[House Hearing, 113 Congress] [From the U.S. Government Publishing Office] [H.A.S.C. No. 113-81] HEARING ON NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT FOR FISCAL YEAR 2015 AND OVERSIGHT OF PREVIOUSLY AUTHORIZED PROGRAMS BEFORE THE COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES ONE HUNDRED THIRTEENTH CONGRESS SECOND SESSION __________ FULL COMMITTEE HEARING ON THE POSTURE OF THE U.S. SPECIAL OPERATIONS COMMAND AND U.S. TRANSPORTATION COMMAND __________ HEARING HELD FEBRUARY 27, 2014 [GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE 86-971 WASHINGTON : 2014 ----------------------------------------------------------------------- For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office Internet: bookstore.gpo.gov Phone: toll free (866) 512-1800; DC area (202) 512-1800 Fax: (202) 512-2104 Mail: Stop IDCC, Washington, DC 20402-0001 One Hundred Thirteenth Congress HOWARD P. ``BUCK'' McKEON, California, Chairman MAC THORNBERRY, Texas ADAM SMITH, Washington WALTER B. JONES, North Carolina LORETTA SANCHEZ, California J. RANDY FORBES, Virginia MIKE McINTYRE, North Carolina JEFF MILLER, Florida ROBERT A. BRADY, Pennsylvania JOE WILSON, South Carolina SUSAN A. DAVIS, California FRANK A. LoBIONDO, New Jersey JAMES R. LANGEVIN, Rhode Island ROB BISHOP, Utah RICK LARSEN, Washington MICHAEL R. TURNER, Ohio JIM COOPER, Tennessee JOHN KLINE, Minnesota MADELEINE Z. BORDALLO, Guam MIKE ROGERS, Alabama JOE COURTNEY, Connecticut TRENT FRANKS, Arizona DAVID LOEBSACK, Iowa BILL SHUSTER, Pennsylvania NIKI TSONGAS, Massachusetts K. MICHAEL CONAWAY, Texas JOHN GARAMENDI, California DOUG LAMBORN, Colorado HENRY C. ``HANK'' JOHNSON, Jr., ROBERT J. WITTMAN, Virginia Georgia DUNCAN HUNTER, California COLLEEN W. HANABUSA, Hawaii JOHN FLEMING, Louisiana JACKIE SPEIER, California MIKE COFFMAN, Colorado RON BARBER, Arizona E. SCOTT RIGELL, Virginia ANDRE CARSON, Indiana CHRISTOPHER P. GIBSON, New York CAROL SHEA-PORTER, New Hampshire VICKY HARTZLER, Missouri DANIEL B. MAFFEI, New York JOSEPH J. HECK, Nevada DEREK KILMER, Washington JON RUNYAN, New Jersey JOAQUIN CASTRO, Texas AUSTIN SCOTT, Georgia TAMMY DUCKWORTH, Illinois STEVEN M. PALAZZO, Mississippi SCOTT H. PETERS, California MO BROOKS, Alabama WILLIAM L. ENYART, Illinois RICHARD B. NUGENT, Florida PETE P. GALLEGO, Texas KRISTI L. NOEM, South Dakota MARC A. VEASEY, Texas PAUL COOK, California JIM BRIDENSTINE, Oklahoma BRAD R. WENSTRUP, Ohio JACKIE WALORSKI, Indiana BRADLEY BYRNE, Alabama Robert L. Simmons II, Staff Director Peter Villano, Professional Staff Member Michael Casey, Professional Staff Member Julie Herbert, Clerk C O N T E N T S ---------- CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF HEARINGS 2014 Page Hearing: Thursday, February 27, 2014, The Posture of the U.S. Special Operations Command and U.S. Transportation Command............. 1 Appendix: Thursday, February 27, 2014...................................... 43 ---------- THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2014 THE POSTURE OF THE U.S. SPECIAL OPERATIONS COMMAND AND U.S. TRANSPORTATION COMMAND STATEMENTS PRESENTED BY MEMBERS OF CONGRESS McKeon, Hon. Howard P. ``Buck,'' a Representative from California, Chairman, Committee on Armed Services.............. 1 Smith, Hon. Adam, a Representative from Washington, Ranking Member, Committee on Armed Services............................ 2 WITNESSES Fraser, Gen William M., III, USAF, Commander, U.S. Transportation Command........................................................ 5 McRaven, ADM William H., USN, Commander, U.S. Special Operations Command........................................................ 4 APPENDIX Prepared Statements: Fraser, Gen William M., III.................................. 61 McRaven, ADM William H....................................... 47 Documents Submitted for the Record: [There were no Documents submitted.] Witness Responses to Questions Asked During the Hearing: [There were no Questions submitted during the hearing.] Questions Submitted by Members Post Hearing: Mr. Bridenstine.............................................. 97 Mr. Garamendi................................................ 92 Ms. Hanabusa................................................. 92 Mr. Hunter................................................... 93 Mr. Langevin................................................. 91 Mr. Maffei................................................... 93 Mr. Peters................................................... 95 Mr. Runyan................................................... 94 THE POSTURE OF THE U.S. SPECIAL OPERATIONS COMMAND AND U.S. TRANSPORTATION COMMAND ---------- House of Representatives, Committee on Armed Services, Washington, DC, Thursday, February 27, 2014. The committee met, pursuant to call, at 10:03 a.m., in room 2118, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Howard P. ``Buck'' McKeon (chairman of the committee) presiding. OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. HOWARD P. ``BUCK'' MCKEON, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM CALIFORNIA, CHAIRMAN, COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES The Chairman. The committee will come to order. Good morning. The committee meets today to receive testimony on the posture of U.S. Special Operations Command [USSOCOM] and U.S. Transportation Command [USTRANSCOM]. Today we have with us Admiral William H. McRaven, Commander, U.S. Special Operations Command, and General William M. Fraser III, Commander, U.S. Transportation Command. Thank you both for your many years of service and for joining us here today. With the budget release delayed until next week, we are at a disadvantage in discussing the details of the budget and whether your priorities and requirements are addressed therein. To this end, I have requested a list of unfunded requirements from each of your commands. However, I would imagine that you can discuss the implications of the key decisions that Secretary Hagel unveiled in his budget preview on Monday. It is clear that continued cuts to defense are driving cuts in personnel, readiness, and modernization. These have real consequences in your areas of responsibility that I hope you will discuss here with us today. SOCOM continues to play a critical role in the areas of counterterrorism, unconventional warfare, and countering weapons of mass destruction. However, I am concerned the cuts to defense across each of the services may doubly impact our special operations forces as most special operations require critical conventional force assistance. To draw down one inevitably hurts the other. U.S. Transportation Command is a critical enabler, executing the logistical requirements for ongoing U.S. military efforts across the globe for the movement of cargo as well as personnel. The challenges TRANSCOM faces continue to grow as retrograde from Afghanistan continues and the military rebalances to the Asia-Pacific. We must remain ready to respond to contingencies elsewhere in the Middle East and Africa. In light of persisting budget constraints, the military is challenged to maintain its readiness posture, being forced to shed force structure, curtail flying hours, and return ships to port, reducing the availability of every lift capability upon which TRANSCOM relies. In short, SOCOM and TRANSCOM continue to execute vital military missions across the globe. Gentlemen, I look forward to your testimony. We are extremely grateful, as I said, for your service to our Nation. I also want to congratulate General Fraser on his upcoming retirement, what will have been more than 40 years of dedicated service to our Nation. We were just talking in the other room. I asked him what he was going to do on his retirement and he said, ``Well, I am going to move into a new home.'' And his wife is down there today receiving the furniture, while he is sitting here carrying out his duties. She once again has to sacrifice on behalf of our Nation. And thank you, thank you very much. Mr. Smith. STATEMENT OF HON. ADAM SMITH, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM WASHINGTON, RANKING MEMBER, COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES Mr. Smith. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And welcome to our two distinguished guests, Admiral McRaven and General Fraser. It is good to see you. General Fraser, I share the chairman's remarks and congratulate you on a tremendous career in great service to your country, and wish you well in your retirement. And you are in charge of two of the more critical commands that make our military work. Certainly, TRANSCOM has performed some just unbelievable feats over the course of both the Iraq and Afghanistan war, and with all the challenges that come with moving the men and equipment and everything that goes into making sure that our warfighters have what they need, when they need it, in some very difficult environments where, you know, the typical areas where you could transport shifted, depending on our alliances and how we were doing with various countries. Every time I am in Afghanistan, I am overwhelmed by the job that you do. Last time we were there, they were showing us an area where we were sort of pulling all the stuff out, and all the stuff that was involved there, and the logistical challenge of getting it out in a responsible and an efficient way. I think you are doing a tremendous job. You know, one of the things we will really be interested in hearing from you this morning, of course, is as we go forward in Afghanistan, that the great unanswered question is: Do we get a bilateral security agreement [BSA]? And if so, when? And how does that affect our ability to pull out of Afghanistan responsibly? You know, are we in a position to wait until July or August to get that BSA signed and still be able to, if it doesn't get signed, make the transportation and the movements that are necessary to get our troops and equipment out. So I would be very interested in that piece. And Admiral McRaven, I think some of the most fun I have had in Congress was when I got to chair the subcommittee that had jurisdiction over the Special Operations Command. What you guys are able to accomplish and do is truly remarkable and amazing. It is an incredibly talented group of people that you work with and I know you know that. It is not just, you know, what we see in the movies and everything. You know, obviously, getting Bin Laden was, you know, right at the top of the list. But what I see every day is the understanding that the special operators have of what it truly means to secure a dangerous place: that it is not just a matter of killing the bad guys. It is learning how to prepare the environment so that the good guys are in a better position. It is training and equipping our allies and our partners. You know, it is building up the necessary infrastructure so that the government has the support it needs. You know, there is a wealth of skill in the Special Operations Command that is just, you know, the great pride of our Nation. And as we go forward, you know, that is going to be a critical piece of the fight. When you look at the biggest challenge we face right now is, I believe, the metastasization of Al Qaeda and their ideology. They are no longer conveniently in one or two places plotting and planning against us where we can target them. That ideology has spread. Will we face threats to the homeland from places like Syria, where new Al Qaeda affiliates are growing? Or Iraq, where they are back? Or Mali? It is hard to say. And the ISR [intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance] that SOCOM is able to provide and the ability to give us that analysis of what the threat environment looks like is going to be critical--that asymmetrical warfare is going to be the number one thing we need to protect ourselves. I am pleased that SOCOM, you know, continues to do relatively well in the budget. I say ``relatively well'' because I will close by echoing the chairman's comments, you know, that our greatest challenge remains the budget uncertainty. And it is great that we have got, you know, sort of 2 years of relative peace. Those are still a tough 2 years. The top-line number is not what I think anyone on this committee would like it to be. We have to live within it, but the truly scary fact is that top-line number may look like a walk in the park compared to 8 more years of sequestration if we don't do something about it. And I really want to emphasize that point for members of the committee. I think there is a certain sort of sigh of relief over the budget agreement. That is only 2 years. If we don't do something to deal with sequestration, the impact on our national security, I believe, will be devastating. And it is not that I don't think the Defense Department can take cuts. They can, but sequestration is going beyond taking cuts and doing deep, deep, devastating cuts. And all I will say is, you know, there is no cause for optimism about our likelihood of dealing with sequestration. In fact, just 2 weeks ago, we actually added an eighth year of sequestration to try to pay for the short-term concern over the COLA [cost-of-living adjustment] cut for military retirees. I voted against that. I think it was a terrible choice to put another year on top of sequestration. But that is where we are at politically. So, I will urge my colleagues to take a long, hard look at sequestration if you are concerned about our national security. You know, every time one of these budget items comes up in the next couple of months, where you say, ``Gosh, we can't cut, you know, pay and benefits for our military; we can't cut the Guard; we can't cut the A-10; we can't cut 12 cruisers''--11 cruisers, sorry. Every time you say that, I hope that what you will do is you will go back and say, ``You know what we have got to do? We have got to get rid of sequestration so that we can have the budget that we need.'' With that, I yield back. And again, I thank our witnesses for being here and for their service. The Chairman. Thank you. Admiral McRaven. STATEMENT OF ADM WILLIAM H. MCRAVEN, USN, COMMANDER, U.S. SPECIAL OPERATIONS COMMAND Admiral McRaven. Well, good morning. Chairman McKeon, Ranking Member Smith, distinguished members of the committee, thank you again for giving me the opportunity to address you today, the third time in my tenure as the commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command. I would also like to recognize my good friend Will Fraser for the tremendous work he has done as the commander of Transportation Command. There is an old saying in the military that amateurs talk tactics and professionals talk logistics. I can guarantee you that without the incredible support all the warfighters receive from TRANSCOM, none of us, absolutely none of us would be able to complete the missions needed for the safety and security of this nation. Will, it has been my honor to have served with you, and I do look forward to seeing you in Texas soon. General Fraser. Thank you. Admiral McRaven. Mr. Chairman, I am pleased to say that since my last posture hearing SOCOM has made great strides in dealing with the current conflicts, preparing for the future conflicts, and most importantly, taking care of our people. None of this would have been possible without the support we receive from this committee, and I am indeed grateful. SOCOM continues to provide the world's finest warriors to the fight in Afghanistan. As we approach the end of 2014, your special operations forces will be ready to adjust to whatever decisions are made regarding our future employment in that country. Globally, we are developing plans to better serve the geographic combatant commanders who, owing to the past 12 years of engagement in Iraq and Afghanistan, have gone under- resourced with special operations forces [SOF]. SOCOM is the Department of Defense's [DOD] synchronizer for the planning on the war on terrorism. It is also working hard to help better coordinate our activities locally, regionally, and globally, with both the geographic combatant commanders and the U.S. ambassadors. I believe the future of special operations will be in helping to build partner capacity with those willing nations who share our interests. This will mean strengthening our existing allied relationships and building new ones. No nation alone can stem the rise of extremism. We need our friends and allies more now than ever before. Our future as a special operations force is also inextricably linked to the general purpose force in the interagency. The past 12 years have shown us that a whole-of- government effort is required to be successful, and in special operations, we have always known that without our fellow soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines, we are destined to fail. Finally, with the help of this committee, we have gone to great lengths to take care of our most precious resource: our people. The Preservation of the Force and Families, or the POTFF, has already seen a marked improvement in the morale and the well-being of those who serve in SOF. While we still suffer from the tragedy of high suicide rates, I believe that we have laid the foundation for keeping our force and their families strong and resilient into the future. Once again, thank you for your interests, and your unwavering support for the men and women in the special operations community. I look forward to your questions. [The prepared statement of Admiral McRaven can be found in the Appendix on page 47.] The Chairman. Thank you. General. STATEMENT OF GEN WILLIAM M. FRASER III, USAF, COMMANDER, U.S. TRANSPORTATION COMMAND General Fraser. Chairman McKeon, Ranking Member Smith, and distinguished members of this committee, it is indeed an honor to be here with you today, representing the men and women of the United States Transportation Command. Our total force team of men and women, military and civilian, is dedicated to providing reliable and seamless logistical support to our warfighters and their families around the world. I am proud to report that they have performed admirably since I met with you last year. Our Active Duty members, National Guard, Reserve, civil servants, merchant mariners, and commercial partners have met the challenges of the past year while maintaining a high operations tempo, supporting combat operations, sustainment efforts, humanitarian relief, and crisis action responses. From supporting relief efforts following Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, to continuing development of innovative ways to maximize throughput into and out of Afghanistan, to meeting the directed 34,000 troop reduction level by February of 2014, United States Transportation Command team committed themselves to ensuring our joint force maintains global logistic superiority. I have had the opportunity to observe firsthand during my travels throughout Europe, central Asia, and the Pacific, the support these world-class professionals continue to provide, and can tell you, they are doing the nation's business magnificently, without fanfare, and often under stressful conditions. I cannot be prouder of this team. United States Transportation Command continues to support our force reductions in Afghanistan through our close working relationships with the geographic combatant commanders, other Federal agencies, and our commercial partners in various host nations. We are postured to achieve the President's directed reduction in Afghanistan by December 2014. While Transportation Command team remains fully committed to our number one priority is supporting our forces overseas and executing the redeployment from Afghanistan. We are looking towards the future, and we are preparing for a different operating environment. Declining