls. Upon your request, my 
staff stands ready to debrief Congress on results, findings, and 
recommendations to solve pressing ISR shortfalls.

                        unmanned aerial vehicle
    34. Senator Bayh. Admiral Mullen, why is it taking the Joint Chiefs 
so long to develop a comprehensive unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) combat 
air patrol (CAP) requirement?
    Admiral Mullen. To answer the question of how many CAPs we need we 
must first answer the underlying question of what battlefield effects 
we need unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) to accomplish and how are we 
going leverage these effects as part of the broader ISR architecture. 
To answer these questions the JROC has initiated two near-term efforts, 
first the development of a comprehensive concept of operations (CONOPs) 
for UAS that integrates the wide variety of UAS platform capabilities 
in a unified approach, and second the development of an ISR force 
sizing construct, based on existing operational plans, to help inform 
future force mix analysis. Both of the efforts are scheduled to 
complete by June 2008 to inform the Department's future UAS force mix 
deliberations in advance of Program Objective Memorandum 2010 and the 
QDR.

    35. Senator Bayh. Admiral Mullen, are the Joint Chiefs any closer 
to establishing intra-service management of medium to high altitude UAV 
procurement and battlespace management?
    Admiral Mullen. In September 2007, the Deputy Secretary of Defense 
directed the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, 
and Logistics to establish a task force to coordinate critical UAS 
acquisition issues and to develop a way ahead that will enhance 
operations, enable interdependencies, and streamline acquisition of 
UAS. This task force is achieving results and expects to combine the 
Air Force Predator and Army Sky Warrior programs into a single 
acquisition program in order to achieve common development, 
procurement, sustainment, and training activities. Additionally, the 
JROC will continue to coordinate the development of UAS training 
activities and operational employment by the Services.

    36. Senator Bayh. Secretary Gates and Admiral Mullen, I understand 
that the current JROC validated requirement for Predator UAVs stands at 
21 CAPs. Further, I understand that this addresses only Central Command 
and Special Operations Command priorities. I believe this number is not 
only dated, but insufficient and lacks the true global requirement for 
Predator and other theater-level UAVs to meet the ongoing shortfall in 
ISR assets worldwide. When will this requirement for DOD-wide, theater-
level UAVs be finalized, and what measures will you take to ensure 
requirements are allocated to make this dire need a reality?
    Secretary Gates. The U.S. Army issues Shadow systems to its 
individual Brigade Combat Teams (BCTs) as organic equipment. BCTs are 
in one of three phases (deployed, reset, and training). Deployed BCTs 
have their organic Shadows with them, reset BCTs send their Shadows to 
depot maintenance at the end of their deployment, and BCTs in training 
are receiving their Shadows systems from depot maintenance to prepare 
for deployment.
    To send additional Shadow units from the training phase into 
theater would necessitate shortening dwell for these personnel to less 
than 1 year. Reducing dwell below 1 year is an unacceptable option. The 
ISR Task Force, however, has identified three initiatives to increase 
Shadow capacity in theater that do not impact dwell. The first 
initiative sends contractors to theater along with Shadow equipment. 
The contractors will man two orbits in support of BCTs, deploying in 
early 2009.
    The second initiative provides additional contractors in early 2009 
to increase capacity at currently deployed Shadow launch sites.
    The third initiative that the ISR Task Force is examining would 
look to use the remaining Shadow equipment in garrison. The concept, 
known as ``Shadow remote split operations,'' would use a satellite 
relay to control Shadows remotely, just as Predator and Reaper systems 
are controlled. The intent is to conduct an operational demonstration 
of Shadow remote split operations in March 2009, with initial 
operational deployment in December 2009.
    Admiral Mullen. We recognize that a comprehensive review of UAS 
requirements is necessary. To address this concern the JROC has 
initiated two near-term efforts, first the development of a 
comprehensive CONOPs for UAS that integrates the wide variety of UAS 
platform capabilities in a unified approach, and second, the 
development of an ISR force sizing construct, based on existing 
operational plans, to help inform future force mix analysis. Both of 
the efforts are scheduled to complete by June 2008 to inform the 
Department's future UAS force mix deliberations in advance of Program 
Objective Memorandum 2010 and the QDR.
    While I recognize these actions are necessary to define future UAS 
requirements, it is clear that we must act now to address current 
operational deficiencies. As such, I am working to increase production 
of MQ-1C Predator/Sky Warrior, MQ-9 Reaper, and RQ-4 Global Hawk to 
their maximum production capacity at the earliest opportunity. The 
Joint Staff will work closely with the Services to ensure these 
critical enabling capabilities are fully resourced.

    37. Senator Bayh. Secretary Gates and Admiral Mullen, based on 
ongoing operations, I also understand that the Air Force has committed 
a significant portion, if not all, of its Predator combat capability to 
the AOR, whereas the Army has chosen to only provide 33-45 percent of 
its Shadow UAVs to the AOR. This leads me to believe that the remainder 
is back home in garrison. In our current state of a shortage of full-
motion video and ISR assets in Iraq and Afghanistan, can you please 
explain the disparity and rationale behind these employment decisions? 
If this is indeed the case, what is being done to manage UAVs so they 
can be more efficiently assigned to support combat missions?
    Secretary Gates. The U.S. Army issues Shadow systems to its 
individual BCTs as organic equipment. BCTs are in one of three phases 
(deployed, reset, and training). Deployed BCTs have their organic 
Shadows with them, reset BCTs send their Shadows to depot maintenance 
at the end of their deployment, and BCTs in training are receiving 
their Shadows systems from depot maintenance to prepare for deployment.
    To send additional Shadow units from the training phase into 
theater would necessitate shortening dwell for these personnel to less 
than 1 year. Reducing dwell below 1 year is an unacceptable option. The 
ISR Task Force, however, has identified three initiatives to increase 
Shadow capacity in theater that do not impact dwell. The first 
initiative sends contractors to theater along with Shadow equipment. 
The contractors will man two orbits in support of BCTs, deploying in 
early 2009. The second initiative provides additional contractors in 
early 2009 to increase capacity at currently deployed Shadow launch 
sites.
    The third initiative that the ISR Task Force is examining would 
look to use the remaining Shadow equipment in garrison. The concept, 
known as ``Shadow remote split operations,'' would use a satellite 
relay to control Shadows remotely, just as Predator and Reaper systems 
are controlled. The intent is to conduct an operational demonstration 
of Shadow remote split operations in March 2009, with initial 
operational deployment in December 2009.
    Admiral Mullen. [Deleted.]

                               leadership
    38. Senator Bayh. Admiral Mullen, in an impressive move, you have 
taken several townhall meetings with mid-level officers and senior 
enlisted servicemembers to better understand why the force has such 
significant holes in some of its most important field leadership 
positions. What are you finding?
    Admiral Mullen. The most important thing I am finding is great 
Americans that are committed and motivated to doing their part to 
preserve the security of our Nation. The mission has been demanding, 
but our All-Volunteer Force has completed every task they have been 
asked to perform.
    I have also heard from them and seen in their faces the wear and 
tear of our current operational tempo. They are stretched and stressed. 
Fifteen-month tours have been particularly arduous, and the recent 
decision to reduce deployment lengths from 15 months to 12 months for 
the Active Army is a very positive step. Additionally, I fully support 
the goal our Secretary has established to work toward a 2-year dwell 
time between deployments, when the mission allows it. This is a theme 
that I have heard repeatedly from spouses and family members. Our 
families right now are very fragile. The more predictability we can put 
into our battle rhythm, the better for our servicemembers and their 
families. The force is amazingly resilient but it has its limits. 
Lastly, young officers express concern for their career paths. They 
want to make sure they hit whatever the important career milestones are 
(like the Captain's Career Course) to ensure they have a viable future. 
These young men and women represent the ``best of the best'' in America 
and in our military. We need to make sure we do all we can to retain 
them and permit a little balance in their lives.

    39. Senator Bayh. Admiral Mullen, in what ways have you tried to 
increase retention for the military's best and brightest?
    Admiral Mullen. The Service Secretaries and Chiefs use the full 
spectrum of authorities given to them to sustain our All-Volunteer 
Force. Whether it is the critical skill retention bonuses the Army used 
for its mid-career force, or the late-career retention bonuses used to 
keep our experienced Special Operations Forces, each Service 
continuously monitors their force and applies these classic retention 
tools. I would like to once again thank the Congress for providing 
these authorities and making the necessary appropriations to give the 
DOD the flexibility to attract and retain our Nation's sons and 
daughters.
    With over half of our servicemembers married, special attention for 
family programs will also have an impact on retention decisions. The 
President acknowledged the service and sacrifice of our families by 
introducing new programs during his 2008 State-of-the-Union Address. 
These initiatives focused on transferring unused education benefits to 
family members, increasing accessibility to quality child care, and 
providing opportunities for spouses of military members to receive 
hiring preference so they can maintain successful careers while 
supporting the mobile lifestyle the military entails. Support from 
Congress will be needed to advance many aspects of these programs.
    Another way we can all help with retention is to keep telling the 
American public of the great performance of our servicemembers. 
Whenever I hear an account of visits to the field, be it by military 
leaders or elected officials, the common thread is they are impressed 
with the courageous men and women wearing the uniform. Their selfless 
dedication should be held up as a true icon of American ideals; and 
along with this recognition will be an even greater boost to morale and 
ultimately retention.
    Finally, reducing deployment lengths from 15 to 12 months for our 
Active-Duty Army, working towards a dwell ratio of 2:1 (2 years at home 
for every 1 year deployed), a robust reenlistment bonus program, 
ensuring we are ``listening'' to their needs, expanding the size of the 
Army and Marine Corps, and success in our missions all contribute to 
improved retention. And our current retention numbers are very good and 
have been such since 2001.

    40. Senator Bayh. Admiral Mullen, how effective are the cash 
bonuses you are now offering?
    Admiral Mullen. The short answer is very effective and very useful. 
The Department's recruiting success and favorable retention rates are a 
testament to the Services executing their bonus programs. It is 
essential that all recruiting and retention incentives remain in place 
and funded. These incentives are vital to attracting and retaining the 
right people with the right skills. As an example, Congress increased 
the accession bonuses for health care professionals in this year's 
authorization so the Department could better compete with attracting 
people in this tough niche market. As the Service Personnel Chiefs 
recently stated in testimony before your Subcommittee on Personnel, 
they are starting to see some positive results from this increased 
authority, but the challenge is far from over. We can never relax our 
efforts when it comes to recruiting and retention because the situation 
continues to change. Thank you for your continued support by giving the 
authority and flexibility to the Services to respond to changing 
dynamics.

    41. Senator Bayh. Admiral Mullen, what, other than money, have you 
considered providing these young men and women who are so integral to 
the future of our Armed Forces?
    Admiral Mullen. Improving the quality of life for all 
servicemembers and their families is a top priority of every leader 
within the DOD. This manifests itself in many ways other than giving 
money directly to our people. Commitments to improving our 
installations in the form of housing, child care, family services, and 
morale/welfare/recreation programs are just a few examples of how we 
want to create a favorable life for military members.
    Another major non-monetary area I have been focusing on is to 
provide stability and predictability in our deployment tempo. Reducing 
the deployment length from 15 months is a very positive change. In 
addition to reducing the length, the Secretary of Defense has also 
stated goals for the amount of dwell time personnel will have between 
deployments. The planned growth of our ground forces will help us 
achieve results. I believe any improvements accomplished in these areas 
will be very well-received by our servicemembers.
    Finally, as the President indicated in his State-of-the-Union 
Address, there are some initiatives being developed that will focus on 
the unsung heroes of our military force, our families. I have 
repeatedly stated our families also serve, and we as a Nation owe them 
a great deal of respect and praise. I support the President's 
initiatives to enhance the opportunities for spouses to pursue their 
own careers by offering them hiring preferences, improving child care 
availability, and allowing Montgomery GI Bill education benefits to be 
transferred to spouses and children.

                               deployment
    42. Senator Bayh. Secretary Gates and Admiral Mullen, the fiscal 
year 2009 budget notes that the DOD has a goal of significantly 
increasing dwell time for our ground forces. For example, an Army BCT 
can now reasonably assume only a year at their home station for every 
15 months deployed. You both mention goals of 24 months at home for 
every 12 deployed. However, the Army will not have 48 deployable BCT 
until 2012. Given that we only have 42 deployable BCTs today, what 
other assumptions is the DOD making when publicly stating these goals?
    Secretary Gates. First, I should note that with our ``grow the Army 
plan,'' we should achieve 48 deployable Active Army BCTs by fiscal year 
2011, not fiscal year 2012. Second, the operational tempo of our forces 
is largely determined by the situation on the ground. The Department is 
working to increase dwell time. Currently, the United States Central 
Command Commander plans to reduce the number of deployed BCTs to 15 by 
July of this year. This will allow the Army to limit deployments to 1 
year in theater with at least that same amount of time at home. This 
and we currently have 28 Army BCTs in the Reserve component. The 
Reserve component contributes, too.
    Admiral Mullen. I appreciate your question and concern for our 
forces and their families. The Army will have 48 deployable BCTs at the 
end of fiscal year 2011 and currently has 40 deployable BCTs, including 
the brigade forward deployed to the ROK. The Army currently has 43 
BCTs, but three are unavailable; two are transforming and one is 
organized as a transition training unit.
    Secretary Gates and I share your concern and are closely monitoring 
deployment-to-dwell ratios for our forces. We want to reiterate that we 
have a goal of a 1:2 deployment-to-dwell ratio for our forces--
especially our ground forces, committed around the world. This would be 
24 months at home for 12 months deployed for an Army BCT and 14 months 
at home for 7 months deployed for a USMC unit.
    When defining our goals, we include the following force commitments 
which affect our deployment-to-dwell ratio: a forward deployed Army BCT 
in the ROK, forces for global and domestic reaction forces, and Marine 
Expeditionary Units afloat around the world.
    Current demands on ground forces do not allow us to realize our 1:2 
deployment-to-dwell goal. We are working toward this goal and are 
currently reducing force structure in Iraq from 20 to a planned level 
of 15 BCTs. We are currently at 1:1 with the recent decision to reduce 
the length of Active-Duty Army deployments from 15 to 12 months 
starting in August 2008
    1:2 BLUF: Given a 1:2 deployment-to-dwell, we can provide CENTCOM 
with 11 U.S. Army Active component BCTs and 6 Marine Corps Active 
component Infantry Battalions in June 2009 for combat, SECFOR and MEU 
requirements.

         The United States will have 42 deployable BCTs available 
        generating 14 BCTs for worldwide commitments. Given the ROK, 
        GRF, CCMRF and a RIP/TOA factor, the Army can generate 11 BCTs 
        for CENTCOM. The Marine Corps will have 27 deployable infantry 
        battalions generating 9 for worldwide rotational commitments. 
        Given the two non-CENTCOM MEU requirements and a RIP/TOA 
        factor, the Marine Corps can generate six infantry battalions 
        for CENTCOM MEU, SECFOR and combat forces in Iraq and 
        Afghanistan.
         We can get the force to 1:2 in June 2009 given the following 
        assumptions:

                 We continue the drawdown in Iraq to 15 BCT/RCTs as 
                planned.
                 We reduce Iraq to 10 Active component BCTs/RCTs by 
                not replacing 5 BCT/RCTs by June 2009. (4 United States 
                BCTs and 1 RCT)
                 Afghanistan maintains two United States BCTs for 
                combat operations.
                 Marine Corps maintains a 1.0 CENTCOM MEU presence.
                 We continue worldwide commitments: USA-ROK, GRF and 
                CCMRF; Marine Corps - 2 non-CENTCOM MEUs.
                 Note: This COA is devoid of any tactical 
                considerations and assumes conditions on the ground in 
                Iraq would support the COA.

    43. Senator Bayh. Secretary Gates and Admiral Mullen, when will 
soldiers and their families be able to expect a more predictable and 
tenable operations tempo and what milestones have to be reached in 
order to get there?
    Secretary Gates. The operational tempo of our forces is largely 
determined by the situation on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan. In 
Iraq, the force plus-up has been successful in reducing violence and 
enabling the conditions for a secure and stable Iraqi Government. If 
this situation continues, and we believe it will, the United States 
Central Command Commander plans to reduce the number of BCTs to 15 by 
July of this year. This force drawdown will allow the Army to limit 
deployments to 1 year in theater with at least that same amount of time 
at home. Although this does not yet achieve our goal of 2 years at home 
for every year deployed, the reduced deployment time does ease the 
burden on our servicemembers and their families.
    Admiral Mullen. In Spring 2008, the President announced that in 
August 2008, we would return to 12-month deployments. That is the first 
step to ensuring a more predictable, uniform deployment rotation cycle. 
However, that is also dependent on the requirements of the combatant 
commanders and the assessment of the theater commanders. Given the 
complex variables involved in Iraq, there is simply no way of setting a 
series of benchmarks which would dictate a predictable drawdown in 
ground forces.
    As the situation in Iraq improves, the U.S. military will draw down 
Operation Iraqi Forces as conditions warrant. As forces become 
available, requirements in Afghanistan will be filled. As forces draw 
down even further in Iraq, the U.S. military will reset and 
reconstitute forces at every opportunity in order to improve the health 
of the force and quality of life.
    Services are taking steps to increase the dwell time for our 
forces. The Army will increase by five BCTs over the next 3 years. They 
are also readjusting deployment timelines and in some cases curtailing 
units to more equitably distribute boots-on-the-ground/dwell across the 
force. By first quarter fiscal year 2009, the Marine Corps will 
complete the fielding of the third of three new infantry battalions 
added to the force over the past 18 months. We continue to fund growth 
for specific limited supply and high demand capabilities to include 
Military Police, Civil Affairs, Engineers, and Electronic Warfare 
assets.
    It is our intent that as soon as possible, we will transition to a 
deployment-to-dwell ratio of greater than 1:1, with the eventual goal 
of 1:2 for Active-Duty Forces and mobilization-to-demobilization ratio 
of 1:5 for Reserve component personnel.

                          stability operations
    44. Senator Bayh. Secretary Gates and Admiral Mullen, I understand 
that the DOD now has an officer in place for planning for stability 
operations. He has publicly stated that for cost reasons alone, the 
military cannot design specialized forces to do nothing but stability 
operations. What is that cost?
    Secretary Gates and Admiral Mullen. DODD 3000.05, Military Support 
for Stability, Security, Transition, and Reconstruction (SSTR) 
Operations defines stability operations as military and civilian 
activities conducted across the spectrum from peace to conflict to 
establish or maintain order in States and regions. NSPD-44 established 
the State Department as lead implementation agency for reconstruction 
and stabilization operations with DOD military organizations supporting 
applicable civilian agencies. As currently configured, our military 
forces are fully capable of supporting SSTR operations without 
designing specialized stability operation forces whose attributes would 
be marginalized across other military activities. There is inherent 
flexibility associated with current General Purpose Force constructs 
that enable units to task organize to provide a broad spectrum of 
support. Because of our force requirements today and what we project 
for in the future require full spectrum capability, we are not costing 
a specialized stability operations force. Rather, we are working with 
the Services and COCOMs, and our State Department counterparts, to 
identify the `full range' of capabilities required to conduct and 
support stability operations and their implications on doctrine, 
organization, training, materiel, leadership and education, personnel, 
and facilities (DOTMLPF).

    45. Senator Bayh. Secretary Gates and Admiral Mullen, what is the 
solution the DOD will instead use?
    Secretary Gates and Admiral Mullen. DOD's solution combines the 
increased end strength of the Army and Marine Corps, greater global 
train and equip authorities, and partnerships with other departments 
such as the State Department in using security and stabilization 
assistance authorities to improve our stability operations effort. 
COCOMs are working to identify the `full range' of requirements 
required for stability operations. In addition, the military 
departments are working to identify capabilities to meet these 
requirements and their implications on DOTMLPF.

    46. Senator Bayh. Secretary Gates and Admiral Mullen, how viable is 
that solution and what are its risks?
    Secretary Gates and Admiral Mullen. It is viable so long as we 
continue to enhance our interagency and foreign partner capacity and 
capability to conduct stability operations. To that end, it is crucial 
that DOD authorities to conduct train and equip missions, improve the 
commander's access and global utility of critical resources like those 
found in Commander's Emergency Response Program. Continued legislative 
support of authorities such as NDAA for Fiscal Year 2006, section 1206, 
and NDAA for Fiscal Year 2008, section 1210, is critical to DOD's 
stability operations solution. The associated risk with this solution 
would be realized if the stability operations burden could not be 
distributed across the whole of government and foreign partners and 
rest solely on the uniformed Services.

    47. Senator Bayh. Secretary Gates and Admiral Mullen, what other 
solutions were considered but rejected?
    Secretary Gates and Admiral Mullen. The security demands of today 
and those predicted for our future missions call for a full spectrum 
force, but single force mastery of all global situations comes with too 
many risks and costs. We considered this solution but as operations in 
Iraq and Afghanistan are making clear, stabilization and reconstruction 
operations are a civilian-military effort. Success in stability 
operations requires partnerships with both our interagency and foreign 
partners to create the enduring conditions that will prevent a country 
from sliding back to instability. Therefore we have focused on building 
the right force for the full spectrum of missions, while simultaneously 
advocating authorities, relationships, and activities that enhance our 
partner's capacity and capability.

                            wounded warrior
    48. Senator Bayh. Secretary Gates and Admiral Mullen, you both note 
the importance of caring for America's wounded warriors in your 
testimony. I also believe that after lifetimes of service to your 
Nation, you fully understand the moral imperative of caring for those 
who serve our Nation in uniform. How is DOD proceeding with 
implementing the Dole-Shalala Commission recommendations? As I 
understand, these remain unfunded in this year's budget.
    Secretary Gates. The DOD/Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) 
Wounded, Ill, and Injured (WII) Senior Oversight Committee (SOC) meets 
regularly to identify immediate corrective actions, and to review and 
implement recommendations of the external reviews, including the Dole-
Shalala Commission. We continue to implement recommended changes 
through the use of policy and existing authorities. Specifically, we 
have endeavored to improve the Disability Evaluation System, 
established a Center of Excellence for Psychological Health and 
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), established the Federal Recovery 
Coordination Program, improved datasharing between the DOD and VA, 
developed medical facility inspection standards, and improved delivery 
of pay and benefits. The core recommendation of the Dole-Shalala 
Commission centers on the concept of taking DOD out of the disability 
rating business so that DOD can focus on the fit or unfit 
determination, streamlining the transition from servicemember to 
veteran. Thus far, Congress has declined to act on that recommendation. 
We believe that the greatest improvement to the long-term care and 
support of America's wounded warriors and veterans will come from 
enactment of the provisions recommended by Dole-Shalala. We have, thus, 
positioned ourselves to implement these provisions and continue our 
progress in providing world-class support to our warriors and veterans 
while allowing our two Departments to focus on our respective core 
missions. Immediate budgetary needs will be met by reprogrammings, or a 
budget amendment, if necessary.
    Admiral Mullen. Implementation of the Dole-Shalala Commission 
recommendations is going well. Thirty-five of the 40 recommendations 
are on track for completion with 16 complete.
    There are five commission recommendations that require changes in 
legislation and advances in medical research to complete. Four require 
additional changes in legislation to substantially restructure the 
disability and compensation system, expand benefits to families, and 
provide lifetime healthcare benefits for combat-injured. Improving 
prevention and care for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and TBI 
will require more medical research along with additional mental health 
professionals, which we are pursuing. The Services and Senior Oversight 
Council (SOC) Overarching Integrated Product Teams (OIPT) are working 
all of these recommendations.
    Most wounded warrior issues are funded between the supplemental and 
the NDAA. Improving data collaboration between DOD/VA is currently 
funded from their budgets. All future programs for the various lines of 
action are not funded except through the supplemental. The DOD and the 
Services are determining future needs and will work to add them to the 
program.

    49. Senator Bayh. Secretary Gates and Admiral Mullen, how is the 
DOD working with the individual Services, such as the Army, to ensure 
that their own plans are well thought out and coordinated with other 
wounded warrior initiatives?
    Secretary Gates. The exchange of information on, and the 
coordination of, plans and programs--particularly those related to the 
care of WII servicemembers and their families, is being conducted 
primarily through the DOD/VA joint SOC, which work closely with the 
military Services.
    For example, the SOC case/care management representatives meet 
weekly with subject matter experts and program representatives from the 
military Services to identify practices and share ``lessons learned'' 
in areas such as:

         Care management across medical and non-medical facilities and 
        sites
         Preplanning for transitions across medical facilities and 
        sites
         Family support
         Joint training and standards for uniform identification, 
        notification, and tracking of PTSD and mental health issues
         Workload modeling
         Personnel requirements

    In addition, the SOC conducts joint collaborative exercises with 
the military Services and VA Health Administration and Benefits 
Administration representatives to closely review the process of care, 
management, and transition of WII servicemembers and their families.
    Admiral Mullen. The Services are working exceptionally hard to 
support our wounded, injured, and ill servicemembers. They have made 
significant improvements in their disability evaluation processes, case 
management practices, care for wounded with TBI and PTSD, facilities, 
and benefits. But, there is still more that can be done. The Joint 
Staff works with the Services in several ways to monitor and assist 
with their wounded warrior initiatives. We look at all Services 
activities and try to help identify what works and what needs 
improvement.
    The Joint Staff participates in the Secretary of Defense SOC for 
wounded warriors. The SOC reviews progress reported by the OSD and the 
Services in eight lines of action that consolidate the initiatives for 
improving care and support for our wounded, injured, and ill 
servicemembers.
    As I travel, I hold townhall meetings with combat wounded and their 
families and collect their issues and concerns. I then provide them to 
the Services to address. There are some special concerns that are often 
raised in these sessions:

         1. The Medical Evaluation Board/Physical Evaluation Board 
        process is too bureaucratic and too long.
         2. We have too few mental health professionals.
         3. There are too many seams between the DOD and the VA.
         4. There is not enough emphasis on long-term assistance for 
        injured personnel and their families.
         5. There is a perception that too often servicemembers' 
        injuries are misdiagnosed.

    My Special Assistant for Returning Warriors travels around the 
world assisting me in accurately assessing ground truth for all 
wounded, ill, and injured servicemembers. She marshals Legislative 
Affairs, Legal Assistance, VA, and medical subject matter experts along 
with Veteran Service Organizations and their respective resources to 
enhance my ability to deliver timely and necessary positive solutions 
for our Nation's returning warriors and their families. These efforts 
ultimately lift the morale of servicemembers and ensure a continuing 
legacy of exceptional troop care.
    We must help those who have been injured, and their families, be 
all they can be in the future. We need to have a continuum of care and 
no seams between DOD, the VA, and local communities throughout our 
country so that those who have sacrificed so much can achieve the 
American Dream.
                                 ______
                                 
         Questions Submitted by Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton
        congressional oversight of security agreements with iraq
    50. Senator Clinton. Secretary Gates, when the U.S.-Iraq 
Declaration of Principles for Friendship and Cooperation was made 
public in November, Lieutenant General Lute, the President's Deputy 
National Security Advisor for Iraq and Afghanistan, stated that the 
administration did not anticipate seeking congressional approval or 
even formal congressional input on an agreement that would 
institutionalize our long-term security, political, and economic 
relationship with Iraq. I was astonished, frankly, that the 
administration would complete such a significant agreement, an 
agreement of great long-term importance for American foreign and 
national security policy that could tie the hands of the next President 
with respect to Iraq, without bringing it to Congress for review and 
consent. Do you believe that Congress has an important role to play in 
overseeing any long-term American military commitment to Iraq?
    Secretary Gates. In the Declaration of Principles signed by 
President Bush and Prime Minister Maliki in November, the United States 
and Iraq agreed to negotiate bilateral arrangements on the security, 
political, economic, and cultural components of that relationship. Such 
a framework will set the stage for a normalized bilateral relationship 
between the United States and Iraq as two fully sovereign states, and 
would not make any security commitment to Iraq or commit the incoming 
President or any future President to any particular course of action 
with respect to troop levels, military mission, or assistance to Iraq.
    We intend to keep Congress apprised of the negotiation process as 
we proceed. I have instructed my staff to brief Members of Congress and 
their respective committees on these negotiations; these efforts have 
already begun. We will continue to consult with Congress as we proceed 
in these negotiations.

    51. Senator Clinton. Secretary Gates, one objection I have 
frequently heard to those of us who believe that Congress must have a 
say in this process is that the agreement is likely to be nothing more 
than a standard status-of-forces agreement (SOFA), which we have with 
many other nations around the world and which permits us to station 
American servicemen and women in foreign countries. I believe that any 
agreement with Iraq that commits the United States to help defend Iraq 
against both internal and external threats goes significantly farther 
in terms of our national security than a standard SOFA. Do you agree 
that any long-term security, political, and economic agreement between 
the United States and Iraq should be approved by Congress?
    Secretary Gates. To ensure that U.S. forces in Iraq are provided 
the legal protections and authorities they need absent the U.N. 
Security Council mandate they are presently operating under, the United 
States will seek to negotiate a SOFA with Iraq. The SOFA will be 
similar to other SOFAs the United States has negotiated with countries 
around the world, taking into account the particular circumstances and 
requirements for our forces in Iraq, and will be a part of the overall 
framework of the relationship with Iraq.
    Neither the SOFA nor any other arrangement contemplated with Iraq 
would bind the United States to any security commitments. Such 
documents will not bind the United States to take military action or 
expend funds in support of Iraq.
    Consistent with longstanding U.S. past practice on SOFAs, we expect 
that the SOFA with Iraq would be concluded as an executive agreement. 
We do not anticipate that the terms of this SOFA will require 
congressional assent.

    52. Senator Clinton. Secretary Gates, do we currently have SOFAs 
with any country with an ongoing civil war?
    Secretary Gates. The DOD does not normally characterize a 
particular conflict, unrest, or violence as a ``civil war.'' However, 
the Department has enduring SOFAs with countries that are experiencing, 
or have experienced, persistent conflict.

        long-term security agreement with iraq - permanent bases
    53. Senator Clinton. Secretary Gates, when the U.S.-Iraq 
Declaration of Principles for Friendship and Cooperation was announced 
in November, I was deeply disappointed to learn that it did not 
explicitly rule out the possibility that the United States would seek 
or maintain permanent bases in Iraq, nor did it make any reference to 
the redeployment of American troops out of Iraq.
    At the time the Declaration of Principles was announced, I wrote to 
the President about the importance of making clear to the Iraqi 
political leadership that we will not be there to referee their civil 
war forever. In my letter I made clear to the President my view that 
the United States should neither seek nor maintain permanent bases in 
Iraq. Unfortunately, what I'm hearing now from the administration is 
not at all clear. On the one hand, the White House spokeswoman has been 
quoted as saying that we won't seek permanent bases in Iraq, and you 
have said that ``we have no interest in permanent bases.'' On the other 
hand, the President last week attempted to circumvent the will of 
Congress by issuing a signing statement to accompany the NDAA, 
effectively saying that he didn't agree with the provision in the 
legislation that would bar funding for the establishment of permanent 
U.S. military bases in Iraq.
    Can you clarify for me, which is it?
    Secretary Gates. In a SOFA with Iraq, the United States would be 
seeking access to facilities in Iraq that support the activities that 
promote our mutual goals and interests. This provision would not be 
different from similar provisions we have negotiated in SOFAs with 
other countries around the world.
    Any agreement with Iraq would not obligate the United States to 
maintain a presence or set U.S. forces levels in Iraq. Rather, the SOFA 
would seek to ensure that the United States has the necessary access to 
Iraqi facilities and areas to conduct its mission in the mutual 
security interests of both Iraq and the United States. Furthermore, 
decisions on U.S. force levels in Iraq are U.S. decisions and are not 
affected by a SOFA. No agreement with Iraq would commit the United 
States to maintaining any specific number of forces.

    54. Senator Clinton. Secretary Gates, will the administration be 
clear with the American people, with the Iraqi people, and with the 
Iraqi political leadership that we will neither seek nor maintain 
permanent bases in Iraq?
    Secretary Gates. The United States is not seeking to establish or 
maintain permanent bases in Iraq.

   equipping african union/united nations hybrid operation in darfur 
                                mission
    55. Senator Clinton. Secretary Gates, there has been great concern 
expressed over the capacity of the African Union/United Nations Hybrid 
Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) to protect civilians there. As you know, 
the UNAMID mission met its December 31 deadline for assuming command of 
peacekeeping operations in Darfur. As you also are no doubt aware, the 
UNAMID mission had not met expectations in terms of deployed troop 
levels on December 31, and remains understrength at approximately 9,065 
troops, police, and personnel, far below the expected December 31 level 
of 12,000, and less than a third of its full complement of just over 
31,000 troops, police, and personnel. In addition to lacking troops, 
UNAMID also lacks the equipment and resources necessary to succeed, 
such as 18 transport and at least 6 attack helicopters.
    Noting that Congress has provided funding expressly for the purpose 
of increasing the level and tempo of U.S. efforts to bilaterally train 
and equip some of these additional African battalions, what is the 
current status of these U.S. efforts vis-a-vis Africa Contingency 
Operations Training Assistance (ACOTA) and other programs?
    Secretary Gates. Between June 2005 and March 2008, the ACOTA 
program will have provided $17,365,477 worth of training to AMIS and 
UNAMID-bound peacekeepers. ACOTA-trained units from Rwanda, Nigeria, 
South Africa, and Senegal formed the backbone of the AMIS mission, and 
continue to serve in Darfur now that the mission has transitioned to 
UNAMID. The ACOTA program has trained all of the infantry battalions 
from sub-Saharan Africa that are planning to deploy to UNAMID in 2008, 
including units from Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Senegal, 
and Tanzania.
    Furthermore, the Department of State will provide units deploying 
in 2008 with about $100 million worth of heavy equipment using fiscal 
year 2007 Sudan supplemental funds. This equipment will enhance the 
ACOTA-trained battalions, each consisting of at least 800 peacekeepers, 
and include armored personnel carriers, cargo trucks, maintenance and 
engineering vehicles, generators, field hospitals, and water 
purification systems. The State Department will award a contract in the 
next few weeks to provide this equipment, as well as new equipment 
training and spare parts, to all of the battalions expecting to deploy 
in 2008. The equipment will be shipped directly to each country to be 
transported to Darfur along with the battalion as they are deployed by 
the U.N. This equipment will enable each battalion to meet the U.N.'s 
standards for UNAMID infantry battalions.

    56. Senator Clinton. Secretary Gates, has the DOD made efforts to 
elicit similar training and equipping commitments from allies who enjoy 
longstanding bilateral military relationships with other committed 
African troop contributors?
    Secretary Gates. The DOD has been working with the State Department 
to elicit training and equipping commitments similar to those the U.S. 
government is making to African troop contributing nations. 
Furthermore, the Department is working with our allies in other areas, 
such as providing pre-deployment planning and strategic transportation 
for deploying or rotating troop contingents. We are also encouraging 
donor countries to maintain their level of support over a longer period 
of time than originally envisioned and reinforcing State Department 
efforts to mobilize donors to satisfy emerging support requirements. 
Finally, DOD has helped the State Department identify countries that 
possess specialized equipment that might meet a critical operational 
need, such as transport and attack helicopters required to support the 
U.N. mission in Darfur.

    57. Senator Clinton. Secretary Gates, has the DOD made efforts to 
secure the contribution of helicopters from allies for the UNAMID 
mission?
    Secretary Gates. Yes, in concert with the Department of State's 
efforts, the DOD has taken a number of steps to secure the contribution 
of helicopters for the UNAMID.
    For example, the Department has worked closely with the U.N. 
Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) to solicit helicopter 
commitments from the international community. The U.N. rejected offers 
from potential contributors based on their pre-established helicopter 
specification criteria. In partnership with the State Department, DOD 
worked with U.N. DPKO to modify current UNAMID helicopter 
specifications to accept helicopters that could fill the transportation 
gap that currently exists in UNAMID.
    We are now encouraging U.N. DPKO to reconsider previous offers from 
Jordan, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, and Egypt. Further, DOD is currently 
conducting an assessment of 72 countries possessing helicopters that 
meet U.N. specifications to determine which nations might be willing to 
contribute. We have recently secured an offer from Ethiopia for four 
attack helicopters, which has been accepted by the U.N. DOD has 
partnered with the State Department to encourage the Government of 
Ukraine to contribute up to nine attack helicopters presently deployed 
to the U.N. Mission in Liberia and to consider leasing options 
involving private Ukrainian companies.

                        africa command and sudan
    58. Senator Clinton. Secretary Gates, noting that U.S. Africa 
Command (AFRICOM) is scheduled to reach full operational capacity this 
year, and that it will take on additional non-combat responsibilities 
that until now have fallen outside the realm of the DOD, do you foresee 
the U.S. military in general, and AFRICOM in particular, playing a 
larger role in Sudan? If so, how?
    Secretary Gates. AFRICOM is designed to better enable the DOD to 
fulfill its missions in concert with other elements of the U.S. 
Government and African partners. The Department is already supporting 
U.S. initiatives in Sudan, such as the Darfur Peace Agreement and the 
Comprehensive Peace Agreement. As AFRICOM reaches full operational 
capacity, it will better situate DOD to support the State Department's 
lead in advancing peace and stability in Sudan.

    59. Senator Clinton. Secretary Gates, more generally, what positive 
and negative reactions has the U.S. military received during 
consultations with African leaders on the role AFRICOM will play on the 
continent?
    Secretary Gates. With very few exceptions, African leaders have 
expressed strong support for DOD's engagement with African militaries. 
Negative depictions of AFRICOM in the international press have, in some 
instances, perpetuated misconceptions about AFRICOM's future presence 
on the continent. We believe, however, that as AFRICOM builds a 
reputation for adding value through improved security cooperation with 
African partners, many of these negative opinions will dissipate. In 
fact, we are already seeing some positive signs in this regard as more 
African leaders become informed about the true nature of the command. 
Many African governments and militaries see AFRICOM as a potential 
advocate for African security priorities within the DOD. They have 
partnered with us on security assistance programs over the years and 
understand the rationale for the command.
                                 ______
                                 
               Questions Submitted by Senator Mark Pryor
                      base realignment and closure
    60. Senator Pryor. Secretary Gates, I'm sure you are aware that the 
DOD has the authority to transfer real property to community 
redevelopment organizations at no cost if those communities agree to 
reinvest land sales and leasing revenues back into job creation and 
infrastructure development. It would be my hope that the DOD's disposal 
plans for these closing installations balances both public auctions 
with these no cost and other public benefit transfers. We have many 
financial challenges in executing Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) 
projects, but it is important to me that communities are not left 
without resources to cope with the economic recovery they face and some 
of this property should be considered for open space and other 
important public uses. Can you assure me that the DOD will implement a 
balanced approach to property disposal and grant broad deference to 
community reuse plans the way the law intended?
    Secretary Gates. The Department's policy is to work in close 
collaboration with affected communities throughout the closure, 
disposal, and redevelopment process. The Department takes great care to 
ensure Local Redevelopment Authorities (LRAs) have information on 
surplus property for the community's consideration in their formulation 
of a redevelopment plan. The Department has an array of legal 
authorities by which to transfer property on closed or realigned 
installations, ranging from those that may be at no cost or discounted 
consideration to those that yield fair market value to the Department, 
to be responsive to the Department's BRAC and community redevelopment 
needs. The military departments work closely with affected LRAs to 
tailor disposal actions that consider local circumstances. In disposing 
of surplus property, the Department is careful to not preclude any 
disposal method until a redevelopment plan is completed.

    61. Senator Pryor. Secretary Gates, regarding BRAC, it is my 
understanding that the Army is following the letter of the law and the 
recommendations of the BRAC committee. Are you aware if this is 
occurring or true?
    Secretary Gates. The Army, as well as the other military department 
and defense agencies, are following the BRAC law. The Department 
reviews each recommendation implementation plan twice annually to 
ensure that it is in compliance with the BRAC law. Each of those 
reviews provides an opportunity to direct corrective action as needed. 
Additionally, the OSD Office of the General Counsel has been a key 
player in reviewing these plans to ensure that they are legally 
sufficient and to verify that the Department is meeting its legal 
obligations.

    62. Senator Pryor. Secretary Gates, what would you do if you found 
out the BRAC recommendations were not being followed?
    Secretary Gates. I would take action to ensure we meet our legal 
obligation. The Department reviews each recommendation implementation 
plan twice annually to ensure that it is in compliance with the BRAC 
law. Each of those reviews provides an opportunity to direct corrective 
action. Additionally, the OSD Office of the General Counsel has been a 
key player in reviewing these plans to ensure that they are legally 
sufficient and to verify that the Department is meeting its legal 
obligations.

                              procurement
    63. Senator Pryor. Secretary Gates, the Marine Corps has no 
procurement of the M-18 family of smoke grenades and is utilizing the 
Foreign Comparative Testing (FCT) program to modernize the M-18. In 
October 2006 the Marine Corps published a Sources Sought announcement 
in Federal Business Opportunities for the procurement of M-18s and 
plans to issue a Request for Proposal (RfP) at an undetermined time 
this year. The Marine Corps' departure from the procurement of these 
grenades, which are manufactured at the Pine Bluff Arsenal (PBA) in 
Arkansas, is a great concern to me, especially because the PBA has had 
a long and distinguished tradition of producing quality M-18 smoke 
grenades for the military for the past 65 years.
    The fiscal year 2009 defense budget shows a decrease in spending on 
grenades (all types). Procurement for the Navy and Marine Corps, for 
example, decreased from  $59.6  million  to  $39  million  from  levels 
 in  fiscal  year  2008.  Although  the  M-18 smoke grenade is part of 
a family of grenades with the same line number, the decrease in 
procurement coupled with that of the Marine Corps will have a 
significant impact on the industrial base at PBA (10 percent in lost 
revenue). I would consider this a very high risk category when making a 
section 806 determination to the risk on the national technology and 
industrial base.
    Are you aware of the Marine Corps' decision to procure M-18s 
outside of the Arsenal Act and why is the military jeopardizing the 
industrial base at PBA, ignoring the Arsenal Act, and moving away from 
this very important procurement for the warfighter?
    Secretary Gates. It is our intent, utilizing the Foreign 
Comparative Test (FCT) program, to seek alternatives to the current, 
legacy M-18 series smoke grenade. The design of some smoke grenades 
pre-dates the Vietnam conflict, and our modernization effort is one 
that can be expected in any munitions lifecycle, particularly one of 
this age. The smoke grenade modernization effort will: (1) increase 
performance; (2) provide equal or greater smoke duration; and (3) 
provide a safer flame reduced initiation system that will assist in the 
prevention of accidental fires, all at a competitive cost. The intent 
of this new program is to achieve a capability that advances the 
obscurant capabilities of all Services, across DOD. This effort is 
being conducted jointly with the U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Army.

    64. Senator Pryor. Secretary Gates, last year Senator McCaskill and 
I introduced legislation to keep the C-27J a joint initiative between 
the Army and the Air Force. $156 million was allocated to the Army to 
begin the procurement of four aircraft in fiscal year 2008. The fiscal 
year 2009 defense budget requests an additional seven aircraft for the 
Army at $264.2 million. The NDAA for Fiscal Year 2008 states that no 
funds will be appropriated for the procurement of the Joint Cargo 
Aircraft (JCA) until 30 days after the Secretary of Defense signs off 
on six reports, one of which being the Joint Intra-theatre Airlift 
Fleet Mix Analysis. Where is this report, is it complete, and when will 
it be signed?
    Secretary Gates. I delivered all six reports to Congress on 
February 27, 2008. Attached is the certification letter from John Young 
validating the requirement for the JCA.
      
    
    
      
    
    

    65. Senator Pryor. Secretary Gates, the NDAA for Fiscal Year 2008 
also requires the Secretary of Defense to certify and validate 
requirements for a capability gap or shortfall with respect to intra-
theatre airlift. What are your thoughts on this issue? In your opinion, 
does a capability gap or shortfall exist?
    Secretary Gates. My Chief of Acquisition, John Young, recently 
certified and validated requirements for a capability gap or shortfall 
with respect to intra-theatre airlift. The letter stating that is 
attached.
      
    
    
      
    
    

                        unmanned aerial vehicle
    66. Senator Pryor. Secretary Gates, the JCA and UAV weapons systems 
have created discussions in Congress regarding a roles and missions 
debate and the House of Representatives plans to have hearings on the 
subject. What are your thoughts on an organic, limited operational 
capability within the Services, and what affect will it have on 
restructuring or reorganizing current weapons systems?
    Secretary Gates. While there are some areas where operational 
warfighting concepts and doctrine translate into unique Service level 
requirements and programs, there are far more areas where joint 
solutions can be achieved. The Department must continue to prioritize 
jointness and interoperability imperatives especially in the areas of 
materiel acquisitions. This means reviewing and coordinating new 
research and development programs to integrate Service and Joint 
requirements, development, and testing in order to achieve born joint 
investment programs. It also means continuing to consolidate current 
requirements and programs of record, where possible.
    Only through joint and consolidated acquisition will we realize the 
benefits of these efforts, which include: improved component 
interoperability and reduced duplication; lower development and 
production costs; increased quantities; reduction of logistics 
requirements through standardization; and the ability to meet similar 
multi-service requirements with a common materiel solution.
                                 ______
                                 
               Questions Submitted by Senator John Warner
               defense science and technology investment
    67. Senator Warner. Secretary Gates, last year, you received a 
memorandum from the Director of ODDRE which characterized current 
investment in defense S&T as ``inadequate'' to keep pace with emerging 
threats and concluded that the country has been ``coasting on the basic 
science investments of the last century.'' Your testimony acknowledges 
a need to increase defense investment in basic research. How are you 
focusing the S&T programs of the DOD to address this challenge?
    Secretary Gates. I asked Congress to approve a $1.70 billion 
investment in Basic Research in the President's budget request for 
fiscal year 2009. The request represents a 2 percent real increase 
above the $1.63 billion that Congress appropriated for fiscal year 2008 
and a 16 percent real growth from the fiscal year 2008 budget request. 
This basic research investment increases each year over the Future 
Years Defense Program to $1.99 billion in fiscal year 2013.
    The additional funds will be applied to peer-reviewed research 
conducted in universities, without specific DOD systems or applications 
in mind, but in areas of long-term interest to the Department. 
Predominantly the funds will support single investigators in the 
Services' Defense Research Sciences and Multi-Disciplinary University 
Research Initiatives, the mainstays of DOD Basic Research. This 
increase will both deepen the DOD investment in traditional Basic 
Research and broaden it to include such areas as: Information 
Assurance; Network Sciences; Counter Weapons of Mass Destruction; 
Science of Autonomy; Information Fusion and Decision Science; 
Biosensors and Bio-inspired Systems; Quantum Information Sciences; 
Energy and Power Management; Counter Directed Energy Weapons; Immersive 
Science for Training and Mission Rehearsal; and Human Sciences.

                      reliable replacement warhead
    68. Senator Warner. Admiral Mullen, in your prepared statement, you 
remark upon the need to modernize our strategic weapons systems and 
infrastructure, including our efforts to explore the feasibility of 
developing a Reliable Replacement Warhead (RRW). Although this 
committee, and the full Senate, had supported funding for such a 
feasibility study last year, the omnibus appropriations bill did not 
include funding. The Department of Energy has requested modest funding 
in fiscal year 2009 to continue a feasibility study of a replacement 
warhead. What are your more detailed thoughts and analysis which led 
you to support the continued study of a RRW?
    Admiral Mullen. To help manage geopolitical, operational, and 
technical risks, the United States relies on three inter-related 
aspects of its nuclear posture: 1) the composition of the operationally 
deployed nuclear delivery systems and their capacity to deliver nuclear 
weapons; 2) the size and mix of the nuclear stockpile that supports the 
operational force; and 3) the ability of the supporting infrastructure 
to maintain, produce, and repair nuclear weapon delivery systems and 
warheads.
    The stockpile stewardship program, initiated in the mid-1990s, has 
largely been successful. At present, we believe that the nuclear 
warhead stockpile remains safe, secure, and reliable. For the near-
term, we continue to have confidence that warhead life extension 
programs for W76 warheads for Trident II missiles and for B61 gravity 
bombs are needed and are wise investments to sustain existing nuclear 
capabilities. However, the current path for sustaining the warhead 
stockpile-successive refurbishments of existing Cold War warheads 
designed with small margins of error--may in the future be 
unsustainable. Specifically, the directors of the Nation's nuclear 
weapons laboratories have expressed concern about the ability to ensure 
confidence in the reliability of the legacy stockpile over the long-
term, without nuclear testing.
    Successive efforts at extending the service life of the current 
inventory of warheads will drive the warhead configurations further 
away from the original design baseline that was validated using 
underground nuclear test data. Repeated refurbishments could accrue 
technical changes that, over time, might inadvertently undermine 
reliability and performance. The skills, materials, processes, and 
technologies needed to refurbish and maintain these older warhead 
designs are also increasingly difficult to sustain or acquire. Some of 
the materials employed in these older warheads are extremely hazardous 
as well. Moreover, it is difficult to incorporate modern safety and 
security features into Cold War-era weapon designs.
    In the near-term, we have no choice but to continue to extend the 
life of these legacy warheads. However, the Departments of Defense and 
Energy are pursuing an alternative to this strategy of indefinite life 
extension, namely, the gradual replacement of existing warheads with 
warheads of comparable capability that are less sensitive to 
manufacturing tolerances or to aging of materials. The generic concept 
is referred to as the Reliable Replacement Warhead (RRW). The RRW 
concept promises other attractive benefits such as improved safety and 
security, less complex production processes, elimination of many 
hazardous materials in existing warheads, and an overall reduction in 
hazardous waste. The directors of the nuclear weapons laboratories 
believe that modern scientific tools developed for the stockpile 
stewardship program, including advanced computer modeling and 
experimental facilities, will enable design and certification of the 
RRW without nuclear testing. In addition, the RRW program will be a key 
enabler for a smaller and more responsive infrastructure, and will help 
grow a new generation of experts capable of sustaining our nuclear 
forces.
    RRW will be key to sustaining long-term confidence in the U.S. 
nuclear stockpile and enable significant reductions in the number of 
reserve warheads--further reducing the size of the overall stockpile. 
Assuring allies and convincing adversaries of the safety, security, and 
reliability of U.S. nuclear forces will in turn contribute to the full 
range of political and military benefits of the U.S. nuclear deterrent. 
Finally, allies with continued confidence in U.S. extended deterrence 
will have less motivation to develop nuclear weapons of their own.

                     support for military families
    69. Senator Warner. Secretary Gates, in the President's State-of-
the-Union Address on January 28, 2008, the President said, ``Our 
military families also sacrifice for America. They endure sleepless 
nights and the daily struggle of providing for children while a loved 
one is serving far from home. We have a responsibility to provide for 
them. So I ask you to join me in expanding their access to child care, 
creating new hiring preferences for military spouses across the Federal 
Government, and allowing our troops to transfer their unused education 
benefits to their spouses or children.''
    I join with the President in recognizing the sacrifices of military 
families--and I include parents in that as well. My understanding is 
that these initiatives are not included in the budget request that is 
before us. Is that correct?
    Secretary Gates. Yes, that is correct. These initiatives are not 
included in the original budget request, because decisions were made 
after the regular budget process had concluded. We plan to use 
reprogrammings, or a budget amendment, if necessary, to fund the fiscal 
years 2008-2009 costs.

    70. Senator Warner. Secretary Gates, what is the magnitude of the 
President's family support initiative and when may we expect to see an 
amended budget and legislative proposals to support these initiatives?
    Secretary Gates. These are the Department's specific proposed 
initiatives to support the President's pledge on family assistance:

          1. Permit Montgomery GI Bill transferability to immediate 
        family members, including spouses and children
          2. Establish hiring preferences for spouses of Active-Duty 
        military members, wounded or disabled members, and 
        servicemembers who died while in Active Service, and a spouse 
        internship program
          3. Expand the existing 18-installation demonstration program 
        for spousal career advancement accounts to all spouses
          4. Accelerate construction of planned military child care 
        centers and public-private ventures for child care
          5. Expand the pilot Yellow Ribbon Joint Family Assistance 
        Program and the four additional jurisdictions with National 
        Guard establishments

                    funding for military health care
    71. Senator Warner. Secretary Gates, for the third year in a row, 
the President's request decrements funding for military health care in 
anticipation of congressional approval of increases in TRICARE fees for 
military retirees, which each year Congress has rejected. Should 
Congress once again decline to increase TRICARE fees for military 
retirees, this budget would then be $1.2 billion short--is that 
correct?
    Secretary Gates. That is correct. The budget currently assumes 
savings of $1.2 billion associated with the adjustments in fees 
consistent with those recommended by the Task Force on the Future of 
Military Health Care, mandated by Congress.

    72. Senator Warner. Secretary Gates, one of the DOD health care 
task force's recommendations is to conduct an external audit of DOD's 
health care program and to establish a cost accounting system that 
provides true and accurate accounting for DOD health care costs. Is it 
your intention to follow through on that recommendation as well, so 
that Congress can have a true and accurate picture of DOD health care 
costs in the future?
    Secretary Gates. Yes, we do intend to follow through on the Task 
Force's recommendations. The Defense Health Program (DHP) health care 
costs are currently executed in four separate accounting and finance 
systems, to include Army, Navy, Air Force, and TRlCARE Management 
Activity. Since the accounting and finance systems all have different 
business rules, it is difficult to perform accurate cost accounting for 
health care. Several years ago, the Department developed the Medical 
Expense and Performance Reporting System (MEPRS), which allocates costs 
within the direct care system. While this is a useful managerial cost 
accounting tool, it could be much more accurate if the financial data 
feeding it came from systems using the same financial structure and 
business rules.
    To ensure commonality among DHP related financial systems, the DHP 
is actively participating in the DOD wide development of a Standard 
Financial Information Structure (SFIS). Each Service and Defense-wide 
accounting and finance system (all are currently under development) 
will have to comply with the established SFIS business rules. The DHP 
is actively engaged with the Business Transformation Agency to ensure 
that requirements for medical business processes under SFIS, and thus 
the ability to do medical cost accounting, are accurate. If it appears 
that the Service accounting and finance systems cannot easily 
accommodate the medical business requirements, we may consider adding 
the Army, Navy, and Air Force medical activities into the Defense 
Agency Initiative adopted by TRlCARE Management Activity, which is a 
new accounting and financing system being developed for all Defense 
agencies.
    Regardless of the solution selected, the DHP is committed to 
ensuring that there is accurate accounting of health care costs.
    MEPRS receives three primary types of data from multiple feeder 
source systems--Financial, Workload, and Personnel data. Army, Navy, 
and Air Force all use the same Tri-Service Workload systems, but they 
continue to use Service-unique systems for Financial and Personnel 
data. Challenges arise in trying to report standardized, uniform data 
at the DOD-level, when Financial and Personnel data come in to the 
central data repository as Service-unique data. Attempts are made to 
map these Service-unique data elements to DOD-common data elements.
    SFIS is a comprehensive ``common business language'' that supports 
information and data requirements for budgeting, financial accounting, 
cost/performance management, and external reporting across the DOD 
enterprise. SFIS standardizes financial reporting across DOD, thereby 
reducing the cost of audit. It allows revenues and expenses to be 
reported by programs that align with major goals versus by 
appropriation categories. It enables decisionmakers to efficiently 
compare programs and their associated activities and costs across DOD. 
In addition, it provides a basis for common valuation of DOD programs, 
assets, and liabilities.
    The SFIS initiative may provide a bridge to true and accurate 
picture of DOD health care costs in the future, however, with multiple 
SFIS-compliant financial systems that the Services are migrating toward 
(Army--General Fund Enterprise Business System; Navy--Navy ERP; and Air 
Force--Defense Enterprise Accounting and Management System), it will 
still be difficult to report uniform cost accounting information across 
three military department nonsynchronous systems--there will still be 
three separate military department financial systems to overcome.
    Defense Agencies Initiatives (DAI) represents the Department's 
effort to extend its solution set for streamlining financial management 
capabilities, eliminate material weaknesses, and achieve financial 
statement auditability for the agencies and field activities across the 
DOD. The DAI implementation approach is to deploy a standardized system 
solution that effectively addresses the requirements depicted in the 
Federal Financial Management Improvement Act and the Business 
Enterprise Architecture, while leveraging the out-of-the-box 
capabilities of the selected commercial off-the-shelf product.
    With the implementation of DAI, the Department will reduce the 
number of legacy financial systems supporting these entities from nine 
to one, standardize all Enterprise-level integration to a single source 
and streamline Defense Finance and Accounting Service support 
operations into a single solution set that leverages a common set of 
resources across a common set of processes. It is expected that all 25 
agencies and Field Activities will be transitioned to DAI by fiscal 
year 2011.
    Addressing the goal of a true and accurate picture of DOD health 
care costs in the future, DAI might be able to provide one accounting 
system for the DHP appropriation. DAI would then become the Enterprise 
DHP accounting system and allow current legacy systems (i.e., MEPRS) to 
be replaced. One accounting system for the DHP would ensure a 
synchronous and singular accounting management system and the 
opportunity to efficiently integrate cost accounting in routine 
Generally Accepted Accounting Principles compliant accounting 
functions.

                     implementation of dole-shalala
    73. Senator Warner. Secretary Gates, with all due respect, Congress 
enacted, and the President has now signed into law, nearly all of the 
recommendations of the Dole-Shalala Commission on Care for America's 
Wounded in the Wounded Warrior Act. These include the items you mention 
in your statement--case management and an emphasis on treatment of 
TBI--in addition to extended benefits for family members who care for 
the wounded and ill under the Family and Medical Leave Act.
    The work that remains is in reform of the disability retirement 
system, which affects the DOD to a lesser degree than the VA. Do you 
agree with that?
    Secretary Gates. A Dole-Shalala revision of the disability 
retirement system codified in chapter 61, title 10, U.S.C., would be 
relatively straightforward for the DOD to implement. There are 
significant DOD costs associated with the implementation of the TRICARE 
health proposal, however, that may require further analysis. The burden 
of implementing Dole-Shalala type transition payments--quality of life 
compensation and earning loss payments--falls on the VA. It is an 
enormous workload and would result in revolutionizing the manner in 
which VA does its business. The VA study on these transition payments 
is due out later this year, and will inform both Departments of the 
magnitude of work and statutory change that will be required.

    74. Senator Warner. Secretary Gates, does this committee have your 
commitment that each of the improvements to the care and management of 
wounded and ill soldiers contained in the NDAA for Fiscal Year 2008, 
Public Law 109-364, will be implemented in a thorough and timely manner 
within the budget that is now before us?
    Secretary Gates. It is the Department's intention to implement all 
the requirements in a thorough and timely manner. The Department's WII 
SOC tracks the implementation of all requirements contained in Title 
16: Wounded Warrior Matters, and Title 17: Veterans Matters of the 
fiscal year 2008 NDAA. The NDAA has 54 sections with 83 mandates that 
address wounded warrior matters. Twenty-five of the 54 sections in the 
NDAA address concerns previously identified by the various commissions 
on wounded warriors and 29 new sections not previously addressed. The 
NDAA requires 30 reports, 35 program or policy initiatives, and 9 
evaluations or studies.

    75. Senator Warner. Secretary Gates, because the needs of men and 
women who become disabled cut across so many agencies of our 
government--the Departments of Defense, VA, Labor and Education, 
Medicare, and the Social Security Administration--has there been 
consideration of a cabinet-level position or task force to oversee 
implementation of these reforms?
    Secretary Gates. As previously stated in testimony, DOD and VA 
formed a joint WII SOC, co-chaired by the two cabinet Departments' 
Deputy Secretaries, supported by a joint OIPT and a full-time joint 
staff office. The purpose of establishing these organizations is to 
coordinate the actions of the cabinet agencies, identify immediate 
corrective actions, and to review and implement recommendations of the 
various commissions and external reviews.
    Specifically, we have endeavored to improve the Disability 
Evaluation System, established a Center of Excellence for Psychological 
Health and TBI, established the Federal Recovery Coordination Program, 
improved datasharing between DOD and VA, developed medical facility 
inspection standards, and improved delivery of pay and benefits.

                             climate change
    76. Senator Warner. Secretary Gates and Admiral Mullen, I have been 
profoundly concerned by recent reports that link global climate change 
with exacerbated international security and compromised national 
security. One of these reports, conducted by distinguished retired 
colleagues at the Center for Naval Analyses, concluded that it is 
important that the U.S. military begin planning to address the 
potentially devastating effects of climate change.
    More recently, a study titled ``Uncertain Future'' conducted by the 
Oxford Research Group found that, ``the risks of climate change demand 
a rethink of current approaches to security and the development of 
cooperative and sustainable ways of achieving that security, with an 
emphasis on preventative rather than reactive strategies.'' Can you 
describe how the DOD is preparing to manage the added threat global 
climate change poses on Department activities, facilities, and 
capabilities?
    Secretary Gates. DOD defers to James Connaughton, Chairman of the 
Council on Environmental Quality, for responses addressing global 
climate change.
    Admiral Mullen. The Department is looking ahead to the impact of 
climate change on the future strategic environment as well as taking 
important steps to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases by our 
Armed Forces and improving our energy security posture.
    We anticipate that climate change could have far-reaching impact 
across the globe regarding resources and the access of nations to 
resources. In looking ahead, we are implementing the direction of the 
NDAA for Fiscal Year 2008 that requires our military planners to 
consider the risks associated with climate change regarding current and 
future missions, defense plans, and future required capabilities.
    Additionally, we are working to reduce our own contributions to 
greenhouse gases by focusing on reductions in energy consumption. The 
primary Department-wide organization addressing this concern is the DOD 
Energy Security Task Force chartered in May 2006. Task Force membership 
includes the Joint Staff, Services, COCOMs, OSD, and various other DOD 
agencies. The Task Force has focused on initiatives to reduce energy 
consumption and reduce the overall DOD carbon footprint. The Task Force 
has taken on the development and deployment of energy technologies and 
changes in operational procedures which will decrease DOD-related 
carbon footprint without reducing operational effectiveness.
    Many of the Task Force recommendations consolidate and/or leverage 
existing energy initiatives from the Services for consideration and 
implementation DOD-wide. Examples include single engine aircraft taxi 
procedures and synthetic/alternative aircraft fuels testing (Air 
Force), renewable energy resources and insulation technologies to 
reduce the carbon footprint and fuel reliance of Forward Operating 
Bases (Army), and geothermal power generation facilities at Naval Air 
Weapons Station China Lake (Navy).
    The Joint Staff has initiated efforts to minimize or eliminate 
future climate change risks by reducing the DOD contribution to fuel 
consumption and carbon emissions. These include the incorporation of 
the Energy Efficiency Key Performance Parameter (KPP) into the Joint 
Capabilities Integration and Development System (JCIDS) in May 2007. 
This will ensure energy efficiency concerns are considered for future 
system acquisitions and associated operational plans. Additionally, we 
are leading a study in conjunction with the Services into the 
feasibility of increased simulator use to decrease in-vehicle training 
(and therefore fuel use and emissions) without sacrificing operational 
readiness.
    We will continue to shape the future strategic environment with an 
eye toward climate change effects and look for opportunities to reduce 
our carbon footprint.

    77. Senator Warner. Secretary Gates and Admiral Mullen, how can we 
ensure that we are taking preventative steps rather than reacting to 
situations as they arise?
    Secretary Gates. DOD defers to James Connaughton, Chairman of the 
Council on Environmental Quality for responses addressing global 
climate change.
    Admiral Mullen. The Department is looking ahead to the impact of 
climate change on the future strategic environment as well as taking 
important steps to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases by our 
Armed Forces and improving our energy security posture.
    We anticipate that climate change could have far-reaching impact 
across the globe regarding resources and the access of nations to 
resources. In looking ahead, we are implementing the direction of the 
NDAA for Fiscal Year 2008 that requires our military planners to 
consider the risks associated with climate change regarding current and 
future missions, defense plans, and future required capabilities.
    Additionally, we are working to reduce our own contributions to 
greenhouse gases by focusing on reductions in energy consumption. The 
primary Department-wide organization addressing this concern is the DOD 
Energy Security Task Force chartered in May 2006. Task Force membership 
includes the Joint Staff, Services, COCOMs, OSD, and various other DOD 
agencies. The Task Force has focused on initiatives to reduce energy 
consumption and reduce the overall DOD carbon footprint. The Task Force 
has taken on the development and deployment of energy technologies and 
changes in operational procedures which will decrease DOD-related 
carbon footprint without reducing operational effectiveness.
    Many of the Task Force recommendations consolidate and/or leverage 
existing energy initiatives from the Services for consideration and 
implementation DOD-wide. Examples include single engine aircraft taxi 
procedures and synthetic/alternative aircraft fuels testing (Air 
Force), renewable energy resources and insulation technologies to 
reduce the carbon footprint and fuel reliance of Forward Operating 
Bases (Army), and geothermal power generation facilities at Naval Air 
Weapons Station China Lake (Navy).
    The Joint Staff has initiated efforts to minimize or eliminate 
future climate change risks by reducing the DOD contribution to fuel 
consumption and carbon emissions. These include the incorporation of 
the Energy Efficiency KPP into the JCIDS in May 2007. This will ensure 
energy efficiency concerns are considered for future system 
acquisitions and associated operational plans. Additionally, we are 
leading a study in conjunction with the Services into the feasibility 
of increased simulator use to decrease in-vehicle training (and 
therefore fuel use and emissions) without sacrificing operational 
readiness.
    We will continue to shape the future strategic environment with an 
eye toward climate change effects and look for opportunities to reduce 
our carbon footprint.
                                 ______
                                 
              Question Submitted by Senator Susan Collins
                            troop deployment
    78. Senator Collins. Admiral Mullen, I know how concerned you are 
that the lengthy and repeated deployments have placed enormous strain 
on our troops. As we decrease troop levels in Iraq and also continue to 
increase the end strength of the Army and Marine Corps, which the 
budget continues to fund, this should help to relieve the pressure. 
When do you believe the impact of a larger Army and Marine Corps will 
begin to affect the length and frequency of deployments for our troops, 
both Active-Duty and National Guard?
    Admiral Mullen. [Deleted.]
                                 ______
                                 
             Questions Submitted by Senator Saxby Chambliss
                                  f-22
    79. Senator Chambliss. Secretary Gates, because Lockheed Martin and 
Boeing are building F-22 Raptors at a rate of two per month, the 
addition of four F-22s via an emergency supplemental budget will 
provide approximately 2 additional months of F-22 production. However, 
long lead suppliers who provide much of the parts essential to 
producing these aircraft would begin shutting down production as early 
as fall 2008. With this in mind, please explain the assertion that 
procuring four F-22s through fiscal year 2009 supplemental funds will 
keep the F-22 line open until the next administration.
    Secretary Gates. The Department is working with the Air Force to 
determine the necessary actions required to keep the F-22A production 
line viable so that the next administration can review the program 
requirements.

    80. Senator Chambliss. Secretary Gates, the administration has 
stated that further F-22 purchases will threaten the production numbers 
and the affordability of the JSF. The Air Force has consistently 
maintained that they would not utilize JSF funds to fund more F-22s 
since they desperately need both aircraft. Given a $515 billion defense 
budget in fiscal year 2009, $3.4 billion of which is allocated for JSF 
production, please describe how an additional Lot of 20-24 F-22s 
threatens the production and affordability of the JSF.
    Secretary Gates. The size of the annual procurement of any single 
program is modest compared to the total budget, but there are always 
unmet needs when we complete the budget process every year. DOD must 
balance across major procurement accounts. Major items in the Air Force 
procurement budget are tactical aircraft, tankers, space systems, and 
ISR assets. Any increase in F-22 funding would have to come out of 
these high priority accounts.
    Some have indicated that F-22 could be funded by finding 
``efficiencies'' in Operations and Maintenance (O&M), but given the 
pattern of steady growth in the O&M accounts, we don't expect 
efficiencies of $3 billion to $4 billion per year.

    81. Senator Chambliss. Secretary Gates, have you determined how 
much it will cost to shut down the F-22 line, and if deemed necessary, 
re-open the line if a future administration decides to procure 
additional F-22s?
    Secretary Gates. We don't plan to close the F-22 line in fiscal 
year 2009. Prior estimates of shut-down costs were on the order of $500 
million. We have not estimated what it would cost to re-open the F-22 
line once it is closed.

                   national guard and reserve forces
    82. Senator Chambliss. Admiral Mullen, I was pleased to see that 
you touched on the important issues of retention and recruiting in your 
written statement. You particularly noted that the National Guard and 
Reserve have experienced some challenges in retaining the company grade 
officers and mid-grade noncommissioned officers who lead our troops, 
but that you are overcoming these shortfalls through enhanced 
incentives for service, flexibility in terms of requirements, and 
enhanced retirement benefits. With the help of many on this committee I 
was proud last year to work on modifying the retirement system for 
National Guard and Reserve members and I hope that this added benefit 
will help retain some of those leaders that we need to retain.
    As you think about transitioning the Reserve components from a 
Strategic Reserve role to part of the Operational Reserve, and 
maintaining our professional National Guard and Reserve Force, what 
kinds of policies and changes come to mind and, in your opinion, how 
can we best transition and shape the National Guard and Reserve into 
being a force that best meets our combatant commanders' and our 
Nation's requirements?
    Admiral Mullen. The Department is currently reviewing the 
Commission on the National Guard and Reserves' 95 recommendations. The 
report identified six topic areas. Our first priority will be to 
implement topic areas I (Creating a Sustainable Operational Reserve) 
and IV (Developing a Ready, Capable, and Available Operational 
Reserve). The Joint Staff and COCOMs recognize that we must break the 
Cold War mentality with regards to our Reserve Forces. We intend to 
vigorously pursue these two topic areas.
    We also agree with topic area III (Creating a Continuum of Service: 
Personnel Management for an Integrated Total Force). The Staff is 
carefully evaluating whether any additional statutory changes are 
required and if they will help or hinder our goal to increase the 
Reserve components' integration into the ``Total Force.''
    Topic area V (Supporting Servicemembers, Families, and Employers) 
is one of my main goals as Chairman and Senior Military Leader of the 
``Total Force.'' I will work with the Services on their support to all 
members of our Armed Forces, their families, and their employers. I 
fully support the Employer Support for Guard and Reserve and will 
continue to champion the cause of our soldier's health, welfare, and 
morale.
    In regards to topic area VI (Reforming the Organizations and 
Institutions that Support an Operational Reserve), I fully support a 
closer alignment of the Services to their support agencies, both 
military and civilian. We need to establish a ``Total Force'' policy 
that eliminates cultural prejudices and produces a better staff 
integration system.
    Topic area II (Enhancing the Defense Department's Role in the 
Homeland) has resulted in some concern on the Joint Staff and within 
the COCOMs. While Reserve component civil support requirements are 
important, they should not be of equal importance to the Department's 
combat responsibilities. We are currently looking at alternate 
approaches to the Homeland recommendations to better support the Nation 
and its citizens.
    The Joint Staff will continue to work closely with the OSD, COCOMs, 
the National Guard and Bureau, and the Services on an implementation 
plan for all 95 recommendations.

                          prompt global strike
    83. Senator Chambliss. Secretary Gates and Admiral Mullen, in your 
statements you discuss the need to address capability gaps, rebalance 
strategic risk, and deter wars. One of the major ways we can do this is 
the ability to strike targets all over the globe promptly--prompt 
global strike. In relation to this, I'm keenly interested in the 
progress of the Air Force's new bomber, as I believe it is critically 
important to our future strategic plan. As you may know, the Air Force 
recently came out with their roadmap for the 21st century, which lists 
several U.S. bases where the next generation bomber may be based. As I 
understand it, there will be an interim bomber that is expected to be 
operational by 2018, with the next generation bomber becoming 
operational in 2035. What progress is DOD is making in developing and 
fielding these new bombers?
    Secretary Gates and Admiral Mullen. The Air Force has implemented a 
three-phased approach to meet the Nation's long-range Global Strike 
requirements:

         Phase 1 - Continue with the modernization of the legacy 
        bomber inventory to ensure sustainability and increased combat 
        effectiveness
         Phase 2 - Leverage near-term technologies with the goal of 
        fielding a next generation bomber (NGB) capability in the 2018 
        timeframe
         Phase 3 - Pursue a system-of-systems technology push for a 
        producible advanced capability bomber with significant 
        improvements in speed, range, accuracy, connectivity, and 
        survivability in 2035+ timeframe

    The Air Force is leveraging all available technology development 
efforts, including F-35, F-22, B-2, Global Hawk, Reaper, Predator, and 
other S&T investments in order to field a new bomber by 2018. The Air 
Force envisions that the new bomber will be a land-based, highly 
survivable, penetrating, persistent, long-range strike aircraft, likely 
started as a manned platform, with an unmanned option in the future.

                               readiness
    84. Senator Chambliss. Admiral Mullen, you note high readiness 
levels in theater come at the price of declining readiness for 
nondeploying units. How would you assess the general state of readiness 
of units here in the United States--if they had to deploy tomorrow? 
What percentage of units are ready to go?
    Admiral Mullen. [Deleted].

                            wounded warrior
    85. Senator Chambliss. Secretary Gates, I want to thank you for 
your handling of the Walter Reed situation last year, and your 
subsequent efforts to respond to the situation. In your prepared 
statement, you discuss the efforts under way to implement the Dole-
Shalala Commission's recommendations to ensure our wounded warriors are 
not neglected or forgotten. Beyond what we have already done to 
implement these recommendations in the last NDAA, what help do you 
require from us as a committee to carry out these recommendations? 
Also, I'm particularly interested in hearing what the response has been 
from the veterans community to the proposal to streamline the 
disability evaluation system.
    Secretary Gates. One of the most significant recommendations from 
the task forces and commissions is the shift in the fundamental 
responsibilities of the DOD and the VA. The core recommendation of the 
Dole-Shalala Commission centers on the concept of taking DOD out of the 
disability rating business so that the DOD can focus on the fit or 
unfit determination, streamlining the transition from servicemember to 
veteran. As the President urged in his State-of-the-Union message, we 
seek Congress's action on this recommendation.
    As to acceptance of the streamlined DES, the early responses from 
the Veteran Service Organizations (VSOs) are positive overall. The VSOs 
are pleased that DOD has decreased the time it takes to afford 
servicemembers and veterans their justly deserved benefits. However, 
they are withholding extensive review until the DES pilot program is 
fully expanded.

                            defense spending
    86. Senator Chambliss. Secretary Gates and Admiral Mullen, the 
budget you have sent to us represents about 3.4 percent of our gross 
domestic product (GDP). As you know, during other wars, we have spent 
much more of our GDP on defense, such as during the Vietnam war, when 
we were spending about 9 percent of our GDP, or the Korean War, when we 
were spending about 14 percent of our GDP. Admiral Mullen, according to 
an article published a few days ago in the New York Times, you're 
quoted as advocating for a 4 percent floor in defense spending as it 
relates to GDP. In other words, no less than 4 percent of our GDP 
should be spent on defense spending. Secretary Gates, I believe you 
have also been an advocate for this 4 percent floor. Given your 
advocacy for this floor in defense spending, why isn't that reflected 
in the budget you have sent to us?
    Secretary Gates. Before I would formally recommend to the President 
adoption of a defense spending floor of 4 percent of GDP, I would need 
to see promising support for that in Congress and from the American 
people. I do not perceive sufficient support at this time, but I am 
hopeful that my advocacy might advance the idea.
    Admiral Mullen. In order to prevail in the current conflict, defend 
the Nation, and deter future conflicts, the Department requires a 
considerable portion of the Nation's resources. The President's budget 
for 2009 strives to balance spending for the DOD with all of the other 
challenges that I know we face as a country.
    As Chairman, I have focused on advocating for the necessary 
resources to reset, reconstitute, and revitalize our people and our 
platforms. Operations in Iraq and Afghanistan have highlighted the 
Department's lack of strategic depth and the Department has worked 
effectively to prioritize our resources against our shortfalls. We have 
focused on the growth of our ground forces and that must continue on 
track or at an accelerated pace if achievable. Additionally, I am 
concerned that the growing proportion of our airframes and ships are 
aging beyond their intended service lives and I feel the Nation cannot 
afford to further defer these recapitalization requirements. The 
President and Congress have been tremendously supportive of the needs 
of our Nation's warfighters. The Service Chiefs and I will continue to 
address areas in which we are taking risk in accomplishing the National 
Military Strategy and work with the administration and Congress to 
properly resource our requirements.
    I support a floor of 4 percent of GDP for the DOD base budget. I 
believe that this will generate a thoughtful discussion about what we 
as a Nation need to spend on the DOD. Historically, I believe there is 
a correlation between our defense spending as a percentage of GDP and 
our ability to respond to the Nation's call. I recognize that a 
percentage of GDP may not be the only metric, but it is a metric that 
at least I hope would bring about a thorough, comprehensive debate 
about what we need, particularly as the DOD is one of the very few 
agencies with any discretionary spending.

    87. Senator Chambliss. Secretary Gates and Admiral Mullen, why have 
you presented a budget that represents 3.4 percent of GDP rather than 
the 4 percent of GDP that you advocate?
    Secretary Gates. Before I would formally recommend to the President 
adoption of a defense spending floor of 4 percent of GDP, I would need 
to see promising support for that in Congress and from the American 
people. I do not perceive sufficient support at this time, but I am 
hopeful that my advocacy might advance the idea.
    Admiral Mullen. In order to prevail in the current conflict, defend 
the Nation, and deter future conflicts the Department requires a 
considerable portion of the Nation's resources. The President's budget 
for 2009 strives to balance spending for the DOD with all of the other 
challenges that I know we face as a country.
    As Chairman, I have focused on advocating for the necessary 
resources to reset, reconstitute, and revitalize our people and our 
platforms. Operations in Iraq and Afghanistan have highlighted the 
Department's lack of strategic depth and the Department has worked 
effectively to prioritize our resources against our shortfalls. We have 
focused on the growth of our ground forces and that must continue on 
track or at an accelerated pace if achievable. Additionally, I am 
concerned that the growing proportion of our airframes and ships are 
aging beyond their intended service lives and I feel the Nation cannot 
afford to further defer these recapitalization requirements. The 
President and Congress have been tremendously supportive of the needs 
of our Nation's warfighters. The Service Chiefs and I will continue to 
address areas in which we are taking risk in accomplishing the National 
Military Strategy and work with the administration and Congress to 
properly resource our requirements.
    I support a floor of 4 percent of GDP for the DOD base budget. I 
believe that this will generate a thoughtful discussion about what we 
as a Nation need to spend on the DOD. Historically, I believe there is 
a correlation between our defense spending as a percentage of GDP and 
our ability to respond to the Nation's call. I recognize that a 
percentage of GDP may not be the only metric, but it is a metric that 
at least I hope would bring about a thorough, comprehensive debate 
about what we need, particularly as the DOD is one of the very few 
agencies with any discretionary spending.

                   north atlantic treaty organization
    88. Senator Chambliss. Admiral Mullen, I note in your prepared 
testimony that North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) forces in 
Afghanistan ``provide a credible fighting force'' but that ``some 
nations' forces in theater must be more operationally flexible.'' I 
understand that some NATO troops in Afghanistan operate under 
``caveats'', meaning that they will not fight at night or other 
seemingly unrealistic operational guidelines, which are what I assume 
you're referring to when you say they must be ``more operationally 
flexible.'' Has there been any progress toward doing away with these 
restrictions?
    Admiral Mullen. [Deleted.]

    89. Senator Chambliss. Admiral Mullen, what other obstacles are you 
facing with the operational flexibility of NATO forces?
    Admiral Mullen. [Deleted.]