Department of Defense business for our industry partners requires careful consideration of how we ensure readiness of our organic and commercial air, sea, and surface capabilities into the future. The critical balance between organic and commercial capacity requires the analysis of readiness requirements, the capabilities required for all levels of response, and an understanding of economic factors affecting the industry's ability to meet the Department of Defense requirements in the future. We will continue to work with Congress, the Department of Defense, the interagency, and our commercial partners to find that right balance. As the global distribution synchronizer, United States Transportation Command depends on a worldwide, multimodal network of military and commercial infrastructure to ensure the rapid delivery of forces and sustainment for both humanitarian and contingency operations. This global network provides the strategic reach necessary for any contingency, and highlights the need for assured access and delivery capabilities. In order to support any worldwide contingency or humanitarian event, it is essential to preserve and improve our partnerships with our allied nations, maintain our en route infrastructure, and to continue to strengthen our commercial partnerships. The United States Transportation Command team is committed to working on these relationships and seeking innovative solutions to support our forces around the world. Chairman McKeon, during your time in Congress, you have championed our warfighters. You have championed their families by providing them resources and support necessary to successfully complete their missions and then return home. So, I want to personally thank you on behalf of all the men and women in the United States Transportation Command for your steadfast leadership as a member of the Armed Services Committee, and for your 4 years as the chairman. Godspeed in your future endeavors sir, and thank you. I would also like to thank Congressman Runyan and Congressman McIntyre for your unwavering support for the men and women in the United States Transportation Command. We value your leadership and wish you the best as you leave Congress later this year. Bill, I also want to thank you for your many years of service, and I do look forward to being with you in the great State of Texas. Ranking Member Smith, and to all the members of this committee, I want to thank you personally for your continued support of USTRANSCOM and all of our men and women, military and civilian. I am grateful for this opportunity to appear before the committee today, and I ask that my written statement be submitted for the record, and I very much look forward to your questions. Thank you, Chairman. [The prepared statement of General Fraser can be found in the Appendix on page 61.] The Chairman. Thank you. No objection, both of your complete statements will be put into the record. So ordered. Thank you for your testimony, and now we will get to the questions. On Monday, Secretary Hagel announced an updated defense strategy that builds on the President's 2012 Defense Strategic Guidance contained in the upcoming Quadrennial Defense Review [QDR]. I recognize you are not at liberty yet to discuss the specifics of the budget, but it is my expectation that all combatant commanders, including functional combatant commands such as SOCOM and TRANSCOM, have been active participants in both the QDR and the budget process. With that in mind, I would like to ask, how will this updated defense strategy affect your areas of responsibility and priorities and requirements? How are your recommendations for the budget reflected in Secretary Hagel's recommendations that he previewed on Monday? Admiral McRaven. Mr. Chairman, thank you. You know, as we have gone through the last 6 or 7 months of the Strategic Capabilities Management Review, the SCMR process, we in the U.S. Special Operations Command have been intimately involved with all of the recommendations and the arguments that had to be made about how we need to go forward with U.S. special operations in the future, and I am pleased to say that that process that was run by both the Joint Staff and OSD [Office of the Secretary of Defense], served us well. And I am very appreciative of the Secretary's decision to level us at the fiscal year 2014 levels. I think that puts us in a very good position in terms of meeting our priorities and our goals for the future. So the process for USSOCOM, sir, worked well. Again, I am very appreciative of the Secretary's decision, and I think we are well-positioned to move forward. General Fraser. Chairman, thank you. And I, too, was deeply involved as we went through the SCMR [Strategic Choices and Management Review] process and also through the QDR. I have been very appreciative of the fact that it has been a very open and very candid dialog as we went through that process. We were never without a voice there at the table and so I believe everything has certainly been considered as they went forward with that. In fact, the other day, we had the opportunity to review some of the final documents, and I had no red lines associated with that final review. The Chairman. Very good. On Tuesday, the President announced that the United States is moving forward with contingency planning for full withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan by the end of the year, should the United States not achieve a signed bilateral security agreement with the government of Afghanistan. At the same time, he left open the possibility of continuing to train and assist the counterterrorism mission there. Just this week, I gave a speech outlining my concerns that the cost of abandoning our national security interests in Afghanistan is much higher than the cost of staying. Even with the difficulties an enduring mission will face, I still maintain that a safe and secure Afghanistan is within our grasp and we should not let that slip away at this critical time. Admiral McRaven, how would your global counterterrorism mission be impacted by our complete withdrawal from Afghanistan? Admiral McRaven. Sir, thank you. We have been planning a number of options over the course of the last year as we looked at the potential for not getting a BSA or for the President's decision to accept numbers that were in various categories, shall we say. The fact of the matter is, sir, we have a plan to deal with every contingency. However, if we do go to zero, and there is no special operations component left in Afghanistan, it will certainly make it more difficult to be able to deal with the threat that we know is inherent within the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, and in the northern part of Afghanistan, in Kunar and Nuristan, and the potential resurgence of Al Qaeda in the area. So, it is a concern, but I know the President has had an opportunity to look at all our options. And we expect that he will make a decision when he has an opportunity to sit down and talk to President Karzai and how we are going to move forward with this. So, we have good options, sir, but if we go to zero, it will make things difficult. There is no question about that. The Chairman. Thank you. General Fraser, how does the uncertainty about the size of our presence in Afghanistan create risk in your mission? General Fraser. Thank you, Chairman. And as we have been directly engaged not only with the Central Command, but with the theater, we, too, have developed a number of options in order to meet whatever the final decision is. Whether there is a bilateral security agreement with a final number, or if there is not. We have sufficient capacity. We have sufficient capability through both organic and commercial capabilities to meet whatever decision is made. I believe also that we have continued to maintain the relationship that we have options, options in the sense that we can travel via ground through the Northern Distribution Network. We have recently opened up and got agreement again for another year of a number of those transit agreements, as well as overflight agreements, which we have been able to maintain because of the strong relationship that we have with a number of the countries. We have also been able to work with multimodal locations. And so, getting those agreements done again is giving us options, whereby we can go and fly things out of the theater, fly to another location, and then onward move it back to the United States via sea. Other options that we have, of course, is air direct, and, of course, through Pakistan, which is--our most cost-effective route is through Pakistan. We have incurred some challenges recently, but I will tell you that the southern port is working very well, and we continue to move goods both out of and into Afghanistan through the southern port of Chaman. So, we have options, we have capacity and we have capability, and we developed all of this in order to respond whatever the decision is. The Chairman. Thank you. I know when I was in Afghanistan last year, Secretary Hagel was there at the same time. And we both talked to General Dunford. And I left that visit thinking it was very important that we get that bilateral security agreement signed as soon as possible. I was hoping, like, 6, 8, 10 months ago. But I know that you have all these options available that you worked on. And I know General Dunford has said that he will be down to about 10,000 troops there by the end of August. So, we have actually between now and then before a final decision really needs to be made. I know they are scheduled for elections over there in April. And most of the candidates--11 of them--have stated publicly that they will sign the agreement. The Loya Jirga overwhelmingly supported; 70 percent of Afghans by polls indicate they want us to stay. So, I am hopeful that we won't pin our future and our security interests there on one person who is leaving office in April. So, hopefully, that this will get worked out, and we will be able to have a security force remaining behind to continue the mission of training until the Afghans are totally able to sustain themselves. Thank you very much. Mr. Smith. Mr. Smith. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. The chairman asked the question of--excuse me--for TRANSCOM, General Fraser, so I will let that go. General McRaven, talk to me--or--sorry--Admiral McRaven, talk to me about some of the training that you do. I know one of the things that you encounter is the Leahy law about human rights violations. And part of your effort, I know, is to train our--you know, hopefully, our partners so that they reduce human rights violations. So that they learn how to do police work and, you know, military work the correct way. Can you give us some examples of where you think you have been successful in that? Not just in effectively training a security force in a foreign country, but where you have improved their human rights practices. Admiral McRaven. Thank you, sir. First, I am a full supporter of the Leahy Amendment. I think there has been some mischaracterization over the last couple years about my position on Leahy, and I want to make it very clear that, you know, none of us in the military want to support anybody who has committed gross human rights violations. Having said that, the process in terms of within DOD and State Department has been a little slow in terms of how we vet these particular units to allow us to begin to train them again if they have been deemed, or if there have been allegations against them for human rights violations. We have a number of success stories, sir, but I will start with Colombia, which is probably one of our best success stories. Really, Plan Colombia, which I think probably initiated in the late 1990s, but we really got going with it in the early 2000s. And it was a whole-of-government look at improving Colombian security and putting them in a position to put the FARC [Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia] on the defensive. In the course of the last, really, 10 to 12 years, and working with the Colombian police, the Colombian military, and training them in what is appropriate human rights understanding. Every single time we do a program of instruction, one of the first blocks of instruction is about civilian control in the military, understanding what we think are the appropriate universal values--that is part and parcel to everything we do with every unit we work with. The Colombians were particularly receptive. We have a great relationship with the Colombians for decades. But really, as we began go build both the police force and the special forces in the military writ large, you began to see the Colombians gain the trust of the Colombian people, they began to push the FARC back. And now, of course, the FARC are on the brink. And while they are still a threat, they are--as you know, there are peace talks going on now between the FARC and the government of Colombia. Probably more importantly, the government of Colombia is now exporting security. So, when we started 10, 12 years ago with them, they were struggling to beat back a serious narco- threat; now they have, in fact, pushed that threat back. They have built a phenomenal military and police force. And now, they are exporting to other Latin American countries. We think that is a---- Mr. Smith. Just so I am clear on that example, part--you know, Colombia, obviously, has a significant security problem, but part of the problem also was that their security forces were perceived to not be respectful of human rights when you guys went down there. And that was one of the things you worked on to try to correct. I know you have done similar work in the Philippines. And is that a similar story? Admiral McRaven. Sir, again, each country differs a little bit in terms of how we felt their support of or their violation of human rights played out. There were elements within the Colombian military that had some human rights vetting issues. We worked through that. And generally, we run into that most places we go. We follow the letter of the law. We make sure that we are in compliance with the Leahy before we can do any training under our [Section] 1206 or 1207 authorities. Mr. Smith. Okay. Thank you very much. That is all I have, Mr. Chairman. Thank you. The Chairman. Just a note on Colombia. Some of us went there last week, and they took us out into the field and showed us the actual training that they do on human rights, based on what you have taught them. In fact, they made the comment that they are spending--or our people over there--that they are spending more time on human rights training now than we do. So, I commend you. That has been a fantastic success. This was a nation that, 10 years ago, everybody was saying it was a failed nation, and they have totally turned that around. And they are having great economic progress, as well as all these other things. And that is the preemption of taking care of a lot of these things, and the sustainability. We need to stay there and keep on top of these things so they don't slip. The last time I was in South America many years ago on our trip, we were able to go to Venezuela and Argentina, which we couldn't go to this time because they have had reversals. And Colombia, we couldn't go to last time, and now, is a fantastic success story. So, that is really much to be attributed to the special forces, and to the people of Colombia that demonstrated the will to stand up to those drug dealers. So, that--a great story. Mr. Forbes. Mr. Forbes. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Admiral, thank you for your service and for being here today. Every once in a while, we just need to get touchstones of where we are. If you looked around the globe today and we used the term ``terrorist'' or--I don't mind if you want to use a different term--``extremist'' or whatever--that we would want to call them today--in your best professional military judgment, take a snapshot. You pick the number here. So, let's say the last 5 years. Have we seen those groups getting markedly stronger, markedly weaker, or staying substantially the same? Admiral McRaven. Sir, I think we have to look at the totality. And I will talk about Al Qaeda as our greatest terrorist threat right now. So, core Al Qaeda has gotten markedly weaker. The threat that was emanating out of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas with the support of other government agencies and the support of the Pakistanis--we have really decimated the core Al Qaeda. So, I would tell you that threat is significantly decreased. But, of course, what we have seen is the franchise elements begin to pop up. Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Lands--in Maghreb [AQIM]. We are seeing resurgence, of course, of Al Qaeda in Iraq, that is now morphing into Al Qaeda in Iraq and Syria. So, these franchises are beginning to grow up. However, having said that, I think what we see is a broader threat. But the high-end piece that we saw from core Al Qaeda is not as prevalent as it used to be. So, the threat is metastasizing. It is much broader. But I would tell you that the threat to the homeland, with one or two exceptions, is less today than it was certainly, you know, 5 or 10 years ago, when core Al Qaeda was stronger. Mr. Forbes. And I know you mentioned--and we know this is a holistic approach that we have to use--but if you had to give us again your best advice on our most effective asset, most effective resource that we can be utilizing to continue to reduce that threat around the globe, what would you say that would be? Admiral McRaven. Sir, this is a key component of a proposal that I am making to the Secretary, is, I feel it is about how we build other partner capacities. And the case of Colombia is instructive. And the case in the Philippines. So, with a small group of--a relatively small group of special operations forces, along with support from the State Department and the other agencies--you know, in Colombia, we were able to provide support to the Colombians, they, and as the chairman pointed out, because of their strong will, they were really able to kind of beat back the FARC. I think this is a good model as we look at threats in other places like Yemen, like Libya, across some of the other components in North Africa. So, how do we help build partner capacity so that the host nation can take care of its own problem? This is a--it is a long process. We need to be prepared to conduct direct action when those threats have a clear and present danger to the United States or to our interest. So, I think we always have to be postured to react or in some cases, to be preemptive in taking care of the barbarians that are at our gate. Having said that, we have to have a plan for a long-term, persistent engagement with our partners who really need to build the capabilities so they can handle the threat that is in their borders. Mr. Forbes. And General, thank you so much for your service. One of the things I think oftentimes we don't give enough credit to is our Military Sealift Command [MSC], and what they do. Can you tell us just a little bit of an overview of how important they are, and what is the thing you worry most about with our Military Sealift Command. Is it our industrial base, number of ships we have, the right mix, manpower, what would your assessment be there? General Fraser. Thank you, sir. And the military sealift obviously is a critical component of what we do and our ability to reach around the globe to move cargo in a very timely manner. It is a very efficient way in which we are able to provide support in the theater right now into Afghanistan, but also for the retrograde. It is also a critical component as we look forward to the Pacific. So, Military Sealift Command is around the globe, they are engaged, they are supporting other agencies, and doing a marvelous job. If I might, I would give one example of a Military Sealift Command working with us, working with the Department of Transportation MARAD [Maritime Administration], and this has to do with the Cape Ray. Getting this ship ready, out of the Ready Reserve Fleet, to be prepared to destroy the chemicals that will be coming out of Syria. This is a mission that has never ever been done before, so having that capacity and that capability of that type of ship to take a field deployable hydrolysis system, modify that to put it aboard the ship, and then train to the standards that are necessary to ensure the safe and effective destruction of those chemicals as they come out is an example of the flexibility that we have within Military Sealift Command within our Ready Reserve Fleet. And so, I think it is very important, as we look forward to the future, that we understand the capacity, the capabilities that our sealift provide for us. I would also comment on how important the Maritime Security Program is to us. And those 60 ships that have signed up to be a part for the next 10 years to 2025 and recommitted themselves to be a part of our commercial capabilities that are available to us is important to us because of also, the merchant mariners that are involved. So, there are a number of things that are involved with sealift that are critical to our future. Mr. Forbes. Thank you, General. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. The Chairman. Thank you. Ms. Bordallo. Ms. Bordallo. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank General Fraser and Admiral McRaven for their leadership and service to our great country. I have a question for you, General Fraser. I would like to get your take on the need for a robust depot-level ship repair capability on Guam. As you know, we have a number of Military Sealift Command in pre-positioned fleet off the Marianas, and it would seem necessary that having a robust capability with a dry dock is necessary to meet emergent repairs and general availabilities for that fleet. And further, can I get your assurance that MSC will do a better job in following section 7310 of title 10, which requires ships to be repaired in America? We see an increasing number of these ships still being repaired in foreign countries. General Fraser. Thank you, Ma'am. And as you know, we work very closely with the Navy and in a holistic manner to ensure that we have the capacity, that we have the capability necessary in order to meet the mission going forward into the future. And having the ability to have ships ready, repaired, and underway is critical to what we do. We work that not only directly with the Navy, but of course, through our Military Sealift Command. We will continue to engage them to assure--to make sure that we have the capacity and the capability to meet the demands in the future. Ms. Bordallo. And the dry dock is necessary. General Fraser. Ma'am, I am not at that level of detail to be quite honest with you, but we will certainly take a look and work with the Navy. Ms. Bordallo. Thank you, General. And my second question is also for you. Military Ocean Terminal Concord [MOTCO] is the main strategic seaport for shipping ammunition to the Pacific area of responsibility, the AOR, yet requires substantial improvements over the next several years. What is the timeline for these improvements, and how is the condition and the operating status of MOTCO affecting your readiness? General Fraser. Thank you, Ma'am. And Military Ocean Terminal Concord is a critical component of our support to the Pacific, and as we saw in the budget last year, the Army had laid in the necessary resources to ensure the viability of that port. One of the things though, that we have done, in between, is the continued assessment of the pier three itself, as well as looking at pier two and what we need to do in the future. We are working with the State of California right now through the environmental impact study. We have also modified the procedures to ensure the viability of pier three going forward in the future. And what I am talking about there is because of the analysis that we have been able to do on the pier, and the rate at which it is degrading, changing the operations procedures to only move trucks out there, to only move them across the rail line area, which has increased a little bit stronger than the other areas, as opposed to turning around on the pier and doing other types of things in order to meet the throughput that is necessary. So, we think we have a plan. We think the resources were laid in by the Army last year as we saw it in the budget, but we are on a timeline right now, and it is the EIS [environmental impact statement] is the next step in that process, as well as another fall engagement with our engineers to do some more boring on some of the piers to check for further degradation. Ms. Bordallo. Thank you, thank you. And General Fraser, I would like, in closing, to thank you and your staff for working with the Guam Guard and Anderson Air Force Base to address an issue of travel for spouses who have loved ones at the Warrior Transition Unit in Hawaii. This is critically important for our Guam Guard, and I appreciate the very quick work to address this important issue. And I yield back, Mr. Chair. The Chairman. Thank you. Mr. Miller. Mr. Miller. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you gentlemen, both, for your service. Probably the most pressing question I have is why Texas and not Florida? What? I am sorry man. As you may or may not be aware, the committee is undertaking a comprehensive defense reform effort, and it includes examination of the organization and management of defense acquisition, the regulations, and in the NDAA [National Defense Authorization Act] it requires SECDEF [Secretary of Defense] to develop a plan for streamlining Department of Defense [DOD] management headquarters. So what I would like to know from each of you, from your perspective, where do you think the committee could focus its efforts better, and where do you see opportunities for reducing bureaucracy and enhancing COCOM [combatant command] effectiveness and efficiency without resorting to across-the-board reductions? Admiral McRaven. Sir, several years ago, we did go through a SECDEF 20 percent reduction, efficiency reduction at USSOCOM, and of course, now we are looking at another 20 percent efficiency reduction. And frankly I am perfectly okay with that. I think that over the course of the last 10 years, speaking for USSOCOM, we grew the staff in order to address the problems that we were dealing with in Iraq and Afghanistan. I think we have figured out how to do business a little bit better, and frankly, some of these cuts make good sense to me, and I would even offer that I think there is additional manpower that could come out of USSOCOM. I would offer, however, that as we are trying to build up our capability in the theater special operation commands, some of what I have tried to do is migrate some of my manpower on the headquarters staff in Tampa out to the theater special operations commands to make them better staffed, to make them more receptive to their geographic combatant commanders. At this point in time, sir, I would say with the two reductions that we have taken, we are getting pretty close to where we need to be at USSOCOM, but we are always looking for more efficiencies, and I think that is true of all of my fellow combatant commanders. General Fraser. Sir, we too, in TRANSCOM, over a year ago, began a strategic review of our core capabilities that are necessary in order to execute our mission, and as we went through this review, we were able to identify areas in which we could be more efficient. We developed a new strategy focused in four areas. It was on readiness, it was on information technology excellence, it had to do with our development of our processes and procedures and aligning them properly within the headquarters to find some efficiencies, and lastly, developing the human capital. As we went through this review, we were able to find some, and that allowed us to also, at that time, identify positions that we did not backfill. So we had been planning for the future by not backfilling certain positions and taking those in anticipation of a cut that was coming, and so we think that we have postured ourselves for the future in identifying the core things that we need to be doing. Another area that we reached out was working with our components. We are located at Scott Air Force Base. We are very fortunate that we have the Surface Deployment and Distribution Command [SDDC], one of my component commands that is stationed right there. We also have Air Mobility Command [AMC] at a station right there. So we were able to reach out and work with two of our components to find some. One efficiency we found was coming up with one common billing center. Why did we need to have three? One in TRANSCOM, SDDC, and also in AMC. So, we have collaborated together to find an efficiency there, and that is also paying dividends. Another area that we have reached out to in Service Deployment and Distribution Command was acquisition area. They had their own acquisition organization, and they were able to find some efficiencies, actually, to help big Army by moving a couple of positions to our acquisition organization. Since we reside right there at the same location, we are able to then absorb that into our organization, do their acquisition, and give positions and billets back to big Army. So, we are not only looking internally, we are also working with the components to see if there are efficiencies and to make ourselves more effective in the future. Mr. Miller. Thank you very much. Yield back. The Chairman. Thank you. Ms. Sanchez. Ms. Sanchez. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And thank you gentlemen, again, for being before us today. General Fraser, last year in your testimony to Congress, you commented--and I will say it word for word here--``Hybrid airships represents a transformational capability, bringing the long-standing gap between high-speed lower-capacity airlift and low-speed higher-capacity airlift. Across a range of military operations, this ability--this capability can be leveraged from strategic to tactical distances. ``From swift crisis action support to enduring logistical sustainment operations, hybrid airship technology has the potential to fulfill factory to foxhole cargo delivery. We encourage development of commercial technologies that may lead to this enhanced mobility capabilities in the future.'' Those were your words. So, my question is, are you still monitoring the hybrid airship progress? Is there a high probability--we have been looking at it ourselves, obviously, that--maybe in about 3 years, there might be a commercially viable 66-ton hybrid airship. Do you still believe in this technology? Can you tell me a little bit about where you are in that sequence, please? General Fraser. Thank you, ma'am. And, yes, I still stand by those words. And we have continued over the last year to follow the development of the hybrid airship. In fact, we also were very pleased to see the successful flight that Aeroscraft completed last year in their hybrid airship out in California. It was a very successful flight. We were also saddened to see that the airship was damaged when the roof gave way, and then---- Ms. Sanchez. Something owned by the Navy, by the way. General Fraser. We were saddened to see the damage that was done to the hybrid airship, but we have continued to maintain our contacts with Aeroscraft. We are encouraged by that successful flight--the demonstration of that technology. We are also encouraged by a recent report that I received from them out at Aeroscraft of the interest in the commercial sector to develop this capacity and this capability. I can see utility in the future to utilize something along those lines, especially when I look at some of the things that we have had to respond to. As an example here in the United States, to be able to move great quantities into areas where you don't need a lot of infrastructure. And something along those lines. So, we will continue to monitor it. We will continue to encourage the development of the hybrid airship as they continue to go forward. Ms. Sanchez. So, you could see it as something that we could actually use in the future if it was a viable tech--if it was proven--if it was built? General Fraser. Yes, ma'am, I do. Ms. Sanchez. Thank you. My second question is for the admiral. What is the status of Vision 2020, which included expanding special operations footprint into 72 countries? And considering the type of budget constraints that we are looking at, in particular, in Defense's--I mean, we haven't seen the full budget, but we are getting some blueprint of it. What do you see? Do you see that 2020 still moving forward, Admiral? Admiral McRaven. Yes, ma'am, I absolutely see the Vision 2020 moving forward. And as we went through the SCMR process, we actually used that Vision to articulate why we needed the budget levels we needed. And, frankly, it was a good argument that served us well in our discussions with OSD and the Joint Staff. So, I am very comfortable that the remarks that the Secretary has made and the decisions the Secretary has made to recommend to the President will put us in a good position to meet the goals of Vision 2020. Ms. Sanchez. And can you tell me what planning you have done with the Department of State--the State Department and with USAID [United States Agency for International Development], for example, or other agencies with the 72 countries in mind to ensure that humanitarian efforts, in particular, are not duplicated? Admiral McRaven. Yes, ma'am. What we do is, we work with the geographic combatant commanders. And it is the responsibility of the geographic combatant commanders to coordinate with the chiefs of mission in the countries in which we will be conducting training. And, of course, most of this--you know, 99 percent of this is about training and building partner capacity. So, there has to be a demand signal from the host nation. So, if we are working with Niger or Nigeria, or we are working with the Philippines, the demand signal will come from the host nation through the U.S. ambassador up to the geographic combatant commander. And then my role as a functional combatant commander is to provide the resources to that geographic combatant commander. So, everything is done with the support and the approval of the chief of mission and the State Department. Ms. Sanchez. Thank you, Admiral. Admiral McRaven. Yes, ma'am. Ms. Sanchez. And thank you, Mr. Chairman. The Chairman. Thank you. Mr. Wilson. Mr. Wilson. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And thank both of you for being here today. And, Admiral McRaven, I appreciate that I have a son who is a physician in the Navy who has been in your command. And so, I appreciate very much your service. General Fraser, congratulations on your retirement--multi- decades of service--four decades, and you can look back with such pride, to me. You were there for victory in the Cold War, providing, with a strong American national defense, a broader spread of democracy and freedom today than in the history of the world. So, thank you for your service. And for both of you, please provide your assessment of the U.S. force posture capabilities and readiness of your area of responsibility. How have these been affected by sequestration, the budget deal, and the possibility of further defense cuts in fiscal year 2015? Admiral McRaven. Sir, USSOCOM has a global responsibility, much like TRANSCOM. I am the Department of Defense's synchronizer for the planning for the global war on terrorism. So, my responsibility really is to provide the forces to the various geographic combatant commanders, depending upon what their demand signal is. So, as we have made that argument back to OSD, and that argument has resonated, I am very comfortable with where we are in the current budget. And now, sequestration is affecting all of us. The chairman mentioned that--in his opening remarks that, as sequestration affects the other services--the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps, it subsequently has a trickle-down effect on U.S. Special Operations Command. I receive all of my manpower from the services. My recruiting base is from the services. My enablers are from the services. So, it is a little difficult sometimes to make a one- to-one comparison when you look at the USSOCOM budget. I think our budget--the recommended budget is going to serve us well. However, as sequestration has affected the broad Department of Defense, it will absolutely affect our ability to conduct special operations globally. General Fraser. Congressman, I, too, am comfortable with where we are right now. But I do have significant concerns as I look forward to the future, because we are dependent upon the services in maintaining a certain readiness level in order to be able to respond in a timely manner, wherever that call may come, whether it is a humanitarian or a crisis response. And as I look forward into the future, and I see under sequestration that the possibility of the readiness levels going down, will definitely impact our ability to respond in a timely manner. And so, that is an area of great interest to us in Transportation Command. Now, as I look forward to the future, one of the things that I think that we can do in Transportation Command is to try be more creative in bringing more business into the Defense Transportation System. We are a working capital fund. So, as we do business for the services and they reimburse us, the same is true for other government agencies or other organizations that we reach out to. So, we are very appreciative of what Congress has done for us and allowing us, as an example, to be able to charge DOD rates for foreign military sales. This has opened up an opportunity for us to further establish a relationship with Defense Security Cooperation Agency and bring more business into the Defense Transportation System [DTS]. So, that is going to be very helpful for us as we look forward to the future. In fact, Admiral Rixey has already been out to visit us. We have had very good discussions. And so, that is one area that we are looking forward of doing more business. The areas, too, that we are reaching out is to build the trust and confidence with other organizations to bring more business into DTS. That will help us mitigate some of the future challenges that we are going to see. But as the services go down in their readiness levels, that will have a definite impact. But we are trying to do what we can on our own to reach out to others to keep that readiness level up and bring more business. Mr. Wilson. Well, thank you both for pointing this out. And I am particularly concerned. What we are talking about is defense sequestration. The American people think of sequestration and think of reduced spending. No, it is my view that 50 percent of the cuts are on 15.1 percent of the budget, which is defense. And so, it is really an assault on the military. So, thank you for even having a positive attitude. I am impressed. Admiral McRaven, I understand that there has been in the U.S. Northern Command [USNORTHCOM] a Special Operations Command, North established. How is this being resourced, and how would this proceed? Admiral McRaven. Sir, thank you. I have theater special operations commands with all the geographic combatant commanders. We did not have one with NORTHCOM until last year. And in discussions between General Jacoby and I, he was looking for me really to kind of up-gun the staff effort that we had at NORTHCOM. So, we have always had a presence--a detachment, if you will--at U.S. Northern Command. We didn't formally make it a theater special operations command [TSOC] until last year. I was able--getting back to these--the efficiency reviews, I did, in fact, migrate some manpower from the USSOCOM staff, and move it to USNORTHCOM to establish the TSOC. The TSOC's role really is to work through General Jacoby to support both the Guard and Reserve aspect of it. We work closely with the Canadians. We work closely with other partners with USNORTHCOM. And so far, I think it has been a good move for us. It is a pretty small theater special operations command, certainly relative to someone like SOCCENT [Special Operations Command Central], which is my largest of the theater special operations command. It is a small effort, but we think it is an important effort for USNORTHCOM. Mr. Wilson. Thank you very much for the American people. The Chairman. Thank you. Ms. Hanabusa. Ms. Hanabusa. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. General Fraser, you and I have had many discussions. As you know, I am a big fan of TRANSCOM. I think that things don't happen without TRANSCOM. And TRANSCOM isn't given as much credit as it should. Of course, I have jokingly told you that I call you the Corporal Klinger of the whole military, because you make things happen. Having said that, there is an issue that is very critical for us in Hawaii, and that, of course, is the GPC [Global Privately Owned Vehicle Contract] contract. I do know that it is under protest. And for my colleagues here, that, of course, is the movement of the private automobiles, especially of our men and women in uniform. And you can imagine how important that is for them. I am wondering, has there been anything new decided in that case? Has the Court of Claims made a decision? General Fraser. No, ma'am, that is--as you know, was a contract that was decided last year. It came under protest, and [U.S. Government Accountability Office] dismissed that protest. Shortly after that, then, the outgoing company then filed in the Court of Federal Claims. It is in the Court of Federal Claims, and is scheduled for a hearing on the 7th of March, and we are under a protective order until such time. Ms. Hanabusa. Yes. And I do not want you to, of course, violate that. But to the extent that you might be able to share some information, and if you can't because it is covered by the protective order, I clearly understand that, but I was wondering, are there any assurances that you can give me as well as the--in particular, the service members in Hawaii that they will never--that they will not suffer any kind of loss as a result of that, and in fact, you would be able, as a result of the awarding of this contract, to the subsequent bidder, that there will be no added cost to the DOD. And of course, what I was concerned about was the issue regarding the transition costs. General Fraser. Ma'am, this was an open competition. There were multiple bidders on this particular contract. It was a best value contract that we looked at. The source selection committee then made their selection and then, since then, we have already mentioned, we have gone through several protests. We are aware of that. We are aware, also, of some of the accusations that have been made. I can assure you that we are--have taken these accusations and looked at each of them and have found nothing that would cause us to reverse our decision, any red flags, utilizing everything that is available to the command, as well as other national agencies and organizations. Ms. Hanabusa. And as we both know, one of the accusations was with the winning contractor's alleged connections to North Korea. And, I don't know if that is also part of this protective order, but if it isn't can you explain to me what you have done to ensure that that is not an issue? General Fraser. Ma'am, we used everything that was available to us when the accusations were made, and we could not find anything to substantiate that. Ms. Hanabusa. So, that is not part of the challenge that has been filed in the Court of Claims? General Fraser. I am just commenting on what we have done and what is in the Court of Federal Claims will be determined on the 7th of March. Ms. Hanabusa. And what is the process, General, in the event that the Court of Claims were to reverse the dismissal? What then happens? Is it a rebid or is it something that, you know, it is awarded to the next lowest bidder, or--what happens then? General Fraser. Ma'am, I would have to stand by for that decision, and then that would give us direction as to what to do. Ms. Hanabusa. Thank you. And in my closing time, General, I just want to know that as you know, there is a pivot to Asia-Pacific, and in your statement, you talk about the fact that the airlift and sealift and the USPACOM [United States Pacific Command] AOR remains a critical requirement. Do you feel that you have enough in terms of the airlift and sealift capability to meet the demands as you anticipate it to be in the pivot to Asia-Pacific? General Fraser. Yes Ma'am, we do. Coupled with both our organic and commercial capabilities, we are confident that we can meet the missions of PACOM. Ms. Hanabusa. Thank you very much. And I yield back. Thank you. The Chairman. Thank you. Mr. Lamborn. Mr. Lamborn. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and I want to thank both of you for being here and for your service to our country. It is great to have the 10th Special Forces at Fort Carson in Colorado, and they do such a great job. I visited them recently and they are really excelling at what they do. So thank you for your leadership there. I recently had the honor of sitting down with one of my constituents, Susan Allman, and hearing her family's story. It is a story that involved her husband, who is father to their children and an outstanding man who is a Green Beret who did serve with the 10th Special Forces. Tragically, the rigors of the job that we had asked him to do had worn on him mentally, emotionally, and physically, to the point where it became too much for him to bear, and he took his life. Susan came to me to share his story and to celebrate his life, but she also came to me to help prevent the tragic loss of our heroes in the future by raising awareness about SOCOM's Preservation of the Force and Family program. You mentioned that earlier, Admiral. She conveyed to me that the program was not in existence when her husband was struggling, but after learning about it and its merits, knew that if he had been able to participate in it, he would be here today with her and the children and continuing his career with the Green Berets--with the special forces. So, Susan is here today in the audience, and I want to again express my condolences to her and thank her for her sacrifice to our country. How is this program, the Preservation of the Force and Family program, supporting service members and their families, and what does it mean for the overall readiness of special operations forces? Admiral McRaven. Sir, thank you. And let me also pass on my condolences. Our suicide rate, unfortunately, has grown here over the past 3 or 4 years. It has remained steady over the last 2 years, but it is of great concern to me as I mentioned in my opening remarks. I will go back to my predecessor, Admiral Eric Olson. Prior to change in command, Admiral Olson had initiated a Pressure on the Force and Families Task Force. So, he went out, and for about 10 months of this task force, interviewed 7,000 soldiers, about 1,000 spouses, had 440 different meetings with small units, and the report literally landed on my desk the day I took command. And Eric told me, ``You need to read this. We have got to do something about how the force is fraying.'' And that was the term he used at the time, that the force was frayed. And this was in 2011. Well, sir, the force has continued to fray. But that was really kind of a wake-up call for us. I came into the military in 1977 at the end of Vietnam, and most of the folks that raised me were Vietnam veterans; and frankly sir, we didn't do a very good job of taking care of our veterans. And I know I speak for all the service chiefs and all the combatant commanders; we are not going to let that happen again with this generation, and we appreciate the support of everybody on Capitol Hill to make that happen, to put our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines in a good position as they move forward. But with that report from Admiral Olson, we initiated, we turned the Pressure on the Force and Families to the Preservation of the Force and Families. And frankly sir, we have dedicated a lot of time and effort to figure out, How do we help the force and the families? And this was a key component of it. And we have a number of sub elements to the POTFF. We have the Human Performance Program. It is really focused on the individual soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines that are preparing to go overseas in a combat environment. We take care of them prior to their deployment, on their deployment, and when they return from deployment. It is really an opportunity physically to get them back up to speed as quickly as we can, and we have seen some tremendous results as a function of that. The second piece is the Psychological Performance Program. Similar, we are working through the Defense Health System. They are actually kind of contracting for some of the health care professionals we need to deal with the psychological problems that we are finding with a lot of our returning soldiers. And the other components are really about family resiliency. And this is an area, and I have, again, made a successful argument, and the folks on Capitol Hill have been very supportive, as I have said, you know, in the past, I think we as a service take great care of our families, but this has been an incredibly stressful time. Mr. Lamborn. Now, Admiral, this program took some hits in the last year's budget. Admiral McRaven. It did, sir. Mr. Lamborn. Are you concerned about that for the next year? Admiral McRaven. Sir, what we did was we actually migrated some money to Defense Health Systems to be able to manage some of our Psychological Performance Programs, and I am okay with that. I think they will do as good a job of managing it as we could, and we are fine with that. Frankly, sir, I think we have got to figure out how much we need to invest over time to determine whether or not we are actually getting the return on our investment. I can tell you, anecdotally, when I travel around and I talk to the spouses and I talk to the service members, they are very appreciative of the Preservation of the Force and Families program. But, at some point in time, I will need to come back to this body and be able to show categorically how this has helped. I think I can do that to a degree now, but it is going to take us a couple years to see the results of this effort. Mr. Lamborn. Thank you so much. Admiral McRaven. Yes, sir. Thank you. The Chairman. Thank you. Ms. Duckworth. Ms. Duckworth. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. General Fraser, it is good to see you again. Last year, at your posture hearing, we talked about what would happen to the surge capacity should we have to lay off the merchant marine fleet and move these ships from the readiness level they are at to the point where we actually have to lay off some of the crews and perhaps, eventually, reflagging of some of the commercial ships. U.S. flag merchant ships operating worldwide in commercial, international trade markets, and in support of U.S. Armed Forces overseas, are carrying fewer defense cargoes as military ops wind down in Afghanistan. And as you know, our defense cargo is reserved for U.S. flag merchant ships under cargo preference law intended to help sustain a reliable cargo fleet capable of meeting military support requirements. You mentioned briefly, earlier, the Maritime Security Program. I am also, of course, an associate of this Voluntary Intermodal Sealift Agreement program. Could you elaborate a little bit further as to what TRANSCOM initiatives are to bring more government-financed cargo into the Defense Transportation System to assist U.S. shipping companies and to avoid losing more of these U.S. flag ships? General Fraser. Well, thank you, ma'am. And, a couple of initiatives that we have taken. First, I would say that we stood up an Enterprise Readiness Center [ERC] at our headquarters. This organization, we took out of hide, within our headquarters, to establish it, to look forward to the future in areas that we might be able to reach out to bring more business into the Defense Transportation System. We are seeing the fruits of that in the foreign military sales, as I have mentioned. What we have also seen is the ability to reach out to a couple of other organizations, too. As we begin that dialog, they are more interested. The other thing that we have done is establish a better relationship, also, with the Defense Logistics Agency, and so they are bringing more into the Defense Transportation System. So this is all there. They are small steps, they are initial steps, but I think they are areas which we will see continue to grow. The other initiative that we took this last year that hadn't been done before, is we reached out to industry through the National Defense Transportation Association [NDTA] to bring a private sector representative [PSR] to sit in our headquarters. This is a model that we actually got from FEMA [Federal Emergency Management Agency], after I had visited FEMA and seen where they bring in industry specialists. So, we figured out a way to bring industry into our headquarters and sit in our headquarters and then look at the processes, the procedures, and look at other alternatives that are out there for not only the best practices, but areas that we might reach out to bring more business in. The first representative is from the maritime industry, and will be in our headquarters for 6 months. Industry pays for this, takes it out of hide; but they feel it is something worthwhile in making that investment. We are now in the process of looking forward to who is next, looking at another mode, whether it is a 3PL [third-party logistics], a surface, or maybe even an aviation representative. So, we are beginning that dialogue with NDTA. We are encouraged by what we are seeing, both out of the ERC, the Outreach Program, and this PSR rep, as a couple of things we have done. Ms. Duckworth. So, it is not just the sealift capability, but it is also airlift with commercial airlines? General Fraser. We are across all modes. The other initiative that we took this last year was to stand up an executive working group for surface. This had not been done before. So, now we have a Surface Executive Working Group that reaches out and works with industry, both rail and road mode. We already had a maritime, and we have an air, so now we are covered across all the modes. Ms. Duckworth. Thank you. General McRaven--I mean, Admiral McRaven--sorry. Didn't mean to insult you. I wanted to chat a little bit about the global special operation forces network. And the guidance from the Joint Chiefs requires that for you to carry out this plan, it must remain resource-neutral. So that if you pursue this strategy of creating a global special operation forces network, can you talk a little bit about what are your plans to remain resource- neutral? And are you prepared to cut resources in other areas to maintain this network? And how would you re-allocate resources? And what types of things do you need from us to help you to establish this network? Is it authorities--additional authorities? What do you need to make this happen? Admiral McRaven. Yes, ma'am. The network itself, or the people that we have had, have actually been in these countries for decades. So, in effect, prior to 9/11, we had folks in about 120 countries at any point in time. Now, truth in lending--sometimes it was one person at an embassy. Sometimes, it was a couple hundred people, sometimes it was a couple thousand. But the people have been out there training with our allies for a very long time. What I am attempting to do is really to kind of link the people together so that the transfer of information from, you know, that young major that may be in Colombia who is working for SOCSOUTH [Special Operations Command South], and what he learns in Colombia is probably important to what happens in Africa, because the drug trade sometimes moves from Colombia to Venezuela to Africa to Southern Europe. So, my role really here is to link or to connect the dots, literally, that are out there around the globe. We can do this in a resource-neutral fashion. It is about rebalancing some of my resources, but within my portfolio and within the authorities I have as the special operations commander, we are able to do that. So, it is not so much about populating new areas, while we are looking at new areas. It is really about connecting the areas that are and the folks that are already out there. Ms. Duckworth. Thank you. I am out of time, Mr. Chairman. The Chairman. Thank you very much. Mr. Wittman. Mr. Wittman. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Admiral McRaven and General Fraser, thank you so much for your service to our Nation. It is deeply appreciated. General Fraser, as you have spoken, for TRANSCOM to be able to achieve its mission, there are lots of resources out there that it utilizes, whether it is U.S. base structure, or whether it is agreements with other countries. I wanted to get your perspective on the recent Kuwaiti agreement, where we hopefully will be able to leverage that. Can you give us an idea about how you would leverage that? Who is going to package and process the equipment as part of that? Does that give us some more operational flexibility? And does it change the calculation when we look at the equipment that we are moving out of theater and the calculation as to whether or not we keep it or we provide it to partners in the region? Can you give us some perspective on how that agreement will be leveraged by TRANSCOM? General Fraser. Well, thank you, sir. If I can answer the last first--and that is a service responsibility to make the determination of the equipment, whether it will be designated as excess defense article, or it is going to be returned to the United States and then brought back into the stocks after going through depot repair, wherever that may be. So, that is a service responsibility. And we will move things in accordance with their wishes. The Kuwaiti agreement that you speak of has given us additional flexibility. If I might say, it has allowed us to use intra-theater airlift to then move equipment out of Afghanistan and into Kuwait and into a yard there. This, too, is also resource-neutral in utilizing the assets that are already there. They have processed a lot of equipment before, coming out of Iraq. So, they will then be responsible for receiving at an intermediate staging base, and then processing the equipment, preparing it for onward shipment back to the United States. Some of that--it may be determined that it stays there in pre-position stocks. But this has given us another alternative to get things out of the theater. One of the challenges that we had was when the Torkham border closed. We had a lot of equipment that was frustrated. We had over 800 pieces that were held up in the carrier holding yards. We had another 300 that were in other yards, and then on the road. And so, what we were able to do with this new initiative--and being very appreciative of what Kuwait is allowing us to do--is then multimodal these pieces of rolling stock out of the theater, and then they will be able to process it and bring it on back to the United States. The other pieces of equipment were then rerouted. And so, we have unplugged all of that that was up near the Torkham border since it has been closed, and rerouted it down south across the Chaman border. It has given us another way in which we can rapidly move equipment out of the theater. Mr. Wittman. As you look at your operations there in CENTCOM [Central Command], how important is the base infrastructure or the base capacity in the European Command in order for you to accomplish your mission to move both the equipment in and out of the Central Command? General Fraser. Sir, we are engaged with both the European Command, and also with AFRICOM [Africa Command], and what the laydown needs to look like from a mobility perspective. What relationships we need to maintain, what access we need to have. And so, as we look forward in the future, we are having a dialogue also with the European Infrastructure Committee, as they look at the tasks that they have been given, and what that laydown may look like in the future. So, we are an integral part of that in bringing that to the table. As you know, we are responsible for the global En Route Infrastructure Master Plan. And so, that is a key part of what we look at. And this is across the globe, not just in Europe. Because as we downsize, and as we come back and out of certain areas, I feel it is important that, as Admiral McRaven has talked about, about building partnerships, building those relationships, I think it is going to be important that we, too, also maintain these relationships--key relationships, as opposed--about access in the future. And then exercising that every so often so that we have the flexibility, the agility within the system to be able to respond, no matter where that call may be. Mr. Wittman. Can you give us a very brief perspective on the use of automated technologies? I know that there are a lot of great ones out there--things like item-unique identification, IUID, and automated information to data capture, AIDC. Can you give us some idea about how you might be able to use that in creating greater efficiencies within TRANSCOM? General Fraser. Sir, we have been the advocate and proponent for automated information technology. We use a little bit of everything, depending upon what we are moving and how we need to track it, and what is the best cost-effective way to track the item. We use anything from bar code in the supply areas all the way up to passive as well as active radio frequency ID. So, it is a case-by-case basis depending upon the material that we are moving. I have been in the yards overseas, as well as here in the States, moving foreign military sales equipment, and every vehicle will have an identifier on it so we will know where that is as it moves through the system. So, we are utilizing all different modes of AIT [automatic identification technology]. Mr. Wittman. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I yield back. The Chairman. Thank you. Mr. Garamendi. Mr. Garamendi. I thank you, Mr. Chairman. Admiral McRaven, thank you for your services. My questions and comments are really going to go to General Fraser. Thank you very much for working so closely with us. We really appreciate all that you do. I am particularly interested in what you cannot talk about until next week, when the budget is out and the details relating to the Air Mobility Command and the plans that you are remaking in that regard. If you would like to comment ahead of that, I would certainly welcome it, but I suspect that you won't. The other issues are the very strong statement that you made in your written testimony concerning the sealift capacities. And I am particularly interested in the organic fleet, the age of it, and what plans you may have that you could talk about today, or maybe that you do have plans that you can't talk about. If you could cover that, and if you would like to say anything about the Air Mobility, I would appreciate it right now. General Fraser. Thank you, sir. And I will say that we have a wonderful working relationship with Air Mobility Command. They are maintaining the strategic airlift capabilities that we need in meeting the mission in the theater right now. Those young men and women continue to move forward in a very aggressive manner. This is not just in Afghanistan. But I would also like to comment on how flexible they are to meet other demands. So, when the call came and it was necessary to provide support to the Central African Republic, they were there. They moved, the crews went in. They started moving Rwandans, they moved Burundis. So, that has been very positive. They have also been very flexible and supportive of Southern Sudan, and the French in Mali. So, the flexibility that Air Mobility Command has is really wonderful. And maintaining that readiness has allowed us the flexibility to support other things, as opposed to just Afghanistan, and in supporting other operations around the world, too. With respect to sealift, as we look forward to the future, I do have a concern. It is in my statement. And this has to do with the Ready Reserve Fleet. The Ready Reserve Fleet is a critical component of our surge fleet as we look forward in the future to respond to any other crisis. The Ready Reserve Fleet is an aging fleet. It is normally lay berth. It only generates periodically to exercise the ships in a--what we call a turbo activation. But over the next 10 years, we will have 1.6 million square feet age out. The ships are just old. And so, they are going to have to be replaced. So, we have tasked our staff through the Joint [Distribution Process] Analysis Center to do a cost-benefit analysis of options on what should we do to recapitalize this fleet. I believe it is a discussion that we need to have to make sure that we have that capacity and that capability in the future. That study is just underway. Should be completed in the not-too-distant future so that we can then begin to have that dialogue. Mr. Garamendi. Is the not-too-distant future timed with the next National Defense Authorization Act? Or do we wait until the subsequent one? General Fraser. Sir, we just tasked that out. That is an internal tasking that we have. It was not done by anybody else. But we wanted to start taking a look ourselves at what alternatives are there out there in the future to recapitalize that fleet to begin that dialogue. I would say in the next 45 days or so internally to our command, we should have that done. Mr. Garamendi. I would hope that that would be available to us. This is a critical component. It ought to be part of what we take up this year in the NDAA and at least set the stage for dealing with this issue. The other issues relate to the other components. I am on the Maritime Subcommittee at the Transportation Committee, so we interact on these things. We are just simply going to have to wait until the budget--until the President's budget comes out, and then we can go into detail about the equipment for the Air Mobility. In the meantime, I want to thank you for your service and your willingness to work with all of us. It has been a pleasure working with you and thank you very much, and good luck on your retirement. The Chairman. Thank you. Mr. Coffman. Mr. Coffman. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. General Fraser, thanks so much for your dedicated service in U.S. Transportation Command and best of luck on your retirement. Admiral McRaven, thanks, obviously, for your leadership in the U.S. Special Operations Command. The former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said before he left the administration words to the effect that he didn't envision the United States doing another Iraq and Afghanistan again, prospectively going forward; and words to the effect that we will not--he didn't see the United States invading, occupying and pacifying and administering whole countries anymore. And as an Iraq war veteran, I certainly second that, his view of that. So going forward, if we are not going to be doing the heavy footprint counterinsurgency or stability operations, and we are going to migrate more to counterterrorism to utilize Special Operations Command, one of the debates is, to what extent, though, that you can't--can--to what extent can you offshore it, counterterrorism? Or to what extent do you really need to have a physical presence on the ground, the human intelligence component, the other components, when we look at perhaps Yemen and Somalia as a template for going forward? Could you comment on that? Admiral McRaven. Yes, sir. And I think you have raised a good question. It is one of the things that we are trying to address in our kind of SOF global plan. And that is how do you go about conducting counterterrorism operations or building partner capacity without rocking the boat too much in terms of your relationship with the host nation. So one of the things that the special operations brings is a small footprint. It is cost-effective to put a small group in there. It is--they are culturally trained. They speak the language. We understand how to work with a U.S. embassy; how to work with our interagency partners; how to work with the host nation. And so as you look at the various areas where we are partnered against some of the CT [counterterrorism] threats in Yemen, in other countries around the world, that paradigm works pretty well for us. Now, in reference to Secretary Gates's comments, I would tell you our crystal ball as a nation has not been very good over the last several hundred years. So I think we have to be careful about assuming that we would never go to major war again. That is not to say that we should accept that as a given, but we should also recognize that that possibility is always out there. I would be concerned about thinking that the special operations community is the panacea for all our problems. We are not. I can tell you that U.S. Special Operations cannot stop the North Koreans from coming south. We cannot keep the Straits of Hormuz open. We can do some things and we do them very well, but frankly, we are linked very closely with our conventional partners. We can't do anything without the general purpose force as part of our enablers. So, I do think we have to be on the ground, partnered with our allies to go after the CT threat. Can you do some of it offshore or remotely? Only if, as you point out, sir, you have good human intelligence on the ground, provided by somebody, whether that is the host nation or others. You have to understand what the intelligence picture looks like. Or you are not going to be able to get after that threat no matter where you are located. Mr. Coffman. So, I certainly don't want to conflate conventional capability with counterterrorism capability. But it seems that we were more effective perhaps as a country when we look at post-Vietnam all the way maybe to pre-Iraq invasion in 2003, when we focused more on partnering with indigenous forces within a given region to accomplish our security objectives, rather than us going in with a very heavy footprint and accomplishing them. And I certainly--but there is no question, and I agree with you, we have to maintain strong conventional forces to deter those who would otherwise want to attack us. But can you go over again where you see these--to what extent Al Qaeda is franchising their operations at this point in time? And it is just--it is more of a movement, obviously, than it is an organization, is it not? Admiral McRaven. Sir, it is. Al Qaeda, of course, is an ideology. So you are trying to fight an ideology that, of course, now has people that are gravitating towards it. So as core Al Qaeda has been degraded significantly in the Pakistan region, we are clearly seeing the kind of cancer spread. Mainly our biggest threat is coming from Yemen. Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula continues to be I think the greatest threat to the U.S. homeland. But Al Qaeda in the Islamic Lands of the Maghreb is a problem, as they are spreading across North Africa. We see Boko Haram beginning to conflate with AQIM in North Africa. We see ISI [Islamic State of Iraq] and ISIL [Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant] beginning to develop or fully developed and growing in the Iraq and Syria area. So as I mentioned earlier, I think the threats to the homeland, the high-end threats to the homeland have diminished. That is not to say that we don't still see some threat streams out there, but the high-end threats have diminished. The problem is the global threat has broadened with these franchises that are out there. Mr. Coffman. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I yield back. Mr. Thornberry [presiding]. Mr. Enyart. Mr. Enyart. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. General Fraser, it is so good to see you again. I think the first time I met you, I was still wearing Army BDUs [battle dress uniform] in your command headquarters at Scott Air Force Base. And, you know, General, I don't think I have ever had the chance to tell you that as a very young airman, I think I was E-3 at the time, I got to fly in a T-39 with your predecessor, General Jack Cappen at the controls. And it was a great thrill. Of course, when we first met, I had two of my three wings and the Illinois National Guard belonged to you--the 130s up at Peoria and the KC-135s right there at Scott. So I am familiar with many of the challenges that you have. And I was particularly pleased to hear in your earlier testimony, and I don't want to misstate anything, but I think you said that because of having TRANSCOM and AMC and the Army Surface Material Distribution Command all located at Scott, you were able to wring some efficiencies out of those commands and use some of the resources together in order to provide a better bargain for the American taxpayer. Have I got that right? General Fraser. Yes, sir, that is correct. Mr. Enyart. Super. I am so glad to hear that as a taxpayer and as a Member of Congress. Can you tell me what specific impacts do you expect to see as we have ongoing headquarters reductions? What impact will that have on TRANSCOM? And do you believe you have got further efficiencies that you will be able to bring about at Scott as a result of having all of those commands co-located there? General Fraser. Sir, we are always looking to be more efficient and effective. And so one of the things is is that as we have set up our processes and our procedures at the headquarters there through a very deliberate process to bring others in who have good ideas. One of the things that we have encouraged the young folks is to speak up. And if they have got a good idea, then let's get it on the table. They are very innovative. They are not shy about letting us know where some other efficiencies can be had. And so we continue to reach out to the workforce. They have identified a couple of areas that we think that we can find some other efficiencies. So one of the areas, and we are working this through the Joint Staff and through the Department of Defense right now, is do we maintain the joint scheduling shop, JOSAC [Joint Operational Support Airlift Center], as we move forward in the future. So all the aircraft are not in there. Is it the right thing to do to have a separate scheduling shop that does that? Or do you give that back to the services under the service secretary withholds and things of that nature? And so that is a potential efficiency out there. So, that is just one other example of an area that we are taking a look at. Mr. Enyart. General Fraser, in light of the drawdown in Afghanistan, how is TRANSCOM looking to maintain the readiness of both its private partners and its organic partners? And I was certainly very glad to hear that you have incorporated the private sector rep into your headquarters based on the FEMA model. That has certainly worked very good--very well for FEMA. But how do you intend to do that going forward? General Fraser. Well, sir, we have continued to engage our commercial partners, not only across the executive working groups, but also through the National Defense Transportation Association. They have a number of different committees, of which we have individuals that sit on their various committees, whether it is railroad, maritime, or aviation. And so we have a very open and candid dialogue. We also participate in their board of director meetings once a quarter. There are also a Transportation Advisory Board that occurs once a year that I attend, as well as other meetings throughout the year. So we are going to continue to reach out to industry, continue to bring them in. This last year, we also held a large meeting in St. Louis and brought in a lot of industry reps. We had over 600 that participated in this, which was very informative to them, to let them know where things were going in the future, what the future looks like. It is very difficult for them to build business plans when we can't give them assurances. And so that is one of the things that is very challenging right now, especially with sequestration and the inability to predict the future and what it is going to look like as far as any types of movements that are going to be out there. And so working with industry, we have got to be as open, be as candid as we can, while yet at the same time having this other initiative to bring more business into the DTS. Mr. Enyart. Thank you, General. Admiral, I didn't mean to ignore you. I had the great soldiers of the 20th SF [Special Forces] Group under my command also. But I apologize, I am out of time. I yield back. The Chairman [presiding]. Thank you. Mr. Runyan. Mr. Runyan. Thank you, Chairman. General Fraser, Admiral McRaven, thanks for being here. Thank you both for your service. General Fraser, congratulations and good luck in your future endeavors. And I know you know which questions are coming, General Fraser. As you know, I am very proud to represent the Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst. There are some worries that I think a lot of people, specifically in that community, have, specifically dealing with the KC-10s, you know. And I think everybody agrees there that the refueling and air mobility mission there has been a spectacular display of what you all can do. And I am really concerned about the proposals to entirely eliminate this--the fleet of KC-10s. And I know my colleague, Mr. Garamendi, has the same concerns, as he has a good part of that fleet at Travis. Since the KC-10 is a tanker-cargo aircraft, how much tanker capacity will you lose if that proposal goes through? And if the entire fleet is retired? And do the combatant commanders agree with losing that capability? General Fraser. Sir, as it has been previously stated, we can't comment until the PB [President's budget] is delivered and we take a look at that. But I will say that I am very encouraged by what I am seeing with the KC-46. As that program continues to move forward, and that is going to give us the significant capacity and capability in the future, as that force is modernized. And we look forward to getting the KC-46 aboard. Mr. Runyan. Well, and I will--you probably won't comment on this, but if there is a requirement and a process in there, I think most people would agree that there is going to be a gap in the ability to execute that mission and the readiness because of whether it is overseas refueling, whether it is homeland security, you know, that the traffic in the Northeast corridor up there, that all these missions are, to--I am--at some point, you are going to handcuff yourself. And, God forbid, something happen, a delay in the 46 delivery. And it is something--can you comment on any of that? General Fraser. Well, sir, I will say that we completed last year and have reported back to Congress under a mobility capabilities assessment. And in that, we also talk about the tanker capability as well as the strategic lift and the tactical lift that is required in going to the future, and what that capacity yields and the ability to support the plans. And so, I would point to that as the most recent study and analysis that we did on the capacity that is required going forward. Mr. Runyan. Okay. Well, it is--I know what has been proposed has a huge portion of it has to do with sequestration. I wanted to point that out. And I know you have to do, say what you are saying. But I think most people when they look at a major part of airlift and refueling kind of being shelved or put off, it creates a hole as we are ramping up. We know the 46 is coming online, and it will be a huge asset to what we are able to do. But it is--I think there are still a lot of questions out there. I know I have continually raised them, and as this budget proposal comes forward, and that has been out there, I think it is going to continue to raise a lot more questions. And I know, you know, I know with TRANSCOM you guys have seriously considered other scenarios as going forward, depending on what the budget allows you to do. So I just wanted to raise that concern and plant that seed as we move forward. And I yield back, Chairman. The Chairman. Thank you. Mr. Barber. Mr. Barber. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And thank you both for being with us today. And thank you for your many years of service to your respective branches and to the country. And to you, General Fraser, I wish you all the best in retirement. I remember well when my father retired from the Air Force. It was a bittersweet moment of time for him. He loved being in the Air Force. And he was looking forward to more time with family and not having to move us every 2 or 3 years. But I really wish you well and hope your retirement is everything you want it to be. Admiral McRaven, I would like to address a question to you. It goes without saying that our special operations perform a critical mission for the country. And I am looking forward to discussing a specific aspect of our operation with you, and that is combat search and rescue [C-SAR]. I am very proud to represent the men and women at Davis- Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson. That is where my dad was stationed. That is how I came to the desert. That is where I met my wife when we were teenagers. So, there is a lot of both personal as well as professional pride in that incredible facility. As you know, Admiral, we have the 563rd Rescue Group there, one of only two active duty Air Force rescue groups dedicated to personnel recovery. And I have met with these airmen a number of times, and was joined in one of those meetings by Ranking Member Smith. We learned from them what they do and how important their mission is, not only, as you might know, to rescue and to search for military personnel, but many times they are helping us back home when we have a serious rescue mission in our community. It has been reported that last year the Air Force was considering moving C-SAR mission from Air Combat Command to Air Force Special Operations Command [AFSOC]. Quite frankly, I think this would be a mistake. I agree with what the Air Force said a few years ago, that under ACC, the C-SAR assets could be mobilized faster during a national crisis, integrated into combat training, and tasked to support all rotations. And, Admiral, given the importance of both the ACC and AFSOC command rescue operations, can you give us a sense of what the budget will look like for C-SAR operations, the combat rescue helicopter, and any plans for consolidation of the mission? Admiral McRaven. Sir, my son, an Air Force major, is also stationed at Davis-Monthan. And I was just out there a couple of weeks ago. Great airmen and a great facility. Sir, as you point out, the Air Force had looked at and investigated the potential to move C-SAR into Air Force Special Operations Command. The decision was made not to do that, and I fully supported that decision. I think it was, as with a lot of things, as the Air Force was dealing with sequestration, they were looking at opportunities to save some money to be able to resource other things. But at the end of the day, the decision was made not to do that. I am in complete agreement with General Welch. I do not know the details of the C-SAR budget, and I would ask--that is probably a question for General Welch, sir. Mr. Barber. Thank you very much again, to both of you, for your service. And is it fishing that is in the future or what are you going to like to do when you are retired, General? General Fraser. Seven grandkids, sir. Have fun. Mr. Barber. Very good. I wish you all the best. Thank you so much. I yield back. The Chairman. Thank you. Mr. Nugent. Mr. Nugent. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And I certainly want to thank our panel for your service to this country. General Fraser, on your retirement, kudos. Wrong state, but that is okay. We can invite you back to Florida. Admiral McRaven, it is--Special Forces has done an outstanding job, and I really do appreciate your comments in regards to--some have pinned everything on special forces that can save the world, and we--I think you hit it right on the head. It is a mixture of conventional forces and special forces in regards to what you can do. Just quickly, though, on SOCOM, you have taken a lot of hits in regards to downsizing your command structure. And it sounds like you understand that and work that. Do you see any major hits coming to that command structure in the next budget? Admiral McRaven. Sir, I don't. As we have gone through the process, we have been able to make a pretty good argument for why we need the command structure we need. The Secretary has supported that argument. And I think we are going to do pretty well in the budget, sir. Mr. Nugent. I think you have. I mean I think that you have gotten down to a lean fighting position that you need to have. But as we look at a smaller component of our special operators, particularly as you look at our underwater delivery vehicles, as we may. And particularly when you look at the age of the fleet from that perspective, I know that SOCOM is working to come up with some other solutions on those submersibles, because we are working with these legacies that are, what, four decades old. And so, I want to make sure that we are doing everything that we can to help you. And I know you have made a lot of progress, particularly in the three last years. As things start changing, you can shift your focus a little bit on looking towards the future. So I think it is on the right track today, and I know that dry combat submersible is a priority for your command. I understand that you are using an accelerated approach to deliver this much-needed capability to our warfighters, who I care about, obviously, the most. Having three sons in the Army, I get it. And I want to make sure that our warfighters have the ability to reach their objective and being in a position to be successful and return back to us. Do you see any statutory requirements that we have in place that, you know, could harm the progress in the near term or in the future that we may need to address here? Admiral McRaven. Sir, thank you. The dry combat submersible is a key component of our maritime strategy as we move forward. And, as you pointed out, really over the last 12 years, as we have resourced more of our kind of ground components and our air mobility components to fight the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, we probably haven't paid as much attention to our maritime mobility, both surface and subsurface, as we should. So the dry combat submersible is a key piece of our future. Right now, sir, there is a public law 112, that really I would offer could use a relook, because what it does is it takes us from exercising the dry combat submersible under a CAT [category] III program and wants us to look at it as a Category I program, so the difference between, you know, a smaller program and a larger program. Right now, as I look at it as an ACAT-3 [acquisition category] program, it gives me, as the SOCOM commander, flexibility in assuming risk. And this is what it is all about. And frankly, I am prepared to assume a little bit more risk as we work with industry to build this capability. If we have to look at it as an ACAT-1 program, then my ability to manage the risk and assume the risk is kind of taken out of my hands. So we would certainly request that we re-look this public law. And, if there is any room for us to maintain our flexible acquisition approach to the dry combat submersible, we would certainly appreciate that. Mr. Nugent. Well, I can certainly see--and having been an airmen, I hate to say back when, 1969 was actually--I think the Wright Brothers just gave up some of their stuff to us. But, the ability for us to reach our adversaries and put our folks in the best position to complete the mission, I think, is overwhelming and I really do appreciate your leadership, Admiral, in regards to looking past your nose and looking out into the future as--and we have not and you hit it right on the head. We have military--and I have only been a Member of Congress here for 3 years, but the government has not done a good job of predicting our future warfare. We have been pretty miserable at it. No one suspected that we would be in Iraq and Afghanistan simultaneously. So who knows what the future brings. So I do appreciate both of your leadership as we move forward. So thank you very much. And, I yield back. The Chairman. Actually, we have been quite consistent. We have been 100 percent wrong. Mrs. Davis. Mrs. Davis. Thank you, Mr. Chair. Admiral McRaven, thank you very much for your extraordinary service. And, General Fraser, for yours as well, and congratulations on your retirement. Well earned. Admiral McRaven, I wanted to just, I think, follow up on the comment that you had made, really, in your testimony about the fact that our most extreme adversaries are not going to be susceptible to a non-violent message--ideology. And, so we don't have a lot of choices in that realm. And I think you have probably touched on this probably with a number of answers to the members here, but we are not able to do mil- to-mil activity. Certainly there are a number of operations that we do to try and bring people together to capture hearts and minds, but when it comes to the next generation is there something that you feel that you are able to do that actually tries to break up the future for many of, young men particularly, that we encounter in that regard? Admiral McRaven. Yes ma'am. And this is probably the most difficult task we have found in the course of the last 12 years is how do you get what we think is the right narrative out to the young Muslims that are on the fence. And, of course, the preponderance of Muslims are absolutely righteous and where they need to be, but it is the extremists that create some problems. And no matter how much we try to address the narrative with the extremists, some of them are just irreconcilable and however having said that, we have a new generation that is coming up in the Muslim world, and I think we need to continue our efforts to work with them, to partner with them, to find the moderate Muslims that are willing to work with us to buy down the extremism in their countries. But extremism has a power all its own, and there are some out there that believe that the Al Qaeda ideology will crumble within itself, because it is a corrupt ideology and if we give it enough time it will collapse. I am not one of those people. It is a corrupt ideology, but I do not know that in and of itself it will collapse inside. And so I think we have to pressure it. We have to pressure it with the support of the moderate Muslims that are out there. We have to pressure with support with our forces forward and building partner capacities to isolate the threat. I think it has got to continue to be pushed into the recesses and isolated so that it doesn't have the capability and the reach to be able to conduct acts against the homeland and our national interests. Mrs. Davis. Along with our partners what has given you the most hope that that is a possibility down the line? Admiral McRaven. I think it has been my experience in Iraq and Afghanistan, and sometimes this is hard to convey to the American people just how good the Iraqi people and the Afghans are. Ma'am I will tell you, the folks that I have worked with in the Iraqi military and the Afghan military are absolutely fabulous. They are wonderful people. They are patriotic. They want the same things we want. So that gives me hope. Having said that, at the same time, there is an extremist element of this that is irreconcilable and that I think we need to continue to pressure and isolate. But, I think what gives me hope is the people I have met. When you meet them, they are a wonderful, wonderful people and we need to continue to work with them and---- Mrs. Davis. Will special forces be playing a role at all in the election in Afghanistan, or are you folks in the background for this? Admiral McRaven. No ma'am, we--you know, the election is run by the Afghan people. And the U.S. military, in this case, we have no role other than to support the movement, you know, if we have to help move folks from point A to point B, the conventional military will do that, but no ma'am, we in the special operations community don't have a role in the elections in Afghanistan. Mrs. Davis. Yes. And General Fraser, just really quickly, is there anything you could change as you retire--any words of wisdom for the Congress? Ways that we work best with you? What would you like to tell us? General Fraser. Ma'am, I would just like to say thank you. Thank you for the open, candid dialogue that we can have in the relationship, because our ability to come over here to meet with you not only in this form but in the private meetings, I think, helps us all to better understand the challenges as we look forward to the future. And so, we need to make sure that we are able to continue to have that dialogue, because there are difficult times ahead. It is unpredictable as to what the future holds. We know that in TRANSCOM. We don't know where we are going to be called upon to go. So I look forward, even in my life after I transition, to continue to make contributions where I can. So thank you. Mrs. Davis. Thank you, we hope you will. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. The Chairman. Thank you. Mr. Thornberry. Mr. Thornberry. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And I particularly was interested in the exchange with Mrs. Davis and Admiral McRaven. The only thing I think is important to add is, there is another narrative that the other side is trying to put out there, and we, I think, often don't appreciate how effective they can be at making things, wedding parties or whatever the issue is that we are combating in this battle of the narratives. It is another factor on the playing field. Admiral, you are kind enough to come back to us in a couple weeks with the Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee. I appreciate that. And so I may hold off in talking about other special operations issues until we have that opportunity. General Fraser, in addition to the good sense you have to retire in Texas, I wanted to ask about a couple things. In response to Mr. Wittman, you talked about the global infrastructure plan. There are some Members of the House and the Senate that are very concerned about the United States abandoning an air base in the Azores and believe that from a logistical standpoint that could be a key asset to getting to Europe, getting to CENTCOM, getting to Africa. Do you have any comments about that? General Fraser. Sir, we have provided input to the EIC, the European Infrastructure Committee, as to the bases we look at, the ability that--and capability that the various bases provide us. Also, looking at alternatives, trying to analyze that and what that would mean to the deployment of forces and moving around. And so, we are doing that analysis. We are working with them to make sure it is totally understood what the impact of any changes may be in the future. Mr. Thornberry. And when will that be complete--you may have answered that already. General Fraser. Sir, the EIC is a different committee that is part of the Department of Defense---- Mr. Thornberry. So you are just submitting your input and you don't know when they are going to---- General Fraser. We are a part of that. Mr. Thornberry. It is--as I say, there are some Members who are very concerned that we may be about to mothball something that we regret, one day. Let me go back. You were asked, I think, by Mr. Miller about, and you talked a couple of times about the different efficiencies you have found in your command. Going beyond efficiencies, as you have done these analysis and so forth, have you run into statutes or regulations that ought to be on our radar screen to help get more value for the money we spend in TRANSCOM? I mean, obstacles to doing things better, because one of the things the chairman has asked us to look at is those sorts of reforms. And there is a lot of money that is spent in your area. General Fraser. Yes sir, and one of the areas I have already pointed to has to do with our ability and flexibility in the command as an acquisition organization to work the different modes, the different contracts that are necessary to accomplish the mission. And, so having that. One of the things, though, that we are working with our acquisition folks is exactly what you are talking about, are those things--are there things within the regulations--within the Federal acquisition regulations that inhibit our ability to move forward in the future? One of the areas that I might highlight is, and this goes to other organizations or agencies, is trying to work with them as they make decisions and unintended consequences that it has with respect to Transportation Command. Where I am coming from there has to do whether it is support of the military sealift program--the Maritime Security Program, excuse me, last year when that was not fully funded, it was impacted by sequester, we broke faith with industry. We failed to pay them the last 6 weeks of the year. They had signed up. They had committed 60 ships, 10-year increments, and that was the same time we were about ready to go into another approval for them to commit and then we break faith with them. The unintended consequence is then how do they go to their boards, how do they work with industry to modernize, to capitalize, and re-capitalize as they go forward in the future? So are there other things that other committees in other areas have unintended consequences? Unintended consequences when we change the regulations and we are not--with cargo preference and that may be a minor adjustment, but that can impact merchant mariners. And so we are in a dialogue and have an agreement now that we are right at surge capacity for merchant mariners. That is why we are very supportive of the development of a national maritime strategy and working very closely with MARAD. So there are a number of areas that we have gotta work together on. Mr. Thornberry. Well, and certainly, you all highlighting those for us, because we may not pick them up--would be helpful. Thank you. The Chairman. Thank you. Mr. Veasey. Mr. Veasey. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I wanted to know about any plans to expand theater operations--theater special operation commands. Admiral McRaven. Sir, we currently have seven theater special operations commands. There is no intent to build more special operations commands. Having said that, what I am trying to do is strengthen the special operations commands so that they can be more responsive to the geographic combatant commanders. So, as part of our review--our efficiency review--we actually migrated some of the manpower from the USSOCOM staff. But we will be doing that over the course of the next couple years through the theater special operations commands to give them more capability in the intelligence shop and their operations shop and their planning shop, and actually, in their acquisition shop, as well. Mr. Veasey. If you needed to expand with, you know, personnel reductions that are looming, how would you be able to do that quickly, you know, given those type of budget constraints? Admiral McRaven. Yes, sir. I think the plan that we currently have on the books, in terms of migrating the manpower to the theater special operations command, will put us in a good position to do the support we need to do for the geographic combatant commander. So, I don't know that I need any additional manpower. And I think what we have got in terms of a plan, a road map for the way ahead is sufficient. Mr. Veasey. As far as just resources and, I guess, competition for resources between the various services, how do you manage--how do all the branches manage that effectively under those sort of budget constraints? Admiral McRaven. Yes, sir. So, my money from Major Force Program 11--that is, USSOCOM money--that goes towards funding a certain part of a theater special operations command. So, you know, in general, I put about $20 million a year into a special operations--theater special operations command. Now, that varies. SOC Korea, for example, one of my smaller SOCs, is about $4 million. SOCCENT, my bigger SOC, is about $40, $45 million. However, having said that, the services have executive agency responsibilities. So, they also have a bill to pay for the theater special operations commands. It goes through their service components. We need to continue to have them pay that bill. And, of course, the sequestration impacts them, and they are looking at where they can find cost savings. We are continuing to work with the services to make sure that the TSOCs do, in fact, get funded at the levels we think are appropriate. Mr. Veasey. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. The Chairman. Thank you. Mr. Langevin. Mr. Langevin. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Admiral, General, thank you for your testimony today and for your service. Good. Admiral McRaven, if I could just start with you--from fiscal year 2013 and fiscal year 2014, SOCOM-based funding was reduced nearly a billion dollars, with $183 million of that reduction coming from research, development, test, evaluation [RDT&E]. Can you tell this--were any of your priority acquisition technologies affected by this reduction? And as a corollary, are you concerned about support for emerging technologies currently in the R&D [research and development] phase that are needed to support SOCOM's mission set in the future? Admiral McRaven. Yes, sir. The R&D cuts we took, we kind of spread across the board so that no one program would take too dramatic of a cut. Now, that is not always the best way to manage your research and development, but it worked for us this time around. However, were we to take more significant cuts in RDT&E, then we would have to do really a vertical cut on some of our programs, and I think that would be detrimental. Having said that, my staff, as we have talked about--the imbalance within my portfolio in terms of RDT&E, and O&M [operations and maintenance] and procurement and MILCON [military construction] dollars. So, one of the things that we are working to do over the next couple years is figure out how do I get that more in balance. What is the right percentage of RDT&E I need to do as a resource sponsor with my service-like hat on in order to provide the best capability to the soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines that I have? I am not sure I have that right, to be honest with you. What I do know is that we have not put enough into RDT&E over the last several years because, frankly, we have been fighting the short-term fight. As we looked at Iraq and Afghanistan, most of our money was going towards O&M to maintain our readiness, procurement money to buy the capabilities the soldiers needed. And we were not looking as far downrange as we should. Having said that, I think we are beginning to bring it back into balance, but we still need some work. Mr. Langevin. Thank you, Admiral. Admiral, if I could, also, can you talk about what role SOCOM is playing in the Defense Intelligence Agency's new Defense Clandestine Service [DCS]? Admiral McRaven. Yes, sir. We have been working with the Defense Intelligence Agency as they have developed this Defense Clandestine Service. And I am a strong believer and supporter of the DCS concept. What it will do is put U.S. special operations operators, working for the theater special operations commands, they will be essentially dual-hatted. Their tasking will come from the theater special operations command. They will have a reporting line, as well, to the Defense Intelligence Agency. They will work as an intelligence officer in various countries to collect the information that U.S. special operations needs to do its mission. So, I think the DCS approach is the right one. We have, I think, a good broad base support with the inner agency, and we are working very closely with our intelligence partners to move ahead with the DCS. Mr. Langevin. Thank you, Admiral. Last question for you. And then I hope I have time to get to General Fraser. Could you update us on the ISR requirements that your command has, and how that is driving your investments over the current budget window? Admiral McRaven. Yes, sir. ISR, as you know, is a critical component to everything we are doing on the counterterrorism side, and my staff--we are building an ISR road map to look at both the unmanned and the manned ISR. I think what we have got to take into consideration as we have, you know, come out of Iraq and we are drawing down in Afghanistan is, do we have the mix of ISR correct? Okay? In Afghanistan, we had the preponderance was unmanned, probably 60-40 unmanned to manned. But now, as we move into other areas, we are trying to determine whether or not we need more manned ISRs. So, we are drawing down our U-28 fleet, for example, which is a single- engine prop job that we used in Afghanistan quite effectively, but it doesn't have the legs, really, to meet some of the ISR requirements we have in continents like Africa, where the problem set will be longer-range. So, we are moving to an MC-12 platform. It is a dual propeller-driven, longer legs, better capability. We are looking at pure-fleeting our unmanned ISR, moving from the MQ- 1, the Predator, to the MQ-9, Reaper--pure-fleeting that with the high-definition sensor. So, that is all part of the direction we are heading. I am very comfortable with where we are. The services are supporting our requirement. So, we have a requirement for a certain number of orbits for U.S. Special Operations Command. And then the services have a requirement to support us with some additional orbits. And we are working closely with the services to meet those commitments. Mr. Langevin. Thank you, Admiral. I know my time is expired. I will submit my question for General Fraser for the record. And I know earlier, you spoke about the work you are doing. And you and I have spoken in my office privately about the work you are doing to support both the--our operators, as well as their families, and meeting all their needs so that the whole force is intact and staying strong. I thank you for the attention you are paying to that, Admiral. Great job. The Chairman. Thank you. The gentleman's time is expired. Thank you very much for your service and for being here today. And this hearing stands adjourned. [Whereupon, at 12:09 p.m., the committee was adjourned.] ======================================================================= A P P E N D I X February 27, 2014 ======================================================================= ======================================================================= PREPARED STATEMENTS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD February 27, 2014 ======================================================================= [GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] ======================================================================= QUESTIONS SUBMITTED BY MEMBERS POST HEARING February 27, 2014 ======================================================================= QUESTIONS SUBMITTED BY MR. LANGEVIN Mr. Langevin. Admiral, can you outline for us some of the more difficult advanced technology requirements that SOF needs in order to maintain an edge on the battlefield? Are there needs with regards to the well-being of the families of our special operators that will need congressional action for you to be able to fully address? Admiral McRaven. Some of our most difficult advanced technology requirements include personal protection, signature management, first pass lethality, and color night vision. Another vital requirement is enhancing the survivability of our SOF operators by improving personal protective equipment. To address this challenge we are pursuing vastly improved protection capabilities through proactive/reactive novel material solutions, such as the Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS). Our adversary's capabilities continue to evolve and improve. To maintain our edge on the battlefield SOF needs comprehensive signature management in all environments to avoid detection. We are evaluating novel technologies to provide SOF aircrews and their platforms with first pass lethality by rapidly acquiring ballistic wind data for vastly increased accuracy of unguided weapon systems. Finally, maintaining our tactical advantage at night will require revolutionary, game changing capabilities like color night vision. The goal of our color night vision effort is to provide the SOF operator the ability to see true color on a moonless night with just starlight--a tremendous tactical advantage. Taking care of our Service members and their families is a top priority--our people are the foundation upon which the success of any mission rests. USSOCOM is grateful for the support the Congress has shown for our Preservation of the Force and Family initiatives. This support has enabled USSOCOM to hire and embed professional staff into all of our units to help assure the physical, psychological, spiritual and social wellbeing of our community. We are especially grateful for Congress granting USSOCOM the authority to use appropriated funds to support family programs as authorized in the 2014 NDAA, Section 554. This authority, in conjunction with the authorities found in Title 10 U.S. Code 1789 that permit funding for chaplain-led family programs, will enable USSOCOM commanders to use appropriated funds to support family programs much like their counterparts in the conventional force. The Commander, USSOCOM (CDRUSSOCOM) has a statutory responsibility (Title X, Sec 167) to ensure the readiness of special operations forces. Although Sec 167 does not explicitly mention families as a component of operational readiness, we view the wellbeing of our families as an integral part of the readiness mix. Accordingly, the CDRUSSOCOM has an inherent responsibility to ensure that the families of those assigned to USSOCOM have the necessary resources and advocacy to withstand adversity and to support their service members in the accomplishment of their duties. The tools available to our USSOCOM's Commanders include the programs authorized by Sec 554 and the personnel hired as part of the POTFF initiative, particularly Family Readiness Coordinators. We view the Preservation of the Force and Family initiative as an enduring and dynamic requirement that will require continuous improvement and refinement as emerging technologies and practices are identified and introduced to our efforts. In keeping with this, USSOCOM requires sustained support to sponsor research that will inform our efforts across the psychological, social, spiritual and physical domains, and the resources and authorities to continue to support our families and assure the readiness of our forces. Mr. Langevin. Could you update us on the ISR requirements your command has, and how that is driving your investments over the current budget window? Admiral McRaven. U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) global ISR requirement remains unchanged. USSOCOM continues to implement innovative solutions working with the Services, Combat Support Agencies, and Geographic Combatant Commands (GCCs) within the confines of economic, political, and geographic realities. USSOCOM has adopted a balanced approach to focus on improving sensors, platform endurance, data transport architecture, and methods to process, exploit, and disseminate intelligence. The withdrawal from Afghanistan does not change USSOCOM's global airborne ISR (AISR) requirement (Memorandum for Secretary of Defense and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff-Airborne Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Support to Special Operations Forces 9 January 2012; Joint Emergent Operational Need (JEON) for Airborne Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance in Support of Special Operations Forces, 8 June 2012), but rather reflects a need to shift ISR capabilities to other regions in support of prioritized Special Operations Forces (SOF) operations. The locations where SOF operate outside of the Afghanistan-Pakistan region require a variety of means to successfully conduct ISR. USSOCOM is working closely with SOF Theater and Component commands to refine air, ground, and maritime ISR requirements to support the GCCs. Economic realities drive difficult decisions, but there is no anticipated demand reduction for SOF's unique capabilities. Continued ISR programming support from the Services and Combat Support Agencies in addition to USSOCOM efforts will remain essential through the Future Years Defense Program and beyond. Mr. Langevin. Transportation Command faces some unique challenges among the combatant commands. With the majority of your supplies and passengers traveling via commercial partners, and the vast majority of your traffic on unsecured networks, your networks have a large aperture size relative to other commands. Can you update us further on the steps you are taking to reduce your cyber vulnerability, both in terms of collapsing the number of touchpoints and in terms of contract incentives to commercial partners to better secure their own networks? Are you satisfied with the level of progress? General Fraser. U.S. Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM) is integrating critical systems operated by our service components behind a common security boundary with common technology and policies and enhanced situational awareness for USTRANSCOM and component network defenders. In addition, USTRANSCOM is including the new Federal Acquisition Regulation Clause, ``Safeguarding of Unclassified Controlled Technical Information'' in all of our new non-transportation contracts, while retaining the Cyber Security language we previously developed in our transportation contracts. We are continuing to build relationships with our commercial partners and law enforcement to increase collaboration and incorporate contract language based on industry best practices. Additionally, I am gaining operational control of cyber protection teams to augment our organic network defense forces. This will enable a better protective posture across the USTRANSCOM enterprise. We are fully engaged with U.S. Cyber Command and Defense Information Systems Agency to work through command and control of these assigned forces. The command is satisfied with our efforts to date and will continue to leverage opportunities to improve as they present themselves. The incentive we offer is the opportunity to do business with us as manager of the Defense Transportation System. ______ QUESTION SUBMITTED BY MR. GARAMENDI Mr. Garamendi. Can you please make available the TRANSCOM internal analysis on options to recapitalize the RRF. You mentioned this could be completed as early as within 45 days and we are very interested in ensuring that this information be made available to this committee. General Fraser. Once our analysis on recapitalizing the Ready Reserve Force (RRF) is complete, I will ensure the results are made available to you and the committee. I am encouraged by your interest, as the RRF plays a critical role in TRANSCOM's ability to meet surge deployment requirements in support of all combatant commands. ______ QUESTIONS SUBMITTED BY MS. HANABUSA Ms. Hanabusa. At last week's hearing, I asked for assurances that our service members in Hawaii would not see a reduced quality of service with the new GPC III contractor. Would you please explain to me, in as much detail as possible, what USTRANSCOM plans to do to ensure that is the case? General Fraser. GPC III contract award is concluding litigation before the U.S. Court of Federal Claims and parties, including USTRANSCOM, remains subject to a Court Protective Order. The GPC III solicitation requires the awardee to provide the same, and in many cases improved services, regarding in-transit visibility, shipment time, on-time arrival rates and terms regarding in-transit damage. USTRANSCOM's mission is to provide unparalleled logistics support to our warfighters, and their dependents, all around the world. Ms. Hanabusa. You stated that USTRANSCOM ``could not substantiate'' any contractor relations with North Korea. However, it is my understanding that, while the new GPC III contractor itself may not have these relations, such relations may exist through the contractor's corporate affiliations. Can you confirm that the new contractor, either directly or indirectly through the directors and officers of corporate affiliates, does not have any ties to North Korean or Chinese Communist Party officials? When did USTRANSCOM first become aware of these alleged relationships? General Fraser. The Government carefully reviewed the allegations regarding ties between International Auto Logistics (IAL), its affiliates (to include certain board members), and alleged improper ties to North Korea. The Government investigated the matters at the Command and national levels. Based on these reviews, the Government found the allegations are without merit, do not give rise to any violations of law or regulation, and pose no undue security concerns. In addition, the Government reviewed pertinent Commerce and Treasury Department regulations regarding prohibited contracting entities and activities and conclude they are not applicable to awardee International Auto Logistics. USTRANSCOM first became aware of these allegations November 1, 2013 when the losing contractor, American Auto Logistics, raised them in a bid protest before the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). GAO denied the protest. ______ QUESTIONS SUBMITTED BY MR. HUNTER Mr. Hunter. When you appeared before a House Armed Services subcommittee on April 17, 