                            force structure
    90. Senator Chambliss. Secretary Gates, with some of the expansion 
of the Army and Marine Corps being paid for this year, when will we 
feel the positive effects of these new troops?
    Secretary Gates. These strength increases are taking place 
gradually, with the positive effects directly proportional to 
translating new manpower into deployable units.

    91. Senator Chambliss. Secretary Gates, how long do you anticipate 
it taking for them to relieve some of the strain on the current sized 
force?
    Secretary Gates. The benefits already are being realized; by fiscal 
year 2011, we anticipate reaching 48 Active Army BCTs.

    92. Senator Chambliss. Admiral Mullen, in your prepared statement, 
you talk about the need to increase interagency involvement. If there 
were more personnel from the other departments, would we be able to 
decrease the military footprint in Iraq and Afghanistan, or, are these 
personnel in addition to all of the military bodies?
    Admiral Mullen. In theory, greater interagency involvement would 
result in a decreased military footprint in Iraq and Afghanistan. 
Reality, though, is more complex than that. It is not as simple as a 
one-for-one swap.
    In both countries, we have soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines 
performing functions that are not their primary function and for which 
other agencies have greater expertise. The other agencies, though, are 
not absent from the battlefield because of a lack of courage or desire. 
They are simply not manned or resourced to deploy for long periods of 
time like the DOD.
    With proper manning and funding, combined with a fresh 
expeditionary ethos, these agencies could have synergistic effects not 
currently present. It is not enough to create a secure environment 
through military presence and operations, without strong civil support 
providing basic services and creating an environment for economic 
prosperity to take root. It is equally ineffective to attempt to 
provide civil support without proper security. They both support each 
other and without one, the population becomes quickly disgruntled, 
providing a breeding ground for terrorism and insurgency.
    In the long-term, greater interagency involvement will create 
environments where citizens have livelihoods worth protecting with 
their own blood and national treasure. In the meantime, we must set 
those conditions and that can only be done by properly manning and 
resourcing the rest of the interagency.

    93. Senator Chambliss. Admiral Mullen, given the expansion of the 
Army and Marine Corps, have we planned and budgeted correctly for all 
the corresponding costs associated with this expansion? In other words, 
do we have enough ships and aircraft to transport them?
    Admiral Mullen. The planned expansion of the Army and Marine Corps 
ground forces is fully funded in the base budget. The primary reasons 
for the Grow the Force initiative are to increase our strategic depth 
and improve force rotation. This is not expected to lead to a larger 
deployed footprint or airlift requirements than what exists today.
    We are carefully reviewing our airlift requirements through the 
conduct of the NDAA for Fiscal Year 2008 (section 1046) directed study 
on the size and mix of the airlift force. My assessment so far is that 
the existing air and sealift programs of record are sufficient to 
execute our campaign plans and to support our global presence 
requirements.

    94. Senator Chambliss. Admiral Mullen, do we have enough tactical 
fighters and unmanned systems to support them?
    Admiral Mullen. The primary reasons for the Grow the Force 
initiative are to increase our strategic depth and improve force 
rotation. Our tactical fighter and unmanned system requirements are not 
driven by the size of our ground forces, but by our operation and 
contingency plans. My assessment so far is that the existing tactical 
fighter and unmanned system programs of record are sufficient to 
execute our campaign plans and to support our global presence 
requirements.

    95. Senator Chambliss. Admiral Mullen, are you comfortable with the 
current division of roles and missions between the Services?
    Admiral Mullen. Our enemy and the nature of warfare are always 
evolving. The Services are constantly evaluating and evolving their 
tactics, techniques, and procedures to adapt to and, where possible, be 
in front of, the enemy. I believe the current division of roles and 
missions is about right. The roles and missions review as directed in 
the NDAA for Fiscal Year 2008, will give us a chance to look at this in 
a holistic manner. We will focus on improving the Joint Force's 
effectiveness and efficiency to ensure the enduring security of the 
American people.

    96. Senator Chambliss. Admiral Mullen, are there any overlaps that 
we may examine and potentially save money?
    Admiral Mullen. The roles and missions review will address 
traditional core mission areas as well as evolving areas of warfare. It 
is too early in the process to identify specific areas of overlap, but 
throughout the review we will investigate areas of unnecessary 
duplication and capability gaps with the singular goal of optimizing 
the development and employment of our Joint Forces. That said, I do not 
expect there will be overlaps to the point that a great deal of money 
will be available for savings.
                                 ______
                                 
             Questions Submitted by Senator Roger F. Wicker
                                seapower
    97. Senator Wicker. Secretary Gates and Admiral Mullen, the 
industrial base required to build and modernize our Navy is relatively 
small compared to our other defense sectors. As the cost of ships has 
increased due to changing requirements and rising material costs, the 
number of ships we have been able to produce each year has slowed. As a 
result of the slow production, labor costs have increased, thus further 
impacting our shipbuilding capability. Conversely, the ability of 
potential adversaries such as China to produce naval ships is much 
greater than ours. How does our current goal of building a 313-ship 
Navy, our long-range shipbuilding strategy, and our budget forecasts 
overlay against potential naval adversaries' ability to grow a naval 
force at a much faster pace?
    Secretary Gates. The Navy faces many challenges in procuring a 
force that will be effective over the broad spectrum of naval missions 
anticipated in the coming decades. At the same time, escalating 
shipbuilding costs demand that the Navy procure only those ships that 
are necessary to accomplish critical missions, with the minimum 
essential capabilities, and in the most efficient and cost effective 
manner possible. As the Navy transforms itself into a 21st century 
fighting force and looks to recapitalize the retiring ship platforms, 
new ship concepts are being introduced. Additionally, as the Navy 
translates lead ships into serial production, cost estimates have been 
adjusted to reflect updated material costs and increased labor costs. 
In the case of fiscal year 2009 President's budget request, many of the 
labor and material rates that were impacted by Hurricane Katrina are 
now reflected in the end-costs of the ships. In addition, the impact of 
the Pension Protection Act has been reflected in higher overhead rates 
throughout the shipbuilding industry. The Navy's 313-ship force 
structure represents the minimum number of ships the Navy should 
maintain in its inventory to provide the global reach; persistent 
presence; and strategic, operational, and tactical effects expected of 
our Navy forces. Currently there are two countries with the indigenous 
shipbuilding capacity and potential budgetary means to grow a modern 
naval force on or ahead of the pace of our long-range shipbuilding 
strategy. China is the third-largest shipbuilder in the world, after 
Japan and South Korea, and is engaged in a naval shipbuilding program 
that is supported by an industrial base of about eight major shipyards 
involved in naval construction. This compares to the U.S. industrial 
base of six major shipyards owned by two corporations and at least two 
smaller shipbuilders engaged in naval construction. China's ability to 
produce modern and effective major ship sub-systems, particularly in 
the propulsion area and in weapon systems for those ships, is just 
recently beginning to show signs of improvement. Although Russia also 
possesses the indigenous shipbuilding capacity and potential budgetary 
means to grow a modern naval force on or ahead of the pace of our long-
range shipbuilding strategy, it is only now beginning to reestablish a 
naval shipbuilding program. Our ability to maintain a position of 
maritime superiority over the long-term relies on a battle force 
structure consistent with the Navy's 313-ship strategy, and investment 
in the research and development and increased procurement funding for 
ship and weapon systems that will continue to enable the United States 
to maintain its lead over our potential adversaries.
    Admiral Mullen. The Navy faces many challenges in procuring a force 
that will be effective over the broad spectrum of naval missions 
anticipated in the coming decades. At the same time, escalating 
shipbuilding costs demand that the Navy procure only those ships that 
are necessary to accomplish critical missions, with the minimum 
essential capabilities, and in the most efficient and cost effective 
manner possible. The Navy's 313-ship force structure represents the 
minimum number of ships the Navy should maintain in its inventory to 
provide the global reach; persistent presence; and strategic, 
operational, and tactical effects expected of our Navy forces. 
Currently there are two countries with the indigenous shipbuilding 
capacity and potential budgetary means to grow a modern naval force on 
or ahead of the pace of our long-range shipbuilding strategy. Russia is 
only now beginning to reestablish a naval shipbuilding program. China 
on the other hand is engaged in a naval shipbuilding program that is 
supported by an industrial base of about eight major shipyards involved 
in naval construction. This compares to the U.S. industrial base of 
five major shipbuilders and at least two smaller shipbuilders engaged 
in naval construction. While the capacity of China's shipbuilding 
industry is on par with that of the United States, China's ability to 
produce modern and effective major ship sub-systems, particularly in 
the propulsion area and in weapon systems for those ships, is just 
recently beginning to show signs of improvement. Our ability to 
maintain a position of maritime superiority over the long-term relies 
on a battle force structure consistent with the Navy's 313-ship 
strategy, and investment in the research and development of ship and 
weapon systems that will continue to lead our potential adversaries.

    98. Senator Wicker. Secretary Gates and Admiral Mullen, in 
addition, does our Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower 
properly account for our long-term ability to counter these threats?
    Secretary Gates. The new maritime strategy, ``A Cooperative 
Strategy for 21st Century Seapower,'' does properly account for current 
and future threats. I offer that China and other nations throughout the 
world are potential opportunities. Our new strategy recognizes that the 
security and prosperity of the global system will increasingly rely on 
the cooperation and partnership of all maritime powers, including 
China. Our Nation's interests are best served by fostering and 
sustaining a peaceful global system.
    The strategy recognizes that defending our Nation and defeating 
adversaries in war remain the indisputable ends of American seapower. 
We will continue to focus on maintaining a robust and effective 
capability to apply regionally concentrated, credible combat power to 
deter potential adversaries, limit regional conflicts, and win our 
Nation's wars. Through forward presence, deterrence, sea control, and 
power projection, we will maintain our ability to secure our Homeland 
and interests around the world.
    Effective implementation of the strategy depends upon our ability 
to execute a stable, affordable shipbuilding plan that delivers a Navy 
of at least 313 ships. A properly balanced Fleet, applied across the 
six core capabilities, will ensure our ability to meet future 
challenges.
    Admiral Mullen. The new maritime strategy, ``A Cooperative Strategy 
for 21st Century Seapower,'' does properly account for the ability of 
potential adversaries to produce naval ships in relatively significant 
numbers. Specifically, with respect to your earlier comments regarding 
China, I would like to offer that I believe China--and other growing 
nations throughout the world--are also potential opportunities. Our new 
strategy recognizes that the security and prosperity of the global 
system--the interdependent networks of commerce, finance, people, law, 
governance, and information--will increasingly rely on the cooperation 
and partnership of all maritime powers, including China. Our Nation's 
interests--all nation's interests--are best served by fostering and 
sustaining a peaceful global system.
    One of the principal tenets of the strategy is that preventing wars 
is as important as winning wars. Regional conflicts and major power 
wars create shocks in the global system that adversely impact people in 
every country around the world, regardless of whether they are involved 
directly in the event. Through the employment of globally distributed, 
mission tailored maritime forces, we are able to partner with nations 
around the world to prevent or contain local disruptions, and 
contribute directly to homeland defense-in-depth. Working in 
cooperation with partners both here and abroad, we exercise maritime 
security, humanitarian assistance, and disaster response in order to 
build the capacity to prevent as well as recover from shocks to the 
global system.
    The strategy also recognizes that defending our Nation and 
defeating adversaries in war remain the indisputable ends of seapower. 
We will continue to focus on maintaining a robust and effective 
capability to apply regionally concentrated, credible combat power to 
deter potential adversaries, limit regional conflicts, and win our 
Nation's wars. Through forward presence, sea control, and power 
projection we will maintain our ability to secure our Homeland and 
interests around the world.
    Through the selectively balanced application of the core 
capabilities of seapower--in cooperation with joint, interagency, 
nongovernmental, and coalition partners--we believe seapower is a 
unifying force for building a better tomorrow, for our Nation and 
nations around the world who seek the same great opportunities we enjoy 
as Americans.

                      base realignment and closure
    99. Senator Wicker. Secretary Gates, the Congressional Budget 
Office and the Government Accountability Office estimate that the cost 
to implement the current BRAC round has increased from $21 billion to 
$31 billion. Is this $10 billion cost growth accounted for in the 
President's budget and in the Future Year Defense Program, and what is 
the budget plan to meet the statutory deadline for the 2005 BRAC 
decisions to be completely implemented by September 15, 2011?
    Secretary Gates. As a matter of policy, BRAC requirements which 
ensure meeting the September 15, 2011, deadline must be fully funded. 
As such, all costs to implement BRAC are included in our fiscal year 
2009 budget request (including supplemental requests) and in the Future 
Year Defense Program. It is important to note that this assumes the 
$939 million reduction to the BRAC appropriations is restored in fiscal 
year 2008.

    100. Senator Wicker. Secretary Gates, in addition, what steps are 
being taken by the DOD to get the BRAC costs under control?
    Secretary Gates. Each implementation plan is reviewed twice 
annually to ensure that the proposed costs are valid and necessary to 
implement BRAC. As necessary, the Department's budget process allocates 
additional resources to ensure the recommendations will be implemented. 
This process adds another level of scrutiny to ensure increases in 
costs are minimized.

                      improvised explosive devices
    101. Senator Wicker. Secretary Gates, Congress has made a 
tremendous investment in the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat 
Organization (JIEDDO), since its inception as the Joint IED Defeat Task 
Force in 2004. Fortunately for our soldiers and marines, they have seen 
first-hand some of the success of the JIEDDO efforts, such as the 
highly effective Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles. Can you 
explain, at an unclassified level, what the JIEDDO priorities are for 
this 2009 budget request?
    Secretary Gates. This budget request provides funding for the 
JIEDDO. To that end, JIEDDO operates along four lines of operation to 
carry out its mission: Attack the Network, Defeat the Device, Train the 
Force, and Staff and Infrastructure.
    Specific JIEDDO priorities for this request focus on three areas:
    Attack the Network ($306.3 million)--this funding allows JIEDDO to 
conduct offensive operations against the complex networks of 
financiers, IED makers, trainers, and their supporting infrastructure 
and enhances our capability to attack and disrupt the enemy's IED 
networks.
    Train the Force ($88.3 million)--this funding supports demanding 
individual and collective training requirements to prepare units prior 
to and during deployment for operations in an intense, fluid IED 
environment. The fiscal year 2009 funding expands counter-IED (C-IED) 
training, completes the resourcing of critical C-IED equipment, and 
exports training capabilities to multiple locations.
    Staff and Infrastructure ($101.7 million)--this funding provides 
for JIEDDO's headquarters support structure necessary to successfully 
coordinate the IED fight. The fiscal year 2009 funding provides for 
civilian personnel, facilities, personnel contracts, professional 
training, communication equipment, travel, and supplies needed for 
minimum day-to-day operations.

    102. Senator Wicker. Secretary Gates, part of the success of the 
Defeat the Device strategy has been the use of UAVs to provide 
persistent overhead surveillance. How does the budget build on the 
success of the UAVs as part of a C-IED strategy and is there sufficient 
funding to keep the UAV mission at a level that will ensure the 
greatest possible protection of our troops?
    Secretary Gates. The JIEDDO has provided a total of $198 million 
for the delivery and nominal 2-year sustainment of C-IED sensor 
surveillance systems initiatives employed from UASs, requirements 
defined by the combatant commanders. JIEDDO's budget fully supports 
transitioning the C-IED capabilities of sensor systems aboard UASs to 
the Service(s). As new C-IED requirements are identified and validated 
by the combatant commanders and Joint Staff, JIEDDO will apply funding 
to meet the requirement and they are funded to do so during fiscal year 
2008.

    [Whereupon, at 12:13 p.m., the committee adjourned.]


DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION FOR APPROPRIATIONS FOR FISCAL YEAR 
                                  2009

                              ----------                              


                       TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2008

                                       U.S. Senate,
                               Committee on Armed Services,
                                                    Washington, DC.

                   POSTURE OF THE UNITED STATES ARMY

    The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 9:35 a.m. in room 
SH-216, Hart Senate Office Building, Senator Carl Levin 
(chairman) presiding.
    Committee members present: Senators Levin, Kennedy, 
Lieberman, Reed, Akaka, Bill Nelson, E. Benjamin Nelson, Webb, 
McCaskill, Inhofe, Sessions, Collins, Chambliss, Graham, and 
Thune.
    Committee staff members present: Richard D. DeBobes, staff 
director; and Leah C. Brewer, nominations and hearings clerk.
    Majority staff members present: Michael J. Kuiken, 
professional staff member; Gerald J. Leeling, counsel; Thomas 
K. McConnell, professional staff member; Michael J. McCord, 
professional staff member; Michael J. Noblet, professional 
staff member; and William K. Sutey, professional staff member.
    Minority staff members present: Michael V. Kostiw, 
Republican staff director; William M. Caniano, professional 
staff member; David G. Collins, research assistant; Gregory T. 
Kiley, professional staff member; David M. Morriss, minority 
counsel; Lucian L. Niemeyer, professional staff member; Diana 
G. Tabler, professional staff member; and Richard F. Walsh, 
minority counsel.
    Staff assistants present: Fletcher L. Cork, Ali Z. Pasha, 
and Brian F. Sebold.
    Committee members' assistants present: Bethany Bassett and 
Jay Maroney, assistants to Senator Kennedy; Frederick M. 
Downey, assistant to Senator Lieberman; Elizabeth King, 
assistant to Senator Reed; Christopher Caple, assistant to 
Senator Bill Nelson; Andrew R. Vanlandingham, assistant to 
Senator Ben Nelson; Jon Davey, assistant to Senator Bayh; M. 
Bradford Foley, assistant to Senator Pryor; Gordon I. Peterson, 
assistant to Senator Webb; Stephen C. Hedger, assistant to 
Senator McCaskill; Sandra Luff, assistant to Senator Warner; 
Anthony J. Lazarski, assistant to Senator Inhofe; Todd 
Stiefler, assistant to Senator Sessions; Mark J. Winter, 
assistant to Senator Collins; Clyde A. Taylor IV, assistant to 
Senator Chambliss; Andrew King, assistant to Senator Graham; 
Lindsey Neas, assistant to Senator Dole; Brian Polley, 
assistant to Senator Cornyn; Jason Van Beek, assistant to 
Senator Thune; and Erskine W. Wells III, assistant to Senator 
Wicker.

       OPENING STATEMENT OF SENATOR CARL LEVIN, CHAIRMAN

    Chairman Levin. Good morning, everybody.
    Today, Secretary Geren and General Casey testify before the 
Senate Armed Services Committee on plans and programs of the 
U.S. Army in review of the fiscal year 2009 budget request, the 
war supplemental request, and the Future Years Defense Program.
    We last had the Secretary and Chief of Staff update us on 
the state of the Army a little over 3 months ago, in November. 
We welcome you both back. We thank you for your service. As 
always, we ask you to extend our heartfelt gratitude to the men 
and women of the Army and their families, who have given so 
much of themselves in their service to this Nation in a time of 
war.
    Over the 3 months since Secretary Geren and General Casey 
last testified, the Army has begun redeploying the surged 
troops from Iraq, and, according to current plans, will 
complete that redeployment this summer. However, we're now 
hearing that General Petraeus will recommend a pause in further 
redeployments while he assesses the security situation. 
President Bush's public comments indicate he will follow 
General Petraeus's recommendations.
    This also means that we will continue to have an Army which 
is way overstretched. The stress on Army forces from operations 
in Iraq and Afghanistan continues to build. Our Army troops 
continue to face multiple tours of 15-month duration, with only 
12 months or less at home between rotations. According to a 
recent survey, 9 in 10 officers say that the war has stretched 
the military dangerously thin. These levels of deployment 
without adequate rest for the troops and repair and replacement 
of equipment simply cannot be sustained.
    General Casey has said that, ``Today's Army is out of 
balance,'' and that ``the current demand for our forces exceeds 
the sustainable supply.'' Admiral Mullen, Chairman of the Joint 
Chiefs of Staff, has echoed those concerns, saying that the 
ground forces ``remain under tremendous strain.''
    According to press reports, Admiral Mullen, meeting with 
Army captains at Fort Sill last year, found that the most 
prevalent concern was the impact on those soldiers and their 
families of the repeated deployments of 15 months, with 12 or 
fewer months home between rotations. One captain said, ``We 
have soldiers that have spent more time in combat than World 
War II. Is there a point where you can say you've served 
enough?''
    The heaviest burden in this war has fallen on the ground 
forces and on their families. General Casey has said, ``We are 
consuming readiness as fast as we build it.'' Well, one way or 
another, we must find a way to bring the Army back in balance.
    Other evidence of strain on the Army can be seen in 
recruiting and retention patterns. In fiscal year 2007, only 79 
percent of Army recruits were high-school-diploma graduates and 
only 61 percent of new recruits scored above average on the 
Armed Forces qualification test. Fiscal year 2007 represents 
the 4th consecutive year of decline in one or both of those two 
indicators.
    The Army recruited 3,200 category-4 recruits, the lowest 
acceptable measure of aptitude, which is the Department of 
Defense (DOD) maximum of 4 percent in this category. There has 
been an increase in the number of medical and misconduct 
waivers being granted. In fiscal year 2007, nearly one in five 
new recruits required a waiver. More than 50 percent of 
graduates of the U.S. military academy are separating from the 
Army as soon as their obligations expire.
    The impact of the wars has affected the Army in many ways. 
In order to sustain the necessary readiness level in our 
deployed forces, the readiness of our nondeployed forces has 
steadily declined. Equipment and people are worn out. Multiple 
deployments and extended deployments result in higher rates of 
mental health problems for our soldiers, and also takes a toll 
on their families. The number of wounded and injured soldiers 
in our Warrior Transition Units continues to climb. Most 
nondeployed units are not ready to be deployed; consequently, 
getting those units reset and fully equipped and trained for 
their rotation to Iraq or Afghanistan is that much more 
difficult and risky. Getting those units equipped and trained 
for all potential conflicts, including high-intensity combat, 
is virtually impossible, and is not being done.
    This Nation faces substantially increased risks should 
those forces be required to respond to other requirements of 
the national military strategy. The surge of additional forces 
to Iraq last year put even more pressure on an already strained 
readiness situation. Subjecting this Nation to that degree of 
risk is unacceptable.
    As daunting as it is to meet the current readiness 
challenge, we must also modernize our Army to meet our 
readiness requirements and our national security requirements 
into the future, and we must do so intelligently. In so doing, 
we must not fail to capture the lessons learned since the end 
of the Cold War and apply them to building that force of the 
future.
    Although it appeared somewhat fashionable to question the 
relevance of ground forces prior to September 11, that can 
hardly be the case now. The reality of warfare in the 21st 
century demands both the high-intensity force-on-force combat, 
as characterized in the early weeks of the Iraq war, and the 
grinding, all-encompassing stability and support in 
counterinsurgency operations of the last few years. The answer 
is not one mission or the other; the Army must be prepared to 
do both and everything in between.
    The reality right now and for the foreseeable future is 
that soldiers need to be warriors at sometimes, then, at other 
times, need to be acting as builders, city managers, 
humanitarian relief workers, and dispute arbitrators. Given the 
post-surge level of 15 Army brigade combat teams and supporting 
troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, Army officials have been 
telling Members and staff that the Army will need $260 to $270 
billion a year through fiscal year 2011 in order to meet its 
requirements.
    The 2009 base budget request provides the Army with $140 
billion. DOD requested $70 billion in bridge supplemental 
funding. In an answer to a question at the DOD posture hearing, 
Secretary Gates said that the best guess, at the moment, is 
that the remainder of the 2009 supplemental would be about $100 
billion. That means that the Army will have to receive $120 to 
$130 billion, out of a $170-billion 2009 supplemental total, to 
meet its annual requirement of the $260 to $270 billion. That 
would be somewhat doubtful; in which case, we need to 
understand, fully, the implications for the Army. We need to 
understand what needs to be done to ensure an Army that is 
ready for all its potential missions, both today and in the 
future. The Army and Congress owe nothing less to the soldiers, 
their families, and the American people.
    At this time, I now submit the prepared statement of 
Senator Warner.
    [The prepared statement of Senator Warner follows:]
               Prepared Statement by Senator John Warner
    Mr Chairman, thank you. I join you in welcoming Secretary Geren and 
General Casey here to the committee once again and thank them for their 
long and distinguished service to our Nation.
    Our Nation's Army is the best in the world. It is a battle-hardened 
force whose volunteer soldiers have performed with courage, 
resourcefulness, and resilience in the most arduous conditions.Some 
have suggested that our Army is broken. I do not believe that. However, 
like Admiral Mullen, I do believe the Army is ``breakable.''
    Looking back at the last years of Vietnam and into the 1970s--a 
time when America was last engaged in a protracted and controversial 
war--many of us remember a military that was under great strain. It was 
also a period in our history when popular appreciation for the military 
was not very noticeable.
    However, it is so gratifying today to see how the United States 
civilian population is so united in support of our military.
    We should all remember that the last draftee entered the Army in 
1973. For nearly 35 years now, we have been fortunate to have a 
military composed entirely of volunteers.
    When our country's All-Volunteer Force was born on July 1, 1973, no 
comparable military in the world operated on a fully volunteer basis. 
Since that time, our volunteers have upheld the finest traditions of 
our military Services and our country. Our Nation continues to be 
grateful for the courageous men and women who have demonstrated 
extraordinary patriotism in choosing to defend America.
    We owe these men and women and their families a great deal for 
their service and the sacrifices of their families. For those who have 
made the ultimate sacrifice, the country owes their families every care 
and benefit. To the wounded, we have a responsibility to see that the 
care they receive at all points in the military health care system will 
allow them to transition smoothly to the next phase in their lives. In 
these regards, I am proud of the work that this committee has done, but 
it is an effort that requires constant vigilance and oversight.
    As one who would strongly oppose a return to the draft, I believe 
that we should aggressively seek new ways to express our gratitude to 
these volunteers.
    This morning, the witnesses should be prepared to answer questions 
concerning: state of the All-Volunteer Army; the pace of deployments 
and the strain placed on soldiers and their families; and plans to end 
15-month overseas deployment cycles and attain an interim dwell time 
ratio of 1 to 1 and, ultimately, achieve an objective dwell time ratio 
of 2 to 1.
    In addition the witnesses should expect to be asked to discuss: 
progress being made with the multi-billion dollar investment in the 
Army's Future Combat System; the readiness of Army units when they are 
deployed from home stations to a combat theater, such as Iraq or 
Afghanistan; how the Army is using the dollars it receives to ``reset'' 
the force; how the Army will regain and sustain its advantage at 
fighting conventional wars while retaining what it has learned about 
asymmetrical threats and counterinsurgency operations; the readiness of 
Reserve component forces and the recommendations of the Commission on 
the National Guard and Reserves; and the state of outpatient care at 
Army medical facilities.
    Mr Chairman, thank you and I look forward to hearing from our 
witnesses today.

    Chairman Levin. Senator Inhofe.

              STATEMENT OF SENATOR JAMES M. INHOFE

    Senator Inhofe. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    I agree with all of the problems that are there, it wasn't 
as if we didn't see them coming. We are very proud of the Army. 
I remember when Senator Akaka and I were on the House side, we 
were active in the Army Caucus, and there wasn't one over here, 
so we started one here. I think that people are more aware now 
than they ever have been anytime in the history about the 
significance of the Army. With all the problems that the 
chairman mentioned, I can't think of two people that are in a 
better position to handle those problems than General Casey and 
Secretary Geren. So, I appreciate your dedication.
    I can remember, back in the 1990s, when the drawdown was 
taking place, and I was chairman, at that time, of the 
Readiness and Management Support Subcommittee. I remember going 
to the floor several times and talking about the fact that this 
is all fine, assuming that we don't have any real serious 
problems coming up, but guess what happened? We have serious 
problems. All of that couldn't have happened at a worse time. 
We were at our all-time low, after we had drawn down from 18 to 
10 divisions. So, we're demanding more and more, and I look at 
the big picture and think we just have to rebuild, that's all. 
The timing couldn't have been worse. Every time I go over 
there, I'm more and more proud of this All-Volunteer Service. I 
was a product of the draft, and it took me quite a number of 
years to realize that the quality is so good now. These young 
people, men and women, are just doing a great job. I'm also 
real proud that we have 2,600 of the Oklahoma 45th deployed 
over there right now. I recall, on their last deployment, that 
they were active in training the Afghan National Army, in 
Afghanistan, to train their own military.
    So, they're all doing a great job, most of the problems, 
frankly, are on this side of the table. I often say that you're 
doing a great job with the hand you're dealt, but you need to 
be dealt a better hand. Hopefully, we can do that.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Levin. Thank you, Senator Inhofe.
    Let me, before you start, alert everybody, I think we know 
it up here, but for you folks out there, including our 
witnesses, we have five rollcall votes stacked, basically what 
we call back-to-back, starting at about 10:20 or 10:15, we 
believe. We're going to try to continue to go right through 
those votes somehow, but there may be a number of interruptions 
and adjournments that we're going to have to call, at the call 
of the Chair, during the question period.
    Secretary Geren?

 STATEMENT OF HON. PRESTON M. ``PETE'' GEREN III, SECRETARY OF 
                            THE ARMY

    Secretary Geren. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Senator Inhofe, 
and members of the committee. It's an honor for General Casey 
and me to appear before you today to discuss our Nation's Army, 
an Army that's been built by the partnership between our Army, 
led by our Commander in Chief, and this Congress. It's a 
partnership older than our Constitution, and affirmed by it.
    The President's budget for fiscal year 2009 is before 
Congress; $141 billion for our Army. As is always the case, the 
Army's budget is mostly about people, and operations and 
maintenance (O&M) to support people. The personnel and O&M 
budget makes up two-thirds of our Army budget.
    Creighton Abrams reminded us often, people are not in the 
Army, people are the Army. The Army budget reflects that 
reality.
    Today, we are an Army long at war, in our 7th year in 
Afghanistan; next month, March, will be 5 years in Iraq. This 
is the third-longest war in American history, behind the 
Revolutionary War and the Vietnam War, and it is the longest 
war we've ever fought with an All-Volunteer Force.
    Our Army is stretched by the demands of this long war, but 
it remains an extraordinary Army. It's the best-led, best-
equipped, and best-trained Army we have ever put in the field, 
with Army families standing with their soldiers as those 
soldiers serve and re-enlist. It's an Army of volunteer 
soldiers and volunteer families.
    We currently have 250,000 soldiers deployed to 80 countries 
around the world, with over 140,000 deployed to Afghanistan and 
Iraq. Our 140,000 soldiers in harm's way are our top priority, 
and we will never take our eye off of that ball. This budget 
and our supplementals ensure that our soldiers have what they 
need when they need it.
    Today and over the last 6 years, our Reserve component, 
Guard and Reserves, have carried a heavy load for our Nation. 
Since September 11, we have activated 184,000 reservists and 
270,000 guardsmen in support of the global war on terror, and 
they've answered the call for Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, other 
storms, for forest fires, brush fires, other domestic crises, 
and they are in support of operations on our Nation's border.
    We are one Army. The Active component cannot go to war 
without the Reserve component. The challenge before us, and 
addressed in this budget, is our continuing effort to transform 
the Reserve component into an operational Reserve, match the 
organizing, training, and equipping with the reality of the 
role of today's Guard and Reserves. This budget continues the 
steady investment in new equipment in our Reserve component.
    Although we will not complete the recapitalization of the 
National Guard until 2015, we are not where we need to be, but 
it's important to acknowledge the progress that has been made 
in equipping our Guard.
    Looking at just a few pacer items:
    In 2001, the Guard had 290 Family of Medium Tactical 
Vehicles trucks; today, the Guard has over 9,000. In 2001, 
41,000 Single-Channel Ground-Air Radio System radios; today, 
over 82,000. Night-vision goggles, in 2001, 53,000; today, 
nearly 120,000. This budget includes $5.6 billion for Guard 
equipment and $1.4 billion for the Reserves. Over the next 24 
months, $17 billion worth of equipment will flow to the Guard 
and over 400,000 items over the next 2 years.
    The strength of our Army--Active, Guard, and Reserve--comes 
from the strength of Army families. Our Army families are 
standing with their soldier loved ones, but this long war is 
taking a toll. We owe our families a quality of life that 
equals the quality of their service.
    Over half of our soldiers are married, with over 700,000 
children in Army families. Today, nearly half, 48 percent, of 
all soldiers who go to theater leave behind children aged 2 or 
under. When a married soldier deploys, he or she leaves a 
single-parent household behind, and all the challenges of that 
family dynamic. When a single parent deploys, he or she leaves 
behind a child in the care of others.
    In our 2009 budget, we are doubling funding for family 
programs. We're adding 26 new child development centers to the 
35 that Congress funded for last year. Over the past year, with 
your strong support, we have expanded the availability of 
childcare, and we have reduced the cost. We have asked much of 
the volunteer network of spouses that has carried the burden of 
family support programs since September 11, a burden that grows 
heavier with each successive deployment. But, they need help.
    Our 2008 and this 2009 year budget provides much-needed 
support. We are hiring over 1,000 family readiness support 
assistants and nearly 500 additional Army community service 
staff to provide full-time support to our spouse volunteers and 
to Army families, and we are fielding 35 new Soldier Family 
Assistance Centers at major installations across the country. 
The Yellow Ribbon Program you authorized will provide much-
needed support for our guardsmen and reservists upon their 
return from deployments.
    In the late 1990s, Congress launched the Privatized Housing 
Initiative, an initiative that has replaced Army housing with 
Army homes, and has built neighborhoods and vibrant communities 
on our Army posts. This budget builds on the great success of 
your initiative. Our budget for Army homes, new and 
refurbished, in this budget is $1.4 billion. For single 
soldiers, we're modernizing existing barracks. Over 2009 to 
2015, with your support, we'll reach our target of 150,000 
soldiers in modernized barracks.
    This budget continues the programs at DOD, the Department 
of Veterans Affairs (VA), Congress, and the Army have made in 
meeting the needs of wounded, ill, and injured soldiers. In 
your authorization bill, you gave us additional authorities to 
hire needed medical personnel, to provide better health care 
for our wounded, and provide more help to family members who 
are supporting their loved ones. You gave us new authorities, 
resources, and the flexibility to allow soldiers and Army 
civilians to build and adapt a new outpatient care system to 
meet the ever-changing challenges of taking care of those who 
have borne the battle.
    This budget continues to advance those initiatives, 
continues to address personnel shortages, improve facilities, 
and work to accomplish the seamless transition from DOD to VA 
for our soldiers returning to civilian life, and we will 
continue to grow our knowledge and improve the care and 
treatment of the invisible wounds of this war--post traumatic 
stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI)--and 
better meet the needs of soldiers who suffer these wounds, and 
better support their families. The generous support of Congress 
last year has provided us resources to make great progress on 
this front, and we have much to do.
    In 2008 and 2009, we will continue to transform Army 
contracting, under the leadership that we've received from the 
Gansler Commission. In this budget, we've looked to the future; 
we never want to send our soldiers into a fair fight. This 
budget continues our investment in the programs of tomorrow, 
our highest modernization priority, the Future Combat System 
(FCS), which will shape the Army of the future. It's spinning 
out technologies into today's fight. The armed reconnaissance 
helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), the light utility 
helicopter, and the joint cargo aircraft are all part of that 
future, and we thank you for your support.
    This budget takes a major step forward in ensuring the 
long-term strength and health of our Army by moving the cost of 
43,000 Active Duty soldiers from the supplemental into the base 
budget, and we have accelerated the 64,000-man growth in the 
Active Duty Army from 2012 to 2010, with a commitment that we 
will maintain recruit quality at no lower than the 2006 levels.
    We are a Nation long at war, facing an era of persistent 
conflict. Our soldiers and families are stretched. We are an 
Army out of balance, and we are consuming our readiness as fast 
as we build it. But, our Army remains strong. It's stretched, 
it's out of balance, but it's resilient. Those who seek 
parallels with the hollow Army of the late 1970s will not find 
it. There are 170,000 young men and women who proudly join our 
Army every year, and 120,000 proudly re-enlist every year. 
They're volunteer soldiers, they're volunteer families, they're 
proud of who they are, and they're proud of what they do. We 
all are inspired by their service and humbled by their 
sacrifice.
    Mr. Chairman, members of this committee, thank you for your 
ongoing support of our soldiers and their families, for the 
resources and authorities that you provide us every year. Thank 
all of you for traveling all over this globe to meet with 
soldiers, and expressing your appreciation to them for the job 
they're doing; that means a great deal to them. Thank you for 
your partnership in building this great American Army.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    [The joint prepared statement of Secretary Geren and 
General Casey follows:]
 Joint Prepared Statement by Hon. Pete Geren and GEN George W. Casey, 
                                Jr., USA
    Our Nation has been at war for over 6 years. Our Army--Active, 
Guard and Reserve--has been a leader in this war and has been fully 
engaged in Iraq, Afghanistan, and defending the homeland. We also have 
provided support, most notably by the Army National Guard and Army 
Reserve, to civil authorities during domestic emergencies. Today, of 
the Nation's nearly 1 million soldiers, almost 600,000 are serving on 
active duty and over 250,000 are deployed to nearly 80 countries 
worldwide.
    We live in a world where global terrorism and extremist ideologies 
threaten our safety and our freedom. As we look to the future, we 
believe the coming decades are likely to be ones of persistent 
conflict--protracted confrontation among state, non-state, and 
individual actors who use violence to achieve their political and 
ideological ends. In this era of persistent conflict, the Army will 
continue to have a central role in implementing our national security 
strategy.
    While the Army remains the best led, best trained, and best 
equipped Army in the world, it is out of balance. The combined effects 
of an operational tempo that provides insufficient recovery time for 
personnel, families, and equipment, a focus on training for 
counterinsurgency operations to the exclusion of other capabilities, 
and Reserve components assigned missions for which they were not 
originally intended nor adequately resourced, result in our readiness 
being consumed as fast as we can build it. Therefore, our top priority 
over the next several years is to restore balance through four 
imperatives: Sustain, Prepare, Reset, and Transform.
    The Army's strength is its soldiers--and the families and Army 
civilians who support them. The quality of life we provide our soldiers 
and their families must be commensurate with their quality of service. 
We will ensure that our injured and wounded warriors, and their 
families, receive the care and support they need to reintegrate 
effectively into the Army or back into society. We never will forget 
our moral obligation to the families who have lost a soldier in service 
to our Nation.
    We are grateful for the support and resources we have received from 
the Secretary of Defense, the President, and Congress. To fight the 
wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, transform to meet the evolving challenges 
of the 21st century, and to regain our balance by 2011, the Army will 
require the full level of support requested in this year's base budget 
and global war on terror request.

          ``The U.S. Army today is a battle-hardened force whose 
        volunteer soldiers have performed with courage, 
        resourcefulness, and resilience in the most grueling 
        conditions. They've done so under the unforgiving glare of the 
        24-hour news cycle that leaves little room for error, serving 
        in an institution largely organized, trained, and equipped in a 
        different era for a different kind of conflict. They've done 
        all this with a country, a government--and in some cases a 
        Defense Department--that has not been placed on a war 
        footing.'' Secretary of Defense, Honorable Robert M. Gates, 
        October 10, 2007, AUSA Annual Meeting

    The Army--Active, Guard, and Reserve--exists to protect our Nation 
from our enemies, defend our vital national interests and provide 
support to civil authorities in response to domestic emergencies. Our 
mission is to provide ready forces and land force capabilities to the 
combatant commanders in support of the National Security Strategy, the 
National Defense Strategy, and the National Military Strategy.
    While what the Army does for the Nation is enduring, how we do it 
must adapt to meet the changing world security environment. We are in 
an era of persistent conflict which, when combined with our ongoing 
global engagements, requires us to rebalance our capabilities. We do 
this remembering that soldiers, and the families who support them, are 
the strength and centerpiece of the Army. while our Nation has many 
strengths, in time of war, America's Army is the strength of the 
Nation.
            strategic context: an era of persistent conflict
    Persistent conflict and change characterize the strategic 
environment. We have looked at the future and expect a future of 
protracted confrontation among state, non-state, and individual actors 
who will use violence to achieve political, religious, and other 
ideological ends. We will confront highly adaptive and intelligent 
adversaries who will exploit technology, information, and cultural 
differences to threaten U.S. interests. Operations in the future will 
be executed in complex environments and will range from peace 
engagement, to counterinsurgency, to major combat operations. This era 
of persistent conflict will result in high demand for Army forces and 
capabilities.
         trends creating the conditions for persistent conflict
    The potential for cascading effects from combinations of events or 
crises arising from the trends described below compounds the risk and 
implications for the United States.
                      globalization and technology
    Increased global connectivity and technological advances will 
continue to drive global prosperity--yet they also will underscore 
disparities, such as in standards of living, and provide the means to 
export terror and extremism around the world. Globalization accelerates 
the redistribution of wealth, prosperity, and power, expanding the have 
and have not conditions that can foster conflict. The scale of this 
problem is evident in the projection that 2.8 billion people are 
expected to be living below the poverty line by 2025. While advances in 
technology are benefiting people all over the world, extremists are 
exploiting that same technology to manipulate perceptions, export 
terror, and recruit the people who feel disenfranchised or threatened 
by its effects.
                               radicalism
    Extremist ideologies and separatist movements will continue to have 
an anti-western and anti-U.S. orientation. Radical and religious 
extremist groups, separatists, and organizations that support them are 
attractive to those who feel victimized or threatened by the cultural 
and economic impacts of globalization. The threats posed by Sunni 
Salafist extremists, like al Qaeda, as well as Shia extremists with 
Iranian backing, represent a major strategic challenge.
                           population growth
    The likelihood of instability will increase as populations of 
several less-developed countries will almost double in size by 2020--
most notably in Africa, the Middle East, and South and Southeast Asia. 
The youth bulge created by this growth will be vulnerable to anti-
government and radical ideologies and will threaten government 
stability. This situation will be especially true in urban areas in 
which populations have more than doubled over the last 50 years.
    By 2025, urban areas with concentrations of poverty will contain 
almost 60 percent of the world's population.
                          resource competition
    Competition for water, energy, goods, services, and food to meet 
the needs of growing populations will increase the potential for 
conflict. Demand for water is projected to double every 20 years. By 
2015, 40 percent of the world's population will live in water-stressed 
countries. By 2025, global energy demands are expected to increase by 
40 percent, threatening supplies to poor and developing nations.
                  climate change and natural disasters
    Climate change and other projected trends will compound already 
difficult conditions in many developing countries. These trends will 
increase the likelihood of humanitarian crises, the potential for 
epidemic diseases, and regionally destabilizing population migrations. 
Desertification is occurring at nearly 50,000-70,000 square miles per 
year. Today more than 15 million people are dying annually from 
communicable diseases. The number of people dying each year could grow 
exponentially with increases in population density and natural 
disasters.
              proliferation of weapons of mass destruction
    The diffusion and increasing availability of technology increases 
the potential of catastrophic nuclear, biological, and chemical 
attacks. Many of the more than 1,100 terrorist groups and organizations 
are actively seeking weapons of mass destruction.
                              safe havens
    States that are unable or unwilling to exercise control within 
their borders create the potential for global and regional groups to 
organize and export terror. Territories under the control of renegade 
elements or separatist factions will challenge central government 
authority, potentially creating a base from which to launch broader 
security threats. The trends that fuel persistent conflict characterize 
the strategic environment now and into the future and will require 
integration of all elements of our national power (diplomatic, 
informational, economic, and military) to achieve our national 
objectives. The implication for the Army is the need to be modernized, 
expeditionary and campaign capable, and prepared to operate across the 
full spectrum of conflict.
       challenges of providing forces with the right capabilities
    The Army recruits, organizes, trains, and equips soldiers who 
operate as members of joint, interagency, and multinational teams. The 
Army also provides logistics and other support to enable our joint and 
interagency partners to accomplish their missions, as well as support 
civil authorities in times of national emergencies. Responding to the 
strategic environment and the national security strategy that flows 
from it, we are building an expeditionary and campaign quality Army. 
Our expeditionary Army is capable of deploying rapidly into any 
operational environment, conducting operations with modular forces 
anywhere in the world, and sustaining operations as long as necessary 
to accomplish the mission. To fulfill the requirements of today's 
missions, including the defense of the homeland and support to civil 
authorities, approximately 591,000 soldiers are on active duty 
(currently 518,000 Active component, 52,000 Army National Guard, and 
21,000 Army Reserve). Forty-two percent (251,000) of our soldiers are 
deployed or forward-stationed in 80 countries around the world. 
Additionally, more than 237,000 Army civilians are performing a variety 
of missions vital to America's national defense. Of these, more than 
4,500 are forward deployed in support of our soldiers.
    Our current focus is on preparing forces and building readiness for 
counterinsurgency operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Despite this 
current and critical mission, the Army also must be ready to provide 
the combatant commanders with the forces and capabilities they need for 
operations anywhere around the world, ranging from peace-time military 
engagement to major combat operations. Examples of Army capabilities 
and recent or ongoing operations other than combat include the 
following:

         Supporting the defense of South Korea, Japan, and many 
        other friends, allies, and partners
         Conducting peacekeeping operations in the Sinai 
        Peninsula and the Balkans
         Conducting multi-national exercises that reflect our 
        longstanding commitments to alliances
         Continuing engagements with foreign militaries to 
        build partnerships and preserve coalitions by training and 
        advising their military forces
         Participating, most notably by the Army National 
        Guard, in securing our borders and conducting operations to 
        counter the flow of illegal drugs
         Supporting civil authorities in responding to domestic 
        emergencies, including natural disasters and threats at home 
        and abroad
         Supporting interagency and multi-national partnerships 
        with technical expertise, providing critical support after 
        natural disasters, and promoting regional stability
         Supporting operations to protect against weapons of 
        mass destruction and block their proliferation

    It is vital that our Army ensures that units and soldiers have the 
right capabilities to accomplish the wide variety of operations that we 
will conduct in the 21st century. Continuous modernization is the key 
to enhancing our capabilities and maintaining a technological advantage 
over any enemy we face. We never want to send our soldiers into a fair 
fight.
    Future Combat Systems (FCS) are the core of our modernization 
effort and will provide our soldiers an unparalleled understanding of 
their operational environment, increased precision and lethality, and 
enhanced survivability. These improved capabilities cannot be achieved 
by upgrading current vehicles and systems. FCS will use a combination 
of new manned and unmanned air and ground vehicles, connected by robust 
networks, to allow soldiers to operate more effectively in the complex 
threat environments of the 21st century. Maintaining our technological 
edge over potential adversaries, providing better protection, and 
giving our soldiers significantly improved capabilities to accomplish 
their mission are the reasons for FCS. FCS capabilities currently are 
being tested at Fort Bliss, TX. They are proving themselves valuable in 
the current fight and are being fielded to our soldiers in Iraq. FCS 
and their capabilities will continue to be integrated into the force 
over the next 20 years.
 two critical challenges: restoring balance and funding an army out of 
                                balance
    Today's Army is out of balance. The current demand for our forces 
in Iraq and Afghanistan exceeds the sustainable supply and limits our 
ability to provide ready forces for other contingencies. While our 
Reserve components are performing magnificently, many Reserve component 
units have found themselves assigned missions for which they were not 
originally intended nor adequately resourced. Current operational 
requirements for forces and insufficient time between deployments 
require a focus on counterinsurgency training and equipping to the 
detriment of preparedness for the full range of military missions.
    We are unable to provide a sustainable tempo of deployments for our 
soldiers and families. Soldiers, families, support systems, and 
equipment are stretched and stressed by the demands of lengthy and 
repeated deployments, with insufficient recovery time. Equipment used 
repeatedly in harsh environments is wearing out more rapidly than 
programmed. Army support systems, designed for the pre-September 11 
peacetime Army, are straining under the accumulation of stress from 6 
years at war. Overall, our readiness is being consumed as fast as we 
build it. If unaddressed, this lack of balance poses a significant risk 
to the All-Volunteer Force and degrades the Army's ability to make a 
timely response to other contingencies.
                           restoring balance
    We are committed to restoring balance to preserve our All-Volunteer 
Force, restore necessary depth and breadth to Army capabilities, and 
build essential capacity for the future. Our plan will mitigate near-
term risk and restore balance by 2011 through four imperatives: 
Sustain, Prepare, Reset and Transform.
                                sustain
    To sustain our soldiers, families, and Army civilians in an era of 
persistent conflict we must maintain the quality and viability of the 
All-Volunteer Force and the many capabilities it provides to the 
Nation. Sustain ensures our soldiers and their families have the 
quality of life they deserve and that we recruit and sustain a high 
quality force.
    Goals for Sustain:

         Offer dynamic incentives that attract quality recruits 
        to meet our recruiting objectives for 2008 and beyond
         Provide improved quality of life and enhanced 
        incentives to meet our retention objectives for 2008 and beyond
         Continue to improve the quality of life for Army 
        families by implementing the Army Family Covenant and other 
        programs that: standardize services, increase the accessibility 
        and quality of health care, improve housing and installation 
        facilities, provide excellence in schools and youth services, 
        and expand spousal education and employment opportunities
         Continue to improve care for wounded warriors and 
        warriors in transition through a patient-centered health care 
        system, Soldier and Family Assistance Centers, and improved 
        Warrior Transition Unit facilities
         Continue to support families of our fallen with 
        sustained assistance that honors the service of their soldiers
                                prepare
    To prepare our solders, units, and equipment we must maintain a 
high level of readiness for the current operational environments, 
especially in Iraq and Afghanistan.
    Goals for Prepare:

         Continue to adapt and enhance the rigor of 
        institutional, individual, and operational training to enable 
        soldiers to succeed in complex 21st century security 
        environments
         Train soldiers and units to conduct full spectrum 
        operations with improved training ranges to operate as part of 
        a joint, interagency, or multi-national force
         Provide soldiers the best equipment through the Rapid 
        Fielding Initiative, the Rapid Equipping Force, and 
        modernization efforts
         Partner with private industry to rapidly develop and 
        field equipment needed on today's battlefield
         Continue to improve the Army Force Generation process 
        which increases the readiness of the operating force over time 
        by generating recurring periods of availability of trained, 
        ready, and cohesive units
                                 reset
    To reset our force we must prepare our soldiers, units, and 
equipment for future deployments and other contingencies.
    Goals for Reset:

         Develop an Army-wide reset program that repairs, 
        replaces, and recapitalizes equipment that our soldiers need
         Retrain our soldiers to accomplish the full spectrum 
        of missions they will be expected to accomplish
         Revitalize our soldiers and families through 
        implementation and full resourcing of the Soldier Family Action 
        Plan (SFAP) and our warrior care and transition programs
                               transform
    To transform our force, we must continuously improve our ability to 
meet the needs of the combatant commanders in a changing security 
environment.
    Goals for Transform:

         Help balance our force and increase capacity to 
        provide sufficient forces for the full range and duration of 
        current operations and future contingencies by growing as 
        quickly as possible
         Upgrade and modernize to remain an agile and globally 
        responsive force with FCS as the core of our modernization 
        effort
         Continue organizational change through modularity and 
        rebalancing to become more deployable, tailorable, and 
        versatile
         Improve expeditionary contracting and financial and 
        management controls
         Continue to adapt institutions and the processes, 
        policies, and procedures, including business practices, to more 
        effectively and efficiently support an expeditionary Army at 
        war
         Complete the transition of the Reserve component to an 
        operational Reserve and change the way we train, equip, 
        resource, and mobilize Reserve component units
         Integrate Grow the Army initiative, Base Realignment 
        and Closure (BRAC), Global Defense Posture Realignment, and the 
        operation of installations and facilities to increase 
        readiness, improve efficiency, and improve the quality of life 
        for our soldiers, families, and Army civilians
         Develop agile and adaptive leaders who can operate 
        effectively in joint, interagency, intergovernmental, and 
        multi-national environments
      compelling needs for sustain, prepare, reset, and transform
    To achieve balance through the four imperatives, the Army will 
require sustained, timely, and predictable base budget and global war 
on terror funding. The Army's compelling needs for fiscal year 2009 
are:
                            support and fund
         Recruiting and retention incentives and benefits to 
        enable Active and Reserve components to meet end strength 
        objectives and achieve Army standards for recruit quality
         Quality of life programs to sustain our soldiers' and 
        Army civilians' commitment to serve and the continued support 
        of our Army families
         Programs to help our wounded, ill, and injured 
        Warriors in Transition to return to duty or to civilian life
         BRAC and military construction to execute the Army's 
        global repositioning plan
         Operations and maintenance for air and ground 
        operations, depot maintenance, base operations, and space and 
        missile defense capabilities
         Leader training and development to make soldiers 
        culturally astute and better able to integrate and complement 
        the other elements of national power (diplomatic, 
        informational, and economic)
         Efforts to develop technical and procedural solutions 
        to defeat the threat of improvised explosive devices
         The Rapid Equipping Force
         Equipment repair, replacement, and recapitalization 
        programs
         Retraining soldiers to execute their new and future 
        missions
         Programs to revitalize our soldiers and families as 
        they reintegrate after deployments
         End-strength growth of approximately 74,000 by 2010.
         Army modernization programs including FCS, aviation, 
        Patriot PAC-3, LandWarNet, intelligence, logistics automation, 
        and other advanced technologies
         Planned modular transformations in 2009--two Brigade 
        Combat Teams and 13 support brigades
         Transformation of the Reserve components to an 
        operational Reserve

          ``America's ground forces have borne the brunt of 
        underfunding in the past and the bulk of the costs--both human 
        and material--of the wars of the present. By one count, 
        investment in Army equipment and other essentials was 
        underfunded by more than $50 billion before we invaded Iraq. By 
        another estimate, the Army's share of total defense investments 
        between 1990 and 2005 was about 15 percent. So resources are 
        needed not only to recoup from the losses of war, but to make 
        up for the shortfalls of the past and to invest in the 
        capabilities of the future.''--Secretary of the Defense, 
        Honorable Robert M. Gates, October 10, 2007, AUSA Annual 
        Meeting
                           funding challenges
    Recruiting and retaining the most combat-experienced Army in our 
Nation's history require predictable and sustained funding. Sustaining 
this high-quality and professional All-Volunteer Force will not be 
possible without investing in and supporting our quality of life 
efforts and providing competitive pay and benefits. As a manpower-
intensive organization, we will continue to spend the bulk of our funds 
to sustain people and maintain vital infrastructure, but we also must 
maintain investment in equipment and technology required for future 
readiness.
    To support our soldiers, the centerpiece of the Army, we must 
rebuild and recapitalize our equipment including vehicles and weapons 
systems, maintain readiness for current operational demands, and build 
readiness for future challenges. It takes years beyond the end of 
hostilities to complete rebuilding and recapitalizing equipment. The 
fact that the number of vehicles and weapon systems currently in Army 
depots are sufficient to equip five Brigade Combat Teams and one Combat 
Aviation Brigade demonstrates the importance of timely recapitalization 
and reconditioning.
                the fiscal year 2009 president's budget
    The fiscal year 2009 President's budget requests $140.7 billion for 
the Army. This request and the amounts in the global war on terror 
request are necessary to support current operations, fight the wars in 
Iraq and Afghanistan, sustain the All-Volunteer Force, and prepare for 
future threats to the Nation. This year the President approved 
accelerating the end strength of the Army's Active component to 547,000 
and the Army National Guard to 358,200 by 2010.
    The Army Reserve will increase in size to 206,000 by 2013. This 
most significant increase in the fiscal year 2009 budget is the result 
of permanent end strength increases of 44,300 soldiers in two 
components: 43,000 in the Active component and over 1,300 in the Army 
National Guard. The Army's fiscal year 2009 budget includes $15.1 
billion for all the costs associated with Grow the Army, which is an 
increase of $7.4 billion over the costs of this initiative in fiscal 
year 2008. This growth will enhance combat capabilities, help meet 
global force demand, and reduce stress on deployable personnel. Amounts 
requested by major appropriation category in the fiscal year 2009 
President's budget as well as the change from the amounts enacted in 
fiscal year 2008 are:
                           military personnel
    The fiscal year 2009 budget requests $51.8 billion, a $5.5 billion 
increase from fiscal year 2008. This includes $4 billion for Grow the 
Army, an increase of $3.4 billion over fiscal year 2008. This amount 
also funds pay, benefits, and associated personnel costs for 1,090,000 
soldiers: 532,400 Active, 352,600 Army National Guard, and 205,000 Army 
Reserve. The global war on terror request will fund special pays and 
incentives and the mobilization of Reserve component soldiers.
                       operation and maintenance
    The fiscal year 2009 budget requests $40.2 billion, a $3.6 billion 
increase from fiscal year 2008. This includes $2.6 billion for Grow the 
Army, an increase of $1.9 billion from fiscal year 2008. The increase 
funds training and sustainment of Army forces and includes the 
maintenance of equipment and facilities. The global war on terror 
request will fund the day-to-day cost of the war, training to prepare 
units for deployment, and the reset of forces returning from 
deployment.
                              procurement
    The fiscal year 2009 budget requests $24.6 billion, a $2 billion 
increase from fiscal year 2008. This includes $4.2 billion for Grow the 
Army, an increase of $100 Million from fiscal year 2008. This increase 
continues procurement of weapons systems for the Army to include the 
Non-Line of Sight Cannon, an FCS-designed system. The global war on 
terror Request will fund procurement of weapon systems to improve force 
readiness and replace battle losses and the reset of forces returning 
from deployment.
              research, development, test, and evaluation
    The fiscal year 2009 budget requests $10.5 billion, approximately 
the same amount requested last year, but a $1.5 billion decrease in the 
amount appropriated in fiscal year 2008. The fiscal year 2009 request 
reflects a $100 million decrease to the FCS research, development, 
test, and evaluation as the programs transition to procurement.
  construction, base realignment and closure, and army family housing
    The fiscal year 2009 budget requests $11.4 billion, a $1.8 billion 
increase from fiscal year 2008. This includes $4.3 billion for Grow the 
Army, an increase of $1.9 billion from fiscal year 2008. The increase 
funds the construction of facilities to support the growth and 
restationing of Army Forces. The global war on terror request will fund 
construction in and around the Iraq and Afghanistan theaters of 
operation.
                             other accounts
    The Army executes the Chemical Agents and Munitions Destruction 
Program. Funding for this account is stable at $1.6 billion in fiscal 
year 2008 and fiscal year 2009. The Army also has fiscal responsibility 
for the Iraq Security Forces Fund (ISFF), Afghanistan Security Forces 
Fund (ASFF), and Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization 
(JIEDDO) appropriations. The Army budgets for recurring sustainment 
costs of JIEDDO with fiscal year 2009 at $500 million, an increase of 
$400 million from fiscal year 2008. The global war on terror request 
will fund JIEDDO initiatives. The ISFF and ASFF are funded entirely 
through the global war on terror request.
                        restoring fiscal balance
    Timely and full funding of the Army's fiscal year 2009 request of 
$140.7 billion will ensure the Army is ready to meet the needs of the 
Nation and continue the process of putting us back in balance. However, 
it is important to note that over the last 6 years, the Army has 
received increasing proportions of its funding through supplemental and 
global war on terror appropriations. This recurring reliance on global 
war on terror funds and a natural overlap between base and global war 
on terror programs means that the Army's base budget does not fully 
cover the cost of both current and future readiness requirements. 
Because the global war on terror planning horizon is compressed and the 
timing and amount of funding is unpredictable, some base programs would 
be at risk if supplemental funding is precipitously reduced or delayed. 
An orderly restoration of the balance between base and global war on 
terror requirements is essential to maintain Army capabilities for 
future contingencies.
    Our goals are to be good stewards of the resources we are provided 
by Congress and to free human and financial resources for higher 
priority operational needs. Through the use of innovations such as Lean 
Six Sigma we are improving support to our people while reducing waste 
and inefficiencies. Integral to achieving our goals is the development 
of an Army-wide cost-management culture in which leaders better 
understand the full cost of the capabilities they use and provide and 
incorporate cost considerations into their planning and decisionmaking. 
This approach will enable us to achieve readiness and performance 
objectives more efficiently. Concurrently, we are strengthening our 
financial and management controls to improve contracting in 
expeditionary operations and ensure full compliance with the law and 
regulations.
    Our goal to improve long-term sustainability will be achieved 
through effective stewardship of human, financial, and natural 
resources. Some examples of our ongoing initiatives include:

         Adjusting our national and global footprint to improve 
        efficiency and sustainability
         Transforming installations, depots, arsenals, and the 
        information network that connects them to become more 
        effective, energy efficient, and environmentally conscious
         Transforming the Army's training, structure, systems, 
        and processes to better sustain and prepare the force
         Adapting our activities to protect the environment
         Our accomplishments over the past year further 
        illustrate our commitment to improving efficiency and 
        effectiveness throughout the Army.
                          army accomplishments
         Initiated the Army Medical Action Plan to improve 
        medical care for our wounded warriors
         Initiated the SFAP bringing to life the Army Family 
        Covenant
         Initiated Soldier Family Assistance Centers throughout 
        the Army to provide a single point of entry for families and 
        wounded warriors for health care and related issues
         Recognized with the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige 
        Award; the Army Armament, Research and Development Engineering 
        Center is the only organization in the Federal Government to 
        have received this honor
         Recognized for world-class excellence in 
        manufacturing, the Army Materiel Command's depots and arsenals 
        earned 12 Shingo public sector awards
         Formed the Army Contracting Task Force to review 
        current contracting operations and then immediately began 
        implementing improvements
         Converted approximately 10,000 military positions to 
        civilian positions through the end of fiscal year 2007
         Privatized more than 4,000 homes, bringing the total 
        to over 75,000 homes that are privately managed
         Reduced energy consumption on our installations 
        through fiscal year 2007, achieving levels down 8.4 percent 
        since 2003 and 28.9 percent since 1985
         Reset 123,000 pieces of equipment, including 1,700 
        tracked vehicles, 15,000 wheeled vehicles, 550 aircraft, and 
        7,400 generators
         Improved property accountability by providing Army 
        wide visibility of 3.4 billion items valued in excess of $230 
        billion
         Destroyed over 15,000 tons of chemical agent contained 
        in 1.8 million chemical munitions and containers
         Moved 10 million square feet of unit cargo in support 
        of the global war on terror and humanitarian aid missions
         Merged the Joint Network Node program into the 
        Warfighter Information Network-Tactical, resulting in better 
        integration and cost savings
         Began fielding Mine Resistant Ambush Protected 
        vehicles to units in Iraq
         Established the Army Evaluation Task Force and fielded 
        first `spin-outs' from FCS
         Developed the Automated Reset Management Tool to 
        provide a collaborative integrated tool for equipment reset 
        planning and execution of the Army Force Generation process
         Increased the rigor in training new soldiers by 
        requiring graduates of basic training to be Combat Lifesaver 
        certified
         Fielded Human Terrain Teams to assist commanders in 
        gaining objective knowledge of a population's social groups, 
        interests, and beliefs
         Employed National Guard soldiers worldwide who aided 
        in seizing nearly 4,000 vehicles, approximately a million 
        pounds of marijuana, and roughly 600,000 pounds of cocaine

    While we are proud of these accomplishments, we continue to 
identify and pursue additional ways to improve our stewardship, 
efficiency, and effectiveness throughout the Army.
                 preserving the strength of the nation
    The Army has been at war for over 6 years. Our soldiers have 
demonstrated valor, endured countless hardships, and made great 
sacrifices. Over 3,000 soldiers have died and many more have been 
wounded. The awards our soldiers have earned reflect their 
accomplishments and bravery on the battlefield. Our Army families have 
stood shoulder-to-shoulder with their soldiers throughout these 
challenging times.
    Our examination of the current and future security environments 
confirms the need to restore balance and build readiness across all 
components of the Army as quickly as possible. Four imperatives--
Sustain, Prepare, Reset, and Transform--frame how the Army will restore 
balance by 2011 and begin to build readiness for the future. To 
accomplish our plan, we will continue to require timely and predictable 
resources and support.
    The Army will remain central to successfully achieving U.S. 
national security objectives, particularly in an era in which 
operations will be waged increasingly among people in urban 
environments. As the decisive ground component of the joint and 
interagency teams, the Army operates across the full spectrum of 
conflict to protect our national interests and affirm our Nation's 
commitment to friends, allies, and partners worldwide. Our goal is a 
more agile, responsive, campaign-quality and expeditionary Army with 
modern networks, surveillance sensors, precision weapons, and platforms 
that are lighter, less logistics dependent, and less manpower 
intensive.
    As we restore balance and build readiness for the future, we 
continue to invest in our centerpiece--soldiers--and the families that 
support them. Of the million soldiers in uniform, over half of them are 
married, with more than 700,000 children. The Army Family Covenant, the 
SFAP, and the Army Medical Action Plan are examples of our commitment 
to caring for our soldiers, families, and Army civilians in these 
challenging times. With the continued support from the Secretary of 
Defense, the President, and Congress for our legislative and financial 
needs, the Army will restore balance, build the readiness necessary in 
an era of persistent conflict, and remain the strength of the Nation.

    Chairman Levin. Thank you, Secretary Geren.
    General Casey?

  STATEMENT OF GEN GEORGE W. CASEY, JR., USA, CHIEF OF STAFF, 
                              ARMY

    General Casey. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Senator Inhofe, 
members of the committee.
    The chairman mentioned the fact that the Secretary and I 
were here in November, and, really, with the exception of some 
of the returning surge forces, not much has changed in the last 
90 days. That said, I'd like to re-emphasize some of the themes 
that the Secretary and I highlighted, but do it in the context 
of the fiscal year 2009 budget that we're presenting today.
    As has been said, our country is in our 7th year of war, 
and our Army remains fully engaged on all fronts, both abroad 
and at home. I testified, in November, that I believed the next 
decade would be one of persistent conflict, a period that I 
described as a period of protracted confrontation among state, 
nonstate, and individual actors who are increasingly willing to 
use violence to achieve their political and ideological 
objectives.
    I also described to you some of the global trends that I 
think will exacerbate and prolong this period: the double-edged 
swords of globalization and technology, doubling populations in 
developing countries, competition for resources, proliferation 
of weapons of mass destruction and safe havens in ungoverned 
spaces. I said that our Army must be versatile enough to adapt 
rapidly to the unexpected circumstances that will result, and 
that we are building an agile, campaign-capable, expeditionary 
force that we need for this uncertain future.
    I also said that the cumulative effects of the last 6-plus 
years at war have left our Army out of balance, consumed by the 
current fight, and unable to do the things we know we need to 
do to properly sustain our All-Volunteer Force and restore our 
flexibility for an uncertain future.
    Now, Mr. Chairman, I wrestled hard to find the right words 
to describe the state of the Army, because, as the Secretary 
said, it remains a hugely resilient, professional, and combat-
seasoned force, but I think we all acknowledge that we are not 
where we need to be.
    I said that we have a plan that will, with your help, 
restore balance to our force, and that we've identified four 
imperatives that we must accomplish to put ourselves back in 
balance: sustain, prepare, reset, and transform. Let me just 
say a few words about each.
    First and foremost, we must sustain our soldiers, families, 
and Army civilians. They are the heart and soul of this Army, 
and they must be sustained in a way that recognizes their 
quality of service. The Secretary mentioned some of the 
initiatives we've taken. They will continue with your support.
    Second, prepare. We need to continue to prepare our forces 
for success in the current conflicts. We cannot flinch from our 
commitment to provide them the training, the equipment, and the 
resources to give them a decisive advantage over any enemy that 
they face.
    Third, reset. The harsh environments that we're operating 
in, and the frequent deployments, are taking their toll on our 
soldiers and their equipment. Reset is about returning our 
soldiers and our equipment to appropriate levels of readiness 
for future deployments and contingencies. In fiscal year 2007, 
you provided us the resources to begin properly resetting the 
force, and, as a result, we've made significant strides in 
restoring systems and capabilities to the force. In my mind, 
resources for reset are the difference between a hollow force 
and a versatile force for the future.
    Lastly, transform. Even as we work to put ourselves back in 
balance, we must continue to transform our Army into the agile 
campaign-capable expeditionary force that can meet the security 
needs of the Nation in the 21st century. For us, transformation 
is a holistic effort to adapt how we train, modernize, develop 
leaders, station forces, and support our soldiers, families, 
and civilians.
    To guide our transformation, we are releasing, this week, a 
new version of our capstone doctrine, field manual 3.0. This is 
the first revision of our capstone doctrine since 2001. It 
describes how we see the future security environment and 
provides a framework for Army forces to operate and succeed in 
that environment. It has five significant elements.
    First, it describes the complex and multidimensional 
operational environment of the 21st century, where we believe 
we will increasingly operate and fight among the people.
    Second, the manual elevates stability operations to the 
level of offense and defense, and describes an operational 
concept for full-spectrum operations, where Army forces 
simultaneously apply offense, defense, and stability operations 
to seize the initiative and to achieve decisive results.
    Third, it emphasizes the commander's role in battle command 
and describes an intellectual process of developing solutions 
to complex challenges our forces will face.
    Fourth, it emphasizes the importance of information 
superiority in achieving success in modern conflict.
    Fifth, it recognizes that our soldiers remain the 
centerpiece of our formations and our ultimate asymmetric 
advantage.
    Mr. Chairman, we believe that this doctrine will provide us 
a great start point from which to build on the experience of 
the past 7 years and to shape our Army for the future.
    So, that's our plan: sustain, prepare, reset, and 
transform. The last 2 years, you've given us the funding to 
begin the process of putting the Army back in balance. This 
budget before you, the war on terror supplemental that will 
accompany it, and the balance of the fiscal year 2008 war on 
terror supplemental, will allow this process to continue. We 
appreciate your support, and I'd like to give you a few 
examples about how we've worked hard to put the resources 
you've given us to good use.
    First, we've made great strides in the Army Medical Action 
Plan to provide better care for our wounded soldiers.
    Second, we've initiated an Army Soldier Family Action Plan 
to bring life to our Army Family Covenant to improve the 
quality of life for soldiers and families.
    Next, we are over 60 percent complete with the modular 
conversion of our units. This is the largest organizational 
transformation of the Army since World War II. We're also over 
60 percent complete with our conversion of our 120,000 soldiers 
from skills that were needed in the Cold War to ones we need 
for the 21st century. We've reset over 120,000 pieces of 
equipment. We've privatized more than 4,000 homes, bringing the 
total of privately managed homes to over 80,000. The depots in 
our Army Materiel Command had been recognized by commercial 
industry for efficiency 12 times. There's a Shingo Award that 
industry gives for efficiency, and our depots have won 12 of 
those in the last year. So, as you can see, with your help 
we're not sitting still, and we're moving out to give the 
Nation the Army it needs for the 21st century.
    Now, let me just close with some thoughts on quality.
    I was in Alaska right before Christmas, and I was asked to 
present a Distinguished Service Cross to Sergeant Greg 
Williams. Sergeant Williams was on a Stryker patrol in Baghdad 
in October 2006. His patrol came under attack from three 
directions and with an explosively formed penetrator array. 
Those are those very lethal armor-penetrating improvised 
explosive devices. He was knocked out. He awoke to find his 
Stryker on fire, to find his legs on fire, and his eardrum 
burst. He put out his flames, and his first reaction was to 
grab the aid bag and start treating his fellow soldiers, under 
fire. He realized that the lieutenant was still in the burning 
vehicle. He went back in the burning vehicle and dragged the 
lieutenant to safety. Continuing to fire at the enemy, he 
realized that no one was manning the .50 caliber machine gun on 
top of the Stryker. He returned to the burning vehicle a second 
time, a vehicle that still contained over 30 pounds of 
explosives and detonating cord. He got on the .50 caliber, 
brought the weapon to bear on the enemy, broke the ambush, and 
the squad was extracted.
    That's the kind of men and women that we have in your Armed 
Forces today, and you can be extremely proud of the job that 
they're doing all around the world.
    That said, it will require more than the courage and valor 
of our soldiers to ensure that our Army can continue to protect 
this country in an era of persistent conflict. It will require 
recognition by national leaders, like yourselves, of the 
threats and challenges that America faces in the years ahead. 
It will also require full, timely, and predictable funding to 
ensure that our Armed Forces are prepared to defeat those 
threats and to preserve our way of life.
    Thank you very much.
    Chairman Levin. Thank you so much, General.
    Let's try a 5-minute round of questions. It's very short, 
but we have five votes coming up, and I'm afraid it's necessary 
to hop, skip, and jump a bit. So, let's have a first round of 5 
minutes.
    According to the current model for planning the rotations 
of units into and out of Iraq and Afghanistan, the Army's 
assertion is that it can reduce the time deployed, from the 
current 15 months, as was necessary to support the surge at the 
beginning of last year, back to the pre-surge 12 months per 
rotation. Let me ask you, Secretary or General, either one, 
when are you going to return to the 12-months deployment? What 
assumptions, relative to drawdown, do you make in the answer 
which you give to that question?
    Secretary Geren. Let me begin, but then I'd like to ask 
General Casey. We've been working on this together, and I think 
that he could provide more details on the analysis.
    We can't say, with certainty. It is a top priority for our 
Army. We know 15-month deployments are too long, and we know 
that we cannot continue to sustain the readiness that we need 
to build in this Army if we aren't able to extend the dwell 
time. Everyone in the Army understands this challenge, the 
importance of it, and we're working to shorten the deployment 
times and lengthen the dwell times.
    Chairman Levin. What is your goal? Do you have a goal for 
when you're going to reach 12 months, in terms of deployment, 
and what you need to do, in terms of drawdown of deployments, 
in order to achieve that goal? You must have a goal.
    Secretary Geren. We have a goal, but so much depends upon 
the demand from theater, and we don't control that, obviously.
    Chairman Levin. Is there a timetable for it?
    Secretary Geren. This summer, we'd like to see us be able 
to put ourselves on track to get our deployments and our dwell 
time in a one-to-one ratio.
    Chairman Levin. Okay, now what would have to come from the 
theater, in terms of drawdown, in order for you to reach 12 
months; by when? Put it in shorthand for us. You have to draw 
down to what level in order to get to 12-month deployment.
    General Casey. In shorthand, Senator, if General Petraeus 
is able to execute the announced plan of getting to 15 brigades 
by July, it would be our goal, at that point, to return to 12-
month versus 15-month deployments.
    Chairman Levin. All right. If that pause that he says he 
favors continues, say, for 6 months, would you be able to 
continue that 12-month deployment?
    General Casey. You asked what assumptions we make.
    Chairman Levin. Yes.
    General Casey. If the brigade levels stay at 15 brigade 
combat teams, we believe it will still be possible, even with a 
pause, to go from 15 brigades to 12 brigades. That's our goal.
    Chairman Levin. Fifteen months.
    General Casey. I'm sorry, yes.
    Chairman Levin. Yes, 15 months.
    General Casey. Fifteen months to 12 months. Thank you.
    Chairman Levin. That's regardless of the length of the 
pause.
    General Casey. Yes. As long as we get to 15 brigades.
    Chairman Levin. Even if we stay at 15 brigades.
    General Casey. Even if we stay.
    Chairman Levin. All right.
    I want to talk about stop loss. How many soldiers do you 
expect that the Army's going to retain under stop-loss 
authority at the end of fiscal year 2008?
    Secretary Geren. We currently have a little less than 8,000 
on stop loss today. Our goal is to get rid of stop loss as a 
force management tool. That also will depend upon what happens 
in theater. If we get down to 15 brigades, for every brigade 
that is reduced, we're able to reduce stop loss further. DOD, 
the Department of State, and the leadership of the Army all 
committed to utilizing stop loss as seldom as possible. Right 
now, it's less than 8,000. Without some remarkable change, 
it'll probably be around that at the end of the fiscal year.
    Chairman Levin. If we stay at 15 brigades?
    Secretary Geren. It might get as low as 7,000, but we don't 
expect it to go much lower than that over the course of this 
fiscal year.
    Chairman Levin. All right. Last October, General, the Army 
requested $123 million to build Warrior Transition Unit and 
Soldier Family Assistance Center facilities. Our authorization 
conference fully funded that request. Now, the Army has 
identified requirements for a substantial increase in the 
number of, and the funding required for such facilities for 
fiscal year 2009, but there's no funding in the budget request 
for those facilities, and there's no request for assistance for 
wounded warriors or families on the unfunded requirements 
letter that you've provided to us. I'm wondering why that is 
true. General?
    General Casey. We have made great use of the funds that 
you've provided there, in building 35 Warrior Transition Units 
around the country. I visited one in Alaska last week, and am 
very impressed with the quality of what we're doing.
    As for the additional funding in the 2009 base program, I 
was under the impression that we did have money in there for 
Warrior Transition Units. The exact number escapes me right 
now.
    Chairman Levin. My understanding is, there isn't. If there 
isn't, should there be?
    Secretary Geren. We have used the supplementals to respond 
to many of the wounded warrior needs, Senator, and that is 
among the areas that we're looking to move into the base 
budget, ultimately; but, right now, since they are wounds of 
war and they are a response to the casualties of war, we are 
funding much of that in the supplementals. When we look at 
programs that we're going to need to move from the supplemental 
to the base, that is one of them.
    Chairman Levin. So, we can expect that's going to be part 
of the supplemental request if it's not in the budget?
    Secretary Geren. Yes, sir.
    [The information referred to follows:]

    Over the last year and with Congress' support, we have rapidly 
improved care for our wounded warriors. We requested much of this 
funding in global war on terror supplemental because of our need to 
respond immediately. With Congress' assistance, we are operating and 
building facilities to support 35 Warrior Transition Units. Our fiscal 
year 2008 global war on terror supplemental request includes $300 
million for this purpose. Once Congress completes its budget 
deliberations, we will be able to proceed with the construction portion 
($138 million) of these important projects and finalize our remaining 
requirements for the fiscal year 2009 global war on terror 
supplemental. In the long-term, timely and predictable funding is 
critical to ensure quality care for our wounded warriors. Starting with 
fiscal year 2010, we plan to include Army Medical Action Plan 
requirements in our budget request.

    Chairman Levin. Thank you.
    Senator Inhofe.
    Senator Inhofe. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Secretary Geren, you and I were both serving together in 
the House in 1994, and you've heard me make this statement 
before about the witness that appeared before the House Armed 
Services Committee and projected that, in 10 years, we'd no 
longer need ground troops. That was 1994; I think what that 
does is emphasize that, no matter how smart we are and how many 
smart generals we have around us, if you try to project out 10 
years, you're going to be wrong. Right now, we're negotiating a 
war and you're fighting it, having started after we reduced the 
number of divisions and resources that we had. It looks like 
what you're saying in your testimony this morning is that this 
budget is going to allow us to do that. Is that your feeling 
now, that you can hold on with this budget and also address the 
four things that you mentioned, General Casey, the sustain, 
prepare, reset, and transform?
    Secretary Geren. I think we would agree, today, that we cut 
the Army way too much. This Army is about 40 percent the size 
that it was 35 years ago. In this budget and over the program 
objective memorandum, we're not only growing the Army, we're 
growing the Army faster than we planned. Our plan is to add 
74,000 soldiers to the Active Army and 65,000 to the Guard and 
Reserve. With this budget, we're moving the growth of the 
Active component up from 2012 to 2010, so we'll have completed 
that growth by then. So, we're going to have more soldiers. As 
the chief mentioned, it's not just a question of more soldiers, 
it's moving soldiers from low-demand, high-density military 
occupational specialties (MOSs) to high-demand, low-density. We 
are in the process of moving 120 soldiers out of their old MOSs 
into new MOSs. For example, the Reserves are getting 1,000 new 
soldiers under this Grow-the-Reserves plan, but they're going 
to, at the end of their transformation, have 17,000 more 
soldiers that are going to be available to the operational 
Army. So, it's growing the Army, but it's also transforming the 
Army, making sure that we have soldiers that can do what the 
demands of the future require.
    Senator Inhofe. General Casey, when you used your, for 
example, sustain, repair, reset, and transform, you weigh them 
all about the same, don't you? Equal emphasis?
    General Casey. Senator, I would weight ``sustain,'' taking 
of and retaining our soldiers, as a little heavier than I would 
the others but the others are equally important.
    Senator Inhofe. I guess what I'm getting at is, the problem 
normally is whatever is bleeding the most is going to get the 
most attention. That usually leaves transformation out, or 
moves it back. I'm very proud that you've been able to keep 
that where it is. I'd like to have you both comment on the 
current status of the FCS and how optimistic you are that 
you're going to be able to stay on schedule with that system.
    Secretary Geren. The cuts that we have taken in the program 
over the last 3 years will result in a delay. We're estimating 
now that it'll delay the program 7 months. We had expected to 
build eight of the non-line-of-sight (NLOS) cannons this year, 
we're going to build five this year, three the next. So, the 
changes in the FCS budget have affected the calendar, but we do 
believe that we're going to be able to stay on track and bring 
this program into the service of our soldiers.
    There's been a lot of questions about its affordability, 
but if you look at the $160 billion over the life of the FCS 
program, at no point does it get to be more than a third of 
research and development (R&D) and acquisition budget. So, our 
R&D budget is a fourth of our Army budget. At no point does it 
get more than a 12th of our Army budget. We believe it's 
affordable, and we believe it's an investment that we have to 
make.
    Senator Inhofe. General Casey?
    General Casey. If I could, thank you.
    You mentioned in your opening comments about some decisions 
that were made in the 1990s that resulted in the force that we 
had on September 11. If we think back to the 1990s, we were 
looking at what we thought was going to be a very peaceful 
future.
    Senator Inhofe. Yes, I remember the peace dividend, yes.
    General Casey. The lesson that I take from that is, you 
have to continue to look for the future. We believe that the 
FCS is exactly the full-spectrum system that we need for our 
future. In fact, when you look at this manual, you'll see that 
the things, like precision intelligence-collection abilities 
and precision effects that are required in full-spectrum 
operations in the 21st century, are exactly the kind of systems 
that the FCS will bring to us.
    This year is the year that you will be able to see some of 
the things that, up to now, you've only seen on slides. Last 
week, I visited Fort Bliss, TX, where we have an Army brigade 
that is actually testing some of the initial components of the 
FCS. There will be a limited user test this summer. You will 
also see the first prototype of the man-ground vehicle in June. 
So, this is going to go from the slides to reality, here, and I 
think you will be able to see them, and see the power of what 
we're trying to create.
    Senator Inhofe. I appreciate that. My time has expired, but 
I have this very strong feeling, as I talk to people around the 
country, that there are expectations that if our kids are going 
to go to war, they ought to have the best there is out there, 
and currently, they don't. We are deficient in some areas. You 
mentioned the NLOS cannon. That's one area where, it's my 
understanding, there are actually five countries, including 
South Africa, that make a better NLOS cannon than we have. 
That's something we want to correct, as difficult as it is 
while we're negotiating war, and I applaud you for your being 
steadfast in that area.
    Chairman Levin. Thank you very much.
    The votes have begun. Senator Reed is next, and then I 
would ask Senator Reed, when he's done, whoever's here, to 
identify them, if you would. Senator Lieberman, if you'll take 
this overall charge.
    Senator Reed [presiding]. Thank you very much, Mr. 
Chairman.
    Thank you, gentlemen, for your service.
    Last Sunday, I think many people woke up and read a very 
intriguing article in the New York Times magazine about a 
battle that a company of the 173rd Airborne Brigade had in 
Afghanistan. One of the things that struck me is a passage 
which I'll read, ``One full-moon night, I was sitting outside a 
sandbag-reinforced hut with Kearney,'' Captain Dan Kearney, a 
great young company commander, airborne, ``when a young 
sergeant stepped out, hauling the garbage. He looked around in 
the illuminated mountains and dust and rocks, the garbage bins. 
The monkeys were screaming. `I hate this country,' he shouted, 
then he smiled and walked back into the hut. `He's on 
medication,' Kearney said quietly to me. Then another soldier 
walked by and shouted, `Hey, I'm with you, sir.' Kearney said 
to me, `Prozac, serious PTSD from the last tour.' Another one 
popped out of the headquarters, cursing and muttering. 
`Medicated,' Kearney said. `Last tour, if you didn't give 
information, he'd burn down your house. He killed so many 
people, he's checked out.' ''
    I find it disturbing that we have soldiers that are 
suffering, and again, this is a snapshot of one unit in one 
very difficult situation, but soldiers appear to have serious 
psychological problems, that are taking antidepressants and are 
in combat operations on a daily basis. Does that undercut a lot 
of this rhetoric about how we're doing great, the Army's fine, 
we just need a little more resources?
    General Casey. Senator, I don't think either the Secretary 
or I said that everything's great and the Army's fine. I think, 
just to the contrary, we said that we are stretched. I think 
what you're seeing is the impact of repeated tours in a brutal 
combat environment. We all understand the impact and the toll 
that takes on our soldiers and on our leaders.
    Now, I trust our junior leaders, supported by their medical 
health professionals, to make individual judgments about the 
soldiers in their units. Clearly what you read there is 
troubling.
    Senator Reed. I can recall, we were both in command of 
companies, and I, in a benign environment, was not faced with 
those types of leadership challenges, as portrayed here, of 
significant and multiple situations of young soldiers who have 
serious mental health problems. It seems to be that this is not 
a reaction to their first exposure to combat. As you point out, 
General, this is because they're being repeatedly cycled 
through combat. I think, in other circumstances, these young 
men would have been evacuated, or certainly not sent back into 
the zone. That, I think, underscores what you've said is not 
only overstretched, but, in fact, stretched, in some cases, 
beyond the capacity of individual soldiers.
    General Casey. Yes, Senator, I don't know the specifics of 
this particular unit, but I think you know that we have 
started, last summer, a very concerted effort to reduce the 
stigma that people attach to seeking assistance for PTSD and 
other mental health problems, and to inform our subordinate 
leaders so that they can help in diagnosis. We have trained 
over 800,000 of our soldiers in that, and we're starting to see 
a reduction in the stigma and people willing to come forward 
and get treatment, because, as our research has shown us, the 
sooner we get soldiers into the system, the more likely they 
are to make a full recovery.
    Senator Reed. There's another quote I think is important in 
this article by Sergeant Erick Gallardo of the unit, ``we don't 
get supplies, assets. We scrounge for everything and live a lot 
more rugged, but we know the war is here, we have unfinished 
business,'' which I think speaks to the ethic of these young 
soldiers to carry on, but also raises a question of, do they 
have everything they need? We're not just talking about the 
new, fancy FCS, we're talking about the basic equipment to 
carry out the job they're doing now. I think I would be 
disturbed; are you disturbed? When young soldiers and 
noncommissioned officers (NCOs) are talking about, ``we don't 
have everything we need.''
    General Casey. Senator, I go out to the theater, just like 
you do, and I ask everybody I talk to, ``Do you have what you 
need?'' I called both General Rodriguez, who's the commander in 
Afghanistan, and General Austin, who's the commander in Iraq, 
yesterday, and I asked them, ``Do you have supply problems? Do 
you have shortages?'' Their answer was, ``There's no systemic 
shortages, and they're at their stockage levels.'' Now, at the 
platoon level, can there be spare-part shortages? Sure. But I 
know that the logistical systems between Afghanistan and Iraq 
are well-established, and we can usually take care of shortages 
in a relatively short period of time.
    Senator Reed. My time is expired. I want to recognize 
Senator Chambliss. But, just a question for the record or for 
contemplation. When Secretary Gates was here just a few weeks 
ago, and I asked him about the status of FCS, he said, rather 
candidly, ``I don't see how the Army could ever fund this 
system going forward.'' He's someone that I think we all 
respect, and he happens to be your boss. So, I think you have a 
problem, if the Secretary candidly and honestly feels that he 
can't fund FCS, and you're talking about this all coming to 
balance in 2011. I'll try to come back for a response, but I 
want that on the record, at least.
    General Casey. I can give you a short one here, that I've 
talked to Secretary Gates after he made that statement, and he 
indicated he has no basic problems with the program. As he 
said, he supports the spinout part of the program. But, as with 
anyone faced with, as the case you posed, the inevitability of 
reductions in resources, you have to look at a $162 billion 
program.
    Senator Reed. Thank you, Mr. Secretary.
    Senator Chambliss.
    Senator Chambliss [presiding]. Thank you, Senator Reed.
    Gentlemen, first of all, as always, thanks for your great 
service to our country. We appreciate both of you.
    I was pleased to see both of you focus on the issue of 
wounded warriors in your opening statement, and also pleased to 
see the accomplishments and progress the Army has made in 
treating wounded warriors, caring for the families, and 
ensuring that the deployment reintegration process is as 
seamless as possible.
    Secretary Geren, you were here a couple of weeks ago, when 
we had the hearing on wounded warriors, and I asked about the 
ongoing cooperation between Fort Gordon, the Augusta VA, and 
the Medical College of Georgia in relation to caring for 
wounded warriors, and I appreciate Lieutenant General 
Schoomaker's comments about the success of that collaboration. 
He deserves an awful lot of credit, and I probably didn't say 
enough about him that day, but he really did a great job when 
he was at Eisenhower relative to this issue, and he, frankly, 
gave a lot of credit to the farsighted vision of the people of 
the Augusta community for seeing a need for that partnership 
and making it work.
    Now, as we go forward regarding how the Army treats its 
wounded warriors and works to rehabilitate them either back 
into the Army or successfully into civilian life, how can the 
private sector participate with you in this regard? How can we 
help you? What kind of expertise, training, or resources might 
you be able to use from the private sector that would assist 
you in ensuring your wounded warriors receive the best 
treatment possible?
    Secretary Geren. Thank you and I'll pass along your kind 
words about General Schoomaker. He certainly did an outstanding 
job there, and he's doing an outstanding job as the Surgeon 
General for the Army today in a very challenging time. That 
collaboration between VA and the DOD at Fort Gordon and 
Eisenhower is outstanding, and it's one of the models that we 
look to, to emulate around the force. The community down there 
does an outstanding job supporting the military and VA, and we 
appreciate, very much, all they do.
    There are many areas that we have to look to the private 
sector to address challenges that come with meeting the needs 
of wounded, ill, and injured warriors. Last year, Congress gave 
us $900 million in the area of TBI and PTSD work. Much of those 
funds will be invested with outside research efforts in order 
to increase our knowledge in those areas, so we will look to 
the outside community for research. Our health care system 
today depends on TRICARE, and TRICARE depends on the private 
sector, and that is one of the great challenges we have across 
the system. Many of our Army installations are in rural areas, 
they have certain medical specialties that are underserved in 
those areas, and we have a challenge in many of these rural 
communities, particularly in the area of mental health care, 
and we need to look long and hard at the TRICARE system and our 
system of supporting mental health needs within the Army to 
figure out a good way ahead that meets this need of our 
soldiers and their families.
    Certainly, research is an area that the private sector will 
be a full partner. We have shortages throughout our system in 
the areas of mental health; we have shortages in nursing; we 
have shortages in dental care, and dental professionals as 
well. So, with the authorities you have given us, we are 
working with the private sector to try to meet these shortages. 
But, for us to be successful in meeting the healthcare needs of 
our soldiers, it will require a full partnership with the 
private sector.
    Senator Chambliss. I applaud you for taking giant steps and 
trying to make sure that these brave young men and women are 
getting the treatment they need when they come back, and we 
look forward to continuing to work with you in that respect.
    I think I'm going to have to go vote. I guess we'll be in 
recess, subject to the call of the Chair.
    Secretary Geren. All right. Thank you. [Recess.]
    Senator Collins [presiding]. The committee will be in 
order.
    At the suggestion of the chairman, we're rotating back and 
forth between the votes, and so, I'm going to proceed quickly 
with my question at this time. If someone else comes back, I'll 
turn over the gavel. It's nice to temporarily have the gavel.
    General Casey, the inadequate size of our Army has caused 
repeated and extended deployments for our troops, and this is a 
matter of great concern to all of us. You've talked this 
morning about the tremendous strain on our troops and their 
families. Another consequence of the inadequate size of our 
Army has been an unprecedented reliance on private security 
contractors in a war zone. Do you think that we have become 
over-reliant on private security contractors to perform tasks, 
in a hostile environment, that traditionally have been 
performed by our troops?
    General Casey. I would not say, Senator, that we are overly 
reliant, as you suggest. In the 1990s, as we discussed earlier, 
some decisions were made to reduce the size of the Army from 
780,000 down to around 482,000. As a result of that, we 
recognized that we would have to rely on contractors, primarily 
for logistics, but also for security.
    My recollection is that DOD is relying on about 7,000 
security contractors in theater right now. To me, that does not 
seem to be an inappropriate number, and the tasks they are 
performing, usually of providing individual or close-in 
security, are something that probably they could do better than 
our soldiers, and our soldiers can best be put to 
counterinsurgency-type operations.
    Senator Collins. Secretary Geren, the same question for 
you. Are you satisfied with the balance between having military 
personnel, versus private security contractors, in Iraq and 
Afghanistan, or do you believe that we've become too dependent 
on private security contractors, who are, for the first time, 
performing tasks that traditionally have been performed by our 
men and women in uniform?
    Secretary Geren. We have to allocate our soldiers and our 
contract resources according to the priorities of where each 
could serve best. It's not just private security contractors, 
but we've seen a tremendous growth in the number of private 
contractors that support a deployed Army. In Iraq and 
Afghanistan, we have close to 200,000 contractors. I think 
that's just a reality of the kind of Army we are today. When we 
deploy today, we will be roughly half in uniform and half out. 
As we've shrunk the size of the Army, we've had to look to 
contractors to provide many of the support functions that have 
traditionally been handled by soldiers. But, if the choice is 
between putting a soldier in one of those contract functions or 
putting a soldier out, fighting the counterinsurgency war, I 
think we're making the better choice.
    Senator Collins. The reason that I'm focusing particularly 
on the private security contractors is, unlike contract 
employees who are engaged in logistics, they are far more 
likely to be involved in a hostile incident; and, indeed, there 
have been several controversial cases in Iraq where private 
security contractors have been involved in firefights, and in 
some cases, have killed Iraqi civilians. Whether unprovoked or 
not is being investigated, even as we speak.
    Let me ask you a different question, then, General Casey. 
Are you confident that we have a clear legal authority to deal 
with private security contractors who may have killed Iraqi 
civilians without justification?
    General Casey. Senator, I cannot say that I am confident. I 
don't know the specifics of the agreement that was worked out 
between General Petraeus and the Ambassador. I know that they 
were working very hard to ensure that we could exercise 
appropriate jurisdiction over any contractor that committed, 
really, any offense that was punishable under the Uniform Code 
of Military Justice (UCMJ).
    Senator Collins. Doesn't the fact that that agreement did 
not previously exist suggest that the framework for dealing 
with such cases was legally tenuous or ambiguous?
    General Casey. Again, I can't speak to that. I think, as 
you suggest, the increasing reliance on contractors has caused 
us to expand what we needed to do to deal with them, and it was 
a learning experience, and I think we have continued to grow in 
our knowledge of what it takes to effectively exercise control 
over contractors.
    Senator Collins. General Casey, I am going to have to go 
return to the floor, but, in fact, there was not such a 
framework worked out while you were the commanding officer in 
Iraq, was there?
    General Casey. That's true. That's true. I had jurisdiction 
over the DOD contractors; the State Department had jurisdiction 
over theirs.
    Senator Collins. According to an investigation that the 
Homeland Security Committee has done, in some cases the only 
penalty for a contract employee was to be just given an airline 
ticket home. Does that trouble you?
    General Casey. I don't know that that is the case in every 
situation. I know that there were some contractors under our 
authority who were, in fact, punished. I certainly cannot say 
whether that was the case for all contractors operating in 
Iraq.
    Senator Collins. My time has expired, but I would just 
suggest that another consequence of having too small a military 
force, in addition to the one that concerns us most, which is 
the tremendous strain that repeated deployments and extended 
deployments imposes on our troops, our families, and in the 
case of the National Guard, the employers, as well. Another 
consequence has been a need to rely on private security 
contractors who are not under the UCMJ, necessarily, or who are 
not subject to the kinds of legal constraints and chain of 
command that military personnel are under. I think that's been 
a real issue.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Levin [presiding]. Thank you very much, Senator 
Collins.
    Senator Lieberman.
    Senator Lieberman. Thanks very much, Mr. Chairman.
    General Casey, Secretary Geren, thanks for being here. 
Thanks for the extraordinary service you and over a million 
Americans who serve under you give our country. We're placing 
enormous demands on you, and, in my experience and review, the 
Army is meeting those demands with excellence, with honor, and 
with a lot of bravery, and, as a result, we're succeeding in 
places where it's not easy to succeed. So, I thank you for 
that.
    As you well know, in the nature of the process we go 
through on the budget, the administration presents the budget, 
and then we have a responsibility to independently evaluate, 
consider the threats and demands that we face, and then 
authorize to a level that we think meets those threats and 
demands. I want to focus on Army personnel, because, obviously, 
all the concern you've heard expressed here and elsewhere, 
about the 15-month tours of duty, is a result of the fact that 
we have fewer people in the Army than we should have, in my 
opinion. This fiscal year 2009 budget funds positions up to 
what number, Mr. Secretary? In the Active Army, that's what I 
want to focus on.
    Secretary Geren. In this budget, we add 43,000 soldiers, 
which had been in the supplemental, into the base budget. 
Today, we have 523,000 soldiers on Active Duty. At the end of 
the fiscal year, we'll have 534,000 on Active Duty.
    Senator Lieberman. Okay. So, let me ask you this question, 
just to enable us to go through the process that we have a 
responsibility to go through. I want to ask both of you to 
answer this. Knowing what you know about the demands we face 
today, what your ideals would be, and what other demands and 
threats we may face around the world, leaving aside the very 
relevant, but I want to ask you to leave it aside, question of 
resources and budgeting, how large do you think the Army should 
be?
    General?
    General Casey. That's hard to leave the budget out of that 
discussion.
    Senator Lieberman. I know, but I want to give both the 
committee and, frankly, the American people, some sense, though 
the budget is high, that----
    General Casey. What I have said in the past, Senator, is, 
we have a plan to increase the size of the Active Force by 
65,000.
    Senator Lieberman. So, that would bring us to 547,000.
    General Casey. That's the 547,000 that we're building to 
now.
    Senator Lieberman. You've accelerated, and I appreciate it, 
the pace at which we're going to do that, and we're doing it.
    General Casey. That's correct.
    Senator Lieberman. In other words, the original was over 5 
years.
    General Casey. It was going to go out through 2012 and, as 
the Secretary said, we accelerated the growth until 2010.
    Senator Lieberman. Right.
    General Casey. The purpose of that was to, again, take and 
reduce some of the stress on the force.
    Senator Lieberman. Sure. So, that's 547,000 by 2010.
    General Casey. That's correct.
    Senator Lieberman. Okay.
    General Casey. Now, the question really then goes to: for 
what? What size Army do you need for what? The next question, I 
think, for the Active Army, particularly is: what is the access 
to the Guard and to the Reserve?
    Senator Lieberman. Right.
    General Casey. We feel that to sustain the Guard and 
Reserve, a deployment ratio of about 1 to 5, 1 year out, 5 
years back, is sustainable. They're operating at about 1 to 
3\1/2\ right now.
    Senator Lieberman. One to 3\1/2\. Right.
    General Casey. So, my strategy has been, let's get to 
547,000.
    Senator Lieberman. Right.
    General Casey. Let's build that quality force, and let's 
continue what we're doing to increase the size of the Guard and 
Reserve, and then let's reassess, and let's have a discussion 
and a debate about how big the Army should, in fact, be.
    Senator Lieberman. So, you're not prepared to give a number 
about what your goal would be now.
    General Casey. No, I don't think so, Senator. If you're 
looking for broad parameters with the folks that are mobilized, 
there's around 600,000 people on Active Duty today.
    Senator Lieberman. So perhaps the goal there would be to 
have 600,000 on Active Duty.
    General Casey. I don't necessarily think so, because you go 
back to the question you don't want to discuss. The worst thing 
I believe we could do, Senator, is to build a force that 
wouldn't be the quality of this force. I came into a hollow 
Army, and I really don't want to go out of a hollow Army.
    Senator Lieberman. No, absolutely. That's exactly the 
point. I've been reading the things that others have said, 
including your predecessor, General Gordon Sullivan, he did a 
slightly larger universe, but he said the Army and Marines and 
Special Operations Forces ought to hit a total of 750,000. Let 
me put it a different way. The 750,000 is the current goal. 
General Sullivan talked about possibly hitting a million. I 
take your answers, and I'm not going to push you any further to 
say to me, and I'll say what I believe, myself, that the 
current goal of 547,000 is not enough, and we're going to have 
to come back, as we go on to meet the threats that we need to 
meet, and to do it with people who are capable to defend our 
security.
    Secretary Geren, my time is up, but I don't know if you 
want to add anything to what General Casey has said on this 
subject.
    Secretary Geren. When we consider the size of the Army, a 
big part of our effectiveness in the future is going to depend 
upon how good a job we do in operationalizing the Guard and 
Reserve. Our Army Active Duty is only about half of the total 
end strength of our military today.
    Senator Lieberman. Right.
    Secretary Geren. You have the same number of people in the 
Guard and Reserve as you do in the Active Duty. Our Reserves, 
over the course of this growth, are going to add 1,000 
soldiers, but through transformation, they're going to be able 
to move 17,000 more soldiers into their operating force. So, 
there are a lot of variables as we look to what the right mix 
should be and what the right size should be. I think our most 
prudent course of action is to achieve the growth that we have 
on the books now, continue to work the transformation, move 
folks into MOSs that are in high demand, look at how 
effectively we can operationalize the Guard and Reserve, and 
then assess where we are, and then make a decision on whether 
or not it's an Army that meets the needs of the future.
    Senator Lieberman. The dialogue will continue. Thanks very 
much.
    Chairman Levin. Thank you, Senator Lieberman.
    I want to pick up, first, on a question that Senator 
Collins asked about under what law State Department contractors 
in Iraq are operating. I think it's important that we have a 
clear answer for the record. I understand that there's an 
effort now to negotiate an agreement with the Iraqi Government. 
That's not what I'm referring to. I don't think that's what 
Senator Collins was referring to either because she was talking 
about until now, what is the law that governs contractors hired 
by the State Department who allegedly have committed crimes? We 
need to know that for the record.
    Secretary Geren. Let us get back to you for the record.
    [The information referred to follows:]

      
    
    
      
    
    

    Secretary Geren. The Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction 
Act (MEJA) law gives our Justice Department the authority to 
criminally prosecute Americans who commit crimes in foreign 
countries, so that is a backstop, but, as you well know, it's 
not used very often; it's been used very few times.
    Chairman Levin. Do you know why it's not used?
    Secretary Geren. I do not.
    Chairman Levin. Okay. Can you give us, for the record, a 
clear answer to what law applies? If Iraqi law doesn't, because 
of some agreement reached with the Iraqis, what American law 
applies? If it's a law that's not used frequently, why is it 
not used frequently? We need to know that, clearly, for the 
record.
    Secretary Geren. I'll get back to you for the record.
    Chairman Levin. Thank you. If you could do that promptly, 
because this issue is coming up in other committees, and there 
should be an answer from the DOD on this.
    On the deployment issues that I went over with you before, 
assume for the moment that there are two additional brigade 
combat teams that are needed in Afghanistan, and the other 
countries that are involved don't provide them, and the 
decision is made by our commander there that they are needed. 
Could those two U.S. combat teams be provided under your 
scenario, General? In other words, could you continue your 12-
month deployment? Would that answer still be effective after 
July, if we get down to 15 combat teams in Iraq, and stay 
there, if two additional brigade combat teams of the United 
States are required in Afghanistan, or would that change your 
answer?
    General Casey. Senator, when you asked that question 
earlier, about what the assumption is, my assumption is 15 
deployed Active component brigades, which, for the Army, is 13 
in Iraq and 2 in Afghanistan.
    So at 15 brigades, either in Iraq and/or Afghanistan, 
that's where we can stay at 12 months.
    Chairman Levin. Okay. So, the 15 includes 2 in Afghanistan.
    General Casey. There are two Marine regiments in there in 
Iraq.
    Chairman Levin. Okay. I just want a real clear answer. Now, 
there's 3,200 marines that are being sent, or have been sent, 
additionally, to Afghanistan. That's separate, correct?
    General Casey. Correct.
    Chairman Levin. The 15 brigades that you referred to, in 
Iraq in July, are the 15 that General Petraeus has talked 
about.
    General Casey. That's correct. That would be 13 Army and 2 
Marine.
    Chairman Levin. Two Marine. My question is: if two 
additional brigades are needed in Afghanistan, to the number of 
troops we already have there, would that change your answer?
    General Casey. As I said, my assumption on getting to 15 
months is that we will stay at 15 Army Active component 
brigades in Iraq and Afghanistan.
    Chairman Levin. What is General Petraeus's statement about 
getting to 15 brigades in July and then pausing? Are those the 
same 15 you've just described?
    General Casey. He is describing the 15 brigades in Iraq 
only. Those 15 brigades consist of 13 Army and 2 Marine.
    Chairman Levin. The 15 he's talking about are 13 Army, 2 
Marine.
    General Casey. Right.
    Chairman Levin. Now, if, in addition to what he's talking 
about is needed in Iraq, two additional brigades are needed in 
Afghanistan, on top of the troops we have there now, then, I 
take it, your answer is, we could not get to 12-months 
deployed. Is that correct?
    General Casey. Then I would have to go back and relook at 
that impact. I have not looked at supporting 17 brigades.
    Chairman Levin. I thought you did look. You said that the 
maximum in both Iraq and Afghanistan was 15. Now you're saying 
you need to relook it?
    General Casey. You asked me what my assumption was to get 
from 15 months to 12 months. I said it was 15 deployed Active 
component brigades between Iraq and Afghanistan. Army brigades.
    Chairman Levin. So, you're saying it's possible that you 
could add two additional brigades to Afghanistan and still have 
the same answer of 12-months deployment?
    General Casey. I have not looked at that specific case, 
Senator, and as I said, I'm very comfortable with the 15 
number. I have not looked specifically at 17.
    Chairman Levin. All right. My time's up. Would you get that 
back, then, for the record, to us?
    [The information referred to follows:]

    Deployment lengths and dwell times are a function of available 
supply and global combatant commander demands. Currently, U.S. Central 
Command demands over half of the available Brigade Combat Teams (BCTs) 
in the Army inventory. As demand for Army BCTs decreases, deployment 
lengths decrease.
    The Army is planning to reduce deployment lengths for soldiers from 
15 to 12 months later this year as the number of BCTs in Iraq is 
reduced. Twelve-month deployments are sustainable only if the global 
demand for BCTs remains at or below pre-surge levels. In other words, 
the number of available BCTs is fixed. If the two BCTs were provided to 
Afghanistan without a similar reduction elsewhere, the Army could not 
achieve 12-month deployment lengths.

    Chairman Levin. We have 3 minutes left, plus the 5 minutes 
add-on. So, Senator Lieberman, we'll turn it to you. If no one 
is here when you are done, would you recess us for 15 minutes? 
I'm going to come back and make sure there's no other Senators. 
Thank you.
    Senator Lieberman [presiding]. Honored to do that. Thank 
you.
    I just have a few questions, then I'm going to go over and 
vote.
    I wanted to focus in on another element of Army personnel. 
In my opinion, and, I presume, yours, the All-Volunteer Army 
has been a great success. I'm often asked when I'm out in 
Connecticut or elsewhere, ``Is there a need to go back to the 
draft?'' I said, ``No. The military, particularly, doesn't want 
to do that, because we have a good All-Volunteer Force.''
    Studies that I've looked at say that the quality of that 
All-Volunteer Force is dependent very much on two primary 
determinants, and that is the scores of the recruits on the 
Services Aptitude Test, and if the recruit had received a high 
school diploma. Obviously, there are individuals who may not 
score the highest on the aptitude test or may not have a high 
school diploma who turn out to be extraordinary soldiers. But 
my reading of these studies says that, on the average, we do 
better if we have people who score better on the test and have 
a high school diploma. Reports now indicate that we're falling 
down from the previous high levels in recruitment, that is, the 
test scores and the presence of a high school diploma, among 
people coming into the Army now. I want to ask you to comment 
on that, but also I want to ask this question in an affirmative 
spirit, which is: what can we do to help the Army, if this is a 
problem, recruit to a level that assures that this All-
Volunteer Force of ours will continue to maintain the standards 
of excellence and success that it has achieved thus far?
    Secretary Geren. Many issues bear on that question. Let me, 
first, say that many intangibles go into deciding whether or 
not somebody makes a good soldier or not.
    Senator Lieberman. Sure.
    Secretary Geren. One of the most important intangibles in 
assessing our recruiting classes these days is their 
willingness to stand up and raise their right hand and join the 
Army in the middle of a war.
    Senator Lieberman. Right.
    Secretary Geren. That tells you a lot about that young man 
or that young woman.
    Senator Lieberman. Motivation.
    Secretary Geren. They join the Army knowing they likely 
will be going into combat. So, I think, as a threshold 
question, that helps sort out folks. It brings the type of 
people into the Army that we want, the people that are willing 
to make selfless sacrifices.
    But you're right, when you look at our quality indicators 
over the last 3 years, they have gone down. Our high school 
diploma grads were at 79 percent last year. Our goal was to 
keep that above 80 percent. The Office of the Secretary of 
Defense goals are 90 percent, and we strive for that, and we 
are working to get to those levels.
    We have a challenge with our recruiting population. Only 
about 3 out of 10 young men in the 17- to 24-age range have the 
physical, moral, mental, and educational qualifications to join 
the Army. So we're aiming at the same people that the job 
market is aiming at. We want people that are dependable, 
healthy, moral, and have demonstrated a commitment to finish 
what they started, finish high school. As a country, we need to 
expand that pool, we need to get more young people to finish 
high school.
    A looming issue on the horizon is obesity. We're seeing 
that, as we look 10 years down the road we're going to see more 
and more young people disqualified for joining the Army because 
of obesity. We have to do a better job, as a country, producing 
17- to 24-year-olds that have the standards that qualify them 
to join our Army. So, I think that's a national effort.
    Senator Lieberman. So, short answer, and I apologize, 
because I have to go over and vote, can you think of anything 
specific that we can do for you, by way of funding or programs, 
that will enable you to get back to those higher percentages on 
the high school diploma, for instance?
    Secretary Geren. In this budget, we do have a couple of new 
programs that we started last year continuing this year. One is 
our Army Advantage Fund, which is offering opportunities for 
homeownership and also the opportunity to start a small 
business as an incentive. I think one of our most promising 
initiatives is a partnership between the Active component and 
the Guard to recruit together and have a young man or woman 
join the Active component and then transition to the Guard for 
the rest of their obligated service. So we are funding those 
initiatives and we continue to work to figure out ways to do 
what we do, and do it better, just recruit better. But, long-
term, we need, as a country, to do a better job of producing 
young people that are educated and meet the requirements of the 
Army. Support from leaders such as yourself, at the national 
level and the State level, and encouraging young people to join 
the Army, is a very valuable part of our effort.
    Senator Lieberman. Thank you, Secretary.
    General, I apologize for not having the time here, but this 
obviously is a long-range problem, and you and I will have many 
opportunities to discuss it.
    Thank you.
    General Casey. Thank you, Senator.
    Senator Lieberman. Thank you very much.
    General Casey. Thank you for your interest.
    Senator Lieberman. Senator Inhofe.
    Senator Inhofe [presiding]. Thank you, Senator Lieberman.
    Let me mention something. Senator Akaka, have you gone, 
have you had a series of questions yet?
    Senator Akaka. No.
    Senator Inhofe. Oh. Senator Akaka.
    Senator Akaka [presiding]. Thank you very much.
    Secretary, as chairman of the Subcommittee on Readiness and 
Management Support, I am especially concerned about the amount 
of time our soldiers are getting at home in between 
deployments, both to take care of themselves and their 
families, but also to receive the necessary training. This 
really is about resetting, as is being mentioned. Even with the 
increase in Army end strength, I'm concerned that operations 
tempo facing our soldiers will impact their ability to be 
trained and prepared for missions across the spectrum of 
conflict.
    My question to you, Secretary: what are the biggest 
obstacles for the Army to overcome if another crisis erupts 
that demands U.S. military intervention on the ground?
    Secretary Geren. Our goal is full-spectrum readiness, have 
our soldiers ready for the full range of threats that are out 
there. As you note in your question, with the length of time 
that we have at home today, 12 months between deployments, we 
do not have time to train for full-spectrum readiness in that 
period of time. We have funding that is allowing us to reset 
the equipment, so that equipment is ready for when soldiers 
redeploy, but, until we get to a deployment-to-dwell ratio that 
gives us adequate time at home, we are going to fall short of 
our goal of full-spectrum readiness.
    Senator Akaka. General Casey?
    General Casey. There's a perception that conventional 
training is not happening in the Army, and it's not happening 
much. But, I recently visited both Japan and Korea, and in 
Japan I witnessed an Army corps participating in a conventional 
scenario partnered with a Japanese corps. Then, in Korea, the 
U.S. forces under General Bell are also doing conventional 
training. So, not much, but it's not nonexistent.
    Senator Akaka. If current operations, Mr. Secretary, in 
Iraq and Afghanistan continue to require the same approximate 
number of forces for the next 2 or 3 years, what impact will 
this have on readiness, do you think?
    Secretary Geren. We are consuming readiness now as quickly 
as we build it, and if we are unable to extend the dwell time, 
if the number of brigades doesn't get down to a demand of 15 
brigades for our Army, we are going to have a difficult time 
having sufficient dwell time to accomplish all the missions 
that we hope to accomplish when a soldier is home. Our soldiers 
are training for the mission which they are asked to do today, 
counterinsurgency mission, and the soldiers that we send into 
combat are well-prepared for what we're asking them to do, but 
the demand to get them prepared for what we are asking them to 
do now understandably limits their ability to prepare for other 
missions.
    General Casey. Senator, if I could.
    Senator Akaka. General Casey?
    General Casey. Based on your question about what will 
happen the next few years, and if you hold the demand steady at 
those 15 Active component brigades, what you see is, with our 
growth, that the amount of dwell time at home gradually 
increases to the point where every year, starting in 2009, we 
get a progressively larger number of forces trained for the 
full spectrum of operations, in addition to the forces that 
we're deploying. So, the growth helps.
    Secretary Geren. When we reach our goal of 76 brigade 
combat teams across all three components, we'll be able to 
sustain up to 19 brigades deployed, at that point. So as we 
grow and reorganize towards that, we will be able to sustain a 
higher level of overseas deployments.
    Senator Akaka. Thank you.
    General Casey, much has been said of the limited value of 
mechanized warfare and the impact technology can have in 
conducting counterinsurgency and stability operations, which 
tend to rely much more on cultural awareness and interpersonal 
relationships to be effective. In essence, the enemy is not a 
willing participant in the information network, and detection 
in urban environments may be beyond the capabilities of any 
known technology. My question is: what are the specific 
advantages that a FCS VCT could bring to the counterinsurgency 
fight that justify its cost in the near term?
    General Casey. Thank you, Senator. A couple of points here. 
First of all, the FCS is an effective system across the 
spectrum of conflict, and I see it as very good at conventional 
war in the 21st century, which is going to be different than 
the wars we plan to fight on the plains of Europe. But, I see 
it as very helpful in terms of irregular warfare. As I 
mentioned in my opening remarks, in irregular warfare, your 
intelligence requirements require much more precision than they 
do in conventional warfare. It's a heck of a lot easier to find 
the second echelon of the 8th Guard's Tank Army than it is to 
find, as you suggested, an individual on the sixth floor of a 
high-rise apartment building in a sprawling city. What we're 
working on with the FCS, and what is being tested and evaluated 
today out at Fort Bliss, are unmanned and unattended ground 
sensors, UAVs, all linked by the network, that will allow us to 
locate, precisely, the targets of our military operations, and 
then to apply precision effects. There's a NLOS weapon system, 
that is part of this first test that you'll see, that can put a 
missile on a target from 40 kilometers away. So its precision 
intelligence-collections ability and its precision attack 
capabilities will make it, in my view, just as useful in 
irregular warfare as it is in conventional warfare.
    Lastly, the network will enable our soldiers to have a much 
better situational understanding of what will inherently be a 
very, very complex environment, and they will be augmented in 
that, in their cultural understanding and their cultural 
training, which would still be part of it. But, as I said, I am 
quite comfortable with the FCS capabilities in both an 
irregular and in a conventional environment.
    Senator Akaka. Thank you for your responses.
    Senator Thune.
    Senator Thune. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Secretary Geren and General Casey, thank you for your 
service and your outstanding leadership to our country. Welcome 
to the committee.
    I have to say that the last 6 years have made me extremely 
proud of the work that our Army does. These amazing men and 
women have performed incredible feats in the toughest of 
environments without complaint, and their families, of course, 
have shouldered an incredible burden, as well, with many of the 
soldiers serving multiple tours in harsh environments overseas.
    What I'd like to do is pick up on some of the questioning. 
I serve as the ranking Republican on the Readiness 
Subcommittee, with Senator Akaka. Last November, when you both 
appeared before the committee, I asked about the unwillingness 
of Congress to deliver adequate and predictable funding to you, 
and what kind of effect this was having. General Casey, you 
answered, ``We will beggar the home front to make sure that our 
soldiers that are in the theater have everything that they 
need, and it will put a terrible burden on soldiers, on 
families, on the institutional Army, our ability to train.'' 
Despite that testimony, Congress decided to provide only a 
portion of the emergency supplemental funds required by the 
President last year, and, in your prepared statement today, you 
emphasized that today's Army is out of balance, that, overall, 
our readiness is being consumed as fast as we build it. These 
statements are obviously cause for deep concern, and I guess my 
question is: is the problem of our readiness being consumed as 
fast as it is built related to the problems that you face in 
receiving timely and complete funding from Congress? Is the 
lack of full funding inhibiting our ability to grow the force 
with the capabilities that we need for future operations?
    Either one of you, if you want to react to that, or answer.
    Secretary Geren. You have to look at the funding in all the 
many categories that we rely on it. We use the term in the 
trade, the color of money, but there's money that can be used 
for certain purposes and can't be used for other purposes. 
Predictable and timely funding is key for us to be able to 
operate an organization that is the size of the United States 
Army. A million men and women in uniform, and over 200,000 
civilians, and over 200,000 contractors. When funding is 
unpredictable, it makes it very hard to plan, long-term.
    One area of great concern for us right now is Base 
Realignment and Closure (BRAC) funding. Last year, you all did 
not fund the entire BRAC bill, and, for the Army, we're $560 
million short, going into this year, in BRAC funding. It's 
going to make it very difficult for us to meet what the law 
requires, finishing BRAC by September 2011. We need that 
funding. We need it sooner, rather than later.
    The military construction funding also is very critical to 
maintaining support for our families. We're moving tens of 
thousands of soldiers around, we're building housing and other 
support structures across the country and around the world, and 
the delays that we've experienced in receiving the military 
construction funding also complicated our ability to being able 
to build what we need, when we need it, and maintain the type 
of synchronization that's necessary in order to manage the 
personnel of a huge organization such as the Army's.
    We are going to run out of the money in personnel in June 
in the supplemental funding, and we will run out of our O&M 
funds in July. As we anticipate that, we'll have to start 
making adjustments in order to accommodate for the ripple 
effect of that situation. So, it makes it very difficult, it 
makes things cost more, and it makes things take longer. Last 
December, we got awfully close to a point where we were going 
to have to start laying off people, or at least giving them 
notice of layoffs, and I'm hopeful that we don't find ourselves 
in that situation this spring. We really need the supplemental 
funding by Memorial Day.
    General Casey. The only thing I'd add to that, Senator, is 
that what you don't necessarily see are the second- and third-
order effects of the delays. For example, I mentioned in my 
opening statement that in fiscal year 2007 we got the money for 
the reset, right up front, and we were able to not only commit 
all of that, but also to buy the spares in advance that we 
needed, the long-lead items. Every time you delay long-lead 
items, you delay the completion of the reset and the vehicle. 
So, there are always second- and third-order effects that 
aren't visible that impact us over the long haul.
    Secretary Geren. Let me mention one other thing, if I 
could, on military construction. When we're operating under a 
continuing resolution, we don't have the authorities for new 
starts, either. That greatly complicates our ability to build 
the infrastructure to meet the needs of our soldiers and their 
families. Over the last several years, we have found ourselves 
having to operate without the new-start authority, or at least 
not having it in a timely manner. That complicates it as well. 
So, it's not just a question of the money, it's also a question 
of the authority which comes from authorizers. That makes it 
challenging to be able to build our infrastructure on the 
timeline that we need in order to meet the needs of our 
soldiers and families.
    Senator Thune. I have some other questions, Mr. Chairman, 
but I see my time is expired. That was the main issue I wanted 
to get out, so perhaps I'll submit some of those for the 
record.
    Thank you.
    Senator Reed [presiding]. Thank you very much.
    Senator Nelson.
    Senator Ben Nelson. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Thank you, gentlemen, for your service. I know our men and 
women in Army green are indebted to you for your commitment, 
and we appreciate your giving us your candid appraisal of where 
we are, at the moment, with readiness and a number of other 
extremely important issues.
    One of them has come to my attention; last week, the 
Washington Post published an article outlining the Army's 
policy on maternity leave and deferments from war-zone areas 
for new mothers that are serving in the military. According to 
the story, new mothers are facing a continuing difficult 
decision between motherhood and their service for their 
country. New mothers who have the critical skills to support 
operations in Iraq and Afghanistan have to seek a deferment 
which would allow them to spend more time with their newborn 
before having to return to their job within the military.
    In 2007, the Navy extended their deferment time for new 
mothers to 12 months. But the Army's policy only allows, at the 
present time, for 4 months before facing deployment. Some of my 
colleagues and I have written a letter to Secretary Gates to 
review the current policies that are in place, but I wonder, 
Secretary Geren, in light of our need to keep skilled 
personnel, many of whom are women, maybe as much as 15 percent 
of our force, what are your thoughts about the Army's policy 
versus the Navy policy, or at least in looking at the policy to 
see if this is a reasonable period of time or whether it should 
be extended?
    Secretary Geren. The chief and I have had numerous 
discussions about that, and we have tasked the Army staff to 
examine that policy and examine the impact of a change in that 
policy. I don't want to prejudge the outcome at this point, but 
we have asked them to explain to us why we should not be able 
to increase the maternity leave at least up to the level where 
the marines have been, which is 6 months.
    Senator Ben Nelson. With the force strength that we have, 
and the number of deployments and extended deployments, and 
trying to cut all that down, it only adds another variable to 
your already difficult task. But, if we're going to think about 
both recruitment and retention, I think clearly that has to be 
reviewed because it has to have some impact on people deciding 
whether to get in or stay in, if they have to get an extended 
deferment in order to have a family.
    Secretary Geren. I understand and share your concerns, and 
we should be able to get back with you pretty soon with an 
answer.
    [The information referred to follows:]

    Current Army policy requires a 4-month Postpartum Operational 
Deferment period for a female soldier after the birth of a child. The 
Army Postpartum Operational Deferment policy matches designated 
guidelines established by the Office of the Secretary of Defense.
    The Army recognizes the merit in lengthening the Postpartum 
Operational Deferment period, and intends to lengthen that period to 6 
months once Active Army units return to a 12-month deployment rotation 
policy from the 15-month deployment rotation policy that is currently 
in place.

    Senator Ben Nelson. Okay.
    I think it was June 2007 that the Center for New American 
Security Publication titled ``Institutionalizing Adaptation 
Report'' stated, ``The most important military component of the 
long war will not be the fighting we do ourselves, but how well 
we enable and empower our allies to fight with us.'' We're 
faced with requiring heavy numbers with a very well-armed and 
well-staffed Army to do what we would call, I guess, the 
essential combat of the past that an Army does. But, we're now 
faced with new requirements around the world. I guess we're no 
longer talking about nation-building, that's passe. At least in 
trying to help other countries develop their own military, are 
we at a point where we need to have a standing Army Advisory 
Corps, General Casey, as well as the typical operating mix of 
conventional forces and Special Operations Forces?
    General Casey. That's something that we are looking at very 
closely, and not only internally, but also with the Commander 
of Special Operations Command, Admiral Olson, and with the 
Commandant of the Marine Corps. In fact, we're getting 
together, here, in the next couple of weeks to discuss that.
    Clearly, one of the elements of any former battlefield, we 
believe, will be our ability to interact and work with 
indigenous forces.
    Senator Ben Nelson. Without knowing the answer to this, 
it's impossible to even give much of a guess, but on a 50-50 
basis, do you think that 50 percent of the future will require 
conventional forces, or will it be 60 percent or 40 percent? 
What mix do you envision between an asymmetrical combat force 
capability and conventional force capability?
    General Casey. Senator, as we look to the future, we 
believe that we will be best served by multipurpose forces that 
can operate across the full spectrum of conflict, from 
conventional war to peacetime engagement. That's the doctrine 
that I spoke about here. Those are the forces that we are 
trying to build. I would also tell you a bit more about your 
initial question. Cleary, there's an increasing role for 
special forces in training other armies, and we are increasing 
the number of special forces battalions by five, and that will 
give us great capability. We are, as you suggest, examining 
whether we should put an assistance group in each of the 
regional combatant commanders. We're working with them to see 
if that would be useful to them.
    But, working with indigenous forces is clearly an element 
of any future battlefield.
    Senator Ben Nelson. My time's up, but I'm going to follow 
up with a letter to the Secretary of Defense, in light of the 
concern that we have about the North Atlantic Treaty 
Organization's (NATO) capabilities of providing military 
support, where necessary, at the required levels of support 
necessary. Should we be looking, perhaps, for a two-tiered 
approach by NATO to not only have the capabilities of combat 
forces, as in the case of Afghanistan, but for more assistance 
in this area of an advisory role for part of their commitment? 
It seems to me that it's one thing for us to hit them over the 
head because they don't send enough troops, they don't have 
enough troops, they don't keep enough troops, and I'm not 
talking about all those that are already doing it, but those 
who can't. There may be another role that they could play. 
Rather than have us hit them over the head for what they're not 
doing, maybe we ought to start thinking about what they could 
do, and how they could support that kind of a growth in the 
Army.
    General Casey. The NATO allies, especially Italy, did a 
great job in Iraq training police. The Carbinieri were very 
effective in the south.
    Senator Ben Nelson. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you, 
gentlemen.
    Senator Reed. Senator Graham.
    Senator Graham. Thank you, Senator.
    I missed the discussion between Senators Levin, Collins, 
and, I think, yourselves, about what law governs contractor 
behavior. The sooner we could get an answer to that situation, 
I think, the better the country would be.
    I've just gotten back from a fairly extended visit to Iraq, 
and one of the big issues facing our country is that we're 
going to war now with, I think, over 100,000 contractors. 
They're patriotic Americans who are doing a great job, 
generally speaking, for our country, but we've never had a war 
quite like this. The idea of that many people being in Iraq, 
some of them with guns, requires us to address this problem and 
find out what law does regulate their behavior; because, Mr. 
Secretary, General Casey, I think it's a very demoralizing 
event for an E-4 or E-5 to be sitting across the table from a 
civilian contractor who makes four times what they make, and 
the contractor breaks the rules in an obvious way, and nothing 
happens, other than maybe getting fired. So, I would just add 
my voice to the idea that we need, as a country, to come up 
with a solution to this problem.
    General Casey, when it comes to force reductions in Iraq, 
the goal is to try to get to 15 brigades, I think, by July. Is 
that correct?
    General Casey. Correct, sir.
    Senator Graham. Could you explain to me, very briefly, the 
collaborative process that's going on, in determining when the 
troops come home, between you, General Petraeus, and others?
    General Casey. General Petraeus will come back in April and 
give his assessment of what needs to happen after July. He will 
interact with the Joint Chiefs in the process of forming his 
recommendations. But, there will also be independent action by 
the Joint Chiefs, so that we can present the President with our 
independent views on what the situation requires.
    Senator Graham. I understand that, and my two cents worth 
here is that it's been a very hard fight to turn things around 
in Iraq. I think we are turning things around politically, 
economically, and militarily. Every one wants the troops back 
home, and you can add me to that list. But, more than anything 
else, I want to make sure we don't lose the gains we've 
achieved by going down too fast. I'm sure you're sensitive to 
that. Is that correct, General Casey?
    General Casey. I am sensitive to that, sir.
    Senator Graham. I know the troops want to come home, but 
they're very proud of what they've achieved, and I want to make 
sure that we don't bring people home for anything other than 
success. I think they're going to come home with success.
    General Casey. Senator, if I could add to what you say.
    Senator Graham. Please. Yes, sir.
    General Casey. As I talk to the soldiers, it's exactly what 
you suggest. The most important thing to them is winning, not 
necessarily coming home.
    Senator Graham. Generally speaking, General Casey, how is 
morale for folks in the Army, particularly in Iraq and 
Afghanistan?
    General Casey. Senator, everything I have personally 
observed during my visits in December, and that I continue to 
hear, is that morale, both in Iraq, Afghanistan, and among the 
returning forces, is very positive. They believe in what 
they're doing. They see themselves making a difference in a 
very difficult environment. So I believe morale is very good.
    Now, as we said before you arrived, the force is stretched 
and there is no question about that. I just visited a brigade 
in Alaska that had been back about 90 days. My assessment is, 
they felt pretty good about what they did, but they were tired.
    Senator Graham. Sure, and that's why we're trying to build 
up the Army, right?
    General Casey. Right.
    Senator Graham. Is that correct? Okay.
    There was a comment made at, I think, the last Democratic 
debate by Senator Obama. Mr. Secretary, I don't know if you are 
familiar with what he said, but basically, during the debate, 
he indicated that a captain who was in charge of a rifle 
platoon in Afghanistan had come up to him and said that the 
amount of troops in that platoon were basically reduced in 
half, and the other half went to Iraq, and that the people left 
over went to Afghanistan, and they didn't have bullets, and 
they had to use Taliban weapons. It was easier to use Taliban 
weapons than it was to get the equipment they needed from the 
Army. Has Senator Obama talked to you or anyone in the 
Department about this?
    Secretary Geren. No. I have not discussed it with Senator 
Obama. General Casey, though, has looked into this issue, and 
I'd like to give him the opportunity to respond, with your 
permission.
    Senator Graham. Please.
    General Casey. Senator, as we looked into this, the best we 
could tell is, this incident occurred back in 2003 and 2004, 
and it was in a brigade of the 10th Mountain Division. We have 
talked to the brigade commander, and we've looked at their 
readiness reports. The brigade was manned over 100 percent, and 
stayed over 100 percent manned the whole time they were there. 
Now, it's certainly possible that platoons within that brigade 
might not have been filled to the same level as the rest of the 
brigade.
    You'll recall that was a difficult time, as we were all 
working very hard to get uparmored Humvees in to the troops. 
There were no uparmored Humvees available for him in training, 
which is one of the points that he made; there were only, at 
that time, a little over 50 in all of Afghanistan.
    There may have been some spot shortages of spare parts and 
ammunition, but the commander said that there was never a 
shortage of ammunition that impacted on the unit's ability to 
accomplish its mission.
    Senator Graham. But, you were never contacted by Senator 
Obama in 2003 or 2004, or any other time?
    General Casey. No, I have not been.
    Senator Graham. Okay. Thank you very much.
    Chairman Levin [presiding]. Thank you, Senator Graham.
    Senator McCaskill.
    Senator McCaskill. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Since we had a McCain moment, I think I need to have an 
Obama moment, out of fairness. It wasn't what I intended to ask 
about, but Secretary Geren and General Casey, I think you both 
are certainly aware that this captain has been contacted and 
has independently verified to independent sources the 
frustration he had with getting everything they needed, to do 
what they needed to do in Afghanistan. Is that your 
understanding, that this captain who has served valiantly and 
heroically, has independently verified that, certainly, there 
was a frustration over getting what they needed to do the job 
in Afghanistan at that point in time?
    General Casey. Senator, I don't think there's any doubt 
about that. We have purposefully not tried to seek out the 
captain, individually.
    Senator McCaskill. Which I respect.
    General Casey. I've seen the same reports that you've seen. 
Again, I have no reason to doubt what it is the captain says. 
But, this was 2003-2004, almost 4\1/2\ years ago. We 
acknowledge, and we all worked together to correct, 
deficiencies with equipment that we saw during that period, not 
only in Afghanistan, but in Iraq. It was a period that we have 
worked our way through.
    Senator McCaskill. I admire the acknowledgment that has 
occurred in this hearing room, by command, DOD, Secretary 
Gates, and by you and all of your colleagues, at the 
shortcomings, in terms of getting the equipment and we all know 
the shortages we have in Afghanistan right now, in terms of 
boots-on-the-ground. I mean, that is a critical, critical 
problem for us right now, in terms of us having success with 
NATO, getting the number of other countries involved, like we 
should have and haven't been able to, because of their 
unwillingness. So to act as if this Army captain is speaking 
about something that we all haven't acknowledged, I think, 
frankly, is misleading.
    Now I'll get to my questions.
    First of all, I want to congratulate Senator Nelson for 
speaking about maternity leave. I'm glad that he showed his 
softer side today and acknowledged that this is a career issue 
for the Army.
    I also want to talk, in passing, before I get to officer 
retention, about paternity leave. I think that it's time for 
the Army, frankly, and for the Secretary of Defense to look at, 
overall, a uniformity of policy between the various branches as 
it relates to both maternity leave and acknowledgment of some 
recognition of paternity leave. I know this was being 
discussed. I know that there was a pullback that occurred by 
one of the Under Secretaries of Defense about paternity leave. 
But, I just wanted to say that I'm hopeful that you all 
continue to look at that issue, because it dovetails nicely 
with what I want to ask you about this morning, which is our 
ability to retain officers.
    [The information referred to follows:]

    The Department of Defense is reviewing a legislative proposal that 
will amend section 701 of title 10, U.S.C., to include a new 
authorization to allow up to 21 days of permissive temporary duty for 
servicemembers in conjunction with the birth of a new child. The 
legislative proposal is consistent with a recent congressional change 
to section 701 of title 10 (section 593), which authorized up to 21 
days of administrative leave for a servicemember adopting a child. As 
with all leave, paternity leave would be granted on an individual basis 
dependent on the unit's mission and operational circumstances.

    Senator McCaskill. I would like both of you to speak to 
what I think the Government Accountability Office (GAO) pointed 
out, which is, we need to consolidate the command over West 
Point and Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC), in terms of 
officer retention and it worries me that we are promoting 98 
percent of our captains and majors right now. That's an 
extraordinarily high number. It also worried me that we are 
doing the officer ascension program directly through Officer 
Candidate School, as opposed to West Point and ROTC. Looking 
from the outside, it appears to me that we may have a little 
turf war going on here between the command of West Point and 
the command of ROTC. Clearly, if I have young people that have 
applied to go to West Point, and they don't make it, we need to 
make sure we're grabbing those folks and getting them in the 
ROTC program. I'm very worried about this lack of coordination, 
especially when you realize that this is a huge hole that we 
can't patch. We have to integrate a solution and I'd love both 
of you to speak to that.
    Secretary Geren. Thank you for raising that. I appreciated 
the letter you sent on that. I've studied the GAO report and 
agree with many of those concerns.
    We have tasked a retired general to look at this issue and 
make some recommendations on how we could do a better job of 
coordinating the overall officer accessions. We are already 
working to do a better job of taking those outstanding young 
men and women who are not accepted into West Point, and trying 
to make them aware and recruit them into ROTC programs. But, 
overall, we have to do a better job of taking what, right now, 
are, by and large, three stovepipes--the military Academy, 
ROTC, and OCS--and bring those together and break down the 
walls between them. Over the course of this spring, we'll be 
back to you with a proposal to address those very important 
concerns. We are in agreement about the challenge, and we'll be 
getting back with you soon on a recommended way ahead.
    Senator McCaskill. I'm happy. I know that the stovepiping 
is resisted by the commands, and if some pointed letters to any 
of those commands, General, would help, I'm more than happy to 
let my pen fly.
    General Casey. Thank you for the offer, Senator. I find 
they respond pretty well to my direction.
    Senator McCaskill. I think that you can handle it, but I 
just want you to know there are several of us that have your 
back on this one. I think it's really important.
    General Casey. Thank you.
    Secretary Geren. Thank you.
    Senator McCaskill. Thank you.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Levin. Thank you, Senator McCaskill.
    Senator Sessions.
    Senator Sessions. General Casey, one of the things that you 
promised to do when you returned as our commander in Iraq was, 
as Chief of Staff, to check on the status of families, those 
who've served, how they're doing. Your wife has been active in 
that. You've visited with a lot of people. First, are you 
continuing to do that? What are your observations, in general, 
and concerns about the state of the Army family health?
    General Casey. Senator, as I took over here, and we--my 
wife and I--traveled around the Army, it was clear to us, and 
this is late last summer, that the families were the most 
brittle part of the force, that we were asking more of Army 
families than I, frankly, thought that we should have been. We 
weren't doing enough for them. I've been a member of an Army 
family for 60 years, so I have some experience in this.
    In October, the Secretary and I issued an Army Family 
Covenant where we restated the commitment of the Army to 
families. We focused that covenant on five key areas, and they 
were the five key areas that families gave to my wife and I, 
that they were most concerned about.
    They wanted standardized services. They said, ``We don't 
need a bunch of fancy new programs. What we need is you to fund 
what you have, standardize them across the installations.''
    They want better access to quality health care. Quality is 
not usually the problem; it's accessing, getting into the 
system. So we're working with the Defense Health Services on 
that one.
    They want quality housing, they want better education and 
childcare opportunities for their children, and they want 
better education opportunities and employment opportunities for 
themselves.
    So we have focused $1.4 billion last year, and $1.2 billion 
this year, in this budget, on improving family programs. That's 
about double what we've done in the past. I believe it is 
absolutely essential to continue on that track, to retain the 
quality force that we have today.
    Mr. Secretary, anything you want to add to that?
    Secretary Geren. I'd like to add something quickly. We 
signed the Family Covenant, our leaders at each command signed 
it, all across the world--we had 120 Family Covenant signings--
to make sure that families understood our commitment to them.
    Senator Sessions. Were the families participating in these 
signing ceremonies?
    Secretary Geren. Yes, they did. We had large family groups 
at every signing. The Chief mentioned some of the funding and 
some of these new initiatives that have been undertaken, but 
some of the most important initiatives that help the families 
are going to come from those commanders on the ground, those 
garrison commanders and those command sergeant majors, as they 
identify ways to just make the Army work better for families.
    General Caldwell, out at Leavenworth, he took over the 
command there, and saw that we had a start time for the classes 
at Leavenworth that conflicted with the start time for 
children's classes in the area schools. So General Caldwell 
moved the start time of his classes back 30 minutes, so the 
parents, who had the responsibility of taking care of those 
children, could take the kids to school, and could eat 
breakfast with them. I think it's little things like that, in 
addition to some of these major budget initiatives, that are 
going to make the Army work better for families. So, we are 
going to see a lot of creativity coming out of leaders, up and 
down, NCOs and officers, as we try to make the Army work better 
for families.
    I'd like to briefly mention, we did the Covenant with 
Families last fall, this spring, we're going to do a covenant 
between the communities and families. Every installation in 
America has some wonderful programs in which the local 
communities stand up and support families; Adopt a Platoon, the 
Hugs program that helps families through difficult times. Every 
one of the installations all over the country has some, or 
many, innovative programs to help families.
    We're going across the whole force in trying to identify 
those, catalog them, identify the best practices, and, over the 
course of this spring and through the summer, we're going to be 
going to all the major installations across our country to 
invite our community leaders to join us in this Covenant with 
Families, and give them some ideas on things they can do to 
help families better; take good ideas from Alabama and take 
them to Texas, or take them to Oklahoma. So, it's our second 
step in this.
    We are, the Chief used the term, brittle. The families no 
doubt are stretched. They have shown extraordinary resilience. 
But, we can do more as an Army, we can do more as a government, 
and our communities can do more. So we're inviting them to join 
hands with us and help better support those families during 
these challenging times.
    Senator Sessions. I think you're wise to spend time on 
that. I think it's the right thing to do. We are asking a great 
deal of men and women in uniform, and, as a result, we want 
them to be supported in every feasible way.
    My time is up, but I do believe we're making some progress 
on improving housing. Some very good housing programs are out 
there that have accelerated our ability to produce housing much 
faster than we've done in the past. But, I hope that the Army, 
in particular, will emphasize, because we don't mean that our 
Army personnel, who oftentimes are away while their family's at 
home, are in anything but the best housing we can give them.
    So, thank you, General Casey, for your commitment to that 
issue. I believe you'll fulfill the commitments you made when 
you were confirmed and I asked you about that.
    Secretary Geren, I appreciate your report. I think that's a 
step in the right direction, because we are all worried that 
our personnel are supported adequately in a whole host of 
different areas.
    Secretary Geren. Thank you.
    Chairman Levin. Thank you, Senator Sessions.
    Senator Nelson.
    Senator Bill Nelson. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. Secretary, I want to thank you for your getting 
personally involved in this case of the World War II veteran 
who was inaccurately imprisoned and given a dishonorable 
discharge. The Army, a half a century later, recognized its 
mistake and gave him an honorable discharge; but then, to 
compensate him for the year that he spent in prison, sent him 
his pay of $720. I want to thank you for personally getting 
into it, with the VA, to try to figure out some appropriate 
compensation, given the fact that 50 years has passed. So, 
thank you.
    Mr. Secretary, the chairman has already asked you to 
release the full classified version of the RAND report, which 
was on the planning for post-war Iraq, which was prepared for 
the Army by the RAND Corporation, and also to prepare an 
unclassified summary. I'd like to, additionally, suggest that 
the RAND study be sent to the Intelligence Committee. I have 
the privilege, as does the chairman, of sitting on both 
committees, and, if you will do that, we would appreciate it 
very much.
    [The information referred to follows:]

    The Chief of Legislative Liaison, Major General Galen Jackman, 
responded to your request on March 20, 2008. A copy of the letter from 
General Jackman is attached.
      
    
    
      
    Senator Bill Nelson. Now, what I want to suggest to you 
here is that, it has come to my attention, from women in my 
State, the rapes that have occurred in Afghanistan and Iraq. I 
have been after this to try to get information, but what we'd 
like is to know the number of sexual assaults. Now, this is not 
military people, these are contractors. If you had this in the 
military, you have the UCMJ. Now, the chairman has already 
asked you, earlier today, what law applies if a civilian 
contractor commits a crime, and you said you would get back to 
the chairman on that. What we're finding is incomplete 
information and also this Never-Never Land of not knowing what 
to do and what laws to apply, and who's going to enforce it. 
You would think, if it's a contractor to DOD, DOD would enforce 
the prosecution of these crimes. Same for a contractor with the 
State Department, and so forth. So, for the record, let me just 
lay out a number of questions that I'd like you to address. 
We're not going to have time, obviously, in this setting here.
    The Inspector General (IG) has given us what they thought 
were the sexual assaults in 2005, 2006, and 2007, but we need 
to know, going back to the beginning of October 2001 in 
Afghanistan, and then, likewise, March 2003 in Iraq, what's the 
disposition of each of those sexual assault cases? What are the 
Service components or government agencies involved in each 
investigation? What is the status of the persons involved in 
each case? In other words, are they Active Duty military? Are 
they U.S. Government civilian employee, contract employee, or 
Iraqi national? Who has the jurisdiction or investigative 
authority for these sexual assault allegations in both 
Afghanistan and Iraq? This committee should have a clear 
explanation of the rules, regulations, policies, and processes 
under which these sexual assaults are investigated and 
prosecuted.
    It's obviously in our oversight responsibility to ask these 
questions. We would be most appreciative if you could help us 
get this information, because we've gotten very limited 
information, thus far, as a result of the IG referring us to 
the Army Criminal Investigative Command.
    Senator Bill Nelson. I come to the table with this, 
because, indeed, there is a Tampa lady that was part of a 
contractor that had contracted to the DOD. I've already talked 
to the chairman. In my capacity as chairman of a subcommittee 
in Foreign Relations, I'm going to have a hearing on this, as 
it involves the contractors to the Department of State. But, we 
need this information with regard to the DOD.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    [The information referred to follows:]

    This information would be more appropriately addressed by the 
General Counsel, Office of the Secretary of Defense.

    Chairman Levin. Thank you very much, Senator Nelson. Let me 
just, first of all, commend you for your pursuit of this issue. 
We will ask our witnesses whether or not they will be able to 
promptly provide that information.
    Secretary Geren?
    Secretary Geren. We'll certainly work to provide everything 
we can acquire. Now, it's possible that some of this 
information will come from other departments of government, but 
we'd be glad to cooperate with them and do everything we can to 
get you the information you request.
    Chairman Levin. That's great. Thank you so much.
    Senator Webb.
    Senator Webb. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Just to follow up briefly on what the Senator from Florida 
just asked you. General Casey could tell us what law applied to 
contractors when you were commanding troops over there.
    General Casey. We did this earlier, Senator, and the UCMJ 
applied to the folks that were working for the DOD.
    Senator Webb. Applied to civilians?
    General Casey. The contractors.
    Senator Webb. Civilian contractors were under the UCMJ?
    General Casey. That worked for DOD. Not all of them.
    Senator Webb. That worked for DOD. How many are you talking 
about?
    General Casey. It varied over the time I was there, 
Senator. I want to say around 20,000.
    Senator Webb. You had 20,000 civilian contractors subject 
to the UCMJ?
    General Casey. I'm sorry not----
    Senator Webb. How many were subject to the UCMJ when you 
there?
    General Casey. Senator, I do not recall the number right 
now.
    Senator Webb. Approximately. You were commanding the 
troops. How many were subject to the UCMJ?
    General Casey. Senator, we worked very hard over time to 
get an accurate number on contractors, and I want to say the 
number that was subject to UCMJ was around 7,000 to 8,000, but 
I am not sure of that number.
    Senator Webb. When you were commanding, 7,000 to 8,000 
civilians were subject to the UCMJ?
    General Casey. That's my recollection, yes, Senator.
    Senator Webb. Do you know if any of them were ever charged 
under the UCMJ?
    General Casey. Senator, I have vague recollections of a 
couple of cases, but I can't say for certain.
    Senator Webb. As someone who has spent some time in 
military law, and sat on courts-martial and been involved in 
the appeal of cases out of the UCMJ, I'm not even sure how you 
could have a proper court for a civilian under UCMJ, or how you 
could charge them. The most recent news I've heard about this 
was that this was a proposal last year, when I arrived on this 
committee. You're saying that you actually had civilians in 
Iraq subject to the UCMJ, who were subject to proceedings under 
the UCMJ?
    General Casey. Senator, my recollection is that we had UCMJ 
authority over some number of DOD civilians that were 
contracted by DOD. I am not 100 percent certain of that.
    Senator Webb. I'd like to know. I would think, quite 
frankly, if you were commanding people over there, you'd know 
that.
    General Casey. At one time, I did Senator, and it's been a 
while.
    Senator Webb. It's been a while since you knew that? I can 
remember when I was commanding troops in 1969.
    General Casey. Yes, Senator.
    Senator Webb. It's not a difficult concept, whether people 
are subject to the UCMJ. This isn't something I was going to 
ask about, but I find it very curious.
    Senator Bill Nelson. May I say to the Senator that I have 
been told that the UCMJ does not apply, and that's the reason 
why we have to get some clarity about what law does apply to 
protect these Americans that are serving their country in a 
civilian capacity abroad. Thank you.
    Senator Webb. I would agree. I would say to the Senator 
from Florida that this was an issue that came up in the 
Personnel Subcommittee last year as a proposal.
    I'm not aware of anyone, Mr. Chairman, who as a civilian, 
has been subjected to UCMJ.
    Chairman Levin. We've asked the question so that we can get 
very clear answers for the record. We've not gotten them 
clearly this morning. I believe that my chief of staff has just 
told me that, in the last couple of years, we've taken some 
steps relative to contingency operations, and people who are 
contracted for, relative to those operations, to be covered. 
But, that's within the last couple of years, and I'm not sure I 
even heard my own chief of staff, because he was whispering in 
my ear as you were asking the question.
    In any event, Secretary Geren has also, this morning, 
indicated a backup form of prosecution, and used an acronym, 
which I'm not personally familiar with.
    Perhaps, Secretary Geren, you could repeat for us what you 
made reference to earlier this morning, in terms of possible 
prosecution by the Department of Justice.
    Secretary Geren. It's a law that was passed in the early 
1990s, and it goes by the acronym of MEJA. It gives our Justice 
Department the authority to prosecute crimes by American 
citizens abroad, and it came out of a case in which an American 
citizen, I believe in Saudi Arabia, committed a crime and led 
to this initiative. It has not been used much. As I understand 
it, it's been used 12 to 18 times.
    Chairman Levin. In Iraq? In Afghanistan?
    Secretary Geren. No. I think just overall, as I understand 
it. It's a Justice Department authority, it's not a DOD 
authority. I believe it's been used twice in Iraq. One was a 
CACI contractor, having to do with one of the detainee 
investigations. It was a CACI contractor that was accused of 
detainee abuse, and I believe he was prosecuted under MEJA. 
There was one other case, and I don't remember the details of 
that one. But, it's been used very sparingly. At one point, I 
heard the Justice Department discuss some of the challenges 
associated with applying that as a prosecution tool. There's 
problems with witnesses and gathering evidence. They could, 
obviously, provide you more insights than I could.
    As I understand it, in 2007, Senator Graham offered an 
amendment that expanded the application of the UCMJ for use 
against civilians, and broadened that authority, and clarified 
that authority. Some of our commanders are waiting for some 
implementing instructions to figure out exactly how you do it. 
As Senator Webb noted, there are some obvious complications 
using the UCMJ as broadly as it's now allowed under Senator 
Graham's amendment.
    Chairman Levin. Yes, that is the reference which my chief 
of staff made, was to that 2007 amendment by Senator Graham, 
which became law.
    Secretary Geren. Yes.
    Chairman Levin. Yes.
    Okay, we ought to give you some additional time, Senator.
    Senator Webb. I would just say to the chairman, I would 
appreciate if we could really stay on top of this a little bit, 
because I think that Congress has been rolled on this issue for 
quite some time. We now have in excess of 150,000 contractors 
in Iraq, from the count that I've seen; it's probably higher 
than that. I'm not aware of any case, there may be a case, but 
I'm not aware of any case where serious crimes have been 
brought to justice. We know serious crimes have been committed.
    Chairman Levin. We did ask before for a very prompt 
assessment, because other committees are also interested in 
this subject, and there's been an IG report on this subject so 
that Secretary Geren committed to a very prompt overview of the 
law in this area.
    Senator Webb. I thank the chairman.
    Mr. Secretary, I was told by Senator Warner, who's not here 
today, that, in a meeting with him, you expressed, I'm not sure 
whether they were your personal views or the views of the 
Department of the Army, that you were in support of the concept 
of a GI bill that would take care of these people who have been 
serving since September 11 in the same way that those who 
served in World War II were taken care of.
    Secretary Geren. We talked, in general, about expanding the 
benefits of the GI bill, and talked, most specifically, about 
expanding the eligibility of benefits so that a soldier could 
transfer his or her GI bill benefits to spouses and children. 
That was really the focus of our conversation that day. 
Congress had passed legislation several years ago that allowed 
us, for critical skills, to offer an expansion of the use of GI 
bill benefits allowed to be transferred to children, and 
talked, that day, about how we might expand that benefit and 
make it more broadly available.
    Senator Webb. Right. That's a totally separate concept than 
the issue of S.22, the GI bill that's before the Senate right 
now. That's taking the Montgomery GI bill and moving it 
laterally rather than measurably increasing the benefits 
themselves.
    Secretary Geren. That was our discussion.
    Senator Webb. Does the Department of the Army have a 
position on the expansion of GI bill benefits other than the 
Montgomery GI bill?
    Secretary Geren. No, Senator, we have not had an 
opportunity to reach a final recommendation on it. The 
Secretary of Defense, Dr. Gates, has taken ownership of that 
initiative, for want of a better word. The Services are working 
with his Under Secretary in analyzing the bill. We have not had 
an opportunity to work through all the provisions of it. In the 
President's State of the Union, he noted the GI bill is one of 
the areas that he wants to see our Department expand its 
benefits.
    Senator Webb. I am told that the administration opposes 
this and so I'm trying to get some clarification. I mentioned 
that to Secretary Gates when he was testifying, and in concept, 
I think he agreed with what we were saying here. I would note 
that you have a pilot program, I just got something on this 
about a week ago, that as a recruitment incentive will pay 
enlistees who sign up for 5 years, as it reads here in this 
article, $40,000 toward purchasing a home when they leave the 
Army.
    Secretary Geren. Yes.
    Senator Webb. I don't know what the cost of that program 
is, but the argument against S. 22 is that it would affect 
retention at the end. What you're seeing here is clearly an 
incentive for someone to get out and cash in their $40,000 to 
buy a home at the end of an enlistment. As someone who spent a 
lot of my life working manpower issues, I would respectfully 
say that probably the best recruitment incentive you can give 
people if you want to broaden your recruiting pool is good 
educational benefits. You seem to be pounding on one potential 
pool of enlistees over and over again, when you have this whole 
group over here of people who are struggling to get through 
college, who might have some incentive to serve, that aren't 
being fit into the formula.
    Secretary Geren. Unquestionably, educational benefits are 
one of the most appealing benefits for service in the United 
States military. It's a big part of our recruiting, it's a big 
part of our retention. The Secretary of Defense, again, has 
taken ownership of evaluating that. The Services are providing 
input, and to my knowledge, the administration has not taken a 
position on the bill. I'm not aware of it, if the 
administration has.
    Senator Webb. We've had a number of articles in the Service 
Times where the administration has opposed the bill. The VA 
opposed it in hearings last year. I'm on the Committee on 
Veterans' Affairs as well. Like the General, I've been around 
the military since the day I was born. I feel very strongly 
about the people who are serving. I think that the military, 
right now, has been doing a very good job, in terms of managing 
its career force. We have some disagreements on the dwell-time 
issues and that sort of thing. But, there are so many people 
who come into the military because of family tradition, love of 
country, with no intention of really staying. Those are the 
people who are getting lost in the system. That is a pool that 
actually would expand with the right sort of educational 
benefits, and they'd have something when they walked back into 
the community. The number one recruiting tool, at least from 
the time that I was doing this, back in the community, is a 
veteran who is proud of their service and believes strongly 
that the military took care of them. So, this is kind of a no-
brainer to me. I can't see why we can't get it done.
    Secretary Geren. It's being actively evaluated right now, 
and the Department will take a position on it, I expect, soon. 
I checked, just as of yesterday, and the Office of the 
Secretary of Defense was still accepting input from the 
Services, and evaluating it, and looking at the financial 
implications. As soon as a decision is made, sir, we'll get 
back with you, Senator.
    Senator Webb. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Levin. Thank you, Senator Webb.
    When you present the analysis of the law which applies to 
contractors as to whether they can be prosecuted either in a 
military court or in an American court, include in that any 
understandings or agreements which have been reached between 
the American authorities and the Iraqi authorities relative to 
the prosecution of these folks in Iraqi courts.
    Secretary Geren. We will.
    [The information referred to follows:]

    The information you requested was provided in a March 31, 2008, 
letter from the Honorable Benedict S. Cohen, General Counsel of the 
Department of the Army. I have enclosed that letter for your records.
      