2013, you identified ``first pass accuracy and enhanced lethality weapons'' as a ``difficult advanced technology requirement that SOF need[s] to maintain an edge on the battlefield.'' You went on to state that, ``SOF will increasingly need the ability to precisely apply exact weapons effects on specific targets with near- zero collateral damage.'' I understand the United Kingdom has fully and independently developed, with U.S. and U.K. manufacturers, a Dual Mode Brimstone tactical missile that was successfully integrated on an MQ-9 Reaper aircraft and demonstrated first-pass lethality at China Lake in December 2013 and January 2014. This missile has also been used extensively by the Royal Air Force in combat operations over Afghanistan and Libya, with extraordinary accuracy and low collateral damage. It seems that this is exactly what you called for during your April 2013 testimony when you spoke of the need for new technology to maintain our edge on the battlefield. One year later, what progress has SOF made in addressing the threat(s) it has identified, particularly as it relates to fast and erratically moving targets? Since the Dual Mode Brimstone missile has already been developed by our UK allies, is combat proven, and has successfully been integrated on a MQ-9 Reaper, is Dual Mode Brimstone on your radar screen to meet the precision-strike weapon requirements you outlined in your testimony last year? Admiral McRaven. U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) has fielded several service common weapons on the MQ-9 Reaper including multiple variants of Hellfire that are battlefield proven at minimal cost to the command. On other SOF strike platforms such as the AC- 130Ws, USSOCOM has fielded the Griffin Block III missile with a multi- effects warhead which fits inside of the Common Launch Tube. We have also fielded the Small Diameter Bomb and are currently integrating the Laser Small Diameter Bomb. Both munitions provide increased first pass accuracy and enhanced lethality to the USSOCOM Stand Off Precision Guided Munitions arsenal at little cost to USSOCOM. Representatives from USSOCOM received technical capability briefings and observed live demonstrations of the Brimstone missile conducted at China Lake in December 2013. USSOCOM continuously explores opportunities to integrate new and affordable capabilities to meet warfighter needs however, there is currently no plan to acquire and integrate the Brimstone missile onto USSOCOM fixed wing strike platforms. ______ QUESTIONS SUBMITTED BY MR. MAFFEI Mr. Maffei. SOCOM is posturing for a major tactical C4I (Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Intelligence) recapitalization program, STC (SOF Tactical Communications), over the next few years. Current budget projections for communications equipment are relatively low, compared to previous years. What is the command's plan, timeline and funding, to procure and field STC? Admiral McRaven. USSOCOM procures tactical radios and delivers new capabilities via an ongoing annual Capital Equipment Replacement Program (CERP). We will continue to procure and deliver the next generation SOF Tactical Communications (STC) systems at a relatively constant rate each year. The STC procurement plan, timeline, and funding, as shown in the FY15 budget request are captured below. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ FY15 FY16 FY17 FY18 FY19 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Item Total Total Total Total Total Qty ($M) Qty ($M) Qty ($M) Qty ($M) Qty ($M) ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Handheld -- -- -- -- 1 0.012 4 0.056 7 0.099 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Handheld CERP 973 13.630 1,018 14.251 1,068 14.957 1,075 15.043 1,042 15.634 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Manpack -- -- -- -- 11 0.439 12 0.482 12 0.492 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Manpack CERP 214 7.711 240 8.903 196 7.435 156 6.086 160 6.396 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Manpack-Fixed Mount 13 0.630 11 0.567 11 0.583 11 0.592 11 0.605 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- High Frequency CERP 153 1.836 144 1.733 146 1.761 143 1.859 145 1.893 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TOTAL* -- 23.807 -- 24.457 -- 25.187 -- 24.118 -- 25.119 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- *Item totals may not add to the program total due to rounding. Mr. Maffei. The Army is developing the Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS) for SOCOM. Has there been any consideration on what communications systems, existing or new, will be leveraged to connect the operator? Admiral McRaven. USSOCOM, not the Army, is leading the development of a series of technologies necessary to construct a Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS) in order to increase Special Operations Forces survivability. TALOS development is leveraging current and previous Army, Air Force, DARPA, and other Government research to lower the technical risk and reduce development time. The goal is to build an open architecture capable of adopting emerging improvements and provide a self-sufficient, standalone, expeditionary capability with increased capability at a lighter form factor. The communications interfaces will support connectivity with existing infrastructures (radio and cellular technologies), platforms, and organizations while enabling new capabilities. Although TALOS is initially intended for special operators involved in high risk missions, we foresee potential application across the SOF Enterprise as well as through DOD, among first responders and Wounded Warriors. The development of powered exoskeletons, advanced armor, and lightweight power generation and distribution systems have wide-ranging potential uses. TALOS staff are coordinating with Departments of Homeland Security, Energy and Veterans Affairs as well as representatives of New York Police and Fire Departments in an effort to increase awareness of the TALOS vision. It is envisioned that novel ballistic materials, advanced power storage systems, and exoskeleton advancements will be made available to other DOD and Federal agencies prior to the fielding of the TALOS prototype. ______ QUESTIONS SUBMITTED BY MR. RUNYAN Mr. Runyan. As you know, I am very proud to represent Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, which has done an outstanding job fulfilling its refueling and air mobility mission. With KC-10s doing a large part of the air refueling mission at JB MDL in support of overseas operations, the Northeast Tanker Corridor, and homeland defense, I am concerned about proposals to entirely retire this fleet of aircraft when they are vital to the mission. Since the KC-10 is a tanker/cargo aircraft, how much tanker capacity will you lose and how much cargo capacity will you lose? General Fraser. The President's Budget for Fiscal Year 2015 keeps the 59 KC-10s throughout the Future Years Defense Program while preserving acceptable levels of risk. Mr. Runyan. How does the proposed possible loss of KC-10 capacity degrade the capability to fulfill worldwide air refueling requirements? Cargo requirements? How will you make up these shortfalls? Do the other Combatant Commanders agree with losing this capability? General Fraser. The President's Budget for Fiscal Year 2015 keeps the 59 KC-10s throughout the Future Years Defense Program while preserving acceptable levels of risk. Mr. Runyan. Why would you not replace the KC-10s with the KC-46A on a one for one basis so the tanker and cargo mission capability will be retained without any ``bathtub'' or mission risk? General Fraser. The President's Budget for Fiscal Year 2015 keeps the 59 KC-10s throughout the Future Years Defense Program while preserving acceptable levels of risk. Mr. Runyan. If the KC-10s were all put in the Reserve Component would the savings be substantial enough to keep them in the air mobility fleet? Why or why not? General Fraser. The President's Budget retains the entire KC-10 fleet through the Future Years Defense Program. Moving that fleet to the Air Force Reserve would require further analysis by the Air Force of the KC-10's effectiveness for operating in a strategic reserve capacity. Mr. Runyan. Last year, the Armed Services Committees made clear our concern about the future viability of the Civil Reserve Air Fleet and requested that the Department of Defense study some of the policies and legislation that will affect the CRAF going forward. Additionally, we understand that USTRANSCOM has participated in a working group along with the commercial carriers in an effort to harmonize your relationship and ensure that the parties are working in the best national security interests of the United States. General, can you update the committee on the details of any progress made by the Department, whether through the study or through the working groups, on ensuring a viable future for the CRAF, especially following the projected withdrawal from Afghanistan, and regulating compliance with the longstanding National Airlift Policy? General Fraser. The President's Budget retains the entire KC-10 fleet through the Future Years Defense Program. Moving that fleet to the Air Force Reserve would require further analysis by the Air Force of the KC-10's effectiveness for operating in a strategic reserve capacity. ______ QUESTIONS SUBMITTED BY MR. PETERS Mr. Peters. I understand there is an outstanding Urgent Operational Need for a sea-based Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance (ISR) Unmanned Air System (UAS) to support Special Operations Forces conducting counterterrorism operations in the AFRICOM region. And I understand the Navy is working to meet this requirements through an Endurance Upgrade Rapid Deployment Capability (RDC) acquisition to the MQ-8 Fire Scout. Can you tell the committee if your forces still require this capability, how the Navy is providing the capabilities you requested, and if any additional support is needed to meet this requirement? Admiral McRaven. Yes, we still have a valid requirement for Sea Based ISR per the January 24, 2012 Joint Requirements Oversight Council (JROC) approved Joint Urgent Operational Need (JUON) Request for Sea- Based ISR UAS System Support Joint Requirements Oversight Council Memorandum (JROCM) 007-12, January 30, 2012. The Navy approved the MQ-8 Fire Scout Endurance Upgrade Rapid Deployment Capability (RDC) on February 1, 2012. The Navy has provided MQ-8 capability in support of SOF since frigates (FFGs) first began to support the requirement in Fall 2012. Fire Scout ISR support is a critical enabler in regions where land basing is limited due to political/military restrictions and tyranny of distance. Post-Afghanistan, there will be an increasing need for expeditionary, sea-based ISR to support SOF. Due to fiscal constraints, Navy MQ-8 ISR support is limited, and the last scheduled deployment of an FFG with MQ-8 capability in support of SOF ends during Fiscal Year 2015. Additionally, Littoral Combat Ships (LCSs) are not slated to field in numbers to regain and sustain current Fire Scout capability for several years. However, the Navy has done initial Non-recurring engineering work to install Fire Scout on Guided Missile Destroyers (DDGs), which could provide necessary sea- based ISR support to SOF in the near-term as an interim solution until LCS is available in sufficient numbers. Mr. Peters. I understand that DOD's Surface Deployment and Distribution Command (SDDC), under the purview of the U.S. Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM), has jurisdiction over the Strategic Port Program, but that the Department of Transportation's Maritime Administration (MARAD) administers the program. Given this shared participation, how are the responsibilities for the program delineated between DOD and DOT? Are they clearly defined and understood, particularly with respect to funding responsibilities for the Strategic Port Program? How does TRANSCOM coordinate with MARAD to ensure that the program's resource needs are identified and met? General Fraser. These responsibilities are delineated in the National Port Readiness (NPRN) Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)- Revision 6, signed lastly on 29 Aug 2006. Specifically, MARAD is responsible for providing vessels, coordinating use of commercial shipping services and equipment (containers, chassis, etc), managing and maintaining the National Defense Reserve Fleet/Ready Reserve Force, and working with industry stakeholders and organizations (Transportation Research Board, American Association of Port Authorities and the National Defense Transportation Association). USTRANSCOM's responsibilities include: providing air, land and sea transportation; directing and coordinating the activities of its components (i.e., SDDC, Military Sealift Command, and Air Mobility Command); exercising command of all transportation assets; serving as DOD single manager for transportation; providing guidance and insight into DOD transportation policies and plans; and being defense transportation sector lead for DOD Critical Infrastructure Program. Typically MARAD and USTRANSCOM provide funding only to cover the administer portion of the Strategic Seaport Program, service contracts needed to gather information, and analyze the seaports. If Strategic Seaport facilities become unsuitable for national security requirements, DOD and MARAD will first work with the Strategic Seaport to identify suitable replacement capability at that port. If no suitable options exist, DOD and MARAD coordinate with other Strategic Seaports or identify an alternate seaport that has the ability to replace the lost capability/capacity. Commercial Strategic Seaports are either privately or municipally owned and have various options for funding infrastructure improvements such as: port revenues, general obligation bonds (G.O. bonds), revenue bonds, loans, grants, and other sources. The DOD, consistent with the premise of relying on viable/available commercial capability, successfully leverages port self-investment as the best value means by which to sustain required seaport capabilities. USTRANSCOM, through the Strategic Seaport and Ports for National Defense Programs, coordinates with MARAD to ensure DOD's needs for strategic mobility are included in civil sector planning, which guides the funding and maintenance of civil sector infrastructure. The Strategic Seaport and Ports for National Defense Programs coordinate through the National Port Readiness Network to ensure MARAD and the Port Authorities are aware of DOD's needs and those needs are incorporated into Port Planning Orders. DOD's policy is to rely on civil sector infrastructure, identify and communicate our requirements, and negotiate for the use of that excess infrastructure capacity. Mr. Peters. Does TRANSCOM still utilize the Commercial First strategy (which prioritizes commercial services above the Strategic Port network)? Has TRANSCOM discussed with U.S. Department of Transportation Maritime Administration (MARAD) any standardization of (Strategic Port) Port Planning Order's (PPO)? Does TRANSCOM have the ability to prioritize and/or make recommendations to the improvement of connectivity of the Strategic Port system, if it is found that the physical infrastructure in and around Strategic Seaports is not sufficient? General Fraser. USTRANSCOM follows the DOD directives to utilize best value, US flag, commercial resources to the maximum extent practicable. Sealift cargo appropriate for commercial carriage to be carried by commercial ships assumes the following priority: first, to commercial vessels already under charter to the United States; then to commercial vessels in accordance with the Cargo Preference Act of 1904 (10 USC 2631) and the Voluntary Intermodal Sealift Agreement, 7 Nov 07. USTRANSCOM has discussed standardization of PPOs with MARAD. Generally speaking, the PPOs have historically been standardized by including content of specific berths or linear footage of berths and ``Open air'' and ``facility enclosed'' staging. USTRANSCOM does not have the ability to prioritize improvement of connectivity if it is found that the physical infrastructure in and around Strategic Seaports is not sufficient. Such priorities are determined by other Federal, State and local government authorities or, in the case of rail, by the commercial-railroad owner. In the Congressional Report titled Update to Port Look 2008, Strategic Seaports Study, 3 Jan 2012, DOD found that the infrastructure in and around Strategic Seaports is currently sufficient to meet DOD's needs. However, USTRANSCOM does have the ability to recommend improvement of connectivity by sharing concerns and issues it discovers with MARAD, the Federal, State and municipal Departments of Transportation, the Federal Railroad Administration and the Port Authorities. ______ QUESTIONS SUBMITTED BY MR. BRIDENSTINE Mr. Bridenstine. Combat operations in Afghanistan are on track to be concluded by the end of 2014. Whether a residual force remains largely depends on whether the Afghan government signs the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA). Regardless, US Transportation Command is tasked with moving our troops and materiel out of Afghanistan. Considering this herculean effort will require assistance from our allies, I wanted to ask you a question along those lines:
Azerbaijan has been one of the most reliable partners for the United States as a transit route to and from Afghanistan since 2001. How do you now assess the role of Azerbaijan as part of your contingency plans for the retrograde from Afghanistan? How closely are you working with the government of Azerbaijan and its security forces in those efforts? The Northern Distribution Network has been a critically important transit route for the operations in Afghanistan. The United Stated has successfully developed cooperative relations with many of the countries along this route. Can you update us on your engagements with and the capacity of these regional partners to support US retrograde operations from Afghanistan? General Fraser. U.S. Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM) engagement with Azerbaijan has resulted in a strong partnership that capitalizes on mutually beneficial logistical efforts. Azerbaijan currently provides surface and over-flight access in support of sustainment and retrograde operations to and from Afghanistan. Over the past two years, Azerbaijan has increased their commercial capabilities at the Heydar Aliyev Airport by building state-of-the-art wash racks and cold storage facilities; both of which are contracted for use by our commercial carriers to respectively move retrograde cargo out of Afghanistan and food supplies into Afghanistan. Furthermore, our political engagement strategy resulted in Azerbaijan approving the U.S. blanket over-flight of its airspace and decreasing its diplomatic clearance lead times for U.S. aircraft landing in support of multimodal operations. As the U.S. drawdown in Afghanistan continues, Azerbaijan will be a significant partner in providing flexibility across our strategic lines of communication systems enabling successful sustainment and retrograde operations. USTRANSCOM continues to engage successfully with our regional partners across the Northern Distribution Network (NDN). Despite decreasing cargo volume due to lower force levels in Afghanistan and the strategic requirement to maintain flow across other routing options, the NDN continues to provide a scalable transportation network that maximizes flexibility and reduces risk. The relatively unrestricted freedom of movement across the NDN significantly bolsters our distribution network.