    
    
      
    
    

    Chairman Levin. Okay.
    Secretary Geren. Just to expand, earlier you asked us to 
address the State Department.
    Chairman Levin. That is correct.
    Secretary Geren. We'll try to pull together a picture of 
the entire governmental position.
    Chairman Levin. We appreciate that.
    Senator Kennedy, thank you for your patience.
    Senator Kennedy. Thank you very much, General.
    I'd like to talk with you a little this morning about the 
kinds of pressures that are upon those that have served, and 
also those that are serving in the military, in order to 
understand the state of our Army.
    First of all, in this area of Army suicide in 2007, the 
Army suicide rate was the highest it's ever been. In 2006, Army 
suicides rose to 17 percent. That number increased to 20 
percent in 2007, when 121 soldiers committed suicide, more than 
double the numbers reported in 2001, before we sent troops into 
Iraq.
    The Army strives to ensure that 90 percent of its enlistees 
have high school diplomas. Last year, only 79 percent of the 
enlistees achieved that goal. The Army conduct waivers have 
more than doubled since 2003. The felony conviction waivers 
have increased 24 percent. Serious misdemeanor waivers have 
increased by 168 percent. These obviously highlight the strain 
we placed on the Armed Forces. The Army is currently facing a 
shortage of 3,000 officers or more, and the shortage is 
overwhelming in the mid-grades, the senior captains and majors. 
The Army recently announced that it failed to meet its goal of 
retaining 14,184 captains, and retained only 11,933, despite an 
aggressive campaign that offered cash bonuses, as much as 
$35,000, plus ability to choose next assignment or attend 
military-funded graduate school in exchange for continued 
service. All told, 67 percent of those eligible for the program 
agreed to serve an additional 1 to 3 years. The goal was 80 
percent. The attitude of the very young, in terms of how they 
view joining of the Service, has been dramatically altered or 
changed in the last several years.
    Several weeks ago, Senator McCaskill and I and others wrote 
to you about some of these challenges that you're having, in 
terms of the expansion of West Point and Officers Candidate 
Schools. We've reached sort of a level on this. It seems that 
we're reaching a perfect storm here, both in terms of attitude 
of young people going in, and in terms of the key personnel 
that are in there, remaining and staying. For those that do 
remain and stay, and that have been called on to go to Iraq and 
Afghanistan, it's an explosion in terms of domestic problems 
and challenges that are happening.
    What's your take of this? How should we view all of this? 
Is this the perfect storm, what's happening in terms of the 
military? How much should we be concerned about it? Is it just 
enough to change the tempo of service from 15 to 12 months? If 
you look at all of these kinds of indicators together, and take 
them, it certainly poses a very serious kind of challenge for 
the military. How are we going to deal with this?
    General Casey. Senator, you're right, and you are seeing 
the signs of a force that is stretched and under stress. The 
Secretary and I monitor these and other trends on a very 
regular basis, and it is something that we are all very 
concerned about and watch very closely.
    That said, there are some other positive indicators that we 
also watch. For example, retention: NCO retention in all three 
of our components is well above 100 percent. That's a very 
strong signal. We believe that even though the force is 
stretched, they are still a very dedicated and committed group.
    The second thing I'd say is that all of these indicators 
that you've mentioned, we are looking at and addressing. You 
mentioned suicides; that is something that concerns us all. We 
have a four-point program that we've been implementing for some 
time to reduce the stigma, to raise awareness, increase access 
to behavioral health care, and provide feedback to commanders.
    So, it's a combination of, one, recognizing that, yes, the 
force is stretched and stressed, and then, two, taking 
aggressive action to provide as much support and mitigation to 
the soldiers and the families as we can.
    Senator Kennedy. You had a task force that was focused on 
suicide, and then that became, as I understand, generally 
underfunded until very recently. I don't know what the take is 
on that. It seems to me, the re-enlistment rate is certainly 
something to be watched, but if you're looking across the board 
on this, in terms of the youths' attitude about whether to join 
the Service, all the steps that's been necessary to try and 
bring people into the Service, the challenge that people have 
in remaining in the Service, who are the high-quality figures 
in their mid-career, the majors and the captains, particularly 
those who have been involved in combat arms, it's certainly a 
pattern of enormous kinds of dangers. I'm just interested in 
what we're looking at. Do you take each of these components and 
try and deal with them individually? Do you look at this 
globally? How are you trying to come to grips with this in a 
meaningful way?
    Secretary Geren. Senator, we're in our 7th year of combat 
operations, and next month will have been 5 years in Iraq. I 
don't think it's surprising to see some of these personal 
indicators that you've noted start to show the stress on the 
force, both on the soldiers and on the families. On a macro 
level, one of the most important things we can do is get the 
deployment lengths down from 15 months to 12 months, and get 
the dwell time greater than the deployment length. That will go 
a long way towards reducing a lot of this stress on the force.
    But the symptoms of the stress, and you've done an 
excellent job of detailing them, we are approaching every one 
of those individually, as well. The suicides we've seen; we've 
watched the divorce rates; we've seen an increase in the number 
of divorces among females; we have family programs, chaplain 
programs, and other support programs to try to address that. We 
have an increase in the number of soldiers that have sought 
treatment for mental health. We're trying to staff up and do a 
better job of meeting those needs.
    So on a macro level, we're trying to grow the Army, and 
we're trying to reduce the stress on individual soldiers. But 
then, in detail, we're going after every one of those symptoms. 
We have an aggressive program to try to attack every single one 
of those and help soldiers, and help families deal with this 
stress.
    Senator Kennedy. Let me just say, finally, in December I 
mentioned I sent a letter to you with Senators Biden, Bayh, and 
McCaskill urging you to develop a plan to efficiently and 
effectively manage your accession pipeline. In developing a 
plan, we suggested that you conduct a thorough review of the 
Army's professional military education and career progression 
and selection programs. Your response, Mr. Secretary, to our 
letter detailed some long-term solutions to these problems, 
such as precommissioning retention programs and increasing West 
Point and ROTC production. For many of us, though, our concern 
is more immediate, and I'd hope you'd take a look again at the 
letter that we sent.
    Secretary Geren. Yes, sir.
    Senator Kennedy. Thank you.
    Secretary Geren. We have taken immediate steps to respond 
to the concerns raised in your letter, and I share your 
concerns. The GAO report that you noted in your letter made 
some very important observations about our officer accessions, 
and we are taking immediate steps, and we have a task force 
that is going to be reporting back to the chief and me within a 
couple months. Then we're going to take some additional steps. 
But, you've raised some very important points in that letter 
about the need to do a better job of coordinating officer 
accessions, and we are acting on that.
    Senator Kennedy. Thank you.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Levin. Thank you, Senator Kennedy.
    Just one more question about the FCS program. It's, as you 
point out, a critically important program for Army 
modernization, and you've given us some of the funding 
assumptions in the future, and are confident that the program 
will be completed.
    Secretary Gates said, and perhaps you were asked this and I 
missed it, that it's hard for him to see how that program can 
be completed in its entirety.
    General Casey. We discussed that with Senator Reed.
    Chairman Levin. Is there not a disconnect there?
    General Casey. I've talked directly to the Secretary about 
it. He has no problems with the program. As he said, he 
particularly likes the spinout program to help the current 
force. My sense is that, the question was formed, ``Faced with 
the inevitability of a downturn in resources, would you have to 
relook the program?'' It's a $162 billion program, and I think 
that's where he framed his answer.
    Chairman Levin. I don't understand then what your answer 
is. Did he say that it is his expectation that the program will 
not be completed in its entirety?
    General Casey. Senator, my recollection of the exchange 
was, it was about, ``Faced with a drawdown in resources, could 
we afford a $162 billion program?''
    Chairman Levin. It was on the assumption that there would 
be a reduction in overall resources, that he gave that answer?
    General Casey. I think, as the Secretary said earlier, even 
at the high point of the funding, it's less than a third of our 
procurement accounts, which are about a quarter of our overall 
budget. So, we believe that it is affordable.
    Chairman Levin. I just want to be clear that you're saying 
that Secretary Gates' comment, that it's hard for him to see 
how the program can be completed in its entirety, that was left 
out in that quote was that, ``if there is a reduction in 
overall resources for the Army,'' that then it would be hard 
for him to see it? Is that what you're saying?
    General Casey. That's my recollection. There was something 
in there about the inevitability of a decrease in resources.
    Chairman Levin. He said it was inevitable there will be a 
reduction in resources?
    General Casey. Senator, my recollection is that's the way 
the question was posed.
    Secretary Geren. He has expressed his strong support for 
the program. I also have discussed his comment with him since 
that hearing. He was expressing concern over long-term, when 
you have a program that depends on funding over many years, 
about the challenges associated with maintaining support over 
those years in the face of budget challenges. But, he assured 
me in our conversations of his strong support for FCS, and 
nothing to do with the quality of the program or the importance 
of the program. But, he was being candid about what he sees as 
the challenges, long-term, in maintaining a program such as 
that over many years.
    Chairman Levin. We thank you both. It's been a morning 
which, happily, had only three interruptions instead of five, 
so as it was, it was a bit hectic, but we very much appreciate 
your testimony and your service. Again, please, always 
represent to our troops and their families the support of this 
Senate.
    Secretary Geren. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    General Casey. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Levin. Thank you. We are adjourned.
    [Questions for the record with answers supplied follow:]
             Questions Submitted by Senator Daniel K. Akaka
                         future combat systems
    1. Senator Akaka. General Casey, with regard to the Army's Future 
Combat Systems (FCS), cost estimates continue to rise, and the most 
recent analyses by the Army and the Department of Defense (DOD) predict 
that the total cost for the program will be between $230 and $300 
billion. This program has come under scrutiny lately both due to its 
price and its immediate relevance in fighting the global war on 
terrorism. Given the level of immature technologies that are being 
integrated into FCS, and recent concerns over available networking 
bandwidth, what is the Army doing to control costs of this system over 
the coming years?
    General Casey. The Army's FCS cost estimate has not continued to 
rise. With the exception of the one-time program restructure initiated 
in 2004 (restoration of four deferred systems, introduction of current 
force Spin-Outs, added experimentation, and a 4-year program extension 
to reduce concurrency), FCS costs have been stable. The Army is aware 
of other independent cost estimates that are higher than the Army 
estimate, but much of the difference between the Army's estimate and 
the independent estimates is driven by potential risks that to date 
have not manifested themselves in negative cost performance. The Army 
has acknowledged these risks and has implemented program metrics and 
risk mitigation strategies to minimize the likelihood of the risks that 
may lead to cost growth. At this point, it would not be prudent to plan 
and budget the program to a set of potential risks.
    FCS program costs are managed through an integrated life-cycle cost 
containment strategy. The safeguards reflected in this strategy include 
state-of-the-art processes, systems, and incentives. The independent 
estimates have been reviewed by the Army and the Office of the 
Secretary of Defense.

                     cultural training of soldiers
    2. Senator Akaka. General Casey, there has been a lot of emphasis 
within the DOD lately about increasing the cultural awareness of our 
soldiers so that they may better perform counterinsurgency and 
stability operations. Training soldiers to effective levels in language 
and culture differences comes at a price, however, in reduced resources 
and time to train them in more traditional conventional areas of 
warfare. From a soldier's perspective, what do you make of these calls 
to create an Army of culture warriors, and do you think there will be 
an impact on the capabilities of the Army to perform large force 
traditional combat operations as more resources are invested in 
cultural training?
    General Casey. Training soldiers to effective levels of culture and 
foreign language capabilities is a daunting task and does indeed come 
with a price. However, the benefits to the conduct of current and 
future operations are worth the investment of both time and funding.
    Within the scope of counterinsurgency and stability operations, a 
basic level of cultural awareness is vital to plan operations and 
interact with the local populace, to include building trust and 
cooperation. Culturally aware and foreign language-enabled soldiers are 
much more adept and responsive to situations that may arise during 
these operations. Moreover, culturally aware and foreign language-
enabled soldiers and leaders contribute to the successful planning and 
execution of all types of operations, not just counterinsurgency and 
stability operations.
    The Army has several initiatives underway that build on existing 
capabilities for the total force. Cross-cultural competence training is 
embedded throughout Army professional military education. Our Training 
and Doctrine Command is developing an Army Culture and Foreign Language 
Strategy that expands training in cultural and foreign language 
competencies throughout a soldier's career. This strategy allows for 
additional focused training for units during their pre-deployment 
preparations. The Secretary of the Army has initiated a program that 
will encourage future officers to begin foreign language study during 
their participation in the Reserve Officer Training Corps.
    Cultural awareness and foreign language capabilities are combat 
multipliers that we can ill afford to neglect in the training and 
preparation of America's soldiers. Our challenge is to develop these 
skills while maintaining our basic warrior skills.

                               retention
    3. Senator Akaka. General Casey, America is now engaged in the most 
enduring conflict since establishment of the all-volunteer professional 
military, and retention has emerged as a significant challenge for the 
Army. Recently, it was reported that almost 60 percent of the 2002 
graduating class from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point left the 
Army as soon as their service commitment was fulfilled. This compares 
with only 20 percent of the class of 1998 leaving when they had 
fulfilled their commitments. Given the high taxpayer cost of training a 
cadet at West Point, what sort of programs is the U.S. Army 
implementing to try to do a better job of retaining Academy graduates 
when they complete their initial service requirements, since as 
captains they fulfill such a critical role in combat leadership 
positions in both Iraq and Afghanistan?
    General Casey. The average United States Military Academy (USMA) 
graduate loss rate for year groups 1991-2002 at 60 months of service (5 
years) is 29 percent, and it increases to 41 percent at 66 months of 
service (5.5 years). Attrition rates for year groups 2000-2002 are 
approximately 5 percent higher than the average at 60 months and 2 
percent higher than at 66 months of service. Overall, there is no 
statistical significance in the loss rate differences from USMA year 
groups 1991-2002.
    The increased loss rates, regardless of statistical significance, 
are still of concern to the Army. We have, therefore, begun a thorough 
review of officer accession and retention policies, and are assessing 
the overall health of the officer corps. We have instituted two 
initiatives to boost officer retention. First, we provide the highest-
performing cadet officers from West Point and our ROTC scholarship 
programs the opportunity to select either their branch of choice, 
initial post of choice, or a fully-funded graduate degree program. This 
incentive has garnered over 9,000 additional man-years of obligated 
service among year groups 2006 and 2007 officers. We expect this 
incentive will raise the number of high-performance officers electing 
to serve 8 years by more than a third. Second, our unprecedented 
captain retention program offers a number of incentives, including 
graduate school or a cash bonus, to encourage our best and brightest 
officers to remain on Active Duty. Analysis of the results of our first 
several months of this program indicate a slight reduction in the loss 
rates of captains in the 2000 and 2001 year groups graduating from West 
Point.

                                waivers
    4. Senator Akaka. Secretary Geren and General Casey, the number of 
waivers granted by the Army to recruits with prior criminal offenses 
and/or illegal drug usage has risen markedly since the beginning of the 
Iraq conflict. Are the commanders in the field experiencing any 
noticeable detriment to the quality of the force as a result of this 
increase in waivers?
    Secretary Geren and General Casey. The number of enlistment waivers 
has increased over the last few years, in an era of persistent conflict 
and growth of the Army. Army mechanisms for screening these individuals 
are designed to mitigate risk and have proven very effective. A recent 
study comparing trends of waivered soldiers to non-waivered soldiers 
who entered the Army from fiscal years 2003-2006 indicates that the 
soldiers who received enlistment waivers performed comparable to their 
non-waivered peers in most areas. We continue to monitor these trends 
closely.

    5. Senator Akaka. Secretary Geren and General Casey, with the 
understanding that basic training standards have not been adjusted, has 
there been any change in discipline-related failures to complete 
training as a result of this policy?
    Secretary Geren and General Casey. Overall, there has been no 
discernable adverse change in the discharge rate for discipline-related 
failures in Initial Entry Training as a result of waiver policy. A 
review of attrition rates for entry level performance and conduct 
demonstrated a decline in attrition for this category from 2003 to 
present. A recent analysis by the Human Resources Research Organization 
showed that attrition rates among individuals with approved conduct 
waivers were not significantly different from the rates among 
individuals without conduct waivers. The use of these waivers does not 
currently appear to be causing any marked overall decrease in soldier 
quality, proficiency, or abilities or increase in related attrition in 
the training base.
                                 ______
                                 
               Questions Submitted by Senator Bill Nelson
   sexual assault allegations and prosecution in afghanistan and iraq
    6. Senator Bill Nelson. Secretary Geren, how many sexual assault 
allegations and prosecutions have there been since October 2001 in 
Afghanistan?
    Secretary Geren. There have been 76 unrestricted sexual assault 
allegations in Afghanistan since October 2001. Of the 76 
investigations, four remain in open investigative status. There were at 
least nine military courts martial, one trial by Italian authorities 
for an allegation against one of their soldiers, and one trial by 
Egyptian authorities for an allegation against one of their soldiers.
    In addition to the 76 unrestricted reports of sexual assault 
investigated by the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command (USACIDC), 
there have been five restricted reports of sexual assault recorded by 
soldiers in Afghanistan since DOD instituted the restricted reporting 
option in June 2005. Restricted reports are not reported to the chain 
of command or USACIDC, and are, therefore, not investigated or 
prosecuted.

    7. Senator Bill Nelson. Secretary Geren, how many sexual assault 
cases have been reported since March 2003 in Iraq?
    Secretary Geren. There have been 454 unrestricted sexual assault 
cases in Iraq since March 2003. In addition to the 454 unrestricted 
reports of sexual assault investigated by USACIDC, there have been 15 
restricted reports of sexual assault recorded by soldiers in Iraq since 
DOD instituted the restricted reporting option in June 2005. Restricted 
reports are not reported to the chain of command or USACIDC, and are, 
therefore, not investigated or prosecuted.

    8. Senator Bill Nelson. Secretary Geren, what is the disposition of 
each of these cases?
    Secretary Geren. The disposition of the 454 sexual assault 
investigations in Iraq:\1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\ Some cases had more than one suspect, so dispositions will not 
equal investigations.

80........................................  Courts Martial
72........................................  Non-judicial punishment
                                             (Article 15, Uniform Code
                                             of Military Justice)
1.........................................  U.S. Federal District Court
                                             prosecution under provision
                                             of MEJA
2.........................................  Referred to the U.S. Navy
                                             for action as subjects were
                                             Navy personnel
64........................................  Adverse personnel actions
21........................................  Referred to local
                                             authorities
15........................................  No action taken by
                                             responsible authorities
25........................................  Remain unsolved
160.......................................  Either not substantiated or
                                             unable to develop
                                             sufficient evidence to
                                             support any type of
                                             judicial or adverse action
29........................................  Still pending action by
                                             commanders in the field
39........................................  Still open and active
                                             investigations



    9. Senator Bill Nelson. Secretary Geren, what are the Service 
components or government agencies involved in each investigation?
    Secretary Geren. In both Iraq and Afghanistan, the USACIDC is the 
agency responsible for investigating all unrestricted sexual assault 
allegations that occur and either involves U.S. Army soldiers as 
subjects or victims or both, no matter the location, or occurs on Army 
installations and involves anyone, regardless of status. Depending on 
the availability of other military and Federal criminal investigative 
organizations such as the Navy, Air Force, or FBI, the location of the 
alleged offense and persons involved and the status of the alleged 
offender joint investigations between USACIDC and these other agencies 
may occur. For the cases mentioned in the preceding question, USACIDC 
was the primary investigative agency. Recent changes provide Uniform 
Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) authority over civilians and USACIDC 
investigative authority has expanded to include all civilians accused 
of criminal acts who are accompanying the Army, or working on Army 
contracts, no matter where the crime occurs. For civilian offenders, 
prosecution would be with local judicial authorities (especially for 
local and third country nationals), U.S. Federal prosecutors under the 
provisions of the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act (MEJA), 
or, as of October 2007, with military authorities under the UCMJ.

    10. Senator Bill Nelson. Secretary Geren, what is the status of the 
persons involved in each case, i.e. Active military, U.S. government 
civilian employee, contract employee, or Iraqi national?
    Secretary Geren. Of the 76 investigations in Afghanistan, 49 
suspects were U.S. Army soldiers, 14 suspects were local or third 
country nationals, two suspects were U.S. civilians, one was a member 
of the U.S. Air Force, three suspects were from foreign militaries, and 
nine were unknown. In those same 76 investigations in Afghanistan, 
there were 78 U.S. Army soldier victims, 3 local or third country 
national victims, 5 U.S. civilian victims; 3 were in the U.S. Air 
Force, 1 in the U.S. Navy, and 1 in the U.S. Marine Corps. Some of 
these investigations remain active investigations and the number and 
type of persons involved may change in the future.
    For the 454 investigations in Iraq, there were 375 U.S. Army 
soldier suspects, 62 local or third country national suspects, 16 U.S. 
civilian suspects, 3 U.S. Navy suspects, 2 U.S. Air Force suspects, 2 
U.S. Marine Corps suspects, 5 suspects from foreign militaries, and 28 
unknown suspects. In those same 454 investigations in Iraq, there were 
467 U.S. Army soldier victims, 14 local or third country national 
victims, 22 U.S. civilian victims, 4 U.S. Navy victims, and 6 U.S. Air 
Force victims. Some of these investigations remain active 
investigations and the number and type of persons involved may change 
in the future.

    11. Senator Bill Nelson. Secretary Geren, who has jurisdiction or 
investigative authority for sexual assault allegations in both 
Afghanistan and Iraq?
    Secretary Geren. In both Iraq and Afghanistan, the USACIDC is the 
agency responsible for investigating all unrestricted sexual assault 
allegations that occur and either involves U.S. Army soldiers as 
subjects or victims or both, no matter the location; or occurs on Army 
installations and involves anyone, regardless of status. Depending on 
the availability of other military and Federal criminal investigative 
organizations such as the Navy, Air Force, or FBI, the location of the 
alleged offense and persons involved, and the status of the alleged 
offender, joint investigations between USACIDC and these other agencies 
may occur. For the cases mentioned in the preceding question, USACIDC 
was the primary investigative agency. Recent changes provide UCMJ 
authority over civilians and USACIDC investigative authority has 
expanded to include all civilians accused of criminal acts who are 
accompanying the Army, or working on Army contracts, no matter where 
the crime occurs. For civilian offenders, prosecution would be with 
local judicial authorities (especially for local and third country 
nationals), U.S. Federal prosecutors under the provisions of the MEJA, 
or, as of October 2007, with military authorities under the UCMJ.

    12. Senator Bill Nelson. Secretary Geren, could you provide a clear 
explanation of the rules, regulations, policies, and processes under 
which sexual assaults are investigated and prosecuted?
    Secretary Geren. Allegations of sexual assault involving soldiers 
as either suspects or victims, regardless of location, or allegations 
of sexual assault that occur on Army installations, regardless of the 
status of the participants, are investigated by the USACIDC. 
Allegations of crimes involving soldiers that occur on other Service 
controlled bases (e.g. U.S. Marine Corps) are investigated by that 
Service's criminal investigative organization. Prosecution of soldiers 
is a command function pursuant to the UCMJ, and the Manual for Courts-
Martial (MCM). The MCM provides general guidance to commanders on the 
disposition of any offense. However, pursuant to Army policy, authority 
to dispose of cases that resulted from allegations of sexual assault is 
withheld to the Battalion commander level and above, and that commander 
may do so only after receiving the advice of a judge advocate. 
Prosecution of civilians accused of criminal offenses may be 
accomplished either through local law enforcement/judicial authorities 
(especially for local nationals) or through the Department of Justice 
(DOJ) under the MEJA of 2000, if the acts occurred overseas. Under 
MEJA, the USACIDC provides its investigative report concerning a 
civilian suspect to either the Combatant Commander, or his Staff Judge 
Advocate, who may refer the case and the investigative report to the 
DOD General Counsel's office for coordination with the DOJ. Article 
2(a)(10), UCMJ, also provides for UCMJ jurisdiction over civilians 
serving with or accompanying the force in the field during contingency 
operations.

    13. Senator Bill Nelson. Secretary Geren, have any civilians been 
prosecuted during the entirety of U.S. involvement in Afghanistan and 
Iraq under the UCMJ?
    Secretary Geren. No. Jurisdiction over civilians was expanded on 
October 17, 2006 when the John Warner National Defense Authorization 
Act for Fiscal Year 2007 amended Article 2(a)(10), UCMJ. The expansion 
provided for UCMJ jurisdiction over civilians serving with or 
accompanying the force in the field during contingency operations. 
Prior to the effective date of the act, there were no prosecutions, 
because UCMJ jurisdiction over civilians was limited to periods in 
which there is a formal declaration of war. There have been no 
prosecutions of civilians since the statutory amendment became 
effective.

    14. Senator Bill Nelson. Secretary Geren, have any civilians been 
prosecuted during the entirety of U.S. involvement in Afghanistan and 
Iraq under any other U.S. or international law? If so, what 
international laws?
    Secretary Geren. Yes. I am aware that one former soldier, 
Specialist Steven Green, is being prosecuted under the MEJA of 2000 in 
Federal District Court in Kentucky, after being accused of murder and 
rape of Iraqi nationals in Iraq. Additionally, one U.S. civilian, who 
indecently assaulted a soldier in Iraq in 2005, was prosecuted and 
convicted in Federal District Court in Georgia. Issues relating to the 
prosecution of civilians serving with or accompanying our forces 
overseas under U.S. laws and international law are under the purview of 
the DOD Office of General Counsel (OGC). DOD OGC coordinates directly 
with the DOJ in its exercise of jurisdiction under MEJA, and maintains 
records and information on these cases or their disposition. Given 
DOD's and DOJ's responsibility and control over this process, they 
would be better positioned to provide specifics regarding the number of 
cases and their disposition. I am not aware of any American civilian or 
soldier being prosecuted in international tribunals. However, DOD OGC 
is the best source of data for this question.

    15. Senator Bill Nelson. Secretary Geren, what are the 
circumstances of all cases that have been prosecuted under the UCMJ or 
U.S. or international law?
    Secretary Geren. For Army activity under the UCMJ, there have been 
96 summary, special and general courts-martial of soldiers for sexual 
assaults in Iraq and Afghanistan. The alleged offenses include rape, 
forcible sodomy, sodomy with a child, and indecent assault. There have 
been an additional 92 adverse administrative and non-judicial actions 
for soldiers accused of sexual assaults. Under MEJA, one former 
soldier, Specialist Steven Green, is being prosecuted in Federal 
District Court in Kentucky, after being accused of murder and rape of 
Iraqi nationals in Iraq; and one U.S. civilian who indecently assaulted 
a soldier in Iraq in 2005 was prosecuted and convicted in Federal 
District Court in Georgia. Given DOD's and DOJ's responsibility and 
control over the application of MEJA, they would be better positioned 
to provide specifics regarding the number of cases and their 
disposition. I do not know of any cases where U.S. soldiers have been 
prosecuted for sexual assault under international law, at international 
tribunals, or in foreign domestic courts arising from allegations of 
misconduct in Iraq or Afghanistan. I would again encourage consultation 
with DOD OGC concerning this matter.

    16. Senator Bill Nelson. Secretary Geren, what is the law that 
governs civilian contractors (DOD, State, or any other U.S. Government 
agency) who are alleged to have committed crimes?
    Secretary Geren. Civilian contractors are subject to prosecution 
under the MEJA of 2000, and as of October 17, 2006, the UCMJ, Article 
2(a)(10). If a civilian in Afghanistan or Iraq commits a criminal 
offense that violates U.S. Federal criminal law, the MEJA allows the 
military to investigate the incident and coordinate with the DOJ 
concerning prosecution of the case. Under MEJA, civilian contractors 
are subject to prosecution under U.S. Federal criminal law if they 
commit a criminal act that would have been a felony-level Federal 
offense if committed within the United States. MEJA also requires that 
the contractor be employed by or contracted to the DOD, or that their 
employment or contractual work for another agency supports the mission 
of DOD. Since October 17, 2006, UCMJ jurisdiction extends to civilian 
contractors serving with or accompanying the force in the field during 
contingency operations. Therefore, civilian contractors who fall within 
this category are subject to prosecution for UCMJ offenses at courts-
martial. If jurisdiction exists under both MEJA and the UCMJ, by DOD 
policy, Federal prosecution takes precedence over UCMJ prosecution.

    17. Senator Bill Nelson. Secretary Geren, what role, if any, does 
the MEJA of 2000 play in the prosecution of civilian contractors who 
allegedly commit crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan?
    Secretary Geren. If a civilian in Afghanistan or Iraq commits a 
criminal offense that violates U.S. Federal criminal law, the MEJA of 
2000 allows the military to investigate the incident and coordinate 
with the DOJ to determine a United States Attorney's Office to 
prosecute the case. Under MEJA, civilian contractors are subject to 
prosecution under U.S. Federal criminal law, if they commit a criminal 
act that would have been a felony Federal offense if committed within 
the United States. MEJA also requires that the contractor be employed 
by or contracted to the DOD, or that their employment or contractual 
work for another agency supports the mission of DOD. Prosecution in 
MEJA cases is conducted by a United States Attorney's Office in a 
Federal District Court within the United States. If jurisdiction exists 
under both MEJA and the UCMJ, by DOD policy, Federal prosecution takes 
precedence over UCMJ prosecution of civilians.

    18. Senator Bill Nelson. Secretary Geren, how many prosecutorial 
investigations have been initiated under MEJA?
    Secretary Geren. Issues relating to the prosecutions of civilians 
under U.S. laws and international law are under the purview of the DOD 
OGC. DOD OGC coordinates directly with the DOJ in its exercise of 
jurisdiction under the MEJA of 2000. According to the DOD OGC, eight 
investigations of alleged sexual assault have been referred to the DOJ 
under the MEJA. Thus far, DOJ has proceeded with prosecution in two of 
these cases. Former soldier, Specialist Steven Green, is being 
prosecuted under MEJA in Federal District Court in Kentucky, after 
being accused of murder and rape of Iraqi nationals in Iraq; and one 
U.S. civilian who indecently assaulted a soldier in Iraq in 2005 was 
prosecuted and convicted in Federal District Court in Georgia. Both 
cases were investigated by the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation 
Command. Three cases have been declined for MEJA prosecution because 
there was insufficient evidence. The remaining three cases are listed 
as ``pending.''

    19. Senator Bill Nelson. Secretary Geren, what is the earliest date 
that you can provide to the Senate Armed Services and Intelligence 
Committees the classified and unclassified RAND report and all 
summaries titled ``Rebuilding Iraq''?
    Secretary Geren. The Chief of Legislative Liaison, Major General 
Galen Jackman, responded to your request on March 20, 2008. A copy of 
the letter from General Jackman is attached.
      
    
    

                 missile defense transition to the army
    20. Senator Bill Nelson. Secretary Geren, the Missile Defense 
Agency (MDA) has indicated that it is in discussions with the Army 
about its proposal for how and when to transition and transfer certain 
missile defense capabilities, such as the Terminal High Altitude Area 
Defense (THAAD) system. Can you describe your view of the proposed 
transition plan, and any concerns you have about it?
    Secretary Geren. The Army and MDA have been working plans to 
transition and transfer those Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS) 
elements for which the Army is the lead Service. There are currently 
three BMDS elements designated to be transferred to the Army: the 
ground-based interceptors and ground-based midcourse defense fire 
control and communications; the THAAD system; and the AN/TPY-2 Forward 
Based Mode Radar. A fourth BMDS element, the PAC-3, has already been 
transferred to the Army. For the past 2 years, we have collaborated on 
the transition and transfer plans and have participated on integrated 
product teams for each element in order to work the specific details 
associated with transition and transfer. Transition and transfer was 
the main topic of a recent Army/MDA board of directors meeting where it 
was decided to develop and sign an overarching memorandum of agreement 
with individual, event-driven element annexes to further guide the 
transition and transfer process. Our only concern with the transition 
and transfer of BMDS elements to the Army is long-term affordability. 
Element transitions must only occur when full funding is secured, as 
procurement and operations and support costs anticipated at transfer 
are beyond the Army's ability to program and fund without a total 
obligation authority increase.

                          thaad system delays
    21. Senator Bill Nelson. General Casey, the MDA budget request for 
fiscal year 2009 would delay the delivery of THAAD Fire Units 3 and 4 
by 1 year. These are near-term capabilities that we understand the 
regional combatant commanders want delivered as soon as possible to 
defend their forward-deployed forces against existing missile threats. 
If it is possible to eliminate this delay and deliver these fire units 
on time to the combatant commanders, would you support doing so?
    General Casey. Yes, and the MDA has recently taken steps to realign 
internal funding to restore planned procurement and delivery of these 
two fire units and interceptors as originally planned and scheduled. 
THAAD represents a cutting edge ballistic missile defense capability 
that we need to field as early as possible.

    22. Senator Bill Nelson. General Casey, the Joint Capabilities Mix 
study of missile defense systems indicates that we will need about 
twice the number of THAAD interceptors as the 96 we are currently 
planning to buy. Do you agree that we will need more than 4 THAAD Fire 
Units and 96 THAAD interceptors to provide adequate capability for our 
forward-deployed forces?
    General Casey. The Joint Capabilities Mix (JCM) II+ Sensitivity 
Analysis was completed in early January 2008. To date, the results of 
the study have been briefed at the Force Protection Functional 
Capabilities Board (FP FCB) and went to the Joint Capabilities Board in 
mid-February 2008. Results are scheduled to be briefed to the Joint 
Requirements Oversight Council (JROC). JCM II+ results support the 
findings of the Upper Tier interceptor inventory requirements for U.S. 
forces in 2015 that were detailed in the JCM II. These studies clearly 
show that current inventory levels are not sufficient to operate in 
multiple theaters in near-simultaneous combat operations.
                                 ______
                                 
                Questions Submitted by Senator Evan Bayh
                             mental health
    23. Senator Bayh. Secretary Geren, as I understand, the reality is 
that our Nation and the military's medical system face significant 
shortages of mental health professionals. In fact, the Army is trying 
to hire 272 new mental health professionals this year. Unfortunately, 
the Army has estimated that it will have only 150 by March. As a 
result, our system today is hard-pressed and strained, at best, to 
provide the essential care that so many of our soldiers who suffer from 
traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) 
need. With that in mind, should we instead be focusing our efforts on 
taking the needed steps to increase access to quality, community-based 
and private care for our wounded soldiers?
    Secretary Geren. To provide optimal care for our soldiers, we must 
make full use of the Military Health System (MHS), the Department of 
Veterans Affairs (VA), and private sector care. Currently, the MHS 
makes extensive use of private sector care through the TRICARE Network. 
The Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs 
(HA) recently issued a new policy to ensure beneficiaries have 
appropriate access to mental health services by aligning mental health 
access standards with existing primary care access standards. This 
policy directs two new business practices. First, military mental 
health clinics must provide more self-referral capabilities, much like 
a primary care clinic. Mental health clinics traditionally operated as 
specialty referral clinics, with soldiers only having limited self-
referral capabilities. Second, the policy establishes a 7-day routine 
standard for receiving mental health treatment for a new onset, non-
urgent behavioral health condition or the exacerbation of a previously 
diagnosed condition. Military treatment facilities closely track access 
standards for our wounded soldiers. If access to care standards cannot 
be met at a military facility, the soldier is referred to the private 
sector for care. In addition, we are partnering with civilian health 
care providers to ensure that civilian providers have the education and 
training to care for our soldiers and veterans.
    DOD has focused its efforts on increasing access to community based 
care through a health care program called Military OneSource. The DOD 
provides Military OneSource at no cost to servicemembers and their 
families, and it is accessible 24/7. The health care system provides 
access to community counseling services by phone and in person. These 
counseling sessions are private and focus on issues ranging from 
reactions to deployment, to grief and loss, to stress related problems, 
to relationship problems. The servicemember or family member receives 
up to six free sessions per issue. Servicemembers can call 1-800-342-
9647 toll free, or they can access services through the website at 
www.militaryonesource.com.

    24. Senator Bayh. Secretary Geren, are you pursuing a comprehensive 
examination of TBI sufficient to provide protection for our future 
soldiers? That is, are the engineering and scientific communities being 
joined with the medical community to develop a deep understanding of 
the issues of blast waves and their interaction with the human body?
    Secretary Geren. Yes. The Army's core medical research program is 
currently supporting multiple parallel efforts to examine the medical 
effects of blast waves on the human body, and specifically on the 
brain. These efforts include evaluating the attenuating effects of 
protective equipment, as well as assessing design considerations that 
will improve the protective effect of the soldier's equipment. The 
medical research community is actively working with the engineering 
research community, multiple academic institutions, and private 
industrial labs to advance our understanding of primary and secondary 
blast effects on the human body, and to develop effective 
countermeasures to prevent injury to our warriors in the future.

    25. Senator Bayh. Secretary Geren, what are your plans to develop a 
broad body of investigators with new approaches, as opposed to a small 
number of research organizations, to research TBI and its remediation?
    Secretary Geren. There are already a myriad of research projects 
under way across a vast multidisciplinary research community, which 
includes academia, private organizations, and governmental 
organizations. The results of these multidisciplinary research 
initiatives being pursued by the best scientists in the field will 
advance our understanding of how to prevent, detect, diagnose, and 
treat TBI. Some examples of these research initiatives include 
neuroprotection and repair strategies, rehabilitation and reintegration 
strategies, and the physics of blast injury relative to brain injury.
    DOD PTSD/TBI Research Program supports basic and clinically 
oriented research that will: (1) result in substantial improvements 
over today's approaches to the treatment and clinical management of 
TBI; (2) facilitate the development of novel preventive measures; and 
(3) enhance the quality of life of persons with TBI. Congress mandated 
that the program be administered according to the highly effective U.S. 
Army Medical Research and Materiel Command's two-tiered review process 
that includes both an external scientific (peer) review conducted by an 
external panel of expert scientists, and a programmatic review. After 
the scientific peer review has been completed for each proposal, a 
programmatic review is conducted by a Joint Program Integration Panel 
(JPIP), which consists of representatives from DOD, VA, and Department 
of Health and Human Services. The JPIP identified several gaps in TBI 
research, including (1) treatment and clinical management; (2) 
neuroprotection and repair strategies; (3) rehabilitation/reintegration 
strategies; (4) field epidemiology; and (5) physics of blast. Research 
proposals that address these gaps will have the highest priority for 
funding.
    The DOD's investment strategy for the $150 million appropriation 
included multiple intramural (DOD and VA) and extramural award 
mechanisms focused primarily on pre-clinical TBI research. The funding 
mechanisms include the Concept Award, which supports the exploration of 
a new idea or innovative concept that could give rise to a testable 
hypothesis; the Investigator-Initiated Research Award which supports 
basic and clinically oriented research; the Advanced Technology-
Therapeutic Development Award, which supports studies designed to 
demonstrate the effectiveness of pharmaceuticals (drugs, biologics, and 
vaccines) and medical devices in preclinical systems and/or the testing 
of therapeutics and devices in clinical studies; the New Investigator 
Award, which supports bringing new researchers into the field of TBI; 
and the Multidisciplinary Research Consortium Award which supports 
optimizing research and accelerating the solution of a major 
overarching problem in TBI research within an integrated consortium of 
the most highly-qualified investigators.
    The DOD PTSD/TBI Research Program is offering competitive funding 
for a Clinical Consortium, which will combine the efforts of the 
Nation's leading investigators to bring to market novel treatments or 
interventions that will ultimately decrease the impact of military-
relevant PTSD and TBI within the DOD and the VA. Further, the Clinical 
Consortium is required to integrate with the DOD Center of Excellence 
(DCoE) and is intended to support the DCoE's efforts to expedite the 
fielding of PTSD and TBI treatments and interventions. Several other 
award mechanisms offered by the PTSD/TBI Research Program will also 
support preclinical and clinical trials for more effective treatments 
for TBI.
    The opportunities for funding research in TBI through these award 
mechanisms is open to all investigators worldwide, including military, 
academic, pharmaceutical, biotechnology and other industry partners. 
The competition is open, but rigorous, and the process ensures that the 
best research and brightest people are funded to provide solutions to 
the problem of TBI.

    26. Senator Bayh. Secretary Geren, how have the responders to your 
solicitations for TBI research shown investments that compliment and 
accelerate the programs of research?
    Secretary Geren. The DOD PTSD/TBI Research Program solicited 
proposals under intramural and extramural funding opportunities. 
Intramural funding mechanisms were dedicated to supporting research 
aimed only at accelerating ongoing TBI-oriented DOD and VA research 
projects or programs. Intramural proposals were solicited under two 
TBI-focused funding mechanisms, the Investigator-Initiated Research 
Award, which supports basic and clinically oriented research, and the 
Advanced Technology-Therapeutic Development Award, which supports 
studies designed to demonstrate the effectiveness of pharmaceuticals 
(drugs, biologics, and vaccines) and medical devices in preclinical 
systems and/or the testing of therapeutics and devices in clinical 
studies. Approximately $35.3 million of the $150 million TBI 
appropriation has been approved for funding ongoing DOD and VA research 
projects or programs. It is anticipated that other ongoing DOD and VA 
research will be supported indirectly through the extramural funding 
process.
    Congress mandated that the program be administered according to the 
highly effective U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command's two-
tiered review process that includes both an external scientific (peer) 
review conducted by an external panel of expert scientists, and a 
programmatic review. After the scientific peer review has been 
completed for each proposal, a programmatic review is conducted by a 
JPIP which consists of representatives from the DOD, VA, and Health and 
Human Services. The members of the JPIP represent the major funding 
organizations for TBI and, as such, are able to recommend funding 
research that is complimentary to ongoing efforts.

                        unmanned aerial vehicles
    27. Senator Bayh. General Casey, as I understand, the Air Force and 
Army utilize different models for their unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) 
crews. The Air Force's model, as it has been explained to me, is called 
Remote Split Operations. This places crews (pilots, sensors, analysts) 
in installations across the United States to allow for their constant 
usage. In turn, this means that the crew footprint in theater is 
relatively small and limited to only the launch and recovery elements. 
However, I understand that the Army is deploying the units forward 
allowing for only the use of those deployed assets (1/3 deployed, 1/3 
in train up, 1/3 in reconstitution). Does this not allow for 100 
percent utilization of Air Force crews instead of the Army's 
approximately 33 percent utilization rate?
    General Casey. The Army uses a modular Brigade Combat Team (BCT) 
centric model to generate forces for deployment. Our BCT structure 
incluces a Shadow UAS platoon of 22 soldiers. This small platoon 
conducts all launch, recovery, and flight operations. The UAS operators 
are fully integrated into the BCT mission planning and fully understand 
the commander's intent. If an unanticipated high priority mission 
occurs while a Shadow UAS is flying, the BCT can direct the operator to 
change the planned mission to provide immediate support. The Army 
currently has 20 Shadow UAS platoons, 2 Hunter UAS companies, 1 I-Gnat 
UAS detachment, and 4 Warrior-A UAS platoons deployed in OIF; and 2 
Shadow UAS platoons and 1 Warrior-A UAS platoon deployed in OEF. All 
BCTs scheduled to enter theater on the next rotation train with their 
Shadow UAS platoon to ensure the commander and staff understand how to 
employ this critical asset.

    28. Senator Bayh. General Casey, commanders abroad continue to note 
their growing UAV requirements for operations abroad. As I understand, 
the Joint Requirements Oversight Council (JROC) is currently 
reevaluating the UAV requirement for the entire DOD. Given what appears 
to be a modest explosion in need for the kind of persistent 
intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) that UAVs provide, 
why is the Army not following the Remote Split Operations model the Air 
Force uses?
    General Casey. The Army focuses on tactical Reconnaissance, 
Surveillance, and Target Acquisition with its UAS assets. The 
integration of the UAS operator into mission briefings allows for 
greater understanding and facilitates dynamic retasking, effective 
manned/unmanned teaming, full use of on-board communications relay 
capabilities, and dynamic flexibility to meet emerging, time sensitive 
high risk threats. Of the 22 soldiers in the Shadow Platoon only two 
are operators not involved in launch and recover operations. If the 
Army placed those soldiers in the States they would not attend mission 
briefings, would not understand the commander's intent, and would not 
be readily available for dynamic retasking. The Army would have to add 
satellite technicians at each BCT and in the locations in the States. 
This would likely increase the footprint in theater, require the 
recruitment and training of large numbers of satellite technicians, and 
sever the critical link between the BCT commander and his UAS 
operators.

    29. Senator Bayh. General Casey, the Army currently supports an 
equivalent of 12 combat air patrols (CAPs) with its UAV fleet. The Air 
Force is anticipating that they will be able to support an estimated 24 
CAPs by June of this year thanks to a surge in their usage of personnel 
and assets. What are the Army's current UAV or ISR needs in Iraq and 
Afghanistan?
    General Casey. As of February 19, 2008, the Army has flown over 
429,000 UAS hours in theater. That includes 99,000 Raven Small UAS 
hours. Over the past 3 months, approximately two thirds of the major 
subordinate commands' full motion video requests were satisfied. The 
Army will provide a Sky Warrior Quick Reaction Capability and six more 
Shadow platoons to meet stated MNC-I shortfalls. We are awaiting 
feedback from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on our 
recommended courses of action to support the ISR surge.

    30. Senator Bayh. General Casey, has the Army considered an 
approach similar to the Air Force's to try and meet that current need?
    General Casey. The Army has provided the Secretary of Defense with 
options for increasing the number of Army UASs in theater. One option 
would be to accelerate the deployment of the Sky Warrior Block 0 and 
Shadow UAS into theater. Other options include mobilizing additional 
Reserve component units and adding Government Owned/Contractor Operated 
systems into theater. With all the options the Army balances the 
current need for UAS systems in theater with the scheduled rotations 
and to meet the Secretary of Defense's dwell time and boots-on-the-
ground requirements.

                          iraq and afghanistan
    31. Senator Bayh. Secretary Geren and General Casey, can you please 
delve into your plans to ensure that the force is appropriately 
balanced for future counterinsurgency or nation-building contingencies?
    Secretary Geren and General Casey. The Army continuously assesses 
capabilities to ensure the right mix of force structure to meet current 
and future strategic demands. The Army's ongoing analysis will directly 
result in the rebalancing of more than 142,000 spaces of capability, 
including the growth of 74,200 spaces of structure in the Grow the Army 
plan, by the end of fiscal year 2013. The focus of the Army's 
rebalancing and growth is to provide more special operations forces, 
infantry, military intelligence, military police, engineers, civil 
affairs, psychological operations, and critical combat service support 
enablers. These capabilities have allowed the Army to shift its weight 
to meet increasing requirements for counterinsurgency and nation 
building capabilities. The combined impact of rebalancing and growth 
will build strategic and operational depth across all three Army 
components to meet combatant commander requirements; mitigate high-
demand/low-density persistent shortfalls; and ensure the capability to 
generate, train, and sustain the force in an era of persistent 
conflict.

    32. Senator Bayh. Secretary Geren and General Casey, how is the 
Army training soldiers for both the situations today in Iraq and 
Afghanistan while also balancing the potential requirements of 
tomorrow?
    Secretary Geren and General Casey. Army training has aggressively 
adapted to fully prepare deploying forces. However, we face challenges 
to maintain balance for full spectrum conflict and future force 
modernization. The Army continues to deploy highly trained forces 
prepared for their projected mission in Iraq or Afghanistan. Units are 
alerted of their expected deployment as early as possible, identify 
mission essential tasks associated with their assigned mission, and 
focus pre-deployment training on achieving proficiency in those tasks. 
The Army has improved the capability of training venues at units' home 
stations and Combat Training Centers (CTCs) to realistically portray 
the ever changing operational environments--terrain, social, language, 
and culture--in which our soldiers are fighting. Every deploying unit 
conducts a mission rehearsal/readiness exercise or capstone event which 
features nongovernmental organizations, contractors, media, coalition 
role players, and hundreds of civilians on the battlefield.
    Given the predominance of operational deployments to Iraq and 
Afghanistan and the high demand for forces there, the Army is sensitive 
to likely atrophy of expertise for other kinds of operations. To 
counter any such trend and regain more suitable balance, the Army 
requires units to retain training focus as long as possible on the core 
tasked for which they were designed, before shifting to the tasks and 
operational conditions associated with their projected deployment. 
Doing so enables a unit to build skill on the fundamental tasks 
required of full spectrum operations--offense, defense, and stability 
operations--which are executed during any kind of operation whether 
counterinsurgency or major combat operations. As the dwell time before 
units must deploy increases over time, units will be able to train more 
on their as-designed, core tasks. Additionally, to ensure leaders 
develop in a balanced way over their extended careers, the Army 
requires professional military education courses for commissioned 
officers and noncommissioned officers to retain a broad focus on the 
entire range of military operations.
    Sustained demand of current operations has stressed the Army's 
training capability. For example, replicating current operational 
conditions at unit home stations and Army CTCs is accomplished by using 
a combination of base and supplemental funding at the expense of 
modernization. Overtime the training capability of the Army generating 
force has slipped out of balance with requirements of operating force 
because we have taken risk in manning, equipping, and resourcing the 
training base. The Army seeks to achieve balanced training capability, 
in part, by:

         Investing in training modernization for a fully integrated 
        live, virtual, and constructive training environment.
         Transferring training tasks from post-mobilization to pre-
        mobilization for Reserve component units.

    33. Senator Bayh. Secretary Geren and General Casey, can you please 
explain how long you believe the Army will be able to handle the 
current operations tempo?
    Secretary Geren and General Casey. The cumulative effects of the 
last 6-plus years at war have left our Army out of balance. The impacts 
on soldiers and units of increasing time deployed and decreasing time 
between deployments are visible in several different areas such as 
training and readiness. Additionally, there is a backlog of soldiers 
who have not attended professional military education schools 
commensurate with their rank. Units are only able to train to execute 
counterinsurgency operations rather than full-spectrum operations. 
Other potential indicators are worrisome: the competitive recruitment 
environment with a declining number of qualified potential recruits, 
the increase in the number of soldiers with post traumatic stress 
disorder, and an increasing number of suicides. However, we predict 
that we will continue to recruit and retain enough soldiers to meet our 
end strength requirements.
    The Army has identified four imperatives that we must accomplish to 
put ourselves back in balance: Sustain, Prepare, Reset, and Transform. 
The Army has accelerated its planned growth of soldiers and units and 
we expect to complete our growth by the end of 2011. In this era of 
persistent conflict, the Nation needs to field fully prepared and 
resourced forces wherever required.

    34. Senator Bayh. Secretary Geren and General Casey, you both 
mention that the force is strained; can you please contrast and compare 
your definitions of a strained force and a broken force?
    Secretary Geren and General Casey. Today's Army is out of balance, 
it is strained but not broken. Indications that the force is strained 
and out of balance include demand exceeds supply, counterinsurgency-
focused, rather than a full-spectrum trained force, accelerated 
equipment wear out, and stress on soldiers and families. Nevertheless, 
today's Army is able to meet the national strategy. The Army sends only 
properly manned, trained, and equipped units to Iraq and Afghanistan. A 
broken force lacks the capability to man, train, and equip itself to 
meet the national strategy.
                                 ______
                                 
               Questions Submitted by Senator Mark Pryor
                          joint cargo aircraft
    35. Senator Pryor. General Casey, the National Defense 
Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2008 states that no funds will 
be appropriated for the procurement of the Joint Cargo Aircraft (JCA) 
until 30 days after the Secretary of Defense signs off on six reports, 
one of which being the Joint Intra-theatre Airlift Fleet Mix Analysis. 
Having been completed in December 2007, this report is long overdue to 
Congress. Where is this Fleet Mix Analysis and when will it be signed?
    General Casey. The Fleet Mix Analysis is a United States Air Force 
report; therefore, you will receive it from the Chief of Staff, Air 
Force.

    36. Senator Pryor. General Casey, how will a delay in this report 
affect the procurement and development of the JCA program for the Army?
    General Casey. The authorization delay will not effect the 
procurement of four aircraft in fiscal year 2008. The delay does impact 
JCA testing and the Business Case Analysis to support the Joint Program 
Strategy for Full Rate Production. Additionally, delayed funding will 
have a direct impact on establishing the first bed down site in 
Georgia, the maintenance contract, purchase of ground support equipment 
and special maintenance tools, and training for pilots and crew 
members. Today, we are in a day-for-day slip with regard to the first 
unit equipped in fiscal year 2010.

    37. Senator Pryor. General Casey, can you elaborate on the 
importance of the JCA for the Army and the strategic differences in 
intra-theater airlift and the last tactical mile?
    General Casey. The importance of the JCA Program to the Army cannot 
be understated. The JCA enables the Army to meet its inherent core 
logistics functions as described by Joint Publication 3-17 and Joint 
Publication 4-0. The primary mission of the Army JCA is to transport 
Army time-sensitive mission-critical (TSMC) cargo and personnel to 
forward deployed units, often in remote and austere locations, commonly 
referred to as the last tactical mile. Because of the critical nature 
of this cargo to the success of the tactical ground commander's mission 
and the short notice of its need (usually less than 24 hours), lift 
assets must be in a direct support relationship to provide the 
necessary responsiveness.
    For sustainment operations, Army fixed wing aviation performs those 
missions which lie between the strategic and intra-theater missions 
performed by the U.S. Air Force and the tactical maneuver and movement 
performed by Army rotary wing or ground assets. The JCA will provide 
point-to-point distribution where effectiveness vice efficiency is 
critical to meeting the ground tactical mission needs. Simultaneously, 
the JCA will continue to push the majority of supplies forward, 
maintaining the potential synergistic effect between efficiency and 
effectiveness. JCA for both the Army and Air Force is meant to be a 
complimentary asset.

    38. Senator Pryor. General Casey, on January 23, 2008, you met with 
General Moseley at Bolling Air Force Base for Warfighter Talks in an 
effort to strengthen joint partnerships between the Army and the Air 
Force and to discuss issues about interdependence and interoperability 
of operations. Specifically, what conclusions were drawn regarding the 
joint nature of the JCA?
    General Casey. The Army and Air Force have agreed to examine Intra-
theater Air Lift Roles and Missions as part of the Quadrennial Defense 
Review. In the most recent Air Force-Army Warfighter Talks, we 
recommitted our Services to the success of the C-27 program in its 
current format, on the current fielding timeline, and in accordance 
with the current beddown plan. Together, both Services will work any 
roles and missions issues that may arise.

                    finance and accounting officers
    39. Senator Pryor. Secretary Geren, what steps is the Army taking 
to increase the number of finance and accounting officers both within 
the Army and the combatant commands for current and future areas of 
concern?
    Secretary Geren. The Army's financial management community has 
proactively embraced transformation and modularity. Initiatives such as 
the Defense Integrated Military Human Resource Management System and 
the General Fund Enterprise Business System leverage technology to 
better use the talents of the officers within the financial management 
community. Our financial management community is also combining the 
functions of financial operations and resource management within the 
tactical structures to provide a full scope financial management asset 
for deployed commanders, while conforming to modularity for enhanced 
scale efficiencies. All these efforts maximize the capabilities of our 
current financial management officer population as the Army attempts to 
meet an increasing number of mission requirements.
    Despite these efficiencies, the experiences of OIF/OEF revealed the 
increased need for both financial management and contracting officers 
in deployed environments. The Gansler Report prescribed an increase to 
the expeditionary nature of contracting culminating with the 
establishment of the U.S. Army Contracting Command and a higher 
percentage of Army officers comprising the acquisition profession. 
Parallel efforts within the Army's financial management community 
recognized that battlefield procurement far exceeded previously 
anticipated volumes and recommended doubling the size of both corps and 
division level resource management cells. The analysis prescribed an 
increase from 4 to 8 soldiers at each echelon of these forward deployed 
money management cells--a total of 88 commissioned and noncommissioned 
officer positions across the Army. The next step toward achieving this 
increase in financial management personnel occurs in April when the 
Army's corps structure review revalidates the need and determines a 
sourcing solution.

    40. Senator Pryor. Secretary Geren, what are the incentives for a 
soldier to go into this critical field and has the Army instituted a 
general officer career path?
    Secretary Geren The Army has a well-established financial 
management career path for enlisted soldiers and officers through the 
ranks of sergeant major and colonel. However, the extraordinary 
financial circumstances of the past few years; the missions in 
Afghanistan and Iraq; the Gansler report; and expectations for a 
different budgetary landscape in the future indicate that the Army 
should increase the number of general officers from the financial 
management field.
    The Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Financial 
Management and Comptroller) recently identified 16 positions across the 
Army and Joint Staff for which our skilled financial managers would be 
ideal fits. Both the Army and the Joint Staff would benefit from the 
assignment of soldiers from the financial management field to these 
jobs.
    To support growth in the number of general officers from the 
financial management community, I have agreed to the chief of staff's 
recommendation to increase the number of financial management personnel 
selected for brigadier general this fiscal year, and to select at least 
one every year thereafter. For fiscal year 2009, we are contemplating 
selecting two financial management personnel in order to accelerate by 
1 year the plan to put more financial management general officers into 
key Army and Joint Staff positions.
    The Army has not experienced any difficulties in recruiting or 
retaining uniformed financial-management personnel. Soldiers appreciate 
the inherent challenge of the job and being part of a community in high 
demand with enormous responsibility. Financial management offers the 
opportunity to make a tangible difference from the micro to the macro 
level--from helping to improve the quality of life and the service 
environment for individual soldiers and their families, to obtaining 
and shepherding the operational resources that enable the Army to 
execute its mission and build for the future.
                                 ______
                                 
              Questions Submitted by Senator Susan Collins
                     national guard aviation units
    41. Senator Collins. Secretary Geren and General Casey, the Maine 
Army National Guard's Air Medical Evacuation (MEDEVAC) Company of the 
1st Battalion of the 126th Aviation Regiment is currently training at 
Fort Sill, OK, and will soon be deployed to Iraq. This will be their 
second deployment to Iraq since 2003, in addition to a deployment to 
Kosovo in 2000. The proposed DOD budget has $5.01 billion for Army 
aviation aircraft procurement. Some Army National Guard aviation units 
will be trading in their older UH-60 A model Blackhawk helicopters for 
newer model UH-60 M models. I also understand that there is a plan for 
some National Guard units to get their UH-60 A model Blackhawks 
modified to the UH-60 L configuration. While I am pleased to see that 
the Army is making great efforts to get the latest and very best 
equipment to our men and women in the National Guard, I am concerned 
that the Maine Army National Guard is not included in any of these 
plans despite the fact that they have deployed more often and more 
frequently than other National Guard Army aviation units. Can you tell 
me what the plan is to ensure that all of the Army Aviation National 
Guard units receive the most modern aircraft in order to perform all of 
their missions, both here at home, as well as when deployed overseas?
    Secretary Geren and General Casey. The Army is completely committed 
to providing the best equipment available to all aviation units, 
regardless of component. To this end, there is a deliberate review of 
the capabilities of each unit prior to its being sourced for a 
deployment to either Iraq or Afghanistan. If, during that review, it is 
determined that additional capability beyond what it currently 
possesses is either needed or appropriate for that unit to be able to 
accomplish its mission, the mechanisms to accomplish that are put into 
motion. This is the process that was used to upgrade the UH-60A MEDEVAC 
aircraft in Maine's 1-126th Aviation with the newest engines 
available--the T701D. These are the best engines in the Army and give 
that unit the added aircraft performance that is needed for the 
missions that it will perform. While the end result will be to have all 
UH-60 aviation units upgraded to UH-60Ms or UH-60Ls, fielding nearly 
2,000 Blackhawks in just these 2 configurations will take over 15 
years. This fleet will be a mix of Active and Reserve component units 
and will be fielded in a holistic manner. In the meantime, the Army 
will ensure that each unit has the proper capability. To this end, the 
needs of individual National Guard units are initially assessed by the 
National Guard Bureau, which makes an informed decision about the order 
in which these units need to receive new aircraft.

    42. Senator Collins. Secretary Geren and General Casey, despite the 
fact that the Maine Army National Guard's Air MEDEVAC Company of the 
1st Battalion of the 126th Aviation Regiment has deployed more than any 
other National Guard Air Ambulance company since 2000, it is troubling 
to see that they are not on the list to receive newer equipment. Can 
you describe the process and criteria used in determining which units 
will receive the newest aircraft?
    Secretary Geren and General Casey. The Army is completely committed 
to providing the best equipment available to all aviation units, 
regardless of component. To this end, there is a deliberate review of 
the capabilities of each unit prior to its being sourced for a 
deployment to either Iraq or Afghanistan. If, during that review, it is 
determined that additional capability beyond what it currently 
possesses is either needed or appropriate for that unit to be able to 
accomplish its mission, the mechanisms to accomplish that are put into 
motion. This is the process that was used to upgrade the UH-60A MEDEVAC 
aircraft in Maine's 1-126th Aviation with the newest engines 
available--the T701D. These are the best engines in the Army and give 
that unit the added aircraft performance that is needed for the 
missions that it will perform. While the end result will be to have all 
UH-60 aviation units upgraded to UH-60Ms or UH-60Ls, fielding nearly 
2,000 Blackhawks in just these 2 configurations will take over 15 
years. This fleet will be a mix of Active and Reserve component units 
and will be fielded in a holistic manner. In the meantime, the Army 
will ensure that each unit has the proper capability when it is needed 
most. To this end, the needs of individual National Guard units are 
initially assessed by the National Guard Bureau, which makes an 
informed decision as to the order in which these units need to receive 
new aircraft.
                                 ______
                                 
             Questions Submitted by Senator Saxby Chambliss
                     community growth around bases
    43. Senator Chambliss. Secretary Geren and General Casey, as you 
are well aware, both Fort Stewart and Fort Benning in the State of 
Georgia are in the process of growing as a result of the Grow the Army 
plan and the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process, and we 
welcome that growth and look forward to having more Army soldiers and 
their families residing in the State of Georgia. This growth does bring 
challenges, and one specific challenge that I've been aware of and 
working to address for several years now is the growth in the number of 
students at local school districts resulting from an influx of 
military-connected children. No school district is going to turn away 
additional students, and I know that the folks in Muscogee County, 
Chattahoochee County, and Liberty County are eager to accommodate new 
Army families and their children into their school districts--and they 
will do so. I have had a very difficult time getting accurate estimates 
from the Army regarding how many soldiers and, consequently, how many 
school-aged children will be relocating to Georgia bases. The estimates 
have varied widely and have made it very difficult for local school 
districts to predict and plan how to accommodate this growth. However, 
everyone agrees that, at least at Fort Benning, they will experience a 
growth of several thousand students. But this is not just a Georgia 
issue. Bases and communities in Virginia, North Carolina, Kentucky, and 
Kansas will be affected as well. As you can well understand, any 
additional facilities and teachers required to accommodate additional 
students will need to be funded in advance of the students arriving. 
Local communities are challenged to pay for these expenses, especially 
when the tax base for doing so does not exist, or will likely be made 
up of non-residents who may not be paying income and property tax. Can 
you tell me what the Army is doing to partner with communities around 
bases experiencing this growth?
    Secretary Geren and General Casey. Installation commanders maintain 
dialogue with local education activities about timing and level of 
projected growth, as well as associated challenges. In December 2007, a 
Growth Summit was held in St. Louis, Missouri, where participants 
shared their communities' experiences, including techniques or services 
that would help others respond better to their anticipated growth.
    Impact Aid, a function and responsibility of the Department of 
Education, is a tool local communities use to meet the challenges they 
face in funding additional facilities and teachers to accommodate 
increased student loads. The aid is specifically designed to assist 
local school districts that have lost property tax revenue due to the 
presence of tax-exempt Federal property, or experience increased 
expenditures due to enrollment of federally connected children. The 
Army, in coordination with the DOD Office of Economic Adjustment and 
Department of Education, conducted a series of installation visits to 
provide Impact Aid stakeholders with on-the-ground knowledge of issues 
surrounding mission growth, to improve communications among all 
partners, and to identify gaps/lags in capacities.
    The accompanying table reflects school-aged dependent growth at 
Georgia installations.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                Projected school-aged
           Georgia installations            dependent growth from fiscal
                                                   years 2007-2011
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Fort Benning..............................  3,983
Fort Gillem...............................  -838
Fort Gordon...............................  518
Hunter Army Airfield......................  13
Fort McPherson............................  -2,251
Fort Stewart..............................  1,963
------------------------------------------------------------------------


    44. Senator Chambliss. Secretary Geren and General Casey, how are 
you working to ensure that the children of Army families will have 
schools to attend when they arrive at a new station?
    Secretary Geren and General Casey. The Army, in coordination with 
the Department of Education's Offices of Elementary and Secondary 
Education and Management, and DOD Office of Economic Adjustment and DOD 
Military Community and Family Policy, conducted site visits to a 
representative sample (Fort Benning, Fort Bliss, Fort Drum, and Fort 
Riley) of locations to provide program stakeholders (Federal, State, 
and local) with on-the-ground knowledge of issues surrounding mission 
growth, improve communications among all partners, identify gaps/lags 
in capacities, and to more extensively document the specific requests 
for Federal action to assist communities and States responding to 
student migration.

    45. Senator Chambliss. Secretary Geren and General Casey, can you 
give me your assurances that making sure this transition is seamless 
and doing everything you can to help local communities prepare for this 
growth will remain a priority for the Army?
    Secretary Geren and General Casey. The Army is partnering with 
local communities to deal with community needs, such as schools, 
housing, and community activities, associated with Army stationing and 
growth. Garrison commanders and staff regularly engage with community 
leaders and have school liaison officers who facilitate communication 
with local education agencies to help communities deal with stationing 
and growth.
    The Army is committed to providing soldiers and families with a 
quality, supportive environment commensurate with their voluntary 
service and daily sacrifices. The Army Family Covenant lays out the 
Army's commitment to soldiers and families, and the fiscal year 2009 
budget includes $1.5 billion to make the covenant a reality. The Army 
Family Covenant is in direct response to concerns from Army families 
who expressed concern about support for family programs, physical and 
mental health care, housing, education, childcare, and employment 
opportunities for spouses.
    The Installation Management Command works extensively with 
garrisons to develop individual plans to meet staffing, funding, and 
programming requirements. Our BRAC plan addresses the needs of families 
as their numbers change on our installations. Our global rebasing plans 
include maintaining support to our soldiers and families throughout the 
process. At our installations impacted by growth, we have programmed 
new child development centers, youth centers, and fitness facilities 
and increased staffing, as needed. The Army will closely monitor these 
efforts to ensure that our families' needs are met as the Army 
undergoes this dramatic era of growth, restationing, realignment, and 
deployment.

    [Whereupon, at 12:26 p.m., the committee adjourned.]


DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION FOR APPROPRIATIONS FOR FISCAL YEAR 
                                  2009

                              ----------                              


                      THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2008

                                       U.S. Senate,
                               Committee on Armed Services,
                                                    Washington, DC.

                   POSTURE OF THE UNITED STATES NAVY

    The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 9:34 a.m. in room 
SH-216, Hart Senate Office Building, Senator Carl Levin 
(chairman) presiding.
    Committee members present: Senators Levin, Kennedy, 
Lieberman, Reed, Akaka, Bill Nelson, Webb, McCaskill, Warner, 
Sessions, Collins, Chambliss, Dole, Thune, and Martinez.
    Committee staff members present: Richard D. DeBobes, staff 
director; and Leah C. Brewer, nominations and hearings clerk.
    Majority staff members present: Creighton Greene, 
professional staff member; Mark R. Jacobson, professional staff 
member; Gerald J. Leeling, counsel; Thomas K. McConnell, 
professional staff member; William G.P. Monahan, counsel; and 
William K. Sutey, professional staff member.
    Minority staff members present: William M. Caniano, 
professional staff member; David G. Collins, research 
assistant; David M. Morriss, minority counsel; Lucian L. 
Niemeyer, professional staff member; Christopher J. Paul, 
professional staff member; Sean J. Stackley, professional staff 
member; Diana G. Tabler, professional staff member; and Richard 
F. Walsh, minority counsel.
    Staff assistants present: Fletcher L. Cork, Kevin A. 
Cronin, and Benjamin L. Rubin.
    Committee members' assistants present: Bethany Bassett and 
Jay Maroney, assistants to Senator Kennedy; Charles Kieffer, 
assistant to Senator Byrd; Frederick M. Downey, assistant to 
Senator Lieberman; Elizabeth King, assistant to Senator Reed; 
Bonni Berge and Richard Kessler, assistants to Senator Akaka; 
Christopher Caple, assistant to Senator Bill Nelson; Andrew R. 
Vanlandingham, assistant to Senator Ben Nelson; Jon Davey, 
assistant to Senator Bayh; Gordon I. Peterson, assistant to 
Senator Webb; Todd Stiefler, assistant to Senator Sessions; 
Mark J. Winter, assistant to Senator Collins; Clyde A. Taylor 
IV, assistant to Senator Chambliss; Lindsey Neas, assistant to 
Senator Dole; Jason Van Beek, assistant to Senator Thune; Brian 
W. Walsh, assistant to Senator Martinez; and Erskine W. Wells 
III, assistant to Senator Wicker.

       OPENING STATEMENT OF SENATOR CARL LEVIN, CHAIRMAN

    Chairman Levin. Good morning, everybody. First, the 
committee welcomes Secretary of the Navy Donald C. Winter and 
General James T. Conway, USMC, back to the committee this 
morning. In addition, we'd like to welcome Admiral Gary 
Roughead, USN, to his first posture hearing. You are well known 
to this committee. You served as Chief of Legislative Affairs 
not too many years ago, a fairly short time, I think. Do you 
remember what years you were here as legislative affairs chief, 
if you want to admit this?
    Admiral Roughead. I wouldn't want to admit that. I think it 
was in the 2000, 2001 timeframe.
    Chairman Levin. It's great to have you back.
    Admiral Roughead. It's great to be back, sir. Thank you.
    Chairman Levin. We're grateful to each of you for your 
service, and to the valorous and truly professional men and 
women that you command and to their families, that we always 
remember when we extend our greetings and our gratitude to the 
men and women in uniform. We always remember to include their 
families, for reasons which you gentlemen are very well aware 
of.
    You're faced with a number of critical issues that confront 
the Department of the Navy in balancing modernization needs 
against the costs of supporting ongoing operations in Iraq and 
Afghanistan. In one notable case, the Nation is calling on the 
Marine Corps to surge additional forces to Afghanistan because 
of a refusal among our allies to support operations there.
    General Conway's prepared statement highlights that at 
least 3,200 marines will soon deploy to Afghanistan, without 
relaxing commitments elsewhere in the United States Central 
Command (CENTCOM) theater of operations. When I talked to 
General Conway the other day in my office, I asked him whether 
that failure on the part of our allies to do their committed 
part had any impact at all on the morale of our marines. His 
answer was a very firm, stout, and immediate ``No,'' and we 
recognize that. If we can be doubly grateful to our marines for 
that kind of a response, we are.
    The Navy's been contributing directly to the war effort in 
CENTCOM as well. In addition to the normal deployments of ships 
and aircraft in support of these operations, according to the 
Admiral's prepared statement the Navy has trained and deployed 
more than 17,000 individual augmentees (IAs) to support these 
missions on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan. Again, not 
their usual duty, but there are no complaints, and we're 
tremendously grateful for that response.
    As we visit these men and women we talk to them about that 
issue, and they are doing their duty, period.
    General Conway. Thank you, sir.
    Chairman Levin. These activities further stress our troops 
and represent challenges to our servicemembers and their 
families. Again, let me express the thanks of every member of 
this committee and I'm sure every member of the Senate and 
every American for just how well and ably the men and women of 
the Department of the Navy and their families are responding to 
these challenges.
    A number of challenges facing the Department of the Navy 
center on acquisition programs. We have concerns about cost 
problems in the shipbuilding arena, most notably with the 
Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program. When we met here last year, 
the Navy had cancelled the contract for the second ship with 
the first of the two LCS contractors. Since that time the 
second LCS contractor has run into much the same cost and 
schedule problems that plagued the first LCS contractor and the 
Navy cancelled that contractor's second ship as well.
    Changing requirements, poor cost estimates, inexperienced 
program managers, and poor supervision of the contractors' 
performance were among the causes of the overrun. Long ago, a 
famous study concluded: Don't monkey with requirements after 
signing a contract, because that leads to cost and schedule 
problems. I've heard through the decades that the Navy has 
learned that lesson, but it apparently still has not.
    In Marine Corps programs, we saw significant cost growth on 
the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV) program last year. 
More recently, we've seen reports of significant problems in 
affording the VH-71 helicopter that will replace the current 
Marine Corps helicopters that support the President. We will 
need to understand what has caused those cost growth overruns 
and problems and what steps are being taken to correct them.
    In the case of the Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected (MRAP) 
vehicle program, Congress intervened to accelerate this program 
enough so that the Marine Corps will complete filling its 
requirement for the MRAP vehicles in fiscal year 2008.
    Another concern surrounds future force levels. We're facing 
the prospect that the current Navy program will lead to 
potentially large gaps between the forces that the Chief of 
Naval Operations (CNO) has said that he needs and the forces 
that will be available to his successors. In one case, the CNO 
has said that the Navy needs to have 48 attack submarines to 
meet combatant commanders' requirements, but we are faced with 
the risk of falling well short of that goal for more than 10 
years starting during the next decade.
    Under current plans for tactical aircraft acquisition, the 
Navy is facing a shortfall of as many as 200 tactical fighters 
needed to outfit our aircraft carrier air wings. With 
shortfalls that large, we could be faced with drastically 
reducing the number of aircraft available on short notice to 
the combatant commanders, either because we've deployed 
understrength air wings or because we did not deploy the 
carrier at all because of those aircraft shortages.
    The Navy has predicted that the reduction in carrier force 
levels to 10 will not prevent them from maintaining the current 
capability to surge carriers under the Fleet Response Plan, the 
so-called 6+1 capability. If the Navy were not to have enough 
aircraft to outfit 4 of its 10 carrier air wings, this would be 
a moot point in any event.
    We look forward to the testimony of our witnesses this 
morning. We're very grateful again for their presence, for 
their commitment to this Nation, and to their fine work.
    Senator Warner, I think this may be your last Navy posture 
hearing, unless we sneak in another one before the end of the 
year.

                STATEMENT OF SENATOR JOHN WARNER

    Senator Warner. I've enjoyed 30 years of being with you, 
Senator, at these posture hearings, and then 5 years prior 
thereto when I sat at that table. So it's been a very wonderful 
opportunity for this humble person to have had that experience.
    I join you, Mr. Chairman, in the respect and homage we pay 
to the men and women of the Armed Forces, and today it's the 
Navy-Marine Corps team and their families for their service to 
country.
    Mr. Secretary, I was pleased when we visited the other day 
you told me about the centennial celebration for the Great 
White Fleet launched by Teddy Roosevelt 100 years ago, and how 
his aides said to him: Mr. President, we only have money to 
really get them halfway around the world. The President said: 
That's fine by me; we'll get them there and we'll park the 
ships until Congress appropriates the money to bring them home.
    So here we are. But I think those moments of history are 
important to remember. We should reflect also upon the 
Constitution, which says that this Nation shall maintain a Navy 
and raise an Army as we see fit in the appropriate time.
    Today, a third of our Fleet is underway at any one time, 
from the Western Pacific to the Arabian Gulf, sailing with the 
flag of freedom and hope, not only for our country, but for so 
many countries. We also see the trends in naval construction of 
other countries, notably China and now a rejuvenated Russian 
interest in their Navy, and that brings to mind the essential 
requirement of this country and we must remember, in effect, 
we're an island nation, and we're dependent on a maritime 
strategy for our overall security interests.
    Meanwhile, 25,000 marines are conducting our Nation's most 
pressing business in Iraq and Afghanistan, and more are on the 
way. So we salute you, General, and your forces. Today's 
hearing should ensure that we are doing all in our power so 
that they can meet that motto, the most ready at all times.
    For the Navy and the Marine Corps, this comes down to ships 
and aircraft, ordnance and armor, and a trained force of 
sailors and marines equally ready for sea and ready for war.
    The chairman covered several points that are also of 
interest to me and I'll just put that in the record as a part 
of my statement. But I'd like to say to the Commandant, I was 
impressed. I watched a piece last night, I believe it was on 
the Lehrer show, about your concern of the current armor and 
the weight of that armor and how that weight, not only of the 
individual's armor, but the armor that we put on vehicles, 
requires you to do some consideration about the future. I 
commend you for that. Certainly the uparmored Humvee has been a 
successful operation, and now the MRAP. But with that armor 
goes some loss of tactical mobility of those vehicles as well 
as the tactical mobility of the individual marine. Perhaps in 
your testimony you will touch on that decision that you've been 
making.
    We also are interested in the recruiting and training. The 
chairman and I will bring those issues into focus here.
    As the CNO, we're encouraged by the Navy's continued focus 
on the Fleet Response Plan, on stabilizing your steaming days 
and flying hours. I join the chairman with regard to the 
shipbuilding budget and, Mr. Secretary, we hope it is accurate 
and we're hopeful that we can maintain the goals that you've 
established for this coming fiscal year and in the outyears. 
That's the essential part of our responsibility here, providing 
for an adequate force.
    The 313-ship total, Admiral, is still the goal, as it 
should be, of our Fleet. We are also faced, as the chairman 
said, with shortfalls in aircraft as we try to fill the gap 
with the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), and we'll cover that.
    But a ``well done'' to each of you gentlemen and those that 
you're privileged to have the responsibility to care for, both 
in uniform and the families, and a very significant civilian 
corps, Mr. Secretary, that you know well. I looked at your 
overall figures. It's 900,000 individuals in the Department of 
the Navy that you're responsible for, uniformed and civilian.
    Secretary Winter. Yes, sir.
    Senator Warner. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    [The prepared statement by Senator Warner follows:]
               Prepared Statement by Senator John Warner
    Thank you, Chairman Levin.
    General Conway, Admiral Roughead, Secretary Winter, thank you for 
your testimony today. I commend each of you for your outstanding 
leadership to our Nation, our service men and women, and theirfamilies.
    Mr. Secretary, I was pleased to note your recent centennial 
commemoration of President Theodore Roosevelt launching the great white 
fleet. President Roosevelt had a clear vision for American Seapower, 
and in the century since, our Nation's security has been underpinned by 
our preeminent position as a maritime power.
    Today, you report that a third of the fleet is deployed from the 
western Pacific to the Arabian Gulf, sailing with a freedom truly 
unmatched in history. Yet, today we also see trends in naval 
construction by foreign navies which alert us that this freedom, this 
`command of the seas' will surely be challenged ahead, and it is our 
responsibility to be prepared to meet such challenge.
    Meanwhile, 25,000 marines are conducting our Nation's most pressing 
business in Iraq and Afghanistan, to be joined soon by an additional 
Marine task force deploying to Afghanistan--another demonstration of 
the Corps' commitment, to be `most ready.'
    Today's hearing should ensure that we are doing all in our power so 
they can meet this commitment.
    For the Navy and Marine Corps, this comes down to ships and 
aircraft, ordnance and armor, and a trained force of sailors and 
marines equally ready for sea and ready for war.
    Commandant, you've stated that you're operating at ``surge-plus'' 
with marines experiencing a one-to-one ratio of time deployed to time 
back home, and that equipment usage rates are seven times greater than 
peacetime rates. I am most interested in your assessment of the Marine 
Corps' ability to sustain this operational tempo, your readiness to 
surge the additional 3,200 marines to Afghanistan next month, and how 
you will transition the experience you've gained in the Al Anbar 
province to achieve equal success in Afghanistan.
    It is important to hear from you on trends in recruiting, 
retaining, and equipping the force as you increase the Corps to an end 
strength of 202,000 marines. While we are focused today on Iraq and 
Afghanistan, it's important to understand your challenges in 
maintaining the Corps' excellence in Expeditionary Warfare.
    As well, Chief of Naval Operations, I'm encouraged by the Navy's 
continued focus on the Fleet Response Plan, on stabilizing steaming 
days and flying hours, and on increasing force readiness. Similarly, 
the Navy has been successful at managing end strength while offsetting 
increasing personnel costs--this done, while supporting ground forces 
with 10,000 sailors in Iraq and Afghanistan.
    However, the Navy's force readiness--current and future--will 
ultimately rely on ships and aircraft at sea, and I remain concerned by 
the continued downward trends in recapitalizing our fleet and naval air 
force.
    You have rightfully stated that the Navy's program to build a fleet 
of 313 ships is ``the floor'' required to meet the future threat. Yet 
today, with a force of 279 ships and just 7 ships in this budget 
request, we are simply not building at the rate we need.
    Compounding this problem, we are on the front end of a long gap to 
strike fighter aircraft. Shortfalls of at least 2, perhaps 4 air wings, 
threaten to extend beyond the next decade.
    In considering this budget request, the debate should not center on 
how we will make due with shortfalls in carriers, strike fighters, 
submarines, and amphibious lift; but rather, how we can best close 
these gaps. At the very core of this debate we must address spiraling 
cost growth, or the 313 ship fleet under the cover of 10 carrier air 
wings will remain beyond our reach. I know you all share this concern.
    Secretary Winter, I greatly appreciate your efforts to strengthen 
the business of building our Navy. Programs like the Littoral Combat 
Ship and Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle received much attention this 
past year, but the greater concern is that these programs' troubles are 
symptomatic of systems, processes and an industrial base that are 
struggling with today's demand for highly complex systems in low-rate 
production.
    I'm interested in your views on how we strike a course in 
acquisition that brings the Navy's affordability imperative in line 
with its mission requirements.
    As always, we rely on you to advise this committee on the adequacy 
of this budget request to fully support these objectives and to 
identify any challenges you face that warrant the attention of this 
committee. Again, I thank you gentlemen for joining us today and look 
forward to your testimony.

    Chairman Levin. Thank you, Senator Warner.
    Secretary Winter?

   STATEMENT OF HON. DONALD C. WINTER, SECRETARY OF THE NAVY

    Secretary Winter. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. 
Chairman Levin, Senator Warner, and members of the committee: 
Thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today. I am 
here to present the Department of the Navy's plan to support 
our sailors and marines in their mission to defend our Nation 
against current and future challenges.
    The President's fiscal year 2009 budget will assist the 
Navy and Marine Corps in accomplishing their complementary and 
reinforcing missions while building capabilities necessary to 
meet future threats. One of the primary responsibilities of our 
Government is to provide for the Nation's defense. Those 
responsibilities include the critical requirements to organize, 
train, and equip the naval forces. For the vast majority of 
citizens, the only cost imposed on us is financial. America is 
able to provide for the national defense with such a minimal 
impact on the citizenry because we are blessed to have among us 
a generation of people, patriots all, who volunteer to serve. 
They are the ones who bear many hardships, accept many risks, 
and go in harm's way.
    The pay and benefit funding levels in our 2009 budget 
request reflect the compensation levels necessary to continue 
to attract and retain quality personnel in the Navy and the 
Marine Corps. Furthermore, although we are doing well in our 
overall recruiting and retention numbers, I emphasize the need 
for special pays and bonuses to meet critical sub-specialty 
needs such as our requirements for nurses, physicians, and 
explosive ordnance disposal personnel.
    It is because of the hard work of our sailors and marines 
that we are making progress, fostering maritime security, 
defeating terrorist networks, progressing towards a stable 
Iraq, supporting the Afghan government, countering piracy and 
the proliferation of deadly technology, rendering humanitarian 
assistance, and strengthening partnerships around the world. 
Our sailors and marines have responded when called and superbly 
performed their many missions in our Nation's defense. It is 
truly an honor and privilege to work with them and support them 
as their Secretary.
    The Department of the Navy's fiscal year 2009 budget meets 
the challenge of resourcing the Navy and Marine Corps team 
across a range of missions, from partnership building to combat 
operations. It invests in our ability to operate, sustain, and 
develop forces that are engaged in the global war on terrorism 
while preparing the force for the challenges and threats of the 
future.
    We are requesting a total of $149 billion, a 7 percent 
increase over the fiscal year 2008 baseline. This increase is 
driven by factors such as rising oil costs and the critical 
comprehensive growth of the Marine Corps. Our fiscal year 2009 
budget reflects three key priorities, which are consistent with 
those of previous years. They are: first of all, prevail in the 
global war on terror; second, take care of our sailors, 
marines, and their families, and particularly our wounded; and 
lastly, prepare for future challenges across the whole spectrum 
of operations.
    To help meet our first priority, prevail in the global war 
on terror, we are adapting our force for current and future 
missions, to include growing the Marine Corps, shaping the 
force by recruiting and retaining the right people, and 
addressing critical readiness needs. Among the most critical 
readiness needs is the ability to train our sailors and marines 
for the threats that they may encounter. Unfortunately, our 
Navy has encountered increasing encroachments in our ability to 
conduct critical training. We recognize that there are on 
occasion impacts on the citizenry at large associated with such 
training. But these are necessary costs that are critical to 
the defense of the Nation. We take extensive precautions to 
minimize the impact of our training. We owe it to the American 
people and we owe it to those who serve to acknowledge that, as 
in all things in life, there are competing interests and 
tradeoffs and that we treat the risks of sonar operation at sea 
or the impact of jet noise the way we treat all public policy 
issues, balancing risks and costs against legitimate national 
security interests.
    I greatly appreciate the support this committee provided us 
last year with respect to Miramar Air Station, thereby ensuring 
that our naval aviators can continue to receive vital training. 
I commit to you today that I will continue to keep you apprised 
of legal challenges and their implications for readiness that 
we face over the course of the coming year.
    Mr. Chairman, if in the future we are unable to properly 
train our sailors and marines we will have failed to do our 
duty to them and to the American people.
    Another critical issue I would like to highlight concerns 
doing right by those who go in harm's way. As Secretary of 
Defense Robert M. Gates has stated, apart from the war itself 
we have no higher priority than to take care of our wounded. 
Our wounded warriors and their families deserve the highest 
priority care, respect, and treatment for their sacrifices. Our 
2009 budget honors our commitment to ensure that our sailors 
and marines receive the appropriate care, training, and 
financial support that they need.
    Finally, to meet the challenges of the future, the 2009 
budget provides for a balanced fleet of ships, aircraft, and 
expeditionary capabilities with the fighting power and 
versatility to carry out blue, green, and brown water missions 
wherever called upon.
    Furthermore, I would like to note that, consistent with our 
commitment to assure affordability and timely delivery of 
capabilities, we have launched an acquisition improvement 
initiative to provide better integration of requirements and 
acquisition decision processes, improve governance and insight 
into the development, establishment, and execution of 
acquisition programs, and formalize a framework to engage 
senior naval leadership.
    Mr. Chairman, I am grateful for the strong support this 
committee and Congress at large have given our Navy and Marine 
Corps team. I want to thank you on their behalf. Our Navy and 
Marine Corps are a strong, capable, and dedicated team. I 
appreciate the opportunity to represent them today and I look 
forward to your questions.
    [The prepared statement of Secretary Winter follows:]
              Prepared Statement of Hon. Donald C. Winter

 The Navy and Marine Corps Team . . . fighting today and preparing for 
                           future challenges

                            i. introduction
    Chairman Levin, Senator McCain, and members of the committee, it is 
an honor to appear again before you representing the men and women of 
the United States Navy and the United States Marine Corps--Active, 
Reserve, and civilian--a force of over 800,000 strong.
    I am here to present the Department of the Navy's (DON) plan to 
support our sailors and marines in their mission to defend our Nation 
against current and future challenges as they conduct operations 
spanning the spectrum, from major combat to humanitarian assistance. 
The President's fiscal year 2009 budget will assist the Navy and Marine 
Corps in accomplishing their complimentary and reinforcing missions, 
while building capabilities necessary to meet future threats. The 
fiscal year 2009 budget balances capabilities to support both 
traditional and irregular warfare demands. It also continues to expand 
the Marine Corps' capacity and furthers the transformation from a blue 
water navy into one that can fight and win in the blue, green, and 
brown waters.
    As I reflect upon my time as Secretary of the Navy, nothing is more 
sobering than the experience of seeing--every single day--the 
dedication, professionalism, and willingness to sacrifice shown by our 
sailors, marines, civilian employees, and their families. I will attest 
to you their unwavering commitment to duty. These patriots put 
themselves in harm's way to protect our Nation. From those who have 
given the ultimate sacrifice, such as Medal of Honor recipients 
Lieutenant Michael Murphy and Corporal Jason Dunham, to those who daily 
take the pledge to support and defend our Nation, our Navy and Marine 
Corps Team is second to none. It is because of their efforts that we 
are making progress fostering maritime security, defeating terrorist 
networks, progressing towards a stable Iraq, supporting the Afghan 
government, countering piracy and the proliferation of deadly 
technology, giving humanitarian assistance to people in need after 
tsunamis and earthquakes, and strengthening partnerships around the 
world. The men and women of the Navy and Marine Corps have responded 
when called upon. It is an honor and privilege to work with them and 
support them as their Secretary.
    Today our Nation is faced with a myriad of challenges and 
uncertainties across the globe. There have been several unexpected, and 
sometimes sudden, changes in the security environment over the past few 
years. Yet many of the strategic imperatives of the United States--
particularly with respect to the maritime environment--remain 
unchanged. It is clear the United States must have the capacity to act 
in such a fluid and unpredictable environment, and that naval forces 
offer unique flexibility to respond swiftly and decisively anywhere in 
the world. Providing this flexibility requires that the DON invest 
wisely across a wide range of capabilities, and that we take care to 
deliver a balanced portfolio of capabilities to the joint force. 
Worldwide presence, credible deterrence and dissuasion, projection of 
power from naval platforms anywhere on the globe, and the ability to 
prevail at sea are the critical, most fundamental elements of the Navy 
and Marine Corps strategic posture; these are our indispensable 
contributions to the joint warfighting capability of the Nation.
    The United States is a maritime power, bounded by sea to the east 
and west. The health of our national economy depends on assuring safe 
transit through the seas--and the maritime dimension of international 
commerce is ever increasing. Consider that 70 percent of the earth is 
covered by water, 80 percent of the world's population lives in close 
proximity to the coast, and 90 percent of the world's international 
commerce is transported via the sea. Given our national interests, and 
the role we play in the world, it is unsurprising that our sailors and 
marines are constantly called upon to react to a wide range of 
challenges. I suggest that the strength of a nation's naval force 
remains an essential measure of that nation's status and role in the 
world. I also submit that maritime dominance by the United States 
remains vital to our national security, to our position in the world, 
and to our ability to defend and promote our interests.
    Last fall, the DON, in collaboration with the U.S. Coast Guard, 
reaffirmed its emphasis on the traditional capabilities of forward 
presence, deterrence, sea control, and power projection in its new 
Maritime Strategy: A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower. 
However, the Maritime Strategy also makes clear that we consider our 
core capabilities to include maritime security and the provision of 
humanitarian assistance and disaster relief--areas of growing 
importance. The strategy emphasizes the use of soft power, and 
highlights the criticality of our foreign friends and allies, while 
reminding us that the underlying credibility for partnerships and peace 
is the United States' ability to swiftly defeat a threat with 
overwhelming and decisive combat power.
    The unique nature of our Department is such that the Navy and 
Marine Corps team is a constantly deployed force, both in peacetime and 
in war, with the further ability to surge assets worldwide, anytime 
required. As we consider the current and projected strategic 
environment, we must anticipate a steadily growing reliance on our 
unique expeditionary character. This is becoming ever more apparent. 
The challenge of resourcing our two services across such a large range 
of steadily growing global missions, from partnership building to 
combat operations, is one that we have met with the President's fiscal 
year 2009 budget.
    Reflected in the budget submittal is the fact that today's Navy and 
Marine Corps are operating in blue, green and brown waters, in the air 
and on the shore--and sometimes deep inland--facing a wide variety of 
threats. On any given day, approximately 40 percent of the fleet is 
deployed at sea or involved in pre-deployment training. Forward 
deployed carrier and expeditionary strike groups operate on the high 
seas, unencumbered by constraints facing land-based forces. They are 
providing our combatant commanders with many important and powerful 
combinations of capability: tactical aviation, land attack systems, 
SEAL and Marine Special Operations Forces (SOF), intelligence and 
surveillance platforms, amphibious assault and forcible entry capacity, 
over-the-horizon force projection, and flexible seabasing and at sea 
logistical support. Our full spectrum of capabilities also includes 
ship-based ballistic missile defense--providing a shield that not only 
protects our maritime freedom of movement and access, but which also 
contributes to the defense of our allies and our homeland against 
missile threats. In other words, we are presenting a budget which 
supports a force in high demand across the globe.
    The President's budget does more than just fulfill our 
responsibilities in today's complex environment; it continues to evolve 
our portfolio of capabilities. This is essential to our ability to 
defend against future threats which could range from the asymmetric--
from terrorists to proliferation and/or use of weapons of mass 
destruction--to the more traditional challenges posed by nation-states 
and possible future ``near peer'' competitors.
    Evolving our portfolio of capabilities can be challenging, since 
the Navy and Marine Corps have an operational construct that emphasizes 
forward deployment and presence. Historically, while the bulk of U.S. 
forces return home after cessation of a conflict or crisis, our 
maritime forces often do not. They are continuously present in forward 
regions, and through their forward engagement they maintain familiarity 
with the environment and the characteristics of regional actors; they 
also foster and sustain trust and cooperation with friends and allies. 
Thus when a threat to our national security emerges overseas, it may 
well be encountered first by the Navy and Marine Corps. Meeting that 
threat, whether on land, in the air, on the high seas, or under the 
sea, will require our forces to be in peak fighting condition. They 
must be ready to fight and win at any time, and to do so at great 
strategic distance. We have developed a budgetary plan which addresses 
these requirements.
    We have developed the budget in the face of a demanding and rapidly 
changing security environment, and there are worrisome trends that bear 
watching. Nations are developing weapons and systems which seem 
deliberately intended to threaten our naval assets, deny access, and 
restrict our freedom of maneuver. The proliferation of anti-access 
weapons technology to unfriendly nations is a significant concern. 
Furthermore, the DON, like other parts of the Department of Defense 
(DOD), has been a target of aggressive foreign intelligence and data-
collection activities. As such, we need to invest in the capabilities 
necessary to preserve our technological advantage. Additionally, aside 
from growing costs and schedule delays in some acquisition programs, we 
also struggle with regulatory encroachment and legal challenges that 
threaten to undercut our ability to effectively train and maintain 
readiness. We must address these challenges; doing so is fundamental to 
maintaining our naval readiness and our capability to defend our 
Nation.
    In summary, the DON's fiscal year 2009 budget invests in the Navy 
and Marine Corps to operate, sustain and develop forces that will 
remain engaged in the global war on terrorism, while at the same time 
preparing the force for the challenges and threats of the future. The 
fiscal year 2009 budget requests $149.3 billion for these purposes. 
This is a 7-percent increase over the fiscal year 2008 baseline and is 
driven by factors such as rising oil costs and the critical, 
comprehensive growth of the United States Marine Corps.
Priorities for the Department of the Navy
    The DON is committed to finding solutions that allow the Navy and 
Marine Corps to balance our current requirements and operational 
realities with the likely needs of the future. We strive to maintain an 
agile and flexible force that can not only contribute to winning our 
Nation's wars but also can assist in preventing future conflict to the 
extent possible--whether by dissuasion, deterrence, humanitarian 
action, or disaster relief. As such, our priorities remain consistent 
with those in previous years. They are to:

         Prevail in the global war on terrorism;
         Take care of our sailors, marines, their families and 
        particularly our wounded; and
         Prepare for future challenges across the full spectrum 
        of operations.

    As in the past, for the sake of brevity, some of the key programs 
are highlighted and can be found in greater detail in the Highlights of 
the DON fiscal year 2009 budget.\1\ This statement is designed to 
reinforce, and build upon, initiatives articulated in previous 
testimony and budget material.
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    \1\ Highlights of the DON fiscal year 2009 budget, February 2008.
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               ii. prevail in the global war on terrorism
    The Department's top priority remains the global war on terrorism. 
Today, approximately 29,300 marines and 11,300 sailors (including 
individual augmentees) operate ashore, along with 12,000 sailors at 
sea. They are conducting and supporting operations in Iraq and 
Afghanistan, and throughout the U.S. Central Command region, and their 
contributions are central to the progress being made.
    Naval forces provide a major part of the national worldwide 
rotational presence and an increasing portion of the required support 
for ground units in Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Operation 
Iraqi Freedom (OIF). They operate across the spectrum--from low 
intensity conflict, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, to 
high intensity conflict involving airborne strike and Marine Corps 
forces in coordinated joint and coalition ground operations. To 
illustrate the wide range of activities undertaken, it is noteworthy 
that, in 2007, five Carrier Strike Groups and five Expeditionary Strike 
Groups deployed in support of OEF and OIF. Throughout 2007 the Marine 
Corps provided three embarked Marine Expeditionary Units (MEUs) forward 
positioned in all geographic commands. Two of these MEUs were employed 
ashore in support of Multinational Force-West and participated in 
sustained combat operations. Naval aviation, afloat and ashore, in 
concert with U.S. Air Force and coalition aviation forces, has provided 
critical strike, overland surveillance, logistical and electronic 
warfare support to the joint land forces deployed in Iraq and 
Afghanistan. The Navy has also deployed riverine forces for the first 
time since Vietnam, operating on Lake Thar Thar and the Euphrates 
River. The Marine Corps also achieved a milestone with successful 
deployment of the first MV-22 Osprey squadron in OIF operations. Naval 
Special Warfare (NSW) forces continue to be actively engaged in 
combating terrorism. The Navy SEALs and the Marine Special Operations 
Command have done outstanding work in OIF/OEF and have made critical 
progress in countering the threat of international terrorism. We will 
continue to prioritize investment and retention of our highly-skilled 
Special Operations Forces.
    In addition to traditional types of maritime activities, the Navy 
continues to support the global war on terrorism in a variety of non--
traditional areas. For example, Navy sailors are leading a number of 
Provincial Reconstruction Teams in Afghanistan today. Significant 
numbers of naval combat support and combat service support personnel 
are relieving the Army and Marine Corps in select mission areas. In 
U.S. Central Command, Navy personnel are providing base and port 
operations support, medical, explosive ordinance disposal, construction 
battalions, civil affairs, electronic warfare, mobile security forces, 
detainee operations, intelligence, and headquarters staff support. The 
Navy also continues command of the detainee mission in Guantanamo Bay, 
Cuba and at Camp Bucca, a high security prison in Iraq. Executive agent 
responsibilities are discharged by the Navy for the global war on 
terrorism-related Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa (CJTF HOA) 
in Djibouti. CJTF HOA has transformed from its initial seafaring force, 
aimed at blocking terrorists fleeing Afghanistan (and preventing them 
from establishing new safe havens), into a task force that also 
conducts military-to-military training and humanitarian assistance over 
a large geographic expanse of eight countries.
    With respect to the Marine Corps, the II Marine Expeditionary Force 
Forward, augmented by marines from around the Corps, conducted 
counterinsurgency operations in Iraq and led the Multinational Force-
West in Al Anbar Province, supported by Army, Air Force, and Navy 
personnel. The achievements of the marines in Al Anbar have been widely 
noted, and their success in creating a permissive environment for local 
governance and economic development--making significant inroads in 
security, training, and transfer of responsibility to their Iraqi 
counterparts--has been crucial. More broadly across the country, Marine 
Corps Transition Teams have conducted training for Iraqi military, 
police, and border teams. The Marine Corps provided over 800 personnel 
across more than 50 types of Iraqi transition teams in 2007. Building 
upon these successes in Iraq, recently the President approved the 
deployment of 2,200 marines to Afghanistan in support of the NATO-led 
International Security Assistance Force mission, and 1,000 marines to 
assist in the training and development of the Afghan National Security 
Forces. In preparation for these overseas missions, the Marine Corps 
continues to implement comprehensive training programs at home, such as 
Mojave Viper and Desert Talon.
    At sea, the effective conduct of Maritime Security Operations is a 
critical element of the fight against terrorism. In the Northern 
Arabian Gulf, our sailors and marines are working with coalition and 
Iraqi forces in a Coalition Task Group to defend the Al Basra Oil 
Terminal and the Khawr al Amaya Oil Terminal. The security of these 
platforms is provided through waterborne patrols in rigid hull 
inflatable boats, platform security personnel, and helicopter 
surveillance. Working with our NATO allies, the Navy continues to 
provide support for Operation Active Endeavor, which is an ongoing 
maritime interdiction effort in the Mediterranean. Similarly, the 
conduct of operations to dissuade and counter piracy off the West 
African coast and the actions of the guided missile destroyers U.S.S. 
Porter, U.S.S. Arleigh Burke and U.S.S. James E. Williams off the coast 
of Somalia this past October are examples of how the Navy is working to 
provide a secure maritime environment.
    Fostering enduring foreign partnerships and friendships is yet 
another key contributor to the global war on terrorism, as we bolster 
the capacity of nations to work with us, and to conduct 
counterterrorism efforts of their own. The Navy is continuing to 
develop the concept of Global Fleet Station (GFS), envisioned to be a 
highly visible, positively engaged, reassuring, and persistent sea base 
from which to interact with the global maritime community of nations. 
The Department demonstrated the concept through the GFS pilot in 
October, using the HSV-2 SWIFT in the Caribbean, and again with the 
African Partnership Station in the Gulf of Guinea, using the U.S.S. 
Fort McHenry and HSV-2 SWIFT. In addition to targeted outreach 
activities, the Navy and Marine Corps team extends America's diplomatic 
reach through the conduct of multinational exercises and port visits. 
Throughout 2007, the naval force participated in over 230 bilateral and 
multinational exercises with partners around the globe.\2\ The Marine 
Corps also participated in over 60 Theater Security Cooperation events, 
which ranged from deployment of small Mobile Training Teams in Central 
America to MEU exercises in Africa, the Middle East, and the Pacific. 
Additionally, several overseas training events were held with foreign 
special operations forces to improve interoperability with Navy and 
Marine SOF, and the Department provided support to the stand-up of 
NATO's new SOF Coordination Center. The cumulative effect of these 
exercises and events is to foster trust and sustain cooperative 
relationships with our international partners. This is critical to U.S. 
national security.
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    \2\ Illustrative of our global security cooperation are exercises 
involving the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force and the Indian Navy 
during TRILAX 07 in the Northern Pacific; PHOENIX EXPRESS 07 with 
Moroccan, Algerian, and Tunisian forces west of the Gibraltar Strait; 
BALTOPS 07 in the Baltic Sea with Denmark, France, Germany, Sweden, 
Poland, Russia, Latvia, Lithuania, the United Kingdom, and NATO; AMAN 
07 with Pakistan, Great Britain, China, France, Italy, Malaysia, 
Turkey, and Bangladesh; UNITAS off of South America's Pacific coast 
with Chile, Colombia, and Peru; and MALABAR with forces from India.
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    Outreach to foreign populations is also an important part of the 
Nation's efforts to stem the spread of terrorism. This is an important 
mission for the Navy and the Marine Corps and is a tangible way that we 
can demonstrate the compassion and values of the American people. Last 
year, the Navy and Marine Corps together were at the forefront of 
numerous humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations. 
Sailors and marines in the Pacific provided desperately-needed 
humanitarian support to Bangladesh in the aftermath of Cyclone Sidr. 
The Marine Corps engaged in civil-military and humanitarian assistance 
operations such as ``New Horizons'' in Nicaragua and land mine removal 
training in Azerbaijan. The joint and combined crew aboard the U.S.N.S. 
Comfort gave humanitarian aid during a 4-month tour in Latin America 
and the Caribbean. During Pacific Partnership 2007, the joint and 
interagency crew of the U.S.S. Peleliu gave similar aid to the 
Philippines and other Pacific island nations. We hope that the support 
given during these missions, whether it was the Seabees' reconstruction 
of homes and schools devastated by a tsunami, or inoculation and 
treatment of children and the elderly by Navy and Marine medical 
professionals, helped convey a positive image of the United States with 
local populations.
    Finally, within the United States, the Department continues its 
emphasis on providing increased force protection to our sailors and 
marines, particularly in the area of counter-improvised explosive 
devices (IED). As lead service for the joint Mine Resistant Ambush 
Protected (MRAP) vehicle program, the Department accelerated production 
for MRAP vehicles to rapidly field this capability in Iraq and 
Afghanistan. Through the use of Lean Six Sigma activities and projects, 
the Department synchronized an effort to build and transport MRAP 
vehicles to the theater, rapidly identifying and mitigating 
deficiencies in the MRAP vehicle pipeline. Over 2,000 MRAP vehicles 
have been fielded to support the Department's joint urgent requirement, 
over 900 of which are in the hands of marines and more than 150 fielded 
to the Navy. Also as part of the broader counter-IED effort, the 
Department is procuring Biometric Tools, the Family of Imaging Systems, 
counter-IED robotics, and Counter Radio-Controlled IED Electronic 
Warfare systems.
Adapting the Naval Force for Global War on Terrorism and Future 
        Missions
    The Marine Corps and Navy are being called upon today to conduct 
surge operations, conduct Iraq unit rotations, provide additional 
forces to Afghanistan, and prepare for other challenges. The Department 
has not only addressed these commitments, but is contributing low 
density, high demand forces (e.g., Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) 
units) to support the other Services and coalition efforts. Of our 
deployed EOD teams, over 50 percent operate in support of other 
services. Additionally, over the course of 2007, the Navy provided 
12,985 Active component augmentees and 9,527 mobilized reservists in 
support of OEF and OIF globally, and filled approximately 8,000 
individual augmentee and 4,500 ``in-lieu-of'' requirements. The Navy 
has increased several low density, high demand specialties and units, 
such as Construction Battalions and EOD teams. In October 2007, the 
Navy commissioned its newest Construction Battalion and Construction 
Regiment, bringing them to a total of nine Active Duty battalions and 
three Active Duty regiments. Further, in order to relieve stress on 
marines and their families, and to address future contingencies, the 
Marine Corps is growing the force, exceeding its 2007 target of 184,000 
marines; the Marine Corps is on track to meet the goal of 202,000 by 
fiscal year 2011.
    Reshaping of the force is an important and evolutionary process. To 
do this, the Department is focused on three fronts: recruiting the 
right people, retaining the right people, and achieving targeted 
attrition. Recruiting objectives are focused on increasing the quality 
of the Total Force and seeking qualified sailors to include special 
emphasis on filling the ranks of SEAL, NSW, Navy Special Operations, 
Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewmen, EOD, Divers, Hospital 
Corpsmen, and Women in Non-traditional Ratings (Master-at-Arms and 
Seabees). Recruiters are also focused on creating a smooth flow of 
recruits into boot camp by maintaining and mentoring a healthy pool of 
young men and women in the Delayed Entry Program.
    The Department has also implemented initiatives to increase 
visibility and incentives for medical recruitment. While we have seen 
improvement in some medical programs, such as in the Nurse Corps with 
direct accessions, numerous challenges remain in recruiting and 
retaining medical personnel. Retention challenges exist in critical 
specialties that require 3-7 years of training beyond medical school. 
In the Dental Corps, we face challenges in retaining junior officers 
between 4-7 years, and we also are experiencing high attrition rates 
for junior officer ranks in the Nurse Corps. To combat the recruiting 
challenges and continue supporting the increased demand for the OIF/
OEF, we implemented increased accession bonuses for the Nurse Corps and 
Dental Corps; funded a critical skills accession bonus for medical and 
dental school Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP) 
participants; increased the stipend for HPSP students, as well as 
Financial Assistance Program participants; expanded the critical skills 
wartime specialty pay for Reserve component medical designators; 
recently implemented a Critical Wartime Skills Accession bonus for 
Medical and Dental Corps; and implemented a Critical Skills Retention 
bonus for clinical psychologists.
    We note that the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for 
Fiscal Year 2008 restricts military-to-civilian conversions for the 
medical community through September 30, 2012. Due to the date of 
enactment of this legislation, it is not reflected in the fiscal year 
2009 President's budget request, but the plan is now being readdressed. 
Resolution will require careful planning, and we are working closely 
with the Office of the Secretary of Defense on this matter.
    Incentive programs were a key component of our enlisted recruiting 
success in 2007. The enlistment bonus continues to be our most popular 
and effective incentive for shaping our accessions. The authority to 
pay a bonus up to $40,000 made a significant contribution to our Navy 
Special Warfare and Navy Special Operations recruiting efforts. 
Likewise, our Reserve component success would not have been possible 
without the availability of enlistment bonuses. Extended incentive 
authorities towards some of our more specialized skill fields, 
including nuclear and aviation, will help to recruit and retain these 
critical skill sets, while renewal of accession bonuses will help to 
expand the force to newly mandated levels. The continued support of 
Congress in the creation of flexible compensation authorities affords 
the Department the tools that will help shape the force for the 21st 
century.
    The Grow the Force mandate by the President is a long-term plan to 
restore the broad range of capabilities necessary to meet future 
challenges and mitigate global risk to national security of the United 
States. The Marine Corps will grow the force by 27,000 (from 175,000 to 
202,000) marines over 5 years. This additional capacity and capability 
will enable full spectrum military operations in support of allies and 
partners as well as against potential enemies. In 2007, the Marine 
Corps added two infantry battalions, capacity to the combat engineer 
battalions and air naval gunfire liaison companies, and planned the 
training and infrastructure pieces necessary to build a balanced 
warfighting capability. The Marine Corps has achieved success in 
recruiting and maintaining quality standards. This is a remarkable 
achievement for an All-Volunteer Force during a sustained war. The 
Marine Corps anticipates continued success in meeting recruiting and 
retention goals to achieve this planned force level. This end strength 
increase addresses more than current operations in Iraq and 
Afghanistan. It ensures that the Marine Corps will be able to deal with 
the challenges of the Long War and will reduce combat stress on marines 
and their families by moving towards a 1:2 deployment to dwell ratio. 
Currently many marines are on a 1:1 or less deployment to dwell ratio.
    Navy and Marine Corps Reserves continue to be vital to successfully 
fighting the global war on terrorism and in accomplishing routine 
military operations. The Marine Corps and Navy activated, respectively, 
5,505 and 5,007 reservists to fulfill critical billets in OIF and other 
gaps in headquarters and operational units. At the close of fiscal year 
2007, the Navy and Marine Corps Reserves end strength was 69,933 and 
38,557 respectively.
Readiness
    The Department's budget reflects a commitment to properly price and 
fund readiness to meet the demands of the Combatant Commands. For 
fiscal year 2009, the Fleet Response Plan (FRP) is funded to achieve 
``6+1''--the ability to support deployment of six carrier strike groups 
within 30 days and one additional group within 90 days. Additionally, 
the fiscal year 2009 budget funds 45 underway steaming days per quarter 
for deployed forces and 22 underway days per quarter for nondeployed 
forces. For the Marine Corps, equipment readiness accounts are focused 
on supporting the operational and equipment readiness of units engaged 
in operations in OIF. The Marine Corps has made tradeoffs in this area 
by cross-leveling equipment from units not in the fight, and while the 
force made great strides in its overall readiness to conduct 
counterinsurgency operations, this has been achieved at the expense of 
other traditional training, such as amphibious assault and jungle 
warfare.
    Carrier Waiver
    The Navy is committed to maintaining an aircraft carrier force of 
11. However, during the 33-month period between the planned 2012 
decommissioning of U.S.S. Enterprise and the 2015 delivery of the 
U.S.S. Gerald R. Ford, legislative relief is requested to temporarily 
reduce the carrier force to 10. Extending Enterprise to 2015 would 
involve significant technical risk, challenge our manpower and 
industrial bases, and require significant resource expenditure; with 
only minor gain for the warfighter in carrier operational availability 
and significant opportunity costs in force structure and readiness. The 
Navy is adjusting carrier maintenance schedules to meet the FRP and 
ensure a responsive carrier force for the Nation during this proposed 
ten carrier period.
    Law of the Sea Convention
    It is critically important to the United States and our friends and 
allies that the seas of the world remain safe and open for all nations. 
Accordingly, the DON supports U.S. accession to the Law of the Sea 
Convention. The Treaty codifies important principles of customary 
international law, such as Freedom of Navigation and rights of passage. 
Joining the Convention, with the declarations and understandings 
reflected in Senate Report 110-9 (Senate Foreign Relations Committee), 
will assist the United States to exercise its leadership role in the 
future development of open oceans law and policy. As a non-party, the 
United States does not have full access to the Convention's formal 
processes (through which over 150 nations participate in influencing 
future law of the sea developments). By providing legal certainty and 
stability for the world's largest maneuver space, the Convention 
furthers a core goal of our National Security Strategy to promote the 
rule of law around the world.
    Suppression of Unlawful Acts
    The Department supports expeditious U.S. ratification of the 2005 
Protocol of the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts (SUA) 
against the Safety of Maritime Navigation and the 2005 Protocol to the 
1988 Protocol for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety 
of Fixed Platforms Located on the Continental Shelf (``SUA 
Amendments''), adopted by the International Maritime Organization on 
October 14, 2005, and signed by the United States on February 17, 2006. 
The SUA Amendments significantly strengthen the legal regime to 
criminalize terrorist acts and combat weapons of mass destruction 
proliferation in the maritime domain making them an important component 
in the international campaign to prevent and punish such acts.
    Encroachment
    A critical readiness issue is our ability to be prepared to meet 
the full spectrum of operations that may arise globally. This requires 
that we have the ability to properly train our sons and daughters in a 
manner that effectively prepares them for the threats they may 
encounter. In order for naval forces to be able to meet our operational 
commitments we need installations and ranges, the ability to continue 
to use them for their intended purposes, and the ability to augment 
them when necessary to respond to changing national defense 
requirements and circumstances.
    We appreciate the action taken by Congress to recognize the 
importance of protecting naval installations from encroachment 
pressures by enacting section 2863 of the John Warner National Defense 
Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007 that establishes prohibitions 
against making certain military airfields or facilities, including 
Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, available for use by civil aircraft. 
We seek your continued support to move forward with plans for the 
Outlying Landing Field (OLF) that is critically needed to support 
training requirements for Carrier Air Wing aircraft based at Naval Air 
Station Oceana and Naval Station Norfolk. The OLF will directly support 
the Department's ability to meet its national defense commitments under 
the FRP and provide naval aviators critical training in conditions most 
comparable to the at-sea operating environment they will face. In 
response to public comments regarding the previous site alternatives, 
the Navy has terminated the draft Supplemental Environmental Impact 
Statement (EIS) and will initiate a new EIS that examines five new site 
alternatives, three in Virginia and two in North Carolina, based upon 
new information provided by officials in those states. I ask for your 
continued support as we work with Congress and the States of Virginia 
and North Carolina to preserve and improve the installation and range 
capabilities needed to properly train our young men and women before we 
send them into harms way.
    Marine Mammals and Active Sonar
    The most critical readiness issue relates to the Navy's ability to 
train using active sonar while minimizing the effect on marine mammals. 
One of the most challenging threats that our naval forces face is 
modern, quiet diesel-electric submarines. These submarines employ 
state-of-the-art silencing technologies and other advances, such as 
special hull treatments, that make them almost undetectable with 
passive sonar and also reduce their vulnerability to detection with 
active sonar. A diesel-electric submarine so equipped can covertly 
operate in coastal and open ocean areas, blocking Navy access to combat 
zones and increasing United States vessels' vulnerability to torpedo 
and anti-ship missile attacks. Currently, over 40 countries operate 
more than 300 diesel-electric submarines worldwide, including potential 
adversaries in the Asia-Pacific and Middle East areas. Naval strike 
groups are continuously deployed to these high-threat areas. Training 
with the use of mid-frequency active (MFA) sonar is a vital component 
of pre-deployment training. The tactical use of MFA sonar is the best 
means of detecting potentially hostile, quiet, diesel-electric 
submarines. The inability to train effectively with active sonar 
literally puts the lives of thousands of Americans at risk.
    In January 2008, a Federal district court issued an injunction 
precluding the Navy's ability to train effectively with MFA in critical 
exercises scheduled to occur in the Southern California Operating Area 
through January 2009, creating an unacceptable risk that strike groups 
may not be certified for deployment in support of world-wide 
operational and combat activities. Because the Composite Unit Training 
Exercises and the Joint Task Force Exercises off Southern California 
are critical to the ability to deploy strike groups ready for combat, 
the President concluded that continuing to train with MFA in these 
exercises is in the paramount interest of the United States and granted 
a temporary exemption from the requirements of the Coastal Zone 
Management Act for use of MFA sonar in these exercises through January 
2009. Additionally, due to the emergency circumstances created by an 
injunction that would prevent the Navy from reliably training and 
certifying strike groups ready for deployment, the Council on 
Environmental Quality (CEQ) authorized, and the Navy accepted, 
alternative arrangements for compliance with the National Environmental 
Policy Act. Despite these developments, the trial court refused to set 
aside the injunction. As a result the Navy has appealed the court's 
refusal to give effect to the President's and CEQ's actions by 
dissolving the injunction and correcting the court's failure to 
properly tailor the injunction in the first place to allow the Navy to 
train effectively. The appeal is pending before the Ninth Circuit for 
expedited review.
    The Department continues to be a good steward of the environment, 
while providing the necessary training that is essential to national 
security and ensures the safety of our people. The Department is 
engaged in a comprehensive effort to ensure compliance with the 
National Environmental Policy Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act, 
Endangered Species Act, Coastal Zone Management Act, National Marine 
Sanctuaries Act, and Executive Order 12114. Twelve EISs are in 
development with associated Records of Decision (ROD) scheduled for 
issuance by the end of calendar year 2009. The Navy implements 29 
protective measures developed in conjunction with the National Marine 
Fisheries Service, the Federal regulator responsible for oversight and 
implementation of the Marine Mammal Protection Act. These measures 
afford significant protection to marine mammals while maintaining 
training fidelity. The Navy has steadily increased funding for marine 
mammal research from $12 million in fiscal year 2006 to $18 million in 
fiscal year 2008 and fiscal year 2009. The Navy's financial commitment 
constitutes more that half of the world-wide funding for research on 
the effects of anthropogenic sound on marine mammals. Over the past 
several years, tremendous progress has been made in expanding the 
scientific base of knowledge, especially concerning the species 
identified as the most sensitive to MFA sonar, deep diving beaked 
whales. The Navy, working with the National Marine Fisheries Service, 
is engaged in a 3-year controlled exposure study of sound on whales at 
the Navy's Atlantic Undersea Test and Evaluation Center in the Bahamas. 
This study, along with other research, development, test and evaluation 
efforts, will provide further information needed to understand and 
effectively mitigate the effects of active sonar on marine mammals.
                      iii. take care of our people
    In 2007 the Department implemented a Human Capital Strategy that 
focuses on our most valuable asset, the Department's people. In the 
strategy, the Department addresses the changes in warfare, workforce, 
technologies, and processes and lays out the strategic objective to 
produce and employ the right people with the right skills to support or 
accomplish 21st century naval missions. The development and retention 
of quality people is vital to our continued success. The DON is 
committed to sustaining quality of service and quality of life 
programs, including training, compensation, promotion opportunities, 
health care, housing, and reasonable operational and personnel tempo. 
The cost of manpower is the single greatest component in the fiscal 
year 2009 budget. The fiscal year 2009 budget requests $41.6 billion 
for military personnel and includes a 3.4 percent military personnel 
pay raise. This investment is critical to ensuring a naval force with 
the highest levels of ability and character.
    Comprehensive Care
    As Secretary of Defense Gates has stated, ``Apart from the war 
itself, we have no higher priority (than to take care of our Wounded, 
Ill, and Injured).'' Over the sustained combat operations in the global 
war on terrorism, the Department has endured the loss of over 830 
marines and 75 sailors killed in action, and over 8,500 marines and 600 
sailors wounded in action. These marines and sailors and their 
survivors deserve the highest priority care, respect and treatment for 
their sacrifices. We must ensure our wounded warriors and families 
receive the appropriate care, training and financial support they need. 
Failing them will undermine the trust and confidence of the American 
people. Consequently, the DON initiated a Comprehensive Casualty Care 
effort in March 2007 to ensure visibility of the full range of needs of 
servicemembers and their family members and the coordination and 
expedient delivery of clinical and nonclinical services throughout the 
continuum of care. Among the initiatives pursued under this effort was 
a Lean Six Sigma mapping of the casualty care process to identify areas 
of patient transitions, gaps in service, and unmet needs across key 
functional service areas to include: Medical, Pay, and Personnel, 
Family Support, Case Management, Information Technology, and the 
Disability Evaluation System. The following sections provide some 
specific examples of the Department's actions and plans for improving 
care for our people.
    Combat Casualty Care
    Navy Medicine provides combat casualty care to Navy and Marine 
Corps units, on Expeditionary Medical Facilities, aboard casualty 
receiving/treatment ships and hospital ships, and in military 
hospitals. Recent advances in force protection, battlefield medicine, 
combat/operational stress control, and medical evaluation have led to 
improved survival rates for wounded (approximately 97 percent) and 
enhanced combat effectiveness. In September 2007 Naval Medical Center 
San Diego stood-up a Comprehensive Combat Casualty Care Center 
providing inpatient and outpatient services to all levels of combat 
casualties, including rehabilitative, mental health and prosthetic 
care. The unit is the military's first and only center for amputee care 
on the west coast. This year the Marine Corps is reorganizing Medical 
Battalions and fielding the Family of Field Medical Equipment, 
modernizing 34 different medical systems such as the Traumatic Brain 
Injury (TBI) scanner and the Airframe First Aid Kit.
    Wounded Warrior and Safe Harbor
    In fiscal year 2007, the Marine Corps expanded its existing 
programs by establishing the Wounded Warrior Regiment with a Wounded 
Warrior Battalion on each coast to provide better continuity of care 
for wounded warriors. Specifically, these organizations provide wounded 
warriors a location to recuperate and transition in proximity to family 
and parent units. The Navy has a number of programs ensuring care for 
all wounded, ill, and injured sailors and their families. Those 
severely wounded, ill, and injured sailors and their families receive 
non-medical case management and advocacy from the Navy's Safe Harbor 
Program. Safe Harbor provides assistance in dealing with personal 
challenges from the time of injury through return to duty or transition 
to civilian life.
    Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
    Specific improvements for post-traumatic stress disorder include 
both preventive and post-deployment care. The Marine Corps is employing 
Operational Stress Control and Readiness teams to provide early 
intervention, outreach, and prevention at the unit level in close 
proximity to operational missions, reducing stigma associated with 
conventional mental health care. The Navy is enhancing the Operational 
Stress Control Program and is completing phase two of the in-theater 
Behavioral Health Needs Assessment Survey to identify mental health 
needs, guide development of appropriate prevention and treatment 
programs, and ensure adequate in-theater mental health support. To date 
in fiscal year 2008, Navy Medicine expanded the Deployment Health 
Clinic (DHC) concept to a total of 17 centers. These DHCs logged over 
30,000 visits encompassing the entire range of post-deployment health 
care symptoms. These clinics are designed to be easily accessible, non-
stigmatizing portals for effective assessment and treatment of 
deployment-related mental health issues. Three additional DHCs are 
planned for 2008. Specialized training is also being provided to the 
Chaplain Corps and non-mental health medical personnel to include mind, 
body, and spiritual practices. Augmenting the ability to deliver the 
highest quality of psychological health care available, Navy Medicine 
committed $7 million to stand-up a Naval Center for the Study of Combat 
Stress that will support all of the varied and diverse mental health 
needs.
    Traumatic Brain Injury
    The Department is engaged in activities to address TBI and remains 
committed to the further expansion of TBI research and availability of 
services for our service members. Navy Medical Research Command uses 
new techniques to identify transmissibility of blast wave energy into 
the brain, focusing on the nexus between the blast wave energy 
transmission and the resulting brain pathology. Navy researchers serve 
on the Health Affairs Senior Executive Advisory Committee on TBI sensor 
development and coordinate closely with the U.S. Army Program Executive 
Office in the development of helmet-mounted monitors. The National 
Naval Medical Center's Traumatic Stress and Brain Injury Program serves 
blast-exposed or head-injured casualties aero-medically evacuated out 
of theater. Over 1,082 blast-exposed service members have been 
evaluated for psychological health and TBI. In May 2007, Naval Medical 
Center San Diego stood up a Traumatic Stress and Brain Injury Program, 
and in September 2007, Camp Lejeune stood up a similar program.
    Physical and Medical Evaluation Boards
    The Department refined the physical and medical evaluation board 
process to ensure timely, comprehensive and transparent actions 
balancing the rights of the individual and the needs of the service. 
Actions include upgrading the Council of Review Board website to 
provide transition services and links to government agencies with post-
service benefits. Additional upgrades are underway to provide a portal 
for members to monitor case processing. The Department is also 
participating in the joint DOD-VA Disability Evaluation Pilot in the 
National Capital Region that is designed to further streamline the 
process and ensure a smooth transition to civilian life for service 
members leaving active duty.
    Family Readiness
    The Department remains committed to the readiness and resilience of 
Navy and Marine Corps families, including the spouses, children, 
parents, and other extended family members committed to caring for 
sailors and marines. To that end, the Department operationalized family 
support programs to better empower sailors and marines to effectively 
meet the challenges of today's military lifestyle. The Marine Corps is 
redesigning and enhancing family readiness programs that most directly 
prepare marines and their families, including: Unit Family Readiness 
Program, Marine Corps Family Team Building Program, Exceptional Family 
Member Program, School Liaison Program, and Children, Youth, and Teen 
Program. As a companion effort, the Marine Corps will address quality 
of life deficiencies at remote and isolated installations, expand 
communication connections between separated marines and their families, 
and make needed improvements to quality of life facilities and 
equipment throughout the Marine Corps. The Navy increased emphasis on 
prevention, education, and counseling to Navy families undergoing 
frequent and often short notice deployments. It has created school 
liaison positions to work with school districts and Navy families to 
ensure teachers and other school officials understand the pressures and 
issues facing military children. The Navy provides brief, solution-
focused clinical counseling services to more family members, as well as 
increasing home visitation services to new parents who have been 
identified as requiring parenting support. To better reach Individual 
Augmentee families who do not live near a military installation but who 
have access to a computer, the Navy has begun virtual Individual 
Augmentee Family Discussion Groups to ensure outreach information, 
referral and ongoing support.
    The Department has developed an aggressive child care expansion 
plan, adding over 4,000 new child care spaces within the next 18 
months. This expansion includes construction of new Child Development 
Centers (including facilities open 24/7), commercial contracts, and 
expanding military certified home care. Combined, these initiatives 
will reduce the waiting time for child care from 6-18 months to less 
than 3 months. To assist parents and children with the challenges of 
frequent deployments, an additional 100,000 hours of respite child care 
will be provided for families of deployed servicemembers. In efforts to 
combat youth obesity, the Navy has implemented a new world-wide youth 
fitness initiative called ``FitFactor'' to increase youth interest and 
awareness in the importance of healthy choices in life.
    National Security Personnel System
    The DON has successfully converted 30,000 employees into National 
Security Personnel System (NSPS), with an additional 30,000 scheduled 
to convert by 30 October 2008. The DON is already seeing a return on 
investment: an unprecedented training effort focused on performance 
management, greater communication between employees and supervisors, 
people talking about results and mission alignment, and increased 
flexibility in rewarding exceptional performance. While mindful of new 
legislative restraints, maintaining key human resource elements of 
NSPS, including pay-for-performance, is vital to the system's success 
and the Department's ability to respond to ever-changing national 
security threats.
    Safety
    Fundamental to taking care of sailors, marines, and DON civilian 
employees is establishing a culture and environment where safety is an 
intrinsic component of all decisionmaking, both on- and off-duty. 
Safety and risk management are integrated into on- and off-duty 
evolutions to maximize mission readiness and to establish DON as a 
world class safety organization where no mishap is accepted as the cost 
of doing business.
    The Secretary of Defense established a goal to achieve a 75 percent 
reduction in baseline fiscal year 2002 mishap rates across DOD by the 
end of fiscal year 2008. In fiscal year 2007 the DON recorded our 
lowest number of serious operational mishaps and the lowest rate of 
serious aviation mishaps in our history.
    One particular challenge that we continue to face is loss of 
sailors and marines to fatal accidents on our Nation's highways--111 in 
fiscal year 2007. While our rates are actually better than U.S. 
national statistics, and fiscal year 2007 was one of our best years 
ever, we find these losses untenable--we can and must do better. In 
particular, the growing popularity of sport bikes, or high-powered 
racing motorcycles, represents our biggest challenge. We are 
restructuring our motorcycle training, and in partnership with the 
Motorcycle Safety Foundation, we have developed a new hands-on Sport 
Bike Rider Safety Course. We are also implementing methods and 
technology to more rapidly assess our personnel to accurately identify 
those individuals at high risk for private motor vehicle mishaps. They 
will be targeted for intervention in an effort to further reduce 
mishaps and our DON risk profile.
                   iv. prepare for future challenges
Building a Balanced Fleet
    Today's Navy and Marine Corps must confront threats in the maritime 
domain ranging from near-peer competitors, to non-state and 
transnational actors, to rogue nations and pirates. To meet the 
challenge the fiscal year 2009 budget provides for a balanced fleet of 
ships, aircraft and expeditionary capabilities with the fighting power 
and versatility to carry out blue, green, and brown water missions on a 
global basis.
    To ensure affordability and timely delivery of capabilities will 
require improvements in the acquisition process--ensuring stable 
requirements and clarity in design criteria, better program management 
expertise, and new measures to incentivize contractors to complete 
programs on cost and within schedule, while delivering a quality 
product for military use. Military use also includes other factors such 
as habitability conditions that support quality of life, reduced 
variability of part types, and supportable logistics and sustainment. 
In addition, independent cost, schedule, and risk assessments are 
conducted and used to establish the foundation of program plans.
    The Department has launched an acquisition improvement initiative, 
planning for which has included the Secretary, Chief of Naval 
Operations (CNO) and Commandant of the Marine Corps (CMC), and which 
will enforce discipline across the Department without altering existing 
Office of the Secretary of Defense and Joint Chiefs of Staff-level 
processes. Actions comprising the acquisition improvement initiative 
include the following:
Acquisition Governance
    Led by CNO/CMC, the requirements phase comprises three 
``requirements gates:'' (1) Approval of Initial Capabilities Document; 
(2) Approval of Analysis of Alternatives; and (3) Approval of 
Capabilities Development Document and Concept of Operations. During 
this phase the focus is on what we buy and the process ensures 
completeness and unanimity of requirements, agreed upon by top 
leadership early in the acquisition process.
    The acquisition phase, led by the Component Acquisition Executive, 
consists of three ``acquisition gates:'' (1) Approval of the System 
Design Specification; (2) Approval to release the System Development 
and Demonstration Request for Proposals; and (3) A Sufficiency Review 
of the entire program. During this phase the focus is on ``how we 
buy,'' emphasizing clear system design specifications, leveraging 
commonality within parts and systems, and the use of open architecture. 
During this phase CNO and CMC remain in support of the acquisition 
force to ensure stability in the requirements.
    Each ``gate review'' includes a comprehensive assessment using 
detailed metrics to determine the health of the program and ensures 
that the program is ready to proceed through the next phase of the 
acquisition process. The key benefits are: (1) better integration of 
requirements and acquisition decision processes; (2) improvement of 
governance and insight into the development, establishment, and 
execution of acquisition programs; and (3) formalization of a framework 
to engage senior naval leadership throughout the review process.
Acquisition Workforce
    To reinvigorate the acquisition workforce the Department has 
aggressively pursued investment in several key areas. Using a model of 
our total workforce, we've identified certain imbalances and 
redundancies which Systems Commands and Program Executive Officers will 
initiate corrective action for in fiscal year 2008. Further, the 
Department will create a common business model across Systems Commands 
to allow maximum flexibility of workforce utilization while sharpening 
the skill sets of our acquisition professionals. Further, we are 
creating common templates for acquisition program leadership that will 
ensure adequate staffing of programs throughout their life cycle. 
Notably we have adjusted the programmatic leadership structure of the 
DDG-1000 and Littoral Combat ships to benefit from these common 
templates.
    Finally, to bolster our acquisition leadership, we have selected a 
Vice Admiral to serve as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for 
Research Development and Acquisition.
Fiscal Year 2009 Acquisition Programs
    Shipbuilding
    The fiscal year 2009 shipbuilding budget provides for seven new 
ships: one Virginia-Class (SSN-774) nuclear-powered attack submarine, 
one DDG-1000 Destroyer, two Littoral Combat Ships (LCS), two Dry Cargo 
Ammunition (T-AKE) ships, and one Joint High Speed Vehicle (JHSV). The 
Navy also will procure an additional JHSV for the Army in fiscal year 
2009. The budget also includes the next increment of funding for CVN-
78; research and development funds for CG(X), the future cruiser; the 
first increment of funding for the Refueling Complex Overhaul for the 
U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71); funding for an engineered refueling 
overhaul for an SSBN; and continued modernization for guided missile 
cruisers, guided missile destroyers, submarines, and aircraft carriers.
    Naval Aviation
    The DON requires a robust aviation capacity including attack, 
utility, and lift capabilities. The Department is in the midst of an 
extensive, long-term consolidation and recapitalization of aircraft in 
the naval inventory to achieve a more efficient and effective 
warfighting force. The fiscal year 2009 budget requests funding for 206 
aircraft. The fiscal year 2009 budget supports the acquisition of the 
F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the EA-18G Growler, the MV-22B, the KC-130J, 
the E-2D; the MH-60, the UH-1Y and AH-1Z helicopters; and the continued 
development of the P-8A Multi-Mission Maritime Aircraft, the CH-53K and 
VH-71 programs.
    The Department will continue to recapitalize our aging inventory 
with upgrades or new variants of existing aircraft where suitable and 
cost effective. For example, the Navy helicopter community is replacing 
six different aircraft with the MH-60R and MH-60S, while the Marine 
Corps is buying the UH-1Y, AH-1Z, and CH-53K to replace older variants 
of those aircraft.
    Command, Control, Communications, Computers
    Effective command, control, communications, computers (C\4\) 
capabilities are key to ensuring that our forces have accurate 
situational understanding to enable decision superiority. The Navy and 
Marine Corps have planned several programs to deliver agile and 
interoperable network-centric capabilities to ensure success for naval, 
joint, and coalition forces, including naval contributions to the 
National Security Space. The Department is planning the replacement for 
the Navy-Marine Corps Intranet with the Next Generation Enterprise 
Network. The Marine Corps is developing the Command and Control 
Harmonization Strategy. Capitalizing on emerging capabilities such as 
the Tactical Communications Modernization Program and the Very Small 
Aperture Terminal, the Marine Corps intends to deliver an end-to-end 
integrated, cross-functional capability across the force.
    Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance
    The Navy and Marine Corps are in the process of reviewing current 
intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities and 
formulating a long-term ISR strategy. This strategy, when completed, 
will ensure the Department's current and future ISR capabilities are 
used to the fullest extent possible and will maximize the use of other 
services' and national capabilities to enhance the Department's variety 
of missions. The Marine Corps' use of Department of Army's unmanned 
aircraft system, Shadow, is an example of leveraging another service's 
capability. Shadow meets the Marine Corps requirements for a 
transportable ISR asset capable of providing tactical commanders with 
day and night, battlefield and maritime reconnaissance. The Navy, with 
unique maritime domain ISR requirements, is integrating manned and 
unmanned capabilities with the Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) 
Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) and the P-8A program. The BAMS UAS will 
provide a persistent, multi-sensor, maritime ISR capability with 
worldwide access. Additionally, the Department of Navy is working 
closely with the Office of the Under Secretary of the Defense for 
Intelligence to ensure the current Distributed Common Ground System--
Navy and Marine Corp family of systems meet DOD standards, share 
technology and minimize duplication.
    Maritime Domain Awareness
    The responsibility for Global Maritime Security lies with many 
departments, agencies, and organizations across the spectrum of our 
government, international partners, and industry. Each of these 
stakeholders bring a part of the solution, and taking the lead in 
establishing a global capability from those parts is one of the single 
most important new steps of the DON. Protection of the global maritime 
domain is fundamental to our national security, and requires an 
integrated approach across the naval forces, with our Federal maritime 
partners, with certain State and local authorities, and indeed with the 
entire global maritime community. We have embarked on the 
organizational behavior changes necessary to bring those disparate 
stakeholders together, and are investing in creation of an enduring 
operational capability for the Nation.
Infrastructure Investment
    Facilities
    The fiscal year 2009 budget requests $3.2 billion for military 
construction projects at Active and Reserve Navy and Marine Corps 
bases, a substantial increase over the enacted $2.3 billion in fiscal 
year 2008. Much of the funding growth is to build training and housing 
facilities to support the Marine Corps growth in end strength over the 
next 5 years. Both Navy and Marine Corps will sustain existing 
facilities at 90 percent of the DOD model requirement.
    Base Realignment and Closure
    The fiscal year 2009 budget requests $871.5 million to continue 
implementation of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) 
Commission recommendations. This request invests in construction 
(including planning and design) and operational movements at key 
closure and realignment locations. Fiscal year 2009 plans may require 
some adjustment to ensure consistency with the approved fiscal year 
2008 budget.
    Walter Reed National Medical Center Bethesda
    BRAC action 169 called for closure of Walter Reed Army Medical 
Center, realignment of tertiary and complex care missions to National 
Naval Medical Center Bethesda, and establishment of Walter Reed 
National Military Medical Center Bethesda. The DOD approved an expanded 
scope and acceleration of the original program. The Naval Facilities 
Engineering Command is managing the EIS for Bethesda and a ROD is 
scheduled for May 2008.
    Family and Bachelor Housing
    Privatization for housing in the continental United States is on 
its way towards completion. The privatization of unaccompanied housing 
is proceeding smoothly at our first pilot project in San Diego. The 
construction of new apartments is well underway with completion of the 
first building scheduled for December 2008. Moreover, the project won 
an industry customer service award in its first year of operation in 
recognition of the dramatic improvement in resident satisfaction in 
existing housing that was privatized. We have broken ground on our 
second pilot project in Hampton Roads in our effort to bring the 
benefits of bachelor housing privatization to sailors on the east 
coast. This year's budget reflects the continuation of the Marine 
Corps' quality-of-life initiative to construct additional housing to 
address the substantial, longstanding shortfall of adequate housing for 
single marines. The objective is to provide quality bachelor housing 
for all sergeants and below for our `pre-grow the force' end strength 
by fiscal year 2012 and to support 202,000 marines by fiscal year 2014. 
Our fiscal year 2009 budget request also includes a military 
construction project to replace bachelor housing at Naval Station San 
Clemente, completing elimination of inadequate bachelor housing in the 
Department.
    Wounded Warrior Housing
    The DON completed inspections of all housing for wounded, ill, and 
injured to ensure quality and accessible living quarters. Annual 
inspections will ensure continued oversight by Department of Navy 
leadership. In addition, Wounded Warrior Barracks are under 
construction at Camp Lejeune and Camp Pendleton. Both barracks will 
provide 100 two-person American with Disabilities Act-compliant rooms 
allowing for surge capability.
    Marine Corps Relocation to Guam
    The fiscal year 2009 budget continues detailed studies, plans, and 
environmental analyses for the U.S./Government of Japan Defense Policy 
Review Initiative to relocate about 8,000 marines and their dependents 
from Okinawa, Japan to Guam by 2014. The facilities, housing, logistics 
and environmental requirements are being developed from the ground up 
to support mission requirements as well as business-case prudence. The 
measured investment in fiscal year 2009 is crucial to the 5-year $10.27 
billion ($4.18 billion from the U.S. and $6.09 billion from the 
Government of Japan) construction program scheduled to commence in 
fiscal year 2010.
    Naval Station Mayport
    The Navy is preparing an EIS that examines several alternatives for 
best utilizing the facilities and capabilities of Naval Station Mayport 
after the retirement of the U.S.S. John F. Kennedy (CV 67). The options 
being evaluated include:

         Cruiser/Destroyer homeporting
         Amphibious Assault Ship homeporting
         Nuclear-Powered Aircraft Carrier (CVN) capable
         CVN homeporting
         Amphibious Ready Group homeporting

    Preparation of the Mayport EIS is on schedule. The draft EIS is 
scheduled for release in March 2008, with the final EIS expected in 
December 2008 and the ROD in January 2009.
Environmental Stewardship
    Energy Initiatives
    Energy efficiency is key to reducing life-cycle costs and 
increasing the sustainability of installations and facilities. The 
Department has led the way in supporting the Energy Policy Act of 2005 
(EPAct05) by adopting the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design 
(LEED) Silver standard as a primary consideration for all DON military 
construction projects. Using the LEED Silver standard, new energy-
efficient projects have been completed on several installations, 
including Recruit Training Center Great Lakes and Naval Amphibious Base 
Little Creek. DON also has a comprehensive energy program responding to 
the requirements of EPAct05 and Presidential Executive Order 13423, 
evidenced by an 8.85 percent reduction in fiscal year 2007 energy 
consumption and an extensive renewable energy program.
    Minimizing the overall environmental effects
    The recently-announced Low-Impact Development (LID) policy is an 
example of how the Department is emphasizing reduction of impact to the 
environment. The goal of the policy is ``no net increase'' in the 
amount of nutrients, sediment, and storm water escaping into the 
watersheds surrounding facilities and installations. The use of cost-
effective LID Best Management Practices such as rainwater collection 
systems in construction and renovation projects is central to achieving 
this goal.
    Alternative Fuels
    The Department has been a leader in the use of alternative fuels. 
The Navy and Marine Corps both reduced petroleum consumption in their 
vehicle fleets by more than 25 percent from 1999 to 2006, and together 
used almost 2 million gallons of biodiesel in 2006. Further gains in 
alternative fuel implementation will be supported by the Department's 
new Petroleum Reduction and Alternative Fuel Vehicle Strategy, which 
challenges the Navy and Marine Corps to build on already substantial 
progress to meet and exceed the established Federal goals contained in 
Executive Order 13423 and the Energy Independence and Security Act of 
2007. We are also expanding our use of alternative fuels in our 
tactical fleet, to include ships, aircraft, and ground vehicles. In 
fiscal year 2009 we will lay the groundwork for a testing and 
certification program for alternative fuel use. The Navy is also 
actively pursuing energy conservation initiatives, through energy 
conserving alterations in propulsion plants and conservation practices 
in operations.
                   v. management process improvement
    Complementary action to our acquisition improvement initiatives is 
our commitment to enhance process improvement across the DON to 
increase efficiency and effectiveness and responsible use of resources. 
The Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) program, planned for 
implementation throughout the Department, began initial implementation 
at Naval Air Systems Command in October 2007. It is an integrated 
business management system that modernizes and standardizes business 
operations and provides management visibility across the enterprise. 
The Department continues to champion the use of Lean Six Sigma as the 
primary toolset as a means toward increasing readiness and utilizing 
resources efficiently. Over 4,420 leaders have completed Lean Six Sigma 
training, and there are over 2,000 projects underway. The Department's 
Financial Improvement Program leverages ERP and strengthens control of 
financial reporting. The Marine Corps expects to be the first military 
service to achieve audit readiness.
    A major process improvement initiative to ensure that the 
Department applies fundamental business precepts to its management is 
the Secretary of the Navy's Monthly Review (SMR). The SMR is a senior 
leadership forum, involving CNO, CMC, and Assistant Secretaries, 
designed to afford greater transparency across the Department and set 
into motion actions that garner maximum effectiveness and efficiency 
for the Department. The SMR reviews a portfolio of the bulk of 
Department activities and programs involving manpower, readiness, 
acquisition, infrastructure, etc. Using Lean Six Sigma tools and other 
business tools, this forum reviews the most urgent issues and discusses 
and implements appropriate solutions. Ultimately, this monthly 
interaction serves as a means to synchronize the Department's actions 
to comprehensively address complex problems, accomplish strategic 
objectives, and better position for challenges in the future.
    The Department will incorporate the Chief Management Officer (CMO) 
into the Secretariat in fiscal year 2008. The CMO will have 
responsibility for improving Department business operations to carry 
out objectives. These initiatives are all steps to make process 
improvement a way of thinking in carrying out daily business throughout 
the organization.
                             vi. conclusion
    Thank you for this opportunity to report to you on the DON. I 
provide the fiscal year 2009 budget to you and ask for your support for 
this plan that will enable the Department to prevail in global war on 
terrorism, take care of our people and prepare for future challenges. 
The uniformed men and women of the DON, and our civilian workforce, 
depend on our collective support and leadership. I appreciate the 
opportunity to set forth the President's fiscal year 2009 budget and 
look forward to working with you in furtherance of our maritime 
capabilities and our national security.

    Chairman Levin. Thank you so much, Secretary.
    Admiral Roughead, you're next.

 STATEMENT OF ADM GARY ROUGHEAD, USN, CHIEF OF NAVAL OPERATIONS

    Admiral Roughead. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Chairman Levin, 
Senator Warner, and distinguished members of the committee: On 
behalf of our 600,000 sailors, Navy civilians, and families, 
thank you for your support and the opportunity to appear before 
you today. Together with Secretary Winter and General Conway, 
I'm privileged to be part of this leadership team, committed to 
our Nation's safety, security, and prosperity.
    Today your Navy stands ready with the agility, the 
flexibility, and the competence to do what no other Navy in the 
world can do. Last week we successfully temporarily converted 
our sea-based Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) capability to 
engage a failing satellite. Sea-based BMD is here, it is real, 
and it works.
    But that is only part of what your Navy delivers to the 
Nation. We recently deployed the first converted strategic 
submarine for sea-air-land (SEAL) delivery. 2,800 sailors set 
sail to patrol in the Mediterranean and Middle East, and the 
three ships of our Africa Partnership Station conducted four 
port calls in West Africa.
    What you saw last week was just a small part of what your 
Navy does in executing the maritime strategy, a strategy that 
is more than just a glossy brochure. Four carriers last year 
anchored our presence in the Arabain Gulf. SSBNs patrolled as 
silent deterrence. Three carrier strike groups massed in an 
array of joint power, exercising sea control in the western 
Pacific in Exercise Valiant Shield. F/A-18 Hornets increased 
projected power ashore in Operation Enduring Freedom when the 
Air Force F-15s were grounded. Ships patrolled the Horn of 
Africa, enhancing maritime security against piracy. U.S.N.S. 
Comfort and U.S.S. Pelelly provided proactive humanitarian 
assistance to tens of thousands in South America and Southeast 
Asia. The U.S.S. Keasage Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 
rushed to provide disaster relief to Bangladesh in the 
aftermath of a cyclone.
    We are out and about, doing essential missions for the 
Nation. But as you so well know, our operations come at a cost 
to our people, our current readiness, and the future Fleet, 
those are my three areas of focus. Our people, our sailors, our 
marines, our Navy civilians, and their families know they have 
your support. We must continue to invest in their futures and 
in the young men and women of America who will follow in their 
wake. As a Nation at war, our utmost responsibility is to our 
wounded warriors. I am proud of and committed to the Safe 
Harbor program, which has dedicated staffs and teams 
individually tracking and meeting the needs of those heroic 
sailors and their families.
    In the context of this generational war, however, investing 
in the health of our force must go further. The health care we 
provide, especially for traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and 
post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as well as the 
President's support for child care, hiring preferences for 
spouses, and family education benefits, will bring welcome 
relief to the military families and assist us in a very 
challenging recruiting and retention environment.
    Likewise, increasing the throughput of the U.S. Naval 
Academy is an important investment in our future leadership, 
especially as Marine Corps end strength grows.
    But supporting our future force cannot be done without 
readiness to fight today. To this end, quality shore 
installations, responsive depot-level maintenance centers, and 
unfettered ability to train responsibly are necessities. Where 
area access and short support are denied, the Commandant and I 
have been moving forward with a sea basing alternative. These 
elements are essential to support our Fleet Response Plan, 
which has enabled us to meet requirements, and will sustain us 
through a requested temporary carrier force level adjustment.
    Of my three focus areas, building tomorrow's Navy to be a 
balanced, appropriately sized force is the most immediate 
imperative and challenge. Fiscal realities, operational strain 
on our ships and aircraft, and necessary decommissionings are 
contributing to the risk we assume. Achieving the 313-ship 
floor at current funding levels will require us to improve 
processes, collaborate with industry, and make difficult 
decisions in the near term.
    I am pleased that the first two DDG-1000 contracts have 
been awarded. The technology embedded in that ship will advance 
our surface combatants of the future. I remain strongly 
committed to funding those programs that provide critical 
capabilities to our forces. There is no substitute for the LCS 
in closing a littoral capability gap. Current F/A-18 Hornets 
are needed to assuage a 2016 strike fighter shortfall. Surface 
combatant superiority will be maintained through DDG-51 
modernization. Multi-mission maritime aircraft will 
recapitalize our maritime patrol antisubmarine warfare 
capabilities, and space BMD will ensure future theater and 
national defense and enable access.
    These critical programs for our future Fleet require 
appropriate disciplined investment now. The 2009 budget and its 
associated force structure plans will meet our current 
challenges with a moderate degree of risk. Clearly we have many 
challenges, of which building tomorrow's Fleet is the greatest. 
But with these challenges, it is our opportunity to have a 
Fleet which will defend the Nation and assure our prosperity 
for generations to come.
    On behalf of our sailors, Navy civilians, and our families, 
thank you again for the opportunity to appear before you today, 
and thank you for your support for what we do today and what we 
will do tomorrow.
    [The prepared statement of Admiral Roughead follows:]
              Prepared Statement by ADM Gary Roughead, USN
                              introduction
    Chairman Levin, Senator McCain, and members of the committee, it is 
an honor to appear before you today representing the nearly 600,000 men 
and women, sailors and civilians of our Navy. In 2007, the Navy 
answered all bells. Surge and rotational expeditionary forces performed 
brilliantly and we responded to global contingencies and requirements. 
The fiscal year 2009 budget and its associated force structure plans 
represent the capabilities needed to meet current challenges with a 
moderate degree of risk. I appreciate your continued support as our 
Navy defends our Nation and our vital national interests.
    In 2007, the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard released the 
Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower. The strategy represents 
unprecedented collaboration among the three Services. It also 
incorporates input from American citizens obtained through a series of 
``Conversations with the Country'' that included the maritime Services, 
business and academic leaders, and the general public.
    The maritime strategy is aligned with the President's National 
Strategy for Maritime Security and the objectives articulated in the 
National Security Strategy, the National Defense Strategy, and the 
National Military Strategy. It recognizes that the maritime domain is 
vital to national security and prosperity. Nearly three-quarters of the 
Earth's surface is water; 80 percent of the world's population lives on 
or near coastlines; and 90 percent of the world's trade, including two-
thirds of the world's petroleum, moves on the oceans to market. The 
oceans connect us to populations around the world and our Navy's 
presence and active engagement is vital to our collective security.
    In addition to the Navy's engagement in Iraq and Afghanistan, 
international military, political, and economic events beyond those 
borders have direct and indirect implications for the Navy. Examples 
include China's rapid build up of a blue water navy and their 
development of cyber and space warfighting capabilities. Russia's first 
Mediterranean deployment in 15 years and increased defense spending 
demonstrate their desire to emerge as a global naval power. North 
Korea's long-range ballistic missile program and their missile 
proliferation history reinforce the need for a credible, forward-
deployed ballistic missile defense capability. Militaries in Central 
and South American seek aircraft and submarines to back their regional 
and international objectives. Iran's confrontational activities at sea 
this past January, when the U.S.S. Port Royal, U.S.S. Hopper, and 
U.S.S. Ingraham encountered five small Iranian boats operating 
provocatively in the Strait of Hormuz, heightened tensions. Conflict is 
likely to continue into the future and the Navy's global commitments 
are likely to increase. As U.S. ground forces reset, reconstitute, and 
revitalize, the Navy will remain on station to respond to threats and 
crises.
    The new maritime strategy recognizes the many existing and 
potential challenges to national security and prosperity. To address 
these challenges, the strategy articulates six core capabilities our 
maritime Services provide: forward presence, deterrence, sea control, 
power projection, maritime security, and humanitarian assistance and 
disaster response (HA/DR). The first four capabilities are paramount 
because they enable the defense of our Nation and its interests. 
Forward presence, deterrence, sea control, and power projection must 
remain the cornerstones of what makes our Navy a dominant global force.
    The Navy will continue to enhance cooperation with existing and 
emerging partners and build bridges of trust among the international 
community. Proactive global involvement is a strategic imperative for 
the Navy and our Nation, since trust cannot be surged in times of 
crisis.
    Execution of the maritime strategy is already underway in current 
operations. As we plan and resource for the future, the maritime 
strategy will guide our efforts. The execution of our current readiness 
and force structure plans faces many challenges, but affordability is 
the most pressing. I refuse to cede our technological advantage to 
competitors; however current readiness, manpower, and escalating 
procurement costs make pacing the threat exceptionally difficult. We 
will continue to improve processes, work with industry, and maximize 
cost saving initiatives. Stable procurement plans must be affordable 
and realistic to deliver the balanced future Fleet. While I am 
satisfied that the force structure plans deliver required capabilities, 
the balance among capability, affordability, and executability in these 
plans is not optimal. This imbalance has the potential to increase 
significantly warfighting, personnel, and force structure risk in the 
future.
    Our operations, people, and equipment continue to serve our Nation 
well, but it comes at a significant cost. It is my duty as CNO to 
ensure our Navy is always ready to answer our Nation's call anytime, 
anywhere, now and in the future. This duty shapes my priorities and 
will influence the decisions and recommendations I will make regarding 
the future of our Navy.
                    priorities for fiscal year 2009
    My vision for the Navy is that we remain the preeminent maritime 
power, providing our country a naval expeditionary force committed to 
global security and prosperity. We will defend our homeland and our 
Nation's vital interests around the world. We will prevent war, 
dominate any threat, and decisively defeat any adversary. The Navy will 
remain a powerful component of joint warfare by exploiting cutting edge 
technology and cooperating closely with the other Services, the 
interagency community, allies, and international partners. We will 
remain a superbly trained and led team of diverse sailors and 
civilians, who are grounded in our warfighting ethos, core values, and 
commitment to mission readiness and accomplishment.
    To achieve this vision, the Navy must address existing and emerging 
challenges and create new opportunities. My priorities are to:

         Build tomorrow's Navy
         Remain ready to fight today
         Develop and support our sailors and Navy civilians.

    I will demand that we accurately articulate requirements and remain 
disciplined in our processes. Achieving the right balance within and 
across these focus areas will provide dominant seapower for our Nation, 
today and tomorrow.
Building Tomorrow's Navy
    Our Fleet must have the right balance of capability and the 
capacity. Three hundred thirteen ships represent the minimum force 
necessary to provide the global reach, persistent presence, and 
strategic, operational, and tactical effects. Our fiscal year 2009 
budget requests 7 new ships: 2 LCS, 1 DDG-1000, 1 SSN, 2 T-AKE, and 1 
JHSV, and 47 new ships over the Future Years Defense Program (FYDP) 
(fiscal years 2009-2013). I support a stable shipbuilding plan that 
provides an affordable, balanced force and preserves our Nation's 
industrial base. I intend to develop further our Navy's relationship 
with industry to reinforce our commitment to a stable shipbuilding 
plan.
    As we pursue operational capability at reduced cost, we take into 
account several industrial factors. Level loading of ship and aircraft 
procurements help sustain appropriate employment levels, retain skills, 
and promote a healthy U.S. shipbuilding industrial base. Common hull 
forms, common components, and repeat builds of ships and aircraft that 
permit longer production runs also reduce construction costs. Our 
Navy's shipbuilding plans incorporate open architecture for hardware 
and software systems and they increase the use of system modularity. 
These initiatives reduce the cost of maintenance and system upgrades, 
and keep the Navy's Fleet in service longer.
    I seek your support for the following initiatives and programs:
    Aircraft Carrier Force Structure
    The Navy is committed fully to maintaining an aircraft carrier 
force of 11. During the 33-month period between the planned 2012 
decommissioning of U.S.S. Enterprise and the 2015 delivery of U.S.S. 
Gerald Ford, however, legislative relief is requested to temporarily 
reduce the carrier force to 10. Extending Enterprise to 2015 involves 
significant technical risk, challenges manpower and industrial bases, 
and requires expenditures in excess of $2 billion. Extending Enterprise 
would result in only a minor gain in carrier operational availability 
and adversely impact carrier maintenance periods and operational 
availability in future years. We are adjusting carrier maintenance 
schedules to support the Fleet Response Plan (FRP) and ensure a 
responsive carrier force for the Nation during this proposed 10-carrier 
period. I urge your support for this legislative proposal.
    Littoral Combat Ship
    Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) fills critical warfighting requirements. 
It offers speed, draft, and modularity that no other ship offers. 
U.S.S. Freedom (LCS-1) and U.S.S. Independence (LCS-2) enter service 
soon and their performance at sea will enable us to decide on the 
appropriate acquisition strategy for the class. Controlling and 
reducing LCS costs are key to an affordable shipbuilding plan and we 
have already improved management oversight, implemented stricter cost 
controls, and incorporated selective contract restructuring to ensure 
delivery on a realistic schedule. Although recent changes to the LCS 
program resulted in the reduction of 13 ships across the FYDP, I remain 
committed to procuring 55 LCS by fiscal year 2023. I appreciate your 
continued support for this important ship class, including our fiscal 
year 2009 request for $1.47 billion for procurement of two additional 
ships and associated modules and continued research and development 
(R&D).
    Joint Strike Fighter
    The increased operational tempo (OPTEMPO) of our legacy aircraft is 
consuming service life at an accelerated rate. The recent groundings of 
high demand P-3 aircraft highlight the need to bring the next 
generation of aircraft in service and retire our aging aircraft. The 
Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) provides expanded capability that will meet 
the needs of our Navy, Joint Forces, and international partners. 
Because of the high OPTEMPO of the current strike aircraft fleet, and 
despite JSF's initial operational capability (IOC) and delivery in 
2015, we anticipate a shortfall of strike aircraft from 2016-2025. 
Further delays in JSF will exacerbate this strike fighter gap. Navy's 
fiscal year 2009 investment of $3.4 billion includes procurement of 
eight aircraft and continued R&D for aircraft and engine development.
    CG(X)
    The next generation Guided Missile Cruiser CG(X) will be a highly 
capable major surface combatant tailored for Air and Missile Defense. 
CG(X) will provide maritime dominance, independent command and control, 
and forward presence. It will operate as an integral unit of Joint and 
Combined Forces. The CG(X) design and development program will feature 
revolutionary acquisition and spiral development practices that 
incorporate advanced technologies and next generation engineering 
systems. By replacing the Ticonderoga (CG 47) class of ships at the end 
of its 35-year service life, CG(X) capitalizes on the developments made 
through DDG Modernization and DDG-1000. We are conducting a rigorous 
analysis to examine alternatives for CG(X) consistent with the National 
Defense Authorization Act requirement for nuclear power. Our fiscal 
year 2009 R&D request for $370 million will support CG(X) and 
associated radar development.
    DDG-1000
    Congressional approval of split funding for the dual lead DDG-1000 
ships supports an acquisition approach that motivates cooperative 
completion of detail design. Collaboration between Northrop Grumman 
Ship Systems and Bath Iron Works during the detail design process has 
enabled these shipyards to produce the two lead ships simultaneously. 
Consequently, the DDG-1000 detail design will be more mature prior to 
start of construction than any previous shipbuilding program. Our 
budget request in fiscal year 2009 will procure the third ship of the 
class.
    Ballistic Missile Defense
    The increasing development and proliferation of ballistic missiles 
can threaten the homeland and our friends and allies. Ballistic 
missiles can also impede our military operations. Maritime ballistic 
missile defense (BMD) provides protection for forward-deployed joint 
forces and regional allies while contributing to the larger defense of 
the United States through the Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS). 
Maritime ballistic missile defense directly contributes to the Navy's 
core capability of deterrence, and enables our core capabilities of 
power projection and sea control. The Aegis BMD directorate of the 
Missile Defense Agency has developed the Navy's BMD capability which is 
installed on 17 ships including 3 cruisers and 14 guided missile 
destroyers with installations continuing in 2008. These Navy surface 
ships support the BMDS by cueing ground-based sensors and intercepting 
Short to Intermediate Range Ballistic Missiles with ship-based 
interceptors (SM-3 missiles). The Near-Term Sea-Based Terminal Program 
provides the ability to engage a limited set of Short Range Ballistic 
Missiles (SRBMs) with modified SM-2 Block IV missiles. The Navy will 
continue to work closely with the Missile Defense Agency to deliver 
improved capability and capacity to defend against this proliferating 
threat. While development and procurement funding is covered under the 
Missile Defense Agency budget, Navy has committed $16.5 million in 
fiscal year 2009 for operations and sustainment of Aegis BMD systems.
    Navy Networks
    Afloat and ashore networks enable warfighting command and control 
capability. Data, hardware, and applications must be arranged in a way 
that enables rapid upgrades to accommodate exponential increases in 
demand. Incorporation of open architecture and common computing 
environment in our networks will require us to redesign network 
architecture to free us from proprietary control. Open architecture 
will drive us to commonality and standardization, introduce 
efficiencies, promote better data protection, and network security. It 
will also allow our future war fighters to fight collaboratively and 
more effectively.
    The first step in achieving this new network architecture is 
putting it to sea. The Consolidated Afloat Networks and Enterprise 
Services (CANES) system achieves an open, agile, flexible and 
affordable network architecture that will move us forward. CANES 
embraces cross-domain solutions that enable enhanced movement of data. 
It is a revolutionary change in our information technology 
infrastructure and it is absolutely vital for us to excel in 21st 
century warfare. $21.6 million is aligned to CANES in the fiscal year 
2009 budget request, all of which is redirected from existing budget 
lines.
    Research and Development
    Science and technology (S&T) give the Navy warfighting advantage. 
Last year the Secretary of the Navy, the Commandant of the Marine 
Corps, and my predecessor completed and published a combined Naval S&T 
strategy that ensures our investments accomplish the vision and goals 
of the Navy and Marine Corps. Selecting research for future naval force 
capabilities must be balanced with fiscal realities. The S&T strategy 
identifies 13 research focus areas and sets high-level objectives that 
guide investment decisions. S&T investments present a balance between 
applied science, focused on near-term challenges, and basic research 
that advances the frontiers of science. We aggressively focus on 
transitioning S&T into programs of record and push these programs of 
record out to the Fleet through our Future Naval Capabilities program 
at the Office of Naval Research (ONR). The fiscal year 2009 budget 
requests $1.8 billion for Navy's S&T programs, an increase of 6 percent 
over the requested fiscal year 2008 level.
Ready to Fight Today
    Maintaining warfighting readiness demands a Navy that is agile, 
capable, and ready. As operational demands and Joint Force posture in 
the Middle East subside, I expect the Navy's posture, positioning, and 
OPTEMPO to increase, not decrease. OPTEMPO, as expressed in terms of 
steaming days, reflects the underway time of our conventionally powered 
ships. OEF/OIF and additional global commitments have caused a 
significant difference between budgeted and actual steaming days. The 
Navy has funded this difference with war supplemental funding. Trends 
indicate that anticipated operational requirements will continue to 
exceed peacetime levels in fiscal year 2009. Additionally, increased 
OPTEMPO drives accelerated force structure replacement and higher 
maintenance and manpower costs that must be funded.
    As the Nation's Strategic Reserve, the Navy must be ready to 
generate persistent seapower anywhere in the world. The Navy must also 
establish and evolve international relationships to increase security 
and achieve common interests in the maritime domain.
    We generate forces for the current fight and employ our Navy much 
differently than in years past. We simultaneously provide ready naval 
forces and personnel for Joint Force Commanders, sustain forward 
presence, fulfill commitments to allies, and respond to increasing 
demands in regions where we have not routinely operated, specifically 
in South America and Africa.
    The FRP has enhanced our ability to meet COCOM requests for forces 
for the last 6 years. FRP provides naval forces that are well-
maintained, properly manned, and appropriately trained to deploy for 
forward presence and surge missions. FRP increases operational 
availability and generates more forward presence and surge capability 
on short notice than was possible in the past. The unscheduled 
deployment of a second carrier to the Middle East in January 2007 is an 
example of how FRP provides the Nation with options to defend its vital 
interests. FRP also allows the Navy to respond to global events more 
robustly while maintaining a structured, deliberate process that 
ensures continuous availability of trained, ready Navy forces.
    Balancing capacity and capability across the spectrum of warfare is 
essential. The challenge will be maintaining dominance in traditional 
roles while meeting existing and emerging threats in asymmetric and 
irregular warfare. My goal is to influence the entire range of military 
operations from large scale conflict to maritime security and HA/DR. 
Areas of particular interest to us are:
    Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW): Sonar-The Key ASW Enabler
    Submarines remain an immediate threat and their roles and lethality 
are increasing. More countries are buying submarines; some are building 
anti-access strategies around them. Maintaining the ability to detect, 
locate, track, and destroy submarines is essential and our active sonar 
systems, particularly medium frequency active (MFA) sonar, are the key 
enablers.
    The Navy's use of sonar is being challenged in Federal court by 
various lawsuits which seek to prohibit or severely limit it during 
vital combat certification exercises, such as those conducted in our 
southern California operating areas. In more than 40 years of sonar use 
in southern California waters, not a single injury to marine mammals 
has been linked to sonar. The Navy has worked closely with the National 
Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to establish effective, science-based 
mitigation measures. By implementing these measures NMFS does not 
expect adverse population level effects for any marine mammal 
populations during Fleet training exercises scheduled in southern 
California in 2008. MFA sonar provides a robust and absolutely vital 
capability to detect submarine threats. Limiting our ability to train 
and exercise with MFA sonar will degrade operational readiness and 
place our forces at risk.
    Our measures provide an appropriate balance between good 
stewardship of the environment and preparing our forces for deployment 
and combat operations. Our sailors must be trained to the best of their 
abilities with all of the technological tools available to fight and 
win. It is vital that our Navy be allowed to train and exercise with 
MFA sonar.
    Intelligence
    Our Navy provides a vital intelligence, surveillance, and 
reconnaissance capability around the globe. These capabilities produce 
warning and awareness in support of the planning and execution of 
maritime and joint operations. We are expanding our intelligence 
capability through development of trained human intelligence (HUMINT) 
personnel, investment in operational intelligence at our Maritime 
Operation Centers, and expanded synchronization with theater, joint, 
and national intelligence capabilities.
    Maritime Domain Awareness
    Maritime security supports the free flow of commerce for all 
nations. Maritime Domain Awareness is knowing what is moving below, on, 
and above the sea. Without a high level of Maritime Domain Awareness 
the free flow of commerce is jeopardized. The goal of Maritime Domain 
Awareness is to establish a level of security regarding vessels 
approaching our coastlines, while not infringing upon each nation's 
sovereignty or sharing inappropriate information.
    In partnership with the Coast Guard we established the Office of 
Global Maritime Situational Awareness (GMSA). GMSA works with the 
Office of Global Maritime Intelligence Integration in developing the 
national maritime picture. The first spiral of Maritime Domain 
Awareness capability arrives in the Central Command and Pacific Command 
in August 2008 with later spirals in the Atlantic and Caribbean.
    Seabasing
    Seabasing represents a critical warfighting capability. It will 
assure access to areas where U.S. military forces are denied basing or 
support facilities. In the near term, our amphibious and prepositioned 
ships (including MPF(F)) are the key ships in the seabase. They provide 
the required lift for the Marine Corps across the range of military 
operations. These ships and marines, and the defensive and strike 
capabilities of our surface combatants and aircraft, provide 
operational maneuver and assured access for the force while 
significantly reducing our footprint ashore.
    The Navy is exploring innovative operational concepts combining 
seabasing with adaptive force packaging that will further support 
national security policy and the combatant commanders' objectives 
worldwide. Our 30-Year Shipbuilding Plan provides for seabasing that 
covers the spectrum of warfare from Joint Forcible Entry to persistent 
and cooperative Theater Security Cooperation.
    Future Joint Sea Basing requirements are still being defined but 
will be significantly greater than today's Navy and Marine Corps 
warfighting capabilities. The next generation long-range, heavy lift 
aircraft, joint logistics support system, intra-theater lift and sea 
connectors will provide these future capabilities.
    Shore Installations
    Our shore installations are extensions of our warfighting 
capabilities and among our most complex systems. Our installations must 
be ready to deliver scalable, agile, and adaptive capabilities to meet 
the requirements of our fleet, sailors, and families. We must reverse 
our historical trend of underinvestment in our shore establishment. I 
will leverage and expand upon the successes of our Navy Ashore Vision 
2030 and enhance the linkage between our installations, our 
warfighters, mission accomplishment, and quality of service.
    In the past, we accepted significant risk in our shore 
establishment to adequately fund Fleet readiness. As a result, the 
condition, capability, and current and future readiness of our shore 
installations degraded to an unacceptable level by industry standards. 
I directed the implementation of a systematic and consistent approach 
to assess the material condition of our shore establishments and 
develop a comprehensive investment strategy to arrest and reverse the 
decline of our shore establishment.
    We will take advantage of every opportunity to leverage the joint 
capabilities we share with other Services and the capabilities of the 
supporting communities where we work and live. The power of this 
leverage is highlighted in our new Public-Private Venture Bachelor 
Quarters at San Diego and Norfolk. With the authorities granted by 
Congress and very progressive private partners, we provide our sailors 
the best housing I have seen during my naval career. These quarters 
will have a dramatic impact on sailors' decisions to reenlist.
    We owe our sailors, their families, and our civilian workforce, who 
selflessly serve our Nation, world-class facilities and services to 
enhance their productivity and effectiveness and to motivate them to 
remain in the Navy. The decline in the shore infrastructure must be 
reversed by a prudent review of current capacity and a forward leaning 
investment strategy that defines our shore footprint for the 
foreseeable future. The shore establishment is a critical system for 
the Navy and provides the foundation for our training, manning, and 
equipping. It is imperative we invest and sustain our shore 
establishment at the right level to ensure a ready, mobile, and capable 
Navy.
    Depot Level Maintenance
    The increased OPTEMPO of our ships and aircraft in combat 
operations elevates the importance of performing timely depot level 
maintenance. Depot level maintenance ensures continued readiness and 
the safety of our men and women operating our ships and aircraft. 
Adequate funding for depot level maintenance ensures we do not incur 
unnecessary risk by extending our ships and aircraft well past their 
periodicity of maintenance. In addition to the challenges of 
maintaining our ships and aircraft, the capacity of the industrial base 
remains challenging. Consistent, long-term agreements for the efficient 
use of shipyards are necessary to keep our ships and aircraft in the 
highest states of readiness.
    United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea
    The Law of the Sea Convention codifies navigation and overflight 
rights and high seas freedoms that are essential for the global 
mobility of our Armed Forces. It directly supports our National 
Security Strategy. I believe strongly that the Convention furthers our 
national security interests. Our maritime security efforts necessitate 
that we become a party to the Law of the Sea Convention, the bedrock 
legal instrument in the maritime domain, to which 154 nations are 
party. Our current non-party status constrains our efforts to develop 
enduring maritime partnerships. It inhibits our efforts to expand the 
Proliferation Security Initiative and elevates the level of risk for 
our sailors as they undertake operations to preserve navigation rights 
and freedoms, particularly in areas such as the Strait of Hormuz and 
Arabian Gulf, and the East and South China Seas. Accession to the Law 
of the Sea Convention is a priority for our Navy.
Developing and Supporting Our Sailors and Navy Civilians
    Our talented and dedicated sailors and Navy civilians are 
absolutely essential to our maritime dominance. Attracting, recruiting, 
and retaining in a competitive workplace is increasingly more 
expensive. We must devote adequate resources and shape our policies to 
ensure our people are personally and professionally fulfilled in their 
service to our Nation. We have identified a steady-state force level of 
322,000 Active component/68,000 Reserve component end strength as the 
optimum target for our projected force structure. It is critical that 
future funding sustains this level.
    Recruiting, developing, and retaining diverse and highly capable 
men and women are imperatives. The Navy must address the changing 
national demographic to remain competitive in today's employment 
market. Only 3 out of 10 high school graduates meet the minimum 
criteria for military service. The propensity to serve is declining 
among youth and more often influencers of these youth, such as parents 
and teachers, are advising against military service.
    ``Millennials'' are the generation of youth currently entering the 
workplace and they comprise 43 percent of our Navy. Born into a 
globalized world saturated with information and technology, Millennials 
are more accomplished for their age than previous generations. They are 
a technology-savvy and cyber-connected group who may find the 
military's hierarchical command and control structure contradictory to 
the flat social networks they are used to navigating. The different 
paradigm under which this generation views the world and the workplace 
has implications for how the Navy attracts, recruits, and retains top 
talent. Additionally, to better meet the needs of the U.S. Marine 
Corps, we must increase the through-put at the U.S. Naval Academy. I 
urge your support of our legislative proposal to increase the number of 
Midshipmen at the Naval Academy.
    The Strategy for Our People ensures we have the best and brightest 
on our team. The strategy outlines six goals for achieving a total Navy 
force of sailors and civilians that is the right size and possesses the 
right skills to best meet the needs of the Navy. These goals are: 
capability-driven manpower, a competency-based workforce, effective 
total force, diversity, being competitive in the marketplace, and being 
agile, effective, and cost-efficient. Many of the efforts currently 
underway in support of the strategy are discussed in further detail 
below.
    Recruiting Initiatives
    The Navy Recruiting Command is relentless in its pursuit of 
attracting the best young men and women in America to serve in our 
Navy. Recruiting priorities are currently focused on attracting 
personnel for the Naval Special Warfare/Naval Special Operations, 
nuclear power, medical, and chaplain communities. Recruiting Command is 
constantly searching for new ways to recruit America's talent. For 
example, the Medical Leads Assistance Program employs Navy officers as 
ambassadors for generating interest in Navy Medicine. In the NSW and 
Naval Special Operations communities, we provide mentors for recruits 
before enlistment and during training with the two-fold goal of 
improving recruiting results and ensuring applicant success at Recruit 
Training Center and Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training.
    To recruit nuclear-trained officers and chaplains, we encourage our 
personnel to share their story with the American public. Through visits 
to college campuses and career fairs, nuclear-trained officers share 
their experiences of operating nuclear reactors on board carriers and 
submarines. These visits have improved short-term Nuclear Propulsion 
Officer Candidate recruiting and our officers will continue to 
cultivate personal relationships with faculty and university 
representatives to ensure long-term program health. Through the Reserve 
Officer Goals Enhance Recruitment program, Reserve chaplains use their 
network of ministerial relationships to share their experiences as Navy 
chaplains and provide information on how to become Active or Reserve 
chaplain candidates.
    Over the past 5 years, Navy Reserve Junior Officer recruitment has 
declined. To encourage young officers to stay Navy, we authorized a 
mobilization deferment policy for officers who affiliate with the Navy 
Reserve within the first year after leaving active duty. Combined with 
a $10,000 affiliation bonus, we have had some success in improving the 
recruitment of Reserve officers, but this market remains a challenge. 
We established a Reserve Retention and Recruiting Working Group to 
identify near-term and long-term solutions that will achieve 
sustainable success.
    Development Initiatives
    Our people deserve personally and professionally fulfilling careers 
that provide continuous opportunities for development. We offer 
multiple programs and we partner with outside organizations so that 
sailors and Navy civilians can pursue job-relevant training, continuing 
education, and personal enrichment. One such program is a pilot called 
``Accelerate to Excellence.'' This program provides enlisted recruits 
in specific ratings the opportunity to earn an Associate's Degree at a 
community college while undergoing specialized training after boot 
camp.
    The Navy also provides developmental opportunities for officers and 
enlisted personnel through Professional Military Education (PME). PME 
is designed to prepare leaders for challenges at the tactical, 
operational, and strategic levels of war. The PME continuum integrates 
advanced education, Navy-specific PME, Joint PME (JPME) and leadership 
development in a holistic manner. The competencies, professional 
knowledge, and critical thinking skills sailors obtain from PME prepare 
them for leadership and the effective execution of naval missions. PME 
graduates are 21st century leaders who possess the capacity to think 
through uncertainty; develop innovative concepts, capabilities, and 
strategies; fully exploit advanced technologies, systems, and 
platforms; understand cultural/regional issues; and conduct operations 
as part of the Joint force.
    Enrollment in JPME courses is up: JPME Phase I in-residence 
enrollment is up 5 percent; JPME Phase I non-residence enrollment is up 
15 percent; JPME Phase II enrollment is up 50 percent. Congressional 
support to allow Phase II JPME to be taught in a non-residency status 
would enable sailors to pursue professional development while 
continuing their current assignments.
    In addition to JPME courses, the Navy supports Joint training 
through the Navy Continuous Training Environment (NCTE). NCTE is a 
distributed and simulated Joint and coalition training environment that 
replicates real-life operations. NCTE integrates into the Joint 
National Training Capability (JNTC) training architecture and satisfies 
COCOM requirements at the operational and tactical level.
    Retention Initiatives
    As the Navy approaches a steady-state force level of 322,000 Active 
component/68,000 Reserve component end strength, attracting and 
retaining sailors with the right skills is critical. In fiscal year 
2008, the goal is to shift our focus beyond numbers to ensure we have 
the right skill sets in the right billets at the right time. This 
approach increases opportunities for advancement and promotion by 
assigning personnel to positions that utilize and enhance their 
talents, and emphasizes continued professional growth and development 
in stages that align to career milestones.
    The Navy is also addressing retention through Active component to 
Reserve component transition. This program is changing the existing 
paradigm under which a sailor leaves the Navy at the end of their 
obligated service and is instead promoting service in the Reserve 
component as an alternative to complete detachment. The Perform to 
Serve (PTS) program screens Zone A sailors, who are at the end of a 4- 
to 6-year enlistment for reenlistment within their rating or for rating 
conversion. The manpower, personnel, training, and education enterprise 
is adding Reserve component affiliation to sailors' PTS options at the 
end of Zone A enlistment. Additionally, Reserve component affiliation 
will become increasingly seamless as we shift responsibility from Navy 
Recruiting Command to Navy Personnel Command.
    Taking Care of Families
    When a sailor or civilian joins the Navy team our commitment 
extends to their family. Mission success depends upon the individual 
readiness of our people and on the preparedness of their families. 
Supporting Navy families is critical to mission success.
    Keeping families ready and prepared alleviates some of the stress 
associated with deployments. Our continued commitment to programs and 
resources that maximize family readiness remains high. We continue to 
improve and expand child care programs and centers. Crisis management 
and response procedures coupled with enhanced ombudsman programs 
demonstrate our commitment to give deployed sailors confidence that 
their families are in good hands.
    In 2007, Navy programs cared for 45,780 children ages 6 months to 
12 years and served over 70,000 youth, ages 13 to 18, in 124 child 
development centers, 103 youth centers, and 3,115 on and off-base 
licensed child development homes. In response to the needs of Navy 
families, we have launched an aggressive child care expansion plan that 
adds 4,000 child care spaces within the next 18 months and reduces 
waiting lists in most places below the current 6-month average.
    At the end of fiscal year 2007, we successfully privatized 95 
percent of the continental U.S. (CONUS) and Hawaii family housing. We 
aggressively monitor the ratification of Navy housing residents and our 
Public Private Venture efforts are clearly resulting in continuous 
improvement in the housing and services provided to our sailors and 
their families. The ability of the private partner to renovate and 
replace family housing units at a much quicker pace than military 
construction (MILCON) has positively impacted the quality of Navy 
housing.
    Taking care of our families includes proactively reducing financial 
stresses placed on sailors and families. We are focused on family 
counseling in response to increased OPTEMPO as a result of OEF/OIF. We 
provided one-on-one job search coaching services to 21,730 Navy family 
members and made 10,830 military spouse employment ready referrals to 
employers. Fleet and Family Support Center (FFSC) financial educators 
provided more than 186,000 sailors and family members seminars/
workshops focusing on financial fitness, increased our financial 
counseling services to military spouses by more than 50 percent, and 
launched a robust campaign to encourage wealth building and debt 
reduction.
    Health Care
    We have some of the best medical professionals in the world serving 
in the Navy. Health care options the Navy offers its people are 
valuable recruitment and retention incentives. Still, health care costs 
are rising faster than inflation. Operations in OEF and OIF increased 
the demand for medical services in combat and casualty care. Part of 
this demand is straight forward: our wounded need traditional medical 
care and rehabilitation services. The other part of this demand is more 
complex and addresses the increased occurrences of mental health 
disorders resulting from combat operations. Medical professionals are 
rapidly learning more about assessing and treating the effects of 
mental health issues associated with war such as post-traumatic stress 
disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury. We are implementing these 
lessons to more effectively treat these sailors.
    Wounded Warrior/Safe Harbor Program
    Care for combat wounded does not end at the Military Treatment 
Facility (MTF). The Navy has established the Safe Harbor Program to 
ensure seamless transition for the seriously wounded from arrival at a 
CONUS MTF to subsequent rehabilitation and recovery through DOD or the 
Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Since its inception, 162 sailors 
including 143 Active and 19 Reserve members have joined the program and 
are being actively tracked and monitored, including 126 personnel 
severely injured in OEF/OIF. Senior medical staffs personally visit and 
assist seriously injured sailors and their families to ensure their 
needs are being met.
                               conclusion
    We are truly a ready, agile, and global Navy. To ensure that we 
maintain our naval dominance, we must achieve the optimal balance of 
building the Navy of tomorrow as we remain engaged and ready to fight 
today while fully supporting our people.
    I will continue to work closely with the Secretary of the Navy, the 
Commandant of the Marine Corps, Congress, and industry to build the 
levels of trust and collaboration necessary to resource, acquire, and 
effectively manage a Fleet of the right size and balance for our 
Nation.
    Despite the challenges, I am very optimistic about our future and 
the many opportunities ahead. The dedication of our sailors and Navy 
civilians is inspiring. They are truly making a difference and it is an 
honor to serve alongside them. I thank you for your continued support 
and commitment to our Navy and for all you do to make the United States 
Navy a force for good today and in the future.
      
    
    
      
    
    
      
    
    
      
    
    
      
    
    
      
    
    
      
    
    
      
    
    
      
    
    
      
    
    
      
    
    
      
    
    
      
    
    
      
    
    
      
    
    
      
    
    
      
    
    
      
    
    
      
    
    
      
    
    
      
    
    
      
    
    
      
    
    
      
    
    
      
    
    
      
    Chairman Levin. Thank you so much, Admiral.
    General Conway?

  STATEMENT OF GEN. JAMES T. CONWAY, USMC, COMMANDANT OF THE 
                          MARINE CORPS

    General Conway. Chairman Levin, Senator Warner, and 
distinguished members of the committee: I have pledged to 
always provide you with forthright and honest assessments of 
your Marine Corps and I bear that in mind today as I report to 
you on the posture of our Service.
    In the written statement I provided you a list of 
priorities that would enable your Corps to best serve our 
Nation's security interests, both today and in the uncertain 
future. But in brief, our young warriors in combat are my 
number one priority. Those magnificent patriots have been 
extremely effective in disrupting insurgents and the al-Qaeda 
in the al-Anbar Province. In the spirit of jointness, I must 
note that it hasn't been just marines, rather marines, sailors, 
and soldiers, a composite effort over time, that has brought 
success to the al-Anbar.
    Quiet in their duty and determined in their approach, your 
marines are telling us loud and clear that wherever there's a 
job to be done they'll shoulder that mission with enthusiasm. 
They're tough and they'll do what it takes to win.
    We are still supporting the surge in Iraq and have already 
shifted from population protection to transitioning security 
responsibilities to Iraqi security forces. They are actively 
stepping up to the task. Though it may not be our core 
competency, marines have addressed the Nation-building aspect 
of our duties with enthusiasm and determination.
    As you mentioned, Mr. Chairman, in answer to the most 
recent call from the Secretary of Defense, we are also 
deploying more than 3,400 marines to Afghanistan. Your marines 
will assist the joint force in either gaining or maintaining 
momentum there. We fall in on our expeditionary ethos of living 
hard and fighting well as part of the air-ground team.
    I've just returned from a visit to Iraq and Afghanistan 
and, ladies and gentlemen, I'm pleased to report to you that 
your marines are demonstrating amazing resiliency in the face 
of multiple deployments to dangerous lands. In spite of a one-
to-one deployment-to-dwell regimen that has virtually no chance 
of getting better until fall, the factors that we track monthly 
to determine health of the force, that include desertion and UA 
rates, suicide, divorce, child or spousal abuse, and not in the 
least, reenlistment rates, are all as good or better than they 
were in 2001.
    We do have a significant issue with our families. Simply 
put, they are proud of their contributions to this war, but 
they're tired. We owe it to those families to put our family 
service programs onto a wartime footing. For too long our 
programs have been borne on the backs of our volunteers--
perhaps acceptable during peacetime, but untenable during a 
protracted conflict. Congress has been exceptionally supportive 
in enabling us to make good on the promise to do more.
    Of course, we look beyond today and our obligation to the 
Nation, and we have learned lessons in trying to build the 
force as we fight. In response to a clear need, we are growing 
the Corps to 202,000 marines. We do this without lowering our 
standards and we are ahead of our goals. During the last fiscal 
year, we needed to bring aboard 5,000 additional recruits. We 
actually grew 7,000 additional marines, 96.2 percent of them 
high school graduates.
    But more than just manpower, the growth requires training, 
infrastructure, and equipment to meet the needs of our Nation. 
You've helped us meet those requirements with steady support 
and encouragement, and for that we thank you.
    Though our capacity is currently stretched, the Marine 
Corps retains the mission to provide a multi-capable force for 
our Nation, a two-fisted fighter, if you will, able to destroy 
enemy formations with our air-ground team in a major 
contingency, but equally able to fall back on our hard-earned 
irregular warfare skills honed over decades of conflict.
    By far the most complex of our congressionally mandated 
missions, amphibious operations, requires deliberate training 
and long-term resourcing to achieve a high level of 
proficiency. The operational expertise, the special equipment 
sets, and the amphibious lift are not capabilities that we can 
rapidly create in the face of a threat.
    Finally, on behalf of your marines, I extend great 
appreciation for your support thus far, and I thank you in 
advance for your efforts on behalf of our brave service men and 
women in harm's way. I assure you that the Marine Corps 
appreciates the increasing competition for the Nation's 
discretionary resources and will continue to provide a tangible 
return for every dollar spent.
    Mr. Chairman, thank you very much for the opportunity to 
speak.
    [The prepared statement of General Conway follows:]
            Prepared Statement by Gen. James T. Conway, USMC
                           executive summary
    Chairman Levin, Senator McCain, and distinguished members of the 
committee; I have pledged to always provide you forthright and honest 
assessments of your Corps. I bear that in mind today as I report to you 
on the posture of your Corps.
    Your Marine Corps is fully engaged in what we believe is a 
generational struggle against fanatical extremists; the challenges we 
face are of global scale and scope. This Long War is multi-faceted and 
will not be won in one battle, in one country, or by one method. Your 
marines are a tough breed and will do what it takes to win--not only in 
these opening battles of Iraq and Afghanistan, but also in the 
subsequent conflicts which we endeavor to prepare for today.
    In the face of great hardship, your marines have made a positive 
and selfless decision to stay resolved. More than 332,000 marines have 
either enlisted or re-enlisted since September 11, 2001; more than 
208,000 have deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan--a telling number for a 
force of less than 200,000 marines. Make no mistake, they joined or 
decided to re-enlist knowing they would go into harm's way.
    They have answered the Nation's call and are fully engaged in this 
fight--serving with distinction as the professionals they are. It falls 
on us, then, to fully support them--we owe them the full resources 
required to complete the tasks ahead. Now more than ever, they need the 
sustained support of the American people and Congress to provide them 
the help they need to fight today's conflict, prepare for tomorrow's, 
and fulfill our commitment to our marine families.
    Without question, marines in combat are our number one priority. 
Taken as a whole, combat operations are indeed stressing our forces and 
families. That said, the Marine Corps will not fail her country when 
called. In fact, in answer to the most recent call to provide ready 
forces to serve our Nation, the Marine Corps is deploying more than 
3,200 marines to Afghanistan in addition to supporting ongoing surge 
operations in Iraq and other force requirements worldwide.
    It is with these great men and women in mind that the Marine Corps 
has shaped its priorities--which are enduring and serve not only the 
conflict of today, but also the inevitable crises that will arise in 
our Nation's future. Through this budget request, we seek to:
Right-Size the Marine Corps for today's conflict and tomorrow's 
        uncertainty
    To fulfill our obligations to the Nation, the Marine Corps will 
grow its personnel end strength to 202,000 Active component marines by 
the end of fiscal year 2011. This increase will enable your Corps to 
train to the full spectrum of military operations and improve the 
ability of the Marine Corps to address future challenges of an 
uncertain environment. Our growth will enable us to recover our ability 
to respond in accordance with timelines outlined in combatant commander 
war plans--thereby, reducing operational risk. More than just manpower, 
this growth will require training, infrastructure, and equipment to 
meet the needs of our Nation.
Reset the force and prepare for the next contingency
    To meet the demands of this war, we must reset the force so that we 
can simultaneously fight, train, and sustain our Corps. The Long War is 
taking a considerable toll on our equipment, and we continue to make 
tough choices on how best to apply the resources we are provided. 
Congress has responded rapidly and generously to our requests for 
equipment and increased protection for our marines and sailors. We are 
committed to fulfilling our responsibility to manage these resources 
prudently as we modernize our force.
Modernize for tomorrow to be ``the most ready when the Nation is least 
        ready''
    Congressionally-mandated to be ``the most ready when the Nation is 
least ready,'' your multi-capable Corps is committed to fulfilling this 
responsibility. We remain focused and steadfast in our responsibility 
to be the Nation's premiere expeditionary Force-in-Readiness. To do so, 
we continue to adapt our organization and equipment to provide our 
country the best Marine Corps in the world.
Provide our Nation a naval force that is fully prepared for employment 
        as a Marine Air Ground Task Force across the spectrum of 
        conflict
    The newly published Maritime Strategy reaffirms our naval character 
and reemphasized our enduring relationship with the Navy and, now, 
Coast Guard. Current operations limit our ability to aggressively 
commit forces to strategy implementation at this time. However, as we 
increase our end strength to 202,000 marines and as security conditions 
continue to improve in Iraq, the Marine Corps will transition our 
forces to other battles in the Long War. The most complex mission in 
the Maritime Strategy is the congressionally-mandated mission of 
amphibious forcible entry. Such an operation requires a high level of 
proficiency and long-term resourcing and is not a capability that we 
can create on short notice.
Take care of our marines and their families
    Our most precious asset is the individual marine. Our marines and 
families have been steadfast and faithful in their service to our 
country, and we have an equally enduring obligation to them. As such, 
we are committed to putting our family programs on a wartime footing--
our marines and families deserve no less.
Posture the Marine Corps for the future beyond the horizon
    The United States faces a complex mix of states who sponsor 
terrorism, regional and rising peer competitors, failing states that 
undermine regional stability, and a variety of violent non-state 
actors--all serving to destabilize legitimate governments and undermine 
security and stability of the greater global community. We see this 
global security context as a persistent condition for the foreseeable 
future.
    The Marine Corps continues to create a multi-capable force for our 
Nation--not only for the current operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, 
but also for subsequent campaigns of the Long War. We are committed to 
ensuring we remain where our country needs us, when she needs us, and 
to prevail over whatever challenges we face.
    On behalf of your marines, I extend great appreciation for your 
support thus far and thank you in advance for your ongoing efforts to 
support our brave service men and women in harm's way. I promise you 
that the Corps understands the value of each dollar provided and will 
continue to provide maximum return for every dollar spent.
      i. marines and sailors in combat are our number one priority
    Marines in the operating forces have been pushed hard by the tempo 
and frequency of operational deployments; yet, their morale has never 
been higher--because they believe they are making a difference. Thanks 
to Congress, your marines know that the people of the United States and 
their Government are behind them. Your support has been exceptional--
from the rapid fielding of life-saving equipment to the increase of 
Marine Corps end strength. With your continued support, your marines 
will continue to make progress in their mission.
USMC Commitments in the Long War
    Over the past year, your marines deployed to all corners of the 
globe in support of our Nation. With more than 24,000 marines deployed 
throughout the U.S. Central Command's Area of Responsibility, 
Operations Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Enduring Freedom (OEF) remain our 
largest commitment. The Marine Corps continues to support surge 
operations in Iraq in the form of two additional infantry battalions 
and the enabling forces that accompany them. As part of the Marine Air 
Ground Task Force in Iraq, these forces have proven extremely effective 
in the disruption of insurgent activities in the Al Anbar province.
    As part of these forces, Marine Corps provides more than 250 
personnel to OEF-Afghanistan. Approximately 100 of these marines are 
members of a Marine Special Operations Company that routinely engages 
in combat operations with partnered Afghan and U.S. Special Forces 
units. The remaining Marine complement to Afghanistan forms the nucleus 
of seven Embedded Training Teams (ETTs); these detachments provide 
strong mentorship to Afghan National Army units in the continuing fight 
against the Taliban.
    Taken as a whole, these recurring commitments of Marine forces in 
support of combat operations is indeed a stressing challenge on our 
forces and families. That said, the Marine Corps is fully cognizant of 
the regional and global effects of progress in Iraq, Afghanistan, and 
the Middle East. In fact, in answer to the most recent call to provide 
ready forces to serve our Nation, the Marine Corps is deploying a 
Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU)-sized Marine Air Ground Task Force and 
an additional Battalion to conduct combat operations in Afghanistan. 
These 3,200 marines are in addition to surge operations in Iraq and 
other force requirements worldwide.
    The Marine Corps also deployed forces to participate in over sixty 
Theater Security Cooperation events, which ranged from small Mobile 
Training Teams in Central America to MEU exercises in Africa, the 
Middle East, and the Pacific. The Marine Corps also took part in civil-
military and humanitarian assistance operations such as New Horizons 
events in Nicaragua, land mine removal training in Azerbaijan, and 
disaster relief in Bangladesh after a devastating cyclone.
  ii. right-size the marine corps for today's conflict and tomorrow's 
                              uncertainty
    To meet the demands of the Long War, as well as the unforeseen 
crises that will inevitably arise, our Corps must be sufficiently 
manned, well-trained, and properly equipped. Like the Cold War, the 
Long War is a long-term struggle that will not be measured by the 
number of near-term deployments or rotations; it is this long-term view 
that informs our priorities and plan for growth.
    To fulfill our obligations to the Nation, the Marine Corps will 
grow its personnel end strength to 202,000 Active component marines. 
This increase will enable your Corps to train to the full spectrum of 
military operations and improve the ability of the Marine Corps to 
address future challenges of an uncertain environment. Our growth will 
enable us to recover our ability to respond in accordance with 
timelines outlined in combatant commander war plans--thereby, reducing 
operational risk.
    Current wartime deployment rates dictate an almost singular focus 
to prepare units for their next rotation and counterinsurgency 
operations. This focus and the deployment rate of many units threaten 
to erode the skills needed for Marine Corps missions such as combined-
arms maneuver, mountain warfare, and amphibious operations. Our 
deployment cycles must not only support training for irregular warfare, 
but also provide sufficient time for recovery and maintenance as well 
as training for other contingency missions. By increasing dwell time 
for our units, we can accomplish the more comprehensive training needed 
for the sophisticated skill sets that have enabled Marine Air Ground 
Task Forces to consistently achieve success in all types of operations.
    Just as importantly, this growth will relieve strain on those 
superb Americans who have volunteered to fight the Nation's battles. We 
must ensure that our personnel policies, organizational construct, and 
training enable our marines to operate at the ``sustained rate of 
fire.'' This means that we must have sufficient dwell time, equipment 
for training, and resources for our marines and their families to 
sustain their efforts over time. Our recently begun growth to 202,000 
marines will significantly enhance our ability to operate at the 
``sustained rate of fire.''
    Our goal, during the Long War, is to achieve a 1:2 deployment-to-
dwell ratio for all of our Active Forces; for every 7 months a marine 
is deployed, he or she will be back at home station for 14 months. 
Right now, many of our forces are at a 1:1 deployment-to-dwell ratio or 
less--which cannot be sustained in the long-term. We also aim to 
implement a 1:5 deployment to dwell ratio for our Reserve Forces and, 
eventually, achieve a peacetime deployment-to-dwell ratio goal is 1:3 
for our Active Forces.
    As we grow, we will develop all the elements of our Marine Air 
Ground Task Force in a balanced manner to meet the diverse challenges 
of an uncertain future. This growth includes:

         An increase in our end strength to 202,000 marines;
         Adequate expansions of our infrastructure to provide 
        for our marines, their families, and their equipment; and
         The right mix of equipment for the current and future 
        fight.

    This additional end strength will result in three Marine 
Expeditionary Forces--balanced in capacity and capability. The 
development of Marine Corps force structure has been the result of a 
thorough and ongoing process that supports the combatant commanders and 
accomplishes our Title 10 responsibilities. The process addresses all 
pillars of combat development (Doctrine, Organization, Training, 
Materiel, Leadership and Education, Personnel, and Facilities) and 
identifies our required capabilities and the issues associated with 
fielding them. The most recent assessment revealed a requirement to 
front-load structure for recruiters and trainers to support our 
personnel growth and a phased introduction of units balanced across the 
Marine Air Ground Task Force.
    In fiscal year 2007, we stood up two infantry battalions: 1st 
Battalion, 9th Marines and 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines. We also added 
capacity to our combat engineer battalions and air naval gunfire 
liaison companies. Our plan will gradually improve the deployment-to-
dwell ratio of some of our other habitually high operational tempo 
units--such as military police, unmanned aerial vehicle, helicopter, 
air command and control, combat service support, and explosive ordnance 
disposal units.
    Growing the Marine Corps as we simultaneously fight the Long War is 
a challenge, but we are committed to being the best stewards of the 
Nation's resources and working with Congress to achieve these important 
goals.
Growing to 202,000 Marines
    The Marine Corps surpassed its fiscal year 2007 authorized end 
strength goal of 184,000 and is on track to meet the goal of 189,000 
marines for fiscal year 2008 as well as our target end strength of 
202,000 marines by fiscal year 2011.
    Recruiting
    A vital factor in sustaining our force and meeting end strength 
goals is continuing to recruit qualified young men and women with the 
right character, commitment, and drive to become marines. With over 70 
percent of our end strength increase comprised of marines on their 
first enlistment, our recruiting efforts are a critical part of our 
overall growth.
    While exceeding Department of Defense quality standards, we 
continue to recruit the best of America into our ranks. In fiscal year 
2007, the Marine Corps achieved over 100 percent of the Active 
component accession goal necessary to grow the force as well as 100 
percent of our Reserve recruiting goals. We reached this goal without 
compromising the high quality standards the American people expect of 
their marines.
    We forecast that both Active and Reserve recruiting will remain 
challenging in fiscal year 2008, particularly given the increased 
accession missions needed to meet our end strength growth. We will need 
the continued indispensable support of Congress to sustain our existing 
programs and other incentives essential to achieving our recruiting 
mission.
    Retention
    Retention is the other important part of building and sustaining 
the Marine Corps. As a strong indicator of our force's morale, the 
Marine Corps has achieved unprecedented numbers of reenlistments in 
both the First Term and Career Force. The expanded reenlistment goal, 
in which we sought to reenlist over 3,700 additional marines, resulted 
in the reenlistment of 31 percent of our eligible First Term force and 
70 percent of our eligible Career Force--compared to the 22 percent 
first term and 65 percent career force reenlistments in fiscal year 
2006. This achievement was key to reaching the first milestone in our 
end strength increase--184,000 marines by the end of fiscal year 2007--
without sacrificing our high quality standards. In fact, a recent 
Center for Naval Analyses study concluded that the quality of our first 
term force who reenlist has improved steadily since fiscal year 2000.
    For fiscal year 2008, our retention goals are even more aggressive, 
but we fully expect to meet them. Our continuing success will be 
largely attributable to several important enduring themes. First, 
marines are motivated to ``stay marine'' because they are doing what 
they signed up to do--fighting for and protecting our Nation. Second, 
they understand our culture is one that rewards proven performance; our 
Selective Reenlistment Bonuses are designed to retain top quality 
marines with the most relevant skill sets.
    There is no doubt that your marines' leadership and technical 
skills have rendered them extremely marketable to lucrative civilian 
employment opportunities. To retain the most qualified marines, we must 
maintain Selective Reenlistment Bonus (SRB) funding. In fiscal year 
2007, the Marine Corps spent approximately $460 million in SRB and 
Assignment Incentive Pay (AIP) to help achieve our end strength goal. 
With a reenlistment mission of 17,631 in fiscal year 2008--compared to 
an historical average of 12,000--the Marine Corps expects to spend 
approximately $500 million in reenlistment incentives during fiscal 
year 2008.
    This aggressive SRB plan will allow us to retain the right grade 
and skill sets for our growing force--particularly among key military 
occupational specialties. The continued support of Congress will ensure 
we have the necessary combat-trained marines for the Long War and other 
contingency operations.
    Reserve Component End Strength
    Our fights thus far in Iraq and Afghanistan have been a Total Force 
effort--our Reserve Forces continue to perform with grit and 
determination. Our goal is to obtain a 1:5 deployment-to-dwell ratio 
within our Reserve component. As our Active Force increases in size, 
our reliance on our Reserve Forces should decrease--helping us achieve 
the desired deployment-to-dwell ratio. We believe our current 
authorized end strength of 39,600 Selected Marine Corps Reserves is 
appropriate. As with every organization within the Marine Corps, we 
continue to review the make-up and structure of our Reserve in order to 
ensure the right capabilities reside within the Marine Forces Reserve 
units and our Individual Mobilization Augmentee program.
    Military-to-Civilian Conversions
    Military-to-civilian conversions replace marines in nonmilitary-
specific billets with qualified civilians, enabling the Corps to return 
those marines to the operating forces. Since 2004, the Marine Corps has 
returned 3,096 marines to the operating force through military-to-
civilian conversions. We will continue to pursue sensible conversions 
as this will aid in our deployment-to-dwell ratio goals for the force.
Growing to 202,000: Infrastructure
    Military construction is one of our keys to success in increasing 
the Marine Corps to 202,000 marines by 2011. We have determined the 
optimal permanent locations for these new units and have generated 
estimates for the types and sizes of facilities needed to support these 
forces. Because our end strength will increase before final 
construction is complete, we are providing interim support facilities 
that will include lease, rental, and purchase of temporary facilities. 
Our plan will ensure adequate facilities are available to support the 
phase-in and Final Operating Capability of a 202,000 Marine Corps while 
meeting our environmental stewardship responsibilities.
Military Construction--Bachelor Enlisted Quarters Initiative.
    Housing for our single marines continues to be our top military 
construction focus. Barracks are a significant quality of life element 
in taking care of our single marines. We have put ourselves in extremis 
with regards to new barracks as we have degraded their priority for 
decades in lieu of operational requirements. We are now committed to 
providing adequate billeting for all of our existing unmarried junior 
enlisted marines and noncommissioned officers by 2012--and for our 
increased end strength by 2014. To do that, we doubled the amount of 
our bachelor housing funding request from fiscal year 2007 to 2008; we 
will more than triple the 2008 amount in fiscal year 2009. We are also 
committed to funding replacement of barracks' furnishings on a 7-year 
cycle and prioritizing barracks repair projects to preempt a backlog of 
repairs.
    Public Private Venture (PPV) Housing
    Our efforts to improve housing for marines and their families 
continue. The housing privatization authorities are integral to our 
efforts to accommodate both current housing requirements and those 
resulting from our planned force increases. Thanks to congressional 
support, the Marine Corps had business agreements in place at the end 
of fiscal year 2007 to eliminate all of our inadequate family housing. 
However, we need to continue our PPV efforts to address the current 
insufficient number of adequate housing units as well as the deficit 
being created by the increase in end strength to 202,000 marines.
    Training Capacity
    Marine Corps Training and Education Command is increasing its 
training capacity and reinvigorating our pre-deployment training 
program to provide support to all elements of the Marine Air Ground 
Task Force (MAGTF) across the full spectrum of potential missions. In 
accordance with the Secretary of Defense's Security Cooperation 
guidance, we are developing and coordinating training and education 
programs to build the capacity of allied and partner nations. We are 
also developing the capability to conduct large-scale MAGTF exercises 
within a joint, coalition, and interagency context to maintain 
proficiency in core warfighting functions such as combined arms 
maneuver, amphibious operations, and maritime prepositioning 
operations. Finally, we are ensuring our training and education 
programs and training ranges accommodate the 27,000 Marine Corps end 
strength increase.
Growing to 202,00: Equipment
    Our assessment of the materiel requirements for our growth has been 
significantly enhanced through cooperation between the Marine Corps and 
industry partners. Through this effort, the units we created in fiscal 
year 2007 were provided the equipment necessary to enter their pre-
deployment training cycle. By prioritizing marines in combat and 
redistribution of some of our strategic stocks, these new units were 
able to meet training and deployment requirements for combat. With 
Congress' continued support, the numerous equipment contracts required 
to support our growth were met during fiscal year 2007 and will be met 
through fiscal year 2008 and beyond.
    iii. resetting the force and preparing for the next contingency
    To meet the demands of this war, we must reset the force so that we 
can simultaneously fight, train, and sustain our Corps. The Long War is 
taking a considerable toll on our equipment, and we continue to make 
tough choices on how best to apply the resources we are provided--
either to replace our rapidly aging equipment with similar platforms or 
to modernize with next generation equipment. Additionally, we have 
routinely drawn additional equipment from strategic stocks, which need 
to be replenished in order for us to remain responsive to emerging 
threats. Congress has responded rapidly and generously to our requests 
for equipment and increased protection for our marines and sailors. We 
are committed to fulfilling our responsibility to manage these 
resources prudently as we modernize our force.
Costs of Resetting the Force
    Reset funds replenish the equipment necessary to keep the Marine 
Corps responsive to emerging threats. Costs categorized as ``reset'' 
meet one of the following criteria: maintenance and supply activities 
to restore and enhance combat capability to unit and prepositioned 
equipment; replace or repair equipment destroyed, damaged, stressed, or 
worn out beyond economic repair; and enhance capabilities, where 
applicable, with the most up-to-date technology.
    Our current reset estimate is $15.6 billion. To date, Congress has 
appropriated a total of $10.9 billion for Marine Corps global war on 
terrorism reset costs. As the nature of the Long War evolves, ``reset 
the force'' cost estimates evolve as well. We not only need to 
``Reset'' the force to support current readiness, but we also need to 
``Reconstitute and Revitalize'' the force in preparation for future 
challenges. We are coordinating with other Services and the Joint Staff 
to refine estimates, and we are aggressively executing funding to 
ensure the marines in the fight have the proper equipment in a timely 
manner.
Equipment Readiness
    While the vast majority of our equipment has passed the test of 
sustained combat operations, it has been subjected to more than a 
lifetime's worth of wear stemming from increased vehicle mileage and 
operating hours as well as harsh environmental conditions--resulting in 
an escalated maintenance effort. This maintenance requirement is a 
consequence of not only operational tempo and operating environments, 
but also the sheer amount of equipment employed in operations. 
Approximately 26 percent of all Marine Corps ground equipment is 
currently engaged overseas. Most of this equipment is not rotating out 
of theater at the conclusion of each force rotation; it remains in 
combat, used on a near-continuous basis at a pace that far exceeds 
normal peacetime usage.
    For example, in Operation Iraqi Freedom, crews are driving Light 
Armored Vehicles in excess of 8,700 miles per year--3.5 times more than 
the programmed annual usage rates of 2,480 miles per year. Our tactical 
vehicle fleet is experiencing some of the most dramatic effects of 
excessive wear, operating at five to six times the programmed rates. 
Many weapon systems have been modified during this conflict; some of 
these modifications have led to further wear and tear due to additional 
weight--for example, armor plating has been added for protection 
against improvised explosive devices. These factors, coupled with the 
operational requirement to keep equipment in theater without 
significant depot repair, has tremendously decreased the projected 
lifespan of this equipment. As a result, we can expect higher than 
anticipated reset costs and more replacements than repair of equipment. 
The depot level maintenance requirements for the equipment that is 
repairable will continue beyond the conclusion of hostilities in Iraq 
and Afghanistan.
    Our priority for equipment is to support marines serving in harm's 
way. Therefore, we have drawn additional equipment from the Maritime 
Prepositioning Ships and prepositioned stores in Norway; we have also 
retained equipment in theater from units that are rotating back to the 
United States. The operational results of these efforts have been 
outstanding--the average mission capable rates of our deployed forces' 
ground equipment remain above 90 percent--but there is a price.
    The cost of this success is a decrease in non-deployed unit 
readiness as well as an increase in the maintenance required per hour 
of operating time. Equipment across the Marine Corps is continuously 
cross-leveled to ensure that units preparing to deploy have sufficient 
equipment to conduct our rigorous pre-deployment training programs. 
Because the stateside priority of equipment distribution and readiness 
is to units preparing to deploy, there has been a trade-off in unit 
training for other types of contingencies. The timely delivery of 
replacement equipment is crucial to sustaining the high readiness rates 
for the marines in theater, as well as improving the rates for the 
forces here at home. While additional equipment has been purchased, 
long lead times and production rates mean that, although funded, much 
of this equipment is still many months from delivery.
Aviation Equipment and Readiness
    The operationally demanding and harsh environments of Iraq, 
Afghanistan, and the Horn of Africa have highlighted the limitations of 
our aging fleet of aircraft. In order to support our marines, sister 
Services, and coalition partners successfully, our aircraft have been 
flying at two to three times their designed utilization rates.
    Despite this unprecedented use, our maintenance and support 
personnel have sustained a 79 percent aviation mission-capable rate for 
deployed marine aircraft over the past 12 months. Maintaining the 
readiness of our aviation assets while preparing our aircrew for their 
next deployment is and will continue to be an enormous effort and 
constant challenge for our marines. To maintain sufficient numbers of 
aircraft in deployed squadrons, our nondeployed squadrons have taken 
significant cuts in available aircraft and parts as they prepare for 
deployment--resulting in a 30 percent decrease in the number of 
nondeployed units reporting ``deployment capable'' over the last 5 
years. Reset funding has partially alleviated this strain, but 
continued funding is needed as we are simply running short of aircraft 
on our flight lines due to age, attrition, and wartime losses.
    Reset programs have helped us mitigate degradation of our aircraft 
materiel readiness through aircraft modifications, proactive 
inspections, and additional maintenance actions. These efforts have 
successfully bolstered aircraft reliability, sustainability, and 
survivability; nevertheless, additional requirements for depot level 
maintenance on airframes, engines, weapons, and support equipment will 
continue well beyond the conclusion of hostilities.
Prepositioning Programs
    Comprised of three Maritime Prepositioning Ships Squadrons (MPSRON) 
and other Strategic Reserves, the Marine Corps' prepositioning programs 
are a critical part of our ability to respond to current and future 
contingency operations and mitigate risk for the Nation. Targeted 
withdrawal of equipment from our strategic stocks has been a key 
element in supporting combat operations, growth of the Marine Corps, 
and other operational priorities; these withdrawals provided necessary 
equipment from the existing inventory while industry catches up to our 
new requirements in the long-term. Generous support from Congress has 
enabled the long-term solution, and as a result, shortfalls within our 
strategic programs will be reset as equipment becomes available from 
the manufacturer.
    Maritime Prepositioning Ships Squadrons
    Our MPSRONs will be reset with the most capable equipment possible, 
and we have begun loading them with capabilities that support lower 
spectrum operations while still maintaining the ability to generate 
Marine Expeditionary Brigades capable of conducting major combat 
operations. Since 2007's report, all three squadrons have completed the 
Maritime Prepositioning Force (MPF) Maintenance Cycle-8 (MMC-8). 
MPSRONs 1 and 3 were reconstituted to 91 percent and 100 percent 
respectively. The near-term reduction of MPSRON-1 was required to 
outfit new units standing up in fiscal year 2007 and fiscal year 2008 
as part of our end strength increase. MPSRON-1 will complete MPF 
Maintenance Cycle-9 (MMC-9) in June 2008, and we anticipate it will be 
loaded with roughly 80 percent of its full equipment set as a result of 
our requirement to support end strength increase to 202,000 marines. 
MPSRON-2 was loaded to 54 percent of its equipment requirements; much 
of MPSRON-2's equipment remains committed to Operation Iraqi Freedom. 
With projected deliveries from industry, our intent is to fully reset 
and modernize MPSRON-2 and MPSRON-3 when they return for maintenance 
beginning in May 2008 and April 2009 respectively.
    We are actively working with the Navy and Transportation Command to 
incorporate newer, more flexible ship platforms from the existing 
Military Sealift Command fleet into our aging legacy Maritime 
Prepositioning Force program. As we reset MPF, these changes are 
necessary to ensure we incorporate hard fought lessons from recent 
combat operations. Two decades of equipment growth and recent armor 
initiatives have strained the capability and capacity of our present 
fleet--that was designed to lift a naval force developed in the early 
1980s.
    We plan to incorporate three of Military Sealift Command's 19 
large, medium-speed, roll-on/roll-off ships (LMSR) as replacements for 
5 of our older leased platforms. The LMSR significantly expands MPF 
flexibility and will allow us to reset and optimize MPF to meet current 
and emerging requirements.
    Marine Corps Prepositioning Program-Norway
    The Marine Corps Prepositioning Program--Norway (MCPP-N) was also 
used in support of current operations, growth of the Marine Corps, and 
resetting other Marine Corps shortfalls with a higher operational 
priority. The Marine Corps continues to reset MCPP-N in concert with 
our operational priorities while also exploring other locations for 
geographic prepositioning that will enable combat and theater security 
cooperation operations for forward deployed naval forces.
Depot Maintenance
    The Marine Corps has aggressively worked to stabilize the 
conditions that affect our depot maintenance. These conditions include: 
the uncertainty of the timing of reset, asset availability, timing of 
funding, equipment condition, and evolving skill requirements. One area 
we focus on is the in-theater identification of equipment and scope of 
work to be performed; this effort enables better planning for parts, 
manpower resources, funding requirements, and depot capacity. Triage 
assessments made in theater and relayed back to the sources of repair 
have helped to ensure efficient repair preparation time. These efforts 
reduce the repair cycle time, returning the mission capable equipment 
to the warfighter as soon as possible--improving materiel readiness.
    Depot capacity is elastic; productivity is not constrained by money 
or capacity; the limiting factor is asset (carcass) availability. We 
increase capacity to support surge requirements through a variety of 
means--overtime, additional shifts, and additional personnel. 
Performing work on over 260 product lines, our depot workforce 
currently has multiple trade skills ranging from laborers to engineers. 
Much of the equipment in theater today includes items not previously 
repaired by any depot facility--organic or non-organic. As a result, 
the existing work force may require additional training. New personnel 
and continued supplementation through contractor support may also be 
required. We continue to leverage state and local institutions, such as 
the technical colleges and universities, which can provide valuable 
assistance in training our workforce in skills such as welding, 
environmental science, and engineering.
    Future challenges to meeting the increasing workload requirements 
include leveraging depot capacity, lessening the impact on our labor 
force, and ensuring parts are available. Continuing to partner with 
other Services and industry, we will enhance execution of reset using 
organic and non-organic sources of repair. We will continue to work 
with Congress to anticipate the evolving depot maintenance funding 
requirements.
Equipment Retrograde Operations from Central Command Area of Operations
    During 2006, in a continued effort to support the Commander, United 
States Marine Forces, Central Command, Marine Corps Logistics Command 
took the lead as the Service Executive Agent for the retrograde of 
equipment in theater determined to be excess. In addition to receiving, 
preparing, and shipping excess equipment within theater, Marine Corps 
Logistics Command (Forward) coordinates strategic lift requirements and 
manages the redistribution of principle end items in accordance with 
the Commandant of the Marine Corps' sourcing priorities. Since June 
2006, over 15,731 principle end items have been processed at the 
retrograde lot in Al Taqaddum and approximately 11,799 items have been 
shipped back to Blount Island Command for disposition. Once disposition 
is received, assets are sent to Marine Corps Logistics Command for 
induction into the Master Work schedule, placed In-Stores, used to fill 
requisitions, or sent to the Defense Reutilization Marketing Office if 
deemed uneconomical to repair. The repair and return of items to In-
Stores will enable us to better address the many demands for equipment. 
This, in turn, will keep us moving forward towards our goal of 
continued readiness improvement.
    Operation Iraqi Freedom has led to a conceptual change in the way 
we provide operational-level logistics to the warfighter. Due to 
changing operational and mission requirements, Marine Corps Logistics 
Command is implementing capabilities extending beyond traditional 
boundaries, creating a more mobile and agile organization. The Marine 
Corps Logistics Command (Forward) was established to satisfy 
operational logistics requirements using competitive, comprehensive, 
and integrated solutions obtained from ``the best'' strategic 
Department of Defense and commercial providers. While continuing to 
execute its strategic-level responsibilities, Marine Corps Logistics 
Command has transformed from a garrison-centric organization to one 
capable of deploying operational-level logistics solutions to augment 
the sustainment requirements of Marine Forces in combat.
 iv. modernize for tomorrow to be ``the most ready when the nation is 
                             least ready''
    We know we have tough choices ahead of us to meet equipment demands 
across the Corps. As we reset, we are making prudent assessments on 
when it is more effective to replace aging and worn out equipment with 
similar equipment or to buy new equipment. We remain focused and 
steadfast on our responsibility to be the Nation's premiere 
expeditionary Force-in-Readiness.
Experimentation
    Our Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory conducts experiments to 
support operating force requirements and combat development. We 
continually seek to improve the capabilities of the operating forces by 
focusing on the needs of our lower-level ground combat and ground 
combat support units engaged in current and potential near-term 
contingencies. Some examples of current projects include:
    ``Combat Hunter,'' a project aimed at enhancing observation and 
hunting skills of individual marines operating in a combat environment;

         Company Level Intelligence Cell experiment, designed 
        to provide us with a ``best practices'' model and to 
        standardize infantry battalion intelligence processes;
         Squad Fires experiment, enhancing close air support to 
        squad-level units;
         Combat Conditioning project, examining advances in 
        physical fitness training to best prepare marines for the 
        demands of combat; and
         Lighten the Load initiative, an effort to decrease the 
        amount of weight carried by marines in the field.
Enhancing Individual Survivability
    The Marine Corps continues to pursue technological advancements in 
personal protective equipment--our marines in combat deserve nothing 
less. Fully recognizing the limiting factors associated with weight, 
fatigue, and movement restriction, we are providing marines the latest 
in personal protective equipment--such as the Modular Tactical Vest, 
QuadGard, Lightweight Helmet, and Flame Resistant Organizational Gear.
    Body Armor
    Combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan have highlighted the need 
to evolve our personal protective vest system. In February 2007, we 
began transitioning to a newly-designed Modular Tactical Vest (MTV). 
This vest is close to the same weight as its predecessor, the Outer 
Tactical Vest, but it integrates more easily with our other personal 
protection systems. It provides greater comfort through incorporation 
of state-of-the-art load carriage techniques, which better distributes 
a combat load over the torso and onto the hips of the marine. The MTV 
also incorporates our combat-proven Enhanced Small Arms Protective 
Inserts (E-SAPI) and Side SAPI plates. These plates are provided to 
every marine in the Central Command theater of operations. The E-SAPI 
provides the best protection available against a wide variety of small 
arms threats--to include protection against 7.62mm ammunition. The 
initial acquisition objective for the MTV was 60,000 systems, with 
deliveries completed in October 2007. We are procuring additional MTVs 
during this fiscal year to ensure our marines continue to deploy with 
the best body armor system available.
    QuadGard
    The QuadGard system is designed to provide ballistic protection for 
a marine's arms and legs when serving as a turret gunner on convoy 
duty. This system, which integrates with other personal ballistic 
protection equipment, such as the MTV ESAPI and Lightweight Helmet 
(LWH), provides additional protection against ballistic threats--
particularly improvised explosive device fragmentation.
    Lightweight Helmet
    We are committed to providing the best head protection available to 
our warfighters. The LWH weighs less than its predecessor and provides 
a high level of protection against fragmentation threats and 9mm 
bullets. We now require use of a pad system inside the helmet as 
multiple independent studies and tests demonstrated that it provides 
greater protection against non-ballistic blunt trauma than the sling 
suspension system. We are retrofitting more than 150,000 helmets with 
the pad system and have already fielded enough helmet pads for every 
deployed marine. Since January 2007, all LWHs produced by the 
manufacturer are delivered with the approved pad system installed. In 
October 2007, we began fielding the Nape Protection Pad (NAPP), which 
provides additional ballistic protection to the occipital region of the 
head--where critical nervous system components, such as the cerebellum, 
brain stem, occipital lobe, and spinal cord are located. The NAPP is 
attached to the back of the LWH or the Modular Integrated 
Communications Helmet (MICH), which is worn by our reconnaissance 
marines. Final delivery of the initial 69,300 NAPPs is scheduled for 
April 2008. That said, we continue to challenge industry to build a 
lightweight helmet that will stop the 7.62 mm round fired from an AK-
47.
    Flame Resistant Organizational Gear
    In February 2007, we began fielding Flame Resistant Organizational 
Gear (FROG) to all deployed and deploying marines. This lifesaving 
ensemble of flame resistant clothing items--gloves, balaclava, long-
sleeved under shirt, combat shirt, and combat trouser--is designed to 
mitigate potential injuries to our marines from flame exposure. These 
clothing items provide protection that is comparable to that of the 
NOMEX combat vehicle crewman suit/flight suit, while adding durability, 
comfort, and functionality. We have recently begun fielding flame 
resistant fleece pullovers to our marines for use in cooler conditions, 
and we are developing flame resistant varieties of cool/cold weather 
outer garments and expect to begin fielding these to marines in late 
fiscal year 2008. With the mix of body armor, undergarments, and 
outerwear, operational commanders can determine what equipment their 
marines will employ based on mission requirements and environmental 
conditions. Through ongoing development and partnerships with other 
Services, we continue to seek the best available flame resistant 
protection for our marines.
    Sustained funding for the development and procurement of individual 
protective equipment has had a direct impact on our ability to reduce 
or mitigate combat injuries. Continued congressional support is needed 
to ensure that our marines and sailors receive the best equipment 
available in the coming years.
    Counterimprovised Explosive Devices
    Responding to urgent warfighter needs, we are providing the most 
capable force protection systems available. We are upgrading our 
Counter Remote-controlled IED Electronic Warfare Chameleon systems to 
meet rapidly evolving threats while remaining engaged with the Joint 
Program Board to develop a joint solution. We are enhancing our ability 
to combat the effects of weapons of mass destruction as well as 
protecting our marines worldwide by fielding 18 consequence management 
sets using the best available commercial off-the-shelf technologies. 
These sets complement the capabilities of our Family of Incident 
Response Systems and the Chemical Biological Incident Response Force. 
Our Family of Explosive Ordnance Disposal Equipment has undergone 
significant modernization through enhancement of technician tool kits 
and greater counter IED robotics capability and availability.
Marine Aviation Plan
    Resetting Marine Aviation means getting more capable and reliable 
aircraft into the operational deployment cycle sooner--not merely 
repairing and replacing damaged or destroyed aircraft. Daily, your 
marines rely on these aircraft to execute a wide array of missions 
including casualty evacuation for our wounded and timely close air 
support for troops in contact with the enemy. Legacy aircraft 
production lines are no longer active--exacerbating the impact of 
combat losses and increasing the urgency for the Marine Aviation Plan 
to remain fully funded and on schedule.
    The 2007 Marine Aviation Plan (AvPlan) provides the way ahead for 
Marine Aviation over the next 10 years as it transitions 39 of 71 
squadrons from 13 legacy aircraft to 6 new aircraft; it incorporates 
individual program changes and synchronizes support of our end strength 
growth to 202,000 marines.
    Joint Strike Fighter
    F-35B Lightning II development is on track with the first flight of 
BF-1 Short Take-Off/Vertical Landing (STOVL) variant scheduled for 
2008. The F-35B STOVL variant is a fifth generation aircraft that will 
provide a quantum leap in capability, basing flexibility, and mission 
execution across the full spectrum of warfare. The JSF will act as an 
integrated combat system in support of ground forces and will be the 
centerpiece of Marine Aviation. The manufacture of the first nineteen 
test aircraft is well underway, with assembly times better than planned 
and exceptional quality demonstrated in fabrication and assembly. The 
first Conventional Take-Off/Landing (CTOL) aircraft flew in December 
2006 and accumulated 19 flights prior to a planned technical refresh. 
The JSF acquisition strategy, including software development, reflects 
a block approach. The Marine Corps remains committed to an all-STOVL 
tactical aircraft force--which will enable future MAGTFs to best 
fulfill its expeditionary warfighting responsibilities in support of 
the Nation and combatant commanders.
    MV-22 Osprey
    The MV-22 brings revolutionary assault support capability to our 
forces in harm's way; they deserve the best assault support aircraft in 
the world--without question, the MV-22 is that aircraft. The MV-22 is 
replacing the CH-46E aircraft. The CH46E is over 40 years old, with 
limited lift and mission capabilities to support the MAGTF. In 
September 2005, the V-22 Defense Acquisition Board approved Full Rate 
Production. Twenty-nine Block A and 24 Block B aircraft have been 
delivered and are based at Marine Corps Air Station New River, NC; 
Patuxent River, MD; and Al Asad Air Base, Iraq.
    Much like the F-35, the MV-22 program uses a block strategy in its 
procurement. Block A aircraft are training aircraft, Block B are 
operational aircraft, and Block C aircraft are operational aircraft 
with mission enhancements that will be procured in fiscal year 2010 and 
delivered in fiscal year 2012. One V-22 Fleet Replacement Training 
Squadron, one test squadron, and three tactical VMM squadrons have 
stood up. MV-22 Initial Operational Capability was declared on 1 June 
2007 with a planned transition of two CH-46E squadrons per year 
thereafter.
    VMM-263 is deployed to Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, and the significant 
capabilities of the Osprey have already been proven in combat. A brief 
examination of the daily tasking of the MV-22 squadron in Iraq tells a 
compelling story: a flight of MV-22s are doing in 6 hours what would 
have taken 12 hours in CH-46s. In addition, the aircraft easily ranges 
the entire area of operations and flies a majority of the time at 
altitudes beyond the range of our enemy's weapons. The Marine Corps 
asked for an aircraft that could take us farther, faster, and safer; 
and Congress answered.
    KC-130J
    KC-130Js have been continuously deployed in support of Operation 
Iraqi Freedom since February 2005--providing state-of-the-art, multi-
mission, tactical aerial refueling, and fixed-wing assault support. The 
KC-130J is the workhorse of the MAGTF; its theater logistical support 
reduces the requirement for resupply via ground, limiting the exposure 
of our convoys to IEDs and other attacks.
    The introduction of the aerial refuelable MV-22 combined with the 
forced retirement of the legacy KC-130F/R aircraft due to corrosion, 
fatigue life, and parts obsolescence requires an accelerated 
procurement of the KC-130J. In addition, the Marine Corps will replace 
its 28 Reserve component KC-130T aircraft with KC-130Js, simplifying 
the force to 1 type/model/series. The Marine Corps is contracted to 
procure a total of 46 aircraft by the end of fiscal year 2013; 29 new 
aircraft have been delivered and 4 KC-130J aircraft requested in the 
fiscal year 2008 budget.
    H-1 Upgrade
    The H-1 Upgrade Program (UH-1Y/AH-1Z) resolves existing operational 
UH-1N power margin and AH-1W aircrew workload issues--while 
significantly enhancing the tactical capability, operational 
effectiveness, and sustainability of our attack and utility helicopter 
fleet. The Corps' Vietnam-era UH-1N Hueys are reaching the end of their 
useful life. Due to airframe and engine fatigue, Hueys routinely take 
off at their maximum gross weight with no margin for error. Rapidly 
fielding the UH-1Y remains a Marine Corps aviation priority, with the 
first deployment of UH-1Ys to Operation Iraqi Freedom scheduled for the 
spring 2009.
    Due to significant operational demands and aircraft attrition in 
the existing attack and utility helicopter fleet, the Marine Corps 
adopted a ``build new'' strategy for the UH-1Y in fiscal year 2006. 
Similarly, the Marine Corps began investing in Non-Recurring 
Engineering (NRE) in fiscal year 2007 for the production of a limited 
number of AH-1Z ``build new'' aircraft; these AH-1Zs will augment those 
existing AH-1Ws that will be remanufactured. This combined ``build 
new'' and remanufacture strategy will enable the Marine Corps to 
rapidly increase the number of AH-1s available, support the Marine 
Corps' growth to 202,000 marines, and alleviate inventory shortfalls 
caused by aircraft attrition. Ten production aircraft have been 
delivered. Operation and Evaluation (OPEVAL) Phase II commenced in 
February 2008, and as expected, showcased the strengths of the upgraded 
aircraft. Full rate production of the H-1 Upgrade (and the contract 
award of Lot 5 aircraft) is scheduled to take place during the fourth 
quarter fiscal year 2008.
    CH-53K
    In operation since 1981, the CH-53E is becoming increasingly 
expensive to operate and faces reliability and obsolescence issues. Its 
replacement, the CH-53K, will be capable of externally transporting 
27,000 lbs to a range of 110 nautical miles, more than doubling the 
current CH-53E lift capability. Maintainability and reliability 
enhancements of the CH-53K will significantly decrease recurring 
operating costs and will radically improve aircraft efficiency and 
operational effectiveness over the current CH-53E. The program passed 
Milestone B (System Development and Demonstration (SDD) initiation) in 
December 2005. The SDD Contract was awarded to Sikorsky Aircraft 
Corporation in April 2006. Initial Operational Capability (IOC) is 
scheduled for fiscal year 2015, and is defined as a detachment of four 
aircraft, ready to deploy.
Unmanned Aerial Systems
    The Marine Corps is taking aggressive action to modernize and 
improve organic UAS capabilities. The Marine Corps' UAS are organized 
into three echelons, appropriate to the level of commander they 
support. Tier III UAS serve at the Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) 
level. Tier II UAS support Regimental Combat Team and Marine 
Expeditionary Unit operations, and Tier I UAS support battalion and 
below operations. At the Tier III level, we have simultaneously 
transitioned Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadrons (VMU) to the RQ-7B 
Shadow; started reorganizing the squadrons' force structure to support 
detachment-based flexibility (operating three systems versus one for 
each squadron); and initiated the stand up of a third Active component 
VMU squadron.
    With the significant support of the Army, the Marine Corps has 
completed the transition to the RQ-7B Shadow in less than 9 months. The 
transition to the Shadow provides a mature and modern--yet basic and 
readily available--Tier III platform upon which to baseline Marine VMU 
reorganization. A detachment-based concept of operations for the VMU 
will give Marine Expeditionary Force commanders flexibility to task-
organize based on mission requirements. The addition of a third VMU 
squadron is critical to sustaining current operations by decreasing our 
current operational deployment-todwell ratio--currently at 1:1--to a 
sustainable 1:2 ratio. This rapid transition and reorganization, begun 
in January 2007, will be complete by the fourth quarter fiscal year 
2009, significantly improving organic Marine Corps UAS capability while 
increasing joint interoperability and commonality.
    The Marine Corps is using an ISR Services contract to provide Scan 
Eagle systems to Multinational Forces-West, Iraq to fill the Tier II 
void until future fielding of the Tier II/Small Tactical UAS (STUAS), a 
combined Marine Corps and Navy program beginning in fiscal year 2008 
with planned fielding in 2011. At the Tier I level, the Marine Corps is 
transitioning from the Dragon Eye to the joint Raven-B program, also 
common with the U.S. Army.
    When fully fielded, the Corps' Unmanned Aerial Systems will be 
networked through a robust and interoperable command and control system 
that provides commanders an enhanced capability applicable across the 
spectrum of military operations.
Ground Mobility
    The Army and Marine Corps are leading the Services in developing 
tactical wheeled vehicle requirements for the joint force. Our efforts 
will provide the joint force an appropriate balance of survivability, 
mobility, payload, networking, transportability, and sustainability. 
The Army/Marine Corps Board has proven a valuable forum for 
coordination of development and fielding strategies; production of 
armoring kits and uparmored HMMWVs; and response to requests for Mine 
Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles. The Ground Mobility Suite 
includes:
    Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle
    The Marine Corps provides the Nation's joint forces with a unique 
and flexible forcible entry capability from the sea. The Expeditionary 
Fighting Vehicle (EFV) is specifically suited to maneuver operations 
conducted from the sea and sustained operations in the world's littoral 
regions. Its inherent capabilities provide utility across the spectrum 
of conflict. As the Corps' largest ground combat system acquisition 
program, the EFV is the sole sea-based, surface-oriented vehicle that 
enables projection of combat power from a seabase to an objective. It 
will replace the aging Assault Amphibious Vehicle--in service since 
1972. Complementary to our modernized fleet of tactical vehicles, the 
EFV's amphibious mobility, day and night lethality, enhanced force 
protection capabilities, and robust communications will substantially 
improve joint force capabilities. Its over-the-horizon capability will 
enable amphibious ships to increase their standoff distance from the 
shore--protecting them from enemy anti-access weapons.
    The Marine Corps recently conducted a demanding operational 
assessment of the EFV. It successfully demonstrated the most critical 
performance requirements, but the design complexities are still 
providing challenges to system reliability. To that end, we conducted a 
comprehensive requirements review to ensure delivery of the required 
capability while reducing complexity where possible. For example, the 
human stresses encountered during operations in some high sea states 
required us to reevaluate the operational necessity of exposing marines 
to those conditions. Based upon this assessment, along with subsequent 
engineering design review, we will tailor final requirements and system 
design to support forcible entry concepts while ensuring the EFV is a 
safe, reliable, and effective combat vehicle.
    Joint Light Tactical Vehicle
    The Army/Marine Corps Board has been the focal point for 
development of joint requirements for a Joint Light Tactical Vehicle 
(JLTV)--which will provide protected, sustained, networked, and 
expeditionary mobility in the light tactical vehicle weight class. 
Throughout 2007, Army and Marine Corps combat and materiel developers 
coordinated with the Joint Staff, defining requirements and acquisition 
planning for the replacement for the uparmored HMMWV. In December, the 
Defense Acquisition Board approved JLTV entry into the acquisition 
process at Milestone A, designating the Army as lead Service and 
initiating competitive prototyping during the technology development 
phase. Prototypes will be evaluated to demonstrate industry's ability 
to balance survivability, mobility, payload, network enabling, 
transportability, and sustainability. The program is on track for a 
Milestone B in early 2010.
    Marine Personnel Carrier
    The Marine Personnel Carrier (MPC) is an expeditionary armored 
personnel carrier--ideal for irregular warfare--yet effective across 
the full range of military operations. Increasing armor-protected 
mobility for infantry battalion task forces, the MPC program balances 
vehicle performance, protection, and payload attributes. Through 2007, 
we completed both joint staffing of an Initial Capabilities Document 
and, a draft concept of employment. Additionally, the Analysis of 
Alternatives final report was published in December 2007. The program 
is on track for a Milestone B decision in the second quarter of fiscal 
year 2010 and an Initial Operational Capability in the 2015 timeframe.
    Internally Transported Vehicle
    The Internally Transported Vehicle (ITV) is a family of vehicles 
that will provide deployed Marine Air Ground Task Forces with ground 
vehicles that are transportable inside the MV-22 and CV-22 tilt-rotor 
aircraft, as well as CH-53 and MH-47 aircraft. There are three variants 
of the ITV, the Light Strike, the Prime Mover-Weapon, and the Prime 
Mover-Trailer. Both prime mover variants are components of the 
Expeditionary Fire Support System designed to support the M327 120mm 
mortar. In conjunction with testing of our Expeditionary Fire Support 
System, we conducted an operational assessment of the ITV Light Strike 
variant during which it met all key performance parameters. We expect 
to begin fielding this variant the Light Strike Variant of the ITV in 
June 2008.
Vehicle Armoring
    Our goal is to provide the best level of available protection to 
100 percent of in-theater vehicles that go ``outside the wire.'' Our 
tactical wheeled vehicle strategy pursues this goal through the 
coordination of product improvement, technology insertion, and new 
procurement in partnership with industry. The Marine Corps, working 
with the other Services, is fielding armored vehicles such as: the MRAP 
vehicle, the Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement Armor System, the 
Logistics Vehicle System (LVS) Marine Armor Kit, and the Uparmored 
HMMWV.
    Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement (MTVR) Armor System (MAS)
    MAS provides an integrated, armor enclosed, climate-controlled cab 
compartment and an armored troop carrier for our MTVR variants. These 
vehicles are also being upgraded with an improved blast protection 
package consisting of blast attenuating seats, five-point restraint 
harnesses, and improved belly and fender-well blast deflectors. Basic 
MAS has been installed in all of the Marine Corps' MTVRs in the Central 
Command's theater of operation. Additionally, we are installing blast 
upgrade, fuel tank fire protection kits, and 300 AMP alternators; 
target completion for in-theater vehicles is fourth quarter fiscal year 
2008.
    Logistics Vehicle System Marine Armor Kit II
    The LVS Marine Armor Kit (MAK) II provides blast, improvised 
explosive device, and small arms protection. It has a completely 
redesigned cab assembly that consists of a new frame with armor 
attachment points and integrated 360-degree protection. The new cab 
will also have an air conditioning system that cools from 134 degrees 
Fahrenheit to 89 degrees Fahrenheit in 20 minutes. Additional 
protection includes overhead and underbody armor using high, hard 
steel, rolled homogenous armor, and 2.75" ballistic windows. The 
suspension system has been upgraded to accommodate the extra weight of 
the vehicle. We estimate the LVS MAK II armoring effort will complete 
fielding by February 2009.
    M1114 Highly-Mobile Multi-Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV)-Upgrade--
        Fragmentation Kit 2 and Kit 5
    Fragmentation Kit 2 enhances ballistic protection in the front 
driver and assistant driver wheel-well of HMMWVs. Fragmentation Kit 5 
reduces injuries from improvised explosive devices as well as armor 
debris and fragmentation. Installation of both fragmentation kits was 
completed in fiscal year 2007. We are continuing to evaluate the U.S. 
Army's objective kit development and work with the Army and Office of 
Naval Research to assess new protection-level capabilities and share 
information. The Marine Corps has adopted a strategy of a 60 percent 
fully uparmored HMMWV fleet. All new Expanded Capacity Vehicles will 
have the Integrated Armor Package. Of those, 60 percent will be fully 
uparmored to include the appropriate ``B'' kit and Fragmentation kits 
during production. The Marine Corps will continue to work with the Army 
to pursue the development of true bolt-on/bolt-off ``B'' kits and 
fragmentation kits to apply as needed to post-production vehicles.
    Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles
    MRAP vehicles have a V-shaped armored hull and protect against the 
three primary kill mechanisms of mines and improvised explosive devices 
(IED)--fragmentation, blast overpressure, and acceleration. These 
vehicles provide the best currently-available protection against IEDs. 
Experience in theater shows that a marine is four to five times less 
likely to be killed or injured in a MRAP vehicle than in an uparmored 
HMMWV--which is why Secretary Gates made the MRAP program the number 
one acquisition priority for the Defense Department. MRAP vehicles come 
in three categories: Category I designed for use in urban environments 
and carries by up to six personnel; Category II for convoy escort, 
troop transport, and ambulance evacuation, which transports up to ten 
personnel; and Category III for route clearance/explosive ordnance 
disposal vehicles.
    The total Department of Defense requirement for MRAP vehicles is 
15,374--of which 3,700 are allocated for the Marine Corps. However, the 
Marine Corps requirement has been revalidated to 2,225, pending Joint 
Requirements Oversight Council approval. The Navy is the Executive 
Agent for the program and the Commander, Marine Corps Systems Command 
is the Joint Program Executive Officer. As an example of our adaptation 
to evolving threats, the Joint MRAP Vehicle Program Office has recently 
selected qualified producers of a new MRAP II vehicle for the Marine 
Corps and other forces. Vehicles procured through this second 
solicitation will meet enhanced survivability and performance 
capability required by field commanders.
    The Marine Corps is very pleased with the overwhelming support of 
Congress on the MRAP program, both financially and programmatically. We 
ask that Congress continue their support for these lifesaving vehicles 
and support us as we transition to the sustainment of these vehicles in 
future years.
Marine Air Ground Task Force Fires
    In 2007, we initiated a study titled ``The Major Combat Operations 
Analysis for Fiscal Years 2014 and 2024.'' This study scrutinized the 
current organic fire support of the MAGTF to determine the adequacy, 
integration, and modernization requirements for ground, aviation, and 
naval surface fires. The study concluded that the MAGTF/Amphibious Task 
Force was unable to adequately address moving and armored targets 24/7 
and in all weather conditions. This deficiency is especially acute 
during the Joint Forcible Entry Operation phase of combat operations. 
The study also reinforced the critical importance of both the Joint 
Strike Fighter and AH1Z in minimizing the fires gap. With this 
information, we then developed a set of alternatives for filling these 
gaps--using either MAGTF reinforcing or joint fires. We also performed 
a supplemental historical study using Operation Iraqi Freedom data to 
examine MAGTF Fires in the full spectrum of warfare. These studies 
reconfirmed the requirement for a mix of air, naval surface, and 
ground-based fires as well as the development of the Triad of Ground 
Indirect Fires.
    Our Triad of Ground Indirect Fires provides for complementary, 
discriminating, and nondiscriminating fires that facilitate maneuver 
during combat operations. The Triad requires a medium-caliber cannon 
artillery capability; an extended range, ground-based rocket 
capability; and a mortar capability with greater lethality than current 
models and greater tactical mobility than current artillery systems. 
The concept validates the capabilities provided by the M777 lightweight 
155mm towed howitzer, the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, and 
the Expeditionary Fire Support System, a 120mm rifled towed mortar.
    M777 Lightweight Howitzer
    The new M777 lightweight howitzer replaces our M198 howitzers. It 
can be lifted by the MV-22 Osprey and the CH-53E helicopter and is 
paired with the Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement truck for improved 
cross-country mobility. Through design innovation, navigation, 
positioning aides, and digital fire control, the M777 offers 
significant improvements in lethality, survivability, mobility, and 
durability over the M198 howitzer. The Marine Corps began fielding the 
first of 511 new howitzers to the operating forces in April 2005 and 
expects to complete fielding in fiscal year 2011.
    High Mobility Artillery Rocket System
    High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) fills a critical 
range and volume gap in Marine Corps fire support assets by providing 
24 hour, all weather, ground-based, indirect precision and volume fires 
throughout all phases of combat operations ashore. We will field 46 
HIMARS--18 to the Active component, 18 to the Reserve component, 4 to 
the supporting establishment, and 6 to the War Reserve Material 
Readiness--Forward. When paired with Guided Multiple Launch Rocket 
System rockets, HIMARS will provide a highly responsive, precision fire 
capability to our forces. We will reach Initial Operational Capability 
this August and expect to be at Full Operational Capability by fiscal 
year 2010.
    Expeditionary Fire Support System
    The Expeditionary Fire Support System (EFSS), a towed 120mm mortar, 
will be the principal indirect fire support system for heli- and 
tiltrotor-borne forces executing ship to objective maneuver as part of 
a Marine Air Ground Task Force. When paired with an Internally 
Transportable Vehicle, EFSS can be transported aboard MV-22 and CH-53E 
aircraft. EFSS-equipped units will have immediately responsive, organic 
indirect fires at ranges beyond current infantry battalion mortars. 
Initial operational capability is planned during fiscal year 2008, and 
full operational capability is planned for fiscal year 2010.
Infantry Weapons
    Based on combat experience and numerous studies, we are developing 
infantry weapons systems with the following goals: increased 
effectiveness, lighter weight, improved modularity, and integration 
with other infantry equipment. The Marine Corps and Army are co-leading 
joint service capabilities analysis for future developments.
    Individual Weapons
    The M16A4 is our current service rifle and makes up the majority of 
our assigned individual weapons. It is supplemented by the M4 Carbine, 
which is assigned to marines based on billet and mission requirements. 
We are participating in several Army tests which will evaluate the 
capabilities and limitations of our small arms inventory. In 
conjunction with the Army and Air Force, we will use these results to 
determine priorities for a future service rifle with focus on 
modularity, ergonomics, balance, and lethality. We also have executed a 
two-pronged strategy for a larger caliber pistol: supporting the Air 
Force's effort to analyze and develop joint capabilities documents for 
a new pistol and examining the Army's recent consideration of personal 
defense weapons.
    Multi-Purpose Weapons
    The Shoulder-Launched Multipurpose Assault Weapon (SMAW) is an 
aging, heavy weapon that is nearing the end of its service life. We are 
seeking ways to reduce weight, increase reliability, and improve target 
identification as well as develop a ``fire from enclosure'' capability 
that will enable marines to fire the weapon from within an enclosed 
space.
    Scout Sniper Capability
    We are conducting a holistic assessment of our Scout Sniper 
capability to identify shortfalls and develop recommended solutions--
concurrently integrating the doctrine, training, weapons, equipment, 
and identified tasks with a marine sniper's professional development 
and career.
    Non-lethal Weapons Technology
    The complexities of the modern battlespace often place our service 
men and women in challenging situations where sometimes, lethal force 
is not the preferred response. In these environments, our warfighters 
need options for a graduated escalation of force. As the Executive 
Agent for the Department of Defense Non-Lethal Weapons Program, we see 
the need for long-range, directed-energy systems. Marines and soldiers 
in Iraq are already using non-lethal directed energy weapons; green 
laser warning devices have reduced the requirement to use lethal force 
at checkpoints against wayward, but otherwise innocent, Iraqi 
civilians. We continue to pursue joint research and development of 
promising non-lethal weapon technologies, such as the millimeter wave 
Active Denial System. We thank the committee for its support of these 
vital capabilities for modern warfare.
    Counter-Sniper Technology
    We are leveraging the work of the Defense Advanced Research 
Projects Agency, our sister Services, the Marine Corps Intelligence 
Activity, and the National Ground Intelligence Center in an effort to 
increase our ability to counter enemy snipers. We are examining 
different obscurant technologies as well as various infrared detection/
location sense and warn capabilities. We are experimenting with 
advanced equipment and improved tactics, techniques, and procedures. 
The ability to detect enemy optics will provide our marines warning of 
impending sniper or improvised explosive device attacks and the ability 
to avoid or engage the sniper before he can fire. Ongoing joint and 
interagency cooperation, coupled with industry collaboration, will 
shape our future experiments.
    Infantry Battalion Enhancement Period Program (IBEPP)
    We are fielding additional equipment to infantry battalions to 
better enable marines to fight and win on the distributed and non-
linear battlefield. This equipment encompasses communications, optics, 
weapons, and vehicles, at a cost of approximately $19 million per 
battalion. Key elements of the IBEPP include a formal squad leader 
course for every rifle battalion squad leader, a tactical small unit 
leaders' course for prospective fire team leaders, and a ``Train the 
Trainer'' mobile training team to teach junior tactical leaders the 
skills required to more effectively train their own marines.
Command and Control (C2) Harmonization
    The Marine Corps' Command and Control Harmonization Strategy 
articulates our goal of delivering an end-to-end, fully-integrated, 
cross-functional capability to include forward-deployed and reach-back 
functions. We envision seamless support to marines in garrison and in 
combat--taking the best of emerging capabilities to build a single 
solution that includes the Common Aviation Command and Control System 
(CAC2S), Tactical Communications Modernization (TCM) program, Very 
Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT), and training.
    The CAC2S fuses data from sensors, weapon systems, and command and 
control systems into an integrated display, assisting commanders in 
controlling organic, joint, and coalition efforts while operating as a 
joint task force. Delivered in a common, modular, and scalable design, 
CAC2S reduces the current systems into one hardware solution. The TCM 
and VSAT programs fuse data on enemy forces into the Common Operating 
Picture and increase our ability to track friendly forces. Lastly, our 
C2 Harmonization Strategy increases capability to train our staffs 
through Marine Air Ground Task Force Integrated System Training 
Centers.
Information Operations
    The ability to influence an adversary through information 
operations has been a critical capability our current operations and 
will be of even more importance as we continue to engage in security 
cooperation efforts around the globe. To better support our Information 
Operations (IO), we are standing up the Marine Corps Information 
Operations Center at Quantico, VA--our primary organization to 
integrate and deliver IO effects throughout the Marine Corps.
Marine Corps Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Enterprise
    We are increasing the quality of our Intelligence, Surveillance, 
and Reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities through the use of an enterprise 
approach known as the Marine Corps ISR Enterprise (MCISR-E)--resulting 
in a fully-integrated architecture compliant with joint standards for 
data interoperability. MCISR-E will provide networked combat 
information and intelligence down to the squad level across the range 
of military operations. To ensure marines have access to these new 
capabilities, our MAGTF Command and Control systems feed combat 
operation centers with information from wide field of view persistent 
surveillance systems such as Angel Fire, traditional ISR systems such 
as our family of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), and non-traditional 
collection assets such as Ground Based Operational Surveillance System 
(GBOSS). Intelligence sections down to the company level are equipped 
with ISR fusion systems as well as applications such as MarineLink that 
enable rapid discovery, data mining, analysis, and most importantly 
incorporation of Intelligence into tactical planning for operations and 
intelligence reporting down to squad level and up to higher 
headquarters.
Marine Corps Operational Logistics
    Operating Force Sustainment Initiatives
    We have aggressively moved forward on several forward-deployed 
initiatives that have improved our support to our marines in combat. 
Our Marine Corps Logistics Command is working with our Marine 
Expeditionary Forces on extending heavy intermediate maintenance 
support within the continental United States. Maintenance Center 
contact teams at Camp Lejeune and Camp Pendleton are extending the 
service life of equipment through corrosion control and maintenance 
programs that enhance predeployment readiness.
    Improving Combat Readiness Through Innovation
    To assure optimum use of the resources provided by Congress and the 
American taxpayers, we are making innovations in how we equip, sustain, 
house, and move our warfighters. We are aggressively applying the 
principles of continuous process improvement to these enabling business 
processes across the Corps. In just the past year, we have cut costs 
and repair cycle time at both aviation and ground maintenance depots, 
revamped and speeded up the urgent universal needs statements process, 
and instituted regional contracting for materiel and services that is 
proving more cost effective. Such improvements are expected to increase 
as training and experience proliferate.
Urgent Universal Needs Statement Process
    The Urgent Universal Needs Statement (UUNS) process enables 
deployed commanders to request equipment based on their recent 
experience. Designed to procure equipment more expediently than if 
submitted in the regular budgeting process, the Marine Corps' UUNS 
process uses a secure, Web-based system that provides full stakeholder 
visibility from submission through resolution. Through continuous 
process improvement, we have reduced our average processing time by 
58.8 days. Our goal is responsive support to commanders in the field by 
providing a rational, disciplined, and time-sensitive process that 
fulfills their validated urgent requirements in the fastest, most 
logical way. We continue to review the system for opportunities to 
increase efficiency and timeliness. For example, as a result of a 
February 2006 Lean Six Sigma review, several improvements were 
implemented including standardization, on-line tracking, and 
streamlined approval. Typically, UUNS are funded by reprogramming funds 
from approved programs or through congressional supplemental funding. 
They are funded with regard for current law, their effects on 
established programs of record, or other initiatives in the combat 
capability development process.
Information Technology Enablers/Global Combat Support System--Marine 
        Corps
    Global Combat Support System--Marine Corps continues to make 
strides toward delivering a modernized information technology system 
that will enhance logistics support to the warfighter. As the primary 
information technology enabler for the Marine Corps' Logistics 
Modernization efforts, the system's primary design focus is to enable 
the warfighter to operate while deployed and provide reach back 
capability from the battlefield. At the core is modern, commercial off-
the-shelf enterprise resource planning software that will replace our 
aging legacy systems. The Global Combat Support System--Marine Corps 
Block 1 focuses on providing the operating forces with an integrated 
supply/maintenance capability and enhanced logistics-chain-management 
planning tools. Field User Evaluations and Initial Operational Test and 
Evaluations are scheduled for 1st quarter fiscal year 2009, followed by 
fielding of the system and Initial Operating Capability during fiscal 
year 2009. Future blocks will focus on enhancing capabilities in the 
areas of warehousing, distribution, logistics planning, decision 
support, depot maintenance, and integration with emerging technologies 
to improve asset visibility.
Secure Internet Protocol Routing Network
    The Secure Internet Protocol Routing Network (SIPRNET) is our 
primary warfighting command and control network. The asymmetric nature 
of current attacks combined with future threats to our networks demand 
a greater reliance on the SIPRNET to ensure the security of Marine 
Corps warfighting and business operations. The Marine Corps is 
aggressively upgrading our existing SIPRNET capabilities and an 
expansion of our SIPRNET in the future will be necessary to meet 
operational demands. The resources required for this expansion will 
enable wider use of the SIPRNET across the Marine Corps as we 
transition more warfighting and business operations into a highly 
secure and trusted network.
Infrastructure Energy Considerations
    The purchase of electricity, natural gas, petroleum fuels, and 
potable water to operate our facilities is a significant expense. 
Through proactive Facilities Energy and Water Management and 
Transportation Programs to reduce consumption, we are achieving 
substantial cost avoidance and environmental benefits including 
reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants. Our program 
provides the direction, actions, and metrics necessary for commands to:

         Reduce rate of energy use in existing facilities;
         Improve facility energy efficiency of new construction 
        and renovations;
         Expand use of renewable resources;
         Reduce water usage rates on our installations;
         Improve security and reliability of energy and water 
        systems; and
         Decrease petroleum use through increased efficiency 
        and alternative fuel use.

    Marine Corps conservation efforts have been substantial, but 
installation energy and water requirements continue to increase as we 
increase our end strength and adjust to rising energy prices.
v. provide our nation a naval force fully prepared for employment as a 
                 magtf across the spectrum of conflict
    The enduring value of naval expeditionary forces in protecting our 
homeland, preventing crises, and winning our Nation's wars is a key 
theme of the recently signed maritime strategy entitled ``A Cooperative 
Strategy for 21st Century Seapower,'' the Naval Operations Concept, and 
the Marine Corps Operating Concepts for a Changing Security 
Environment. These documents acknowledge the uncertainty of the 
strategic environment and that winning the battle for influence--and 
thus preventing wars--is as important as our Nation winning wars. 
Influenced by a variety of geographic, diplomatic, and geographic 
factors, our country's access to strategic basing is in decline. Our 
strategies address the requirement to maintain a robust forcible entry 
capability: the ability to maneuver from the sea, gain and maintain 
access anywhere in the littorals as well as transition to operations 
ashore and sustain the force from the seabase. They provide a template 
for Maritime Service capability and capacity and underscore our Marine 
Corps-Navy warfighting interdependence.
    These concepts and strategies also incorporate hard-fought lessons 
from our current battles in Iraq and Afghanistan. Combat casualties 
have in a very real sense become a center of gravity for America--no 
matter what the cause or conflict. Therefore, ``increased risk'' and 
``slower response times'' must always be calculated in terms of their 
real costs--loss of life and materiel on the battlefield and then, 
potentially, the loss of support of the American people.
    Seapower is a distinct asymmetric advantage of the United States. 
For marines, that asymmetric advantage includes Joint Seabasing, which 
allows us to maximize forward presence and engagement while ``stepping 
lightly'' on local sensitivities, avoiding the unintended political, 
social, and economic disruptions that often result from a large 
American presence ashore. It allows us to conduct a broad range of 
operations in areas where access is challenged, without operational 
commanders being forced to immediately secure ports and airfields. 
Given diplomatic, geographic, and infrastructure constraints, Seabasing 
is absolutely critical to overcoming area denial and anti-access 
weapons in uncertain or openly hostile situations. The combination of 
capabilities that allows us to influence events ashore from over the 
horizon--amphibious warfare ships, innovative Maritime Prepositioning 
Force (Future) ships, Joint High Speed Vessels, surface connectors, MV-
22s, and EFVs--play a key role in surmounting access challenges.
    Seabasing is not exclusive to the Navy and Marine Corps--it will be 
a national capability. In fact, we view Joint Seabasing as a national 
strategic imperative. Just as the amphibious innovations championed by 
the Navy-Marine Corps team during the 1920s and 1930s were employed by 
all U.S. and Allied forces in every theater during World War II, we 
believe that the Seabasing initiatives currently underway will expand 
to become joint and interagency capabilities. Our control of the sea 
allows us to use it as a vast maneuver space--365 days a year. 
Seabasing allows us to project influence and expeditionary power in the 
face of access challenges, a distinct asymmetric advantage. These 
capabilities allow maritime forces to support our partners and to deter 
and defeat adversaries in a complex and uncertain future. Today, 
another generation of Naval planners continues to envision how our 
amphibious capabilities can evolve into more fully sea-based operations 
and better meet the Combatant Commanders' varied and competing 
requirements.
Amphibious Ship Requirements
    The maritime strategy advocates credible combat power as a 
deterrent to future conflict. The Marine Corps supports this capability 
through the flexibility and combat power of the Marine Air Ground Task 
Force embarked on amphibious warfare ships. By far the most complex of 
our congressionally-mandated missions, amphibious forcible entry 
requires long-term resourcing and a high-level of proficiency. It is 
not a capability that we can create in the wake of a threat.
    The characteristics of amphibious ships (their command and control 
suites, flight decks, well decks, air and surface connectors, medical 
facilities, messing and berthing capacity, and survivability) merged 
with the general-purpose nature of embarked marines, make them multi-
mission platforms--unbeatable in operations ranging from humanitarian 
assistance to amphibious assault. These forces have brought hope and 
assistance to peoples ravaged by tsunamis, earthquakes, and cyclones--
even hurricanes in our own country. They have provided a powerful 
combat force from the sea as evidenced by the opening days of Operation 
Enduring Freedom when marines provided the first conventional forces 
ashore in Afghanistan. An equally powerful force assaulted from 
amphibious ships up the Al Faw peninsula in early weeks of Operation 
Iraqi Freedom. In spite of the proliferation of anti-access 
technologies among state and non-state actors, Navy-Marine Corps 
amphibious capabilities have answered our Nation's ``911 call'' over 85 
times since the end of the Cold War. Many international navies have 
recognized the value of amphibious warfare ships--as evidenced by the 
global renaissance in amphibious ship construction.
    Based on strategic guidance, in the last several years we have 
accepted risk in our Nation's forcible entry capacity and reduced 
amphibious lift from 3.0 Marine Expeditionary Brigade (MEB) assault 
echelons to 2.0 MEB assault echelons. In the budgetary arena, the value 
of amphibious ships is too often assessed exclusively in terms of 
forcible entry--discounting their demonstrated usefulness across the 
range of operations and the clear imperative for marines embarked 
aboard amphibious ships to meet Phase 0 demands. The ability to 
transition between those two strategic goalposts, and to respond to 
every mission-tasking in between, will rely on a strong Navy-Marine 
Corps Team and the amphibious ships that cement our bond. The Navy and 
Marine Corps have worked diligently to determine the minimum number of 
amphibious ships necessary to satisfy the Nation's needs--and look 
forward to working with the committee to support the Chief of Naval 
Operation's shipbuilding plans.
    The Marine Corps' contribution to the Nation's forcible entry 
requirement is a single, simultaneously-employed two Marine 
Expeditionary Brigade (MEB) assault capability--as part of a seabased 
Marine Expeditionary Force. Although not a part of the Marine 
Expeditionary Force Assault Echelon, a third reinforcing MEB is 
required and will be provided via Maritime Prepositioning Force 
(Future) capabilities. Each MEB assault echelon requires seventeen 
amphibious warfare ships--resulting in an overall ship requirement for 
34 amphibious warfare ships. However, given current fiscal constraints, 
the Navy and Marine Corps have agreed to assume greater operational 
risk by limiting the assault echelon of each MEB by using only 15 ships 
per MEB--in other words, a Battle Force that provides 30 operationally 
available amphibious warfare ships. In that 30-ship Battle Force, 10 
aviation-capable big deck ships (LHA/LHD/LHA(R)) and 10 LPD-17 class 
ships are required to accommodate the MEB's aviation combat element.
    In order to meet a 30-ship availability rate--based on a Chief of 
Naval Operations-approved maintenance factor of 10 percent--a minimum 
of 11 ships of each of the current types of amphibious ships are 
required--for a total of 33 ships. The Navy has concurred with this 
requirement for 33 amphibious warfare ships, which provide the 
``backbone'' of our maritime capability--giving us the ability to meet 
the demands of harsh environments across the spectrum of conflict.
    Amphibious Assault Ship (Replacement) (LHA(R))
    The legacy Tarawa class amphibious assault ships reach the end of 
their service life during 2011-2015. The eighth Wasp-class LHD (multi-
purpose amphibious assault ship) is under construction and will replace 
one Tarawa-class ship during fiscal year 2008. To meet future 
warfighting requirements and fully capitalize on the capabilities of 
the MV-22 and Joint Strike Fighter, two LHA(R)-class ships with 
enhanced aviation capabilities will replace the remaining LHA class 
ships. These ships will provide enhanced hangar and maintenance spaces 
to support aviation maintenance and increased jet fuel storage and 
aviation ordnance magazines. We are investigating the feasibility of 
incorporating the reduced island concept and well-deck capabilities in 
future, general-purpose assault ship construction.
    Amphibious Transport Dock (LPD)
    The LPD-17 San Antonio class of amphibious warfare ships represents 
the Department of the Navy's commitment to a modern expeditionary power 
projection fleet that will enable our naval force to operate across the 
spectrum of warfare. It is imperative that 11 of these ships be built 
to meet the minimum of 10 necessary for the 2.0 MEB assault echelon 
amphibious lift requirement.
    The Navy took delivery of the first LPD-17 in the summer of 2005 
and operational evaluation is scheduled for spring 2008. The LPD-17 
class replaces four classes of older ships--LKA, LST, LSD-36, LPD-4--
and will have a 40-year expected service life. LPD-17 class ships will 
play a key role in supporting the ongoing Long War by forward deploying 
marines and their equipment to better respond to crises abroad. Its 
unique design will facilitate expanded force coverage and decreased 
reaction times of forward deployed Marine Expeditionary Units. In 
forcible entry operations, the LPD-17 will help maintain a robust 
surface assault and rapid off-load capability for the Marine Air Ground 
Task Force and the Nation.
The Maritime Prepositioning Force
    Capable of supporting the rapid deployment of three Marine 
Expeditionary Brigades (MEB), the Maritime Prepositioning Force is an 
important element of our expeditionary warfighting capability. MPF is a 
proven capability and has been used as a force deployment option in 
selected contingencies, to close forces on accelerated timelines for 
major combat operation, and in combination with amphibious forces to 
rapidly and simultaneously react to crises in more than one theater.
    The next and necessary evolution of this program is incorporation 
of the Maritime Prepositioning Force-Future (MPF(F)) Squadron into the 
existing MPF Program. MPF(F) is a key enabler for Seabasing and will 
build on the success of the legacy Maritime Prepositioning Force 
program. MPF(F) will provide support to a wide range of military 
operations with improved capabilities such as at-sea arrival and 
assembly, selective offload of specific mission sets, and long-term, 
sea-based sustainment. From the sea base, the squadron will be capable 
of prepositioning a single MEB's critical equipment and sustainment for 
delivery--without the need for established infrastructure ashore.
    While the MPF(F) is not suitable for forcible entry operations, it 
is critical for the rapid build up and sustainment of additional combat 
forces once our entry has been achieved by our assault echelon--
launched from amphibious assault ships. The MPF(F), along with two 
legacy MPF squadrons, will give the Marine Corps the capacity to 
quickly generate three MEBs in support of multiple combatant 
commanders. The MPF(F) squadron composition decision was made in May 
2005. That squadron is designed to consist of three aviation-capable 
big-deck ships, three large medium-speed roll-on/roll-off ships, three 
T-AKE supply ships, three Mobile Landing Platforms, and two dense-
packed container ships. All of these will be crewed by civilian 
mariners and, as stated earlier, are not designed to conduct forcible 
entry operations. The program is currently in the technology 
development phase of acquisition, with a Milestone B decision planned 
in fiscal year 2008.
    Mobile Landing Platform
    The Mobile Landing Platform (MLP) is perhaps the most flexible 
platform in the MPF(F) squadron. Designed to be the ``pier in the 
ocean,'' the MLP is an interface platform for other surface lift ships 
and vessels. Instead of ships and lighters going to a terminal on 
shore, they could transfer vehicles and equipment to and from the MLP. 
The ship is being designed to interface with MPF(F) Large Medium-Speed 
Roll-on/Roll-off ships through sea state four and accommodate Landing 
Craft Air Cushion operations in sea state three at a minimum. 
Additionally other service platforms could leverage the ship as an 
interface. In concert with the Navy, the MLP capabilities development 
document was delivered to the Joint Requirements Oversight Counsel in 
January 2007.
    Dry Cargo/Ammunition Ship (T-AKE)
    The T-AKE is a selectively off-loadable, afloat warehouse ship, 
which is designed to carry dry, frozen, and chilled cargo; ammunition; 
and limited cargo fuel. Key holds are reconfigurable for additional 
flexibility. It has a day/night capable flight deck. These ships can 
support the dry cargo and compatible ammo requirements of joint forces 
and are the same ship class as the Combat Logistics Force T-AKE ships.
    Large Medium-Speed Roll-on/Roll-off (LMSR) Ship
    The LMSRs were designed to accommodate the Department of Defense's 
largest vehicles--such as the Abrams Tanks, Rough Terrain Cargo 
Handler, and tractor trailers; this capacity is being leveraged to 
support Marine Corps vehicles and equipment. These ships, modified for 
MPF(F), will be very large, afloat equipment staging areas with 
additional capabilities including vehicle maintenance areas, berthing, 
ammunition breakout areas, two aviation operating spots, underway 
replenishment equipment, MLP interface, and a 113-ton crane capable of 
lifting vehicles or shipping containers. Importantly, they will also 
reduce strategic airlift requirements associated with our fly-in 
echelon.
Ship-to-Shore Mobility
    Historically, Marine Corps amphibious power projection has included 
a deliberate buildup of combat power ashore; only after establishment 
of a beachhead could the Marine Air Ground Task Force begin to focus 
its combat power on the joint force's operational objective. Advances 
in mobility, fires, and sustainment capabilities will greatly enhance 
operations from over the horizon--by both air and surface means--with 
forces moving rapidly to operational objectives deep inland without 
stopping to seize, defend, and build up beachheads or landing zones. 
The ability to project power inland from a mobile sea base has utility 
across the spectrum of conflict--from humanitarian assistance to major 
combat operations. The EFV, MV-22 Osprey, and CH-53K heavy lift 
helicopter are critical to achieving necessary capabilities for future 
expeditionary operations.
    High-Speed Connectors
    High-speed connectors will facilitate sustained seabased operations 
by expediting force closure and allowing the necessary sustainment for 
success in the littorals. Coupled with strategic airlift and sealift 
assets, the Joint High Speed Vessel and Joint Maritime Assault 
Connector provide an intra-theater capability, which enables rapid 
closure of Marine forces and sustainment ashore. These platforms will 
link bases and stations around the world to the sea base and other 
advanced bases, as well as provide linkages between the sea base and 
forces operating ashore.
            vi. taking care of our marines and our families
    Our most precious asset is the individual marine. Our marines and 
families have been steadfast and faithful in their service to our 
country, and we have an equally enduring obligation to them. As such, 
we are committed to putting our family programs on a wartime footing--
our marines and families deserve no less.
Putting Family Readiness Programs on a Wartime Footing
    Last year, we directed a rigorous assessment of our family programs 
and have aggressively moved forward to improve them at every level. We 
continue our assessments--targeting younger marines and their families 
to ensure that we are fully addressing their needs. We request that 
Congress continue to support these initiatives so that we can advance 
these reforms to meet the evolving requirements of our warfighters and 
their families.
    Our Marine Corps Family Team Building Program and unit Family 
Readiness Programs, the centerpiece to our family support capability, 
was based on a peacetime model and 18-month deployment cycles. It was 
also largely supported on the backs of our dedicated volunteers; our 
volunteers have been performing magnificently while shouldering the 
lion's share of this program--but it is time to dedicate sufficient 
resources in light of the demands of our wartime operations.
    We have recently initiated a sustained funding increase to 
implement Marine Corps family readiness reforms in fiscal year 2008. 
These reforms include:

         Formalizing the role and relationship of process 
        owners to ensure accountability for family readiness;
         Expanding programs to support the extended family of a 
        Marine (spouse, child, and parents);
         Establishing primary duty billets for Family Readiness 
        Officers at regiment, group, battalion, and squadron levels;
         Improving the quality of life at remote and isolated 
        installations;
         Increasing Marine Corps Family Team Building 
        installation personnel;
         Refocusing and applying technological improvements to 
        our communication network between commanders and families;
         Dedicating appropriate baseline funding to command 
        level Family Readiness Programs; and
         Developing a standardized, high-quality volunteer 
        management and recognition program.

    The Marine Corps continues its proud heritage of ``taking care of 
its own'' and ensuring family programs sustain our families and our 
marines for the Long War.
Casualty Assistance
    Your marines proudly assume the dangerous, but necessary, work of 
serving our Nation. Some marines have paid the ultimate price, and we 
continue to honor them as heroes for their immense contributions to our 
country. Our casualty assistance program continues to evolve to ensure 
the families of our fallen marines are always treated with the utmost 
compassion, dignity, and honor.
    Our trained Casualty Assistance Calls Officers provide the families 
of our fallen marines assistance to facilitate their transition through 
the stages of grief. Last year, congressional hearings and inquiries 
into casualty next-of-kin notification processes revealed deficiencies 
in three key and interrelated casualty processes: command casualty 
reporting, command casualty inquiry and investigation, and next-of-kin 
notification. These process failures were unacceptable. Instantaneous 
with discovery of the process failures, we ordered an investigation by 
the Inspector General of the Marine Corps and directed remedial action 
to include issuing new guidance to commanders--reemphasizing 
investigation and reporting requirements and the importance of tight 
links between these two systems to properly serve marines and their 
families. We will continue to monitor our processes, making every 
effort to preclude any future errors and to ensure marines and families 
receive timely and accurate information relating to their marine's 
death or injury.
Wounded Warrior Regiment
    In April 2007, the Wounded Warrior Regiment was activated to 
achieve unity of command and effort in order to develop a comprehensive 
and integrated approach to Wounded Warrior care. The establishment of 
the Regiment reflects our deep commitment to the welfare of our 
wounded, ill, and injured. The mission of the Regiment is to provide 
and facilitate assistance to wounded, ill, and injured marines, sailors 
attached to or in support of Marine units, and their family members, 
throughout all phases of recovery. The Regiment provides non-medical 
case management, benefit information and assistance, and transition 
support. We use ``a single process'' that supports Active Duty, 
Reserve, and separated personnel and is all inclusive for resources, 
referrals, and information.
    There are two Wounded Warrior Battalions headquartered at Camp 
Lejeune, NC, and Camp Pendleton, CA. The Battalions include liaison 
teams at major military medical treatment facilities, Department of 
Veterans Affairs Polytrauma Rehabilitation Centers and Marine Corps 
Base Naval Hospitals. The Battalions work closely with our warfighting 
units to ensure our wounded, ill and injured are cared for and continue 
to maintain the proud tradition that ``Marines take care of their 
own.''
    The Regiment is constantly assessing how to improve the services it 
provides to our wounded, ill, and injured. Major initiatives of the 
Regiment include a Job Transition Cell manned by marines and 
representatives of the Departments of Labor and Veteran Affairs. The 
Regiment has also established a Wounded Warrior Call Center for 24/7 
support. The Call Center both receives incoming calls from marines and 
family members who have questions, and makes outreach calls to the 
almost 9,000 wounded marines who have left active service. A Charitable 
Organization Cell was created to facilitate linking additional wounded 
warrior needs with charitable organizations that can provide the needed 
support. Additionally, The Regiment has also strengthened its liaison 
presence at the Department of Veterans Affairs Central Office. These 
are just some of the initiatives that reflect your Corps' enduring 
commitment to the well-being of our marines and sailors suffering the 
physical and emotional effects of their sacrifices for our great 
Nation.
    We are at the beginning of a sustained commitment to care and 
support our wounded, ill, and injured. As our Wounded Warrior Program 
matures, additional requirements will become evident. Your continued 
support of new legislation is essential to ensure our Wounded Warriors 
have the resources and opportunities for full and independent lives.
    Thank you for your personal and legislative support on behalf of 
our wounded warriors. Your personal visits to them in the hospital 
wards where they recover and the bases where they live are sincerely 
appreciated by them and their families. Your new Wounded Warrior Hiring 
Initiative to employ wounded warriors in the House and Senate 
demonstrates your commitment and support of their future well-being. We 
are grateful to this Congress for the many wounded warrior initiatives 
in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008. This 
landmark legislation will significantly improve the quality of their 
lives and demonstrates the enduring gratitude of this Nation for their 
personal sacrifices. I am hopeful that future initiatives will continue 
to build upon your great efforts and further benefit the brave men and 
women, along with their families, who bear the burden of defending this 
great country.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
    With the frequent use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and 
improved protective measures that reduce mortality rates, more marines 
are exposed to possible traumatic brain injuries. As with other poorly 
understood injuries, there is sometimes a reluctance by individual 
marines to seek medical attention at the time of the injury. Education 
is the best way to reduce this stigma, and it is to be the most 
effective treatment for those suffering a mild injury. TBI awareness 
and education is part of pre-deployment and routine training. All 
marines are being screened for TBI exposure during the post-deployment 
phase and those identified as injured receive comprehensive evaluation 
and treatment. A pilot program for baseline neurocognitive testing is 
being implemented to improve identification of TBI and maintain 
individual and unit readiness in the field. The Marine Corps continues 
to work closely with DOD's Center of Excellence for Psychological 
Health and Traumatic Brain Injury to continue to advance our 
understanding of TBI and improve the care of all marines.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
    The Marine Corps Combat Development Command, Marine Corps Training 
and Education Command, Naval Health Research Center, and others are 
studying ways to identify risk and protective factors for Post-
Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and to increase our resilience to 
stress. By improving the awareness of both individuals and our leaders, 
we can provide early identification and psychological first aid for 
those who are stress-injured. Better screening and referral of at-risk 
marines are underway via pre- and post-deployment standard health 
assessments that specifically screen for mental health problems. The 
Department of Veterans Affairs has established comprehensive guidelines 
for managing post-traumatic stress, which are available to all 
Services.
    The Marine Corps is grateful for the effort Congress has put into 
making TBI, PTSD, and other-combat-related mental illness issues a top 
priority. We will continue to do the same so that we can further 
improve our knowledge and treatment of these disorders.
Combat and Operational Stress Control (COSC)
    Marine Corps commanders are fully engaged in promoting the 
psychological health of our marines, sailors, and family members. Our 
commanders bear responsibility for leading and training tough, 
resilient marines and sailors, and for maintaining strong, cohesive 
units. Unit commanders have the greatest potential for detecting stress 
occurrences and assessing impact on warfighters and family members. Our 
leaders establish an environment where it is okay to ask for help and 
that combat stress is as deserving of the same respect and care as any 
physical wound of war. With the Navy's medical community, we are 
expanding our program of embedding mental health professionals in 
operational units--the Operational Stress Control and Readiness (OSCAR) 
program--to directly support all elements of the Marine Air-Ground Task 
Force. We also continue our collaboration with sister Services, the 
Department of Veterans Affairs' National Center for Post-traumatic 
Stress Disorder, and external agencies to determine best practices to 
better support marines and their families.
Family Member Pervasive Developmental Disorders
    The effectiveness of marines and sailors during deployment is 
dependent upon the adequacy of support provided to family members at 
home. Children of servicemembers with special needs, to include 
pervasive developmental disorders, have additional medical, 
educational, and social needs that are challenging to meet even when 
both parents are available. The TRICARE Enhanced Care Health Option has 
not been able to provide sufficient support. To address this issue, the 
Marine Corps is working with the Department of Defense Office of Family 
Policy Work Group on examining options to expand its Educational and 
Developmental Intervention Services (EDIS), a program that delivers 
Early Intervention Services to eligible infants and toddlers in 
domestic and overseas areas as well as through Medically Related 
Service programs in Department of Defense schools overseas.
Exceptional Family Member Program (Respite Care)
    Parental stress can be heightened for families that are not only 
impacted by the current operational tempo but are also caring for a 
child with special needs. To focus on this need, we offer our active 
duty families enrolled in the Exceptional Family Member Program up to 
40 hours of free respite care per month for each exceptional family 
member. We seek to provide a ``continuum of care'' for our exceptional 
family members. In this capacity, we are using our assignment process, 
working with TRICARE and the Department of the Navy Bureau of Medicine 
and Surgery to expand access and availability to care, and providing 
family support programs to ease relocations and ensure quality care 
transitions.
Water Contamination at Camp Lejeune
    Past water contamination at Camp Lejeune has been and continues to 
be a very important issue for the Marine Corps. Our goal is, using good 
science, determine whether exposure to the contaminated water at Camp 
Lejeune resulted in any adverse health effects for our marines, their 
families, and our civilian workers.
    The Marine Corps continues to support the Agency for Toxic 
Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) in their health study, which is 
estimated to be completed during 2009. With the help of Congress, the 
highly respected National Academy of Sciences is now helping us develop 
a way ahead on this difficult issue.
    The Marine Corps continues to make progress notifying former 
residents and workers. We have established a call center and 
notification registry where the public can provide contact information 
so that we can keep them apprised of the completion of these health 
studies.
   vii. beyond the horizon--posturing the marine corps for the future
    History has proven that we cannot narrowly define the conditions 
for which our military must be ready. With little warning, our Nation 
has repeatedly called its Corps front and center. In the southern 
Pacific after Pearl Harbor, in Korea after the communist invasion in 
1950, in the mountains of Afghanistan after September 11, and southern 
Asia in the wake of the catastrophic tsunami of 2004--to name a few. 
These strategic surprises demonstrate the broad range of possibilities 
for which the Marine Corps must be prepared.
    The United States faces a complex mix of states who sponsor 
terrorism, regional and rising peer competitors, failing states that 
undermine regional stability, and a variety of violent non-state 
actors--religious extremists, insurgents, paramilitary forces, pirates, 
and other criminals--all serving to destabilize legitimate governments 
and undermine security and stability of the greater global community. 
We see this global security context as a persistent condition for the 
foreseeable future.
    Our Nation and its international partners are engaged in a global 
struggle for influence at the same time our access to many areas is 
acutely challenged--diplomatically, militarily, and geographically. In 
the past, the United States has maintained large forces on a 
significant number of permanent bases beyond our shores. Today, 
however, we have far fewer installations overseas. When conflict is 
imminent or crises occur, which may require land-based forces, we must 
conduct extensive diplomatic negotiations to acquire basing rights. 
Because of local and regional political, social, or economic pressures, 
even countries friendly to the United States decline to host or place 
conditional restrictions on basing U.S. forces. Furthermore, 
proliferation of anti-access technology among state and non-state 
actors further diminishes access opportunities.
    Our national interests increasingly require us to operate in 
remote, developing regions of the world where infrastructure is either 
insufficient or rendered useless by natural disasters. The growing 
trend of violent, transnational extremism is especially prevalent in 
many of these remote areas. In addition to ethnic and religious 
intolerance, many developing regions are troubled with economic 
challenges and infectious diseases. These problems are especially 
severe in the densely populated urban centers common to the world's 
littorals, resulting in discontented populations ripe for exploitation 
by extremist ideologues and terrorist networks. We estimate that by the 
2035 timeframe, more than 75 percent of the world's population will 
live within just 120 miles of the ocean; alternative energy sources 
will not be mature, so industrial and, increasingly, developing nations 
will depend on the free flow of oil and natural gas. Fresh water will 
be as equally important as petroleum products; during the 20th century, 
while the global population increased 300 percent, the demand for water 
increased 600 percent. Demographics and the aging of the population in 
industrial countries, accompanied by a youth bulge in developing 
countries, will literally change the face of the world as we know it. 
The U.S. technological advantage, economic power, and military might 
still exceed that of other nations, but will not be nearly as dominant.
    Given these strategic conditions, the requirement for maritime 
forces to project U.S. power and influence has increased--and will 
continue to increase. With its inherent advantages as a seabased and 
expeditionary force, the Marine Corps can quickly reach key areas of 
the globe in spite of challenges to U.S. access. The Marine Corps and 
its naval partners will expand the application of seapower across an 
even wider range of operations to promote greater global security, 
stability, and trust--key objectives for winning the Long War. Our 
seabased posture will allow us to continue to conduct ``Phase 0'' 
operations with a variety of allies and partners around the world to 
ease sources of discontent and deter conflict. We must increase our 
capacity for these operations without forfeiting our warfighting 
prowess in the event of a major regional conflict. As a forward-
deployed force, we are able to achieve familiarity with various 
environments, as well as behavioral patterns of regional actors--
contributing to our significant advantage in speed and flexibility.
    Recently combat-tested in the Middle East and historically engaged 
in the Pacific, the Marine Corps will seek to further enhance its 
operational capabilities in the Pacific theater. Some areas like Africa 
offer unique challenges and opportunities for significant U.S. 
engagement. The shear breadth and depth of that great continent present 
their own challenges, but given the operational flexibility afforded by 
Seabasing and the extended reach of the MV-22 and KC-130J, the future 
bodes well for the ability of dispersed units of marines--with 
interagency partners--to extend our partnerships within the continent 
of Africa.
Security Cooperation MAGTF
    The linchpin of future marine efforts to support the engagement 
requirements of combatant commanders to build partnership capacity will 
be the Security Cooperation Marine Air Ground Task Force. Similar to a 
Marine Expeditionary Unit but regionally-focused and task organized for 
security cooperation, Security Cooperation MAGTFs will provide training 
and assistance to partner nations--shaping the environment and 
deterring irregular adversaries.
    The units comprising the Security Cooperation MAGTF are general 
purpose forces, which will maintain a foundation of excellence in 
combined arms and the full range of military operations. Additional 
training in culture, language, and foreign internal defense will 
further prepare these units for the unique tasks needed to train 
foreign militaries. Able to aggregate and disaggregate based on mission 
requirements, elements of the Security Cooperation MAGTFs will be 
capable of operating for sustained periods and will help prepare the 
militaries of partner nations to disrupt irregular adversaries and 
reduce the requirement for U.S. forces to be committed to these 
regions.
Defense Policy Review Initiative (DPRI)/Guam
    Our recent force posture agreement reached under the auspices of 
the Defense Policy Review Initiative with Japan is facilitating an 
opportunity to more effectively employ Marine Corps forces while 
mitigating the effects of encroachment around United States facilities 
in Japan. The most significant DPRI action is completion of the Futenma 
Replacement Facility on Okinawa. Its completion is a prerequisite for 
realignment of Marine units north of Kadena Air Force Base on Okinawa, 
shifting KC-130s from Futenma to Iwakuni, Japan, and movement of 
approximately 8,000 marines and their family members from Okinawa, 
Japan, to Guam. The Government of Japan is prepared to bear much of the 
cost associated with the planned changes, but there are still 
significant remaining military construction and other infrastructure 
needs that require United States financial support. For the past 2 
years, the Marine Corps has worked with numerous stakeholders to shape 
the eventual basing of forces onto Guam. The Department of Navy-led 
Joint Guam Program Office is leading the detailed facility-level 
planning effort to support the force buildup on Guam. The Marine Corps 
is working with Joint Guam Program Office, the Secretary of the Navy, 
and Commander, United States Pacific Command to ensure plans meet 
operational requirements.
Law of the Sea Convention
    To be able to maneuver from the seas in a timely and reliable 
manner, and in concert with the U.S. Navy, we support joining the Law 
of the Sea Convention. Joining the Convention will best preserve the 
navigation and overflight rights that we need to reliably maneuver and 
project power from the sea.
The Future of Training and Education
    With Marine forces so heavily engaged in counterinsurgency 
operations, we will have to take extraordinary steps to retain the 
ability to serve as the Nation's shock troops in major combat 
operations. Continued congressional support of our training and 
education programs will enable us to remain faithful to our enduring 
mission: To be where the country needs us, when she needs us, and to 
prevail over whatever challenges we face.
    The Long War requires a multi-dimensional force that is well 
trained and educated for employment in all forms of warfare. 
Historically, our Corps has produced respected leaders who have 
demonstrated intellectual agility in warfighting. Our current 
deployment tempo increasingly places our Professional Military 
Education (PME) programs at risk. No level of risk is acceptable if it 
threatens the steady flow of thinkers, planners, and aggressive 
commanders who can execute effectively across the entire spectrum of 
operations.
    Marine Corps University (MCU)
    We have made substantial improvements in our Officer and Enlisted 
Professional Military Education (PME) programs and have significant 
improvements planned for the future. Marine Corps War College was the 
first senior Service college to be certified as Joint PME II and will 
soon undergo accreditation as part of the process for joint education 
accreditation by the Joint Staff. The Command and Staff resident and 
non-resident programs are scheduled for Joint PME I reaccreditation in 
September 2008. We have integrated irregular warfare instruction 
throughout all levels of PME; at the same time, balance between 
irregular and conventional warfare has been maintained so as not to 
lose sight of our essential core competencies, including amphibious 
operations. Additionally, MCU has led the way for integration of 
culture and language by continually refining their curricula to provide 
proper balance among PME, culture, and language.
    Last year we conducted a comprehensive assessment of the health of 
PME. The assessment examined six areas: students, curriculum, 
educational programs, staff, infrastructure, and policy. We are working 
diligently to improve our information technology and infrastructure by 
developing a facility master plan to accommodate needed growth. We must 
develop an aggressive plan and commit resources for additional faculty, 
facilities, and resources. The assessment was informative--we have 
world-class students, curricula, and faculty as evidenced by marines' 
performance on today's battlefields. With continued Congressional 
support, we can build our information technology and facility structure 
to match.
    Marine Corps Center for Lessons Learned
    Our Marine Corps Center for Lessons Learned applies lessons from 
operational experiences as well as those of the Joint Staff, other 
Services, and Joint Forces Command to guide efforts for ``fine tuning'' 
and transforming our force. This rapid, continuous process ensures the 
latest enemy and friendly tactics, techniques, and procedures are used 
in training and are part of the decisionmaking for institutional 
changes. In 2007, as result of these lessons learned, the Marine Corps 
implemented changes in predeployment training in such areas as 
detention operations; transition teams; interagency coordination of 
stability, support, transition, and reconstruction operations; 
irregular warfare; and the role of forensics in counterinsurgency 
operations.
    Center for Irregular Warfare
    In 2007, we established the Center for Irregular Warfare as the 
primary Marine Corps agency for identifying, coordinating, and 
implementing irregular warfare capability initiatives. The Center 
reaches out through the Center for Advanced Operational Culture 
Learning (CAOCL) and Security Cooperation Education and Training Center 
(SCETC) to other military and civilian agencies. Last year, the CAOCL 
expanded beyond pre-deployment unit training by offering operational 
culture, regional studies, and limited language courses for officer 
professional military education programs. Thus far, approximately 2,100 
new lieutenants have been assigned regions for career long-term study 
through the regional learning concept, which will be expanded this year 
to include sergeants, staff sergeants, and captains. Both officer and 
enlisted marines will receive operational culture education throughout 
their careers. We plan to have Language Learning Resource Centers at 
the eight largest Marine Corps bases and stations to provide local, on-
call, operational language training. Congressional support, to include 
recent supplemental funding, has been invaluable.
    Since early 2006, our SCETC formalized our military advisor 
training process and trained over thirty transition teams fiscal year 
2007. In fiscal year 2008, the SCETC is scheduled to train over 100 
teams (over 2,000 marine advisors) as well as stand up a Marine Corps 
Training Advisory Group to manage the global sourcing of future 
transition and security cooperation teams.
    Foreign Area Officers
    The Marine Corps has begun an expansion of its Foreign Area Officer 
(FAO) program in response to the wide-spread demand for language and 
cultural expertise for worldwide service with the Defense Attache 
System and combined, joint, and Service headquarters. As a result, the 
training of Marine FAOs will more than double in the near term. In 
addition to our traditional emphasis on Arabic, Russian, and Chinese, 
FAOs selected this year will learn more than a dozen different foreign 
languages, including Pashto, Hindi, Thai, French, and Indonesian.
Training Marine Air Ground Task Forces
    Operations in support of the Long War have significantly increased 
our training requirements. To meet deployment requirements and remain 
skilled in the full spectrum of operations, marines must now train to a 
broader range of skills. However, due to high operational tempo, we 
face ever-decreasing timetables for marines to achieve mastery of these 
skills. Our first major initiative to maximize effective use of limited 
time for training was the establishment of a standardized and well-
defined Predeployment Training Program. Subsequently, we have 
instituted two additional training efforts: the Marine Combat 
Operations Training Group and the Infantry Battalion Enhancement Period 
Program.
    Marine Corps Tactics and Operations Group (MCTOG)
    We recently established the MCTOG to provide standardized training 
and instructor qualifications for ground combat elements, similar to 
our exceptionally successful Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics 
Instructor Course in Yuma, AZ. The MCTOG is developing and implementing 
a Ground Combat Element Operations and Tactics Training Program to 
provide advanced training in MAGTF operations, combined arms training, 
and unit training management and readiness at the battalion and 
regimental levels. We will improve unit preparation and performance by:

         Providing focused, advanced instruction for key 
        battalion and regimental staff personnel, and
         By assisting with the identification and vetting 
        training requirements and deficiencies for our ground combat 
        elements.

    Located at Twentynine Palms MAGTF Training Center, the MCTOG will 
reach an Initial Operating Capability by spring 2008 and a Full 
Operating Capability by spring 2009.
    Marine Aviation Training Systems Program (ATS)
    Marine Aviation, through Aviation Training Systems (ATS), is 
pursuing the development of fully integrated training systems at the 
post-accession aviation officer and enlisted level, to greatly enhance 
operational readiness, improved safety through greater standardization, 
and to significantly reduce the life-cycle cost of maintaining and 
sustaining aircraft. ATS will plan, execute, and manage Marine Aviation 
training to achieve individual and unit combat readiness through 
standardized training across all aviation core competencies.
    Twentynine Palms Land Expansion
    The Marine Corps currently lacks a comprehensive training 
capability to exercise all elements of a MAGTF in an environment that 
replicates operational conditions with our current equipment--as our 
new weapons systems have greatly increased ranges over legacy systems. 
As a result, we are conducting planning studies for expansion of our 
range complex at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in 
Twentynine Palms, CA. Implementing this action will involve acquiring 
land and seeking assignment of airspace by the Federal Aviation 
Administration in support of large-scale MAGTF live fire and maneuver 
training. This will give us the maneuver space to simultaneously train 
three to four battalions in the range complex and train with our 
current equipment. Our proposed complex will further facilitate the use 
of the Western Range Training Complex and lead to the capability for 
future large-scale MAGTF, Coalition, and Joint National Training Center 
training.
    Modernization of Training Ranges
    In 2001, we activated a Range and Training Area Management 
Division, and in 2004, we began a comprehensive investment program to 
sustain, upgrade, and modernize our training infrastructure. This 
modernization effort provides tools for better planning and execution 
of live training. The four principles of our program are:

         Preserve and enhance our live-fire combined arms 
        training ranges. The full development of our doctrine and the 
        integrated employment of air and ground weapons will continue 
        to require access to the volume of land and air space available 
        at these larger installations.
         Recapture the unit-training capabilities of the 
        Nation's two premier littoral training areas, Camp Lejeune and 
        Camp Pendleton. The transition of expeditionary combat power 
        from sea to shore remains among the most challenging of 
        military tasks, and we must reorient and update our training 
        capabilities.
         Provide timely and objective feedback to marines who 
        are training. Proficiency with individual weapons and in 
        combined-arms requires that we provide venues that have the air 
        and land space to allow realistic employment and the 
        instrumentation and targetry to provide objective, actionable 
        feedback.
         Ensure our complexes are capable of supporting joint 
        forces. Common range infrastructure and systems architecture to 
        support the joint national training capability are requirements 
        of our modernization program.
         The range modernization program is a program of record 
        and has successfully programmed the resources to continue 
        operating and maintaining the many investments made with 
        supplemental and congressional-add funds.
Core Values and Ethics Training
    As part of our ethos, we continually seek ways to improve ethical 
decisionmaking at all levels. In 2007, we implemented the following 
initiatives to strengthen our Core Values training:

         Tripled the amount of time Drill Instructor and 
        recruits conduct ``foot locker talks'' on values;
         Institutionalizing habits of thought for all marines 
        operating in counterinsurgencies, the message of the importance 
        of ethical conduct in battle, and how to be an ethical warrior 
        is being strengthened and re-emphasized at all levels of the 
        Marine Corps;
         Published pocket-sized Law of War, Rules of 
        Engagement, and Escalation of Force guides;
         Increased instruction at our Commander's Course on 
        command climate and the commander's role in cultivating 
        battlefield ethics, accountability, and responsibility; and
         Educated junior marines on the ``strategic corporal'' 
        and the positive or negative influence they can have; and
         Reinvigorated the values component of our Marine Corps 
        Martial Arts Program, which teaches Core Values and presents 
        ethical scenarios pertaining to restraint and proper escalation 
        of force as the foundation of its curriculum.

    We imbue our marines with the mindset that ``wherever we go, 
everyone is safer because a U.S. marine is there.''
                            viii. conclusion
    The Marine Corps continues to create a multi-capable force for our 
Nation--not only for the current operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, 
but also for subsequent campaigns of the Long War. We are committed to 
ensuring we remain where our country needs us, when she needs us, and 
to prevail over whatever challenges we face. Your continued support has 
been critical to our readiness for today and adaptation for tomorrow. I 
promise you that the Corps understands the value of each dollar 
provided and will continue to provide maximum return for every dollar 
spent.
    Perhaps most importantly to keep in mind as we develop our force 
for the future, everything we read about the future indicates that 
well-trained, well-led human beings with a capacity to absorb 
information and rapidly react to their environment have a tremendous 
asymmetric advantage over an adversary. Ladies and gentlemen, that 
advantage goes to us. Our young marines are courageous, willing to make 
sacrifices and, as evidenced by our progress in Al-Anbar, capable of 
operating in complex environments. Quiet in their duty yet determined 
in their approach, they are telling us loud and clear that wherever 
there is a job to be done, they will shoulder that mission with 
enthusiasm. On behalf of your marines, I extend great appreciation for 
your support thus far and thank you in advance for your ongoing efforts 
to support our brave service men and women in harm's way.

    Chairman Levin. Thank you so much, General.
    Let's try an 8-minute round.
    Secretary, I made reference to these huge cost overruns 
that have dogged our acquisition programs. Are you making 
systemic changes to try to overcome those?
    Secretary Winter. Yes, Mr. Chairman. Two specific areas 
that I would highlight, one of which has to do with the overall 
processes that we go through within the Department to establish 
a program, and in particular to ensure that all the 
requirements are properly defined and completed prior to the 
initiation of advanced development activities.
    We're also going through a very significant activity to 
assure that we have the right work force to be able to both 
manage and oversee the acquisition activities themselves. This 
includes everything from the numbers to the appropriate 
training of the individuals that are put into the specific 
roles.
    Chairman Levin. Is there ever any accountability for the 
failure to meet these cost estimates?
    Secretary Winter. The accountability is imposed both within 
the Navy team itself as well as with the contractor community. 
One of the things that we try on the contractor side is to 
provide appropriate incentives that give the contractor 
financial inputs should they fail to meet the appropriate 
financial and schedule targets.
    Similarly, on the military side, in terms of the 
acquisition community, this is a major factor that we use in 
the evaluation of people relative to their future assignments 
and future careers.
    Chairman Levin. Admiral, I made reference to your Navy 
personnel who are serving not in their regular billets. 
Instead, they're being used as IAs. Do we have some way of 
assessing the impact of that on readiness or in other areas?
    Admiral Roughead. Yes, sir, Senator, we do. We have been 
assigning our sailors and IAs for a couple of years now and, as 
someone who in a previous assignment was responsible for the 
direct management of that, we have created a structure and 
oversight to properly pair the individual with the mission to 
be accomplished when they go forward, and at the same time as 
we're doing that we look at what effect that individual will 
have on the readiness of the sourcing command.
    What I have found is that the process that we have in 
place, the way that we identify, allows us to put the 
appropriate capability forward while not diminishing the 
readiness of our Fleet.
    Chairman Levin. Admiral, you made reference to the recent 
use of a modified missile defense interceptor, Standard Missile 
3, along with a modified version of the Aegis BMD system, to 
shoot down that failed satellite. Can you confirm that the 
modifications that were made to the interceptor missile and the 
Aegis weapons system were unique, one-time modifications 
exclusively for this one mission, and that the Aegis BMD system 
could not perform its required missile defense mission with 
those one-time modifications?
    Admiral Roughead. Those were one-time modifications, 
Senator, that were done on a finite number of missiles. The 
missiles that were not used in this mission will be 
reconfigured back to the anti-ballistic missile configuration.
    Chairman Levin. In terms of the Aegis BMD system, can you 
confirm that that system which was deployed does not have the 
capability to shoot down satellites, with the one exception of 
that unique mission?
    Admiral Roughead. I can confirm that, Senator.
    Chairman Levin. Secretary and Admiral, in your written 
statements you made reference to the importance of United 
States approval and accession to the Law of the Sea Convention 
in order to carry out our maritime strategy. We've held a 
hearing on that convention. The Foreign Relations Committee has 
voted it out of committee. It's on the calendar.
    Can you just briefly indicate here publicly that you do 
support that convention?
    Secretary Winter. Yes, Mr. Chairman, I'm supportive of 
that. I think it's important that we have a seat at the table 
as part of that convention and have an opportunity to engage 
with the other members, signatories to that convention, as the 
convention evolves over the years to come.
    Chairman Levin. Admiral, do you join that?
    Admiral Roughead. I do, sir. I can attest from my command 
positions in the Atlantic and Pacific that by not being a party 
to that treaty, it actually inhibited the activities that we 
could pursue with other navies.
    Chairman Levin. Is the administration committed at the 
highest levels to pursuing Senate approval of the ratification 
of the Law of the Sea Convention in this session of Congress? 
Mr. Secretary?
    Secretary Winter. Yes, sir.
    Chairman Levin. Admiral, do you know?
    Admiral Roughead. Yes, sir.
    Chairman Levin. General, let me ask you about the issue 
which was referred to at some length in this morning's 
Washington Post, which has had other references as well, and 
that's the question of Anbar Province, its success in turning 
against the extremists which you made reference to, and for 
which everybody is obviously pleased and grateful.
    The movement, which is called in various places and times 
the Sunni Awakening, or Concerned Local Citizens, or Sons of 
Iraq, is, according to a number of reports, including this 
morning's paper, fraying somewhat and could collapse because 
too few of their members are being offered positions in the 
Iraqi security forces, there are limited opportunities for 
other jobs, they are being targeted by al Qaeda, they are 
distrusted by too much of the Shia-dominated government, and 
they have been complaining of insufficient support by the 
United States.
    In the mean time, that provincial powers law which calls 
for provincial elections to be held by October 1 and was seen 
by the Sunni Arab community as a way to gain political power, 
has been vetoed by the Shia member of the presidency council, 
as we read yesterday or the day before. I just would like to 
ask you this question because you and your troops have played 
such a key role in Anbar and the success that has taken place 
there.
    Are you concerned that those Sunni Arabs may once again 
take up arms against the coalition, become insurgents again, 
which of course would then threaten to unravel many of the 
gains which have been achieved during the surge?
    General Conway. Sir, I'm not concerned that that could 
happen in the near term, but we are concerned about some of the 
things you cite and about some of the things which you read in 
the article this morning. There have been significant security 
gains and there are, even as we speak, the tribal frictions now 
as they elbow for power at the provincial level, but also as 
they endeavor to plug in at the national level.
    We're conscious of those things. We have people dedicated 
to working those things with the central government in Baghdad, 
to try to ensure that they understand the value of 
incorporating Sunnis into the government if we are to see one 
Iraq stay together in the future.
    So we monitor those things. We try to mitigate those things 
through discussion. We talk of the value of synergy, of all of 
the tribes and all of the political parties coming together as 
they plug into Baghdad. But we're not concerned that there is 
any near-term danger of a return to the levels of violence that 
we have seen.
    Chairman Levin. Is it fair to say that unless those 
problems are addressed that there could be a significant 
problem in the longer term?
    General Conway. Sir, I think that's fair. We have always 
talked about the three legs of the stool: the security, the 
economics, and the political. We can, in our current role of 
providing security and doing some nation-building in the 
province, help most with the security and the economics. We are 
less able to be involved in the political aspect of things, 
although we engage where we can.
    We certainly are pushing to keep the provincial elections 
October 1, because we think that will be a significant 
advancement on behalf of the Sunni tribes out west and an 
opportunity for them to again further engage with the central 
government.
    Chairman Levin. Thank you.
    Senator Warner?
    Senator Warner. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. Secretary, let's return to the shipbuilding budget, the 
out-year objective of 313 ships. Clearly, in your position you 
have first drawn on an extensive background prior to coming to 
the Navy Secretariat of managing major programs for the very 
top levels of our defense structure, TRW and Northrop and 
others. How confident are you that in the out-years you can 
reach, or perhaps I should say a successor to you could reach, 
the 313 level? What steps are you putting in place to ensure 
that that takes place in the out-years?
    Secretary Winter. Senator, I think that as we take a look 
out in time our understanding obviously is much better in the 
current years, in the near years. I'm confident that we have a 
viable program for 2009 and for the immediate years around 
that. As we go out further in time there are a number of 
uncertainties associated with everything from the cost of 
production to the overall requirements that have yet to be 
defined for many of the future systems, programs like the Ohio-
class replacement, programs like CG(X), which is still in the 
process of going through its early definition phases.
    I am hopeful that we will still be able to obtain a 313-
ship target in a timely manner, but that is going to require a 
significant effort on the part both of the Navy and industry to 
work together, to make significant changes to the acquisition 
process, including in particular stabilizing requirements, and 
having, if you will, a limit on our appetite for those 
requirements as we go through program definition.
    Furthermore, significant effort is going to be required, I 
believe, to modernize our facilities for the construction of 
ships and the combat systems that go on them. That investment 
is going to require, I believe, a concerted effort on the part 
of both the Navy and industry.
    Senator Warner. You're going to put in place a series of 
benchmarks that have to be made by you and your successors, and 
in what year do you hope to obtain, what fiscal year, the level 
of 313 ships?
    Secretary Winter. We've laid out the program right now into 
the 2020----
    Admiral Roughead. 2019 is when they cross.
    Senator Warner. 2019 is the year?
    Admiral Roughead. Yes, sir.
    Senator Warner. Is that predicated on some significant top 
line readjustment in the allocation of resources by the 
Secretary of Defense between the Navy, the Army, and the Air 
Force?
    Secretary Winter. Sir, that has a number of assumptions in 
it. It does assume an average expenditure of about $15.8 
billion a year in 2007 dollars to be able to accomplish that. 
That is more than what we're spending right now, but hopefully 
it is an amount that is achievable within the current 
allocation process.
    There are aspects that I would like to note are not 
included in that estimate. It does not include the costs 
associated with nuclear power for future surface combatants and 
it does not include the cost estimates associated with Ohio-
class replacement.
    Senator Warner. It's a challenge, but I think it's 
imperative that we meet that challenge in view of the fact that 
other nations now recognize the importance of having 
significant maritime capabilities in their military forces.
    General, I'm going to follow onto the line of questions by 
the chairman with regard to Afghanistan. I suppose that theater 
concerns this Senator the most of all the challenges that face 
us today. The marines are heading in in significant numbers, 
the thought being perhaps the success that the marines had in 
al-Anbar can be used as a blueprint to try and achieve greater 
success in Afghanistan.
    Would you address that concept and your own professional 
judgment as to whether or not there is a transferability of 
that strategy in al-Anbar which has been successful, for what 
in my judgment is a continuing serious, in some ways 
deteriorating, situation in Afghanistan, with the ever 
strengthening resurgence of the Taliban?
    General Conway. Sir, I don't think there's a direct 
transfer because the missions will be slightly different. That 
those marines will take in lessons that come right from our 
Small Wars Manual and the decades of dealing with Third World 
countries, if you will, I think will be extremely valuable. But 
whereas in al-Anbar we owned ground and had responsibility for 
all of the villages and all of the cities, neither the 
battalion that's going in nor the Marine Expeditionary Unit 
(MEU) will be assigned primary responsibility for ground. The 
MEU we believe will be used as a response task force, 
immediately commanded by the Commander of International 
Security Assistance Force, valuable we think particularly 
during a spring offensive if we see one, valuable if we decide 
to launch our own spring offensive against Taliban locations.
    The battalion coming off the West Coast will be primarily 
involved with training police and the army, and their utility 
will be at the various police stations throughout their region 
of assignment, in terms of securing the area to a degree that 
these people can operate with the populace.
    Senator Warner. So the first battalion would be in the 
nature of a September 11 force, to go anywhere within 
Afghanistan to confront high level insurgents?
    General Conway. I think that's fair, sir.
    Senator Warner. That's interesting. The second primarily 
for the training of the Afghan forces?
    General Conway. That's correct, sir.
    Senator Warner. Now, I mentioned the very interesting piece 
that I saw last night. You're readjusting your order for the 
new MRAP, is that correct?
    General Conway. No, sir. If you're talking about the 
protective vest, the individual armor----
    Senator Warner. Let's go vest and vehicle.
    General Conway. Yes, sir.
    Senator Warner. Whichever one you want first.
    General Conway. Sir, we did adjust our requirement for 
MRAP. We initially asked for 3,700 vehicles and the thought 
process was a one-for-one replacement of our uparmored Humvees 
with the MRAPs. The uparmored Humvees were simply not standing 
up to underbody explosions to the degree that we had hoped 
would be the case, and the MRAP had proven itself over time 
with the ability to do that.
    What we have discovered as those MRAPs have started to 
arrive in theater in large numbers is that, particularly out 
west, they are not able to cross some of the bridges that 
aren't that well built.
    Senator Warner. Because of the weight?
    General Conway. Yes, sir, exactly. They are heavy vehicles, 
48,000 pounds with the heaviest of the lot.
    They also don't maneuver as well off road. So what we've 
found is that those patrols need to be a combination of MRAPs 
and uparmored Humvees in order to be most successful and to 
accomplish the mission. So we have reduced our buy to something 
more on the order of about 2,300 vehicles, and saving we think 
in the process about $1.7 billion for the Government.
    Senator Warner. Now, what about the utility of that vehicle 
with your forces in Afghanistan?
    General Conway. Sir, we think there will be some utility. 
When I was there, I looked at, in fact, the arrival of the 
first 36 vehicles. We think there will be a total of about 38, 
something less than 40. It is not as applicable in large 
portions of the Afghan terrain even as it is in Iraq, because 
of the mountainous nature. But there are roadways there, there 
are some desert plains there, where we do think it will have 
value, and we fully intend to use it with our engineers, our 
route clearance people, and our Explosive Ordinance Disposal 
personnel clearing Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).
    Senator Warner. Let's conclude my time with the vest 
situation. That's been a very controversial subject here in 
Congress and certainly in the minds of the public. Where are we 
in your judgment on the amount of protective armor for the 
average marine, and are you going to make an adjustment once 
again in the type of vest that you think is best suited for the 
combat situations?
    General Conway. Sir, as a former marine I think you know 
that there is always a tradeoff between weight and protection 
and the mobility of the individual marine, and we continue with 
that dynamic even today. We think that the vests that we have 
protect our people exceedingly well.
    What we are hearing now from the marines in the Fleet and 
the marines in Iraq and Afghanistan is they don't like this 
most recent vest because it is three or four pounds heavier 
than the vest that it replaced. It takes, depending on how you 
put it on, two people to put on the vest. It has a quick 
release element that the old vest did not have, but when a 
marine straps in his rifle that quick release capacity is 
diminished or disappears.
    I wore it myself on my visit to the theater over 
Thanksgiving last year and, frankly, I have a big head and big 
ears and it's painful putting it on and taking it off, and many 
marines have experienced that same thing.
    Senator Warner. Then where do we go from here? Are we going 
to go back to the previous vest and produce more of that?
    General Conway. Sir, what I have done is told my commander 
at Quantico who handles such things to simply stop purchase on 
the remaining 24,000 vests. We need to go back and investigate. 
There were over 100 marines who field tested the vests for us 
back in 2006 and declared it ``good to go,'' if you will. But 
we're not getting that same report from the marines in theater 
who now wear it on a daily basis in combat.
    So I think we need to reassess at this point. I assure you, 
sir, there is no loss of protection either way, with either the 
old vest or the new vest. It's just a question whether or not 
we have made an advancement in this.
    Senator Warner. Are you working with the Army? Are you 
sharing that experience?
    General Conway. Yes, sir.
    Senator Warner. Are they experiencing the same problem with 
this vest?
    General Conway. Sir, I don't know that. I'm just back from 
the theater and my guys at Quantico are reinvigorating the 
discussion.
    Senator Warner. It seems to me that answer is important to 
achieve. There should be some parallelism between because the 
missions are comparable.
    General Conway. It's my belief, sir, that the Army has not 
invested in what we call the OTV, which is this latest variant, 
that they're still wearing the vest that we were stepping away 
from. We thought that this new vest that ostensibly carried the 
weight better on the hips and gave us slightly more protection 
was again a step up. I am not absolutely certain of that today.
    Chairman Levin. Thank you, Senator Warner.
    Senator Kennedy.
    Senator Kennedy. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Good morning again. General Conway, according to the recent 
press reports an internal Marine Corps study found that the 
general in command of our Marine Forces in western Iraq sent an 
urgent request 3 years ago this month for over 1,000 MRAPs, but 
the urgent request was apparently lost in the bureaucracy and 
never made it to the senior levels of the Marine Corps. As we 
know, it took the Secretary of Defense's intervention in 2007 
to fix the broken bureaucracy and get a sufficient number of 
the MRAPs to our forces in Iraq.
    Secretary Gates said last June: ``The way I put it to 
everyone is that you have to look outside the normal 
bureaucratic way of doing things and so does industry, because 
lives are at stake. For every month we delay, scores of young 
Americans are going to die.''
    The recent Marine Corps study itself states that: ``If mass 
procurement and fielding of MRAPs had begun in 2005 in response 
to the known threats, as the Marine Corps is doing today, 
hundreds of deaths and injuries could have been prevented.''
    The Marine Corps now has questioned the press report, 
saying that that study was not an official Marine Corps study 
and that its conclusions are the investigators' own. Recently, 
General Magnus, Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps, 
stated: ``I don't think the study stands up to the facts about 
what we did, about what the industry was capable of doing, and 
why we did what we did. I just don't think it's accurate.''
    A Naval Audit Service report last September, however, 
supported the Marine Corps study and its accusations of 
inefficiency when it concluded that the Marine Corps had not 
established adequate oversight for the urgent needs of its 
forces.
    Two days ago, the Marine Corps finally began to acknowledge 
the seriousness of the study's conclusion and asked the 
Pentagon's Inspector General (IG) to investigate the 
allegations. It seems, however, that the Marine Corps is still 
focused on downplaying the issue of getting the MRAPs to Iraq 
and missing the bigger issue, which is the Marine Corps 
bureaucracy.
    The Naval Audit stated: ``As the study concluded, MRAP is 
just one current example of how a loss of time had direct and 
measurable consequences on the battlefield. Marine Corps combat 
development organizations are not optimized to provide 
responsive, flexible, relevant solutions to commanders in the 
field.''
    The Naval Audit report last September agreed, stating that 
``the Marine Corps bureaucracy was broken and the ability to 
accomplish the mission could be undermined and the delivery of 
the equipment delayed.''
    So could you tell us about how you explain the differences 
between the Marine Corps statements that dismiss the MRAP 
study's conclusion and the Naval Audit report that the Marine 
Corps bureaucracy is broken?
    General Conway. Yes, sir, I'd be happy to. Sir, first of 
all, I would not characterize the series of events just as you 
describe. First of all, we asked the marine, former marine, now 
a GS-15, who works for us to write a letter to his boss to 
explain his concerns that we had read about in the media or had 
been advised about from Senators on the Hill.
    Senator Kennedy. This was done when?
    General Conway. It's been done recently, sir. I think 
within the past several weeks.
    But going back to the issue of the MRAP request, sir, in 
February 2005, if were Major General Dennis Hejlik sitting in 
this chair, who was the officer who signed off on the request, 
he would tell you that he was asking for uparmored Humvees, M-
1114s. We had a few at that time, but we had very few. He felt 
like that was the armor of choice and the vehicle that we 
needed for all of our marines when he signed off on the 
request. He had little knowledge of what an MRAP was at that 
point.
    That's the second point I would make to you, sir, is that 
at that point there were probably half a dozen of the actual 
MRAP vehicles, the Cougars with the V-shaped bottom, in the 
theater. We were having maintenance issues with some of those 
vehicles.
    At that point, sir--and this is the third point--only about 
10 percent of the attacks that we were seeing, and in most 
months less than that, were underbody explosions. What General 
Hejlik was concerned about were the side of the road explosions 
that were destroying our vehicles and killing marines.
    So to say that we knew at that time that a vehicle that had 
far from proven itself, against a threat that was by no means 
the major threat, was what we needed to buy is, I think in some 
regards, some excellent 20-20 hindsight.
    Senator Kennedy. The point that is made is the fact that 
the Naval Audit Report Number One recommends that by April 30 
you promulgate a Marine Corps order defining the roles, 
responsibilities, and desired outcomes of urgent need process. 
So obviously they made a finding and a judgment that the 
process and procedure at the current time was not working well, 
at least according to this naval report.
    Now, where do you stand with promulgating that, this order?
    General Conway. Sir, we have put something out on that in 
the wake of that report, and I will be the first to acknowledge 
that no bureaucratic process is without means of improvement. 
The Secretary works hard with us, with Lean Six Sigma----
    Senator Kennedy. I don't understand. You put something out? 
Explain that to me. I don't understand what's putting something 
out? This says promulgate. Their recommendation is by the 30th 
you promulgate a Marine Corps order defining the roles, 
responsibilities, desired outcome for the process, which is the 
urgent need process.
    General Conway. Yes, sir.
    Senator Kennedy. Has that been done yet?
    General Conway. Yes, sir, it has been done.
    Senator Kennedy. It has been done?
    General Conway. I would add further, sir, that we have 
asked for, in the wake of this issue coming to light once 
again, we have asked for a Department of Defense (DOD) IG 
investigation, because we think when the facts are fully known 
that they will----
    Senator Kennedy. When was that done?
    General Conway. Within the last 10 days, while I was on the 
trip to Iraq.
    So that all the facts can be brought to bear, and we think 
that the conclusion will be that well-intended men, very much 
concerned about the welfare of the marines, made prudent 
decisions at the time to bring forward the best capability we 
could to protect our people in combat.
    Senator Kennedy. If you look at the whole process, it 
appears that it took the Secretary of Defense's intervention in 
2007 to get the order. This is what Secretary Gates himself 
said: ``The way I put it to everyone is you have to look 
outside the bureaucratic way of doing things, and so does 
industry. Lives are at stake.''
    The audit makes that recommendation for the marines to 
date. I understand what you've said now is that you issued the 
response to the Naval Audit Report Number One.
    General Conway. Yes, sir.
    Senator Kennedy. That has been done.
    General Conway. Sir, if I could, with all due respect to 
Secretary Gates, when I became the Commandant in November 2006, 
at that point our commanders were advocating that we replace 
our uparmored Humvees with the MRAP vehicle. That became my 
theme then for purchase of those vehicles.
    If I could offer another quote, it was when I had said that 
by that point in time that we had had 300 underbody attacks 
against the MRAP and had not lost a single marine or sailor, 
the Secretary was impressed with that quality of the vehicle 
and then made it his number one priority in the DOD.
    Senator Kennedy. My time is up. I'm interested in the 
process of the request that was made and how the Marine Corps 
bureaucracy responded to that urgent request. I think you've 
answered the question with regards to the desirability of that 
particular system and alternative systems. But that doesn't get 
away from the underlying point about whether the system is 
functioning and working when these urgent requests come up 
which are necessary.
    I'll look forward to looking through the report.
    Chairman Levin. Thank you, Senator Kennedy.
    Senator Collins.
    Senator Collins. Thank you.
    Admiral Roughead, there's been a lot of discussion about 
the cost of the DDG-1000 and some House Members are quoted in 
Defense Daily today as going so far as to suggest the diversion 
of funds from the budget in order to buy other kinds of ships. 
What is often overlooked in the discussion of the DDG-1000 are 
three factors: first, that the requirements are actually for 8 
to 12 DDG-1000s rather than the 7 that are in the long-term 
plan; second, the technological advancements that have been 
incorporated into the ship, that will give the Navy much-needed 
capabilities; and third, the cost savings that will result when 
you look at the life-cycle cost from the much smaller crew size 
for the DDG-1000. If memory serves me correctly, I believe that 
the DDG-51 requires 338 sailors and we're looking at a crew 
size of only 142 sailors for the DDG-1000.
    Could you comment, please, on the capabilities issue, the 
requirements, and the cost?
    Admiral Roughead. Yes, Senator, I will. The DDG-1000 
introduces more new technology that will inform our future Navy 
combatants than any other ship class that we've ever fielded. 
The new technologies that we have put into that, the most 
significant one I believe is what you mentioned, reducing the 
crew size. Our ships of the future must have smaller crews.
    With respect to some of the press reporting that I have 
read about using the DDG-1000 to perhaps be used, the resources 
for that to be used for other ship classes, I'm very concerned 
that we do not disrupt our combatant lines. Right now we are 
developing a new Fleet of ships. If you look across it from 
submarines to combatants to amphibious ships, we are 
introducing all new classes. The Virginia-class is coming on 
line. It's a great submarine. The prices are coming down. We're 
doing the right thing there.
    The Amphibious Transport Dock (LPD)-17. Even though we had 
some growing pains when that ship came out, we're now in the 
process of getting into the flow of that ship, and in fact on 
Saturday I'm going down to participate in the christening of 
New York, our most recent LPD-17. The T-AKEs, that line is 
moving well.
    The areas where I am most concerned about are in our 
combatant lines: the DDG-1000, our new destroyer, and where we 
will take that ship to bridge to the new cruiser that we're 
beginning to work on now, but also the LCS.
    I believe with the stability that we have in submarines, 
amphibious ships, and auxiliary ships, we really need to allow 
our combatant build programs to take root, grow, stabilize, and 
move us into the future. So I very much want to do as much as 
we can to get the stability in our combatant lines for the 
future.
    Senator Collins. That's also very important in terms of the 
transition from the DDG-51 line to the DDG-1000. We do need to 
make sure that that is managed very appropriately in order to 
avoid a gap in the work at the yards, which could cause the 
loss of skilled workers. Once you lose that capability, it's 
gone forever; and I know that you and Secretary Winter share my 
concern in that regard.
    I want to associate myself also with the concerns expressed 
by Senator Warner about the need to stay on course for the 313-
ship fleet, which you have appropriately described as the 
floor, the minimum that we need. Part of the strategy for 
achieving that goal is modernizing in order to extend the life 
of the DDG-51 Arleigh Burke class of destroyers.
    First of all, how important is that modernization plan to 
achieving the 313-ship fleet?
    Admiral Roughead. That is very important to our 313-ship 
fleet, and it's also very important to the relevant 
capabilities that we're going to need in the future. DDGs are 
great ships. I speak from experience, having put one in 
commission myself as a commanding officer. But also, it was a 
DDG that was the backup ship for the Lake Erie when they shot 
down the satellite, again attesting to the versatility of the 
ship and the capability of that ship.
    It will be important for us to conduct that modernization, 
to upgrade the capability and extend the life of those ships, 
so that we don't have to take them out before they're due.
    Senator Collins. I want to encourage you to examine both 
the cost and schedule advantages of doing that modernization at 
the building yard rather than the home port. I think there's 
significant evidence that suggests there would be considerable 
cost savings to the Navy as well as efficiencies in doing that, 
and I look forward to working further with you and Secretary 
Winter.
    Finally, let me just thank you, Admiral Roughead, for 
coming to Maine to visit Bath Iron Works and to visit the 
Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, ME. I know you were 
impressed with what you saw and I very much appreciated your 
including Maine as you've been getting out across the country 
to visit naval installations and yards.
    Admiral Roughead. Thank you, Senator, and thank you for 
taking time from your schedule to be with me during that visit. 
It really was good to get out and see the quality of work 
that's being done, the commitment not just of the leadership in 
the yards, but, as in all cases, it's the individual on the 
line that's actually doing the hard work that makes a 
difference, and that was apparent during my time up there.
    Senator Collins. Thank you.
    Chairman Levin. Thank you, Senator Collins.
    Senator Lieberman.
    Senator Lieberman. Thanks, Mr. Chairman.
    Thanks, gentlemen, for your testimony and for your service.
    General Conway, I think that the two exchanges that you had 
with Senator Warner and Senator Kennedy over the MRAP and the 
uparmored Humvee were very important. Perhaps we in Congress 
have something to learn from them. I think we have been so 
concerned not only about the vest that you talked about with 
Senator Warner, but about the exposure of our personnel to the 
impact of the IEDs, the bombs, that we rushed with a lot of 
good intentions to authorize and appropriate at a very high 
level for the provision of the MRAPs. I'm hearing you say 
something really very, in some ways, tough, but very practical 
and reasonable, which is that in the experience of the marines 
the MRAPs are not right for all the missions we're asking you 
to perform and, in fact, may not protect against some of the 
other kinds of vulnerabilities. I think 10 percent was what you 
said was the percentage of attacks from underneath, and 
obviously the uparmored Humvees also protect from attack from 
the side.
    So I admire you for cutting back on your initial request 
for the MRAPs because it may be as I hear you that really we 
may have overdone it in real and practical terms, not only in 
terms of your performance of the mission, but protecting the 
safety of our personnel, and that what's needed ideally is a 
mix of vehicles, the MRAP, the uparmored Humvee, and maybe 
something else. I don't know the extent to which the Joint 
Light Tactical Vehicle that is being worked on now may fill a 
role there.
    So I just wanted to thank you for what you've said and what 
you've done, and I think maybe there's a lesson in it for all 
of us.
    I don't know whether you want to respond to that briefly.
    General Conway. Sir, I would only say that I look on the 
evolution of the MRAP creation and testing and purchase as one 
of the real success stories that has come out of what's 
happened. It took Congress, it took the DOD, it took the 
industry to provide the vehicles in the rapid state that they 
did. Sir, we have still yet to lose a marine in an MRAP to an 
underbody. It is an amazing vehicle against that niche kind of 
capability, and I think I can speak on behalf of my Army 
brothers and say that they're equally satisfied.
    Senator Lieberman. Right.
    General Conway. But you are exactly correct in that it's 
not a vehicle for all places and all times. Sir, as I look at 
the particular culture of our Corps, we're light, we're 
expeditionary, we're fast-moving and hard-hitting. Although an 
MRAP still may be in our future in another battlefield, it 
doesn't transport well.
    Senator Lieberman. Yes, it doesn't transport well if it's 
too heavy; I agree with you. I'm certainly not questioning the 
MRAP program. I think it's had great utility, and I appreciate 
your saying that we turned it around quickly.
    But your point is well taken. If it doesn't travel well, if 
it's too heavy to go over some bridges, if it doesn't operate 
well off road, and if it doesn't protect against some of the 
other threats to our troops, then I think what we're looking 
for is a mix of vehicles to allow you and the Army to carry out 
the missions we've asked you to carry out with maximum 
protection of our troops.
    General Conway. I think that's exactly right, Senator.
    Senator Lieberman. I appreciate that very much, and I think 
it's something we have to take into consideration.
    I want to go back to the size of the Fleet, the goal of 313 
ships total. What are we at right now, just as a matter of 
record? How large is the Fleet?
    Admiral Roughead. 279 today, sir.
    Senator Lieberman. Right. So in the most direct sense, does 
that mean, since we're at 279 and our goal has been to be at 
313 ships in our Navy, that we are vulnerable, we're in some 
danger? Are you unable to carry out some of the missions, 
Admiral, that the country is asking you to carry out?
    Admiral Roughead. Senator, I would put it into two 
different categories. One is that in combat operations I would 
say that the size of the Fleet today puts us at moderate risk, 
and by ``moderate risk,'' there would be likely success, but it 
may require longer time, it may require more resources, and it 
could require some changes in the plans that we would normally 
use to go after a particular problem.
    But I also believe that in the world that we live in today 
and the strategy that I believe that we as a Navy and a Marine 
Corps and even a Coast Guard must pursue, that we have to be 
out and about. The types of operations, the importance of 
maritime security on our prosperity and the way that the goods 
and resources flow around the world, that numbers become a 
capability in themselves, and we have to be there to assure the 
sea lanes that supply our country and that allow us to export 
our goods; and also to be able to have the types of ships and 
the balance in our Fleet for the various missions that we 
perform.
    The one area that I am most concerned about today is the 
area close to shore, the littoral areas, the green water. 
That's what the LCS is about. The other ship classes that we 
have are complementing current capabilities and are upgrading 
those current capabilities. The LCS is about an area that we 
are, quite frankly, deficient in.
    Senator Lieberman. I appreciate the directness of the 
answer. Moderate risk is, I think, ideally more risk than any 
of us should want you and our country to face, so that it does 
make the point, though that the absolute dollars in the 
requested DOD budget are large, in my opinion they're not 
enough and we remain at a percentage of the Gross Domestic 
Product, that is spending on defense, which is historically 
low, considering that we are at war, an active war, and we're 
facing the rise of other great powers--Russia, China--who we 
obviously hope we'd never get into hostilities with, but are 
putting a lot of money into military acquisitions, including 
ships for their fleet.
    Let me ask you about the LCS, just to remind us what the 
numbers are. Of the 313 goal, how many are intended to be in 
the LCS category?
    Admiral Roughead. Our objective, Senator, is 55.
    Senator Lieberman. So that's a pretty significant number.
    Admiral Roughead. Yes, sir.
    Senator Lieberman. Just for the record, you've cut back 
because of the problems in acquisition and development on what 
you're going to ask for this year, right, for the LCS?
    Admiral Roughead. Yes, sir, that's correct.
    Senator Lieberman. Just remind us again of what the 
reduction there is?
    Admiral Roughead. We reduced our intention this year by 
four LCSs and that is the adjustment in this year's current 
budget proposal.
    Senator Lieberman. So do you worry that the increasing cost 
of the ship will make it impossible for us to attain the 55 
number goal for the LCS that is part of that 313?
    Admiral Roughead. Getting control of the cost and indeed 
bringing the cost of the ship down is a very high priority, and 
that's what we're working on with the Secretary's leadership, 
and the decisiveness in cancelling the LCSs three and four was 
not an easy decision, but I believe it was in the best 
interests of the program.
    I look forward to being able to take the 2008 ship and the 
two LCSs that we have in 2009 and being able to put together an 
acquisition strategy that allows us to move forward, that 
allows us to acquire those ships, so that we can get them out, 
get them operating, because I do believe they are going to be 
workhorses of the future for us.
    Senator Lieberman. I agree. So at this moment you would 
hold to the 55 LCS goal that's part of the 313?
    Admiral Roughead. Yes, sir, my objective remains 55 LCSs.
    Senator Lieberman. The 313 remains not only your goal, but 
a goal that you think will meet our defense needs, our national 
security needs?
    Admiral Roughead. Yes, sir, and I would say that it is the 
minimum number of ships that we will need for the future.
    Senator Lieberman. It's very important to say that, right.
    Thank you. My time is up. Thank you very much.
    Chairman Levin. Thank you, Senator Lieberman.
    Senator Thune.
    Senator Thune. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. Secretary, Admiral, General, welcome. I'm always 
impressed at the tremendous ability and resilience of our men 
and women in uniform, and the Navy and Marine Corps certainly 
are great examples of that. Although in South Dakota we don't 
have a lot of shoreline, coastline, or beaches, I still have a 
great interest in making sure that our sailors and marines are 
well-equipped and well-trained.
    Secretary Winter, in your prepared testimony you discuss 
the recent readiness and training challenges that the Navy 
faces with a Ninth Circuit Court decision regarding the Navy's 
use of active sonar off the coast of California to train strike 
groups before deploying. From what I understand from your 
prepared statement, the Navy is still subject to an injunction 
on the use of this sonar issued by the court, despite the 
President granting an emergency exemption.
    As the ranking member of the Readiness and Management 
Support Subcommittee, I'm concerned about the effect that this 
injunction may be having on predeployment training. What effect 
is this injunction having on your current ability to conduct 
predeployment training, particularly as it relates to 
countering these modern super-quiet diesel electric submarines?
    Secretary Winter. Thank you, Senator, for the question. 
Right now the orders that we've received from the court impose 
several additional conditions on our use of sonar for training 
and exercise activities in the southern California operating 
area which we believe would have a significant deleterious 
effect on the efficacy of those training activities. They 
basically increase the requirement for shutdown of the sonar 
when a marine mammal is seen from what has been our practice of 
200 yards to a 2,000-meter requirement, which is over a factor 
of 10 increase in the area that we have to shut down under such 
circumstances.
    Similarly, there are certain water column conditions, 
what's known as surface ducting conditions, under which we 
would be required to reduce the sonar power by 75 percent 
whether or not a marine mammal was present.
    Those types of constraints we believe would significantly 
affect our ability to conduct the type of training activities 
that are crucial to preparing our Fleet prior to deployment.
    Senator Thune. Admiral Roughead, I have a question in 
relation to the encounter by the Navy with five Iranian 
speedboats that occurred last month in the Strait of Hormuz. 
According to a January 12, 2008, article in the New York Times, 
a 2002 war game indicated that small, agile speedboats could 
swarm a naval convoy and inflict devastating damage on our 
warships.
    To the extent that you can discuss this in an open setting, 
what is the Navy doing to prepare to meet this type of threat?
    Admiral Roughead. Senator, as you would understand, I won't 
get into the particular procedures that our ships and crews 
use. But first off, I'd like to just mention the competence and 
the training of our crews and the commanding officers are what 
I believe kept that situation under control.
    As part of our training for our crews as they prepare to 
deploy, we present them with scenarios that are very similar to 
that which would be encountered around the Straits of Hormuz 
and other littoral areas such as that. We employ simulators as 
well, again to just be able to take them through a variety of 
responses. But as we operate in environments like that we 
employ all dimensions of our naval power, not just the 
capabilities that we have on our ships, but also our airplanes, 
those that are embarked on the destroyers and other combatants, 
but also the aircraft of our air wing. So it's a total 
capability that we bring in. Our awareness, our situational 
awareness, adds to our understanding of what is developing.
    But again, I come back to the fact that it really is the 
training, the competence, and the discipline of the young men 
and women who are operating our ships at sea that make all the 
difference.
    Senator Thune. I absolutely would agree with that with 
regard to the incident in January. I guess the question is with 
regard to the simulation and how that played out when you gamed 
it out, do you have a concern about our flexibility and ability 
to react to that type of a threat, which seems to be where our 
adversaries in that region are headed?
    Admiral Roughead. Senator, I have confidence in our sailors 
and our commanding officers, but I am concerned about the type 
of behavior that is allowed to be taking place. When the 
leadership of Iran lauds the crew that captured the Royal Navy 
sailors, I think that that just engenders an attitude in the 
Revolutionary Guard units that has the potential to escalate, 
elevate, and perhaps make behavior like this more routine.
    Senator Thune. Secretary Winter, the Navy recently rolled 
out a new maritime strategy. Could you highlight the major 
points of that strategy and where you think we have the big 
gaps in our ability to execute it?
    Secretary Winter. I think the new maritime strategy really 
represents a long-term commitment on the part of the Navy to 
partnership building, to maritime security as a common 
objective of all maritime nations, and also recognizes the 
importance of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief as 
mechanisms to assist our ability to develop the relationships 
with other nations, other navies, and be able to represent our 
country around the world.
    It also continues, if you will, all the current aspects of 
dissuasion, deterrence, and supremacy at sea that have been a 
hallmark of our Navy ever since.
    Senator Thune. Admiral Roughead, there has been a lot 
written about the development of the Chinese and Indian navies, 
as well as other emerging threats. How would you characterize 
the submarine threat that other countries pose and how ready is 
the United States to deal with it?
    Admiral Roughead. The proliferation of submarines globally 
is occurring at a very, very rapid pace, and it's more than 
just numbers. The sophistication and the technical advancements 
that are being made in quieting submarines, making them harder 
to find, creating air-independent propulsion systems that allow 
submarines to remain under water for very long periods of time, 
add to the challenges of anti-submarine warfare and get to the 
point that the Secretary was making about the need to be able 
to train against those types of threats.
    In the days of the Soviet Navy, we looked for their 
submarines by listening passively and we could detect where 
they were and get a position on them. In the case of these very 
sophisticated, smaller, advanced diesel submarines, active 
sonar is how we find them, active sonar is how we localize 
them, and active sonar is enabling how we will kill them. We 
must be able to train realistically.
    We can do that while being good stewards of the 
environment. In fact, the United States Navy has invested in 
marine mammal research, more than any other organization in the 
world. We can do both and our record speaks to that.
    Senator Thune. Mr. Secretary, do you have any indication of 
if and when that injunction by the court might be lifted with 
regard to the training exercises?
    Secretary Winter. Sir, we had oral arguments yesterday in 
California. We expect to get a ruling by the Ninth Circuit 
Court some time next week, and we'll have to go from there. I 
do expect, however, to see continuing challenges on a wide 
variety of fronts associated with our use of sonar techniques.
    Senator Thune. I see my time has expired. Thank you, Mr. 
Chairman.
    Chairman Levin. Thank you, Senator Thune.
    Senator Bill Nelson.
    Senator Bill Nelson. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Good morning, gentlemen, and thank you for your public 
service to our country. I get to visit with you, Mr. Secretary 
and Admiral, probably more than you would want me to visit with 
you, and I thank you for the continuing saga with regard to 
making Mayport nuclear, and we're awaiting the Environment 
Impact Statement (EIS) so thank you very much.
    In a couple of minutes I'm going to be visiting with our 
Commander of U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) and, as I have 
discussed with both of you, the recommendations that are coming 
up to you, Mr. Secretary, from the Admiral about the 
reactivation of the Fourth Fleet. You may want to share your 
thoughts with the committee about that, and then specifically 
I'd like to ask if you will make the request for the 
appropriate funding in order to make the necessary improvements 
at Mayport for the Fourth Fleet that would support Admiral 
James E. Starvidis, USN, as we project our American presence 
throughout the Western Hemisphere.
    Admiral Roughead. Senator, I've been out in the fleet for 
the last few years, and as I've looked at the world we're going 
to operate in and I look at the strategy that I believe is 
right for our time, it became apparent to me that we had to 
make some adjustments in our command and control structure, and 
from that came the Fourth Fleet recommendation that I've made.
    It will better align Admiral Stavridis's naval activities 
and operations with the way that we're doing them in other 
parts of the world, very similar to Fifth Fleet and Sixth 
Fleet. So I believe the time has come to reactivate that and it 
will provide for much more effective operations and more 
cooperative activity, particularly in the SOUTHCOM area of 
operations.
    I would say, however, that the Fourth Fleet is a command 
structure and, similar to the Sixth Fleet in Europe and the 
Fifth Fleet in the Middle East, they will be receiving forces 
from other naval commands and operating them in the SOUTHCOM 
area of operations. So with regard to any improvements in 
Mayport, those are more driven by the EIS that I'm pleased 
we're going to have out here soon for public comment and 
decision in January 2009, and also the outcome of what I've 
asked my staff to do, and that is to look at what is the right 
strategic laydown and where should we have our Navy forces 
positioned in the United States.
    Senator Bill Nelson. So that EIS is not only going to be 
for nuclear-capable, but it's also going to be for whatever 
additional activities you would have with the Fourth Fleet?
    Admiral Roughead. What the EIS is looking at are a range of 
force package options for Mayport. There are 13 options that 
we're going to look at and range everywhere from combatants to 
carriers, and that will be a very informative document for us.
    Senator Bill Nelson. Mr. Secretary, what's this in the 
chain of command? Is it coming from the Admiral up to you and 
then it goes to Secretary Gates? Is that what happens?
    Secretary Winter. Yes, sir. I've taken a preliminary brief 
on it. I've asked a number of questions, particularly with 
regard to exactly how we will evolve this structure. As the CNO 
commented, this is principally a command and control element. 
This is a staff group that we're talking about. Most of that 
staff currently resides at Mayport. Is that the right place in 
the long term to support the SOUTHCOM down in Miami? How do we 
want to work all of that? All has to be determined yet.
    Once we go through that process, then we will go and take 
it forward to the Secretary of Defense.
    Senator Bill Nelson. Is that interrelated with the EIS or 
is that a command decision about where you locate the support 
group?
    Secretary Winter. I do not view this as having any material 
impact on the EIS or vice versa.
    Senator Bill Nelson. I see. Well then, I must have been 
mistaken. I thought that the recommendation coming up was that 
the Fourth Fleet would be headquartered at Mayport.
    Admiral Roughead. Senator, the Fourth Fleet is a 
headquarters, much like our Sixth Fleet is in Europe and our 
Fifth Fleet is in Bahrain. It is a headquarters organization 
that in the case of Fourth Fleet will be the merging of Naval 
Forces South and the Fourth Fleet into the headquarters 
element.
    Senator Bill Nelson. I thought that recommendation that was 
going up was to be at Mayport. Is that the recommendation that 
has to go up through the civilian leadership?
    Admiral Roughead. The recommendation, sir, is to take the 
Navy Southern Command (NAVSOUTH) staff and redesignate them as 
NAVSOUTH and Fourth Fleet, and that they currently reside in 
Mayport. My recommendation is that that redesignation occur, 
but that as we look at force laydown, where command and control 
structure will be in the future, I believe we should be looking 
at what is the best way for us to position and operate our 
Navy, and that will all be part of the look that I'm doing.
    Senator Bill Nelson. So long term, that's a decision still 
to be made in your recommendation?
    Admiral Roughead. Yes, sir. I think that we should be 
taking a good look at the overall force posture and positioning 
and where is the best place to put our forces.
    Senator Bill Nelson. All right. Admiral, let me ask you 
about the Reliable Replacement Warhead (RRW), which was going 
on the submarine-launched ballistic missiles. The first version 
of the RRW was something of a rebuild of the existing W-76 
nuclear warhead. But now the question is, is there a slow-up on 
the RRW? So what's the impact on the rebuild of the W-76?
    Admiral Roughead. Senator, if I could take that question 
for the record, I'd like to do that and get back to you.
    [The information referred to follows:]

    The current halt in the Reliable Replacement Weapon program 
resulting from the removal of Department of Energy funding in the 
fiscal year 2008 Appropriations process does not affect the Navy's 
program to refurbish existing W-76 warheads. The Navy's plan to extend 
the service life of W-76 warheads will ensure their safety and 
reliability through calendar year 2042.

    Senator Bill Nelson. Okay. We have that issue in front of 
our Strategic Forces Subcommittee, which we're going to have to 
answer that.
    I would also want to ask you if you would take for the 
record the question of the Standard Missile 3 inventory, as 
well as the Standard Missile 3 Block 1B over the Block 1A.
    Admiral Roughead. Yes, sir.
    [The information referred to follows:]

    The current inventory of SM-3 Missiles is 25; 9 SM-3 Block I 
variants and 16 SM-3 Block IA variants. A total of 75 SM-3 Block IA 
variants will be produced in the program of record. In fiscal year 
2010, production of the SM-3 Block IB variant will begin, with the 
first Flight Test Mission in fiscal year 2011. There are a total of 72 
SM-3 Block IB variants in the program of record through fiscal year 
2013.

    Senator Bill Nelson. It's going to have a considerable 
improvement and we need your advice as we get into this. 
Speaking of the Standard Missile, congratulations to you.
    Admiral Roughead. Thank you very much, sir.
    Senator Bill Nelson. You hit the bull's eye and you did a 
service, and I think it's appropriate for somebody like me to 
say that, even though people jump to conclusions, the fact is 
you had a schoolbus-sized defense satellite that was tumbling 
out of control, along with a 1,000-pound tank of hydrazine that 
could survive reentry, and the fact that you hit it and busted 
it into all thousands of pieces will cause--number one, the 
orbit to degrade a lot quicker; number two, much more 
manageable and therefore less likely that pieces survive the 
searing heat of reentry; and number three, you busted open the 
tank, so the likelihood of a tank filled with hydrazine--which 
did happen, by the way. The small hydrazine tank survived the 
reentry in the destruction of the Space Shuttle Columbia all 
the way to the Earth's surface. So for that third reason, you 
are to be congratulated in improving the safety of the 
conditions. Thank you.
    Admiral Roughead. Thank you, Senator.
    Senator Bill Nelson. Thank you very much.
    Admiral Roughead. I couldn't be more proud of our sailors 
and our civilian engineers that put all that together. Thank 
you.
    Chairman Levin. Thank you, Senator Nelson. Senator Nelson's 
comments and congratulations I'm sure reflects the feelings of 
all of us.
    Admiral Roughead. Thank you very much, sir.
    Chairman Levin. Senator Martinez, an uninterrupted turn 
from the chairman today.
    Senator Martinez. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. We can work as a 
team when need be. I thank you.
    I want to add my word of congratulations. I really think it 
was a remarkable thing. From time to time there are things that 
happen that completely capture our imagination and that one is 
an amazing feat. So, well done!
    Admiral Roughead, we have talked about the expanding Navy 
and the need for a 313-ship Navy, which as you know I fully 
support. One of the things that has been mentioned along those 
lines is the possibility that the Navy should be an all-nuclear 
surface fleet, and I wonder if you can articulate for us your 
thoughts on that issue.
    Admiral Roughead. Yes, sir. Nuclear power offers 
advantages. Nuclear power is also a more expensive initial cost 
as we build ships that have nuclear propulsion. I believe that 
as we look at the ships of the future we should look at varying 
types of ways to propel and to power those ships, and nuclear 
power is one of those things that we should look at.
    That said, for all ships to be nuclear my great concern is 
that it would become a question of affordability, and we have 
to look at that. We have to look at more than just the fuel 
cost. We have to look at how much it will cost us to maintain 
those ships, how much it will cost us to manage those ships, 
because I believe that as nuclear power has a resurgence in the 
civilian commercial applications that many of those companies 
know where the best operators and where the best engineers are, 
and that's in the United States Navy.
    Senator Martinez. So your concern is cost, which when 
compared to the cost of fuel alone does not tell you the whole 
cost, which has to do with the increased maintenance, and also 
you think that you could have simply a manpower issue in terms 
of competing with the private sector for increased demand for 
nuclear?
    Admiral Roughead. Yes, sir. We have to look at the whole 
dimension of it and then make the best decisions that we 
possibly can.
    Senator Martinez. So you want the flexibility, in other 
words to increase our Navy with whatever power station you 
think is the most suitable at a given point in time?
    Admiral Roughead. Yes, sir.
    Senator Martinez. Mr. Secretary, good to see you again.
    Secretary Winter. Good to see you, sir.
    Senator Martinez. We've talked about the LCS and how 
important it is. I really would like to get an update from you 
on that program. Where are we, what steps have you taken to 
correct the deficiencies? The Admiral and I have discussed the 
need for us to get this one right as we look to getting that 
313-ship Navy. So bring us up to speed on where we are on the 
procurement, on the ship models, and that kind of thing?
    Secretary Winter. Yes, sir. At this point in time we are 
focusing on really two aspects, one of which is the two ship 
hulls that are being constructed right now, one in Marinette 
under the Lockheed prime contract and the other down in Alabama 
under the General Dynamics contract. Both of those ships are 
coming along. We are right now conducting somewhat limited 
power train tests up at Marinette with the LCS-1. We're 
somewhat limited because of the ice buildup at this time of 
year in the lake there, and we are fully expecting to be able 
to initiate the full range of sea trials once we get past the 
ice season there, most likely in the April time period.
    With the LCS-2, which is down in Alabama, we're in the 
process of completing the construction there to the point that 
we can get it into the water later this spring. That is still 
our current forecast there and we fully expect to be able to 
conduct at least the initial range of sea trials with her later 
this year.
    Senator Martinez. What timeframe of the year? This summer, 
perhaps?
    Secretary Winter. Probably in the summertime, yes, sir.
    At the same time, we have proceeded very well on the 
mission modules. We've already taken delivery of the first of 
the mine warfare modules. That has been delivered. We also are 
fully expecting to have the first of the surface warfare and 
the anti-submarine warfare modules delivered this year. All of 
that gives us a good basis for conducting the full range of 
mission tests that we'd like to be able to do with both of 
these vessels.
    At the same time, we're preparing to start a round of 
acquisition which would enable us to acquire three additional 
vessels under a fixed price incentive type contract. Those 
three vessels would include the one that was previously 
approved for fiscal year 2008 and the two that we're requesting 
in the year of current interest, fiscal year 2009.
    Senator Martinez. Thank you, sir.
    General Conway, we've discussed this morning here the 
increased presence in Afghanistan with 3,200 marines. I'm not 
sure if it was asked, but if not I'd like to be sure that I'm 
clear. My concern is that from reports that I hear of an 
increasingly deteriorating situation in Afghanistan from the 
security standpoint, that this type of force increase may not 
be sufficient and that perhaps additional forces may be needed 
in Afghanistan in the near future.
    Aside from the great concern that I have about the lack of 
participation in real fighting from our North Atlantic Treaty 
Organization (NATO) partners, can you tell us where you see the 
Afghanistan force needs going in the near term and the far 
term?
    General Conway. Sir, I think your analysis is probably 
correct. When we visit there, people are generally pretty 
satisfied with what they see happening in Regional Command 
East, which is up against the Pakistani border and is in the 
northeastern portion of Afghanistan. They are less comfortable 
with conditions in the south. The drug fields still operate 
relatively freely there. There are what they call rat lines in 
from what some would consider safe haven across an 
international border. Taliban actually control some ground and 
some would say it's the heart of the Taliban. You have families 
there who have sons fighting as a part of the Taliban.
    So I think Regional Command South is still very much an 
unclear picture at this point, and whether or not enough troops 
have now been committed, both coalition force troops, who in 
some cases are doing very good work, and now marines in 
addition to the soldiers that have been there, will be 
sufficient I think is uncertain at this point, sir.
    Senator Martinez. I know the Secretary of Defense has been 
traveling a lot recently and has made his case to our NATO 
partners. But can you tell us anything about the level of 
cooperation that you might anticipate in what is a NATO mission 
from other NATO countries in terms of participating in the 
actual difficult work that is necessary there?
    General Conway. Sir, I cannot talk about any increased 
participation. What we do know is that the Canadians publicly 
are asking for additional troops. They think that there is a 
need for additional troops, especially if our marines pull out 
in October, which is planned at this point. The British we see 
are there. They have a replacement scheduled, a rotation that 
will replace the people that are there now with a parachute 
brigade, for all intents and purposes.
    So we think that the resolve is still readily evident on 
the coalition forces that are there now for at least the rest 
of this calendar year. Again, sir, I would not want to 
presuppose beyond that.
    Senator Martinez. Thank you, General.
    My time is up, but let me associate myself with Senator 
Nelson's comments as they relate to the situation in Mayport 
and our great desire to continue to see a very vibrant naval 
presence there going into the future. We've discussed it ad 
nauseam. I'm sure you know my points on that, but I did want to 
associate myself with the Senator's comments. Thank you.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Levin. Thank you, Senator Martinez.
    Senator Reed.
    Senator Reed. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
    Thank you, gentlemen. Admiral Roughead, the Navy has the 
requirement to start detailed design for the next class of 
ballistic missile submarine. In fact, we have to start doing 
that pretty soon since I think 2019 is the target date to begin 
construction. When are you going to start that research and 
development (R&D) design program in the budget, this year's 
budget?
    Admiral Roughead. Yes, sir. We have to start looking at 
that, and we are beginning to move forward with initiatives to 
work a design process, as well as work cooperatively with the 
U.K. Government, which has a more urgent need than we do. So we 
are moving forward in that regard.
    Senator Reed. One of the problems I think is not in terms 
of just the delivery of the submarine in the future; it's the 
maintenance of the R&D force, which is fragile. If we don't 
keep investing, these are skilled individuals who will leave 
and go off by necessity. That is, I presume, a concern that you 
have and that will motivate your actions.
    Admiral Roughead. Very much so, yes, sir.
    Senator Reed. Mr. Secretary, can you describe the 
acquisition strategy for the rest of the ships in the DDG-1000 
program?
    Secretary Winter. Yes, sir. At this point in time we have 
not definitized the acquisition strategy for the rest of the 
ships. We will be developing that this year and going through 
the normal approval process on that.
    Senator Reed. When do you anticipate informing Congress 
about the results of the analysis of alternatives and design 
decisions for the CG(X?)
    Secretary Winter. Sir, we're still in the process of going 
through that right now. I will say that, based on the 
preliminary reviews I've had, we still have a ways to go on 
that, and I will be hard-pressed to give you a definitive date 
at this point in time.
    Senator Reed. Is it your intention to leverage the 
investment in existing hulls by re-using DDG-1000 hulls in your 
planning? Is that one option at least? I know you can't reach a 
definitive judgment. Is that an option?
    Secretary Winter. Sir, one of our principal objectives, is 
to maximize reuse of everything from hull forms to individual 
componentry on all of our ships, and to the extent that we can 
use improvements and new technology that is being developed in 
other programs, we will endeavor to do so.
    It is at this point in time, sir, though, just one of a 
series of options.
    Senator Reed. Yes. With respect to the DDG-1000 hull and 
the construction of the CG(X), can you do that with nuclear 
propulsion, as required by the National Defense Authorization 
Act for Fiscal Year 2008?
    Secretary Winter. That is one aspect that we're looking at. 
We do believe that we can accommodate a reactor plant in that 
particular hull form, but that is something that still needs to 
be fully developed.
    Senator Reed. Thank you.
    General Conway and Admiral Roughead, in general do you 
think we are putting enough money into the R&D to support both 
shipboard operations and expeditionary forces? Commandant, you 
first, and then the Admiral.
    General Conway. Yes, sir, I do. We have a very active 
warfighting lab that works with the Navy research labs. We 
reach out to commercial and educational institutions with our 
research. So I think that we are, sir.
    Admiral Roughead. I agree with that, Senator. Just 
coincidentally, this week I directed the president of our Naval 
War College to reinstitute the Title 10 war game so that we 
can, at an operational level, begin to look at some of the 
concepts that are important to General Conway and me, 
particularly in the area of sea basing, because I really value 
the intellectual capital that we have in Newport.
    Senator Reed. Rhode Island?
    Admiral Roughead. In Newport, RI, absolutely, yes, sir. 
That adds to not just the R&D, but really the operational 
perspectives that must be brought to bear.
    Senator Reed. Let me raise a final question. That is, I 
understand that the Navy is essentially allocating 50 
accessions from their Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) or 
Naval Academy programs to the Marine Corps this year. Is there 
any plan going forward or contemporaneously to make up for 
that?
    Admiral Roughead. Senator, one of the things that we are 
requesting this year is to grow the size of the Naval Academy 
by 100 midshipmen. It will be done over a period of 4 years. 
That really is in support of the Marine Corps requirement and 
I'd seek your favorable consideration.
    Senator Reed. As long as they're coming out for the archery 
team that's fine. [Laughter.]
    Thank you.
    Chairman Levin. Let's see. Senator Wicker, I believe, is 
next.
    Senator Wicker.
    Senator Wicker. Thank you. Thank you very much. I 
appreciate it, Mr. Chairman.
    Gentlemen, let's talk about LPDs. Mr. Secretary, the 
purpose of the LPD is to load, transport, and unload marines, 
as well as their assault equipment, such as helicopters and 
other vehicles, for amphibious warfare missions. I notice, 
Admiral Roughead, that the LPD is number two on the Navy's 
unfunded priority list and, General Conway, it's the Marines' 
number one unfunded priority. I'd like to see that moved up, 
moved up a little.
    I know that we have competition between the needs and our 
ability to finance them. But I am concerned about our ability 
to provide continuous global posture, as outlined in the naval 
strategy, without additional investments in these large-deck 
platforms.
    If you couple the fact that the fiscal year 2009 budget 
outlines a 5-year shipbuilding plan and relies heavily on three 
new platforms, which brings a large degree of risk to an 
already complicated production strategy, with the growing 
Marine Corps, which I support and which most people support, it 
seems to me that additional LPDs are going to be necessary.
    As I understand it, there are nine of these ships that have 
been authorized and appropriated in last year's act. $50 
million in advance procurement was appropriated for the tenth 
ship, but it is not funded in the budget request. I'll ask each 
of you to comment on this. How many ESGs does the Marine Corps 
have a validated requirement for? As a matter of fact, somebody 
tell us for the record, what comprises an ESG?
    Admiral Roughead. The ESG, Senator, is comprised of----
    Senator Wicker. One strike group.
    Admiral Roughead. One strike group. One strike group will 
have a large-deck amphibious ship. It will have surface 
combatants capable of firing Tomahawk missiles, and on occasion 
we will couple a submarine with that strike group.
    Senator Wicker. But an LPD is an integral part of this ESG, 
is that correct?
    Admiral Roughead. That is correct.
    Senator Wicker. So isn't it a fact that we have a 
requirement, a validated requirement, for 11 of these strike 
groups?
    Admiral Roughead. General Conway's requirement is for 11 
LPDs as part of an 11-11-11 mix. I concur with the requirement 
that he has set forth. With regard to the prioritization with 
the LPD on my unfunded priority list, it is number two. Number 
one on my list are the P-3 airplanes that we have experienced 
cracking in the wings, and I've had to ground 39 of them in the 
last couple of months. The P-3s are our premier anti-submarine 
warfare airplane, so they're important to us in that mission. 
They're also being used very extensively in Iraq because of 
their intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capability 
that they have, and for that reason I have put the P-3s as my 
number one priority.
    Senator Wicker. Number one unfunded priority.
    Admiral Roughead. Unfunded priority.
    Senator Wicker. How are we going to meet these requirements 
without the number one and number two requirement, and for you, 
General Conway, for your number one unfunded priority? How are 
we going to meet the requirement of 11 strike groups without 
those?
    General Conway. Sir, first of all, we are short. But let me 
couch perhaps the same conversation just a shade differently. 
We see that a minimum two brigade across-the-shore requirement 
is how we arrive at the numbers of ships that we need. You're 
certainly correct in that the ESGs are afloat, they serve a 
very valuable purpose, but 9 or 11 ESGs do not make an 
amphibious assault force.
    So we have analyzed what our two brigades look like, the 
amount and the numbers of ships that it would need to carry 
those brigades, and at this point we are a little short. Now, 
as Admiral Roughead mentioned, we've had some tremendous 
discussions with the Navy. We have come to agreement on the 
numbers of ships, 33 to make 30 operational ships, in order to 
give our Nation that very necessary capability. The Navy has 
looked at a way to extend some older ships that gives us that 
30 number for some period on through the Future Years Defense 
Program (FYDP), the 5-year defense plan.
    Our only concern with it, however, is that we have already, 
through previous agreement, previous CNOs and previous 
Commandants, agreed on the 30 ships. That still represents 
about a 20 percent shortfall that those brigade footprints 
would require. If we go with the old ships instead of newer 
ships, that shortfall becomes about 29 percent, and we think 
there's a risk inherent with that that just concerns us greatly 
with the ability to provide that kind of capability to the 
Nation. Ergo, it being our number one unfunded priority.
    Senator Wicker. Thank you very much. I would suggest you 
have the gist of my question. We put the $50 million in for 
advanced procurement for the 10th ship last year and I would 
just hope that this Government somehow could find the ways and 
means to go ahead with the 10th ship in short order.
    Now, General Conway, let me shift in the time I have 
remaining and follow up on Senator Martinez's question about 
Afghanistan. Regional Command South is troubling, as I 
understand your testimony to be. This is what I understand also 
from some of my colleagues who recently returned from 
Afghanistan.
    I think it's important that we paint a correct picture 
about what's going on there in Afghanistan. I think the 
testimony was that the Canadians are asking for additional 
troops. I suppose you mean they're asking our NATO allies for 
additional troops?
    General Conway. I think that's a fair statement, sir. They 
are saying that there is a need for 1,000 additional troops and 
6 additional helicopters.
    Senator Wicker. That's what the Canadians are saying. Do 
you agree with that? Is there a need for more than that 1,000 
to get the job done?
    General Conway. Sir, I think it remains to be seen. We're 
in a period at this point of lesser amounts of activity. Those 
3,400 marines are not on deck yet. I do think that a battalion 
of marines----
    Senator Wicker. I'm sorry. We're in a period of lesser 
activity?
    General Conway. Yes, sir, because it's winter there and 
there are heavy snows. The Taliban are historically less active 
during these months.
    But I think springtime will be another story. I was going 
to say, sir, that a battalion of marines in Afghanistan we feel 
as the Joint Staff is probably going to have more effect than a 
battalion in Iraq because of the nature of the threat and the 
numbers that we face. Sir, we don't know yet what the outcome 
of those 3,400 marines are going to be in the south. But the 
Canadians, who command RC South, would like to see a 
continuation of that kind of force structure on through beyond 
this calendar year and that's what they're asking for, to 
whatever nation that can help them to carry on the fight.
    Senator Wicker. Those would be NATO nations.
    The staff has just handed me a nice little card and I know 
that my time is drawing to a close. But I would just observe, 
this is a crucial moment for NATO and I would say this publicly 
to anyone that's listening to the sound of my voice. Our entry 
into Afghanistan was not controversial, as Iraq was later on. 
It followed September 11. The world was with us, and NATO all 
agreed to hold hands and do this together.
    I would simply suggest that there are a lot of people 
observing the situation that are wondering if everyone in NATO 
understands what the agreement was and what the alliance is 
about.
    Thank you.
    Chairman Levin. Thank you, Senator Wicker.
    Senator Warner. Mr. Chairman, would you allow me to commend 
my colleague? I agree with your comment with regard to NATO. We 
should not forget that background.
    Senator Wicker. Thank you, sir.
    Chairman Levin. I think there's probably a consensus on 
this committee as to what you just said, Senator Wicker. We've 
spoken out on that issue, as has the Secretary of Defense, and 
your comments, I think, are right on target about the 
obligations of NATO that have not been met.
    Senator Akaka.
    Senator Akaka. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
    Let me say, Secretary Winter, Admiral Roughead, and General 
Conway, aloha and welcome to this hearing on the Navy's 
National Defense Authorization Request for Fiscal Year 2009. 
Also I want to thank all of you for your service to our 
country, and also thank all of those you command for their 
service to our country. We really appreciate all of that.
    Secretary Winter and Admiral Roughead, my question has to 
do with Guam. Decisions have been made already to send 8,000 
marines to Guam by 2014. This move coincides with the overall 
buildup of U.S. military facilities on Guam as it becomes a key 
strategic location in the Pacific. Your 2009 budget request 
includes $34 million to continue planning and development for 
the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) activities, which 
requires an EIS.
    I understand that DOD is making steady progress with their 
EISs. Other agencies such as the Department of the Interior do 
not have the funding necessary to complete their own EIS 
requirements for Guam. Secretary Winter and Admiral Roughead, 
if these other agencies are unable to find the funding 
necessary to complete their EIS requirements, my question is 
what impact will this have on the proposed time line?
    Secretary Winter. Sir, first of all, thank you for the 
question. I would note that we have gone a long way over the 
last several months in terms of developing the interagency 
coordination necessary to bring in the other Departments. In 
particular, Secretary Dirk Kempthorne has been a major player 
in terms of bringing the Department of the Interior into this 
act as part of their responsibilities for insular affairs and 
having explicit responsibility for Guam.
    I believe that the ongoing activities that are needed to 
support both the overall EIS development and the master plan 
development have all been identified. We are hopeful that they 
will be funded in a timely manner. I know that there's been a 
lot of effort going towards that direction. I cannot give you 
an explicit statement of what would occur if any specific 
component were unable to support the activity, but I can give 
you the assurance that we are working with all the other 
agencies in a very direct manner, and should any specific issue 
come up of that nature we would be more than pleased to inform 
you of that.
    Senator Akaka. Admiral?
    Admiral Roughead. Senator, there's nothing I can add to the 
Secretary's statement.
    Senator Akaka. I would then say that should other agencies 
not provide this information there may be a reconsideration of 
the time line.
    Secretary Winter. Yes, sir.
    Senator Akaka. Admiral Roughead, the Pacific is likely to 
increase in relevance for U.S. national security and for the 
U.S. Navy. As China becomes a greater economic and military 
power and as operations against radical extremism continue in 
places like Afghanistan and Pakistan, this certainly is a huge 
concern. Personally, I just want to say I would tell you that 
Admiral Timothy J. Keating, USN, has made some great moves and 
has been able at least to converse with the Chinese 
authorities.
    Given the importance of the U.S. Navy power projection in 
the Pacific and the shifting of 8,000 marines to Guam from the 
Third Marine Expeditionary Force, is there consideration, 
Admiral, for basing the new U.S.S. Gerald R. Ford at Pearl 
Harbor, given its strategic geographical advantages?
    Admiral Roughead. Senator, in recent years we've realigned 
our carrier force, put most of it in the Pacific. The same with 
our submarines. As we look to the future and the delivery of 
the Gerald Ford, which will be an aircraft carrier of great 
capability, we will factor that capability into the force 
structure and basing plans for the future.
    Senator Akaka. General Conway, in your statement you 
mention the importance of maintaining proficiency in the most 
enduring and traditional of Marine Corps missions, and that's 
the amphibious forcible entry. I'm concerned about the current 
operational stretch on the Corps and their readiness to conduct 
these types of operations that are so different from the 
missions our marines perform with such courage today, and many 
of course on the ground.
    Given the increased Taliban activity in Afghanistan and the 
U.S. response to send an additional 3,200 marines to that 
country, what is the biggest challenge facing the Marine Corps' 
ability to prepare for high intensity amphibious operations 
over the next years, so that we don't find ourselves in a 
situation where we've underresourced you or neglected the core 
competency of the marines?
    General Conway. Sir, our biggest challenge is to be able to 
create sufficient dwell time for our marines and sailors so 
that we can get back to some of those training venues that give 
us such a multi-capable capacity to do the Nation's work. When 
we're home now, we're home for 7 months and, quite frankly, 
some of that is used in leave time at the front and at the 
beginning, but the rest of it is devoted towards 
counterinsurgency training. As a result of that, we are not 
doing amphibious training or exercises. We are not doing 
combined arms live fire maneuver, which would be the extension 
of an amphibious operation once you're ashore. We are not doing 
mountain or jungle training except by exception.
    So your concern is my concern, sir. We traditionally have 
had a cadre of very experienced officers and senior staff NCOs 
who understood amphibious operations. I'm afraid we're losing 
that capacity and we've been away from it now for 5, maybe 6 
years. I don't know that you get it back in 5 or 6 years. I 
think there is an additional time requirement out there to 
develop and provide experience levels to those kinds of 
marines.
    Senator Akaka. Let me ask my final question to the 
Secretary. The strategic importance of Guam in the Pacific has 
led to increased investment in Navy and Air Force base 
facilities and equipment as more U.S. military capabilities are 
being transferred there. In an effort to make the best use of 
limited resources, part of the Base Realignment and Closure 
2005 recommendation was to realign Anderson Air Force Base by 
relocating the installation management functions into a joint 
basing effort led by the Navy. How is this realignment 
proceeding and what are your recommendations for the 
development of future military capability on Guam?
    Secretary Winter. Senator, I would observe that the 
cooperation that I have seen on Guam between both Navy and Air 
Force senior personnel is probably as good as anyplace else in 
the Services. I think that they are evolving that concept very 
well. We are doing an integrated planning activity as we 
develop the master plan, which incorporates not only Navy and 
Air Force activities, but also Marine Corps requirements 
associated with Anderson and the related areas.
    I think that as we evolve over the next several years there 
is all the possibility of making this perhaps one of the best 
cases for integrated joint basing.
    Senator Akaka. Thank you. I thank you all for your 
responses.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Levin. Thank you, Senator Akaka.
    Senator Sessions.
    Senator Sessions. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Secretary Winter, you and Admiral Roughead, I think, have 
been very articulate and firm in your affirmation of the Navy's 
plan to make sure we have 55 LCSs as a part of the 313-ship 
Navy, and it's just a critical component of our defense 
capability. It's a new high-speed ship that would utilize less 
sailors and have more capability and be able to go into areas 
that we've never been before effectively and could have 
multiple capabilities, and maybe even as years go by we see 
even greater capabilities for that ship and we might even need 
more.
    But I was really taken aback last year when the 
subcommittee zeroed out funding for that. I can't complain. I 
believe persons in your position have to stand up and make sure 
costs come in on line. But we've now cancelled ships from both 
competitors. I guess I'm asking you and Admiral Roughead if you 
realize that it's going to take perhaps some extra effort to 
make sure that our members of the Senate and House are aware 
that, even though you're being vigorous and aggressive on costs 
and have delayed production and done some things, that you 
remain committed to this program.
    Would you share your thoughts, Secretary Winter?
    Secretary Winter. Thank you very much, Senator. I would 
like to underscore your comment there relative to the critical 
importance of LCS. I would note that, as opposed to many other 
of our shipbuilding activities, where we are modernizing and 
replacing older vessels of similar types, that this represents 
truly a new capability and a capability that we have no 
alternative mechanism of providing at this point in time.
    It is not just a matter of the speed, as you pointed out, 
but also the flexibility of the mission, the shallow draft and 
the appropriateness specifically for an evolving and 
increasingly important domain that we have to be prepared to 
fight in, the littoral.
    With regard to the specifics of the acquisition program 
that we've been engaged in, one of my objectives has been to 
ensure that we're able to acquire these vessels in a cost-
effective manner and a timely manner. One of the things that 
became fairly evident last year was that we were proceeding at 
a rate which was in advance, if you will, of our knowledge and 
understanding of the vessels. The specific actions that I took 
were with the objective of being able to put the program into a 
more studied and appropriate development process.
    I think we now have very good focus on both the individual 
vessels as well as the mission modules. We are proceeding at a 
good pace into the development and trials of both of those, and 
I fully expect that we will come out of this with an 
exceptionally good product and a capability that will provide 
excellent service for our Navy for many years to come.
    Senator Sessions. Your strong action that you took does not 
reflect any doubt of the ultimate ability of the ships being 
considered to meet the goals and requirements of the Navy?
    Secretary Winter. No, sir. If anything, I think we're going 
to wind up with two very good alternatives here, and exactly 
how we sort through that perhaps abundance of riches and 
options is something that we will have to deal with in the 
future. But I'm very comfortable that we have two very good, 
viable designs, either one of which has good prospects for 
fully meeting our objectives in the littoral.
    Senator Sessions. Admiral Roughead, would you likewise 
affirm that, even though the Navy has put its foot down on some 
cost and other issues, that that in no way reflects a lack of 
confidence in the capability of these vessels and the need that 
the Navy has for it to be a part of the Fleet?
    Admiral Roughead. Absolutely, Senator. I believe that we 
have had to fill this gap that we have and the LCS does that 
for quite some time. I have visited both variants on two 
occasions in the last 8 months. My visits to that ship only 
increased my commitment to the program, and I believe that the 
decision that was made with regard to LCS-3 and LCS-4 reflects 
a commitment to the program and the need to get the costs under 
control so that we could have the program.
    Senator Sessions. We know part of the cost problem was Navy 
additional requirements, and that all is not the contractor's 
fault when the buyer wants to add more and more capabilities. I 
think in the future, would you not agree that we could do 
better in making sure Congress has a fair picture of the actual 
costs of a product when you recommend it?
    Secretary Winter. Most definitely, sir. One of the changes 
that we put in place over this past year is a formal set of 
gate reviews that mandate that explicit discussion, so that we 
have a definitive set of requirements, not just the top level, 
but a complete set of requirements, in a timely manner and are 
willing to commit to stability in those requirements during the 
course of acquisition.
    Senator Sessions. I would just note, I know the Navy since 
I guess the beginning has favored the Law of the Sea Treaty, 
the LOST Treaty we call it. I'm not here to argue all of that, 
but I would just say to you I have a broader responsibility. 
This is an organization that gives us, I think for the most 
part, just one vote out of 100-and-something nations. It 
creates the possibility of an international taxing body on 
American corporations and businesses. It deals with many things 
that affect the seas. We even had lawsuits over nuclear power 
plants, trying to block plants on land because somebody argues 
that it might be a part of the sea. It creates international 
courts that we are bound to follow. We have perhaps enough 
courts already in our country.
    Someone could argue that this or that action might impact 
the environment of the sea, and we could have an international 
body blocking something that our environmental agency has 
approved in the United States.
    Also I would suggest that a hostile group over some 
political, international, military issue who was unhappy with 
the United States could at times generate enough votes to 
create rules that might block the military from doing things 
that we've historically been able to do.
    So I just want to say that I have some doubts about the 
treaty and I think we need to look at it carefully. That's why 
probably it hasn't been passed yet. It also has sovereignty 
issues that are not minor. We need to think those through.
    General Conway, I was honored to visit you and interact. I 
don't know whether you've had the opportunity to talk about it, 
but I remember the briefing we had in, I believe, 2006--
Senators Warner and Levin were there--that was so troubling, by 
the Marines about some of the difficult things in al-Anbar with 
the al Qaeda group. Within months, it seems, Major General 
Walter E. Gaskin, Sr., USMC, and his team had begun to 
negotiate with very local leaders, not regional leaders, not 
Baghdad leaders, but local leaders, tribal leaders, city 
mayors, and agreements were reached, and all of a sudden 
persons who had been helping the al Qaeda were now helping us. 
It really has been the model of this dramatic reduction in 
violence by 60 to 70 percent, we've seen in Iraq.
    Would you agree with that, that that was a key part of the 
change that's happened in Iraq? Would you say to us that 
legislation that would direct that you could only use force 
against al Qaeda would be impractical in the battlefield, as 
has been proposed? I don't think we're going to vote on that 
now. Maybe it's pulled down. But we had legislation up in the 
last few days that would have said you have to identify one 
group or another and you can only attack this group and not 
another.
    Any comments you would have?
    General Conway. Sir, the last question first: I would not 
want to put restrictions on the battlefield commanders or, more 
importantly, those NCOs that have to make split of the moment 
decisions that result in lives being lost or saved.
    With regard to your earlier observation, I think that's 
right. I would say that General Gaskin and his folks, the 
marines and soldiers and sailors there, did a wonderful job 
during that rotation. But they had the same theme during that 
period as we had from 2004. So I credit all those rotations 
that were through those cities and that surrounding countryside 
with maintaining the presence, maintaining their patience, 
their discipline, and trying to work with the Sunni sheiks to 
show that that we were not their worst enemy, but the al Qaeda 
was.
    I think when the al Qaeda finally overplayed their hand 
through the murder and the intimidation, wanting to intermarry 
and so forth, the sheiks finally decided collectively they had 
had it up to here. When they came to us to say, ``We will turn 
on them and slaughter them with your assistance'' we were only 
too happy to say, ``We think that's the right thing to do.'' 
That's when you saw the Province turn. It was a west to east 
movement, but it has continued east on now to Baghdad and 
places north and south of Baghdad, and I see that as very 
positive.
    Senator Sessions. Thank you.
    Chairman Levin. Thank you so much, Senator Sessions.
    Senator Webb.
    Senator Webb. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    First I would like to say--it was mentioned earlier--this 
is Senator Warner's last Department of the Navy posture 
hearing, at least as a sitting Senator, and I want to express 
all of the appreciation I can muster for the years of service 
that the senior Senator from Virginia has given our country, 
first as a marine, then in the Defense Department, and finally 
here in the Senate.
    Mr. Chairman, I was a 25-year-old marine my last year in 
the Marine Corps on then Under Secretary and Secretary of the 
Navy Warner's staff, and am pleased to have an association with 
him since that time. I think it can fairly be said that there 
is no one wearing the uniform of the United States military 
today whose military life and well-being has not been affected 
by the dedication of the senior Senator from Virginia. So we 
will look forward to working with you in many other capacities.
    Senator Warner. I deeply am humbled by the comments that 
you make, my good friend. I thank you.
    Senator Webb. Thank you, sir.
    Chairman Levin. Thank you, Senator Webb, also. I tried in a 
very inadequate way to express those sentiments earlier today, 
and I appreciate your comments.
    Senator Webb. I certainly wouldn't want to take away from 
what the chairman said.
    Admiral Roughead, I have said many different times, you're 
familiar that I not only support the growth of the Navy to 313 
ships; I think we need to work really hard to figure out what 
the best number can be. It may be higher than that. I 
personally believe it should be higher than that. We have major 
strategic concerns around the world that I think have been in 
some ways atrophied because of the focus that this country has 
had to have in recent years on the situations in Iraq and 
Afghanistan, and there is no substitute for a tangible presence 
of the United States Navy in times of crisis when we have 
strategic concerns around the world.
    You hear how the members feel about that. Everybody seems 
to want ships homeported and everybody seems to want to build 
ships, so let's see what we can do to work together to get 
efficient shipbuilding programs and to streamline the process 
so that we can have the best strategic defense of our country.
    General, I would like to follow on a bit from what Senator 
Akaka began talking about this shift in our assets in the 
Pacific, the situation particularly from Okinawa to Guam. But I 
would like to hear more of your perspectives on that. I've been 
involved in it at one level or another for a very long time.
    One question that came up that I hope you can give us some 
further light on for the committee here is this aviation 
facility on Okinawa that was scheduled to be built offshore on 
the far northern part of the island. I can recall when I was 
visiting Okinawa a few years ago as a journalist there was a 
good bit of support, at least from what I could tell, for 
moving it. Then there was something about a lawsuit that 
originated in the United States that would interrupt the 
construction of this facility. Can you help us out on that?
    General Conway. Sir, if I can, I will talk briefly about 
the facility and then ask the Secretary if he'd like to 
comment, because it is very legal and he and his lawyers have 
been discussing it in detail.
    The facility is called the Futenma Replacement Facility. It 
would be built offshore, you're correct, sir, off Camp Schwab 
in a coral area there, to replace the one we have at Futenma, 
move it from a less populated area to an area offshore. We're 
asking for a similar type of facility that would take aboard 
both our helicopters and our C-130s for intertheater lift.
    It has been seeing recent problems with the finding of the 
Ninth Circuit, and I'd ask the Secretary to take over from 
here.
    Secretary Winter. Yes, sir. Senator, I appreciate the 
question. What has transpired here is that a group of 
individuals, principally from Japan but with a small group of 
plaintiffs from the United States as well, have argued that the 
National Historical Preservation Act applies in this 
circumstance, that, notwithstanding the fact that the 
Government of Japan is responsible for the actual construction 
activity and that the Government of Japan is undergoing their 
equivalent of a NEPA process with their style of EISs, that it 
is incumbent upon us to deal with the dugong, which is a 
manatee type of animal which has been designated by the 
Government of Japan as a cultural treasure, and it is therefore 
argued that the Okinawan dugong is subject to protective 
measures under the National Historic Preservation Act, which is 
one of the few acts which does constrain activities outside the 
United States.
    Senator Webb. Would you say this is going to interrupt the 
construction of the facility?
    Secretary Winter. It has the potential, sir, of disrupting 
the activities. It constrains our ability to provide the final 
approvals on the process, and I am concerned about in 
particular the schedule impact. Notwithstanding what we believe 
is a good likelihood of success in the final adjudication of 
this, the time period that it's going to take is going to be 
significant.
    We are currently evaluating our options to be able to 
continue in parallel, at risk if you will, in particular given 
the fact that the government of Japan has the principal 
responsibilities here.
    Senator Webb. Thank you. We'll look forward to working with 
you to help resolve that, I hope.
    The final disposition, General, of the assets, what would 
that look like, between Guam and Okinawa, Japan?
    Admiral Roughead. Sir, what we'd like to see is about 
10,000 on Okinawa, about 8,000 on Guam. We're proposing that as 
a part of the initial agreement that we also be able to 
distribute some of our forces to Hawaii. In the end what we 
would like to do is effect a brigading, if you will, of those 
locations in the Pacific, with the primary headquarters on 
Guam, but with the air wing and CSS headquarters located 
elsewhere, so as to be able to respond to some need in the 
future by the combatant commander.
    Senator Webb. It's absolutely essential for us to keep 
forces in that region, not only for that region, but for 
maneuverability throughout that part of the world.
    General Conway. I wholeheartedly agree, sir.
    Senator Webb. Have you looked at Babelthaup?
    General Conway. Sir, not as a basing.
    Senator Webb. Great training area.
    General Conway. But our commander in the Pacific is 
developing what he optimistically calls a ``Twentynine Palms of 
the Pacific,'' and he is looking at the Palaus, the Marshalls, 
opportunities to train and perhaps even put a station, if you 
will, on some other nations, where we would visit and bring the 
camp to life and then put it in a cooldown status when we 
leave.
    We think that there are going to have to be additional 
training opportunities because Guam is simply not that large 
and probably the best you're going to be able to do on-island 
is company size.
    Chairman Levin. Would you help us with ``Babelthaup,'' 
please?
    Senator Webb. Mr. Chairman, we ought to have a discussion 
about this. The first book that I wrote when I was 27 years old 
postulated that we should realign our military bases in the 
Pacific with a very heavy axis on Guam and Tinian. During those 
discussions actually General Lou Walt had gone out into the 
areas where the Marine Corps had operated in World War II. In 
the Palau Island group there's an island called Babelthaup, 
which is very difficult to spell. But he had recommended that 
as a training area.
    Chairman Levin. The reason I ask was to help our reporter. 
I also must confess ignorance. I had never heard the term 
before.
    Senator Webb. We'll get back to you for the record on that. 
I think there's a t-h-a-u-p on the end of it.
    Chairman Levin. That will give us another reason to go back 
and read your book, though. [Laughter.]
    Senator Webb. I can summarize it for you very quickly. 
[Laughter.]
    Admiral, you mentioned something here about the Naval 
Academy increasing in size in order to resource the growth in 
the Marine Corps? Am I hearing you correctly?
    Admiral Roughead. That's right, Senator. We would like to 
take the Naval Academy brigade strength from 4,300 to 4,400, 
because of the increased number of officers that are being 
commissioned into the Marine Corps in support of the growth.
    Senator Webb. What percentage of the Naval Academy now goes 
into the Marine Corps?
    Admiral Roughead. We're not set on a percentage. I think if 
you were to run the percents it's almost 30-plus percent a year 
that are now going into the Marine Corps.
    Senator Webb. That's incredible. When I look back, when we 
had a 4,100 Midshipman Brigade and the Marine Corps was 190,000 
going into Vietnam, I think they had about a 6\3/4\ percent 
were going into the Marine Corps. Then the Marine Corps went 
from 190,000 to 304,000 during Vietnam and they went up to 10 
percent. When it was at 200,000 when I was in the Pentagon, I 
don't think it was much higher than 10 percent.
    Admiral Roughead. It was about 16 percent when I was the 
Commandant there.
    Senator Webb. What you're really seeing is the impact of a 
reduction in the size of the Navy, I think, with those 
percentages going over.
    These people don't go through regular Marine Corps Officer 
Candidate School (OCS), do they General?
    General Conway. They do not, sir, any longer. They do go to 
Quantico if interested in a Marine Corps option for a 3-week 
period after their third year.
    Senator Webb. Mr. Secretary, when it grew above 10 percent 
when I was Secretary of the Navy, I mandated that those Naval 
Academy midshipmen who wanted to go in the Marine Corps should 
go through the bulldog program the same as the ROTC midshipmen, 
and I think at the time it was done because we were looking at 
the class standing of Naval Academy midshipmen in basic school 
and it had gone way down.
    We don't ever worry about the people at the top. They're 
always going to do well, the people who are really motivated. 
But when you have that high a percentage, I would be curious as 
to see what the spread looks like. You want to make sure that 
everybody's motivated. The Marine Corps has a different 
perspective than a lot of different areas.
    General Conway. I can talk to that myself, sir, if you 
would like. When I was commanding officer at the basic school I 
did a like study and, as you might imagine, our Marine Enlisted 
Commissioning Program was absolutely producing the best 
students, Naval ROTC and Platoon Leader Class a distant second. 
At that point Academy was about the same as OCS, and that was 
troubling to us.
    We started a series of engagements, and I can tell you, 
sir, it's quantum better today. Their performance today is akin 
to their intelligence levels and the 4 years of experience 
they've gained at the Academy.
    Admiral Roughead. Senator, I'd say it turned around when I 
was the Commandant at the Naval Academy. [Laughter.]
    Admiral Roughead. But I would also say that, in addition to 
supporting the Marine Corps growth, the Naval Academy remains 
one of the primary institutions where we get our technical base 
from. So that's why the growth is important. It can't be zero 
sum and that's why we need the growth.
    Senator Webb. Having had an engineering degree shoved down 
my throat during 4 years at the Naval Academy, I know what you 
mean about technical requirements. But I'd kind of be curious 
to see those numbers, actually.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Levin. Thank you, Senator Webb.
    Senator McCaskill.
    Senator McCaskill. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    I just want to say that no one has been more of a gentleman 
and more of a class act in terms of a Senator since I arrived 
here than Senator Warner. It's a wonderful time when we can get 
past all that party label stuff and acknowledge this. It's what 
makes this place good for our democracy. So I certainly echo 
the warm sentiments that Senator Webb had.
    Senator Warner. I thank my colleague.
    Senator McCaskill. Thank you.
    I note in your testimony, Admiral, that you're concerned 
about the tactical aircraft inventory shortfall. The older F-
18s are being used, as you well know, far beyond their original 
design. I know your inventory is really challenged by the 
delays in the JSF, and we're talking about now, depending on 
who you talk to and depending on whether we want to be very 
optimistic or whether we want to be overly realistic, somewhere 
between 2-, 3-, and 6-year delays.
    The Carrier Air Wing 7, it's my understanding, is missing 
all of its tactical aircraft at this point and is playing kind 
of a shell game to cover its mission responsibilities. I think 
your inventory models predict at best a 70-aircraft shortfall 
during this transition to JSF.
    My question is, would you comment on your plans in fiscal 
year 2009 and beyond to fix the shortfall? Do we need to 
strongly consider a new multi-year procurement of F-18s to fill 
in the gap in terms of these carrier deck shortfalls, 
particularly in light of our mission in that regard and the 
national security concerns?
    Admiral Roughead. Senator, thank you very much for the 
question. The JSF is going to be a capability that will add 
greatly to our Navy capability in the future. That said, as I 
look at how we are using our strike fighter aircraft, we're 
using them at quite a rate. In fact, we have a study underway 
currently to see if we can stretch out the life of the Hornets 
that are in service today.
    As I look at our future air wing--and your number is very 
close to ours. We're saying it's 69. We believe in the 2016 
timeframe that we will have a dip. We have to look at what are 
the mitigators for that. I do not believe we can stretch the 
Hornets any more than we're seeking to do right now.
    But as we go into preparation of our fiscal year 2010 
budget this is something that is foremost in my mind, because 
our ability to project power around the world is a function of 
our carriers and a function of our air wings, and we have to 
make sure that we have the capabilities that we need.
    Senator McCaskill. I'm encouraged that you're looking at 
that, and I certainly--obviously, I think we have a lot to be 
proud of in the F-18. It's under budget and on time and it has 
been a great aircraft for its purpose. Frankly, having a few 
more of them around during this transition period of time I 
think is not something that we should shy away from, 
particularly realizing the gap that's coming.
    Admiral Roughead. It's a great airplane and I'm pleased 
we've been able to transition it into an electronic attack 
variant that I think will be very valuable to us as well.
    Senator McCaskill. It's terrific.
    Also, the only other question I had today for you--and 
frankly, any of you can speak to this. I know that Senator 
Kennedy talked about the MRAP problems in terms of the 
availability. I'm concerned about the whistleblower, Franz 
Gayl. I would like some reassurance from you that Mr. Gayl is 
not going to face any adverse employment decisions or actions 
because of his whistleblowing in regard to the study that was 
done, that has now come out in part of the public discourse.
    General Conway. Ma'am, he works for the Marine Corps. I 
have purposely stayed at arm's length from that discussion. I 
have never met Mr. Gayl or Major Gayl.
    There is, I will say, I guess, an investigation underway to 
determine whether or not he has complied with the guidance that 
was given to him by his boss. We are making every overture to 
ensure that we don't violate any aspects of his whistleblower 
status. But if it's determined that Mr. Gayl has done something 
other than what his leadership and his bosses have instructed 
him to do, then that outcome will have to be determined, as to 
what happens to Mr. Gayl.
    Senator McCaskill. I know that General Magnus recently 
referred this to the DOD IG, which I think is an appropriate 
move. I know how hard it is internally to be careful in this 
regard, and I know that there are some whistleblowers who have 
not followed direct instructions and who have gotten out in 
ways that maybe they shouldn't have.
    But the impact that dealing negatively with whistleblowers 
has on the entire operation is something that we really need to 
avoid. Whistleblowers are so important to accountability, 
regardless of whether we're talking about a bureaucratic agency 
that's dealing with the taxpayers or whether we're talking 
about the military. I just want to make sure that I didn't 
leave this hearing without expressing to you how strongly I 
feel and how closely I'll be watching to make sure that any 
whistleblower, and this whistleblower in particular, is treated 
with respect and deference and under the letter of the law in 
terms of any potential adverse consequences because of what he 
did.
    I just think it's tremendously important and I just didn't 
want to leave the hearing without expressing that in very 
strong terms.
    General Conway. I do appreciate that and I can assure you 
from my leadership position he will be treated in accordance 
with the law.
    Senator McCaskill. Thank you.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Levin. Thank you very much, Senator McCaskill.
    Admiral, I think you made reference to the number of P-3s 
that are grounded.
    Admiral Roughead. Yes, sir.
    Chairman Levin. As 39?
    Admiral Roughead. 39 is what we've grounded.
    Chairman Levin. What's the total number of P-3s we have? Is 
that a third? What percentage of the total is that?
    Admiral Roughead. That's about a third of what we have 
operational.
    Chairman Levin. You can get us the precise number for the 
record, just to get some idea of that.
    Admiral Roughead. I will get back to you.
    [The information referred to follows:]

    There are currently 157 P-3C aircraft in the inventory. The 39 Red 
Striped aircraft comprise approximately 25 percent of the total force.

    Chairman Levin. By the way, we'll just have a brief second 
round for those who want to ask some additional questions.
    On the MRAPs, General, your decision on the MRAPs, which is 
totally understandable, you explained it very well as to the 
various missions and what vehicles you need for which missions. 
When you purchase less or fewer MRAPs than expected, does the 
Army need the ones that you did not buy, do you know, and does 
that speed up delivery to the Army of their requirement because 
you're not going to be using all of the ones you originally 
planned on? Does that have any impact positively on the Army?
    General Conway. Sir, potentially, in that there would have 
been a distribution over time of those that were built that was 
depending upon the needs of the units in theater. Frankly, a 
part of our determination to recommend reduction of our buy was 
that we were not seeing the contacts in the west that the Army 
was still having, Baghdad, Diyalah, and up towards Mosul.
    So the answer I think is probably yes. That said, when we 
considered the reduction we looked at the impact that it would 
have on industry. We didn't want them to have bought up steel 
and transmissions and tires for a vehicle that we would 
suddenly say that we didn't need. There was no impact there.
    Chairman Levin. That would be a second question. But as far 
as the Army, you're not sure whether or not that brings them 
quicker to their requirement?
    General Conway. I think it's fair to say that it will, sir, 
because all those built on this last buy, which I think was 
December of this last year, will be Army. There will be no 
Marine vehicles in there.
    Chairman Levin. I'd like to talk to you about your troop 
levels. General, as I understand it in CENTCOM now, in Iraq and 
Afghanistan, you now have eight battalions; is that correct?
    General Conway. Sir, today as we speak we have eight 
battalions, that is correct.
    Chairman Levin. It's your intention to increase that to 10 
by March or in March? Is that your general plan?
    General Conway. Sir, it gets complicated, but our committed 
battalions will be 10 in March, because you will have the eight 
in Iraq and two more battalions, of course with the MEU 
headquarters and the support elements, going into Afghanistan. 
So from March through May the commitment will be 10 battalions.
    Chairman Levin. Then in May you're going to be bringing 
back two battalions as I understand it?
    General Conway. That is correct, sir.
    Chairman Levin. Then you'll be staying with eight through 
October?
    General Conway. That is correct, Senator.
    Chairman Levin. Now, is it your plan to draw down below 
eight in October? Is that your current plan?
    General Conway. Sir, the conditions under which the 
Secretary of Defense approved the request for forces was such 
that the deployments to Afghanistan represent 7-month 
deployments, which is our norm, for both the MEU and the 
battalion. So ostensibly those forces will be coming out in 
October of this year.
    Chairman Levin. Is it fair to say then that is what the 
current plan is, but it could be changed?
    General Conway. Mr. Chairman, that's exactly right.
    Chairman Levin. Now, on that Law of the Sea Convention that 
we made reference to--and I'm delighted to hear the 
administration is going to strongly support the ratification of 
that convention. It's my understanding that the Foreign 
Relations Committee voted that out again this Congress, and I'm 
wondering whether any of you or either of you may have 
testified before the committee, or was that your predecessors?
    Admiral Roughead. I did not testify. I believe Admiral 
Mullen testified, and I know Admiral Vernon E. Clark, USN 
(Ret.) did as well.
    Chairman Levin. He testified, okay.
    Senator Warner. Very strongly, if I might say, Mr. 
Chairman.
    Chairman Levin. That's great.
    I'm urging again that this convention be brought to the 
floor. I just think it's long overdue. It has great value in 
terms of the Navy, the way in which we can have orderly 
processes at sea working with other nations. My dear colleague, 
Senator Warner, was the person who actually signed the treaty, 
I believe on behalf of the country.
    Senator Warner. When I was Secretary of the Navy, I was the 
delegate for the Secretary of Defense to the Law of the Sea 
Conference in Geneva. It was about 36 years ago that I 
performed that service. It was someone different than the 
Incidents at Sea.
    But I commend you, Mr. Chairman, for bringing up this 
question of this treaty. It's important for the United States 
of America if we're going to continue to lead as the major 
maritime power, and we now have before us today the current 
team that's in charge of the Navy and they give unqualified 
support to this treaty. So thank you for bringing it up.
    Chairman Levin. I thank you. There's a wonderful picture of 
Senator Warner, if you have a chance to see it, when he was 
just a couple years younger, when he was, on behalf of the 
United States of America, initialing or signing fully that 
agreement. It's a wonderful bit of naval history, an important 
part to security, stability on the seas. It's a great history 
and I hope that we're able to confirm this while Senator 
Warner's still in the United States Senate.
    But a number of the benefits of the Law of the Sea 
Convention which have been cited were: the right of unimpeded 
transit passage through straits that are used for international 
navigation; a framework for challenging excessive claims of 
other states over coastal waters; and the right to conduct 
military activities in exclusive economic zones.
    Admiral, I believe you have said that the convention 
provides a stable, predictable, and recognized legal regime 
that we need to conduct our operations today and in the future.
    Admiral Roughead. Absolutely.
    Chairman Levin. So I wanted to get all that in the record 
because I will be asking the Majority Leader to bring that 
convention to the floor.
    The only other question I think I have is about the EFV. 
General, let me just ask you about the funding for that 
vehicle. This is really the missing piece in your over-the-
horizon assault goal. It's been in development, this vehicle, 
since the early 1990s. There was a cost breach of the Nunn-
McCurdy which occurred last year. That resulted in a delay. But 
there's a funding shortfall, as I understand it; is that 
correct, or is that not a funding issue at the moment?
    General Conway. Sir, I think at this point it's a 
developmental issue more than it is a funding issue. We have 
reduced our requirements by half in order to have just those 
vehicles that we sense that we have to need. We accept fully 
the reason why the Navy would not want to close closer than 25 
miles to an unfriendly shore. So you're precisely right, we 
have to find some way to bridge that distance and do it 
quickly.
    I'd ask the Secretary, sir, if he would have any comments 
about the funding or the development.
    Chairman Levin. Maybe you could comment on it. Mr. 
Secretary, is there a funding issue or is that a different 
problem?
    Secretary Winter. No, sir, I believe the issue here that 
you're referring to is a developmental one, where we went 
through the test and evaluation activities last year. While the 
vehicle was able to perform the vast majority of its 
objectives, the reliability was far from what we were looking 
for. So we went and took the program and said we needed to do a 
design for reliability and maintainability, with the hopes of 
being able to come up with a configuration that would reflect 
those types of improvements, give us the ability to maintain 
this critical asset on board ship, and have the availability 
and reliability that we expect out of a vehicle of this type, 
and make all of those changes before we went into production.
    Chairman Levin. Thank you.
    General Conway. Sir, if I could add one thing. We've talked 
some about the growth of other navies. I am going to China the 
end of next month. I'm invited to go out and ride aboard one of 
their new amphibious ships and then to be taken ashore in their 
equivalent of the EFV, that will ride well above the wave 
height at something exceeding 25 miles an hour.
    Chairman Levin. That's great. I think, by the way, these 
military-to-military contacts are valuable for all kinds of 
reasons, and that's a perfect example of it.
    General Conway. Yes, sir.
    Chairman Levin. Senator Warner.
    Senator Warner. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Chairman, 
every now and then we should acknowledge the support that we 
get from our staffs. I wanted to thank a member of your staff, 
Fletcher Cork, for recognizing when the hearing started the 
temperature in this room was 64 degrees, and we have now got it 
up to 70.
    Chairman Levin. The conversation has not been heated at 
all. [Laughter.]
    Senator Warner. It's just the foresight of a very able 
staff member.
    Chairman Levin. New technology in operation here.
    Senator Warner. It's your staff.
    Chairman Levin. We want to thank you for recognizing my 
staff.
    Senator Warner. Thank you.
    Chairman Levin. They've done some other important things as 
well. Not recently. [Laughter.]
    Senator Warner. Notice all the laughter emanated on your 
side. [Laughter.]
    I want to talk a little bit about the family structure, 
which is so important to each and every one of those 
servicemembers, be it male or female, that's proud to wear the 
uniform. Admiral, I understand that you recently requested the 
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs to hold a tank session of the 
senior military leadership to address military health care 
costs and DOD medical issues. I hope that that will come to 
pass.
    We're fortunate in DOD to have the services of a man by the 
name of Dr. Alfred S. Casales, M.D. You're familiar with him?
    Admiral Roughead. Yes, sir, I know him.
    Senator Warner. Extraordinary achievement in the private 
sector as a cardiac surgeon, and he's heading up the team. He 
will undoubtedly be integral to this study.
    But tell us what you hope to achieve from bringing this up 
with your fellow members in the tank. Then, General, I'd like 
to invite you to address the same question. Because we have 
tried to improve health care. This committee has taken the 
leadership over many years. We did TRICARE for Life 
legislation. We had the very serious problem of, I just call it 
the Walter Reed syndrome, which awakened all of us to the need 
for further study. Now I think you're carrying it to another 
level.
    Admiral Roughead. Yes, sir. My motivation in recommending 
to the Chairman that the Chiefs talk about health care really 
stems from a couple of things. One is that as we look at what 
our people value, what our sailors and their families value, 
the surveys always point that health care is at the very top of 
the list.
    It is also true that the costs of health care are 
significant and that they are squeezing and putting pressure on 
budgets in ways that were not envisioned years ago.
    But most importantly, when you combine these things, and as 
we make adjustments in how we deliver care, whether it's 
privatized or direct care, I believe that the Chiefs must have 
a discussion as to what the nature of our operational health 
care will be, and in the case of the Navy and the Marine Corps 
we're an expeditionary force, we're a deployed force. So as we 
make changes to health care systems and how we budget for that, 
what effect does that have on the operational dimension?
    I believe that it's the Chiefs that must have that 
discussion. We can talk about the business plans and other 
things in other fora. But we collectively as Services, and as 
we become more joint in the providing of health care, I think 
it's time that we have this discussion. It's not aimed at any 
particular area.
    Senator Warner. I strongly commend you for that initiative.
    Would you like to add your perspective?
    General Conway. Sir, there's two or three points I'd like 
to offer. One, we with Navy medicine, I think, are doing a very 
good job with our wounded warriors. That includes PTSD and TBI, 
although we continue to, I think, do some discovery learning in 
terms of techniques. There is no lack of effort to provide the 
best possible medical care.
    The Navy has a forward-deployed footprint. The Admiral 
mentioned that they're expeditionary. They are. They're forward 
with us with teams sorting out these things really now in both 
theaters, and that's as it should be. What happens as an 
indirect result of that, and I'm attempting to manage it 
through discussions with the families and so forth, is that 
there is a shortfall in some of the hospitals and clinics. Our 
people wait a little longer, but they still get great treatment 
when they get in, and we're helping our families to understand 
that.
    One area that I find, though, that I think we need to place 
increasing attention and increasing concern are for those 
Exceptional Family Member Programs. We have stories out there 
of a first sergeant living in his mother-in-law's home, with 
his wife and two children, one of whom is an exceptional child. 
He is paying $80,000 a year for that treatment to that child 
and that's where all his income is going. He's a devoted 
parent.
    But the care that's being offered for some of our 
exceptional family members through the TRICARE system that we 
have now I think needs to take a closer look at those specific 
concerns and help these families, because they're having tough 
times otherwise.
    Senator Warner. They look to you as the uniformed boss. But 
I would like to invite Secretary Winter to follow on to the 
General's observation. I commend you for your recognition of 
the Navy-Marine Corps family as they've endured these high 
operational tempos, the initiatives you have outlined, adding 
4,000 child care spaces, authorizing 100,000 hours of respite 
care for families of deployed servicemembers, enhanced programs 
for children and youth, indeed at a price. Tell us a little bit 
about those initiatives?
    Secretary Winter. Sir, as has been said many times, we 
recruit sailors and marines; we retain their families. Ensuring 
that we're able to provide for an appropriate lifestyle and an 
appropriate environment for our families there is of absolute 
importance. Doing that at our Fleet concentration areas has 
been a major objective here. It has been somewhat easier, if 
you will, in those areas than it has been at some of the more 
farflung places that we operate, and in particular a little bit 
more challenging, obviously, for those families associated with 
our IAs and reservists that have been called up for Active 
Duty.
    What we're trying to do right now is to develop a whole 
range of programs and processes that can address the full 
spectrum of those families. The child development center 
investments that you referred to are a major part of that. That 
happens to be one of the highest priority items any time we go 
out and conduct surveys of families as to what is really 
important for them. Similarly, being able to provide the full 
range of support from the fleet and family service centers is 
increasingly important.
    What we've been doing of late, in addition to those 
activities, is affording mechanisms for families that are not 
co-located, that are not in those Fleet concentration areas, to 
participate in the call centers, the Internet Web sites, the 
other mechanisms that we've been able to identify, to be able 
to make sure that our families are taken care of and know how 
to get the resources that they need, no matter where they live.
    Senator Warner. I want to thank you for that initiative.
    Gentlemen, it's interesting, this July will mark 35 years 
of the All-Volunteer Force. Too much has been said about me 
here today, but I was privileged to be in the DOD in your 
position in July 1973 when the draft ended. We took a deep 
breath. I say ``we''; the whole of the United States, and 
particularly the military leaders, civilian and uniformed, 
decided to try an experiment that no other nation had ever 
tried. It has worked magnificently.
    As a matter of fact, I think it has worked better than any 
of us at that time had the vision to foresee. We have to 
protect it. I'd just like to wind up this session by hopefully 
receiving your assurances that in your collective professional 
judgment, if all three will respond to the question, that the 
All-Volunteer Force is very much alive and well and even 
strengthening.
    Mr. Secretary?
    Secretary Winter. Yes, Senator. I would argue it is not 
only necessary, but it is clearly possible. We just need to 
take care of our servicemembers and their families, and I think 
this Nation will continue to support us.
    Senator Warner. Admiral?
    Admiral Roughead. Senator, in June 1973 you spoke at my 
graduation.
    Senator Warner. At Annapolis.
    Admiral Roughead. You headed me fair, as we say in the 
Navy, and I'm honored that you're here at my first posture 
statement.
    The reason I bring that up is because of your leadership 
and your concern for the men and women of our Navy. That today 
I serve in the best Navy I have ever served in, and it's a 
function of the All-Volunteer Force, the care that you and this 
committee, the attention and the thought that goes into truly 
creating an environment where our young men and women can come 
and be fulfilled personally and professionally, has made our 
Navy what it is today. I thank you and I thank the committee 
for everything that you do.
    Senator Warner. General?
    General Conway. Sir, I joined the Marine Corps in 1971 in 
the operating forces. That was before the All-Volunteer 
military. There is no comparison between today's military and 
the people we had in our ranks at that point, absolutely no 
comparison.
    I would offer that a small All-Volunteer military is really 
put to the test in a protracted conflict such as we see here 
now. But use of our Reserves, I think, across all Services has 
helped to mitigate that, and we're managing that, I think 
effectively, in many instances.
    I would end, sir, by saying, however, that we're now a 
country of over 300 million people. Less than 1 percent of our 
numbers wear the uniform at any point in time. That is our 
warrior class. That's our insurance against all those things 
out there that could in some way do damage to our country. I 
would only ask that you continue to support and sustain those 
people to the best of your ability, because we owe them a great 
deal.
    Senator Warner. I want to thank you for those comments. As 
a matter of fact, I leave here to go to the floor at 2 o'clock 
to join Senator Webb, who's really been a leader in so many 
initiatives in the short time he's been in the Senate, to put 
forth legislation to strengthen and broaden the GI Bill.
    When I reflect on my modest career, it would not have been 
achievable had I not received a GI Bill education for modest 
service in World War II and a law degree for again modest 
Active Duty in the Marine Corps, this time during the Korean 
Conflict. I think this